Friday, April 25, 2014

Official Super Fan: Out Of Line series by Jen McLaughlin

Out of Line (Out of Line #1)
Release Date: September 6th 2013
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Desperate to break free…
I've spent my entire life under my father’s thumb, but now I'm finally free to make my own choices. When my roommate dragged me to my first college party, I met Finn Coram and my life turned inside out. He knows how to break the rules and is everything I never knew I wanted. A Marine by day and surfer by night, he pushes me away even as our attraction brings us closer. Now I am finally free to do whatever I want. I know what I want. I choose Finn. 
Trying to play by the rules...
I always follow orders. My job, my life, depends on it. I thought this job would be easy, all the rules were made crystal clear, but when I met Carrie Wallington, everything got muddy. She's a rule I know I shouldn't break, but damn if I don’t inch closer to the breaking point each time I see her. I’m ready to step out of line. And even worse? I’m living a lie. They say the truth will set you free, but in my case…
The truth will cost me everything.

Out of Time (Out of Line #2)
Release Date: December 1st 2013
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Desperate to keep him...
I've finally gotten everything I ever wanted: love, freedom, happiness, and, most importantly, Finn. Our love is everything I expected it to be and more. We've finally found each other, but the world seems determined to tear us apart. We thought my father was the only obstacle between us, but now it's the military. With Finn’s departure looming, we’re squeezing in every moment together before we run out of time.
Trying to make every moment count…
Being Carrie’s bodyguard was one thing. Being her boyfriend is another. Every day she’s mine is a day the sun shines in my life. Yet our time together is running out. Her father will never think a tattooed Marine will be good enough, so I’ll do whatever it takes to be worthy of her love. But the road will take me away from the girl who makes me feel alive--the girl I can't live without.
Time only gets us so far...

Out of Mind (Out of Line #3)
Release Date: April 29th 2014
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Reaching for sunlight...
Finn survived the ambush and came home to me, but in his head, the battle is still raging. He’s falling apart and I’m trying my best to pick up the pieces of him, to find the us we used to be. I love him as much as I ever did, but love isn’t enough to fix this. I thought telling my father about our relationship would be the hardest thing we’d ever have to face. I was wrong.
Lost in shadows...
All I wanted was to be worthy of Carrie. One mission, just one, and I’d be able to give her the future she deserved. Then everything went wrong, leaving me tainted and broken. Carrie wants me to be who I was, but all that’s left is what they made of me. I’m no good for her. No good for anyone like this. I have to figure out how to move forward. Alone.
Sometimes love isn’t enough…

Deleted Scene from Out Of Time: Part Three of Three

This was the original ending to Out of Time, before I decided to change it from a novella to a full length novel. Once I made the book longer, a bunch of stuff changed, including the way/place/time that Finn told Carrie he would be leaving. As did the reasons why. Enjoy! --Jen

This whole fucking weekend had been hell. My C.O. had waited until the last possible second to tell us what was going on, and even then it’d been with reluctance after countless questions. After they poked us with needles for hours, and had given us God knows how many vaccinations, they made us spend all fucking night filling out paperwork. I hadn’t slept at all, but I didn’t want Carrie to know that.
She was already worried enough.
There was no reason she needed to know about how I hadn’t slept since Friday night, and probably wouldn’t be sleeping much at all in the next year. This whole picnic thing was all both bittersweet and ridiculous. The not talking about what we were both so obviously thinking about was even more so.
It was time to just man up and open my fucking mouth. She was ready now.
I closed my hands around the back of her waist, holding on tight in case she tried to bolt or something. Fuck if I knew. I just knew I needed to hold onto her. “I’m going on deployment.”
She squeezed her eyes shut again, tears streaming down her cheeks, but she didn’t make a sound. She just sat there, her eyes tightly shut like a little kid who was too scared to open her eyes, and didn’t move. I held her, letting her process it all, and tried not to freak out myself. Not because I was scared to go over. I mean…I was a little bit.
But mostly because I wanted her to be okay.
After what felt like fucking hours, she opened her eyes. She looked so resolute and strong, even with wet cheeks and makeup running down her face, that she took my breath away. “Where are they sending you?” she asked, her voice surprisingly steady.
“I’m not entirely sure yet. I’m not even sure that I can say, once I do know.” I rubbed her lower back gently, still not letting go of her. If I had it my way, I’d never let go of her again until I had to walk on that fucking ship. “I think we’re going out on the Cleveland, but I could be wrong.”
She licked her lips, not dropping my gaze. She was so strong. So fucking strong. “How soon?”
“It’s looking like it’ll be after Christmas sometime. It’s still in the early stages, but I know we’ll be doing workups sooner.” I hesitated, not sure how much information I should give her. “We’ll be going to a combat zone, but I don’t know if I will be able to tell you anything else.”
She made a small sound, but clamped her lips together. “I…see.”
“I’m fine. We’re fine.” She cupped my cheek with one hand, the other one still pressing against the spot in between my shoulder blades. “I love you.”
I swallowed hard, the emotions inside of me warring with one another. I let go of her and lowered my head, not wanting her to see the tears that welled in my eyes. I wasn’t fucking crying, damn it. I was just moved by her emotions.
But on top of that, I knew it wasn’t fair of me to put her through all this shit. When I’d given her the “I don’t date because of my job” excuse, it hadn’t been one hundred percent truth. I hadn’t even been referring to my job as a Marine.
But now…now maybe I was getting that a little bit better.
Maybe it wasn’t fair of me to do this to her.
“I’m sorry, Ginger.” I closed my eyes and breathed her in. “I know you didn’t sign on for this when we fell in love. I’m sure you weren’t thinking of how this would be, or how you would feel if I went away.”
“I tried not to think about it, but I freaking knew it was possible.” Her fingers flexed on my shoulder. “I’m not as weak as you think I am. I— ”
“Weak? Are you shitting me?” I laughed, the words flowing without a stop valve. “I think you’re the strongest fucking person I know, but I’m terrified to ruin that in you. Scared to ruin you.”
Her eyes flashed at me. “And how the heck are you going to ruin me?”
I should just break it off. Walk away and set her free. But beneath all my brave words and actions, I was a selfish man who didn’t want her to leave me. Who didn’t want to let her go, even if I knew I should. But I had to be honest with her. “I might die. And if I did, then you’ll—”
She made a broken sound, tears filling her eyes again, and smacked me. “You will not die. Tell me you won’t. Promise me.”
My heart wrenched. “I can’t make a promise I can’t keep, Ginger. You know that.”
“That’s why I need you to promise me.” She shook her head, the tears streaming down her face, clinging to my arms so hard it hurt almost as much as my heart did at the sight of her tear filled eyes. “If you say it, I know you’ll be okay. I know you’ll stay safe for me.”
I wanted to give it to her. Wanted to make her feel better. But what if I went and died? I didn’t want the last promise I made her to be a lie. Fuck no. I ducked my head lower, hiding my eyes from her. She was fucking killing me here. “Damn it, I wish I could. But I can’t.”
Her lower lip trembled, but she bit down on it so hard I feared she would draw blood. “Please.”
I buried my face in her neck, hugging her against my chest as best I could. I swallowed hard, my chest and throat tight. “I promise to be diligent and to keep myself as safe as possible. I promise not to be an idiot. I promise not to be a martyr. But most importantly, I promise to fall asleep every night with you on my mind, and wake up smiling because I’m lucky enough to have you in my life.”
And just like that, I broke her. “Finn…”
She let out a shattered sob, her whole body trembling in my arms. She felt so fucking frail and small just now, even though I knew underneath the fragile façade she was stronger than anyone I’d ever met. My heart shattered and I blinked rapidly, my own vision blurring. I couldn’t handle her tears, damn it. “Shit, don’t cry. Not for me.”
“I c-can’t stop,” she wailed, holding me even closer. “I’m s-sorry.”
She was sorry? Seriously. This was all my fault. Not hers. My chest grew even tauter. I wanted to say something, anything, to make her feel better. Anything to make the moment less terrifying for her. Less painful. “I love you, and nothing is going to stop me from coming back here to you. Nothing.”
She drew back and looked up at me. Her eyes were red and the tip of her nose was even redder. It was fucking adorable, even if my heart broke to see her so upset. “I love you too. Just…just do your best. That’s all I can ask.”
I forced a smile. What if I came home crippled or broken or shot? Or what if I came home so fucked up I wasn’t even the man I used to be? The man she fell in love with. Would she still love me then? Would anyone? “I will.”
She took a shaky breath and swiped her hands across her face, trying to get rid of the tears. All it did was smear her makeup worse. “Will you still be able to come home with me for the holidays?”
“I think so.” I twisted my lips into what I hoped was a smile. “As long as I’m not floating in the middle of the ocean for it.”
She tried to smile but failed as horribly as I probably did. “And what will my dad do? Does he know about this?”
“He knows it’s possible I’m going, but I didn’t talk to him yet. I’m sure I’ve got a million texts from him by now.” I dropped my forehead to hers. “This is all just logistical bullshit, really. It’ll all be the same except…I’ll be gone.”
“And Dad will send someone else in your place.” Her lower lip quivered. “Maybe we should tell him I know, and then I’ll tell him to knock it the heck off.”
I cocked a brow even though she couldn’t see me. “Do you think it would work?”
“No,” she admitted. “It didn’t work last time. He sent you.”
“No falling in love with the next one,” I said, keeping my voice light. “I’ll have to come back and kick his ass.”
She chuckled, but it sounded forced. Of course it fucking did. “I promise that won’t happen.”
“And when I’m over there…” I broke off, not sure how to word this in a way that wouldn’t piss her off, but then decided I couldn’t think of a single way. “Just let me know if something changes, you know?”
She stiffened. “Like?”
“Like if you meet someone who isn’t in the fucking desert.” I tightened my grip on her when she started to pull away. “Hey, I’m just saying—”
She squirmed. “Yeah, well, just say it one more time and I’ll punch you so hard in the balls you won’t be able to talk in anything but a soprano for a month.”
I pulled back and looked her in the eye for the first time since she started crying. I finally had myself under control. “It’s just that I love you enough to be able to let you go, if that’s best for you.”
“Being without you will never be best for me.” She pressed her lips together. “No matter what, it’s me and you together—even if we’re apart. Promise?”
“I promise.” I kissed the tip of her still red nose. “It’s us against the world.”
She gave me a small smile. “Right. And together, how could we possibly lose?”
Her grip on me tightened, and she kissed me. She tasted like wine and tears, and I pressed even closer to her, needing more. Needing so much fucking more.
The night had fallen, and the dark shadows surrounded us, but all I smelled and heard and felt was her. I knew if a threat came close-by, I’d be on my feet in two-point-two seconds, fists swinging. But right now, we were alone on a dark beach. Our beach.
When I’d seen her, in tiny shorts and a striped sweater looking for all the world like she was standing at gunpoint instead of waiting for her boyfriend to come, my heart had stopped. Literally stopped. I would never get used to the way she made me feel.

How much better she made me.

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Jen McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She writes steamy New Adult books for the young and young at heart. Her first release, Out of Line, came out September 2013. She also writes bestselling Contemporary Romance under the pen name Diane Alberts.Since receiving her first contract offer under the pen name Diane Alberts, she has yet to stop writing. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, a cat, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she’s not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

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