Author: Inger Iversen
Series: Love and War
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: February 28, 2015Summary:
A Love and War stand Alone
These DO NOT NEED to be read in any order
I crashed and opened my eyes . . . there you were, fierce and protective, and I knew . . . I just knew it was you all along.
Ex-Marine Trent Reed has been shot at, in a coma, and placed in war zones, but when his best friend calls in a favor, he is faced with the most dangerous situation yet—to be the best man. Trent’s turbulent past with races other than his own taints his view on the interracial marriage, and he’s none too happy to deal with the ill-tempered maid of honor. To accept the position means understanding that his friend is soon to be out of his life—for good.
Tough-girl Teal Lofton has struggled all of her adult life, from her weight to the color of her skin holding her back in work and love. When she agrees to be the maid of honor in her friend’s wedding, a hormonal bride and a jerk of a best man who she is strangely, yet wildly, attracted to, amplify those struggles.
As tensions and tempers rise, Trent disappears with the wedding rings and Teal braves a snowstorm to bring them back, determined to fix yet another problem. But a tragic accident brings together the unlikely pair, forcing them to face the prejudices of their pasts. In doing so, Trent and Teal embark on an inevitable course of self-discovery and passion like they’ve never experienced before—until a secret from Trent’s past threatens to destroy it all.
She gave him a half smirk. “Why you, of course. You are the reason I came out here in the first place.” Damn if she didn’t wish she wasn’t lying on the floor, but so close to the fire had made her shivers slow down considerably, allowing her to form full sentences.
He scoffed. “Of course you would! I didn’t ask you to come the fuck out here. You crashed into the truck, not me.” Trent threw his hands in the air. “Shit, if you don’t want me to check you, I won’t. But if you bleed to death internally, don’t fucking blame me.” He stood and lumbered away while she fumbled with her one good hand to get the pillow and strap from around her neck.
Reason told Teal to be grateful for what he and the two strangers had done for her, but the other part—the part she wasn’t so proud of—wanted to slam it in his face that this whole scenario was his fault.
After removing the crap from around her neck, she took a moment to catch her breath. Her body ached all over and she wanted to ask Trent for those pain pills, but first she needed to assess her situation.
Teal fought to just sit up. Feeling her body for broken bones, she realized she really had no clue what to look for. What did a broken bone feel like other than pain? She covertly glanced up at Trent and spied him eyeing her with a disinterested look on his face. Well, fuck you too, dickwad.
When her hand made it to her knee she winced. She pulled the dress up to see it was swollen and turning purple. It would be impossible to get up and look for ice. “Shit,” she whispered. As much as she didn’t like it, she had a choice.
She could sit there, silently stewing in pain and wait for the neighbors to come back, or she could ask Trent for help after she’d already pushed him away. Holding her swelling wrist she leaned her head back, supporting it against the wall and closed her eyes. She considered herself capable and strong, but each person had a breaking point and hers was fast approaching.
Taking deep, calming breaths pacified her a bit and reassured her that nothing was broken, at least not in her chest. A cold sensation made her jump and when she opened her eyes, Trent’s hand placed a towel filled with snow on her knee. She hadn’t even heard him go outside.
“Thanks,” she choked out as he stood and walked away. Teal gathered the towel and gently held it to her knee. Trent walked back to his spot and leaned against the wall. “When are those two people coming back?” she questioned.
“Why?” he asked sharply. “You don’t trust me to take care of you?” His arms folded over his massive chest and that frown she hated graced his lips.
“No, I don’t,” she hissed. “I don’t know you and from what I hear, you aren’t too fond of people like me, so excuse me if I want to make sure I get proper help until real help arrives and not this shit you are doing.” She pointed to him, meaning the fact that he was all the way on the other side of the room.
Trent let loose a bark of laughter. “Yeah, well out there you couldn’t let go of my fucking hand. If you want, I can pick your ass up and place you right next door with Lee and Dana. I got this cabin to stay away from people, not bunk with them. And I definitely don’t need your shit.”
She called his bluff or at least she hoped it was a bluff. “Fine, take me over there.” She lifted her arms like a child who wanted to be picked up. “Since my presence offends you so damned much that you have to stay on the other side of the fucking room, then please, by all means, do yourself a favor and get rid of me!”
When he moved forward, Teal braced herself. If that man so much as tried to pick her up, she would use her good hand to ring his balls right off his body. Trent side-stepped her swatting hand and scooped her up.
“So much for worrying if I had a neck injury!” she yelped. Okay, so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to stay on the floor with him on the other side of the room. Teal wouldn’t admit her regret. If Trent dumped her out in the snow, so be it. I am not about to—
The thought died in her head when he sat her gently on the bed.
