Book Showcase: 27 REVELATIONS by Harlow Hayes



27 Revelations by Harlow Hayes
ASIN: B01MR6S09F (Kindle edition)
Publication Date: April 11, 2017


Mara Goodwin is a professional keeper of secrets, or that is what she intends to be. As a counseling psychology student at Northwestern, Mara’s ambition is unrivaled. She has the grades, the compassion, and the dedication, everything she needs to gain entry into the clinical psychology program. 

However, after a traumatic experience leaves Mara in a state of mental distress, she finds herself keeping more secrets than she intended, most of them her own. Finding herself in trouble with the law, her dreams of being a therapist are jeopardized and as a consequence, Mara is ultimately forced into group therapy. While in therapy, Mara holds on to her secrets with a death grip, but when life comes full circle, her past is revealed and with it the potential to destroy her future career, her friendships, and ultimately herself. 

Mara is a fighter, even if she doesn’t know it yet, but with each attempt to salvage what she can of her broken life, she is met with a consistent punch to the gut. After being pushed to the edge by meddling roommates, a persistent ex-boyfriend, and a potential new boyfriend, Mara comes to the precipice of her destruction. Yet with her destruction also comes her rebirth, and revelations of love, pain, and growth.

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Meet the author:


Harlow Hayes was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. She has always had a passion for writing and storytelling in its many forms, and when she’s not immersed in her writing, she enjoys reading both fiction and non-fiction, watching movies, and listening to music. She currently lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 27 Revelations is her first novel.


Find out more about Nicola at her website, blog, and Goodreads. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.



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Book Promo: BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN by Kristi Belcamino



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<span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 16pt; line-height:

115%;”>Mystery / Detective
ISBN:  9780062389428 (Ebook)
ASIN:  B00SG1ELNW (Kindle version)
Date Published: September 29, 2015

Publisher: Witness Impulse / HarperCollins Publishers

San Francisco Bay Area reporter Gabriella Giovanni has finally got it all together: a devoted and loving boyfriend, Detective Sean Donovan; a beautiful little girl with him; and her dream job as the cops’ reporter for the Bay Herald. But her success has been hard-won and has left her with debilitating paranoia. When a string of young co-eds starts to show up dead with suspicious Biblical verses left on their bodies—the same verses that the man she suspects kidnapped and murdered her sister twenty years ago had sent to her—she begins to question if the killer is trying to send her a message.

It is not until evil strikes Gabriella’s own family that her worst fears are confirmed. As the clock begins to tick, every passing hour means the difference between life and death to those Gabriella loves…




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<span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height:

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<span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height:

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The setting sun turns my family into dark silhouettes as I step onto the warm sand. The beach is nearly deserted, except for a lone figure walking north of us along the sand where the waves are crashing in from the Pacific Ocean.

A cool breeze makes me glad I trekked to the car to retrieve my daughter’s little lavender parka. We promised her we’d stay until the sun set.

Donovan’s back is turned, phone held to his ear. He’s pacing in his bare feet, his jeans rolled up, a scowl on his face from what he’s hearing. A murder. Every once in a while he glances back at Grace kneeling in the sand playing.

Grace has dug deep channels with a small red shovel, chatting to herself, weaving tales about mermaids and sea creatures and fairies. She bounces a plastic dinosaur along the sand, a prize won in kindergarten for reading two books in one week.

Everything I’ve ever wanted is on that beach—Donovan and our daughter, Grace. My own little family. My life.

I’m still far away, closer to the parking lot, when I see the figure walking along the shore is growing closer.

It’s a man. His shadow, with its elongated arms and legs, stretches across the beach until it seems to take on a life of its own. Something about his movements seems angry and frenetic—instead of the wandering gait of a casual sunset stroll—and sets off small alarms in my head. I walk faster, the sand seeming to reach up and grab at my ankles, slowing my progress.

Donovan’s pacing takes him in the opposite direction, away from Grace. He’s not paying attention to anything besides his phone call. The man is now closer to Grace, who seems alone on the beach, although Donovan is twenty feet away. Donovan squints up into the pink and orange clouds, raking a hand through his perpetually spiky hair.

The man’s path takes him straight toward Grace. My heart races. I can’t tell for sure, but it seems like he’s watching her. He walks at a determined clip, covering ground much faster than me in my flat, strappy sandals. I lean over in mid-stride and rip a sandal from one foot without stopping. Then I scoop up the other in one fluid motion.

Still, each step feels like my bare feet are being sucked into quicksand. I hurry, but feel like I’m moving in slow motion.

“Grace.” I shout, but my words are carried away on the wind. I’m breathless from fighting the sand tugging at my feet. The breeze, which has grown stronger in the past few minutes, whips my hair.

Grace’s brown ringlets bob as she hops her plastic dinosaur around, not noticing anything else.

Donovan isn’t far from Grace, but now the man is closer.

At the same moment Donovan turns and sees the look on my face, the man reaches Grace. His long shadow falls over her small figure. She looks up with a smile and starts chatting. He leans down. His hand reaches toward her, his fingers millimeters from her arm. A wave of dread ripples through me. My feet feel cemented into the sand. My mind screams, but no words come out of my open mouth. Inside, I’m flailing and thrashing to get to Grace, but on the outside, I’m struck immobile.

The man reaches down and grasps Grace’s arm, turning her toward him, and the spell is broken. I’m on wet sand running, the scream caught in my throat coming out as a birdlike garble. I scoop Grace up onto one hip and take a step back. I gasp for air, but I can’t breathe. My heart is going to explode in my chest.

The man looks at me with surprise and for a split second, there is something in his eyes that sends panic racing up into my throat, but then the look is gone, as if I imagined it.

“Gosh. I’m so stupid,” he says in a nasally voice. He wipes his palms on the legs of his jeans, as if he is sweating even though the temperature is rapidly dipping along with the sun.

Donovan is at my side. “Gabriella, is everything okay?”

He’s used my full name and he’s looking at me instead of Grace in my arms. Guilt flicks through me. I’m not acting irrational or hysterical. A strange man walked up to our daughter and grabbed her arm.

Any mother would react the same, wouldn’t she?

At first glance, the man seems boyish with his bowl haircut, baggy jeans, and sneakers. Up close, a few crow’s feet shows he is older. Maybe even my age—thirty. He has feminine pink lips, and piercing blue eyes, the color of the arctic sea. The collar of his black jacket is pulled up. His smile is all “gee, golly, shucks,” abashed and embarrassed but doesn’t reach his eyes. He paws at his jeans with his palms. He’s done that twice now. He’s nervous.

When he meets my eyes again, I realize that something about him seems off, something about his eyes, more than just their intense color. One eye is close to his nose and the other set far apart. It’s jarring and somehow unsettling to make eye contact.

“I’m so sorry,” he says in that same stuffed-up sounding voice. “What a knuckle-headed move. I should know better than to walk up to someone else’s kid like that.”

Donovan grips my arm.

“What’s going on here?” His words are clipped.

I’m panting, but finally able to catch my breath. Still, the words will not come.

“Your kid is so darn cute. She looks just like my little sister used to look. I just wanted to say hi to her and didn’t even think that was a total bonehead move to walk up to someone else’s kid when her parents weren’t around.” He gives an odd smile as he says this.

“We were around.” Donovan says in a monotone, staring the man down.

The man looks down at the sand.

Grace is kicking and trying to get down. My knuckles are white gripping her.

