Shannon Nolan thought she’d escaped a nightmare world of ruthless crime – until her son is kidnapped! With nowhere else to run and no one else to trust, she puts her life in the hands of her boss, firefighter Daniel Jennings.
In her back pocket, her cell phone buzzed, belting out the old-school ringtone she used for unknown calls and text messages. She set aside the paint cup and pulled out her phone, swiping the screen to view the text.
No words, only a picture of her son. He was strapped into a car seat, his shirt rumpled, his pale blond hair windblown, and his cheeks and eyes were red. His lashes were spiked with tears and his lower lip thrust forward in a pout.
What had happened? Then she realized what she was looking at and her heart thudded in her chest. Staggered, terrified by her worst fears, she dropped the phone as she doubled over, clutching her stomach as if she’d taken a punch.
Daniel caught the phone and steadied her with a hand at her elbow. “Shannon? What’s wrong?”
“I—I’m not sure.”
The ringtone sounded as another text came in and she grabbed the phone from Daniel.
If you want to see your son again, tell his father to cooperate.
Her stomach clenched and she clapped a hand over her mouth. Whoever was behind this had chosen the wrong leverage. She’d never had any influence over Aiden’s father. Naturally, the sender’s number was blocked, but she hit the icon to call back anyway. It rang and rang, and no one answered.
“I have to go,” she said.
AUTHOR Bio and Links
Regan Black, a USA Today bestselling author, writes award-winning, action-packed romantic suspense and paranormal romance novels featuring daring heroines and sexy heroes. Raised in the Midwest and California, she and her family, along with their adopted greyhound and two arrogant cats, reside in the South Carolina Lowcountry where the rich blend of legend, romance, and history fuels her imagination.
If you are looking for a fabulous and informative crime and thriller blog to follow, look no further. I have been a follower of Sue Coletta’s for some time now, so I was super excited to get my hands on Marred and Cleaved.
I just finished MARRED and it blew me away, so there was no way I was going to wait to read CLEAVED. I have to have more!
I love anything to do with water, and when I saw the Marine Patrol and Fish & Game would be involved, I became even more excited. I know what water can do to a dead body and I’m looking forward to finding out who put it there.
Sue starts her books out with a bang and I am gasping for breath right along with Sage. Then, Sue takes it to an even darker place and I excited to see how it will play out.
I feel as if the characters have become my friends and I worry for them as the serial killer adds body after body and the action continues non stop.
Sage has great instincts and after all she has been through, she listens to them.
Frankie has become my favorite character. She is humorous, brash, dresses as if she’s going out on the town instead of to a crime scene, hates authority and is quick with a sharp retort. Niko doesn’t think she would be good as the Sheriff because of these faults, so he is constantly grooming someone else to take his place when he quits.
Niko’s team has a Keystone Kop, Mayberry feel to them, but they are coming together, making constant progress.
The serial killer is back with a vengeance and I wonder if it is the same one…or is there more than one.
Sue Coletta takes us to a very dark place with a kidnapping that would make any of us cringe and rage at the villain and the world.
I love how creative Sue is in coming up with new ways for the serial killer to torture and kill his victims, really making them suffer and beg for death. She never thinks the evil is bad enough, so she piles on more and more and more…
Her ability to create so much tension and angst, at times left me white knuckled, gripping my Kindle so tight my hands hurt, making me want to reach through the screen and take matters into my own hands.
I voluntarily reviewed Marred by Sue Coletta.
Author Sage Quintano writes about crime. Her husband Niko investigates it.
Together they make an unstoppable team. But no one counted on a
twisted serial killer, who stalks their sleepy community, uproots
their happy home, and splits the threads that bonds their family
Darkness swallows the Quintanos whole—ensnared by a ruthless killer out for
blood. Why he focused on Sage remains a mystery, but he won’t stop
till she dies like the others.
Women impaled by deer antlers, bodies encased in oil drums, nursery rhymes,
and the Suicide King. What connects these cryptic clues? For Sage and
Niko, the truth may be more terrifying than they ever imagined.
Marred by Sue Coletta starts out with a baby’s funeral and a severely broken woman who is pissed off at herself and the world because of it. I can’t help but wonder WHY.
Sage is broken in more ways than one…blaming herself for her unborn baby’s death even though she had been tortured by a serial killer and was lucky to even be alive. She is MARRED for life and now I understand why.
NOW, he’s back, terrorizing her and she has nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
I cannot imagine what she has been through, though Sue Coletta’s writing makes me become totally engrossed in her story, filled with details that draw a too vivid picture in my mind. I think it is time she takes matters into her own hands and let him know she will not cow down…this time. I love when the character has been through a traumatic, life changing experience, and the past comes back to haunt them, demanding they take action to defend themselves.
Sage is a bestselling author, writing crime novels, and this adds an extra element, making it even more interesting. Does her writing bring the killer even closer, thinking of her as a challenge? She keeps secrets, pushing people away, even keeping her husband at arm’s length. She writes about crime and her husband investigates the.
The murders are described in detail and they are brutal, savage. The more gruesome the better for me. LOL I guess I am a little twisted myself.
The body count rises.
I’m almost at 50% and I see what you are doing Sue. I know what you set me up for and I think it’s going to get ugly. I am pissed off at both of them for not communicating, but if they did we wouldn’t be in this dark place, with a sense of urgency and danger making me want to read faster and slower all at the same time, savoring the story.
There is a touch of the paranormal, rape, brutal and mind numbing torture. Why do women and society place blame on the vivctim, when it is the villain’s fault?
At times I am so angry with Niko that I want to reach into my Kindle and slap him upside the head, cuss him out, and tell him, “It’s not about YOU!”
Having a couple of critters adds another element that I love. They’d put their lives on the line for her.
Uh oh, I am glad that what I was thinking at 50% was wrong. Sue…you did a great job of yanking my chain and it takes a lot to lead me down the wrong path. Fabulous!
Deputy Sheriff Frankie, a female, is becoming a favorite character for me. To say she is rough around the edges is putting it mildly. She is aggressive and a bit raunchy, but I wouldn’t want any one else by my side in a time of crises.
WOW, Sue. You can sure spin a tale that has a lot of suspense that keeps my emotions raging as I struggle to take a calming breath before moving on to more of the same. You twisted and turned the story, keeping plenty of surprises coming my way.
Marred is the first book in the Grafton County series. One villain is taken care of, but you will want to read more of the series, because one remains.
I voluntarily reviewed Marred by Sue Coletta.
When a serial killer breaks into the home of bestselling author, Sage
Quintano, she barely escapes with her life. Her husband, Niko, a
homicide detective, insists they move to rural New Hampshire, where
he accepts a position as Grafton County Sheriff. Sage buries secrets
from that night—secrets she swears to take to her deathbed.
Three years of anguish and painful memories pass, and a grisly murder case
lands on Niko’s desk. A strange caller begins tormenting Sage—she
can’t outrun the past.
When Sage’s twin sister suddenly goes missing, Sage searches Niko’s
case files and discovers similarities to the Boston killer. A
sadistic psychopath is preying on innocent women, marring their
bodies in unspeakable ways. And now, he has her sister.
Cryptic clues. Hidden messages. Is the killer hinting at his identity? Or is
he trying to lure Sage into a deadly trap to end his reign of terror
with a matching set of corpses?
Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International
Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is an award-winning, multi-published
author in numerous anthologies and her forensics articles have
appeared in InSinC Quarterly. In addition to her popular crime
resource blog, Sue co-hosts the radio show “Partners In Crime”
on Writestream Radio Network every third Tuesday of the month from 1
– 3 p.m. EDT/EST (see details at www.suecoletta.com).
