Friday, February 28, 2014

Tales from the Dark Side...of Love: Cheryl Bradshaw and a Stranger in Town




October 17, 2010
Six-year-old Olivia Hathaway tiptoed down the center aisle of Maybelle’s Market, stopping once to glance over her shoulder and make sure her mother wasn’t watching.  But Mrs. Hathaway was too engrossed in selecting the right card for her sister’s birthday to notice her daughter had slipped away. 

Olivia looked left and then right before scooting one aisle over.  She peered at the products lining the shelves and then shook her head.  “Nope, not this one.” 

She frowned and moved on. 

The colors from the paint samples on the next aisle were like bright strips of candy, beckoning her to come closer.  So she did.  She loved plucking the cardstock strips from their slots and adding them to her collection at home.  She’d gathered so many over the past few months, her mother had bought her a notebook to glue them all in. 

The star-shaped colors were Olivia’s favorite because they weren’t plain and ordinary like the rectangle ones, and they had fun names like “Summer Sparkle” and “Twinkle, Twinkle.”  She tapped her pointer finger on the top of each card like she was playing a game of “eeny meeny miny moe” and then selected her favorite color: green.  She’d always wanted a green room, but her mother said green was for boys and had painted Olivia’s room pink instead. 

Olivia held the green star out in front of her and twirled around and around, fascinated with the glitter that had been mixed in to the paint.  If only her room could be as beautiful as this.  Maybe if she wished hard enough, one day, it would be.  She kept that thought in her mind as she spun around one last time before she collided with something hard. 

“Hello, Olivia,” a man’s voice said.

A man in a black ball cap and mirrored sunglasses smiled and pointed at the ground.  “You dropped something.”

Olivia froze.

“Here, let me get it for you,” he said. 

The man scooped up the painted star and held it out in front of Olivia.  “Go on, take it,” he said.  “Don’t be afraid.”

Olivia didn’t know why her stomach felt like a bunch of ants were crawling around inside, but she did know the way it made her feel: scared.  She wanted to shout for her mother, but when her mouth fell open, nothing came out.  She looked down at the ground, hoping when she looked back up, the man would be gone.  But he wasn’t. 

“Come here, sweet thing,” the man said.  “It’s okay.  I don’t bite.”

When Olivia didn’t move, the man knelt down in front of her.  He lifted up her stiff body and set her down on his knee.  “Do you want me to take you back to your mommy?”

Olivia squeezed her eyes shut, but when she opened them, the man’s hands still wound around her tiny arms like a boa constrictor.  If he wants to help me find my mommy, why is he holding me so tight?

“How far away is your mommy?” the man said. 

Olivia pointed. 

“How about this—give me a hug, just a little one, and we’ll look together.”  He held a finger out in front of her.  “Pinky promise.”

Olivia wanted nothing more than to be back with her mother again.  The man’s breath smelled like her mom’s when she hadn’t brushed her teeth in the morning.  Olivia leaned in just enough for the man to hold her close, but jerked back when the mountain of stubble on the man’s chin scratched her face.  She knew her cheek wasn’t on fire, but it burned like the metal from a seat belt on a hot day. 

The man patted Olivia on the back and stood up.  “There now, take my hand.”

Olivia looked down.  Her fingers were clenched in a tight ball, the edges of her untrimmed nails digging into the soft skin of the palm of her hands.  She stuck out her tiny hand, and the man wrapped it in his.  But when they got to the end of the aisle, he didn’t turn toward where Olivia had pointed, he kept walking. 

A faint whisper echoed in the distance.  “Olivia, honey, where are you?”

She wanted to cry out, “Mother, I am here!”  But the man clasped her hand so tight, she was too afraid to say anything.

Hand in hand, they walked through the front door.  The sun had just started to go down when they stepped outside, but it was still light enough for Olivia to recognize the person walking toward them. 

“Olivia, is that you?” the woman said. 

It was her white-haired, wrinkly-faced neighbor, Mrs. Schroeder. 

“Excuse me,” Mrs. Schroeder said to the man, “I don’t believe we’ve met.  I’m Helen Schroeder.  Are you a relative of the Hathaway family, in town for a visit perhaps?”

The man looked down and kept walking without responding to the old woman.  He stopped next to a silver car and turned to Olivia.  “Get in.”

She did.

