COMING FRIDAY 7 PM PST. AUTHOR OF: BEAUTIFULLY UNDONE: SUSAN GRISCOM SEE EXCERPT
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He was broken.
Full of hate and sorrow.
Asher Beaumont never asked for much in life. All he wanted was to play his guitar, write music, and be recognized and loved by his father. Unfortunately, that last desire was never realized. The bastard died when Asher was just a kid. Then thirteen years later, his mother dies of a brain tumor, shattering him even more and leaving him hating everyone around him, except for his two best friends, Melody Stevens and her brother, Teddy.
Melody Stevens has crushed on her best friend, Asher Beaumont her entire life. But it's always been a secret passion. Never something she'd act upon. But when she tells Asher she's prepared--and determined--to lose her virginity to a guy he considers to be nothing more than a cad who sleeps with anything that wears a skirt, her best friend offers her a proposition she can't really refuse.
When Asher stumbles across a letter left by his mother before her death, begging him to seek out his half-brothers, he and Melody begin a journey of discovery. Their travels lead them to the two brothers he has spent his life despising because they had the life he always wanted. While on their trip, they discover a miracle they never, ever considered.
A stand-alone book in The Beaumont Brothers series with a HEA for Adults 18+
I didn’t believe in ghosts. Well, not completely. I believed in spirits. If you told me that every being who ever died came back and roamed the earth for eternity…I’d have to disagree. No way could I ever believe that the monster who’d sired me was lurking around, propagating meritless inspiration to all mankind. That’d almost be as bad as saying Hitler roamed the earth, whispering hideous political objectives, advocating anti-Semitism into the ears of unsuspecting politicians. At least, I’d like to believe all that. I did hope that the song emanating from my lips transcended the here and now, radiating a comforting repose into space, and somehow captured the loving ears of my mother.
As I strummed the guitar, softly singing the words, I looked up. A crowd began to form, spanning the entire area from where I sat perched upon a sidewalk bench, all the way to the edge of the wall separating them from the unforgiving cold bay as they huddled around me, listening. Wind whipped locks of my hair into my face and licked at my fingertips as I dexterously progressed through the chords of the song. The tune, a ballad, one I’d written myself, poured from my lips with a smooth, heartfelt rhythm. Words that told a story, my story, but no one knew that. No one would ever guess that.
A woman holding the hand of a toddler stepped forward and dropped a buck into the hat that sat a few feet in front of me. I smiled at her as I sang.
I didn’t usually perform on the streets of San Francisco. I had a regular nightly gig at a nightclub on the wharf, but today, I’d felt the need to sit and watch people. Then I’d needed to just play my guitar, sing a soft tune—only to console myself. I hadn’t intended to draw a crowd, nor take in any money. That’s not why my hat was there. It had blown off my head a few minutes into the song and had rather conveniently landed rim-side-up directly in front of my feet. By my calculations, I would guess there were about thirty dollars in there now. I was on my second song already, but I hadn’t had the heart to pick up my hat and leave after the first one ended. I would have liked to just walk away and continue with my grief in private. Except people lingered, their attention directed at me, my words, my music. Their ears tuned to my voice, my guitar. Expectant. I wasn’t one to disappoint. I’d give them their show for another fifteen minutes. Then I’d be on my way, walk a few blocks west toward the beach, maybe stare at the sea for a while.
My plan was to sit and watch the seals, the people, the surroundings, everything happening around me before taking the Muni toward the Golden Gate Bridge. There I would wait until life quieted down. Until people left with their friends and families in tow to dinner. Then, in the calm, the quiet hour of dusk, I would sprinkle her ashes. Let them trickle out slowly as I walked along the edge of the bridge. That’s what she would have wanted. She didn’t need people to mourn her; I didn’t need people to console me. My mother hadn’t been a needy person.
The hand on my shoulder startled me, but I kept on playing as I glanced up and saw Mel’s worried face. Her smile—timid, yet sweet. She sat down next to me, and with her own guitar resting across her lap, proceeded to strum the chords along with me without skipping a beat. She was miraculous that way, gifted with a talent beyond imagination. Her parents had known what they were doing when they’d given her that name.
Melody was my best friend. We’d been friends ever since she and I were babies—we were only a week apart in age, though I was older. Ted, my other best friend and Mel’s brother, was a year older than us, and the three of us had grown up together. Our mothers were best friends. Mel, Ted, and their mother had moved into the house next door to mine in San Mateo when Mel and I were four years old. Her mom still lived there. As did mine, up until last week anyway.
Mel gave me a dubious glance and raised her eyebrows in question when a woman dropped a couple of bills into the hat that still sat on the ground in front of me. I only shrugged and continued to play. After the song had ended, the crowd applauded, and several more people stepped forward to give their donations to the hat. Mel let out a small giggle, and I nodded at them, thanking each one.
When I didn’t start up a new song, the crowd slowly began to disperse. I turned to Mel. “What are you doing here?”
“You need me,” Mel retorted.
“No, I don’t. You shouldn’t have followed me.”
“I can’t let you do this on your own, Ash. You would never let me if it was the other way around and you know it.”
She was right about that, but I didn’t want her with me this time. I had to do it on my own. I had to say goodbye on my own. “Just go home. I’ll come over after. You can help me go through all her stuff tomorrow if you want, but this, this I need to do by myself.”
“I loved her too, you know,” she pouted.
