I loved Quinn when she wrote about Vikings and I’m loving her now, with this contemporary.
The book is The Open Road by Bo and Quinn Loftis, a contemporary romance that will releases today.
Like all young couples, Jason O’Neal and his wife, Bethany, imagined a long and happy life with their children. But when Jason loses his family to a tragic accident, his storybook life dies with them on a two-lane highway. Unable to cope with the loss, Jason makes a last-ditch effort to find peace with their deaths. He plans to fulfill Bethany’s dream of visiting all fifty states, leaving mementos of his family along the way.
Samantha Showalter knows heartache after being left crying in an empty parking lot at the end of a three-year, abusive relationship. Seven months later, she’s rebuilding her life through sheer force of will, until her ex-fiancé shows up at her doorstep unannounced. But Samantha’s best friend has a plan to help Sam let go of her past once and for all … and finally find herself again.
Fate, with a little help from a meddling best friend, will bring two broken souls together. Both have their own valleys to cross before either can hope for a future of happiness.
Will Jason and Samantha find peace in each other, or will their past pain be too much to overcome?
The answer will be found on the open road.
“Still alive, I see,” said Charity as the three of them piled into the booth. It wasn’t lost on Samantha that Charity and Jessica made it a point to sit on one side of the booth together, leaving Sam nowhere to sit but next to Jason.
“Barely,” Jason replied. His voice sounded like sandpaper felt.
“Nothing a little breakfast won’t cure,” Charity said, opening a menu.
“Breakfast? It’s after 1:00 p.m.,” said Jason.
“Breakfast is a relative term in Vegas,” replied Charity. “First meal of the day, it’s breakfast.”
“How can you be so chipper after last night?” Jason asked. “I figured all of you would be dragging as bad as I am.”
“Oh, no, just her,” said Charity, motioning to Sam. “I’m peachy.”
“Apparently, these two have an unusual ability to rebound from drunkenness that regular people lack,” said Samantha. “And I happen to know that that one has had a ton of practice.” She pointed back at Charity.
“I wouldn’t say a ton,” the blonde said.
“In high school, after the homecoming dance, she challenged the football team’s offensive line to do shots,” Samantha said. “Two hours later, they were passed out, and she was drawing penises on their faces with a black marker.”
“They were lightweights,” said Charity. “Anyone could have out drunk those little girls. And we didn’t even make the playoffs that year, which should tell you what kind of wussies they were.”
The waitress came and took their order. The girls got pancakes, and Jason requested a burger and fries. After the waitress had gone, Charity clapped her hands. “Okay, time for our happy surprise.”
“What happy surprise?” Jason asked.
“Apparently, something happened on the roller coaster last night that I can’t remember,” said Sam.
“They’re just dying to show me.”
“Oh, no,” said Jason. “Don’t feel too bad when you see the video.”
“Don’t tell me,” said Samantha.
“Of course not,” said Charity, “we’d rather show you. Jessica, if you’d do the honors.”
Jessica tapped the screen of her phone and then turned it so Samantha could see. Jason’s voice could be heard loudly. “Here it is, the latest post from the ‘Jason’s Lost His Mind—North American Tour’ video channel.” Samantha saw herself and Jason sitting side by side. Jason was grinning from ear to ear. She had her eyes squeezed shut tightly.
“Open your eyes,” Jason said. “This is going to be awesome.” He turned the camera away from himself. Charity and Jessica could be seen in the roller coaster car in front of him. “Hello, America. Jason O’Neal here. About to ride a roller coaster here in Vegas. You remember Charity and Jessica from earlier. Say hi, girls.” Charity and Jessica were in the very front car. They whipped around and smiled, waving at the camera.
Jessica blew the camera a kiss.
“And here is Samantha,” said Jason, turning the camera to his right. Sam was rocking back and forth in the seat, her eyes still closed.
“I’m doing this for Bethany. I’m doing this for Bethany,” she was saying over and over. The click of the tracks could be heard as the coaster car began to climb. Jason turned the camera so the twinkling lights of Vegas showed on the screen.
The car reached the height of the first climb. There was a moment of quiet hesitation before it plunged over the hill and down into the trough. Loud squeals and screams of the riders could be heard, Jason’s loudest of all. “Woooo,” he yelled. The camera shook as he held it out in front of him. Over another hill they went and then down into another valley.
“How are you doing, Sam?” Jason yelled, turning the camera again to his right.
Samantha faced him and then opened her eyes for a second. She looked as if she were about to say something in response. She opened her mouth. But instead of words, a spray of chunky bright yellow liquid flew out of her mouth, completely covering the screen. A string of profanities could be heard from Jason and the riders in the car behind him before the camera switched off.
