Lori Ryan

Rachel Thompson

Aicha Zoubair

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#Excerpt from COPYRIGHT : A NOVEL by Lori Lesko @LeskoLori #Thriller #Fiction #AmReading

“The water can’t be any warmer. The doctor said warm baths only, nothing too hot because it would be hard on your heart,” Karen said. We intertwined together as she steadied me on my bathtub chair, newly purchased from a medical supply store.
“I’m cold,” I whined. But there was never any leeway with Karen. She’d always been the tough one. When it came to the kids, she was the disciplinarian, whereas I, on the other hand, was the eternal adolescent. The Mommy who allowed her kids to get away with everything, from having dessert before eating dinner, to turning a blind eye when Danny smoked pot or snuck Alice out the front door first thing in the morning. As far as I was concerned, they were sixteen; they were going to have sex no matter what.
“Okay, babe, we’re done. How do you feel?”
“Tired,” I said and leaned into her. “Am I going to be this tired forever?”
“No. I promise you’ll get stronger.”
A thirty-nine-year-old woman should not feel this old. Maybe my past had slowly crept up on me? Hmm, forget slowly, it had sped toward me like a freight train and I was tied to the tracks, helpless. As I shuffled back toward my temporary bedroom, I saw Danny, Alice and Kira all standing next to the sofa in the living room. Laid on the sofa adorned with a shiny pink ribbon bow was a laptop.
“Look, Mommy, we got you a present!” Kira said, as she brought it to me.
“Wow! Thank you guys! I missed my little machine so much!” I said excitedly. I suddenly registered the color of the lid. Black. This wasn’t mine. “Where is my laptop?” I questioned.
“Babe, don’t you remember?” Karen asked. “It was destroyed when you spilled your glass of lemonade on it.” She led me to the sofa and sat next to me.
“Yeah, Mom, I dropped it off at the Computer Max store and the tech guy said the hard drive was fried, sorry.” Danny leaned over and planted a kiss on my cheek. “But this one is way better! The memory and hard drive are awesome, super-fast!”
Flabbergasted and afraid to move, I went into a trance. Danny’s words barely registered. It felt like I was having an out-of-body experience.
“Amber, what’s wrong, babe?” Karen asked.
Oh, nothing important, just all the work I’d done on my book had been lost. Spilling a glass of lemonade had erased two whole years of my life. I didn’t even enjoy lemonade, I preferred iced tea. I managed to lift my head up and ask, “My book? I was working on a new book, it’s not here anymore?”
All of their mouths dropped opened. They all spoke at once, trying to reassure me that it would be okay.
“You saved your work to a disk, didn’t you?” Danny asked.
“What about your email? You email yourself copies don’t you?” Alice asked meekly.
“No, she never goes online,” Karen answered for me.
Kira yanked on my sleeve. “What’s wrong, Mommy?” I looked down at her, unable to communicate, and then back to Karen. Karen dashed upstairs to my office.
“The papers!” Danny yelled and took off behind her.
I heard the creaking of the floorboards as they moved from one room to the next. Then silence. As they began the slow walk downstairs, I placed my hands over my face, covering my eyes. I didn’t want to see their expressions. Karen knelt on the floor in front of me.
“Is this it?” Karen asked as she gently tugged at my hands. I opened my eyes and saw a bundle of papers. I looked at the first few, and I recognized them, they were my words. I had typed them.
“Yes, this is my work,” I said. A huge sigh of relief came from the group. I handed the papers back to Karen. “But it’s not the book I was working on.” More silence followed. “This is The Lamp Burned Out. My last book, it came out three years ago,” I mumbled. “Where is my new book? I printed out the pages, you saw me do it every night, Karen!” The room started to spin. Kira wept as she clung to me.
“Calm the fuck down,” Karen whispered to me. “What’s the title?”
“You don’t know the title of her book?” Alice challenged Karen. I saw a flash of rage develop as Karen’s mouth tightened, but then she reluctantly forced a smile.
“No, Alice, I don’t know the title,” Karen said, as she flicked through the disordered pages.
“You know Mom is crazy superstitious,” Danny added, trying to diffuse the tension. “She never tells anyone about the subject matter or title until the book is finished.”
I smiled up at Danny and Alice. Karen lifted her head and asked, “So, what’s the title, babe?”
Brain Waves,” I said. “It will be on the top right hand side of each paper.” Karen bobbed her head and Alice offered to get us all a diet soda and a juice box for Kira. Danny, Kira and I watched as Karen lifted page after page from the huge stack. I realized then that there was more than one of my novels in the stack of papers.
“Why are all my manuscripts mixed up together?” I asked, curious, as I always kept them in their own boxes. Years ago, Danny had made a wooden box in school, and had given it to me to store my manuscripts in. It had become a tradition now, and I had several of his handcrafted wooden boxes in my office, each with drafts of each novel in them.
“When the paramedics arrived to help you, there wasn’t much room in the office and when they brought the stretcher in, they knocked the boxes over. It was all so chaotic with the medics and papers shuffling all around.” Karen looked up from her sorting, an apologetic smile on her face. “Honestly, all I was concerned about at that time was you, babe. Danny and Alice did their best to put them order, but they must still be mixed together.”
I calmed down then, happy that all of the papers must be there, because the idea of my manuscript not being there was simply unthinkable. After thirty minutes or so of Karen crisscrossing papers on top of each other and making stacks of two of my novels; The Lamp Burned Out and Strawberries for Breakfast, she inhaled deeply.
“This is all I found of Brain Waves,” Karen said, as she handed over what seemed like a minuscule stack of papers. I grabbed them in disbelief. Though the pages were not in order, I could tell that it wasn’t all there.
“Are you sure this is all of the papers?” I asked. Karen’s eyes transformed into a different shade of blue. Not the comforting navy or oceanic blue, but an overwhelmingly dejected blue.
I jumped up; my thoughts, and the room, were spinning. I staggered across the room, and before I could think of the pain it would cause me, I got to the bottom of the stairs and grabbed the handrail to pull myself up.
“Amber, what the hell are you doing?” Karen asked as she ran after me.
“I just have to take a look around. I won’t be long,” I replied.
“Mom, stop!” Danny yelled.
“The stairs are off limits, Amber, remember?” Karen added.
“Just one minute,” I said breathlessly. I lifted my right foot onto the first step and then I pulled hard on the rail for support. I managed to get my left leg up the next step before Karen clutched hold of me.
“Goddamn it! Stop! Do you want to burst your sutures?”
I looked around and saw her face. I watched Danny holding Kira’s hand tightly, Alice by his side. Despondently, they all gazed at me.
“Step back down. Come on, I got you,” Karen said more softly. “We will get to the bottom of this, I promise you.”
“Yeah, Mom, we will,” Danny said with conviction.
I slowly stepped backwards with Karen’s guidance. She then led me to my bed. Beads of sweat had formed on my forehead; I was officially spent for the day. My hands shook and I could feel my heart beating at a rapid pace. I lay down and trusted that this too, shall pass. Karen lay next to me. It felt so good to have another human body touching me again. Kira crawled in, too. I closed my eyes and listened to Danny and Alice out in the kitchen, quietly speaking. I had part of my manuscript. It was better than nothing; I could fix it later. I drifted off to sleep, encased by Kira and Karen.

Amber Tyler is living every author’s dream: her books are all best sellers and she writes full time. She has worked hard and is well-accomplished in her career, and she has the support and love of her beautiful children and girlfriend. 

But the dream soon turns into a terrible nightmare when her latest manuscript is stolen. She decides to fight for what is rightfully hers, only to find that the harder she tries, the easier it all slips through her fingers, putting her career, her family, and her life in jeopardy.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Lori Lesko on Facebook & Twitter


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