Monday, May 4, 2020

Navigating the In-Between Time of the Covid-19 Pandemic


Whether you have been an essential worker or in lockdown mode, there is no denying that Covid-19 has impacted our world in drastic ways. For many of us, it feels like life has been put on “pause”, leaving us with extra time to fill, questions about an uncertain future, and new challenges to meet for day-to-day living. 
This in-between time is an opportunity to listen to our hearts and refresh our over-cluttered and busy lives. We get to choose how to use this time and what to bring forward out of it. But this doesn't mean "looking at the bright side" only--it's also a time to be gentle with ourselves and not judge any feelings as good or bad. 
I encourage you to listen to your heart and follow it’s lead. Let this be a time of re-centering and remembering what you value most. Let it be the foundation on which you build the next phase of your life. 
We can create a better normal for the future. One that is aligned with our values and dreams. 
As the lockdown restrictions ease and we take steps to return to the external world, it is important to make conscious choices for what we want to create next and bring into the future. 
Be Kind: We have all experienced a trauma in varying degrees. We may have different experiences or opinions, but we are all human beings navigating uncertain times. Kindness can be as simple as exerting silent patience or uttering a supportive word. Kindness and compassion for another eases tension and creates a safe space for us all. 
Nurture Your Connections: Most of us have a new appreciation for the time with family and friends that we used to take for granted. Reach out to them and let them know how valuable they are. 
Honor Your Money: Covid-19 has proven that life can surprise us and put our money at risk. Most of us have had a break from shopping and realize how much less we need to buy then we thought. Keep living below your means and saving. When you honor your money, it will be there for you when you need it.  
Appreciate What You Have: When we look around our homes with fresh eyes, we realize j how blessed we are. Food, shelter, Netflix and the many luxuries we enjoy take on new meaning at times like these. Be grateful for all the gifts in your life. Don’t lose that sense of appreciation when life returns to the "new normal". Appreciation for our blessings is the cornerstone for happiness and contentment.
Live Simply: Many are reconnecting with the joys of a simple life. People are gardening and completing home projects. Being on lockdown--being forced to slow down--has given us time to focus on these positive things that ground us and make our home life better. Choose carefully what you allow in your schedule when the world opens up again. 
Live Fully: Each day you have on this earth is a gift. Use it well. This doesn’t mean you have to be doing big or great things. It is more about doing small things with great love. Stop judging yourself for not being a super achiever and make every day one you are glad you lived.
Be Compassionate with Yourself: No, you don't have to be positive all the time. It's okay to be afraid, to be sad, to not be motivated every single day of the week. If nothing else, COVID-19 has shown us exactly how human we all are--so don't shy away from your feelings. Practice self-care. Take the nap if you're tired. Cry if you want to. Don't judge yourself all the time. Put your health first--both mental and physical. 
These ideas are only a starting point. I encourage you to listen to your heart and journal or list what you want to bring forward in your life. It will allow you to consciously create a better normal and life that you will love. 
Peace to you!
Amber
http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Friday, April 10, 2020

He's been searching for his daughter for three years... #newrelease #romanticsuspense EXCERPT!

I know it's been awhile since I've posted. The end of 2019 nearly killed me---literally. I was attacked by a dog and nearly died. (Like I keep saying, my life is stranger than fiction.) The recovery has been long and exhausting. Just when I am feeling capable of going out--BOOM--lockdown for the virus! But, it's the perfect time for new release! Yay! Take a look at Hourglass, a romantic suspense novel about a man searching for his missing daughter and the private investigator who gives him hope. Now available worldwide in all ebook formats and paperback! Enjoy! 




From the back cover...


Mason James is searching for his missing daughter who disappeared off the street three years ago. His search has cost him his career, his home, and now he's living off his savings--but there is no price too high to get his daughter back. His journey has taken him across the country to Portland, Oregon. He knows he is close because dangerous things begin happening--car tires slashed, a gunshot grazes his arm, and menacing shapes within shadows begin appearing everywhere. Is he paranoid or has he finally stumbled on the right clues to saving his little girl?

Palmer Novah is a private detective who specializes in finding missing people. She normally doesn't work pro-bono, but there is something about Mason's plight that stirs her jaded heart into helping his cause. As she digs into the details, she discovers a deadly cult may be holding his daughter. Danger intensifies as she peels back the layers of the mystery surrounding the disappearance--and so does the desire to know Mason on a deeper level.

Together, they dodge unseen dangers that lurk in shadows while knowing that their time is running out. The closer they get to discovering the truth, the higher the odds that Mason's daughter will be moved and perhaps lost forever. Is the intensity of their attraction simply a result of adrenaline or is there a chance it could be real? Can their fragile love survive if their search is unsuccessful or, worse yet, tragic?

An excerpt...


“Their only loyalty is to the Order of the Risen Sun, Mason. They lost themselves long ago.” She used her cellphone to send off emails to her team, including Olivia, that included the phone number and the photos from his computer. She did not need to elaborate on the possibility that his daughter might feel the same. 
“If she really did tell them that she likes being called Ellie, isn’t that a sign that she remembers who she really is? That she wants me to find her?” He waited until she was finished with her texts and emails before asking the questions, but she felt the expectation for validation hanging in the air. 
“I should go. It’s been a long day.” She touched her fingers to his shoulder. “How’s the wound holding up? I should change the bandages, so it doesn’t get infected. They’re in my room, do you want me to bring them back over or will you come with me?” 
Whether she mentioned it or not, Mason James had become a target by going after one of Starchild’s prized wives. Most likely she had had a child already. The Order would do whatever it took to protect her for their leader—unless she became too much of a liability. She stood and walked to the door without waiting for his response. Perhaps coming here had been a mistake, a premature reaction based on the fact that there was a ship on its way to take them all to South America. Maybe they should have played it cool by involving Dennison back at the office and going back to her place tonight where they could be warm and safely away from any prying eyes. 
Palmer rubbed her closed eyes and wished she could think straight around him. She was making mistakes that they couldn’t afford to make. 
“I’ll come with you.” He handed her the wig before reaching past her to open the door to the hallway. “It’ll be easier that way. You look tired.”
“I am.” She unlocked her door and walked inside, thankful that they were able to get rooms directly across from one another. Without speaking, she retrieved the bandages and ointment she’d packed. When she turned, she gasped at the sight of his naked chest. Last night she’d admired it, but after spending the day with him, the intimacy felt more powerful. For a guy who hung out in a van and ate fast food, he was sculpted and lean with just right amount of dark hair on the upper part of his chest. A brief flash of the eloquent man in Dallas in a dark suit came to mind—although she still glimpsed that man in him, the toll of his journey had transformed him in ways that he would probably never shake. 
I definitely need a weekend on Canon Beach to get my head together once this is done. I can’t fall for a guy who lives across the country and who may never forgive me for what we find in the coming days. It’s a recipe for disaster, she thought as she approached him. Fall for a guy? I don’t even know him.
Yet it felt like she knew him, as if she had been waiting for him all this time. Her face flushed at the idea of brushing her lips against his neck and sliding her hands down the chest to the V of his abdomen. Her thighs quivered at the thought of straddling him and pushing him onto the mattress. No more words. No more questions. Just sex—touching, tasting, moving, sweating, biting, kissing, squeezing, feeling. 
He didn’t notice her reaction because he was busy twisting his neck to try to study the wound himself. Blood had soaked through the gauze and it smelled funky. He grimaced as his fingers toyed with the medical tape. 
“Let me do that. Sit.” She pushed him down and carefully revealed the wound. It still looked nasty and would definitely leave a scar. Scooting her butt behind him, she cleaned it with a warm washcloth before drying it and applying the ointment. “This must have been bothering you all day, but you didn’t say a word.” 
“A person learns to live with pain, I guess. My tolerance is high.” He shrugged. “It’s hard for me to feel like I don’t have a handle on this situation. I’ve felt completely useless for three years. When I finally get close, someone tries to shoot me. It’s frustrating as hell.” 
She finished bandaging him up while deciding how much to tell him about the girl who could be Elena. With a sigh, she sat slightly behind him on the bed. 
He looked at her over his shoulder, his hair falling across his forehead as he twisted to see her better. His gaze fell to her lips before he leaned forward and kissed her. His mouth moved over hers tentatively at first, eyes wide open, the kiss more curious than passionate. His hand dropped to her thigh while the other slid up her arm before caressing the back of her neck. His lips moved against her cheek, lightly—and that light touch sent shivers through her nerves, shivers that trembled through her entire body. 
“If you want me to stop, tell me now,” he whispered against her skin. When she said nothing, he brushed his mouth against her temple. “Or now.” He traced the line of her cheekbone with his thumb. “Or now.” 
As an answer, she reached up and pulled him against her, and the rest of his words were lost against her lips. He kissed her gently as if still unsure this was a good idea—and it wasn’t but she didn’t care. She didn’t want gentle—she wanted hard and hot. 
He pressed her down onto the mattress, his hand moving beneath her sweater. His tongue slid against hers and she moaned with the need for more. Her hands moved over his back, down to his ass, over his shoulders, into his hair. His hand caressed her abdomen before squeezing her breast over the fabric of her bra. It wasn’t enough. Nothing short of full rocking the bed apart would be enough. She pulled his hair until it hurt and crushed her mouth against him with the force of the passion rolling through her like the thunderstorm cracking outside the window. 

