Keeping Secrets II: No More Skeletons
Link to THE TRAILER!http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HHfvTHaCHTI
Author information:Kitten K. Jackson
Why the middle initial? Well, with a name like “Kitten,” I was hoping the middle initial would give it a more serious, “grown-up” sound. And no, I was never a stripper, contrary to what the name might convey! LOL! My dad started calling me Kitten when I was only days old, so there was no pole dancer connotation intended there!I wrote both Keeping Secrets and Keeping Secrets II in 2012. I then went back and edited and published the first book in December, ‘12. Then I edited and published the sequel on Smashwords on May 5th and on Amazon on May 8th of this year.
I’m from Muscle Shoals, Alabama (Roll Tide!). I’m in Wilmington, North Carolina now, homesick for my daughter, the rest of my family, and sweet home Alabama. For those of you who don’t know, Muscle Shoals was “The Hit Recording Capital of the World” back in the late 60s, through the 70s. Everyone from The Rolling Stones to Aretha Franklin, and lots in between came to that tiny town on the Tennessee River to record hits such as Wild Horses, Brown Sugar, Mustang Sally, When a Man Loves a Woman, and many more. And I went to school with the sons (great guys) of the man who started it all at FAME Recording Studios—Rick Hall.My best friend is my little black and tan doxie, Peej. “Peej?” you might ask. Peej is short for PJ. PJ is short for Precious Jackson. Peej was my dad’s baby. When he died in 2009, she became mine. When I would tell people her name was PJ, they would say, “He’s so cute.” So I started calling her Peej, which just confuses everyone, but it’s okay. It fits her.
Excerpts from Keeping Secrets
“And now you found her on Facebook.”“It was easy. She spells her name with an ‘ie’, instead of a ‘y’. Abbie Rae Kolbeck. I searched it, and there she was.”“Dude, how is it that she doesn’t know it’s you? You don’t have any photos on?”“No, I have photos. Like I said, she knows me as Johnny Moretti. And when she knew me, I was this skinny little geek with big, wavy hair, bad teeth, zits, green eyes and big-ass glasses. Now, I’m four inches taller, about 50 pounds heavier, my hair is short, and I have the mustache and goatee. Oh, and I got my nose fixed. And I have brown contacts. And I had braces.”“You got a nose job?”“Yeah. Before I met you.”“Yeah. You didn’t look like that when I met you.”“That was the idea.”“Hmm. So why did you send her the friend request?”“I want to see her.”“You what?”“I want to see her.”“Greg, you’re drunk. Let’s talk about this when—”“No! I haven’t been drunk for the past 15 years! I’ve never stopped loving her, and I’ve never stopped wanting her.”“But Greg. You said you’ve done something that could get you’re a*s thrown in prison. What’s the statute of limitations for rape down there?”“In Florida, there isn’t one.”“What? You mean, for the rest of your life, you have to worry about going to prison?”“I guess. I’m not sure the law’s reto…retroactive, but that’s Johnny Moretti. I’m not Johnny Moretti.”“Greg, do you hear yourself? You need to go home and sleep this off, and in the morning, you’ll see how crazy this is.”“I didn’t come up with this tonight, Mark. I’ve been thinking a lot about it on and off for the past few years.”“Mostly off, I hope.”“No, mostly on. And I think I can pull it off.”“Look, going to a new place and starting over as someone else is one thing. But going back to where people knew you before and pretending to be someone else is a different thing entirely.”“I’m not pretending. I am someone else.”Greg reached into his back pocket. He pulled out his wallet and started going through it. There in the back, under some business cards, was a picture of an unattractive, skinny boy with shoulder-length, big hair, a huge nose, bad teeth, and big, ugly glasses. He showed Mark the picture.“Does that look like me?”Mark studied the picture, then looked at Greg. “No. Not at all. Damn!”“See what I mean?”“Okay, but what about your voice? Surely, your voice isn’t different from when you were in college.”“That’s the only thing I’m a little bit concerned about. But back then, I was a southern boy. Now, I’m a full-on New Yorka. Fuhgetaboutit! Ya know? I’m a completely different guy, other than maybe my voice sounds a little like someone she used to know.”“Yeah, someone who raped her! If you weren’t drunk, you’d realize how ridiculous that sounds.”“Hey, I’ve thought this through when I was sober, and I know it’s a big chance, but I think it’s something I have to do. It’s a chance I have to take, Mark. She’s the reason I can’t, and don’t even want, to get close to anyone else. I still love her!”
