Author: Jennifer Rebecca
Title: Whiskey Lullabye
Series: Southern Heartbeats, Vol. 2
Release Date: March 27, 2017
Sixteen years ago Aliza Wilson met the love of her life. He was everything Aliza had ever hoped for in a man, kind, generous and he gave her a beautiful life. But fate had other plans for her future. Plans that changed her life irrevocably. Now Aliza must face a new fate, and that scares her more than anything.
Sixteen years ago Holden “Holt” Stone found the woman of his dreams. She was utter perfection. But his best-friend got her first. Now he must sit on the sidelines and watch the woman he wanted, be happy with someone else. Holt is no stranger to pain and heartache, hell that came with his service in the Marine Corps, he's no stranger to death, but watching someone he loves struggle to move on is a new kind of hell.
Can Aliza and Holt find a way to fix their broken pieces, before it’s too late?
Whiskey Lullabye is the second volume in the Southern Heartbeats Series and is the continuation of Stand. This is Aliza’s story.
The warm, late spring sun is shining through the window when I wake up softly this morning. Sam is pressed up behind me. Close enough, I can tell he’s feeling playful. His left hand is at my breast and I feel his morning beard across my cheek as he leans down to kiss the side of my neck, just under my ear. I hear the soft smile in Sam’s morning scratchy voice as he says, “Morning, baby,” I love quiet moments like this.
“Good morning, handsome,” I give back as Sam’s hand trails over my belly. Softer than it was when we first met when I was young and in college, but it did carry his two babies, so he loves it, and moves down to greener pastures. I rock into him. Not once in the last fifteen years, have I gotten tired of him. Sam grabs my long, dark blonde ponytail tipping my head back so he can thoroughly kiss me. I love his kisses. The soft sweet ones, the teasing ones, and the ones like this that get down to business. I moan into his mouth and Sam meets it with a growl of his own.
Things are just starting to get good when I hear two little voices chanting down the hallway, “Let’s go Blazers. Let’s go Blazers. Let’s Goooooo!!!! The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire. We don’t need no water let the mother effer burn!!!!” Sam’s forehead is pressed down on my shoulder and his arms are wrapped tight around my belly. So tight, I can feel him shaking with laughter.
“Sam!” I screech when the shock of my precious angels chanting an inappropriate song from the 80’s. I know exactly where they got it, that rat! I reach over to swat the stinker with a pillow from my side of the bed, but he’s already moving. Throwing his shorts on the floor as he struts to the shower. Letting me see exactly what I will be missing today and I will be missing it. Damn, my man is good looking.
“What?!” Sam says on the run. “Soccer waits for no one!!!” he’s laughing as he runs into the shower.
Twenty minutes later, my girls are pounding pancakes and bacon with tall glasses of orange juice. Fueling up for the big game. Six and under soccer is no joke. Sam walks in and I feel my breath catch in my throat. These are the moments I live for. My kids doing normal everyday things, the sexiest man I know, who after all this time, still looks at me like he won the lottery.
I catch Sam’s secret smile as he walks over to the coffee pot and pours himself a cup. I catch a kiss on the cheek as he passes.
“I’m sure going to miss you guys today,” I say and it’s true. I never miss a game, but my best girlfriend from college is coming in today and I need to get to the market and prep dinner, put clean linens on the guest bed, and pick up any wayward toys that have made their way back out of the girls’ rooms. Really, the things I need to do without a five and a three year old under foot.
“Don’t even worry about it,” Sam reassures me. “We’ll be fine today, right girls?” who throw their fists in the air with a “Heck, yeah!” Sam’s influence and personality are all over those two. Sometimes, I think I was just the oven that baked the cake. “Plus, it’ll be totally worth it at supper time when I get to dive into your famous pot roast and green beans,” He says while patting his stomach which is just as flat as it was at twenty one when I got my first glimpse of him.
“All right girls, you about done?” I ask them. “You don’t want to be late for the big game,” I smile at the three most important people in the world to me. This moment, like so many others, is why I breathe, why I wake up in the morning.
Sam gives me one more, soft kiss and the girls each hug me fiercely on their way out the door. Those three are going to have such a fun day.
I shut the door behind them and go back to the kitchen to clean up my mess from breakfast. I love to cook and I am not the cleanest cook either, but my family loves it. And is there really anything better than cooking for the people you love? Nope, I didn’t think so. At least not to me.
After I have put the last of the dishes away, I clean up the girls’ toys and pajamas they’ve left all over in their wake for soccer glory. I make the beds and wipe down the bathroom counters. I throw on jeans and my favorite slouchy sweater. I have just enough time to run to the market and get home before Hannah gets here when there is a knock at the door. I run down the stairs with a smile on my face. Sam is amazing, but he’s a mess sometimes. Always forgetting something.
“What did you guys forget this time?” I shout as I throw open the door. But it’s not Sam I see standing there. It’s his best friend, Holt, and by the devastated look on his face, I know why. Everything changes in a moment.
Jennifer is a 33 year old lover of words, all words: the written, the spoken, the sung (even poorly), the sweet, the funny, and even the four letter variety. She is a native of San Diego, California where she grew up reading the Brownings and Rebecca with her mother and Clifford and the Dog who Glowed in the Dark with her dad, much to her mother’s dismay.
Jennifer is a graduate of California State University San Marcos where she studied Criminology and Justice Studies. She is also a member of Alpha Xi Delta.
10 years ago, she was swept off her feet by her very own sailor. Today, they are happily married and the parents of a 7 year old and 6 year old twins. She lives in East Texas where she can often be found on the soccer fields, drawing with her children, or reading. Jennifer is convinced that if she puts her fitbit on one of the dogs, she might finally make her step goals. She loves a great romance, an alpha hero, and lots and lots of laughter.