An accidental slip on a patch of ice gives Bree Sexton the opportunity she has always dreamed of—a chance to go back in time and make things right, changing her life and her future. A poignant tale of second chances, and a woman’s fight to find her happily-ever-after.
About the Author
The writing bug bit Lisa M. Owens at an early age; she was writing short stories and poetry by the age of seven. At the age of eight, she entered a writing contest at her elementary school. About fifty books were written, but Lisa was one of the thirteen writers chosen who received a certificate and the chance to meet Oklahoma writer Sandy Miller.
A former victim of domestic violence herself, Lisa worked at the courthouse for over seven years. Almost three of those years she worked on the Marriage License/Protective Order desk. She helped women file protective orders and worked closely with the staff and counselors at DVIS.
Frustrated with books that merely gloss over the subject of domestic violence, Lisa wanted to write a book that told the entire story. Her dream is for her words to help give someone the courage to leave an abusive relationship.
She resides in Oklahoma and has two children. This is her first published novel, and she is currently working on the next novel of her If Only series.
Bree stood there for a minute, watching as he walked out of her life. She couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if she had married Scott instead of Bryan. How would her life have been different? Would she have had children by now? Would she and Scott still be together, after all this time? Those thoughts and more weighed heavily on her mind as she headed out of the bar. It had begun to snow, and she wrapped her coat even tighter around her slender frame. She looked around, but there was no one to be found. She couldn’t help herself; she stuck out her tongue, a childish impulse she couldn’t ignore, and then laughed out loud in spite of herself.
She looked both ways before attempting to cross the street. Not seeing any cars, she began to make her way across. Bree was walking cautiously when one of her high heels slipped on a patch of ice. She could feel herself falling, and her breathing quickened as she began to panic, wishing she had waited for her friends before venturing off on her own. One shoe flew off as she landed, her head striking the curb. A sharp pain racked through the back of her skull, causing her to cry out. The last thing she saw was Scott’s face swimming before her eyes, and then her world went black.
Bree awoke to a man nipping gently on her earlobe, his tongue stroking the delicate curves. His hot breath blew into her ear, sending shivers up and down her spine. She slowly opened her eyes as a man’s hand stroked her upper thigh, and she sighed happily.
Ooh, I must be dreaming. And it was such a delicious dream, too.
The man’s hand traveled up her thigh and then encircled her flat stomach. Out of the corner of her eyes, Bree could see a dark head pressing against her abdomen. Then she shivered as a tongue laved her belly button, going in and out erotically, making her feel as though her body was on fire. Bryan had never made her feel like this, and she hadn’t even looked yet to see who this stranger was! But she was only dreaming, so what difference did it make?
His hand continued traveling north, lovingly caressing her skin. He reached for her aching breasts, pressing her nipples roughly before he lowered his mouth to suckle them, first one, and then the other. Bree arched in anxious response to his touch. She longed to see his face, but she feared one look would make his magical touch disappear.
She ached all over, wanted his hands to caress her everywhere, and she longed to touch him. She opened her legs as he straddled her. His hair brushed her naked chest as he began kissing her. His tongue was driving her crazy with desire as he placed tender kisses along her neckline. He brushed her hair aside.
His morning stubble stung her delicate skin, but she hungered for more. Just one more touch, just one more taste, and she would awaken from this wonderful dream and find herself in bed, all alone.
“Oh, Bree, baby. What you do to me,” he whispered, his voice husky.
That voice jerked her back to the present. The voice had haunted her dreams for
years. The voice of the man she just couldn’t seem to get over.
“Scott,” she whispered.
Bree seems to be in a situation many have found themselves in, wondering “what if?” What inspired you to write this tale?
I think that everybody has that one mistake that they wish they could take back. Whether it be the one who got away or marrying the wrong person, even getting an abortion or giving away a child for adoption. It could even be losing the one you love due to alcohol or drug abuse. We all make decisions every day and sometimes those decisions will change our life forever. But what if you had the chance to relive your greatest mistake? Would you risk changing your past to have a better future? Those were the kind of questions that were brought to my mind. If Only…What If. This is the first novel in a series I am working on about women who get the second chance that they have always dreamed of.
Is there a Scott in your life? You know, the one who got away? *grins*
Scott is a product of my imagination and I didn’t base his character after any particular person. Like most women, there was a man who got away but in my case, it was all for the best. We are still friends and we are both happy with other people.
Scott certainly comes across as competent between the sheets. How is he outside of the bedroom? If he wanted to date me, what would be his approach?
Scott is a man’s man who is sensitive to a woman’s wants and needs but when the chips are down, he will kick a little ass as needed. Not only does he punch his own brother, but he also wipes the floor with the abusive man in his wife’s past.
