Welcome Kim Cox on Day 6 of your exciting
Character Interview: Sarah Martin –
“BEFORE WE WED” Book 2
News Reporter, Charlene Stewart, from Radio Station WCVU, Good Night Lawrence conducts an interview with Sarah Martin, fiancé to the recently arrested Jon Clayton.
Sarah Martin is the heroine of the Romantic Suspense novel, Before We Wed, Book 2 of the Style & Profile series by Kim Cox. Sarah was first introduced in Book 1, All This Time, as Trevor Drake’s Administrative Assistant.
News Reporter: Hi Sarah, thank you for agreeing to do this interview with us today. I hear you’ve have an exciting few weeks preceding both the best and worst day of your life.
SARAH: Thank you for having me. Yes, you heard that right. I didn’t realize my plight in all this would receive so much media interest.
News Reporter: Can you tell us how it all started?
SARAH: It was our wedding day, Jon Clayton and myself. Just as we were saying our “I dos” the Lawrence, New Jersey detective busted in and arrested Jon.
News Reporter: They arrested Jon on your wedding day! How awful for you. What on earth had he done to be arrested in such a way?
SARAH: He’s done nothing. He’s innocent. He was framed.
News Reporter: You sound so pretty sure of that.
SARAH: I am. Jon is a wonderful man, who is hard working and loyal to a fault. He would never consider breaking the law.
News Reporter: So, has this innocence been proven.
SARAH: Not yet. But I know it will be.
News Reporter: What are the charges?
SARAH: Jon owns an auto body shop, Clayton Automotive. The police have evidence that the shop was used as, what they called, a chop shop. Jon was charged with multiple counts of receiving stolen goods, grand theft, etc.
News Reporter: Since the police have so much evidence, Jon is sure to be convicted. Others disagree with you about his innocence too. What about his ex-wife, Kate Roberts. It’s a matter of court record that she has filed a restraining order, keeping Jon away from their son.
SARAH: I disagree about Jon’s sure conviction. I’m sure once the lawyer finds out who’s framing Jon and the real guilty party is found, he will go free. It is true about Kate, but she’s been under the undue influence of those who would wish Jon harm.
News Reporter: Who would that be?
SARAH: I’m not at the liberty to say. It’s an ongoing investigation. I can only insure the public which includes Jon’s customers that he is innocent and it will be proven.
News Reporter: With that, we’re out of time. I leave the audience with the questions. Is Jon Clayton guilty? Or will he be exonerated of his charges? All I can say is I hope Jon has a good lawyer.
SARAH: He does.
News Reporter: You heard it here first, on WCVU. Jon Clayton has a staunch supporter in his fiancé, Sarah Martin. This is Charlene Stewart saying, “Good Night Lawrence.”
ABOUT THE BOOK
Just as Sarah Martin and Jon Clayton say their vows, the police crash the wedding to arrest the groom. Jon is terrified and Sarah is heartbroken. Thankfully, their friends support them emotionally and help find Jon an excellent attorney.
When evidence of John’s guilt is found, he swears he’s innocent. But how can he prove it? As if an arrest and pending trial aren’t bad enough, his ex-wife refuses to let him near their seven-year-old son, and has their shared custody agreement rescinded as part of his bail agreement. But when Jon Jon is injured, Jon breaks the agreement and his bail is revoked.
Sarah sees strange men in Jon’s business one night. One follows her home and attacks her. When Jon finds out, he pushes her way to protect her, but it doesn’t deter her loyalty to him or the attacker’s determination to killer her. Will the enemy get to her?
Is Jon truly innocent, and does he have no idea how the damaging evidence found its way into his business? Are there more sinister people involved? Will Sarah find the evidence she needs to clear him, or will she find out he’s fooled them all? If someone else is framing Jon, who is it and what are their motives?
* * *
BOOK EXCERPT: BEFORE WE WED, Book 2
Sarah Martin and Jon Clayton stood at the altar, Sarah gazing lovingly into Jon’s sky-blue eyes. She wore an antique white wedding gown with lace over satin, while Jon sported a black tuxedo with a white shirt and black tie. They smiled, holding hands. This was the best day of Sarah’s life; the day she’d anticipated all year.
A tear slipped down her cheek as she said, “I do.”
