Sunday, February 3, 2013

VBT: Guest Blog by Etta King author of Life and Times of the Heir and Keeper

Etta King is Guest blogging for me today! Thank you Etta! :-)

Ah the guest blog! My time to shine! What shall I share? This is rather like a “Show and Tell” isn’t it? Hmmm…well I think I’ll go back in time a bit – not too far – and take a peek at a little episode in dear Jonathan’s life. Now Jon is sort of the quintessential prodigal son; he just loves doing whatever he wants, bucking convention (why should he join the legacy of Reinhardt men inducted into the Keepers?) and breaking hearts (didn’t an ex call him Delish? Yum!), yet he always finds his way home (figuratively, of course, since he can’t wait to leave his grandfather’s mansion…hey! I never said he was sane!). But don’t the daring ones always have the most fun? Go to the best parties? Kiss the cutest girls? Perhaps there’s a method to this madness? Let’s see…the year was…I’m blanking…the grade? 11th! Oh high school, the wonder years…


I was exhausted. But in a good way. A sated way. That was pretty much the only reason I was smiling at the gentle nudging that was bringing me out of my coma. I didn’t even have the blinding headache I associated with any and all brands of Tequila. I was in an Aybee-trance. AB Baby, my sort-of, maybe, probably girlfriend. Angelica B. McCarthy, to anyone who wasn’t a ‘close and personal friend.’ Which was a grand total of probably five people. Yeah, AB was very popular. She was also insanely cute. No, not hot, cute. She was a Blake Lively, not a Megan Fox; you never could bring yourself to hate her, you just wanted her to notice you. She had that effect, a subtle glow that made even teachers curry her favor. And I was lying in her bed. How I’d gotten up here, I couldn’t remember. What we’d done? Well I remembered that. That brought a second smile to my lips.

“I know what you’re thinking.” She whispered in my ear.

I had to laugh. Somehow, I didn’t doubt that; she had a way of guessing people’s thoughts.

“You need to get up; I’m riding with Kit this morning.”

I opened my eyes and raised a brow at that. Christopher, who insisted everyone call him Kit, was her British “cousin.” The air quotes were unimagined; I was pretty sure Kit and I were as related as he was to AB. I couldn’t mentally reconcile what I knew was a lie, but I consoled myself with the fact that at least I knew.

“Why are you riding with him, you could be riding with me,” I replied with a crooked smile. It was corny and I knew it, but she laughed.

“I promised,” she said, brushing her hair out of her face. “Besides, Cassidy needs the exercise, and you haven’t ridden since…” She paused and chewed her lip before continuing. “Anyway, you know it doesn’t mean anything.”

Yes, I hadn’t been near a horse since my father’s accident. That was what she’d stopped herself from saying. But she ignored it and bypassed the awkward moment. There were no awkward moments around AB. Did I know it didn’t mean anything? Probably.

“Right. So why do I need to get up, again? You’re not riding up here.”

“Haha, hilarious. I need to get ready and my mom might stop by.” She rolled out of the bed, automatically adjusting the Alice and Olivia tank dress she’d fallen asleep in.

“Oh right, and she hates me.” I couldn’t even say it with a straight face. She bit back a smile herself.

“She doesn’t hate you…what you did at the club…honestly; I don’t know how you dare.”

I shrugged; I hadn’t exactly been in a great mood on that eventful day and I’d forced her party of bird lovers into a smaller room with my ‘reservation.’ Yes, I’d used my family’s name to outrank her. No, I wasn’t contrite. She’d made a point of mentioning my spiked loafers one too many times. I couldn’t understand how that was her problem.

AB tossed my shirt at me and I sat up slowly, stretching in the process.

She was looking around the room with a small frown.

“This place needs a makeover.” I looked around too; It was an art piece, called AB; from birth to seventeen.

“Less Marilyn, more Audrey,” I made the observation more to myself, but she looked up with a wide smile.

“Yes! You totally get it!” She made a running leap for the bed and practically landed on top of me.

“Really? Necessary?” I asked, laughing.

“And that’s why I love you.”

I blinked. We hadn’t said that yet. Were we saying that now?

“That’s why?” I asked, playing it cool.

“Yes, because you act like you don’t care, but I know you do.”

“Maybe I don’t really care.”

“No…you care, you just hide it so well.”

Hide what?

“Hide what?”

“All your secrets…why you’re so jaded…” She was staring right into my eyes, hers so blue they were almost violet. I felt like she was looking right into my soul. I blinked.

About the Author:      

Etta King is the author of the Caspian University novels, a series chronicling the life and times of a group of wealthy teens who inevitably discover the various flavors of college drama. Etta writes from her personal experiences as a college co-ed and as the product of an all-girls prep school. Here she witnessed the very eccentricities and foibles which she depicts in her novels.

In a home filled with books, it was no surprise that Etta grew to be an avid reader, and that translated into writing when she was thirteen. She wrote simply for the fun of it, whatever would come to mind, from fantasy to thriller to romance, and shared her stories with her friends.

In 2010, at twenty-one and just as she was about to graduate from college, Etta began writing "The Life and Times of Elizabeth and the Duchess." This was a story which had first taken shape in 2008, after her freshman year, but had been put on hold. With graduation looming, Etta recalled the characters, and the events which had inspired them, and took pen to paper. Literally, as Etta enjoys writing out her stories before typing them out. Soon the first book had been completed and the series was born.

"The Life and Times of the Heir and the Keeper," comes as the sequel to "Elizabeth and the Duchess," and serves as the second semester of these teens' college saga. Etta is currently working on the third book, in what will be an eight-part series.

Etta King lives with her family in Westchester, New York.

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The Life and Times of the Heir and the Keeper

A Caspian University Novel by Etta King

They say college is a lot of things; a haven, a four-year party, the place you met the girl – or guy – of your dreams. What they don’t tell you is, the best part of college is the drama YOU bring to the table! After all, that dirty little secret, that not-so-little white lie, and those texts you wish you could erase from cyberspace can’t stay hidden forever. At CU, someone’s always watching, and you better hope there isn’t a camera phone on hand when you get caught.

It’s the Spring Semester, but it’s not all fun in the budding sun for Jon and Franz. Follow them as they delve through the politics of secret societies, the inevitable drama of the F-word (that’s FAMILY, for the uninitiated), creepy Resident Advisors, creepier residents and girls who don’t always say what they mean. Who wouldn’t need two months to recuperate?

Cheers! And GL!

Amazon Paperback  / Amazon Kindle / Barnes and Noble

 Book One The Life and Times of Elizabeth and the Duchess Paperback / Kindle    

Here's a preview:

“I can’t believe I’ve never done this before! It’s so much better than sledding!” Liz had clearly enjoyed her second day on the slopes. Big surprise. If only I’d been there to see it. Okay Jonathan, now’s your chance to swoop in and take over this vacation. Forget the pity party and make this work.

“Have you ever been on a snowmobile? It’s pretty incredible,” I said, trying for just the right level of excitement. I had to sell this right, so I couldn’t sound as eager as I actually was. For some reason, sounding over-eager worried me.

“Well perhaps going on a ski lift…over the mountains…might be better,” Chad interrupted, looking up from his pasta with an exaggerated expression of innocence.

“That’s an excellent idea, Chad. Liz and I could do that on Thursday.” I smiled at him to let him know he wasn’t pulling any of that on me. “Maybe you and Jacqueline could do that tomorrow.”

Jacqueline didn’t even notice that she’d been mentioned. She was still texting furiously away, a small frown between her perfectly plucked eyebrows.

“I don’t think she’ll like that,” he muttered sparing her a glance. Why had he invited her, again?

“You might want to ask her first.”

“And you should probably rest your ankle.”

“My ankle is fine.” I bit out.

“Are you sure? You seemed to be in a lot of pain when you came in to dinner.” I’d winced. Once. Ass.

“My ankle is fine.” I repeated, feeling a strong urge to break his nose. “You could direct all that concern you have towards your unsociable friend here.”

Jacqueline chose that moment to tune in to the conversation.

“Excuse me?”

How did girls manage to say that with so much indignation? And why had I said that? Although, in retrospect, openly texting at a dinner table was the height of antisocial behavior.

“Jonathan was just being himself, Jacquie, don’t mind him.”

In other words, I was just naturally an ass. Chad answered her question with an infuriating grin that just increased my desire to punch him in the face. Jacqueline just raised an eyebrow, got up and walked out of the room, her Uggs making padding noises as she headed to the living room.

I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket and reached for it while I glared at Chad. He had this cocky expression on his face that said he’d achieved something. But for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what the heck that was. Besides pissing me off royally.

I looked down reluctantly to read the text.

Liz: Um…what the heck is going on?

I didn’t even know how to answer that one. My friend has lost his mind? Or maybe I’d lost my mind and I was just imagining all of this?

