Authors: Alison Mello
Saved By a Soldier
Love Conquers Life, Book 1
By Alison Mello
Saved By a Soldier
Copyright © 2016 by Alison Mello.
All rights reserved.
First Print Edition: June 2016
Limitless Publishing, LLC
Kailua, HI 96734
Formatting: Limitless Publishing
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to locales, events, business establishments, or actual persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.
There is a story behind this book and I’d like to take a second to tell it. One morning I got a private message on Facebook from this woman, Patty. She was inviting me to join a book group called Bonded By Books, and at first I was quite leery. When I found out she was a friend of my friend Lynne and that Lynne had invited me, I decided to join. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Patty and the rest of the ladies in this group are amazing. Thanks to this group I have made some pretty special friends. My writing journey began with this wonderful group of people who supported me and encouraged me.
This book started out like any other in my book world until one morning I woke up and discovered a fundraiser was taking place to raise money for Patty. She had been diagnosed with cancer and we all wanted to do what we could to help her. I decided to donate the main character in my next book to the silent auction that was taking place. The winning bidder would get to name the main female character in my book. Well, Terri See bid on my auction item and won. When Terri messaged me and asked me if I would write the book for Patty I was honored and admittedly a bit nervous, wanting to write something as special as she is.
Patty, my friend, this book is for you. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. You’re a special person with a heart of gold. Your strength during a tough time in your life is a true inspiration to us all. I wish you many more years of happiness and good health.
Thank you, Patty, for inviting me into this special group. Without you I may not have started writing and therefore have the opportunity to write this book for you.
Table of Contents
5 FREE E-books A Week!
Sent Directly To Your Inbox…
To Join Now.
“Joan, I know you want the next book submitted in a few months. I’m just having a hard time getting it on paper, but I’m working on it.” I roll my eyes because she’s totally freaking out and I don’t know what her problem is. I’ve yet to let her down.
She yells into my ear, “I want to see the first five chapters by the end of the month.”
“You’re giving me three and a half weeks to write five chapters? Do you realize some authors take a month to write one chapter?” I say, pacing my living room.
She sighs into the phone. “Listen, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but I need to see you’re working on it. Pull your head out of your ass and get to it. Go away somewhere if you have to, but I want to see some writing from you and soon.”
I roll my eyes in frustration. “You do realize this pressure makes it harder for me to write, don’t you? But have no fear, I’ll see if I can get my dad’s lake house for a few weeks. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find some inspiration up there.”
“Patricia, you know I love you, but my boss is freaking out because I told her you were taking time off.” She calms down and sweetens her voice. It’s totally fake and pisses me off. “You have had some time, now I need to do my job and I need you to do yours. Get me a book please.”
“Joan, how many books have I written for you?” I say tersely.
“Five, two of which are still on the bestseller’s list.”
“Great. So go tell your boss I’m working on it and I’ll talk to you in a few weeks. I have to go so I can find out if the house at the lake is available and get some stuff together to move out there for the next few weeks.”
I end the call totally frustrated. I can’t believe that she is pressuring me like this. I published my last book about six months ago, so I don’t know what her rush is. I warned her I was taking a break after the last one. Apparently she feels my break is over. I haven’t taken any time for myself since I first started writing about two years ago and I really needed this break. I shake my head, five books in two years. There are top authors who take a year to write and perfect one book.
I started writing for Joan straight out of college. I graduated as an English major with a dream of publishing a bestseller. I knew the easiest way to get to the bestseller’s list was to hire an agent. As soon as my first book was written I started submitting to as many agents as I could. The agency Joan works for was willing to take a chance on me. My first three books did well but my last two really took off and got my name out there.
I plop myself down on my couch to call my dad. I put my feet up on the coffee table and take a deep breath, then dial his number. “Hey, Daddy,” I say when he answers my call.
“Hey, pumpkin, what’s going on?”
“Daddy, I need to use the lake house for a few weeks so I can focus on writing. My agent is driving me crazy and if I don’t show her some work soon, she’s threatening to drop me.”
“I’m not sure I like the idea of you being out there alone for an extended period of time, pumpkin. Let me see if anyone is at my buddy Jackson’s house so I can have someone keep an eye on you.”
“Daddy, I’ll be fine. I just need some quiet and the lake is a perfect place for that. Plus it’s beautiful out there so I’m hoping to find some inspiration.”
“All right, pumpkin, it’s all yours. Please let me know once you’re out there though.”
“Okay, Daddy. Well I’ve got to go because I need to pack so I can get there and start working.”
I cut the call and head straight to my room so I can get to it. I’m piling clothes on my bed as I think about my next book. I’ve had the basic idea for a while now, but for some reason I can’t seem to turn it into a book. While I’m thinking about it, I make a mental note to grab my notebook with all my random thoughts. Every time I have an idea for a book I jot it down on whatever I can find and then add it to this notebook. Then when I’m ready to write I pull out the notebook to look over what I’ve got. This notebook has gotten me through five books.
I groan as my mind wanders back to my frustration with Joan. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of my work and I love what I do, but the last two making the bestseller list has my agent up my ass for more and I hate being pressured.
As I go through a mental checklist, I realize I need to call my bestie so she won’t freak out when she doesn’t hear from me for a short period of time. Her phone rings and she answers with a groan.
“Did someone have a rough night?” I respond with laughter.
“You have no idea. What’s up, Patty?”
All my close friends call me Patty. To be honest, I don’t have many because I was never the popular girl in school. I was more of a book nerd who cared more about my grades than being popular. A lot of the friends I do have are on Facebook and I’ve made some through book clubs and writing. Bella and I have been best friends forever. She’s the only one who ever stood by me when everyone else was picking on me for being that book nerd.
“Just wanted to let you know I am heading to my dad’s lake house to get some writing done. I wanted to give you a heads up so you wouldn’t worry.”
“Is that bitchy agent of yours on your ass again?” she says, suddenly more awake.
I chuckle. “Yeah, something like that.”
“I thought you were taking some time off. You need some time for you. You haven’t had a relationship since dickhead and you need a man in your life.”
“Bella,” I groan. “I do not need a man in my life. I need to write so my agent doesn’t drop my ass for lack of work. Besides no one wants my scrawny ass anyway.” I mumble the last part not really wanting her to hear me, but of course she does. I’m now staring at myself in the mirror looking up and down my body. I’m tall and ridiculously thin with boring brown hair and small B cup boobs. I can eat anything I want and never gain a pound. I know some girls would love a body like mine, but personally I think I’m a bit too thin.
Bella brings me back to our conversation yelling into the phone. “Patty!”
“You need to stop! You’re gorgeous and any woman would kill for a figure like yours.”
“I know. I guess I just wish I had a little more meat on my bones and I need to find time to do something about this hair. I have to get a new headshot taken and you know how I feel about pictures.”
“When you get back we’ll do a spa day together. You can get your hair done and then have your picture taken afterwards. Let me know when you’re scheduled to be back in town.”
“I will. I have to run because I really need to finish packing and get my car loaded up. I still have to stop and buy food for the lake house after I drop off my stuff.”
“Call me and keep me posted.”
“I will, Bella. Bye.” I cut the call and get back to packing.
Bella makes me laugh because she is gorgeous with beautiful blonde hair and the brightest blue eyes. She can have any man she wants, but she’s picky as hell. I’m glad she won’t settle though, because some of the guys she’s dated have been complete asses and just want her for her body and her money. No matter how much I have always doubted myself, she has done everything she can to make me see the best in me.
It’s getting chilly here and it will be worse at the lake so I grab a few sweaters and long sleeve shirts, as well as jeans and a few pairs of my favorite yoga pants.
I finish packing my clothes and am bringing my stuff to my living room when my phone rings. It’s my mom. I roll my eyes and think
Did he really call my mom?
My parents divorced when I was small and they hardly ever talk, so I don’t understand why he has to call her now. I split my time between two homes growing up. Both my parents had money but my mom has always been a bit snobby and flaunts her money. She tries to make me dress and act like her, but I’m really all my dad. I think that’s why they ended up divorced. My dad may have money but he doesn’t show off like my mom does.
