Saturday, 30 November 2013

Promo ~ Innocent War by Susan Violante ~

Innocent War

Innocent War
Behind An Immigrant's Past Book 1 Susan Violante

Number 16 On the Cyrus Webb's Conversations Book Club Top 50 Non- Fiction Titles for 2009

Based on the taped memoirs Susan Violante received from Nino, her father, Innocent War is a boy's adventure showing a child's point of view through the war's hardships, dangers, and tragedies, combined with his own humor, innocence, and awakening as he grows up. Join Susan as she gets to know her father, and finds herself within the family she thought she knew.



Born and raised in Venezuela from Italian immigrants, Author Susan Violante completed a BA degree in Political and Administrative Cs. before moving to the US. Although she built a career as a Business Analyst / Accountant since 1987, she also kept herself active as a Freelance writer. Violante finally retired from Accounting and leaped to the publishing Industry; she currently works as the Managing Editor for Reader Views, First Chapter Plus, and I have Something to Say Press, LLC while dedicating the remainder of her time to her own writing.

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Friday, 29 November 2013

Cover Reveal ~ Do You Believe? by L. Chapman ~

Do you Believe? (A Believe Christmas special)

Author - L. Chapman

Hosted by - Hooked on Books


  For Megan, the time she has long dreamed of is finally here. Come watch the power of friendship evolve and discover how significant a true family bond is. You’ll see Mark and Megan as they lead little Lucy through the joys of the holiday season. With the impending holiday just a day away, there are a lot of enjoyable family events planned. Come and relish this special day with the entire gang from the Believe Series. Get to know the characters you’ve grown to love even more, while meeting new, fresh faces at the same time. For the Believe family, will they all get the Christmas they’ve been dreaming of?

About the Author

 L. Chapman was born in and continues to live in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom. She has spent most of her life helping others at one time, a DJ for a special needs club. Blending her love of helping others and her love of children, L dreams to one day own and operate a childcare nursery that will help mainstream special needs children with others. In the rare times that L. is not working to help others or maniacally writing, she enjoys making a mess of things while creating beautifully detailed greeting cards. She spends time relaxing with family, friends, and good books. L. loves to travel and has been to many places in the United Kingdom; her favorite places all involve the ocean. She hopes to one day share a kiss with her happily-ever-after in the romantic shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Should she ever get over her fear of flying, those kisses may be shared in the shadows of the Egyptian Pyramids. Ever the fussy eater, L. has never once tasted peanut butter, and she despises coffee. If you should feel the need to bribe her, it is suggested that you bring chocolate, as that is one of her known weaknesses.

Do you believe is part of the believe series Book 1 - Trust Book 2 - Veiled Book 3 - TBR -early 2014

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Twitter - @LChapman23

Buy Links

Monday, 25 November 2013

Promo ~ Before We Fall by Courtney Cole

One dark moment was all it took to turn twenty-four-year-old Dominic Kinkaide's world black. On the night of his high school graduation, a single incident changed him forever, and he became a hardened man-famous in the eyes of the world, but tortured inside. Now all he cares about is losing himself in the roles that he plays.

At twenty-three years old, Jacey Vincent doesn't realize how much her father's indifference has affected her. She is proof that sometimes it isn't one specific moment that wrecks a person, but an absence of moments. She tries to find acceptance in the arms of men to fill the void-a plan that has worked just fine for her, until she meets Dominic.  When jaded Dominic and strong-willed Jacey are thrown together, the combination of his secrets and her issues turns their attraction into the perfect storm. It could change their lives for good-if it doesn't tear them both apart…

Amazon US ~ Barnes & Nobles  ~ iTune  ~ Kobo


He laughs, a velvety sound. “Babe, I could show you a bunch of things you’ve never done.

And I guarantee, you’d like every one of them.” 

For some reason, I have no doubt of that. It’s an exciting thought.

He bends his head and nips at my neck, then soothes the bite with a soft suck. His lips, so soft and smooth, ease the pain of the bite away. His nearness is intoxicating and everything about him screams that he is capable of so many things… things that would please me… things that would embarrass me in the light of day. 

But still, I don’t move. I stay right with him, my gaze frozen on his. Keeping his eyes on mine, he slowly dips his head and plunges his tongue into my mouth, completely plundering it, consuming me yet again. It’s like he can’t kiss me without devastating all of my senses at once, annihilating my thoughts and causing my blood to throb as it all races toward one destination… the V between my legs. 

Right where I ache for him. 

He’s like a drug….and one taste just isn’t enough. 

