I released my debut novel this month. (My first piece of published writing in general happened way back, but this is totally and completely my first novel. You didn’t miss something. Pinkie promise!)

But I know for myself that I love to read the first chapters of a book before I can commit to it. Choosing which books to bring permanently into your book family is hard, and it feels pretty funky to risk adding an addition to your bookshelf family that in the end you can’t stand to read past the first chapter. Yikes! I hate reading fails like that. But no prob for you because I’ve got you covered. Here and now (and, well, actually forever because that’s how the internet works) you can get a sneak peek into the action:

here I was as miserable as could be.

I couldn’t get that support from my friends because I couldn’t trust them anymore.

I couldn’t get that support from my dad because he was broken and hurting right now, just barely living every day and taking as many long hours at work and conferences and out of town trips as he could get. I was worried he was building up too much stress, too much time away from his adulterous wife, and he’d either get his head on straight and finally file for a divorce or he’d come back one day raving and screaming and that woman in a fit of anger would call the police on him and lie and say he was abusing her and then I’d have even less support from the one person I could always trust, even if he wasn’t around for me right now.

Even if he was just as damaged and broken as I was right now.

And then after all our family had been through at the whims of that awful woman now a different woman I had trusted and cared about and relied on as a true friend had betrayed me so many times in so many ugly unspeakable ways. If I could think of it as little as I could bear to speak of it I’d at least finally be free of the haunting memories of all she’d done to me.

It was a cruel twist to my life.

And then I’d get night mares, night after night I’d dream of it and think of it.

And I’d pushed some of the memories out of my head and didn’t remember every little detail of what happened and how it happened, but I remember that feeling of her overwhelming strength, her sweaty hands crawling on my skin, that smell of her fruity perfume now stank like rot in my memories.

And on the one hand I wanted to remember, and remember who had twisted us and me like that and made life a little less bearable than it already was. Sometimes I wanted to push the thoughts to the edge of my brain and rob them of the power and spotlight they’d held in the time since it happened. Sometimes I’m glad I don’t really remember too much of it and I’m happy to get any space I can mentally from the dark and haunted part of me, from the horror of reliving it all again. But at the end of the day, I will remember at least a little bit no matter what I would have liked, and that meant I had to find some way to live with myself and my thoughts.

I think the best fall back when the very worst thing was in process happening to you is to just depend on the old faithful cure of becoming a workaholic. Sure, becoming a shopaholic and treating my sorrows with a little retail therapy would feel nice too, but I needed to keep some money freed up. I had big plans for that money, plans to move out into my own house when I graduated college so I could move my dad in to live with me instead of being pushed and pulled by the waves of my mother’s emotions, and I didn’t want to waste it buying things I didn’t actually need to try to feel better about a problem stuff probably wouldn’t be very effective to treat.

It was a mess, a true out of control disaster, and I wanted to hop on to it and grab it by the horns and ride off into the sunset on a bull built of my problems, but that was just wishful thinking that would be difficult or impossible to fulfill.

So that left me right at the beginning again, haunted by the sights of bare stone walls burned onto my eyelids, tortured by my memories reenacting every second of it with ghost hands in those same places along my body. I don’t know if it’s because of what happened or because I’m just a little mental, but now I didn’t feel a thing and it was a little rough knowing yet another thing in my life had been changed by that.

But that couldn’t really be changed. The past had gripped me and poisoned me and would never let me go, but it was time to drown my thoughts out so the memories would be blurred and the feelings would be pushed aside by exhaustion.

Totally haunting, huh. You can grab your copy on Amazon or other ebook stores. Learn more about the release here, and sign up to follow me if you want to keep up to date with future book releases (the next release will be published in a few months!)

Update on 10/27/2017: You can buy Family Inflamed for a cozy discount if you buy it directly from me on this site. The way it works is that when I sell a book through an ebook retailer they take a small cut of profits, so I have to sell at a higher price to cover those costs- but when you buy directly on this site I don’t have to pay any overhead so I can charge you the smaller take home profit I actually get off my books. Some ebook retailers are also known for “accidentally” forgetting to pay authors for a percentage of sales made, so by buying directly on my site you are guaranteeing the full purchase price goes directly to me and it’s kind of a cool way to show your support as a fan. If you don’t have a Paypal account however I appreciate it when you buy my books from any of your normal ebook retailers as well because that does still help me get paid and help you get your hands on your next fav read.

Family Inflamed

“Mel seems to have a perfect life, but behind the scenes every day is full of her mother’s drama and abuse. Then everything changes when her father dies, but the death is not as it seems and soon her world comes crashing down…”

$4.90

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