CONTESSA | When she was four, a generous couple welcomed orphan Olivia Sophia into their lives. As she grew up, her parents made good decisions for her, raising Livvy to be an intelligent and creative young girl. Now sixteen, three people influence many of her choices: her first love, her second father, and a third man who speaks to her through his artwork.
Livvy’s father is practical and steadfast; even-tempered and quietly observant. She’s an artist who acts on her emotions and thrives on attention. Unhappy with their differences– and misunderstanding her father’s methods– Livvy chooses to focus on the similarities she shares with an enigmatic painter from her mother’s past. Her overactive imagination leads her down an obsessive path– one that only stands to hurt everyone around her.
The distraction of a new boyfriend has the potential to end her search and reunite her family, but his involvement in her life could be just as devastating, taking Livvy away from her father for good.
*The Contessa ebook now contains the short story, “Jackson.”
OLIVIA | When devastating news brings an abrupt end to a romantic rendezvous, Livvy Holland struggles to accept the death of one of her closest mentors. Livvy’s artwork has always been an expression of her emotions, and avoiding the pain she feels from her recent loss makes painting seem impossible. Her inspiration gone, she devotes her attention to the future she’s planning with Jon Scott.
Blissfully happy in her own denial, all of Livvy’s free time has been given to the boy she’s always loved. Facing grown up decisions, she finds it hard to live up to her parents’ expectations of her as a daughter and an artist. Under her father’s constant scrutiny and persistent surveillance from curious paparazzi, Livvy finds it difficult to maintain the adult relationship she’s begun with Jon.
The changes in Livvy are evident to those closest to her, and a few that were once her allies begin to interfere with her personal life. This newfound attention – along with distractions that take Jon’s attention elsewhere – cause Livvy to question all the choices she’s made: what college she’ll attend, what man she should be with, and what she thought was her life’s purpose.
Livvy faces her greatest challenge when Jon’s unanticipated plans derail her own. Overwhelmed, confused, and longing to satisfy her own wants and needs, Livvy must endure more heartache before finding herself.
DEAR JON | A summer with his family in Utah is all Jon Scott needs to pull himself together. It’s time to focus on his mom’s sobriety and the continuing education of his two younger brothers, Will and Max. For once, things seem to be on track with that part of his life. For the first time, he sees real hope for his family.
This family time is a much-needed distraction from the relationship he walked away from in Manhattan. Livvy Holland, the girl he’s loved since they were children, has let him down for the last time. He doesn’t want to waste his time dwelling on the fight they had, or the shocking incident that happened the next day, after her graduation. It’s something he’ll never forget, or forgive.
Things never go as Jon plans, though. Despite her actions and a distance of two thousand miles, Livvy has every intention of keeping Jon’s attention throughout the summer with a series of 30 letters: three a week for every week he’s gone. He doesn’t have to read them; there are times when he simply doesn’t want to. He has plenty of things keeping him busy: a job that requires long hours, family friends that come over for parties, brothers that ask too many questions, and a girl that’s very unlike anyone Jon’s dated before.
But there’s something about Livvy Holland that keeps drawing him back to her. Reading the letters will either break the ties, or eventually reunite them. His brain wants one thing; his heart wants another.By the end of the summer, Jon will return to Manhattan. He’s come to terms with his past. He has a bright future. Back at Columbia, though, he must accept choices Livvy has made without him that will change his present plans.
LIVVY | In her first year of college at Yale, challenging courses and new friends provide a much-needed distraction for Livvy Holland. Beyond the tears–for the most part– she won’t allow the lingering anger she harbors toward her ex-boyfriend to consume her.
Even after taking steps to conceal her identity, Livvy is still very recognizable and popular among her new classmates. She takes advantage of her situation and accepts dates with multiple guys, trying to piece together an image of ‘her type of guy’ that differs from all the good qualities Jon Scott once possessed.
An unexpected letter arrives on Livvy’s 18th birthday, shifting her focus and forcing her to reevaluate all the relationships in her life. She now knows the identity of her biological father, and struggles to make sense of the news alone. Fortunately, she won’t have to.
Just as Livvy’s life begins to normalize, one of her professors provides her with the creative opportunity of a lifetime. Trusting in the bonds she’s made with everyone she loves, she believes she can have everything she wants and makes the decision that allows her to be true to herself. She was chosen for a reason. Chosen to be a gifted artist that–with a few strokes of a paintbrush–could touch people emotionally; profoundly. Chosen by her parents so they had a place to share their boundless love and devotion. Chosen by her friend so he could return the encouragement, inspiration and affection she’d shown him for so many years.
Livvy Holland will never again take her position in life for granted. She wears the name with humility and respect. She is Choisie.