New Three Girls and a 2015 update!

 

There’s a brand new Three Girls short story!
lol3_rachelSnow Kissed is a short story set in the world of the Three Girls! It focuses on Bella, Kiki’s cousin, and her week spent babysitting with the girls. It was really fun to revisit the girls and I hope you check out the story! You can find it for a limited time in the LOL Volume 3 Anthology. For a short time the Anthology of 16 stories is only $.99! Some of my favorite romantic comedy writers, including USA Today and NY Times bestsellers, are in this anthology with me. You can find it here:

Amazon,  Amazon UK,  Barnes and Noble,  Kobo,  iTunes,  Google

2015 UPDATE

I wanted to share an update on the coming year and what I have planned. I can’t tell you how many times I get the question, “When will the next Ransom/Lovestruck/Three Girls book be out?” I LOVE knowing that you guys are excited about these characters and looking forward to reading more about them! I can’t give you exact dates right now, but I thought a brief overview was in order 🙂

Persuaded

The first book in 2015 is something brand new–Persuaded. I’m really excited about this chick lit novel, a modern version of one of my very favorite books–Persuasion, by Jane Austen. This book is just about ready for editing so it should be available in the next month or so. I can’t wait to see what you think!

Lovestruck

Book 2 in 2015 is Sofie’s book! Starstruck is coming along really well!  I think I’ll have a cover reveal in the next few weeks and the book should be ready early in the spring. There’s plenty of Lizzie and Thomas in this book. Sofie’s book WILL NOT be the last book in this series. There’s still lots of Lizzie, Thomas, Callie, Charlie, Jackson, and Medina family fun to come!

Ransom

Book 3 of the new year is going to be in the Ransom series. I have some news about this book and I’m a little nervous it might make some people unhappy! I know a lot of you are really excited for Lennon’s book–I’m excited to write it! I’ve been going over (and over and over) my plot notes and my calendar and I just can’t figure out a way around this–I think Lennon’s books needs to be pushed back because Levi’s book has to come next. I know Lennon fans will be sad that his book won’t be the next Ransom book, but there are so many things that need to happen with Levi before Lennon’s story can be told. I am confident I can still write Lennon’s book in 2015, it just won’t be next.

In happy news, I’m REALLY liking the stuff I have planned for all of the Ransom characters in Levi’s book. I think you guys will be happy with it. And Lennon’s books will be here before you know it! 🙂

Three Girls

There will be a new Three Girls book in 2015! My initial plan is to release this book in the summer. I always miss the girls when I’m writing other books so I’m REALLY looking forward to getting back to Annie, Ginny, Jen, and Kiki!

…and something new!

I also have plans for a few novels in a brand new series. It’s always a little scary to step away from series and characters that my readers are invested in but I’m SO excited for the new series. I think it kind of has a Three Girls feel to it, so I’m hoping you guys will like it. The challenge, of course, will be balancing the new stuff with the series you guys are already into. I promise to work really hard to keep wait times between books as short as I can!

On that note, I should probably get to writing! Let me know if you have any questions. I hope the new year is treating you all wonderfully so far. It’s freeeeeeezing here!

xoxo

An update on Cash.

Hi, guys! I’ve been getting lots of questions on the release day for Cash’s book, Redeem.

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I’m sorry I haven’t been able to be more specific! The book is still with the editor and I don’t like to post release dates until I’m sure. As soon as I get the book back I’ll let you know the exact date. If you sign up for my mailing list you’ll get an email when the book is live (I never spam or send excessive emails, promise!)  Sign up here: http://eepurl.com/sDyHb

Unfortunately, iTunes has closed for the holidays so I won’t be able to have the book up there until they open again on the 29th.

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! I can’t wait for you to read about Cash!

Two Brand New Lovestruck Stories!

There are two brand new Lovestruck stories releasing today!

