China Doll

Published: 05/27/2016

ISBN Digital: 9781509207527
ISBN Print: 9781509207510
Page Count: 268
Word Count: 62240
Rating: Sweet

A Jana Lane Mystery

Jana Lane is back on Broadway in 1984—starring in a murder mystery. Life imitates art when members of the company are murdered. As Jana investigates, it's clear she may be the next victim. Complicating matters is Jana’s uncontrollable infatuation with her leading man, gorgeous and muscular Off-Broadway actor Peter Stevens. Will Jana find the murderer before the curtain comes down on her?


“But there’s more to life than acting.”

“Is there?”

“Of course.”

“Being a wife and mother? You’ll find out it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”

Peter leaned into the dressing room. “We’re needed on stage, ladies.”

Jana and Savannah walked with Peter to the stage. Tony and Sally followed from the wings. Already on stage, Gary, shooting dagger eyes at Stanley, held B.J.’s hand. Bella and Brad didn’t take their eyes off one another. Since Jana noticed Tate holding onto a chair from the makeshift set, she joined him and held his elbow for added support.

Pulling focus, Stanley stood upstage center, while the company members gathered around him. “As producer of this show, it is my prerogative to make decisions that I believe are in the best interest of this production. So before we continue rehearsing, I would like to inform you of the following changes.”

The stage was as silent as a morgue.

Stanley looked at Tony. “First, as of this moment, I am taking over as director of this production.”

“Hey, you can’t do that!” Tony shouted.

“I can, and I have,” Stanley replied, clearly enjoying his triumph.

Tony turned to Katrina. “Kat!”

Katrina looked at Stanley as if for the first time. “Stan, don’t do this.”

“I’m sorry, Kat. My mind is made up.” Stanley pointed to Tate. “I have also decided that Tate Moonglow will be replaced by his understudy.”

Tate held his head in his hands.

Jana spoke up. “As Equity Deputy, I will fight this. You have no just cause for firing Tate.”

Stanley replied, “I do, and you know it.” The producer glared at Gary. “And your son’s nanny is barred from all future rehearsals.”

B.J. asked Gary, “What does barred mean?”

“It means I’m canned,” Gary replied.

“It means nothing of the kind.” Jana came face to face with Stanley. “If Tate and Gary go, so do I.”

“Don’t do it for me, Jana,” Tate and Gary said in unison.

Stanley grinned. “Listen to your deviant friends, Jana.”

Tate held Jana’s arm to stifle her from replying to Stanley.

Stanley glared at Sally Chen. “And if anyone doesn’t like the size of her role, I’ll accept your resignation.” Then staring at Savannah and Jana, he said, “And if any of you regrets signing a contract with me for this show, let this be a business lesson for you. Lawyers enforce contracts.” Stanley clapped his hands again. “Tony, Tate, and Gary, you are released. Kat, please take a seat in the house. Jose, back to your stage manager’s console. Everyone else, please make a circle around me, and I will lead you in some warm up exercises.”

As everyone moved around Stanley on stage in a state of shocked pandemonium, the bookcase set piece teetered back and forth then crashed down on top of the producer.

Copyright © 2017 The Wild Rose Press, Inc.