Thursday, April 30, 2020

Celebrate Lit Presents: Anchored by Death by Catherine Finger

Anchored by Death FB banner

About the Book

Book:  Anchored by Death
Author: Catherine Finger
Genre:  Christian Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: June, 2017
Anchored by Death
Police Chief Jo Oliver needed a little time to herself. But when her escape to Wisconsin turns deadly, she teams up with FBI agent Nick Vitarello, hoping to catch the Bow Tie Killer. Their romantic past and complicated present leads them into uncharted territory as they match wits with a psychopath bent on destroying everything they hold dear.

Click here to get your copy.



About the Author

catherine finger
Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Retired from a wonderful career in public education, she celebrates the ability to choose how to spend her time in a new way during the second half of life. So far, she chooses to write books, ride horses, serve others, and generally find her way into and out of trouble both on the road and at home.  She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends.

More from Catherine

Thank you for your interest in the Jo Oliver thriller series. Today we celebrate Anchored by Death—book three in the series. The basic plot for this book came as a result of an FBI workshop I attended on how profilers track killers. A particular method was presented that really stuck with me. As I thought it over, I had the idea to combine a map of Wisconsin with the tracking technique I had learned, and I actually built the crime scenes around the theory. I then created a killer who would do the sorts of things I had mapped out, and in that order. This was a satisfying challenge for Josie and I enjoyed my research jaunts throughout Wisconsin while writing the chase and takedown scenes.

When Josie’s off the clock and spending time with family and friends, you can catch our heroine in the kitchen. Ever since her infamous Flourless Chocolate Cake appeared in Anchored by Death, fans have requested the recipe. For the epicurean readers, here is the recipe she used when preparing this special treat:
Ingredients:
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 ½ sticks butter
¼ salt
6 eggs, room temp
1 ½ cups sugar (white granulated or brown will do)
Confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder for dusting top and cake stand
How To:
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare springform or regular round pans with nonstick spray or butter and flour.
Melt chocolate, butter, and salt—microwave will work in a pinch—or add all to heatproof bowl and place over small saucepan of simmering water to melt without burning. Set aside to cool
Beat eggs and sugar until light and thickened, around 6-8 minutes. Fold in melted chocolate mixture until completely combined.
Pour batter into buttered and floured cake pan—springform or regular round—and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 90 minutes, until a toothpick comes out wet but relatively clean.
Allow cake to cool completely before removing from pan. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and cocoa—Jo used a stencil for a quick and pretty design.

Thanks again for celebrating Anchored by Death—and know that I appreciate you. Readers are a special breed. As a lover of the written word and an author, I invite you to enjoy the read.

Blog Stops

Betti Mace, April 27
Holly Jo Morris, April 27
Older & Smarter?, April 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Catherine is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


My Review

This is the third book in this series, and Jo Oliver is on a required rest, and while doing so, she finds a body. Now this is the second book in this series that I have read, and like the first, this one is full of action, to the point she may not make it beyond this read.
You never know what will set a killer off, and this one is deep, and will Jo, Quinn and Nick, along with others be able to take this person down, and stop the madness? Will Jo be able to bring her daughter home? Then the big question will there be a family for Samantha?
If you like a story with lots of action, bringing in the police and the FBI, this one will be the answer!

I received this book through Celebrate Lit. and was not required to give a positive review.
 


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Deep in the Alaskan Woods (Alaska Wild #1) by Karen Harper






In the wilds of Alaska, someone sinister is hunting…

Alexandra Collister came to her estranged cousins’ B and B in Lost Lake, Alaska, looking for a fresh start. The sprawling forest surrounding the lodge can be harsh and unforgiving, but when Alex meets rugged wilderness tracker Quinn Mantell, he offers to be her guide. Still recovering from a toxic previous relationship, Alex is wary of getting too close, but when savagely deep claw marks appear outside her bedroom window, keeping her distance from Quinn is no longer an option.

