Sunday, September 22, 2013

Shades of Pink Teaser - Love And Other Silly Emotions by Susan Harris

Every day until the end of September, I will post here the blurb for one of the stories from the Shades of Pink charity anthology, as well as a teaser, and a short bio for the author. The anthology will be available on October 1st, with all proceeds going to breast cancer research but you can donate today and get it 5 days early! I invite you to come back, share the links for these teasers, tell your friends about it... It's all for a good cause! And if you tweet about it, you can use the hashtag #shadesofpink :)

Today, a glimpse from Love And Other Silly Emotions by Susan Harris

When you’re faced with a heart-breaking choice of whether to follow your heart or follow your dreams, what would you do? Niamh made the ultimate sacrifice for the boy she loved and set him free. Now, things are different and they both have followed their dreams, can they finally follow their hearts.

There are some things that you just have to do for your best friend. Skip class so she can meet up with her boyfriend. Take half the blame when she raids her dad’s alcohol stash. Sneak out of the house when she has had yet another fight with her on again off/again boyfriend and needs someone to walk her home. As I said, there is nothing that you would not do for your best friend.

So that was how I ended up standing here, on her wedding day, dressed in what could only be described as a mixture of a pink marshmallow and oodles of chiffon. The corset top led down into a whole mess of a skirt that made it almost impossible to walk, not that the death-spike heels on the shoes made it any easier. While Helen was the girly-girl in the friendship, tall, long legged blonde bombshell who just grabbed your attention; I was, and always would be, the tomboy who wore boys’ clothes, had piercings and tattoos, loved reading and music. With my cropped black hair and curves, we were at complete opposite ends of the spectrum, but I love that girl to death and if having me stand by her side like a tie-dyed poodle made her happy, then that’s what I would do.

But it was not the dress or even the shoes that made me so twitchy. You see, today Helen would marry the man of her dreams, that on-again, off-again boyfriend who she had been with for the better part of ten years. It was the devilishly handsome man that stood to Gary’s right that made my heart race like a stampede of horses in my chest. The love of my life, that emo boy I grew up talking music with and dreaming of bigger and better things that would take us away from the uneventful streets of Ireland.

I suppose I should give you a little bit of back story. When Helen started to date Gary, we all used to hang out. Our little group consisted of Gary and Danny, as well as Mark, Cian and Fionn who reckoned that they were the next big thing in rock music. Their little band seeming to bring along their fair share of groupies. We all quickly became friends and spent every single second that we could together. And when all the couples seemed to veer off, it always ended up being the two of us left alone. Always shy with his head buried in his notebook writing songs, Daniel ‘Danny’ Winters was the only boy I had ever been interested in. Danny, with his jet black hair streaked with blue and haunting teal eyes, had me when he grunted ‘Hello’ on that first day. It took me awhile to drag even the slightest conversation out of him, but after a few months we just gravitated to each other.

Helen used to joke that we were the perfect couple with our matching black nail varnish, depressing taste in music, and the fact that we both carried notebooks around with us. We all had big dreams—the boys wanted to be an international rock band and me, well I wanted to be a music journalist. I wrote my own little music blog and the boys gigged everywhere and anywhere they could. I applied to study journalism after completing my Leaving Cert and Helen went for P.R. Our boys were going to take a year out to try and get signed, and we all lived in a bubble believing that we could have it all. But sometimes love and dreams must venture down different paths and you end up somewhere that you never expected.

After the Leaving Cert, we all spent the summer travelling around Ireland while the boys played at summer festivals and supported some bands. They worked their asses off, but as September neared, it seemed nothing would happen. Then out of nowhere, after a gig in a pub in our hometown of Cork, an agent approached them with the offer of a lifetime. A two year development deal in London with a top label so that once they fine-tuned their sound and writing, the world would be ready for them. And that was the beginning of the end for Danny and I.

The band rejoiced and celebrated rock star style, all but Danny that is. He always was the restrained one who refused to drink or smoke so as not to ruin his voice. Helen was already planning to follow Gary to London, but Daniel wanted me to follow my dream and go to college in Dublin. He refused to leave me, saying they could record in Dublin or nothing else. I loved him for it, but deep down knew he would grow to resent me if he passed on this opportunity. So I did the only thing I could. I broke up with him.

Or to be more precise .... I ran away.

Susan Harris is a writer from Cork, Ireland. Her debut novel, Another Way to Bleed, the first in her Midnight Assassin series, was re-released in July and the second, Blood Stained Vengeance is due out later this year. She primarily writes paranormal or fantasy as well as poetry but is more than willing to step outside her comfort zone for a great cause.

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