Monday, January 23, 2017

PHONE CALLS HOME #Love


Giveaway Alert!

My #LOVE story this month is how grateful I am that my son has spent almost twenty years in the military and has been unharmed. My son joined and shipped off to boot camp two weeks after high school graduation. He wanted to be a Marine from the time he was fourteen and had to research an interesting career for middle school. This is giving away my age, but he’s not that far away from retiring.

I remember a phone call from when my oldest child was serving overseas in Kuwait. It’s stuck with me and continually reminds me how our servicemen do their jobs.
While he was stationed in Kuwait (2002), I knew he was a part of setting up communications for troops. What I didn’t realize (at the time) was that the microwave towers they erected were the only targets their opposition had to aim at. It all hit home on a phone call where he calmly said, “Gotta go. Incoming.”

The second “scary” phone call I received went something like, “No matter what you hear, I’m okay.” Click.

It was a phone call very early one morning from my son. He was on a training mission “on boat” as he called it. [ASIDE: I learned from my son that if you’re in the Navy, it’s a ship. If you’re in the Marines, it’s just a boat giving you a ride.] Back to my story…

Sleepy and barely coherent, we heard the words without any details. We couldn’t respond and tell him we loved him because the phone call was already over. No details. Nothing in the news–and we checked every possible source. We knew that he was out of touch from not only us, but his family stationed in Okinawa. We waited.

Several months later, he said he’d tell us what happened when it was declassified. That meant several years later learning that his training cruise had been attacked and if he’d been in his bunk… Well, he might not have made it.

#Love. #Grateful. #Thankful. #Blessed. 

My son came home unharmed, but many haven’t. As a parent, I know how much you want to help and sometimes it’s impossible to lend anything except love and support. HOMES FOR TROOPS is a way we can all contribute. I’m so glad that our HOT ON ICE anthology  is donating twenty percent of proceeds to this organization and encourage you to find a way to give back to these men and women who have given so much for our country.

BREAKAWAY BROOKE isn’t a military story. But it is all about family (and HOT hockey players).

Cop turned PI Brooke Henderson is hired on the down-low to keep an eye on Deacon “Tripp” Sanders after his team wins hockey’s biggest title. The gig should be as easy as an empty-net goal (yes, she knows her hockey!). The anonymous letter threatening trouble doesn’t have much merit and the gorgeous hockey phenom is certainly easy on Brooke’s eyes. If only her woo-woo power wasn’t in full swing and instigating trouble. The erotic pheromones she’d learned to hold in check were drawing men’s unwelcome attention…but giving her the perfect cover as a puck bunny.

Brooke might be trying to keep watch from a distance, but everywhere he looks Deacon’s eyes are drawn to the beautiful warrior like a loose puck in front of the net. Despite his annoyance that his family thinks he can’t keep himself out of trouble, can he convince this exquisite protector to stop fighting her erotic powers long enough to play his game?
HOT ON ICE
Goodreads | iBooks | Kobo | B&N | Amazon

the BODYGUARDS IN HEELS series
It’s high time this match-making, motorcycle-riding Grammy takes the love-lives of her grandchildren into her own hands and gives love a sweet kick in the right direction.

Catch photos from Angi’s travels, research and dogs on A Picture a Day. Angi’s Books are available online: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Google

~ ~ ~
ANGI MORGAN writes Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love. Her work is a multiple contest finalist and Publisher’s Weekly best seller. She drags her dogs –and husband– around Texas for research road trips so she can write off her camera. They now have a map with highlighted roads they’ve traveled. Every detour somehow makes it into a book.
Amazon     Website     FB Fan Page   Twitter @AngiMorganAuthr     
Check out my newsletter or my monthly Giveaway
~ ~ ~
DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAYS.

Leave a comment to be entered for the $5.00 Gift Card (international drawing ends 1-24). Enter the Rafflecopter drawing for your chance at an additional prize (ends 2-1).

Do you have a #Love Story?
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Sunday, January 22, 2017

How Real are TV Cop and Fed Shows?


Congratulations to "Janice H.", the winner in Belle's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!


