Besieged by memories of a brutal abduction, Claire Nichols wakes in an unfamiliar bedroom, within a luxurious mansion. Her recollections have one common denominator, the man she just met, Anthony Rawlings.
Unbeknownst to Claire, for a very long time, she has been within Anthony’s sights. Many of the pivotal events in her life occurred, due to his sinister manipulation. Every action has a consequence, and his actions result in their chance meeting.
More than a psychological thriller, Consequences is a vivid story of one woman’s struggle to survive incomprehensible circumstances. Every aspect of her being suddenly depends upon the tall, wealthy, dark haired, dark eyed businessman. Anthony Rawlings is known to the world as prosperous, benevolent, and kind. Claire quickly learns that he can also be a menacing controlling captor.
With few options but concession, Claire attempts to earn her freedom, while enduring a hellish existence that truly appears perfect. Persevering tests and trials, she struggles to retain her pure Midwest values and beliefs. Encouraged by memories of a loving upbringing, she gains strength in the simplest of joys: solitude in nature and good in the face of evil.
His goal in sight, Anthony’s calculated agenda encounters an unforeseen detour. He becomes captivated by Claire’s beauty, resilience, and determination. The interaction of these two compelling characters instigates strong emotions: fear, anger, love, and lust. Claire and Anthony’s tumultuous journey flows into uncharted waters of intrigue and passion.
Utilizing vivid detail, this 167,000-word novel unfolds like a movie, before the eyes of its readers. From the opening criminal abduction, through twists and turns, to the unlikely romantic thrills, the suspense climaxes as Anthony’s motivation becomes evident.
Anthony and Claire must decide if they will stay true to one another, or allow preceding actions to result in justifiable Consequences.
They hardly spoke during the entire performance other than to comment on a musical piece. When not occupied with applauding, Anthony’s hand continued to gently hold Claire’s. The entire concert ended too soon. The lights came up and they stood to go. Whispering in his ear Claire thanked him again. It was more than she could have imagined. He smiled, gently placed his hand in the small of her back, and led her through the crowd to the foyer. Once outside, Eric opened the door of the waiting car and Anthony assisted Claire as she entered the limousine.
The stark contrast in volume left Claire’s ears ringing as the limousine pulled away from the curb. Her mind swirled with thoughts, the evening was wonderful—music, champagne, people, theater, everything. They were riding for a few minutes when she realized Anthony hadn’t spoken since they entered the limousine. Her heart rate increased as she contemplated the possibility he was upset. She told herself he couldn’t be. She did everything everyone told her to do. She kept up appearances and let him do most of the talking. She felt his eyes upon her, but was afraid to turn and face them. The ringing in her ears turned to silence—completely devoid of sound—silence. She adjusted her new mask and turned. “That was a magnificent evening, thank you again.”
“Do you really think so?” She wondered if he was asking about the symphony or her.
“I do. The music was performed beautifully and you were right about the conductor.” Her pulse quickened, unable to take the suspense any longer, she asked, “Did I do all right?”
“What do you think?”
She contemplated her answer and all he told her. “I think I did well. I listened to Catherine and to you and did well.” She hoped her voice didn’t expose her insecurity.
Anthony didn’t respond but reached into his briefcase. Claire assumed the conversation was now over, and he planned to resume work. She decided if the conversation was over and he didn’t say she failed, she must have succeeded. She exhaled. Suddenly, he turned to her and extended a square black velvet box. “I believe you did well.” She liked the tone of his voice, it sounded like the man at the theater.
“I told you every action has a consequence. That can be negative, as we’ve seen, or positive. I believe you earned a positive consequence.”
“Anthony, I don’t need a gift. I wanted to make you proud. If I did that, then I’m happy and that’s enough.”
“It is a gift, or at least I believe it was. However, it’s not new.” Anthony still held the box before Claire. With the running lights illuminating the cabin she could see his smile: genuine, not cruel or sadistic. “Will it always be this difficult to get you to open gifts?”
She took the box. “You have my curiosity peaked. What are you giving me that’s old?”
She opened the velvet hinged box. The lump in her throat made her choke, unable to speak. The dainty white gold chain with a pearl on a white gold cross hung on the satin. The surprise overwhelmed her. She only saw the necklace for a millisecond before her eyes filled with tears. She looked at Anthony again, tears trickling down her cheeks. “How did you? Where did you get this? It was my grandmother’s.”
“It was in your apartment in Atlanta when it was cleaned out. I thought you might want to have it. Do you?”
Claire listened to his words. Her apartment had been cleaned out. Where were the rest of her things? She needed to compartmentalize. Right now, she concentrated on her grandmother’s necklace. “Oh yes, I do!”
He asked if he could help her put it on. She nodded yes, a verbal answer wasn’t required. Next, he took the box out of her hand and started to remove the satin board. Claire observed his tenderness as he held the fine chain and delicate clasp. She turned away and he draped the necklace around her neck. Taking the compact out of her purse, she watched as the pearl moved up and down to the beat of her heart.
“Anthony, there isn’t a necklace you could have bought that would mean more to me than this.” Her tears dried, yet her emerald-green eyes sparkled.
“People who know me well, and they are numbered, call me Tony. You may call me Tony.”
“Thank you, Tony. This is the best night of my life. How can I ever thank you?”
Tony turned off the riding lights in the cabin. Home was still over a half hour away and the window between them and Eric was closed. His smile morphed into a devilish grin, “I have a few ideas.”
What inspired you to write Consequences?
I’d always wanted to write a book. It was a bucket list type thing. In 2008 my husband lost his job, it was in construction materials and the economy tanked! He began working a third shift job. Our two oldest children were off in college. Our youngest was going to bed about 8:30. That left a lot of alone time.
I had this idea of a woman in a room… I decided to sit down and see where the story would take me. I didn’t write Consequences to publish. I wrote Consequences as therapy or escape from my life. I could totally manipulate and control the lives of these characters. It was more than I could do for myself.
What was the hardest part of writing Consequences?
The hardest part was deciding how much detail to put in my manuscript. My original draft had more detail. It was so disturbing to my mother and sister-in-law that they couldn’t read the story. So, I decided to employ more of the “fade to black” technique. Honestly, I still have people who think my reading is too disturbing and others who want more detail. I’ve come to the conclusion; you can’t please everyone – so please yourself.
How did you come up with the storyline for Consequences?
I had the “vision” or “thought” of the opening scene. I didn’t know any more, but wanted to learn more. That’s how it started…
What were the challenges in bringing Consequences to life?
I was and am so inexperienced. Consequences was published in August of 2011 by a self-publishing publisher. In October 2012 I rereleased Consequences completely Indie. Just last week I entered an agreement with a copy editor. I’d had Consequences and Truth line-edited… and as many have pointed out, there are still mistakes. Being self-published I’m not accustomed to having someone tell me “consider deleting” or “consider re-wording” or anything else… I’m excited and scared.
The truth is, I believe I have wonderful stories and want to do anything and everything to bring the best version to the world. To date Consequences has sold almost 50,000 copies! That amazes me!
One thing I have to ask (because I know it’s all I’ve thought about) – How did Consequences come to you?
I believe I watch too many strange television shows, like Criminal Minds or have read too many strange books, but one day the opening scene: Claire locked in the room came to me. I decided to write it down and find out how she got there… and if she’d get out.
Are you Team Tony ?
I love Tony. I love Claire and all my characters. If I have to be Team someone, I’d say I’m team Claire.
If I admitted to being Team Tony or Team Harry or Team Phil it could give something away… and I’m not doing that!
How would you classify Consequences? I mean its not exactly romance when people ask me how to best describe it I say it’s kinds sorta like the TV show Revenge.
I think I’ve invented my own genre: Contemporary Dark Romance / Psychological Thriller. Obviously, Consequences by its self isn’t a romance. However, since it is the relationship of Claire and Tony that propels the series, I’ve been told that makes the series a romance. Now, that said, I definitely believe it qualifies as DARK and PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER.
Want a chance to win a paperback copy of Consequences and Truth?
Aleatha Romig voted #1 “New Author to Read” on Goodreads, July 2012 through now! She is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writer’s of America.
She has lived most of her life in Indiana, growing-up in Mishawaka, graduating from Indiana University, and currently living south of Indianapolis. Together with her husband of twenty six years, they’ve raised three children. She works days as a dental hygienist and enjoys spending her nights writing. She also likes to spend time with her family, friends and patients. Her pastimes include exercising, reading and writing.
Aleatha enjoys traveling, especially when there is a beach involved. In 2011 she had the opportunity to visit Sydney, Australia to visit her daughter studying at the University of Wollongong. Her dream is to travel to places in her novels and around the world. CONSEQUENCES, her first novel was released in August 2011 and has sold over 20,000 copies. TRUTH, the sequel was released October 2012 and has surpassed 10,000 copies in less than 3 months!
Aleatha originally published through self publisher Xlibris a subsidiarity of Author’s Solution/ Penguin Publishing. In October of 2012 she re-published on her own, a true Indie Author. Later that month she published Truth through Romig Works. Aleatha is happy to be represented by Danielle Egan-Miller of Browne & Miller Literary Associates.