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REVIEW: POWER STRUGGLE By Carolyn Arnold

Welcome to the review tour for POWER STRUGGLE by Carolyn Arnold.  Carolyn Arnold will award a print copy of IN THE LINE OF DUTY to a randomly drawn commenter. (US, Canada, UK only)  You can follow the tour here:  https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2017/10/review-tour-power-struggle-by-carolyn.html

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

POWER STRUGGLE

by Carolyn Arnold

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GENRE: Suspense/Mystery

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BLURB:

 One hit man who’s back for revenge.

One detective who’s not going down without a fight.

It’s been ten months since Detective Madison Knight almost died at the hands of Russian Mafia hit man Constantine Romanov. She hasn’t seen hide nor hair of him since he escaped police custody and fled to Russia soon after his arrest, except now her latest murder investigation gives her reason to believe he’s back in town. Seeing as the victim is the man who killed her grandfather, her perspective may be a little skewed, but with the MO smacking of Constantine and the victim’s connections to the mob, she finds it hard to be objective. Still, she’s doing her best to consider all the evidence.

When she receives a threatening letter from Constantine, however, her suspicions are confirmed. And he’s made it abundantly clear that not only does he plan to finish what he started but he has her family and loved ones in the crosshairs, too. Madison vows to do whatever it takes to save them, but as the hours race by, the body count rises. And the stakes only get higher when Madison’s sister, Chelsea, goes missing.

Now, Madison’s only play is to take Chelsea’s disappearance for what it really means: Constantine is calling Madison out for one final showdown. And they won’t both survive…

 

Excerpt:

Yasmine was set up in interrogation room one. There was something about questioning a potential murder suspect in this formal setting that gave law enforcement the edge. Even an innocent person could find themselves unravelling under the pressure, and the mind is good at playing games. It can make one feel guilty when they’re not, and that’s why it was crucial to ask the right questions and be able to read people accurately.

Madison and Terry were about to go in. She had one hand on the doorknob and she was carrying a water bottle for Yasmine in the other when Sergeant Winston called out to her.

“Knight, wait!” Winston sounded winded, and when she turned around, his face was red and his brow was sweaty, and he was panting. “Is it too much to ask for you to come to me? No, I have to go chasing you around the station. What is the update on the Deer Glen homicide?”

“There’s not a lot to say yet.” Madison slid a sideways glance to Terry.

Winston glanced at Terry, too, then back at Madison. He drew a pointed finger between them. “I saw that look. What aren’t you telling me?”

“The victim was Jimmy Bates,” Madison said nonchalantly.

Winston screwed up his brow. “Why does that name sound familiar?”

“He’s the man who served twenty-five years for killing my grandfather.” There, she’d delivered the facts with cool detachment.

Winston’s eyes snapped into alignment with Madison’s. “You should probably be taken off the case.”

“No.” She stood firm, peacocking her stance. “There’s no reason for that.”

He squared his shoulders. “Last I knew, I was the one to call the shots, Detective.”

“Listen, there’s no reason to take me off this case. I didn’t even know my grandfather.”

“He was still your grandfather,” the sarge said. “That makes this case personal.”

She wanted to counter with the fact that her grandfather had died nine years before she was born, but the defense fell flat even in her head. Instead, she locked her jaw and tilted up her chin. It was probably best that she remain quiet, but the sergeant seemed to be expecting her to say something.

“The man served his time,” she said.

Winston turned to Terry. “What are your thoughts on the matter?”

“If Madison says she has things under control, then she does.”

“But she didn’t say she has things under control.” Winston studied Madison. “Do you?”

She flashed him a cocky grin. “I like to think so.”

“I’m sure you do,” Winston stated sourly and pointed to the closed door. “Who’s in there? A suspect?”

“It’s Yasmine Stone, a woman who Bates was sleeping with,” Madison began. “She’s the one who found his body.”

Winston nodded. “Does she look good for the murder?”

Madison’s heart pounded. The similarities between Lillian Norton’s and Jimmy Bates’s murders crashed together in her mind. Her legs began to buckle thinking about Constantine being back in town, but she managed to muster her strength without warranting the men’s attention. “It’s too early to say.”

REVIEW:

Madison Knight’s nemesis Constantine is back in this story.  He almost killed her previously and the Mafia hit man is back for revenge.  Now he is threatening Madison’s family.  Can she protect her sister Chelsea and her sister’s family, her parents, and Troy her boyfriend? Madison is having commitment issues with Troy and now they are being threatened.  I love the character Madison Knight, she is a great detective and I think this series would make a great TV show.  I received this book as an arc for a honest review.

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Website – http://carolynarnold.net/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

AMAZON:  Power Struggle (Detective Madison Knight series Book 8)

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REVIEW: POWER STRUGGLE By Carolyn Arnold

One hit man who’s back for revenge.

One detective who’s not going down without a fight.

It’s been ten months since Detective Madison Knight almost died at the hands of Russian Mafia hit man Constantine Romanov. She hasn’t seen hide nor hair of him since he escaped police custody and fled to Russia soon after his arrest, except now her latest murder investigation gives her reason to believe he’s back in town. Seeing as the victim is the man who killed her grandfather, her perspective may be a little skewed, but with the MO smacking of Constantine and the victim’s connections to the mob, she finds it hard to be objective. Still, she’s doing her best to consider all the evidence.

When she receives a threatening letter from Constantine, however, her suspicions are confirmed. And he’s made it abundantly clear that not only does he plan to finish what he started but he has her family and loved ones in the crosshairs, too. Madison vows to do whatever it takes to save them, but as the hours race by, the body count rises. And the stakes only get higher when Madison’s sister, Chelsea, goes missing.

Now, Madison’s only play is to take Chelsea’s disappearance for what it really means: Constantine is calling Madison out for one final showdown. And they won’t both survive…

Series Information

What to expect from the Detective Madison Knight series:

Murder. Investigation. The pursuit of justice. Do you love trying to figure out whodunit? How about investigating alongside police detectives from the crime scene to the forensics lab and everywhere in between? Do you love a strong female lead? Then I invite you to meet Detective Madison Knight as she solves murders with her male partner, utilizing good old-fashioned investigative work aided by modern technology.

This is the perfect book series for fans of Law & OrderCSIBlue BloodsRizzoli & IslesWomen’s Murder Club, and Hawaii Five-O.

Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Power Struggle (Detective Madison Knight series)

Death was not discriminatory, but murder was certainly selective. At least that’s what Major Crimes detective Madison Knight had learned in her twelve years with the Stiles PD.

She looked down at the male victim. He was single, fifty-nine, and lying on the king-size mattress in his master bedroom. Silver sheets were covering him to his hips, leaving his upper body bare and exposing multiple stab wounds to his chest and abdomen. Blood was everywhere, staining the bedding and spattered on the walls and ceiling.

Normally, being immersed in such a messy murder scene would make Madison’s stomach churn. She’d most certainly feel a burning drive to get justice for the victim. But this time, she was devoid of emotion, flatlined like the man on the bed. If anything, there was lingering bitterness and underlying anger. Because she knew the victim. Jimmy Bates. The man who had killed her grandfather.

Because of Bates, her mother had lost her father as a teenager and her grandmother had to bury the love of her life before Madison was even born. And all this because Bates’s father had been the numbers man for the branch of the Russian Mafia that operated out of Stiles, and Madison’s grandfather, a police sergeant, had put him away.

Madison pinched her eyes shut briefly. A darker part of her was finding some sort of redemption in the fact that Bates had exited the world not of his own volition. Just as he had snuffed out her grandfather’s life, someone had taken Bates’s. A working out of Karma as it were…

“Are you all right?” asked her partner of seven years, Terry Grant. He had a light complexion and never had a blond hair out of place, always ran before breakfast, was a loving husband and father to a baby girl named Danielle. He was three years younger than Madison’s thirty-six.

She turned to see that he hadn’t come into the room alone. Higgins, the first officer on scene and her former training officer, stood next to him. Both men had given her time to be alone with the scene and Bates after learning the vic’s identity.

“I’m fine.” Her response had come out way too quickly to be believable.

She looked back at the body. Both his arms were over his head and tied to the barred, wooden headboard with zip ties. She let her gaze trail down to his ankles, to see if those were also restrained, but they were still covered. She’d have to wait until the scene was processed to find out.

Given the number of stab wounds he had, though, it was likely that both his arms and legs had been bound, which indicated that the killer knew where to strike to delay death and invoke torture. While the former indicated a professional, the latter suggested the killer may have been after something.

Madison scanned the room. A television was mounted on the wall at the end of the bed, and it was on at a low volume and tuned into a popular crime drama.

Odd how reality can mimic fiction.

“Winston should have sent someone else.” Higgins sounded apologetic for the Major Crimes sergeant’s decision to include her in the case.

She met his gaze and dismissed his comment with a wave. “He probably didn’t even know the ID on the vic when he made the call.” She returned her gaze to Bates, analyzing whether he’d paid and suffered enough for his wrongdoings. In life, he’d served a full twenty-five-year sentence, but when he’d gotten released nineteen years ago, it hardly seemed like enough punishment. Was his murder finally enough to satisfy her personal scales of justice?

As her mind relaxed, and she took in the scene, she sensed a familiarity about it. The numerous stab wounds, the bound wrists…

The woman was laid out on the couch, her arms open wide, one resting against the back of the sofa, the other raised in the air, its wrist twisted back at an unnatural angle. Her torso was stained red with blood, which extended to the sofa and the floor. It was as if a can of red paint had been dumped on top of her.

“It looks like she was stabbed dozens of times. The killer must be a professional, too.”

At the time, bile had risen in Madison’s throat. The odor, the sight—it had been all-encompassing.

The woman’s name had been Lillian Norton, and the man who’d killed her had been a Russian Mafia hit man by the name of Constantine Romanov—the same hit man who had almost succeeded in raping and killing Madison ten months prior. Lillian’s longtime boyfriend had worked as an attorney for the mob, and she’d been tortured for information.

With Bates’s father’s involvement with the Russian mob, as well, it didn’t seem like it could be a coincidence that Bates’s murder resembled Lillian’s. And all the stab wounds, the bondage, the time it would have taken, and the seeming lack of concern over getting caught fit with Constantine’s personality. But if Madison was going to entertain the idea that Bates was killed by the hit man, that meant—

God, no, please don’t tell me he’s back.

