BOOK BLITZ & GIVEAWAY: Stop Me by Michelle Jester
(Rue the Day Series, #1)
Publication date: February 1st 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
After moving to a new city with her parents, Jeselle Parsons quickly found friends and a life full of money, power, and privilege. Even though her parents weren’t wealthy like the other kids’ parents, Jeselle felt lucky to be welcomed into the circle of friends, until she learned how costly that type of life could be. A life that would cost her everything.
For fifteen years, Jeselle, with the help of her friend Dennis, worked to ensure nothing would stand in the way of her revenge on the people who played a part in ruining her life.
All the years of planning, all the years of working, have all come down to this.
Her enemies will learn that revenge has never been so cold.
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“What the hell is she wearing?” Dennis said with horror. Jeselle looked up to see Rose and Karli approaching the table. Rose had on a flouncy, overly stated, hot pink dress. The sleeves stood much taller than her shoulders in a fog of pink netting and the material jumped as she walked, which delighted Jeselle immensely.
Camilla openly choked on her gulp of wine, “That is awful.”
Dennis patted Camilla on her back, “Sister dear, if you are going to die, please go sit by someone else.”
“This is incredible,” Rose hurried the rest of the way to the table and took a seat.
“I love coming to them, too,” Karli said, leaning toward Rose as she seated herself. “I remember my first time, I thought it was a dream. But Jeselle actually has a purpose for it. They know she wouldn’t invite you if you weren’t important.”
“That’s true,” an older woman sitting next to Jeselle agreed, “but it does make me feel important too.” The woman giggled.
“I am really nervous, like what if I put my fork back in the wrong place or something?” Rose said as she lightly touched the fork on the table in front of her, and it made Jeselle smile.
“Here is a quick lesson for you,” Jeselle said, “My mother–”
“God rest her soul,” the woman sitting next to Jeselle said.
Jeselle looked at the woman and smiled again. Then she lifted a fork and shifted her attention back to Rose, “My mother told me something growing up that I have never forgotten. You won’t either.”
“Dear heavens, couldn’t you have given her this lesson at the office?” Dennis said condescendingly which, Jeselle noticed, caused Rose’s head to fall in embarrassment.
“Pick your head up, Rose,” Jeselle barked. Rose lifted her head. “Do not listen to him,” Jeselle used her calm voice, “He doesn’t know about real people, he’s been spoon fed his entire life. Don’t let people like Dennis, here,” she put a hand on his leg under the table and squeezed, “make you feel any less important than they are. Matter of fact, I’d say you are more important than those people.” Jeselle squeezed harder.
Rose’s eyes widened and she looked from Jeselle to Dennis and back again.
The lady sitting next to Jeselle laughed under her breath. Rose looked over at Karli, who wore a big smile on her face.
“Now, as I was saying, here is a basic lesson you’ll never forget. How many letters in the word left?”
“Fo- four,” Rose replied hesitantly.
“How many letters in fork?” Jeselle lifted the hand that held the fork slightly higher in the air.
“Four,” Rose replied more confidently.
“So, your fork goes to the left of the plate.” Jeselle placed the fork back to the left of her plate. “Now, how many letters in the word right?” Again, she lifted her hand, this time her right one.
“And how many in the word knife?” she lifted the spoon and knife together.
“And how many in spoon?”
Then your knife and spoon go to the right side of the plate. Jeselle set them back down. “In alphabetical order. Fork, knife, spoon.” Jeselle touched each one slightly as she named it. She perceived the moment that Rose grasped the information and she relaxed.
“That’s it? It’s that easy?”
“Well, for the basics, but before long I’ll have you able to set an eighteen-course dinner with ease.” Jeselle looked pointedly at Rose, “Anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, or feel like you don’t fit in, is simply information and that you can learn. The more information you learn, the more you will be tempted to be like Dennis here. Don’t, it’s a trap. If someone is deliberately trying to make you feel like you don’t fit in,” she looked over at Dennis, “Well, that is simply arrogance.” Jeselle turned to Rose again, “And arrogance can be taken down, with only one piece of information. Do you understand, Rose?”
“I do. Thank you.”
The best part of the evening, Jeselle thought, was detecting that Rose really did understand.
Michelle Jester lives in Greenwell Springs, Louisiana with her husband, high school sweetheart and retired Master Sergeant. Together they have a son and daughter. She is a hopeless romantic and has been writing poems and stories for as long as she can remember.
One of her prize possessions is a bracelet with only a yellow, Rubber Duckie charm on it; which she wears every day to remind her to enjoy the fun and happy things of life!
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