It’s time to meet the 28th featured author of the SSS! Introducing…Julie Anne Lindsey!
A part of Mercy died the summer her sister tragically drowned. Now Mercy has a chance to discover if Faith’s death was an accident—or murder. Her first step is to confront the lead suspects: a band of traveling gypsies—the last people who saw her sister alive. But Mercy finds an unexpected ally in Cross, the soulful musician in their ranks. He’s a kindred spirit, someone who sees into her heart for the first time in, well, forever.
Yet stirring up the past puts Mercy in danger… Suddenly someone is shadowing Mercy’s every move, making her even more determined to uncover the facts. With Cross by her side, she is ready to face it all, even if that means opening up to him, knowing he may one day leave her.
What she discovers is a truth that rocks the foundation of her small river town—and a love worth risking everything for.
“Shut up.” I slogged through the rain-soaked grass. My arm stung from his touch. No one touched my scars. Every individual mark was a match on my skin. My chest rose and fell in rapid bursts. People always asked about the scars. No one dared touch. They were grotesque external reflections of my obvious internal condition.
“You didn’t kill your sister.” His footfalls pounded through soggy grass behind me. “You’re still hurting over something that can’t be changed. Will you stop running away, please?”
I spun on him, fists clenched. “What do you care? No one asked you to care. So knock it off and go back to your life. Leave me alone. Forget we met.”
Cross stepped into my path. He gripped the hem of his sweatshirt and peeled it over his head, dragging a white T-shirt along with it. He hooked the fabric behind his head without pulling his arms free. His elbows pointed skyward for two long beats. A dozen random lines marked his chest and stomach. His skin was taut over a lean-muscled frame.
I pulled my gaze away and cleared my throat. “What happened to you?”
He replaced his shirt. “I used to pick fights I couldn’t win for the ass beating. I wanted to feel something. Is that why you don’t eat? To feel something?”
My mouth snapped shut.
Cross frowned. His heavy hooded eyes drew level to mine. “Everyone’s got a sad story, Mercy. I don’t want to change you or save you, or whatever you think. I told you, I’m not good with people. Words aren’t my thing, but I like being around you and we’re staying here for a month. We don’t usually stay anywhere this long. We could be friends. I think you might be like me.”
Images of his scarred, shirtless torso cluttered my mind. I rubbed my eyes. He was too close. His cologne was everywhere. Feelings ambushed me on every level. I stepped back. “In what way do you think I’m like you? Do you mean broken?”
Cross took a matching step back, palms up. “I didn’t mean to get so close.” He scrunched his eyebrows. “I’m not broken, not yet. Neither are you. We’re just a little dinged up.”
What do you think? Was this excerpt sweet or sassy? Leave a comment for a chance at your own digital copy.
Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus, most days you’ll find her online, amped up on caffeine and wielding a book. Julie started writing to make people smile. Someday she plans to change the world.
Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW), Sisters in Crime (SinC) and the Canton Writer’s Guild.
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