I’m so pleased to showcase Meredith’s new book. She did a wonderful job on my cover plus I love her writing ❤
Meredith Russell – Alter Ego
Book 1 in the Knowles Brook Series
Jay James is the confident, outgoing, flirtatious, lead guitarist of a 70s tribute band. But appearances can be deceiving. Jay James isn’t real. ‘Jay’ was born out of necessity and a way for James Hall to deal with life at home after coming out. James is shy and awkward, and can’t escape the shadow of his strained relationship with his mother. As ‘Jay’, James feels indestructible, like nothing can touch him, and he can have any man he wants. But is that really enough?
Danny Ashton is stuck, or at least that’s how he feels sometimes. Five years ago, he dropped out of university to look after his sick mother. He was never prepared for the hand he was dealt—a house to run, bills to pay, and a teenage brother to support.
Together, Danny and James realise ignoring their problems will solve nothing, and if they are to stand any chance of happiness and living as the men they want to be, then they need to move forward. Can the two men face their demons? Or will they end up pushing one another away?
“Sam,” he called as he stepped inside. He pulled his key out of the lock and closed the door. Hanging up his coat, he headed upstairs. “Sam,” he said again and tapped on his brother’s bedroom door. “You here?” He pushed open the door but was met by an empty room. Leaning into the room, he checked the behind the door. Sam’s coat was gone, as was his football. Sam would be home when he was ready.
Danny pulled the door shut on his brother’s room and then looked back at the door he’d passed. The now-familiar sense of loss washed over him as he walked back down the hall to stand outside his mother’s bedroom. Slowly, he raised his hand and pressed his palm to the solid wood. He closed his eyes as he curled his fingers downward into a ball. Memories of happier times spread like a heat through his chest as he remembered the beautiful woman his mother had been. But then those memories faded to grey and were replaced by an icy chill. There were times he had wished her death had been quick, it would have been less painful than watching her waste away in front of them. She’d been forty-four, but looked eighty, so thin and grey.
Breathing in deeply, he reached for the door handle and pushed down. As the door opened, he was wrapped in the musty, yet familiar scent of his mother and her room. Gently, he pushed the door open. He folded his arms across his chest and hesitantly stepped inside. He stood beside the door and looked around the room. He hadn’t been in here since the funeral when he’d taken the photograph of the three of them to put in the ground with her. Her clothes still hung in the wardrobe, the perfume bottles she had collected still sat on the top of her chest of drawers, and her bed was perfectly made up with a floral duvet set and the two pink fluffy cushions Danny had bought her one Christmas.
Danny focused on the sound of his breathing as he moved forward. He walked around the bed and stopped at his mother’s dressing table. Carefully, he reached out and ran his fingers over the necklaces hanging from the jewellery tree. The pendants made a small sound as they knocked together. Butterflies. She’d always had a thing for butterflies. He stopped at one brightly coloured piece and rubbed his thumb over the purple- and green-jewelled wing. He released the butterfly pendant and turned around. He closed his eyes and took a shaky breath. Her lingering scent and her precious possessions made him feel like his chest might burst.
The sudden sound of the front door made him flinch, and he opened his eyes. Wiping at his face, he quickly retraced his steps and pulled the door shut behind him. He turned and stopped abruptly at the top of the stairs. Sam was standing at the bottom, looking up at him.
“Hey.” Danny cleared his throat. “I was just looking for you.”
Sam glanced at the closed door but seemed to choose to ignore it. Instead he stated, “I forgot a book I borrowed off Brandon. He needs it back to finish an essay.”
“Right.” Danny made his way down the stairs and smiled as he passed Sam. “Oh, I thought we could have a Chinese for tea.” They weren’t completely broke, just had to be careful. There was still money for the occasional treat. “Can you be back by about six?” He knew what Sam and Brandon were like when they got together. The pair would be so caught up in football or a game on the computer, they’d lose track of time.
Sam relaxed his shoulders and looked at Danny. If he’d had anything he wanted to say about catching Danny outside their mother’s room, it was clear he had moved past the desire to ask. He smiled as he passed his football from hand to hand and agreed, “Sounds good.”
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About the Author
Meredith Russell lives in the heart of England. An avid fan of many story genres, she enjoys nothing less than a happy ending. She believes in heroes and romance and strives to reflect this in her writing.
Sharing her imagination and passion for stories and characters is a dream Meredith is excited to turn into reality.
As well as being an accomplished writer, Meredith is also the creator for most of the stunning cover art found on Love Lane’s website. Further details of her writing and cover art services can be found at her blog linked below.