I'm thrilled to announce that I was asked to be a member of the Deadly Dozen, a fantastic group of USA Today and New York Times bestselling authors. And...for a very limited time, we've boxed up twelve of our best selling novels for a mere .99!
A $46.65 Value (if purchased separately) - Reg. Retail: $9.99
full-length novels + 2 long novellas
Over 680 5-star reviews
across all 12 titles!
1 - DON'T KNOW JACK
(The Hunt For Reacher Series) - Diane Capri
2 - CRY WOLF (A Laura
Cardinal Novella) - J Carson Black
3 - NIGHT WIDOW (The Night Series)
- Carol Davis Luce
4 - GUARANTEED JUSTICE (The Justice Series) - M A
5 - STRANGER IN TOWN - Cheryl Bradshaw
6 - BREAKING
STEELE (A Sarah Steele Thriller) - Aaron Patterson & Ellie Ann
MOONLIGHT SONATA (A Dick Moonlight Thriller) - Vincent Zandri
TERMINUS - Joshua Graham
9 - ONE DAY IN BUDAPEST - J F
10 - DEAD CELEB (The Dead Celeb Series) - Michele Scott
FINAL VECTOR - Allan Leverone
12 - THE GIFTS (A Jacody Ives
Mystery) - Linda S Prather
The first chapter of my newest, hopefully available early this year, is short, but certainly not sweet. In this story, we catch up with PI Sloane Monroe after she's had a six month hiatus from taking new cases. The story is set in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
And now I present Chapter One of Hush Now Baby...
Serena Westwood peeled back the quilt atop
her four-poster bed and climbed in, reeling the covers over her shivering body until
she’d cocooned herself inside. It was early September, and already the frigid
fall air crept through the valley, misting it like a damp sheet struggling in
After a long, noise-filled day, all was still. There was a time when Serena
loved the quiet, basked in the gentle, serene calm, but not now. Now she had
more than herself to consider. At thirty-nine years old, Serena had almost
convinced herself the role of “mother” was meant for everyone but her. She’d spent many restless
nights in the same bed she rested in now, trying to accept the reality that
she, and her husband, Jack, would remain childless forever. And yet, here she
was, the proud new mother of a sweet baby boy.
Before Finn was born, Jack and Serena had run the gamut, trying
everything from artificial insemination to in-vitro fertilization. Nothing
took. Her womb, desolate and barren, had rejected it all. When conceiving a
baby themselves was out of the question, they turned to surrogacy. Three
potential candidates were interviewed. All were rejected. Another round of
women were selected. None seemed like the right fit.
On the way home from the market one wintery afternoon, an SUV struck a
patch of ice on the road. The vehicle careened into the oncoming lane,
sideswiping Serena’s Subaru in the process. While waiting for police to arrive,
Serena had taken refuge inside the Precious Gift Adoption Agency.
A firm believer in fate, Serena found herself explaining her unsuccessful
plight to Teresa, one of the case workers. Teresa was empathetic, her own
struggle mirroring much of what Serena herself had endured, but Teresa’s
attitude was different. In Teresa’s mind, infertility had led her to the greatest
gift of all—adoption—and she prevailed upon Serena to think of adoption the same
One week and several conversations later, Jack and Serena filled out the
necessary paperwork. And although Teresa cautioned them at the onset, saying the
wait time for a newborn baby could be two years or more, a mere three months
passed before a birth mother selected Serena and Jack as her adoptive parents.
Four months later, Finn made his opening debut.
The faint hum of a stirring baby jolted Serena awake. She peered at the
clock on the nightstand. Four a.m. It seemed like only minutes had elapsed
since she rested her head on the pillow, and already, it was feeding time
“Mommy’s coming, Finn.” Her melodic voice drifted down the hall.
Serena coiled a tattered robe around her body, cinching it in front of
her waist. She picked a few bobby pins out of the terry-cloth pocket and
twisted her long, blond locks into a bun. She squeezed the lids over her hazel eyes
open and shut a few times, forcing herself awake.
