REFLECTION ~ Hot Summer Read

UP Authors Fiction Challenge Winner (2013)

Silicon Valley’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) “Gotcha!” Romantic Suspense Winner! (2004)

Honourable Mention CARWA’s The Writer’s Voice Contest (2006)

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BLURB

Florida investigative reporter, Whitney Steel, has lived in the shadow of her legendary father long enough. To prove herself she needs to find the “Big” story.

She found it.

Now it may kill her.

After Whitney receives a lead pointing to the world’s first cloned human, now a small child, she vows to unravel the truth. However, sifting through the facts proves to have dangerous results, including death threats and murder.

When Whitney is nearly killed, but is saved by undercover FBI Special Agent, Blake Neely, he refuses to let her get in the way of his own objective—at least not right away.

Caught in a lethal game between a billionaire obsessed with genetic perfection, his hit man’s thirst for retribution, and a Colombian drug lord fresh out of prison determined to make Blake pay for his twin brother’s death over a decade ago…

Can they save an innocent child before it’s too late?

Faced with tough choices, with deadly consequences for many—Whitney soon realizes that sometimes a story becomes more than just a story.

A reporter’s determination to expose an illegal human cloning project places an innocent child in the crosshairs of a master criminal. 

EXCERPT

WARNING: This book contains graphic language, sexual situations, and violence.

Chapter One
Mason Bailey gulped down his third Glenlivet. “I didn’t kill her.”

How many times had Whitney Steel heard those words? Dozens. But never from the mouth of a United States senator. For all she cared, the man could drink himself to Mars, but not until she got what she’d come for. An exclusive.

Under the awning shading the Pink Flamingo Club’s patio, she took a sip of her lime daiquiri, and couldn’t help notice the way the mid-afternoon sunlight brutally magnified every line on Mason’s tanned face.

“Of all the reporters in Panama City, let alone Florida, why me? We cut our ties years ago.” And our losses, she wanted to say, but didn’t.

“I know I can trust you.” His gaze darted across the street then back to her. “Besides, we were married once. That should count for something.”

Whitney straightened. Anger coiled in the pit of her stomach. “Give me a break. For a year and a half, I thought we were married. Too bad your girlfriends didn’t know about our little legal arrangement.” Especially, your twenty something assistant.

“Damn it, Whitney. I didn’t ask you here to rehash our past.” He yanked a monogrammed handkerchief from his jacket pocket and dabbed the sweat from his forehead. “I need your help. I know why Carmen Lacey was murdered.”

Her eyes widened. Now they were getting somewhere. “You have my full attention. Are we on the record?”

Mason shoved his empty glass aside. “Yes.”

Her heart thumped with anticipation. This story would be the topic du jour for months. Her ratings at WBNN-TV would soar, and finally her colleagues would take notice and treat her with the professional respect she deserved.

For the past twelve years, her colleagues said she’d had a free ride because of her father, an award winning war correspondent, and her ex-husband’s political connections. This time she’d prove them wrong.

She rummaged through her leather bag, placed her digital voice recorder on the table and gave the record button a firm push. “For the record, Senator Bailey, did you kill Carmen Lacey?”

“No.” He leaned back in the chair and loosened his pinstriped tie. “It’s true. I was the last person to see her alive. But there’s more to this than you think.”
Brown eyes that once set her heart hammering now conveyed a chilling,hollow look. Was it guilt? Desperation?

No. Fear.

Uneasiness slid down her spine. She stopped the recorder. “Mason, you’re scaring me. What the hell is going on? It’s been over three years since we last spoke. Then, out of the blue, you beg me to meet with you today. I know the police don’t believe you killed that woman.”

“But do you, Whitney? Do you believe I killed her? I need to know. It’s important.”

Stunned by the urgency in his voice, she answered carefully. “Of course not. You’re many things, but you’re not a killer.”

“Thank you. That means a lot to me.” He reached for his empty glass and tapped his chunky gold ring against the side.

