Mya Washington is a rebel. Or at least, that’s what her family has always said. As the youngest of a set of triplets, she has always been the more rebellious of the three…even though she never considered herself a rebel.
Rule Breaker? Sometimes.
Trouble Maker? Nev—occasionally.
Growing tired of being typecast and misunderstood, Mya moves to New York looking for a fresh start away from the life she grew up in and out of the shadow of her older sisters. Striking out on her own may have put a strain on the family dynamic, but it's the new beginning Mya was looking for.
But after the unexpected death of her mother, she is blindsided yet again by a wedding invitation she didn’t see coming. Her father’s upcoming marriage only cements the wall she’s put up around her heart. Because if her father could be such an utter disappointment, why should she even attempt to open up to any man?
Enter Colton Davis.
Being the oldest Washington Triplet hasn’t been easy for Marisa Washington. Labeled the “good one” at a young age embedded the burden she strived to build true. She graduated at the top of her class, never caused her parents trouble, and even settled down in their hometown of Chicago with her college boyfriend.
Her life was “perfect”, at least in the eyes of others. But when her mom unexpectedly dies, Marisa’s eyes open for the first time. She leaves her boyfriend of four years and takes a job in Alaska to gain the freedom and individuality she’s craved. After all, what would she gain by sticking around Chicago? She discovered her perfect family isn’t so perfect, and everyone she cares for left her.
Starting a new life in Anchorage, Alaska, she’s unable to escape her family’s hold when her dad’s wedding announcement comes a mere six months after her mother’s death. Attempts to contact her sisters, in order to face this together, are unsuccessful, leaving her feeling even more alone.
Her family issues have to be pushed aside when her employer sends her and three others to a team building retreat in King’s Gate. It’s the last thing Marisa wants to do, until everywhere she turns, she finds…Zach Greer.
The Quiet One
Mikaela Washington, the middle Triplet, has always been labeled the quiet one. Her parents claim her as the introvert or just shy. Of course she was, what other role could she take? All the others had been fulfilled.
Going away to college with her sisters was always the plan until unforeseen circumstances push Mikaela into a dark corner she can’t get out of. Her sisters think she’s just being more unusual than normal and her dad barely notices. The only person she can trust and confide in is her mom.
She stays back and lives at home with her parents. These years are difficult, but she manages to find a career and go to therapy. During this time she learns her family home is not what it seems. She sees and hears things that her sisters know nothing about. Then when her mom suddenly dies she’s left to deal with not only her tragedy, but also the secrets of her family.
Finally Mikaela realizes it’s time… time to move on, live on her own like her sisters and try to start new. When she moves to California she finds the job of her dreams and the man of her dreams attached to it… Ryan Chambers.
To read more about the Washington Triplet's check out Love Discovered in New York and Love Grows in Alaska.
EXCERPT ~ LOVE DISCOVERED IN NEW YORK
From: Mya Washington
Subject: RE: Proud
I know you won’t ever get this, but I have so many emotions swirling around in me today and I felt compelled to write you back.
It’s been a month and I’ve re-read your last email every day since I’ve been back from the funeral. Every single day. And each day, I can barely keep it together. Your words have kept me holding on while simultaneously breaking my heart. I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to understand me. I spent my entire life living with the black sheep stigma. Whether it was coming from you, Dad, Marisa or Mikaela, I always had to hear about how rebellious I was being. But when I opened your email and read that you love me and you accept me for exactly who I am, I felt something I’d never felt before.
Mom, I feel like I’ve waited my whole life for you to say those words to me. And as soon as I can wrap my mind around your acceptance, you are taken away from me. I don’t understand. I don’t get it. I don’t know why this happened. But I wish there was more time. I’m beating myself up every day because I didn’t make time. I’m sorry I didn’t utilize the time we had. I should’ve come home for Christmas. I should’ve visited Chicago more. I should’ve visited you more.
I’m so sorry I never wrote you back. I meant to. I got your email before my shift at work. I read it and I meant to call. It was late by the time I got off, so I told myself I would call you the next day. And then Kelsey called me in the morning to ask if I wanted to go shopping. So I put off calling you. And when we got home from shopping, I got the call that changed my life. And it was the first time my best friend—or anyone in New York for that matter—had ever seen me cry.
So now, here I am. A month without you and I think I’m all cried out. Tears don’t even form anymore because I’m so pissed. The anger I feel is consuming me and I don’t know what to do about it. Dad had the audacity to actually propose to some woman. He didn’t even care enough to run anything by us. He actually just popped up with his engagement…right after we lost you! He’s planning on gettingremarried. REMARRIED! Of all the disrespectful things someone could do! You haven’t been gone hardly any time at all and here he is, already moving on. I didn’t think he could stoop any lower. It’s one thing for him to give me shit and be dismissive of me (particularly at your funeral), but it’s a whole other thing for him to do this to you. You were always there for him. You two were MARRIED for crying out loud! And then he proposes to someone he was obviously involved with WHILE YOU TWO WERE STILL MARRIED! I can’t believe him! This is exactly why I won’t ever put my trust in a man. This is exactly why I won’t ever get into a relationship. This right here. Because if I can’t trust my own father to not be a complete asshole, how can I trust any man?
I love you, Mom. I love you and I miss you. I love you and I’m sorry. You mean the world to me. I know I didn’t say it enough. Or at all. But I will make up for that by honoring you. And I won’t let anyone, ANYONE disrespect your memory. I wasn’t there for you like I should’ve been when you were alive, but I sure as hell will be here for you now.
EXCERPT ~ LOVE GROWS IN ALASKA
July 4, 2014
Oh, Mom. As hard as I try not to write directly to you in my journal, my thoughts are constantly occupied with you. Although, I don’t cry near as often these past weeks, I miss you more everyday. I know, crazy and weird, right? You’d think as time went by that I’d forget the smell of your perfume, or the sound of your voice would fade away. But it’s the opposite. I give every woman wearing Chanel a second glance as they pass me by on the busy street of Chicago on my way to and from work. A small part of me wishing it was you. The other day, I swear I heard you calling me from across the L line while I stood there on the platform for the noisy train to stop. If I’m truthful about my hallucinations, you were waving to me from the window as the train past by. Don’t worry Mom; I’m sane enough to know that didn’t happen. But I can’t say I’ve wished that you faked your death more than one occasion, when I’m really down. That I could see your happiness when I tell you something I think may make you proud.
I left Nate. Yep … took the scissors and cut the string! He’s gone and I can’t believe the weight that’s been lifted from me. That nagging feeling of him being around and what might set off his vomit words toward me. Making me more self-conscious about every decision I’ve ever made. The guilt he gave me of being an identical triplet and how imperfect I am compared to my sisters. Thank you for never insisting that I break-up with him. I fear when you were still on Earth I would’ve purposely tried to prove you wrong in some fashion. Those small comments here and there you gave me through the years worked, and finally clinked together into one SCREW YOU NATE send off.
Now I find myself a little depressed. Chicago isn’t what it used to be. Mya and Mikaela aren’t here. Most of my friends are busy with either boyfriends, or their careers. I’m in a stalled pattern in the moment, but I have a surprise! I made a decision today that will hopefully lift this dark cloud from above me. I’m moving to Alaska!! I know, I know, so far away, but I’m excited for the first time in months Mom. I can’t wait to see what’s up there for me to discover.
Okay, I’m going to go Google some more about my new city! You’re always in my thoughts! I love you … always!
EXCERPT ~ LOVE FOUND IN CALIFORNIA
March 1, 2014
I think about you everyday, Mom. The pain still cripples me at times, but I’m trying so hard and it’s because of you. I’m remembering all the advice you gave me, some of it only a month ago. Now you’re not here to guide me and it’s scary.
