Book: From Dust (A Standalone Novel)
Author: Freya Barker
Genre: Dark / Suspense Romance]
Cover Design: RE&D, Margreet Asselbergs
Hosted By: Francessca's Romance Reviews
Pain punished her.
The bottle numbed her.
Guilt kept her trapped.
In the dark alley of a pub, the words “Please don’t” take hold of her heart and break the silence she seeks. Thinking herself beyond redemption, she tentatively grabs on to the slim thread of hope that unfolds inside of her.
Holding her secrets close, she can’t resist the comforting draw coming from The Skipper. The unconditional friendships it offers, the protective roof it provides, and the spark that its owner ignites in her—melting the frost off her heart, and slowly stripping away her resistance.
His life flows from one crisis to the next. Under the pressure of competition crowding him out of his family’s pub and the need to protect his children from the ruins of a bad marriage, he barely breathes. That is until a mane of strawberry-blonde hair and a set of big, pale blue eyes, shake him up.
He never expected the shadow of a woman he finds on the floor of his washroom to bring him the air―the balance and the light he’s been missing.
“Fucking took ten years off my life, Syd,” he growls, sounding out of breath. “Don’t ever do that shit again.” With a swift yank on my arms, I find myself enveloped, my face against his chest and his arms wrapped around me tightly. His face is pressing in my hair and I swear he is inhaling my scent. “Can’t figure how you’d believe I’d think you responsible for something like that. Jesus,” he mumbles in my hair. I suspect more to himself than it was intended for me, nevertheless, I slip my arms around his waist and give him a squeeze. “I’m an alc—“ I don’t get a chance to finish before he lifts me up off the floor sits me on the counter and grabs my face in his hands. The green of his eyes is so dark, I can barely see where the pupil ends. For a minute he just stares at me, before his eyes slide down to my mouth. I know what’s coming and even though I don’t deserve it, I can’t help but lean in, craving the moment his mouth takes mine. He stops just before our lips meet. “Fuck it.” Is what I hear before I become deaf to everything but the blood rushing in my veins as his lips slide over mine, his slick tongue demanding entry. O God. The sensation... My mouth opens on a groan and his tongue boldly claims the space, stroking my far more hesitant one with alternating strong strokes and teasing licks. With his mouth plastered to mine, he pulls me to the edge of the counter. Wedging himself between my legs, I instinctively wrap them around the backs of his thighs. Restless hands roam over his broad back and up his shoulders, and I whimper when he pulls his mouth away, leaving his forehead resting against mine and panting hard. “We’ve got customers,” he whispers. “I’m so—“ His lips cut me off with a hard kiss. “We’ll talk later, little bird. We’ve got people to feed.”
What Others are saying
I really did love this book from the author Freya Barker. I have read one other book by her and felt the same way, she has a lovely style of writing that is so fully explained and laid out, you can't help but feel you are part of the cast. ~ 2 Friends Pimp Your Book
This story blew me away from the first page. It deals with serious issues but is also heart-warming as it proves that everyone deserves a second chance at happiness and redemption. ~ Kez Korner
From Dust blew me away! This is hands down the best book I have read in a long time. ~ Goodreads Review
Wow, this book is one intense read and well worth it. This is the first book that I have read by Freya and I am so glad I took a chance after reading the blurb. ~ Obsessed By Books
About the Author
Freya Barker 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. Always 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.
with Author Freya Barker.
Tell us about your work. What are you writing now?
I’m currently about halfway in to writing UPPER HAND which is the fifth book in the
Cedar Tree Series. The story about Clint, the contractor who stumbled his way into Cedar Tree in book #2 and got his ass dusty from the knock down Arlene planted on him. Figuratively speaking. A good man with a filter or two missing and a HUGE surprise in the bedroom!! Beth has been his frustration for a while now but the gum-chewing diner waitress has several reasons to doubt hitching her wagons to Clint would not be a good idea. Clint’s gonna have to pull out the big guns on this one!
Where do you draw your inspiration for your writing?
Experience, life, the news. Mostly it’s little snippets of ‘stuff’ that worm themselves into my brain and fester there until it’s gotta come out! FROMDUST was very much like that. It’s based on a local news story that hit me dead center in the chest and wouldn’t leave me alone! Even before I’d released SLIM TO NONE, the first book I ever published.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
That’s a bit of a touchy one, but truthfully? When I became tired of perfect, perky and as young or even younger than my children. I needed something I could identify with to start and build a dream on top of. That’s how I came up with Emma and Gus; Emma having many similarities to me and some of the traits, although I wrote her into who I’d want to be when I ‘grow up’. I’d had little pipe dreams before of writing stories but was then still engrossed in mostly thrillers and suspense.