The first is Lovestruck at Christmas, a holiday novella about Lizzie, Thomas, and all of their family and friends. I’m a giant sucker for anything Christmas related, so I had a really good time writing this one. I hope you like it as much as I do!

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AmazonAmazon UKBarnes and NobleiTunes, and Kobo

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The second Lovestruck story is called Sofie and the Movie Star. You can find this brand new story in the LOL Anthology #2, along with nine other original romantic comedy stories by some of my favorite authors. You get all ten stories for only $.99!

lol-volume2-3d

Amazon, Amazon UKBarnes and NobleiTunesKobo, and Google Play

Enjoy!

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Ransom is here!

You can now pick up my latest book, Ransom, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble! I’m really excited about this book so let me know what you think!

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Amazon 

Barnes and Noble

The cool kids at Xpresso Book Tours are hosting a Book Blitz for me this entire week. Each participating blog will be giving away one free copy of Ransom. You can also enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card! I’ll be retweeting the participating blogs and linking to as many as I can through Facebook, so make sure you’re following me if you want to enter the giveaways!

Facebook

Twitter

Here’s a short excerpt from the book!

I wake up, alone in a dark hotel room, my heart racing, scared out of my mind. When I finally figure out where the hell I am, I rub my aching chest. I’m glad I’m not on the bus, glad there’s no one in here to see me like this. I’m pretty sure the wetness I feel on my cheeks is tears, and my brothers would never let me live that down.

Knowing sleep isn’t going to return anytime soon, I climb out of bed and head for the mini bar. I grab a cold beer, even though I could probably use something stronger. You’re too young for a drinking problem. So-called rock star or not.

I take the beer to the small balcony of my room and lean against the railing, looking out over the lights of Memphis. We played a kick-ass show, and I should still be on a high from it. The crowd was amazing. Everything felt right in the world, for a few brief hours. I could forget about the knowledge that I’d traveled halfway across the country without actually seeing any of it. Forget the fact that the tour bus, though more luxurious than our old van, was cramped and starting to make me feel claustrophobic. Forget about how tired I was and how my throat hurt pretty much every day now. When we played like that, when we somehow managed to tap into that almost magical, synched-up, out-of-body place I can’t even describe, I could forget about all the shitty stuff and remember why we were doing this in the first place.

I had felt that tonight, for the first time in weeks, and the sensation had been fantastic. I should have slept like a baby. But here I was again, drinking a beer by myself at three in the morning.

I keep having dreams about her.

Which is pretty fucking ridiculous because I haven’t talked to the girl in about a year. Daisy made it perfectly clear that, for whatever reason, she was done with me—just like that, years of friendship, gone. And I don’t even know what the hell I did.

Okay, so I left, but she always knew that was going to happen. We planned for it, for Christ’s sake. Worked for it. Both of us. She had every bit as much to do with our success as anyone in the band. She was our biggest supporter, our loudest critic. We never performed a song without her hearing it first, never played a gig without her there. She was with us on that first horrible so-called tour, riding around Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana to all those dingy dive bars. She helped us plaster the towns with our flyers and sell our homemade CDs, just waiting for our big chance.

And when it came, when we got the call from Grey Skies that they wanted us to open for them, she was there then, too. She sat at our kitchen table, just like she had a thousand times before, waiting with bated breath for my dad to get off the phone with their manager. When he finally hung up and confirmed that our big break had appeared, she was the first person I grabbed as the kitchen erupted around us. She was happy for me—not the fake kind of happy that you think another person wants to see. She was genuinely, honest-to-God, screaming-her-face-off-while-hugging-me happy.

The only bad thing about those hectic, heady weeks before the tour was leaving her. I wanted to tell her then, the thing I’d always known but been too afraid to say, but I didn’t. I couldn’t imagine saying those three words—finally saying them, out loud, not just in my head where I imagined it constantly—and then leaving. So I held my tongue, and my tears, as I hugged her one last time before heading for the airport.

