comes to life standing under the bright lights of a grocery store aisle. ‘A
Kiss to Keep You’ is a short, sweet, happily ever after story that you are
going to adore.
military, where he took pride in serving his country. He had close friends,
good ones, and a goddaughter he doted on. His life was filled with riches, and
looked to stay that way for the foreseeable future. All of that was stripped
away in an instant, destroyed along with his face in the flash and explosion of
a roadside bomb. Struggling to find his way in a new world, one where his very
appearance is cause for fear and dismay, he stumbles upon a woman who seems to
see beyond the surface, a curvy blonde named Bexley. Her reaction to him is so
different, and she offers him an unexpected taste of beauty from her sweetly
upturned lips. They seem destined to be together, but a rising danger in a far
western state threatens everything he’s worked to build. Not without her own
demons, Bexley has to fight overwhelming odds to hold onto the man she’s come
watched her. Gorgeous, reserved, she seemed unaware of her own beauty, and just
as unconscious of his regard, because she never looked up from the book held
balanced on her knees. Never raised her gaze to find him watching her. To see
the other men in the area looking their fill. Seated on the green grass of the
park, back to a tree, she rested with her heels drawn up tight to her bottom
while her skirt draped gracefully over her angled legs. With a bottle of water
lying nearby, her slouchy messenger bag was tossed to one side, phone nowhere
in sight. She had lost herself in the story, as she so often did. Blonde,
stunning, and so unattainable, especially for a man like him. She might as well
have been on the moon.
bike, checking traffic before he smoothly pulled out of the lot where he had
been sitting for over an hour. The first minutes had been spent anxiously
waiting on her arrival, then the remainder, he’d been avidly watching his girl.
That was what the guys in the motorcycle club, his brothers, all called her. As
he rolled the throttle and accelerated up the street, he was already
anticipating the jeering catcalls that would greet him when he pulled into the
clubhouse. Brute’s Girl.
behind traffic, as he waited for the light to turn green, he turned his head,
glancing into the car beside him. Without thinking, he smiled fondly at the
young girl driving the aged two-door vehicle. She looked a lot like his
goddaughter, pert nose covered by freckles, untidy hair tucked behind her ears.
Seeing her made him think he needed to call Dylan, see how their Natalie was
doing in her first year of college, ask about the family. Then the girl turned
her head and saw him. Her reaction was instant and dramatic, hands slapping at
the controls on the inside of the door to lock the car, mouth falling open in
silent horror. Swiftly, he wiped the smile from his face and turned to face
forward, not wanting to make her more uncomfortable than he already had.
acquainted with the societal challenges he had to work within, and around. He
should be, he saw evidence of them every time he looked in the mirror. Face
mangled by the roadside bomb that had taken most of his patrol, his skin in
turns was glossy smooth and cratered from the burns and shrapnel. He knew how
the barest glimpse of his countenance could affect those who were unprepared.
That was why he didn’t go out often; choosing instead to stay in his apartment,
his work-from-home job as a help desk technician was without much outside
contact. Not content, but merely pragmatic enough to recognize what it did to
him every time he provoked a reaction like this one.
Wayfarers MC were the exception. Introduced to them by a friend, these people
judged him not by what remained of his face, but by his actions and words.
Fiercely honorable in their own way, the outlaw group of bikers had folded
themselves around him protectively, finding him a job allowing him to support
himself. Providing both independence and giving him a community of people he
could count on, no matter what.
blonde. The beauty he would only ever be able to look at from afar. She was
another anomaly in his world. Months ago he had seen her in the grocery store,
and she had shocked him by not reacting. Well, not reacting to his face, at
least. She had reacted to him as a man, something he hadn’t experienced for
nearly a decade. Reaching for a boxed dinner, he had clumsily knocked it to the
floor, and before he could grab it, the blonde had bent over and picked it up.
Holding it behind her back, she had smiled up at him, her tone light and
playful as she had asked, “What’ll you give me for it?”
right at his face, smile curling her full red lips, cheeks lifted, and that
same smile making her eyes fucking dance, she had looked him in the eyes and
teased him. Exactly as a woman would do with a man she found attractive.
Without hesitation, he’d answered as he would have before the injury, boldly
stating the cost. Two words shaping his desires. “A kiss.”
“Deal,” and leaned forward, lifting her chin. Standing there in the grocery
store aisle, he had bent slightly, pressing his lips in a brief, soft,
closed-mouthed kiss to raspberry-flavored ones. Lips belonging to a beautiful
blonde who was curvy but carried it well, cute and knew it, standing close to
him in a strapless sundress still swinging slightly around her calves.
held the pose for a moment, lashes a shade darker than her hair resting on her
cheeks, lips slightly parted, an adorable flush rising in her cheeks. Then her
blue eyes had opened, and she again looked at him without distaste or fear, no
cringing or hesitation in her expression. “Here’s your box,” she’d murmured,
and he’d reached for the container. She’d handed it over but had stayed in
place for a moment, then an expression of regret had flashed across her
features before she’d said, “See you around.” Ricky had stood there watching as
she’d walked up the aisle away from him, turning to offer him a friendly wave
before she’d gone out of sight, the hem of her colorful, swirling skirt the
last thing he saw.
