Last Doll Standing

Published: 04/08/2016










ISBN Digital: 9781509206902
ISBN Print: 9781509206896
Page Count: 360
Word Count: 91150
Rating: Non-Romance with Adult Content


It’s three years after the explosion that made her husband’s mistress, Katelyn, disappear, and Cece has finally put her life back together—until her seventeen-year-old daughter, Josie, goes missing.  Josie is a prima ballerina in the New York ballet.  The police suspect her mystery boyfriend is the culprit for her disappearance, but her parents know she’d never sacrifice her first major performance to run off with a boy.

When Katelyn returns and threatens Cece’s family with promises of revenge, Cece must woman-up with her old partner in crime who banished Katelyn from their lives in the first place. Katelyn demands proof to clear her name so she can return to her life in New York, but if Cece gives Katelyn what she wants, she risks a life behind bars. And, if she doesn’t, it could mean her daughter’s life.

Excerpt:

All I imagined as we sat around the table for our holiday feast was how she was sitting down to eat all alone, dreading the new year, probably being fed a slimy meal on a tray from a cafeteria employee who didn’t want to be at work. There’d be no love mixed in with her meal.

My wine glass had been filled to the top. Mitchell helped me serve the carved ham and green beans almandine because I was feeling too tipsy to do it myself.

“Why do you keep filling your wine glass up so full? Right here should be the cutoff line,” Mitchell laughed, pointing to the halfway mark on the crystal.

“Because it’s Christmas,” I answered.

It was a very full portion of cabernet, and I couldn’t drink enough of it tonight. Truths were threatening to lap over like the brimming wine in my Mikasa glass. That was the thing about keeping a horrible secret. The blood I’d spilt kept sloshing to the surface like the smooth, cool legs of my wine, swirling at the crest and then falling back down again in purplish streaks as I took some off the top. But the more I drank, the more I kept filling, and pretty soon I feared the secrets would spill over the sides, leaving a crimson mess. And I didn’t like messes.

The day after Christmas, the shame was riding me hard, especially since I’d thrown Katelyn’s first year of letters away in the garbage without reading them. She’d tried to reach out to Mitchell, but she had to have known I’d get the mail before him. Did she really think I’d let him read her letters?

Fear kept me from opening them, as I suspected she knew I was the one who’d framed her. And the thought of her holed up in some sterile white room in pants with no drawstrings, a clothing accessory normal to most panted people, but a safety hazard for the imprisoned, unnerved me. She was probably sharpening her fingernails right now, imagining how she was going to tell Mitchell the truth and slit my neck with her talons in the process. That’s what I’d be doing if I were her.

Mitchell’s real estate office had been told to discard any packages addressed from Bedford Hills Correctional Facility from their former incarcerated employee. She’d been officially cut off from him.

So, maybe it was the reason I’d sent her a Christmas card of the whole Laramie family. More of an olive branch, so she’d stop sending the bad juju into my life that was robbing me of my sleep.

The only thing the card said was—I hope you’re doing well. The entire family was smiling in beach attire from our new summer home we’d purchased at the Jersey Shore. Part of me really did hope she was fairing well—as well as could be expected for someone relegated to prison life. I also hoped she was allowed to wear another color besides orange. It was not a complimentary color with her hair.

The other half of me, the scorned wife who’d been betrayed, wanted her to see how happy we were at our summer cottage. The summer home located only a few miles from our house in Montclair. I wanted her to see how much better this picture looked than the one she had fantasized about in her cottage. And then maybe, just maybe, she would realize she was truly the one in the wrong for trying to fuck with this loveliness.




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