The pastor turned to Jon, “Jon, do you take Sarah—”
The church doors crashed open. “Police. Stay where you are. No one moves.” Two plain clothes detectives entered through the double doors.
The crowd gasped and turned to see what interrupted the ceremony. The younger officer drew his pistol, while the older held the butt of his gun in his holster.
As soon as the older cop realized there was a wedding taking place and a room full of people, he signaled his partner to lower his weapon.
The matron of honor, a very pregnant Jenny Drake, shot a glance at her husband, Trevor, who stood beside Jon as his best man. He shrugged.
“What’s this about?” Trevor asked, moving toward the intruders.
“Stand where you are, sir. We’re asking the questions here,” the younger of the two said, reaching again for his pistol.
Trevor threw up his hands. “Hold on there a minute, officer.”
“Don’t get antsy, Tom,” the older white-haired detective said. “They’re just curious about what’s going on, especially given the way you’re waving your firearm around like a maniac. Put it away.”
Jenny walked over. “What’s the meaning of this? Can’t you see we’re having a wedding ceremony? No one is breaking any laws here.”
“Sorry, ma’am. My name is Detective Lawrence Green. We have a warrant for the arrest of a Jon Clayton, and we were told by an informant that he was holed up at this address. We didn’t know it was a wedding.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Sarah said.
“I’m Jon Clayton,” the groom said. “I don’t understand—” Detective Green took Jon by the arm. “You need to come with us to the station, Mr. Clayton. Everything will be explained there. As I said, we have a warrant for your arrest.”
“Why?” Sarah asked. “What are the charges? He hasn’t done anything wrong—there must be some mistake. We’re getting married. You can’t take him!” Although she tried to stay calm, she became more hysterical by the moment.
Jenny wrapped an arm around Sarah’s shoulders. “You’re right. There’s been a terrible mistake, but we’ll get it figured out and then you and Jon can get married as planned.”
The other detective, Tom, joined his partner on the other side of Jon. “Turn around and face my partner.” Jon did as he was told. “Put your hands behind your back,” Tom added. Again, Jon cooperated. Tom put handcuffs on Jon and turned him toward the door.
“Again, sorry for the intrusion,” the older detective said. “You can carry on with what you were doing…” he began, then stopped when he clearly realized they couldn’t continue because he and his partner were taking away the groom.
They walked Jon out. “You have the right to remain silent…” Sarah heard just before she broke down sobbing, not caring that everyone stared at her. She dropped to the floor and covered her eyes, her body shaking.
Jenny said to Trevor, “Don’t worry about her. Lynsi and I will take care of Sarah. You go to the station and help Jon.”
The friends, Jenny Drake and Lynsi Patterson, took hold of Sarah’s arms and helped her to her feet. They led her out of the room and into her dressing room before any of the other guests could bombard her with their questions.
When Sarah wiped her eyes, she noticed dark smudges covered the back of her hands. She stumbled over to the mirror and saw that black lines streaked from her eyes and down her cheeks. Her best friends and co-workers stood by her as she cried her eyes out. Eventually she stopped, the numbness swiftly changed to anger.
“What do you want to do now?” Jenny asked.
“I want to go to the station and be with Jon, of course.”
“Okay, you get changed and—”
“She will do no such a thing.” An angry southern drawl rang out from the open door.
They all turned to see who it was.
“Mom,” Sarah said. “What’re you saying? Of course I’m going to the police station to stand by Jon.”
Mrs. Martin, Sarah’s mother, had dark hair and strong eyes. She’d raised six children and now suffered from empty-nest syndrome. Always the type of parent who’d mettle in her children’s lives, her condition made her worse. Recently, she’d found a job working as an administrative assistant for a local government employment agency to fill the void.
“You will not stand by that loser. I should’ve known you’d choose a criminal for your husband.” Her mom stood slim and tall, about five feet ten inches. Strong-minded and contentious, she’d ruled her family by belittling, bullying, and bending them to her own will.
Sarah had left home as soon as she’d graduated high school to get away from her. She’d thought her mother had changed, that her later years would somehow sweeten her sour disposition. She’d dared to dream for a better relationship between them—one where they’d eventually be close like moms and daughters should be. It didn’t look like that would happen.
“Mom, please,” Kara, Sarah’s twin sister, said as she appeared behind their mother. “You’re not helping.” She turned to face her brother. “Dean, please go to the police station, find Trevor, and see if you can figure out what’s going on.”