Maybe I should have said it. Maybe then she wouldn’t have disappeared the way she did. But I had a plan, damn it. I was going to come back, take her to her prom, the way we always talked about, and drop the bomb that I wanted us to be more. The way it played out in my head was that she’d be so happy she’d be willing to leave with me. She would forget about the business school she never really wanted to attend to come on tour with us. I wanted to experience this with her. I wanted to show her the world.

Taking another sip of beer, I wonder—not for the first time—what in the hell I could have done to piss her off so much. She stopped taking my calls about three months after we left for California. By then we’d recorded our album and started to tour as the openers for Grey Skies. I used to call her every night, eager to tell her all about life on the road in a proper tour. We had a lot more free time back then, and I was actually getting a chance to do things in the towns where we stopped. Was that it? Was she jealous?

But that wasn’t like Daisy. I cannot imagine that she would throw away a thirteen-year friendship out of jealousy. It didn’t make any sense. But one day, she didn’t answer when I called. And didn’t respond to my voice mail. Or my increasingly panicked text messages. My emails went unanswered, too.

I tried for weeks to reach her, calling her house, her phone, her dad’s phone. He told me flat out she didn’t want to talk to me, but I still couldn’t accept it. Even when her cell number was disconnected, when my emails started to come back with the message that there was no such address, I didn’t get it. It wasn’t until she finally called me to cancel our prom plans that I realized what she’d been trying to tell me: She didn’t want to have anything to do with me.

I replay those weeks all the time, wondering what I could have done differently. I always come back to the same thing: I should have gone home. I should have told my dad to screw himself and gotten on a plane. They could have managed without me for a few days. Even if they couldn’t, even if it would have jeopardized our chance to open for Grey Skies, I should have done it anyway. Daisy was worth it.

But I didn’t. And now she’s away at college, probably having the time of her life, forgetting all about her old friend. I can see her so clearly, sitting on a green lawn, surrounded by friends, like some fucking commercial, her brown curls blowing in the breeze as she laughs. The image makes my chest ache again. She’s gone, man. Accept it.

I look out over the city again, my beer bottle empty. She is gone, hundreds of miles away, totally out of my reach. And I’m here, alone in the middle of the night, haunted by memories of the only girl I ever loved.

You can buy Ransom at Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Escape With You

Ellie and Fred are almost here! You should be able to get your hands on Escape With You (Escape Book 2) tomorrow on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I’m really excited!

Ellie and Fred were two of my favorite characters in the first Escape book. I knew all along that they needed their own story. I hope you all like it! I’ll post links tomorrow. In the meantime, Here’s the gorgeous cover from Najla Qamber:

EscapeWithYoueBook-2

Happy New Year!

I hope your 2014 has gotten off to a wonderful start! I’m celebrating the new year with two big pieces of news. First, the next book in the Lovestruck series is available now for Kindle and Nook!

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Lovestruck in Los Angeles follows Thomas and Lizzie as they head to sunny Hollywood. It was so much fun to catch up with them both and I really hope you like this next chapter in their story! 

The second bit of news involves Ginny, Jen, and Annie–and, of course, Danny, Kiki, Josh, Matt, and Nate as well 😉 The fifth book in the Three Girls series is almost ready to go. I’m expecting to have it live on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes in the next few weeks. As soon as I have an exact date I’ll be posting it here as well as on my Facebook page and my mailing list. I’m sooo excited for you guys to see what the girls have been up to! I’ll be posting an excerpt next week and the cover art ASAP. Yay!

Do you make New Years resolutions? This year I’m going to try my very best to blog more. I tend to get very caught up in my writing (which is good because it means you get my books faster!) and end up neglecting this site. Hopefully I’ll be better in 2014! I’m also going to revisit my “100 New Books” project from last year. It was an EPIC FAIL, lol. I think I managed to read somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 new books. Maybe I’ll actually make it to 100 this year 😉 I’ll write up a post about the books I did manage to read last year–there were some really good ones in there!

