Title: September Ends
Author: Hunter S. Jones & An Anonymous English Poet
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Day: October 1st, 2013
Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours
Overweight and dull. That’s how I felt.
My grandfather and brother died. I hid inside a black cave deep in my soul, numbed for a decade on meds, booze, and bad love, married to my glorious career.
My name is Liz Snow, from Atlanta, Georgia, and this is my story.
One hot summer I fell hopelessly in love with successful attorney, Peter William Hendrix III, from Chattanooga, Tennessee. We bonded because of Shelley and Keats. Pete introduced me to the works of modern English poet, Jack O. Savage, It was like The Poet was drawing us together through his blogs and poems, like he had a message for my life and my love with Pete Hendrix.
I lived it in my heart and soul.
It all went tragically wrong once I learned Pete’s secret.
As September ends I jet to London, England with an unstable mind and a broken heart. Pete Hendrix betrayed me big time. There was no time for revenge. My life was a kaleidoscope of stabbing shards of pain.
London ignored me. Maybe I didn't exist. I was lost and lonely in a flat in Kensington.
I hear that Jack O. Savage will make a rare public appearance. I wrangle an invitation to the art gallery where he is reading. I was curious. Somehow, he was the cause of my trouble.
The rock-star-with-words was even more damaged than I.
Jack O.Savage, The Poet became my friend.
Then, an unexpected kiss at a county fair on a perfect English summer's day changed everything forever. Jack the man became my lover.
My elusive dream of a lifelong love began.
If Pete was what I'd always wanted, Jack was what I always needed.
The mystery unraveled as the kaleidoscope of my broken life evolved and I found myself living a rainbow of perfect bliss.
September Ends is a contemporary romance with erotic and supernatural elements bound together by poetry. It reveals the intricate web of passion and desire which entangles Liz Snow, Pete Hendrix and Jack O. Savage. The story is told through Liz Snow’s diary, Jack O. Savage’s poetry, and from letters sent across the Atlantic. Traveling throughout the lushness of a summertime in Tennessee and Georgia, September Ends journeys into the elegance of London’s West End and is finally settled in the countryside of Cornwall, England, a decade later.
September Ends is a story of sin, redemption and salvation through love
because love happens when we least expect it.
So this is what it’s like. You see it on TV, the doctors waiting at the doors of the emergency room. A breathing mask going over my face. “Liz, you’re going to sleep for a while,” Dr. Crandon said. “I’ll be here for you when you awaken. You’re going to be okay.” And your face turning and smiling at me like the whole of my life was going to be all right, like you were looking out for me even as you left me.
That was when I heard a howl of grief from Mom in a distant, unknown waiting room.
Then you are there with me. I can see you. I want to follow you, go with you, but you wave me back. You won’t let me follow. You insist. The look on your face. The Cherokee warrior, or is that our grandfather? Crossing a log bridge over a ravine and you follow. I want to follow too, but you lift the log up and tip it into the abyss. You look at me. Our eyes meet. You wave to me. I’m weeping for you, Charles. And then you’re gone from me forever. I breathe in the inviting darkness surrounding me. It welcomes me with its soft caress.
Coming to, I’m waking up and it’s as if I surface to the top of a pond, only the pond is filled with clouds. Dreamy. Ethereal.
Dr. Crandon was there, just as he had promised. Remembering things said that I can’t recall. “Liz, Liz, you can wake up now. You’re a lucky girl. Your mom and dad, and half of the town are outside waiting for you to wake up. I’ll let them know.”
“What about Charles?” I whisper. Invisible shutters cover his eyes.
“Let me send your dad back to see you, Liz. Only one person at a time is allowed in ICU.” With that, Dr. C squeezes my hand and steps away. The sleepy dreamtime peace creeps over me.
One of the nurses shakes me gently, reviving me. “Liz, honey, you’ve had a concussion. I can’t let you go to sleep yet.”
Dad walks in. His lanky frame darkens the doorway. He pauses, just a hesitation, a moment. Then, he’s at my bedside, taking my hand.
“You’ve always been a survivor, my little girl. I saw it in you when you were born. You were born fighting, Liz. You’re my survivor.”
I plead with his eyes. “Daddy, why won’t anyone tell me about Charles? I know he’s dead. When will someone tell me?”
Dad sits on the hospital bed, cups my hand in both of his. “Yes, baby, he’s gone.” I saw your death in Dad’s face as he admitted he’d lost you, his only son.
Then it’s about me. “You’re in rough shape, sister. Every rib around your heart is cracked. You have a concussion and you dislocated your shoulder. But, you are going to be all right. You are going to be all right. You’ll have to get well so you can help me handle your mother.”
And that’s how it’s been, Charles.
The same old story. Dad and Mom, me in the middle, getting lost, in the way, getting it wrong, cracking up, too much of everything, but never enough. Mom going on and on. Why did you stop just there? Why was he driving? Why? Why? Why?
And then it started. One shrink after another. Like I wasn’t grieving properly, or something. Like I had some new and nasty problem that needed to be fixed. God, I needed you there. You were the only one who could have helped me and you were gone.
All the docs wanted was the money. Write a script. Give another pill, same old story. Just another messed up kid. Not a one of them gave a damn about the pain and my loss and sense of always being abandoned.
You were my best friend, Charles, my only brother. Eleven months apart in age. More like twins. Same nose, same blue eyes, same blond, wavy hair. You the natural athlete. Me, your equal. Remember when I beat you at running? At everything, almost. I always have been one competitive girl.
I still can’t believe you’re gone, Charles. I never will.
You were my confidante, my buddy. You were the one who always made everything right for me. You were the fun one, the good-looking guy with the great sense of humor. I was always a little bit off the mark, more of a loner. Always surrounded by people, always alone, since I was a kid. That sense of aloneness and I are the best of friends. You know how hurt I was when Grandfather died when I was 13? He was the only one who ever told me I was pretty. You did sometimes, kinda. Almost. In a joking way. You two were the only ones who made me feel as if I was part of something and you are both gone. Forever.
How many times am I going to tell this story? The doctor looks up from his note taking.
I have to ask. “Am I crazy?”
“No, you are not crazy, Liz. You have survived a terrible accident. You have had a series of disappointments and losses beyond anything a typical nineteen-year-old has to contend with.”
“I once had a patient who constantly saw a Christmas tree. All the ornaments on the tree were the faces of the women he had slept with in the past. He saw the tree sitting in the room, no matter where he was. From the corner of his eye, he would see this Christmas tree when he was awake. And, when he was asleep, the ornaments would fly off the tree with each of the women screaming at him.
“That’s crazy, Liz. You’re not crazy. You have a touch of melancholia, that’s all.”
Melancholia, he says. What the hell? Isn’t that what the romantic poets had? Better than being plain depressed, I suppose.
He tells me I’m sad, numb. I remember everything about the crash. He asks me to place the memory in a box for now. I am to imagine all that pain and place it all in an imaginary box. I am to lock the box with an imaginary key. I am to keep the key. I can unlock the box as I can handle the feelings and I can unlock it when I want to open it. When I am ready. I am in control. Meanwhile, I am to take some nice little pills in a nice little pillbox.
He asks me why I’m majoring in English Lit. Did I find reading all that Keats and Shelley saddening? Did I empathize with the sad things they wrote about? We discuss words. It’s like I’m some human crossword puzzle he’s trying to solve.
I tell him I see through words. He doesn’t get it. I run that line from Antony and Cleopatra his way, you know the one, my fav from the Bard: “With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate of life at once untie.” He doesn’t get it. I spell it out. Life is intrinsically intricate. Shakespeare nailed it. I tell the doc I don’t need the medication. He tells me I have no choice.
He gives me one of those I’ve-had-enough-of-you looks, tells me there’s nothing really wrong with me. I am to study hard. Vanderbilt is an excellent school. It’s HIS alma mater! I am to get on the school paper. Writing will be a good outlet for me. I am to keep a journal, too. A girlie diary. Doing articles will help me focus on others and a diary will help me understand my own feelings better.
It is one of the few sensible things he says and one piece of advice I actually follow, dear Diary.
It gets better. I am to play tennis, run, play volleyball. Exercise the blues away - every day. Get those endorphins pumpin'.
Meanwhile, keep taking the numb pills “a while longer.”
“What is ‘a while longer’?” I ask. “Six more years?” I tell him just what I think about the meds.
No, no more Dr. Nice.
I am underage until I am 21. My parents want the meds continued until I am out of school and turn 21. I have a history of suicide attempts. Lies!
He knows I WILL recover.
“What, from the medication?” I ask him.
My parents are “concerned.” And then he hits me with, “You are not helping yourself by continuing to drink. That works against the medication.” Doesn’t he know all students drink? Doesn’t he know I just want to be like everyone else? He waves my grades in front of me. I can’t believe it. He actually has a copy of my grades.
So, I’m not like everyone else. So I’m above average in this, outstanding in that. So what? He wants to make me believe in myself. And then he tells me. I don’t need him. The answers are all within me. I need direction, that’s all. Why don’t I come back in three months instead of three weeks?
Like, YES! So the deal is I take the pills and skip the torture.
He was right about the writing, though. It works.
I write a blog for the school. I PROMISE TO LEAVE MY BRAIN TO SCIENCE - THE ANATOMY OF NUMBNESS. I can write, it seems.
The next time I see Dr. Nice, I take him a blog on MELANCHOLIA AND THE MODERN AMERICAN DISILLUSIONED ROMANTIC TEEN. I follow this up with THE GIRL CHATTERTON.
He knows I am toying with him. Is he hitting on me? I do believe he is. Or maybe he just wants me to think he is. He’s 32 and married with a young son called Daniel. In the end, it is he who rejects me, refuses further appointments. Says I no longer need him.
Even my shrink.
So, dear Diary, will you reject me, too? Will you? Should we stop this now before someone gets abandoned again? Do I stop you right here?
I think so. (I believe this is the end.)
ENTER LOVE, STAGE LEFT
Hello, Diary. I am now twenty-nine, a dangerous age, everyone says. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that I wrote those things ten years ago.
Now here I am. Older. Still attempting to make sense of the shattered pieces of my life. Much like the shards of a broken mirror, my life reflects in front of my own eyes and reveals a kaleidoscope, yet I still can’t see - me. I can’t seem to understand myself.
Item: a death - my grandfather.
Item: a death - my brother.
Item: a misguided marriage.
Item: a devastating miscarriage.
Item: an acrimonious divorce.
Liz Snow, THIS! Is your life.
At least my career is soaring.
Let there be a line drawn here. Let everything beyond this line be a new me for Peter William Hendrix III. Be there, beyond the line. My savior, my love. I believe I am going to marry you. You haven’t asked me yet, but you will.
Okay, Diary, are you ready for a happy ending? You’d better be, because that is what you & I are going to get. I swear it.
Reviewed by Erycka:
I was skeptical at first with what I thought was disconnected poetry. However, as the pages turned the voice of ‘The Poet’ melded the story of Liz and Pete beautifully. The poetry later served as a pertinent part of this story. The words written both by Hunter S. Jones and that of the anonymous English poet, were striking. I rode a wave of emotion that came unexpectedly. Beyond the poetry, this is a story of loss, love, intense feeling, trust, and growth. I fell in love with the construction of words, the flow between Liz’s voice, Pete’s voice, and ‘The Poet’s’ voice. I found myself happy when Liz is happy and sad when she is sad.
“Look at me. I love you. I have always loved you. I will never stop loving you. My love will never die. It will be with you, in you, around you, protecting you forever.”
How could one not love, love? I am a true romantic; I love, love and everything that goes along with it….even the pain. I am pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I recommend you pick it up, curl yourself in a quiet reading corner with a beverage of your choice and Kleenex!
4.5 stars out of 5.
Lover of all the finer things in life.
The art form I create when writing is much more interesting than anything you will ever know or learn about me. However, since you ask, I have lived in Tennessee and Georgia my entire life, except for one “lost summer” spent in Los Angeles. I was always a complex kid. My first published stories were for a local underground rock publication in Nashville. I have published articles on music, fashion, art, travel and history.
Currently, I have a music/entertainment blog @ExPatsPost.com. My debut novella, Fables of the Reconstruction, was published in 2012.
Edgar Allan Poe and Anne Rice have always fascinated me, although like any Southern girl, I will always idolize Margaret Mitchell for writing Gone With The Wind. I also adore the works of John Grisham, and own a huge selection of his books. I live in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband, my books, too many clothes, too many shoes and way too many stacks of notepads and journals.