Tell us about one of your favorite characters and why he/she is your favorite?
I actually adore Syd of FROM DUST. She is the epitome of strength to me. Why? Because despite the fact that she lost everything and everyone at her own hand, sank down to the deepest bottom of the pit, and STILL managed to find light and beauty. Such a resilient little woman and the perfect match for Gunnar, even if it takes a while for that to become clear.
What was the first romance novel you read that made an impression on you?
Oh lord! There are two actually, that really resonate with me, still. The first one is Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley, which was the book that started me reading again after three years of health induced book-drought. The next one, the one that actually made me believe that health issues could be written into stories without becoming the main focus (just as it should be in real life!) was All Of Me by Gina Sorelle. Kristen Ashley needs no accolades, the woman has proven her unbelievable talent many times over. Gina Sorelle wrote a second book, All Of You and she deserves way more recognition than she receives! Both of these books called to me in a strong way.
What do you do while you write? Do you listen to music, watch TV, eat snacks, etc.?
I drink water, try not to have too much chocolate around (I own no restraint when it comes to chocolate: It’s here….and now it’s gone!), I need quiet for writing and get pretty pissy when I’m interrupted (oops) and I have to be in my phenomenally comfy chair with lumbar support! Heaven! I prefer to write in the early morning hours so I’m still fresh!
Tell us 3 surprising things about yourself.
1. I am the youngest of six children. Lovingly called the ‘only planned’ child by parents and teasingly named ‘the afterthought’ by my siblings.
2. I’m Dutch. Born and raised in the Netherlands and started a family before moving to Canada when I was twenty-seven. English is technically my second language.
3. I’m a kick-ass cook. No joke. I used to have my own catering business and also designed art cakes until health got in the way. I always need a creative outlet which is why I now design covers and write books. There is nothing more satisfying than to see something come alive under your hands.
What’s the last movie you watched and loved?
Holy cow…. I have to think. Don’t watch much TV and go to the movies maybe twice a year. But thinking back it has to have been The Blind Side. Sandra Bullock is brilliant in that and she actually reminds me of some of the harder shelled female characters I like to portray in my books.
What’s your idea of a perfect date?
An unexpected one. I think anything is good as long as I don’t have to think of it or plan it, and the focus is on making me as happy as I want to make him. I’m so used to being the driving force behind everything, it would be utterly lovely to have that responsibility take from me.
Yes, most definitely a well organized surprise.
If you could take a romantic trip anywhere, where would it be?
A road trip through Canada and the US. I love experiencing new things next to people. It can be surprisingly revealing and is the most relaxed thing….. as long as THEY drive!! LOL
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Yes I do. Although I don’t necessarily equate ‘love at first sight’ with ‘being in love’. Love at first sight is a visual and visceral response to another person so strong that there is no way you cannot respond. Being in love with someone requires at least a bit of a build up of trust, knowledge and even comfort so that you lose all emotional and physical inhibition. You become an open book.
Top three things on your bucket list:
1. Zip-lining…a bit of a challenge for me, but hey! I want to do that.
2. Moving to the country….any country….as long as it has no noise pollution, incredible views and only few cars.
3. A cleaning lady. I probably should’ve put that one first but this is something I’ve always wanted for myself, never had, and now that my husband’s had to take over the physical task of cleaning the house, it’s become something I so would love to give back to him.
Boxers or Briefs? Boxers or those deliciously tight boxer briefs
Alpha or Beta? Alpha all the way, baby. I’m a bit of one myself and could use a firm hand!
Tattoos or Piercings? Tattoos, no question. Although I can be partial to piercings too, but tats win.
Brains or Muscles? Brains!! Don’t get me wrong, muscles are nice, but I like some more feedback than; ‘yeah babe'
Planner or Wing it? Planner. Even if on very very short notice, I still like to be prepared (except for that surprise date!)
Skinny dipping, yea or nay? YAY… although I might scare the wildlife out of the water, there is no feeling like it!
Favorite feel good drink? Black Currant Cider. Da Bomb!
Favorite naughty dessert? Frozen Yoghurt.
Tea or Coffee? Coffee
Laptop or Desktop? Laptop
Beach or Mountains? Mountains. (I burn to a crisp if I only set foot on a beach, so…)
Thank you so much author Freya Barker for sitting down with Just One More Romance and letting us pick your brain.
Other Books by this Author
All Cedar Tree novels available with KINDLE UNLIMITED!
”CLEAN LINES" (Cedar Tree #4)
”AGAINST ME” (Cedar Tree #3)
"HUNDRED TO ONE” (Cedar Tree #2)
"SLIM TO NONE" (Cedar Tree #1)