Blurb: The minute twins and mystery novelists Jovan and Cheyenne Parham find their lives settling into a nice rhythm, all hell breaks loose – in their personal lives and in the latest crime they find themselves mixed up in. Jo is trying to build a relationship with Mark Brockman, but the deaths of her husband and Mark’s wife, and the sordid nature of their coming together keeps her from jumping into the relationship with both feet. Cheyenne is head over heels in love with former detective-now P.I. Ian Davenport, but unexpected news and Ian’s involvement in a new case causes Chey to second guess the deepness of their love. Trying to figure out their love lives becomes all the more complicated when Jo and Chey are thrust into a series of kidnappings and murders involving young girls who seem to make the wrong friends online. When a mayoral candidate’s daughter is kidnapped, Ian finds himself on the case, much to the chagrin of Chey considering he spends an awful lot of time holding and caring for the candidate’s wife. Bringing the girl home safely and finding the killer pushes the twins to the limits of their personal and professional lives. Going into a web of infidelity, lies, deception, and murder often leaves all involved in disarray. Will Jovan and Cheyenne find themselves, once again, trying to pick up the remaining fragments of their lives once this is all over?
Jovan needed three things when she woke from her restless sleep: a comb to tackle her mangled mane, a strong cup of coffee, and a medication strong enough to drop kick the pain that throbbed behind her right eye.
The hair could wait awhile, Jovan decided as she rushed to the bathroom to down some pills, then headed to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee.
“Man,” she said, sitting at the island in her kitchen. She massaged her temples. “You’d think I drank all night long.” She moaned, then grabbed the remote to the small flat panel TV in the kitchen. Turning the volume down low, she mixed sugar and creamer into her cup of coffee while watching the morning news.
She sighed. Her mind was befuddled, filled with Linda, Mark, and Cheyenne. She had managed to have an encounter with Linda that left her unscathed, but seeing Linda’s anger toward Mark piqued her interest. She wasn’t sure why Linda would be so angry; she had nothing to do with Sarah or Mark. Jovan had left the café with questions about Linda and further sadness over her relationship with Mark. And though she wanted to spend the evening lamenting and thinking over both, the rest of her night and early morning was spent focusing on Cheyenne. She barely slept the night before as she and Cheyenne sat up and talked.
Not once did Jovan smack at Cheyenne’s hands as she cracked her knuckles. She’d let her do whatever she wanted after learning possible-baby news.
“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me before this,” Jovan said. “We share everything.”
“I know.” Cheyenne sighed. “It wasn’t my intention to leave you out, sis. Hell, I haven’t known for long.”
Cheyenne looked at her hands, then Jovan. “Few days. Was in the bathroom and saw my sanitary napkins and was like, ‘Yeah, I haven’t used you in a while.’ I went to my calendar and saw I was two weeks late.”
“So,” Jovan said, taking Cheyenne’s hand, “you could be pregnant right now?”
A smile grew wide on Cheyenne’s lips. “I could very well be.”
“Then let’s find out.” The two hugged, and Jovan watched as Cheyenne hopped from the sofa, grabbed her bag of tests, and ran to the bathroom.
She watched as her sister took four pregnancy tests, all negative. For a fleeting moment, Jovan smiled at the thought of Cheyenne being a mother, she an aunt. It saddened her when Cheyenne walked into the living room for the fourth time, holding a false pregnancy test. Tears clung to Cheyenne’s lashes.
“I really wanted to be pregnant, I think,” she muttered. She dropped onto the korndal green Karlstad sofa and rested her head on Jovan’s shoulder.
“You should still go to the doctor, sis,” Jovan said. “Make it official.”
Cheyenne lifted the pregnancy test. “Four of these ain’t official enough?” She hiccupped before the onslaught of sobs took over.
Jovan wrapped her sister in her arms and hushed her to sleep. After putting her to bed in the bedroom down the hall, Jovan fielded hourly calls from Ian wanting to know how Cheyenne was. After the fifth hour, Jovan turned off the house phone and all cell phones. She needed at least a nap before the start of the day.
What she got was a 45-minute nap and waking up on the tiled floor of the foyer near the front door. The last thing she’d remembered was sitting in one of the diline multi-colored chairs in the living room, reading pages of her and Cheyenne’s work-in-progress. Slowly, she had stood, moaning at the stiffness of her neck, the sore shoulders, the migraine that stabbed at her right eye, nearly taking her breath away. She didn’t even question how and why she’d end up on the floor. If she wasn’t having nightmares, she was walking in her sleep, something she still did when stress and anxiety overtook her. On her way to the kitchen, she had peeked into the living room and found pages puddling around the chair she had sat in.
“I need a damn vacation,” she muttered.
She lifted her cup to her lips as she stared at the TV screen. A breaking news flash appeared, and she dropped her cup and jumped from her seat. Hot coffee splashed her, but being burned was the furthest thing from her mind.
She drew closer to the screen and read the headline that flashed to the right of the anchor’s head: Leland Henson’s Daughter: MISSING.
The image changed from the TV studio to the front of the Hensons’ home where Leland Henson stood before reporters, his eyes a blistering red while Jocelyn cried in Ian’s arms.
“Ian!” Jovan shouted. She raced to the island, grabbed the remote, and turned up the volume. “Cheyenne!”
“Our daughter is the most precious thing in our lives,” Henson said before breaking down. “Please… please bring her back to us unharmed.”
Cheyenne walked into the kitchen, rubbing her eyes. “What in the hell are you yelling for?” she asked. “This place better be on fire.”
Jovan pointed to the television.
Cheyenne sidled up beside Jovan and stared at the TV. Her jaw dropped.
“Is that Ian?”
Jovan nodded. “Leland Henson’s daughter is missing.”
“But what is my supposed man doing there hugging the wife?” Cheyenne’s nostrils flared.
“I have no idea, but we’re going to find out. Shower and dress. Quickly.”
Shonell Bacon is an author, doctoral candidate, editor, educator–everywoman. She has published both creatively and academically–novels, short stories, essays, and textbooks.
She has had an essay of hers developed as part of a live theatre documentary production. In addition to her love of writing and what the future holds in her literary life, she is also an editor who loves helping writers hone their literary craft. Since 2001, she has edited for hundreds of writers who have gone on to pursue self-publishing careers and have been published within the traditional publishing arena. Her love for helping writers also moved her to begin writing articles and commentaries regarding the writing life and craft, and she publishes these articles on various websites. She is an educator, having taught English and mass communication courses in addition to fiction writing and other courses related to creative writing. And while taking part in all of those things, Shonell also finds the time to pursue her Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University. Now a doctoral candidate, she is conducting research and writing her dissertation.
Author links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Blog