2018, Books, life

Loss. Music. Hope.

 

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Since The Flight of Hope was announced, I couldn’t wait to read it. HJ Bellus and I are “boot” sisters and she had told me about this book when we were in Kentucky. I knew it was different, but as a reader/writer/woman, that’s what helps us grow. Change helps us evolve and become something great. Can you imagine if there was no change in our lives?

At the end of November, I made a few changes. I decided that my full marathon would be bumped up to January instead of March. I also decided to keep all of my businesses going.  I knew if I went all in with marathon training there would be no way to be super momma like some believe. Selfishly, I knew that would also allow me time to read over Christmas break and you guessed it. The Flight of Hope was #1 on my list.

As the break approached, I packed my kindle in my backpack. I was going to read any free moment I had. I didn’t care if it was sitting in my car during my planning period or at Carlee’s dance studio.

Life can be hectic….
Well… have you ever wanted to do something so bad but it’s like there are not enough hours in the day? Y’all I had been running four businesses, marathon training, teaching, and being a mom/wife. How is it that I minimize things and I can’t find time for a book? I’m still clueless on this one.  Have you ever felt this way?

20993043_10211098205996780_761227042784888143_nThe week of Christmas I was determined to start and finish it. Normally, I can read a book within a day or two. It took almost a full week, but y’all, it was so worth it.
Have you ever loved someone so much you can’t image what life would be like after they are gone? What if it was the two most import people in your life? For me, the thought is devastating. I couldn’t imagine Billy and Carlee not living this life with me. They are my heart and soul.  However, we know that God has a plan for all of us and he knows what’s best.
In the Flight of Hope, Marlee loses her heart and soul. She can’t see a light in the darkness.  Jed, a country music star, is struggling with an outside force that will tear your heart out. The two cross paths and the bond created is hope. This story will make your heart hurt, break, shatter, but the light of hope will heal it all.  If you are looking for a novel that will make you feel the entire spectrum of emotions then I highly recommend you download this book today.

Life thoughts…
So many times we as women put everything we have into our families that we lose who we are as individuals. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all, but we also need to take time for ourselves… to feel our own cup so to speak.

For me, I do a daily devotion each morning and run 3-4 days a week. Saturday is always a long run day with friends and it’s so therapeutic. Some days I’ll go to the coffee shop alone and read a book.

As women, we need time to fuel our soul. Tell me… how do you refill your cup?

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2018, Books, life

Blessed. Stressed. Reading Obsessed.

WOW, Y’all!   How in the world has it been TWO years since I last wrote on this blog?  I honestly can’t believe how fast that time has flown.

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Hardcover Therapy is back and I’m so excited I can hardly stand it.  I might have to cut a cartwheel… or maybe not.  Instead, I’ll go and run a few miles.  However, there will be a few changes.  Did you see that tagline?  Blessed, Stressed and Reading Obsessed?  What did you think?

For me personally, I know I’m not alone.  My cup is running over and I truly am blessed with my faith, family, career(s), and so much more.  The past two years I have had some ups and downs, but no matter what, I have remained positive.  I want to always show a positive light on life.

Life can get a little stressful at times, but I wouldn’t trade my life for the world.  I think all of us women can relate to that. (The everyday things that have to be done at home, running our children to extracurriculars, the extra bill showing up in the mail, etc.)

Hardcover Therapy will now be a place for us as women to come to enjoy the little things in life called blessings, find ways to remove the little stresses, and of course, discuss the books we are obsessing over.

Since I took a break from this site here’s what has happened in my life…

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My WORLD

Carlee & Billy are still my top priorities.  I love spending every moment I can with them and my family/friends.  The past two years I’ve grown so much in my own skin it’s crazy. For the first time in my life, I’m okay with me inside and out.  I’ve realized that as long as my faith is strong, my family is by my side, and I remain positive through the hard times that I will be fine in this life.  I’ve truly started to embrace the small moments in life.  I can put down my phone or laptop and take a moment to bake cookies with Carlee or to have a lunch date with my husband with my phone on silent.  It can wait… they are what truly matter in life.

Author Casey Peeler has written a total of nine full-length novels and five novellas.  It has been amazing and I’ve learned so much about myself as a writer as well.  I’m def still that #SweetSouthernReads kinda girl.  I’ve got a new release in March with several WIP currently.

I’ve dilly-dallied in two direct sales companies- Plunder Design & NuSkin.  Plunder Design was brought to me by one of my fabulous readers, Olivia.  She had the cutest jewelry and it had a very unique southern style to it.  She stayed on me for six months before I gave in.  It’s very southern chic and super affordable.  Y’all like the average price is $20 or less!  Now, I just dilly with it and have an online site.

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NuSkin Cooperate Office Provo, UT

NuSkin however changed my life with one little tube of toothpaste.   In February, I came across it and said why not.  It’s free to join.  Needless to say my husband was like what in the heck are you selling now. LOL. Little did we know that our lives were about to change.  My husband worked for an assisted living facility and wanted to step out on his own.  This business allowed us to be able to do that without the worry of making sure we had a roof over our heads and bills paid.  Ya know what I mean?  I didn’t know at the time that I would fall head over boots for this company, products, and beliefs.  The company is one I believe in and will be going to South Africa in March as a reward for my success.  Why does this matter?  Well, here’s where things get interesting.

As a child I was obsessed with Africa.  My Mom always believed I’d be her missionary in Kenya.  So for me, this is a dream come true to visit.  Their Nourish the Children foundation has touched my heart, and soon I’ll be an ambassador for the company.  What does this mean?  I will be able to go and do the outreach my Mom believed I’d do as a child.  It’s funny how things come full circle isn’t it?  Has that ever happened to you?

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Shug & Honey tee accented with Plunder earrings

Last May,  my sister and I launched a women’s shirt line called Shug & Honey which is featured in my stories.  It’s been fun to work with her and create southern style shirts along with unique watercolor designs.  There have been some ups and downs with this business.  We are both mom bosses and sometimes this is what gets put on the back burner.  It’s an adventure we enjoy but def more of a hobby for us.

All of these items are featured under my SHOP tab.

Now to life…

During the past two years, I’ve discovered who I AM.  I am strong, goal oriented, determined who loves her faith, family, and living life to the fullest.

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JuneBug Jam my 1 year RUNiversary

If you would have asked me a little over a year and a half ago to run a marathon, I’d have laughed at you!  Y’all in SEVEN days I’ll be running 26.2 miles at the Charleston Marathon!  I use to only run if something was chasing me, but two friends changed that with a 5k.  Needless to say, it created a fire in my feet and I LOVE it.  I’ve had some BIG goals for this race, and it’s all about mindset.  So bring on that 3:45 and keep pushing for the 3:40!  I promise to let you know how it goes.
Running has seriously helped me realized a lot about myself.  I’m strong, determined, consistent, and it’s the time I take for myself four days a week.  It’s like when I sit down and escape in a good book.

So tell me…

How has your life changed the past two years?  Are you looking for a place to connect with women who are busy moms who want to escape the everyday hustle with a good book?  If so, stay tuned because I’ve got the place for you.

With Love & Mason Jars!

Casey

2015, Books, country music, life, Uncategorized

One ending is another beginning…

Hey Y’all!

Most of you know that since I began this journey as Hardcover Therapy my life has changed tremendously.  I’ve gone from reader/reviewer to author/reader/reviewer.

Over the past few months, balancing both sites has become difficult.  I’ve felt pulled in what I need to do because this site is where it all began, but I’ve made the decision to move my blog post to my author website.

After today, I will continue to review, post my favorite titles, give recommendations for books, country music, and southern style, but it will be on at Author Casey Peeler.

I’m so thankful for each and every one of you that visit this website daily, weekly, monthly, or whenever you have a spare moment.  Please take a moment to follow me on my author page.  I love seeing your comments and thoughts.  You’ve been my family since I started this crazy journey, and I would love nothing more than you to continue on this adventure with me.

With <3,

Casey Peeler aka Hardcover Therapy

http://www.authorcaseypeeler.com

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2015, Books, country music, life, Uncategorized

Tutus & Cowboy Boots @AuthorCasey

Title: Tutu’s & Cowboy Boots
Author: Casey Peeler
Release Date: Dec 28, 2015
Find on Goodreads
Cadence Lewis has been dancing since she could walk. Living in New York with her parents she has the chance to go to the best dance school in the country, but when her father does the unthinkable she’s forced to leave her dreams behind and move to a small southern town with her mom.  Cadence is having a hard time adjusting to her new life when she meets Jade Carpenter.  Jade starts to show Cadence that small-town life isn’t so bad, but when Cadence has a chance to go back to New York she is on the next flight and will do anything to get her old life back.

 

~Amazon: coming soon~
As I approach the house, I can see that Gran is already in the garden. Knowing this isn’t going to go well with her, I suck it up and just deal with this shit literally.
“Lord have mercy, child. What happened to ya?” Gran says, looking toward me.
“Your boy down there had me take the cow shit to the compost pile and you can see the shit won,” I say with my arms crossed.
“Bless your heart. Did you not use the tractor?”
“Tractor?” At that exact moment, I hear an engine and I’ll be damned. Barrick is using a bucket to haul the rest of the manure down there. He looks toward us and waves. It’s on like donkey kong.
Casey Peeler grew up in North Carolina and still lives there with her husband and daughter.
Growing up Casey wasn’t an avid reader or writer, but after reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston during her senior year of high school, and multiple Nicholas Sparks’ novels, she found a hidden love and appreciation for reading.  That love ignited the passion for writing several years later, and her writing style combines real life scenarios with morals and values teenagers need in their daily lives.
When Casey isn’t writing, you can find her near a body of water listening to country music with a cold beverage and a great book.
Enter to win 2 signed copies of Tutu’s & Cowboy Boots BEFORE release day here!
2015, Books, life, Uncategorized

Can you resist the #Addiction?

Title: Addiction 
Series: Seven Deadly Sins
Author: Shantel Tessier
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: November 17, 2015
Cover Design: Perfect Pear Creative
Photographer: Dave Kelly Artistics 

Cover Models: Lance Jones & Jami Watts
I’m a sinner with no regrets. I’m a man with no shame. 
I’m a lover with no soul. 
What am I? 

You’re a loner with no friends. 
You’re a beggar with no place to go. 
You’re a face with no name. 
Who are you? 

It doesn’t really matter what I am or who you are. Everyone has sin in common. But I pride myself on doing it better. Through the eyes of another, I am envied. If they only knew the wrath I have endured. Greed can be a motherfucker, but it is what makes us strive to be better. Lust can make you burn, but without it you would freeze to death. Some of us are a glutton for punishment and want to feel the pain that reminds us we’re still alive rather than overcome by sloth. 
The lure of these seven deadly sins is like an addiction. And I intend to indulge in each of these unforgivable sins.
review
Everyone is addicted to something.  For me, I absolutely love the sunshine, flip flops, and books.  Other however are addicted to the darker side.
Shantel Tessier’s Addiction is a book that takes you on that side of life, but even those who feel as if they are in control fall to an addiction of some sort.
Taylor doesn’t do drugs and wants nothing to do with them.  Blane, her brother, has made a deal with the devil and without trying Taylor becomes involved.
Cade is the mastermind behind the entire operation, but what he doesn’t expect is to become addicted to an individual.  One whom he will have to break all rules to get his next hit.
Addiction is a story that had my heart beating like crazy.  There’s an element of danger and fear of the unknown.  I wanted to keep Taylor safe, but I didn’t know if that was going to be the case.
Shantel Tessier does an amazing job at creating a dynamic plot with drama, unique situations, not to mention the steam level is through the roof .  This is one that will make you want to believe in the lies, and pray that everything goes according to the plan.  If you’re looking to feed you next book addiction, one click Addiction by Shantel Tessier right now.
I cross my arms over my chest, getting more comfortable. “Come in,” I call out.

