So Much More (The Chrome Series)

By: Taryn Plendl

The Chrome Series, Volume 1


This past year has been an amazing journey for me and my writing. I have had the amazing opportunity to attend many signings where I was able to connect with my readers as well as meet so many of my own favorite authors.

I have been so blessed to have developed amazing friendships with such real and down to earth women and men who share the same passion for writing as I do. They have become a permanent fixture in my life and I am so thankful to have met them.

I can’t thank my readers enough for taking a chance on another Indie Author and for the incredible support each and every one of you has given me in kind words, constructive criticism and reviews. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

And to my family, without you, this journey would not be possible. I am so blessed to be married to such a loving and supportive man who, hands down, is the best assistant I could ever ask for. Thank you Chad for believing in me. I love you.

Chapter 1


I turned off the car and sat back in my seat, looking around the parking lot. The car was cool and comfortable, nothing like the sweltering temperature outside. I could see the ripple in the air as the heat radiated off the black top. We were having an unseasonably warm streak for fall, and the idea of leaving the car so I could work up a sweat seemed ridiculous. People were walking by my car, looking fresh and built in their little spandex pants and sports bras that hardly covered their top half. Granted, most of them could carry it off fine with their svelte little bodies, but weren’t you supposed to wear something over that?

I was wearing a sports bra, too, but there was no way in hell that I would be showing it off. Hell, I had barely gotten the girls in there, and I had a sneaking suspicion they were currently planning a revolt. I would probably get just inside the door of the gym and they would spring free, taking out several unsuspecting people in the process. How people even worked out in clothes like this, I’d never understand. Weren’t you supposed to be able to at least breathe during a workout? I read somewhere that oxygen played a vital role in exercise.

My phone chirped, alerting me of an incoming message, from where it sat in the cup holder right next to the twenty-ounce diet soda I purchased for the ride to the gym. I didn’t even need to look at the phone to know it was my best friend, Morgan. Especially because it was Morgan’s bright idea to join a gym together in the first place. What was I thinking when I agreed? I was in good shape ... okay, maybe not good shape, but I wasn’t overweight. I just had very little muscle, like wind could blow me over lack of muscle, but I knew this. I’d like to think I was blessed with a rapid metabolism, and, in combination with my self-diagnosed ADHD, I could basically eat whatever I wanted. Okay, so I may have been weak and clumsy as hell, but I could eat a double cheeseburger, fries, and a chocolate shake and not gain an ounce. Don’t hate. I deserved that little bone the good Lord threw me for being so awkward.

The cell phone that remained untouched began to blare with the obnoxious ringtone that I had assigned to my best friend. I should have just responded to the previous text message to save myself from the auditory assault that was about to take place in my small car.

“Hello?” I made my voice sound as pleasant as possible.

“Oh, don’t act like you didn’t know it was me, Avery. What are you doing?” Morgan asked. I could picture her hand on her hip, foot tapping, other arm waving as she spoke.

“I’m just about there,” I lied.

“I call bullshit. I’ve been watching you sit in the parking lot for the last five minutes. Get your ass in here.” She hung up before I could respond.

“Shit! Shit! Shit!” I groaned. “Well, Avery, are you ready to make a fool of yourself?” I mumbled to myself as I stepped out of the car into the oppressive air. It was time to just get this over with.

I could tell it was definitely a bad sign that I was out of breath by the time I reached the door to the gym, and somehow I anticipated my work out to be a bit more extensive than walking across a parking lot and climbing some stairs. “Hey.” I put on my best smile as I walked up to Morgan.

Morgan came into my life when I was floundering. A recent graduate, fresh out of college with a degree in English I had no idea what I wanted to do with, she found me sitting in a coffee shop with my laptop open, fighting back tears. Searching for jobs and coming up empty, I was beyond frustrated. Knowing I should have listened to everyone who had told me there wasn’t a lot of options for someone with a four-year English degree, I sat there trying to figure out how I could avoid going back to Ohio with my tail between my legs and live with my parents.