Well, that’s about it from me. I hope you’re all doing well–and that it’s much warmer where you live. I’m freezing!

It’s Here!

EIYTeaser1

Escape In You is now available! I’ve been waiting a long time for this book to be released and I really hope you guys like it. Here are the links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

I’m still waiting on links for iTunes and the paperback. I’ll post them here as soon as they’re available.

Like I described in this post, Escape In You is a little bit different from my other books. It’s darker, more emotional, and kind of steamy. I really hope you guys will take a chance on it. I’d love to hear what you think!

I’m doing a big giveaway to celebrate–I’ll be awarding lots of free ebooks as well as a $50 Amazon gift card. Check back here tomorrow for details on how you can win!

Happy Tuesday!

 

Less Than A Week!

We’re less than a week away from Escape In You! I’m very excited!

Xpresso Book Tours is organizing a Book Blitz for me next week. If you have a blog and would like to participate, head over here to sign up. I’ll be giving away an ebook copy at every participating site as well as a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card.

In the meantime, here’s a lovely little teaser of what you can expect in the new book. Feel free to share on twitter and Facebook if you’re so inclined:)

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Cover Reveal!

Yay! It’s cover reveal day! If you can’t tell, I’m *really* excited about this book and the lovely cover. So without further ado, here it is…

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I love this cover. Najla Qamber (najlaqamberdesigns.com) did it for me and it turned out exactly how I wanted. I think it really demonstrates the feel of the book. To celebrate my pretty cover I’m going to post an excerpt from the book below.

Escape In You

The guy in black has joined me on the couch and is almost touching me, he’s sitting so close. The tangle of tattoos on his arms distracts me for a moment before I get my first good look at his face.

I draw in a sharp breath—I can’t help it. I’m staring at the most beautiful man I have ever seen. He has longish brown hair liberally sprinkled with natural gold highlights, and it’s all in a pleasing, tousled mess. I wonder what it would feel like to run my fingers through that hair, to mess it up even further. It looks soft. He has strikingly dark brown eyes framed with the thickest eyelashes I’ve ever seen on a guy. His eyes seem to flash with some kind of dark amusement, and my heart beats faster. A muscle pulses in his jaw when he swallows—God, I love a guy with a strong jawline—and I want to place my lips there, right at that pulse, and kiss him.

“You okay, Zoe?” he asks, and there’s that amusement in his eyes again.

“How’d you know my name?” I ask, and I’m pleased that my voice is steady. There’s no sense in letting him know just how much I like what I see—though I’m afraid he somehow knows exactly what I’ve been thinking. Something in the way he’s looking at me makes me blush. And I never blush.

“I make it a point to find out information that might be of interest to me.”

His voice is low and raspy and touches something deep within my core, but I force out a laugh.

“Does that kind of line usually work for you?”

He shrugs, grinning. “To be honest, yeah. It does.”

My laugh is sincere this time. “Well, at least you are honest.”

He leans back into the couch, stretching his arm across the back of the cushion so that it just grazes my shoulder. I shiver a little and hope he doesn’t notice. A quick glance around tells me we shouldn’t be interrupted. Hunter appears to have moved off while I was distracted by the sex god—I’m pretty sure I can make out his voice across the room, urging someone else to come down and feel the carpet. Ellie has dozed off. I’m not surprised—that’s her usual reaction to pot and one of the reasons I don’t often join in when she partakes. I don’t come to parties to sleep.

I smile at the sex god. Flirting with hot guys, on the other hand, is one of the best reasons to come to a party.

“I’m at a bit of a disadvantage here.” I inch my knee closer to his.

“How so?”

“You know my name, and I don’t know yours.”

He holds my gaze for a minute, and my heart thumps. “Maybe I’d rather be a man of mystery.”

I wrinkle my nose. “Seriously, dude. You have to stop with the lines. It’s just not doing it for me.”

He leans in, and his face is inches from mine. “What would do it for you?”

