Sleepless in Savannah


Sleepless in Savannah

Book 2 of the Bachelor Pact Series

Sleepless in Savannah

# 1 Amazon Bestseller in Single Women’s Fiction!

When Lance Summers discovers he’s being duped into a date with the sexy talk show host Sophie Lane on Sophie’s popular TV show, he knows he has to protect his treasured bachelorhood.

So he tricks her into going out with another man.

But images of her half naked on a sultry beach with the hunk who won the date torment him, and soon Lance finds himself with a terrible case of insomnia.

One only a lifetime of tangling with Sophie between the sheets can cure…

But when he finally gets her in bed, he isn’t sure either one of them will be sleeping…

A fun and fast moving story. ~ Romantic Times, Reviewer; Susan Mobley

A fun contemporary romance…an amusing read. ~, Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

One Night to Kill


One Night to Kill

Book 1 of the Seven Nights Series

One NIght to Kill

Just coming off a dangerous mission, bomb expert Sergeant Max Murdock desperately needs some R & R. Unfortunately his leave turns into an assignment to protect Willow Woods, the General’s daughter.

Then he discovers Willow is running a phone sex business, and it becomes impossible to keep his hands off of her!

Worse, not only is her life in danger but she has a stalker.

Can he save her – and protect his heart – from the sexy vixen?

Cold Case at Camden Crossing


Cold Case at Camden Crossing

Book 3 of the Cold Case Series

Cold Case at Camden Crossing


People in town believe Tawny-Lynn Boulder is the only reason the Camden Cross case went unsolved. She survived the bus accident that left several dead and two missing, but the severe trauma left her with amnesia. So when she returns to her family’s ranch after seven years, Sheriff Chaz Camden presses her to help locate the girls who were never found—including his own sister. But someone in town is threatening to kill Tawny-Lynn to keep the case closed. Now she must trust that the sexy sheriff she once loved will protect her and show this murderer that in Camden, accidents don’t happen…justice does.




Box Set


Three romantic suspense novellas in one!
Safe In His Arms
Safe By His Side
Safe With Him

Three prisoners on the run…
Three women in danger…
Three Texas Rangers who will risk their hearts and their lives to protect them.

Safe with Him


Safe With Him

Book 3 of the Manhunt Series

Safe With Him

All Kaylie Whittaker wanted for Christmas was to protect her daughter from the madman who killed her husband…

All five-year-old CeCe Whittaker wanted was to have a real home for the holidays…

All Texas Ranger Sergeant Mitch Manning wanted was to drown his sorrows in a bottle.

Then Kaylie and CeCe snuck into his abandoned ranch house, looking terrified and obviously on the run, and his detective instincts surged to life. But he’d lost one family because of his job, and he refused to make room for this woman and her little girl in his heart.

Still, he was a Texas Ranger and he would protect them or die trying…

Safe by His Side


Safe by His Side

Book 2 of the ManhuntSeries

Safe by His Side

Lenora Lockhart barely survived a dangerous killer five years ago…
But now he’s escaped prison and wants his revenge.

Can Texas Ranger Micah Hardin, the man who saved her once, protect her again?

Or will he die trying?

Dying to Tell


Dying to Tell

Book 1 of the Slaughter Creek Novel Series

Dying to Tell

Sadie Nettleton fled Slaughter Creek ten years ago, leaving behind the only home she’d ever known—and the only man she ever loved. Sadie knew Jake Blackwood could never forgive her if he discovered her terrible secret, so she ran and never looked back. But when her grandfather is murdered, and her mentally ill twin sister charged with the crime, Sadie has no choice but to return and face the ghosts of her past…

For Sheriff Jake Blackwood, time has not dimmed the love he felt for Sadie Nettleton—or the pain of her leaving. But now that she’s back, he’s determined to help her uncover the truth about her grandfather’s death. As their investigation leads them deeper into a world of secrets, lies, and betrayal in Slaughter Creek, Sadie becomes the target of a madman who will do anything to keep the truth buried. Jake would give his life to protect Sadie. But can he again risk giving her his heart?

Cowboy in the Extreme


Cowboy in the Extreme

Bucking Bronc Lodge Series

Cowboy in the Extreme

“There’s an intruder in my cabin!”

The moment he heard Kim Long’s terrified voice on the phone, Brandon Woodstock knew he had to help her and her little girl. Once, he’d promised to love and protect Kim forever. Now, in spite of the secrets that had come between them, the Texas rancher intended to keep that promise. But rescuing Kim riled all the wrong people—and rekindled the attraction he’d thought ended with their broken relationship. Honoring his role as Kim’s fiercest protector, he whisked her and her daughter to safety without considering the consequences. With a target on Kim’s back and old wounds reopened, Brandon thought there’d be no more surprises. He’d never been more wrong.

Bucking Bronc Lodge: These Texas cowboys will help troubled boys become honorable men.

“Carter escaped from prison.”

“What?” Brandon Woodstock’s heart began to race as he heard the worry in his best friend’s voice. “How?”

“I don’t have all the details yet,” Johnny said, clearly agitated. “After the rodeo, I went to see him in prison and gave him the number of a P.I. I hired to investigate his case.”

“And he accepted your help?” Brandon asked. “I thought he hated both of us.” Brandon sank into the desk chair at the Bucking Bronc Lodge’s office wishing he was home on his own spread. He would be in a few hours. He couldn’t handle being on the ranch when Johnny’s sister, Kim, was here.

Kim, his first love, his only love.

The woman who’d betrayed him with Carter. The woman who’d had Carter’s child instead of his.

That hurt the worst?.

“Not at first,” Johnny said. “But I convinced him to take the P.I.’s card and talk to him.”

“Now you believe he was innocent of murder?”

The three of them, Carter, Johnny and him, had been inseparable as kids. Kim had tagged along, the tomboy little sister, and aggravated the hell out of them.

Until she’d hit her teens and become a raging beauty. He’d fallen for her, then slept with her, much to Johnny’s consternation, although eventually Johnny had accepted them as a couple.

Then he’d made the worst mistake of his life by leaving her for another woman, one he’d thought would help him climb from the gutter of his trailer-park-trash past to success.

And it had worked initially. But then Brandon realized he’d crawled into bed with a snake and had been running from the venomous bite ever since.

Still, Carter had wasted no time. He’d stepped in to fill his Kim’s bed.

That affair had ripped apart their friendship.

Soon after, Carter had been arrested and convicted of murder. Carter had begged him and Johnny to lie and give him an alibi. Their refusal to perjure themselves had cemented the end of their friendship with Carter.

Johnny cleared his throat. “After seeing the way Rachel’s ex bought off the cops and framed her for trying to kill him, I started thinking that someone could have framed Carter.”

“So did the P.I. turn up anything?” Brandon asked, getting back on track.

“No, he didn’t have time. Carter met with him once and told him about this woman he claims he was with the night of the murder. Carter recognized her in one of the photos of the rodeo.”

The newspaper featuring the rodeo was spread on Brandon’s desk. He’d tried to avoid looking at the picture of Kim and her little girl, Lucy. It hurt too damn much.

He steered his mind back to Carter. “This woman was at the Bucking Bronc Lodge?”

“In the stands,” Johnny said. “She’s Native American. Carter claimed they had a one-night stand, and that he saw her the night of the murder.”

“Did Troy find her?”

“I don’t know. Troy was working on locating her, but two days after he visited Carter, Troy was found dead.”

The air in Brandon’s lungs tightened. “He was murdered?”

A tense moment passed; then Johnny mumbled, “Yes.”

Brandon chewed the inside of his cheek, contemplating everything that had happened. “Maybe he was onto something that got him killed.”

“My thoughts exactly.” Johnny’s footsteps clattered, and Brandon realized he was pacing.

Anxious himself, Brandon went to the bar in the corner, poured a shot of whiskey and swirled the amber liquid in the glass. He hated to distrust Carter, but before the arrest five years ago, Carter had been drinking too much, constantly skirting trouble. He’d even blacked out a few times and let his rage rule his actions.

The way Carter had attacked him a few times replayed through Brandon’s head, and more doubts nagged at him. “Or maybe Troy found out Carter committed the murder, and Carter had someone kill Troy.”

Johnny sighed. “Or maybe Carter thinks Troy died because of him and it’s time he found out the truth.”

“Then he’s looking for this woman?”

“Probably,” Johnny said. “And he has to be desperate. I raised his hopes and so did Troy. And now Troy’s dead. That’s enough to do a number on anyone.”

“Dammit. We both know how Carter gets when he’s bottled up with anger.” The very reason both of them had questioned Carter’s innocence five years ago.

“Yeah, I know.” Johnny sounded frustrated. “I just wanted to warn you. Two other prisoners escaped and a guard was wounded. His weapon was stolen.”

Brandon cursed. “So Carter may be armed, and the cops probably have orders to shoot to kill.”

“That about sizes it up,” Johnny hissed. “Carter has to be scared. Whether he went willingly or not, he’s on the run, he’s pissed, he needs help, and he—”

“May show up here.” Brandon downed the liquor. Hell, Carter would probably blame him for this trouble, too. He removed his gun from the desk drawer where he’d locked it and stuffed it in the back of his jeans.

If Carter came looking for a fight, Brandon would be ready.

Kim Long tried to ignore the rapid tapping of her heart as her four-year-old daughter, Lucy, taped the photos of the rodeo onto her bedroom wall. Ever since the rodeo, Lucy had been asking questions about her Uncle Johnny’s friend Brandon.

“I wants to learn to do twicks like him,” Lucy chimed. “He was co-ol.”

Lucy had picked up that word from Kenny, Johnny’s fiancée’s six-year-old son who Lucy trailed after like a puppy.

Just as Kim had trailed after Johnny and Brandon and Carter when they’d been kids. The boys had dubbed themselves the Three Musketeers, and Kim had begged to be the fourth. They had refused, although they had tolerated her, mostly because she’d been such a tomboy.