Dean worked as a paralegal for a local law firm in Atlanta, Georgia, while also going to law school. “Sure thing, Sis,” he said, then rushed out the door.
“But Kara, you heard the detective. They had a warrant for Jon’s arrest,” Mrs. Martin said.
Kara shouted, “My goodness, Mom! It couldn’t be bad. They didn’t even say what he was being charged with.”
Mrs. Martin stomped her heeled shoe. “It was bad enough that they took him away in handcuffs for all Sarah’s family and friends to witness.”
Sarah’s oldest brother Aaron, the dentist, sauntered in to join his mother. Streaks of gray made light highlights in his hair. He’d gotten a little belly bulge since Sarah had seen him last. “Mom’s right. He can’t be any good. For one, Sarah chose him, and we all know what type of guys she went out with back home: losers.”
Jenny and Lynsi tried to comfort Sarah as her family went after Jon’s character like a pack of wild animals going after their prey.
Kara clutched Sarah’s hand and rolled her eyes. “Sarah doesn’t need this right now. Go back to your hotel rooms until we can get this straightened out.”
“She’s right,” Lynsi added. “We’re Sarah’s closest friends. We all know Jon well, and we know he’s not a criminal.”
Sarah hated her mom and oldest brother right then more than she ever had. It was bad enough how they’d belittled her during her younger years with one verbal stab after another, but now they were attacking the man she loved.
Kara turned toward her mother and brother. “You’re all making an earthquake out of a little tremor.”
Sarah swiped away the puddles that had formed under her eyes, threw her shoulders back, and folded her arms over her chest. “Yes, Mama, will you please take Aaron, Daddy, Jason, and Shelby and go to your hotel rooms or to my house. Kara, Jenny, Lynsi, and I will change and go to the police station to see what’s going on with Jon. He’s no criminal. He owns his own business, and he’s the man I love. We know he’s done nothing wrong. This is all just a big mistake.”
“Humph!” Sarah’s mother held her shoulders back, her back straight as a rod. “I don’t see a need to stay another night. We should just check out and go home. Obviously, there’s not going to be a wedding anytime soon.”
Heat rose in Sarah’s face, and she stood with hands on hips, facing off with her mother and brother. They sickened her. “For the love of… Just go!” Gritting her teeth, she pointed toward the door. “I couldn’t care less where. But just go.” She pushed them out the door, shut it, locked it, and leaned against it.
“Way to go, girl,” Kara said. “Looks like you grew a backbone up here in New Jersey.” Turning toward Jenny and Lynsi, she said, “Thank you. I thought Sarah would never stand up to Mom like that. That woman could get on a saint’s nerves. Aaron ain’t much better, either. Shall we get changed?”
Sarah hugged her sister. “Thanks, Sis, for all your help. Although I’m sad about Jon, I’m happy to have you and Dean here with me. And I’ve never been more thankful to have left Atlanta ten years ago as I am right now.” She swallowed, not allowing the fear of Jon’s situation to consume her.
Another tear crept from her eye and she swiped it away, determined not to go there again. Jon’s arrest was a mistake and somehow, she would prove it and she knew her friends, Kara, and Dean would be there for them no matter what.
* * *
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An author of Mystery, Suspense, Paranormal, and Romance, Kim Cox lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chainsaw artist husband, their West Highland White Terriers, (Scooter and Harley) and an adopted Yorkie/Maltese mix (Candi). She’s also a mother and grandmother.
Kim is published in novels, short stories and articles. Her published works consist of Romantic Suspense Novels, a Paranormal Mystery series and short stories.
Besides writing, cover design, and publishing, Kim presently works a full-time position outside the home as MIS Specialist for a Workforce Development company.
She is a graduate of Writer’s Digest’s Writing to Sell Fiction and NRI’s Fiction Writing, and has associate degrees in the fields of Office Systems Technology and Web Technologies.
Go to Kim’s Readers List and visit her at the following sites:
Social Media locations:
* * *
Kim is hosting a giveaway, where FIVE lucky winners will receive one of the following prizes: (1) ebook copy of “ALL THIS TIME” and a $10 Amazon Gift Card or (4) ebook copy of ALL THIS TIME.
“To enter Kim’s giveaway, simply leave a comment anywhere along the tour!”
“The tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”