Waking up each day is a gift…
On her 21st birthday, someone slipped a potent drug combination into socialite Aurora Brightwell’s champagne putting her in a coma for the next ten years. It’s been a long road back, and it’s time to reclaim the life she lost and find out exactly what happened on that fateful night.
Financier Kincade Enright has his own reason for helping Aurora discover who poisoned her, but for the time being he’s keeping that – and his true identity – to himself.
What he can’t keep hidden though, are his growing feelings for the one-time paparazzi darling and party-girl.
When this prince of finance joins forces with the former sleeping beauty, nothing can stop them from finding the answers they seek…or prevent the powerful emotions developing between them as they search for the truth.
And now an interview with Aurora Brightwell, the protagonist of WOKE
Introduce yourself. Who are you?
Hello. I’m Aurora Brightwell. Well, I was christened that, but I go by A.J. Callahan these days to avoid unwanted publicity. Callahan is my mother’s maiden name. At one time the Press called me Russet Rory, but I always thought that made me sound like a red potato. I’m 36, never married, have green eyes and red curly hair.
Do you have a secret? What would happen if you told someone the secret?
As far as a secret, the one thing I try to keep quiet is my entry back into the world of the living and functioning. I was in a coma for 10 years because someone spiked my drink at my 21st birthday bash. I’ve been awake for 5 years and trying to get my life back together. Prior to the coma, I was a paparazzi princess and the press followed me everywhere. When I woke up, my mother wanted to protect my privacy so I could concentrate on healing without worrying my face would be splashed all over the dailies. I’m pretty certain if the press got wind of my being awake, they’d pounce.
Do you have any ideas on who spiked your drink? Did they want to kill you or was it a joke gone wrong?
I actually don’t have a clue. My mother and Maeve never wanted to discuss the aftermath of what happened once I woke up and it took me a good five years before I even Googled myself and read about what happened. I can’t imagine anyone I knew back then who would hate me so much that they’d want to poison me.
Where do you live? Tell us a little about your parents/background.
Believe it or not, I still live with my mother and my old nanny in my childhood home in Manhattan. We’re on the Upper East Side in a beautiful brownstone that my parents purchased when they first married. My childhood can only be described as idyllic and spoiled!!! But there was lots of love, too. Unfortunately, my dad died a few years ago and because of the circumstances of my coma, I never got to see him before he did. That’s my one big regret in life.
What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?
The fact that I woke up, on my own one day, and only suffered physical issues. My brain function was intact, causing the people in my life to call me a walking miracle.
Do you remember anything about being in a coma? Whispers from the nurses and doctors, visitor etc?
My doctors and my shrink asked me that question too, and I have to be honest and say, no. The memory of that entire last day before I slipped into the coma is gone, and the next thing I remember is opening my eyes and seeing my mother standing over me on one side, Maeve of the other, and both of them crying through smiles. It was like I was truly, deeply asleep for all those years, not at a level of consciousness to recognize sounds or remember anything else.
Do you have a motto/favourite saying you’d like to share?
My childhood nanny, Maeve, has this saying I repeat to myself often. “Forgiveness is a gift that should be doled out often, and without incurring interest.”
Do you repeat it because you’re trying to live by it? Do you forgive the person who spiked your drink all those years ago?
I repeat it as a way to prevent me from dwelling too much on the time that was robbed from me. If I let myself, I could be really bitter and angry about those lost years – what some say are the best years – of a life. But by remembering to forgive, to let what happened just fade away, I can concentrate on moving forward. And as far as forgiving the person/persons who spiked my drink, you’ll need to read the book to know if I found out and if I did anything about it!
I can’t wait to read your story. Thank you for such candid answers.