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About the author:
Cherron’s published works include three short stories: “Escaping the Beast” appearing in the Winter 2014 Paradoor anthology, and “In the Heat of Escape” and “Engraved with Honeysuckle” in the Spring 2014 Paradoor anthology. Her first full-length novel, Defying Destiny, is set to release in March 10, 2015. Cherron can be found on the web at www.cheronriser.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CherronRiserAuthor.
What inspired you to write your book?
This book came to me in a dream. I have been around music for a lot of my life. I have also been around people who deal with addiction. When I had the dream for Defying Destiny, I was hooked and had to write it. For me, it was more than telling a story. It was also about healing a part of my own soul. The original name for the book was Two Roads of a Soul, but that was a bit wordy. I felt the original title captured the characters journey well, though.
Here is a short sample from the book:
As the night progressed, the rain started to descend harder. Cameron was starting to have trouble seeing through the curtain of falling water, and he flipped his windshield wipers on faster. A small chuckle left his lips knowing the party at the river had more than likely been washed out. As he reached up to try to clear his windshield of fog, the car slid into the other lane just enough that an oncoming van managed to knock him clear into the ditch on the other side. The Camry spun for a moment before smashing into a tree with an abrupt stop. Shock washed over Cameron as he looked through his still mostly fogged window and saw nothing but forest. What a way to end the worst week of his life. His father was going to kill him.
Without warning, the door swung open, and his ears filled with questions he was too far in shock to understand. “Hey! Kid! Are you okay? Do I need to call an ambulance or something? Kid!”
Coming back to reality, Cameron turned toward the female voice and saw a dripping wet woman standing next to him. For several moments, he thought he was looking at an angel, but that was the shock talking. Finally hearing what she was saying, he nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine. I think I’m just a bit …”
“Come on, get out of the car. We can talk about it in my van, but I’m getting soaked out here. Do you need me to take you to the hospital?” the woman asked, reaching her hand to his as if to help him.
He took her hand, shivering at how soft it was, and stepped out. When he looked up through the thick rain pounding down from the heavens, he realized the girl helping him was the one from the band. Wasting no time, she pulled him along to her van, opened up the sliding back door, and nearly shoved him inside. Climbing in after him, she began to rummage through a pile of clothes before tossing a towel to him. Taking the offered towel, he began to pat himself dry while she continued to search.
The van was dingy and reeked of stale fast food containers. The entire back was void of seats and piled high with a mixture of suitcases, band equipment, blankets, and clothing. The only chairs were the two in the front. This was no sporty minivan common among soccer moms. It was the sort of van that could double as some stoner’s hippy hideaway. Not sure what to say or do, Cameron just sat there and watched as Rhyanna found a T-shirt and turned to face him.
Acting as if he were not sitting there staring at her, she pulled off the soaked T-shirt she had been wearing and tossed it into another pile. If he had not already been in shock, he certainly would have been in that moment. Cameron had never seen a girl without a shirt on, and though she did still have her bra, he could not help but gaze at the swell of her breasts. They looked as if at any moment they would come popping out of the confining material. Shaking his head to clear it of his wandering thoughts, Cameron was forced back into reality all too soon as the new T-shirt fell to cover them. Blushing, he felt a bit like a pervert for staring at her like that. He should have looked away.
“So, are you okay?” Rhyanna asked again, and Cameron shot his eyes up to look at her. The look of concern on her face made him smile, and he nodded to let her know that he was fine. In the darkness of the van, he still could not make out the color of her eyes, but the shape and way they set into her face was enough for him. She was the most beautiful girl he had ever met.
“Good, I was really worried when I saw your car hit that tree. My van is fine. I think there is a dent in the fender, but nothing that Cole can’t pound out for me. You want me to give you a ride home? With this weather, it might be best to come get your car tomorrow,” she answered.
“Shouldn’t we file a report with the police?” Cameron asked, looking back over to where his car remained smashed against the tree.
“Probably, but I don’t feel like waiting on them, and since I’m the one that you hit, it will be alright. You can deal with it tomorrow. Hop up front and I will run you home. Oh, I’m Rhys by the way,” the girl chattered on before crawling into the driver’s seat, giving Cameron a full view of her finely shaped rear. He was really starting to wonder about his mental state.
Shifting around, Cameron moved into the front seat as well and settled down. Snapping his seat belt in place, he smiled at the girl next to him. “I’m Cameron. Thanks for helping me out. No one drives these roads this late at night. I would have probably been stuck out here all night or been forced to walk home.”
“Not a problem. Weren’t you at that prom earlier? I thought I saw you. You were king right?” Rhyanna asked as she put the van in gear and it begrudgingly started forward. “You didn’t look too happy about winning king either.”
“It’s a long story. Let’s just say the girl that won queen was my girlfriend, and I just found out she was cheating on me a couple of days ago. So, it wasn’t exactly the best dance of my life,” Cameron answered.
He watched a bit of a grin curl on the corner of Rhyanna’s lips as she continued down the road. “I guess we all go through that at times, but don’t let it get to you. You are a cute guy. You will find a new girl soon enough. So, where am I heading? I don’t think your parents will like it if I just take you to my house to recover.”
The idea made him blush, and instead, Cameron gave her directions and she turned toward the main streets that led down to his neighborhood. A barrage of questions rolled through his mind as he watched her drive. He noticed that she tapped her fingers along to the music that was playing, and now and then, she would softly sing along, as if forgetting that he sat next to her. His heart seemed to swell as he leaned back and watched her. Did she even realize how beautiful she was? She certainly did not seem like the type to want to be a beauty queen.
All too soon, they pulled up in front of his house. Rhyanna turned to him and smiled, and he handed back the towel so that he could leave. Part of him wanted to kiss her but knew that would only end with her slapping him. Instead, he stepped out of the van and waved at her as he rushed to the door to keep from getting wetter from the rain. His father was standing there waiting for him when he reached the porch.
“Do I even want to know what happened?” Greg asked, holding the door open so Cameron could step inside.
“I got in a crash. She just gave me a ride home. I’m sorry, Dad. We can go look at the car tomorrow. I just wanted to get out of the rain,” Cameron answered, knowing his father was not going to be happy.
For the next hour, Cameron listened to a lecture on responsibility, how he should have called his father and the police, and filed a report. His mother fretted over him wanting to ensure that he had truly not been injured. Cameron had known he should call them. He knew how to do things the right way, but the angel that had come to his aid had entranced him. Blaming the whole thing on shock, his parents finally let him go and get cleaned up and dry.
Once he was finally able to make it to his room, he sat down at his computer to check his MySpace account and see what his friends had to say about the after party. Logging on, he realized he had a new friend request and message. Clicking on it, he grinned when he saw a wild picture of Rhyanna. With a chuckle, he clicked to add her then read the message:
Look, sorry about your car. I hope it all works out for you. You seem like a good guy. Hope we can be friends. At least we can always have the joke that we ran into each other. Sleep well, and don’t let that chick bring you down.
Sending back a quick reply, Cameron was more than excited to see where things would go from there. He wanted to be her friend more than anything. He hoped that it was more than just the wreck that would keep them talking. There was nothing about her that he did not want to learn. Shutting off his computer, Cameron crawled into bed, and as he drifted off to sleep, he smiled as he pictured her beautiful face, and the sweet sound of her melodious voice. Surly, his dreams would be pleasurable.