Category Archives: Monthly Newsletter

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Chapters 1 & 2 of ‘Not A Hero’ by Sarah Robinson Coming October 4th, 2016

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FIRST LOOK!

Read the excerpt below for a sneak peek into next week’s release, Not A Hero, and preorder!

(Excerpt may contain language and situations that are suited for 18+.)

“Miles Kydd doesn’t think he’s a hero, but he is. A tall, sexy, damaged hero. My favorite kind!” – Award-winning Author Wendy S. Marcus  

“This is my first book by Sarah Robinson, and it was wonderfully written, with a heart-wrenching, engaging plot and endearing characters. I finished it in one day, which shows how much I enjoyed it.” – Lady with a Quill Reviews

“I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s looking to honor our military families and loves a true happily ever after. – Goodreads Review   

“OH MY GOSH, THAT FERRIS WHEEL RIDE!! *fans self* Wow.-Goodreads Review

Preorder Not A Hero: 
(Click on the desired retailer below to purchase!)
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA


PROLOGUE

“He’s dead, Miles! He’s dead!” A familiar voice called out to him, panic thundering through his screams. “We need to go. NOW!”

Someone grabbed his arm and roughly yanked him backwards.

Deafening gunshots rang in his ears, drowning out everything else.

His feet were concrete slabs, forcing him to stare at what he’d done. Everything inside him wanted to run for cover, find safety, and forget what had happened. The concrete pushed down, the ground swallowing his feet like quicksand, dragging him down into the dusty red clay as he scrambled to free himself. Greedy and unforgiving, the dirt had his knees and kept reaching for more, and he knew without a doubt this was it.

This is how it ends, Miles thought as he grabbed at the surrounding earth pulling him into a desert grave. 

This is how I am punished.

Miles Kydd shot out of his bed like it was on fire, electricity pulsing through every nerve in his body. He swiveled around, blinking rapidly, and taking in his surroundings. He quickly realized he was not on fire, but rather, standing in his boxers in the middle of the barracks filled with rows of snoring Marines in bunk beds.

A few shifted in their cots and glanced at him through half-open eyes before rolling over and going back to sleep. The flash of understanding on their faces quickly went blank as they pretended to be oblivious.

They all know.

Miles’s face heated, and he rubbed his fists into his eyes, attempting to rid the images burned there. Raking his fingers through short, dirty blonde hair, the perspiration that coated his skin transferred to his hands. Taking a deep breath and then slowly exhaling, he wiped sweaty palms on his boxers and walked back to his cot.

Quietly, so as to avoid any more attention, he slid under the scratchy wool blanket almost eight years in the U.S. Marines had conditioned him to find comfortable.

Miles glanced to his right. A few cots over, the desert moon beaming through the windows reflected off the pale skin of Tobin’s shaved head, which was partially covered by the blankets pulled to his nose.

His best friend since childhood, Tobin Leach had enlisted with the United States Marines alongside Miles the day after their high school graduation. They had reenlisted an additional four years together, and now were only a few weeks from heading home.

Seeing him close by calmed Miles, easing the anxiety his nightmares and memories had left behind. He clenched his jaw, pushing down the sudden surge of familiar shame, a constant poison threatening to overtake him if he allowed it. He wouldn’t—Miles never lost control.

At least that’s what he told himself.

Taking a deep breath, he hid his demons in a dark corner of his heart. Ignoring them was the best option he had, or maybe the only one.

It’ll be easier once I’m out of this hellhole. He needed to redirect his thoughts, to focus on his excitement about heading home, his discharge official in a few weeks.

Miles was most looking forward to seeing his father. Walter Kydd had recently been diagnosed with lymphoma, which was why Miles had decided not to reenlist again as he’d originally planned. He needed to be home as much as his father needed him there.

He bit down on the inside of his cheek as he considered his father’s illness—the last man on earth who deserved such a hardship. They were each other’s only family, and Walter had given Miles everything he’d ever needed and more. It was more than father-son, Walter was his everything.

A heaviness pressed on his chest, and he turned over on his cot, attempting to change his line of thinking to something positive, something to push the sadness away.  His thoughts drifted to his mother—not a topic which could aid his melancholy state—and he pushed that away as well.

Miles squeezed his eyes shut, exhaling slowly. I can do this.

Only one more month in Afghanistan.

Only one more month until his feet would be back on American soil. Then a few weeks later, he’d be walking down those Pennsylvania roads he loved.

It was time to go home.

 

CHAPTER ONE

“You know what I’m most excited to see?” Tobin leaned across the plane aisle toward him, an excited grin plastered across his face and a glassy look in his eyes as he sloshed down his fourth mini-bottle of whiskey.

“What’s that?” Miles warily eyed his friend’s glass, taking note in case things got out of hand. He’d never known Tobin to understand boundaries, but his friend’s drinking had increased since Afghanistan. Not that Miles blamed him after what they’d seen over there.

Miles lifted his own glass, considered the whiskey inside for a minute before putting it back down on the tray table and pushing it away. At the rate Tobin was going, one of them would need to maintain a sense of control.

“Grass, Miles! When is the last time we saw a patch of grass, man? Whole meadows of grass and big trees everywhere you look?” Tobin had a distant look in his eyes as he leaned his head against the headrest. He lifted the mini-bottle of booze to his lips, only to realize it was empty. Frowning, Tobin reached above his head and pressed the call button to summon the flight attendant.

When she didn’t materialize in half a second, he pressed it again…and again…and again.

“Tobin, quit it!” Miles scowled. “She’s coming. Don’t you think you’ve had enough anyway? We’re landing soon, and you don’t need to be completely shit-faced when you see your mom again.”

Tobin scoffed, shaking the small plastic bottle in front of Miles’s face. “I’m going to need more than this kid-sized bottle if I’m going to see Janiiiice.” He grimaced as her name left his mouth.

“Kid-sized booze?” Miles rolled his eyes. “Yeah, I think you’ve had enough.”

“I just want to see a patch of grass, Miles.” Tobin’s voice was softer now, nostalgic.

Miles couldn’t help smiling and nodding his head. He knew exactly what Tobin meant. One of the many things their camp in Afghanistan had lacked was the lush green grass and trees they’d grown up with in their home town of Slipwick, Pennsylvania.

“I miss the lake.” Miles mused over fond memories of the woods near Lake Arthur where his family home was.

His father had built their house—it was really more of a cabin—from the ground up, right on the lake’s and completely off the beaten trail. It was farther from town than most of Miles’s friends when he’d been in school, but he’d never minded since spending every warm weather day on the water had been worth the trek. He’d practically lived for the hours spent in the old canoe, or equally ratty rowboat.

Tobin chuckled, rubbing his hand over his bare head. “You and that damn lake.” He rattled the ice in his cup, pressing the call button a few more times.

A snarl escaped Miles’s lips, swiveling in his seat to shoot his friend an angry glare, any sense of calm gone. “I swear on your fucking life, Tobin, if you press the damn button one more time, I will break your finger clean off,” he barked.

Tobin’s eyes widened, but Miles’s continued seething, his thoughts taking off at a sprint. The incessant ringing from the call button. The ringing in his head.

Ringing like the sound of the first explosion, knocking him to the ground.

“Damn, Miles.” Tobin put his hands up in defense. “Relax.”

Miles blinked and looked around, suddenly self-conscious. He’d drawn the attention of a few neighboring passengers. From the looks of concern on their faces, he’d be lucky if they didn’t call the Air Marshall on him.

Forcing a tight-lipped smile, he sat back in his seat and faced forward. Guilt washed over him when he noticed Tobin still staring at him with a look of suspicion.

“So grass, huh? What’s next after the greenery?” Miles asked.

An unspoken apology passed beneath his question, and Tobin grinned. All was forgiven. It had always been that simple between the two of them. “Hair. I can’t wait to let it grow out and finally meet some women. A lot of women—you remember how chicks loved my hair. I won’t be able to keep up with them all.”

“Yeah, right. Mr. Romantic suddenly becomes a player. That’ll be the day.” Miles chuckled, smoothing a hand over his own head, his short, dark blonde hair tickling the underside of his palm. “Bet you fifty bucks you’re in a relationship by the end of the month.”

“Hey, not my fault they keep coming back for more.” Tobin rubbed his thumb and index finger over the top of his lip. “I might even grow back my ’stache.”

“Oh, hell no.” Miles dropped his head back, laughing loudly. Several passengers turned to glare at his most recent outburst, but this time, he didn’t care. “No woman is going to go near you with that dirt on your face again.”

“Hey, I got no complaints.” Tobin huffed, pushing out his chest defensively. He took the next mini-bottle of whiskey from the flight attendant and swigged it down in a single chug. Belching, he pounded his fist to his chest. “At least I wasn’t the town kiss-ass.”

Miles lifted one brow. “Town kiss-ass?”

“You heard me,” Tobin continued. “Once a golden boy, always a golden boy.”

It’d been a while since Miles had thought about his reputation back in Slipwick. All-star high school quarterback, prom king, and class president—he’d been treated like royalty in the small town. Not to mention, he was the late Violet Kydd’s son, the elementary school teacher nearly every single person in town had adored.

His mother, or “Vi” as everyone called her, had been well loved for her sweet demeanor, generous heart, and the brilliant smile that seemed to find its way into even the coldest hearts. Miles had never officially met her since she’d died during childbirth due to complications, but her legacy lingered in every framed photograph at home and every person on the street who stopped to tell him how much they missed her. The Mayor back then had even elected to plant a tree in the main courtyard downtown with a bronze plaque at the base dedicated to her.

“I’ve never been a kiss-ass,” Miles clarified, lifting his chin. He couldn’t control how the town saw him, but he’d certainly never been an angel—especially with a best friend like Tobin. “What about the time I set off an M-80 in Mr. Fenton’s rowboat? Sunk that sucker in less than thirty seconds. Would a golden boy do that?”

“Only ’cause I gave you the firecracker to begin with!” Tobin laughed, a deep belly laugh that always made Miles smile, along with anyone else who heard its unique lilt. “You were so scared—you bolted the second you tossed it in.”

“What else would I do? Wait around for it to blow my eyebrows off?” Miles was laughing just as hard now. “Those things are illegal, you know. I wasn’t about to end up in jail thanks to you.”

“Hey, true friends do time together.” Tobin pointed a finger at him, one brow raised. “I regret nothing.”

“I bet you regretted setting your arm on fire with bug spray,” Miles countered.

Tobin’s cheeks reddened slightly, but he shrugged. “Scientific research—plus now we know bug spray is flammable.”

“Yeah, reading that exact warning on the side of the can didn’t make it clear,” Miles said, laughter flowing easily between them.

“Trust but verify, my friend.” Tobin cocked one eyebrow as he opened his next mini-bottle, downing it in one go again. His face twisted at the taste, coughing until his throat cleared. “My life’s motto.”

“When your life motto leads to death, it’s time to pick a new one,” Miles said, shaking his head. “You’re reckless, man.”

“I prefer the term fearless.” Tobin crossed his arms over his chest. “And if I do kick the bucket, you better hope I don’t come back and haunt your ass.”

Miles tried to stretch out his legs into the aisle, feeling cramped in the tight plane seat. “There’s no such thing as ghosts, Tobin.”

Tobin didn’t respond right away.

Miles turned to see him staring out the tiny, square window, down at the landscape hundreds of miles below them.

“After what we did, you still believe that?” Tobin asked.

The reminder of the incident lashed out at Miles as if Tobin had slapped him across the face. He looked away, swallowing hard. There wasn’t anything to say about Afghanistan, or what they’d done over there—more accurately, what he’d done over there.

So, he said nothing.

“I’m just glad to be going home, Miles,” Tobin continued, his tone hushed and heavy now.

Miles opened his mouth to agree, but his voice caught in his throat as painful memories pushed into his mind. Finally, he cleared his throat and nodded.

“Good afternoon, ladies and gentleman,” the flight attendant’s voice came over the intercom. “We’re beginning our descent into Pittsburgh…”

Both men eagerly sat straighter at the mention of their destination, Miles’s anticipation growing as the flight attendant described the landing protocol and droned on about the weather on the ground. He drew his seatbelt across his lap and clasped it, pulling the band tighter around his waist.

The landing was suddenly making him a little nervous, which was odd since he hadn’t been afraid of anything in last eight years from raiding terrorist camps to returning enemy fire, even coming face to face with death.

Miles exhaled slowly, closed his eyes, and leaned his head back. Only a few more minutes and they would no longer be active duty Marines. They would be home.

And maybe that’s why this landing made him so nervous.

***

Getting off a plane was by far one of the most irritating parts of Miles’s journey home. Standing behind dozens of other passengers waiting to disembark, his head was awkwardly cramped to the side, unable to stand straight with the plane’s low ceiling.

He shot a look of frustration at Tobin, who was a few inches shorter and had no problem being completely upright. By the time they managed to shuffle off the plane and through the gate, Miles was beyond ready to get his bag and go.

Silence fell naturally between the men as they headed to baggage claim, trying to spot their gear bags amid the sea of black, wheeled suitcases.

While they waited, Miles watched the other passengers being greeted by loved ones—wives with signs of love, children holding My Daddy is an American Hero banners, and mothers wringing their hands with a nervous energy that was almost infectious. Shouts of excitement, tears of joy, and raucous laughter filled the room, and yet Miles felt the exact opposite—his skin crawled with unease from the cacophony.

Someone grabbed Miles’s shirt from behind, and he sprang forward, away from his assailant, pivoting quickly, his hands in the air prepared to fight, his breathing suddenly ragged and unsteady.

A small child stood in front of him, his knees wobbling and eyes wide. The stunned look on the child’s face told Miles he’d accidentally grabbed him before the little boy quickly crumpled into tears, his wailing immediately alerting a man—presumably his father—nearby.

Tobin stared over at him, one brow raised, surprise evident on his face. “Uh, Miles?”

“What the hell is your problem, man?” the boy’s father yelled, quickly scooping his child into his arms and staring Miles down with all the ferocity of a papa bear.

Miles dropped his aggressive stance and opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out. He swept his fingers through his short hair as the father stormed off, his bawling child tucked tight in his arms.

Tobin cocked one brow higher than the other. “Dude, what the fuck was that? Where do you think we are?”

Miles shrugged his shoulders, heat settling in his cheeks. “My bad.”

Tobin stared at him for another moment then frowned and went back to watching for their luggage.

Miles took the opportunity to scan the room, hoping finding a familiar face in the crowd might distract him from wondering why he’d reacted so impulsively to the child touching his back.

A deep-seated longing filled him—a desire to have someone there to greet him, someone who cared he’d just spent eight years and multiple tours overseas, or even someone to simply offer a hug or handshake. He already knew his father wasn’t coming because of his failing health, but the optimistic little boy in him looked around hoping to spot him anyway.

Tobin gave him a puzzled look. “Are you expecting someone?”

“No, just looking,” Miles replied. “Lots of happy people here…” His voice trailed off at the end, and he started looking for his gear bag instead.

“You know Walter would be here if he could.” Tobin clapped him on the back. “Cancer is a bitch, Miles.”

“What about your mom?” he asked, changing topics not-so-subtly.

Tobin scoffed and shoved his hands into his pockets. “Yeah, right, like Janice would ever take the time out of her day to do something for her son.” Tobin cleared his throat, his voice lowering to a mutter. “She probably doesn’t even remember I’m coming home—never responded to my last letter.”

Miles got the hint and dropped it; he had known Tobin long enough to know when his friend didn’t want to explain further.

Janice Leach had always had a drinking problem, along with some illegal activities they’d been too naïve as a child to understand. So, it was safe to say she’d never been one to count on.

Miles had never had a sibling, but Tobin had a younger sister who’d died when she was fourteen years old. After that, it had been just the two of them, and Tobin became the brother he never had. In fact, Miles had no childhood memories which didn’t include him, since Tobin had spent most of his time at the Kydd house.

Tobin smacked Miles on his arm and pointed to a military duffel bag falling off the carousel’s starting point and making its way around to them. “Isn’t that one yours?”

Miles pressed through the throng of people in front of him and grabbed it. Minutes later, both men had collected their bags and headed to the shuttle that would take them home.

Miles led the way and Tobin followed, balancing his luggage on his shoulder. “Time to head home, Tobin.”

Tobin grinned like a kid on Christmas morning. “God bless America!”

CHAPTER TWO

The shuttle dropped Miles off at the end of a dirt road pointing down to his family cabin on Lake Arthur. The driver refused to go any farther because of the narrow space between the trees and how large the vehicle was, so Miles agreed to walk the rest.

With a nod to Tobin and a promise to see him tomorrow, Miles slung his bag over his shoulder and stepped out onto the dirt road, which had mostly been formed from years of trampling and tire grooves.

It took Miles about twenty minutes of walking before he spotted the familiar home through the trees. It was a dark brown, wooden, two-story house with a slanting roof and an always-smoking chimney. Walter loved having the fireplace going, even if it was the end of summer and plenty warm outside.

The front of the house was circled in rows of flower bushes that only paused for the stairs leading to the porch. The wraparound porch had been his mother’s request back when Walter first built the house, and still one of his favorite parts of the whole place. It extended completely around the house, leaving plenty of room for lounge chairs, potted plants, a birdcage, and other eclectic items that had found their way there over the years.

The front of the house boasted two tall windows on either side of the red front door—another request from his mother who inexplicably insisted every home should have a red door.

Miles couldn’t stop the smile from spreading wider on his face as he increased his pace—bounding up the front steps, two at a time. The cool metal of the doorknob in his hand was the only reminder he needed—he was safe, he was home, God bless America.

Eagerly, he swung the door open, tossing his bags to the side of the front room. It didn’t even faze him that the front door was unlocked— Slipwick was a trusting town and the closest neighbor was miles away.

Familiar scents battled for his attention as he inhaled—the cedar walls, the breeze from the lake, the ashes from the fireplace, or the fresh iced tea always ready for visitors.

Miles smiled, the kind of smile that spread deep to his soul. Two years had passed since his last visit home, and it had been over eight years since he’d lived there officially, but it all looked exactly as he remembered each time.

He’d known he missed home, but it hadn’t truly sunk in how deeply he had longed for it until the swelling in his chest brought every memory rushing back into him. Miles closed the front door behind him, heading straight through the house and into the kitchen where a side door led out to the back porch.

The door was wide open with only a screen blocking the way, which Miles knew meant his father was out there like he was most evenings. The back porch connected around to the front, but was much higher off the ground due to the slope down to the lake. It had a great view of the lake, despite a few trees in the way, and had always been his father’s favorite place in the early evening.

Miles walked over to the fridge, pulling it open, and found the homemade iced tea he had been craving. Pouring himself a glass, he tilted the cool liquid to his lips, letting it slide over his tongue—some of the dust from his tours overseas sliding away with it. He finished the entire glass in a few gulps and placed it in the sink, heading for the porch door next.

Miles pushed the screen to the side, spotting his father exactly where he’d predicted. Walter was sitting at the patio table playing solitaire—one of his favorite pastimes.

He paused for a moment, registering the extreme changes in his father’s appearance. Walter had lost at least thirty pounds since Miles had last been home to see him, and looked as if he’d aged twenty years since then. An oxygen tank rested on the wood deck beside him, a tube hooked around his father’s ears and tucked in his nostrils. The quiet whirring sound of the oxygen pushing its way into his father’s nose fit right in with the chattering night life in the surrounding woods.

Miles struggled to fit the image before him with the father who had always exuded vitality. This man was different. This man was frail and breakable—two things Miles had never associated with his father before.

Despite the shock, he did his best to push his worries away, plastering a forced smile on his face and stepping out of the doorway, closing the distance between them.

“Dad!” Miles called out as he approached.

His father’s face lit up as he turned to look at him, smiling ear to ear, and raising his arms in greeting. “Miles, my boy, you’re home! Come give your old man a hug!”

Miles relaxed, glad to see the familiar twinkle still shining through his father’s eyes. “Good to see you, Pops.”

“Me? Look at you.” Walter held him at a distance, hands on both of Miles’s arms as he looked him up and down. “You’re huge! They trained you hard over there, huh? Man, my little boy is long gone, isn’t he? Hiding somewhere under all that scruff.” A nostalgic smile crossed his father’s face.

Miles chuckled, nodding in agreement. He rubbed his hand over the stubble on his chin, which he used to only need to shave once a week, sometimes less, when he’d first joined the service. Now he had a shadow by noon, and stubble by evening—not to mention his body sculpted by the Marines. “Oh yeah, people shooting at you is a proven motivator to get off your ass and run.”

A momentary flash of worry crossed his father’s face, but was replaced quickly with pride. His father was a veteran of the Vietnam War, so Miles knew he’d been equally terrified and honored when his son had joined the military at eighteen.

“We missed you around here, Kydd,” Walter said, using their last name as a nickname just as he always had.

“Missed you too, Dad,” Miles said, patted his father on the back. “How have you been doing? I see they have you on oxygen now…and a wheelchair?”

This was why he’d come home—no reason waiting to address the elephant in the room.