I open up my mouth and breathe around his lips, sucking in air, grasping at his back and pulling him closer. He reaches back and grabs my hands, holding them together at my wrists and pinning them over my head against the plexi-glass gondola cage. I’m trapped here with him, yet there’s no place I’d rather be. 

The energy around us now is primal and raw…and it’s exhilarating too, because we’re out in public. Every time the gondola swoops along the ground before it begins its ascent upward again, anyone could look in and see what we’re doing. They could see Dominic pinning me against the wall, and his other hand buried in my crotch, if only they looked closely. 

Honestly, I think he might like that idea.

“What are you doing?” I finally manage to whisper, pulling away just ever so slightly. 

His eyes are a little unfocused, his pupils dilated. “What would you like for me to do, Jacey?” 

He knows. Oh, God, he knows. He knows exactly what I’d like for him to do.

A bit about the author: Courtney Cole 
Displaying ColeI, Courtney.jpg

Courtney Cole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives near Lake Michigan with her family.  She's always working on her next project... or staring dreamily out her office window.  To learn more about her, please visit 

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Friday, 22 November 2013

Cover Reveal ~ Desprite Measures by Deborah Jay

On the surface she's a cute and feisty blonde, a slender pocket rocket fitness coach. But Cassiopeia Lake has a secret; she's really a force of nature – an elemental.
Water sprite, Cassie, has lived undisturbed in her native Scottish loch for eons. Now, one encounter too many with modern plumbing has driven her to live in human guise along with her selkie boyfriend, Euan. It’s all going fine - until a nerdy magician captures Cassie to be an unwilling component in his crazy dangerous experiment.
Escape is only Cassie’s first challenge.
She’s smitten by her fellow prisoner, the scorching hot fire elemental, Gloria. But how do you love someone you can never touch?
And what do you do when your boyfriend starts to hero-worship your persecutor? Not to mention that tricky situation of being the prize in a power contest between two rival covens of witches.
So when Gloria’s temper erupts and she sets out to murder the magician, can Cassie keep her loved ones safe from the cross-fire, or will she be sucked into the maelstrom of deadly desires and sink without trace?
Cassie learns the hard way that friendship depends on truth, and that love and lust are not the same.

Released ~ 13th December 2013

About the Author

Deborah Jay writes fantasy and urban fantasy featuring complex, quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.
Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find the time.
She has a dream of a day job, riding, training and judging competition dressage horses and riders, and also writes books and magazine features on the subject under the name Debby Lush.
Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many horses, and her complete inability to cook.
A lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy, she started writing her first novel aged eight, and has never stopped. Her debut novel, epic fantasy THE PRINCE’S MAN, first in a trilogy and winner of a UK Arts Board award, is now available from most ebook retailers, and her Urban Fantasy (first in a series), DESPRITE MEASURES, a tale of a Scottish water sprite trying to live as a human, is due out for the Christmas season.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Blog Tour ~ Getting Back Annie by S.L. Siwik ~

After Ryan's ultimate betrayal, I struggle to pick up the pieces of my life and move on. Brian is a wonderful boyfriend, but even he can't stop the nightmares or the anger I feel insideI feel myself slipping with no hopes of coming back the person I was before, the most unlikely of people steps in to save me...Ben Hurley. I love Brian, but Ben is persistent. He refuses to give up on me, or our love


