Friday, January 20, 2012

Welcome back Deborah M. Piccurelli!



She would be working for her sister’s killer.

Amber’s skin goosebumped as she drove down the town’s main highway to the Cedarview Women’s Center for her first day on the job. To think the man responsible for Ashley’s death, Dr. Albert Hines, would be her employer.

Her foot pumped the extender pedal for the brake, and her Honda Odyssey glided to a smooth stop at the red traffic signal. She sometimes wondered what it would feel like to be five-six instead of four foot tall and able to drive without the extenders, to live a life without the need for any adaptive products.

She was about to find out. In part, anyway. Her last visit to the clinic for the interview revealed very few accommodations for a little person. Not that she expected there would be any, as they probably never had a dwarf working there before. Despite her size, Dr. Hines had shown her much respect. Because of that surprising courtesy, a tinge of guilt crept in at the thought that he would end up in prison because of her.

Not enough to put her off, though. He had it coming.

Amber pulled the minivan into the clinic’s parking lot and watched, mouth agape, as two lines of protestors shouted across an imaginary divide. Some of them resembled snarling cougars ready to pounce at the slightest provocation.

Her heartbeat quickened. Her first day on the job and she had to deal with this? The big question was how to get through that crowd unscathed.

A heavy sigh forced its way through her lips, as she rolled into an empty spot around the side of the simple brick building. Her dry mouth tasted stale. She turned off the engine and sat frozen for a moment. The overcast sky added to her sense of dread and doom.

What am I doing here?

Despite the cold weather, her palms were sweaty, and she rubbed them against the soft wool of her coat. She couldn’t go in. Crossing those picket lines could incite a riot. The pro-choicers would think she was on their side, and the pro-lifers would think she was against them. And what if something triggered Dr. Hines’s memory, causing him to recognize her from that long-ago day when she’d come here with Ashley? He hadn’t mentioned it, but he could have gotten a glimpse of her. A dozen years, youth, and shorter hair might not make a big difference. But the more time she spent in his presence, the higher the risk. She could well imagine what such a big guy could do to someone as small as her.

She checked her hair in the rearview mirror, and her anxious blue eyes peered back at her. “You’re being silly,” she told her reflection. She opened the car door to a blast of cold air. She would do this. For Ashley and for the babies. As for the raging bulls around front? She’d leave them to the Lord.
Amber climbed out of the van. She couldn’t see the mob from here, but she could hear them: a myriad of voices, some yelling, some chanting. Sounded like hundreds of people. Could there be that many?

Her hands and knees trembled. She disliked large groups of people. Especially hostile ones. They didn’t mix well with little people.

Mustering up her courage, Amber strode around the corner of the building and headed for the front door, a mere fifteen feet away. Fifteen feet. Her own personal green mile.

There were two separate groups assembled in front of the clinic. Maybe a hundred and fifty people.
As soon as she got near, a voice yelled out, “Don’t do it!”

“Leave her alone!” cried another. “It’s her choice!”

Soon both sides erupted into a crescendo of shouting that threatened to break the sound barrier and closed in on Amber.

As she reached for the doorknob a sudden shove sent her flying sideways, and she hit the concrete like a sack of potatoes. Pain shot up her right arm. A hand yanked her up and ushered her back to the door but others clawed her in the opposite direction. “Murderer!” came a legion of voices, as she was jostled.

Help me, Lord! Why are my fellow Christians behaving this way?

She tried to pull free.

“Break it up! Here, here, now!”

She knew that deep voice. A pair of strong male hands gripped her shoulders and guided her to the door. She cringed at their touch yet grateful for the rescue. As soon as she crossed over the threshold, the door slammed behind her, muffling the angry cries of the people and the sirens of the arriving police cars. She squinted in the brightly lit waiting room from its contrast to the dreary outdoors.

While straightening her clothes, she kept her eyes averted. How embarrassing, having to be rescued by the subject of your investigation. “Uh, thank you, Doctor.” Her hair had to be straggled after that scuffle. She patted it into place and winced with the movement of her injured arm. “This happen often?”

“Protests? Yes. But never before has a new employee made quite an entrance as that, Miss Amber.”
She might have thought the incident annoyed him but for the twinkle in his forest green eyes. She grinned through her aversion to this man. “It’s my mission in life to get noticed wherever I go.”
Dr. Hines threw his head back and laughed out loud, his light brown hair fluttering with the gesture. “You’re a sassy one.” Then, in the next instant, his expression became serious. “Come with me, and we’ll get started.” He moved toward the back of the clinic.

Dr. Hines’s sudden mood shift left Amber with a chill creeping through her veins.

Thank you so much, Deborah!

Deborah M. PIccurelli is giving away a copy of Hush Little Baby. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Can't wait to get this book? Get it here!


cjajsmommy said...

I'm very interested in reading how all this develops and plays out in the book. Please enter me in the giveaway.
djragno (at) hotmail (dot) com

Marianne said...

I love to read novels involving the medicals. Come to think of it, i think the first romance novels i read would have been nurse stories! (Moms dream was to be a nurse, and until she married she worked in hospitals).
Thanks for the excerpt and opportunity to win!


Linda said...

I love mysteries/suspense. I've yet to read Deborah's books, although I have them written down to read. Please enter me. Thank you.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Teela said...

Hush Little Baby, OH I do want to read you! love to read suspense. When I finish reading a book, I post a review on my blog: and also on, and Goodreads. Hope to win this thriller!

lgm52 said...

Exciting excerpt! Thanks for sharing..I would love to read the entire book!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, ladies, for returning to read my excerpt, and for your interest in my book!


Pam K. said...

This sounds like a very fascinating book on a difficult subject with a very unique heroine. I'd love to read more! Thanks for giving away a copy.


Jennifer said...

How did you come up with such great story? Sounds so erie! Hope your book does awesome.

Bethany said...

Ohh this sounds like a great read!

bn100 said...

This book sounds very interesting. Thanks for the giveaway.


Jo said...

It will be quite interesting to see what happens here and how things develop. I can't wait to read this book.


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