Keep reading HOURGLASS by getting your copy now!







Thursday, October 17, 2019

It Only Takes a SPARK of Madness to Fall in Love #PNR #Excerpt


He's a naughty fallen angel...she's a reckless mountain guide...together they're combustible! 
Taking a look inside the erotic supernatural romance, SPARK! 




Back cover blurb...


Calvin Ritchie wants solitude and isn't about to let a wildfire stop him from doing exactly what he wants. An action-adventure movie star, he is in Ouray for a weekend as far away from prying eyes as he can get. He is at a crossroads in his life. As part of a group of fallen angels that needs to either find redemption or be damned for eternity, Calvin is being tested by both light and dark forces.

When a sexy movie star wants to hire her to guide him into Box Canyon despite the wildfire raging miles south of town, local mountain guide Willow Leslie says yes. Never one to turn down an adventure—or a big payday—she ignores the warnings and trusts her skills as they head out for a holiday weekend. 

What they don't know is that an arsonist is loose in the forest and has started a second fire that traps them in the canyon. Bound by survival, they embark on a journey of erotic exploration and internal reckoning as the flames spread closer each day. 

Will Calvin find that spark of redemption he needs to rescue them from certain death? Can Willow learn to trust someone other than herself enough to let love melt her jaded heart? 


An excerpt...adult content

"What's with your obsession over the drone footage? You look like a guy who is looking for something rather than a guy watching himself having a good time."

He laughed. He had expected a question about his personal life—at least that is what he had hoped for. "I would rather not answer that."

"You said I could ask you anything."

"In your show, you're always very chatty with clients."

"You're different."

"How?"

She tilted her head toward the sky and declined to answer. 

He smiled because, for the first time since meeting her, he sensed a crack in her detached facade. Maybe, in fact, she was more interested in him than he had assumed. 

She started unbraiding her hair. He couldn't stop watching her do such a simple task. As her fingers worked out the braid, she hummed quietly to herself. He leaned back in his chair and appreciated all of it—the shadows across the canyon, the glow of the dragonfly lantern illuminating their little space on the bank, the sound of the stream rippling past only a few feet away. The bite of the cool mountain air licked over his skin. 

"You have beautiful hair."

"Thank you." She stared at the water flowing several feet away and brushed her fingers through the waves that fell to her elbows. "Why did you want to do this? You were so adamant that it had to be this weekend, no matter what, fire be damned. Are you hiding from something, Cal?"

"You were right—I'm looking for something."

She smiled through the veil of hair. "I hope I can help you find it."

Damn, is she seriously coming onto me? Or am I imagining the signals? Are there signals?

He stretched his legs out in front of him and wondered what do now. The combination of the oxy and bourbon dulled the chatter that started as usual with the setting of the sun. A familiar restlessness gnawed at him from the inside to do more, be more. Silence usually called forth the demons that tormented him. He tapped his feet against the ground and waited for the inevitable pull from the darkness. 

"What do you usually do overnight on your shoots for your show?" he asked because her silence unnerved him. He wasn't used to being with people who could simply sit and be quiet. Everyone he knew usually fell over themselves trying to compete for his attention with some stupid story or brazen move. Not Willow. She sat next to him, hair free around her shoulders, and stared at the water. 

She looked sad, he realized. Not the sobbing kind of sadness that wanted attention, but the soft kind that hinted at deep sorrow. He wanted to know why and that surprised him. He normally didn't care about the pettiness of human stresses. He found that most people were oblivious to their blessings and consumed with greed—and that bored him. He knew that assessment didn't fit Willow Leslie. 

"We normally chat and get to know each other," she said after a long pause. "The crew is usually here—Billy and Steve—so they liven up the conversation."

"Billy and Steve? You only have two cameramen?"

"Yes, just the two. You've seen the show," she cast him a long look, "They're good guys. They're up in Crested Butte this weekend." 

"Why did you want to do the show? You're a former Olympic skier—shouldn't you be coaching or judging or commentating on competitions? Isn't that the usual path?"

"I don't like the usual path." 

"Fair enough." He took another swig from his flask. 

"Why do you drink so much?"

"To drown out the voices in my head."

She laughed. 

"Seriously." He tapped his forefinger against his forehead. "They never shut up."

"We all have those voices."

"What do yours say?"

"That you're dangerous and I need to steer clear."

"They're right. I am the most dangerous adventure you could ever have." 

"I've been known to crave a danger or two."

His desire grew when she actually looked excited at the idea. 


"Want to know what my dare is?" 

"Ah, the dare. I forgot about that."

He squinted at her profile and grinned because he knew that was a lie. His angel senses might be dulled but he knew a lie when he smelled one. 

"Well? What is it? What would you like me to do?"

"Strip."

She twisted in the chair and gaped at him. "What?"

"It's only fair. You've seen me naked twice now and I want you to strip for me."

"You think I won't?" She arched an eyebrow. 

"I know you will." His smiled widened. 

"Fine. I need to change clothes anyway. It's getting cold. You're very predictable, Cal. I expected more creativity."

"Oh, I can be creative. If you're lucky, you'll find out exactly how creative I can be."

"I think you're all hype."

"Test me, baby, test me. I would love to prove you wrong."

He folded his arms across his chest, the flask dangling from his fingertips, and waited while she moved to stand in front of him. The glow of the lantern light cast golden shadows across her face. She smiled at him—completely confident and unafraid, almost as if she had wanted him to dare her to strip. Slowly, she rolled the hem of her t-shirt over her flat abdomen and inched it over her bra. She did so with such deliberation that he wondered if she had done this before. Over the sports bra it went. She cast it aside before peeling off her jeans with a swish-swish of her hips that had him shifting on the chair. She stood in front of him dressed in white cotton panties and a white cotton sports bra. Long arms, long legs, long hair—he wanted her wrapped around him. 

"Why don't you help me with the rest?" she asked. 

He leaned forward, unsure that he had heard her correctly. "What did you say?"

"These sports bras can be so hard to get on and off. A little help please?" She smiled the smile of a woman who knows her power. 

Without waiting for an answer, she walked into the round tent with the wild pillows and stood at the center, back to him. 

