I was asked to write an article for USA Today when I released my book Without You, One of the questions they asked was why I wrote Without You? It was hard to open up and explain where Without You and my main character Roxanne come from. Here is what I had to say.
My decision to start writing began as a joke. After I finishing a book that I had no clue why I even forced myself to read till the end. It was laughable how bad that book had been. Joking around I told my husband I could write a book and it would be way better than the one I had just finished reading. He looked at me and smiled. Then said “Do it.” I laughed and brushed off what he had said. But that night I laid bed thinking. What if I did write a book? Maybe, just maybe I could.
But the doubt crept in and I decided that I couldn’t.
Although my decision had been made, the thought wouldn’t leave me alone. For weeks it consumed my mind. Finally, I pulled out a notebook and started to write. I wrote about how much my pain birth mother had caused me. I was in tears. I couldn’t continue to write about something so personal.
I turned the page and I wrote down a lie.
I had a great mother. She loved me. She died.
I then made up a world full of happy people. Roxanne was one of those happy people. I created a life for her that many would envy. But her life wasn’t perfect. She would have to learn how to survive after losing so much. Without You is her story. I hope that people love her as much as I do.
Without You Buy Links
Without You Blurb
Roxanne Daniels was supposed to be spending her summer getting ready to head off to Julliard. That was the plan. But that was before– Before she found her mother’s lifeless body– Before she walked in on her boyfriend in bed with someone else. Before she knew what heart shattering pain felt like. Now all she wants is for the pain to go away. But it never does. Until him. A complete stranger who could end up being much more. But letting go and moving on is easier said than done.
Excerpt from Without You
I stared out the window to see a guy standing at the back of the red GMC truck in front of me. He unzipped his black wet suit and peeled off the top half, letting it hang at his waist. He was tall and tan with dark brown hair—well, I think it was dark brown. It was still wet from the ocean, so I couldn’t be sure. His back and arms were well defined, and I couldn’t help but watch him as he loaded his surfboard into the back of his truck.
I bit down on my bottom lip as I continued watching the sexy surfer. He had a set of abs to die for, and those pecs were…wow! He was all kinds of panty-dropping sexy. He wrapped a towel around his waist and removed the rest of the wet suit.
I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t wishing his towel would drop and give me a show. I watched him walk to the cab of his truck and take out a bag. I looked him up and down. I might have actually started to drool. His dark hair glistened in the sun, showing he had some blond highlights. I felt like a stalker, but I couldn’t stop staring. I couldn’t get over how perfectly sculpted his body was.
God have mercy.
He even had those yummy jaw-dropping back dimples that turned me on to no end. Just as I was mentally deciding what he could possibly have going on under his towel, he turned and looked at me.
I quickly spun around and pretended to grab something from the backseat. I readjusted my oversized Coach sunglasses. They’re dark enough to hide the fact that I was ogling him, right? I felt the heat in my cheeks and prayed he didn’t know that I had just been checking him out. I needed to get to the hotel. I didn’t have time to be embarrassed.
I twisted to see if he was still looking toward me. Thankfully, he wasn’t. Mr. Eye Candy was busy pulling up a pair of board shorts with white-and-blue checkers. He threw the towel in the back of the truck. His shorts hung low, showing his sexy V on his lower abdomen.
I needed to snap out of it and quit gawking. I was ashamed to be around myself. I gathered my beach bag and purse before I got out of my car. I made a point of not looking at him again, and I walked toward the hotel.
I wasn’t even ten feet away from my car when I saw Kevin and Hookerella walking, hand in hand. They were just down the block and coming my way. I stopped moving, I stopped breathing, and my heart stopped beating. I turned into a statue.
Seriously, this is not happening.
This was one of the reasons I had shut myself away in my home where I could avoid horrible situations like this from ever happening. My stomach knotted up, and I felt sick. Astonishingly, I forced my body to move, but I was still having a hard time with the whole breathing thing.
I turned and headed back to my car. I wasn’t sure if Kevin had seen me. I hadn’t wanted it to look like I was running away even if that was exactly what I had done. I walked over to Surfer Boy, who was now talking on his cell phone while sitting on the tailgate of his truck. I could just talk to him. Hopefully, Kevin and Hookerella would just stride right by and not even notice me. I set my bags down.
“Hey.” I waved, and I knew I was being rude.
“Sure, man. Um…can I call you right back?” Surfer Boy said to the person on the phone. He hung up and then gave me his attention. “Hi.” He smiled.
Damn. Even his smile was perfect.
I wiggled my finger for him to come over to me. He walked over to the curb.
“Hi,” I said again. I wasn’t sure what to say next. I had no choice but to just ask him what I needed from him. It wasn’t like this moment could get any worse. I was facing humiliation no matter what. I exhaled. “I know that we don’t know each other, but could you just pretend like we do and talk to me?” My request came out as desperate as I felt.
He looked at me, completely confused. At that moment, I wished the earth would just open up and swallow me. I bit down on my lip and twirled my finger around a ringlet of hair. My chest was starting to feel tight around my racing heart.
Why didn’t I just get back in my car and hide?
It might not be too late. I glanced over my shoulder.
Kevin’s eyes met mine.
If I got in my car now, he would know that I was in fact trying to hide. I had no choice.
Who cares if this guy thinks I’m crazy?
I wasn’t about to let Kevin see me run. This was DEFCON 1.
“Okay, there is a huge chance that I’m coming off as a crazy person. Please understand that I’m desperate.”
The look on Surfer Boy’s face said it all. He thought I was crazy.
Honesty is always the best policy, right?
“Full disclosure—my ex-boyfriend, who wrecked my world, is about to walk by. I’m begging you to please pretend to know me.” I knew how pathetic I sounded, but I would kick myself for that later.
He slightly tilted his head to the right and gave me a confused smile. Then, he just stood there and gaped at me. I was now seriously doubting the whole honesty-is-always-the-best-policy idea. It sure as hell wasn’t helping me.
“Roxy?” Kevin called out from a few feet away.
My insides twisted into knots at the sound of Kevin’s voice.
Please just kill me now.