We are excited to bring you an exclusive sneak peek at Julie Ann Walker’s upcoming title, IN MOONLIGHT AND MEMORIES. This will be available July 1, 2019 so be sure to mark your calendars!
by Julie Ann Walker
Released: July 1, 2019
Series: In Moonlight and Memories #1
Published by Self Published
MOST LOVE STORIES HAVE ONE BEGINNING AND ONE ENDING. THIS LOVE STORY HAS MANY.
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Ann Walker comes an epic story about sacrifice, friendship, and the awe-inspiring power of love.
Maggie: Ten years ago, Cash Armstrong stole my heart. Then he promptly joined the army—dragging my best friend with him—and left me crying on the front porch in a red sequined prom dress. Now he's back. They're both back. Cash, the one who still has my heart. And Luc, the one who saved my life.
Cash: How do you know if you’re at the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end? That's what I've been trying to figure out since a traumatic brain injury made me "unfit to serve." I'm back in New Orleans, and picking up the shattered pieces of my past means I must confront where my life's journey began... and where it all might end.
Luc: Long ago, Maggie May was mine. Not mine in the way you might think. She was mine because she was my only friend. Then Cash came along and we became brothers by something stronger than blood. We became brothers by choice. When tragedy struck, I was forced to make a decision that changed all our lives. I thought, after ten years, it was safe to come back home. I was wrong..
“I like her fine,” I interrupt again before she can list any more of Scarlet’s glowing attributes. “But she’s…” I can’t say, But she’s not you. I can’t say, Forget everything I’ve said since I’ve been back and love me. Please, Maggie, love me. So instead, I say, “She’s too good for me. I’m not fit for nice, smart, pretty women.”
To prove my point, I pull out my flask and uncap it.
Maggie quietly studies me until I begin to squirm under her inspection. “Any particular reason you’re looking at me like I’m a bug under a microscope?”
“You try to make us all think you’re this macho, macho man, but underneath all your bullcrap and bluster, you’re really a nice guy.”
I make a face. “I wouldn’t go that far.”
“I’m serious, Cash.” She squeezes my knee, and the warmth of her palm seeps past my jeans. “And in case I haven’t told you, I’m so happy you came back home. Even if you did break my heart a little by saying we can only be friends.” She winks to let me know she’s teasing.
“What if I said I take that back?”
I don’t know who’s more surprised by the question, me, or her.
Tonight, my bullcrap and bravado have deserted me, and all I’m left with is fear, heartbreak, and a gnawing desperation. Would it be so bad to be a little selfish? Don’t I deserve some happiness and comfort?
“Are you serious?” Her voice is higher than usual.
I am. And I’m not.
Dammit! This gets harder every day.
“Nah.” I shake my head, what little sanity I have left returning. Thank you, Saint Roch! “We’re better off as friends. But if I’m being honest, there are days I wish I’d waited until after prom to run off and join the army. Would’ve loved to see you in that dress. Luc told me you looked like a dream.”
“I don’t know about that,” she demurs. Then, after a moment of silence, she adds, “You realize if you’d stayed, you would’ve been my first. Instead, it was Randy Barker.” She makes a face. “And not that I’m complaining or anything—Randy was super sweet—but neither of us knew what the heck we were doing, and it ended up being a total disaster. I’m surprised it didn’t put me off the act for life.”
Her attempt to lighten the mood falls flat. The thought of her with another man makes something deep inside me ache like someone shoved a hot poker into my gut. Still, I try to play along. “Not Randy Barker of freshman year study hall, surely.”
Her eyebrows arch. “You’ve been reading my letters.”
“Correction.” I lift a finger. “I’ve read your letters. All 365 of them.”
“Yeah.” She wrinkles her nose. “Sorry about that. I had a lot of feelings and emotions to work through back then. But I did warn you when I gave them to you.” She lifts a finger. “If you’ll recall, I said you should probably chuck them straight into the trash.”
“I loved every word,” I assure her. And I did. Even though some of them made my throat hurt like I’d swallowed a shard of glass. “But back to me being your first. Maggie, you have to know, not having sex with you was the best sex I ever had.”
“Is that supposed to be a compliment?” she asks with a snort of laughter.
“No.” I shake my head, but stop when it makes me dizzy. “I mean, yes. Not having sex with you means that what you and I shared will stay true and pure forever.”
“Well, I agree with the true part. But pure?” She nudges me with her elbow. “There were a couple of times out behind the gym and another out at the swamp house that I know Father Fitzharris would have something to say about.”
I grin because she expects it of me. And then for a while, we both fall silent.
Glancing at the picture frame on the mantel, I think back to who we once were. Those crazy kids running around all wild and free. We thought we had it all. Thought we knew it all.
What I wouldn’t give to be those kids again.
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