Posts Tagged ‘romantic suspense’

I’m tearing through the CORE Shadow Trilogy and want to share my review of the first book, Shadow Of Danger, while the feels are still fresh in my mind. Kristine Mason has now become one of my go to authors for romantic suspense.

Shadow Of Danger

The CORE Shadow Trilogy #1

by Kristine Mason



Genre: Romantic Suspense

 My Review

I won this book in a giveaway a while ago. Kristine also sent me a gnome. You’ll learn his significance further into my review. He sits in my front garden protecting my home. He’s been joined by several others and I suspect I’ll be seeing more. Knowing how much I enjoy this genre and upon some trusted recommendations, I went ahead and grabbed the three book boxed set before I even began reading Shadow Of Danger. I’m now into the second book, Shadow Of Perception, which introduces some new character’s while some favorite ones from the first book make brief appearances.

Celeste is plagued by horrific nightmares and visions of torture and death. A clairvoyant, she sees four women brutally attacked and murdered.

The local sheriff believes in Celeste’s abilities and calls on a trusted friend from a private agency, CORE, to send assistance. The man he sends, John Kain, is having none of it. He’s a former FBI agent, relies on facts and the rest is just nonsense. But before long he witnesses one of Celeste’s trances. The information she provides is vital to the investigation and John comes to accept her abilities.

Reminiscent of shows like Criminal Minds, Karen takes you on a dark journey into the mind of a killer. You get insight into what feeds the need for insatiable blood lust. Gruesome scenes provide a high level of suspense and create empathy for the victims and all of the character’s involved in the case. Kristine does this very well and it’s something I need in a suspense romance.

The suspense builds as the author drops in some twists about the killings and some intriguing side stories.

As for the romance. I had a lot of good times reading about Celeste and John and their instant attraction. It was very believable. Especially when the danger ramped up and the character’s emotions were heightened. And the author provided some much needed comic relief in the form of Celeste’s gnome collection. It started as just one gnome and quickly grew to dozens of them in all shapes and forms.

This book has it all. Suspense that keeps you glued to the book, anxious to see how it all plays out. Anxiety over whether more will die and if they’ll catch the killer or killers before they kill again. And excitement and amusement as Celeste and John fall hard for each other and work through the instant attraction and lusty thoughts.

5 Stars



Four women have been found dead in the outskirts of a small Wisconsin town. The only witness, clairvoyant Celeste Risinski, observes these brutal murders through violent nightmares and hellish visions. The local sheriff, who believes in Celeste’s abilities and wants to rid their peaceful community of a killer, enlists the help of an old friend, Ian Scott, owner of a private criminal investigation agency, CORE. Because of Ian’s dark history with Celeste’s family, a history she knows nothing about, he sends his top criminalist, former FBI agent John Kain to investigate.

John doesn’t believe in Celeste’s mystic hocus-pocus, or in her visions of the murders. But just when he’s certain they’ve solved the crimes, with the use of science and evidence, more dead bodies are discovered. Could this somehow be the work of the same killer or were they dealing with a copycat? To catch a vicious murderer, the skeptical criminalist reluctantly turns to the sensual psychic for help. Yet with each step closer to finding the killer, John finds himself one step closer to losing his heart.

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AuthorPhoto_PerfectlyToxicKristine Mason is the bestselling author of the popular romantic suspense trilogies, C.O.R.E. Shadow, and Ultimate C.O.R.E. She is currently working on her next trilogy, C.O.R.E. Above the Law, along with a series of Psychic C.O.R.E. novellas.

Although Kristine has published a few contemporary romance novels, she focuses most of her energy on her romantic suspense stories, which she loves for their blend of dark mystery/suspense and sexy romance. She is fascinated with what makes people afraid, and is famous for her depraved villains whose crimes present massive obstacles for her heroes and heroines to overcome.

Kristine has a degree in journalism from Ohio State University and lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, four kids, and two dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s chauffeuring kids, gardening, or collecting gnomes. Oh, and she makes a mean chocolate chip cookie!Connect with Kristine on Facebook, Twitter or email her at You can also find out more about Kristine’s books at

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Hide And Seek

by Desiree Holt

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Genre: Romantic Suspense



Anything can happen when you let your guard down . . .


