Large Families, Birthdays, Writing Moments, and a bit about A Beautiful Danger

I’ve been crazy busy with life lately. Most of you know that I have five children, a hubby and two dogs to wrangle with my Wonder Woman lasso. It’s a lot of work on most days, but right now it’s our household’s birthday season. That means there is a birthday at least every two weeks. We put a banner up in our dining room and leave it there to mark the constant events, and we make a big deal about everyone’s special day because in a large family (especially one with a young baby) the focus isn’t often on just one person. It’s a lot of fun for the individual, and I love how much joy each person gets out of it, but for me, it feels like I’m either preparing for a birthday or celebrating one. That coupled with easter and ANZAC day holidays, plus the upcoming mothers day and I’m one very busy lady. (My birthday is actually one of the last, so when it gets to me I’m kind of over celebrating, but don’t tell anyone)

Obviously all this leaves little time for writing, but I’m managing to get a minimum of a thousand words out a day just working from my phone when I get a few minutes spare.

My current WIP is A Beautiful Danger which is about Ruby Garvan, a waitress at a top restaurant in Sydney’s Lane Cove. She’s had a bit of a rough time with men in her life thus far, and blames a lot of it on the fact her father abandoned her when she was twelve. To make sure she stops following the same relationship pattern, she’s purposely seeking a relationship with a man who is the opposite of everything she normally goes for. In her head, it’s all working out. But her friends don’t seem to think so, especially when they see the sparks that fly whenever Flynn Trotsky enters the room. Flynn is a bit of a daredevil, and when we first meet him he’s being chased by police and evading them using parkour. Ruby takes one look at him and decides he’s bad news–a danger to her and what she wants out of her life. But when Ruby needs someone, Flynn is always there and soon her friends start to intervene…

So this book is slowly coming along. I’ve never had to write this slow before and while it’s making me antsy, it’s also teaching me a bit more patience with my writing. Normally, I push myself day and night, needing to get ALL of the words out of my head as fast as possible. But this time, I have to think about it all very carefully because my time is so limited and I need to be concise to avoid writing in the wrong direction. It’s an interesting process. And while I don’t mind it, I’m sure I’m going to be writing my butt off the moment my seven month old starts sleeping better!

I’m trying to get her into a solid routine at the moment, so we’ll see how she goes with that in the near future. It’s just been hard to get her sleeping at specific times every day because I’m always running around after everyone else and she’s just had to come with me. So, we will SEE!

Speak of the devil, she’s awake and calling for me now. More updates to follow!

Lilliana xoxox

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Filed under Beautiful Series, New Adult Romance, Stuff I wanna say, Work in Progress, Writing Updates

Played is coming! Here’s the cover and a sneak peak

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PLAYED (Fire & Lies, book two)

books2read.com/u/4EWaRO
Release date, February 15th.

BLURB

The gripping follow up to Partners (Fire & Lies -One). Be sure to read Partners first.

Be careful whom you trust…
It’s something I thought I knew but with Chloe Donovan, all of my reasons seems to fly out the window the moment I’m around her.
Blinded by lust, persuaded by love. I hedged my bets on our forever. Twice. And both times, I lost. She’s gone. And once again, she’s ruined my life.
Stuck helping a federal agent by the name of Drake Jefferson, I’m biding my time until I can find where she is.
I won’t be giving up my partner in crime to the authorities. I’ll be dealing out my own brand of justice, and when I’m done, I don’t care if I rot in prison for it.
Chloe Donovan had better start sleeping with one eye open. Because I’m coming for her.
She played me.
I let her in, and she played me. If she sees me. She’d better run.
I won’t be trusting her a third time.

You can preorder it from your favourite eBook store via this universal link – books2read.com/u/4EWaRO

And if you haven’t read book one, Partners, you can grab that for free for a very limited time via this link –books2read.com/u/bWKlG0

Here are the first three chapters to get you started (unedited and subject to change)

1

 

Caitlin

“Benson Tanner?” I arrive at a suburban home in the city’s south east and approach a stout looking man of Indian descent who is watering his lawn. Running a hand through my brown shoulder length hair, I wish I’d remembered a hair elastic as the bank manager eyes me curiously. I smile at him then reach into my navy suit jacket to pull out my badge before I continue. “I’m Agent Caitlin Saunders with the federal police. I was hoping you were feeling up to answering a few questions about your recent ordeal.”

I can see the sweat beading on his brow. His whole body begins to shake which is wholly evident by the quivering of his jowls. The poor man is a nervous wreck. I’m not surprised. Being an unwitting accomplice in one of our country’s biggest bank heists isn’t something that happens every day.

“Shh…sh…sure,” he says, gesturing for me to head toward the house as he shuts off his hose at the tap. His wife opens the screen door before I’m even close. She’s been watching us, concern etched in the creases between her eyebrows.

After introducing myself to her, she offers me a drink then sets about in the kitchen making a pot of tea. We sit in silence until she brings it all out and places it on the table that is covered in an old lace tablecloth with a bowl of fresh fruit in the centre.

“Do you have children?” I ask casually, nodding thankyou to Mrs Tanner as she sets my cup in front of me.

Mr Tanner looks almost dumbstruck and looks to his wife for help.

“We have a teenage son,” she answers, her lips pressing into a straight line as she takes the seat beside her husband. “He’s in his room, probably has his headphones blaring in his ears.”

Mr Tanner grips his mug and stares at the hot liquid intensely. “They strapped a bomb to my chest.” The words fall out of his mouth in a rush, and he struggles to lift his mug without spilling the contents.

“Can you tell me much about them? What they looked like. What they said.”

He shakes his head, staring at nothing even though I know he’s reliving the robbery as if it’s happening right in front of his face. I hate doing this. Interviewing witnesses and forcing them to recount everything in excruciating detail, only prolongs their suffering. Most want to move on and forget. I’m the one not letting them.

“The big one did most of the talking. There were two of them. I thought they were father and son at first, coming in to talk about managing some farm holdings. But they pulled out a vest with a….” He meets my eyes. “With the bomb on it. And they made me put it on u…under my coat. The big one, he talked like he was my friend, like it was fun for him. Said stuff like, ‘You’re doing great’ and he thanked me for being such a wonderful help. The little one, he was just a kid, he only stood there waving his gun about. I don’t know which one was worse. The talking, or the silence.” HE runs his hand over his face, his brow furrowing with the pain of the experience. “I…I didn’t know what to do. I had to left them in the safe, right? I…I couldn’t have done anything different, right?”

I reach across the table and touch his hand. “The fact you’re sitting here able to tell me this information, is a testament your actions. You didn’t the right thing, Mr Tanner. No one got hurt, and that’s all because of you.”

He nods quickly, his shoulders hunched forward, telling me he wants to withdraw into himself.

“tell me, where there only two men inside the bank?”

He shook his head. “Three. Maybe four. The big one said that if I didn’t h…help that I’d be dog mince and that his…his man would take out my employees.”

“So there was someone watching the entry foyer?”

“That’s what he said.”

“Did you see them?”

“N…No. They locked me in the safe, and the police were there when I got out.”

“I see. Can you give me the names of the other employees in the bank at the time?”

He rattles off the names of two female tellers that match the information I already have.

“Can you tell me how many people where in the bank when you entered the safety deposit area.”

His face drains of colour as he shakes his head faster. “I…no. I…a bomb.” He hits his chest. “A…a fucking bomb!” The man cracks, and his wife rushes to get some pills for him while I attempt to calm him as he rocks in place.

“I think he’s had enough,” Mrs Tanner gasps, her arms around her husband, soothing him.

Nodding sagely, I pull my card from my pocket and place it on the table. “Thank you for your time. And for the tea. Call me if there’s anything else he remembers. Any time. My mobile phone is on there too.”

“Yes. Fine.” Her words are short and snippy. I see myself out and squint up at the mid-morning sun, taking a deep inhale to clear the tension from that interview out of my mind. Poor man. I can only imagine how frightened he was.

As I walk back to my car, I get a call from my partner, Drake Jefferson.

