Sharing Work In Progress: A Romantic Thriller #NaNoWriMo #amwriting #thriller

I am soooooooooooooooo making progress this National Novel Writing Month! Three- four years after I originally started this romantic thriller, I’ve gone back to my old manuscript while I wait to hear news back on last romance novel completed last month  ‘Sacrifices’  I’ve sent out to an agent. I have my fingers crossed that I hear good news about representation!  I am happy with where  this  current story ‘In the Name of Love’ is going, I  may even have it done this this April if I stay focused. Here’s a lil’ snippet for you, as always, I have lined up a  cast of characters from all corners of the world,  and different walks of life, with diversity, romance, murder and of course suspense and thrill!

Christina’s body is found, one brutal murder, two suspects, a conviction then a re-trial six years’ later, due to advances in DNA.  Charlotte- Price-Smith  has overturned her conviction and detainment in a London based mental institution following Christina’s murder six years’ later, and a new suspect is found,  but have the police convicted the right person the second time around…even after a re-trial?

This is a romantic thriller with a killer twist! Our leading lady Charlotte,  her love interest Joseph, Detectives and Christina’s best friend Sophie Ngo will take readers on a ride…..

 

Dear Diary,

Something strange is going on. I’ve not heard from Joseph for a couple of days, last saw of  him  was a week ago. It’s now Friday night, normally we’d have plans for the weekend or at least some kind of contact. He’s not answering my texts. If I don’t hear anything I’ll drive past the house and see if his car is there over the weekend, keep an eye on what’s going on. Christina is probably up to something.

CHAPTER THREE: MURDER, MURDER

 

18.00 hours Wandsworth Police Station, south west London.

“It’s  the 10th July 2012. This interview is being carried out in interview room one, the interview will be recorded via tape. I’m Detective David Black, present is Detective Stephen Jones, for the purposes of the tape, please confirm your full name?”

“Joseph Andrews.”

“And your date of birth please?”

“6th March 1980.”

“And your name please sir? For the purposes of the tape.” Detective Black gestures to the short bald man in a grey suit to the right of Joseph.

“I’m John Davies, legal representative from Davies and Smith Solicitors, here to protect the rights and interests of Mr. Andrews today.”

“Thank you.”

Detective Black wastes no time starting his full-blown interrogation, for years Joseph has been on his hit list of local criminals to nail. Joseph is smart, and a shrewd business man he managed to keep his ass clean–until now.

“Joseph you’ve been detained, on suspicion of the murder of  Christina Andrews- Campbell. You don’t have to say anything but anything you do say maybe used as evidence against you in a court of law do you understand?”

“Yeah I understand.”

“Joseph please look at this photo can you confirm who this is?”

Detective Black slides a photo across the table of mixed-race female, with her throat slashed from ear to ear, and  multiple stab wounds to her chest, upper arm and stomach. Joseph screws up his face as he looks down at the bloody photo. Detective Black studies his reaction to the photo closely, did he flinch? Show any kind of shock? Or seem as though he’s seen it before– maybe in person if he is her murderer.

“It’s my wife, Christina.”

“How long have you been married to the late Mrs. Andrews- Campbell?’’

“Three years last February.”

“For the three years have you been faithful to Mrs. Andrews- Campbell?’’

“No comment.”

“Can you confirm when the last time you saw her alive was?”

“I told you, when you arrested me, I don’t fuckin’ know what happened to her!”

“Mr. Andrews, please just answer the question.”

I take a deep breath, and rest my elbows on the table. I look Detective Black dead in the eye.

“I’ve been away for a few days, I needed time out, the last time I saw her was last Wednesday night just before I left.”

“Why did you need to leave your wife for time out?”

“We were arguing as usual, she pissed me off, I needed some head space.”

“And where did you go?”

“I stayed over at my mum’s.”

“While at your mum’s did you have any contact with your wife?’’

“Yeah, she kept texting me, asking me when I’ll come home.’’

“Did you respond?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Why do you think? I wanted time out I was in no rush to go back.’’

“What were the two of you arguing about?”

“Just stuff, usual things couples argue about.”

“And when you arrived home last night, what happened?”

“I walked into the house, dumped my stuff down then walked into the living room and there

she was on the floor.”

“Roughly what time did you arrive home?”

“Around 8:00 p.m.”

“And what did you do?”

“What do you think I did? I called you lot!”

“Mr. Andrews, who is Charlotte?”

“Just a friend.”

“Did you have more than just a friendship with her?”

 

I think about my response carefully the police have a way of trying to trip you up. I said no comment when asked how faithful I had been to that sorry excuse of a wife of mine. They have my phone and probably worked out exactly what went on between Charlotte and me. Fuck! I should have been more careful, I can’t get out of this one.

“Yeah, yeah okay she…she’s someone I was seeing.”

Detective Black grins at me, he knows he’s onto something now. I eye him from the other side of the scuffed wooden table and await this cocky response.

“Mr. Andrews could you please confirm what you mean?’’

“My bit on the side, we were seeing each other.”

“Did the two of you have a sexual relationship?’’

He knows we’ve had a sexual relationship, the evidence on my phone is enough to confirm we’ve had a sexual relationship. “What do you think?”

“Mr. Andrews if you can please confirm your response to the question.”

I place my head in both  of my hands and run my now sweaty palms over my face.

“Yes, we did.”

“For how long did you have a sexual relationship?”

“A month or so.”

“How did you meet?”

“We know each other from college, we ran into each other on a night out.”

“Does she know you’re married?’’

“Yes, she knows and knew nothing serious could happen. Plus, she’s a crazy fuckin’ bitch it’s her you should be talking to.”

“Mr. Andrews, what gives you the impression she is crazy?”

“She is obsessed, you’ve got my phone read the messages.”

“Did your wife know about your affair Mr. Andrews?”

“No comment.”

 

Shit, my mind races as these pigs place me under the spotlight for almost an hour. For years I’ve conducted all my illegal dealings behind the London’s Metropolitan Police’s back. I’ve rarely found myself on the wrong side of the law, I’ve been too clever for that.

“Did you try to break things off with Charlotte?”

“Yes a few times”

“What was her response?”

“She would cry, bitch and bombard me with texts and calls that kinda thing.”

“Why did you want to break it off with Charlotte? Assuming you had no plans to leave your wife for her, sounds like an ideal situation having them both?”

Staring up at the yellow ceiling I compose myself before I respond. I can hardly be truthful, tell the old bill I had no plans to leave my wife for Charlotte, as I planned to leave them both and start a new life once I pulled off the narcotics deal in Amsterdam. That bitch Christina caught wind of my operation, she blackmailed me with exposure to the pigs if she didn’t get a cut, and join me in my new life in the Caribbean. That was the last thing I wanted. This was part of my attraction to Charlotte. She is the complete opposite to Christina in every way from her looks, to her attitude and motivation in life. She’s the independent type earned her own money, good job, going places…. But she’s strange, her behaviour caught me off guard at times, and she’s a walking chemist with all the pills she popped. Whatever happens I’m not going down for this shit, no way, now she’s dead that’s my ticket into a new life. I rest my gaze on the pigs, ramp up my bravado and pray they don’t smell a rat.

“No, I had no plans to leave Christina for Charlotte.” I lie through my teeth and steel myself for more lies.

“I loved her, she was my wife.”

“Really? So why the affair then Mr. Andrews?”

“Just fun.”

A pang of guilt runs through me at my reference to Charlotte being just fun, truth be known I’d fallen for her and enjoyed her company, but how can one woman be so possessive? I’d ask myself when she was pissed off that I couldn’t meet up with her, or go for dinner as planned. Then there were the mood swings one moment she’d be up, then she’d be in  low level  depression and self- pity.