After receiving a violent threat on the heels of her father’s disappearance from the town of Arrowhead Bay, Devon Cole fears for her life—until Vigilance, a local private security agency, steps in to shield her from danger. Although she isn’t usually quick to surrender her freedom, she has no problem stripping her defenses for her new sexy bodyguard . . .


Tortured by the painful memory of lost love, Logan Malik is determined not to fall for a client again. So when he’s tasked with watching over Devon day and night, he’s focused on doing his job. Day is no problem, but as tensions rise at night, nothing can protect them from giving in to unbridled passion . . .



Enjoy this glimpse inside.

“Your father is missing.”

Devon Cole tightened her grip on her cell phone and tried to make sense of what Sheridan March had just told her, as fear swept through her. Maybe she hadn’t heard right.

“What do you mean, missing?”

“The Coast Guard found the Princess Devon drifting five miles off shore early this morning,” the Arrowhead Bay Chief of Police explained. “But there’s no sign of him anywhere. And no clue to anything in the house. We went through every inch of it. The alarm was fried, probably needs to be replaced, but otherwise the place was clean as a whistle.”

Devon clutched the phone. “Was there anything on the boat? Something he might have had with him that could give us a clue?”


“Where’s the boat now. Would the Coast Guard hold onto it?”

“In its slip at the Bayside Marina. After the Guard went over every inch of it they had one of the men on the cutter bring it back in and berth it. I have the keys.”

Devon swallowed to ease the tightness in her throat. “When was the last time anyone saw him?”


Author Desiree Holt

Hide and Seek author

USA Today best-selling and award-winning author Desiree Holt writes everything from romantic suspense and paranormal to erotic, a genre in which she is the oldest living author. She has been referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, and is a winner of the EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice nominee. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times and numerous other national and international publications.

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by Mae Clair
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pub Date: 7/18/2017


Sins of the past could destroy all of their futures . . .
For generations, Quentin Marsh’s family has seen its share of tragedy, though he remains skeptical that their misfortunes are tied to a centuries-old curse. But to placate his pregnant sister, Quentin makes the pilgrimage to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, hoping to learn more about the brutal murder of a Shawnee chief in the 1700s. Did one of the Marsh ancestors have a hand in killing the chief —the man who cursed the town with his dying breath?
While historian Sarah Sherman doesn’t believe in curses either, she’s compelled to use her knowledge of Point Pleasant to uncover the long-buried truth. The river town has had its own share of catastrophes, many tied to the legendary Mothman, the winged creature said to haunt the woods. But Quentin’s arrival soon reveals that she may have more of a stake than she realized. It seems that she and Quentin possess eerily similar family heirlooms. And the deeper the two of them dig into the past, the more their search enrages the ancient mystical forces surrounding Point Pleasant. As chaos and destruction start to befall residents, can they beat the clock to break the curse before the Mothman takes his ultimate revenge? . . .

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Author Mae Clair

Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.
Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.

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Today we have the blog tour stop for Survival Instinct by Janie Crouch. For the first week, all proceeds will be donated to cystic fibrosis research in honor of Tia Troopers. Check it out and grab your copy today!


About Survival Instinct

The voices in her head have decided to kill her.

Most people joke about hearing voices in their heads. For Chloe Jeffries, they’re real. And as the creative force behind one of the most popular shows on television, she has used the constant flood of voices in her mind to her advantage: fuel for entertainment.

But now one of the voices has decided it wants Chloe all for itself.

Ex-Special Forces soldier Shane Westman just wants to make it back to Wyoming to begin to heal from the horrors of war. The last thing he needs, even as a favor for a good friend, is to take on bodyguard duty of a flighty television writer. But once he does, he realizes there are threats at play he doesn’t understand. And the woman who has somehow begun to thaw his frozen heart is in desperate danger from a menace they can’t see, but is always close.

The voice that will never allow Chloe to escape alive.


Enjoy this glimpse inside:

“Remember that time you were about to be beheaded in an unofficial Iraqi prison and I led the team that saved your life?” The voice mentioned the situation so cheerfully it was like he was talking about a long ago frat party or prom date.

Shane Westman groaned, shifting the phone more securely between his cheek and shoulder as he used both hands to carry a packing box across the room to the door. He swallowed a chuckle because laughing now would only spell disaster for the cause of resisting whatever favor his friend and ex-Special Forces teammate, Zac Mackay, was calling in.

“I’m sorry, you must have the wrong number,” Shane said. “I’m just a pizza delivery guy. Never been in an Iraqi prison, of either the official or unofficial kind.”

