Today I have a special character guest post by the talented Ella Casey, from Song from the Ashes by Megan Whitson Lee. Ella’s topic: Choosing the Wrong Men. Take it away Ella!
It was hard returning to my hometown after over ten years of living in Nashville and pursuing my dream. When I left for Music City at twenty-five, I really thought I was going to make it as a singer. It was the only thing I’d ever wanted to do. And I truly believe that if I hadn’t gotten completely sidetracked by Grey Dyer, I probably would have succeeded. You know, you always hear those stories about girls who get mixed up with married men. When I was younger my mother used to point them out to me at the country club: “There’s Elizabeth Lowery. Everyone knows she’s sleeping with Rachel Roth’s husband.” It’s the biggest cliché in the world. I even warned some of my friends against dating men who were ‘separated’ or ‘going through a divorce.’ I’d tell them not to get involved and warned them they’d only get hurt. And then I went and did the same thing. I don’t follow my own advice very well.
Grey Dyer was charming and a music producer and he offered me a record deal through his label. We wrote songs together and planned my rise to country music fame through his careful and visionary guidance. He assured me that he and his wife were no longer sharing a bed; he was going to leave her soon. At the end of the day, I ended up losing Grey and all the rights to my songs. Emotionally devastated and humiliated, I fled Nashville and crawled back to Kingsport with my tail between my legs.
My parents and I hadn’t really been on good terms for a while. They disapproved of everything I was doing, but the rest of my family—aunts, uncles, cousins—they all tried to help me out when I returned home. And that was how I met Landon Kingsley—my cousin’s fiancé. Of course, he was completely off-limits, too…and I was immediately attracted to him. He was different from Grey on every level. Landon was an attorney, so he offered to help me with my legal troubles for no charge (which was good because I didn’t have any money). I immediately understood what my cousin saw in Landon—he was kind and generous, reserved and respectful. Landon possessed integrity and followed through with his commitments. And these were all the things I loved about him. That was why, when I started to notice the way he looked at me—you know that look that kind of makes your stomach drop? Well, I thought I’d better steer clear of him. I desperately wanted Landon for myself, but I knew that if Landon broke his commitment to my cousin to be with me, he would compromise all of those things I loved about him.
Sometimes it’s necessary to sacrifice the ones we love so we can keep on loving them. And I tried to do that. I really, truly did…
Title: Song From the Ashes
Author: Megan Whitson Lee
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Publisher: eLectio Publishers
Release Date: July 31, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Romance
Attorney Landon Kingsley craves order and normalcy, and aside from his well-hidden vice of smoking, he lives the life that everyone expects from him in his hometown of Kingsport, Tennessee. Recently engaged to beautiful nursing student, April May, Landon’s new fiancée is everything he could want in a wife. She is devoted to her faith and family and truly loves him.
April’s cousin, Ella Casey, has returned to Kingsport after ten years of pursuing a career as a country music singer in Nashville. Ella’s failed career and affair with a married music producer scandalizes her in the eyes of the town, but her legal troubles drive her to Landon for help. Landon finds himself increasingly attracted to Ella and more discontent than ever with the path he has chosen for his life. Amid a firestorm of family and town gossip, Landon is tormented by his past and the complicated decision of whether to listen to God’s voice or follow his own desires.
SONG FROM THE ASHES, a modern retelling of the classic Edith Wharton novel The Age of Innocence, explores the dilemma between the pursuit of dreams and personal happiness versus contentment in God’s plan for marriage and love.
Megan Whitson Lee grew up in Tennessee but moved to the Washington, D.C. area as a teenager. She worked for criminal attorneys before earning her master’s degree from George Mason University’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. Previously she received a Bachelor of Arts in Music followed by a year-long residence in London where she worked as a Literary Assistant. Her self-published first novel All That is Right and Holy won second place in the 2009 Christian Choice Book Awards. Megan teaches high school English in Fairfax County, Virginia where she lives with her husband and two Greyhounds.