Then they’d all grown up and everything had gone awry.

Lucy twirled a pigtail around one finger. “Mommy, will Uncle Johnny’s friend teach me?”

Oh, God?she didn’t think so. “I doubt it, baby. He has his own ranch to run. But maybe Uncle Johnny will.”

Lucy poked her lips into a pout. “But he gots his own family now. He gots Kenny and if they gets another baby he won’t ever see us.”

Kim tipped her daughter’s chin up with her thumb, her heart aching. She’d known that one day Johnny would have his own family and was thrilled for him. No one deserved to find happiness and love more than her older brother. That was one reason she’d taken the job at the Bucking Bronc. She and Lucy couldn’t live with Johnny forever. And he would never ask them to leave. He was too protective.

She just hadn’t realized how much Lucy would miss him.

How much Lucy had missed not having a real daddy of her own.

“Your Uncle J will always have time for us, sugar.” She kept the tears at bay. “And we’ll visit him and Rachel and Kenny all the time.” In fact, every time Brandon volunteered at the Bucking Bronc, they’d make the trek to Johnny’s ranch. She couldn’t be around Brandon and not ache for the life she’d dreamed they might share one day.

Lucy’s eyes grew sleepy. “Pwomise?”

“Promise.” Kim hugged her, then tucked Lucy’s lamb beside her and covered her with her favorite pink blanket. Lucy snuggled down under the covers, and Kim stroked her dark red hair until she fell asleep.

Exhausted from helping reorganize and clean between camps, she went to her room and crawled in bed. But as she closed her eyes, images of Brandon plagued her.

Brandon at age ten staggering up to the fort they had built, bloody from another beating from his old man. Brandon at thirteen teaching her how to shoot a BB gun. Brandon at sixteen galloping across the pasture and showing off the tricks he’d learned from the rancher who’d given him a job and some self-respect. Brandon entering into some extreme fighting contests hoping to make a buck to get him out of his hellhole.

Then the night of the barbecue. The night Brandon had first kissed her. The night the budding romance and passion kindling between them had become more.

But another memory intruded, one so painful it was like being doused with ice water. The night Brandon had broken her heart.

She closed her eyes and drifted into a fitful sleep. In the nightmare, she was riding in the open pasture, but it was dark and she’d lost her way. She couldn’t see which direction to go and someone was chasing her?.

Suddenly she startled awake, her heart drumming. Outside, the wind shook the roof and something scraped the windowpane. A tree branch? One of the shutters loose?

Then another sound echoed in the silence?a door squeaking?

She vaulted up in bed, searching the darkness as she scanned the room. The dresser, the chair?the closet door was closed. Everything was just as she’d left it.

A faint sliver of moonlight seeped through the blinds, making the silhouette of the trees outside look gigantic and ominous. Had she imagined the noise? Dreamt it?

No?another sounds soft, muffled like footsteps. The floor squeaked in the living room.

Her pulse pounded, and she jumped up, slowly cracked open her door, and peered through the dimly lit hall. A shadow moved across the den.

Her breath caught as fear shot through her.


She reached for her cell phone, wishing she had a gun. But her shotgun was locked in the gun cabinet in the den.

She tiptoed to the bathroom and grabbed her hair spray, then eased through the door and crept across the hall to Lucy’s room. The floor squeaked again, and fear nearly choked her.

They’d had some problems with vagrants and a vandal on the Bucking Bronc property.

Was one of them breaking in now?

She eased the door shut and locked it, determination setting in. He could steal whatever he wanted. But she wouldn’t let him hurt her daughter.

Lucy was still sleeping, and Kim lifted her in her arms and carried her into the walk-in closet.

“Mommy?” Her daughter stirred, her face wrinkling with confusion, and Kim rocked her gently.

“Shh, baby, it’s okay. We need to be quiet and hide for a minute.”

Lucy clutched the lamb, squinting at her through the hazy darkness. Panic tugged at Kim. Her first instinct was to call Johnny, but he’d already left for his place.

Her hands shook as she punched in Brody’s office number. Brody was the primary owner of the ranch and could get here faster than a 911 call could send somebody.

A voice answered on the second ring, deep and gruff. “Bucking Bronc Lodge.”

Kim froze, hand shaking. Oh, God?it wasn’t Brody. That was Brandon’s voice.


The rattling sound grew louder. Whoever was outside was going to break down the door!

Kim pressed her mouth to the phone’s mouthpiece, terrified the intruder would hear her. “It’s Kim,” she whispered. “There’s an intruder in my cabin.”

Lucy jerked awake, her eyes wide with terror.


“Shh, baby.” Kim tucked Lucy’s head against her chest, her heart racing.

Brandon made a shocked sound in his throat. “I’ll be right there.” The phone clicked to silence, and Kim closed her eyes and said a silent prayer that he would reach them in time.

But a second later, the bedroom door rattled. Then came the sound of the doorknob being turned.

“Mommy!” Lucy’s nails dug into Kim’s arms, and she braced herself to fight.

A loud noise—a body slamming against the door—made her jerk her head up.

