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A story set in Tokyo…
Freelance photographer Seren Takahashi wants to heal her wounded soul after a devastating loss. While embarking on a personal adventure into Tokyo’s Shibuya district, she discovers a city rich in culture and vibrant in its exoticness. What she hadn’t expected was finding closure and rediscovering the true person hidden inside. When she gives into destiny’s pull, her journey awakens a need to live in the moment, embrace her fears, and open her heart to love.
Read an Excerpt
AUTHOR’S NOTE: All author proceeds from the sale of this story will be donated to the Red Cross and ShelterBox for the relief effort in Japan.
I dropped my chin, fighting the tears that threatened to spill. Max let out a deep breath beside me and wrapped an arm around my shoulders, drawing me close so I could lean my head against him. We sat in prolonged silence and I appreciated that he didn’t pry any deeper. I felt comfortable in his arms. Safe.
I’d never shown weakness or tears around people but somehow this strange connection allowed me to be myself without any barriers. I could be vulnerable with him without being judged. I closed my eyes for a brief moment when the sound of Louis Armstrong’s A Kiss To Build A Dream On floated around us.
Was I dreaming?
I lifted my head and the sweet song transported me to another place, another time in my imagination. My thoughts sailed on a cloud of memories and Max stood up to pull me to my feet. I wasn’t sure what he was doing but as he slipped an arm around my waist, I had an idea of what his motives were.
“Dance with me,” he said.
I had a feeling he was trying to make me forget my sorrows for a moment. We swayed to the music, moving to the rhythm with ease. He whirled me around and I laughed until I rolled back into his arms. We stood a hair’s breadth away and a shiver slid down my spine. His hands tightened around my hips in a gentle, yet possessive gesture and I wrapped my arms around his neck. Leaning into him, I could smell the earthy, masculine scent and my body heated up. Awareness swept through me as the stirrings in the pit of my stomach made me ache for more.
I grew bold, longing to be closer to him, inhaling his cologne at the crook of his neck. I closed my eyes and drifted off into a calming paradise as breathtaking as the rooftop garden. We moved to the song and my defenses slipped further. I could feel Max’s warm breath against my neck moving closer, lightly grazing my flesh and I wanted something I shouldn’t yearn for. I lifted my head to look at him. To see the gorgeous blue eyes that carried me away with the tranquil ocean waves.
As if he felt the same pull, Max dipped his head and captured my lips in a kiss that melted the ice around my heart. He tasted warm and sweet, reminding me of hot cocoa, fireside, on a snowy day. He deepened the kiss and I sighed against his lips, giving into his probing tongue. Both of us caught up in the fire engulfing our senses as we explored, teased, danced to the same perfect rhythm of blissful discovery.
My heart hammered against my chest, my hands trembled as I weaved my fingers into his hair. Feeling the softness at my fingertips as this moment burned into my soul. I gave into the spontaneity I’d never allowed myself to experience. Spontaneity I’d never known would be so intense and overwhelming.
What’s happening to me?
I broke from his hold and covered my mouth with my hand. My lips still tingled, throbbing from the electrifying kiss. Max and I stood frozen in time. I didn’t know what to say or how to express this strange awareness. A freedom that had seemed to fill the well of emptiness I had carried all these years. In a Shibuya moment, my life was just beginning.