She’s also the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project
and Forensic Science, and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter.
She runs a popular crime website and blog, where she shares crime tips,
police jargon, the mind of serial killers, and anything and
everything in between. If you search her achieves, you’ll find posts
from guests that work in law enforcement, forensics, coroner,
undercover operatives, firearm experts…crime, crime, and more
For readers, she has the Crime Lover’s Lounge, where subscribers will be
the first to know about free giveaways, contests, and have inside
access to deleted scenes. As an added bonus, members get to play in
the lounge. Your secret code will unlock the virtual door. Inside,
like-minded folks discuss their favorite crime novels, solve
mindbender and mystery puzzles, and/or relax and chat. Most
importantly, everyone has a lot of fun.
Sue lives in northern New Hampshire with her husband, where her house is
surrounded by wildlife…bear, moose, deer, even mountain lions have
been spotted. Course, Sue would love to snuggle with them, but her
husband frowns on the idea.
I love dark stories with murder and serial killers running wild, and Jane Blythe has come through in this fantastic series. This guy is a real sicko. Only death will stop him.
Right off, I’m thinking…Oh no she didn’t…
Yes, he fell for her and yes, there’s a lot more gory and brutal murder to come.
Who is it? Why such grotesque murders?
I have a problem with Annabelle and Xavier hooking up, but hey, stranger things have happened. He seems too old for a naive, inexperienced young woman like her. I like my books to be ‘realistic’ and, even though I enjoyed how it developed, not just jumping in bed, but the slow and getting to know you kind of thing, something still felt off.
Annabelle ‘s dialogue made her seem older than her years, but maybe the traumatic events she has been though have caused her to grow up sooner. After all, she had been the adult of her household.
I love the fact I can’t figure out who is the culprit, even though I feel I must have met him by now. I do have a feeling…oh, wait, maybe it’s him…or could it be him?
The sicko wants revenge and I want to know why.
The twists and turns kept coming, never letting up, even when the last page was read. I DID NOT want it to end. Jane Blythe was ‘this close’ to having me rate this a five and I definitely look forward to reading more of her work.
I voluntarily reviewed One by Jane Blythe.
Annabelle Englewood slaughters her family while they sleep.
Or so it seems to Detective Xavier Montague when he and his partner arrive at her house to find her sleeping peacefully, her family all dead.
But then another family and another are murdered, again with one family member left alive, and it becomes clear that Annabelle is simply a pawn in a vicious killer’s game.
Intrigued by Annabelle, the first woman Xavier has been attracted to since his divorce, when he comes face to face with the killer he will be forced to make the ultimate choice, a life and death decision, that could let a psychotic murderer walk free.
Jane Blythe writes of serial killers and grotesque murders and I LOVE it.
Brooke Mariano is a pregnant teenager with dreams of wealth and leisure and her life is snuffed out like a candle, all to keep a secret, a secret I want to be revealed and the guilty party to pay for it.
I like that Ryan’s interest in Sophia began before they were shoved together because of the murder. Her mysterious illness may seem to make her weak, but she is strong enough and determined enough to live on her own, disinherited by her rich father because she has a mind of her own. I love strong, independent female protagonists, and Sophia is spot on. I hate men that act like dictators and feel women are supposed to fall in line.
The body count grows and so does the suspect list. I love to be kept guessing and Jane Blythe is very good at doing that. Was someone in the family eliminating other members? If so, why? Most of them are wretched, miserable, pathetic excuses for human beings, so, in my book, none of them would be missed. LOL
Sometimes those surrounding the killer are worse than the killer himself.
When they go into the room…
Jane Blythe’s use of misdirection is very well done.
I can easily visualize events as they unfolded, as if a Criminal Minds episode was playing in front of me. It is so easy to picture Sophia…in a wheelchair, hunched over, looking at photos…But…I do hate a character I am growing very fond of making such a predictable and stupid error. Now, I am pissed at her. Is it my personal feelings keeping these ratings at fours, where others would rate them higher? It’s up to you to decide.
