Join the Party! Alabaster Vases-my debut novel and the first in my Murder with a Message series-will be available from Deep River Books on January 1st, 2015 and is already up for pre-ordering. Read an excerpt or go over to Amazon and pre-order it now. Thank you for enjoying the journey with me!
Today marks the unveiling of Alabaster Vases online! Thank you for dropping by and helping me celebrate and shape this new artistic adventure. Publishing my debut novel represents years of writing, editing, risking, sharing, and daring as I made my way to you-my readers. I invite you to share this creative experience with me by offering your thoughts, feelings and ideas. In the weeks to come, I will be sharing ideas and reflections on this site weekly. I will be sharing the same ideas via my online newsletter that I am happy to share with you at your request.
You may have noticed a drop box offering you the opportunity to sign up for my newsletter when you came onto this site. By signing up for my newsletter between now and January 1, 2015, you will receive an unofficial e-copy of Alabaster Vases-free from me! Why? Because I am grateful for YOU, my friends and faithful supporters who have been kind enough to enter into this new world with me and I wanted to offer you a small gift in return. Please note that by signing up for my newsletter you are NOT going to be spammed-and you can quit it at anytime! You will be given the option to say yes or no to receiving an email from me containing a pdf of the unofficial e-copy of my book. This unofficial copy is NOT the final publisher’s edition that will ultimately be available online via the normal outlets. Rather, this is the final draft I had the joy of approving and then sending to the publisher just a few months ago!
Alabaster Vases officially releases on New Years Day 2015! To celebrate this grand adventure I am throwing a Release Party from 1-4:00 p.m. with my friends at Daltons Cakes in Grayslake, IL. Come on out and enjoy the fun as we toast the New Year with hors d’oeuvres, fine pastries, and a tasty little thriller called Alabaster Vases! I will have hard cover copies on hand for purchase and signing. I can’t wait to see what it looks like myself!
Thank you for joining me in the journey.
I look forward to more of you in the weeks to come.
Traffic was smooth sailing on I-94 northbound, freeing my thoughts to wander through the murky caverns of my husband’s mind. His hands gripped the wheel like a corpsman gripping a jump seat handle a second before the free fall begins. We surged ahead over snowy Wisconsin roads, his large hands quivering.
“Del, please slow down. It’s snowing pretty hard out there.”
My breath quickened involuntarily. I hated that I reacted like this every time I risked voicing my needs. My stomach clenched and my temples tightened.
He rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Oh, so now you’re telling me how to drive too? I don’t think so.”
He never looked at me, and his hands didn’t move as he punched the accelerator, rocketing the car to well over eighty on the slippery highway. I prayed to some mythical god that we’d make it intact to the exit up ahead, clenching my teeth and sinking into silent compliance once again. We’d just made it to the turnoff when my cell phone buzzed. I closed my eyes. The misery between us pressed in on me.
“Oliver.” I fidgeted with the seat warmer as I answered, my voice flat.
“Yeah. Hey, Nick.” The sound of his voice lifted my spirits, transporting me back to the day we met. I’d been assigned to be Field Commander when we were rangy beat cops together in Chicago. We were young, foolish, and thought we knew it all. Other than me staying close to home and him going on to take one undercover assignment after another until he morphed into a Fed, not much had changed. I smiled looking back, but in the next moment I stiffened as my body slammed into the door panel. Del was taking this corner dangerously fast. I shut my eyes again and concentrated on Nick as the car jetted forward. “What’s up?”
“We got another vic. And they’re getting closer to home. This is not cool.” His silky voice hardened as he spoke.
“What do you mean? I thought you said the last murder happened in Spokane. That’s not exactly next door. Was this one as bad?”
“Worse. And I’m talking about the next tragedy, not the last one. This one happened last night, early this morning technically, in Mad Town. Popped up on VICAP right away. You on the road right now?”
“You with the man?”
“Does it matter?”
“It matters to me, Josie. You matter to me. He’s not driving, is he?”
“He knows you’re talking to me.” It wasn’t really a question, but I answered it anyway.
Nick, at it again. My marriage should be off-limits. I loved the man beside me—wounds and all. Even if no one else did. Even if doing so made me almost as sick as he was. Am I sick enough to stay? God, I hope not. “Give me some info. How did the killer get from Spokane to Wisconsin?”
“Who knows? We haven’t exactly cracked his travel schedule, but everything else is right in line. He grabbed a woman—a church mentor. She’d been working with a six-year-old girl for the past year. Successful woman. High-profile attorney. Not an enemy in the world. Everything to live for. And everything about the kill says it’s our guy.”
“Please tell me they found traces of drugs. Any kind of tranq in her system?”
“Not a one. She was most likely awake through the worst of it. He’s escalating, getting more twisted. And now he’s traveling between each kill. We’re on high alert, and we want you in our inner circle. We need your hunting skills. Let me sketch it out for you.”
Del glared at me and then looked back at the road, his hands clenched. Anger glimmered in his eyes. Why had I given up that once-in-a-lifetime career offer with the Feds tracking notorious criminals? Now Nick had all the glory—and all I had to show for it was Del. I listened to Nick, pinpricks of light sparking through my mind as he revealed the brutality of another innocent woman’s death at the hands of this twisted man.
I waited until he finished with the grim details, and then I exhaled hard and fast. I sucked in fresh air as he described the horror of the woman’s last minutes alive. I knew Del could sense my discomfort. Was he going to start hammering me again over why I’d married him and stayed in the bush leagues by marrying a local beat cop instead of marrying Nick all those years
ago? I couldn’t tell what he was thinking any more. When had I stopped trying?
He smiled darkly and waited until I ended the call to act out. “That your big-shot boyfriend again?” Del’s menacing tone sent a cold wave of nausea through me.
“He’s not my boyfriend. There’s been another murder. It ain’t pretty.” I closed my eyes, gently shaking my head.
Nick and Del had never been close.
Dr. Catherine Finger offers executive, personal, and author coaching designed to support and contribute to the wellbeing of others through research-based tools and practices. Her work is grounded in positive psychology, integrating both Emotional Intelligence and Appreciative Inquiry practices and perspectives. Her years of successful experience as an educational leader, board member, adjunct professor, award-winning author, and community leader equips her with unique insights and deep intuition on both organizations and individuals.
Are you in need of short term, quick turn-around writing assistance? Stressed professionals often don’t have the luxury of time to craft the perfect message. If you need help writing a key memo, newsletter, report for your governing board or other critical messages, I would be happy to help with short term, quick turnaround requests for the generation of written messages. You provide me with the bullet points/general information, and I will write the message for you to be used verbatim, or with your suggested edits on your timeline. Time sensitive projects fit nicely in this category and you are welcome to contact me with your specific request.
Catherine Finger offers personal coaching designed to support and contribute to the wellbeing of others through research-based tools and practices. Her work is grounded in positive psychology, integrating both Emotional Intelligence and Appreciative Inquiry practices and perspectives. Her years of successful experience as an educational leader, board member, adjunct professor, award-winning author, and community leader equips her with unique insights and deep intuition on both organizations and individuals.