GRAND PRIZE:Paperback of Emeralds and Pearls & handmade keychain
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EMERALDS AND PEARLS
Semi-Precious Series, #1
Genre: young adult
Print Length: 283 pages
Publisher: Pink Bow Publishing
Publication Date: October 11, 2013
I’ve spent seventeen years being a wallflower. Seventeen years, watching people live their lives, while mine stood still. I was happy for those years, nothing new happened because I never let it, every day was the same and predictable.
When my parents told me we were moving…to another state, I freaked.
I spent the first week, after the move, wishing I could move back. But then something changed, I became a someone, and to begin with I enjoyed it, but I soon learned, some things aren’t always as they seem.
I have two lives now. Both of them are testing me, pushing me to my limits.
Angela seated herself beside me, Phil took the head of the table and Mom sat opposite me.
“Hi, Chelsea, how have you been?” Angela asked.
Dad interrupted, asking the question I desperately wanted too. “Your boy not joining us?”
“He’s on his way. He went to the gym straight after school, he was just leaving when we called before we left.”
I mentally punched the air, thank God he was coming, although, he had been in the gym four whole hours – not the work out I imagined he’d been getting – but still. Four hours?
Mom took a sip of her wine, “We’ll wait for him, it shouldn’t take him too long. Should it?”
“No,” Phil said, “But he can catch up, I’m starving.”
At that, Dad removed the lids off the dishes and started serving out the food. I took a good helping of rice and chicken curry, certain that I was that hungry, I’d be licking the plate clean.
Adult conversation began, work, sports and gossip while I dug in. It all sounded very blah, blah, blah to me.
“Hi baby.” Angela chimed up.
I looked up, fork halfway to my mouth – which was gaping like a broken fish. Cory slid into his seat at the table, looking at and greeting everyone at the table but me. It didn’t bother me much, I was happy to just stare. He was wearing a tight fitting white shirt and his hair was wet, either from sweat or a shower, I wasn’t bothered which.
“Good workout kid?” Phil asked.
“Yeah, was good,” he remarked, grabbing for the dishes and filling his plate.
“Don’t you think you’re overdoing it?” his Mom asked, “You’ve been going every night, you need to relax too or you’ll cause yourself an injury.”
I looked to his biceps and felt a hot flush coming on. At least I could blame the curry.
“I’m fine, it was only a couple of hours.”
“A couple? You went straight from school didn’t you?”
“No,” he blushed, “I hung out with Liv for a while.”
My heart sank to the floor below my chair. I didn’t want to witness them, I didn’t want to hear about them. Period. After that, my interest was lost and I continued to eat my meal, that was less appetizing now.
The door bell rang, disturbing conversation. I looked at Mom confused. She got up and made her way to the door. I couldn’t hear who she was talking to or what she was saying, not until she walked back in the dining room, carrying my jacket from the night of the party. My blood ran as cold as ice through my veins. That sure helped my hot flush.
“Come on in, there’s plenty to go around.” I looked at Cory for help, but he was still ignoring me. “Chelsea, Dean brought your jacket back.”
That made Cory pay attention. He looked at me wide-eyed then, his jaw clenching.
“Thanks. I’m sure he has better things to do than eat with us, Mom.” I stuttered.
“No. I’ve got nothing better to do,” he chimed in.
“That’s settled then. Why don’t you kids go and eat in the kitchen, I’m sure you don’t want to listen to all the boring adult talk.”
Cory dropped his cutlery on the plate making them clatter against the ceramic. “Ya know what, he can sit here, I’m leaving.”
“Cory!” Angela chastised, “Your butt isn’t leaving this house.”
Mom looked around the table, confusion written in big, bold letters all over her face. “I’ll go grab you a plate.”
She wasn’t getting the message.
“That’s quite a bruise you’ve got there Dean, walk into a door?” Dad asked and I wanted to shut him up. I didn’t want him here and I didn’t want my parents being friendly with him either.
“Something like that.” he softly laughed.
I shouldn’t have, but I laughed into my curry. “If you want to call the door José.”
“Clearly José didn’t do a good enough job.” Cory responded under his breath.
Mom walked back in and handed the plate to Dean, as Angela chastised Cory again. “Cory, what is wrong with you tonight. That’s no way to speak to other peoples guests when you have been invited into their home.”
Cory didn’t respond, but Dean did, and for once said something that made me unbelievably happy. “Ya know what, I’m not that hungry. I’ll just go.” He handed Mom the plate and she showed him out.
“Cory! Answer me when I talk to you.”
“Forget it!” he shouted, pushing the chair back from the table and standing. “What difference does it make? I’m leaving.” he took a couple of steps, then Angela screeched after him.
“Cory Reynolds! If you take one more step out this house, you better be sure you have somewhere else to sleep tonight. Don’t you dare act like a spoiled child when you’ve been invited into other peoples homes and don’t you dare think about using that tone on me again!” By the time she had finished, she was stood and leaning across the table.
He looked back, un-phased, “Really?”
“Yes really. So sit your backside down on that chair and finish your meal like a civilized human being and you can leave, when I say so.”
With a roll of the eyes, he sat back down, as did Mom.
After that, conversation was stale and the atmosphere was as thick as Olivia.
I poured myself a glass of water and politely offered some to Cory. “You want a glass?”
“No,” he mumbled, “Does he have anything else of yours?”
I placed the jug back on the table and blinked at Cory a few times, surprised that he was talking to me and hardly believing that he was. “No, that was all he had. Did you get my messages?” I asked, seizing the opportunity.
“Which one? The first or the millionth?”
“The middle one,” I joked, “Keira told me everything.”
He looked up from his position, elbow on table, resting his head against his fist. “Keira? When?”
That peeved him off and got him listening. “Last week. She told me everything.”
“I thought I told you to keep away from her,” he shouted.
I took a sip of water, quenching my thirst before argument three thousand and forty five took place, witnessed by our parents. I had better make sure I run through my words, before I speak them. “You did and, as per usual, I ignored you. Why didn’t you tell me the real reason, rather than expecting me to just listen?”
“Because, I didn’t want to get you involved, she had no right telling you.”
“She had every right. Since then I’ve stayed away, because I understand why. I’ve told you to talk instead of being cryptic, it’s a hell of a lot easier to understand.” We sat and scowled at each other for a couple of seconds, “Is that why you’ve been going to the gym?”
“Yes,” He mumbled, looking down at his plate.
“Not happening. You’re not doing it.”
His eyes snapped to me, laced with anger. “Not doing it? You think I have a choice? What do you want me to do? Sit around while all this crap happens and carry on living life as normal until it calms down?” he shouted – again.
I stood, leaning over the table. “Yes, that’s exactly what I want. I don’t want anything to happen to any of them, but I don’t want to be going to your funeral.”
He looked at me, shocked for blurting out that he was putting himself in a life-or-death situation, but I didn’t care, maybe his parents could talk some sense into him.
Angela grabbed my wrist. I looked at our company and noticed all eyes looking between us both, confused. “Chelsea, what’s wrong?” she asked, her voice shaking.
I looked at Cory, seeing if he’d see sense, but he didn’t. What he did though, was offer me an ultimatum, “Fine, I won’t do it, if you tell your parents here and now, about Dean.”
Shit! Had he just done that, had he given my parents ammunition to question the living daylights out of me. “Not happening. Not yet.”
“Fine. Let’s just hope you decide to tell them before it happens then.”
He went back to his food and I stared at him, shocked.
Mom nudged me from across the table. “Would someone like to tell us what’s going on?”
“No,” I mumbled, not making eye contact.
“Don’t think that this conversation is over, young lady.” Mom got up and started to clear away the empty plates, removing Cory’s even though he was still eating. The plates clattered loudly in the sink.
We all sat in an awkward silence. Mom walked back in and refilled the wineglasses, then took a huge gulp of hers.
I grabbed my water and took a gulp myself, imagining it was wine.
“I didn’t know that the ring lit up” Mom asked pointing at my hand.
After placing my glass down I quickly looked at my ring, sure enough it was lighting up. I looked at Cory, confused. He looked down his shirt and the color drained from his face as he looked at me.
“No. No. No. Cory, you’re seriously not suggesting what I think you are.”
The glasses on the table began shaking, softly at first but the rumbles became more persistent and stronger, the whole house began to shake.
Mom screamed, “Is it an earthquake?”
Cory got up and I tried to squeeze around the chairs to chase after him. “Cory! If you’re going then I am too, I shouldn’t have to sit it out if no one else is.”
