Hope Series Blog

Welcome! With the release of Sovereign Hope right around the corner, I’d like to treat you all to a teeny tiny teaser. I know giving you the opening paragraphs and nothing more might be considered cruel, but please… be patient! I’d like to hope it’s worth the wait




The thing about car chases is this: if you’re traveling through downtown LA at lunchtime, you can forget about them.  In that kind of traffic, all you can hope to have in the way of a highway pursuit is a crawling affair where the object of the chase has plenty of time to make a distress call. Phone in hand, Farley Hope was inching her way down Figueroa with a freak rainstorm pelting the world beyond the windscreen into obscurity when her best friend, Tessa Kennedy, finally picked up.

“Did you know there’s a sale on at Hillman’s? My mom’s buying me the cutest-.”

“Tess, I’m being followed,” Farley hissed. She was alone in the truck, but it seemed necessary to keep her voice down all the same.

A weary sigh rattled down the phone. “Are you sure? Is it another hallucination?”

An almost animalistic growl built in the back of Farley’s throat. “No, this is definitely real. I’m ninety percent positive this car was parked outside my front door this morning, and I saw it again when I left the dentist’s. I thought I was imagining things but the same car is following me now, I swear.”

“Is that Farley?” Mrs. Kennedy asked in the background. “Tell her I said hello. We’re all thinking of Moira.”

“Hey, my mom said-“

“Yeah, I heard. Tell her thanks.” Tess wasn’t taking this seriously at all. Farley could still see the murky outline of the black 1970’s Dodge Charger two cars back, making every turn she did, following her from lane to lane. “Can you meet me?”

“Sure, I can. What else are friends for but swooping in to the rescue when their girlfriends are being stalked by creepy strangers? But listen, if you really are worried shouldn’t you just call Detective Miller?”

Farley gritted her teeth. “Yes, but I’m not his favorite person right now. He thinks I’m harassing him. He probably wouldn’t even take my call.”

Tess sighed again, a sigh usually accompanied by a crinkled expression of concern that Farley could practically see over the phone. “I thought you said you weren’t going to call him anymore?” she said. “You know what they say about the boy who cried wolf.”

“This is not the same!” Farley cried. “My mom is missing. She’s been missing for six months. I think I have a right to know where they’re at in their investig-” she broke off.  “Never mind. I’m by the Friday Morning Club. How soon can you get here?”

Tess arranged to meet her twenty minutes later in the Staples Center parking lot a tenth of a mile down the road, and Farley hung up the phone, feeling no better for having spoken to her. The rain was coming down even harder now, and she could barely see anything at all; just the beading streaks of rainwater that caught and refracted the light like a thousand spent fireworks, spiraling and twinkling to the earth in a satisfied sigh.

She was staring into the rear view, trying to catch a glimpse of the Dodge again, when the big black SUV in front of her jolted to a halt. She slammed on the brakes, but not quite quickly enough to avoid ploughing straight into the other car’s rear bumper.

Oh. Crap.

The metallic crunch spoke of thousands of dollars worth of damage. Farley whimpered and slumped over the steering wheel. Had they noticed? Of course they had. A thin grey smoke issued out from under the hood of the truck. The force with which she had slammed into their expensive-looking sports vehicle must have been pretty considerable. She spun around in her seat, looking to see if any of the other stationary motorists were staring. She couldn’t see anyone. Her stomach still twisted when she looked in the rear-view, though. The Dodge wasn’t two cars back anymore. It was right behind her.