Title: The Certainty of Deception (The Truth in Lies Saga #2)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Jada D’Lee Designs
Release Date:July 8, 2014
After years of living in the darkness of his past, Andrew Wise, a young attorney working for his family’s law firm in Sarasota, Florida, has finally broken free of the demons that haunt him. Wealth, success, happiness, and true love; everything a man could ever dream of, was right at his fingertips. Or so he thought. But in the blink of an eye, all of that changed. Upon discovering that his ex-girlfriend, Olivia Hamilton, was pregnant, Drew fell back into some old habits, which led to him losing the one person that mattered the most in his life – McKenzie Evans.
When McKenzie left him and returned to Texas, Drew was beside himself. The night before she left, he made an agreement with her best friend Jared Christopher, that he would give her time and space to come to grips with the fact that he’d fathered her best friend’s child. Now, two months later, he feels as though he held up his end of the bargain, Drew can’t take their separation any longer. With his brother’s wedding mere weeks away, Drew devises a plan to win McKenzie back.
Under the guise of a bachelor getaway for Gavin, Drew, along with his brother and Jared, jets off on an adventure to the panhandle of Texas. There, he will learn what made McKenzie who she is and will find strength within himself that he never realized existed.
In this charming sequel to The Truth in Lies, Drew and McKenzie discover that not everything is as it seems, forgiveness is a matter of acceptance, and true love really can conquer all.
“Evans’ Bodyworks, McKenzie speaking,” her sweet voice serenaded me like a siren’s song.
The wind pushed from my chest in the most orgasmic of ways.
I closed my eyes and allowed the intense rush of relief blow from my chest. For the last two months, I’d called her office just to hear her voice. She’d changed her cell phone number to an Amarillo number after leaving, but Evans’ Bodyworks was a listed number. As per my agreement with Jared, I never said a word. I simply listened to her until she hung up.
“Hello?” I shivered with delight at the sweet timbre of her tone.
Since her departure, I’d taken up sending her flowers every Monday, simply to brighten her week. The phone call was to brighten mine.
“Hello? Anybody there?”
Oh, God, that Southern drawl. She’d commented several times about how much she hated her accent. “I sound like a backwoods hick,” she’d complained. She didn’t sound like a hick to me. On the contrary, I could’ve listened to her talk all day long if given the chance. Drops of rain splattered to the ground. I looked up at the sky. It appeared the sun was going to lose the battle of the clouds after all. Not that I minded, I loved the rain. The rain held a sentimental value to me. It was a rainy night where I first made love to McKenzie. Rain was a good thing. It brought life and in my case, it brought love.
I closed my eyes to recall the smell of her skin mixed with the rain. Shadows of her danced in the recesses of my mind. I swallowed hard, thinking of how it felt to have her smooth skin pressed against mine. Every minor detail displayed with vivid accuracy in my consciousness. Her shimmering blue eyes sparkled, her playful smile, and the way her golden hair fell in front of her face when it was wet.
“Andy? Is that you?” she whispered.
My heart skipped a beat at the sound of that nickname on such beautiful lips. Only Mickie was allowed to call me that. Just because my name was Andrew, didn’t mean people should call me Andy. Andrew or Drew was fine with me, but never Andy. That was my twin sister’s nickname, after all.
I sprang to my feet in a single bound, and looked around the beach. It was still fairly empty. Just a few runners making their way to their cars before the rain picked up.
“I guess not,” she faltered.
The sadness in her voice chipped away another piece of my mangled heart. She missed me. The evidence was there in the sound of her voice. Fine, the evidence was hearsay, but this wasn’t a court of law, so it was admissible. She called me by name, hoping it was me on the other end of the line.
This was what I’d been waiting for. I needed to know that she missed me too, that I wasn’t alone in my heartache. I wanted to reveal myself, but I feared it would ruin my upcoming plans. Only one person knew what I was about to do and that was because he was intricate to my plans. All I needed was for Jared or Gavin to get wind of my trip to Amarillo. There was no doubt in my mind that they’d try to stop me. So, instead of acting on instinct, I sat there like a fool, listening to her breathe.
The phone went silent.
For several seconds I stood, unmoving. She had spoken to me. To hear her call me by name was an answer to my prayers. It only solidified my decision to get off of my ass and fly to Texas. I’d waited like Jared and Gavin demanded. Two long, miserable months, I’d waited. Not a single drop of liquor had touched my lips since that night, no matter how bad I wanted a drink. I’d been patient, keeping my distance, well, in a way. Sure, the flowers didn’t equate to distance, but she hadn’t told Jared about them as far as I knew. I was sure if she had, I’d never hear the end of it. So, to me, that was a signal that she wasn’t over me any more than I was her. They were lucky I’d lasted this long. Patience was not one of my virtues. The time had come, and I was getting my girl back.
My mind released me from its temporary prison, allowing my heart to say what it needed to say. “I miss you,” I whispered, breathless.
Jeanne McDonald began telling stories at the ripe young age of five, when her mother considered the truth to be a lie due to her extensive embellishment to the retelling of an event. She wrote her first short story when she was twelve years old, and at the age of sixteen she tried her hand at poetry. She reconnected with her love for writing in 2010 thanks to the encouragement of a dear friend.
Her passions include a “mild” Starbucks addiction, music, reading, quotes, movies, and romance. When she’s not spending time with her family, she can be found reading, writing, chatting with her friends or diligently working toward her bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. A proud Texan, Jeanne currently resides in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with her family.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Drew when The Truth in Lies came out last October, and today I’m happy to welcome him back with the lovely McKenzie this time.
McKenzie: Hiya. It’s nice to finally meet you. Andy has told me so many wonderful things about you.
Drew: *leaning over, placing a kiss to Bee’s cheek* Hey there, gorgeous. It’s a pleasure to be with you again today.
So, I have to admit, you two left me with a broken heart at the end of The Truth in Lies. You both go through quite a journey in The Certainty of Deception. How are you both feeling now?
McKenzie: Ah, well, I’m sorry about that, Ms. Bee. I hate knowing we left you with a broken heart. *frowns, glancing over to Drew* As for how I’m feeling, I’m a bundle of emotions right now. Happy to be back with Drew *patting Drew’s knee* but scared to death of facing Liv again.
Drew: I’m quite sorry that we left you like that. You were not the only one. I feel that my emotions have been all over the place. For awhile I felt like I was fighting a battle that I was going to lose. *grabbing McKenzie’s hand* But being with her was worth every battle I fought and the one that is about to happen. *bringing McKenzie’s hand to my lips kissing it softly* She’s absolutely worth it.
McKenzie how did it feel having this book told in Drew’s point of view? Did you learn anything new about him while he told your story?
When Jeanne approached us about the second book, she initially wanted it from my point of view. But my boy here, *squeezing Drew’s hand* had other plans. He had to tell his story, his way, and I feel blessed to have been a part of it. I learned so much about this wonderful man. All this time I’d felt as if he understood me, but didn’t understand why or how he could. Now I do. He’s faced something that no one should ever have to endure, and while I know I’ve only scratched the surface, I can see a strength and bravery in him that amazes me. *leaning over, placing a sweet kiss on Drew’s cheek*
And what about you Drew? How did it feel to have your say? You’ve taken massive steps in this book. (Plus you made me cry, but it’s okay, I forgive you.) You are an amazingly strong man in the way you dealt with your past.
It’s about time I got my say. *laughing* I loved that book one was told from Mickie’s point of view. It really showed how we go our start, but the ending made me look like a complete asshole, which I must admit I was. Not intentionally, of course, but still an asshole. As we all know, there’s always two sides to every story and I’m glad that I was able to tell mine. There was a lot that needed to be explained, and in the end, I think we did exactly that.
*looking down a bit, tracing my thumb over McKenzie’s* Thank you for such a sweet compliment, but I don’t feel amazing. I continue to struggle with my past, but I believe that I’m heading down the road to healing. Also, I want to apologize for making you cry. That was never my intention.
