Palessa – A Look at Book 2: Portrait of Gray

Palessa (1)When I first wrote Unchained Hearts, Sable gently let me know that Book 2 was an even better idea than Book 1. From a marketing and publishing standpoint, she’s right. But when I realized that Grayson would be the focus of the second book, that statement made sense on a different level. Book 2 is a lot more emotional because it deals with an issue I have some indirect experience with. To have him reach such a low and rise to a high is what makes Grayson Baxter such an endearing character, even more so than Cass. He’s got demons that aren’t completely of his own making. The theme of the family is that you don’t live as a Baxter, you survive and Grayson did that…barely.

In Unchained Hearts, there was that question of his parentage and in book 2, I delve a little deeper into that and give the audience a name. It’s one thing to live as a Baxter; it’s another to realize that they hell you went through was not your fault.  The journey he takes is a rocky one and one he’s forced to take after he dodges a major bullet.

This is one of the tougher talks in the book and one of the reasons why audiences will love Grayson in a different way or even more than Cass. After years of living in a haze, love finds him and he’s consumed by it. You can imagine what it’s like to fall deeply in love for the first time with someone who understands you only too well. This is what Grayson experiences.

Cass & Lila make an appearance, there’s love, romance, suspense, tragedy, and a couple of question marks because nothing in life is ever neat and finished.

Portrait of Gray by Palessa from Beau Coup PublishingHere’s an excerpt for you to check out:

For the next ten minutes, he was so focused on his body and muscles that he didn’t even hear the footsteps coming toward the pond.

It was Bindi.

She stumbled onto a naked Grayson as he stepped out of the pond. She couldn’t see the full view, but what she saw titillated the pit of her stomach. He was gorgeous and her eyes couldn’t help but be drawn to the shadows of his muscular arms and chest.

Seeing that he wasn’t alone, Grayson jumped and muttered a curse.

“Sorry,” she whispered apologetically, running her fingers through her blonde hair. “I couldn’t sleep, so I thought a dip might soothe me.”

Grayson hurried to put on his clothes and nervously responded, “Well, it’s all yours.”

As he was about to practically run away from her, she blurted, “Did I do something to you?” She turned in the direction of his parting steps.

Grayson stopped and turned toward her. She was taking off her shirt and he could see the soft, glistening profile of her waist and a shadow of her breast. And that was all it took to get a rise. He silently pleaded with his dick, but again it had a mind of its own. He was glad it was dark.

Hearing silence, she asked, “Did I offend you in some way? You seem to just avoid me every chance you get and I want to know why.”


She chuckled and turned from him, unhooking her bra. She stepped into the pond. “Part of my problem was that I never quite said what I meant to say. What I really felt. So part of my recovery is to be honest and to expect honesty. Damian had me memorize this line. ‘The truth is an offense, but it is no sin.’ I don’t know where he got it, but it helped me to not be so afraid.” Grayson could hear the water gently slosh as Bindi moved. “So offend me with the truth, Grayson. What did I ever do to you to make you dislike me?”

Dislike her? He wanted to tell her he did anything but dislike her, but all he could say was, “Nothing.” Grayson’s contrition was real when he spoke, but it was when he tried to explain further that he stumbled and fell. “It’s not you, Bindi. It’s just…I’m…” He couldn’t finish the statement because he didn’t fully understand what he was feeling or why.

“Look,” she said calmly. “If you don’t want to tell me, that’s fine. I’ve said my piece.”

With that Bindi turned and the sloshes became noisier. He stood there looking at her. The moon hit her wet hair and it shone like a halo. He knew he should have tried harder to explain, but he had no idea what to say. His mind was coming up with responses that his mouth couldn’t cash. He turned and left her to the pond. Even though he was frustrated, he managed to fall asleep not long after his head hit his pillow.


Palessa started reading her first romance novel, at the age of 11. Then she got introduced to V.C. Andrews, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Anne Rice and many more notable contemporary authors as well as some of the classics, A Tale of Two Cities, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Great Gatsby and others. It was during her teenage years that she dabbled in writing. First, it was in her diaries, then she started creating characters, stories about romance, the supernatural and much more. Being an International Baccalaureate student as well as entering college, left little time for
writing and so she put it and the ideas aside to pursue a career. It would take almost 20 years, a radical move from the city she grew up in, Miami, FL back to her Caribbean birthplace, and a chance Facebook meeting with Sable Hunter to start the juices flowing again. After some fits and starts, the Baxter Family Saga was born. Unchained Hearts is Palessa’s first published fiction book with Beau Coup Publishing. Book 2: Portrait of Gray is scheduled for release April 2014. She considers herself just a storyteller that sees no reason to shy away from the juicier romantic elements. She currently lives in the mountains of Jamaica with her crazy, cracker-munching-mutt Ivy on a farm, primarily managed by agribusiness partner, also known as Dad.
To read an excerpt of Unchained Hearts: Baxter Saga Book 1, check it out now.
You can connect with Palessa on her Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Pinterest,
and Goodreads
Check out her podcast interviews: Bennet Pomerantz’ Anything Goes
Literary Symposium
Journal Jabber w/ reading



Palessa – A Look at Book 2: Portrait of Gray — 1 Comment

  1. Thanks for joining us at the Cafe today, Palessa. I’ve got a character who was cut from my last book who is insistent that he get his own story. Love when that happens. :-)

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