New Book, coming soon!
My new 3 book series is titled Friends & Brothers. Basic premiss: 3 best friends who have known each other almost their entire lives, fall in love with one of the other friend's brothers.
The idea came to me thanks to my 16 year old daughter. When she was in kindergarten she became friends with 2 girls and they are friends to this day. Each of them have a brother, all different ages. One is 6 years older, one is 3 years older and the last is just a year older. It hit me one day that this would make a great story.
Sky High Love is Book 1 featuring Sloan and Asher and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them. To be fair, all the couples in the series are amazing and I can't wait for you to meet them.
I don't have a release date yet but I'm thinking early March. Check here or on Facebook for more info as we get closer.
Ready to read Chapter 1 of Sky High Love?
(This is not yet edited, so ignore any and all mistakes and be nice.)
Sipping water at a bar on a Saturday night was not part of Sloan’s dream. The fact that the bar was in Paris helped. That she flew the plane that got her there, well that was her dream.
Indicating to the bartender that she needed a refill, she turned to take in the noise and fun behind her. The place was packed but then it always was. This was her third time in Paris and in the same bar in the last month.
Her dream had always been to fly planes. As a kid when her brother and sister wanted to play, she’d always suggest something to do with flying. They’d groan but usually she got her way. As soon as high school was over, she went out and got her pilot’s license. During college, she flew as much as possible, spending every spare moment flying. Then came flight school and all the hours she had to have to become a commercial pilot.
During that time, she’d made friends with a man in her flight classes whose family owned a large and profitable insurance company and it just so happened that they were looking for pilots to fly their corporate jets.
And that’s how she ended up in a Paris bar sipping water.
She loved her job. Loved every second of being on a plane, in control. And the international flights were great for long hours in the cockpit. What she didn’t love was how lonely the job was. Yes, she had a copilot and there was a small staff of either one or two flight attendants on board. But once they hit their destination, they separated and did their own things. The flight attendants didn’t have to follow the drinking rules of pilots, or she should say, no drinking, since that’s what it was, which meant they hit the bars and partied it up.
But not Sloan. She had a twelve hour no drinking before flying rule for the FAA and CNE, the insurance company she worked for, upped it to fifteen hours for all their in house pilots. Meaning, her nights spent in Paris or London or Beijing, were almost always spent alone and sober.
It was a good thing she liked her own company.
Her friends thought her life was glamorous with all the travel but even after explaining to them how lonely it could be, they rolled their eyes and told her to suck it up.
Truer friends a girl could never have.
The three of them met and became best friends in kindergarten. Hazel Landenberger, Camilla Rickman and Sloan Hayes, were inseparable all through elementary, middle and high school. Even in college when they all went to different places, they were the three musketeers. Weekends visiting each other, Winter breaks locked up houses together and Summer always working the same job so they could be together.
Their parent’s didn't even try to argue. What would be the point?
The town they grew up in, Hillrose, Ohio wasn’t small but at the same time wasn’t large. It sat on the East side of Cincinnati, just a short thirty minute drive to downtown. Something they did frequently because that’s where all the fun was.
Camilla was fond of telling Sloan “to suck it up, buttercup” when she complained about her job. She was an ER nurse and daily saw things that no one should ever see. She liked to say that if she could watch someone die right in front of her, then Sloan could suffer a few nights by herself in Paris.
She wasn’t wrong.
Still, if a girl couldn’t have a pity party for herself, then when could she?
Saying goodnight to the bartender, she walked out into the cool night air and walked the three blocks to her hotel. This was a short trip, the CEO only coming to Paris for an evening meeting and then turning around and heading home in the morning.
Sloan often wondered if evening meeting was code for sex. Why else would you fly to Paris for fourteen hours? Most of which were in the middle of the night.
Sex. Something she missed but only sometimes.
Men were a pain in her ass most the time but they were good for sex. Case and point, until about a month ago, she had a nice no strings relationship going with a guy she met online. And by no stings relationship, she meant sex and only sex.
They met online, because let’s be real, she had no time to go out and find someone in the real world. John was nice but more importantly, he was good at fucking. Two months of meeting whenever they could have been perfect for Sloan.
Then he went and ruined it.
“I think I love you.”
What in the actual fuck? He couldn’t love her. She hadn’t told him anything about herself. Not really. They barely talked. And when they did, well let’s just say she was in no way in love with him.
He was hot, but not smart.
Not in a cute way either.
When they did talk, which wasn’t often, the stuff that came out of his mouth was that of a sixteen year old. And he was thirty. So when he’d said that he was in love with her, she laughed.
Like in his face.
After when she told him that it was over, she sorta felt bad for laughing, but really, who could blame her.
So yeah, John had gone and ruined her no strings sex and now she had to do without. Which sometimes she thought wasn’t such a bad thing. She didn’t like hurting people’s feelings and the whole, let’s make this more than sex never failed to do just that.
Just ask John.
For now she had her trusty vibrator and a monthly subscription to Pornhub thanks to Hazel. She would survive.
The plane touched down at the airport in Cincinnati just after eleven in the morning. Between the six hour time difference and the eight hour flight, Sloan couldn’t tell if she was coming or going. Because of the toll international flights took on your body, the schedule rotated between three pilots. She’d have the next twenty-four hours off and then be back on for US only flights for a couple days. Generally a pilot for CNE only did one international flight a week but there were exceptions.
Sometimes there were no flights at all. And while she was still on call if they were her hours to fly, she was able to utilize that time for other things.
Right now those other things included food.
Turning on her phone, she saw she had messages from Hazel and Camilla.
Lunch when you get back in?
Do I get to be invited to this lunch?
I don’t know? Will you actually meet us or will you cancel like the last three times?
Fuck you. You know I had emergencies at the hospital and couldn’t get out.
Sloan get off the fucking plane and tell my former friend Hazel to stop being a bitch.
As if saying I’m your former friend will just magically get rid of me. Bitch you are stuck with me for life. You couldn’t force me away at thirteen when you were in love with Cooper Sanders and he liked me, and you can’t force me away now.
Did you really just bring up Cooper Sanders? You know I still hold a grudge against you for that.
How can you hold a grudge against me when it wasn’t my fault? Did I go out with him when he asked? No. And why did I not go out with him? Because my best fucking friend loved him. I took one for the team. I could be Mrs. Cooper Sanders right now.
Sloan shook her head at their insane conversation and joined in.
Last I heard Copper Sanders was balding, divorced and paid child support to two separate women. I think you both dodged a bullet there.
Finally. And I heard the same thing. I don’t think you want to be Mrs. Cooper Sanders, Haze. Single has got to be better than that.
Maybe I like bald men. And at least he’s paying child support. It could be worse.
How did we go from lunch to Cooper Sanders?
Because he likes to eat at the Y.
Jesus Christ. You are like a twelve year old.
To be fair, I didn’t get that joke until I was like sixteen but Hazel always has been sexually advanced.
Can we stop texting now?
Sloan’s phone lit up with an incoming FaceTime call from Hazel that included her and Camilla.
“Did you miss my pretty face so much? I was only gone one day?” She was sitting in her car, parked while she talked to her friends.
“It was like a day and a half,” Hazel said. From the looks of it she was in her office.
“Part of that time you were sleeping, so it doesn’t count.” She looked at Camilla. “Where are you, Cam?” The background was dark and Sloan couldn’t make anything out.
“In a supply closet. I’m hiding from Dr. Jackass.”
Dr. Jackass was the name that Camilla had given to one of the doctors at the hospital she worked at. Sloan had met him several times at functions with her brother, who also happened to be a doctor at the same hospital.
Camilla wasn’t wrong. He was a jackass.
The kind who was over sixty and liked to call women sweetie and doll. And sometimes even grab their ass.
“What did he do now?” Hazel asked.
“He told me to step aside and let the men work.” She rolled her eyes. “I almost stabbed him with the scalpel I was holding. If it hadn’t been for Nash grabbing my wrist, I would have.”
“I swear, “Hazel said, “your brother has saved Cam one too many times from commiting murder.”
“I would have let you do it,” she said seriously. “And then I would have flown you to a country with no extradition. Maybe one with a beach where we could sip pina coladas all day.”
“You’re coming with me when I flee?”
“Of course, I can’t let you go alone. Plus, I’d be aiding and abetting a murderer, I’d be in just as much trouble.”
“You’ve really given this a lot of thought,” Hazel said. “What, are you just leaving me here in Hillrose to rot?”
“Oh no, you have to come with. We need someone to help build the hut on the beach.”
Hazel flipped them both off. “I hate you both.”
After the laughing died down, Sloan said, “Lunch?”
“Twenty minutes?” Hazel asked.
“Make it thirty,” Hazel said.
“See you then.”
They all hung up and Sloan started her car. There was no need to discuss where they were going for lunch because they always went to the same place. Shakers. It was a small but very popular bar about halfway between HIllrose and downtown Cincinnati. They made the most amazing fried chicken that melted in your mouth. That and they’d been going there so long that all the staff knew them and they rarely paid full price for a meal.
The drive was smooth with no traffic thanks to the time of day. When she pulled into the lot, she spotted Hazel pulling in right beside her.
“Hey,” she greeted her friend when they both got out of their cars.
“You look like a hot mess.”
“You spend eight hours flying a plane and let’s see how you look.” They met in front of their cars before walking into the restaurant.
