I'm so pleased to tell you that last week I signed a contract with MuseItUp Publications to re-publish my contemporary novel, A Different Kind of Honesty.
I had the rights for this book returned to me at the start of the year - disappointing at the time, but as often happens with these things, it turned into a whole new opportunity. I didn't want to leave a novel that had received 5-star reviews languishing on my hard drive, so I had a choice - offer it to another publisher, or self-publish. I love the idea of self-publishing, but right now I don't have the wherewithal to do it properly. The other option was to continue with the revision of the book and offer it elsewhere, which is what I did. I'm SO glad my first choice of publisher snapped it up!
I'm especially pleased that it's going to be with Muse. Out of the many thing I like about them, the main thing is the way they don't pigeonhole writers. They don't say 'if this story is to be considered as part of this ABC genre, then it must have elements X, Y and Z,' but instead, they allow the story itself to shine through, as well as allowing the author's individual voice to be heard. What's more, the two editors I've worked with at Muse already have been beyond amazing, and I hope to work with them again on this project.
A Different Kind of Honesty will be released sometime around the end of summer 2012, but in the meantime, you can have a sneak peek with this unedited excerpt. Hope you enjoy it - and now it's back to work for me!
'Tony slowed the silver Taurus to a halt and killed the engine. The clock on the dash showed ten after one. He glanced in the rear and side view mirrors, but didn’t see any other cars on the road; besides, he’d done a couple of tortuous circuits of the area before finally pulling into the Linares’ driveway.
He got out and walked up the path in the full afternoon sun, noting Ramon’s old station wagon in front of the garage. Behind that, parked in front of his own Taurus, stood a brand new red Ford Fusion he hadn’t seen before. He checked through the driver’s side windows. A map lay open on the passenger seat, and on the backseat, a light blue sweatshirt with a faded surfer logo and a woman’s red jean jacket. Next to those, a couple of small mineral water bottles with sports caps, one empty, and a copy of the week’s Time Out. As he walked around the car, he saw a sticker in the rear window that read ‘Star Car Rental, NYC, NY.’
Tony thought a moment. Ramon hadn’t mentioned any houseguests. It occurred to him the car might be a set up, but he dismissed the idea almost immediately. The types who might have wanted a couple of short-and-to-the-point words with him weren’t that subtle.
Shrieks and yells burst from the garden behind the house and he jerked his head up. A woman’s laughter and shouts of encouragement floated over sounds of children squealing, and he recognized Nina Linares’ voice. Letting out a long breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding in, he closed his eyes and ran a hand over his forehead, wondering when the hell he’d forgotten how children’s games sounded. A knock on glass startled him and he looked up to see Ramon wave from the window and jab his finger towards the front door before he disappeared from view.
Tony walked over to the porch steps and turned to look back along the road he’d just driven. Very few houses sat out here and those that did were mostly obscured by bushy shrubs and mature trees. He didn’t see anyone, and it was doubtful anyone could have seen him. There were no cars parked on the street.
Despite the sunshine, a misty blue haze hung around the top of the hills beyond the valley, the way it always looked every time he’d visited. He’d last been here a couple of months back; before that, several years ago, before he’d gone undercover. The landscape had a Mediterranean look about it, the reason Ramon and Nina had chosen it as the place to make their home and bring up their three children.
Ramon sauntered down the front steps, relaxed in his weekend clothes instead of one of his tailored office suits. “I heard the car. Glad you made it, my friend.” He clapped Tony on the shoulder. They shook hands and then Tony returned his gaze to the view.
“Always looks so peaceful out here. And the air tastes so good. Makes you think about what you’re breathing in the city.”
Ramon nodded his agreement. “Nina chose well. It reminds her of the mountains she knew as a child in Spain.”
“She still want to go back?”
“Ah, maybe one day.” Ramon shrugged, stroking his neat beard. “When we’re old and grey.” He looked at Tony. “What about you? You going to make that return trip to
Italy you keep telling me about?”
“Sure, soon as I can. You know my folks went back there for good?”
“No, I didn’t know. To be near your brother and his family?”
“Paolo the hot-shot Rome lawyer, yeah. Seemed like the right thing for them to do, this time of their life. My dad decided he wanted to die where he was born. He’s not dead yet, though,” he added with a smile. “I’ll visit soon. When this case is over.”
“Relive a bit of your youth, huh?”
“Yeah. Last time, I was seventeen. Worked on my uncle’s farm a whole summer. Drove my aunt crazy, running around with the village teenagers at night.” He gave a short laugh at the memory. “She was all for sending me home, but my uncle bailed me out.”
Ramon nodded. “She’d be proud of you now, though.”
Tony turned to him in surprise, but Ramon kept his gaze directed at the distant hills. Tony looked at them too. “Something else about that summer...I fell head over heels in love with the village beauty. Infatuated. She’d have nothing to do with me, though.” He smiled. “I don’t think she ever knew.”
“And it broke your foolish teenage heart?”
“Into a million pieces. And you know what? I can’t even remember her name.”
Ramon laughed. “C’mon. Nina is cooking a celebration paella to die for, and there’s a cold beer out there with your name on it.”
“Sounds good to me.”
Ramon headed up the steps to the front door. Before he followed, Tony took one last look at the distant blue hills. He thought about the village beauty all those years back. Now there was another girl in the picture, and it looked like she didn’t want to know either. Only this time, he hadn’t forgotten her name. This one was inked on his heart like a tattoo. And removing it would hurt like hell.'