“Spotlight” is the 6th book in the “Dream Catchers” Series and is from the perspective of photographer Haley Foster and rock star Jordan Walsh’s daughter, Aylin. “Spotlight” will be released November 15, 2016.
Aylin Ashton always had a voracious heart and is fiercely loyal to the ones she loves. At twenty, she wants more than the celebrity lifestyle her family is known for—she wants an identity of her own with friends who care about who she is and not her last name.
Most of all, Aylin wants the love story her parents have. In a world full of divorce, and a society that has made it hard for her to be “normal”, she is not sure if true love can be her reality.
She finds herself struggling to grow romantically and keeps hitting a dead-end with men. From the egotistical pop-rocker Rad Trick to hipster music critic Mike, Aylin is not particularly gaga for either of them, and can’t help to pine for too-old-for-her Irishmen, Colin Houlihan, who happens to be her father’s tour manager!
The impetuous Aylin can’t help but make passes at the flirty, always doting on her Colin, and when he actually admits an attraction to her, the two are on dangerous ground.
The experience leaves Aylin wounded, but ultimately sends her on a journey to find out who she is and what she really wants, and maybe to the special someone she had hoped for.
True love was something I always knew existed, but I also believed it to be rare. Relationships crumbled too often for me to think it common.
I never thought much about love’s existence as a child since it surrounded my home. My parents said the words often—to me, to one anotherr, to their friends. But my young brain hadn’t given any thought to what the words “I love you” meant. I loved lots of things, like animals, children, ice cream, and my family. Outside of that, I never had a dire need for any particular person or object.
You know how daughters are usually daddy’s girls? That was me, but I was equally a Mama’s girl, too. My parents traveled plenty for work purposes, and they took me with them often. When one of them–usually my dad–traveled and left me behind in New York, I had missed them terribly.
I knew how much I loved them and couldn’t imagine if they were ever taken away from me. But the kind of love Mom and Dad have for one another was what really baffled me. They embody true love. In today’s world, you don’t see it often, but it was always right in front of my face within my parents.
Throughout my school years, I couldn’t remember a single friend whose parents weren’t divorced. While traveling with my dad’s rock band, Tortured, I would meet all of these celebrities, most of whom were on their second or third marriages, or just never settled down with anyone at all.
Even my dad’s best friend, Danny and the band’s manager, Cami, who were married almost as long as my parents had been, got a divorce a few years ago! I came to find out Danny was cheating on Cami, and they never had what she would describe as true love to begin with. The demise of their marriage opened my eyes to the fact that love is sometimes–most of the time–a novelty that wears off.
I was always content being surrounded by two loving, amazing parents who had the coolest careers. Mom is a notable photographer whose work had been featured in just about every magazine across the world. Dad, AKA Jordan Walsh, famous lead singer of Tortured, is renowned for his voice, songwriting, good looks and humble personality. I’m proud of who my parents are and all they have accomplished.
While people think my parents are cool for their professional accomplishments, I find their love for one another the most significant thing about them. They’re incredibly in sync with each other. Over twenty years together, and they still look like kids with a crush. I want that.
I just don’t know how or when I will have it–if I will ever have it. While I am grateful for what I have, relating to kids growing up and making friends or having boyfriends was difficult.
I was around the band more than anyone else my age. When I wasn’t on tour with Tortured, I was accompanying my mom on photo shoots with teen heartthrobs, like my celebrity crush Bex Moore or his rival Rad Trick. Or I was cheering on Uncle Drew, shortstop for the New York Yankees, at home games. That was all normal for me, but it wasn’t for my peers.
Now I am no longer a teenager and have grown tired of tagging along with my parents. I used to be a boisterous free spirit who went with the flow and didn’t stop to think about anything, but the moment I was in. Senior year of high school was a serious wake-up call. I became frustrated with my so-called friends when they continuously wanted to use me to get to Tortured or the Yankees or set them up with a celebrity I met.
I used to be happy and excited about life. When I turned eighteen, I suddenly felt alone. I couldn’t trust any of the friends I made in high school and meeting new people was not easy.
I kept waiting for something and I didn’t know what that something was. I thought college would be better. I could find some kind of career calling and find some real friends, but ultimately, I wanted to find true love–to have a partner in life to express all of these emotions to. I didn’t want to feel used for my last name, the celebrity company I keep, or my money.
I’d settle for a simple crush on someone my own age who wasn’t super out-of-reach. The hugest crush I had was on my dad’s hot tour manager, Colin Houlihan. As soon as he said hello to me with that adorable Irish accent, I was planning our life together at eight-years-old.
Not long after I became infatuated with Colin, I asked Mom how she knew Dad was her true love. I hoped her explanation would help me identify the feeling within myself one day. Instantly, a big smile had taken over her face.
“Did you know right away?”
She laughed, “No, I hated your father at first sight.”
My eyes widened, “Hated him?”
She nodded, “I thought he was gorgeous, of course, in that unpolished way he has about him, but we were totally different people. I was scared of boys, especially ones that smoked and had tattoos…”
“Dad smoked?” I gasped, disgusted.
“Yes, repulsive, right?” She rolled her eyes and then laughed, as if she was lost in the memory of when they first met.
“So, did Dad fall for you right away?” I wondered. “Did he annoy you so much until you just went out with him?”
Fame or no fame, Dad had a way about him. He was good at getting people to do what he wanted, especially girls. He was what most people called charming, and I’ve been told many times that I have inherited his charm. I don’t know about all of that since most people my age were too entranced with my father than to ever notice me.
Mom had laughed at me thinking my father forced himself on her.
“Your father thought I was a stuck-up brat. But we both felt like we had to prove something to the other one. I think we came off so different that we were both a little intrigued, and secretly liked challenging the other one,” Mom shrugged. “We got to know each other and realized you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” she concluded.
She looked at me the way she did when she wanted me to come away from something with a lesson. Never judge a book by its cover, got it, Mom. I don’t think she realized the real response I was searching for, though.
I never did get a clear answer of the moment Mom knew Dad was her true love, or how she knew. Did the feeling just hit you? Was it gradual?
Now at twenty, I felt like I should know something about relationships and love, but I was still clueless and desperately wanted to mature in that department. As for the whole don’t judge a book by its cover… well, I never did, and sometimes I think I should have. Sometimes a book turns out exactly like its cover, and its one you never should have read to begin with.