Starlight, Calum Bright, and a Merry Giveaway!

Starlight, Calum Bright, and a Merry Giveaway!

Tis the season!

Over at The Spice Aisle this week, I talked about giving your change for change. If you haven’t had a chance to check that out, please do. And don’t forget to enter our MYSTERY BOX GIVEAWAY which ends in a matter of hours. There are amazing prizes from nine incredible authors, including myself.

In the spirit of giving, I wanted to share some news about both the FALLING STARS series and THE CALUM series.

First, some news on CALUM ME MAYBE, book two in THE CALUM series. I know you’ve been waiting a long time for it, and I’d originally planned to release it this year, but I’m going to wait until January. I’m not going to give you a date. I won’t even announce anything more until the book goes live. It’ll be a New Year surprise! So, keep an eye out for that. I just did a re-read it and it left me in tears. Happy tears. Be prepared. 😉

Finally, FALLING STARS. The second book in the series will be released on the 25th of January. It’s called STARLIGHT, and I can’t wait for you to read it. Here’s a first look at the cover.

FS_Starlight_600

Pretty, eh? I’m rather fond of it, myself.

And as a special bonus, here’s a wee excerpt:

Sam had been surprised to receive a call from Adam. He’d completely forgotten about the  invitation to work with him at Play L.A., having chalked it up to idle chatter. Taming of the Shrew was always a great time and, if he were being honest with himself, he needed something to occupy his mind. He’d agreed to come down to the venue and help plan the fundraising event, happy to get out of the house. During the drive down to South Sepulveda Boulevard, Sam thought about the other unexpected thing that had happened in the last twenty-four hours. Valerie had contacted him.

Somewhere in the back of his mind he wondered if the two things were related, but dismissed it. He was too relieved to learn that she didn’t, in fact, hate him. It lifted some heavy and invisible weight from his soul. He thought that he had destroyed any chance of friendship they may have had. Granted, it had only been a text message, but she promised she would call.

What would he say to her when she did?
What would she want to hear?

If it was to be a continuation of their last conversation, he wasn’t sure how he would deal with it. She deserved to know what was going on, but he didn’t know how to even broach the subject. Ah, but to hear her voice again. To see her.

It had been a little over three weeks, and yet it felt like a century. He missed her smile and just being near her. Telling her the truth, it would change everything between them. He didn’t want to ruin what they already had on the off-chance that somehow, down the line, it might be more.

On his good days, which were rare, he knew. He’d remember the look in her eyes and the way she clung to him when she was in his arms and he knew. In the place where he kept his innermost wishes, she felt the same as he did. Or something very similar.

On his bad days, it was all an illusion. A figment of the imagination of his aging brain. How could she possibly want him? That night on the ridge, had she been angry because of his jealousy or because of his denial? What had she said? Why can’t we admit that there’s something more?

Whatever the case, Sam knew that once they crossed that line, there was no turning back. At this point, he almost didn’t care. She’d reached out to him and he would give her anything she asked for – anything – just to get back to where they had been. She was his anchor. His rock. And he had been faltering without her.

As Sam pulled up to Play L.A., his phone rang. He turned off the car and answered.

“Hello?”

“Hey there, Benedick.”

Sam let out a little laugh, warmth spreading throughout his limbs. “Hey ya, Beatrice.” They were silent for a few moments. He was afraid to take the lead.

“Did I…catch you at a bad time?”

He could almost picture her with the phone against her ear and her perfect lips pursed. “No, I just arrived downtown. I have a few minutes.” His hands were shaking.

“Oh, cool.” Another moment of silence.

This time, Sam took the initiative. “It’s…good to hear your voice.”

She smiled through the phone. “Yours too.” He heard her take a deep breath. “I was wondering if you were going to Desiree’s premiere.”

“Er…I didn’t know about it. What’s it for?”

“Oh, she did an Indie for a friend of hers. They’re having the premiere tonight at the Bardot.” She paused. “Are you going? You should go.”

“Absolutely. I will, now that I know,” he hurried to answer. “You’re going?”

“She’d kill me if I didn’t.” She laughed and it was like oxygen to his floundering lungs. “You too, I might add.”

“Well, I can’t have that.” He pressed the phone tightly to his ear. Held his breath as if he could will himself to her location, or her to his. “When and where?”

“I’ll text you the info. I think most of the cast is going, whoever is in town,” she added. “And Carla.”

“Is Devin going?” Sam mentally slapped himself as soon as the words left his mouth. The silent seconds before she answered were excruciating.

“He’s in London,” she replied softly and Sam exhaled. “Or so I’ve heard.”

She didn’t know? He wanted to ask but had the good sense not to pursue it. “Ah, well…”

“So, I’ll send you the info. And I’ll…see you tonight?”

“I’ll be there.”

“Good.”

“Good.”

Neither spoke but neither hung up for long minutes. Sam listened to her breathe in and out, steady and even, as if she were trying to regulate it. So much was not being said that it smothered him. There was music in the background that he couldn’t make out.

“What are you listening to?” He just wasn’t ready to let her go.

“Hmm?”

“I hear music.”

“Oh. That.” He heard ruffling and the music got louder. “It’s something I just downloaded.”

“It sounds nice.”

“I like it.”

The instrumentation was sparse, allowing the words to take center stage. The guy’s voice was full of emotion and the tone was one of introspection.

How long?
How strong do I still have to be?
How can you mean so much to me?

They listened together for a few moments, Sam sticking a finger in his other ear so that he can hear her and the music better. The lyrics, he thought, were apropos.

“If you want, I’ll make you a copy.”

“You gonna make me a mixed-tape?”

She laughed and Sam thought he could die happy after hearing it. How could something so simple affect him so profoundly?

“Maybe a playlist for your phone.”

“Ugh! Such a youngin’.” He loved this, their banter, and he’d missed it just as much as everything else.

“See you tonight, Pops,” she teased.

“Ouch. Bye.” She hung up, and he was glad for that. He would have held on for who knows how long, searching for any excuse to stay on the line.

Sam looked up at his reflection in the rear view mirror, feeling more like himself than he had in weeks. There were dark circles under his eyes. He hadn’t been sleeping well, but now he felt energized. Renewed. Valerie had the power to heal him with just a few words. He shook his head, amazed. And he was going to see her in just a matter of hours. God.

Want more? There’s another excerpt at the end of book one, FALLING STARS. If you haven’t read it yet, now’s the chance to catch up.

I’ll catch up with you again soon!

~Xio

 

Comments

  1. Love, love, love it! 😀

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