the store to follow her outside, noting the make and model of her car. Then,
like the sad sack he was, he’d stalked her all the way to her house on the
outskirts of town. He had been surprised to find she didn’t live too far from
his apartment, only four blocks. Rare beauty, and so close to hand. Her house a
tiny cottage tucked in alongside family homes in a well-established
neighborhood, an oddness for the area. A generation ago it was probably used as
a mother-in-law’s residence.
night, it had been hours later, and he was still turning the encounter over and
over in his mind, trying to figure out what had actually happened. It was
confusing on many levels. He didn’t get flirty anymore. Didn’t get sweet. Sure
didn’t get kissed in public exposed under the too-bright lights of a grocery
with booze and then worked to pry the story out of him. That was when she got
her name. They already called him Brute, a plain statement of his looks but one
that held surprisingly little sting, because it wasn’t done maliciously, but
supportively. His looks didn’t matter to them, and the name they dubbed him
with was a way for them to show it. So Brute’s Girl, well, that just came
He didn’t think she had caught sight of him again. Probably harbored no memory
of the gift she had given him, but oh, how he watched her.
alongside a girl who was horrified just by looking at him, he snorted. Sure, he
could be a fairy godfather. Right.
deMora. All Rights Reserved.
selected for yearlong donation efforts
announced the start of a yearlong literary charity effort today. With the help
of book bloggers and related social media she intends to raise money to help
support the Lone Star Warriors Outdoors nonprofit organization in their efforts
to assist combat wounded military veterans.
of my fictional characters led me to interview military veterans from all walks
of life. So many of these warriors are struggling with Traumatic Brain Injury
(TBI), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), in addition to devastating
physical injuries received while serving our country, most with minimal support
as they do so,” Ms. deMora continued. “I want to give back in a way
that will make an impact at the local level. Lone Star Warriors Outdoors is
focused on reconnecting individuals who were injured serving our country with
things they once loved: outdoors and hunting. There is an additional benefit to
bringing the warriors together for an organized excursion, because they are
provided with a priceless opportunity to bond with men who share their service
experiences. My family has a strong military history. All his life, my father
remained friends with men he’d served alongside during his 22-years in the Air
Force. I also saw the instant kinship he would find with virtually any serviceman
he encountered. There is a soul-deep camaraderie between men like that, and
Lone Star Warriors Outdoors (LSWO) recognizes and provides an environment where
that connection can thrive.”
self-published writing career in 2014 with the release of “Mica,” book #1 in
her Rebel Wayfarers MC (RWMC) series. Followed quickly by another several
books, this saga has inspired a spinoff series, as well as several short
stories and novellas. Her novella, “A Kiss to Keep You,” will be the foundation
of royalty-earning efforts on behalf of LSWO. With a story centered on the
struggles of a combat vet returning from overseas, the book is a natural fit
for this charitable campaign.
success forward. Or sideways. Or backwards. It’s important to me to ensure the
gifts I’ve been given are shared, in whatever fashion. During February 2016,
all royalties earned from sales of ‘Jase,’ book #4 in the RWMC series went to
support Puck Cancer, a charity that provides assistance to families dealing
with cancer diagnosis. That effort was very successful, and I’d like to build
on what I learned,” deMora said. “The tie-in for that book was that the main
character was a hockey player, which made an easy bridge from the book world to
the real one in order to help Puck Cancer. For this one, the hero is a wounded
veteran attempting to pick up the pieces of his life back home.”
half of all earnings from sales of “A Kiss to Keep You” will be donated to Lone
Star Warriors Outdoors, a tax exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization located
in Tyler, Texas, near deMora’s hometown.
to Keep You,’ is on the long end of the novella literary form, both things that
readers enjoy. The story’s sweet happily-ever-after ending should be a hit for
readers, too,” deMora continued. “Once I had the idea, I sat down and did the
math, and saw I could swing it to donate half of all earnings for this book to
the charity for at least a year. I’m so glad that Lone Star Warriors Outdoors
will benefit from this project. It’s a great cause.”
Kiss to Keep You” will be sold on all popular book retail platforms including
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Scribd. $2.99 per electronic
copy, $12.99 for paperback. Read more about the story at deMora’s website, www.mldemora.com.
best-selling author of eleven contemporary fiction and romance novels in three
series. Represented by MLK Publishing, her books and stories have topped
numerous categories at Amazon, and one short story has been listed in the
top-100 of its category for more than a year.
mission is to say “Thank You” to our Nation’s combat Wounded and Injured
Warriors who have sacrificed mind and body in the fight on terrorism by
providing a fun and relaxing atmosphere while introducing or reconnecting and
teaching the American tradition of hunting, fishing and other outdoor
activities. Second to provide a time of mental healing or therapy by allowing
Wounded Warriors to meet others that have been in the same situation, allowing
each to talk about issues that only they understand.
of books at an early age. Every summer, she would spend hours in the local
library, devouring books of every genre. Self-described as a book-a-holic, she
says “I’ve always loved to read, but then I discovered writing, and found I
adored that, too. For reading … if nothing else is available, I’ve been known
to read the back of the cereal box.”
special needs son, she embraces her inner geek and has been working in the tech
field for a publishing company for a couple decades.
music of nearly any genre — jazz, country, rock, alt rock, metal, classical,
bluegrass, rap, hip hop … you name it, I listen to it. I can often be seen
dancing through the house in the early mornings. But I really, REALLY love live
music. My favorite thing with music is seeing bands in small, dive bars [read:
small, intimate venues]. If said bar [venue] has a good selection of premium tequila,
then that’s a plus!”