“Lymphoma will do that to you,” Walter confirmed. “All this crap just makes it a little easier on me to get around for what time I have left.”

“Dad—” Miles started.

“It’s okay, Miles,” Walter interrupted, his eyes misting over slightly—a sure sign he was thinking of Miles’s mother, Violet. “I’ve lived a great life and I can’t wait to see your mother again.”

Uncomfortable, Miles looked away. “Don’t talk like that, Pops. People survive cancer—you could be one of those people. Stay positive; fight it.”

“I am being positive,” Walter replied, still smiling. “That doesn’t mean I want to fight it, though. I haven’t seen your mother in twenty-six years—she is still the love of my life, you know.”

“You’ve only told me a million times.” Miles gently squeezed his father’s shoulder, loving hearing about his mother even if it was in this context.

“And when are you going to find your Violet?” Walter didn’t pull any punches, shuffling the deck of cards in front of him.

A laugh slipped out as Miles took the cards from his father and began cutting the deck between the two of them to start a game of war—one of their favorites. “That’s not happening any time soon, Pops.”

“You never know,” Walter said, his brows lifting.

Miles divided the deck into two piles as the screen door slid open behind them and soft footsteps landed on the wood. The air left his lungs in a whoosh and his breathing became staggered as he jumped up, almost knocking the table. He swirled to face whoever was approaching. Adrenaline coursed through his veins, leaving him shaky. His muscles tensed as he pushed himself to his full height, spreading his arms and legs in a solid fighting stance, preparing for an attack.

The young woman standing in front of him let out a shocked gasp as a look of fright overtook her features, her hand flying to her chest.

Then she faded and Miles only saw fire.
Flames that stung his eyes.
The smell of burnt flesh.
 Fire.

If you liked the first two chapters, please make sure to preorder NOT A HERO on Amazon today! 
(Click on the desired retailer below to purchase!)
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA


not-a-hero-coming-oct-4-square

From the bestselling author of the Kavanagh Legends MMA series, Sarah Robinson’s Not A Hero is an emotional standalone military romance where love battles trauma, and there can only be one victor.

Former Marine, Miles Kydd, is trying to readjust to civilian life after ending his career and returning to his small home town when he learned his father was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Once the town hero and star quarterback, Miles no longer feels like the man he was, or who he’s expected to be—possibly because his demons have followed him home from Afghanistan.

Meeting Zoe Brooke, his father’s live-in nurse, gives Miles the slightest glimmer of hope that he can still find happiness despite the dark secrets he holds inside. The chemistry between them is undeniable, and together they are explosive—in more ways than one.

A helper at her core, Zoe is more than willing to care for Miles’s heart, but not at the expense of her own, and she’s not afraid to tell him that. She knows what having a painful past is like, and she wants to help him with his, if he’ll let her.

Things get complicated fast when Miles realizes burying his secrets isn’t actually the same as healing from them and if he wants the girl, he’s going to have to tell her the truth—the one thing he can’t do.

This book is suggested for 18+ years of age, contains graphic content, sensitive subject matters, and sexually explicit material.

Preorder Not A Hero (Coming 10/4/16): 
(Click on the desired retailer below to purchase!)
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

This novel is available FREE on Kindle Unlimited, and is currently only available in the Amazon Kindle store.


Add ‘Not a Hero’ to GOODREADS!

Not a Hero: A Marine Romance
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COMING OCT 4th: Not a Hero, A Marine Romance (Brand New Standalone)

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COMING OCTOBER 4, 2016!

Preorder Not A Hero: 
(Click on the desired retailer below to purchase!)
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA


I’m so excited to announce that I’m publishing my 7th indie book soon (9th published book total, and 11th book written!)! Eeks! I’m so excited to dip back into my roots, and bring you all a story I’ve been wanting to finish for so long. This story is not easy, and it’s subject matter is slightly dark, but it’s full of passion and characters you’re going to remember.

For the time being, this novel is going to be exclusive to Amazon Kindle for at least the first 90 days of release, but possibly longer. This means that it’s available to anyone who has the Kindle App (you can get it on any smart phone, tablet, computer, or a Kindle tablet!) and if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can get it FREE!

Last, but not least, this novel is a full-length standalone romance with graphic content and is going to be $2.99 during the preorder period and the first 2-ish weeks of release. After that, the price will rise, so if you’d like it, grab it now!

Thanks for giving this book a chance, and once you read it, please remember to leave a review!

Love,
Sarah



Preorder Not A Hero: 

(Click on the desired retailer below to purchase!)
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

This novel is available FREE on Kindle Unlimited, and is currently only available in the Amazon Kindle store.


From the bestselling author of the Kavanagh Legends MMA series, Sarah Robinson’s Not A Hero is an emotional standalone military romance where love battles trauma, and there can only be one victor.

Ex-Marine, Miles Kydd, is trying to readjust to civilian life after ending his career and returning to his small home town when he learned his father was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Once the town hero and star quarterback, Miles no longer feels like the man he was, or who he’s expected to be—possibly because his demons have followed him home from Afghanistan.

Meeting Zoe Brooke, his father’s live-in nurse, gives Miles the slightest glimmer of hope that he can still find happiness despite the dark secrets he holds inside. The chemistry between them is undeniable, and together they are explosive—in more ways than one.

A helper at her core, Zoe is more than willing to care for Miles’s heart, but not at the expense of her own, and she’s not afraid to tell him that. She knows what having a painful past is like, and she wants to help him with his, if he’ll let her.

Things get complicated fast when Miles realizes burying his secrets isn’t actually the same as healing from them and if he wants the girl, he’s going to have to tell her the truth—the one thing he can’t do.

This book is suggested for 18+ years of age, contains graphic content, sensitive subject matters, and sexually explicit material.


Add ‘Not a Hero’ to GOODREADS!

Not a Hero: A Marine Romance

 


 

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SAVING A LEGEND FEATURED IN HYPABLE, HUFFPO, SHEKNOWS.COM, USA TODAY, EXAMINER.COM, AND MORE!

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Saving a Legend is live… and everywhere!

I was so unbelievably excited to see Saving a Legend go live this week, but even more excited to see the response to it. Major publications featured it, and over 300+ blogs shared about it! Three days after its release, there were over 106+ reviews on Amazon with a 4.4 out of 5 rating! Talk about overwhelming!

So, I spent the week posting on Instagram, celebrating with sushi, and trying to keep up with the millions of notifications on my phone and social media accounts. It. Was. Amazing.

And it’s all thanks to you guys!

Below are a few places that featured Saving a Legend this week, and I hope you guys will check them out. Fun interviews, excerpts, and games made for the perfect release week, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

If you haven’t gotten a copy of SAVING A LEGEND yet, go do it now! PURCHASE HERE!

HEA


SAL on Hypable


SAL in Examiner

Or read my interview with Examiner.com
called ‘Writers on Writing’ here.


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Read my interview in Lauren Layne’s Weekly here!


SHE KNOWS SAL


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And last, but certainly not least, you can read the first two chapters of SAVING A LEGEND on my website here!
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Read the First 2 Chapters of SAVING A LEGEND!

Read the First Two Chapters…

It’s been a tremendous few weeks leading up to this release, and I’m already floored by the amazing rave reviews on Goodreads. I’m so excited to give you all the first two- YES, TWO!!!- whole chapters of SAVING A LEGEND in this email! So, I’ll keep this short so you can scroll to the bottom and read!

I can’t wait for tomorrow! And don’t forget to join the FACEBOOK RELEASE PARTY tonight with Tracy Wolff! We’ll be giving away a ton of things (actually, there is  giveaway in there now!) and have some big time authors stopping by for fun and games! Definitely don’t want to miss that! Until then, enjoy this excerpt- I can’t wait for you to meet Kieran and Fiona, and little Shea.

Love you all,
Sarah

Preorder at Any Retailer Below!


FINAL Saving a Legend Cover

SAVING A LEGEND
Kavanagh Legends, Book 2

Prologue

“Did you call the cops?”
“What the hell did you do, Kavanagh?”
“Is he dead?”
“Run!”

Kieran Kavanagh’s sneakers hit the cement hard as he pushed off and sprinted toward the edge of the empty swimming pool. Glancing down at his hands, he realized they were covered in blood, and it wasn’t his. He pulled the wrap tape off them and threw it to the side as he ran, hoping to rid himself of the evidence.

Gripping the top edge of the pool wall, he hoisted himself up to the ground, his biceps straining with the swift movement, only to come to a dead stop when confronted with three uniformed police officers, their weapons drawn.

“Hands where I can see ’em!”

Kieran’s eyes went wide, his breathing ragged, his hands slowly rising in the air. Nearly everyone who’d been watching and betting on the illegal fight had cleared out. The few stragglers who weren’t fast enough were being cuffed and read their rights.

“Hands behind your back.” The officers pulled his arms down behind him, cuffing his wrists and holding his forearms with an iron grip.

Looking over his shoulder, Kieran saw the bloodied mess of his opponent lying motionless on the empty pool floor. Police were already climbing down to help him, when he spotted Rory, his older brother, in the mix. Rory’s eyes found Kieran, and the look of shock and disappointment was enough to gut him.

“Fuck.”
 

Chapter 1
Two Years Later

“Kavanagh! Up! Let’s go, you’re being processed out,” a burly guard announced from the hallway outside his cell.

“About fucking time.” Kieran jumped down from the top bunk he’d been stretched out on. It had been his home for two years, and yet each night he’d had to come up with a new way to fold himself onto the tiny metal platform with a sorry excuse for a mattress pad. Either his feet hung off the end—the steel edge digging into his calf—or one of his arms fell to the side, or his head was crunched up against the dingy gray wall.

“Hands through the slot,” the guard instructed, pulling out a pair of cuffs.

Kieran pushed both hands through a small opening in the bars and waited as the guard slapped the cuffs over his wrists. Once secured, Kieran stepped back from the bars and the guard called his cell number into his radio. A buzzer sounded and the bars slowly slid open, grunting and complaining the entire way.

“Let’s go.” The guard motioned for Kieran to move, which he did. He wanted to get out of here just as much as this guard didn’t want to have to deal with him anymore.

At this point, he was double the size of most of the guards, and even most of the inmates. He’d spent his prison sentence working out because, frankly, there was nothing else to do. He needed to keep busy, stay active, in order not to let his mind dwell on the fact that he was wasting his youth behind bars.

“Is anyone here to pick me up?” Kieran asked the guard as they walked through the jail. “What do I look like? Your fucking babysitter?”

“Um,” Kieran paused, considering saying something snappy that would no doubt earn him a nightstick between the shoulder blades.