“You finished with the bank manager?”

He doesn’t even wait for me to say hello. Nor does he say hello to me. With Drake, it’s all about him, all of the time, and he doesn’t waste any of that precious time on niceties.

“Just now. He didn’t give me much.”

He pauses. “I guess that’s what we expected. Are you coming back to the hospital soon?”

“Yes. Why?”

“Good. I need your help with something.”

“Help with what?”

He disconnects and I’m talking to thin air. Typical. I suppose I’ll find out when I get to the hospital where he’s currently waiting for our only solid lead in this case to wake up. Aiden Price, the big guy Benson Tanner was talking about.

***

At the hospital, Drake leans on the door jam and gives me his best lady killer smile. “Come on, babe. Just swing by and check on the fish. I haven’t been home in days and the auto-feeder will be gone by now.”

I can’t believe this is why he wanted me here. His damned fish.

“I’m not your ‘babe’. Perhaps if you quit having so many sleep overs, your precious fish wouldn’t be an issue.”

Drake chuckles then places his hands on his hips and steps back.

“I love that you call them ‘sleepovers’, Trix. That is the cutest damn thing I have ever heard.”

Rolling my eyes, I mumble out a response, “Fuck you, Drake. I’m so far from cute it’s not funny.”  I shake my head before glancing at the patient handcuffed to the bed in the room we’re guarding. He seems to be stirring.

“You’re cute, Trix. Live with it.”

I glance back at Drake. “Do you even know what cute means?”

“Sure I do.”

“It means ‘ugly but interesting’.”

“No. That’s not what it means. It means that there’s potential to be hot.”

“Potential?” I let out a hollow laugh. Drake has never seen me as anything more that an annoying partner he was forced to work with.

“Yeah. Potential. As in, if you just gave me one night, I could turn this cute between us into something very hot.”

The insinuation pisses me off. I’m well aware of Drake’s proclivities and they consist of one night stands with model-types. The exact opposite of what I am.

“Back off. I can have you done for fucking harassment, Drake. I’m your partner. Don’t forget that.”

“Aw, come on. You wouldn’t do something like that. Secretly, you love me. I know you do.” There’s amusement in his words. He seems to get off on teasing me.

“That’s just wishful thinking on your part. You, Drake Jefferson, will never be loved, liked, or worshipped by me in any way. Now, I’m going to go home, shower and eat. You can look after your own fucking fish.”

“You wound me, Trix. You just took my heart and stomped it into the ground.”

I walk out the door. “You’ll live, tough guy,” I say over my shoulder as I head toward the elevators and pretend that interaction didn’t pluck at my emotions the way that it did…

 

2

Aiden

My eyes open, and  slowly, the room comes into focus. Blinking, I hear unfamiliar voices. A man and a woman are talking about fish and the definition of cute. What the fuck? Who are these people?

I lift my hands to rub at my blurry eyes. But only one hand makes it. The other is jolted after moving only a short way. Handcuffs. Fucking fantastic.

My eyes slowly begin to clear and the room comes into focus. I’m in a hospital room. I’m cuffed to the bed and my chest hurts like…Well, it hurts like somebody shot me in it.

Fucking Chloe.

Moving slightly, I wince at the pain in my chest as memories of the bank job replay in my mind. I have to wonder why the hell she didn’t kill me. It would have been cleaner. She could have taken the bags and kept it all—the cash, the jewels—to herself. It didn’t make any sense. I know how good a shot she is. If she wanted me dead that bullet would have gone straight into my heart. Why would she keep me alive?

One thing was for sure, the first thing I wanted to do was find her and share this pain a little. Perhaps a bullet in one of her outer extremities would finally get her telling me some sort of truth. Right now, everything I thought I knew seems like a stinking pile of bullshit.

“Back off. I can have you done for fucking harassment, Drake. I’m your partner. Don’t forget that.”

My attention gets pulled to the two standing in my room. They’re obviously Feds. Dark suits. Badges on hips. Holier than thou attitude.

“Aw, come on. You wouldn’t do something like that. Secretly, you love me. I know you do.”

They seem to be flirting with each other. Internally, I roll my eyes—this is the calibre of feds these days?

“That’s just wishful thinking on your part. You, Drake Jefferson, will never be loved, liked, or worshipped by me in any way. Now, I’m going to go home, shower and eat. You can look after your own fucking fish.”

Get a room, guys.

“You wound me, Trix. You just took my heart and stomped it into the ground.”

“You’ll live, tough guy,” the woman says as she walks out the door. My eyes land on the guy as he half smiles and turns my way. He looks about the same age as Jared, and has dark hair, a slim but strong looking build, and one of those faces that looks like it went to private school. I kind of want to punch him in it.

“Oh, you’re awake. Nice,” he says when he makes eye contact with me.

I would have thought that after robbing the bank and being left for dead next to the getaway car I would’ve been given a one-way ticket to the lockup. But the fact this guy is smiling at me tells me he wants something.

He pulls a chair to my bedside and takes a seat. Glancing at the IV pole, I consider using it as a weapon to make my escape. I’m not  interested in cutting a deal with this devil.

“You’ve been out for a long time, I was actually getting pretty bored waiting.” He stretches his legs out and places them on the bed beside me. He’s cocky. Yeah, I really want to hit him.

“I’m Agent Drake Jefferson with the Federal Police. Seems like you’ve gotten yourself into a bit of trouble, Mr Price, or can I call you Aiden?” I raise my brow and just look at him, my hands itching to carry out a plan that ends with him bleeding on the floor and me free as a bird, ready to hunt down the bitch that blindsided me and put me in this position in the first place.

Not knowing my internal diatribe, he continues. “Well, Aiden, as I said, you’re in a bit of trouble. But if you can work with me—help me get to the truth—then we can probably work something out. I have bigger fish to fry than some basic thief that can’t even getaway properly.”

Basic? I’ll fucking show him basic. My hand makes its way toward the IV pole…

“I’ve looked into your past—your military past. Special ops? Ring a bell?” I don’t respond. There’s no way this guy has clearance to access that shit.  “I figure with your skill set and my access level,  we can do some great things.”

My hand stills. “I thought I was basic.”

He smiles at me like we’re best mates. “Is that what I said? Nah, I think you’re useful. What do you say?”

I don’t say anything. I’m not even sure what he’s after. Drake removes his feet from the bed and leans over to pour me a cup of water. I take it only because my throat is so fucking scratchy it’s like trying to talk with a sandstorm blowing through my mouth. Each sip is like drinking the elixir of life.

“I suppose we can look at it this way—you can cooperate by telling me who your accomplice was, the names of anyone else helping you. Plus, where they took all the valuables. And, anything else I might ask of you. Then I might find a way to overlook the fact that you and your friends turned an entire city on its head with that fake terrorist stunt you pulled.”

“And you just let me go—just like that?” I don’t believe for a second he has the power to do that.

“Not exactly.” He draws the words out, long and slow as we inch closer toward the truth of this proposal. “There’s a catch.”

“A catch?”

“You’re an interesting man, Aiden—a security specialist with a military file that is primarily redacted. You’ve seen some serious action in your time. I’m pretty sure you’re one of this country’s unsung heroes, so when I say I’m not interested you in you, I really mean that. But, my boss, he thinks you can be useful.”

“So far, it sounds like what you want is for me to do your job for you.”

He lets out a chuckle. “Well, you don’t get where I am by doing everything yourself. It’s called delegating Aiden.”

Thinking the IV pole idea might just be the best call after all, I try to sit up for better leverage. He’s wasting my time.

Drake takes a seat on the side of the bed and places his hand directly on my bandages to push me back. Gritting my teeth I wince through the pain that flashes behind my eyes and temporarily blinds me.

“Bad idea, mate. Assault of a federal officer will just land you behind bars and there will be nothing anyone can do about.” He presses a little harder. The pain burns so intense I almost pass out. “Except me, I could do something about it, but I’m a proud man—a vengeful man—and I’d be so busy making your life a living hell that I’d start to enjoy it. It’d become a game for me. A game I’d never want to end. So my suggestion is for you to lie back, I reckon you need all the rest you can get.” He pats my bandage twice causing the pain to surge forward again. Reflexively, I ball up my right fist, but the cuffs stop me from hitting out. I settle for grabbing him by the shirt with my left.

