That’s a Promise

Posted on October 15, 2014 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 0 Comments

Join us while Victoria Klahr goes on tour with The Heart of a Reader and her novel That’s a Promise. The book is a re-release, published October 10 with Booktrope Publishing, and is the first book in the Promises, Promises series.
 that's a promise cover

About the Book
 Pain isn’t new to me.

I’ve been to hell only to find it never really leaves when you get back. It haunts me through nightmares, unrequited love, lies, broken hearts, and now death.

A monster almost took my life.

My best friend carries half my soul a world away.

My boyfriend broke my heart but refuses to let me go.

And my father is dead.

I don’t believe in fate and I don’t believe in happily-ever-afters, but for some reason, I still hope.

Live, even with a tainted spirit.

Long for my other half to come back to me.

Risk another broken heart, just to feel loved again.

And refuse to let another horror break me.

In the face of my most recent tragedy, I have to decide whether forgiveness is something I can give. But even if that’s an option, can I be forgiven?





Enjoy this excerpt from That’s a Promise:



I’m
in a sea
of black. The beautiful May day gives no impression that
there is any sadness or grief in the air. It’s one of those days that you want to spend outside, smelling the new
blooming flowers,
getting some sun,
and walking in the grass barefoot, but none of those
things hold any
interest for me.
Everything
is a blur around me, a haze that mirrors my own depression. I know people are
talking to me, but I don’t hear them.
They express sadness in their
words, but most of them never sympathized with us before today. They talk as if
they know us, but where were they before? They live their lives talking shit
behind people’s backs, but don’t see the hypocrisy in their fake condolences.
I’ve learned to ignore the whispers
and stares, a lesson received repeatedly as
I grew up in what some would call an
“unconventional” household.
Apparently punching everyone who bullies you isn’t the socially acceptable way
to handle things, so I try to just ignore them. I don’t want or need to let any of their negativity in, so I remain
quiet. There’s been enough sadness in our
lives, and there’s no need for
nasty words from nosey neighbors to pile
onto that pain.
A person in a black suit finishes
shoveling dirt into the cold, deep grave. I focus on the earth closing around
the person I loved so immensely and to whom
I felt so close. The ground consumes the
casket and takes my loved one
away into a lonely pit; permanently putting an end to the best person I will
ever know.
I look at my dad sitting
next to me. He is distraught, but well medicated for the occasion, only showing
emotion when he
remembers he just lost the love of his life. He seems to
have aged ten years in the past week. He was once the strongest and most
commanding person I knew, but today, he looks like a child. He doesn’t speak,
doesn’t do anything except for the essentials. He exists, but he’s not living.
He looks up at me and I feel like maybe he wants to reach out and say something
to comfort me, but I know his internal pain limits him from showing affection.
I put my hand on his shoulder to show I’m here, hoping he understands what I
mean.
People are finally leaving. Leaving us behind to grieve
together in peace. That’s a lie. There is no peace for us, and there won’t be
for a long time. With the preparations for the funeral complete, I have all the
time in the world to sit and think about the gravity of what I just lost.
That’s not peace. That’s torture.
“Dad,” I say, “I think that maybe we should head back to the
house.” He sits there, giving no indication that he heard me suggest our
departure.
“Dad,” I try again, after
a minute. “Let’s say goodbye, and go
home.” I can’t stand to be here any
longer.
He stands slowly and
walks over to the heap of dirt covering a
life that was once vibrant and lively. He collapses onto the mound,
and at first I’m startled by the sudden
fall. Once I hear the heart
wrenching sobs that escape his mouth, I
understand he is saying his goodbye. I hear him murmuring about his undying
love, and decide to give him some privacy.
I look toward the entrance of the cemetery, shaking myself
out of the haze that I was in. I don’t even recall walking this far to get to
the grave site, but I don’t want to remember, so I don’t try to conjure up the
memory.
A figure leans against
one of the nearby trees and I start to
sweep my eyes past until
recognition hits me in the chest heavily. I don’t think he wanted to be seen,
but he was caught and he knows it. My throat starts to constrict and pain
obstructs my chest.
He hasn’t changed much
since the last time I saw him, except
that
he has no smile on his face today. He’s still breathtakingly
handsome…
but he’s also still the asshole I left behind at the café a year ago.
Why is he here? How dare
he show his face here on a day like today?
I’m in such a state of shock that I
lose concept of space and time. I stare at him for a good two minutes before I
jerk back to reality.
He gives me a small wave and a
slight lift of his beautiful lips. It is a
sad and withdrawn smile, enough for me to know he
understands exactly
what happened.
I
glare back at him, not in any mood to be civil, and start
stomping my way toward him, intent on giving him a piece of
my mind. He
has no right to be here.
As
I draw closer to him, he pulls himself from the tree and approaches.
We
meet up and stand so close I almost forget the reason why I came up to him. In
my mind’s stuttering state, he speaks first.
 “Hi Josie.” His deep, dominant voice washes
over me, and I’m angry that it thrills me to hear his voice again. I swallow down
the warmth, and try to keep my guard intact.
“What
the hell are you doing here?” I hiss. “I’m pretty sure I
made it clear I
never wanted to see you again. How dare you show your face here?”
“Jo…
I just wanted to come and say how sorry I am about your loss. I heard about
Will, and I needed to come see how you were
doing,” he responds, sadness
clear from the roughness of his voice.
Hearing him use my nickname with his
gentle tone makes me weak. I wrap my arms around my body to try and keep my
anger from being impacted by his kindness.
“I
don’t want you here,” I whisper, looking anywhere but at
him. I don’t want him to see me break down ever again,
but between my
loss and seeing him, I
don’t know if I will be able to hold back. In that one sentence, filled with
the longing and sadness that I didn’t want
to show, I made it clear to
him that I’m still hurting over what happened.
“I
understand. I needed to make sure you’re okay. I know how hard this is for
you.” He slowly starts to reach out his hand, and
while my cheek tingles
at the thought of him touching even an inch of my skin, I think he knows that it’s unwelcome. As I turn the slightest
fraction away, he lets his hand fall back to his side, a look of regret
crossing his face.
“I can’t do this. Dad needs me right
now. I have to take him back to the house,” I say, wanting to get rid of him
and the memories he is bringing back.
“Let me stay with you for
the day. We can catch up and I can
help
you with things. Today is tough as it
is, let me help,” he says,
confidence and determination starting to come
back into his personality. This is the man I knew.
I hear footsteps behind me as my dad walks up to us. He
stands there, lost in a world I don’t want to enter. He said his goodbye and
now he’s retreated back into his shell. I look up at my unexpected visitor and
get ready to tell him goodbye for the last time.
“Mr. Sommers, I am so
sorry for your loss,” he says softly to my dad. “Josie and I were talking about
heading back to the house to
catch up and throw away some of the food
your neighbors sent over.” He gives me a sly
smile and then returns his attention to my dad.
“Would one extra person
be okay?”
My dad grunts and gives a
barely noticeable nod, and we both