He shut her inside and turned around to find Mrs. Schroeder glaring up at him.    

“I really must insist you answer my question,” Mrs. Schroeder said.  “Or I’ll have no choice but to call Olivia’s parents right now.”

Mrs. Schroeder tapped her wooden cane on the back window of the car.  “Olivia, dear, do you know this man?”

The man glanced around.  Seeing no one, he pulled a knife from his front pocket, clicking a button on the top.  The knife sprung to life.  Before the old woman had the chance to scream, the man thrust the knife into her side.  “I’m sorry, but I’ve had enough of your stupid questions,” he said. 

The woman tried to grab for the door handle, but collapsed to the ground.  The man stepped over her and got into the car.     

Olivia shielded her eyes and thrashed her head from side to side.  “It’s okay, everything’s okay.  Mommy will find me,” she whispered to herself.  All she could think about was being at home in her pink room.  If she could just go home, she’d never run away from her mommy again.         

The man started the car and backed out.  The car bounced up and down for a moment.  It reminded Olivia of the time her dad ran over the neighbor’s cat by accident.  Olivia gathered up enough courage to move one of her fingers away from her eyes just enough to see Mrs. Schroeder through the car window.  She was on the ground, motionless. 

The man turned around, smiling.  Olivia noticed a hole in his mouth where a tooth should have been. 

“Mrs. Schroeder will be okay, Olivia,” the man said.  “She fell down, that’s all.  Lie down now, and try to get some sleep.  When you wake up, you’ll be home.”

Olivia stared down at her star, wishing what he said was true.

Inside the store, a frantic Mrs. Hathaway ran up and down the aisles begging anyone she came in contact with to help find her missing daughter.  A few minutes later the store was locked down.  But it was too late.  Olivia was gone.

#
 
Bianca’s Note: All too often, kids can be the target of some sinister stuff; such is the case in Stranger in Town.  I won’t give away the ending (enter below for the chance to win a signed paperback copy!), but the book really does delve into disturbing exploitation – another aspect of the heart of darkness.

Thanks to Cheryl for this excerpt and for offering a signed paperback copy of her book.  Today is the LAST DAY to enter the Tales from the Dark Side…of Love Giveaway, so don’t miss out!

 

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Tales from the Dark Side...of Love: Emily McDaid on why Silver Linings Playbook is Her Favorite Dark Love Story



My friend, author-mate and critique partner, Bianca Sloane, writes fast-paced thrillers about the Dark Side of Love, and she is running a February promotion on the topic. If you love surprising characters and REALLY surprising plot twists, enter below for a chance to win copies of her books!

She asked her fellow authors to talk about their favorite Dark Side of Love stories, and rather than list a bunch of them, I'd love to focus on one that really resonated with me:

Silver Linings Playbook

Nobody gets murdered or maimed in Silver Linings Playbook, but for me, the story is very much about the dark side of love -- about honesty and being ourselves; about flawed people who fall in love despite their emotional baggage (and psychological disorders). I think that in order to truly love a person, you have to be yourself, and see the other person for who she/he truly is, too.

In this story, Patrick "Pat" Solitano, Jr (played by Bradley Cooper in the movie) suffers from bipolar disorder and has recently moved back in with his parents after leaving a psychiatric hospital. He runs into Tiffany Maxwell (played by Jennifer Lawrence), a sex addict, and befriends her despite his (well-founded) reservations.

They enter a dance competition and grow closer as the big event looms, but the obstacle in the way of their love is Pat's refusal to admit his previous relationship/marriage is well and truly over. He also seems to harbor the attitude that Tiffany is "screwed up" -- which is the funny part of the story, because she's the one who has made concrete strides in curing herself of her issues.

Through loving her, Pat discovers the curative power of honesty within himself.

I absolutely love this story because it displays one of the best characteristics of great fiction -- honesty in what the human condition is REALLY about. So much of our lives is airbrushed—the way people present themselves on Facebook, the way people look on TV and in magazines. I absolutely love engaging stories that present life the way it really is, and a realistic love story at that? I'm sold. Writer Matthew Quick certainly has done that here.

Bianca’s Note: Aww…thanks for the shout-out, AFF! J

Silver Linings Playbook certainly does go to some dark places; between Pat’s outbursts spurred by his mental instability and Tiffany’s penchant for brutal honesty (sometimes at the most inopportune of moments), it’s not a chick flick, to be sure.  Still, as Emily said, it is honest. And can’t we all use more of that?

