BOTM January 2016

Meet Max in An Ounce of Hope...

January Book of the Month

 

1

The first time Max O’Hare thought about taking his life was the day of his father’s funeral. It was a bleak mid-October morning, the kind where wind whips at your face, and rain doesn’t fall, but pours in torrents and makes even the most happy-go-lucky of assholes consider what the hell they were cheerful about in the first place.

Max had watched them lower his father’s casket into the ground, right next to Hazel O’Hare’s, Max’s mother. The beautiful headstone above her plot, which showed in stunning gold lettering how she was only twenty-six when she was killed in a head-on collision on her way to her son’s second birthday party, now had a neighbor. After a courageous eighteen-month battle with pancreatic cancer, Connor O’Hare had finally succumbed to the cruel disease at the age of forty-five, leaving Max an orphan.

An orphan who couldn’t help but wonder just what the fuck he was meant to do with his life.

Sure, there was the family business, a specialist auto body shop where Max had learned his father’s trade as a mechanic with an enthusiastic eye and a hero-worshipping ear, but that shit became superfluous when Connor was no longer able to work. The fuck hot muscle cars and the roaring engines; none of it mattered. All that mattered was when the next round of chemo was, and what ridiculous figure the medical bills were amounting to.

Not that Max’s father ever complained or worried about that. He’d smile when Max started to stress about appointments and money, and tell him life was too damned short to sweat the small stuff. But that was the way Connor O’Hare was. Maybe that’s why he never lost his shit when, as a teenager, Max was brought home numerous times in a police cruiser, or when he was arrested for dope possession and car boosting. You’ll find your way, his father would say with a disappointed shrug that made Max’s teeth grind in guilt; these are just bumps in the road, son.

Max wasn’t so sure, but similarly, he didn’t know why he got into the shit he did. Boredom maybe? Hell, he couldn’t even use having a shitty home life as an excuse. His father was a good man who did his best raising his son alone. No. Max was a law unto himself, his own worst enemy. He wished to be strong like his dad, noble and dedicated, but he failed every damned time.

True to form, Max’s father’s battle against his illness was valiant, and he stayed brave to the very end, but his death wasn’t that of a warrior. It wasn’t romantic. There were no whispered words of love or declarations of life lessons and regret, what with him being unable to speak—the cancer had affected his lungs and throat by then. Max simply watched his father become more and more ravaged by an illness, which stole away the tough vibrancy he’d known and respected. All that was left was an aged shell of a man who slipped away in his sleep while Max held his hand from his permanent vigil at the side of the hospital bed.

Such was the grief that gripped Max, that he didn’t even cry. His eyes stayed resolutely dry, as though sorrow blocked every part of him, every tear duct, vein, and artery. Yeah, that shit was grim.

He had friends around him, of course. Friends—who were more like family—and were prepared to bend over backward for him. Anything we can do. I’m here if you want to talk. Jesus, he could barely get out of bed in the morning and they were expecting him to talk. He appreciated it, sure, but their words were breaths on a breeze that, as time passed, continued to guide Max into a dark depression. That darkness culminated in his downing a bottle of vodka and snorting a dozen lines of coke, while staring passively at a bottle of pills he’d found among his father’s things.

It’d be so easy, he’d thought.

So fucking easy.

And painless.

That’s what he wanted above all other things: a pain-free existence. But he hadn’t gone through with it. Cowardice was not something Max was proud of, but, like his best friend, Carter, had explained: he was twenty years old and had his whole life to live. And live it he did. He got shitfaced, fucked women, dealt in shit he had no business getting involved in, became a regular dealer, got shot at, got arrested, got bailed . . . rinse and repeat.

Not a life so much as an extended hangover, punctuated with pockets of deliriousness. He kept the body shop afloat with the money he made from dealing, paid his employees, and partied from sunset to sunrise. And as the months passed, the pain Max had felt the day of the funeral slowly ebbed, leaving a numbness in which he freely basked. He didn’t feel pain. Christ, he didn’t feel anything. And that was just fine.

He doubted he’d ever feel again. He wasn’t sure he even wanted to.

Until she tumbled into his life . . .

Max lifted his eyes from the sumptuous cream carpet under his feet, settling them on the man sitting opposite him. Elliot waited patiently for Max to say something else, but Max knew he was done. He’d said more than he’d wanted to already. He hadn’t spoken about his father for a long time and scratching at that particular scab was as agonizing as it had been on the day of the funeral eight years before.

He reached for the glass of water on the small wooden table at the side of his chair and took a long sip. The silence was suffocating in its expectancy, causing Max to fidget and shift in his seat.

“From your quiet, I assume we’re done for the day.” Elliot smiled and wrote quickly on the legal pad resting, as it always did, on his knee. Max didn’t answer, but took a deep breath, knowing he’d been let off the hook. Max had learned quickly that Dr. Elliot Watts was a persistent bastard. Yeah, he was a therapist and that shit was his job, but he’d been relentless from the get-go. Nevertheless, Max had to admit he liked him, no matter what dark paths of the past the doc asked him to travel.

“You made some good progress here today, Max,” Elliot continued with a small nod. “I know talking about your father isn’t easy.”

Yeah, no shit.

Scribble, scribble. “So, you’re fifteen days in. How are you finding the medication?”

Max shrugged. He was on a plethora of funky-looking pills, which he had to take each morning: antidepressants, Ritalin, amantadine. Each one had a very specific purpose in helping with the aching despair, sleepless nights, and the cravings. And they did. For the most part. Hell, drugs were drugs.

They weren’t the drugs he wanted, the drugs he knew would kick his anxiety’s ass, the drugs that would stop his dick from being a flaccid waste of time, the drugs that would supress the monstrous appetite that was adding to his waistline, the drugs that beckoned like a fucking siren’s call every time he tried to close his eyes at night.

But drugs were drugs.

With every half-assed beat of his heart, his blood moved sluggishly around his body. It was desperate for the fire of a line, the life, the euphoric detachment. Jesus, he needed a hit. Just one fucking hit.

Elliot sat up a little straighter, as if sensing the hunger that practically crippled Max from the inside out. “How are the night terrors?”

Dread seized Max’s bones. He swallowed and rubbed his hands together. His discomfort spoke volumes. The night terrors were just that: terrifying. Nightmares so vivid and distressing the mere thought of sleep left Max cold. They’d started just days off the powder, just days after he’d been admitted, and, despite Elliot’s prescribed medication, they weren’t abating. The bags under his eyes could attest to that shit.

“We can increase the dose if you need it, Max,” Elliot said softly. “You need your rest.”

Max sighed and gave an imperceptible dip of his chin, his pride unable to outweigh the fear of what waited for him when he slept. “Okay. I’ll get that changed for you.”

“Thank you.” Max’s voice was quiet, but his gratitude was immeasurable.

“Do you want to talk about the terrors?”

“No.” Max rubbed at his temples, where the grotesque images that accosted him at night threatened to claw out.

Elliot’s silence made Max lift his head. “That bad.”

Max pulled the hood of his sweatshirt farther around his face, burying himself in an attempt to hide. He wore his hood up for both his individual and the group sessions, and weirdly, Elliot didn’t seem to mind. Max wasn’t entirely sure why he did it, but it helped take the edge off the stress he felt at the thought of talking to strangers about shit that had happened years ago. It was a cocoon, a wall that made his stay in rehab a little bit easier.

“Maybe you could write about the terrors in the notebook I gave you last week. I know it’s still empty.” Elliot smiled wryly at the derisive look Max shot him.

Writing in a fucking notebook? No, thanks.

“Fine, look,” Elliot said, sitting forward, “you know where I am if you want to talk more. We’re all here to help you through this. You’re not alone, okay?”

 

Loyalty. Redemption. All-consuming love against the odds. Prepare to fall for the powerful storytelling of Sophie Jackson in AN OUNCE OF HOPE, out 5th January!

It all began in A POUND OF FLESH and continued in LOVE AND ALWAYS...

Headline Eternal

A Pound of Flesh: A Pound of Flesh Book 1

By Sophie Jackson

A Pound of Flesh is the first title in the A Pound of Flesh series from fan-fiction superstar Sophie Jackson.

