Death by Social Suicide by Karen Anne

 

Death by Social Suicide by Karen Anne 
Publication date: February 13th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

 

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The night Brittany Wakefield kissed her best friend, Jaime, she lost everything. Who knew one amazing moment could send him running— spinning a web of deceit and avoidance for two years. Stepping onto campus, she’s ready to win him back, even if it involves pledging a sorority she has no interest in.

Erik Draxton fell hard for Brit the moment she walked into the art room. With vibrant purple hair, music in her veins and a rebellious flair, she’s all he’s ever wanted.

While Jaime shrouds himself in secrets, Brit finds herself longing even more to be a part of his world. Unable to watch the girl of his dreams get tossed to the side, Erik decides to take matters into his own hands. But when Erik crosses a line, Brit feels backed into a corner, and discovering Jaime’s secret leaves her devastated.

With a shattered heart from Jaime, and the risk of losing Erik on the horizon, she knows one thing: navigating the social circles can be a suicide mission.

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“So, you must have been really busy, huh?” Erik was washing the charcoal off of his hands. I was covered myself and needed the sink.

“What do you mean?”

“Well I thought over the week you’d find the time to text me once.” He ripped off a paper towel and stepped to the side so I could use the faucet.

“I forgot.”

Erik looked at me, unable to hide his disappointment. “I guess I’m not that memorable.”

I rolled my eyes and tried to explain, “No, I’m just really busy.”

“Oh yeah? With what?”

“Studies and stuff… ” I didn’t sound very convincing. I dried my hands in a hurry, hating being put on the spot.

“All the more reason to take a break.” He smiled warmly. He was clean shaven tonight.

“Yeah, I probably should.” I tossed the rest of my supplies inside my art portfolio and zipped it closed. 

“Cool, so you want to go out sometime?  See a movie or something?”“Like a date?” I said with far too much alarm in my voice than was at all necessary.

“Wow.” Erik raised his eyebrows, his eyes wide. “Don’t sound so horrified.”

“I’m not. I just, um… I never really thought about it before.”

He held the door open and allowed me to walk through. We walked down the hallway to the stairway when he attacked again.

“So?”

“What?”

“Have you thought about it yet?”

I let out a nervous laugh. “Wow. You’re relentless aren’t you?”

“Well, I can rattle off a list of my qualifications if you’d like.”

“I have a feeling you’ll tell me even if I say no.” We were on the first floor, and made our way outside. It was dark already, and the night air felt crisp and cool. “Why yes, I will. Let’s see… I have a clean bill of health, no weird diseases.”

I laughed. “Well now you’re really wooing me, go on.” “I also drive a very sleek, uber sexy, ten-year-old blue Ford Taurus. Turned on yet?” I fanned my neck. “Keep talking, baby.”

“I have not one, but two older sisters who have trained me in how to be a perfect gentlemen.”
“You do open doors for me…” I conceded. Not many guys did that on a regular basis anymore.
“And… you think I’m kinda cute.”

“Actually, you’re not my type.” I giggled to weaken the blow, but I was being truthful. I liked guys with dark hair, a few tattoos and a brooding disposition. Erik was blond with blue eyes. He was too salt of the earth for me. But, he was cute. I’d give him that much.

“What? I’m exactly your type, here look.” He pulled me under a lamppost and took my portfolio and laid it against the post beside his. He held out his hands palm up.

“What do you see?”

“Charcoal stuck in the crevices, you didn’t scrub hard enough.”

“No, it’s a sign of how artistic I am. What else do you see?”

“I don’t know, let’s go.” I turned to leave, but he caught my arm and tugged me back.

“No, I’m serious… look harder.”

I did. I stared at his hands but just saw apricot skin, lines, and calluses. “Erik, I’m sorry, I’m tired and just want to take a hot shower and go to bed.”

“You can in a minute. Look.” He grabbed my left hand and turned it to so it was also palm up. He ran the pointer finger of his right hand over the calluses on his hand, and then the calluses on mine.”

“How long have you played for?” he asked.

I swallowed hard, watching how he continued to trace the rough spots on my fingers. “Since I was thirteen.”

“I started when I was six,” he said as he continued to hypnotize himself with the swirls of my skin. Not gonna lie, it felt pretty nice.

“That’s a long time,” I answered, my voice cracked.“Yeah, I really love it. My guitar is a part of me.” He broke his gaze away from my hand and focused instead on my eyes. Oh shit, he really was kinda cute. “I’d love to hear you play, Brit.”

I pulled my hand away. I had only ever played for Jaime. Yeah, my parents heard me practicing in the house, but private concerts belonged solely to him.

“How did you know I played guitar?” I asked in an attempt to change the subject. “Because I pay attention to the details.” His gaze was locked on mine, like he was studying me. Not knowing what to say, I picked up my portfolio, and continued walking.

“So, will you go out with me?” he asked again, grabbing his portfolio and jogging up beside me.

“No.” I sighed.

“Can I walk you home to your dorm room?”

“Yes.”

 

 

 

 

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Guest Post

 

STRANGER THAN FICTION: 
When art (unexpectedly) imitates life.

In my novel, Death by Social Suicide, the main character Brit has a passion for music. She plays electric guitar like a rock star, the music swimming through her veins making her feel at peace—but only when she’s alone. The fear of others hearing her is numbing. I get that. Although I don’t have a tenth of the amount of talent that Brit has, I do have a phobia of playing guitar or piano in public. It’s not something that people can easily understand. They can’t comprehend why I would own these instruments if I never play them. I do play them, I just play when I’m alone. Maybe one day, with enough confidence, I’ll gather up the courage to allow others to listen, but for now I’m perfectly content with playing for my cats— and boy are they critical! ;)

Brit also has a deep love for the band, Green Day, and who can blame her? The band has played consistently great music for twenty years. I remember getting Dookie on my sixteenth birthday and playing it so often I nearly wore the CD out. Like Brit, I’ve gone to concerts to see the band perform. And like Brit, I sat in the orchestra section of the St. James theatre to watch Billie Joe Armstrong, the lead singer of the band star in American Idiot on Broadway as the character of St. Jimmy. In my book, Brit gets to meet Billie after the show and obtains his autograph. I wasn’t as lucky, and although I got close to him that night, there were just too many fans. So I let Brit have the moment that I never got.. until recently.

While working on revisions of Death by Social Suicide, I discovered that Billie Joe was filming in my old neighborhood. I called my best friend, Elaine who has shared every Green Day moment with me, and we drove down there, expecting to find crowds and screaming fans. What we found was a silent movie set in the middle of production. A kind assistant let us stay, and watch Billie work. We were about fifteen feet away from him and I swear he could hear our hearts thumping against our chest. It was freezing cold outside and starting to rain (It was an outdoor scene) but we were frozen not by the weather but by our luck. With our eyes glued to the musician who had taken us from high school through college and into our thirties, we were beyond nostalgic. 

The director called it quits for the night, and the assistant who had been so kind to us, went and whispered something to Billie. We were told to stay in a certain spot, and after about five more minutes, Billie walked over to us and just said, “Hi guys.” 

Then… he hugged me. Like a real hug… like out-of-body-experience sort of thing. Then he turned to Elaine and hugged her. 

And just like that, he left. 

We stood there in shock… It’s been three months since that night and I still get chills whenever I think about it. Now when I look back on that scene with Brit, standing next to Billie getting his autograph, I get this butterfly in my stomach reminding me, Brit got the autograph, and that’s beyond cool. But I got the hug. 

So it just goes to show you, each day is filled with possibility. One minute you’re at your laptop working on revisions about a girl who has a crush on a rock star. The next— you’re face-to-face with that rock star. 

 

 

 

Karen Anne is a New Adult Contemporary Romance author who lives in New York. She loves cats, coffee and deeply misses 90’s grunge. 

Karen is also known as Kat Daemon, Paranormal Romance writer and lover of all things dark and twisty. 


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