Monday, July 7, 2014

The Unofficial Book Blitz: Next to You (Life #2) by Claudia Y. Burgoa

Next to You (Life #2)
by Claudia Y. Burgoa
Publisher: Literally Alpaca Illustrations, LLC
Release Date: July 1st 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
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…I need time. Time to heal those wings and learn to use them…

Was part of the letter Rebecca Trent, Daniel Brightmore’s fiancée and best friend left when she ran away. The person he trusted the most for the past decade disappeared without giving him a second glance. She taught him how to love, believe in family and that everyone deserves a happily ever after. Now he’s struggling between wiping any traces of her from his life and drowning his sorrows away with the help of his new best friends—Don Julio and Jack Daniels.


Rebecca’s past suffocated her to the point of not wanting to continue, her lifeline and the only reason to live began to withdraw from her. She wished it had been her imagination, but heard it loud and clear: “If not, there’s always a divorce, nothing is forever.” This time it became a leave or die situation. Something has got to change—she had to change. Packing light and leaving a letter behind, she takes a journey that can help her find herself through the shards of her painful childhood.

As letters, memories and stories are exchanged, two once inseparable people reconcile what’s left of their relationship. Beyond the confines of everything they built together, they’re left with two lonely people searching for what it means to be whole. Will they find meaning under their bruised psyches or will their pasts get the better of them?

Next To You
by Claudia Y. Burgoa

For now, I’m wandering through the place, checking that security is in place and the bar is working smoothly. Like old times, back when we started opening our own clubs. The difference between now and then is that we do this—manage the place—only on opening night and for a couple of hours. At least I do. Buddy still enjoys staying the entire night at one of the locations and making sure everything runs as he likes.
“Nick,” I bump into him as I entered the +25 V.I.P. section, “I didn’t know you’d be coming. I thought you said you had a busy day.”
“Yes, I’m working,” he says. “Tony is in the field and the decision for her to come was made only an hour before we arrived here.”
I scan the room that only has about twenty guests—mainly friends—and find a curvy hot item wearing a barely there skirt and an open back blouse talking animatedly to…Blaine Frank. Who the hell invited him?
“Did she come alone?” I ask before jumping the macho wagon and breaking the fingers of my architect, as he’s touching Becca’s arm. Nick shakes his head. “She came with Frank?”
“No, with the Sanders,” Nick tells me. “They’re at the bar.”
That’s an open invitation to act somewhat possessive, isn’t it? The jury—my dick—agrees and as a judge it dictates the procedure to follow. Walk to her and let Frank know that he needs to back off.
“Hi, beautiful,” I whisper in her ear and make the mistake of touching her silky skin with the tip of my fingers. Becca tenses and by instinct, I kiss her naked shoulder. “Let’s get a drink and dance.”
I don’t wait for an answer, instead I grab her hand and pull her toward the private room, which will remain closed for today.
“What the hell was that?” she asks after I unlock the door, let us in and close it behind us. “Did you lose the memo where it informs you that I’m not yours?”
“You’re killing me here, Becca,” I say as I try to tamp down the jealousy running through my body. “Fuck, you know I can’t resist when you show that much skin. Then he’s touching you and…”
“He wasn’t touching me, Dan. The exaggerating much file is taking a hit again. You’re making a light brush on my arm sound as if he was mauling me right in front of all the guests,” she shrieks, not a Becca like behavior. “And what if he was, we are over. O.V.E.R. So stop kissing my back as if we’re together. If you need to get laid, there are plenty of women that will be willing to do it. We’re not even friends and you’re taking way too many liberties.”
“We’re not friends because you won’t let me get close to you,” I automatically respond, then I rethink what I just said since I’m guilty of the same charge. “We haven’t even tried to close that gap, Bex.”
“Fine.” She crosses her arms. “So when did you move to San Jose, Dan?” she questions, as if we’re retaking some random conversation. Instead of letting me answer, she speaks again, “Never mind, I apologize if I’m not willing to play the game of twenty questions with you.” She raises her hands toward the ceiling and shakes her head. “We both know I’m the only one who’s going to keep the conversation going while you give me monosyllabic answers.”
I want to ask my own question, PMS or just bitchy? but I abstain.
“Bad day?” Bad question, I tell myself, after she growls. “Bex?”
“It’s hard you know.” The head looking down and lip biting posture isn’t a good sign. No I don’t, I want to say but choose to listen. “Trying to behave friendly, but not too friendly, making sure I don’t overstep because I’m not your person anymore and…I resigned to all my rights. But then you behave like this…” She gestures with her hand, as if speaking of the stupid scene I just made outside this room. “Or when I moved to my new place and you kicked across the street guy out of my house. I can’t remember his name, nor do I care much, but he avoids me now. You’re hitting on me one moment and the next you look at me as if I’m contagious and of course you avoid me at all times. It’s crazy, confusing and dumb, you know.”
“I know,” I respond and match her sigh. “We could start again, as friends if that’s what you prefer. As you previously established, we aren’t going to be out of each other’s lives any time soon—if ever.”
“Then there’s that, your family is mine too.” She looks around the room. “Friends, I guess, Dan, I like the sound of it better than being nothing.”
I nod and check my surroundings to verify that the silence that usually follows her is not taking over, because it’s infuriating to be with it and Becca inside the same room.

“But be aware,” I tell her as I reach the door handle so we head back to the VIP room, “that’ won’t last long. To be blunt, I want more, including getting in your panties, Rebecca. Not long ago I discovered that you and I are vined together, branded and there’s no way in hell I’m spending the rest of my life feeling like I’m missing a part of myself. Don’t try to confuse me with your brother this time, because I don’t need more siblings.”

by Claudia Y. Burgoa

After finishing Where Life Takes You, the original idea had been to write it from both POV’s. However after sending the first draft to my editor and my beta reader, we concluded that it was best to write it only from Dan’s. However here is one of the scene’s from Becca’s POV, while she’s away:

Crouched into a little human ball, I remain in the corner of the floor inside my ten by ten foot new room rocking back and forth. The cozy bed remains undone, covers on the floor and I shiver from the nightmare I just had. The picture of Dan and I siting on the night stand stares at me. Ty’s family watches me from the small desk. For me, for them, for a better future, I repeat to myself while steading my breaths. My progress in the last three months is outstanding according to the doctors. I called it bull shit and they insisted for me to tone down my voice and use a more appropriate vocabulary. 

No matter how much I cuss at them, they assure me that my treatment should be able to continue at home sooner than I imagine. I’m getting so much better. 

“Look at me now,” I scream inside the sound proof room. “Of course you can’t because you professional shrinks can go home to your families—unlike me.” 

“Take it down a notch or two, Becca,” I remind myself about my lady like manners and that of course my lungs could pierce and my throat explode before anyone hears my screaming. The isolation method is my choice, no one forced me. I did it because I’m stupid. 

Mathematically speaking, counting weekends—we had sessions seven days a week—they swore in forty three days I’d be up and running. Ready to face the world. That totaled about thirty to forty hypnotherapies and a shrink session afterward to talk about my feelings or help me work through the episode. Forty three exposure therapies, because reliving everything a third or fourth time during the day should heal me faster. 

Each session inside this facility unleashes a different monster—or memory. They want me to battle forty three of them simultaneously and come out alive. Just today I’m literally on the floor waiting for the day to defeat the night and take away my fears. These fears go back in time and leave me vulnerable, as if it had happen only seconds ago. 

At the end of a sessions where my thoughts had been all over the place, the therapist takes me back to that same day … any day. She helps talk to that little girl and convince her that she’s safe, no one would ever put her back into a closet or call her names that no one deserved to be called. I promise her everything will be fine. 

“This is a long process, one you decided to accelerate by coming to our center,” she repeats it as a mantra. “However, we’ll go at your own pace.” Everyone here tends to echo the same thing as if this is my first rodeo. “We’re here to help you find yourself and heal those wounds that bring you so much pain.” It never gets old. “Learn to love yourself again.”

I’m not sure about the growth, but the wounds are wide open. Sadly Dan isn’t running inside my room, telling me that the dream is gone and he’s here. Nor will his soothing voice will help me fall asleep again. His arms are miles away from here and won’t wrap me and protect me from the world.

Claudia lives in Colorado with her family and three dogs. Two beagles who believe they are human, and a bichon who thinks she’s a beagle. While managing life, she works as a CFO at a small IT Company. She’s a dreamer who enjoys music, laughter and a good story.

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