Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ashley Farley Guest Post and Breaking the Story Excerpt

In celebration of the release of Breaking the Story, I would like to welcome back to my blog author Ashley Farley.

Inspiration for Breaking the Story

I write books about women for women. My characters are mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives facing challenges in their relationships with their significant others, their parents, and their siblings. I wrote my first novel, Saving Ben, as a tribute to my brother Neal—the boy I worshipped, the man I could not save. Her Sister’s Shoes is the story of three middle-age sisters and the real-life hurdles they face in juggling career and home.

Stop for a minute and think back to your earliest memories—Christmas mornings, family vacations, the loss of a grandparent or a beloved pet. Our first experiences are the most memorable, the most poignant, because, as children, we are the most vulnerable and impressionable. Just like we will never forget where we were or whom we were with on 911. We will never forget these early memories. These experiences have helped shape us into the people we’ve become. So, it makes sense that the memories we share with our siblings bond us in a way we will never again experience in any other relationship for the rest of our lives. Our siblings understand our flaws and they love us in spite of them. Most of the time. Some sibling relationships fall victim to jealousy, selfishness, and greed. When our sibling bonds are broken, the wounds are harder to heal, because the hurt is the deepest.

I returned to the brother/sister relationship in Breaking the Story, the second installment in the Scottie’s Adventures Series. My protagonist, Scottie, and her younger brother, Will, share my idea of the ideal brother/sister relationship. Of all my characters, theirs is the easiest relationship to portray. The words flow well when I am “in scene” with them. The banter between them feels natural. The dialogue is genuine. Scottie needs Will to save her from herself when her impulsive decisions lead her to trouble. To some extent, I created Scottie and Will with my own children in mind. Not that my daughter and son bear any resemblance to Scottie or Will in their appearance or personality. But they enjoy each others company, and they look out for one another. I understand how precious their bond is, and I hope they never take it for granted. I’ve dedicated Breaking the Story to Cameron and Ned as a testament to their relationship.

To read Ashley's first guest post here on ML's Many Reads please click the link below:
Merry Mary Excerpt and Guest Post (November 2015)

Excerpts for Breaking the Story

“Her cell phone lit up on the seat beside her, and Brad's name appeared across the screen. She reached for the phone and powered it off. The next time she communicated with him would be through an attorney.
Scottie contemplated her options for a place to spend the night. Already approaching the fifty-mile mark, she couldn't drive much farther on her spare tire. Her best friend, Anna, had been avoiding her since Christmas, since Scottie had inadvertently placed Anna's husband in danger of losing his medical license. The rest of her friends would undoubtedly be spending quiet weekends at home, nursing their babies and making love to their husbands. She could drive to Church Hill to her brother's house, where she knew she'd find a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. But Will would want all the details, and she wasn't ready to give voice to her drama. Tonight, she needed time alone to think. Tonight, she needed to drink tequila.
She took a right-hand turn onto the Boulevard, drove one block, and then turned left onto Franklin Street. She parked under the portico in front of the Jefferson Hotel, handed her key to the valet, and went inside to the front desk. After booking the cheapest room available, she wheeled her suitcase around the corner and rode the elevator to the third floor. The consolation prize to having the smallest room in the most luxurious hotel in the city was the stunning view overlooking downtown Richmond. “

Guy navigated his way through the crowd to where Scottie was seated. "Well now, isn't this a coincidence?" he said.
She looked up from her martini. "Unless, of course, you're stalking me."
"Ouch. Hostile." He took a step back. "What happened to you in the hours since we last met?"
She jabbed at the olive with the pick in her martini. "Trust me, you don't want to know."
"Oh, but I do," he said, placing his hand over his heart. "The way I remember it, you owe me a drink for changing your tire. You even said you should buy it."
"All right, fine." When the woman next to her got up and left, Scottie extended an empty hand to the bar stool. "You might as well sit down. I'll buy you a drink. Then we'll be even."
Guy slid onto the bar stool and signaled the bartender. "I'll have a Dewars on the rocks. And bring the lady another of whatever she's having." He glanced down at
her glass. "What are you having?"
"Tequila martinis. My third."
"Whoa. What's with the serious mood? You might as well tell me. I'll keep guessing until you do."
She drained the last of her drink and set the glass down on the bar. "Trust me, you don't want to hear this drama."
"Why don't you let me make that decision?"

"But you have to admit I'm right. Reporters have scrutinized every aspect of the candidates' lives. They've investigated them from every angle. As parents and politicians. Their personal convictions and work ethics. Thanks to the constant media coverage, the American people already know everything there is to know about our nominees. And they've photographed them every which way but naked."
Guy burst into laughter. "I think you've identified your opportunity for a big break. I can see it now— photographs of Catherine Caine in the nude going viral on every social media outlet in the country."
Her eyes twinkled with excitement. "And you, Mr. Secret Service Agent, are just the man who can sneak me into her hotel room."
His face grew serious. "I never said I worked for the
Secret Service. That is something you"—he pointed at her —"conjured up in your own mind. If you want to know the truth—"

If only Scottie could find a way to get up close and personal to the senator. And they've photographed them every which way but naked. Sneaking into Caine's hotel room was out of the question, not that Scottie would ever consider taking images of her in the nude, but there was nothing wrong with sticking close to her in the hopes of capturing a candid moment.


Without taking time to consider the ramifications of her actions, Scottie rose from her hiding place, focused her zoom lens, and held the shutter button down while her camera captured the embrace, the kiss, and the subjects' shocked expressions in one continuous stream of photographs.
When he finally noticed Scottie, Shorty yelled, "Hey!
What do you think you're doing?"
Scottie took off running toward the street.
"Get that girl! Don't let her out of your sight!"