GUEST POST with Freya Barker
The Cedar Tree series was first conceived in 2012, when I visited a friend I had previously only talked to on Facebook and on the phone. We had been friends for quite a few years already and she lived, and still does, in the Four Corners area of gorgeous Colorado.
In the summer weeks I spent with her and her family, I fell in love with Colorado - the beauty and history of the Four Corners in particular - and my imagination was stirred.
The wish to read about more than only people in their twenties and the hope of finding some connection with characters who might have physical limitations, similar to mine, eventually had me put the proverbial pen to paper.
SLIM TO NONE was no longer a concept but became real. However, less than a quarter into my writing, I realized that I had perhaps three or more stories percolating right on the tail of the one I was trying to put into words. And it became clear that I wouldn’t be able to get away with just Gus and Emma’s story. An entire community had become involved, or at least an entire group of friends who all seem to have their own stories that need to be told.
HUNDRED TO ONE was needed, book two, and Arlene and Seb's chance to tell their story. One that was already almost bursting at the seams in the first book. And with this book slowly more characters are coming out of the shadows demanding more attention.
The current release; AGAINST ME, book three in the series, is the story of Caleb and Katie. Two people we have come to love as we have observed them from a distance since the very beginning. Theirs is a story that takes many detours and hits quite a few roadblocks before aligning; and it brings with it the introduction of some interesting new characters.
CLEAN LINES, is the next and fourth book scheduled. In fact, I’m up to my eyeballs into writing it already. CLEAN LINES will finally see some of the familiar Cedar Tree faces get the resolution they needed in their lives, but it won’t necessarily be the end for the series. Not in the near future anyway. There is more to come – more stories to be told.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other things playing around in my mind, which just won’t shut up now that it’s been given a voice. I am toying with the idea for a standalone for the second half of this year. One perhaps a shade darker than the books in this current series. A standalone I say, but knowing myself, it would likely produce interesting characters, who in turn will require their own books, hence creating a new series. Who knows?
We’ll start with the standalone, the one with no title so far and no names to give you. But one thing I can guarantee; that the heroine will be less than perfect, that she will likely have seen more of life than most, and that she will struggle, battle and overcome. Oh… and she will most certainly have some uninvited help – from a deep-voiced, strong-willed and no-nonsense Alpha male.
The sound of voices gets louder as I make my way through the now dark guesthouse to the bedroom. Leaning against the doorway into the room, I can just catch the last few sentences exchanged between the women sitting on the big bed. It's obvious from the tearstained faces that some emotional stuff has gone down and I feel guilt eating at my insides. But then I hear Katie say that me walking out earlier meant I must have regretted what happened between us, I have to set her straight. She can't be further from the truth and it's time she knows it. The moment her head swings around and her eyes meet mine, everything else disappears. I barely notice Emma leaving. In a few steps I reach the bed, lean in and pick Katie up. "Whoa!" she calls out, scrambling to hold onto my neck. "Whatcha doing?" "You in my bed means I can't think, and I'm having a hard enough time thinking around you. We need to set some things straight." I tell her, trying not to get lost in the feel of her soft body against mine, her subtle scent teasing me and her restless fingers playing against the short bristles in my neck. My dick, however, is a goner, and there is no way to hide it when I sit down on the couch with Katie in my lap. "Stop squirming, you're making it worse," When she throws me an irritated look I'm glad to see the fire back in her eyes. There she is. "Okay, enough of the manhandling, Caleb," Katie bats at my hands as I shift her around so she faces me. The old tank top and shorts she wears as PJs aren't doing much to cover her and I can't help the tortured groan that slips from me. Fucking hell, this is gonna be torture, with her nipples poking through the threadbare material. Right in my face. "What the hell is this? I honestly don't know whether I'm coming or going with you." "Shhhhh, don't get upset," I try to settle her before the tears I hear wobbling in her voice start flowing. "I just needed a minute." Cupping her face between my hands, I tilt her head so I can look her in the eye. "This I have wanted and waited to do for so long, I need to make sure I don't miss a thing." Her eyes are big and a little uncertain and her lips are perfectly parted when I brush my nose along hers, breathing in the soft pants of her breath. A light brush of my mouth over hers, barely skimming, and then I taste the length of her full bottom lip with my tongue before sucking its plumpness in my mouth. Fucking heaven. Her taste is heaven and I need more. Katie's fingers rubbing against my scalp is all the encouragement I need and I finally let go of my hunger for her and take her mouth. Jesus. Delicious wet heat meets me when my tongue plunges between her lips. Someone groans... and in the now furious tangle of lips and tongues I can't tell anymore. I want inside her. In one twist and without my mouth ever leaving hers, I have her below me on the couch, and I'm grinding my painfully throbbing cock between her legs. It isn't until she wrenches her lips from mine and murmurs, "Caleb..." that I realize I am fucking humping her like some deranged rutting animal. I shoot back upright and move to sit on the coffee table, my head in my hands. "Fuck!" Why? Why does she make me lose all control when control has always come so easy? "Are you gonna walk out of here again?" The amused tone of Katie's voice tells me she may be a little more attuned to the struggle I'm waging than she was before. "Because, that would seriously mess with my self-esteem, you know; getting rejected based on my abilities for giving head and kissing?" I throw my head back and laugh. "Oh sweetheart, you couldn't be further from the truth if you tried."
Against Me Synopsis: Patience has always been Caleb Whitetail's strength. Quiet and unassuming is what you see with the GFI investigator, but the blood boils hot right under the surface. He kept his distance for years only to see the woman who has held his attention almost lose her life not just once, but twice. He is done standing in the shadows. Katie Acker, once a tough and athletic security specialist now struggles daily to walk. The closest to family she has are her colleagues at GFI. Especially the man who saved her life and always has her back. So when she unwittingly becomes the focus of a Mexican cartel, it’s no big surprise she finds him right by her side. With the combustive change in their deepening bond, Katie and Caleb do not see the oncoming danger - until it surrounds them.
Freya Barker Bio: Freya Barker has always loved being creative. From an early age on she danced and sang, doodled, created, cooked, baked, quilted and crafted. Her latest creative outlets were influenced by an ever-present love for reading. First through blogging, then cover art and design, and finally writing. Born and raised in the Netherlands, she packed her two toddlers, and eight suitcases filled with toys to move to Canada. No stranger to new beginnings, she thrives on them. With the kids grown and out in the world, Freya is at the ‘prime’ of her life. The body might be a bit ramshackle, but the spirit is high and as adventurous as ever. Something you may see reflected here and there in some of her heroines.... none of who will likely be wilting flowers. Freya craved reading about 'real' people, those who are perhaps less than perfect, but just as deserving of romance, hot monkey sex and some thrills and chills in their lives – So she decided to write about them.
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