Hi everyone!

Kindle & Nook BestsellerThat will leave you laughing!

Last weeks successful sale of THE HOOKUP HOAX is still totally blowing my mind! I never, ever expected the numbers to be so great! You made The Hookup Hoax a bestseller at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble! To say I’m thrilled is an understatement. I’m shocked, and amazed, and humbled, and so, so thankful for each and every one of you!! Seriously, I know you’ve probably heard other authors say it so it seems phony, but it’s true. You guys—the readers, the bloggers, the reviews, the fellow authors—you make this job so worthwhile and fulfilling. Without you, I’d be nowhere with this whole writing thing. So thank you for supporting me and my characters!

Hoax Group


If you missed the sale, I’m sorry. BUT you can still get The Hookup Hoax for a great, always reasonable price of only $2.99! And don’t forget there are two other books in The Hoax series, which can be read in any order. If you know someone who might like one of the books, please tell them about the series. Or even better, send them a gift copy! It’s quick and easy to send an ebook as a gift. Just click the “send as gift” button and fill in their email info and a short message before you pay! I do that all the time for books. Who doesn’t love to receive a random gift sometime?



AMAZON:  http://ow.ly/Mx9Vx

B&N:  http://ow.ly/Mxbq1

KOBO:  http://ow.ly/MxbDr

iTUNES:  http://ow.ly/MxbZ1

For me, it’s back to business as usual now. I’ve got a busy year ahead of me. But first up, I need to finish the proposal I’m working on for a new book. And to do that, I’ve got to start focussing on work again.

What are your plans for this week? Are you finally back into the swing of things after the holiday season?



Kindle and Nook Bestseller!

Thank you for makingThe Hookup Hoaxa Kindle and Nook Bestseller!OMG. Seriously. Pinch me.

I must still be asleep and dreaming, right?

Or did I really just find THE HOOKUP HOAX at number 43 in the Kindle store and number 6 in the Nook store??


I was excited for my sale, but I never dreamed I’d find numbers like this!! I’m so thrilled!!!

Just look at this! The Hookup Hoax was at 50 when I checked at 6:30 this morning. I’m next to the Martian!!! I loved that book!


And then… I went up again! And now I’m at 43!! WooHoo!!!


But that’s not all… The Hookup Hoax is also at number 6 in the Nook store on B&N!!! How crazy awesome is that?!?!


I just can’t say thank you enough to everyone who shares my sales posts, who purchases a book, who chats with me online, and who simply just supports me on this crazy journey of writing! You are all awesome.



If you still need a copy, you can grab one at the following links:

AMAZON:  http://ow.ly/Mx9Vx

B&N:  http://ow.ly/Mxbq1



One Day Sale Jan 14th, 2016!!

Hookup-Sale-SummerTHE HOOKUP HOAX is on sale for $0.99 on Jan 14th only! If you haven’t picked up your copy, now is the time!!

AMAZON                    NOOK                     iTUNES                   KOBO

The perfect guy. The perfect girl. The perfect lie.

Sawyer Sterling needs a girlfriend. With the family cabin up for grabs, he’s desperate to prove that he could be the guy to “pass it on.” Of course, Sawyer also has a tendency to treat relationships like a contagious stomach flu that should be avoided at all costs. Now he needs a girlfriend-for-hire. Someone he can trust. Someone he could never, ever fall for…

Someone like his best friend’s sister.

Sawyer’s offer is exactly what Olivia Morgan needs. After traveling around the world for the last five years, the promise of a job and free accommodations is heaven. And sure, maybe Sawyer’s a super-hot, charming guy with dimples made for kissing, but he’s not willing to be the guy-or relationship-she needs. 

All it takes is one hot hook-up before this little hoax gets blown all to hell…




Happy 2016!

Hello 2016!!

Okay, so maybe I’m a week late in saying that, but better late than never, right? I hope your holidays were wonderful. I took time off from writing and pretty much everything writing related and simply enjoyed a bunch of family time. We took walks with the dogs, built Lego, played video games, visited with friends, and ate way too many treats! What did you do?

It’s that time of year again where I write down what my goals are. This year my list seems quite extensive.

  • Exercise 5 days a week—a mix of CrossFit, Jogging, and Yoga.
  • Write a new romance—or two or three, depending on how long each takes me.
  • Rerelease 3 novellas that I’ve gotten rights back to.
  • Release With This Kiss, currently published as part of a multi-author anthology–Magical Weddings.
  • Get more organized—I’ve even bought a fancy new planner. I can’t wait for it to arrive!
  • Work on a new writing adventure, which I’m keeping secret for now. I’d like to see how things pan out before making any big (Hopefully!!) announcements. More on that soon maybe…

So what are your goals and plans for the year?



Writer’s Life — #Gifts for Book Lovers—Writers and Readers!



Holiday season will soon be upon us—I know!! I’m sorry—and if you’re wondering what to buy that tricky reader or writer on your list, then I’ve got you covered with a few suggestions. Trust me, I’ve been where you are! It can be tough to buy for that book lover in your life because the simplest idea is to buy them… a book! LOL. But which books do they like? What’s their favorite genre? Which ones have they already read? Nooooooo…..too many questions!

So here’s a few suggestions. And let’s be clear. These are all things I’d like, but I get no commission or benefit from listing them here. They’re simply stuff I’ve found online that I like! Buy at your own risk.



  • Grammar T-shirt — Who doesn’t like to make fun of grammar? Check out this one!
  • Reusable Water Bottles — Must stay hydrated while reading or writing! I’m currently loving my glass water bottle like this one!
  • Coffee/Tea Cups — I personally love my Kleen Kanteen with a cafe cup. It keeps my coffee hot for hours so I can drink it slowly and therefore consume less. And they come in lots of cute colors too! Check them out here!
  • Quote Scarves — These can be found at a few places. I don’t personally have one yet, but I do think they are pretty cool. I’ve found a few: Here and Here and Here.
  • Fingertip-less Gloves — I have these ones myself and love them
  • Himalayan rock salt lamps — I received 2 of these for Christmas last year and I love them! So pretty and good for you too!
  • Book-inspired jewelry from etsy — There is a never-ending supply of book-lover inspired jewelry at Etsy.com. Go check it out!
  • Throw blanket — I love curling up on the couch with a soft blanket and a good book! A great blanket can be found in basically every price range and at way too many places to list. I did see this one recently and it was really pretty.
  • Book Ends — I just found these and I think they are so cool!!!
  • Journals — Great for both writers and readers. Keep track of story ideas, books you’ve read or want to read, make lists of your goals, whatever your heart desires can go in a journal!
  • Coloring books — You may or may not have heard about this most recent fad of coloring books for adults, but it’s true! And I have to say, the coloring books are beautiful! It’s like every page tells a story. Maybe it’ll even bring on some inspiration for what to write or read next! Check out this amazing-looking coloring book!


Celebrating the HOAX Series with a #Giveaway!

The Hometown Hoax is here!!! Woot! I love release days. I can’t help it…I have to tell you about this one!! Logan and Tessa were just such a fun story to write. I’m so excited for you guys to finally get a chance to read their story! I hope you love it as much as I do.

TheHometownHoax-coverLeaving was hard, but staying away might be impossible. 

Tessa Cutter escaped her tiny hometown and chased her artistic dreams straight to Manhattan. Now she’s home for a camping trip with her family. To keep them off her back, she makes up the perfect pretend boyfriend–successful, important, and most of all, permanently located in New York.

Logan Ridley lost everything when his Manhattan-based personal training studio shut down. Luckily, a friend got him a position as a gym teacher in the small town of Cutter’s Creek. He’s heard a lot about the infamous Tessa, but she’s even better than he imagined. Except, she seems to hate everything about the small town he’s growing to love.

The chemistry sparking between them is impossible to ignore, but falling for Logan will trap Tessa in the small town she worked so hard to escape. If they have any hope of a future together, he’ll have to convince her that everything she wants has been in Cutter’s Creek all along…

Can’t wait to grab your copy? Well, wait no longer!! CLICK HERE to find out all the buying information!

