By Olivia Linden
Holding the pieces of her drama riddled life, Jade decides to leave her disappointments in the past and move on. When her aunt opens up about a family secret, she realizes that everyone else seems to do what they please. Well, now so will she. Building life from the ground up isn’t easy, but with the right friends, she creates the life of her once forgotten dreams.
At the crux of an intense love tug-o-war, one question she must answer is which man will play the lead role? Will Julian, the ‘bad boy’ who mysteriously walks back into her life manage to win her heart? Will she find forgiveness and a happy ending with John, Mr. “almost perfect’? Maybe there is someone new on the horizon that she can start fresh with. Life is never simple for Jade, but when she listens to her heart, she begins to open doors to a whole new world. With new friends, and new exciting adventures, Jade is growing into a woman that she is proud of. The real question she needs to figure out is? What does she want her life to become?
Next to me, John was visibly tense and his phone kept buzzing repeatedly until he placed it on silent. My stomach was so twisted that I could barely eat any of the succulent baked chicken or scalloped potatoes Aunt V had prepared. The forced and awkward conversations didn’t help either. I felt my chest tighten like all the air was being sucked out of the room. I had to get away from this circus. Startling everyone in the room, I shoved away from the table, the legs of my chair scraping loudly against the wood floors.
“I’m sorry,” I squeaked out. “I just…need some…air.” I stormed out towards the back patio, leaning up against the wall as I struggled to breath. It was weird because my mind was telling me there was no rational reason why I couldn’t breath, but my body felt like it was defective in the act of doing it. Sitting at the table, I felt like someone had put me in a coffin.
John came storming out the door a few moments later. He looked around frantically until he found me.
“Jade? What’s wrong?” He waited for an answer and when I remained pressed close to the wall, gulping in air, he moved closer. “Jade?” He examined my stance, taking in my clenched fists and heaving chest. I shook my head, trying to communicate without words that I wanted to be left alone. Knowing John, that wasn’t happening. Concern flashed through his eyes as watched, waiting for me to snap out of whatever was happening to me. Then he gingerly gripped my shoulders and maneuvered me to a chair.
“Sit here,” he directed me. “Now, put your head between your legs. That’s it. Take deep breaths.”
The ringing in my ears lessened, and eventually I was breathing normal. I raised my head, immediately looking away from his sympathetic gaze, and then leaned back covering my face with my hands.
“Thank you,” I spoke between my fingers. John squatted down, resting one hand on my knees, and moving my hands away with the other.
“Was that a panic attack?”
“I guess, I don’t know.”
“Has it happened before?”
“John, don’t worry. It’s not a big deal.” I tried to push his hand away, but he refused to move.
“It’s not a big deal, that you just freaked out in front of your family? You scared us in there.”
Feeling much better, I sprang up out of my chair causing John to jump up quickly.
“Well, I didn’t really plan it John! Sorry, but I was more concerned with breathing than my dinner table manners.”
“Jade, talk to me. Please?”
“Not here. Not tonight.”
“When? I’ve tried to wait you out but, this is too much.”
“John!” I hadn’t meant to yell, but I couldn’t deal with him. His pleading was starting to break me down and I couldn’t deal. We just stared at each other until he blew out a deep breath, and ran his fingers through his hair. I loved when he did that.
Olivia Linden Bio:Olivia Linden, a native New Yorker, was raised between Queens and San Antonio, TX. Currently living in Florida with her 10 year-old son, she decided it was time to follow her dreams of becoming a full time author. Her creative itch began when her elementary school principal posted one of her stories in the halls of her school. She was only seven at the time, but old enough to understand how integral writing would be to her future. From that moment on, reading and writing became her two greatest passions. Olivia is a newbie to the industry, but she hasn’t stopped writing since she found her literary voice all those years ago. Jaded Hearts, her first published novel, mixes her big personality, with a sexy yet humorous tone. It is her philosophy that laughter is essential to making it through even the toughest situations. Find your passion with Jaded Hearts by Olivia Linden.