n they took Sarah. You’re the reason she died.”
Cassie Quinn in Symphony of Bones on May 4th, 2021! Pre-order your copy now, or read on for a sneak peek:
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Symphony of Bones
A Cassie Quinn Mystery (Book Two)
by L.T. Ryan & K.M. Rought
Copyright © 2021 by L.T. Ryan, K.M. Rought, and Liquid Mind Media, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced in any format, by any means, electronic or otherwise, without prior consent from the copyright owner and publisher of this book. This is a work of fiction. All characters, names, places and events are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously.
Symphony of Bones: Chapter 1
Senator Lawrence Grayson stood inside his Charlotte office and peered out the window at the dark clouds above him. He didn’t have a scenic view from this side of the building, but it couldn’t be helped. Someday, he’d have a front-row seat at Jacqueline Kennedy’s renowned garden, and that was enough to get him through days like this.
Grayson caught his reflection in the window and straightened his tie. He ran a hand over his hair and smiled. It was dark brown with streaks of gray, long enough to provide some style but short enough to give him a clean, groomed look. The window’s reflection couldn’t dim the bright blue of his eyes, which had won him favor from men and women alike. Even his beard, kept short and tidy, had turned more than a few heads.
But these days, Grayson noticed his hair was more silver than brown and his eyes had a few more bags underneath. Politics wasn’t for the faint of heart, and if being in the state senate had aged him this much, he couldn’t imagine what he’d look like by the end of his two terms as president.
Then again, that’s why hair dye and Botox existed. He’d resisted until now, because so far, his looks had done him no disservice. It was only a matter of time before he wouldn’t be able to rely on what God had given him. Once nature had run its course, he’d turn to today’s spectacular technology.
Someone knocked sharply on the door, and Senator Grayson turned to find his publicist, Anastasia Bolton, entering the room with a tablet in one hand and a pile of paperwork in the other. She wore a black leather skirt and a maroon turtleneck sweater tucked into the waistband. Her nails were long and blood-red, perfectly matching her lipstick. She was an attractive woman, with high cheekbones and dark eyes framed by pin-straight black hair.
Grayson had once asked her if she was seeing anyone, and she’d gone on a five-minute tirade about how it was none of his business and that if he wanted her to continue to work for him, he would never ask her a single personal question again. He was so taken aback, he’d simply nodded his head, and they’d carried on like nothing had ever happened. That was over a year ago, and it had proven to be the best decision of his life. Anastasia had not only made him the talk of the town here in North Carolina, but she’d gotten him trending on Twitter on more than one occasion.
His future aspirations were within reach.
“Good morning, sir.” Anastasia set the paperwork down on the desk just as Grayson sank into his chair. “You’ve got a full day ahead of you.”
“Will there ever be a time when I don’t have a full day?”
“When you’re dead.” She didn’t even crack a smile. “First thing I need from you is a commitment to a charity.”
“What will I have to do?”
Anastasia sat down opposite him and crossed her legs. She placed the tablet on her knee and began swiping and clicking with fervor. She was probably checking emails, answering Twitter questions, lining up interviews, buying him a new suit, and coordinating dinner with his colleagues. All the while, he’d only eaten half his breakfast this morning.
“You’ll need to make at least three appearances. One will be volunteer work in either casual attire or without your jacket and your sleeves rolled up. Get a little messy. Real of the people vibes,” she told him.
“Choices?” he asked.
“Children’s hospital, vets, or animal shelter.”
“You have a preference?”
Anastasia looked up, her finger paused an inch above the tablet’s screen. “Animals are a crowd-pleaser, but it lacks depth. Unless your aspirations stop at President of the American Kennel Club.”
“Right. So, children or vets.”
She went back to swiping. “Children are always good, but they’re unpredictable. You’ll probably have to cry.”