“So, Mr. Andrews, if you’re not responsible for the murder of Christina Andrews- Campbell then do you know who is?’’

Detective Black stares deeply into Joseph’s large light brown eyes, willing him to answer the question.

“No, I don’t.”

Bullshit, is all that runs through Detective Black’s mind.  He presses on with his interrogation wasting no time or allowing Joseph time to think. Detective Black changes tact, to the direct approach to see what Joseph knows– will he grass anyone up? And at the same time put out a lead for him and his team to follow up.

“When was the last time you saw Charlotte?’’

“About a week ago, I’ve been trying to cool things off a bit, lie low, I had other things on my mind work was busy. All I know is, it wasn’t me, and if you have no hard evidence against me you need to let me go and stop wasting your time and mine Detective.”

“Was Charlotte jealous of Christina? She was after all your wife and the woman you went home to?

         My heart skips a beat, do the old bill have her as a suspect? Is this some kind of trick?  I sit back confidently in my chair and look from one Detective to the other. I hate the poe-poe and I’ve never been one to take sides with them, but I’ve got to get myself out of the spotlight somehow. I think quickly and see this as my chance to get out of the hot seat.

 “Yeah, course she was she’d send threats all the time to me that she’d tell Chris about us.”

“Do you think she’s capable of murder?”

“Like I said she’s one crazy bitch.”

Detective Black smirks. “This interview is terminated at 21.00 hours exactly, Mr. Andrews you will be held pending further investigation here at Wandsworth Police Station.”

“What? Are you lot mad? I’ve got nothing to do with this, that crazy bitch is who you need to talk to not me.’’

“Please stay calm Mr. Andrews, let me handle this” John Davies cuts in.

“Detective, exactly how long do you intend on remanding Mr. Andrews?”  Joseph’s  legal representative shuffles in his seat, and fixes Detective Black with a firm stare over the top of his glasses.  Detective Black does not even bother to meet John’s eye, instead he focuses in on Joseph, and holds his gaze as he responds to John.

“As you know, we can in serious crimes hold a suspect for up to ninety six hours, due to the seriousness of this case I intend to remand Mr. Andrews for the maximum time.’’

 

I’m seething, there is no way I’m going down without a fight. I stay quiet, I sit there staring from one detective to another thinking, planning and plotting my next move to throw these pigs off my scent.

***

 

21:30 hours: Wandsworth Police Station, London.

 

“Today is the 10th July 2012, this interview is conducted in interview room two at Wandsworth Police Station the interview will be recorded via tape. I’m Detective David Black present is Detective Stephen Jones, for the purposes of the tape please confirm your full name?’’

“Charlotte Price- Smith”

“And your date of birth please?”

“2nd February 1982.”

“And your name please sir? For the purposes of the tape.”

“Ron Peters from Peters and Field solicitors, representing the rights and interests of Ms. Price-Smith today.’’

“Charlotte you’re detained on suspicion of the murder of Christina Andrews-Campbell, you don’t have to saying anything, but anything you do say maybe used in a court of law as evidence against you do you understand?’’

“Yes”

As Detective Black kicks off his questioning, he eyes the young beauty in front of him tall, blonde hair, piercing green eyes framed by dark lashes and eyebrows, the only sign that she is not a natural blonde. He can’t help but wonder why a decent looking girl like this would get herself mixed up with a hood rat like Joseph Andrews.

“Charlotte, how do you know Joseph Andrews?’’

“We met back in college years ago, ran into each other again at a party.”

“And what was your relationship like with him, back in college?’’

“Just mates.”

“Nothing more?’’

“Not then, no.”

“And now? What kind of relationship have the two of you got?’’

Detective Black watches Charlotte throw back her head and flick her blonde hair from her shoulder, she takes on a confident stance and looks him dead in the eye. She then leans forward over the old wooden table and gets up close to Detective Black. He can feel the sarcasm dripping from her body language and voice.

“He’s my boyfriend of course.”

“He is, you talk in the present tense Charlotte, for how long has he been your boyfriend as you say?”

“A month or so now.”

“Are you aware that he’s married?’’

“Yes, but he always told me he’d leave her when the time is right.”

“Did the two of you ever break up?”

“Never.”

“So, Mr. Andrews, never once tried to break things off with you for any reason?”

“You heard, no, never he loves me. We love each other, no he has never broken up with me or tried to.”

   Gotta ya!  Detective Black smiles, he knows one of the two is lying, he has a feeling it’s Ms. Over Confident sitting in front of him. The evidence he has seen on Joseph’s phone clearly shows heated debates between the pair as Joseph tried to step away from her, and the relationship. He changes pace, he places some evidence in front of her.

“Charlotte could you confirm the mobile phone number that Joseph contracts you on out loud for me please?’’

Charlotte rolls her eyes and pouts at Detective Black.

“07958 654 250.’’

“Perfect, and this is the only number he’d ever contact you on?”

“Yes.’’

“Charlotte take a look at this print out of text messages sent between your number and Joseph Andrew’s, it would appear that Joseph had in fact tried to break things off with you.” Detective Black slides four A4 sheets of paper with text messages printed out, from both suspect’s phones. Charlotte snatches up the paper and flushes.

“You were saying Charlotte? The two of you never broke up. Joseph Andrews never once tried to break things off with you?”

“He never meant it, he was just messing around.”

Detective Black resists the urge to push her further on this point, the evidence contradicts what she’s already said, he is satisfied–for now.

“Did it not bother you at any point being involved with a married man?  Did his wife ever suspect anything?’’

“No, like I said he loves me.’’

“Do you know what she looks like?’’

“Yes.”

“Charlotte do you know who this is in the photo?”

Detective Black slides the same photo he showed to Joseph across the table.

 “Yeah it’s her.”

Detective Black sits up in his chair he registers the bitter response to his question, the way Charlotte dismissed her, there was no emotion from the disturbing sight shown in the picture the forensic team took of Christina the night she was killed.

“Where were you on July 8th, what did you do that day?’’

 

I think back to two days ago, where was I? I don’t know exactly how much the police know.

“I went to work, then the gym and came home.’’

“What gym did you go to?’’

“Fit Bods in Bromley.”

“Around what time did you arrive and leave?’’

“Probably about 4:30 pm I arrived, and left around 6:30 pm.” Detective Black makes a mental note to check out the gym for an alibi.

“When was the last time you saw Joseph?”

“Last week, Wednesday night.”

“What did the two of you do?”

“We went to dinner and then made love… all night, he stayed at mine.”  Charlotte responds in a sarcastic tone, with a full blown smirk.

“Where did you go for dinner?’’

“He took me to a posh restaurant on Fulham Road, the Tiger’s Head nice Thai place you should try it, Detective.”  I lean forward and fix Detective Black with a lustful look, I’m just messing with him for fun. I watch him shuffle in his seat across the table.

“Charlotte who paid for dinner? And how did they pay?’’

“He paid, credit card.”

 Bingo, Ms. Over Confident has given me enough information for one day to cross check, already she looks suspicious her story contradicts Joseph’s in places, her body language shows no remorse for her role she played in the affair with Joseph.

“Did everything seem normal with him, last Wednesday over dinner?”

“Yes, he told me he loves me, and wants a divorce so we can get married.”

Detective Black looks Charlotte up and down crossing and uncrossing her legs under the table, twirling her hair around her finger and smiling at him. Suspect #1 for sure. Detective Black’s deep clipped voice abruptly cuts in. “This interview is terminated at 22.30 hours.”

“If you’ve not charged me you need to let me go, I know my rights.”