The door opens, and she comes walking in as if she owns the place. Shoulders pulled back and chin up. She is dressed much differently than she was last night, but it doesn’t change the fact she’s beautiful. She’s pulled her long, dark hair up into a messy ponytail with loose pieces framing her flawless face. She has an oversized white t-shirt on that hangs off one shoulder. The color of her bra strap gets my attention. Black—my favorite color. She’s wearing a pair of black yoga pants that hugs her thin legs. Even though they cover more of her legs than her shorts did from last night, they seem more sexual. More intimate in a way that makes me want to peel them off her slowly.
“I need to have a word with you …” I arch a brow at her hard tone even though it did sound cute “… sir,” she adds a little softer, and I hide my smile. So she doesn’t have as much backbone as she wants me to think she has.
“I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced,” I say as I stand. I reach out my right hand toward her. “My name is …”
She holds up her hand stopping me. “I know who you are.” She cocks a dark eyebrow. “A word?” She’s all business.
I smirk as I sit back down. “Of course. And please, call me Case.” I gesture to the chair that sits across my desk.
“I’ll stand. This won’t take long.” She takes in a deep breath, and I allow myself a quick look at her large chest hidden behind that t-shirt. I can’t touch her, but I sure as hell can enjoy the view.
“What can I do for you?” I ask with amusement. I can think of several things I could do for her, all of which would require her being naked and bent over my desk. I rub my hands on my thighs as I feel my cock start to harden at the thought of her, open-mouthed, moaning in pleasure.
“My brother told me that he owes you.” She gets right to the point.
My face hardens at that statement. My amusement is replaced with anger. What else did he tell her? “I don’t see where what business I have with your brother is any of yours,” I say flatly.
She crosses her arms over her chest and lets out a huff. The motion blows the dark strands around her face. “That is where you are wrong. I don’t know what he owes you, but I’m willing to pay it.”
I refrain from chuckling at that. I lean forward and place my forearms on my desk. She quickly scans the tattoos on my arms and then looks back at me. “Taylor…”
“Call me Miss Williams,” she informs me lifting her chin.
“Miss Williams, I assure you that you cannot pay what he owes me.”
I watch as her tough act starts to unravel. “I don’t have a lot of money, that’s true. But maybe I can make payments,” she offers, her voice sounding more desperate than demanding.
I shake my head. “This isn’t about money.”
She stomps her foot, and I chuckle. Her beautiful blue eyes narrow on me as she uncrosses her arms and points an angry finger at me. “Name your price!” she demands. “Everyone has a price.”
If she only knew how right she is, but I say, “There is no price.”
She throws her arms out to her side. “I came here …” She pauses as she looks around the room as if it can give her some sort of an answer. Then she mutters a curse in frustration. When she looks back up at me, she looks desperate. Her eyes have softened, making them look lighter than they are. Her lips part as she breathes in a sigh, and her shoulders slump in defeat. And I hate that I like the way it looks. That it makes me feel like she needs me. That I hold all the answers. Too bad she’s not gonna get them.

“Pulled in from page one and I’m still addicted to this book even after finishing it. The twists and turns Shantel takes you on will have your head spinning and your heart pounding.” ~Judy Miracle


“If you’re looking for a new Addiction then this is the book for you!! Shantel will have you Addicted by the first chapter. I couldn’t put it down.” ~Kelly Tucker

“Addiction is a great story with lots twists and turns that will be sure to keep you on your toes.” ~Rachael Duncan (Author)

Shantel is a Texas born girl who now lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her high school sweetheart, who is a wonderful, supportive husband and their four year old little princess. She loves to spend time cuddled up on the couch with a good book
She has published five books in the Undescribable series and 2 books in the DASH series. She considers herself extremely lucky to get to be a stay at home wife and mother. Going to concerts and the movies are just a few of her favorite things to do. She hates coffee, but loves wine. She and her husband are both huge football fans, college and NFL. And she has to feed her high heel addiction by shopping for shoes weekly. 
Although she has a passion to write, her family is most important to her. She loves spending evenings at home with her husband and daughter, along with their two cats and dog.

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2015, Books, life, Uncategorized

Cover Reveal: Addiction by Shantel Tessier

Title: Addiction 
Series: Seven Deadly Sins #1
Author: Shantel Tessier
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: November 17, 2015
Cover Design: Perfect Pear Creative
Photographer: Dave KellyPhotographer 

Cover Models: Lance Jones & Jami Watts
I’m a sinner with no regrets. I’m a man with no shame. 
I’m a lover with no soul. 
What am I? 

You’re a loner with no friends. 
You’re a beggar with no place to go. 
You’re a face with no name. 
Who are you? 

It doesn’t really matter what I am or who you are. Everyone has sin in common. But I pride myself on doing it better. Through the eyes of another, I am envied. If they only knew the wrath I have endured. Greed can be a motherfucker, but it is what makes us strive to be better. Lust can make you burn, but without it you would freeze to death. Some of us are a glutton for punishment and want to feel the pain that reminds us we’re still alive rather than overcome by sloth. 
The lure of these seven deadly sins is like an addiction. And I intend to indulge in each of these unforgivable sins.
I cross my arms over my chest, getting more comfortable. “Come in,” I call out.

