Authors: A. Giannoccaro,Mary E. Palmerin
Editing by Kellie Montgomery
Cover Image by 史蒂芬 toblin
Cover Design by KKeeton Designs
Spanish translation by Elisabeth Palmerin
Proof Reading by Karen Mandeville - Steer
Interior Design by Cassy Roop of
Pink Ink Designs
All rights reserved. In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the written permission of the authors or publishers constitutes unlawful piracy and theft of the authors’ intellectual property.
If you would like to use the material from this book (other than for review purposes), prior written consent must be obtained from the author.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are products of the authors’ imagination and are all used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual events, locales or persons living or dead, are coincidental.
Di Covey, all this darkness is dedicated to you. Your love and support for all of us authors is amazing; you have become such a special person to me as a writer and as a reader. I value your opinions, love your comments and appreciate all your support. You are one very special lady and I hope you love these characters like I love you!
To Diana Covey; for your fierce friendship, sheer passion for darkness, and ability to always keep me grounded. Every word of this story is for you.
To Mary, for asking me to work on this with you. For being such and awesome, easy, fun writing partner in crime. Thank you for this story and the friendship that has grown because of it. Thank you for embracing my ideas and making this story perfect.
My husband, Ricky, thank you for your patience, support and love. Each book is a crazy new adventure and you are always the one helping me long when the going gets tough.
Karen, my book person, as always you were there to talk me off the ledge, hold my hand and find all my mistakes. You are such an important part of my writing - thank you. Your care packages, messages, notes, and emails help me through every single time. For jumping in when my world was falling apart and holding things together.
To our beta readers - sorry we made you drink, watch kitten movies and question your morals. Well, not really sorry. Thank you to each one of you for being there with us we wrote one crazy story. Your input and support is something I hold dear. Waking up to your messages each morning was priceless.
To my street team, Ashleigh’s Assassins - we might be just a small group but you ladies are just amazing! Thank you for every share, like, post and book sale I get because of you. Having my own little army of support is still something amazing to me. To Michelle McGinty for being a one person army for so long - thank you.
Di and Julianne, wow where to begin? You ladies are just so special. Thank you, thank you for morning messages and crazy stickers and just being you. Thank you for reading along as we wrote and for loving the characters like we do.
To Kelsey for a stunning cover. Thank you.
To our PR company and all the bloggers involved in promoting us, you are all amazing thank you for all your hard work and dedication to our stories.
To the ladies at Twisted Sisters’ Book Reviews; where there is always a place where we fit in perfectly and the dark stories I tell are not only accepted but loved. You are a very special group.
My readers, thank you for taking a chance on my stories. I hope you all love this one like I do. Without you I would not be doing what I love.
I have one final thank you - just after I started working on this story our family lost someone very special. Aunty Les was one of my biggest fans. I know in my heart you would have loved all the twisted bits in here so much, these characters were right up your alley. I miss you - I miss being able to tell you all my crazy ideas and asking you questions that would make most others gag. I wish you were here for this one - I hope they have books in heaven.
First and foremost, I want to acknowledge my writing partner, Ashleigh. I could easily write thousands of words, describing how amazing she is, but I will try to narrow it done to a few sentences. Our love for darkness brought us together, and now here we are. We created one of the most controversial, taboo books. One that will likely push every boundary that you have. I cannot express my gratitude for this amazing scribe. She understands me, just as I do her. We write for the same reasons, to push boundaries and evoke emotions from our readers. Ashleigh’s ability to do that is truly remarkable. I just want to say thank you, Ashleigh, for this amazing ride. It’s been a dream.
As always, a big thank you to my husband, Domingo, for being there for me during this journey. It has taken a lot during the past few years since I decided to take the leap of faith and put myself out there. I wasn’t prepared at all, but he has remained by my side and kept me grounded. He’s lived these stories with me, tolerated my late nights on weekends, and of course will always have the title of the “Google Master”. Domingo, I love you more than you will ever know.
To my family, there are not enough words to express my gratitude. To my sister, Catherine, thank you for living this dream with me and being by my side in NYC, holding my hand at the signing while having more faith in me than I have in myself. To my mother, Lee Ann, you have always been my number one believer. Even though the stories I choose to tell are not hearts and flowers, you still believe in what I do. I hope that I make you proud. To my Aunt Teri, for being the first to know about my book and supporting me every step of the way. Your love for literature and my stories means more to me than you will ever know. Thank you.
To Cecily Bonney, my best friend, my soul sister, my beta reader, and so many other things. You were one of my first readers and I know that life brought us together for a reason. It turned into something so much more than that and I am beyond grateful. I can’t say thank you enough for the late night phone calls about plot ideas, twists, minor details, and your ideas have inspired so much in every tale that I create. I am honored to have you alongside of me during this journey. I know that The Goodbye Man was not something that was easy for you to read, but you took into your heart, read it, and lived with the characters just as much as I did writing them with Ashleigh.
To Kelly Riley, my best friend who helps me understand that true, genuine kindness is still present in this world. She was one of my first readers turned into something so much more and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. Your support and encouragement in all my tales makes my heart swell with joy. You are an amazing woman. Thank you, Kelly. I know that this dark, depraved tale took you to a place that you were uncertain of, but you went there. I cannot thank you enough for traveling to it with me, chapter by chapter and giving me your sound advice. I promise to one day finish that historical romance that has been on my computer for the last three years.
To Diana Covey from Twisted Sisters’ Book Review. She signed up for the cover reveal of
Gwendolyn vs. the Band of Barren Hearts
and our friendship started. I would not be where I am at without her. She has exposed all of my books to dark readers, and I am certain that I would not have the courage to spill the words to tell this story if it wasn’t for her. Thank you, Di.
To Julianne McCorkendale, blogger from Twisted Sisters’. You have become such an amazing friend and supporter of my work. Your passion and encouragement is something that has kept me grounded during my publishing career. Telling dark stories isn’t easy. It’s scary, and you are always there to offer me kind words. I cannot thank you enough.
I want to say thank you to Tara Sanders-Vanover. You have been such an amazing friend to me the past few years, and just like you said, it was fate. You understand the stories I have to tell and know why I have to tell them. I can always count on you for an amazing laugh. You are truly a great friend and wonderful person and I am lucky to have you in my life.
To Jenna Schmitt, one of my good friends and first readers. Thank you for supporting me since the beginning and most of all, being a friend. I love our Fruit Friday traditions and I am honored to call you a friend!
I want to say a big thank you to our Spanish translator, Elisabeth Palmerin. Thank you for answering my random messages and translating everything, including some vulgar scenes. Both Ashleigh and I are so grateful for your time!
To all my girls on my street team, Mary’s Magnificent Minxes. They are a spectacular group of women who love my stories. Most of all, we have grown to be great friends. They are total rock stars. I love you ladies!
To my editor, Kellie Montgomery. She has lived and breathed re-editing several books with me, birthing the painful aches along the way while polishing my books to make them shine. Thank you, Kellie!
To Kelsey Kukal-Keeton, friend and cover designer extraordinaire. She has designed eight books for me and stepped outside of her comfort zone. Kelsey, thank you for searching for whip marks, slash marks, and all things bloody for my covers! They are stunning and your eye is parallel with my vision.
To my readers, I could write thousands of words about how I feel and that would never suffice. I never thought I would have the courage to share any of my stories, but here I am sharing one of the darkest ones I had the pleasure of writing with Ashleigh. It is dark, raw, and brutal. It will take you to places you have never traveled before. I write what I fear, what I am not supposed to talk about. I want to thank you for taking a chance on this novel. I hope that you enjoy it. As always, carpe fucking diem.