It has been a couple of weeks since my latest novel was launched.
Thanks to the wonderful book bloggers who took part in the blog tour and to those of you who have read and reviewed the book.
‘An expertly crafted masterpiece! An edgy and unpredictable rollercoaster of a ride.’
Byddi Lee (Rejuvenation trilogy)
Sarah Stewart Taylor (Maggie D’arcy mysteries)
‘A compelling and brilliant read.’
Sharon Dempsey (Lainey and Stowe mysteries)
More than a literary thriller…
Powerful men can get away with murder…for only so long.
After a life of hardship, Mary Jane McCord’s life in Rapid City, South Dakota, finally hits a sweet spot. She finds happiness and her singing career takes off. Everything is looking up until she uncovers the dark and secret obsessions of two high-profile men.
Twenty years pass but the people closest to Mary Jane have not forgotten.
Will they bring the truth out into the light?
Now for an excerpt:
She has not expected this. Has not expected her father would have a bicycle instead of a car. She must widen her pace to catch him up as he pushes it, moving quickly through the thickets.
I only found out about you a few weeks ago, MJ says. You’re not upset with Mom about that, are you? I’ve always wanted to come to Memphis, I don’t know why. A few kids I know are applying to school here. I know one girl, Dixie, who is already here. She’s older than me. I don’t click much with girls my own age. Well, there is Celena but she doesn’t go to my school. She won’t go to college. Probably I won’t either, but if I could, I’d like to come here, to Memphis.
MJ pauses, hoping he will not think that she has only wanted to meet him so she might now have a college plan. She can’t stop talking and thinks it best to acknowledge.
That day I called you, she says, I am sorry I talked so much but I was nervous, see. It’s a worrisome thing to do, to talk to you for the first time.
He looks back over his shoulder, his eyes pinning hers. Art seems to sigh. MJ giggles, hoping it will chase away the awkwardness.
They walk through a forest of tulip trees, eastern white pine and wisteria. They walk for what feels like two miles. Every time she goes to ask him something she stops herself.
If she says: Where is your car? will he be disappointed in her? Maybe he just likes the exercise. He does look very fit. Wiry, almost.
Besides, MJ has no right to ask Art anything, as he asks nothing of her, just pushes his bike through the fern until they come to a little log house. The garden is overgrown with weeds, far worse than at the ranch back home.
Your house is nice, MJ says as they walk into the honey-hued living room with black bear themed d’cor. The rug on the floor and the cushions have black bear motifs.
There is a still on the wall from an ice hockey match.
The place looks clean enough though there is a bad smell, maybe it’s coming from Art’s coat. Maybe he needs a new one, maybe it is the only thing he could find before he left to fetch her. She is not ungrateful, she really isn’t.
Hungry? he asks.
Yes, she says.
MJ’s relief is at its highest pitch, glad of a subject Art has broached himself. He turns on the TV and sits down to watch a documentary, every so often glimpsing her from the corner of his eye.
You like wildlife documentaries? she asks.
Yep, he says, standing to fetch a knife and sharpen it without looking.
Do you mind if I put my clothes in the closet?
Art grunts a positive response. MJ goes to walk into the bedroom but he comes over and holds the handle firmly, he looks at the couch. Okay, he decides and pushes the door open, the knife is hanging by his thigh.
There is a clean pile of bed linen that Art pulls off the wood-framed bed and sets on the couch then he stares at MJ again.
I’ll just clean up before we eat, okay? MJ says and Art nods.
She closes the door and starts to strip the bed, then she stops and sits down, slightly confused. She cannot see Art and her mom together, but maybe he was handsome when he was younger, MJ is not thinking that he is not now. She is not rude like that.
Looks aren’t everything and she supposes he is intense. There is something about him, but she only feels warmly toward him through knowing that she is his daughter.
MJ doesn’t suppose many women would find him as ‘hot’ as her mother once did. But then again, her mother can find sex anywhere: eggplants, burger buns side by side. Marjorie McCord is a metal detector for innuendo.
MJ looks at the stains and the small curly hairs on Art’s bedsheet and resigns herself that she will sleep in her clothes and change in the morning. She is tired from travel and lies down, closing her eyes for fifteen minutes or so before her father enters the room without warning, startling her, telling her supper is ready. Still wearing that smelly coat of his.
In the living room, MJ sits on the armchair, with him on the couch, his spare bedding over his knee.
He leans forward and hands her a plate of meat. Nothing else. Where is your wife? MJ asks as she pitches a piece of meat on her fork.
Where is my wife? That is the question, Art says with a smirk.
Or directly from Friday Press