Welcome to Reader Girls. We are today's stop on the Heartless blog tour. There's an excerpt, a guest post and a giveaway. Enjoy!
Title: Heartless (The Chasing Hearts Series #1)
Author: Vanessa Marie
Genre: NA, Romance, 18+ for Mature Content and Language
Publish Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Independent Published
Cover by: Sprinkles on Top Studios
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.
All the other girls had a normal childhood, full of Girl Scouts and sleepovers, but Charlie Evans wasn't so lucky.
Her life had been spent in and out the Cardiac Care Unit and moving across the country with her military father. So when Charlie finds out she's moving back to her home town, she hopes things will finally be different. She has learned the hard way not to let anyone in. People always let her down, and it wasn’t easy to trust anyone new.
That was until Sam Greyson walks into her life and threatens to knock down every wall she’d ever built to protect herself. With Sam in the picture, Charlie decides to take one last shot and open herself up. With Sam’s help, she is finally able to let someone see the real, bruised and damaged girl inside. That is until she is forced to make a decision between her own happiness and ruining Sam’s life to be with him.
If giving him up meant he could have a normal life…She would do it, in a broken heartbeat.
She dove in the water and swam a couple of laps. All she could think about was Sam wanting to talk. What the hell would I even say? She couldn’t tell him the truth, but she didn’t want to lie to him anymore. It tore her apart inside.
As she swam lap after lap, she tried to play things out in her head. Unable to clear her mind, she couldn’t get herself into the headspace she usually did when she swam. There was no way to avoid what she needed to do any longer.
Charlie got out of the pool and wrapped her towel around herself. She rang her hair out and tossed it into a messy bun on top of her head. She walked down to his room and knocked on his sliding door. Oh shit, what did I just do? With her nerves a mess all of a sudden, she turned to run back to her room, but it was too late. He opened the door. All he had on was a pair of shorts and everything in her head disappeared as she stood there with a blank stare on her face.
“Hey, you okay?” he asked, his eyes full of concern. Charlie just shrugged, how the hell was she supposed to concentrate when he looked like that? She regretted knocking on his door and had no idea what she was going to say.
“Come in before someone sees you,” he said, and stepped aside to let her in. She walked past him and he slid the door shut. Crossing the room, she leaned on the table against the wall as he sat on the coffee table across from her. The Civil Wars “The One That Got Away” was playing on his iPod Radio. She’d listened to that song so many times since she’d broken things off she couldn’t keep count. They held each other’s gaze but neither of them said a word.
He leaned forward with his forearms on his knees. “Why’d you come here?”
“I don’t know.” She shrugged.
“Are you ready to talk to me?”
“I don’t know what you want to talk about?”
“Us, what’s going on with you for starters.”
“Nothing’s going on with me,” she said, and re-wrapped her towel around herself.
“Cut the crap Charlie. You haven’t been the same since your surgery. You totally shut me out.”
“You’ll never understand what I’ve been through.”
“You’re right I don’t, but I can be there for you, if you let me. And yet you won’t.”
“I’m just better off alone. I’ve always been on my own. I don’t know how to be any other way.”
Sam stood and walked toward her. “Bullshit. We were great together. You let your guard down and you let me in. You can’t sit here and tell me that you being alone is better than that.”
She looked at her feet and her heart raced faster the closer he got. She couldn’t argue with him. He was right. The only time she’d ever felt whole was when they were together. Sam lifted her chin with his finger and his bare chest was just inches from her. Glancing up, she met his gaze. With the urge to reach out and touch him, she held onto her towel even tighter.
“Look me in the eye and tell me you’re better off alone,” he said, as he cupped her cheek and tears streamed down her face. Wiping them away, he leaned against her, supporting his weight with each hand firmly planted on either side of her on the table. Just inches from her face, she stayed silent, but her eyes said it all.
What Inspired me to write my book
When I was twenty-six I was blindsided with heart disease and ended up getting a pacemaker implanted. I passed out constantly and wasn’t allowed to work anymore. I’d worked all my life as a Jeep mechanic and then I found myself stuck on couch arrest, (with my mom and husband as my wardens) unable to do much of anything.
I was still accepting my new life and had this crazy dream, I couldn’t seem to shake. So, I called my sister and told her all about it. She suggested I write it down and see what happened. It was only one scene, and I knew it would be toward the end of the book. What did I have to lose? I had nothing but time. Nineteen days later I finished the rough draft to my original 100,000 word manuscript. After the shock wore off, I shared it with my family…my very opinionated family, and they said it was too good to not publish. I never set out to write a novel, it was a way for me to deal with what I’d just gone through and it took on this life of its own.
Over the last year, I’ve had four mini strokes and a baby. Through it all, I worked on my manuscript. Little by little, piece by piece. Every extended hospital stay I had, my mom would bring me my laptop and tell me I had no excuse not to write. She believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. My inspiration started out as an outlet, just for me. Then it turned into bringing these characters and their world to life, doing them justice. While my baby slept, while I fought through symptoms of my disease I wrote, rewrote and edited. I’ve pushed myself harder than I ever imagined I could. This has been such a labor of love, and all I want is to share my story with readers. I hope they love it as much as I do.
About the Author
Always the cause of shenanigans, Vanessa is a heavily tattooed, sarcastic motorcycle enthusiast who started her career as a Jeep tech at the age of sixteen. The happily married mother of three little monsters—oops, children—lives in Kentucky by way of Las Vegas, Nevada. Once her life took a different direction—sidelined by Heart Disease at 26 and becoming a pacemaker recipient—she decided to write as a creative outlet, and Heartless was born. She realizes life can be dark clouds and acid rain at times, but her outlook on life puts a positive and sarcastic spin on it all.