#BlackFriday: Excuse Me by AJ Norris

Black Friday is here and we’re discussing the season with AJ Norris’s Ana from Healing Hearts .

Ana Escher, the beautiful but often insecure college senior, is caught in the web of her intentionally cruel boyfriend, Danny Carmichael. He has the ability to exploit everything negative she has ever felt about herself; twisting it to his advantage. As his abuse worsens, Ana decides to dump him for the sake of her sanity. However, she soon learns he won’t let go.

When Ana meets Cayden O’Leary a part-time cop, full-time college senior struggling with a dark past, she thinks he’s only a “meat-head idiot,” but quickly learns he’s a lot more than just a handsome face with a hot body.

Ana and Cayden become partners for a class project and begin a steamy romance, and a journey towards helping each other heal. But, as the intensity of their relationship increases so does Danny’s obsession with Ana. He begins a relentless pursuit in hopes of “winning” her back, but only Cayden knows just how dangerous Danny really is. Can Cayden and Ana’s love survive the weight of their pasts, or will it end with a bang?

Read an interactive excerpt here!


Excuse Me

AJNorris-Healing HeartsAna sighed deeply. Her eyes watered and the hot overhead flood lights made her sweaty. She dreaded Christmas shopping. She never knew what to get anyone, especially for her boyfriend. Fortunately, just before she’d left for the mall, Cayden hinted that he needed some new dress shirts for several job interviews he had lined up. He even made a point to show her the size he wore. Her eyes glazed over at the racks of men’s shirts.

A multi-colored sea of shirts blurred in front of her teary eyes. How could anyone, find anything in this mess? A stack of expensive-brand button-downs sat next to one of the racks, and fell over when she brushed up against the pile. Crap. Ana gathered the cellophane wrapped well-out-of-her-price-range shirts and crammed them under the display, along with the fifty others, already hiding from the throngs of shoppers.

An older woman pushed past her and knocked Ana’s elbow with her brick-laden purse. “Ow,” Ana said, rubbing her funny bone.

The woman didn’t bother to glance back as she said, “Well, excuse me.”

You’re not excused. “That’s okay,” Ana told her. She moved toward another rack of more moderately priced options. Her eyes began to mist over again at the mass of different styles and neck sizes. She wiped her eyes. The very last shirt, in the very last spot was the perfect color—emerald green to match Cayden’s eyes. Ana checked the tag. Yay… his size, thank God. She pulled the shirt, set it on the top of the pile and checked her wallet to make sure she had enough money to cover the purchase.

The woman with the obnoxious purse from earlier, sidled up next to her and eyed the shirt. “I was just looking at that and decided to buy it,” she said and grabbed the shirt off the display.

Ana’s eyes went round. Her mouth fell open. “Hey, wait…I had that shirt first.”

“No, you didn’t, you put it down.”

“Only for a second.” She waited for the woman to hand over the merchandise. Ana trembled inside but wasn’t backing down. The stare down lasted several pregnant moments until finally the woman broke. Ana had spent too long traipsing back and forth between department stores, each located on opposite sides of the mall. This was the shirt she was buying.

Ana went to the check-out counter. Her hands shook as she pulled some cash out of her wallet. The salesperson smiled. “It’s okay, sweetie.”

Her forehead crinkled. “Wha…”

“I saw what happened. Black Friday…always nuts around here. Can I interest you in some neckties?”

Oh, crap…

Meet AJ Norris!

A.J. Norris is a lover of all books but her loyalty remains with her first crush; romance. She graduated from college with a degree in absolutely nothing to do with writing whatsoever. It wasn’t until well after college when the build-up of voices inside her head became too overwhelming and needed to be let out, that she began to write. She isn’t following a family legacy of writers, only a need to put words on a piece of paper.

NorrisAJ.200pxThe author is a movie buff, especially book adaptations, loves watching her son play baseball and communing with other writers. She lives with her family who are extremely tolerate (at least most of the time) of all her late nights behind the computer, clack-clacking away.

Contact Info: Website | Twitter

Want to purchase AJ Norris’s novels?
Healing Hearts

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About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


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