“Shut the fuck up, Kavanagh.” The guard unlocked two doors in a row, escorting him into the processing area of the prison. “Go get your clothes from over there.”

Kieran glanced in the direction he was pointing to see another guard sitting at a desk behind a glass pane. Once uncuffed, Kieran headed toward her and pulled his inmate badge off, pushing it through the slot.

“Kavanagh. All right, here’s your stuff. Go get changed and bring your coveralls back when you’re done.” She pushed a clear plastic bag through the slot, and he recognized his jeans and shirt.

Kieran sifted through the bag of clothing in his hands. “That’s everything I had on me?”

The first guard scoffed from behind him. “You weren’t exactly draped in gold and diamonds when you got arrested, Kavanagh.”

Kieran ignore the jab and headed into a small room off to the side of the processing area. He hurried to yank the dull gray jumpsuit down his body, pushing it to the ground and stepping out.

He slid on his old jeans, feeling they were a bit tight around his thighs. Every muscle on his body had tripled in size, even his legs. Pulling on his old T-shirt, he wasn’t the least bit surprised when it barely made it down his midsection, stretching tightly over his defined pecs and chiseled abs.

Thankfully, his sweatshirt fit better since he’d always worn them a bit baggy anyway. With the warmth of spring he knew the extra layer would be somewhat uncomfortable, but at least the sweatshirt covered his stomach. He was already loving the feeling of the familiar old fabric against his skin, rather than stiff, scratchy prison garb.

He pulled his wallet out of the bag and flipped it open.

Kieran Murphy Kavanagh. Age 25.

He felt older, as if centuries had passed while he was staring out of barred windows. It had been a while since he’d seen his name in print, reminding him that only his family called him by his first name. He’d gotten so used to going by his last name only in here. He shoved his wallet into his pocket, then headed back to the front desk and handed his coveralls through the slot.

“You set?” asked the guard who was escorting him.

“Been ready to get out of this hellhole for two years.”

“Good, don’t let me see your ugly mug in here again.”

Keeping a firm hand on Kieran’s upper arm, the officer led him down another hallway and through two more locked doors before pointing him to his final exit. It was a plain set of solid double doors, with slivers of sunshine sneaking through the cracks around all four edges.

Kieran’s hand paused on the prison door handle for only a moment before pushing down and out. Swallowing his nerves, he stepped into the sun and immediately shielded his eyes from the light. Until now, he had been allowed only one short visit per day to the prison yard, which was a small section of land mostly shaded by the building itself. Now, feeling the wind gently brushing over his skin, not obscured by high walls, his chest ached for all he’d missed.

Acutely alert to all the sounds and smells he’d been missing these last two years, he walked down a concrete path leading toward the twenty-foot-high metal fencing that surrounded the prison. Birds chirping, the roar of diesel engines, and the smells of exhaust mixing with spring air hit him all at once. All once so familiar, they now overloaded his senses.

Guards in towers watched him make his exit along the concrete path. As he tried to acclimate to the bright sun and the feeling of being free, he decided that this was it. Taking stock of everything around him one final time, he promised himself he would never set foot here again. He was determined, he was going to follow the rules, and he would make damn sure this part of his life was over for good.

“Kieran!”

Snapping out of his thoughts, he saw a tiny older woman jumping up and down, waving at him, her dark red hair a halo around her expressive face. He’d know that vibrant hair and bright grin anywhere—his mother, Deidre “Dee” Kavanagh.

Speeding up his stride, he arrived at the gate on the edge of the prison property just as it buzzed and opened for him. Seeing his mother with a big smile on her face was everything he’d hoped for, and he spread his arms wide for her. She had visited him every other weekend in the federal prison and had kept him up to date on life back home, but they’d never been allowed more than one quick, supervised hug good-bye each time. “Good to see you, too, Ma.”

“I’ve missed you so much, Kieran. A boy shouldn’t be away from his mama this long.” She sniffed, let go, and then stepped back.

He smiled at her and affectionately cupped her face, wiping away the tears. She looked older than he remembered, and definitely more stressed. Wrinkles lined her forehead, and the corners of her eyes were lined with creases he’d never seen before.

Guilt bit at him as he wondered if he was to blame for how much she’d aged in the last two years.

“All right, Ma, stop hogging him.” Kieran finally noticed that two of his brothers were standing next to the car behind them.

His younger brother, Quinn, pushed his jet-black hair out of his eyes as he walked up first and shook Kieran’s hand, bumping their shoulders together and clapping him on the back.

“It’s so good to see you, Quinn,” Kieran greeted his brother.

“About fucking time,” Quinn said as they pulled apart. Despite Quinn’s friendly smile, he seemed stiff, maybe intimidated, like he barely recognized him. Kieran felt the same way, since Quinn had definitely added even more tattoos to his lean, athletic body since he’d seen him last.

“I’m not a mirror, you know.” Another familiar voice called out as his twin approached, grinning widely. Their blue eyes mimicked one another under the fluffy, short brown hair they both shared, even though Kane’s was a bit longer than his at the moment.

Kieran grinned at his twin brother. “Kane, you’ve gotten smaller.”

“Fuck that, you got gigantic. What the hell were you doing in there?” Kane sounded a little bitter at the discrepancy between them as they hugged. This was what he needed, his other half. Their bond was more than brothers; no one else could make him feel at peace the way his twin did.

He and Kane were identical twins, though Kieran was older by a few minutes, and he never let Kane forget that. Their family members could tell them apart, but most others couldn’t. The size difference between them would make that a lot easier now. Although, knowing Kane, he’d probably hit the gym extra hard now in an attempt to close that gap.

“Maybe I should have you training me instead of Rory. I think you might be bigger than him now,” Kane said over his shoulder as he led the way to the car.

“No one’s bigger than Rory.” Quinn laughed, wrapped an arm around his mother’s shoulders, and followed Kane, with Kieran next to them.

Mention of his older brother sparked Kieran’s curiosity. “Where is Rory? Or Jimmy? Or Casey and Dad?”

“Jimmy’s working. I’m sure, as a cop, he’s tired of visiting prisons,” Quinn answered, trying to make a joke, but no one laughed.

“Casey’s taking her midterms. She’s in her spring semester at New York University.” Dee climbed into the car first and slid into the back, leaving room for Quinn to slide in next to her so the twins could sit together up front.

“That doesn’t explain Rory or Dad. I’m guessing they didn’t want to make the long trek for the screwed-up son,” Kieran trailed off, sliding into the passenger seat. No one said anything as Kane started the engine and pulled out onto the road.

“Each of my boys is perfect in his own way,” Dee finally said, trying to change topics. “And now they will all be together again for Sunday dinner.”

His mother’s comment brought back wonderful memories of what Sundays used to be like, surrounded by family. It was Friday afternoon now, so he was already anticipating the upcoming event. He was curious to see if it would be a happy occasion, as he remembered it being, or if he would feel unwelcome after his time away. He’d heard all kinds of stories from guys he’d met in prison who’d gotten out, only to wind up back behind bars again soon after, about how people treated you differently when convicted felon was added to your résumé.

“Kane, you got extra room at your place?” Kieran asked.

“Yeah, need a place to crash?”

“Just for a few days. I’m going to go apartment hunting soon.”

“You’re not going to stay with your father and me?” Dee asked, leaning forward toward the front seat so they could hear her better.

“I’m a bit old to be living with my parents, Ma.”

“Nonsense, it’s not like I’m asking you to live at home for the rest of your life, just until you’re settled. Any of my kids are welcome to live at home anytime. People are always coming and going at our house anyway, and it’s been so long since I’ve had any of my boys home.”

“Ma, he’s fine with me,” Kane intervened.

Dee leaned back in her seat. “You’ve spent two years somewhere I couldn’t help you or take care of you, Kieran. Let me be your momma again for a little while, just until you get situated.”

Kieran felt his mother’s hand on his shoulder, so he placed his on top and gave her a comforting squeeze. “Ma, I really don’t think I deserve to be pampered right now. I was in prison, not the peace corps.”

“Don’t say that.” She smacked his upper arm from the backseat. “All of my boys are wonderful and deserve everything. A little slipup doesn’t mean anything.”

Quinn snorted at her comment. “Is two years behind bars considered a little slipup?”

“Quinn,” Dee warned.

“Sorry,” he replied sheepishly. “I’m sure Kane will pamper him plenty over at his place.”

“The fuck I will,” Kane admonished, shaking his head, which earned him a prompt swat on his arm from Dee.

Kieran laughed at the thought of his twin brother doing anything for anybody else. They might be the exact same age, minus about five minutes, but Kane seemed like he hadn’t changed one bit in the last few years. Kieran envied that, because he felt the exact opposite.

Everything was different about him now. He was different.

“Kieran, please stay with us,” Dee continued. “We had someone from your dad’s old boxing days staying with us the last month, but he’s since left and we’ve plenty of room. I can make you pancakes, bacon, and chocolate milk tomorrow morning. You know how you love that!”

“You should open a bed and breakfast, Ma,” Quinn said. “Get paid for always being the innkeeper.”

“Nonsense, we don’t need the money. Plus, I like having people there, especially my sons,” Dee said before leaning forward toward Kieran with hopeful eyes. “Kieran?”

“I’ll be fine at Kane’s, Ma,” he reiterated. “I’ll visit home often though.”

Dee sighed, finally seeming to accept his answer. “Fine, but you better not miss one single Sunday dinner. Ever again.”

He grinned. “Deal.”

◆◆
 

“Will you just trust me? Rory comes here every Sunday and gets Ma flowers.” Kane sighed, opening the flower shop door and ushering Kieran inside.

“So what, I’m just supposed to copy him? How’s that help me?”

“I don’t know, call it sucking up, apologizing, playing nice. Any of the above. Pick one. It can’t hurt, right?”

“Whatever.” Kieran shrugged.

“Go ask the lady at the counter for a bouquet. I’m going to hit the head.” Kane headed toward a door to the side with a restroom sign hanging over it, but pointed Kieran toward the back of the shop, where a young woman sat in front of a cash register thumbing through a catalog.

Kieran sighed. “Seriously? You can’t wait ‘til we get to Ma’s?”

“Just go get the damn flowers.”

Kieran rolled his eyes at his brother’s retreating figure, then sauntered toward the counter. The young woman glanced up before closing her catalog. Her eyes widened as he moved toward her and she straightened her stance, tension visible in her long limbs.

“Hi, may I help you?” She forced a nervous smile, her light blue eyes making him pause. She was absolutely stunning, but in a muted way, as if she was trying to hide it from the world. Or as if she didn’t know she was beautiful. Whatever it was, he was having trouble taking his eyes off her.

“I need a bouquet,” he announced, forcing himself not to reach out and run his fingers through her long brown hair, which fell in thick waves just past her shoulders. Because that wouldn’t be creepy or anything, he thought, and wondered if two years in prison could have stunted his game.

“Sure, a bouquet of what?”

“Flowers.”

Kieran wanted to grab the word as soon as it left his mouth, realizing how juvenile he sounded. His game was definitely lacking. The young woman stifled a smirk, her body visibly relaxing and her lips twitching.

She cleared her throat, peering at him with kindness. “All right, well, who would it be for? Maybe that can help us narrow down our choices.”

“It’s for my mother.”

“Do you know what her favorite flower is?”

He shook his head, trying to think of the last time he had seen his mother with flowers. In truth, he hadn’t purchased flowers for his mother since her birthday the year before he went to jail. He didn’t think she was the stereotypical roses type of woman, but he wasn’t sure.

“No, I can’t remember. I’ve been, uh, gone for a while. Just got back.”

“Welcome back, uh—” She paused, raising one brow.

“Kieran. Thanks.”

“I’m Fiona.”

“As in ‘Fiona’s Flowers’? This is your shop? Wow, that’s impressive. You don’t look old enough to have your own business.”

She walked out from around the counter and toward a refrigerated section. “And you look too old not to know your mother’s favorite flower.”

“Ah, Fiona: 1, Kieran: 0.” He followed her to the glass doors that separated a wide selection of floral bouquets.

“What about one of these? Think she might like this?” Fiona slid open the large refrigerator door and touched some pink flowers he didn’t recognize. “This has always been one of my favorites, ever since my mother first taught me about flowers.”

“If you like it, I’ll take it.” He agreed without hesitation, unable to keep his eyes from roaming the length of her perfectly curved yet long body.

Fiona nodded and removed the vase from the shelf of the refrigerated case, slid the door closed, then carried the vase over to the counter. She pulled some clear cellophane from under the counter and began wrapping the arrangement, taking care not to crush any of the blooms. Next, she brought out some ribbon and tied it around the vase, finishing it with a small bow.

“Beautiful,” Kieran said, complimenting more than just her work as he pulled out his wallet. “How much do I owe you?”

“Forty-nine, ninety-nine.”

“Fifty bucks? Do these flowers also come with dinner and a movie?” he asked.

She blushed and dropped her eyes to the counter, not saying anything. Shit. Not two days out of the joint, and he was already offending people. “I’m kidding, Fiona.” He handed her a few bills. “Unless you’d be interested in that?”

“In what?” She took the money from him and opened the cash register to put it away. “In dinner and a movie. With me.”

She looked up at him suddenly, wide-eyed, her lips parting slightly. Her cheeks blushed crimson, and that only made him like her more. She screamed innocence and purity when he was the opposite. “I, um, sorry. I don’t date.”

“I don’t buy that—you’re too beautiful.” He leaned against the counter, trying to get closer to her, but she handed him his purchase instead.

“What did you get Ma?” Kane came up behind him, interrupting his flirtation.

“Your mother should love these pink Gerber daisies.” Fiona smiled at Kane, which Kieran guessed was her way of avoiding looking at him.

Avoiding looking at him by looking at his twin instead . . . Yeah, he really didn’t understand women.

“Thanks, miss,” Kane said to the florist before turning to him. “Come on, bro, we’re going to be late.”

Kane took the vase of flowers from him and was already walking toward the door. Kieran started to follow, but paused to look back at Fiona.

“Don’t give me your answer now, flower girl. Think about it, and I’ll be back for your answer,” he added with a wink.

Fiona’s mouth fell open before he turned and followed his brother out the door. A few years in jail hadn’t changed anything; he knew he still had game. He just hoped it was enough to charm the beautiful brunette.
 

Chapter 2
 

“Ma! We’re here,” Kane called as he and Kieran walked into the front foyer of their childhood home.

“I’m in the kitchen. Come say hi to everyone,” she yelled in return. The Kavanaghs were known to be a rather loud family. The two men headed into the kitchen and found her taking a heavy dish out of the oven.

“Hey, Ma.” Kieran was going to kiss her cheek, but she was carrying hot lasagna in her mitted hands. After she placed the glass pan on the stove, she turned to hug him. When they parted, he offered her the bouquet. “I got these for you.”

“Oh! My boys are so kind, as always.” She took the flowers from him, then bustled about, removing the wrapping and making minor adjustments to the arrangement. She inhaled their fragrance and smiled warmly. “They’re perfect, Kieran. I’ve always loved pink daisies— it’s so sweet of you to remember after all this time.”

“Uh”—he paused sheepishly, rubbing his hand on the back of his neck—“it’s no big deal.” Thank you, Fiona.

“Ha! He didn’t remember anything. It was the pretty flower shop girl he was flirting with who suggested them.” Kane obviously had no qualms about selling his twin out to their mother.

“What the hell, man?” Kieran shot him an angry look accompanied by a not-so-gentle punch to his upper arm.

“It’s true!” Kane laughed, rubbing his arm with a grimace. Kieran had hit him a bit harder than he’d intended, still not fully aware of his newfound strength.

“It’s still a very sweet gesture, Kieran,” his mother assured him, stepping between the boys as if to break up an impending fight. She was the mother of five boys, so this was definitely nothing new for her. “Here, go put the vase on the table so we can see them while we eat.”

Dee handed him the vase before resting her hands on his forearms and leaning up to give him another kiss on the cheek. When she pulled back, tears glistened in her eyes. “I love you so much, Kieran. It’s so wonderful having you home again.”

Kieran felt a lump form in his throat. “I love you, too, Ma.”

“All right, enough of this,” Dee said with a forced laugh as she pulled her apron up to wipe at her eyes. “Go take the flowers before I embarrass you with more affection. Believe me, I’ve got so much more stored up for you from the last two years.”

Kieran smiled and turned to do as she’d asked. His heart felt like it was so full, it would burst. He loved his mother, and seeing the relief in her eyes made him both happy he was home and sad he’d ever left.

The first thing he saw when he walked into the dining room was a second vase centered on the table with a significantly bigger and more expensive-looking bouquet. Frowning, he pushed them to the side slightly and placed his vase next to it.

“Looks like Rory one-upped you.” Jimmy walked into the dining room and seemed to be sizing Kieran up. He looked less daunted than Quinn had, but his face carried a look of judgment. Or maybe disappointment. Either way, Kieran didn’t like it. Jimmy continued, “That’s why I don’t even bother buying Ma flowers anymore. None of us can compete with the famous Rory Kavanagh.”

Jimmy’s voice was lilted with exaggeration as he came over and hugged him stiffly. The redheaded man was stereotypical Irish, with a broad chest and a stoic stance that screamed law enforcement. Barely an inch or two shorter than Kieran, but significantly taller than the average guy, Jimmy’s clean-shaven, boyish face contrasted in a powerful way with his sculpted, mature frame.

“Good to see you, Jimmy.” Kieran hugged him back, genuinely happy to see his baby brother.

“Word of advice, try a box of chocolates or something next Sunday,” Jimmy teased as they pulled apart.

“I might do that, but I kind of want an excuse to see that hot florist again,” Kieran said, only half joking.

“Which florist did you go to?”

“Fiona’s Flowers, a couple blocks over.”

“Not a good idea, bro.” Jimmy shook his head.

“Why not? I’ve been in prison for two years, I’m not exactly picky.”

“Fine, but not that girl—leave her alone. She’s got baggage you don’t need to be picking  up and carrying right now.”

Kieran frowned and was about to ask what he meant when Casey walked into the dining room.

“Kieran!” Casey squealed in delight, rushing over to him and throwing her arms around his neck. Her long, bright red hair fell over his face as she squeezed him tightly.

“Hey, Case Face.” Kieran wrapped his arms around her and hugged her back before she pulled away to look at him. Her piercing blue eyes matched his, but she also had cute freckles over her nose and was as petite as he remembered.

“Have you gotten bigger? I didn’t think that was possible. God, you’re like Rory now, maybe larger.” Casey looked him over with sisterly pride. She may technically be his first cousin, but they’d grown up together in the same house, and so to him, she’d always be his little sister.

“Bullshit, I could snap him like a twig.” Rory’s deep voice boomed as he walked into the dining room, eyeing Kieran with caution and yet purposefully provoking him at the same time.

“The hell you could.” Kieran snorted.

Rory nodded down at the hulking black-and-white dog by his side. “You remember Ace?”

Ace looked much livelier than Kieran remembered. When he’d first met Rory’s dog, he had been underweight and mangled. Now he was healthy, and most of his fur had grown back. There was a thick scar down his side that looked new, but all the previous nicks he’d first seen on the dog were faded or covered with new, thicker fur.

Kieran placed his hand in front of the dog to sniff before scratching his head. “Hey, Ace.”

“I’m gonna go help Ma, but I’m so glad you’re back, K,” Casey said, using his nickname as she left to let the brothers talk.

“Same here.” Jimmy followed her.

“So, Kieran,” Rory said with an awkward pause, extending a hand as soon as they were alone. Kieran gripped it, shaking firmly with polite disinterest.

“Rory.”

“How was prison?” Rory asked, an uncomfortable heaviness in his voice.

“Fine, no thanks to you. How’s the bottom of a bottle?” He squeezed Rory’s hand tighter. Regret washed over him as he wished he hadn’t stooped so low and mentioned Rory’s alcoholism. Kieran had left prison resolving to become a new person, a better person. A person who was once again close to his entire family, including the one brother who had betrayed him.

“Five months sober, asshole.” Rory dropped his hand just as a pretty young girl with blond ringlets falling down her shoulders walked up to them, wrapping an arm around Rory’s waist. Ace’s ears perked up as he, too, leaned into the woman, definitely happy to see her.

“Hey, Kane, how are you?” she asked him, her smile kind and inviting.

“Babe, that’s not Kane.” Rory laughed, the tension seeming to melt off him from her touch. He kissed the top of her head.

“Oh! I’m sorry! Kieran, right? Wow, you and Kane sure do look alike, although I can definitely see the differences.” She blushed deeply, her pale skin turning crimson.

“That tends to happen when you share a womb for nine months.” Kieran grinned back at her. “You must be Clare?”

When his mother visited him over the last two years, they never talked about Rory much, especially after everything that had happened between them. However, she had mentioned that he had moved in with his girlfriend, Clare.

“Yep! It’s so great to meet you. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about you.” Her words seemed to bounce in the air between them, and when he offered his hand to her, she swept right past it and hugged him instead.

He decided then and there that he liked Clare, and that maybe she was his best chance of rebuilding a relationship with Rory. He also decided that Rory probably wasn’t the one who had been saying nice things about him.

“I don’t know who told you wonderful things, but we Kavanaghs tend to have a tenuous grasp on the truth.” Kieran laughed as he hugged her.

“I never lie!” Dee waltzed into the room behind them and wrapped an arm around his waist, confirming she had been the one to chat him up. “All of my sons are the absolute best. And mo neacht, my niece, of course.” Dee winked at Casey, who had followed her into the dining room.

“Can’t argue with you there.” Clare glanced over at Rory, who took it as an invitation to cover her lips with his in a very public, very affectionate display. It was both too much and perfect at the same time. Kieran had to avert his gaze not to feel like he was imposing on a private moment.

A pang of jealousy sliced through him as he wondered if he would have that with someone one day. It had been a long and lonely two years without women, which he’d thought would make him just want a woman to take the edge off. However, seeing what his brother had only made him want an actual relationship instead. He wanted someone to be there for him, to look at him the way Clare looked at Rory, and that meant a random hookup wouldn’t do.

An image of the pretty florist darted through his mind, but he pushed it away.

“There they go again.” Casey giggled. “Kieran, help me bring everything to the table. You don’t want to be around those lovebirds long or you won’t be able to eat.”

He followed her, grabbing a basket of rolls and a dish of butter from the kitchen to bring back to the dining room. Even the dog seemed uninterested in watching his owner’s affections and followed Kieran instead.

“Kieran.” His father’s tone as he approached was gruff and unforgiving. Seamus Kavanagh was now sporting more salt-and-pepper than his once jet-black hair. Like his mother, his father had definitely aged in the last two years while he’d been away. Another wave of guilt hit him, because he’d spent so many years wrapped up in his own life that he hadn’t paid attention to the grief he’d caused his family.

“Dad.” The men stared at each other for a moment, before moving into a stiff embrace. “It’s good to see you.”

His father grunted in response, and Kieran dropped his eyes to the floor, feeling self- conscious. He knew his father was disappointed in him, angry at what he had made of his life. Or what he hadn’t made of his life. It seemed neither one of them knew what to say.

“Hey, bro!” Quinn stepped around their father and was the next to hug him. Their exchange was much more natural than the stagnant awkwardness between him and his father.

A few minutes later, every dish was on the dining room table, and the place settings were perfectly arranged. The entire family filtered in, and Kieran took a seat on the left side, smack dab in the middle.

Casey, Kane, and Jimmy took the seats next to him, and Rory and Clare sat opposite with Quinn; their parents took either end. Ace lay sprawled out under the table.

“Kieran, can you say grace?” Dee reached her hands out to Casey and Quinn, who were on either side of her.

He shifted in his seat uncomfortably. “Uh, maybe someone else should?”

“I’ll do it,” Rory spoke up. Kieran glared at his brother for a second before taking a deep breath and bowing his head, wishing he’d just said the prayer rather than giving his brother the honors.

When Rory finished praying, everyone piled plates high and dug into the food. He loved his mom’s cooking, and as a kid his friends couldn’t wait to stop by their house because they knew she always had some tasty treat waiting for them. The meal was even better than he’d remembered.

“Ma, this is delicious.” Kieran scooped another forkful of lasagna into his mouth.

“I’m so glad you like it,” she responded with a relieved smile. He wondered if she’d felt nervous cooking for him for the first time since he’d been away. He hadn’t really considered that others might be feeling just as nervous as he was about the family reunion.

“Didn’t have food like this in prison, huh?” Quinn asked, always the instigator.

Kieran shook his head, ignoring the provocation.

“So you find a job yet?” Seamus asked gruffly from the top of the table, casting sidelong glances at Kieran.

“Not yet. Filled out a few applications yesterday, made a few calls. I still have plenty of savings, so it’s not really an emergency. Just need something to tell my parole officer.”

“Rory, why not have Kieran help you down at the clinic? Don’t you need help with the construction?” Dee interjected.

Rory began in protest, “Ma, I don’t think—”

“I can find a job, Ma. I meet with my PO in the morning, and I’m sure he’ll know where to point me.”

“But in the meantime, you need something. Even if the guy gives you some leads, it might be a while before one of them actually comes through.” Dee turned back to Rory. “What’s the harm in hiring your brother for a few days, Rory?”

“We could use the extra hands, babe,” Clare intervened, giving Kieran a sympathetic smile.

Part of him wanted to hate her pity, but in truth, he was grateful this total stranger was so accepting of him. He couldn’t understand why she was; she didn’t know him, and she undoubtedly hadn’t heard good things about him from his brother.

“Fine, but just until you find something else.” Rory glared at him for a moment before his eyes softened and he turned back to Clare. “Since when do you and my mom team up against me, mhuirnín?”

“Since she is right, and you’re a stubborn ass.” Clare shared a conspiring wink with Dee.

“You picked a good one there, Rory.” Dee reached over the table and squeezed Clare’s hand before turning to Kane. “What about you, Kane? Dating anyone I might like this time? I want grandchildren soon, you know.”

Kieran snorted and ducked away from his twin brother, not wanting the questions to deviate from Kane to him.

“What? Why me? You’ve got three other sons here who are all single, Ma. Plus Casey,” Kane said, in an attempt to deflect her attention.

“Not really. Casey needs to focus on finishing school. Jimmy’s only twenty-two; he’s too young to settle down. Quinn’s only a year older than Jim, and he’s stuck on the Finley girl.” Dee rattled on as she passed scraps of food under the table to Ace.

“I am not stuck on her!” Quinn protested, but she ignored him.

“So that leaves you, Kane.”

“What about Kieran? He was all over the pretty florist today.” Kane threw him to the wolves. Jimmy shook his head at the comment, reminding Kieran that he wanted to ask what Jimmy had meant earlier about Fiona having baggage.

“Don’t drag me into this.” Kieran put his hands up in defense, but inside he was happier than he had been in a long time. He had missed his family, and these Sunday dinners. Despite their bickering, he knew that in this room, no matter what he had done in the past, he was loved.

◆◆
 

“Kavanagh.” A short, bald man holding a clipboard stepped out of one of the rooms that lined the hallway Kieran was sitting in.

“Here.” Kieran stood from his chair and followed the man into a small windowless office, filled with entirely too many filing cabinets. The whole place reeked of mildew and stale coffee.

“Kieran Murphy Kavanagh. Age twenty-five. Two years upstate for aggravated assault, let out for good behavior. Now serving six months parole plus three hundred hours of community service. That you?” The man rattled off the information from the file in front of him.

“Yes, sir.”

“I’m Officer Kirk Huppert.” The man shook his hand before motioning to a chair facing a desk. Kieran was at least a hundred pounds bulkier than the stocky, short man, and yet the officer seemed completely unfazed by their size difference. “I’ll be your parole officer for the next six months, and hopefully not a day longer. If it is longer, it’s because you fucked up, and I have no qualms about throwing your ass back in jail. Understood?”

“Yes, sir. I’ve got no plans to go back there. Ever,” Kieran said, taking a seat as the officer rounded the desk and sat, spreading Kieran’s file out in front of him.

“Good, then don’t violate your parole. I find anything, I mean anything, that even smells the tiniest bit like shit and you’re doing another thirty days. Depending on how bad it is, possibly the rest of your sentence,” Officer Huppert said.

Kieran nodded. “I understand.”

Officer Huppert flipped through his file again. “So you got a job yet, Kavanagh?” “Yes, sir. Doing construction down at Woodlawn Rescue. My brother bought the place,and they’re fixing it up.”

“Oh, yeah, I’ve driven past that. It’s called Ace’s Dogs now, right? My kid’s been hassling me to get her a dog. Maybe when the place is up and running,” the officer mused out loud, not really talking to Kieran as he scanned his file. “And says here you’re living with your brother, too?”

“Different brother, but yes.”

“All right, if any of that changes, you need to let me know immediately. We’ll be meeting every Monday morning at this time, and if you miss even one appointment, we will have a warrant out for your arrest. Here’s my card, and you can call me anytime you need to talk.” The officer handed him a small business card.

“Yes, sir.” Kieran nodded, feeling nervous at the ease with which he could end up behind bars once again.

“For your three hundred hours of community service, you’re going to be working at a local youth center, right here in Woodlawn.”

“Working with kids?” Kieran’s brows shot up, unsure if the officer knew what he was saying. “I don’t really have any experience with children. Plus, do parents want an ex-con around their kids?”

Huppert waved his hand, dismissing his worries.

“Doesn’t matter, you’ll learn. You’ve got a college degree, and that’s a hell of a lot more than most of my other parolees have. This youth center has mainly at-risk kids, even though it isn’t solely for that. Administrators there think someone with your background could help get through to some of these kids. Scare-them-straight kind of thing. It’s a new initiative, so we’ll see how it goes.”

“What will I be doing there?”

“Tutoring mainly, but also doing whatever the hell the admin wants you to do. You’ll be there three hours a day, every afternoon, Monday through Friday. Here’s the information and address. Ask for Ms. Hannigan when you arrive. She’s expecting you as soon as we’re done here for a tour and all that, so you should get going.”

“Yes, sir.” Kieran took the paper offered to him and left the office.

His parole officer was a no-nonsense kind of guy, and Kieran appreciated that—a clear and straight talker was just the type of person he liked to deal with.

Woodlawn was a small neighborhood, all within walking distance, and he arrived at the Woodlawn Youth Center only fifteen minutes later. The run-down building outside was dull and parts were marked with graffiti; one of the windows was covered with cardboard.

As he pulled on the door handle, the front door scraped open with a loud groan that caused his whole body to tense. He really needed this to go well, starting with a good first impression. Luckily, the room he had just stepped into was empty, except for the young woman sitting at a desk on which a tiny plaque read RECEPTIONIST.

“Hi, I’m looking for Ms. Hannigan. Can you point me in the right direction?” Kieran asked, giving her a friendly smile.

“Sure, and you are?” She pushed her glasses up her nose and lifted the phone receiver to her ear, her hand hovering over the number pad.

“Kieran Kavanagh.”

“Kavanagh? As in the Kavanaghs?” She did a double take, perusing him slowly this time. “The one who just got out of jail?”

“Uh,” he stuttered. He knew everyone in Woodlawn talked, but he had been unprepared for her directness.

Finally, he nodded, doing his best not to show his annoyance. The receptionist turned her attention back to the phone and dialed an extension, telling the person on the other end in a hushed tone that he had arrived. Kieran wandered away from the desk and looked around the room as he waited.

It was on the small side and set up similar to a doctor’s office, with chairs and low tables holding a clutter of teen magazines. The ceilings were low—Kieran’s head was only a few inches from brushing it. There were colorful, inspirational posters on the walls, including one of a kitten holding on to a tree branch, with the quote HANG IN THERE. Nothing in the room matched, but somehow the random collection of different colored furniture worked.

“Mr. Kavanagh?” a young woman called from behind him, and he turned back to the receptionist to see a thin woman of average height standing next to her.

The new woman had tight, blond curls that hung down to her shoulders and reminded him a little bit of his brother’s girlfriend, Clare. She offered her hand to him, smiling warmly as her hazel eyes sparkled. Everything about her was relaxed and casual, probably the best sort of person to manage a center for at-risk kids.

“That’s me,” he confirmed as he took her small hand in his large grip, impressed that someone so young ran everything. She made him think of Fiona from the flower shop, someone else so young and in charge of her own business.

“I’m Nora Hannigan, the youth program’s main coordinator, but just call me Nora. May I call you Kieran?”

He smiled and nodded. “Of course.”

“We’re happy to have you working with us over the next few months.” She beamed at him with a quirky, slightly off-center grin, and he wondered why he was thinking about Fiona when such a gorgeous woman was standing right in front of him.

“Uh, thanks. I’m a bit surprised to hear that,” he admitted.

“Why?” She furrowed her brow as she motioned for him to follow her through a door that led farther into the building.

“The whole just-got-out-of-jail-and-on-parole thing, maybe? Your receptionist seemed less than impressed.”

“Oh, that. Well, that doesn’t bother me at all, and it won’t bother the kids. Most of the kids here have at least one parent in jail, if not both, or know someone who is. We’re hoping they’ll find you relatable, and that you’ll influence them in a positive way.”

“I guess that makes sense. How did you end up here, then?”

“I’m working on my doctorate of psychology, and I interned here last year and kind of never left. I’m still in school, but I ended up taking this job because I really enjoy working with the kids.”

Kieran nodded as she spoke, admiring her for being someone who clearly gave so much of herself on a regular basis.

“From what I hear,” Nora continued as she led him down a hall then into her office, “you’re out on good behavior and looking to turn your life around. Is that true?”

“Yes, for sure. I made a stupid mistake; it cost me. I did my time, and that’s going to be the end of it,” he assured her.

“Good, then you’re perfect for the job.” Nora sat down at her desk, and Kieran pulled out a chair across from her and got comfortable. She continued, “These kids need guidance and role models. Especially male role models. The majority of them are considered at-risk, but we have a wide variety of kids here, and you’ll learn that they all need something a little different.”

“Okay, well, I’ve never really worked with kids before.”

“That’s fine, most kids like to be treated as you’d treat any adult. With respect, and like your equal. None of them want to be coddled. The majority of the kids you’ll be working with are teenagers who come here after school and stay until their parents pick them up. They need homework help, some tutoring, and monitoring of their recreation time. Sound good?”

“Sure. Doesn’t sound too hard.”

“It’s not,” Nora confirmed as a young girl walked into the room, interrupting them. She couldn’t have been older than eight or nine. She held a book in her hands but seemed not to be looking directly at anything. Instead, she found a spot on the ceiling to focus on as she came to a stop before them.

There was something ever so slightly off about her expression, something that indicated a deeper issue that made him immediately feel protective of her. She seemed fragile, and he found himself wishing something better for her than spending her time in a place like this every day.

“I’m all finished.” The child wore jean overalls, a pink T-shirt covered in flowers, and worn sneakers. Her hair was tied back in two braids that hung down over either shoulder, and she handed Nora a thick book. She reached up and carefully adjusted a pair of very large earmuffs that looked like the type of outer ear protection you’d wear at a gun range. Except they were pale pink.

“Shea, sweetheart, I’m in the middle of a meeting.” Nora’s voice softened as she addressed the young child, and she took the book and placed it on a shelf by her desk. “Can I get you another book later?”

“I’m all finished,” Shea said again, not hearing Nora as she fidgeted with her fingers and stared up at the ceiling.

Nora gently lifted one side of the earmuffs so the child could hear her. “I’ll bring you another book in a few minutes. Okay?”

“I read one hundred pages. I’m all finished. I need the next one.” Shea didn’t seem to understand that Nora was asking her to wait.

“Kieran, would you mind waiting here for a minute?” Nora asked, obviously wanting to get Shea settled.

“Sure, take your time.” He watched them walk out of the room, holding hands. Glancing around the small room, Kieran spotted a pamphlet for the center on Nora’s desk. He picked it up, slowly flipping through it to pass the time. Nora was gone only a few minutes before returning alone.

“Sorry about that, thanks for waiting. Shea is such a sweet girl, although she isn’t technically enrolled here at the youth center. Her guardian is one of my best friends,” Nora explained, “and needs help watching her during the day while she’s at work.”

“That’s nice of you. She seems sweet, but a little impatient,” he noted.

“Oh, no, she isn’t impatient. Well, I guess she is, but she doesn’t mean to be. It’s not her fault. Shea has autism spectrum disorder, although she’s on the mild side of the spectrum and high functioning.”

Ashamed of his earlier observations, it all made sense now. “Really? Wow, I don’t know much about it, but I’ve heard it mentioned on the news.”

He wondered how much of what he’d just seen was due to autism, like why she hadn’t made eye contact with them. He wondered if the headgear also had something to do with it.

“It presents itself differently in every child. She’s extremely smart, mostly because she reads so much, but she struggles with understanding emotions and with sensory overstimulation; plus, she has some communication issues. She can also be a bit inflexible, mainly because routine is so important to her. When she first learned to read, she became voracious and wouldn’t stop. So a while ago her mother made a rule of one hundred pages a day, which Shea adopted to mean exactly one hundred pages without stopping every single day.”

“Like she’ll stop in the middle of the sentence if it’s the one hundredth page?” Kieran asked.

“Exactly.”

“Is that why she wears the earmuffs? Or whatever they are?” he asked.

“Well, that’s the sensory overstimulation part of it. Noise can be a very tough thing for some autistic children, and the headgear tends to limit the number of meltdowns she has. Helps keep her calm.”

“Wow.” He made a mental note to keep an eye on the child around the center, and make sure no harm came to her. He wondered again why her mother had placed her here rather than with other autistic kids and better resources.

“You’ll meet her guardian later this afternoon. She comes and teaches a class a couple times a week. They’re both sweethearts, so I’m sure you’ll get along. There’s no need to treat Shea any differently because of this, either. Like I said, she’s a perfectly smart and capable child, sometimes even beyond her age.”

“Of course,” Kieran assured her.

“Perfect.” Nora stood and moved to the door. “So, are you ready for a tour and to get started?”

Kieran just nodded and followed her, happy to find he was already enjoying his time here and he hadn’t even started yet. Maybe community service wouldn’t be so bad. 
 

To keep reading, purchase SAVING A LEGEND at one of the retailers below!

Amazon UShttp://amzn.to/1eGEn3a
Amazon CAhttp://www.amazon.ca/dp/B010K2B87G/
Amazon UKhttp://amzn.to/1ZiqnQk
Amazon AUhttp://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B010K2B87G/
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Kobohttps://goo.gl/Ut8zWA
Google Playhttps://goo.gl/8XCLiF
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Websitehttp://booksbysarahrobinson.net/?p=1561

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April 2015: 50% OFF SIGNED BOOKS & MERCHANDISE SALE!

 

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ALL SIGNED BOOKS & SWAG ARE 50% OFF RIGHT NOW!

For my April Newsletter, I’m just planning on telling you about a fun sale I’ve got going on! I’m moving in early May, so I’d love to have less boxes of books to bring with me to the new house! 🙂

Because of that, all signed books have been MASSIVELY discounted, plus swag! This is only for the month of April, or until I run out of them, so hurry before you miss your chance! Available for anyone in the world, open internationally!

Novels – $10/each
Novellas – $7/each
Deluxe Swag Packs – $5/each
Bookmarks – $1/each

You can purchase directly on my website under the FOR SALE tab at the top and it will direct you to PayPal where you can purchase using any major credit card, debit card, Paypal, Paypal credit, or bank account! It’s super easy!

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Prefer E-books?

For those who prefer ebooks and have yet to snatch up mine, go check them out on any of these retailers below! I’m so honored that they’ve all become such great bestsellers! You guys are amazing!

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Already have a paperback of mine? Get it signed!

There’s a new option available on my FOR SALE page on my website, just scroll to the bottom and you’ll find it! It’s for if you already own an unsigned paperback of mine and you want it signed by me, all you have to do is mail me your unsigned book and click the option on my website! Very simple!

Go to my FOR SALE page for more information…



Follow Books by Sarah Robinson

Did you see that I reached 14,000 likes in March?

On Facebook, I reached 14,000 likes! Can you believe it? I sure can’t! Plus over 3,000 on Twitter, over 1,500 on Instagram! My lovely assistant, Holly Morales, helped me organize and do a 20+ prizes giveaway from major authors and she spent HOURS and HOURS working on getting everyone their prizes! She is just amazing, so I wanted to make sure you all knew that I’d be NOTHING without her!

You can reach her anytime on my Facebook or via email at sarahrobinson.pa@gmail.com.

Find me on Social Media!

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March 2015 Newsletter- Big changes!

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March 2015 Newsletter

This month’s newsletter has exciting information and news! Check out the topics below in the bulleted list, then scroll down further to read more about each!


Brand New Newsletter!

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My current mailing list hit over 2,000 and therefore Mailchimp wanted to start charging me an arm and a leg a month….grr! So, I’m moving over to Feedburner thanks to the advice of some big bloggers! If you want to keep getting emails from me in full HTML format, all pretty and what not, then sign up above or go to my website and sign up there!

If you don’t sign up above, you will continue to get the plain text email alerts every time there is a new post on my website, but you won’t get monthly newsletters and all that. So make sure to sign up, and tell your friends!

This will go officially into effect at the end of March! Don’t miss out, sign up!


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 Top 10 Bestseller!

As you know, last month was the first and only time I’ve ever run a sale on The Photographer Trilogy Boxset and it was amazing! The entire series ranked #9 in all of Barnes & Noble, #25 on Kindle overall, as well as killing it in special categories like #1 in Romance Anthologies, #2 in Mysteries & Thrillers, #4 in Romantic Suspense, and more!

I just want to say thank you to each and every one of you who made this possible! You’re amazing! I hope you enjoy the series, and don’t forget to post a review on online retailers when you finish!


 Kavanaghs

Kavanagh Legends, a brand new series based on Irish alpha MMA fighters, is coming this Fall by Random House Penguin’s Loveswept! Are you excited? I know I am! TBR them now on Goodreads so that you don’t miss out!

