Friday, April 29, 2016

News at Eleven - A Novel, Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp (Part One)

Clisty Sinclair froze as she stared into the monitor. It can’t be her. It’s been too long.

     The television camera zoomed in as Clisty’s eyes filled with tears. Shaken, she was numb to the fact that viewers were watching her relive a terrible memory.

     The news director’s eyes widened. “Go on!” she mouthed.

     Clisty felt nine years old again, frantically grabbing her friend’s hand. But, in the desperate tug-of-war with evil, the muscular man won and dragged her friend away.

     She composed herself. “Help police find the witness visible on the ATM’s surveillance camera,” she reported. “Call 555-2020. Let’s roll that again.” Clisty stopped breathing as she watched the jerky video.  A huge figure in dark clothes ran from the bank, nearly knocking down a disheveled woman. The woman paid no attention to him, but focused on the ATM. At the surveillance camera, she looked directly into it with guarded, anxious eyes.

     “Those eyes,” Clisty murmured.

     Dan Drummond, the senior anchor, waited as Clisty remained silent. Finally Drummond intervened. “Well, that’s the news from the Fort. WFT-TV . . . Fort Wayne, Indiana. More news at eleven.”

     “Good show, people.” Rebecca Landers waved her arms in the air.  “Everything all right?” she asked Clisty.

     “Sure Becca.” But, she muttered, “It can’t be her.”

     “Who?” Becca jerked the headset from her ears and handed it to her assistant. “Here, George, stow these until eleven, please.”

     “No one. Just my imagination,” Clisty whispered then changed the subject. “Maybe they’ll find that witness in time for the eleven o’clock news.”

     “Maybe, but that’s only four hours from now. It could happen, if she walks into police headquarters by herself,” Becca answered. “What happened up there?”

     “Nothing,” she brushed the question off.

     “Don’t forget the envelope for Clisty.” George put the headset on the desk. “I’m going to run out. I’ll be back.”

     “What envelope?” Clisty asked as she stood up slowly.

     “Fellow said his name was Phil and left it for you.”

     “You’re slowing down. Are you okay? I’ll call a stand-in.”

     “No, Becca, don’t do that. I don’t want someone else to look good. I still have to prove myself.” She had risen from intern, to fill-in, to junior-anchor in record time. “I don’t want anyone to think they made a mistake in hiring me.”

     “Okay, but you need to talk about it.”

     “George said you have a letter for me?” Clisty asked.

     Becca withdrew the message from her hip pocket. “Here ya go. Hope I didn’t wrinkle it.”

     Clisty pushed dark blond hair from her forehead and studied the envelope. The handwriting looked familiar and yet not. “There’s a pot of coffee at my apartment. Can you run out with me for a while? I think I’d better eat something. I’m shaking.”

     “Sure. We have nothing until eleven.”

• • • • •

“Looks like you painted last weekend,” Becca observed as she walked around Clisty’s living room. “It’s still white though isn’t it?”

     “No. It’s cream,” Clisty insisted.

     “Cream?” Becca said with a wry smile. “Maybe off-white . . . but, not cream.” She studied the pictures clustered above the sofa. “The girl on the right looks like you.” The gangly girl in the photo had skinned knees that stuck out below pale blue summer shorts. Play equipment in the background revealed an active child.

     “It is,” Clisty agreed. She placed the envelope on the shiny black coffee table. “I’ll get us some coffee and yogurt.” She walked over to the open kitchen.

     “That’s great. It’s Jason’s poker night. He’ll stop at the drive-through.” She glanced back at the picture, then around Clisty’s space. “I’m surprised you hung that picture in a room with white walls.” Becca raised her eyebrows. “Sorry, cream walls, white area rug.” She looked down. “I know I was right that time, cream sofa and side chairs, and end tables with absolutely nothing on them, no tchotchkes, nothing.” She looked again at the fireplace. “I take that back. There’s a little angel on the mantle.”

     “That’s my prayer angel. At church, Grandma picked my angel and I got hers that Christmas before she and Grandpa moved to Florida.” She smiled defiantly. “Besides, no-clutter settles the mind and makes my space manageable.”

     “You don’t strike me as a control freak.”

     “I’m not.” Clisty removed her shoes, sat cross-legged on the sofa and pealed the lid from the raspberry yogurt. She put it on the saucer.

     Becca watched and did the same, except for the leg position. “You could fool me,” Becca mused as she glanced around the spotless room. “You take minimalism to an extreme not often seen.”

     “It’s just my home that has to be sterile.” She scooped out a spoonful of the creamy treat. “Don’t laugh. I don’t know why, but my house must be stripped of all clutter.”

     “You know . . . one person’s clutter . . .” Becca sighed as she sipped the hot coffee. She sat the cup on its saucer and glanced at the envelope.

