Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cover Reveal AND a Sneak Peek? Can this get any better?

Hey Friends!
   Just to give you an update, Dreaming of Ivy is almost done! I just got the cover yesterday so without further ado:


   I know, I know! Gorgeous, huh? And in case you were curious, here's Chapter 1: 

Chapter 1 - Nerves



            Ivy wrapped her arms around her knees as she stared out over the gray, choppy water of the Puget Sound.  Kenya, her labradoodle nudged her knee with her nose and she automatically ran her hand over the springy curls of her dog.
            “Go play Kenya,” she urged and smiled as the dog wandered off to nose a suspicious pile of dried seaweed. 
            She sighed as she watched her sister Rayne and Cleo come into view. They’d gone for a walk down the shore but were already coming back.  She frowned and closed her eyes as a little sigh slipped out.  Having her own personal bodyguard and an overprotective sister meant that it was very rare to have any time to herself to just sit and think.  She could hide out in her room at home, but there was just something about staring out at the water and feeling the salty breeze on her face that brought peace like nothing else.
            That was what she was after today. A little peace.  She glanced at Rayne and Cleo and relaxed a little as they looked like they were going to pause for a little chat.  Probably talking about Rayne’s upcoming wedding to Garrett Murphy.
            Ivy smiled a little as she rested her chin on her knees.  Growing up with her parents meant that everything was controlled. Their diet, their schedule, their school and teachers, the subjects they studied, their friends, their everything.  She had grown up watching Rayne rise to the occasion as the perfect daughter. She was beautiful, poised and luckily enough, a very talented pianist which fit in with their parents list of requirements. 
            Rayne had left home at nineteen to travel the world and play the piano. In the beginning she had loved it and had enjoyed the spotlight, but their parents had pushed for more and more. They wanted more acclaim for their daughter. They had wanted it all. Until Rayne had begun looking tense and unhappy and tired. She’d burned out and when she’d confronted their parents about taking a break they’d laughed at her.
            And Ivy had sat back and watched and had done nothing to help her sister.  But in her defense, her parents weren’t in the habit of listening to their troubled daughter.  In every way that Rayne had risen to the challenge and become the woman their parents had dreamed of, she had gone the opposite direction. Poor grades. Poor social skills. Poor self-esteem. Poor everything except for her bank account. The only place she had enough.
            Growing up wealthy meant she never went without clothes or food or cars or entertainment, but it also meant her parents had the privilege of pawning her off on tutors, therapists and camps. While her parents had been busy traveling the world with Rayne, she’d been left at home in the hopes that someday her mom and dad would return home and find her a changed woman.  Normal. Happy. Perfect.
            Ivy smiled grimly at the darkening skies and shook her head.  A few years ago when she’d switched therapists, she’d found someone who had seen past all of the years of neglect to what lay underneath it all.  A bad case of O.C.D. and the dangerous signs of anorexia that went hand in hand with it.  She’d been admitted to a facility that specialized in eating disorders and had stayed for six months. During that time, she had been given the correct medication to treat her O.C.D. and given the skills she needed to deal with life and her eating habits.
            She’d also learned something amazing. She was okay.  And hadn’t that come as a shock to her parents. Take away the O.C.D. and add in quality therapy and she was well on her way to being and feeling normal.  Ivy grinned as the wind lifted the hair off her face and pushed against her. 
            Before her parents had died in the car crash, she had been in the process of finding an apartment and moving out.  Rayne had been a huge support and had gone up against their parents on her behalf and she’d forever be grateful for that. But then her parents had died and she’d gone spiraling back down into the dark.  Rayne had been forced to take her to psychiatric hospital for a couple days until she’d gotten herself together. 
            But living here in Fircrest Washington with Rayne and Cleo she was gaining her strength. She was stronger every day and she was finding her own path. 
            And for the first time in her life, she was happy. 
            Happy and yet vulnerable too. It was a scary thing to know that someone might want you dead.  Since moving to Fircrest, she’d been shot in the arm and shoulder by a drive-by shooter and had ended up moving across town to live in Garrett’s house.  And then a few days after that, Rayne had been attacked. Luckily it had happened right across from their house and Garrett had been there to save her, but it had been close call. With the man behind bars awaiting trial, they felt relief, but Garrett was positive that whoever hired him was just going to hire someone else to try again.
            Rayne tried to hide the fact that she was worried, but she knew her sister.  On the other hand, they now had a small army of people looking out for them.  Garrett, her sister’s fiancĂ© was a Marine and he was always around the house doing little projects with the yard.  His business partner and friend, Becket Lowell was in the habit of showing up at the oddest times too and she suspected he was there to keep an eye on her. 
            Good thing she didn’t mind that one bit since he was gorgeous, but sometimes he made her nervous too. Sometimes she’d catch him looking at her with a quiet, intense look in his eyes and she’d end up stammering and blushing and running away. 
            Ivy grimaced and ran her hands through her long, brown hair.  It was so mortifying to finally be around a man she would love to date and at the same time have the social skills of an eighth grader. Good thing she could hang out with Asher, Garrett’s younger brother.  He had hired her as the lead singer in his band, Murphy’s Law a few months ago after hearing her sing karaoke.  They had fun singing in bars and other small venues around Fircrest and Tacoma but it was very laid back which worked for her.  A high pressure music career would send her into the nearest closet. 
            Asher had been talking lately about hiring a publicist and a manager but she had vetoed that. She didn’t want to travel on a bus with a bunch of guys. She finally had a home and she wanted to stay there. Music was fun but not at the expense of her emotional health.
            No, she had finally found a place she belonged. She no longer lived in an empty mansion in San Diego. Now she lived in an old home built in the early 1900’s with her sister and Cleo and five dogs. Sometimes it was so noisy and full of people she felt like covering her ears.  But usually, it just made her smile. 
            She stared up at the gray and stormy sky and knew they’d be leaving soon before they got drenched. She closed her eyes and searched for peace and then gave up. Her problem wasn’t internal, it was external.  Asher Murphy had asked her to dinner and she didn’t know what to do.  She couldn’t talk to Cleo about it because she knew Cleo had hopes of dating Asher herself and the thought of hurting Cleo made her sick to her stomach. She could talk to Rayne about it, but Rayne was so happy and in love that it was hard to fit into the same room with her and her big smile. 
            Plus, she already knew what Rayne would say.  Do what you think is right.
            Yeah, so easy.  And it would be. It’d be the easiest thing in the world to date Asher.  She was completely relaxed around him. They laughed and got along like long lost friends.  He was a guy she could burp around and not be embarrassed. But he was pushing for more and she didn’t know what to do.  She didn’t want to hurt his feelings but more than that, she didn’t want it to affect the band.  The other guys were always teasing her that Asher always dated the lead singer.  But for some reason that just made her uncomfortable.

            Was it possible to be friends with a man without it having to turn romantic?  She groaned and stretched out her legs.  If Becket would just ask her out then she could keep Asher at arm’s length, but no matter how many times he would stare at her with that warm, intense look in his eyes, he had never once asked her out.  Of course if he had, she’d probably have passed out on the spot, but it still would have been nice.

  You're never going to guess what happens next. Big hint. Becket :)
   Okay, okay, I'm done torturing you. Hope your summer is fabulous so far - if not, grab your Kindle, a blanket and get outside and get some Vitamin D :)
   Hugs,
   Shannon 

3 comments:

Jess said...

can NOT wait. Hope it will be out VERY soon!

Shannon said...

Very soon Jess - I promise :)

Jessie Clark said...

I can't wait for Ivy and Becket!