Thursday, May 5, 2016

Virtual Tour - Defying Destiny (Forsaken Sinners MC, #3) by Shelly Morgan





Defying Destiny
Forsaken Sinners MC, #3
by Shelly Morgan
Date of Publication: April 19th 2016
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Cover Artist: TOJ Publishing Services
Genre: MC Romance/Suspense

You don’t know what you’re alive for until you know what you’d die for.

From The Book Junkie Reads . . . Defying Destiny (Forsaken Sinners MC, #3) . . .
A sinfully delicious New Adult MC Romantic Suspense. That truly holds up the ideas of mystery, suspense, drama, action, and romance. I must go back to the beginning and read each one with the care that I have put into getting to know these two characters. I was enraptured by the world given to me and wanted to take a ride on the wild side and see for myself the life in these pages. 

Harlow and Louie have a past that can only be overcome with time and support. With neither willing to let anyone in it makes things difficult. But what they soon discover that family can mean more than by blood.

Shelly Morgan has opened me up to a new series that will surely captivate my heart. I loved this book. The read took me on an adrenaline and emotional high. And I had the pleasure of interview this wonderful author. See below author info for interview.

**This ARC was provided via Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.**

Forsaken Sinners MC series:
Rewriting Destiny – Forsaken Sinners MC, #1
Fighting Destiny – Forsaken Sinners MC, #2
Born Into Destiny – Forsaken Sinners MC, #2.5
Defying Destiny – Forsaken Sinners MC, #3

BLURB

Twenty-six-year-old Louie Creighton knows there is something inside him he can’t control…

Ever since he can remember, Louie has had a short fuse. People always said he’d amount to nothing. He wasn’t smart enough to get into college. He wasn’t tough enough to be a Marine. No one believed in him.

No one except his father, Mike Creighton…
Louie’s father always taught him to turn the other cheek. He was a true mentor, teaching him how to be a man in a world of cowards. But when his father is murdered the day after scratching a winning lottery ticket, Louie’s inner monster can’t be contained. He becomes determined to track down the suspect at any cost. All along, he struggles to live by his father’s motto—To find out what you live for, you have to discover what you’d die for.

Then he meets Harlow McPherson…

Her entire life has been a battle. Harlow grew up in the system, bouncing from one foster home to the next. Most weren’t that bad, but some were hell.

The only comfort was the fact she wasn’t alone. Her twin brother, Hendrix, was always there—until he took his own life years later, abandoning Harlow in a cruel world. Unable to forgive, it’s Louie who reminds her there’s still hope.

When Louie unleashes his inner monster, and Harlow finally faces her demons, will they lose themselves to the darkness, or risk it all Defying Destiny?


Chapter One
Louie
Age 17 

One more hour, then I can finally go home and be away from this shithole. Then it’s just one more month until graduation.

I fucking hate school—and I don’t mean that in the way that most kids would probably say they hate school. I hate it because of the pieces of shit that roam these halls. They all walk around like they know everything and are the kings and queens of the town. But they ain’t royalty. They are the shit on the bottom of my fucking boot. The pesky mosquitos that want to suck you dry. 

My dad and I may be trailer park trash in their eyes, but we are better than everyone in this God forsaken town. Better than the mayor who fucks his assistant on the side. Better than the preacher man that has a thing for little boys. And better than the teachers, the townsfolk, and their spawns. 

I grew up without a mother and even though I wish I would have known her; I can’t say that my life would have been any better or I would have felt more love in my life. My father provided everything for me. He was the one who taught me how to walk, talk, and ride a bike. He played catch with me when he wasn’t working, helped with my homework when I needed it, and always made sure I had a hot meal at least once a day. My dad means everything to me and I’ll wipe the floor with anyone who disrespects him. He was a God damn fucking Marine—served five tours overseas, took more than a dozen bullets throughout his service to this country, and saved more men than anyone will ever know. My dad is a fucking hero—my hero. 

The bell ringing brings me out of my thoughts. One more class to go.

Getting out of my seat, I put all my books into my bag and make my way into the hall and toward my locker. Since my last period is Shop, I make sure to grab everything I need so I can leave right after class. Any extra time spent here is time wasted in my eyes, even if it’s just to walk back to my locker. No fucking thank you.

I’m the first one into the shop, as usual, since I have no need to delay. I get right to work on the old Chevy Mr. Peterson brought in for us to work on. Today, we’re starting to work on the engine.

