Fall is my favorite time of year. The air grows crisp, pumpkins adorn front porches, and I can wear a hoodie everywhere I go. What's not to love about fall??? Or autumn? Do you call it autumn???
Since my last update I've been to two author events: Red Dirt BOCO in Oklahoma City and PENNED Con in St Louis. Of course I loved BOCO because it was in my home state and put on by great friends of mine. It also helped raise a few thousand dollars (sorry I can't locate the exact figure) to help schools in Oklahoma that are in need of storm shelters.
PENNED Con was a huge and exciting event. I loved being able to attend and participate in the panels. Every panel I attended taught me something new or reinforced something I already knew I should be doing (I've developed some bad habit haha). I will be attending PENNED Con again next summer, so if you are able you should definitely plan to attend.
Shutter: Volume Two is finally LIVE and I'm slaving away on volume three which will be out in November. I had originally planned to make Shutter four separate volumes all about the same length. But I have listened to your feedback and decided to combine the last two into one volume, so there will only be three volumes with the last being about double the length. Soooooooooo that means that Brook and Niko's story will be wrapped up in Volume Three. I wish I could tease you with the cover, but it isn't finished yet...but it's going to be GORGEOUS!!!
This is the second in a novella serial that continues Brook and Niko's story with the addition of someone from Brook's past. It is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.
Red Dirt BOCO Author Event
All the amazing authors - Look I'm in a Stacy Borel and Jamie McGuire sandwich...yum yum!!!
PENNED Con 2014
I suck at taking pictures during author events, I never get very many and am always sad at the loss of memories. But here are a couple pictures with dear friends that I'll always cherish from PENNED Con 2014.
Left: Paige Weaver, me, and Maggi Myers at the awards ceremony.
Right: Me and my weekend roommate, Penny Reid, after the awards ceremony and completely exhausted and goofy.
Sarah Dosher/Eli Chastain Writing Schedule
November 2014 - Shutter: Volume Three by Eli Chastain
December 2014 - Shutter: Boxed Set by Eli Chastain
Early 2015 - The Caging by Sarah Dosher (want a sneak peek? Go HERE!)
Mid 2015 - (Untitled) Contemporary Romance by Sarah Dosher
2015 - Untitled Spin off of Shutter by Eli Chastain
The first day I saw you was like any other day, but I knew my life had changed. I could feel it in the pounding of my heart and the quivers that ran up my spine, inside I’d never be the same.
Long and lean, I thought your body was a perfect mix of youth and experience. So did every other female that crossed your path; I saw them as their eyes lingered just a little too long. Your hips were resting against the corner of the broken and worn table in the food court. I was there awaiting my release for good behavior from the slummy job my parents made me take and you were the first interesting thing I’d seen all summer. You were holding a clear plastic cup from some nearby eatery that had been handing out samples of their most recent flavored water concoction. I watched with bated breath as your lips lightly touched the rim of the cup and you swallowed in one huge gulp. I could almost see the trail of cool liquid as it chilled you all the way to your toes. You crunched the cup and did your best impression of a buzzer-beating hook shot right into a trash bin on the other side of the table. I felt the corners of my mouth turn up as you celebrated your two points. My fingers curled under and pressed tightly into my tender palms to keep from cheering you on or maybe even challenging you to a little one on one. I was just good enough to be a real threat to a guy like you on the basketball court – just past your prime and probably a couple steps slower than you once were and therefore a prime target for defeat.
You lazily took in the surroundings, your eyes finally landing on me and then never wavering. Icy blue eyes pierced through me like a predator who had caught scent of his prey. It unnerved me, made every ounce of air in my lungs flee in one quick whoosh. I told myself that blue eyes were my favorite, since a child I’d always thought they were the most trusting of eyes. A clear escape into pure honesty is how they’d always felt to me. Yet, with one look your eyes begged for something from me, something I didn’t understand. Your eyes confused me, filled with me calmness and jitters all at the same time. A loud scream from an errant mall shopper drew my attention; I turned for a single second and when I looked back, you were gone. I wondered if I’d ever see you again, I wanted to see you again.
