Excerpt of Finding Judgement by Natalie Gayle
TJ Walsh looked to the left, and then the right, before releasing the clutch while gently depressing the accelerator. The big old Kenworth bonneted prime mover growled as it launched forward. Once the front left tyre was almost at the edge of the road, she palmed the wheel and spun it to the right with everything her small frame had. The engine roared, looking for another gear. She tapped the clutch to disengage, slipped the gear stick into neutral, and then tapped the clutch again to slide the shifter into a higher gear.
The beast rumbled forward, picking up speed; she started to straighten the wheel as she watched the long milk tanker behind her clear the gate posts. It was an intricate dance: one hand on the gear stick, one on the massive steering wheel, both feet on the pedals, one eye on the mirror, and the other on the road.
She shifted twelve times and swapped to a higher deck before she coaxed the big prime mover and trailer up to seventy kilometres an hour. The road was far from great; it was a narrow country road. The type you had to put half your vehicle into the rough when another car passed.
It was just on dark and she was running late. There’d been a problem with the pump at the dairy for moving the milk from the various tanks. So what should have taken about thirty minutes had taken the better part of two hours.
TJ needed to get home. Her mum was not good. Not good at all. She was in the middle of yet another bout of chemo and her younger brother and sister needed some direction. TJ placed a quick call and let them know she was running a couple of hours late. She tried to be around as much as possible to help out. Not just around the house but as an adult figure. Even though she was barely twenty-four herself, sometimes she felt closer to forty.
Her mother, Rosemary, had been battling breast cancer on and off for the last eight years. The doctors were hopeful they had it all this time but they’d said that at least twice before. There were never any guarantees with cancer.
She let out a huge sigh as she settled in to navigate the roads, shifting up or down two or three gears as the terrain dictated. She was rolling across the Numinbah Valley floor, heading back into the outskirts of Brisbane to drop off the milk her tanker contained.
Oh, how life can throw curve balls, she thought. Just over two and a half years ago, she’d been about to finish up her degree in physiotherapy. Then her father and eldest brother had been killed in a truck accident. They’d been driving two-up on a long haul between Adelaide and Brisbane, close to three thousand kilometres each way.
Her father had been driving and the coroner’s report said he’d been under the influence of amphetamines. She knew in her heart this was total rubbish because there was no reason for her father to have taken the drug. That’s why Alan was with him—to share the driving.
Something didn’t add up but there was no way she could prove it.
You can read Rory and TJ’s story, Finding Judgement for yourself at:
Book Blurb—Finding Judgement
Rory Southall’s dreams have been haunted by the beautiful blonde pixie he’d helped three months ago. Imagine his surprise when his next assignment is to investigate none other than the very same woman.
TJ Walsh is holding on to her family’s trucking company by a thread. For the last two and a half years, she’s been trying to keep the debt-ridden business afloat and her family fed. She’s driven and desperate to make ends meet. But she remembers every detail of a chance meeting three months ago with a handsome stranger.
What happens when a simple supply chain investigation morphs into a deadly web of lies and deceit and TJ finds herself squarely in the middle of it? It seems that very same handsome stranger has rescued her again, but how could that be? And how exactly does the illegal genetically modified products he’s investigating have anything to do with her?
How will she cope with knowing the danger is much closer to home than she thought? When everyone seems to be gunning for them, can she find love and salvation with Rory before it’s too late?
About the Author
I recently discovered those school vocational assessments are really interesting and probably correct! Who would have thought hey? You see I clearly remember taking one of those in Year 11 (for my US friends I think that equates to junior year in high school). Anyway semantics. Well the results came back indicating that I should pursue a career in writing and something else. What that something else was I can’t remember but the writing thing stuck in my mind.
Sure I’d always liked English and had already developed a ravenous appetite for romance novels by the age of sixteen – but who becomes a writer straight out of school? So to cut a long story short I went to Uni and studied Business and ended up managing large scale IT projects shortly after.
I can’t complain it’s been a great career and I’ve done some awesome projects and meet some incredible people and I won’t be giving it up anytime soon. Anyway I’ve messed around with a couple of “secret” novels over the years and I finally decided to get serious and finish one. Hence “Finding Trust” came about. And about twenty years later I’ve finally proved a vocational assessment correct, because I love writing!
As to some other stuff about me, I live on the Gold Coast, Australia. I love spending time with my family and friends. When I’m not sitting behind a screen playing with IT or writing you might find me down the beach playing in the waves on a jet ski or a bogey board (both are uber cool). When the weather turns a bit cooler (doesn’t really happen on the Gold Coast), we like to head for the snow. I’ve discovered I have two kids that are kamikaze skiers – they must take after their father. He’s always at me to “release the handbrake.” Apparently I’d ski so much better. I call it a healthy understanding of self-preservation and gravity!
I like to think I can fit in a few workouts and martial arts classes each week. This tends to be a figment of my imagination more than reality unfortunately. I am trying to remedy this, but those damn characters just keep demanding to have their stories told and well – there’s always another good book to read!
I hope you enjoy mine.
Please drop me a line I’m active on FaceBook, Twitter and of course here! I’d love to know what you think of my books and well let’s be truthful – I love talking about books whether they’re mine or someone else’s. Fiction is just so much more fun than reality!!!