Soon a body turns up exhibiting the same ruthless slash marks, and Alex knows it isn’t a coincidence. Something sinister is lurking in the woods around Lost Lake, turning Alex’s fresh start into a brutal game of survival. The murky veil of forest offers more threats than answers. Can Alex and Quinn find the killer before darkness falls for good?


Amazon



About The Author




A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Harper is a former college English instructor (The Ohio State University) and high school literature and writing teacher. A lifelong Ohioan, Karen and her husband Don divide their time between the midwest and the southeast, both locations she has used in her books. Besides her American settings, Karen loves the British Isles, where her Scottish and English roots run deep, and where she has set many of her historical Tudor-era mysteries and her historical novels about real and dynamic British women. Karen's books have been published in many foreign languages and she won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for 2005. Karen has given numerous talks to readers and writers across the county. Her most recent books include THE SOUTH SHORES TRILOGY (CHASING SHADOWS, DROWNING TIDES and FALLING DARKNESS.) Her latest historical is THE ROYAL NANNY. Please visit her website at www.KarenHarperAuthor and her fb page at www.facebook.com/KarenHarperAuthor


My Review




How fortunate that Alex see her fiancé true colors before she marries him, but will she be able to get away?
We travel from Illinois to Alaska, with her possessions in tow, along with her darling scottie dog, Spenser. Will she be able to escape and hide? The author gives us so much suspense and danger, with a murder and stalking, and yet there is a bit of sweet romance. I also loved the family dynamics and how they might not cousins might not have seen each other for a long time, but love each other.
We get a really good look at the wilderness here, and learn a bit about tracking and looking for signs, footprints, etc. We also learn about the wildlife and to be weary and respectful!
Will life ever return to normal here? Will the evil ones be caught? Answers are forthcoming, with this story that has a lot going on! Sure to keep you page-turning! There are also more to come in this series, and I am sure looking forward to future reads!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Harlequin. and was not required to give a positive review. 

Being Known (Haven Makers #2) by Robin Jones Gunn






After her mom passed away, Jennalyn was in the midst of moving, having a baby, and helping her husband work toward his dream job. At the time, she thought she processed the shock and loss, but only now that Jennalyn has two small children, a lovely new home, a lucrative side hustle with her art, and a husband who is always working does she feel the full impact of the loss.

Enter an old boyfriend who knew Jennalyn well and who shares many fond memories of her mom. Jennalyn begins to doubt her marriage and all her other life choices ever since her mom passed away. It takes the power of truth, close friends who know her well, and a series of choices at the heart level before Jennalyn can surface from the confusion and see with clarity where her life is headed.


Amazon


About The Author






ROBIN JONES GUNN is the much loved author of over 100 books with more than 5.5 million copies of her titles sold worldwide. Her Father Christmas books have been made into 3 Hallmark movies. Her popular Christy Miller series now continues in Christy & Todd: The Married Years and The Baby Years. Robin's novels and non-fiction works have received multiple awards and are a favorite with book clubs and study groups. Robin and her husband have a grown son and daughter and live in Hawaii.

Website


My Review




This book picks up where the first book left off, and the main focus is on Jennalyn, and her current struggles. We also have Tess, and her personal decisions, along with the other DOE's, there is information here to bring you up to date, but you will be hooked and wanting to read the first book!
What loving, caring friends, and they sure are there for one another, who wouldn't love to be invited to one of their get togethers? They sure go all out, but through it all there is a constant love of the Lord.
There are a lot of emotions here, including sorrow, compassion, hope, love, friendship, and trust. As the story unfolded it made me page-turn for the answers, and now that the answers and surprises are known, I hope there are more books to come!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Waterbroook. and was not required to give a positive review.

Home to Stay (A Little Child Shall Lead Them, #2) by Loree Lough








Home to Stay (A Little Child Shall Lead Them, #2)
In the New Order Amish community of Pleasant Valley, a helping hand is never far away, and a baby's smile can be reason enough to start over--and risk love again . . .

