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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Long Road, Full Speed Ahead Cover Reveal @authorewalker

 Title: Long Road, Full Speed Ahead
Author: Emily Walker
Genre: New Adult Drama
Reveal Host: Lady Amber's Tours

Free June 19-21!!

Grace finds herself with a toxic friend and a brand new hobby when she discovers meth. She had a promising future before Grayson came into the picture. A wolf in sheep’s clothing he soon shows his true colors and they are painted with black and blue.
The drugs cause more problems than they fix, but lost in the intoxicating world of numbness she must find herself through abuse, addiction, and abortion. Will she let the drugs take her out of the world, and be forever numb, or will an unlikely love pull her out and make her feel again?

Prologue

 To understand what brings someone to rock bottom, you first have to look at what they were like on the top. There I was, this naive bright-eyed teenager leaving home for the first time, going to live on my own at college. I was hidden from the crazy that was inside of me. It didn’t seem like bad things could happened to good people and that my choices could have bad consequences. If I had known how dumb I was at eighteen, I would have run back to the safety of my parent’s house screaming to escape from myself. Instead, I stayed and began a long road, full speed ahead.

    I blame two people for my downward spiral into drug fueled oblivion. Well, that is not really true, I blame myself the most. The crazy part of me escaped for a little while and I became a different person. I made some poor choices and no one forced them on me. So I blame three people: I, my alcoholic, loser ex-boyfriend and my self-involved best friend. The fact that she was a meth addict did not factor into how I felt about Miranda.  I was interested in her life, the dirty sex she found comfortable and her devil, crystal meth. I suppose you could say my story is pretty standard for a twenty-year-old from a small town. I have witnessed lots of things I wish I could erase from my memory.

When I hit rock bottom, I should have left this earth for good, but someone had other plans for this girl. I suppose I should start my story where everyone’s tale begins: At the beginning of the end.

Chapter 1 – Lemon Fish

The first sign that my life had taken a different turn was the day I quit waiting tables at Finn’s. It was a normal day. I woke up and ate my breakfast with my ungrateful boyfriend of two years. He bitched because I hadn’t cleaned the bathroom to his standards and his eggs were cold. Like I said, it was a normal morning. Finn’s is an Italian restaurant in a rich part of town. The clientele are mostly assholes and dealing with them was not something I looked forward to every day. Just the day before a lady had thrown her fish at me, a whole fish!

I had let a good amount of time pass before returning to her table. I could tell she hated everything on the menu by the way she was looking at it. I asked her if she had decided what she wanted. She looked me up and down as if trying to decide if I was worthy enough to wait on her. This was typical of the customers who came in, they were not afraid to look down their noses at anyone.

“Does your trout come with a slice of lemon on the side?” She hissed like it was the worst thing in the world that could happen.

“No ma’am, it is cooked in lemon butter when it is pan seared,” I replied. “But we only add a slice of lemon when requested.”

“Well, I will have the trout, but there better not be a hint of a lemon slice, or I will be very upset.”

Something told me she would be upset no matter what came out, but the customer is always right. I went into the kitchen and told the cook, Marco, to make sure no lemon touched the stupid bitch’s fish.

“It’s cooked in lemon butter, baby, what she expects?” He said. Marco’s English was great for the most part, but every once in a while he slipped and missed a few words. “What I make it in instead, sweetie?”

He also had an annoying habit of calling me every pet name that he knew.

“I don’t know. Cook it in regular butter, or just oil, just no lemon, please.”

“Whatever you say, she is going to hate it plain.” Marco turned back to his cooking. He never listened to me when the guests requested something special. They would always take it out on the server and the cooks never had to deal with it. Why should he care if they were happy or not?

I went back out and continued to wait on my other tables. At least they were friendly. One lady even complimented my jewelry. I thought it was nice because I rarely get even a smile from my customers. They are all too good to smile; either that or they have too much Botox.

I saw the owner come in and tried my best to avoid him. Finley White is a creepy older man who opened Finn’s after he had great success in Florida with his restaurant Finn’s Seafood and Wine. He really does not belong in the mountains. He hates everything about it, but he loves making money. He has a couple of women in his life, both young enough to be his granddaughters. They were always around demanding things of the waitresses. He has a full head of gray hair that he styles with gel into a poof that moves when he talks, and he is always sucking on a peppermint.

He is someone who makes me uncomfortable and he is not afraid to talk to us in inappropriate ways. He wants his waitresses to wear tight black pants and unbutton their shirts to show cleavage. It’s probably just for his enjoyment, seeing as how most of the eighty-year-old billionaires could barely see past their wine glass.

I saw him go over to the lady who had ordered the fish and kiss her hand. Great. I knew I was in for it because she was one of his minions. They leaned their heads in close and looked back at me as they whispered.

I pictured the conversation going like this:

“Who is that dreadful homely girl you hired? She doesn’t even know what a lemon slice is.” She would throw her head back and cackle as she held her chest.

“Well, she came in on a day when I had too much to drink and I thought she looked good in the uniform.” He would wiggle his brows and grin as if he had just told the best joke.

“She is the worst waitress in the entire universe and I am so rich I lived on Mars for a while.” She would put her hand on his arm and wink at him as she eyed me with hatred.

“Ha, you are hilarious, Constance.” Or some other equally horrible name. “Her days are numbered here, and I am just trying to get into her pants.”

“Grace, Earth to Grace, that crazy woman’s fish is getting cold.” Marco jarred me back to reality. “You need to get your head in the game, girl. Quit daydreaming.”

“Thanks, Marco, wish me luck,” I called over my shoulder as I began the dreaded march to her table. At least Finn had left so I got to deal with the snooty witch by myself.

“Here you are, ma’am. May I get anything else for you?”

She looked at the plate I placed in front of her like it was road kill that had been sitting out for weeks and then hastily whirled around in her seat to stare at me.

“I smell lemon,” she snarled. “You stupid girl, how hard is it to not let a lemon slice touch my food?”

I tried to hold onto my composure.

“Ma’am, I assure you that there is no way a lemon touched your food.” I dug my fingernails into my palm to prevent my shakiness from showing up in my words.  I didn’t want her to know she was getting to me.

“You are lying to me.” She started to raise her voice. “There is no way I will eat this garbage and you probably did this on purpose.” She shoved the plate away from her and crossed her arms like a child. I half expected her to stick her tongue out at me.

I realized the woman was crazy. She had listened with disdain to my entire list of specials and chose the one thing she could complain about. I knew that it would do no good to argue, so I reached for the plate in front of her.

“I will get them to make you a fresh fish; it will only take a minute.” I would make sure it had a healthy dose of spit or dirt in it when she got it back.

“No!” She screamed as she slapped my hand. “You have already ruined my dinner. I am going to ruin your pretty little uniform.”

The next part happened in slow motion. There was nothing I could do to stop it. She held my arm in one hand and the plate in the other. I looked around at my fellow waitresses in disbelief. Finn looked up and gave me a hateful stare as he walked toward me. I looked into the eyes of the crazy woman as she lifted out of her chair with the plate. Then she threw it and everything went back to normal speed. The plate cracked against my forehead, the fish hit me in the mouth and the juices from the fish slid down my face and into my shirt. She stood up and ran shrieking to the bathroom.  I walked over to a table to sit down and collect myself.

“What did you do?” Finn screamed. “Go clean up and get back to work. This is a business, not a place for you to harass my customers with your bad manners.”

“You were standing there, Finn. You saw everything. How can you possibly blame this on me?” My face burned with rage. I knew it was red and I silently cursed the tears that stung my eyes.

“Ms. Elizabeth is a fine lady and she has more class in her little toe than you possess in your entire body.” He was in my face. “You must have said something smart and provoked her. Now the poor thing has been embarrassed in public and the whole town will be talking about how I cannot control my rude waitresses.” He spat as he talked and some of it landed on my cheek. I cringed in disgust. I didn’t wipe it away as I faced him because I didn’t want to back down. I wasn’t wrong, that woman was crazy.

I could not believe what was happening. I had kept my cool and tried to keep her happy and this was the thanks I got? I went into the bathroom and plopped down on the toilet seat.

Why do I work for this jerk? I thought. The crazy lady was in the stall beside me. I could see her four thousand dollar shoes [T5] under the stall. I wished I could punch her. I wished I could give her a swirly and do anything to embarrass her as much as she had tried to embarrass me, but I just sat there until she left. I sat for a long time, not moving and just thinking. When I finally did come out, Finn had left.

The shift manager was a lady named Kay. She chain smoked and had the husky voice to prove it. Her face was drawn up tighter than elephant skin. It didn’t stop her from slathering on fifty pounds of makeup and attaching brown hair extensions. She was probably fifty or older, but she was trying to hold on to her youth.

“You OK, honey?” She asked. She chewed on the edge of her pen and looked at the fish juice on my chest.

“Kay, you have worked with him for years. Has he always been like this?” I grabbed a tissue from the box and tried to mop up some of the grease.

“As long as I have known him, but he keeps me fed and a roof over my head so I do what he wants.”

“That woman must have escaped from the crazy house.” I gave up on the tissue and threw it into the trash can. I realized some of the mess was in my hair. I wanted a shower badly.

“She is certifiably insane, but she is worth more than everyone in this town put together. If she got down on her hands and knees and ate dog shit they would still suck up to her and tell her that she is so smart for finding something that didn’t cost money to eat.” That type of statement from Kay would usually make me laugh, but I wasn’t feeling it today. I was angry that I had been treated like I was beneath her. The only reason I worked was to get out of the dorms and pay sorority dues. Those two things kept me happy because of the friends I had made and for the freedom I had acquired. 

“Well, I am out of here, Kay. I cannot take much more today.” I forced a smile at her and felt sorry because she had to stay behind in his wrath. She had worked for him for so long she was probably accustomed to it.

“Rest up, honey. We will see you tomorrow.” She smiled and I saw her go over to the bus pan and grab a wash cloth. She was going to clean up the woman’s mess. I wished she would shove that dirty cloth down her throat and choke her to death. This place was making me violent.

As I walked to my car I thought about her last sentence. Would she see me tomorrow? What if I just didn’t show up? It sounded like a good idea. Maybe I would run it by Grayson when I got home to see what he thought. All I wanted to do was go to my dorm and get good and drunk. I had a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey and some cherry coke that I was going to make disappear just as soon as I washed the fish juice out of my hair. I looked back as I drove off.

“Screw you Finn, I hope you get a disease from a teenager and your balls fall off.”




Emily Walker loves creating worlds and stumbling around in them. She is constantly losing her chap-stick, and has an obsession with the color pink. Currently a resident of the mountains and loving the view she writes mostly paranormal fiction, and horror. Her small family consists of her red bearded other half, a rat terrier named Rebel, and a cat called Mr. Creepy.


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