Ok, everyone…it’s contest time!! Who wants to name Book Two? I just can’t come up with it and my brain wants to work on that instead of writing the book 😦 Please don’t get upset if I can’t use your proposed title, but let’s give it a shot. The person who names Book Two (if it’s not ME!) will receive a signed paperback of Book One and Book Two!! Now, here’s the part to consider…this new book is the continuation of the Elizabeth Burke Thriller Series. It’s set (mostly) in NYC. There are gangs, murder, undercover FBI, Lizzie (Junior in college) and her drama clubs friends, and of course, her family at All Tucked Inn…that’s all I should reveal at this point. Do we keep “All” as the first word in the title for continuity? What do you guys think? **By the way, if you’re shy and want to keep your suggestion private, please email me at Mindy@mindyshelton.net
On your mark….get set….goooooooooo!! Get those creative juices flowing!
Happy Bloggin Ya’ll!
Michelle tried to open her eyes. She felt as if she were awakening from the deepest sleep she’d ever encountered. She tried to move her arms and legs, but to no avail. The memories of the night came tumbling back…telling her mom she was going out for dinner with a friend…walking alongside the privacy fence of her neighbor’s yard… checking her makeup and hair one last time with the compact from her purse… humming with anticipation about the secret rendezvous that was about to occur. Michelle’s whole body tensed as she remembered what happened next. A car drove up slowly beside her and when she walked faster; she could hear the car speed up to keep pace. Michelle glanced at the car and noticed the driver’s side window slowly roll down. Her heart began to pound and her footsteps quickened. Michelle could feel her hands shake as she clutched her purse and took one more look at the car. The window was completely down now and a head appeared out the side. She was looking directly into the eyes of the man of her dreams. The man with the slow, crooked Hollywood smile, the man who had picked her over any other girl and she felt a tremendous wave of relief. He began to laugh as if acknowledging the prank he just pulled and she started to giggle, feeling foolish for ever being scared.
Now, as Michelle tried to move her limbs, the heart pounding fear of the truth seized her every cell. As she lay in the fetal position, she tried to feel for her surroundings. Telling herself to remain calm, she realized she must be in the trunk of a high speeding car. She could hear and feel the tires and knew she was on a rough road as the car threw her about, hitting what felt like huge potholes. Michelle could smell tires and exhaust. She felt her hands tied behind her, her feet were tied together, there was some sort of mask over her eyes, and there was a cloth so tight across her mouth she could feel it tear at the corners of her lips and could even taste her own blood. Michelle began to cry and kick as hard as she could, screaming as if someone could hear her. She tried to turn her body and reached for the car’s taillights as she saw on Oprah. Oprah’s guest was a specialist on abduction and said to punch or kick out the lights and wave your arms or feet through the opening where the lights used to be so someone could see you were in the trunk. Michelle flopped her body around until she could feel the edge of the trunk. As she turned her hands to try and punch out a light, she realized there were boards everywhere. Boards blocking the sides of the trunk and a board underneath her. It were almost as if she were placed in a large but shallow box. She punched and hit the boards until she knew her hands were covered in blood and riddled with splinters. Michelle tried to kick at the boards, repeatedly, but felt for them again with her blood soaked hands and realized they hadn’t moved an inch.
Michelle fought to remember what happened. After she got in the car with him, he pulled her close for a very quick but inviting kiss. Michelle remembered wanting to stay there with him forever, but he told her to buckle up as his eyes darted from review mirror to side mirror and back as he explained she was in for a surprise. “Where are we going?” she had asked him. “Somewhere special” he said with a mischievous grin. “I don’t care where we go, as long as we’re together,” Michelle had told her dream date, cuddling up beside him. “Did you tell anyone about us?” He had asked almost nonchalantly. “Absolutely not. What we have is so special. I don’t want to spoil it”. He reached over and used the button that locked all the doors. Michelle noticed that they were leaving Fair Haven and were headed down a long and deserted highway and she began to get nervous. “Wh- where are we going?” She asked again and began backing away from him. Michelle sucked in a quick breathe and made a high pitched squeal when he reached over and grabbed her by the hair, “I told you it was a surprise,” he sneered at her while pulling her close to his face by her hair. He had managed to slow the car and now pulled over onto the side of the road. “Now shut up!” he yelled at her. Michelle panicked and starting hitting him with everything she had. She felt her nails scratch his arm and cried as he punched her in the face. The blow of the hit had her bouncing off of the passenger side window. She tried desperately to open the car door and escape but he pulled her by her hair so the back of her head was directly in front of his face. “Now, let me tell you something bitch” he whispered in her ear while breathing heavy from the altercation, she remained quiet as she hoped he was having a change of heart, Michelle reached up behind her to take a hold of his arms and try and get him to release her hair, which he was pulling so tight, hurt her eyes and sent shooting pains throughout her scalp, “You are mine now” he continued, “all mine. I deserve this. It’s been a long time, but I will have you.” Michelle’s body racked with the sobs, “Why are you doing this?” She cried and began to claw at his arms, “I thought we had something!” She yelled, realizing how pathetic she sounded and turned to try and hit his face, he laughed out loud which turned into a yell as he lost complete control and slammed Michelle’s face against the dashboard. The last thought Michelle had before hitting the dashboard was “I didn’t tell my Mom about him. I didn’t tell anyone about him.”
The anger took over Michelle and the hot tears streamed under and into the cloth covering her eyes. How long have I been in this trunk? She wondered. Michelle screamed and kicked with every ounce of energy she could muster. How dare he do this? He told her she was the most beautiful girl he knew. He told her he wanted to be with her. Michelle continued to try and scream while kicking every part of the car she could touch. When the kicking and thrashing began to seriously hurt Michelle’s hands, arms, and legs, she began to feel defeated. How could I have been so stupid? She thought and her body heaved with sobs. The car began to slow. It felt as if they were now headed down a dirt road. It was much bumpier and the air smelled gritty, like dirt. The car eased and turned, went a little distance and completely stopped. Michelle held her breath as she waited in silence.
My Mother’s Day was absolutely terrific…the best yet except for 1/3 of my kiddos still sequestered at college, studying for finals and prepping for his regional baseball tournament. Exciting times for him and I couldn’t be prouder, but definitely missed him today. So very thankful my girl could visit from college, and all else was just…well, perfect. Even when my 13 year old boy made me laugh so hard during dinner I choked on my meatloaf. 🙂 Ahhh, good times! And the gifts the kids and my man gave me today?? Let’s just leave it at I’m spoiled rotten and possibly the luckiest girl in the world! Thank you to everyone for making my day so very special.
So I sat down at my computer, ready to talk with you all, topics fluttering through my writer’s brain about serious issues such as “Orphaned by Murder”, which will be my follow up to “Mothers who Murder”, and a more current event topic with the bans on same-sex marriage. But, I’ll write about those later.
I decided it is time to share a chapter from my “psycho-killer-thriller” fiction novel “All Tucked Inn”. For those of you who don’t adore adjectives, that just translates to murder mystery. 🙂 Sooo, here we go…the first time any of this has gone public. I sure hope you enjoy it. I plan on posting another chapter tomorrow, a more climax driven chapter, if you will…but wanted you to get the gist of the plot and characters before I move on to the more graphic portion.
I’ll shut up now…can you tell I’m nervous to post this? I feel like I’m throwing my baby out to the wolves, but nothing ventured…nothing gained, right?
The next couple of weeks flew by. With school, homework, working at All Tucked Inn and still trying to remain an integral part of my family, I was swamped. The weather in Vermont had turned cool and snow was expected within the month. The main reason why I chose Castleton State College was because it was just about a half mile from the Inn. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about car repairs, gas prices, and tire maintenance and could just walk to school. Michelle Reed and I had formed a tight friendship and walked to school together every day. It took us only ten minutes to get to class and we would fill that time talking about our classes, the study group or Alabama. Michelle really missed her home, friends and weather in the south. We tried not to talk about her mother very often, other than a few updates for me to find out how she was doing. Michelle usually replied with perky retorts of her feeling and acting much better, but as I got to know Michelle, I realized she was just trying to cover her pain and worrying.
The study group had formed and was coming along quite well. Chase and Robbie had organized the group and had no problem inviting Carrie, as well. The group consisted of Chase Bordeccio, Robbie Gibson, Michelle Reed, Carrie Ackley, John Mitchell, and myself. Chase, Robbie, and John are from the same high school inRutland and are a great combination of wit, humor, and sarcasm but all three take school seriously. Michelle and I were proud that our earlier prediction of Chase being Italian was correct.