Me: I have no fn clue…

Liz: You guys need to talk or something…I’m gonna go get ready for bed…

Me: K, I’ll see you soon.

Liz: Mhmm

What I wanted to say was, “noooo, don’t leave me with this maniac. I’ll come with you; there’re things we can do that have nothing to do with my ankle.” But I didn’t and just smiled as Elizabeth left the table. She smiled at both of us and I wished she had sent Chadwick a dirty look or something.

“Dude, what is your problem?” I asked, the second she was gone.

“What is your problem? Are you just an asshole or is this some kind of master plan you have?”


“Are you insane? What the hell are you talking about?”

“Do you even care about Judith? At all?”

“What does this have to do with Judith?”

“Do you know how she feels about you?”

Was he serious?

“I don’t think that’s any of your business, actually.” I honestly did not want to have the complicated conversation about Judith and me, with my supposed best friend.

“It’s my business when you lead her along like your personal attendant and hook up with whoever the heck you feel like on a daily basis. And now you have a freaking girlfriend? Let me guess, she doesn’t know about this yet?”

“Why does she need to know about me and Elizabeth?”

What was his problem? I planned on telling Judith…at some point. I just didn’t feel up to that talk and whatever else might come with it.

“Because for some incomprehensible reason, she actually cares about you.”

I wanted to ask, why that was my problem, but he didn’t need any more reasons to think I was an ass. Wait, was I?

“It’s complicated, Chad.”

“Oh don’t give me any of that clichéd bull. Don’t forget I actually know what it was like between you and Desiree. God, she fawned all over you. And what was her name? The other one who took her place?”

“That was different; Desiree and I actually went out.” Of course he would bring that up. And I didn’t even remember telling him about Bailey.

“Oh, I’m sorry, this time you’re not deliberately being an absolute douche.”

“I wasn’t being a douche, I was just sick of being called Delish every freaking morning.” I bit out, feeling my ears heating up.

“And yet you managed to keep that little tidbit to yourself for a whole year. You know I think you like being worshipped by unsuspecting females.”

To be absolutely and brutally honest, there was probably some truth to that. And yet, it was really difficult to not like that. I was only human.

“And you know what, that’s your own problem. But I’m not going to let you pull the same thing on Judith that you did with Desiree. At least she’s had the good sense not to hook up with you.”

Why, just why did he have to say that? And, on a side note, was there seriously any possibility that Desiree and I wouldn’t have hooked up? The dating happened after; an unplanned foray into the relationship zone. I actually debated telling him that Judith and I had had sex.

“First of all, I didn’t pull anything on Desiree. We broke up, it was not working. Second, Judith and I have never gone out. I have – believe me, I have – tried to explain that that is not going to happen.” Well after I confirmed that fact for myself.

“Third, why all this disapproval now? If you cared so much all this time, why have you never said anything?”

“I care because she’s my friend. Because you actually think her feelings are irrelevant. Because I thought you would get a freaking clue and actually make her happy, despite your propensity towards general assholery.”

“Okay listen, Galahad, stop calling me an asshole. Do you like Judith?” Because that would explain all this madness.

He looked like he was about to say something and then stopped himself, jerking out of his seat.

“Why would you even ask that? That’s not even… That’s so far off what we’re talking about.”

“Look it’s the only thing I can think of…besides you just going crazy.” I said, leaning back into my chair and crossing my arms. How would he answer that?

“Or besides you actually being a huge ass.” He muttered casting me a dark look. “And me trying to do the decent thing and keep a friend from getting hurt.”

“Yes, besides your sainthood and my devil spawn tendencies,” I replied oozing sarcasm, but I felt a twinge of hurt. Seriously? Did he think I was that bad?

He was silent for a few minutes and I thought he was just going to ignore the question. I shook my head and pushed my chair back. He could stay down here and stew about the evils of Jonathan Reinhardt; I had a girlfriend waiting for me in my bedroom.

“I didn’t think it would turn out like this.”

I was already standing and his cryptic statement just annoyed me. I should just keep walking, I thought. But, of course I had to ask him.

“Didn’t think what would turn out like this?” I was barely keeping the irritation from my voice. He sounded miserable and, while his mood swings were tiring, he was still my friend.

“You were supposed to make her happy.” I frowned at the statement that sounded like something out of a daytime soap opera. I wouldn’t pretend I didn’t know what he was talking about.

“Why me?”

“Because she chose you! For some inexplicable reason, she chose you! It’s not like she doesn’t know I feel something for her.”


“She just doesn’t care; she wants you. And don’t tell me you didn’t know it.”

