I have a few things on that I want to post about. :D
Firstly, I have put together a box set of the first three books in the Friends series, and it's available for pre-order at the special limited time price of 99c right now through iBooks, Amazon and Kobo. It will be available through B&N, but they're dragging their heels so I don't have a link yet.
Here's the description:
Friends Forever - The First Half
Release date August 6
Catch up with The Friends Series in one box set for a limited time at 99c.
Book One - Loving Rowan
Rowan and Kyle’s story
After a lifetime of unrequited love for Andrew, Rowan’s heart is broken when she finds him with another friend, Charlie. Isolating herself from the pair, she strikes up a friendship with Kyle. Kyle wants more, but Rowan struggles to let go. And when tragedy strikes, Andrew comes back on the scene and will do whatever it takes to keep her.
Book Two - Three Days
Andrew and Maddy’s story
After the events of Loving Rowan, Andrew starts his life again. He hit rock bottom when Charlie died and acted irrationally, destroying any chance of friendship with Rowan. Meeting Maddy brings love and laughter to his life, and he soon finds himself falling for her. Sometimes it takes a life changing event to put the pieces back together as Andrew will find.
Book Three - Something Real
Logan and Olivia’s story
Olivia Grant’s husband walked out while she was at work one day, leaving her to fend for herself and their two children. Selling up, she moves to an apartment where she meets Logan. He’s gorgeous and seems to like her just as much as she likes him. Will her secret derail their relationship before it’s had a chance to take off?
All three books are standalone, but Three Days is the sequel to Loving Rowan, so it is recommended to read both.
Book Four - The Right One is also available separately
Rebecca Wallace has everything she could ever need, but a gaping hole where her heart used to be. Meeting her sometimes employed, sometimes musician neighbour, Elliot, turns her world on its head. He’s everything she never knew she wanted.
B&N Coming soon
On top of that, I'm working on a new stand alone! It's the first new thing in a while after two books in the Chances Series and four in the Friends series, but it's a story that hasn't left me alone. I can't wait to finish putting it together. It's called In a Lifetime.
I think it will be a very emotional one, like Another Chance was, but with a bit more heat and a big twist. I've tried to make stories that will work anywhere, but for fans of NZ based stories, this is well and truly planted in NZ. :D
The current blurb (subject to change) is:
When Matt lays eyes on Ella, it’s love at first sight. At the very least, lust. But when fate steps in, Matt ends up playing the good samaritan and losing the girl he wants to his best friend Sam.
When Ella and Sam marry, Matt leaves the country, desperate to get over the deep feelings he has for his friend’s wife. When he returns, he finds a couple struggling with infertility, cracks appearing in their relationship. Making things worse, his feelings for Ella have intensified.
When you’re in love with your best friend’s wife, whose side do you take when everything falls apart?
And last, but certainly not least. I'm working on the 5th book for the Friends series. One Nicola's story was suggested, I couldn't stop thinking about it. Usually when I write the minor characters in my books, I picture something of a back story for them. Once I put Nicola together with Neil, I had a vague idea of how they got together, but now I'm writing it down!
It's a bit of a crazy time for me. I try to steer clear of controversial topics or things that I know people won't like, and it would appear that I might be dabbling in infidelity and the older man/younger woman dynamic. But, I will do it in my own way and make their stories as genuine and heartfelt as I can. I hope my readers know they can trust me by now. ;)
This month, I decided to take a week off to spend with my son. It was school holidays, and I figured I'd get a lot more time to work on Three Days and do a whole bunch of other stuff I wanted to do with the older books.
This has not been the case.
Instead, I ended up spending a chunk of my holiday in bed, sick. For a couple of weeks before, I'd been bothered by bronchitis, but worked through it. I was tired, but it wasn't at the point where I needed medication for it. By the Monday of my holiday, I had a chest and sinus infection and even now, nearly a week later, I am coughing and feeling like I want to hibernate for the rest of spring.
The sun is gorgeous today, and there's a light breeze, but I'm staying inside where my hayfever can't join in the party!
What I have done is a whole lotta writing on Three Days. I loved Rowan, but a humbled Andrew starting again is actually pretty hot. Especially when you combine him with his new love interest, Maddy. Where she came from, I don't know, but she is funny as hell and goes for what she wants. At the same time, she has a sweet, sensitive side and I have to confess to a bit of a crush on her too!
Anyway, I just wanted to post to show people I was still alive and working. I fall in love with everything I write, but this one is really special. Sparks will fly, and something I never dreamed possible happened. I have deleted scenes to prove how much this story has evolved since I started it! So maybe once the books out, I'll share one of them. I was loathe to part with it, but the story went in the opposite direction and it was impossible to keep it.
Other things I am working on include: Reformatting my older books, both ebook and paperback. So the Hot for the Boss books, which includes a paperback of all four novellas, the Sultan's Bride, and After The Fall will be getting a do-over and Another Chance will be formatted to look more like Taking Chances. The paperback for Loving Rowan will also be available very soon!
This year has been pretty full on, but I think I'll be ready for Christmas and a busy 2015!
It's been a week since my last update, and I have been squeezing as much time as I can into writing. Three Days was going to be maybe half the size of Loving Rowan, but you know I can never judge how many words I'm actually going to write. It's currently just under 25,000 words and I have a lot more story to tell.
I'm also 15,000 words into something new, but more about that at a later date.
The weird thing about this is, for a change I know where I'm going with Three Days. My previous books, I've always had a rough idea of how things will go, but write on the fly. While I'm still creating story as I go, I know exactly how I'm going to end Three Days and it's the exciting thing of fleshing out the rest of the story that I'm doing now.
So, this might change completely. With Loving Rowan, I revised the first three chapters heavily in editing as they weren't quite right. This feels different, but is still subject to completely change. So, in it's rough unedited form, here's the first chapter of Three Days ...
I never meant to hurt her.
That sounds crazy when I think of what I put Rowan through.
None of it made sense until so much later, when I sat in the prison cell, the realisation of what I’d done hitting me like a freight train. Consumed with thoughts of getting her back, I wanted to reset time, take us back to the way things used to be. Though, Charlie’s death had made that impossible.
Now, I sat in the same cell I’d inhabited these past three years, thinking about how to put things right. Memories of what I did haunted me. I still dreamed of a happier time, when Charlie, Rowan and I were three musketeers. Charlie was dead and even being friends with Rowan was so far out of my reach that nothing would ever be the same.
I looked around the walls, drab and that same uniform grey the whole damn building was painted in. These were the walls I’d stared at so many times wondering how my life had gone if I had done things differently, and it was when I closed my eyes the memories came flooding back.
Charlie, my beautiful blue eyed girl. The one who committed to love me every day of my life, the one I let down so badly. It wasn’t that I had any doubts, but seeing Rowan with another man left me on edge. I didn’t know I wanted her until I couldn’t have her.
I was stupid, immature, desperate, and I lost the two people who meant the most to me in the whole world.
Standing, I took one last look around the cell. I wouldn’t miss this place, and yet I’d learned so much about myself while sitting inside these walls. It was time to get out of here.
With all formalities aside, I made my way to the gate, pausing to look around the big, almost empty car park leading to the road. I shivered. Never coming back here again.
My parents stood either side of the car, waiting. At sight of me, Mum yelped, and ran, throwing her arms around me and hugging me tight. “Let’s go home,” she whispered.
Before all this, I’d had a good job, a good life. Now, I had to start again, find a way to exist with this criminal record for this crazy thing I’d done. I couldn’t imagine doing it now, the guilt overwhelming at times. To take Rowan away from her family had been cruel, but at the time, I couldn’t see past my grief and confusion.
Charlie. I still dreamed of Charlie. Our wedding day blighted by my resentment over Kyle, Rowan’s date. My bride had walked down the aisle, covered in satin and lace, and all I could see was Kyle, his arms wrapped around Rowan as if he possessed her.
From the moment she found out about Charlie and I, Rowan had disowned us, leaving our shared house and running away to start a new life of her own. Between then and the wedding, I’d been bothered by her not being around, in the early days of our lives we’d been inseparable.
Charlie had noticed how distracted I was at times, but I told her it was just nerves over the wedding. I played down my fears of losing Rowan in my life, but inside I was falling apart, torn between the two women I loved. As it turned out, I lost them both.
The car ride was long, and I remembered how Rowan used to travel in this same car all those years ago. My dad had this huge sentimental attachment to the old HQ Holden he drove, and prided himself on keeping it going for all this time. Rowan, Charlie and I would all sit together in the big backseat, Charlie and I often teasing Rowan about the way she fell asleep on every long journey.
I closed my eyes, unable to count the number of times I’d find her slumped over, held only by a lap belt, her head on my lap as she dozed. Sometimes, when no one was looking, I’d stroke her hair and wonder what life would bring us. The first girl I ever kissed, the first girl to make sense.
“Shit. We shouldn’t have come this way,” said Dad, waking me out of my daydream. The long, rural road took us past the place where my parents used to own a beach house, the last place I saw Rowan.
“It’s okay, Dad,” I said, gazing out the window. Remembering her screaming at me, remembering those last moments as the police came stomping in, saving her from me, her former best friend.
“I’m sorry, Andrew. I know this must be upsetting for you,” he said, pressing his foot to the accelerator as if trying to get away as quickly as possible.
“I just have to live with it,” I said. I looked up at the rear view mirror, catching his eye, seeing the sorrow in his expression. He didn’t want to make me relive what I’d done, but I would never stop, regardless of his actions.
“Sweetheart, we know you’re not a bad person. You did a bad thing,” Mum said.
I nodded. That had to be the understatement of the year, but somehow it was reassuring.
We went past the orchard where Rowan’s parents lived as we drew close to home. The big old white house stood high among the trees. Every place was steeped in memories of our childhood, and despite my parents trying to take care of me, I wondered how long it would be before I had to leave to stop myself drowning in those memories.
Rowan’s father was out by the boundary, and waved at Mum and Dad as we went past. At least my actions hadn’t screwed the friendship Mum and Dad had with Rowan’s parents, but I knew it had been strained for a while.
Home still looked like home when we got there. The grounds were immaculate, my mother was a stickler for the garden to be neat and tidy. The house still looked new, thanks to my father’s sometimes obsessive cleaning of it. They’d lived in this place for thirty years, and you could have sworn it had just been built.
My room was still the same as it had been when I lived here. Back before Charlie and I got together, before the mess that followed. The single bed below the window, the window I used to climb out to run down the road and see Charlie.
In the corner were some boxes. I recognised them from my old apartment. We’d packed it up before I’d gone inside, and I’d forgotten they were there.
I opened the first one, pulling out a photo of Charlie and I. It was one of our engagement photos, and she was beaming, the love radiating off her like the sun. There I was, gazing adoringly at her. If only things had stayed that simple.
The longer I looked, the closer I came to tears, feeling the weight of my grief overwhelm me as if it were happening all over again. I had so many regrets about the past, but none about loving Charlie.
I had to start a new life without her, and I had no idea how. All I knew was that I was alone, and I had to deal with it without flipping out again. Doing it once had cost me far too much.
It cost me everything.
Since my last blog post, Andrew's story got a name. It's called Three Days.
Tentative release date is the 18th of December (I'm also working on another little surprise around that date, so watch this space!) and will be a 99c release to say thank you to all those who have supported me this year. Just a little Christmas present!
I'm not sure how long it will be, but I've got to 15,000 words and the story is building. For someone who I didn't like in the last book, Andrew is getting a great story as I really think there's no much to tell. The events of Loving Rowan broke him, and he has to start again minus Charlie and Rowan, so he needs to find new friends and people to support him.
Here's the blurb
When Loving Rowan ended, Andrew still had his story to tell. The story of starting his life again.
Three days …
That’s how long I was married to Charlie. Her death on our third day of marriage still haunts me, the part I played in her asthma attack will be with me forever. I loved her, but just couldn’t let go of the past.
Three days …
How long I held Rowan captive, trying to convince her that she needed to be with me. She’d turned her back on me once I chose Charlie and moved on with someone else. In my grief and stupidity, I lost any chance of her friendship.
Three days …
I’ve done prison time for what I did, and now I need to start again. I wasn't looking for any relationship, the thought of love is simply too painful. And yet, it’s been three days since I met Maddy, and already she’s brought more laughter to my life than I have had in so very long. She’s been through a lot too, so now I wonder if we can make a fresh start together.
Three Days is available now for pre-order on iBooks
I have had a great week with Loving Rowan. The book has climbed the charts and been top 100 on iBooks in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. So a big thank you again to all those who support me and buy my work.
I've had some feedback, but always keen for more! I love Rowan's shyness, and the way she grows in confidence with the right man. :D
One thing that is worth mentioning too is that I also announced on Facebook that my next project will be Andrew's story. It will pick up after the park scene at the end of Loving Rowan and cover him starting his life again.
I didn't really like him when I was writing Loving Rowan, and I can tell you that originally the story was not going to go in the direction it ended up in. I fought what Andrew did, but he was very demanding and I had to give in.
However, I think that when you go through so much and have to deal with the depth of pain he did, that sometimes people do crazy things and act out of character. His story will not be Loving Rowan part 2, that part of his life is over. Now he needs to find a job and work out how to live his life without the two people who meant the most to him.
So, I thought I'd share a bit of what I've written so far. It's rough as it's unedited, but you get the gist, and some will recognise the scene! By the way, I am working on something else as well, but that is going to be under wraps for a while longer.
She stood, and my heart broke all over again to look at her. Out of this, I would never be able to salvage any kind of friendship. I would never have her hold my hand, hug me in comfort, pat me on the shoulder to reassure me that despite whatever screw up I’d made, I would still be okay.
The pain I felt at losing her was overwhelming, but I knew I’d suffered that loss three years ago when I’d made my choice and taken her.
“Get better, Andrew. Find a way to move on and be happy. You deserve that.” There was nothing in her eyes, no love, no compassion. Someone who felt so deeply, and yet now she felt nothing for me.
“Love you, Rowan. Always have, always will,” I said.
