Life turns from barely tolerable to complete hell when Maddy Eastin’s impulsive plan to win back the attention of her absentee father backfires. Word of her scheme spreads through her high school, but when mockery escalates to cyberbullying, Maddy and her failed stunt become headline news. But the worst is yet to come…
A disturbed man is fighting the overwhelming urge to surrender to his true nature—a moral code molded by a sadistic father who taught him that a girl needs proper training to become the perfect subservient woman. As he watches Maddy on the evening news, his already fractured psyche completely splinters. She’s the girl he’s been waiting for.
When Maddy disappears, she’s labeled a runaway even though her mother believes it was foul play. Will the two detectives investigating Maddy’s disappearance find her before it’s too late? Or has she already fallen prey to the vicious stranger hunting her?
This psychological thriller unfolds through the viewpoints of five deeply flawed characters. Each is on their own emotionally charged journey that ultimately intersects in a collision course of devastating consequences.
Lily unlocked the craft store’s two front doors, then stood aside to allow a couple of impatient women to enter.
Gotta get your early morning scrapbooking fix, don’t you, ladies?
She forced the biting retort to stay firmly in her mind. Outwardly, she smiled, greeting the women, who were already racing down the center aisle.
When did I become so bitter?
Lily had always thought of herself as a pleasant person, the type to consider another person’s feelings over her own. She believed she was the sort of friend others wanted in their corner. One who would roll up her sleeves and jump in during the tough times. So how was it that she could deal with other people’s problems so well, yet completely fall apart during the rough patches in her own life?
It seemed to her that having single-mom status thrust upon her had been the tipping point. She didn’t know how other women did it. There was no time to grieve over a spouse walking out when every waking moment was either spent trying to earn enough income to keep their whole house of cards from crashing down or being an emotional cheerleader for Maddy in order to get her through.
When Tom had still been part of the family, at least there had been someone else to pass the baton to once in a while. He may have travelled a lot with his job, but whenever he was home, he and Maddy were always together. Those were the times Lily could take a break. Take time for herself, to recharge and in turn have something to offer back to her family. Lily had been running on empty for so long now, she had nothing left to give.
At least I don’t have to listen to someone constantly belittle me anymore.
She was glad for that, but still felt sad when she thought about no longer having a man in her life who loved her. She didn’t know which was worse—Tom’s stinging verbal attacks or being alone.
What would happen if I just sat in the middle of this store and refused to move?
Lily cracked a smile as she pictured herself plopping down on the floor in full tantrum mode.
Maddy got to do it, why can’t I?
Kelly Miller grew up shivering in Illinois but now enjoys the year-round sunshine in Tampa, FL. Her debut novel, “Dead Like Me,” won second place in the best mystery category of the 2011 FWA Royal Palm Literary Awards competition. It was also named a semi-finalist in the mystery category of The Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Books Awards competition. The Detective Kate Springer series continues with the second book, “Deadly Fantasies.” In Kelly’s newest book, “Splintered” which is a 2015 Kindle Scout winner, she introduces her readers to a whole new cast of characters.