Read for the Love of it!
Split Seconds Excerpt – Book 3 in the Caspian Wine Series
Recently I participated in an event called Noir at the Bar. You can learn more here.
There were fourteen international thriller/mystery authors who each read an excerpt from one of their stories. It was so much fun to participate in but it was amazing to listen to all of the other authors and their stories. So much talent.
And they had a woman play live jazz in the interludes. Beautiful.
Truly a great event.
Actually, I didn’t. I put it out to my readers and this was the most popular ask.
So now that I had the suspense/thriller to read, I had to choose an excerpt. That was harder than I thought it would be.
I finally chose a scene that I love. It’s kind of eye opening and gut wrenching. Tarin is meeting her father for the second time in her life. And he’s abducted her. Of course he has no clue who she is. He thinks she is the identical twin daughter he raised. He doesn’t even seem to know about Tarin. And Tarin hasn’t met her identical twin sister, who she just discovered was still alive.
Let me know what you think?
“Tarin, what the hell are you doing now? You look like a hillbilly. It’s about time you let your hair grow, though. I didn’t appreciate how messy it was yesterday but I do like that it’s long. More feminine. It will get you further with men. With finding a husband.”
Tijan froze. The second encounter with her father was much like the first; it sent a cold, dark shiver down her spine. His voice was anything but what she’d thought a dad’s voice should be; it was harsh and authoritative. She turned slightly, realizing that she hadn’t even noticed him when she’d stumbled into the palatial room. All he needed to finish the look were drapes and veiled women. Everything in it dripped money; the office was bigger than her parents’ house and she’d always thought their five-bedroom rancher had been monstrously large. To her it was ridiculous.
For the first time in thirty years, she was meeting the man she’d only been mildly curious about. Her stepfather Cal had been all that she’d needed as a father and since her mom had told her that her real father was dead, she hadn’t wasted much time thinking about him. All she knew about the man that was supposed to be her father was he’d been evil. Her mom had never told her who he was or why she’d felt that way.
But he wasn’t six feet under; he was sitting at a desk which she imagined was worth more than her SUV. Arrogance oozed out of him, wrapping him in a bubble. It let her know she wouldn’t be getting close to him, physically or emotionally.
And he was desperately trying to save his youth. He obviously dyed his hair and she wondered if he had hair plugs put in. Something about it didn’t look natural. His face had too few wrinkles for a man his age, suggesting he was really quite vain but not about to admit that to anyone. Or maybe it was the way he was sitting in his chair, staring at her, making her feel like he was a judge on his high bench about to hand down his sentencing. The only things they had in common were his nicely rounded forehead and the way his eyebrows arched. It was an odd similarity and told her that she favored their mother, and for that, she was grateful.
“Is this another gimmick to piss me off? I’ll have some clothes delivered from your favorite store so you can change out of those god-awful things you have on. Were you at some sort of Halloween Party? Christ, it’s not even October. Or are you dressing like that to embarrass me?”
Tijan, feeling very stunned, looked down at her normal attire—blue jeans and a blue and red plaid shirt. They were clean and comfortable.
“Now that you’re here, get over here and sit down.”
Numbly Tijan, who felt she might know how Alice in Wonderland felt after falling through the rabbit hole, made her way across the expansive floor. It seemed to take forever to reach the far corner where there were two leather couches and two leather chairs, one of which her father was pointing at. As much as she wanted to look at the man responsible for her being in the world, she found that she couldn’t. All she had seen in his eyes had been disgust and a very clear message that she was lacking. Was this how her sister had been raised?
That thought stopped her cold. She’d done nothing but think about her sister ever since she’d seen that birthmark. Even though she hadn’t been sure until recently that she truly did exist, she had wondered who her sister was and what kind of life she’d had. This man would have been very difficult to live with. If her sister wasn’t a cold bitch, Tijan would be surprised.
A middle-aged woman entered and set down a tray with a pitcher of water, a tea pot and gold embossed glasses and cups.
“Tarin. So nice to see you. I’m glad to see you’ve come to visit your father. You should be visiting more often.”
“Thank you, Mary.”
It sounded like his voice softened a bit but regardless Tijan felt like a kid who had just been chastised. She smiled weakly at the woman as she turned and walked out. Not sure what to do, Tijan turned her attention to the coffee table. It was incredible. It had to have been handcrafted. Tijan reached out to touch the carved animals only to realize that it wasn’t carved into the top but was the base instead.
“It is stunning, isn’t it? I had it commissioned last year. The couple that made it took six months to craft it. If you look closely, you’ll see the eagle but within its wings you’ll see a bear, an owl, three wolves and several other animals.” Her father sat in one of the chairs opposite to her.
Tijan kept her focus on the coffee table. She loved it. The craftsmen were brilliant. They’d taken an old tree, carved a number of animals into it and then put a glass over top of them. It all looked so real. It was the only thing in the office that she could relate to.
Wouldn’t her sister know all this?
“Alright. I know you’re mad but that’s too bad. I needed to see you and I’m tired of making requests.”
“Something is different about you Tarin. I’m not sure I like it.”
“You mean like growing my hair out?”
“Actually, that might work to your benefit. You only kept it short to annoy me. Glad to see you’re coming around.”
Tijan finally looked him in the eye, realizing she’d been avoiding it because she hadn’t wanted him to discover that she wasn’t who he thought she was. It didn’t matter, however, as she realized he wasn’t really seeing her. He was looking at her but saw the child that he was hell-bent on controlling and bending to do his bidding. He had no clue that she wasn’t the well-trained daughter he’d been expecting. This whole thing was making her itch with curiosity but she knew she had to play this game carefully. Her mom had always told her that her father was a bad man—though, admittedly, she’d also said he’d died. Tijan was pretty sure she understood why her mom had said that and had wanted nothing to do with him. He was cold and calculating by her estimation and she’d known him all of two minutes. But why had her mom left Tarin to grow up with him? And why didn’t he know about her?
Split Seconds Book Blurb
Twins… separated as toddlers, reunited as adults… and now they’re switching places in a dangerous game to take on organized crime.
Her sister is alive! Excited to discover her twin didn’t die as a toddler, Tijan can’t wait to meet her other half. But why hasn’t her only sibling reached out in almost thirty years?
Although the reunion is joyous, not everyone is excited to discover there are two of them. Using it to her advantage, Tijan is determined to take down the one man responsible for it all… her father. The secrets and lies that have kept the two apart, soon unravel but with deadly consequences.
“A brilliant read from Maggie Thoms it’s the first of her books I’ve read I loved it have already bought 2 others…” Gillian Petrie
“Wow… just finished reading Split Seconds and it was so fast paced! The action in the story was breathtaking – I was taken on such a roller coaster…” Sue Ingram
“Just when you think Maggie Thom is at the top of her game, she writes another suspense that takes her to yet another pinnacle…” P.M. Terrell (International Multi-Award-Winning Author)
Can she find her identical twin sister and take down organized crime?
“This series is one of the best I’ve read in awhile!! Amazing suspense in all 3 books and I couldn’t put them down. …”
Multi-Award winning author, Maggie Thom. Author of The Caspian Wine Series – Captured Lies (Book of the Month - LAS Reviews and Reader's Favorite Finalist), Deceitful Truths and Split Seconds (Award Winning): The Twisted Deception Series - Fostered Identity, Shadowed Footsteps, Exploited Innocence... with more to come – and her other published novels, Tainted Waters (2013 Suspense and Thriller Book of the Year through Turning the Pages Magazine), Deadly Ties, Fractured Lines and Blurred Lines (you can get for free - scroll down).
Her motto: Read to escape… Escape to read…
"Maggie Thom writes a fast paced thriller laced with romance that keeps the reader interested and on edge!" InDtale Magazine