A murder enveloped in pain and mystery... When Canada's retired Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner, is murdered in his home, the case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal man tortured by his wife's unsolved murder. The suspect, 60-year-old Sally Warner, still grieves for the loss of her two sons, dead in a suicide/murder eighteen months earlier. Confused and damaged, she sees in Corporal Killian a friend sympathetic to her grief and suffering and wants more than anything to trust him. Danny finds himself with a difficult choice—indict his prime suspect, the dead minister's horribly abused wife or find a way to protect her and risk demotion. Or worse, transfer away from the scene of his wife’s murder and the guilt that haunts him...
After the meeting with the deacons' wives had ended, I finally took the sedative my doctor gave me shortly after Leland died. I'm only now waking up. There is a strange hush, and it envelops me. Light drifts like butterflies across the semidarkness in front of my eyes. My blouse is stuck to my skin. I sit up, reach around and struggle to untangle it. A moment passes before I remember where I am and why I'm here. Leland is dead. On a slab at the hospital. Alone. In the dark. Cold. I shiver. Should I be there? And do what? Hold his hand? My first pregnancy, I carried the baby five months. I lost her in the middle of a hot July night, and I woke screaming, the pain, excruciating, as if someone had reached a hand through my back and ripped her out of me. Leland carried me to the car. He cried with me later when the doctor tried to explain why. A beautifully formed, perfect, baby girl. Dead. No reason. “No one's fault,” our doctor said. “These things happen.” I looked up through my tears. Leland stood over me. I thought he hated me. “Our sweet baby girl. It's not my fault, Leland. It isn't.” “Of course not—I know that.” Did he? I'm trying to remember what he looked like, what his eyes said. I was beautiful when we met. He wooed me despite me making it clear almost immediately that he wasn't my type. I planned to marry a doctor. I didn't say it outright, at least not to Leland; but my girlfriends knew. We were all looking for husbands among the medical students. A lawyer? No thanks. He kept wooing me. And why not? I was young and full of life. Charming. And funny. Can't tell you how many times friends told me I should do stand-up comedy. Like Carol Burnett, only much prettier. Their assumptions were sweet, although being prettier than Carol Burnett wouldn’t take much. It doesn’t matter, audiences terrify me. I discovered that when I tried out for the part of Maria in the West Side Story, I clammed up on stage. Which was a shame because I was small but I had range and volume. I surprised them at the University Theatre. Leland promised me an exciting life. He knew he would be an important man one day. Maybe even Prime Minister. How could I resist such temptation? He changed after we lost our baby girl. He was gentle, kind, and thoughtful during the difficult weeks that followed, but slowly, over time, the kindness ended. He turned distant. He stopped talking to me. Over time, I maybe pushed him away with my nattering. Every chance I had I told him I wasn't to blame. Goodness, as if he would know whether it was my fault or not. Leland was no doctor. He never accused me. Even when I lost three pregnancies after Bronson, he never accused me of being faulty or broken, or any of the other reasons I invented on my own. When Bronson and Declan died so violently, he never once insinuated or implied I was to blame for their deaths. Before they died, yes, he reminded me that my pathetic life was my own doing. After they died, he started talking again. He liked me again. Ohmigosh. This past year was the happiest time of my life. I'm just realizing that now. Is it any wonder I'm confused?
When Joylene's father died in 1983, she wrote her first full–length manuscript to channel her grief. The seven-year process left her hooked and she began Dead Witness within a few weeks of finishing Always Father's Child. Today Joylene is the author of three suspense novels: Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and the steampunk collaboration Break Time. While she'll admit being published didn't fix all the wrongs in her life, she wishes her parents had lived to see her success. Dead Witness was a finalist in the 2012 Global eBook Awards. Broken But Not Dead won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal and its sequel Mâtowak Woman Who Cries is due for release November 1, 2016.
Joylene lives with her husband and their two cats Marbles and Shasta on beautiful Cluculz Lake in central British Columbia. They spend their winters in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico.