Streets of Glass
Michelle D. Argyle
Publication date: May 1st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Suspense, Thriller
Eighteen year-old Starry is destined to take over her father’s powerful drug syndicate. But when she finds out he has kept her only sister a secret from her, she can’t trust him anymore. Furious, Starry vows to find Emma, even though she knows her defiance could lead to losing the position she’s worked so hard to inherit.But Emma isn’t quite the sister Starry hoped for. She’s a straight-laced good girl who wants nothing more than to take down the syndicate that destroyed her family. Starry, willing to do anything to secure her place in the syndicate, accepts her father’s ultimatum to kill Emma and everyone helping her. But the more Starry gets to know Emma, and the more secrets she uncovers, the more she questions whether the price of saving the syndicate is too high—even for someone as cold-blooded and vicious as Starry.
*Streets of Glass is considered clean New Adult/Upper YA fiction**
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“There’s something I have to tell you,” Jack said as they moved forward in the line.
Emma rocked on her feet as she shivered. It was colder out here than she’d thought it would be. “Okay.”
Jack stared at the ground. “Haven’t you wondered what I was really doing in the laundromat yesterday?”
“I guess I haven’t thought much about it since then. We had a whole conversation about it. You said—”
“I lied,” Jack interrupted, his eyes intense as he searched Emma’s face. “I don’t have a job at the drugstore. I needed to clean up, but I could have done that anywhere. I chose the laundromat restroom because you were there. I’m sorry I lied to you.” He looked down at the ground, guilt spreading across his face. “I was tailing you.”
Emma took a step backward, nearly bumping into the person behind her. “T–tailing me?” she whispered, hardly able to get the words out. “Why?”
There was nobody she could trust. Not one person. Maybe the police, but right here, right now, she was not safe.
Jack shoved his hands into his pockets. “My dad asked me to watch you and make sure you were okay. I was supposed to tell him if anything seemed wrong. He wouldn’t tell me why.”
Emma took another step back. The person behind her backed up too and gave her a dirty look. She looked over her shoulder, searching once again for Jack’s mysterious father. She didn’t want to meet him now. She needed to get home. Fast.
“I gotta go,” she mumbled, and turned to leave the line.
Jack grabbed her arm and let her go a second later. She wanted to run, but stopped herself when she caught the desperate pleading in Jack’s eyes. “Hear me out,” he said softly. “Please, just give me a few minutes to explain.”
Emma inched away from him. “You lied to me. After everything I’ve been through. You lied. How long have you been tailing me? What have you seen?” Her mind raced through all the scenarios of someone watching her. Had he been looking into her apartment windows from a telescope across the street? Why would his dad ask him to do something so creepy?
The more questions she came up with, the more hysterical she felt, until she finally realized she was all the way out of the ordering line and people were looking at her like she was nuts.
Jack left the line and walked calmly to her. “Dad asked me on Friday. I’ve only tailed you to the laundromat and kept an eye on your building’s front doors to see when you came and went. That’s it. All my dad said was to make sure you were safe.”
She shook her head. “It still doesn’t make sense,” she said loud and shrill enough to get more weird looks from most everybody in the line. “Why would your dad care about my safety? Did my dad ask him to do this?”
Jack locked eyes with her. “I honestly don’t know. It’s not the first time my dad’s asked me to tail someone for him. Usually it’s just to find out if some guy he’s working with is where he’s supposed to be. I know it sounds crazy I’d do things like that for him, but he’s my dad, and none of it’s been dangerous so far.” He looked down at his feet. “You’re the first girl he’s ever asked me to tail. He seems genuinely concerned for you.”
Emma folded her arms, hysteria giving way to anger. She could run away and tell the cops Jack and his father were drug-dealing stalkers, or she could stay and maybe get some answers about who her father really was and why he’d been living a lie for who knew how long. She looked around the brightly-lit sidewalk full of restaurant patrons and decided to stay.
Q: What made you want to write a book about a drug syndicate?
A: I’ve never been involved in any sort of drug world, so that’s a good question. I’m a good girl, like my main character, Emma. I guess you could say I never planned to write about a drug syndicate. What I planned was to write one really good sister and one really bad sister. The bad sister, unsurprisingly, was raised by a drug lord. Voila! A drug syndicate was born.
Q: How many books have you written?
A: I have written 8 complete novels, 5 novellas, and one short story collection. All of those titles have been published except two. I’m currently working on my 9th novel and have two more in the planning stages. I’ve been writing since I was 10 years old.
Q: What else do you do besides write?
A: I’m a mom to one wild little 10 year old. I work as a manager at American Eagle Outfitters, and I also do design work like book covers and promotional material.
Q: Out of all the characters you’ve written, which one is most like you?
A: I’d have to say Avery Hollister from my contemporary romance novel IF I FORGET YOU. I am extremely forgetful, and it’s a constant embarrassment in my life. Writing Avery was very therapeutic. It was difficult to put her out there into the world, but I’m a better person for it.
Q: What is one of the most interesting things you had to research for STREETS OF GLASS?
A: I’d have to say strip clubs. My main character, Starry, is dating the manager of a strip club, and there are many scenes that happen in the building. I had to know how night clubs like that are managed, what happens behind the scenes, so to speak, and all sorts of little details to really make that world come alive. One of the weirdest things I learned is from an interview I read online, where somebody asked what the dancing poles smell like. The answer? They smell like rubbing alcohol because they are constantly wiped down so they aren’t too slippery. Needless to say, I didn’t put that detail in the book.
HOW WRITING A NOVEL CAN HELP YOU HEAL
I first started writing STREETS OF GLASS, I had no idea the journey I was about to take. The novel was a normal project, but my life was about to become not-so-normal. As I was workshopping the book with my writing group (a 9-month process), I learned something that turned my world upside down. I was betrayed by someone very close to me, and suddenly every priority in my life shifted into a different place. I no longer trusted anybody. I didn’t even trust myself. Lies and deceit became a very real thing. Interestingly enough, here I was working on a book about just that!
I think one of the most interesting things about writing is what authors end up pouring into their work subconsciously. I don’t know if I really knew what was about to happen in my life as I was drafting the book, but as I worked on revisions and edits after the big change in my life, I realized how deeply I value truth and honesty and those people in my life I can count on for anything and everything.
My main character, Starry, is me in a lot of ways. She might not be the person I want to be. She’s kind of horrible, actually, but she shares a common value with me, and that’s honesty. One of my favorite quotes in the book is this:
“Nothing was more important to her than trust and loyalty. The syndicate was a world thick with secrets and lies and deceit, but those things could not be allowed to taint personal relationships.”
And it’s true in every facet of our lives, I think. Trust and loyalty mean everything in our quiet, personal lives. Without those, how can we be with anyone?
Looking back now, I realize how much writing STREETS OF GLASS has healed me. It helped me sort through a lot of the emotions I’ve had to deal with. I’m still learning how to face those who have hurt me, but writing is something that has truly saved my life in more ways than one
Michelle lives and writes in Utah, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. She’s a foodie and also adores anything Star Wars related. She loves to read and write books in the time she grabs between her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter. She believes a simple life is the best life. Michelle mainly writes contemporary upper YA fiction, but occasionally branches into other genres.
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