Excerpt and Giveaway: Revenge Bound by Heidi Joy Tretheway
On the Internet, secrets never die…
Violet can’t imagine anything worse than having her very private, very naked photos strewn across the Internet.
Until they multiply like a virus.
With her name, address, and phone number attached.
And her boss finds out. And a stalker finds her.
Violet’s refuge is a rock star known for going through groupies faster than guitar picks. Letting Jayce get close enough to protect her exposes her secrets—and her heart—to a man whose celebrity could ruin her.
That’s because being a nobody is the one thing that keeps Violet’s photos from making headlines. And it’s the reason she can never fall for a rock star.
Secrets spread like wildfire when a celebrity fans the flames.
REVENGE BOUND is a full-length, standalone novel, and a companion to the Tattoo Thief books. It contains steamy scenes and strong language intended for mature readers.
Violet is receiving threatening, explicit messages from a stalker, but she has no idea where they’re coming from, or why.
The halls that usually stream with rowdy, pubescent junior high school kids are eerily quiet as I walk to the principal’s office. My footsteps echo off bright green lockers and I hesitate at the frosted glass door.
It’s summer break. I shouldn’t be here.
“Come in, Violet.”
He must have heard my footsteps, so I enter. Principal Dash sits behind a gray industrial desk, his thin, pasty face lit by a computer monitor.
I obey, wondering again why he called me, less than twelve hours after I got back from my trip, for “an urgent matter we must discuss in person.”
“Do you know why you’re here?” He cocks an eyebrow and inspects my chest as if I have a stain on my blouse.
I glance down, my dark red hair sliding forward on my shoulders, but there’s nothing. “No—I, ah, is this about the teaching assignments?”
My heart flutters with hope—is it possible the school got funding for a full-time art teacher? That’s what I studied to be, but in my first year out of college, the pickings were slim. I was lucky to get a part-time assignment teaching art. The other half of my time is spent teaching sex ed to seventh- and eighth-graders.
I learned long ago how to roll a condom over a banana without snickering.
Mr. Dash frowns. “Yes and no. I’m sure you realize that teaching is not a lifestyle choice that’s for everyone. We expect our teachers to live by a certain standard,even when they’re out of the classroom.”
I nod my head vigorously. I’m carefully neutral on Facebook, nonexistent on Twitter. I don’t want a thirteen-year-old student to come across some half-drunk pictures of me at a bachelorette party and forward them to every other kid’s phone.
His frown deepens. “That’s why it pains me to see certain … images of you online.”
Images? My heartbeat quickens. “What do you mean?”
“I realize you have a life outside of work, but what you’re making public is not appropriate for our students. We have enough controversy over our sex ed curriculum. If more parents find out about these pictures, we’ll have all-out war.” He rotates the monitor to face me and my jaw goes slack in horror.
It’s undeniably me: my flame-red hair tumbling across my breasts, my nipples peaked and lips parted, my hands bound tightly above my head.
An erotic and terrifying moment that my boss somehow found online. I want to die.
Dying would be sweet release compared to the toxic flood of acid through my veins. This is worse than the texts, far worse, and I open and close my mouth but no words come.
I have no excuse, no explanation, no way to make this photo anything less than what it is—career suicide.
Mr. Dash’s lips thin and he shakes his head, scrolling down the web page to reveal two more images, each more damning than the last. “I’m sure you understand why I’ll need to change the teaching assignments for the coming year.You won’t be teaching.”
“Not sex ed?” I whisper, my eyes clouded with tears as I cling to the thin hope that I might salvage the part of my career that I care about.
“Not at this school,” Mr. Dash says. “I’ll do you a favor and I won’t write this up as the reason for termination. But I can’t give you a recommendation, either. This—”he waves his hand at the monitor “—is totally irresponsible. Considering your background, it’s not something I ever expected from you.”
Mr. Dash’s disdain pinches his face, and I shrivel in my chair with shame as tears stain my blouse. “How did you … how did you find these?” I’m desperate to figure out how these got online, but deep in my gut, I know.
“I got an email with this link. I’d guess it was a concerned parent, but who knows how they found these? You’d better hope, as I do, they don’t forward them to the PTA president.”
My chest heaves and I feel the first sobs build. Keep it together, Violet. I force my gaze away from the haunting photos on Mr. Dash’s screen and meet his stern,disapproving look. There’s nothing to say. Nothing to make this right.
“Stop by your classroom and pick up anything personal. You’re dismissed.”
BUY THE BOOK:
Heidi Joy lives in Happy Valley off Sunnyside Road. She swears she did not make that up.
Heidi’s obsessed with storytelling. Her career includes marketing, journalism, and a delicious few years as a food columnist. Media passes took her backstage with several rock bands, where she learned that sometimes a wardrobe malfunction is exactly what the rock star intends.
You’ll most often find Heidi Joy with her husband and two small kids cooking, fishing, exploring the Northwest, and building epic forts in their living room.
She loves to hear from readers via messages at facebook.com/author.heidi.
CONNECT TO THE AUTHOR: