Today we have Gracen Miller, author of Pandora’s Box and Madison’s Life Lessons, with us on the blog! She’s sharing an exclusive scene from Pandora’s Box that you can’t find anywhere else! She’s also doing a giveaway!
Happy Holidays, readers! What puts you in the mood for the Holidays? For me, it certainly is not the commercial rush of the season. That aggravates me! What does it for me is putting up the Christmas tree with my boys, or decorating the mantel. It’s the simple things that put me in the holiday spirit. What about you, what puts you in the holiday spirit?
For Madison and Phoenix, lead characters in my recently released book Pandora’s Box (book one in the Road to Hell Series), it’s something just as simple that puts them in the holiday spirit. Below is a taste into their world, an idyllic moment that is rare for their tumultuous lives. This snippet cannot be found anywhere and it’s not in my book, so enjoy, and let me know what you think and you will be entered to win!
Madison gazed out the dingy window of Pancake Decadence, a pit stop located on the edge of Highway 69 to nowhere. A trucker maneuvered his rig with ease into the dirt-packed wasteland of trash and winter brittle weeds to the side of the café. Deep ruts and tire tracks proclaimed the tract of land a long running make-do parking lot.
Sipping coffee so strong it settled like cement in her belly, she peered over the rim at her six-year-old son, Amos, slapping the buttons on the old-fashioned pinball machine. A chip red-flagged the rim of the coffee mug and a stained crack along the side indicated the mug was long past its expiration date. Madison didn’t care about either, so long as it served up coffee. At this point in her journey, she’d take a dirty I.V. of the brew straight into her veins if possible.
Gouged out spots blighted the dirty linoleum floor. Like acne pock-marking a face with such severity it promised to scar the flesh forever. The aged flooring needed replacing. The dated table wobbled on the uneven floor and the vinyl booth held a ragged tear in the center of the seat. Comfort hadn’t been high on her priority list in a long while, so she wiggled a butt-cheek into the tear for a unique level of seating.
Christmas morning at four a.m. and she and Amos were stuck in a dive dining on an early morning fare of pancakes. Lonely and scared, she would call it a low point in her life if she hadn’t already lost her husband and her otherwise normal life.
Strands of Christmas lights bunched along the top of the windows resembled curtain swags. They twinkled on some random cycle, none of them in sync.Merry Christmas was spray painted with a can of snow on the window to her right, along with a painted ensemble of red and green use-your-imagination-ornaments. Or at least she thought they were supposed to be ornaments.
A spindly tree sat in the corner of the café near the entrance to the bathrooms. Madison felt pity for the thing. Leaning to one side, with several branches hanging low from the weight of the ornaments, it was definitely on its last leg. A light breeze would set it on its side.
Good thing, you’re not by the door, little guy, Madison contemplated with a skeptical eye.
Tacky decorations, but they lent the place a redneck kind of charm. She was southern, so she knew rednecks intimately.
Madison lifted her fork, cut out another bite of pancakes and swirled it in syrup. Closing her eyes on a moan, she savored the sweet taste and the fluffy texture hitting her tongue. Only orgasms compared to this self-indulgence!
Ha! Self-indulgence was her picking up the cell and calling Phoenix. After almost a year on the road, she’d give anything to see him. A friendly face. Someone that understood what she was going through. Not that Phoenix owed her anything, but she’d hoped he would answer her desperate call and agree to meet them for the holidays. Ridiculous really since she was a hard and fast devout atheist—or had been. Kind of hard to remain dedicated to that doctrine knowing what she now knew.
Foolish of her to expect more from Phoenix, but others in her life had already proven how naïve she was. Phoenix had a family to spend Christmas with and she and Amos weren’t part of that family. He’d helped her all he could with her supernatural pests and she had left him on her front lawn, declaring she and Amos must take this journey on their own. Loneliness was a hard companion and she was long overdue for some adult conversation.
The bell above the door dingled, announcing a new customer and Madison glanced up, expecting to see the trucker.
“Nix!” she exclaimed on a shocked breath.
Phoenix Birmingham in the flesh! Wearing ratty low-slung jeans, a wrinkled black t-shirt that stretched like a second skin across his chest and his uncle’s hand-me-down leather bomber. To Madison he was the most exciting creation since the invention of the internet. And her heart agreed, racing faster than the tattoo of a jackhammer as he smiled at her, a slow, wicked grin that revealed his sexy dimples. Dimples she was sure had charmed the pants off a number of women.
A bevy of strong pleasure kicked her in the belly, snatched her breath away and yanked her along a joyride of emotions. None of which she wanted to dissect too closely.
He rounded the backside of the booth and instead of sitting opposite her he tugged her out of the seat and enveloped her in a fierce hug. Being in the man’s arms was better than an orgasm.
“I’m your gift from Amos,” he said low against her ear.
Dear God, what a loaded statement!
Bizarre how the simple things in life—like having Nix with her on Christmas morning—meant so much more to her than a designer label, a nice house or a fancy car. Oh, how drastically her life had changed and how meaningless it had once been.
Nix kissed her forehead and Madison knew this Christmas would officially go down as her best one ever!
Want to read more of Madison and Phoenix’s exploits? Well, you can in my novel, Pandora’s Box, Book One in The Road to Hell Series, out now from Decadent Publishing.
Wait! Don’t run off yet! Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to WIN an e-copy of Pandora’s Box! As an added bonus, every person that leaves a comment will receive an e-copy of Madison’s Life Lessons (prequel to Pandora’s Box) by leaving me their email address with the format they prefer the book in (Kindle, Nook or pdf). The first three chapters of both books can be read on my blog listed below.
Where you can stalk me—not really!—but I would love to meet and interact with you:
Road to Hell series FB Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Road-to-Hell-series/112564408814796?ref=ts
Thanks so much for having me with you, Brea!
Would love a copy of Pandora's Box! But I don't need Madison's life lessons, have alreasy read it.Thanks! email@example.com
Oh, I want MORE! LOL. I do love these two. Merry Christmas all!
Hi! I have both books. Just stopped by to say I love, love, love them!
Howdy! Even though I've ordered a lovely autographed print copy, I'll admit I'm choppin at the bit to get it. And I'll admit that I totally cherish any autographed copy, therefore, it's really hard for me to even open them up to read em! *insert dorky lil grin* Here's hoping to possibly winning an ecopy I can read from my Kindle or laptop….lolSebrina_Cassity(at)yahoo(dot)com(Psst, you don't have to send to me Madison's Life Lessons b/c I already have it) Thank you!!
I already have a copy of Madison's Life Lessons but would love to win a copy of Pandora's Boxfirstname.lastname@example.org
I so badly want to read this book! Especially now 🙂
i love Gracen and her books i have them both on kindle and have ordered them both *winks at Gracen* i just dropped by to say hi to all the hellhounds present and future and to read the blog.
I loved the insightful bit you posted. I would love to read Pandora's Box. And Madison's Life Lessons PDF please.Kydirtgirl68 AT Gmail DOT com
LOVE this Christmas story!! Always love to read about Mads and Nix!! So sweet! I have already read Pandoras Box and Madison's Life Lessons, do no need to send me one….Great books!! Merry Christmas!! Kathryn
Howdy, everyone! Good luck on winning Pandora's Box to all those entering that contest. To the rest of my Hellhounds who've already read the book, THANK YOU for supporting me! I'm glad you like the sweet Nix/Mads moment. =DPamM, I sent you Madison's Life Lessons.Huggles,Gracen
Oh, what a great giveaway! 🙂 I'd love to read both books! I would really like it in kindle format email@example.comThank you SO much. Merry Christmas!! 🙂
Marie Lisk couldn't get blogger to cooperate so she could post a comment, so she Facebooked me with her comment. Here is what she said:"firstname.lastname@example.org///i will be getting these books loved the teaser for them"
Howdy, Sarah! Thanks for the interest in Madison's Life Lessons. I just sent it to you in kindle format. Huggles,Gracen
Ooooh, sounds good! Thanks for the chance. 🙂
Crud, I forgot to say that I am on Kindle. Thanks!
Stefany T, I'd love to send you a copy of Madison's Life Lessons in kindle format, HOWEVER, I NEED your email address! OR email me at roadtohellseries AT gmail DOT com and I'll send it to you. Huggles,Gracen
Can anyone introduce me to Amos, I would not mind getting a gift from him LOL Thank you for the fun snippet and sharing with us today. dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com
I think I need to read this! margaretmay_15 at yahoo
Stinks,, I forgot to say kindle
Sending Madison's Life Lessons right now, Delphina!Huggles,Gracen
Oooooh, I'd love an e-copy for my brand-new one day old Kindle!!!
Lisa, please email me at roadtohellseries AT gmail DOT com or give me your email address here and I'll be happy to forward you the Kindle version of Madison's Life Lessons.Huggles,Gracen
I haven't heard of these books before, but I am ALWAYS looking for something new to read, and this sounds right up my alley!! :)email@example.com
Woops…should have said Kindle. Thanks. 🙂
OMGoodness how I loved Pandora's Box!!! Giving it away as a gift this year!!! I would love an e copy of Madison's Life Lessons!! A kindle format would be great!Shelby Rodewaldwords2follow@yahoo.com
Howdy, Jamie and Shelby! I've sent the Kindle version to both of you. Good luck on winning Pandora's Box!Huggles,Gracen
I would love a copy of Pandora and the chapters for Madison. Kindle edition please 😀 … firstname.lastname@example.org
Wow this sounds like a great book. Another author I need to add to my must read list. Thank goodness for my NOOK and Kindle or I would have to put my kids out on the street to make room for my bookshelves! I would love a kindle version. Thank email@example.com
I would love to win a copy of Pandora's Box!! And the chapters for Madison, kindle version please! Thank you!!! firstname.lastname@example.org
Howdy, Cass, Sue and Amanda…I just sent emails to each of you with Madison's Life Lessons attached. Hope y'all enjoy MLL and good luck on winning Pandora's Box!Huggles,Gracen
That's an awesome scene.
Thanks Murdersandmysteries!Kelley just emailed me. She tried to post this comment here, but blogger kept telling her that her "URL contains illegal characters". I'm not sure what it's talking about because here is her comment:"Pandora's Box has me intrigued! I cannot wait to read it! Looking forward to reading your 1st book, too! Love how you use your words. I'd like a PDF copy please. I hope to read the books (if I win Pandora's Box) over the holiday vacation. Sounds wonderful to relax from the hustle & bustle!If I win I shall do a review on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!Thank you for the chance to WIN!"Best of luck, Kelley! Huggles,Gracen
The timing of this is kind of funny. I had a friend recommend Gracen Miller as a must read author for this Christmas holiday break 🙂 Cant wait to dive into your books.Btw is there contact info for Amos in the books because I would love someone to send me pressies like that :-Ddaylighter@yahoo.com.au Oh epub format would be best for me. Thanks for your generosity
This sounds good! My e-mail is JeniNicole83@gmail.com. I would prefer Kindle format. Thanks!Jennifer
Emily, I've tried to send you the document twice and I keep getting this message: "Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain." Do you have another email address where I can send Madison's Life Lessons?Jennifer, I have sent you your copy of Madison's Life Lessons.Good luck on winning everyone!
I love learning about new authors. I would love a copy of Pandora's box and an Kindle edition of Madison's Life Lessons if it's not too much trouble. email@example.comThanks, Kara Lee Lovell