 

REVIEW:

Madison Knight’s nemesis Constantine is back in this story.  He almost killed her previously and the Mafia hit man is back for revenge.  Now he is threatening Madison’s family.  Can she protect her sister Chelsea and her sister’s family, her parents, and Troy her boyfriend? Madison is having commitment issues with Troy and now they are being threatened.  I love the character Madison Knight, she is a great detective and I think this series would make a great TV show.  I received this book as an arc for a honest review.

AMAZON:  Power Struggle (Detective Madison Knight series Book 8)
Author Bio

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Website – http://carolynarnold.net/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

 

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Review: Deadly Impulse (Detective Madison Knight Series) by Carolyn Arnold

NBTM_TourBanner_Goddess-Fish-Detective-Madison-Knight-Series-Banner

Welcome to my review stop for Deadly Impulse by Carolyn Arnold and the Detective Madison Series.  Carolyn will be awarding $25.00 USD via PayPal International to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter, as well as 1 hardcover of Ties That Bind to another randomly drawn winner and 1 paperback copy of Ties That Bind to one more randomly drawn winner – all via rafflecopter. These are available to the US, Canada, and the UK during the tour, and a 1 hardcover copy of Ties That Bind to a randomly drawn host,available to the US, Canada, and the UK.  You can follow the tour here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/07/nbtm-tour-detective-madison-knight.html

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

MediaKit_BookCover_DeadlyImpulses

GENRE: Police Procedural/ mystery/suspenseDeadly Impulse

Three murders occur within the span of twenty-four hours, but Detective Madison Knight is adamant they’re not looking for a serial killer. But can she prove it?
Book 6 in the series.
Looks aren’t the only things that can be deceiving…

When a sixty-eight-year-old woman is found dead outside the hospital in a wheelchair with an anti-abortion sign strapped to its back, Detective Madison Knight expects it to be an open-and-shut case. On the surface, there are no signs of foul play, but the deeper she digs, the more convoluted the homicide becomes. And when two more bodies appear, including those of a girl just barely old enough to drink and a homeless man, the direct links between the three murders are anything but simple.

Without a consistent MO, Madison doesn’t buy that a serial killer is on the loose, despite the conviction with which her ex-fiancé and fellow detective try to convince their superior. But Madison already has enough to juggle without having to defend her reputation. Debilitating flashbacks of being held hostage by the Russian Mafia mere months before haunt her on an almost daily basis, and the promises she made to herself while in captivity are becoming more and more difficult to keep. Learning to trust is hard enough without constant reminders of what destruction—fatal or otherwise—trusting the wrong person can cause.

Now, as both personal and professional friction within the department mounts, she and her partner, Terry, must figure out what motivation could span generations to cause someone to murder these people. But catching this killer is like grasping at straws, and grabbing the wrong one could mean losing not only her pride but also her boyfriend, her credibility, and her faith in humanity…

EXCERPT 

Chapter 1

APPARENTLY NOT EVEN A DEAD body could stop traffic.

Madison scanned the three-lane, westbound stream of cars. All of the drivers had somewhere to be. Even now, only a few braked to gawk at the investigation on the side of the road.

Squad cars with flashing lights cordoned off the right lane, and the officers were diverting traffic over. This was the busiest intersection in Stiles. With a population of about half a million, seventy-five thousand people passed through this section every hour. Shopping plazas with franchise restaurants and grocery stores occupied two of the four corners; the other two had health care buildings, including one of the city’s three hospitals, the largest of which was on the northeast side of the intersection.

Peace Liberty Hospital sat on acres of land with chain-link fencing running its perimeter. It was outside that fence that the deceased had been found.

Cole Richards, the medical examiner, was working over the body as Crime Scene Unit investigators Cynthia Baxter and Mark Andrews were busy taking pictures and collecting anything that might be evidence.

Cynthia headed up the crime lab. She was also Madison’s closest friend. Her strong genetics gave her the sexy librarian look, and she had wielded that power expertly over men until she got involved with Detective Lou Stanford of the Stiles PD. Now she was engaged. Three months had passed since the announcement, and Madison still hardly believed it some days.

Mark was the only man on the forensics team and the youngest of its four members. Both elements served to make him the target of blame and teasing. All in good fun, of course, even if he might not think so at times. He had long, dark hair that he tied back into a ponytail at the nape of his neck. His hairstyle and other mannerisms had most of his colleagues curious about his sexual preference. To date, it remained an enigma.

Madison lowered her sunglasses and took in the scene. It was midday and mid-July, and the sun was beating down with nondiscriminatory heat.

The deceased was an elderly woman, her identity unknown and age estimated to be in her late sixties or early seventies. She had a short cut of gray hair and wore a T-shirt and a skirt. She sat in a wheelchair on the side of the road, her head dipped to her chest at an unnatural angle. That position alone would disclose to anyone paying enough attention that she was dead.

It was a sad state when people were too preoccupied with their busy lives to notice an elderly woman on the side of the road like that. As it was, people would have passed in good quantity before the jogger who had found her had come along.

His name was Erik Marsh, and he was sitting in the back of a squad car providing his statement to the officers who had arrived first on scene. She and Terry would talk to him shortly. The people who found a body were always the first suspects.

The woman’s chair was on the grass beside the sidewalk, placing her closer to the fence than the road. Based on her thin arms and frail frame, she would have needed help to get there. A wooden board strapped to the back of the chair read, PUT AN END TO ABORTION.

“Protesters in this area are not uncommon, but what makes an older lady come out and sit in the hot sun with a sign strapped to her?” She asked the rhetorical question of her partner, ruminating on what brought the woman to this point.

Her partner, Terry Grant, was three years younger than she was and her total opposite. He loved running, and his hair was always perfect—rarely were one of his blond hairs out of place. Madison, on the other hand, hated mornings, so she stuck with a wake-up-and-wear-it cut. While she had a hard time making commitments, Terry was married to his sweetheart of just over five years. Annabelle was pregnant with their first child and due any day.

Madison continued. “Not to mention, why would she get involved in such an issue? Her child-birthing days are behind her.”

“She could have faced this issue earlier in life, or maybe a family member had? She could have been trying to keep things the way they used to be.”

“When was abortion legalized?”

“In most states, 1973. That would make her somewhere in her late twenties, early thirties, if she faced the issue herself.” Terry pulled his phone out and poised a finger over the screen. Despite Madison’s desire that he take notes on a lined pad, like other cops, he was adamant about embracing technology. His hardheaded determination was paying off, though, as his texting speed was improving.

“There’s no way she came alone. Someone must’ve brought her here. But was she dead when they dropped her off, or did she die sitting in this heat? My grandmother always wore a hat on a hot day.” She paced a few steps and brainstormed aloud. “I don’t think this woman chose to come here.”

“Good deduction,” Cole Richards stated matter-of-factly.

It was the only way Richards talked to her these days. Madison’s friendship with him used to be one based upon mutual respect, but things had changed when she questioned his ruling on a prior case. From there, she had dug into his personal past. If she could go back and change things she would.

Richards continued. “Her forearms show bruising to indicate she was in a struggle, but the cause of death still needs to be determined.”

Madison’s gaze fell to the woman’s wrists, marred in hues of purple. Heat surged through her, the fire of adrenaline blending with rage.

Richards’s dark skin pinched around his eyes as he squinted in the bright sun. “Based on the coloring of the contusions, they happened around the time of death.”

“And when was that?”

“I estimate time of death between twelve and eighteen hours ago. Her body is in full rigor.”

“You can’t narrow it down any more than that?” Madison asked.

Richards shook his head. “Liver temp will be off given the heat. I’ll know more once I get her back to the morgue and conduct a full autopsy.”

“When will that be?”

He shrugged. “I’ll let you know.”

Madison nodded. “So you don’t think she died here?” She hoped his answer would instill some faith in humanity. Surely if she’d been here for that length of time, someone would have seen her before Marsh.

“Again, I’ll let you know.”

“What about lividity? Doesn’t it tell you anything?” Terry asked.

Lividity was the settlement, or pooling, of blood in the body after death. If it showed in the woman’s buttocks and the backs of her thighs, she would have died in a sitting position. But that would’ve only told them she’d died in her chair, not her actual location.

“I’ll let you know once I conduct the autopsy. As for where she died, I will leave that up to you to determine.” Richards signaled for his assistant, Milo, to come with the stretcher and body bag. Sadness always soured Madison’s gut when the black plastic came out, ready to wrap the dead in its dark cocoon.

REVIEW:

This book has it all, murder and romance!  The author does a great job with the female lead, Detective Madison Knight.  She is a really in-depth character who loves her job and the fight for the victim.   Troy is the perfect man for her, SWAT and hawt!  The author does a wonderful job of making you work for the clues and to solve the puzzle of who committed the murders.  Loved it!!!

 

 

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_DetectiveMadisonKnight

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.
Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.
Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:
Website – http://carolynarnold.net/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold
And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.
This is the perfect book series for fans of Law & Order, CSI, Blue Bloods, Rizzoli & Isles, Women’s Murder Club, and Hawaii Five-O.
Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning: Ties That Bind, Justified, Sacrifice, Found Innocent, Just Cause, Deadly Impulse, In the Line of Duty, Life Sentence (Bonus Prequel).
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/McKinley-Mysteries-10-Book/dp/B0185RCLG0?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&ref=series_rw_dp_labf
Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Detective Madison Knight Series%22;jsessionid=12D53804BD435A2F2E755B6E568E4590.prodny_store02-atgap06?Ntk=P_Series_Title&Ns=P_Series_Number&Ntx=mode+matchall
iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ties-that-bind/id441096550?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/search?query=Detective%20Madison%20Knight%20Series&fcsearchfield=Series&seriesId=b3af2eed-1592-5c7d-9dec-e8e58f0368ef
You can also visit the author’s McKinley Mysteries Series page: http://carolynarnold.net/detective-madison-knight-series/

books-in-series-animated

BUY LINKS:
TIES THAT BIND
Ties that Bind, the first book in the series is FREE
Amazon: Ties That Bind ( Detective Madison Knight Series Book 1)
Barnes & Noble: http://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/7992314/type/dlg/http:/www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ties-that-bind-carolyn-arnold/1103504711
Apple iBooks: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/ca/book/ties-that-bind/id441096550?mt=11&at=1001l5GE
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=9781458072252
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=c82KCwAAQBAJ
BUY LINKS
JUSTIFIED
Amazon: Justified (Detective Madison Knight Series Book 2)
Barnes & Noble: http://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/7992314/type/dlg/http:/www.barnesandnoble.com/w/justified-carolyn-arnold/1107959989
Apple iBooks: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/ca/book/justified/id638517967?mt=11&at=1001l5GE
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=9781301740284
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=P17iCwAAQBAJ
BUY LINKS:
SACRIFICE
Amazon Sacrifice (Detective Madison Knight Series Book 3)
Barnes & Noble http://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/7992314/type/dlg/http:/www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sacrifice-carolyn-arnold/1116351821
Apple iBooks https://geo.itunes.apple.com/ca/book/sacrifice/id685061210?mt=11&at=1001l5GE
Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=9781301616145
Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=aF_iCwAAQBAJ
BUY LINKS
FOUND INNOCENT
Amazon Found Innocent (Detective Madison Knight Series Book 4)
Barnes & Noble http://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/7992314/type/dlg/http:/www.barnesandnoble.com/w/found-innocent-carolyn-arnold/1116875166
Apple iBooks https://geo.itunes.apple.com/ca/book/found-innocent/id703563814?mt=11&at=1001l5GE
Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=9781301714360
Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=WkvlCwAAQBAJ
BUY LINKS
JUST CAUSE
Amazon Just Cause (Detective Madison Knight Series Book 5)
Barnes & Noble http://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/7992314/type/dlg/http:/www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-cause-carolyn-arnold/1120008972
Apple iBooks https://geo.itunes.apple.com/ca/book/just-cause/id903380649?mt=11&at=1001l5GE
Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=9781501448676
Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=E0zlCwAAQBAJ
BUY LINKS
DEADLY IMPULSE
Amazon Deadly Impulse (Detective Madison Knight Series Book 6)
Barnes & Noble http://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/7992314/type/dlg/http:/www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deadly-impulse-carolyn-arnold/1122649796
Apple iBooks https://geo.itunes.apple.com/ca/book/deadly-impulse/id1039672903?mt=11&at=1001l5GE
Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=9781988064260
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LIFE SENTENCE

 

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New Release Review: IN THE LINE OF DUTY By Carolyn Arnold

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Police are People Too

“You experience the emotions, distractions, frustrations and successes of the characters in every chapter of In the Line of Duty. I found her heartfelt details to be spot on with a line-of-duty death. Being able to put such a tragic situation into words, is difficult in itself, but she does it with compassion, knowledge and respect for those in uniform who know what it is like to lose a brother or sister in blue.”
— Carl J. Harper, Training Officer, ERT (SWAT)

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Sadly, as humans, we tend to judge that which we don’t understand. And let’s be honest, most of us haven’t stood in the shoes of a police officer. We’ve never faced an armed subject at one o’clock in the morning or had to make life-and-death decisions on a daily basis. We’ve never had to focus in a traumatic situation and make a significant judgment call. We’ve never had to face families and friends who have been left behind and tell them that their loved one won’t be coming home.

In general, people either point fingers at the police or put them up on pedestals. No one is perfect, however, and sometimes that pedestal cracks. Instead of doing either of these things, though, I think it’s most important that we respect our law enforcement officers and accept that they are human, just like the rest of us. They have families and friends. They have feelings. They have hopes and dreams.

In the Line of Duty was inspired by my love of law enforcement, for those who serve and who have served, but I also wanted to write a book that showed the human side of policing. I wanted to paint a vivid picture that shows that police are people and illustrate how the loss of a brother in blue affects them—not only on a professional level but more importantly, on a personal one.

The characters in my book must carry on after a great loss to find the person who killed their fellow officer. Their grief tears apart relationships, changes people’s viewpoints, and has them acknowledging their own mortality, just as it would anyone.
So the next time you see a police officer, remind yourself that police are people, too, and deserve the same compassion and kindness as you or me.

–Carolyn Arnold
Author of In the Line of Duty (Detective Madison Knight series)

Excerpt from In the Line of Duty, Chapter 3:

Troy gripped the sink in the men’s washroom at the Stiles police station with both hands and stared at himself in the mirror. He’d lost men close to him before. The last one was two years ago, and the officer had been killed in a car accident while off duty. He’d left behind two kids and a wife. But Barry…he was different. Life always equaled death, of course. It was a simple equation to accept until it touched close to home. And that’s what Barry’s death was for him–personal.

Losing Barry made it clear just how dangerous this job could be and how fragile life was. One minute here, the next gone. Barry had just been pumping gas, a routine thing, something people did all the time without any thought to their safety. Those on the outside would say that’s the risk he took being in law enforcement. Yes, there was the chance any one of them wouldn’t return home from a shift, but it wasn’t something Troy consciously thought about before heading to work.

In fact, when serving in a SWAT capacity, he’d say it was one of the safest positions within the Stiles PD. SWAT had the toys, and when they showed up to manage a situation, it was often brought under control rather quickly. Even the majority of criminals didn’t want to tango with an AR-15 and armored vehicles. Besides, dwelling on one’s mortality wasn’t healthy. But when something like this happened to one of their own, it spurred on such self-reflection. It could have easily been him in the morgue, or one of his team members. Or Madison…

His insides quivered with rage as his heartbeat slowed with his grief. He squeezed his eyes shut.

“I’ve got Dad’s car tonight,” Barry says. “We’ll take it out on the back roads and see what she’s really capable of.”

“Your dad’s a cop, Barry,” Troy reminds him.

“So? What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.” Barry takes a few steps down the hall of their high school but stops and spins when Troy doesn’t follow. “Come on, man. Don’t make me take Lyman.”

Troy came back from his thoughts and opened his eyes to find himself staring at his reflection.

That night had been one of the best ever. Barry had sent the car airborne by racing over the railway tracks on the outskirts of the city. They’d even conned some seniors into getting beer for them and drank it by the tracks later that night.

Barry had made Troy feel alive…

Pain knotted in his chest, the regrets over skipping drinks with Barry last week paired with losing a part of his childhood somehow.

Troy pinched the bridge of his nose as the memories continued to rush over him.

“I just got my acceptance letter.” Barry holds the envelope in his hand. “This college has the hottest chicks… Not that it would matter to you.”

“What does that mean?”

“It’s Lauren and Troy sitting in a tree…” Barry sings.

“Seriously? You’re like a girl sometimes, you know that? A big, emotional girl.”

“Hey!” Barry punches him playfully in the arm.

Madison punched him in the arm sometimes, too…

God, what would he have done if Madison were the one who’d been killed?

You’ve reached the end of the excerpt, but In the Line of Duty is available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover from popular retailers.

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About In the Line of Duty:

He devoted his life to seeking justice. But would she get any for him?

It was an ordinary day for police officer Barry Weir. It was the end of shift, he was tired, and he just wanted to get home to his wife and kids. But someone had other plans for him, shooting him down and forcing him to make the ultimate sacrifice.

When news of Weir’s murder reaches the precinct, it leaves Detective Madison Knight and every cop in the Stiles PD itching for revenge. It cuts Madison’s boyfriend, colleague, and Weir’s childhood friend, Troy Matthews, deepest of all, driving him away from everyone he loves just when they need one another the most.

With evidence pointing to a gang-related drive-by, Madison and her team investigate the town’s seedy underbelly in search of justice for their fallen brother. But the deeper they dig, the more convoluted the case becomes. Now they need to figure out if this was a random shooting as part of a gang initiation, a straight-up hate crime, or a targeted kill. But with members of the Stiles PD under attack, they have to do it fast…before more officers pay with their lives.

REVIEW:

This story was gut wrenching with the emotions of the police officers an an officer goes down.  Madison vows to catch the shooter but the leads are all over the place.  Madison and Troy’s relationship suffers as he shuts her out as the officer shot was his best childhood friend.   The author did a wonderful job with the characters and their reactions and the bread crumb clues leave you entertained while not letting you know who did it.  This is one series you won’t know who did it until the END!

About the Detective Madison Knight Series:

Murder. Investigation. The pursuit of justice. Do you love trying to figure out whodunit? How about investigating alongside police detectives from the crime scene to the forensics lab and everywhere in between? Do you love a strong female lead? Then I invite you to meet Detective Madison Knight as she solves murders with her male partner, utilizing good old-fashioned investigative work aided by modern technology.

This is the perfect book series for fans of Law & Order, CSI, Blue Bloods, Rizzoli & Isles, Women’s Murder Club, and Hawaii Five-O.

Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning: Ties That Bind, Justified, Sacrifice, Found Innocent, Just Cause, Deadly Impulse, In the Line of Duty, Life Sentence (Bonus Prequel).

About the AuthorAuthor Pic

Carolyn Arnold is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series and has written nearly thirty books. Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark, POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

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And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

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Review: IN THE LINE OF DUTY (Detective Madison Knight) By Carolyn Arnold

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Welcome to my review stop for IN THE LINE OF DUTY by Carolyn Arnold.  Carolyn will be awarding a Paperback of Deadly Impulse US, Canada and UK Only ($25.00 USD PayPal International) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. You can follow the tour here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/07/review-tour-in-line-of-duty-by-carolyn.html

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GENRE: Mystery

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Her fellow officer has made the ultimate sacrifice, and Detective Madison Knight may have to lay it all on the line to bring his killer to justice. But with leads pointing in several directions, she has to narrow them down—and quickly—if she’s going to solve the case before anyone else gets hurt, including herself.

***

He devoted his life to seeking justice. But would she get any for him?

It was an ordinary day for police officer Barry Weir. It was the end of shift, he was tired, and he just wanted to get home to his wife and kids. But someone had other plans for him—shooting him down and forcing him to make the ultimate sacrifice.

When news of Weir’s murder reaches the precinct, it leaves Detective Madison Knight and every cop in the Stiles PD itching for revenge. It cuts Madison’s boyfriend, colleague, and Weir’s childhood friend, Troy Matthews, deepest of all, driving him away from everyone he loves, just when they need one another the most.

With evidence pointing to a gang-related drive-by, Madison and her team investigate the town’s seedy underbelly in search of justice for their fallen brother. But the deeper they dig, the more convoluted the case becomes. Now they need to figure out if this was a random shooting as part of a gang initiation, a straight-up hate crime, or a targeted kill. But with the Stiles PD under attack, they have to do it fast…before more people pay with their lives.

Excerpt:

Excerpt from Chapter 12

Troy was pacing the halls of the station, wandering one direction, then backtracking. If someone saw him, they’d think he’d lost his mind. And in a way, he had. It was then that he heard footsteps coming toward him. He found himself hoping it wasn’t Madison.

He took a few deep breaths, prepping himself to face a barrage of questions. And if he heard How are you doing? one more time, he might really lose his temper.

Barry had been dead for only a few hours. How exactly could anyone just shake that off?

“It got pretty heated in there.” His sister caught up to him and jacked a thumb over her shoulder toward the squad room, even though he was already around the corner and down another hallway.

“Don’t start.”

“Don’t start what exactly, Troy?” Andrea was resigning to her eldest sister voice, the one that rang through with an air of maturity and sense of being in charge.

“Anything, all right?” He turned his back on her and started to walk away.

“Have you even been over to see Joni and the girls yet?”

He stopped walking and took a deep breath. He didn’t bother to face her. “Don’t mother me, Andrea.”

“You can’t make this better. You can’t bring him back.”

Anger swelled in his chest and he was on the verge of tears, and he freaking hated it. This unraveling person he was becoming wasn’t who he really was. He was always put together. Reserved. In control. He took another breath and faced his sister. Her eyes were full of tears, and her facial features softened under his gaze.

Damn it! He didn’t need her pity. He’d be fine…on his own.

“Maybe you should sit this investigation out,” she said.

“Is that your sisterly advice?”

She lifted her chin, and her gaze flicked away.

“Andrea, don’t do this.” A heaviness sat on his chest, squeezing his heart and lungs as if they were in a vise.

“As the police chief, I have to look at the larger picture. Your emotional state isn’t the most conducive—”

“Fu—” He pointed a finger in her face and dropped it. “You know what? Do whatever the hell you have to. But you know that I’m the best person to have on this case. I won’t stop until Barry’s killer is behind bars.”

Silence stretched out between them. She was scanning his eyes, trying to read them.

“I’m probably making a big mistake here,” she started, pausing only to give him further scrutiny.

He wasn’t going to say another word. Why give her fodder? He was at her mercy. All he knew was if he tried to justify his abilities any more he’d officially be off the case. Still, it was hard to resist saying anything. He was about to say her name, ignore his gut telling him to keep quiet and plead his case, when she spoke.

“I’ll let you stay on the case.” Her gaze was laser-focused on him. “But you have to promise me something.”

He felt like his lungs could expand again. “Anything.”

“If you find it’s too much—” she put her hand up to stave off his defensiveness “—you promise to remove yourself from the investigation.”

He shook his head. “That’s not going to happen.”

Her eyebrows shot downward.

“As in, I’ve got this. And I pro—”

Another officer walked past them. Once he was out of earshot, Andrea put a hand on Troy’s shoulder and said, “Okay, but get over to see Joni.”

His heart sank in his chest. What was he supposed to say to Joni? Pile on more condolences, bury her so deep that she choked on the inevitable truth that her husband was gone?

“I’m sure she’d love to see you. Okay?”

Andrea was trying to make him accountable, but he had so much to do, didn’t he? He should at least get started with his men on gathering intel on the Hellions and pulling prior criminal history.

“Troy?”

His thoughts had gotten so carried away with the job, he’d almost forgotten her question. He met her eyes. “You’ve given me a second chance, and I’m not going to blow it.”

She tilted her head. “So when are you going to go over to see her?”

“There’s a lot to do.” Troy made a show of looking at his watch. “And time’s moving quickly. I’m of better use to Joni here—finding her husband’s killer.”

I’m not ready to be strong for her yet…

“All right, fine.” She sighed.

Fine was never fine for a woman, but he was just going to pretend it was and run with it. He waved to her as he headed for his desk.

 

REVIEW:

This story was gut wrenching with the emotions of the police officers an an officer goes down.  Madison vows to catch the shooter but the leads are all over the place.  Madison and Troy’s relationship suffers as he shuts her out as the officer shot was his best childhood friend.   The author did a wonderful job with the characters and their reactions and the bread crumb clues leave you entertained while not letting you know who did it.  This is one series you won’t know who did it until the END!

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:
Website – http://carolynarnold.net/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.
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New Release: Wanted (FBI Heat, #3) By Marissa Garner

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Book Title: Wanted (FBI Heat, #3)
Author: Marissa Garner
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Forever & Forever Yours | Grand Central Publishing Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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For San Diego’s elite FBI agents, risking their lives is standard procedure when it comes to capturing the city’s most dangerous criminals—but falling in love is the greatest risk of all.

Kat MacKenzie knows something is terribly wrong at the Diablo Beach Nuclear Power Plant, but she can’t figure out if it’s computer error, equipment malfunction, or human sabotage. Unfortunately, the only person she can trust with the problem is the man she left at the altar two years ago. If Dillon doesn’t already hate her, he surely will once he discovers why she abandoned him.

The last person he expects to call him is the woman who broke his heart. But FBI Special Agent Dillon O’Malley can’t ignore Kat’s plea for help—not when national security may be at stake. As enemies become clear and catastrophe threatens, can Kat and Dillon put the past behind them to save the day and secure their future?

meet the author

I’m a wife, writer, chocoholic, and animal lover, not necessarily in that order. As a little girl, I cut pictures of people out of my mother’s magazines and turned them into characters in my simple stories. Now I write sexy paranormal romantic suspense, steamy contemporary romance, and edgy romantic thrillers. I live in sunny Southern California with my husband, but enjoy traveling from Athens to Anchorage to Acapulco and many locations in between.

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AMAZON:  Wanted (FBI Heat)

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Release Day: Vengeance (A Valentine Shepherd Novel)By Shana Figueroa

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Book Title: Vengeance (A Valentine Shepherd Novel)
Author: Shana Figueroa
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Forever & Forever Yours | Grand Publishing
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Not every Valentine is a saint . . .

Corruption. Greed. Illicit sex. Murder. Private investigator Valentine Shepherd thinks she’s seen it all, and her strange ability to glimpse the future gives her an edge no one else in the world has. But when her fiancé is killed trying to exonerate his client, billionaire Max Carressa, Val makes it her personal mission to bring the people responsible to justice, no matter the cost. Convinced the two men are linked by more than attorney-client privilege, she enlists Max’s help in her investigation and gets more than she bargained for . . .
On the run, Val and Max must uncover who wants them dead and why. The answer leads them to a conspiracy that has Val herself at its center. She doesn’t understand how or why, but time is running out to expose the truth and escape the danger she knows is coming . . .

excerpt

Val sprinted down the narrow passage, crashing through mud puddles and leaping over bags of trash that littered her escape route. She followed the alley when it turned right, scanning her path for any opening into the street that might save her life. Before she found a way out, the alley dead-ended at a tarp-covered chain-link fence with barbed wire on top and a padlock trapping her inside.

“No!” Val yanked on the padlock. It didn’t budge. She tried the only door in the alley, a metal behemoth flush with the brick—locked. “Goddammit, no!” She kicked the door, and it barely moved.

Val pulled out her pistol and pressed herself into the corner of the alley’s dead end. She’d been in firefights before while in the military, though not against American citizens, and not alone. She didn’t stand much of a chance against two armed cops when she had nowhere to hide and no cover for support. In all her visions she’d never seen her own death. There was no reason this couldn’t be it.

But she’d be damned if she was going down without a fight. Val planted her feet on the wet pavement, gun trained at the alleyway’s bend, ready to shoot the first thing that entered her line of sight. The rain picked up, an icy October shower that matted her hair to her face and would have chilled her to the bone if not for the wild adrenaline racing through her veins. For what seemed like an eternity she listened to the approaching footsteps and stood her ground, waiting to die.

Then she heard it—a chain rattling. Val ripped her gaze away from where her killers were due to arrive any second to see a set of bolt cutters slip through the fence and snap the padlock off. The chain slinked to the ground, and someone pulled the gate open.

One of her pursuers had somehow doubled back, and now they surrounded her.

Val spun around to face her flanker, finger on the trigger to let loose a hail of bullets into Sten or his friend’s smug face. She gasped and just barely stopped herself from firing as she registered Max Carressa standing in front of her, holding the bolt cutters and recoiling from her gun. She hardly recognized him in jeans and a black motorcycle jacket, a baseball cap deflecting the rain out of his startled face, though his gorgeous eyes were a dead giveaway.

“What the hell?” she said.

Max grabbed her arm. “Come on!” He glanced behind her, where Chet’s murderers thundered up, just around the corner. “Do you wanna die here or not?”

meet the author

Figueroa Shana

Shana Figueroa is a published author who specializes in romance and humor, with occasional sojourns into horror, sci-fi, and literary fiction.

She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two young daughters, and two old pugs. She enjoys reading, writing (obviously), martial arts, video games, and SCIENCE—it’s poetry in motion! By day, she serves her country in the US Air Force as an aerospace engineer. By night, she hunkers down in a corner and cranks out the crazy stories lurking in her head.

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Release Day: DEADLINE By Jessica James

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Book Title: Deadline
Author: Jessica James
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: April 9, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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He’s a relentless homicide detective. She’s an uncompromising journalist.
Neither desires to work together—but they’ll never uncover the truth alone.

Landing a front page headline isn’t why reporter Caitlin Sparks is investigating a string of suspicious deaths connected to the U.S. State Department. She has a personal stake in finding the killer.

Detective Blake Madison has a connection to the murders too, and will risk anything to uncover the truth. But a journalist is the last person he’d rely on to help him solve a crime—especially one whose trail of evidence leads back to him.

Joining forces becomes essential as the body count continues to grow. Someone powerful doesn’t want the truth to come out—and will stop at nothing to make sure no one talks.

On the run with nowhere to turn, the couple devises a plan to expose the killer. The risk is great and the chance of success small, but the ultimate outcome is something neither one of them envisioned.

excerptCaitlin stood in the dining room and surveyed the large, ornately carved table and twelve matching chairs. A fire glowed in a large-mouthed fireplace that boasted a beautiful cherry-colored mantel.Gracing the walls on the other three sides were foxhunting paintings—typical of dining rooms in this part of Virginia.

“Here you go.” The detective set the mug down on the table and took a seat. His sleeves were rolled up now and the tie had disappeared completely. The way his dark hair and complexion stood out against the crisp, white shirt he wore made him look a little more amiable and pleasant than the last time they’d met. But when he leaned forward with his arms on the table, Caitlin could see why he had such a reputation as a menacing interrogator. The look in his eyes turned intense and commanding—the kind of look that both drew her in and made her want to run away. Fast.

“I don’t usually do this.”

“What’s that?”

“Talk to reporters.” He exaggerated the word to make clear it was a profession extremely distasteful to him.

Caitlin refused to be intimidated or swayed. “Thanks for clearing that up.”

“You’re welcome,” he said, matching her sarcasm with some of his own. “And just to be clear, I’m no longer on the case so I don’t have anything to give you.”

“Excuse me?” Caitlin’s tone revealed her confusion and surprise.

“I told you I’m off the case.” He appeared surprised that she was surprised.

“Yes, and I’m off the story. But I thought we were sharing.”

“Minor correction. You’re sharing.”

Caitlin blinked. And blinked again. She thought he must be joking, but the expression on his face did not suggest that intent. “If you’re no longer actively working the case, why am I sharing with you?”

He lifted his mug and took a drink of coffee as he pondered the question.

“I don’t like what I’m being told. I want to see if you have anything to substantiate my gut feeling.”

Caitlin stood her ground. “In my world, sharing implies that we both give a little.” She closed the file and pushed out her chair. “Thanks for the coffee.”

“Hold on.” He sat back in his chair, crossed his arms, and stared at her a moment.

Caitlin hated the way he was able to combine unnerving intensity with disinterested detachment. She wondered if it was a natural habit of his or if he had been trained by the military to remain remote and aloof even in the most distressing situations. His body language revealed nothing, and his facial expression, as usual, was that of a stone. She didn’t like being around people she couldn’t read.

“So you came all the way out here, and now you want to negotiate?”

Caitlin was stunned, both by his self-assurance and his assertion.

“Negotiate? I didn’t realize I was going to have to negotiate. I’m pretty sure the word you used in your email was share.”

“Okay, maybe negotiate is the wrong word. How about co-op- erate?”

He drew the word out, pronouncing each syllable.

Caitlin couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “So you lured me out here on the pretext of sharing, and then have the gall to think you can bully me into providing information with nothing in return?” Shestood. “You can call it negotiation or cooperation or even collaboration for all I care, but you want to know what I call it?”
He didn’t answer, but she thought she saw a hint of amusement in his eyes, which infuriated her even more. She was too angry to think of a word to call it, so she pushed in her chair and turned to leave.

“Hold on.” His commanding voice stopped her in mid-stride. It took everything within her to turn around, but what she saw when she did surprised her.

Madison was fingering through a stack of folders in front of him, intent it seemed on locating one in particular. “Have you seen the autopsy report?” His voice was casual, as if the last few minutes had never transpired.

“Of course not.”

He lifted his gaze for just a second at the tone of her voice, and then went back to searching through the manila folders. Finding the one he wanted, he pushed it over to where she had been sitting, and then picked up his coffee mug. “Take a look.”

Caitlin stared at the file and then back at his stone-cold face. “From the Hillside murders?”
He gave a single nod of affirmation, but he didn’t look happy about it.

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meet the author

Jessica James is an award-winning author of military fiction and non-fiction ranging from the Revolutionary War to modern day. She is the only two-time winner of the John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction, and was featured in the book 50 Authors You Should Be Reading, published in 2010.
Her novels have been used in schools to teach visualization techniques and are available in more than one hundred libraries including Harvard and the U.S. Naval Academy.
James stays active working part-time as a stagehand where she assists with shows ranging from country bands and stage plays, to operas, symphonies and ballets. She resides in Gettysburg, Pa., and has a passion for old dwellings and first edition books.

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AMAZON US:  Deadline: Political Suspense Thriller: A Political Supense Thriller Novel, Espionage Conspiracy with Navy SEALs

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Release Day Review: ANARCHY FOUND: ALPHA LINCOLN BY J A HUSS

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 WHAT IF… you fell in love with a supervillain?
Everyone needs a hero.That’s what Detective Molly Masters tells me. “What we need,” she says, “what the whole world needs,” she pleads, “is a champion.”The only thing I want to talk about with Molly Masters is how I’d like to make her scream my name when I push her up against a wall, slide my hand up her thigh, and live out my wildest fantasies.

“Someone who will fight against injustice,” she says.

I’ll fight against anything you want, honey. Just come a little closer.

“Someone who will stand tall in the face of adversity,” she says.

I’ll do it standing, sitting, or lying down. See how easy I am?

“Someone who believes in the value of a good deed,” she says.

I believe in the value of me, sweetheart. Because I’m Lincoln Wade. Jaded genius, obscenely wealthy, capable of violence, and looking for revenge.

Molly Masters might have delusions of grandeur. She might see me as some superman capable of cleaning up the scum, filth, and corruption in Cathedral City.

But I’m not the hero she’s looking for.

I’m the dark alley where all her good intentions hide.

So be careful what you wish for, Molly Masters.

Because you’re about to get it.

Anarchy Found is a superhero romance by New York Times Bestselling Author JA Huss. It was written for adults. For science fiction fans – there is sex. For romance fans – there is science fiction. But this story is set in a contemporary world. It is NOT PARANORMAL.
REVIEW:
This book is full of romance, mystery, and suspense with some sci-fi thrown in,  I fell in love with the characters Lincoln and Molly, they are very complex and you root for them to overcome their struggles for a HEA.   I hope we are soon to read more on Lincoln’s Alpha friends and Cathedral City.  Great read as I have come to expect from Julie Huss!
PURCHASE ON  AMAZON:  Anarchy Found – Alpha Lincoln

 

 

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Pre-Order: Never Surrender by Rosie Miles (Review)

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Never Surrender

by Rosie Miles

Entangled Publishing, LLC

 Entangled Ignite

Mystery & Thrillers, Romance

Description

Police officer Maggie Sinclair prides herself on her independence. She doesn’t need anyone, especially her ex-lover. Working undercover to expose a prostitution ring, Maggie rescues two teenaged girls—but blows her cover in the process. Now she’s in deep, and the only person who can help her is the last man she wants to call…

Detective Quinn McQuade remembers Maggie telling him Hell would freeze over before she needed him. He offered her everything, and she rejected him. Now he has the opportunity to show Maggie they’re stronger as a team—even as their attraction becomes increasingly hotter. But this passion won’t just bring them together or tear them apart…it could get them both killed.

PURCHASE ON AMAZON:  Never Surrender (Entangled Ignite)

REVIEW:

Maggie has put her life and career on the line in order to bring down a prostitution ring of young girls.  She has been undercover for a year but she someone in her police department has betrayed her.  She has to find out who has set her up to take the fall so she has to eat her last words to ex boyfriend Quinn in order to get his help.  The author has written a wonderful mystery suspense as Maggie and Quinn try to find out who is setting Maggie up before it is too late.  You won’t be able to put it down until you turn the last page.

Excerpt:

He wanted to rise, meet her, but he was afraid, of what he wasn’t sure. She needed him, and that was what counted. She had sent for him, and like the fool he was where she was concerned, he’d come running. Maybe he should have handled it by the book and alerted his superiors. Maybe. Gut instinct had decided him against it.

The tip-tap of heels halted directly before him. Then the heartbeat of the street ceased, as though the world stopped breathing.

His gaze started at the four inch stiletto heels, slid up over well-shaped calves and thighs that stretched on until they met the hem of her short, short skirt. Heat crawled over his skin, and his breath caught. Beneath her open coat, welcoming hips and a tiny waist beckoned him. He scanned upward until his eyes feasted on full breasts failing to hide behind a slinky, black camisole. He didn’t need to look further. He knew.

“Maggie.” Her name sounded so good on his lips. For a mere second, the memory of their taste filled him with naked longing for another time, a happier time, but he pushed it away. She hadn’t called Quinn-her-ex, she’d called Quinn-the-cop.

“Maggie’s dead,” she snapped.

“Really?” He quirked a brow. “You look a hell of a lot like her.”

“I look like a two-bit whore. Trust me, Maggie’s long gone.”

Quinn pushed to his feet and stepped toward her. For a moment they stared at each other. Quinn’s breathing stalled as he gazed into her haunted eyes. Distance and time might have separated them physically, but she’d lived in his heart, his thoughts, constantly. Her face accompanied him to sleep most nights. Damn, he’d missed her. He shoved his hands into the pockets of his jacket and stepped back.

“Why did you contact me? It’s been over twelve months. Why now?”

Maggie closed the gap and linked her arms loosely around his neck. “Because I need your help,” she whispered against his cheek.

Quinn withdrew his hands from his pockets and tugged on her arms, wary that the familiar contact, any contact, would shred his resolve.

 

Goodreads * Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Entangled

About the Author: Rosie Miles has always been fascinated by cops. If she didn’t hate guns with such passion, she would have joined the force. Instead she writes about the cop behind the badge and the loves that challenge them.

She enjoys overseas travel but relishes the road trips she takes with her forever man, to different destinations throughout Australia, looking for settings for her next story.

Married with three adult children, Rosie believes that: Life is to be lived, You never stop learning, and you never, ever, give up on your dreams.

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter

Tour Schedule: http://sizzlingpr.com/tour-never-surrender-by-rosie-miles/

Giveaway: $20 Gift Card/Voucher to Bath & Body Works (spa package) International entries welcome.

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Blessed Are Those Who Mourn – Chapter Reveal By Kristi Belcamino

Mystery / Detective
Date Published: September 29, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers

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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.
EXCERPT
Chapter 1
Saturday
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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Death by Romance by Anne Kennison (99 cent sale!)

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Welcome to my stop for DEATH BY ROMANCE by Anne Kennison.  Anne will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Follow the tour here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2015/07/blurb-blitz-death-by-romance-by-anne.html

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BLURB:

The murder of Gordon Taylor, prominent businessman and philanthropist, has Detective Ryan Hamlin stumped. No viable suspects, no decent leads. When a chance conversation breaks the case wide open, Detective Hamlin suddenly has a long list of unlikely suspects who, with a “perfectly legal” multimillion dollar investment to protect, must make sure that none of them is convicted or everything will be lost. That’s when the deception and finger-pointing begin. The detective is certain he’s headed down the path that will lead to the killer, but is he?

Excerpt:

The Grim Reaper is a capricious son-of-a-bitch who’ll let an undeserving miscreant go with nothing more than a renewed faith in God, then throw a surprise party for a guy like Gordon Taylor. A decent guy who was about to go from merely to hugely rich. With good business sense, ambition, and a few lucky breaks, Gordon had parlayed a small inheritance from his grandfather into Taylor Industries, a multimillion dollar conglomerate with fingers in everything from manufacturing to banking, and he was at the endgame for the IPO. He had worked hard and it was all about to pay off.

None of it mattered. Gordon Taylor would die within the hour.

Gordon’s work day had ended. He was lounging in his leather executive chair, feet crossed and propped up on the desk, hands behind his head, strong fingers intertwined.  He was enjoying a moment of solitude after another grueling day dealing with overly cautious attorneys more interested in racking up legal fees by creating obstacles than finding solutions, and greedy investment bankers wanting more than their fair share of Gordon’s empire. He’d spent the day wrapping up details for the IPO which, when done, would tack three beautiful zeroes on the end of his already substantial net worth.The thought didn’t leave him as elated as he had thought it would, and he wondered if trading control for dollars was worth it. He already had more money than he and his wife Jessica could spend in three lavish lifetimes and, when all was said and done, it wasn’t about the money. It never had been.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Anne Kennison’s unique plot twist comes from a fertile imagination honed by 20-plus years as a trusts and estates attorney. Now retired from the practice of law, Anne lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband Dale and two Ragdoll cats Grady and Elliott. When she’s not writing the sequel to Death by Romance, Anne loves to travel, dabble in photography, and spend time with her two adorable granddaughters.

Website: www.annekennison.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annekennison?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/annekennison

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/annekennison/

The book will be $0.99 during the tour.

Amazon: Death by Romance

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/death-by-romance-anne-kennison/1121686887?ean=9780692417249

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Review: 13 Stolen Girls: A Layla Remington Mystery by Gil Reavill (Pre-Order)

51ha8edyf-L._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-34,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Perfect for fans of Michael Connelly or Nevada Barr, Gil Reavill’s gripping new Layla Remington thriller plunges readers beneath the glittering façade of Hollywood and into a terrifying underworld where beautiful women can just . . . disappear.

 
Malibu is crumbling. A monster earthquake has just ripped apart some of the priciest real estate on the planet. In a bizarre twist, it has also unearthed a grim secret buried for years beneath one particularly unstable hilltop: a steel barrel containing the mummified remains of Tarin Mistry, the beautiful starlet who went missing more than a decade ago. When Detective Investigator Layla Remington looks into that wretched metal coffin, she realizes she’s just landed the case of a lifetime.

But before Layla even strips off her latex gloves, a pair of hotshot LAPD detectives arrive on the scene and remove her from the investigation. Undeterred, she pursues her own line of inquiry. Risking her badge and her life, Layla’s determination to track down Tarin’s murderer takes her from the rarified air of exclusive canyon communities to seedy downtown sex clubs and the secluded lair of one of Hollywood’s most powerful men. But while Tarin’s case may be cold, her killer is poised to strike again—and in Layla, this depraved sociopath may have just found fresh prey.

Releases August 16, 2015

AMAZON PRE-ORDER:  13 Stolen Girls: A Layla Remington Mystery

REVIEW:   

Layla Remington is a  young woman detective in Malibu.  She discovers a famous cold case body during an earthquake, this case could make her career if she solved it. It does give her 15 minutes of fame as the discoverer of the body before the case is taken away by more senior detectives.  Layla is a strong solid heroine detective, she doesn’t give up or take “no” for an answer.  Then she gets another case of a missing girl and finds they could be connected.  Gil Reavill has written an excellent mystery/thriller with a twist, there are stories interwoven into the main story which all come together artfully at the end.  (I received this book as an arc for a honest review.)

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DARK PURSUIT By Jennifer Chase (Crime Thriller) W/Chapters 1-3 (Review)

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Date Published: 3/13/15

From the International Award Winning EMILY STONE THRILLER SERIES: 
 

Vigilante detective Emily Stone has covertly hunted down killers and closed more serial cases than most seasoned homicide cops combined. Her exceptional profiling skills and forensic techniques, along with deductive crime scene investigations, have made her a compelling force that cannot be beat.
She has reached her ultimate breaking point and now must face her toughest opponent yet – her biggest fears.

With preciseness, the Tick-Tock Killer has taken his next child victim and promised to dump the body precisely four days later, mocking police and the community. Stone struggles to balance her inner demons and ghosts from the past, against the wits of a brutal and cunning serial killer in an all-out battle of psychological warfare.

Can Stone save the next child in time? Dark Pursuit is an action-packed cat and mouse game that will take you to dark places rarely explored.

 REVIEW:

Emily Stone is a vigilante detective who chases serial killers with the help of of Rick, her boyfriend and a former police detective.  This book is extremely fast paced with the couple chasing the Tick Tock Killer, a serial killer who kills little girls.  The characters are well rounded and likable and Emily is an extremely strong heroine.  This book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone which I did. Emily and Rick find the killers and anonymously send all the information to the police in charges of the cases they crack so they are known as phantom detectives. I loved this book and plan to look for more by this author.

CHAPTER ONE

Tuesday 2100 Hours

Car tires squealed as both sport utility vehicles skidded sideways across the narrow street.  The ear piercing screeches and waves of gravel spray ensued as the vehicles held the uneven surface, and then pivoted onto a bumpy dirt road.

The pitch-blackness of the night illuminated with blinding headlights from the two cars – one pursuing the other.

Motors revved and engines tacked well into the red zones.  The vehicle’s high beams bobbed and weaved among the trees, and then disappeared into the dense landscape of the forest.

Low fog plunged the chill of the evening colder than the current temperature of forty-three degrees.  Pockets of moisture were heavier in some areas allowing for little visibility.  With a murky blur, the cars continued the dangerous pursuit.  The country road quickly turned into a narrow trail, causing both cars to drastically slow in speed.

Emily Stone fought the dangerous off road conditions with every ounce of strength that she could muster.  She clutched the steering wheel harder, knuckles white, biceps flexed, concentrating on every sharp turn to remain alert, and to keep the car piloting straight.

Her dark eyes remained unwavering through the narrow view.

The seatbelt dug into her chest with every bump and chuckhole in the road.  Fatigue had set in an hour ago, but she could not stop now.  Increasing weakness continued to edge its way through her arms and legs.  The escalating body aches vied for her immediate attention as her forehead pounded with a familiar piercing pain.

Pushing through her discomfort, she kept focused on the treacherous road and the vehicle in front of her.

Another victim was at stake.

Another young innocent victim.

It was obvious that the lead driver was also having difficulties with the road as the vehicle bounced precariously close to the edge of the cliff.  The lead SUV skirted and swerved, but still miraculously maintained the right direction and gained a little speed.

Pieces of mud showered Emily’s windshield, peppering the entire front end and undercarriage.  Low tree branches and bushes clawed at the doors and slammed across the roof.  At one point, she thought a branch might break through the sunroof and land on the front seat.

The road hazards did not deter her.

Emily pressed the accelerator even harder.  Her Ford’s RPM throttled to a dangerous level causing the engine and oil lights to flicker.  The dashboard lit up with several warnings that looked more like a carnival ride than an SUV.

“Emily!  Em!” a voice yelled from the cellular speakerphone.  “What’s your location?  Dammit Em answer me!”

She ignored the plea from her partner Rick Lopez over the cell phone and turned it away from her.  They were more than partners – some would say they were soul mates.  Either way, he was her rock, her lover, and her only backup.

They shared an unshakable love that drove them together toward the one essential goal –save a victim.  She did not want to look at the screen and see his face drawn and deeply concerned for her safety.  His usual dark handsome features would show the extreme stress with a furrowed frown.  She could not bear to look at him.

There had been many other pursuits, some more dangerous, others just a routine investigation, but all were potentially risky and could result in death.  She had made peace with that reality.  She had the extensive experience of handing just about anything that came her way – and wore with dignity the physical and mental battle scars to prove it.

They had spent the last few years hunting serial killers and child abductors, all under the radar of law enforcement.  They did not have to operate by the same rules of engagement or bureaucracy that tied the hands of cops.  Instead, the couple did all the investigative and forensic work for them and forwarded all of the detailed information – anonymously.

They were a covert investigative team that procured results.

A simple plan.

It had served them well.

This time it was an emergency of life and death – an all-out code red involving a ten-year-old girl by the name of Jeannie Sanders, abducted while walking home from a friend’s house.  The photograph of the little girl’s huge green eyes and sweet cherub face burned into Emily’s memory, which propelled her into situations that most people would take great lengths to avoid.

The imminent situation drove Emily to an almost desperate impulse – worse than any obsessive-compulsive disorder that could ever accomplish.  She never knew how far an investigation would take her both physically and emotionally, but giving up was not an option when a child’s life was a stake.

The work was necessary to her like air and food.

A couple of years ago, Emily had come to terms with the fact that any of her dark pursuits could end with the inevitable.  She lived by her own set of rules and personal motto.  Life was not worth living if you cannot make a difference – right a wrong, catch a serial killer, or save an innocent life.

Her life was straightforward as that simple philosophy.

“Em!” Rick’s voice insisted, this time with an exasperated breath.

She balanced her cell phone on the dash praying that the signal would not disappear or smash from impact.  Flipping the smart phone over and slipping it into a console cranny, she glanced at the screen.  It was just as she had expected.  The deep drawn look of concern changed Rick’s attractive face.  Even on the small electronic device, his eyes could bore straight into her soul.  It was an expression that made her weak and sometimes to doubt her own capabilities.

The lead SUV pulled ahead just out of view and disappeared into the fog.

A large patch of low-lying haze obscured the improvised roadway.

Emily reluctantly slowed her speed even more.

“I’m in pursuit.  We’re just three miles off the main Interstate on Deer Run Road,” she replied winded as if she had been running a marathon.  “I’m not backing off.  This is the first big break we’ve had…”

She slammed on the brakes from the hairpin turn to avoid the steep cliff on her right.  The Ford skidded in that direction and she countered the slide with quick steering and some luck.  The back tires spun several revolutions before traction took hold again.  She did not see the car or any lights ahead of her anymore, so she took her foot from the accelerator.

She stopped the SUV and cut the headlights.

It was dark in every direction.

She pressed the power button and lowered her window.

The distinct odor of a hot car engine and an overflowing radiator filled her nose.  It had a familiar sweet and earthy smell.

The outdoors was strangely quiet and dark as a bottomless pit.

Emily could make out a few outlines of large trees, but nothing more.   There was a slim opening in the fog.  The sky remained overcast in a blanket of clouds that obscured any view of the stars or moon.

More deep aromas of the forest drifted into the car.

It was odd.  If she closed her eyes and opened them, there was little difference in the view.

Deep shadows.

Extreme isolation.

Taking a deep slow breath, Emily tried not to fixate on the strangeness of her position, along with the feeling of floating, which made her slightly nauseous.  She had struggled with anxiety in the past, the feelings of panic and the fight or flight responses.  As with most things in her life, Emily worked through them with tenacity and could overcome just about anything.  That was what made her get out of bed every morning in order to tackle every new challenge flung at her.

Realizing that she had been talking to Rick, she clumsily felt for the phone.  It was in sleep mode and the screen was dark.  She pressed the button and her display brightened casting a cartoonish light in the car, but there was no signal.  She had lost connection with him.  She was not sure if he had heard her location or if he could figure out how to locate her.

What initially began as a routine surveillance changed, and then flip-flopped in an instant.  They were following another suspect when this SUV was caught in the middle of the surveillance, and reacted when he spotted them.  They divided the surveillance pursuit and Emily ended up following Kevin Werner, unbeknownst that he was the Tick-Tick Killer.

Everything turned sideways immediately.

She contemplated what to do next.  The soft ticking of her engine cooling kept a hypnotizing beat, soothing her nerves.  She knew that she had to move forward in order to save the little girl, but it seemed that the element of surprise would be the only approach.  There had to be a location where the abductor would hide – a cabin or an abandoned building.

Emily turned the key and her Ford roared to life, now with uneven timing.  The headlights illuminated the trees with a brash light, giving a weird depth perception of the forest.  She turned the lights back to regular beams, which made the area seem less ominous.  There was no sign of the other vehicle, no evidence of lights shone anywhere in the vicinity.

As she contemplated what to do, there were two logical choices, go forward, or turn back to get a cell phone signal and wait for Rick.   She weighed each option.  The predator was close; she sensed it.  That familiar tingly sensation rode roughshod throughout her body.  It was as if she could feel his breath on her neck.  There was still time to rescue the little girl.  All the other victims had been murdered and then their bodies dumped exactly four days after their abduction – down to the minute.

It had already been three and half days… and counting.

There was still time.

There had to be enough time.

A loud gunning sound of a high-powered engine came from behind.  High beams flashed in her rearview mirror and briefly blinded her.  It took barely three seconds before the blue SUV rammed into Emily’s Ford.  Her body flung forward, snapping her neck and seizing her breath.

The larger vehicle pushed her headfirst at a steady pace.  The thunder of the V8 engine roared like a wild animal attacking its prey.

While still holding firm to the steering wheel with her left hand, Emily grabbed the Glock 9mm from her side holster.

It was not there.

She remembered that she had not secured her gun before the pursuit.  Her Beretta was still in her ankle holster.  Carefully maneuvering her body and wrestling to maintain control of the brake as well as the steering wheel, she retrieved the small pistol in her right hand.

Emily did not waste any time, turned her torso to the blinding light, and fired three bullets through the back window of the SUV.

Glass shattered.

The impact from the gunshots echoed in her ears.  Cool air rushed inside the vehicle.  The blast of bullets stunned the attacking vehicle.  The large blue SUV slowed its pace and opened a gap between both cars.

Emily caught her breath trying to inhale and exhale evenly.  Her anger escalated as she unhooked her seatbelt.  The little girl was the only factor pushing her forward.  She presumed that the girl was not in the vehicle, but hidden somewhere – close.

The Berretta shook slightly in her right hand from the surging adrenalin pulsing throughout her body as she readied herself again for another assault.

The thunder of the pursuing SUV sprang into life and the larger vehicle slammed into Emily’s car once again.  This time it seemed to have more power behind the strike.  The killer was not going to go down without a fight – too much was at stake.

It took all of Emily’s strength and concentrated attention to maintain control of her own vehicle.  No matter how hard she held the brake down with both feet; her car inched forward and gathered speed.  The tires slipped and gripped unevenly, and then the traction slipped again building momentum down the narrow trail.  Thick brush and branches scraped along the doors before Emily could see through the tight clearing ahead.

The trail ended with a sheer cliff less than a hundred yards.

CHAPTER TWO

Tuesday 2145 Hours

“Em! Em!”

Rick continued to yell her name several more times, but there was only silence.  He saw that the connection was lost and tossed the phone onto the passenger’s seat.  It did not make his frustration dissipate.  It only forced the developing anger to increase; he imagined all sorts of horrible scenarios from Emily lying in a ditch bleeding to the killer shooting her at point blank range.

They had faced some dicey situations in the past, but something was different about Emily over the past few months.  She was distant and seemed to become more emotional about their investigations.  Something was about to give way to a much darker side of Emily, and Rick was not sure if even she was prepared for what that rough road would dish out.

Rick increased his speed along the freeway and weaved in and out of traffic.  Sometimes he was too close to other vehicles, causing horns to honk from irate drivers that gave him the official middle finger.

He steadily increased his speed even more and decided to take an off ramp that stated the names of two roads: Deer Run Road and Deer Creek Road.  The last word he heard Emily say before the connection dropped was deer.

He knew how her thought process worked from previous cases; they had come to the same conclusion about this case.  It was Emily’s innate ability to deduce crime scenes and behavioral evidence, which connected the dots to three possible suspects on their list.  The dynamic skill she possessed to dwindle down the suspect pool to a credible number was what made their work so successful.  It was absolute luck that they bumped into the real killer while following another suspect.

Rick fell in love with Emily the first time he spent time with her.  It was not only her unmistakable beauty, which was obvious to most.  It was her intelligence, her uncanny skill of hunting serial killers, and her tenacity, which further fueled his love for her.

He had retired from his police position to become Emily’s partner hunting down predators as a phantom detective team.  It had served them both well with many solved cases.  It did not matter that the police did not know where the information came from because they benefited from the solve rates, but to Emily and Rick it was all worth the risk.

Picking up his cell phone, he redialed Emily’s number.  The call went straight to voice mail.

“Damn…” he muttered tossing the cell phone aside again.

A working laptop and tablet along with several files rode shotgun, which included all of the research and the groundwork of the investigation.  He and Emily worked this particular case longer than any other case to date.  It was one of the worst serial cases Rick had encountered.

The news agencies named the serial killer the Tick-Tock Killer, which gave even more urgency to the victims and exponentially raised extreme fear and anxiety among the community.  Even when Rick worked investigations as a homicide detective, it still did not prepare him for such a horrifying case and so many young victims – the youngest was six years old.

The local cops and detectives tried to investigate with some doggedness, but ultimately they became stymied and they were out of any plausible new leads.  It happened all too often.  This case had run the gauntlet of news stories and the possibility of anything new.  All sixteen cases in two and half years had gone cold until the latest abduction of Jeannie Sanders.  Emily needed to solve these cases and put a stop to the killer’s hunting as quickly as possible.

Rick felt his stomach tighten the more he thought about the details of the case.  He had not eaten since early that morning and he realized that he was running on only fumes and too many cups of coffee.  He drove down the off ramp and made a sharp right.  He did not expect to see any other drivers on the back road due to the late hour.

A large commercial utility vehicle took up most of the road blocking access to the two rural roads.

Yellow lights flashed.

One worker dressed in oversized reflective gear had just positioned several large orange cones to direct any traffic around the work.  The tall man with a beard prepared to board the bucket and ascend to the transformer.  The worker did not seem to notice or care that Rick skidded up to a stop.

Rick searched for the road signs and glanced at his GPS for confirmation.  He had a fifty-fifty chance of choosing the right road that Emily had taken.  It could make the difference between life – and death.

They both had decided to split up to check out possible suspects to cover more ground, especially with the new suspect in the mix.  He wished that he had taken Kevin Werner instead of Sean Mitchell.  Mitchell was a dead end and did not fit the profile.

Damn.    

Rick decided to take Deer Run Road.  Navigating the SUV toward the left, he slammed on the breaks.  There was a huge branch down blocking the roadway about the girth size of a weight lifter.  It lay precariously on its side.

“No!” he slammed his fists on the steering wheel.

Rick quickly jammed the car in reverse and pulled to the side of the road.  He jumped out of the vehicle to assess the damaged area and any other possible access.  The limb was large and had several smaller branches shooting in different directions making it impassable.  It was what had caused the local power outage.  He hoped that it was a dead branch easy to maneuver to the side, but no such luck.  It would require a chainsaw and the burning of precious time before it would budge enough to pass.

The more Rick thought about the roads, the more he bet that Emily had taken Deer Run Road.  It was not a just a guess, but a deduction.  The road travelled deeper into the forest and paralleled the large state park.  It was a perfect cover for someone not wanting to be found, which allowed for extreme privacy.

The fog continued to float in and the rural area became dense as the precious minutes ticked onward.  It chilled Rick.  The mist camouflaged the solid row of trees that he had seen as he exited the freeway.

“Sir? Are you lost?” a voice interrupted.

Rick turned and faced the county worker, who had a quizzical look on his face.  He was older than Rick had assumed – at least mid to late fifties.

“I need to get through on Deer Run Road.”  Rick replied.

“Hmmm…”  The tall man scratched his beard and took a moment to size up Rick.

“Is it possible?”

“Of course… just not now.  This is one of three trees down in the area.”

Rick did not know if the man was slow or just did not care.

The worker continued, “The County has had so many cutbacks that I’m the only one.  It’s going to take a bit.”

“Look, I need to get through on that road.  It’s urgent.”  Rick emphasized the word urgent without sounding sarcastic.

The man looked suspiciously at Rick as he said, “There aren’t any residences out there, just a few cabins. What’s your hurry?”

There was no other choice, but Rick had to bluff the man. “It’s police business, I need to get through.”  He decided to try another angle to get the man to comply with what he wanted.  “We’re on a manhunt, and we have reason to believe that the suspect is hiding out there.”

The man’s eyebrows rose accompanied by a surprised expression.  It seemed to resonate something inside him.  Rick knew that he had to act fast and play upon the man’s emotions in order to work in his favor.  He did not want to have to answer too many questions or for the worker to call a supervisor.

“What do you need for me to do?” he asked.

“Do you have a chainsaw?”

“Uh, yes,” he replied slowly.

“Get it.”  Rick stated flatly.  He turned and headed back to his car, shed his jacket, and glanced quickly at the cell phone.  There was still no message or text from Emily.

Time battled against Rick.

He rolled up his sleeves as the worker approached carrying a chainsaw and a pair of safety goggles.

“There are no live wires I could come in contact with, right?” Rick stated.

“No, you’re good to go.  You know how to operate one of these?”

“Of course.”  Rick took the tool from the man.  It was heavier than he thought.  “Thanks.”  He had never actually used one before.

For a moment, the county worker hesitated as if he thought better of giving a perfect stranger a chainsaw.

Rick hurried to the large branch, fired up the device, and began cutting.  It was louder than he expected – ear splintering.  Small fragments of the limb showered all around Rick; he worked as fast as he dared and slowly made headway.

