The Long Road To Heaven
Contemporary fiction author, Kathryn Harris, is sharing an excerpt of her book.
Check it out!
Happiness is Brayton in your rearview mirror.
That's the adage Heather Montgomery has lived by since leaving home on that cold April night in 1975. She never told anyone what her father did to drive her away. She couldn't tell her high school sweetheart about their baby. She just needed to get out.
But keeping the past where it belongs is growing increasingly difficult. In the five years since her departure, she's found unrivaled success in the music business, and a high-profile marriage to her band's drummer has made Heather the apple of the paparazzi's eye.
When she stumbles in her father's footsteps and forsakes the love of her family and friends for the comfort in a bottle of whiskey Heather faces the possibility of losing her child for good.
The choice is up to her -- the booze or her baby, which is more important?
The answer seems obvious.
But will confronting the demons that drive her to drink force her to return to the one place she swore she'd never see again?
Nick crouched to the ground. “Here, let me help you.”
“Need to get to Rossville.” Her voice quavered like the tremolo in a Tommy James song.
“Where?” he asked, gathering the scattered items. But as soon as his question hit the air, his attention caught on a small piece of paper that had fallen from the bag: the stub from a bus ticket. Departure: Grand Island, NE; Arrival: Memphis, TN. He stuffed her stray belongings back into the side pocket and lifted himself upright.
“Rossville,” she said again.
“How far is that?”
Her chattering teeth added extra syllables to, “Close to Memphis.”
“Then what’re you doing in running around downtown St. Louis at 3 a.m.?”
She hesitated, as if not fully present, before parroting, “St. Louis?”
“Yeah, that’s where you are. You know that, right?”
Her shoulders began to heave. Her trembling voice dissolved into ragged sobs.
Nick reached out to turn her. “Hey, it’s okay. The bus station is only…” His first clear glimpse of her face stole any reassurance he could’ve offered.
Dark purple bruises shadowed both of her eyes; the left was nearly swollen shut. A red split divided the bulge at the bottom corner of her lip, and the skin above the zipper on the neck of her jacket had a bluish-red hue, like the bastard who’d done this to her tried his best to finish the job. How could he tell her everything would be okay if he didn’t know what kind of person he was sending her to?
“Mingia!” he cursed beneath his breath. “What happen…?”
“Is there a problem here?”
Nick turned at the sound of another voice. Spinning cherries on top of the squad car muddied the outline of the large, pale man approaching, but the light from the streetlamp overhead reflected off his badge. Nick looked back at the girl, who slid fully into madness at the sight of the policeman.
“Step away from the young lady.” The officer’s deep voice rumbled over the irregular cadence of the Plymouth’s still-idling engine.
Nick tried to back away from her, but the girl grabbed the sleeves of his coat. “No, no, no, no…don’t let them send me home…I don’t want to go back...”
Her desperate keen echoed between the buildings lining the street. The anguish in her cries ripped at Nick’s insides. He mouthed an apology while peeling her fingers from his arms.
As the girl slumped to the frozen ground, the officer charged forward and grabbed Nick’s shoulder. “I said step back.”
Nick lost his balance on the ice and fell against the car, where the policeman pinned him and yanked his hands behind his back.
“What’d you do to her?” The officer growled over the clink of latching handcuffs.
“Nothing, man, I don’t even know her.”
The officer yanked Nick upright and spun him around. “I suppose you don’t know how she got those bruises either.”
At the edge of his sight, Nick watched another uniformed man lower himself to the girl’s level and begin peppering her with questions.
“Look, my band played over at the Riff Rafter tonight. I was just driving home. She stepped out in front of me.”
“How much have you had to drink tonight?”
“Nothing.” A lie, but he was fairly certain the two beers he’d consumed during the gig were now staining the pits of his T-shirt.
“You have any drugs or weapons on you?”
“What? No. Is this really necessary?” Nick held up his cuffed wrists. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Then why does her face look like that?”
“I don’t know. I just told you I don’t know her.”
“Let’s see some ID.”
Nick offered his backside to the officer. “It’s in my wallet.”
He winced as the policeman yanked the billfold from his pocket.
“We need to call EMS. This girl’s talking out of her head.”
Nick looked down at the second officer and the girl. She had drawn into herself, her shoulder resting against the chrome bumper of the car. Her hysteria seemed to wane in the warm glow of the headlights. Her cries had dissolved into a raspy mumble.
One cop walked back to the squad car. The other began digging through the girl’s bag in what Nick assumed was an attempt to find out who she was.
Defying his better judgment, Nick lowered himself as best as he could to her level and tried to coax her back to lucidity. “Hey,” he softly said to her. “What’s your name? What happened to you?”
Small pockets of mist escaped her with each breath. She loosened the embrace she had on herself. Her hands settled on the middle of her body. “Please,” she gulped back tears. “I think my baby’s dead.”
Where can I buy this fabulous book?
About the author
Kathryn Harris has a one-track mind and an eight-track heart.
Her love for the written word is rivaled only by her fascination with rock 'n' roll music and performers from the early 1970s through the early 1990s.
At the tender age of eight, the Nebraska-born dreamer began hiding in the bedroom closet with her parents' manual Smith-Corona typewriter. There, she would write stories that blossomed from her reveries of being a groupie for the Bay City Rollers or the mistress of a member of Duran Duran.
Harris' efforts to become a groupie in real life ended when her mother found out how much money she'd actually spent chasing Def Leppard's tour bus around the Midwest. In addition, her attempts to become a famous musician in her own right failed when she realized it was time to grow up.
Refocusing her goals, Harris began writing professionally in 1998, when she took a job penning obituaries for a mid-sized daily newspaper. She eventually became an entertainment editor, interviewing such performers as Dierks Bentley, "Weird" Al Yankovic, Styx and Nickelback. (Please don't hold the latter against her.)
In 2015, her debut novel THE LONG ROAD TO HEAVEN began running as a weekly news site serial and was simultaneously published by Sunset Street Publishing.
She currently lives in Northeast Nebraska with her guitar-playing husband (go figure), two daughters, two dogs and a raging addiction to college football. #GBR