written by Ashley Farley
published by Ashley Farley via CreateSpace
About the book: Life is sweet for Katherine Langley. A freshman at the University of Virginia, she is free from the drama of her parents’ dysfunctional marriage and ready to focus on studying to become a nurse. Her brother, Ben, belongs to the hottest fraternity on campus, and her new roommate, Emma, is beautiful and charming, a party girl whose answer for a hangover is happy hour. She is also a psychopath.
When Katherine’s obsessive-compulsive
From the university campus to a cozy cottage on Carter’s Creek, Virginia, Saving Ben is a haunting tale of love and loyalty, anger management, substance abuse, and betrayal.
Please enjoy the following excerpt from Saving Ben.
SIXTEEN MONTHS EARLIER
With barely a glance in the rearview mirror, Ben whipped his Land Cruiser across two lanes of interstate traffic and sped down the exit ramp toward Route 250. He came to a rolling stop at a red light before peeling out in front of a stream of oncoming cars.
“Damnit, Ben.” I braced myself against the dashboard. “If you’re going to drive like a maniac, pull over and let me out.”
“Why are you in such a bad mood today?” His arm shot out toward me, and before I could defend myself, he gave me a noogie, grinding his knuckles on top of my head. “Are you still upset with Mom and Dad for not coming with us?”
“Hardly. What really upsets me is that they trusted their daughter’s life to a lunatic. Will you please slow down? I’d rather not die before I’ve had a chance to spend at least one night as a college student.”
Grinning, he flipped me the bird.
“Right back at you, pal.”
“Seriously, though, have you ever known our parents to miss out on a social event for our benefit?” When I shook my head, he added, “We’ve always done fine without them. The only thing that’s changed is the venue.”
“Exactly. Nothing has changed. That’s what worries me,” I admitted. “In your mind, Ben, there’s a fine line between watching my back and being my bodyguard.”
“Hold on a minute,” he said, lifting his hands off the steering wheel in surrender. “I thought we were talking about Mom and Dad. Why are you attacking me?”
“Because you need to back off a little and let me have some fun.”
“Since when have I ruined your fun?” he asked.
“Every time a guy comes within a hundred yards of me.”
“Oh . . . I see how it is. We’re talking about Jack Briscoe again. That guy was a punk, Kitty. You should thank me for saving you from social embarrassment.”
“Maybe so. But what about Brad Miller? He’s your friend.”
“Which is why I didn’t want you to go out with him.” Ben smiled his gotcha grin at me, but dropped it when he saw I was serious. “Okay, look. Lighten up. I get your point.”
“Then I’m counting on you to give me some space. I’m in college now. You need to respect that.”
He let out a deep breath of resignation, giving in another fraction of an inch in our long-standing battle over my freedom.
We turned onto Emmet Street and entered the main part of the University of Virginia campus. We stopped at a crossing walk and waited while a mob of people passed in front of us. Most were parents out exploring with their first-year students, helping them locate the bookstore and Alderman Library and the student center at Newcomb Hall. I envied them their perfect families.
I cast a nervous glance at Ben and he winked back at me, reassuring me everything would be okay. Despite my apprehension I wanted to believe him. The past few years had been difficult for me, and while I’d learned to be resilient, the toughness was only as deep as my skin. And even that was fragile like the shell of a bird’s egg protecting the soft gooey center that made up my core.
About the author: I wrote a novel, Saving Ben, in honor of my brother, the boy I worshipped, the man I could not save. It’s not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings.I’m a wife and mother of two teenagers. I have lived in Richmond, Virginia, for seventeen years, a city I love for its history and traditions. Personal experience with my brother inspired me to become involved with the leadership symposium in my son’s school where I’ve helped bring in speakers to raise parents’ awareness of the alcohol and drug problems children face. When I’m not steering volunteer committees or working on my next novel, I can be found swimming laps or playing tennis.
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