As a federal agent, this is one of the most common questions I get asked by friends and readers. The answer is that whether it’s a police show or one involving federal agents, Hollywood always, always, always takes great literary license and gets away with it. The main reason is that if these shows depicted a cop or an agent’s typical day on the job, it would be so humdrum to you as a reader or TV-watcher, you’d be bored to tears.

One thing that cracks me up and makes me envious is how all these shows wrap up an entire complex investigation in the brief span of an hour. Forty-five minutes, really, if you include commercials. This is Hollywood light speed, my friends. How I wish I could do my job so quickly! You have no idea.

I also love how so many of these shows, particularly fed shows, depict their tech agents cracking into FBI, CIA or NSA databases. That’s hysterical. NCIS is notorious for employing this handy-dandy investigative tool. Another offender is Blindspot. Entertaining, perhaps, but talk about major breaches of protocol and national security! Think about it. A naked, totally tattooed woman is found zipped up in a bag on the sidewalk. She has no memory of who or what she is and the FBI can’t find a single tidbit of info on her. Yet they give her a government-issued firearm, official FBI clothing with the FBI logo, and free rein to come and go as she pleases in the FBI building. Really?

And how ‘bout all those shootouts, explosions, and high-speed car chases these guys get involved in? Happens every single episode on TV. In real life, not so much. A typical day in my world involves phone calls, interviews, meetings, report writing, surveillance, database queries (legal ones!)…you get the picture. Real police work. But there’s light at the end of the humdrum tunnel. All this basic investigative work is done with the endgame in mind. A search warrant, an arrest, and jail time for the bad guy. Sadly, this takes a tad more than forty-five minutes. In some cases, it takes years.

The more realistic shows on TV tend to be the police shows, such as Law & Order and Adam-12. Yes, Adam-12, old though it may be. As a writer and a law enforcement officer it’s often difficult to find that balance in my writing between reality and entertainment, but you be the judge.

Blood Money 

In the safety of his arms lies passion…and danger

NYPD Detective Gray Yates has major trust issues. Protecting a serenely beautiful woman hiding enough secrets to take down an entire city wasn’t something he bargained for. She’s a loving single mother, hot as hell, and protecting her will test every ounce of his resolve.

Alex Romano is being blackmailed by the Pyramid—an elusive international organization of assassins every cop in the world is after. When Alex tries severing ties with them they refuse to let her go. The darkly dangerous detective she’s irresistibly drawn to is her only hope of staying out of jail. He just might be her savior…or her downfall.

Despite efforts to maintain his professionalism, Gray can’t deny the fiery passion Alex ignites in him. In an explosive confrontation, Alex’s lies are revealed and Gray is faced with the most important decision of his life: trust the woman he’s falling in love with, or arrest her.


Excerpt
Alex widened her eyes. “What do you mean, you and I will be at my apartment?”
Gray’s gaze flicked to the side-view mirror before answering. “Until this is over, you have a roommate.”
“No.” She crossed her arms and shook her head. “That isn’t possible. I won’t allow it.”
Because I don’t trust myself to be alone with you ever again.
Gray chuckled. “You don’t have a say in the matter, babe.”
She turned to face him. “The hell I don’t. And don’t you dare babe me.” Last night was sheer torture. There was no way she could live in her tiny apartment with a man she wanted more desperately than she wanted to breathe.
“Too late,” Gray said in a cold voice. “It’s done.”
She grabbed his shoulder. “I do so have a say in this. I’ll talk to Lt. Frye.”
“Negative.”
“Negative?” Alex shouted. She lowered her voice so she didn’t wake Nicky, who was still sleeping comfortably in the car seat. “And don’t speak to me like I’m one of your cop cronies. Why does it have to be you?”
“Because not only won’t the department pay for your protection, but I don’t trust anyone else to keep you safe.” He briefly met her gaze, and there was anger there, but Alex couldn’t decipher the source of it. He shouldn’t care about her, and he shouldn’t care about protecting her.
Ah, she thought. He’s not protecting me, he’s protecting his cooperator.
That actually made sense.
“Fine.” She crossed her arms tighter, realizing the last thing she should do was decline the only available police protection. “But my bedroom is still off-limits. You got that, Mr. High and Mighty Detective?”

BUY LINKS:








Giveaway:
One lucky person leaving a comment or email entry will be entered for a chance to win one free e-copy of Blood Money

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AUTHOR BIO:
Tee O'Fallon is the author of Burnout and Blood Money, Books 1 and 2 of the NYPD Blue and Gold Series. Tee has been a federal agent for twenty-two years, giving her hands-on experience in the field of law enforcement that she combines with her love of romantic suspense. Tee's job affords her the unique opportunity to work with the heroic and sexy men in law enforcement on a daily basis. For Tee, research is the easy part!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Jan. 22nd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Friday, January 20, 2017

What is Romantic Suspense?

With: Belle Ami

Congratulations to "Trude V.", the winner in Belle's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

            First let me thank Just Romantic Suspense for featuring my blog on your wonderful website. It’s an honor to be hosted by you.

            My new release Escape (Tip of the Spear Series Book 1) was published by Hartwood Publishing on January 10th. It’s the first book of my new romance/suspense/sexy series Tip of the Spear, which is the English translation for Kidon, the secretive arm of Israel's Mossad whose task is the elimination of enemies and the fulfillment of impossible missions.

            When I decided to tackle the romance/suspense genre I had no idea where it would take me. I didn’t know anything about creating stories that not only had to satisfy a romantic ideal, but needed to weave a tapestry of suspenseful action. When writing romantic suspense, you’re writing about the impending disaster that needs to be stopped, the love that is threatened, and the consequences of events outside of the hero/heroine’s control. It’s the classic Hollywood theme, “Houston we have a problem”, now solve it. Whether it’s the solving of a murder or crime, a military hero being drawn into an adventure, or a man or woman searching for someone who’s disappeared, this genre is anchored in plot twists and obstacles that not only threaten love but in many cases the hero/heroine’s life and existence. It’s demanding to write and needs to be carefully plotted. You can’t just write by the seat of your pants. It requires research and expertise, whether it be the FBI, CIA, police force, or military wing. Every scene and chapter needs to grow the suspense, or as they say “the plot thickens” which is a metaphor within a metaphor,” and is as apt a definition of romantic/suspense as you’re likely to find. If the suspense does not build to a climax, then you have nothing. If everything, including love, isn’t at risk then you better rethink your story. Writing is all about taking risks, and for me the joy of waking every day to the challenge of creating a suspenseful love story is something I’m willing to risk everything to do.

            What I didn’t know about the romance/suspense genre is that it is the most highly purchased genre in the romance book industry. Yes, surprise! Per RWA statistics, romance/suspense comprises 53% of the print romance buying market and 48% of the E-book romance buying market. Those are heady numbers to be sure. And even more heady when one considers that based on 2016 figures:

Highest grossing genre: Romance – $1.44 billion
Percentage of bestsellers that are romance books: 25% (2012)
Percentage of e-books that are romance books: 40%


Yes, the future is bright for romance, and particularly bright for the romance/suspense genre.

            My newest contribution to the romance/suspense genre is Escape, a sexy romantic thriller with a focus on the dangers of a nuclearized Middle East.

            When Harvard student, Layla Rose Wallace and her Saudi boyfriend are kidnapped in Dubai and taken to Iran, a deep-cover Mossad agent is activated and given a mission. He is ordered to either get Layla out of Iran, or if failing that—kill her.

            Cyrus Hassani is an assistant to the deputy director of Oghab2, Iran’s secretive intel organization with authority over their nuclear ambitions; he is a Mossad mole, gorgeous, sexy, and dangerous.

            Fiery, auburn-haired, Layla Wallace is an art history doctoral candidate at Harvard, when on vacation she and her Saudi boyfriend are kidnapped in Dubai and taken to Tehran. As the daughter of a renowned nuclear physicist, she is a perfect target for blackmail. Layla’s kidnapping is about to create an international incident and blow Cyrus’s carefully constructed cover to smithereens.

