Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Spotlight - Unforgivably Broken by Maegan Abel

Unforgivably Broken
by Maegan Abel
Publisher: Forever Red Publishing
Pages: 225
Genre: New Adult
Format: Kindle

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It took a near-tragedy for Zane and Lili to admit their feelings for one another. If they could survive that explosion, wading through the debris left behind should be a breeze, right? 

Lili has spent years hiding from her past. Now, she's being forced to admit her mistakes and make a decision. Can she conquer her demons head-on, or will she remain by Zane's side while he fights his own? 

Zane learned early in life that charm and deception are easier than hard truths. Sometimes, old habits die hard. When his past mistakes start making continuous reappearances, he is faced with some of the most crucial decisions he's ever made. 

When you have secrets, they can rip ragged holes in the ties that bind even the strongest relationships. 

What do you do when you realize you're unforgivably broken?


Book Excerpt:

“Hunter Davis was taken into custody just hours after the body was discovered. Davis, whose two silver medals helped Team USA’s Men’s Gymnastics win bronze at the Olympics just months earlier, was named in a suicide note found in the girls’ bedroom. The note accused Davis of raping Hansen weeks prior to her suicide. The note also implicated the gym’s coach, Ensel Romanov, of having knowledge of the alleged rape and not notifying authorities.”

“What are you watching?”

Lili let out a small yelp, slamming her hand down on the space bar to pause the video as she spun toward where I was standing in the doorway.

“Jesus Christ, Zane. You scared the shit out of me.” She let out a shaky breath, her eyes drifting from mine as she avoided my question.

I blinked a few times, trying to clear the remnants of the medication-induced sleep so I could focus. My energy was shot and without my glasses, the tile of the kitchen floor seemed oddly slanted as I took the first few shaky steps into the room. Lili jumped up, moving quickly to help me to the table. It had taken some time to get used to not only accepting help, but needing it. It wasn’t a concept I enjoyed but after several fights with Tish, Paige, and even Lili, I was learning to keep my mouth shut and let them help. After all, as the shooting reminded me, I’m not invincible.

“What are you doing out of bed?” She asked, holding me steady as I lowered myself into the chair she’d just vacated.

“Woke up and you weren’t there. I got worried.” I focused on relaxing the tense muscles in my back. “What are you watching?” I asked again, hoping she wouldn’t evade my direct question a second time.

“Old news clips.”

She started to sit in the chair beside me but I grabbed her hand, pulling her toward me. “Come here.” She curled up in my lap, carefully keeping her weight on my right side as she tucked her head under my chin. She sighed, reaching out to press play on the video.

“This is not the first legal trouble for the River Bend Gymnastics Club. Four years ago, Coach Romenav was arrested on child pornography charges after an anonymous tip revealed nude pictures of an underage gymnast on his phone. The same day, the female gymnast, Kylee Camden, went missing. Camden, thought to be kidnapped, was well on her way to the Olympic Trials that year…”

A picture came on the screen then and the tension I felt radiating from Lili’s entire frame nearly overwhelmed me. Her hair was lighter, a dark blonde, and her face was much younger, but in her eyes, I could see my Lili. The hardness I knew wasn’t there yet and her carefree smile made my heart ache. It was clear something changed the girl on the screen into the one curled against me. That was a side of her I’d never seen and would never know.

Lili reached out, slamming the laptop closed, cutting off the newscaster mid-sentence as she talked about the search for Kylee. I didn’t speak at first, giving her time to sort her thoughts.

“This is why your sister came?” I guessed, trailing my fingers slowly along her bare arm in a gesture I hoped would show I wasn’t judging. I hadn’t meant to ask the question. I knew I’d told her that her past didn’t matter but after Kaitlyn’s appearance last week and Lili’s distance since they spoke, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious.

She nodded slowly, moving carefully back to her spot against my chest, effectively hiding her face from me. “She wanted me to know Hunter’s trial is coming up.”

I rested my chin in her hair, wrapping an arm around her shoulders as the fingers of my other hand found hers in her lap. Engulfing her tiny hand in mine, I ran my thumb along her soft skin. As I tried to piece everything together, I wondered what about the news story had involved Lili. Obviously she knew Hunter, and knew him well enough that her sister tracked her down to let her know about the trial. That was, of course, before I’d seen the picture of her. Now I knew she also trained at the same gym.

“So, you know him?”

She nodded against my chest again but didn’t elaborate. I hated myself for the questions that were building in my mind. I wanted to ask her so many things but I refused to make her uncomfortable. She’d been open enough to watch at least part of the newscast with me but until she was ready, I wouldn’t push. I couldn’t. As I’d told Kas before, with Lili, pushing would send her running.

After several minutes of silence, I bent down, placing a soft kiss on the top of her head. “Let’s go back to bed, Pix.”

She nodded, sliding off my lap before grabbing the computer. Staying beside me, she steadied me as we made our way back to my bedroom. Sitting had unfortunately made me stiff but I could tell my body was healing. Every day that went by was easier than the last.

When they’d first started decreasing the pain medicine in the hospital, I was surprised at just how tight my muscles had become. I knew the damage to my body, of course, but knowing it didn’t help in the slightest when it came to the actual experience. Honestly, those first few days in the hospital, I wished I hadn’t woken up yet. Especially when every single breath brought with it the agonizing memories of the bullet ripping through my body. I’d declined the counselor and still maintained that I didn’t remember anything after the gun went off, but truth be told, it was a bold-faced lie.

I remembered it all.


About the Author:

Maegan Abel was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She went back to school her my late twenties and studied Stage Production Technology. She now work full-time in the alterations shop of a major department store and part-time backstage in the various theatres around the area. She has been an avid reader from a very young age and the top goal on her list of things to accomplish in life was to write and publish a book. During the summer of 2013, while working backstage on The Lion King, she read eleven books in four weeks. Maegan read her first New Adult book and was introduced to a genre that she felt she could totally relate to. The idea for Perfectly Broken and the character of Lili was born backstage during that time.
Her latest book is the new adult, Unforgivably Broken.

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