Blog Hop Time!

Mending the Shroud

by J.M. Bray



Since Victoria, and the rest of us, like sexy stories, I thought I’d share one of my own. Admittedly it isn’t steamy, but it’s definitely about true romance and second chances.

When I met my wife, she was dating my best friend. No I didn’t break the bro-code and steal her from him, though the sight of her perfectly formed rear in those jeans made me want to. When he introduced us, she turned around, yellow-green eyes flashing, and a mischievous grin dancing across her lips, all I could think was, How does Spike meet these amazing girls? Being named “Spike” probably had something to do with it.

“This is Kari,” he said and I never thought I’d forget the name…but I was wrong.

Kari and I became acquaintances; saying hi when we crossed paths, having a conversation or two, but nothing more. Then time, that wicked thief, intervened. Spike and she parted ways, college went on, and I lost track of her. Fast forward a few years to my senior year.

I’d just come from a two-day Halloween party at Spike’s house and was walking along the lane to the cafeteria for lunch. A small white car with two beautiful girls in it passed and I made some kind of lame attempt at a flirtatious wave. I think it was the oh-so-cool two-pistol finger point. To my shock the car stopped and out jumped the curly haired brunette. She ran up and threw herself at me, wrapping her arms around my neck. I had no idea who she was, but wasn’t about to turn down a hug. When she pulled away I knew exactly who she was but couldn’t, for the life of me, remember her name.

We chatted. She asked about school, and several times about Spike while I danced around the memory loss. After a few minutes, we parted, but as I opened her car door and she got in I said, “Hey, give me your number and I’ll let Spike know I saw you.”

“That’d be great,” she replied, jotting it down then handing me the slip of paper.

I took it, glancing at her name as I shifted it to my other hand and said, “It was great to see you again, Kari. I’ll give you a call sometime.” My one moment of uber-slickness was about to pay off.

“I’d like that.” Her smile wobbled my knees.

A few days later, I did exactly as promised, telling Spike I’d seen her, but nothing more. This time I wasn’t letting the opportunity pass. Though she was in Los Angeles and I attended school a couple hours away in San Diego, I pursued her with a carefully crafted plan. I waited a few weeks to call. At first phoning at midnight or after. Later calling when I knew she was off, chatting for hours on end about everything under the sun. She was dating someone, but I didn’t let that get in the way. I wasn’t giving up.

We didn’t see each other again until late December but the hundreds of hours on the phone sharing ourselves, worked its magic. We had our first date, but that was all it took. Eight days later we were engaged and a few months after, in March, we married. Next year will mark our thirtieth anniversary.

And yes, her assets in a pair of jeans or those amazing eyes still make my heart race.

What’s the “lesson”, besides a fun romantic story? Second chances, like the one I had, happen but they are rare. Do everything you can to pursue your dreams. Writing, work, love, sports, travel, whatever it is go after it with all you are. You never know how things will turn out.

The Blog Tour Continues. Click the banner to find out more.

The second in the fresh, exciting romantic fantasy Shroud trilogy takes up where Tearing the Shroud leaves off – with the lives, the loves, and the mythical world beyond our own. 

After accepting bodily possession and saving the world, Vincent thought his life would get easier. He thought wrong.

The Shroud may not have torn wide open, but it did tear a little, and the retribution for the failure is coming hard, fast, and directly at Vincent and the people he loves.

His only hope is to once again accept possession from Coleman and do battle with the deformed, terrifying Kafla. But this time, he’s not alone. Jule, the woman he loves and hopes to marry, is possessed as well, and together the four of them become a formidable team.

Together they hope to stave off the invasion and take the fight to the Realm, but only a supreme sacrifice can mend the Shroud and save both their lives and their worlds.

Mending the Shroud Links

Goodreads – Amazon – AmazonAU – iBooks – B&N (coming soon!)
About the Author

J.M. Bray lives in Southern California with his college sweetheart and their two dogs. After a lifetime together, they are happier than the moment they met. When not writing or working his “day job”, he loves to cook, play the guitar, and travel with his wife. Every chance he gets, he races an old Porsche named “Tuffy” at tracks in the southwest.

Connect with JM

Twitter: @jmbraybooks
Facebook Author Page:

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About V.K. Black

I write sexy romances, and have had many published - one with Cobblestone Press (called "Lies and Seduction"), one called "Unexpected Places" and published by Escape Publishing, and several published by myself - "Tempting the Billionaire", "How to Deal With a Surprise Penis", and "A Bubbly Holiday".
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5 Responses to Blog Hop Time!

  1. Just wanted to say, JM, how great your new book sounds. And that I loved your true story about your own personal romance!

    • jmbray says:

      Thanks, Victoria. It was an adventure writing it and I’m hard at work editing the rough draft of book three in the Shroud Trilogy. I had a blast prepping for this visit, thanks for having be over. 🙂

  2. Kathy Heare Watts says:

    JM, thanks for sharing about your book and I love the story of how you and your wife met and romance ended up happening! 30 years, sweet. I am celebrating 38 in October! and yes, it will be a blessed milestone! My husband just had a heart attack Saturday and 2 stents on Monday. He is home and doing well. This is the second time we’ve been through this, last time was 9 years ago.

    • jmbray says:

      Hi Kathy. I’m so sorry to hear about your husbands health issue. I hope and pray that he recovers soon and completely so you can have another 38 years 🙂 Congratulations on having one of the marriages that made it. Keep the romance stoked.

  3. Yes, Kathy, I hope your husband is okay. My father-in-law had a heart attack and a stent put in recently, and he’s full of vim and vigour. My husband I have been married for 31 years. Wow. Time flies when you’re having fun…

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