Book Excerpt: Nightshade by Fiona Zedde
As part of our effort to profile more authors within the LGBT community, we present Fiona Zedde. Fiona was born in Jamaica and is the author of six novels, including the Lambda Literary Award finalists Bliss and Every Dark Desire. She’s also written three novellas and a short story collection. Her stories have appeared in various anthologies including Best Lesbian Romance, Wicked: Sexy Tales of Legendary Lovers, and Iridescence: Sensuous Shades of Lesbian Erotica.
As part of our effort to profile more authors within the LGBT community, we present Fiona Zedde. Fiona was born in Jamaica and is the author of six novels, including the Lambda Literary Award finalists Bliss and Every Dark Desire. She’s also written three novellas and a short story collection. Her stories have appeared in various anthologies including Best Lesbian Romance, Wicked: Sexy Tales of Legendary Lovers, and Iridescence: Sensuous Shades of Lesbian Erotica. Under the name “Fiona Lewis” she has published a novel of young adult fiction called Dreaming in Color.
Nightshade is Fiona's most recent book. Here is the description:
Assassin, Bronwynne St. Just has a knack for finding trouble, usually in the form of a beautiful woman. After fulfilling a haunting contract on her sister’s childhood friend and former employee, she takes off for the Caribbean and business as usual; but danger waits for her in the most unexpected places.
With an endless appetite for luscious variety, Wynne courts danger and pleasure from all corners of the globe. But she must wrestle with her own demons as she trades kisses and blows with some of the deadliest women in the business. She’s been lucky in all her years in the game but will a young woman bent on revenge become her Achilles heel?
Red-haired and reviled Sonny Frederick was easy to find in Fairfield, California. Of medium height—barely 5 feet 10—with bad skin, and the social graces of a baboon in heat, he stood out among the seemingly endless parade of aimless twenty-somethings in town. He was the kind to yell threats in traffic at any driver who dared to cut him off. Dogs peeing on the sidewalk invited a sharp kick. And any mildly attractive women within sight and hearing knew what he wanted to do to her and how.
Wynne was sure Sonny had gotten death threats, mostly from the grieving family of the twin girls he murdered and people with daughters of their own—but Sonny acted like he was on vacation. Which is probably what it felt like to him after barely dodging the electric chair. He went to Merlin’s Pub nearly every night after work at the plastic factory. There, he bought his co-workers drinks and left the bar just sober enough to drive the short distance home. On weekends, he usually found a hooker to pass the time before his orgy of drinking and weed smoking. Of modest means, he lived in a house inherited from his parents in one of the more middle class areas of Fairfield, a yellow, ranch-style with a short driveway, low hedges, and nosy neighbors.
Wynne tracked Sonny, ruthlessly pushing aside any thoughts of the woman she’d left in her bed. Well, technically, Nic had been in the kitchen but the smell of the bedroom and their lovemaking lingered around her like perfume as she stood in the kitchen doorway offering breakfast. Would Nic be there when she returned? Would she seriously consider sharing her life with someone like Wynne?
A dog barked, jerking her from her useless thoughts. Sonny was at home. Even now, she could see him through the open blinds moving around the living room. She sat in her car across the street from his house and watched him. In a few minutes, he would leave for work.
His routine was a simple one: work, bar, home, and sometimes, very late at night when only the monsters and hunters prowled, he went out for a drive past the nearby high school. He took a slow cruise in his old and rusted light brown Mustang all the way around the building, lingering near the track where the students did laps after school or suffered through the humiliations of gym class.
Tina and Tiffany Reese had disappeared on their way home from school. For days, no one knew where the girls were or what happened to them. They had simply disappeared into thin air with not a word to family, lovers, or friends. Weeks passed. Months. Until someone made a horrific discovery in an aqueduct just outside the city limits. Both girls. Dead. Defiled. Good police work caught the sloppy rapist and murderer but the unjust legal system set him free on a technicality.
The twins’ parents reached out to Wynne out of desperation and she was only happy to oblige and rid the world of Sonny Frederick. And it had to look like an accident. No need to lead suspicion back to the already distraught family.
Wynne decided to come for him after the bar.
After midnight, the door of Merlin’s Pub opened with a belch of drunken laughter and shouted conversation. Sonny emerged, ejected like vomit, into the cool Northern California night. Inside the pub, his co-workers gladly took his money but outside his so-called friends scattered like cockroaches in the light.
“See you later, Sonny.” A tall Latin man clapped him on the shoulder then walked in the opposite direction with two other men.
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