Saturday, April 29, 2017

Silenced Release Blitz

Silenced 
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"It’s hard to move on in life when the shadow of my past is at my heels at all times. Just when I think that I got over the past, and that I’m ready to move on, it sneaks up on me like a jungle cat who’s been starving for days on end and needs food." Lauren Reynolds has been married for two years, and has been with her husband, Cooper Reynolds for four years. Everything in their life is perfect: Cooper is a loving, understanding husband who thinks the world of Lauren and Lauren reciprocates those feelings. There's just one problem: for four years, before Lauren and Cooper started dating, she was in an emotionally abusive relationship that still haunts her and eats at her every day. "Silenced" is the story of Lauren's journey to finding absolute happiness in a life that has been ripped to shreds several times. With the help of Cooper, Lauren will overcome and conquer her past, leaving it all where it belongs.

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Silenced Teaser 1

Silenced Teaser 2

Silenced Teaser 3

Silenced Teaser 4


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Amazon US : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071Y7ZF6Q?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660
Amazon Brazil : https://www.amazon.com.br/Silenced-English-Aimee-Shaye-ebook/dp/B071Y7ZF6Q
Amazon Canada : https://www.amazon.ca/Silenced-Aimee-Shaye-ebook/dp/B071Y7ZF6Q
Amazon France : https://www.amazon.fr/Silenced-English-Aimee-Shaye-ebook/dp/B071Y7ZF6Q
Amazon Germany : https://www.amazon.de/Silenced-English-Aimee-Shaye-ebook/dp/B071Y7ZF6Q
Amazon India : https://www.amazon.in/Silenced-Aimee-Shaye-ebook/dp/B071Y7ZF6Q
Amazon Italy : https://www.amazon.it/Silenced-English-Aimee-Shaye-ebook/dp/B071Y7ZF6Q
Amazon Mexico : https://www.amazon.com.mx/Silenced-English-Aimee-Shaye-ebook/dp/B071Y7ZF6Q
Amazon Spain : https://www.amazon.es/Silenced-English-Aimee-Shaye-ebook/dp/B071Y7ZF6Q
Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silenced-Aimee-Shaye-ebook/dp/B071Y7ZF6Q

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“I am many things but normal is not one of them,” says Aimee Shaye when asked to describe herself. She is a twenty-three year old novelist whose genres include Dark-Fantasy, Romance, Erotic Romance, Science-Fiction, and Steampunk. When asked what drives her, Aimee says, “The world around me. The people I know. The love I have gained. The pain I have endured.” Though young, Aimee has experienced many things that she believes no one (man or woman) should ever have to endure, and as a result of that she has turned her pain into liquid words that fill the pages of her books, novels, novelettes, and short-stories.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Who Needs Air by Cassie Graham

 
Title: Who Needs Air
Author: Cassie Graham
Release Date: April 28, 2017
Add to TBR
 
 
 
They fell in love at thirteen.
He wrote a book about it at twenty.
She watched him walk away at twenty-three.
And he made the New York Times Best Sellers list at twenty-four.

Campbell ‘Cam’ Potter stood idly by as August Wyatt took over the world one word at a time. Chapter by chapter, people fell in love with the story he created – the events she lived. And now the book was being made into a movie, it was only a matter of time before August was back in their small hometown in Georgia.

The problem was, when August left five years ago, Cam made a promise to herself. The ending in his book would be the conclusion to their story. There was no sequel, no second chance, no possibility of ever seeing him again. He obliterated her heart and she was determined to never let it happen again.

That is, until Cam gets a late night text from the heartbreaker himself.
New chapters are written, fresh storylines are explored and Cam and August find a familiarity in one another.

Sometimes THE END doesn’t mean it’s over.
 
 
 
 
Bringing my body into his with a tug, he squeezes my shoulders. Only, this hug feels different. It doesn’t feel like all the other ones we’ve shared since he came back into town. I’m baffled at first, my arms locked around his torso. He doesn’t let me free and I think he may need this. I think he might need me. He sighs, his face falling into the crook of my neck and I finally understand why it’s so different. I don’t know why it took me so long, but my heart soars and my grip tightens. I force my eyelids closed and I breathe him in, using every ounce of my ability to give him back what he’s offering me so willingly.

