I Promised and You Waited. Here It is – Chapter One of My Temporary Life Book Three
In February of 2012, after a slow start, my debut novel My Temporary Life hit Amazon’s Top 5 Overall Bestsellers. My little, self-published book leap-frogged over a number of established authors and was selling hundreds of copies every day. We celebrated with cake.
Readers enjoyed My Temporary Life and wanted to know more about the characters so I turned a single story into a trilogy. I released book two, My Name Is Hardly in late 2012. No cake for that book, but my daughter did present me with this very cool card and encouraged me to finish book three. Unfortunately, it took a little longer than I anticipated. After five years of revisions, 500+ reader requests (thank you for those), and lots and lots of chocolate-fueled late nights the third book of the My Temporary Life Trilogy is now available. Tuesday April 4 is the official release day for All Good Men Must Fall – Book Three of the My Temporary Life Trilogy.
Here’s the first chapter:
THERE’S A NOISE in the hallway. It’s not right outside the door, but it’s close. It sounds like it’s coming from the top of the stairs, the opposite end from where Emily’s room is. Malcolm is at Hardly’s. Flora left again and he’s afraid Hardly might be into the booze. He says he isn’t, but we’re not sure we believe him. So Malcolm will talk Hardly down and then fall asleep on their couch, just like he did last time.
Again. I hear it again. It’s like coins slowly being shaken back and forth, in a jar. It sounds like a glass jar. I lift my head up from the pillow and lean on my elbow to hear it better. It’s stopped. I can’t hear it now. It wasn’t an old house groaning at night type of sound, and this is an old house; it was built before the war. That’s what the Scottish people say. The timeline is always things that happened before the war or things that happened after the war. Yes, the war that ended in nineteen forty-five, that war. It’s been over for more than fifty years. We’re two years into the new century – it’s 2002, but the older Scots still refer to things as before the war or after the war. Like it just ended.
I sit up and pull the covers around me. The coins shake three, four times and then stop. No, this isn’t one of those hard-to-explain creaks that you get from an old house. This is too real, too vibrant.
It stops again. I wait and wait. I can hear the sound of my breathing. The noisiest thing in the whole house is the sound of my own breathing. Nothing happens. It’s my imagination. It has to be. I pull the covers tighter around me, and the jangling noise starts again. It’s louder now. What is it? What is it?
“Em. Emily, honey.”
She sleeps like a log these days.
“Emily, can you hear that?” She won’t hear me. She’s fifteen and retreating, leaving us for classmates who know more than we do.
Something moves down the hallway past my door toward Emily’s room. The coins are jangling as it rolls past. “No. No. No.” I raise my voice. I’m not screaming. I won’t scream. I won’t give him the satisfaction.
I’m out of bed and into the hall. Why is it so dark? All the downstairs lights are off. I know I left a light on.
“Malcolm, are you down there?”
It’s too dark. I can’t see, but I know something’s here.
Emily’s door opens slowly and a little bit of light trickles out. Shit. Shit.
“Mom, what is it?” She’s rubbing at the sleep in her eyes, looking at me, angry, bewildered.
“Did you hear it? Something rolled down the hall. Where is it?” I look up and down. The light from Emily’s room lights up the floor, the hallway, all the way to the landing. There’s nothing here but I know I heard it. The noise from the jar and the coins shaking around is still clear in my head. I know it was here. It was outside my door. I pace up and down the hallway, keeping my back against the wall. All I see are a couple of dust bunnies rolling around on the wood floor.
“You’re sweating, Mom. What did you hear?”
She’s right. I touch my forehead with my fingers. It’s cold sweat. “I’m okay. I just thought I heard something. I’m going to call Malcolm; he’s at Uncle Harry’s.”
“I know. You told me already.” Just a hint of indignation. I’ll take it; it doesn’t matter.
“Okay, go back to bed.”
She waits, weighing the choice between the warmth of her bed or placating her crazy mother. She decides to take pity on me. “I’ll wait up with you in your room, and if the noises start again we’ll phone Dad.”
She doesn’t always call him that, he’s usually Malcolm. She’s scared, too. She might not have heard it but she knows I did.
“It’s gone, Mom. Nothing was here and now it’s gone.”
She’s wrong. It’s not gone. Ghosts are everywhere. They’re always here. We think they’re gone. We think they died on snowy highways, in another country, in a different life but they’re still here. We think we can start a new life and adjust our story to suit ourselves. We think that ghosts just disappear but sometimes they don’t.
She takes my hand and leads me down the hallway and flicks on the light at the top of the stairs, the same light I left on earlier. It’s quiet now. There are no noises. She looks at me and smiles that everything will be alright. Maybe she’s right. Maybe it will. I was probably just hearing noises again. This isn’t the first time this has happened.
I hope you enjoyed the beginning of the story. Instead of celebrating with cake or rock star cards I decided to give something back. For a limited time the first two books of the trilogy are on sale.
#1 BESTSELLER – ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
#1 BESTSELLER – CONTEMPORARY FICTION
Book One in the MY TEMPORARY LIFE Trilogy
“It has everything, simply everything-a coming of age,
a romance and a thriller all rolled into one delightful read.”
“The writing once again is pitch perfect and the characterisation is superb,
so good the characters practically leap off the pages. Hardly’s story is dark
and complex, but at all times truly human and believable. I highly recommend
this page-turner, an excellent sequel, can’t wait for the third book in the series.”
And, I’m very pleased to announce a special contest. The winners will win one of two complete, signed print book editions of the trilogy. That’s three signed books. (US and Canada only, sorry). Just click on BookDoggy to enter and good luck!
Last contest’s winners of the Amazon $20 Gift Certificates are: Nancy B. and Wendy H.
Once again, thank you so much for your continued support. Please enter the contest, peruse the free eBooks, and take a moment to check out All Good Men Must Fall. I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the final part of the story. Happy Reading!