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A Novel by Gail Roughton
Genre: Crime Thriller
Tags: Country, ghosts, undercover agents, haunted church, crime, thriller, mystery, drug busts, romance, homecoming, long lost love, small town, southern, suspense, haunted cemetery
Release: September 14, 2012
Editor: Tanja Cilia
Line Editor: Greta Gunselman
Cover Designer: Delilah K. Stephans
Everybody knows everybody else’s business in Turkey Creek. The town knows Maggie Kincaid hasn’t spoken to her father in twenty-five years. It knows Billy Brayton was killed in basic training after Big John Kincaid railroaded him out of town and into the army. Nobody was surprised. For sure, Big John wasn’t going to let his daughter keep time with the local bad boy. Not for long. But the town’s missing a few pieces of the puzzle. Billy Brayton’s not dead. He’s back. He’s home. And it’s payback time.
Maggie’s face was alabaster. Even her lips were white. One corner of Jake’s mind noted this phenomenon he’d heard of but never seen. Well, he was seeing it now. And her knees were buckling, too. But close as he was, before he could grab her arms to steady her, Billy was there, reaching out and pulling her close. She made a sound somewhere between a cry and a moan, and then her arms were around Billy’s neck, gathering him closer, the muscles in her arms tightening as though she’d never let him go.
“But there was a body in that casket! They told me not to look, that you didn’t have a face, but I did, I looked, I didn’t believe ’em, I looked and you didn’t have a face—”
“Shhh. Shhh. I’m sorry, Maggie, I’m so damn sorry…”
Jake backed away from them. She’d never told him that and neither had Aunt Lulu. He wondered if she knew. As heartbreaking as the words were, her voice itself was the killer. He thought he’d heard his mother’s voice in all its variations, but this lost, bewildered wail so full of long-ago anguish—he’d never heard it before and had no business hearing it now. And Billy’s voice, as he stroked Maggie’s hair, was so full of emotion it sounded as though it was coming through coarse gravel. Nobody on earth had any right to hear or see them right now.
He slipped out the door and reached for his keys. He’d take Mom’s car, go home, grab some clothes, and crash at his best friend Ben Clayton’s house for a couple of days. Ben’s mom was always threatening to trade Ben in for Jake, he knew she wouldn’t mind. He reached in his pocket and realized his keys were in his wrecked car. Mom always threw her keys down on the kitchen table, though, he could probably slip in and out without them noticing. They certainly hadn’t noticed his first departure.
He slipped back through the screen just at the moment Maggie pulled back from Billy and slapped him. Hard.
About the Author:
Gail Roughton is a native of small town Georgia. Her Deep South heritage features prominently in much of her work. She's written for over twenty years while raising a family and pursuing a career as a Paralegal/Legal Assistant, promptly throwing each completed book in the closet. These days the closet doesn’t get much use. She’s the author of the paranormal romantic suspense series War-N-Wit, Inc., as well as Miami Days & Truscan (K)nights, a fantasy romance. Keep an eye out. Some “darker” surprises might just emerge from that closet, too.
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