He jumped from the chair, dropped his flask to the ground, and followed her inside with a degree of awe. He hadn't expected her to strip...let alone ask him to help. Perhaps a part of him had hoped she would tell him to fuck off—but this unexpected response only deepened his fascination. 

He stopped behind her, an inch away and allowed his gaze to roam over the hair that fell to the middle of her back. He traced one finger down her spine and over the indent of her waist before sliding it up her arm toward her shoulder. He had seen beautiful women—Willow wasn't beautiful in an expected way, yet he had never before felt so enchanted. She emanated power and grace and stood before him like a goddess. Goosebumps rose on her skin where he touched. He heard her slight intake of breath. 

 He skimmed his fingertips beneath her hair and across her bare shoulder before sliding both hands over the front of her bra. He couldn't remember ever stripping a woman out of a sports bra before, but he liked the feeling of rolling it up and over her head, freeing her breasts to the night air. He dropped the fabric to the floor, slipped his fingers into her cotton panties and rolled them down her hips, and over her thighs. Kneeling behind her, he lifted first one foot and then the other until she stood naked with him holding both her ankles. 

The lantern's light illuminated her like a spotlight. Still kneeling, he slid his hands over the backs of her legs, kissed the back of her knees, and cupped her ass as he stood. He lifted her hair and pressed his mouth against the back of her neck. His hands roamed beneath her arms to cup her breasts. Keeping one hand on her breast and moving the other down her abdomen, he savored her surrender. 

She tilted her neck to the side to give him full access to nip and lick and kiss her throat from neck to ear. She leaned against his chest. 

He turned her around to face him and kneeled in front of her. He nudged her legs apart and looked up at the curve of her breasts above the flat abdomen. He grinned when he noticed the piercing in her belly button and the tattoo of an angel curving across her hipbone. He knew without being told that this was the angel she claimed to have seen that day of her crash. He leaned up and kissed it. He grabbed her ass. He licked and sucked her clit while gripping her ass to hold her steady. He feasted on her, felt her thighs tremble against his face. He devoured her as if she were a sacrifice given to appease him. Her fingers curled in his hair and she ground her hips against his eager tongue. 

He moved quickly and pulled her to the pillows and spread her legs wide before she could say a word or move. He thrust his fingers inside her and returned to her clit. 

She twisted against the pillows, her hips thrusting and back arching. When her body quaked beneath his tongue, he rose up only far enough to free his cock. He needed to be inside her and he needed to be there now. 

He reached for his backpack and retrieved a condom while she propped herself up on her elbows and watched. Anticipation rolled off of her in waves of pheromones that urged him to move faster. 

He peeled off his clothes, managed to roll the condom onto his cock and rammed himself inside of her. Her cunt clenched over his penis and held him tight as he buried himself to his balls and ground his hips against hers. He sank his teeth into her shoulder, claiming her. 

Her hands were all over him—moving across his back, along his shoulders, into his hair. 

They kissed—finally—mouths hungry for each other and breath tangling while tongues danced together. He fucked her like a wild animal and kissed her like a starving man. The orgasm ripped through him from his toes, through his torso, through his lungs, and through the top of his head. He arched his head backward as he came—hard. 

Her legs held him to her. Her fingernails sank into his biceps. 

A familiar itch slid down his back and the felt the stirrings of his hidden wings aching to be set free. He shoved deeper into her until she cried out from a combination of pain and pleasure. His wings spread out behind him and blocked out the lantern light. 

Her head was back, eyes closed, body writhing underneath him like an untamed creature succumbing to primal urges. Her blonde hair spread out across the neon pink and green pillows. 

He slid his cock from her, grabbed her hips and flipped her over before she could see his wings. He pounded into her from behind and grabbed her breasts—squeezed until she moaned. He reached one hand around and touched her ass. He wanted her every way he could have her. He slid a finger into her wet cunt before sliding it over her asshole. Slowly, he slid off his used condom and pushed the tip of his cock into her. She froze but didn't protest. Instead she pushed her butt back against him. He grabbed her hips and eased his girth into her until she screamed and bent her head back. He wrapped her long hair around his fist and thrust into her, rode her ass and yanked her hair until he came again. 