Breaking a Legend (#1): Breaking a Legend (Kavanagh Legends, #1)
Saving a Legend (#2): Saving a Legend (Kavanagh Legends, #2)
Becoming a Legend (#3): Becoming a Legend (Kavanagh Legends, #3)


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Social Media Milestones!

Guess what? Something else to say thank you for in February! My Facebook page hit over 14,000 likes and Twitter hit over 3,000 followers! Thank you for helping me reach these awesome goals, keep up the amazing support!


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Signed Paperbacks are now available cheaper!

Do you love paperbacks? How about signed paperbacks? Almost all the signed paperbacks have been marked down for cheaper! Order yours now today directly from Sarah’s website – http://booksbysarahrobinson.net/for-sale/

Open to International and payments are done via Paypal or any major credit/debit cards!


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✩★✩★ Sarah’s Top Reads of 2014! ★✩★✩

The year is coming to a close and it’s time to give back to other fabulous authors and tell y’all what 10 books, out of the almost 100 books I read this year, were the absolute best!!

Keep in mind that this is just my opinion and that I loved a TON of books! These are just the top 10 that stick out the most in my mind! Check them out and do some #1clicking! This is the perfect time of year to snuggle up with some new reads!

~Love, Sarah R.

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First, let me tell you about a few of my TOP 10-20 READS, that while they didn’t make it to the Top 10, are still absolute favorites of mine and highly recommended!

#20: Heat by JM Walker
-This is the first book in the series and it is currently only $0.99! I absolutely loved how taboo these characters are and the connection between them. The best part of the entire series is the Epilogue! It will make you crazy for the next book in the series, coming soon, called Edge! 
Purchase Heat Here ➛ Amazon

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#19: The Cover Series by Kim Black
-This series is so conflicting and sweet. You love and hate every character at some point throughout the series, which is a testament to the skill of the author!  The entire box set is currently FREE for only another day or two, so grab it now!
Purchase The Cover Series Box Set Here ➛ Box Set

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#18: The Intern Serials by Brooke Cumberland
-The box set with all 4 books in it is now available, but you can also get the first book is only $0.99!  This romantic suspense series is fun, hot, and sweet! It’s a coming of age story and a woman doing her best to figure out who she is and where she came from. It’s absolutely addicting!
Purchase The Intern Serials Here ➛ Box Set | Book 1

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#17: Throttle Me by Chelle Bliss
-Currently only $0.99! This book is amazing for two reasons: City and Suzy! These characters are amazingly beautiful and different, and really make the entire book. This book introduced me to MC reads and I love it now!
Purchase Throttle Me Here  Amazon

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#16: Intercepting Love by LP Dover
-Currently only $0.99! This book is light hearted and an easy read, even though it has some dark moments to it. It’s realistic and sweet. It’s something you can identify with and characters that you want to root for! It’s an absolutely fantastic read!
Purchase Intercepting Love Here  Amazon

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#15: Destroyed by Pepper Winters
-This is a standalone and quite different than her Monsters in the Dark series. I think the addition of a child is what really sold this book to me. It brought heart into it, and boy was this book tangled! The characters are both SO flawed, which is what makes it amazing. I really can’t say enough about this book, it’s just amazing!
Purchase Destroyed Here  Amazon

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#14: Briarcrest Academy Series by Ilsa Madden-Mills
– I couldn’t pick one book from this series, although I am absolutely a Cuba/Dovey #1 fan. These books are cute, sweet, funny, and heat-warming. They won’t break your heart or rip you to pieces, but instead they will pick you up and remind you how beautiful love can be.
Purchase Them Here Very Bad Things | Very Wicked Beginnings | Very Wicked Things

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 #13: Black Box by Cassia Leo
-While this book irked me in quite a few ways, I also did love the story. It’s unique and heart breaking, a tale of love conquering brokenness. 

Purchase Black Box Here  Amazon

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#12: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
-Dark, twisted, and a curve ball that I didn’t see coming! I love this book mainly because the end pisses me off so much! And yet, there is no other ending I would want for it. It’s perfect!
Purchase Gone Girl Here ➛ Amazon

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#11: Monsters in the Dark Series by Pepper Winters
-Tears of Tess, Quintessentially Q, and Twisted Together is an extremely dark trilogy, but it is FABULOUS! The writing is superb and the plot is gut wrenching. You really get to know these characters and fall in love with them! 
Purchase Them Here  Tears of Tess | Quintessentially Q | Twisted Together 91f70ABxhfL._SL1500_ 712doGWgVDL._SL1500_ 81V8zy+rejL._SL1500_

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✩★✩★ Now time for the TOP 10 READS of 2014! ★✩★✩

#10: Flirts! by Lisa Scott
-This is a collection of short stories between 8,000-12,000 words each. I read one each night until the book was over and absolutely loved it! They are cute and sweet, but unique, plus they all are connected to each other even though they are all standalone stories. There are more Flirts! collections which I plan to read with other themes as well. The thing I loved most about these which made them part of my Top 10 was that while they are short stories, they are complete and give you full connections to each character. That is an extremely hard thing to pull off in so few words and the author is clearly fantastic to have made that happen! 
Purchase Flirts! Here ➛  Amazon | My Review

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#9: Translucent by Erin Noelle
-This book will mess with your mind! I need the rest of this series asap, I’m dying to find out the rest! The prologue is really what drew me in, but even more than that is the great and detailed portrayal of PTSD in a woman. It’s a beautiful and touching novel, and I can’t wait for the rest of the story!
Purchase Translucent Here ➛ Amazon | My Review 

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#8: Bang by EK Blair
-Talk about a mind trip! This book is completely crazy and intriguing! You will need to reread it a few times for sure to capture every detail. Echo, the next book, is coming soon and I’m dying to read it! The end of Bang is INSANE! Cliffy to the extreme! 
Purchase Bang Here  Amazon | My Review

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#7: Roomies by Lindy Zart
-This book is HILARIOUS! It’s a bestselling satire, the sarcasm is off the walls! The plot itself isn’t out of the ordinary, but the way that it’s executed is. I love these characters and I’m really hoping that we will get to see more of them in the future! This book is also the author’s first on the USA Today Bestseller’s list! 
Purchase Roomies Here ➛ Amazon | My Review 

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#6: Ruin Series by Rachel van Dyken
-I couldn’t pick one book out of this series, I had to pick them all! Why? Because the main characters are all so amazing and each book is focused on one of them and their love story. It’s heartwarming and sweet, but with enough difficulties and stressors to keep you on the edge of your seat. These characters are up against wrenching odds, and yet they fight through it due to the bond between each of them. This group of characters are just amazing!
Purchase Them Here  Ruin | Toxic | Fearless | Shame | My Review

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#5: VIP by M. Robinson
-This is the first in a series and it’s mind boggling! I love how absolutely humanizing it makes out of a tough topic. It shows the struggles of embracing your sexuality and discovering your identity. It’s hot and sweet and conflicting all at once. 
Purchase VIP Here ➛ Amazon | My Review

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#4: Fighting for Flight by JB Salsbury
-This book is the first in a series of stand alones, and it’s amazing! I loved the characters, they are
Purchase Fighting for Flight Here ➛ Amazon | My Review 

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#3: Bright Side by Kim Holden
-This book is a MASSIVE ugly cry! You know from the get go that it’s going to rip your heart out and stomp all over it, and yet… you still cry your eyes out! Aside from that, its so well written. Each character is so detailed and beautiful, absolutely touching. It’s also uplifting, all about positivity and living to the fullest. 
Purchase Bright Side Here  Amazon | My Review

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#1 & 2: Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn AND You by Caroline Kepnes
– I couldn’t pick between these two for the life of me. They are both my favorite reads of 2014 because of how unique they are in every aspect. The writing, the plot, the characters- it’s all one of a kind. They are the kind of reads that will stick in your mind for years to come!

Purchase You Here  Purchase on Amazon | My Review

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Purchase Nine Minutes Here  Purchase on Amazon | My Review

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☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Don’t forget to check out some of my books as well! I might be biased… but I think that they are definitely Top Reads of 2014 😉 

THE PHOTOGRAPHER TRILOGY
-Tainted Bodies is the first book in the trilogy and it is only $0.99! Grab them now!
Purchase Them Here ➛ Tainted Bodies | Tainted Pictures | Untainted

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SAND & CLAY ROCKER SERIES
-The first book is only $0.99, plus the latest book is a holiday novella and also only $0.99!
Purchase Them Here ➛ Logan’s Story | Sand & Clay | Sand & Snow 

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THE PHOTOGRAPHER TRILOGY BOX SET
-Coming on January 1st, 2015! But you can preorder it now! Contains the entire trilogy PLUS a bonus never-before-read scene from The Photographer’s past! Check out the series synopsis below!
Purchase the Box Set Here ➛ Amazon

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He takes a picture of every woman he kills.

She takes nothing from anyone.

Kate Jackson is a woman haunted by her past with no direction in life, and surviving only on her close relationship with her sister, Annie. Until she meets charming lawyer, Derrick Kane. Despite having a painful past of his own, he gives Kate everything she could have ever wanted in a lover.

Just when she thinks she might have found the key to learning how to live again, maybe even how to love, The Photographer rips it all away from her with one click of his camera.

Somehow she survived, determined to rise above the trauma life has dealt her. Yet, she doesn’t get away that easy, The Photographer isn’t done with her yet.

The infamous serial killer begins dropping menacing hints at every turn.

Reminding Kate that he owns her. That he broke her body.

The small, quiet life that Kate had built for herself with Derrick is over. Pulverized by the twisted workings of the notorious serial killer and the agony of being betrayed by the one man she had trusted her heart to. Trust had never come easily to her, yet she had given it to Derrick. And he destroyed her with it.

Kate is a fighter and refusing to allow a sadistic killer to take everything from her yet again, she delves into the police investigation targeting The Photographer and finally revealing his true identity. Kate is fighting for justice while fighting to reclaim the man she loves, and somehow learn to trust him again.

But when an innocent life is on the line, the cost of justice could be more than love can afford. Kate quickly learns that finding the face behind the mask, doesn’t make you safe.

Monsters are only uglier in the light of day.


**Please note that there is no cliffhanger at the end of this series and everything is fully wrapped up. This box set also includes a never before read, deleted scene about The Photographer’s childhood.

DISCLAIMER: Due to violent and dark subject matter, this story is intended for readers over the age of 18 years old. Those with triggers for sexual abuse or violence should take care of themselves while reading this book. Please note that scenes around that topic are done for a purpose and handled delicately, they are not just included for some thrill or cheap aspect.

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