Lose your heart to your new bad boy book boyfriend. Wes Carter - sexy, edgy, behind bars, with emotional scars as permanent as the ink on his skin, just waiting to be healed by love...

Fans of Samantha Young, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Jamie McGuire, Katy Evans and Prison Break will find this powerful love story utterly addictive and unforgettable.

Can true love heal the deepest scars?

Wes Carter: Dangerous, brooding and behind bars, Carter's emotional scars are as permanent as the ink on his skin.

Kat Lane: Vibrant and gutsy, Kat chooses to become a prison tutor in tribute to her father whose murder haunts her.

Although worlds apart, when their eyes meet, Carter and Kat's searing attraction is instant.
As teacher and student, any relationship is against every rule. But although their love is forbidden, it won't be denied...

Loyalty, redemption and all-consuming love against the odds. Check out the whole A Pound of Flesh series: A Pound of Flesh, Love and Always, An Ounce of Hope, Fate and Forever and A Measure of Love.

Entirely heartfelt, hot and should be the very next book on your TBR list - 4 starsThis book truly was outstanding and I can't express just how much I loved reading it. It's the kind of book that I felt in my chest and made me angry when life got in the way of my reading. I was thinking about Kat and Carter whenever the cruel world required me to put it down. The writing was beautiful and poetic; Jackson made me feel every single feeling and emotion. A Pound of Flesh is a breathtakingly beautiful story about conquering your fears, finding love, redeeming oneself, and reminds us all to never judge a book by its coverTheir relationship was intense, drama filled and certainly filled with sex. But I couldn't have loved them more if I tried. It reminded me of Travis and Abby's relationship from Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire and it certainly holds the appeal of Fifty Shades of Grey fans. This may be the book of the year for me, and I cannot wait to get my hands on An Ounce of HopeThe romantic telling of this story that held us captive. The reading of literature and poetry woven throughout was mesmerising as were the many memorable moments in this story of fate, hope, redemption and second chances. A Pound of Flesh is a book we'd definitely recommendWow!! I loved, loved, loved every single thing about this book. If you are a fan of forbidden love stories, you are going to love this one... Sophie Jackson has incorporated everything I love into this delicious story. It is a must read[Sophie] writes the type of stories today's reader wants: beautifully created characters filled with emotion, and a storyline that sticks with you long after you turn the last pageA Pound of Flesh is an intriguing tale of acceptance, and understanding, and finding love in unexpected circumstances. What sets it apart from others is the way Sophie weaves storylines to build suspense before everything ultimately comes together, leaving the reader guessing and gasping until the very endStar-crossed lovers Wes Carter and Kat Lane share a passion that will sweep you off your feet...what makes A Pound of Flesh stand out from the rest is Jackson's powerful, elegant storytelling and a love affair so hot that you could get your fingers burned turning the pages... Jackson plays a blinder in this stunning debut, creating a vivid, seductive story that tingles with emotionally-charged tension, weaves in some cleverly worked literary parallels and rounds off with a suitably satisfying surprise in the tail. As Shakespeare so beautifully put it... 'This is the very ecstasy of love'.Wes Carter is a bad boy hero you won't be able to resist. And A Pound of Flesh is a love story you won't want to stop talking about.

Sophie Jackson is an English teacher from Chorley. Although she read and wrote furiously as a child, she first started writing as an adult, to scratch the creative itch, for the website FanFiction.net, after reading the Twilight series in 2008. She wrote and posted a number of Twilight fanfics, chapter by chapter, and built up an impressive readership.

For more information, visit Sophie's website: www.sophiejacksonauthor.com, and find her on Facebook www.facebook.com/SophieJacksonRomance and on Twitter @sophiejax.

