Book Title: Broken Strings
Author: Nancy Means Wright
Release Date: May 7th 2013
Publisher: GMTA Publishing, LLC
Presented by: As You Wish Tours
ONE LINER BLURB
When puppeteer Fay finds a friend dead of poisoned yew and her sister hanging from a rod like a marionette, she races after the killer.
When puppeteer Marion collapses during a performance of Sleeping Beauty, her friend Fay Hubbard promises to carry on. But Fay already has her hands full with three demanding foster children, Apple and Beets, who have a fractious jailbird father—and sixteen-year-old Chance, who has a crush on a much older guy in a band called Ghouls. And now Marion’s husband Cedric seems more interested in a drop-dead-gorgeous French teacher than in any string puppets. And who is the mysterious Skull-man who warns of death if the show goes on with one of Marion’s offbeat endings? When an autopsy reveals that Marion had swallowed a dose of deadly crushed yew—and a friend finds her sister dangling from a rod like a marionette, a shocked Fay goes after the killer.
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They turned to face south, then west, then north. Chance went through the ritual in a daze, echoing Billy as he called on the deities, allowing herself to be shoved this way and that. Each time the laughter bubbled up in spite of herself and she repressed it. It’s wonderful, magical, I’m part of nature, she told herself. But why am I laughing?
Nerves, she thought. Underneath, she was scared. She was an outsider to this group who knew all the words and moves. Billy had said nothing about being pagan until tonight, when he announced he was going to show her a part of himself she’d never seen. A part she must understand. She thought of the name of his band: Ghouls.
The Great Rite came next, the culmination of the dance. The leader drew a man and a woman out of the circle; they knelt on the ground facing one another; the woman’s partly bared breasts shone like twin moons. “A ritual of holy communion,” Billy whispered, and she winced. Chance recalled waking up one night with a naked boy on top of her. It was the older brother in one of her foster families. There was nothing holy about it. She was thirteen; he said he’d kill her if she told. She shoved him off – and she never told.
Now followers were dancing in a circle while drums beat and cymbols clapped; they recited a witch’s rune, and shaped themselves into a cone to “raise energy.” She felt herself out of shape, out of step.
Finally the leader signaled for the dancing to stop; the leader drew on red high-heeled boots over her black stockings. They ate cheese and drank wine – Chance grew a little tipsy. She thought about her history quiz the next day, but blocked it out. Full of wine and sweet night air, she walked back with Billy through the cemetery, then down the quiet street to his apartment by Otter Creek that he said they could turn into “a sacred stream” if she wanted.
She didn’t think she did. She didn’t know what it was she wanted. And he didn’t press.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nancy Means Wright has published 17 books, including 6 contemporary mysteries from St Martin’s Press and two historical novels featuring 18th-century Mary Wollstonecraft (Perseverance Press). Her two most recent books are the mystery Broken Strings (GMTA publishing) and Walking into the Wild, an historical novel for tweens (LLDreamspell). Her children’s mysteries have received an Agatha Award and Agatha nomination. Nancy lives in Middlebury with her spouse and two Maine Coon cats.