Hoax Group

Now that there are three Hoax series books available, I thought it would be fun to do a big giveaway—One prize for each of the books!!



In honor of The Wedding Hoax, I’ve chosen the blue daisy necklace. I love the name, I love the character and I love the necklace! I wish I was keeping it for myself. LOL.






To represent The Hookup Hoax, I bought this beautiful travel journal. Olivia traveled the world for 5 years and I can imagine her filling something like this up with her thoughts and experiences! Maybe you’ll use it on your next great vacation, or maybe you’ll use it for grocery lists. Either is great!! I’m sure there’s a million ways to use this great journal!





And to celebrate the newest addition to the Hoax series family The Hometown Hoax, I’ve picked this super cute purple water bottle with a hidden compartment. Now, why the hidden compartment? Well, they advertise it as a place to store your key, or locker card, or a little cash, etc. But if you’re Tessa and Logan, I think you might have found another good use for that little hiding spot…

“I want you.” His voice was strained.

“I want you too,” she whispered. “But we can’t. Not unless you usually jog with a condom in your sock.”

“My foot doesn’t usually need protection.” He groaned with disappointment.

LOL. If only they’d had this water bottle with them to hold all their private necessities! Or maybe they found other ways to enjoy the great outdoors… Want to know what happens next? You’ll have to read The Hometown Hoax to find out!

Get more information on the entire Hoax series by CLICKING HERE!

Now who’s ready to win?! Just enter the giveaway below for your chance!! One lucky winner will get all three items!

(Shipping is available within the US and Canada only.)

IMG_1132a Rafflecopter giveaway



#TeaserTuesday — The Hometown Hoax!

Today the spider could live.

It’s almost here!! THE HOMETOWN HOAX officially releases November 16th, but you can pre-order it now!! And hopefully you’ll want to after this little teaser… It would personally be my WORST NIGHTMARE!! LOL. Seriously, I can’t believe I looked up pics to make this graphic!!

When you’re ready to grab your copy, CLICK HERE for all the information you need!!


A clatter that sounded like metal hitting tiles joined a wail that had rapidly turned into an ultra-sonic shriek, which could probably be heard in the main cabin. A string of curse words burst forth from the bathroom as Tessa charged into the room, a towel hanging vertically in front of her.

He jumped up from the bed, nearly falling while disentangling himself from the blanket. Tessa slammed into him as he found his balance.

“Spider! Get it off of me!” Her eyes were filled with pure panic and her voice shook as if she were on the verge of tears.

“Where? I don’t see anything,” he said, gripping her shoulders.

“My hair!” She shrieked so loudly he squinted as if it would help block the sound shooting at him. How did she make such a loud noise?

“Okay, don’t panic.”

“Don’t panic? Are you f-ing kidding me? There was a spider. Showering with me.”

He leaned forward and surveyed the situation. He still didn’t see anything even close to resembling a spider on her head. She trembled beneath his fingers, but he wasn’t sure if it was from fear or the cold air hitting her wet body. Either way, he felt the overwhelming desire to wrap his arms around her, snuggle her against his chest, and make her warm.

She yelled again, this time so close to his ear he feared the subsequent ringing would never stop. “It’s on my back! Get it, get it, get it!”

Tessa spun in front of him and he instantly spotted a surprisingly large spider slowly sliding down a river of suds between her shoulder blades headed toward the luscious mounds of her ivory ass. Could he pretend not to have seen it right away so he’d have an excuse to examine her backside longer?

As tempting as it was, he swatted the spider and watched as it hit the wall beside his bed, fell to the floor, and scurried away. If it hadn’t been for the distraction of Tessa’s naked, soapy flesh beneath his fingertips, he might have been concerned about chasing the spider to kill it. Today the spider could live.


TheHometownHoax-coverLeaving was hard, but staying away might be impossible. 

Tessa Cutter escaped her tiny hometown and chased her artistic dreams straight to Manhattan. Now she’s home for a camping trip with her family. To keep them off her back, she makes up the perfect pretend boyfriend–successful, important, and most of all, permanently located in New York.

