Authors: Brandy Jellum
IF I SAY YES
Seattle WA 2014
Copyright 2014 Brandy Griffin
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License
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Cover Design by Shari Ryan
Edited by Jacy Mackin
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to similarly named places or to persons living or deceased is unintentional.
Print ISBN 978-1-62015-367-3
EPUB ISBN 978-1-62015-392-5
DISCOUNTS OR CUSTOMIZED EDITIONS MAY BE AVAILABLE FOR EDUCATIONAL AND OTHER GROUPS BASED ON BULK PURCHASE
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Library of Congress Control Number: 2014907244
To my husband,
for allowing me to follow my dreams.
To the Booktrope family; thank you for making my dreams become
a reality. I am blessed to be part of an amazing company, full of hard workers helping make each book the best they can, and being a part of a large group of talented people.
To my husband, for not allowing me to quit and walk away when
I wanted to the most. You encouraged me and pushed me to follow my
dreams. For taking care of the children, meals, and housework while I typed away on my computer. For listening to me talk for hours on end about my characters, plot twists, and my usual book talk. Thank
you for the laughs you have given me while trying to convince me that
my book needs a scene with women wrestling in chocolate pudding
and not getting mad when I didn’t put it in the story. (Sorry hun, maybe
next time!) More importantly, thank you for being the best supporter I have and for loving me.
To my mother, for always being there to support me in everything
To my grandparents, for loving and nurturing me. For believing in me and encouraging me to always be the best person I can be and driving it into me that I should never give up.
To Jessica, Sara, and Amanda, my trusted beta readers, none of this
would have been possible if it weren’t for you. Your honesty, your love
for the story and characters, are what drove me to complete this story.
You ladies have been there since the very beginning, and have helped
me mold this story into the best possible one it can be. Thank you for the time you have put into this book, and thank you for loving it just as much as I do. And thank you for helping me realize that there is much more to the series than I ever planned. All the books I write, I owe to you. (Sara; if it wasn’t for you… a certain character would’ve never gotten his own book!)
To Lisa, my best friend, for always being there during the good
times and the bad. You are the epitome of what a best friend should be
and have always believed in me. Thank you for listening to my endless
rants, my frustrations, and for telling me that I can’t quit chasing after
To Cindy, for being one of the best chicks hands down. I love our
late night texts. Being able to rant to one another. No one makes me
laugh as much as you do. In the short time we have known each other,
I feel like we have become best friends. Soul sisters. Thank you for
encouraging me to do what I think is best when it comes to my writing.
I look forward to many more years of friendship. Here’s to being wild,
crazy, and as vulgar as we want to be.
To Rachel, for our late night writing chats, and exchanging ideas with one another. For always being there when I have needed it. For
always telling me that everything will work out. And for always believing
in me. I still have to come up and have you make me one of your
To Tess, for allowing me to take your writing workshop and helping
me perfect my craft. For being genuinely honest and sweet. You always
give me encouragement when I am feeling low and always reach out
to me when I need it the most. I can’t wait to have that celebratory glass
of wine with you.
To Amanda, you have been a huge support in getting the word out
about this book. You understand that I’m not in fact crazy because of the voices in my head and just have an overactive imagination. I love
talking to you, talking characters, and stories. Your never-ending support
these past few months have been amazing, and I look forward to many
years of friendship.
To my ladies of Our Writing Nook, I am glad to have found a group
of such talented authors, and thank you for all your support, advice, and love you have shown me.
To my street team, you ladies rock. I love how you guys get excited
when I share pieces of a story and how involved you are with everything
I do. Thank you for taking time out of your personal lives to help spread
the word about this story/series. You are what makes this story get out
there and I don’t know what I would do without you. xoxo.
And finally, to my readers, thank you for taking the time to read
this story. These characters mean a lot to me and I am so happy to
share them with you. I hope you fall in love with them as much as I
did and that their story takes you on a ride. Thank you for the support.
Because of you, this is all possible.
Six years ago
BLOOD COVERS EVERY SURFACE.
On the pristine, white marble flooring, the grand staircase and handrail, and what used to be a tall,
square wooden end table by the large double doors I just walked
through. The table now lays scattered across the foyer, broken into
jagged pieces. The large, antique ceramic bowl that served as a key
holder had set on the table, but now it too is scattered amongst the
broken wood and the blood bath. I follow the trail of dark crimson
fluid up the stairs, my hands shaking and my breath catching. Upstairs
is worse, far worse. The plush white carpet is saturated a deep shade of red; splatters and droplets are everywhere.
My heart is pounding, urging me to go, to leave, to run and call for
help. My head tells me otherwise, to follow the trail of blood down the
hall. The blood is smeared on the walls, as if someone was trying to grab ahold of something to prevent being dragged this way. The trail leads to my parents’ bedroom. My heartbeat quickens, and a bead of
sweat forms along my hairline. The door to my parents’ room is slightly
ajar, and I nudge it open a little farther, just enough that I can slip past
A piercing scream escapes, and I quickly clamp a hand over my mouth. My eyes are glued to the sight before me. I can’t mistake the
familiar blonde hair attached to the crumpled body on the floor,
discarded as though she is a piece of garbage that nobody wants. Just
lying on the floor, with a pool of blood surrounding her body. The
blonde hair, the only thing I share with my mother, is drenched in the dark fluid. Another cry escapes my lips as I rush across the room and
collapse next to her, brushing the hair out of her face. My heart drops
to the pit of my stomach, and I feel bile rising to the back of my throat.