Midweek Tease: Back to Fire Angel

mwtease15Welcome to this week’s midweek tease.  Easter is only a few days away. Good thing it was late thing year, since spring finally decided to arrive.

Thanks for Angelica Dawson for hosting this weekly blog hop. Last week I signed my eight contract with Crimson Romance publishers, now and imprinto of publishing giant Simon and Schuster, and while I’m still a small fish, I’m now swimming in a much larger pond. I’ve heard that some fish grow in proportion to their environment, so I hope that’s true. My newest book, another suspense romance entitled, No Good Deed, will be released July 31, 2017. With that in mind, it seems fitting to share this week’s tease from my very first novel, the one that started me on way way as an author and incidentally, the first book I sold to Crimson Romance.

Fire AngelWithout further ado, here’s the blurb to Fire Angel.

A malicious serial killer is out for revenge in Paradise. Using fire as his weapon, he strikes at random, and the bodies are piling up.

Criminal profiler Jake McKenzie has returned from Afghanistan minus a leg and afraid to trust his instincts. When the police ask for his expertise in identifying the killer, he agrees knowing this is his chance to prove he can still do the job.

Sixteen years ago, fiercely independent Alexis Michaels escaped an abusive uncle and a deadly fire to become one of the country’s top fire and arson investigators. Her uncanny ability to put herself in the arsonist’s place is the skill they need to find this maniac. She reluctantly accepts the assignment and returns home to lead the hunt for the killer, knowing she will have to confront the unpleasant memories.

When Jake discovers that his new partner is the girl who haunted his dreams all these years, he finds himself enthralled, but memories of his dead wife make him doubt his emotions. Alexis has few pleasant memories of Paradise, but Jake is one of them. Undeniably drawn to him, she longs for a deeper relationship but believes he isn’t ready to move on yet.

Until they catch the killer, they must set aside their conflicted emotions and work together. The clock is ticking, and the killer has made it clear: Alexis is next.

Your tease:

Alexis Michaels cursed again, the sound of her voice loud and unnerving in the empty vehicle. The heavy rain had stopped, but as night had fallen, driving conditions on the Trans-Canada had not improved. A dense fog settled into the region, limiting visibility. The beams from the headlights of her rental car encroached timidly upon the murky darkness, but gave little light. She wished that she had chosen a heavier, sturdier vehicle; a tank would have been nice, she thought. She white-knuckled the steering wheel, as she drove as fast as she could along the deserted road, scolding herself again for not finding a place to stay the night when she had stopped for gas.

“Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” she uttered into the silence. She should have known better; after all, she had spent over fourteen of her thirty years in this area, the last four of which would haunt her forever. She hoped that she would be able to finally lay those ghosts to rest.

She turned off the radio in an effort to concentrate on her driving, but the silence played havoc with her nerves. Too many garish horror movies danced through her head. She gave herself a shake and screamed as the fog came alive in front of her.

She slammed on the brakes just as a large moose stepped out onto the highway less than twenty yards ahead of her, on the very edge of what little illumination her lights provided. A piercing squeal shrieked in her ears and caused the massive bull to turn towards her. The car swerved into the opposite lane, scraped along the road-side rail, and spun around to face the enormous creature. Her heart thundered in her ears. Great, she thought; that’ll leave a mark. What a way to find out that the brakes aren’t in the best of shape!

Alexis shuddered as the vehicle came to a stop. The huge animal stood in the glare of her headlights, staring at the foreign object that had invaded his domain, puffs of vapor coming from his nostrils, reminding her of the enraged bulls in Saturday morning cartoons. She watched in horror as the gigantic beast took two steps in her direction.

What had she been thinking? The problem was that she hadn’t been thinking—as usual. She had been focused on getting to the crime scene as fast as she could before any more evidence could be destroyed. She had seen the signs warning of moose in the area, but she had assumed that even moose had enough common sense to stay put on a night like this.

She stared in awe at the strangely magnificent beast before her. It was so big, much bigger than she remembered. The bull, almost black in color with palmate antlers, stood at least six feet tall at the shoulder and must have weighed well over 1,200 pounds. Its body weight was centered above its long, spindly legs which made it particularly dangerous for low-slung cars like hers. Heaven knew what would happen to her if he decided to charge.

Alexis watched as the gigantic animal continued his slow progress towards the car and then, less than a yard away, he veered right, raised his legs to cross over the rail, and tramped down into the low ditch. She sat immobilized, watching him until he disappeared into the fog. She slowly released the breath she had been holding, and pushed her hair up off her forehead.

“Holy cow, I mean bull,” she said and whistled. “That was way too close for comfort.”

Once she was certain that he was not going to turn around and come back, she drew a deep breath, put the car into low gear, and thanked the powers that be that the engine had not stalled. Cautiously, she moved her car back onto the highway and into her own lane. She had not seen another vehicle in at least an hour, but it would be just her luck to avoid the moose and get hit by an oncoming car—probably driven by the only other person stupid enough to be driving in this weather.

As she drove slowly through the wilderness, hazard lights blinking steadily in the gloom, she carefully watched the roadside. Where there was one moose, there was probably another. Finally, escarpment edged both sides of the highway, and she relaxed.

Fire Angel is available at most ebook retailers. Check for your favorite here. http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Fire-Angel/Susanne-Matthews/9781440567612

Now, please visit the rest of this week’s Midweek Teasers.

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