Abbie took out her phone and called Angela.“Hey, woman. What’s up?”“Ang, I need to ask you something.”“Somethin’ wrong?”“No. I, um…you remember that guy I told you about? The Facebook guy from New York?”“Yeah. Are you still hearin’ from him?”“I took him to the airport this morning.”“What?”“He came down, and we went out a couple of times. Then he had to leave for a business thing, but he came back. Then he heard that his best friend had been murdered, so he left to go back to New York for the funeral.”“Murdered?”“Yeah. He’s pretty torn up.”“I’m sure. That’s horrible.”“Well, the thing is, remember I told you he said he met me a couple of years ago?”“I guess.”“When I asked him about it, he said that I was out with some girls, and we were at a restaurant, and we were sitting at the bar, and I was seriously impaired.”“We never sit at the bar.”“I told him that.”“And you always drive, so you never get drunk.”“I told him that, too. He said that maybe we weren’t actually at the bar—that maybe we were sitting at a table close to the bar. Oh, and he mentioned something about margaritas, and when I told him I hadn’t been a margarita girl since college, he said it was a figure of speech, or something like that.”“Sounds like a crock o’ s**t to me.”“So you don’t remember meeting him?”“Well, I don’t know, but what you told me doesn’t add up. You know that.”“I know. But I really like him, and I don’t want to think that he’s lying to me.”“Girl, you don’t have to think he’s lyin’ to you. You know he’s lyin’ to you.”“But everybody lies, right? I mean, I’ve even heard Dr. Phil say that, I think. God knows, I’ve lied. I don’t make a habit of it, but I’ve done it. And so what, if he lied to get me to meet him, right?”“You’re makin’ excuses for him. How did he even find you on Facebook?”“He said he remembered my name from meeting me at that restaurant, and searched me on there.”“Well, you know that’s a lie.”“If you’re curious, you can see him on my page. His name is Greg Parker.”“Oh, I saw him in your friends list when you mentioned him that night we went out. I went on there to see what he looked like, and he is pretty cute. But there’s somethin’ about him that looks familiar.”“Really? I can’t think of anyone he looks like, but he does seem really familiar.”“His story is very fishy. I don’t buy it for a second. But I do think I’ve seen him before. Doesn’t all this worry you?”“A little, I guess. That’s why I wanted to ask you about it. I mean, it’s weird. I feel like I know him, ya know? He feels familiar to me, so it makes sense that I would’ve met him before. Know what I mean?”“I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe you met him before, but you know it’s not the way he said, and that makes me wonder why he lied about it. Have you confronted him on it?”“No. And since he literally lost his best friend, I don’t think this would be a good time to accuse him of lying to me. I don’t want to do anything to make him feel uncomfortable because he’s such a sweet, caring guy.”“How do you know he’s a sweet, caring guy? He could be a child molester!”“Well, he stayed at my house last night, and I got drunk and threw myself at him, and he put me to bed and didn’t screw me because, and I quote, I didn’t want you to do something you might regret. I think that gets him ‘sweet, caring guy’ points, don’t you?”“Awesome! Way to go, Abs! I’m sure he wants you to be the mother of his children now!”“No. It’s not like that at all. He says he really cares about me, and that’s why he didn’t want me to do something I might regret. I believe him, Ang, and you would, too, if you knew him.”“Abbie, you don’t know him!”“I know, but I feel like I do. And I feel like I have to follow my heart. Aren’t you always saying you have to follow your heart?”“Yeah, but you shouldn’t follow it off a freakin’ cliff! You know what they say. ‘If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.’”“First of all, who is ‘they’?”“Oh, shut up.”“I know you’re right, and if the tables were turned, and it were you telling me all this, I’d be saying exactly the same things you’re saying. But Ang, he’s so sweet. He’s kind and considerate, he’s sexy, he’s good looking, and he’s got a body that…oh, my God!”“And don’t forget that he’s a liar, he makes up stories about how he met you, he’s comin’ down here from New York to see someone he doesn’t even know, and coincidentally, his best friend gets murdered at the same time…”“Angela! Okay, so he lied about meeting me. But now, you think he killed his best friend? Come on!”“I didn’t say that. I’m just sayin’…it’s weird, ya know?”“Yeah, I guess it is kinda weird. But you know how co-dependent I am. I’ll find a way to justify it all.”
Excerpts from Keeping Secrets II
Abbie went to The Coffee Break for a while, and then met Angela at the restaurant. When they met, they hugged as if they hadn’t seen each other in years.“Are you okay?” Angela whispered, her pretty, grey eyes looking down into Abbie’s.“Yeah. I’ll be so happy to get this stupid brace off my arm. It gets on my last nerve.”“When can you take it off?”“I can take it off any time I want, but I have to keep it on for another few weeks, if I want the bone to heal the right way.”“Well, leave it on and deal with it. What I meant was last night.”“Oh! He held my neighbors prisoner last night, watching my house.”“Nuh-uh.”“Yuh-huh. When I got home, I noticed a black Suburban in their driveway, and my neighbors don’t ever have company at night, so it worried me. So I called over there, and Martha answered and sounded really weird. When I asked her if she had company, she said it was her daughter, and she doesn’t have a daughter.”“Good thinkin’.”“Right. Thank God, I knew that! But I didn’t know what to do, so after we hung up, I went and looked out the window. I saw him leave, so I went over there.”“Abbie!”“It’s a good thing, I did! They were taped up with duct tape in their closet! If I hadn’t gone over there, they would’ve probably died ‘cause they don’t have any children, and they hardly ever have any company.”“And it was him.”“Oh, I forgot to tell you!”Abbie reached into her purse, pulled out the note, and handed it to Angela, saying, “Check this out.”Angela opened it up, read it, and gasped.“It was him!”“Yep. The Townsends were talking about how polite he was. Ang, he even made sandwiches for ‘em and let ‘em eat! And look at that note. He was concerned about me—protecting me!”“He made sandwiches for his kidnappin’ victims? Oh, how precious! You’ve got to get back together with him!” Angela said, eyes wide, shaking her head.“Stoooop,” Abbie whined. “You know how hard this is for me. I love this guy.”“Abbie, you were only with him, what? Three or four weeks?”“Not even.”“So how are you so in love with him?”“I don’t know how to explain it, Ang. It’s like we’ve always been together—like we’re made for each other. We just fit together so perfectly. Seriously, I’ve never felt this way before. And I’ve never had anybody really love me before. You’ve gotta agree with that.”“Oh, I definitely agree with that. As gorgeous as you are, you could have any man you want, and you attract a******s like flies on s**t.”“Ew! That’s just gross, Angela! And we’re about to eat!”“Abbie, you need some serious help.” Then whispering, leaning across the tiny table, Angela said, “The guy is a f****n’ murderer! He killed his parents! Does that mean nothin’ to you?”“Of course, it means something to me. I guess I can’t wrap my head around it. It’s like, I can’t put together the sweet guy I know him to be, with the kind of person who could murder somebody.”“I’m really worried about you, Abbie. You wouldn’t be with him again, would you?”“Of course, not. I know what he’s done. It’s hard to believe, but I do know it.”Angela said, “Oh, I went to see Phillip this mornin’, and he’s gonna find me a .38.”“So he’s one of your friends in low places?”“Right.”“I didn’t know you had friends in low places.”“I didn’t know you liked to date murderers.”Abbie was shocked. Eyes wide, she said, “Witch!”Angela sighed and hung her head. “I know. I’m sorry. I’m PMSin’. Abbie, promise me you won’t take up with that guy again.”“Hell, Ang, how can I? He’s on the freaking lam!” Abbie said, arms flailing.Simultaneously, they burst into laughter, cackling loudly. Everyone seated near them turned and looked at them. In their own little world, where friends in low places get guns for normally law-abiding citizens and murdering ex-boyfriends are on the lam, they didn’t notice anyone else around them. In that moment, it was all good.When the laughter subsided, and Abbie and Angela noticed several of the people near them still looking, they both blushed and said sheepishly, “Sorry.”“Where do you think he is?”“I have no idea.”“Well, at least, you don’t have to worry about the sandwiches,” Angela said, grinning.Abbie bit her lip to keep from laughing. “You’re bad.”“I know. But this is all so insane, you have to laugh at it.”“Yeah. It feels a heck of a lot better than crying. I’m so sick of crying, I could puke.”“Does he know about Taylor?”“Yeah.”“Abbie!”“No, it’s okay. He won’t hurt Taylor. And anyway, he already figured it out before I told him.”“How do you know he won’t hurt her?”“I just know. He won’t hurt her.”“You’re puttin’ way too much trust in this guy. I mean, if he can kill his own mother, and you’re afraid he could kill us…”“Adoptive mother, who got drunk and read romances while he was being raped by his father in the next room…a woman he hated with every fiber of his being…”“Yeah, but—”“But nothing. Taylor’s fine. But I’ll call her, and you’ll see.”Abbie called her, and a minute or so into the call, Abbie found that Taylor had seen Greg at the mall the day before.Abbie ended the call, looking at Angela. “Did you get that?”“Yeah, I got it. He’s stalkin’ your daughter.”“She said she saw him at the mall, and he waved and smiled at her, and when she spoke to him, he said ‘hi’, and then he walked away.”“You don’t really think that’s coincidence, do ya?”“No, but I think it’s proof that he’s not gonna hurt her.”“How the h**l is it proof he’s not gonna hurt her?”“Because he walked away from her.”“Abbie, lean over here, so I can slap the s**t out o’ you!”“What?”“He’s not gonna do anything to her in public, where there’s security! Abbie, this is your daughter we’re talkin’ about here!”“And his! And he knows it! I’m telling you, Ang, he won’t hurt her. He kept trying to talk me into telling her we were her parents. He wanted her to know that, and for us to be able to see her.”“Abbie, you’re not seein’ this the way I am. To me, that sounds like all the more reason he would try to take her. Maybe not to hurt her, but to have her with him.”“I told him that as long as he stayed away from Taylor, me, and my family, I wouldn’t tell the police anything about him killing his father.”“Yeah, and that’s obviously workin’ out real well for ya! He’s stalkin’ you and Taylor!”“Ang, I know it sounds crazy, and maybe it is, but I don’t think he would hurt either of us—especially Taylor. That’s his flesh and blood.”“You need to be committed. I’m callin’ your mom right now.”“Shut up.”“I mean it, Abbie. Again, we’re talkin’ about a guy who killed his parents!” Angela whispered.“Okay, call the crazy hospital and have ‘em pick me up.”“You think I’m jokin’. I really think you’re losin’ your grip on reality, Abbie. There is nobody in the world that would see this the way you do.”“Apparently, that psychologist thinks so, too. Hell, maybe I am crazy! How would I know?”“Really. You’re not thinkin’ rationally. Last night when you were at my house, you were makin’ a lot more sense than you are now, and you thought you were bein’ crazy then. So did I. But the more I hear about this guy, the more I think he’s capable of almost anything.”“When is that guy getting you the gun?”“I’m not sure. It’s not like he’s goin’ to a gun shop. He knows a pawn shop owner that said he could get him one under the table, but I don’t know when.”“Well, getting it for a Christmas present might be a little late. Time is of the essence, ya know?”“What do you want me to do? Tell the guy who’s doin’ me a huge favor he’d better hurry his a*s up?”“Do you have the .357 with you?”“No. That thing weighs a ton. If I put it in my purse, it would probably break my shoulder.”“Don’t be a puss.”“Now I’m a puss for not carrying a .357 Magnum in my purse? What am I, Dirty Harry?”“Dirty Angie,” Abbie said, giggling.“Yeah, that’s me.”“I want you to be safe.”“Okay. Now you’re makin’ some sense. Thank you.”“You’re welcome.”
“Don’t you think we need to get another car?” Abbie asked.“Steal a car?”“Yeah. I mean, we might get caught because of being in a stolen car, but a stolen car is not gonna get national media attention. Every cop in the country is looking for this thing.”“I was thinking that, too. We do need to lose the Suburban, but I don’t want to get into a shootout with one of these good ol’ boys, you know?”“Uh-huh.”“I mean, I have guns, but I don’t want to have to use them. I don’t want you and Taylor to be exposed to anything like that. I want you guys to be safe.”“Well, it’s getting kind of late. Maybe we could take one from a house where the people are asleep.”“And what if they aren’t asleep? Then we get shot at.”“Okay, for the record…not everybody in the south has a gun. That’s a stereotype. We wear shoes, and we don’t all live on farms. In fact, most of us don’t live on farms. I’ve never even been on a farm! We don’t wear straw hats and overalls unless we’re going on a hay ride. We have colleges, and some of us actually attend those colleges. We don’t marry our brothers and sisters, or cousins, any more than you guys in New York do.”“Calm down, Abbie!”“No. Somehow, when a tornado hits, every redneck in the state migrates to the cameras, so I can see how the stereotype is perpetuated, but it really p****s me off. We aren’t all Forest Gump, okay? And being from Pensacola, you should know this.”“Well, I’ve been gone for a long time. And the reality shows about the south don’t help, either. You know?”“I know. It drives me crazy! Honey freaking Tutu! Makes me sick to my stomach.”Greg laughed. “Is that the name of a reality show?”“I don’t know. Something like that.”
