From: Bear Wells
To: Merry Wells
Subject: About last night’s call
Hey, baby girl, sorry I scared you last night. I know it was late, and I know you were having a good time at the Kappa Sig party—hope I didn’t ruin your evening. Though it did sound like a pretty rowdy party and Tech has a meet this afternoon, right? Got to stay in training, girl.
So I’m guessing Jo already called you? Pretty rough to have a friend die in your arms when you’re only fifteen, and Phoebe was just a kid too, so, you know, that’s why you got the call. After seeing the heartcrash of a fall Phoebe took, well, I had to touch base. I needed to hear your voice.
I went with Detective Wanderley to tell her dad—you haven’t met Wanderley, have you? He’s the guy who handled Graham Garcia’s murder. Anyway, tell you what, Merry, that’s a knock on the door I don’t ever want to get. Phoebe’s dad may have gone from rags to riches, but all the money from Spindletop won’t bring back his little girl.
Baby Bear got me up way too early after that awful night, that dog has got to get some training, and I ended up taking him with me to visit Phoebe’s dad and step-mom which reminds me, are you still seeing Jackson? Because you know I think he’s a great guy and all, but when someone comes out of a family as dysfunctional as Jackson’s, well, the guy’s going to carry a lot of baggage and if you marry that guy (not that you’re talking about getting married—you aren’t are you—nowhere near that serious, right?) that baggage becomes YOUR baggage, too. Just saying. Because from what I can see, Phoebe’s dad married unwisely twice (to my mind making it more of a really bad habit than a mistake) and it’s brought him nothing but misery. Okay, that’s not fair. He’s got a set of twins and those boys are tough little cooters for three-year-olds—they about ran Baby Bear off his great big feet.
It’s days like this when I feel completely inadequate as a minister. There are not words enough in the world to heal and comfort the kind of unhappiness I found in that house. I could not stand for it to be one of my girls.
Alright. I’ll let you go. I know you say emails are for short messages not novel-length missives, and besides, I’ve got to look over my sermon. Be good, Merry. Be true. And, please, God, keep yourself alive and healthy.
With all the love in the world, Dad
Stephanie is giving away one (1) autographed copy of SAFE FROM HARM. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the author. Contest ends March 22 and US entries only.
You can read more about Bear in Safe From Harm, the second book in the “Sugar Land” mystery series. The first book in the series is Faithful Unto Death.
Meet the author
Stephanie Jaye Evans is a fifth generation Texan. She received her B.A. from Abilene Christian University and her Masters of Liberal Studies from Rice University. She wrote a mystery as her master’s capstone project. That mystery, Faithful Unto Death, won the 2010 William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers. Faithful Unto Death—A Sugar Land Mystery, published by Berkley Prime Crime, came out in June 2012 and is an Agatha nominee for best first novel. The second in the series, Safe From Harm will be out March 5, 2013. Kirkus Reviews writes of Safe From Harm, “As charming and wry as Evans’ bright debut (Faithful Unto Death, 2012), filled with reasons to own dogs, love your children and your wife, and have faith.” She is currently at work on the third novel in her Sugar Land Mystery series.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.