A Higher Voice
by Sheri Wren Haymore
The Kindle edition of A Higher Voice is ON SALE for $3.99 (save $5.00) to 5 February to celebrate the release of the author's new book, A Deeper Cut.
Legendary rock singer Britt Jordan is at the pinnacle of his career - at least as far as the world knows. But Britt’s voice is failing and a terrible event in his past haunts him every moment. He thinks that his life is a hopeless shipwreck … until the night he is stopped dead in his tracks by a woman’s smile.
With the same determination that propelled him to stardom, he begins to create a new life with Dena and her daughter, Bonnie. Britt’s presence in Dena’s life brings more than paparazzi, however. His baggage includes a brother who wants to destroy him and a stalker intent on killing his wife. Willing to sacrifice any price to save his family, he finally must find a higher plane on which to face his past and his future.
He could have sworn somebody had crammed an electric guitar inside his head. A racket screamed between his ears—half-music and half-insanity—and a riff repeated amongst his tonsils that threatened to drag his gut up to his throat. The racket and nausea had begun to plague him six months ago, and damn if he knew how to pull the plug.
Britt Jordan kicked away the tangle of sweat-soaked sheets, bounded from the bed, and staggered across his dimly lit hotel suite. Bypassing the bar that had been stocked just for his taste, he yanked open the refrigerator door and grabbed a pitcher of ice water. Plunging his hand into it, he splashed a good douse of freezing water onto his face. Twice.
“Aaihh!” he screamed, pounding the wall with his fist. Throwing up, he had learned, did nothing to dispel the nausea that accompanied the racket. Ice water and a good, gut-deep scream, now that helped.
The door of the suite’s adjoining room opened, and in stumbled Britt’s assistant, tugging on drawstring pajama bottoms, blonde hair tousled. “God, Britt, it’s five o’clock.”
“And a jolly good morning to you, too, Darrell,” answered Britt in his distinct, morning-raspy voice that had made rock and roll history for over two decades.
Darrell glanced at Britt’s bed, which hadn’t been shared with anyone since the previous summer. “What you need is a woman,” he advised.
“What I need is a car. Get me one.”
Darrell switched on a light and the two men squinted at each other. “A car? What for?” Darrell asked, looking his boss over suspiciously.
Britt grinned. Tormenting Darrell always started his day off with a bang. He was still holding the pitcher, water dripping from the three-day stubble on his chin and running down his bare chest. “To drive. Where am I, by the way?”
Exasperation crossed Darrell’s face. “Britt, you’ve got a show tonight.”
“Right. So if you’ll tell me where I am and where I’m supposed to be tonight, I’ll just drive myself on in.” Britt made a sweeping motion with his free hand, palm down.
“You’ll get lost. Go back to bed.” Darrell turned to leave.
Britt was fast. In one beat, he had Darrell by the arm, the pitcher poised over his assistant’s head. “Where am I?” he demanded, slopping a good measure of frigid water over Darrell.
“Damn it, Britt, stop,” croaked Darrell, ducking. “Richmond, Virginia. Your jet is here. Your bodyguard. Me. You know you’re not driving off into the sunrise without us.”
“Yeah, I am.” Britt doused his assistant with some more water. “As soon as you tell me where my show is tonight.”
Darrell squirmed in Britt’s grasp. He tried to bring his boss to the floor with a kick to the inside of his knee, and when that didn’t work, he made a grab for the pitcher. “Why do you need to know?”
“I have a great need to conquer the open road.”
“I don’t trust you,” said Darrell, finally getting a grip on the pitcher. “The name Britt Jordan is not exactly synonymous with ‘navigational wizard.’ You’ll end up in Pennsylvania.”
“Instead of where?” Britt asked. Both men had a grip on the pitcher, and Britt gave it a hearty tug, splashing them both in the face. “Tell me or I’ll fire you.”
“You’ve already fired me twelve times this tour,” said Darrell, wiping water from his eyes, “and given me three raises.”
“Really?” Britt asked, astounded. “Then you owe me an answer. Hurry up, boy. The open road beckons.”
“I don’t think there’s much open road in the South.”
“Aha! Where did we book in the South?” Britt released Darrell and walked over to the window, still holding the pitcher. He yanked aside the curtain and stared at the pre-dawn city below. “Now I remember. Greensboro, Columbia, Atlanta, then break for Christmas,” he recited triumphantly. “North Carolina. If I can just figure out which way is south, I’m bound to hit it eventually.”
Darrell shook his head and started from the room. “Go back to bed. You can drive all you want after Atlanta.”
Britt turned from the window. “Today,” he said. “I’m driving today. Get me a car now.”
Sighing in defeat, Darrell padded off into his own room to phone the front desk.
Britt’s physical presence didn’t overwhelm people. He was not a tall man, and while his compact, athletic build and reckless good looks kept the fans in awe, it didn’t give him control over his staff. It was his dogged determination and pure, endless drive that kept them hopping around him.
Catching his reflection in the mirror, Britt slowly raised the pitcher over his head. Britt Jordan was worth a hundred million as far as Uncle Sam knew; only Britt knew the value of his off-shore holdings. He could afford a thousand distractions an hour. But he had not found a single thing his money could buy that would shut up the racket in his head. Without flinching, he dumped the rest of the water over his head in one cold, baptizing shower that streamed from his tangled hair and drenched his boxer shorts.
“Aaihh!” he screamed again, longer and louder than before.
“You’re insane, Britt!” shouted Darrell from the adjoining room.
Britt blinked water from his eyes. “Not anymore.”
Praise for A Higher Voice
“If you can only buy one book this month . . . Buy this one! It will take you places you can only imagine and you’ll believe in happy endings again.”
“Thank you Ms. Haymore for giving us a book we can read again and again and never tire of. In the spirit of such books as Gone With the Wind and Sense and Sensibility, this book is timeless.”
— Melanie Adkins, reviewer for “Have You Heard Reviews”
“Haymore has a deft touch with dialogue, and has created complex characters, an intricate plot, and protagonists you root for all the way. It’s a classic mystery thriller with a twist. Satisfying echoes of Mary Higgins Clark. I look forward to Haymore’s next book.”
— Beth Westmark, published essayist for “The Broiler: A Journal of New Literature” and “Emerald Coast Review”
“A Higher Voice is a sprawling novel filled with well-defined characters, excellent descriptions, and a gripping story of romance and suspense . . . Readers, no matter what they believe, will be caught up in the dramatic story and find themselves hoping the appealing characters will succeed in overcoming their difficulties.”
— Jane Tesh, author of the Madeline Maclin Mysteries and The Grace Street Series
“A Higher Voice is such a wonderfully engrossing tale.”
“The author is able to pull the reader into the story so deeply, the outside world ceases to exist… Haymore is an author to watch.”
— Michelle Willms, editor and journalist
About the Author
Sheri grew up in Mt. Airy, NC, and still lives thereabouts with her husband and a pup named Cercie. Together, they’ve made a living running a couple of small business, and made a life doing the things they enjoy - traveling, hiking, camping, kayaking. Sheri loves music and yoga, inventing gourmet meals from random ingredients, laughing with friends, and most especially spending time with her daughter. A graduate of High Point University, she has burned more pages than most people will ever write, and is currently scribbling a third novel, which may or may not survive the flames.