Welcome to this month’s edition of Escape With An Alpha. I hope you loved last month’s. I’m kinda guessing you might have if you’ve picked this month’s up too. I’m deep in the writing cave with King at the moment, so I apologise that this edition doesn’t have quite as much in it as last month’s. But hopefully King will make up for that when I unleash him on you again at the end of the month!
So this month we have new chapters from The Jett & Presley Diaries, and also from Winter & Birdie. I really, really love writing these! And in answer to the questions I’ve received, yes I will publish these stories in full once they’re finished. The Jett & Presley Diaries will actually lead into the next book in that series (Van’s book).
I also have an interview with one of my author friends who I love dearly—Eden Summers. She’s asked me some interesting questions! And she’s also answered some from me. If you’ve not read Eden before, check her books out. I recently read Hunter and loved it!! If you love your bad boys (and I know you do if you’re reading this lol!), you’ll love Hunter! He’s yummy in an edgy, hot way!
And in the back there, I’m sharing some notes I have on King. Notes that helped me craft his character. Mostly, it’s not new information if you’ve read King’s Wrath. If you haven’t read it yet, perhaps skip that part. Also skip the bonus scene because it is one big spoiler! I’ve put all the King stuff at the back so you can just avoid it if you want!
Now I need to let you know that the next edition of Escape With An Alpha won’t be out for 6 weeks. This is longer than I’d prefer, but I’m having an operation in the first week of June and it has a six week recovery timeframe, so that will impact on my writing. If I can manage it sooner, I will send it to you sooner, but I’m just not sure yet.
PS If you are new to me and didn't get to read the first edition of Escape With An Alpha, you can download that here. It has the first few chapters of each of the serials in this edition, so you'll want to read them first!
What’s happening in my world…
1. King’s Wrath Release
Thank you so much to everyone who bought King’s Wrath!! WOW, the response to this book was amazing! Unlike anything I could have imagined. Thank you for loving King like I do. If you didn’t love him, I get it. He’s hard to like. I’m looking forward to the end of the month when you will get the rest of his story.
There won’t be any preorders on King’s Reign (comes out 31st May). I’m working to a really tight deadline so I can’t do a preorder because the retailers need a longer lead time on them. But this book will be live on all sites on the 31st May. Please know, though, that it will move to Kindle Unlimited a couple of days after release, so if you buy your books on iBooks, Nook, Kobo or Google Play, please grab your copy at release.
2. Current Writing & Publishing Schedule
I’m currently writing King’s Reign. After that, I’ll be writing the second part to Risk. I’m excited to finally be getting closer to finishing Owen & Charlize’s story!! After writing their story, I’m not sure where I’ll go. I’ve previously said I’d be writing either Wilder’s story or Axe’s story (he is from King’s Wrath). After writing the Jett & Presley Diaries chapter that’s in this book, I feel the pull to Van!! His book is going to be all kinds of angsty and I’m really feeling that at the moment. But we’ll see! I’ll keep you updated.
3. King’s Reign Release Party
We’re celebrating the release of King’s second book on the 1st June at 7pm US EST here.
We had 900 readers attend the King’s Wrath party and it was a lot of fun!!
I'm inviting all my author friends again to this party!
Lots of giveaways!
IN FACT, everyone who JOINS the event will automatically be entered for a chance to win an ARC of King's Reign (sending out just before release!).
And I'll have another BRAND NEW BONUS KING SCENE for you! Did you miss the last bonus scene? Don’t worry, because I’m including it in this book for you!
If you don't think you'll be able to make it at that time, NO WORRIES! Just click ‘JOIN' to join the event and then drop in when you can afterwards to enter the giveaways and read the scene. And between now and the release of King's Reign on the 31st May, I'll be dropping giveaways and sneak peeks in there too!
4. 2018 Author Signings I’m Attending
11th August – Oxford UK
25th August – San Francisco, US
15th September – New York, US
3rd November – Perth, AU
For more info on each signing, visit my website.
5. King’s Wrath Paperback
It’s available! And I’ve released it at the special limited time price of $11.99 USD (usually $13.99 USD). Grab your copy here.
Every month I’m going to give away stuff that you can’t buy anywhere!
limited edition Storm MC merchandise
old versions of my paperbacks
advance copies of my next release
and other cool shit I think of!
Keep reading for this month’s giveaway!
PS You don’t have to do anything or like anything or send a sacrifice of any sort to enter this giveaway. All you have to do is click a button to enter. It’s my way of saying THANK YOU for being one of my readers.
Enter to win an ARC of King’s Reign!
Three up for grabs!
JETT & PRESLEY DIARIES
a monthly serial
Follow along as they plan their wedding.
Is there trouble in paradise?
If you haven’t read my book Be The One yet, don’t read these chapters yet as there are spoilers everywhere!
You can find this rockstar romance here. It’s available on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited.
It’s colder in Toronto than it was in London, which further irritates me about having to fucking come here. Cold weather and I do not get along. But Van and I need to have this discussion and it needs to be in person, not over the phone.
I enter the bar we agreed to meet at and scan for him. He’s in the far corner booth. Of course. When Van slips into the kind of mental state he’s currently in, he stays away from people. He’s wearing a cap pulled down to hide as much of his face as he can, and is hunched over his drink, staring down at his phone. My gut twists with worry for my friend. He’s drowning. And I’m the asshole here to beg him to do something that’s probably not in his best interest right now.
“Hey, man,” I greet him, sliding into the seat across from him.
Glancing up, his eyes meet mine. Emptiness fills them, but for one brief moment, they come to life. That’s gone as fast as it appears, though. “Hey.”