Twenty minutes later, the limo was parked outside my apartment building. “Are you going to be okay?” I asked Kat. She nodded. Then I glanced at Ben, my eyes asking the same question. 
“You should go now before I convince you to stay,” he replied, his hands clasped together. 
 I shivered at his words knowing just how easily he’d be able to keep me there if he wanted to. “You didn’t answer my question, though. Are you going to be okay?” 
His jaw clenched as he looked at me with the wildest eyes I had ever seen. “Annie, if you don’t go right now, I will convince you to stay. And if you come with me, I will do unspeakably dirty things to you. I’ll do things to your body that I’m sure no man has. And when I’m done, there will be nothing virginal about you anymore. You’ll be in the confessional a month straight after I’m finished.” 
I shivered violently, because I knew he meant every word of what he said. “Bye.” I said to Kat. “It was so nice meeting you.” She nodded, frowning.  I glanced at Ben. “Goodbye. For good.” I was honest enough to know that I needed to run from Ben to keep myself from making a mistake. A strong hand grabbed my arm, furious eyes staring at me. I yanked my arm out of Ben’s grasp. “What do you want? I said, ‘Goodbye.’” 
“I’m not leaving,” he replied. 
Furious, I pointed to the car. “Get in and go.” 
He shook his head, placing his hands on his hips. “Not until you tell me why him and why not me.” 
“Hmm. Let’s see. He can commit to a relationship…not run away for three weeks after making love to someone!” I shouted. 
Ben grabbed his hair, yanking it. “That wasn’t my fault! I had to stay away!” I rolled my eyes dramatically, making sure he saw before I turned. “Get back here!” he shouted.  I glanced over my shoulder. “What else? That can’t be the only reason.” 
“You need another reason? You and I together are a powder keg, one match away from exploding,” I said, “We’re either screaming at each other, punching each other, or trying to tear each other’s clothes off.” 
“So. Fucking. What?” He shouted. 
“And I don’t want that kind of chaos in my love life. Loving Brian is easy. It doesn’t wreck me like you do,” I admitted, “Those three weeks that you were gone…those were the three worst weeks of my life. Going into your apartment that night after George called me…I felt physically ill.” 
“They were the worst three weeks for me, too. It’ll never happen again. I swear it,” he replied adamantly. 
I shook my head. “I don’t want this craziness.” I turned to walk into the apartment. 
“What if I need you to save me?” he asked. His words stopped me in my tracks. I glanced back, and my breath caught in my throat at the vulnerability in his expression.  “Your love is changing me, princess. You give me purpose, something else other than fighting, and fucking, and just coasting through life. You make me work for it every Goddamn second. I need that.” 
I was so turned on that I was in physical pain.  “I think you’ll be fine without me.” 
He clenched his jaw, furious eyes glaring at me. “Fine. You want him? You want to go back to the old, boring story just because you know how it’s going to end?  Go on ahead. But, before you go, fix me.” 
I blinked. “What are you talking about?” 
He pointed at me. “You broke me! After I left the hospital that night, I tried to lose myself in someone.  I wanted to forget all the memories and pain. You were with Brian. Nothing was going to happen between us.” He pointed at his crotch. “He wouldn’t get hard! I couldn’t do it! So, after I left embarrassed as shit, I tried again another night. Nothing. I saw you a week later, and it worked perfectly fine. Raging fuckin’ hard on all night long.” I had never been more turned on that I was at that moment. “So, undo whatever you did to me right now!” 
“You want to be turned off by me?” I asked. He nodded as I walked towards him. Stopping right in front of him, I placed my hand over his heart, looking into his eyes. “I love you…madly, passionately, irrevocably.  It’s becoming difficult for me to see a future that doesn’t include you. I want your heart, your touch, your fidelity. I want you to look at no other woman the way you look at me. I want your body to only respond that way for me. I want a ring on my finger, a huge wedding, and to be the mother of your children. I want to go to sleep with you inside me and wake up the same way in your bed. I want to fight with you when you’re being an insufferable asshole, which is at least once a day. And then I want you to show me how you’ll make it up to me. I will be jealous of any woman who licks her lips at you, which is about ten times a day, and I give no promises that I won’t go bat-shit crazy on them.” 
I smirked, waiting for him to turn and run into the car. Those words would send any commitmentphobe running. His eyes still watched me like he wanted to rip my dress right off me and take me against the car door. “I thought you said you were trying to turn me off, not on.” 
I blinked, thrown completely off guard. “What are you talking about?” 
I felt his heart beneath my hand pick up in tempo. For the first time, I felt it beating wildly. 
He glanced down at his chest. “Look at that,” he murmured, placing his hand over mine. “You have my heart in the palm of your hand.” 
Anger coursed through my veins. “Say it. I want to hear you say those three little words.” This would make him run for sure. 
He smirked. “I am hungry.” 
I growled. “The other three words.” 
His smirk remained. “I want you.” 
If he was going to play games, so be it. “No, I want to hear you say that you love me.” 
His eyes narrowed, his lips in a tight line. “Why? So you can break me? So, you can hear me tell you how I feel and then watch you walk back to him? Tell me you’ll get back in that car with me now, and I’ll say it.” 
I knew it was a dirty trick, but it was all I had left. Besides, Ben never played fair anyways. I shrugged nonchalantly. “Just as I thought. You’re incapable of the words, because you don’t know what it is.” 