“You don’t have a neck injury. Looks like your wrist is sprained and your knee is bruised maybe worse. Since I can’t check you for anything else, I’ll just assume your fine. If you die, I’ll tell Logan it was by your choice.” He picked the covers up from the floor and cleaned the mess that was her previous spot. “Logan would skin me alive if I left you to that couple. Though I am more than tempted to do it.”
He glanced back at Teal and at that moment she took stock of his face. There was swelling from Logan’s fist, but now he had scratches on his face along with a bruised cheek. What the hell had happened out there and why did he look as bad as she did when she was the one who’d crashed?
She stopped adjusting herself on the bed and raised a brow. “I’m supposed to believe you care about Logan’s opinion? You don’t even care that he loves the woman he is about to marry. You tried to ruin his happiness. What kind of friend does that?” Her lip curled in satisfaction when he frowned.
“She’s a liar,” he said, as if it were common knowledge.
“Watch what the fuck you say about her,” Teal warned. She was in no position to warn him about shit, but that didn’t stop her. There was no way this guy was going to talk shit about her friend.
He raised his hands in mock defense yet his lips held a devilish smirk. “Hey, I’m just callin’ it like I see it. She got knocked up and then didn’t tell him about it. Omission of the truth is a lie, do you not agree?”
Okay, well he had her there. She had a good ass comeback too, but it wasn’t Teal’s place to tell him Katie’s reasons for anything. “Whatever, man. I’m not going to argue about something you know nothing about.” Teal leaned back on the bed and closed her eyes to ignore Trent’s smirk and the growing aches in her body.
Fine, he thought he had her. But it seemed she knew more about what was going on between Katie and Logan than Trent did. She guessed that made sense since Trent was so against this union in the first place.
Teal wondered if Katie’s race was the only reason Trent didn’t want to see the two married. She thought back to the words Trent could have used, the words he must have used before if he was a racist, but he hadn’t used any derogatory terms since he’d arrived. It was clear there was more going on with this man then she first thought, and Teal was a bit intrigued.
“That’s normally how it works with you guys.”
She cracked a lid to see him still on the opposite side of the room as her. “You mean black people.” There was no inflection to her voice. She hadn’t meant it as a question.
“Fuck no.” Her eyes opened at that and watched as he spoke. “I mean women. Y’all wait until we are makin’ sense and then you say ‘whatever’ when you know we’re right.”
She didn’t know what to say about that so she didn’t say anything, knowing he’d take it as an admission of guilt. Teal’s pain pushed her to ask for the meds. “What are those pills that lady left?”
Trent looked over to the table. “Percocet. You need some?” Teal nodded. “I need to set that sprain,” he added, heading to the sink and pouring a glass of water. “Is it okay if I touch her royal highness?”
She rolled her eyes at his statement. Taking the pills when he handed them to her, she was about to put them to her mouth when she paused. “I can’t take these without eating something first. You got crackers or anything?”
Before she’d finished, Trent strode to the counter and grabbed a bag of chips. “These work?” he asked, shoving the bag at her.
“Yeah.” She took them and ate a few.
Trent grabbed his coat and shrugged it on as she finished chewing. After carefully reading the bottle, she opened it, poured one into her hand, and popped it into her mouth.
“Where are you going?” she probed just as his hand touched the door knob. He froze, as if caught in the act.
“I’m going to thank Dana and Lee and give them their stuff back.”
She eyed his other hand, spotting the covers and sheets. Teal couldn’t quite figure Trent out. One second he was rude and insulting and the next he was helpful and polite. He eyed her with an inscrutable gaze before opening the door and exiting. Teal glanced around the small cabin. Everything was tidy and neat, except where she’d been placed.
The cabin was more like a room with a bathroom. Teal couldn’t see herself staying here much longer. Clean and neat be damned, the door to the bathroom was missing. She’d be holding it for as long as it took. A half wall shot up from the floor, hiding the toilet she spied when Trent had carried her to the bed. Behind a smaller wall, sat a shower.
Teal sighed. “This is my hell,” she muttered, laying back completely on the bed as she closed her eyes. The medicine was taking hold and making her tired. Now that she was just about sure she wasn’t bleeding internally or suffering from a massive head wound, rest seemed less daunting. Actually, it seemed necessary as her eyes closed and she started to drift.
Lightly edited Deleted Scene from Inevitable
It was the last day of senior year and Trent walked past the guidance counselor’s office, eying the line of poor souls who wouldn’t make it to graduation. A few faces he recognized, but many he didn’t.
Tomorrow was not only his graduation ceremony, but also his eighteen birthday. Trent’s mind raced with the possibilities of being an adult and never having to attend another day of school. His stepfather had promised him the day he turned eighteen, he was putting Trent out. “Can’t have two men in this house. Only one man and I’m gonna be that man, not you, boy.” Trent didn’t give a shit. He turned the corner and headed for his last class of the day.
He’d already been promised a job at Sam’s garage, so he wouldn’t have to worry over making a steady income. Sam was a lazy drunk, but that only added fuel to his fire. Besides his new job, Trent had also lined up a place to stay, and was now the proud new owner of a fixed-up junker he’d gotten from the Pick ‘N Pull junkyard. He was set.
Adding a cherry to the top of this perfect day, his girlfriend, Harper, said she had a present for him. She’d been really secretive about it, but Trent prayed to all the gods in existence she was finally willing to give it up to him. She’d really made him work for it, and he was more than ready to finally slide home.
Their relationship had been secret since day one, but Harper promised to tell her dad about them as soon as she turned seventeen—only five months from now. Trent couldn’t wait. He’d been so shocked a year ago when Harper had approached him in the school parking lot and asked for a ride home.
There was a hierarchy at Lincoln and Trent sat proudly at the bottom with the stoners. He was even below the theatre/band geeks. Harper, however, belonged to the upper echelon. Her daddy was rich and she was beautiful.
That day, Harper could have asked anyone for a ride home, yet she’d purposely side-stepped a jock and a group of rich kids and walked right up to Trent. Her dark hair had flittered about her round dark face as she asked if the car he was leaning on was his. When he’d nodded, her dark eyes moved past him and eyed the car skeptically. She’d then asked if it was safe to be on the road, and Trent had proudly proclaimed he’d been the one to fix it up.
Her laughter at his words had sounded so sweet and innocent, he’d found himself lost in it. She’d shrugged and moved around the car, pulling open the passenger side door. Trent had watched as made herself comfortable on the seat, crossing one dark leg over the other, and placing her satchel on the floor. Instead of questioning her actions, he’d gotten in the car and started it up. When he asked her where she was going, she’d said, “Wherever you hang out after school,” so nonchalantly that Trent just drove off without thinking.
Now they’d been secretly dating for just over a year. No one, not even his best friend, knew about their relationship. Speaking of his best friend, Trent glanced around the class for Shawn, but he hadn’t arrived yet. Taking his usual seat in the back, he placed his book on the floor.
Not thirty seconds later, Shawn came lumbering into the classroom with his girl at his side. The redhead moved from under his arm to sit with her friends at the front of the class, and Trent was glad for that shit. It wasn’t as cool to have a secret girlfriend your senior year as one would think it would be. His friends ragged on him calling him a queer, but they were just joking and Trent knew it. Before Harper, Trent had dated quite a few girls and he’d slept with plenty more, but his junior year he was not ten minutes out of a relationship with Amber Hagen when Harper had scooped him up.
“Hey, man. You heading over to Scully’s after school?” Shawn folded his tall frame into the small chair. His girl, Trent couldn’t guess her name if he tried, looked back and Shawn blew her a kiss that set her into a fit of giggles. At the noise, her friend looked back casting Trent a coy smile.
He looked away and to Shawn whose blue eyes were trained on him. “Nah, I got to go to Sam’s and pay him back for loaning me the money for my cap and gown.” At Shawn’s silence, Trent continued. “Maybe after that, but I sure Sam’s going to make me pay it off by staying and helping him rebuild that transmission.” Trent ran his hand threw his hair hoping that Shawn didn’t ask him to come over after. He and Harper had plans, well she’d made plans for him at midnight and he would just go wherever she told him to go.
Shawn nodded. If he were upset about the blow off, he didn’t show it. “Cool, man. Start the grown up shit now. I get it,” Shawn leaned back in his chair and propped his feet up on the empty chair in front of him. “But not me.” His carefree smirk made Trent laugh.
Oh, yeah?” Trent asked.
Shawn turned slightly to face Trent. “Nah, man. I plan to go out with a bang and when I say bang, I man banging a lot of chicks!” his friend stuck out his tongue and thrust his hips up and down. Trent’s laugh turned into a scoff as Shawn’s bellowing laughter brought unwanted attention to them. Trent knew that Shawn was signing up for the Air Force during the summer and Trent couldn’t blame him for wanting to relax and let loose a little before he became property of the United States government. Trent wondered if the only way out of this town for people like Shawn and him was through the military. While Trent was going to graduate, he’d waited too long to get his act together so his GPA had suffered, but he’d still managed to squeak by with enough credits graduate.
“Your dad forcing you to sign up, or you finally realizing it’s the only thing your dumbass is good for?” Trent asked.