“An actual conversation.” I refuse to fall under his spell. But there’s something dangerous about this guy, something that makes me want to abandon sense and close the gap that separates us.

He watches my face for a minute before his eyebrows come together in an expression I can’t quite read. “I don’t do so good with conversations.”

“Why’s that?”

He surprises me by pausing before he answers, as if he’s actually thinking about it. “I just think it’s easier not to talk, for the most part. People usually just tell you what you want to hear anyway. What’s the point?”

God, wasn’t that the truth. “Yeah,” I say. “I get that.”

We’re both quiet for a minute, but it isn’t necessarily an uncomfortable silence. It feels natural, easy, to just sit here with him while the party carries on around us.

“I know what you’re thinking,” he says.

“I doubt that.” How could he know that I’m considering dropping the whole talking thing and just making out with him for a while? No way anything more serious is going to happen. I don’t date, not anymore—it’s too complicated.  And I have a feeling a guy like this isn’t really the dating type—just like me.

Making out is simple enough though. And not a bad way to spend a few hazy, vodka-fueled hours at a party. Particularly when the guy looks as good as this one does. I lean in a little, allowing the side of my breast to brush up against his arm. “Maybe you were right,” I murmur and bat my eyes at him. “Maybe it is easier not to talk.”

He looks down at me, his lips parting slightly. I’m close enough now that I could easily reach up and trail my tongue across those lips or along that impressive jawline. But his next words stop me cold.

“I don’t know, Zoe. You’ve intrigued me with this conversation idea. I’m thinking it might do it for me too.”

I purse my lips, surprised. I was sure he’d jump at the chance to avoid talking.

“So.” He leans back again and gives me a lazy smile. “What should we talk about?”

“We could start with your name.” I’m debating whether I should just get up and leave him here. My friend Everett is across the room, talking to a guy I know a little through Hunter. Surely they’d be more appropriate company.

“Do you want my real name, or my fake name?” He winks.

I narrow my eyes, not really in the mood for cute. “What do you think?”

“Well, you see, the thing is that most people don’t call me by my real name. In fact, most people don’t even know my real name. So if I give you that, it’s kind of saying something, you know? It takes us past the point of general acquaintances at a party. It makes us something more.” He waggles his eyebrows at me.

I’m not sure whether I’m annoyed or intrigued by this. I thought I wanted to flirt with him, but this feels too much like a game. Or your impression of him is just colored because now you know he probably has money.

“Let’s start with your fake name,” I say, deciding to play along. “Maybe we can work up to your real name. I’m not sure I’m ready for that level of commitment just yet.”

He nods. “Fair enough. Everyone calls me Jet.”

I stare at him. “Jet? Are you kidding?”

He shakes his head. “Nope. Jet is really my nickname.”

“Why?”

He furrows his brow. “You know, it’s been so long I’m not really sure. Everyone has called me Jet ever since like, Little League. Something to do with my base running skills. Oh, and the fact that my initials are J.E.T.” At my skeptical look he cocks his head. “What? You don’t like it?”

“Not particularly.”

He throws his head back and laughs. “Oh, Zoe, this is fun.”

“What is?” I ask, feeling defensive.

“Talking to a girl who has no desire to please me. It’s refreshing.”

“You’re pretty damn full of yourself.”

He points at me. “See? That’s exactly what I mean. You couldn’t give a shit about what I think, could you?”

“I don’t see why I would.”

His face darkens. “I don’t see why you would either. Why anyone would.” He inhales sharply, sounding almost pained. “Yet, somehow, they do. Or, at least, the ladies do.”

I don’t like that look. It makes me feel sad, which is just ridiculous, since I barely know him and what I do know I’m not even sure I like. I try to lighten the mood by shoving his shoulder. “Oh, yeah, I’m so sure you’re complaining about all the women who are just dying to please you.”

He shoots me that same amused grin. “Are you volunteering?”

“Not even remotely, buddy.”

