Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Brittainy Cherry’s Newest Release: The Wreckage of Us

 About the Book

Title - The Wreckage of Us
Author - Brittainy Cherry
Release Date - September 8, 2020
Publisher - Montlake


I know I should stay away from Ian Parker.

But when my drug-dealing stepdad kicks me out, I have nowhere to go. Squatting in an abandoned shed on Ian’s grandpa’s farm seems like as good a plan as any.

Ian finds me there, of course, and he insists on me moving into his spare room. I should say no, but the appeal of a roof and a warm bed is too much. Not to mention Ian’s brown eyes and strong arms.

We’re nothing alike, but the spark between us is undeniable. My life is finally looking up.

Until I call the cops on my stepdad and unintentionally get my pregnant mom arrested.

Now I have to sacrifice my dreams to take care of my mom’s baby. She’s the only family I have left. Meanwhile, Ian’s band is taking off; his dreams are coming true.

Ian is my one chance at love. I just hope he doesn’t become the one chance that got away.

The Wreckage of Us takes place in the inauspicious town of Eres, Nebraska. Not exactly a place where happily-ever-afters are made. What made you choose this setting?

I wanted to tell a story about a small town that was overlooked by the world as a whole. Most people would overlook a town like Eres, Nebraska, but there are still people who are living, who are loving, and who are struggling in these small towns. I wanted to show their stories, and how even though the rest of the world may not see them, that they still matter. They deserve their happily ever afters just as much as the rest of the world.

Hazel, your heroine, is newly eighteen when her criminal step-father throws her out of the house. She literally has nothing when the story begins—not even her mother’s support. What choices does Hazel make? Do you agree with them?

Hazel chooses to find a job in order to help her mother from a distance. I think she acts on impulse, not exactly thinking things through. She doesn’t get the opportunity to think far into the future, she only has right in that moment. Second by second. I do agree with her choices in a way, since she isn't harming anyone with these choices. She is just doing her best to make it to the next day.

Forget about healing, Hazel is in survival mode. What keeps her going?

Her twisted love and care for her mother is keeping her going—along with her unborn sister. She knew what it was like to grow up in her household, and she wouldn’t want her little sister to go through those same kind of struggles. So, that pushes Hazel to keep moving forward and fighting for her family.

Your hero is a very interesting mix of both the town’s “golden boy” as well as the town’s “bad boy”. Ian is…complicated. How did you get to know him? How does Hazel get to know him?

I believe Hazel and I both got to know Ian the same way—piece by piece. He has a wall of protection up from the world due to the trauma he experienced as a child. Being abandoned by his parents really did a number on Ian’s trust. Yet, the beautiful thing about Ian is when he loves, he loves fully. He does everything he can to make sure those he loves are taken care of. Once his pieces are discovered, he makes a beautiful complete puzzle.

Music is Ian’s whole life. He sees it as his escape, a way out of the stifling Eres, Nebraska. However, he struggles with his emotions and allowing himself to really feel the music he is making. What needs to change for him? 

He needs to tap into his darkest struggles. He has to go to the edge of his anger, his hurts, and express those feelings on the page in front of him. Ian holds so much in that it becomes a creative block in a way. Once he starts breaking those walls down—with the help of Hazel—he discovers his real creativity. He finds his voice, he finds his songs. He finds himself.

Hazel and Ian are an unlikely pair. They really get on each other’s nerves and they want different things out of life. Yet despite their differences, they find a connection. What is the spark that brings them together?

I think it’s loneliness. They grew up without having the true love of their parents. And in the town of Eres, drugs are a big issue. Those drugs affected both of their parents lives in different ways, but it’s a connecting factor for them both. They are able to connect with one another because they both know what it’s like to hurt so deeply and dream of a parent’s love.

The theme of “impossible love” runs through your novels. Two people that can’t possibly make it work realize that they don’t want anyone else but each other. What excites you about these types of stories.

I think there’s something so exciting about a love worth fighting for. When the passion is given from not only one side of the equation, but both the hero and heroine know the feelings they have run deep. Sure, there are struggles, like there are in everyday life, but they know they wouldn’t want to struggle with anyone else in the world. They fight for their happily ever after, no matter what. And that, in my mind, is what makes the impossible love become possible and true. That’s what gives us the happily ever afters that we as readers crave.

Currently our country and the world are going through unprecedented crisis. The arts have become so important for people to feel a sense of normalcy. As a writer, how do you hope your story affects your readers?

I hope my stories give my readers hope. I hope it reminds them that even throughout the storms, the sun will always shine once the clouds move to the side. There’s beauty in the storms, too, if you are willing to look hard enough. There are lessons of self that can be learned, and I think my characters discover that from time to time. I just hope to showcase that this is still a time to believe in happily ever afters, and that the world’s story as a whole, is far from over. We still have so much beauty to still discover. We still have so much light to find. And those facts alone, give me hope, and I hope my stories do the same for readers. I hope I give them light.

How has our current situation affected projects you are working on now? (Any spoilers you can tell us about what is up next for you?)

I’m finding myself more forgiving of my writing pace! I fell off for a while, and found it hard to be creative, but now that I am in a groove, I am finding writing fun again. It’s my great escape from the issues around me. Words save me day in and day out, and I’m thankful for that. Up next for me is my second book in my Compass series, which is entitled Eastern Lights. It’s my first ever romantic comedy, that is filled with so much heart. I think readers are going to love getting to know Connor and Aaliyah’s story!


The Wreckage of Us Excerpt

A typical Eres Saturday night.

I wandered the ranch with a notebook and pen in my hand. I kept scribbling down lyrics and crossing them out before trying again to create something better, stronger—realer. I kept drumming my fingers against each other, trying to unlock the pieces that I was missing. As I paced back and forth, a voice broke me away from my mind.

“It’s the words.”

I looked up to see Hazel sitting in the rocking chair that Big Paw built for my mother years ago. I used to sit in Mom’s lap as she’d read me stories before bedtime all those years back.

There’d been times I thought about getting rid of the chair in order to forget that memory, but I hadn’t found the strength to let go just yet.

“What do you mean it’s the words?” I asked, walking up the steps of the porch. I leaned against the railing facing her.

She blinked and tilted her head in my direction. “Your words are trash.”


“The lyrics to your songs, they are complete garbage, filled with clichés and bubblegum. Don’t get me wrong, the music style and tempos are brilliant. And even though it pains me to admit, your voice is so solid and soulful that you could be a star in a heartbeat. But your lyrics? They are pig shit.”

“I think the saying is horseshit.”

“After spending weeks in a pig pen, pig shit seems to truly sum up my feelings about your music. But my gosh, your voice. It’s a good voice.”

I tried to push off her insult, and tried to ignore her compliment, too. But it was hard. I had an ego that was easy to bruise, and Hazel was swinging her punches while also speaking words of praise. It was as if every bruise she made, she quickly covered with a Bandaid.

Insult, compliment, insult, compliment. Wash, rinse, repeat.

“Everyone else seemed to enjoy it,” I replied, tense with my words.

“Yeah, well, everyone else are morons who are drunk off their minds.”

“Oh? And you think you could do better?”

She laughed. “Without a doubt.” “Okay, Hazel Stone, master of lyrics, give me something to go with.”

She gestured toward the other rocker beside her—the one Dad used to sit in.

I sat down.

She pressed her lips together. “Okay. Give me one of your songs. One that you know is crap but are pretending isn’t crap.”

“They aren’t—”

“Lying isn’t going to get us far tonight, Ian.” 

I narrowed my eyes and murmured a curse word before I began flipping through my notebook to find a song for Hazel to magically make better. “Fine. We can do Possibilities.”

“Hmm… What is it about?”

“A new relationship forming. I want to showcase those beginning feelings, you know? The fears and excitements. The nerves. The unknown. The—”

“First chapters of love,” she finished my thoughts.

“Yes, that.”

She took the pencil from behind my ear and took the notebook from my grip. “May I?”

“Please. Go for it.”

She began scribbling, crossing things out, adding things in, doing whatever came to her mind. She worked like a manwoman, falling into a world of creativity that I didn’t think she’d held inside of her. The only thing I knew about Hazel Stone was where she came from, and the clothes she wore. I hadn’t known anything else, but now she was pouring herself out on the page, and I couldn’t wait to see what the hell she was scribbling.

She took a breath and handed the notebook back to me. “If you hate it, no harm, no foul,” she said.

My eyes darted over the words. “It’s possible this is forever ours. It’s possible we’ll reach the stars. We’ll fight for this, we’ll make it real. Is it possible, possible, to show you how I feel?

“Shit.” I blew out a breath of air. “Hazel…that’s... It’s like you crawled into my head and read the thoughts I couldn’t decipher. That’s the chorus. That’s it.”

