They say it takes 21 days to form a habit.
For 21 days she held on.
But on Day 22, she would have given anything for the sweet slumber of death.
Because on Day 22, she realizes that her only way out means certain death for one of the two men she loves.
A haunting tale of passion, loss, and redemption, The Paper Swan is a darkly intense yet heartwarming love story, textured with grit, intrigue, and suspense. Please note: This is NOT a love triangle.
A full-length, standalone novel, intended for mature audiences due to violence, sex and language. Subject matter may be disturbing for some readers.
Releases: August 4, 2015
About the Author:
Leylah Attar writes stories about love - shaken, stirred and served with a twist. When she's not writing, she can be found pursuing her other passions: photography, food, family and travel. Sometimes she disappears into the black hole of the internet, but can usually be enticed out with chocolate.
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A distant whoomp-whoomp-whoomp mixed in with the music. I figured the song was transitioning into the next track, but the noise grew louder. It was coming from behind me now, close enough that I could recognize it. The whirring, sonic boom of helicopter blades.
I ran outside, barefoot in a t-shirt, knowing Damian had gone to get mangoes for me, like he did every morning. One helicopter was already on the ground, while a second was landing on the beach in a flurry of sand and grit. Armed men in camouflaged gear were everywhere, running towards the jungle.
“Miss? Miss Sedgewick?” One of the men pulled me back. “Are you all right?”
I tore free of him and ran towards the mangoes that were scattered in the shadows of the trees. They were covered in blood.
“Where is he?” I grabbed the man who was yelling something about getting me to safety. “Is he hurt? Take me to him!”
But he wouldn’t listen. He started dragging me back to one of the choppers. The sickening bratatat of machine guns came from the jungle. Another helicopter swept over us, scanning the ground below. A crackly voice issued rapid commands over the man’s radio device. The air was thick with the hunt for Damian—all these men tracking him down—but all I could see was the trail of blood that led from the mangoes.
Damian had been coming back to me when they’d ambushed him. I closed my eyes and lived the horror of it: a bullet ripping through him, mangoes rolling to the ground, his blood staining their spotted yellow-green skins; Damian picking himself up, stumbling into the trees for cover, while I poured myself a cup of coffee.
A cup of fucking coffee.
I knew exactly where to go. I knew where Damian was—holed up in the wooden shack, as they closed in on him, with nothing to protect himself, because I’d made him give up his gun.
Oh God. What I have done?
I broke free and ran into the trees, not caring about the bullets that were zinging past me and ricocheting off the trees in flying splinters of wood and bark.
“Hold your fire! Hold your fire!” someone screamed as I stormed into the shack. I knew they wouldn’t shoot as long as I was with Damian, as long as there was any chance I’d get caught in the crossfire.
I stood by the door, panting, as my eyes adjusted to the room.
He was propped up in the corner, like a trapped animal, gripping his thigh, his sweatpants soaked with blood.
Leylah Attar's THE PAPER SWAN Release Week Giveaway