Zac didn’t even try to hide his own laugh. “It’s understandable that you might not remember. You’d been beaten to almost within an inch of your life and I had to nearly carry your sorry ass all the way back to the neutral zone. I even heard they did some sort of mind—control testing on prisoners to make them think they work at Pizza House for the rest of their lives.”

“Did you want pepperoni or olives on your pizza?”

Zac’s bark of laughter made Shane smile. “How’s the packing of your grandmother’s stuff going?”

“Hard. You know how it is. Some of the stuff in this house seems like it’s been sitting in its exact position since before the Revolutionary War. Getting rid of it feels like a crime.” Boxing up the memories of the woman who’d raised him, his Grammi, was much harder than Shane had thought it would be. He’d spent the entire day yesterday just going through her closet.

For someone who had spent the last twelve years unflinchingly fighting some of the most dangerous enemy combatants in the world, it was surprising how difficult boxing away one small woman’s clothing had been.

“Have you decided to sell the house? Rent it out?”

“I haven’t made any decisions yet. It’s completely paid off, so it’s no hardship. This has always been my home.” He might be moving to Cheyenne, Wyoming, in a couple weeks to begin his civilian career at Linear Tactical with Zac and some of his other former-Army brothers, but Black Mountain, North Carolina, would always be his home.  “I just wish I’d returned sooner. Gotten home last Christmas like I told her I would.” Before his Grammi had died of a sudden heart attack.

“That tough old bird knew you loved her. That’s the most important thing.”

“Yeah, I guess.” He hoped she’d known. He’d always tried to tell her, but for the last few years he’d been around less and less. “So, Mackay, you only bring up busting me out of the Iraqi prison—which I would’ve gotten out of just fine by myself, by the way—when you want to ask a favor.”

They both knew Shane wouldn’t have gotten out of that prison without Zac and the team’s help, as well as that Zac didn’t have to lord the rescue over Shane to get him to help with whatever Zac needed. If it was in Shane’s power, he’d do it. Just like Zac would do the same for him.

“Yeeeahh.” Zac dragged out the word in the most annoying way possible. “Linear Tactical has a job for you.”

Zac had formed a company with three of their other Special Forces buddies once they’d gotten out of the service. Linear Tactical trained others in tactical awareness, small—arms safety, wilderness survival, and self-defense. People from all over the country traveled to their compound in Cheyenne. People who wanted to learn from the best.

“This can’t wait until I get out there in two weeks? I know you miss me, Zac, but I want to enjoy not being snowed in for as long as possible.”

It was only September, but the Wyoming winters were damn long.

“You know, for someone with the nickname Avalanche, you sure don’t like cold weather.”

Shane began loading up another box, knickknacks of Grammi’s he wouldn’t be able to keep if he wanted to fit anything else in the house. “Yeah, well, I didn’t get the name because of my snowboarding ability.”

He’d gotten it because of his ability to completely shut down his emotions. To pull ice around him, distancing himself from a situation in order to obtain the best tactical advantage, regardless of the horrors going on around it. A saving grace many times when he’d been a soldier, people dying all around him. When he’d been forced to make decisions as team leader that cost others their lives. He’d frozen his emotions out to get the job done.

Unfortunately, now he couldn’t seem to thaw.

“Job’s not out here,” Zac continued. “As a matter of fact, it’s right in your backyard.”

“North Carolina?”

“Yep. It’s a side job.”

They both knew that type of job for Linear Tactical tended to be much more dangerous than the work they did in Wyoming. Their home base was for training and teaching about weapons and situational awareness. Their “side jobs” tended to involve the actual weapons and situations. Kidnap and ransom assistance, bodyguarding, even guns-for-hire if the situation was right.

“I’ve been out of the field for more than six months, Zac. I may not be in peak shape.”

Zac’s eye-roll was evident even over the phone. “Whatever. I’ll take you in not-quite-peak over most people at their very best. Plus, this is a pretty low risk job, which can help ease you back in to American civilian life, and it’ll get you on our payroll.”

“I’m already on it.”

“Whatever. Get you more on our payroll.”

Shane stacked another box. “Fine. What is it?”

“There’s a television show, Day’s End, that does all its primary shooting near you in North Carolina. They’re having trouble with some sort of stalker. Most of the stars have their own bodyguards, but the studio is looking for someone good—and discreet—to send and help coordinate the security teams. To look around, see if they can figure out who the stalker is.”

“I’m not a detective, Zac, nor an investigator.”

“Yes, but you are more observant than anyone I’ve ever known.”

Shane wiped a hand over his eyes. “That wasn’t enough to keep my whole team from getting killed.”

Zac didn’t even stop for a breath. “You were cleared of that. You made the best decision you could with the intel you had. Everyone agreed.”

Shane didn’t respond. Being cleared didn’t bring back the dead.

“Avalanche, listen. I need someone I know personally. Linear Tactical got the call because the show’s creator is Adrienne Jeffries’ sister. She helped us out last year with that kidnapping case that would’ve gone to hell in a handbasket without her.”

“The Bloodhound lady.”

Zac chuckled. “She still doesn’t like to be called that, but yep. Adrienne was concerned about her sister so she made sure the studio contacted Linear Tactical to get the security support the show needs.”

Shane rubbed his eyes. He didn’t want to do this. Didn’t want to be in charge of someone

else’s life again. “Send one of the other guys, Zac. I’m not the right person for this. I agreed to work for you because I thought I would be doing training. Teaching civilians how to defend themselves or handle their Glock.”

“You’ll have plenty of time for that. Trust me, a year from now you’ll be begging me to send you back out in the field for some action.” Zac’s voice got serious. “I need someone I can trust one hundred percent. What Adrienne did for us with that kidnapping case? I can’t do anything but give her someone I trust completely to help with her sister. We need the best.”

“That’s not me, Zac.”

“Just give it a couple weeks. If you still feel like you can’t handle it, then I’ll find someone else. I know you’ve been on your little stroll for the past six months, but I have zero concerns that you’ve let yourself slip in either fitness or mental acuity.”

Shane rolled his eyes. His “little stroll” as Zac put it, had been a demanding hike through the Alps, one Shane had taken because he’d needed to be away from everything and everyone while he’d tried to come to grips with losing his team. And while Zac was right—the time had made him stronger and more focused—it sure as hell hadn’t brought him many answers.

Shane was going to argue more, but stopped. What was the point? It wasn’t like he was going to say no. When a brother asked you to do something, you did it. “Fine. Give me the details.”

“The show is Day’s End. It’s about all these different paranormal creatures that attempt to stay alive while being hunted by a sort of human mafia.”

“Yeah, it’s been shooting around here for three years.” The wilderness of western North Carolina had provided a beautiful backdrop for the show. “My grandmother mentioned it, but I’ve never watched it.”

“It’s one of the most popular shows on television, so you should probably check it out. Chloe Jeffries is the creative force behind the whole thing. It’s her baby. She leads all the writing and some of the directing too. She’s supposed to be this amazing, ingenious visionary.”

Great. Creative tended to mean flighty in Shane’s experience. Unaware of what was going on around them.  “How long do they need someone?”

“Two weeks tops. Threat assessment and coordination of security. See what you can spot and make any changes you need to. You might have to do a little people—watching for a few days, but those needing watching include Alexandra Adams. She plays the lead role, Tia Day.”

Shane might not know the show, but everyone knew of Alexandra Adams. The show had catapulted her straight into the role of America’s sweetheart.

“Yeah, I know who Alexandra Adams is.” Not that it mattered. This was about loyalty to Zac and the others, not about who he’d be guarding. “I’ll do it, Mackay.”

“I knew no red-blooded male could resist the thought of being near Alexandra Adams.”

Shane rolled his eyes. “Two weeks. If they still need someone after that, it’s more than just threat assessment, it’s long term containment. That’s not what I’m in for.”

Going in and assessing the holes in the security would be bad enough. Shane definitely wasn’t interested in holding someone’s life in his hands again.

Been there. Done that. Failed miserably.

Being a soldier was the only thing Shane knew how to do. He was glad to join his friends at Linear Tactical, but he wanted to teach, not be back out in the field. He was out of that game. And he particularly didn’t want to be guarding people involved with some crazy zombie, vampires, and faeries show.

“Got it. Two weeks tops.” Zac turned serious. A rarity. “Thank you, Shane.”

“Don’t thank me yet. You know I don’t tend to play well with others.”

Zac laughed. “If you’re not nice, they’ll just dress you up like one of the zombies and put you on camera. Wouldn’t take much makeup the way you scowl. I’ll let you go finish clearing out your Grammi’s house. Your house now. Shane, thank you. I promise not to bring up your near-beheading for at least another four months.”