“It’s Jet,” he says.

I shake my head. “I’m sorry, but I refuse to call you that.”

“Well, now we’re at an impasse. You refuse to call me by my nickname yet you’re not ready for my real name either. The only other option is for you to make up your own name for me. Either way, it implies a certain level of intimacy, don’t you think?”

“I don’t know you well enough to give you a nickname.” I think for a moment. “Unless you like the sound of Cocky Ass.”

He pretends to think about that. “No, I don’t think so.”

“Well, then. I guess we are at an impasse.” I’m actually starting to enjoy myself. He may be cocky, but it’s been ages since I’ve actually flirted with a guy like this. When I hook up at parties the talking phase doesn’t usually last this long.

“I think I have a solution,” he says, holding up a finger in triumph. “Taylor!”

“Why would I call you Taylor?”

“Because it’s my last name.”

It’s my turn to laugh. “Okay. Taylor it is.”

He holds out his hand to shake mine. His skin is warm against my palm, his grip firm. I have a sudden urge to feel his hand curled around the back of my neck, and I release his fingers before my palm starts to sweat.

“So, Zoe,” Taylor says, his gaze flicking down to my legs before meeting my eyes once more. “What’s your story?”

“My story?”

He nods. “Yeah. What do you do? Who do you know? What do you like? Your story.”

If only my story really were that simple—a collection of answers to meaningless questions. I look down at my hands.  A weight fills my stomach as I consider how I would answer if I could be honest. If I could actually tell him—or anyone—my real story.

“You okay?”

I look up and realize he’s watching my face closely. I force a smile and nod.  “Maybe too much vodka.” I hold up the bottle, glad for the excuse. From the look on his face I’m not sure he bought it, so I hurry to answer his original question. “I’m a student at MCC.” I peek at him from the corner of my eye for any reaction to the name of the local community college. If he grew up in this neighborhood I’ll bet he’s one of the kids who goes to an actual university.

When he only nods, I go on. “I’m not working right now, so I’m taking classes all summer.” I leave out the reason for my unemployment. I can imagine how he’d react to that—talk about putting a damper on our flirting.

“What are you studying at MCC?”

More details I don’t want to get into. “This was my first year. I haven’t really decided on a major yet.”

He looks concerned. “How old are you?”

“Twenty-one.” I blush again. I’m too exposed to this guy. I don’t want him asking questions about why I waited so long to enroll in classes. But his face relaxes.

“Good. When you said it was your first year I was worried you were a teenager for a minute there.”

“Why would it matter if I was a teenager?” I ask, a flirtatious note in my voice. He only grins at me, a purely wicked grin, and my face grows hotter.

“What about you?” I ask, embarrassed by my reaction. “What’s your story?”

“I work at the body shop in town. We mostly do repairs, but sometimes we get some refurbs to do, which is what I really prefer.”

That isn’t the answer I expected. “School?”

He shakes his head. “Never really saw the point.”

“So you live here all year?” It doesn’t make sense. Why hadn’t I ever come across him if he wasn’t away at school all year?

“All four miserable seasons.”

“They’re not all miserable. Spring is nice.”

“Whatever. Spring lasts about two minutes. It goes from cold as hell to hot as balls around here.”

I have to laugh at that. “I was just thinking that tonight. That spring went way too fast.” I pause. “I wasn’t ready for summer.”

“Me either,” he says, his voice soft. I look over at him. He’s staring at the ground. He looks about a million miles away. I wonder what it is about summer that he doesn’t like, but I don’t press. I know what it feels like to dread something as inevitable as the change of season.

“Can I have a sip of that?” Taylor points at the bottle in my hand. I’d almost forgotten it was there. I take a swig before passing it to him, wiping my mouth on the back of my arm as the warmth fills my belly.

“Impressive,” Taylor says, nodding at me as he takes the bottle and follows suit. “You didn’t even grimace.”

I shrug. “I like vodka.”

