Title: Broken (Broken #1)
Author:: A. E. Murphy
Series:: The Broken Series
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: June 3, 2014
“Emotionally gripping, psychologically complex, and deeply romantic, A.E. Murphy’s brilliantly drawn characters in the BROKEN series will stay with you long after you turn the last page.” –Heather Anastasiu, author of Glitch (St. Martin’s Press)
Caleb is perfect in every way, almost too perfect and Gwen has never felt so happy. He is hers and she is his. Life can’t get much better and their love can’t get any stronger. That is until mistakes are made and their world comes crumbling down.
She’s left alone with no money, no home and a growing person invading her stomach. How will she survive?
Forced to leave culinary school, the job she needs and the home they made together.
Gwen finds a knight in the most unlikely source. Caleb’s brother Nathan. A complex man with a phobia she doesn’t understand and mannerisms that aren’t of this day and age, will she be able to melt his seemingly frozen heart and become his friend? Or will he forever push her away and wallow in his loneliness and self loathing?
Mature readers only. 18+
The rain seems to get heavier and the wind more powerful. Shaking hands clutch the blanket tight to me. I curl my body into a ball, not daring to even poke a toe out from beneath the covers.
My ears pick up footsteps above, that’s Nathan, that’s got to be Nathan. But if that’s Nathan then what just opened the door to my room?
Oh my god. Ghosts are real. I think I’m going to cry.
The blanket is whipped from over my head, I scream.
“Guinevere!” Nathan shouts and seizes my flailing by gripping my wrists.
“Huh?” I blink open my eyes and look up at the shadowed male who looks like Caleb. Seeking comfort I latch onto him, my arms around his waist and my head squished to his chest.
“You’re trembling,” he says not returning the hug but I refuse to let go right now.
“If you’re down here then who’s upstairs?” I whisper when I hear more footsteps from above.
His hand rests on the top of my head as his other unwinds my arms from around him. I peek up at him through my lashes. “I have company.”
“Yes,” he responds and peels himself away from me. “What happened?”
“You didn’t see the power cut out?” How could he not have noticed that?
“I was occupied,” he states and I see a female step into the bedroom. A very pretty female with thick golden hair and no clothes. Why’s she walking in just a robe?
“Oh,” why is he fully dressed when she isn’t? Why is it any of my business? “Sorry.” I scoot back on the bed, looking between him and the female.
“I told you to wait upstairs,” he snaps at the girl who immediately lowers her eyes.
“I heard her scream, I got worried and thought you might need help.” She murmurs and takes a step backwards.
I glance between her and Nathan’s burning eyes aimed at her. He doesn’t look happy and her excuse seems legitimate so I’m not sure if she warrants his anger.
Nathan’s eyes come to me as if waiting for me to react in some way.
“Thanks but I’m fine,” I explain to the female who can’t be more than five years older than myself. “That was kind of you though. I’m not a fan of the dark.”
“Yeah, this house is pretty creepy when it’s dark,” she giggles but immediately stops when Nathan glares at her again. “I should go,” she whispers and gives me a small smile.
“Yes. I believe you should,” Nathan bites out and her face falls.
“Tomorrow?” She looks confused and a little bit hurt.
“I’ll call you. Escort yourself out, I have to see to the fuse box.” Nathan’s tone is stern and unyielding. I want to slap him for her.
Shockingly she says nothing, she only scarpers away with her metaphorical tail between her legs.
“Do you have to be so mean?” I snap at my kind of brother in law. His eyes come to me, he only looks bored. “She was only trying to help.”
“She was trying to be nosy when she had no right to be.” He takes my arm in his hand and leads me out of the room, back into the creepy landing.
Bonus Scene ~ Nathan’s POV
Opening the door, I step into the dark hallway and stare at the golden light spilling from the archway leading to the room. It’s late, I’m uncertain why Guinevere is still up at this time.
I should leave her alone but she needs her sleep.
Entering the room, I blink and take in the sight before me. A mess of dark hair covers the sleeping girls face and spills over the side of the couch, her arm dangles over so her fingers skim the ground and her legs are pulled up to her rounded stomach.
I take a step towards her, unsure on how to deal with this. Do I wake her?
My palms feel sweaty in my gloves, I should take them off but I daren’t.
“Caleb,” I hear her murmur on a faint breath. She shifts onto her back, her arm curving under her breasts as the other goes to her naval.
