Psychological women's suspense that reads like the sharp edge of a dagger…
By Susan Wingate
When Georgette’s old friend, Helen, comes back to Sunnydale, the town begins to sizzle. Is Helen attracted to Hawthorne Biggs, Georgette’s new beau or is it just Georgette’s imagination? But when Helen goes missing, all seems lost. Will they find Helen dead? Does Hawthorne truly have Georgette’s best interests at heart? HOTTER THAN HELEN is a psychological women’s suspense.
Release Date: November 16, 2022
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Soft Cover: ISBN:978-1509243501; 329 pages; $15.99; eBook $4.99
Sunnydale, Arizona, 2009
Steel shackles jangled at his ankles, sounding much like the ghost of Christmas future when he shuffled to a stop on the cold travertine floor. Cabling, the kind used on bicycle locks, wrapped around his thin waist and angled off in a Y, snaring each of his wrists. He held his arms close to his stomach, monk-style as if praying, but unlike a monk, he held his head high, not down.
At a thick, red mahogany podium, the orange-clad prisoner stood next to a smaller-framed bailiff. The bailiff’s hand cupped the man’s elbow when someone called out, “All rise. The Honorable Judge Lindon.” The bailiff stepped back to the right, but the prisoner’s eyes shifted left where his lawyer stepped up. The packed courtroom stood almost in unison.
Everyone watched as the judge walked in from a door along the courtroom wall where his desk sat. Sidling behind the wide bench, a dense desk spanned no less than eight feet long and three feet wide of the same rich mahogany as the podium where the orange-clad
The judge sat, pausing midway down to eye the prisoner over his black-rimmed reading glasses, sitting slowly before lifting the docket in front of him and reading from the papers.
He looked pissed.
Once settled, he slid his black leather and wood chair under the bench. Everyone else in the courtroom sat. Everyone except, of course, the prisoner and his lawyer.
The judge wasted no time. “Your sentence, sir…in light of this…” he hesitated briefly, rolling his hand in a circle as he spoke, then continued, “…this new information and these errors,” he glared at the lawyer, “in allowing this new information from reaching the court at the time of your trial.” The judge kept a hard scowl as he looked between both men but mostly at the man’s attorney. “I have no other reasonable choice than to reduce said sentence to a lesser term, no more than two years beginning today.” He slammed his gavel so abruptly he made the stumpy, tightly-combed, gray-haired court recorder jump. She looked up suddenly but went back to typing.
Susan Wingate writes about big trouble in small towns. She lives with her husband on an island off the coast of Washington State where, against State laws, she feeds the wildlife because she wants them to follow her. Her ukulele playing is, “Coming along,” as her Sitto used to say.
Susan’s eight-time award-winning novel, How the Deer Moon Hungers was chosen by The International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club as their October 2022 Official Book Selection of the Month.
Susan has an insatiable appetite for online word games and puzzles. She thinks it might be obsessive-compulsive but is fine with that.
Susan’s poetry, short stories, and essays have been published in journals such as the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Superstition Review, and Suspense Magazine, as well as several others.
Susan is represented by Chip MacGregor and is a proud member of PENAmerica, Int’l Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association.
Her latest book is the mystery thriller, Hotter Than Helen (The Bobby’s Diner Series Book 2).