Valerie McCormick is a wife and mother from small town Canada. While visiting Seattle, she becomes the only witness to the brutal seaside murder of two FBI agents. When she flees to the nearest police station to report the crime, she becomes caught up in a web of international intrigue and danger. Suddenly, she and her family are in the sights of ruthless criminals bent on preventing her from testifying against the murderer. Even with FBI protection, Valerie is not safe. Whisked away from her family and all that is familiar to her, Valerie fights back against the well-intentioned FBI to ultimately take control over her life with every ounce of fury a mother can possess.
Excerpt of Dead Witness:
Aidan Roth heard a car pull into Valerie’s driveway. He tossed the magazine onto the coffee table and stood up. He’d been waiting an hour for his sister, or for one of her family to return home. He stretched his neck and looked out the front window …. It wasn’t Valerie. A 1996 blue sedan stopped a short distance from the front door. Aidan didn’t recognize the vehicle, but the burly man crawling out from behind the wheel was his old boss; someone he hadn’t seen in six months.
He rushed toward the foyer and threw the front door open. “Inspector?”
RCMP Inspector Banyan rubbed his hands vigorously then rechecked his notepad. “Aidan? You live here?”
Aidan yanked his collar away from his neck and fought to breath. “No. My sister … does.”
“Valerie McCormick …? Aidan?”
“Is your brother-in-law home?”
“He’s at his office.”
Aidan looked past the Inspector to the large front yard. From nowhere the wind had come, skimming off the snowdrifts outlining the driveway, twirling beads of crystallized moisture around him, his lungs gasping as the frozen air swept down his throat.
“Aidan?” Inspector Banyan gripped his elbow and turned him.
Aidan frowned at his old boss. Banyan said something weird. If only he could make sense of it.
He remembered the day his parents died. Remembered it as if it were yesterday. A rough dayshift. Difficulty sleeping. The phone rang at half past three in the morning. Then the empty, hollow feeling like the world had sucked him in and spit him out. The worst kind of worse imaginable. Where his whole being failed him. What was that? The Inspector repeated something. Had he replied ‘what’ to himself, or had he said it out loud as he intended?
“Let’s go and sit down, okay? What’s your brother-in-law’s office number? Do you have someone you can call? Do you want me to fix some coffee?”
Then Aidan absorbed the words the Inspector had spoken and he whispered, “She can’t be dead.” He stopped short of sitting on the couch—sitting being a confirmation, and no way could he do that. No. “You’re wrong, sir.”
* * *
Joylene Nowell Butler was born in Manitoba and raised in British Columbia, Canada. She attended Douglas College and Simon Fraser University. In 1992, she and her husband retired to a community in central BC called Cluculz Lake. There, Joylene wrote 4 other books and is currently working on her sixth. Her novel Broken But Not Dead will be released in 2011 by Theytus Books.