I look for the waitress, signalling to her that I want a drink. After she’s taken my order, I say to Van, “How are you doing?” It’s what I ask him every time we talk and he always avoids it. Today he won’t be able to do that.
He lifts his drink and takes a long swig, almost emptying it. As he places the glass back down, he says, “You really wanna know?”
“Fucking hell, Van, why wouldn’t I want to know? I’ve been asking you this for months. Talk to me. What’s going on?”
His jaw clenches. “I’m fucked, Jett. Well and truly screwed. I told Tom not to send you. It was a pointless trip because I’m not changing my mind. I’m done.”
“Okay so let’s forget the band for now. What’s happened? Is it your sister?” Jackie has a way of fucking with his mind. If I could, I’d pay the bitch off and tell her to never contact him again. I won’t, though, because as much as Van says he’s done with his family, he’s not. As much as they fuck him over, he always goes back for more. I’d never take away the possibility from him that they might get their shit together one day and be the family he desperately needs.
He slowly shakes his head, his eyes drifting even further away. We sit in silence for a few moments before he says, “Turns out my father isn’t my father. Also turns out my mother can’t narrow down who my father is. And on top of that, she won’t leave me alone about needing cash for her medical bills. Says she’ll go to the media if I don’t start coughing up money. Jackie has joined the party. They call me and email me and message me every fucking day.”
The waitress brings me my drink, which I immediately take a long gulp of. No wonder he’s in the state he’s in. “What’s your father have to say about all this?”
A hard glint flares in his eyes. “He’s not my father.”
“Either way, what’s he saying? Did he know?”
“What the fuck does it matter?”
It matters because I’m trying to get him to open up and talk to me. I’m latching onto anything here. Conversations like this are not our fucking forte. We communicate best through our music. “Humour me.”
He drains his glass and signals to the waitress for another. “Samuel is as piss weak as he’s always been. He lets those two walk all over him while he hides his fucking balls between his ass cheeks. He’s hardly said a word about it except to tell me he didn’t know. And he’s not leaving my mother. Said some shit about them going through a hard time back then, so he knows she didn’t mean to cheat on him.” He leans forward, some life sparking in his eyes again. “What kind of man fucking thinks that way?”
“Fuck,” I mutter, at a complete loss for words. I’m feeling both his pain and his anger. I want to squash these people. Force them out of his life once and for all.
He nods and leans back. Pulling his cap off, he throws it on the table and runs his fingers through his hair. “Yeah, that about covers it.”
“What are you going to do about this money they want? I could call the lawyers and tell them to handle it.”
He scrubs his hand over his face. “I’ll just fucking give it to her.”
“You’re not thinking straight, Van. You give it to her, and she won’t leave you alone ever again.”
“Well what the hell do you suggest? She’s my mother and needs help. This shit is killing her.”
“This shit could be helped a great fucking deal if she helped herself. She refuses to give up smoking, she refuses to eat better, she refuses to exercise, and she won’t give up the booze. That’s the shit killing her, Van. She’s doing it to herself and asking you to give her a fucking expensive Band-Aid.” His mother has a wide range of health issues caused by her lifestyle, the latest one that I know of being kidney disease.
“She needs an operation, and without insurance that shit’s expensive. I either pay for it or she goes on the public waiting list. She could be dead by the time she gets to the top of that list.”
I down some more of my drink. “Okay, so what about this—you pay for this but make it clear that’s it? You do it all through the lawyers, and we lock it down tight so she can’t ask for any more and she can’t go public with any details. Fucking pay her off and be done with it once and for all. You’ve been dealing with her shit for a decade. You need a break.”
He contemplates that for a long while before saying. “Yeah, maybe. I’ll think about it.”
“Van, thinking is fucking with you. You told me last time she pulled this kind of shit that you were done. Stop thinking and start doing. I’m worried about where this is all taking you.”
The waitress brings another drink and he knocks some back. “You can stop worrying. I’m not going there again.”
There was the darkest time in his life and certainly the hardest time our band has faced to date. Van was fucked up over a girl and his family, and he drank and drugged himself almost to death. His suicide attempt failed, and in the five years since, I’ve kept a close eye on him to ensure he never goes back there again.
I search his eyes, looking for the truthfulness of his statement, but I can’t tell for sure. Not when everything blaring from him tells me he’s depressed and in need of help.
I make a decision. It’s not one I thought I’d be making and not one I prefer, simply because it’ll keep me away from Presley, but it’s the right one for my friend. “I’m staying here with you for a while.”
He scowls. “Fuck off. I don’t need you, Jett.”
I rest my elbows on the table. “You need me more than you’ve ever needed me.”
His jaw sets. Hard. We’re in for a doozy of a fucking argument. “No, what I fucking need is to be left alone. Jesus. I’m trying to find some peace with my shit, but I’ve got my family and Tom and now you, all up in my fucking face. All the fucking time. I feel like I can’t breathe some days because of you lot.”
“You can bitch and moan all you like, but I’m not going anywhere. And besides”—I shrug—“maybe we’ll write some shit while I’m here.” God knows, Van writes his best stuff when he’s like this, and often it’s the best therapy for him.
He shakes his head. “No. We’re not writing together. I told you last time we spoke that I’m out.”
“Yeah, well that doesn’t mean we can’t write together. Fuck around with some shit. Like old times.” God I fucking miss those days sometimes. Back when we were starting out and the bullshit side of the business hadn’t tainted our passion.
He throws back some of his whisky before standing. “No. Go home. Tell the boys I’m out, and move the fuck on without me.”
