Excerpt: What Is Mine - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

Hope Chen and her husband are raising her nine-year-old nephew, Luca, in the wake of his troubled mother’s death. Luca finally has a safe home in a neighborhood where kids play in the streets and nobody locks their doors. Then one day, Luca and his dog disappear without a trace. Guilt-ridden, fearing the worst but praying for the best, Hope finds her imagination running wild.

Meanwhile, a woman with dangerous secrets to keep buried will do anything to protect her marriage. In one fleeting instant, it’s all within her reach. She can finally give her husband the one thing that will make him love her again.

Hope will do anything to get Luca back. The other woman will do anything to stop Hope. As Hope’s search grows more desperate and the other woman’s plans more twisted, their lives collide in an explosive battle of wits. With a boy caught in the middle, nothing on this deadly path of love and revenge is what it seems.

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Excerpt: What Is Mine
By Lyn Liao Butler

Excerpt: What Is Mine

The search for a missing boy entwines the lives of two desperate women. One seeks redemption for her sister; the other will do anything for the love of her life. WHAT IS MINE by Lyn Liao Butler is out this week, but you can read a sneak peek at this thriller right now!

The Day Of – 5:16pm

It was the absence of sound that made Hope realize something was wrong. She’d been cooking dinner with the thump, thump of Luca’s basketball outside as background noise. Tomorrow was his last day of school and Luca was excited for the start of sports camp.

She’d been humming to herself as she stir-fried the mapo tofu in the pan. Leaning forward, Hope inhaled the spicy scent of the fermented bean paste, chili sauce, and ginger in which the tofu and ground beef simmered. Luca had requested it for dinner. She’d considered it a win, especially since he’s recently started calling her Ayi, or aunt in Mandarin, a sign that Luca was finally starting to come out of his shell around her and Shaun.

The rice cooker clicked and Hope turned to it just as the back of her neck prickled. Her eyes narrowed as she took in the kitchen. The gray and white marble countertop was littered with ingredients for dinner. One of their dogs, Toby, a white and brown dachshund mix, milled around her legs, hoping for food to drop on the floor. Everything was in place, but she had the distinct feeling something was missing. She cocked her head, ears straining for any sound.


It was quiet, too quiet. No thwack as the ball hit the backboard of the basketball hoop. No thumps as Luca dribbled the ball. No shouts of victory whenever he made a long shot. She rushed to the window overlooking the driveaway.


Rationally, Hope knew there were many reasons why Luca wasn’t there. He could have gone into the garage to get something. He could be in the backyard playing with his dog Mochi, whom they adopted for him six weeks ago. He could have gone across the street to shoot baskets with one of Jalissa Caine’s boys. But deep down, that kernel of doom that had lodged itself in her stomach ever since her younger sister Cassidy, Luca’s mother, had died reared its head. Dread washed over her and she ran for the front door.

“Luca?” she called, praying that he was in the garage. She rounded the corner of the house and found the driveway empty.

Hope scanned the garage and the back yard.

No boy.

No dog.

“Luca!” she called again, louder this time. When she got no answer, she turned in a circle, frantic. “Mochi?”

Hope prayed for an answering whoof, or a shout from Luca, maybe from the woods surrounding their house, but there was nothing. She ran to the end of the driveway, looking both ways.

No one.

Not even one of Jalissa’s four boys who always seemed to be outside. Hope’s heart galloped in her chest as her mind immediately jumped to the worst-case scenario. Someone had taken Luca.




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