The book has an ending , but Three will bring One and Two together in a reunion I do not want to miss. I can hardly imagine where Jane will take it and I am rubbing my hand together in glee just thinking about it.
I voluntarily reviewed Two by Jane Blythe.
Before the sun rises, another will fall.
When Brooke Mariano is found murdered on the grounds of the powerful Everette family’s estate, it looks at first as though she may have been killed in order to keep the paternity of her unborn child a secret.
However, when another member of the Everette family turns up dead each night, it quickly becomes a race against time as Detective Ryan Xander and his partner try to discover which member of the family is the killer before the entire clan wind up dead.
Ryan’s only inroad to the secretive family is Sofia Everette. Shunned by her father for her refusals to obey him, and battling a mysterious illness, Sofia’s childhood dreams may be the key to saving her life and stopping the killer from exterminating the entire Everette family.
ABOUT JANE BLYTHE
Jane has loved reading and writing since she can remember. She writes dark and disturbing crime/mystery/suspense with some romance thrown in because, well, who doesn’t love romance? She has one completed series, Detective Parker Bell, and one new series, Count to Ten.
When she’s not writing Jane loves to read, bake, go to the beach, ski, horse ride, and watch Disney movies. She has a black belt in Taekwondo, and a 200+ collection of teddy bears. She has the world’s two most sweet and pretty Dalmatians, Ivory and Pearl. Oh, and she also enjoys spending time with family and friends!
The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice.The only rules are to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and find any sentence or a few ( no spoilers) that grabs you and post it.
Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence or so of the book you are reading along with you initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.
Please include the title of the book and the author’s name.
A messy bookshelf is the norm around the Fundin household. I just cannot help but pick up another book and another and another…
I have a few of John Sanford’s novels, of which Mind Prey is one. I bought this quite some time ago from the Mobile Public Library. I have also checked out many other books by him and have enjoyed each and every one.
I need to get back to the library and catch up on his latest.
Then he was on her, slamming her back against the stone wall, ripping at her jacket, at her blouse. She screamed at him, “No, don’t, John…”
(Page 56 in hardcover,1st edition, published in 1995)
The storm blew up late in the afternoon, tight, gray clouds hustling over the lake like dirty, balled-up sweat socks spilling from a basket. A chilly wind knocked leaves from the elms, oaks, and maples at the water’s edge. The white phlox and black-eyed susans bowed their heads before it.
GOODREADS BLURB: From the bestselling author of Night Prey and Winter Prey…an all-new Lucas Davenport thriller.
Run for it…It was raining when psychiatrist Andi Manette left the parent-teacher conference with her two young daughters, and she was distracted. She barely noticed the red van parked beside her, barely noticed the van door slide open as they dashed up to the car. The last thing she did notice was the hand reaching out for her and the voice from out of the past — and then the three of them were gone.
Hours later, deputy chief Lucas Davenport stood in the parking lot, a blood-stained shoe in his hand, the ground stained pink around him, and knew that this would be one of the worst cases he’d ever been on. With an urgency born of dread, he presses the attack, while in an isolated farmhouse, Andi Manette does the same, summoning all her skills to battle an obsessed captor. She knows the man who has taken her and her daughters, knows there is a chink in his armor, if only she can find it. But for both her and Davenport, time is already running out.
John Sandford’s novels have always been extraordinary for their harrowing twists, unforgettable characters, and crackling prose. But Mind Prey tops them all. It is the work of a true master.
Music, murder and obsession in New Orleans.Beautiful and talented, Belinda wants to be a star, but fame can be dangerous. A ruthless stalker is obsessed with her. He’ll do anything to have her: blackmail, kidnapping, even murder. Will NOPD Detective Frank Renzi be able to save her?
Susan has some great book trailers. You can see them on her YouTube page.