The frigid chill of the tiles beneath her feet as she made her way down
the hall were a stern reminder to leave her slippers by her bedroom door next
time. She entered the kitchen, her mind doing most of the work for her, having
memorized her every move. After performing the same routine night after night, intelligent
thought was no longer required. The bottles practically made themselves.
Cupping the bottle in her hand, Serena stirred the formula and water
together and popped it into the microwave. She watched the hardened plastic
revolve around and around on the circular glass tray like a carousel. For a
moment, her eyes closed and she found sleep again until Finn’s desperate cries
grew louder. She was used to the baby fussing, but he’d never been this
“Almost there,” she called. “Mommy’s coming.”
She still wasn’t used to the name.
The microwave dinged. She removed the bottle and dipped her pinkie
finger inside, ensuring the formula had heated just right. Perfect. She screwed
the lid on and paused. The crying had stopped.
Had he fallen back to sleep?
Tiptoeing to the other side of the house, she snuck up to the crib and peered
inside. A wave of panic gripped her. There was no baby.
A low chirp prompted Serena to whip around. She saw nothing at first,
but then she fixed her eyes on the wall. A dark shadow in the shape of a person
blackened its surface. Her eyes trailed the shadow to its source—the bedroom
“Who’s there?” Her voice trembled.
Her eyes tore across the lamp-lit room. Armed with nothing but the
baby’s bottle, she saw no way to defend herself from the assumed attacker. Her
mind raced back to a self-defense class she’d taken years earlier, remembering
something the instructor had said about fingers being a person’s most viable
weapon. “Jab them in the eyes,” he’d said, lecturing the room full of women on
how to handle an intruder. “Fast and hard. Don’t think about it. Just do it.”
A knot wrenched her gut. “I asked who’s there. Show yourself.” She
thought about adding the word “please,” but didn’t want to sound weak.
There was no movement, but a second faint squeak emitted from Finn’s
“Who are you?” she cried. “Why do you have my baby? Come out. I know
A man spoke, but not to her. “Hush now.” His voice was rugged, and yet
soothing enough to quiet the child.
The man remained behind the door, toying with Serena. But why? She shaped
her fingers into a stiff V and surged forward. The man stepped out. He had the
height of a basketball player and the largest hands she’d ever seen. In one hand
he held Finn. In the other, a Sig Sauer .45, aimed right at her.
“Back…up,” he demanded. “Now.”
Staring down the barrel of a gun, Serena shied away, seeing no alternative
than to comply with his demand.
“Why do you have my baby?” she whispered.
He bounced Finn up and down, his eyes never breaking contact with Serena’s
terrified face. “My baby.”
“What do you mean your baby?”
A nervous laugh escaped from the man’s lips.
Finn started to cry.
“He’s frightened,” Serena said. “Let me hold him. Please. You’re scaring
She attempted to place the bottle on the nightstand.
“I was just going to—”
“Your hands,” he grunted. “Keep them where I can see them.”
She wasn’t sure whether to hoist them in the air, palms forward, like
she was a hostage in a robbery or to let them fall to the side. He picked up on
“Just … cross your arms or something.”
In his eyes she detected inner conflict, like he was wrestling with the
decision of whether to keep Finn or give him back. Or maybe she had it all
wrong. Maybe he was trying to decide whether she lived or died. His hands were steady, not pulsating like hers. Why
was he there? What was his motivation? She tried appealing to his sensitive
side, if he had one.
“My son’s name is Finn. We adopted him a few weeks ago. He’s our only—”
“Shut your mouth, lady. I don’t care.”
Finn squirmed, growing restless in the man’s hand.
Without stepping forward, Serena reached her hands out in front of her.
“Don’t … move,” the man said through gritted teeth.
He crossed in front of Serena, eased Finn back into the crib.
“We have a safe,” she added. “I’ll show you where it is. Okay?”