Since losing his family in a tragic accident, building contractor Max Lambright can't seem to find purpose in anything but hard work . . . until he meets feisty newcomer, Willa Richards. As she struggles to make a new life for herself and her baby girl, she challenges him in just about every possible way. Dare he hope that, alongside this spirited woman, he might rekindle his lost faith, and find the path to love and the family he craves?

Poor choices and a difficult past have inspired Willa to make better decisions for her precious Frannie, even if it means leaving the familiar behind and starting over . . . among strangers. As she adapts to the Amish ways, she learns about Max's generous and steadfast nature. The loneliness he tries so hard to mask can't be hidden . . . not from a woman with something to prove: Together, they can build their friendship into something that will forever stand as the cornerstone of a happy family.


Amazon 


About The Author






With the upcoming release of the books in her new Kensington series, bestselling author Loree Lough will have 121 books on the shelves (8,000,000+ copies in circulation). Her writing style has been compared to Nicholas Sparks and Mary Jo Putney, and readers and reviewers often call her “a gifted writer whose stories touch hearts and change lives.”

With a long list of industry awards, it isn't likely this prolific author will ever retire...not even to her cozy li'l cabin in the Allegheny Mountains. She loves to hear from her readers and personally answers every letter sent to http://www.loreelough.com/.

Visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APRS7S to see some of Loree's available titles.



My Review



We are back in Pleasant Valley, and with some old friends, and new ones are introduced, and thus another great read by this author.
This story has a range of emotions, there is depression, fear, love, compassion and more, and we are here to experience them.
This is not the usual Amish read, there are topics here that we don't hear about in their community, but we are all human and problems exist. There is also evil lurking and we see how it is handled, and the end results.
This read was a page turner, and answers come, not always as we hope!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Keningston. and was not required to give a positive review.

 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Englisch Daughter by Cindy Woodsmall






A marriage is tested in this Old Order Amish novel of longing for renewed love and a path for forgiveness from the best-selling author of Gathering the Threads .

Old Order Amish wife and mother Jemima has put her marriage and family ahead of herself for years. She's set herself aside. Raising four children, she's followed all the rules and has been patient in looking forward to her time to chase a dream of her own.

But when she finds out that her life savings for pursuing that dream is gone--and her husband, Roy, has been hiding a child with another woman--her entire world is shattered. Will she be able to listen to God and love Roy's child? With so much at stake, how can she and Roy fix their relationship before their lives come crashing down?


Amazon


About The Author




indy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author who has written nineteen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy's been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as one of the top three Amish fiction writers.

Website

My Review






What a range of emotions this book brings out, and they continue right to the last page and beyond to the epilogue.
All the while I'm reading, I kept think, but "these people are Amish", and I guess I hold them to a higher standard, but we are all human and sinners. The author's did a wonderful job of weaving a tale that made you want to shake the main character, and yet have compassion for him, and the innocent baby!
I can warn you, you will be page turning and there is never a dull moment, and there is a lot going on here, from horses to fighting, from cooking to farming, from family to friends, and those less fortunate, giving and receiving, and forgiveness.
A book that I will be recommending, it has something for everyone!

I received this book through the Publisher Waterbrook Press, and was not required to give a positive review.



Harlequin Presents: Tactical Crime Division (TCD]. Secret Investigation by Elizabeth Heiter



Perfect for fans of Criminal Minds and Blacklist...
Uncover the lives and loves of the FBI elite as they take on the toughest assignments. This is a new four-book miniseries featuring an ensemble cast of characters spread across 4 books, featuring 4 urgent cases, with one stellar team of crime solving experts. 
The Tactical Crime Division—TCD—is a specialized unit of the FBI. Because of the growing concerns and need for ever increasing response time to criminal events, the FBI created a specialized tech and tactical team combing specialists from several active divisions that include: weapons, crime scene investigation, protection, negotiation and IT. 
Each title can be read as a standalone novel, featuring a unique hard to solve crime case.






