First, I would like to thank you for allowing me to announce my special message on your blog. I am so honored to be here today. I understand your blog is a reflection of you and so I thank you for giving me this opportunity. Next, I’d like to thank every reader that has ever picked up one of my books and given them a chance. And finally I’d like to thank all of my fans that have felt compelled to reach out to me. I have appreciated all of your letters, messages, and support, whether it came in an email, or just a short and sweet tweet.
When I began this journey, I had no expectations. I had dreams and hopes and wishes, but to say I expected For Always to take on a life of its own would not be true. Since its release in October of 2011, many people have contacted me asking me if I planned to write a sequel. I thought Stephanie and Jordan’s story had been completed, but for many of you, it wasn’t enough. So because you asked, because you told me in no uncertain terms you wanted it, I am working on And Forever, the sequel to For Always. And Forever picks up where For Always ended. While Stephanie and Jordan are finally a couple, they still carry the same baggage they had before. Can their love survive the ghosts of their past and the challenges of the future?
I hope you are excited about this as I am. I expect And Forever to be released in July 2014. Until then, look for teasers on Facebook and Twitter. And before I go, I leave you with this, the prologue of And Forever. Once again thank you for being so amazing. Happy Reading!
The scent of death lingered nearby. Always. Only I didn’t attract it, I repelled it, like a deflector shield. This was my lot in life, to extend the days of those I loved. That theory came from Jordan; the keeper of my heart, and the love of my life!
I sighed. I didn’t realize I did it until Jordan apologized. Again.
“I’m sorry Steph, I don’t want to be distracted.”
“I know. I understand. Promise.”
He misunderstood. It was a contented sigh. One that said I was thrilled my boyfriend was driving me to school. The sigh was a sign of how surreal sitting next to Jordan and knowing that he loved me was. How I couldn’t believe in a matter of hours he’d be leaving me alone on the college campus, and I intended to savor each minute with him. The sigh was the only chance I had of getting any of those sentiments across because he didn’t want me to talk while he was driving. I knew just being in the car together was challenging for him.
Jordan still suffered the after effects of a terrible car accident that left his ex-girlfriend dead. Of course he was breaking up with her at the time because he loved me, and I pushed him into making a choice between us. When he served as my unexpected prom date, I made him admit his feelings. That’s what led to his break-up with Madison, leaving him in a swamp of guilt induced quick sand when she died. But we worked through all that.
I didn’t bother saying anything further to try and reassure him I wasn’t upset. I’d already been warned he couldn’t concentrate on the road and to keep the radio down. The problem was he wanted it down so low I couldn’t hear the music. I glanced at his hands on the steering wheel, his knuckles were white. He held on so tight I expected his fingers to cramp up. I hated that this was so hard for him. I wished I knew how to make it better, but the only thing I could do was stand beside him and hope in time he’d heal.
I turned to my window, watching the never ending expanse of trees zoom by. I wished for a brief moment I’d gone in the other car with my mother and her new, at least new to me, boyfriend Eddie. I’d been clueless about Eddie, but after her health scare last week, she came clean. She wanted to see him and had been ordered to take a few days off of work. Work is where they’d rendezvous during lunch. She’d been frightened when they first told her it looked like a heart attack and realized it was silly to keep him hidden away. No way I wanted to hear what cheesy, weird things they might be talking about. I mean it was my mom, gross. Still, I was happy for her. My father died a decade ago and as far as I knew she’d never dated before.
I chose to ride with Jordan, because even in the deafening silence, and the tension he carried on his shoulders every time we got in a car together, there was nowhere else I’d rather be. From the first moment he spoke to me, he owned my heart. It was branded with his name. I’d tried for four years to move on, to forget him, but that wasn’t an option for me. No one could hold a candle to him.
“Hey,” He pulled my attention back to the here and now. “You know I love you right?”
I smiled. Of course he knew that would make me smile, that’s why he said it. It felt like that’s all I’d done over the last week since he found me crying on the beach. I’ll never forget the wave of relief that washed over me when I found out he’d been spared from a terrible plane crash. He never made it on the plane because I called him at the last minute in an attempt to get him to stay. Thank goodness I did. I didn’t know where he was going or why, but Maria warned me that he was leaving, and it might be forever.
I always believed myself to be the root cause of the bad things that happen to people around me, Jordan thought I was what kept them hanging on. I didn’t believe him, at least not yet. But having him try to convince me otherwise promised to be amazing.
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