“Please don’t make me go back!”“You have to, babe,” Greg said.“Dad, I’m never gonna see you again, am I?”“Baby, I don’t know. I sure hope so. I’m so glad we got to spend some time together, and—”“This is not fair!” Taylor screamed, tears pouring.“Baby, life is not fair. Nothing is fair,” Greg said.Taylor sobbed, leaning into Abbie’s shoulder, her young heart breaking at the thought of never seeing either of her newly-found parents again. She tried, every few seconds, to suck air in through her nose, making a gurgling sound, as the mucus was sucked in with the air. Abbie looked around and found a sock in a bag, and told Taylor to blow her nose on it. Taylor blew, but didn’t stop crying.Abbie searched for words to comfort Taylor, but none would come. Abbie felt her own pain, but that was nothing, compared to the pain she felt for Taylor. Her eyes, throat, and chest ached as she tried to hold back the sobs that were trying desperately to escape. She wished she could take Taylor’s and Greg’s pain all on herself, but she had more than she could handle already.Taylor’ll never make it through this if I fall apart. God, please help me hold myself together until we get our baby to safety.Greg looked at them in the rear view mirror. His eye lids stung as tears came forth, but he wiped them away before they showed. He couldn’t understand how he could feel so much for a girl he had only met a short time ago. He hoped his eyes and his hair were the only things she inherited from him.“Greg, I’m not gonna leave her somewhere in the middle of the night.”“It’s safer this way. In the morning, people will be more likely to recognize us.”“My own family wouldn’t recognize me right now!”“I need to get some razors, and shave my head. I’m sure that chick at the convenience store back there has told them about my yellow hair, so I need to lose it.”“Maybe you should lose the piercings, too,” Abbie said.“I’m all for that!”“Maybe you should take yours out, too, Taylor,” Abbie said.“No,” she said, pulling away from Abbie, trying to regain her composure. She wiped her eyes and nose on the sock, still sucking in and swallowing large wads of mucus.Abbie took the studs and loops out of the new holes in her own face. She unbuckled her seatbelt, reached up front, and grabbed her purse. She buckled up again, took a tissue out, and tried to rub the black and purple makeup off her eyes. The color didn’t budge, so she took out some hand lotion, and put it around her eyes. She rubbed off the lotion, and the makeup came off with it. She removed the rubber bands, and whined as they ripped out strands of hair.“Oh, man, my scalp is sore!” She looked up at Greg. “Do you want me to take your earrings out, Greg?”“Do you think you can?”“Yeah. Well, I can get most of ‘em. Not sure about the nose, but I’ll try.”Abbie reached around the seat, and removed the loops from Greg’s ears. One by one, she removed the loops and studs from his face as he continued to drive.“F**k!” he yelled as Abbie tugged at the ring in his nose.Abbie and Taylor giggled. “Sorry. Ya want me to stop?”“Yeah. I’ll get that one. D**n, that’s sore!”“Crybaby,” Taylor teased.Greg looked at her in the mirror and winked. He wondered how many more times he would get to look at Abbie’s and Taylor’s beautiful faces. A feeling of foreboding was getting stronger as the miles crawled under the Jeep.By the time the sun began to creep out from behind the trees, becoming visible to Greg in the rear view mirror, they were somewhere between Brookhaven and Meadville, Mississippi. Abbie and Taylor were asleep in the back seat, Taylor leaning against the window, and Abbie leaning on Taylor.“Hey, girls. Wake up.”“What’s wrong?” Taylor asked.“Chill out. It’s okay,” Greg said.“Where are we?” Abbie asked.“Mississippi. Not sure exactly where.”Greg pulled in to a convenience store with gas pumps, and looked around. He only saw one car, which he figured belonged to the clerk. Abbie and Taylor sat in the back seat, silently looking around. The tension was palpable.
Keeping Secrets II: No More Skeletons by Kitten Jackson
Reviewer - Mary Beth Witkop
What would you do if a sociopath with a horribly troubled past that you have a history with was obsessed with you?
Greg is completely obsessed with Abbie and not in a good way. He will do anything he has to do to be with her, even if it means kidnapping her and their daughter and going on a killing spree. This book is the journey not only into Greg's dark past of abuse and neglect, but also his chance to connect with the family he just found out he had.
Abuse is not something to joke with in any way shape or form, we are shown how it can effect someone so drastically that they are not in touch with reality and can cause some serious damage not only to themselves but those around them. The best way that I can describe Greg is as being a serial killer with a heart of gold. He uses his looks, (which he points out multiple times) and his ability to manipulate and personality to help him get away with murder.
A word to the wise you can read this book by itself but a much clearer picture is set when you read the first one in the series. I did it out of order so I am speaking from experience. "Sorry Ms. Jackson." But I have read the first one and reread the second and what can I say. Well obviously I said a bunch just look above. This is a story unlike one I have read before and though it was a dark, sexual and somewhat disturbing story, it still had a great story line and one that had you waiting to see what was going to happen next.