Author Name: Kristina Stanley
Book Title: Look the Other Way
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Excerpt: CHAPTER ONE
“We’re letting you go.”
Shannon Payne inhaled deeply, but the breath didn’t ease the tightness gripping her throat.
“I thought I was getting a raise today.”
Veronica Smythe slid an envelope across the surface of her desk.
“I’m not sure why you’d think that.”
The dreaded envelope of doom sat inches from Shannon. Did she dare flick it back at her boss?
“Because that was part of my contract. I accepted the lower wage with the understanding I’d be given a bump in pay at the end of three months.”
Veronica reached across the desk and tapped her acrylic fingernails on Shannon’s name written in sloppy cursive across the center of the unsealed envelope.
“It’s all explained in there.”
“You can’t just let me go because my three-month probationary period ends tomorrow.” Shannon fidgeted with the jacket of her favorite pantsuit, pulling the front seams tight over her blouse. She jammed her stiletto heels into the plush carpet, subduing the tremor that had taken hold of her legs.
“Did I do something wrong?”
“We don’t have the budget to keep you on. It’s nothing personal.”
“Of course it’s personal. I quit a good job and took a risk on this upstart newspaper. You persuaded me to do that.” Shannon’s heart hammered in her chest, and she tried to focus her attention on Veronica, but there was Lance to think about, too. What the heck was she going to tell him? Hi honey, how was your day? By the way, we can’t afford the house we looked at last night.
“I didn’t persuade you to do anything.” Veronica walked to the window and rested her backside on the ledge. The skirt she wore was an inch too short and pinched her thighs. She crossed her arms and looked down her long nose at Shannon.
“When is this effective?”
“Immediately.” Veronica twisted a gold bracelet around her wrist, playing with the sculpted butterfly that connected the chain together. “Obviously, you knew about the probationary period.”
Shannon shoved her own bracelet underneath her sleeve. She’d rather hide the bracelet than let Veronica know they had the same taste in jewelry. On her last birthday, Lance had left the gift on her pillow, and knowing Veronica had an identical one diminished its sentimental value.
“How long have you known this?”
“I’m not sure how that’s relevant.”
Rain pelted the windows framing the corner office. The waves frothing across Lake Ontario matched the motion in Shannon’s stomach.
“You could have given me more time to find another job.”
“I suggest you start looking now for somewhere else to work.”
“Do I get a reference?”
“Yes.” Veronica nodded at the envelope. “It’s in there.”
Shannon didn’t understand the coldness of Veronica’s tone. The change in her behavior had started a month ago, but she couldn’t figure out what she’d done to offend the woman. Female competition in the workplace? Not likely. Otherwise, Veronica wouldn’t have hired her.
“Kingston is a small town. There aren’t many jobs available in our industry.”
“You’re a reporter. Do some investigating, and you’ll find something.”
Shannon dropped her gaze to The Kernel’s competing newspapers. The Whig Standard and The Herald were strewn across Veronica’s desk, highlighted and written on. Three months ago, Shannon left a secure job at The Whig to join The Kingston Kernel, thinking working for a new paper would be exciting. The Kingston Kernel targeted the online market, and Shannon mistakenly believed her career would soar if she was part of a company that embraced new technology. Now she needed to find a new job and fast.
Veronica twirled a pen between her thumb and forefinger, examining it as if it might do something interesting.
“You could move to a bigger city. That might be easier for you.”
What? Leaving the company wasn’t good enough. Veronica wanted her to leave Kingston, too.
“I can’t. My fiancé is doing his residency at the hospital.”
Synopsis: SUBMERGED BENEATH THE DEPTHS IS A SEA OF SECRETS…
A year after her Uncle Bobby mysteriously disappears in the turquoise waters surrounding the Bahamas, Shannon Payne joins her grieving aunt to trace Bobby’s last voyage. Shannon hopes the serenity of the sea might help her recover from a devastating breakup with her fiancé.
Sailing the 38-foot catamaran, A Dog’s Cat, is Captain Jake Hunter, a disillusioned cop who has sworn off women. While Shannon tries to resist her growing attraction to the rugged captain, she uncovers dark truths about her uncle’s death that might send them all to the depths.
About the author: Kristina Stanley is the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Feedback Innovations: a company created to help writers rewrite better fiction. She is the best-selling author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series. Her first two novels garnered the attention of prestigious crime writing organizations in Canada and England. DESCENT, BLAZE, and AVALANCE are published by Imajin Books. THE AUTHOR’S GUIDE TO SELLING BOOKS TO NON-BOOKSTORES is her first non-fiction book.