In the Wake of Wanting is here!

The wait is finally over for In the Wake of Wanting! My 15th book has arrived! 😀
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A good man treads away.

Another man runs–can he even be called a man?

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Even before the second semester of his sophomore year at Columbia began, Trey Holland knew his life would be completely different by the end of it. He had yet to meet the pretty–yet flustered–freshman who he’d be mentoring on the school paper. He had yet to discover the despicable secrets his new best friend was hiding.

All Trey knew at the time was that the relationship with his high school sweetheart was nearing its end.

In those days before the spring semester began, life for Trey was simple. School was a place to learn. His fraternity was a community of like-minded brothers. Life was full of well-intentioned people. Complications were tiny bumps in the road, easily smoothed over, leaving no trace behind.

In a matter of weeks, Trey is thrust into a jaded reality brought on by choices he makes and by the vile actions of those around him. It won’t take long for him to look back and see the wreckage left in the wake of wanting.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Portions of this book deal with the sensitive subject of rape and sexual abuse. While the incidents are not ‘experienced’ first hand, they are retold in hindsight by characters. The descriptions of the events are brief, and while they are not graphic, they may be considered disturbing to some.

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Today is release day!

Kindle US

Kindle UK

iBooks

Nook: [available next week]

Paperback

Signed Paperback

Goodreads

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Half of release day proceeds will go to It’s On Us to stop sexual assault!

Excerpt: In the Wake of Wanting – “Hashtag”

I’ve got another (brief) surprise for you! It’s excerpt time! Make sure you preorder In the Wake of Wanting on Kindle US, Kindle UK, or iBooks today!

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It takes four hours for everyone to clear out of my apartment, including five investigators who swept the place and removed the camera after they checked for prints. My parents offered to take Coley’s out to lunch while Danny went to spend the afternoon combing through a week’s worth of security footage to find evidence of Evan Midland, the paparazzo who threatened me last week, somehow getting into my apartment. The building management, staff and doormen were of no help. The fact is, people slip by all the time, riding up the elevator with other residents. It’s not the most secure building. It’s not like Liv’s building, where you have to have a special key to get to her floor–granted, Dad owns the floor, and he took that safety measure himself.

It was my choice to rent while I’m in college, and while my father was able to make some modifications to the building by adding security cameras in the hallway, there wasn’t much more he could do. My own alarm system should have done the trick. The failure in that is what needs to be investigated.

Not ready to go out in public, Coley and I stay in. Teri and Pryana bring a few of Coley’s things from her dorm, as well as lunch that I’d ordered from Dig Inn. I’m addicted, and I’m making an addict out of my girlfriend, too. It’s all locally-sourced and relatively healthy, so I don’t figure it’s a problem.

“Has anyone at Carman Hall seen the video?” Coley asks her roommate. Teri’s expression says it all. That everyone has seen it. “I can’t go back there.”

“Everyone thinks… y’all released it,” she admits.

“What?” I ask, halting my task of setting the table. “Shit, are you kidding?” Teri shakes her head. “I don’t want anyone thinking that.”

“Trey, you have over 800,000 Twitter followers. Why don’t you say something about it?”

“Because I use that for my blog. I use it to share useful information and to raise awareness about issues in our community.”

“But you have a captive audience,” Pryana says. “Have you checked Twitter today?”

“Hell, no,” I say with a laugh.

“Well. You’re the top trending topic. You even have a hashtag.”

“I don’t want to know.”

“Hashtag TreyGoesDown,” she announces anyway. Coley covers her face.

“Well if that isn’t a dickish hashtag… makes you wonder who came up with that? Evan Midland himself?”

 

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In the Wake of Wanting ©2016 Lori L. Otto

Excerpt: In the Wake of Wanting – “Duct Tape”

Hey, everyone… I’ve got a little something-something for y’all: a little dialogue between Trey, now a sophomore at Columbia, and a freshman writer that he works with on the school paper. I’m also thinking of a release date around October 27th-ish? I’ll pick an official date really soon, I promise.


Downstairs, I see my partner walking toward the doors to leave.

“Coley!” I call after her. She turns back around and waits for me. “Where are you off to?”

“Just going back to my dorm.”

“Can I walk with you?”

“Sure,” she says.

“Listen… you were right. In your poem. There are two distinct versions of me. There’s this one that’s had this beautiful girlfriend since high school, and there’s this other asshole that shared this intense moment with you in the coffee shop the other day.

“But those two guys are really one person. And that one person is someone who will always remain faithful to that beautiful girlfriend, and that’s the guy that you’re going to be a partner with in this class, and hopefully friends with outside of class.”

She smiles up at me.

“Do you think we can make that work?”

“Maybe,” she says.

“Come on…” I nudge her with my shoulder, having to lean down to reach her.

“I’m thinking about it.”

I know she’s teasing me, but I get serious again. “I just met you four days ago, Coley. It’s easy to get swept up in something new–someone new–especially when that person readily admits that they like you. Of course I’m going to have some reaction to that. I won’t lie and say that I didn’t, but it’s not something I would ever act on. The fact of the matter is, I don’t know you at all.

“And, I mean, I’ll be honest, you were pretty spot on in your initial assessment of me, and you’ve had years to learn about me in the media, but there’s a lot more to me than that.” She should know me better than that. I want so badly to make that proposition to her, but it’s so wrong, what I’m suggesting. “I hope you can learn more about me as a person, too.” I decide to make it seem like a joke. “Then maybe you won’t like me so much.”

“Oh, get over yourself already,” she says with a lilt in her voice. “Friendship is fine.”

“Friendship is fine,” I repeat her. She stops in front of a large dormitory hall.

“Have a good weekend, Trey,” she says.

“You, too. Oh! I almost forgot.” I reach into my bag and pull out two rolls of red Duct tape. “I wasn’t sure which color matched your purse, so I just bought both.”

“That is so sweet, but I’m not putting Duct tape on my handbag.”

I compare the colors in the sun with her bag, seeing her keys hanging out over the side. I easily snatch them out of her purse playfully to make a point. “Wouldn’t you rather the thing shut so people couldn’t steal things from you?” I toss her keys high up into the air and catch them without even looking, my eyes still on the red tape. “Seriously, no one will ever know. This one here.”

She takes the darker roll from me, but shakes her head.

“I’m just trying to help stop the spills… I mean, what happens when, like, a lady product falls out?”

“Are you afraid of a little tampon, Trey?” She watches as my face turns the color of the tape I’m still holding. “Oh, you are! That’s so cute!”

“Shut up,” I warn her, embarrassed.

“You make it very difficult not to crush on you,” she says. “Blushing over a ‘lady product.’ Who calls it that, anyway?” She laughs harder.

“Okay, I’m leaving. Go write a sonnet about it,” I tell her.

“Don’t think I won’t!” she calls after me.

“Don’t make me edit it!” I holler back.

“Wait!” she says. “You have my keys!”

I look at my hands, so distracted that I honestly didn’t realize I still had them. I examine the keychain, a picture of her standing in between two guys about our age, all their arms around each other. She’s wearing shorts and a tank top. Her hair looks about the same length, even though it’s swept to the side in a low ponytail that’s pulled in front of her left shoulder. The picture has to be relatively recent. One of the guys could be her brother; the other must be her boyfriend.

“Was this on the pier?” I ask her, showing her the picture when she reaches me.

“Yeah, last year over spring break.” She takes the keys and studies the image, smiling wistfully. “It was a good day.”

“Hence why you’ve memorialized it in a keychain, right?” I remain focused on the ends of the tape roll in my hands, pretending not to show much interest in the picture. “Is one of those guys your twin brother?”

“Mmhmm,” she says. “That’s Joel.” She points out the guy on her right. He’s wearing a lime green Elvis shirt and a big smile. I’m more interested in the other one now. He’s smiling too, sort of, wearing black jeans and a long-sleeved black shirt. “It’s killing you, isn’t it?”

“What? No,” I lie, looking up and shaking my head.

She rocks on the balls of her feet and stares. “Why does your skin do that?”

“Do what?” She doesn’t have to tell me. I feel the blush, my own personal lie detector going off for the world to see.

“Your fair skin is all… mottled… like you were standing under the sun too long, only some of your face was sheltered by trees or something.”

“Maybe I’ve just been in the sun too long.”

“No… there it is. Now your whole face is the same, red color. You’re blushing again.”

“Jesus Christ. Yes, I want to know who the other guy is. So what? I’m curious.”

In the Wake of Wanting ©2016 Lori L. Otto

PROLOGUE: In the Wake of Wanting

Today, I’m releasing the prologue from In the Wake of Wanting. I made two graphics for it, but I’m doing a text-only version (like it’ll appear in the book) below them, if you prefer to read it that way. 🙂

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A good man treads away

But his thoughts stay

Behind with the woman he loves

But can’t hold. Not today.

In the wake of wanting

He abandons parts of himself:

His heart. His desire. His future.

His future.

His future, he casts aside in his past

And for that, what has he to live for? To work toward?

In the wake of wanting

He leaves everything and retains nothing,

And that has to be good enough for him.

For her.

For now.

 

Another man runs.

Can he even be called a man?

It never looks back; never gives thought

To the women it’s taken

But not once loved.

In the wake of wanting

It leaves no discernible trace.

It’s cold. Methodic. Ruthless.

It lives in the present. It. Lives.

While the victims in its past slowly shy away

Lie awake

Cry, ashamed; pray to die.

In the wake of wanting

Through taking everything, it has even less, yet presses on.

Taking, taking. Taking more.

In the Wake of Wanting ©2016 Lori L. Otto

Excerpt: In the Wake of Wanting – “Dinner with the Hollands”

I mentioned (in my previous post) in the description of my upcoming book, In the Wake of Wanting, the flustered freshman that Trey Holland would meet. I didn’t mention that the flustered feeling would be contagious.

This excerpt brings back some of your favorites, if you’re a current reader of mine. (Livvy, Jon, Jack and Emi are all at dinner with Trey.) If you’re new to me, don’t worry. This novel is written as a stand-alone, so you’ll be given all the info you need to have. The ‘scene’ told from Trey’s perspective is below the graphic! Meet Cole–er, Coley!

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“Hey,” my sister, Livvy, says. “Isn’t this when you get to mentor someone? Be an editor this semester to a newbie?”

“Yeah. I’m surprised you remember that.”

“So? What do you think of your mentee? Give me some details… name, qualifications, first impression.”

“Name is Coley…” I half-mumble.

“Cole?” my dad asks.

“Yeah,” I answer reflexively.

“And what do you think of him?”

“I, uh… I think he’ll be good,” I say. Fix it now, Trey. “He’s from Virginia. His dad’s a secret service agent assigned to the president, actually. His mom’s a cop in DC. They’re divorced, apparently.”

“How’s his writing?”

“He wouldn’t let me see his work. But he has to do that first impression assignment on me, so I’ll get to see something Wednesday. He’s obviously good enough to get on the Wit staff.”

“So, Trey, did he know who you were?” Mom asks.

“I mean, yeah, I guess so,” I answer vaguely. “He didn’t make a big deal out of it.”

The waiter delivers our salads. I stare at mine, knowing that I’m not going to be able to maintain a lie of this magnitude for an entire semester. I’m surprised they’re believing what I’m saying now, since I haven’t given anyone eye contact since I started answering them.

As soon as our waiter leaves, I continue the conversation. “She has a twin brother who’s deaf.”

“Who does?” my brother-in-law, Jon, asks.

“Cole.” I shake my head, still mentally berating myself for being unable to say her name.

“I thought you said she.”

I clear my throat. “Coley. Her name is Coley Fitzsimmons. It is a girl. She is a she.”

All the adults look at me curiously. “Is she, um… gender fluid?” Livvy asks, trying not to make a big deal about it. “Or transgender?” Everyone at the table smiles, showing their open-mindedness as they await my response.

“No,” I say as I exhale the breath I’d been holding in. “She’s a female, feminine girl. I don’t know why I was lying. Why I was saying he. Coley. That’s her name. And yes, she knows who I am, too. Everything else is true.”

Of course, my face is most definitely the color of the tomatoes in my salad. When I look up, everyone is still staring at me. “Is she getting under your skin, there, Trey?” Jon asks.

“What?” I ask, adamantly denying that she is. “No! No, no. She’s just my… I’m just her editor. That’s all it is. It’s just weird to be partnered with a girl. You know, we’re going to be working together a lot this semester. I don’t know how it’s going to go, that’s all. I expected a guy.”

“You were with a girl when you were the mentee, though,” my mom says. “It’s no different, right?”

“It’s very different,” I say defensively, having no rational reason why, though.

From In the Wake of Wanting ©2016 Lori L. Otto • unedited • content subject to change

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Nook: [available next week]

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