“It’s not really that you look tired though,” Hazel said. “You look like you’re not taking care of yourself. For example, when was the last time you had a haircut?”
Sloan lifted her hand smoothing down her unruly hair. It was naturally curly but when it got too long it was more stringy than curly.
“I don’t know.”
Hazel shook her head and rolled her eyes. “I happen to know exactly how long it’s been because I just saw Jamie yesterday and she mentioned that you hadn’t been in to see her in over six months.”
“Are you so short on work and fun in your life that you need to worry about my haircuts?”
“Come on, Sloan be serious. And it’s not just the haircut, you look thin. Are you eating?”
“Okay, mom, I get your point. And yes, maybe I’ve let myself go a little but what’s it matter?”
“It doesn’t matter if you’re happy but I get the distinct feeling that you aren’t. What aren’t you telling us?”
She used “us” even though Camilla wasn’t there yet because the three of them told each other everything. They didn’t keep secrets even when something was hard to talk about.
After they were seated in their regular booth, Sloan finally spoke again. “I don’t think it’s anything really. Sometimes, when I am away like I was yesterday, I start to wonder if this is what I want for my life. Being away all the time, being lonely.”
Hazel sat up straight. “But you like being alone.”
“There’s a difference between alone and lonely. I do like to be alone. Sometimes.
When I travel though, it’s not really my choice, it’s just the way it is.”
Before she could go on, Camilla plopped down beside her in the booth. “What do you disagree with?”
“Quick recap,” Hazel said. This was something they did a lot. “I told Sloan she looked like a hot mess and that she wasn’t taking care of herself. She says she sometimes wonders if the life she has is the life she wants. She says she's lonely which is apparently different from being alone and it’s not really her choice. I disagreed.” She put her hand out for Camilla to talk.
“You are kinda letting yourself go a little which is fine if you’re cool with who you are. We love you no matter what. But when a person who was religious about hair and make-up and ironing,” she raised her eyebrows and indicated to her outfit, “all of a sudden changed, it’s normal to wonder if something is wrong. Also, you do have a choice in whether or not you are lonely.”
Sloan pursed her lips. “I have let myself go a little and honestly, I don’t know why. At some point I woke and wondered why I cared what my hair and make-up looked like or if I was dressed perfectly. There was no one to please so I stopped.”
“And we’ve found the problem,” Hazel said. “You shouldn’t do your hair or make-up for anyone else. You should do it because you want to. Because it makes you feel good. It’s not about anyone else, just yourself.”
“She’s right,” Camilla said. “You know I hate wearing make-up everyday and so I don’t. But that’s normal for me. Let’s talk about the lonely thing. Why are you lonely?”
“I’m gone all time and when I’m here, I’m with you guys.”
“True but each of us have other friends at work,” Hazel said.
“In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t work a normal job. When am I supposed to meet people?” This was making her head hurt even if she knew deep down that something was wrong.
“Here’s a crazy idea, why don’t you chat up some people at the places you go when you’re away? Maybe you’ll make a friend?” Camilla was nothing if not persistent.
“A friend I never see?”
“Jesus Christ, when did you become so...I don’t even know what the word is I want to use for you right now. Maybe down and out. It’s like you’re giving up.” Hazel looked at Camilla. “What happened to our friend?”
“Is it your lack of sex?” Camilla asked. “I know you liked having John as a fuck buddy and that you haven’t found a new one yet.”
She laughed. “No, it’s not my lack of a fuck buddy. I think I’m just having a pity party. I thought I’d love this life. Flying is what I always wanted to do and that part, the part where I’m in the plane and in control, I still love that part. I think all the travel is just getting to me.”
Camilla reached across the table and took her hand. “Promise me you’ll try to meet people when you’re gone. I think it will help. Sometimes just having someone to talk to makes you feel less lonely.”
“I promise I’ll put myself out there more. And maybe you guys are right. Maybe I’ll make a new friend or two.”
“Let’s not go that far,” Camilla said. “Acquaintance is fine. You know, just a nice person to talk to. Don’t even think about replacing us.”
“As if I could ever get rid of you two. Believe me, I have tried.”
Laughter and conversation followed until both Camilla and Hazel had to go back to work. Sloan was tired and knew that if she didn’t fall into bed soon, she’d be in a weird stage where she wouldn’t be able to fall asleep. Without making another stop, she headed for her downtown loft apartment. She loved living downtown even though the rent occupied over half her paycheck. It was worth every penny to be able to look out onto the gorgeous skyline each day.
Or at least the days she was home.
Inside her apartment, she set her suitcase by the door, slipped off her shoes and started undressing as she walked toward her bed. She was more tired than she remembered ever being and maybe that was because she finally realized that she wasn’t happy.
That was going to change though.
Now, sleep was all she needed.