“Don’t fucking touch me again,” I growl, spitting from within my clenched teeth. My breathing labours as my whole body screams with the pain of a bullet wound.

“Then be a good little slave,” Drake says without the hint of stress in his voice. “I think I may have neglected to tell you that you and I have a common enemy.”

My hand relaxes and he slips from my grip, smoothing out the creases in his shirt as he continues to sit in front of me.

“I doubt you and I have anything in common.”

“Goldsmith.” His eyes widen dramatically and he lifts his hands as if writing the name in the sky for emphasis.

I relax back on my pillows. “Your enemy is Michael Goldsmith?”

“Of course. He’s been on our radar for a while. The whole Donovan Corporation collapse was a little too convenient for my liking. A wedding, a merger, then embezzlement? It makes no sense to me. Why would Terry Donovan be stupid enough to merge when that same merger would uncover his crime?” He shakes his head. “No. I smell a pile of shit in place of that story.”

“So you believe he’s innocent?”

“I don’t believe any man heading a multibillion dollar corporation is completely innocent. But of this crime, I think that perhaps the money went somewhere else. Somewhere else like in their many safety deposit boxes you emptied at that bank. Or maybe the daughter had something to do with it.”

“The daughter?” Just the mention of her sent my chest aching with pain all over again. My fists tighten. Chloe needs to pay for what she’s done. I never thought I’d feel this much anger toward a woman, but right now, it’s the only emotion I have for her.

“Chloe Donovan-Goldsmith. She abandoned her marriage very quickly after the charges were laid, and she’s the only one still in contact with Terry Donovan. We can’t find much on her though, she pretty much lives as a ghost and she’s excellent at shaking a tail. We haven’t been able to follow her anywhere that could help answer our questions.”

That didn’t surprise me.

“There’s a lot of speculation and a lot of moving parts in this thing, but we believe you’re the guy to help us put all the pieces together.”

“Is that so?”

“Sure. What were you really looking for, Aidan? I can’t imagine you’re desperate for money. You drive a pretty flash car, own a club, the security business. You’re not low on funds. So what would make a man like you go through all that trouble just to get to a few safety deposit boxes? This is literally the million dollar question. And the only thing I can think is that you did it out of revenge.”

“Revenge?”

He nods. “You know, that was a spectacular disguise you’re wearing. Word is, you really freaked out the EMT’s when your nose bent sideways while they were putting the oxygen mask on you.” He chuckles, slipping his hands inside his pockets as he stands and moves to the foot of my bed.

“I’m glad I was able to entertain,” I comment, keeping my voice steady and my features calm.

“Oh, you did, you sure did.” He begins to pace back and forth as if deep in thought. “Who exactly did that makeup job for you?”

“I learned it from YouTube,” I lie.

“And your partner?”

“YouTube.”

He grins. “It’s always YouTube, right?”

Feeling the ache of my wounded body, I find my attention starting to waiver. “How about we dispose of this chitchat and get to the point? I’m fucking tired and despite being cuffed to the bed, I don’t want to do this back and forth all day—exactly what are you asking me to help you with?”

He pauses at the end of my bed again. “OK, I’ll get to the point. You have a pretty impressive background from the Military. And considering you just robbed a bank that has the most up-to-date security system money can buy, I’m thinking you’ve got a team of highly skilled professionals at your fingertips.”

I say nothing. My ‘team’ is none of his damn business.

Narrowing his eyes, he returns to his pacing. “I’ll take your silence as a yes. We have use for people like you, Aiden. People who are clever enough to get a job done and done right with little casualties. The way I see this, there was no way in hell you were going to get caught. The only reason you’re here right now is that you had a traitor in your midst.”

A low growl seems emanate out of my chest of its own accord. I see the tick at the side of Drake’s mouth. He’s trying not to smile at my obvious slipup.

To say I’m angry at Chloe is an understatement. If I was anyone else I’d sign any fucking deal this guy offered me just to make sure she was dragged kicking and screaming into the nastiest women’s prison they could find. But I’m a guy who likes to do my own dirty work. I’m a guy who has revenge down to a fine art. No one crosses me. No one.

Already, my mind is ticking over, trying to work out the best way to make Chloe pay for what she did to me. I’m in the mood to burn everything to the to ground, and to do that, I need to get out of here.

I look at Drake. Despite my desire to punch that pretty-boy face of his, he’s my ticket out of here. I need this guy. I need him to believe me when I tell him I’ll help.

“I can help you, Aiden. I can help you get some revenge on this guy. Just give me the name of the guy who shot you, and I’ll get every law enforcement agency in the country looking for him. His picture will be on every news station in every newspaper and on the wall of every post office there is. Hell, I’ll even take out the billboard ad if that’s what it takes.” He moves back to the chair and sits down, leaning forward on his knees to talk closely. “I’m going to lay all my cards on the table right here. We need that guy. We need what he took with him. We need whatever was in those security deposit boxes. If you give us a name, we can close this bank case and move on to the big one. The one where you use your unique skill set and knowledge of company workings. The one where you help us land Goldsmith.”

He sounds like he’s a coach giving some down trodden team a locker room speech. But he’s barking up the wrong tree. “Listen, I never even worked for Goldsmith. I was fired before the merger. I don’t see how I’m supposed to help you”

Drake smiles. “I’m aware of that. Which is why I’m sure your motives for robbing the bank were steeped in your desire for revenge.”

“That job had nothing to do with revenge” I watch as he raises his brow in question then continue. “You stated it yourself—I’m not exactly wanting for money. Getting fired from the Donovan Corporation is probably the best thing that ever happened to me. I made more of a name for myself after Donovan than during.”

“Mate, I don’t think you want revenge because of money. I think you want revenge because of a girl.”

This one gets me. What the hell does he know? “A girl? You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Sure I know. During our investigations, we found a busted iPad with some fairly… let see if I can word this nicely…compromising footage of you and Chloe Donovan-Goldsmith on it.”

“Chloe and I aren’t anything. We fucked. That’s all.”

He shrugs. “Looked a little more than fucking from where I was standing. If they had have put music to it, it would have made a beautiful love montage.”

My teeth grind in anger, hating that anyone saw that night. It was the beginning of my end and something I deeply regret in this moment.

“I don’t care what you think. There’s nothing between us; nothing that would motivate some sort of revenge plot anyway.”

“Is that so? Well, the footage was all conveniently dated only a couple of weeks before her wedding to Sebastian Goldsmith and not long before your job was no longer available to you. You can’t tell me these things don’t have something to do with each other.”

That growl rumbles in my chest again. I wish he would shut the fuck up. Any mention of her seems to be turning me into a rabid animal. She’s a betrayer; a siren in the night calling me to the depths to drown.

His eyes widen and the fucker smiles. “You hate her, don’t you?”

“Chloe Donovan means nothing to me. She was a fuck. A mistake. It cost me my job and there’s nothing more to it.”

He stands and paces the room again, talking like he’s putting on a show and I’m his captive audience.

“No. I’m right. I know I’m right. I’m pretty intuitive guy, Aiden. And these kinds of things are only ever about two things—money or women, and sometimes both. There aren’t a hell of a lot of other reasons why men do things. Let’s face it, we’re ruled by our dicks.”

“Speak for yourself.”

“I don’t deny it. And there’s no point in you denying it either. You see, there’s a hell of a lot of CCTV cameras around the city these days. And my partner, Agent Samuels, is somewhat of a computer expert. She found some recent footage of Chloe Donovan-Goldsmith exiting your club. You were working there that night so I’m sure she was there to talk to you—I can’t imagine a girl like that was hanging around an area like yours for fun.”

“Your partner is a hacker?” This makes things a little more interesting.

“Hacker is such a nasty word. It implies that she what she does is illegal.”

“Isn’t it?”