Logan Ridley lost everything when his Manhattan-based personal training studio shut down. Luckily, a friend got him a position as a gym teacher in the small town of Cutter’s Creek. He’s heard a lot about the infamous Tessa, but she’s even better than he imagined. Except, she seems to hate everything about the small town he’s growing to love.

The chemistry sparking between them is impossible to ignore, but falling for Logan will trap Tessa in the small town she worked so hard to escape. If they have any hope of a future together, he’ll have to convince her that everything she wants has been in Cutter’s Creek all along…




#FridayReads — Nov 6th

Whatcha Readin'?

I just finished a huge book called The Passage. It was really good and I enjoyed it. You can even read my review of it on Goodreads here:  The Passage Review 

But now I’m looking for something else to read!! And I need your help! What are you reading right now? What have you read recently? I’m open to any genre, just as long you think the book is awesome. So let’s hear it!!!

Tell me your book recommendation in the comments so I can find my next #FridayReads.



#WriterWednesday — Writer’s Life — #NaNoWriMo

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-SquareIt’s November again, which means it’s also National Novel Writing Month—or NaNoWriMo for those involved. Basically, you try to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. To stay on track, you need to write 1667 words per day. That may or may not sound like a lot depending on where you are in your writing career and how many words you normally write a day. There’s an entire website devoted to NaNoWRiMo so if you’d like more information, just click HERE to be whisked away. It’s not too late to get started!

If you’re already signed up and are struggling to make those 1667 words each day, here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned over my 4 years of NaNoWriMo participation. I’m by no means a pro, but I usually complete my goal by the end of the month. Whether or not I actually remember to record it officially, is another issue entirely. LOL.

  • Don’t think about what you’re writing too much. Just go for it. You know you have a plan in mind, now let your characters talk while you try to keep up with the writing part.
  • Don’t edit as you go. I’m terrible for this. I WANT to EDIT! But during NaNo month, I force myself not to as much as possible.
  • Don’t delete anything. If you must edit as you go—not that I would EVER do that since I just told you all not to do that—don’t delete the stuff you don’t like anymore. Simply put a strike through it or highlight it or make some other notation so that later on you can find and easily delete all the stuff you want to take out. Until then, leave the words in there for your word count. And you never know, what you hate today, you might love it in a month!
  • Don’t expect the word count to be easy every day. It won’t be. Some days it’ll be like pulling out your own teeth. Accept that there will be low word count days and know you’ll do your best to make up for them on high word count days.
  • Do join local write-ins if you have some near you that fit your schedule. You get to surround yourself with likeminded people who are all hopped up on caffeine and cookies and you might even make some new friends! Oh, and you might get a boost to your word count too. 🙂
  • Don’t get too stuck on a scene for too long. If a scene really isn’t coming together but  you’re anxious to write the next one, put a note in your book for “Scene here” and move on. Keep the ball rolling and the words flowing. You can always go back and write that scene later when it comes to you.
  • Do chat online with other NaNoWriMo writers. Part of the fun of NaNo is the community of writers. Share your ups and downs, your word counts and your wins!
  • Do timed writing sprints. If you’re struggling to find the time to sit and write or if you’re feeling overwhelmed, simply start a writing sprint for a manageable amount of time. Maybe it’s 15 minutes. Maybe 30. Whatever it is, set a time and stick to it. You’ll be surprised at how fast those words sprints add up!
  • Do give yourself permission to write a shitty first draft. It’s okay. Write your words in November, edit them in December, polish them to a shine in January.
  • Do try to stay on par or better. I know it can be tough but there’s nothing more depressing than logging into NaNo only to see you’re 5 days behind on your word count, and that’s just to get caught up to today. Try to stay as close to on par as you can. Better yet, on days where the words are flowing, keep it going as long as your schedule allows. The more cushion you have along the way, the better off you’ll feel.
  • Don’t send your book to agents, publishers or anyone else with eyes December 1st. Just don’t. You wrote it fast! Now you need to take the time to edit it before you send it out into the world.
  • Do have fun! We’re not curing cancer. We’re not winning a war. We’re writing a book, maybe the book we’ve always dreamed of writing! Let yourself get caught up in the momentum that is NaNoWriMo, but don’t let it take away from the experience of actually writing your book. Have fun, enjoy the process, love your work while you’re doing it.
  • Don’t get too caught up on whether or not you win and hit that 50,ooo word mark by the end of the month. The whole point is to get motivated to write your book and you even if you don’t get to 50k, you still have more words now than you did before! Use it as a jumping off point to keep writing even after the month is over.
  • Do become my buddy on NaNoWriMo by looking up hthurmeier once you’re registered! Or follow me on twitter at @hthurmeier which is where I usually chat about all things NaNo.


