As I created Fable Maguire, I knew what I wanted right from the start: a tough, fiercely loyal, misunderstood, lonely girl. I wanted to give her a crap home life (hello worst mom of the year), I wanted to give her a slightly warranted (but exaggerated) reputation and she needed to have a chip on her shoulder. It was Fable against the world.
But then I realized Fable might come across as too hard. I mean yes, she had reason to be so bitter and angry but she also needed to show her softer side. I of course, planned on her showing that softer side with Drew but not at first. She’s too wary of his intentions and defensive. After thinking on it, I knew I needed to give her someone to love. Someone who loved her back unconditionally.
Enter Owen Maguire, her cursing, troublemaking, weed smoking little brother.
There’s a reason I named him Owen and I want to cry every time I think about it. An 8th grader at my kid’s school accidentally shot himself last year and died. The school (which is small – a kindergarten through 8th grade school so everyone seems to know each other) was devastated.
His name was Owen. So my Owen is in honor of a boy we lost too soon…
Owen Maguire wasn’t going to be a major character in my mind. Just a secondary character who gave Fable purpose and a reason to care. But he came to life in ONE WEEK GIRLFRIEND. And in SECOND CHANCE BOYFRIEND he came at me (and Drew. One of my favorite scenes to write was when he punched him) full force. I knew when I finished SCB, I wanted to give him his own story…
So. You want a little teaser of FOUR YEARS LATER? I know I should be focusing on Drew + Fable but I’m in an Owen mood this morning. So enjoy!
With a girl like Chelsea, she’d view me as slumming. Get with the rough bad boy and keep me her dirty little secret. And I bet she’s never slummed in her entire life. I probably scare the pants off of her.
Don’t you want to scare the pants off of her?
Hell, yeah. Though I shouldn’t. She’s not for me. Not my type.
My phone buzzes, indicating I have a text and I grab it, groaning when I see it’s my mom.
I’m in front of your house. Are you home?
Hell. She is the last person I want to deal with right now. Ever.
Crawling out of bed, I pull on a T-shirt and slip on some jeans, head toward the front door and throw it open to find her pacing the sidewalk that leads to my front door. She looks twitchy.
“Owen.” She smiles but it doesn’t light her eyes. Has it ever? “Are you just getting out of bed? You shouldn’t sleep in so late.”
Her attempts at mothering make me want to laugh. She’s a total joke. “I have class in less than an hour.” I don’t want her hanging around too long. She’ll end up asking for more, more, more.
She always wants more.
“What do you want?” I ask her when she doesn’t say anything.
Mom flinches and sighs. “Fine, we’re gonna get right to the point? I need money.”
Sure she does. She always does. Her part time job doesn’t pay much. I can’t even believe she’s holding down a job, what with her crappy track record. When she bailed on us, she’d been unemployed, spending a lot of time with her loser boyfriend Larry and basically living at his place or their favorite bar. That had been over four years ago.
Now here she is. Like she’s never left. Though somehow the tables have turned and I’m the one who takes care of her. Funny, considering she never really took care of me or Fable. “How much?”
“Two hundred?” She winces, like she hates asking but it’s all a lie. She has no problem whatsoever asking me for cash. She thinks I’m an endless money train, thanks to Drew the stud football player Callahan. And that’s a direct quote, spit out with so much venom and bitterness I recoiled when she said it.
Yeah. Mom and Fable do not get along. Hell, they don’t even talk. Drew’s never met her.
My family is fucked in every which way you could think of.
“I don’t have that kind of cash,” I say.
Her eyes go wide. Dull and green. Her over-dyed hair is yellow and fried at the ends. She looks like hell. Fable would flip the fuck out if she knew I’ve been talking to her, giving her money for months. “What do you mean, you don’t have it? Your sister’s husband is a goddamn football player for the NFL! He’s loaded!”
I press my lips together. Here she goes even though she knows Fable doesn’t know we’re in contact. “Drew doesn’t give me money.”
“He keeps you in this house. Bought your brand new car. Paid for your education.”
“I earned a scholarship fair and square. This house is a shithole but I wouldn’t let Drew pay for some expensive place I don’t need. And he gave me that car when I turned eighteen.” I cross my arms in front of my chest, hating that I have to defend what I have. She looks at Fable and me and all she sees is dollar signs.
“I need it.” She’s whining. “You’re telling me you really don’t have two hundred to spare?”
“Not till I get paid,” I say which is the fucking truth. I live on my own terms as much as I can. My extra spending money is what I make at the restaurant. It doesn’t come out of Drew’s bank account. I gotta man up sometime.
She glances down at the sidewalk and kicks at it with her beat up Nikes that have seen way better days. Like five years ago plus better days. “Tomorrow then? Can I come by and get it tomorrow?”
“Sure,” I bite out. “And bring some beer, would you?”
“How can I bring you beer if I don’t have any money?” She glares at me. Those dull eyes sharpen with an edge of anger. Thin mouth set in a firm line. She’s the unhappiest person I’ve ever met. Mean for mean’s sake. Selfish and dumb, she makes the worst choices I’ve ever witnessed.
I’m scared as hell that I’ll turn out exactly like her. The choices I make are terrible. I know better. Yet I keep doing it.
