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The Promise (Neighbor from Hell #10)
Author:R.L. Mathewson

The Promise (Neighbor from Hell #10)

R.L. Mathewson


Dear Reader,

Where to begin…

First, I probably should explain why you’re reading The Promise instead of Irresistible.

The goal as some of you know was to release Irresistible last year, but it never happened. The first problem that happened was I fell in love with Reese and Kasey in Delectable and I needed to see that story out because it refused to stop playing out in my head. The hope had been to finish Delectable, get the next Pyte novel done, and then Irresistible, which shouldn’t have been a problem.

It became a problem.

I’m not really sure what went wrong first, but it was definitely an interesting year and a half. I ended up taking my daughter out of school and homeschooling after she was bullied, which ended up taking a large chunk of my time…a lot of my time, lol. That was followed with trying to clean up all the old files including Irresistible to make the flow better, which took a few months and once it was done a computer update erased everything and restored all the files back six months.

That was fun.

I may have cried a little.

Okay, a lot.

There may have even been an attempt to throw the computer out the window. Thankfully, I couldn’t get the window open. So, I had to settle for taking the computer to get checked and found out that the computer was set up to automatically save everything to backup, which also set those files back six months. After that was fixed, I improved my system, cried a little more, and went back to work on Irresistible. Once I cleaned it up again, I realized something important.

It’s too serious for a Neighbor from Hell novel. I tried to figure out where I went wrong, asked several people to read through it and got mixed results. I decided to put it aside, and I played with other novels for a bit before I came back to it and couldn’t figure out what to do. So, I decided to put it aside again and I set to work on The Promise.

Now, about The Promise…

This book actually started as the first Loser’s Club novel, but I couldn’t get past the fact that it felt like a NFH novel. So, I sent what I had to a few people and got the same feedback. It was definitely a Neighbor from Hell novel. After a few more attempts to make it work, I decided to see what a Bradford could do for the series. I have to be honest, I also liked the idea of some fresh blood bringing new life to the NFH series.

I love the characters that I’ve developed in the series, but I wanted to take a new direction with the series and get away from the known. Reed Bradford gave me that opportunity. This book started playing in my head while I was writing Delectable, so I decided to go with it. I could see everything happen from beginning to end and I loved it. I loved everything about the story and couldn’t wait to get it written down, but the problem with knowing everything that happened is actually making it happen.

It becomes work after that, forcing things in the book, arranging details and events to lead to the next point and I hated it. I realized how much I love writing a book that writes itself. For the past year, I worked to make this story that kept playing in my head happen, but every time I tried to force it, I hated it and would end up deleting it. There was this heartbreaking scene at the end of the book that I loved and had been thinking about for a year and I couldn’t wait to get it in the book, but when it came time to put it in, I just couldn’t do it. It didn’t feel right.

I was also reminded of something important about the Neighbor from Hell series. One of the reasons that I love this series is because the single goal is to make the reader fall in love with a smile, not add stress to an already stressful world. Neighbor from Hell novels are a wonderful, light escape and I wanted to keep it that way for this book.

One thing I should mention before you read this book, Shawn is based on my son Shane, because there should be an insanely awesome autistic child in this series to make it complete. He will be appearing again in one of the Friends from Hell books, the spinoff from the Neighbor from Hell series for all those characters that keep the Bradfords in line for Jackson’s book. You don’t know who Jackson is, but no worries, you’re about to meet him.

So, with that, I give you The Promise.



Prologue

Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Fourteen years Ago…

“I really think that we should talk about this,” Joey said even as she had to berate herself for not putting the thirty-second head start they’d given her to good use and found a better hiding spot than the top of an old metal cabinet.

“There’s nothing to talk about!” Jamie, the normally sweet girl who always let Joey sit at her table, snapped a bit angrily as she jumped and made another mad grab for her, which only confirmed Joey’s suspicions that she was going to die this very day.

“Death by seniors,” she mumbled miserably with a pathetic sigh as she took in the large group shoving each other out of the way in an attempt to get their hands on her first. If they’d only worked together, she thought with another sigh even as she decided that it was probably for the best if she didn’t point that out.

After calculating the odds of surviving this encounter and deciding that they weren’t good, she decided to try reasoning with them with the hope that they could discuss this like rational human beings. “I understand that you’re upset and possibly disappointed by the way things turned out, but is violence really the answer?” she couldn’t help but ask.

“Yes!” came the resounding answer, making her shoulders sag with defeat because she was really kind of hoping that they’d take into consideration the fact that she was only twelve, small for her age, and really, really sorry about this whole thing.

Granted, she hadn’t had a chance to apologize yet, but she would just as soon as they stopped trying to drag her away from the safety of the metal cabinet that kept making ominous sounds that were really starting to concern her. She should have kept running and tried to barricade herself in the closet, but at the time the cheerleaders had been closing in on her and she hadn’t been sure if she was going to make it to the closet in time. Thanks to her quick thinking she was now stuck on top of an old, somewhat rusty, metal cabinet with an angry mob of hormonal teenagers after her.

She really wished she could figure out how to keep her mouth shut sometimes, now being one of those times. It would definitely make her life easier, she thought as she was forced to flatten herself against the wall so that she could pull her foot away from the edge of the cabinet.

“Would it help if I said that I was sorry?” she asked with a hopeful expression only to groan when they yelled, “No!”

Hugging her backpack tightly against her chest, she nervously licked her lips as she glanced around the large classroom, looking for someone or something that could get her out of this. But it appeared as though she was on her own on this one.

What she wouldn’t give for a teacher to walk in right now…