Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ruined By You Teaser

Hey everyone! I've been hard at work on my next novel: Ruined By You, and it's due out this coming week! June 20th!

I thought it would be nice to share a bit of a teaser with you. So here it is! Be sure to sign up for my mailing list to be the FIRST one notified when the full book is available!

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Without further adieu... be the first to read a teaser from my upcoming release, RUINED BY YOU!

Green mileage signs passed by outside, announcing that we were getting closer and closer to town. It was about time. We’d been driving for days, and I was ready to stretch my long legs for more than a few hours at a time. I ruffled the pillow propped against the window, trying to get comfortable, but my neck was so stiff I knew it was going to be impossible.
“Finally, almost there,” Mom said. She glanced a smile over at me, her eyes filled with nervous excitement. The trip had been sudden - unexpected - and she’d been acting strange ever since we left.
“Is there something you’re not telling me?” I asked, not for the first time.
“Everything’s fine, dear. I just thought…” She shrugged a shoulder. “We haven’t visited in a long time.”
I frowned, and rolled my eyes. It was the same answer as before.
“I just don’t understand why you chose this summer to haul us across the country.,” I said. “I was looking forward to spending some time with my friends, and maybe getting a job in the city, before starting college.”
I rested my head against the pillow again.
“You weren’t going to get a job in the city,” she said, sharply. “You don’t know anyone in the city. It’s too big - too easy to get lost.”
“I’m not a kid anymore,” I reminded her. “I’m going to school in the city next year - I’ll have to find my way around one way or another.”
She gave me a resigned sigh, keeping her eyes focused on the road.
“Well, that’s not for a few months,” she said, mostly to herself.
I kept quiet. We’d had the same argument before, and we were just working ourselves in circles. The highway coasted along smoothly, wrapping in and around the gentle slopes of the Texas Hill Country. Slowly, the trees gave way to buildings, and we found ourselves on the outskirts of Green Falls. It wasn’t long before the car began slowing, and Mom took an exit. I let out a long yawn and perked up, looking around to take in a town I hadn’t seen in a lifetime.
“We’d better get some gas,” she said. “It’s still a bit of a drive before we get to your aunt’s house.”
We pulled into a Mom & Pop gas station just off the highway. I stretched my legs and gathered some of the trash that that had built up since our last stop. Mom and I had a routine for gas stops, now. It was something that happened on its own after the many stops between Jersey and Texas.
A wooden sign hung outside the door with the word “Welcome” carved into it. The homely decor within made me smile. A man stood behind the counter, and I sensed someone else lingering in the back aisle near the soft drinks.
“Do you have a restroom?” I asked the man behind the counter. He was older with leathery, tanned, skin. He grunted at me and pointed toward the back.
I thanked him and walked to the back. The restroom was cleaner than expected - the first good thing to happen all day. Afterward, I washed my hands and made my way back out to the car. Mom smiled at me as I took over pumping the gas so she could run inside. I was lost in thought, watching the dial on the old gas pump slowly spin upward, when a car pulled up on the other side of the pump.
A man climbed out and started pumping gas. I couldn’t see him well at first, but after a moment he stepped from around the other side of the gas pump and looked at me.
My eyes widened, and I very nearly had to pick my jaws up off the floor.
“Excuse me,” he said, his teeth flashing in a perfect smile. “You wouldn’t happen to know how far it is to Green Falls, would you?”
I shook my head, my eyes still wide despite my best efforts. He was gorgeous in a way that nearly took my breath away.
“Sorry, I’m not from around here,” I said, trying my best to get the words out.
He flashed another smile and he glanced over his shoulder back at the highway. His long brown hair fluttered lightly when he looked back. He was wearing a tight gray shirt, and his arms were covered in tattoos down to his wrists. He looked like he was a few years older than me, and his muscular frame loomed over me like he were a giant.
“I’m not either,” he said. “Just passing through and thought I’d check it out.”
An awkward silence passed between us. I tried to flash an attractive smile at him, but I was sure I probably looked like a silly city girl. His mouth moved like he were about to say something, but he never got the chance.
“Maggie,” a voice called out, sharply. “It’s time to go.”
I glanced over. Mom was standing a few steps away at the front of the car. Her eyes were narrowed, staring between the two of us. The heat of embarrassment rushed to my cheeks as I stared in shocked horror at her.
Does she even realize what she’s doing?
“Let’s go,” she said, turning back to me before I could say anything. She climbed into the car and I jumped as she slammed the door a little too hard. “Let’s go,” I heard her yell again, from within.
I turned back to the mystery man.
“Sorry about that,” I said, squirming my hands toward the door handle. “I have to go.”
He smiled and nodded at me.
“You might not want to ride off with the gas pump still in the tank,” he said, gesturing toward it with a hand.
I cursed myself and hastily finished pumping it. I could all but feel him laughing at me as I twisted the nozzle tight on the tank, and returned the pump to its place. But when I turned back to him, he had the same smile on his face.
“Drive safe,” he said, his fiery eyes following my every movement. My lips curled up in a tiny smile, and then Mom yelled at me again.
“Sorry,” I whispered, again, and climbed into the car.
Mom didn’t give me time to say anything else, and it was probably for the best. I’d already made enough of a fool of myself in front of him. She sped off before I’d even had the door all the way shut, and before I knew it, the gas station was fading away in the rear-view mirror.
“Way to embarrass me, Mom,” I said, turning on her.
“Who was that?” she asked, her tone betraying her contempt.
“He was just asking how far Green Falls was,” I said. “You didn’t have to go all psycho on us.”
“You have to be careful around boys like that,” she said. “You know they’re only after one thing.”
I eyed her, sharply. “You’ve reminded me, Mom. Not that I needed the reminders.”
She glanced over at me, her features softening. “I just don’t want to see you get hurt, sweetie.”
I looked at her, and felt my anger slipping already, even though I didn’t want it to.
“I’m always careful,” I said.
Probably too careful.
We drove the rest of the way in silence. The whole way into town I couldn’t shake the way the mystery man had smiled at me. I’d never seen anyone with eyes that burned as green as his.
No one, except for myself.


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