Yours truly, writing as MJ Flournoy, has a new book out. A Matter of Trust is a romantic suspense with paranormal elements and was published by Renaissance Ebooks, Sizzler Intoxication Line.
The release date was September 22, 2013 and I am thrilled for Jolie and Mac to have their story in print. There is another character in the book that I found very compelling. In fact, she almost took over the book. It took both me and Mary Marvella to keep the Maniac under control. When a secondary character has a strong, compelling voice and the author really likes the character, they tend to try to take over. But that is something a good editor can help you with fixing. Often a writer gets so caught in the character, that she/he doesn’t realize when that secondary character is trying to upstage the hero or heroine.
Getting the balance right is often A Matter of Trust. Trust your editor, she or he won’t steer you wrong. Read below, you’ll see what I mean!
A Coke, a fat one, or an orange soda.
“Not gonna happen.” Jolie Wyngate shrugged, climbed from her car and hurried toward the convenience store to pick up a quick snack before continuing on her way south.
And why not?
“Because I have to drive another hundred and fifty miles, and I don’t intend to stop every half hour for potty breaks.”
You are so not any fun! It’s just a Coke, for Pete’s sake.
“And you, lady, are so predictable.”
Make it chocolate then.
Chocolate, a compromise with which she could live. “Right.”
And stop speaking out loud, people will think you’re crazy.
“Me crazy? Get real, Maniac, I’ve talked to you since childhood. If I haven’t landed in the loony bin by now, I hardly think it’s going to happen.”
Humor me, then.
Jolie shrugged, continuing toward the store. She’d pick out a chocolate bar to keep her unseen companion happy.
Serve you right if I quit talking to you all together.
“Put it in writing.” Jolie reached for the door handle.
A giggle erupted within Jolie’s mind. Then, in the tone Jolie hated hearing: Shush, pay attention. There’s something wrong in there.
Oh, hell. Jolie bit the soft flesh of her lower lip. Her hand tingled as if the door was electrified.
Shit, this was the real reason for the Maniac’s sudden thirst.
The cool, dry air of the convenience store surrounded her when she stepped through the open door. For a second, the young clerk behind the counter looked up from the newspaper spread in front of her. Nothing. Jolie expelled a breath of relief, exchanged a quick smile with the clerk, and then headed toward the candy isle.
Then she saw her. The little girl wandered listlessly down the candy isle, her small hand trailing over the rows of candy, gently touching, but taking nothing. Jolie watched her for a moment, then scanned the store and saw no one in sight.
The child turned, her gaze lifting until it found Jolie. She tilted her head to the side, her eyes searching Jolie’s for an instant. Then she moved closer and stared up at her. The expression on the small face caused Jolie’s heart to turn over. She knelt to the child’s level and touched the riot of red curls. A jolt of emotion skittered along Jolie’s spine, but Jolie forced herself not to pull away.
“Hey, sweetie, does your mommy know you’re out here alone?”
The little girl looked about three. She continued to stare mutely. Jolie smiled at her. “That your mommy behind the counter?”
She lifted the child into her arms. Unprepared for the sudden shock of pain and despair that engulfed her, Jolie almost dropped her. Instead, she tightened her arms instinctively around thefrail body.
Something’s not right.
Slowly the child shook her head. She lifted her small hand and traced a line down Jolie’s
cheek, her touch feather-light. Sadness engulfed Jolie at the child’s soft touch.
You feel it.
Jolie pushed the intrusive thought aside. With the small child still in her arms, she moved toward the checkout counter. “Your little girl?” Jolie asked. “Found her wandering on the candy aisle.”
The clerk focused a smile on the little girl. “I wish, got me two boys. Pretty little thing, ain’t she?”
“She’s here all alone?” Jolie tightened her grip on the child.
“Looking for yourself a new momma, are you, Elizabeth?”
A voice from behind her startled Jolie. Her grip tightened on the small child. She whirled
around. Her fight or flight instinct kicked in when she faced a man with long, dirty-blond hair, scraggly beard and dirty clothes. He reached to take the child from her arms.
The tiny body shrank deeper into Jolie’s arms. Her small hands gripped tightly to Jolie’s shirt. Her brown eyes widened and filled with tears, but not a word crossed her lips.
“That’s her grampa,” the clerk explained when the man pulled the resistant child from Jolie’sarms.
Panic filled Jolie. The child’s eyes never left hers while the man paid for his cigarettes and
beer. Large brown eyes, shadowed by a sadness much too deep for her years, eyes that tugged at Jolie’s heart.
Do something: don’t let him take her.
Not now, she silently warned the Maniac.
Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.