One highlight for me was the release of my first two novels: Seeking Love & Seeking Redemption. For those of you that have not met Jessica and Matthew, what are you waiting for? Download them now. I promise an amazing ending. And yes, I'm talking about that all-important Happily-Ever-After!
You can check out some reader praise and scroll on down to read the beginning of Seeking Love. Feel free to drop me a comment, sign up for my newsletter, or connect with me on social media. I love hearing form you. Until then, all I have left to say . . .
Have a blessed Christmas!
Soak in each moment with family & friends, hug often, & give the gift of your love.
Many thanks to all of my readers. You simply are the best.
Cheers to an amazing 2016!
~ J.M. Maurer
"Seeking Love was a poignant and beautifully written love story . . . It was a very real and captivating story with steamy, well-written love scenes."
"This story has so many levels. The depth and detail of each characters participation is fantastic. Every girl needs a Matthew in their life!!! I can’t wait for the next book!!"
"I loved this book. Could not put it down. Its a page turner."
"Yes,those who like erotic romance won't be disappointed, it's hot,hot,hot!"
"This book is absolutely fantastic! I was drawn in from the very first chapter and could not put the book down."
"I'm one of those guys that doesn't mind reading a good romance novel, now and then—and J.M. Maurer delivered."
"Buy it! You won't be disappointed."
"If you like Kristen Ashley's Wild Man, you'll love this book."
Emerging From Darkness Book 1
Walls are built to keep people out, but even I couldn't deny the pull of the bright light shining through the crack . . .
The beginning . . .
The worst day of my life started out like any other. When I opened my eyes this morning, I was excited and brimming with happiness, exuberant even, fully ready to take on the day. Then without warning, a vortex of darkness swirled around me, taunting me with its thick black smoke rolling in from all directions, sucking the life right out of me. It was a cruel reminder of just how quickly life could change—in a flash, in a heartbeat, in one last breath.
I’d been feeling ill. But I didn’t know what illness really was until that day. The day that black cloud took over my life.
I was at work and desperate to busy myself in the activities of another hectic day in the neuro intensive care unit. The busier I was, the faster my day went and the sooner I’d be home, ready to set everything into place for a special evening. I had it all figured out. Nothing was going to take away my excitement or change my plans for the evening.
My husband, Jake, was wrapping up a string of long days and hellacious on-call shifts as a general surgeon. He’d promised he would be home later that night, and I couldn’t wait to finally have some quality time together. It had been a while since we’d even crossed paths, so he had no idea I’d been sick lately. I certainly wasn’t going to let a little nausea ruin my plans for the evening with my husband, the man I loved more than anything. No, it fueled me, gave me strength, and empowered me.
That was, until I met the woman in black.
I had no idea just how sick I could feel until she came for me, right there in the ICU where I worked as a nurse. She’d stood just inside the double doors that led to the unit, waiting for me with a piece of paper held tightly in her hand.
I didn’t know she was there, hadn’t even seen her coming. I was too busy completing the post-care needs after an arduous and unsuccessful code blue, which was always stressful, making it impossible for me to know what was going on outside of my own assignment, away from my patient who had passed on.
The woman in black was there for me, though, not the deceased soul in bed eighteen. And she called my name.
I’d perched myself near my deceased patient’s family in case they needed anything, and lost myself in final charting. Because of the rapid decline of my patient the instant I’d walked into the room, I was forced by necessity to jot mini-notes and miscellaneous numbers on myself, since I couldn’t tear myself away from my patient to chart them properly.
The notations littered my blue scrubs and covered the palm of my hand, my only way of keeping an accurate record of rapidly occurring events. It wasn’t anything unusual, but I’d have to clean up and change before heading in to see my other patient. For now, I needed to finish documenting what I’d written all over myself during my patient’s demise.
By nature, I wasn’t a hoverer, especially in death, and I certainly didn’t hear my name. Even if I had heard it, I might not have noticed. I was Jessica Fisher and had been for over seven years; Winters was my maiden name. The woman in black didn’t care, though. Time was up; the last grain of sand in my hourglass of happiness had fallen.
Still focused and preoccupied with work, I didn’t notice as she stood there impatiently, a shoulder propped against the wall, one ankle draped over the other, her arms crossed angrily over her chest as she glared at me.
I wasn’t ignoring her, although now I wish I could have. No, I was lost in my own world as she called out my name until two of my coworkers approached me, snapping me into focus. Her calling out my name made it obvious that I was the one she was there to see. My coworkers and I were clueless about what was to follow. But she knew.
Trish tapped on my shoulder and Andrew took it upon himself to turn my chair toward the tall, leggy woman who was standing nearby. The woman’s eyes narrowed into a deadly stare, her focus directed at me.
She tapped one shiny black stiletto boot rhythmically at the heel, its click against the linoleum floor now grating on my nerves. The fishnet stockings, tight black pleather mini-skirt, and black blouse made her look like she was attending the funeral of the walking dead. Her unnaturally tanned face and blond frizzy hair made her look cheap, and the thick black eyeliner didn’t help. She looked all wrong, up to no good, as if the words Don’t fuck with me were tattooed across her forehead.
“Jess, this woman is asking for you. Yelling, actually.” Trish rolled her eyes and pressed her lips into a thin line, shooting her own daggers back at the woman. “She must have been absent the day common sense was handed out. Who yells in a neuro ICU?”
Trish’s disapproving gaze continued raking the woman who, upon second inspection, clearly wasn’t dressed for a visit to a hospital or anywhere for this time of day. “She a friend of yours?”
I attempted to place her, but couldn’t. I raised my eyebrows at Trish, who stood protectively over me while I sat in my swivel chair. Then I returned my gaze to the angry woman and shrugged.
“I’ve never seen her before.”
My fairy-tale world was about to end and I didn’t have a clue. But the woman in black knew. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know who she was, because her scowling face and grim saunter in my direction told me that she was undoubtedly on a mission for me to quickly find out. Confused, I stood as she approached.
Time was up.
I wasn’t prepared for what was to come next any more than Trish or Andrew. At first, having work to do and certain she wasn’t a family member of either of my two patients, I didn’t care. She prowled in my direction anyway, and when she triumphantly slapped onto the counter next to me that tiny piece of paper she had tightly clutched in her hand, my world changed and I immediately cared.
A normal person didn’t do shit like that. I wasn’t stupid or naive; I knew I was somehow involved in her madness. And now I knew exactly why she’d stuck around, waiting out the time to pounce on me.
She tapped a crimson fingernail on the square black-and-white photo, irritation rolling off her in waves. “I told Jake about this three weeks ago.” She snickered and sighed. “I knew he wouldn’t tell you. But you’re in my way, bitch!”
Brazenly she poked at my shoulder, drawing my attention her way. I looked up from the paper evidence on the counter and into the dark eyes of the woman, my neck stiff with tension while my eyes slowly followed, playing catch-up. I’d already committed the black-and-white photo to memory anyway, taking only a second for its meaning to click, and a nanosecond more for it to ruin my life.
Sensing my distress, Trish stepped between us and crossed her arms, challenging the woman. “Who the fuck are you to barge in here with that tone of yours and behave like this?” Her piercing stare only served to back the tramp up a step. “This is a hospital, for God’s sake, not a bar. Do you see any stripper poles here?”
I knew Trish would have my back. She was bigger than me. Taller. Stronger. We met while she was still working night shift, frequently reporting to each other at change of shifts. She was smart and well liked. But no one with functional brain cells ever messed with Trish; people just knew better. We hadn’t been friends long, but we’d made a strong alliance while sharing the same obsession for a particular online game; a game that kept me entertained while Jake was gone. And he was gone a lot.
“I’m the woman who’s carrying your husband’s baby,” the woman spat, shoving past Trish and closing in on me.
“Oh no, you don’t,” Trish said, then grabbed the back of the woman’s neck and bent the bitch forward, mouthing obscenities into her ear as she dragged her away. The woman fought against her, but it was a wasted effort.
Stunned, I watched as the woman’s bent figure blurred in the distance, thankful that Trish had her well under control and away from me.
But in one last attempt to have her say, the hateful woman twisted from Trish’s grip and looked back at me, her expression smug. “He’s going to be mine, and you know it.”
Her harsh words pierced my heart like a hot knife through frozen butter, reverberating inside my chest until they thundered in my ears.
That day was the first time I’d ever experienced a bone-deep shock, unable to move, and not certain I was breathing but feeling my heart thunder hard in my ears. My system was in overdrive, working frantically to keep me from collapsing. As it was, I stood rigid and still, seemingly within a strange parallel universe, a time continuum where no one else existed, yet somehow they were still there.
Noises were muffled.
Movements were slowed.
People were there, but weren’t.
In my stupor, I didn’t see security escorting the woman out of the unit. Andrew had called them almost immediately after witnessing the delivery of her bombshell. Any casual observer would have known that she was up to no good. I didn’t know it, but my friends did. I suppose I wasn’t really conscious anymore. And although security would ensure that the woman in black would have no access to the unit, the damage had already been done. The truth was on the counter at my fingertips, right there in black and white.
Of that much, I was certain as I lowered myself onto the chair, dumbfounded yet very grateful that Trish had quickly ditched the hussy and returned to me. As I stared at the picture, Trish said nothing but sat at my side, watching me carefully to be sure I would be okay.
But I was never going to be okay.
Tears were already threatening to spill down my face, blurring my vision as I struggled to tear my gaze from the damning evidence of my husband’s betrayal. The realization of his infidelity hit me hard. Hard enough that my heart was barely beating and my brain was seized in shock, making it imperative that I continuously remind myself to breathe.
And even though the pain was suffocating me, I picked up the little square of paper and pulled it closer to me, my heart shattering further with each second that passed. It took everything I had left in me to move my other cold hand to the front pocket of my scrubs, just over my heart, and pull out my own precious black-and-white photo—the one I’d planned to share with Jake tonight.
As I laid it next to the one the woman in black had left, a tear escaped, falling onto it with a splash. The water dispersed in slow motion about the photo, mocking me. I fought to repress my intense feelings of betrayal, pain, and anger, knowing I needed to hold myself together until I could leave work, until I could get into my car, until I could go home.
Home. Where was home? Not where my heart was, not anymore.
Now my heart was cold and bloodless. My chance to share my own exciting news with my husband had been doomed from the start; I just didn’t know it. My future was uncertain; my home and family were no more. I found a new home, though.
I succumbed to the clouds of black, sinking in a deep, dark depression that would insulate me from hurt for years to come.
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Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/jmichelemaurer
Reviews by Dii at Tome Tender Book Blog.
5 Stars for both Seeking Love & Seeking Redemption
Seeking Love (Book 1)
Seeking Love by J. M. Maurer is more than a simple love story between two people. Read More . . .
Seeking Redemption (Book 2)
Each scene, including Jessica’s bad day and her fight to overcome them are so well-written and feel so real, you’ll be hard-pressed to put this tale of romance down and return to reality. Read More . . .
Emerging From Darkness Book 2
I’d been given promises in the past, ones that were broken and inevitably, they broke me. I wouldn’t let those broken promises stop me from believing in new ones, though. I couldn’t . . .
After surviving a bitter divorce and emerging from a darkness that became all too familiar, Jessica finds herself on top of the world, her soulful awakening allowing her to feel again, trust again, and even love again. Her painful past, however, is relentless, both physically and emotionally, bombarding her daily and not allowing her to overcome the lingering demons that ultimately control her life.
As Matthew lovingly guides her toward a healthy future, his own secrets become known, threatening to destroy the trusting relationship that had quickly grown between them. But despite what life throws her way, Jessica pledges to put the past in the past, accepting that events are often out of her control. She fights for a future with the man who drew her out of the darkness, steering her onto a healing path . . . seeking redemption.