Posted by authorcamilson
by Carolyn Arnold
GENRE: Police Procedural, Thriller
Sometimes the past should stay there…
The murder is one of the most heinous Brandon Fisher has ever seen, but that’s not why it has his and his colleagues’ attention. The FBI’s interested because the prime suspect is one of their own, Paige Dawson.
But Paige didn’t go to Valencia, California to kill anyone. She had set out on “vacation”—her new lover in tow—only to confront the man who had raped her friend twenty-some years ago. While the hands of the law are tied, she wants him to face the fact that he destroyed a young woman’s life and know that, as an FBI agent, she’ll be watching his every move. But instead of accomplishing her goal, she wound up in the back of a police cruiser.
Now Paige must face off with a hard-nosed detective determined to stick a murder charge to a fed. But with the trained eyes of the FBI on the case, it’s becoming more and more obvious that the evidence lends itself to a serial killing, not an isolated incident. And as long as the local authorities are focused on Paige, the real murderer is still out there, possibly waiting to strike again…
MONDAY, AUGUST 24TH, 11:10 PM PACIFIC TIME
CANYON COUNTRY, CALIFORNIA
THE MARK WAS IN HIS FORTIES, had no kids, and worked a white-collar job. Average height, average looks. Nothing was truly memorable about him except for his uncommon first name, and that was only because it belonged to a character from a popular eighties movie.
She had followed him to some honky-tonk in Canyon Country, an unsavory location at any time of day, but factor in the late hour and it was even worse. But Ferris had chosen this dive as his hunting ground. Women were easier to lure in with a little chemical persuasion, and that was easy to pass off around here.
He entered the bar with head held high, his back straight, the tease of a smirk on his lips—the end of the evening a foregone conclusion in his mind. He was sipping on his first bourbon, though he was acting as if he was on his third by slurring his words and talking loudly. He’d even thrown a sway into his swagger. Somehow he always managed to make his eyes look bloodshot, too, furthering the charade. And the women would come. And the women would fall for his tricks.
Tonight, she’d be that woman, but she’d be his last. He had to learn there was a price to pay for his actions.
She was sitting down the bar from him. Occasionally, he’d pass her a look—the predatory kind that made her blood boil. She smiled at him, doing her best to convey carnal hunger with her gaze, smearing on a seductive curve to her lips. She dipped her finger into her manhattan and sucked on it—the cherry juice sweet, the whiskey bitter.
Ferris was off his stool and sidling up her to within three seconds.
The ruse worked every time. It also helped that she exploited what nature had given her—a slender frame and shapely legs. High heels accentuated her well-defined calf muscles, and men stared when she walked into a room. When she paired even higher stilettos with a short skirt and crossed her legs, men’s mouths tended to fall open. She utilized all these virtues tonight.
She flashed another sultry smile, and he lifted his glass toward her before tilting his own back and draining it. He set it back on the bar and knocked on it to get the bartender’s attention.
“I’ll have another on the rocks and—” he rolled his head toward her “—get the lady whatever she’d like.”
Time to feign innocence and flattery.
She waved a dismissive hand in his direction. “I really shouldn’t.”
She saw the quick look he gave her glass before meeting her eyes again. “Nonsense. Please, it would be my treat.”
If she stripped his voice of its candy-coated tone, his words were pushy and controlling.
“Well”—she angled her glass, showing how little of her drink she had left—“only if you’re sure.”
If she had actually been given a chance to prove her acting skills, she could be living in a sprawling mansion by now.
“Absolutely. What will it be?” Ferris asked, a grin teasing his lips as he tugged down on his left earlobe. It wasn’t hard for her to figure out what was going on. Ferris was asking for something “special” to be added to her drink—the “special” being some kind of date-rape drug.
She lifted her glass to the bartender. “Another manhattan.”
“Coming right up.” The tender left to make their drinks, and she watched him, taking the time to calm her heartbeat and flow of adrenaline.
“I like a woman who can handle her whiskey.” Ferris was looking quite comfortable beside her now. He was fully facing her, his left elbow perched on the counter, and he wasn’t discreet about his drifting gaze, which gravitated to her thighs.
“What can I say? I’m a little whiskey girl.” The words from the country song rolled off her tongue, cinching her gut, but she had to do what was necessary to pull him in.
“Toby Keith,” he said.
“Toby Keith.” He pointed to a speaker on the ceiling. “The singer who sings that one.”
“Ah, yes.” And here, she thought she was doing well by knowing it was even a country song. She smiled at him again. He truly thought of himself as a woman’s man.
“Have I seen you here before?” he asked.
She dipped her head.
“I knew it. I never forget a beautiful face. So what’s your name?”
“Names really aren’t important, are they, baby?” She extended her hand, her long, narrow fingers bowing before him in feminine elegance.
“Oh, she’s mysterious. I like it.” He kissed the back of her hand, and she was proud of herself for not rolling her eyes.
The bartender returned and placed their drinks in front of them. “Here you go.”
From her observations, Ferris seemed to keep a running tab here. Rape now, pay later?
Oh, and Ferris would pay…
“You never told me your name,” she said, falling into her role.
“Oh, I can tell you mine, but you can’t—”
“Uh-huh.” She sucked on the tip of her finger again.
“Ferris.” He still held onto her other hand, and she pulled it back shyly.
“Are you from around here?” she asked, resorting to the necessity of small talk.
“I just fly in from time to time for business.”
“Ah.” She’d have to call upon her acting skills for this performance. She knew he lived less than three miles away from this place. “What business?”
He tapped his jacket pockets, then slid a hand inside one. “How embarrassing. I don’t have any cards with me. Besides, I don’t really want to bore you. Why don’t we talk about you?” He leaned toward her and lifted his rocks glass. “To a fun night.”
“To one we won’t remember.”
They toasted, and he took a long pull of the amber liquid. She pressed her own glass to her lips and pretended to take a sip.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
CAROLYN ARNOLD is the international best-selling and award-winning author of the Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher, and McKinley Mystery series. She is the only author with POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT.™
Carolyn was born in a small town, but that doesn’t keep her from dreaming big. And on par with her large dreams is her overactive imagination that conjures up killers and cases to solve. She currently lives in a city near Toronto with her husband and beagle. She is also a member of Crime Writers of Canada.
And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.
Carolyn Arnold will be awarding a $25 through Paypal to a randomly drawn winner during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
Carolyn, Tell us about you.
My tastes vary greatly in a number of areas. I love country music, but also enjoy rock, alternative, some rap. I love dining in a fine restaurant but also enjoy grabbing a beer and veggie burger at a pub.
I hate wearing a dress or skirt and it would be a rare sighting to ever catch me in one. And don’t get me started about nylons!
I do not get along with the clock, although I get along with deadlines.
If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?Jack Canfield because he’s been such an inspiration to me.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
Really it’s about how the past can have power of us if we let it. If we allow ourselves to obsess over past choices, it can really hold us back from our full potential. And in the case of the book, doing so could prove dangerous in other ways, as well.
What is your writing process?
I prefer silence when I write but sometimes I’ll put music on to immerse myself into a scene even more. This has resulted in a wide range of musical accompaniment from classical to classic rock.
My writing process is also very organic, meaning I go with the flow. It’s like I’m watching a movie play out in my mind and I’m recording what’s taking place. Outlining has a way of killing my creativity.
Tell us about your main character
FBI Special Agent Brandon Fisher, early thirties, is the newest member of Jack Harper’s team with the Behavioral Analysis Unit. A stereotypical redhead, his temper sits close to the surface, and dealing with Jack’s need for perfection requires that Brandon use every ounce of self-control not to lash out. Sometimes he doesn’t succeed, and he often takes out his aggression on a punching bag. His athleticism attracts the women—and often gets him into trouble.
If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
While I often think about my books being turned into movies, I haven’t gone so far as to peg certain actors or actresses for different roles.
What are you working on next?
I’m in the editing phases for a release in my Detective Madison Knight series coming out in September. I’m also writing another novella for my McKinley Mystery series set for October release.
What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Start a blog and share excerpts there, start building a mailing list, join Wattpad (I’ve heard some have had success there), get a Twitter account, start a Facebook page.
What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
Let’s go with Violated as it’s my latest release. Oh, you were referring to someone else’s? Well, right now I’m reading Daniel Palmer’s Stolen. I typically only read books once.
Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Yes. Being me. I’ve got that down.
You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
To function perfectly on no sleep. I’d get even more accomplished and be able to give back more to the world.
List 5 things on your bucket list:
- Hitting #1 on The New York Times bestselling list.
- Being a guest on the Ellen Degeneres show.
- Speaking at 1-3 writing conferences a year.
- Going to Europe.
Going to Australia.
Any final thoughts?
This book might be crime fiction, but it touches on a current issue and it affects more people than we might realize. I can’t disclose too much without giving away information on the killer so people will have to read the book.
I can say this book also carries a couple deeper messages.
One, the importance of living in the now without obsessing over the past. It shows what can happen when we give the past power over us.
Two, we all have the right to make choices without judgement from society, but unfortunately humans can be quick to judge. Violated is about being true to ourselves in spite of society’s approval or disapproval.
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