I rarely put my standalone NA novel The Disappearing Girl on sale but the price will be chopped and available for 99 cents until 2/14. As part of the promotion, I'm also giving away bookmarks to US buyers. Simply email me your receipt from Amazon or Barnes & Nobles and your mailing address and I'll send you a free bookmark. Below is the summary, buy links and an excerpt.
Kayla Marlowe is slowly vanishing…
Last year, Kayla’s world imploded. Her beloved father died, leaving her alone with a narcissistic mother who is quick to criticize her daughter’s appearance. During her winter break from college, Kayla’s dangerous obsession with losing weight begins.
Kayla feels like her world changes for the better overnight. Being skinny seems to be the key to the happiness she has desperately been seeking. Her mother and friends shower her with compliments, telling her how fantastic she looks. Kayla is starving, but no one knows it.
Cameron Bennett explodes into Kayla’s life. He’s sexy and kind—he has every quality she has been looking for in a guy. As Cameron grows closer to Kayla and learns of how far she’s willing to go to stay thin, he becomes desperate to save her.
Kayla’s struggles with anorexia and bulimia reach a breaking point and she is forced to confront her body image issues in order to survive. She wonders if Cameron could be the one to help heal her from the pain of her past.
New Adult Contemporary-Ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations.
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-disappearing-girl-heather-topham-wood/1116265018
I had no idea how much time had passed while I stayed in the same position. The living room darkened, casting late-afternoon shadows across the wood flooring. I couldn’t move. Nothing could rouse me, not even the insistent ringing of the doorbell. My mother strode into the room, glaring at me, before answering the door.
“I’d say what a pleasant surprise, but we’d both know that was a lie,” she said. “She’s in the living room. Maybe you can talk some sense into her because I’m done with her melodrama.”
Heavy footsteps pounded in my direction. It took too much energy to lift my head, provoking me to stay still. A masculine growl grabbed my attention and I moved my head toward the disruption. My attention was captivated by a gorgeous set of deep blue eyes. They were filled with too many emotions for me to discern. Before I could prepare a response, a familiar pair of hands was lifting me off the loveseat. Faltering as my feet hit the ground; it took a moment for me to regain my bearings. When I came out of my stupor, I realized Cameron was standing before me.
My mother was behind him with her arms folded across her chest. They were staring at me expectantly, and it felt as if I was on trial and they were to be the ones to decide my fate. My lack of food and the sudden movement off the loveseat left me dizzy, and I grabbed the end table for balance.
I managed to croak out, “What are you doing here?”
Cameron stepped forward and cradled my face in his palms. “I was worried, Kayla. You hung up on me and then didn’t answer the phone. I thought something was wrong.”
“I’m sorry you wasted your time. As you can see, I’m perfectly all right,” I mumbled. I tried to take a step forward, but I stumbled again. Cameron pulled me toward him. Before I could react, I felt his hands slip under the edge of my sweatshirt and wrap around my waist.
I squirmed out of his grasp, but by the look on his face I could tell I was too late. Instead of addressing me, he spun on my mother. “Do you not see her? She’s been here a month. Have you bothered to look at her?”
My mother’s mouth hung open. Cameron didn’t wait for a reply. Instead, he crouched a little until his eyes were level with mine. “Babe, we’re leaving here. Let’s go pack your things. You can’t stay in this house anymore.”
He took me by the hand and led me toward the stairs. I flung his hand away. “What are you doing?”
“Kayla, you need help. I can feel the bones sticking out of your skin. I’ll be the asshole here if I have to, but I’m taking you to a doctor. This has gone on long enough.” He was practically snarling, and I could see a vein pulsing on his forehead.
I dug in my heels as he tried to reach for me again. “Stop it Cameron! I’m not going anywhere. I’m not someone you need to save.” I narrowed my eyes before sneering, “I’m not your mom.”
I had verbally punched him in the face. His jaw went slack and an angry flush colored his cheeks. “That was a really shitty thing to say. I’m going to chalk it up to you being sick and let it slide.” He spoke through clenched teeth.
“It’s true though, isn’t it? You couldn’t make her better and you can’t deal with it. Now, you’ve decided I need mending. You’re using me to make up for the things that happened to you as a kid. You couldn’t be a rescuer back then and you want the chance to be my knight in shining armor.”
I was a monster. His love for me was beautiful and I was twisting it into something hideous. I was trying to hurt him where I knew his deepest vulnerability lay. I wasn’t merely pushing Cameron away—I was attempting to hurl him into a black hole with the promise he would never return again.