Excerpt – Wait by A.L. Jackson

Wait COMING AUGUST 23

 

ALJackson-WaitBookCover5x8_BW_HIGH

From NYT & USA Today bestselling author comes a new Bleeding Stars stand-alone novel…

She is his strength and he is her weakness. And this time he won’t let her go.

Edie Evans is gorgeous.

Sexy.

Kind.

She’s also the definition of off-limits.

But that didn’t stop me from sneaking into her room to comfort her at night.

But guys like me? We destroy everything, so it should have been no surprise when I destroyed us, too.

The night I sent her running, I thought I’d never see her again.

Until I saw her standing like a vision in the crowd.

 

Austin Stone is dangerous.

Alluring.

Tempting.

He broke my heart and I refused to give him the chance to do it again.

It’s been years since I’ve seen him, and now I can’t do anything but stare at the gorgeous, tattooed man playing onstage. I should run. I know I should. But like a fool, I run straight back to him.

Our desire is overpowering.
Our need unrelenting.

She is my hope.
He is my weakness.

We should have known a passion this intense would burn us right into the ground.

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Excerpt from Wait

“Edie…please…just…wait.”

I gripped the railing as if it might propel me forward. Instead, my footsteps faltered and slowed. I stood facing away, my back heaving as his consuming presence swarmed over me from behind.

“Please.” This time it was a whisper. A plea.

Sincere.

Slowly I turned.

Drawn.

He’d always been my weakness.

Austin stood at the end of the walkway, just outside the reach of the lights, his body obscured in shadows.

Even larger than I’d imagined when I’d first seen him up on stage.

So foreign.

So familiar.

My heart ached. Because I was looking at the boy who’d been my best friend. The one person who I’d thought would completely understand. One who wouldn’t judge or make it hurt more than it already did.

He’d been my safety.

My haven.

Until he’d dragged me right back into hell.

“Why are you here?” My words cracked. “H-h-how…how did you find me?”

I saw the shake of his head, and he took a single step forward, out of the shadows and into the glow of the single lamp attached high on the exterior wall that lit the way.

It hit him like a spotlight.

The boy was so beautiful.

It was a threatening kind of beauty, a whorl of mystery and pain, sharp lines and corded muscle.

It almost dropped me to my knees.

He fisted his hands at his sides. The question was strained, hard as it pressed from his mouth. “You believe in fate, Edie?”

Old grief I’d bottled for so long burst. It came out as some kind of maniacal cry. Incredulous. Oozing disbelief. “After everything that happened…that’s what you’re going to ask me?”

“Edie…I—”

“Do you have any idea how badly you hurt me?” I cut him off, my own hands fisting as I took a single step forward. “The damage you caused? Careless words, Austin. So fucking careless, thrown out there without a single thought to the repercussions, without any consideration of how they would affect me. How they would change my life. You promised.” My brow twisted with the accusation. “And now you have the nerve to stand there and ask me if I believe in fate?”

I swallowed hard, shook my head. “You can go to straight to hell, Austin Stone.”

He laughed, but there was zero humor behind it. “Come on, Edie. You can do better than that, can’t you? Considering you know hell is where I’ve been all along, and you and I both know I deserve so much worse. And yeah…those words were reckless, but you know they weren’t heedless. You couldn’t expect me to just stand there. Not with him. Not with what he was saying. Implying. I couldn’t.” The last cracked on the emphasis.

I felt as if every cell in my body was being crushed. Squeezed so tight there was no chance but for everything to implode.

“And because you lost it, I lost it all. You. My home. My future.”

His big hands fisted. “I know. I…I fucked it up, Edie. Warned you, I always fuck it up.”

But what he failed to say was he’d promised he wouldn’t fuck it up with me.

I couldn’t tell if I was relieved or terrified when Jed suddenly rounded the corner. His sister, Blaire, was hot on his heels.

“Edie,” Jed gushed out in relief when he saw me. He came to a stop a few steps behind Austin.

As if he’d just stepped into the bristling intensity and it tripped up his feet.

The stand-off.

The war.

Austin standing there? I knew that’s exactly what this was going to be.

“What the hell is going on here?” Jed demanded. His voice twisted into a threat. He glared at the back of Austin’s head, worried eyes flicking to me, hardening when they snapped back to Austin.

Blaire tugged at his arm. “Jed…I told you to give her a minute. Sometimes you need to let people sort out their own issues.”

Jed just grunted and shrugged off her arm.

Refusing to budge.

Austin swung his head to look behind him. When he did, his face shifted to the side, all those hard, beautiful lines exposed in profile, his expression winding into a bitter sneer. “Nah, man. All’s good here. Just telling an old friend hi. Isn’t that right, Edie?”

Aggression curled between them.

Alive and raging.

Jed was a burly, beefy, hulk of a man, a full beard covering most of his face, his brown hair cut short at the sides and longer on top.

Had I ever imagined him and Austin going toe to toe, I would have put all my money on Jed.

Now I wasn’t so sure.

Jed lifted his chin, as if for the moment he was standing down, turning to me as his tone softened. “You okay, Edie?”

I nodded. “Yeah, I’m okay.”

Lie. Lie. Lie.

I was shaken to my core.

“I just want to go home.” It left me on a desperate breath.

Jed pushed around Austin and stalked my way. “All right, let’s get you out of here.”

As she passed by Austin, Blaire cast a searching glance in his direction, before her attention flickered over to me, a ton of worried questions moving across her expression.

Questions I didn’t know if I had the strength to answer.

With an arm wound around my shoulder, Jed spun me, breaking the spell Austin had me under, and tucked me into his side.

Protecting and shielding.

He began to lead me away, down the planks and toward his car waiting in the parking lot out front.

With each step we took, I could feel the heat of Austin’s stare. That burning intensity I wasn’t sure I could ever escape.

The hurt and hatred.

It was a hatred I couldn’t tell who it was directed at.

If it was aimed at him or me or the rest of the world that had threatened to choke the life out of us.

The world we were supposed to take on together.

Just as we started to round the corner, I paused because I just couldn’t stop myself, turned to look back at the man who stood there staring back at me.

Emotion gripped his expression just as tight as the clench of his fists.

Hard and tortured.

As if I was the one inflicting the pain.

I choked down the sorrow that rose like a cyclone, spinning and spinning, whipping up the old affection that longed for that soft, understanding boy to take me in his arms and sing in my ear.

Dangerous.

I searched inside myself for the shelter that secured my heart. The flimsy cover I wore that just barely kept me together. I forced myself to speak the words I knew would drive him away, as much of a lie as they were. “And for the record…no, Austin, I definitely don’t believe in fate.”

 

 

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Read BFF K’s Reviews from the rest of the Bleeding Stars Series

A Stone in the Sea

Drowning to Breathe

Where Lightning Strikes

 

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About the Author

aljacksonphotoA.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.

Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, as well as the newest BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for the next installments, WAIT and STAY, coming in 2016.

If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.

Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://bit.ly/NewsFromALJackson or text “jackson” to 96000 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

Connect with A.L. Jackson online:www.aljacksonauthor.com

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Excerpt – Close to You by Kristen Proby

The BFF’s are thrilled to bring you this excerpt from Close to You by Kristen Proby. Close to You is the second book in the Fusion Series and is available for Pre-Order on Amazon.com.


From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby comes the second novel in her sizzling Fusion series that began with Listen to Me.
Camilla, “Cami,” LaRue was five years old when she first fell in love with Landon Palazzo. Everyone told her the puppy love would fade—they clearly never met Landon. When he left after graduation without a backward glance, she was heartbroken. But Cami grew up, moved on, and became part-owner of wildly popular restaurant Seduction. She has everything she could want…or so she thinks.

After spending the last 12 years as a Navy fighter pilot, Landon returns to Portland to take over the family construction business. When he catches a glimpse of little Cami LaRue, he realizes she’s not so little any more. He always had a soft spot for his little sister’s best friend, but nothing is soft now when he’s around the gorgeous restauranteur.

Landon isn’t going to pass up the chance to make the girl-next-door his. She’s never been one for romance, but he’s just the one to change her mind. Will seduction be just the name of her restaurant or will Cami let him get close enough to fulfill all her fantasies?

Pre-order Close to You

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A special short story is available when you pre-order Close to You. Anyone who pre-orders the book and enters their information here: https://a.pgtb.me/PxZwn4 will get an email with a short story about Will and Meg from PLAY WITH ME from the With Me in Seattle series!

 

Excerpt

Listen to Me, Book 1 in the Fusion Series

BFF K’s Review of Listen to Me

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About the Author

Author Pic - Kristen Proby

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.

Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps. Visit her at KristenProby.com.

 

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Chapter 1 Reveal – Bossman by Vi Keeland

The BFF’s are thrilled to bring you this extended teaser for Bossman by Vi Keeland!

The first time I met Chase Parker, I didn’t exactly make a good impression.

I was hiding in the bathroom hallway of a restaurant, leaving a message for my best friend to save me from my awful date.

He overheard and told me I was a bitch, then proceeded to offer me some dating advice.

So I told him to mind his own damn business—his own tall, gorgeous, full-of-himself damn business—and went back to my miserable date.

When he walked by my table, he smirked, and I watched his arrogant, sexy ass walk back to his date.

I couldn’t help but sneak hidden glances at the condescending jerk on the other side of the room. Of course, he caught me on more than one occasion, and winked.

When the gorgeous stranger and his equally hot date suddenly appeared at our table, I thought he was going to rat me out.

But instead, he pretended we knew each other and joined us—telling elaborate, embarrassing stories about our fake childhood.

My date suddenly went from boring to bizarrely exciting.

When it was over and we parted ways, I thought about him more than I would ever admit, even though I knew I’d never see him again.

I mean, what were the chances I’d run into him again in a city with eight million people?

Then again…

What were the chances a month later he’d wind up being my new sexy boss?

 

We hope you enjoy this extended preview!

Available for Pre-order on iBooks, Nook and Kobo now!

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Chapter 1 of Bossman by Vi Keeland

 

What a waste of smooth, shaven legs.

“Jules? It’s Reese. Where the hell are you? I need you. This is the worst date I’ve ever been on. I’m literally falling asleep. I’ve considered smashing my head on the table a few times to keep awake. Unless you want me bloodied and bruised, I need you to call with a fake emergency. Call me back. Please.” Pressing end call, I blew out a frustrated breath as I stood outside the ladies’ room in the dark hallway at the back of the restaurant.

A deep voice from behind me caught me off guard. “Unless he’s also an idiot—in addition to being boring—he’s going to know.”

“Excuse me?” I turned to find a man leaning against the wall, his eyes pointed down as he texted away on his phone. He continued without looking up.

“It’s the oldest trick in the book…the emergency phone call. The least you can do is put in a little more effort. It takes two months to get a reservation at this place, and it’s not cheap, sweetheart.”

“Maybe he should be the one to put in more effort. His sports jacket has a giant hole under the arm, and he’s done nothing but talk about his mother all night.”

“Ever consider that your snobby attitude makes him nervous?”

My eyes nearly bulged out of my head. “You want to talk about snobby? You eavesdrop on my call and give me your unwelcome opinions, all while staring down at your phone. You haven’t even made eye contact with me while you’re speaking.”

The jerk’s fingers froze mid text. Then I watched as his head rose, eyes following a leisurely path starting at my ankles, up over my bare legs, and lingering at the hemline of my skirt before continuing to trace their way over my hips, coming to rest briefly on my breasts before finally settling on my face.

“Yes, that’s right. Up here. These are my eyes.”

He pushed off the wall and stood tall, catching the lone ray that had been lighting the hallway. The streak illuminated his face, and I could see him clearly for the first time.

Really? Not what I was expecting. With that deep, raspy voice and attitude, I assumed I’d find someone older, probably dressed in a stuffy suit. But this guy was gorgeous. Young and gorgeous. Dressed entirely in black—simple and sleek, yet there was an edge to the way he looked. Golden brown hair tousled in that sexy I don’t give a shit way, but still looked perfect. Strong, masculine features—a square, rugged jaw coated with day-old stubble on sunkissed skin, a straight, prominent nose, and big, sexy, sleepy eyes the color of chocolate. Those were now staring intently at me.

Without dropping my gaze, he lifted his arms from his sides, holding them up over his head. “You want to check me for rips before you decide if I’m worthy of speaking to?”

He was gorgeous all right, but definitely an asshole. “That’s not necessary. Your attitude has already decided that for me, and you’re not.”

Lowering his arms, he chuckled. “Suit yourself. Try to enjoy the rest of your evening, sweetheart.”

I huffed, but stole one last fleeting look at the beautiful jerk before I walked back to my date.

Martin was sitting with his hands folded when I returned to my seat at the table.

“Sorry,” I told him. “There was a line.”

“That reminds me of a funny story. This one time, I was at a restaurant with my mother, and when she went to use the ladies’ room…”

His voice faded away while I stared at my phone, willing it to ring. Damn you, Jules. Where are you when I really need you? Around the middle of the story—at least I think it was the middle—I noticed the jerk from the bathroom walking past our table. He smirked at me after taking a look at my rambling date and my disinterested face. Curious, I followed his path to get a look at who he was here with.

Figures.

Dyed blonde, pretty in a slutty sort of way, with a heaping amount of boobage falling out of her low-cut dress. She made googly eyes at her date as he returned; I rolled mine. Yet…I couldn’t help but glance over at their table from time to time.

When our salads arrived, Martin was talking about his mother’s recent appendectomy, and I grew particularly bored. My eyes must have lingered a minute too long, because the guy from the bathroom caught me staring at him. Across the restaurant, he winked, arched an eyebrow, and tipped his glass in my direction.