I stare. I can’t help it.
I want to keep this image forever.
Raising my phone, I take a few pictures, I can’t resist. Even if it is strange and creepy, there’s no way I’m letting this image pass me by. I might never get it again.
Her lip quivers and her eyelids flutter, but she doesn’t wake. I move towards her and drop down on one knee beside the couch. My hand, which appears to be trembling, reaches out and gently swipes the errant hairs from her face.
So pale, so beautiful.
Caleb has no idea how lucky he was.
“Gwen?” I call quietly, wanting to see if she’ll wake but not making a great effort.
I run my fingers along her cheekbone, wishing I could feel her soft skin.
She shifts again and I quickly pull away. Clearly she isn’t comfortable and she looks too peaceful to wake.
Sliding my arm beneath her shoulders, I place the other beneath her knees, ignoring the quiet hum that escapes her and carefully lift her until I’m standing with her cradled to my chest. She’s so light for somebody who’s pregnant. Although I don’t make a habit of carrying pregnant people.
Her arms immediately wrap around my neck and her forehead touches the skin above my collar, I feel and hear her inhale before sighing gently. My spine tingles when the warm air she releases gently caresses my skin. Gulping, I hold her like this for a moment, enjoying the heat from her body. Never in my life have I enjoyed being so close to somebody. She feels so small in my arms, so delicate.
“I’m heavy,” I hear her whisper and decide to get moving for fear of her not allowing me to carry her to her room.
“Go back to sleep,” I say quietly and head towards the stairs, giving her a squeeze of reassurance. Or at least I think that’s what it was.
I never want this moment to end.
I’m 23 and I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen in my hand! I love to write, it’s my passion, and I never stop. In fact I love to write so much I have started over one hundred and fifty different books before finally completing my first ever novel ‘A Little Bit of Crazy’ which I published in May 2013 on Amazon for Kindle. I was grateful when I received feedback as it helps me be a better writer.
When I’m not writing, I love spending time with my family and when I get some spare time (not easy with young children!) it’s either reading or listening to music. You won’t find me without a book or my Kindle in my hand. I read whilst I’m cooking, cleaning, talking, walking… you could say reading is my other passion!
Q&A with A.E. Murphy
Q: Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
A: I once wrote across my partner’s chest. I was taking notes when he snatched my notebook and threw it across the room, all I had was a pen. It was either his chest or his face. I needed to get down what was in my head before I forgot. Other than that I’m pretty normal.
Q: What song would be the theme to your life?
A: Oooh, I genuinely have no idea, but it would have to be really cool and dramatic so that when I walk into a room everybody sees me do it in slow motion. I’d remove my sun glasses and flip my hair over my shoulder before giving a chin dip to a passing stranger.
Q: If you were a superhero, what would your name be and what super power would you have?
A: My super power would be to absorb books. Definitely. Then whatever books I absorbed, I’d be able to bring the characters to life and I’d absorb the powers of my choice from said books too. That would be amazing. I’d call myself, Paige Turner and my superhero name would be, Liber Libri. This means book in Latin. Everything sounds better in Latin. I’m totally copyrighting this idea right now! (Inspiration comes from the weirdest places).
Q: If you were a book heroine, who would you be?
A: Paige Turner aka Liber Libri, I haven’t written this yet but when I do, I so want to be her.
Q: Can you give us three random facts on Broken.
A: The main character is strong, some people don’t agree but I think considering her circumstances, she’s definitely strong.
Nobody has guessed this yet but I set the first location as Skegness. I only put a few clues though so I can understand why nobody has guessed yet. Although I suppose it could be set anywhere due to the fact I use very little description.
Nathan has medium level Mysophobia (fear of germs) and has acute Sociaphobia. I researched both of these illnesses before putting pen to paper. The germaphobe thing is obvious but not the Sociaphobia. He doesn’t freak out in situations but he is short with people and doesn’t like crowds.
Q: Tell us about Nathan.
A: Nathan is a complex man who was raised by his grandfather. Due to a bad upbringing and negligent parents, he’s got a few quirks that set him apart from most men. I think he’s just desperate to love and be loved. Desperate to accept and be accepted. Desperate to find normal and be normal. I think this is pretty much what everybody wants, but with Nathan, because he’s not had any of that, it’s harder for him to find and harder for him to deal with when he does find it. Therefore no matter how frustrating he can get, just remember he’s dealing. Or trying to at least.