Monday, July 29, 2013

Everybody Falls by J.A. Hornbuckle

Everybody Falls (Wynter's Vicious, #1)

At 25, Jax Wynter lost his life.
As the youngest member of America's number one rock band, Wynter's Vicious, Jax lived a life with no rules or responsibilities. At least until his older brother, founding member and vocalist, died in a fiery car crash. Jobless, clueless and deemed unfit to handle his own affairs, Jax must sober up, man up and adjust to living as a 'normal person' in the 'real world'.

At 24, Lacey Emerson found hers.
Shuffled between her bi-polar mom and her former hippie grandmother, Lacey had no choice but to become responsible at a young age. Her chaotic childhood, though, gave her the skills and determination to succeed when she inherited her grandmother's bakery. Her life was finally normal, real but very, very boring.

All it took was a five-point face plant to turn both their lives upside down.

From the author of Pole Dance, Human Hieroglyphix I & II and Tap Dance, comes the new novel, "Everybody Falls", Book One of Wynter's Vicious Series. Set in the beautiful town of Auburn, California and filled with a cast of quirky characters, it’s a story about learning to live, learning to love and learning to hold on when your brand of 'normal' comes undone.

Sometimes you have to fall from grace before you can fall in love.

Long Excerpt:
I made coffee in my second hand machine up in my apartment over the store and freshened myself while I 
waited for it to brew. 
This was the way I started my day, every day. 
And, everyday, I missed having Grandma to start it with. 
Her passing so suddenly, it still hit me like a ton of bricks every awakening; an unfilled hole in my heart 
echoing her loss daily.
Pouring a cup, I went downstairs and out the front door of what used to, at one time, be a biker bar. I sat on the 
worn, wide steps that welcomed people into the old-fashioned, old-time strip mall. Too early for either customers or 
other store managers, I sipped my brew and watched the dawn light twinkle on the different trees that lined the other 
side of my street. 
Grandma had told me all their different names but I could only remember Ponderosa Pine and Incense Cedar. I 
wished I remembered more.
All I know is that I couldn't start my day without my coffee or greeting the morning light on the trees.
Inevitably, I heard the slap-slap of his chucks on the pavement.
The man came by every morning like clockwork, running as if his life depended on it, instead of the gentle jog 
that other people used to get their exercise in. 
Nobody in their right mind exercised in chucks. 
They were too thin. Not enough sole, enough support, to run in.
Yet, every day, there he was. 
Running the street in his chucks, his long legs reaching and eating up the asphalt. His broad shoulders and 
muscled, inked arms keeping a counter rhythm as he ran. 
At least he'd lost the leather jacket that he used to wear.
He'd become such a fixture of the morning scenery, the sounds of his feet on the asphalt keeping time to 
whatever was in his head. I had taken to putting on music that had a beat to match his cadence. Today, my MP3 in 
the store was playing Soundgarden's 'Black Days'. 
The low volume of such a rock anthem was probably illegal in more than a few states. In fact, the hard-driving rock anthems seemed to be my music of choice when I waited for him. There was 
something about the set of his shoulders, the tattoos that fully covered his arms spoke to me of deep pain when I 
watched him run, but I couldn't have told you why.
Normally, he'd run right by me with only a quick wave, which was more than alright by me.
Today, he'd stopped.
But, not by his own volition.
He tripped, wind-milling his way past me on the porch steps. Taking giant, wobbly steps trying to find his 
balance before failing, before falling. 
Before doing a skidding face plant on the asphalt not ten feet away from me. Just there on the other side of the 
road, yet still on the asphalt. That cold, hard surface, sprinkled with the various pinecones from the beautiful tall, 
tall trees on the other side.
"Arrg," he shouted as his face had hit the ground.
I placed my new bright blue mug on the worn piece wooden step and made my way slowly to his still figure 
sprawled on the blacktop. I could see his back rising and falling with his breaths, so I figured he was, at least, alive 
after his dive. That would've been a horrible epitaph, 'Death by Pavement'. 
Either that or a great name for a band.
I approached slowly.
I may not be all that old, but my twenty-four years had taught me well. 
Men had to be approached with caution. Especially if they were drunk, mad or hurt. 
Well, actually even if they were happy, laughing and in a good mood.
Men were, at all costs, to be approached with caution.
"Are you alright?" I asked, crouching and bending over the man-who-ran, admiring the back view prone almost 
as much as I enjoyed the back view upright. Not many men can look as good leaving as they do coming, yet the 
running man had a great body which seemed to look good from every angle. I admit it, I had noticed him from just 
about every view.
I watched as he brought his hands up to his shoulders and levered himself back, his inked biceps flexing as he 
flopped from his stomach onto his back. 
Oh, sweet chocolate, I thought, looking him over. 
Okay, some people have religion and some people don't. I don't, so I don't tend to swear using religious 
deities. I use what I know, what I believe in and what's important to me.
Chocolate being number one.
But, man, this was bad.
He was a mess. A bloody mess.
"Do we need to call an ambulance?" I asked him quietly tucking my hands in the pockets of my sweats before 
hunkering down next to him, my hands itching to push his long shiny black hair away from his face. 
Some mornings he tied it back, but today it was loose. Or maybe it got that way because of his fall.
His panting got in the way of talking so he just shook his head slowly.
"No 911, then," I said and watched as he nodded shallowly, his panting harsh in the chilly morning air.
"You're a mess, though," I tried to explain.
 I saw him as he closed his heavily fringed eyes and simply nodded shallowly again.
I waited, hoping he'd get his breath back and tell me what I could do to help him. I was a baker, a dessert 
maker, not a nurse and wasn't really comfortable in the role, if the truth were known.
"Do you think you can walk?" I asked gently after a time.
"Ess," he hissed through mangled lips.
"Can I help you up?" I pressed, my voice still almost a whisper and watched as he turned himself over slowly, 
bracing his weight gingerly on his hands and knees.
He paused before getting up onto his feet.
'Oh, he's tall,' I thought, watching him stretch himself up to his full height. Easily six foot if not more. My 
heart sped up at the thought.
Big men meant bigger problems.
"Come sit on the porch and I'll help you get cleaned up," I suggested, watching the tall man sway towards me 
as I spoke. "No, this way," I caught myself saying softly, briefly, touching his arm and providing direction for his 
wobbly feet. 
His sweats were blown out at both knees and I could see drizzles of blood on them as well as deep grazes on 
his forearms and palms. A five-point plant on dirty asphalt. Yipes! He had to be hurting yet, outside that initial shout, he didn't make a 
I glanced up and got caught in his chocolate-eyed gaze that was pointed down at me. 
You know him, my mind announced suddenly. But, that was silly. He only seemed familiar because he ran by 
my bakery every morning.