AN EXCITING NEW TALENT: Eternal's first British author, delivering a hot, fresh new story and high quality pure romance fiction in the vein of UK predecessors E. L. James and Jodi Ellen Malpas.INTERNET SENSATION: Originally published as fan fiction of Twilight, A Pound of Flesh became an online phenomenon and an award-winning internet sensation. It won a host of awards and attracted well over 4.5 million online reads.WIDE APPEAL IN THE CURRENT MARKET: For both the contemporary and New Adult markets with the intensity of first time love, for fans of authors like Jamie McGuire and Katy Evans who can't get enough of intense, screwed-up but irresistible and multifaceted heroes. Wes Carter is a sexy bad boy with edge for romance fans to fall in love with: #MeetCarterPUBLISHING PLAN: Published in the US by Simon & Schuster, who publish Jamie McGuire and Katy Evans, the series will consist of three novels and two short stories about different couples but in the same world, returning to Carter and Kat's story, which is sure to thrill fans.
Headline Eternal

Love and Always: A Pound of Flesh Novella 1.5

By Sophie Jackson

Love and Always is the second title in the A Pound of Flesh series from fan-fiction superstar Sophie Jackson.

Fans of Samantha Young, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Jamie McGuire, Katy Evans and Prison Break will find Sophie Jackson's powerful love stories utterly addictive and unforgettable. Carter and Kat's story of love and redemption continues in Love and Always - a novella in the sensational A Pound of Flesh series.

Theirs was a love that broke every rule. But the searing attraction between Wes Carter and Kat Lane was instant and impossible to deny.

Against all the odds, this all-consuming love between prison tutor Kat and her dangerous, brooding student flourished and healed the deep scars borne by each of them.

But as they face real life together and share the news of their engagement with those closest to them, Kat and Carter realise that they will still have to fight for their love if it is to survive forever and...always.

Loyalty, redemption and all-consuming love against the odds. Check out the whole A Pound of Flesh series: A Pound of Flesh, Love and Always, An Ounce of Hope, Fate and Forever and A Measure of Love.

[Sophie] writes the type of stories today's reader wants: beautifully created characters filled with emotion, and a storyline that sticks with you long after you turn the last pageA Pound of Flesh is an intriguing tale of acceptance, and understanding, and finding love in unexpected circumstances. What sets it apart from others is the way Sophie weaves storylines to build suspense before everything ultimately comes together, leaving the reader guessing and gasping until the very endThe novella in the compelling, emotional and sexy A Pound of Flesh series which began with the ultimate forbidden romance...

Sophie Jackson is an English teacher from Chorley. Although she read and wrote furiously as a child, she first started writing as an adult, to scratch the creative itch, for the website FanFiction.net, after reading the Twilight series in 2008. She wrote and posted a number of Twilight fanfics, chapter by chapter, and built up an impressive readership.

For more information, visit Sophie's website: www.sophiejacksonauthor.com, and find her on Facebook www.facebook.com/SophieJacksonRomance and on Twitter @sophiejax.

AN EXCITING NEW TALENT: Eternal's first British author, writing with an authentic American voice.INTERNET SENSATION: Originally published as fan fiction of Twilight, A Pound of Flesh became an online phenomenon and an award-winning internet sensation. It won a host of awards and attracted well over 4 million online reads.WIDE APPEAL IN THE CURRENT MARKET: For both the contemporary and New Adult markets with the intensity of first time love, for fans of authors like Jamie McGuire and Katy Evans who can't get enough of intense, screwed-up but irresistible and multifaceted heroes.PUBLISHING PLAN: Published in the US by Simon & Schuster, who publish Jamie McGuire and Katy Evans, the series will consist of three novels and two short stories about different couples but in the same world, returning to Carter and Kat's story, which is sure to thrill fans.
Headline Eternal

An Ounce of Hope: A Pound of Flesh Book 2

By Sophie Jackson

An Ounce of Hope is the third title in the A Pound of Flesh series from fan-fiction superstar Sophie Jackson.

From the fanfic phenomenon whose sensational debut, A Pound of Flesh, had over 4.5 million reads. You fell for Wes Carter. Now there's a new bad boy in town. Just as sexy, just as edgy. Meet Carter's best friend, Max...

Fans of Samantha Young, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Jamie McGuire, Katy Evans and Prison Break will find Sophie Jackson's powerful love stories utterly addictive and unforgettable.

Can true love heal the deepest scars?

Max O'Hare: Tortured by memories of the woman he loved, the child he lost and the drugs that numbed his pain, Max is haunted by his past.