I watch him exit the bar, my brain screaming at me to go after him. But I know that’s not what I should do right now. Not if I want any kind of chance at getting through to him. I’ll give him the rest of today, and then I’ll show up at his door and barge my way into his life. Then we’ll get started on fixing the mess inside that brilliant fucking mind of his. And even if it kills me, I’ll let him walk away from the band if at the end of this road I think that’s what he really wants.
Next chapter will be out on the 25th June!
Nina & Eden Summers Chat
Eden Summers is an Aussie author I first met a couple of years ago. She was sitting across from me at a signing, and as signings go, we got to chat for a few minutes at most, but I knew straight away she was someone I wanted to get to know better.
Last year we chatted a little more and slowly became friends. Eden is one of the most giving authors I’ve met. She’ll happily share anything she knows and always supports fellow authors whenever and however she can. I’m truly blessed to have her in my life.
Like I mentioned earlier, I read Eden’s latest release, Hunter, when it came out and loved it! Hunter captured my attention instantly and I found myself looking forward to getting back to him each night after work. It’s not often that happens for me anymore (sadly). I just don’t get as much time to read as I’d prefer, and when I do, I don’t easily find characters who draw me in like Hunter did. If you haven’t read any of Eden’s books yet, check her out here.
Nina Asks Eden Some Questions
1. I'd love you to tell us about your books! Like, if you had to pitch them to a new reader, what would you say? Also, which is your favourite book you've written and why?
Okay, the pressure is on.
I like to describe my writing as romantic with a side of sizzle and sarcasm. My guys are always derisive, kinda laid-back and fun, until ‘the one’ comes along and breaks their foundations. My guys tend to have a gruff, dominant, protective vibe once they fall into lust…or love…whatever comes first.
Which is my favourite book? Gah! That’s a tough one. My Reckless men have a lot more humour which makes them easier to write. But it’s the more difficult pieces that sink into my soul. Inarticulate being the first because the hero is silent (mute) and then Hunter because it was my first super suspense book full of major twists and turns.
2. I'm always fascinated by how authors spend their days getting their books out and managing all the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on in their publishing business. What does a standard day look for you?
My days vary on the mayhem scale. I’m not a fast writer so I try to get those painful words down first. But it’s always a struggle not to succumb to distraction. There’s a lot of ’squirrel’ moments here. I find marketing and working through a business to-do list much more calming. But in saying that, I start work anywhere between 6-7:30am, write until around 2pm, then tackle the less creative jobs while my kids are home. I usually knock off around 9pm so my brain can mellow before I go to bed.
3. Have you always wanted to be a writer? Tell me a little about how you got to where you are today.
No, I think I’m one of the very few who wasn’t born into writing.
I lived a corporate life for a long time and struggled because it wasn’t hard enough. I’d always get the promotion or the pay rise, but I grew tired of the work too easily. Things didn’t change until I fell pregnant with my first son and discovered a major love of reading romance. Over night, I became an avid reader, started my own blog, and gained a book buying habit I think most of us can relate to.
I’d go to sleep thinking of the stories I’d read, but I’d always tweak them. I’d create my own world, making the hero more alpha or the heroine less naive. I’d do it over and over, staying up for hours in this fantasy land, perfecting these stories until I finally decided to take a writing course and type a book of my own.
It wasn’t until then that I realised the writing world was where I was meant to be. I’m constantly challenged. My role is always changing and evolving, and the learning process is never ending. It’s the perfect fit and I couldn’t be happier.
4. Which character of yours would you run away with? Why?
I’ve changed over the years. For a long time I loved Blake, the tortured, bad-boy from Passionate Addiction. He’s tattooed, emotionally scarred, and a big ol’ softie on the inside…But recently, I’ve fallen more in love with dominant, dark and gruff heroes, which casts Hunter in the limelight. He’s the epitome of bad-ass and his dominant, protective nature makes me swoon.
5. Is there a genre you'd love to write one day?
Yes. For sure.
I’ve plotted paranormal and sci-fi. As long as it has romance, I want to write it. And hopefully, one day, I will.
But for the moment, I’m going to do more suspense, loads of rockstars, and hopefully another addition to the Vault.
Eden Asks Nina Some Questions
1. One thing I love and admire about you is your motivation and passion. How do you keep your fountain of awesomeness flowing?
I’ve wanted to be a published author for as long as I can remember. I was never confident enough, though, to pursue this career. Years ago (like, over a decade) I quit my full-time job with the intention of working part-time while I wrote a book. I signed up for a writing course and I never told a soul that was what I wanted to do. It was a crazy move because I was a single mother and had just bought my first home. CRAZY! But then, I’ve always gone against the grain and taken the paths in life that people just shake their head at and wonder WTF I am thinking. Anyway, my father asked me to come and work with him and my boss at the time didn’t want to let me go so he created a new job for me to work part-time just coming in whenever I wanted. I find it really hard to say no to people, so I said yes to both jobs. And so there went my time to write a book… And I never did finish that writing course.
Fast forward to 2013 and I finally gathered enough courage to publish a book. The rest is history and here I am doing the one thing I know I was meant to do in life. That was a really long way of telling you I don’t struggle to get up every day and do this job, because wanting to do it has lived deeply inside me forever. Sure, last year was hard when it came to writing, and I took some time off, but that wasn’t because my motivation and passion had disappeared.
