My debut novel, Protector, is available online in both eBook and paperback.
The eBook prequel, The Condition Series Vol. 1, is also available and can be downloaded here for free. Scroll down for more info and to read
a sample chapter from Protector.
There's lots to see here, mostly fun stuff about me and my stories. Take a look around.
Cover design by Audrey Tate
Veronica Farrell is a young, successful American businesswoman who blends in easily with London’s hip, millennial crowd.
At least, that’s what she wants you to believe.
She’s actually an eighty-nine year old woman who was born into a secret society of Clans whose members are bound by a remarkable affliction—they stop aging by the time they turn thirty.
Veronica is completely devoted to the Clans, willing to die for their survival. When she meets Jude, a mysterious Clan member from her past, their immediate and profound attraction blindsides her, and she allows herself to fall in love with him. Jude doesn’t fit into her world, however. He turned his back on the Clans years ago.
Veronica knows she’ll eventually have to choose, and she desperately tries to avoid the inevitable, but time runs out when the fate of the Clans comes into play.
Will she abandon her life’s work for a peaceful existence that has always eluded her, or will she stay on point and risk losing her soul in the process?
Protector is a sexy, suspenseful, unconventional love story set in a violent shadow world that is defined by paranoia and deception.
Scroll down to read a sample chapter.
Cover design by
Rachel Van Blankenship
The Condition Series Vol. 1 is a collection of short stories introducing the secret society that exists in the pages of Protector, the new romantic suspense novel by Elaine Gonzales.
Imagine what your life would be like if you stopped aging by your thirtieth birthday. Now, imagine you had to keep it secret.
Meet Tracie, William, and Rory. Their stories will take you into a clandestine world where those afflicted with this unique condition live extraordinary, and unsettling, lives.
Get a FREE glimpse into the world of PROTECTOR
Charlie wouldn’t shut up about it. Jude knew when his friend came home that morning he’d spend the rest of the day hearing, in great detail, about the incredible lay he had experienced. Charlie wasn’t classically good-looking, but he wasn’t unattractive. He was an average English bloke. Jude would tease him and call him Shaun because he reminded him of Simon Pegg in the movie Shaun of the Dead, complete with goatee and strawberry blond hair. He was also clumsily awkward around women, so when Charlie would get some, it was a big deal. And, apparently, the previous night’s coup was the stuff of dreams. The jury was out on whether the facts were true or if Charlie’s imagination was in full gear, but either way Jude had nothing better to do. Therefore, a day of free pints while listening to Charlie extol his affair was better than not doing anything at all.
Charlie and Jude were regular patrons at a pub down the street from their flat in Bristol, but that morning the pipes had burst, shutting it down for the day. Charlie was in such a good mood he suggested they go to the city centre to watch the football match at one of the hotel lounges with the large flat-screen TVs. Jude didn’t object.
Charlie was on his second pint and fourth retelling when Jude saw her. He took notice as soon as she entered the lounge. Because of her, brunettes always caught his eye.
He had spent the past forty years yearning to see those blue eyes again. The memory of her face was so familiar to him. When he thought back on that night—that moment—it was as clear and as powerful as if it had happened yesterday. He’d never felt anything like it, and he ached to feel it again. He spent many sleepless nights thinking about her: wondering who she was, where she was, if she was still alive. He hoped she was afflicted with the Condition so there would be a chance he’d see her again someday. Mostly, though, he thought about being intimate with her. He wanted to know her and talk to her. He wanted to love her.
Right away, he recognized something in her manner. Her raven hair was swept to the side and slightly tucked into her jacket except for a few strands falling along her cheek. He watched as she approached a man and greeted him courteously. She took a seat facing Jude’s direction, but he still couldn’t see her clearly. His stare was fixed and his body taut as he waited anxiously for a glimpse of her eyes.
She was focused on the man, making small talk while she settled in. Jude tapped his fingers nervously on the bar. At last, a waitress approached their table and she looked up. Jude’s glass slipped from his hand and a splash of beer flew up and hit Charlie on the chin.
“Bloody hell!” Charlie said with a laugh.
Jude didn’t acknowledge the slight, which made Charlie notice his fixation.
“What is it?”
Charlie looked around to see what had captured his friend’s attention. He didn’t see her at first but then caught Jude’s line of sight.
“Who is she?” he asked. Jude didn’t answer.
“I don’t know—she may be a bit out of your league, my friend,” he razzed.
Jude remained silent. He couldn’t take his eyes off her.
“Hey,” Charlie elbowed him in the arm.
“It’s her,” Jude said.
Charlie furrowed his brow as he put it together. “No,” he said skeptically.
“Yes, it’s her,” Jude confirmed. “There’s no doubt.”
Charlie glanced over at her again. She was deep in conversation with the man now.
“What in the world is she doing here?” Charlie asked.
“I don’t think it’s personal. They’re talking about some property on Ashton Road.”
“What I’d give to have your hearing,” Charlie shook his head. “You have to go talk to her.”
“What am I going to say—remember me from that shithole forty years ago?”
“Well, obviously she has the Condition. You don’t think she’ll remember you?”
“I don’t know. I’d hope so, but I don’t know,” Jude said as he continued to admire her. “Man, she is pretty, exactly how I remember her.”
“She is quite fetching,” Charlie observed. “But, as you know, I prefer blondes or redheads. I mean, not that I would pass up someone like her, but she’s definitely more your type. Actually,” he said upon closer examination, “she’s exactly your type. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you with a blonde or a redhead.”
Jude put his finger to his lips. “Shhh.”
They both sat there watching her. Eventually, Charlie began talking to the bartender again while Jude kept his eyes squarely on her. He never wavered. He tried to be cool about it but his thoughts were on rapid-fire.
Would she remember me? Would she be scared? Would she try to kill me? Where are her companions? Did I put deodorant on today?
It was difficult for him to just sit there. He wanted to run up to her, take her in his arms, and show her how much he’d longed to see her, but the little Irish boy inside him kept him perched. If she didn’t remember him, or worse yet, if she dismissed him, he’d lose his precious obsession.
It wasn’t long before Jude noticed they were gathering their belongings.
“She’s leaving,” he said to Charlie.
“Well, go on then. You can’t let her leave without speaking to her.”
“No, I need her to see me first. I want to see her reaction.”
Jude watched her put on her jacket.
“What are you doing?” Charlie asked in surprise as his friend remained stoic.
“Wait,” Jude said and stood up.
She was making her way to the door when he realized she was scanning the room. She knew she was being watched. He saw her curiously survey the crowd, scrutinizing each face, until she reached him, and there it was. It was instantaneous, just like that night. Her mouth slightly opened but then quickly shut as she composed herself.
Jude deliberately held her gaze for a few seconds as he delighted in the moment. Then, he stepped away from the bar and walked toward her. Charlie, who was watching the scene unfold, guzzled the last of his pint and followed his friend. He wasn’t about to miss this. He wanted a firsthand account since he had heard the story numerous times over the years.