Author N.N. Britt is revealing the cover to SEVERANCE, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, releasing July 25, 2019. See below for the cover, information on the book, an exclusive excerpt, and preorder links.
They say first love doesn’t last. Alana’s ends on the night her boyfriend Dakota dies in a deadly shooting at a Portland club.
In an attempt to look for ways to deal with her grief, Alana reaches out to Dakota’s older brother Mikah, who’s struggling with moving on himself.
Both damaged beyond repair, neither Alana or Mikah know how to cope with their loss. What’s worse, they have zero idea how to handle the unexpected feelings they start developing for each other.
My teeth are chattering by the time I make it to the rear of the building. Running outside without my coat in the middle of February isn’t one of my best ideas, but the truth is, I’m so numb, I can barely feel anything.
Mikah’s sitting on the edge of a massive concrete flower bed. It probably looked happy and colorful during the summer, but right now, the soil is desiccated and covered with a blanket of dirty old snow.
The gloomy, ominous clouds hang low above our heads, threatening yet another blizzard. This winter has been one of the longest I’ve ever seen, one of the darkest too, and I catch myself thinking that I desperately want it to end. Even if it wipes out all the good memories. I just want to stop feeling broken.
Mikah’s turned with his back to me, cigarette smoke floating around him like a halo.
The snow crunches under the weight of my suede shoes as I walk quietly over to the flower bed, my fingers clutched in front of me, my heart rate kicking up. There are thousands of words in my head, yet none of them seem to be appropriate.
“Are you just gonna stand there?” Mikah rasps out after a while without looking at me. He brushes the traces of tears from his cheeks with the back of his hand, tosses the last of his cigarette on the ground, and draws another one from the pack that’s sitting next to him on the cement block.
“Can I have one?” I ask, blurting out the first thing that comes to mind.
“Since when do you smoke?” He chuckles, shifting to face me. His green eyes, still glistening from his tears, search mine.
“Since now.” I shrug, shuffling my feet. My toes are completely frozen and my body has reached a point where moving only makes it more painful, but at least if someone decides to shoot at us, there’s plenty of room to run. There are no walls and no missing exit signs.
Mikah rises and closes the space between us in three strides. “Here.” He takes off his suit jacket, puts it over my shoulders, and gives me his cigarette. His gaze catches mine and we stand motionless for a few moments staring at each other, probably wondering whether the things we’re each feeling right now are any different. When two people are sad over the same person’s death, there’s a strange type of connection, frightening and nerve-racking. It’s like we have this invisible bond and we understand each other without the need to speak.
I’ve never smoked in my life and I have no idea how to hold a cigarette, so I grab it across the middle with my thumb and index finger, wondering which end goes into my mouth. Although I just saw Mikah smoking, my brain has completely lost it.
“The other way,” he says, stepping back to get another for himself.
“Okay,” I mumble under my breath. I stick it between my lips but immediately remove it when the unpleasant taste of tobacco on my tongue causes my stomach to churn. My injured palm stings with the movement, but I try not to think about the pain.
“You dated a dude who was in a fucking rock band and he didn’t teach you how to smoke, Church Girl?” Mikah rolls his eyes and flicks his lighter in front of my face.
About the Author
N.N. Britt is a Los Angeles-based music journalist and photographer whose articles appeared in numerous publications. Her photos have graced t-shirts, billboards, and CD covers. When she is not writing or drinking coffee, she is probably reading or attending a heavy metal show.