on April 8th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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People always say itÔÇÖs whatÔÇÖs on the inside that matters. If thatÔÇÖs the case, IÔÇÖm screwed. On the outside, everything looks put together ÔÇö blonde hair, blue eyes, tall and lean. By societyÔÇÖs standards, IÔÇÖd be considered attractive. But f*ck society, I know what I am. I know what IÔÇÖm made of. The recessive genes that reared their heads and created a decent looking package on the outside donÔÇÖt make me who I am. What about all the evil lurking inside? What about all the other parts of me that arenÔÇÖt so easy to see? Some of the most beautiful animals are also the deadliest. Take the polar bear, for example. Cute and cuddly on the outside, but itÔÇÖs really a predator that will bite your f*cking head off. ThatÔÇÖs a dangerous combination.
And thatÔÇÖs exactly like me, exactly who I am. Bad ÔÇö and once you go bad, you can never go back.
WARNING: This book deals with the harsh reality of rape that could be upsetting for some readers.
A Letter to my Readers
Rape. Just typing that word makes my gut tie up in knots. And thatÔÇÖs part of the problem.┬áBecause itÔÇÖs so uncomfortable, we donÔÇÖt want to talk about it. So it gets buried at the bottom the news feed or forgotten altogether, like the backlog of untested rape kits.┬áLast March, I released Quiet Angel in which the heroine is a survivor of childhood sexual assault.┬áA few weeks later, my husband became gravely ill, and we spent the rest of the year (5 long┬áhospital stays and 4 long surgeries) fighting to regain his health. As I sat in the hospital chair┬ánext to his bed night after night, I got messages from women about how my book touched them.
Some shared their reasons, and others didnÔÇÖt.
I came to learn that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. How could I not know that? just released a book on the very topic. Yet I didnÔÇÖt see one post about it on any of my social┬ámedia accounts.┬áEarly this year, I began writing Layers of Her with the intent to spread awareness and donate of April’s profits to charity. I was nervous when I started, and I still am. I mean, how much the profits be? Will readers assume IÔÇÖm a survivor or I know one? Will I do the topic justice?
Why am I doing this? ItÔÇÖs a whole lot easier to stay silent. But thatÔÇÖs the whole problem, isnÔÇÖt I work in a field, in the genre of fiction, that is mostly comprised of women, where sexual assault┬áis one of the most common tropes. And with each passing page, we pull for our broken heroes┬áand heroines to heal, find love, forge a new path. That’s all we want for them. We need to do same for the real life heroes and heroines, those brave souls who fight the real fight every single┬áday. So join me this April in making some noise to raise awareness, not only for the survivors┬ábut for those who love them.
ÔÇ£What made you come for me?ÔÇØ she asks. ┬áI tell her my theory about men making decisions based on one of three body parts ÔÇö head, heart, dick. ┬áÔÇ£So which led you to my house tonight?ÔÇØ she asks.
ÔÇ£LetÔÇÖs just say two out of three ainÔÇÖt bad.ÔÇØ
Her giggle fills up the room.┬áÔÇ£Stone?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£DonÔÇÖt let me forget.ÔÇØ ┬á
ÔÇ£How good I feel right now,ÔÇØ she says.
I know exactly what sheÔÇÖs feeling. ┬áShe doesnÔÇÖt think she deserves to be happy. ┬áItÔÇÖs a constant waiting on the other shoe to drop so you can prove to yourself that all the bad shit you fill your head with is true. ┬áThat youÔÇÖre bad, and thatÔÇÖs why bad things happen around you, or to those you love. ┬áDealt with that myself when Tate got her diagnosis. ┬áWho am I kidding? ┬áI still fight those demons, knowing sheÔÇÖs suffering because of my mistakes. ┬áSelf-blame is a bitch. ┬áSelf-hatred is even worse. ┬áGuess IÔÇÖll just have to teach Campbell to love herself as much as I love her.
Yeah, yeah, itÔÇÖs fast. ┬áBut how long does it really take to fall in love with someone? ┬áA minute? ┬áAn hour? ┬áA day? ┬áA year? ┬áFor me, it took exactly one kiss. ┬áThe moment her lips touched mine in that hospital room, I was gone. ┬á
Besides, what do you really have to know about a person to love them? ┬áNot a damn thing other than how they make you feel when you close your eyes at the end of the day with them wrapped in your arms.