Release Date: June 25th
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Every life has a different path full of sharp turns, smooth curves, and steep drop offs.
Hollis Murphy has a plan—college, career, boyfriend, love, marriage, family. A predictable, normal life. She’s on track until an outside force causes her to crash and burn. They call it an accident, because that’s the only word they know to explain what happens to her. It helps everyone move on with their lives, except for Hollis. She holds on to the belief that she’s been targeted for a reason.
Risher Stevenson is intelligent, caring, sweet, and the hottest boy Hollis has ever laid eyes on. He fits perfectly into her original plan for a normal life. Everyone loves him.
Benton Daniels is intelligent, caring, sweet, and the bravest boy Hollis has ever met. He doesn’t fit into her life but gives it purpose and makes it extraordinary. Everyone hates him.
One is bullied. One is tormented. All are judged. How will it STOP?
STOP! Excerpt #4
My parents were thrilled and scared with my decision. Mom knew when I needed a slight push in the right direction. My dad, on the other hand, wanted to lock me away in a safe cocoon. I knew if things didn’t work out at college for whatever reason, I could come back home and they wouldn’t make me feel like a failure. I’d been confident about my decision until today. Like most things, the idea was more appealing than the reality.
Digging my finger into the paste-like cream, I scooped out enough to cover the scarred area. The makeup was a heavier consistency than the normal kind bought in a department store. I had to order it online from a company that specialized in theatrical makeup for the stage. Getting an even smooth coat so that it blended seamlessly was tedious and took time. I placed the foundation in the palm of my other hand, pressing and swirling my thumb around to soften it. Once it was pliable, I plastered it over my face.
Starting at the center of the grafted area, my fingertips moved outward, quickly dabbing the makeup to the edge where it met my untouched normal skin. Once that area was done, I moved to the rest of my face and neck. I then took a Q-Tip, covered the end with foundation and tapped it around my nose ring, making sure even the tiniest of areas were concealed. I had gotten my nose pierced right before school started, thinking people would focus more on the ring than my face.
The makeup was a close match to my normal skin tone, but not exact. The difference was noticeable if I missed a spot, so I worked hard to cover every inch of exposed skin. I felt more comfortable going out in public in full makeup, but I knew deep down it didn’t look natural. I quickly went through the rest of my routine. I loaded the big fluffy makeup brush with setting powder and swept it across my face and down my neck. I finished up with blush, lip gloss, and mascara. I freed my hair from the tie, styling it so that it fell over my left cheek. I liked the added protection I felt from the veil of hair. I threw on a pair of denim shorts, the navy blue Chambers University long-sleeve T-shirt my dad had bought me to show his pride, and my multi-colored stripped TOMS sneakers.
Driving onto the campus of the university, I kept telling myself this was a good thing. My dream. A new start was what I needed. Unfortunately, my stomach disagreed. Students and parents flooded the campus, carrying boxes and bags bursting at the seams with all the necessities of college life. I pulled into a parking space next to my dorm followed by my parents’ SUV. As I got out of my car, my dad rolled his window down.
“I’ll go check in and then we can unload.” My gaze focused downward.
“You okay, Sweets? You want me to go check in for you?” Dad offered.
I was scared to look up. I couldn’t let him see my nerves. All he needed was one little sign of apprehension on my part and the three of us would be headed back home. In fact, if Dad had his way, I’d stay in my room, only venturing out for meals and holidays. He was a typical protective father, but this past year he’d gone into overdrive.
I looked past him, not making eye contact. “I’m good. I’ll be right back.”
I drew in a deep calming breath before crossing the parking lot. Stacked rows of white framed windows ran up the front side of the brown building indicating the four stories of the coed dorm. The double-sided staircase led to a columned front porch. Chambers University had a one-hundred-thirty-year-old tradition. The campus was steeped in history, from the buildings to the giant oak trees that lined the entrance. One of the things that drew me to it, other than the math department, was the atmosphere. It was a fairly large school with a small college vibe.
My gaze stayed glued to my sneakers as I slowly moved up the concrete steps toward the entrance of the dorm. I felt the rush of air as people whizzed by, excited to see their new home and meet new friends. I was concentrating so hard I almost ran head first into one of the large white columns. I made it through the door, unharmed, found the office, and waited in line to check in.
The air was filled with the energy of the new school year. Hellos, goodbyes, laughter, and questions swirled around me. New friendships were already being formed and old ones reunited. The pair of flip flops in front of me moved forward, so I followed. After fifteen minutes of the shuffle ‘n’ stop, I reached the check-in desk. An older lady with short salt-and-pepper hair sat slightly hunched over, partially blocked by a large stack of thick manila envelopes. Never looking up, she recited a generic Welcome to Chambers spiel. All the noisy activity made it hard to hear every little thing the woman said. Her gaze and eyebrows lifted as she stared up at me.
Terrific, it’s starting already.
Not sure what to do, I gave her a weak smile and waited for instructions.
Alison was born and raised in Charleston, SC. She attended Winthrop University and graduated with a major in Theater. While at school Alison began writing one-act plays, which she later produced. Her debut novel, Present Perfect, landed on Amazon’s Best Seller List and appeared on many “Best Reads of 2013″ Book Blogs. The novel won Best Book at the 2014 Indie Romance Convention Awards. Her second novel, Past Imperfect, was published in February of 2014 and appeared on several best books of 2014 lists as well. Presently Perfect, the third and final book in The “Perfect” series was released in Dec 2014 to rave reviews. In March 2015 all the love, swoon, heat, and angst were combined into the Perfect Series Box Set.