“Ow, mama, you’re hurting me,” she says and tosses her curls in irritation.

Donovan shoots a glance our way before turning his attention back to the man.

“You live around here?” Donovan asks, seemingly casual, but the muscle in his jaw is working hard. His dark eyes under thick eyebrows have narrowed and hold a glint of menace. In a second, it alters him from the man on the cover of the “Sexiest Bay Area Cops” calendar into something feral and dangerous.

The man meets Donovan’s eyes and for a second it looks like he is challenging Donovan to dispute his story, but then he looks down again and digs a sneakered toe into the sand, reinforcing my impression that he’s a kid not a man.

“Marin. Meeting some friends here in the city for dinner. Was early so came here to kill some time. I didn’t mean to cause any problems. I just wanted to say hi to her. Maybe you’re over-reacting a bit.”

Donovan runs a hand through his hair. His posture relaxes. Instinctively—or luckily—this man has honed in on Donovan’s Achilles heel. We’ve talked at length about our tendency to be overprotective parents because of our jobs, me as a crime reporter, and him as a detective. Donovan has argued we can’t
let this affect Grace’s childhood. We need to protect her, but let her grow up carefree. I agree.

But it’s easier said than done.

We’ve, also, talked about my irrational fear that something will happen to Grace.

This man may not realize it, but he’s instantly off the hook with this one simple
word—Overreacting.

“Why don’t you go head on out,” Donovan says, dismissing him.

“My bad, really. Wasn’t using my head. Have a nice night,” the man says and turns to leave.

I set Grace down and Donovan wraps his arm around me.

“You okay?”

“I don’t know.”

I don’t tell him that it felt like I was having a heart attack, that I couldn’t breathe or move. A stranger walked up to my daughter and I stood there, weak, helpless, frozen.

Donovan gives me a look before we both turn and watch the man’s figure growing smaller. We watch without saying a word. We stand there until the man turns and heads toward the wooden boardwalk bordering the road. He never looks back.



About the Author


Kristi Belcamino is a writer, photographer, and artist. In her former life as a newspaper crime reporter in California, she flew over Big Sur in an FA-18 jet with the Blue Angels, raced a Dodge Viper at Laguna Seca, watched autopsies, and interviewed serial killers. She is now a journalist based in Minneapolis and the Gabriella Giovanni mysteries are her first books. Find Kristi on Facebook
www.facebook.com/kristibelcaminowriter or on Twitter @KristiBelcamino


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Also available via HarperCollins

Book Blitz: LOSING THE GIRLS and THE ROAD PAVED IN PINK










Non Fiction – Memoir – Self Help – Breast Cancer
Date Published: August 2013



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Readers can delve into the breast cancer journey and beyond in Losing the Girls, a unique memoir differentiated by the author’s cutting-edge nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM)—a little-known breast cancer surgery technique that leaves the breast completely whole.  Shirley Alarie shares her story to boost awareness of this specialized procedure, which is only offered at select hospitals.  She believes that women facing mastectomies deserve to know all of their options. 




Shirley found that the biggest challenge of her life began with a convoluted breast cancer diagnosis; and then there was the overwhelming array of surgery options.  Mastectomy or lumpectomy?  Single mastectomy or double?  Reconstruction or no reconstruction?  She worried about making the right choice and how her decision would affect her both in the short and long term.  How would it affect her marriage? W as it crazy to choose a hospital three hours from home?




After the surgery, Shirley’s determination to beat the cancer triggered a lifestyle transformation that resulted in a stronger, more empowered woman.  Her deep faith in God and her peace with the afterlife helped shape her response to this life-changing ordeal with cancer—and the love and support of an amazing posse of family and friends, along with a liberal dose of humor and hope, pulled her through the darkness and back into the warm, sunny light.




Losing the Girls is a powerful and uplifting book for every woman—and the people who love them—to read.




What others have said:




As I read ‘Losing the Girls- My Journey Through Nipple Sparring Mastectomy and Beyond’, I was touched by Ms. Alarie’s honesty, humor and spirit that shone through her written words. I cried, laughed and at times held my breath as she took the necessary steps to face her fears and come out the other side of the journey, strong and healthy. Ms. Alarie faced the gut wrenching reality of hearing – you have breast cancer, and now she is a survivor sharing her story with the world. A must read. Lucinda Race




What a fantastic read! From the very first pages Shirley opens up and gives honest glimpses of her life to her readers. Knowing she has a family history does little to take the sting out of her diagnosis. The way she deals with her tests, results, doctor visits and eventual surgery is truly an inspiration for any woman dealing with this disease. Along with writing about her emotional journey, Shirley shares with her readers all the information she has gained from researching breast cancer and what she has learned through her support system of Drs., nurses and the like. Great knowledge for anyone who many deal with breast cancer themselves or have a family member go through it. I found her reliance on God through her ordeal comforting and inspiring. Any reader will feel that they’ve gained a friend by the end. P Walker






 






Non Fiction – Memoir – Self Help – Breast Cancer
Date Published: July 2014



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Lovey’s nightmare has begun. She’s been thrust into a terrifying and confusing journey, joining the nearly 250,000 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. If Lovey is fortunate, she has an excellent support team, also known as Angels. The Road Paved in Pink: A Practical and Personal Guide for Breast Cancer Patients and Their Loved Ones offers Lovey and her Angels the comprehensive guidance needed to withstand the challenges ahead.




Readers will be empowered by the love and support of the many others who have already traveled the same bumpy road.




The Road Paved in Pink is offered with a unique “Pay it Forward” program designed to reach as many people in need as possible. By request via her website, Shirley Alarie will provide a free book to people recently affected by breast cancer, with the stipulation that they forward it to someone else in need when they are finished with it, and so on.




If someone agrees to take a booklet from the Pay it Forward program, they will be asked to sign in to the website and log their first name and location, so we can watch the books travel around the country – and hopefully, the world!




Request a copy of The Road Paved in Pink – Pay it Forward Program at the following link: http://shirleyalarie.com/2014/08/road-paved-pink-pay-forward-program/




What others have said:




This is a very worthwhile read. The author does an excellent job of giving useful information that is very understandable, which doesn’t always happen in the medical field. She is able to tell her story as well as provide the reader with an understanding of the many choices available for their own journey. Also a great guide for families and friends to help them be helpful in what can be a truly difficult time. P Walker




A moving and to the point awesome guide. If you don’t know someone with breast cancer odds are in your lifetime you will. Have this book on hand, everyone involved will need it, as will you. Twenty seven years ago my mother had her first breast removed only to have the other one worked on seven years later. I was there, so wish I had this guide. I have it now and have already highlighted my “talking points”, when I’m faced with being an angel for someone. Marion Brenan












About the Author




I spent the first twenty years of my career in an industrial manufacturing environment, running around the hamster wheel as fast as my legs would carry me. My breast cancer diagnosis jammed on the brakes and forced me to put life in perspective. My journey since breast cancer has been focused on making a positive difference in the world. Stepping off the hamster wheel has brought greater harmony to me and my home. My husband and furry baby appreciate that the “Crazy Lady” of the house is gone and a more “Mellow Mama” has taken her place.




My writing adventure began with Losing the Girls: My Journey Through Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy and Beyond, my memoir, written with the intention to entertain as well as spread awareness of nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM). My website identifies some of the hospitals that perform this surgery, through the “What is NSM?” and “Where is NSM?” links.