The door opens, and she comes walking in as if she owns the place. Shoulders pulled back and chin up. She is dressed much differently than she was last night, but it doesn’t change the fact she’s beautiful. She’s pulled her long, dark hair up into a messy ponytail with loose pieces framing her flawless face. She has an oversized white t-shirt on that hangs off one shoulder. The color of her bra strap gets my attention. Black—my favorite color. She’s wearing a pair of black yoga pants that hugs her thin legs. Even though they cover more of her legs than her shorts did from last night, they seem more sexual. More intimate in a way that makes me want to peel them off her slowly.
“I need to have a word with you …” I arch a brow at her hard tone even though it did sound cute “… sir,” she adds a little softer, and I hide my smile. So she doesn’t have as much backbone as she wants me to think she has. 
“I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced,” I say as I stand. I reach out my right hand toward her. “My name is …”
She holds up her hand stopping me. “I know who you are.” She cocks a dark eyebrow. “A word?” She’s all business. 
I smirk as I sit back down. “Of course. And please, call me Case.” I gesture to the chair that sits across my desk. 
“I’ll stand. This won’t take long.” She takes in a deep breath, and I allow myself a quick look at her large chest hidden behind that t-shirt. I can’t touch her, but I sure as hell can enjoy the view.
“What can I do for you?” I ask with amusement. I can think of several things I could do for her, all of which would require her being naked and bent over my desk. I rub my hands on my thighs as I feel my cock start to harden at the thought of her, open-mouthed, moaning in pleasure. 
“My brother told me that he owes you.” She gets right to the point.
My face hardens at that statement. My amusement is replaced with anger. What else did he tell her? “I don’t see where what business I have with your brother is any of yours,” I say flatly.
She crosses her arms over her chest and lets out a huff. The motion blows the dark strands around her face. “That is where you are wrong. I don’t know what he owes you, but I’m willing to pay it.”
I refrain from chuckling at that. I lean forward and place my forearms on my desk. She quickly scans the tattoos on my arms and then looks back at me. “Taylor…”
“Call me Miss Williams,” she informs me lifting her chin. 
“Miss Williams, I assure you that you cannot pay what he owes me.”
I watch as her tough act starts to unravel. “I don’t have a lot of money, that’s true. But maybe I can make payments,” she offers, her voice sounding more desperate than demanding.
I shake my head. “This isn’t about money.” 
She stomps her foot, and I chuckle. Her beautiful blue eyes narrow on me as she uncrosses her arms and points an angry finger at me. “Name your price!” she demands. “Everyone has a price.”
If she only knew how right she is, but I say, “There is no price.”
She throws her arms out to her side. “I came here …” She pauses as she looks around the room as if it can give her some sort of an answer. Then she mutters a curse in frustration. When she looks back up at me, she looks desperate. Her eyes have softened, making them look lighter than they are. Her lips part as she breathes in a sigh, and her shoulders slump in defeat. And I hate that I like the way it looks. That it makes me feel like she needs me. That I hold all the answers. Too bad she’s not gonna get them.

“Pulled in from page one and I’m still addicted to this book even after finishing it. The twists and turns Shantel takes you on will have your head spinning and your heart pounding.” ~Judy Miracle


“If you’re looking for a new Addiction then this is the book for you!! Shantel will have you Addicted by the first chapter. I couldn’t put it down.” ~Kelly Tucker

“Addiction is a great story with lots twists and turns that will be sure to keep you on your toes.” ~Rachael Duncan (Author)

Shantel is a Texas born girl who now lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her high school sweetheart, who is a wonderful, supportive husband and their four year old little princess. She loves to spend time cuddled up on the couch with a good book
She has published five books in the Undescribable series and 2 books in the DASH series. She considers herself extremely lucky to get to be a stay at home wife and mother. Going to concerts and the movies are just a few of her favorite things to do. She hates coffee, but loves wine. She and her husband are both huge football fans, college and NFL. And she has to feed her high heel addiction by shopping for shoes weekly. 
Although she has a passion to write, her family is most important to her. She loves spending evenings at home with her husband and daughter, along with their two cats and dog.

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Reading “Tough Enough” by M. Leighton? Here’s a little something fun 🙂
Thursday
Anne Chaconas
Hey all! Quick reminder that Tough Enough by M. Leighton is launching next Tuesday, and your reviews

2015, Books, life, Uncategorized

Happy release day @writerjdrivera!

 
Title: Chasing Forevermore (Chasing #2.5)
Author: J.D. Rivera
Release Date: Oct 27, 2015
Find on Goodreads
 
 
 

Mackenzie… 

After being dealt a hard life, things were finally looking up. I had a wonderful boyfriend and perfect daughter. 