Like mother, like son…
Let’s just cut to the good stuff today okay? In less than a week, DREW + FABLE FOREVER will be out. When I wrote ONE WEEK GIRLFRIEND, I knew I was going to write a second book (and had no title – did you know I had a contest to help me with that? Yep, so many great titles but SECOND CHANCE BOYFRIEND won) but that was it. And once I finished SCB, I had no plans on continuing their story. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
Then readers kept saying they wanted more. All the time. That got me to wanting more because as I said in the acknowledgements of SCB, they were still whispering in my ear (especially that Drew) even though I wasn’t going to write about them anymore (beyond as secondary characters). Their story was through.
But I sold the series to Bantam/Random House. I talked with my editor and mentioned either a) adding more to OWG or b) possibly a novella. We went with the novella idea. And that’s how DREW + FABLE FOREVER came to be.
So here’s a little graphic quote teaser (and quite a sexy one I might add), plus an excerpt ( a very ADULT excerpt – you’ve been warned!) from the scene it was featured in. Hope you enjoy!
We’ve both been stressed. Our life keeps changing and I’m blown away by it all. I think she is too. We tend to fall into bed in an exhausted heap together, going right to sleep. Or we have hurried sex—not that it’s bad, but I haven’t necessarily felt connected to Fable lately.
I hope to rectify that.
Finally, the door opens and she walks out, a fucking vision in white silk and lace. The nightgown is long and clings to her shape, thin straps cross her shoulders, and I swear the entire front is made of nothing but sheer lace. As in, I can clearly see her nipples.
I almost choke on my tongue just looking at her.
“What do you think?” She sounds nervous as she does a little twirl, revealing the back of the gown, and holy fuck, I’m done for. Her entire back is exposed, it dips so low, almost to her ass, and my fingers itch to touch her.
“Come here and I’ll show you exactly what I think,” I say when I finally find my scratchy voice.
A smile teases the corners of her lips and she comes to me, the scent of her filling my head, driving me wild. Her hair is down and has a slight wave to it, her face scrubbed free of makeup with cheeks pink from the sun. Her skin practically glows under the faint light from the nearby lamp and I reach out, relief and love and lust flooding my veins when she curls her hand in mine.
“Where did you get it?” She knows exactly what I’m talking about.
She shrugs those pretty, slim shoulders I want to kiss. “Jen took me shopping before we left.”
Fable had gone back home for a few days to spend time with Owen before we flew out. The kid was pissed, complaining that he wanted to go to Hawaii. Not that he was mad at us, but he just . . . wanted to go to Hawaii. “Well, wherever she took you, I approve.”
She laughs, the sound soft and so deliciously Fable, my skin warms. “I wanted to look pretty for you tonight.”
“You look pretty for me every day and night,” I say automatically because it’s true. Not only is she beautiful on the inside, but she’s fucking gorgeous on the outside. I see the heads that turn when I show up anywhere with Fable beside me. She barely looks at them. Her eyes are only on me.
“You are too sweet.” She dips down and gives me a kiss, but I don’t close my eyes. No, my gaze is locked on her chest, the way the front of her nightgown gapes with the movement, and I catch a glimpse of bare skin and tempting pink nipples.
“Are you checking me out?” she murmurs against my lips just before she pulls away.
“Wearing something like that, you knew this was going to happen.” I give her hand a tug and yank her down so she’s sprawled across me, nothing but hot, smooth skin and silk and lace fabric. “And wait until you see what I’m wearing.”
Preorder links here: Amazon | Amazon CAN | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | B&N | iBookstore
If you haven’t read ONE WEEK GIRLFRIEND and plan to, then you need to walk away from this blog post right. Now. Because I’m about to go into spoiler mode.
Okay, are they gone? Here I go.
What happened to Drew Callahan is horrible yet he feels tremendous guilt. Like he asked for his stepmother to molest him because he never stopped it. Because deep down inside, despite his hatred and fear for her and knowing that what was happening between them was wrong, he liked it. He derived pleasure from it, no matter how fleeting.
Did those above sentences just make you uncomfortable? They made me uncomfortable and I’m the one who wrote them. About a fictional character who’s not even real. But I think those sorts of feelings are real for others who are really in Drew’s situation or have been, and that breaks my heart. I believe this sort of thing happens more than we know and though some people might joke about it (handsome rich kid banging his stepmom! Way to go, bro), I think it’s a very real subject that I wanted to deal with in what I hoped was a realistic matter.
Not every teenage boy wants to bang his young and beautiful stepmom. Not every situation like Drew’s is glamorous and sexy (are any of them? Really?). It’s painful and ugly and it hurts.
One of my absolute favorite things that has come out of writing ONE WEEK GIRLFRIEND, is the reader email I receive that says they appreciate how I handle Drew’s reaction and feelings when it comes to molestation. I’ve had a few who have spoken with victims, who know/are involved with victims and who are victims themselves, who thanked me for handling such a tough subject matter in a realistic way.
Because my peeps, this shit isn’t pretty. It’s painful and ugly and hard to hear about. Read about. Drew was at the end of his rope. He needed something or someone to make him realize that it wasn’t his fault, that he can be healed and that most of all, he can be loved.
So I gave him Fable. She showed him all of that. She made him believe in the fairytale. And in return, he did the same for her. Because as I like to say about these two, they were a broken mess on their own, but together, they make sense. I was so worried he would look like a total wimp. That readers wouldn’t find him appealing because of what happened to him. I am so incredibly thankful that you did. I know I certainly love Drew. And I’m glad so many of you do too.
I posted this quote on January 23rd, 2013 on Facebook. It sounds like something both Drew AND Fable would think.