Although my passion is primarily western historical novels, sometimes my muse comes from an entirely different setting with a story to tell. I'm happy to present a little sample of my "coming soon" mystery suspense, A Novel Murder. I already have the cover and I'm so stoked I had to share it here for the first time. Consider this a debut of another Michelle Lee creation. Now all I have to do is tie up the lose ends and get the story to my publisher. I think Michelle's cover art is the kick in the pants I need. :)
The smell of decomposition hung heavy in the air of the small bedroom--a nauseating odor that defied description. A homicide detective in Philadelphia for nearly five years, Michelle Wallace still found dealing with death unsettling. She clutched a tissue to her nose, nerves shuddering through her as she surveyed the posed body of the deceased. In the queen-sized bed, a young woman in her late twenties or early thirties, lay with hands and arms crossed over naked breasts, her blue eyes fixed in a permanent stare. Her mouth, lips painted bright red, twisted in what was probably her last attempt to scream. The piece of rope embedded around her throat left ligature marks on her otherwise flawless skin.
The room hummed with activity. Uniformed officer, with gloved hands, went through drawers and the closet. No one dared touch the body until the medical examiner arrived. Michelle already knew what he’d find as the cause of death. She’d seen the whole thing happen. Not literally, but in an unbidden vision; something she couldn’t help.
Shell’s gaze shifted to the nightstand, specifically the novel laying there, The Perfect Crime by M.D. Lynch. If only her fellow officers knew she authored the book. Her pseudonym, consisting of her initials and her mother’s maiden name, kept her writing persona separate from her professional side. Although proud of her work, she dared not brag. They guys would never let her live down the fact that she used some past cases to pattern her storylines. Only her mother and her best friend, Naomi, knew about Michelle’s fiction passion, and they’d been sworn to secrecy. No book signings or personal appearances for this author until she wrote a breakthrough novel and could earn her way as an author, and leave the force.
Her attention flipped back to the hectic scene transpiring around her, especially the three officers ogling the shapely corpse. She gave a dismissing wave. “Shoo, get on with your job. There’s nothing to see here.” She rolled her eyes, disgusted at the lengths men would go to in order to glimpse a bared breast--even on a dead woman.
Michelle’s partner, Tony Rizetti, turned from the building super in the hallway and came inside. He eyed the body, his brow raised. “How long you think she‘s been dead, Meesh?”
God, she hated his nickname for her. Why couldn’t he call her Shell like everyone else? So many times she’d asked, but the sparkle in his eye when he defied her showed his stubborn side.
Already certain of her answer, she shrugged at his question. “Three, maybe four days--but that’s just a guess.” The lie about the time involved rolled off her tongue as smooth as butter. She turned and eyed the body, knowing for sure that exactly three days ago the woman had been brutally attacked and murdered.
I hope you enjoyed my little teaser and that you'll be on the look out for it. Watch the coming soon section t Books We Love for the actual release date, and while you're there, check out all the new releases, including the "special editions." Also, here's information released on the latest exciting contest hosted by Books We Love: