Good morning, Welcome to another edition of the Mid Week Tease. This morning, I’m offering a special treat. Here’s your chance to see the beautiful new covers created for my Harvester Trilogy as well as get a quick taste of my newest book, The White Carnation, due to be released by Crimson Romance at the end of April.
Thank you Sandra Bunino and all the other lovely writers in this group for giving me the opportunity to spread my wings this way.
Here is the premise of the story. This is not the final book blurb as the publisher drafts the final version before the book is presented for sale, but you’ll get the gist of it.
Disgraced reporter Faye Lewis is thrilled to find another white carnation from her secret admirer—until she realizes the implications of her gift. The last person she wants back in her life is Detective Rob Halliday, the man she blames for ruining her career and breaking her heart. But when she finds an old friend murdered, he’s the one she calls.
After the nasty breakup, Rob swore to banish Faye from his heart and his mind. For the past year, he and his team have been hunting the Harvester, a serial killer who ritualistically murders new mothers and vanishes with their infants. What Rob doesn’t need is another case, especially one involving his ex-fiancée.
After Faye is assaulted in her apartment, Rob realizes the cases are connected, and she may hold the answers he needs to find the elusive killer. Discovering someone inside the investigation is feeding the killer information complicates matters. Forced into close quarters, they must set aside their past and work together to solve the case, learning to trust, love, and respect one another again.
But the more they delve into the case, the more complex the situation becomes. With the possibility of cult involvement, can Rob keep Faye safe or will the Harvester and his followers reap another prize?
And here is your tease:
Mary’s parents lived in a three-bedroom condo, one she’d visited regularly all through her school years, even after she and her mother had been forced to leave their Beacon Hill home for more affordable accommodations. She’d come here a thousand times—spending more time at Mary’s than she had at home. Turning onto the walkway, she was halfway up the steps when a man in a dark hoodie barreled through the door, knocked her down a step, and yanked her purse from her shoulder, forcing the blossom out of her hand. By the time she grabbed the railing to steady herself, he’d reached the sidewalk, and all she could see was the logo from a popular bistro on his back.
“Hey! Watch it,” she cried, but instead of stopping, the guy ran up the street. “Jerk!” she shouted after him. “I’m going to call your boss and get your sorry ass fired.”
At least he didn’t rob me. She bent down to retrieve her favorite peacock-blue handbag, cursing when she saw the shoulder strap was broken. Grabbing the carnation off the cement stoop, she tucked the damaged bag securely under her arm and entered the lobby. As she crossed the foyer, she made a face at the ancient cage-style elevator that carried unwary passengers up to the next levels. She and Mary had spent seven hours trapped between floors when they were seventeen, and Faye had refused to get back in the death trap ever since. Even riding in elevators in modern buildings took an extra dose of courage.
She checked her watch. It was almost half past five. Her message had said she’d be there after four. Well, she hadn’t lied, and if Mrs. Green wasn’t home, at least Faye’d had a nice walk down memory lane. Maybe she’d drive past her old house and rub a little more salt in her wounds.
Faye crossed the foyer to the stairs. By the time she reached the third floor, she had to admit she was out of shape. She’d had to give up her gym membership months ago because of her reduction in pay.
She opened the door to the third floor. Unlike some of the low rises she visited as a reporter, there were no lingering odors of garlic and fish in these pristine hallways. The floor was covered in a thick, taupe carpet to muffle the sound of footsteps, and the cream-colored paint on the walls was clean and fresh. There were six apartments in the building, two units per floor. The Greens occupied the left unit.
Every hair on Faye’s body stood on end as she approached the oak door. It was open. Mrs. Green never left the door open. The woman double- and triple-locked everything. The last time she’d been here—was it really two years ago?—it had taken forever for the woman to undo the locks and let her in.
“Mrs. Green, are you there? It’s Faye.” She pushed open the door and the unmistakable scent of blood—that slightly sour, coppery scent she’d never forget—greeted her. She swallowed a scream. The place was a disaster: furniture overturned, papers, books, CDs, and DVDs littering the floor. There, amidst the chaos, lay Mary’s mother, the jagged red line along her throat testifying to her death.
Faye dropped the flower and damaged purse, some of the contents spilling out and landing in the pool of blood—a tube of lipstick, a pack of gum, a roll of breath mints—strange sprinkles on the deep red surface. The pristine white petals of the carnation soaked up the redness, adding to the eeriness. She ran to the powder room and threw herself on her knees barely in time to spew what was left of her cucumber and watercress sandwiches into the toilet. The pungent, sour aroma of vomit filled the room. Tears tracked down her cheeks. The gut wrenching heaves that followed brought up bile and left her exhausted. She sat back on her heels, trying to control her anguish. With a shaking hand, she pulled her cell phone out of her jacket pocket and dialed a familiar number.
“Homicide, Rob Halliday.” The voice was tired, bored, resigned.
“Rob, it’s Faye. She’s dead. Lucy Green’s dead. There’s so much blood. Someone’s murdered Mary’s mother.”
“Where are you?” Rob was all business, as if there were no painful history between them. Deep down, she knew this no-nonsense, professional side of him was what she needed, why she’d called him and not 9-1-1.
“Third floor, seventeen thirty-seven Marlborough. It’s in Beacon Hill.”
“I know where the damn street is, Faye. Stay there, and don’t touch anything. I’m on my way.”
Well, there you have it. Now, don’t forget to drop by and visit the other teasers today.