Her scream became a low purr of satisfaction. She pressed her forehead against the pillow. 

His wings shuttered at his side, their mass taking up the entirety of the round tent. He pushed her head back down when she tried to turn to look at him. He didn't want to use his powers to make her forget what had happened and wasn't prepared to show her his true self. 

He had never shown a woman his wings. 

He kissed her spine from between her shoulder blades down to the curve of her ass. He nipped the side of her hip and waited until his wings settled back inside before turning her onto her back. 

Her hair wrapped around her face and neck. She blinked at him with a slow smile stretching across her lips. 

"That was unexpected." She flung an arm above her head. 

He took the opportunity to trace the outline of her breasts and to simply look at her. He could lie and tell her that this hadn't been part of his plan—but he had known all along that would end up balls deep inside her. It had only been a question of timing. 

He had never faced a challenge he couldn't win. 

He focused on the tattoo and his smile slipped when he recognized one of the angels who pestered him on a regular basis—Marisol—staring up at him from the woman he had just thoroughly fucked and who he planned on fucking again and again until dawn. 

Every fiber of his being quaked with anger—sudden and hot. 

This had been a trap.

Keep reading today! 





Monday, October 7, 2019

A Wildfire Exposes Their Secret #Romance and Tests Their Love

Today's molten Monday spotlight goes to Cassidy Springfield's new adult romance, HEAT...which lives up to its title.







From the back cover...

Kiley Ross and Leo Marshall have a secret. He's her indulgence, her vice. She's his compass, his impossible dream.

Kiley is home for the summer between graduating the University of Colorado and attending graduate school out-of-state in the fall. Everything is changing—friends are scattering across the world, her long lost brother has appeared out of nowhere, a wildfire is threatening the family home, and her secret affair with the local outsider—Leo—is exposed.

As the wildfire ravages the forest around the small town of Ouray, she realizes what really matters and what truly doesn't. Her resistance toward change forces her to come to terms with her own failings—or risk losing the friendships and relationships that mean so much to her. Can she break free of the expectations that have held her back in time to rescue her love affair with Leo? Can he forgive her for wanting to keep him a secret? Confronted with seeing everything she has ever known burn to the ground, can Kiley rise up and step into her own power?


an excerpt...adult content

I walk toward the cabin and smile when I see Leo lounging on the front porch swing and moving it back and forth with his foot. His head is tipped back, his eyes are closed, and he's humming. I stop before he sees me to simply look at him. I want to memorize him like this—young, carefree, and waiting for me. 
I think these are the moments I will remember when I am an old woman sitting on a rocking chair somewhere and smiling over a boy I used to know. 
I must have made a sound because he stops moving the swing and looks in my direction. His slow smile has me burning with lust. 
I climb the stairs slowly even though I want to rush into his arms and melt against his body. Without saying a word, I unlock the door. He engulfs me in a hug from behind and buries his face in my hair. I am overcome with desire. 
He kicks the door closed. We don't turn on the lights. He spins me around and kisses me. We tumble toward the bedroom while fumbling to get naked. My hands are on his clothes and his are on mine. We are like a wild frenzy of arms colliding, clothes falling, lips melding, and skin touching. 
We fall backward onto the bed. He mouth is on my neck. His hands are on my breasts. 
I slide the heels of my feet over the backs of his legs. I sink my fingernails into his ass. He pulls his lips from my body only long enough to rip open a condom wrapper with his teeth. I take it from him and roll it over his erection. 
We've done this before—many times. He has visited me in Boulder for the past three years, always in secret, always intense, always mind-blowing. 
He rocks inside me. Our breath tangles between our mouths. 
The cabin is too warm. Sweat slicks between our naked bodies as we roll across the bed. I have never wanted anyone or anything as much as I want Leo. Maybe I never will. 
He wraps his fingers into mine and presses my hands over my head while moving inside me with the same intensity he shows on stage. Perhaps more. It feels like more, but maybe I just want it to be.


