HBR Featured Author: Jennifer Miller

Author Jennifer Miller was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, but now calls Arizona home. Jennifer’s love of reading began when she was a small child, and only continued to grow as she entered adulthood. Ever since winning a writing contest at the young age of nine, when she wrote a book about a girl with a pet unicorn, she’s dreamed of writing a book of her own. Quickly learning that dreams don’t just fall into your lap, she knew she had to chase them herself and not be afraid to dream a little bigger. Most importantly, she is a wife and mother, and is very lucky to have a family that loves and supports her in all things. She also has an unhealthy addiction to handbags and chocolate covered strawberries, neither of which she cares to change. For more information about Jennifer and her books please visit www.jennifermillerwrites.com 
 Pretty Little Lies (Pretty Little Lies, #1)
Genre: Adult
Paperback, 276 pages

Published June 12th 2013
A little lie can change the course of everything. . .

Like every other eighteen-year-old in love, Olivia has dreams of spending forever with the love of her life. Luke is all she’s ever wanted – until she overhears something she was never meant to. In a matter of seconds, Olivia’s heart is shattered. Olivia handles it the only way she knows how - she runs- leaving behind her family, friends and the boy she loves.

Seeking comfort and an escape, Olivia finds it in resident bad boy Deacon. He’s everything Luke isn’t – and that’s fine with Olivia.

Now, seven years later, Olivia is older, wiser and headed back to Chicago looking forward to a fresh start and reconnecting with her best friend Pyper. What she doesn’t expect, is to come face to face with the boy she left behind and discover that even though she may have left, her feelings for him didn’t.

Can Olivia put aside the pain in her heart and trust Luke? Will the ties to her past ever let her go, or will she continue to let her life be affected by pretty little lies?


“This club is amazing!” I can’t keep from looking around, trying to take it all in. “How long did you say it has been open?”