All it took was one glance from you and I was already hooked. I thought about you nonstop from then on, always dreaming about what your voice might sound like, what your name was, what you smelled like, even how soft your skin would feel against my cheek. Didn’t take long for my yearning teenage mind to form you into the man of my dreams - all from one glance.
You kept appearing, always on the outskirts of my vision, but always present. A constant figure that lingered around me at all times. I grew accustom to your presence, even longed for it. Which I’m sure was part of your well laid out plan. At the time, my immature heart thought it was fate, but it was just you, wasn’t it? Every time my day was going bad, there you were to console me with a simple smile or some other menial gesture that made my heart flutter. You never spoke a word; you didn’t need anything besides your sly presence to draw me in.
It’s a dangerous thing, when someone sees you, truly sees you for how you wish you were. That’s what I felt in you and your constant nearness; always close enough we felt each other’s presence. Eyes trading glances back and forth, doing a dance I didn’t understand but was innate within me.
Finally, you struck when you knew I’d be at my most vulnerable. When you knew you had me exactly where you needed me. You appeared that last night when I’d stayed late to meet some friends for a movie. No one showed up to eat, so I got my own personal pepperoni and black olive pizza then found an empty table outside, far away from all the mall traffic. I knew you were there; I’d seen you several times that day and I hoped against hope that you’d finally approach me.
I could feel you before I saw you; the hair on the back of my neck bristled with every breath you took. My heart pounded, forcefully trying to escape the lonely confines of my hollow chest. Your footsteps finally made crunching sounds in the dead grass surrounding the table and I knew you were upon me. The first thing I saw were your blue eyes glowing with reflections of the moonbeams in the late summer sky. Neither of us said a word, I was frozen with pizza half way to my mouth and you just stood there smiling. I don’t know how many minutes passed but it was long enough that the awkwardness slowly weakened. I’d never experienced that before, an uneasy silence growing comfortable all by itself.
You held out a drink for me to take but I hesitated and felt my brow crinkle. “You forgot it,” you said and your voice was calm, airy, and felt like velvet to my ears.
“I forgot?” I puzzled.
You pointed back inside toward the food court. “Left it sitting on the counter.”
I looked down at my pizza, the plate, and the napkins. Everything I’d brought with me, no drink. I laughed too loud at my silliness and looked back to you just in time to see you blink rapidly as an uneasy nervousness spread across your handsome face. But as my laugh faded, your smile returned.
“May I?” you asked, and gestured toward the empty chair next to me. I hesitated but you’d expected as much. Your hand reached to my face but paused to see if I would shy away from it – I didn’t, I longed to see what you planned to do with it. Rough fingers skimmed across my skin, trailing from my earlobe to the center of my chin. “It’s okay. I don’t bite … hard,” you joked and gave me your best non-predatory smirk that would have sent most girls running for the hills, but instead made my heart leap. The warmth of your hand left my face and my skin screamed in protest at its loss.
You tilted your head back the way you’d came. “If you want, I can just leave you alone.”
Your blue eyes filled with sadness. For the first time you looked normal, not like the dream man I’d seen for so long. Your façade of perfection crumbled and I could see the tiredness appear on every inch of your body. You still didn’t look like anyone else here, no cheesy print shirts or fake leather sandals. The crisp linen shirt you paired perfectly with pressed khakis and canvas shoes gave the illusion you wanted everyone to buy, just like I had believed, but in that moment I thought I saw the real you. The creases from worried anguish clearly etched in your brow and bright eyes that held dark secrets pulled me in even tighter.
“You just got here.” I spoke softly, almost as afraid you’d stay as I was you’d leave.
“Right choice.” You winked, as your façade moved right back into place. “Stay it is.”