Life was great. 

But at some point, your past always comes back to haunt you, crashing into you when you least expect it. And all you can do is weather the storm, even if it’s hell bent on destroying everything. 

Hayes… 

Perfect girlfriend, check. 

Perfect daughter, check. 

All that was missing was Mackenzie sharing my last name. But life is never that easy. And some choices you make can destroy everything. I just pray I didn’t fuck up beyond repair. Because I can’t live my life without her and I’d do anything to make it right again.

 
Note: This should be read after reading the novel Chasing the Stars. 

***Novella length*** 
 
 
 
 
My life was perfect. I had the perfect boyfriend, the perfect daughter—I can honestly say I’d never been this happy in my entire life.
 
Rolling over, my heart leapt at the sight of my man. Hayes was sleeping peacefully, the sheet flung below his hips, showing off his impressive chest. He had always been hot, but since he came back into my life, he’d gotten hotter, if that were possible. His chest and six pack were very impressive, along with his biceps. But that wasn’t what made my heart leap. It was his new tattoo. A huge star between his pecs with “Harley” written inside. Mac, his nickname for me, was over his heart, but that tattoo had been there for a while.
 
“Why don’t you stop checking me out and kiss me instead?” Hayes rasped, pulling me on top of him.
 
I giggled and let my lips seal over his. He immediately deepened the kiss and I sighed. Not only was he great looking, he was also a great kisser, among other things.
 
“Happy birthday eve,” he whispered against my lips before kissing me again.
 
“Thanks,” I said, pulling back and looking at the clock on the nightstand. “I better get up and get dressed. Why did I sign up for a morning class?”
 
“I don’t know, babe. Can I join—”
 
“Dadddddyyyy!” Harley yelled from her room.
 
“Never mind.” He sighed and we both got out of bed.
 
I stood still for a minute, listening to him talk to Harley. Hayes was such a good father. He had been since the moment he laid eyes on her, and it still shocked me. He had always been a player and a big partier, but I guess that just goes to show, if you really love someone, you’ll change.
 
I headed into the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and took a quick shower before digging out a long sleeve black t-shirt and ripped jeans. I placed my wet hair in a bun and didn’t even bother with makeup. I wasn’t trying to impress anyone.
 
When I stepped into the kitchen, Hayes was feeding Harley and he had a bowl full of cereal waiting for me. “I didn’t know how long you’d be and didn’t want it to be gross, so I left out the milk.”
 
“Thanks,” I said, grabbing the milk out of the fridge and adding it to the bowl. After placing it back in its spot, I walked to the table and sat down. I scooped up a big bite and chewed the sugary goodness. “So, what are your plans for the day?”
 
He shrugged. “Same as always. Although, I was thinking about going over to Carson’s and hanging out before I pick Harley up from the sitter.”
 
I smiled and shoveled more cereal into my mouth. I’d never actually asked, mainly because I’m scared of his answer, but I’d been worried Hayes only sticks around because it’s the right thing to do. He’d been hanging out with Carson a lot over the last month, and I had overheard Hayes and Carson talking about old parties. Once I heard Carson refer to them as the “good ole days”, I felt that maybe Hayes’ “change” was only because he felt obligated.
 
I mean, hell, he had replaced me quite easily. When we had reconnected, he had been dating a girl who looked similar to me for several months. Hayes had claimed he dated her because she was as close to me as he could get, but maybe he’d be better off with her. Young and carefree, not strapped down with a child. Stop it. He loves you. He loves Harley. Of course, I knew that, but insecurities died hard.
 
“Babe, are you okay?” Hayes asked, snapping me out of my thoughts.
 
I cleared my throat. “Yeah. I’m good,” I said, glancing at him. “I was just thinking about class.”
 
“You sure that’s all you were thinking about?”
 
I took one last bite of my cereal and stood before heading to the sink. “I’m sure.” I rinsed the bowl and placed it in the dishwasher. “We still leaving tomorrow morning for your parents’ house?” Tomorrow would be my birthday, the day before Thanksgiving. Hayes had planned a big celebration for me.
 
“Of course.”
 
“Since you want to hang out with Carson, I’ll pick Harley up from the sitter after my last class.”
 
“Babe, I’ll pick her up. I have one class today and I’m only going to stop by his place for an hour or so.”
 
