Authors: Melanie Codina,Madison Seidler
By Melanie Codina
Copyright 2013 by Melanie Codina
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted without written permission from the publisher.
The book you are about to enjoy is a work of fiction. A resemblance to any person, living or dead, events and/or location is purely coincidental. References to real locale have been allowed by the businesses and used in manner to create atmosphere the reader can relate to. All events, the characters and storylines have been created by the author’s imagination and have been used fictitiously.
Cover design/art done by the awesome Regina Wamba over at Mae I Design and Photography. For more information visit her website at:
Or find her on Facebook at
Editing done by the fabulous Madison Seidler.
Published by Melanie Codina, San Diego, California.
It’s hard to know where to start here since there are so many people to thank, so I’m just gonna start throwing it out there.
To Regina Wamba at Mae I Design and Photography, thank you for having the ability to take one sentence, and turning it into my cover. Your talent is unmatched and I am so looking forward to working with you again.
To one of my oldest friends, Sonya, thank you for being the first person to read my work all those months ago, and then texting me in the middle of the night saying, “OMG, I want more!” It was one of the coolest text messages ever!
To my group of friends who really know how to “Keep It Real”. Angie, Kristy, Jen, Denise, Brenda, Jennifer, Marivett, and Miriam, thank you so much for listening to me and talking me down off the ledge. You have made doing this less stressful and I value your advice more than you could possibly know. A2 here we come!
To Madison Seidler, editor extraordinaire, thank you so much for not only editing my work, but for loving it too. I found that I looked forward to your comments in the margins more than I care to admit. Your ability to clean up my
overabundance of words is truly valued.
To my two boys, thank you for letting Mommy ignore you while obsessing over her laptop. Thank you for enjoying cereal for dinner and being able to find your socks in a basket of unfolded clothes. Your ability to melt me with a hug is cherished and I love you more than words can say.
To my two girls, I am so happy to call you mine. You are beautiful and perfect and I love you so much. Thank you for pretending that I wasn’t crazy when I started to talk about fictional characters as if they were real. Thank you for inspiring my sarcasm and humor and always making me laugh. There is a little bit of each of you in this book, both good and bad, and I look forward to all the things you will do in the future to inspire me more.
To two authors who I follow shamelessly, the awesome Liz Crowe, and the amazing Laura Kaye, your books have guided me and provided me with a goal for achievement. I appreciate the times you took to chat with your fans and show me what kind of author I would like to be. I am forever your fan and look forward to the day I get to shake your hands.
To the Facebook pages and blogs that supported an unknown author, I appreciate you taking a chance on me. Twinsie Talk Book Reviews, First Class Books, One More Chapter, Romantic Reading Escapes, Shh Mom’s Reading, Island Lovelies Book Club, Angie’s Dreamy Reads, Literati Literature Lovers, Great Books and Author Elizabeth James; your support and promotion have been appreciated and I hope you and your followers enjoy my work.
And last by not least, to my husband Daniel. You are my biggest supporter and I love that you no longer question the weird things I get excited over, you just strive to make them happen for me. You had me at hello and are the only exception. Thank you for being proud of me, tolerating the lack of attention, and the sink of dishes that I promise to get
to soon. Thank you for listening to my storyline and plots, and giving me direction, I value your opinion and hope you continue to do this with me again in the future. It wouldn’t be the same without you.
Gillian heard the words “cannon ball” screamed about two seconds before the giant splash of water hit her back, startling her and refreshing her all at the same time. “You’re
lucky my hands are full,” she yelled over her shoulder toward the pool, “or I’d be coming in after you.”
Standing in the midst of chaos, a smile spread across her face. What person wouldn’t enjoy spending time outside today? The clear blue
Southern California sky stretched above, with the only disturbance to the horizon being the periodic wisp of a cloud. The sunny eighty degrees made it hot enough to take a dip in the pool, but not so hot that you couldn’t stand in the sun without melting. This was the weather San Diego was known for. It was the perfect type of day to spend in the yard, she thought, around the pool, surrounded by most of her favorite people, celebrating the birth of her youngest son, Dylan.
Of course the turnout was just as she expected, almost everyone was present and accounted for. But then, that was never a doubt because their friends were just like that; they would always come. Those who couldn’t make it for the whole gathering would come as soon as they were available, because with this crowd of people, the parties were never over quickly. And let’s not forget that everyone loved her kids
—let’s face it—they were great kids.
Okay, okay, so maybe she was a little biased on that subject matter, she laughed inwardly. But standing there in the midst of friends and family, she couldn’t help but feel a slight lump form in her throat when taking in her surroundings. The lump got bigger when she caught
sight of her youngest playing with the other kids in the pool. As sappy or cheesy as it sounded, her children were her biggest accomplishments in life. They always found new ways to shock her, infuriate her, overwhelm her, and make her smile. All in equal parts too. Jonathan, Madison, and Dylan … they were her world.
