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Few places on earth are as dazzling as London on New Year's Eve, and this year was no exception.
Hundreds of thousands of revelers swarmed the streets for miles around the Thames as they waited in the freezing night air for the most recognizable clock in the world, Big Ben, to strike midnight. The centuries-old celebration in historic Trafalgar Square had been relocated to the "London Eye," a massive Ferris wheel on the Thames that could be seen from all across the most visited city in the world. And when the ten-minute fireworks extravaganza started, London would erupt into glorious chaos.
Most people huddled together for warmth on the packed streets while they waited, but the glitterati were celebrating in the world-famous clubs and bars across London. Charley Gaines, a beautiful teenaged former heiress, and her brothers were at the hottest New Year's Eve party in the city at the rooftop club Rockwell.
Jubilation, passion, debauchery, and hope mingled in the air. Dom Pérignon corks popped. Everyone was there-from Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, The Black Eyed Peas, and Quentin Tarantino.
"Jackson," Charley said as she tapped her big brother on the shoulder, "I want to get out of here before the city goes mad."
There was no answer. Charley turned to see that he was in a lip-lock with Abby Deveraux. Jackson and Abby had been seeing each other off and on since they had met the previous summer in Monte Carlo. It had been a tumultuous summer for the Gaines family-a summer that had ended not only with the collapses of their father's financial empire and their mother's OMG fashion house, but with their parents' tragic deaths as well.
But this was New Year's Eve, and Jackson, Charley, and Chance were determined to put the old year's tragedies behind them as best they could. It's what their larger-than-life, full-of-pride, and totally image-conscious parents would have expected.
"It's not even midnight," Charley said, shaking her head with a smile. Then her other brother squeezed past her as he headed to his Tom-Ford-suited date. "Chance!" she shouted.
The next in line to the now-defunct Gaines throne was carrying two shots of Milagro Select. "Can I get you one, Sis?" Chance smiled, indicating the pricey liquor as he inched his way through the massive partying crowd. "It'll have to be after midnight."
"No, I'm leaving...and tequila's not my thing, in case you forgot!" she reminded him.
"But New Year's Eve is a time to celebrate. This last year is almost over," he said emphatically over the escalating din. "Only way to go is up."
"And we will!" Charley proclaimed a little too emphatically. "I feel it."
"Me, too," Chance lied. The Gaineses all hoped for the best but had learned to expect the worst.
Someone blew a paper horn in Charley's ear. It didn't matter that these were some of the wealthiest celebrities from around the globe; cheesy horns and noisemakers were at the ready.
"Ten..." the crowd started as the countdown all around Europe began.
"Oh, no!" Charley gasped.
"See you tomorrow?" she yelled to her brother over the deafening noise.
"Gotta go over our resolutions!" she continued, straining to be heard.
"Bye!" She needed to make her getaway.
Chance nodded, laughing cheekily at the crowd's countdown joke as he turned and handed his date the intoxicating drink.
"'Scuse me, 'scuse me!" Charley repeated as she shouldered her way through the crowd.
Time was running out, and Charley began to panic. If the club was a madhouse now, in ten minutes it would be a zoo. She was in a sea of Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, and even some cherished logos that represented her mother's internationally coveted OMG brand.
"Charley, how was your Christmas?" squeaky-voiced Dalita Kasagian yelled, distracting Charley whose heel caught on the rug as she tried to avoid Dalita.
Charley lurched for the exit and struggled to keep from falling flat on her face. As she started to go down, the club went totally mad.
"Happy New Year!" Horns blared, people kissed, confetti flew, and fireworks filled the London sky. Charley fell into the arms of a tall, dark, and strikingly handsome man who was standing with a eurotrash entourage behind him.
"Just who I was looking for." The man smiled evenly through pearly white teeth. "Charley Gaines."
Did he just say my name? she thought.
"Vincent Castle?" Charley gasped as she realized who he was.
Vince Castle was only the most successful photographer since Annie Leibovitz. Charley's mother had always wanted him for the OMG fashion layouts. And as an aspiring photographer herself, Charley was in total awe.
"Good eye." Vince smiled as he indicated the madness. "This is nuts."
Before she could agree, Vince wrapped his arm through hers and led her out of the party everyone in London would give their eyeteeth to be in.
As they made their way through dozens of kissing, groping, and dancing partyers, Charley was dumbstruck.
What does Vince Castle want from me?
In "A Stirring From Salem," the second novel in the "Salem's Secrets, Scandals and Lies" series, Anderson takes us to South Africa where we encounter many old and familiar characters from Days, as well as some new characters, some of which were introduced in her first novel, "A Secret in Salem."
Good book if you are a fan of Days of Our lives
It links it to very excellent characters that a fan sees on the
series of the past
would... Read more
This was a great book to read by the pool on my vacation at the beach! If you're a fan of "Days of Our Lives" you'll love this book about life in Salem. A fun read!Published 6 months ago by Mom
I really enjoyed the 1st two books and I loved reading about so many familiar characters and getting to know the new characters. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Days Fan
Great Novel from A DAYS writer. Great read, true to the characters, and can really see it happening on TV. This book is great.Published 9 months ago by Steve Simon
I love Days of our live. I was it every day that it is on. It is my favorite showPublished 13 months ago by june
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this.....I wish this could come to light on the real TV show, who knows ?....maybe it will.Published 15 months ago by Linda P
Enjoyed the book. I watch Days of Our Lives and it was interesting to read about the same characters. Would love to have more books like this.Published 17 months ago by Janie McCollum
It kept you wanting to read more. Book was in great condition. Can't wait for next book to come out.Published 22 months ago by brsands
Purchased this book as a birthday gift for my mom. She loved it and loaned it to me. We are Days of Our Lives fans and have been since the beginning. These books are so cool. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Kim Hudson