My follow-up, The Road Paved in Pink: A Practical and Personal Guide for Breast Cancer Patients and Their Loved Ones serves to heighten awareness of reconstruction options, among other key topics specific to a breast cancer challenge. I am thrilled to offer the “Pay it Forward” program in conjunction with this book promotion.




Another tool I’ve created to help further the awareness of breast cancer surgery options is a free 11-minute video that describes and shows the various options. Since studies have shown women undergoing treatment for breast cancer aren’t always informed of all of their options, I’m striving to ensure women facing this challenge are able to make fully informed choices. I invite all women to become educated on this topic, as this information might make a huge difference for someone they love. The video can be found on my website: http://shirleyalarie.com/2014/08/breast-cancer-surgery-options-video/




I’d love to have you join me in my journey to making a positive difference in the world!






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Guest Post, Book Showcase and Giveaway: TRUE BLUE by Susan Rae


Read about author Susan Rae’s character inspirations and then read an excerpt from her latest book TRUE blue.





The Characters We Meet

As an author, I am often asked if my characters are based on actual people, or do I make them up. The answer is always yes and no. 

Usually when I create a character, I take a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and mix it together to get just the right person I need for the kind of book I am writing. It’s like choosing the ingredients for a cooking recipe. First you decide what you are going to make: a main course, a side dish, or a dessert. You gather the main ingredients: meat, flour, pasta, vegetables, whatever the recipe requires; add the spices; and mix it all together to get the perfect dish. With characters, what do I draw those main ingredients from? Like most authors, I am always on the lookout for interesting people. I am an avid observer and listener. I study people’s qualities, what makes them like other people, and what makes them different. 

For TRUE blue, I had already created Andi and Joey DeLuca in heartbeats, book one in the DeLuca Family series. In heartbeats, Andi had to be a tough cop, but with a warm heart as she helped the hero and heroine solve the crime. I started with the idea of her, searched some magazines and sales catalogues until I found someone who I imagined her to look like, and then poured those qualities into her. Joey DeLuca, her husband, I developed similarly, but I put the responsibilities of the oldest DeLuca sibling on his shoulders as well. Coming from a family of six children, I knew something about that. As for the Italian part of the DeLuca clan, my husband comes from a large Italian family. No, I did not use anyone from the family specifically in the novel, but the family dynamics were there to pull from.

Sometimes, however, there is a person that impresses an author so much, that we know we just have to get that person into a book. That’s what happened to me with a character in TRUE blue. On a trip to Montana, I met a woman so fascinating and unique that I knew I had to include her in the novel. Of course, the character isn’t the exact person, but rather the essence of her–her style and panache and take-no-prisoners attitude. Yes, I could have saved her and used her for a main character in another novel, but I thought it would be fun to use her as a secondary character. It was also another reason to get Andi and Joey out of Chicago and to Glacier National Park where they could meet a version of this fascinating woman. If you read the novel, you will no doubt recognize who I am talking about. (Hint: her initials are C. M.) This character also reminded me of a childhood friend of mine who I have lost touch with, which is why I gave her the name Candace. So you see, she is really a combination of two people. Not the exact person, but a person with a feisty, independent attitude which I loved.

I’d love to hear about someone who has fascinated you and who you thought would make a great character for a novel! Please leave your comment below. 

Thanks for spending this time with me. To learn more about my writing and my books, please visit me at www.susanrae.com.


Until next time, 

Happy Reading, 

Susan Rae   

About the author:

I write because I can’t resist the challenge of taking the intriguing characters and storylines that pop into my head and fleshing them out into compelling manuscripts. I wrote my first melodrama in fifth grade for a Girl Scout Drama badge, not so different really than a romantic suspense novel. My love of characters lead me to pursue theater in college, and then brought me back around to creative writing. I received my BA in English from Columbia College, Missouri with an emphasis in creative writing.

One of my many roles on the road to publication was as a freelance feature writer. I love writing romantic suspense because it allows me to combine a sexy, passionate love story with a gritty suspense tale—in my opinion, the best of both worlds. It also lets me express my appreciation for the outdoors in the settings which I recreate on the page.

Freefall, my second novel, takes place in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine Forest and beautiful Door County. ICE blue returns to the busy streets of Chicago and the shores of Lake Michigan to continue the story of the DeLuca family which began in my award winning first novel, heartbeats. I am currently working on the third book in the DeLuca series, TRUE blue, due out in 2014, my characters must take a trip to Montana’s majestic Glacier National Park to solve a twenty-four year old murder.

When I’m not sketching characters or working out plot problems, you might find me on the golf course working on my handicap. I also enjoy traveling around the country seeking out new settings for my novels with my husband and my empty nest puppies, Ginger and Nikute. 


Connect with the author:     Website     |     Goodreads      |     Facebook 




True Blue by Susan Rae
ISBN:  9781619373679 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00KDIMR00 (Kindle)
Publisher:  Musa Publishing
Publication date:  May 16, 2014


Sometimes we must revisit the past to embrace our future. 

Twenty-four years ago, the murder of a Chicago police officer changed Joey DeLuca’s life. He lost his best friend and first love, Meghan McConnell, when her mother whisked her out of town. Now, on the eve of another officer’s death, Meghan is back and about to step into his life again. 

There is very little gray in Joey’s line of work as a Lt. Detective–it is either black or white, right or wrong. But Meghan’s insistence on finding answers to her father’s murder threatens those beliefs and throws his marriage to CPD Detective Andi, his career, and the entire DeLuca family in jeopardy when new revelations come to light. 

Can Joey save his marriage, solve the murder, and keep his family together all at the same time? 

The third book in the DeLuca Family Series, TRUE blue can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.




Read an Excerpt:

Chapter One

Lieutenant Detective Joseph Anthony DeLuca Jr. of the Chicago Police Department knelt beside the victim and lifted the edge of the plastic sheet to expose the bloodied head and lifeless torso. His gut clenched. This never got easier, but this guy was a cop, a detective under his own watch, and that fact irked him even more.

“How the hell did this happen?” he asked Sergeant Davis, the slain detective’s immediate supervisor.

Oh, yes, he’d gotten the quick initial briefing when he’d arrived on scene. A convenience store robbery in progress. Shots fired. Officers responding, but before backup could arrive, more shots fired, and then a car screaming down the street and Detective Mark Beattie, pursuing on foot, struck down, his body flying through the air on impact, his head smashing against the pavement when he landed.

“Why was he here in the first place?” Lieutenant DeLuca added, ignoring the sweat that beaded on his brow. The late afternoon heat was stifling. The August sun’s hot rays radiated off the pavement. It didn’t help the sick feeling in his gut.

“He was following up on a lead on a previous robbery attempt,” Sergeant Davis said, “questioning a woman in the apartment across the street. As near as we can tell, he must have heard the first gunshots and he ran outside to check it out.”

“We got the call at 3:47 for shots fired. According to witnesses, right after the first shots were fired, a man wearing a ski mask ran out of the store and took off on foot. Seconds later, another guy comes running out of the store, again wearing a ski mask. From what we’ve put together so far, when the second suspect came out of the store, Beattie called out that he was a police officer and told him to stop. About the same time, a car pulled up in the parking lot and a woman started to get out.”

“The suspect began shooting toward Beattie, and Beattie returned fire, but then the suspect ran toward the woman’s car. He grabbed the woman and threw her aside so he could get into the car. That’s when Beattie took off after him on foot, right about the time another car came racing down the street. The car slammed into him. Beattie didn’t have a chance. Near as we can figure, it was the getaway car.”