The Hometown Hoax — Chapter One Excerpt!


Chapter One

Cutter’s Creek 22 miles.

Even the highway signs were counting down until the moment of her unwanted return. Twenty-two miles until she had to defend her choice to live in the city. Twenty-two minutes until she had to convince her family that her fake boyfriend Richard, who was currently back in the city and too busy to leave for the week, was real and serious. There was no possible way she could move back to Cutter’s Creek.

Tessa Cutter would rather drink green smoothies every day for the rest of her life than move back to the town that barely let her leave in the first place. A place with people she couldn’t trust to keep her best interests at heart when her wishes contradicted theirs.

Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia, the place had more charm than most small towns. And it wasn’t that small really. Cutter’s Creek was actually on the larger side of the small town scale with a few thousand year-round residents as well as another couple thousand seasonal ones. In the summer they got the fishermen and hunters, and in the winter they got the skiers.

Yet, even with the fluctuating population helping to bring in people from around the world, the place still felt stagnant. Tessa had always wanted more. She wanted to see somewhere other than her little town, experience other places, and paint them all on canvas. But that wasn’t the only reason she had to leave. During her college years away, she’d had a serious long-distance relationship with her high school boyfriend. Well, she’d been serious. Zack had seemed serious and a touch controlling. He liked to tell her about all the great things she could do in town if she’d stop “playing” with her paints at college. He’d even gone so far as to get her a job when she came home over the summer, hoping to entice her into staying with a fine career in greeting card retail.

Working for Sue-Ellen had been terrible, but not as bad as learning from the local greeting card patrons that Zack had been cheating on her the whole time. Seemed the whole town knew and no one wanted to tell her. Why would they when it would only make her want to leave more?

She’d made a vow to leave Cutter’s Creek as soon as possible so that she’d finally have her independence. She’d done the only thing she could do—she’d moved to New York City and hoped to make it big enough that she could support herself and live anywhere she wanted. After a year, it still hadn’t happened. She barely had enough to pay her rent each month, and she was sharing a place with three roommates. Not exactly her ideal living situation.

When she became a famous artist, her paintings would hang in galleries around the world. She’d finally have a legitimate excuse for why she couldn’t move back home to Nowheresville and become a housewife and baby maker, like her family wanted. Until then, she had to stay strong and stand her ground.

And create a fake boyfriend to shut up her family.

Squealing tires and red brake lights up ahead interrupted her thoughts. The car in front of her slammed on their brakes so suddenly that it fishtailed between the colored lines. She thumped on her own brakes, barely hanging on to control of the vehicle, but she was too close to the other car and would smash into the back bumper in another millisecond if she didn’t swerve around it fast. Without thinking about the possible repercussions, she twisted the steering wheel sharply to the right, running onto the shoulder far faster than she was comfortable with.

Gravel clinked against the undercarriage while the tires skidded like a skipping stone on a calm lake. Her brakes jolted and shuddered as they tried to find purchase on the loose ground. A second later, the front right corner of the bumper made contact with the metal guardrail. The sound of metal crumpling echoed through the mountains as her car came to rest dangerously close to the edge of the cliff.

A trembling began in her fingertips and worked its way through her arms, down her torso, and all the way to her toes, which were still pressed against the pedal. She forced one hand from the steering wheel and slowly pushed the shifter into park then turned the key in the ignition to off. Not that her car could go anywhere anyway. By the amount of steam currently seeping out from under the hood, it would be a miracle if the thing moved again without the assistance of a tow truck. She wasn’t about to try. Good thing it was a rental and would hopefully be covered by insurance.

She stumbled out of the car to examine the damage. It was bad, but thankfully hadn’t been hard enough or fast enough to do any permanent, unfixable damage to the car or her. The airbags hadn’t even deployed.

“Are you okay?”

The man who came up beside her was tall and fairly light haired, dirty blond. He had bright blue eyes that almost sparkled in the late-afternoon sunshine and a sprinkle of stubble dusted his jaw, giving him an even more concerned expression than he would have had with only his lips pressed into a tight line.

He squeezed her shoulders with his large, strong hands. “Are you hurt? Do you know what day it is?”

A mystery man had come to rescue her as if she were starring in a princess movie. She shook her head, clearly not thinking straight. She didn’t believe in fairytale endings from the corny movies she watched as a kid. Sure, those kinds of things happened in real life; that wasn’t the issue. She just didn’t think her life required a man to have a happily ever after.

Nope. She only needed her sketchbook, a few pencils, and a ticket to somewhere new and amazing. Not a man who would tie her down and keep her in one place forever. The only person she could trust with her happiness in life was herself. However, that didn’t mean she couldn’t appreciate the hunky guy in front of her currently offering his assistance.

“I’m fine,” she said. “I didn’t hit my head or anything.”

“Good. You’re okay.” He let go of her shoulders and ran his hands through his hair, turning toward her rental car and giving it the once over. He exhaled with a whistle. “That doesn’t look good. What happened?”

“I was driving and suddenly the car in front of me slammed on their brakes for no reason.” She pointed up the road, seeing the moment replay in her mind. “Then I had to slam on mine too and aim for the shoulder so I wouldn’t hit them. What kind of idiot hits the brakes like that on the highway?”

Now that she looked at the other stopped car, the one the hunky stranger got out of, it looked sort of familiar. Of course, how different did one set of taillights look from another?

“The kind of driver who is paying attention and wants to avoid killing the deer that jumped into the road. I heard squealing tires, but I thought they were mine. Then when I heard the crunch of metal, I knew it was someone else.”

“That was you? You’re the one who almost got me killed?” Her voice came out shriller than she intended, but she couldn’t stop her tone anymore than she could stop the anger rising inside of her.

“You were the one tailgating and obviously not paying attention. What were you doing? Checking your makeup in the mirror? Texting your bestie?”

“Did you just say bestie?” Surely he hadn’t. “Real men do not use words like bestie.”

“Are you avoiding the question?” He arched an eyebrow.

She tucked a few loose strands of hair behind her ear before hiking up her jeans—they always managed to wiggle down her hips lower than she wanted, giving her that unappealing droopy-ass syndrome—then smoothed the hem of her tailored button-up blouse back into place. “Just because I want to be put together does not mean I’m superficial enough to be more concerned about my makeup than the cars around me. And I don’t believe in texting while driving. I can barely text and walk at the same time. I’m not stupid enough to try it while behind the wheel.”

She folded her arms across her chest, challenging him to accuse her of something else ridiculous. “Maybe you’re the one who wasn’t paying attention and therefore only narrowly avoided killing Bambi. Don’t blame your bad driving skills on me.” The last word came out so forcefully her chest heaved as she breathed in.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t even have to stop to make sure you were okay, but I did, because I’m a nice guy.” He crossed his arms to mirror hers. His once concerned expression had been replaced by one of complete and total pissed-off-ness.

Ditto, buddy.

“Well, thank you much for your kindness, but I’m fine, so you can go.” She turned around and forced her annoyance into the background. Being pissed off wouldn’t help her get her rental car moving again. Instead, she climbed behind the wheel and twisted the key in the ignition. Nothing happened. It didn’t even click.

“Great,” she muttered. Maybe if she gave it a little gas and then tried again.

“I don’t think you should do that,” the guy said, tapping on her driver’s side window.

She glared at him and opened her door since she couldn’t roll down her window without power. What did he know about anything? “And why not?”

“There’s a puddle of liquid pooling beneath your car, and it might be important. What if your engine is damaged and it sparks when you try to get it running again? What if that liquid is flammable?”

Good point. She didn’t feel like becoming a toasted marshmallow today, but did she want to admit Mr. Accident Causer was right? Nope. “I have to get it started somehow. I can’t leave it here. Got any better ideas?”

“We could call a tow truck and have it taken to town. Cutter’s Creek isn’t too far from here.” He pointed down the road in the direction they’d both been heading.

She didn’t need reminding of how close she was to home. She knew. It was like her body was finely tuned to the area. She knew every landmark, outcropping of rocks, and overlook. She wasn’t happy to be back, but at least her brother was nearby and he could fix her car. Cheap auto repair was one good thing about being home, possibly the only good thing. The other side of the coin was that by morning the whole town would know she was home and had almost driven herself off a mountain. She could already hear the comments about how the city had changed her.

Just another thing she disliked about coming home—constant rumors and gossip.

Good thing she was headed directly to meet her family at the campground and not into town. With any luck, she’d be able to avoid seeing anyone but family for the entire week before she left again.

Admitting he was right, she pulled out her phone only to find it didn’t have a signal. Shit. The dead zone. She’d forgotten how these mountains always cut off her signal at random points along this stretch of road. It was another one of the annoying things about being out in the middle of nowhere. How would she get an email response from the galleries she still had outstanding applications with if she couldn’t get a signal to check her messages? The week kept getting worse.

“I don’t have a signal here. Can you check your phone?”

He did and shook his head. “Me either. Must be these mountains getting in the way of the cell towers. Grab whatever you need to take with you and hop in with me.” He motioned for her to follow him back to his car.

“I’m not going anywhere with you. You could be a murderer.”

He laughed. “Really? First you accuse me of being a bad driver trying to take down Bambi, and subsequently you, and now I’m a murderer. You think highly of well-meaning strangers who are trying to help you; though why I’m still trying is beyond me.”

“Well, you could be,” she said weakly, feeling her cheeks warm with embarrassment. She should’ve kept that murderer comment to herself. “I don’t know you. You could be some psycho waiting to have your way with me.” The heat in her cheeks deepened. Somehow that came out sounding a lot more sexual than she intended.

He chuckled again. “I assure you, if I wanted you dead, you would’ve been by now. And if I wanted to have my way with you, I’d save that for a time when you’d appreciate it, not when we’re stuck on the side of the road. Now, you’re free to stay here and wait for your signal to come back, or you can ride with me and I’ll drop you off wherever you want so you can get your car fixed. Choice is yours, but I’m late getting where I need to go as it is, so I’m leaving, with or without you.” He stalked off to his car without a backward glance.

Tessa chewed the inside of her cheek, debating. Risk her safety but get to town where she could deal with her car? Or wait by the side of the road for someone she knew to come along? Of course, they’d been out here a while already and not a single car had passed. She could be here for hours without someone she knew finding her. Better to risk it with the stranger.

“Fine. Wait up,” she called before he got into his car. There wasn’t much she needed to take with her, just her handbag and small suitcase. As she settled herself into the passenger seat, the pit of uneasiness in her stomach blossomed. On second thought, hanging out on the side of the road might be better than dealing with her family and their persistent questions and not so subtle hints about moving home.

“I’m Logan, by the way. Logan Ridley. You know, so I’m not a stranger anymore. And you are?”

“Tessa.” Whenever people around here heard her full name, they instantly associated her with the rest of the family. Not that her family was bad. They were great people actually—kind, warm, and friendly. Along with being meddling, busy-bodied know-it-alls who all thought they knew what she needed in her life to be happy better than she knew herself. She loved her family deeply, but damn it they could be annoying as hell.

“Just Tessa?” he asked with a quick glance toward her.

“Eyes on the road. One close call is enough for the day, thanks. And yeah, just Tessa.”

