Samirah Lundgren is living the party girl life. While she's trying to forget about her past and put off having a meaningful future, her lifestyle catches up with her, leaving her in a wake of personal destruction. Alone and homeless, she encounters Michael Salinger, a man carrying his own baggage in the form of a spinal cord injury, not to mention his former fiancé is marrying his former best friend.
Can a man with a broken body and a woman with a broken soul help each other find the redemption they need to become whole again?

The apartment is small and the kitchen is even smaller. There's not really room for the two of us in the kitchen, but Meadow doesn't seem to realize this. Everywhere I turn, Meadow is standing there.
"Let me just grab a protein bar and get dressed. We can head out to the gym then."
My bedroom gives me the privacy I crave. I can sit for just a moment without Meadow's presence. The protein bar sits like a rock in my stomach. I need some greasy eggs and bacon but would probably throw them back up once we hit the gym. Meadow will be throwing up after eating, but that's a calculated move on her part. I take some pride in the fact that I haven't yet stooped as low as bulimia to maintain my figure. Not yet. Of course, I don't make my living off my figure either.
I don't feel like working out. On the other hand, it's probably what I need to sweat out the alcohol. Dehydration's a strong possibility at the moment, though the thought of drinking water makes my stomach lurch and roll. And I know I need to stay in shape. Otherwise, I'll never be able to fit into the skimpy, revealing outfits Chase likes me to wear.
Thinking about him brings flashes from last night. He was so intense, but so was I. He's getting more and more bold in what he asks of me. What he wants me to do with him. To him. I'm becoming a more willing participant. I need to be. All the signs are pointing toward him getting close to leaving his wife for me. She's a raging bitch, who's fat and old—forty already. That's a huge reason why Chase loves me. I'm young and nubile, and I'll be able to give him the children he deserves. He married his wife because he had to—not because he wanted to. I guess her family has more money than God himself, and Chase was trying to break into the business. I don't even know exactly what he does. When Chase starts talking about it, I stop listening. I mean, it's sooooo boring. He drags me to all these functions with his co-workers and colleagues. They're terribly tedious, but Chase makes it up to me for sitting through them. The whole thing is a big show. Lots of people, bullshitting each other about how fabulous they are. I fit right in.
If you think about it, which I avoid doing at all costs, it's sort of bizarre that all these married men have no qualms about parading around their girlfriends like property. In a way, I guess we are.
We don't pay for much—anything, really. We're showered with gifts and luxuries and given privileges we'd never earn on our own. And in return, we do as we're told. We make our men look good. We're happy with whatever they give us. We never want more.
I don't want more from Chase. I just don't want to share him. That's what I try to tell myself.
I want him to belong to me, the way I belong to him.
And when push comes to shove, I know it's more the sense of belonging that I yearn for.
Pulling my hair back into a messy bun, my lightened ombre ends fanning out, I'm finally ready to go to the gym. Without even seeing what she's wearing, I know Meadow and I will be in coordinating skin-tight Capri leggings and racer back yoga top. It's the unofficial, official gym uniform. Living in the city is such a conundrum. You try as hard as you can to blend in, and then strive for attention. It doesn't make sense.
My life doesn't make sense.
But rather than think for myself, I go with the flow. A lemming, following the others to their certain death.

Kaitlin Reynolds is used to fearlessly flying off mountains. But nearly two years after a devastating injury has ended her ski jumping career, Kaitlin is still struggling to put one foot in front of the other and find her new life. A chance meeting with a handsome stranger begins to put life into perspective. Dashing figure skater, Declan McLoughlin has just returned from the Olympics amid a swirl of publicity and fanfare. Just as Kaitlin begins to have hope again, her charming savior turns out to represent everything she has lost. If Kaitlin can just let go of the past and take a leap of faith, will she find herself soaring into Declan's arms?

I've been told I have an anger problem. Yeah, so what. You would too if you were living my life. Once destined for greatness—for gold—now my life is crap. Complete and utter crap. So, yeah, I'm angry. Angry all the flippin' time. I also have a swearing problem. I'm working on that.
The focus of my anger at this moment is two-fold: the TSA and my brace. My stupid brace. Always that. If it weren't for the brace, I'd only be mildly annoyed at the TSA right now. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'd still be annoyed. What kind of idiot puts a bomb in his underwear or shoe? Why'd he have to go and spoil it for the rest of us? That kind of imbecile deserves to have his frank and beans blown off. Okay, so my anger here is actually three-fold and includes the eejits who attach bombs to their privates to blow up planes.
Struggling to manage my overstuffed carry-on while holding my bulky winter coat, boots, and the brace, I finally manage to get through the security gates. Careful not to let my right toes drag on the ground, I step aside, drop my load, and set about donning it—that damn brace. Kirby. That's its name. Or at least what I call it. Because having to wear a brace sucks more than an expensive vacuum cleaner. Shoving the bags off to the side and not wanting to sit down on the airport floor, I bend forward at the waist and precariously balance on my left leg while I lift my right one into the air. I'm out of the habit of squatting these days since the plastic of my constant companion doesn't let my ankle bend that way. Sliding Kirby beneath my dropped foot, I quickly get my limp, numb, useless right leg safely encased in its flesh-colored plastic tomb. It reminds me of a coffin because my foot just lays there for all to see—dead. One nylon Velcro strap across the ankle, another around the calf and I'm good to slide my useless appendage into my Ugg. Yes, I know; it is like the worst possible choice in shoes, other than flip-flops, which I'll never be able to wear again. But I rationalize, like I do with so many other things, that my bad foot is fully supported in the brace, so the supportiveness of the shoe itself doesn't matter. (I do completely ignore the fact that I have another leg and foot that is working, for the most part.) My physical therapist doesn't buy my rationale but whatever. Let her walk—or limp—a mile in my shoes and see how she likes it.
I am getting lightheaded from being bent over, and I'm sure my ass in the air isn't the most flattering view, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. I'm sure the underwear bomber felt the same way, but I mean, who would ever think that that was a good idea?
The real reason I like the Uggs is that they hide the ugliness that is Kirby. I look pretty normal wearing them. They're totally flat, which I need anyway, and they're in fashion. Don't know what I'll do when they become passé but, like so many other things in my life right now, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
So here I am, keister in the air, just getting ready to lift my left foot up. Balancing on my right leg is always a bit dodgy so I have to mentally psych myself up for it. The brace gives me some stability, but it is still not a skill in which I excel. The last thing I want to do is fall down in the middle of a busy airport. I open up the mouth of the boot and as quickly as I can, slide my left foot in. When I put my foot down, my weight shifts back slightly and my rear end bumps into something.
Not something, someone.
A man, to be precise. A man's crotch to be even more precise.

Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn R. Biel hails from Upstate New York where her most important role is being mom and wife to an incredibly understanding family who doesn't mind fetching coffee and living in a dusty house. In addition to being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage insurance companies to fund her client's needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Kathryn is the author of ten women's fiction, romantic comedy, contemporary romance, and chick lit works, including Live for This and Made for Me. Please follow Kathryn on her website and sign up for her newsletter.
Stand Alone Books:
Paradise by the Dashboard Light, coming summer 2018

A New Beginnings Series:


We ask that when you are leaving a comment that you are remebering that children may be reading this blog, without the knowledge of a consenting adult. We all put our disclaimers on to get into the sites but kids are smart. Please be aware when posting to use safe language and pics. Thanks :)

                                                                      Back to You #1 Hard Crush HARD CRUSH                                  ...