He shouted back from the door jam, shouting over the loud rumble. “Make sure she doesn’t follow me.”
Phil tried to chase after him, but the house was shaking far too much, standing was becoming tough.
“Get under the table Chelsea. Where’s he gone?” Phil shouted.
“I have no idea.” I replied, scrambling under the table.
“Cut the crap. You know something that you aren’t telling us. If he’s putting his life in danger we need to know,” Dad barked from behind me.
The quaking stopped. We all crawled out, looking around at the pictures, that had fallen off the wall. Ornaments had toppled over, smashed glass and china littered the floor.
While they were occupied, looking at the devastation, I took off. I ran around them, easier now that the ground wasn’t shaking.
Running upstairs, I stripped off my shirt and bra and replaced it with a bikini top, and shirt. I quickly shoved my hair up into a messy bun and ran back downstairs.
Mom was in the kitchen, sweeping up some broken pottery and caught me. “Chelsea, you’re not leaving, you’re not chasing after him.” she warned, pointing a finger.
“Sorry Mom.” I was out the door before she could stop me. Running as fast as my feet could take me and at times, I thought I was going to fall over.
I ran down the street and to the beach, kicking my converse off at the entrance. I continued running, even though I could hear my parents shouting after me. I hoped they’d get bored and give up quickly.
I reached the rock and stood at the waters edge, looking for any signs of their whereabouts but the sea was calm, considering something was happening below. I knew it wouldn’t be any use, but I began shouting, screaming for Cory and Keira, hoping someone would hear me, even if I looked like a mad woman.
I was about to start climbing up the rock, but arms quickly grabbed me round the waist, pulling me back. “Chelsea! What the hell is wrong with you, what’s going on. If you tell us we can help.”
I laughed, full blown belly laughed. “If you want to help Dad, let me go.”
Mom grabbed my face, looking me in the eyes in an attempt to calm me down. “Chelsea, honey, you need to talk to us.”
I started crying, I was losing time and they wanted to talk. I wasn’t going to sit here while they fight a battle I could possibly help with. I wasn’t a strong mermaid like the rest, I knew that, I was new to it all but I was still there to help. I made up my mind and decided I’d deal with the consequences when I needed too. I stopped flailing my arms around, stopped kicking out and calmly caught my breath. My Dad didn’t remove his hold, but he loosened up. I looked out at sea, then judged the distance between me and the rock, as well as the positions of our parents. I had one-shot at this, I had better do it properly.
“Chelsea? Where’s Cory?” Mom asked, in that soothing voice that only Moms can use.
“He’s not where I thought he was,” I lied.
“Okay, Do you know where else he could be?”
“No,” I said, my eyes flitting to the horizon.
I took a deep breath, and calmly ran my toes through the sand. I looked down, pretending to be looking at the pattern I was making, instead I found my Dads foot.
I mentally prayed to God, asking for forgiveness, I hated this idea, I never wanted to physically try and hurt my parents. Taking another deep breath, I lifted my foot and used all the energy I could, to stamp on my Dads, he leaned into me and I quickly elbowed him in the stomach, before pushing Mom out the way as she went to grab for me.
I ran to the rock and scrambled to the top, ignoring the cuts that I got, while carelessly climbing up.
I made my way to the edge, Mom and Dad were angrily shouting my name and Phil was already climbing up after me. I shrugged out my shirt and removed my jeans – Thank God I was wearing boy shorts – Phil made it to the top, time was up, so I escaped the only way I could… Into the sea.
Born and raised in a small mining town in Derbyshire. Caroline (The C in ‘C Spencer-Upton’) has spent her adult years building a home and a future based on what’s in front of her, and for a while, that was all she needed. Family, friends and the dog.
In 2012, that all changed. Her new love of reading became a drug. Living in a fantasy became her happy place to escape from reality. Her imagination came to life and ideas that had laid dormant for years, came rushing back to the surface and Emeralds And Pearls was conceived, her debut novel.
In October 2013, that new chapter in her life started and Emeralds And Pearls were introduced to the world.
Caroline works a normal 8-5 job which has nothing to do with literature. When people discover that she has written a novel, the look of shock on their faces is enough to bring a smug smile to her face, knowing that people underestimate her.
Writing is her escape. She loves reading about you guys enjoying something she loves.
This is the start of a new story of her own and can’t wait for you guys to be a part of it.
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