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Hear Me Roar

The Wild Rose Press

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Word Count: 84,895
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Jan Simmons never expected trouble to move into her quiet Charming Way cul-de-sac. Nor did she expect her husband Jeff’s weakness for fast money to drag their once happy family into danger.

When her husband turns to crime, Jan, a people-pleaser with little self-worth, must release the death grip she has on her failing marriage for the sake of her children and draw on her inner strength.

As Jan fights to free her family from a web of lies and deceit she also battles to save herself.


She’d just begun to relax again when the house phone rang. They had a cordless system, with extensions in the kitchen, master bedroom, and in the family room right next to Jeff’s chair. Her chair now.

Jan didn’t feel like talking to anyone, so she let the call go to the house answering machine in the kitchen. While she would have to get up to hear the actual words, she could tell if someone left a message.

She cocked her ears. Nothing. Likely, a marketing call.

Briing. Briing.

Persistent jerk.

Jan grabbed the phone on the first ring and pressed “Answer.”

“Stop calling. Take me off your call list or I’ll report you to the FCC.”

At first, she heard a wheezing sound, and then a raspy voice. “Tell him he owes us ten grand.”

“Who is this? How did you get this number?”

The phone went dead.

Tell him he owes us ten grand? Jan’s hand went to her face. Of course. For the stash the police confiscated. She’d bet Jeff was supposed to deliver it, get paid, and share his cut with this character. Who were these people, and how far would they go to get their money?

Wrapping her arms around her body, she tried to shake off the cold fear that she and the children could be in danger. How had that sinister sounding man gotten their home number? Did he know where they lived? She shut her eyes briefly.

Would she ever be rid of the fear?

Jan had to do something, but she wasn’t sure what. She ran to the living room and grabbed Detective Hoskins’s card from the end table. As she turned, she caught the glint of headlights in her peripheral vision. It was past ten when few cars had reason to come down their street.

Jan edged over to the window, staying to the side where the drapery would hide her, and peered out. She sucked in a breath. A dark sedan had parked on the street in front of their house. If it hadn’t been for the outdoor lights she’d left blazing, the car might’ve blended into the night. How odd. The car’s headlights were off, yet a tiny glow from the interior indicated the vehicle was occupied.

As she stood watching, the car sped away. Once it cleared her driveway, the headlights clicked on leaving behind a dark shadow. She might’ve thought nothing of it if she hadn’t received a threatening call moments before the car appeared.

Shuddering, Jan checked the locks on all the doors and windows and then picked up the phone to call 911.

What did she have to report except that a car parked in front of her house and then left? It could have been a group of teens fooling around or someone who’d made a wrong turn and was resetting a GPS.

Still, Jan couldn’t shake the feeling the call and the car were somehow connected and that her family was in danger.