Oh, God, he was going to break down the door?.

Unbreakable Bond


Unbreakable Bond

Guardian Angel Investigations Series

Unbreakable Bond

For eight years Nina Nash has been told it’s time she moved past the night that changed her life forever. But the sounds of her baby’s cries at night—and the intense feeling that her little girl is still alive when she’s been led to believe otherwise—remain. Only, no one accepts her claims…except the one man who’s determined to help her uncover the truth.

Investigator Slade Blackburn takes Nina’s case, hoping to finally give her some closure. But what she really needs is someone to trust, someone to protect her…someone to erase the sadness from her beautiful blue eyes. Their search for answers turns dangerous, and Slade vows he’ll stop at nothing to ensure her survival—and reunite her with the child she knows is still out there.

Finding missing children was the only thing that kept Slade Blackburn going. The only thing that kept him from giving into the booze that promised sweet relief and numbness from the pain of his failures.

That was, when he found the children alive.

The other times…well, he locked those away in some distant part of his mind to deal with later. Much, much later when he was alone at night, and the loneliness consumed him and reminded him that he didn’t have a soul in the world who gave a damn if he lived or died.

Voices echoed through the downstairs as the agents at Guardian Angel Investigations entered the old house Gage McDermont had converted into a business and began to climb the stairs.

Slade’s instincts kicked in. He’d arrived early, situated himself to face the doorway in the conference room so he could study each man as he entered.

Not that he hadn’t done his research.

Gage had started the agency in Sanctuary and recruited an impressive team of agents.

The moment Slade had read about GAI in the paper, he’d phoned Gage and asked to sign on. Leaving his stint in the military had left him wired and honed for action, yet the confines of the FBI or a police department had grated on his newfound freedom.

Too long he’d taken orders, followed commands. Now he was his own man and wanted no one to watch over, not as he’d had to do with his combat unit.

But he needed a case.


Being alone, listening to the deafening quiet of the mountains, remembering the horrific events he’d seen, was wreaking havoc on his sanity.

He refused to be one of those soldiers who returned from war damaged and suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

He would not fall apart and become needy, dammit.

And he would keep the nightmares at bay.

By God, he’d survived his childhood and Iraq, and he wouldn’t go down now.

Still, returning to the small town of Sanctuary, North Carolina, held its own kind of haunts, and when he’d passed by Magnolia Manor, the orphanage where his mother had dropped him off without looking back, he’d questioned his decision to settle in the town.

Gage McDermont strode in and took the head seat behind the long conference table while the others filed in. Slade maintained his stoic expression, honing his self-control.

Gage gestured toward Slade. “This is Slade Blackburn,” he said. “He just finished his first case and returned Carmel Foster’s runaway daughter to her.”

The men surrounding the table nodded, then Gage gestured to each of them as he made the introductions. Slade analyzed each one in turn.

Benjamin Camp, a dirty-blond-haired computer expert with green eyes. Brilliant techy, he’d heard. Slade would bet he had a shady past. Maybe a former criminal with skills that could come in handy in a pinch.

Levi Stallings, former FBI profiler, black hair, military-style haircut, dark brown eyes. Intense, a man who studied behaviors and got into a killer’s mind. He cut his gaze toward Slade as if dissecting him under his microscope, and Slade forced himself not to react, to meet him with an equally hard stare.

First rule of engaging with the enemy: Never let on that you’re afraid or intimidated.

Not that he was, but he didn’t like anyone messing with his mind or getting too close.

Adopting his poker face, he angled his head to study the man, seated next to him, whom Gage introduced as Brock Running Deer.

“Running Deer is an expert tracker,” Gage said in acknowledgment.

A skill that would be needed in the dense mountains. He was also big, slightly taller than Slade’s own six feet, had shoulder-length brown hair, auburn eyes and was part Cherokee. He scowled at Slade as if he were permanently angry, but Slade shrugged it off. He hadn’t come here to make friends.

“And this is Derrick McKinney.”

Slade nodded toward him.

Next Gage introduced Caleb Walker, who also looked mixed heritage. He had thick black hair, black eyes, and wore a guarded expression. Gage didn’t elaborate on his particular skill, which made Slade even more curious about the man.

Gage gestured to the last man seated around the table. “This is Colt Mason, a guns and weapon expert.” Slade sized him up. Short, spiked black hair, crystal-blue eyes, sullen and quiet. He had that military look about him, as well, as if he’d stared down death and it hadn’t fazed him. Probably former Special Ops.

The door squeaked open and a petite brunette with hair dangling to her waist and large brown eyes slipped in.

Gage’s face broke into a smile. “This is Amanda Peterson, our newest recruit. Amanda is a forensics specialist, and we’re glad to have her on board.

“Now that we’ve all been introduced, I want to get you up to speed on the latest case and the arrests made in Sanctuary. Brianna Honeycutt, now the wife of Derrick, adopted an infant son when the baby’s mother, Natalie Cummings, was murdered. Our investigation revealed that Natalie learned about a meth lab in town that was connected to the creators of a lab eight years ago, the one that caused the hospital fire and explosion that took dozens and dozens of lives.”