He doesn’t have to say the words, but I hear them loud and clear. He’s been looking for someone to care about him in this town. Not someone to fawn over him or tell him what he wants. I’ve shown him that even without the book, he’s still important and this gesture – his foreign and surprising hug – is his way of telling me he appreciates it.

He clutches the back of my neck, his signature grasp, and breathes me in as I cling to his sweater, willing my eyes to stay closed. If I look at him or our reflection in the mirror above the headboard, I’m going to lose it.

Sighing contently, he pulls back and I do the same, opening my eyes.

“Night,” he offers with a smile, bringing his lips to my forehead for a split second before turning around and sufficiently closing me out, unzipping his bag.

I blink a few />Walking out of the door with embarrassed haste, I close it behind me.

My skin, tingling and hot, I trace my forehead with my fingertips. The prickle of his kiss still evident. Eager to erase the aftereffect of his touch, I scrub my head like a moron, accidentally creating a deep red spot. It doesn’t help. My skin scorches for long minutes.

After changing into pajamas, I climb into bed and wrap myself in the comforter. I need to sleep and forget the last three hours happened.

Just as I’m about to shut my eyes, my phone goes off with a text message.

August: Tonight was exactly what I needed.

Another one comes in.

August: You’re still so important to me. Please don’t ever forget that.

I chew on my lip and study the words until they become indecipherable. Turning on my side, I plug my phone into the charger and close my eyes.

I’m in so much trouble.
 

 
 
 
Cassie Graham is a sassy redhead who lives in Arizona with her handsome husband and beautiful daughter. If she isn’t shoulder-deep in writing a book, you can find her watching Supernatural or reading a delicious romance by one of her many talented friends. She likes front porch sitting in her pink rocking chair, drinking Moscato, chocolate, reading books with her daughter and constantly dating her husband.
 
  

Book Blast for Rachel's Dream by Lisa Jones Baker















Rachel’s Dream
by Lisa Jones Baker

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
GENRE: Inspirational Romance  (Amish)



BLURB:

Rachel Kauffman and Jarred Zimmerman seem to have nothing in common.  She's the outgoing youngest of a large, close-knit Amish clan, while Jarred is a young veterinarian who trusts the animals he heals far more than he trusts people.  However, when Rachel's horse falls ill, Jarred's struggles to save him show Rachel he's a man who cares deeply.  And the respect he feels for her gentle warmhearted ways soon becomes an irresistible bond. When Rachel tries to help Jarred reunite with his parents, it's an unexpected blessing..with one complication.  If he takes this chance to put his past to rest, it could separate him and Rachel for good.  Now, with prayer, love...and her hope chest's small miracles, Jarred and Rachel must find the courage to reconcile their wishes into a joyous life together.

After finishing her chores, Rachel bounded through the open doors and shouted, “Old Sam!”

He looked up from his workbench and smiled.  “Rachel, I was wondering how you were.  I haven’t seen you for awhile.”

She plopped herself down into the chair opposite him and caught her breath, pushing some loose hairs back under her kapp.

“What’s on your mind?”

She launched into an explanation of her dilemma.  As she did so, Buddy whined for her attention, making himself comfortable on her shoes.  Automatically, she stroked the canine’s head.

As she related the brief contents of Jarred’s letter, her heart pumped faster to keep up with her desperate words, which started to run together.  When she’d finished, she said, “Old Sam, you’ve got to help me.  I don’t know what to do.” 


AUTHOR Bio and Links:





 Lisa Jones Baker is a multi-published author with Kensington Books.  Her debut book of THE HOPE CHEST OF DREAMS series, REBECCA’S BOUQUET, won a Publishers Weekly starred review.  A former teacher with a BA degree in French education, Lisa has been on 5 out of 7 continents, is a dog lover.  She enjoys positive thinkers , volunteering in her church’s food pantry, and strong female characters.    