     “Has it grown larger than the room?” Clisty teased as she watched Becca’s expression.

     “I don’t know why you’re not interested in what’s inside!”

     “Oh okay,” she chuckled softly. “But, it was fun for a few minutes. I watched your curiosity rise to hyperventilation level.”

     “Open it!” Becca yelled.

     “All right, all right,” Clisty drew out slowly. Once opened, the envelope appeared to be empty. She shook it and a square piece of plastic fell out. Pent-up grief crossed her face. She frantically snatched up the piece from the polished floor.

     “What is it?”

     “It’s a four-leaf clover, sealed between clear contact-paper.” She held the piece between her index finger and thumb. “My mother lines her closet shelves with clear contact.”

     “But Clisty,” Becca stared at her. “What does it mean? You recognize it. I can tell.”

     Clisty gently lifted the photo from the wall. “The other sweet child is Faith. She was my dearest friend. We investigated everywhere. Mom’s only rule was to be home by suppertime. We kept the treasures we found in our clubhouse.”

     “Where is she?”

     “She’s gone.”

     “Did they move?”

     “Her parents still live over on Oak Street.” Clisty sank back on the thick, sofa pillows. “She’s . . . gone.”

     “She died?”

     Clisty tried to shut out the terrible pictures in her mind. Suddenly, her eyes widened. She glanced at the mantle clock. “It’s seven-thirty. There’s time.” She waved the clover back and forth in anxious hands. “I have to see Jake.”

     “Jake? Jake . . . your cop . . . Jake?”

     “No . . . yes. No, he’s not my cop.” She jumped up. “I found this four-leaf clover while we played. We took it home and sealed it between the contact-paper. I wrote the date on it with magic Marker and gave it to Faith. She put it in her pocket. I told you. We were nine years old.” Clisty paced. “We started to play Monopoly then sat on the floor and watched TV.” When her eyes filled with tears, she pulled a hankie from her pocket.

     “No,” Becca grabbed a tissue. “You’re still in camera-makeup. Now, slow down, breathe, and tell me what happened.”

     She blotted her tears with the tissue. “Mom had gone to the grocery. We started watching TV before we put our game away.” She sniffed and tried to clear her throat.

     “Then what?”

     “Someone . . . a big man in a sweaty shirt . . . I can still smell him . . . stormed into our house.” She cringed as terrible mental images invaded.

     “The man had a heavy beard and yellow teeth,” she shuddered. “He grabbed us both by the wrist and dragged us toward the door.” Clisty’s voice drifted to a whisper while a horror-film played in her head. “I broke free, grasped Faith’s hand and tried to pull her back; but, he was too big. I slipped on the Monopoly board and slid on a few cards and game pieces. I fell but scrambled to my feet, ran into the bathroom and locked the door. I heard the man snort something like, ‘I got what I came for,’ and stormed out the door with Faith.”

     “Oh Clisty, how horrible! Where did they find her?”

     “They didn’t,” she whispered. “She just vanished. It’s been eighteen years. Her family has never given up,” Clisty choked with tears. “I tried to save her.” With a raspy voice she added, “With my angel on her kitchen windowsill, Grandma prayed for me every day.” She closed her eyes and slipped back into dark, frightening memories. “I know the prayers helped.”

     “Clisty, you were a child.”

     ”I know. But, Becca, that witness in the surveillance video . . . those eyes . . . that was Faith. I’m positive of it.” She looked at the clover in her hand and shouted, “This four-leaf clover proves she’s alive! She sent it to me so I would look for her. Becca, I know where she is!”

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Serialization coming up!

Just 52 more hours until I post the first installment of News at Eleven - A Novel. The first four sections were serialized in Glo Magazine during January, February, March and April of 2015. I will post all 24 chapters over 24 Fridays. They will remain on my blog, so if you miss a Friday's read, you can catch up later. Also, as you tell friends and family about the great serialized book you're enjoying, they can read any back posts they may have missed.

News at Eleven  - A Novel is Copyrighted. You cannot reprint or sell it. Contact me for special uses. Doris Gaines Rapp - Author

Monday, April 25, 2016

ANNOUNCING: Novel Serialization Coming!

I hope you're excited! I am posting a serialization of my book, News at Eleven - A Novel. The first four chapters appeared as a serialized novelette in Glo Magazine here in Indiana, during January, February, March and April of 2015. It was called simply, News at Eleven. I expanded the novelette into a full novel and made it available at Tapestry, a day for women, the last Friday of April 2015. Since Tapestry 2016 will be this Friday, I will begin posting the novel in segments, on Friday, April 29, 2016.

PLEASE:  TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS. I choose to share it with as many as possible ... because I love and appreciate all my readers. I hope you enjoy News at Eleven - A Novel.

