Latest Posts

Girl on Trial by Kathleen Fine - Cover Reveal + Giveaway

By 9:00 AM , , , , , ,

Today Kathleen Fine, CamCat Books, and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for GIRL ON TRIAL, her new Thriller which releases October 24, 2023! Check out the awesome cover and enter the giveaway!

 

On to the reveal!

About The Book:

Title: GIRL ON TRIAL

Author: Kathleen Fine

Pub. Date: October 24, 2023

Publisher: CamCat Books

Formats:  Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Pages: 304

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N, Bookshop, Indigo, BAM 

Does doing one bad thing make you a bad person?

Sixteen-year-old Emily Keller, known by the media as Keller the Killer, is accused of causing the deaths of four family members, including young children. Emily is one of the youngest females to be accused of a crime so heinous, making this the nation’s biggest trial of the year. But what really happened that fateful night―and who’s responsible―is anything but straightforward.

Living in a trailer park in Baltimore with her twin brother and alcoholic mother, Emily’s life hasn’t been easy. She’s had to grow up fast, and like any teen, has made questionable decisions in a desperate attempt to fit in with her peers. Will her mistakes amount to a guilty verdict and a life in prison? It’s up to the jury to decide.

For readers who enjoy Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.

 

Excerpt:

 

1

Trial Day 1: January 7, 2019

The alarm on Emily’s phone chimed just as Sophie whispered in her ear, “Wake up, Emawee. Wake up.” She opened her eyes widely, her body covered in sweat, her sheets soaked yet again. “Time to wake up.” She heard Sophie’s whisper get farther away, humming distantly from somewhere in her dreams.

From somewhere in her nightmares.

As she turned off the alarm, she tried to overlook the numerous text messages that’d surfaced from numbers she didn’t recognize.

“Die, killer”

“You’ll pay in hell for what you did.”

“Murderer”

How can people I don’t even know want me dead?

With shaky hands, she deleted the texts as a CNN report popped up on her screen, updating her on the “Trial of the Year,” that was beginning that day:

CNN Breaking News

The Biggest Trial of the Year Begins Today, January 7, 2019. Emily Keller, also known by the media as Keller the Killer, is accused of causing the deaths of four family members, two of them small children. Only 16 years old, Emily is one of the youngest females to be accused of a crime so heinous.

Emily buried her face in her pillow, taking a deep breath. She tried to hold back the habitual tears that were creeping out from the corners of her eyes. I have to be strong today; no crying, she told herself as she rubbed her temples slowly. I need to put on my protective armor, or I’ll never make it through today alive. She reached under her mattress, grabbed her orange pill bottle and gave it a shake, the rattling sound of the tablets comforting her. She poured two pills onto her clammy palm and placed them gently on her tongue. Protective armor.

“Emily?” her brother, Nate, quietly inched open the bedroom door, “You awake? It’s time to start getting ready for court.”

Without looking up at him, she nodded as she rolled out of bed, trying not to think about how wrong the prosecution had the facts and how she could be sent to prison because of it. As she attempted to walk toward the door, her ankle monitor snagged on her lavender bedsheet. She yanked the sheet off in frustration and dragged her feet to the bathroom to prepare for the first day of her new life.

Debbie and Nate were already waiting for her in Debbie’s rumbling Toyota Camry when she stepped out of the trailer.

“It’s your turn for shotgun.” Emily opened the door to the backseat where Nate was already buckled in.

“You can take it today,” he muttered, avoiding eye contact with her.

“I don’t need pity shotgun just because I’m on trial for murder, Nate,” Emily replied curtly as she reluctantly sat down in the front seat. As she buckled her seat belt, she already regretted scolding Nate for doing something kind. I’ll apologize to him later, she told herself. Nate had been up with her until three o’clock that morning, listening to her cry and consoling her. I don’t deserve him, she thought, squeezing her eyes shut.