Whitney turned the recorder on again.

“Carmen was a scientist working for a biotech company in Nevada. ShawBioGen. Heard of it?”

“Who hasn’t? They were one of the first to clone animals in the eighties. Caused quite a stir. But I don’t understand. What does that have to do with
Carmen’s death?”

He opened his mouth to answer.

The large window behind them dividing the patio from the main restaurant exploded. A storm of glass rained down, showering the patio.

There was no warning. Everything moved so fast, yet in slow motion as if part of a horrid nightmare.

Screams. Rushed, heavy, thumping footsteps.

A few feet away, a male waiter dropped the two plates of food in his hands. He froze.

“Get down!” Mason yelled.

Whitney dropped. She huddled into a ball under the table and squashed the side of her face against the patio stones. Amid the chaos, a gunshot echoed and the waiter ran for cover.

A bullet ripped through the man’s shoulder and spun him around, the force slamming his body against the restaurant door. He folded to his knees and howled out in pain.

More shots rang out. Debris spewed through the air. Food, glasses, plates. The sickening smell of deep fried food and scorched cordite assaulted her nostrils. She gagged.

Crimson snaked toward her hand. The warm, sticky liquid met her fingertips.

Blood. Lots of blood. But it wasn’t hers.

Her gaze snapped to Mason, lying on his back. Dark red blood pumped from a gaping wound in his chest, soaking his white shirt. She held her breath to keep from screaming.

He raised his arm and reached for her. “I swear—I didn’t kill her. I swear.”

“I believe you.” Whitney kept her head down and inched her body closer. She grasped his hand. “I do. Oh, God.”

Please don’t die. Her pulse roared so loud in her ears she couldn’t hear her own words. “You’re bleeding so much. Someone help us!”

Another bullet whizzed through the air and slammed into the bottom of wooden table leg.

Needle-like splinters from the wood slashed through her pants and drilled into her thigh like a hundred slivers. The pain knocked the breath from her. The world twisted and turned yellow. Darkness thickened and threatened to overpower her.

Can’t pass out…help Mason.

He gasped a ragged breath and shoved a key into her bloody palm and curled her fingers closed. “Don’t trust—anyone.”

She clutched the piece of metal. A knot wedged in her throat, one she couldn’t swallow. “I’m going to get help.”

“No—stay.” Blood bubbled at the corners of his mouth and trickled down his jaw. “They cloned…”

His eyelids slid shut.

“What Mason? They cloned what?”

Whitney lowered her head to his chest. “Oh, Mason, no.”

Reflection © 2013 by Kim Cresswell

 

Where to Buy

MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | ibookstore | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Sony | iTunes

Now available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace

“Cinematic writing, powerful visuals, sleek, fast, utterly sexy, notches above anything we have read before!” ~ UP Authors

“Action packed from page one…an impressively laid out passionate thrill ride!” -InD’Tale Magazine

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BOOK BLAST ~ Addicted to You

When twenty-one-year-old Leah Carter’s latest one night stand burglarizes her apartment, her roommate forces her to attend therapy for sex addicts. Leah insists she isn’t a sex addict; she just doesn’t do relationships. After all, sooner or later, everyone lets you down.

At first, the group sessions are little more than an education on how to be promiscuous. Until she meets the newest addict—blue eyes, killer body, and a smile that tempts relapse.

Psychology student Will McLean is posing as a fellow addict while researching a case study on unusual addictions. But the more he learns about Leah, the more certain he is that his desire to break through her walls and unearth her secrets has nothing to do with his assignment.

As the uncertainties spike alongside the sexual tension, the only thing Leah knows for sure is that falling in love would be disastrous. Too bad love might be one addiction she can’t kick.

Colina Brennan is a new adult writer with a love for the fantastical and the romantic. When she isn’t writing, she’s attached at the hip to her kids or chasing her dog or daydreaming about what she wants to write next.


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a Rafflecopter giveaway

                                 
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REFLECTION is UPAuthor Approved

UP Approved-1Thank you UPAuthors.com!

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Excerpt
Mason Bailey gulped down his third Glenlivet. “I didn’t kill her.”

How many times had Whitney Steel heard those words? Dozens. But never from the mouth of a United States senator. For all she cared, the man could drink himself to Mars, but not until she got what she’d come for. An exclusive.

Under the awning shading the Pink Flamingo Club’s patio, she took a sip of her lime daiquiri, and couldn’t help notice the way the mid-afternoon sunlight brutally magnified every line on Mason’s tanned face.

“Of all the reporters in Panama City, let alone Florida, why me? We cut our ties years ago.” And our losses, she wanted to say, but didn’t.

“I know I can trust you.” His gaze darted across the street then back to her. “Besides, we were married once. That should count for something.”

Whitney straightened. Anger coiled in the pit of her stomach. “Give me a break. For a year and a half, I thought we were married. Too bad your girlfriends didn’t know about our little legal arrangement.” Especially, your twenty something assistant.

“Damn it, Whitney. I didn’t ask you here to rehash our past.” He yanked a monogrammed handkerchief from his jacket pocket and dabbed the sweat from his forehead. “I need your help. I know why Carmen Lacey was murdered.”

Her eyes widened. Now they were getting somewhere. “You have my full attention. Are we on the record?”

Mason shoved his empty glass aside. “Yes.”

Her heart thumped with anticipation. This story would be the topic du jour for months. Her ratings at WBNN-TV would soar, and finally her colleagues would take notice and treat her with the professional respect she deserved.

For the past twelve years, her colleagues said she’d had a free ride because of her father, an award winning war correspondent, and her ex-husband’s political connections. This time she’d prove them wrong.

She rummaged through her leather bag, placed her digital voice recorder on the table and gave the record button a firm push. “For the record, Senator Bailey, did you kill Carmen Lacey?”

“No.” He leaned back in the chair and loosened his pinstriped tie. “It’s true. I was the last person to see her alive. But there’s more to this than you think.”

Brown eyes that once set her heart hammering now conveyed a chilling,hollow look. Was it guilt? Desperation?

No. Fear.

Uneasiness slid down her spine. She stopped the recorder. “Mason, you’re scaring me. What the hell is going on? It’s been over three years since we last spoke. Then, out of the blue, you beg me to meet with you today. I know the police don’t believe you killed that woman.”

“But do you, Whitney? Do you believe I killed her? I need to know. It’s important.”

Stunned by the urgency in his voice, she answered carefully. “Of course not. You’re many things, but you’re not a killer.”

“Thank you. That means a lot to me.” He reached for his empty glass and tapped his chunky gold ring against the side.

Whitney turned the recorder on again.

“Carmen was a scientist working for a biotech company in Nevada. ShawBioGen. Heard of it?”

“Who hasn’t? They were one of the first to clone animals in the eighties. Caused quite a stir. But I don’t understand. What does that have to do with
Carmen’s death?”

He opened his mouth to answer.

The large window behind them dividing the patio from the main restaurant exploded. A storm of glass rained down, showering the patio.

There was no warning. Everything moved so fast, yet in slow motion as if part of a horrid nightmare.

Screams. Rushed, heavy, thumping footsteps.

A few feet away, a male waiter dropped the two plates of food in his hands. He froze.

“Get down!” Mason yelled.

Whitney dropped. She huddled into a ball under the table and squashed the side of her face against the patio stones. Amid the chaos, a gunshot echoed and the waiter ran for cover.

A bullet ripped through the man’s shoulder and spun him around, the force slamming his body against the restaurant door. He folded to his knees and howled out in pain.

More shots rang out. Debris spewed through the air. Food, glasses, plates. The sickening smell of deep fried food and scorched cordite assaulted her nostrils. She gagged.

Crimson snaked toward her hand. The warm, sticky liquid met her fingertips.

Blood. Lots of blood. But it wasn’t hers.

Her gaze snapped to Mason, lying on his back. Dark red blood pumped from a gaping wound in his chest, soaking his white shirt. She held her breath to keep from screaming.

He raised his arm and reached for her. “I swear—I didn’t kill her. I swear.”

“I believe you.” Whitney kept her head down and inched her body closer. She grasped his hand. “I do. Oh, God.”

Please don’t die. Her pulse roared so loud in her ears she couldn’t hear her own words. “You’re bleeding so much. Someone help us!”

Another bullet whizzed through the air and slammed into the bottom of the wooden table leg.

Needle-like splinters from the wood slashed through her pants and drilled into her thigh like a hundred slivers. The pain knocked the breath from her. The world twisted and turned yellow. Darkness thickened and threatened to overpower her.

Can’t pass out…help Mason.

He gasped a ragged breath and shoved a key into her bloody palm and curled her fingers closed. “Don’t trust—anyone.”

She clutched the piece of metal. A knot wedged in her throat, one she couldn’t swallow. “I’m going to get help.”

“No—stay.” Blood bubbled at the corners of his mouth and trickled down his jaw. “They cloned…”

His eyelids slid shut.

“What Mason? They cloned what?”

Whitney lowered her head to his chest. “Oh, Mason, no.”

Reflection © 2013 by Kim Cresswell

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Praise

“Action packed from page one…an impressively laid out passionate thrill ride!” -InD’Tale Magazine

“I was looking forward to reading about Whitney and Blake. I anticipated a Booth and Bones relationship (from the Bones TV Series) and I wasn’t wrong…this book is definitely worth reading.” –Quality Reads UK Book Club

“A brilliant mixture of action, romance and mystery. Well worth a read…a very tough book to put down.” Jeep Diva

“Five-star page-turner! A truly edge-of-your-seat, never-a-dull-moment read! Reflection has a dramatic start and just never slows down.” Ellen Fritz at Books4Tomorrow

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Where to Buy
MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | ibookstore | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Sony

Available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace

Question Me ~ The Answers Might Surprise You

Today I thought it would be fun to post the some of the most asked questions I get as an author. You might be surprised at some of my answers…

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What inspired you to write Reflection?

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Kim: The story evolved after Clonaid (a company founded by the religious sect called the Raelians) announced the birth of Eve, the “first human clone” in 2002 using the similar technique to clone, Dolly the Sheep.

About 160 nations in the world have yet to outlaw the birth of human clones and others are allowing the creation of human clones as long as they are not put into a woman’s womb (how do we know they aren’t implanted?), add a kick-ass investigative reporter, and thus, REFLECTION was born.

What is one thing about you that your readers would find surprising or never guess about you?

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Kim: I’m a fifty-two year old (Yeah…yeah, I know a woman should never reveal her age) gamer chick! A gaming junkie. Have been since the ’80s. I’m a die-hard PC gamer and known to play first-person shooters (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3), adventure, fantasy and RPG’s (Role Playing Games).

Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?

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Kim: Oh, there are so many–but I’m an old-school-kind-of-girl. Harold Robbins (Never Love a Stranger), Jackie Collins (Lucky), and Sydney Sheldon (Master of the Game) top my list. Iris Johansen, Karen Slaughter, Michael Connelly and James Patterson are also some of my favorite authors. One of my favorite books is Waiting Wives: The Story of Schilling Manor, Home Front to the Vietnam War by Donna Moreau.

Presently, I’m reading Kidnapped by the Cartel by Karen D. Scioscia. Fantastic book!

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Are the names of the characters in your novels important?

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Kim:  They are–especially the main characters. In REFLECTION, my heroine is strong, independent, an investigative reporter. I wanted her name to reflect her character traits and career so I chose, Whitney Steel.

If your REFLECTION was made into a movie, who would you want to play the leads?

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Kim:  I would choose Charlize Theron to play feisty investigative reporter, Whitney Steel.  Russel Crowe would be perfect to play FBI Agent Blake Neely. For the part of Nathan Shaw, the villain, I would love to see Robert DeNiro play the role. How’s that for an all-star lineup?

Are you single? Do you have kids?

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Kim:  No, I’m not single. I have two grown children. My daughter is 32 and my son, 27. I also have two beautiful grandsons, aged 10 and 6. 🙂

Are you going to stop writing fiction and only write true crime novels?

police car

Kim: No way. I have too many stories in my head that need to be told. I love writing fiction.

SKAEBOOK

True crime has always been an interest of mine, so when I was asked to contribute two serial killer stories for the upcoming True Crime Serial Killer Anthology, I was elated. I’m very excited about this project and can’t wait until the book is released this December.

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Where to Buy REFLECTION
MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | ibookstore | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Sony

Available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace

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Get the Comments for Suspense Author Kim Cresswell widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)

Where in the World is Kim?

It’s been another super busy week and things aren’t slowing down. You just never know where you will find me!

Friday, May 24 – Today I’m guest blog11954322131712176739question_mark_naught101_02.svg.medging on Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers! Hope you stop by!  

 Sunday, May 26 –  I will be visiting Lorries Flowers and Thorns Blog! 

Friday, May 31 -I’ll be guest blogging at MUSETRACKS! Hope to see you there!

~ NEWS

The True Crime Serial Killer Anthology – Indiegogo Campaign has launched! I’m so excited about this project. To learn more and to donate, click here!

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~ KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY (Contest ends May 31st!)

There is still time to enter! The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HD (US Only), Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International), Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).

~ NO STINGS ATTACHED GIVEAWAY HOP

Only 3 days left to win lots of cool books, giftcards, and more! Click here!

REFLECTION ~ LATEST REVIEWS

NEW! 4 Stars! “I was looking forward to reading about Whitney and Blake. I anticipated a Booth and Bones relationship (from the Bones TV Series) and I wasn’t wrong…this book is definitely worth reading.” –Quality Reads UK Book Club

NEW! 4 Stars! “A brilliant mixture of action, romance and mystery. Well worth a read…a very tough book to put down.” Jeep Diva

NEW! 5 Stars! “A pulse-pounding opening…Completely captivated with this romantic suspense, I could barely take a breath before reaching the high-octane climax. Cresswell masterfully ties up the major plot points while leaving the door open to revisiting these characters again. I, for one, hope she does.”- Lori at Lusty Penguin Reviews

BOOK COVER CONTEST:  If you haven’t had a chance to rate my book cover for REFLECTION, I’d really appreciate if you would stop by. It would make me sparkle with joy. http://www.authorsdb.com/book-cover-awards/mystery-thriller-suspense?page=2#category

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Where to Buy
MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | ibookstore | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace

COVER REVEAL ~ Addicted to You

 
Addicted to You by Colina Brennan
NA Contemporary Romance
Coming soon!
 

When twenty-one-year-old Leah Carter’s latest one night stand burglarizes her apartment, her roommate forces her to attend therapy for sex addicts. Leah insists she isn’t a sex addict; she just doesn’t do relationships. After all, sooner or later, everyone lets you down.

At first, the group sessions are little more than an education on how to be promiscuous. Until she meets the newest addict—blue eyes, killer body, and a smile that tempts relapse.

Psychology student Will McLean is posing as a fellow addict while researching a case study on unusual addictions. But the more he learns about Leah, the more certain he is that his desire to break through her walls and unearth her secrets has nothing to do with his assignment.

As the uncertainties spike alongside the sexual tension, the only thing Leah knows for sure is that falling in love would be disastrous. Too bad love might be one addiction she can’t kick.