Gage paused and twisted his mouth into a frown. “The police have made several arrests, but locals are up in arms now that they know who was responsible. There’s also been speculation that there might have been more locals involved in the lab. Lawsuits are cropping up each day, and people who lost loved ones are asking questions. Due to the fire and contamination of evidence, there are questions regarding some of those who were presumed dead.”

Slade frowned. “Presumed?”

“Ones whose bodies were never found or identified,” Gage clarified. “Among those were women and children. I expect that we might have some work ahead of us.”

Slade’s blood began to boil. Women and children… who’d died because of some stupid drug lab. Women and children whose bodies had never been identified.

Families with no answers just as his own hadn’t had answers when his older sister had disappeared. Not until Slade had found her in the morgue.

Maybe it was right that he’d come back to Sanctuary. If he had the opportunity to find closure for even one of the families involved, it was worth it.

Then maybe he could finally find peace and forgive himself for his sister’s death.

Nina’s baby’s cry haunted her every day.

Peyton would have been eight years old had she survived, the same age as the children Nina taught at Sanctuary Elementary.

She tried to envision what her daughter would look like now as she watched her students rush to the school bus, squealing and laughing, excited to be out for summer break. Most of the teachers were jumping for joy, as well.

“Freedom at last,” one third-grade teacher said with a laugh.

“Vacation,” another one boasted.

But instead of dreaming about long, lazy days at home or a vacation road trip, tears filled Nina’s eyes.

To her, summer break meant weeks of being without the kids. Long, lonely days and nights of silence. Of no tiny hands reaching out for help, no sweet voices calling her name, no little patter of feet or giggles, no little arms wrapping around her for a big bear hug.

Tortured nights of an empty house and more nightmares of what her life would have been like if her little girl were alive.

For a moment, she allowed herself to dream of taking her daughter to the beach. They’d build sand castles, collect shells, ride bikes. She could almost hear her daughter’s laughter in the wind roaring off the ocean….

The bus driver gave a big honk of its horn, jerking her back to reality. Kids waved and screamed out the window, and the bus roared away. Teachers cheered and waved, laughing and talking about their plans as they dispersed back to their rooms to tidy up for the day.

Nina wrapped her arms around her waist and watched until the last bus disappeared from the school drive, then turned and walked back inside, her chest tight.

She should be over the loss of her daughter, people had told her. “Move on with your life,” her father had insisted. “Let it go,” the ob-gyn had said.

But sometimes at night, she heard her baby’s cries, and she sensed that Peyton was still alive. That she hadn’t died in that fire. That she was out there somewhere, and that she needed her.

Moving on autopilot, she went to her classroom, packed up boxes, wiped down the chalkboard, stripped the bulletin boards and cleaned out her desk.

Finally she couldn’t procrastinate any longer. The empty room was almost as sad and overwhelming as her house. Here she could still see the kids’ cherub faces, hear their chatter and smell their sweet, little bodies.

She stuffed her worn plan book in her favorite tote, one emblazoned with a strawberry on the front and sporting the logo Teachers Are Berry Special, then added a copy of the language arts guide for the new language arts program the county had adopted, threw the tote over her shoulder, flipped off the lights and headed outside.

The late-afternoon sunshine beat down on her as she walked to the parking lot. The sound of engines starting up filled the air, and she noticed a group of teachers gathering for an end-of-the-year celebration.

Celia, her friend from the classroom across the hall from her, looked up and waved as she climbed in her minivan. Celia had invited her to join them, but she’d declined. Celebrating was the last thing on her mind.

Instead she drove to the little bungalow she’d bought in town, picked up the newspaper on the front stoop, then dragged herself inside and poured a glass of sweet iced tea. Hating the silence that engulfed her, she flipped on the television, then glanced at the front page of the paper.

The headlines immediately caught her eye.

Murder of Natalie Cummings and Kidnapping of Her Son Ryan Leads to Answers about the Hospital Explosion and Fire Eight Years Ago.

Nina skimmed the article, her own memories of the explosion taunting her. For years now the town had mourned the lives lost back then. Now they finally had answers.

Police have learned that a meth lab built by local teenagers at the time was the cause of the explosion that killed dozens. Recently Natalie Cummings had overheard students at Sanctuary High discussing a new meth lab nearby, and she was apparently murdered when she connected the current lab to the one eight years ago.

Derrick McKinney, an agent from Guardian Angel Investigations, was instrumental in uncovering the truth about the explosion, the kidnapping and murder connection.

Nina frowned, her heart racing. That night had been horrible. The explosion, the fire, the terrible confusion. The burning bodies.

Her frantic rush to find Peyton…

Her stomach knotted. She’d wondered if her baby might have been confused with another that night, or if she could have been kidnapped in the chaos.

But the investigation had been a mess, and the sheriff had assured her her fears had been unfounded. Even worse, the P.I. she’d hired had been convinced she was just a hysterical mother and had done nothing but take her money.

