What I Did by @kaylathewriter9 is a Mystery and Suspense Festival pick #thriller #suspense #giveaway
Title: What I Did
Author: Kayla Krantz
Genre: Psychological Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary
A dangerous situation.
A choice between life and death.
What would you do to survive? On the surface, Jessica is your all-American woman—blonde, young, and pretty—but there’s something off in her subconscious, something that draws her to horror movies and true crime. Living with a mix of social anxiety and agoraphobia makes maneuvering the world outside of her mother’s apartment tough, but her job at the local grocery store is something she can manage. That is, until she gets swept up in the crossfire of an active shooter. In order to survive, Jess must tap into the growing darkness inside of her and cross a line there’s no coming back from, committing her first murder. The experience teaches her one important lesson: murders are like potato chips. You can never have just one. *Warning: Contains scenes of violence that might be triggering to some*
NIGHTS OUT WITH Keaton always reminded me that I was still human. She could make me feel things that I didn’t have access to the rest of the time. I cherished her because nothing and no one else reminded me that I’m a person who matters. Especially not my job. Well, not the job so much as someone at the job.
The next morning, I kept my head down as I made my usual trip to work. My commute went by without incident, and when I hit the door of Grocer’s Way, I scanned my surroundings, looking for signs of Samuel as usual. I didn’t see him at the front, and I would’ve let out a small breath of air in relief, but I knew better.
He never had two days off in a row which meant he was here somewhere. Eyes and ears peeled, I went to the back of the store, making it to the employee lounge before his nonsense began. There was a piece of paper taped to my locker that said, “Stuck up bitch.” Angrily, I ripped it off, folding it into my fist as I twisted the code into my lock and opened the door.
“Jessie,” Samuel sneered as he brushed past me, close enough to ram his shoulder into mine. He was a big guy, and I was sure the contact would leave a bruise later. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time.
“You forgot your trash,” I called after him, throwing the paper at the back of his head before I pulled my name badge from my locker and slammed the door with a clang.
I glared at him, angry for the way he brazenly looked right back at me. Perhaps the worst part of his ugly personality was the fact that he had an attractive veneer on top. Chocolate brown hair, green eyes, and a slender face.
His laughter followed me back out to the salesfloor. I trembled with rage as I took my place behind the register, but I was good at keeping it from my face. Harlow glanced at me from the nearby register, offering me a small smile, which I ignored.
She never actually spoke to me, and since she was close to Samuel, I usually tried to avoid her at all costs. Her and Carmine. I was sure that Samuel had them keep an eye out on me. Anything said to either of them would most likely be reported right back to his waiting ear.
At work, I tried to be professional, to keep my head down, and speak only when necessary. I had learned that was the best way to get through my days without getting in trouble. Of course, I had tried to report Samuel’s bullying to my boss, Mr. Waters, but it hadn’t gone down well. Samuel had charmed his way out of the situation, and Mr. Waters had looked at me with sympathy as if he assumed I was completely batshit crazy for ever having a bad thought about his star employee.
I wasn’t the type to make the same mistake twice. Instead of trying to fix the situation, I ignored it. Which did hurt a bit, if I was being honest. When I was a kid, I always imagined I would be some big important person with a big important job, but now that I was practically an adult, I barely made it in the retail industry.
I started to ring up my first customer of the day, and the meaningless work was something to focus on, something to distract me, and even though I hated every minute of it, I reminded myself that at least I was being paid to hate it. The day was easy until a man in a fedora made it to the front of my line. He leered at me the entire time I rung up his things, and I pretended not to notice as I told him his total.
He pulled out his wallet, opened it, then paused as he looked back up at me. “You’d be much prettier if you smiled,” he said, staring at me as if the rude comment would somehow make a smile appear.
I stared back, just as deadpanned. The part of me interested in looking normal for the sake of my job told me to play along, but the rest of me fully understood and supported Aileen Wuornos’ choice of victims. If I ever did snap, it’d probably be thanks to a guy like this. I glanced out toward the shelves where Samuel was knelt putting cans in a perfect row. Or him.
After a full minute of silence and still no smile, the man in my line huffed and swiped his card. When his transaction finished, he grabbed his bags and stormed off. I offered him the middle finger as I watched him go.
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
What I Did is a psychological thriller that tackles issues in modern day society. Tough topics such as toxic masculinity, mental illness, and active shooter situations are covered from the point of a view of a millennial giving the story a surreal modern-day vibe.
It leaves you with the question, what would you do to survive?
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 42 books featured in the Mystery and Suspense Bookish Event:
Runs August 11 – 17, 2020.
Winner will be drawn on August 24, 2020.
Kayla Krantz is a proud author, responsible for a number of novels in the genres dark fantasy, psychological horror, and supernatural thriller. She is fascinated by the dark and macabre. Stephen King is her all-time inspiration, mixed in with some faint remnants of the works of Edgar Allen Poe. When she began writing, she started in horror, but somehow drifted into thriller and fantasy. She loves the 1988 movie, “Heathers.” Kayla was born and raised in Michigan, but traveled across the country to where she currently resides, in Texas.
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