Only a few hours later, I am wrapped in Leo's arms watching the first rays of sun slide across the wood floor. Our bare legs are tangled together on top of the bed; his chin is resting against the top of my head. 
"I wish you would have told me about your tour," I admit. 
He holds me a bit tighter. "I didn't think you would care."
"Why wouldn't I care?" I twist my head to look at him. "And don't you dare tell me that talking isn't what we do. We talk."
He grins his sleepy-sexually satisfied grin. "We don't talk much."
"You make me sound like a sex addict."
"Are you?"
"Leo!"
"Okay, seriously," he rolls onto his back and drags me on top of him. "You have made it very clear that we are sex buddies and that's it. You're leaving for graduate school, I'm touring with the band, and it's all okay. We have an expiration date. I have never believed otherwise."
I drum my fingers against his shoulders and contemplate what he said. He's not wrong. I've never been someone who dreamt of happily ever after's and really don't see how we could make it work past August, but yet I don't want to lose him either. I can't have it both ways, I know. 
"I wish I would have known, though. I can make t-shirts."
"T-shirts?"
"For your band, with your logo." 
He arches an eyebrow and looks doubtful. 
"I know how to make t-shirts, Leo." I smile and trace my thumb over his chin. "I want to do it, you can sell them at your shows. I bet you would have made a killing last night. All those girls wanted you."
"You noticed?"
"I'm just saying...for marketing purposes." 
"Right. Marketing." He winks. "Thank you for thinking of my bottom line."
"They would go well with the CDs you produced."
"Why do you want to make me t-shirts?" He brushed his fingers through my hair that has fallen over his shoulders like a shawl. 
"I think it's a good idea."
"But why do you want to make them for me?"
I know he wants me to admit I like him as more than a hook up. I bite my lip and think about how to word my response in a way that won't give him the wrong idea. 
He sighs and shakes his head, as if disgusted that I can't give him a simple response off the top of my head. "I gotta get home, catch a few hours of sleep, and then get back here to work. Your dad wants us all helping on hauling away any slash around the property to clear a defensible space." He rolls away from me and sits on the side of the bed. 
Using my index finger, I trace a line from beneath his neck down his spine. He has a tattoo of a columbine flower on his bicep. He says he got it for me—to remember this place when he moves away one day. He studies me over his shoulder as I trace the flower with my fingertip. The light of dawn ekes its way toward the bed, reminding us that the day is approaching and our alone time is ending. 
"I'll see you later?" he asks. 
"The resort is donating supplies for the firefighters and I'm driving the van up to the firefighter camp at the Hawkins' Ranch this afternoon. Want to come? It's considered resort work so I'm sure—"
"That I won't have to punch out? Got it. Sure. I'll be the driver, wouldn't want your daddy to think I was slacking on my duties." He pushes away from the bed and gathers his clothes. 
I hug my knees to my chest and watch him get dressed. I know he wants something from me but I don't know what. He knows my drive to pursue my education is equal to that of his for music. I want to be neuropsychologist one day—I want to help stroke victims and perhaps research Alzheimer's. I'm fascinated with the brain—it excites me in ways that I find it hard to explain. He's the poet, the songwriter, the one with the words. 
Frustration simmers through my veins like a fuse about to explode. 
"Leo."
He pauses at the door and looks at me. 
What will he write about me one day, I wonder. He writes about everything in his life—everyone. Will I be the lost chance at love, the girl who he lost his virginity to, or the ex he hates? I know he will write about me—he already has and his songs are all about life and hope and angst and desire. 


Keep reading HEAT, available in both paperback and all ebook formats. 







The sequel to HEAT--Flicker--to be released November 26, 2019
Preorder on Amazon
All other retailers coming soon

From the hills of Ouray, Colorado to the beaches of Los Angeles, California, 
can a first love handle the pressure of new adulthood? 


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