Shane smiled. “Mackay, do you remember that time I carried you six miles over my shoulder in the Afghanistan mountains when you fainted?”

Fainted?” Zac let out a blistering string of curses. “I was shot in the damn head.”

“You were grazed and faking the whole thing because you were too lazy to walk. I’m convinced of it.” Shane couldn’t stop the grin spreading across his face.

“Damn it, Westman, go protect some movie stars before I fly out there and kick your ass myself. You obviously had your brain tampered with while you were in that Iraqi prison.”

“You want extra cheese on your pizza?”

100% of proceeds until July 16 goes to Cystic Fibrosis charities – with a special $0.99 price. Help us stomp CF! Plus, buy Survival Instinct before July 16 and get a free ebook by Janie not available anywhere else! More details here:

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About Janie Crouch

Winner of the Golden Quill Award for Best Romantic Suspense, and a finalist in multiple other Romance literary awards, including the coveted RITA Award by the Romance Writers of America, Janie Crouch loves to read – almost exclusively romance – and has been doing so since middle school. She cut her teeth on Harlequin (Mills & Boon) Romances when she lived in Wales, UK as a preteen, then moved on to a passion for romantic suspense as an adult.

Janie recently relocated with her husband and four children to Germany (due to her husband’s job as support for the U.S. Military), after living in Virginia for nearly 20 years. When she’s not listening to the voices in her head (and even when she is), she enjoys traveling, long-distance running, movie-watching, knitting and adventure (obstacle) racing. Janie completed an Ironman Triathlon in 2014 and is prepping for another one in 2017.

Her favorite quote: “Life is a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller.

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Blogs Taking Part in the Blog Tour:

July 10th            

A Sky Filled with Sparkling Stars  Excerpt

Southern Vixens Book Obsessions             Excerpt

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Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog Excerpt

Lovely Loveday  Excerpt

Mythical Books  Excerpt

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July 12th            

It’s All About the Romance           Excerpt

Book Sniffers Anonymous             Excerpt

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Seeing Night Reviews      Review

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Wilde Horses
by Jannine Gallant
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pub Date: May 23, 2017
The Wilde brothers may be attracted
to all things fast and furious. But their spirited sister can’t be
tamed when it comes to matters of the heart . . .
The beautiful vistas and peace and
quiet on her family’s Wyoming ranch are a balm for Eden Wilde’s
soul—and inspire a gentle touch when it comes to breaking the wild
horses she loves. Though there’s no hope on the breathtaking
horizon for her love life. Until her sanctuary is invaded by a movie
studio shooting their latest blockbuster starring Hollywood’s man
of the moment.
After a personal tragedy plays out in
his real life, movie star Blake Benedict finds himself falling for
the wide-open spaces and easy going pace of Wyoming—and for Eden.
Around her, he feels safe shedding his public persona and letting
down his guard. But then accidents begin to happen on set, mishaps
that could end Blake’s career—or his life. And Eden will be
forced out of her comfort zone to save the Hollywood hero from an
enemy he never saw coming . . .
Write what you know. Jannine Gallant
has taken this advice to heart, creating characters from small towns
and plots that unfold in the great outdoors. She grew up in a tiny
Northern California town and currently lives in beautiful Lake Tahoe
with her husband and two daughters. When she isn’t busy writing or
being a full time mom, Jannine hikes or snowshoes in the woods around
her home. Whether she’s writing contemporary, historical or
romantic suspense, Jannine brings the beauty of nature to her
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Ashes banner

Author: Vincent Zandri
Publisher: Bear Media
Pages: 277
Genre: Thriller/Horror/Romantic Suspense

The Ashes (The Rebecca Underhill Trilogy Book 2) by [Zandri, Vincent]

My Review

I wasn’t prepared for this one. I was expecting a creepy read. What I got was a dark, psychological nightmare. Loved it too.

As I got into this story I suspected there might be a book before this one. The author relates a huge event in the past that comes back to haunt Rebecca, her best friend, and their children. A psycho killer has escaped from the asylum and is coming for them, bent on finishing the job his cellmate started all those years ago.

You’ve seen the movies or read the books with similar scenarios. What will get you is how the author turns it darker, more horrifying. I’m warning you right now, don’t expect happy endings for everyone. This killer is cunning, patient, and doesn’t even seem to be entirely human. He’s like a spider. He spins his web and waits for the prey to get trapped in it.

I questioned some of the actions, especially Rebecca’s and her boyfriend Sam’s. They knew the killer was out there somewhere. Knew there was a threat, especially to the children. And hesitating at some crucial times wasn’t something I imagined I’d do. I’d be screaming for the police at the top of my lungs. I know, that’s easy for me to say. I’m not the one being hunted. But, then the story wouldn’t be so intense, wouldn’t get those gut reactions I suspect the author was going for. Sure got them out of me.

This is a hair ripping, wild look into the mind of a monster, and the struggles his victims go through to escape his killing web. I mentioned earlier that I suspected their was a book before this one. There is. The Remains. While I read this book first and got information about the earlier story, I plan to read it and expect to get just as much enjoyment out of it even though I have an idea how it ends.

If you love psychological thrillers with a large dose of horror, you’ll want to read this book.

5 Stars




It’s been eight years since artist and single mom, Rebecca Underhill, was abducted and left to die in an old broken down house located in the middle of the dark woods. But even if her abductor, Joseph William Whalen, has since been killed, another, more insidious evil is once more out to get her in the form of the Skinner. The son of an abusive butcher, Skinner intends on finishing the job Whalen started but failed at.

How is he going to get to Rebecca?

He’s going to do it through her children, by luring them into the cornfield behind the old farmhouse they live in.


Now, armed with the knowledge that the Skinner has escaped incarceration at a downstate facility for the criminally insane, Rebecca must face the most horrifying challenge of her adult life: Rescuing the children not from a house in the woods, but from the abandoned tunnels that run underneath her property.

But the Skinner is watching Rebecca’s every move.

Horrifying question is, will she live long enough to save the children?

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Check out the Excerpt:

Albany Police Department

South Pearl Street Precinct


The old homicide detective sits behind his metal desk surrounded by the cold quiet of the early morning, staring forlornly into the radiant screen on his department-issued laptop. He’s been using the laptop, which is integrated with the department’s web server, for years and years now, but he still fondly recalls the days when his desktop supported only a telephone connected to an old fashioned landline and beside that, an IMB Selectric typewriter. And how could he ever forget the old two tiered Inbox/Outbox?

He glances at his inbox and the two dozen or so new emails that have come his way since he last checked it the previous evening. He scans the emails for their importance, relegating most of them to routine, until he comes to one marked, “URGENT: Serial Murderer Hanover Escapes Custody.”

The detective, whose name is Nick Miller, is a tall, wiry, white-haired man. He has been on the force for more years than a man should be. Or so he’s been told countless times by his peers inside the department. But he’s a widower who can’t seem to get over the fact that his wife is gone, even years after her untimely death on an operating table after suffering a burst aneurism. It also explains why he’s sitting behind his desk, suffering from the pangs of a whiskey hangover, on a quiet Sunday morning.

He opens the email.

“To Whom It May Concern,” reads the department wide message. “The former cellmate of New York State registered sex offender and convicted murderer, Joseph William Whalen, has escaped from the Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center in New Hampton, New York while en route to a routine medical review at an upstate facility. Lawrence Frederick Hanover, 69, Caucasian, was convicted on several counts of murder in the first degree and is considered extremely dangerous. Both guards who were assisting with the transfer were killed during an apparent violent exchange with Hanover, aka Skinner, or The Skinner. His present whereabouts is unknown.”

 Miller exhales, sits back in his swivel chair.

The email originates not from the FBI but from the state police, most notably, the Rensselaer County Division. He recalls Whalen as the maximum security inmate who, not long after his release, attempted to abduct and kill the same woman, Rebecca Underhill, whom he’d abducted back when she was a little girl in 1977. Her twin sister, Molly, was also the target of his attacks. Although Molly has since died, Rebecca, still lives in the area with her son.

The email comes with several pictures of Hanover, including his most recent mugshots and psychiatric facility photo records. The small, bald, scraggily faced little man doesn’t seem like he could hurt a fly much less another human being. But Miller wasn’t born yesterday and he knows that even a little man can kill as efficiently and quickly as a big, monster of a man. Perhaps even more quickly and efficiently.

Sitting back up, he scans the rest of the email.