Shawn gave a mirthless laugh. “Well, listen to this shit. I said to him, ‘Dad, how’s about I forgo the military and head to college instead?’”
“And?” Trent prompted at his silence.
His smile faded. “Let’s just say . . . I’m signing up.”
Shawn dropped his feet when the teacher entered the class and commanded attention. Shawn was smart as hell and had tutored Trent a time or two in Math. He confided in Trent that he wanted to be a teacher, but the money for college wasn’t there. His father had given him two choices: join the military or join the military. Trent assumed the choice was made for him years ago, but that wasn’t Trent’s problem. His stepfather couldn’t care less what Trent did after college so long as he did it out of his house.
Easy steps to make sure you never utter those words!
So, are you wondering why someone would say those words? Shout em, scream em or even growl em? Do you think Amanda Hocking or Samantha Young ever screamed those words in the middle of the night while they slaved over HTML formatting, Smashwords Vetter errors or Createspace error messages? Or do you think it was, ‘Like taking candy from a baby’?
Well, for me it had its ups and down and times where I wanted to either go the traditional route or keeping writing as a hobby. I made a list that may help you going forward in writing. I think it’s always nice to offer advice because I had to learn some of these lessons the hard way.
Top 5 “Do’s
1. Finish your book.
Let’s start with the first part, finish your book. Though that seems like a given, I had some people tell me that I should send in a half-finished manuscript to an editor. Apparently, that’s a major no-no to some professional editors. If you want help along the way the best option is to acquire some good beta readers. A beta reader is someone who is interested in the book you are writing or books in general, this person should be someone whose opinion and analytical skills you trust, who reads the manuscript for you in order to help you find flow and consistency errors. I got that advice from a fellow indie when I told him that someone offered to beta-read my book for $150, I have also learned that most betas offer their service for free.
2. Choose the right editor.
There are different editors for different edit jobs and trust me, the reader can tell if you didn't choose the right one and they will rip you to shreds in the review because of this. Luckily, I didn't suffer that fate and hired RA Publishing to edit my novel. It was pricey, but worth it.
3. Hire a professional to do a professional’s job.
Seriously, I understand the cost of self-publishing can be outright ridiculous, but there are some things that are better left to the professionals. Like: Editing and Web Design. Granted, there are a few of us out there that are can do all of these things alone, but if you can’t please look into hiring a professional. Most custom cover wills cost you about $150, but some premades are as cheap as $40!! I tried to create my own cover and all I learned from that experience was that Photoshop hated me and was designed to make me look like a fool. Good job Photoshop!
4. Get an assistant
If you can afford one. They are actually a great help!
5. Don’t take bad reviews personal
Yea, it’s a Don’t in my list of Do’s, but it’s very important to understand that not everyone I going to love your book. Keep writing and enjoy it!!
Welcome, tell us a little more about yourself?
A. My name is Kristen Anne Inger Iversen and I’m from Virginia Beach. My day job is at a chainsaw factory! It’s sounds like hard work, but it’s actually rather easy and fun.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
A. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but when I was younger I wanted to be a veterinarian!
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
A. It took FOREVER for me to actually change my job to Author.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
A. My publisher is CHBB, Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly. I LOVE this company! I also self-publish.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
A. I’ve been writing for a couple years now, so I’ve gotten faster. It takes about four to five months for me to finish the novel. Then you add a month of editing and proofreading and I can finish a book in five to six months.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
A. YES! I have a new Adult Contemporary Romance I am working on soon! I can’t wait to release it.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
A. Normally when I write, I get my laptop and go outside with my headphones. The most comfy place is in my bed, but when I’m there, my cat always jumps on my laptop for nap.
What genre of books do you enjoy reading?
A. I love paranormal romance, but lately, I’ve been reading a bunch of contemporary romances.
Next on my TBR list is The Chronicles of Young Dmitry Medlov: Volume 6
If you could travel back in time here on earth to any place or time. Where would you go and why?
A. I wouldn’t travel to the past. The past is where it belongs in the past, but I would LOVE to visit the future!
Do you have any advice for anyone that would like to be an author?
A. Very simple: Never give up. Don’t listen to the haters. Keep writing.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
A. Of course paperback, but e-books are more affordable these days.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
A. I have a few, but I choose Kissed by an Angel by Elizabeth Chandler.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
A. Sure they do, but I am more of a Marvel fan than a books to movie girl. I have to admit I loved Mocking Jay the movie!
Inger Iversen was born in 1982 to Anne and Kaii Iversen. She lives in Virginia Beach with her overweight lap cat, Max and her tree hugging boyfriend Joshua. She spends 90 percent of her time in Barnes and Noble and the other ten pretending not to want to be in Barnes and Noble.
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