We had our first meeting the Sunday after school started. We met at the school library at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. It was the perfect time since it gave everyone who wanted to go time for church but was early enough for me to get back to the Inn to work the dinner rush by 6.
The school library was full of plush, comfy but ugly green chairs that we pulled up to a table, aware we’d be there a few hours and eager to walk away without aches in our lower backs. The only items we brought with us to this first meeting beside our jackets were notebooks, pencils, our criminology textbooks and snacks, which we had to smuggle into the library by stuffing our jacket pockets. Everyone had Professor Parsons and “Introduction to Criminology”, just at different days and times. Michelle and I had it together; Carrie, Chase and John had it together, and Robbie had it alone.
We decided before the first meeting to cover “Introduction to Criminology”. Professor Parsons hadn’t been shy at all and had already assigned a paper. He wanted our feelings as they applied to rehabilitation. Of course, Michelle is becoming a probation officer, so she is for rehabilitation. John feels the same way, while Chase, Robbie, Carrie and I feel that if a person could commit a heinous crime such as killing 46 children by cooking them in an oven, he is beyond rehabilitation and should just be put away for life, if not death. Our stances on rehabilitation made for a heated debate. Michelle has a heart of gold and always looks for the best qualities in a person, John feels that anyone is worth trying to save and the rest of us are definitely more cynical. “What if one of those dead children were yours?” Chase asked Michelle while munching on a payday candy bar. “I think I would still be for rehabilitating that person,” she explained, “I may hate them for what they’ve done to my child, but what’s the point of just putting them away for life when we can change them and change how they think? They can become a productive member of society again.” I couldn’t stay quiet any longer and put down my bag of peanut m&m’s, “but after 46 children, Michelle? You really think they are still capable of being rehabilitated?” I asked. “Well, I think they should get a shot at it. If after a few years, they don’t make any changes in their deviant thought process, then no, they shouldn’t be released from prison.” Michelle explained to the group while licking cheese puff residue off her fingers. “But it should be a professional that decides.” “I agree”, continued John, “they should be allowed to seek the proper counseling and if that doesn’t work, then so be it. But we’re shorting ourselves if we don’t allow them the opportunity.” Carrie and John did have the rest of us contemplating their point, but it definitely didn’t change our minds. We all wrote our papers the way we felt and passed them into Professor Parsons the following Monday. On Friday, when he passed out the graded papers, we found our scattered A’s and B’s to our liking.
The study group decided to meet every Sunday afternoon and two Sundays later I was walking alone. Michelle told us she couldn’t make this one since her Dad was out of town and she wanted to stay home with her Mom. Which worked out perfectly since most of had a Sociology exam the next Monday and Michelle wasn’t taking that course. As I was walking the long sidewalk between the main building and the library I ran into John. “Hey sexy, how ya doing?” he asked. John is a popular guy who apparently thinks he’s God’s gift to women and never ceases to shock me with his flirting. “I’m fine, thanks. How are you?” I returned the manners without acknowledging the flirting. “Better now that I’m with you” he said as he fell in beside me and matched my stride with his. I laughed as I replied, “What’s a matter? Lose the other twenty girls you’re pursuing?” John laughed as he made the motion of being stabbed in the heart “ouch, that hurt! Don’t you know I’d drop all twenty for just one date with you?” “Sure, that’s what they all say” I replied sarcastically as we entered the library. Before we approached the group, which already consisted of Carrie, Chase, and Robbie, John whispered to me “let me know if you change your mind about dating. I’d love to take you out” He held up his hand in surrender as he saw me shake my head “Uh-uh” he said, “don’t say no just yet. I’ll give you some time and settle for your friendship…for now. Just promise me you’ll think about it.” I nodded ok without saying a word and set my books down on the table. “Hi” I addressed the group. “How is everyone doing?” A few scattered hey Lizzie’s went around the table and the feeling of depression emulated from the group. “What’s wrong?” I asked no one in particular.
“Where have you been? Don’t you watch the news?” Carrie asked me impatiently. “Well, no, not normally. I haven’t had time to watch the news. Why? What happened?” I asked getting a little impatient myself. “Yeah, what happened?” asked an obviously confused John. Carrie sighed, looked me dead in the eye and spoke softly, “Michelle’s missing”.