BURIED IN MY PAST
By Eva Mackenzie
Domestic Romantic Suspense
She’s desperate to stop the panic attacks. But the truth won’t set her free…
Jamie Kendal sees life through the bottom of a bottle. After
surviving assault and betrayal, she is forced back to her hometown to
care for her mother. Not long after her return, she’s plagued by
terrifying slivers of memories from the night her twin brother
Unearthing new evidence, she’s shocked to learn she’d been found
wandering in the woods that same night—covered in blood. More than one
person from her past hid the haunting truth that’s bubbling to the
surface. The deeper she digs into the horrors from her past, the more
she fears almost anyone could be a killer, including Jamie herself.
Can Jamie expose what happened that night, or will she join her missing brother?
“Hello, my name is Taylor, and I’m a sex addict.” He looked around the room at a few familiar faces. He’d never told his story to them, but he always liked to introduce himself to the group. Of course, Taylor wasn’t his real name. And perhaps his burden was not exactly sex addiction, but it was in that vein.
“Hello, Taylor.” The group welcomed him.
He quickly took his seat and cast his eyes to the ground.
There was a big group tonight at Sex Addicts Anonymous. The dusty space occupied the third floor of the public library, rented to them every Tuesday night.
Marcie, or so she claimed to be, stood up and moved to the front of the group.
She always liked to share all the gory details of her sex addiction. Taylor secretly wondered if she was getting off telling the group about her promiscuity. Too willing, if you asked him.
He glanced around at the men and women captivated by Marcie’s passionate relapse. He imagined some were fathers and mothers. Some were possibly divorced or in open relationships. Heterosexuals, homosexuals, and anything in between. All looked like average people.
Marcie was maybe a four on a scale of one to ten, so he barely raised his head as she continued.
This was his fifteenth meeting, and every time he walked through those doors, he wondered what he was doing here. Of course, he had a problem, but he wasn’t interested in fixing it. Maybe problem wasn’t the proper classification.
Was his issue a lack of moral character? If so, who was the judge? Society? That was a joke. No one on this earth was free from lust.
All of these people were suffering. Not him. He lived the dream. But on most Tuesday nights he found the time to drive two and half hours to this meeting. He didn’t ask himself why—he knew why—and the anticipation offered a giddy sensation that nudged his crotch. He was a bastard, for sure;
There was no one in this room he was interested in. Hell, who wanted cheap thrills. He was looking for a ten.
He wasn’t a handsome man, although he wasn’t ugly either. Some might say his nose was a bit too sharp or his hair too thin. His features weren’t coveted, and he wasn’t charming or even funny. But he only had sex with women who were nines, at minimum; it was sort of a rule he had.
The group around him broke into applause as Marcie took her seat. She didn’t give him a come-hither glance. Her eyes were glued to the other man she sat next to. As he stood up to introduce himself, Marcie rested a friendly hand on his arm—encouragement. Right.
He would be Marcie’s next relapse.
It was too easy. Like shooting fish in a barrel.
Not him—he wanted a real lay.
He stood and removed a cigarette from his coat pocket and headed for the door, his movement swift. He had forgotten the time.
Once out on the street, he was greeted by a blast of hot air. The pavement had soaked up the sun and continued to heat the city at night. He lit his smoke and waited while keeping his eyes on the steady stream of people moving down the sidewalk. The working crowd hustled along in and out of Virginia’s metro station in Arlington.
A woman in her early thirties hustled past him. Her Clinique perfume teased his nose as he closed the space quietly. Her feet slid into two-inch heels revealing that sexy muscle on the sides of her calves. She wore a business suit fitting her well in all the right places. Her smooth, pale skin flashed in the intermittent streetlights. She was a ten.
He dropped his smoke, not missing a step as she chose her watering hole.
A pub for working adults and cliques. High-end place. He knew before she even went inside that she would take a seat at the bar.
She graciously held the door for him without a backward glance.
Inside he took a seat at a table with a full view of the restaurant; Virginia didn’t have bars—they had places that serve fried food to patrons consuming large amounts of alcohol. The place was packed, noise assaulting his senses. Just the way he liked it. Much of the same crowd was here last week. He watched Ten take her seat, order her drink, and immediately pull out her cell phone.
“What can I get you?” a waitress asked.
“Gin and tonic and a margarita for my girlfriend.” He patted the table beside him as he nodded to the bathroom. She scurried off without another word.
He watched as a large group of men entered the bar. One of them spotted Ten and boldly joined her.
“Fifteen seventy,” the waitress said as she placed the two drinks in front of him a few minutes later. Opening his wallet, he counted out eighteen dollars and handed the money to her. He imagined the police asking her a list of questions. “What did he look like? How tall was he? Did he have any tattoos?” She would remember none of these things, the tip not large enough or small enough to trigger any memories.
