Yesterday, I shared a post on my Facebook page and declared that if it could get 50 likes, I would share the first three chapters of Swept Away in honor of it being three days to release day. You guys delivered!
Swept Away is only TWO DAYS from releasing now, but here's your three chapters! I'll share the blurb, reviews, and preorder links at the end of the post :) Thanks everyone!
by Kamery Solomon
© Happily Ever After Publishing and Kamery Solomon Books
Available wherever e-books are sold on April 6, 2015!
It’s quite possible no two words, when placed together, incite the imagination of a person so greatly. Immediately, visions of rugged men, tanned from months at sea, bodies bearing scars that tell of a lifetime of battle, their clothes hanging slightly tattered around them, fill the mind of the believer. They imagine old, locked chests carried between sailors, over sandy beaches and into dense forests where the air is so thick that moisture clings to their every movement. Perhaps, just before burying their booty, the pirates decide to have one last look, cracking open their vault and revealing piles of gold coins, strings of pearls, and bright gemstones that spill over the lip of the case, tumbling into the pit below. And then, the buccaneers hide it all there in the dirt, under the leafy greens of the tropical paradise. A map is drawn, where “x” marks the spot, and then tucked away. Maybe the men will come back for the treasure, maybe they won't. Years later, some poor lad will find the map and go on an adventure rife with danger and suspense, winning the final outcome of a better life with more money than he could ever possibly use or want.
At the same time, no two words paired together have caused more eye rolls and explanations of disbelief. People don't partake of such adventures, and anything remotely like that kind of endeavor rarely happens. Surely, buried treasure does exist, but not on such a large and grand scale.
Or does it?
At one point in my life, I would have called myself a skeptic. Lost gold only brought trials to my mind, family issues, and a hate I didn't quite understand. But now? Hidden fortune tells me a story of danger, death, a love that conquered all time, and the greatest adventure of my life.
Tapping the toe of my shoe against the tiled floor, I checked my phone once more, frowning as I looked at it. He was more than an hour late. What a great way to start our unfortunate time together.
In all honesty, I should have known better. If what Mom had said about Dad and his punctuality was even remotely true, I ought to have planned to tell him the plane was arriving two hours earlier than it actually was. It'd been so long since I'd seen him, though, I couldn't remember if she'd been exaggerating or not.
The issue was this: my father was legitimately, one hundred percent crazy. He spent all day digging in the ground, looking for some lost treasure he was convinced lay just beyond his reach. Each night was spent planning to do the same thing when the sun rose again. Because of this obsession, he won himself a divorce after three years of marriage and shared custody of his only child—me. He used to come visit me in Arizona every spring, before returning to his stupid quest, but that all stopped after my tenth birthday. Becoming so involved in the search, he slipped further and further from us, spending more time away, quitting his day job, and eventually disappearing from our lives. We wrote every now and then, but there wasn't all that much to say. It'd been twelve years since he last visited and the basics of what we'd said to each other over that time could probably fit on a piece of notebook paper.
Something had changed when Mom got sick, though. Suddenly, she wanted Dad and I to talk more, to really know each other. She instigated a few video calls, insisted I write letters about school, and even invited him to my high school graduation. He hadn't been able to make it, saying something came up about a swamp he was swimming in. I think.
“Why are you defending him?” I’d practically demanded from my mom, not wanting to admit I was hurt he'd missed my big night.
“He's your father, Samantha,” she answered simply, just like she did any time I asked why I had to stay in touch. “I spent so many years keeping you from him, wanting you for my own. When I'm gone, I want you to have a parent to go to, even if it's someone who believes in buried treasure.”
“He's the one who stopped wanting to see me! That stupid hole in the ground is more important to him than I ever was.”
“That’s not true. I—I asked him to stop coming,” she replied softly, sadly.
Shocked, I stared at her for a moment, feeling guilty when I noticed the slight paleness to her skin and the way each breath seemed to hurt. Her light brown hair had been curled for the occasion, brushing past her shoulders, the red fabric of her dress hugging her skinny form. “Why would you do that?”
“You used to get so excited when he talked about that treasure. I just knew that if he kept coming and telling you those fanciful stories, one day you would go with him when he left. I didn't want that for you. There is so much more in store for you than spending your life trying to dig up something that doesn't exist.” Tears in her brown eyes suggested to me she'd only done what she thought was best, but in that moment I felt a rage like I'd never known toward her.
“But that wasn't your choice to make! If that's what I wanted to do, then you should have supported it! You’re always telling me that everyone should be free to make their own decisions, even if we don’t agree.” Hands balling into fists, I yelled at her, my own hot tears building up. “I spent years feeling like my own father didn't love me. And now, thanks to you, he probably doesn't, because he hasn't seen me! No wonder he didn't come to graduation!”
“I'm so sorry, Sam,” she said, her voice shak