Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Rebecca Forster

Writerly Wednesday Welcome Rebecca Forster!

 Hostile Witness
Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster

Amazon link for Hostile Witness
Rebecca Forster     marketed a world-class spa when it was still called a gym, did business in     China before there were western toilettes at the Great Wall and mucked     around with the sheep to find out exactly how her client’s fine wool     clothing was made.  Then on a     crazy dare she wrote her first book and found her passion.  Now, with over twenty books to her     name she is a  USA Today Best     Seller and her acclaimed Witness Series has appeared on Kindle’s top seller     list for legal thrillers for over a year.  Rebecca teaches at UCLA in the     Writers Program. She is married to a superior court judge and mother to two     sons.
When sixteen-year-old Hannah Sheraton is arrested for the murder of her step-grandfather, the chief justice of the California Supreme court, her distraught mother turns to her old college roommate, Josie Baylor-Bates, for help. Josie, once a hotshot criminal defense attorney, left the fast track behind for a small practice in Hermosa Beach, California. But Hannah Sheraton intrigues her and, when the girl is charged as an adult, Josie cannot turn her back. But the deeper she digs the more Josie realizes that politics, the law and family relationships create a combustible and dangerous situation. When the horrible truth is uncovered it can save Hannah Sheraton or destroy them both.
California buried Supreme Court Justice, Fritz Rayburn. Governor Joe Davidson
delivered the eulogy calling the judge a friend, confidant and his brother in
service to the great state of California. The governor cited Fritz Rayburn as a
man of extraordinary integrity who relentlessly pursued justice, continually
uplifted those in need and, above all, protected those who were powerless.
It was a week
ago today that Judge Rayburn died in a fire that swept through his Pacific
Palisades home in the early morning hours.
No formal
announcement has been made regarding who will be appointed to fill Justice
Rayburn’s position, but it is speculated that Governor Davidson will appoint
Rayburn’s son, Kip, to this pivotal seat on the California Supreme Court.
KABC News at
9 O’clock
Hannah kept her eyes forward, trained on two rows of
rusted showerheads stuck in facing walls.
Sixteen in all.  The room was
paved with white tile, chipped and discolored by age and use. Ceiling.  Floor. Walls. All sluiced with disinfectant.
Soiled twice a day by filth and fear. The fluorescent lights cast a yellow
shadow over everything. The air was wet.
The shower room smelled of mold and misery.  It echoed with the cries of lost souls.
Hannah had come in with a bus full of women. She had a
name, now she was a number. The others were taking off their clothes. Their
bodies were ugly, their faces worn. They flaunted their ugliness as if it were
a cruel joke, not on them but on those who watched.  Hannah was everything they were not.
Beautiful. Young. She wouldn’t stand naked in this room with these women. She
blinked and wrapped her arms around herself. Her breath came short. A step back
and she fooled herself that it was possible to turn and leave.  Behind her Hannah thought she heard the guard
“Take it off, Sheraton, or I’ll do it for you.”
Hannah tensed, hating to be ordered. She kept her eyes
forward. She had already learned to do that.
“There’s a man back there. I saw him,” she said.
“We’re an equal opportunity employer, sweetie,” the
woman drawled. “If women can guard male prisoners then men can guard the women.
Now, who’s it going to be? Me or him?”
The guard touched her. Hannah shrank away.  Her head went up and down, the slightest
movement, the only way she could control her dread. She counted the number of
times her chin went up. Ten counts. Her shirt was off. Her chin went down. Ten
more counts and she dropped the jeans that had cost a fortune.
“All of it, baby cakes,” the guard prodded.
Hannah closed her eyes. The thong. White lace. That
was the last. Quickly she stepped under a showerhead and closed her eyes. A
tear seeped from beneath her lashes only to be washed away by a sudden, hard,
stinging spray of water. Her head jerked back as if she’d been slapped then
Hannah lost herself in the wet and warm. She turned her face up, kept her arms
closed over her breasts, pretended the sheet of water hid her like a cloak. As
suddenly as it had been turned on the water went off.  She had hidden from nothing. The ugly women
were looking back, looking her over.
Hannah went from focus to fade, drying off with the small towel, pulling
on the too-big jumpsuit. She was drowning in it, tripping over it. Her clothes
– her beautiful clothes – were gone. She didn’t ask where.
1. In three days, all electricity is going to be shut off for a very long time.  What items are you going to gather in preparation for this event?
A. I would gather a pile of paper, print out all my works-in-progress, tons of candles, matches and firewood. I would work by candlelight while my husband read by it. I love firelight.
2. Where did the inspiration for Hostile Witness come from?
A.  My husband is a Superior Court judge. He worked on many high profile cases but one
case that gave him pause was that of a sixteen year old boy was bound over on a murder
charge to be tried as an adult. My husband sentenced him to life in prison knowing the
danger this boy would be in. I thought about his concern, my own teenage children and
how I felt about a ‘child’ being tried as an adult. That’s where the story began but it grew
a story about so many nuances of women’s relationships with one another, men and their
own children.
3. What do you like to read?
A. Anything that is well written. Thrillers, coming of age stories, sagas. I loved Okay For Now ( a young adult book) as much as I loved the historical novel The Woman in White.
4.  The most exciting place I ever visited…
A.  That’s a tough choice. When I was in advertising I was sent to China in 1983. The
country was not westernized at all. It was very exotic and a little scary. We were guarded by armed soldiers on one hand and treated to exquisite banquets on the other. Recently I visited Istanbul. That was pretty cool, too!
5.  What is the most mundane thing…
A.  Cleaning house. I try to do one big household chore before I start work.
6. What scares me the most?
A.  Being arrested for a crime I didn’t commit.
7.  Tell us anything…
A.  I am a sap. I love it when people remember my birthday or my husband just calls to say hi (we’ve been married 36 years) or my grown boys tell me how much they love my cooking. I’ve been blessed to have some excitement in my life but the biggest blessing is to have a long marriage to my best friend and have raised boys to become good men. See? Sappy.
Rebecca has been a great guest.
The Woman in White, for the non-criminal minded writers was probably the first crime novel ever written.  I discovered the works of Wilkie Collins, last summer and had to read at least three more of his works.  After you pick up your copy of Hostile Witness, be sure to look up a copy of The Woman in White.
Thank you Rebecca Forster and please forgive the formatting – I nearly turned blue as I copied, formatted, reformatted and finally stopped for my sanity and yours!
Amazon link for Hostile Witness Drop by Next Week when Writerly Wednesdays Welcomes John B. Rosenman.

By Sally

Sally Franklin Christie Blogger and Author of If I Should Die and Milk Carton People.


  1. Amazing excerpt by an amazing woman. Rebecca is one of my favorite authors! She’s not only a fabulous writer, but a warm and wonderful person.

    I love the questions for the interview – not your normal author questions!

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