Shop is actually one of my top favorite classes, the other being gym. Those are the classes I get to use my hands. In here, it’s tearing shit apart, finding the problem, then fixing it. In gym, it’s pushing my body to the limit and working my ass off. Usually, no matter what the activity is for that day, the gym teacher will let me do my own thing in the weight room. I think he’s learned that I don’t play well with others. Either that, or he just doesn’t want to have to deal with me, like everyone else in this fucking place. 

Five minutes later, the rest of the students show up. Not like they will actually do anything. But as long as they stay the fuck away from me, I’m good. 

I’ve been finding it harder and harder to hold my tongue and I can only be pushed so far before I’ll pull my hands out of my pockets and knock one of those fuckers out. Sometimes the beast inside me takes over and the rage is just too much. It’s been there for as long as I can remember, waiting for the opportunity to bare its teeth and draw blood. But, for my dad’s sake, I do my best to just let things slide. My dad taught me to turn the other cheek, but told me to stand my ground. Called it bein’ a man. Said that if someone was wrong, to never back down and prove my point by driving it home. And if that meant throwing the first punch and whooping their ass, then so be it.

I told my dad that once I graduated, I wanted to move to the east or west coast. We’ve lived in Iowa my whole life, but I’ve always dreamed of being close to the ocean and away from this shit town. I want to find a good trainer wherever we find a decent place and start fighting for money. I’ve done a good job training myself in my homemade gym in my room and watching any video I can find, but if I want to make it professionally and make the big bucks, I’ll have to find someone willing to train me. I know I can do it too. I’m good enough even without professional training, but I’ll need that to take me to the next level. Plus, in order to get signed up for the big money fights, it’s easier to do if you have a trainer in your corner. Especially if that training has a big name.

Dad wasn’t too open to the idea of moving away at first, but now that he knows I’m serious, I think he’s warming up to the idea. It’s not like he’ll have anything holding him here after I graduate and leave. I don’t want to go without him, but I’ve told him that I will if I have to. I can’t be here anymore. If I stay for even a day longer than necessary, I know I’ll end up just like everyone says I will—dead or in jail—and I will not let that happen.

Feeling my phone vibrate in my pocket, I wipe off my hands and pull it out. It’s a text message from my dad. He rarely ever messages me and for him to do so during school hours must mean it’s important. I turn around to make sure Mr. Peterson isn’t watching, then pull up the message.

Dad: Things are finally turning around for us, son. This should help for the big move, don’t you think?

Attached to the message is a picture of him holding a lottery ticket and a huge fucking check for fifty thousand dollars.  

Me: Is that for real?

Even though my dad has never played a trick on me, at least not to this extent, I have to ask. I don’t want to get excited, but looking at the picture, I know it’s real before I even read his next text.

Dad: It’s real and it’s ours. So here’s to the future.

I don’t even bother responding. Instead, I grab my bag and am out the door before my teacher even realizes I’m leaving. 

Sprinting out to my banged up truck, I throw my book bag inside before jumping in after it. I burn rubber as I press down on the accelerator and speed home. I only live about five minutes from school, but today, I make it there in two.

As soon as I pull in front of the house beside my dad’s old Harley, the door opens and I see him standing there with the biggest smile I think I’ve ever seen on him. “You just couldn’t wait an hour, could ya.” It’s not a question, but a statement.

Getting out of the truck I walk up to him and pull him in for a tight hug. Most kids my age, guys especially, don’t hug their parents anymore, but not me. I love my dad more than anything and have never been shy about showing it to him or anyone else.

“What the fuck you think, old man?” I answer him anyway.

My dad laughs and shakes his head. One of the best things about him is he never scolds me for swearing. He always said that if you’re man enough to swear in front of your elders without fear of being punished, then you’re man enough to actually say it. Yeah, my dad’s pretty fucking awesome, I know.

“So we going out to celebrate?” I ask. Things have always been tight in our house—he works almost sixty hours a week to make sure we can make rent and that I have food in my stomach
and clothes on my back. It would be nice to go out and have a nice meal for a change, instead of eating ramen noodles or Hamburger Helper.

“You read my mind, boy,” he says before heading back into the house.

“I was thinking we’d go to that steakhouse downtown and then I was thinking of stopping by the bar for a celebratory drink.” He’s hesitant when he says this, but it’s only because I know he feels like he shouldn’t waste money on something as trivial as alcohol when he could put it to better use. Usually that better use is something for me or paying bills.

I look at him with a stern look. “Don’t you even think about taking that back. Hell yeah you should go get a drink. Shit, maybe you can get me a six-pack before you go and I can have a celebratory drink too.” I end on a laugh, which has him laughing too.

“Yeah. I can do that, son. But no driving, ya hear?” Now it’s his turn to use a stern look. The one major rule my father has is no drinking and driving. He’d say, “If you want to have a drink here and there, that’s fine, but I need to know where you are and I better not ever catch you behind the wheel after you’ve even had a sip. You call me, I don’t care what time it is, I’ll come and get your ass. Better me than the police or the morgue.” I don’t go out drinking a lot because let’s face it, I couldn’t care less about going to any of the parties the kids my age attend, but I have on occasion gone out to the bluffs with a few cans of beer to just clear my head and think about the future. And I’ve never once gone against his word—I either walk home or I call him. He’s never gotten mad when I’ve asked him to come get me, even if it was past two in the morning and he had to be up at five.

“I hear ya, old man. Now let’s go. I’m fucking hungry and I can hear a big ass steak callin’ my name.” Even though it’s barely four, we’re used to eating early whenever we’re both home at night. Dad usually goes to bed around six-thirty since he has to be up at the ass crack of dawn. He doesn’t have to work tomorrow since it will be Saturday and it’s his weekend off, but I figure we might as well keep with our usual eating schedule. I’m also hoping there won’t be a lot of people there since it’s earlier than most people eat. I don’t want anyone to ruin our good mood and a good meal.

Since I know he wants to stop at the bar later, we both hop into my truck. He’s an adult but he’s never driven after he’s had a drink. I think that’s one of his best qualities; he won’t do something that he tells me or others not to do. He says if it’s important enough for him to tell others, then he needs to take his own words to heart too. Most people will tell others what to do just because they enjoy feeling like they are the boss, but then they don’t do the same. Fucking hypocrites.

On the drive over, we talk about mindless shit, like how his work week went or how school and training is going for me. I’ve never had a problem talking to my dad about anything. I guess you could say we’re closer than most father/son relationships usually are. I will always think of him as my father, but he’s my best friend too. I know that he would never judge me and he’ll always give me advice or direction when asked or if he feels it’s needed. 

Once we park and head inside, we’re immediately seated. 

“Out celebrating, eh, Mike?” I hear someone say from behind me as we sit down. 

I look over my shoulder and see that it’s Marcus Brindel. He’s the town attorney and father to Jimmy, who is my age and the star quarterback for the high school football team.

My dad laughs, though it’s a little strained. He hates these people almost as much as I do, maybe sometimes even more. “Well, can ya blame me? It ain’t every day you win a few thousand dollars.”

Marcus looks at him with a twisted sneer on his face. “A few thousand, huh? I thought for sure someone like you would think it’s more like a few million.” With that said, he gets up and walks toward the bar. 

“Fucking prick,” I say, looking at my dad.

“Now son, what have I always told you?” he asks, but he’s smiling so I know he’s not mad. Shit, he probably thought worse than what I did, he just isn’t saying it out loud.

“Hm, let me think…” I pause and tap my finger on my lower lip. “Oh, I remember. That you should always respect your elders…unless they are sorry pieces of shit that deserve to be put in their place.” I add the last part in with a smile on my face. Like I said, he’s taught me right and wrong, it just may not be in the traditional sense. But it’s the way we live and it’s honorable than most people.

He laughs and nods his head. “Damn right, son.”

The waitress walks up to our table and asks if we’re ready to order. Since we already knew what we wanted before we even got here, we don’t even need to look at the menu. I order a twelve-ounce T-bone steak with a side of mashed potatoes and Dad orders a New York Strip steak and a baked potato. We both decline the salad. Salads are for girls and pussies. Real men eat meat.

“So tell me again what you want to do after graduating? Do you have an idea where you want to go?” he asks after the waitress refills our sodas and walks away.

Since I was a teenager, I always knew I wanted to leave this place, but I never really knew where I wanted to go. I just thought that maybe I’d tour the US for a while and settle wherever seemed right. Now though, I know exactly where I want to go.

“I was thinking we could take a little detour down to Florida, check out the beaches on the east coast, and then head west until we reach the beach in California.” 

“California, huh? Why there?” he asks, genuinely interested. That’s another thing I love about my dad—he’s always interested in what I think, even if he doesn’t understand it.

“Well, I’ve done a lot of research about fighting professionally and California seems to be the place that always pops up. They’ve got some amazing trainers out there and it seems like all the big names come from California. So I figure if I want to make it in the business, that’s where I should go. You’ve got to learn from the best to be the best, right?”

He’s quiet for a few minutes, thinking about what I said.

“What about the Marines?” he asks, though I know he isn’t trying to push me to do something I may not want to do. He knows that was something I have been interested in, but wasn’t really sure if it was for me. When I was little, I would always dress up in his old uniforms and play Rambo. Since I was probably five years old, that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up—a soldier, just like my dad. But now, I’m not sure if that’s what is meant for me. I mean, it still interests me, but I think fighting is the best bet. At least for now.

“I’m not sure, Dad. I mean, it’s still a possibility, but I want to see where this takes me first. I figure I could fight for a few years and then re-evaluate where I’m at. Maybe fighting isn’t for me, but maybe being a Marine isn’t, either. How will I ever know if I don’t try?” 

I wait for him to think about what I just said and hope that he agrees with me. He always told me to never let anyone dictate my life and to always do what was best for me, what I wanted to do. He’d say I could be anything I wanted to be, and I believe him. But I still want his approval and support. I suspect I’ll always want that, even when I’m old and grey.

He stares at me for a few moments, then he looks down at the table. “I’m proud of you, son. I’m sorry I don’t say that enough, but I am. I know life hasn’t always been easy on you and life
can be so hard that sometimes you just want to quit, but you never did—and you never will. I wish I could go back in time and do a few things different so I could have given you a better life and I wish I could have stopped your mother from leaving us. But we can’t go back and change the past. We can only move forward and pray we’ve learned something. So no matter what you choose to do, I’ll be right there with you—to guide you when you are uncertain, stand beside you when you just need someone there, and I’ll walk in the shadows to look after you when you can walk the road of life on your own. I may not have done a lot in my life or have a lot to show for it, but I do have you. You are my one amazing thing in the world and I’m so damn proud to call you my son.”

Listening to him talk has me almost choked up. My dad has always told me he loves me and that he’s there for me and that’s something a son always wants from his father. But hearing those words—that he’s proud of me—does something inside of me. I don’t know if I want to cry or laugh.

The waitress saves me from having to choose when she delivers our food. “Can I get you gentlemen anything else?”

My dad shakes his head and smiles at her, then she walks away.

Still a little flustered, I just stare at my plate. I feel like I should say something, anything, after what he just said, but I have no idea what. I have a billion things rolling around in my head but none of them seem to add up to how I feel.

“It ain’t going to eat itself. Dig in,” he says, then he follows his own advice. Deciding that my words can wait for another day when I don’t feel so raw, I shake my head and do just as he says.

My steak is cooked perfectly. I practically inhale everything on my plate. It’s not often I get a meal like this and I feel like if I don’t finish it fast, it could all get taken away. I’ve felt that way about a lot of things in my life—that they are too good to be true and it will never last. Most of the time, I’m right. But not this time.

I finish my meal before my dad, but he’s close behind me.

“Damn, that was good. How was your steak, son?”

Leaning back in my seat, I pat my stomach. “Fucking delicious.”

We are both quiet while we digest the good food and wait for the check. I start to think about what I should do tonight. I know there are parties going on because there are parties every Friday night, but I don’t think I could stand being around anyone who frequents those parties. Even with the knowledge that I’ll be leaving this place behind soon and that my life is finally starting to look up for the first time in forever, I won’t risk it. Knowing the fuckers that will be there, someone will say something to piss me off and I won’t be able to stop myself from beating the fuckers down. Yeah, I think I’ll just have dad pick me up a six pack and go find a spot to be alone and start planning for the future.

“You ready to get out of here?” he asks as he stands up.

“Yup.”

My dad slaps me on the shoulder as we walk outside but he doesn’t say anything. Though, he doesn’t need to. This is the happiest I think I’ve ever seen him. And it’s not just because he won the money, though that might be a part of it, but it’s because he’ll be able to give me the life he has always wanted to give me. Little does he know, whether he won that money or not, I’d still be happy. Things would be harder for us, sure, but as long as he was with me and we were living our dreams, it doesn’t matter how long it would take us to get there as long as we get there eventually…or at least do our best trying. Enjoying the ride, that sort of thing.

“Pull into the gas station. I gotta grab a few things, then you can drop me off down the street.” I don’t answer and just watch him while he walks into the store. I see him grab something out of the beer cooler and then walk to the other side of the store where they have the grocery items, pharmacy stuff, and other little odds and ends. Then he makes his way up to the front to pay for everything.

As he walks outside, I see him holding a twelve pack of Bud Light and him stuffing something into his back pocket.

“All right, now remember what I said. I give this to you and you better not drive anywhere or do anything stupid, ya hear?” he says as he gets into the truck.

“Yeah, old man, I hear ya.” I laugh and pull out of the parking lot.

When I park across the street from the local watering hole, he pauses before opening the door and looks back at me. “I love you, Holden.” He doesn’t wait for me to say anything back before he’s out of the truck and walking into the bar.