She turned and walked away, before running and leaping into Kyle’s arms. He spun her round, and the sound of their shared laughter floated through the air. What I would have given to make her laugh like that.
I watched as he kissed her tenderly. Everything about him screamed of the love he felt for his wife, the one woman I could never have.
I stayed on the bench for a while, watching as they disappeared into the distance. It was over. I’d made my peace with Rowan, but there would be no more us in any capacity, and that still tore me apart inside. So many sleepless nights inside, thinking of this moment, when she finally let me go.
Who was I kidding? I let go first.
I have announced this on my Facebook page, but here are the details for my next release!
Here is the blurb of Loving Rowan:
Rowan, Andrew, and Charlie were the best of friends for as long as they all could remember. Rowan adores Charlie because she’s another girl with a boys’ name. She’s in love with Andrew, and sure that
one day they’ll live happily ever after. But when Andrew and Charlie break her heart, the painfully shy and socially awkward Rowan struggles to form new relationships.
Befriending Kyle, the son of her boss, she quickly slots him into the best friend role vacated by Andrew, assuming that is what he wants. Kyle has other ideas about how the direction of their relationship should go, but when his life takes an unexpected twist, Andrew isn’t ready to let go of
the girl who grew up idolising him either. And he's prepared to do anything to keep her.
Expected publication date is the 18th of August, and the cover reveal date is yet to be set. What I can say is that it's as gorgeous as my other covers and I can't wait to share.
Firstly, my planned website and domain update will be coming this week, so this website might be down for some people for a short period of time. I'm not going anywhere, though!
Secondly, I want to share a small part of my new book. It's unedited, but I'm really close to finishing!
When I wrote Taking Chances, I took Lauren's issues seriously. I felt her pain as she struggled to control her drinking problem. My heart went out to her as she had to wake up to what she was doing to herself and the people she loved. It was hard and it was heavy. I didn't realise quite how much until a friend of mine told me it was different. I asked how different. She said that she was used to 'light and fluffy' from me, and that this was a lot darker than my previous books.
She was right. It is a serious issue, and I hope I handled it appropriately. I didn't want it to be an issue which was instantly fixed by falling in love, because that's not how real life works. Lauren needed to work out what was important to her and to work on her problems.
This new thing I'm working on was supposed to be a lighter piece, and it is for the most part. There is heartbreak, joy and love with a slightly dark twist. So, here's the first excerpt I want to share with you. :)
There is literally nothing quite like finding out you’ve wasted your whole life on someone who doesn’t love you back. Standing in the middle of the living room, I felt searing pain roll down my face as the tension built inside, my body aching at the realisation that my unrequited love would always be just that.
I’d been on love with Andrew my whole life, and now I stood in front of him and in front of Charlie. She was our other best friend and partner in crime. My mother called us the Three Musketeers.
Where three once stood, there now were two, and I went from being a musketeer to feeling like a third wheel.
Andrew looked at me, rolling his eyes, as if he didn’t care. Charlie was the one who dripped of guilt, her mouth downturned in such a sad expression that if it wasn’t for what had just happened, I would have hugged her tight and told her everything would be all right.
Except it wasn’t.
My life was so regimented, I was a creature of habit who thrived on routine, and my best friends knew it. But this day, this one day, I’d come home earlier than usual, just in time to catch them emerging from Charlie’s room. They were arm in arm and smiling at each other with that intimate look that lovers share. Any earlier and I might have even heard them in the act. My heart ached at the thought of that.
Not that Andrew had ever made a commitment to me, or even told me he loved me. Not in that way. I just always thought we would end up together. He was the first in my life for everything, except for the one thing he now apparently shared with Charlie. They were lovers.
“Rowan, it’s not what it looks like,” Charlie said. I could see the strain on her face as she struggled to hold back the tears. Of all the people in my life, she was the one who knew just how much this would hurt me.
“Of course it is,” Andrew snapped. “I told you we should have told her instead of sneaking around, just in case we hurt her feelings. Now look.”
I just stared at him. Talking about me as if I wasn’t there. He had been my best friend from birth, and he didn’t even have the decency to talk directly to me.
“I’m sorry, Rowan. I knew you wouldn’t like this, so I did ask Andrew to keep it a secret. We never meant to hurt you. I swear. We love you.”
I just shook my head. “No.”
I sat on the couch, flicking on the television as if they weren’t there. They sat either side of me, talking to me as if I was a child. I shut them out, disappearing into my own little world, the world inside my head where no-one can hurt me. There was just noise outside that space, white noise that I couldn't completely get rid of. It was like that sound where the radio is just off the station, the sound of static. When it built to the point that I could no longer ignore it, I stood.
Walking past them, I went into my room and slammed the door. Screw them both.
Ariadne Wayne is the pen name of an overworked, often exhausted mother of two who frequently turns to the internet for relaxation. It doesn't always work...