If, page 27
I leaned back to take in her olive and gold eyes. “Are you just visiting?” I didn’t want to make assumptions.
She smirked and looked down. “I was thinking after the tree, you could show me how to paint a forest, and then a river. Or maybe I could teach you something. A few routines?”
“We’re going to need a lot of time for that. You’re a terrible painter, and I am a terrible dancer.”
“I know,” she grinned, twining her fingers into mine.
I pulled her in again, savoring her kiss and the surge of hues and flavors that came with it.
She was rare. She was mine. This time, forever.
Her eyes were filled with tears as she kissed me back.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I’m sorry. I’m happy, it’s just—”
“I know the good feelings sometimes bring up the sad ones too.” She missed her best friend, the person who she would run to and tell all about her new plans. I got it, I always thought about how Sarah would have loved Bird.
“Ash, I’ve been asking you to be brave and face your fears. And I have to do the same. I’ve been scared about how I feel about you. I’ve been scared to love you, but I do. I did. I always will.”
“Bird, I’ll spend every day making it up to you.”
“No. No more living in the past. No more regrets. Let’s love each other now. Let’s paint and listen to music and dance and . . .” she smirked.
“Fuck?” I whispered in her ear.
“Mmmhmm,” she grinned mischievously. Then she mouthed the word back to me with her full, pink lips.
“Let’s do all those things, in no particular order,” I said, pulling the painting from her hand.
We spent the night finishing that tree and it was the best tree, full of oranges, greens, pinks, yellows, purples, blues, golds and reds.
But that tree was only the beginning.
We were going to be building a lot more together.
“I NOW PRESENT to you, the Sarah and Jordan Center!” Trevor said as he cut the ribbon.
Trevor, Ash and I decided that this would be one of the best ways to keep Sarah and Jordan’s memories alive and help us deal with their loss. It would be a place for at-risk youth to have access to dance, art, and other activities, get a warm meal, and also have a specialist on staff to help kids who needed someone to talk to.
Trevor’s next big plan, with our help, was to establish a free mental health clinic in their names.
Applause erupted and the building filled with members of the community and we spent the afternoon mingling with parents, kids and local leaders and also talking to press.
Though the day’s events were exciting, I had been tired lately and was almost a little too thrilled to be back on our couch resting. “It’s nice to be back in LA,” I said. I had just completed a year in Vegas at the new Danse show. Ash had divided his time between New York City and Vegas during my run. In that time, he had made huge strides in his therapy. His claustrophobia was nearly gone, his nightmares had lessened to almost none, and the mood swings that his medicine could not entirely reach were under control. We would always have to monitor his bipolar disorder, but now we were armed better than ever to do so.
Oh, and we did the cliché thing and got married in Vegas. Because we decided waiting was for dummies. We wouldn’t waste time. So we had our families come out and we got married right in the desert.
A lot can happen in a year and a half.
“Tired?” Ash asked.
“How’s Tiny Dancer?”
I rubbed my little bump.
“You mean Baby WATT?” I replied.
“Can you imagine if this little thing got both talents?” he asked.
“That’d be something else . . . Oh no, what do we do if it has two left feet and can barely draw a stick figure?”
“We put it back in,” Ash said.
“Oh, you artists are so dramatic.”
“That’s why you love me.” Ash placed a kiss on my temple.
“You’re right,” I said, admiring the image of Jordan and me dancing on the other side of our living room.
She was rare, with her bright red wisps of hair and her vivid green eyes. A translucent pink hue swathed her. Her cries were like a sunburst of color, as beautiful as her mother’s laugh.
Aura Sarah Thoreau.
Of all the things I had created, she was my most beautiful masterpiece. Because my muse had an equal hand in her creation.
I now had two people I would do anything for. Two people to push me to be better.
They were my world, and I was theirs.
My life had meaning and value.
It took some time to find my place in the world, but I finally found it. It was wherever Bird and Aura were.
They were my place. They were my reason.
Maybe “if” isn’t such a bad word. Maybe it’s full of possibility. It’s that word that prefaces taking a chance. It’s a word that precludes infinite possibility. “If” means nothing is certain. And maybe that’s a good thing.
Nina G. Jones is the author of DEBT, the Strapped series and Gorgeous Rotten Scoundrel. This is her first novel under the name N.G. Jones.
She resides in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and two fur brats.
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DEBT by Nina G. Jones is a HOT, twisted, page turner.
“THRILLING . . . EMOTIONAL . . . AMAZING . . . Words can’t describe the feelings I have after finishing what was one of the most fantastic novels I have read to date.”—Summer’s Book Blog
“I was left sad at the end of this novel not only because the story ended, but because this work raised expectation for dark erotica to a completely new level.”- Amazon Review
“The author has created a masterpiece that has all the gravity and solidity of a first rate epic novel that contains raw sex scenes within the context of a a richly woven story.”—Amazon Review
I don’t know what I was thinking when I hired someone to attack me. Maybe I was bored, or lonely, or there was a void so deep inside of me that I needed something explosive to fill it.
It was supposed to be safe. A thrill. A way to break through the monotony of everyday life. It was an illusion of danger that I could walk away from as soon as it was over.
