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Her Hidden Past

Her Hidden Past

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Bea Hughes had put the past behind her. Until an anonymous caller phoned to say they knew what she'd done. To make matters worse, Bea suspects someone else in the house was listening in on the line.

Fearful she's been found out and desperate to keep her family together, Bea must identify and silence the person who stands in the way of her happiness.

Should she confess after all these years? Should she cover her tracks? And can she do it while keeping her high-profile marriage to a public figure out of the headlines?

Her Hidden Past is the second book in the Rosemary Run Series of domestic thrillers.

Publication date: October 7, 2019.

About the Rosemary Run Series:

In the charming Northern California town of Rosemary Run, there's trouble brewing below the picture-perfect surface.

Don't let the manicured lawns and stylish place settings fool you. Nothing is exactly as it seems. Secrets and lies threaten to upend the status quo and destroy lives when— not if— they're revealed.

With surprising twists and turns that will keep you guessing to the end, each dramatized Rosemary Run novel features a glimpse into a different woman's nail-biting story. Books can be read in any order.

Look Inside


One rainy September afternoon as Bea Hughes sat painting in her backyard art studio, the telephone rang. Its loud rattle made Bea startle. Hardly anyone called on the landline anymore. Bea knew that her elderly mother, Lana Denton, was seated near the phone in the living room reading the daily newspaper. Her son, Max, was somewhere in the house, probably playing a video game or fiddling with his comic book collection. Since Bea was covered in acrylics and couldn’t imagine who would call, she paused, hoping someone else would pick up the phone so she didn’t have to.

When the ringing continued, Bea lurched for the receiver, accidentally knocking over her easel and splattering wet blues and greens all over her sandals. Exasperated, she feigned her nicest voice and said hello. She was, unfortunately, well-versed in the art of faking enthusiasm. 

Bea couldn’t be sure what she’d expected, but it certainly wasn’t what she heard in response to her simple greeting. A robotic voice on the other end called Bea by her full name, Beatrice Elisabeth Hughes, then said the words which for years had haunted her nightmares. Words that would threaten to destroy Bea’s family. Words that would seep angrily into her body and chill her down to the very bone. 

“I know what you’ve done.”

Bea’s heart raced as she nervously twisted the coiled, black telephone cord around her fingertip. She felt like a child in trouble rather than an intelligent, capable woman in her thirties. She didn’t dare say another word. What could she say? 

Lowering the receiver under her chin and tilting her head over to secure it against her shoulder, Bea stepped towards the window and pulled back the floral-print curtains to look outside. She half-expected to see someone there, ready to forcibly take her away from her small-town life. If she was being honest with herself, she had half-expected that to happen for years. But no one appeared to be out there, save for Marmalade, the Hughes family’s orange tabby cat who sat cursing the rain while huddled under a patio lounger. 

Shaken but determined, Bea stood up as straight as she could and cleared her throat. She told herself she’d try to handle this head on. Even though she didn’t feel like a capable adult, she willed herself to act as if she was one. Using a wrist, she brushed a few disobedient strands of dark, silky hair out of her eyes, then opened her mouth to speak.

Before she could say anything, she heard a faint clicking sound on the line. 

“Are you still there?” Bea asked, hesitantly.

“Yes,” the mechanical voice replied. “I said I know what you’ve done.”

A louder click this time and the line went dead, blaring a forceful tone that could be heard even without holding an ear to the receiver.

Bea’s heart nearly burst out of her chest as the realization settled over her. Not only had she been discovered by an unknown mystery caller, but someone inside her own home had picked up the phone. They had been listening in on the line.

Chapter One

What next? Bea thought as the telephone dangled in her outstretched hand, still sounding its incessant warning. A vintage clock sitting on a nearby project table ticked urgently, forcing its way into Bea’s awareness and competing to be heard over the phone. Time was running out.

Back in the early days after the incident, Bea’s fear of being caught had nearly consumed her. Max was a young boy then, barely in preschool. Bea had known she must hold it together. For Max. Her boy needed her desperately.

Bea’s husband was a nice man and a cheerful father, but John Hughes didn’t have what it takes to properly raise a child on his own. Besides, life in the public eye would have prevented him from putting the necessary time into child rearing. It was the exception rather than the rule for John to come home at a reasonable time in the evening. If Bea had been taken away, Max would have, no doubt, been raised by a nanny. The thought still made Bea shudder.

Perhaps it all would have been easier to take if the events leading up to the incident had been less dramatic. Bea knew she shouldn’t have been there that night, especially since Max had been with her, his trusting eyes looking on as he leaned his little head on the side of his car seat. Even now, Bea could remember the scene as if it were right in front of her. She could feel the fog and the cool, damp air. She could smell the peanut butter and jelly sandwich she had hastily thrown together in case Max grew hungry, waiting in a brown paper bag within the console of her minivan. She could hear the chorus of bullfrogs as they did their best to ratchet up the volume on an already too-intense night.

The incident had been ten years prior. Bea should have tried harder to forget.

Standing still like a statue in her studio, she remained frozen in place. Her athletic legs felt useless and full of concrete. Her skin seemed taught as a turtle’s shell, rigid and immovable. Mustering every ounce of her energy, she hung up the phone with a clank, then looked out the window again, expecting to see someone there this time.

Get it together, she told herself. She listened for signs of movement, but heard nothing except the gently falling rain.

Out of nowhere came a rapid series of knocks on the door. Bea’s body grew even more rigid as her panic shifted into overdrive. She was certain this was it. The end. The caller who knew what she had done was out there. They had to be. Who else?

Feeling like a caged animal and suddenly wanting to flee, Bea’s muscles kicked into gear. She paced back-and-forth in the small room. Her mind tumbled as she frantically searched for an escape route. Only there wasn’t one. The studio had a single door and window, and both faced forward into the backyard towards the house. There was nowhere to run. Her only option might have been to remain perfectly still and quiet until the person who had knocked went away. For a moment, that’s what Bea thought she would do. Like an ostrich with its head in the sand, she would hide and pretend this wasn’t happening.

Another series of knocks came, louder this time. Bea’s visitor was growing impatient.

Nauseous now and beginning to perspire, Bea picked up a handful of her largest paintbrushes and gripped them together like a knife. If she had to put up a fight, she reasoned, the paintbrushes were the only objects available which might assist her in defending herself. Bea thought about how she would go for the eyes right away. No point in waiting. If it meant her or them, Bea would give it all she had. She owed that much to Max. Even if not to John.

Growing furious and fueled by an instinct for self-preservation, Bea steeled herself. Whatever awaited her, she would face it right here and now. She had used violence once before and, in this moment, she realized she’d do it again if she had to.

Quickly, she flipped open the lock and pulled back the door, holding the makeshift knife high above her head.

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