“Correct Charlotte we’ve not charged you, however we have the right to remand suspects in serious crimes, in your case I’d say make yourself comfortable you’ll be here pending further investigation.”

Detective Black stops the tape recording and stands up, eager to deposit Ms. Over Confident in the reception area for the paperwork to be done, and crack on with this investigation.  He smells a rat– a big one.

                                                                      ***

Three hours later I’m hunched over my desk pouring over the dozens of text messages exchanged between my two suspects. I have no doubt in my mind one of them is guilty if they hadn’t worked together to conspire, and carry out the murder of Christina. I’ve already directed my team on what leads to follow up, a drop-in call on Joseph’s mother to verify the young man’s whereabouts following his departure from the Andrews- Campbell home, further analysis of both suspect’s mobile phone usages, especially around the date and time of Christina’s murder. Tomorrow morning Fit Bods Gym will be the first point of call, to verify Charlotte’s whereabouts, and the Thai restaurant she claimed she and Joseph dined at would take a hit also.

I’ve got ninety three hours left in counting to nail someone with Christina’s murder. I consider myself a fair man, I like to check everything out in detail, it matters when it comes to presenting a case to the Crown Prosecution Service, hit ‘em with the evidence they can’t turn away is my saying.

Following the initial interview with both Joseph and Charlotte there are holes in both suspect’s stories, contradiction over the type of relationship that they have or had depending on who you believe. Not to mention a big question mark over why Ms. Over Confident decided to state that the pair had never broken up.

***

I’m a good girl the kind of girl you’d be friends with, take home to your mum for Sunday dinner– I don’t belong here. The confinement of these four walls and brown stained toilet pan is not something I can to get used to.

I sit, chain smoke, and contemplate my story for Detective Black. Sure, I may have exaggerated the truth over the kind of relationship Joseph and I have, yes, he’s tried to break up with me… I know he never meant it. We are made for each other, he just could not see it, she got in the way forever on his back about money, what time he’d be home. She never understood him like I do, and there was no way I was going to let him go. Not now we’ve come so far. I’ve invested in him–in us, waiting patiently for him to leave her I wasn’t then, and I’m not now prepared to lose out. Back in the day, she was always his fall back no matter how many other girls he dated or messed around with,  he’d go running back to her, she was the magic pussy back then and it pissed me off that she still  is or  was.

Christina and I were not exactly friends, we tolerated each other, to her I was the token middle class white girl that the boys would pay attention to. Before I revamped my looks an went blonder, my naturally dark raven coloured hair, striking green eyes and curves were what drew them in. She herself was a looker. We spoke in passing only. She was naturally Ms. Popular and decided when, where and how often we spoke back then. I was no real competition for her, but she always paid attention to me, I could tell.

Whenever Joseph and I spoke she’d look me up and down a silent warning to look but don’t touch. When Joseph and I started seeing each other all these years later I’d remember those days, when I was an outsider and how she’d look me up and down and laugh. Who’s looking and not touching now bitch?  I’d think to myself with Joseph laid up in my bed, eating my breakfast I’d prepared for him, as she was unable to manage anything but a sandwich when it came to cooking, according to Joseph. Now she’s dead, and I’m in the spotlight, but at least I still have Joseph.

***

I stay off the radar when it comes to the law, police in my view are the lowest of the low, they profile and stereotype men like me every day. People think it’s just African – American men who are prey to police. They are dead wrong, here in London, it’s no better just because they don’t carry guns and can’t bear arms against us, don’t mean the situation isn’t as bad. Now they wanna suspect me of murder, and probably dig up God knows what else as well, start asking questions over my “legitimate business dealings.”

Christina, was the biggest mistake of my life, I should never have married her.

Three hours in this cell has already shown me that the thug and prison life are not for me, there’s no way I’m going down for this no way. I’ll do whatever it takes.

***

 

12 hours later:

Gentlemen, on the 8th July 2012 Christina Andrews-Campbell was murdered, she was stabbed, strangled and had her throat slit, it was a pretty violent murder. She was married to Joseph Andrews who was also having an affair with Charlotte Price- Smith.”

I pause and look around at the team eagerly taking notes, as I point to the picture of Christina on the whiteboard.

“Here we have Joseph Andrews thirty-one years old, raised in one of south London’s roughest districts.  He has a history of dabbling in narcotics, but we’ve never been able to pin anything on him, the lucky shit, he knows how to run his businesses well.”

“Here we have Charlotte Price- Smith thirty years old born and raised in the leafy suburbs just outside of south London- Bromley by ‘mummy and daddy’, she’s a paediatric Nurse at Lewisham Hospital and is the other woman Joseph’s involved with romantically, and sexually.”

Both suspects could have possible motives for murder. Andrews wanted to leave his marriage for the other suspect possibly, Price- Smith may have been the jealous other woman, this of course needs to be proven for both suspects. So, what have you got for me?”

I take a seat around the large conference table and look around at the team for answers, I want them and fast. PC Browne speaks up first.

“Sir Joseph’s alibi can be confirmed he called round to see his mother, her statement confirms he did arrive at her home a few days before Christina’s murder, and remained with her up until his arrest.”

“Okay, could she confirm his time of arrival and his behaviour?’’

PC Browne pulls out and flips open his black note book, and reads out Ms. Andrew’s statement.

“He arrived a few days ago in the late evening distressed, he stayed with me, during the time he was here he seemed calm but withdrawn over his constant arguments with Christina. This is her statement sir.”

“Okay so, he’s telling the truth so far, what else?”

“Sir, we searched the flat Charlotte currently rents and found a handful of diaries she’d kept over the last year, we also found a collage that she’d put together with dozens of pictures of Joseph hidden away, antidepressants and various other mood stabilising medication.”

I look up and a smile breaks out across my face.

“Now we’re talking, what’s in the diaries?”

“A quick glance showed us a lot of personal thoughts and feelings around her relationship with Joseph, how she disliked his wife, talk of the kind of future she wants with Joseph that kind of –a thing’’

“They’ve been seized for evidence?’’

“Yes sir, of course.”

“And the meds? You need to find out what they are for, contact her GP get her medical records up and find out what she’s so depressed about.”

“Yes sir”

“All right, good job Browne.” PC Seller cuts in.

“Sir, we went to the gym to verify Charlotte’s alibi, the manager on shift was not around so we have the CCTV tape, and a record of her usage at the gym for this month.”

“Excellent, I want you to watch the tape let me know what you find.” “Yes sir.”

“Sir, we checked out the restaurant in Fulham Charlotte said she and Joseph went to when they last saw each other, there was no reservation so it was hard to tell if the story is true. We have the restaurant’s CCTV tape for the full week of the date Charlotte gave.”

“Excellent, with no reservation for dinner the CCTV will show if they did or did not enter the restaurant at all that week, watch it and report back.’’

My team have done good so far, we have more evidence to cross check. I stand up and walk over to the whiteboard and face them.

“Okay, fifteen hours have passed us, team A. find out what you can about the relationship with Joseph from the diaries and get a profile on her, contact the GP, we’re looking for evidence that would support a motive for murder, got it?’’

“Team B. interview Joseph again, find out how the affair started, double check the date in Fulham he and Charlotte had, when they last saw each other and when he last saw Christina alive. Check out the story on the credit card payment at the restaurant in Fulham, and watch the CCTV tape from the restaurant and let me know what you find. Everyone got that?”

“Detective Jones, you’re with me, we’re gonna pay a visit to Charlotte’s parents and interview her. Gentlemen, we’ve had a total of fifteen hours including the three hours the suspects have been in custody on this already, we have twenty- one left to nail one or both of them with something, let’s get to work.”

