I’m so pleased to have my friend Jody Wallace here today with an excerpt from her new book THE WHOLE TRUTH.
(Book One of the Supercharged Files)
by Jody Wallace
Release Date: Early November 2013
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: Long Novel (100K+)
Rating: PG-13 (cussing, violence and sexxoring)
From: Meankitty Publishing
Cover: James at http://www.goonwrite.com/
A human lie detector is hired to unmask a mole but discovers her powers can’t protect her when even the bad guys are superpowered.
Cleopatra Giancarlo is different from your average twenty something career girl. For one thing, she knows when people lie because she can see the truth in their shadows. For another, she doesn’t use her power for good. Or evil. After repeated failures to help others, she mostly just uses it to get deals at Bloomingdale’s. She fears what the government would do if they discovered her ability, yet she longs to find out if there are people like her out there. If there’s anything more she could be.
She gets her wish when two strangers whisk her away from her old life and introduce her to the world of suprasensors. John Arlin and Samantha Grooms represent an organization called YuriCorp, one of many privately-owned firms that employ supras like Cleo to increase their profit margin. Any of these firms would be thrilled to have Cleo on staff, and their methods of recruitment aren’t always friendly.
But even in the world of supras, Cleo doesn’t get to be normal. Her new boss wants her to go undercover and seek traitors in the company ranks. Her new friends know what she can do and how to work around it. And her new assignment might end up with her in a coma–or worse.
And the excerpt:
I see shadows. But not dead people.
When they found me, they weren’t ninjas, just garden-variety men in black. Excuse me, people in black. The frustrating part wasn’t that they invaded my home but that I should have been expecting it. After all, I’m the only person I’ve ever met who can do what I can do. Besides write advertising copy. Anybody can do that as long as they have a penchant for buzz words and hyperbole.
No, as far as I know, I’m the only freak like me in existence. I should have been ready for this to happen. I should have had a bag packed, with stylish travel wear and airline-friendly cosmetics.
But I didn’t. They caught me completely unaware. I’m stupid that way, even if I can discover any truth by asking the right questions.
I got home from another late night, after a normal week at work, if there is such a thing. I unlocked the door, cursed it when it stuck, and had almost kicked it shut when I noticed them.
A man and woman I’d never seen before were in my living room watching my newest indulgent purchase. Wait, technically that would be my new Kate Spade purse. While it’s sparkly, it doesn’t do any tricks worth staring at. They were watching my widescreen TV.
The man rose when he noticed me, as if he always stood when a female entered the room. He inhaled audibly but made no sudden moves.
Had I surprised their….illicit TV viewing?
“What the hell are you doing in my house?” I asked from the safety of the foyer. I would have taken off without asking questions, but they didn’t seem aggressive. I mean, they’d been absorbed in Andy Griffith.
The man’s lips parted slightly. Then he gave a sharp nod.
“Cleopatra Giancarlo?” he asked, smoothing the lapel of his expensive suit.
“Maybe.” I propped the door open with my toe, tensed to run. “Maybe not.”
“I see you were working late again, Miss Giancarlo,” he said.
“Working late isn’t a crime.” Unless you were a mobster or something. When the man didn’t respond, I continued.
“Who are you people?” Let them try to claim they were friends. Let them try to lie to me. I didn’t step away from the door.
The man glanced at the woman. She shrugged.
“My name is John Arlin. This is my partner, Samantha Graves. We’re happy to meet you, Miss Giancarlo.”
Their actual names, and they were honestly happy to meet me.
Samantha reclined against the arm of my sofa with my cat—my cat!—in her lap. I hoped Boris got hairballs all over her spiffy tweed.
She smiled at me. Her teeth were unnaturally white. “Shut the door,” she said. “You’re letting in mosquitoes.”
I backed onto the porch, only to notice a gigantic man in a dark suit step out of a vehicle at the curb. He was nearly twice as tall as the car. He waved.
Safer inside or outside?
Outside lurked their giant. Inside I could see their masks if they lied. I went in, closed the door, and held my keychain at the ready. I’d read somewhere you could stab people in the eyeball with your key to incapacitate them. Provided you had the guts to do so.
“Please don’t feel threatened. We just want to talk.” John adjusted a sleeve and glanced at his watch. His dark jacket parted to reveal a crisp white dress shirt and…
Did I see a holster?
“You’re in my house without my permission. I feel threatened.” I inched into the room, toward the phone, my cell having disappeared in the depths of my work satchel three days ago. I knew it was there because I could call myself. I just couldn’t find the damn thing.
“I apologize for that. Time has become critical, and it was expedient to meet you in private, instead of making an appointment.”
Was it true? I squinted, trying to detect the shadow that formed around the faces of any liars in my line of vision. No darkening. He was being honest.
It occurred to me that John and Samantha could be the people who wanted to buy the house from my landlord. The old coot threatened to sell the place out from under me every time I complained about the parking lot, if you could call a ten foot wide section of rubble a parking lot.
John continued. “Dinner’s in the fridge. Pastrami and jack on sourdough.”
Good guess…but the sandwich put him out of the running for home buyer. “You didn’t break into my house to talk sandwiches. Why are you here?”
“We have some information for you about an opportunity,” he said. “Will you hear us out?” He had yet to display a mask, the shadow veneer that appeared in front of a liar’s face, which did ease my nerves. That didn’t mean I was going to let my guard down.
“Cut the solicitous crap. What do you want? My television?” I doubted it, because their car outside wasn’t big enough to transport it, but bravado seemed smarter than fear. “Take it, I have renter’s insurance.”
He stepped closer, and I became aware of the fact he was tall, not to mention built. I was short. Could I key-poke his eye or not? More like his throat. Wasn’t the spot between your collarbones vulnerable? I patted my non-key-holding hand against my breastbone to check, my heavy work satchel thumping my hip.
John picked up my cordless telephone from the bookcase next to the couch and extended it to me. “The minute we make you nervous, dial the police.”
“I’m nervous right now.” I pressed various areas on my throat to test which was most stickable. Nervous people did that, protected their throats, or their boobs. I guess they were protecting their hearts, not their boobs.
“Sorry.” He tilted his head down. “Would you prefer to eat first? You must be hungry. We got the sandwich from Mazio’s.”
How could they know my favorite eatery was a dive three blocks down on the east end?
Jody Wallace grew up in the South in a very rural area. She went to school a long time and ended up with a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. Her resume includes college English instructor, technical documents editor, market analyst, web designer, and general all around pain in the butt. One of her many alter egos is “The Grammar Wench”, which should give you an indication of her character. She is a terrible packrat and likes to amass vintage clothing, books, Asian-inspired kitchenware, gnomes, and other items that threaten to force her family out of the house. She also likes cats. A lot. (VS sez: That’s a good thing since she is the owner of the legendary Meankitty!!!)
Ms. Wallace’s approach to writing is to tell as many outlandish lies as she can get her readers to swallow. Her dream is to be moderately well-paid for this service. You can also find several of her books under the pen name Ellie Marvel.