About the Author

Brittainy Cherry has been in love with words since she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a bachelor’s degree in theater arts and a minor in creative writing. She loves to take part in writing screenplays, acting, and dancing—poorly, of course. Coffee, chai tea, and wine are three things that she thinks every person should partake in. Cherry lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her family. When she’s not running a million errands and crafting stories, she’s probably playing with her adorable pets.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

New Release— Deadly Affairs: A Holly Jennings Thriller by AK Alexander

We're so excited to celebrate the release of Deadly Affairs: A Holly Jennings Thriller by AK Alexander! This is a stand alone novel in the series. If you like books that get your heart racing and your mind jumping, this is the book for you!

Cover by: Okay Creations
Psychological Thriller
DOWNLOAD HERE: https://amzn.to/34Px2vZ

A couple found brutally murdered in the Coronado Cays pulls San Diego CSI Holly Jennings from a bliss-filled morning with her new baby and husband into a twisted maze of cheating spouses and Hollywood gore. As Holly and her team track the bloody trail left by the killer, the questions and the body count continue to rise like the damned who've been drowned.

An expert knife thrower. A precision gunman. Deadly accurate and strong enough to bludgeon a woman to death. The killer fits the profile of a professional. But Holly can feel the rage and need for redemption behind these deaths that tells her that for the killer--or killers--this is all intimately personal.

While Holly chases leads as far as Dallas and the Big Easy, the shadow of her own secrets threatens everything dear to her at home.


Chapter One
Tonight, The Producer called herself Samantha Boyd. The Director liked it. In fact, he had chosen the name.

Samantha--not Sam or Sammy, which sounded childish to her--would be certain there’d be no mistakes this time around. And, tonight would be absolutely thrilling. Adrenaline and excitement coursed through her.

Samantha. Yes.

It was a strong name and Samantha liked strength.

Samantha had been born out of need because the other one.

The First One.

That bitch had messed up so badly on the last assignment. They could’ve gotten caught with her mistake and ruined it for all of them!

But she had fixed it. She had taken control and cleaned up the mess that the First One had made, and, thanks to her tech crew, she had done it in a way that not even The Director knew about it.

Samantha sat down at the bar, her eye on the game. The couple she’d carefully researched sat at the corner table, pretending that they cared about being inconspicuous. They were oblivious to anything around them as they busied themselves playing footsie, making eyes, and grabbing each other’s asses. They were hardly inconspicuous though. At least Samantha could see them for exactly what they were.

Liars. Cheats. Philandering spouses. Narcissists only aiming for their own pleasure and gain.

Samantha licked her lips and signaled the bartender. “Dirty martini extra icy, please.” She hadn’t had to travel too far to find what she was looking for this time. And now, she would be patient.

Being patient was part of the game, part of the script.

Mrs. Francine Hollister had driven down to San Diego from Los Angeles, and Mr. Drew Garrison had flown in from New Orleans. The two had Officially reconnected at their twenty-year high school reunion three months ago in New Orleans. But their lust for one another had been building. The initial connection had happened months prior to the reunion.

God, the internet was a wonderful thing. Even the internet had shadows and demons, dark places where it was a tool...all they needed...to hunt with. And, she was certain she knew almost all there was to know about these two. It was all written down very carefully in her notes.

Their lust--which she knew Francine had been misinterpreting as love--was sweet, really. Well, it would’ve been anyway, if they weren’t both married to other people. How easy it seemed for people to forget their vows these days.

At least Drew saw this for what it was. In some ways it made him the better of the two. He didn’t love Francine. Samantha was sure of that. This was a game he played and Samantha knew that he’d played it more than once. With the help of the Tech, Samantha was a good researcher. Games, games, games, games...Drew seemed to enjoy this game.

Samantha smiled coyly at the bartender. If poor Drew only knew that his game had consequences. Deadly ones.

This was Samantha’s second reunion couple. People reunited with past loves from all sorts of former life experiences. High school, college, jobs, childhood, a one night stand. She and the director chose the ones from high school, those who wanted to relive their teenage glory days. She wasn’t sure why they had, other than that group of cheaters seemed to be a fairly large pool to pull from. Ha! Not to mention because they were the largest categorically, it was almost assured that leading one or the other of the coupledom down a dark path wasn’t really all that difficult. However, she left all of that to The Technician.

It really didn’t matter though who they chose because the thing was that it wasn’t right to reunite in this way when marriage was involved...when others’ lives could be ruined. No that wasn’t right at all. She knew this first hand. Unrequited love and all should be chalked up to nonsense once vows had been taken. But these two, didn’t follow the rules or honor their vows.

