Friday, June 10, 2016

Excerpt - When I Lied by Michelle Kemper Brownlow


When Kate created her sexy online persona, “Lexi,” she never expected the lies to spin so far out of control. But now one of the biggest rock stars in the world, the brilliant but damaged Oliver Walt, is in love with her, and revealing the truth means not only breaking her own heart but sending the musician into a tailspin from which he might never recover.

Lexi is just the sort of girl a dark and brooding rockstar like Oliver Walt would fall for. Beautiful. Wild. Fun. The only problem?

                                                                LEXI IS A LIE

Bookish Kate Green knew she needed to brush up on her social skills before her first year of college, so she created an online persona to chat and flirt. And who better to practice on than talented and tormented rock frontman Oliver Walt? After all, the lead singer of her favorite band would hardly notice one more adoring fan. Except…he does. And with a single private message, Kate’s world changes forever.

Then Oliver wants to meet in person. Kate knows she has to come clean, but things are never that easy, so instead she enlists the aid of her beautiful and calculating study partner…which turns out just the way you might expect. Now, with Gretchen refusing to stop being Lexi, the lies grow bigger by the hour—and so do the stakes. Kate’s heart and Oliver’s life.



“Oliver, I don’t know if it’s my place to say anything…” I stammered a little as I tried to find the right words.

“It’s okay, Kate. You can say anything to me. What is it? What’s bothering you?” He tilted his head like he always did. It melted me each time he did it.

“Oliver, just know that you have blessed my heart and my soul with who you are and the words you bring to life. Be careful not to cut your time short inspiring the world with your genius, too.” I didn’t know what else to say and worried I’d said too much. Tears pricked behind my eyes, still being held back from earlier in the evening.

“Kate! Why are you crying?” Oliver’s other hand lifted to my other cheek and he held my face close to his. 

“Oliver, there’s something I have to tell you.” Tears streamed from the corners of my eyes. The time had come. It needed to be done. It would break him but hopefully he could heal knowing I’d voluntarily set him free from the lie I’d created.

The limo’s horn blared and we both jumped. I sucked in a deep breath and wiped my face. Oliver’s hands gripped my bare arms.

“Come ON! Say good night already!” Gretchen’s voice had become like nails on a chalkboard and I’d have gotten great pleasure in ripping her throat wide open so I’d never have to hear it again.

“Lexi, you’re being rude. Please give us a moment.” Oliver actually rolled his eyes then turned back to me. I knew I didn’t have enough time to unleash the backstory of my lie before Gretchen would catapult herself from the limo and drag Oliver back inside.

Abort mission.

“It’s okay. I’m sorry, Oliver. I get weepy when I drink too much. It’s nothing. Go ahead. I don’t want you to have to deal with Lexi being pissed off for the rest of your evening.”

“You sure you’re okay?” He placed his hands on my bare neck and goose bumps rose across every square inch of me.

“Promise, I’m fine. Champagne makes me really intense.” I winked and turned and slid my ID through the security lock. The door clicked and I pulled it open. I wanted him to walk inside with me and not leave until morning.

“Sweet dreams, sweet Kate.”



Michelle Kemper Brownlow likes her music loud and prefers live concerts but will happily settle for the eclectic playlists on her iPhone. This Penn State grad and former high school art teacher is easily distracted by colorful art supplies and Eddie Vedder's voice. When she's not in her studio writing, she can be found putting off housework for a good romance novel that has her heart pounding and tears flowing. She is married to her college sweetheart and is mom to three fantastic humans, a black lab, a tabby cat and a Chinchilla named Wodney. 


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