“Christ, I hardly recognized you,” he seethes, the angry bulge in his jaw bone ticking violently. He grabs my arm firmly and pulls me off the concrete steps and into a covered archway away from all the other happy students. “What the fuck, Rey?”
“What are you talking about?” I ask in utter confusion.
He reaches beneath my chin, grabs the zipper and yanks it down harshly. I shove his hands away as my robe is yanked open.
“Fuck, Rey! You’re skin and bones!” Liam’s face is tortured and sickly. Dark circles reside under his eyes but he still looks gorgeous as ever.
“Don’t be ridiculous.” Grabbing the edges of my robe, I cover myself back up, protectively. I’m wearing a short blue shift dress that used to hug every one of my curves but now hangs on me like a potato sack. I know I’ve lost some weight since Marisa but I’m not about to let him scold me like a child over it. “I’m a twenty-five-year-old adult, Liam. I don’t need you chastising me over this.”
“Rey,” he says my name on a sigh. “How can you expect me to ignore this?” His eyes are pleading and pained as they flash between my eyes and my mouth in utter agony.
“I’m not your concern!” I push back my dark hair and squeeze the back of my neck to try to gain some of my control back.
“You made that perfectly clear when you shoved me out of your dorm room. Fuck. How did we get this so utterly wrong?”
“Just leave it, Liam.”
“No.” He grabs my shoulders and turns me to face him. “Don’t you miss me? At all? I miss you like crazy. I feel like I’m mourning two deaths instead of one. It’s like you died on me two weeks ago. And now I see you today and it makes me sick to my stomach that I’ve left you the way I did!” His eyes are shimmering with tears and pain, only adding to the self-loathing I’ve developed the past fourteen days.
My eyes are dead and cold, my voice flat and unaffected. “I told you I wanted nothing to do with you, Liam. I meant it.”
“You’re lying to me. Again!” he roars, angrily punching the concrete wall beside my head.
Q: Readers are calling Not The One a “painfully beautiful love story.” Why is that? What was the writing process like?
A: Writing this book was terrifying. I’ve never been so far outside my comfort zone with any other book. This storyline literally terrified me and I got pretty depressed during the process. It was crazy hard, but crazy cathartic. It feels good to sink into those dark corners sometimes. It makes finding the light that much more magical.
Q: What inspired this story?
A: Well, Reyna was a character in my London Lovers Series that I couldn’t get out of my head. I had an idea for an interesting backstory for her…a mother/daughter dynamic that I’d never read before but could relate to because of some of my own personal struggles. I needed to know more about her, so I wrote it.
Q: But this book isn’t a London Lovers Series novel, correct?
A: Correct. I’m calling it a spinoff. A cross-pollination so to speak. There are characters from my London Lovers, but it reads best as a total standalone.
Q: Who the heck is Frank? And how did you create him?
A: LOL! Ohhh, Frank and Beans. He is my London Lovers secondary standout. He’s a fantastical redheaded gay Brit that everyone needs in their life. Magically, he fit into Not The One like it was meant to be. Frank is the comedic lightness that this story needed, but he’s so much more. He’s special.
Q: Will he get a story?
A: He is my most requested story.
That’s not an answer.
LOL…Let me be “frank” when I tell you…it is a distinct possibility. 😉
Q: Who designed your cover? It’s stunning!
A: I’m so glad you like it because I did! LOL. My sister in law took the photos. We do all of my covers together. We both come armed with cameras and click away until our models can’t take anymore. But I always end up using my sister-in-laws pictures for the cover. I just like to see through the lens instead of my eyes. But I do all my own layout and designing in Photoshop.
Q: And the cover models?
A: All of my covers have just normal people. I never shoot models. The cover models on Not The One are just a couple of local hairdressers that my sister-in-law knew! It’s funny…I had met the girl a couple of times and talked with her briefly about her incredible ink and through the writing process, her tattoos fit my story perfectly. It was kind of chilling.
Q: So what’s next for you?
A: I’m pretty sure I’ll be continuing on this London path for a couple more stories. Without revealing any spoilers, I’m really hoping readers will be interested in one of the characters’ HEA. I’d love to write his story next. And then…finally, Frank and Beans. 🙂