Truly Mine Excerpts

Truly Mine Excerpts

EXCERPT #1

Mason’s POV:

“I’m so glad I’m allowed to punch people for my job,” Liam says with a groan. “No wonder you have to go workout afterwards.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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“Just because you’re a bounty hunter…” Sophie starts before Liam cuts her off.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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“Uh, excuse me, it’s fugitive recovery agent,” he mocks.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Maddie snickers, popping her can. “Potato ???????.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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“Just because you’re a fugitive whatever doesn’t mean you can just openly punch out people. Aren’t there rules for that kind of thing?” Sophie asks.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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“I work for several bonds companies who want their money and when they don’t get it, they want the fugitive back in jail. They don’t care how I get them, which is why they don’t ask. And if no one’s asking, no one’s tellin’.” Liam smirks then sips his beer. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Sophie chuckles, and I hate how her face lights up anytime Liam talks. “You should let me job shadow you sometime!” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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“Hell no,” I say at the same time Liam says, “Hell yeah!” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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We glare at each other. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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“And why not?” Sophie directs her question at me.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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“Because it’s not safe,” I give her the obvious response.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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“I’m a big girl, Mason,” she tells me assertively. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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I can’t tell her the real reason, why I don’t want her alone with Liam more than she already is, why I feel overly protective of her, why I still struggle with my emotions and feelings for her. I can’t tell her shit. The demons I battle on a daily basis are too much for me to handle, and I can’t put that on anyone else, especially her.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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“Fine. Do whatever you want.” I chug my beer, stand up, toss it in the trash, then head for my room.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

EXCERPT #2

Sophie’s POV:

“Sophie!” Lennon squeals the second she sees me walk in. She looks so pretty with her long blonde hair in waves down her back. Most people don’t believe we’re sisters considering we look polar opposites. She’s blonde hair, blue eyes and is a very passionate and loyal person. I’m dark hair, brown eyes, and mostly introverted. She makes me feel comfortable when we’re out though, her laughter and excitement infectious.

“Hey!” I reply when she squeezes me in a tight hug.

She pulls back and studies my face. “Everything okay?”

My eyes immediately widen, realizing I was frowning. “Yeah, totally! Just in desperate need of a drink,” I tell her, and I hate that I’m lying to her.

Just as she leads me to the kitchen, I spot Mason standing next to Brandon and Liam and another guy. I drink Mason in, admiring the way his shirt hugs his chest and hate that I want to run my nails down his abs. He meets me gaze and smirks. Fucking bastard. Take that smirk and shove it up your ass, I want to tell him, but instead I flash my teeth at him and wave like a stupid fangirl.

Ugh. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

“Who’s that other guy?” I ask Lennon as she digs in the fridge for beer. “The one who looks like he could crush you in a second.”

Lennon flicks her eyes over then groans loudly. “Hunter.”

The Hunter?” I inquire, holding back a laugh.

“The one and only. Asshole extraordinaire.” She rolls her eyes then hands me a can of Bud Light.”

“We drinking the cheap shit tonight?” I tease, popping it open.

“Mason and Liam’s drug of choice apparently. I bet you they have the good stuff somewhere though.” She starts opening cabinets until she finds a bottle of Jack. “Voila!”

I chuckle as she holds it up like a trophy.

“Now to find some shot glasses,” she says.

“Next cabinet,” I hear a deep voice and the hair on the back of my neck rises. Mason.

“Ooh, thanks!” Lennon grabs two then pours the liquid.

Daring to look, I glance over and see him leaning against the doorframe with his arms crossed, a smirk painted on his lips.

“What’s up, Sophie?” He throws me a head nod, his eyes crinkling at the corners.

“Not much,” I say, keeping my jaw locked. Well this is awkward as fuck.

“Shots?” Lennon interrupts.

“Let’s do it!” Mason’s head falls back as he shouts at the ceiling.

Kill me. Kill me now.

EXCERPT #3

Mason’s POV:

“And what’s your passion, Mason?” she asks over the brim of her glass, her drink nearly gone. I take a sip of my beer, keeping my gaze on her, too afraid if I blink she’ll disappear right before my eyes.

“If you must know…” I pause, finishing the last drops of my beer. “Helping people.”

Sophie arches her brows as her lips lift in a daring smirk. “Is that so?” Her mocking tone makes it clear she doesn’t believe it. “And let me guess? You volunteer in your spare time and donate to charity on top of it?”

Her condescending attitude has me barking out a laugh. Sarcasm sounds sexy as hell coming from her.

“Oh, sweet Sophie,” I muse, leaning closer and grabbing a strand of her dark hair. “Don’t confuse me with a saint. I’m a sinner.”

“A sinner in sheep’s clothing?” She arches one brow, her teeth biting down on that lower lip I want to taste.

I brush a finger over her cheek then pluck her lip with my thumb. “Depends if we’re wearing any.”

Roping the Cowboy Release Day!

Roping the Cowboy Release Day!

 

An unforgettable
one-night stand filled with heat and passion starts the unraveling of a
love-hate feud between a small-town baker and an arrogant cowboy.


When Katarina shows up at the Circle B Ranch Bed &
Breakfast to serve her new gluten-free, sugar-free, organic pastries, Braxton
decides to make her life hell for kicking him out the next morning and then
pretending he never existed.


First step, make fun of her tasteless muffins.
Second step, get revenge.

Soon the duo are at each other’s throats, getting even until
things go too far and the chemistry burns too hot.


Kat claims their night together meant nothing.
He’s determined to prove her wrong.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
BUY NOW 

 

Brooke Cumberland
& Lyra Parish are a duo of romance authors who teamed up to write under
the USA Today Bestselling pseudonym, Kennedy Fox. They share a
love of You’ve Got Mail and The Holiday. When they aren’t bonding over romantic
comedies, they like to brainstorm new book ideas. One day, they decided to
collaborate and have some fun creating new characters that’ll make you blush
and your heart melt. If you enjoy romance stories with sexy, tattooed alpha
males and smart, independent women, then a Kennedy Fox book is for you! 
Keep up with all their social media platforms for
updates & info!
Travis & Viola Bonus Scene

Travis & Viola Bonus Scene

THURSDAY

TRAVIS

 

“Today’s the day, princess. You excited?” I whisper in Viola’s ear as she rustles in her sleep, fighting to wake up for the day. I have an amazing surprise Valentine’s weekend planned for us and can’t wait to get going.

“I will be if you let me sleep for twenty more minutes,” she mumbles, pulling the blanket up to her neck.

“No can do.” I wrap my arm around her, pull her to my chest, then press a kiss to her neck.

“Fifteen more minutes,” she offers.

“Nope.”

“Ten?”

“No.”

“Five and a BJ on the way to the airport?”

“Viola,” I growl at the mention of her mouth on my cock. She fucking knows my weaknesses, which is anything that has to do with her.

I suck in a breath and kiss her shoulder. “Fine, but I’m holding you to that.” She smiles as if she knows exactly what she’s doing. “Damn you, woman.”

Sliding off the bed, I shake my head and grin. Even after over a decade together, she still has me wrapped around her finger.

Just as I open the bedroom door, my youngest child TJ comes barreling down the hallway and runs into me. “Whoa, bud. Where ya going in such a hurry?”

“Ginny said she’s going to lather me in honey and drop me off in a forest of bears,” he snitches, almost in tears.

“Well, that’s mildly disturbing,” I say. “Tell her jokes on her because Winnie the Pooh loves honey.”

“Lame, Dad. I’ll just pull her hair again and call her four eyes.” He wiggles his way out of my arms, and I don’t even pretend to be phased anymore. With three kids and three dogs, there’s always someone tattling and roughhousing.  As I look back at all the memories we’ve shared as a family; I wouldn’t want it any other way. My life with Viola and our family is the greatest blessing I could’ve ever asked for. However, if I didn’t put a limit on the number of dogs we could take in, we’d have a dozen by now. I gifted Gryff to Viola when she was pregnant with our oldest, Ginny who’s now in seventh grade, and the other two were spontaneous “gifts” from our friend, Kayla. She’s a dog fanatic, and I’m surprised we don’t have a dog village by now.

“James,” I say as soon as I walk into the kitchen and see the disaster in the sink and on the counter. He’s my creative child and is only fifteen months younger than Ginny. Smart and independent, he acts much older than eleven years old. “Care to explain what happened?” I fold my arms over my chest and lean against the doorframe. “Looks like a tornado blew through here.”

“Don’t look at me, Dad,” Ginny immediately says as she passes me and enters the kitchen with a book in her hand. “I told him not to make a mess.”

“I asked you for help.” James directs his harsh tone at her.

“And I told you I was busy!” she snaps back.

“Okay, okay enough. What exactly were you trying to do?” I ask James.

“I was trying to make you and Mom breakfast before you leave, but the pancakes burnt, and I ran out of batter. So then I tried making scrambled eggs, and they all stuck to the bottom of the pan. And now we’re out of pancake mix and eggs.” He drops his shoulders, obviously disappointed.

I walk toward him, pull him into my chest, and wrap my arms around him. “It’s okay, buddy. It’s the thought that counts.”

“Ew! What stinks?” TJ enters at the worst possible moment.

“Your ugly face.” Ginny nudges him with her shoulder as she walks past him.

And this is why we need a couple’s getaway.

Ginny and TJ are just over three years apart and are always at each other’s throats. She just had her thirteenth birthday a week ago and is already playing moody teenager.

I love my kids, they’re my whole world, but they’re a handful. Between Ginny throwing attitude around like glitter, James exploring his creative side and nearly burning the house down, and TJ getting into everyone’s business, they keep us on our toes on a daily basis. They’re all close in age, and remembering back, it made for some long and interesting nights when they were all little. We found out we were pregnant with James only six months after Ginny was born. After that, Viola got her tubes tied, and we were content with our one boy and one girl. Thirteen months after that, we got the surprise of our life when we found out we were miraculously expecting again—three kids in less than four years. I smile thinking about it. “Sounds like a presidential debate in here,” Viola says, entering the madness.

That makes me snort, but it goes way over the kids’ heads.

“Worse,” I snicker. “Alright, let’s clean up so we can get going.”

“I’ll load the dishwasher,” James offers.

“Ginny, you too,” I say before she can bail. Her book is open with her eyes glued to the pages. I’m not remotely surprised she’s a bookworm just like her mom. Viola doesn’t get to read as much as I know she’d like, but Ginny definitely picked up the habit since she was a little girl.

“I didn’t do this!” she complains, barely looking up.

“If I have to help, so do you!” TJ shouts at her.

“Okay, indoor voices please,” Viola reminds him. “Ginny put the book down for ten minutes.”

“Ugh. So unfair.” She rolls her eyes—her favorite way to express her unhappiness—then sets the Harry Potter book down on the clean part of the counter. “I was getting to a good part.”

“You’ve read that stupid book like a thousand times!” TJ sneers.

“It’s not stupid, you are!” she retorts. “Book seven is the best in the series, thank you very much! Not like you’d know since you can’t read.”

“I can too!” he argues back.

