BOTH OF HER
By Alisa Mullen & KATHY COOPMANS
Copyright 2015 ALISA MULLEN & KATHY COOPMANS
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Cover Design by Dana Lamothe
Edited by Rose David
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to similarly named places or to persons living or deceased is unintentional.
BOTH OF US THANKS:
-First off, we have to thank Kimberly Russell Shaw for bringing the top mind fuck novelists of 2015 together for this collaboration. We had a blast working together. What a ride!
-Thanks to our step-children, Helena and Melanie. We adore you.
-Thank you Amy Gamache with Rose David Editing for being flexible with our different writing styles.
-Thank you to Heather from Panty Dropping Book Blog for everything. You are amazing.
-To Dana Leah who jumped on board and created the perfect cover.
-Tessi and Dustin, thank you for creating the perfect cover for Both of Her. The moment our eyes hit this photo we knew it was the one.
-We both would like to thank our family and friends. A lot of time is taken away from our loved ones when we write. More time was taken away when we decided to write this book together on top of continuing our own separate stories. We thank you for continuing to support us and allowing us to live our dreams, fulfill our passion, while standing by our sides.
-For all the blogs who helped us spread the word. You all amaze us with your continued support and the awesome things you do.
-To you the reader – you allow us to enter your life while reading our words. How can the two of us put into words our thanks to you? With so many books to choose from. You choose ours as one to read. Thank you from the deepest part of our hearts.
A note from Kathy – I would like to thank Alisa for bringing the idea of Luca to my mind and collaborating with me on a story of one woman trying to find her true identity. It’s funny sometimes how you can find that certain person who you click with. You and I do. I look forward to our journey together!
To Kathy’s Kinky Krew – we have never seen a group of women so dedicated like you. You all are simply THE BEST.
A note from Alisa – I would like to also thank Kathy for helping to bring Luca to life. Without you I’m not sure Both of Her would have developed into the story that it is. You have been amazing through it all. I look forward to what the future holds for us.
To my Boston Babes – What can I say about my girls? I love you all so much and appreciate everything you do for me. (Donkeys Rock – Et!) There you go! XOXO
How ‘Both of Her’ Started
It is officially official. According to the black and white school uniformed clock in the mathematics lecture hall, Christmas break will start in less than eighteen minutes. I only have to listen to my Economics professor talk about the effect that holiday shopping has on the United States economy. I couldn’t care less, because I am broke. My family will be receiving coupons for free car washes from yours truly while I’m home on break. Actually, maybe I will mix it up this year, and bake some cookies to place under the tree in little gift bags.
As my professor drones on, I imagine my mom’s smile and my father’s words, as they open the gifts I plan to give them. “Luca, it is the thought that counts, honey. We are always so proud of you.”
They should be proud of me. Although I told myself I would never become a Yankee, I moved from sunny Jacksonville, Florida to take a spot as a third seat flutist at New York University on a full ride. I still have to pay for books and food, so I have a job at the little pizza shop right around the corner from my tiny apartment. Even while working, I still bust my butt off to maintain the GPA that NYU expects from me. I’m not stupid. I know that playing the flute will not be my only passion in life, so I am studying for a double major in business. I might be in college forever, but for now, I am living moment to moment and loving it. I don’t know who I will become, but I know I hate being broke. I also know the long lecture that takes up the mind numbing last minutes of the semester has absolutely zero to do with me. If it was me, I would succeed through all days of the year - whether it was Christmas or Valentine’s Day. When I start to work, like with my flute practicing, I will give it more than one hundred percent.
As if an angel had fallen from the sky and landed on my professor’s shoulder, he clears his throat to announce that we should all enjoy our time off, before releasing us a few minutes early. With my final papers in hand, I do an inward high five when I see the ninety-three on the top of my page. It is a glorious Christmas present.
As I walk out of class, I power up my phone to let my parents know that I am heading back to my place, grabbing my bags, and setting off to John F. Kennedy Airport to catch my six o’clock flight to Florida. I will deplane in Florida, wearing flip flops, no matter the temperature. It has to be warmer than the city that never sleeps. It is also the city that is so cold during the winter months that it actually kills the elderly. People don’t mention that part and they really need to. People require heat. Florida was where it was at. I don’t think anyone, but the obvious Floridians, have gotten the lifesaving memo.
I actually feel bad for New Yorkers, notice that I don’t consider myself one, nor do I ever plan to. Despite that, the city and the surrounding New England states were expecting a large Nor’easter winter storm in the next day with temperatures expecting to drop below zero. I breathe a sigh of relief when I hear that I will be missing that shit storm by mere hours. By the time the blast of winter hits the city, I will be well over the clouds and storm alike, as I read the first of many romance novels I piled up. The poor things have been waiting for this vacation.
Freshman year at the prestigious New York University was difficult to adjust to at first. I think about home and warmth often, which makes me miss palm trees and grass year round. I know I am an adult now, finding my way through a different experience and yes, New York City is an experience, but I am also a firm believer in the saying, “nothing is forever”. This southern girl will land a job as close to the equator as soon as she flips her graduation cap up into the air.