Welcome to day #4 on the Expendable blog tour! Today we have author Maggie Jaimeson here with an excerpt from her romantic suspense novel, Expendable. Be sure to keep reading to find out more about this book, the author, and a giveaway!
Jenna sat quietly in the gloom of the chapel where the detective said they could meet. She hunched forward, her head resting in her arms on the pew in front of her. She couldn’t face a busy cop station again. Here the light was too dim for anyone to see her. She didn’t have to pretend to hold herself together.
The image of her sister’s torn body hadn’t left her mind since she’d identified it in the morgue three days ago. The black and blue swollen face marred Tanya’s flawless skin. Her legs and arms strafed with random knife cuts as if the killer enjoyed torturing. Under her professional clothing, her sister’s distorted and slender body was hardly recognizable. But there was no doubt it was Tanya. There were signs of multiple rapes, but no semen. The police conjectured she’d been held for up to a week and assaulted.
How had Jenna let so many years go by without trying to find her sister? Their last fight was burned into her memory. It was the first and only time she didn’t give in to Tanya. Jenna closed her eyes and sobbed. If only she’d gone after her. The memories of that day ripped through her like a fire in a dry forest, quickly and without mercy.
Tanya reached for Jenna’s hand and squeezed. Her lips trembled with a hesitant smile. “I’d like to give the baby to you and Aaron. I know you can’t have children and you want them so badly. You’d make a great mom, Jenna. This will be my present to you.”
Jenna’s heart clenched like a vice as her lungs emptied of all air. She shook her head. The timing couldn’t have been worse. She couldn’t take a child now. Not the day after Aaron had served her with divorce papers and moved out to live with his pregnant secretary.
She looked up, steeling herself to give up her only chance to ever raise a child. “It’s just that I—”
“Oh, I get it.” Tanya paced in front of the counter, her arms flailing. “You don’t want it, right? Because it’s mine. Because my baby isn’t good enough for you. Is it because I don’t know who the father is? You only want a baby from a perfect man with a high IQ and the right background—someone like Aaron. Right? Well, I can guarantee it was one of three graduate students—all very smart.”
“One of three? Have you ever heard of birth control? You’re in law school, for God’s sake. You’d think you’d be smarter than this.” Why was it Tanya could conceive by just sharing the same air as a man? It was so unfair.
“Sex isn’t always planned, you know. Some of us just go with the flow—go for the moment.” Then she laughed. “Maybe sex is always planned for someone as perfect as you. Do you schedule it in your calendar, Jenna? Does Aaron have to ask permission?”
Jenna reached out and slapped her sister across the face. “How dare you.”
The memory shook Jenna’s shoulders and tears spilled to the pew railing. She’d never slapped her sister before and now that would be the last memory they shared. The fight had ended with Tanya leaving to get an abortion, and Jenna doing nothing to stop her. If only she’d gone after Tanya. Jenna never thought her sister wouldn’t talk to her again. She’d always expected Tanya to show up at her door one day with another problem to solve. But then one year turned into ten and now her sister was dead—murdered.
In hindsight, Jenna could have taken the baby. She should have. Jenna had no family now that Tanya was gone—no husband, no children, nothing but her work.
Utter silence blanketed the chapel. Deep black shadows filled the corners of the church and crept down the aisle. Soon she was swallowed up in them. A patch of moonlight filtered through the tall stained-glass window—a beautiful window of lilies in a field with a meandering stream. She was sure it was designed to give worshippers a feeling of peace, but it didn’t feel that way to her. It only added to her pain, her guilt.
The door to the sanctuary creaked open. She turned to see a hooded man look in and then close the door again. A rush of cold air moved in and covered her for a long moment before it moved on. She pulled her jacket tighter and turned toward the front of the church. Candlelight cast the small pulpit in sharp relief, blurring the edges around the choir loft. The shadows crept forward and back as the light flickered. She squeezed her eyes shut and prayed for relief from the pain. The pain of death. The pain of guilt. The pain of being alone.
About the author:
During the week, Maggie’s days are spent assisting colleges and universities with technology, distance education, open source software, and open education resources. At night and on the weekends, she journeys into the world of her imagination and writes novels that reflect her passions and her belief that the good guys win in the end and that love will conquer all. Maggie has published several short stories in romance and science fiction, but since 2004 she has focused on publishing novels. Expendable is her first romantic suspense novel and she promises there will be more. Also currently available is Eternity, an SF with romantic elements; and Undertones, a contemporary romance which is the first in a four book series about the women of the Sweetwater Canyon Band. All of her full length novels are made available in ebook and print by her publishers.
Connect with Maggie online at: Website: http://maggiejaimeson.com
Behind the Book blog where she interviews other authors: http://author-secrets.blogspot.com
After a bitter fight, Jenna Mosier's pregnant sister ran away. Now, ten years later, Tanya is dead—murdered. A bloody note clutched in her hand pleads for someone to rescue her baby—a child Jenna must find to make up for not saving her sister.
Former Marine Reed Adler thought he left danger behind when he retired from Special Ops command. But faced with a dead body and a terrified ten-year-old boy in his backyard—and a mesmerizing woman who’s tied to both—Reed finds himself pulled into his most complex mission yet.
Ensnared in a dangerous mystery involving biogenetics research and children with no identities, Jenna and Reed must rely on each other for survival. Yet the closer they get to danger, the more intense their feelings for each other become. The cost of saving her nephew may be their hearts…and their lives.
Barnes & Noble
The Wild Rose Press
Maggie Jaimeson is giving away an ecopy of Expendable! All you have to do is comment on this blog post to enter - be sure to leave your email address!
Be sure to following this tour for more chances to win an ecopy of the book.
On the last stop of the tour, Maggie is giving away a Kindle or Nook! How awesome is that???
Next stop on this tour:
October 11th - Reviews by Molly
Visit The Bookish Snob Promotions to view all the stops during this tour.