Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison
ISBN: 9780778308263 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780778330004 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9781460396711 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781538517307 (audiobook)
ASIN: B077YQH18P (Kindle edition)
Release Date: August 28, 2018
The follow-up to her critically acclaimed Lie to Me, J.T. Ellison’s Tear Me Apart is the powerful story of a mother willing to do anything to protect her daughter even as their carefully constructed world unravels around them.
One moment will change their lives forever…
Competitive skier Mindy Wright is a superstar in the making until a spectacular downhill crash threatens not just her racing career but her life. During surgery, doctors discover she’s suffering from a severe form of leukemia, and a stem cell transplant is her only hope. But when her parents are tested, a frightening truth emerges. Mindy is not their daughter.
Who knows the answers?
The race to save Mindy’s life means unraveling years of lies. Was she accidentally switched at birth or is there something more sinister at play? The search for the truth will tear a family apart…and someone is going to deadly extremes to protect the family’s deepest secrets.
With vivid movement through time, Tear Me Apart examines the impact layer after layer of lies and betrayal has on two families, the secrets they guard, and the desperate fight to hide the darkness within.
Read an excerpt (follow the excerpt tour to read more):
The techs wheel in the bed. Mindy’s leg is suspended, thin metal pieces disappearing into the bandages like the legs on a butterfly into its thorax. Her foot is half-casted, her toes peeking from their nest, black and blue and a strange orange-yellow—Betadine, from being sanitized before the surgery. She is still deeply asleep, her mouth slightly open. The painkillers must be tremendous to knock her out; her metabolism is Thoroughbred quick, and Lauren hasn’t ever seen anything touch it. She’s never seen her daughter asleep like this, either, unnaturally still, and the word prances in again—dead, dead, dead.
How will Lauren tell her how sick she is? How is this even happening?Mindy has been pale, yes, and she’s been tired, but Mindy thought—Lauren thought?—they all thought Mindy was simply training hard.
Oliver’s nurse watches these proceedings, then straightens a pillow and smiles at them again.
“Mrs. Wright? Ma’am? Is there someone we can call?”
“No, thank you. I’ll charge my phone and make a few calls myself. Thank you. You’re very kind.”
Lauren makes a mental note to send flowers to the nurses’ station. Something cheery, bright. They probably aren’t thanked enough. They work so hard.
Jasper comes back in the room wearing a tight smile, which makes the grooves around his mouth deepen. They are growing older, he and Lauren, but this fact often catches her by surprise. She still sees the young lawyer she married all those years ago. The strands of gray at his temples, the deepening lines—he’s aging very well. Lauren, on the other hand, worries she’s not. Too much sun as a child, too many cigarettes, too much booze in school. Soon enough she is going to be haggard and drawn, her skin wrinkled and gray.
Is Mindy going to age at all?
At the thought, she has to brace herself not to burst into tears and run screaming from the hospital.
Jasper glances at the metal halo holding Mindy’s leg in place, pales. He licks his chapped lips. “She’s in.”
“What do you mean, she’s in?”
“They called the race. Her points stand. She’s in.”
Lauren laughs, worthless and cold. She can’t help herself. All the work, all the sleepless nights and long, cold days, and the triumph her girl has been working toward is going to be snatched away by a chance encounter with a set of rogue blood cells.
Again, the thought: She is going to be so furious when she wakes.
Mindy caught a terrible cold once, right before a race. They couldn’t give her any medication because of the drug standards for the competition, and she was downright miserable, but she decided she was going to race anyway. She couldn’t breathe, her nose was running, and yet she turned in a personal best time, qualifying for junior nationals, did three TV interviews, and then let her mother coddle her with hot chocolate and chicken soup.
Nothing comes between Mindy and the mountain.
Now, a broken leg and leukemia might.
“They’re playing favorites,” Lauren says. “Won’t everyone complain?”
“Everyone wants Mindy on Team USA. You know how much they all love her.”
This is true. Even the dreaded Janice Cuthbert, a year younger and nearly as good, loves Mindy. Follows her around like a puppy, happy to be anywhere near her hero. Janice won’t make the team now. Lauren is not a vindictive woman, but she is glad, for the moment, that the accolades still belong to Mindy. She can’t imagine how her girl will be able to train and go to the Olympics if she is as sick as they say.
For the first time, she prays for a miracle.
The treatment plan is set by the next afternoon.
They took bone marrow and spinal fluid while Mindy was out from the anesthesia, so they have a jump start on her status. The cancer is identified as AML—acute myeloid leukemia. Not nearly as common as its sister ALL, it is tougher to treat, which means more aggressive treatment from the get-go. Lauren listens and takes notes, Jasper types on his phone. They will stay up all night reading horror stories, and by morning, will convince themselves that nothing will stop their daughter’s survival. Nothing.
The surgery will complicate the induction period, but they have no choice now. The doctors are very clear. They have to kill the cancer cells in Mindy’s blood, and they have to do it quickly. Or else.
Meet the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes standalone domestic noir and psychological thriller series, the latter starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the international thriller series “A Brit in the FBI” with #1 New York Time bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the Emmy Award-winning show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband.