Happy release day to BREATHE FOR ME by Rhonda Helms!
August 5, 2014
Spencer Hill Press
Isabel’s been cursed since the Middle Ages.
Desperate to escape an arranged marriage, she made a hasty bargain with a demon, asking for liberation from an oppressive husband-to-be and the excitement of travel. But the demon’s “gift” came at a steep cost. Each time he moves her to a new city, her memory’s wiped. No one can touch her bare skin without injury or even death. And she sees the lifespan of every living being (and is, in fact, immortal herself).
All a constant reminder that she’s different than other teen girls.
But New Orleans seems to accept her as she is. She has friends and a real life in this quirky, hot city. Then Isabel meets Dominic, whose deep soul and strong character draw her to him. Her growing love gives her the courage to confront the demon, insisting the curse be broken. But the demon’s price for freedom is much, much higher than she could possibly give.
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About the Author
Rhonda Helms started writing several years ago. She has a Master's degree in English and a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. She also edits for Carina Press (an imprint of Harlequin Publishing) and freelance edits.
When she isn't writing, she likes to do amateur photography, dig her toes into the sand, read for hours at a time, and eat scads of cheese. WAY too much cheese.
Rhonda lives in Northeast Ohio with her family.
You can find out more about Rhonda and her work here:
How about a little taste of BREATHE FOR ME? Here's an excerpt!
English class. I can’t stop my eyes from sliding casually across the room every few minutes to stare at Dominic. He has one lock of hair that flops onto his forehead. For some reason, my fingers itch to push it off his face.
When was the last time I touched another person? I can barely remember what it’s like. Even a small gesture, like brushing the small hairs on someone’s arms with the tips of my fingers, is forbidden to me.
Dominic looks up from his notebook at that moment. I tear my gaze away, cheeks flaming from almost being caught staring, and turn my attention back to my assignment. We’re supposed to be working on a poem, which is usually one of my favorite activities. For some reason, I’m having a hard time concentrating.
Okay, I know why. But it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to think about him or our talk in the library. I’m going to finish this poem. I’m going to finish school today. And then I’m going to retreat to the sanctuary of my apartment, where I can shed these layers of clothes and be free of my constraints, if only for a little while.
I reread what I’ve written so far:
Alone on a shore, I am swallowed
By a stillness, body
Bowed over, hair like a
I skim the
With my fingertips, as
Sand engulfs my feet, my ankles
, my calves.
The water licks
Sighing shores beckon me
upon the swirling currents.
I can feel Dominic looking at me. Emboldened, I lift my eyes and stare right into his. The blue of his irises remind me of the body of water in my poem. Dark. Tempting. Heavy with an unspoken awareness.
Everything falls silent except the rush of blood in my ears.
The rest of the poem’s words come to me out of nowhere, and I spill them out onto my paper:
I close my eyes,
Fall into my escape, where
The tide’s fingers
Drag out my air.
Tug me closer,
I gasp I freeze
I am no longer alone.
The bell rings, jarring me out of my hypnotized state. I slip my poem into my notebook and stay seated, waiting for the room to empty before I leave to go to my next class. Girls cling together in tight groups, laughing and talking to each other as they pour through the doorway into the hall.
I stay back and watch.