know him well enough to know that he has accepted the offer. I shake my

head at his response.
“Dad, go ahead to the car. I’ll be there in a couple
minutes,” I say, hoping to convince Blake Porter to leave. When Dad is almost
at the car, I whip myself around to scowl at the same stubborn Blake I used to
know. He has a small cocky smirk playing on his lips, and I don’t like how
distractingly handsome he still is.
“You need to leave and
never come back around here or me
again. I can barely even look at you
without wanting to punch you in your stupid face!”
The last part is only partially true; a part of me wants to
hit him again, and the other part wants to
kiss him. His smile grows a little
after he hears me say that, because he knows me well enough to figure
out that I really do want to hit him.
“I get that you never wanted to see me again after the last
time, Josie. Just let me be here for you
today. Let me be your friend this
one time.
I can help. You know I can help,” he says sincerely. I know he
can help,
but that scares me.
I take a deep breath and
try to sort out my thoughts. He is the last person I need to be talking to, and
the second person I’ve
wanted to talk to since this happened. I know
exactly who is standing before me, and I
know without a doubt that if I let him back in, I will be
hurt and
betrayed all over again.

   
About the Author 


Victoria Klahr

Victoria Klahr (pronounced “Claire”) lives in Elizabeth City, North Carolina with her husband and daughter, Stephen and Alexis. She loves her chug (Pug/Chihuahua), Bandit, and daughter to pieces. She is a huge and proud book nerd who looks at her bookshelf in admiration daily. When she’s not daydreaming about book boyfriends and fantasizing about being a badass heroine like Rose Hathaway, she’s busy doing schoolwork for her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and writing the stories that speak to her in her head. She loves peanut butter with Oreos, good friends, amazing gossip, driving in the middle of merge lanes, comedies, crude humor, pretending like she can dance, pretending like she can kick major ass, and a really, really good laugh.

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