They say there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Not everyone will grieve in this order, nor will everyone go through every stage. It’s during the stage of denial when Alex Hart meets Andrew Foster. He takes her one-step closer to acceptance: the stage when new, meaningful relationships are formed. The stage when the realization occurs that this is now the new state of normal.
Just when Alex thinks she is on her way to healing, she enters the bargaining phase. That’s the phase where you wonder what you could have done differently. You wonder “what if?” Specifically, what if the ones you loved hadn’t left you?
Leaving…this is what makes heading off to war so difficult and frightening for Alex. She knows all too well what it’s like to be the one on the losing end of life, which is why she’s made it her personal mission in life to save as many lives as possible. The extreme high she gets from treating trauma victims turns into Alex’s own form of therapy, or so she thinks.
When faced with her world being turned upside down, Alex may just find that her true therapy is in the one who has always saved her.
He pulls my arm back like a slingshot and as we’re gaining momentum to release the stone, I hear, “Alex!” being proclaimed through the entire neighborhood. It causes my already racing heart to speed out of control. I lose complete concentration, virtually spinning myself around as the stone is released, plummeting me into his arms, our lips just mere millimeters away from each other.
We stare into each other’s eyes. Speechless seems to be my middle name for one reason or another today. I blink. “I...”
“You can’t skip a stone to save your life, can you?” He smirks.
I breathe for what seems like the first time in five minutes and start to laugh. “No. No, I can’t.”
He brushes a piece of hair out of my eye. “You will. I’ll teach you.”
“I am not sure I’m teachable. Been trying for years with Papa.”
“Come back to me. I’ll teach you. If it’s the last thing I do...” His entire face lights up. “I’ll teach you everything I know.”
I feel him, every inch of him. I know there’s more to that statement. I must admit that I’m curious. “Everything you know, huh?”
“Everything.” He caresses my cheek, just below my eyes. “Come back to me. I’ll teach you how to deal with those beautiful tears of yours. I’ll teach you how to breathe again. I’ll teach you everything.” He looks down to his pile of rocks. “I’ll share those with you. And I’ll teach you how to skip stones. It’s a promise, and I don’t break promises.”
5 things I’d wish from a genie in a bottle:
- 1. For my children to not know what Mitochondrial Disease was, to experience at least one day that wasn’t filled with medical intervention, fatigue, and pain.
- 2. To see Skipping Stones on the silver screen, which would kill two birds with one stone and make it such that my family could live 100% debt free.
- 3. To have the children’s book that my boys co-wrote with me in Scholastic.
- 4. To have met my husband when we were in middle school and high school, then to have a wedding day redo after knowing about Pinterest. He never went to the prom, and I might not would have been the most popular girl in the school, but I would have certainly been the luckiest.
- 5. I’d love to have a happy, healthy girl baby to play dress up with, a daughter my husband could give away at her wedding, a child that had the biggest blue eyes like her daddy’s, and the love of two really awesome big brothers.
5 Random Things:
- 1. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people leave their carts in the middle of the parking lot or on a grass median. Everyone should have to clear a store parking lot once in their life. They’d never do that again if they did.
- 2. I really don’t like being outside unless I’m at the beach, which is funny because a lot of Skipping Stones takes place outdoors.
- 3. I compete against myself more than I compete with anyone else. And I’m a bit of a perfectionist. This makes me my very own worst enemy.
- 4. I wish I could draw and/or paint, like portraits and something other than stick figures.
- 5. People always ask me if I have always been a writer. I think one of the most surprising things is that I wasn’t really an avid reader or writer before last year. My response is that I’ve always been a really great story-teller. I’ve always included way too many details when telling people about things that happened in my life. I realized one day I could use that ability to painfully recount and retell details to my advantage. When I write, I can literally see the scene in my mind and all I’m doing is translating into words, retelling the story on behalf of my imaginary friends.
Top 5 Things I like in a hero:
- 1. Confidence and the ability to take control.
- 2. I have a thing for guys with dark features, and it’s an added bonus if he has beautiful blue eyes.
- 3. Imperfect. I don’t want a guy that is perfect. I want to see his flaws, what makes him real and attainable.
- 4. He finds girls that aren’t sticks attractive.
- 5. I think I could have a book written with no hot sex and be okay with that if the romance and the gestures the guy makes are genuine and sweet. I am ultimately a hopeless romantic, and I don’t think hot sex always equates to romance.
In 2005, the couple welcomed their first son, Noah. J.B. finished her Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina-Aiken in 2006. During her time studying children's literature, a professor had encouraged her to become a writer.
In 2007, she welcomed their second child, Jonah, and she became a stay at home mom/entrepreneur. In 2009, the found out their two children and J.B. have Mitochondrial Disease. In 2011, a diagnosis also was given to Chad. Please take a moment and learn more about Mitochondrial Disease. Awareness is key to this disease that has no cure or treatments.
J.B. McGee and her family now reside in Buford, Georgia, to be closer to their children's medical team. After a passion for reading had been re-ignited, J.B. decided to finally give writing a shot. Broken (This Series), is her first book and first series.
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