Samantha knew that Mr. Marcus Hollister was at home taking care of twin thirteen-year-old boys who were avid soccer players. Mr. Hollister was into security... the tech kind, which Samantha found a tad ironic considering that in a small way she, too, was into those things. Actually made her have even more empathy for the Mister...he was smart and good at his job. He’d done well for his family. He also helped coach his boys’ soccer team. He took his family to church on some Sundays. They had a nice group of neighborhood friends who got together for bbqs...very all American. And, from every account, this man seemed to love his wife and family. He actually appeared to adore them, and had no qualms with his wife’s travel for work as an advertising rep. Oh boy though, if he only knew. Poor man.

But was the missus happy? Oh no...silly, sexy Francine was bored. So bored...all Marcus wanted to talk about was his job or the boys and soccer and where should the boys think about going to college and what vacation sounded good to her. Marcus liked to let Francine make the decisions. All of the decisions. And she found this boring. So very boring!

He didn’t want to grow, earn more money, do more with his life. He was perfectly content and she found this lacking, almost void of any masculinity. Good Ole’ Frannie wanted some real excitement.

Thus, Drew Garrison.

What a moron Francine Hollister was, and now her idiocy and her boredom would be her ultimate downfall and maybe down the line Marcus Hollister would find someone who truly loved and appreciated him.

If he knew what his Mrs. was up to, well, Samantha was sure the poor guy would come unhinged. What husband wouldn’t? If he knew would he beat her to a pulp? Or would he threaten either of them? Would he hire a killer? Or would he just simply divorce her and carry his wounded heart within for the rest of his miserable life? Divorce was never final. Not really. And the hurt left behind at what had been done had to be unbearable.

But death was final.

Samantha would deal with that and with finality there was a chance to heal...a chance to truly move on with one’s life.

And, what of the other criminal in this duo? The dashing Mr. Garrison? He was a handsome, wealthy entrepreneur who had the perfect wife in Carrie Garrison. Poor Carrie. None the wiser of what the Mister was up to at this very moment.

Samantha admired Carrie. She was smart, funny, loved her three kids and was an outstanding mother. She was on the boards of countless charity organizations. Such a little homemaker, that one. Sure, she’d gotten a bit overweight. But dammit. That happened to a lot of women ... women who had the full load of a family and the heaviness on her shoulders that surely her husband placed there while he was out gallivanting around and screwing his high-school sweetheart.

It was all in her notes. Every detail.

Samantha adjusted her sunglasses and pressed a tiny button at the corner top of the lens—a microscopic video camera turned on and went to work as she picked up her cell phone and made a call.

The Director clicked on. She knew that he liked being called, involved in some way. She could at least do that much for him since he couldn’t do any of this without her.

“Hello,” Samantha swiveled her bar stool around. “I wish you could’ve come with me. It’s such a lovely day here in Coronado. The ocean is beautiful. I’d love for you to see the view. Don’t you wish you could be here?” she laughed, noting the haughty tone in her voice. She liked it. She’d gotten good at this—at being someone else, someone special, at changing her name when necessary, at doing what needed to be done to right the wrongs that had been implemented on her and The Director.

“I see the view and I approve,” The Director replied.

“That’s excellent. Enjoy your late-night movie.” She switched off the phone, depressed the button on the top of her glasses as if she was simply adjusting them on her face, and finished her drink. The martini had been good, one of the best she’d ever had. She wanted one more but it was time to put her plan into motion and there was a lot to be done in the next few hours. She paid the bartender in cash and swiveled off the bar stool.

The two people in the corner sneaking kisses and drinking their bottle of wine had other lives, spouses who loved them, kids who thought they could do no wrong. But The Producer knew differently. She knew that they were dirty, disgusting criminals.

She also knew that they wouldn’t be for long. Drew and Francine were about to end their affair.

Add it to your TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26809131-deadly-affairs
Join AK Alexander's ARC Team: https://forms.gle/dzhBmQr3VHPaNHuX9

About the Author:

Michele Scott who also writes under the name A.K. Alexander has sold over a million copies of her books and is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Amazon bestselling thriller and mystery author.

Readers interested in signing up for a monthly newsletter should check out her website at www.michelescott.com

Facebook: @Michele Scott (A.K. Alexander)
Instagram: @Michelescottauthor
Twitter: @Michelescott1
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