(Hale Brothers #3)
by Kathryn Andrews
Blog Tour Giveaway and Excerpt
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 4, 2015
I’ve never really been included. I’ve never felt like I truly belonged. But then again, how could I? Living on this island, I’ve seen and heard too many things. Lies. Secrets.
“Lies I’ve been forced to tell and secrets I’ve been forced to keep. They keep me locked to myself.”
They’re the reason I stand on the edge of the horizon and watch from afar. Other people’s lives have evolved, but not mine. It’s exactly the same. Day after day, the sun rises, and every time its rays penetrate my skin, I’m reminded that no matter how desperately I don’t want to be, I’m trapped. I want to live. I want to breathe. I just want to be . . . free.
If I had my way, I would have walked off the catwalk and straight out of the public eye years ago. Never-ending contracts and obligations have kept me prisoner until recently.
“Now it is fear that has me trapped and running from my life.”
I’m now hiding in a tiny beach cottage in my mother’s hometown, praying no one will find me. No one understands. The demands, lack of control, threats ... I just want it all gone. I want to escape. When do I finally get to be me? Free.
ElleDust kicks up around the tires as I drive down the little side road made up of a mix of dirt, sand, and crushed oyster shells. Up ahead of me, I stare at the house that still looks as picturesque as the first time that I saw it.
A mixture of unwelcome feelings course through me. On one hand, this place feels like home, although it never was, and on the other, it’s the home she—my mother—always wanted and couldn’t have.
The house is a large light blue Key West style home with white columns, a huge wrap around porch, and what seems like endless amounts of windows to let the light in. It faces west and I remember every night at dusk the golden light poured in through the windows warming the home, making it feel all buttery and perfect.
Parking the car on the circular drive, I get out and take a deep breath. I made it. The air is crisper than I expected and smells clean. Looking around, I see that not much has changed here and the familiarity this brings me is comforting.
Slowly, I walk up the porch steps to approach the front door. Assuming that she might just be waking up, I knock softly over ringing the doorbell. My heart is pounding in my chest and my palms are sweaty. Wiping them on my pants, I just stand here and wait for the door to open. A moment of regret sweeps through me. Maybe I shouldn’t have come here. Maybe I should have gone to a hotel.
It suddenly hits me; why did I come here? Out of all the places I could have gone, the car steered itself here. Maybe it's because deep down, I know I have nowhere else to go, or maybe it’s the thought that the last time I truly felt happy and content, was here.
The soft thud of footsteps gets louder as they quickly near the door, I stop breathing.
OVER TEN YEARS ago my husband and I were driving from Chicago to Tampa and somewhere in Kentucky I remember seeing a billboard that was all black with five white words, “I do, therefore I am!” I’m certain that it was a Nike ad, but for me I found this to be completely profound.
Take running for example. Most will say that a runner is someone who runs five days a week and runs under a ten minute mile pace. Well, I can tell you that I never run five days a week and on my best days my pace is an eleven minute mile. I have run quite a few half marathons and one full marathon. No matter what anyone says . . . I run, therefore I am a runner.
I’ve taken this same thought and applied it to so many areas of my life: cooking, gardening, quilting, and yes . . . writing.
I may not be culinary trained, but I love to cook and my family and friends loves to eat my food. I cook, therefore I am a chef!
My thumb is not black. I love to grow herbs, tomatoes, roses, and lavender. I garden, therefore I am a gardener!
I love beautiful fabrics and I can follow a pattern. My triangles may not line up perfectly . . . but who cares, my quilts are still beautiful when they are finished. I quilt, therefore I am a quilter.
I have been writing my entire life. It is my husband who finally said, “Who cares if people like your books or not? If you enjoy writing them and you love your stories…then write them.” He has always been my biggest fan and he was right. Being a writer has always been my dream and what I said I wanted to be when I grew up.
So, I’ve told you who I am and what I love to do . . . now I’m going to tell you the why.
I have two boys that are three years a part. My husband and I want to instill in them adventure, courage, and passion. We don’t expect them to be perfect at things, we just want them to try and do. It’s not about winning the race; it’s about showing up in the first place. We don’t want them to be discouraged by society stereotypes, we want them to embrace who they are and what they love. After all, we only get one life.
In the end, they won’t care how many books I actually sell . . . all that matters to them is that I said I was going to do it, I did it, and I have loved every minute of it.
Find something that you love and tell yourself, “I do, therefore I am.”