I inhaled deeply, counting as it took you three of my breaths to walk around the table to sit beside me. You moved so close I could feel the warmth of your body wash over me and I yearned to lean closer, feel it deeper.
“The nights are so much better, it’s too hot in the day.” You spoke without a care in the world, like by my side was where you’d always been.
I glanced at you from the corner of my eye, afraid that if I looked at you straight on you’d disappear. You were beautiful. Your lips looked full and soft; I wondered what they felt like. There was a small, white scar under your left eye that added to your air of mystery. The planes of your face were rugged and you were older than I’d thought, too old to be sitting under the night sky with someone my age.
“The stars are so clear, beautiful,” I said as I tore my gaze from you and looked upward.
“Not the most beautiful though,” you said, and moved your hand to rest on the knee of my crossed legs, not a full grope but more of a tentative caress.
Heat of embarrassment rushed over me, so hot I was surprised we both weren’t sweating. Part of me knew warning bells should be going off in my head at your intimate touch but another part, the one that wanted your touch, chose to ignore them.
“Why are you out here all alone?” you asked.
“I don’t really know,” I said, still watching your hand as it rested so easily on my leg. “I like it outside after the sun has gone down and it’s not so hot. And I wanted to get away from all those people in there, they can be...” I let my sentence trail off, I didn’t want to admit I was hoping you’d find me. You made me feel alive, mature. What if you found out I wasn’t and how much I thought about you?
“Can be what?” you questioned forcefully, as your hand dug into my leg, causing me to flinch slightly. Those warning bells finally began to sound lightly as fear threatened to surface. Our encounter seemed off, you seemed off – not how I’d pictured, and I was afraid it was my fault. I thought maybe I wasn’t what you’d wanted either.
I shook my head quickly. “I wanted to be alone … with you.” My words were barely a whisper dancing across the cool breeze of the night and I hoped you had heard them before they blew away. I hoped you’d believed them and that they pleased you.
You ducked your head timidly and slowly pulled your hand from its resting place. “You’d rather be with me?”
My heart jumped but I didn’t speak.
“Somewhere cool like it is right now?” you asked, as you tilted your head up to the sky and closed your eyes in delight.
“Sure, I’d love that. I’ve never really been anywhere but here and I’ve always wanted to be around snow since there’s never any here. Just once or twice a year, but it’s usually just like an inch. We did go snow skiing when I was young, but I barely remember it.” I could feel myself getting flustered the more and more I talked, I wanted to shut up but for some reason my mouth just kept moving. I curled my lips under the edges of my teeth and bit down so hard a faint metallic taste assaulted my senses. “Have you ever been in a lot of snow?” I finally blurted out.
“I have, all the time,” you answered calmly and subdue in comparison to my blathering.
“Are you from somewhere cold?” I asked, knowing it was none of my business.
“I am,” you stated. “Maybe you should just come home with me.”
I laughed. “But I don’t even know your name.”
“And if you did?” You raised your eyebrows at me and I felt a rush through my entire body.
“Well, then maybe … you know, I, if only …” I stuttered, and then wanted to slap myself for sounding like a stupid child.
“Eat, drink,” you finally demanded.
I did, chewing so quietly, praying you wouldn’t hear me but I only took a few more bites before moving the plate across the table. You moved my drink closer to me with a smile. Finally picking it up, I took a long drink from the cup that was covered with condensation. Little droplets of water dripped off and landed on my lap, both of our eyes turned down to follow them and then moved back to each other. Your eyes watched me intently, flickering back and forth from my mouth to my eyes before finally tearing away from my stare. I thought it was a moment of shyness as you were overcome with me, which only made me want you more.
But I was wrong, so wrong. Looking back I wish our story had ended there, it would have remained a happy story. A fond memory I could have looked back on as old age took away every ounce of beauty you saw in me. But that’s not where we ended, that is just where we began.
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