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About the author:
Although best known for her Holloway Pack series: DARKNESS & LIGHT (July 2011, J. Taylor Publishing), INSTINCT (February2012, J. Taylor Publishing), ETERNAL (July 2012, J. Taylor Publishing), BLUE MOON (December 2012, J. Taylor Publishing), RESONANCE (April 2013, J. Taylor Publishing), CAGED (August 2013, J. Taylor Publishing), UNNATURAL (April 2014, J. Taylor Publishing), and CORNERED (May 2016), amongst other titles, she is currently trawling her way through a New Adult Post Apocalyptic and would LOVE to try her hand at YA. Maybe she will.
What inspired you to write your book?
Life and love and everything in between. Always.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Slotting myself between the two occupied stools, I waited for Joe to notice me—or to quit pretending he hadn’t noticed me, anyway. It took a full four seconds before he nodded my way. No words, just the nod. From my short time visiting the place, I’d noticed Joe never seemed to have a lot to say to his patrons.
“Pint, and whatever Liv’s on tonight,” I said, leaning my elbows on the bar.
The grunt he gave was the equivalent of a full blown conversation, coming from Joe, and as he turned away to grab glasses, I glanced in the mirror behind the him. Right into the dark eyes of the blonde on my left.
I’d seen her before; she sat in the exact same spot every time. Seen her smiles before, too, because she sent me one whenever she thought I was looking. I rarely returned them, though. I hadn’t gone there to pick up, and if I had? Well, something just seemed off about her. I didn’t like a female to be too eager.
Joe’s bulk blocked the view again, and he slammed the drinks down in front of me and held out his hand. He rarely even bothered to let customers know how much they owed him. If they gave too much, he returned with change. If they gave too little, his hand just didn’t move until the error had been corrected.
I dropped a folded fiver onto his palm and told him to keep the leftovers.
With both drinks in hand, I turned for the booth, lifting the smaller glass and taking a sniff. Coke. Usually meant Liv had too much work to get through.
Liv studied at Uni and often landed at The Double-H—as the locals called it—to work on assignments. Said the atmosphere helped her to slip into a zone her wall-facing home desk tended to kill.
Not wanting to break her stride, I placed her drink down on her table and took a seat on the opposite bench without saying a word. Didn’t mean I didn’t cock my head to the side to see what she worked on, though.
At the top, in her neat handwriting, she’d penned ‘Olivia Fanella’, and beneath that, a load of gobble-de-gook I didn’t understand. She’d once tried to explain what all the codes meant, the one time I’d asked her. It hadn’t sunk in, and rather than ask again, I scanned the room for the second time since arriving.
One of the teens, a black kid, lounged over the pool table as he lined up a shot. The other, a pale blond, kept shaking his head, muttering for him to ‘miss it’, despite the wonky smile on his lips.
I watched them a moment, almost wondering what it might’ve been like to grow up normal. Human. To have continued on through school until the very end. Through college. Uni, even—like Liv. Instead of hushed phone calls and donations made to school, the day Nate—our Alpha, and Dad’s best friend—decided I couldn’t go back, because I’d experienced my first full body muscle spasm.
I’d been popular in school. Popular with the sporty kids. Popular with the girls. It’d been weeks before I quit sulking over the loss of that popularity. It’d been longer still before I’d been given a new outlet for my energy, because not only did I have to wait until I reached eighteen before Dad and Nate would let me join them at the family construction business, I also had to wait for my first few changes to pass. They’d been some seriously, seriously boring months.
The black kid must’ve potted his ball, because, as he straightened, he outstretched his arms, his face full of smugness. “Man, you’ve either got it, or you ain’t,” he said to his friend.
From the other side of the floor, his volume shouldn’t have been audible. It likely wasn’t, to anybody else near where I sat. I didn’t fall into that category, though.
Studying the guys a bit longer, I took in the fitted cut of their shirts, the neatness of their hair. Despite only wearing jeans and boots, everything they wore seemed to have been chosen with precision. The blonde at the bar looked designer dressed from head to toe, too, and even the bloke on the other stool had on a pressed shirt and trousers, his tie from whatever job he’d left behind still secured about his neck.
Nothing like my stained jeans and scuffed boots, my hair overgrown and a bloody mess. I probably stood out like a tick on a bald cat.
Except for the girl sitting opposite.
I turned my attention back to Liv. The way that red hair of hers hung in her face had a roughness about it, making it—her—seem wild and untamed, despite her quiet demeanour. The hand not holding the pen clutched onto a bunch of the strands, like she needed the anchor to keep her grounded while she worked, showing a glimpse of the black-framed glasses she always wore. Beside her on the bench, her usual parker sat scrunched, leaving her in only a white T, with rolled up sleeves and a Rolling Stones logo on the front, a pair of ratty skinnies leading to the green Converse on her feet. Seemed to be her usual ‘work’ gear—she’d barely deviated from the outfit since the first time I’d seen her.
The pair of us looked way out of place, when compared to the rest of the patrons, even if, all things considered, we probably were the only ones in there who actually suited The Hang & Hide, in all its ramshackle glory. Probably what’d drawn me to sit near her in the first place—that, and the way she seemed to want to talk even less than me.
Still, I couldn’t help but lean forward and open my big mouth. “You know, you don’t really look like the kind of female who’d hang around a place like this all the while.” As soon as I said it, I knew I’d sounded like a twit.
“Why’s that, then?” She nudged her glasses up her nose as she lifted her gaze. “Or maybe you just think the place should be full of more like Barbie over there?”
I followed the jerk of her chin, to the blonde at the bar. Like she sensed the scrutiny, the female twisted in her seat, giving me another of her smiles. Another one I ignored. With her movement, her thick waves of hair swung over her shoulder, the colour of popcorn flavoured jelly beans. Her eyes, on the other hand, resembled the liquorice ones.
Personally, I preferred the orangey sorts.
I downed a fat swig of my pint and turned back to Liv, resting my elbows on my knees.
Liv’s attention had already returned to her pad, her coarse wispy strands falling around her face, as she tapped her pen against her bottom lip, creating a smudge of blue there I instantly wanted to wipe away.
“Your hair reminds me of satsuma jelly beans,” I said, before I could stop myself.
“That supposed to be sweet talk, Danny?” she asked, looking up again. “Because you’re seriously crap at it.”
“Just saying.” I shrugged. “I like satsuma jelly beans.”