Tuesday, July 7, 2015

'Your Heart to Keep (Holly and Jax)' by Amanda Mackey


We don’t choose fate. It chooses us. Or so we are led to believe.

Holly Jenkins is about to receive a new heart, thanks to a donor match from accident victim, Chloe McQuade.

The victim’s boyfriend, Bad Boy Jax, is angry and grieving for his lost love. He hates everything and everyone, including Holly. It isn’t until he meets her that he realizes there is something about her he can’t explain.

Could it be the beating heart of his dead girlfriend - the very one he owned, that calls to him?

Is the intense pull towards Jax coming from Holly’s own emotions or are they Chloe’s? And why is she suddenly craving things she never has before?

How do they decide what’s real and what’s not?

Is fate at play or is it something more?

Read an excerpt:

“Folks! I’m happy to announce that after much deliberation we have our first duet ready to entertain us with their rendition of ‘Shout.’ The original song by The Isley Brothers or for those who have seen the movie Animal House, you’ll remember it being sung by Otis Day and The Knights. Please give it up for Holly and Leah.”
Holly and Leah? What the fuck?
Party-goers were whistling and cheering at the pair who were standing against the wall that housed my entertainment system. A circle of people were drawn around them, giving them some breathing space as they both took a microphone each and waited on the music to begin. Needing to be closer, I pushed my way through the crowd, standing in front but to the side.
Up this close to Holly I could truly eye her from head to toe. Holy mother of God! Not only did the black leather that molded to her curves, draw an appreciative growl from me but the sexy, goddam boots that finished off the outfit were almost more than a man could bear. What had happened to the plain, ‘girl next door’ look she always had going on? This version of the blind girl was smoking hot. A side to her that I wouldn’t have thought existed. Did she even know how good she looked? Somehow I doubted that. Maybe it was her friend I should be thanking.
My eyes found her hand around the microphone, gripping it tightly, a slight shake to it. Obviously nervous. A rosy glow had appeared on her cheeks in the form of a blush and I was guessing she wasn’t used to being the center of attention. Damn, she had long fingers. I mean, longer than normal and she was holding that microphone in a way that had me awash with dirty images.
My jaw was rigid and yet I still managed to roll my tongue stud furiously as I pushed one hand into the pocket of my jeans to keep it from balling into a fist, my cock attempting to franticly jerk against the seam of my jeans.
As soon as the fast music started everyone hooted and roared, egging them on. Both girls began singing, seeming to know the words by heart which in Holly’s case was a blessing because she wouldn’t be able to make out the lyrics that had appeared on my wall-mounted flat screen television.
They were actually pretty good as far as amateurs went and had the attention of everybody in the room, some people even joining us from outside.
It was the kind of song that you just wanted to kick up your heels to and enjoy which is what most people were doing. Dancing and jumping around. It was infectious and without even trying, my mouth had upturned into a full on ear-splitting grin, my legs finding the tempo and tapping out the rhythm, head bopping.
Holly had the advantage of not being able to see everyone gawking at her and she appeared lost to the moment. Leah had her arm around Holly’s shoulders in support as both girls belted it out.
Micah appeared beside me, clapping me on the back. “Aren’t they great?” He roared above the din.
“They’re good!” I called back, noticing his grin deepen at my response, his eyes taking on that scheming look.
Moving his head in close to my ear to keep it private he said, “She’s hot isn’t she?”
Dragging my eyes away from the girl I knew he was talking about, to Micah’s smug face, I acted dumb. “Which one?”
He laughed. “Both but I was referring to Holly. She’s amazing. She takes her blindness in stride and embraces life. I for one am in awe. Plus she’s just jumped to the top of my friends list because she gave me a tandem sky-dive jump for my birthday.”
I felt my eyebrows shoot up in surprise. “Wow! That was decent of her. I know how much you’ve been wanting to do that.”
Micah nodded. “You should go talk to her. The song’s nearly finished.”
“I don’t need you telling me what I should do.”
“Come on, Man! You know you want to. I can see that way you look at her. You’re struggling to keep your eyes on me, even now.”
Damn my friend knew me better than I knew myself. I rubbed a hand over my face, closing my eyes for a second, debating on whether or not I should just bite the bullet and go talk to her. It’s not like we hadn’t spoken before. It was more a case of the way her proximity made me feel. The way I wanted to place my hand on her chest just to keep confirming that Chloe’s heart was actually real. “With an outfit like that, every guy in this room is either looking or has had an eyeful.” I hated to admit it.
“Yep, but it’s not just tonight. It’s every time you see her.” Micah looked to Holly as her and her friend finished up the song to a burst of ovation and then back to me. “What gives anyway? You hated her not so long ago.”
Thinking about that truth, I floundered under a wave of guilt. Hate was such a strong word and yet, I had hated her. It was built purely on my grief and sadness over losing Chloe. Now that some time has passed and my emotions were starting to level out more, I felt that the word ‘hate’ had been a huge misjudgment on my part.
“I guess, I got over it.”

A Message From the Author:

Hi All,

It’s a privilege to be here! For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been writing on and off for the last 16 years but have only become published in the last 2. It’s been an interesting road! Bumpy at times but rewarding as well!

I’ve always had a love of books and I’m an avid reader. I think it’s important to read as much as you can when you are a writer as it definitely helps hone and fine tune your writing style and skills.

I’m not impartial to writing any particular genre. Whatever comes to mind! I can’t control the stories that begin to come alive in my mind, nor can I control the times that I get an idea!

The characters and plot for my Instinctual series came to me while I was driving! Needless to say I pulled over on the side of the road, pen and paper in hand while I scribbled down a basic outline before I forgot!

Your Heart to Keep is my latest release and was very much a spur of the moment project. I had planned on writing a vampire romance but the story of Holly and Jax overpowered all else so it was a story I had to tell. It touches on the subject of organ donation and how there has been factual evidence that cells have memory and recipients of organs have awoken from surgery to crave foods and other things they never have before. Later, after doing research it has been proven that the things these people were craving were actually the donor’s likes or dislikes. In the case of Holly and Jax, Holly receives Jax’s dead girlfriend’s heart and is confused when she finds that very same heart still carries feelings for Jax.

I live in Australia with my family and when I’m not indoors writing or reading, I like to spend time outdoors, enjoying our beaches or driving to the country.

Also an animal lover, I’m currently sponsoring a tiger named Kamrita. The money helps keep her safe from poachers and goes a long way towards food and health care.

It was nice to meet you all and to tell you a little about myself! Happy reading!!

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