“The woman’s sitting in one of the patrol cars. She’s pretty shook up. Her eleven-month-old baby was in a car seat in the back. Both are okay. The suspect never made it out of the parking lot. It seems Detective Beattie got off a fatal shot before he was struck by the car. CSU is still working over the perp.”

Lieutenant DeLuca’s jaw clenched as his eyes focused on the bloodied features of his detective. Beattie was a good man, one of his best. He’d left a wife and two children, middle school age. Just last week, the man was telling him about a trip he was planning to take with his family to the Wisconsin Dells. He remembered the light in Beattie’s eyes as he talked about how excited the kids were.

“EMS worked on him for a full twenty minutes before calling it,” Davis continued. “CSU found a bullet hole in his neck and one in his chest. Not sure what really killed him—the impact, the gunshots, or smacking his head on the pavement. Take your pick.”

“What about the owner of the convenience store?” DeLuca asked.

“Deceased.”

Lieutenant DeLuca shook his head. “Are they done here?” He nodded down at Beattie.

“Just finished up, for now.”

The lieutenant eased the edge of the sheet down and said a silent prayer for his detective before looking up again at Davis. “Then let’s get him the hell off the street. Has his wife been notified?”

“I’ve already sent one of our men over there.”

“We’re not releasing his name until I know his wife’s been notified.”

“Right.”

“Any chance the first guy out of the store is the same one that slammed into Beattie?”

The sergeant shook his head. “I don’t know. The timing’s pretty tight. So far, none of the witnesses have put the two together.”

“Then we’re looking for a third suspect.”

“I think so. I’ve got officers canvassing the area.”

Lieutenant DeLuca glanced around at the crime tape surrounding the scene, at the crowd of gawkers and media already assembled around the perimeter. He hoped their man got there before word got to Beattie’s wife. With today’s instant information age, he was sure the news of another cop killing in the city of Chicago was spreading like wildfire across the airwaves, as well as the Internet. He glanced again at the assembled media. They’d want an official statement soon.

“What about the hit-and-run?”

“We’ve got a description of the vehicle. Put an APB out on all channels. Nothing yet, but we’ll find him, Lieutenant.”

“You’re damn straight we’ll find him. What about the prior attempted robbery? Any leads there?”

“We’re checking the surveillance video. We’ll be putting a description of all the suspects out within the hour, along with the video. Of course, they’re all wearing ski masks, but who knows? Maybe we’ll get lucky and somebody will recognize them. The two robberies could be tied together.”

“Best guess?”

“Gang bangers.”

“In the middle of the day?”

“A dare. An initiation, maybe. Crazy what these punks are trying now.”

The lieutenant’s stomach burned. No matter how hard they tried to clean up the streets, some days it seemed like the gangs were getting the better of them.

His cell phone buzzed. He reached into the inside pocket of his suit coat and pulled it out. The caller ID indicated it was Andi, his wife.

Officer Andrea DeLuca was a detective, too. She would have heard about the incident already. She’d also know who was shot and that it wasn’t him.

Deciding he wasn’t ready to talk to her about it just yet, he let the call go to voice mail. 

Less than thirty seconds later, it buzzed again, this time indicating a text.

You okay?

He sighed and texted back.

Yes.

Are you going to be able to make it to the dinner tonight?

Damn, he’d pretty much forgotten about the dinner. His sister Angela and her boyfriend had invited the DeLuca clan, along with about fifty of their closest friends, to the soft opening of her boyfriend’s bistro. His sister had been pretty adamant about all of them attending.

He texted back, Chances are, not. Go on without me.

Understand. Love you.

He paused for a second and then typed, Me too, and hit send. Why did he hesitate? He didn’t exactly know. Things had been tense between them lately, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on why. Perhaps it was because he was up for a promotion soon and he was working long hours to try to not screw it up. Between that and Andi’s own dedication to their chosen line of work, it seemed they were spending less and less time together. He glanced back down at Detective Beattie. The team had returned and was now placing his body into a body bag. He frowned. Maybe it was time he and Andi did some re-evaluating.

He was about to slip the phone back into his pocket when it buzzed again. Glancing once more at the caller ID, he didn’t recognize the number or the area code. It definitely was not one of his fellow officers or a member of his family. Ignoring the call for now, he slipped the phone back into his pocket and scanned the assembling media again. No less than three satellite trucks had joined them.

According to his cell phone, it was 4:53—just in time for the evening news. Loosening his tie, he took a step toward them. The temperature was a searing ninety-seven degrees. Add in the humidity and the heat index, it had to be about one hundred and five. The heat didn’t help the tension in the streets. It was a well-known fact that crime, including homicides, went up when the temperatures rose.

He glanced up at the sky. They could use a cold front to come blowing through, complete with thunderstorms. It would be a welcome relief.

But there wasn’t a cloud in sight.







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Promo Book Blitz: CALCULATED by Renee Novelle












Calculated


By Renee Novelle


Psychological Thriller


Date Published: August 30, 2013




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An investigative journalist gets an unlikely tip from a mysterious informant. Dismissing it as impossible, she disregards the information and drops the story. Until the informant turns up dead, as predicted.




Plunged into the murky waters of a seedy underground prostitution ring, this psychological thriller provides twist upon dark twist in a story that would ultimately pin the church and several government officials in the largest murder cover-up the city has ever witnessed.




But is it true, or has the journalist merely been used as a pawn in a greater scheme? And how many people is she willing to sacrifice trying to figure it out?






EXCERPT




When she arrived at the little facility her building provided, a quick look around confirmed she was the only one there. Just as she’d hoped, and exactly how she liked it to be. Smiling in satisfaction, she flipped on the television that was perched on the wall, and turned up the music on her iPod as loud as she could handle it. The multiple distractions would help her get through the extra mile she was planning to conquer. With chilled water bottle in place, she cranked up the treadmill to a nice brisk pace.




As her breathing picked up speed and her muscles began to warm, Ana’s eye caught a red flash along the bottom of the screen. Breaking News filled the bar, and the too-chipper-for-their-own-good reporters were suddenly getting serious. Since the volume was still muted, Ana couldn’t understand exactly what was going on, only that they were showing the wide stretch of river that ran along the outskirts of the city. She wiped the first beads of sweat from her brow, and used the remote to turn the volume of the television higher while simultaneously adjusting her music.




As the reporters spoke, home-video footage of something floating in the water rolled before her eyes. The camera zoomed in, the frame ever so shaky, and it became clearly apparent that the “something” was a person – face down with long brown hair spread out like a Catholic halo. It appeared another victim had been pulled out of the water; the count was quickly tallying up. A young woman this time, and possibly one who had gone missing the night before.




Ana’s pulse skipped a few beats as they replayed the video over and over. There was something familiar about the long, lean body. Slowing the treadmill to a stop, she ripped the ear buds from her head to give the segment her entire attention.




…it appears at first glance that the victim suffered from a deep cut to the throat, and received multiple stab wounds to the chest…




The beads of accumulated sweat turned cold on Ana’s brow. She immediately reached for her phone and dialed Kylie’s number.




“What the hell, Ana?” Came her friend’s groggy voice.




“Turn your TV on. Channel four. Hurry.” Ana said, eyes transfixed to the screen in front of her. “Recognize that face?”




…It’s thought the victim may be one of the young girls recently reported missing. The screen flashed candids of three possible women. All brunettes. All tall and thin. All roughly the same age. Among them was a photo of Mara, just as Ana had expected there would be.