“While state police have issued state-wide APBs and launched a task force to hunt for Hanover’s whereabouts, we are asking that police cooperate in every way possible to ensure the quick, efficient, and otherwise discreet apprehension of the serial murderer. All communications should be delivered directly to this office via the email/phone number listed.”

Once more Miller sits back.

“The quick, efficient, and otherwise discreet apprehension of the serial murderer,” he whispers. “Somebody fucked up and that somebody doesn’t want the press to get ahold of this story.”

Sitting there, alone in the quiet office, Miller feels a distinct and very unpleasant chill run up and down his backbone.

“What would a schooled Statie or FBI pathologist have to say about this rather delicate situation?” he whispers quietly to himself. “That a killer as skilled and hungry as Hanover is gonna slip up and be found sleeping in some crappy hotel somewhere? That they can then slip him back inside his rubber room at Mid-Hudson Psychiatric, like he’s some two-bit bank robber?” The detective laughs aloud. “I’ll tell you something right now. If the Skinner doesn’t want to be found, then no way in hell he’s gonna be found. Simple as that. He didn’t escape to be free. He escaped to kill, to butcher, and that’s all.”

His bloodshot eyes once more focused on the laptop screen, the old detective shifts the curser so that it clicks on the Action Taken box beside the open email. He clicks on Saved Mail.

Closing the laptop lid, he finds that his hands are shaking. He opens the bottom desk drawer, pulls out the bottle of Jack Daniels stored inside it. Pouring a generous shot into his empty ceramic coffee cup, he drinks it down.

“Skinner,” he whispers. “Who will you flay next? Whose flesh will you feast on?”


Author Vincent Zandri

Ashes author

Winner of the 2015 PWA Shamus Award and the 2015 ITW Thriller Award for Best Original Paperback Novel, Vincent Zandri is the NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, and AMAZON KINDLE No.1 bestselling author of more than 25 novels including THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT WEEPS, EVERYTHING BURNS, and ORCHARD GROVE. He is also the author of numerous Amazon bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL, TRUE STORIES and MOONLIGHT MAFIA among them. Harlan Coben has described THE INNOCENT (formerly As Catch Can) as “…gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting,” while the New York Post called it “Sensational…Masterful…Brilliant!” Zandri’s list of domestic publishers include Delacorte, Dell, Down & Out Books, Thomas & Mercer and Polis Books, while his foreign publisher is Meme Publishers of Milan and Paris. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri’s work is translated in the Dutch, Russian, French, Italian, and Japanese. Recently, Zandri was the subject of a major feature by the New York Times. He has also made appearances on Bloomberg TV and FOX news. In December 2014, Suspense Magazine named Zandri’s, THE SHROUD KEY, as one of the “Best Books of 2014.” Recently, Suspense Magazine selected WHEN SHADOWS COME as one of the “Best Books of 2016”. A freelance photo-journalist and the author of the popular “lit blog,” The Vincent Zandri Vox, Zandri has written for Living Ready Magazine, RT, New York Newsday, Hudson Valley Magazine, The Times Union (Albany), Game & Fish Magazine, and many more. He lives in New York and Florence, Italy.

Website & Social Links:

Website / Twitter / Facebook


Ashes giveaway

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This giveaway ends midnight May 31st.

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Welcome to The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice.


This is a really fun meme!

The only rules are to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader and find a sentence or a few (no spoilers) that grabs you and post it.

Then go over to Freda’s Voice and leave your link so we can visit your 56!

My 56 for this week is from:

Deadly Silence

Blood Brothers #1

by Rebecca Zanetti



Genre: Romantic Suspense

From Page 56 in the paperback.

The anger turned into something deeper…something that hurt.


Read on if you want to know more.



Under siege. That’s how Ryker Jones feels. The Lost Bastards Investigative Agency he opened up with his blood brothers has lost a client in a brutal way. The past he can’t outrun is resurfacing, threatening to drag him down in the undertow. And the beautiful woman he’s been trying to keep at arm’s length is in danger…and he’ll destroy anything and anyone to keep her safe.

Paralegal Zara Remington is in over her head. She’s making risky moves at work by day and indulging in an affair with a darkly dangerous PI by night. There’s a lot Ryker isn’t telling her and the more she uncovers, the less she wants to know. But when all hell breaks loose, Ryker may be the only one to save her. If his past doesn’t catch up to them first…



Leave your link and I’ll drop by your 56.

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