Lilly K Cee
Lilly is a Kansas City native who currently resides in sunny California with her well-traveled plants, Fred and Addie. She has a degree in English literature from The University of Kansas (and an incomplete degree in medieval history... So does that count? The tuition bills say it does.)
Lilly is a frequent traveler with a soft spot for Ireland, but Puerto Rico is her favorite destination. No matter where she is in the world, however, coffee is a need, necessity, addiction, and obsession... One that she shares with all of her FMCs.
Although romance and containing HEA/HFNs, Lilly's stories address a range of trauma-related issues and are not intended/appropriate for readers under 18 years of age. A complete list of TWs for each book can be found on her LinkTree: LinkTr.ee/LillyKCee
A second chance? Why would Cassidy want one? She’s already had everything she could possibly want: a husband, a baby on the way, the perfect life… until it all crumbled away.
Now, two years after her husband’s death, Cassidy is barely holding on. Her interests don’t go beyond her quiet existence on the lake or her German shepherd, Fred. …That is, until an arrogant jerk buys the place next door and steals her dog.
A second chance? Mac doesn’t need one. Or anyway, he doesn’t deserve one.
Mac bought a dilapidated cabin because it mirrors his state of mind: broken, isolated, useless to humanity. Plus, the place is close enough to town that he can drink himself into oblivion. He has no interest in connections except for one-night stands and commandeered time with his neighbor’s dog. That is, unless you count Cassidy.
It’s a second chance: the one they both need.
At first, Cassidy and Mac merely exist next to each other, but the attraction between them—the bond of their broken existence—pulls them together again and again. They aren’t always the best people, but the jagged edges of their lives begin to heal each other, even as they strike out against it.
Holding on to Day is a re-publishing of Alive Day, Lilly K. Cee’s debut novel. It is a book about redemption, pain, and healing after everything falls apart. The book contains steamy scenes; and, as with real life, includes some trigger warnings: PTSD, depression, loss of loved ones, violence, and a miscarriage. It also includes a happily ever after for two people who may be broken but are working hard to pick up the pieces.
“Mac Boyer, sweetheart.”
She simply stared, attempting not to go slack-jawed. She fought the urge to look over at Lonnie with an are you kidding me? expression. His manner, his overwhelming aura, had her adrenaline racing through her.
“You are?” he demanded, tone implacable and seductive at the same time.
After a beat, she found her wits and responded, “Perplexed.”
His brown eyes heated. “Just gonna wait for you to find me then; let you work that out.”
Blaming her delayed reaction on the pulse pounding in her ears, she frowned back at him. “That’s… presumptuous.” She wondered if she needed to explain the word.
He chuckled, his gaze giving no mercy. “You’re a married woman crying in public.” Without needing to look, he reached into her basket and tapped the beer. “And that’s a message for me. Tell me I’m wrong.”
Cassidy opened her mouth to tell him as much, but the words never came out because her shock strangled her ability to speak.
“Uh-huh. You aren’t a beer girl. You have Pinot Noir written all over you.”
Baffled, she looked down at herself as though he was referring to a literal sign before she looked back. Now her jaw did go slack.
“That’s all right, darling,” he assured her in his low, arrogant, sexy cadence. “I’ve got a feeling you’ll be worth the chase.”
Cassidy choked out, “You’re delusional!”
He winked, his expression smug as he shifted away. “See you around.”
Watching him stroll away as though he’d just banged her against the candy counter, she stuttered without a lot of bite to it, “Uh… not!” Lousiest comeback ever.
His laugh followed him out the door.
Face blazing, Cassidy frowned over at Lonnie slightly panicked, a sense of inevitability sweeping over her. The man—Mac—making her feel powerless like never before. As insane as the thought was, she felt an obligation to please him. What the hell?
It wasn’t as though she hadn’t been hit on before—she’d worked in a bar. She’d been propositioned in every possible manner she could have imagined. This hadn’t been a proposition. This had been an… appointment? Premonition? Demand?
She didn’t know what to call it or how to combat it emotionally.
Shaking her head, she approached the counter. She’d never see him again, the conceited cad. He’d gotten his rocks off by entertaining himself with her reaction. She wasn’t going to spend time thinking about her still-pounding heart or the fact this was the most emotion she had felt in months that didn’t revolve around grief.
And she couldn’t even define what it was; anger, definitely. She was insulted. He’d been disgusting.
Lonnie blew out a breath, sharing a sympathetic look with her. “He’s something else, huh? I mean, kinda badass on the one hand, but kinda just an ass on the other.”
Cassidy shrugged, trying to play it off. “Hopefully, he moves on quickly. But if someone rented out a cabin to him, I’m writing them a scathing letter.”
Lonnie gave her a strange look.
Cassidy paused in helping him unpack her basket. It was the second strange look she’d received in less than twenty minutes. “What?”
“You don’t know who he is?” Lonnie asked, his voice registering a high octave of disbelief.
“Mac Boyer,” she answered. She wasn’t a big sports fan, and she didn’t watch much television. If he was famous, she didn’t know it. He had the air of someone entitled. “Why? Who is he? Football player?”
Lonnie shook his head, scanning her items. “No. He’s your neighbor. Moved in about a week ago, I guess. He bought the broken-down shack.”
“That’s him?” She heard alarm bells in her head.
“Yeah. He and Marge already had a run-in, too, something about him breaking something in the bathroom. He’s not a real people person.”
“You don’t say,” she mumbled.