But the body was too bloated and disfigured to be absolutely certain, and an autopsy would be needed.




… The body will be taken in for processing where officials hope to shed more light on the case in the near future. In the mean time, they’re cautioning residents to avoid….




“Did you see that?” Ana’s voice escaped in more of a demand than a question. “Please tell me I’m seeing things.”




“Oh my god…” Kylie whispered into the receiver, confirming the dread that was building in Ana’s stomach. “Do you really think it’s her?”




“I know for a fact it is.” Ana declared, the pull in her gut getting stronger by the minute. “The autopsy will confirm it.”




“So, what does this mean exactly now?”




“That maybe I should have been listening a little closer when I was talking to Mara.” She said with regret as she swiped her forehead with the back of her hand. “And maybe I should have asked more questions. There’s a story here, I’m sure of it now.”




“What are you going to do?” Kylie’s voice was decidedly more alert now.




Ana shook her head. “I have no idea.”




Though if she were to be truthful with herself in that moment, she’d already made up her mind. Ana flipped off the television, and left the little gym to get started.






About the Author: Renee Novelle
Author Renee Novelle photo 13_zps447ee6c5.jpeg




Formerly a freelance journalist, Novelle has found placement of her pieces in both online and print publications since 2008. Additionally, she has written multiple screenplays, and contributed her writing to many non-profit and for profit organizations. She has launched several blogs over the years, which garnered international attention.








In 2013, Novelle returned to her first love – fiction. Writing under the names Renee Novelle and R.S. Novelle, she has a publication schedule that includes Psychological Thrillers, Suspense, Paranormal Fiction, Contemporary Women’s fiction, Chick Lit, and New Adult.






Though she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication, summa cum laude, she considers herself a constant student of the written word. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic quote poster, and rarely takes “no” as a final answer. She has an unhealthy obsession for theater, dance, music and art, and strongly believes that wine is simultaneously the beginning of, and resolution to, all of life’s problems. She believes in following dreams, and that in the end, you always end up where you’re meant to be.




Author Links





Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads




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Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords | iTunes




  


  






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Book Blast & Giveaway: SHATTERED EMBRACE





 








Shattered Embrace – PROMO Blitz


By PR Newton


Contemporary / Women’s Fiction


Date Published: 3/14/2014


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Bethlehem took her first breath as her mother took her last.




Left to survive in overcrowded Ethiopian orphanages, she developed survival skills rivaling a warrior – a fierce, independent fighter before she could walk or talk. As she approached her second birthday, Bethlehem lived her days guided by two rules: everyone leaves and trust no one.




A world away in Canada, Tory Witcraft is trying to adopt from Ethiopia with her husband, Matt, when her adoption agency goes bankrupt, threatening her dreams of becoming a mother. Against the advice of many, including government officials threatening to revoke the adoption, she goes to Ethiopia, and her new daughter, Bethlehem.




When they finally meet, both mother and daughter struggle to connect, each trapped by their own fears and demons. Emotions and tempers run hot. Hearts and dreams collide, shattering a family before it could fully form. 




The adoption journey was difficult, but no one expected the hardest part of the journey would begin once they met.





EXCERPT


An itty bitty little thing of a girl came running into the room. Bouncing high with each step as she flew at them and promptly threw herself into Matt’s lap. Tory’s hand clutched her face, her breath stopped in her chest as she watched Matt draw the little girl close. His body rocked as he held her, his face split into a smile of pure joy.


“Daddy!” she cried out in a squeaky voice. She grabbed Matt’s face kissing each cheek with a big, slimy, open mouth kiss.


“Bethlehem!” Matt breathed out as he hugged her and kissed the top of her head.


“Bethlehem,” Tory whispered the name, as if saying it for the first time as she took in the face of the little girl she had studied through pictures for months. Blowing up the pictures until she could examine every facet of the the little girls features. Seeing her up close, face to face, finally close enough to touch left Tory breathless. Her skin itched to touch her. With a tentative hand she stroked her back.






About the Author:




P.R. (Piper) Newton is a proud geek mom of two little boys, one through birth, one through adoption. She has a background in psychology and continues to take post-grad courses in childhood trauma and development. In her writings she loves to explore the human mind, putting her characters through unthinkable things, just to see how they react. She is a full-time author, who believes in the magical, creative inducing powers of arm warmers and stripy socks.




Author Links




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Showcase Post: SUBMERGED by Cheryl Kaye Tardif


Psychological Paranormal Thriller

Date Published: 2/26/2013

From the international bestselling author that brought you CHILDREN OF THE FOG comes a terrifying new thriller that will leave you breathless…

“SUBMERGED reads like an approaching storm, full of darkness, dread and electricity. Prepare for your skin to crawl.” —Andrew Gross, New York Times bestselling author of 15 Seconds

Two strangers submerged in guilt, brought together by fate…

After a tragic car accident claims the lives of his wife, Jane, and son, Ryan, Marcus Taylor is immersed in grief. But his family isn’t the only thing he has lost. An addiction to painkillers has taken away his career as a paramedic. Working as a 911 operator is now the closest he gets to redemption—until he gets a call from a woman trapped in a car.

Rebecca Kingston yearns for a quiet weekend getaway, so she can think about her impending divorce from her abusive husband. When a mysterious truck runs her off the road, she is pinned behind the steering wheel, unable to help her two children in the back seat. Her only lifeline is a cell phone with a quickly depleting battery and a stranger’s calm voice on the other end telling her everything will be all right.


More reviews:

“From the first page, you know you are in the hands of a seasoned and expert storyteller who is going to keep you up at night turning the pages. Tardif knows her stuff. There’s a reason she sells like wildfire—her words burn up the pages. A wonderful, scary, heart-pumping writer.” —M.J. Rose, international bestselling author of Seduction

“Tardif once again delivers a suspenseful supernatural masterpiece.” —Scott Nicholson, international bestselling author of The Home

“From the first page, Cheryl Kaye Tardif takes you hostage with SUBMERGED—a compelling tale of anguish and redemption.” —Rick Mofina, bestselling author of Into the Dark

“Cheryl Kaye Tardif’s latest novel SUBMERGED will leave you as haunted as its characters.” —Joshua Corin, bestselling author of Before Cain Strikes

“SUBMERGED will leave you breathless—an edge of your seat, supernatural thrill ride.” —Jeff Bennington, bestselling author of Twisted Vengeance



EXCERPT

PrologueNear Cadomin, AB – Saturday, June 15, 2013 – 12:36 AM

You never grow accustomed to the stench of death. Marcus Taylor knew that smell intimately. He had inhaled burnt flesh, decayed flesh…diseased flesh. It lingered on him long after he was separated from the body.

The image of his wife and son’s gray faces and blue lips assaulted him.Jane…Ryan.

Mercifully, there were no bodies tonight. The only scent he recognized now was wet prairie and the dank residue left over from a rainstorm and the river.

“So what happened, Marcus?” 

The question came from Detective John Zur, a cop Marcus knew from the old days. Back before he traded in his steady income and respected career for something that had poisoned him physically and mentally.

“Come on,” Zur prodded. “Start talking. And tell me the truth.”

Marcus was an expert at hiding things. Always had been. But there was no way in hell he could hide why he was soaked to the skin and standing at the edge of a river in the middle of nowhere. 

He squinted at the river, trying to discern where the car had sunk. He only saw faint ripples on the surface. “You can see what happened, John.”

“You left your desk. Not a very rational decision to make, considering your past.” 

Marcus shook his head, the taste of river water still in his throat. “Just because I do something unexpected doesn’t mean I’m back to old habits.”

Zur studied him but said nothing.

“I had to do something, John. I had to try to save them.”

“That’s what EMS is for. You’re not a paramedic anymore.”

Marcus let his gaze drift to the river. “I know. But you guys were all over the place and someone had to look for them. They were running out of time.”

Overhead, lightning forked and thunder reverberated.

“Dammit, Marcus, you went rogue!” Zur said. “You know how dangerous that is. We could’ve had four bodies.”

Marcus scowled. “Instead of merely three, you mean?”

“You know how this works. We work in teams for a reason. We all need backup. Even you.”

“All the rescue teams were otherwise engaged. I didn’t have a choice.”

Zur sighed. “We go back a long way. I know you did what you thought was right. But it could’ve cost them all their lives. And it’ll probably cost you your job. Why would you risk that for a complete stranger?”

“She wasn’t a stranger.” 

As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Marcus realized how true that statement seemed. He knew more about Rebecca Kingston than he did about any other woman. Besides Jane.

“You know her?” Zur asked, frowning.

“She told me things and I told her things. So, yeah, I know her.”

“I still do not get why you didn’t stay at the center and let us do our job.”

“She called me.” Marcus looked into his friend’s eyes. “Me. Not you.”

“I understand, but that’s your job. To listen and relay information.”

“You don’t understand a thing. Rebecca was terrified. For herself and her children. No one knew where they were for sure, and she was running out of time. If I didn’t at least try, what kind of person would I be, John?” He gritted his teeth. “I couldn’t live with that. Not again.”

Zur exhaled. “Sometimes we’re simply too late. It happens.”

“Well, I didn’t want it to happen this time.” Marcus thought of the vision he’d seen of Jane standing in the middle of the road. “I had a…hunch I was close. Then when Rebecca mentioned Colton had seen flying pigs, I remembered this place. Jane and I used to buy ribs and chops from the owner, before it closed down about seven years ago.”

“And that led you here to the farm.” Zur’s voice softened. “Good thing your hunch paid off. This time. Next time, you might not be so lucky.”

“There won’t be a next time, John.”

A smirk tugged at the corner of Zur’s mouth. “Uh-huh.”

“There won’t.”

Zur shrugged and headed for the ambulance.

Under a chaotic sky, Marcus stood at the edge of the river as tears cascaded from his eyes. The night’s events hit him hard, like a sucker punch to the gut. He was submerged in a wave of memories. The first call, Rebecca’s frantic voice, Colton crying in the background. He knew that kind of fear.  He’d felt it before. But last time, it was a different road, different woman, different child.

He shook his head. He couldn’t think of Jane right now. Or Ryan. He couldn’t reflect on all he’d lost. He needed to focus on what he’d found, what he’d discovered in a faceless voice that had comforted him and expressed that it was okay to let go. 

He glanced at his watch. It was after midnight. 12:39, to be exact. He couldn’t believe how his life had changed in not much more than two days.

“Marcus!”

He turned…






Cheryl Kaye Tardif is an award-winning, international bestselling Canadian suspense author. Her novels include Submerged, Divine Justice, Children of the Fog, The River, Divine Intervention, and Whale Song, which New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice calls “a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart…a beautiful, haunting novel.”

She is now working on her next thriller.

Cheryl also enjoys writing short stories inspired mainly by her author idol Stephen King, and this has resulted in Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories (collection of shorts) and Remote Control (novelette eBook).

In 2010 Cheryl detoured into the romance genre with her contemporary romantic suspense debut, Lancelot’s Lady, written under the pen name of Cherish D’Angelo.

Booklist raves, “Tardif, already a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border.”





Giveaway:


KINDLE FIRE + REsQMe Emergency Tool (featured in the novel and was donated by the company)
*The Kindle Fire HD or Kobo Arc 7 will be awarded IF I make New York Times or USA Today bestsellers lists, so the more people share my event, the better chance I’ll be giving one away. The other prizes will be awarded no matter what happens.


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Book Promotional Post: SCARLET REVENGE

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Scarlet Revenge – PROMO Blitz

By Ann McGinnis

Date Published: January 21, 2014

Romantic Suspense

The FBI doesn’t know what to do with Analyst Caycee Scarlet. She’s brash, brilliant & brutally relentless when tracking a serial killer. But she also has a temper, problems with authority figures and recognizing the chain of command.

Things go sideways for Caycee when she uncovers a lead that saves the Omega Killer’s latest victim. Rather than working the system and making nice with her pompous boss, sparks fly and she gets into an altercation with the lead Special Agent on the case, resulting in a transfer to another assignment.

Caycee finds herself transferred to an FBI interrogation facility where she assesses the most dangerous of criminals in custody. She struggles to get over the loss of her dream job, but her new boss, handsome Special Agent Gil Graham, may soften the blow. Sparks, of a different variety, fly between the Special Agent and his new Analyst, as they work together to crack the most difficult cases.

Just when Caycee’s wounds are healing from her expulsion on the Omega Killer team, she is dragged back into the thick of it. Caycee and her new team are front and center, focused on an interview of a bombing suspect, when Omega comes looking for revenge. His attack wounds her team, leaving Caycee with only one option for help—the devastatingly handsome bombing suspect. It will take all of Caycee’s wits, and a kiss for luck, to stop Omega and save her co-worker.

EXCERPT

Chapter One

Our steps echoed down the stark hallway. Clean. Institutional. And utterly amazing. Caycee Scarlet was finally walking along the hallowed hallways of the FBI. It was a good day for me.

“Say nothing, Scarlet,” Special Agent in Charge Tony Wilkes ordered. He threw me a look over his shoulder. “Even if someone asks you a question, keep your mouth shut.” He laughed to himself. “No one will ask you a question.”

Wilkes had already made it clear that I was the newest member of the Omega Killer Task Force. As such, I should listen more than talk, act fast when given orders, and let the seasoned team members guide my every move. It seemed like the equivalent of an FBI-whipping boy. Or girl, in my case. I didn’t care. Everyone started at the bottom. I was ready to put in the time needed to earn their respect.

At least, I looked good in a form-fitting black suit. It was more than I could afford, but I figured I would live in the outfit. Besides, it sent a message. I valued my appearance, even if I had to dress like a man, I’d still look like a woman.

I’d had the suit cut to fit my curves, which were on the athletic side. My auburn hair pulled into a no-nonsense ponytail. It hung past my shoulders, showing off my best feature – my eyes. As a window into my soul, they were unflinching. I did admire my own intelligence, probably a character flaw, but hopefully that wouldn’t show in my eyes. The traits I wanted to show: no nonsense, quick witted, relentless.

“You get the crap jobs,” Wilkes said, acting as if his honesty was attractive. A few hours in the gym and hair implants, maybe. Not that I didn’t find bald men attractive, just not this one. “I can’t lie,” he continued, “we’ll be throwing you every crap job that this case delivers, but you’re on a big case. That don’t happen to many newbies.”

I wasn’t that new, but I guessed he didn’t count the eight months of testing and background checks. I did. Or my training at Quantico. It all counted to me.

The agency gave us two years to prove ourselves. After that, candidates either earned their spot or were let go. I couldn’t imagine putting in all that time and failing.

