In case you missed it, I published the following note and sneak peek at the end of my last book, Every Saturday Night. I'm republishing it here, for those of you who are wondering what's up next.
December, 2022 marks my ten-year anniversary as a published author. Over this past decade, I’ve set most of my books—aside from my paranormal series—in my ever-expanding Firsts and Forever universe. While the next book I have planned for you introduces two brand new main characters, it also brings together the Pink Victorian Crew and some favorite characters from very early on in the original Firsts and Forever Series. It feels like a full circle moment for me, and for my longtime readers.
Following is a little taste of what’s in store for you with that next book, The Thief and the Gangster. It’ll go live this fall, just ahead of my ten-year publishing anniversary.
My heart’s pounding as I race down the sidewalk. At best, I only have a minute or two on my pursuer. He looked furious too, when he caught me stealing the vintage watch out of his dresser. What can I say? If you don’t want to get robbed, don’t invite strangers into your home, then doze off after you fuck their brains out. You’re really only asking to get ripped off.
This guy though, he wasn’t just pissed—he looked like he was going to do something about it. When I saw him reach for a gun, that was my cue to get the fuck out of there.
I didn’t do myself any favors by jumping off his second floor balcony, though. In fact, I tweaked my ankle pretty good. Now here I am, running down the middle of the street at three a.m., like I want to get caught or something.
My solution is to climb over a fence into someone’s backyard, then over another into the yard next door. If I keep doing this, I’ll come out on the other end of the block, and he’ll never find me.
Only problem is, when I climb over the next fence, I land in a bad way on my ankle, and that’s it—I just took it from twisted to sprained, and now I’m not going anywhere. I also made the mistake of yelping when the pain shot up my leg, so there are lights coming on in the house attached to this backyard. It’s a pink Victorian, and if houses can look friendly, this one does. Let’s just hope whoever lives here doesn’t own a gun, because one per night is more than enough.
I sit up and brush some flowers out of my dark blond hair. I’ve landed in a bed of lavender. It smells like a fuckin’ funeral. Pretty soon, there are a whole bunch of people standing over me. One of them—a petite brunette that someone calls Yolanda—is wielding a baseball bat. I can tell she’s not afraid to use it, either, if she thinks I’m a threat. Fortunately, people have told me I have the face of an angel. I’m small too, so everyone always underestimates me.
To discourage her from clocking me with the bat, I start crying. I’m good at that, I can do it on cue. I introduce myself as Jack and spin a sad story about a date gone wrong and how I needed to get away from some jerk. They’re buying it. Next thing I know, I’m in their kitchen with an ice pack on my ankle, and a cute guy named Lark is making me a cup of tea.
They suggest spending the night on their couch. Why not? Frankly, I can think of worse places to hide out until I can walk on this ankle. They don’t have a thing to worry about, either. These are good people. Working class, like my Ma. I’m not going to steal from them. I’m like Robin Hood in that respect—rob from the rich and give to…well, to me. I’m poor, so that counts.
While a big guy named Dylan goes to make up the couch for me, I glance at my new watch. It’s a beauty, a platinum vintage Rolex. I decide I’m keeping this one for myself, instead of pawning it for a few bucks. Something like that doesn’t come along every day.
Then, just because I’ve already forgotten the name of the watch’s former owner, I fish his business card out of the pocket of my suit jacket. He gave it to me when he picked me up in a bar a few hours earlier.
I flip the card over and read what it says. Turns out his name’s Adriano Dombruso.
He was sexy as fuck, too—tall, dark, and Italian, a combination I find irresistible. Not that it matters. After tonight, he’s someone I need to avoid at all costs.
And yet I can’t shake the feeling our paths are destined to cross again someday.