The good news, lovelies, is I am writing again. There is a delightfully sinful story I am writing that is going to offend so many people HAAAA! I am *not* sorry for how fucked up this story is. Hopefully things finally settle down and I can get back to some semblance of a normal life.
This week for Teaser Tuesday, I want to share another story in the anthology. I read this excerpt and am just in love with Jane Anthony’s story. Take a peek at ‘The Row’ and let me know what you think.
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Dangers lurk in the shadows of The Row, an LA slum inhabited by junkies and miscreants. The place young Trinity calls home.
She and King, the de facto leader of a group of runaways, dream of a future free from crooked cops and dirty needles. A new life embodied by the love they share.
Desperation makes a man do crazy things. Including infiltrating the home of Diego Villarreal, California’s most ruthless and feared sex trafficker.
But in his quest for justice, King uncovers more than cash and drugs. Hidden beyond the opulent gates of Diego’s mansion are deadly secrets that might cost him and Trinity everything––including their lives.
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A putrid wind blows down the alley of Second and Main, the stink of garbage and poverty infiltrating my nostrils, spinning around me in a veil of disgust. A few doors down, my home awaits, but violent flashes of cop car lights spin in the background. Dropping my head, I walk on, trying my best to remain unnoticed.
It doesn’t work.
“Trinity! Just the girl I was looking for.”
When I chuck a glance toward the voice on my right, I notice the arm hanging from the dumpster. Onyx lines snake up the slender, lifeless wrist. Another dope head thrown in the trash. I’m numb to it at this point. Death is nothing but a part of life. If you’re lucky you can avoid it, but when that shit finally comes after you, there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
This one’s different, though. Embedded within the milky-blue skin, crisp, perfect pages of an open book shine in the brilliant sun. O’Hara . . . fuck.
I tear my gaze away from my friend and lock on a set of steel-gray eyes. “Just going home, Officer Bower.” The narco detective has been breathing down my neck ever since I first landed on Skid Row. That’s the nickname for this area of city. A section most people avoid at all costs, yet the only place I’ve ever felt at home.
“I need to ask you a few questions about Miss Westerfield.”
“Who?” I shoot back, my lids narrowed into slits. Here on the Row we never exchange names. O’Hara could actually be Jessica, Nicole, or Ava. She could be the fucking queen of England, for all I know. Most of us are hiding from whatever pushed us here in the first place. No one comes by choice. We end up here because we weren’t given one.
“We can talk here, Trin, or we can talk at the station. Think King’s lucid enough to come bail you out if you call?”
“I don’t know anything, okay?” I reply at the end of a sigh. “She was out on the corner waiting for some guy when I left last night, and here she is now.”
Tears threaten to burst over my lashes as I remember our last moments together, but I won’t give Officer Fuckface the satisfaction. She was already out when I hit the pavement, that part is true. Leaning against the lamppost, a tattered copy of Gone with the Wind in her petite hands. She smiled when she saw me, a dopey lovesick look on her face. She was getting out. That’s all she said. My Rhett Butler is coming. Nose in a book. Always. She wanted to be a writer or something. I don’t know. Had she not started messing with the junk, she probably could have done something good. But now her big claim to fame is nothing more than this, a dead body in a dumpster. Ward of the state now, she’ll be disposed of accordingly. Another kid off the streets. A warning for those huddled in their warm beds at night.
Averting my gaze, I swing my bag off my shoulder and rifle through for my smokes. Anything to keep my shaking hands busy. I squeeze the filter between my lips and light the tip, feeling Bower’s stare burn through my clothing.
“Did she say who?”
“I don’t know, man. I didn’t stick around long enough to ask. Figured I would see her later.” The cherry burns bright as I suck hard on the end of my cigarette before letting the smoke stream from my mouth in the direction of my creepy acquaintance.
Office Bower isn’t put off by open fuck you. Instead, he takes a step into my personal space. I recede, pushing against the warm brick wall of the row house. “Shame to see such a pretty young thing reduced to this, Trinity. How long is it gonna be until I’m pulling your body from a dumpster?”
The bitter tang of disgust hits my tongue. I purse my trembling lips and meet his icy glare. “I’m a survivor.”
“I know you think King can protect you. But he can’t.” He lifts his hand and touches the scar that runs the length of my cheek. A constant reminder of the hell I lived through. “He doesn’t run these streets. I do. For a price.”
“Don’t touch me, pig,” I spit, smacking his hand away like a spider.
Cruel laughter follows. A grimy baritone that rumbles in his chest seconds before booming from his throat like thunder. Sirens wail in the distance. More cops on the scene coming to remove one of the remaining members of our tribe. “Take my offer, Trinity. Or you’ll be sorry.”
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Doesn’t this sound so helpless? I love how Jane has spun this world in so few words and I can’t wait to read the rest of it. Until then, Just Breathe is coming right along and is currently ranked 2nd place in October’s Most Anticipated Romances! Click here and vote if you can, I will love you forever if you could also add it to your TBR!
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Want to more about Jane Anthony?
Jane Anthony is an Amazon best-selling author of contemporary/erotic romance. She writes hot blue-collar dudes, raunchy rockstars, and fun feisty heroines. Her work is gritty and real and will have you cursing her name and begging for more. Jane gives a bit of herself and her quirky knowledge in each novel by incorporating her love of music through a book-specific playlist and adding things uniquely Jane to the plot, like her crazy family or ’80s trivia. When she’s not busy being mom or Mrs. A, you’ll find her at a concert, lost in a book, or watching horror movies with her husband.
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