EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Never Far Away
by Marysue G. Hobika
All Theo Baker wants is to get on with his new life as a student at Columbia, but his dreams keep getting infiltrated by the one girl who stole his heart - Stella, his sexy neighbor back home. They shared a kiss that turned his world upside down; only she said it didn’t mean anything to her. But he knows she lied and all he wants is a chance to prove that they could have something real, but it’s hard pining away for a girl who’s been avoiding him for the past year and a half.
Incoming freshman Stella Freeman is excited about going to college for photography - her true passion. She’s never more herself than when she is behind the camera. Regardless of her father’s constant backlash, she follows her heart to the city where Theo is currently living. He’s the only boy she’s ever loved, but she’s pushed him away. Still, he’s never been far from her thoughts, even if he doesn’t know.
What will happen when their paths cross? Will they have a second chance to be with their one first true love?
This book is intended for audiences 17+.
“Wait,” I shouted. I searched for the right words. All I came up with was, “Why did you take so many pictures of me? Do you like me?” My face heated. I sounded like a dorky ten-year old boy on the playground at recess. I plowed ahead anyway. “Did the kiss mean as much to you as it did to me?”
There was only one way to find out. I took a step forward and touched my lips to hers. Her lips were warm and soft. I thought she’d slap me and tell me to get the fuck away from her, but she didn’t. She closed her eyes and sank into the kiss, kissing me back. I teased her lips open with my tongue. She responded and our tongues swirled around each other. The last kiss I shared with Stella was just a small preview. This was downright epic. I felt things I’d never felt before.
I moved my lips down her pale throat and kissed her softly. She reached up and wrapped her arms around my neck. I pulled her closer until our chests were smashed against each other’s, and I wondered if she could feel my heart beating. It pounded hard and loud. A soft sigh escaped her lips and I knew this wasn’t one-sided. She felt things too. I returned my attention to her mouth, biting her bottom lip, losing myself in the taste of her sweet lips. It was like being pulled under by a giant wave in a hurricane and then not knowing which way was up or down. I realized I didn’t know and I didn’t care. I never wanted to resurface. I was right where I wanted to be. Lost in a sea of emotions and passion with Stella at the center of the storm. I cupped the back of her head, deepening the kiss even further.
Suddenly she pulled away and I couldn’t breathe. I felt like a fish out of water. I wanted to reach for her and pull her back to me because nothing in my entire life had felt so right, but the look on her face told me not to. “What was that?” She narrowed her eyes at me.
“We were kissing.” She had moaned my name at one point and pressed her hot body against mine. There was no way in hell she hadn’t been enjoying it. “And you liked it.”
“No, Theo.” She called me Theo again. I was beginning to hate my own name. “I can’t do this with you.”
“I know you felt that too,” I argued. I didn’t understand why she was pretending she hadn’t been affected. She’d kissed me back. It had been honest and true.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I didn’t feel anything.” It was the same words she’d said last time after we kissed, only this time I knew she was lying. Her voice was shaky. Her body still trembled with aftershocks. I just didn’t understand why she’d lie. I stood on her porch for several minutes after she went inside, trying to figure out how I was going to get Stella to forgive me and recognize what we could have if she’d give me a chance.
A classic love story of two people who find their way back to each other after believing there was no hope. A great summer read and great a storyline. I really enjoyed Theo and Stella's quest in finding out that second chances do exist.
Interview With the Author
What genre is your book?
Never Far Away is my first crack at writing a New Adult/Contemporary Romance novel. My resume includes 3 YA novels, and I was ready to branch out and expand my style and audience.
What inspired you to write this novel?
A real life event inspired this novel. I took a real situation - two neighbors fighting over seats on the back of the bus in elementary school, never really agreeing on anything, and placed these two antagonist characters years down the road. What happens? How are they different? The same? They share history, but can they share a future?
What book are you reading now?
Currently I am reading short stories in Spanish and meeting with a great group of ladies once a month to discuss them. Hablamos en español todo el tiempo y me encanta. (We speak in Spanish all the time and I love it.)
If you could have breakfast with anyone past or present who would you choose, and why?
I would choose my mother. She died when I was in my early twenties and so much has happened in my life since then that I’d love to share with her - I finished college, got my first job, got married, and had kids. I’d love to see the look on her face when I told her I’m a writer too. I’ll never forget the day back in high school when she drove me to school and I suddenly remembered I had written an essay on a whim for a contest and it was due that day - typed. (This was before computers were in every household.) My mom sighed and took the essay to work and typed it for me and dropped it off at school, and I won. She was proud of me then and I’m sure she’d be proud of me know. After breakfast I’d like to have her show me how to make an apple pie with her homemade crust because that’s something I miss.
What’s your favorite dessert?
My mom’s homemade apple pie, of course.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Creative, Happy, and Kind.
About the Author
Marysue G. Hobika grew up in Caledonia, New York, and attended SUNY at Buffalo where she studied to be a Spanish teacher. Currently she lives in Pittsford, NY with her husband, three children, and her two pugs.
She has learned that stories don’t write themselves and tries to make time every day to sit down and write. She does her best thinking while in the shower, driving her kids around, or right before she falls asleep. She keeps a moleskin notebook handy that a dear friend gave her as a gift, so that if an idea occurs she can write it down.
She doesn’t know where this journey will take her, but she has a lot of characters and stories floating around inside her head waiting to be brought to life.
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