CHAPTER THREE

Tuesday 2210 Hours

Emily did not have a choice.  If she did not want to end up broken and burned at the bottom of a ravine, she had to jump from the SUV and hope that she could catch herself before another long drop.

The pursuing SUV gained more power, fiercely pushing the engine and torque capabilities to the limit, and kept contact on Emily’s car like a bulldozer.  It was mere seconds before the plunge.  High-pitch scraping and squealing of the metal compression between the two vehicles filled the night.

Braking did not slow Emily’s speed.

Mud mixed with leaves and various forest debris made it impossible to gain any tire traction.  She had no other choice but to steer straight and countdown her last seconds before escape.  She grabbed what she could and slipped her cell phone into her jean pants pocket.  There was no time to put on her jacket or grab more ammunition for her Beretta.  She only wore a white t-shirt and it would not suffice long in the damp weather, which would soon drop into the low forties.

It was less than ten seconds before the end of the road.

Emily put one hand on the door release and wrapped her fingers around it tightly.

Seven seconds…

She held firm with her right hand on the steering wheel, managing to keep the car moving straight.

Five seconds…

She counted down in her mind and hoped that Rick would find her.

Three seconds…

She stiffly readied herself.  Jamming the gearshift in reverse, allowing her vehicle to grind and groan in protest.

One second…

Emily pulled the handle, pushed the driver’s door open with all of her strength, and jumped.    She hit the ground hard jarring her bones, careful to cover her face as bushes and branches scraped every inch of her body.  She rolled for what seemed like minutes, but it was only three or four seconds.  Her arms and legs flopped as she rolled, hitting uneven lumps of earth as she freed herself from the oncoming SUV.

Her fall was not over yet.

The ground seemed to give way underneath her and she felt like she was floating in space, her body lifeless and isolated, ten million miles away from earth.  She could hear a car engine idling in the distance and it seemed to move slowly away.

Her surroundings were dark.

Blinking her eyes numerous times to bring anything into focus, the night remained shadowy.  She did not see any car headlights and wondered if she had hit her head hard, becoming blinded upon the sudden impact.

With a hard body blow, Emily hit the earth again and continued to roll and slide in a downward motion.  She descended downhill.  She stiffened her legs and tried to dig her heels into the dirt, while reaching her hands outward to grab onto anything.  The large forest turned into a rollercoaster ride.  She kept trying to stop the momentum using her hands and feet.  It took a few more seconds before she halted abruptly in between two large pine trees.

Emily sat upright with her legs out in front of her.  She tried to slow her breathing and remained quiet.  It was unclear if the killer had seen her jump from her vehicle, or if he assumed she took the plunge with her car over the edge of the cliff.

The loud pounding in her ears was just her heavy breathing returning to normal.  She slowly moved her arms and legs judiciously, but nothing seemed to be broken.  Her left hip and foot developed a throbbing pain almost instantly.  She ran her left hand gently over her body to see if she had any gaping or bleeding wounds that needed immediate attention.

The distinct metallic taste of blood filled her dry mouth.  Emily felt the right side of her lip and down by her chin, which was wet with blood.  As she sat in the same position for several minutes, her eyes became accustomed to the darkness.  She could see the tree outlines and the steep grade she had tumbled down.

The forest stood quiet all around her.

Tall.

Looming.

Trees, branches, and various sized bushes remained still – not a leaf moved.  There was not a sound from the wildlife or the gunning of a car engine.  It was motionless and strangely silent all around her.

The moist air and fog clusters dominated Emily’s sinuses.  The chill crept in and made her shiver.  She knew it was not as cold as she felt.  The trauma of the impact of falling and lack of warmth made her body acutely aware of the environment.

Sleepiness battled her focus and attention.  A strange numbness tried to overtake her.
She clenched and released her fists trying to regain strength and circulation.

Emily leaned forward and swung her legs underneath herself before she stood up.  Wobbly at first, she managed to stand up straight using a tree trunk for support.  She was not sure if she suffered from dizziness since her vision of the night was dim.  Shadows floated around her and the forest layout seemed to morph and change each time she tried to study the outlines of the trees.

The main objective was still the same.  Locate and rescue Jeannie Sanders.  It did not matter how much Emily’s body hurt or the fact that she was scared of the unknown, she knew that Jeannie was alone and terrified.  That purpose was more important than some bumps and bruises.  It was only a matter of time before the killer returned to his special hiding place and killed the little girl.

Emily retrieved her cell phone from her pocket and pressed the button to activate it.  The light of the screen brightened, casting an unnatural glow around her.  Her phone still worked.  The screen had a jagged crack across it horizontally, but she could still read the apps and numbers.  The signal symbol still showed no connection.

Emily exhaled noisily.

She felt defeated and extremely alone.

Gathering her wits and strength, she moved forward because there was no time to feel overwhelmed and there was no other choice but to climb back up to the main road.  There she could reevaluate the location – one-step at a time.

Alert and hyper-aware of her rugged surroundings, Emily made slow progress of climbing back up to the road.  Her teeth chattered from the falling temperature.  Her exposed arms were numb from the night air even though she could feel trickling perspiration running down her back.

There was no actual trail to follow so she drifted to the left near where her SUV took a dive.  From her cell phone clock, it revealed fifteen minutes had passed after she reached the spot where she had started her descent.  She kept her cell phone in her pocket, careful not to attract attention with the light if the killer waited in the darkness for her to return.

Emily stood on the high edge and tuned toward the forest.  She listened for anything that did not belong in the natural setting – anything – a soft snap of a twig, a footstep, or the sound of a cooling engine.

Nothing.

Fatigue and determination worked together, which fueled Emily’s mind back through the investigation from the beginning.  The suspects, the evidence, and the victims knitted together the clues.

The name Tick-Tock Killer made her skin crawl.  Her anger rose because of everything it stood for, and all of the innocent victims that had been lost.  By naming a serial killer, news agencies and the public did not realize that they were helping the killers with their celebrity status with a catchy name.  All of those serial killer names resonated with the public and became synonymous long after the killer’s crime sprees ended, and the newness of the crimes faded away.  Those given names lasted forever.

Emily peered over the rim of the cliff, not venturing too close to the edge.  It was just as dark as the rest of her surroundings – one big black hole.  She wished that she had grabbed her flashlight, instead of treading carefully in the dark hoping that she would not fall into a hole or walk off the edge.

Looking up at the sky, she saw a small area where the clouds and fog had parted.  More light illuminated the forest.  Emily saw that there was another trail on the far side of the road.  It must have been where the killer disappeared to so easily.

She glanced at her phone.  The signal wavered in and out of range.  She took a chance and sent a text message to Rick: End of road east location. SUV gone. On foot. Running out of time.  Put cops on standby.

Emily knew that Rick would understand her cryptic message and that she would not stop searching until she rescued the girl.  They had a secret protocol to follow, which they both knew well.  From most of their searches, they found the victim, alive or dead, and then emailed the information to the cops anonymously.

Sometimes the situation was a little more complicated.

She decided to walk the small roadway and kept to the side as far as she could in order to blend into the shadows.  The path was surprisingly smooth compared to the main road.  It was as if someone had taken a heavy piece of earth moving equipment and leveled it out.  It had fresh fine gravel that crunched under foot.  Still, she moved to the farthest side of the roadway in the soft dirt where her footsteps became silent.

The cloud cover moved around overhead.  Sometimes the light from the partial moon would be bright enough to see the leaves on the trees and the gravel on the ground.  Other times, she could barely see her hand in front of her face.

Emily estimated that she had walked a mile to a mile and half.  The walking motion made her bumps and bruises a constant, uncomfortable pain.

A low hum cut through the quiet night.  It kept the same rhythm.  It sounded strange, even otherworldly.  Emily knew that it would not be someone working in the state park or a utility worker doing routine maintenance.  She hoped it was the killer and she would catch him before it was too late.

Emily quickened her footsteps and headed deeper into the wooded area.

There were only five bullets left in her gun.  It would have to suffice.

 

Jennifer Chase is an award-winning author and consulting criminologist.  She has authored six crime fiction novels, including the award-winning Emily Stone thriller series along with a screenwriting workbook.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor degree in police forensics and a Master’s degree in criminology.  These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

 

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Review: Crossing Danger (Shelby Nichols Adventure) by Colleen Helme

Crossing Danger - Ebook 1333 x 2000Mystery

Date Published: April 27, 2015

Shelby Nichols isn’t your average soccer-mom turned private investigator. She’s more on the quirky side with a little wild thrown in. That’s because a near-fatal gunshot wound to the head left her with the ability to read minds. This lands her in all kinds of trouble, and this time is no exception. Helping a reporter, Billie Jo, get the low-down on a case is just the tip of the iceberg. When her best friend’s niece goes missing, Shelby is pulled into a conspiracy that involves the police and the leader of a violent drug ring. Add to that a stranger in town with ties to the mob-boss she works for, along with a known assassin out to kill him, and Shelby is crossing danger at every turn. Will she find the answers in time? Or will this be her last adventure?
REVIEW:
I love the Shelby Nichols adventures, she found she could read minds after being shot in supermarket robbery.  She is really seems to be an inept detective who just seems to be lucky and fall into solving the mystery with Detective Dimples and her friends.  I love the sparks between her and Uncle Joey’s bodyguard Ramos but then I feel guilty because she has a great husband and kids.  She totally balances her work life and private life. I love that you have to read the book and don’t guess who done it until the end, that is the makings of great mystery writing and with the Blaine character spy because this looks like the series will keep be going strong. This is a great read and part of a great series.

As the author of the Shelby Nichols Adventure Series, Colleen is often asked if Shelby Nichols is her alter-ego. “Definitely,” she says. “Shelby is the epitome of everything I wish I dared to be.” Known for her laugh since she was a kid, Colleen has always tried to find the humor in every situation and continues to enjoy writing about Shelby’s adventures. “I love getting Shelby into trouble…I just don’t always know how to get her out of it!” Colleen lives in the Rocky Mountains with her family. Besides writing, she loves a good book, biking, hiking, and playing board and card games with family and friends. She loves to connect with readers and admits that fans of the series keep her writing.

 Website: http://www.colleenhelme.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ColleenHelmeAuthor

Twitter: @ColleenHelme

Blog: http://www.shelbynicholsconsulting.com

Purchase Links

Amazon- Crossing Danger: A Shelby Nichols Adventure

Barnes and Noble –  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crossing-danger-colleen-helme/1121796771?ean=9781511632454 

Audible – http://adbl.co/1ELmLZq

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