Between Embers (Lost Kings MC #5.5) - Autumn Jones Lake

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I’m lucky to have a lot of supportive and encouraging people in my life. This seems like a good place to express my appreciation.

Mr. Lake, thanks for always being in my corner.

Thank you once again to Shelly, Angi, Clarisse, Tamra, Elizabeth, Amanda, Robin, and Iveta for your feedback. Than you to Andrea, Tanya, and Elizabeth for reviewing these short stories on short notice.

Thank you to my crit partners, who encouraged me to go ahead when I was ready to give up.

Thank you to my editor, Vanessa for giving me this idea.

Most of all, thank you to my wonderful readers who keep pushing and inspiring me every day.

FOREWORD

If you’ve purchased Between Embers and are now reading this, I’ll assume you’re more than just a casual fan of the series. These short stories are for you. Let me share with you how Between Embers came to be.

While we were in the process of editing White Heat, my editor made a comment about how it seemed an awful lot was going on with the other guys and she wanted to know what they were up to during the wedding. Of course, in my head, I knew exactly what everyone was up to. My secondary characters don’t know they’re secondary characters. However, it was impossible to show their activities through Rock and Hope’s point-of-views, or even Wrath and Trinity’s and it would have been extraneous in a book that was ready approach 125,000 words.

But the idea wouldn’t go away!

I’d been planning to do another book of short stories like Three Kings, One Night for a while now. I really love those stories—not everyone does because they’re “too short” (to which I always think which part of short stories was misleading?) To me they’re important to the series to give background on some of the characters who at the time when I published them, hadn’t been featured yet. I have referred back to them on several occasions.

Anyway, I’ve wanted to do another collection similar to Three Kings for a while and just haven’t been able to fit it in my writing schedule. My plan was to add Infatuated, the story featuring Z and Lilly that was included in the Pink: Hot & Sexy Anthology, since that is no longer available, one of Rock and Hope finally using their basement, and one other couple.

Except, I’ve been so caught up in Murphy’s world, toiling away at More Than Miles (Lost Kings MC #6) and one or two other projects, that this was pushed aside.

The damn idea for “between the wedding” stories wouldn’t go away, though!

Then I came up with—what I thought—was a killer title “Between the Embers” (then I whittled it down to Between Embers so it had two words like White Heat, since it’s a companion piece to White Heat) while sitting in a CR-RWA workshop (I get some of my best ideas at my CR-RWA chapter meetings—thanks guys!) Once I figure out a title, I get so excited, I’m committed to the project, but damn that Murphy didn’t make things easy on me!

As is my process, I had bits and pieces of each story written out. A few things that happen in Between Embers are critical (in my head) to future books, but this series is my baby, so naturally I think everything is critical.

There it is. Between Embers is intended to be a fun collection of stories to go along with White Heat. If you haven’t read it yet, these stories won’t make a lot of sense to you.

If you’re still reading—thank you! I hope you enjoy these little “between the scenes” glimpses into the world of the Lost Kings MC.

TIMELINE

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Between Embers contains chunks of time that were not seen in White Heat. Each story covers the same time period. Some events you did see in White Heat and you’ll now see them here through a different character’s eyes.

Teller’s story starts early the morning of the wedding and ends when he goes to bed. Murphy’s story also starts early in the morning and ends after the reception. Z’s story starts before the wedding and ends the following morning.

The day hasn’t even started, and I’m exhausted. I’m up at this hour so I can run home and pick up Heidi. I’m not expecting to run into the bride in the kitchen.

“Oh, Teller. You startled me.”

I run my gaze from her shiny robe, shorts, over her bare legs, and down to her fluffy slippers. “What are you doing in here?” My voice comes out harsher