Home > What Grows Dies Here

What Grows Dies Here
Author: Anne Malcom


AUTHOR’S NOTE

 


For those of you who have read the Klutch Duet, you know what’s to come in this book. For those who haven’t, I caution you to continue reading at your own risk. If you have not read Klutch duet, I implore you to skip over that part. Even if you haven’t read the Klutch Duet, if you have triggers, you may not want to read this book…

I wrote the Klutch Duet while I was going through one of the hardest periods of my life to date. Truths That Saints Believe was written as I was recovering from a miscarriage. I shared this loss on social media, intent not to hide it away, not to hide our little girl away. She mattered, she existed, and she still exists now, even if it’s only in our hearts.

If you’ve been a reader of mine for some time you know that I include a lot of my personal struggles in my books, one way or another.

Writing is my therapy. It is how I escape, and it is how I tell another version of my story. One where I’m always guaranteed a happy ending, no matter how scary things may be.

If you are a long-time reader, you know this is not the first time I’ve written about miscarrying or losing a baby. I wrote about it when I was pregnant in Scars of Yesterday, not knowing what was to come. I was sure that if I wrote about it, it wouldn’t happen. Couldn’t happen. It was my worst fear. And people who are terrified of something, actively terrified, they didn’t have to deal with things coming true. The people afraid of flying will never be in the planes that go down.

I was worried, while starting this story, that miscarriage would become too common of a theme throughout my books. That people would get ‘sick’ of seeing my trauma in my books, that it would defeat the whole purpose of reading—to escape, to feel safe.

I questioned whether I should even write this book.

But that’s not how this works.

I don’t get to choose which book I write.

The characters choose, and Wren and Karson demanded their story be told. There was no other way I could write this story. I’m warning you now, this is going to be hard if you’ve experienced miscarriage or loss in general. There were parts of this story I wanted to shy away from, wanted to delete. But that would not be telling this story honestly.

This is a romance, yes. But it’s also something else entirely.

I found out I was pregnant for the third time while halfway through writing this story. It was a bittersweet feeling, as many of you unfortunately will know. I was utterly over the moon, but it was also hard for me to wade into dark parts of myself, explore loss while trying to be hopeful for this being the time we got our rainbow.

I am happy to say that we got our rainbow, and we have a healthy little rainbow baby expected October 2022.

I wrote the above with hope and faith, in the mind of an author, certain I could write the happy ending to our own story, satisfied that we’d been through more than the amount of struggles allotted to a couple before they got their HEA. After our second loss, I had already written our story. The positive test wasn’t a surprise. It was all part of the plan. This was it. No bad thoughts allowed. Because there was no possibility it would happen to us again. I’d already decided. I’d already written our future in our mind. I was manifesting, people. The plane wasn’t going down.

But that’s not how life works. There is no formula. Manifestation is a wonderful, amazing thing, and sometimes it all works out. And sometimes, shit happens. We lost our third baby.

So I’m still writing this with faith, hope and a little more pain. Writing this book has been the best kind of escape and therapy for me. Because I know, no matter what, Wren and Karson are going to get the ending they deserve. They will get their HEA.

If you’re reading this in the same position I am now, our story, my darling reader, is not over yet. There is a happy ever after coming. It may not look how we imagined, but it’s coming.

 

 

For all the women with their angels watching over them instead of in their arms.

For all the women with hope in their hearts, even after all this time.

 

 

But were that hope of pride and power

Now offered with the pain

Ev’n then I felt—that brightest hour

I would not live again:

 

For on its wings was dark alloy

And as it fluttered—fell

An essence—powerful to destroy

A soul that knew it well.

 

The Happiest Day

~Edgar Allen Poe

 

 

PROLOGUE


Great Divide – Ira Wolf

 

“If you could’ve told yourself one thing before all of this, what would it be?”

A pause. The clock in the corner ticked. Street noise hovered over the classical music that was always playing in the expensively appointed office.

Whenever I heard Bach or Beethoven, I thought about the white slip covered sofa I was currently sitting on. The view of the ocean out the window, the color-coded books artfully arranged on the built-in shelves, the framed degree from Princeton. The sensation of wanting to tear it all apart, escape my skin, scream at the top of my lungs.

I picked at my manicure.

The need to escape was overwhelming. But I’d made a promise to myself. To my friends. That I was going to try to deal with this how a normal, well-adjusted human might, not in the self-destructive ways I had for the past year and a half. Even before the intervention, I’d known that it was a matter of time before I really hurt myself. Before I killed myself in my quest to escape the past.

I’d known that all along. That was the point of it all.

But I’d made promises, seen the pain on my friends’ faces, the reality of what I had been doing to people I loved dearly. I’d seen the way I’d ruined the man I loved. How I’d killed everything we had, scorched the earth so nothing else could possibly grow.

And I didn’t do anything halfway.

So I had to do this. Had to answer her question.

“That the future is going to break you,” I said, my voice a husky whisper. “That it will absolutely ruin you. But you will survive. Even when you don’t want to. You will survive.” I rolled my eyes. “Jesus fucking Christ, I sound like a Gloria Gaynor song,” I muttered.

My therapist regarded me with a tilt to her head, her green eyes assessing me over the top of her Chanel glasses. I figured they weren’t prescription. She wore them because, along with her office in Santa Monica and her hourly rate, they helped her look the part.

That’s what we were all trying to do, wasn’t it? Look the part? Play the part? Avoid, under all circumstances, being seen for what we were.

“You think you’re broken?” she asked finally, in that placid, calm voice of hers.

I raised my brow at her in a ‘really?’ gesture.

“I fell in love with a murderer, got impregnated by him, let myself hope for some kind of warped future, and then got it all shattered, literally, by a bullet tearing through my body, killing my baby,” I said when it was clear she wasn’t going to be satisfied with an eyebrow raise. “Now, I’m a good liar. A great one, in fact. But even I can’t say there’s a way to be whole after that. Believe me, I’ve tried.”

My voice didn’t shake. No tears fell. No outward emotion. Inside, I was torn, bleeding, screaming. But I’d come to tolerate that. I’d perfected the mask on the outside to look as close to the woman I had been before. Almost everyone was fooled. Except those who knew me best. They saw that I was wrong, ruined and broken. And they also knew me too well to think that they could do anything to change that.

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