Friday, June 28, 2013

Stupid by Choice

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Beautiful, bold, and born with a silver spoon firmly planted in hand, Melanie St. John is, by all outside accounts, the picture-perfect Texan Oil Princess. An independently wealthy daddy’s girl through and through, Melanie has spent her adult years flitting from one exotic, exclusive locale to another, being wooed by handsome, successful men, and in the dizzying center of dazzling, diamond-encrusted society life. But behind the glittering façade of her debutante life lays a very different story. In Stupid By Choice, this summer’s must-have beach read from author Leighton Summers, we follow the fictional and fabulous Melanie as she attempts to find true, lasting love amongst the wealthy, jet-set, spoiled, sought-after playboys in the elite social circles of Texas, Monte Carol, Manhattan, Newport, and Palm Beach. Facing one destructive love affair after another, as well as financial troubles, family drama, unplanned pregnancy, and more, Melanie and her friends traipse through the high high’s and low low’s of elite society, all while negotiating the blows they’re dealt with vulnerability, extravagance, and a resilience that every woman, regardless of social strata, will recognize as her own. “Stupid By Choice is pure fiction, but it’s entirely inspired by the affluent, privileged world that I grew up—and still live—in,” says Summers. “All that glitters is not gold. It’s easy to get caught up in the glamour of it all, but no matter what your age or station in life, we all have to learn—as Melanie does—to not be ‘stupid by choice’ and stay stuck or settle if we’re not happy.” A celebratory romp through the lives of ladies who have, lose, and ultimately triumph over it all, Stupid By Choice is as juicy a summer read as they come—equal parts entertaining, thought-provoking, and emotionally gripping. Among the topics and themes explored in it are: Don’t mess with Texas! An insider’s look—good and bad—at what socialite American society life is really like from a Texans’ P.O.V. The ‘problem-free’ lifestyles of the rich and well groomed: does money solve as many issues as one might think? Or does it just create more? Handling divorce, infidelity, family problems, motherhood, and career goals with grace and fearlessness Finding courage in the face of the unknown, taking risks, and following your heart!

I realize, of course, how stupid I’d been. There were signs. I can see them now—vibrant, crushing red banners waving like Spanish muletas down a highway straight to Doomsville. We’ll get to those, in all their hindsight-is-a-bitch glory. For now, all you need to know is that my marriage was an empty, hollow nothing. Appearances had gone out the window long ago—we did our own thing. It was a good day if we stayed out of each other’s way, a bad one if I called the cops.
And yet I stayed. I chose to stay, every day in fact. The absurdity of this concept still surprises me, or at least the version of me who now knows better. I’ve learned that stupidity is often masked stubbornness, resignation, or fear—and for five straight years of my life, I was stupid.
When I realized the mess I’d gotten myself into… really examined the events and decisions that got me to where I am now—the full, shocking brunt of it—I realize that I was propelled into my catastrophe of a marriage as much by momentum as by design. And though I do take full responsibility for it, there were also others at work here, cranking on the propellers of the winds of fate, whether I consciously knew it at the time or not. It was all just too—
“Ding-dong,” the doorbell rang out loudly. It was time. I quickly scooped my soapy toddler Blakely out of her bath, wrapped her in a giant fluffy towel, and motioned for her to put on her robe while I located the key to her bedroom door as fast as I could.
“Ding-dong,” the doorbell rang again.
My now-awaked but still hung-over husband shouted from the master bedroom, “Somebody answer the DAMN DOOR! I’m trying to SLEEP!”
What else is new? I thought as I picked Blakely up and went to the foyer. After today, he would have to get the ‘damn door’ himself. The thought brought a smile to my face as I swung open the front door.
There stood three hulking men in green jumpsuits standing in the doorway. Blakely’s big blue eyes widened at the sight of them; I don’t think she’d ever seen such large men before. Their names were written on each breast pocket in cursive script: “Big Al” was a stocky, tank of a man, “Nick” was tall, chiseled, and lean, and “Joey’s” balding, oversized head sat atop a pair of massive shoulders.
They’re perfect, I thought as I patted Blakely reassuringly.
“Good morning… ah, Melanie—?” Big Al asked, glancing at some paperwork.
“Yes,” I said with a nod to hurry him along.
He held out the stapled set of papers with their moving company’s name written out across the top in big, black, bold letters: Three Men & A Truck. “We got a contract here that says you need us to pack up your whole apartment and move it to Texas.”
“Yep, that’s right,” I said as I glanced at the papers. “I just need one minute though, do you mind waiting here? I’ll be right back…”

About the Author:
Leighton Summers is a sixth generation Texan who has traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe her whole life. During her travels she was always surrounded by interesting, successful (and often eccentric) people who encouraged her to find her passion and live life to the fullest. Writing novels always intrigued her, and so one day while in New York City she took out her laptop in a café and decided to jot down some notes about how a female character created from her own world could “love smarter.” Over the next four years the notes turned into both funny and sad adventures of a women’s quest for finding friendship, love, self, and family and she weaved them all together into this, her debut novel. Links: Goodreads Website

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the chance to win!!