One of the things she liked the most about living in New York City was being anonymous. She didn’t miss living in a town where everyone knew her and what she was doing every day. In the city if she wanted to grab coffee from the corner café in her jammies, no one batted an eyelash. Try that in town and it would make the front page of the Cutter’s Creek Gazette.

This guy didn’t look like anyone she remembered from town, so there was a good chance he was passing through. Although if he had half a brain, he’d still put her name together with the town.

“Okay then. Where can I drop you off?” he asked.

“Miller’s campground, just outside of Cutter’s Creek, if that’s not out of your way,” she added, hoping to sound a little less grouchy. She did appreciate him driving her to her family instead of leaving her on the side of the road like he could’ve easily done, but that didn’t mean she excused him for being the root of the situation to begin with.

“I’m headed there myself. How strange.”

“And convenient.” Murderer? Psychopath? Stop it. Just another camper like you. Relax.

“No, just coincidence. I was in Stony Brook for the morning taking care of some business before meeting friends out at the campsite. Guess you’ll have to share the campground with a murderous, bad-driving lunatic, huh?” He chuckled. She didn’t.

“I don’t think that’s funny, but it’s a good thing you’ll be nearby in case the rental place wants to talk to the guy who ruined my car. They might need a statement or something to verify the facts once I call to tell them what happened.”

“I’ll give them my side of the story if you insist, but I’m not taking the blame for your shitty driving.”

“You think you’re blameless in this situation?” How could he be so ignorant?

“You think you’re blameless?” he echoed.

“It was your fault,” she said.

“You were the one driving your car. Not me. Therefore, I can’t be held accountable for your actions.” His voice rose as he took the corner into Miller’s Campground a little too fast, gravel spinning out from under the tires.

She gripped the dashboard and the side of her seat. “You’re really proving your point about being a good driver.”

“And you’re doing a good job of proving how irritating you can be. What site can I drop you at?”


He skidded to a stop by a sign that read Cabins 12-17 and leaned back his head onto the headrest, belly laughing. He wiped his watering eyes and shook his head. “This is great. Amazing.”

“I’ll get out here. Thanks for the lift.” She went to grab the door handle but stopped as the car inched forward again, then turned up the gravel road leading toward the cabins.

“I’m going this way anyway. I’ll drive you.”

“You don’t have to. I’ll walk the rest of the way so you can get where you’re going. I’ll find you if I need you for the rental car insurance.”

“You won’t have to look far,” he said, pulling into a parking spot next to her parents’ vehicle.

“What do you mean? What cabin are you staying in?” Hopefully it wasn’t too close by. She wanted him near enough so she could have him report about the accident, but not so close she’d have to see him around. He might be cute, but he’d also rubbed her the wrong way basically every second since they’d met.

“I’m not sure exactly. I was told to meet everyone here.”

“Here as in Miller’s Campground?” Surely he didn’t mean what she thought he meant.

He faced her, an expression of sheer disbelief on his face. “Here as in cabin fifteen where I’m meeting my friend Travis.”

“As in Travis Baker my brother-in-law?” Was Logan the friend of the family they’d mentioned inviting? What were the odds of that?

“And you must be the wild and free-spirited Tessa Cutter I’ve heard so much about. This is not how I imagined meeting you.”

“Shut the hell up,” she whispered almost speechless. How could she possibly have luck this bad?

“Looks like we’ll be spending the week together. Good thing we got off to such a great start. First impressions and all that. Should make the week lots of fun.”

He laughed and got out of the car, grabbed his bag from the trunk, and threw it over his shoulder. “What are you waiting for? I’m sure your family would love to hear all about our little adventure today.”

There wasn’t a doubt in her mind that they would. Hopefully, they’d get it out of their system quickly then Logan could go hang out with Travis on the lake fishing for the entire week, if there was any justice in the universe, and she could find somewhere on dry land to be—as far away from Logan as possible.

Find out more information here:  ENTANGLED PUBLISHING

The Hometown Hoax
by Heather Thurmeier

Copyright © 2015 by Heather Thurmeier. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.


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