“Okay, so I know you like vodka and picking fights with girls at parties. What else makes you tick?”

“I didn’t pick that fight!” I say, my voice a little too loud. “That bitch got mouthy with Ellie.”

“And that’s a mistake, huh?”

“You have no idea.”

“You’re not like most of the girls I know,” he says and nods down at Ellie to include her in his assessment.

“What does that mean?”

“Well, most girls don’t chug vodka straight from the bottle. And most girls don’t actually get in fights at kegs. When a girl says she’s going to kick someone’s ass, I can pretty much always assume she’s full of shit.”

“Ellie and I don’t mess around with stuff like that. We’ve had to stand up for ourselves way too often for it to be a joke. When Ellie threatens someone, she means it.”

“You too?”

I nod. “Though I don’t feel the need to threaten quite as often as she does.” I meet his eyes. “But when I say something, I mean it.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” His voice is a soft rasp that makes the hair on the backs of my arms stand up. I stare at his lips, wishing I could kiss him. Why had I been so stupid and told him I prefer conversation to cheesy lines? I could be making out with this hottie right now if I had kept my mouth shut and laughed at his little jokes like any other girl.

“How long have you guys known each other?” he asks.

It takes me a second to come back to the conversation. “Ellie? We’ve been tight for a few years now. I guess we started hanging out when we were seventeen.”  I manage to keep my voice casual, as if that year, and the circumstances surrounding our becoming friends, hadn’t been any big deal. “What about you? You said you grew up with Preston? Are you guys tight?”

He lifts one shoulder. “Not particularly. I mean, I guess we were. But we don’t have a lot in common anymore.”

That’s a little cryptic. Does that mean he doesn’t live in one of these huge mansions on this side of town? Or is it simply that he stayed home and got a job while Preston went off to school?

“He’s not a bad guy, though,” Taylor says. “His parents travel a lot, so he throws a ton of parties in the summer.”

“Maybe I’ll see you at another one of them.”  

He’s quiet for a moment as he holds my gaze. “I hope I see you regardless.”

His tone makes my stomach flip and all in a rush I’m frightened. Am I getting in too far here? Flirting at a party is one thing, making plans to see each other after tonight is another. To my great relief, Ellie chooses that moment to wake up fully.

She moans as she sits up. “Ugh, I have a headache. Zoe, you weren’t supposed to let me mix beer and pot. You know this.”

“I warned you,” I say. “You told me to fuck off.”

She laughs weakly, rubbing her head. “That does sound like something I’d say.” She pulls her phone from her pocket and starts to type. “Let’s find Hunter. I’m in need of sustenance. I want pancakes.”

“Mmm, pancakes,” Hunter says, as he walks up behind her. “I’m in.”

Ellie holds up her phone. “I was just texting you.”

He taps his forehead. “I could sense that my presence was desired.”

I look over at Taylor. “I guess we’re leaving.” Somehow I’m both disappointed and relieved.

“I guess so.”

I know it’s better to leave before I start getting any weird ideas about seeing him again, but I still feel a sense of letdown. I’ll never get to find out what it’s like to kiss that gorgeous mouth. To trail my tongue across that jaw…

As I start to stand, Taylor grabs my hand. “I’ll be seeing you, Zoe. That’s a promise.”

I look down at him, not knowing what to say. I should discourage him, tell him I’m not interested. But I just can’t do it. “We’ll see,” I murmur, then turn to help hoist Ellie into a standing position.

“Let’s find Everett,” Hunter says. “He’s the DD tonight. Why’s it so dark down here?” He looks around the room. “Hey, Everett!” he shouts. “I want pancakes!”

Everett’s laugh sounds from across the room, and we head off in that direction. I refuse to turn around to take a last look at Taylor. Even though we aren’t heading home yet, leaving the party takes me one step closer to my real life.

And there is no place for anything as beautiful as Jet Taylor in my real life.

**Escape In You will be released October 15th!**