Jerk.

Since I’d been caught, why bother to hide my watching him? He was certainly more interesting than my date. And he wasn’t shy about looking my way either. When a waiter stopped by his table, I watched as beautiful bathroom guy pointed in my direction and spoke. Martin was still telling some mommy-dearest story as I glanced behind me to see what the attractive jerk across the room could’ve been pointing to. When I turned back, the jerk and his date were standing. Reading his lips, I could make out some of what he was saying…something about joining an old friend, I thought. Then suddenly, they were walking right toward our table.

Is he going to say something to Martin about what he overheard?

“Reese. Is that you?”

What in the hell?

“Umm…yes.”

“Wow. It’s been a long time.” He patted his hand on his chest. “It’s me, Chase.” Before I knew what was happening, the jerk (who was apparently named Chase) reached down and gripped me in a bear hug. While I was in his arms, he whispered, “Play along. Let’s make your night more exciting, sweetheart.”

Dumbfounded, I could only stare as he turned his attention to Martin, extending his hand.

“I’m Chase Parker. Reese and I go way back.”

“Martin Ward.” My date nodded.

“Martin, mind if we join you? It’s been years since Buttercup and I have seen each other. I’d love to catch up. You don’t mind, do you?”

Although he’d asked a question, Chase definitely didn’t wait for a response. Instead, he pulled out a chair for his date and introduced her.

“This is Bridget…” He looked to her for help, and she filled in the blank.

“McDermott. Bridget McDermott.” She smiled, undaunted by our new double date or Chase’s obvious inability to remember her last name.

Martin, on the other hand, looked disappointed that our twosome was now a foursome, although I was certain he would never voice it.

He looked to Chase as he sat. “Buttercup?”

“That’s what we used to call her. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. My favorite candy.”

Once Chase and Bridget were seated, there was a moment of awkwardness. Surprisingly, it was Martin who broke it. “So, how do you two know each other?”

Even though Martin asked the question looking at both of us, I wanted to make it clear to Chase that he was the one on the hot seat. This was his little game.

“I’ll let Chase tell you about the first time we met. It’s really a funny story, actually.” I propped my elbows on the table and rested my head on my folded hands, turning my full attention to Chase while batting my eyelashes with a sly grin.

He didn’t flinch, nor did he take more than a few seconds to come up with a story. “Well, it wasn’t really the first time we met that’s the funny story—more like what happened after we met. My parents split up when I was in eighth grade, and I had to transfer to a new school. I was pretty miserable until I met Reese here on the bus the first week. She was the off-limits pretty girl, but I figured I had no friends to bust my balls if I asked her on a date and she turned me down. So, even though she’s a year older than me, I asked her to the eighth-grade dance. Surprised the shit out of me when she agreed to go.

“Anyway, I was young, with a healthy dose of testosterone, and I got it into my head that she was going to be my first kiss. All of my buddies back at my old school had already gotten theirs, and I figured it was my time. So, when the dance was coming to an end, I tugged Buttercup out of the crappy crepe-paper-and-balloon-decorated gymnasium and into the hall for some privacy. Of course, since it was my first time, I had no idea what to expect. But I went for it—got right in there and started to suck her face.”

Chase paused and winked at me. “It was all good up until then, wasn’t it, Buttercup?”

I couldn’t even respond. I was so floored listening to his story. But again, my lack of response didn’t seem to bother him because he went right along, weaving his tall tale.

“Anyway, this is where the story gets good. Like I said, I didn’t have any experience, but I dove right in—lips, teeth, tongue, and all. After a minute, the kiss started to feel awfully wet, but I was into it, so I kept going and going, not wanting to be the first one to pull away. Eventually, when we came up for air—literally since I’d almost sucked her face off—I realized why it had felt so wet. Reese had gotten a nosebleed in the middle of the kiss, and both of our faces were covered in smeared blood.”

Martin and Bridget laughed, but I was too stunned to react.

Chase reached out and touched my arm. “Come on, Buttercup. Don’t get embarrassed. Those were some good times we had. Remember?”

“How long were you two a couple?” Martin asked.

Just as Chase was about to respond, I reached over and touched his arm in the same patronizing way he’d touched mine. “Not too long. Right after the other incident, we broke up.”

Bridget clapped her hands and bopped up and down in her seat like an excited child. “I wanna hear about the other incident!”

“I’m not sure I should actually share it, now that I think about it,” I mused. “Is this your first date?”

Bridget nodded.

“Well, I don’t want you to assume Chase has the same problem anymore. Since our little incident was so long ago.” I leaned over to Bridget and whispered, “They gain better control as they grow older. Usually.”

Instead of being upset, Chase looked thoroughly pleased with my story. Proud, even. In fact, the rest of the evening went on pretty much the same way. Chase told elaborate stories about our fake childhood, unafraid to embarrass himself in the process, and kept us all amused. I sometimes added to his stories when my mouth wasn’t hanging open at the crap he’d made up.

I hated to admit it, but the jerk had started to grow on me, even while telling stories about my bloody nose and the “unfortunate bra-stuffing incident.” By the end of the evening, I was ordering coffee to stall the night’s end—a far cry from our exchange in the bathroom hallway.

Outside of the restaurant, Martin, Chase, and I all handed the valet our tickets. I preferred to be in control of when a first date started and ended, so I’d met Martin at the restaurant. Of course Bridget had come in Chase’s car like a normal date. She was also practically rubbing up against his side as she clung to his arm while we waited for our cars. When my shiny red Audi pulled up first, I wasn’t sure how to say goodbye to…well…anyone. I took the keys and lingered with the door open.

“Nice car, Buttercup.” Chase smiled. “Better than that hunk of junk you drove in high school, huh?”

I chuckled. “I suppose it is.”

Martin stepped forward. “It was nice seeing you, Reese. I hope we can do this again sometime.”

Rather than wait for him to attempt to kiss me, I went in for a hug. “Thank you for a nice dinner, Martin.”

As I stepped back, Chase stepped forward and pulled me into a hug. Unlike the friendly back-pat I’d given Martin, Chase plastered me against his body. God, it felt good. Then he did the strangest thing… He wound my long hair around his hand a few times and closed it into a fist, using it to tug my head back. His eyes lingered on my lips as I looked up at him, and for a brief second, I thought he might kiss me.

Then he leaned down and kissed my forehead. “See you at the reunion next year?”

I nodded, feeling almost off-kilter. “Umm…sure thing.” I glanced to Bridget after he released me. “Nice to meet you, Bridget.”

Reluctantly, I folded into my car. Feeling eyes on me, I looked up while putting my seat belt on. Chase watched me intently. It looked like he wanted to say something, but after a few heartbeats, it felt strange to sit and wait any longer.

Taking a deep breath, I pulled away with one last wave, wondering why it felt like I was leaving something important behind.

About the Author

Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn’t change for the world. She is an attorney and a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, & USA Today Best Selling author.  Over the last three years, eleven of her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestseller lists and four on the New York Times Bestseller lists.

 

Additional Books by Vi Keeland

Life on Stage series (2 standalone books)

Beat

Amazon US     Amazon UK     iBooks     Kobo     B&N

Throb

Amazon US    Amazon UK     Barnes & Noble     iBooks    Kobo

MMA Fighter series (3 standalone books)

Worth the Fight (MMA Fighter Series, Book One)

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo     Smashwords     iBooks

Worth The Chance (MMA Fighter Series, Book Two)

Amazon US     B&N    iBooks      Kobo     Smashwords

Worth Forgiving (MMA Fighter Series, Book Three)

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The Cole Series (2 book serial)

Belong to You (Cole Series, Book One)

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo

Made for You (Cole Series, Book Two)

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo

Standalone novels

Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)

Amazon US     Amazon UK

First Thing I See

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Pre-Sale Blitz – The Summer Games by R.S. Grey

 

Title: The Summer Games: Settling the ScoreAuthor: R.S. GreyRelease Date: May 2, 2016

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As an Olympic rookie, Andie Foster has spent far more time in her cleats than between the sheets. For 21 years, her Friday nights have consisted of blocking shots rather than taking them. But now that she’s landed in Rio, she’s ready to see for herself if the rumors about the Olympic Village are true:
The athletes are all sex-crazed maniacs…The committee passes out condoms like candy…The games continue long after the medals have been handed out…

As Andie walks the line between rumor and reality, she’s forced into the path of Frederick Archibald, a decorated Olympic swimmer and owner of a sexy British accent—too bad he’s unavailable in a way that “it’s complicated” doesn’t even begin to explain.
In other words: off limits.
It doesn’t matter that he has abs that could bring peace to the Middle East and a smile that makes even the Queen blush; Andie fully intends on keeping her focus on the soccer field. But the Village is small. Suffocating. Everywhere Andie goes, Freddie happens to be there—shirtless, wet from the pool, and determined to show her a whole new meaning of the phrase “international affairs”.

About the Author

I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way, I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things… everyday.
I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors include Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I’m a comedy geek and love all things “funny”. Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.