Thank you to all who voted in InD’tale’s crème de la cover contest! None But You won the weekly cover contest last week and will go on to compete against all the monthly winners. So much thanks goes to Perry Elisabeth Design for the beautiful cover.
Here’s a special treat for fans of None But You. This book included several flashbacks to Anna and Erick’s past relationship. It’s a part of Austen’s Persuasion I always thought would be fun to have. Her book beings with Anne Elliot anxious about seeing Frederick Wentworth again, and we root for her all through the book to get him back. But how fun would it be to get to see the relationship’s beginning? None But You offers a glimpse into the beginning of Anna and Erick’s story and I’ve decided to post a flashback that was cut from the book. Beware, if you haven’t read the book yet, there are SPOILERS ahead.
This was their original break-up scene:
We sat on a bench at our favorite place at Waterfront Park on that warm summer day. Despite the heat, a chill creeped into my heart.
“You didn’t have any problem with my plan to join the Navy before,” Erick said scowling. “What did your family say to you?”
“We were just talking about the future, that’s all. My father brought up some valid points. I think we should consider them. We’re young and don’t have a lot of money–”
“This is about money?”
“That’s not what I mean to say.”
You mean I don’t have enough money for your parents to be happy. I think you need to make up your own mind about what you want. It is your life, not theirs. Is a future with me what you want or not?”
“Of course, Erick.” I squeezed his hand tightly as my eyes misted over. “I love you. I’m just saying we haven’t considered all the issues. Getting out on our own is great, but are we ready? And Navy life will be hard. We’ll have to move a lot and you’ll be gone for weeks and months. Maybe you’ll be in real danger. Maybe going to college first would be a better idea, give you more time to decide what you want to do.”
“I already know what I want, Anna. I don’t need more time to decide. I’m joining the Navy. They can pay for college, not my family that only wants me to go into their business.”
“You don’t have to work with your father if we stay here. We’re just starting out and don’t have any real money of our own. We have to care about money on some level. And maybe we should have a longer engagement, make sure we have more time to save for the future.”
It was the most I’d ever expressed my fears to him and in that instant, I couldn’t decide if the concerns I had were my own or my father’s.
Erick’s eyes hardened. “I’m glad you’re being honest with me.” His spine was rigid on the bench. “What I’m hearing is: your family thinks we haven’t dated long enough, we’re too young, and we won’t survive on our own because I won’t be inheriting the Walsworth fortune…”
“Well, we have only been dating a few months and we are just eighteen. Neither one of us will inherit any money.”
“What do you mean?”
“My parents are taking away my trust fund if I marry you.”
“What? That doesn’t matter to me, Erick. You know it doesn’t.”
“I’m beginning to wonder, Anna. I really am.” He stood up and paced in front of where I sat. “So you’re worried you won’t have your daddy’s money anymore and you can’t live without that?” He faced me with folded arms and narrowed eyes.
“I don’t care about being rich, Erick.” I leapt to my feet and took his arms in my hands. “But we can’t survive on nothing.”
He shakes his head. “We wouldn’t have ‘nothing’. We’d have the Navy providing income and housing.”
He took my hands in his and stared deeply into my eyes. “Anna, I know absolutely and for certain that you’re the one I want to be with. If you don’t know for certain what you want, and are so easily persuaded…”
“Easily persuaded? You aren’t taking any of my feelings seriously. How do you know what I want?” I lifted my chin. “You think I’m a wishy-washy flake?”
“You’re always way too interested in what other people think. When are you going to make up your own mind?”
“I think maybe my family is right about you. My father said you wouldn’t be satisfied with me knowing I wouldn’t have my trust fund.”
He shook his head, his jaw muscles tight. “You’re more of an Ellington than you thought you were.”
I pulled the ring off my finger and handed it to him.
“That’s it, Erick. Goodbye.”
Then I walked away. He chased me, but I ran and didn’t stop.
Here’s another flashback that was cut. This one is the next day, after Anna tries to apologize to Erick, she goes home and confronts her stepmother, Cassandra.
A knife twisting in my heart wouldn’t have hurt as much. “He’s shipping out tomorrow. Tomorrow!” My throat burned as I said those words. “I tried to apologize. Tried to get him to talk to me but he doesn’t want to.”
“Anna, it’s just as well,” Cassandra said. “You’re only eighteen-years-old. You have no concept of what you are doing. There are plenty of worthy young men who will line up on the doorstep the minute they learn you’re available. You have plenty of better options.”
“Better options? That’s all you have to say?”
“It’s just as well. That is not a family your father wants you tangled up in.”
“I thought it was Erick you both objected to. You only mentioned all the things he was doing wrong with his life. The Walsworths have at least as much money as the Ellingtons. The family doesn’t meet my father’s approval? Since when?”
“Your father hasn’t been completely honest about the whole thing.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Walter and Frederick Walsworth had some bad blood between them. They rarely ever spoke to each other.”
“Oh, it was all nonsense.” Cassandra smiled as she thought about it. “Your father was in love with the woman who became Mrs. Walsworth. Her name was Arabella.”
Nausea took over and I was forced to sit down.
“Arabella is your middle name, isn’t it?” Cassandra said with an amused smile. “Coincidence? I think not.”
“Dad named me after his former love? My mother was okay with that?”
“I don’t actually know if she knew about it, honestly. He married your mother quite a while after Arabella left him for Frederick.”
“What is wrong with this scenario? I’m named Annalise after my mother and Arabella after Dad’s ex-girlfriend?”
“So Erick’s mother and my father? Oh no, don’t tell me…don’t tell me!”
My hands clamped over my mouth and I was forced to sit.
“Don’t panic, dear, you look extraordinarily pale.”
“Was I just engaged to my brother?” My voice was a strained whisper.
“What? No! Don’t be silly. Arabella was Frederick’s first wife. They had a daughter and then she left him for someone else. Erick’s mother was Frederick’s second wife, Isabella.”
Relief flooded through me. Erick was not my father’s son. I breathed out in relief.
“I believe Arabella broke her engagement with Walter to marry Frederick,” Cassandra said. “That would be the source of the hard feelings between the two men. Walter absolutely hated the idea that you might marry Frederick’s son, the man who stole his first love.”
She was clearly enjoying herself.
“This is unbelievable!” My legs barely supported me as I stood. “I’m named after Erick’s father’s first wife and because Dad was so in love with her and so I can’t marry her son? How screwed up is this? This was how many years ago and he’s still mad about that? He’s been married twice since then.”
“You know how your father is, Annalise. He certainly knows how to hold a grudge.”
“And you two told me it was all about his financial situation and the Navy and my age!”
“Oh we definitely don’t approve of any of the choices Erick is making. None of that should be discounted.”
“It’s only that he never has a chance to meet Dad’s approval because of a ridiculous feud between him and Mr. Walsworth. All over a woman who left the both of them!”
“Stop shouting, please. You will give me a headache. In any case, with all the undesirable things about Erick’s situation and his questionable family…you should really give one of those Ashley boys a chance.”
That was the last straw.
“I’m done, Cassandra.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m leaving,” I said with a pounding heart and sweaty palms. “It’s past time I moved out of this house and got away from all of you.”
“What? What will your father say?”
“I don’t care.” She grabbed my hand to stop me from running up the stairs.
“Where do you think you will go?”
With that, I raced up the stairs to pack my things. I determined to leave that life as soon as possible.
If you haven’t yet read, None But You, grab it on Amazon or you can order directly through me for a signed copy
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As The Ash Fell
by AJ Powers
Taking care of ten kids was the last thing Clay Whitaker expected by his twentieth birthday. Then again, after acclimating to the volatile nature of life in the Texan frozen wastelands, he’s not surprised by much anymore. That is, until he meets Kelsey Lambert. Now, with a brutal winter rolling in earlier than ever, Clay must swiftly adapt to the changes in his life to ensure the safety of those he cares about.
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Single mom Serenity Chandler is determined to do anything to provide better opportunities for her son, Gideon. That includes moving so he can attend a special needs school. The satisfaction of helping children and being a part of their lives is one reason Aaron Randall loves his job as a music therapist. Due to Hope Academy’s dating policy, any relationship between them will put his job at risk. The more time Aaron spends with Serenity and Gideon, the harder it is to ignore what they could have together. With Aaron’s job and Gideon’s education hanging in the balance, they’ll have to rely on faith to find their way.
In Her Eyes
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Book Page (Pre-order Coming Soon)
When Ben Wilder is given a second chance he focuses on the one thing he’s always been good at: running. After walking on to the University of Florida he begins to quickly move up the national rankings, paving a path towards the NCAA Track & Field Championships. Everything is going the way he planned, until the day he bumps into Casey Taylor. *Disclaimer: Content includes explicit language*
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Young Adult Christian Fantasy
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None But You
by Franky Brown
Anna never expected to see Erick Walsworth again. Breaking off their engagement eight years ago was the worst decision of her life. With circumstances throwing them together and a best friend insisting on playing matchmaker, Anna can’t escape the one question she fears most: What happens if she can’t convince her first love to give her a second chance?
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Write Me Home
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None But You is available for pre-order now on Kindle. Click here. The paperback and Kindle will release on February 10. Grab it in time for Valentine’s Day. Also, this week Pride and Butterflies and Julia the Secret Keeper are on sale. Grab them on Kindle for 99 cents.
Anna never expected to see Erick Walsworth again. Breaking off their engagement eight years ago was the worst decision of her life. But her bitter regret is nothing compared to pretending she’s not still in love with him. Especially while having to watch a perfect girl like Piper Ashley hang on his arm.
With circumstances throwing them together and a best friend insisting on playing matchmaker, Anna can’t escape the one question she fears most: What happens if she can’t convince her first love to give her a second chance?