“Hello, Mother,” I say as I head to the other room to grab my laptop, notebook, and anything else I may need for writing this book. I’m wrapping up the charger to my phone and laptop when my mother starts in with her whining.
“Patricia, my angel, your father tells me you are going to stay at that awful lake house of his,” she whines. “Please let me put you up in one of my hotel suites. You’ll be so much more comfortable, darling, and it’s much safer there.”
“Mother, I like the lake house. It’s quiet and has a beautiful view, that’s what I need.”
“Fine, then I’ll book you in a beautiful room abroad somewhere, just name the place.”
“Mother, that’s just not necessary. Let me get through this next book and then you and I can take a trip together somewhere if you’d like. I’m not going to sit in another country somewhere to write my book when I can do it a couple of hours from home.”
She pauses while trying to figure out what to say next. I know it’s because she’s been defeated. I can hear the cogs in her head turning as she’s contemplating her next move.
“Fine, Patricia, if that’s really where you want to write. Just please be careful and call me so I don’t worry about you.”
I know she cares about me but we want different things in life, and although she tries to support me, she also tries to push me toward her lifestyle. My ex, who Bella loves to refer to as dickhead, was a set up by my mom. He’s rich as hell but treated me like complete shit. My mom thinks I should have dealt with it so I can stop working and I’d be set for life. I say screw that. I’d rather be broke and in love then be set and treated like shit.
“Thanks, Mom. I love you.”
“I love you too, dear.”
I gather the last few things I need and head out the door toward the lake house.
The ride out to the lake has been a breeze. There’s next to no traffic and the scenery as I drive down the highway is absolutely beautiful. I arrive in about two hours to find it just the way I remember it. The lake house is a gorgeous gray and rock home with a farmer’s porch that stretches the length of the house. It’s fall here so the leaves have all turned beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and deep red. Tons of leaves are covering the ground and my dad’s old boat is still sitting by the dock. I step out of the car taking a deep breath of the clean, crisp air. I reach into the car to grab one of my bags and as I walk to the door I look around, thinking about some of the great memories I have coming here as a child with my father. My favorite swing is still here hanging from the ceiling of the porch. I think about all the time Bella and I sat here just hanging out, creating some of my fondest childhood memories. I take one more deep breath to enjoy the clean air before I step into what I’m assuming will be a stale house. I’m not sure how long it’s been since my father was last out here, so it may be a bit musty inside.
I unlock the door and step inside, utterly shocked because the place is spotless and it smells delicious in here. There’s definitely some sort of home cooked meal being made.
“Hello?” I call out, wondering if my father forgot he let someone else use the house.
“Hello, Miss Patricia.” My mother has sent Celia, her housekeeper, to take care of me.
“Hello, Celia. How are you?” I ask as I walk over and give her a hug.
I adore Celia. She has been around since my parents divorced when I was a little girl. She’s getting older now and over the years we have become quite close. She has always understood that I’m not my mother but my own person, and I need to live my life for me. We’ve had many talks growing up about the simple fact that my mother means well and just wants to see me happy.
“I’m well, Miss Patricia. I want you to know that I understand you wanted to be alone here and I promise to not get in your way. Your mother was going to come out here and I thought it would be best if I volunteered instead.”
“Thank you, Celia. I appreciate that.”
“It’s no problem. Is there anything I can do to help you get settled?”
“No, I’m going to grab a few more things from my car and I’ll be right back. Is that lunch you’re making?”
She gives me a warm smile. “It is and it’ll be done shortly, so go get settled.”
I go back out to the car, shaking my head at my mother’s constant interference in my life. She just doesn’t get it. I can take care of myself. Collecting the remainder of my things I go back in and head straight to my room. When I walk in, Celia is there putting fresh linens on my bed.
“Thanks, Celia. I could’ve done that.”
“It’s no trouble, Miss Patricia. I enjoy taking care of you.”
“Please call me Patricia or Patty when mother isn’t around.”
She simply nods and exits the room since she’s done with her task. I grab my phone to call my mom as I continue to put my things away. I really hate living out of suitcases and need some sense of order in my life. “Hello, Mother, I just got to the lake house.”
“I’m glad you made it saf—”
“Mother, you didn’t need to send Celia, but thank you.”