Welcome! I’m excited that today is my stop on the VAIN book tour by Fisher Amelie. I truly adored this book in every way,and I’m hoping you will LOVE it as much as I did!!!! This book left me truly feeling delighted about everything good in my life, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an unconventional and unique selfless love story that is built on compassion and devotion to helping one another and gaining ones self worth by lending a hand to those unable to help themselves. Please stop back by my blog on Thursday January 17, 2013 for my REVIEW and GIVEAWAY on this incredible story about losing ones Vanity and gaining
So Much more self worth and respect.
Check out the New Cover Below!! ♥
If you’re looking for a story about a good, humble girl, who’s been hurt by someone she thought she could trust, only to find out she’s not as vulnerable as she thought she was and discovers an empowering side of herself that falls in love with the guy who helps her find that self, blah, blah, blah…then you’re gonna’ hate my story.
Because mine is not the story you read every time you bend back the cover of the latest trend novel. It’s not the “I can do anything, now that I’ve found you/I’m misunderstood but one day you’ll find me irresistible because of it” tale. Why? Because, if I was being honest with you, I’m a complete witch. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles. I’m every girlfriend’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy.
I’m Sophie Price…And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most envied girl to the girl no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world
Sneak Peak of Chapter One of VAIN
Six weeks after graduation and Jerrick had been dead for three of them. You’d have thought it would’ve been enough for us all to take a breather from our habits, but it wasn’t.
I bent to snort the line of coke in front of me.
“Brent looks very tempting tonight, doesn’t he?” I asked Savannah, or Sav as I called her for short, when I lifted my head and wiped my nose.
Savannah turned her glassy eyes away from her Special K laced O.J., her head wavering from side to side. “Yeah,” she lazily slurred out, “he looks hot tonight.” Her glazed eyes perked up a bit but barely. “Why?”
“I’m thinking about saying hello to him.” I smiled wickedly at my pseudo-best friend and she smiled deviously back.
“You’re such a bitch,” she teased, prodding my tanned leg with her perfectly manicured nail. “Ali will never forgive you for it.”
“Yes, she will,” I said, standing and smoothing out my pencil skirt.
I could’ve been considered a dichotomy of dressers. I never showed much in the way of skin because, well, my father would have killed me, but that didn’t stop me from choosing pieces that kept the boys’ tongues wagging. For instance, everything I owned was skin tight because I had the body for it, and because it always got me what I wanted. I loved the way the boys stared. I loved the way they wanted me. It felt powerful.
“How do you know?” Sav asked, her head heavily lolling back and forth on the back of the leather settee in her father’s office.
No one was allowed in that room, party or no, but we didn’t care. Sav’s parents went to Italy on a whim, leaving her house as the inevitable destination for that weekend’s “Hole,” as we called them. The Hole was code for wherever we decided to “hole up” for the weekend. My group of friends was, at the risk of sounding garish, wealthy. That’s an understatement. We were filthy, as we liked to tease one another, double meaning and all. Someone’s house was always open some random weekend because all our parents traveled frequently, mine especially. In fact, almost every other weekend, the party was at my home. This isn’t why I ruled the roost, so to speak. It wasn’t even because I was the wealthiest. My dad was only number four on that list. No, I ruled because I was the hottest.
You see, I’m one of the beautiful people. That truly sounds so odd to have to explain, but it’s the truth nonetheless. I’m beautiful, and it’s not because I have a healthy dose of self-esteem, though I have plenty of that. It’s obvious in the way I look in the mirror, yes, but even more obvious in the way everyone treats me. I rule this roost because I’m the most wanted by all the guys, and all the girls want to be my friend because of it.
“How do you know?” she asked again, agitated I hadn’t yet answered.
This made my blood boil. “Stuff it, Sav,” I ordered. She’d forgotten who I was and I needed to remind her.
“Sorry,” she said sheepishly, shrinking slightly into herself.
“I know because they always do. Besides, when I’m done with their boys, I give them back. They consider it their dues.”
“Trust me,” she said quietly toward the wall, “they do not consider it their dues.”
