Category Archives: Quotes

Lexie Green

Excerpt from Painted Black

Street lights washed out the blink of green neon from the Hotel Chateau. Most of the windows had drapes drawn closed; half of them hung crooked on their rods. Near the entrance stood a young woman, hands in the pockets of a short jacket with the collar turned up. When the girl noticed them, she hurried around the corner.

“Lexie,” Keisha called and headed after her. Jo followed. “Alexis, I know it’s you. Quit trying to get away.” To Jo, she added, “She’s just a kid.”

When the girl turned and waited with a sullen expression, Jo saw what Keisha meant. Despite the reek of perfume, thick layers of eye shadow, and mascara that turned her lashes into tarantula legs, she could not have been older than fifteen.


Just a Businessman

Quinlan had gone on from there to explore more enterprises.  Most of the projects were hot rockets–exuberant bursts of flame that lit up the sky for a while and then fizzled off into the horizon.  Quinlan’s talent, it seemed, lay in buying low and selling high.  The buzz had it that he’d acquired a small fortune along the way while his associates barely managed to limp off the battlefield.

From Painted Black, the novel

Philip Quinlan, just a harmless investor in a revolutionary new embalming process. What harm could he possibly do?


Lexie Green

Jo studied Lexie in the dim light.  She looked half child, half whore. Skin as dark as freshly-turned top soil, hair drawn back, finely curved cheek bones.  Her jaw jutted out defiantly.  A large man’s hand could have wrapped around her throat with fingers nearly touching thumb.

from Painted Black, the novel

Reporter Jo Sullivan meets Lexie for the first time.


In the Yellow Pages

Sloan and Whiteside’s House of Bereavement, it read.  More than a funeral home, more like a home. Preserve your memories forever.  Ask about our new sublimation process.

from Painted Black, the novel

The ad slug for the funeral home where Lexie disappears.


Sidney Cole

Sidney Cole was good with his hands.  Always had been.  As a kid he’d had a thing for Play-Doh.  The clay beneath his fingers, warm and pliable, willing to be pressed into any shape he wanted.  He used to work for hours at the table by his bedroom window, while the shadows from the metal bars of the fire escape grew deep and long and then began to fade again.