Monday, December 16, 2013

Intoxia by K.S. Hayden with GIVEAWAY

The second installment of the Journeys Series tells the story of Julianne Gray, a small town girl enchanted by the lights of the big city. Desperate to leave her simple past behind, she embarks on a tempestuous journey to find the love of her life; risking everything in the process. Not your typical love story, Jules will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotion and suspense!

Chapter I
Do You Take This Man…

Have you ever ended up exactly where you had planned, then realized it was the last place on Earth you wanted to be? It happened to me on December 22, 1990—my wedding day. The auditorium of Sunset Church of Christ was decorated like a Christmas wonderland; pine trees and boughs, twinkling white lights, poinsettias, and glittering red accents—everywhere! My mother had pushed the boundaries of decorum to the borderline of what we like to call Texas tacky. I had done whatever I could to restrain her exuberance with the d├ęcor. Yet I knew my friends, and anyone else in attendance who really knew me and my mother, realized this was all her doing. All that mattered to me was the man standing tall in full Marine Corp dress blues, facing the auditorium with his gloved hands folded in front of him. This day would be validation for all the times my schoolgirl friends and I had dreamily rummaged through the pages of bridal magazines, oohing, ahhing, and wishing. And I was standing right in the middle of a dream come true. I had been unusually calm prior to the wedding. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind I would be marrying the man of my dreams that day. In fact, my bridesmaids and sisters kept asking if I was nervous. Nope—cool as a cucumber. No jitters. No nerves. No worries. I was the picture of composure—all smiles. So why this—why did I feel the unexpected, sudden urge to escape? I stood at the altar after calmly walking down the aisle. My father had completed his required task of duly giving me away. No tears. Not even a smidgen of a lump in my throat. We reached the part in the ceremony when the pastor instructed us to face each other and join hands. I smiled at my oldest sister, the matron of honor, as I handed her my bouquet. The time had come to recite our vows. I turned to face my groom. He took my hands in his. That was the moment of impact. The feeling rushed through my entire body in a heated wave. It almost knocked the wind out of me. My stomach knotted and beads of sweat began to flush my upper lip and forehead. My throat tightened. I could hear my muffled heartbeat thumping in my ears. I could no longer feel my feet. My body swayed ever so slightly. I tried to concentrate and steady my balance on the four inch, white leather pumps. Although I was holding onto his white gloved hands in a death grip, I could not look into his eyes. Instead, my head turned toward the back of the auditorium. My gaze swept from side to side, searching for an open door. I wanted to run. Mechanically, I repeated the obligatory vows in a mumbled sigh. “To have and to hold from this day forward; for better or for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish—so long as we both shall live.” For some strange reason, I recall the distinct smell of pine needles bringing me back into the moment. I focused my sight on the lights of the garish, lavishly adorned tree twinkling behind my groom. What was happening? What was I doing? I felt paralyzed. Run. Run. Run! I closed my eyes, choking back the sense of panic that was overwhelming my entire being. The preacher proclaimed, “I now present to you Mr. and Mrs. Charles Tyler Mabry, the third. What God hath joined together let no man put asunder. Trey, you may now kiss your bride.” It was done. My respirations were short and quick. One deep breath—exhale. I felt the blood drain from my face as Trey placed his hand behind my head to kiss me. There was a strange numb tingling in my hands. My vision began to blur and all I could see were fuzzy little white dots, like a television screen of a channel that had gone off the air. The last thing I remember is thinking, “What have I done?”, as my body slumped and fell to the red carpeted stairs of the altar in a thud."

"K. S. Hayden is the pen-name of Karen S. Rodgers (1965 - present) She is a small town gal from Meadow, Texas who spent 18 years wishing and trying to get out into the big world. She then spent 27 years finding herself in the city. Now she is back in the same small town with a million stories to tell; realizing her dream of becoming a writer.
In addition to several published short stories, Karen is currently in the process of writing and publishing the Journeys Series; a compilation of novellas and novels. The first installment of the series, Eleven, was released in February of 2013. Its release has garnered several 5 star reviews.
The second installment of the Journeys Series, Intoxia, was released in December of 2013 and is already receiving excellent reviews.
This author writes in a deliberately descriptive style which pulls the readers into her stories. By the time you finish reading one of her works, not only will you have developed vivid imagery of her characters through her fluidly eloquent style of characterization, you will quite simply find them unforgettable. Her works are inspirational touchstone reads. They resonate deeply with readers who have experienced life challenges and heartbreak.
More recently, Karen has adopted the pen-name, K. S. Hayden. Future installments of the Journeys Series will be published under that name. Once the 2nd installment is released, Eleven will be re-released under the author name of K. S. Hayden.
Ms. Rodgers spent two decades working in the medical field. She became a housewife and stay at home mother at the age of 41, allowing her to pursue her goal of becoming a published author. In addition to her short stories, novels, and novellas; she has authored a cookbook, Cooking With The Carpenter's Wife, also available here on Amazon. Her husband, James Houston Rodgers, is a carpenter who is self-employed in the remodeling industry. They have one son, James Jaxson, who shares his mother's imagination and loves to tell stories of his own.
Many of the author's life experiences make their way onto the pages of her books. Her compassion and wit are manifest fruits of her oft times arduous journey. She still embodies a small town girl's wanderlust and will no doubt find herself out in the big world again--someday.
Please come follow the work of K. S. Hayden and Karen S. Rodgers on Facebook at Eleven - Journeys"

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