A Letter to My 10 Year Self about Finding Love and Losing it

I’ve been asked a lot lately when my next book is coming out. I’m so sorry to all of you who have been waiting. The dates on Goodreads have changed a lot. My life this year took a weird turn and I had to put writing on the back burner. I’m now back at it in full force, and I promise I will be releasing A Beautiful Mess very soon. I will have dates for you soon.

Anyway, I thought I’d share with all of you what I’ve been through. I just thought it was time for me to share my story.

Last weekend I was emotionally beat up, and although nothing serious happened to me it was still very painful. My very good friend told me to write my ten year old self a letter about everything I’ve gone through. After I was done I decided I would share it with all of you. I just thought it was time to tell my story. Once again, although it’s nothing horrible and I’m very much healthy, this journey I’ve been through has been emotionally painful but also has taught me a lot about myself and my strength. So here goes nothing. Here’s my letter to my ten year old self. I hope you guys like it.


Dear Maria,

You are officially ten years old. I know how excited you are to be in the double-digit numbers. I have to tell you how proud I am of you. You’re growing up to be a beautiful, caring, smart girl.

I’m writing you because I need you to know what you’re about to go through in life. Some of it will be incredible and some of it will break your heart. But just know that in the end you will be okay.

First of all, I want to say middle school and high school will suck. It’s just a fact, but it’s temporary. Your self-esteem will be dragged through the mud, but you’ll survive and even learn to love yourself. I promise.

You’ll make lots of mistakes especially when it comes to your education, but don’t worry you’ll fix that later on in life.

The friends you have from school will disappear. It happens when you’re no longer forced to see each other. But don’t worry years later there will be something called FaceBook and you’ll see all of those people all over again. Many of them will become your biggest cheerleaders. It’s actually pretty cool.

It’s going to be hard when you do lose some of your classmates. Some will pass on way too early. Life sends many surprises and some of them come with heartache.

I hate to say there will be a time when your mother will seem like your worst enemy. In fact you’ll down right think she’s trying to destroy your life. Trust me when I say she’s not. Everything she does and says is because she loves you. But don’t worry that terrible relationship you have will only be temporary. One day you’ll realize she’s your best friend, and your relationship will blossom into a beautiful rose with each layer of petals filled with tears of joy and laughter.

Your relationship with your brother and father will also change. They will go from annoying you to having a tight bound with them that no one will be able to break. They will be there for you when other family members that you trust are not. Your family will always be by your side and help you out in the worst of times and best of times. Also remember your brother will have lots of friends who can hurt anyone who hurts you. LOL!

I wish this letter was about how you blossom into womanhood or how you learn to love yourself, but it’s not. Instead it’s about the first time you fall in love and how it ends in heartbreak. I need you to read this letter knowing you’re a survivor and won’t let a broken heart take you down.

Okay Maria, you’re going to grow up with a wall surrounding your heart. I hate to say you’ll be afraid of love, because of watching so many women in your life suffer because of heartache. This wall will protect you, but it will also hurt you. It will make it difficult for you to let the right people in. And it will cause you to make many silly mistakes. Don’t worry too much about these mistakes; you’ll learn to embrace them.

Your heart won’t stay cold for long. You will meet a guy that will tear the wall down. He will show you what it is like to laugh and really trust someone. I would love to tell you to run from this person, run fast and don’t look back, but I can’t do that.

This man will teach you what love is all about. And for a long time you will be happy, at least when he’s not asking for another break. He’s going to want one every couple of months, but you’ll always take him back because lets face it, you love him. And you know he’s a good person. Besides you’re not too innocent. You can at times be cruel with your words and tend to be in a bad mood a lot. This might have to do with dating a man who is always miserable. He’s always crying about his poor life, but does nothing to change it. But it’s okay, because when he is happy things between you guys is great. You’re in love for the first time in your life.

He will give you the independence you need. He won’t mine you going out with your friends to nightclubs. In fact he won’t even get mad when you cancel on him to go out with your friends to go see Marc Anthony perform at Foxes in NJ. The Copa and Latin Quarters will be your stomping ground, and although you will never learn to dance salsa you’ll have an amazing time with your partner in crime Jessica.