I have no idea what’s making him say all the things he’s said tonight and there is a part of me that is a little boy again, jumping for joy at the approval from his father. Then there’s the embarrassed teenage boy who can’t find the right words to say back.

I sit in my truck for a few minutes and just think back on everything he’s said tonight. I always knew deep down that my dad loves me and is proud of me, but hearing him say it tonight makes me want to be better—for him. He doesn’t deserve a sulking boy who gets pissed off at the littlest things. Starting tonight, I’m going to be different. I’m going to be the man he’s always taught me to be. From now on, if someone does something that pisses me off, I’m going to turn the other cheek and think about all the things me and my dad are going to do when we leave this place behind.

Putting the truck in drive, I head toward home to drop my truck off. Then I’ll have a couple beers out by the quarry before going to bed. Tomorrow I want to tell my dad all the things I’m sorry for and how I’m going to be better. Then we can talk about the things he wants to do when we leave after graduation. I now understand that it’s not all about me. It’s more than just needing my dad with me on my journey, but wanting to go on a journey with him—together. We’ll do things that we both have always wanted to do, but couldn’t.  


Author Info
Shelly Morgan grew up in a small town in Iowa. She has 2 older sisters and amazing parents. Growing up, she was always a daddy’s girl, hanging out with him in the garage, fishing, and building stuff. She loved to play softball and swimming, but reading, telling stories, and writing were her passion, even at a young age. She took a break from writing for a while, but you could always find her with a book in her hand.
Shelly has three children – two boys and a girl. They are her whole world. Even when she’s having the worst day ever, they brighten up her day and can always put a smile on her face.

A few years ago, Shelly had this story in her head that wouldn’t go away; it would always play over and over. No matter how many times she went through the idea—from beginning to end—the story never faded. So Shelly decided to put it on paper. She never planned to publish it, but when her story was almost done, a friend read it and said that it need to be shared. And that’s what stared Shelly’s writing career.

Shelly loves all genres of books, and even though she started with writing MC Romance, she has a whole book of ideas, so you can expect more from her than just MC, though romance is in her blood.

Shelly currently works part-time, but her ultimate dream is to become a full time author. She wants to be able to spend her days filling pages with stories. To be the reason people find a reason to smile or laugh from lines on a page. Reading a book always allows her to live in someone else’s shoes, even if for a few minutes. She thinks it’s a way to leave her life and troubles behind, so she wants to be able to help others do that as well with her words.
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How would you describe you style of writing to someone that has never read your work? This question always gets me. I don’t know what my style is. I’ve heard people say I have a very unique writing style but I have no idea what they mean. All I can say is that I write from the heart. I try to make all my characters as real as possible and make their emotions, your emotions.
What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)? I guess I just have to get into my character’s mind, not my own. All of the people in my stories live in my head. I sometimes feel I could have a conversation with them lol but I suppose I just need the mindset that I’m going to write and get to a certain point, at least. Everything else is a bonus. I try not to force anything; not the amount of writing I get done or what I write. Sometimes the story goes in a different direction than I originally thought or wanted it to go, and that’s okay with me. It’s their story, not mine. I’m just the one writing it.
Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation? I do a little of both. There are things for sure that I want to have down before I even start writing a book; what they look like, what they believe in above all else, what they like…things like that. I don’t people watch, but I suppose you could say I use characteristics from people I’ve met in my life or people I admire. And of course there is always character development throughout the story. Like I said before, they story will write itself. Sometimes I don’t intend my heroine to be a bitch, but it does happen. My characters develop just like you and I. If they didn’t they wouldn’t feel so real. At least, that’s my belief.
Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character? If so which one(s)? I love all my characters, each for their own reasons. But I guess if I had to pick my favorite heroine, I’d say Dani from Rewriting Destiny. That bitch is my girl!
Do you have a character that you have been working on that you can't wait to put to paper? Yes. He’s been mentioned a few times, but I really can’t wait to see how his story progresses. I want so badly to write him right now, but all in due time ;)
Have you ever felt that there was something inside of you that you couldn't control? If so what? If no what spurs you to reach for the experience? I think everyone has something inside of them they can’t control. It could be jealousy, sadness, anger, or even happiness. But either way, I think we all have things we can’t control. We may not mind that part of ourselves, but then again, we may hate it. Me, I have a few things that I can’t control. Sometimes I wish I could. I’ll only mention one; I’m very obsessive by nature. That goes for everything—a TV show, a movie, a book. If I like it, I’ll obsess over it.


I would like to thank you, Shelly for taking the time to answer my questions and allow my viewers a chance to see where you are coming from during your process to create.
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