Today I was sitting staring out the big bay window in the front room. The snow and ice glistened brightly off the braches of the old oak tree. It was almost blinding me, but I was captivated, lost in my thoughts. I’ve felt so alone in this house since you’ve been gone. Dad hasn’t slept here since the funeral. He doesn’t think I know where he goes, but I do. I regret so much, Mom. So, so much. I should have told you about the things I heard and saw while you were here. I hate that I kept quiet like I always do. Dad usually stops by daily, but we don’t really talk. The hurt in his eyes is there though. Before he leaves he always kisses my head, tells me he loves me and then leaves me … alone.
Something bad and something good happened recently and all I’ve thought of is how bad I wish you were here to help and guide me, but you’re not and it’s forcing me to branch out. The bad is that I saw him the other day. I still can’t tell you who he is, but he was here. I saw him as I was staring out the bay window. My body froze as soon as I saw his dark hair peeking over the hood of his car and as he got out I knew without a doubt it was him. I ducked, literally hid below the window, peering my eyes out just enough to see. He ran up the steps to his old home and that was it. Even though I hyperventilated, panicked and became paralyzed with the pain and memories something changed for me.
This is where my good news comes in… I realize that I need to make things happen for myself. It’s time to spread my wings a little more. Things you’ve been telling me this for years now. Mom, I did something you would be so proud of. I applied for a job in California. Guess what? I have my first interview next week! The owner even called me to conduct a phone interview. He loved my portfolio. I felt like I was bragging about myself, but this is the one area in my life I’m confident about. I think I’m ready for a change. I’m using my own money to go out for this interview, but he said if he brings me back for a second the company pays for it. It’s a bit of a risk, but damn it, I’m ready to take it!
I’m excited. Really excited, Mom! I know you may be shaking your finger at me from up above, but I’m not avoiding my problems… I’m making a decision to move forward just like you’ve told me for years. It’s time for me to do something that makes me happy. I promise if I do move to California I’ll find a therapist right away.
Even though this is a big step and it’s exciting… all I can do is think of you. I wish you were coming out with me for the interview. Hearing you whisper words of encouragement is what I’ll need.
I love and miss you everyday, Mom.
DANIELLE ALLEN ~ AUTHOR BIO:
I am a married event planner, life coach and instructor. Between my awesome friends and family and my amazing husband, I am constantly surrounded by love. My goal at all times is to love what I’m doing and enjoy life. I love shopping and football with equal fervor. I’m an amateur movie critic (i.e. my husband and I watch and critique a lot of movies for fun). I love to read, but since I’ve been writing, I don’t read as much as I used to. I love music. A good lyric with a good melody can paint a vivid picture and invoke such a range of emotions. I have a soft spot for most mediums of creative, artistic expression. But music is probably my favorite.
MICHELLE LYNN ~ AUTHOR BIO:
Michelle moved around the Midwest most of her life, transferring from school to school before settling down in the outskirts of Chicago ten years ago, where she now resides with her husband and two kids. She developed a love of reading at a young age, which helped lay the foundation for her passion to write. With the encouragement of her family, she finally sat down and wrote one of the many stories that have been floating around in her head. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can be found playing with her kids, talking to her mom on the phone, or hanging out with her family and friends. But after chasing around twin preschoolers all day, she always cherishes her relaxation time after putting the kids to bed.
MELISSA ROLKA ~ AUTHOR BIO:
Melissa Rolka grew up in the Chicagoland area all of her childhood and has always had a love of writing. She started by keeping a journal at a young age and in high school she started writing poetry. A couple poems were published anonymously. Then in college she majored in Philosophy, which required lots and lots of writing. After graduating from Marquette University she traveled west to Los Angeles. There she worked for the Writers Guild of America and found herself submerged in the writers world. She worked on small writings, but never pursued them. On the side she became involved with a small theater group. Eventually she made her way back to the Midwest, where her heart belongs, and worked in business for several years. She found love, got married and has two beautiful children. Being at home has allowed her to keep following her love of reading and writing. The Perfect Distraction (The Perfect Series) is her first full-length novel. When Melissa is not writing she is caring for, playing with and loving her two kids. In between taking care of her family and writing she almost always has her nose buried in her Kindle.
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