BOOK BLAST: Vacant by Alex Hughes


Posted by Ryder Islington, Author of Ultimate Justice, A Trey Fontaine Mystery, and coming next spring, Ultimate Game, A Trey Fontaine Mystery.

Book Details:

Genre: Science Fiction / Mystery-Thriller

Published by: Penguin (Roc)

Publication Date: December 2, 2014

Number of Pages: 352

ISBN: 0451466942

Series: Mindspace Investigation, #4

More: This Book Contains Excessive Strong Language

Purchase Links:

 

Synopsis:

Nothing ruins a romantic evening like a brawl with lowlifes—especially when one of them later turns up dead and my date, Detective Isabella Cherabino, is the #1 suspect. My history with the Atlanta PD on both sides of the law makes me an unreliable witness, so while Cherabino is suspended, I’m paying my bills by taking an FBI gig.

I’ve been hired to play telepathic bodyguard for Tommy, the ten-year-old son of a superior court judge in Savannah presiding over the murder trial of a mob-connected mogul. After an attempt on the kid’s life, the Feds believe he’s been targeted by the businessman’s “associates.”

Turns out, Tommy’s a nascent telepath, so I’m trying to help him get a handle on his Ability. But it doesn’t take a mind reader to see that there’s something going on with this kid’s parents that’s stressing him out more than a death threat…

 

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

A sea of thoughts crashed into me like a tsunami, chaos given form with impossible force. I focused only on the back of Isabella’s sweatshirt, as I followed her through the crowds, past the food on the outside rim of Phillips Arena.

She finally moved into one of the alcoves with the big sign–A something and a number. My eyes were in slits, focused only on her to block out all those damn minds. She stopped against the concrete wall, pulling me a bit out of the way. The crowd pushed against my shoulder periodically anyway, bursts of particular minds striking mine as their bodies ran into my shoulder.

She said something.

“What?”

“This was a terrible idea,” Isabella said, in the tone of someone repeating themselves. “You’re not…”

“It’s fine,” I said, through gritted teeth. “You paid all the money for the tickets, You begged me to come. We’re here. Let’s see the show.”

“But–” Isabella waffled. Isabella Cherabino was a senior homicide detective for the DeKalb County Police Department, and as such was normally decisive. She must have had strong emotions about this concert, which I’d know if I wasn’t spending every spare bit of my energy shielding against the crush of minds all around me. There were times when telepathy was more of a curse than a blessing.

“It’s okay,” I said. It wasn’t, of course, but I was here, damn it. Might as well get through this.

She pulled me further down the hall, and waved our tickets again at new people, who pointed her down a set of stairs. I followed, one step behind her, entire vision focused on the back of her shirt.

The ancient twice-remodeled stadium hosted hockey games, so it wasn’t exactly gorgeous, and the floating screens overhead looked like they’d fall down at any time. The whole place smelled like fried food and beer, old beer, but that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was the people. Maybe a hundred thousand people were jostling and yelling and talking and thinking around me, loudly. Their mental waves in Mindspace, groups upon groups of thin, normal mind-waves, added up to an ocean of force that overwhelmed all of my senses.

She found our seats and pushed me into mine. I gripped the ancient wooden armrests with shaking hands.

I had no idea how she’d talked me into this. Telepaths did not like crowds. I hadn’t had to deal with this level of overwhelming mental force since my final testing, more than twenty years ago now, and I strained under the pressure like a piano suspended over a cartoon character’s head. I swallowed, forcing myself against it.

My old teacher’s voice in my head reminded me that strength didn’t always get the job done, no matter how manly it felt at the time. Sometimes you had to be the duck, and swim with the current while the rain slipped off your back. I tried that, focusing on moving through the pressure cleanly rather than blocking it. A surfer on the edge of the sea, pushed along but not fighting. It helped, but only some.

Then Isabella reached over and took my hand, and warm feelings leavened with a little guilt rolled up my arm.

“Thank you for coming, Adam,” she said, quietly. With the physical connection I could feel her even through my shielding.

And I looked over, and remembered why I’d come. I was with her.

Isabella was a beautiful woman with strong Italian features, thick, slightly-curly hair she usually wore up, and a curvy body well worth a second look. She was a few years younger than me at just-forty, had a black belt in something Asian and deadly, and was one of the smartest people I knew. Her sense of justice in working with the police had been one of the things that had kept me on the wagon these last four years.

er strength of character and huge work ethic had been an inspiration for far longer.

It was impossible for me to believe that she was willing to date me; I’d been in love with her for years, and even though I couldn’t say it out loud yet, and even though we hadn’t had sex–she hadn’t been willing to make the nearly-permanent commitment sex with a telepath implied–we were dating. Four months and change now. And she’d been falling asleep in my arms nearly as long. She’d even filled out the official relationship form with the department, calling me boyfriend in plain text where anyone could read it. It was a miracle, as far as I was concerned.

So if I had to stand in the middle of the worst press of minds in my life, I would. I’d do nearly anything for her.

After ten minutes or so, the lights dimmed and the crowd roared. The minds roared too, pressing against my consciousness like a hand squeezing a tube of toothpaste with the lid still on–like that lid, I felt under pressure, impossibly strained. I wondered whether I’d really be able to survive this.

The screens came on, and the image of the aging rock musician Cherabino liked came on in a still photograph. Then the image fractured to be replaced by the concert logo. The crowd roared, and Mindspace trembled with pressure and interacting minds. Only two hours until it was over. She’d spent a fortune on the tickets, I told myself.

A manufactured smell–of volcanic gas, engine oil, and ozone–flooded the stadium, and the roaring of the crowd grew louder. Then the lights dimmed, green spotlights flooded the empty stage floor in front of us. The smell of deep woods added to the mix in the air, growing things and moss and sunlight cutting through the darker smells of civilization. The smell came back to me from the minds around me, lessening the pressure with pure sensation.

A trapdoor opened in the middle of the stage, and a figure was slowly raised into the green light. The rocker’s peaked hair caught the light with glitter and phantom holograms, and the clothes were not much better, tight-fitting to a fault, glittering. She slung her spiky guitar in front of her body, and strummed.

The noise filled the stadium and every mind in it, shaking our seats with pure sound. Isabella next to me was transfixed, her focus coming through between our psychic link.

The minds around me echoed back the sound of the opening bars of the song, echoed back the lights now turning red as the rocker screamed about dropping bombs, about bursting minds in the sixty-year-ago Tech Wars. And as she quieted, and sungintense notes about a child growing up in a shattered city, every mind in the place cried with her.

I dropped my shields, dropped them entirely, and pulled my hand away from Isabella.

“What?” she said.

“Shh,” I said. The band was rising up at the back of the stage on more platforms from the floor, the lights ramping up, but I didn’t care. I closed my eyes.

The music swelled in screams again, drums coming in, and the beat fell into the minds of the crowd, rising too. The vision of what was happening on stage came through a thousand minds, an overlapping kaleidoscope vision of one idea, one experience, one moment. And it continued. It continued.

No one was here who didn’t love this band. No one paid who didn’t live for this moment. And here, in the middle of all of it, I felt like a feather flying in the wind, a glider sailing on the sea of emotional high. The music swelled again, and my heart with it. Sound and vision and fury and a thousand happy minds crashed into me, and I breathed them in. I breathed them in.

Some time later, the world dissipated into a sea of clapping, and I came back to myself. I built shields, slowly, to block out the Mindspace now fracturing into chaos. The pressure, the unpleasantness returned, and I returned to laboring against it, but left in my mind was that one, pure note, the note that had started it all.

Isabella poked me.

“What?” I said, reluctantly opening my eyes.

“I said, did you like it?”

“That was… that was great,” I said. It was the understatement of the century.

“Are you okay?” she asked. Then she got that facial expression where she wondered if she needed to call Swartz, my Narcotics Anonymous sponsor. “You look… high.”

“Just the concert,” I said. I stood then; someone pushed by on their way to the aisle. “Can we hang around until most of the people are gone?” I asked. I’d rather not deal with all those minds wanting so desperately to get out of here; I was already feeling the edge of that flight response and didn’t want it intensified.

“Sure,” she said, but she looked at me suspiciously.

As another couple moved out of the row, squeezing in front of us, I realized I had to make an effort at conversation now. I really wanted to sit down and process what I’d just experienced–something I’d never, in my forty years, even dreamed of–but this was Isabella.

“What did you think of the ballad about the miniature giraffe?” I asked her.

“That was hilarious,” she said, still looking suspicious. But she sat down, and I sat down, and as people moved out of the old stadium like ants and strange smells moved through the system, we talked.

After awhile she was even smiling.

I’d done well tonight, I thought to myself. But at the back of my brain, I wondered. Did I really need something else in my life that was that… addictive?

#

We waited over an hour, until the majority of the minds had left. When we walked out of the arena building, it was dark, and the street was nearly deserted, just a few clusters of people here and there. Our breath fogged in the late-February air, the winter on its last greedy weeks of cold. Bioengineered trees with luminescent glowing orbs illuminated the sidewalk in dim blue light that stretched farther than you thought it should, beautiful and simple, feeling artificial and natural all at once. They held up well to the cold, I noticed, as I huddled in my jacket a little deeper.

A small group of guys stood about a hundred feet away, their body language tense and confrontational. Cherabino’s hand moved towards the gun on her waist she wasn’t carrying.

Then one guy yelled, and the group turned inward. The dull slap of repeated fist-blows hit the air.

Cherabino considered whether to get involved.

I turned—but it was too late. A man stood there, at least fifty-five and thin. He was short for a man, balding, with dark skin that caught up blue highlights from the bioluminescent streetlight. In Mindspace, his presence had wiry strength and desperation mixed. He held a pole as tall as himself, maybe fifty t-shirts hooked into loops on the pole, shirts with a cheaply-copied logo of the band we’d just seen.

“Buy a shirt. Just ten ROCs,” he said, but his tone was angry.

“No thanks,” I said.

“Keep moving, sir,” Cherabino said, a little of her cop voice leaking into her speech, moving towards a defensive stance.

Another guy came up, behind us, one of the ones from the group who’d been fighting. The others held back, working out their aggression, close to leaving. I moved around to look at him.

“Buy a shirt or my buddy and I have something to say.”

“No way those are official shirts,” I said. “You’re stealing from the artist.”

I felt the first guy’s decision, but Cherabino was already moving.

Pain from behind me. Cherabino in judo mode.

The buddy charged me. I went to get a grip on his mind—and failed.

He punched me in the jaw. I saw stars, and my legs went out from underneath me.

I blinked up, trying to get my bearings, but he kicked me. I whimpered. Not the most manly moment, but it hurt, damn it. I pushed back up.

Cherabino was over me, then, badge out in the guy’s face. “Police,” she said.

She went flying and somebody kicked me back down again. I put my hands over my head to protect it and tried to get a grip on the guy’s mind one more time. Slippery fellow—we had bad valence, terrible valence, and I couldn’t get a grip.

I went for the first one—and him I could grip. I hit the center of his mind, knocking him out. He slumped down, landing on top of the abandoned t-shirt rack.

I got up to my knees just in time to watch Cherabino punch the buddy in the face. “Police,” she said, standing over him. “Don’t ever let me see you around here again.”

“Shouldn’t you arrest them?” I asked.

She considered it, then gave me a hand up.

The buddy took off running, and she let him go. “Not worth interrupting my date over,” she said.

She glanced back at the guy I’d knocked out. Then sighed. “Is there a way to wake him up? Leaving him unconscious probably isn’t the best of ideas.”

I took a look at my handiwork in Mindspace. “If I wake him right now he’ll have the world’s worst headache.”

“Serve him right. Do it. Then let’s get out of here.”

#

We walked back to the parking garage across the street, her feet moving faster than I preferred. Her anger was still in play. Mine too. We shouldn’t have gotten involved in a stupid fight outside of Philips.

She found her car, an old beat up sedan, where she’d left it on the fourth floor. Her parking job was crooked, which was typical for her. She unlocked the car and let us in.

“You sure we shouldn’t have arrested them?” I asked, as I swung myself down into the seat.

“We’re in Fulton County and off-duty. More trouble than it’s worth,” she said, but wasn’t exactly happy about it. She turned on the fusion engine, it slowly warming up with a whine.

I closed the door. My body was calm by now, my heartbeat more settled, but I still felt jumpy, still felt too sensitive. I was open to Mindspace, monitoring what was going on, which is why I felt it.

All at once, I felt a shift in the world, a collapsing in, a hole disappearing into the fabric of Mindspace. A cold wind across my sense of the future, itching and then gone. A mile away, perhaps, just at the edge of my senses for even the strongest signal. A mile away behind us.

My stomach sank. “Someone just died.”

“What?” she said.

“Someone just died behind us. Violently, to be that strong.”

“Murder?” she asked.

“Or they fell off a building and impacted the ground. Strong, violent stuff.”

She sighed. I felt her considering.

“Go ahead and turn around,” I said. She was a workaholic, and obligated to the department. Getting in the way of her job wasn’t going to get me anywhere. And the feeling of that death bothered me. I wanted to know what was going on.

“But—”

“It’s fine,” I said. “Let’s find out who died.”

“Okay.” So she turned the car around.

 

Author Bio:

Alex Hughes, the author of the award-winning Mindspace Investigations series from Roc, has lived in the Atlanta area since the age of eight. She is a graduate of the prestigious Odyssey Writing Workshop, and a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers. Her short fiction has been published in several markets including EveryDay Fiction, Thunder on the Battlefield and White Cat Magazine. She is an avid cook and foodie, a trivia buff, and a science geek, and loves to talk about neuroscience, the Food Network, and writing craft—but not necessarily all at the same time! You can visit her at

You can visit her at:

 

Tour Participants:

This is the tour schedule as of 11/30/14 & is subject to change.

1. Urban Girl Reader
2. Beans Book Reviews
3. Ryder Islingtons Blog
4. FictionZeal
5. Mommabears Book Blog
6. Marys Cup of Tea
7. Literary R&R
8. Bless Their Hearts Mom
9. Hott Books
10. Bunnys Review
11. Sapphyrias Book Reviews

 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

SHOWCASE: The Silence by


Posted by Ryder Islington, Author of ULTIMATE JUSTICE, A Trey Fontaine Mystery

 

 

The Silence

by Alison Bruce

on Tour July 2014

 

Book Details:

Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Crime

Published by: Witness Impulse

Publication Date: 06/24/2014

Number of Pages: 293

ISBN: 9780062314208

Purchase Links:

Synopsis:

DC Gary Goodhew searches for the link between an old woman’s terminal illness, a brutal murder, and a series of suicides in Cambridge.

Joey McCarthy is stabbed to death in a parking lot in a random act of violence. Shortly afterward, Charlotte Stone’s terminally ill mother dies and then, within weeks, two of her teenage friends commit suicide. With her home life disintegrating and both her father and brother racing toward self-destruction, Charlotte realizes that her own personal nightmare is just beginning.

When Gary Goodhew, a loveable, warm-hearted detective, finds the body of another suicide victim, he is forced to recall some deeply buried memories of an investigation that had a profound effect on him-memories that lead him to Charlotte Stone. Working together, they begin to wonder whether all these tragedies are somehow linked. And if they are, who will be the next victim?

 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read an excerpt:

 

ONELibby wrote: Hi, Zoe, thanks for the friend request. How are you? Iheard you died.

‘Doing well for a dead person. LOL.’

There was a gap of a few minutes before Libby replied. Sorry, that was bad taste.

Then there was a gap of a few minutes more.

‘I heard about your sister,’ Zoe wrote. ‘You know she was in my year

at school?’

Of course. Your profile picture comes from your class photo. I think you’re standing just behind Rosie. She’s got a funny look on her face, told me once how you pulled her hair just as the flash went off.

‘Yeah, I was in the back row and we were all standing on gym benches. The kids in her row were messing around, trying to get us to fall off. Mrs Hurley saw me wobble and yelled at me. I tugged Rosie’s hair to get my own back. I reckon that was Year Seven or Eight. I don’t remem- ber seeing Rosie much after that.’

Libby had hesitated over the keyboard. She didn’t want this to become nothing more than awkward and pointless chit-chat. She had an opportunity here and, although she guessed it was going to be difficult to get things started, she knew that she needed to do it.

I have a proposition . . . a favour, I suppose. You see, I don’t have anyone to talk to. Rosie’s death left a hole, but there’s more and, if I’m honest, I’m struggling a bit. I’ve tried writing it down, but it just doesn’t

work. I get so far, then I’m stuck. So I wondered if I could message you?

‘Do you think that would work?’

I don’t know, but I’d like to try. I thought you might ask me some ques- tions, prompt me to look at things differently. Or maybe I just need to let things out, I’m not sure. The point is, I need to talk.

Those first messages took up little space on her computer screen, yet Libby felt as though getting even that far had taken up the equivalent effort of a 2,000-word essay. She had worked hard to balance her words, to load them equally between truthfulness and understatement. I need to talk had been a tough admission, as it stank of being unable to cope. The last thing she had wanted, through all of this, had been to load anyone else with any part of this burden. But she now accepted that it was the only way to move forward. She thought of Nathan and wished she could speak to him or her parents even, but they were almost as inac- cessible as her brother.

And what about Matt?

No, when she looked at him she recognized what other people saw when they looked at her. It was a hollowness that scared her.

She read Zoe’s ‘Okay’ and nodded to herself. This was something

she had to do.

I’m not sure where to start, she told Zoe.

‘Begin with Rosie.’

Libby took a deep breath. Rosie, Rosie.

Rosie was in your year, Nathan was one year below, and then there was me, two years below him. I’m 18 now, just to save you working it out, and I’m at sixth form college. The course is a bunch of ‘A’ levels and the college propectus calls them a ‘Foundation in Accountancy’. I’d always wanted to work with small children, but I assumed I’d just leave school and get a job in an office or something.

Instead I chose this course. I gave them all the spiel but, in truth, the only reason I’m doing it is because they were the same ‘A’ levels that Rosie took. She was going to get a degree. She wanted to be a primary school teacher one day, and I bet she would have managed it.

I’m explaining it this way because it shows what Rosie and I were

like; how we were similar but different. On a parallel track except I was always a little bit behind, and a little bit in her shadow.

‘But she was three years older?’

Yes, and I’m almost the same age now, but I still haven’t caught up with her in so many ways. And you’re misunderstanding me if you think I feel that’s a bad thing. I was happy in her shadow: it was always a safe and comfortable place to be.

For my entire childhood I could look up and see Rosie and Nathan. Rosie teased Nathan, and Nathan teased me; that was our pecking order. And if Nathan ever upset me, Rosie stepped in, or the other way round.

I can’t remember one single time when I didn’t have one or other of them to look after me.

Anyhow, now I feel like I need to follow in her footsteps, at least for a little while. I’m not ready to let go of her yet, so I sit in the same lectures and try my hardest to get grades as good as hers. That’s what got me through school. It’s like she’s been there before me and I can feel her looking over my shoulder. She says ‘Go on, Bibs, you can do it.’ No one calls me Bibs any more, and I wouldn’t want them to.

Then after a gap of almost twenty minutes, Libby added, Can I mes- sage you tomorrow?

‘Of course.’

TWO

What do you know about Rosie’s death?

‘Just bits and pieces – you know how fragments of information fly about.’

Can I tell you?

‘Only if you want to.’

The short version is that she went to the cinema and never came back. The short version is important to remember, because to me that’s how it happened. I was in my bedroom – my hair was three or four inches longer then, and I was straightening it. Rosie heard me swear- ing, came into the room and finished the section that I couldn’t reach properly.

I told her she looked nice, but I was too wrapped up in my own night out to pay her much attention; later that night, Mum and Dad asked me what she’d been wearing and I just couldn’t remember. I knew that, when she put the hair straighteners on my dressing-table, I noticed that she’d had her nails repainted a slightly metallic shade of purple.

And that’s really all I could remember. I can’t remember which cinema, which film or if she said who she was going with. I can’t remember a single word she said, just the touch of her fingers as she separated the strands of my hair, and the colour of her nails as she finished.

I tell myself that I can’t remember all those things because I never knew them, that she’d never shared the details with me. I don’t believe though that she would have ever gone to watch a film on her own. And I find it equally hard to believe that I wouldn’t have said, ‘Who are you going with?’

I went to the beauty salon a couple of weeks later and bought a bottle of that same nail polish. I’ve still got it in my drawer.

I returned home just before 1 a.m. I came back in a taxi and, as it pulled up, I noticed the lights on in our front room, with the cur- tains open. I could make out Mum and Dad standing apart from one another. It was only a brief glimpse but I felt uneasy and hurried inside.

Nathan was there too. You can see our kitchen as soon as you walk through the front door and he was standing by the kettle, pouring boil- ing water into three mugs.

‘What’s happened?’ I mouthed at him.

‘They tried to ring you because they can’t get hold of Rosie. But your

phone was off.’

In that case, I reasoned, they wouldn’t get hold of me either, would they? Why were they so worried about her when they weren’t worried about me?

I can’t really remember how I felt at that moment. I think I wondered why there was this amount of fuss. Or maybe I realized something was up. Mum’s always been a bit paranoid, and Rosie had only passed her driving test a few months before.

Dad called through from the front room and asked me what Rosie had said to me about her plans for the evening. Mum snapped at him, told him to get to the point. He snapped back.

Then he turned to me and started, ‘It’s probably nothing, but . . .’ Even now those words always fill me with dread.

Rosie had told Mum that she’d be back by eleven. No biggie on its own, but Nathan had been playing an away match for the Carlton Arms pool team, and she’d promised him a lift home. Her phone kept going straight to voicemail, so he waited for her till 11.30, then rang our par- ents as he walked home.

Like I said, it never took much to make Mum start worrying, and this was plenty. Nathan said she’d made Dad phone the police at half-past midnight. I suppose there wasn’t much the police could say at that point, except to let us know that they’d had no incidents involving anyone called Rose, Rosie or Rosalyn, or with the surname Brett.

Straight after I got home, Mum told him to call the police again. He was kept on hold for a while, and said they were being very polite and understanding, but I could tell that they’d left him with the feeling that he was totally overreacting.

I don’t know if you remember much about my dad, but he’s a stub- born bloke, and when he makes his mind up about something, it’s really hard to get him to shift. ‘That’s enough now,’ he decided, and demanded that we all go and get some sleep.

So of course Mum started to argue with him, and he refused to budge. I looked at Nathan, and he just raised his eyebrows. It wasn’t like we hadn’t seen it all countless times before.

We left them there to wrangle, although I don’t remember hearing another sound from them.

I lay down on my bed fully dressed, and let the rest of the house think I’d gone to sleep. I heard Nathan’s door close, and imagined him in the next room, doing exactly the same. I don’t think I slept at all. Maybe it wasn’t like that, but that’s how I remember it.

If I did stay awake, it wasn’t because I was scared for Rosie. I didn’t believe for one second that I’d never see her again. It was more that I kind of felt out of kilter.

Funny phrase that: out of kilter. I don’t even know what a kilter is. And that’s the point. I knew something was up, but I didn’t have enough experience to guess . . .

Libby’s intended words had trailed off to nothing. The minutes ticked by as she tried to finish the paragraph, but didn’t think she could. For a moment she was tempted to delete the whole page, but that would amount to avoiding talking about Rosie. She could promise herself to type it again, but she knew that it wouldn’t happen.

She pressed ‘send’.

Zoe’s reply was typically short: ‘Can you tell me what happened?’ Libby gave a little smile. In Zoe’s photo she had cropped dark hair

and the type of face that looked serious even in the middle of a grin. Zoe didn’t need her messages surrounded by frilly words. This was exactly the reason she had picked Zoe to talk to; with her it was okay to be blunt, which in turn took away the excuse to give up. Libby typed quickly.