I had a feeling success would require long hours and serious ass-kissing. I just needed to find someone with a cute ass. It sure wasn’t Wilkes.

We passed three large rooms filled with personnel. One looked to be the size of a football field filled with cubicles. “You’ll be in here,” Wilkes waved, “but first I want you to see the Dugout.”

He led me to a large conference room, its walls filled with crime photos, running news feeds and a huge whiteboard for pertinent case data. “The Omega Killer is priority number one,” Wilkes said, opening the conference room door for me. “This is where the main players are at bat.”

I slowed at the door, sensing a real sports theme to the way he liked to operate. Perhaps one day, I’d be his most valuable player. It looked competitive, though. Wilkes’s team already consisted of veteran agents and analysts. They seemed a cohesive group, working in unison to stop a psychotic killer.

Wilkes quickly ran through Omega’s deadly stats, but he didn’t need to bother. I knew the case inside and out. Killers were my hobby.

I made the mistake of saying that to a date once. I never saw a man escape faster, admonishing me by exclaiming: “You’re sick, truly sick.” Hopefully, my academic interest in killers wouldn’t repel men in the FBI.

Not that I was here to find a man, but I was twenty-eight and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake the feeling that somewhere in this organization was my perfect match. After all, I needed a man who liked to catch killers.

“Are you listening to me?” Wilkes sounded irritated.

“Yes, sir,” I answered. “The Omega Killer marks his victims’ forehead with the sign of the Omega. All indications are that it signals the moment he’s ready to make the fatal cut, into his victim’s left breast. Such a wound, based on other serial killers, suggests Omega has mommy issues, but I personally believe that it signals a desire to find love.”

Wilkes made a face at me. Clearly he did not care for my analysis. “That’s not what I was talking about. Geez, he wants to find love? Table that thought, quickly, and get back in the game.”

He raised his arms, showing off the Dugout. “Welcome to the nerve center of our investigation. We call this the show,” he said, then clapped his hands together to get the room’s attention. “Everyone, this is Intelligence Analyst Caycee Scarlet.”

The agents, analysts and techs turned from their work. Some at laptops along one side of a long mahogany conference table and others working on reports across from them. Several agents were standing, talking in a small group. They barely looked over at me, too busy for someone below them on the FBI food chain. The analysts nodded an acknowledgement. Matter-of-fact. No smiles. No words of welcome.

I gave a half-hearted nod to the room, hoping I’d make a better impression later. Probably much later, if I was reading the total lack of interest correctly. It must be the pressure of catching Omega. Tension hung in the room. With twelve victims to date, catching the killer had them all wound up.

Wilkes pointed to a side table stacked with boxes. The top one filled with old cell phones, victim personal effects and police reports. “We need them properly catalogued. You know, a searchable database. I’m told you were the most anal student in your class. Go at it.”

His voice trailed off, but I didn’t know if he’d stopped talking or I’d stopped listening. Maybe a little of both, because I read the whiteboard. One of the hand-scribbled numbers was written incorrectly.

Without thinking, I went over to the board and used the heel of my right hand to wipe off an area code. Everyone in the room stopped working and screamed at me.

“What have you done?” Wilkes shouted louder than anyone else.

I came out of my trance and blinked at him. Whatever I said next could make or break me, so I said nothing.

“Every piece of information is vital to solving the case,” he scolded. He turned to the room. “Can we fix it? What was that number?”

Blank stares.

I quickly picked up a dry erase marker and wrote the numbers back on the board. It was only three digits.

Screams went up all around me again.

“What?” I asked. “That’s the number I erased. But it’s wrong. It’s a phone number, right? Someone transposed the area code. 3-7-1 is not an area code, but 7-3-1 is New Jersey.”

No one screamed at me that time, but their looks were deadly.

“Is that right?” Wilkes asked the room. His eyes darted from the whiteboard to the closest agent. He wanted confirmation before his head exploded.

“Shit,” the agent said.

Wilkes grabbed his head.

The agent couldn’t look at me. “She’s right, sir.”

“Okay, we’re okay, fix it and double-check everything that goes on the board, people,” Wilkes barked.

The agent took the dry erase marker from me and fixed the numbers. Wilkes waved two fingers at a petite woman with raven hair twisted into a bun. “Take care of this.” He pointed at me.

FBI Analyst Nina Dunbar instantly responded. She rolled her eyes and grabbed a stack of boxes, indicating with her elbow that I was to take the rest. “Follow me,” she sighed. “Consider this your first and last favor.”

I shot a glance at Wilkes, but he already had his nose in a file folder, barking orders to the closest agent. He had no time for me. No one did. I exited the conference room, utterly deflated by my welcome to the FBI.



Ann McGinnis


 photo Ann20Photo_zps844d346c.jpgAnn McGinnis started writing romantic suspense to combine two things— thrillers & foreplay! Connect with Ann and upcoming news about the Scarlet Suspense Series:

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On Pinterest: pinterest.com/scarletsuspense

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Book Blast: KILLING BLISS by EC Sheedy

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Killing Bliss – PROMO Blitz

By E C Sheedy

Date Published: June 2013


Romantic Suspense

One night. Two bullets. Three runaways.

Addy Michaels, living her careful life on a forgotten back road, thinks she’s safe–that her past and its corpses are long buried. Surely after fifteen years the cops have quit looking for the street kids believed to have kidnapped a baby and killed their prostitute foster mother, Belle Bliss.

Addy couldn’t be more wrong.

A cold case. Hot again, when the missing child’s grandmother hires renowned profiler Cade Harding to find her grandson. Cade tracks Addy to her safe haven in a remote area of Washington state. Their attraction to each other is immediate, dangerous, and badly timed because…

Cade isn’t alone.

A twisted killer, faceless and unknowable, follows in Cade’s footsteps–on the hunt for anyone who can tell the truth about killing Bliss.

All roads lead to Addy.

EXCERPT

Cade looked at Stan and Susan, two aging lovers—and he’d decided they were definitely lovers. Susan’s eyes were wide, expectant. Stan’s were judgmental and pissed off.

Cade turned to Susan, genuinely puzzled. “Why now?” he asked. “After all these years, why ask me to investigate now?”

“Mainly because I didn’t know, until your mother’s funeral, that you could help. It was your wife who told me what you did, how successful you were. She was very proud of you, you know.” She paused. “As for your mother? Whenever I asked about you, she said very little, other than you’d ‘taken off and left her alone, just like your father.”

Cade might have protested, except for the glint of understanding in Susan’s eyes, an understanding that no doubt came from years of her lending his mother money. He didn’t bother defending himself, say how he’d kept in touch with his mother until she died and sent a regular monthly check. His business.

“That it?” he asked, wanting to end the conversation.

“No. The big reason is Frank Bliss is being paroled after serving seven years for manslaughter.”

Stan interjected. “Go back a bit, Susie.”

She pursed her lips. “A few months after the murder, I met with Frank Bliss. I’d hoped to learn something the police hadn’t—stupid, I know—but…” She took a few steps, then turned back to face him, her expression defiant. “Ever since, I’ve felt that boy knew more than he’d told.”

“You ‘felt’?” Even though Cade’s career as a profiler centered on building a whole loaf from discarded chaff, he’d learned to distrust the I felt phrase—so often too close to its sister phrase, I wish, to be worthwhile.

“I figured you’d glom on to that word, but regardless, I’ll stand by it. Frank Bliss was either lying or not telling everything he knew.”