Secret Investigation by Elizabeth Heiter (on-sale April 21, 2020)
Book description: In the wake of a tragedy, the Tactical Crime Division is the first call. When ironclad body armor inexplicably fails and soldiers perish, the Tactical Crime Division jumps into action. Agent and former ranger Davis Rogers asks to go undercover to find the traitor responsible for the death of one of his friends, and Petrov Armor CEO Leila Petrov is happy to provide access to her company…especially once she discovers she’s being framed. But will their joint efforts be enough to uncover the truth?
About Elizabeth Heiter: Publishers Weekly bestselling and award-winning author ELIZABETH HEITER likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists and a little romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. Her novels have been published in more than a dozen countries and translated into eight languages. Visit her at www.elizabethheiter.com
Purchase links:
Harlequin.com: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335136459_secret-investigation.html 

Excerpt, Secret Investigation by Elizabeth Heiter 

A new miniseries from Harlequin Intrigue. 
Welcome to the Tactical Crime Division, a rapid-deployment joint team of FBI agents specializing in hostage negotiation, missing persons, IT, profiling, shootings and terrorism, with Director Jill Pembrook at the head.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Leila Petrov—When defective bulletproof vests cause the deaths of an army unit, Petrov Armor’s CEO is determined to find the person responsible. But her search makes her a liability to a killer, someone who’s closer than she ever expected.
Davis Rogers—The former army ranger thinks going undercover in Petrov Armor is his chance 
to prove himself in the FBI’s elite Tactical Crime Division (TCD). But it’s also deeply personal. One of the soldiers killed was a friend, and Davis won’t stop until he’s gotten justice.
Melinda Larsen—The deeper this profiler digs into the Petrov Armor case, the more unexpected threats she uncovers—putting her directly in the line of fire.
Kane Bradshaw—Ever since his last partner died on the job, the TCD agent prefers to work alone. But as he’s forced to work with Melinda, he fears history will repeat itself.
Eric Ross—Petrov Armor’s head of sales was Leila’s first love. He’s jealous of Leila’s obvious interest in her new “assistant,” Davis, but is there something more sinister behind his constant appearances?
Joel Petrov—Leila’s uncle has been an integral part of the company since Leila was a child. But is his involvement too convenient? 
***
As in the Bureau, dying in the field was a possibility you accepted. You did whatever you could to pre-vent it, but if it happened, you knew you’d be going out doing something you believed in. But not like this. Not the way Jessica had died, trusting the military, trusting her training, trusting her equipment.
“I want to take the lead on this case,” Davis blurted. Gazes darted to him: from profiler Dr. Melinda Larsen, silently assessing, suspicion in her eyes, as if she somehow knew he had a history with one of the victims. Always buttoned-up Laura Smith was quiet and unreadable, but her Ivy League brain was probably processing every nuance of his words. JC, staring at him with understanding, even though he didn’t realize Davis knew Jessica personally. No one on the team did. “Is your personal investment in this case going to be a hindrance or a help?” Pembrook asked, voice and gaze steady.
Davis’s spine stiffened even more. She was talking about his army background. She had to be. But if she thought he was going to fidget, she underestimated the hell he’d gone through training to be a ranger for the army. “A help. I’m familiar with how the army works. And I’m familiar with the product. I’ve worn Petrov Armor vests.”
Petrov Armor had supplied the body armor Jessica and her team had been wearing during the ambush. That armor—supposedly the newest and best technology—had failed spectacularly, resulting in the deaths of all but three of the soldiers and one of the locals. In his mind it wasn’t the insurgents who had killed Jessica and her team. It was Petrov Armor.
He didn’t mention the rest. He’d more than just worn the vests. He’d had a chance to be an early tester of their body armor, back when he was an elite ranger and Petrov Armor was better known for the pistols they made than their armor. He’d given the thumbs-up, raving about the vest’s bullet-stopping power and comfort in his report. He’d given the army an enthusiastic endorsement to start using Petrov Armor’s products more broadly. And they had.
“I’m not talking about the armor,” Pembrook re-plied, her gaze still laser-locked on his, even as agent-at-large Kane Bradshaw slipped into the meeting late and leaned against the doorway. “I’m talking about Jessica Carpenter.” Her voice softened. “I’m sorry for your loss.”
The gazes on him seemed to intensify, but Davis didn’t shift his from Pembrook’s. “Thank you. And no, it won’t affect my judgment in the case.”
Pembrook nodded, but he wasn’t sure if she believed him as she looked back at the rest of the group and continued her briefing. “Petrov Armor won a big contract with the military five years ago. The armor this team was wearing is their latest and greatest. It’s not worn widely yet, but their earlier version armor is commonly used. The military is doing a full round of testing across all their branches. They’ve never had a problem with Petrov Armor before, and they don’t intend to have another.
“Meanwhile, they’ve asked us to investigate at home. We got lucky with the news coverage. We’re still not sure how it was leaked, but not all of it got out. Or if it did, the news station only played a small part. And somehow they don’t have the name of the body armor supplier. Not yet,” she said emphatically. “Rowan, we don’t have to worry about PD this time. I’m putting you on the media. Hendrick can lend computer support if you need it.”
Rowan Cooper nodded, looking a little paler than usual, but sitting straighter.
***