I worked in retail for 20 years. Most of that time was in management and then there were about 7 years of that where I co-owned a scrapbooking retail business. The entrepreneurial blood flows through me. Retail flows through me. I love the challenge of bringing a product to market. A lot of authors will tell you they don’t love the marketing side of this business, but to me, it’s just as creative a process as writing. I blend the words with the images and the feeling I’m bringing to life with a book, and it all just fuses together in my mind, eventually becoming something I love selling. When you love something this much, it’s not hard to do your job. And trust me, I’ve worked jobs where I had to switch my soul off just to get through the day. I did that for far too many years. I struggle to describe how my job makes me feel now. It’s this joy that is always there, deep in my bones. I smile so much more these days.
That my words touch people all over the world inspires me to do better and to dig deeper. Other than everything I’ve mentioned, I now live by the motto of work hard, play harder. I mean, I don’t play anywhere near enough, but when I do, we play! I travel overseas a couple of times a year and for the last few years, I’ve done at least one trip each year with Jodie, my bestie. And we have so much fun! We catch up with authors and readers we’ve become friends with online. We see all the sights. We party a little more than we should lol. We laugh like I’ve never laughed in my life. It all fills my well, and I come home ready to get writing again. I also go away with other friends a few times a year and with my daughter whenever we can. And I’ve started meditating! That shit is amazing! Massages too!! And I love to make art but I don’t make enough time for this. Losing myself with ink and paint and paper is something I’ve loved to do for a long time. And lastly, I spend some time writing stuff that I haven’t shared anywhere yet. In the background, I’m quietly working on a YA book that I have told no one about. Oh, I think I did share the Pinterest board for it once in my Facebook group, but since then I’ve just kept it to myself. It’s one of my passion projects where I just throw myself onto the page. It’s stuff like this that really feeds my soul.
2. You write about gritty, bad-ass bikers (among other things), but how do you research their lifestyle? And what is the craziest/strangest/most surprising thing you’ve learned?
Before I wrote my first book, I spent hours researching the biker lifestyle online and in books. I have to admit I found it a little stressful because I wanted to get it right when I wrote my books. At some point, I decided to take artistic license occasionally. On top of researching bikers, I spend time researching guns, bomb making, crime, the law aspects of it all and those kinds of things. I try hard to get stuff right as much as I can.
Some of the craziest stuff I know comes from personal experience from when I was younger. I was actually chatting with some readers in a FB group recently about some aspects from King’s book. A reader was expressing her disbelief with some of the storyline (I won’t give spoilers) and all I could say to her was that the stuff she couldn’t buy into was stuff I had personally lived. Real life can often be crazier than fiction.
3. In a parallel universe, you wake up tomorrow and can no longer be an author. What is your next career move?
I would start a business helping authors with their marketing and mindset. I’d also build websites and do graphic design of some sort.
4. You’re sitting down with a Hollywood producer but can only pitch him one of your books to make into a movie. Which book do you pick and why?
Hands down King’s story! I’ve never been interested in seeing my books on the big screen, but I would love to see King’s story brought to life. It’s a story about a flawed human. As a reader, he challenges you a lot. He’s hard to like at times, and that’s real life, right? Because while we struggle to like him, we can’t help but root for him and hope he can get his shit together. And that journey is both ugly and beautiful, and one I love taking with a character.
5. You’re always learning and growing as an author and a person. What have you got your learning muscles focused on at the moment?
I’m currently dedicating time to learning some key advertising principles, including digging deep on branding. I’m also keen to get back to building my dictation skills. Who would have thought dictating a story could be so hard?!
Huge thanks to Eden for doing this with me!
You can check out Eden’s books here.
AND don’t forget to check out her book Hunter that I loved!
I wasn't looking for his kind of trouble.
It found me anyway.
Tall. Dark. Addictive.
He unravels me with his kisses.
Melts me with his touch.
But he has secrets.
A hidden agenda, beyond his craving for me.
A desire for more than tangled silk sheets and our sweat-slicked skin.
I need to run. From him. From the lies.
But running from the hunter means I've now become the prey.
From bestselling author, Eden Summers, comes a seductively thrilling standalone destined to leave you breathless.
WINTER & BIRDIE
a Sydney Storm MC serial
The first choice I made was to save both of us.
The second choice was to save him.
It broke me in the process.
You’ve met Winter in King’s book, and now you can get to know him!
PS If you haven’t read King’s Wrath yet, there are no spoilers in this story.
Birdie Beaumont owned my heart from the moment she waltzed into my life the day I turned twenty. We met at a football match. I’d just won the game for my team, who happened to be her team, and she’d smiled at me as I ran off the field. I hadn’t been able to get the sexy blonde out of my head all day, and when she’d turned up at my birthday party that night with one of my teammates, I’d made it my mission to get to know her. She’d tried to tell me she wanted to date my teammate, but that was bullshit and she knew it. Our instant connection had scared her, and she did everything to avoid giving into it.
But I had never been a man who gave up on what I wanted, and I’d pursued the fuck out of her. And here we were, repeating history. Birdie continued to deny her feelings, and I’d decided she’d be mine again.
I held her to me, firmly enough that she’d have to fight me to escape. “If you think I’m going to let you walk away from me twice this year, you’re seriously mistaken, Birdie. I’m not ever allowing you to do that again.”
Hell, she wasn’t a woman I could go on living without. I’d barely survived the last five years since she’d left me and fled Sydney. Since she’d ripped my heart out. She had no clue she still owned that heart. That my chest was a gaping hole of pain filled with nothing but memories that haunted my days and claimed my nights.
Her eyes found mine, and I saw everything I needed to see to know I wasn’t misreading this.
Birdie wanted this as much as I did.
“Winter,” she said breathlessly, but the way she didn’t make any attempt to wiggle out of my embrace betrayed any argument she might attempt. “We can’t—”
I pressed a finger to her lips, silencing her. “I’m just asking for a few drinks. We can go for a coffee somewhere else if you don’t want to drink any more.”