He sipped his drink and watched.
He knew his number ten would be stood up this evening. Her profile picture online, to his delight, was an accurate depiction. In the dim bar light, her skin was as creamy and flawless as he recalled. She scanned her phone once again, her mannerisms jerky. She was looking for a man that didn’t exist. At least he didn’t live in Arlington, Virginia.
Best to travel in groups. There are a lot of assholes out there, Julie.
He pulled a small bottle from his pocket. A clear liquid inside promised adventure as he poured it into his second drink. Number ten was still at the bar, an unhappy pout dressing her full lips. The bold admirer continued a conversation with her. Perfect.
He slunk to the bar and pulled up next to her, careful not to gain her attention yet as she faced away from him. Bodies pressed in all directions. Her margarita sat barely touched in front of her.
“Can I get another gin and tonic?” He held up his empty glass. He scanned faces quickly but discreetly.
Placing his margarita next to hers, he gently tapped her on the shoulder as the bartender turned for his refill.
“This is mine, right?” he asked, pointing to her drink. She looked dazed for a second as she glanced at the two glasses. She nodded absently as he took her drink and left his cocktail instead. After paying the bartender, he went back to his table.
He watched as she drank the whole glass. Shadows danced over his face as he looked at his watch; it had been twenty minutes. Almost time.
Her movements were becoming loose as she swayed gently on the stool. Her admirer smiled at her dolefully as she seemed to lose her inhibition. Her current company mouthed, “I’ll be right back,” and took off toward the restroom. Time to make his move.
“There you are!” he said as he approached her. She looked over at him, glassy warm brown eyes accompanying a silky smile. He didn’t have much time.
“I’m sorry I’m late. Traffic was a mess.” He put his arm around her and kissed her softly on the lips. She didn’t object.
“Let’s go, sweetheart.” He was already moving toward the door.
No, I don’t have a problem. He looked down at his new girl. None at all.
Interview with the Author
What Initially got you interested in writing? Back in middle school a friend and I would write about what we thought our lives would be like when we grew up. I had lots of friends and we lived in a big house. That kicked it off for me. Though I have had a day job since I was a teen, I have always had writing in the back of my mind.
What genres do you write in? My current release is a domestic/romantic suspense. It’s one of my favorite genres to read as well. I have a psychological thriller releasing in August 2020.
What drew you to writing these specific genres? It’s what I enjoy reading. I can be immersed in a world for six months as I draft and revise. I love writing/reading stories that are emotional, sexy, intriguing and a little shocking.
How did you break into the field? I went to college for an unrelated career that I have been in since 2007. After deciding I really wanted to write I took another 7 years to finish my first book. I hired some great people to work with; cover designers, editors and formatters and decided to go the indie route. It’s been great so far.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works? I want to make readers feel emotions. All different kinds; happy, sad, sexy, scared. I didn’t realize the power of emotion in my writing until later in my life. That is my main goal. I used to think the ultimate plot twist, or perfect characterization was my aim, but that left me scattered a bit. Now I ask myself if the scenes are causing people to emotionally connect with my characters and become invested.
What do you find most rewarding about writing? Reading a review or e-mail from a reader telling me how much they enjoyed my book. This is huge for me. If someone tells me they couldn’t put it down—that’s what I want.
What do you find most challenging about writing? Because I use intricate plots and several points of view, its hard work to make them all work together seamlessly. It requires a lot of editing and work after the story is initially written.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field? Continue to study craft. Whether it’s plotting, characterization or revising, learn as much as you can. With that comes the added benefit of reading a lot of books in your genre and maybe other genres. Its invaluable to learn how great writers are doing it. Not copying but understanding all of the things that makes a story great by reading great stories.
What type of books do you enjoy reading? I like domestic/romantic suspense, thrillers, mystery, sci-fi, some YA titles and mild horror.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you? I am a marathoner. I usually train for one a year, but I’m taking this season off while I publish two books.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work? My website has my currently release and my upcoming psychological thriller details on it. https://www.evamackenzie.com I am also on Goodreads where I read and recommend a lot of books. My Instagram handle https://www.instagram.com/Evamackenzie_reads.
Thank you for hosting me. Eva
Eva Mackenzie is an author who enjoys twisty, emotionally engrossing
tales. Her debut novel has been a work in progress for over a decade.
Under the urging of a loved one, it’s finally finished.
She is a
wife and mother living on the east coast. When she isn’t writing, she is
spending time with her family, training for her next marathon or
reading stacks of suspense novels. Some of her favorite authors are
Minka Kent, Dean Koontz, Tami Hoag, and Lisa Jackson.
Her latest book is BURIED IN MY PAST.
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