“Not long, maybe a couple weeks now.” Pyper speaks loudly into my ear to be heard over the loud thump of the bass, “There was an article in the social section of the Tribune talking about the opening I guess, but I didn’t see it. A restaurant that closed down a while ago was here and the owner did a complete renovation, it seems. Caroline was talking about it at the spa the other day.”
“Well I’m really impressed, it’s fabulous. I’m glad we came.”
The bartender hands us our drinks and Pyper pulls bills out of her bra and slaps them on the counter. The bartender grins slyly at her, but Pyper turns and we start making our way to look for seats. With perfect timing, a few girls have just vacated a couch, so we snag their places before someone else beats us to it.
Pyper turns to me, takes a sip of her drink and then asks, “What article are you working on right now?”
“Funny you should ask, because I thought I would ask for your help on this one. I’m working on an article for Martini magazine. Each month, their magazine is comprised of a lot of sex related articles, along with the usual fashion fluff and celebrity interview.” I take a sip of my drink and continue, “The article I’m working on is Things You Should Never Say to a Guy. Want to weigh in?”
Pyper immediately smiles devilishly at me, “Absolutely. What do you have so far?”
“Well of course the worst thing you can say to a guy is, ‘Is it in yet?’”
Pyper laughs loudly, almost spitting out her drink in the process, “Yes! Definitely not a good thing to say! You may as well kill him instead. Less painful!”
Her reaction has me laughing too, “True. That would certainly be more humane! I don’t think I could ever do that to a poor guy! Next is the ever popular, ‘It’s not you, it’s me.’”
Pyper laughs and then admits, “I may or may not have used that line once or twice myself.”
“Why does this not surprise me, Pyper?”
“Hi ladies, excuse the interruption, but can I get you another drink?” A very petite blonde-haired waitress asks us, interrupting our conversation. Pyper answers, “That would be great! We are drinking vodka cranberries. Thanks!”
“Sure. Be right back.”
“Okay Olivia, what else have you got?”
“How about ‘Does this make me look fat?’”
“Oh! There are sixteen thousand possible answers to that question and any one a guy would mutter would be incorrect.”
“Exactly!” I laugh.
“How about ‘Size really does matter!’” Pyper suggests.
I snort at that one! “Yes, that or, ‘That’s it?’”
Pyper and I laugh so hard we can barely breathe!
While we are trying to catch our breath, a couple of guys walk up and stand in front of us. We look up into their smiling faces to see one guy has blonde hair and blue eyes, while the other has brown hair and brown eyes. They aren’t bad looking and they seem friendly. “Hi ladies, my name is Dylan and this is my buddy Ken. We couldn’t help but see you two laughing over here and we thought we would come over to see if we could be let in on the joke,” says blondie.
“Yeah. What are you two hot girls laughing so hard about?” says Ken. I really want to ask him where Barbie is. That would be rude though, and cheesy.
Pyper looks at me with a smirk. “Actually, I bet you boys would be able to contribute to our conversation. My friend Olivia here is writing an article for Martini magazine about the things a woman should never say to a guy. Care to weigh in?”
They both take seats, a little too closely, one on either side of us and we proudly tell them the answers we already have.
“Well you forgot, ‘You remind me of my Dad,’” Dylan suggests.
“Ewww! Don’t tell me you’ve actually heard that before!” Pyper gasps while wrinkling her nose in disgust.
Dylan just shrugs in answer, and Pyper and I giggle in response.
Ken says, “Oh my personal favorite, ‘Oh my God, thank you for the drink! I can’t believe the bouncer fell for my fake ID.’”
We all break into hysterics. I can’t help but ask, “Oh my gosh! What did you do?”
Ken looks at me like that is a crazy question, “Well I ran, of course.”
We all laugh harder, the alcohol we’ve consumed adding to the humor.
“Good contributions guys, thanks for being such good sports.” I definitely have some good material for my article.
While we’ve been chatting, the waitress returned with our replacement drinks we ordered, plus Ken and Dylan bought an additional round as well, slippery nipple shots for all of us. I’m definitely starting to feel more than just a buzz. I’m slightly nauseated and realize I haven’t eaten anything since we had a light lunch of a salad at the spa. Not good.
“So tell us ladies, how good of friends are you?” Ken asks raising his brows at us.
“We are best friends, pretty much sisters,” Pyper says. “Why do you ask?”
Ken looks at Dylan and the look they exchange makes me feel uneasy. “We were just wondering if maybe we could interest you in a foursome. You are both gorgeous, and with the way you two were laughing and talking with us, I know you find us attractive too, so what do you say the four of us get out of here and go make some fun of our own?” Dylan asks.
Pyper and I look at each other, totally grossed out and speechless.
“Hell to the no.” I tell them.
Before they can utter a response, Pyper tugs on my arm, “Come on, let’s go get our dance on!”
I smile and nod at her, words seem beyond my ability at the moment.
Pyper grabs my hand, tows me to the dance floor, and keeps going until we are in the middle of the moving mass of bodies, safely escaping the two creepers we left sitting on the couch. The speakers are blaring techno music and it feels like it’s echoing inside and outside my head. I close my eyes, trying to center myself and end up losing myself to the music. I raise my arms above my head and move my body to the beat. Pyper links her fingers with mine so we can make sure we stay together and not get pushed apart. I squeeze her hands gently and keep dancing.
I feel a body come up behind me, pressing against mine and it startles me. I open my eyes just in time to see Pyper being pushed flush against the front of my body because Ken is behind her pressing himself against her, which means the asshole at my back is Dylan. “What the hell?” Pyper asks.
“Dance with me baby,” Dylan slurs into my ear.
Dylan grabs my hips and slams his pelvis into my ass. I can feel his erection against me, and I am immediately uncomfortable and pissed off. “Pyper…let’s go.”
“Guys, we don’t want to dance, we are going to head home,” Pyper tries reasoning with them.
“I don’t think so,” says Ken. “You ladies have been teasing us all night, we know you want us, now let’s dance.” Ken smashes his hips into Pyper’s ass, making her slam against me again. Her head smacks into my mouth and I taste blood almost immediately. I cry out and cup my mouth with my hand. I can feel the inside of my mouth where my tooth just cut it starting to swell.
“Oh God, Olivia, I’m so sorry! BACK OFF YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES,” I hear Pyper start screaming, trying to get us away from Dylan and Ken, but they just won’t listen. People around us start to realize there’s a problem and finally, I see someone pull Ken away from Pyper. He’s a big guy and I hope he’s a bouncer. I’m still struggling to get away from Dylan when I hear, “Get the fuck off her.”
I freeze.
I can’t move.
I know that voice.
It haunts my dreams and my memories.
I am still cupping my mouth and I look over at Pyper, eyes wide to see her eyes matching my own while she’s looking at the person standing behind me.
I feel Dylan get pulled away from me and the voice I could never forget says, “Ian, escort both of them the hell out of here. They are not to return again, ever.”
I very slowly begin to turn around and look right into the eyes of Luke Easton. The first boy I ever truly loved. The first boy that ever broke my heart. My high school sweetheart. The boy that I’ve never been able to forget. The boy that was supposed to love me forever.
That boy is now a man and he takes my breath away, his blue eyes as mesmerizing as I remember.
I suck in a breath. I feel sick.
“Hello, Olivia.”
I remove my hand from my mouth, open it to respond…
And throw up on his feet.


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