Don’t Make Me Beautiful by Elle CaseyPublication date: September 9th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense
This story was inspired by true events. If you liked the movie “Sleeping With the Enemy”, then you might like this story too.
A ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVEL. No one knew a woman lived there or that she even existed. A monster, living in darkness…
At twenty-two, Nicole doesn’t even look human anymore. The beast made sure of that. So she hides. A monster, consigned to a life of fear and solitude. This is all she deserves, she is quite sure of that.
And then one day out of the blue, the autographed baseball caught by Brian Jensen at the latest Marlins game enters her prison and manages to turn her world completely upside down.
Temptation comes in the form of pity at first, and then perhaps something more. Does she dare to believe the things she’s told, that this is not the life she was meant to live? That being a monster is not her forever-fate? And will she be willing to risk everything, to reach out and accept the helping hands around her and share her deepest, darkest secrets? She knows only too well that hands can hurt. Finding out whether they can also heal is a risky proposition, especially when the beast is still out there. Looking for her.
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Content Warning: Violence, foul language, and adult situations. Not meant for younger readers.**
She sits on the couch, staring out the window as the late afternoon sun tries to make its way through the glass. Dark beige curtains frame the outside edges of her only access to the outside world, while white sheers fill the middle, making it almost impossible to see what’s going on beyond the shrubs that run underneath.
Those gauzy curtains would also make it impossible for her to see what’s going on inside her house, if she were ever standing on the lawn or the sidewalk looking in. But that never happens. She never leaves the house. Not even at night. Well, once she did. But then never again. The aftermath was not worth the brief taste of freedom.
The clock is ticking.
Ticking … ticking … ticking.
It’s her only company for most of the day. Kitten lived for less than a day before her violent end came and she was put under a blanket of soil in the backyard. The rat remains hidden in the attic crawl space where he’s safe from the monster, so she rarely sees him. She hears him though, at night, and it gives her comfort to know she’s not totally alone.
There is no attic space for Nicole, though. She waits on the couch for the monster to come home. He’ll be here soon. An hour. Maybe a few hours if she’s very, very unlucky. It’s not that she wants to see him sooner, it’s just that if he’s late, it means he’ll be drunk. And anything can happen when the monster gets liquored up. Good, bad, ugly. It’s all the same. Nicole wishes that the clock would stop ticking, stop carrying time away from her and just give her a few hours of non-time to gather her brain back together, to think, to find a way out of this mess.
She takes a deep breath and sighs heavily, the familiar ache in her ribs and face reminding her of the reality she lives with day in, and day out. The clock might as well keep on ticking, because there is no escape from this mess. This mess is her life until the day she takes her last breath and is placed in the spot next to Kitten in the backyard. He already has the hole dug.
Elle Casey Interview Questions & Answers
Which of your books are you most proud of and why? I’m proud of every single one! They all take a piece of me to put together and they all pull from my life or my history in one way or another. I don’t have any favorites.
Where does your inspiration come from? Life. My past. My future. Things I see on the street or dream about. Sometimes weird stories on Yahoo.com too.
Best and worst thing about being an author (and why). Best: having readers tell me they love my work and it’s changed their lives in a good way; Worst: having people spend a whole lot of time and energy discussing why and how much I suck at writing.
Best and worst thing about interacting with fans on social media. Best: finding out how they took my characters into their minds and felt their emotions and lived with them through their struggles on the page. Worst: Facebook limits who I can interact with, forcing me to pay a lot of money if I want my fans to actually see my posts. I hate that.
Most played songs on your ipod? Right now, cello music because it helps block out noise while I write. I can’t listen to anything with words when I write, otherwise I start singing and then can’t write anything at all (except lyrics.) But I have very eclectic taste in music. I don’t listen to much jazz or blues, but lots of rock, pop, country, celtic, and instrumental stuff.
If you could collaborate with any well-known author, who would it be and why? Nora Roberts. I’m a fan from waaaay back. I like how she mixes it up genre-wise, writes a lot, and really respects her readers. I respect her a ton, so if she agreed to write with me, I’d consider that a huuuuge compliment.
How long does a typical writing project take you, from idea conception to publication? 3-4 weeks.
When reading a book, what genre do you find most interesting/intriguing? Right now, science fiction. But my tastes change almost with the seasons. I’ve read a little of everything. My first love after romance was fantasy.
Have you always wanted to write or did it come to you "later in life"? I always thought I would try to write a book, but I wouldn’t call it a burning passion at all until I actually tried it. Now it’s an all-consuming, burning passion and addiction.
What's the strangest question you've ever been asked about your books? I’ve had people ask me why I don’t make all my books free. I guess they don’t realize it’s how I make my living.
Elle Casey is a prolific, NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling American writer who lives in Southern France with her husband, three kids, and several furry friends. She writes in several genres and publishes an average of one full-length novel per month.