My Review

This book begins with the unthinkable, an act of greed that will make you angry, but why and who is responsible?
One of the FBI agents called into investigate this horrible crime is Davis Rogers, and for him this is personal, he knew one of the victims, and he wants justice!
We also meet the young CEO of the company that is responsible for making the armor,Leila Petrov, and she is soon involved in the investigation, but, you wonder if she is involved?
My mind ran the gamut of who would have done horrible deed, and why, and the deeper we go, the more your ideas change and why?
This one will keep you riveted page turning for the answers!

I received this book through the Publisher Harlequin, and was not required to give a positive review.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Celebrate Lit Presents: Amish Country Murder by Mary Alford


About the Book

Book:  Amish Country Murder
Author: Mary Alford
Genre:  Amish Suspense
Release Date: March 1, 2020


An Amish woman targeted by a serial killer
Is the only living witness…
As the sole woman to escape the Dead of Night Killer, Catherine Fisher’s the key to catching him—if he doesn’t kill her first. Now it’s up to FBI agent Sutter Brenneman to protect her. But with her memory missing and all clues indicating the serial killer took her for very personal reasons, it’ll take everything Sutter has to keep her safe.


Click here for your copy!


About the Author



USA Today Bestselling Author, Mary Alford, loves giving her readers the unexpected. Her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestselling List, Publisher’s Weekly bestselling list, and have finaled in the Daphne Du Maurier award of excellence in mystery, The Beverly, The Maggie, and The Selah Awards.
As a writer, Mary is an avid reader. She loves to cook, can’t face the day without coffee, and her three granddaughters are the apple of her eye. She and her husband live in the heart of Texas in the middle of 70 acres with two cats and one dog.
Mary is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook and Twitter or any social platforms listed at www.maryalford.net.


More from Mary


Thank you for coming with me on this journey to the mountains of Montana, where the Amish Community of West Kootenai is nestled in the wide-open spaces of Big Sky Country, and a simple Amish way of life can be anything but. Especially when a serial killer is lurking nearby, waiting to take his next victim, and the clock is ticking.
Amish Country Murder is my second book set in the Amish Community of West Kootenai, Montana. My first book, Amish Country Kidnapping is available now at most book retailers.
As a reader, one of my favorite genres is Amish Suspense. There’s just something about a story that pits the simple and innocent Amish lifestyle with the dark and sometimes deadly world of a suspense. Good versus evil, so to speak.
When Catherine Fisher escapes the clutches of a serial killer, she can’t remember as single thing about her past before the monster took her.
FBI agent Sutter Brenneman has been working the Dead of Night Serial Killer case for a while. Catherine is his first living victim. Protecting Catherine and finding the killer before he strikes again is critical. Hiding out in Amish Country, Sutter is surrounded my memories of his own Amish past, rekindling old longings for the life lost to him. Is it possible to have it back? In the middle of a killer stalking their every move, Catherine and Sutter share many tender moments as their feelings for each other grow into love.
One of the things I love most about the Amish is their amazingly simple recipes that remind me of my childhood and the meals my mother used to prepare.
During one meal shared with an Amish couple, Catherine and Sutter enjoy sweet potato croquettes with meat loaf. Sweet potato croquettes are a simple side dish that is delicious and easy to prepare. I thought I’d share this recipe with you here.
AMISH SWEET POTATO CROQUETTES
  • 1 pt. of mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 tblsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tblsp. sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • breadcrumbs
  • marshmallows (optional)
Mash sweet potatoes very fine.  Add salt, sugar and melted butter to mashed sweet potatoes. Shape sweet potatoes into croquette rolls or patties.  Cool them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and roll in breadcrumbs.  Dip them in the slightly beaten egg white, and then into the crumbs again. Bake in a shallow, greased baking dish for 20 minutes, at a temperature of 400 degrees F.  For an even sweeter version of this dish, you can place a marshmallow in the center of each (make sure it is covered completely by the potato mixture).
I so hope you enjoy this recipe and Amish Country Murder. And stay tuned for my next Amish Suspense set in West Kootenai, coming in November of this year.

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, April 14
Genesis 5020, April 14
The Avid Reader, April 15
Betti Mace, April 16
Older & Smarter?, April 21
Artistic Nobody, April 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Pause for Tales, April 23
Hallie Reads, April 24
Emily Yager, April 25
SPLASHES of Joy, April 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a Lavender Spa 10-piece Gift Basket with Tote, and a print copy of Amish Country Murder!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


My Review


 This book is a quick read, read in one setting, and it will have you riveted and quickly turning the page for answers.
The author give us a perpetrator that is like the energizer bunny, and he doesn't give up and goes about his evil and we never know when he will turn up.
The main character Catherine is a survivor, and she has managed to get away from the killer, and now the killer is after her. We meet a former Amish man, now FBI, and he is determined to protect and find this suspect.
This story has so many surprises, and a lot is packed into this short book, and you will never have a dull moment here.
I did love that there is an epilogue at the end of this read, we get updated!
I received this book through Celebrate Lit, and was not required to give a positive review.






Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Harlequin Presents: Tactical Crime Division (TCD). Midnight Abduction by Nichole Severn







Perfect for fans of Criminal Minds and Blacklist...
Uncover the lives and loves of the FBI elite as they take on the toughest assignments. This is a new four-book miniseries featuring an ensemble cast of characters spread across 4 books, featuring 4 urgent cases, with one stellar team of crime solving experts. 
The Tactical Crime Division—TCD—is a specialized unit of the FBI. Because of the growing concerns and need for ever increasing response time to criminal events, the FBI created a specialized tech and tactical team combing specialists from several active divisions that include: weapons, crime scene investigation, protection, negotiation and IT. 
Each title can be read as a standalone novel, featuring a unique hard to solve crime case.




Excerpt, Midnight Abduction by Nichole Severn

Perfect for fans of Criminal Minds and Blacklist...
Uncover the lives and loves of the FBI elite as they take on the toughest assignments. This is a new four-book miniseries featuring an ensemble cast of characters spread across 4 books, featuring 4 urgent cases, with one stellar team of crime solving experts. 
The Tactical Crime Division—TCD—is a specialized unit of the FBI. Because of the growing concerns and need for ever increasing response time to criminal events, the FBI created a specialized tech and tactical team combing specialists from several active divisions that include: weapons, crime scene investigation, protection, negotiation and IT. 
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
Ana Sofia Ramirez—She’s out for redemption. Recruited by the Tactical Crime Division’s director from the Bureau’s missing-persons’ division after her last case ended with a dead victim, she’s more determined than ever to recover Benning Reeves’s son.
Benning Reeves—Single father and small-town building inspector who’s come across evidence of a murder hidden on one of his construction sites; the cost of discovery has led to the kidnapping of his six-year-old twins.
Olivia and Owen Reeves—Benning’s six-year-old twins.
Evan Duran—Tactical Crime Division’s hostage negotiator, who’s fully invested in recovering Benning Reeves’s son due to his own dark past of losing his sister as a child.
JC Cantrell—Tactical Crime Division’s tactical-operations specialist, who’s good at planting bugs, leading surveillance ops or coming up with a ruse to distract someone.
***
“Well, maybe I can give her a tour of TCD head-quarters in Knoxville one day. You know, give her a chance to see what federal agents really do on the job.” Ana stilled, the weight of her attention pressurizing the air in his chest, but he didn’t miss the assumption there would be a one day for them. That she wouldn’t disappear from their lives after Owen came home, and his blood pressure spiked. She cleared her throat as though she’d caught herself making promises she might not be able to keep. Just as she had with Samantha Perry’s family. “You must be proud. She’s going to make a hell of an agent one day.”
“That’s her plan, and probably why she opened up to you the way she did. I can tell she admires you, what you do.” Benning straightened, echoes of their earlier conversation replaying in his head on a nonstop loop. He tossed the paper towel he’d used to clean his foot in the trash beside the island. “So do I, to be honest. The work you and your team do saves lives. I know I already said thank you, but I meant it.”
“Like I said, you don’t have to thank me.” She dropped that mesmerizing gaze to the counter, sweeping the spread of flour into the sink set into the island with one hand, and swiped beneath her nose with the other. Touching her face had always been a nervous habit. “All part of the job.”
“Is that what this is for you, Ana? Just another job? Because this case is definitely a lot more personal to me.” Benning maneuvered around the counter, his bare chest nearly pressed against the exposed skin of her arm. He set his hand over hers on the granite, her quick gasp searing through him. Her warmth penetrated past skin and muscle, deep into his bones. “After what you told me about the Samantha Perry case, I realize now how hard it must’ve been for you to come back here, and you’re standing there as if none of it affects you. But is that how you really feel?”
He wanted—no, needed—to know. Was this going to play out exactly as it had between them the last time? Had he made a mistake requesting her to work this case?
Her mouth parted. “I…”
Skimming his fingers along the back of her hand, he trailed a path up her arm to her jaw, and all of his thoughts burned away. There was only the two of them. The softness of her flawless skin and hardness in her invisible guard. After everything that’d happened, after everything they’d already been through in the short span of time she’d walked back into his life, he’d struggled to keep the uncertainty, the rage, the fear, at bay so he could stay strong for Olivia. To prove that he could protect her from any threat, be the father she and her brother deserved. But Ana…stripped him of all of that. With her, Benning felt raw, exposed, bare. She was real. She was here. Not a memory—a fantasy—anymore, and it took every-thing inside him to pull himself away from her. “You had some cookie dough on your chin.”
She’d left because she believed her emotions clouded her judgment on the Samantha Perry case, and he wasn’t about to complicate anything else be- tween them. Not when it was his son’s life at risk this time. Ana turned her gaze up to his, a small tremor crossing her shoulders, and an invisible anchor set-tled inside his chest in the dark, watery landscape of this case. No matter what happened, Ana would bring his son home alive. He had to believe that. He had to believe in her. Otherwise, he’d have nothing left. “Thanks.”
A soft trill broke the silence spreading between them, but she didn’t move.
“I think your phone is ringing.” He cleared his throat, trying to drown the surge of awareness burning through him, and stepped away. It was for the best. Because anything that happened between them would only take away from their focus on finding his son, and that wasn’t a risk he was willing to take.
***



Celebrate Lit Presents: Quincy & Priscilla at the Lowell House by Caryl McAdoo

  About the Book Book:   Quincy & Priscilla at the Lowell House Author:  Caryl McAdoo Genre:  Christian historical fiction   And th...