Murder can be real good.
Hi! As you can tell, I write romantic suspense. Welcome to The Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers. We're glad you hopped over. This week we're participating in a fun blog hop. To visit the blog hop main page click
I'm giving away an e-copy of my novel 'Evil's Witness' to one lucky commenter. I'll announce my winner Friday at noon EST--just in time for the weekend.
To peak your interest in the story, I'm sharing both Steph's and John's backstory. These are the events that made them into the people they were when they met. Both were hurt. Both needed to learn that they could love again. I hope you enjoy.
Please visit me at www.autumnjordon.com
A look into John's past.
John Dolton crashed to his knees. The inferno in front of him consumed his life.
His heart pumped against his sterum with strong, wild vibes, but his brain felt starved for oxygen. How could that be?
Heat like tiny flesh straved piranhas gnawed at his skin. He gulped against the pain. Roasting air seared his lungs, expanding them until his chest felt as if were about to explode.
He didn’t care.
“Damn, John, snap out of it.”
He blinked and focued on the fingers clinking inches away from his nose.
“Come on, man. You’ve got to get back.” He heard his partner’s cry but Luke’s voice was diffused, coming at him from several directions.
Something looped under his arms and yanked him upward, lifting his dead weight off his knees—the ones that had given way when he’d seen his life gone.
The heels of his boots marked the tarmac with duel tracks as he was drugged away from the wreckage. He didn’t fight. He couldn't. Every muscle in his body had died. His gaze remained on the windows of what once was his SUV.
Staring beyond the flaming bizarre tongues licking at the vehicle’s roof, he saw his wife and little girl as he had left them only ten minutes ago. Happy. Laughing. Anticipating a long overdue family vacation.
“Why?” A screamed like that of a savage, wounded animal rivaled sirens.
He searched the faces staring at him. Wide-eyed, brow ceased, sad faces stared back.
Had the horrendous cry come from him?
He had to save them.
Adreline surged through his veins and John pulled from the force that pulled him back.
Luke’s grip tightened.
“Let me go. I've got to try.” John twisted and swung a fist at his partner’s jaw, but Luke ducted in time.
Pain ripped through John's shoulder as Luke grabbed his arm and twisted it behind his back.
“They’re gone, John. You can’t save them.”
The agency’s emergency response team raced around the inferno, but John knew in his heart they were too late. He was too late. He had failed to keep Julie and Katie safe.
With the dousing of the flames, John caught a glimpse of the smothering arm lying on the sidewalk against the store front a moment before a fireman covered it with a white plastic sheet. A silver band encircled had the tiny wrist.
John swore a fiery rod pieced his gut. He grabbed his ribs and a second later hurdledthe egg-muffin ate an hour ago.
“We’ll get them. I promise you.” Luke’s voice shook as he held John. “I swear. I will die before they get away with this.”
John fell to the sidewalk. Cold laughter mingled with the taste of vomit in his mouth. Luke nor he knew who they were.
They had taken his reason to live. When he found them, they would wish this day had never happened too.
Startled by a crash, Stephanie woke and fell from her couch to the floor. The boom reminded her of the episode last winter when a car skidded into their front porch taking out a corner post. Gripping the leather cushion, she sat up, swept her hair back from her face and stared into the dark corners of her living room. The red display of a digital clock on the entertainment center read three forty-two.
Another thump vibrated the floor seconds before the door which lead to the garage burst open. Light spilled across the carpet. Gene was home, finally.
“Damn kids.” His words were slurred and the alcohol he’d consumed over the last six hours while at his weekly poker game preceded him by about twenty feet.
“Stephanie, I’m caught. Get this damn thing off of me or I’ll—“
“Will you keep it down?” She scurried to her feet and hit the light switch to the high-hat lights above the fireplace. “The kids are sleeping. They have to get up for school in two hours.”
“This is my house and I’ll yell at them for leaving their freakin’ bikes lying in front of the door anytime I want.”
Em’s bike had been parked against the wall where it was supposed to be. Gene probably knocked it over making his not-to-steady way inside. However, arguing with him while he was in this state of mind was not going to do her any good. He’d only get more boisterous and eventually wake the kids just to scold them for something they didn’t do, and was his own fault. God, she was tired of Gene’s partying. He was married, a father of two. What example did he set for Bobbie? Would he ever grow up?
The sadness which filled her cemented the truth in place. No.
Gene fell forward and she grabbed him under his arms. As he struggled to free his foot from between the railings of Em’s bike, he leaned onto her and Stephanie’s nose became buried in his beer stained tee shirt. “My, God. How much did you have tonight? You didn’t drive home, did you?”
Em’s bike clattered against the garage’s concrete floor. “Damn straight I did. “
Over his shoulder, she caught a glimpse of their wedding portrait and wondered where that happy, young couple went wrong.
Disgusted, she pushed Gene away. “So you’re a cop.”
“Yeah." He shrugged and then scratched his stomach, pulling his tee shirt up over the flat abs he worked hard to maintain since he quarterbacked for their high school football team. "Don't worry. The guys won't ticket me.”
She folded her arms across her chest in order to keep her hands from reaching out and strangling some sense into him. “What about hurting yourself, or God forbid, someone else?”
“I didn’t, okay.” He waved her away. Then with dithering steps, he made his way into the kitchen and flipped on the lights. “What’s to eat?” He called over his shoulder. “I’m starved. Rosie got pissed with Tony and threw the pizza we ordered at him. ”
Steph drew a breath as she raced after him hoping he wouldn’t reach the pots and pans before she could block him. His buddies probably ordered the pizza after midnight and the delivery guy woke Rosie’s seven-year-old twins. Poor Rosie.
She stepped between Gene and the stove just as he reached for the knob to turn it on. “Why don’t you go get a shower and I’ll—”
His frown turned wolfish as he grabbed and pulled her close, grinding his hips into hers. “You’re hoping I’ll fall asleep aren’t you?” He nuzzled her neck. “After I grab a couple eggs, I’ll be ready to take care of you, babe. Why don’t you whip them up for me?”
Not in the mood to be manhandled, she pulled away from his clutch. “Stop it, Gene. I’m not in the mood for your games. I’m going to bed.” Stephanie turned only to be stopped by the bite of his fingernails on her arm.
His eyes narrowed. “I said I’m hungry.”
“And I want a divorce.” She yanked her arm free. “See who gets what they want first.”
Elementary school nurse STEPHANIE BOYD’s ordinary world changes forever when she and her children witness a blood bath. To escape the wrath of the Russian Mafia, she has no choice but to help the FBI uncover the Mafia’s mole inside the U.S. Treasury. While on the run with the handsome agent who is willing to die for them, Stephanie learns the meaning of self-sacrifice and love.
Agent JOHN DOLTON’s only break in solving the case that cost him everything is a couple of kids and a beautiful widow. But keeping his witnesses safe seems impossible when their every move is foreseen by their enemy. Within weeks, Stephanie and her children soften the loner’s heart and John allows himself to let go of his all-consuming sorrow.
This time John vows not to fail to protect the family he loves.
Murder can be real good.