With the slowest of movements, she put one foot in front of the other,
easing her way toward the door.
“You think I’m here to rob you?”
“Aren’t you?” she asked, without looking back.
“Lady, if I wanted to rip you off, I would have done it already.”
“If you don’t want money, what do you want?”
Thoughts swirled around in her mind, each more sinister than the one
before. She breathed in, but it made no difference. It felt like all the air to
the room had been sucked out. Another thought occurred: Is he here to rape me?
She reminisced on how grateful she’d been when her husband switched from
days to swing shift at work. The bump in pay allowed them to come up with the
adoption money they needed. Now she wished Jack was here.
Serena wrapped her arms around herself and bowed her head, pointing the
way to the master bedroom at the other end of the hall. “Just get it over with
… and then I want you to leave.”
“I’m sorry about this. Really, I am. Why couldn’t you have stayed
“Why couldn’t I…?” But it was too late.
He aimed the gun at the back of Serena’s head and fired.
December 26 and 27 I will be running my new boxed set, Sloane Monroe series books 4-5 for .99. The set includes my novels Stranger in Town and Bed of Bones, which is my new release. After this, it will return to $4.99.
Use the following links to purchase on your ereader:
...And speaking of thrills, I am thrilled to take part in this six author, six novel, boxed set series. But that's not the best part. For a limited time, you can get all six of these novels on your ereader for a mere 99 pennies.
When stakes are at their highest, these working girls draw on the tools of their
trades to kick butt, take names and make a difference.
Want to know a little more about the six fine authors in this stellar series?
Someone's using a smartphone app to bring down commercial
airliners and only attorney Sasha McCandless and the federal air marshal she's
teamed with can prevent more disasters. When the madman's killing spree takes a
personal turn, Sasha will need both her legal skills and her Krav Maga training
to stop him.
Retired Detective Inspector Lorne Simpkins is happy running her
new animal rescue centre with her husband. But when sisters Linda and Fiona
Carter come to her desperate to adopt a guard dog, Lorne takes up the mantle of
Private Investigator when she learns the reason. Linda was brutally raped by a
serial rapist -- who's named Fiona his next
On the slopes of Park City, Utah's newest ski resort a woman is
found dead. Accident -- or murder? Private Investigator Sloane Monroe is on the
case when a second dead body is found. Now the killer is tracking Sloane's every
move, and her life depends on uncovering the truth before he strikes
Accused of stealing artifacts from a shipwreck, underwater
archaeologist Erica Kesling is determined to clear her name. An undercover job
with the buyer of the missing antiquities puts her close to her goal. Until a
sexy, charismatic intern with secrets of his own shows up, placing her heart --
and her life -- in jeopardy.
A terrorist has stolen radioactive material, leading forensic
geologists Cassie Oldfield and Walter Shaws on a perilous hunt through Death
Valley. The unstable atom -- in the hands of an unstable man -- is governed by
Murphy's Law. Whatever can go wrong, will. And when it does, field skills won't
be enough to save them.
A pair of seemingly unrelated outbreaks -- a rise in human
stroke-like cases and a rapidly spreading animal disease -- lead a CDC analyst
and a veterinarian to a shocking discovery at a big-game compound. But even if
they can escape with the secret of Sector C, it may already be too late.
Purchase Working Girls do it for Thrills now by clickingHERE.
The holidays are here, and if there's one thing I love at the onset, it's making my Christmas tree shine like the top of the Chrysler building. And I really enjoy seeing everyone else's trees as well. Since I can't visit you all personally, how about a little contest?
Send me one photo of your Christmas tree HERE between now and December 20th. In the subject line write: CHRISTMAS TREE CONTEST.
I will post them on this blog in numerical order (without using names). My Street Team will vote, and the winner will receive a signed print copy of one of my novels AND a cookie gift basket from Cheryl's Cookies. Once the votes are tallied, the winner will be announced here on December 26th.