As his team disappear and set off to work on their allocated areas, Detectives Black and Jones huddle around the whiteboard looking at their suspects, their ties are loosened and they sip cool water deep in thought.

“What’s your gut tell you about these two?’’ Detective Black turns to Jones for his opinion. “Something’s definitely off with them, she clearly thinks they are a couple and have more than he thinks they do. Then there’s her diaries.”

Jones shakes his head and takes a long sip of his water, not taking his eyes away from Charlotte’s photo he continues.

“Shows you just how much she’s into this guy, she wants him for herself.”

“Hmm, you think she done it?’’

Detective Jones, pauses before he responds, his eyes fix on both suspect’s mug shots.

“Could be either of them they both have strong motives, we see what the diaries have to say if it puts her more in the frame than him.  If she’s twisted the story about her whereabouts and the dinner date with Joseph then she’s toast, unless something crops up on our guy.”

“Maybe they worked together?”

“Strong possibility there needs to be a link made.’’

“Well, we’ve got twenty one hours let’s head over to Bromley drop the bad news on mummy and daddy that their little girl’s a prime suspect in a murder investigation.”

Detective Black pats Jones on the back and glances at his watch, it’s 10:15 a.m. the two men leave the meeting room and head over to south east London’s pretty suburbs.

 

Thank you for reading! I am hard at work completing this project. Sometimes, it’s good to go back to your old work with a fresh mid-set, and thirst for writing. I hope all those writers who have taken part in National Novel Writing Month #NaNoWriMo are making great progress. Let’s get a project completed all of us!

 

 

 

 

 

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New Release: ‘Sketch’ By Didi Oviatt ( YA Thriller Genre) @didi_oviatt #CreativiaPub

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Sketch cover

Wow! Talk about cover love! I am so happy to reveal this unique cover of upcoming book by Didi Oviatt, Called Sketch. Today, I also have a sneak peek for you, so be sure to read on!

Sketch

Expected Publication Date: June 2019

Genre: YA Thriller/ Psychological Thriller

Publisher: Creativia

When the body of the local girl, Misty Crawl, is found dismembered in an underground bunker, the town is thrown into a whirlwind of panic and speculation. Times aren’t exactly smooth sailing with a depression in full swing. The spaced out community of farmers pull together as one, trying to uncover the guilty party.

Thrown smack in the middle of such chaos, is a group of teens. They’re known troublemakers, but have good hearts. Although they’re innocent, the local law enforcers believe otherwise, and the true killer is lurking far too close for comfort. Will the four be able to uncover the truth before one of them pays the price for Misty’s death? Or will the brutal killer strike again, attacking the heart of the four?

*Sketch is a young adult psychological thriller. It’s a quick easy read, appropriate and gripping for mid-teens and up, with no sexual content and some bloody gore. Parent’s be advised.

Excerpt

As soon as Steven’s dad, Robert Smith, pulls down the road, they look mischievously at one another and then take off in a sprint down the steps into his basement. Steven’s always wanted to know what’s locked away down here. His father told him years ago that it was just a room full of old newspapers. But, Steven’s always known there has to be more to this dingy looking door all locked away. It doesn’t take Chloe long to pick the lock. She’s getting better and faster at it with every lock she opens. The door creaks as it swings open, and there it is.

“Holy shit,” gasps John.

“This is the best day of my life,” says Michael.

“Look at the dust on all this stuff. I’ll bet this door hasn’t been open in years! No one will even notice if we take it!” adds Chloe.

Steven whispers in fear, “I don’t know guys, my dad will kill me if he finds out.”

“No he won’t, Red, I can take him,” jokes Michael.

Staring back at them from the wall to wall metal storage shelves are two small crossbows and an open chest of arrows. Along with old war paint, hatchets, a couple machetes, rope, and one box of newspapers setting on the floor.

“What the hell was my dad doing with this stuff?” Steven asks, more to himself than the others.

Steven’s dad isn’t an adventuress man, and aside from the yearly deer and occasional bear he shoots, he doesn’t even like to get out and do much.

“The bears are getting out of control around here,” and, “we gotta’ have meat to survive,” is his logic for hunting.

He doesn’t enjoy hunting as a sport like the majority of other men and even women in town. It’s more of a chore for him. Which is only one step away from insanity, in Steven’s point of view. Hunting is Steven’s favorite thing to do with his dad, aside from throwing a football.

“Who cares why he has this stuff!?” John says, always the planner of the group. “Let’s just take it now and hurry, in case he forgot something and has to come back home. We don’t want to get caught carrying it all out of your house.”

They grab as much as they can lift and head straight for the woods. Distracted by all the cool things, they don’t even bother to glance at the newspapers in the box on the floor.

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About the Author

Didi's Pic

Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Sketch, Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, Justice for Belle, and New Age Lamians. Along with a six- piece short story collection called the Time Wasters. She’s also collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology The Suspenseful Collection. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid back outdoorsy life. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, sun-bathing in the desert heat, along with watching the relaxing dance of a campfire plays an important part of her day-to-day lifestyle.

Didi can be found on her Website/Blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and most importantly AMAZON!

Cover Reveal Organized By:

R&RButto200x200

R&R Book Tours

New Release + Excerpt: ‘Justice for Belle’ by Didi Oviatt @Didi_Oviatt #CreativiaPub

It’s with great pleasure, I proudly share with you an excerpt from this talented writer. I’m currently reading the book, and enjoying it. I believe the release date is next month.

Book Cover (1)

Excerpt #1:

“You get lost?” Mac’s voice rings loudly at my side.

I jump, knocking a cold glass bottle of booze over with my arm. I grab it back up with trembling hands. I straighten myself to a stand and hand it over before grabbing two more for myself. Mac takes a step closer to me no sooner than the fridge door shuts completely.

The scent of him is just as fresh as the first day we met; only tonight there is a muskier underlining. The delicious smell of his natural skin, no doubt. My knees weaken, and I take a step back. The center of my back touches the counter causing me to reach back with my free hand and grab ahold of it for balance.

“What are you doing?” I ask desperately under my breath.

“You were taking a while, so I thought I’d check up on you.” His voice is wanting and raspy.

“I’m fine.”

I duck and spin, maneuvering my body around him. I’m careful not to brush our flesh together. He props himself against the exact spot of the counter that I just left by the hip, his gaze fixated on me. I look away, twist the top off of my first drink and guzzle the entire thing as if my life depends on it. He, too, takes a drink, but barely a sip. The serious clench of his jaw tells me that he means business. My chest tightens.

“Why are you really here?” I ask.

“A few reasons, actually.”

“Which are?”

“I’m trying to decide which one I wanna tell you first.”

He takes another sip and continues to stare. I toss my empty bottle into the trash can, and twist open the top of my next. It’s quiet enough to hear a pin drop. Aside from my own heavy breath, I hear only haunting silence.

“Start with whatever it is you’re so afraid to say.” I breathe, my heart quickening another pace.

Mac takes a few quick steps forward, again closing the gap between us. The wildness of his eyes and his hair reminds me of a lion, ready to pounce. Soon I’m backed against the wall, with our chests pressed together. I stare at his mouth. His lips are the perfect shade of pink. I want to lick them. I tuck my own in and bite the insides lowering my head…denying him access. He places his palms against the wall, beside my shoulders, and lowers his forehead to mine.

“You’re not who I thought you were,” he says, the hops in his breath mixing with my own.

I close my eyes tightly and breathe him in. The image I once had of his fists closing in around the neck of an unknown man as he shook the life from him is all I can think about. God, I wish I could stop enjoying the thought of death. I can feel his heartbeat through my shirt and my nipples harden. The heat from his body screams danger, and the pool of nerves between my legs wants it.

