Cover & Excerpt Reveal: Slipping Me Bye by Jack Harper

So excited to be part of the Cover Reveal for Slipping Me Bye by Jack Harper! The release information will be coming soon!

From the blurb:

In the hushed aisles of Felton High School’s library, Julian Torres unearthed not just books, but an eternal bond with Grayson Welles. Their love, forged in the unforgiving cauldron of a small Louisiana town, echoed the vast depths of the Caspian Sea. Yet now, after three decades, Julian confronts his greatest challenge. Alzheimer’s Disease is erasing his memories and dreams as an internationally bestselling author.

Day by day, Julian seeks solace in the faithful presence of their Scottish Terrier and the poignant echoes of his past with Grayson. But as Alzheimer’s tightens its grip, Julian descends into the abyss of his own unraveling—a harsh truth that his once radiant existence will never be restored.

In thi emotionally charged prequel to "Distance Between Him," Julian’s crusade of love, anguish, and fortitude weaves a spellbinding canvas of the human spirit’s resilience amidst adversity. And perhaps maybe, there’s a good reason for the choices we make." "Sunrays beam down on me as tiny swords, digging into my flesh like a thousand branding irons pressed into a calf. The humidity today is bound to be extreme, yet the condo buildings in this area would be providing a valuable amenity if they had anything as simple as a shade tree. Here as Boo Radley sniffs for a place to piss on the concrete jungle of Washington Heights, I find myself lost in the labyrinth of memory. How strange it is, I muse, that we spend our lives accumulating experiences. Then in a flash, they slip through the sieve of forgetfulness. 

Each detail is meticulously crafted by the hands of time, yet destined to dissolve into the ether of our insensibility. Perhaps it’s the cruel irony of existence that we are condemned to relive our pasts in fragmented echoes, while the present slips through our grasp like sand through clenched fists.

I catch the accusing glares of passersby, their disdain is evident as I realize my negligence in properly leashing him. How fitting, I think wryly, that in the unraveling dustrag of my mind, even the simplest tasks dodge my grasp. It’s not like I forgot the leash in and of itself since it rests firmly in my grasp. Yet, it’s not the disapproving eyes of strangers that weigh on me. Caveat, what it is, is the specter of my faltering memory that sheds the darkest shadow.

It’s been a year, I think. However, the sands of time futilely slip through my fingers, leaving me unable to grasp the exact duration. I think it’s been a year since the diagnosis. Early Familial Alzheimer’s, my doctor called it, is a remorseless thief that steals not only memories but the very essence of self. Grayson and I, bound by a love forged in the hex of life’s trials, now find ourselves affixed to the cauldron of degeneration.

With each passing day, I feel the weight of my inadequacy pressing down upon me. No longer the master of my narrative, I watch helplessly as Gray assumes the mantle of caretaker. His once vibrant spirit seems dimmed by the burden of my decline. And as my creative well runs dry, I’m left to ponder the cruel irony of a life spent spinning tales of suspense and intrigue. This has only resulted in one inimitable detail, finding myself seized in the most insidious plot of all—my own cognitive detriment.

A sigh washes over me as I wave to our neighbor, Freida. She’s perhaps the only person around this residential complex that hasn’t given me dagger eyes since I’ve been out here with Boo. For how long have we been out here?

“Hi Freida,” I wave, hissing at the rambunctious Scottish Terrier. “Stay off her, Boo,” I deride. “How are you, sweetie?”

She smiles warmly. “I’m just fine, dear,” she offers a glance, kneeling to pet my friendly dog. “How did you enjoy that soup, last night?” 

Her question catches me off guard because I don’t remember having soup last night. “Soup?” I ask, tilting my head with an empty smile. “Did we come over for soup?”

Freida has us over for dinner quite often. I remember that much. She’s an artist by trade, and her paintings are every bit as exquisite as anything on display in The Louvres. And her wife—name slipping me currently—is a nurse practitioner. I think. 

She nods. “Yes, dear—” she pauses with a show of concern, placing her palm on my shoulder. “Gray was late coming home, so I brought you some because he didn’t want you to go without any dinner.” 

That sure sounds like my overzealous and concerned husband. He’s a busy architect. So the last couple of years, it’s been just me and Boo Radley holding down the fort up until the late hours of bedtime. 

“Oh okay,” I reply blankly, unsure how best to reply. “Come on, Boo Bear,” I tug on his leash, though my pull has no resistance. “Let’s go back up.” 

Freida grimaces, sidestepping me while she scoops Boo Radley off the sidewalk. “Why don’t I help you both—” 

Annoyed, I cut in with a heated show of indignation. “God damn it, I can do it myself,” my arms flailing, yanking the dog from her embrace. 

Meanwhile, she concedes with a cleared throat. “Alright, alright,” she drones. “Please be sure to drink your water today.” 

Grinning, I retreat from Frieda’s overstepping my boundaries. “I’ll be sure to do that, thanks.” 

Boo Bear eagerly licks my chin as I walk through the main entrance of our condos, reminding me that I need to be kinder to those who love and care about me. No matter how much of an adjustment it’s been having to rely on others, I’m acutely aware that they’re doing these things out of an abundance of concern. "