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About the author:
She is a member of the Authors Guild, RWA (Romance Writers of America), SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), and SFWA (Science Fiction Fantasy Writers of America).
Here is a short sample from the book:
Sylvie left the lights on in the living room and went back to her office. Maybe she could watch a movie on her laptop. Meagan used to do it all the time. Of course she didn’t have dial-up. Sylvie sat down and started fiddling with the keys. She noticed her picture file and stared at it a moment, then choked up. Sara had sent her photos of her father’s wedding. There were several pictures of Connor among them. She opened the file and then quickly closed it again. Seeing images of his smiling face, looking at her like he cared, would rip her heart out, tear it to shreds. Connor had always told her their relationship wasn’t permanent, that he was incapable of love, but she hadn’t believed him. His words didn’t jibe with the way he looked at her sometimes. She thought… What? That she could bring him around? That he’d fall to his knees and declare his undying love for her? Didn’t happen did it Sylvie? The voice inside her taunted. Girls like her weren’t destined to marry prince charming. Fact was Connor was an aberration. Handsome men never looked at girls like her: the shy clumsy ones, the plain, skinny, flat-chested, freckle-faced ones. She wished she’d never laid eyes on Connor. She was fine with her life before. She’d accepted who and what she was. The girl who’d never had a boyfriend. Who was destined to be an old maid. Then he’d come into her life and made her believe she was something she wasn’t. She wasn’t pretty or charming or witty or elegant. She was nothing! And that’s the way he’d treated her! Tears flooded her eyes again. The pity party had begun!
Sylvie wanted to crawl under a rock and die…but then she thought of Jameson, Sean, and the Frommer twins. If she was such a loser, why were they sniffing around her? She didn’t know, but it made her uneasy. These guys were millionaires and billionaires. What did they want with her? Jameson wanted an editor and maybe a little piece of ass on the side; but what about the others? No one was going to get a “little piece” of anything from her anymore. Her new motto was “no sex, no time, no how!” She’d learned her lesson. She kept telling herself she should be flattered by their attention. What an ego builder after years of feeling homely, plain, and inadequate. Four, count ’em, four handsome, make that very handsome, extremely rich men were making noises like they wanted to go out with her; take her to dinner, wine and dine her! Five if you counted Drake’s advances at the party a while ago! He’d certainly acted interested. She obviously wasn’t the dog she believed herself to be. Sylvie thought about the last two parties. She’d looked presentable, maybe even cute. She was never going to be a Victoria’s Secret model, but she wasn’t exactly a hag either. She had a serious problem with her self-image. When Sylvie thought of herself all she saw was flaws. Her flat “fried egg” boobs. The furry unibrow that appeared every time she forgot to pluck. Her scrawny, twig-like limbs. Her boney knees and elbows. Her clumsiness, paralyzing shyness, and her big feet. She was small boned and petite; but instead of dainty little tootsies, she had big clodhoppers and crooked toes. Ugh! The only thing she took pride in was her intellect. She was smart. But most men didn’t like smart women. In her experience they avoided them like the plague. Still, these guys were interested in her and she didn’t think it was for her mind. They must not think she was all that bad. Men didn’t compete to fuck plain girls…did they? Not when they could have their pick of any beautiful babe they wanted. There had to be some hidden agenda at play here, but she’d yet to figure out what it was. She didn’t know what to make of them or their motives.
What she needed was something to keep her occupied for the next couple of weeks. Just until she got Connor Hudson out of her system. Could finally say his name or think of him without falling to pieces. She opened her documents and scrolled through her files and came up with the one labeled “classmates and possible suspects.” Sylvie opened it and took a look at the list: there were about 250 names. They were all students who’d attended Collegiate Boys Preparatory between 1996 and 2000, the year Connor had graduated. They represented both upper and lower classmen. She wasn’t doing this for Connor. She was doing it for Ernestine Shaw. Sylvie knew she wasn’t responsible for the reporter’s death…the killer was! But she couldn’t help thinking that if she’d only heard the woman out, let her talk to Connor instead of hanging up on her; maybe she’d still be alive now, instead of rotting in her grave. That decision would haunt her for the rest of her life.
By 11, Sylvie was bleary-eyed. She’d researched each name looking for evidence of any criminal behavior, but she’d found squat. These boys were either all pillars of society or smart enough not to get caught. There were no tickets for speeding or reckless driving, no charges of criminal mischief, brawls, assaults, underage drinking, or drugs. They were not only rich; they were saints!
She was about to give it up for the night when she remembered about the accident on Long Island that Sean, Drake, Alex, and Nathan had been involved in. The one that made their parents decide not to let them go on their graduation trip to Europe. She knew the accident happened sometime in April or May 2000, right before they’d all graduated; so she scrolled through the archives of small, local, Long Island papers, both dailies and weeklies, until she found it. From the pictures, it was one hell of a crash. They were lucky they hadn’t been killed. The article said they’d only suffered minor injuries, were treated at a hospital, and then released. Only two names appeared in the piece, Nathan and Drake. They were identified as being 18 at the time. Alex and Sean were never mentioned by name, just their ages. The article said they’d been racing on the highway and that alcohol had played a part in the accident. But when she looked for follow-up stories about the accident and searched the town court docket, she could find no evidence that anyone had been arrested for drunk driving, that any tickets for speeding or reckless driving had been issued, or any fines paid. She could only assume their parents’ wealth and position got the charges expunged.
Sylvie wondered if there were any similar offenses in their backgrounds. Since she didn’t think the Times or Daily News would cover youthful indiscretions unless they were serious felonies, Sylvie focused on the local papers looking for stories about boys either arrested or questioned by the police in the previous two years. “The six” and their friends all summered in South Hampton. There was more delinquency there than she would have imagined, considering it was such a wealthy enclave. The offspring of the rich shoplifted, scored drugs and got drunk, vandalized cars, knocked over mailboxes, and covered buildings in graffiti just like poor kids did. Only they got away with it because mommy and daddy had deep pockets and would pay whatever it took to avoid a scandal and keep Junior out of the hoosegow. It seemed like every weekend the cops were either scraping kids off the pavement when they decided to drink and drive; or were breaking up drug and alcohol-fueled beach parties where someone got taken to the hospital, either for injuries resulting from fights, alcohol poisoning, or drug overdoses.
She found a story about the gang rape of a young girl that occurred on September 4th, 1999 at a Labor Day weekend beach party. The victim had been rushed to the hospital, suffering from a drug overdose and internal injuries. The perps, described as a group of teenage boys, from prominent families, were not identified because of their ages.
It was 2 am. Time to go to bed. She’d get back to work on the case tomorrow morning. Sylvie shuffled through the house, checking the doors and turning out lights. After changing into a pair of flannels and a long sleeve tee, she crawled into bed and switched off the lamp. She was proud of herself. She’d survived another day without Connor!