Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pieces Of Us excerpt and giveaway with author Hannah Downing


Hi everyone, I’m so excited to be a part of this great author extravaganza!! Thanks, Lisa, for inviting me to be a part of it.


A little blurb about me – I’m a 29 year old social worker by day and a romance novelist by night. I live in Cairns, Australia, and love to travel. My debut novel, Pieces of Us, was released in April 2011 and I’m super excited to be able to offer a free eBook to one of you lucky people.


Here is an excerpt from the book –

*****
I could hear soft jazz music, Cameron’s favorite, coming down the hallway.
            “Nice shower?” he asked as I walked into the living room.
            “Mm, the best,” I replied, accepting the glass of wine he handed me and taking a sip.
            “Thanks for doing all this,” he said, nodding his head around to indicate the cleaning.
            “It was kind of fun, actually. It felt good to de-clutter,” I admitted.
            He took the wine glass from my hands and placed it delicately on the coffee table before slipping his arms around my waist and pulling me close to him. He gently started to sway to the music.
            “What are you doing?” I whispered.
            “Dancing with my wife,” he replied with a shy smile.
            “The last time we danced was –” I started.
            “Our wedding – too long ago,” he finished for me. He twirled me away from his body and then pulled me close again, his lips finding mine.
            In that moment I didn’t think there would be anything that could make my life more perfect. I was completely in love with a man who adored me, and we had our whole lives ahead of us to be blissfully happy. I was the luckiest girl in the world; I had my happily ever after at twenty-two.
*****
Cam, I love you too. I can’t wait to see you tonight. Love, Lucy xxx                
I read the text message over and over, each time hoping that the words would change. My brain just couldn’t comprehend what the message implied - that Cameron was cheating on me with my best friend. I put his phone down on the counter and aimlessly walked through the house in a daze. Making my way into the living room, I walked over to the Christmas tree that was standing in the corner of the room, mocking me with its illusions of joy, love, and family.
I felt numb as I bent down under the adorned tree and gathered the presents I bought for my husband and carried them out of the room. I placed them next to the front door, neatly stacking them so that their shiny red and green bows wouldn’t be crushed. I stood there staring at the gifts, trying to form a coherent thought, but the only thing in my head was the fact that my best friend was in love with my husband. I heard the shower turn off and I automatically made my way back to the bedroom and opened his closet door.
“Babe, can you grab me something to wear?” he called out.
I stepped into the walk-in closet, looking at his clothes hanging neatly in front of me, and selected a pair of dark wash jeans and a navy blue t-shirt from one of the shelves. Pulling open his top drawer, I grabbed a pair of black boxer-briefs and stood by the bathroom door for what was our morning ritual.
I knew that logically I should be yelling and screaming at him, yet I couldn’t bring myself to do anything but stand and wait for him to leave the bathroom. My heart was thudding in my chest, my hands were shaking slightly, and there was a weird static in my ears, as if my brain had tuned out.
Right on cue, the door opened slightly and his hand stuck out. I placed the clothes in his grasp and he pulled them into the bathroom and then closed the door loudly. I selected his clothes every morning; he said he liked that I dressed him and that if he dressed himself, he would look like a mismatched vagrant.
I didn’t mind this little quirk, and normally enjoyed it. But today, all I could think was that every day, I had been selecting clothes that Lucy had seen him in, and maybe even removed from his body.
The bathroom door opened and he walked out looking every bit as handsome as I knew he would. His dark hair was still wet and the little droplets gleamed under the bright bathroom light. He gave me a smile as he came over and kissed me lightly on the cheek.
“Thanks,” he said before walking out of the room and down the hall.
I couldn’t move. He was acting so normally and yet my whole life had changed in just the last few minutes. I felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff where there was a strong wind trying to blow me over the edge and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
“Charlotte, did you move the coffee? I can’t find it anywhere,” he called loudly from the kitchen.
Bile rose in my throat and I swallowed hard before taking a few deep breaths to help calm myself, wanting to stay in control. I walked slowly down the hall to where I knew Cameron was standing, like an inmate to her execution. I caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of my eye, but I stayed focused on the cupboard behind him, afraid that if I saw his face, it would all become too real.
Tears welled in my eyes and my heart thudded in my chest. I needed to talk to him, needed him to tell me Lucy was some crazy stalker and that he wasn’t cheating on me, because I didn’t want to believe it was true, but I couldn’t get any words out. I felt like if I opened my mouth, I might vomit.
I looked down at the beautiful diamond ring on my left hand and choked back a strangled sob.  We’d only been married for two years, was he already bored with me? I pulled the ring off and placed it down on the kitchen counter, then proceeded to remove my earrings, necklace, and watch – all gifts from Cameron – and placed them carefully on the counter next to the wedding ring.
Tears streamed down my cheeks, but I could still see Cameron staring at me in confusion through my watery haze.
“Charlotte...?” he trailed off.
I picked up his cell phone from the counter where I left it earlier and handed it to him, the offending message still on the screen. His face paled as he read it and he looked up at me nervously. The loud static in my ears was back and I was starting to feel extremely hot.
“FUCK!” he yelled, throwing the phone against the wall. It clattered to the floor, undamaged, unlike my heart.
We stood staring at each other for a moment, neither of us saying a word. His eyes broke from mine and slowly moved down to my jewelry, sitting abandoned on the counter.
“Charlotte,” he said softly, taking a few steps toward me with his arms outstretched, as if to pull me into a hug.
“No,” I whispered, stepping backwards and out of his grasp.
His face fell and he stood still, staring at the floor. If I hadn’t have been so crushed I might have felt sorry for him.
“Do you love her?” I choked out between sobs. I felt the warm tears flowing over my cheeks as I watched him think about his answer.
He was silent for a moment and then his shoulders fell.
“I feel something for her,” he said sadly.
My legs fell out from under me and I sank to the floor, sobbing uncontrollably. The numbness that had been clouding my heart suddenly lifted, and the pain of what was happening hit me all at once. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach and had my heart ripped from my chest. There wasn’t a single part of my body that wasn’t in excruciating pain and I watched as my tears dripped onto the polished wood floor of our recently remodeled kitchen. Cameron‘s shadow moved towards me, but I held my hand up to stop him before he could touch me.
“Do you love me?” I whispered, looking up at him.
“Yes, very much!” he insisted, dropping to his knees in front of me.
“I’m so confused,” he added, shaking his head. “I know what this looks like, but I want you, Char, I love you–”
“I think you should go,” I whispered, cutting him off. As much as I wanted to hear something that would explain away his infidelity, I couldn’t listen to him right then.             
“What?” he asked, leaning closer to hear me better.
I glanced up and looked into his eyes for the first time since I learned he was cheating on me. He must have seen something reflected back in my eyes because despair washed over his face.
“I want you to leave,” I replied a little louder.
*****
You can find more information about Hannah at:



