Home > Goldilocks

Goldilocks
Author: Jay Crownover

Hello, friends.

Are you as excited as I am for a new year and new books?

I know I’m throwing a lot at you here in a short amount of time, but I feel like that balances out the veritable drought of content from me in 2020.

Now, Goldilocks may seem familiar. This book was written month-by-month for my newsletter subscribers. So, you may have followed along or caught a chapter here or there when the file was available.

I’ve written three books this way, and all have been super valuable learning experiences. It’s always fun to share a rough draft with my readers, and I find the instant feedback enlightening. The other two books that I did this way are Recovered and Downfall. Both actually ended up being a couple of my bestselling titles, both here and overseas. Fingers crossed Goldilocks follows in their footsteps!

If this book does well, I’ll wrack my brain for a new idea that can be the next newsletter book. Though, I may have to put that off until 2022 in order to stay on top of all the content I have planned for this year. If you read the sneak peek at the end of A Righteous Man, I’m sure you are anxiously awaiting my next big project. If you didn’t… oh boy… you are gonna be BIG sad that you missed it.

This version of Goldilocks has been edited, copyedited, and proofread. Along with having an actual ending now, it is all polished up to be a more cohesive and professional story. You will notice some changes if you read the first draft, and hopefully, you’ll find that they made the book better.

Regardless, if you read along while I was writing, thank you for powering through my terrible, often incomprehensible rough draft. And if you just picked up this title the minute it was published or somewhere down the road once it became a real book, thank you for honoring me and my words with your time and dollars.

These days both are so precious, and I appreciate you sharing any little bit you have.

Happy reading!

 

Love & Ink,

Jay

 

 

I’m not usually one who offers up trigger warnings in my books, because I don’t ever consider the content I write taboo or that far outside expected events in real life. However, I’m sensitive enough to know this story does touch on emotional abuse, mild physical abuse, and a touch of suicidal ideation, and that’s a lot of heavy material for one book. If you are a reader who struggles with any of those topics, you might wanna sit this one out. I’m a big believer in self-care in all forms. Do what you gotta do for you!

 

 

I was a girl born to be caught forever between two extremes. And between two brothers.

I grew up in a home that was opulent and over-the-top massive. Everything was accented in gold, and the artwork on the walls were originals from the masters. There were rugs and silverware that cost more than my mother made in a year as the head housekeeper of the sprawling estate. Before I could even talk, I was juxtaposed between outrageous wealth and abject poverty. I was never sure on which side of the coin I fell, because while I was privileged enough to attend the fancy private school where the homeowners sent their two sons, I was by far the poorest kid attending the academy. I received the best education money could buy, but it was no secret I was a kid bound for community college or trade school, not the Ivy League like the rest of my classmates.

I was also trapped in a bitter back and forth between good and evil throughout my entire existence. I grew up in the shadow of two boys who were as different as night and day. My mom cared for both of them like they were her own…and treated all three of us the same. That couldn’t be said for the rest of the adults who haunted the halls of the ostentatious mansion. Both boys were the same age, born mere weeks apart. One was the rightful heir to the family fortune, his mother the reigning society queen of the small, ritzy New England town where we lived. She called all the shots and was scary powerful in the right circles. Her child was the favored son. He could do no wrong in the eyes of the elite.

I knew better.

He might look like the prince of the castle, and the hero of every fairytale, but I knew he was the villain. He didn’t look it with his blond hair and bright blue eyes. He hid it well behind a perfect, pearly white smile and carefully crafted charm. He looked like a dreamboat, but underneath the polished façade, he was a living, breathing nightmare.

The other son was always an afterthought. No one wanted him. Not the mother who had him in order to blackmail his father and had quickly abandoned him after she got paid. Not the father who couldn’t be bothered to focus on either of his sons or care how hateful his wife was to his bastard child. He was gone for most of the boys’ childhoods, and when he was around, it was never pleasant. I learned at a very young age it didn’t matter how big your home was or how hefty your bank account was, you could never escape a fractured family by avoiding the problems that created the cracks in the first place.

The forgotten son didn’t fit in with the rich kids and social climbers any better than I did. He was an outcast. A blemish on the image of one of the most well-respected families in the nation. He was a burden and a problem that couldn’t simply be swept under the rug. I never understood why the father brought him home and promptly washed his hands of the boy, but as I got older and started to pick up on subtle clues, I wondered if he hated his wife. Forcing her to raise the dark-haired boy who looked exactly like him was his ultimate revenge on the bossy, demanding woman who took no joy in anything other than looking down on those she deemed beneath her.

The illegitimate son should’ve been bitter and angry that he’d been born into a family that only acknowledged him when they wanted to hurt each other. But unlike the golden child, he was easygoing and affable, not taking much of anything too seriously. He was a jokester and liked to play around. He was cute, and so much softer than his half brother. He looked for trouble and liked to cause a ruckus because he was bored in that fancy school and didn’t care about gaining anyone’s favor. He was the ultimate rebel and my very best friend in the whole wide world from the time I could walk until the moment I betrayed him.

He wasn’t the kind of guy who popped up in fairytales very often. He was too goofy, and his unpredictable temper could be scary. He generally saved his anger for only one person, his brother, but when it was unleashed, he was like a whole different person. For me, he was always the hero in every situation and story. There wasn’t a person with whom I wanted to spend all my time, or one I looked up to more than the second son. Next to my mother, he was my favorite part of my forever-conflicted life.

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