ooo… Maryann’s blurb is excellent… you have intrigue, a woman wrongly accused, and mob bosses…
Will the sheriff get his man??? or maybe his girl??? in more ways than one, Maryann seems to pulling in drama lovers… it sounds like everyone will be walking along a slippery slope… hmmmm….
#EggcerptExchange Boxes For Beds by Maryann Miller
The 1960s were a time of peace and love in California, but not so in Hot Springs, Arkansas where the mob still ruled. In Boxes For Beds, babies are being kidnapped, and the local sheriff has to put this case to bed before the bosses come down from Chicago for a big meeting. They don’t need the heat of an open investigation that could interest the Feds, and they have the local sheriff under their control. He thinks it’s a good move to arrest Leslie Richards, the new woman in town, even though there’s only thin circumstantial evidence against her. Better for it to be a stranger taking those babies and not one of their own. Leslie has left New York with her ten-year-old daughter, Mandy, hoping to escape from her past and the ruins of a relationship, only to discover that there is little peace for her in Pine Hollow, Arkansas.
“Hush little baby, don’t you cry … ” The plaintive melody whispered in the otherwise resounding silence.
One small candle flickered atop the dust-encrusted chest of drawers, the feeble light unable to dispel the gloom born of the murky darkness. The yellow flame wafted in a sudden draft, casting macabre patterns on a precarious stack of old boxes supported by an intricate network of cobwebs. The pale light briefly touched a figure hunched over an open trunk.
The figure loomed more like a shadow than a real person and reached out a hand to lightly trace the features of the tiny bundle nestled within the trunk’s musty interior.
“Would you listen to me? Singing to a doll-baby just like you was real.”
Wide, unblinking eyes stared back.
“Sometimes I wish … but no. It’s better this way. If you was real, then I’d have to tell you to hush for sure. The Man don’t let me play with no real babies. Says I might hurt ’em. But he don’t know. I can be real gentle. Ain’t my fault those others broke. You ain’t gonna do that are you?”
March 6, 1961
Leslie Richards sat on the ground, idly picking at the strands of dry grass beside her. No sign of green yet, not even in Pine Hollow, Arkansas. Not that she really expected it. Early March is still winter whether in Arkansas or New York, but at least the breeze blew a little warmer here. She definitely wouldn’t be sitting on the ground if she were still in New York.
Easing herself against the thick trunk of the old oak, which stretched leafless branches high into a shimmering blue sky, Leslie thought of how her agent had reacted to the news of her impending move. Merrill had stolen the response Leslie had expected from her parents.
“What on earth do you want to leave New York for?” Merrill rolled a well-chewed pencil between her slim fingers, staring at Leslie in frank astonishment.
“You’re the one who keeps telling me a writer should be well-traveled. Let’s just say I’m broadening my horizons.”
“Some podunk town in the South is hardly what I had in mind.”
“That ‘podunk town’, as you so colorfully put it, is part of my heritage. My grandmother was raised there. I can reconnect with my roots.”
“Right. Like that’s been a burning issue in your life.” Merrill flashed one of her lopsided smiles. “I think you’re holding out on me, kid.”
“Oh, Merrill,” The tears Leslie had vowed not to burden her friend with welled in her eyes and spilled unbidden down her cheeks. “Everything’s such a mess. Since Ronald … I can’t think. I can’t work.”
Maryann Miller is a best-selling author of books, screenplays and stage plays. Boxes for Beds is her first indie release. Her previous books include a police-procedural mystery, Open Season, which is the first in a new series that features two women homicide detectives. Think “Lethal Weapon” set in Dallas with female leads. Miller has won numerous awards for her screenplays and short fiction, including the Page Edwards Short Fiction Award, the New York Library Best Books for Teens Award, and first place in the screenwriting competition at the Houston Writer’s Conference.
BUY LINK – Boxes for Beds is available in paper, electronic, and audio. Links to all formats are on Maryann’s Book Page on her website:
AUTHOR LINKS – Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Maryann-Miller/e/B001JP7Y1S/
Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/Maryann-Miller-176896965725974/
Author Website http://maryannwrites.com/
What would I do if I won the lottery? What a great question. We all fantasize about that, don’t we? First, I’d endow the Winnsboro Center For the Arts where I have been the theatre director for many years. WCA offers live concerts, theatre, exhibits, classes and workshops in all areas of creativity, and it has brought so much cultural enrichment and joy to the people in this rural area where I live. Then I would gift my church and my children. Lest I sound too altruistic, I would buy myself a bigger ranch and hire some people full-time to help with the animals.
What is my favorite place to visit? I find it interesting that that will change for me depending on the day and my mood. At the top of the list is visiting my family. The bonds I have with siblings, children, grandchildren are strong, and those bonds pull us together. I also love to go to nearby lakes and sit quietly, just absorbing the beauty around me. Sounds sappy, I know. But, hey, I live in a place where Mother Nature has done some of her best work. I also must mention how much I enjoyed visiting the Bath Houses in Hot Springs. We writers do have to suffer for our research. (smile)
Level of Education or self-taught? While I have gone to college, it was not for classes related to writing, although I did audit a Master’s Class in creative writing. My area of study was psychology and sociology, which certainly has helped me in understanding human nature – as much as anyone can understand. I have taken many writing workshops, including a six-week class with Joe Camp on screenwriting. Things that I learned there helped with acting and directing, in addition to what I learned about writing. On stage, or on screen, you don’t always need words. Next time you watch a movie, focus on what an actor can convey with a look or a gesture. I find it challenging, and interesting, to try to translate that into narrative fiction.