“Not when she’s doing it for the government.” He flashes a grin.

“Funny that.”

“Don’t get jealous, Price. I’m willing to let you use your unique skills and your history with Mr Donovan to get you a government pass on unsavoury activities too. It’s how Samuels got her job. Not every crime needs to be punished with a gaol cell.”

“It just gets punished with government servitude?”

He pauses pacing and laughs, looking down at his foot as he scuffs at some sort of mark on the floor. “That’s definitely one way of looking at it.”

For a while, I just stare at him, wondering exactly what he knows. More importantly, I wonder what hell don’t know.

There’s only one way to find out.

“Fine. I’ll work with you.”

“Give me a name, and I can make that happen”

 

3

Caitlin

Pulling up outside Drake’s apartment, I mumble to myself about what a sucker I am for turning up here to check on his stupid fish. Then I get out of my car, knowing that he knows I’m a sucker too. I’ll bet that right now he’s sitting comfortably in that hospital chair smiling to himself because he knows I’m here doing his bidding. It’s like I really want to hurt myself by being in his space and seeing the side of him that no one sees while knowing, knowing, that the only reason I see it is because he views me as some sort of assistant to his own awesome. He certainly doesn’t see me as a woman, and the fact he teases me like some schoolgirl tells me he’s well aware of my crush and using it against me.

He’s such an arsehole…

Then why am I even here?

Annoyed with myself, I use the spare key I have in my purse for moments such as these—yes, I have a key, I even know his alarm code. I’m freaking Money Penny to his James Bond.

Once I let myself inside I take a moment to look around his very clean and open space. Drake isn’t one for clutter, and he doesn’t do a hell of a lot of decorating either. Everything is a dark theme, and the only real colour comes from the bright tropical fish in his floor-to-ceiling tank.

Walking over to it, I stand quietly; listening to the hum of the water filter and watching the fish. They swim along, languidly weaving through the live coral as it waves about in the artificial current. They don’t seem to have a care in the world and are completely at peace. I get a brief moment of serenity watching them.

For a moment, I can understand why Drake is so into his fish—they really are beautiful and calming to watch. But what I don’t understand is his refusal to bring the women he dates over to his place. If he could get over his stupid obsession with sharing a bed then I wouldn’t have to be here feeding his damn fish like some sort of servant.

I think in the two years I’ve been partnered with him, I’ve been the only female he’s allowed in his house. That fact speaks volumes to me. He flirts with me but he doesn’t mean any of it. I’m his partner. That’s it. At most, I’m a friend. But he doesn’t see me in any sexual way at all. If he did, he wouldn’t let me in here. In his words, he doesn’t like to share his space with anyone he is emotionally attached to. He thinks it complicates things.

I chew the side of my lip in thought as I reach up to open the feeding hatch. I don’t know why it all bothers me, it’s not as if I like him or anything—well, I do, I admit to having a crush.  I mean, he’s gorgeous so how can I not notice that. But, that’s as far as it goes.  The guy is my partner. He’s a player; a male slut—a charmer many would say. He’s not the kind of guy a geeky computer specialist would ever hook up with—even if I did want it to be more than it is. So really, it doesn’t matter how I feel. It doesn’t matter how attractive I find him. Drake and I don’t match,  and the job comes first.

But even I’m aware how full of shit my own thoughts are. I guess I’m just trying to convince myself that all of this is OK—that I’m OK. But I’m not. Like these fish, I’m trapped in a limited world.

As I drop the food through the hatch. I watch the fish swim around frantically to grab it. I continue to muse about Drake and his many differences to me. We’ve been told numerous times that he’s the muscle and I’m the brains. But Drake is very smart on his own, and despite being a hacker by trade, my field abilities aren’t too bad.

No. I think someone put us together on purpose, thinking it would be funny to put Drake with a plain, needy girl to watch him squirm with discomfort when she swooned. Well, the jokes on them—I’m not the swooning type. I’m the type who secretly admires and never does anything about it. And here’s why; Drake is the epitome of tall, dark and handsome—just like my father was. And he left my mum the moment being part of a family got a little too tough. So I know Drake’s type—I’ve lived with Drake’s type,  and Drake’s type causes nothing but pain. I wouldn’t be stupid enough to do that myself. Not when I saw the fallout of heartache everyday since I was ten. I don’t see how falling in love is worth it.

But I don’t agree with Drake’s fuck-buddy policy either.

Brushing my hands against my black work pants, I make my way into Drake’s kitchen and open his cupboards. He’s into all that whole food crap. You know the stuff—whole grains, raw nuts, protein shakes—it all disgusts me, I have no interesting clean eating at all.

After I move a few boxes around I spot what I’m after—strawberry pop tarts. They’re the only unhealthy thing that exists in his cupboards, only there as a bribe for me because I’m forever feeding his stupid fish, like the lackey I am.

Tearing the silver packet open with my teeth, I bite straight into the jam filled pastry. Then I walk back over to the tank, chewing quietly. Once again, I watch the fish, this time making kissy faces at their wide gaping mouths. I look ridiculous, but it’s not as if anyone is going to see me doing it. Hell, the fish don’t even notice me. Story of my life.

I watch until I’ve eaten both pop tarts then throw my rubbish in the kitchen bin and head out.

“See you next time I do exactly what I tell Drake I won’t do,” I tell the fish as I leave..

Then I get into my car and head back to the hospital, hoping Aiden Price is awake so we can get on with this job. I need to know who they used to hack into the city’s mainframe. I’ve never seen their work before and it’s driving me nuts being unable to track them down.

Preorder via this link – books2read.com/u/4EWaRO

Or, read book one, Partners, free for a very limited time via this link –books2read.com/u/bWKlG0

Happy reading!

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New Year, New Reads

Welcome to 2017! To celebrate the new year, I’m part of a promotion with 24 other authors to help you kick-start your reading list in 2017.

It’s pretty simple, all you have to do is follow this link – http://www.edensummers.com/newyearnewreads.html – There, you’ll be asked to sign up for some author newsletters to claim your free read. There are 25 free books in total, including In the Wind from me (which I hope most of you have read, but if you haven’t, now’s your chance.)

This offer only lasts until January 15, so please take advantage of it while you can.

I’ll be back in a few days with the cover reveal for Played.

What!?! Did you read that right??

Yes! Played is almost here, so keep your eyes peeled!

Lilliana xoxox

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I’m Baaaa-aaaack!

A quick update…

…on me and the fam before I get down to the business side of stuff. Our baby girl is now two months old, and we’ve settled into somewhat of a routine. Most of the time she is asleep in a wrap on my chest or playing in her little floor gym next to me, but we’re calm and the family is loving the new addition and all of her precious smiles. If you follow me on Snapchat (lilliana-books) you’ll get to see some pics of her when we play with the filters, but otherwise, I give a few updates with pics on my facebook profile.

Here’s a quick pic of us from Instagram –

She loved the butterflies #twomonthsold #babysmiles

A post shared by Lilliana Anderson (@lilliana_anderson) on

 

Now, down to business

I’m back! My brain has settled down from all those pregnancy hormones and I’m able to communicate with my characters – BLISS!

And returning with me is an all new cover for Partners! Why? Because I will FINALLY be releasing Played in 2017. This series has been floating about in the ether for a while—long story—but now it is definitely happening 😁

Series Info –

Book One (Partners) is a #FREE download on all platforms and Book Two (Played) will be releasing Feb 15th. Mark your calendars!

Links to Partners –

Amazon –
US – http://amzn.to/2fqlFgv
UK – http://amzn.to/2giPOmz
AU – http://amzn.to/2ghBG9g
iBooks – http://apple.co/2fql3HA
B&N – http://bit.ly/1s5vEML
kobo – http://bit.ly/1uTmJz5

BLURB

~Chloe~

Rules are made to be broken…

That’s what they say but I used to follow the rules. I used to have pride, honour, and obedience. I was raised to believe that in the world in which I lived, money and power ruled, and everyone made sacrifices. I knew my priorities. Family first. The company second. And what I wanted a very distant third.

