By: Cambria Hebert

Heven and Hell #2


To my writing buddy, Cocoa. For all the days you curl up in my lap, keeping me company while I write, and scratch at my arm for belly rubs and treats. Your furry ears have heard more about my characters than anyone and it is you that I tell their secrets (and mine) because you are always so interested and willing to listen.


Who knew the second book in a series could be more nerve wracking than a debut novel? Well, besides every other author with more than one book out there…

While writing Charade came easy… the rewrites, the editing and everything in between (marketing, proofreading, scheduling) was a challenge. I really dug deep to get to know the parts of my characters they wanted to keep hidden. It wasn’t always comfortable, but I truly believe that this book is better for it. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned over the past year about publishing, editing and writing. I could write a book! But I won’t. Not about that anyway.

There are many people who have supported me, cheered me on, and were there to give me my meds… just kidding! Well, kidding about the last one, anyway. But I have had a lot of support. I would like to acknowledge and thank my husband, Shawn Hebert. Ten years (almost!) together and I still like you—okay, I love you. If it wasn’t for you, I would never take my pills (not crazy pills, its Nexium. I have reflux! Really, it’s true). I would always be out of toothpaste (I squeeze the tube from the center) and I would sit around in the dark like a creepy woman (light bulbs + me = disaster). Thank you for taking care of me, putting on your glasses and beta reading this book and for supporting me when I was feeling discouraged. If it wasn’t for you I would need pills—and not the kind for reflux.

To Kaydence and Nathan, for telling me to put down my phone or to get away from the computer. To Kaydence, for always keeping me grounded and asking me why I would replace the background on my phone from that pretty girl (Heven) to a guy showing his chest hair (Sam). He he he he. To Nathan, for not really caring that I write and reminding me that ice cream is indeed the ideal food because you don’t have to chew it before swallowing.

To Amy Eye, my editor and my friend. For faithfully fixing all the text abbreviations in my manuscript (Is that a sign of a texting problem?), for telling me that I can do better and then holding me to it, while ignoring all the notes in the manuscript where I call you a poo poo head. Thank you for taking time out of your life to help me achieve my dreams and for teaching me so much about writing and editing (but you should just give up on the commas).

To Regina Wamba, my cover designer, I don’t think that anyone quite understands my excitement over this cover but you. You knock me over with your talent and with your designs. You gave my Sam an identity all his own and brought him alive on the page. You gave me weeks and months worth of inspiration to write the hardest character I have yet. And to Forres Rasmussen, thank you for lending your face to Sam. I know your name is Forres, but you will forever be Sam in my mind and therefore more of a celebrity to me than anyone on TV.

To my Beta readers, Cassie McCown, Jenn Pringle, Shawn Hebert, Candice Wade Terry and Adriane Tait–Boyd. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to help read Charade and spot anything that Amy’s and my tired eyes might have missed. Also, to Lynn Calvert and the staff at Otherworld Publications, the best publishing house in KY. You have my eternal thanks for giving me a chance and putting my words into print—again.

To my fans, do not underestimate the power of your tweets, Facebook posts and emails. On the days that I felt unmotivated, it was you who gave me motivation. On the days when I wondered what all the work was for, you reminded me. With every single email, word of encouragement, and “like,” I am truly humbled by you all and I hope that Charade lives up to everything you are expecting because you deserve it.

And finally, I would like to acknowledge myself. Ya made it, girl! Now do it all again for Tirade. He he he he.

Chapter One


“Chop it off,” I declared and motioned with my hand just how far I was willing to go. The stylist nodded and smiled. I squeezed my eyes shut and waited, the snipping of the scissors followed by the blasting heat of the hair dryer made my stomach cramp with nerves. Was I really doing this?

“You can look now,” the stylist said over my shoulder.

I opened one eye then the other.

I gasped. “Holy crap.”

“I know.” The stylist shook her head. “If we all could be so lucky.”

“It’s…” I stared at my image in the giant mirror for several beats. It occurred to me just how big this moment was. I was staring in the mirror—a huge mirror—with bright lights blazing and I was doing it willingly. Just a few short weeks ago, this would have sent me into a full-blown panic attack. Before. “I think I like it.”