Grace Brooks: An eternal optimist, Grace appears to be the perfect girl, but she keeps the truth of her own difficult history closely guarded.

Fresh out of rehab, the last thing on Max's mind is a relationship. Yet he's drawn to Grace, sensing that she too is looking for escape. Bound by their greatest fears and deepest secrets, Max and Grace must learn to trust again. And the key to opening their hearts lies in one another...

Loyalty. Redemption. All-consuming love against the odds. Prepare to fall for the powerful storytelling of Sophie Jackson. Check out the whole A Pound of Flesh series: A Pound of Flesh, Love and Always, An Ounce of Hope, Fate and Forever and A Measure of Love.

Jackson's newest installment to her heart-stopping series, A Pound of Flesh, is capable of blowing your mind. This romance contains loads of passionate moments where we finally get to witness Max's storyMax and Grace's story has truly left an imprint on my heart. They made the most adorable couple and I was invested in their relationship from start to finish. The pair had been through so much heartache and I just wanted to see them find their fairytale ending. An Ounce of Hope has captured my heart and although there were times where I felt as though my heart was being torn in two, I loved everything that I was readingThe second novel in the compelling, emotional and sexy A Pound of Flesh series from the fanfiction phenomenon, Sophie Jackson.

Sophie Jackson is an English teacher from Chorley. Although she read and wrote furiously as a child, she first started writing as an adult, to scratch the creative itch, for the website FanFiction.net, after reading the Twilight series in 2008. She wrote and posted a number of Twilight fanfics, chapter by chapter, and built up an impressive readership.

For more information, visit Sophie's website: www.sophiejacksonauthor.com, and find her on Facebook www.facebook.com/SophieJacksonRomance and on Twitter @sophiejax.

AN EXCITING NEW TALENT: Eternal's first British author, writing with an authentic American voice.INTERNET SENSATION: Originally published as fan fiction of Twilight, A Pound of Flesh became an online phenomenon and an award-winning internet sensation. It won a host of awards and attracted well over 4 million online reads.WIDE APPEAL IN THE CURRENT MARKET: For both the contemporary and New Adult markets with the intensity of first time love, for fans of authors like Jamie McGuire and Katy Evans who can't get enough of intense, screwed-up but irresistible and multifaceted heroes.PUBLISHING PLAN: Published in the US by Simon & Schuster, who publish Jamie McGuire and Katy Evans, the series will consist of three novels and two short stories about different couples but in the same world, returning to Carter and Kat's story, which is sure to thrill fans.
Headline Eternal

Fate and Forever: A Pound of Flesh Novella 2.5

By Sophie Jackson

Fate and Forever is the fourth title in the A Pound of Flesh series from fan-fiction superstar Sophie Jackson.

Fans of Samantha Young, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Jamie McGuire, Katy Evans and Prison Break will find Sophie Jackson's powerful love stories utterly addictive and unforgettable.

Tutor and prison student - their love was forbidden but their attraction was impossible to deny. And now Kat Lane is excitedly planning her wedding to the brooding, dangerously tempting love of her life, Wes Carter.

Kat and Carter couldn't be happier to be man and wife and start their life together - but it's not long before they realise married life isn't all plain-sailing. Everywhere they turn, couples are becoming parents, and the longing in Kat's eyes worries Carter. After his rough childhood, he's not so sure he has what it takes to be a good parent. But fate has brought Kat and Carter together - can their love survive forever?

Loyalty, redemption and all-consuming love against the odds. Check out the whole A Pound of Flesh series: A Pound of Flesh, Love and Always, An Ounce of Hope, Fate and Forever and A Measure of Love.

[Sophie] writes the type of stories today's reader wants: beautifully created characters filled with emotion, and a storyline that sticks with you long after you turn the last pageA Pound of Flesh is an intriguing tale of acceptance, and understanding, and finding love in unexpected circumstances. What sets it apart from others is the way Sophie weaves storylines to build suspense before everything ultimately comes together, leaving the reader guessing and gasping until the very endThe novella in the compelling, emotional and sexy A Pound of Flesh series which began with the ultimate forbidden romance...

