What’s New? Excerpt from Daddy Darkest!
For the past few months, I’ve been knee deep (or fingers deep, perhaps) in my newest endeavor, an adult thriller tentatively titled, Daddy Darkest. As I shared in my April blog post, the idea behind Daddy Darkest garnered a semifinalist honor in the MasterClass: James Patterson Teaches Writing course. About three fourths of the way through this thrill ride, even I am on the edge of my seat thanks to two of my characters, both of whom are most definitely inspired by my day job as a forensic psychologist: Clive “Cutthroat” Cullen and Dr. Clare Keely. Read on below for an unedited excerpt of one of their rousing therapy sessions. Keep in mind, there are adult themes and language.
In other news, Legacy just earned its 108th review on Amazon and was recently ranked as high as #5 in the Science Fiction Romance category! Pretty amazing. And right now, the e-book is just $.99. The promotion extends until August 31st so be sure to tell your fellow readers to grab a copy now.
For those of you who have not yet had a chance to read Prophecy, Revelation, or AWOL, I’m offering copies of these books exclusive to my newsletter subscribers in exchange for a review on Amazon. A limited amount of print and e-book copies are available. If you’re interested, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll provide you with all the details. And, if you’ve already read the Legacy series, never fear, I’ll be offering free copies of Daddy Darkest as well closer to the release date. Stay tuned to my newsletter for more updates!
Without further ado, let me introduce you to Cutthroat Cullen and his not-so-well-adjusted therapist, Clare.
October 21, 1996
Clare was all business, as she waved Cullen into her office. Get it together, Keely. That was exactly what she planned to do. That morning, she selected the most matronly outfit in her closet. A black turtleneck and loose black trousers. Flats. No make-up and a tight ponytail. Whatever Cullen was thinking, he better unthink it. Now.
“Good morning, Mr. Cullen.” Not a hint of emotion, exactly as she intended. Her practice in the mirror paid off. “Have a seat.”
He responded with an aw-shucks grin. “Morning, Doc.”
“I need to talk to you about something important. It’s called transference.” She paused to let the word settle. Inexplicably, Cullen seemed ready for this. “Our relationship is like a mirror. The way you relate to me as your therapist might be similar to the ways you relate to other people, other women in your life. It’s totally normal for clients to develop feelings—”
“Erotic transference, right?”
Cullen buried his head between his hands, then peeked through his fingers at her. “Man, I feel like a jackass. You must think I’m a total nutcase.”
“No, of course not. This happens all the time.”
An ironic laugh escaped his mouth. “I’ll bet. So I’m just one of the many loons to fall for you.”
“It’s not like that. I’m hoping we can talk about what you’re experiencing. The feelings you’re having. Last week, you said you wanted to watch out for me. Maybe our relationship, me, reminds you of something…or someone.”
He nodded. “Emily. You remind me of her.” A shiver—part excitement, part fear—tickled the fine blond hair on the back of Clare’s neck.
Cullen licked his lips. It seemed more nervous than seductive. But, Clare felt seduced. Sexualizing him again, she wrote in her notebook. “May I speak frankly?” he asked.
“I find you extremely attractive. I’m sure you already know you’re stunning. Outwardly, that is. But, you get me. You understand me like no one ever has. And that makes me want you.”
Clare blushed. Her body revolted her, the way it responded to him. To men. “Did Emily understand you?”
“Yes and no.”
Clare was on the verge of the why, and she knew it. She treaded carefully, lightly, so not to spook him. “Tell me more.”
“I thought Emily loved me. She understood certain things about me. She knew every button, and how to push them. But, she used that against me. That’s not love. And she thought I would let her get away with it. That’s what she didn’t understand. I couldn’t.”
“Couldn’t or wouldn’t?”
“Is there a difference?”
“So you killed her?” She said it perfectly, without a hint of judgment.
Cullen’s gaze met hers, and he didn’t look away. “There are worse things than murder, Dr. Keely.” The blueness of his eyes unnerved her. They seemed unreal, painted like marbles. All-seeing. All-knowing. Though there was no way he could know. Not that. No one did. Not her mother—as if. Not Lizzie. Not Neal. Or her therapist. Not even the priest her mother made her confess to every single Easter Sunday.
“Worse?” she wondered aloud. “What could be worse than that?”
Cullen spoke without pause. “Betrayal. Humiliation. Dishonesty. Degradation.”
“Hmm…” She pretended to mull it over, but there was no uncertainty. He was right. Worse things? Absolutely. She could think of one, and she did. All the time. Mr. Taylor rubbing his hand against her pink panties, finding his way inside. You like this, don’t you? Don’t you, Clarie? Her answer. I guess so. Because she didn’t, but she did. And that was worse, far worse, than murder.