Thursday, April 27, 2017

Claiming The Maverick's Heart


“He’s back.”


Words Macy Donovan hoped to never hear. 



Trace Cartwright was the maverick rodeo cowboy who broke her heart, leaving her on the steps of the church on the eve of their wedding. Now he's returned to build his home and to lay claim to her heart ... again. Macy barely survived the broken heart the first time. Does he think he can walk back into her life and take up where he left off?



Well, she was a take charge kinda gal now wasn’t she? The girl Trace Cartwright had left behind would have shrunk away into a dark corner to lick her wounds. But that’s not who she was anymore. Her eyes flew to the rearview mirror. Then her brain took over, and she spun the truck into a U-turn at the end of Main Street…good ting the sheriff was looking the other way. The element of surprise was on her side, and she would use it.




Born and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debra grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers.  Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most.  She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and planning high-end weddings (ah, romance!).
    
When she isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found cheering on her Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on another cruise adventure.  She read her first romance...Janet Dailey's Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre. Writing contemporary romances, is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles...and sighs...to all who believe in happily-ever-after’s. 
     

Debra invites you to visit her website at www.debraholtbooks.com.  
She loves to hear from other aspiring authors or readers via email at debraholtbooks@gmail.com.  
Twitter is https://twitter.com/DebraHoltBooks and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DebraHoltBooks.  




Success With Stress by Jae Ellard





Believe it or not, stress isn't all bad; in fact, it's an important part of the natural world. Stress helps us survive as a species - because of that we want the ability to be stressed. That said, being able to manage stress with greater success is the difference between surviving and THRIVING. Success with Stress explores five simple ideas to spark your personal power to change the level, duration, and frequency of the stress in your life. With workplace stress being linked to quality of life, health, and workplace morale, this is a must-read for any team looking to improve morale and individuals looking to improve their quality of life.

Buy the Book:  Amazon




Assume Positive Intent

By Jae Ellard, Author of Success with Stress and Founder of Simple Intentions

It’s easy to get hooked or triggered in our modern world. Meaning, many times each day we feel resistance when conversations, outcomes, projects and meetings don’t go the way we hoped they would go or as we had planned. Perhaps someone who works for you delivered an underwhelming performance, or you disagree on strategy with your manager, or a friend/family member holds views that are very different from yours - regardless of the scenario, the feeling we experience is similar.
Some common emotional responses when things don’t go our way are we feel wronged, invalidated, frustrated or at times angry, and likely our responses (conversations and actions) reflect that. This only compounds the feelings we are experiencing and creates a mirror reaction in the person or people with which we are engaged.
At times, we may feel as if the person or people who triggered us did it intentionally or on purpose -which rarely ends up being the case. Most people wake up each day with a desire to do good and be good in this world.
We live in a world composed of 7 billion unique people each with his/her own idea of what “do good” and “be good” means - none of which are more right or more wrong than the other - just different. It is true that at times we harm each other with words and actions, disappoint each other, miss expectations or plainly act as a jerk. And it’s also true that most times these choices are not premeditated - the intent of the action is not to harm, disrupt or divide.
There is a different choice each one of us has when we feel hooked or triggered and that choice is to assume positive intent. This doesn’t mean ignore your feelings of displeasure. Rather, address them from a different place - one that starts with assuming the others involved started with a positive intent that just didn’t land.

Next time you feel hooked or triggered, experiment with making a choice to acknowledge that it may have been positive intent that created the situation - and that can get you out of it as well. The choice is yours.

[This article originally appeared on Huffington Post]








This brief treatment on what stress is and how it affects human life is an excellent introduction to this topic under the broader area of self care. I feel this book would be a valuable addition to any high school curriculum.

Stress is generally perceived as negative strain. The sources are varied and infinite.
How an individual perceives and reacts to stress is more important than the originating source. 
This book addresses stress and responses in small bits, offering practical and effective ways to reduce it's negative impact on one's life.

To some this may appear overly simplistic, yet the topic is well covered and explained.



Jae Ellard is an author, speaker, and expert on developing the skill of awareness in the workplace. After years in senior communication roles crafting content for executives, Jae collapsed from stress-related adrenal fatigue. This life-altering experience propelled her to research human behavior, neuroscience, mindfulness, and organizational relationship systems. In 2008, Jae founded Simple Intentions and developed the Mindful Life™ Program to generate intentional conversations to disrupt patterns and create awareness, accountability and action at team and individual levels. Jae has taught the skill of awareness in more than 50 countries to thousands of employees at multinational corporations such as Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia.

Jae is a columnist on workplace awareness for Mindful Magazine, as well as the author of 7 books on the topic. She contributes to the Healthy Living section on Huffington Post as well as the Simple Intentions blog. In 2013, she founded Seattle Wisdom, a community organization working to create and support conscious conversations in professional spaces in the Pacific Northwest. Jae has a master’s degree in Communication Management from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communication from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She holds certificates in co-active coaching and organizational relationship systems coaching.

Connect with Jae:  Website ~ Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~ LinkedIn


Giveaway:​

Prizes:Win a print copy of Success With Stress with a companion notebook (open to USA & Canada - 10 winners total)
Ends May 12

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Tour Schedule:

April 10 - Bound 4 Escape - review / giveaway
April 11 - #redhead.with.book - review / giveaway
April 11 - Travelling Through Words - book spotlight / guest post
April 12 - Books, Dreams, Life - book spotlight / author interview
April 13 - A Holland Reads - review / guest post / giveaway
April 14 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review / giveaway
April 17 - Divas With A Purpose - review / author interview
April 18 - Writers and Authors - book spotlight / author interview
April 19 - Top 1000 Amazon Reviewer - review
April 20 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review / guest post
April 21 - Reviews by Room With Books - review / guest post / giveaway
April 22 - Everyday Gyaan - review / giveaway
April 24 - Within The Pages Of A Book - review / guest post / giveaway
April 25 - Books for Books - review
April 26 - Seaside Book Nook - review / giveaway
April 27 - Laura's Interests - review / guest post / giveaway
April 28 - Fur Everywhere - review / giveaway
April 28 - Genuine Jenn  - review
May 1 -    Deal Sharing Aunt - review / giveaway
May 2 -    Library of Clean Reads - review / giveaway
May 4 -    Outset - review / author interview
May 4 -    Sahar's Blog - review / giveaway
May 5 -    Jessica Cassidy - review / author interview / giveaway
May 5 -    Create With Joy - review


Storm Winds: An Outer Banks Mystery Book

Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you K.S. David’s
STORM WINDS: AN OUTER BANKS MYSTERY
 
April 3-28!




Title: STORM WINDS: AN OUTER BANKS MYSTERY

Author: K.S. David
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 180
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Moving to the North Carolina Outer Banks was a chance for Leah Kymes to put her life back together, after her marriage went sour. But peace and quiet evade her, when her father is discovered murdered in his fish and tackle shop. Not willing to wait for authorities to solve the crime, she begins to delve into recent events involving her Dad. What she uncovers shatters her understanding of the man she thought she knew so well. 

At Leah's side is her old flame, Officer Aden Parker, who runs interference between Leah and the salty detective who sees her as a hindrance. Ignoring Aden's warnings, she deepens her probe, but soon draws the attention of a handsome stranger. Is this new man just competing for her affection - or a vicious killer intent on making Leah his next victim? 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:



Amazon 




Perched on top of a sand dune, Leah looked across the ocean as waves curled and crashed against the shore. Behind her, stalled traffic lined North Carolina's Highway 12, six miles deep. Residents of the Outer Banks fled their homes days earlier as the dark clouds of a Category 3 hurricane raced toward them. Now they were headed back to whatever the storm had left behind.
Leah's father, Rex, had ignored the warnings. "I ain't scared of no damned storm," he'd said. "It's the price we pay for living in paradise, honey."
Rex had been born and bred on the North Carolina coast. He was sun-tough, with seawater for blood. An average-sized man with a shock of white hair, a face lined by hard living, and eyes as blue and alert as a clear summer sky, he feared no man, and believed destiny was his to write. She believed that he was invincible when she was a child. She knew better now. After a week without a word from him, Leah's frustration was speeding toward fear.
She dug her toes beneath the warm sand, ran her hands through her thick auburn hair, and twisted it into a bun. She'd spent nearly four days huddled in a hotel room, watching hours of new reports as the storm tracked toward the Outer Banks. Afterward, she searched photos of the destruction, straining to see if the home she shared with Rex and their businesses had been spared.
Leah picked up her cell phone and tapped the photo of her father. Since the storm hit, communication had been spotty to the Outer Banks. Like all the times before, her call went straight to Rex's voice mail. Instead of leaving another agitated message, she ended the call, picked up a stick, and jammed it into the sand.
She was irritated. If she knew him well, and she did, her father hadn't thought once about the worry he caused. The old cuss was probably fine, but it was strange that he hadn't called to check on her, not even once. When her mind pondered over that loose detail, she pushed it to the furthest spot in her brain.
The blare of horns signaled that it was time to move. She skidded down the dune that hugged the road. Course granules of sand shifted underfoot as she descended. Heat pressed against her bare feet as she fished her keys out of the pocket of her cutoff shorts. Gaps in the line had been created by drivers who'd already moved forward and the woman parked behind Leah laid on her horn and growled, "We're trying to get home today, please!"
Leah sighed, grit her teeth, and gave a quick wave. "Sorry." Beneath her breath, she mumbled, "Go to hell." They were all in the same predicament and moving a few feet forward wasn't going to get either of them on the ferry any faster. She'd been in line for nearly two hours on the southern tip of Ocracoke Island. It would take another hour before she reached the pier for a forty-minute boat ride before landing on Hatteras Island, then another fifteen before she got to her father's house in the town of Frisco.
A hand tapped her on the shoulder. "Excuse me, ma'am. Are you Ms. Leah Kymes?"
A Hyde County police officer stared down at her. Sometimes, cops issued tickets to drivers who walked away from their cars when they were in the line for the ferry, especially at times like this. A ticket was the last thing she needed.
"I'm getting ready to pull up. We've been sitting here--"
The cop threw a hand up to stop her. "It's okay." He stepped closer and asked again, "Are you Leah Kymes?"
She frowned and looked down the line of cars. Eying him, she answered, "Yeah, I'm Leah Kymes."
"I'm Officer Alfred Hawkins. The Dare County Police Department requested that we locate and help you back over to Hatteras."
She stepped back. "Why?"
He shrugged, "Don't know. I was just told to find you."
"Is this about my father?" Her stomach turned at the thought that something bad had happened.
Hawkins held up a hand, "Ma'am, I don't know." He was a tall man, with smooth dark brown skin and an open face. "I was asked to get you back over to the island."
She looked at the backed-up traffic. There were still six miles to go before getting to the landing.
As if reading her mind, Officer Hawkins added, "I can take you back on one of the guard boats. Your car won't fit but another officer will get it on the next ferry."
At first, only a few drivers showed any interest when Hawkins first appeared beside Leah, but radios quieted and chatter ebbed when a second cruiser pulled alongside them and deposited another cop. Hawkins called over his shoulder to a female officer, "Direct the rest of the cars around us."
This officer was young. She'd chopped her brown hair into a pageboy and appeared to be losing the battle against acne. Giving Leah a quick, dismissive glance, she turned and waved the other cars along.
The woman who'd shouted at Leah earlier eased by slowly, but kept her curious gaze locked on the action.
"You sure you don't know anything?" Leah asked, searching Hawken's face.
"No," he said. Dark shades covered his eyes. Leah couldn't read his face but there was something in the brevity of his reply that worried her. Before she could question him any further, he said, "That's Officer Maynard." He pointed to the woman directing traffic. "She'll drive your car to the ferry. Someone on the other side will make sure it gets to Hatteras."
Maynard didn't look old enough to drive, and Leah didn't like the idea of leaving her car in someone else's hands, but what choice did she have. The line wasn't getting any shorter and she needed answers. Eyeing Hawkins again, she worried that he was being evasive. Cops never tell the whole story until they're ready. She opened the car door, pulled out her shoes and handbag, and tossed her keys on the seat. "Okay, I'm ready," she said to Hawkins.
He raced them along the shoulder of the highway, past the line of cars waiting for the next ferry. He parked against the edge of a sand dune and then escorted Leah to a small, white police boat. "We'll ride over together," he said.
He separated from her as soon as they hit the boat's deck and nudged himself into a corner with four other cops. Leah sat alone on a small portside bench and watched them watching her. They kept their voices low and, every so often, shot skimming glances in her direction. Hawkins had been sent to find her--to look specifically for Leah Kymes. There were thousands of people trying to get back on the island and every resource was tied up in the restoration effort, yet some official had seen fit to use Hawkins and a police boat to fetch her. Why?
After a moment, she stood and turned away from the cops. Leaning against the rails, she closed her eyes, pushed her face into the wind, and tried to concentrate on the roar of the boat's engine, the swish of the wake created as they cut through the waves, the call of the seagulls sailing overhead, anything but the sound of doubt coming from deep inside her own chest.
She had tried not to get anxious over the twenty-four-hour media coverage. She left the hotel room as often as she could, sped through several novels, caught up on emails, and even allowed herself the luxury of uninhibited sleep. None of it managed to shake loose a growing sense of foreboding. Something bad must have happened to Rex, a thought that drove her to file a missing person's report. Her father would be furious with her for doubting him. There was, of course, another issue. Rex loathed the police, a fact that made Leah pause each time she started dialing the emergency hotline. There were some cops he'd warmed to over the years but, as far as he was concerned, most could pucker up and kiss his crotchety old ass.
On Hatteras Island, Officer Hawkins walked her to a squat, yellow building known as the Inlet. Hugging the tip of the pier, the Inlet served as a visitor's center. A balmy wind pushed three blue signs that advertised snacks, restrooms, and ferryboat information. Across the lot was Hatteras Landing, where a collection of tourist shops and eateries were housed in a blistering white stucco building. It was usually overrun with tourists this time of year but stood empty because of the storm.
Rex had to be okay, she thought. Then, like an erratic wind, her mind shifted, and the voice in her head would shout, they don't send police escorts for a simple missing person's report, or do they? Maybe it was because Rex was elderly and kind of like a town fixture. If he were the only citizen unaccounted for, the officials wouldn't hesitate to put more effort into finding him.
Perhaps they had located Rex, but he'd been injured. The storm had been a whopper. It had raged against the coast for nearly eight hours. News reports showed cars and debris thrown all over the place, and homes and buildings had been torn apart like toys. A crack had appeared in Highway 12, severing lower Hatteras from the northern shores.
Immersed in her thoughts, she almost plowed into a man standing at the top of the ramp. She started her apology without even bothering to look up then began to move around the figure when a hand closed around the top of her arm.
"Lee?"
She raised her eyes to study the face of the man that had used her name. He was a head taller with soft brown eyes and tanned skin. A faint scar zigzagged from his bottom lip and disappeared beneath his chin. She'd given him that scar, slamming her Hello Kitty lunch box into his face after he'd popped the head off her Cabbage Patch doll.
"Aiden?" she replied. Then, more confident, she gushed, "Aiden Parker!"
She hadn't seen him since she was eighteen. A thousand questions popped into her head, as she considered his ruggedly handsome face. Was he married? Was he back in the Outer Banks? How was his family? Did he have kids?
Her mouth had started to quiver out the first question when Officer Hawkins moved past her, and like a pendulum swinging, her thoughts immediately shifted back to Rex. "I know this sounds rude, but I'll have to catch up with you later. I have an emergency right now. Maybe we can exchange information or something," she mumbled, already heading away.
"I know," he said, taking the crook of her arm again, to stop her.
She cocked her head. "You know what?"
"I'm a cop with the Dare County Police Department, and I know you made a call about Rex."
She narrowed her eyes and stared into his face for a moment. Like Hawkins, his expression was flat. "Where is he?"
"Come inside so we can talk," he said.
"Where's my father?" she insisted, determined not to move from that spot until she got an answer.
"Come on," Aiden said. He placed his hand on her shoulder and urged her up the last few feet of the ramp. They crossed the store and walked down the hallway past a set of restrooms. He opened a thick door with a sign, AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY. The building also housed offices for the Park Service and the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which operated the ferry service. Three uniformed officers chatted beside a bank of windows. Their conversation halted then picked up again in hushed tones.
Aiden pointed her to a conference room. "We can talk in here."
A large man with flaccid jowls and a rumpled brown suit stood at a window overlooking the sound.
"This is Detective Eric Lawson," Aiden said.
"Where's my dad?" Leah asked. This time, she didn't try to hide her irritation. Fear crawled up her spine, and she bound her prickly arms around her belly, as the big man turned to greet her.
Lawson pointed Leah to a seat at the table. "Let's talk for a moment."
She pulled back one of the chairs, barely noticing when the leg scraped against her foot. Lawson lowered his considerable frame into a seat opposite her, while Aiden replaced him at the window. Her leg shook and the sound of her flip-flops slapping against the sole of her foot broke the uneasy quiet in the room. Lawson leaned in and smiled but, despite the wide, toothy grin, Leah felt no warmth coming from the man. She recoiled, slight uncomfortable under the unyielding glare of his cold, gray eyes.
"I have a few questions," he said, "if you don't mind." He didn't wait for her to agree. "When was the last time you saw your father?"
She rubbed her hands together. "Um, the day before the storm. Why?"
He scribbled her response on a short, wire-rimmed notepad. "Home, or at his store?"
"At the house. He refused to leave, but wanted me to go."
"Was he planning to ride out the storm at the house?"
"I don't mean to be rude, but you gotta give me something." She tugged her hair out of the bun, twisted it tighter, and reset the scrunchie. "Is my father still missing?" Her head was spinning and all the horrid images of what that could mean rushed through her brain. She pressed the back of her hand to her upper lip, blotting away a light sheen of sweat. Despite the hum of the air conditioner and the bank of windows that stretched the entire length of the room, the space felt small and stifling. She asked again, "Is he still missing?"
Lawson pursed his lips. "No. He's not missing."
She let her head fall back and whispered a quiet prayer. "Thank, God." But her elation turned midstride as another wave of terror struck. "Is he okay?"
Rex wasn't a young man. That had been the point of their argument. Riding out a murderous storm was dangerous, but for a sixty-nine-year-old man, it was akin to lunacy.
Aiden turned from the window and slipped into the chair beside her. He grabbed the seat's edge and scooted closer. His face was hard and serious, but softened when he took her hands. "Leah, there's no easy way to say this." He stopped to swallow, the sound loud enough for her to hear. "Your father is dead."
She tilted her head and stared at him in disbelief. Her mind a blur, Leah struggled to process what he said. The air grew thinner, and she snatched her hands away from Aiden, held them in mid-air, then turned her gaze to Lawson, as if seeking confirmation.
He nodded. "He's dead, Ms. Kymes."
A long, sorrowful moan lifted from her chest, and Leah leaned forward, pressing hands to her eyes, as if trying to hold back the flood of tears. She turned suddenly to Aiden. "How?" she asked. "How?"
He inched closer, his knees pressing into hers. "Lee," which was the name he'd given her when they were children, "I need you to listen to me." The next words sliced into her like a knife. "Lee, your dad was murdered. Somebody shot him."


K. S. David lives in the Mid-Atlantic with her husband, their three children and a spoiled sheepadoodle. She’s addicted to true life mysteries and crime shows, both of which marry well with a great romance. Some of her favorite things are long walks, reading in bed, baking and, of course, writing her next novel.

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