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If a painting in the home of your perfect man reflects your dreams of doom, do you run, or do you dare to embrace love?
While Lizetta lives a life of compassion, childhood bullying over a few extra pounds have caused this sparky woman to lose sight of the beauty of her soul. Jensen’s recent past is filled with substance abuse, shady morals, and loose women. A brutal wake up call forced him to find his way back to the gentle soul he once was; however, there are some whose futures depend on the return of the demon.
Souls can heal, but how long can they fight the forces that seek to destroy them? If one of those forces is the person who shattered your self-image, and she is determined to take down the one you love, could you still believe that everyone deserves a second chance?
Currently on sale of 99 cents, or free with Kindle Unlimited.
Why I Wrote Something To Dream On
By Diane Rinella
Someone once told me that there is truth tucked into every joke, every comment, and every piece of fiction. Thus, fiction and reality go hand in hand.
After releasing Scary Modsters … and Creepy Freaks, I had a hard time getting traction on a new story. I strive to be original, which is in no way easy, and it felt like every time I sat at my computer the same old love story popped out. Maybe I just wasn’t inspired, or maybe the universe had not yet spoken. Then one day the universe screamed.
I was chatting with a friend online—a grown woman—who was being bullied over her physical attributes—by a grown man. Worse, the guy thought he was being clever, or maybe he wanted to be indiscreet, and did it in code—on Facebook, right on his wall, using the public setting—for her and the rest of the world to see. He spoke of a group she was a part of and the friends she had. He even directly spoke of our activities. His friends joined in—friends who were also grown men and women. Their childish behavior, and who it was aimed at, could not have been more obvious.
Fortunately, my friend is a survivor who knows how to roll with the punches. She could have fought back, and while I do feel there is a time and a place for it, it was clear that these people just wanted someone to pick on—someone to make them feel superior. In the end, she felt it best to ignore the idiots. Naturally, when she failed to fight back, they called it quits. After all, what fun is it for a bully when his victim doesn’t play along?
That incident drove me to start writing, and while it took a lot of other elements to make Something To Dream On something other than an average story about bullying, the fire had been lit. Something To Dream On is my way to show people that they can be stronger—be they victims or bullies. We can all overcome our insecurities and use our passions to make the world a better place.
So in getting back to the truth in fiction, Something To Dream On came out of a real event that was brought on by someone being a real jerk and a friend who took the high road, thus making the world better by not feeding the bully machine. Sadly, the guy who did the teasing still seems to be an ass; however, the person he attacked taught me how to be a better person. For that, I will always be grateful.
Want to read some Excerpts from the book?
Tingles blanket my skin, bringing about peace to my soul. At last, redemption is upon me. Her words paint my soul with a comfort that no drug could ever match. “I am so grateful for you and Etta. This sounds crazy, but I swear that right after he died, I heard Eddie’s voice saying to let the universe be my guide. I tried to understand, but I couldn’t get it until I saw Etta on the side of the road. I thought I was living my nightmare all over again, but an angel in scrubs appeared and gave me hope.”
“I looked such a mess that day,” she chokes out.
My hands cup her cheeks so I can capture her gaze. New tears form because more than ever I see what a gift she was. “You looked like a savior whose only concern wasn’t her own. You were the beacon of light that showed me I would be okay. I was so afraid that seeing Etta would send me begging for a needle and a spoon, but instead you both brought me deeper into salvation.” I squeeze her hands again to emphasize my plea. “You ground me. For months I have stayed on track because I had this dream that there was something better for me, something that could make me feel rooted. That dream is you.”
Lizetta’s tears mirror my own. Her eyes are so puffy and red that I worry for her all over again. When she grips my hand, both fear and anticipation fill me over her upcoming words. “Time and again, my father hurt me. When you first said that you were fighting an addiction, my mind went to the time he smacked Jimmy across the face so hard that blood sprayed. After that, every time Mom and Dad fought, Jimmy and I cowered together. I’ll also never shake Mom’s expression while trying to hide why the cops had come to the door on the day Dad died.
“My dad was a shameless bastard whose womanizing gave Mom Gonorrhea. Thank God she cut him off for good then and there, because eventually a hooker, a fling, or a needle infected him with HIV. The killing blow to our hearts came when Dad’s last day was spent in a motel room, dying alone with a needle in his arm. For years I have carried those images of my father, a man who couldn’t be bothered to shake a habit—not for his wife and certainly not for his kids. I grew to love Paul because he showed my family that we were worthy of happiness. Now you have basically told me that you got clean for yourself, but are willing to fight even harder for my sake. Do you have any idea how that sounds to a little girl who was hurt by her father, only to go to school each day and be ridiculed about her body? You too, Jensen, are a savior.”
“Hi,” the flirty guy says. I return the greeting and smile. He is kind of cute, despite being wasted. Tipsy I can handle, but I really dislike being around anyone who is hardcore wasted.