J. A. Hornbuckle

Author Bio:
Even as a young girl, J.A. couldn't wait to read.   In fact, her first real temper tantrum was at the end of first grade when she realized that unless the book or magazine included the words, "Dick", "Jane" or "Spot", she was still at a loss.  

The thirst for the written word has never left her.

But after reading three crap books in a row on her Kindle (or Ken-doll, as she calls it) in July 2012, she decided she could do better.  Armed with a few notes, she blithely wrote out the first draft of her first novel and found her first book was worse crap than the stories that had started the whole cycle.  Taking the advice of another author, she studied and learned, re-wrote and re-edited.   As of June 2013, she's published five books with another in progress.

J.A. has been fortunate to travel throughout the U.S. and overseas, though she's now calling the Phoenix, Arizona area home.  Those travels, places and the people she's met help provide fuel for her books which is always why she includes the verbiage, 'Although, if you recognize yourself in any character represented …maybe we need to talk.'  She calls it her rider to the disclaimer assuring readers that her characters are not based on any one particular person. 

When asked to sum up what she wanted others to know about her, she simply says, "For those that have been with me on this life's journey…Thanks for the memories!  And those that are still on their way…Where've you been?  My heart's been waiting for you."

Links to Buy 

Jen's review - 
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow - This book was pretty deep :)
Ok maybe not f-ed up and turning your insides around through-out the whole book - but that ending just gets ya ... in a really good way :)

Jackson Wynter's - aka Jax - ie - Jack - a man of many names -
He's a great guy - but has a few struggles in life - After his brother's death, Jax's Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll life hit rock bottom.
The courts ordered him into rehab, then took all his money and assets away, and handed him over to his really sweet Grans, Eddie.

Jax is trying to make this start over, but he's still holding on to the thought of being without his brother, without his band, but he's trying non-the-less. One of the ways to get the drugs out of his system, he needs exercise daily - so every monring on his run through this small town, he runs past the bakery - Lacy's Backery - and every morning, he sees the beautiful girl sitting on the steps watching the trees, after a few days, she would finally acknowledge him with a little wave.
And then just when Jax decided to make his move, BAM! Faceplant right into the asphalt at her feet.

Lacy, a sweetheart of a girl. She didn't have a great childhood, but she made the best out what she did have.
She missed her Grandmother, but was left the bakery, along with everything else that her Grandmother owned. Lacy loved to bake. But most of all, Lacy was a good girl, and as she ran down the steps to help this strange but familuar guy -

Road rash is the worse, but Jack was a trooper as Lacy cleaned him up.
She couldn't place how she knew him, but she felt that instant connection with him.

When Boots came to pick him up, Jax couldn't get his mind off her. but Boots made sure to remind him that Jax couldn't/shouldn't start a relationship until he was fully clean - at least a year. But Jax wasn't going to stand for that.
He wanted Lacy, and that was the end of it...

Their relationship started quickly, and their hearts grew stronger every day -
Eddie, Jax's Grams is the sweetest woman, and you have to admire any hard rocker guy who is afraid of his own grandmother's wrath :)
Eddie is easy to fall in love with, and as soon as Lacy met her, Eddie knew that what Lacy and Jax had was real.

I wouldn't call Jax a hard core Rocker - in fact, he's pretty much the opposite in this book. He has manners, he swears.. a lot, but it's not in a foul way though.

The little blips in the story just seemed to add that much more. The story was sweet, compelling and just all around a great read. I really enjoyed this book :)

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