Thanks to Emily for giving us her Tale from the Dark Side…of Love and for offering a choice of her novels, ‘The Boiler Plot or Tetherbird.  Today is the LAST DAY to enter, so don’t wait!

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tales from the Dark Side...of Love Giveaway: Carmen DeSousa on Dark Male Protagonists




Almost two hundred readers across the US and UK love my first male protagonist, Jordan, giving him four and five stars for an average rating of four stars. And since I see little about my female protagonist, I’m guessing he’s the one stirring up all the commotion—good and bad. Heck, even a couple of the readers who gave She Belongs to Me four or five stars think he’s controlling.

Hmm…not sure if that’s good or bad, but I’m thinking when a written character brings out such powerful emotions in readers, it must be a good thing, right?

Since I care about what my readers think, though—all of them, even the minority—I recently re-read my first novel again, ready and willing to understand what made Jordan so darn dark and controlling. Maybe it’s because I like a strong, powerful man, but I still don’t see it. Simply put, my male protagonist is a police detective, owns a construction company, and he’s accustomed to taking control—that’s the way I wrote him.

Unlike most authors, I’m going to quote the one and two-star reviews, because what some of these readers hate about my main man, you may like.

“As the title implies, Jordan "owns" his wife…”

Well, this is silly in my mind. Never once does Jordan indicate that he ‘owns’ his wife. But…I’ve been married 24 years, and I do call my hubby ‘my man’, and I do own him. I dare a woman to try to take him. Okay…so maybe I’m feistier than the reviewer, and maybe I want my man to want me to belong to him, but hey…I did title the book She Belongs to MeJ

“His take-charge attitude is accepted and appreciated by everybody.”

Again, sue me…I like a man to drive…everything. ;) No, I’m not into whips and chains, and there isn’t one ounce of physical abuse or sexual domineering in my books. But, I also think there are too many men who can’t make simple decisions. I love it when my man arranges a wonderful night for me.

“Jordan treats Jaynee like a possession, making all the decisions.”

I guess I just don’t understand… I don’t want to give away any secrets in case you want to read She Belongs to Me. BUT…Jordan makes one HUGE decision to surprise Jaynee, something that she already told him she’d didn’t need. In real life…really…I’ll have to take a poll, I guess, because I can’t see women being upset if their husband surprised them as he did. In fact, I hear that complaint all the time… ‘My husband’s not spontaneous enough…’

 
Someone else on Goodreads went as far as to say that she thought the characters were similar to Fifty Shades of Grey. Well, I don’t read or write erotica, so I can’t admit or deny that accusation, but I assure you, there is never any physical or sexual manipulation in my books. But, there were also readers who said the writing was G rated and others who called it ‘Mommy Porn’. I think that just proves that we all have different tastes. But, if you’re still here, I’m thinking, like me, you have an interest in a strong, take charge, but gentle country boy.

She Belongs to Me may be a bit on the dark side, but I assure you it is a love story with a mystery threaded through the entire novel. And believe it or not, a lot of the story is based on true events, but I’ll leave that to your imagination. The good news… It’s my very first novel, so I offer it FREE to all readers.

 Oh…here’s one more review… One of my favs. I think she sums up Jordan perfectly.

“I tend to favor over-the-top erotic love scenes in my reading, and much to my genuine surprise, the fact that this book did not include them didn't detour me from the story. The love between the two main characters was so intriguing and real… Jordan is a handsome, down-to-earth, God-fearing, wealthy cowboy! (Don't you just love that combination!) He's taken by Jaynee when he first meets her and makes the decision that will change their lives forever.”

So…if you like a strong, but gentle lead who’d lay down his life for the woman he loves, and a sensual and gripping romantic suspense that will keep you guessing whodunit right up to the last page, give She Belongs to Me a whirl.

 






If it isn’t available free in your area, use…


 
Bianca’s Note: I love a strong male protagonist; of course I love strong characters, period.  I may have been known to throw a book or two across the room due to wishy-washy-not-that-smart protagonists.

Thanks to Carmen for giving us her take on her popular protagonist and for offering an eBook copy of Creatus.  Enter below for your chance to win!