Still, one question nagged at her. They had never found Peyton’s body.

She glanced at the article again. Guardian Angel Investigations. They specialized in finding missing children.

Her hand shook as she went to the mantel and picked up the photo of her newborn. Peyton had been so tiny Nina had been able to hold her in one hand.

If someone had kidnapped her, how would she have survived?

Still, every night when she crawled into bed, she heard her cries. And every time she closed her eyes, a little angel’s voice sang to her in the night.

Determination and a new wave of hope washed over her as she grabbed her purse. “I’m going to find you, baby.”

If GAI had dug deeply enough to find out who’d caused that fire, maybe they could dig even deeper and find out what had happened to her daughter.

Just as the meeting was about to disperse, the bell on the downstairs door jangled. Gage gestured for the group to wait while he descended the stairs. A minute later, he returned, escorting a young woman with him.

A beautiful blonde with long wavy hair, enormous blue eyes the color of the sky on a clear North Carolina day, and a slim body with plump breasts that strained against her soft, white blouse.

But nothing about the woman indicated she was aware of her beauty.

Instead, those blue eyes looked wary and were filled with the kind of grief and sadness that indicated she’d lived through a hell of her own.

“This is Nina Nash,” Gage said. “She’s interested in our services.”

Gage gestured for her to sit down, and Slade noticed her body trembling slightly as she slid into a leather chair. Why was she on edge?

Was she intimidated by the agents, or in some kind of trouble?

“How can we help you, Miss Nash?” Gage asked.

She bit down on her lower lip and twisted her hands together, glancing at each of them as if to decide whether to continue.

“Just relax and tell us your story,” Gage said in a soothing tone.

She nodded, then jutted up her little chin, took a deep breath and spoke. “I read about your agency in the paper and saw that you found the people responsible for the hospital fire and explosion eight years ago.”

“Yes,” Gage said. “The police made some arrests.”

“I…lost my baby that night,” Nina said in a pained tone. “At least she went missing.”

A hushed silence fell across the room as everyone contemplated her statement. Finally Gage assumed the lead and spoke. “Why don’t you start from the beginning and tell us what happened.”

She rolled her tiny hands into fists as if to hold herself together. “My baby girl was early, a preemie, and I had to have a C-section,” she said as if she’d repeated this story a thousand times already. Then she rushed on as if she had to spit it out or she’d completely crumble. “I was asleep when the sound of the explosion woke me. Everyone started shouting and screaming, and I smelled smoke so I got out of bed and tried to get to the nursery, to Peyton…” Her voice cracked in the deafening silence stretching across the room.

But no one spoke. Her anguish was like a palpable force in the room.

“It was chaos,” she said on a choked breath. “Everyone was screaming, desperate to escape. Patients were struggling and needing help, and an orderly told me to go to the stairwell, but I couldn’t leave my baby so I pushed him away.”




Nighthawk Island Series



This is the eighth book in the continuing Nighthawk Island series which is set around a fictitious medical research park in Savannah, Georgia. In Look-Alike, the premise revolves around a twin identity experiment being conducted with identical twins.

Sheriff Miles Monahue had fallen hard for Caitlin Collier; meeting and marrying her in less than a month. So when she disappeared and Miles was accused of foul play, his world shattered. Then, just when he thought he’d never learn the truth, her body was discovered. Before Miles could grieve, Caitlin’s look-alike stumbled back into his life, with no memory. True, his wedding had been uncharacteristically impulsive, but the feelings “Caitlin” stirred made him determined to protect her from the danger that had followed her home…till death did they part.

Raven’s Peak, North Georgia
Nine months later

“I didn’t kill my wife.” Sheriff Miles Monahue leaned back in his desk chair in an effort to rein in his volatile emotions. “Like I told the police when I reported Caitlin missing three weeks ago, I have no idea where she is or what happened to her.”

FBI agent Reilly Brown’s accusing look spoke volumes. “Take off your sunglasses, Sheriff.” Brown folded his arms on Monahue’s desk and pierced him with a stare as icy as the North Georgia winter wind outside. “I like to look at a man’s eyes when I’m talking to him.”

Monahue whipped off his Ray-Bans, struggling to bank his temper as he met the agent’s gaze head-on. He’d always had dangerous impulses, but lately he’d barely been able to restrain himself from acting on them. He half attributed his springboard reactions to the stress of his wife’s disappearance.

But the emptiness had been in his soul a long damn time. And lately, he’d developed severe headaches and a sensitivity to light. The doctor said it was stress, that he needed to lighten up. Release his emotions in a healthy way.

Hell, the man didn’t know what he was talking about. Besides, without the shades, he felt exposed, raw. As if someone might see inside his soul and glimpse the darkness. The bitter boy he’d turned into after he’d witnessed his parents’ murder at age ten. The fact that he’d been a suspect in their deaths.

Or the soft spot he’d had for Caitlin. His hand automatically strummed over his pocket where he still carried the charm bracelet he’d bought for her the night he’d proposed–two tiny silver hearts melded together, just as he’d thought theirs had.

What a damn fool he was for believing such nonsense. “Do you have new evidence? A lead?” Miles asked. God knows he wanted some news. Some closure.

“I’m the interrogator here.” Agent Brown’s chair squeaked as he shifted his weight. “You’re the suspect. You answer the questions.”

Miles gritted his teeth. “Dammit, tell me. Have you found her body?”

Brown’s eyebrows rose. “Then she is dead?”

“You’re twisting my words.” Miles bit back a curse. He had no idea if Caitlin were dead or alive. After that last fight, she’d stormed out of their three-week marriage. A few short days after they’d been married, he’d realized his wife wasn’t the woman she presented before the I do’s. Or the passionate, love-struck woman she’d led him to believe.

She’d been mysterious. Had been hiding something. And when he’d questioned her about her past, her family, she’d clammed up.

For all he knew, she’d faked her death and would let him fry for murder. But where had she gone?

Brown didn’t want to hear his suppositions. He’d only think Monahue was making excuses. “You’re interrogating me again,” he finally replied, “so that makes me wonder if you’ve found something new.”

Brown twisted his mouth into a frown. “Nothing I can reveal.”

Miles stood abruptly, his chair hitting the floor. “Then get the hell out. I’m sick of your runaround. If you find her, call me. Or if she contacts me, I’ll let you know.”

Brown pushed up from the desk, his boots clacking on the wooden surface. He paused in the doorway, pinned him with a warning look. “Don’t go anywhere without informing me.”

Miles glared at the man’s back as he stalked out, then he slammed the desk so hard his stapler flew onto the floor with a clatter. Frustration clawed at him. Even though he and Caitlin had only been married three weeks, their wedding triggered by a drunken night of raw, passionate sex, he’d exhausted every imaginable lead hunting for her.

Of course, the police suspected him. He was the husband. And the last time he’d seen Caitlin, they had fought publicly. She’d shouted that she didn’t want to be married to him. That it had been a mistake.

He’d agreed. He knew nothing about love. Family. Commitment. But his pride had smarted and he’d spouted off in anger.

Where was she?

Off in Tahiti with a lover? Sipping margaritas and laughing at the mess she’d left behind? Or had she met with foul play?

Guilt assaulted him as the gruesome possibilities flitted into his mind. Caitlin, dead at the hands of a madman. Or maybe she’d been kidnapped and was being tortured and was still alive.

If so, every day that passed meant there was less chance of finding her.

He grabbed his keys and headed to his car. He had to get out of the office. Drive someplace and be alone.

Freezing rain and sleet pelted him as he jogged to his Pathfinder, cold air blasting him as he climbed inside and started the engine. He blew on his hands to warm them, hit the gas pedal and soared from the parking lot, gravel churning beneath his tires, sludge and mud spewing. Storm clouds darkened the sky, the sleet creating a steady staccato rhythm as it pinged off the hood and windshield. He flipped on the defroster, grateful for the noise that drowned out his turbulent thoughts as he drove through the small town of Raven’s Peak. He tried to focus on the road and his surroundings as he made his nightly rounds, but the nightmares hovered in his mind, tormenting him. After Caitlin had left, the evening blurred. He’d had a headache, then added liquor on top of it. He must have blacked out. Then the nightmares had started. Nightmares that went back to his childhood.

The rugged edges of the mountain peaks and towering hardwoods rose in front of him like ice statues standing guard to the secrets within their massive walls. The canyon below had once been green and lush, sprinkled with wild-flowers and honeysuckle, a haven for the sun as it fought over the jagged gorges. Now, it looked like a brown crater resting at the underbelly of the mountains, like a dark cavern below ground where shadows walked at night, a home for the demons who rested in their evil lairs.

He couldn’t shake the interrogation with Brown from his mind, or the sense that something sinister had happened to his wife. Hell, he did have his dark side, but he hadn’t killed Caitlin.

And not a second had gone by that he wasn’t plagued with worry about her. The first few days, he’d beaten the streets searching for her, for any clue as to where she might have been, had used all his resources and questioned everyone in Raven’s Peak, where he’d first met her at a local honky-tonk, the Steel Toe. But he’d found nothing but questions.

His hands tightened around the steering wheel. The defroster worked overtime to clear the fog from the storm outside, the gears grinding as the tires clutched at black ice. Day by day, he’d assured himself that Caitlin had probably just run off and left him. She was tough. Formidable. She’d obviously decided she’d married him on a whim, that commitment wasn’t her style, and ditched him before the ink on their marriage certificate could set permanently.

Still, he’d blamed himself. It was his fault she had left. He hadn’t known how to be a husband. She’d needed something he didn’t know how to give.


He’d almost convinced himself he believed that she was coming back, that at least she was alive. Almost…

But the fact that neither he nor the feds had actually turned up any leads on her whereabouts kept his doubts and fears alive.

Streetlights illuminated the town square. Most of the storeowners had long gone for the evening and the citizens were tucked safely in their homes within the city limits, the wooded hills and valleys of the mountains. A safe, small Southern town.

