Author Name: Susan Alice Bickford
Book Title: A SHORT TIME TO DIE
Book Genre: Crime / Suspense
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Synopsis: Walking home on a foggy night, Marly Shaw stops in the glare of approaching headlights. Two men step out of a pickup truck. One of them is her stepfather. A sudden, desperate chase erupts in gunshots. Both men are left dead. And a terrified girl is on the run—for the rest of her life . . .
Excerpt: Marly Shaw peered into the night fog that crept in and settled around the Rock. She could see no sign of her stepfather’s truck in the parking lot.
Charon Springs might be a tiny town, but as the only drinking establishment within ten or more miles in any direction, the Rock easily qualified as its most thriving business. Pickled from the inside out by beer, booze, and nicotine, the sagging two-story structure oozed a sour stench that permeated the car, even with the windows closed.
“What do you want to do?” Claire asked.
Marly studied the mist outside, tinged alternating shades of red and blue by the blinking neon lights.
“I should drop you home,” Claire said with a sheepish glance at her passenger. “But we’re already late. I’m supposed to be home by ten thirty and it’s after eleven already. Straight to the dance, straight home.”
And no detours into Harris territory. In this town, nice people like Claire’s family avoided Marly’s family as much as possible.
“Not to worry,” Marly said. “Let me out down the road. It’s Friday night, so the bar is packed. He might have parked in the woods. If he’s not there, I can walk home. It’s not cold. Hard to believe it’s the end of October. Maybe global warming is a good thing for Central New York.”
“Yeah. A couple of times I had to trick-or-treat in a parka.”
“Kids these days have it easy,” Marly said. They both chuckled.
Marly rummaged in her large bag and pulled out a small flashlight and her tattered running shoes. She always came prepared to tramp across fields and down dirt roads, day or night.
“Great dance tonight,” Claire said. “I can’t believe we’ll never go to another Halloween Gala. Next year we’ll be in college.”
“Some of us will be.”
“You’re a really good student and everyone says you’ll do great. You might even get into one of the good New York state schools. That’s what my mom says.”
“Sure. Well, I hope so.”
About the author: Susan Alice Bickford was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Central New York. After she discovered computer graphics and animation her passion for technology pulled her to Silicon Valley, where she became an executive at a leading technology company. She now works as an independent consultant, and continues to be fascinated by all things high tech. She splits her time between Silicon Valley and Vermont. A Short Time to Die is her first novel. Find out more about Susan at www.susanalicebickford.com
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