CHARACTERS FROM BEHIND THE LIVES:
1) The main characters from BEHIND THE HOOD - book 1
TAMA HARRIS - the biggest arsehole you will meet in any of my books. He's self-centered and extremely selfish. He does what he wants and stuff the consequences. He will piss you off so much that you will need to grip onto that ereader tight so you don't throw it at the wall. Don't let him put you off book 2 He doesn't have a POV in that one. Instead, the gorgeous Rata brothers and Corey take center stage in book 2. Some people loved BEHIND THE HOOD, others didn't because of Tama. But most loved BEHIND THE TEARS. So, again, don't let Tama put you off book 2! The hot Ratas take over.
NIKE DANIELS - He has a temper, but he is ultimately the good guy. You should like him. He's a teen father who is dedicated to his wife and baby son as well as his sister and mother. He changes dramatically throughout this series. He is a changed man by the time he reaches book 3, life hardening him considerably.
MAIA DANIELS - the 14-year-old who starts this series off with her point of view. She's feisty and smart-mouthed, but also a nice person.
JESS DANIELS - Nike's wife and a complete sweetheart.
Others who get a POV in Behind the Hood - Mikey Thomas (Tama's cousin), Jayden (Tama's best friend), Leila (Jayden's wife), and Annie (Jayden's first love).
Warning: BEHIND THE HOOD has a different feel to BEHIND THE TEARS. Due to the hot tattooed brothers and the cute Corey Connor, BEHIND THE TEARS (book 2) is considerably more popular.
2) If Tama hasn't pissed you off enough and you made it to BEHIND THE TEARS, here's the cast:
ASH RATA - The tormented head of the Rata clan. He's 26 and is the one on the cover with the neck tattoo. He's had a very hard life and is tormented by what his stepfather did to him ten years prior. Not only is he living with the memory of that day, but he is struggling with his relationship to Beth Connor. He can't talk to her due to his inner turmoil and as a result is pushing her away without realising it. He's also still in love with his ex and secretly yearns for her. Ash is a drug dealer who wants to quit the game.
DANTE RATA - Ash's second brother and the hellraiser of the family. Dante is 23 and looks just like Ash, just with a tattoo around his left eyes (he's on Behind the Len's cover). He's the town manwhore and has trouble controlling himself when it comes to women, booze, and drugs. He's bipolar and lately hasn't been taking his medication. He's a drug dealer like his oldest brother, but unlike Ash, he doesn't want to quit. He's also in love with Ash's girlfriend, which causes a lot of trouble in this book.
BETH CONNOR - The women that people either love or hate. She secretly desires Dante, but knows he's no good for her, but finds it hard to resist him.
SLEDGE RATA - The youngest of the Rata brothers. He's not bright and is rather brutish. He's having trouble with his best friend, who has cancer.
COREY CONNOR - Beth's youngest brother and the sweetheart of this book. You will fall in love with him. He is the cutest thing and has the smartest, funniest mouth on him. He's Sledge's best friend and is secretly in love with him, but is too afraid to tell Sledge since he thinks his best mate's homophobic. If you don't get through Behind the Hood, pick Behind the Tears up at the very least to read about this cutie-pie.
JULIET RATA - Sledge's twin sister and the unlucky-in-love member of this family. She can't catch any breaks, her brutish looks often repelling the opposite sex - except for Corey, who only finds her attractive since she looks like Sledge
CHAZ GREENWOOD - The Rata brothers' stepfather. He is probably the most hated character in this series. The only point of view he gets in this book is that horrid letter at the beginning. He is obsessed with Ash and escapes prison to go after him.
3) BEHIND THE LENS - book 3 is a direct continuation on from book 2. Book 2 and 3 are a set, since book 1 has a different feel to it due to different main characters.
DANTE becomes the lead in this book.
COREY gets the second most chapters from his viewpoint.
BETH is also a major player along with SLEDGE.
KARA - a new character and Dante's ex, who wants him back. You will either love or hate this alpha female. She's a Croatian from Bosnia, and has a very tough outlook on life. Even with a Russian Roulette gun to her head she would tell you you're a coward for being scared, then pull the trigger. You won't get tougher than this bitch in stilettos.
ANT (Anthony) - A character from Graffiti Heaven. He's ten years older here and hasn't grown up to be a nice person. Although he doesn't get a point of view, he has a significant role in the story. He's a pornographer and someone who takes what he wants without regard to others. He's a despicable person and holds a huge grudge against Ash Rata.
4) BEHIND THE SECRETS - book 4 due out in 2015.
L (Llewellyn Davies from Graffiti Heaven)
All of the above characters currently have points of view in the book.
Other characters who feature in this story:
Ash (he becomes more significant towards the end since I want to give him a point of view in BEHIND THE MEMORIES - book 5)
Mrs. Connor (she has a significant part also. You will finally get to see a lot more of this lovely lady since she will play a major role in BEHIND THE MEMORIES.)
Tama (yes, the prick shows his face again, but luckily he doesn't get a voice).
SO, give the BEHIND THE LIVES series a chance. It's extremely unique. You won't have read any other series like it before.
Setting: South Auckland, New Zealand.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
I LOVE YOU, SALVATORE
Every love story is important, whether it ends in a happy-ever-after or tragedy, because two people shared something so special that it made them value each other’s life more than their own. I know this is true because my life with Salvatore Santini was a beautiful love story…
One that ended far too soon.
But I would rather live for only one day with him, than suffer a lifetime without him. Being with Salvatore was worth a thousand deaths. Through him, I experienced heaven on earth, something very few people find. So don’t cry for me, I was truly happy. But if you can’t stop your tears, save them for Salvatore…
The one I left behind.
I’m Rosa Aggio
There were three moments in my life that changed everything
The first was my father’s death
The second was meeting Salvatore Santini
And the last was running after my son that fateful spring day
My five-year-old son shot through the exit, yelling: “My teddy!”
I ran after Piero, pushing past people to get to him. The servants and my family were all moving in the opposite direction, heading for the bomb shelter. We’d been warned that bombs had been planted in the main house. A mafia war was in full swing on our island, sweeping up all of the families into its unrelenting violence. And right now, my son was going to be a casualty of war if I didn’t catch him in time.
I screamed at Piero to stop, but he disappeared through the back door of the main house. I ran in after him, spotting him heading for the curving staircase. Even though he was little, I could never catch him. The boy was like a baby Ferrari when he got going. But I needed to get him out; the bombs were due to go off any minute.
I took to the stairs as fast as I could go. A family guest raced down the other way, wrapped in a towel. She looked like she’d been caught in the shower. My family—the Santini, were protecting her from a rival family after she’d accidentally killed their heir. However, it looked like we also needed protection now. No one was safe.
I continued up the staircase, screaming at Piero to come back. One of my brother-in-laws overtook me, shouting: “Get out! There are bombs in the house.” Dominic was twenty-nine—seven years younger than me. He looked like a rock star with his piercings, scruffy clothing, messy brown hair, and tattooed arms. He disappeared into my son’s bedroom. I followed him in, spotting Piero picking up the big teddy bear off his bed. His father had won it for him at a local fair when he was three, and ever since Piero treated it as though it was a living, breathing creature.
My brother-in-law grabbed Piero and shouted, “Go, Rosa! Go!” I shot out the door. Dominic ran past me, his legs much longer. I was only five-foot, while Dominic was well over six-foot, all the Santini men giants amongst us mere mortals.
Dominic descended the staircase like a bat out of hell. My son clung onto his uncle, with his teddy bear squashed between them. He looked so tiny in Dominic’s muscular arms, my bambino crying for me.
I ran down the staircase after them, spotting our guest standing in the lounge, looking confused. She probably didn’t know where the bomb shelter was, since she’d only come to stay with us recently. Dominic turned the corner with Piero, yelling at her to get out. She ran after him, with me right behind her.
Then everything changed. One second the lounge was quiet, the next a loud boom enveloped the room, debris flying everywhere. As the explosion lifted me off my feet, I thought of one person…
L’amore della mia vita
The love of my life
The Early Years
In 1987 the stock market crashed, causing my family to lose our home. My father had invested heavily in it, and as a result we had to move from a three-story house in a wealthy part of Naples to a seedy apartment block with tiny rooms and noisy neighbors. It was a seven-story cream-colored building that had grayed and yellowed in areas. Clothes were hung out on the balconied windows for everyone to see, panties and all. Even worse, there were mounds of household waste rotting on the streets, the smell rancid. But we had no choice but to live there, since my family was bankrupt.
