Barnes & Nobles and iBooks will be available soon!
As I was waiting to publish this baby I played around with iMovie... I'm not that bad. Here's the book trailer for Suite 269, releasing October 4! All video and music have been purchased! Can't wait for you guys to read this sexy little story!
As I wait for my next book to be polished (yes it'll be out soon!) I've been cleaning up my computer. I found the beginning of a weird story that I barely remember writing... I'm a bit intrigued as to what the hell I was thinking and where I was going with it... It's unedited so don't go yelling at me for mistakes--I make a ton of them.
Standing, shivering in front of his door in the greyish overcast shadows of the afternoon, my belly flutters low with rolls that would outshine the thunder that rumbles across the sky. Cool rain slicks dark strands of my hair to my neck and plasters the thin cotton of my shirt across my breasts. Fat drops of rain cling to my eyelashes and stream down my cheeks.
The need to see him consumes me. I’ve tried to make a conscious effort not to end up here, in front of his door, but he has spread his poison in me like a growing disease—purging everything that’s me and leaving only him behind.
When the light from the door stretches a long shadow of my body behind me I shiver harder against the cool droplets of rain that have now seeped into the white cotton of my panties.
He steps to the side and jerks his head harshly, a hard raw greeting. As I pass I can feel the heat rolling off his skin and the predatory look in his eyes makes my throat dry. This is my dark place, where fear stands tall, and love and obsession have a thin blurry line that I can no longer see.
Dripping streaks of rain across the floor, I let my bag slide off my shoulder and fall into the growing puddle beneath my feet.
His long legs stride past me, and he grabs an open beer bottle from off the kitchen table bringing it slowly to his lips. He doesn’t offer me anything. Not even a goddamn towel to dry myself off with.
Dark eyes travel slowly up my body until they lock onto mine. “Name,” he demands.
“And…Scarlett…to what do I owe this pleasure?”
“Morbid curiosity,” I explain.
“You’re soaking wet,” he smirks.
“You have no idea,” I whisper.
He’s on me before I can see him move. My back slams against the door and as he cups his thick hands under the flesh of my skirt, he lifts me off my feet sliding me against the wood grain of the door. Lips devouring mine, tongue tasting me deeply, teeth biting roughly, I hook my legs around his waist to get closer.
“You should be terrified of me, Scarlett,” he says, pulling roughly away from my mouth.
“Oh Gunnar,” I offer up a little chuckle. “Is that what you call a threat?”
He runs his lips along my jaw, slowly sliding them up against my ear, “Why, Scarlett is this a challenge?”
The thick fingers holding me against the door are now digging deeper into my flesh. “I wouldn’t play games if I were you.” The dark rasp of his threat lay just beneath his lips despite the hint of a smile that peeks out. His hands tighten. Painfully.
“Wasn’t playing a game,” I say in the calmest voice I could gather.
The grip on the back of my thighs squeezes my flesh tighter, his fingers dig in along the trim of my panties, teasing what lay underneath. His weight leans into me more, crushing me against the wall. I want to wiggle, to move just a little to try to get those fingers to slip further into where I want them.
“Don’t try and struggle now, pretty little Scarlett. You can’t get away,” he says, grinding his hips in between my thighs, rolling his arousal against the heat.
“I’m not trying…” I hiss as his rough fingertips dip under the damp material.
“Shut up.” Gunner circles his hips again, and then again, and fuuuck, again.
Despite us both being totally clothed, the movements are obscene and so damn arousing.
Then as abruptly as he pounced, he quickly releases his hold on my legs, taking a step back causing me to slide down the door and hit my ass to the floor hard. His shirt had ridden up, his long hair snarled and tangled from my fists; he looks every bit of breathless as I felt.
“Leave.” That’s all he says.
Clawing my way to my feet, I stand unsteadily by the door.
Walking back into the kitchen he removes another beer from the refrigerator, biting off the cap with his teeth, and spitting it to the floor. Reaching out his arms, fully colored tattoos dance above the movement of his muscles, he graba a flat black gun off the top of the counter and shoves it in the waistband of his pants.
