I am excited to participate in the exclusive chapter reveal for Krystal Wade’s upcoming YA Thriller, Charming. Today I get to share the third part of Chapter One; if you haven’t read the first two portions, check them out at Fresh Fiction and Mara Valderran! Make sure you check out Night Owl Reviews and Fantasy Book Addict this week for the rest of the chapter.
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that’s great . . . as long as you don’t die.
Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother’s name are all she has left.
Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley.
Little do they know someone’s determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder.
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away $10 gift card to an e-retailer (winner’s choice!).
A note to readers from author Krystal Wade…
You’ve seen the ugly in Haley’s life, but this segment gives us a glimpse–albeit brief!–into a time when things between her and Jocelyn weren’t so awful. And we also find out what drove the wedge between the girls: Mom’s dying wish, the wish to keep Jocelyn innocent of their abusive father. Now Haley’s living a lie.
Chapter 1 Part 3: Charming by Krystal Wade
Unfortunately, Dad’s relentless denial of anything Haley asked for had more to do with control—and maybe how closely she mirrored her mother—and not the fact she was occasionally three-hundred seconds late.
“If you say so.” Haley returned her attention to the cat, chin on her knees, praying Jocelyn would just walk away.
But Haley’s prayers were rarely ever answered.
“You shouldn’t be so hard on him,” Jocelyn said, sitting on the crumbling concrete step next to Haley, her words caught up in a symphony of cricket songs.
When they were younger, they’d lay outside on nights like these and stare up at the stars, holding hands while dreaming up big futures involving space travel or frilly dresses. Haley’s dreams might never come true, but she’d do everything in her power to make sure Joce’s did.
“He just wants you to do well in school and obey his rules, but you constantly fail at both.”
Why would Haley shoot for good grades? College wasn’t an option anymore, not when it meant leaving town and leaving Jocelyn with their abusive father. Sure, he’d never once raised a hand to his youngest daughter, but he smacked Haley around more now that Mom was dead. Who’s to say he would continue sparing Jocelyn his wrath with her unthanked protector out of the picture?
“Guess I just suck at life.” What could Haley say? Mom never wanted Joce to know about the darker side of Dad. He couldn’t hide the alcoholism, but how many times did she defend him? How many times did she say that Mom and Haley should be more understanding of his injury, of his feelings of inadequacies—not her words—now that he was on disability and Mom was the CEO of a booming candle company? If Joce knew the truth, that Dad hit Mom and Haley, she’d be crushed. She was already crushed about not being there when Mom died. Joce didn’t know. She didn’t understand. And Haley couldn’t tell her.
“Whatever, Haley. I think you just suck at accepting responsibility.” Jocelyn ran down the stairs without looking back, disappearing into the night once she was out of range of the tacky yellow light.
The cat followed.
“Traitor. See if I feed you tomorrow!”
To be continued tomorrow at Night Owl Reviews.
Meet Krystal Wade!
Krystal Wade is happily married to the love of her life (don’t gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. They live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day she wakes up to find herself stuck in traffic trying to get there. When she’s not working, commuting, or chasing after her three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find Krystal outside talking to her chickens like they’re the cutest things in the world (they are), or training her amazing dogs how to herd said chickens (which they love), or curled up on the sofa with a good book (why can’t that be 100% of the time?).
Thank you Krystal for taking the time to stop by Literary Escapism!