Charity and Jessica burst out laughing. Samantha was mortified. “I’m so sorry,” she said to Jason before turning four shades of red.
“Don’t worry about it,” he replied. “The most fun I’ve ever had being puked on. But the people behind us didn’t appreciate it too much.”
“Your poor phone,” she said.
“Ah, the case took most of the damage. No big deal. I did have to throw it away though.”
“It was so … yellow,” she said.
“I think that was the pineapple daiquiris we had earlier that night,” said Jason. “Looking back, we were probably asking for trouble.”
Chatting with the Authors
Quinn Loftis is a multi-award winning author of more than 20 novels, including the USA Today Bestseller, Fate and Fury. In a previous life, Quinn was a nurse, but God had other plans for her. In 2011, she published her first novel, Prince of Wolves, and the rest, as they say, is history. Quinn is thankful to God and gives Him all the glory for her amazing life and family. She is blessed to be married to her best friend for over 19 years and they have three boys, two dogs, and a cat that wants to take over the world.
Bo Loftis is an attorney turned novelist who recently penned his second novel, The Open Road, with his USA Today Bestselling author wife, Quinn Loftis. Bo lives in the Arkansas River Valley, where he deftly toes the line between gamer and jock, splitting his time between gaming (both board and video) and playing basketball, mountain biking, and acting as a color commentator for local high school football games. He has three sons, each of which love to use him as their own person jungle gym, and he wouldn’t trade them for the world.
Today I have the pleasure to have both Bo and Quinn here with me.
Hi guys! So, tell me a little about the The Open Road.
Quinn: The Open Road is book that will definitely tug at your heartstrings and give you the feels. It was tough to write some parts but we felt they were things that people could relate to and they need to know they aren’t alone. It’s a story that reminds us that even after heartache we can still keep living and have an abundant life full of love.
Bo: The Open Road is very much a redemption story. It starts with a man, Jason, whose lost everything just trying to move on with his life. We see him go on this journey and we can tell, reading between the lines, looking through the cracks of his façade, that he is facing a pain that he has no chance of overcoming. Enter into Jason’s story, Samantha, a woman, who is struggling with her own past pain. And we soon find out, she’s already dealt with her pain to an extent, but done so in some pretty unhealthy ways.
Quinn, you are known as a paranormal writer. What inspired you to write this story?
Quinn: First and foremost, to write this kind of book with my stoic husband was just too interesting to pass up. It’s like getting a glimpse at a side he never shows. I’m honored that he would want to write any book with me but especially one that is so emotionally intense. I love books that pull emotion out of me while I’m writing. This book has definitely done that.
Bo, what was it like to write a book with your wife?
Bo: I already work with Quinn on most of her books, serving as a copy editor. I’m very familiar with her writing style and we’ve already published one other book together, so it wasn’t a challenge. When I came up with the idea for The Open Road, though,I knew it was a story I couldn’t tell without her help. I felt confident I could write about Jason’s pain because he’s feeling what I would feel if I ever lost Quinn, so that was easy to articulate. But Quinn has such a unique ability to tell a great love story, I knew if Samantha and Jason were ever to get together, it would take her magic to make that happen.
What makes The Open Road different from every other second chance romance out there?
Bo: For me, it’s the use of technology by the main character, of video blogging, something that is extremely popular right now, as a means for Jason to bear his soul to the reader/viewer. So much content we see online nowadays is just designed to shock us into clicking. Click, click, click. Clicks are the new currency in America. Our main character, Jason, cares nothing about that. He just cares about using the internet to honor the memory of his wife and children, and I thought that was a neat perspective.
Quinn: I, like Bo, love how we incorporated our modern-day technology. Video blogging is a part of everyday life. I love the fact that Jason uses it to share his pain with the world because he wants others who might be in the same boat to know they don’t suffer alone. For whatever reason we seem to isolate ourselves when we are enduring hardship. Maybe it’s a way to protect ourselves or maybe it’s because we don’t want to be a burden. What we should be doing is reaching out for help and to help others. Jason was also crying out for help. He was so very lonely and I think sharing his pain with his viewers helped ease that a bit.
Do you guys have any future projects in the works, similar to The Open Road?
Quinn: Bo has already been plotting another second chance romance that is soon to be in the WIP pile. I’m currently working on a New Adult contemporary romance that my amazing husband will edit and, no doubt, make so much better. I would love to see us have more co-written books like this. Like I said, getting a glimpse inside my husband’s mind is a gift and I’ll snatch it up while I can.
Get in touch with Quinn here:
GIVEAWAYBlitz-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
- Print copy of The Open Road