Pocket Star-E Nights: Hollow, Ava Conway

All summer long we’re featuring great e-books at great prices as part of our “Pocket Star-E Nights” program! With the help of some amazing blog partners (our “Shooting Stars), we’re sharing some deliciously decadent excerpts of these terrific novels. If you like what you’re reading, you can purchase the book via the buy links just below this post.

This haunting New Adult ebook is Girl, Interrupted meets Beautiful Disaster…and right now, you can buy it for only $1.99!

 

Hollow

“I don’t want to go to prison.” Tears filled my eyes as I thought of myself behind bars. I wasn’t tough enough to deal with inmates. If I got sent to jail, I’d probably be raped or stabbed or something. Oh God.

Creases of concern marred my mother’s otherwise flawless features. “But it was an accident.”

“How long would she have to stay in prison?” my father asked.

“It would depend on her mental evaluation and the judgment of the jury.” Classical music rose up from the lawyer’s suit pocket. He took out his phone. “I have to take this.” He nodded to me. “Good day, Ms. White. Mr. White. Be sure to call me if the police try to contact you.”

I started to feel queasy as the lawyer walked out into the hall. I didn’t want to go to Newton Heights, but I didn’t want to go to jail, either. As I stared at my parents, I felt this weird sense of detachment, like I was in some sort of awful dream.

This couldn’t really be happening to me, could it?

My father was the first to break the silence. “You can’t stop it from coming out, Marion. Once this goes to trial, the media attention will be intense. They’ve already been rabid for details about the accident. The reporters—”

“This will never go to trial.”

My father sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’m too old for this.”

My mother placed her hand on my father’s cheek and waited for him to meet her gaze. “It will never go to trial, Clark. I promise. We already have our own media people spinning a plausible explanation.”

“The public will be hungry for more information, and once they start digging, it’s only a matter of time before . . .”

He glanced at me and cleared his throat. “Media spin won’t be enough to sweep this under the blanket.” My father covered my mom’s hand and removed her arm. “Not this time.” He glanced at me and frowned. “I need a drink.”

“What’s going on?” I whispered as my father strode purposefully from the room.

My mother stared at the empty doorway where my father had left moments before. “There’s still a chance, you know.”

“A chance?” I asked as the room door closed, sealing both me and my mother off from the world.

She turned and focused on me. “A chance for us to be the great family we were destined to be.”

I shook my head in disbelief. My parents were well-known animal rights lobbyists on Capitol Hill. In their minds, everything we did was subjected to public scrutiny and this either helped or hindered their work. My mother believed that we were one day destined for greatness, like the founders of PETA, and everything we did was to move the family toward that goal.

“Your father’s in pain right now, Lucy. He’ll come around, but only if you pull yourself together enough to attend veterinary school in the fall, like we all agreed.”

“The fall is only four months away. You can’t possibly think that this will all be over by then—”

“Shh, there, there.” My mom came around to the side of the bed and pulled a blue compact out of her purse. “You want us to be together, right?”

“Well, yeah.”

“You want us all to be happy, right?”

“Yes, but—”

“If spending a little time at a mental facility will help keep us together, then that’s what you need to do.” She opened the compact and dabbed the pad into the powder. “It won’t be so bad. Think of it as a little vacation.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“We’re a family, Lucy, a team. It is our job, no our duty, to make a united front against the world.” She frowned as she looked at herself in the mirror. “There are a lot of bad people out there, people who want to deceive and manipulate you. People who would like nothing more than to break up this family and cause us pain.”

“You always say that, but I don’t know of any—”

“Trust me. If we are ever to survive in this world, then we need to stick together. It’s the only way.”

“Yes, Mom.”

My mother put down her compact and sighed. “I only want to protect you from the evil in the world. You’re still young, and very innocent. There is so much pain out there. It’s unbelievable what people will do to one another in order to get ahead.”

“I know, Mom.” I forced myself to smile. “You’ve told me.” Multiple times.

My mother smiled as she brushed back the hair that had fallen in front of my eyes. “You know I love you and I only want what’s best for our family.”

“I know.”

“I’ve worked so damn hard to get us—”

“Where we are today,” I said, finishing her sentence. “I know, Mother.”

She smiled and lifted the compact once more. “Good. You do what the doctors tell you and don’t be stubborn.”

There was nothing I could do. I had nowhere to go, no one to confide in. I couldn’t even take a fucking piss without someone helping me. Surrounded by people, and yet so utterly alone.

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Hollow

Hollow

Ava Conway

Girl, Interrupted meet Beautiful Disaster in this thrilling and sexy debut novel, in which a college student learns her perfect life is a lie and finds new love where she least expects it: a mental institution.

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