I followed the rules, but couldn’t have known that obedience would ultimately cause betrayal. On many fronts.

My father was framed, and I’ll do whatever it takes to put the right man behind bars.

My name is Chloe Donovan, and I’m going to make things right. But to do that, I need to break the law, and I can’t do it on my own. I need help. The problem is, the only person capable of helping, hates me. I don’t blame him. I promised him the world and then I ran away…

~Aiden~

I used to follow the rules. Until Chloe Donovan. She was my boss’s daughter. I shouldn’t have touched her. But I did. Three years ago, she came into my life, consuming it. Consuming me. I needed her. She betrayed me, as did her father. Lies and deception. Never again.

Chloe was the worst mistake I ever made. She’s temptation and destruction wrapped in a beautiful package. But, my blood doesn’t really fill my brain when I’m around her…

Now, she’s back, declaring her innocence and once again, ensnaring me with her magnetism, her beauty, her allure. I should say no.

But Chloe Donovan owns me. I still want her. Her draw may be the death of me.

The NEW Cover for Partners

That’s it for now! Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends, and a big hello to the rest of the world who are just enjoying a regular day! Kiss, kiss, and keep smiling!

 

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Till There Was You by Wade & Lilliana Anderson

till there was you release banner

⚜It’s finally here! The release day for TILL THERE WAS YOU by Wade & Lilliana Anderson⚜


⚜BLURB⚜
Haunted by his past, Lincoln Ryan abandoned his life in Australia, retreating halfway around the world to the town of Newsham, a place as remote and cold as his heart had become. It suited him perfectly—for a while.

When a fateful event forces him to help out local bar owner, Lily Colbert, Linc finds his life of solitude is suddenly flooded with the light and hope of one very stubborn woman. Slowly his walls begin to crumble as he lets the enigmatic Lily in. But when Linc and Lily dance perilously close to the ‘L’ word, his secrets re-emerge, rocking him to the core as he tries once again to outrun his past.

However, the thing about the past is that it always seems to follow you around, and for Linc, hiding may not be an option anymore. Not when he has Lily. Not when he might finally have a future….

Till There Was You is the debut novel by Wade Anderson, co-written with his wife, Lilliana Anderson (author of Drawn and 47 Things).

⚜iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1120160600
⚜Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1123873352
⚜Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/till-there-was-you-3

⚜Amazon
US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GH5HJA0
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GH5HJA0
CA – https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01GH5HJA0
AU – https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01GH5HJA0

 If you’d like to find out more, you can read the first two chapters here. Early reviewers called the book ‘a beautiful but at times heartbreaking story’, and said ‘loved this book, the characters are great. I laughed, cried, felt lots of emotions…’. Why not check it out for yourself?  Happy reading!

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Till There Was You – Sneak Peek 😮

Thoughts leading up to release…

When I woke up this morning and realised the date, I grabbed hubby’s arm and said, “Seventeen days to go.”

“What!?” The poor guy sat bolt upright, freaked out because he was sleepy and thought I was talking about the pregnancy.

“Our book releases in seventeen days,” I clarifed. To which he groaned and rolled over, burying his head in his pillow while mumbling something about nerves.

To say this is an exciting time in our house is an understatement.

To say we’re proud of this book is also understating things, because we worked together and made it to this point without killing each other—I’d say that’s a cause for celebration, right?

ICYMI

I revealed the cover, blurb and preorder links on my Facebook page and in my newsletter recently. Here they are in case you missed it…

Haunted by his past, Lincoln Ryan abandoned his life in Australia. Retreating halfway around the world to the town of Newsham, he found a place as remote and cold as his heart had become. It suited him perfectly—for a while.

When a fateful event forces him to help out local bar owner, Lily Colbert, Linc finds his life of solitude  flooded with the light and hope of one stubborn woman. Slowly his walls begin to crumble as he lets the enigmatic Lily in. But when Linc and Lily dance perilously close to the ‘L’ word, his secrets re-emerge, rocking him to the core as he tries once again to outrun his past.

Unfortunately, the past always seems to follow people around, and for Linc, hiding may not be an option anymore. Not when he has Lily. Not when he might finally have a future….

Till There Was You is the debut novel by Wade Anderson, co-written with his wife, Lilliana Anderson (author of Drawn and 47 Things).

PREORDER special price – $2.99USD (releasing June 30)
iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1120160600
Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1123873352
Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/till-there-was-you-3
Amazon
US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GH5HJA0
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GH5HJA0
CA – https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01GH5HJA0
AU – https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01GH5HJA0

 

The Reason You’re Here…

Both Wade and I are very happy to present you with the first two chapters of Till There Was You…

Chapter 1

Wounded

“Stop!”

Looking at the groaning bodies on the floor around him, he turned toward her voice, pressing his lips together as his chest heaved. Coming here was a mistake.

A cheap shot from an unknown assailant connected with his jaw, causing a burst of pain as his lip split against his tooth. The taste of copper filled his mouth. He didn’t get the chance to react before a shock landed low on his back.

Argh.” Zapping agony raced up his spine, the pain momentarily blinding him and messing with his balance. He stumbled and tried to regain his footing.

Then came the blow to his head…

It was a good tactic against a man his size. It was what he would’ve done had he found himself out-sized and outmatched—pick your moment, do something to slow your opponent down, then do whatever it took to knock them out. Which was exactly what happened, and why he was now sinking deep into the darkness—a darkness he feared and loathed in equal measures. They were always waiting for him there, their innocent eyes reminding him of all he lost.

***

As Linc’s mind fled toward the light, he became aware of the ache in his back and the stinging pain in his lip. “What the hell?” he murmured as the room slowly came into focus and the memory of how he got there resurfaced. A small growl of anger rumbled through his chest.

“Welcome back to the land of the living, sleeping beauty.” A smug voice informed him he was not alone. “We thought you’d be out of it for longer than this. I did hit you pretty hard.”

Slowly, he rolled over to see whom the voice belonged to. The first thing that came into view was a solid looking set of bars; the second, a man standing on the other side of those bars wearing a police uniform with the name ‘Colbert’ on his nametag. He stood twirling a set of keys around his finger in a lazy fashion. Jackass.

Linc narrowed his eyes in contempt. “Screw you, princess. Come at me from the front next time and we’ll see who gets knocked the fuck out.”

The cop smirked. “Australian, huh? Heard the loner in the Plowman place had an accent.”

“My nationality has nothing to do with the fact that I’d beat your arse in a fair fight. Blindsiding a guy is dirty—even for a cop.”

“Think I’ll pass on that invitation. Saw what you did to the four guys at the bar—who, by the way, say you started it by sucker punching two of their friends.”

Bullshit. Those fucking cowards started it after they ignored the waitress’ protests and grabbed her arse. I just stopped them.”

As that bit of information surfaced, the smug smile slipped from Colbert’s face. If Linc hadn’t been watching, he never would have seen it, because it quickly erased when a pounding on the front doors grabbed everyone’s attention.

A younger cop emerged and moved toward the doors. He peered outside, squinting to see through the stormy night before turning back, his brow furrowed and his lips pressed into a thin line.

“Um, it’s your sister. She looks seriously pissed.”

Against his better judgment, Colbert released a resigned sigh and motioned for her to be let in.

When the door opened, it seemed as though two storms raged into the room, one born of Mother Nature and freezing cold; the other of human flesh, a torrent of blonde hair, and female indignation. When she stopped in front of her brother, there was something about the raging hot look on her face and her white knuckled fists balled at her sides that had Linc recalling times past. He had to look away and squash those memories into the back of his mind where they belonged.

The key twirling stopped abruptly as Colbert’s hands went up and he took a few steps backwards in the face of his sister’s wrath.

“Whoa there, Lil, take it easy. Look, no real harm done.” He pointed to the cell where Linc had taken temporary residence. Despite himself and the uncomfortable split lip, Linc smiled at the Mountie’s obvious fear of his hot-headed sibling.

“Let him out,” she yelled. “Those assholes started it. And if he hadn’t punched them in the face, I was about to.”

The other officer let out a chuckle, obviously finding her amusing. She spun around in white-hot fury and focused her luminescent green eyes on him. “You don’t think I could?” she demanded, holding up her fist like she was about to hit the guy in the nose.

“No, I…ah…” he stuttered, shrinking back from her. Feeling his lip would split further if he smiled any broader, Linc thought it best to hide his amusement behind his hand and turn away until he had a straight face.

“Let him out, Matt. Now.

“Can’t. Won’t.”

Her tone matched the temperature of the storm outside. “And why not?”

Brave or foolish, the young cop answered, “It’s policy, Lily. Once in for drunk and-or disorderly, it’s an overnight stay, for better or worse.”

“Don’t worry, sis. I’ll make sure no charges are pressed, and he can go first thing in the morning—after a good night’s sleep and when he doesn’t look like he wants to punch my face in. Besides, it will give us a chance to learn a bit about our reclusive friend here.”

Lily looked between Linc and her brother. “I’ll be back first thing in the morning to make sure he gets out of here.” Her tone left no doubt about her displeasure.

“Yeah, sure, do whatever you want. You usually do anyway,” Colbert said to her back as she stalked outside, deliberately leaving the door open as she vanished into the swirling white embrace of the storm from which she had appeared.

The younger cop rushed to shut the door as soft but stinging wisps of pure white snow bit at his exposed hands and face. After a brief struggle, he managed to close and lock the door, letting warmth seep back into the room.

“Well, I’ll take the first shift. You go home and get some sleep,” Colbert ordered.

“Sure thing, Sarge,” the younger cop mumbled as he moved toward the back of the station, rubbing his hands over numb ears.

Linc watched as Colbert grabbed a chair and placed it close, but not too close to the solid-looking bars before taking a seat to stare directly at him.

“The name’s Matthew, Matt, or Sarge, feel free to use whichever one you want. Now, let’s start with your name.”

“Fuck you, Sarge,” Linc replied, his voice monotone.

“Well, that’s a really shitty name. How about your age?”

All manner of questions followed the first—from background to likes to dislikes—but the only response Linc used was a calm, consistent, “Fuck you, Sarge.”

After a solid twenty minutes, Linc was glad the cop was showing signs of frustration.

“So, you’re going to give me nothing here? No name, no reason as to why you moved here—nothing?”

Linc shrugged. He didn’t have any information he wanted to give.

“Why the secrets? You hiding something?”

Without responding, Linc stared at Sergeant Matt Colbert, Head of Police in the tiny town of Newsham. From looking at the cop, he could tell the mystery he presented was eating at him. Cops were usually inquisitive by nature, and this guy seemed no different. After arriving in Newsham about a year ago, Linc had kept to himself as much as possible and only ventured into town when he absolutely had to. He’d avoided making friends and limited every conversation to the barest minimum. He simply wanted to be left alone.

With a heavy sigh, Colbert stood and slid the chair back into place. “Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of trying to hold a conversation with myself. Enjoy your night, John Doe. We’ll get to the bottom of who you are in the morning.”

Chapter 2

 Countdown

Raging hot in spite of the chilling winds tearing around her, Lily made her way back to the bar, kicking at any snow that had the audacity to get in her way. When she reached the front door, she unlocked it and shoved it open with more force than necessary, causing it to thump against the wall before closing again with a heavy thud.

The mess from the fight was right where she’d left it. Two tables and more than a few stools lay in splintered pieces from the wild brawl that had been fierce and frightening. Everything had gotten out of hand way too fast.

With a heavy sigh, Lily began clearing away the chaos in front of her, going over the events in her mind. She’d never felt so out of control before. She’d never been so scared. Had it not been for him—the stranger with the intense eyes—she had no doubt that a few broken stools would have been the least of her worries…

The holiday season was always busy for her small bar, and being the only bar in town, New Year’s was by far the busiest day of the year. Even with all her staff on duty, they were run off their feet. But it was something they could handle, and rowdy drunks tended to be par for the course. Lily was known to give as good as she got and had a reputation for being a bit of a ball breaker. On this particular New Year’s Eve, however, a group of out-of-towners seemed to struggle with the concept of respect toward women.

They had arrived at the bar early to celebrate the occasion and had been drinking beer steadily for most of the night. As midnight drew closer, they switched to downing shots, which is when their rowdiness started to show.

“Come on, sweet thing,” one had called out to Bec, Lily’s youngest server. “How’s about you show a man some real fun to ring in the new year?” he continued, coupling the remark with some sexually suggestive hip movements.

Noting the look of discomfort and disgust on Bec’s face as she shook her head and tried to smile as she refused their attentions, Lily decided to put an end to their unwelcome behavior before it went too far. Throwing down the cloth she’d been using to wipe down the bar, she stomped over to their table and stood with her hands on her hips.

“Something I can help you with, gentleman?” she asked, glaring at them all one by one.

Completely ignoring the question, one of the men rocked back on his chair and lifted the hem of Bec’s skirt, causing her to slap his hand away as she jumped out of reach.

“Don’t touch me!”

Lily knew from experience things were about to go from bad worse. With a quick look at Bec, she nodded her head in the general direction of the police station where her brother was working. As much as she was sure she could handle herself if things got ugly, the odds weren’t in her favor, and she had a feeling she was going to need help against these four.

“You sure can help, darlin’,” the dark haired one said as he sucked his teeth and eyed her up and down, his gaze practically licking her from head to toe. Lily’s stomach twisted uncomfortably. “With a pretty mouth like that, what you can do is get on your knees and suck my dick as we count down to twelve.” He reached down to his crotch and began to pull his belt loose from the buckle.

A sudden quiet came over the bar as the last words fell slurred from the man’s mouth. The townsfolk knew from experience you didn’t speak to Lily that way—especially not if you wanted to keep your balls.

“What did you just say?” Lily demanded, her arms now folded and eyes blazing with anger. Her facial expression and body language spoke only a little lower than a direct scream in someone’s face. A person would have to be pretty stupid not to pick up on the level of her anger. Stupid, or incredibly drunk…

The biggest, drunkest, and loudest of the group leered toward Lily and spoke to the reckless enjoyment of the other idiots at the table. “He said get on your knees and suck him off.”

Taking a deep breath, she told herself to be calm and patient. But as soon as Beck moved toward the front door, one of the group, a freckle-faced ginger bastard, reached out and grabbed her around the waist, trying to force her to sit on his lap while he and the rest of his comrades laughed in mirth. Lily couldn’t contain herself any longer. Placing her hands on the edge of the table, she shoved it into the ginger’s chest.

“Get the hell out of my bar,” she yelled, giving Bec the chance to break loose and run out the door.

The big one’s face flushed red with anger as he burst out of his chair and grabbed Lily by the front of her shirt, bringing his face close to hers. “Make us, bitch.” As he spoke the putrid smell of alcohol wafted into her nose as spit formed at the corners of his mouth. She had to fight the gag in her throat.

“Hey!” Some of the locals stood to come to Lily’s defense, but were brought up short as the other three guys stood, creating a human barricade designed to cut her off. Pushing and swearing ensued, and the noise level in the bar rose to a roar.

“Let go of me,” she growled twisting her body and attempting to knee her captor in the crotch. But he deflected the move and simply laughed at her attempts to force his hand.

Hot breath dampened her ear. “I thought you were told to get on your knees.”

Gripping her tighter, he attempted to force her to the floor. With all her strength she tried to fight him, but as her knees buckled under the strain, a sinking feeling formed in her stomach. She was out of her depth and cut off from the other patrons in the bar. She needed help.

“Come on, sweetheart. You know you want it. One good hard fuck is all you need to get rid of that stick up your ass. Now, get on your knees like a good girl.”

“Fuck you!” She spat in his face and with an almighty twist of her body, managed to bring her leg up enough to stomp him on the foot—hard. This was her bar—the only thing she had left of her dad. She wasn’t going to let these bastards ruin it for her. She wouldn’t let them win.

“You fucking bitch!” he roared as he used his other hand to wipe the spit from his eye. “Now you’re gonna get it.”