They found Rosie’s car first, parked up on a bridge crossing the A14. Her body was about half a mile away down on the carriageway. She’d been run over. More than that, actually, but I think, to explain it all . . . I just can’t do that right now.

Can I just say ‘multiple injuries’ and tell you the rest some other

time? The press referred to it as suicide.

The police were more cautious and listed other factors: bad weather, poor visibility, heavy traffic and so on. The A14 is notorious for its high accident rate. They never found out what had really happened. At least that’s what they told us, but I have a feeling that they did know. They just couldn’t prove it, and in the end, the verdict was left open.

I couldn’t grasp it at first. It didn’t seem possible. Even at Rosie’s funeral it didn’t seem real, then finally, when I understood that she really was dead, the questions started to form in my head. Little things at first. Had she ever made it to the cinema? Which film had she seen? Who had she gone with?

I asked myself: what was it that had prompted her to drive out any- where near the A14?

I also wondered how long it’d taken for her to die. I didn’t go to the inquest, Mum and Dad were there, but I could hardly ask them. It’s questions like that which make me worry that I have become overly morbid.

My list of questions grows, and I can’t stop it. And when I don’t have proper explanations, I start to invent the answers. It’s a bad habit and I feel like my life is only half lit now, and instead of looking to the light, I’m turning towards the darkest corners. I’ve got it into my head that there is some evil lurking just out of sight. And I’m straining to see it.

You see, I thought things couldn’t get worse, and that losing Rosie was enough.

In fact, it was enough. But what has happened since is too much.

Author Bio:

Alison Bruce was born in Surrey but moved to Cambridge in 1998. She is the author of three other Gary Goodhew books, Cambridge Blue, The Siren, and The Calling. She is married with two children.

Catch Up With the Alison:

Tour Participants:

Schedule:

7/01 ~ Showcase @ Deal Sharing Aunt (USA)
7/03 ~ Interview @ 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!
7/07 ~ Review @ Savingfor6
7/08 ~ Showcase @ X-Mas Dolly
7/09 ~ Showcase @ The Pen and Muse
7/15 ~ @ Babs Book Bistro
7/16 ~ Showcase @ Books Books & More Books
7/22 ~ Review @ Real Army of Moms
7/24 ~ Showcase @ Ryder Islingtons Blog
7/28 ~ Review @ bless their hearts mom
7/29 ~ Showcase @ Hott Books
7/30 ~ Showcase @ A Blue Million Books

The She Writes Southern Writers 4th of July Countdown Blog Tour


As a Southern Belle, I’m happy to announce that I’m part of the She Writes Southern Writers 4th of July Countdown Tour. The women of She Writes are quite a group and I’m glad to be a member of the site, as well as the group of Southern Writers. We decided it was time to share some of the ambiance and eccentricities of Southern Life. The tour starts June 27th, so, please take time out to visit the sites and enjoy the humor, fun facts and interesting lifestyles of the great South.

===TOUR SCHEDULE====

DATE: Wed. June 27
Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge / Ramey Channell
My Writing Journey / Charity Bradford

DATE: Th. June 28
Ruminations and Reflections / Rebecca Elswick
Holly’s Narrative Dream / Holly Raychelle Hughes

DATE: Fri. June 29
Musings & Meanderings: Thoughts on Life and Healing / Melanie Pennington
The Full-Bodied (Book) Blog / Zetta Brown*

DATE: Sat. June 30
Delani Bartlette’s Blog at Matador U / Delani Bartlette
Emily Kennedy’s Blog / Emily Kennedy

DATE: Sun. July 1
Ryder Islington’s Blog / Ryder Islington*
A Penny and Change / Penny Leisch*

DATE: Mon. July 2
Zetta’s House of Random Thoughts / Zetta Brown
High Heels and Hot Flashes / Debra Elliott*

DATE: Tue. July 3
A Penny’s Worth / Penny Leisch*
The Novellette / Laura Gschwandtner*