Monday, November 26, 2012

New Release!

Starting a new series is always nerve-racking, especially coming off of one that so many people connected with...but it's also thrilling. The His Dark Lessons series is full of new characters with obstacles to face and I hope that you guys root for Cassandra and Chance to conquer them all!

Here is the cover, description, and excerpt from The Student:

Still reeling from the loss of her father, Cassandra Woods thought her biggest hurdle would be facing friends and professors she's been avoiding all summer--until she finds out her new British lit teacher is her ex-boyfriend.

It's been three years since Dr. Chance Crawford broke her heart but the wounds are still fresh. Cassandra decides to show him how it feels to be hurt by the person you love, but she wasn't counting on falling for him all over again... 


I inhaled deep and moved forward, peering into the classroom window as I reached for the doorknob. I shrank back when I saw a man perched on the edge of the desk at the front of the room. I could count all the male professors in the English department on one hand and none of them were below the age of 50. The guy who was staring out at the class couldn’t be more than 30.
I could only make out his side profile, but it was more than enough to make me blush in approval. Chestnut colored hair hung in shaggy waves around his angular jaw. Tanned skin was accentuated by a black button down shirt that he had rolled up to the elbow, paired with midnight colored jeans. There was something familiar about the way he carried himself. He exuded confidence and sex appeal, turning something as effortless as leaning into something that made me wish I’d taken a little longer getting ready this morning. When I saw the dark flash of a tattoo peek from beneath his arm cuff, a gasp shot from my lips like a bullet.
It couldn’t be.
His hair should have been longer and unruly. The guy I knew wouldn’t have a tan because he spent his days indoors with his nose stuck in a book. He was twenty-seven and a doctoral candidate when we met at Royal Bean, bonding over bone dry cappuccinos with a sprinkle of raw sugar on top. We gushed over Tolstoy and Dickens and I swooned over someone who studied English and didn’t care that my father was Rhyder Woods.
I stared at the mystery man, desperate for some tell-tale sign that it wasn’t him. The guy I knew wouldn’t teach at Thomas College since he always talked about living abroad after he finished his dissertation. And he’d have to be crazy to stick around after I told him that if I ever saw him again I would personally tear his head off.
But when his head whipped to the door and his eyes met mine, I covered my mouth in horror. His golden flecked eyes still stripped me to my bare bones.
Chance Crawford. The only heartbreak that could still take my breath away.
I turned on my heels and walked in the opposite direction. I could put one foot in front of the other and grin and bear it through my senior year, but I wasn’t going to sit through a semester with him at the front of the class.
“Cassandra, wait!”
I slowed, then gave myself an internal shake. Why the hell was I slowing down? By the time I’d picked up speed it didn’t matter because he’d caught up with me.
“Cassie.” He gripped my arm tight and wheeled me to face him. “Where are you going?”
I wrenched my arm away, trying to see past the fact that he was more handsome than I remembered. “Where is Dr. Madison?”
“She had a family emergency,” he explained. “She’s taking a semester of personal leave.”
Guilt formed knots in my throat when I remembered how tired Dr. Madison looked when she stopped by to see me. She’d cared enough about me to be there when she was going through her own drama?
“I’m her substitute.” His voice washed over me, bringing me back to the fresh crisis before me. “I’ll be teaching her British literature course this semester.”
I hated to admit it, but I still couldn’t take my eyes off him. His new haircut was undeniably sexy. The choppy brown layers accentuated his strong jaw line, giving him a playfulness that he lacked before. My eyes trailed down to the tight muscles of his chest. It was obvious he was still running regularly from the fit of his button down shirt. And then there were the jeans. It was like God himself had crafted them, making sure they hit him at all the right angles, taunting me with the delicious, solid part of him I still remembered well.
I’d hoped the years would mar his attractiveness, that he’d go to Europe and do to some other poor girl what he did to me and get beaten to a pulp. Or fall off the Eiffel tower. Something, anything, to justify the fact that he made it impossible to ever trust another guy with my heart.
He raked a hand through his hair and the layers fell effortlessly back into place. “It’s really good to see you, Cass.”
I crossed my arms, biting back the memory of how he loved it when I ran my fingers through his hair, grabbing tuffs of it while we were...indisposed. “You’re teaching British Lit?”
He stood a little taller. “That’s right.” His voice took on an authoritative, grating edge. “And you’re late.”
“Since when do you teach at Thomas?” I said acidly, ignoring the jab about me being late.
“When this position became available, I knew it was an opportunity and I’d be a fool to pass it up.” A student hustled past and he lowered his voice. “I knew it was an opportunity to see you. To explain and-”
“Save it,” I snapped, holding up a hand. I’d be a fool if I stood there and listened to a word he said about that day. A bigger fool than I had been to fall for him in the first place. “I didn’t care to hear your half assed explanation then and I have even less interest in hearing it now.”
“You know what?” I gripped my backpack tight, finding strength in myself that I hadn’t felt in months. “I don’t need British Lit anyway.”
He let out a low laugh and moved to block me from passing. “You’re unbelievable. You’re going to drop the class just because I’m teaching it?”
“Even though it’s highly unlikely you’ll find an elective to take its place?”
“That’s right.”
His jaw tightened. “I see you’re just as ridiculous as I remember.”
I balled my hands into fists at my side, entertaining the idea of physically removing him from my path. “And I see you’re just as self-involved.”
“Self-involved?” he repeated with a snort.
“Yes, self-involved.” I flung an arm in the direction of the classroom. “You just waltzed out of there, running after me-”
“I told them to read the syllabus,” he cut in matter-of-factly.
“Whatever,” I said bitingly. “You think that you can just come out here and I’m just going to finally give you what you want?”
It all came rushing back--images and feelings, raw and suffocating. I’d said yes back then, yes when I thought I was losing him and it still didn’t stop him from breaking my heart into a million pieces. I promised myself I’d never give him another chance; never speak another word to him.
“What I want?” He closed his eyes and let out a grunt of frustration. “It’s been three years, Cassandra. I’m not going to make reparations for all eternity.” His voice deepened. “I apologized. You didn’t accept it.”
“Yes, but-”
“Look, I know how much this class means to you.” His eyes went dark and I knew he was using things I’d told him. About me. About Dad. “And after losing your father-”
“You don’t know anything about me,” I said bitingly. “Not anymore.” I pushed past him, storming in the direction of the exit. I didn’t know what hurt worse--that he didn’t come after me…or that I wanted him to.