 
 
 
 
 
Reveal hosted by…
 

My Top Ten Favourite Novels

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1. Master of the Game by Sidney Sheldon

“She is the symbol of success, the beautiful woman who parlayed her inheritance into an international conglomerate. Winner of a unique position among the wealthy and world-renowned. And she’s a survivor, indomitable as her father, the man who returned from the edge of death to wrench a fortune in diamonds from the bleak South African earth.” Mr. Sheldon was one of the master “story-tellers” of all times.

2. The Immortals by Michael Korda

“Jack Kennedy – the American hero. Marilyn Monroe – the love goddess. Their affair has been whispered about for thirty years. Now, at last, the story we have only been able to imagine is brought to vibrant, stunning life – a passionate, tragic romance played out against a background of deadly intrigue, power politics, and Hollywood glamour on a grand scale.” A fantastic historical and fictional read!

3. Waiting Wives: The Story of Schilling Manor, Home Front to the Vietnam War by Donna Moreau

“In 1964, as the first B-52s took flight in what would become America’s longest combat mission, an old Air Force base on the plains of Kansas became Schilling Manor — the only base ever to be set aside for the wives and children of soldiers assigned to Vietnam.” An incredible read about strength and love!

4. Lucky by Jackie Collins

“With the sensual grace of a panther, Lucky Santangelo prowled her Las Vegas casino, restless, ready, eager for action. That night began a dazzling odyssey, filled with dangerous passion and sun-drenched sex, sadistic vengeance and breathless suspense.” Epic and sexy. A great beach read!

5. This Charming Man by Marian Keyes

“Paddy de Courcy is Ireland’s debonair politician, the “John F. Kennedy Jr. of Dublin.” His charm and charisma have taken hold of the country and the tabloids, not to mention our four heroines: Lola, Grace, Marnie, and Alicia. But though Paddy’s winning smile is fooling Irish minds, the broken hearts he’s left in his past offer a far more truthful look into his character.” One of the most charming and emotional books I have ever read!

6. Black Ice by Anne Stuart

“Living paycheck to paycheck in Paris, American book translator Chloe Underwood would give anything for some excitement and passion–even a little danger. So when she’s offered a lucrative weekend gig translating at a business conference in a remote chateau, she jumps at the chance to shake things up.” Bastien Toussaint from Black Ice is my #1 pick for best hero/anti-hero!

7. Die For Me by Karen Rose

“The first victim is found in a snow-covered Philadelphia field. Detective Vito Ciccotelli enlists the aid of archaeologist Sophie Johannsen to determine exactly what lies beneath the frozen ground.” Suspense at its finest!

8. The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner

“It was a case guaranteed to spark a media feeding frenzy–a young mother, blond and pretty, disappears without a trace from her South Boston home, leaving behind her four-year-old daughter as the only witness and her handsome, secretive husband as the prime suspect.” A scary thrill-ride!

9. Bonnie by Iris Johansen – Eve Ducan Series

“When Eve Duncan gave birth to her daughter, she experienced a love she never knew existed. Nothing would stand in the way of giving Bonnie a wonderful life – until the unthinkable happened and the seven-year-old vanished into thin air. Eve found herself in the throes of a nightmare from which there was no escape.” Must read suspense series!

10. Victims by Jonathan Kellerman

“Unraveling the madness behind L.A.’s most baffling and brutal homicides is what sleuthing psychologist Alex Delaware does best.” Kellerman’s books are like a bad habit. I’m a addict and I’m not giving them up!  

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BOOK COVER CONTEST

The book cover for REFLECTION is one of this week’s semi-finalists in the Creme de la Cover Contest! If you have a minute, please vote. <shameless begging> 🙂
http://indtale.com/cover-contest

reflection333x500 “I was looking forward to reading about Whitney and Blake. I anticipated a Booth and Bones relationship (from the Bones TV Series) and I wasn’t wrong…this book is definitely worth reading.” –Quality Reads UK Book Club

Where to Buy
MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | ibookstore | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Sony

Available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace

The Romance Reviews