“Mac,” I whisper, our foreheads still together.

I try and lift my arms to push him away, but can’t. Like dead weight, they stay motionless at my sides. I shake my head against his. This is wrong.

“Ahnia, I know we can’t do this. I just… I…”

Mac slaps an open palm against the wall. It’s an angry, powerful blow a mere foot from my face. I jump, feeling the vibration of it against my entire body.

“F**k!” He shouts, and pulls himself away.

He runs a fist through his hair and storms off. After helping himself to another beer from my fridge, he disappears back into the living room, leaving me behind to gather myself. I take a couple deep breaths and run my shaking hands down the front of my shirt a few times.

I’m scared to death of him right now, but I don’t want him to leave either. I can’t kick him out, what if he comes at me? Or worse, what if I wind up throwing myself at him. I don’t trust me at this point, any more than I don’t trust him.

Pre-Order/Purchase Link

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44571114-justice-for-belle?ac=1&from_search=true

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her  thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, Justice for Belle, and New Age Lamians. Along with a six- piece short story collection called the Time Wasters. She’s also collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology The Suspenseful Collection. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid back outdoorsy life. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, sun-bathing in the desert heat, along with watching the relaxing dance of a campfire plays an important part of her day-to-day lifestyle.

Didi can be found on her Website/Blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and most importantly AMAZON

Didi Oviatt.jpg

Who Is Mr. Clarkson? Excerpt #2! #newrelease #amreading #romance

5:00p.m. James & Clarkson Partnership Manhattan, New York.

 Richard looks forward to tomorrow’s business trip to London. His excitement made him personally organise the hotel reservations, for him and his business partner, rather than have his personal assistant do it. He has not been to London for several years. The city and its vibrancy excite him. The last time he recalls was shortly after his divorce, when he went through his celebrational ‘I’m free and single’ phase. At thirty-nine he is happily divorced, and doesn’t intend on exploring if he can get marriage right a second time. His ex-wife was a handful to say the least. She spent his money faster than it came in, to his surprise the vow of faithfulness was not high on her list of priorities either. Richard has always deep down been a one-woman man, prior to his experience with his ex-wife, he’d look by all means but never touch. Divorce changed him and his willingness to commit, in fear that he’d be taken for a fool again. Three years have passed since he received his divorce papers from his lawyer, women have come and gone.  He has moved forward from his ex-wife emotionally; however, he remains hesitant to trust anyone with his heart or fully commit. Yet he longs for companionship, of late it has felt like a constant catch twenty-two battle, between his logical headstrong attitude and his real wants and desires.

While marriage is off the cards, if he is honest with himself, he would not turn down the chance to spend time with a woman who not only pleases him between the sheets, but also has half a brain. In New York while there is no shortage of beautiful looking women ready and willing to please him, the deeper level of connection just has not happened. For now, he put dating­ –serious dating to one side. He plays the field as and when he feels fit, or lust takes over him.

The last memory he has of London he and fellow shareholder in James and Clarkson Partnership, Dan James, along with a few mutual friends hopped on a flight across the Atlantic to ‘The Big Smoke’ three years ago. The diverse people, the narrow, busy pavements of central London, and most importantly the women are all vivid in his mind. To Richard, there is something alluring about British women, they ooze class, intelligence and style. More than what his ex-wife oozed. Why he had been so blind to marry her is still a mystery to him.

“Excuse me sir, sorry to bother you Mr. James is here to see you.” Richard spins around from the coffee machine to Nina, his personal assistant. Nina is stunning and of Mexican descent. Her mocha skin, delicate features, curvy figure and chestnut brown shoulder length hair, send all the right signals to his lower region. He has a hunch Nina has a ‘thing’ for him, it’s written all over her face. Every time she comes into his office the look she gives him makes it clear.  As he watches her just as closely from across his office, he never fails to notice the extra sway in her hips or undone button at the top of her blouse each morning.

He thought about starting something with her, dinner, a movie, nothing fancy. Dan James his partner warned him off. ‘Don’t fuck with the help.’ Has been his motto for years, he learned his lesson when they were young and just starting out in business. Richard had to manage a female employee who wanted more from him, right after he bent her over his desk and had his way with her.

Richard sighs with lust as his gaze washes over Nina, in a black pant suit with a sharp white fitted shirt tucked in. The curve of her ample breasts strain against the buttons. As she plays with a string of pearls around her neck, his eyes focus on her chest. Richard shakes his head and clears his throat, somehow hoping it would remove his ex-rated thoughts from his mind.

“Sure Nina, send him in.”

“Will do.”

Nina turns on her high heels and sashays out of the room. On cue the extra sway in her hips returns. Richard’s core lights up as he watches through the glass partition how inviting her behind looks, as she moves across the open plan office outside his own. There she goes again, what a prick tease.

 

About The Book

The Red Room is book one of the Romance In The City novella series, of steamy and romantic standalone short stories.

Rita Lane lives a double life in her day job she’s a receptionist at the prestigious London Park Hotel. By night her adventures begin. As a thirty something year old woman she is content with her single status. Richard Clarkson a New York based guest at the Park Hotel has firmly closed the door to romance, after a rocky marriage. As soon as Rita checks Richard into the hotel as a guest the sparks and electricity between the two begin.

After hours, the day before Valentine’s Day , their paths cross in an unexpected way. Rita and Richard’s desire for each other is on maximum …. will they cross the line to become more than just friends? The Red Room is a steamy short story set in London with diverse characters that will leave you wanting more.

Release date 23rd December 2017 available now on presale on Amazon.

Red-Room-Cover

 

PINK PANTIES, Ch 2 of Consequences by M. Jane Colette + GIVEAWAYS. #audiobook #excerpt #listentothis #ConAudioTour

PINK PANTIES, Ch 2 of Consequences by M. Jane Colette #audiobook #excerpt #listentothis #ConAudioTour

Welcome to Stop 2 of the Consequences Audio Tour
THE PHOTOGRAPH
from CONSEQUENCES (of defensive adultery)
an EROTIC tragedy with a HAPPY ending
by M. Jane Colette
performed by Elisa Kae

18+ ADVISORY: Consequences is intended for an adult (18+) audience. It deals with mature subject matter, and contains explicit language and sexual content. Listener and reader discretion is advised.

KIM KNIGHT, AUTHOR’s blog is Stop 2 of 48 on the Consequences AudioBook Blog Tour.

The tour is bringing romance readers and listeners the opportunity to listen to all 48 full, unabridged chapters of Consequences well in advance of the audiobook’s Christmas release.

Plus, there are fabulous prizes at every stop, and 48 chances throughout the tour to enter to win a COMPLETE set of M. Jane Colette’s paperbacks!

WHAT’S THIS BOOK ABOUT? An affair. Heartbreak. Consequences.  Absolution, redemption, and love… in the most unexpected places–a steamy second chance romance unlike any you’ve ever experienced.

Elizabeth did not plan to break up his marriage when she had an affair with her law school professor. But she did. Fifteen years later, she’s still coming to terms with the consequences of her youthful infatuation: a stepdaughter who hates her, an ex-wife who will never forgive the betrayal,  a sister-in-law who’s determined to make Elizabeth her confidante. Compelled to reveal the “tragedy of her life” to a nameless lover, Elizabeth finds herself forced to reconsider her definition of love, commitment, and responsibility—a process that finally releases her from the shackles of her past mistakes and shows her the way to her own happily-ever-after.