My father started working all hours of the day in an attempt to get us away from the squalor. As a result, five months later he died from a heart attack at the age of forty-two, leaving my mother alone with very little money and two young children. So, she moved us to her mother’s place on a large island off the southern coast of Italy. It was a huge culture shock going from city life to a small fishing village. To make things worse, my grandmother was a fire-breathing dragon who had probably driven my grandfather to an early grave. She absolutely terrified me. On the first day in her home, she barked at me that I needed a haircut before I started my new school. Tears streamed down my face as she cut off my long strawberry-blonde hair, something I had loved and taken great pride in. She told me to stop being a baby, that it was necessary, because there was no way I was bringing head lice into her home. After she’d finished cutting it short, I ran to my mother in tears, flinging myself at her. Little did I know that my new haircut would be the reason Salvatore and I met.
Our love story didn’t begin when we first met
We were only ten
Instead, we became steadfast friends
The daughter of a seamstress
The son of a Don
Two children who didn’t understand the consequences
Of becoming friends
On my first day at my new school, I kept my head down, embarrassed over my boyish haircut. After finding out where my class was, I headed to the back of the room, hoping no one would notice me. Luckily, it was fairly empty, so I took a seat by the window in the far corner. Outside, children bustled about, dressed in beige, white, blue, and red uniforms. As more students entered the class, I removed a book from my backpack and pretended to read it, wanting to hide behind it. I abided by the rules of the ostrich - if I couldn’t see them, they couldn’t see me.
Some noisy boys entered the classroom, the thump, thump, thump of their shoes heading my way. One of them yelled, “Hey, someone’s in your seat, Salvatore!”
My heart sank. Realizing I’d been noticed, I peered over the top of my book. A group of boys stopped next to my desk, the middle one capturing my attention. Despite being a head taller than the others, his height wasn’t what I first noticed about him.
It was his eyes.
They were stunning. They were a pale blue, with a darker azure circling them as well as radiating out from his pupils. I’d never seen such beautiful eyes before, so much so that I couldn’t look away.
He smiled, his expression telling me he knew I liked his eyes. He probably got a lot of compliments because of them, my staring no doubt a regular occurrence for him. But his eyes weren’t the only striking thing about him. He was very good-looking, much more so than the other boys, who were ordinary and scruffy in comparison. His clothes were pristine while his brown hair was slicked back, not a strand out of place. He reminded me of the picture-perfect children who modeled clothes in the magazines my mother used to buy when we were rich.
He cocked his chin up in a friendly hello. “Ciao. I’m Salvatore Santini. What’s your name?”
I didn’t answer, too tongue-tied to get a word out. The other boys started sniggering, making me even more nervous. Unlike the boy with the beautiful eyes, they weren’t so friendly-looking. It made me worry they were going to hurt me, especially the blond on my right, who was rubbing his fist as though he was getting ready for a fight. But they wouldn’t start a fight with a girl … would they?
“Aren’t you going to tell me your name?” Salvatore asked.
I cleared my throat, finally answering him, “Rosa Aggio.”
The blond boy started laughing. “He has a girl’s name.”
My face dropped, the realization he thought I was a boy making me want to cry. It was probably because of the horrible haircut my nonna had given me. It also didn’t help that I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt, since my mother couldn’t buy a uniform in time. Wishing I could disappear, I lowered my head, now too upset to be scared.
“She’s a girl, you idiot!” Salvatore snapped.
The blond boy yelped, making me look back up. He was rubbing his arm, his expression annoyed. “How was I supposed to know? She looks like a boy.”
“She does not. You’re just stupid as well as blind.”
Salvatore took a threatening step towards him. “You are, so tell her you’re sorry or I’ll punch your stupid mouth.”
Looking scared, the blond boy blurted out, “I’m sorry,” then took off to the front of the class.
Shaking his head, Salvatore turned back to me. “Ignore him; he’s an imbecille who doesn’t know a pretty girl when he sees one.”
I smiled at him, stunned that he’d called me pretty. No boy had ever called me that before. In my old school, they were more interested in calling me mean names and pulling my hair.
Salvatore sat down in the chair next to me. “Get lost,” he said, flicking a hand at the remaining boys.
They all scurried off to different seats, Salvatore’s tone surprising me. He hadn’t talked to them as though they were friends. It was more like he was their boss and they were his henchmen, not kids of ten. I smiled wider, feeling special that he’d chosen to sit next to me.
He smiled back. “You can be my friend today.”
“What about tomorrow?” I asked, hoping I’d made a friend for keeps. I didn’t care if he was a boy; I just wanted to have someone to talk to.
He shrugged. “If you’re not boring you can be my friend then too.”
The teacher entered the class, cutting our conversation short. I didn’t know it back then, but meeting Salvatore would change my life forever.
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