Two things happened next: the big guy spun her around and locked her arms behind her back. Then, as she struggled against him while he was forcing her to bend forward, her frightened eyes locked with the quiet stranger in the back corner of the bar—the only person not blocked off by the big guy’s thug friends. He’d been there since ten, with the same untouched glass of whiskey the entire night. She knew he was local, she’d noticed the tall, dark-haired man around town more than once. He had always intrigued her, but he kept mostly to himself. No one knew him. Some were a little afraid of him. She just hoped he would heed her plea and do something to help her. She needed him.

Time moved in slow motion as Lily watched a range of emotions flit through the stranger’s eyes. He glanced at her to his drink and then back to her as he rose from his chair with catlike grace. With an apologetic look in his eyes, he upended the glass on the floor and made his way over to where she stood, still painfully gripped by the drunken idiot.

“Let her go,” he demanded, his voice calm, deep, and foreign.

“Fuck you,” the big guy spat, tightening his grip on Lily’s arms.

Without any further comment, the stranger leaned between them, the simple weight of his body forcing the big guy to let go of Lily and take a drunken step backwards. Immediately, Lily took refuge behind the bar as the stranger stood calmly in front of the drunkard and placed the empty glass upside down in the middle of the table.

“This isn’t any of your business. Stay the hell out of it,” the big guy grunted, poking the stranger in the chest to punctuate each word.

Lily wondered whether it was the Dutch courage from the alcohol or the three guys backing him up that gave the big guy enough backbone to poke the dark stranger in the chest. Anyone could see the barely restrained anger radiating off the man. He was about to explode, and on the last jab, he did exactly that.

Not only did the big guy’s finger not make it to the stranger’s chest, but with a swift movement and a distinctive popping sound, the stranger had realigned the offending digit so it was now pointed in an unnatural direction.

“My finger!” The big guy howled in pain as the stranger picked up his empty glass and slammed the base of it into the center of the man’s throat.

Gripping his throat, the big guy gasped for breath as the stranger leaned close, his lip curled back in contempt. “Do as the lady said. Get your arses out of here before I make you leave myself.”

They should have listened. Instead, the big guy’s companions surrounded the stranger and attacked in unison. The entire bar seemed to hold a collective breath as the stranger moved with fluid grace and took each of them down with what seemed like minimal effort in a series of swift, heavy punches.

“Holy shit,” someone gasped as the three men lay on the floor, unconscious. “Did he kill them?”

The stranger’s eyes locked with Lily’s and an expression washed over his face that broke her heart. He looked lost, ashamed even.

“Thank you,” she said, hoping to let him know he’d done her a great service by coming to her aid. But the sound of breaking glass drew their attention before he could respond.

Cradling his sore hand against his side, the big guy swung the jagged edge of a broken bottle at the stranger. “Come on, motherfucker. Let’s see how tough you are now.” The stranger dodged, and the big guy continued to jab.

When the door opened, a wave of relief washed over Lily, her brother, Matt, had finally arrived with his off-sider in tow to put an end to this. “Thank god,” she gasped, meeting his eyes briefly before he took a grim assessment of the situation as it unfolded in front of him.

The drunk had clenched the bottle tighter and the recluse started to smile as if he were playing some game with the drunk. The jagged glass came in straight, aimed directly at his face, but he stepped forward and to the right, his left hand reaching to push the bottle away as his right fist darted in twice, delivering two heavy blows. The first landed on the big guy’s ribs with a crack that caused a shuddering chill to run down the spine of every person present. The second landed on the side of his open, screaming jaw. The drunk and the bottle hit the floor with heavy thuds as the stranger stepped over him, fist raised, ready to continue beating the living daylights out of the awful excuse for a human being.

“Stop!” Lily yelled. The guy was knocked out; there was no need for any more violence.

In the same moment, her brother moved, taking the opportunity to land a punch against the stranger’s jaw, followed by a Taser blast to the lower back.

“What are you doing, Matt!” she shrieked. The stranger had stopped. The fighting was under control. There wasn’t any need to Taser the guy unconscious.

Eerily, the stranger made no noise as he dropped to one knee. But as he fought the Taser, a deep growl built in his chest while he forced himself back up again. His fists clenched by his side as he turned on Matt.

Lily covered her mouth, fearing the worst, but Matt’s fist connected with a heavy thump against the side of the stranger’s head. When it seemed that hit wasn’t going to be enough to put him down, Matt kept his finger on the Taser trigger. The clicking sound rattled through the air as the fire that seemed to rage in the stranger’s eyes died, replaced by a sudden look of panic as he wobbled on his feet and hit the ground, a trickle of blood leaking into his full, scruffy beard.

With his chest heaving from effort, Matt signaled for his constable to give him a hand getting the big recluse off the floor. “Call an ambulance for this lot,” he told Lily, indicating the men on the ground.

“It wasn’t all him, Matt,” Lily informed her brother as he struggled under the weight of the stranger.

“Just close this place down, Lil. Night’s over…”

What a nightmare evening, Lily thought as she carried broken wood to the dumpster outside. When she walked back through the empty bar, an overwhelming sense of sorrow washed over her. She didn’t dare let herself think about what would have happened to her if the stranger hadn’t intervened. But she knew that she owed him—big time.

Deciding the rest of the cleaning could wait until morning, she left the bar and looked up, checking her watch as she walked toward her truck. It was almost two in the morning. They completely missed the countdown to midnight.

What a crappy start to the new year.

 

⚜PREORDER⚜ special price – $2.99 (releasing June 30)⚜

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1120160600
Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1123873352
Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/till-there-was-you-3

Amazon
US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GH5HJA0
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GH5HJA0
CA – https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01GH5HJA0
AU – https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01GH5HJA0

Signing off…

Those in my reader group & Newsletter subscribers are getting the first FOUR chapters delivered to them in the next 24hours. So, if you’d like more Lily and Linc, feel free to join up to get an extra taste.

Remember, Till There Was You releases on June 30, and if you preorder you’ll get it for the discounted price of US $2.99

Happy reading!

Lilliana and Wade Anderson xoxox

 

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All the NEWS!

News, news, glorious news!

I’ll bet you thought you wouldn’t hear much from me until after this baby of mine is born, BUT, I couldn’t stay quiet (nor could I stay idle) so I have a lot of news to share with you all…

As you already know, I’m expecting my fifth baby and the pregnancy hormones have really been messing with my energy levels and my creativity. It took until almost 18weeks before I stopped having morning sickness (or as I like to call it, ‘progressively-worse-as-the-day-goes-on-sickness’) and since then, I’ve found enough energy to get some work done again. This work has come in the form of collaborating with my husband on his first romance novel – Till There Was You.

This has been a fantastic way for me to keep busy even though my pregnant brain isn’t as creative as it was a few months ago, because hubby did all the creating while I focused on the technical side of building the story. Right now, Till There Was You is sitting with the editor, so when we get it back we’ll be able to see how much more work needs to be done which is when we’ll set a release date. We’re hoping we’ll have it in your hot little hands by the end of June, so keep an eye out for the cover and first few chapters reveal that will come in the next couple of weeks!

Here’s a little hint of what’s to come….

BLURB

Haunted by his past, Lincoln Ryan abandoned his life in Australia, retreating halfway around the world to the town of Newsham, a place as remote and cold as his heart had become. It suited him perfectly—for a while.

When a fateful event forces him to help out local bar owner, Lily Colbert, Linc finds his life of solitude is suddenly flooded with the light and hope of one very stubborn woman. Slowly his walls begin to crumble, as he lets the enigmatic Lily in. But when Linc and Lily dance perilously close to the ‘L’ word, his secrets re-emerge, rocking him to the core as he tries once again to outrun his past.

However, the thing about the past is that it always seems to follow you around, and for Linc, hiding may not be an option anymore. Not when he has Lily. Not when he might finally have a future….

