Wednesday, September 02, 2020


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Chasing Kat 
Hudson River Book 3 
Jacqueline Simon Gunn 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 

It’s been twelve years since Kat laid eyes on Baxter Adams, her first love, her best friend, the boy who broke her heart. Though Bax shied away from commitments, Kat was the one girl he wanted to know forever, someone he would do anything for. Except date. Then in a moment that ripped both of their hearts out, they ended a friendship they thought would last a lifetime.

Now, Kat believes her past with Bax is finally behind her… until he’s hired at the magazine where she works. At first, they slip easily into their close camaraderie, ignoring events of the past. But is rekindling their old friendship enough? Or is something deeper still between them?

While Bax wants nothing more than to earn back Kat’s trust, blaming himself for the way things ended between them, he has no idea that Kat still harbors guilt for breaking a promise that changed the course of his life. And she never had the courage to tell him.

In an emotional story about long-lost friendships, passionate love and the bonds that endure, will the past that ties them together also tear them apart?

This is book three in the Hudson River series but can be read as a stand-alone. 

“You don’t really want to be with me.” 

“What if I do?” I took my hand out of his and placed it on my hip. 

 “I’m telling you, you don’t. This right here, what we have, this is the best part of me. And you only deserve the best.” 

 I glared at him. “We are together all the time. I’m the one who’s always been there. I just don’t get it. Sometimes I wonder, why not me? And I can’t stand that question. It makes me feel insecure. And I’m not.” 

“I can’t be what you deserve. It would ruin what we have.” 

I backed away from him, fighting a frown. I’d been diminished by the weariness of my own wanting, my own waiting. Do you know how much work it is to hold in how you feel when the person you love is right there, all the time? “Do you have any idea what this has been like for me?” 

“What do you mean?” 

“You have hooked up with so many girls, even some of my friends. I’m the one you’re closest with. I know this is more than friendship, and I’m tired of pretending that I don’t want more.” I started to turn away, but I turned back and looked him in the eyes. This time I would not conceal the truth of my feelings with humor. I was terrified to lose him, but I was more afraid of never fully finding myself, of never exploring these restless passions that stirred inside of me. I would not betray myself for him.

“You don’t really want me the way you think you do.” 

My eyes widened. “Don’t tell me what I want and don’t want.” 

He inched closer. “You have me. This me. This is the me you want, and you have him. Don’t you get it? I don’t want something serious. I don’t want to be tied down to one woman. This is how we stay close, by not being together.”
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Before the Footprints Fade 
Hudson River Book 2 

Amanda knows what she wants and what she doesn’t want. Raised by a mother who tore her down and made her feel unworthy, she’s now determined to finish her journalism degree and stand on her own two feet. 

But when an irresistible connection tempts her, will she find the love she never had with Harry, the talented and gorgeous musician with secrets behind his eyes? Or will she once again learn that she can’t depend on anyone but herself? 

In a story that delves deeply into how the past choices and unlived lives of those close to us affect our own journey and how difficult it is to change when everyone expects you to be the same as you’ve always been, there’s even more at play than Amanda and Harry’s passionate and tumultuous relationship. Lurking in the past are secrets that hold the key to and threaten to change the lives of almost everyone close to them. 

Will they be able to hold on to their love, even when they are their own worst enemies? Or will the answers to long-asked questions blow their world apart? 

Before the Footprints Fade is a love story that explores philosophical themes about love, memories, nostalgia and how the path not taken creates a ripple effect on the lives of those close to us. 

This book is a spin-off of Forever and One Day but can be read as a stand-alone. 

Forever and One Day 
Hudson River Book 1 

Everyone has wondered “what if?” But how many get a chance to live it?

Seventeen years ago, Olivia Watson’s world was turned upside down when she discovered Justin, her high-school sweetheart turned fiancé, having sex with her best friend, Petal. Unable to muster up any forgiveness, she turns her back on him and every friend connected to that part of her life, leaving many questions about the details of the betrayal unanswered.

When Olivia receives an invitation for her twenty-year high school reunion, she decides that she’s been avoiding the past for too long. It’s time to go back and revisit that part of her life, her old friends, and the betrayal that created the wedge between them.

As soon as she and Justin lay eyes on each other at the reunion, they immediately sense the vibrant remains of their unbreakable connection. The spark between them never faded. However, Justin is now married to Petal and Olivia is involved with Adam, her handsome, best-selling-author boyfriend. But is healing old wounds enough for Olivia and Justin to move forward together, or will it help them make peace with the new lives they have chosen?

Each of the four main characters remain bound to their past by unresolved issues, demonstrating that sometimes we can’t find our future until we settle our past. But, most importantly, Olivia learns that forever isn’t time eternal; rather, forever is a place we share with the people we love the most — even when they’re gone. 

Jacqueline Simon Gunn, Author

Does the Hudson River Series have any parallels that could be drawn from your life?

Most of the Hudson River series takes place in the towns of New Jersey that are right across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Forever and One Day (book 1) takes place in both New Jersey and New York City. I grew up in a town called North Bergen in New Jersey, which sits right on the Hudson River. It’s a unique area of the state, because it’s so close to New York City. It’s almost more like a suburb of Manhattan. We have accents that sound almost identical to New York accents. It’s crowded. It’s intense. It’s diverse. The river and the view of the New York City skyline really make it special. I wanted to capture aspects of New York City and the Hudson River towns in New Jersey in the series. 

Several characters went to the same high school as I did. Many of my friends from childhood had read my thriller series which takes place in Manhattan. I wrote the Hudson River series in the area we grew up in, for them, so they could recognize locations. I have had many old friends tell me that they loved the books, particularly because the setting was familiar and brought back many fond memories. 

Which Part of Chasing Kat was your Favorite Part to Write & Why? 

I loved writing the entire story. I felt all of the complex emotions between Kat and Bax. The book goes back and forth in time so readers get to see not only what happens when they meet again, but also the history of their close friendship and what caused the abrupt ending. I really enjoyed writing the scenes when they were in high school and college. Kat was a strong, spirited young girl, who had a sense of courage and conviction that I lacked at that age. Kat and Bax meet their freshman year in high school in English class. 

One of Bax’s friends, Zipper, is talking about having sex with a girl in a disrespectful manner. Kat, overhearing the conversation, confronts Zipper, telling him he sounds insecure. When Zipper responds with a nasty comment, Kat gives it right back to him. Bax eventually stands up for her which is the moment when they first notice each other. This is just one example of a scene written when she is a young girl. It was liberating to write a character who was strong in a way I wish I had been at that age.

Jacqueline Simon Gunn is a Manhattan-based clinical psychologist and writer. She has authored two non-fiction books and co-authored two others. She has published many articles, both scholarly and mainstream, and currently works as a freelance writer. Gunn is now writing psychological fiction, love stories and thrillers. Always in search of truth and fascinated by human behavior, her fiction writing, like psychology, is a way for her to explore human nature -- motivation, emotions, relationships.

In addition to her clinical practice and writing, Gunn is an avid runner and reader, a serious cat lover and a coffee connoisseur. She is currently working on multiple writing projects. 

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