A NOTE ABOUT STRUCTURE: The story unfolds over the course of one night, as the narrator Elizabeth relates the “tragedy of her life” to her current lover as they, to quote a reviewer “do lover things.” The story Elizabeth tells spans 15 years. The scenes between Elizabeth and her lover are pure dialogue, and interrupt the “story proper.” There is no “he said/I said” in the dialogue between Elizabeth and her lover… a challenge the narrator solved masterfully, but which may give the first-time listener pause. To increase your enjoyment of the story, an opportunity to read, as well as listen to, the chapter, is provided.

Today, we bring you Chapter 2: PINK PANTIES.

“Help! I can’t listen–I don’t have headphones handy, I’m at work, and when I get home, my children will be underfoot! Plus, I’m more of a reader than a listener, you know?”

PREFER TO READ? We’re on it. Here is a passworded-protected link to the written version of this chapter for tour participants’ eyes only. Your password is erotictragedy2, and your gateway is here: CHAPTER 2: PINK PANTIES.

Enjoyed what you heard/read? Tomorrow, the tour continues on WICKED COOL FLIGHT.

FIRST STOP: If this blog is your first stop on the tour, you might want to head back to stop number one, hosted by Tome Tender Blog: The Photograph, or to the Tour Home Page, and start from the beginning. There are chances to win prizes at every stop!

TODAY’S PRIZE: For a chance to win your very own copy of Consequences (of defensive adultery) by M. Jane Colette, enter here:

 KIM’S GIVEAWAY: As part of  the Pink Panties tour hosted here, I’m giving away Six Amazon Gifted copies of my Romantic Suspense Novel A Stranger in France awarded “Best Romance 2017”, (by Visual Fantasy Con Literary Arts Award). Enter below, winners drawn at random on the final date of the Pink Panties tour (Nov 22nd). Also right now Havana Heat book #1 of my romance series Romance Set in Paradise is now free to download on Amazon.

Kim’s Rafflecopter giveaway

Free download of Havana Heat

RAFFLECOPTER: ConTourDay 2 / PINK PANTIES
(If this link is not working for you, visit mjanecolette.com/ConAudioTour to enter)

GRAND PRIZE TREASURE HUNT ENTRY, PART 2: For a chance to win one of two COMPLETE HARD COPY SETS of M. Jane Colette’s novels, send an email to TellMe@mjanecolette.com, and:

  1. put  #ConAudioTour Day 2 in the subject heading,
  2. ask to be added to her Rough Draft Confessions newsletter (or tell Jane you’re already on her mailing list, and it’s awesome, when’s the next love letter coming?) and,
  3. answer the question: “Whose pink panties are we talking about here?”

Hint: The answer’s contained in today’s chapter.

(The small print: Each tour stop offers you one opportunity to enter the GRAND PRIZE TREASURE HUNT DRAW, for a total of 48 entries if you complete the tour. The books that comprise the GRAND PRIZE are the novels Tell Me, Cherry Pie Cure, and Consequences, and the non-fiction collection of essays Rough Draft Confessions, including its controversially titled, available-only-in-Canada, beta reader / limited edition predecessor.) 

CAN’T WAIT? BUY THE E-BOOK NOW:

in ALL FORMATS for any DEVICE at ALL RETAILERS

including  iBooks  Kobo  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Google Play  Inside Romance

Softcovers at all the usual places, including Chapters ❤ Amazon ❤ Barnes & Noble ❤ Book Depository ❤ Powell’s Books and your favourite retailer

AUDIOBOOK COMING CHRISTMAS 2017

MJC

sign up for M. Jane Colette’s Rough Draft Confessions to get advance notice of its release

REMEMBER: The story continues tomorrow, at WICKED COOL FLIGHT.

  1. Jane Colettewrites tragedy for people who like to laugh, comedy for the melancholy, and erotica for women and men who like their fantasies real. She believes rules and hearts were made to be broken; ditto the constraints of genres.

Connect with her on Twitter / GoodReads / FaceBook / Instagram and subscribe to her newsletter, Rough Draft Confessions, to stay in the loop on her WIPs, new releases, and fab multi-media, multi-author projects. You can also email her at TellMe@mjanecolette.com.

For more information about the tour & its other hosts, visit mjanecolette.com/ConAudioTour or check out the schedule below.

CONSEQUENCES AUDIOBOOK BLOG TOUR
#ConAudioTour #SteamyListen #ListenToThis
visit mjanecolette.com/ConAudioTour for daily link updates

Mon Sept 25 // Chapter 1 // THE PHOTOGRAPH hosted by TOME TENDER BOOK BLOG

Tues Sept 26 // Chapter 2 // PINK PANTIES hosted by KIM KNIGHT

Wed Sept 27 // Chapter 3 // HARD TO OPEN hosted by WICKED COOL FLIGHT

Thurs Sept 28 // Chapter 4 // ENTER THE ADULTERER hosted by MISHA ELLIOTT

Sat Sept 30 // Chapter 5 // THE WOMAN IN RED hosted by ALYSSA LINN PALMER

Sun Oct 1 // Chapter 6 // THE WHORE WHO WORE TURQUOISE hosted by DIRTY BAD BLOGGERS

Mon Oct 2 // Chapter 7 // CARELESS hosted by ELIZA DAVID

Tues Oct 3 // Chapter 8 // REVENGE SEX hosted by CAMERON ALLIE EROTICA

Wed Oct 4 // Chapter 9 // RENAMING DESTINY hosted by SO…WHATCHA READING?

Thurs Oct 5 // Chapter 10 // DREAMING OF SILENCE hosted by THE READING CAT

Fri Oct 6 // Weekly Recap at mjanecolette.com

Sat Oct 7 // Chapter 11 // BABY OIL hosted by JENNA HOWARD

Sun Oct 8 // Chapter 12 // SPERM DONOR hosted by AMAZEBALLS BOOK ADDICTS

Mon Oct 9 // Chapter 13 // ALWAYS THE WOMAN’S FAULT
co-hosted by Teri Hicks & Co’s READING OUT LOUD + SJs BOOK BLOG 

Tues Oct 10 // Chapter 14 // CUNT IN A BOARDROOM hosted by TL CLARK

Wed Oct 11  // Chapter 15 // BLACKMAIL hosted by BOOKWORM BRANDEE

Thurs Oct 12 // Chapter 16 // MAGIC CARPET RIDE hosted by SOUTHERN BRED & READ BOOK BLOG

 Fri Oct 13 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com

Sat Oct 14 // Chapter 17 // CONDOMS IN A SUITCASE hosted by AMANDA SIEGRIST

Sun Oct 15 // Chapter 18 // COMING OUT hosted by MICHELE FOGAL

Mon Oct 16 // Chapter 19 // PRETTY BOY hosted by REAL TASTY PAGES

Tues Oct 17 // Chapter 20 // PROMISCUOUS POLYAMORY hosted by LOVES GREAT READS BLOG

Wed Oct 18 // Chapter 21 // EDUCATING PHILISTINES hosted by RAMPA PA GROUP

Thurs Oct 19 // Chapter 22 // FUCKING ARTISTS hosted by JENN’S BOOK OBSESSION

Fri Oct 20 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com

Sat Oct 21 // Chapter 23 // GUILT IN A TEA CUP hosted by SULTRY SIRENS

Sun Oct 22 // Chapter 24 // LABELS hosted by TORY RICHARDS

Mon Oct 23 // Chapter 25 // COERCION hosted by ROXANA NASTASE

Tues Oct 24 // Chapter 26 // UNGRATEFUL hosted by CASEY’S CORNER

Wed Oct 25 // Chapter 27 // DUPLICATE hosted by A DREAMER’S BOOK BLOG

Thurs Oct 26 // early weekly  & to-date recap on mjanecolette.com

Fri Oct 27 // Chapter 28 // SECRETS IN A VELVET BAG hosted by LOVE INDIE ROMANCE

Sat Oct 28 // Chapter 29 // BITTERSWEET COFFEE hosted by THE GENRE MINX BOOK REVIEWS