She rolled down her window and took a deep breath of fresh morning air as her mom lit a Virginia Slim, her hands trembling. “Morning vodka shot hasn’t kicked in yet?” Emily muttered under her breath as she turned on the radio. Or maybe one shot doesn’t cut it anymore, Emily thought.

“What hasn’t kicked in?” Debbie asked as she ashed her cigarette into an empty coke can, oblivious to Emily’s disrespectful comment.

“Coffee hasn’t kicked in yet?” Emily corrected herself as she investigated her face in the cracked side mirror of the car. The face staring back at Emily was swollen from weeks of nonstop crying. Although she’d put on some of her mom’s waterproof mascara, she still looked like someone had run her over with a truck. You’re so repulsive, she thought as she tried to comb her drab chestnut hair with her fingers, squinting at her image through the cracked glass. She wanted to disappear. Sink down into the seat of the car and disappear forever.

As she pinched her upper cheekbones to give her face some color, she glanced at Nate through the corner of the broken mirror, hoping he couldn’t tell she was staring at him through the mosaic lens. Since he had headphones in his ears, she assumed he was listening to a news podcast about the trial. The expression on his face looked like it was straining to stay calm, but she could read his emotions no matter how hard he tried to hide them. When you shared a womb with someone, you knew everything they were feeling.

There was actually supposed to be three of them. Her dad had left when he’d found out Debbie was pregnant with triplets. He’d said since he didn’t want one baby, he definitely didn’t want three. Emily used to sometimes think about how different her life would’ve been if their other brother hadn’t died at birth. Maybe he would’ve punched Tom Swanson for dumping her two years ago since Nate didn’t do a thing about it. Maybe he would’ve taught Emily to throw a football since Nate was anti-athletics.

Maybe he could’ve stopped Emily before she lost herself. Maybe he could’ve stopped this whole situation. Maybe no one would have died.

“Valerie told us to meet her around back when I spoke to her on the phone last night,” Emily directed her mom as they pulled up to the courthouse. Debbie nodded as she navigated her ancient car around to the back of the building, avoiding the crowd hovering at the entrance.

“Shit, look at all of the people,” Nate announced as he stared at the crowd and cameras surrounding the front of the building. No one seemed to notice their rickety car escape past the swell to the rear parking lot. Maybe they were expecting some sort of official-looking black SUV like you see in crime movies and not our pathetic piece of tin, Emily speculated, thinking about how some seniors at her school owned nicer cars than her mom’s. She peeked down at her gray dress and nervously picked little lint balls off it as her mom parked the car.

“You look fine, Em,” Debbie insisted as she opened a mini bottle of vodka from her purse and took a swig, “That dress looks lovely on you.” Debbie had spent her tip money to buy Emily “new” thrift store clothes for the trial. Emily was now pulling at a seam on the edge of the dress, making it unravel.

As she waited for her mom to finish her shot, she felt around for the phone in her purse to make sure it was turned off. She’d turn it on later that night once her mom and Nate were sleeping so she could read through her texts and the news in privacy. That way, if she cried, no one would see her. Strong people don’t cry, she told herself.

 

 

About Kathleen Fine:

Kathleen Fine received her Master’s in Reading Education from Towson University and Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from University of Maryland, College Park. She is a member of the Maryland Writers Association, International Thriller Writers, and Author’s Guild. When she’s not writing and selling real estate, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling to the Outer Banks, and of course, reading anything she can get her hands on. She currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband, three children, and Sussex Spaniel. Her debut novel, Girl on Trial, will be released in the Fall of 2023. 

Sign up for Kathleen’s newsletter! (Scroll to the bottom of the page)

Website | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads | BookBub

 


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon GC, International.

Ends May 12th, midnight EST.

You Might Also Like

0 Comments

Please try not to spam posts with the same comments over and over again. Authors like seeing thoughtful comments about their books, not the same old, "I like the cover" or "sounds good" comments. While that is nice, putting some real thought and effort in is appreciated. Thank you.