At this time you’ll also meet Jeanette. The two of you will bond over having boyfriends who constantly need space. She’ll be there for you every time the man in your life walks out for another break. You guys will become best friends and you’ll thank God every day for her.

Now there will be a time when you do get tired of your boyfriend wanting a break and you’ll finally take a stand and dump him. Your mom will take his side, but that’s only because she also believes he’s a nice guy. You’ll quickly realize there’s nothing better out there and six months later you’ll forgive him. You’ll think this guy is my soul mate. And it’s fine because at that time he’ll be it.

You will get engaged two months later. He’ll tell you he wants to marry you because “he’s lost you once and he never wants to lose you again.” This will happen right after you guys are in a car accident. I truly believe this is the universe trying to send you a sign, but at this time in your life you don’t listen to the universe or it’s signs, but it’s okay because you’ll be happy.

Okay not really happy. You’ll fight with him a lot, but that’s what you do when you’re basically planning a wedding by yourself. Your family will be amazing and support you and help pay for most of the wedding. They love you and are your rock.

Almost seven years after you started dating, you’ll be getting ready for your wedding wanting to run away, but you’ll think of the money your family and friends have spent and you’ll go through with it. Besides you also want to party. You always love a good party. It will be an incredible wedding and you’ll feel a love you’ve never felt for the man you just married. It actually turns out to be a beautiful, marvelous day.

The next two years will be a battle. Instead of being the man who can’t keep his hands off you, he’ll be the man who sits in front of his computer searching for his birth mom. You as an understanding wife will support him, but you’ll also get mad. Okay I’m not going to lie, sometimes you’ll be a little selfish, but it’s fine. The way this story ends you deserve to be selfish.

He will find his birth mother and things will get worse rather than better, mostly because from this moment on you’ll go from being number 1 to number 2. Sometimes you’ll even be number 3, 4, 5, and even 6. It’s something you’ll never get used of, and you’ll spend a lot of nights crying.

At this time you’ll also be working on having a family. Unfortunately, this will not be in the cards for you. Not being able to have a baby will literally break your heart. It will become harder when everyone around you get’s pregnant. You’ll be mad at God. I mean to the point where you’ll be close to losing your faith, but trust me this will pass. One day you’ll wake up and realize it’s okay not to have kids. In fact you won’t want them anymore. I promise you the pain of not having kids will disappear.

Instead of having kids you will focus your energy on going back to school. You’ll work full time and go to school full time and never once give up. Actually, not only will you get a BA in English (with honors by the way), but you will also get a double Masters in Literacy. You go girl! I’m so proud of you. You should always be proud of the education you have. No one will ever be able to take that away from you. Now here comes the best part:

YOU WILL MAKE YOUR DREAM COME TRUE! You will publish your first book, and you will feel a pride you have never felt before. Not only will you be a published writer, people will actually read your books. And I’m not just talking about just friends and family. I’m talking about people from all over the world. Your third book will become an Amazon bestseller. It’s a day you will never forget. Go ahead and take a moment to do a happy dance. It’s something no one can take from you, no matter how much they try to take you down.

Most people in your life will be supportive, but the ones you thought would absolutely support you will surprise you and become distant; it’s fine you don’t need them, trust me.

Your husband will act proud. And just like he did on the day you graduated with your Masters, he’ll somehow make it about him and how he has dreams too. But overall he’ll be there for you.

He’ll listen to you every time you have a new story idea. You’ll try to encourage him to write his book too, but he won’t because he’ll have some “poor me” issue he’s going through. It will anger you, because you know the talent he posses. You have to remember Maria you can’t fix everyone.

Life will be good for a while, even though you’re not making enough to cover all your bills. Your husband will stop paying them and the mortgage and it will come as surprise. But it’s his plan so you guys can file for bankruptcy. You won’t want to do it, and every time you express this he’ll get mad. You’ll do the only thing you can, you will put yourself in a bubble and pretend everything is good. (Don’t worry you won’t end up filing.)

Hun, this is where it will becomes difficult. You see every time your husband sees that you’re too happy he will do everything he can to pop your bubble and make you cry. When he sees you’re crying he’ll stop and comfort you. This will happen every two weeks. It will become where you are scared to be happy. You’ll start to feel angry all the time because you are no longer allowed to pretend to be happy.

Nastier things will come out of his mouth every time you fight, including that your writing career is only a hobby, and that you got an education you don’t use. It doesn’t matter that you’re a teacher and an author. He’ll make you feel like shit. It’s this time I need you to remember to hold your head up high and not let his words effect you.

Things will get harder when his father passes away and his mother comes to live with you. You’ll want to be supportive, but it will hard. The life you knew will change in a heartbeat. You’ll feel guilty because you’ll find yourself feeling angry that at 40 years old you have to spend each weekend taking care of his mother who has the beginning stages of dementia. You’ll feel guilty all the time for not being more understanding. Stress will begin to consume you. Your husband will turn meaner and start blaming you for everything that is wrong in his life.

His statements will sting and he’ll get joy watching you drive off in a bad storm crying your eyes out. Don’t be shocked when he doesn’t call or text you to check if you’re okay. In fact, don’t be surprised when you finally have to be the one to reach out three days later. But it’s fine because he is your husband and you are supposed to be together for…

Scratch that! There’s so much a girl can take. You will warn him if he does it again you’ll leave him. In between you’ll notice he’s being sneaky and when you question him he’ll call you crazy and tell you, “You need fucking help because you‘re sick in the head.” You’ll start to believe him, mostly because he’s your husband and you don’t want to find out anything that might ruin your marriage. This is supposed to be forever.

Until he does say something nasty to you again and this time you’ll take all the strength you have to tell him you’re leaving him. It will be the hardest thing you’ll ever do. You’ll spend the whole day crying and saying goodbye to your house and cat.

You’ll leave the whole house spotless, because being the good person you are, you want him to have a clean house. This is after you spent the night on the couch crying and hardly sleeping. You’ll wait for him to come home hoping he’ll stop you, but he won’t. In fact, he’ll say to you “I’m home, you can go now.” This will break you, but don’t worry you’ll walk out of that house without letting him see you cry.

I wish I could say that’s the worse thing you will experience, but that’s only the beginning. He’ll act like everything is ok and seven weeks later, just when you think you might be able to work things out, you’ll receive divorce papers in the middle of a cold night. You did not see this coming at all. This will destroy you, but not break you. I want to tell you’ll get over this pain, but it’s something you will carry in your heart for a long time. It will make it hard for you to fully trust again.

Don’t worry, you’ll pick up the pieces and continue to live your life with a smile on your face. I’m proud to say instead of wallowing in self-pity you’ll begin working on yourself. You’ll lose a lot of weight and feel good. It’s going to be amazing and somehow you’ll find your youth again.

One day you’ll go pick up some of your stuff at what is now his house, and because you being the kind woman you are, you won’t take all the stuff you bought. Honey, I’m sorry to inform you, you married a cheap asshole who hardly ever paid for a meal. Anyway, you will leave a lot of your stuff behind for him, because you don’t want him to live in a bare house. Actually he did buy the bedroom set and the washer and dryer. Either way you’ll leave him almost all your furniture, all the fancy pots and pans, your grill, and your patio set. It’s okay, it just stuff, besides you’ll have no place to store it at your parent’s house.

By the way, you’re living with your parents again and it is wonderful. They are the part of the support system you’ll need. Them with your friends will be an incredible team for you. Trust me, you’ll never feel lonely. You’ll also reconnect with amazing friends you had left in the past when you got married, for example Jessica. She’s going to become your personal hero.

Some of these other heroes will be of course your best friend Jeanette and the beautiful family who comes attach to her; your hair dresser and awesome spiritual friend Jen; another Jen, who you will meet because the both of you are authors and becomes one of your best friends; Priscilla, who will drop anything to be there for you; and your cousin Marjorie, who will be become your soul sister. Your circle of friends is so big I could go on for pages. Oh just in case, make sure to hug Pat, Roseanna and Karen extra hard when you connect with them, they will also be part of team Maria. It’s really extraordinary how many people stand by you. I can’t help but smile to think about how lucky you are.

Now here comes more bad news. Your “soon to be ex-husband”, will still fuck with your head. Every time you think he’s being nice he’ll kick you right down. First he’ll tell you he fell out of love with you and it started in 2003. It doesn’t matter that all those years in between 2003 and 2015 you guys were working on having a family, bought a house together, and you paid for almost all those concerts you took him too. He’s literally fallen out of love with you. The terrible sex life you guys had should have been a clue in all of this, but once again you put yourself in a bubble and have convinced yourself your husband is the most amazing man ever. You’ll even fool your friends and family. Damn he’ll even begin to believe it.

Okay back to being single. You will be shocked how much it has changed since you were single 20 years ago. But being the new fearless girl you are you’ll embrace it and put yourself out there.

Unfortunately, your first encounter will end quickly when he ghost you only after a week (yeah this has become a new term in the dating scene). To this day we still don’t know what happened. This will scare you and you won’t want to meet anyone else for a while. And then one day you decided to give another guy a chance. You won’t like his profile picture at all. In fact you won’t find him one bit attractive, but what the hell you’ll take a chance. Besides you’ve never gone out with a white man.

For some strange stupid reason you will develop an attraction to this man, but because of everything you’ve been through you’ll protect your heart. He’ll just be a distraction. Someone who will help you get over your heartbreak. This new guy isn’t looking for a relationship either so it’s all good. You’ll have fun and discover a wild side of yourself, a side that had been hiding for way too long.

All your friends will warn you and tell you to run not walk away from this guy. But you won’t listen, because after all it’s just plain old fun you’re having. No one is going to get hurt, especially you.

I wish I could say this is true. No actually, I wish I could hold you in my arms and whisper in your ear “don’t let your guard down. Don’t make silly mistakes because you are wrapped up in the moment.” I wish I could guard you, but we know I can’t. It’s actually these mistakes that will teach us valuable lessons.

This new guy will serve his purpose and remind you that you’re beautiful and sexy (sadly your husband had made you feel gross, especially when he would duck from your kisses.) Nothing feels worse than getting rejected by the man who is supposed to love you.

Anyway, you will ask this new man to not break your heart. You will ask him to tell you when he wants out of this arrangement and not just stop talking to you. He’ll stand there holding your hand and promise you that he would never do that. He’ll tell you how a real man does not do that to a woman. And mostly he’ll tell you he won’t just disappear because that happened to him and he knows how it feels. You will believe every word he says, because lets face it you trust people. Your ex did not kill that for you just yet. Besides you’re a good person so you believe others are too.

Your life will be magical for a while. You’re partying hard and making up for the last years where you literally sat on a couch each weekend from morning until night watching TV and not doing anything.

You might at times get a little too wild. What can I say you’re living it up. But honestly deep inside you’re still hurting. Every so often you cry over the pain of losing your supposed soul mate, your best friend, the man who was supposed to be there forever. You will have emotional breakdowns where you’ll feel like you can’t breathe.

It’s fine though because life is good. You have a great guy to keep you entertained, and your friends are all showing you how to have fun again. Your body is also changing fast. Those jeans you couldn’t get past your thighs months early, not only go up, but they also button. Life is good.

But then one weekend your life will come to a screeching halt. You will get in touch with your ex-husband because you need to tell him something about certain papers. It’s been two months since you’ve spoken to him. The conversation will go okay, and just before you get off the phone he’ll decide to let you know he’s involved with a girl and he’s happy.

You’ll be able to picture the huge smile across his face as he tells you his fucking happy news. You can also picture that knife he once again is digging into your heart. And here you thought he couldn’t hurt you again. Oh honey, I wish I can say that is the worst part, but it’s not.

That same week you’ll be stood up by some stupid guy and then the guy who promised you up and down he would never just stop talking to you will do just that. It all happens in the same week. I like to call it the perfect storm of heartbreak. To be honest the loser who stopped talking to you wouldn’t have been so painful if you just hadn’t had the man you spent half your life with tell you about how happy he is with his new woman. And lets face it, you know all too well he’s been seeing this girl since before you left him. You knew it when you caught him doing sneaky shit.

You’ll cry like you haven’t before. Your eyes will swell and stay like that for days. The worst part is you’ll start to blame yourself and wonder what you did wrong. Sweetie, just know it’s not you. You did nothing wrong. These men were all assholes. Actually they are not men they are cowards hiding behind the word man.

Don’t feel stupid because you made foolish decisions. Learn from these mistakes. Don’t allow these fools to take away from your beautiful soul. They are a grain of nothing in your life.

The biggest lesson they will teach you is that another person can’t make you happy. The most important person who will make you happy is yourself. You will find gratitude in yourself. You will work on yourself and become the person you want to be. You’ll start seeing all your dreams become a reality. You will continue to see the beauty in life and above all, this heartache will not stop you from believing in love.

So take all the good times and treasure them, even the ones with the cowards in your life. Then take all the heartaches and throw them away, they are not worth anything.

Keep working on all your dreams. Don’t let little set back keep you from working on what’s important in your life. Remember you are your own hero in this story. You make the rules and only you have the power to break them.

You got this girl! I believe in you! Life is beautiful and never take it for granted. I love you and I’m so proud of you.

Love always,

41-year-old Maria E. Araya


Because of You Sneak Peek

I’m excited to report that Because of You is now out in Amazon.com  BarnesandNoble.com Kobo, and iBooks. Here is the first chapter. Enjoy 🙂

because of you reveal-1


Six years ago Austin broke Jade’s heart. On that day he went from being her best friend to the person she hates the most.

Now six years later Jade’s life has been turned upside down, the family she once knew no longer exists. Her father’s infidelity has made it hard for her to trust anyone.

That is until she reconnects with the one person she’s despised the most.

Will Austin be able to break through Jade’s wall of anger to get her to trust him?  Or will he break her heart again?

Together they will experience the ecstasies and agonies of being in love.


Life is Full of Traitors

My father sits across from me biting his lower lip intensely looking at the menu. I can’t believe he’s covered all his grey hair with a dark brown color. He looks so weird. Like he’s trying too hard to look young. Next thing I know he’ll be getting a piercing or a tattoo. I really hope not. He’s too old for that.

My sister Carrie taps her fingers loudly on her iPhone. It’s beginning to get on my nerves. Why does she have to text her fiancé so much? I don’t understand what they can be talking about that’s so important it can’t wait until later. Ohmigod! I’m beginning to sound like my mother.

Carrie’s heading back to New York City in forty-eight hours and I can’t wait. She’s been driving me crazy all week long. She thinks the world revolves around her and we are all here to serve her. Maybe that’s why she’s so into her fiancé Jeff, his world begins and ends with her.

I glance back at my dad wondering why he chose the same restaurant we used to come to as a family to share his latest news. The last time we were here was the night before he told us he was leaving my mother for that stupid skank. Hopefully this time we’re here so he can tell us he’s finally come to his senses and he has dumped her.

“Do you know what you’re going to have?” he asks, shooting his bright green eyes up to finally make some kind of eye contact with me.

I shake my head no. The smell of grilled steak has been dancing around my nose since we entered the restaurant. I look at my menu and try to decide between steak or a double cheddar bacon burger. They both sound so good. My stomach growls just thinking of taking a bite of either one.

“How about you Carrie?” My father asks her.

“Water and a salad with no dressing,” she coldly answers, without looking up from her phone.

“Don’t you want some real food?”

She shoots her hazel eyes up in horror and states, “Daddy, you know I’m getting married in a year. Do you want me to walk down the aisle looking like a cow?”

“Of course not,” my father says, raising his eyebrows up and down while giving me one of his silly grins.

There’s the father I remember. Once upon a time, he and I were inseparable, always doing things together and having our own private jokes. Carrie and my mother were always jealous of the relationship we shared. But then again they have their own special relationship.

My father was my whole world and couldn’t do anything wrong, that is until he began to see Trisha and destroyed our family. He didn’t only break my mother’s heart he also broke mine. Things really haven’t been the same since then.

The way he’s looking at me right now makes me think we could get that relationship back on track, especially if we’re here for him to tell us he’s done with his midlife crisis.

That’s it, I’m going to order the burger and maybe he’ll have the same. The way we used to.

“Sorry I’m late!” I hear a high pitch sound say shattering my eardrums. My heart bounces off my chest when I see Trisha running towards us in a red dress so short and tight I don’t think it would even fit my old Barbie dolls. Her perfectly styled black hair doesn’t move an inch as she bounces toward us with way too much make-up on her face.

I shut my eyes tightly and imagine her tripping on her five-inch heels, flying across the restaurant, and landing flat on her face. She stands up in horror when she notices her breast implants have popped. Trisha is rushed to the hospital where she’s pronounced dead from silicon poisoning. A wide smile comes across my face at the thought of being at her funeral. What can I say; I hate the bitch.

I open my eyes again and see her standing in front of us with a big idiot smile, showing off her new white teeth. I’m sure another gift from my father. I can’t stand how fake she is. I hope by the time I’m twenty-seven I won’t need as much work as she does to look good.

Trisha knew exactly what she was doing when she dug her acrylic claws into my father, a very successful oral surgeon. She gets anything his money will buy her.

“So, did you tell them yet?” Trisha asks, sliding into the booth right next to my father.

“No. I was waiting for you.” He leans in and gives her a kiss on the lips. Yuck! I think I’ve just lost my appetite.

“Can I take your order?” The waitress asks interrupting their moment of grossness.

“We need another…”

“Yeah, I’ll have the New York strip and lobster, and can I also have an order of the twin lobster tails,” I say, cutting off my father. If he wants me to have dinner with that home wrecker I’m going to make him pay.

“That sounds good. I’ll have the same, but also add a salad with no dressing,” Carrie adds. Sometimes I really love my sister.

“Wow, you guys must be starving,” Trisha observes, “Well, I’ll take a grilled chicken salad with the dressing on the side.”

“The full size or half?” The waitress asks.

“The half size…actually, bring me the full size, since I’m now eating for two,” Trisha announces, now looking at both my sister and I with a huge surprise I just fucked up your life smile.

The waitress quickly congratulates her, while Carrie and I begin to take slow, deep breaths. Did she really just say she’s having a baby? Who’s the father? Please don’t let it be my dad’s. Who am I kidding? Of course it’s his.

My stomach begins to twist in horrible burning knots. I can’t believe she’s having a stupid baby. Does she not know my father is forty-nine? He’s too old to have another child. I bet she’s just trying to trap him into staying with her.

That bitch!

“Are you serious?” Carrie hollers.

“Yes. I’m due at the end of May. Are you guys excited? You’re going to be older sisters,” Trisha cheers as if this is all good news.

“I’m already an older sister. Dad, how could you? Does Mom know?” Carrie’s body trembles with fury. While I feel myself shrinking as tremors of terror spiral through me.

“Yes. I told her last night.” No wonder she looked so unhappy today, my poor mother. “She agreed I could be the one to tell you girls. Carrie, Trisha and me are in love. We want to have a family together.”

Each word coming out of his mouth pierces my body with pure venom draining every drop of life out of me. “Excuse me,” I mumble, trying to get out of the booth. Carrie stands up and allows my escape.

I look at my father and want to yell at him, “You already have a family! You just fucked it up by leaving us for her! I hope you and your new child will be very happy together!” But I don’t say anything. Instead I begin to walk towards the door. I need to get out of here.

“Jade! Where are you going? Come back here right now!” My father orders, making everyone in the restaurant turn and stare at me. I take a deep breath and take off running before anyone can see me cry like a bawling baby.

I run out the door into the hot sticky August night air just as my tears begin to stream down my face. How can my father do this to us? Aren’t Carrie and me enough for him? How could he think this was something to celebrate? I will never forgive him for this.

I continue running, trying to breath in the thick air. I run down the parking lot until SMACK! My body bounces right off someone’s hard chest and fall backwards onto the inflexible wet ground.

“Whoa! Are you okay?” I hear a deep voice ask. He gives me his warm hand and helps me up.

“Yeah,” I answer, as the pain throbbing in my chest now travels down my body.

