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Always with You

Boy next door ... or stalker next door?

“The first boy I ever loved might be a murderer.”

After Sophie Mariano disappeared, I took the perfect life she left behind—the spot on the cheer squad, the friends, and the gorgeous boyfriend.

But now Sophie’s brother, Miles, is back, and he’s looking for his missing sister. He’s staying with his grandma in my duplex, which means there’s nothing but a door separating us each night. I should be afraid of him—everyone thinks he killed his sister. But I’m not afraid of Miles. I’m afraid of how much I want him.

There is one person I’m afraid of, though: whoever’s sending me creepy, anonymous messages and photos. They’re following me around town, to work, to my house. According to Miles, the same thing happened to Sophie before she disappeared. Whoever was stalking her is now stalking me.

The DMs escalate to vandalism, blackmail, break-ins, and death threats. My stalker wants to ruin my life. They want to break me. They want me dead. If Miles and I don’t figure out what happened to Sophie and who’s been stalking us both …

I’ll be the next girl to disappear.

Bad boy, hate to love, cohabitation, slow burn, second chance, small town, love triangle
Spoiler Alert Content Warning
Graphic sexual content, gaslighting, discussions of homicide and suicide, violence, death threats, blood, stabbing, strangulation, and light choking.

FAQ

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Always with You has six on-the-page spicy scenes. There are also several steamy scenes throughout. The spice level probably depends on your tastes as a reader. If you typically read YA, AWY is very spicy. If you read a lot of erotic romance, you may find AWY more on the mild side. I think fans of Punk 57 and Verity will enjoy.

The initial kernel of inspiration came from my own life. When I was a kid, I spent some time in a duplex, and a cute boy lived in the other half of the house. He’d come through my room to hang out with us (my father scolded him for that lol), and when I was reflecting on that experience years later, I thought that’d be a fun setting for a romance. Then Madalyn and Miles popped into my head.

That was in 2018. Two years later, I was watching a lot of true crime and devouring thrillers. I went down a research rabbit hole and listened to stalking survivors’ stories. At the same time, I started rewatching Gilmore Girls (for the thousandth time) and while I love the Jess/Rory/Dean dynamic, I wanted to make it ten times darker. That’s when all the pieces clicked into place, and I started writing Always with You in November 2020.

Always with You is single POV, told from Madalyn’s perspective.

I started writing Always with You in November 2020, rewrote it three times from 2021 to early 2022, queried 50 agents from June to October 2022, and got a few requests but no offers. I queried another manuscript in January 2023, signed with an agent in February, and ultimately decided to publish Always with You independently.

Team Jess.

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