Friday, October 9, 2015


Don’t Make Me Beautiful by Elle Casey 
Publication date: September 9th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

A message from Elle about Don’t Make Me Beautiful: 
A really long time ago, I read an article in a newspaper or a magazine (I haven’t been able to locate the original) about a woman who was so badly beaten over a long period of time, she couldn’t leave her house. I thought about that woman a lot over the years and about what her thoughts might have been, her fears, her reality … and this book was my attempt to both exorcise those thoughts from my brain and also shed some light on a subject —domestic violence— that I feel should never be left in darkness. (October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.)

**This story was inspired by true events. If you liked the movie “Sleeping With the Enemy”, then you might like this story too. CONTENT WARNING: Violence, foul language, and adult situations. Not meant for younger readers.**
A ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVEL. No one knew a woman lived there or that she even existed. A monster, living in darkness…
At twenty-two, Nicole doesn’t even look human anymore. The beast made sure of that. So she hides. A monster, consigned to a life of fear and solitude. This is all she deserves, she is quite sure of that.
And then one day out of the blue, the autographed baseball caught by Brian Jensen at the latest Marlins game enters her prison and manages to turn her world completely upside down.
Temptation comes in the form of pity at first, and then perhaps something more. Does she dare to believe the things she’s told, that this is not the life she was meant to live? That being a monster is not her forever-fate? And will she be willing to risk everything, to reach out and accept the helping hands around her and share her deepest, darkest secrets? She knows only too well that hands can hurt. Finding out whether they can also heal is a risky proposition, especially when the beast is still out there. Looking for her.

Don’t Make Me Beautiful
by Elle Casey
Chapter 3

Maybe I’ll get lucky tonight and he’ll cheat on me and sleep somewhere else.  Nicole says that to herself as a joke. He definitely cheats on her, but he never sleeps anywhere else, probably because he worries she’ll decide to go out again.  He should know better.  She’s too well-conditioned to dare doing that again.  Besides, the locked doors make it kind of difficult.
She glances over at the table by the door that’s lit with the streetlights’ glow coming through the transom window.  The framed picture is there, mocking her.  She’s tried to get rid of it several times, but the monster won’t let her.  It has to stay, he says, to remind her of what she’s done.
The sound of a car coming down the street makes her entire body go tense.  She’s gotten very good at detecting the type of vehicle that approaches by the sound of its engine.  This one roars loudly, so she knows it’s a truck.  She gets up from the couch, her body stiff, and shuffles towards the front window.  Twitching the curtains to the side the slightest bit is enough to tell her.  Yes.  It’s him.
She twists around and looks at the clock behind her.  It’s late.  Where has the time gone?  I must have been dozing off again.  Dammit!  He’s been to the local bar after work.
Rushing to the kitchen, she gets a beer out of the refrigerator and scrambles to open the drawer where the opener is kept.  Her hands tremble as she fits it into position over the bottle and uses it to lever the cap off.  As the top flips over, she loses her hold on it, and it falls to the floor in the dark kitchen, rattling around on the tile.
She puts the bottle down on the counter and nearly cries when some of the beer foams up and comes out the top to spill over the edge.
“Find the cap!  Find the cap!  Where are you, dammit?” She moans, patting the floor desperately with her hand, nearly weeping with relief when her fingers finally make contact with its jagged metal edges.
The engine goes silent.  A moment later the truck’s door shuts with a muffled clunk.
“Shit, shit, shit!” she whispers, grabbing the dishtowel off the hook and hurriedly wiping the bottle and counter down.  They cannot be wet, no matter what.
The sound of heavy footsteps on the front porch comes through the door.
She quickly hangs the towel on the hook, dropping the bottlecap into the trash on her way out of the kitchen.  Positioning herself in the front hallway next to the picture, she takes a deep breath and lets it out as the lock turns and the door opens.  Her entire body is trembling and sweat is coming from every pore.
The monster is home.


Elle Casey Interview Questions & Answers

1.               When did you first start writing fully developed, complete stories? 2012, with my first novel Wrecked.
2.               Best and worst thing about being an author (and why). Best: having readers tell me they love my work and it’s changed their lives in a good way; Worst: having people spend a whole lot of time and energy discussing why and how much I suck at writing.
3.              Best and worst thing about interacting with fans on social media. Best: finding out how they took my characters into their minds and felt their emotions and lived with them through their struggles on the page. Worst: Facebook limits who I can interact with, forcing me to pay a lot of money if I want my fans to actually see my posts. I hate that.
4.              Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I’m a 46-year-old former lawyer, former veteran of the USAF, former stock broker, former restaurant owner, former CEO, turned writer. I have 1 husband (second one’s a charm), 3 kids, 2 dogs, and 2 horses (I’m angling for a third, though). I’m American, but I live in southern France. I moved here in 2010 for a one-year adventure and never left. I own a small winery that produces kickass red wine (syrah and grenache grapes), and I like to travel both to the US and here in Europe. I also enjoy camping, but I do it with my tiny caravan so I can sleep on a real bed. I love to ride my horse, and I take lessons several times a week; I only started two years ago, so I have a lot to learn and a great fear of dying. I dream of riding across France on horseback someday, and I’m sure I’ll eventually do it. I’ve been married for 12 years to the nicest, most considerate and patient man in the entire world. I kissed a lot of frogs before I found my prince, but he was worth the wait. He taught me that real romance and real love exists and that all us girls deserve to have it. I support women in business and independent women who want to make their lives better through hard work and dedication to good causes. I’m a sucker for baby animal videos or dog or cat videos, so if I’m on my computer and not writing, I’m probably watching those on my Facebook feed. My kids say I’m mean and funny, and my dogs sleep at my feet every night. My favorite fairground snack is cotton candy, and I have a terrible sweet tooth when the fair is not in session. My favorite cookie is the pecan sandie. (Is this enough? Or TMI?  I could go on…)
5.           How did you get your start in writing? By just trying it. You never know until you try if you’ll be good at anything, so you might as well try, right?
6.           Name a favourite book boyfriend (not one of your own). I could never find a book boyfriend I really loved, which is why I wrote the ones I did in my books. They’re different than the average book boyfriend, I think. I guess the guy I’ve found sexiest in the last 15 years has been Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen, but not because he was a very good boyfriend to Bella. I was also quite partial to Eric Northman, even though he was a murderous a-hole most of the time.  Handsome vampires are sexy, so I guess that’s as close as I get to a book boyfriend that’s not one I’ve written (because Mack of Shine Not Burn is the best book boyfriend ever! ha ha!)
7.           If you could spend a month with any of your favorite book boyfriends, which one would it be and why? I’d hang out with Mack from Shine Not Burn because he’s sexy, intelligent, he rides a horse, he’s confident, he knows how to treat a lady, and he comes from an awesome family.

Elle Casey is a prolific, NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling American writer who lives in Southern France with her husband, three kids, and several furry friends. She writes in several genres and publishes an average of one full-length novel per month.

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