The Student is available at the following retailers:


  1. it sounds SO good! But I don't think I'm going to start reading it until all parts are out, unfortunately ):

    1. No problem, Claudia...I know the serial style release isn't everyone's cup of tea. :) Thanks for commenting!

    2. It's definitely my cup of tea. But I NEED to be able to read through the entire series, or else I'll be miserable living on a cliffhanger haha (:

    3. Well it depends, some are written with cliffhangers, and some are written with a resolved issue for every part of the story. :)

  2. Just bought it!!! Soo excited to start!!!:-D EEEE!! I'll spread it around and start tomorrow!:-)
    PS- it never tells me when new stuff pop up even though I subscribed. Have to keep checking. Glad I caught it early though! Have a good one doll!:-)

    1. Yay! No new release is complete until I read your comments. :) Can't wait to hear what you think!

    2. LOVED it!!!:-D cannot wait for more and to see where this goes. I love Chance and hope he gets another chance! So excited. Great job Ava!:-d can't wait for more!!

  3. When will the second be released for this book?

    1. Hiya! :) The release date listed on the blog is the 28, but the holidays have been kind of crazy, so it's going to be more like the 29-30

    2. Yeah I feel silly after I posted the message I was searching around on your page and then found it. Thanks for telling me you pushed in back a day or two I was already an eager beaver this morning looking for it. You have me hooked on everything you write!

    3. Awww! :) I'm so glad that you're enjoying the stories. Just wanted to pop over and let you know that The Teacher is up!