Saturday, October 29, 2011

Committed by JW Mefford : Sneak Peek Excerpt

COMMITTED (The Michael Doyle Chronicles: Book One)
Author: John W. Mefford
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Release date: 11.1.11

Sinful deception. A malicious corporate takeover. A grisly murder. Unrelenting greed.

We all have that inner voice, the one who knows all but refuses to let even our closest confidantes inside. The one we must calm when we’re most unsettled. The one who seeks to understand our path, our destiny.

Michael Doyle lives in emotional anonymity, resistant to fully devote himself to anyone or any cause. Without warning, a technology conglomerate acquires Michael’s company, and he quickly sees through the fog of political posturing: false hope, layoffs, and blatant dishonesty.

Then, death reaches up and grabs him. Shaken to the core, Michael leans on his live-in girlfriend, who has touched his heart like no one else. But her haunting past resurfaces, and she’s pulled into a seedy web by an outside force so cruel, so cunning it destroys every soul in its path.

Can Michael rise above his greatest fear to uncover the truth about a murder and save the life of the person he loves most?

Only if he's...COMMITTED.

On Sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble November 1, 2011

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Fluorescent lights shined through stained plastic, creating a slight yellow hue in the white walled room. I sat in an ice-cold chair that must have weighed fifty pounds, in front of a square metal table that was bolted to the painted concrete floor. Comfort and style weren’t the objectives in decorating the police department interview room.

A rectangular mirror faced me on the opposite wall. It was probably one of those two-way mirrors to allow someone on the other side to study my every movement. I had nothing to hide, but butterflies fluttered in my stomach like I was preparing to perform in front of a sold-out crowd.

A microphone dangled from the ceiling. It swayed gently from the air blowing out of the filthy vent. I saw cameras placed in two corners of the square room. The thick white door opened and Detective Carl Pearson walked in, followed by another person, also in plain clothes.

“Hey, Carl, does this mean I need to worry about the DVD being sold on the black market?” I pointed at the camera, hoping my humor might reduce the pressure.

Carl gave me a mild smirk and introduced his partner.

“Michael, this is Detective Smith, Roger Smith. He’ll be helping in the investigation.”

“Any relation to the former GM CEO?” Two stern, blank faces stared back. “You know, the guy from the 1980’s who had the documentary made about him, Roger and Me?” I wasn’t sure if they knew or cared GM Roger Smith was an older white guy, while Detective Roger Smith standing before me was African-American. It was all nervous chatter.

“Michael, we’d like for you to begin by recalling any interaction you had with Tiffany, and then any interaction you personally witnessed Tiffany having with anyone else.” Carl seemed natural giving instructions.

I couldn’t provide any specific evidence that would help find the killer, but I did tell them Tiffany was sharper than your average administrative assistant and quite attractive.

“I never found Tiffany very warm, which seemed a bit odd for a receptionist,” I said, offering more opinion than fact. “She seemed emotionally distant. As far I knew she didn’t have many friends. But I sensed the wheels in her mind were always turning. Smart as a whip.”

Then, the detectives asked me to recount every step of the gloomy morning in which I found Tiffany’s arm.

My breathing accelerated as I began to think through the sequence of events. Perspiration formed on the back of my neck. I closed my eyes and felt the cold rain pelting my face as I peered up into the thick, dark sky to locate the gutter leak. I moved slowly to the right…suddenly, it felt like a hand reached up to drag me downward so I wouldn’t miss the plastic bag. It must have been Tiffany’s spirit crying out in desperation.

Once I knew something was in that bag, the weight of it made me wonder if there was a body inside. Then, the bag split open, and Tiffany’s arm slid out. I stared at the blank wall in the interview room while a slide show of pictures projected in my mind. The pale white color of the arm stood out from the darkness of the bag and the surrounding alley. A red line of what appeared to be dried blood scaled up her forearm and disappeared into the bag. Part of me wanted to look in the bag, but my flight instincts took over. I ran away as fast as I could.

I’m still not sure why I screamed for help. How could I believe anyone would still be alive? Tiffany’s arm never showed any signs of life.

Was there life after death? Can a spirit talk to us from the other side of life as we know it? Was it heaven? Was it hell? Or, was there a state in between, where some type of resolution must occur before deciding a person’s ultimate fate? Tiffany’s fate.

I was a mildly religious person, one foot in, one foot out, like many things in my life. I felt certain there was a God, an almighty being who put us on the Earth for a purpose. Beyond that, the path and ultimate destiny beyond death…I wasn’t sure.

My pulse began to slow to a more normal pace. I looked at my watch. Thirty minutes had passed. I’d lost all concept of time as I recounted the details of the day my life changed forever.

Roger turned off the recording device.

“I appreciate you being so thorough,” Carl said calmly, his head down as he finished his notes.

Roger thanked me for coming in. “We’ll let you know if we have more questions.”

“I have one question for you guys. Do you have any leads as to who did this?” I hoped he’d confide in me just as I had opened my soul for them.

“No comment.” Roger responded without hesitation.


I shut my car door and rested my head on the chilled, vinyl steering wheel, waiting for a flood of emotions to gush out. I noticed a thick layer of dust accumulating on the dashboard, then realized I wasn’t distraught or haunted by my detailed description of the events from that morning. The recounting had opened my eyes to the fragility of life and allowed me to explore a different perspective on what happens following death. It had been cathartic. I was more at peace, yet I felt my role in this ordeal wasn’t finished.

A veteran of the corporate wars, former journalist, and true studier of human and social behavior, John W. Mefford has been writing his debut novel since he first entered the work force twenty-five years ago, although he never put words on paper until late 2009.

Considered a visionary leader in his fifteen-year IT career, he quit his job and started writing, pouring out his thoughts with no net.

When he’s not writing, he chases three kids around, slaves away in the yard, reads, takes in as many sports as time allows, watches all sorts of movies, and continues to make mental notes of people and societies across the land -- even if they piss him off.

Committed is the first book in the series, The Michael Doyle Chronicles.

John lives in Frisco, Texas with his beautiful wife, three adorable kids, and a feisty fat cat.

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