There isn’t enough alcohol in the world right now.

“Ginny, quiet and help,” I direct at her in my deep Dad tone that says I’m not tolerating anymore arguing. “TJ, zip it and help James.”

A moment later, the three of them are quietly working together, but the stares and scowls are loud and clear.

I grab Viola’s hand and pull her into the hallway.

“Have I told you how sexy your bossy voice is lately? Because it really turns me on,” she says in a hushed voice.

“I do it specifically for you,” I tell her with a wink. “Now, you want to deliver that BJ now or in the shower?”

“I said in the car,” she reminds me, smacking my chest. “So nice try.”

“It’s fine. I plan to have you naked most of the weekend anyway.” I wrap my hands around her and squeeze her ass.

“Of course you do.” She smirks, sliding her hand down and rubbing against my dick. “That’s exactly why I packed light.”

Two hours later, the kids are dropped off at my parent’s house, and we’re on our way to the airport. Viola delivers on her promise, and it takes all the willpower in the fucking world not to pull over on the side of the road and fuck her mouth like I wanted to.

“You’re filthy, Mrs. King,” I tell her when I park the car in the airport garage.

She licks her lips with a devilish smirk. “Just paying my debt.”

I take her hand and press a kiss to her knuckles. “And I plan to have you owing me all weekend long.”

“We’ll see about that, Mr. King.”

Once we’re inside the airport, our luggage rolling behind us, I wait for Viola’s reaction when she finally realizes where we’re headed. All this time, I’ve kept it a surprise—something I love to do as often as I can—and have planned this whole long weekend without her knowing a thing. Six months after Ginny was born, I surprised her with a weekend away to Lake Tahoe, and then I took her on a surprise honeymoon to London after our wedding. It’s been years since we’ve been able to get away like this, so I wanted to make it special.

“Texas?” Viola screams the moment she sees our tickets. “We’re going to Texas?” she asks again.

“Yes ma’am,” I respond in a faux southern accent.

She narrows her eyes at me as if she’s thinking it over. “What’s in—” She pauses. “Wait! Are we going to where I think we’re going? The ranch?” She’s nearly jumping out of her skin, so giddy and excited.

“You got it, princess.” I wink at her, pulling her lips to mine. “We’re about to experience some Bishop southern hospitality.”

 

***

 

After an almost five hour flight to San Antonio and then a three-hour car drive to Eldorado, we’re finally at the Bishop’s ranch. We’re both exhausted, but the moment we turn into the Circle B Ranch Bed & Breakfast driveway, we perk up and take in the view.

“It’s been years since we’ve been here,” Viola says, looking around. “Still so beautiful though, of what I can see of it anyway.” She chuckles. It’s pitch black out, but the lights off the barns and B&B porch give off a glow just enough to see.

We came out here years ago for our friend’s Courtney and Drew’s wedding. This is Courtney’s family homestead and where she grew up before she moved to California and met Viola in college. Drew had been my friend for years and the night of our wedding, they hooked up and finally became a couple. We met her entire family when they got married, but it feels like yesterday.

“Mm…” Viola inhales deeply. “I can already smell the fresh apple pies and fried chicken.”

“I don’t know what you’re smelling, but I think it reeks of cow shit and cut grass.” I chuckle, and she flashes me a dirty look.

“Don’t ruin it!” She smacks my chest.

Once I park the car and grab our luggage, we walk up the porch and inside the B&B. It’s a tad late for check-in, but Courtney made sure to tell her brother, John, we’d be arriving closer to the evening.

“Oh my gosh,” Viola hums the moment we step inside the living area. “I forgot how cute it is inside here,” she gushes.

It looks like the inside of an old Country Living magazine with worn wooden floorboards and a large cozy fireplace surrounded by a seating area. Quilts are thrown over the back of the couches, and on the walls there are different rust cowboy paintings hung. I notice fresh flowers placed around in vases and can instantly smell them when we enter. Lamps cast a glow throughout the large room, making it possible to see, though the rest of B&B is quiet. Viola looks around in awe of it all, and I’m so happy she’s thrilled to be here. Honestly, I was a little worried. I didn’t know if she was expecting a special trip like Hawaii or Ireland, or if she’d be happy to go to small-town Texas, but from the way she’s smiling from ear-to-ear, I know I made the right choice. 

“Travis, Viola,” we hear and turn around to see John holding a little girl on his hip.

“John, hey!” I greet him and shake his free hand. “Good to see ya.”

“Glad you guys made it,” he says. “Wife had to run into town and get something at the Dollar General real quick, so I’m on baby duty.”

“John, she’s adorable!” Viola stands closer and makes faces at the little girl. “What’s her name? How old is she?”

“Mackenzie and she’s a year and a half. She’s not normally this shy, but it’s past her bedtime.” John flashes a half grin. Been there, done that.

“Don’t get any ideas,” I tease Viola. After her failed tubal procedure, we took the necessary steps to do another one after she had TJ. To be extra safe, she has an IUD that lasts five years.

“But she’s so cute! I love her little pigtails.”

“You better get us to our room before my wife steals your kid,” I joke when I see Viola holding her arms out for Mackenzie.

“You got it.” He chuckles.

He leads us to a counter and grabs the key. “You’re upstairs, second door on the right. Breakfast is served until nine, then we have pastries and coffee in the afternoon, and then dinner at six. If you want to go into town, there’s a diner with some awesome beef tips.”

“Sounds good. Thanks, man,” I say, taking the key.

We only take a few steps toward the staircase when the front door bursts open, and we see John’s mom.

“They’re here!” she squeals, walking toward us like she’s on a mission. “Courtney told me about your plans to visit, and I just had to come see you!” She takes Viola and wraps her in a hug first and then grabs me next.

“Hey, Mrs. Bishop, it’s great to see you again,” I tell her, letting her kiss my cheek.

“You can call me Mama, Travis. Why have y’all stayed away so long?” She gives me a disapproving look.

“Sorry, Mama B.” I grin. “Kids and jobs get in the way,” I say, jokingly.

“You should’ve brought me those three precious kids. I would’ve watched them for you!”

“Mama…” John warns behind us. “You have twelve grandchildren of your own.”

“Pff. That’s not enough. I need more,” she argues. It always makes me laugh when Courtney talks about how grandbaby hungry her mother is.

“I promise you the next time we come to visit, we’ll bring the whole crew,” Viola says, and I give her a side-eye glance. Next time? All three kids? Hell, the adventure to get here was almost more than I could handle.

“Okay, y’all got yourself a deal then. Make sure to try my famous pies tomorrow,” she orders. “I’m bringing extras just for you two.”

“You don’t have to tell me twice,” Viola says, laughing and I love the sound so damn much. Even after all these years, I can’t get enough of everything she does.

“Mama. They were just going to their room. They’ve had a long day,” John interferes, which I’m thankful for. Though I adore Mrs. B, we’re exhausted, and I want to get my wife into bed and feast on her before we pass out.

“Alright, well I’ll see you kids tomorrow then.”

“Of course,” I tell her. “Thanks again for letting us stay here considering how book y’all have been lately.”

“Courtney was very particular.” She winks.

“I should’ve known she was up to something,” Viola says. She kept telling me what to pack and vetoed every other outfit I picked.”

We finally make it up to our room, and before we even get unpacked, I pull my gorgeous wife into the shower with me and don’t let her out until I’ve tasted her and have her counting her orgasms—I give her a break this time and only make her count to four.

But tomorrow’s a new day, and I’ll be aiming much higher.

 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY

VIOLA

 

“That better be a banana making it’s way up my shorts,” I mutter, half asleep. Travis mauled me the second we walked in our room last night and my legs are still numb.

“You wound me, princess.” His voice is gravelly and rough in the morning, which I’ve always found sexy. His tattoos and abs don’t hurt either, still making him so damn irresistible.

I chuckle and twist around in his arms so I can plant a kiss on his lips. “I’ve barely recovered from last night.”

“Well good thing we’re going horseback riding today, and you won’t have to walk too much.” He flashes me a wink, and I squeal.

“We are? Why didn’t you tell me that sooner?” I nearly fly out of bed with excitement, but Travis wraps an arm around my waist and pulls me back to him.

“Not so fast.” He cups my face and presses his mouth to mine, swiping his tongue between my lips and seeking entrance. Over a decade later, and my man is still hungry for me first thing in the morning. “Mm…can’t remember the last time we got to lay in bed without a child bursting through the door.”

“Thirteen years ago, give or take,” I say, chuckling. Though I miss my kids already, we needed this little getaway.

“Guess we better take advantage.”

Travis hovers on top of me, bringing the covers over us. He slides down my body, moving my shirt up as he kisses his way between my legs. My shorts and panties disappear, and he sucks all around my pussy, teasing and torturing me. His thumb rubs over my clit, slides down, and then he slips two fingers inside my opening.

The tightness makes me gasp and my back arches off the bed, seeking relief. If there’s anything my husband is a master at, it’s knowing exactly where I need him. The connection we share has always been intense and mind-blowing. Our relationship was sizzling hot from the start and watching him be a dad during the day then being insatiable for me at night, makes it impossible to not fall deeper in love with him every day.

“Mm…yesyesyes, right there,” I hum when he flicks his tongue against my clit before bringing it into his mouth. He loves driving me insane like this, but knowing other people are around and could hear us, I bite down on my lip to hold my moans inside.

As if Travis reads my mind, he brings a hand up to my mouth and pushes three fingers inside. I dig my teeth into his knuckles as he thrusts in and out of my pussy. My hips jerk up, seeking more. He’s a master with his mouth and tongue, and it’s a wonder we didn’t end up with three more kids.

An orgasm hits me hard and fast, and when I fist my hand in his hair, he twists his fingers deeper inside me to ride it out even longer. I’m sure I draw blood by the way my teeth clench against him, but if it hurts he doesn’t let it be known. In fact, I’m quite sure he likes it.

“Fuck, baby.” Travis sits up, pushes the covers off us and wraps a hand around my neck, pulling me toward him so I can taste my sweetness on his lips. “Who needs breakfast when you’re the best thing on the menu?”

My head falls back as I laugh at his corny joke.

“You think I’m joking.” He growls, pushing his boxers to his knees and grabbing his thick cock. He pumps himself a few times, already hard and ready, then puts his hands under my ass and slides me down the bed.

I lean up on my elbows as he slides inside, first slow, and then pulls back before sliding in hard and deep. My head falls back on my shoulders as he fills me all the way. Travis grunts and groans as he keeps his pace and soon he’s bringing me over the edge, again.

“Mm…two,” I say with a smile. “Now I’m famished. Feed your wife.”

Fifteen minutes later, we’re finally walking down to the dining room, and there’s so much food I don’t even know where to start. They definitely didn’t skimp on the ‘breakfast’ part of this deal.

“Mornin’,” John greets us. We say hello and immediately gush about how delicious the food is.

“I don’t know that I can ever leave Texas now,” I say before shoving a forkful of food in my mouth. “These pancakes are delicious. Why are they so good?”

“Probably made in bacon grease,” Travis teases, but then John nods in confirmation.

“It’s settled then. We’re moving here.” I grin, reaching for my second plate that I filled with pastries.

“It’s Mama’s way of keeping us all here.” John snickers, but I’m positive he’s not even joking.

“I don’t doubt it for a second.” I stab my sausage patty and engulf it.

“Well whenever you two are done and ready, Colton is ready for y’all at the barn just outside the B&B. He’s our horse trainer and will be taking y’all riding,” John informs us and for a minute I almost forgot that was the plan for the day. I was so busy devouring all this delicious food.

“I can’t wait!” I squeal then realize my voice is much louder than I meant by the weird looks I get.

“Don’t worry, y’all,” John says to the other guests nearby. “They’re from the big city in California. We’re breaking them in today.” He chuckles and Travis and I both laugh.

“It’s not that big,” I argue. “Not LA big.”

“Babe, he’s just kidding. You’re acting all excited to ride a horse when that’s the norm here. They probably ride them into town,” Travis says. John gives us a wink before walking over to another table.

“I would love that!” I say, trying to keep my voice down this time. “Okay, hurry up and finish so we can go!”

I’ve been a housewife and stay at home mom since we had Ginny, but I work at Travis’ marketing company when he needs extra help, so it’s safe to say my life naturally revolves around my kids and husband. Getting to go horseback riding on a real Texas ranch without yelling at the kids to stop pulling hair, making fart noises, or punching each other is going to be its own vacation all together.

After I’ve devoured two cups of coffee and shamelessly finished three plates of food and pastries, Travis and I head to the barn to meet the horse trainer.

“Hey, I’m Colton. You must be the King’s?”

“We are,” Travis says, taking his hand. “This is my wife, Viola and I’m Travis.”

“So excited!” I say, taking his hand next.

“As you can see, my wife is over the moon about riding.” Travis chuckles, and so does Colton. I don’t even care though because I refuse to apologize for my eagerness.

“Great, then let’s get right to it!” Colton leads us into the barn and introduces us to the horses we’ll be riding. He goes through the steps of brushing the horse, putting on the saddle and bridle, and once everything is set to go, he helps us onto our horses.

“Yours is named Snickers,” Colton tells me then directs his attention to Travis. “And yours is Oreo.”

“I’m sensing a theme.” I chuckle.

Colton leads us out of the barn and behind toward a trail. The landscape is beautiful, and the view nearly takes my breath away. Travis rides next to me and smiles wide, knowing how much I love this.

“You look good up there.” He winks at me.

“I hope you know I’m gonna ask for a horse for my birthday now,” I tease.

“I was afraid of that.” Travis laughs.

We ride for an hour before Colton leads us down a secluded path and I see a picnic spread out under a tree. Travis gets off his horse then helps me off mine, and Colton takes their ropes to tie them up.

“What did you do?” I ask accusingly, looking at my smug husband. “And how did you do this?”

He wraps his arms around my waist and leans in for a kiss. “I have my ways.” He winks, and I hear Colton chuckling behind me. “Okay, fine. One of the Bishops helped me. Courtney made it very clear they were to help make this weekend the most romantic possible.”

Just thinking of one of my best friends getting involved and telling her brothers to help makes me smile. “Well, A for effort.” I grin, and he takes my hand. Following behind, he leads us to the blanket covered grass and immediately serves me a glass of champagne.

Colton makes himself scarce, which gives me and Travis the privacy and alone time we need. I love that he’s put so much time into planning something special for us.

“I thought Valentine’s Day wasn’t until tomorrow?” I tease when he clanks his glass against mine.

“Every day is Valentine’s Day when I’m with you.”

I laugh, though he’s being sweet. “Not sure about that, but I appreciate the effort you’ve put in this year. It’s been a while since we’ve been able to have some uninterrupted time together for more than a few hours.”

Between the kids, his job, house chores, running errands, taking the kid’s to all their extracurricular activities, and filling in at his job when needed, there’s days where the first time we’d been able to sit and just say hello to each other was at ten o’clock at night when we’re getting ready for bed. At that point, exhaustion takes over, and we do it all over again the next day. Though life is busy and hectic, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Life with Travis and our kids is exactly what I envisioned when we got married all those years ago.

He unpacks the basket and we’re both surprised to see containers of fried chicken, twice-baked potatoes, and some veggie casserole. Inside there’s a note.

It was about time y’all tried some real southern food. Feed each other and enjoy!

-Courtney

 

“That woman,” I say, laughing.

“You heard her. You have to feed me.” Travis leans back on the blanket, puts his hands behind his head, and crosses his ankles.

“You’re pretty sure of yourself there, Mr. King.” I smirk, reaching for the other containers of food. “There’s even dessert.”

“Pie?”

I chuckle, digging around for the silverware. “Just lie back and let me eat this off you.”

“Ooh, now we’re talking.”

Sensually, I lift his shirt to his neck and tease him with my fingers as I slide them down his chest and stomach and down to his bulge.

“Don’t tease me unless you’re prepared for the consequences,” he warns, his eyes fluttering closed when I start unzipping his jeans. With a devilish smirk, I slide them down just enough to pull his cock from his boxers.

“Fuck, what are you doing to me?”

“Just eating my lunch,” I taunt, grabbing the bottle of whipped cream out of the basket and shake it. I spray a line of cream along his shaft, and he mutters a slew of curse words.

“Viola,” he growls my name like he’s in agony. His hand reaches for me and squeezes my thigh.

I slide my tongue around his cock, tasting the cream on my lips and sucking him into my mouth. “Fuck,” he groans. I wrap my fist around his shaft when he arches his hips, and I pull him in deeper.

Once I’ve thoroughly sucked the cream off, I grab a strawberry that’s in another container and take a big, juicy bite. Then I spray the cream on the other half and feed it to Travis as I straddle his lap.

“Open up.” He does and nearly bites off my finger in the process. “Hey!” I squeal, laughing.

Before I can stop him, Travis grips my hips and rolls us until he’s on top of me. His mouth is on mine as his hands find their way into my panties.

“Travis, wait…” I mutter against his lips. “We’re outside!”

“You started it, princess,” he growls. “Now you better finish it.”

“But…what if Colton comes back?” I whisper. Though we’re basically in the middle of nothing, surrounded by trees, I’d rather not give the horse trainer an Rated R viewing.

“Don’t worry. I plan to have you screaming my name so loud, he’ll know to stay away.”

His confidence has me laughing and unable to deny him. Shifting his weight, he lowers my jeans and the moment I feel his lips on my pussy, my back flies off the blanket. The fact that we’re outside and could literally get caught at any moment has my senses in overdrive.

Travis works my pussy with his mouth and fingers until I’ve counted to three. He knows exactly what drives me insane and the way I like it. The fact that he loves pleasing me and gets off on my pleasure makes me eager to do the same for him.

“I need you,” I beg, reaching for him. “Please.”

“What do you need, princess?” he asks between trailing kisses on my stomach as he pushes my shirt up.

“You,” I repeat. “Now.” I spread my legs and reach for his cock.

“So greedy,” he murmurs. “Flip over, princess.”

“What?” I ask. “Here?”

He arches a brow, leans back on his knees, and moves his finger around in a circular motion. “Over. Now.”

I bite my lip to keep from smiling because honestly, I love this demanding side of him. It’s so goddamn hot and makes my pussy wet with anticipation. Rolling over, I stay flat on my stomach until I’m positioned where he wants me.

“Good girl,” he praises, pulling at my clothes. Wrestling around behind me, he grips my waist, widens my cheeks, and then gives me a swift crack to ass. “Goddamn, woman.”

Feeling his cock against me, I lift my hips, and he slides inside. I release a moan, then bite my lip to keep the noise down.

“Don’t you fucking dare, princess. I want you moaning and screaming.” He brings a hand to my mouth and releases my lip.

Travis smoothly drives into me, hard and deep, building my orgasm so fast I can’t catch my breath soon enough. “Fuck yes, princess. Your cunt is squeezing my dick so tight. I’m not stopping until you count to three.”

Oh my God. After this morning, I’m not sure how much more I can take.

“Faster,” I plead.

Travis wraps a hand around my throat and pumps his hips so hard into me I feel like I might break in two. He sticks two fingers inside my mouth, and I explode around him. Moments later, I feel him tense, and I know he’s close.

“One more, princess. Fuck, I’m so close. Come with me,” he orders, his voice raspy. Travis’ deep voice is so sexy that when he leans up slightly and thrusts harder into me hard, I ride out another release as he fills me.

My heart beats rapidly, the adrenaline from having outside sex is driving the high I feel.

Once we’re both cleaned up and clothed, Travis cups my face and presses the softest kiss against my lips and smiles. “See? We’re still adventurous and crazy.”

The look on his face has me laughing and nodding in agreement. “Boy Travis has nothing on Man Travis…older, wiser, and somehow, even naughtier.” I kiss him in return.

“I know it’s why you keep me around. You can’t get enough of the cock.”

“Oh, there’s arrogant Travis. Knew he’d be showing up,” I taunt, laughing when he tickles me for harassing him.

“I love you,” he says sweetly.

“I love you too.”

“Now time to finish up lunch because I plan to have you again for dessert.” He helps me up, and as soon as we stand, Colton comes trailing back with the three horses.

“Y’all have a nice lunch?” he asks, and my cheeks go red.

“The best meal of my life,” Travis answers proudly with a devilish grin.

 

 

SATURDAY

TRAVIS

 

After lunch yesterday, Viola and I came back to the B&B and lied around naked. We napped, we fucked, we ate, then we slept just to do it all over again.

I wake up and see Viola sleeping peacefully next to me. Though years have passed, there’s nothing like waking up next to my beautiful wife. I quietly slip out of bed and walk downstairs, grab food and coffee for us both from the buffet, then head back to the room. As the door clicks closed, Viola stirs. I set the tray down on the desk in the corner and grab the cup of coffee, and take a sip.

“Travis?” Viola asks in a sleepy tone.

At the sound of her voice, I still light up. “Happy Valentine’s Day, princess. I got us breakfast.”

She sits up and smiles, her hair a rustled mess, as I hand her the cup of coffee I made for her: extra cream and sugar, just the way she likes it.

“Mmm,” she says, and I bend over and kiss her on the forehead. “Happy Valentine’s Day to you too.”

“We’ve got a huge day today. I can’t wait for you to see what I have a planned.” I snag a piece of bacon.

She stands and grins, and I’m two seconds away from kissing that smirk off her pretty face as she heads to the bathroom. “Should I be worried?”

“Absolutely,” I tell her from the other side of the door.

A moment later, she comes out and sits, eating some of the bacon and eggs I brought up as I get dressed.

After we both eat, she gets dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, and we head downstairs. John greets us with a smirk and hands me an envelope. I look inside and see the tickets I requested.

“What’s that?” Viola asks.

“Don’t worry your pretty little face about it,” I tell her. Sometimes she’s so hard to surprise, but thanks to Courtney, it’s gone off without a hitch so far.

John chuckles. “Y’all have fun.”