Can we just talk music for a moment. So, Country music and Rock music, they say opposites attract. I love that you two are so different yet so similar at the same time. Would you agree with me?
McKenzie: *laughing* There is a fine line between Rock and Country music. I don’t see them as different. I mean, c’mon, Lynyrd Skynyrd! Rock and Country rolled in one! *glancing at Drew to catch him covering face in with his free hand* But, to answer your question, Ms. Bee, I do agree. We are quite different and yet oddly similar. It works for us.
Drew: *looking over at Mickie* Sweetheart, they are different. I don’t care how much you try to convince me otherwise. I listen to Country music because of you. Rock music speaks to me. I need to feel the beat of the music, not feel the emotion of a Country singer walling in his own misery. I have had enough of that in my own life. It does work for us.
McKenzie: I said a fine line *drawing a line in the air with my finger* - operative words there, my darling. I love rock music. Everyone knows I love me some Hinder, but I don’t need Korn screaming in my ear. If I want to listen to screaming, I go watch Jared and Liv go at it.
Drew: Fine line my ass, woman. *realizing what you said, gasping* Hinder!? Did you just say Hinder? God woman, how can I love you when you like Hinder? *shaking my head* Now Korn is a great band, especially when driving and working out. And why would you want to go listen to Jared and the rubber duck scream at each other? That’s like pure torture.
McKenzie: *looking back to Ms. Bee* Do you see what I must endure? This man has no clue what good music is. *laughing, glancing at Drew* At the rate we’re going, she’s never going to invite us back.
Drew: Of course she’ll invite ME back. I’m perfect. *grinning wide* And I know what good music is woman, I just don’t like Hinder.
McKenzie: For God’s sake, man. Hush! *turning to Ms. Bee* Please, proceed. *smiling*
I love that you two are cat people, too. Drew knows I’m a little cat crazy from the first interview. ;) McKenzie, do you find it sexy that Drew like cat’s like I do?
McKenzie: What girl doesn’t like a guy who loves pussies? *laughs, cutting my eyes to Drew*
Drew: Now that’s a girl after my own heart. I do enjoy the pussies in my life. *smirks, looking back at Mickie*
McKenzie: We’ve unleashed the beast, Ms Bee. *laughs* In all honesty, I find Drew’s compassion toward cats to be endearing and a very sexy quality in him.
What’s the next step? I know you’ll be together, but are you apprehensive about Olivia and what others will say?
McKenzie: *shifts awkwardly in my seat* Drew seems to think that I shouldn’t worry about everyone else, especially Olivia, but I beg to differ. She’s been my friend since college. I simply can’t turn my back on that. She’s going to be crushed when we tell her about us, and with her being pregnant, I do worry. But I have hopes that we can get past this and all move on to being happy and friends again...someday.
Drew: *squeezing McKenzie’s hand* You shouldn’t worry about it, Beautiful. I do understand that Olivia is your friend, but in my defense things were never serious with her. It was just a casual thing. That relationship was never going anywhere despite what she has ever said. I felt nothing for her and I knew in my heart I would never feel anything. That spark was never there. I feel that spark with you, my darling angel. But I do want to make clear that if that baby is mine, I will be a good father to that child. I would never turn my back on the baby. Maybe one day we all could be friends again, but I doubt that will never happen. As for what others think, I could give a flying fuck what others think. This is my life and I want to be happy, not miserable.
McKenzie: *leaning over, pressing a tender kiss to Drew’s lips* I know now that you never loved her. I only hope that you two can come to some sort of an agreement in regards to the baby. You’re a good man.
This one is for Drew. Do you really believe that you are the father of Olivia’s baby?
Drew: *crossing my legs, resting mine and McKenzie’s hands over my knee* To be honest, I don’t see how I’m not the father. Everything indicates that I am. The timing is right. My drunken stupidity makes me the prime candidate, and unless Olivia cheated on me, which I don’t find very likely, there’s no one else.
*dropping my eyes to our hands, rubbing my thumb along McKenzie’s* My biggest struggle is that I don’t feel a connection with the child that I know I’m supposed to. I’ve been here before. I know what it feels like to have that excitement of becoming a father, yet I feel nothing.