Some people may not feel that way about their own lives, especially if they had started
parenting at an early age like her. But Gillian had no regrets. Sure, things could’ve been easier for them, but she had seen plenty of people who followed the stereotypical timetable for having a family, and of course they didn’t all have success stories. All of that aside, when Gillian did start her family, at the ripe old age of seventeen, her life was no longer hers. It belonged to the little baby she had brought into the world, and she had absolutely no problem with that.
When the shocking announcement was made to family and friends that Gillian was “in that way,” it was as if there was some type of time warp to the 1950s when everyone would look at her with some kind of pitiful look and shake their heads as if she was the only teenager who had ever had sex with her teenage boyfriend. Some even felt it necessary to point accusatory fingers at her boyfriend
, Logan, since he was older than her. Not older by much, but he got the bad rap because he was a year ahead of Gillian and had already graduated when she had Jonathan.
It was comical to think about how that really used to get a rise out of Logan, like he was the evil villain who stole her virtue. Well he didn’t steal it per se; he did take it, but that was because she presented it on a silver platter to him, complete with an invitation to return anytime he wanted. Yep, mutually beneficial was a good description of what happened. You know that saying
—her parents liked to use it—“it takes two to tango”… well, of course it does; it wouldn’t be fun, otherwise. Regardless, the results of all that “tangoing” had a prolonged effect on their lives, but Gillian wouldn’t change that for the world. She and Logan became a statistic the minute that pregnancy test showed its double blue bars to them. And the result of those little blue bars was a bouncing baby boy, Jonathan.
Some people attempted to call her Jonathan a mistake, or an accident, simply because she had gone and gotten “knocked up” in high school and had him before she graduated. Gillian’s defense to this point of view was, well at least she could hug her
and he hugged her back. And what nice hugs they were! Jonathan loved his mom and never hesitated to show her that with hugs—not those stupid one-armed hugs kids give when they’re too cool to show affection—real, full two-armed hugs, daily, and kisses to the cheeks whenever he came or went. Those one-armed hugs seemed to come exclusively from Madison. That is, if she was even blessed with the opportunity of getting that close to her daughter.
Yes, Jonathan was a momma’s boy
, and Gillian loved every minute of it. He was the outgoing, Varsity soccer-playing, polite, good-grade-getting, seventeen year-old boy, who was about to be a senior in high school. His rapid growth spurt over this summer had brought him only one inch shy of his father’s six-foot two-inch height. With his thick, wavy brown hair, bluish-grey eyes and a smile that was electric, she knew he was going to be a heartbreaker. Probably already was, if he was anything like his father. Jonathan had the looks, the personality, the brains, and the athletic talent; he was the total package. And as his mother, she couldn’t be more proud. However, being the oldest of three, he certainly provided a misconception for Gillian that all children listened to their mother and were never difficult.
Yes, her oldest son was an anomaly. Needless to say, other mothers were jealous. His good behavior, coupled with Gillian’s age difference from other mothers, never made her very popular on the sideline of the soccer field, or the playground for that matter. Especially since it seemed that everyone expected her son to be an out of control child with the social skills of a common street thug, or have shitty grades simply because his mother was a teenager when she had him. God, how she hated stereotypes and statistics
, even more so when they affected other’s opinions of her kids. But the upside to being grouped in a crappy statistic was proving said stereotype wrong … and oh how she loved doing that!
Those stupid stereotypes were the very reason she made Logan wait to marry her. Of course
, he proposed when she was pregnant with Jonathan, but she turned him down and told him that having a child was no reason to get married. Waiting to get married ‘til Jonathan turned one was the smartest thing they could’ve done. Logan understood her reason for wanting to wait, but she was certain that it must’ve been a blow to his ego for her to say no that first time. Gillian wanted to marry for love, regardless of the fact that she and Logan couldn’t seem to keep their hands, and other body parts, to themselves.
Once she accepted his marriage proposal
, and they got married, the second addition to their new family came just shy of ten months later when Madison was born. Madison quickly changed all of Gillian’s expectations she may have developed from Jonathan.
Madison was the highly emotional, soon-to-be sophomore, fifteen year old girl that was always demanding attention. She was the typical “Daddy’s Little Girl,” who recently decided that they were no longer allowed to call her Maddie. Somehow, the nickname they had called her for years suddenly sounded “immature.” Gillian snorted to herself, thinking that the only immature thing about using the nickname was how Madison acted. She would ignore you if you called her Maddie and would just wait until she heard her full name, except if Logan called her that, of course. Daddy’s Little Girl and all; it was adorable and annoying as hell!