She remained silent, staring up at me like a deer caught in headlights. Still not moving out of my hold.
“You wanna go grab coffee?” I asked when she didn’t respond. It was actually my preference. It’d be quieter and I’d have a better chance at get her talking.
Shaking her head, she stumbled over her words in her haste to get them out. “No, I’ll stay here and have a drink with you. One drink.” It seemed she wasn’t confident about being somewhere quieter with me. That knowledge only confirmed my thoughts that she was trying to shut down her feelings.
I held her for a few moments longer, not wanting to let her go. But I eventually did and then motioned to the bartender for two more drinks.
She moved closer to the bar and placed her clutch down, still doing everything she could to avoid looking at me. I ran my gaze over her while we waited for our drinks. Fuck, she was beautiful. I’d never found a woman who even came close to matching Birdie. With her blue eyes that captured me every damn time, flawless tanned skin, curves and legs that went on forever, and those lips I’d spent too many fucking hours thinking about, she had everything that got my blood pumping. But it wasn’t just her physical attractiveness that took my breath away. Birdie was the complete package with a soul that far exceeded any beauty she had on the outside. Everyone who met her was drawn to her in inexplicable ways. She was like that song you loved and couldn’t get out of your head, but for the life of you, couldn’t figure out why you loved it so much. Kind and thoughtful in ways many weren’t, Birdie marched to the beat of her own drum and I was powerless to do anything but hang off every vibration.
I paid for the drinks and slid hers across the bar, finally finding her eyes. I caught her off guard and she quickly looked down. Before I could stop myself, I leaned in close and said, “Remember that night in Hobart when we got blind drunk and you ended up in that water fountain half naked before I could stop you? It was so damn cold that night and I—”
“You dragged me out of it, wrapped me in your T-shirt and jacket, and threw me over your shoulder so you could carry me to the taxi. And you froze your ass off—”
I held her eyes. “Because I loved you and I would have done anything for you.” I paused, my fucking chest squeezing with love for her. “I still would.” I didn’t need to remind her of the long night of sex we’d had that night. It had been the kind of sex no one would ever forget. But then, we’d always had that kind.
She took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly before taking a sip of her drink. “What are you doing, Winter?”
“Remembering the good times we had.”
“Yeah well, they’re just memories now. Dragging them up only hurts.”
“So you don’t ever think about us? I call bullshit on that.”
“You can call bullshit all you like, but it’s been five years and I’ve moved on.”
“You’re dating someone at the moment?”
She tensed like she used to when she tried to evade my questions. “I’ve just started seeing someone.”
The idea of another man’s hands on her tore me up, but it wasn’t anything I hadn’t thought of over the last five years. I pushed my displeasure down deep, locked that shit up because it wouldn’t get me anywhere tonight. “So he means nothing to you yet is what you’re telling me.”
“No, Winter. What I’m telling you is that we’ve been out a few times and I like him.”
I’d really fucked up our relationship when I hadn’t listened to her needs all those years ago. She had never demanded I walk away from the military, but if I’d stopped for just one moment and seen her and the struggles she’d been going through, I would have left a helluva lot sooner. And we’d still be together today.
This dickhead she was seeing had fucking nothing on what I could give Birdie. We had history and that had to count for something. I knew everything about her, like that her favourite singer was Eminem and her favourite colour was pink, that she reserved Sundays for family and meal prep, that she organised her clothes for the entire week on a Sunday night, that she always fell asleep watching TV at night and never usually made it past 9:00 p.m. because she was always up at 4:30 a.m. to go running. And I knew her heart, and who had trampled over it. And all the regrets she’d ever had.
I might not have known her last five years, but I knew more than this new asshole did.
“How’s your mum, Angel?”
Her eyes widened a smidge, and she gulped down her drink. Placing the empty glass down, she picked up her clutch. “We’ve had our drink, and now I’m going home. My mum is good and no she doesn’t ask about you anymore.”
My lips twitched at the attitude she threw my way. It was a low blow, me asking about her mother. Jennifer had always loved me and had rooted for me after Birdie ended our relationship. She’d kept in touch with me for a long time, keeping me updated on her daughter and the fact she was still trying to make her see sense.
Didn’t hurt to remind her of my ties to her family, though. At this point, I’d use every weapon in my arsenal.
When she took a step away from me, I reached for her again. The spark of our skin touching couldn’t be denied, not even by her. I saw it in the flare of her eyes when they met mine again.
“You can run and you can try to hide, but eventually you will be mine again.” I leaned in close. “I’m going to enjoy the fuck out of the chase, just like I did the last time we played this game.”
Do you love playlists for books?
Check out Winter & Birdie’s playlist here. It’s one of my favourites so far!
Next chapter will be out on the 25th June!
My Current Favourite Read
I’ve just read the best book I’ve read in a long freaking time and have to share it with you!!
Down Beat by Max Henry
Some call him a rock god.
Others a celebrity bad boy.
Me? I call him the arrogant bastard who stole my concert venue.
His apology? To take me and my violin on tour with the band.
It’s an offer I can’t refuse, even if it does come with strings attached.
Because Rey Thomas isn’t who he seems.
Life isn’t pretty behind the deviant frontman’s facade.
It’s raw, ugly, and at times downright painful.
But it’s real.
And far better than the lie he presents to the world.
The man behind the face of Dark Tide is beautiful in his chaos.
All I have to do is keep him alive long enough to see that too.
Nobody ever said loving a rock star would be easy.
Keep reading for my 5 star review!