“Is this about Brock, Sav?” I huffed. “God, you are such a whiny brat. If he was willing to cheat on you so easily, he wasn’t worth it. Consider it a favor.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right,” she conceded but didn’t sound truly convinced. “You saved me, Soph.”
“You’re welcome, Sav,” I replied sweetly and patted her head. “Now, I’m off to find Brent.”
I stood in front of the mirror above her dad’s desk and inspected myself.
Long, silky, straight brown hair down to my elbows. I had natural blonde highlights throughout its mass. I’d recently cut my bangs so that they fell straight across my forehead. I ruffled them so they lay softly over my brows. I studied them and felt my blood begin to boil. The majority of girls at Jerrick’s funeral suddenly had the same cut and it royally pissed me off. God! Get a clue, nimrods. You’ll never look like me! I puckered my lips and applied a little gloss over them. My lips were full and pink enough that I didn’t need much color. My skin was tanned from lying by the pool too much after graduation, and I’d made a mental note to keep myself indoors for a bit. Don’t need wrinkles, Soph. My light gold eyes were the color of amber and were perfect, but I noticed my lashes needed a touch more mascara. I did this only to darken them up a bit, not because they weren’t long enough. Like I said, I was practically flawless.
“He won’t know what hit him,” I told myself in the mirror. Sav mistook this for speaking to her and I rolled my eyes when she responded.
“You play a sick game, Sophie Price.”
“I know,” I admitted, turning her direction, a fiendish expression on my unblemished face.
I sauntered from the room. As I passed the throngs of people lined against the sides of the hall that lead from the foyer to the massive den, I received the customary catcalls and ignored them with all the flirtatious charm that was my forte. I was the queen of subtlety. I could play a boy like a concert violinist. I was a master of my craft.
“Can I get you boys anything?” I asked as I approached the elite group of hotties that included Ali’s Brent.
“I’m fine, baby,” Graham flirted, as if I’d ever give him the time of day.
“You look it,” I flirted back, just stifling the urge to roll my eyes.
“Since you’re offering so nicely, Soph,” Spencer said, “I believe we could all use a fresh round.”
“But of course,” I said, curtsying lightly and smiling seductively. I purposely turned to make my way toward the bar. I did this for two reasons. One, to make them all look at my ass. Two, to make them believe I’d only just thought of the next move on my playing board. I turned around quickly and caught them all staring, especially Brent. Bingo. “I’ll need some help carrying them all back,” I pouted.
“I’ll go!” They all shouted at once, clamoring in front of the other like cattle.
“How about I choose?” I said. I circled the herd, running my hand along their shoulders as I passed each one. Spencer visibly shivered. Point, Soph. “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,” I said, stopping at Brent. I followed the line of his throat and caught a glimpse of him swallowing, hard. “Would you help me, Brent?” I asked nicely without any flirting.
“Uh, sure,” he said, setting down his own glass.
I linked my arm through his as we walked to the bar. “So how are you and Ali doing?” I asked him.
He gazed at me, not hearing a word I’d said. “What?” he asked.
Three hours later and Brent was mine. We’d ended up sprawled out on the ancient Turkish rug in Sav’s parents’ bedroom, our tongues in each other’s throats. He threw me underneath him and hungrily kissed my neck but stopped suddenly.
“Sophie,” he breathed sexily in my ear.
“Yes, Brent?” I asked, ecstatic I’d gotten what I wanted.
He sat up and gazed down on me like he’d never really seen me before. I smiled lasciviously in return, tonguing my left eyetooth. “Jesus,” he said, a trembling hand combed through his hair, “I am such a fool.”
“What?” I asked, sitting up, stunned.
“I’ve made a horrible mistake,” he told me, still wedged between my legs. No need to tell you how badly that stung. “I’ve had too much to drink,” he said, shaking his head. “I’m sorry, Sophie. You being the most gorgeous girl I’ve ever met’s clouded my judgment, badly. I’ve made a terrible mistake.”
At that most fortunate of moments, we heard Ali calling out Brent’s name in the hall outside the door and he tensed, his eyes going wide. I could only inwardly smile at what was to come. Before he’d had a chance to react to her calling to him, she’d walked into the room.
“Brent?” she asked him. She saw our position and the recognition I’d seen in all the others before her was so obviously written all over Ali. She wasn’t going to fight it. “I’m sorry,” she said politely, like I wasn’t in a compromising position on the floor with her boyfriend. She’s so pathetic, I thought. She closed the door. We heard her pounding the floor to the stairs, running toward Sav no doubt. Sav would have to pretend she had no idea.
He threw himself to his feet, abandoning me haphazardly on the carpet and immediately began chasing her. Well, that’s a first, I thought to myself. Usually they went right back to business, but I suppose we hadn’t gotten far enough. Yeah, that’s why he left you lying here, half-undressed, chasing after his girlfriend, Soph.
I balked at my own idiocy and stood up.
I walked to Sav’s parents’ bathroom and leaned over her mother’s side of the double sinks. I fixed my bristled hair and ran my nail along the line of my bottom lip, fixing any gloss smudges. I tucked my formfitting black-and-white V-striped silk button-up back into my pencil skirt and stared at myself.
A single tear ran down my cheek and I grimaced. Not now, I thought. I was my own worst enemy. That was my secret weakness. Rejection. Rejection of any kind, in fact. I hated it more than anything.
“You’re too beautiful to be rejected,” I told the reflection in front of me, but the tears wouldn’t stop.
I ran the tap and splashed a little water on my face before removing the small bag of coke I’d hidden in my strapless. I fumbled with the little plastic envelope, spilling it onto the marble counter and cursed at the mess I’d made. I scrambled for something to line it with, finally stumbling upon her father’s medicine cabinet. I removed the blade from her father’s old-fashioned razor and made my lines. I remembered her mom kept small stacks of stationery paper in her desk in the bedroom and I went straight for that, rolling the paper into a small tube.
The tears wouldn’t stop and I knew I wouldn’t be able to snort with a snotty nose. I went to her parents’ toilet and tugged at a few squares of toilet paper, blew my nose, then flushed it down. I swiped at the tears on my cheeks and bent over my lines just about the time a policeman came rushing in, catching me right before the act for the second time that night.
“What are you doing? Put your hands on your head,” I heard a man’s deep voice say.
I languidly stood from my unfinished lines and stared into the mirror. Sharing its reflection with me was a young, rather hot cop. Shit. I dropped the rolled-up stationery that smelled like old lady lavender potpourri and lazily put my hands over my head.
“Turn around,” he said, fingering the cuffs on his belt.
I turned around and faced him, his eyes widened at the full sight of me. He stumbled a little, a hitch in his step, as he progressed my way. He brought my right hand down slowly, then my left and swallowed just as Brent had earlier. Gotcha.
“What’s your name?” I whispered, his face mere inches from mine. Beats Antique’s Dope Crunk rang loudly from downstairs. No wonder I hadn’t heard them come in.
“That’s none of your concern,” he said, but the hesitation in his voice told me he thought he’d like it to be.
“I’m Sophie,” I told him as he clicked the first ring around my wrist.
He kept narrowing his eyes at me, but they would drop to my breasts then back up.
“N-nice to meet you, Sophie.”
“Nice to meet you, too…,” I drug out, waiting for his name.
“What are you doing?” he asked me, throwing glances over his shoulder, no doubt worried if more officers would be joining us.
“Nothing. Cross my heart,” I appraised, taking my free hand from his and crossing my heart, which just so happened to be at the crest of my cleavage. His gaze flitted down and he started breathing harder.
“Casey,” he told me.
“Casey,” I said breathily, testing out his name. He fought a drowsy smile, apparently liking the way I said it, and I smiled.
“L-let me have your hand,” he said.
I gave him my unconstrained hand without a fuss. He took it and restrained it with the other.
“All tied up now, Casey,” I whispered, raising my fisted hands just as he closed his eyes, almost drifting forward a bit.
“Come with me,” he said, pulling me from the counter. His eyes glanced down at my lines and he shook his head. “What makes you do that shit?”
“Because it feels good,” I told him, turning his direction and seductively running my tongue along my top teeth.
“Don’t even,” he said, “or I’ll get you on propositioning an officer as well as possession.”
“Suit yourself,” I told him, shrugging my shoulders. “It might have been nice,” I leaned forward and sang in his ear.
“I’m sure,” he said. I could see the surprise on his face at his unexpected and candid response. I decided to run with it.
“I bet if you handcuffed me to the closet bar just beyond those doors, I’d be quiet as a mouse until you came back for me,” I said, letting the double meaning sink in.
“Stop,” he said. The breath he’d been holding whistled from his nose.
“How old are you, Casey?” I asked, leaning into him.
“Twen-twenty-two,” he stuttered.
“Huh, I just happen to be into twenty-two-year-olds. They’re currently my thing,” I lied.
His eyes came right to mine and held there.
“Really?” he asked, skeptical, yet inadvertently leaned into me. The grim line that had held his face before turned into a slight grin. Seal the deal, Sophie.
“Mmmhmm,” I said. I pushed farther into his chest, my breasts mashed against his armor plate.
I tentatively kissed the pulse at his neck, knowing full well that if he really wanted to, he could definitely get me on propositioning.
I just couldn’t go to jail. Not again. I’d already been once for possession when Jerrick died, and the judge told me if I showed back up in his courtroom, I’d be toast. This was worth the risk.
“Jesus,” he murmured.
I threaded my fingers through the belt loop at his waist and brought him closer to me. He fiercely took my face in his and kissed me like he was dying. What an amateur, I thought. Thank God I got a dumb one. His hands grappled all over my face as he had no grace whatsoever. If the guy wasn’t so sexy, I don’t think I could have put up the charade as long as I did.
“Officer Fratelli!” we heard come from downstairs and he broke the kiss. “Fratelli!”
“I’m-I’m up here,” Casey said, flustered. He adjusted himself and wiped his mouth.
“Uncuff me,” I said, almost panicked.
“I can’t,” he said.
“Yes, you can, Casey. Do it and I’ll repay you exponentially.”
He groaned but looked at me apologetically. “When you get out, come find me,” he said quietly as the other officer entered the room.
“The rest of the upstairs is secure,” Casey said as if he hadn’t just kissed my face off. “She was the only straggler.”
“Fine,” the older officer said. I thought he was going to leave but instead came through and examined the bathroom around us. “What the hell is this?” he asked Casey.
“What?” Casey asked.
“This,” the older man said, gesturing to the lines of coke.
“Uh, yes, she was attempting a line when I found her,” Casey told his superior.
“I’ll bag this up,” the man said and waved Casey on.
“I’m sorry,” Casey said when we were out of the room. “I had to tell him. He’d have known I was lying.”
“It’s okay, Casey,” I said with saccharine ooze. I kissed his mouth, then bit his lip playfully. “It would have been the best ride of your life,” I whispered. His eyes blew wide.
“Wait, what? We can still see each other,” Casey desperately plied.
“Sure we can,” I lied again.
“I wasn’t going to tell him about the drugs,” he said again, his voice quivering. “I had only planned on getting you on the party. That would have only been a ticket, a misdemeanor.”
“I know, sweets,” I told him, “but you still messed up.”
Casey led me down the winding staircase and I felt as if time was standing still. All my friends, cuffed themselves, looked up at me as I descended over them. I smiled down at them bewitchingly and they almost cowered in my presence. I’d been the one who brought the coke, and my smile let them know that if they brought me down, I wouldn’t be going down with the ship on my own. If they squealed like the pigs they were, I would make their lives miserable. There’s a fine line between friend and foe in my world.
Casey placed me into the back of a squad car when we reached the winding drive and buckled me in.
“Tell me,” I said softly against his ear near my mouth, “what exactly am I being charged with?”
“Sarge will probably get you on drugs, but if it’s your first offense, you should be able to get off lightly.”
“And what if it isn’t?”
“Isn’t what?” he asked, glancing over his shoulder.
“My first offense.”