Sophie Jackson is an English teacher from Chorley. Although she read and wrote furiously as a child, she first started writing as an adult, to scratch the creative itch, for the website FanFiction.net, after reading the Twilight series in 2008. She wrote and posted a number of Twilight fanfics, chapter by chapter, and built up an impressive readership.

For more information, visit Sophie's website: www.sophiejacksonauthor.com, and find her on Facebook www.facebook.com/SophieJacksonRomance and on Twitter @sophiejax.

AN EXCITING NEW TALENT: Eternal's first British author, writing with an authentic American voice.INTERNET SENSATION: Originally published as fan fiction of Twilight, A Pound of Flesh became an online phenomenon and an award-winning internet sensation. It won a host of awards and attracted well over 4 million online reads.WIDE APPEAL IN THE CURRENT MARKET: For both the contemporary and New Adult markets with the intensity of first time love, for fans of authors like Jamie McGuire and Katy Evans who can't get enough of intense, screwed-up but irresistible and multifaceted heroes.PUBLISHING PLAN: Published in the US by Simon & Schuster, who publish Jamie McGuire and Katy Evans, the series will consist of three novels and two short stories about different couples but in the same world, returning to Carter and Kat's story, which is sure to thrill fans.
Headline Eternal

A Measure of Love: A Pound of Flesh Book 3

By Sophie Jackson

A Measure of Love is the fifth title in the A Pound of Flesh series from fan-fiction superstar Sophie Jackson.

From the fanfic phenomenon whose debut A Pound of Flesh had over 4.5 million reads. Fans of Samantha Young, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Jamie McGuire, Katy Evans and Prison Break will find Sophie Jackson's powerful love stories utterly addictive and unforgettable.

Can true love heal the deepest scars?

Riley Moore: Ex-con Riley Moore never forgot the pain of losing his first love. But he doesn't hesitate to return to Michigan when his family needs him - even though it's inevitable he'll see the girl who broke his heart.

Lexie Pierce: Lexie has a secret she's hidden from Riley for five years. As much as she wants to reconnect with him, she doesn't know if he will ever be able to forgive her when he finds out.

Yet when they meet again, memories of their love burn as brightly as ever, despite the pain they both suffered. Can they finally overcome the sorrow of the past and share their life together?

Loyalty. Redemption. All-consuming love against the odds. Prepare to fall for the powerful storytelling of Sophie Jackson. Check out the whole A Pound of Flesh series: A Pound of Flesh, Love and Always, An Ounce of Hope, Fate and Forever and A Measure of Love.

A Measure of Love is beautifully written and addictive; with its wonderfully chiselled characters and well rounded relationships, it hooked me from the first page and held me until the very last word. The perfect mix of humour, heartbreak and sinful sexinessThe third in the compelling, emotional and sexy A Pound of Flesh series from the fanfiction phenomenon, Sophie Jackson.

Sophie Jackson is an English teacher from Chorley. Although she read and wrote furiously as a child, she first started writing as an adult, to scratch the creative itch, for the website FanFiction.net, after reading the Twilight series in 2008. She wrote and posted a number of Twilight fanfics, chapter by chapter, and built up an impressive readership.

For more information, visit Sophie's website: www.sophiejacksonauthor.com, and find her on Facebook www.facebook.com/SophieJacksonRomance and on Twitter @sophiejax.

AN EXCITING NEW TALENT: Eternal's first British author, writing with an authentic American voice.INTERNET SENSATION: Originally published as fan fiction of Twilight, A Pound of Flesh became an online phenomenon and an award-winning internet sensation. It won a host of awards and attracted well over 4 million online reads.WIDE APPEAL IN THE CURRENT MARKET: For both the contemporary and New Adult markets with the intensity of first time love, for fans of authors like Jamie McGuire and Katy Evans who can't get enough of intense, screwed-up but irresistible and multifaceted heroes.PUBLISHING PLAN: Published in the US by Simon & Schuster, who publish Jamie McGuire and Katy Evans, the series will consist of three novels and two short stories about different couples but in the same world, returning to Carter and Kat's story, which is sure to thrill fans.