“If you consider his mother was brutally murdered—literally before his eyes—why would he lie? What do you think he’d gain from it?”

“I have no idea,” she said. “But ever since the murder, Frank Bliss has been in jail more than he’s been out. I suspect he lies for all kinds of reasons.”

“And his brother?”

Stan answered. “Dead. Knifed in an alley after a fight in some club. About three years after the murder.”

“Unlucky family,” Cade said. “A good psychologist might say it was his mother’s murder that turned Frank bad in the first place.”

“He’d be wrong,” Susan said, “because Frank didn’t like his mother.”

“He told you that?”

“He didn’t have to. It was in his face, in his eyes. I think he was happy she was dead.”

“Even if you’re right, it doesn’t prove—”

She stopped him with a raised hand, her eyes coal hard and direct. “If he didn’t care about his mother, he certainly wouldn’t care about a sixteen-month-old baby. Whatever his reasons, I think he lied.” She waved her hand in a frustrated action, her voice rose. “Maybe he killed his mother, maybe the lies were to protect himself, or his kid brother—”

“That’s a lot of maybes, Susan.” Cade said quietly. “Besides, you said the police checked Brett’s alibi.”

“They could be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.”

The room went quiet, and Stan arched a brow and looked at Cade, his expression bordering on sympathetic. “Susie hasn’t let this case go since she found out about Josh. She’s not about to stop now,” he said.

Maybe not, but Cade knew they’d stepped hip deep into the realm of conjecture and magical thinking on a murder that occurred fifteen years ago. “It’s a waste of time. Mine and yours,” Cade said. He hadn’t left WSU to get mired in someone else’s problem, someone else’s grief—or to work a case with a serious case of freezer burn. He’d walked this walk before. Swampland in a fog. “I’m sorry,” he said again, more firmly this time. “I can’t help you.”

Again the room fell to silence, broken finally by Susan’s heavy sigh.

“I didn’t want to do this,” she said. “But you leave me no choice.” She met his eyes, her gaze unwavering. “You do this for me, Cade, and I’ll forget what your mother owed me, which over the years came to over sixty-five thousand dollars.”

She might as well have hit him in the gut with a two-by-four. His breath swooshed out, then he shook his head, muttered, “Son-of-a-bitch.”

“No,” Susan stated in a clear, measured tone. “I’m the mother of a dead daughter who’s missing her grandson. Sons-of-bitches don’t even come close.”

***

Addy picked up her paint gear, straightened, and let her gaze drift over Star lake. Ruffled by the wind, it was a blanket of rippling diamonds in the afternoon sun. She swiveled, her gaze feasting on the tiny property: the cabins, ten of them sporting new paint jobs and looking proud and pretty, the fresh gravel she’d laid in the driveway, and the new sign in amusing fifties-style lettering she’d had done for over the office door. All of it her work, her dream, her safety net.

She headed for the maintenance shed, but hadn’t taken more than three steps before she heard a car turn off the highway and scrunch its way along her new gravel.

She looked over her shoulder to see a Cherokee—maybe three or four years old—pull up to the office steps. A man and a dog—probably the same age as the truck—got out. Knowing Toby would handle them, Addy continued on to the shed and stowed her supplies neatly on the shelves.

The man was coming out of the office as she approached. The big yellow dog, who’d been sitting outside the door, got up, wagging its tail and wiggling its rear end as if he’d been abandoned for a month rather than the few minutes it had taken for his owner to check in.

There were three steps up to the office door. From the bottom one, she said, “Friendly?” And nodded at the dog.

The man smiled and patted the dog’s head. “A teddy bear, especially if there’s food around.”

“Does he have a name?” She ran a hand along the silky fur on his back. She really should get a dog… if she stayed.

“Redge.” He shifted his gaze from the dog and met hers. “What about you?”

Her nerves jangled, and she tucked her hands in the pockets of her overalls. “Me?” she said, sounding confused and stupid and knowing she was neither.

“Name. Do you have one?”

She pulled her hands from her pockets, stuck one out straight as a lance, and said, “Addy Michaels. I’m the owner of Star Lake.”

She wasn’t sure, but she thought she saw him blink a couple of times, his eyes sharpen. He definitely hesitated before taking her hand, then smiled as if he was obliged to, kind of cool and polite. “Addy. I’m Cade Harding. Nice to meet you.”

“Likewise. I take it you’ll be staying with us?” She dropped to one knee to pet the dog, and get out from under his eyes, which suddenly seemed a bit too intense.

“A couple of days at least.” He hesitated. “Maybe more.”

She got to her feet, risked looking up at him. He resembled Gus a little, or how she imagined Gus would look with a few years on him. Dark hair, dark eyes, a bit of stubble around the chin, body on the lean side. Gus’s face would be harder though, colder, not so… bookish or calm. And Gus’s eyes were a strange amber brown, nothing at all like Cade Harding’s, which were a green color that reminded Addy of cedar boughs. “You sound like a man without a destination.”

He didn’t smile this time, but he did tilt his head a bit. Her nerves skittered again when his gaze fixed on her. “As destinations go this will do just fine.”

About the Author:
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EC Sheedy

EC Sheedy lives and writes on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. With the ocean a few steps from her door and Zuke, a 110 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback, sleeping on the sofa in her office, she considers herself one very lucky writer. But her real luck is being married to Tim, her first and final husband.

EC writes both contemporary romance and romantic suspense, the latter because sometimes a nasty and conniving villain pops into my head and she just has to get him out.

She dislikes cooking.

She dislikes nosy people.

She dislikes too many rainy days in a row.

She dislikes snakes.

And the only word she hates is hate—especially when used as a verb.

Authors Links

Website | Tumblr | Twitter

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Book Showcase – DIRTY WATER by Richard Hacker



Dirty Water by Richard Hacker
ISBN: 9781927454459 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00D4UIRY8 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Champagne Books 
Release date: May 28, 2013


An open and shut case of vandalism leaves more questions than answers for PI Nick Sibelius, as he untangles a knot of egomania, desire and greed. When entrepreneur Dan Hoyt makes a deal with virtual gaming icon, Izzy Zydeco, to partner in a desalination project Hoyt begins to count his money. Unknown to Hoyt, his partner has bigger and more insidious plans, which involves betraying a major drug cartel and, in a twisted business strategy to build a customer base for desalinated water, contaminating the Austin water supply for the next century. Working with a covert Homeland Security agent and past love, MaryLou and his new partner, Theresa, Nick must thwart Izzy and ultimately choose between justice and saving Theresa’s life. Water is up for grabs in Texas and Nick discovers that H2O is a dirty business.





About the author:

Richard Hacker’s novel, TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, released August, 2012 by Champagne Books was a 2011 Writer’s League of Texas (WLT) finalist, where in addition, SHAPER EMERGENCE won best novel in the Science Fiction category. He is a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. 

After living many years in Austin, Texas where he worked as a leadership coach, public speaker and management trainer, he moved with his high school sweetheart to Seattle. While he misses the big skies of Texas, Richard has grown fond of the Pacific Northwest. His writing partner, a springer spaniel named Jazz, helps with proofreading and ball fetching. 

DIRTY WATER, the next novel in the Nick Sibelius series after TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, will be released June, 2013. He is currently working on the third book in the series, CHAIN REACTION, as well as a young adult fantasy entitled INKER WARS: THE FIVE PENS OF JOHANN.


Connect with the author: 

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