Today I am so pleased to welcome J.E. Birk to Joyfully Jay. J.E. has come to talk to us about her latest release, The Worst Bad Thing. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

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Exclusive Excerpt

We pad to the edge of the deck, where Gabriel and I leave our flip-flops alongside a collection of other people’s footwear and hang our towels on a rack. Then we lower ourselves into the lagoon.

Despite the smell of sulfur, everything about the water is perfect—hot but bearable, and calming despite the myriad people milling around me. For the first time in months, I feel my body relax, and the tension drains out of me so quickly that I briefly worry I might pass out.

By now I’m in a pattern of following Gabriel, and he doesn’t seem to mind. So when he jerks his head toward some rocks at the other edge of the swimming area, I don’t even hesitate. I nod and move that way, alternating between swimming and walking in the water, which isn’t excessively deep anywhere. He leads me around the rocks and into a small cove that no one else seems to have found. It’s completely free of people. I sigh and sit down quickly on a rock seat, grateful to get away from the crowds that have been slowly filling the lagoon.

“This place,” I tell Gabriel, “might be my new favorite place in the world.”

Gabriel laughs. “Oh, it’s definitely one of mine.” He narrows his eyes at me. “You said your name is Tate, right?”

I nod unsteadily.

“You look familiar.”

My heart starts racing again, and this time it’s not because I can’t stop picturing Gabriel’s naked ass. Has he figured out who I am? Recognized me?

I tell myself that I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s what I deserve. I should only be surprised it didn’t happen sooner.

“Uh,” I say. Because what else is there to say? If he’s figured out who I am, then he’s figured it out. There’s no way around that.

He shakes his head, still studying me. “I can’t place where I’ve seen you. You just look so familiar.”

I shrug, and he shrugs back.

“Guess you have one of those faces or whatever,” he finally says.

Safe. Somehow.

We lapse into silence, gazing out at the water, rocks, and steam in front of us.


worst bad thing coverHe thinks I’m worth saving. He doesn’t know how wrong he is.

Some mistakes can never be redeemed.

I know that better than anyone. Last year I made the ultimate mistake—I cost someone their life. This trip I’m taking through Iceland, England, and France may look like the trip of a lifetime, but it’s not. This is a mission. I have to pay back the debts I owe the world.

Then I meet Gabriel Carrillo. Gabriel is kind, caring, and generous, and he seems to be on a mission of his own to make sure our paths keep crossing. Between sunrise swims in the Blue Lagoon and afternoon walks through Stonehenge, I find myself wanting to spend more and more time with him.

But Gabriel doesn’t know my secrets. He doesn’t know what I’m out to achieve.

He doesn’t know that my future is already set.

The Worst Bad Thing is a hurt/comfort romance set across three countries. It stars a former soldier and the mysterious man he falls in love with on a plane, and it features a HEA. Please see the Author’s Note for content warnings.


J.E. Birk was raised in Vermont and is now adulting in Colorado with intermittent success. She is a long-time lover of stories, and she writes and reads in worlds where imperfect characters find their happily ever after.

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To celebrate the release of The Worst Bad Thing , J.E. Birk is giving away:

  • A signed paperback copy of my book Booklover (US Winner)
  • An e-copy of Booklover (International Winner)

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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FILED UNDER: Excerpt, Giveaway, Guest Post
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