Excerpt and Giveaway! Alter Ego by Meredith Russell

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Alter Ego

Meredith Russell

Book 1 in the Knowles Brook Series

Jay James is the confident, outgoing, flirtatious, lead guitarist of a 70s tribute band. But appearances can be deceiving. Jay James isn’t real. ‘Jay’ was born out of necessity and a way for James Hall to deal with life at home after coming out. James is shy and awkward, and can’t escape the shadow of his strained relationship with his mother. As ‘Jay’, James feels indestructible, like nothing can touch him, and he can have any man he wants. But is that really enough?

Danny Ashton is stuck, or at least that’s how he feels sometimes. Five years ago, he dropped out of university to look after his sick mother. He was never prepared for the hand he was dealt—a house to run, bills to pay, and a teenage brother to support.

Together, Danny and James realise ignoring their problems will solve nothing, and if they are to stand any chance of happiness and living as the men they want to be, then they need to move forward. Can the two men face their demons? Or will they end up pushing one another away?

52,500 words



“What’s wrong?” Sam might be sixteen but he wasn’t stupid. He knew Danny wasn’t saying something. “What did he want?”

“He’s cutting back my hours.”

Sam twisted his hands together in his lap. “I’m sixteen now. I could get a job. Weekends maybe at a supermarket. I could get the bus.”

Danny smiled. He appreciated the offer, but Sam needed to focus on school. “We’ll be fine.” He closed his eyes and rubbed a soothing line over his forehead. He doubted he sounded convincing.

“Can you get any extra shifts at the Spread?” Sam asked.

Unable to find full-time work, Danny split his time working behind the bar in the Spread Eagle pub a handful of shifts during the week and the Knowles Brook village social club at the weekend. “I doubt it.” He opened his eyes and looked at his brother. How had they gotten to this?

“What about that advert from last week? You applied, right?”

Danny nodded. Sure he’d applied. He’d applied to plenty of jobs. He had filled out form after form and written dozens of letters for anything that might lead to employment more permanent than him just muddling through, part-time job to part-time job, like he’d been doing for almost five years now. Everywhere wanted experience. How was he supposed to get experience if no one would take him on? He just wanted to be able to look at Sam and feel he deserved the respect his little brother held for him. He didn’t feel like the hero he knew Sam painted him out to be.

“Closing date’s tomorrow.” Maybe it was adventurous to apply for a managerial role, but they couldn’t live hand to mouth forever. He had no savings, not anymore, and despite Sam’s continual offer of anything he had saved, Danny wouldn’t take it. That money was for Sam, for his future, for getting out of this village and this house.


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About the Author

Meredith Russell lives in the heart of England. An avid fan of many story genres, she enjoys nothing less than a happy ending. She believes in heroes and romance and strives to reflect this in her writing.

Sharing her imagination and passion for stories and characters is a dream Meredith is excited to turn into reality.

As well as being an accomplished writer, Meredith is also the creator for most of the stunning cover art found on Love Lane’s website. Further details of her writing and cover art services can be found at her blog linked below.



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