A TRANS WOMAN’S SECRET. AN ABUSED LOVER.
AN ABDUCTION RIDDLED WITH TORTURE.
WILL SHE HAVE THE CHANCE TO SET THINGS RIGHT?
WILL SHE SURVIVE?…
Val Mian is a trans woman who has lived her life in the shadows. Too afraid to be the person she is, trapped in the body of someone she does not recognize and torn by loyalty to a strict Catholic upbringing to reveal her true self because no one has ever truly accepted her. No one has ever loved her for being exactly who she is.
Haunted by the shame, guilt, and sadness she was conditioned to feel and wanting more than anything to emerge from the shadows she has lived in and be seen, Val leaves home, escaping the prison constructed by her parents and their beliefs.
Unexpectedly, Val finds the love she so deeply craves.
But, her secret is not one that is easily divulged…
Val lives to regret the decisions she made as a newly transitioned young woman when fifteen years later, the mental and physical traumas of her first loves past collide with her own demons and produce deadly consequences.
Targeted Age Group:: 25+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Inspired by her own life and the environment in which she was raised, Michele brought the character, Val, to life.
It was through her experiences of being raised in a strictly religious household, where there are expectations based around how you are to live your life, she wanted to write something that spoke on how she felt growing up in that environment, and feeling very much stifled as she got older and recognised she had free will and was able to walk a path that was more in line with who she was, as opposed to the masked faces of religious leaders who had dictated her whole life up to the point when Michele left her mothers home and her indoctrinated way of life.
Michele's first books protagonist have much in common in terms of her being conditioned and groomed so to speak, to be who others wanted her to be instead of walking her own path and being whoever it was that enabled her to live a happy and fulfilled life.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
As I wrote above I was inspired by my protagonist, Val because having been raised in a very strict household I began looking at the people I was surrounded with and the contradictions of the lives they portrayed to others and then how they actually lived when those people who they wanted to impress were not around and it really touched a nerve within me.
What I began to realize as I grew up and formed my own circle of acquaintances is that we all wear masks and I wanted to play with the idea of someone unapologetically revealing their true selves to the world and Val being transgender, plus her strict upbringing seemed like the perfect storyline and linked nicely to the antagonist in the story, who also had his own masks.
A Life Worth Dying For by Michele Collins
A PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER THAT WILL CHILL YOU TO YOUR VERY CORE
I dedicate this book to anyone who has ever felt lost in this world. Unacknowledged, unseen, unheard, and undervalued.
We do matter; we do have a place here. We only need to find that place and remain true to ourselves in the knowledge that we are a blessing to those people in our lives that truly matter.
The pain was excruciating, the silence deafening, and the darkness felt like death itself had swallowed her whole. She rolled slightly, on what felt like a cold, concrete floor and was horrified to feel a wet puddle of something sticky to the left side of her, quickly she withdrew her hand. As she did, a clinking of metal coming from her wrist grabbed her attention. She began pulling desperately at a thick, heavy load binder chain attached at one end to what felt like a solid ground anchor and the other to her wrist in a metal cuff she now realized was so tight it had cut through her skin.
Val’s heart began to pound as the realization came that she could not remember how she got here or where she had been prior to this. The smell in here was pungent, her gag reflex heightened. It was as though flesh and filth and bile had joined forces to attack her senses, and a shiver ran through her so deeply it made her body shake uncontrollably.
She willed herself to stay calm, taking deep, deliberate breaths of the putrid stagnant air into her lungs, which stung at the height of inhalation. On the out-breath, she tried to gather herself.
‘What do I do, what do I do?’ Tears filled her eyes, and fear encompassed every cell of her being. She grasped at thoughts that flew in and out of her mind like waves on a beach that evade capture, no matter how hard you try, the water always escapes you.
She began checking her body, knowing that any attempts of escaping this place would need her body’s full cooperation. Feeling her head and face first, she noticed her right eye was swollen shut; it hurt like hell, but she knew it wouldn’t stop an escape attempt if the chance arose.
“I’m ok. I’m ok…” She whispered into the darkness.
She felt a dull pain in the side of her neck, which she reached for now, and even though it hurt, it was unimportant. Down her naked torso now, and her gut felt as though someone had hit her with a baseball bat. She felt her ribs. They were sore, but still, no severe wounds to hamper her.
Wriggling her toes and her fingers, she knew she was, for the most part, able-bodied aside from being battered and sore, if an opportunity arose, she would be able to move quickly.
A million thoughts ran through her mind. ‘Why am I here? Why would someone do this? This is all a mistake. This can’t be happening!’ Her mind seemed to reverberate with questions, all seeking answers, but through her murky awareness, she found none!
She twisted her head around in the darkness, aware of the ache in her neck. A few feet from her, she saw what, in the gloom, looked like a slightly uneven door. A tiny slit along the floor was barely visible, and a sliver of dim light shone through. It was enough to allow her to scan the room.
Her one good eye now grew accustomed to the darkness, and although she could see nothing of any use, she could make out forms on the ground, one… two shapes. One lay about six feet from her, the second was closer, and she shuffled over to the left on her stomach, trying hard to avoid the wet patch she had touched before, she failed.
Her left hand went down hard into the wetness. A searing pain burst upward toward her elbow as the handcuff crushed against the bones and cartilage of her wrist. She quickly brought her free right hand up to cover her mouth and keep from crying out in agony. She waited until the pain subsided, and with her left hand still in what she was beginning to believe was blood, her right hand reached out slowly, tentatively toward the shape that lay closest to her.
Inching toward it, the coolness of the surface brushing against her fingertips, the sole of a foot, the unmistakable touch of toes, a heel an ankle. She withdrew her hands quickly, pulling herself up into a ball shaking and rocking, silent tears uncontrollably rolling down her cheeks.
“No, no, no!” She cried into the darkness, but no one could hear her, no one could save her… ‘And why would they?!’ She thought.
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