Till There Was You is the debut novel by Wade Anderson, co-written with his wife, Lilliana Anderson (author of Drawn and 47 Things).

add to goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30254197-till-there-was-you

More writing news…

The wonderful thing about helping hubster with his book has meant that I’ve felt the stirrings of my own creativity once again. At the moment, I’m having days where I can’t wait to write and others where all I want to do is sleep. But, we took a vote in my reader group (Join here, if interested…https://www.facebook.com/groups/438800699591852/ ) and the general consensus was for me to work on Played (Fire & Lies bk 2). That book has been a long time coming after I had to push it back after my carpel tunnel forced me to take time off then I managed to lose the notebook that contained the entire series outline. I feel like I’m starting this series from scratch going back into it, but I’m slowly working through it, and hope to have it ready and out to you by the end of the year (I hope it will have been worth the wait!).

Baby News…

I’m now 24 weeks pregnant, and if you’re not following me on Facebook you will have missed the announcement—IT’S A GIRL! The whole family is super excited to welcome a little pink bundle into the house this September.

Final Book News…

While I was too sick to write, I spent a lot of time focusing on getting several of my books onto Audio for you all. To date, I have twelve titles available (you can try Audible free for 30 days) including the Drawn Series, 47 Things and the Beautiful Series. You can find them all here – http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_pd_Romanc_c2_1_auth?searchAuthor=Lilliana+Anderson

 

Well, that’s it from me! I think we’re all caught up now. You should hear from me again shortly with more news about Till There Was You. Can’t wait to share this one with you all!

Take care, read lots!

With love,

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What to expect from me in the next twelve months. Hint – it’s not books…

Hello my dear readers! It’s been a fair while between posts for me, and while I’ve been trying to keep up with my social media, the best I’ve managed is sharing a few things that have made me laugh or made me feel something good. The reason for that is that I’ve been ill since late January and just haven’t felt up to anything due to constant nausea. Before you get too worried, I’m not sick in a bad way, I’m almost 15 weeks pregnant and the nausea and the exhaustion has all been hormone related.

Even through the sickness, we’re super excited about having a fifth baby to add to our brood (We currently have one daughter and three sons).We actually lost our last pregnancy, so we’ve been extremely careful this time around (making sure I actually rest was top of the list for this workaholic) and so far everything is progressing perfectly. The children are ecstatic and my youngest is full of funny questions about babies and pregnancy that have been very entertaining for everyone. So, I can actually update you all via my Facebook profile when he comes up with something now that the cat’s out of the bag.

photo credit: Hellä kosketus via photopin (license)

 

As wonderful as this news is, unfortunately, it means that I haven’t gotten any writing done. Something about pregnancy hormones seem to have broken my imagination, and every time I think about my characters, they’re all standing around, drawing pictures in the dirt with the toe of their shoes. I am hoping that when the nausea finally subsides that they’ll all spring back into action and start yelling at me again. But for now, I have to accept that the writing isn’t going to happen and announce a brief break from writing until after the baby is born and I’m able to function like a normal human again.

And I do apologise sincerely to all those who were hoping for the next Beautiful series book next month. It will come, it’s just unlikely to make it out this year.

That’s not to say there will be absolutely nothing coming from this house in the coming months. We’re currently working on the audio for Drawn Obsession, Drawn Redemption and 47 Things. And on top of that, my husband has tackled his first romance, and it’s almost ready for me to take a look at. I’m excited about reading his full work as he’s always been a gifted writer (I met him when I was fourteen and he was fifteen and he wrote a story with a strong female character based on me :sigh:) and writing a book has been his long term dream. But with working to provide for our family for so many years, then working in the house as a house-husband to support my writing career, he’s continued to put his dream on hold. So I’m really happy that he’s finally had the chance to get at least one of his stories out of his head – more on that later…

But for now, I’ll be here focusing on growing this baby. I’ll put updates on my FB profile as my belly grows (you’ll probably all get sick of me!) As for my next reader event, I’ve had to pull out off, or not sign up for a few, but I’ll be back signing in 2017 at Fictionally Yours, Melbourne. Until then, I’ll be on mummy duty, and I’ll sneak in writing whenever I can.

Thanks so much for understanding,

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New Release! In the Wind #AussieNA

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Learning to Listen. Learning to take Pride.

It’s that time again. It’s the last day of yet another year, and we can’t help but look back and take stock of all we’ve done…and all we haven’t done. Did we accomplish everything we wanted? Was it a hard year? Was it a good year? Was it a year to look back on and be proud?

Each of us have our own answers to those questions, but for me, 2015, was a year of finding my feet yet again in an ever changing industry, while dealing personally with the chaos loss creates within one’s family. If I had to sum it up with one word, I’d call 2015 ‘Complicated’.

In saying that, I have learnt some wonderful lessons, and I think as a result, I’ve become a kinder and more caring person in both my personal and professional life by taking the time to pay attention to those around me. Some people, I saw more clearly, and others I realised that I hadn’t really been seeing at all. I also took stock of what was important to me as a woman, as a mother, as a wife and as a friend, and I took steps to find contentment in all that I was and take back control of the things that weren’t working.

I let go of a lot in 2015. And while doing so, I felt lighter, and lighter in my heart. And in my heart, I found that girl who dreamed of love and happy endings, the girl who was ballsy enough to take risks and follow her heart – the girl who convinced me to start writing professionally in the first place.

Oh, how I welcomed her back into my life!

Somewhere along the way, I’d stopped listening to her – I don’t know why – I suppose I got caught up in numbers and business decisions and marketing plans and everything else that goes along with this job of mine. But, when I started listening to her again, she convinced me to write THAT book. You all know the one – the one that made you all cry. I’d been so scared to write it. I was worried that you’d all hate me for it. I was worried that it would ruin my career. But that little voice inside me convinced me to take a risk, so I did, and it was totally worth it. Did I lose some readers? Yes. I did. Did I gain some readers? Most definitely. But more importantly, I gained a sense of pride in myself. I was proud because I finally stood up and took a big risk; I finally did something that really scared me.

In my career, I have written four books that were truly contained the loudest and most intense characters in my mind – A Beautiful Struggle, Drawn, 47 Things, and now, In the Wind. There were the books were I could close my eyes and see everything so clearly that the words just poured from my fingertips. It was truly as though I was there, witnessing everything that was happening first hand. They are the books that I, as a writer, love most. Those are the books I want to write – they’re the books I’m in love with.

Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve loved every book I’ve ever written, and I loved all the characters each time I let them take over my mind. But sometimes, I’ve had to mix my writing choices with my business decisions, and at times, that has taken some of the fun out of it.

At any one time, there are numerous characters from numerous books living in a writer’s mind, and sometimes, because this is a business, writers have to tell those voices to be quiet because they need to write a story about XYZ because of commitment ABC. Maybe that isn’t where their heart is in that moment. But it doesn’t mean they don’t love the characters they have to write about, it just makes things a little more difficult when characters from other stories are being pushy and yelling while you sleep.

Anyone feeling as though we’re in Wonderland yet?

 

So, in 2015 I made a promise to myself to write the stories that are the loudest in my mind. I did that with 47 Things, and I’ve done it again with In the Wind. And I have to tell you, I love both of those stories. They are my best work, and there isn’t a negative review in the world that will change my feelings about those characters or about my ability as a writer to tell their stories. because like I said, I found a sense of pride and I learned how to listen to that driving force inside me, showing me my path and pushing me take those risks by telling love stories that may not be what people are expecting, but are relevant to the world we live in. My goal as a writer, is to stay true to my characters, and to make readers feel, and to do that successfully, I need to feel it to my very core whenever I sit down to tell a story. I need to laugh. I need to cry, I need to fall in love, I need to feel that pain of fear in my chest when I think something isn’t going to turn out so well. I need to hand out pieces of my soul within my work if I expect you all to take it in and live amongst my words. That’s my job. And that’s what I promise you as a reader, and myself as the writer that I’m going to do moving forward.

In 2015, I grew up. In 2015, I learned to stop being scared. In 2015, I learned to listen to the loudest voices. In 2015, I learned to take pride. In 2015, I fell in love with writing again.

In 2016, I hope you’ll stay with me, it’s going to be quite a ride.

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