This book blew me away.
I was drawn to this book because I love a good rocker with an attitude and went into it knowing the topic it covered. I did not expect the book I got. Down Beat is so much more than its genre or its topic.
It's an exquisite journey through love and hate, hope and despair.
It's about characters who showed me their heart and soul, layer by painful layer.
It's about a man with flaws that most wouldn't survive.
And a woman who loved him regardless.
I got mad.
I held my breath with hope.
I cheered them on and rooted for Rey so damn hard.
And I cried. I ugly cried.
I never ugly cry. Max made me cry by laying Rey out and revealing his beautiful, damaged soul to me. She didn't need death or shock or any of that stuff some books rely on to make us feel… She simply wrote the hell out of a story that is real life for so many. She gave me new eyes. You see, I've seen mental illness through the same eyes as Rey's mother. Max has now given me the gift of seeing it through Rey's eyes.
If you love books that draw you in from the very first page with characters that come to life in ways that make you feel like you really know them, and books that dig their way deep into your heart and don't let go, this is the book for you. Even if you don't really read rockstar books, this is the book for you.
Thank you, Max, for giving me such a beautiful story.
Releases on the 18th May!
Will be available in Kindle Unlimited
PLEASE DON’T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ KING’S WRATH. I’M NOT INCLUDING HUGE SPOILERS FROM THE BOOK, BUT I FEEL YOU MIGHT PREFER TO READ THESE THINGS FOR THE FIRST TIME WHILE READING HIS BOOK.
I have a lot of notes for King. It’s the most notes I’ve ever made for a character. He is a complex character with a very twisty and hard backstory, so I had to take the time to detail it all for myself so I could get him right. A lot of the information I have won’t ever see the light of day in a book. That often happens when I build characters, but it’s especially true for King. Getting to know those intricacies of him really helped me understand his thoughts and actions, which meant that while I wrote his book, I didn’t ever hesitate to know what he would do in any given situation.
Name: Zachary King
Time with Storm MC: 17 years (joined when he was 22)
Time as president: 8 years (he was 31)
Key traits: (taken directly from my notes)
* He never apologises for his behaviour. There could be exceptions to this when he feels extreme guilt, but mostly he doesn’t verbalise his apology. He will however, do something to show he is sorry. Just don’t expect much in the way of the word “sorry” leaving his lips.
* He is pushy as fuck. He won’t back down easily from anything. Won’t generally back down from an argument – he always believes he is right. He has an inflated sense of being right all the time.
* He struggles to see shit from someone else’s point of view. He is laser focused on the outcome he wants in every situation and often fails to see the peripheral of a situation. Leads to errors in judgement. But he usually finds a way to bulldoze his way through mistakes to alter a fuck up.
* Falling in love fucks with his thinking. He moves through life with such a clear agenda—everything revolves around his club and his family—and he doesn’t allow himself to fall in love or care too much about anyone but his brothers and his family. So when he does start to hand over pieces of his heart, he feels vulnerable and on edge (not that he realises that is the reason why he’s feeling this way, he just knows he feels on edge). At the first sign of that person not staying loyal or not being there how HE needs them to be (because remember, he’s grown into a selfish man really – one out for survival after all the shit done to him as a child), he retaliates with anger or meanness or being hard on them. For King, it’s all about what HE needs from people. Sure, he’ll go to the ends of the earth for those he loves, but a lot of that is because of HIS need to protect, not necessarily what they need.
King’s love languages:
Have you read the book The Five Love Languages? If not, I highly recommend it for learning how to work out the love languages of those you love. We all need/want love to be shown us in different ways, and if you can figure out your partner’s language or your child’s language etc, it helps you express love to them.
1. Acts of Service – King not only shows his love this way, he thrives on his loved ones doing the same for him. His parents didn’t do this for him, but his foster mother did. He never felt so loved as he did with Margreet. He doesn’t deal well with broken promises and has little time for people who create extra work for him.
2. Physical Touch – loving touch makes King feel safe. This doesn’t mean he is over the top with PDA’s. It does mean, though, that touching his woman reminds him she is safe. And her touching him lets him know she won’t hurt him and reaffirms their connection. Touch is like a reassurance for King. Surprisingly, he has it in him to be gentle at times. Only with the woman he loves, and not often. It’s that first time he sees her when he arrives home at night or when he wakes in the morning – he has to touch her to confirm she’s physically okay and to let her know he’s there.
Some random facts about King:
* He hates Christmas (Margreet died at Christmas time)
* Has a soft spot for children – he feels they are pure and should be loved and cherished.
* Also has a soft spot for mothers who are good to their children
* Hates cops (was molested by one when a child). Bronze is the exception.
King Bonus Scene
DO NOT READ THIS if you haven’t yet read King’s Wrath. This is one huge spoiler scene so just flick past this until you read that book.
I wrote this scene for the release party I held to celebrate the release of King’s Wrath. I’m including it here for anyone who missed the party! It’s a scene from King’s Wrath that wasn’t originally told in his POV. Here it is from his perspective! This was fun to write! And a little hot 😉 And I loved being back with him for it!!
I knocked back half the glass of whisky I’d just poured and placed the glass on the desk. The burn of it against my throat was what I was looking for tonight. Bronze weighed heavily on my mind, as did Skylar. Fuck, I hadn’t seen her this anxious for a long time, and the fact it was because of me and the club ate at me. I hoped like fuck Lily could talk her down because I sure as hell hadn’t been able to.
A sound at the office door alerted me to someone’s presence, and I looked up to find Lily watching me with a look I couldn’t quite place. Concern perhaps.
