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Title: The Hustle
Author: Elizabeth Roderick
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: May 31st 2016
Genres: LGBTQ+, New Adult, Romance, Thriller
Hustle front cover
Liria is nineteen, homeless, and addicted to heroin…
She’s also determined to not end up dead—like her mother. But every time she tries to get clean, on her feet, and back on the employment train, everything falls apart. This time is different. This time, she knows there are only two choices—addiction or death. Once she gets clean, though, her life ends up even rockier than before.
Desperate for help, Liria goes to the one person she can count on for a safe place to stay and regular meals—her father, Cyryl Czetski. However, she soon learns Cyryl isn’t her real father, and he wants a very different kind of relationship. Liria ultimately rejects his advances and ends up on the streets yet again, this time working in an illegal strip club.
Finally taking control of her life, Liria lands a job in a Vegas nightclub, where she meets Arty—the woman of her dreams.
Arty is beautiful, funny, and rich. But when other nightclub employees turn up dead—including Liria’s best friend, Lee—Liria suspects the business might be a front for something far more sinister.
When Arty reveals Liria’s life is also in danger, she promises to keep her safe. But Arty’s acting strangely, and seems to know too much about the mysterious deaths. Is she really trying to save her, or is she holding her hostage, using her as a pawn in a game Liria doesn’t understand?
Liria thought she was used to always second guessing everyone’s intentions. That’s how life is. But if the drugs don’t ruin her, The Hustle will…

Purchase: Amazon

“You don’t drink?”
“Not usually, no.”
“You’re afraid of being like your mother, maybe.”
She glanced at him. He’d always read her so well.
“Yes, that’s it,” Cyryl said, gazing at her. “You don’t want to be like that mother of yours.” His eyes flashed. “So why do you do smack, eh? Tell me that.”
Liria felt the blood drain from her face, and cold sweat dripped down the back of her neck. Her gaze dropped to the table; she saw her menu there, and realized she hadn’t even glanced at it yet. She wasn’t hungry anymore.
“I’m not stupid, sweetheart,” he said. “Don’t try to lie to me.”
Liria quickly looked back at him, and she held his gaze. There was some warmth in it, she thought, beneath his bitter amusement and hard superiority. There was something she could work with. “I know you’re not stupid,” she murmured.
“You want to stay with me. You want to take what you can from me, and leave again , is what you really want. You want to keep on killing yourself, wasting your life.”
“No, that’s not what I really want.” She picked at her cuticles, fighting back her nausea.
“Then what do you really want?”
“I want a home,” she said. “I want a life. I want to get clean.”
Was that what she really wanted? The floor seemed to fall out from under her when she thought about the pain of being dopesick, the hopelessness she felt when she wasn’t high. But this life was starting to squeeze her in tight jaws, and she didn’t know if she could stand it much longer.
It was true: she was turning into her mother.
He sat, looking her over. The waiter came to take their orders, and Cyryl shot her a wry grin and ordered for both of them. She listened, but it was a bunch of words in Italian and she wasn’t sure what she was getting  The waiter left, and Cyryl turned back to her, his grin fading slightly. He rested his chin on his hand. “You don’t know how to have a home or a life, or how to get clean,” he said.
His words were like a sucker punch straight to her gut. He was right. Her eyes filled with tears; she blinked them away, but one still escaped. She wiped it away and dug her fingernails into her thighs, struggling for control.
“Don’t cry,” he said softly.
That just made it worse. She looked out the window without seeing the view, fighting bitterly against the lump in her throat.
He reached over the table and caught her hand. She looked over at him, frozen. His palm was soft and dry.
“I’ll help you,” he said. She stared at him, her brow furrowing slightly. He ran his thumb along hers, and she sniffed and wiped her nose with her other hand.
“I’ll help you, Liria, don’t worry.” He squeezed her hand, then relinquished it, leaning back in his chair. He picked up his glass and raised it, nodding toward her own. “Drink your wine. It’s good.”
She hesitated, then picked up her glass and took a sip. It was tart on her tongue and burned her throat slightly going down. She watched him across the table, trying to figure him out.
Maybe he really could help her, but she didn’t know for certain. It was worth a try.giveaway

About the Author
ELIZABETH RODERICK grew up as a barefoot ruffian on a fruit orchard near Yakima, in the eastern part of Washington State. After weathering the grunge revolution and devolution in Olympia, Washington, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, she recently moved to a small cluster of houses amidst the vineyards of California’s Central Coast.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and worked for many years as a paralegal and translator. She is a musician and songwriter, and has played in many bands, rocking some instruments she doesn’t even know the real names for, but mostly guitar, bass and keyboards.
Elizabeth writes novels for young adults and adults; short stories; and memoir which is way more interesting than it should be. Her stories are about love, death, gang warfare, and madness; her characters tend to be of the type that society generally shuns: addicts, convicts, and the mentally ill. She believes if people get to know these characters in stories and in real life, they’ll find them more likeable than they originally thought.
She applies Hunter S. Thompson’s Gonzo method to fiction writing. It often gets a little heavier than what she had in mind, but she chalks it up to forced consciousness expansion.

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