“Are you sure?” I look up at him and roll my eyes in revulsion. Why out of everyone in the world, do I have to bump into Austin Evans? He makes me sick.

His dark eyes narrow with concern and I remember I have tears in my eyes. He must think he’s the one who hurt me.

I yank my arm out of his grip. “Yeah. I’m fine.”

“Look, if you’re hurt…”

“I said I’m fine.” I continue to walk down the parking lot. I have no idea where I’m going. My dad drove so it’s not like I have a ride. Damn it!

“Hey,” Austin calls out running behind me.

“What?” I don’t stop walking.

“You don’t look like you’re okay. Do you need me to call someone for you? Or…”

“No. Just leave me alone,” I spit out, without looking back. I don’t need this right now. All I want to do is crawl under my covers and cry my eyes out.

“Where’re you going?”

I don’t say a word.

“Do you…”

“Austin!” A girl calls out. This time we both stop walking and look back at Leah Turner with her lips twisted up into a phony smile. Of course it’s her! Where ever Austin is Leah is sure to follow. “Where are you going?”

“Nowhere. I was just making sure that umm…” He looks at me once again acting like he doesn’t know my name. He’s so full of shit. I can’t stand him.

“Jade,” I remind him.

His look of concern disappears as the corners of his mouth point up producing an annoying smile. “I know who you are, Jade Miller.”

Does he want an award or something for remembering my whole name?

“Are you sure you’re okay?”

“She looks fine,” Leah calls out trying her best to sound sweet.

Leah and me do not have a good relationship. She blames me for our cheerleading team losing at finals last year. It’s not my fault I walked out half way through the routine. My dad had just sat down with Trisha, and instead of watching his daughter cheer he was too busy shoving his old tongue into her disgusting mouth. Just another thing my father is responsible for ruining.

“Look, she’s right. I’m fine,” I reassure him, wanting to get away from him and this moment.

“Where are you going?” he asks.

“Home.” I turn around and continue to walk away from him.

He follows right behind me again. “Do you need a ride?”

“Aren’t you on a date or something?”

“What? No. I’m meeting a couple of friends, but it’s okay. I can take you home.” I spin back around to see him smile again making his dimples appear. I hate those damn things. They drive all the girls at school wild, but they have the opposite affect on me.

A long time ago Austin was my best friend. He was the person who I shared all my secrets with. He was the person who knew I broke my sister’s iPod. He was the person who held me when my grandma died. He knew everything about me as I knew everything about him. But that was six years ago. Now all I know about him is his growing list of hook ups, while all he knows about me is my name.

“Jade!” I turn my head and see my sister marching out of the restaurant with the same tears I had in my eyes. “This is all bullshit. Come on, Mom is on her way. I told her we’d meet her across the street.”

Austin’s face falls. “I guess you don’t need that ride.”

“No. I don’t.”

I begin to walk towards my sister. “Hey Jade?”

I whirl back around to face him. “Yeah?” What the hell does he want now?

“There’s a party on the beach tomorrow night. Are you going?”

“I don’t know. Why?”

“I just thought it might help cheer you up. You can never be sad at a party.” He smiles his big goofy smile again. “Maybe we can hang out.”

Did he really just say that? “I don’t think so.”

“Why? Is it cause your boyfriend will get mad?”

“No. It’s because I can’t stand you!” I turn back around and stomp away. I’m not in the mood to inform him Garret and I broke up two weeks ago.

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 Goodreads link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17287736-because-of-you

Because of You Cover Reveal

I am so exited to bring to you my new cover for my next book Because of You designed by Jen Naumann. I can’t wait for it’s release on September 17, 2013. Until then enjoy the cover.

because of you reveal-1



No one ever forgets their first love.

Six years ago Austin broke Jade’s heart. On that day he went from being her best friend to the person she hates the most.

Now six years later Jade’s life has been turned upside down, the family she once knew no longer exists. Her father’s infidelity has made it hard for her to trust anyone.

That is until she reconnects with the one person she’s despised the most.

Will Austin be able to break through Jade’s wall of anger to get her to trust him again?

Or will she always see him as the boy who first broke her heart?

Together they will learn what love is really all about.

Goodreads link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17287736-because-of-you

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