“I said leave. You’re too easy to fucking break,” he growls.
“You got that wrong Gunnar. I’m already broken.”
But I leave anyway—walk right out the door. Because I know. I know when he realizes who I am—when he realizes what I am—he won’t be asking me to leave. He’ll be fighting for me to stay.
Do you want to know a little secret?
I've been working on a secret project with a bunch of other talented authors.
The first one I have ever been in.
It's not your usual anthology either.
You know you want to read something a little different.
It's called Beneath the Cape--the Superhero Anthology and it was created with the sole purpose of benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.
Stay tuned for more info soon. In the meantime, here's the first few pages of my short story that will be in the anthology...
Heroes by Christine Zolendz...July 2015
This can't be happening to me. Can't be. There's a good chance I may puke up this morning's breakfast all over myself. Folding my arms around my middle, I squeeze myself hard to stop the whirling, unnerving feeling slowly bubbling up my esophagus.
Okay, just breathe and focus.
I'm trying to read the words on the paper, but they just blur in front of my eyes. They can't seem to hold my interest. Nothing does. Not when I'm sitting this close to him. We're in the University's faculty conference room. They have all of the teaching assistants going through all the preliminaries before the start of classes. Claire's next to me, whispering things into my ear I'm not listening to. There's a clinking of water glasses and a few restrained murmurs. I can't make out any more of the noises though; even sounds get blurry when he's near.
My breakfast sloshes and churns unpleasantly around in my belly. I squeeze my eyes shut and pray I don't hurl. Deep breath in. Deep breath out.
That doesn't help. It just gives me a hot rush of vertigo.
My heart feels like it's beating at the base of my throat, loud and fast. I wonder if anyone around me notices how flushed I am. God, this is simply embarrassing.
I nervously twirl my pen through my fingers as I sit around the table with all the heads and their TAs. Everyone listening intently to the President of the college and what he's saying. Everyone save for me, who's been staring like a dork at the man sitting across from me–Alexander Masters. Just the sight of him is startling. Dazzling. It's quite sickening actually, the way the skin of my cheeks heats in reaction to him.
They should sell repellant for types like him.
Better yet, types like him just shouldn't exist. It would be so much better for me to not have to fumble to find words whenever he was in earshot of me.
Alexander Masters is one of those guys. The guys that have that haunting, brooding look about them–all serious, dark, and sexy. He's tall and quite muscular from what I could see. Graceful in a languid way. The features of his face are chiseled in rough, handsome curves and framed with messy, ash brown hair that always seems to defy the laws of gravity. His eyes, a deep sage green-almost gray, are strikingly handsome against his pale skin coloring. A small dotting of freckles covers the bridge of his nose and a small perfect indent sits on the bottom of his chin. I could sit and stare at him for hours, my eyes following his movements and gestures. And I had done so for my entire undergraduate degree. I'm surprised I ever retained any of what I'd been taught in the classes he assisted with. I bet any time he's ever chanced a look at me all he caught was the strange, wide-eyed girl with the long string of drool dripping from the side of her lips.
And he's brilliant. Handsome, smart, and sexy–a combination that causes me to I feel like a bashful schoolgirl any time I'm near him.
Yep. Some sort of anti-hot guy spray would be really useful right about now.
Papers are being handed out. Bodies shift and people start murmuring. I should be listening, but my nerves are fraying; unraveling and peeling off me like a shedding skin.
Claire leans closer, bumping into my shoulder. Her rose scented perfume thickens the air. She puts too much of that stuff on; it's stifling. "Lord, that man is perfect," she whispers.
Perfect. I inhale deeply and exhale on a sigh. Perfect isn't the right word. His presence steals the breath from my lungs in one glance. That's not perfect. That's just...hell I don't even know what that is.
"Shh," I hiss, shooting her a harsh glance. This isn't a club. It's a conference room.
