Tour Dates: July 8-13
Title: The Disappearing Girl
Author: Heather Topham Wood
Release date: May 7, 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours: http://atomrbookblogtours.com/
Kayla Marlowe is slowly vanishing…
Last year, Kayla’s world imploded. Her beloved father died, leaving her alone with a narcissistic mother who is quick to criticize her daughter’s appearance. During her winter break from college, Kayla’s dangerous obsession with losing weight begins.
Kayla feels like her world changes for the better overnight. Being skinny seems to be the key to the happiness she has desperately been seeking. Her mother and friends shower her with compliments, telling her how fantastic she looks. Kayla is starving, but no one knows it.
Cameron Bennett explodes into Kayla’s life. He’s sexy and kind—he has every quality she has been looking for in a guy. As Cameron grows closer to Kayla and learns of how far she’s willing to go to stay thin, he becomes desperate to save her.
Kayla’s struggles with anorexia and bulimia reach a breaking point and she is forced to confront her body image issues in order to survive. She wonders if Cameron could be the one to help heal her from the pain of her past.
New Adult Contemporary-Ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations.
About the Author
Heather Topham Wood’s obsession with novels began in childhood while growing up in a shore town in New Jersey. Writing since her teens, she recently returned to penning novels after a successful career as a freelance writer. She’s the author of the paranormal romance Second Sight series and the standalone The Disappearing Girl.
My mother’s gaze turned shrewd. “How much do you weigh now?”
“I’m not answering that question,” I replied primly, and I returned to guzzling my water. Raw grief was a raging fire through me and I was trying to extinguish it. Once I pulled the bottle away from my mouth, I asked, “What did you say to him?”
Before she could answer, I heard the front door open and slam shut. Lila charged into the kitchen. Her backpack fell to the floor as her eyes bounced back and forth between my mother and me. “What’s going on?”
“I believe your sister just broke things off with her boyfriend.” My mom addressed Lila, but her eyes stayed on me.
Lila’s dark eyes grew large. She demanded, “What? Is that true?”
I could hear the hurt in her tone. I wasn’t surprised by her reaction; Cameron had become like a surrogate big brother to her. Besides clandestine conversations regarding my well-being, they enjoyed spending hours playing Xbox when the three of us were together. I would watch from the couch, giggling as the two of them talked trash while shooting each other with virtual machine guns.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” I mumbled and started to leave the kitchen. I wanted to warn them: proceed with caution. I was highly combustible, and flicking a lighter in my direction was ill advised.
Lila jumped into my path and grabbed my arms to hold me in place. This wasn’t challenging for her, because she probably outweighed me by thirty pounds. Her voice was pleading. “You need help, Kayla. You’re anorexic, bulimic, depressed; I could probably list your problems all day long.”
“Don’t do this to me, Lila,” I begged quietly. “It has always been me and you against everyone else. Don’t turn on me, too.”
“Kayla, you promised you’d never leave me. But you are. You’ve stopped caring about everything. The only thing that matters to you now is what the scale says. This isn’t the Kayla who came into my room at night after Dad died, wiping away my tears and telling me outrageous stories until I fell asleep.”
The memory warmed me. I wasn’t the greatest storyteller, but I made an effort for my fourteen-year-old bereaved sister. I would twist fairy tales, telling stories of how princesses saved princes, and I wouldn’t stop talking until her eyes fluttered closed.
My mother placed her arm around Lila, a rare display of affection. “You need to get hold of yourself, Kayla. I saw your grades for the semester. I chalked it up to you getting caught up in a new relationship, but I’m starting to see there’s more going on here. If you keep it up, you’ll be academically dismissed from college. Also, if you insist on treating Lila and me like garbage, I’ll seriously consider asking you to leave this house. You’re twenty-one, old enough to take responsibility for your actions.”
At Lila’s silence, I understood they’d become a united front against me. My mother, a villain hiding behind her mask of exquisiteness, had poisoned my sister into believing I was the problem within our dysfunctional household. I could fill a dictionary with all the slights, all the disdainful glares, but my sister had turned amnesiac and thought I was the one who deserved to be locked away.
Wordlessly, I took flight. I had to escape. My mom was right, I was an adult and I’d make my own decisions. It was my body—no one was going to dictate how I treated it. I was creating new truths, a fictional tale of Kayla versus the world. Cameron, Lila, and my mother were all trying to force-feed me their ideas of how I should be. Their unwillingness to accept who I was drove me away, and I refused to relinquish control of my life.