He is the type of guy who isn’t really into the bar scene. He would probably approach you where there were a lot of people around, make you feel safe and secure. He would talk to you first, see if you were the kind of person he could see himself with. His parents had a long and happy marriage so in the long run, he would be planning on marriage and children at some point of his life. He wouldn’t be the kind of man to sleep with you then not call the next morning. If it got that far and you spent an amazing night in his bed, he would call you the next day just to hear the sound of your voice or send you an arrangement of flowers just because he was thinking about you.
He is the kind of man who would cover your eyes as the two of you walked along the beach simply so you could feel the sensation of the sand warm beneath your feet.
Oh my! *tugs at collar*
Let’s hang out! The three of us (You, Bree, and me) are at a salsa demonstration. One of the dancers comes over and takes Bree by the hand. Would she get up and dance? Politely decline? What about you, Lisa? Would you show us some moves?
There is a change in Bree over the length of the book. When she was with Bryan, she was scared and timid so if that Bree was along, she would probably hide herself in the corner and pretend she wasn’t there. The Bree when she is with Scott is more daring, more self-assured. That Bree would jump right up, grab the dancer by the hand and proceed to teach THEM how to move!
Me? *Gulps* Never been salsa dancing. I wouldn’t know what the hell I was doing but I would participate anyway. If people laugh at me, they laugh. I wouldn’t care. As long as I wasn’t hurting anybody and I was having fun, that would be all that matters.
I’m on the side of the road with a flat tire. Would Bryan drive past? Would he offer to help? Would he laugh? Would he drive into a puddle to splash me?
Bryan would be a complete and total dick. He would probably drive really slow, make it look like he was stopping to help you. Maybe even offer you his phone, then when you reached for it, he would jerk it away. Then he would rev up his engine and drive into the largest puddle he could find, spinning his tires and drenching you with water and caked mud, calling you a stupid bitch and laughing as he continued to drive down the road, flipping you off as he drove away.
What’s Scott’s idea of the perfect day? What about Bree?
Scott would be perfectly content to call in sick at work and spend the day snuggled up in bed with Bree. No interruptions, no well-meaning family underfoot, just the two of them, spending the entire day together.
Bree enjoys ice skating, even though Scott can barely walk on skates so as long as she was permitted to by her doctor, she would enjoy spending time with Scott at the nearest ice skating rink.Scott’s arms encircling her as she treks across the ice, her laughter as they slip and fall. The feeling of his manhood pressing against her backside when she land ungracefully into his lap.
Looking at your bio, I was blown away by your work with survivors of domestic violence. This subject is often kept under wraps, but you are very open about your experiences. Have any readers reached out to you on this topic?
Not at this particular time but I wouldn’t be surprised if I hear from some victims in the future. I am still a new author and I am working on building a reader fan base. But domestic violence is a growing problem and as long as there are violent men, there will be women who fear for their lives. I was very pleased when I received the permission of DVIS to post their national telephone number on the first page of my book. Hopefully, women who read my words and get the help that they need.
Is it difficult to write on a subject that is so deeply personal?
It was extremely difficult. I haven’t been in an abusive relationship for over ten years but suddenly, I found myself suffering once again from flashbacks and nightmares. That’s what I wanted to get in my manuscript. I have often heard people tell victims of abuse to “get over it.” That’s like telling someone to “get over” the death of a loved one. Both are traumatic experiences. I am not ashamed to say that there were times when I was writing the abusive scenes and tears would be rolling down my face and my hands would be trembling because I was reliving those parts of my past.
But for me, it was a therapeutic experience. It was a story that needed to be told. So many stories make light of domestic violence. “She had a troubled past,” or “he had been cruel to her.” But none of those stories express the terror and the pain that an abused woman goes through every day. Or the afteraffects of that abuse, even years later.
This is a romance novel but she is also a woman with a troubled past when she was constantly living in fear of her life. She has to move on and come to terms with that past before she can have a future filled with the love and warmth that she has always wanted.
If Bree was standing in front of you right now, what would you tell her (regarding her relationship with Bryan)?
You made a mistake and you suffered the consequences for it. You paid the ultimate price: your self-esteem and the loss of three children. You deserve to have a life with someone who loves you, someone who cherishes you. Don’t punish yourself for falling for a heartless, controlling monster. You have already been punished enough. You deserve love just like everyone else.
Is there anything you’d like readers to know?
No woman or child deserves to live in fear. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
If Only is now available through Liquid Silver Books, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I would welcome reviews from readers and I can be reached on Goodreads, my email at firstname.lastname@example.org there is also a contact form on my website.
Thanks for having me, Nulli!!!
Thank you so much for joining us, Lisa. Questions? Comments? You know what to do!