Behind Her Smile #TeaserTuesday

A little taste of what I’m working on.

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Behind Her Smile Teaser 1
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Behind Her Smile Teaser Time

In case you didn’t hear, I’m feverishly writing a new novel called Behind Her Smile. This story is a little different for me (read: darker and grittier) and I’m having a blast writing it. Before we get into the very unedited teaser, here’s what this book is all about.

Synopsis 

David and Karolina Morgan have the perfect marriage. He runs a financial empire catering to Miami’s most influential and she is the darling socialite, adored by her husband and all those that meet her.

But underneath the lavish home, expensive car and exquisite jewelry lies a darkness threatening to consume Karolina. The once vivacious fashion design student has become a shadow of herself at the hands of her manipulative husband.

Then, with the flick of a power switch, everything changes. Karolina must learn to fight back when she discovers her entire existence is one big sham, with dire consequences.

Add Behind Her Smile to your TBR

Teaser time! This is an excerpt from the very first pages of Behind Her Smile. Enjoy!

Now – Karolina POV 

Tutu. Baby’s Breath. Angelic Musings. Three very different names describing the same thing: a delicate pink varnish that covers my fingernails. Every Monday I have a standing manicure appointment at Breeze. Each week the manicurist, Meryl, and I play the same game. Perched on a black stool, Meryl clucks over my cuticles and then asks, “How about red today? Goes well with your skin tone.” Pretending to ponder Meryl’s suggestion, I gently retract my hands to tug off my engagement ring and wedding band. “Red would match with a gown I’m wearing to a gala next week, maybe we’ll try it then.” But I never switch my request. Pale, newborn baby girl pink adorns my fingernails week in and week out.

Just once I’d like to try something brash like fire-engine or tangerine. However I’ve learned those colors are garish and considered inappropriate by reigning queens of Miami high society. Heaven forbid I make waves.

With a flick or his elegant wrist, David fills the cabin the luxury sedan with the classical music he prefers. Not a single strand of his hair falls out of place. The crisp corners of his heavily starched white shirt peek out from the edge of a black tuxedo jacket sleeve. David’s initials, DM, are stitched on the French cuffs, parallel to the cufflinks he purchased on a trip to the South of France. Every angle on David seems to be chiseled from the image of wealth and sophistication: classic bow-shaped mouth, straight, high-bridged nose and thick lashes framing his ocean eyes. There are no visible imperfections in his appearance. But I know a secret. If it weren’t for the colorist who visits our home each month, flecks of gray would show at David’s temples.

“That dress you’re wearing was quite the sensation.” The aristocratic timbre of his voice works well in seducing potential clients. David Morgan is the driving force being Morgan Financial, a financial planning service catering to Miami’s elite. In a way, the smoothness in David’s voice was one of the first things that drew me to him, too.

David knows exactly how to charm his prey. Complimenting one of my original designs is my biggest weakness. Under his praise, my shoulders straighten. Despite everything, I still blossom under a compliment from David.

All my life I wanted to create beautiful garments. Worked tirelessly in high school to get good grades and earn a scholarship to college. Slung burgers at a fast food restaurant for extra money. Then I got my prize: a partial scholarship to study fashion at the Miami Design Institute. Finally, I went after my dream of becoming the next Coco Chanel.

Life has a heartbreaking way of uprooting dreams, though.

Instead of producing fashion for Bryant Park in New York City, I’ve been relegated to a studio in my home. It’s not so bad, designing for myself. There’s no pressure to please anyone other than my own critical eye. Although my designs aren’t known on the national level, I am able to showcase some of my wears at society events. This evening I’m wearing a gown that took me a month to create – after the initial conception. Silk. Deep plum twisted bodice and a slit in the A-line skirt to allow a large enough range of motion for dancing. It elongates my lean form, displays feminine curves without being overtly seductive.

“Adriana Martinez would like to commission a gown for an inaugural ball,” I murmur. Like my husband, I’ve trained my voice to be gentle, never jarring.

David’s carefully styled eyebrows lift a centimeter – the barest hint of surprise. Adriana is married to Hector Martinez, the king of a real estate empire stretching from Key West to West Palm Beach County. Along with his wife, Hector can be found at every charity gala, important political function and any other events deemed important by Miami society. Now that the former governor of Florida was elected President of the United States, the financially influential Martinez couple will make their move toward Washington, DC. They were big donors to the president-elect’s campaign. Seven figure donors. Adriana wearing one of my original designs to an inaugural event could be a huge coup for what David calls my little hobby.

“Is that so,” David drawls.

“Adriana will be photographed for magazines and blogs. The exposure could do well for Morgan Financial.” Bravely I lift my gaze to David who stares at me impassively. His emotions are getting harder and harder to read with age.

“Hm. Morgan Financial would be a secondary beneficiary. Your design would be the shining star.” David shifts smoothly in the cream leather seat, now one eyebrow cocked in my direction. My heart thuds in my chest. Is he angry because, for once, a sliver of the spotlight may shine on me? “No matter. Let’s see if you can get yourself invited over to the Martinez compound. You’ll present the idea of a couples dinner at our home.”

“Certainly,” I agree.

David’s expression doesn’t betray any underlying irritation that Adriana may garner interest in my work. The tension in my chest abates and I sink further into my seat, good posture be damned. David reaches across the armrest dividing the backseat of the car, places a hand on my forearm. “Soon you’ll be receiving requests from all over South Florida. My wife, the fashion designer.” His lips flicker upward as though the prospect amuses him. “I support it, so long as your career doesn’t eclipse the time we spend together.”

“No, of course not.”

The diamond tennis bracelet clasped around my wrist pinches my skin, drawing my attention to the glimmering jewelry. David slips two fingers between my skin and the stones, stroking the delicate skin there.

“Do you remember when I gave this to you?” He asks huskily.

“How could I forget?” With my free hand, I finagle David’s hand to clasp our fingers together.

“Remind me,” he teases.

“It was right before we were married. You had the wedding planner deliver it to the bridal suite with a note.” Briefly, my eyes shut as I remember the emotions of our wedding day five years ago. Heady anticipation coursed through my veins that day. Never in my life had I known that type of excitement. I blink my eyes open and find David watching me raptly. A stoic mask conceals whatever he remembers of our wedding. Forcing myself to smile, I tug his hand to my chest where my heart rate has slowed to a gentle cadence.

“At the time, this bracelet was the most magnificent gift I had ever received. You’ve managed to outdo yourself dozens of times over.” I allow my expression to soften. “No one spoils me like you do, David.”

A cloud of Armani cologne wafts around me as David leans closer. He releases my hand, only to drag his fingertips along my cheek. David presses his warm lips against mine in a short kiss. “You’re the one who spoils me,” he croons.

It happens when David shifts back into his corner of the car, so quickly I’m sure he doesn’t think I notice. But I see it. David’s eyes flicker to the driver, making sure that he’s watching the show. If I’ve learned anything in the five years I’ve been married to David Morgan, it’s that appearances are of the utmost importance.

Miscellaneous Olivia Luck Writing Updates

What’s coming from Olivia Luck. Apologies in advance for the longish post.

Point of No Return has been live for about two weeks now. I’m so thankful to all of you who have read and reviewed the latest book in The Point Series. If you haven’t met Violet and Cameron yet, I hope you will. Get Point of No Return here.

Many of you have been asking me about the next book in the series, Iris’s story. Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is I’ve outlined her entire story, written the prologue and started the first chapter. The bad news is another story is going to come first.

I’ve started a new novel. The characters are shouting in my head, and I need to answer them!

Behind Her Smile will be a standalone story and different than anything I’ve written in the past. This story is darker and more suspenseful than what you’ve seen from me. The goal is to publish Behind Her Smile in January 2016.

I’ll be posting teasers and updates along the way. I’m really excited about this story and I hope you like it too. You can get a taste of the story on my Pinterest page.

Here’s the smallest snippet of the synopsis:

David and Olina Morgan have the perfect marriage.

Thank you for reading and tweeting and messaging me and reviewing and being here. I adore you!

xo

Olivia

Point of No Return is LIVE

Point of No Return is LIVE on Amazon!

Synopsis:

I had it all: an adoring husband, supportive friends, thriving career, a homey condo in the city.

Amend that.

I had it all except for love from my family. But life was good because I had him. Max was everything I dreamed a husband could be and somehow he loved me just as wildly as I loved him.

Until one cruel night he was stolen from me.

Then I had nothing but a vicious battle ahead of me. It’s a struggle so treacherous, I’m not sure if I’ll make it out with my heart in tact. But on the other side of that brutal war waits the most wondrous prize.

Will I allow myself to move forward?

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Point of No Return Pre-Order

Point of No Return is available for pre-order on Amazon!

Order your copy now and get it delivered to your Kindle at midnight on June 23.

Synopsis:

I had it all: an adoring husband, supportive friends, thriving career, a homey condo in the city.

Amend that.

I had it all except for love from my family. But life was good because I had him. Max was everything I dreamed a husband could be and somehow he loved me just as wildly as I loved him.

Until one cruel night he was stolen from me.

Then I had nothing but a vicious battle ahead of me. It’s a struggle so treacherous, I’m not sure if I’ll make it out with my heart in tact. But on the other side of that brutal war waits the most wondrous prize.

Will I allow myself to move forward?

Point of No Return Pre-Order

Point of No Return Teaser

And now a Teaser Tuesday from Point of No Return!

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Did Max know he’d leave me one day?

“You’re the most beautiful woman to walk this earth, and I won’t be the only man to believe that in the deepest, most honest parts of his soul.”

Max whispers the words one night while we lay in bed together, threading his fingers through my free hair.

“Who cares about other men? You’re it for me and I’ll only ever want you.” I place my palm flat on his chest, using the wall of muscle as leverage to push up and stare straight into his eyes.

“Okay, baby,” he acquiesces huskily.

I knew that tone of voice and the conversation was quickly forgotten.

Max’s prophecy continues to plague me. He spoke like he knew emphatically that he wouldn’t be around to grow old and gray with me.

Grief crashes over me, rough waves dragging me into the depths of heartache. Will it ever relent? At times like this, I fear I’ll never escape. And I fear escaping. If I swim out of the wave, will I forget the way Max’s skin smelled first thing in the morning? Will I forget the way he teased me with endless nicknames that didn’t make sense? Come here push pop, he’d whisper when I was in a foul mood. I want to be his push pop. I’d give anything, anything, for him to whisper that one more time.

Point of No Return Cover Reveal

The time has finally come!

Meet my lovely Violet Harper – coming to your Kindle on June 23, 2015!

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Synopsis

I had it all: an adoring husband, supportive friends, thriving career, a homey condo in the city.

Amend that.

I had it all except for love from my family. But life was spectacular because I had him. Max was everything I dreamed a husband could be and somehow he loved me just as wildly as I loved him.

Until one cruel night he was stolen from me.

Then I had nothing but a vicious battle ahead of me. It’s a struggle so treacherous, I’m not sure if I’ll make it out with my heart in tact. But on the other side of that brutal war waits the most wondrous prize.

Will I allow myself to move forward?

Excerpt

Prologue – Hers

When my husband works overnights at the fire station, I sleep on his side of the bed. Max doesn’t know that even though he spends more nights in our bed than out of it, I miss him enough to burrow in sheets emanating the remnants of his aftershave. It’s like being cocooned in his arms even when he’s not around. Sleep comes easier over here.

That’s where I am, tucked underneath the down cover, safe in a dreamless slumber when a pounding rouses me. My heart leaps in surprise and I launch into a seated position, hand hovering over my chest. With a blind hand, I slap along the bedside table to find my glasses and jam them onto my nose. Knuckle pounding against wood doesn’t cease when I capture the time.

Nothing good can come of someone knocking on your door at one in the morning.

I scoot off the bed and shrug into the lightweight robe that lies on my husband’s suit valet.

He hates it when I leave my things there, I think numbly. Somehow my body’s moving forward, even though every nerve ending screams at me to crawl back into bed and pretend this is a dream. It’s almost like the Grim Reaper lurks on the other side of that door. I imagine a black hooded robe, bony skeletal fingers clutching a scythe waiting for me.

If there were enough time, I’d bargain with him. Beg to replace my life for his. Give up everything I have on God’s green earth for the man who gave me the gift of a full, flourishing life.

A knock on the door means it’s too late for brokering. If a ringing phone yanked me from sleep, it wouldn’t be this daunting. The fear wouldn’t be overpowering all of my other senses.

With a quivering hand I flip a light switch on and unlatch the lock on our front door.

Their faces are grim, solemn. Hot tears blur my vision before I can identify who has come to deliver the news. Even before they speak, a strangled cry rips from my throat and my knees buckle. Like a puppet cut from its strings, I collapse toward the floor. Strong arms encircle my waist squeezing me tight.

The pressure of this man’s arms around me is the only thing reminding me I’m still alive and not thrust into the depths of hell.

“Violet.”

“Don’t say it,” I shriek. A feral cat stole my voice box, the howls ripping from my body completely unlike any other sound I’ve ever made.

“Violet.” This time the stern voice fights through the tornado of emotion and I blink hazily upward.

“Felix,” I whisper through a dry, cracked throat. Soot and ash still mar his cheeks, hair disheveled in every which way. Weariness seeps off him, from the slump in his shoulders to the exhaustion in his eyes.

“We lost him. I’m so sorry. We lost him.”

I don’t remember much of anything after that.

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Point of No Return Teaser!

For you today – a completely unedited teaser from Point of No Return!

Add this bad boy to your TBR: http://bit.ly/1vC6Nxx

Then he kisses my forehead again. It’s not sexual, sensual, seductive or any other one of those intimate words I can think of. No, this kiss is like a hot bubble bath after being caught in a rainstorm. It’s a bowl of chicken noodle soup to soothe the flu. His kiss warms me from within and settles all of the craziness running rampant in my mind.

In this moment, there’s peace.

I find myself not wanting this moment to end. I lift my arms to settle around his waist, hugging him loosely.

It’s hard to say how long we stand there, joined by the gentle pressure of his chin atop my head, and my cheek lightly touching his heart.

Thump.
Thump.
Thump.