REFLECTION: Read Chapter One

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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.”

Want to read more? Available at MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon, Amazon.ca AmazonUK, CoffeeTimeRomance, Omnilit, BookStrand!

Coming soon to Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo and other fine retailers. Available in print (late February 2013)

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Reflection © 2013 by Kim Cresswell
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Reflection is here!

It’s here! I’m so excited to share! I’m thrilled to announce that my debut romantic suspense, Reflection, is available for purchase!

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Available at MuseItUp Publishing (.pdf, .prc for Kindle, .epub for Sony/Nook and HTML), Amazon and coming soon to other fine retailers!

**Available in paperback in February!** (Details to follow)

Watch the trailer

Praise

Reflection is a fast-paced thriller with something for every reader: scientific experiments, murderous encounters, and a complicated love story. Kim Cresswell’s debut work will leave you hanging on every page in a world where every word counts, every man’s word is suspect, and those ‘three little words’ mean more than anything when all is revealed.”
~M.K. Chester, author (Carina Press)

Fast-paced and gripping. A riveting story action readers will enjoy.”
~Bestselling True Crime Author, RJ Parker
____________________________________________________________________________

SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY

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

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(Available January 25th at MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, SmashWords and more!)

The plan was perfect.

There would be no room for failure this time. The hunt would end tonight, in Las Vegas.

Andrew West had seen the bitch standing like a statue in the parking lot.

Man, if he’d only had a rifle handy, he could’ve picked her off with a single shot.

Pow!

Click here to check out all the other fantastic entries.

Want to read more? Join my blog and Official Author Facebook Fan Page.

REFLECTION Sneak Peek

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On Sale January 25th at MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and other fine outlets!

In the donut shop, Andrew West sat on a hard stool at the end of a worn Formica counter and ordered another coffee, this one to go. Cinnamon collided with the sharp tang of bleach as the waitress wiped the counter beside him.

Outside, traffic built up. While a half-moon poked through the clouds, he eyed the woman heading into the store next door. Anticipation nipped his skin. She’d be dead by sunset. Sweet retribution.

Thanks to Nathan’s unlimited resources, including the use of his helicopter, Andrew could keep a step ahead of the reporter. Of course, knowing where she’d be every minute came in handy. He couldn’t bring himself to say her name. The thought of her was like vomit on his tongue.

How could a jury have believed her lies? Her bullshit helped put his father behind bars.

Her lies had forced his father to kill himself.

She’d said his old man was a dirty cop, implicated him in the theft of millions of dollars’ worth of cocaine from the Miami-Dade evidence-storage facility, and accused him of selling the drugs on the street.

His father had been set up. He wasn’t a thief or a drug dealer. He was hardworking man who’d dedicated his life to protect others.

Andrew heard she had gotten a friggin’ award.

Bitch.

And his father? A wooden box.

From the get-go, Andrew’s plan was simple. Take out everyone the woman cared about…

Black Friday Blog Hop and Prizes Galore!

Welcome! 

It’s Black Friday and I have to admit I don’t like large crowds, actually they scare the hell out of me.  Shopping online is what I do and believe me over the years I’ve snagged some great bargins by using these three simple tips. 🙂

  1. Make a list of what you actually need or want and stick to it.  This will save from over spending.  A deal isn’t a deal unless it’s something you can use.
  2. Bundle deals aren’t always a bargin. A free item is only a great addition if you can use it.
  3. Also check out the used market (ebay, Craigslist, Kijiji, etc.) because many people sell their slightly used items to make money for the holidays. A great place to find electronics, video games, cameras and so much more.

So today I’m going to be hunting for online bargins and reading, If I Fail, A Jake Carrington Mystery by Marian Lanouette.


In the donut shop, Andrew West sat on a hard stool at the end of a worn Formica counter and ordered another coffee, this one to go.

Cinnamon collided with the sharp tang of bleach as the waitress wiped the counter beside him.

Outside, traffic built up. While a half-moon poked through the clouds, he eyed the woman heading into the store next door. Anticipation nipped his skin.

She’d be dead by sunset. Sweet retribution.

Thanks to Nathan’s unlimited resources, including the use of his helicopter, Andrew could keep a step ahead of the reporter. Of course, knowing where she’d be every minute came in handy. He couldn’t bring himself to say her name. The thought of her was like vomit on his tongue.

How could a jury have believed her lies? Her bullshit helped put his father behind bars. Her lies had forced his father to kill himself.

She’d said his old man was a dirty cop, implicated him in the theft of millions of dollars’ worth of cocaine from the Miami-Dade evidence-storage facility, and accused him of selling the drugs on the street.

His father had been set up. He wasn’t a thief or a drug dealer. He was hardworking man who’d dedicated his life to protect others.

Andrew heard she had gotten a friggin’ award.

Bitch.

And his father? A wooden box.

From the get-go, Andrew’s plan was simple. Take out everyone the woman cared about. Make her suffer, experience loss like he had.

She was next.

REFLECTION! (available January 25, 2013 at MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, SmashWords and more!)



While the rest of the shoppers are out handling the crowds, fighting for their holiday gifts, some of us like to stay in, shop online, or just ignore Black Friday all to together. This year, join us in our second annual Black Friday Blog Hop! It’s a ONE DAY hop where we’re giving away prizes, talking about books we love, and most likely  eating left over turkey. 🙂

The hop is November 23rd and is ONE DAY only.

 And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.

But that’s not all…

 We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!


I’m giving away a MuseItUp Book Store $10.00 Gift Certificate!

 

ENTER  Rafflecopter Giveaway

 ALSO WHEN YOU LEAVE A COMMEN BELOW YOU ARE ENTERED TO WIN…

 1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $75 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: (US ONLY) A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Welcome! Here is my entry for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. I was tagged by the talented Victoria Blisse.

1. What is the title of your latest book?

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

The story evolved after Clonaid announced the birth of Eve, the “first human clone” in December 2002 using the similar technique to clone, Dolly the Sheep. With no independent verification whether Eve existed or not, I found myself wondering,”what if”.  Like many of the ideas for my books, I made a note, and saved it on my computer in my “topics” folder.  A few years later, I finally sat down and started writing Reflection.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a romantic suspense. Murder…suspense…mystery and romance. A little something for everyone.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

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

 

5. What is blurb for your book?

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

When she’s 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 its too late?

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

6. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

This book took longer than expected due to the large amount of research and chronic pain–about three years (off and on) to finish the first draft. I actually began writing this story after developing Fibromyalgia, a syndrome which generates long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints joints, muscles and other soft tissues.

 7. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

That’s a tough one. I can’t say I’ve read another book where the plot involved an illegal human cloning project, but Reflection offers suspense fans one hell of a ride with a many shocking twists and turns along the way…and sizzling romance.

8. Who or What inspired you to write this book?

A gifted writer, Christina Harris, Golden Heart Finalist, and amazing online critique partner/mentor/friend. Unfortunately, she passed away from cancer before I was able to finish the final draft of Reflection. I know she’d be proud.

9. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? 

Reflection has more than one villain <insert evil grin>. So here is a sneak peak…

In the donut shop, Andrew West sat on a hard stool at the end of a worn Formica counter and ordered another coffee, this one to go.

Cinnamon collided with the sharp tang of bleach as the waitress wiped the counter beside him.

Outside, traffic built up. While a half-moon poked through the clouds, he eyed the woman heading into the store next door. Anticipation nipped his skin.

She’d be dead by sunset. Sweet retribution.

Thanks to Nathan’s unlimited resources, including the use of his helicopter, Andrew could keep a step ahead of the reporter. Of course, knowing where she’d be every minute came in handy. He couldn’t bring himself to say her name. The thought of her was like vomit on his tongue.

How could a jury have believed her lies? Her bullshit helped put his father behind bars. Her lies had forced his father to kill himself.

She’d said his old man was a dirty cop, implicated him in the theft of millions of dollars’ worth of cocaine from the Miami-Dade evidence-storage facility, and accused him of selling the drugs on the street.

His father had been set up. He wasn’t a thief or a drug dealer. He was hardworking man who’d dedicated his life to protect others.

Andrew heard she had gotten a friggin’ award.

Bitch.

And his father? A wooden box.

From the get-go, Andrew’s plan was simple. Take out everyone the woman cared about. Make her suffer, experience loss like he had.

She was next.

His palms itched. He couldn’t wait.

The woman crossed the street, carrying two plastic shopping bags. Andrew shot to his feet. Once she was on the other side, he tossed two dollars on the counter, grabbed his coffee and left Donut Junkie with a smile on his face.

Tucked inside his rental car, he clutched the PDA Nathan had given him and turned on the handheld device. It felt good to have such control. The Palm Pilot beeped. The small LCD screen burst to life. On a miniature green and blue street map, a red light blinked.

The bitch would be moving soon.

In the semi-darkness of the alley Andrew started the engine and waited.

REFLECTION will be available for purchase in January 2013 at MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, SmashWords and more!

SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY

I’m thrilled to participate in my second Six Sentence Sunday!  Click here to check out all the other entries.

Retribution (Sequel to REFLECTION )

Whitney struggled and kicked.

The sickening sweet smell mixed with the rotten odor of cleaning solution invaded her head. Blood pounded in her ears, and male voices turned faint, distorted.

As her breathing slowed, every muscle turned to mush. Then blackness drowned her vision and she realized what the men wanted.

They wanted her..

Want to read more? Join my blog and Official Author Facebook Fan Page.

REFLECTION

A reporter’s determination to expose an illegal human cloning project places an innocent child in the crosshairs of a master criminal.
(Available January 2013 at MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, SmashWords and more!)