(THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED AS OF 12AM FEB 10TH)
Today, I feel like doing a giveaway. I have gotten such positive feedback from readers and I feel truly blessed that so many people have given The Fine Line a chance! To say thanks, I’m giving away a signed paperback copy of the book. If you haven’t read it yet, check out the sample below!
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What’s it about? The Fine line is a coming of age story about a girl with a jaded past, who has written off relationships for good. Boys are fun, but she’s happy being single and independent, and is determined to keep it that way. When she meets and forms an unexpected bond with Logan Tanner, an illegal street racer with his own trust issues, she begins to question everything she thought she knew about life, and love, and asks the question: Can love have a future? Or is history destined to repeat itself?
Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves. I learned a long time ago that preserving one’s heart means keeping it protected. Sheltered. My heart is hidden deep within the secure layers of my soul, where it rests easy with the knowledge that nothing can penetrate its everlasting impervious shell.
Twelve Years Ago
Yelling. Always yelling. The hardwood floor in my bedroom chilled my toes as I slid out of my bed to see what was going on. I wouldn’t dare leave my room, though. I knew better. As I tip-toed to the bright crack in the door, something crashed to pieces, and I squeezed Mama Bear tight.
Is Mommy crying?
My hand found a place on the cool metal door knob as I peeked through the crack. I brought Mama Bear up to my chin so she could see too. Her soft, fuzzy fur tickled me. Mommy sat on the floor with her back against the hallway wall, her head in her hands while Daddy stood tall above her. Her shoulders lifted up and down as she wept.
No, Mommy, don’t cry!
“I want a divorce,” she whispered.
What was a divorce? Whatever it was, Daddy didn’t seem too happy about it. He crouched down so that his eyes were across from hers. Fisting her t-shirt, he yanked her close to him. With the other hand, he pointed his finger at her, jabbing her as he spoke. His voice stayed quiet, and I couldn’t hear what he said, but I knew it was something scary.
The door knob made a noise as I accidentally let go of it, and both of their heads turned to look at me. My eyes widened, and I gasped. I ran back to bed as fast as I could, quickly covering myself in my blankie. Oh no, I dropped Mama Bear! My door creaked as it opened, and light came through the seams of my blankie.
“Olivia?” Daddy said softly.
I didn’t answer. Mommy was always telling me to make smart choices. I chose to stay perfectly still and not to breathe too loudly, but it wasn’t easy because my heart was pounding hard. It was a smart choice, though, because after a few seconds, the door creaked closed. I was safe. Mommy would be very proud of me.
I peered at the floor, searching for Mama Bear, but she was nowhere to be seen. Daddy must’ve taken her. Who’s gonna sleep with me? I pulled my knees to my chest and held onto them tightly. Mommy says I’m brave. Brave girls don’t need silly toys. Brave girls sleep by themselves.
Eight Years Ago
It’s been a year since Dad told me I wouldn’t be able to spend time at his house anymore. He said he was leaving to get a new start. At first, his emails came daily and postcards came weekly, but I haven’t gotten either for at least a month. Mom says he’s moved on, with his new wife and baby, and that it’s the best thing for all of us.
I was glad to have Kevin. He loved me and Mom. Happiness didn’t even begin to describe how I felt when Mom told me he was moving in with us. If he lived with us, it would mean I would get to see magic tricks and laugh at his stories every day.
Mom told me about the accident last week. Kevin had gotten hit by a drunk driver. I knew something was wrong when she dropped the phone on the floor and began sobbing. I had seen her cry before—but never like that.
I stayed with Nana for five days after that call, and when I returned home, Mom took me into my room, sat me down on my bed, and broke the news. The funeral service had been the prior day. Mom thought it would be best if I didn’t attend because it would be too difficult for me. I cried myself to sleep that night. I couldn’t get the thought of Kevin, being buried deep in the ground, out of my mind.
The next morning, I thought a lot about the way things work, and I figured out that nothing’s forever. Nothing. I had to be strong. Brave. I hated being sad. I hated crying. I vowed to find a way to make sure I never felt this horrendous feeling ever again.
Three Years Ago
I looked around our heated garage as Adam poured the amber liquid into our little glasses. All the tool chests and auto supplies had been packed up and hauled out. He filled his glass to the brim while mine was only filled a quarter of the way. He said I couldn’t have a full glass because I was only fourteen.
Hanging out with Adam came naturally. It was easy. He was much younger than Mom, but I was under the misguided impression that they were in love, regardless of his age.
Normally, the whiskey we shared was in celebration of an accomplishment. A new paint job, installing the new engine, fixing the interior. I had spent most of my evenings and weekends for the last three years watching Adam restore his 1968 Pontiac GTO. He bragged to people about how much I helped him, but really, I just watched him work and handed him tools as we talked.
Today, we toasted goodbye. It would be the last time I’d ever see him. My throat burned as the liquor flowed down it, but I welcomed the feeling. It reminded me of good times.
“I’m gonna miss you, Sweetie,” he said with tears in his eyes. “I asked her to marry me, you know. She said no.”
Anger quickly flooded my system, washing away the heartbreak. How could she say no? It had taken me over two years to let my guard down around him. Two years to break the vow that I had kept for so long and let myself feel again. She was making him go away. This was her fault.
I watched as Adam rolled his refurbished car down the driveway and out of my life. Without thought, my body stormed into the house in search of my mother. I found her staring blankly out the living room window.
“How could you say no?” I screamed.
“Livie, what are you talking about?”
“He told me, Mom! He told me he asked you to marry him!”
Her shoulders sunk as she let out a breath. Her expression turned angry. “Did he tell you he was seeing another woman? Did he tell you that he asked me to marry him only after I found out?”
My heart stopped. My mind barely comprehended what my mother had just told me. It couldn’t be true. Adam loved us. With regret in her eyes, she rushed toward me with open arms.
“No.” I held out my hand. “NO!” Tears spilled out of my eyes as I ran to my bedroom, locked my door, and flopped belly down onto my bed, sobbing uncontrollably into my pillow.
Why does everyone I love have to leave?
Never again. I’m done. This is the last time I will ever have this feeling.
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