McKenzie: You can’t beat yourself up for that, baby. You’ve been through something so traumatic that it’s not uncommon for there to be a disconnect.
And McKenzie, how are you feeling about returning back home with Drew?
McKenzie: I’m excited and a little nervous. So much has happened, but I know this is the right move. It was presumptuous of me to leave as I did. Feelings were hurt, lives were changed, and I reacted as I usually do - rash and spontaneous. *smiling at Drew, squeezing his hand* We deserve our chance. It was taken away from us prematurely and I can’t see why fate would bring us together if we weren’t meant to be.
But first we’ve got to deal with Boston. Now, talk about being nervous. Meeting Drew’s mother and father scares the shit out of me. *laughs*
Drew: *laughs, bringing McKenzie’s hand to my lip* I know that feeling all too well. Seeing my mother and father again scare the shit out of me as well. I’m also nervous as fuck because it feels like I’m taking Mickie into the lion’s den. I know how my parents are, but we’ll be together and that’s all that matters to me.
Well, I think that’s it. I can’t wait for book three. Do you have any inside information you could give me about that next book?
Drew: *looking over at McKenzie, stunned* Are you fucking serious?! You’re pregnant!?
McKenzie: *releasing Drew’s hand, buckling over in laughter at the look on Drew and Bee’s faces* No, I’m not pregnant, but the look on both of your faces is priceless!
Drew: *resting my hand over my heart* Jesus, woman. You nearly gave me a heart attack there. Don’t do that to man.
McKenzie: Sorry. I couldn’t resist. *leans over, pressing a kiss to Drew’s cheek* Now, to actually answer Ms. Bee’s question. The next book is titled The Truth Be Told and will be written in both mine and Drew’s points of view. The release date hasn’t been set yet, but I know Jeanne wants it out by the beginning of next year at the latest. The story will continue right where we left off, with us arriving in Boston. I look forward to what’s about to happen. Drew got to see where I grew up, now it’s my turn. *turning to Drew* Is there anything you want to add, handsome?
Drew: I think you summed it up quite nice, beautiful. *grins* And just so you know I’m so going to get you back for giving a man a heart attack. That was so not cool. *laughs*
McKenzie: *waves you off* Yeah, yeah. You’re all talk. *winks*
Thanks for dropping my Drew and McKenzie.
McKenzie: Thank you for having us. It’s been pleasure chatting with you. Andy was right; you’re an absolute sweetheart.
Drew: Baby, you know I’m always right. *smirks as I get up then giving Bee a kiss on the cheek* Thank you for having both of us today. I hope we get to do this again. You’re a doll.
We are so excited to be able to announce the arrival of the newest book by Amber L. Johnson, PUDDLE JUMPING. It is available in both e-book and paperback.
When it comes to love there’s no such thing as conventional.
Everyone thinks Colton Neely is special.
Lilly Evans just thinks he’s fascinating.
Once friends when they were younger, their bond is cut short due to her accident prone nature and they go their separate ways. Years later, they meet again and Lilly learns that there is something special about the boy she once knew, but she has no idea what it all means. And she’s not sure if she’s ready to find out.
When he walks through the corridor of her school the first day of her senior year, she knows that it’s time to get to know the real Colton Neely. The more she learns, the deeper she falls.
Their friendship grows into love, even as Colton does not express it in words. But one decision threatens to break down the world that Lilly has tried so hard to integrate into and she must figure out if the relationship can survive if they are apart.
Amber is a full time mom, full time wife, is employed full time, and writes when she can. She believesin Happily Ever Afters that occur every day – despite the obstacles that real life serves up on a regularbasis. Or perhaps they’re sweeter simply because of them. She always has 2 rubber bands on her wrist,a song in her head, and too much creamer in her coffee cup that reads ‘Cocoa’ – because she’s a rebel. Ifshe’s not at her desk, with her boys, or behind the computer, she’s supporting live music with her armsraised above her head and eyes closed, waiting for the drop.