My attention drifts back to Alexander. He's the newly promoted head of the biology department, taking the title from my beloved advisor, Doctor Mortimer Peeks. This is supposed to be my chance to show the department what I'm made of. Show this crappy town I could be something. This fellowship is my ticket into the PhD program–my chance for a future.
I just hadn't expected Doctor Peeks to be stepping down and Alexander to be stepping up. He couldn't be older than twenty-five, and now he's the head of the entire biology department and all its research facilities.
"I overheard one of the other graduate students say he was at Lobo's last night. Imagine? Someone saw him in your neck of the woods," Claire whispers, closely. I try not to gag from her words. The rumors that follow him are like none I've ever heard. Troubled, withdrawn, brooding, brilliant, and arrogant. Mysterious. Untouchable. "What in the world would a professor from this high and mighty place be doing down in Dark Creek in that shitty bar?"
I narrow my eyes at her. What a spoiled, rich little princess.
"Sorry, no offense or anything," she mumbles.
Right, sure. No offense. Working in that shitty little bar paid my tuition. I don't have a pair of rich parents funding my education or every fancy whim. I don't even have parents.
Shaking my head at her, I try to focus more on what's being said, but the click of Alexander Master's pen snaps my concentration right back to him.
Repellant. Something to negate the pheromones that pulsate from his pores and smack right into my face. I swallow hard; there's way too much saliva in my mouth. Click-click. I'm now obsessed with staring at his thumb. Click-click. He has great hands. Click-click. How would they feel on my skin? Click-click. I bet they’d feel good.
Claire pinches my side and my own pen drops to the table. "You're staring at him and practically humping your seat. You naughty girl," she laughs low.
I flick her leg under the table and pretend to ignore her. She knows Alexander Masters has been my idol in the field of biochemistry for my entire undergrad career. Until there was some sort of trouble last year when the whole research team was disbanded. I never thought I'd get to see him again. Now he's right across from me. Sitting this close to him is the same thing as sitting right on the sun. It makes my body erupt in flames. It's utterly paralyzing.
The pretty, blonde haired student just to his right leans into him and whispers into his ear. His lips, full and perfect, curve into a sinful smile. I wonder what she said to him that made him smile like that. My heart thuds a slow beat in my chest and my stomach coils with knots. This is insanity. Why am I so nervous in front of him? Why would I care if someone whispers in his ear?
Just breathe. Breathe. Focus, Kelly. Try to be a professional.
I'm so flustered and confused. I think...I think if Doctor Peeks isn't going to be here...I think that means I'll be assisting Alexander Masters. And now I feel faint. Why can't I focus?
Then the conference ends. It's just suddenly over.
People are standing, moving, and walking away from their seats and I have no clue what I've missed.
I have no notes. I have no idea what's expected of me. I squeeze my eyes shut and rub the heels of my hands into them. Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to turn into a frigging idiot every time we're in the same room? When I open my eyes, just behind a few floating black spots, I watch as his gaze travels across the table then dart up and lock on mine.
Is staring right at me.
He is now aware that I exist. Sitting across from him, mouth gaping open, and rocking my whole idiot look.
He continues staring at me.
I feel it spread over me like the hit of a drug–driving pure adrenaline through my veins, swelling into my capillaries, and splurging out the pores of my skin. I'm instantly sweaty and sticky, and I desperately want to lower my eyes and look away from him, but I can't. His gaze traps mine and I'm a helpless, stuttering imbecile.
I think everyone is leaving, grabbing up files and supplies, heading to wherever we were told to go. Yet I'm frozen like a wild animal caught on the tracks of an oncoming pheromone train.
Suddenly, my lungs tighten and constrict. The air feels too heavy to breathe in. He cocks his head, narrows his eyes, and takes a deep, long breath.
I clench my hands over the papers in front of me. My pen rolls off the table with the sudden movement and static electricity snaps up my legs as I slide my sneakers out against the thick conference room rug beneath me.