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tales from the Dark Side...of Love Giveaway: Simon Jenner on Lust




I, like Bianca, am interested in the dark side of love ... well to be more accurate, my fascination lies more with lust and how it manifests itself as love in the minds of those caught in its unyielding grasp. The afflicted call it love, their objects of desire deem it infatuation and those looking in from the outside ... well ... we know exactly what it is: LUST. 
Of course, it's a sin according to many, yet is anyone really free from its pull?  No partner, wife or husband is immune from feeling attraction towards others.  What is this feeling if not the first stirrings of lust?  And love at first sight? Really!!!!!  Chemical changes in our bodies cause these confusing emotions, but despite this understanding, those under lust's spell remain firmly in denial.

Lust brings out the ugly in the best of people and generates conflict galore in every medium:  Films - Play Misty For Me and its virtual remake Fatal Attraction; Books - Fifty Shades of Grey and its thousands of precursors and imitations since; for the thousands of titles under the 'Coming of Age' genre, I read LUST; Songs - Don't Stand So Close To Me and a million or so others.
Lust is undoubtedly one of life's most destructive forces, disguising itself and doing untold damage to those it touches directly or indirectly.

For the world, this is bad news.  For writers, it's a gift from the gods.
I leave you with my poem, Mistress Lust, in which I try to convey the darkest of the seven deadly sins:

Mistress Lust

Man is basic, flawed, primeval,
Evolution surely rushed.

Passion’s blood boils over,

Longing, yearning, serving lust.

 

I sought a softer passion.

Less angry, more robust,

But soft is weak and wilting

When clashed with Mistress Lust.

 

I came, I saw, I conquered.

Your fear, my smugness waived.

Lust tore away love’s goodness.

My will, my mind, enslaved.

 

Your beauty stole my breath.

Your kiss, my demons woke.

My lust no longer shrouded,

Beneath its righteous cloak.

 

You screamed ‘NO’. No, you begged me,

To take you hard and just,

To love you, hurt you, use you,

It’s all the same to lust.

 

My strength, my need, my nature,

Could not be held, denied.

It was consensus, albeit silent,

My legal counsel tried.

 
Devastation is the aftermath,

Life ruined, damned to dust.

The monster never falters,

This mistress we call Lust.

 
Incarcerated, boxed, forgotten,

Reviled and rightly cuffed,

My scent calls out to others,

‘Come gratify your lust.’

 
Abused, abhorred, abandoned,

Bones broken, body bust.

Like the purity I pillaged,

Hope is ripped apart by lust.

 

Life seeps from its fleeting host,

My soul is downward thrust.

In Hell the devil lifts his glass,

‘To my slave, my servant, Lust.’

 #
Simon Jenner is the author of the ‘Ethan Justice’ action thriller series, which he hopes will make you laugh, cringe, cry and cheer. He would love to hear from you via his website http://SimonJenner.com or on Goodreads, Facebook or Twitter.

Bianca’s Note: My father has groused for years that he thinks Fatal Attraction is a blatant copy of Play Misty for Me.  I have to say after finally seeing the latter a few years ago, he has a point (or two).  As Simon said, lust is good business for a writer, even if it’s bad news for real folks.

Thanks to Simon for his insights into this fascinating deadly sin!  He’s offering a paperback copy of his book, Ethan Justice: Origins, so be sure and enter below for your chance to win along with lots of other fun prizes!
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tales from the Dark Side...of Love Giveaway: Pamela M. Kelley on Who Should You Trust?




Years ago, I took an adult education class in forensic psychology. We watched a video that showed three teenagers who all confessed to a murder that none of them committed. The charges were eventually thrown out, and the confessions deemed coerced. That resulted in the concept of “false confessions,” and changed the way police were allowed to interrogate. They had the teens all in separate rooms, lied to them, interrogated them for hours with no bathroom breaks, food or water until they got the confessions they wanted. 

That stayed with me, and I always knew that I’d the idea of false confessions into a story some day. In my current mystery novel, Trust, the heroine, Lauren, is a few weeks away from getting married for the first time. She’s a high school teacher, and it seems like everything in her life is finally going in the right direction. She’s madly in love with David, a former minor-league pitcher turned stock broker, and brother of her teacher friend, Amy, who introduced them. While Lauren is at her final wedding dress fitting, there’s a news flash that one of her students has been reported missing. When his body is found a few days later, Lauren’s perfect world collapses when she becomes a person of interest in the investigation. She had been spending time after school with Eric, the murdered student and nasty rumors swirl that there may have been more to the relationship.