Since there are 24 chapters in News at Eleven - A Novel, it will take 24 weeks to read the entire book. If you can't wait until the last chapter, the full novel is available at and in paperback and on Amazon in eBook form. You don't need an eReader. There is a free app so you can read it on your cell phone, your computer, or an eReader if you have one.

Happy reading!

Doris Gaines Rapp - Author

Monday, April 18, 2016

Book Signing

Hey friends, come out Thursday evening, April 21 at 5 pm to closing at 7 pm at Turn the Page Books and More in downtown Huntington, Indiana. I'll sign my newest novel, Length of Days - Search for Freedom, the 3rd in the Length of Days trilogy, along with my other six novels. See you there.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Length of Days - Search for Freedom, Excerpt from Chapter 27

Excerpt from Chapter 27
Length of Days – Search for Freedom
Copyright 2016 Doris Gaines Rapp

“Ivy,” I gasped, “you don’t suspect the physician of anything do you? How could she have caused a train wreck?”
“I don’t like to think about it either, Christy,” Jason stated. “But, our main concern is for our safety. We’re soaked. We’ll have to find dry clothes as soon as possible.”
“We can’t all go into the stores,” Ivy stated emphatically. “Oliver, I am sure your poster is all over town. It pops up on mass communication screens every fifteen minutes. But, no one will recognize me. The village is right over there, past the bridge.” She turned in the direction of town. “I’ll go buy all of us some clothes. You might have to wear wet shoes. If I bought six pairs of shoes, it would be too obvious that we just walked out of the river.”
“Okay,” I agreed. But, inside I was scared, for myself and for my loved ones. If I couldn’t trust Dr. Raddin, I doubted my ability to know who to trust.
Ivy looked around the side of the bridge abutment again. “It looks like the building on the left side of the street, just over the bridge, is empty. Make your way there, one or two at a time. I’ll bring the clothes there.”
“All right,” both of my grandparents responded in unison.
When Ivy left, I suddenly felt cold, vulnerable. Maybe my helplessness was because she had taken the sidearm that protected us all with her. I had seen pictures of guns in the books I had read, but had never seen one in person. Could the very idea of a firearm make me feel safe?
Jason took my hand and massaged the soft spot between my thumb and index finger. I felt some warmth return and began to feel safe again. Holding my hand tightly, he stretched up tall and looked past the bridge. “It looks safe—but then, we thought the train would be safe too.”
Grand-père squared his shoulders and reached out for Grand-mère’s hand. “Connie, hold your head up high. Walk with dignity and not like your drawers are soaked.”
We all laughed as they started up the little hill to the pavement. I counted to twenty. Jason kissed me and, with my hand still in his, we walked up the little embankment to the street above.

Order full novel from In paperback and eBook.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Length of Days - Search for Freedom (selection from Chapter 17) (order full book from

“Jason,” I said and took his hand. “Please, don’t leave.”
“I know. I really do—but—” I couldn’t stop tears from welling up. “I can’t be alone, not tonight.”
Jason caressed my cheek with the back of his fingers. “Christy, I love you. I can’t just—“
I understood what he was saying. We had been traveling together for months, but we had rarely been alone. In the night glow of my hotel room, it was so different. It was quiet enough I could hear his breathing and still enough to catch the faint fragrance of his aftershave. If I listened with my heart, I could hear the thump-thump of his pulse as well. I said nothing else. Jason turned to go to his own room, paused but said nothing. I watched as he went over to the light switch and turned it off. The room was dark except for the light that filtered in through the drapes. He didn’t leave. In the darkened room I saw him remove his jacket and tie and lay them across a chair. I could still hear his breathing and the thud of each shoe as it hit the floor. The sheets swished as he raised them and got into bed still partially dressed. We were nested spoons in the silver chest as he wrapped his arms around me and held me close with warm and gentle hands. “Good night, Sweetheart,” he whispered.
I felt safe and loved. Where a moment ago I was unable to shake off the trauma, anxiety and panic of Grand-père’s abduction, with Jason close, I was able to close my eyes and quickly fall asleep.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A Peek into the Future: "Length of Days - Search for Freedom"

It's 2113 and the ruling elite are going to "elect" a new president by right-of-succession. The newly established 1787-Constitutionalists Party candidate has been kidnapped. Length of Days - Search for Freedom is as timely as it gets!

As I write this, it is 2016 on the eve of the Wisconsin primary. This entire election season has been full of fun, frustration, fantasy, and future possibilities. In my novel, Length of Days - Search for Freedom, we might see what our country could be like in one-hundred years - vastly different and yet more of the same.

Read Length of Days - Search for Freedom in paperback or eBook and make sure our future is something we truly want to pass on to our children. It is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook.. Order it, read it, share this post with everyone you know!