            When Cyrus first lays eyes on the feisty redhead he knows he’s in trouble. When they are running for their lives, he’s fighting not only a powerful adversary who’s vowed to destroy him for his treason, but an impossible attraction to a woman he’s struggling to resist.

            Their escape from Iran seems impossible as all routes close, with their hunters in hot pursuit. Cyrus must overcome not only deadly assassins, but the passions that have lain dormant within his cold heart from years of living as a spy.

            Can Cyrus and Layla survive and escape from Iran? Can a spy and a student find love? Time is running out.
           
Escape (Tip of the Spear Book 1) Excerpt From Chapter 6
            “Where is she?” Cyrus growled as he followed the guard down corridor after corridor. Finally, at the end of an isolated hallway, they stopped. He heard a muffled cry from behind the steel door. Drawing his ZOAF PC-9 pistol, he pushed the female guard out of the way and kicked open the door.
            Anger flooded his nerve endings. His finger pulsed on the trigger, itching to fire. Cyrus hated Mohammad, but never more than at this moment. Everything he detested in his fellow man—the cruelty, the abuse of power, the ignorance and disrespect for human life—every vile human characteristic lived in this one individual. With pleasure, he would have shot and killed Mohammad, ending the life of an animal who didn’t deserve to live. Had Mohammad actually raped her, Cyrus would have killed him on the spot but he had arrived just in time. He controlled his impulse to exact punishment. His plan of action did not allow for deviation. He needed to stay focused on the goal of getting Layla out of Evin Prison.
            In Farsi he ordered, “Put your hands up, Mohammad, and don’t move.” In English he asked the girl, “Are you all right?”
            Mohammad slowly raised his hands. “Don’t shoot, Agha. I can explain. The girl is a witch. She seduced me.”
            Layla, shielded by the hulking frame of her assailant, slowly rose from the table, raising and securing her pants. “Yes, I’m okay, but this animal was about to rape me.” Still in a shooter’s stance with the gun trained on Mohammad, he ignored the man’s ridiculous statement. “That isn’t going to happen, Miss Wallace. You’re safe now. Just do as you’re told and get behind me.”
            When the girl emerged from the shadow of Mohammad, Cyrus temporarily lost his focus. His pulse quickened and his gut tightened in an automatic response to her beauty. Even as her face darkened with swelling and bruises, distorting her features, he found himself drawn to the large, turquoise eyes, the glorious auburn hair, and her luscious lips. With a mighty effort, he regained his composure, reluctantly dragging his eyes from her.
                                                                        »»•««
            Layla, shaky on her feet, held fast to the table for support. Her heart still pounding a fearful arrhythmic beat, she tried to regain her composure. Tears welled in her eyes from her close call. A miracle had occurred, and someone had saved her. Following her hero’s command, she emerged from the shadow of her would-be rapist. Her eyes met those of her rescuer. The tall, dark man’s face was angry and unforgiving, his gun pointing at her assailant. When he looked at her, for a moment his expression softened, and then just as quickly, his emotions flickered and died, becoming unreadable.
            Indicating the door with the barrel of his pistol, he commanded, “Let’s go. You’re through, Mohammad. As much as it would please me to kill you, I’m going to let you live today, which is better than you deserve.” He turned, glancing over his shoulder at her. “Take the chadar and put it on. The fewer people who get a good look at you, the better.”
            Layla complied without answering. She wanted to grab the man who had rescued her from the monster and kiss him, but she was still reeling from her close call.
            From the moment they left the room, everything proceeded at a rapid pace. The man remanded her attacker into the custody of a commanding officer, to whom he gave a brief account of what had occurred. Led away in cuffs, looking like the devil’s dog, Mohammad delivered a curse on her rescuer and brandished his fists in a threat of vengeance.
Her deliverer turned away, ignoring him. He whispered a reassurance, “Don’t worry, Miss Wallace, you’ll be out of here very soon.”
            A female guard took her arm and led her back in the direction of her cell. Before the doors to the cell block closed, she turned her head and caught a glimpse of the man who had saved her. His gaze was fixed on her.
            She felt her cheeks grow hot, but she couldn’t look away. The tiniest of smiles teased his lips.
»
Belle Ami Bio
            Belle Ami writes romantic/suspense with a teaspoon of sex. Her latest book Escape (Tip of the Spear Series Book 1) was published January 10, 2017. Coming 2017 the sequel Vengeance will be published by Hartwood Publishing. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two children, a horse named Cindy Crawford, and her brilliant Chihuahua, Giorgio Armani.

Giveaway:
 It will be my pleasure to giveaway my July 13, 2016 release One More Time is Not Enough.

Buy and social media links:
Amazon buy link: http://bookshow.me/TheOne
Twitter:  @BelleAmi5
Website:   http://belleami.us

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Jan. 21st. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

DARKEST OBSESSIONS


My name is Sheree Smith and I am the author of Darkest Obsessions.  Since being a young girl I have written stories and read numerous books. But after starting college and then working full time, writing was firmly put on the back seat though I had always dreamed of writing  a novel.

I married my husband Dean in 2001 and soon after agreed a plan, to eventually get out of the ‘rat race’.  It took a good 10 years but we did it.  In 2015, we sold our house in Nottingham, handed in our notice at a large UK Corporate Company where we had worked for over 20 years and headed for a new, less stressful life in Northumberland.  At the same time, we had saved up enough money to also have 2016 off work, which allowed me time to put my dream in place and write Darkest Obsessions.

Darkest Obsessions is a romantic suspense novel set in the fictional village of Pelancy on the Scottish Borders. Sadie Buchanhan is the main female character who heads to Pelancy after having a traumatic time working in London.  Her ex boyfriend, Matthew, had stalked her for several years and the story starts where he is finally put to jail for holding her hostage.

Matthew is a psychotic stalker who has mentally abused Sadie over the years and so with Matthew firmly behind bars, she feels she needs to some time to recover and heads to see her parents who own a café in Pelancy.

It is here where she meets the local vet, Tom Ashton.  Tom is a breath of fresh air for Sadie and they instantly hit it off.  However, Tom still has feelings for his wife who tragically died a few years before. He has never forgiven himself for her death and so both Sadie and Tom’s relationship is put under immense strain until Tom can come to terms with his grief. To add to this, Matthew comes back on the scene, ending with disastrous consequences.

I have tried to write a dark and intense novel with a little humour and a lot of romance.  I hope you enjoy reading my book which can be found on both Amazon and iBooks or you can follow me on Twitter or Facebook  (all links below).

DARKEST OBSESSIONS


All Sadie wanted was a normal life and when her ex-boyfriend, Matthew, was finally sent to jail she thought she could start that normal life in a little village on the Scottish Borders.

Tom, a small county veterinary had spent the last five years just surviving. A tragic accident had left him riddled with guilt. But when the beautiful Sadie Buchanan waltzed into her parents cafe, his meaning for life is questioned. Now he has to overcome his demons before he can start living again.

But Matthew has already hurt Sadie before, would he allow Sadie to have the happiness she always longed for.......


Find Sheree here:




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A MERCIFUL DEATH by Kendra Elliot - Exclusive Excerpt


A MERCIFUL DEATH


FBI special agent Mercy Kilpatrick has been waiting her whole life for disaster to strike. A prepper since childhood, Mercy grew up living off the land—and off the grid—in rural Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. Until a shocking tragedy tore her family apart and forced her to leave home. Now a predator known as the cave man is targeting the survivalists in her hometown, murdering them in their homes, stealing huge numbers of weapons, and creating federal suspicion of a possible domestic terrorism event. But the crime scene details are eerily familiar to an unsolved mystery from Mercy’s past.
Sent by the FBI to assist local law enforcement, Mercy returns to Eagle’s Nest to face the family who shunned her while maintaining the facade of a law-abiding citizen. There, she meets police chief Truman Daly, whose uncle was the cave man’s latest victim. He sees the survivalist side of her that she desperately tries to hide, but if she lets him get close enough to learn her secret, she might not survive the fallout…


A MERCIFUL DEATH by Kendra Elliot - Exclusive Excerpt

Eddie had offered to come with her, but Mercy turned him down. Concern had flashed in his eyes when he realized she was headed to see a sister she hadn’t spoken with in fifteen years

She didn’t want his pity. She didn’t want him to smooth the way for her. 

