Tension by R.L. Griffin
Release date: July 30, 2013Synopsis:
The Stella who emerges from the rubble of the bombing in Montana is a woman full of conflict. She knows she should be grateful that she lived when others didn't, but after waking in the hospital as a celebrity, complete with a new moniker, she's bitter and distrustful, questioning everything in her life. She's unsure of her friends, her new boyfriend, and her job. In addition, a face from the past reappears and threatens to take the one good thing in her life.
Stella attempts to deal with the new scrutiny of her life with her usual sense of humor, but she's filled with a new emotion that she tries desperately to hide: HATE. Her recovery is hastened by her determination to find the man who turned her into a walking scar. She's going to kill him; she needs to kill him.
Stella isn't alone. She has her close friends and her dog, Cooper. Will their support be enough to help Stella accomplish her plan, or will this endeavor be her undoing?
This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content.
She heaved in the toilet for the third time in a row, but it was only bile now. The noise echoed through the empty bathroom. Hunching over the bowl, she tried not to grasp the sides with her hands. Because she was more aware of her body and its reactions to stress, she hadn't eaten or had any coffee this morning, thinking maybe she wouldn’t get sick. Pushing herself off of the cold tile floor and flushing the toilet, she spit the remaining bile from her mouth into the toilet. Fighting the urge to wipe the excess saliva on the sleeve of her expensive suit jacket, she pulled a few squares of toilet paper off the roll and patted her mouth. Pushing the door of the stall open, she examined the image she saw in the mirror.
What she saw gave her pause and she stopped just shy of the sink to take in her appearance. Her new outer shell was almost unrecognizable. She’d recently cut her long black waves into a straight, chin-length bob, currently tousled. Her weight loss over the past several months made her cheeks look sunken; she’d attempted to hide her sallow skin with makeup, but she still looked just a little bit haunted. The new grey suit she was wearing was wrinkled. Irritated, she smoothed down the length of the pencil skirt to where it hit just above her knees. Her soft pink shell underneath was chosen to make her look more fragile. As if it’s possible to look any more fragile. Some of her scars were visible above the collar of the shell; all perfecting the image Millie said she needed to show the world.
Washing her hands quickly, she dried them and pulled out a comb. Breathe. She pulled the comb through her hair. Her stomach rolled again and she dug in her pewter handbag for her medication. She’d finally gotten around to going to the doctor, who diagnosed her with some sort of stress-induced disorder that causes her to throw up. No shit, I diagnosed myself years ago. Throwing the pill in her mouth, she swallowed it dry. Reaching into another pocket, she pulled out lip gloss and reapplied the pink color to her lips, trying to feel the least bit “normal.”
She popped a peppermint into her mouth and closed her eyes, counting to ten slowly before she pushed open the door and walked to the bench just outside the courtroom. As soon as she sat down, the door opened and the U.S. Marshal assigned to the courtroom called her name. Her heels clicked and echoed against the marble floor. The courtroom was full, but she had tunnel vision. She didn’t allow any of her terrified thoughts to enter her brain; she could break down later. In private.
Making her way to the witness stand, she concentrated on not tripping in the six-inch black pumps she always wore. They were her lucky heels for court and she needed them more today than any other day. She took a deep breath, sat down on the stand and took her first glance at the defense table. Her entire body shook with fear at the sight of the man sitting in an ill-fitting suit next to his attorney; she knew the entire case rested on her testimony. No pressure. Shoving the fear down inside her, she folded her hands in her lap and stared at them. Calm.
"Ma'am, please state your name for the record."
About R.L. Griffin
R.L. resides in the Atlanta area with some cool dudes: her husband, son and two dogs. She was born and raised in the South. She attended Georgia Southern University and moved to Washington, D.C. to intern in the United States Senate during the impeachment trial. Falling in love with the city, she went to law school at American University, Washington College of Law. By A Thread is R.L.’s second book, but is the first in a series of books.