Things go from bad to worse, when Lauren’s fiancĂ© David learns that there are things she never told him about her past, such as the fact she once confessed to murder when she was a teenager. The charges were dropped as that confession was deemed coerced, but the cloud of suspicion hanging over Lauren grows. David wants to believe Lauren as he’s never had any reason not to trust her. It does raise the question though of how well do you really know someone? And should you trust in that person unconditionally? Even when they may be charged with murder? Trust follows David’s journey to find the truth about what happened to Eric and to hopefully clear Lauren’s name. He’s assisted by his grandfather, who is a retired town sheriff and David’s best friend Jack, the current deputy sheriff.

Coming up next is a spinoff of Trust, called Motive, and features Jane Cho, David’s cousin, who escapes to Waverly after almost getting killed on the job as a legal investigator with a special gift for computers. Her intention was to quit that high pressure, dangerous job and to follow a safer passion, cooking comfort food, by running a little shop called Comfort and Joy. But when she meets Jack, the deputy sheriff, and he learns about her abilities, he tempts her in more ways than one. Motive will be out by early April.  Cover reveal below….

 Bianca’s Note: With so much in the news today about teacher/student relationships, this story is quite timely.  Not to mention never being sure who you can trust always makes for great entertainment (watch just about any show on Investigation Discovery for proof.)

Thanks to Pamela for giving the inside scoop behind her novel and for revealing the cover of her next book.  She is offering an eBook copy of Trust, so be sure and enter below for your chance to win!


 
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Tales from the Dark Side...of Love: Lara Reznik's True Dark Love Tale




A True Dark Love Tale

Many people think my novel, THE GIRL FROM LONG GUYLAND, is autobiographical. I take it as a compliment even though it is not true. This is the real story of how I met my husband. A dark love tale.

He stood across the crowded bar and smiled at me. Please don’t laugh, but it felt like Romeo and Juliet at the Capulet ball, or Tony and Maria in West Side Story. Everyone around us blurred as I looked into his brown eyes and he moved closer.

We had obstacles to overcome. My good friend had briefly dated him. She was with me at the bar the night we met.

I had travelled 2000 miles from New York to New Mexico to buy a line of castings from a jewelry manufacturing company called Rainwater Products.  An appointment had been set up to meet with the owner the next morning. The meeting was predestined.

At 10:00 the next morning, I headed out to meet the owner of Rainwater. The receptionist offered me some coffee and told me he’d be out in a few moments. You can imagine my shock when I was greeted by him. He looked as surprised as me. We both laughed. He gave me no special deal on the jewelry but invited me out to dinner and a movie.

We never made it to the movie but ended up talking into the early morning. Inevitably we kissed. The most passionate kiss of my life. It was well over twenty years ago, but I still remember that kiss.

We had major obstacles overcome. I was married. Unhappily yes, but married.

I felt little guilt. My husband had cheated on me repeatedly in the past. I had no children. My friend who had dated him was dating other guys. But it was awkward at the least.

More obstacles. My husband made the divorce difficult. I gave away my house, my car, and our joint business for the price of freedom. I moved to New Mexico and got an apartment.

We began to date. Our lifestyles were radically different. He played Rugby. I was a feminist not a rugger-hugger. I hated  the violence in football. Rugby made football seem as tame as a game of ping-pong.

Our relationship persevered. I was a Jewish girl from New York. He was a Hispanic boy from New Mexico. Bagels and Salsa.

More obstacles to overcome. His mother hated me from the beginning. His business went under. We moved in together and reinvented our lives. He went back to school on the G.I. bill. I received a graduate assistantship and pursued an M.B.A.

More obstacles. We had little money. I didn’t like the gang of Rugby players who arrived every night at dinnertime. He felt uncomfortable around my pseudo-intellectual friends. He gave up Rugby. I chose my friends more wisely.

We have been married for over twenty years. We still have many obstacles to overcome. Raising children, dealing with illnesses, injuries, death of our parents, money, jobs, forced retirement, retirement. But love has persevered.
 

Bianca’s Note: So nice to know that sometimes, there is a bright side to the dark side of love! Thanks to Lara for sharing her story of a love gone right after quite a bit gone wrong.