He nods. “What’s your name?”
“Hi, um, Liz. I'm Denny. This is Jerry.”
Jerry steps forward so that he is now by my side. Once I get the up/down full body glance from him, I accept what the game is. It’s proven when Jerry snickers. Even if I do stand a chance with Denny, Jerry’s judgment will likely convince his friend that I am not worth it.
Jerry motions to Denny not to bother and says he wants to go for another drink elsewhere. Denny steps up to shake my hand. He takes a good look at my body before saying it was nice to meet me and then makes his way back to his friends.
My eyes close off the scene. You’d think I’d be used to this by now. You’d think it would no longer rape my self-esteem, yet it does. This is so unfair. I have so much to offer. There is so much inside me that I long to share. My shell may not be perfect, but is it really all that bad? Doesn’t my heart matter? What about my soul?
The rap of Griffin’s fingers on the table creates a roll of thunder. He’s tireder of this happening to me than I am. Still, he sits in the shadows with the light barely catching the skin on top of his head and lets me handle it. He may not allow that for much longer though.
“Bye.” I give a friendly wave while trying to hide that my ego has been stomped on and smeared like a spider.
“What did you expect?” Jerry says. “Fatties turn into hags because they can't get anything else.”
Griffin slams his hands onto the table, commanding their attention. When he steps out of the booth, Denny and Jerry turn to face a monolith. It's like the scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey where the apes worship a wall of onyx; only instead of caressing it in wonder, these monkeys freeze in fear. Griffin’s voice sounds like God’s vibrato is rippling through Heaven and he is challenging them to a smack down. “I believe you meant to say, ‘It was a pleasure to have met you.’” Despite Griffin having muscles the size of machine-guns, that voice may be his scariest weapon.
I’m wished a nice day before the jerks grab their friends and flee the bar. Griffin sits, and his voice goes back to the way I am used to hearing it in casual situations—moderately flaming and laced with hospitality that makes you expect him to have a Southern accent. “You okay there, Honey Boo?”
I look Griffin in the eyes and tell him in no uncertain terms that I am fine. We both know I am full of it, but it is either that or do what I really want—give Denny a piece of my mind and then feel like an even bigger fool as I break down in front of him. I shouldn’t have to get used to childish people who have issues with my body, but that is what it comes down to. I can tell myself that their opinions don’t matter, but that doesn’t stop incidents like these from happening. I don’t know how many more times I can pick my shattered self-esteem off of the ground before I vow to never leave the house again.
I have got to do something about my appearance. Sadly, every diet in the book leads me down the same road—an instant loss of five pounds, then weeks and weeks of painfully adjusted eating that amounts to maybe another two pounds before I hit a wall and can’t seem to lose another ounce. Then the initial five pops back on. How can I be motivated to exercise when I come home exhausted each day? If I could see progress, I could find motivation. But to have my body reject my efforts, time and again, leaving me as embarrassed over myself as Denny just did, makes me question the point of trying. Why not just surrender to the other gifts God gave me and enjoy my life?
Sometimes I try to accept that I am really not all that big, but then moments like these happen and …
What is it going to take for someone to see that I am worth loving? It’s such a painful road that sometimes I am left to question my own value.
The moment I get home from work and step inside my apartment there is company on my tail—company with sweet breath that tickles my ear and reminds my body that it is male. “There you are. I missed you.” Usually when Laura does this, it’s a seductive whisper. Now she sounds like the Grim Reaper who has come to stake claim.
I sigh. “We've been through this already.”
I knew by the tone of the text she sent this morning that she’d soon pop in for a romp. It ain’t gonna happen, which is why I responded with a firm, “No, we are done.”
Laura strolls her way into my apartment as if I have rolled out the red carpet. Etta immediately comes to attention. Why can't I shove Laura out the door like an intelligent person would? There is a difference between being a gentleman and being a doormat. I don't mind becoming a bit of a wuss when it comes to Lizetta, but with this girl? No way.
“You mean the same game you and I have played for the last year? Every time you stop taking my calls it’s only to build the tension. I don’t mind you toying with me, but this go around lasting two months is pretty ridiculous.”
I never should have slept with her after I bailed out. The brain inside my dick that overrules my sanity needs to be lobotomized. It took forever for her to give me a break after that. It finally seemed to be working, too. The last time Laura called was the same day her brother, Larry, tried to get me to come back to the band, again. Coincidence? Probably not. A few hours later I reached my ninetieth day of sobriety. With the exception of the text I got when Lizetta and I were on our first date two weeks ago, I took the few weeks of quiet that followed as congratulations from God for making it. It’s been insanity ever since.
Hey, God. Thanks for nothing.
Laura also makes me bitchy as hell.
“It’s not a game, Laura.” I was always serious when I said no. It's just that she can be rather persuasive in changing my mind.
She leans back on the sofa with one boot resting on it. Combat boots? What happened to heels? Given what she had started experimenting with when I left, this is a bad sign. Her skirt exposes the fact that she's not wearing any underwear. I hate when she does that.
Actually, I wouldn't exactly call it hate.
Why does everything with this woman have to be so challenging? Can’t she just be normal?
No, with the hell she has been through I suppose this is normal enough. I can’t think about it, or I’ll want to help her. She turns my compassion around and makes me defenseless. She doesn’t want sobriety; she wants love. She wants someone to swoop her up in a grand gesture of devotion. I can’t give her that. I won’t risk my sobriety for her, no matter how much she is hurting my heart.
Etta snarls at Laura, reminding me that I’m not supposed to feel for the woman. The spitefulness Laura brings out in me nearly has me hoping that Etta’s raised ears and tail mean she will turn vicious. I don’t want Laura harmed, but she’s exasperating. My head feels like it is going to explode, so I rest it against the wall and point to the door. “Laura. Please.”
She slides down farther, thus sending her skirt up, just in case I missed the obvious. To ensure that her message is sent she tugs down her tank top. It’s not a display of modesty like it is with Lizetta, but more an act of exposure since the neckline stretches down past where her bra should be. Sweet Lord. She may not have any class, but memories of those boobs come rushing back. How I’d love to—
Man, I know Lizetta and I have only had a few dates, but even if Laura weren’t such a skank, I couldn’t go there. I'm just trying to do something right in my life. It seems to be working, because not long ago I would already have been down to business.
I toss my keys on the coffee table—despite knowing I should keep them at the ready to use as a weapon. I’m not getting my ass, or any other part of my body, near that sofa, so I squat beside her. Laura may have serious issues, but that doesn't mean she can't be reasonable and that I should not try to be decent to her.
“Look. That reply I sent was serious. We are done. Please respect that and wish me happiness, just like I wish you.”
She stands like she is going to leave. Instead, she tromps up to Etta and looks down on her. “Where did this come from?”
Scratch what I thought about being a decent human. I’ve always known that Laura is more of a bitch than I want to admit. She's proving me right. “That’s Etta. I adopted her.”
She stares straight at Etta and snickers. “You? You adopted a dog?”
“Why are you so surprised?” Etta, honey, if you rip her a new one, I promise not to think ill of you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Enjoying San Francisco as a backdrop, the ghosts in Diane’s 150-year old Victorian home augment the chorus in her head. With insomnia as their catalyst, these voices have become multifarious characters that haunt her well into the sun’s crowning hours, refusing to let go until they have manipulated her into succumbing to their whims. Her experiences as an actress, business owner, artisan cake designer, software project manager, Internet radio disc jockey, vintage rock n’ roll journalist/fan girl, and lover of dark and quirky personalities influence her idiosyncratic writing.
Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjdT0zUuKYI
Goodreads profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6592108.Diane_Rinella
My FIVE STAR review of Something to Dream On:
The saying that beauty lies from within rings so true in Lizetta. Her soul was damaged by bullying in her school years and had it not been for her best friend Griffin, I think she may have taken a different path. Griffin was there for her - always by her side with an unconditional friendship that was so touching and unique.
Enter Jensen, the damaged rocker who had hit rock bottom and alienated those who cared about him. He was abusive, not only to himself but to the very woman who gave him life. This story takes us on a magical journey to finding one's self worth, standing up to the demons that haunt us and above all redemption.
Whether you've ever been bullied, or God forbid have bullied someone, this book is a testament to the fact that you can heal - you can make amends and be that person who makes a difference in someone's life.
Do opposites attract? Can a gorgeous man possibly see something in a girl who feels she is inferior - complete with self esteem and body image issues? Absolutely! Do animals really have insight into our lives? Can they feel what we feel? Absolutely! Can you hit rock bottom, pick yourself up and decide to get clean? Absolutely!
In this book, we meet three people all with different "issues" but yet they are the same in many facets. They are all afraid to trust, find it hard to believe in themselves, they're scared and lack confidence.
The emotion that radiates throughout the pages of this book grabbed at my heart. This is a love story. It's not about sex or lust, but rather about true romance - seeing the good in someone, finding your true soul mate and complete adoration of that person. I don't believe I've ever, and I mean EVER read a book that made me look at myself as a person and realize that I too can be a better person. Lizetta showed me that compassion is the only way to true peace. I swear I'm still in awe of this piece of gold that my dear friend Diane Rinella has crafted. I love all of her work - she can write everything from quirky funny reads to the most poignant, self challenging novels and for that I have the utmost admiration.
If you've ever doubted that change and becoming a better person is possible, please read this jewel and find Something to Dream On.
Thank you Diane for this gift...it's a true literary gem:)