Flaunting That Bad Reputation – CHILD’S PLAY Excerpt

One week from today, Child’s Play will be released to the world! I am thrumming with excitement!


Today I’m sharing an excerpt from the book. Many of you know I have a slight music addiction. Consequently, I tend to connect music – particularly lyrics – to random situations, conversations, etc. Sean, the badass (lovable?) killer from my Michael Sykora Novels has a similar music connection. When I wrote the scene I’m sharing today, the music connection unfolded naturally and unintentionally.

Sean pulled the old and abused Honda Civic into a spot in the far corner of the parking garage adjacent to the condo building. He’d circled the inside of the garage twice. No cameras anywhere. He shifted into park and said, “We good?”

Maria slipped on a pair of oversized, dark sunglasses. His own sunglasses wrapped snug around his head, dark lenses concealing his eyes. Eyewitnesses were a faulty bunch. People remembered the cues you gave them; in this instance, formal wear and sunglasses. Fortunately, a handful of celebrities had made dark glasses a fad, so people no longer thought much of it when someone wore sunglasses at night. The lyrics of Corey Hart’s song Sunglasses At Night ran through Sean’s head, and he grimaced.

“Why the sour face?”

“I wear my sunglasses at night.”

“Oh, hell. Change the radio station.”

“How about Vern Daysel’s Bad Reputation?” Sean gave Maria his best smoldering look, which wasn’t at all difficult when he looked at her, and he sang, “I see you walkin’ through the door. I’ve never seen a girl like you before.”

“Careful,” Maria said, “your inner rock star is showing.”

“One look at you and Jeremy will be singing that tune.”

“Let’s hope I’m his type.”

“You’re every guy’s type.”

She laughed and kissed him. “Let’s go do this.”

“If things go sideways, you get the hell out. Don’t wait for me.”


“I know you can handle this, which is why you’re here with me. That sure as hell doesn’t mean I want you taking unnecessary risks.”

“Message received. Now let’s get this creep.”

They stepped out of the car and Sean said, “I feel like I need to fumigate myself after riding in that thing.”

Anyone watching them climb out of the Honda, with its peeling paint and torn leather seats, would have done a double take at their choice of rides. A limo would have suited them, or even his BMW, but not an eight-year-old Civic a breath away from a salvage yard. Their exit didn’t matter though, since Sean had made it a point to ensure no one was watching.

Maria smoothed her dress; a slinky black thing that fell to her ankles, with a slit all the way up one thigh. She wore 5-inch heels and had her shiny black hair pulled up in a twist. She’d applied copper lipstick, a color he’d never seen on her lips before. She looked sexy in that elegant way of supermodels and the wealthy.

She stepped close and straightened his tie. “You clean up well.”

He grunted, and she took his arm as they strolled to the condo’s entrance.

Vern Daysel is a fantastic independent rock musician. His song Bad Reputation fits perfectly in the scene. I heard it playing in my head, giving swagger to the moment as if the scene had a soundtrack. I contacted Vern about using his lyrics, and he graciously gave me permission. Here’s the song. Crank up your volume and give it a listen.


You can connect with Vern on Facebook, and learn more about his music on his website.


Child’s Play is available for 99 cents for Kindle during the pre-sale! The price goes up to $3.99 on June 9th, release day.

Amazon / Amazon UK / Amazon CA


Thanks for reading.



  • Jennifer Lane

    I like how a song inspired that scene! Nice visualization of her dress.

  • Kim Stapf

    Your killing me!!!

    • I know it’s mean, but that makes me oddly happy!

      • Kim Stapf