by Wendy Byrne
Spawned from the depths of every parent’s worst nightmare, Jillian Beckett’s 16 year old troubled son is charged with murder. He’s unable to remember what happened and swears he’s off drugs, but should she believe him? Her ex-husband doesn’t. The high-priced lawyer she hired doesn’t. Where does motherly instinct intersect with reality?
Afraid and alone, she reluctantly enlists the help of her son’s football coach to find the truth of what happened. As they battle to uncover the guilty party, confidences are shattered, lives are on the line, while her son is one step closer to spending his life behind bars.
Jillian tumbled into an open elevator and leaned against the back wall. Tears rolled down her cheeks and sobs hiccupped through her chest. Catching her breath seemed like a formidable task with depleting energy.
“Are you all right?” The voice sounded familiar, but she couldn’t raise her eyes to see who it came from. “Let me give you a ride home. We can come back later for your car when you’re feeling better.”
She raised her head. “You’re...hiccup...Coach....”
“Sam. I’d be happy to give you a ride. You’ve had a rough morning.”
For some reason, she couldn’t get her head around why he’d offer her a ride. Yes, she was a mess. Yes, she couldn’t string more than two words together coherently. “I’m fine.”
“Forgive me for saying this, but you look like you might pass out any second.”
She wanted to say something flippant like, ‘Having a son accused of murder would do that to any gal’ but couldn’t manage to get out the words. Instead, she repeated the one word she could. “Fine.”
“Do you remember where you parked your car? I’ll walk you there.”
Her car. Where had she parked? For the life of her, she couldn’t recall even pulling into the parking garage. Jillian wiped the tears that continued to roll down her cheeks and struggled to extract keys from her purse. “I’ll hit…,” she sucked in a breath and tried to compose herself, “the panic button.”
“Before you do that, what level did you park on?”
Oh God. She couldn’t fall apart the way she had when her parents died. Travis needed her. Finally, she remembered. “Three. Level three.” Maybe she hadn’t slipped down the slippery slope to crazy after all.
If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? Why? What would you say to them?
As a social at heart, I would have to say Jane Addams. A social worker at Hull House in Chicago in the early 1900s she is the ‘mother’ of social work and pioneered causes such as women’s rights and child labor laws. She empowered people in need of assistance rather than using a more punitive approach. I would thank her for her work and the example she set for strong women and ask her how she fought through the difficult times when she was the voice for the vulnerable which nobody wanted to hear.
What are you currently reading?
Julie Ann Walker—the latest in the Black Knight Series. Love that series!
Who’s your favorite author?
Only one? That’s soooooo difficult. I love Julie Ann Walker, Lee Child (can’t get enough of the Jack Reacher series), Julie Moffett (Lexi Carmichael series), Liliana Hart (JJ Graves series), Harlan Coben….I could go on and on.
Why did you start writing?
As most authors will say, I had storylines running through my head that I didn’t know quite what to do with until I realized….hmmm…..I should put them onto paper.
Please give us the title and genre of your book and a 100-character or less tagline
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Women’s Fiction
Tagline: Time is running out for the Accused
Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
This book is for an adult audience. With my background in social work, I think I’m able to give a different perspective to the characters and their motivations. Human beings are complex creatures who make decisions based on experiences and their stories should reflect that.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
I know it sounds made up, but from a nightmare. I woke up startled from a dream—my heart was racing and I was scared out of my mind. It was about my teenage son getting arrested. And while of course this didn’t happen in real life, the sensations I experienced at the time felt very real. I decided it was the perfect jumping off point for a book.
Tell us about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
I wanted the cover to reflect the tone of the book—mysterious and somber. I choose a picture from a photo site of a young man in a hoodie. My talented graphic artist, A.M. Wells splattered the blood and put the target on him.
Who would you cast for the main characters if your book became a movie?
The hero is a former professional football player so I choose David Boreanez and Liv Tyler for the heroine. They both resemble how I picture my characters.
Wendy Byrne will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here
Wendy lives in the Chicago area. She has a Masters in Social Work and worked in the child welfare field for twelve years before she decided to pursue her dream of writing.
Between teaching college classes, trying to get her morbidly obese cat to slim down and tempering the will of her five-year-old granddaughter, who's determined to become a witch when she turns six so she can fly on her broom to see the Eiffel Tower and put hexes on people--not necessarily in that order--somehow Wendy still manages to fit in writing. She spends the remainder of her days inflicting mayhem on her hero and heroine until they beg for mercy.
She has written three books in the Hard Targets trilogy, Hard to Kill, Hard to Trust and Hard to Stop. In addition, she has a contemporary romance through Entangled Publishing called The Millionaire’s Deception, a self-pubbed Christmas short story called The Christmas Curse and two interracial romances, Fractured and Mama Said.