“Oh we will,” I say smugly before Viola and I walk through the B&B and go to the car. There’s something about the ranch that’s so damn magical. While I love California because it’s home, Texas is one of those places I’d consider retiring to one day. Courtney’s already told everyone when we’re fifty we’re all moving to the ranch with the kids and starting our own compound. Each time she brings it up, I laugh, but I have a feeling she’s not kidding, especially considering her entire family lives here, along with all her nieces and nephews.

Viola and I get into the car and drive down the rocky road toward the country road that leads to San Angelo. On the drive over, Viola stares out the window and looks at the rolling hills and tall burnt grasses. Considering it’s February, almost all the grass is brown, much different from when we visited in the late spring for Courtney and Drew’s wedding.

I see her from the corner of my eye fidgeting, and eventually, we pull into a large parking lot, and her eyes light up when she sees the large sign hanging over the entrance. We get out of the car, and she’s completely elated.

“We’re going to a rodeo? Like a real rodeo?”

“Yes ma’am,” I say in my best Texan accent but fail ridiculously.

She bursts out into laughter, and I pull her into my arms as we walk toward the entrance. I take the tickets out of the envelope and hand her one.

“John was in on it, wasn’t he?” She looks down at it then back at me.

“Of course. You know how those damn Bishops are.”

Her laughter is completely contagious. “Oh, how I do. I know exactly where Courtney gets her personality from.”

“Yeah, totally. Especially with Jackson, John, Evan, and Alex as her brothers. I’m surprised she’s not worse.”

The thought makes me chuckle because she grew up on a ranch and was the only girl out of five kids.

The attendant at the front takes our tickets, and as soon as we walk inside, Viola is all smiles. People dress in cowboy gear all around us, and it’s somewhat of a culture shock. The two of us stick out like a West coast sore thumb. Viola studies the flier we got as we entered the gate. “Ooh, there’s a kid cattle roping contest in about thirty minutes. Can we watch it?”

“Of course,” I tell her, grabbing her hand. “Your sweet ass is leading the way,” I lean over and whisper in her ear.

We pass tons of food trucks, an art gallery, and even a beer garden on the way over to the arena. Before we walk in, I stop at a tent that’s selling Cowboy hats. Viola glances at me with a smirk. “Dare you.”

“Oh, princess. You never dare the king.” I pick up a black velvet hat, and a pink one for her then pay the cashier. After I put mine on, Viola has a laughing fit as she looks at me. She’s doubled over when I place hers on her head.

“Now we’re true Texans. The hat says so,” she says with a snort as we enter the arena.

“I guess that means you need to save a horse and ride a cowboy tonight.” I smirk, and her eyebrow pops up.

We climb the stairs on the bleachers and listen as the announcers give a rundown of the upcoming events. A group of rodeo clowns walk out and do a funny little skit that has Viola grinning wide. I lean over and whisper in her ear.

“I know your secret,” I tell her.

She pops an eyebrow and glances at me. “What’s that?” she whispers.

“You’re not wearing any panties.” My lips graze against the shell of her ear, and she melts into me.

“Mmm. How sure are you?” she asks, taunting me. I place my thumb under her chin and force her to look into my eyes.

“One hundred percent.” I lean forward and paint my lips against hers.

Her cheeks heat, and she looks around. Though the years have passed and we’re much older than when we first got together, Viola is still shy when it comes to our public display of affection. But I could give two shits who knows she’s mine. Now and forever. She’s the sexiest woman in this place, and I need everyone to know she’s taken.

In the distance, I see a few kids on ponies lined up. They look tiny sitting on top of the saddles. The announcer calls out the first contestant, and he rides out where a little calf is running around. Within a minute, he’s roping the cow, jumping off the saddle, and running on his short legs toward the animal to tie its legs. Adults stand by and supervise as he struggles to get the calf down.

“Holy crap,” Viola whispers. “These kids are ruthless.” Her eyes are as wide as saucers.

I wrap my arm around her and pull her close. “Doesn’t it make you want another one?”

She snorts. “No. I’m d-o-n-e, done. Three is enough.”

“You carrying my baby is hot as fuck though,” I tease her, knowing the pregnancies were rough on her considering they were so close together, but sometimes I think back to when our kids were babies and miss that stage. They’ve grown up so quick and act like they don’t need us anymore.

“I do love babies though,” Viola says. “But hopefully that means we’ll be young grandparents so we can spoil our little grandbabies then send them home like our parents do.”

“That’s true, though James and Ginny are never allowed to date, so we won’t have to worry about that.”

Viola playfully rolls her eyes. “The one we’ll need to worry about is TJ. He’s the spitting image of you with all your charm. He’s going to be dangerous.”

“That’s my boy!” I say proudly. “He is named after me for a reason.”

Soon another kid is riding out, doing the same as the other, but he trips on the way to the calf, and the audience releases an aww. Soon he’s tying up the baby calf, and the clock is stopping again. This happens several times until this part of the rodeo ends. People get up and walk down the stands.

“Want to get a drink?” Viola asks, and I nod.

We grab glasses of wine and walk through the art gallery. Most of the images are of horses and ranch life, and it’s interesting to see how different this part of the world lives. Homemade quilts hang against the wall, and many of them have ribbons attached to the outside of them, and I can imagine women like Mama Bishop quilting until the late hours of the night. There’s something special about Texas and the simple life, and I understand why people move to the middle of nowhere—for solidarity.

We walk through the exhibit hall, buy a few jars of local honey, and souvenirs for the kids. After we’ve spent most of the day at the rodeo and watch a few more shows, we leave.

I grab her free hand as we walk out to the car. Before I open the door for her, I remove the pink cowboy hat from her head and place my lips sweetly against hers. She’s greedy for me though, and grabs the bottom of my shirt with her fists and pulls me back to her.

“If you keep it up, princess, I don’t think I’ll be able to stop,” I admit when we both come up for air. She snickers, looks around at all the people walking into the gates and opens the door and climbs inside.

Damn, she’s a tease.

I drive us across town, and we stop at a restaurant that John recommended. I explained to him that we’d be at the rodeo most of the day and didn’t want Viola to feel out of place in her comfy clothes. So he recommended the Texas Log Cabin, and when we pull up, that’s exactly what it looks like.

“Oh, authentic Texas food! I love it!” She smiles.

We walk inside, and they have a huge fireplace in the center of the room. We’re escorted to a table in front of the fire, and that’s when I notice red heart-shaped candles on each table. It’s a nice touch.

Viola sits and looks around. She leans over and whispers. “This place is amazing.”

The ceilings are tall, and it looks almost like a ski lodge inside. Different mounted game are displayed on the wall like deer and even a few hogs. As the fire crackles, we look over the menu and everything listed sounds delicious. We snacked on food at the rodeo, but we haven’t really eaten anything since breakfast this morning before we left.

A younger girl walks up, and she looks like she’s no older than sixteen. She smiles wide at us and takes our drink order.

“Anything you’d recommend?” Viola asks.

“Oh yes, ma’am. I personally love the chicken fried steak with homemade mashed potatoes and sweet baby carrots, but honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. It’s all good.” She smiles before walking away to get our drinks.

Viola laughs to herself.

“What?” I look at her over the menu.

“Everyone here is friendly. It’s so crazy. Texans.” She shakes her head.

“So you wanna move?” I ask.

She shuts her menu and throws a smirk my way. “Courtney’s finally gotten to you, hasn’t she?”

I shrug. “Not right now, but maybe one day.” Texas wouldn’t be so bad. It’d be different from the constant noise of the city and once our kids are grown and moved out, then what?”

“Okay, Mr. King. How about I say, we’ll see?” She shoots me a wink.

The waitress walks up and Viola orders what she recommended, and I decide to get the same thing. I watch the light of the flames lick her skin. Noticing I’m watching her, Viola tuckers loose strands of hair behind her ears and smiles at me.

“I’m going to call your mom real quick and check on the kids,” she tells me, and I nod. Viola is such a beautiful woman without even trying. I look at her, and I’m so thankful she’s mine. While we’ve had our ups and downs over the years, I wouldn’t change any of it. I watch as she talks to each of the kids and tells them how much we love them. Our kids are so damn lucky to have someone so caring as their mother.

She hangs up and looks at me. “They’re doing fine. Your mother fed them tons of ice cream after dinner. TJ’s so wired right now. I hope he calms down or your mother’s hair is going to be completely white by the time we pick them up.”

“She raised me. I’m sure she can handle him,” I remind her. “Plus she loves spoiling them. I’m sure by tomorrow they’re all riding out the sugar high.” I chuckle. “After all the cookies and treats she feeds them.”

“Of course she will.”

Viola beams just as our food is being set down in front of us. It smells like home-cooked heaven, and my stomach growls just looking at the massive portion in front of me—another reason why I love Texas.

Viola and I dig in as we make small talk about the rodeo and the things we need to do around the house. It’s times like this I’m so thankful she gave me a chance all those years ago—though I didn’t make it easy on her at first. The back and forth of should we or shouldn’t we, the unexpected pregnancy, the proposal, and then having Ginny and planning a wedding. It was a whirlwind, that’s for sure.

As our waitress fills our drinks, I notice people crowding around the front of the restaurant to be seated. There’s not an empty table in the room, and we have prime seating in front of the fireplace. It looks as if it’s one of the most popular places in San Angelo, and I make a mental note to give John a big thank you for his recommendation.

Once we finish eating, the waitress asks if we want dessert, which we both refuse because, at this point, they’re going to have to roll us both out the door. We pay and head back to the ranch, and as I drive down the winding road, I can’t seem to get us back quickly enough.

“Today was amazing,” Viola and turns and looks at me, grabbing my hand and interlocking her fingers with mine.

“You’re amazing, princess.” I kiss her knuckles as we turn onto the gravel road. Though the sun has set in the distance, our night has just begun.

“I know that look,” she taunts.

I arch a brow and shoot her a smirk as I turn off the car. Grabbing her hand, I lead her up the steps, inside, and up the stairs.

When we walk inside, she gasps and covers her mouth with her hands. I had John light candles and sprinkle flower petals around the room, only setting the mood for what’s to come.

“If I didn’t know better, I’d say you’re surprised,” I say along the shell of her ear.

She shivers against me, and when she turns around, our lips crash together causing a wave of want and need to surface. Pulling back, she giggles. “It’s like we’re twenty-somethings all over again.”

I place my hand on the scruff of my chin and rub as I look her body up and down. “I think we might have to relive our twenties tonight?”

“Hmm,” she hums with a glimmer in her eyes. She pulls her bottom lip between her teeth, which drives me absolutely fucking nuts, and I remove the space between us.

“Understand, princess?”

She nods, looking up into my eyes as I slowly undress her and do just that.

 

 

SUNDAY

VIOLA

 

Travis has always taken his time with, treating me with special care, making sure my needs are met before his several times, and tonight is no different. As his fingertips glide across my skin, he sends shivers up my spine. Feeling him touch me, never gets old, and at this point, I know it never will.

Travis takes off his shirt and stands with his jeans hanging haphazardly on his hips. I run my fingertips down his abs, trace the tattoos on his body, and he lets out a ragged breath.

“Fuck, Viola,” he whispers before his mouth meets mine again. Before we walk to the bed, he studies me, enjoying all my curves and imperfections, then gently lays me down. To him, I’m perfect—and when I’m with him—I feel as if I am too.

With a tight grip, he grabs my ass and pulls me toward him before dropping to his knees.

“Mmm, dessert,” he says before burying his face between my legs. I hold onto the quilt with white knuckles and sink into him. I place my hand over my mouth, trying to hold back the moans that are begging to escape as Travis devours me.

“You’re so fucking wet, princess,” he says kissing my inner thighs, but I don’t want him to stop, not when I’m so damn close. I run my fingers through his hair, wanting him to continue, but all he does is laugh against my clit. “Always so damn greedy too.”

“Some things never change.” I pant, pushing myself up on my elbows and glancing at him. Though he satisfies, he loves to tease too. Instead of immediately giving me want I want, he paints my skin with his lips. Eventually, his tongue flicks across my clit, causing waves of pleasure to shoot through me. Before I completely lose it, he places one finger inside then another, working me slow then fast, never allowing me to get into his rhythm because I’ll instantly crumble beneath him.

My head falls back and with another flick of his tongue, it’s all it takes before I’m losing myself on his mouth. My body convulses and the orgasms rocks through me so hard, I see stars.

“Mmm, one,” I whisper. As I slowly come down from my release, Travis stands, slides off his pants and boxers, and he’s so goddamn hard, I’m surprised his cock didn’t burst straight through the seams.

“I hope you’re ready to lose count.” He gives me a seductive look he’s perfected for decades then climbs on the bed. Hovering above me, his hardness meets my opening and in a slow, calculated movement fills me whole. Travis dips his head down, and our tongues twirl and twist together as he fucks me and thrusts with everything he has. I feel as if I’m a crumbling mess as my body tenses and before I completely spill over, Travis speaks, “Tell me what you want, princess.” His voice is deep and rough, and it sends a shiver through me. I don’t know how he manages to do that every damn time, but he’s a master at it.

“You,” I plead. “To fuck me from behind,” I add.

I see a spark in his eyes as he slides off the bed. Then he grabs my feet, pulling me to the edge, and flips me over. With a steady hand, he slaps my ass before forcing his hard cock into my opening. His hand against my skin echoes through the room, and I’m sure the entire B&B heard it.

“Yesyesyes,” I beg, needing and wanting more of him. Reaching around, he grabs my nipple and pinches, and that’s when I begin to unravel, but not entirely. The sound of his grunts makes me smile as he fucks me with everything he has. At this moment, I don’t think about anything but us and how goddamn amazing it feels when he’s inside me. Travis lowers his palm, and when his fingers circle my clit, I can’t hold back any longer and moan into the sheets.

“Two.”

I press my face against the bed and pant, hoping no one heard, but damn. Travis doesn’t stop there, thrusting his cock deeper, and I’m almost shocked when I immediately come again as he slams against my G Spot over and over again. I’m a trembling mess, ready to fall over, but I know we’re not done yet.

Travis places kisses along my skin, playing with my tits, and I release soft moans.

“I’m so fucking close, princess,” he says, and I sink into him, wanting him to break me in half with his rock hard cock. I love hearing him lose himself in me and encourage him every chance I can. His thumbs dig into my hips, and soon he’s losing himself too, and not quietly.

Travis bends over, wraps his arms around my waist and kisses my shoulder. “Goddamn.”

His raspy voice has me grinning.

Soon we’re cleaning up and crawling into bed. We lay there naked with smiles on our faces in complete bliss.

“You’re a dirty little thing, princess. And I fucking love it.” He leans over and kisses me. I can still taste my orgasms on his lips.

“You created a monster.” I grin. We haven’t had a sex fest like this in years, not with three kids ready to barge into our room at any given moment. Though we always lock the door, that doesn’t stop them. Soon there’s constant knocking and little fingers underneath the wood.

“A little sex monster.” He chuckles. “I love you.”

“I love you too, Travis. Always have. Always will.”

He pulls me into his arms, and we fall asleep until the early morning hours.

 

***

 

For the first time this weekend, I wake up before Travis. As soon as my feet hit the hard wooden floor, I can feel every single place he’s been this weekend. My thighs feel like I ran a marathon and I don’t know what the hell happened to my back, but I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been pushed on or thrown around like that in quite a while. My body is screaming at me, but I smile as I think about how it was all worth it.

Considering we have a four-hour drive back to San Antonio to catch a flight to California, I hurry and jump in the shower. The hot water runs over my naked body, and I only get a minute of uninterrupted time before Travis climbs in behind me. I look over my shoulder, and he shoots me a boyish grin before wrapping his arms around my waist. I can feel his hardness against my back as he kisses my shoulder and then he slips inside me, filling me with his length.

His movements are slow and calculated and as the water cascades against my nipples, I know I won’t last as long as I want. This weekend will be one to remember for sure. As our pants increase, Travis reaches around and circles my clit. Just the sensation causes pleasure to course through me. I place my palms against the wall, pushing myself against him as he continues to fuck me into oblivion. I’m almost scared I’ll fall right out of the tub, but he holds on to me with dear life.

“Viola.” He pants in my ear, his lips grazing across the skin of my neck. “I love you, princess.”

“I love you so damn much,” I say, and within moments I see white as the orgasm takes control.

“Fuck,” Travis moans out, holding me tight against him as he comes down from his high. I turn around and kiss the hell out of him, and he grabs my cheeks in his hands and deepens it. Our tongues intertwine together, and I’m so grateful that after all this time, I can still look in his eyes and feel the exact way I first felt all those years ago. It always amazes me that the crush I had on him when I was thirteen turned into falling deeply and hopelessly in love with him.

“Keep it up, and we’ll be here until the water runs cold,” he says, but I know he’s not joking.

I kiss him again. “We don’t have time for that. We have to get going,” I remind him.

“Fine.” he rolls his eyes but shoots me a smirk. Travis picks up the shampoo and washes my hair for me. I lean into his touch, enjoying his touch, but this is nothing new. He takes any opportunity to pamper me. After he’s completed washed and scrub my body, I return the favor, and then we step out. Travis hands me a big fluffy towel, and I wrap it around my body.

“Can we come back?” I ask as I slip on some jeans and a Harry Potter T-shirt with the Deathly Hallows displayed on the front.

Travis pulls a shirt over his head, and he’s grinning. “You tell me when, and I’ll make it happen.”

“Next weekend?” I chuckle as he crosses the room and removes the space between us.

“Are you saying you didn’t get enough of me?” He pulls my bottom lip into his mouth and sucks, which causes me to grab his T-shirt in my fists and pull him as close we can go.

“Never,” I whisper across his mouth and when he unzips his pants, I burst into laughter.

“We don’t have time!” I give him a look, and he pouts.

“Fine, but I’m taking a rain check, for tonight, when we get home.”

“Relentless.” I laugh, and he pulls me back into his arms.

“I’m only relentless for you, princess. Always have been, always will be.”

I smile. “Good. That’s the way I like it.”

We finish packing our things and before we leave, I turn around and look at the room and sigh. “I love this place. It was perfect,” I say.

“Oh we’ll be back,” he tells me as I click the door closed and we walk down the stairs. Travis goes and puts our bags in the back of the car and comes back inside so we can eat breakfast. As we load up our plates and make cups of coffee, John comes over and sits with us as we eat.

“So you’re moving to Texas soon, right?” He gives me a wink.

I narrow my eyes at him. “I’m sure Courtney put you up to asking me that question, didn’t she?”

He bursts out laughing. “She might’ve. But I love it here, and I want her here, so if that means you bunch have to come too, then so be it. The more the merrier and Mama would love to feed you all. We have a great private school,” he says.

“Isn’t that because your wife runs it?” Travis asks. I can’t believe he remembered that. Courtney keeps us updated on everything that goes on with her family, including the drama.

“Guilty,” John says. “But I’ll let you two eat. Oh, and Mama brought a container of chocolate chip cookies for the road. Can’t let y’all get hungry,” John says before standing, walking off, and returning with at least two dozens of cookies.

A laugh escapes me, but I think I’m more in shock than anything. “Are you serious right now? I’m going to gain twenty pounds,” I say, looking at all of them.

John smirks, and before he can get away, Travis stands and shakes his hand and thanks him for everything he did for us. I stand and give him a big hug.

When John walks away, Travis looks at me as he eats a piece of bacon. “Convinced to move yet?”

“Stop it!” I giggle. “We’re not moving. Yet.”

He points at me. “Yet! Me and Courtney will get our way, eventually!”

“Did you forget you have an entire company in California?” I arch a brow at him, and he finally surrenders to staying put—at least for now.

We finish eating and put up our plates and make two to-go coffees.

“Y’all be safe out there,” John tells us as we start heading out, and I swear his southern accent got thicker.

“We will.” I turn and give him a wave. When we step off the porch, and I look out at the rolling hills, I think that maybe one day, I could live here. It’s peaceful and quiet, the type of place people go to settle down and enjoy their days together.

Travis grabs my hand, and we go to the car. Once we’re inside, I let out a sigh and lean my head against the headrest and smile. This weekend was amazing, one I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

 

 

We had so much fun revisiting Travis and Viola.

We hope you enjoyed this bonus scene!

 

If you’re new to the Travis & Viola duet, you can grab it on any platform here!

Double Cover Reveal – Mason & Sophie duet

Double Cover Reveal – Mason & Sophie duet

 

The night we met in the dimly lit bar, she looked like a
brunette bombshell, and I wanted to learn her deepest secrets. With sun-kissed
skin and soulful bedroom eyes, she was pure temptation, and I was mesmerized.
As one drink led to two, I craved more of her playful banter and
taunting lips. Resisting her wasn’t an option, and we quickly became a
desperate mess of tangled limbs and hot kisses. She tasted like the sweetest
sin, but I was no saint.
Once we caught our breaths, and it became obvious that meeting
her wasn’t a coincidence, everything changed. Now I must deny her at all costs.
Friends. It’s all we can ever be.
After years of lying to myself and keeping her at a distance, I
want to pull her close. Sophie’s on my mind more than ever as my instincts to
protect her take over. Regardless of my attempts to help, she pushes me away
and makes it clear she doesn’t need me.
I’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe, to show her I’m the
good guy, but one night takes a tragic turn for the worse when her boyfriend
and I start throwing punches.
And ends when I’m arrested for his murder.
 
 PRE ORDER NOW – RELEASING AUGUST 13
 
 

 
TRULY YOURS | Book 2
MASON & SOPHIE DUET

 

This is a friends-to-lovers roommate romance filled with drama, suspense, & of course, plenty of angsty slow burn goodness you’ve come to expect in a Kennedy Fox book!

 

 
PRE-ORDER – Releasing September 10
Brooke Cumberland & Lyra Parish are a duo of romance authors who teamed up to write under the USA Today Bestselling pseudonym, Kennedy Fox. They share a love of You’ve Got Mail and The Holiday. When they aren’t bonding over romantic comedies, they like to brainstorm new book ideas. One day, they decided to collaborate and have some fun creating new characters that’ll make you blush and your heart melt. If you enjoy romance stories with sexy, tattooed alpha males and smart, independent women, then a Kennedy Fox book is for you! 

Keep up with all their social media platforms for
updates & info!
Needing Him Excerpt Reveal

Needing Him Excerpt Reveal

 

 

 

 

Evan Bishop is your typical hotshot doctor.
Hardass, brooding, and all business.

Instead of working on the family ranch, Evan broke the mold and became an ER doctor.
He’s good with his hands—in more ways than one—smart as a whip and is the definition of God’s gift to women. Being a gentleman is in his Southern roots, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t flawed. Exclusive dating has never been a top priority and his tragic past makes him stay at arm’s length. Deciding to let loose for a wild night, he takes a page from the Bishop brother’s relationship book and hooks up with a mysterious girl he’ll never have to see again, which is perfect for this self-proclaimed bachelor.

Emily Bell is a city girl through and through but is determined to get away from her family and past. All she wants is a fresh start and to make a name for herself in the medical field. No random hookups and no dating coworkers—that’s her new motto after being burned time and again. When she agrees to attend a wedding as a plus-one, she’s soon ditched and left to drink solo—but not for long. Mr. Suit is the ultimate temptation with his Southern charm, messy blond hair, and irresistible sex appeal. Everything about him screams bad news, but he makes her reconsider her rules just for one night.

After all, some rules are made to be broken.

They want the same thing—one night of passion then they’ll go their separate ways. No cuddling afterward. No next day phone calls. No awkward goodbyes. Too bad the universe has other plans—one that’ll be obvious when they report to work on Monday morning.

*A contemporary romance with a little Southern drama. This is book 2 in the Bishop Brothers series. Each book features a different brother and can be read as a complete standalone. HEA guaranteed!*
Not suitable for readers under 18 due to adult language and sexual content.

 

 

Preorder Now

AMAZON | iBooks | B&N | KOBO

 

Evan and I suit up in our surgical gowns, gloves and masks but before I can ask for help to tie me up, he’s behind me knotting the ties around my neck and waist.

“Thanks.”

He only nods in response without making eye contact. I see Veronica is already tying him up and that’s when I get the impression she’s his right-hand man. She always has his files ready for him, relays his messages, and I’m pretty sure she handed him a coffee yesterday afternoon.

She’s his work wife.

I giggle a little to myself at the term I’ve heard my dad use about one of his assistants. When you work in the hospital as much as we do, you’re more married to the people you work with than the actual people you’re married to.

“Something funny?” He shoots daggers at me.

“Are you seriously going to scold me for laughing to myself?”

“This isn’t a laughing matter. We have a job to do.”

I roll my eyes, but he walks off before he can see me. You’d think the guy didn’t just get laid last weekend or something by his bad attitude.

The paramedics rush in just moments later and the whole scene unfolds. Three stretchers are brought in with patients with minor injuries and Evan directs them to the three nurses to assess them. An unconscious patient is brought into trauma room one and when the last patient is rolled in, I follow Evan into trauma room two.

“Transfer on three,” Evan orders before counting and the nurses and I help him move the patient off the stretcher and onto the hospital bed.

“Patient is a twenty-nine year old female and was the passenger when she got T-boned on her side. Driver said she smacked her head and couldn’t get her to wake up. BP was at ninety over eighty,” one of the paramedics tells us. Veronica is already hooking her up to the blood pressure cuff and heart rate tracker.

“That blood pressure is too low,” Evan mutters, unwrapping his stethoscope from his neck and listening to her heart. “Her heartbeat is slow and her breathing is unsteady. Bag her.”

Moments later, Veronica hands me the equipment to manually ventilate her and Evan watches as I push the tube down her throat and into her lungs. I’ve done this hundreds of times but with his piercing eyes on me, I get nervous.

“Dr. Bell…” His warning tone has my nerves on fire.

“I’ve got it,” I say, attaching the bag to the mask and pumping.

Once he checks for himself, I roll my eyes when his expression doesn’t change. He orders Veronica to check the head wound where blood is pooling and Heather places an IV in the woman’s arm so she can administer medication.

“She has a pretty deep cut near her right temple. Going to clean it up and probably need some stitches,” she tells Evan.

“She might have some internal bleeding, so let’s get radiology in here to do some scans while her breathing is stable for now.”

Evan gets radiology within minutes since they’re in the next room. Once the x-rays are done and processed, we see she has a bleed in her spleen.

“Ruptured spleen,” Evan confirms what I already knew.

“Her abdomen must’ve been hit pretty hard,” I say, handing off the ventilator bag to Heather so I can look at the x-rays more closely.

“Or she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.” Evan’s body tenses and his eyes go dark. His mood shifts, and I wonder what the hell just happened. “Veronica, she needs to be prepped for surgery. Page me when she’s in recovery,” he orders before facing me. “Stay with Veronica and help her prep the patient then find me.”

He walks off before I can respond.

I do as he says and help Veronica while the trauma surgeon comes in all ready to go. We roll her down to the OR and once she’s securely inside, Veronica and I walk out.

“Good job, Dr. Bell,” she praises me, which takes me off guard a bit. I don’t even feel like I did that much, but I smile at her compliment.

“Thanks. You too. You’re the superhero of nurses.” I smile.

She blushes, a small smile gracing her lips. “Thanks, I love my job. Dr. Bishop makes it easy to do my job well.”

My stomach twists at her words, wondering if that means what I’m thinking. Does Veronica have a thing for Evan? I mean, I wouldn’t blame her in the least, but this is only my second shift so who the hell knows.

“It’s obvious you two make a great team. I envy that.”

“We do. It’s nice.” She smiles wide, and that’s all the confirmation I need that she definitely has feelings toward him.

Once we’re back to the ER, I find Evan and wait for his next order. The other three patients are in beds and all stabilized with minor injuries. The other unconscious patient is a child and I rush in to help once Evan calls for my assistance.

“She’s crashing,” one of the nurses shouts, announcing the code.

Evan grabs the crash cart and I add the gel to the paddles before I charge it to three hundred and he shouts, “Clear!”

He shocks her chest and her heart begins beating again. She’s so little, I’m relieved that we don’t have to do it again.

“Bag her,” Dr. Moody orders.

Veronica hands me the tube and supplies, but the tube is too big. “Her throat is too swollen.”

“Here,” she says, handing me a smaller sized one.

I’m quick to grab it and attempt it once again with no luck.

“Veronica, take over for Dr. Bell.” Evan’s tone is cold and harsh.

“I can do it,” I bite out, trying again but the way he’s scolding me with his eyes has my nerves all over the place. I can do this in my sleep, so my frustration grows the longer it takes.

“Veronica, now.”

“I said I got it!” I shout, but it doesn’t matter because Veronica grabs the tube from me and pushes me out of her way. She manages to ease the tube down her throat and quickly attaches everything together.

“Compress the bag,” Evan directs his order at me, keeping his eyes down as he assesses her other injuries that have already been checked. Veronica steps aside so I can take over ventilating. My blood is boiling, but I know I need to remain calm and indifferent right now.

Two hours later, the ER is calm again but that doesn’t mean my annoyance has died down. Evan continues his bossy demeanor, and I’m so irritated with myself that I let him get to me. I’ve done that procedure so many times in my career and have never had issues, but him watching me and shouting made my nerves get the best of me.

I’m sitting in front of my locker, taking angry bites of my licorice when I hear the door behind me open. I immediately know it’s him when the hair on the back of my neck stands up, and I prepare myself for an ass chewing.

“That’s a gross habit,” he starts, walking to his locker that I realize is next to mine.

I snort at his first choice of words. “Eating?”

He scoffs, digging around his bag. “That isn’t eating. It’s high in sodium and carbs and filled with corn syrup.”

“Well I could be a smoker. Or drinker.” I smirk. “Or I could—”

“Or you could eat food that’ll help sustain your energy levels instead of falling asleep on the job.”

“I did not fall asleep on the job!” I stand up, appalled at his accusations.

“Could’ve fooled me.”

“You screaming and shouting at me while I’m trying to do something isn’t how I work!”

“You want to be an ER doctor at a trauma hospital?” he taunts, stepping right into my space. “Then act like it. There’s no time for emotions or your feelings to get hurt. You focus on the patient and you get your shit done. Bagging is med school 101 so forgive me if I have my doubts about you, Dr. Bell.”

We’re both breathing hard and my heart races at an intense speed. Knowing what he looks like under those scrubs has my brain malfunctioning on a witty response. I want to grab his face and kiss the attitude right out of him, but I won’t let him win.

“Though considering your last name, I expected more from you.”

His words sting and I know he said them to get under my skin, but I won’t give him the satisfaction that it hurt. I ignore him and pretend it doesn’t phase me at all.

“Goodnight, Dr. Bishop. Hope you sleep well,” I say smugly, widening my smile before taking another bite of my licorice.

I see the corner of his lips twitch and the thought of driving him crazy the same way he does to me makes me do a little victory dance in my head.

“Sweet dreams, Dr. Bell.” He reaches for his bag and before he turns, grabs the half-eaten piece of licorice out of my hand and walks out.

Bastard.

 

 

 

 

Brooke Cumberland & Lyra Parish are a duo of romance authors who teamed up to write under the USA Today Bestselling pseudonym, Kennedy Fox. They share a love of You’ve Got Mail and The Holiday. When they aren’t bonding over romantic comedies, they like to brainstorm new book ideas. One day, they decided to collaborate and have some fun creating new characters that’ll make your lady bits tingle and your heart melt. If you enjoy romance stories with sexy, tattooed alpha males and smart, independent women, then a Kennedy Fox book is for you!

Keep up with all their social media platforms for updates & info!

WEBSITE | NEWSLETTER | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

 

 

 

The Art of Co-Writing

The Art of Co-Writing

Hey everyone!

Brooke here (or “K”) and I decided it’d be fun to write a blog post about how Lyra and I co-write together. An author’s process differs and varies and it’s essential when finding another author to write with that your process be similar. Most writers are pretty set in stone with how they operate because it’s what works for them, which is why you’d want to find someone who has a similar process to you. On top of that, you’d want to write with someone who has a similar writing style as you. The best co-written books are the ones where they read fluidly like only one person had written it, which is why you’d want similar writing styles—or prose’s.

 

This isn’t usually an easy feat by any means. Sometimes it’s a happy accident and other times you find out during the process. Writing should be fun and come natural to the writer, but if you’re struggling to write like someone else (aka your writing partner) it take the ease out of writing.

When Lyra and I talked about co-writing, we had never actually read each other’s work. Crazy, right? We were both focusing on other things at the time and had taken a break from writing. But I was itching to get back to writing, however, since taking my break I knew it was going to be hard coming back. I’d contemplating starting over completely. Lyra had the same thoughts, too.

Checkmate: This is War was originally titled, Baby, Make it Hurt and it was a standalone enemies-to-lovers romance. It’d been in my head for the past 3 years, and I was anxious to dive back into it. Sometimes as authors we get blocked due to pressure or stress. I had published a student-teacher romance novel called, Pushing the Limits and though it had a HEA, I had promised my readers a book about her best friend. The thought of coming back made me wonder if my readers were only going to support me if I released that book. It might’ve been a crazy thought, but one that consumed me nonetheless.

See, that book was no longer in my heart. Too much time had passed and I knew if I forced myself to write that book, it would not be my best. It would create anxiety and stress that writing is supposed to help heal. I’ve definitely learned my lesson in announcing books before I’m 100% sure I can commit to it.

So Lyra and I had a new plan. Write together under a pen name. And don’t tell anyone.

This seemed crazy, yet we went in full force! First, we needed a name. After some back and forth ideas, we had decided on Kennedy Fox. We wanted something catchy, not too long, and easy to spell (and search) on Amazon. Fun fact: FOX BOOKS was the name of the bookstore in You’ve Got Mail that we had bonded over.

 

So here we were with our new pen name and got to work.

The first time I sent over the manuscript, I’d only written two chapters. I had a plot outlined with some details and sent it over to Lyra to make sure it was something she liked. A few days later, she’d sent it back with chapter three finished.

We went back and forth for a while, both writing two POV’s per chapter. Travis and Viola were the main characters and an absolute blast to write! Travis King: asshole, alpha male lived to taunt his best friend’s little sister. Viola: book nerd, Harry Potter lover, despised her older brother’s best friend. This wasn’t a new trope by any means, but bringing these two together to finally admit their true feelings was one of the best times I’ve ever had writing, and to top it off—I got to write it with my writing parter and best friend.

After I read the first chapter she wrote, I could see that we had a very similar writing style. We’re both driven, hard-working, and dedicated. These traits are obviously important to both of us otherwise one author will always be carrying the other. That’s not the case for either of us because we’re both motivated to not let the other one down. That’s another perk of having a co-writer—a built-in critique partner who will give you honest feedback and some ugly truths.

Side note: You know those bad habits you repeat over and over because, well they’re bad habits. Having a co-writing means you have someone to call you out on those and yell at you to stop doing them. Lyra will always edit out my need for extra “just’s” and “backs” and I will always fill in her missing commas. (Though it’d be easier if we’d just learn and remember, but hey, you can’t win them all).

Once we got through half of the first book, we realized this story was going to take more than one book to be told. We both decided that we didn’t enjoy writing trilogies (or longer) but decided to make it a duet. We hadn’t picked a new title yet, but playing on the whole “games” element, we had briefly discussed “Checkmate”. However, after researching the title, there were tons of books on Amazon with the same title, not that it’s necessarily bad because it’s inevitable at times, we wanted to stand out. Once we decided on making it two books, we were trying to think of ideas for book 2 that played off the game, Chess. However, all the terms, I didn’t like. It didn’t scream romance or was catchy enough. We came up with This is War and This is Love due to the enemies-to-lovers element, but then said, “What if we added “Checkmate” before the titles and made Checkmate the series title”? It was definitely original and would stand out, so we went with it! Once we got the covers made for them, we knew it had been the right way to go!

So the further we got into the book, the more we figured out our co-writing process.

Ideally, we each write a chapter and switch off. However, that doesn’t always go as planned (as I’m sure Lyra will agree with me on this), I tend to write in more detail, which means scenes (especially sex scenes) can go longer than planned. This means, I usually need another chapter to finish my “scene” before Lyra can take over. Sometimes a chapter ends on a “mini cliffy” and the next chapter is so vividly in my mind, I continue writing. When this happens, Lyra takes the next two chapters while I read over mine again.

One difference between us is that I need to edit while I write. I’m a perfectionist and I can’t “move on” until I’ve read over my chapter a couple times. Lyra is also a perfectionist, but she edits later. So what we do that works for both of us is I will read and edit her chapter and she will read and edit my chapter before we continue writing the next. Once one of us finishes editing, the other will go thru and approve the changes or make changes themselves. This is our ‘self-editing’ process. The reason for this is to make it as clean as possible before the book is done. (Kind of like when you clean up your house throughout the day so you aren’t stuck with cleaning it all at the end of the night when you’re tired).

We use Google docs to write all our manuscripts in. This allows one of us to write while the other edits. The self-editing process is also our ‘blending’ process. We make edits and changes to each other’s chapter to blend our voices. The reason for this is so the reader is unable to tell when one writer started and the other ended. It makes it for a more solid, fluid read. This is also why it’s so important to have a co-writer with a similar writing style. If one of us was a lyrical prose writer (uses a lot of metaphors) and one of us was a direct kind of writer, you’d be able to tell while reading the book. And if that was the case, there’d be a lot of blending and editing in the process. (This isn’t to say it can’t be done, just that it will bring up some extra challenges).

Lyra and I also have different responsibilities we take on as part of our partnership. We each have strengths that we use to our advantage and while one will be in charge of one thing, the other will be in charge of something else. That way together, we’re both using our strengths and doing the best we can to invest in our brand. I’m lucky to say that Lyra is a photoshop ninja and designs all of our graphics, teasers, giveaway images, and swag design. I can be super picky (and needed, she’d probably add) so not being able to hire someone and wait on their timeframe helps immensely. After a year and a half, Lyra basically knows everything that I’ll knit-pick and will adjust it before even showing me. LOL!

 

With that said, she’s also responsible for creating (and updating) our website. She’s a smart one, I tell you 😉 She created kennedyfoxbooks.com and our shop. (I’m slow learning from trial and error as well as her guidance, but I would’ve never been able to get it to the level it is now without her). She also creates all of our blogger HTML packets we send out for cover reveals and release day blitz’.

So while Lyra is responsible for the technical stuff, I focus more on our social media. I schedule posts to our Facebook page, post giveaways, take Instagram pictures, respond to comments or messages, etc. I usually do our newsletter as well while I keep Lyra busy with “admin” stuff. It just happened this way, we never exactly said what we could each do, but as time went on it was just what stuck. Lyra works a day job, which is why I took over the social media role. It was just easier and I like doing it, too. By the time Lyra was off work and adulting, she only had time to write at night and since it was limited, her time was best spent writing during those hours.

Once we were “out” as Brooke and Lyra, things shifted a little. I think most of our readers could tell who was who when we were posting, but then we could actually post as us. Lyra enjoys doing live videos and random posts in our Facebook group, while I mainly stick to Instagram and scheduling Facebook posts. I work on our Facebook ads and tell Lyra what graphics or images I need and then through trial and error, figure out which ads to stick more money into.

After the first draft is done (though it’s more like a third draft between our double editing system), we send it off to betas. (At this point, one alpha-reader has read it in chunks of chapters). While our betas are reading it, we both go through it and edit. Lyra listens to our manuscript through Google and will use the “suggestive edits” feature in Google docs to mark it up. I will then read behind her and approve or change her edits. Listening takes 3-4 days typically and by the time she’s done, it only takes me another few hours to finish reading her changes. At this point, the betas are usually done reading and I’ll go through their notes and tweak anything in the manuscript that needs it.

Once everything has been added and approved in the editing phase, we send it off to the editor. Our editor is amazing and since we send it pretty clean, edits in about 3-4 days. Our betas usually find any plot holes, character discrepancies, or major issues, which means our editor typically checks for grammar, spelling, or suggests changes in sentence structure.

During this time, Lyra and I are both focusing on the marketing and promo. Sometimes we just take those few days to recoup. However, I usually am busy with our InstaFam boxes and am getting those prepped and ready to be shipped out.

So once we get edits back, we go through them (usually takes me less than a day) and voila! Our manuscript is ready! We use Vellum to format for eBook and paperback. (Super easy!) Once both are uploaded for approval, we’re off to continue marketing, posting, and promoting the book. This is usually where we send our ARCs for bloggers and start hearing honest feedback in reviews (usually on Goodreads before the book goes live). Then before we know it, it’s release day!

Since we release on Tuesdays, Lyra usually has to work (Boo!) but I keep her updated with everything during the day via texts (and sometimes A LOT) so she’s aware of everything that’s happening. I might need some new images to use (if our ads aren’t performing that well) and I’ll keep a list of things for her to do that might even be for the next book.

Since we offer our Fox Boxes in our shop, we’re always looking for swag or promo items (Lyra is the Google Queen, so she takes on the responsibility when I tell her a swag idea). Which means, we’re always working on something! Either way, Lyra and I are doing it as a team, even when we’re responsible for different parts of the business.

About a week after release, we get right back to writing and start the next book. We work on pretty strict deadlines and are both motivated to keep at it, which is how I know I’ve found the perfect writing partner for me! It takes us about 6 weeks and we’ve nailed down our process so we typically know how much we have to write to finish on time.

I’m sure there are hundreds of ways to write with another writer. I’m sure what we do is very different from other co-writers, but this is just a glimpse of how Lyra and I do. We tease each other about being an old married literary couple, because honestly, that’s probably the best way to describe it. Sure, we argue and disagree, but like any partnership, we have to make compromises to make this work.

Most authors will tell you they’re control freaks, hence why so many chose to go indie. Lyra and I are both Type A personalities and like to be in control, so there’s always a learning curve when going into business with someone else. However, having someone to discuss books, plot points, brainstorm, be as invested into the book as you is priceless. I seriously wouldn’t have it any other way.

So there you have it.

This is our basic process of co-writing.

It’s not easy. It’s definitely not for everyone.

But when you find your literary soul mate, you won’t want it any other way!

I hope this helps anyone who’s thought about co-writing. If you currently do, feel free to comment below and tell us how you do it!

Until next time,

? Brooke

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WE’RE COMING OUT…

WE’RE COMING OUT…

MEET THE DUO BEHIND KENNEDY FOX

Hi, I’m Brooke Cumberland! Known as “K.”
(Pictured left)

Hi, I’m Lyra Parish! Known as “F.”
(Pictured right)

 It’s nice to officially meet y’all!

Hey friends!

To start this post off, let’s introduce ourselves properly! We’re the duo authors behind the pen name, Kennedy Fox. You may know us as Brooke Cumberland & Lyra Parish. We have written separately under those names for a few years before we collaborated as KF. We decided to start this journey a year ago & it’s been one of the best experiences of our lives. We have met so many wonderful online friends and some we now consider some of our closest friends. The Instagram community is one we hold dear to our hearts & are forever grateful we’ve had the opportunity to meet so many amazing readers and bookstagrammers. We’re beyond thankful for our InstaFam members who have been one of the supportive groups we’ve ever met.

We assume some people knew already outside of the friends we trusted and told, but this is our way of coming out on our own terms. So we’re sure you might be wondering why now or why did you have a secret pen name to begin with anyway? You ever just want a fresh start at something? A clean slate? It was kind of like that. Writing can add a lot of stress. The pressure, the fear, the anxiety. Both of us took a break from publishing, became a LuLaRoe consultant, and decided we wanted to find our way back to writing. We first become friends through mutual online friends within the indie community, met at a signing or two, then both ended up under the same LuLaRoe sponsor. Thus, a friendship was born. We talked a lot about LuLaRoe and writing and brought up the idea of co-writing. Brooke was deep in the LLR community and her real name was now associated with LLR, her downline members, being tagged as a consultant daily, etc. She wanted a fresh start outside of LLR. We decided to create a pen name where we’d both write under. Brand ourselves from the beginning, take what we’ve both learned from indie publishing, and hopefully maximize our success between the both of us. Lyra jumped right on board and we started to get to work.

Kennedy Fox became something we never expected. Hoped and prayed for maybe, but didn’t anticipate. Our debut novel as a duo, Checkmate: This is War, stayed in the top 500 on Amazon for 6 weeks. Book 2, Checkmate: This is Love released in December (of all horrible publishing months) and soared to the top 400 in just a couple weeks. Book 1 hit USA Today in January. Book 3 hit USA Today in March. Book 4 hit USA Today in May. Then, book 5 hit USA Today in July. We were shocked. We’re STILL shocked. Then, we queried an agent and were offered representation for our subrights. I can’t express to you how hard we’ve worked for this. The sleepless nights, the all-nighters, the 30k word count weeks, the social media posts, designing our own website, teasers, newsletters, etc. Of course, we’d told some close friends and some of the people we worked with (Thank you Sara, Mitzi, Stephanie, and Letitia for being so professional and keeping our secret). But overall, we kept our circle small and hustled.
We completely started over.

And it was 100% worth it.

(Total side-note: Lyra works a FULL-TIME job, y’all. She’s superwoman. She’s the brains behind all our graphics, website, newsletter. She’s an amazing partner!)

When we first made our Kennedy Fox Facebook profile, we were bombarded with friend requests we’d never heard of before. They were new and upcoming authors that were starting around the same time we were. It was eye-opening. We’d both had our Facebook profiles as Brooke and Lyra for years and probably recognized most of the people we were friends with or socializing with, but under Kennedy, it was a whole new world. The struggle to learn things, find your tribe, network, etc. was evident as I was scrolling through our newsfeed. Here we were: pretty well seasoned and using what we’d learn over the past few years and using it to create this new pen name. I had an entire new outlook on becoming a new indie author in this time period. I knew it was hard—we’ve now done it twice—but we knew where to look for resources. It was amazing to find these new friends. We still hope to be friends.

So why are we telling you all this? Living a double-named life is hard. It’s hard AF and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve outed myself accidentally or someone recognized my signature from a signed book or I F’ed up and forgot to delete my PO box address from my Brooke name or KF name. Or not using a registered agent for our LLC name (I don’t think Lyra’s ever going to let me live that one down). Like seriously, I could write a book about how NOT to out yourself, but hey, it’s a little late for that now. Live and learn, right? However, that’s not the real reason. It was just time. We’ve made so many friends and formed close relationships with our team and readers and we want you to know us the way you have let us know you. We wanted to be the ones to properly introduce ourselves—so here we are! We hope you’ll continue to read our stories & chat with us. We don’t plan to go anywhere anytime soon 😉

Much love,
Brooke & Lyra

(Oh my God. I can finally breathe again! LOL)

P.S. We’ll be announcing a joint project real soon under our Brooke & Lyra names that’ll be for Amazon & Kindle Unlimited readers, so make sure to stay tuned for the official announcement on that! (Or sign up for our newsletter!) This is Beautiful & The Bishop Brothers will still be released as planned!

P.S.S. Thank you to all the amazing friends who we told in confidence and stayed true to your word. We can’t list you all, but you know who you are! <3

FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BROOKE:

Brooke Cumberland is a USA Today Bestselling author who wears many hats on any given day. She lives in the frozen tundra of Packer Nation with her husband, 6-year-old wild child, and two teenage stepsons. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading love stories, listening to music that inspires her, and laughing with her family. Brooke is addicted to coffee, leggings, and naps. She found her passion for telling stories during winter break one year in grad school—and she hasn’t stopped since.

Facebook Page

Website
Instagram
Newsletter
Amazon Page
Reader Group

FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LYRA:

Lyra Parish loves to write, glamp, and sing obnoxiously loud at the top of her lungs in the shower. Sweet love stories (along with the dirty ones) make her gush. She is a firm believer that a person can never have too many cups of coffee, cats, or happily ever afters. When she isn’t busy writing, she can be found sipping various beverages from her non-alcoholic drink buffet, pimp slapping excel spreadsheets, or riding her bike. Lyra lives in Texas with her glassblowing, guitar-playing hubby and black cat named Nibbler.
Checkmate: This is Effortless is a USA Today Bestseller!

Checkmate: This is Effortless is a USA Today Bestseller! <3

Dear Fox Fam,

There are no amount of memes or animated gifs in the world that can remotely describe how we feel at this very moment. I know, I know what you’re thinking: F, you repeat yourself so much. Maybe I do, but to find out Checkmate: This is Effortless made USA TODAY almost had me in tears while I was at work sipping a sad (because it was terrible) cup of coffee. Guys this means the #TEAMDREWTNEY duet series is a USA Today Bestseller. *GASP*

Is this real life? Please tell me it is.

We’re so grateful and every single day we push our limits to bring you our very best. We are so appreciative and want you to know how much being K&F has changed our lives. WE LOVE OUR FOX FAM! Can I just take a minute to tell you how happy I am that you’re a part of the FOX FAM? I’m excited we get to experience this crazy ride together!

All the late nights, countless hours, skipped naps (thanks K!) and gray hairs have been worth it. Yes, writing is work and we won’t deny that, but we love the process so damn much that every day we’re so thankful we get to be Kennedy Fox. Seriously. It’s a dream come true and there are times when I think all this isn’t real. But the reality is we’re living in this moment right now, It’s 10000000% real and are so honored to share these experiences with you. Gosh y’all, I’m just speechless over here and I’m trying not to get too teary eyed.

We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you so very much for all of your support, kind words, messages, and love. You all mean the world to us!

P.S. My words always seem so insignificant when I try to describe how all of this makes us feel. <3

<3F (and K too!)

 

A Letter to Myself (F Edition)

A Letter to Myself (F Edition)

Dear Me (F),

Follow your heart. Be passionate. Work hard. Stay humble.
Be focused. Be kind. Be real. Be YOU.
Dream BIG HUGE so when whatever it is you’ve been wanting, working for, fighting for happens, you’ll have to pinch yourself to make sure it’s real.

Love a lot, laugh a lot, and cry some too. It’s okay to let it out. It doesn’t make you weak or stupid. It means you’re human and have real emotions.
And don’t forget to read a good book every once in a while.
Or unplug.
Or drink an amazing cup of coffee with a butt load of sugar.
Or go with your hair down and bold lipstick on.

Appreciate the people who love you, help you, and lift you along the way to become a better person, a better writer, and a better friend. Remember those who stood beside you when you could barely stay standing alone. Hone your craft and never stop chasing the dream, but learn to love YOUR journey. We’re all different and start from different paths. We have different motivations, different reasons why we do the things we do. It makes us who we are. But remember your roots, and where you came from, and your WHY.

People will be jealous. But it doesn’t change what you’ve accomplished.
People will be assholes. Some of them are just born that way.
You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life so cut the cord. Sometimes you’re too nice and people take advantage of that.
Learn to say NO. It’s really okay to say no. And if people can’t accept it, they were only worried about themselves anyway.
Positive thinking can change the world.

Comparison kills careers. Complacency kills careers.
Continue to break the mold you were forced into and think outside the box.
Continue to strive to inspire and motivate without imitation or limitation.
Pay attention to detail, but don’t be so hard on yourself it causes you to stop. It solves nothing and kills inspiration.
Remember it’s okay to make mistakes but being able to admit them and learn from them is what matters most.
Worry about yourself, but keep your compassion and empathy for others.

Learn to accept compliments. Give them freely.
Don’t discredit yourself and your hard word over the years. You are good enough. You are smart enough.
Wake up every day and prove the people who thought you couldn’t wrong.
No one has it all figured out and that’s okay. If they say they do, it’s a lie.
Listen more. Smile. Take a few deep breaths. Relax.

And remember regardless of what happens over the next year, five years, or decade, don’t ever give up on your HUGE dreams.
But girl, you better be willing to work for them.

<3F

p.s. It’s a good reminder for myself. 🙂

Checkmate: This is War is a USA Today Bestseller!

Checkmate: This is War is a USA Today Bestseller!

Guys!!!!!!
Seriously?
Checkmate: This is War is a USA Today Best-selling book? AHHHH!!

NO WORDS.
We have no words.
(Don’t worry, we’re still writing words…. #meetprincecharming on 2/28!)

Honestly we didn’t know we made the list until this morning when we received a message about it (thanks Sophie!). We never expected this and it’s a nice, lovely, wonderful surprise and I wanted to tell each and every one of you THANK YOU! Thanks so much to all who shared last week, to our beautiful instafam, the awesome lades in the Kingdom, the amazing bloggers and readers who tagged and messaged us, Christine at the Hype PR, Sara Eirew for the beautiful photograph and design and so many more people I can’t remember at the moment! Seriously, from the bottom, tops, and sides of our two hearts, thank you so much!

This morning K called me because she COULDN’T text me the GOOD news. My palms started sweating, my heart started racing, and I was nervous although my first reaction was: are you pregnant? LOL! Side note: she might kill me when she reads this. So, she calls and I pick up the phone being all whispery because I didn’t want anyone to hear my conversation. First I sat there in silence completely shocked. I swear the clouds opened up and I heard angels singing. Confetti dropped from the ceiling and it was an instant dance party. LOL, not really but that’s what it felt like! Then it was followed by bubbling excitement with tons of gibberish and small squeals. Sometimes I don’t know how she puts up with me (it’s because we have a literary hoemance). Hahaha!!

But on a more serious note, I’ve hit top 100 on Amazon several times and K has too along with USA Today, but you guys helped pop a big ole cherry of mine and you know what? I’m still smiling about losing my USA Today Bestseller virginity with the best writing partner and friend in the world. Every day I wake up and I’m so grateful we have the most caring, funny, loving readers ever, and that K and I are able to do something we love together. She’s hard working and loves this journey just as much as me and sometimes that’s hard to find in a partner. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for anyone else in the universe, plus she knows how to keep me in check, which says a lot. A total pea in my pod. 🙂

You, our readers, mean so much to us. We can never thank you enough. Ever. The fact that many of you loved Travis King and Viola Fisher as much as we did will always be imprinted on our hearts. I may have said this before but starting Kennedy was a risk for us both and this project could have been a complete failure. The reality is creating Kennedy Fox and giving this 110% of ourselves has completely changed our lives and we are honored to be on your e-readers and that our characters are in your hearts. It makes us so happy to be on this journey with you all and we know you’re standing right beside us. And guess what? We’ve got so much more in-store for you in 2017! 🙂

….thank you, thank you, thank you!
WE <3 YOU!!!!

-F

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