Q&A with the Author
Q: Can you tell me a bit about yourself and how became an author?
A: This is one of those icebreaker questions in workshops that introvert-me never knows how to answer, and when it comes my turn, I overcompensate by sharing inappropriately. Ha! The truth is, there isn’t anything unique or interesting about me. I’ve been writing since I was a kid because it was my way to process my environment. Did I know that I was creating my own therapy as a kid? No. Was I writing sexually explicit content at the age of twelve? Yes. Did that make me a writer then? Who knows? But I was popular with my friends who read my stories (not inappropriate ones; those were secret.)
In high school, it morphed into what I suppose would be considered fan fic today: entertainment pieces for my friends hooking up with their rock star crushes. I did write a friend into a pirate story and I had him captured and unalived for piracy. He thought it was awesome to be a villain who died in one of my stories.
I stopped writing when I was in a relationship. For 11 years, that outlet was stunted. Literally, the day I sent him on his way, I sat down and the words came flowing out. Book one (which will never be published) was written. I wrote Turbulence (now a series, Entanglement and Tranquility) next. I moved to Minnesota and started writing Those Who Are Bound when a character named Mac made himself known and I had to stop writing Those Who Are Bound to write Mac’s story.
After Mac’s story was finished, I immediately returned to Those Who Are Bound. And then I was in a grocery store in St Paul and the flash drive (on a key chain) was pick pocketed. Copies of my manuscripts were on the flash drive, so a writer friend of mine told me to copyright immediately and publish in order to protect my work.
So, now I am a published author. And I have moved to California.
Q: What is your writing process like?
A: Chaos. Ha! I don’t know that I have a process. When I have a moment, or the words come, I open up my laptop, zone out, and write. I’d liken it to meditation.
Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing?
A: I work a demanding and fulfilling full-time-plus job. Writing is the therapy/hobby and side hustle. Beyond these two things, when I get the chance, I do like to travel. As my bio states, Puerto Rico is a go-to. I am determined to get back to Ireland soon, however.
Q: How do you celebrate when you are finished writing a book?
A: I suffer something along the lines of anxiety. Writing is still my therapy, so when one story is complete, I need another to move on to. If I don’t have anything brewing, then it’s less of a celebration and more of a meltdown, lol.
Q: How do you celebrate when your books are released?
A: I don’t. It’s just me, so I hit the button and that’s that. Ta-da. I’m sorry the answer isn’t more exciting.
Q: Can you tell me how the book/series came about?
A: I was writing Those Who Are Bound when Jonah’s (TWAB) personality started to change. And I started dreaming about this absolute prick. Jonah is a cinnamon roll/golden retriever and not this abrasive, crude, womanizing dude who kept interrupting.
So I sat back and concentrated on this guy. And he showed me his horrible cabin, his view of the lake, and the dog he stole. I wasn’t able to write out his story fast enough. I’d been around military personnel—worked in a veteran’s affairs hospital—and in the course of my life have had conversations with soldiers detailing their trauma. This story is not theirs. I was hesitant to publish it, even, but I had a veteran read it (I’d of course spoken with military medical personnel and read peer reviewed journals) and he liked it; found the PTSD part “gripping.”
How did it come about? Mac wanted to tell me a story, so I told it. I consider the Turbulence Series to be Brit’s story. Those Who Are Bound is more Elliott’s than Jonah’s. But this one is Mac’s.
Q: Are any of your characters similar to real-life friends or family?
A: Not in this book, no.
Q: What was the most challenging part of writing this book?
A: Making sure I wasn’t glorifying PTSD or using it gratuitously. Also, Mac is part Puerto Rican, as is his friend, Grady. I did pull the original, Alive Day, and had it sensitivity read; I’d hyper-focused on the veteran side and trauma, I hadn’t done my full due diligence. I effed up. Once I realized it, I pulled the publication. I also took the opportunity to cut 16.5k words. Amber, my sensitivity reader, brought out Mac and Grady is ways that enrich the story. I’m so grateful and thankful for that and her perspective.
Q: What part of writing this book was the most fun for you?
A: Basically anytime Mac and Cassidy interacted; their sparring.
Q: What Authors or other Books have inspired you to write this book?
A: None; this is all Mac-driven.
Q: What is your favorite passage from this book?
A: So many favorites with these two; they are my comfort read. But here’s one:
“’Lijah,” she said into the room, adjusting the jacket over her shoulders, as it
seemed determined to slip off her, his arms refusing to hold her. She tugged
it back up as tears started streaming down her cheeks. “Elijah!”
Tears turned into sobs. She clapped her hand over her mouth, the other
across her chest, holding onto the now-weighty jacket. She bowed her head,
shoulders heaving with her tears as the song played. It was too much, the
reminder, the loss, the empty room that was supposed to be filled with him,
with them, instead of an empty jacket and clothes that no longer held him.
Her knees buckled beneath her. But before she could fall, a hand, warm
and strong, was pressing into her stomach and pulling her back up, pulling
her against an even warmer, stronger body. She sucked in a breath; her body
responded with an electric surge.
The jacket was gently pulled from her clutches and tossed aside as she felt
his breath, heard his voice in her ear, low and gentle, “Cutting in, sweetheart.”
Q: If you could meet any of your characters, who would it be and what would you say to them?
A: Britton, from the Turbulence Series, Entanglement and Tranquility. I’d just give her a hug and tell her I’m proud of her for coming out okay on the other side.