SEQUEL TO IN TOO DEEP
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Gracie survived an emotionally abusive relationship that wrecked her. Her ex, Noah, systematically chipped away at her self-esteem through intimidation, humiliation and infidelity which left Gracie unable to trust her own perception of his intentions. But after falling head over heels for Jake, her best friend and the man who stood by her through it all, she is ready to experience life in the way it was meant to be lived. However, Gracie may find it impossible to simultaneously heal from the trauma of abuse while navigating a relationship with Jake. Can she put her heart on hold in order to heal her soul?
The sequel to the five-star debut novel, In Too Deep, chronicles Gracie’s steps toward healing as she falls deeper in love, reaches out for help, stands on her own, steps out of her comfort zone, faces her biggest fears, and reconnects with a sensual, talented soul from her past all in hopes of finding herself On Solid Ground.
Gracie was welcomed into the New Adult Romance world on June 6, 2013 and she escorted IN TOO DEEP onto not one, not two, but three genre-specific Amazon Best Seller Lists one day prior to the release. I could not have been more excited and every day am humbled by the reviews, messages and emails I receive daily from readers who couldn't put the book down, realized there own situation as abusive or made peace with a demon of their past. That was the sole purpose of IN TOO DEEP.
When my publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, told its authors they were closing to submissions until further notice, they encouraged me to go the self-publishing route for ON SOLID GROUND so as not to lose momentum for Gracie's story. They are cheering me on from the sidelines today, thrilled that I took their advice and brought Gracie back to tell the rest of her story.
I am thrilled to bring you ON SOLID GROUND this December 3rd, just in time for the Holidays!
The book-blog-o-sphere is on FIRE today for Gracie, I will add links when I see REVEALS go up, these crazy book ladies have made collages and everything!
But for now, enjoy a brand new, never before seen excerpt from ON SOLID GROUND...
“So, tell me a little bit about yourself, Gracie.”
It was a beautiful Tuesday morning, I could be at home sleeping in with Jake but I was sitting in counseling for the first time. If Jake hadn’t mentioned the “Honey Do” list, I would have put off making the appointment. I was scared to death to spill my guts to anyone, especially someone I didn’t know.
The woman who sat across from me was too slick and put together. Her black pin-striped rayon pants rippled at her ankles as she walked toward the wingback chair across from me. The room was calm and inviting. I would never have guessed that this peaceful atmosphere could exist in the Student Health building. The main part of the building was like a clinic and the students filing in and out were like cattle. The building was old and it had that sterile we-sprayed-this-because-someone-just-puked smell. When I walked through the masses, I saw people who were obviously in some form of discomfort. Some were sleeping across chairs, some were hunched over clutching their guts and there were even a few who were holding a blood-stained compress on an appendage. I navigated through the throng of the broken and wished that was all that was wrong with me. I wished I could stop the bleeding with a compress. It would be so much easier if I just had a sore throat instead of worrying about the scavenger hunt I was about to embark on to try and find the old me.
Dr. Sylvia Watts took her seat in the wingback chair positioned across from the matching deep red couch where I sat. There was a glass-top coffee table between us. One whole wall was dark mahogany bookshelves from floor to ceiling. Her filing cabinet and side table must have come as a set with the bookshelves because they matched perfectly. The plain creamy off white walls were offset by the red, beige and brown geometric pattern on the throw pillows, the couch and the floor to ceiling curtains. Everything was so put together and I walked in shattered. It was enough of a juxtaposition to make me more than a little uncomfortable. I couldn’t help but wonder how much she really knew about the human condition. Wouldn’t she be the first to figure out that such a neat and tidy room would be so glaringly opposite than the offensive mess she would witness during her sessions that her clients might feel worse about themselves by comparison?
Whatever. This may not last. She looked down her nose at me over her half glasses with their striking purple frames. I just needed to get it over with so I could tell Jake I’d given it a shot but it just wasn’t going to work out.
“Well, I’m Gracie, but you knew that. I’m twenty-one and just finished my Junior year. I’m a Social Work major. I transferred here from the UT Martin campus Spring Semester of my Sophomore year. I just had a terrible break up last semester and then immediately fell in love with my best friend, Jake, who just happens to be my ex’s former roommate.” There that should keep us busy for a while and I didn’t even have to say Noah’s name.
“How is the new relationship going?”
“Jake is gentle and kind and selfless.”
“Well, he sounds wonderful."
"He really is." I couldn't help but smile just thinking about him.
"So, tell me a little about your ex. What is his name?”
Dammit. Her hand hovered over the yellow legal pad she had in her lap poised to diagram the mess that I brought that day. It never occurred to me that she would be taking notes. Notes on how fucked up I was. Shit. Five minutes in and my chest was tight and I was sweating.
“Um…” I cleared my throat. “Noah. His name was Noah.”
“Was? His name is still Noah, correct?”
I nodded. What the hell? She was going to go all smart ass on me? I didn’t have to deal with this. Don’t sit there in your Vera Wang outfit and make me look stupid, lady. Suddenly I was aware of what I was wearing. My over-sized, sleeveless red flannel shirt was draped over a black graphic t-shirt with bright yellow lettering that spelled out I’M WITH THE BAND. I had on black leggings and my favorite girly combat boots. Dr. Sylvia Watts may be perfectly put together and never suffered a day in her life but I was not going to let her get to me.
“I know that seemed like a smart ass question.” Okay, she swore, so she’s not being perfectly professional. That’s one point in her favor. “But, so many times when we have bad break ups we try to push that person out of our minds as though they have been exterminated, removed from the planet. If we refer to Noah in the present tense it will be easier to come to terms with the fact that he will continue to exist and he will move on. It won’t be as much of a shock to your system if you unexpectedly run into him or hear someone mention his name. Your relationship may be over but Noah isn’t. Does that make sense?”
I nodded and unshed tears burned my eyes. I blinked as fast as I could and looked down at my hands that were wringing themselves lifeless. It never occurred to me that she might make me cry the first day.
“Gracie. Tell me why you are crying.” She tapped the end of her pen on her hand that held the legal pad.
“I’m not crying.”
“Gracie. We don’t play games in this office. You are here to get better, to talk through the things that brought you here, to heal. Those things don’t happen without flushing your system of all the pain. Think of it as a plugged up toilet. The water can’t run smoothly until the shit is out of the way. Right?”
I laughed and nodded and she handed me the tissue box. That’s two points for Dr. Sylvia Watts. She was growing on me.
“Tell me what’s making you cry.” She wasn’t going to let this go.
“My emotions are all over the place. I feel comfortable with Jake but little things like compliments bowl me over and it’s like someone’s handed me a foreign object I don’t know what to do with.”
“I guess so.” I choked out a sob. “I’m sorry for crying so much.”
“Why are you sorry?”
“I should be stronger than that by now.”
“Gracie, it’s the strong people who let it all out. Those who keep from crying aren’t capable of processing what is going on inside their minds and their hearts, so they don’t let themselves feel the depth of their pain. They also find it hard to empathize with someone in your recent situation. They’re the friends that walk away. They think they’re walking away because you’re too high maintenance for them. But they’re actually walking away as a selfish means of self-preservation. They can’t handle the pain. Those who cry are strong enough to take it all in, feel it and then let it all out.”
Sylvia stunned me with those three sentences. All these years I felt weak because I cried almost every day. Sylvia spun that notion and made me see it a different way. Crying was evidence that I was strong. Me. Strong.