“Okay,” I replied, then kissed Harley before walking into the living room to grab my bag. “I’ll see you tonight.” I knew it wasn’t fair, he deserved to hang out with his friends, but I couldn’t help the tightness in my chest.
 
“Are you not going to tell me goodbye?” Hayes asked, spinning me around. “I won’t push you to tell me what’s wrong, but you better at least give me a kiss.”
 
I smiled weakly, then placed a kiss on his lips. “Sorry,” I whispered. “I’m not sure what’s wrong with me.”
 
Hayes smashed his lips against mine, giving me a hard, lingering kiss before pulling back. “I love you.”
 
“I love you, too,” I said before opening the door and leaving.
 
***
 
Heading to the union after leaving my second class of the day, my cell began ringing.
I smiled at Miranda’s name on the screen. “Hey.”
 
“Hey, isn’t today when you have that big gap between your second and third class?”
 
“Yeah,” I replied, weaving in and out of people walking along the sidewalk.
 
“Brad and I were wondering if you’d like to come have lunch with us. He’s picking me up in front of the union.”
 
“Yes. I was on my way there anyway. I’ll see you in a minute.”
 
“Great. I’ll be waiting.”
 
We disconnected and I couldn’t help the sudden pep in my step. Maybe having lunch with my two best friends was exactly what I needed.
 
I picked up my pace, walking as fast as I could until I reached the front of the building. Miranda’s long blonde hair waved in the wind, making her easy to spot.
 
“Hey, you,” I said, coming to stand beside her and placing my arm around her.
 
“I have missed you,” she replied, wrapping her arms around me. Miranda was my very best friend, aside from her boyfriend and my adoptive brother, Brad. And, of course, Hayes.
 
“You just saw me like three days ago.”
 
“I know, but I still missed you.” She looked down the street. “Brad should be here any minute.”
 
“Okay.” I took a deep breath and tried to relax. I had no idea what had me all messed up inside, but I needed to get it under control. I knew Hayes loved me, and I knew he loved Harley. Maybe it was our impending trip back to Maverick and knowing I’d be there for more than a couple days. Running into my parents was a high possibility…if they still lived there. I was sure Hayes’ parents knew, but I never asked. I didn’t really want to know.
 
“Here he comes,” Miranda said, stepping closer to the street.
 
I glanced up and saw Brad’s big black truck pulling up in front of us. I walked closer and opened the back door, pulling myself up and in. “Hi,” I said. “I hope you don’t mind me crashing your lunch date.”
 
Brad gave Miranda a peck on the lips before turning to face me. “Mackenzie, you know you are always welcome.”
 
I smiled. “Thanks.” Brad could always make me feel better with just a simple sentence. He was my confidant, and basically, my and Harley’s savior. I had a deep love for him.
 
“Where do you two pretty ladies want to go?”
 
“Anywhere,” I replied as Miranda said, “Pasta House. I want lasagna.”
 
I shrugged. “Fine with me.” Brad nodded and pulled away, but not before catching my eye in the rearview mirror. He knew something was wrong.
 
“How was class, beautiful?” he asked Miranda, and I checked out. They hadn’t been dating long, but I knew they were it for each other. They were both blissfully happy, and neither of them felt beholden to the other.
 
I was so gone in my thoughts, I didn’t even realize we had parked until Brad opened my door with a raised brow. “You coming?”
 
Shaking my head to clear my thoughts, I said, “Sorry. I’m just spacey today.”
 
“You will tell me what’s wrong. You know that, right?”
 
I nodded. “I know. But I promise I’m okay.” I looked around, noticing we were alone. “Where is Miranda?”
 
“She had to pee so she raced inside. Tell me what’s wrong.”
 
I sighed. “Sometimes I just wonder if Hayes sticks around because he feels like he has to.”
 
Brad’s eyebrows bunched. “What the hell, Mackenzie? That boy loves you.”
 
“I know he does. I do. But I feel like I’m making him give everything up. He doesn’t get to have fun anymore.”
 
“I can promise you he is perfectly happy. You need to stop worrying.”
 
I looked to the ground. “It’s just—”
 
“Don’t you dare even go there.” He took my chin in his hand, forcing me to look at him. “You are good enough for him. You and Harley are all he wants.”
 
I nodded. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I just feel like I’m holding him back…with everything.” I shrugged. “Thank you for being here. I don’t know what I’d do without you.” I wrapped my arms around him and closed my eyes as he hugged me back.
 
“I’m always going to be here, kiddo.” He released me, flashing a smile. “Now let’s go eat. I’m starving.”
 
 
 
 
J.D. Rivera lives in Oklahoma with her husband and two boys. Her life consists of school projects, homework, cartoon shows, and little league sports. She loves Diet Mountain Dew, the OKC Thunder, costume jewelry, the beach, and reading. 
 
 

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2013, 2014, 2015, Books, country music, life, Uncategorized

If you haven’t met #cashmoney, now’s the time! #fullcircleseries @AuthorCasey #sale

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“Casey brings her undeniable exuberance for life to her passion for coming of age stories where she weaves charming and believable stories of love, country music, and small town life.” ~EMI Recording Artist Kelleigh Bannen

“The Full Circle Series is full of heartache, drama, and healing, all tied up in a sweet Southern bow.” Jillian Dodd, USA TODAY Bestselling Author

“The Full Circle Series will wind its way around the reader’s heart. Casey Peeler’s writing will capture your attention, compelling you to continue reading until the very end.” ~ Nicole Reed, New York Times bestselling author

Buy Links

Losing Charley #free
Finding Charley #99cents
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Loving Charley #2.99
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Tutu's & Cowboy Boots by Casey Peeler

Tutu’s & Cowboy Boots

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2015, Books, country music, life, Uncategorized

I’m ready for an amazing #Storyteller @carrieunderwood!

TGIF!  AND…. Storyteller is live today!  It feels as if I’ve been waiting on this forever, and if the four singles that have been released are any indication of what’s to come… it’s going to be ah-maz-ing!

A few weeks ago I heard Smoke Break by Carrie Underwood, and it made me smile.    It’s life, and totally makes perfect sense.  It made me reflect on my life right now.  It’s crazy busy with balancing family life, writing, blogging, and my full time job.  Sometimes when life gets out of control and we want to take a few moments for ourself we should pause and take a “smoke break.”

It also made me think about several novels, but one in particular-Crashing Tides. Crashing Tides is about how one moment can change your life.  At the time you think your world is closing in, but as time moves on you realize that was your life plan.

Remember, at the end of the day, life is precious, cherish the ones you love, and take a moment for yourself every once in a while!

As for me, I can’t wait for work to be over today so I can listen to #Storyteller on repeat.  Country music is my biggest inspiration as an author, and Carrie Underwood never ceases to amaze me.   She’s not only a phenomenal role model, but she stays true to herself. In the world we live being true to yourself is SO important!

Check out Smoke Break by Carrie Underwood and download #Storyteller which is live today!

Check out these other FABULOUS country songs that include a little smoke!

Smoke A Little Smoke by Eric Church

Smoke When I Drink by Kelleigh Bannen

Smokin’ and Drinkin’ by Miranda Lambert featuring Little Big Town

Smoke by A Thousand Horses

Crashing Tides is currently on sale!

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Other book recommendations for when life doesn’t go as planned:

 

Tell me… what kinda things make you want to take a break from life?  What’s you’re favor song from the #Storyteller album?

Books, country music, life, Uncategorized

A week at the beach! #rollercoaster #lukebryan

There’s something about a week at the beach. As a child and as a teen, I lived for each summer. The thought of the sand between my toes while looking out in the ocean…it still is my favorite place to vacation.

As a teen, I can still remember the thrill of going to the beach, taking a friend, and having a carefree week without your preconceived labels from home to follow. You could be whoever and do whatever you wanted for one week. In doing so, you might have dressed a little different, used vocabulary your parents might not approve of, and even picked up a boy or two, or maybe ten.

What would happen if you lived in the moment, but one choice changed your future? Each and every time I hear “Roller Coaster” by Luke Bryan, I can picture Marleigh and Gunnison from “Crashing Tides.” I can see Gunnision and how this song fits his feelings for her, but what happens when the week is over? Do the feelings end? Does life go back to normal in their own towns or will their spring break romance last forever? Their carefree spring break romance is one that many can relate to, but it’s the path their lives go on after that that impacts their future.

Check out the video

 

Other songs tied to the ocean:

Beach Town by Chase Rice

Summertime by Kenny Chesney

The Booze Cruise by Blackjack Billy

Pontoon by Little Big Town

Toes by Zac Brown Band

 

Check out Crashing Tides, and these other books that are set at the beach!

 

 

 

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