This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Rosalee Gibbs, Thursday, August 2104
Diary Entry #1
Knox County Detention Facility
I am in jail. Not prison. I have not been tried and convicted of a crime by a jury of my peers.
I was arrested and thrown in a cell in the Knox County Detention Facility which is a fancy name for a jail dreamed up by some consultant.
I am currently wearing an orange jump suit-size extra large, white socks and size 8 green flip flops. I have been given a thin pillow and a small blanket. If I want to use the toilet, there is one in my cell. If I want something to eat or drink, good luck because there is nothing available until the jailers bring the next meal.
My name is Rosalee Gibbs. I am writing this diary because I have many things on my mind. I have to make sense of how I wound up accused of murder.
I am mad as a wet wasp that these idiots have trumped up some nutty charges against me. They say I killed my boyfriend and his wife 40 years ago. Who comes up with these fantasies?
True, I was a teaching assistant for a professor when I was in college. His name was Nick Lionnas. He and his wife wound up dead under suspicious circumstances, but their deaths were ruled accidental. Falling three stories inside an office building and receiving massive injuries while engaged in hot sex is not a pretty way to die. Would you agree?
Did I sleep with him? Yes, but having an affair with a person and killing that person and his wife are vastly different.
Do these yahoos, who have accused me of murder, actually believe that a senior in college came up with a fool-proof plan to kill her boyfriend and his wife?
Before I tell you more of my story, Diary, let me describe myself. I am Rosalee Gibbs. I am a writer who has worked for the largest newspaper in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Knoxville Times Newspaper, for more than 30 years. Many people refer to me as the “grand dame” of the Knoxville press.
While still in college, I worked my way up from being a part-time intern, who answered the phone for the reporters, to becoming the most highly awarded journalist in this area. It would take three or four pages for me to list my various accomplishments. Let’s just say that I have been everything from president of the local journalism society to recipient of the Tennessee State Award for Outstanding Journalism, not once, not twice, but eight times.
Over the years, my career had spanned a wide variety of topics from health to education. However, I am mostly remembered for reporting about two crimes and writing books about my experiences. Both books rose to No. 1 on the New York Times Best-Sellers List. Along the way, those books made me quite rich.
If this were not a serious matter, it would be comical to look at the way things went down. It was ironic that I was actually arrested by C.C. Clemmons himself. CC is his nickname; his full name is Clarence Charles.
CC is the current sheriff of Knoxville. I first met CC during his junior year in high school when he was a wet-behind-the-ears kid in the Junior Police Division of Cadet School. The Cadet School was on my beat as a reporter.
CC’s dad, Assistant Chief Clarence Clemons, a highly honored police officer, had died a few weeks before the ceremony in which his son, CC, was inducted into the academy.
CC’s uncle, Charles, and his cousin, Derrick, were also police officers. I guess it was in CC’s DNA to follow his relatives into the field of law enforcement.
I knew CC for many years and followed as he stepped up the career ladder to success. What a career it was! With his good looks, sex appeal, and charisma CC could have easily moved to Hollywood and hired on as an actor to portray a police officer in one of those crime dramas such as CSI. Any woman who ever met CC, fell in love, including me. His deep brown eyes and quick smile caused more than one married woman to forget her vows.
Oh, did I mention CC is black? That’s right. In Knoxville, we believe in judging a man by the content of his character and not the color of his skin. Actually CC’s skin is a warm brown tone something like a Hershey’s kiss.
I came to be rather fond of the young man. I helped him when he needed it, mostly by not reporting it when I found out about his gambling habit. I wrote a recommendation for him that helped him secure his first job. I loaned him money on more than one occasion. Was the money used to pay for an abortion for some gal he had impregnated or for a gambling debt? I’ll never know because he always paid me back.
I attended CC’s wedding when he married Lois, and sent gifts when the boys were born. I was present in the courthouse when his divorce was being argued. Things got really nasty. Apparently Lois had found out about some of the women and a few of the abortions.
Although CC has always been terrific at being a police officer or sheriff’s deputy, he made a bad husband. How do I know? Well, let’s just say that CC has a roving eye. I was not the only person who saw CC when he was parked in a car kissing some woman when he should have been home helping Lois with their kids.
I am currently 66 years old. CC is 50, but I tell you the god’s honest truth. If I were not married and CC were a few years younger, I’d be chasing him all around town. By the way, I learned over the years that those who chased CC usually caught him.
My career as a reporter began when I was given an assignment to serve as an intern for the Knoxville Times Newspaper. It came about during my junior year at the University of Tennessee. I was majoring in journalism and communications. That was more than 40 years ago.
Along the way, I rose up through the ranks at The Times and am now the feature writer for the paper.
You have heard that an opera is not over until the “fat lady sings.” I am the fat lady in that comparison for folks in Knoxville. They tell us they believe they really have not heard the news until they have read my daily articles. The photo of me that typically accompanies my articles was left out of the paper one day due to a print snafu and so many calls came in to the office they had to hire part-time help to sort through all the messages.
Not only am I well-loved and well-cared for in this county, I get my pick of the most interesting news stories. If there is a big trial going on in town, people expect that I’ll be on hand writing the play-by-play. One of the judges actually spoke about me while he was holding court one day. He told everyone present he expected to see me taking notes while peeking out from behind bushes along the streets in Knoxville. Everyone in the courtroom laughed.
The day when CC came to my house to arrest me, I thought he was stopping by for a visit as he had hundreds of times. When he told me I was being arrested for murder, I thought he was teasing.
“Is this one of those things they do for charity?” I asked. “You arrest me and I stay in jail until someone pays my way out?”
“No, Rosalee, this is the real thing,” he responded with a serious look on his face.
“What?” I asked.
Then he began with that familiar notice we have all heard a zillion times, “You have the right to remain silent…” When he finished I asked only one question.
“Did Bobby Smallwood have something to do with this?”
Although CC didn’t answer I knew from the look on his face that I had guessed correctly.
Someone: This was a fun, entertaining read. Although the novel wasn’t stylistically polished, and although the first couple of chapters struggled to hold my attention, the rest of the novel was engaging and beautifully done. You had me fooled until the end. The rest of this review will contain spoilers fo...
Alex Rushmer: I read the first chapter, and I'm not sure I can handle anymore, but I certainly liked what I read. The idea of the drug, Fortis, was very interesting, and I enjoyed how you conveyed its effects. The beginning is very intriguing. I think I'd like to see you do a little more with the main characte...
pikagirl311: Katie Masters has definite skill when it comes to plot work and characters. The story is well-paced and pulls you along with the tide, keeping you hooked until the very end. The only reason I did not give it five stars across the board is due to a few minor quibbles with misspellings and such lik...
Diane April: Really liked the concept of this story. The beginning had a great explanation about how things worked in the real world that people tend to overlook. It was a nice change from the usual zombie story that just makes things up as they go along and actual facts don't matter.
Tanya Daigle Rusheon: This book is a long and twisty tale full of sweet romance, adorable fluff, anxiousness, trust issues, mind games, things that don't make sense until suddenly they do, heartache and reconciliation just when you need it the most. If that all sounds a bit vague, it's because I really don't want to s...
Resting-Madness: I've been in love that strongly, that I could see myself in the same situation as Surgio. The slow crawl of desperation was well depicted, I could feel myself leaning close to the screen, like he and I were conspiring together on how to construct this Frankenstein of Adela. And that's written thr...
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Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."