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.
~ Book Synopsis ~
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.
The tea kettle whistled from the kitchen, and he went to turn it off. He wasn’t sure what the night would hold, but he hoped at the very least, he could help her sort out whatever was upsetting her. By the time Sam made his way into the living room with all of the supplies for tea, Charlie was sitting crisscrossed on the couch with her head in her hands.
“You want some tea?” He held a mug out to her.
She looked up and accepted it. “Thanks. You probably think I’m some sort of psycho right now.”
“Not at all. Just wish there was something I could do to help with whatever is bothering you.” Sam took a sip of his tea and settled back onto the couch.
“That’s the issue.”
“What is?” He wondered how wanting to help was a bad thing.
“You, you’re my problem.”
Puzzled, he just sat there, not knowing how to respond.
“That came out wrong.” She shook her head and set her drink down.
“Look, you came here. No one is forcing you to stay. If you want me to back off, that’s all you have to say.” He scooted to the edge of the cushion.
“No, that’s not what I meant,” she said, flustered.
“Then explain it to me please, because I have no idea what’s going on.”
“My life has always been really hard.” she paused.
“Okay…” he nodded, waiting for more of an explanation.
She bit her lip and looked down, like she was contemplating what to say before she spoke again. “Nothing has ever been easy or fallen into place with ease.”
“How does that have to do with me being your problem?”
“I don’t know how to explain it.”
“Can you try? Because I am beyond lost here.” He watched as her face softened.
“Jules says I push people away before I give them a chance and I live in fear.”
Sam thought for a moment before he answered. “Well, what do you think?”
Picking up her mug, she took a long sip and met his eyes. “I think I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
It took him by surprise that she would think that way. “Why?”
She shrugged, “Because it always does.”
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 shedidn’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 GotAway” 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.
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.
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Book trailer -
Six words to describe the book.
Effortless: The way Charlie and Sam fit together is just, effortless. No matter how hard she fights against it, when they’re together, it’s as easy as breathing.
Unconditional: With a friendship as strong as the one Jules and Charlie share, there’s only one word to describe it; unconditional. No matter the distance or devastation, their bond has withstood the test of time and is truly unbreakable.
Vulnerable: Even though she puts up a sarcastic, tough as nails exterior, Charlie is as broken and vulnerable inside as they come. Through each situation she finds herself in, a layer of her heavily guarded wall is pulled down and another piece of herself shows through, no matter how hard she tries to hide.
Raw: The emotion in this novel is raw and moving. The characters follow their hearts and trust they made the right decisions when it comes to happiness, life and love. No matter what it may cost them.
Humor: Nothing is ever just simple conversation. There’s always a quip, or a quick witted comeback for everything. The banter between the characters keeps this novel light and a fun read.
Heart: Battling heart disease all her life, Charlie has had to overcome more than most. Her experiences have shaped her into the person she is and the way she views the world.
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.
Do you have an embarrassing or funny story you could share about yourself or someone you know.
I grew up in Las Vegas and when I was a kid we did this thing called play outside. It was back in the day where you had your imagination as your entertainment, things were a litter safer (or so it seemed) and our parents gave us the freedom to be ourselves and play.
Now both of my parents worked hard to give us a great childhood. I have great memories of all kinds of shenanigans my brother and I got into. My mom probably remembers it more like us destroying her shit haha. Things like us sending homemade grappling hooks through the neighbors bay window…while they were eating breakfast. Breaking 12/14 windows of our sunroom with hockey pucks, golf balls, paint balls, ninja stars, rocks, whatever we found to entertain ourselves with. Or taking apart her lawn mower and putting the engine on my petal car. No those stories are for another day. This story takes the cake.
This is in no way bad parenting on their part. This is about two sneaky kids, on a mission to fly,and nothing was going to stop us. I was about six years old and my brother was ten. We were out playing in our back yard, up to no good…as usual. We'd watched Mary Poppins the weekend before and we were huge Saturday morning cartoon fans. (Remember those?)
Anyway, my brother says, “Hey I know how you can fly like Mary Poppins.” *lightbulb* I'mpretty sure I hopped around like an excited seal while we ran inside and got supplies. He tied a cape around my neck, like superman, just to be safe. Popped open Mom’s umbrella, and gave me his G.I Joe hat as we dragged our sun bleached exercise trampoline over to the edge of the roof. Now our entire back yard was nothing but sand and we’d dug giant craters everywhere. The trampoline covered one of these little human made booby traps. By then we were experts at scaling the 8ft cinder brick wall onto our roof. (it was a flat roof, so stop freaking out, no big deal.) So here I am... A modge podge of super/action/nannie Super-Gi-Ness-Poppins. I was nervous looking down at the trampoline but I had all the faith in the world in my big brother, (not sure why after all the other stunts we'd failed doing with me as the guinea pig.) So, he climbs up next to me on the roof, hands me the umbrella, and says "just jump off, the trampoline will catch you and when you hit it, You will fly." Awesome!! Say no more!! I take my leap just as my mom comes running out the back door screaming “OMG What are you doing?” Do you think I got the glorious moment of slow motion air time of flight? Shit no! I dropped like a sack of potatoes THROUGH the sun bleached trampoline into the giant sink hole with a thud. The look on my mother’s face was of relief and fury. My brother laughed and shrugged. His defense was, "What? I thought it would work.” Thankfully, I didn’t get hurt and I was pissed I didn’t fly. What was worse, I was stuck with a damn trampoline around me and twenty minutes later, I probably did something stupid he told me to again.
Moral of this story. I had a great childhood. My mother is a saint for not killing us for the dumb shit we did. And we did A LOT. We all look back and laugh about it now. I see the same look of genius in mysons eye. He has that same look back over his shoulder to see who's watching. I am that fun sucker that walks out with the “Whatever you're thinking of doing, don’t. I've already done it, so forget, it won't end well.” I tend to leave out the part that I was always just the pawn in all of my brothers master plans. Soon enough his little sister will be old enough to blindly follow his lead and we will have our very own version of here Stella try this.
Dream Character Casting
Charlie - Alexandra Daddario
Sam - Henry Cavill
Jules - Austin Butler
Joe - Gerard Butler
Callie - Lori Loughlin
Sarah - Chloe Moretz