“What?” I barked. I didn’t need her concern. Didn’t need to drag her into my shit. The sooner Lily stopped worrying over me, the better. And I sure as fuck didn’t need her hands on me again.
She entered the office, not taking any notice of my mood, and sat her ass on my desk of all fucking places.
“You should pour me a drink,” she said, her gaze locked to mine.
I threw the rest of my whisky down my throat. “You don’t need another drink.” I could smell the booze on her from here.
Her brows arched. “How do you know what I need?”
“I don’t, but I know it’s not that,” I said, placing my empty glass down. It sure as fuck wasn’t any more alcohol she needed.
Her gaze darted to the bottle of whisky beside me, and before I could stop her, she leant across me to swipe it up.
“Fuck,” I muttered, trying like hell to ignore how fucking good she smelt. My efforts proved futile, though. My dick was already hard from the minute I took in the red dress she wore that barely covered her ass. Her scent only intensified my desire.
She poured whisky into my glass and drank some while she watched me. The heat blazing from her eyes—hell, from her entire fucking body—told me she hadn’t come here just to talk. Lily wanted to fuck me. And while I wasn’t a man who ever cared enough to push a woman away when it was clear we weren’t a good match, fucking Lily was not on my agenda.
“Skylar took a pill. She should sleep all night.”
She took another swig of whisky. “You’re a man of few words, King. Normally I like that about people, but I kinda wish you’d say more.”
I clenched my jaw.
What the hell was it about this woman that made me want her? I had no business wanting her, but I was so damn hard for her I wasn’t sure I’d be able to say no if she continued pushing this.
I couldn’t take my eyes off her, however I refused to lower my gaze to her body. That shit would break my resolve; I knew that much.
Lily had to be the most beautiful woman I’d ever met. But my attraction was more than that; there was something else about her that had captivated me. She cared about people and gave of herself in ways not many women I knew did.
I wanted to fuck her, but I also wanted to protect her from me. A woman like Lily didn’t need anything I had to give, because let’s fucking face it, I just wanted to take from her.
I wanted to spread her the fuck out and use her to ease the shit from my mind.
I had nothing of value to give her in return.
I picked up the bottle of whisky and gulped some down. “I’ll get one of the boys to take you home.”
She shook her head. “No, I don’t want to go home. I want to stay here with you.”
Every fibre of my being tensed. No fucking way could she stay here with me. “No,” I said with force. I’d carry her out of here myself if I fucking had to.
She ignored me, placing her glass down so she could shimmy herself across the fucking desk towards me. I couldn’t stop myself—I dropped my eyes to her legs. Hell, any man would have. Those legs of hers were long and fucking spectacular, and I couldn’t get the image of them spread wide, out of my mind.
“King,” she said as she swung one leg around mine in an effort to place it between my legs.
I cut her off as I placed a hand on her thigh and held her leg in place, stopping her from succeeding with her goal. “I said no.”
She narrowed her eyes at me, a confused expression on her face. “Are you gay? Or do I just not do anything for you?”
Fucking hell. My restraint came close to breaking point, and within a second, I’d stood and wrapped one hand around her throat. Fuck it felt good there. Too fucking good. “You don’t wanna go there with me, Lily. I am not the kind of man a woman like you fucks.”
My actions and words were meant to send her running, but they didn’t. Instead, they seemed to bring her body to life more than it already was. She angled herself toward me, eyes alight with the kind of need I wasn’t sure I could walk away from. “No, you’re not. But I can’t get you out of my mind. Just give me one night. I just need one night where I don’t think about all the shit I have to deal with in my life.” She gripped my wrist. “And I think you do, too.”
Jesus, she wasn’t making this easy. I inhaled sharply and then exhaled while taking a moment to look at everything I’d be saying no to. Lily’s body was made for sin. My kind of sin. There was no fucking doubt about that. She had curves everywhere a woman should have curves. And while I knew they could handle the kind of shit I wanted to do to her, I wasn’t convinced her mind could. And if she were sober, she wouldn’t be in here begging me to do anything to her.
I was so fucking engrossed in her body that she managed to undo my belt and get my fucking zip half way down before I stopped her.
Fucking hell, she needed to fucking leave. I was this close to losing myself in her and demanding every dark thing I wanted from her. “This isn’t fucking happening, Lily,” I growled, stepping away from her. “You need to get off that desk and go the fuck home.”
She moved off the desk and came my way. “Why?” Her eyes demanded just as much from me as her words, and I felt my control slipping further away. “I felt you, King. You want this as much as I do.”
My mind fractured. The part of me that had accepted my depravity years ago roared to life, ready to give her what she wanted. The other part of me fought to stay in charge, fought like fuck not to go there with her.
I backed her up against the desk and gripped her throat again. “You have no fucking idea what I want. If you did, you’d run and never come back.” I glanced down at her chest, trying like hell to get a handle on the warring parts of my mind. When I looked back up at her, I said, “You need to leave before it’s too fucking late for both of us.”
She curled her hands around my biceps. “I don’t know what you mean, but I don’t care. I’m not leaving.”
My body thrummed with want. I fucking wanted everything she offered. And then some.
I dropped my head and rasped, “Fuck,” while my mind raced. I couldn’t fight myself any longer. I couldn’t continue saying no when all I wanted was to consume her.
