Long Odds: A Showing Hearts Novel
by Melissa Asleson
This is a story of deception, lust, fear, loss, rebuilding and healing. Only being in her early twenties, Averyana Chambers has a very deluded view of the world. After four years away at college, it is time to return and face the dark secrets that lie within the walls of her childhood home. Her brain and heart are constantly at war, and Avery just wants to find a balance. Avery has never gambled, especially not with her heart. Things are never what they seem and uncovering the truth is always a little to late in Avery's world. How much tragedy can she stand before she gets completely lost in despair?
White roses. I both hate and find them intriguing at the same time. The first white rose I ever received was when my grandfather died. I was seven years old playing with my dolls under a giant oak tree at the cemetery while the grave-side service commenced. A man with a large rough hand gives me a long-stemmed white rose. His deep voice instructed me to give it to my mother for him. I looked up only to see the outline of a large dark-haired man, his back to the sun. I stood up to question him, curious why he didn’t do it himself when he quickly backed away. I stood there watching him disappear into the packed parking lot. After the service, my mother found me. I had resumed playing with my dolls. When I handed her the rose and told her about the man, she quickly ran to the parking lot. She was frantically looking for the man that I could only describe to her as a big with scarred hands and black hair. When she returned she was shaking me, demanding answers of whom and where the man went. My distressed father stepped in when I had no more information to offer and relieved me of my mom’s irrational behavior. After my grandfather had died, she was never quite the same. The second time I received a single white rose was a similar experience, but this time the man didn’t speak. I was an eighteen year old saying my last respects to my parents at the same cemetery. The man was standing back watching me with a single long-stemmed white rose. I could feel his eyes on me the whole service. He was in a dark suit and sunglasses. I remember that he had a very distinct nose. It had been broken several times, and he had a raised scar that was above his right eye. He had handed the rose to me with a sad smirk before my aunt ushered me towards the limo. I have often wondered over the years if it was the same man. They didn’t seem to have anything in common in my memory of when I was seven, except for a single white rose. Since then, I’ve received white roses on my birthday every year for the last four years. Today, however, is not my birthday. I look at the arrangement of two dozen long stem roses in a heavy crystal vase. The smell alone evokes so many emotions. The distinct, sweet smell reminds me of very happy memories of my grandparents’ home. They had a vast variety of roses. My grandmother loved them. On the other hand, it reminds me of death, sorrow and the people I miss desperately, especially right now. I just stare at the tiny white envelope with my name inscribed in the middle. This is the first time I have gotten an envelope of any kind. I am almost afraid to see what may lie inside.
We get to experience Averyana from her perspective and through her twenty-three year old eyes. There is an innocence that guides her through all these new experiences. Her intelligence shines as she discovers how to accept her mistakes, learn from them, and still present herself as a professional woman. Her innate sense of what is right guides her. Her memories haunt her. Together, they steer her through the life she inherited as her birthright - with a few unforeseen obstacles.
Hello, I'm Melissa I love books and I am a very amateur writer. I started writing because both my parents were diagnosed with cancer within months of each other. I had moved back home to take care of my mother the sicker of the two and I found it hard to read, the emotions were deeper than I want to go at the time. So I stopped reading for a while. My cousin suggested that I write a letter to cancer to let out my frustrations, it turned into something else completely, I was able to escape and write my own story. Thus far I have a two part series published. My first two books are funny and light-hearted. The current work in progress is darker and deeper than I have gone. Interesting facts about me; I am fluent in profanity and proud of it. I drink way too much wine. I have more shoes than storage room for them. More makeup and crazy jewelry than I should have, but I love it all. I will never turn down a shopping trip of any kind. My family and friends are the most important people in my life. I love horses and just about anything purple. I have a usual fondness for the smell of Pine-Sol. I believe music heals. I shamelessly love to dance and sing along wherever or whenever the music provokes me to do so. The next aspiration for me is to be featured in Inked magazine (I have a tattoo addiction as well). I love to engage people and I will talk to anyone, anytime. I pride myself being open-minded, I occasionally ask blunt and inappropriate questions because I am so eager to learn about things I am not familiar with. I am fascinated by the human condition. All of my inspirations come from my real life experiences, people I have met, and music. I often wonder what kind of grief caused a sad song to be written, what events caused an angry song to be written and the circumstances of a love song. I grew up in an extremely small and judgmental town. Everybody knew your business, sometimes before you even did. From a young age my parents instilled in me that it was better to be disliked for who you really are, than admired for who you are not. That is a virtue I live by today, I don't pretend to be something or someone I am not for anyone-anytime. The people I surround myself with are the people who really understand me, they walk in with me, when everyone else walks out. They may be a group of few, but less is definitely more in this case. They are all precious to me. Lastly, but no less important, I hope to engage my readers to laugh, possibly cry and become a little aroused. I know that I was lead down this path for a reason, so I will graciously follow it to wherever it leads me. I plan on letting me fingers fly across the keys as long as the opportunity allows. I hope you enjoy my stories as much as I enjoyed writing and sharing them. Thank you to every reader that has or will ever take a chance on me.