Giveaway rules:
  • You must be a follower of this blog
  • If you're not following Hannah, you should!
  • You must leave a comment with an email addy
This giveaway will be open until the end of the month!


26 comments:

Jennifer Lane said...

Hubby in love with best friend? Not good. Not good at all. I have Pieces of Us on my Nook and look forward to reading it! Great excerpt and it will be cool to see how your work as social worker influences the story.

June M. said...

This sounds like a really good, emtional love story. It will be interesting to see how Cam deals with Charlotte moving on and meating someone else. I would love to win a copy of this, but will probably need to keep a box of tissues handy while reading it.

Thank you both for the guest blog/excerpt and for the giveaway.

GFC: June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Hannah Downing said...

Thanks ladies!! I am so happy to be able to be a part of this great extravaganza!!

Judy said...

Loved the excerpt, your book looks very good!! I also like the cover, it is very eye-catching.

Judy
magnolias_1[at]msn[dot]com

Nicki Elson said...

Such a heart wrenching scene here! And stupid, naive me is still hoping there's some other explanation. Guess I'm just gonna have to read to find out. ;)

inga said...

I am sorry to say that (well, actually, I am not)I WANT to win this book! :)

Thanks for the excerpt, it was heartbreaking and emotional. I went through something similar not so long time ago, and I felt like experiencing it again. Very good excerpt and well written! Makes you want to read it NOW!

I tweeted about it and also follow in Twitter and Facebook.

inga(dot)kupp(at)gmail(dot)com

inga from http://www.ingasilbergbooks.com/

Robin said...

Your excerpt has me hooked! I need to read this book!

Robin D
robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

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