There are so many good indie books being published, but sometimes it's hard to know where to start with these books. I'm always interested in recommendations of books that are must-reads but that haven't gotten much press, and I also wanted to help promote indie authors and their works. Hence Go Indie was born. This is a new feature on Portrait of a Book that will showcase some of these indie titles in a variety of ways, from excerpts to guest posts and interviews with indie authors.
Authors: If you're interested in having your book featured as part of Go Indie, fill out this form.
Without further ado, here is today's feature!
By: Jodi Lamm
Published By: Self-Published
Release Date: Oct. 29, 2012
Buy the Book: Amazon
Goodreads Summary: You don’t want to read this book. I’m warning you. This isn’t a heartwarming, boy-meets-girl, high school romance. I wish it were—God, do I ever. No, if you read this, you’re going to be angry… with me, mostly. You’ll probably yell at me, if you’re the type of person who yells at books. You’ll tell me not to be so stupid, but I won’t listen. I’ll be exactly as stupid as I need to be to destroy everything I love because that’s who I am: a walking, talking tragedy. That’s who I’ve always been. But if you’re determined to read on despite my warning, I may as well introduce myself. My name is Claude Frollo, I’m nineteen going on ninety, and this is my story. It isn’t pretty, but it’s honest. And it’s the only story I have left to tell.
Enjoy this excerpt from CHEMISTRY!
The first sensation I have upon my arrival at the Valentine’s Day Dance, besides nausea, is an unbearable chill. The importance of the cold in this place is something I can’t possibly exaggerate. I’m standing in the darkest corner I can find, wearing a suit I likely can’t afford, with Valentine, who’s wearing a specially-tailored tux I most certainly can’t afford. Still I bought it for him. Remember that, as this story progresses. Remember I loved him better than I loved myself.
Every guy in black and white. Every girl in pale blue or pink, dark mauve or evergreen. The colors in this place are chilling. Even the little white lights strung everywhere, which I guess are supposed to resemble stars, are more reminiscent of snowflakes to me. I can’t stand the cold. I hunch over in my corner and shiver.
Then I see a fire.
It’s Esmeralda. She’s dressed in orange and red and gold. She’s burning with color and warmth. It’s the warmth that draws me from my corner and forces me closer to her. I can’t help it. She’s dancing alone, and it’s unlike any dance I’ve ever seen. While every other couple clings to each other, bouncing or swaying together depending on the music, she twirls alone. Her arms are in the air. Her hands move like birds over her head. She’s spinning and laughing, and after a while, everyone stops to watch. The guys let go of their dates and stare at her. Even the girls can’t help watching. And I feel myself tense at the sight of that many eyes on her.
She’s so warm. I know I’m drawing closer to her than anyone else dares. I know it, but I can’t stop myself. Valentine tugs on my sleeve, but God help me, I brush him aside. I can hear Peter behind me, calling my name. All I can do is mutter, “Just… Just let me…” though I doubt he can hear me over the pounding music. I don’t care. I want, just once in my life, to know what it’s like to tremble with something other than cold.
And that’s when I see Phoebus staring at her from across the dance floor. He’s a lion watching a gazelle: determined, planning, hungry. He’s spotted his prey, and soon he’ll move in for the kill. I’m sick with worry and useless anger. I can’t stand it. How dare anyone watch her they way he does, the way all of them are watching her, the way I am… I shake the thought from my head.
This won’t do. She probably doesn’t even realize she’s attracting this kind of attention. She wouldn’t continue dancing if she did. So, thinking I will give her a quick word of caution, I reach out and touch her. And that is the first of many, many mistakes. If I were to choose a point at which everything begins to fall apart, this would be it. Because, as everyone knows, touching a fire only gets you burned.
Esmeralda stops dancing, which is exactly what I want, right? Only she’s giving me a look that makes me shrink back from her. She folds her arms and waits to hear what I have to say. Good, I tell myself. Talk to her. Explain yourself, so she doesn’t think you’re just some pervert who wanted to touch her.
“I… I…” I’m such a fool. “You should just… stop.” Idiot. “People are staring at you.” What people? People like you, Claude? Is that what you mean? You’re staring at her, and you don’t like how that makes you look? Or maybe you don’t like how that makes you feel. That must be it, Claude. You don’t like knowing you’re no better than Phoebus. He’s the lion and you’re the jackal, just waiting for a taste of his kill.
Her response to my intrusion is kinder than my own. “Leave me alone,” she says. But it scorches me far worse than any of the terrible things I said to myself.
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I am very excited to have one copy of Chemistry to give away! Please note that this book is only available as an ebook, as a .mobi or .epub file.
The contest is open internationally. Must be 13 to enter. Please see my Contest Policy for more information.
This contest will close on Saturday, April 13 at 12:01 AM.
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