It was something she had to do on her own. 

She’d thought about asking Truman Daly to meet her there. The Sanders case belonged to his department, and he had the right to know that Mercy was contacting a witness. But she talked herself out of calling him, knowing she’d update him later. She didn’t want any observers if Pearl slammed the door in her face. 

Those brown eyes of his saw too much.
She knew Truman was trying to figure her out, and she wasn’t ready for it. Eddie and her coworkers saw what she wanted them to see. A hard-working but slightly unsocial agent. But Truman had seen her reaction to his uncle’s home. 

She wasn’t ready to let him see more. Especially a reunion with her estranged sister. 

The driveway to her sister’s small ranch home was long. Mercy had checked to see if the home was still owned by Rick Turner, Pearl’s husband, and wasn’t surprised to see that Pearl’s name wasn’t on the public record as a co-owner. It was the mind-set she expected from her family. Men own the property; women lean on the men. 

As they work their fingers off to take care of their home and family.

Pearl had been her first sibling to get married. Mercy had been awestruck by her sister in her white wedding dress. Pearl and Rick had seemed mature and worldly to Mercy’s twelve-year-old eyes. Now, knowing her sister had been only eighteen when she married made Mercy want to cry. Pearl had gotten pregnant immediately. 

At thirty-three Mercy still didn’t feel ready for kids. 

The outside of the home was well kept. But as she stepped out of the car, she was hit by the recognizable stench of pigs. Mercy had raised a few pigs while growing up, but apparently Rick had a lot. The barn and pens were set far back from the home, but even with the lack of wind, the odor spread. What was it like during the summer heat? 

Does Pearl know her home stinks? 

As a teen Pearl had been fascinated with fashion and makeup. Knowing that she was now married to a pig farmer made Mercy’s heart hurt. But someone had to raise pigs. Pigs were an important source of protein and fat and great for barter. Her father would view the pigs as riches. If meat was no longer available at the grocery store, Rick would be a wealthy and popular man. 

Mercy would have preferred sheep. 

She spotted a high fence around a garden to one side of the home. Judging by the amount of lush greens growing, the fence did its job to keep out the deer. She couldn’t see any neighboring farms and remembered that Rick’s father had gifted the couple ten acres of his land when they’d married. Pearl had been ecstatic over planning and decorating the home they’d built. At one time Mercy had been wildly jealous of her sister’s independence; now she saw a prison. Did her sister have any regrets? 

Mercy swallowed, studying the small front porch. A good-size corn husker sat in one corner. Memories waxed and waned. Aching arms from turning the wheel as Rose fed the dried ears of corn into the machine. Watching the empty husks fly to one side. The smell of dried corn kernels slowly filling the bucket below. 

A craving for parched corn made her mouth water. Her mother would sautĂ© it with a bit of brown sugar and salt. A favorite snack. 

Did Pearl’s kids run the old-fashioned machine? 

She knocked and waited to see her sister. 

A shadow passed behind the peephole and Mercy held her breath. Would Pearl speak to her? 

The door flew open and her sister stared, her mouth hanging open. “Mercy?” she whispered. 

Tears formed in Mercy’s eyes and her throat swelled. She nodded. Pearl looked older. The glamorous young woman Mercy remembered had been replaced by a mother who now kept her hair in a simple ponytail and wore a faded top Mercy recognized from fifteen years ago. Pearl looked much older than her nearly forty years. 

Pearl lunged at her, wrapping her arms around Mercy in a tight squeeze. “It’s been so long!” Pearl pulled back, her gaze scanning Mercy from head to toe, and then hugged her again. Mercy still couldn’t talk. Her arms wrapped themselves around her sister and gripped tightly. 

Pearl pulled back again and wiped at her eyes. “Oh Lord. Oh Lord, Mercy. I think of you every day.” 

Mercy felt like a twelve-year-old again. Unable to speak and worried about saying something utterly stupid. She wiped her eyes and continued nodding, feeling as if her skin had been ripped off and her sensitive nerve endings left raw. 