“Shit. If it’s not, there’s nothing I can do for you.”
“Oh, well, there’s nothing I can do for you then either,” I said coldly, the heat in my seduction blasted cold with a bucket of ice water at the flip of a switch. Casey’s mouth grew wide and he could see that he’d been had. I turned my face away from his, done with my pawn.
Casey got into the front seat and I could see through the rearview that his face was painted red with humiliation and obvious disappointment in himself that he fell for my game. He stuck the key in the ignition and drove me to the station.
I was booked, processed and searched. I scoffed at the women who had to search me before placing me in my cell. Stripping naked for anyone of the female persuasion wasn’t exactly what I’d had planned for the evening. They looked down on me, knowing my charges, like they were somehow better than me.
“My lingerie probably costs more than your entire wardrobe,” I spit out at the short, stocky one who eyed me with disdain.
She could only shake her head at me.
“Well, it’ll go nicely with your new wardrobe addition,” the dark-haired one said, handing me a bright orange jumpsuit.
This made both the women laugh. I slipped the disgusting jumpsuit on and they filed me away into a cell.
I shivered in my cell, coming down from my high. I was used to this part though. I only did coke on the weekends. Unlike most others I knew, I had enough self-control to only do it at the Holes. It was just enough to drown out whatever crappy week I’d had from being ignored by my mother and father.
My parents were strangely the only I knew of who married and stayed that way. Of course, my mother was fifteen years younger than my father, so I’m sure that helped and she stayed in incredible shape. If you pitched a pic of her then and now, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, and she’d gifted those incredible genes to yours truly. That was about the only thing my mother ever bothered to give me. My mother and father were so absorbed in themselves I don’t think they remembered me some days. I was born for one reason and one reason only. It was expected of my parents to give the impression of a family.
My mom was a “housewife,” and I use that term loosely. My father was the founder and CEO of an electronics conglomerate, namely computers and software. His company was based in Silicon Valley, but when he married my gold-digging mother, she insisted on L.A., so he jetted the company plane there when he needed to. It was safe to say that one, if not two or three, of my father’s products were in every single home in America. I’d had a five-thousand-dollar monthly allowance if I’d kept my grades up during prep school, and that’s about as much acknowledgment I got from my parents.
I’d just graduated, which meant I had four years to earn a degree of some kind then move out. I would retain a monthly allowance of twenty thousand a month, but I had to earn my degree first. That was my father in a nutshell.
“Keep appearances, Sophie Price, and I’ll reward you handsomely,” my father said to me starting at fifteen.
And it was a running mantra in my home once a week, usually before a dinner I was forced to attend when he was entertaining some competitor he was looking to buy out or possibly a political official he was trying to grease up. I would dress modestly, never speak unless spoken to. Timidity was the farce. If I looked sweet and acquiescent, my father gave the impression he knew how to run a home as well as a multinational, multibillion-dollar business. If I did this, I would get a nice little thousand-dollar bonus. I was an employee, not a child.
“Sophie Price,” someone yelled outside the big steel door that was my cell. I could just make out the face of a young cop in the small window. The door came sliding open with a deafening thud. “You’ve made bail.”
“Finally,” I huffed out.
When I was released, I stood at a counter and waited for them to return the belongings I had walked in with.
“One pair of shoes, one skirt, one set of hose, one set of…,” the guy began but eyed the garment with confusion.
“Garters,” I spit out. “They’re garters. God, just give them to me,” I said, snatching them out of his hands.
He carelessly pushed the rest of my belongings in a pile over to me and I almost screamed at him that he was handling a ten-thousand-dollar outfit like it was from Wal-Mart.
“You can change in there,” he said, pointing at an infinitesimal door.
The bathroom was small and I had to balance my belongings on a disgusting sink.
“Well, these are going in the incinerator,” I said absently.
I got dressed sans hose, returned my ridiculous jumpsuit and entered the lobby. Repulsive, dirty men sat waiting for whatever jailed fool they bothered to bail. They eyed me with bawdy stares and I could only glare back, too tired to give them a piece of my mind.