“I know you did. But I can’t...” I couldn’t explain to her how hard this was going to be for me. That I needed to be alone in case I lost it. That would only make her want to go with me even more.
She put her hand on my arm. “Ash, you need me.”
Sometimes the only way to salvation... is to take a leap of faith.
Jackson Beaumont prides himself on being a nature-loving, guitar-strumming, carefree sort of guy. When the mysterious Lena Benton walks into his bar looking scared and defeated, it's not something he can ignore. He's immediately consumed by concern for her and driven by his desire to help. She's just so beautiful. So, wounded.
After being shuffled from one foster home to another growing up, Lena Benton dreamt of finding her prince charming. When the captivating Troy Harington sweeps her off her feet shortly after high school graduation, she's certain she's found her happiness. Unfortunately, Troy's true colors surface shortly
after their marriage and things turn ugly. Lena only has one choice. She has to leave him. She has to run...
Lena's escape has brought her to Jackson, and he clearly wants to be there for her, but can she trust anyone again after what she's gone through? And will Jackson be able to help her heal without losing his heart?
“Where are we?”
“Come on,” he said without answering me. He came over to my side of the SUV and opened my door. With the wine bottle and cups in his other hand, he waved them in front of himself, bending a little at the waist as he bowed his head and splayed his other hand and arm out toward the forest. “This way, m’lady.”
I smiled and stepped out, taking the outstretched hand that he offered to me.
Glancing around the woodsy surroundings, I couldn’t imagine where he was taking me. The little voice inside my head wanted to scream, No! Don’t go into the woods, but I managed to squash down the panic rising in my chest. If Jackson wanted to hurt me he would have done it by now. I took a deep breath and followed him into the forest. The narrow path we entered didn’t look too bad, growing wider as we continued, and resembling more of a trail than it did in the beginning. A small hill sloped up toward our right, with pine trees looming from the ground as we kept going. Some were so tall I wondered how they stayed straight, growing from the side of the slope that way. To our left, the hillside swept downward with trees covering almost every inch of free space.
“Let’s hurry. It’s getting close to sunset,” Jackson said as he led the way, pulling my hand with him. My side still tender, I clutched at it with my free hand. Jackson noticed and slowed down. “We’re almost there. Stay close.” I kept my eyes on the ground, watching where Jackson stepped, making sure to step right behind him.
When we stopped walking, I looked up. My eyes widened at the sight of the huge expanse of water in front of us. “Over here.” Jackson tugged to our left and led me over to a small metal motorboat perched upside down on the bank, secured to a tree with heavy twine. He untied it and turned it over. Under it, two oars lay side by side. “It’s not fancy or anything, but this is my fishing boat, and this,” he gestured toward the water, “is my fishing hole. And in about ten minutes, that sun is going to sink just below the water’s edge over that way. His eyes were bright with excitement as he pointed down at the far end of the lake. “If we hurry, we can catch it. Take that end,” he said, motioning to the opposite end of the boat from the motor end he was now lifting. I helped him pick up the boat, and we carried it to the water. It wasn’t as heavy as I had thought it would be. “Hop in.” I did as he told me and immediately sat down at the end away from the motor. Jackson pushed the boat away from the shore and hopped in.
I sat staring at Jackson. He wore a silly grin that he didn’t seem to realize until he glanced at me and frowned. “You might want to turn around and face that way.”
“Okay.” I picked up my legs and twirled around to face the front of the boat. He started the engine, which was to my surprise relatively quiet, and we floated away from the beach toward the sinking sun.
It was the most beautiful picture I’d ever seen. The colors of blood-red orange mingled with purple covered the entire sky as wisps of clouds scattered throughout. The way the reddish-orange met the lake looked as if the sky just above the water was on fire. I couldn’t contain the gasp that escaped my lips. “Oh my God, Jackson, this is beautiful.”
“I thought you’d like it.”
“Like it? I love it.” I turned briefly to see his grin, or just to make sure he was there and real. I wanted to reach out and touch him just to make sure I wasn’t in some beautiful dream that I’d wake up from, disappointed that I couldn’t stay asleep. He sat straight, confident-looking with his hand on the steering shaft of the motor. My God, he was so handsome. His green eyes shimmered with the light cast from the sinking sun, and he smiled at me. Satisfied he was real and I wasn’t dreaming, I quickly swiveled back around. I didn’t want to miss a single moment of the majestic sensation before my eyes, consuming every inch of my soul. “This truly has to be heaven,” I whispered, knowing that, as real as this beautiful moment was, it could only be temporary.
1st Book is FREE
Susan Griscom is a Silver Medal winner in the 2016 Readers Favorites International Book Awards, as well as First Runner Up/Honorary Mention in The 2015 Roné Awards. Her book Beautifully Undone was awarded, First Official Selection in the 2016 New Apple books awards. She writes paranormal and contemporary romance - steamy and sexy are the way they usually turn out. She's a huge fan of superheroes and bad boys confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers, and abilities beyond the norm mixed with hot, blow-your-socks-off romance.
She loves those days when she gets to sit around in her yoga pants, doing nothing but daydreaming about the sexy heroes she writes about and writing emotionally charged stories about love and romance.
She lives in Northern California with a gorgeous view of Folsom Lake from her office where she spends a lot of time daydreaming when she's not writing. She loves to drink wine and fortunately, there are several local wineries close by and she visits them as often as possible. Together, she and her romantic husband have five great superhero kids and eight mini-superhero grandkids, so far.
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