“I do know it.” I said carefully, wondering how to explain this.

“So what are you waiting for? You can’t tell me you don’t want her.”

Define want.

“I like Elizabeth.” I said, with some emphasis. And let’s not forget how insulting this conversation is to her, my mind told me with a frown.

“And you really don’t know Judith like I do.” I finished, hoping I wouldn’t have to go into detail about how much and in what way I knew Judith. At least not yet.

“I’ve known her for years.” He was looking at me like I was talking rubbish.

“Yes…but not the same way…I’ve known her.”

“What do you mean ‘the same way’?” He was frowning now, as though expecting me to divulge some hideous secret about Judith that he could vehemently refute.

“You think she tells you things she doesn’t tell me?” He demanded.

“Look I’m not saying you two aren’t close,” I began, trying to diffuse his building wrath. “I just know things about her that you either haven’t seen or refuse to acknowledge.”

“And you, of course, are one to judge her?”

“I never said I was perfect, for God’s sake.” I snapped, my patience thinning again. “I just know the two of us wouldn’t work out.”

“Of course you two wouldn’t work out! You’re an ass!” He said it like it made all the sense in the world. And I’d had enough.

“Of course.” I agreed drily.

I turned and left him standing in the dining room. He had looked, for a moment, like he wanted to say something before I turned away, but I didn’t really want to hear it. Why he insisted on seeing Judith as a perfect angel was beyond me. It might do him some good to feel the hand of Miss René-Channing steering him along. Then again, he might actually like it. Idiot.

Do you like books that have a school setting?

I'd love to know what you're thinking. Please leave a comment!


  1. I don't mind school setting and sometimes it's really instructive. It help to see the systeme in other country ANd the drama that can be a result ^^;; after that i think it could be more easy to survive our own schooling. What i learned from some books helped me at university ( i guess for the social part our university is more like your hight school^^;;)before it wasn't easy and i was quite an outcast i guess but havin gone in a school in a village i spend the majority of my time with the adults so avoided as much drama as possible, we were also protected in a sense but university that an completely different universe and sometimes i thought the studies were the last priority for the majority^^;;

    1. I agree Miki. There are too many people with their priorities mixed up!

    2. I think it's so sad sometimes how mixed up students are over here (USA). I went to school with kids who partied hard and dropped out, never realizing how important school was and how blessed they were to be able to attend college. I also like learning about different school cultures around the world, especially since I want to be a teacher.

    3. Good for you Emily! Teachers are very important, especially when they care more about the students than their paycheck.

      I've dealt with both kinds and it only makes me more appreciative of the teachers that really care.

      Good luck with your chosen career!

    4. Teachers are a special type of person! You have the totally awesome and the ones you would like to throw into the "Hunger Games!" I've seen both as well. With 2 ADHD kids and a son with other issues as well, I've seen and heard it all when it's come to school systems here in the Ohio, USA. We were lucky to be able to open enroll my son and he had an absolutely amazing teacher that first year at the new school. I think that set the basis for everything after and for a kid that we wondered if he would ever be able to read, he is now getting A's and B's!!! Some teachers are true angels, and I'm lucky to have been blessed with the recent ones who have helped my son. Good luck with your career choice Emily!

  2. +JMJ+

    I love school settings, especially boarding schools! I really like it when very different individuals can be friends and learn to work together. My favourite stories are those in which they learn as much from each other as from their classes!

    1. I really enjoy school settings Some of my favorite books have them in it.

      Twilight has a school setting, The Covenant series by Jennifer Armentrout has a school setting, The Vampire Acedemy has a school setting. I'm sure I could keep going on and on and on.

  3. I do enjoy books with school settings, though most of the time, it seems like they're ideal school settings that I do not remember from my school days.

    1. True. but would you want to read a boring book? Our lives (for the most part) are just not that interesting. lol!

  4. At my age, reading stories about really young characters... well, it's hard to relate. But, I have enjoyed a few, I used to read YA stories, so I could check them out before letting my daughter read them. Of course, she doesn't want to read any of them LOL

    Thanks for sharing the excerpt.

    1. You're welcome Josette.

      I'm sorry that it's not your thing. :-(

  5. Wow, it's fun seeing so many opinions on both YA fiction and college/school stories in general. I've always found myself drawn to them, from Enid Blyton's Malory Towers to Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley High (and University). Something does remain the same - even though these authors wrote in different generations - that there's a certain kind of fun in school that can't be found anywhere else. - Etta :)