Near the glass entry doors, the sun was just cresting the horizon and I made out the silhouette of the only person I would have expected to come to my rescue.
Standing more than six feet tall, so thin his bones protruded from his face, but with stylish, somewhat long hair, reminiscent of the nineteen-thirties, clad in a fitted Italian suit, stood Pembrook.
“Hello, Pembrook,” I greeted him with acid. “I see my father was too busy to come himself.”
“Ah, so lovely to see you too, Sophie.”
“Stop with the condescension,” I sneered.
“Oh, but I’m not. It is the highlight of my week bailing you from this godforsaken pit of bacteria.” He eyed me up and down with regret. “I suppose I needed to get the interior of my car cleaned anyway.”
“You’re so clever, Pembrook.”
“I know,” he said simply. “To comment on your earlier observation, your father was too busy to get you. He does want you to know that he is severely disappointed.”
“Ah, I see. Well, I shall try harder next time not to get caught.”
Pembrook stopped and gritted his teeth before opening the passenger door for me. “You, young lady, are sorely unaware of the gravity of this charge.”
“You’re a brilliant attorney, Pembrook, with millions at your disposal,” I said, settling into his Mercedes.
He walked around the front of the car and sat in the driver’s seat.
“Sophie,” he said softly, before turning the ignition. “There’s not enough money in the world that can help you if Judge Reinhold is presiding over your case again.”
“Drive, Pembrook,” I demanded, ignoring his warning. He’ll get me off, I thought.
My house, or I should say, my father’s house, was built a year before I was born, but it had since been newly renovated on the outside as well as the inside so although I may have grown up in the home, it barely resembled anything like it did when I had been small.
It was grotesquely large, sitting on three acres in Beverly Hills, California. It was French Chateau inspired and more than twenty-eight-thousand square feet. I was in the left wing, my parents were in the right. I could go days without seeing them, the only correspondence was out of necessity, usually to inform me that I was required to make a dinner appearance, and that was usually by note delivered by one of the staff. I had a nanny until fourteen, when I fired her for attempting to discipline me. My parents didn’t realize for months and decided I was capable of caring for myself after and never bothered to replace the position.
Freedom is just that. Absolutely no restrictions. I abandoned myself to every whim I felt. Every want I fulfilled and every desire was quenched. I wanted for nothing.
And I got that, I’ll admit, not in the healthiest of ways. I won’t lie to you, it felt gratifying…in a sense. I was rather unrestrained with my time and body. I wasn’t different from most girls I knew. Well, except the fact I was exponentially better looking, but why beat a dead horse? The only difference between them and myself was I kept them wanting more. I used many, many, many boys and tossed them aside, discarding them, ironically, like many of them did to so many other girls before me.
This is what kept them baited. I gave them but a glimpse of my taste and they tasted absinthe. They were hooked by la fée verte as I was so often called. I was “the green fairy.” I flitted into your life, showed you ecstasy, and left you dependent. I did this for fun, for the hell of it, for attention. I wanted to be wanted, and my word, did they want me. Did they ever.
Fisher Amelie resides in the South with her kick ace husband slash soul mate. She earned her first ‘mama’ patch in 2009. She also lives with her Weim, ‘Jonah’, and her Beta, ‘Whale’. All these living creatures keep the belly of her life full, sometimes to the point of gluttony, but she doesn’t mind all that much because life isn’t worth living if it isn’t entertaining, right?
Fisher grew up writing. She secretly hid notebooks and notebooks of dribble in a large Tupperware storage container in her closet as a kid. She didn’t put two and two together until after college where it suddenly dawned on her, “Hey, I like writing”. She’s a bit dense. “No, I’m not.” “Yes, you are. Put down that Oreo, your butt can’t take any more.” “You’re rude.” “Yeah, yeah.” Anyway, she likes to write and has finally beaten her self-esteem into submission enough to allow herself to be scrutinized under the ‘other readers’ microscope. “No! No! Not a cover slip! Last time it gave me a ra….” (mumbling)
Click the Pink below to Contact Fisher Amelie
♥Come back on Thursday for my VAIN Review & Giveaway!♥