Happy (Belated) Birthday…. (And a little bit of news!)

…to my novel, Read Me Dead!  On April 25, 2012, she was released out into the world.  We’ve gotten some good reviews.  Some bad.  (But with the good comes the bad.  You can’t please everyone.)  And I’m thrilled to say that I’ve mostly been happy with it!

I’ve been an Indie author for two years now, back in February would have been my two year mark, and Piercing Through the Darkness‘ two year birthday.

It’s been an incredible, crazy journey.  I’ve made so many new friends, actually been called an expert (which I’m still denying), and apparently have gained some notoriety according to some (which I’m also denying).

In all seriousness, I’m just so happy with the way things have been going for me lately.  Of course, I’m not COMPLETELY happy, so that’s why I’m announcing that my new novel, Knight’s Academy, is almost finished.  BUT, for the time being, I AM NOT going to go Indie.  I will be searching for agents and publishers.

Why? You ask.  Well, the answer is simple.  I want to try something new.  I’m tired of being Indie.  Don’t get me wrong.  There’s nothing bad about it.  I just simply want to try the traditional route, and if that fails, I’ll go back to Indie.  I’m counting on it to not fail though.😉

Anyway, now that that has been announced.  I have a special treat for you!  Enjoy this chapter told in Landon’s Point of View from Read Me Dead!  The entire novel is first person in Alexia’s Point of View, so I wanted to try something a little different.  Here it is!  Stay turned for some Christian points of view for the belated birthday celebration!

Chapter Nineteen – Landon

“Landon, please.  This is a huge opportunity for me and Christian to mend our friendship,” Alex says.

I watch her riffle through her closet, searching for clothes to wear when she goes out with Christian and his dad.  Deep down, I know what Christian’s doing.  He’s trying to win Alex back, and it just might work.  She’s excited to go out with them.  I can see it in her eyes.

“His dad is a horrible person, Alex,” I say, making sure that she knows she’s making a mistake.

“What if he’s changed?” she asks, continuing to look through her clothes.

“Do you believe he has?”

She pauses, pulls out a blue jean skirt, and says, “I hope so.”

A nervous feeling rises in the pit of my stomach.  Hoping isn’t good enough.  She’s in danger if she goes out with him.  I just know it, but she doesn’t.  And she’s blinded because she wants to continue being friends with Christian, and although I can’t blame her, I hate it.  So very much.

She tosses a skirt onto the bed beside me.  I watch her closely, and after staring at me for a second, she turns back around and continues searching for clothes.

“Alex,” I say.

“He needs me,” she answers with a finality.

So do I, I think, but I don’t speak it.  Instead, I say, “Why you?”

She doesn’t answer me but instead holds up a pink tank top and a thin black sweater to wear over it.  “What do you think?”

“You’ll look beautiful in it.”

Like she always does but frustration rises up inside of me, and I want to scream and yell and let her know how much I hate this.

Alex walks towards me, wrapping her arms around my neck, and whispers in my ear, “Please don’t worry.”

“How can I not?” I ask, and my voice cracks.  This is torture.  The girl I love is putting herself in danger because of an ex-boyfriend who says he needs her.

Before I can speak, she kisses me, and I lose myself in her touch, in her kiss, praying to feel some kind of reassurance.  I pull her closer to me, eager to feel her touch.  I move my hands to her hips and kiss her more urgently.  She reciprocates the kiss, and I pray that God will let her stay with me and not go out with Christian.

We lean our foreheads against each other, and I struggle to catch my breath.  I open my mouth to beg her to stay, but I don’t.  She won’t stay anyway.

I kiss her quickly and say, “Guess you need to change.  It’s getting about time.”

She stands up straight, grabs her clothes, and walks into the bathroom.  I sit there staring at nothing in particular, my mind racing with thoughts of losing her.  I won’t let that happen.  I will fight for her, and if Christian doesn’t think that’s the case, he’s sorely mistaken.

I pull out my phone, warring with myself about sending Christian a text, telling him to call this off.  But I don’t.  If Alex finds out, she’ll be hurt and angry.  I can’t do that to her, no matter how I feel.

Alex walks back into the room. She’s braided her hair to the side, and the outfit she wears hugs her body in ways that drive me wild.

“You look amazing,” I say, my breath catching in my lungs.

“You think?” she asks, smiling and twirling around.  Despite the odd circumstances, I can’t help but smile at her.  She hasn’t been happy since she was a kid, and to see a smile on her face now makes me want to work harder to keep it there.

“I know,” I say, standing off of the bed and pulling her against me.  I need her warmth and happiness to spread through me.  I need to be reassured that she’s mine and not running away to Christian.

“What shoes should I wear?” she asks.

I laugh and say, “Whatever you want.”

She’s smiling up at me, and I feel my lips, tugging up at the corners in return.  She pulls away from me and searches her closet for shoes.  She slips on a pair of black shoes with bows on them, and I’m still smiling at her.

“What?” she asks shyly, twirling the tip of her braid.

“Nothing,” I say, but I can’t help thinking how gorgeous she is and how much I want to run my hands over her body, feeling every single curve that girl has.

She turns away, still fiddling with the tip of her braid.  I reach out to touch her arm, and she faces me.

“Promise me that you’ll call me if you need me,” I beg her.

“I promise,” she says.

I nod slowly, unsure of her promise, and she wraps her arms around me as a means of comfort.  I gladly accept the comfort she’s offering.

The doorbell rings, and my body tenses.

“Don’t worry,” she says.

That won’t be happening, but I nod in response.