Ben grabbed my arm and yanked me back to him so hard that I smacked into his chest. I stared up at him in shock, anger, and arousal. “You forget that I first watched, then listened to you fuck him inmy apartment, in my bed. I listened to your moans of pleasure, your ‘Oh, yes, Brian,’ for hours on end all the while knowing that it should have been me in bed with you. Yet, I didn’t stop you from doing what you wanted. I didn’t try to rip you away from him while you tortured me every time you cried out his name.” He grabbed my face roughly. “So, don’t you dare fucking tell me that I don’t know what love is. Love is pain. It’s no coincidence that they’re both four letter words. And so is Anne.” 
A tear rolled down my eye, and his grip softened on my face. “I never meant to hurt you,” I whispered. “I don’t even remember that night. Everything after tossing the noodle onto your shirt is a complete blank to me.” 
“You might not remember it, princess, but I sure as hell can’t forget it.” 
I bristled at his words. “You want me to feel guilty for sleeping with Brian? How about the countless women over the last five years that you’ve slept with. Half of them you made out with in front of me! You’re upset that you’re the third man I slept with, but I’m your what? Five hundredth? Tell me how I should feel about that?!” I shouted. 
He shrugged, his lips still pulled in a tight line. “You shouldn’t give a fuck.” 
“Oh no? And why is that?” I asked while my blood temperature rose. 
“Because I would trade it all- every memory, every other woman for just one more night with you. That’s why you shouldn’t give a fuck. Because they never held a candle to you,” Ben replied matter-of-factly. My knees shook for a second, and I did not think that I was capable of being more turned on at that moment. How the hell did he always do this? “So, like I said before, if you’re going to run back to him, you need to fix my cock first and make it work again.” 
I smacked his chest hard. “No! I think I like it this way!” 
His eyes seared with pain. “You want to torture me? If you’re with him, you won’t give me a chance at some peace, some solace? If you’re happy with him, why do I have to be alone forever?” 
Tears streamed down my eyes as I felt my heart shutter at the unbearable weight pressed against it.  “I will not cheat,” I whispered over and over, while I shook my head wildly.  
His hand released my jaw, and it slid down my back, caressing me. It made me sob harder by just how incredible it felt. “I may not give you flowers all the time, or tell you that you’re beautiful a thousand times a day, or slow dance with you all the time like he does, but I know what I feel. And I know you feel it, too.” 
I yanked my body away from him. “Bye, Ben.”  
I didn’t wait for his response as I ran into the apartment building. Once in the elevator I pressed the button for my floor. I leaned back against the wall, barely able to breathe as tears streamed down my face. I hated saying goodbye to him, I hated that he kept chasing after me, I hated that I wanted him to, but most of all I hated how much of a bitch I felt saying goodbye to him. That feeling was becoming unbearable lately. 
I glanced at the stainless steel paneled wall, seeing the reflection of my teary self. “You’re better than this. Figure yourself out.” I wiped away the tears before stepping off the elevator, trying to pull myself together. 
Taking a deep breath, I opened the door to my apartment and found a tired Brian on the couch, flipping through TV channels. He glanced up at me, smiling. “You look breathtaking,” he greeted. 
I smiled at him before jumping into his arms. Wrapping his arms around me tightly, he kissed my forehead. “Is everything alright?” 
I nodded, hugging him tightly. “Now it is.” 
“I missed you,” he whispered in my ear.  
I hugged him tighter. “I missed you, too.” 
Brian pulled my body away from his, tilting my head back. “Are you okay?” he asked, his voice filled with concern. 
I nodded wearing a tight lipped smile. “I was just crying. It was a wedding and all.” 
“It seems like something else is bothering you, though,” he commented. 
My body was filled with aching raw need from Ben. I needed to suppress these feelings for him. Brian was my fiancé. If I just held on to Brian tighter, we’d be fine. That’s what I needed to do, hold on tighter to our love. The guilt I felt sat heavy on me. I should completely Brian’s; that’s what he deserved. But, I wasn’t. 
I lifted the hem of my dress and straddled him. I ran my hand over his body and felt his physical reaction towards me. Wordlessly, I slipped down his shorts and boxers and he raised his hips to aid me. Slipping him out, I pulled my underwear to the side and stopped momentarily. “Should I go get a condom?”  
His eyes burned brightly, filled with lust and love. “You’re going to be my wife. There’s no need.” 
With my hand firmly gripping his erection, I slid him inside me, watching his eyes roll back in pleasure.  Wrapping my arms around his neck, I kissed him deeply as I rolled my hips slowly. His fingers threaded through my hair, his other hand rested on my hip. We stay, deep, slow, connected as Brian’s love takes me to the height of ecstasy.  We come undone together, and he holds me to his chest tightly. Tears spill down my cheeks at the bitter sweetness of the moment. There was no way out of this without hurting one of them and myself in the process. But, Brian’s love was gentle, calm, enduring. It was the type of love futures were made from. 
When I lifted my head he kissed me deeply, and I sighed in contentment. 
 I pressed my forehead to his. “Help me out of this dress. I want to make you a nice, romantic dinner tonight.” 
“Oh, yeah?” he asked before kissing me again.  
I nodded. “You’ve been so wonderful lately. I just wanted to do something to show my appreciation.” 
I stood up and walked into the bedroom. He wasn’t far behind. Adoring fingers trailed down my arm as his lips pressed against my neck.  
“I have another idea.” He unzipped my dress. “Why don’t we order take out and spend the rest of the night in bed?” He slipped the straps of my gown down over my shoulders. The dress pooled at my feet. Brian kissed down my shoulder as his arm wrapped around my body, pulling me tightly against him. I could already feel his need against my lower back.  
Letting out a shaky breath, I nodded. “That’s one hell of a plan.”   


I was super duper happy when i received a copy of the ARC to review and opportunity join the tour, following on from the first book Winning back Ryan. I completely loved WBR, i wished it never end and now i have the follow on in my hands! 

As soon as you start reading it, all the characters came rushing back...oh how i miss them. Especially Ben, loved his charming cheeky character and i get a hell lot out of him in this book, which is a bonus. He's just character that you love and hate. 

As you could of guess by the title it's about getting back Annie but who? The follow on is solely about Annie how she see everything differently moulding herself to suit others and losing herself along the way. finally being together with Brian, everything is going smooth like moose but something just seem to be missing. Brian is everything she wants and safe but does she dare walk the danger zone and step out of the box and find what she really desire. 

"Just because something ends, doesn't mean you've failed. Sometimes things need to end, so that better things can begin"

To be honest after reading the book i got a little mixed feeling. Don't get be wrong i really  enjoyed it but i was hoping for something I little bit more. More action, more fight and more build up Annie and Brian relationship, as its just fallen into place, i know they have been best friends since whenever but still its a little be different, he's got the title ' boyfriend' now. The chemistry between Ben and Annie was awesome but I didn't see any fight from Brian, especially he finally got what he long waited for. I was expecting a awesome love triangle, especially all three characters are so strong in their own sense. I mean there is a triangle but its more Annie battling her guiltiness and mental and physical mind after Ryan. Both guys are just waiting for Annie to make the decision but she just doesn't know and sometimes I just want to scream, come on its obvious who you want, stop hurting the other one. 

"Annie, if you don't go right now, I will convince you to stay. And if you come with me, I will do unspeakably dirty things to you. I'll do things to you body that I'm sure no man has. And when I'm done, there will be nothing virginal about you anymore. You'll be in the confessional a month straight after I'm finished.    

If you've read the first one or you're a big Ben (yep, I've heard its big ;) fan) Then you should definitely read this. It full of cheeky banter between and sweetness between Annie and Ben. Gentle and caring from Brian and best friends like Max and George on stand by. Its about feeling lost and just doing what other people please to fit back in but there is a knight at the end of the dark tunnel that is shining the light for her. Who will she finally release is right for her...

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Promo ~ Catch Me by Claire Contreras


In the past, I've always been given everything I've wanted, but nothing that I truly needed. I've experienced a lot of things in my twenty-five years, everything except the one thing I want. It's the one thing that can’t be bought. It can't even be taken, it has to be given. And nobody has ever given it to me, not really anyway. 

Not until him.

Music is the center of both our lives, but as he found his place in it, I lost my way. He soared, while I spiraled down a destructive path.
I lost myself in more ways than I can count.

The ironic thing is that I didn’t realize how lost I was until he found me. 

And now that he has, I have to wonder if he'll stay around long enough to catch me.


A bit about the author Claire Contreras 

Claire Contreras graduated with her BA in Psychology from Florida International University. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, two little boys, and three dogs. 

Her favorite past times are: daydreaming, writing, and reading. 

She has been described as a random, sarcastic, crazy girl with no filter. 

Life is short, and it’s more bitter than sweet, so she tries to smile as often as her face allows. She enjoys stories with happy endings, because life is full of way too many unhappy ones or ones that will scare the daylights out of her and have her looking over her shoulder at every turn. Like I said, she's very random. 



I nod, now thinking we’re hanging out with a psychotic emo guy, but say nothing about it. I scan over the VIP area again and see a couple of familiar faces: models, actors. My eyes stop when I reach the group of guys we previously saw and this time I feel my blood drain from my body. It happens quickly; the blood drains and rises, causing my heart to sputter rapidly and my breath to hitch.

            “What? What happened?” Nina asks, her voice alarmed. “You’re fucking killing me, Bee.”

            I register her words and let go of the grip I have on her arm. “Sorry,” I say, but my eyes are still on the guy looking at me. With the dim lighting I can’t see their real color, I can’t see the richness of them or the waves they have, but I can feel the intensity and the heat they let out as they pin me.

            “You know him?” Nina asks.

            I nod, still looking. “His name is Nick. I met him the other day.”

