When Aubrey Miller begins her education at Titan University, she is no longer the beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl of her youth. In fact, she's no longer even Aubrey Miller. Now with jet-black hair, multiple sets of eccentric contact lenses, and several facial piercings, she's veiled herself in complete darkness as a form of protection for herself, as well as others.
As she enters her first year of college, her goal is simple: earn a degree with the least amount of social interaction as possible. What she never anticipates is the formation of very unlikely relationships with two people who will change her life in ways she never believed possible: Quinn Matthews, the overtly cheerful pageant queen, and Kaeleb McMadden, a childhood friend who never really let her go.
Over the years, as their connections intertwine and strengthen, a seemingly indestructible bond is formed between the three. And eventually, the ties of friendship and discovery of first love begin to coax her from her darkened path as they slowly bring Aubrey back to life.
Spanning the course of four years, this is the story of a young woman's plight to finally reemerge, finding strength within unbreakable bonds as she delivers herself from her own manufactured darkness and safely back . . . Into the Light.
Under the Influence
By the age of thirteen, Dalton Greer had already experienced abuse unfathomable to most. So by the time he was finally rescued from the latest of his long string of foster homes, he was already traveling down a very dangerous path. Indebted to a known drug lord as a means of protection, he chose the life of the streets thinking that's all his life had to offer...until he mether.
Five years later, she's the only bright spot in his very bleak existence. There isn't anything he won't do to shield her from the evil he's experienced and he wants nothing more than to protect her from the life he's chosen, as well as from himself.
The day Spencer Locke found Dalton sitting on her porch, she felt his pain and understood his rage. They were bonded by both, though he would never know understand why. He had been lost while she was found, and in that moment, she vowed to help him find his way too.
As the years pass by, that initial bond forms into something deeper. Spencer loves Dalton regardless of his past, in spite of his choices. And when all secrets are unleashed between the two, that love becomes binding.
One night is all they have before fate makes its own decision. Dalton is forced to choose the path he will travel, and Spencer is left unknowing as to why.
A journey about the discovery of true friendship as it blossoms into first love, the experience of crucial sacrifice and ultimate betrayal, and endurance of agonizing heartbreak on the way to finding lasting redemption, two lost souls find solace...
Under the Influence of love.
Out of Focus
For years, Cassie Cooper has played the very convincing role of a confident young woman who couldn't care less about what others think regarding her actions. But in reality, underneath her bold façade, lies a very frightened, broken little girl who's suffocating under the weight of her secrets. Out of control, she continues whirling down her very treacherous path in search for anything that will numb her pain. But no one will ever know. With her mask securely in place, she keeps that little girl hidden, safe from the scrutiny of prying eyes.
That is, until she meets Grady Bennett.
The martial arts instructor doesn't just look at Cassie, he sees her.
And with painstaking patience as their relationship grows, Grady works to help Cassie see herself. Her ferocity. Her strength. Her ability to love and to smile. He pushes her to acknowledge and embrace what she really is . . . a survivor.
But when her walls are down and her vulnerabilities exposed, Cassie is forced to face her torturous past, causing her to lose sight and plummet once again into her void of emptiness.
Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to find the necessary strength to land safely.
And sometimes, life has to become completely Out of Focus in order to finally see.