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The Blackmail of Evelynn Faust
Shirley Anne Edwards
YA Contemporary w/Romantic Elements, 73k
Evelynn Faust suffers from horrible insomnia and paranoia. The summer before her senior year of high school should be one of the best summers of her life. But she’s tormented by guilt and an addiction that haunts her every waking moment. Evelynn is a drug dealer who also craves the drug she sells. The money and the popularity that come with it aren’t bad either. But when she’s caught dealing on school property by Eric Wagner, the respected and admired police chief’s son, the game is over.
He won’t snitch on her, unless she gives him whatever he wants - her.
She’s being blackmailed.
Evelynn has no one to turn to for help. Not her parents who don’t understand her rebellious nature or her circle of friends who only care about partying and getting high. When Adam Tristen moves in across the street, and he wants to get to know her better, it all seems too good to be true.
She must make a pact with the devil.
Evelynn now looks over her shoulder wherever she goes, waiting for Eric to act on his threats. But Adam, the charming college sophomore, sees something special inside Evelynn, and he wants to help her fix mistakes. In order to do that she must confront a dark secret from her past that could destroy her family…her life…and her entire world as she knows it.
She must take a leap of faith.
Releasing on May 25th !!
The Blackmail of Evelynn Faust by Shirley Anne Edwards. Evelynn reveals one of her dark secrets to Adam…
“How was your party?”
“You should have come. A lot of people crashed it.” I held the metal chains and twisted left and right.
He swung back and forth as I twisted. “Maybe if someone asked me to be their date, I would have then.” He swung slightly to the side and bumped my hip with his.
“Wouldn’t have been a good idea.”
“Why not?” Again he tapped his hip to mine.
“Adam, I’m not dating or girlfriend material. I’m just looking for a warm body to use so I can forget about life for a while. I know you don’t want to hear that, but it’s the truth.”
He stopped rocking and reached over to take my hand. I moved my arm away, but he wouldn’t let me, and linked his fingers with mine. “For some reason I can’t leave you alone, and even though you act like you only want me for sex, or whatever else, I don’t think that’s so. What I do think is that you have a lot on your mind and want to tell someone, but not sure how.”
“What am I, your project for school? Trying to psychoanalyze me?”
“No. I want to be your friend and help erase those shadows in your eyes. That’s all.”
I looked right at his face, at this big brown eyed, caramel skinned boy…man who was too good for the likes of me. My stomach cramped because I was going to tell him one of my dark secrets. Why? It just felt right to do in this dark, wet morning surrounded by metal, and dirt and rocks where I once played, unaware of how horrible my life would become.
“My shadows, as you say I have, weren’t always there. I guess it was a gradual thing starting when I was around thirteen. You think I’m something special, but I’m not. There’s not much to recommend about myself, other than I like jazz, jogging, actually love playing with my younger sister, and I enjoy…smoking up.”
“Smoking up? Meaning something harder than cigarettes?”
The look on his face was of surprise and not horror as I’d been expecting.
“Yeah. I’ve been a big pot smoker ever since I was in eighth grade. I need to smoke every day. I think I’m an addict.”
He stood up from his swing and bent down, grabbing both my hands in his. “At least you admit it. It’s the first step.”
“I wish it was the easy. My habit is out of control. I’m stuck in a corner with no way out.”
“What do you mean?” He gave me a tender smile. It made my chest constrict.
I stood and my knee cracked. Holding back a grimace, I shook out my leg while I squeezed his hands. “A…friend, who wants to be more than that knows I’m using, and he caught me doing it at school. He’s threatening to tell my parents, unless I do what he wants. He’s more than willing to be that warm body I could use.” The need to tell Adam all the facts was strong, but I held back. Part of it was because I still felt leery of him. He may come across as a good guy who wanted to help, but he could always be like Eric underneath a great package.
“Oh.” He let go of my hands and stepped back, rubbing his mouth. I saw the outline of a beard on his chin and cheeks. I longed to rub my fingers over his rough, bristled skin.
“See the problem? I either give this guy what he wants, or tell him to get lost and hope for the best.”
“I know you don’t want to tell your parents, but what would be the worst thing that would happen if you told them?”
I scraped my shoe across the pebbled ground and put my hands back in my pockets. “It’s not as easy as it sounds. I…I can’t really explain why, but just take my word for it.”
He didn’t look like he believed me. I swore my heart stopped beating for a second. “You’re not being totally honest with me.”
Damn. “Adam, the situation is more complicated than I make it sound. If you know too much, it could get difficult for you. Plus, your brother is a high ranking official in town. If he found out because you slipped up or mentioned something to him, things on my end would go downhill and fast. I’m not the only one involved in this.”
“You’re not only worried for yourself but the others you care about, right?”
I nodded. “You could say that.”
He gave me bright smile. “See, you’re not hopeless as you think you are. You’ve just proven to me you’re worth something because you care and don’t want those in your life to get hurt. Correct?”
I scratched my ear. I wasn’t sure where he was going with this. “Yeah so? It still doesn’t help the situation I’m in.”
“Well, not necessarily. But it’s a start. If you can trust me with this small piece of information, than you’ll eventually trust me enough to tell me the whole story.”
I couldn’t hide me smile. His joy was too contagious. “We’ll see.”
“Are you’re feeling better now?”
I rocked my head side to side. “Maybe I’ll feel better if you give me another massage.”
He pulled me to his chest and rubbed his scruffy chin on my forehead. “If I give you another one, will you open up to me some more?”
“You want me to bare my soul.”
“Just a little bit. Haven’t you heard absolution is good for the soul?”
I titled up my face. “Sure you’re not studying to be a priest?”
“I have no desire to enter the priesthood.” His mouth landed on mine, and his kiss proved that perfectly.
About the Author:
Shirley Anne Edwards is a Northeast girl who first found her love for books when she read Nancy Drew's The Secret of the Old Clock Tower at thirteen. Shirley found her love for writing at a very young age, and since then has let her imagination run wild by creating quirky characters and vast worlds in her head.
Shirley lives in New Jersey and works in the entertainment industry in New York City.
In the immortal words of Mark Twain: "Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile."
For more information about Shirley and her writing journey:
Website link: http://shirlwriteredwards.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @ShirleyAWriter (link: https://twitter.com/ShirleyAWriter)