Lara is offering an eBook copy of her suspense novel, “The Girl From Long Guyland.”  Enter below for your chance to win a copy!

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Tales from the Dark Side...of Love Giveaway: Excerpt from Alana Woods' "Automaton"


Dark love—what is it? What forms of love does it take?  Perversity and destructiveness, to name but two.  Where does it take place?  Anywhere. In the most loving-seeming of families, in the most disparate of households, in the prettiest of cities.
We find it all in suspense legal thriller Automaton, jumping deep into a murder trial with the victim’s wife on the stand as an eyewitness. The secret of a strange and terrible tale is being squeezed from her.

Can’t get any darker than this.
The prettiest of cities: Canberra, Australia’s national capital. Affectionately known as ‘The bush capital.’
 
Elisabeth turned back to the witness. “In times of adversity—when things have been hard for the family, would you say that you have all stood together to protect each other from harm?”
“That is what family is for, to help and protect.”

“Is it also a giving of love?”

This needed a little consultation with the translator. When it had been explained to Eleni’s satisfaction she sat up and said, “Yes.”

“So your family—your husband, yourself, and your sons—loved each other very much?”

“Oh yes.”

“You loved your sons as only a mother could love her sons?”

Hand to heart and with immense feeling, Eleni said, “Yes.”

“And your husband loved his sons as only a father could?”

Accompanying her answer with deep nods, Eleni repeated, “Yes.”

“Your husband loved you as a devoted man loves the woman he has chosen to share his life with?”

The nods deepened. “Yes.”

“And you loved him very much also?”

“He was my life.”

“Even though he beat you?”

Bianca’s Note: Wow!  Quite the cliffhanger.  An interesting glimpse into the psychology behind loving someone even though they display the worst kids of cruelty towards you.

For more information on Alana, visit her website at http://www.alanawoods.com/

 


Alana is offering an eBook copy of Automaton, so please enter below for your chance to win! (along with other awesome stuff – who doesn’t love the chance to win free stuff?)

 
 
 
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Friday, February 21, 2014

Tales from the Dark Side...of Love Giveaway: Kelly Cozy Writes a "Dear John" Letter


Not every love story ends happily, and even the protagonists of paranormal romance may need a "Dear John" note...

My dearest Count Laurent von Sanguine:

Already this letter is going wrong - calling you by your formal name instead of our special one, the one I gave you on our first night together. So I will start again.

My dearest "Bitey":

It's over. But it's not you, it's me.

Sometimes I think I knew all along that it wasn't meant to be.  Perhaps it was the way we met.  The romance of it all - the graveyard, the slimy moss that dangled from the trees and tangled in our hair, the moonless night that made me stumble on a tree root and fall into your arms.  I was swept away.  Or perhaps it was the sheer romance of what you are.  That pupil-less gaze fixed on me and I thought for a moment I was one of those lucky girls, like Mina and Lucy.

I confess I didn't truly think about what it would really mean, being with you for all eternity.  I have to say, your friends don't make things easy. I still cringe thinking of the looks they gave me at the last Samhain party.  How was I to know that drinking blood blended instead of on the rocks is a "sure sign of a mortal"? You could have mentioned that to me. And I won't even bring up the dinner at your mother's chateau.

So much of our relationship has been about you, your family, your friends, your un-life. But I have a life, too. I know all about your family and the lycans. But there never has been anything between Larry and me. You know this, so why do you give me those looks whenever I say I'm meeting him? Is it too much to join a friend for popcorn and Teen Wolf once a week?

So I must tell you that it's over, Bitey. Of course, with your mind-reading powers you may already know this, which might explain the dead bats in my mailbox this morning (if this happens again I am sending you the bill from the pest control man).  Let us have no hard feelings between us.  All I ask is that you please not call me after midnight (I am trying to get my circadian rhythms back on track).

Yours (once),

Camille

Kelly Cozy is the author of the Ashes suspense series.  When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking for family and friends, and attending geeky conventions.

Bianca’s Note: Ahh break-ups…they’re never easy – for any of us!  Thanks to Kelly for giving us a new template for a Dear John letter.  Kelly is offering a copy of Ashes the first book in her Ashes series.  Enter below for your chance to win a copy, along with a lot of other awesome prizes!

 
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