I lifted my face back to hers, meeting her gaze. Spinning her around, I pressed her hard against the desk while grabbing her waist roughly. Sliding my other hand around her neck, I pulled her head to one side and growled against her ear, “Do you know what I like to do to women, Lily?” I paused, waiting for her response. When the only one she gave was a gasp, I gripped her neck tighter. “I’m rough in every way you can imagine. I’ll strip you and fuck you without a fucking care for your comfort. I’ll take what I need, over and fucking over, until you’re raw from my hands, my mouth, my dick.” As the words left my mouth, the darkness raging through me threatened to take over completely. Both Lily’s lust and her naiveté over what would truly go down between us fed that darkness in ways it hadn’t ever been fed. I’d never fucked a woman with the kind of innocence blazing from her. My voice dropped lower, as I added, “And when I’m finished, you won’t hurry back for more.”
She didn’t respond except to moan. It was that fucking moan that finally shattered my restraint.
I yanked her dress up and slid my hand inside her panties. When I had my fingers deep inside her, she moaned again. “Oh God.”
With my mouth still to her ear, I demanded, “Do you like pain, Lily?”
She quivered under my touch. “I don’t know.”
I circled her clit with my thumb while working her cunt. She was wet as fuck, and hell if that didn’t fuck with my mind some more. “You’ve never had it while being fucked?”
“Fuck,” I hissed. Grinding against her, I pushed her harder against the desk. “I will hurt you if I fuck you. Are you ready for that?”
She didn’t answer me, though, so I spun her around to face me. Grabbing her face, I said, “Answer me. Are you ready for me to hurt you?” With every passing second, I was losing myself to this.
She panted as she nodded. “Yes.”
I searched her eyes. She was saying yes, but it had to be the alcohol talking. Lily was too good, too pure for my filth. My dick was harder than it had ever been, I was fucking sure of that. And yet, I wouldn’t touch her. Not in the way I truly wanted to. I’d give her what she thought she wanted, and then I’d send her home and never fucking lay a hand on her again.
“You have no fucking idea what you’re asking for,” I growled before dropping to my knees and yanking her panties off.
Holding her legs, I buried my face in her cunt and ate her like a fucking starved man. I allowed my dark need to take over while I worked her towards the orgasm she desperately wanted. I wasn’t gentle with her in any way. And yet, her moans filled my ears, encouraging me closer to the edge I didn’t fucking want to go near.
My moves became rougher.
My touch was relentlessly harsh.
And she loved every fucking minute of it.
She came hard, and I had to claw myself away from her.
She was pushing me towards the fucking brink, and I had to get her the fuck out of here.
I stood and met her gaze. “You’ll never be ready for me.” I shoved her panties at her. “Get dressed. I’ll take you home.”
Without waiting for her response, I stalked out of the office. I needed a fucking minute, and I needed to put some space between us while I took that minute. Otherwise, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stop myself from taking what I truly wanted.
About Nina Levine
Again, skipping my usual bio and including five random things about me 🙂
1. I’m a shy person by nature. An introvert. But take me out and give me some Jack Daniels or some Jagerbombs, and I’ll talk to anyone! Those who know and love me don’t tend to describe me as shy, but I truly am. I’m not comfortable at a party if I don’t know many people there. I won’t be the one to strike up a conversation, but if you start talking to me? I’ll love you forever for saving me from my social awkwardness lol.
2. Further to that, my mother used to tell me I came off as a snob. She said “smile more” and I was like “but I am smiling!” and she said “look in the mirror and see that you are not smiling”… turns out that even when I think I have the biggest smile across my face, it’s barely more than a straight line lol. So if we’ve ever met and you thought I wasn’t friendly, I was probably smiling HUGE on the inside.
3. The first concert I ever went to was a Bon Jovi concert. I’ve been to a couple of theirs now, and loved them. Heading out to see some live music is one of my favourite things to do. I never used to be able to afford it, but now I’m blessed to have seen some amazing bands! I’ve seen Keith Urban about four times and he’s my absolute favourite singer live. And that’s not just because he’s my favourite singer. He truly cares about his audience and works hard to make it an experience we never forget. Sadly, my least favourite concert was from one of my other fave bands – Maroon 5. Like, it was good, but their hearts didn’t seem to be in it. The last concert I went to was Bruno Mars and it was fantastic! You can’t help but be drawn to that man and the energy he and his guys have on stage!
4. Attending author signings is one of my other favourite things to do! I wish I lived in the States simply so I could attend more of them. One of my greatest memories is the Nashville signing last year. I think it must have been a mix of the readers attending, the authors who were there, the vibe the organisers (Hilary Storm & Julie Bailes) created, and the fun we all had that make me think of that signing with a huge smile on my face. Not to mention that I was SO excited to be in Nashville! I can’t wait to visit again <3
5. One of my very favourite books is The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. I read it back in 2012 and had my heart stolen by Josh Bennett. It had a different cover back then and I wasn’t drawn to it, so I took a little while to read it. I kept seeing readers raving over it, though, so I caved and got it. AND WISHED I’D READ IT SOONER! My daughter and I still randomly look at each other and say “Josh Bennett” lol! He is that amazing. Gah, now I wanna read it again! Check it out!
MY OTHER BOOKS
Storm MC Series
Storm (Storm MC #1)
Fierce (Storm MC #2)
Blaze (Storm MC #3)
Revive (Storm MC #4)
Slay (Storm MC #5)
Sassy Christmas (Storm MC #5.5)
Illusive (Storm MC #6)
Command (Storm MC #7)
Havoc (Storm MC #8)
Sydney Storm MC Series
Nitro’s Torment (#2)
Devil’s Vengeance (#3)
Hyde’s Absolution (#4)
King’s Wrath (#5)
King's Reign (#6) Coming 31st May
The Hardy Family Series
Steal My Breath (single dad romance)
Be The One (rockstar romance)
The Vault Books
Risk (billionaire romance)