Except that it wasn’t. Because I had been in danger long before I ever invited it into my life.
* * *
My mission is almost complete. The bubbling boil of vengeance that heats my blood might finally simmer.
She is the last piece of the puzzle. Once I destroy her, everyone who ever hurt me will have paid their debt.
It was supposed to be quick and easy, but as soon as I met her it got complicated.
Debt on Amazon
Have you read the Strapped Series by Nina G. Jones?
“I fell in love with these characters immediately. And I fell in love with Jones’ writing immediately. She is able to ensnare every single sense and light them on fire with even the simplest of scenes and that ability combined with the incredible depth built into these characters and their story makes for a series that stands alone amongst its contemporaries.”—Lightning Room Literary Reviews
“Bottom line , if you have yet to read the series DO IT NOW !! If it was too crazy for you and you gave up COME BACK AND TRY AGAIN YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY!” -Amazon Reviewer
“Wow what a storm of events. I feel like I ran a marathon.” -Amazon Reviewer
By all appearances, Shyla Ball has an enviable life: a loyal boyfriend, a great job, and family that loves her. She doesn’t realize how deeply unsatisfied she is until she has an embarrassing encounter with a handsome stranger at a coffee shop. Taylor Holde
Strapped on Amazon
In the mood for some hot, snarky humor?
Check out Gorgeous Rotten Scoundrel, a standalone novel by Nina G. Jones
“Gorgeous Rotten Scoundrel is officially on my top romance list for this year.”—Danielle of This Redhead LOVES Books
“I loved this book. Easily a 5 star for me. I love a book where it is written so perfectly that you feel every emotion.”—Give Me Books
“Gorgeous, Sassy, Witty, Flirty, Ballsy and Smoking hot. . . . .grab me a washcloth I am ready to give a bed bath!”—All Booked Out
He was a pig, a jerk, selfish, callous, crude, tactless, prone to outbursts and gorgeous. The kind of gorgeous where you didn’t even attempt to hide the fact that you were staring. I knew the type: His entire life he has coasted on his good looks, artificial charm, and sex appeal. Everyone wanted to be him or be ON him. I had been hurt by jerks like him before. He was like those guys but far worse.
I was the unfortunate sucker to be offered a gig I desperately needed as his live-in chef for a Summer in the Hamptons. But I wasn’t like the other girls—the models and socialites who came through the revolving door of his bedroom. I would bite the bullet, take the job, deal with his sexist comments, his expectation that I would fawn over him, and have no problem letting the door hit my ass on the way out when I was done with the gig.
Then something unexpected happened that changed everything and I realized that there may be more to him than the labels I had affixed to his character. Maybe.
But if he really wanted me, it wasn’t going to be easy, not like everything else in his life. He was going to have to work, I was going to make him miserable. He was going to hate wanting me just as much as I hated myself for wanting him back.
Heath Hillabrand: International Supermodel. Womanizer. Gorgeous, Rotten, Scoundrel.
Gorgeous Rotten Scoundrel on Amazon
My husband, BJ Gaddour, who reminds me that the same love I write about is found in real life. He is also the reason I kill so many people in my books.
Holden’s Hussies (my street team). You make sure I can maintain a modicum of sanity, sharing my work so that I can focus on writing. You also are a great bunch of women who make me happy to be part of the book world. Special shout outs to: Kimberly Parker Addison, Lisa High, Clayr Catherall, Michelle Petricca, Jessie Hines, Maureen MacKenzie, Erin MacFarland, Gill Selling, Shanyn Clark Doan, Laura Crawford and Angie Picardi-Hagerdorn.
Betas and editing:
Angela Bonnie Shockley- You have a big heart and are so generous. I am so grateful to have met you through the world of books.
Meg Botteon—Your guidance along the journey of writing If was invaluable. You helped me wrestle this stubborn thing into submission.
Jen Leisenheimer (Beyond the Cover Editing- Proofreading)
Formatting: Perfectly Publishable
My friend who also happens to be my PA: Tiffany Torres- I wouldn’t say no.
Thanks to all the blogs who take the time to promote and read my books! There are so many, and honestly I hate writing acknowledgements because I always forget someone. I do my best to show my appreciation by liking and sharing your posts in real time.
But here are just some that I would like to recognize that have really made an extra impact in some way. Many of these blogs supported me when I was just a debut author with one book and zero clues.
The Art of Romance
Two Unruly Girls and their Books
Summer’s Book Blog
Two Book Pushers
Novel Afterthoughts (not a blog, but book group)
The Literary Gossip
Between the Sheets Promotions
Scandalicious Book Reviews
Crazy Daisy Book Whore
Wicked Women Book Blog
Red Cheeks Reads
Southern Belle Book Blog
Sassy Moms Say: Read
The Book and the Harlot
Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews
Butterflies, Books & Dreams
Shyana Renee’s Spicy Reads
These are just the people and blogs I could remember, but so many people have helped me along the way. So thanks to anyone who has read one of my books, referred one of my books to a friend, shared it on social media, sent a kind message. Until the next book!
Nina G. Jones, If
by Nina G. Jones have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes