Trailer, excerpt and giveaway: ‘Deceptive Cadence’ by Katie HamsteadPosted: July 3, 2015
Cadence Anderson has the perfect definition of happily ever after . . .
Until she doesn’t. A freak earthquake shatters her life as surely as her home, taking away everything she holds dear. She wakes in a hospital to find that her beloved husband and infant daughter have been killed, crushed by the earthquake’s wrath. Disoriented, injured, and alone, Cadence refuses to accept the loss. So when a man claiming to be her guardian angel appears and offers her a chance to go back in time to save her family, she doesn’t need to give it a second thought. She accepts.
Thrust back eleven years, she now faces the ordeal of high school all over again. But this time, she’s armed with all the knowledge of her adult life and the determined to do everything better, from preventing the loss of her best friend to avoiding her original, drama-inducing boyfriends. She’s focused solely on Austin, her future husband, and is content to bide her time until she meets him again.
But then James Gordon crosses her path. Cadence wants to remain single, but James has his sights set. He is determined to win her over, and he’s very hard to resist. As Cadence starts to develop unwanted feelings for him, she realizes he threatens to disrupt everything, changing the future and distracting her from her original goal. Now, Cadence must choose: deny the unpredictable and exciting path James offers her, or stay true to the life she had and is trying desperately to resurrect. Second chances are more complicated than they seem.
Deceptive Cadence combines the soaring emotion of a heartfelt romance with the innovative storytelling of magical realism, crafting a uniquely moving, intricate tale about love and loss that asks: what would you do if given the chance to right all your wrongs?
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A steady beep brought me out of unconsciousness. My eyes felt heavy. I struggled to open them. The distinct aroma of cleaning products hung in the air. My brain switched on as I realized where I was and forced my eyes open. The beeping sped up. White walls encircled me in the hospital room; directly across from me was a closed bathroom door. I was completely alone. Where was my family? My husband? My baby daughter?
I tried to sit up, but my whole body writhed with pain. I moaned, and a second later, a nurse dressed in aqua scrubs burst into the room.
“It’s all right. Just don’t move,” she said in a soothing voice.
I wanted to ask a million questions, but I couldn’t form any words. She gently pressed me back onto the bed and checked me over. I watched her; she seemed to avoid looking directly into my eyes. As I followed her movements, I became aware of the cast on my arm. My right leg was bound and raised in a sling, and I appeared to have large bolts sticking out of my thigh.
“What happened?” I finally managed to utter.
The nurse slowed. “You have a fractured femur, ulna, and radius. You also sustained substantial head trauma, which is why you’ve been unconscious for the past few days.”
“Few days?” I groaned. “What day is it?”
“But how? The last thing I remember was . . . was . . .”
I didn’t actually know. Monday was a haze. I’d come home from university and found my husband, Austin, had cooked dinner, and our eighteen-month-old daughter, Melody, was bathed and in her pajamas. I’d been so surprised. I kissed him, his dark scruff tickling my nose, and felt as if I’d never be happier. We’d sat and eaten together, enjoying our family time. Our little Melody rambled about this and that, while Austin told me about his day.
“There was an earthquake,” the nurse said.
I snapped back into focus. “But we don’t live near a fault line.”
The nurse dropped her gaze. “It was an accident. Your leg was crushed under a ceiling beam, and your arm broke when you hit the floor.”
“When I hit the floor?”
“You were found wedged between your bed and the collapsed wall and roof.”
I tried to remember. Austin and I had put Melody to bed at her normal time, and a few hours later, we’d gone to bed. How had I ended up on the floor? I rubbed my forehead.
“Where’s my family?”
“Your parents arrived yesterday,” she answered.
“My parents?” I lived a long way from my parents, clear across the country, in Perth. For them to come last minute like that . . .
“Where’s my husband?”
The nurse didn’t answer.
“Where’s my daughter?” My voice rose.
Again, no answer.
The beeping sped up. “Where are they?”
A doctor—wearing a white coat and carrying a clipboard—entered the room, my parents right behind him. Mum rushed forward and grabbed my hand. I felt sick. Before the doctor even said it, I knew what had happened.
“Your husband was found holding your daughter in her room. We believe it was fast . . .”
I couldn’t hear any more. My ears buzzed. My heart ached.
“No.” I pulled my hand free. “No! I don’t believe it!”
“Cadence, honey,” Mum said as tears streamed down her face. “Austin is gone. He died trying to protect you and Melody.”
“Melody! Where’s Melody?”
Mum sobbed uncontrollably. Dad stepped forward to grab her shoulders.
“I’m sorry, Cadence.”
I gasped, feeling as if my heart had been ripped from my chest. “No! I don’t believe you! I’m dreaming. This has to be a dream. It can’t be real.” I closed my eyes tightly. “Wake up, Cadence, just wake up.”
Mum’s hand squeezed my arm as she continued to sob. But I couldn’t wake up from it. It was all real.
My eyes shot open, and I threw up. The nurse rushed to clean me, but I shoved her away. The beeping from the heart monitor increased.
“Cadence.” Mum grasped my shoulder. “Breathe, honey.”
“No, no!” I pushed her away, trying to pull free of my restraints. “I don’t believe it. I want to see them, now.”
“Nurse,” the doctor said firmly.
The nurse grabbed my drip, and the next thing I knew, the world became hazy.
About Katie Hamstead
Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.
After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dogs.
She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing. Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an Acquisitions Editor to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.