Monday, December 19, 2011

THE HERITAGE is one of my latest novels and I thought everyone might like a look at the opening of the book. I hope you like it and see more at the amazon site.

Available on Kindle now

THE HERITAGE is a 55,000 word novel based in New York City. KRISTINA SUTHERLAND learns she‟s pregnant, but how? She couldn‟t remember having sex with anyone for a long time. Her only explanation—a date rape drug. The problem: it happened onboard the corporate yacht attended by every member of the board of directors, older men and friends of her family. Still, the test strip didn‟t lie. And now, someone wants her to have an abortion to end the scandal and would do anything necessary to make sure she either complies or dies before giving birth.

An insider, the head of security for Lyon International soon offers her the best chance in surviving and discovering the truth. But SHAWN DAVIS has his own deep secrets to hide. While his grandfather, Brent Lyon is the chairman of the board he had tossed Shawn and his mother to the curb when he was born. His mother had refused to have an abortion, a decision Shawn obviously felt thankful for. This time, however, Shawn can make a difference, especially when Kristina needs someone to believe in her, to be her champion.

Chapter 1
A tingling sensation ravaged Kristina Sutherland‟s body as she waited for the colors to change on the test strip. Damn, she couldn‟t be pregnant. How? She hadn‟t been with a guy for months now. Still, she never missed her period before. A spinning numbness clouded her thoughts as she studied the blue strip indicating a positive response.

She needed help, but knew all she would receive was criticism. Yes, she loved to party, but she wasn‟t stupid. This couldn‟t be happening to her. Facing her mother would be the hardest part. She could imagine the headlines as Barbara Sutherland, one of the top socialites in New York City had to explain how her daughter got knocked up.

Kristina hid the test kit in a drawer. Her father, Lawson Sutherland would be home soon. She didn‟t want him to know. While her mother would go berserk, but her father would . . . . She squeezed her eyes shut for a moment before shuffled toward her mother‟s activity room where Kristina last saw her painting.

The perspiration coating her body turned to a bitter chill. She shut the door on the way in as her mother studied the way she could barely walk, much less stand.
Barbara turned and lowered her paint brush. “What is it?”

“You‟re not going to like this.” Kristina struggled to find a seat as her legs failed her and her mother rushed to her aid.

“Here.” Barbara tossed papers and small boxes out of the seat and onto the floor. “Let me help you. Kristina, you look sick.”

“I feel like I‟m going to pass out.” Kristina realized she might lose her lunch any moment.

Her mother knelt beside her and squeezed her hand. “You feel sweaty. What‟s going on with you?”

Kristina cried, as she lowered her head. Each loud expression of sorrow released one wave of embarrassment after another. “Mother. I‟m pregnant.”

“Pregnant! What? Are you sure?”

“I know. I just took a test. I missed my period and I never ever miss one.”
Kristina felt her mother pull her head into her bosom. Good, she needed support and not criticism. However, she knew it would come soon enough.

The patience of her mother shocked her. She never reacted like this with her before. It wasn‟t her temperament. “I‟m sorry, mother.”

“I‟ll take care of you, baby. I think I know what you‟re going through. I‟m here for you.”

Kristina raised her head to face her mother. “Please, don‟t tell Dad.”

“He‟ll have to know soon enough.”

“I know. But I don‟t know who the father is, and I know he‟ll want to know.”

“I see. It shouldn‟t be too hard to figure how which guy did this to you.”

“Mother, you don‟t understand. I haven‟t had sex with anyone in a long time.”

“Well apparently you have.”

“That‟s why I‟m upset. I don‟t remember anyone. It has been at least four months ago.”

Her mother offered a smile. “Then perhaps the test was wrong. We need to have you looked at by a good doctor.”

“Yes, I want to see someone good, but I don‟t think there‟s any doubt. I need to know what happened to me. I only have one possible explanation.”

“Which is?”

“I‟m thinking someone may have taken advantage of me when I passed out from drinking too much one night.”

“Which night?” Her mother‟s mouth opened wide. “This sounds like rape. Are you sure?”
“No, I‟m not, but I don‟t have any other explanations.” Kristina forced her attention on the night aboard the company yacht. She remembered the heavy drinking, and the partying later, but nothing else until she woke late the next day. “Mom, I really need to do some thinking before I say anything.”

“I think you‟re hiding something. You know you can tell me.”

In a way she knew she needed her mother‟s help, but also how she might explode, accusing others with no proof. She had to think about it. She needed to be alone and concentrate. Perhaps even ask some questions of others who were onboard. Yes, maybe even find someone who could do an investigation for her—discretely.

As Kristina mind raced from one thought to another, her mother regained her normal mannerism of arrogance and pride she had been breed with—something Kristina fought every day with. She didn‟t want to become like her mother. Her father‟s wealth provided her with all of the physical luxury they could ever want, but also saddled them with a need to protect their image from those intent to ruin it in any kind of scandal. So was the life of the high society elite in New York City.

“I can tell you‟re not mentally able to handle this right now. I think I have no choice but to help you.”

“Mom, you mean control me. Don‟t worry; I don‟t plan to let the world know what happen until I have more answers.” Kristina rubbed her eyes. “I need to be alone for a while and think.”

“I do hope you have some smarts about you. But, we do need to get to the bottom of this as fast as we can.”

“For now, I need to lie down and rest. I know I need to eat something, and will force myself to later. However, I want to be left alone.” Before her mother could respond, Kristina walked out of the room and rushed to her own. She had to concentrate on what she needed to do. She wanted a best friend; someone who really cared about her. Unfortunately, all of the people she had around her insisted on partying all of the time. They would find this hilarious and their ridicule was definitely not what she needed now.


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