            Nick, seemingly reading my lips, smiles. It’s a very slow and sensual smile that takes over his face. It’s not really a heartwarming smile, even though it does warm parts of my body.

            “He’s looking at you like he wants to eat you,” Nina comments.

            My heart is still pumping at a ridiculous pace, and for some reason, I cannot look away. I can’t even play it cool and pretend I didn’t see him or that I’m not completely attracted to him.

            “Your drink,” Skylar says, stepping in front of me and blocking my view of Nick, and I’m oddly thankful for this. 


Eight Years ago My eyes burn from tears that mask my eyes but refuse to fall as I stare out into the ocean. Focusing on the waves crashing the rocks below, my eyes trail along the water. A body of blue so big and wondrous that I can’t decide where it begins and where it ends, because it doesn’t—the ocean doesn’t have a beginning and an ending, it just is. Much like me, it just is. Except I do have an end, and that ocean is it for me. I clutch the red bars before me when sobs threaten to overtake me, thoughts of the hell I’ve been living seeping through my memories. Closing my eyes, I see his strawberry hair and the light freckles that paint over his beautiful smile, and the pain stabs me 

The reality of what I did spreads through me as the sobs consume me. 

I killed him. I killed him. The only person who was ever there for me, the one that showed me what love was supposed to be, and I killed him. Tears stain my face and my dyed blonde hair, wild from the turbulent wind, sticks to it. I try to swallow back my broken cries as I look around, my eyes squinting at the sign beside me that reads: Hope. My shoulders shake as new tears rise and my throat opens up with cries that refuse to be held back. 

Then I see him, or he sees me. I close my eyes to the wind once more, relishing the feel of its caress against my skin before opening them and 

“What are you doing here?” he asks.I mirror his question, unable to find my own thoughts.

“Looking for you,” he mutters, rendering me speechless. I open my mouth to speak again but uncontrollable shivers invade my body making it impossible for me to form words. My eyes roll back shakily and panic floods through me because I can’t see him anymore. I can’t see the 

When I was six years old, my father held both my arms and shook me so “Who do you want to stay with, Brooklyn?” he seethed. “Who do I looked between both him and my mother. She was standing there with tears running down her face, her hands covering her mouth, and her eyes screaming what her mouth wouldn’t. I didn’t want to choose between them. Truthfully, they were both a terrible option, even in my six-year old mind I knew that. They were always arguing, always fighting, always screaming—my mother always throwing items at my father. But they were my parents and I loved them both. They were all I knew. 

In the end, I never had to end up choosing because they chose each other. They always did. One thing I learned from seeing my parents is that some people would rather stay in a toxic relationship than experience the fear of the unknown. I understand that now. They chose that life and I have made an effort to choose to not become that with anybody. As much as I have to love them because they’re my parents, I never want to marry someone like my father, and I sure as hell never want to become my mother. I’ve tried so hard to distance myself from them and their exuberant lives, yet here I am, waiting to speak to my father. 

Waiting to see what favor he’s going to ask of me, because there’s always a favor to ask. That’s the thing about my parents: I love them because they gave me life but in return love me under conditions—always theirs. And they don’t leave room for interpretation when I don’t agree to their favors. They threaten me with taking away things like my education. My mother is the queen of threats, amongst other things, and she uses that to her advantage. Boyfriends, cars, concerts, school, clothing, friends … you name it, she has taken it away from me. 

At the sound of heels clinking on the marble floor, I rise out of my seat. 

“Your father will see you now,” Sherry, his assistant informs me as she turns to usher me to his office. I roll my eyes at her when she turns around. I don’t need somebody to walk me to his damn office. I’ve been coming here since I was a child. 

Despite the three mansions he owns, this building (along with three others) is where my father lives. Sherry suddenly jolts to a stop, the short red bob that frames her face swaying into her eyes. She pushes it back quickly and presses down on her earpiece to speak. 

“Yes, sir. I’ll be right down,” she says to whomever is on the other end then she turns and smiles at me. “You can make your way in now, 

“Thanks,” I mutter as I push the two massive iron doors open to enter the foyer that leads to my father’s lair. When I reach the threshold of his office, I stop and look around. Everything is as manicured as it always is: the wooden shelves filled with LPs that adorn the right side of his office are spotless, matching the larger-than-life stark wooden desk that sits in the middle. It’s simple yet masculine, but the thing I love the most about his offices, all three of them, is the stunning view that the floor-to-ceiling windows hold. This one is the most impressive, in my opinion, as it showcases Hollywood. The bold iconic letters on the canyon are as clear as a postcard from here. I’ve always been drawn to those letters. That sign is the one thing that makes me smile, despite the burden the word 

“Hey, Baby Girl,” my father croons as he swivels his chair to face 

“Hey, Pa,” I say, retuning his smile as I round his desk to greet him. 

He opens his arms for me and pulls me to sit on his lap, his green yes bright as he examines my face. That’s the thing about my father, as much as I want to despise him for some of the things he has said to me in the past, and for making me feel like I’ll never be good enough for… anything, I freaking love him. I lean my face into his chest and breathe him in; he smells like cigarettes and honey. He always smells like honey for some reason, I think it’s the shampoo he uses. When I pull back I dust some little white flakes from his light brown wavy hair and smile.

“What’s up?” I ask, getting up and perching myself on the edge of He exhales a long breath. “Are you still dead set on that microphone company?” he asks. 

The swinging of my legs die down and I swallow loudly, waiting for the impending question. I already know what he’s going to ask of me, so I start to blink away the tears that I know will soon form in my eyes. I have an issue when speaking to authority. For some reason tears well up in my eyes when they speak to me. I can sit here and psychoanalyze myself the way I’ve done, the way others have done, and say that it’s because the authoritative people in my life never paid attention to me when I was a child, but that would be an odd reason for the water in my eyes. Regardless of what the reason behind it is, they’re there, swimming in my sockets, burning before my iris, and threatening to spill out. Blinking one last time, I tear my gaze away from his face and look out into the horizon. My parents have always had this pull on me. They know how to twist my arm hard enough to see that I agree to what they ask of me. Growing up, my mother wanted me to follow in her footsteps and be a model, as if anybody can just snap their fingers and become one. When she saw that I didn’t have a model body like her, despite her efforts in making me diet from a young age, she gave up on me—with much dismay, I might add. I decided to study business because I wanted to start my own empire—of anything. I just wanted to be part of something 

Petty dreams, I guess, even for an eighteen year old that had just gotten out of a stint at rehab. When I declared my major to be business, I had to convince my mother that I would use it in fashion one way or another. That was the only way she would agree to not take my car away from me and continue paying my tuition. My father, of course, would defend me, saying that business was a great option. He didn’t care much about what I did, he had my older brother to hound and make an employee of his. Still, the fact remained that I was good for the music industry, as much as I hated it. I was good at scouting for talent. I was the best, really, though nobody knew this because my father’s label, Harmon 

My father is the best there is, and his label is the biggest in the world. Nobody can take that away from him, but he lacked something that he had when he first started out: the spark. The one thing that separates him from the rest of the guys trying to sign artists to their labels: the drive. New artists come to us because a lot of people they look up to are signed here, but Harmon is always looking for different sounds, unheard talent. My dad doesn’t scout anymore because he’s built an empire with the Harmon name and branched it out from music to clothing and alcohol. 

 “Yes,” I say, my voice steady, even though I can feel the anger burning from within. “We’re doing really well. I really believe in my brand.” I’ve been working with my best friend Allie on a line of microphones. Obviously my parents think it’s a joke, but ever since one of the biggest entertainers, Shea Roberts, started using them, our line has 

 “I know that, sweetheart, and Fab is an amazing brand,” he says in an exhale. “But I need you in Harmon.” I turn my face back to him, feeling those words like a jab in the gut, not that I expect him to care about the way they make me feel. My eyes take him in again, he looks dashing, as usual, with his light brown hair brushed perfectly and his tailored blue suit fitted perfectly over his body, but he looks so exhausted. Chris Harmon has been overworking himself for the past forty years and it’s finally catching up to him. His deep green eyes plead with me and I know he’s about to go in for the kill. I also know 

I’ll fall for it, so I put my hands up so that he’ll let me speak “You know, all my life I’ve done everything I’ve thought you guys wanted me to do.” I pause when he raises an eyebrow and gives me a look. “I’ve done these things hoping you guys would notice me, be proud of me. And it’s never mattered because everything I’ve ever done gets overlooked. I know that I’ll never be as good as Hendrix, but anytime I find something that I think I can finally excel at, one of you takes it away from me. When will you be happy with what I’ve done? What do I have to do?” I ask, waving my hands around for dramatic effect.

He walks over, moving his seat in front of me. When he stops before me, he cups my chin so that I’ll look into his serious eyes. “Bee, I am proud of you! We’re all proud of you! Look at how far you’ve come in just a few years. You turned your life around. You quit all your bad habits and got back on your feet. Do you know how hard it is for some people to do that in this city? It’s because of how much I value you that I need your help. I need you to help me find new artists…”

He lets the question hang between us. His eyes tell me that he’s not really asking me to do this—he’s telling me that I will. I roll my neck and look outside again. The sunny sky that’s slowly clouding, the cars stuck in traffic on the highway, the nightclubs that I used to frequent, the streets that made me crazy once and restored me to believe in myself 

“What do you want me to do?” I ask. 

“I need you to move to New York. You can work out of there. Hey, 

maybe on your free time you can work with your Aunt Mireya. She can help you out with that line of yours,” he offers with a smile.

“How thoughtful of you,” I quip. 

He raises an eyebrow but lets out a laugh. “Always the smart alec,” he says. “You can leave tomorrow. I’ll have the plane ready for you. You can stay at our place in the city, and your brother will walk you through anything he needs you to do in the office. What time can you be ready?” he asks, getting up from his chair and shrugging on his suit jacket. 

He’s effectively dismissing me, knowing he just got me to agree to something that I never concretely said yes to. Knowing that he’s asking me to give up everything I’ve been working on. For a second I wonder what would happen if I turn him down, and then I have a flashback to things that have happened when I’ve turned him down in the past. I know 

“Good seeing you, Dad,” I mutter, turning to walk out of his office.I hear his footsteps follow me and stiffen when he grabs my bicep and turns me around to face him. “Hey, you’re the best there is at this, Baby Girl. Be happy, you’re going to change people’s lives.”

I guess in a sense he’s right, I do change people’s lives when I offer them a chance to sign with Harmon Records. I also effectively screw over a lot of them, but I try not to dwell on that thought. 

“I’ll be ready at ten,” I say, in response to his previous question. “I’ll call Hendrix to let him know I’m coming.” He smiles his empty yet charismatic smile. “He already knows you 

That doesn’t surprise me and as I turn to walk away, one last thing occurs to me. I turn around and ask him before I lose my nerve. “Can we maybe not tell anybody in the company who I am?” I know this is something my brother still struggles with, the idea that people have that he hasn’t earned his place. They all think he was just placed there because he’s my father’s son. They’re not entirely wrong, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that my brother has been working since he was sixteen. 

His eyebrows furrow. “You don’t want people to know that you’re my daughter?” he asks, and for a moment I think he may be hurt by this. 

Maybe he is, maybe I don’t care. 

“Nope. I want to do this for me, to prove myself worthy of working 

His mouth pops open and I know he wasn’t expecting that one. 

The first chance he got, my brother Hendrix took the job of CCO and ran with it, never looking back or wondering whether or not he was a good 

“But you’re a Harmon, of course you’re worthy of working here. It’s your company, Brooklyn,” he says, frowning.

I shake my head. “No, Dad, it’s your company. The artists that I sign from here on out are my artists.”

He searches my face as if trying to figure me out. “Are you saying you want a commission? Because that’s already assumed, Brooklyn,  “I never did before,” I say quietly with a slight shrug. 

He lets out a laugh. “Whose commission would you have wanted, 

I grind my teeth together in hopes that I won’t lash out. 

“From what I remember, you got a lot more than signing brags with Shea,” he says. He knows he’s hitting a nerve there, and it’s a low blow,  “I can’t believe you just said that,” I say, my voice a broken 

He shrugs. “Yeah, well, it is what it is, right? Be at the airport tomorrow by nine.” He shoots the last part over his shoulder as he turns and walks away. I hear him tell Sherry he’s headed to his next meeting. 

The difference in the way he treats me and all of his employees is incredible, you would think he fathered them and not me. I don’t call him out on it though. I just let it be like. My best friend Ryan used to get mad at me for that, but somehow I always find a way to excuse his behavior and berate my mother’s instead. She is much worse, after all. My father comes from nothing; he’s the oldest of three children of a cocaine addict and a deceased father. Growing up in Brooklyn wasn’t a walk in the park for him and he doesn’t take anything he has for granted. I think he’s done a pretty good job in instilling those morals on to us. My mother, on the other hand, thinks everything is owed to her. The air she breathes should pay her because she allows it to go into her golden lungs, that’s how she sees it. 

I’ve always wondered what attracted my father to her to begin with I take a moment to gather my breath and make sure my tears aren’t going to spill over before I begin to walk quickly. He stops to pick up some papers from Sherry and I make my way to the elevators. I know he has to walk by me on his way to the conference room, so I take a deep breath and click the down button when I see him approaching.

“Hey, Dad,” I call out and wait for him to acknowledge me. “For the record, nobody knows I signed Shea. I gave you all the credit.”

Thankfully the elevator door closes before I get a chance to glimpse his face one last time. It’s not like he would ever apologize to me. He’ll never tell me I’m right, and he’ll never thank me. And I think I’m okay with

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