Imperfect Truth(2)

By: Ava Harrison

I shuffle my body, reaching my hand over to pick up the magazine sitting on the side table. I place it gently on my lap and begin to thumb through it. My eyes skim over the pages, and all I see are hollow faces. There are no stories to me. It’s as though Très Chic Magazine is nothing but advertisements. In my haze all that I see are images, reflections from my own life.

A photo shoot in Paris…

Live mannequins standing in front of the Arc de Triumph three years ago for our engagement pictures.

A pool party in LA…

Reminds me of the false pretense of carefree life, a few months after being married.

A garden party in London…

The black hole of my detachment that formed during a work trip with Alexandre.

The white noise around me continues as I flick the pages and get lost in recollection and disillusionment. Each picture floats by like fog…locations, frozen moments, painful memories.

My movements stop short. The Fire and Ice Gala…

All the faces look up at me from the pages; they are just emaciated models playing dress up. A still life in print, a dispassionate crowd frozen immortal. Image after image flash by of the patrons attending the soirée…there we are.

In print.

This picture is…

A fairytale of beauty...

A glimpse of our deception…

A painful reminder of my solitude…

A grim look into my isolation…

A mockery of my own sham…

The woman appears before me, and although I see her reflection every day in the mirror, the face staring back is familiar but false. I barely recognize the sight before me. My head swims in an array of white noise. The pretense of perfection living, breathing in these pictures.

It’s all a lie. The truth is set behind her eyes, only hidden from the unobservant onlooker. I sit motionless, my eyes running over the images staring back at me. I see a woman exhausted by keeping up appearances. A horrible fake smile. Her eyes cast down rimmed red with sorrow. His tight smile so obviously blanketing his judgment. I can still hear his voice in my ear as we poised.

“Can you at least pretend you actually want to be here?”

The raw emotions from this shoot shakes me to the core. The void swirls around me.

How does no one notice the pain lying behind her eyes, behind his?

Sighing deeply, I pull myself out of my thoughts. Placing the magazine down, I reach for my laptop. With the need for a distraction from my dismal reality, I sign into Facebook. I look through my inbox quickly, but nothing interesting is happening, so I transfer over to my business page. Author drama. Typical.

I run what most people would consider a rather successful book blog. With over 30,000 followers on my Facebook page, my reviews and following have made me rather sought after by authors to read and promote their books. I switch back over to my private page and notice a new friend request. There is no face, just a perfectly tailored Italian suit. The design and fit are impeccable. Wow…

Ryder Matthews. I know the name instantly. He was notorious for evading the cameras. He’s also who many like to refer to as “His Highness” of erotic novels. He acquired the name because of his pretentious nature and his apparent taste for the finer things in life. His title is not far from the truth, since he’s a trust fund baby who’s often referenced in the society pages of the well-heeled New York.

Ryder is best known for his recurring article in City Style Magazine. That’s his real claim to fame, but recently he self-published a dark erotic serial. The series is called Changing Faces, and each novella in the series is focused on the main character using his chameleon-like personality to ensnare a new prey—an unsuspecting woman who just can’t resist him. It was a different and unique approach. The first time I read his work, I was floored by how honest it felt, and I fell in love with his writing style. The way he wrote made him stand out as he weaved beautiful poetry within each novella.

How can I say no to this request?


A message pops up. Oh God, not another generic author PM. When will authors start realizing that if you want a favor, you should at least try to go the extra mile? Like, I don’t know, maybe know my name?

Ryder Matthews: Hello there!

I was wondering if you could please post a teaser and buy link for my new book in the Changing Faces Series: Blinded Lies

Buy Link: http://C&

Ava Readsalot: No problem.

Ryder Matthews: Thanks for the add ;-)

Ava Readsalot: My pleasure.

Ryder Matthews: Honestly the pleasure is all mine.

My cheeks flush crimson. I didn’t expect that kind of warm welcome.

Ryder Matthews: If you ever want me to…takeover, I’m your guy!

The sexual innuendo is not lost on me. Hell no, Ryder Matthews will never take over my page. Author takeovers are all the rage in the indie book industry these days. Basically, you let the author hijack your page so they can promote their work. I’m certainly not letting “His Highness” take over my blog. He is known to never hold back on any page takeover, posting every steamy sex scene from his series, including whips, floggers, everything. Anything was fair game, and the racier the better. I was truly petrified. I knew it would be great for the blog; I was just apprehensive of what he might post.

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