Alex lets go of me and gathers her belongings.  I follow her into the living room where Marion is in the foyer talking to Christian.  She gives him the same instructions she does me whenever I take Alex out except she looks more nervous.  As nervous as I am.

Christian looks over Marion’s shoulder and a huge smile comes over his face.  The same smile I always saw when he was with her before they broke up.  Why on earth was I in the middle of this?  I couldn’t win.  There was no way that I could live up to their past relationship.

Christian gaze wanders over me, hatred brewing in his eyes.  I reach over and take Alex’s hand in mine possessively.  I know I’m acting like a rash fool, but I don’t want her to leave me for him.  I don’t think I could bear that pain.

Mrs. Marion turns around and stares at all of us.  She walks to Alex and hugs her tightly.  I can tell that she doesn’t want her to go, but if she forbids it, Alex will just sneak out and go anyway.

I let go of Alex’s hand, so she can hug her aunt.

“Please be safe,” Marion whispers.

“I will,” Alex says uncertainly.

“You ready to go?” Christian asks as soon as Marion lets go of Alex.

“Yeah,” she tells him.

Alex follows him outside after Marion tells her goodbye.  I take her hand and lead her to Christian’s truck.

The sun has already set, and I feel a dark, gloom settling over me.  I’m handing Alex off to Christian who is having dinner with a man who used to beat him.  This couldn’t be good for her.

Christian watches us with squinted eyes, his disdain for this relationship evident.  He enters his truck though, leaving us alone for a minute.

“Don’t forget,” I say.

“I won’t.”

I stare at her, unsure what to say.

“I’ll be fine,” she asserts.

I force a smile on my face and kiss her quickly.  She enters the car, and I shut the door when she’s settled in.  She stares out the window, smiling at me, when Christian’s truck roars to life.  He leaves in a hurry, leaving me staring after them, praying for Alex’s safety.

I walk back inside to hang out with Matt while waiting for her to get back.  In the living room, Marion and Dave are discussing how big of a mistake it was to send Alex out with Christian to meet Clay.  It sounds like they know something about Clay Miller, and I can’t help but wonder what that is.  It doesn’t help ease my nerves.

I walk past them and into the kitchen where Matt is pouring some coke into a glass.

“Want something, bro?” he asks when he sees me.

“Nah.  I’m good.”

I take a seat at the table and stare at my hands.  Matt sits across from me and says, “You know she’ll be fine.”

“I don’t know that for sure.”

“Christian won’t let anything happen to her.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” I say.

Matt laughs.  “What’s the deal with my sister?  You two shouldn’t be fighting over her, you know?”

He’s probably right.  What chance do I have against Christian?

“Why are you angry with her?” I ask, trying to forget about Christian and Alex for the time being.

“She didn’t tell me she knew who the guy was.”

“She doesn’t know who he is.  She doesn’t even really know what he looks like.  She was only a kid.”

“I know.  But she kept this from me, Landon.  Imagine your sister keeping something like this from you.  How would you react?”

I think about what he said.  I don’t know if I could forgive Becca if something like that happened to us.  I like to think I can, but I can’t be certain if I were in those shoes.

“Exactly,” Matt says, taking his silence as agreement.

I don’t say anything in the contrary, and my mind wanders back to Alex.  What were they doing?  It had only been five minutes since she left, and they were probably already at the diner.

Matt stands and says, “Come on. Let’s go race or something.  Get your mind off of them.”

I nod and follow Matt into the living room.  Marion and Dave look up at us and stop talking about Alex.  I wish I could’ve been listening to what they had to say, as curiosity overcomes me.  What’s with Clay Miller that they don’t like?  Aside from the obvious?

“Mind if we borrow the TV?” Matt asks.

“Go ahead,” Dave says.  Marion smiles at them, but it feels strained.  What is going on?

Matt turns on the TV and gets the game ready to go.  We sit and race, but my mind isn’t on winning.  In fact, I lose so badly Matt says, “Dude, get your mind back on the game.  You’re killing me here.”

“Sorry.”

I set the controller down and pull out my phone.  Alex hasn’t texted me yet, and I can’t take the suspense anymore.  I send her a text, asking her how she’s doing.

I hold the phone, waiting impatiently for her reply.  Time seems to stop.  What if she doesn’t answer?  Does that mean something’s wrong?

My phone goes off, and I read the text.  Everything’s fine.  But I know it isn’t.

What’s going on?  I reply, hoping she’ll tell me the truth.

It’s just weird.  I’m feeling uncomfortable with him, she replies.

I stand.  Without thinking about it any further, I tell them bye and leave.  Marion asks me if Alex is okay, and I tell her that she is.  I just don’t like this.  They try to stop me, but I don’t listen.  I jump in my car and speed towards the diner, telling her that I’ll be there soon.

She doesn’t answer, and I drive faster, hoping there aren’t any cops around to stop me.  It takes me less than five minutes to get there.  I pull into a parking place, in front of a bench on Main Street.

Alex is sitting there, looking around wildly.  Something has happened.  I jump out of the car and run to her, pulling her into my arms and holding her tightly.  I vow then and there to protect her.  Even if it comes to my death.

8 thoughts on “Happy (Belated) Birthday…. (And a little bit of news!)

  1. Happy Belated Book Birthday Emerald! I’m excited for you for your new journey. Are you planning on going to any writer’s conferences? I’m going to National RWA this summer and my editor says it’s easier to get an agent and requests when you go to a conference. We could meet up. It’s going to be so much fun!

    Like

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