“I’m sorry, Pearl,” she finally sputtered. 

“Come in, come in!” Pearl grabbed her arm and pulled her inside the home. 

The pig smell vanished and was replaced by a wonderful cooking smell. Stew or steak or meat pie. 

It smelled like home. 

Pearl stopped and stared at her again. She reached out and brushed a clump of hair out of Mercy’s eyes, a gesture she’d made a million times in their past. Mercy forced an awkward smile. “Hi, Pearl.” 

“I can’t believe it. What are you doing here?” 

Mercy finally saw some of the eagerness fade from Pearl’s eyes. She’d remembered that Mercy was no longer considered one of the family. All contact had been ordered to cease. 

“Levi didn’t tell you I was in town?” 

“No, you saw him already?” A faint hurt flashed in Pearl’s eyes. 

“I saw him at the coffee shop,” Mercy admitted. “He wouldn’t speak to me. I assumed he’d tell everyone I was here.” 

Pearl nodded, and Mercy wondered if she regretted letting her in her home and was now the sibling who’d broken her father’s rule. 

“Are you just visiting?” Pearl asked cautiously. “Have you seen Mom and Dad?” 

Mercy took a deep breath. “I’m working. I’m investigating the recent murders. And no, I haven’t seen our parents.” She studied Pearl’s face, hoping for a hint of what her reception from her parents would be. Pearl wore a poker face, and Mercy interpreted it as meaning Pearl believed she wouldn’t be welcome. 

“You mean Jefferson Biggs? And the other two men? I know another was found on Monday.” 

“Yes.” 

“I’d heard you worked for the FBI.” 

“I’ve been there six years. Right now I work out of the Portland office in domestic terrorism, but I’ve been assigned to help out the Bend office with these murders.” 

“Domestic terrorism,” Pearl repeated. “They think these murdered men were domestic terrorists?” 

“Not really,” assured Mercy. “What caught our eye was all the weapons that have been stolen, along with the murders. And what that stockpile of weapons could mean in the hands of one person or a group of persons.” 

Pearl nodded, her face still carefully blank. 

“Why would someone do that, Pearl?” 

“I don’t know.” 

The silence stretched for three long seconds as they tried to read each other’s faces. Pearl knew as well as Mercy did that the area was littered with people who were angry with the government for good reasons and for lousy reasons. People who felt their rights, their land, or their wealth had been stripped away because of unfair laws. When weapons and anger and distrust were mixed with the right personality, it could become a volatile situation. One Mercy hoped to prevent. 

Mercy smiled. “It’s good to see you,” she whispered. No matter the situation that had broken their family apart, Pearl was her sister.

***

About the Book

Title: A MERCIFUL DEATH
Author: Kendra Elliot
Release Date: January 17, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Summary

FBI special agent Mercy Kilpatrick has been waiting her whole life for disaster to strike. A prepper since childhood, Mercy grew up living off the land—and off the grid—in rural Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. Until a shocking tragedy tore her family apart and forced her to leave home. Now a predator known as the cave man is targeting the survivalists in her hometown, murdering them in their homes, stealing huge numbers of weapons, and creating federal suspicion of a possible domestic terrorism event. But the crime scene details are eerily familiar to an unsolved mystery from Mercy’s past.

Sent by the FBI to assist local law enforcement, Mercy returns to Eagle’s Nest to face the family who shunned her while maintaining the facade of a law-abiding citizen. There, she meets police chief Truman Daly, whose uncle was the cave man’s latest victim. He sees the survivalist side of her that she desperately tries to hide, but if she lets him get close enough to learn her secret, she might not survive the fallout…

Author Biography

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Kendra Elliot has always been a voracious reader, cutting her teeth on classic female sleuths like Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Laura Ingalls before proceeding to devour the works of Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon, and Nora Roberts. Now a finalist for the Golden Heart, Daphne du Maurier, and Linda Howard awards, Elliot shares her love of suspense in her Bone Secrets series. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and still lives in the Pacific Northwest, with her husband and three daughters. For more information, please visit Kendra at http://www.kendraelliot.com.

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