His eyes quickly sweep across my face, devouring every inch of me. My cheeks, my lips, my hair, my neck, as if it's the first time he's seen me. Maybe it is. Maybe I've been invisible to him for the last four years I've been watching him from a distance. Whatever reason, his survey of me is alarming, puckering goose bumps across the surface of my skin wherever his gaze touches.
My belly swims with rolling waves. I feel as if I'm on a small boat out on the chopping waters in the middle of an icy cold sea. If I don’t get up and run, I’m going to drown.
Swallowing hard, I gather as much strength as I can, lift off from my seat, and stand up on the opposite side the conference table from him. My struggling breath is embarrassing me. It's just a guy. I mean, seriously, Kelly you've been through loads of them. This one is no different.
But he is; he is so different.
Maybe it's the effect of his stare. Everywhere he looks my body wakens and becomes aware of the distinct area. My lips pulse as he stares at them. My cheeks burn and tighten when his attention moves there. And when his scrutiny slowly slides down my throat and takes in my neck, collarbone, and then breasts, they each in turn ache and become heavy with a strange, overwhelming pressure.
It makes me feel heat against my skin. It makes me feel everything–like the air hitting the loose strands of my hair and the rub of the soft material of my shirt over my flesh. God, I even feel the snugness of the fabric of my pants, the tingling of its touch against me, and the rise of the small hairs all over my body.
Oh, God. I have to leave.
Crunching the papers in my fist, I shove them quickly into my bag. They crumple and rip. I hear it loud in my ears, along with the shift of Alexander's body as he pushes off the table directly across from me and stands. I tear my eyes off him and let my wide-eyed stare fall somewhere on the floor by my feet. The pen that fell lies by the leg of my chair. I'm afraid if I bend down to get it, I'll never get back up again. This is stupid and childish. My body reacts as if I'd never felt the gaze or touch of a man before. And I have, so many times. Maybe too many times, if I’m being honest.
I step away from the table. Tilt my head up high and walk my way towards the door. There's an unreadable expression plastered on his face as I pass him and step out into the hallway.
The hallway; where the air is cooler and thinner, and so much easier to take into my lungs.
I hear him moving and shuffling papers behind me, but I don't dare glance back over my shoulder. How can I? I'm like the ultimate fan-girl and I'm terrified of the drool hanging from my mouth whenever he's in the same room as me.
Claire waits for me at the end of the hallway with both eyebrows raised high. I rush toward her like an idiot. "You are a complete geek," she says, grabbing my elbow. "How are you supposed to be his assistant if you're a bundle of orgasms waiting to explode?"
"Ugh. I feel sick...Just please tell me you heard what I have to do, because I don't even know my own name right now."
"Yes, sweetie. Just show up at his office Monday at nine. Wear something sexy. Classes start on Tuesday. The faculty mixer is tomorrow night." She skips out in front of me and waves. "I have another meeting in ten minutes. You working tonight or can we do dinner?"
"Working, of course." I wave back at her and watch her bounce down the hall backwards, giving me her little frowny face.
Everyone rushes outside through the building's enormous windowed doorway. I watch as they all quickly bow their heads and pull up their bags or binders as a shield from whatever weather pelts them from the sky overhead. The wind so strong, they stagger down the steps almost sideways. Of course it's raining. I'd taken my bike to school. I needed another mode of transportation, but buying a car is out of the question right now with my savings tapped dry. My bicycle was a safer option anyway; nobody around here wants to steal a bright pink, ten-speed bike.
I run out and rain splatters harshly across my face. My sneakers seep into the mud and squelch loudly as I run across the lawn.
By the time I reach where I'd chained up my ride, my jeans are sopping wet and they squash and pinch as I pull my leg over the seat. I fling my bag behind me to drape down my back and grab my helmet.
As I push the snap into my headgear Alexander walks by, eyeing me questionably; like I'm some sort of pathetic creature. There's definitely judgment in his stare. I could see it clearly written across his face. Maybe he doesn't think I belong here. Poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and now he's stuck with me as his teaching assistant. I'll prove to him I belong here. Without a doubt in my mind, I know I can.
