As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m hard at work on a new novel that I’ve tentatively titled Quinn Invisible. The title Quinn Invisible will probably change (and if anyone has any ideas for a title after reading the excerpts, feel free to suggest one in the comments), and you can read the book’s summary here. I’m guessing I’ll end up tweaking the summary as well before the book goes to print.
Anyway, in this excerpt, we meet Quinn’s aunt and guardian, Maureen Callahan, for the first time. Quinn has been living with Maureen for a month at the time this scene takes place, and I think you’ll see that they’re struggling to get along. But thanks to Maureen, we also get a second-hand meeting with Evan Thalmann, the twin brother of Quinn’s late best friend Emma. You’ll get to know Evan much better later on–I promise.
So, take it away, Quinn and Maureen (and, please keep in mind–this is a draft. I can’t guarantee what’s below will end up in the final novel):
“Are you planning to lie around all day?” Maureen asks as she looms over me, her hands on her slender hips. Although today’s a Saturday, I’m still surprised she’s come outside to the pool to harass me rather than staying locked in her home office, racking up billable hours.
I lower my sunglasses just enough that I can stare at her unfiltered from my perch on the chaise lounge. “I’m working on it,” I tell her, my voice flat. Lying around doing nothing has been my life plan for the last month, and I don’t see that changing until school starts.
“Well you can’t be working on your tan,” she points out. “Callahans don’t tan—we burn.”
Maureen is pale and auburn-haired like my dad, her younger brother. My mom, on the other hand—the former Molly Quinn—was more of a pure redhead, a curl-free rust-red that I inherited. Between my Callahan side and my Quinn side, I’m dually afflicted with the Irish curse of fair skin and freckles and so direct sunlight is not my friend. And despite Maureen’s jab about working on my tan, I’m wearing a long-sleeved gray t-shirt, rolled up jeans, sunglasses, and a St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap. Only my ankles, feet and hands are exposed, and I made sure I slathered those with sunscreen before I came outside.
“That’s why I’m dressed like I’m in hiding,” I tell Maureen, pushing my sunglasses back up on the bridge of my nose.
“Well, you’ve definitely been acting like you’re hiding from something,” Maureen counters in her best authoritative lawyer voice. “I don’t think you’ve left this house since you moved here.”
She’s right—I haven’t. While I know my self-imposed exile can’t last forever because school starts before Labor Day and it’s already the first week of August, I plan to avoid leaving the friendly confines of Chez Maureen as long as possible. Shady Springs is just small enough that even if I go out to run a quick errand, I’m destined to run into someone I used to go to school with at Harrendale Preparatory Academy. And although my family scandal took place almost four years ago, people here have memories as long lasting as their money.
So, for now, I just want to hide out. For now, I just want to be invisible.
“You know, Evan Thalmann keeps coming by looking for you,” Maureen notes, and my heart pounds in my ears on hearing Evan’s name. Evan and Emma were twins, and the three of us had been inseparable for as long as I could remember, until…
Well, until my mother did whatever she did or didn’t do that night nearly four years ago. Obviously, Evan and I haven’t spoken since—he preferred to avoid me rather than torment me during the time I remained at Harrendale after the incident—so to say I’m surprised he’d be seeking me out now would be the understatement of the century.
“Evan Thalmann,” I repeat once my heart has slowed to a normal rhythm, not bothering to mask the disbelief in my voice. “Evan Thalmann has been coming by looking for me.”
“Well, I assume that’s what he’s doing. He drives by here every few days. Slows down, never stops.”
I roll my eyes at Maureen behind my sunglasses. “That’s not coming by,” I point out. “That’s a drive-by. In fact, it’s borderline stalking. And if you think my social drought is going to end with Evan and me hanging out together, you’re insane. His dad probably just wants him to check up on me to make sure I haven’t killed anyone since I came back to town.”
“Quinn,” Maureen mutters under her breath.
“He thinks my mother killed his mother and his sister,” I go on. “Trust me—he’s not looking to sit around and relive the good old days.”
“I never said he was,” Maureen says. “I just thought you’d be interested in the fact that he’s obviously curious about your moving back here.”
Like I said above, you’ll get to know Evan LOTS better later on. If you’d like to read the previous excerpt from the book, click here.
I hope to be releasing further excerpts in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes glued to this site. I’m hoping to release the novel this spring so keep your eyes glued here for that as well!