Sun Oct 29 // Chapter 30 // WORDS ON THE SCREEN hosted by DEELYLAH MULLIN

Mon Oct 30 // Chapter 31 // ADDICTIONS hosted by ANGELICA DAWSON

[no scheduled post on Tuesday, October 31 – Halloween]

Wed Nov 1 // Chapter 32 // ENABLER hosted by 2 CHICKS & A BOOK

Thurs Nov 2 //Chapter 33 // FOOLISH COUGAR hosted by A RISQUÉ BOOK AFFAIR BOOK BLOG

Fri Nov 3 // Chapter 34 // NO MORE hosted by KATE FOREST

Sat Nov 4 // Weekly & to-date recap on mjanecolette.com

Sun Nov 5 // Chapter 35 // CRASH hosted by MISS J MONROE

Mon Nov 6 // Chapter 36 // SUFFERING FOR ART hosted by T&A BOOK BLOG

Nov 7 // Chapter 37 // PLAYING CUPID hosted by MISCHA ELIOT

Wed Nov 8 // Chapter 38 // EMASCULATION hosted by PHOEBE ALEXANDER

Thurs Nov 9 // Chapter 39 // RITUAL hosted by ROMANCE NOVEL GIVEAWAYS

 Fri Nov 10 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com 

Sat Nov 11 // no post, in respect of  Veterans Day in USA and Remembrance Day in Canada

Sun Nov 12 // Chapter 40 // MUSE hosted by SIP READ LOVE

Mon Nov 13 // 41 // CHRISTMAS DAY hosted by DIRTY GIRL ROMANCE

Tues Nov 14 // Chapter 42 // CAST-OFFS hosted by JOJO THE BOOKAHOLIC

Wed Nov 15 // Chapter 43 // VIOLATION hosted by BOOK SNIFFERS ANONYMOUS

Thurs Nov 16 // Chapter 44 // AGAIN WITH THE CONFESSION hosted by WOPSY WOO BOOK BLOG

 Fri Nov 17 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com

Sat Nov 18 // Chapter 45 // FETTERED, FREE hosted by CARRIE AUSTIN REVIEWS

Sun Nov 19 // Chapter 46 // ABSOLUTION hosted by READS2LOVE

Mon Nov 20 // Chapter 47 // THRESHOLD hosted by STEPHANIE’S BOOK REPORTS

FINALE: Tues Nov 21 // Chapter 48 //  AN UNSATISFACTORY ENDING hosted by (UN)CONVENTIONAL BOOK VIEWS

Wed Nov 22 // Full Recap on mjanecolette.com + Cyber Champagne Celebration of the Tour’s Success!

Thurs Nov 30 – GRAND PRIZE WINNERS ANNOUNCED on mjanecolette.com

I’m Just Teasing… #amreading #kdsuspense

Of all the stories I wrote with this suspenseful chick across the pound Didi, this has to be up there as one of my favourite! Never seen before, bonus story #1 Guilty As Charged, In Self Defence…. Our Catherine is quite a character, and the ending will leave you with your mouth open. 🙂

Teaser:

Monday June 1st, 2016, California Supreme Court.

In the lady’s room, I look myself over. I feel good. I take in all the minor details. The sharp fringe of my blunt bob, minimal make-up, my best well-tailored black Chanel skirt suit, sky high red bottom Christian Louboutin heels. Perfect. I feel confident I’ve got this in the bag. I was raised a strict catholic by my mom, I bow my head in prayer before I walk out. Today as confident as I feel I’ll need God on my side. The prosecution lined up a good case. Naturally they have played on her as a money grabbing whore. She was a Las Vegas showgirl, doing what she had to do before she met that bastard. That does not give her a motive for murder… I hope.

***

“All rise please. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we’re here to hear the case of Mrs. Dennessa Chevelle. On trial for the murder of Ronald Chevelle.”

I watch an officer move over to Mrs. Chevelle, and hand her a bible to place her hand on. She gives her plea of not guilty and the show begins. The prosecution swim around her like sharks. A jumped up over confident suit, with way too much hair gel takes the center stage. He tries to break her down. I clinch my jaw, as my eyes watch him prance around the court room.

“Mrs. Chevelle, is it true you were a stripper before you met your late husband?”

“No, well yes but not a stripper I was a performer in Las Vegas. That’s how we met.”

“Right, right.  A performer.

The sarcastic chump uses quotation marks around performer, as he looks over at the jury. My anger rises.

“And how would you describe your financial situation at the time, stable? Or unstable?”

“I… I did not have much that’s true but I got by.”

All eyes rest on Mrs. Chevelle as he pushes her.

“Mrs. Chevelle, if you could please answer the question.”

A low voice leaves Mrs. Chevelle, she lowers her lashes to the ground.

“Unstable.”

“Unstable you say? Is it fair to say a man like Mr. Chevelle was desirable due to his financial status, maybe?”

The fuckin’ douche, he’s wasting no time. I get to my feet and call out to the judge.

“Objection!”

“Ms. O’Neil, please remain seated. As you were Mr. D’Costa.”

I look over at Mrs. Chevelle and hope she doesn’t fall for the trap.

“No, certainly not. How dare you assume such a thing. He was my husband, not a meal ticket!”

That-a-girl Mrs. Chevelle. I take a seat and breathe a sigh of relief. I look over at the jury. Predominantly female, excellent. I’ll let this shark paint whatever picture he wants of Mrs. Chevelle, in my defence case I’ll hit ‘em with the abused woman story and give them some shit the female jury members never got to read in Hello magazine.

***

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, as you can see the prosecution has tried to paint a picture of a money grabber, a whore and a stripper.”

I move closer to the jury, and slowly walk past the stand with confidence as I talk.

“The woman you see over there in that stand, is none of these things.”

I stop for a beat in front of a female juror around Mrs. Chevelle’s age.

“You see that lady over there, she was an abused woman, mentally, physically and emotionally.”

The female juror moves her eyes over to Mrs. Chevelle, she takes a closer look at her on the stand. Right on cue, Mrs. Chevelle blows her nose into her tissue and wipes her eyes. Perfect. I watch the women in the jury stand some more. Their faces move from pinched up discomfort to shock. Beautiful. I walk back across the room to center stage, and command their attention. ….. TO BE CONTINUED!!

 

A suspenseful novel with a twist. Eight short stories, by two suspense authors, from diverse backgrounds. From opposite sides of the Atlantic these stories have been created. One author started the tale and the other ended it. No discussion, no pre-planning, but yet their stories are seamless. With just creativity and the use of writing prompts, to craft one tale, with two different writers. This anthology of suspenseful, fast paced and engaging tales covers multiple genres. From heart felt romance, crime, fantasy, and steamy historical fiction. There is a story for everyone!

Steamy Historical Crime Fiction: It was The First Time I Killed A Man.

It’s 1972 and New York’s first female serial killer Lisa Vanacilli is in the hot seat again, ten years after her conviction of murder to the first degree and innocent plea. The ruthless but sexy reporter Tiffany Low cracks Lisa for a confession… at a price. Lisa is strong, courageous and says it how it is. This story has been extended due to reader’s demand. And is only for adult readers.

Psychological Fiction: Every Time I Hear That Voice From The Basement.

George appears to be harmless. The local neighbourhood geek on the outside, married to Jolene. In reality, he’s a very disturbed man. His path crosses with Dana, the local check out girl. This is a psychological suspense story with a twist.

Crime Fiction: The Entrance To The Tunnel Is His Only Way Out.

Juan is a wanted man, and an ex-gang member on the run from Atlanta to Mexico. With a hundred grand in cash stolen from his ex-boss, he meets an unlikely fate in Mexico. A fast-paced crime fiction story.

Contemporary Romance: When His Hands Run Up My Thighs I…

Love has no time limit, age limit or use by date. Sarah now in her fifties is reunited with her long-lost love Joshua. They last had contact in 1961. In the present day, thanks to the advancement of technology their paths cross. A heart-warming and modern tale, about long distance love, that will leave you warm inside.

Suspense: We Only Said Goodbye With Words, I Died A Hundred Times:

In 1963 Russian Femme Fatale Mila Petrov is London’s top Madam. Her entertainment house is booming, she has a team of London’s strongest women behind her. Unfinished business from her past creeps up and haunts her. It’s nothing she can’t handle. A suspenseful historical tale, with a strong femme fatale.

Fantasy: The Ones Who Live At The Bottom Of The Ocean, Come To The Surface.

A beautiful coming of age story, featuring sixteen year old Zoe and her mother May-Li. Myth becomes reality, as Zoe finds out who and what she really is. Her mixed descent reveals more than what meets the eye. This fantasy story is set against the backdrop of a Greek island and Hong Kong, China.

Suspenseful Crime Fiction: Guilty As Charged, In Self-Defence

California’s sassy, tough, and likeable defence lawyer Catherine has taken on a case so high profile, if she wins she’ll become a partner of Martin Law Firm. Defending forty six year old Mrs. Chevelle. An ex Las Vegas show girl, now a Hollywood wife, on trial for the murder of her high-profile husband. She claims she’s innocent. Readers are taken on a fast -paced journey on a mission to seek the truth.

Contemporary Fiction: It’s A Man’s Man’s World:

A beautiful modern tale showing the love and appreciation of a woman. James Brown said it right when he said, “it’s a man’s man’s world, but it would mean nothing without a woman or a girl.”

 

Updated-Telling-Tales-Weekly-Challenege-Kim-&-Didi

National Novel Writing Month: My Progress Update & Sneek Peek at Romance Set in Paradise Book # 3 #nanowrimo #amwriting #romance

mums

 

Yes, thank you Lord family quality time, dinner, bath and bed time are complete. Late evening here in London and now and it’s time to get serious. We’ve just passed the mid-way point of National Novel Writing Month. I’m joining in for the second time. With all that’s happened so far this July, two books released in the space of one week of each other, it’s not surprising that I’ve had little time to work on my third addition to the Romance Set in Paradise series. I’m only 5,000 words into my target of now 20,000. This one’s a super short heartwarming yet steamy story set in Europe this time – Greece. With a more mature female lead.

I’ve been feeling writing stories set in a era that I love the 1950s- 1960s, especially since we used this era a bit over the last few months for The Suspenseful Collection Volume One, I’ve had my head stuck in this time frame. I particularly love the jazz scene I always have. Ya know when all those cool smoke filled jazz bars popped up. This style of music was just starting to kick in in the UK, from research we had our own take on the bebop style of music. I imagine women on stage with elegant dresses singing the blues, with piano and saxophone players in the background. I really like this era.

I’m writing this love story for my characters  using flashback, something I have done before in stories to tell a tale, but not to this area.

Anyways, here’s an unedited little snippet of what I’ve got so far. All writers taking part this July, I hope your word count is doing better than mine! We’ve got two weeks to get stuck in… here goes tonight I am working on it as I plan to have a weekend free of writing and have some much needed fun and celebration two books released in one month? I deserve a drink!

Excerpt: Book #3 Romance Set in Paradise – I’m not tellin’ you the title yet! 🙂

 

1960 Maurice’s Place, Oxford Street Central London

Jane slightly lifts the hem of her elegant black dress as she steps down from the stage. The crowd cheer and clap, begging her for more. She just gave them all she had, while singing a very heartfelt version of Smokey Robinson’s Who is Loving You? As much as she wants to be up there on the stage again, with all eyes on her she must take a breather. Her voice would not last the full week if she keeps singing with such heart, without a rest. Heads turn and smiles come her way as she walks confidently through the crowds. Through the smoke-filled room she heads over to the bar and takes a seat.

“You did great up there, Jane you sounded amazing.”

“Why thanks Jenelle, that means so much coming from you.”

“I mean it, don’t sell yourself short. You should seriously think about coming back with us to New Orleans when we return. We could do with a blue eyed soulful sista.”

Jenelle playfully laughs and places an arm around Jane’s shoulders. A dry martin slides up between them. Jane is still not quite used to the star treatment she receives every time she sings over at Maurice’s Place. She ponders Jenelle’s proposal as she places a thin smoke in its holder. Jenelle fires a match for her to light her smoke. After the first satisfying drag, she leans back in the high backed bar stool and looks around.

Maurice’s place has felt like home to her for almost a year now. At just sixteen years old she left school with decent qualifications, then bummed around for two years deciding what to do with her life. At seventeen years old she scored her first stage role at Maurice’s Place. She works behind the bar three nights a week and spends the other two on stage.

New Orleans would be like a dream come true, she has always loved to sing, but only started to take it seriously over the last year. Maybe New Orleans could give her the big break she wants. The Jazz scene in London is starting to pick up, just a year earlier Ronnie Scott opened up a new Jazz room in Soho, but thoughts of being on stage in the USA leave Jane with a twinkle in her eye.

The lights in the room dip, hushing the crowds relaxing in the comfy sofas and high back chairs, sitting around small round tables. All eyes move to the centre of the room. A group of three men set themselves up on the stage. One lead singer, one saxophone player and one piano player. The smooth vocals of the male lead singer float through the air, Jane is mesmerised by his showmanship and voice. But it’s the saxophone player who piques her interest. She studies him as his skillful fingers move over the his instrument. He’s lost in the music, he pulls Jane in.

“So what do ya say Jane?”

The corner of Jenelle’s lips turn up slowly as she watches her friend under the spell of the musicians on stage. Jane’s eyes are fixed on the saxophone player, her smoke has long reached the end and burnt out. Yet she holds it posed between her fingers as if it’s still smouldering. Jenelle laughs to herself and moves her hand over Jane’s vision, to snap her out of her daze.

“Earth to Jane, earth to Jane anyone home?”

“Gosh, I’m sorry Jenelle, did you say something?”

“Look at you! All caught up in the music… or is it Mr. Sax player?”

Jane moves her eyes away from the stage, and joins in the girly laughing with her girlfriend. Tipping her burnt out smoke in the ashtray, she reaches for another one. Before she answers Jenelle’s question she studies Mr. Sax on stage playing his tune some more, and sips her martini.

“My, he’s handsome don’t ya think Jenelle?”

“More than handsome, he sure can play too.”

“Hmm, I’ve never seen this band before have you?”

“Not here no, they have played over at Ronnie Scott’s a few times. I was over there just last week. They brought the house down at Ronnie’s!”

Jane meets Jenelle’s eyes.

“ Really, they were over at Ronnie’s place. Gosh, I can imagine, they sound great.”

“You never answered my question, what about New Orleans? I’m serious.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, of course?”

“You think I could make it over there? Would I be welcome in your community Jenelle?”

“Jane, don’t worry about skin colour, it’s not about that it’s about the music, the voice, the stage presence. All of which you have honey, don’t let that racial segregation shit get to you.”

“Hmm I guess so, you’re right.”

“Plus, that Martin Luther King, he’s doing all he can to help everyone in the USA move forward.”

“You’re right, let me give it some thought.”

“You do that, I’d love you to come over.”

Both ladies smile at each other and toast their martini glasses.

TO BE CONTINUED! 🙂