He melts into the crowd of people, pulling out an umbrella, and walks through the sheets of rain, splashing up water with his boots. Just before I watch him cross the north lawn, he glances over his shoulder to look at me, his umbrella whipping madly above his head. His eyes meet mine and he hesitates for a brief moment before vanishing in a blur of watery winds and a smile.
My heart lodges in my throat, pounding hard.
So I'm thinking April 19th?
Here's To Falling.
Inspired by true events.
Here's To Falling.
Inspired by true events.
Every girl has that one guy…that one guy who steals her heart and never gives it back.
We were all friends…until we weren’t.
We depended on each other…until we couldn’t.
We were in love…until we were ripped apart.
We moved on…even when we didn’t want to let go.
This is our love story.
**This standalone novel contains material that some may find disturbing. Intended for mature readers only.
#TripleX is LIVE on AMAZON!
Amazon Link: #TRIPLEX AMAZON
Unsure if you want to buy it? How about reading the prologue...
Twitter: That awkward moment when you wake up in jail and you wonder what you did to get there. Then smile. #TripleX
A lone dimly lit light bulb sways gently from the jail cell’s ceiling. It hurts to open my eyes toward it, so I squint to try to ease the pain. A handful of loudly buzzing insects fly wildly around the dull yellow globe and just the sight causes me to scratch at my arms and neck madly. I loathe bugs. And it's like Swarmageddon above my head right now.
Pulling myself up into a sitting position, the throbbing behind my eyes turns sharp and shatters into millions of razor-tipped tiny pieces of glass. I moan as I grab my head in pounding pain. The room spins, and I fall back with a hard thud against the cold concrete wall.
I hear footsteps, heavy and impending, walking along the rough cement of the hallway. I peek through my fingers, but all I can see is the knotted hair of my cellmate, my partner in crime.
The footsteps become louder, closer. Keys are jangling. Someone is whistling, and the screech of the rusty cell door makes scorching bile burn the back of my throat. I swallow twice to keep it down.
"Stone. Zolendz. Up-and-at-'em. Going before the judge," a deep voice bellows. I hate the man instantly.
I believe I moan out some sort of unintelligible sound, but I'm not sure. Who can be sure?
The dull bulb overhead flickers and makes a sizzling sound. Damn, I'm in a place where even the bugs are killing themselves. "Come on ladies, let's go," the voice yells. It's closer now, and the body attached to it starts kicking the wooden bench I'm sitting on. I think my head is going to explode from the vibrations and violent crashes that echo through my head. "What's the matter, not willing to offer up your goods this morning?"
My head snaps up, "Excuse me?"
The man standing over me is older, in his sixties with a long gray beard. His eyes dance with laughter. "Well, Ma'am. That's what you tried to bribe us with last night when we put you in here. Your goooooooods." He kind of shimmies a little and gives a few humps into the air. I vomit a little in my mouth.
"Oh my God. Seriously? Just don't...just don't pay any attention to anything I said, okay?" I mumble my mortification.
"You mean to tell me, you'll be cancelling our hot date tonight?" he laughs, snidely, mocking me. "Come on, Darlin' the judge is waiting on you both. No harm done last night, you both were quite intoxicated."
"Oh God, I think I'm going to be sick." Slowly, I pull myself off the bench, every bone in my body screaming for a few more hours of silently sound sleep. And really, that stupid light bulb is annoying the Hell out of me; someone needs to shoot it.
"Angelisa," I whisper and shake her awake. "Come on. We have to go. A judge wants to see us."
"Blah...Ha. Ha. Very funny. Lemme sleep," Angelisa groans and swats her hand at me. It falls to her side with a loud thwack against the metal rim of the bed.
"I can't. Clear your head and think about last night. Think back. Go ahead," I urge. She doesn't. She remains motionless and silent; all but a small, low snore can be heard. "You seriously need to open your eyes right now, because we're in trouble," I hiss ominously.
Her head slowly turns toward me, eyes blinking open. They dart around the room and widen; a bubble of laughter escapes her lips. "We're in jail, aren't we?"
I smile and join in with her laughter, "We are indeed, waking up together in a jail cell."
"Damn it, I can't go to prison. You know how horrible I look in stripes," she whispers as she climbs up to her feet, grabbing onto my shoulder and using me for leverage.
"Quick," I look around the cell and laugh, "anybody got a cell phone? I wanna take a cellfie."
And we try, we really do try not to fall back down into a fit of giggles, but it's way too hard. We follow the guard down the hallway.
“Dude, I could so be a violent criminal.” Angelisa mumbles. “Shouldn’t you cuff me? Why doesn’t anyone ever want to handcuff me, Chris?” she whines.
“Ummm, she’s not violent. We swear. She’s just…just…dumb.” I explain, nudging her.
“Seriously though, how does he know I’m not packing an oozie in my girly stuff?”
“Ya know that is true. It’s kind of sexist that you don’t think we could be hiding heat?”
“Ladies, the only thing you two are trying to hide…or hide from is good old-fashioned middle age. And quite frankly, neither one of you is doing a bang-bang up job of it,” the son-of-a-slut says, pretending to shoot us.
“Is that what you do now? Shoot blanks?” Angelisa quips, exploding in laughter that spirals out of control until we’re both laughing like lunatics.
“Enough!” he shouts, trying to silence us before we enter the courtroom.
The two of us are still giggling like two immature kids being brought in front of the principal. Matted hair, mascara-streaked cheeks, and barefoot. I’m pretty sure I even have an extra tattoo somewhere.
We're sworn in; big vocabulary is used. Case numbers are brought forth, and I almost fall asleep. I’m just about to face plant into the table with exhaustion when Judge Caroline Jacobson calls both of us up to the podium. "Ms. Zolendz. Ms. Stone. Approach the bench please." She has dark tired brown eyes, the kind that are weighed down with darker brown bags beneath them. Her light blonde hair is pulled back into a tight, painful looking bun. It's streaked with gray. I want to pull out all those restraining pins. I want her to stop feeling so tight and tense behind her bench. I want her to feel free like me, like us.
Almost as if Angelisa’s reading my thoughts, she mumbles, “Man, she needs to get laid…and needs to get those roots done.” I can’t control the giggle that escapes me. The judge eyes us sternly, and you can nearly hear our mouths snap shut.
"As I hear, you both were found in the fountains of the Bellagio last night. Swimming. Naked," she chirps.
"Yes, that's true," Angelisa giggles, proudly next to me.
I nod my head in agreement, "Yeah, that certainly sounds like us—well, the new us, anyway."
The judge pinches her lips into a tight pucker. Doesn't she realize that’s exactly what makes those little wrinkles all around her mouth? She pulls out an envelope marked Prisoner Property/Currency and unfastens the clasp. I suck my lips between my teeth to stop myself from laughing, because this isn't funny—at all. But if I remember correctly, the things in the envelope are.
She slips one dainty little hand in.
Angelisa and I lean forward to watch.
Two books of matches, fifty-six dollars, a bent wedding ring, a fake moustache, a shoehorn, four glow sticks, two “Call for a good time” prostitute cards, a tube of Ben-gay, and an extra large rubbery dildo that flops on its side when she places it on her desk.
"Do you want to explain to me why two fully grown women, respected in their fields, would be caught in this situation…with these items?"
Angelisa and I look and back and forth from her to each other and back again. We both shrug.
"Well, it all started with an apple pie," I smile.
Angelisa nods next to me, "Yes, definitely. That's probably where it all started, the apple pie fiasco."
The judge leans back and draws in a long breath. She pulls her glasses off her fatigued eyes and rubs them softly with her hands. "An apple pie?"
"Yes. A forgotten apple pie. I can tell you every detail except for three or four days where I have no recollection. Both of us can, it's what we do, tell stories."
The corner of the judge's lips curl up the tiniest bit, "Come into my chambers ladies, this I have to hear."