Happy Mardi Gras!
Hello everyone and Happy Mardi Gras!
My wife and I love New Orleans and though we have never attended Mardi Gras, we definitely miss New Orleans this time of year.
There's not much to report from my end. My wife is turning 40 in the next couple of weeks and is doing a fundraiser for The Trevor Project. Details can be found here:
If you happen to be in the Boone/Blowing Rock area on April 30th, my wife and I will be attending the Watauga High ComicCon. My wife was invited to be a vendor and I will be there with her, helping with her table. We will be selling copies of my books and I might just dress up. Here are the details if interested:
Media Center / Home (wataugaschools.org)
Since it is Mardi Gras and I don't have much else to contribute, I figured I would give my readers a glimpse into my current WIP. Since the book takes place mostly in New Orleans, I figured why not give a sneak peek for Mardi Gras.
I'm not revealing the title quite yet, because I'm still not sure about it. But, none the less, here is the prologue. Enjoy!
Karen threw the final bag in the incinerator and proceeded to watch it burn.
She knew she didn’t have to, once something was thrown in there was little chance of recovering anything. But she needed to make sure everything burned to ash.
She would take the thumb drive to her hacker friend. They would send the information to the appropriate authorities. If the church tried to cover it up, which they would, the information would be forwarded to every major news outlet.
It was going to be a rough few weeks.
This case brought back way too many memories. Ones she had hidden away so deep in the back corners of her mind. She couldn’t believe she had forgotten certain details.
Karen felt one of these memories coming back. Her stomach turned and her heart began to race.
She squeezed her eyes shut, putting up the floodgates to prevent the oncoming panic attack. She had been having them more and more frequently. Each one worse than its predecessor.
“I can’t… I can’t…” Karen gasped, her lungs tightening in her chest.
There was so much she needed to do. The job wasn’t officially done. She couldn’t break down now.
Get the thumb drive to Trixter, she thought. They’ll get the evidence into the right hands.
She felt her mental wall build back up and her lungs opened a bit.
Then, I need to schedule an appointment with the therapist. Karen's lungs loosened a bit more and she took a satisfying breath.
An appointment with her therapist always helped her forget the dark stuff for a little while.
Maybe a vacation, she suggested to herself. I haven’t taken a vacation in years.
She shivered as the mental dam sealed up and the panic attack subsided. She opened her eyes and found herself curled up on the floor. She didn’t remember falling into a fetal position.
She sniffed and wiped her nose. Her face was wet, she had been crying. She couldn’t remember the last time she cried. This case did a number on her.
She checked the incinerator and was satisfied to see that the final remnants of her case were gone. She wiped her face with her shirt, took a deep breath, and then pulled out her phone.
The therapist picked up on the second ring.
“Coop?” Her voice was heavy with sleep, “What’s wrong?”
“I need to see you,” Karen said.
“Are you alright?”
She always tried to get Karen to talk. But that wasn’t their deal.
“I just…,” Karen started, but squeezed her eyes shut to keep the dam from bursting. “I just need to see you. Please?”
The “please” must have sold it, because her voice took on a seductive tone, “Of course. I’ll be waiting.”
Karen hung up and left the building. She needed to feel in control. Now.
Trixter’s place was on her way and they were already expecting the drop off.
She would plan her vacation later.
Harper had read through the final copy twice now.
It was good. Not the best Karen Cooper book Sophie had written, but it would hit the bestsellers list. They all did.
These are getting way too dark, she thought as she looked at the author.
Sophie had collapsed on the sofa hours ago. She had fallen asleep seconds later. Her thin frame was even thinner. No doubt she’d forgotten to eat while working to meet the final deadline.
Judging from the dark circles around her eyes, sleep hadn’t been on the menu either.
Harper forwarded the final copy of the book to the publisher. Now it was in the editor’s hands to check for typos and what not.
Sophie made a whimpering noise and for a second, Harper thought she might wake up. Sophie just turned over, her back facing Harper and the rest of the room. Her shirt clung to her skin and Harper could see her ribs.
She checked her watch, it was almost lunch time and Sophie needed to eat. She got up from the chair and made her way into the kitchen.
Sophie’s cabinets were pretty bare. She debated going out to get her food when she found a can of soup.
It would have to do.
Luckily, she found a few other items to make a grilled cheese to go along with it. As the stove heated, she pulled up her to do list on her phone and added: Groceries for Sophie to the list.
She then received a notification for an email. No doubt the publisher letting her know they got the final copy.
She smiled to herself as she read the confirmation.
Please see attached for an updated contract. Look forward to hearing from you soon.
Was it time for a new contract already?
Harper opened the file and skimmed over it. It was the standard contract they usually sent. Three books over the next five years. Blah, blah, blah.
She looked back into the living room where Sophie was still sleeping.
These books were slowly killing her. Each new Karen Cooper book sunk her into a deep depression. The books got darker along with Sophie’s mood. She couldn’t go on like this much longer.
Karen Cooper needed to die.