Until he’d brought Caitlin here and she’d disappeared. Now, he wondered if there might be a murderer among them.

Squinting through the sleet, Monahue searched the shadows of the town park for vagrants or unwanteds, then drove past the high school to check for trouble-seeking teenagers, but the street and parking lot were quiet.

The storm grew in intensity as he headed up the mountainside to the house he’d rented, the wind bowing branches on the bare trees that comprised the sloping foothills. Winter had set in to stay, and the holidays were just around the corner, a time for friends and family.

He had neither. In fact, Raven’s Peak looked as desolate and empty as Miles felt inside.

He’d find out the truth about everything. If Caitlin had been hurt or killed because of him, he’d get revenge on the person responsible.And if she were alive, well, he’d at least exonerate himself, keep his job and move on with his life.

Either way, he’d never get seriously involved with another woman again.

Nighthawk Island Savannah, Georgia

SHADOWS FLICKERED around the sterile hospital room, the scent of antiseptic and alcohol nauseating. Rain pounded the roof, the monotonous drone echoing the beat of her heart. Despair threatened to steal her energy, so she forced herself to channel her courage into the will to survive. But she was so confused, she didn’t remember her own name. Did she have family somewhere looking for her? A boyfriend, husband?

The two names bled together in her mind as if they were one and the same person. Maybe they were. Sometimes the doctor called her Nora. Other times, the nurse had whispered “Good night, Caitlin,” to her in the darkness.

“Here you go, sugar, this should help you sleep.” Donna, a robust nurse who usually worked nights, handed her a small paper cup holding a pill, then poured her a glass of water from the plastic hospital pitcher.

She cradled the capsule beneath her tongue, took a sip of water and pretended to swallow it. The bitter taste assaulted her senses, her struggle not to let it dissolve warring with the craving for something to sweep her away from the nightmare she’d been living the past few days. Or had it been weeks?

She’d lost all sense of time.

Donna patted her hand in approval, then ambled her bulk to the window and adjusted the shades, drowning out the dwindling light that had tried to cut its way through the fog. “Let me know if you need anything else, dear.”

She nodded, a show of obedience earning her another sympathetic smile. Then the nurse bustled by, humming Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” beneath her breath as she exited.

She spit the pill into her hand, her socked feet slipping on the cold linoleum as she ran to the potted plant by the window. Hands trembling, she dug a hole in the potting soil and stuffed the capsule below the surface, then packed the dirt tightly over it. The screech of the lock turning on the door, shutting her in, brought a fresh wave of panic.

She didn’t belong here.

Not in this mental ward or research hospital, whatever it was. Worse, she couldn’t remember how she’d ended up hospitalized. But she’d heard the nurses talking, whispering about the Coastal Island Research Park on Catcall Island, and the more restricted facility on Nighthawk Island. The place was dark, had secrets. The doctors were conducting strange experiments, ones nobody wanted to talk about.

So why was she locked inside?

She wasn’t crazy. She hadn’t willingly committed herself for experiments or treatment. She hadn’t experienced delusions or heard voices until they’d pumped her full of narcotics. Then the voices had started, the strange terrifying dreams, the cries in the night from down the hall.

Cries from other patients…her own…

She had to escape. Get help.

Caitlin? Nora…

She had a sister somewhere. She felt it, a connection of some kind. But where was she? And why hadn’t she come looking for her?

Epiphany: An Angel for Christmas


Epiphany: An Angel for Christmas

Epiphany: An Angel for Christmas

Atlanta Police Department Bulletin

All police officers should be aware that the recent increase in crime activity that is running rampant through the city of Atlanta, Georgia, is quickly destroying the holiday spirit of our citizens. As sworn officers of the law, we must do everything we can to save Christmas.

Detective: Max Malone

Assignment: Protect former flame Angelica North and her nephew, an eyewitness to his mother’s murder, from the madman who wants them both dead.

Midnight Disclosures


Midnight Disclosures

Nighthawk Island Series

Midnight Disclosures

In one tragic moment, Claire Kos had lost everything—her sight, her unborn child, the love of her life—but she survived. However, when a serial killer started calling the beautiful radio psychologist, bragging about his “conquests,” Claire had to turn to the one man she never thought she’d meet again. Mark Steele had been her whole world. Now he was simply an FBI agent working on the Midnight Murderer case. She couldn’t allow personal feelings to interfere, but how could she stop remembering his roguish smile, his passionate touch?

When the killer targeted Claire as his next victim, could Mark truly protect her when he had the power to hurt her most of all?

Undercover Avenger


Undercover Avenger

Nighthawk Island Series

Undercover Avenger

After surviving a near-fatal accident, undercover agent Eric Caldwell wanted revenge. Falling for his beautiful physical therapist had never been part of his plan. Melissa Fagan was investigating the same mysterious medical research complex that he was. But she was asking too many questions, digging too deep.

Now someone wanted her dead—before she could discover the truth about her birth parents.

All Eric wanted was to keep Melissa safe and alive. But how could he protect her without blowing his cover, jeopardizing his mission…and risking both their lives?

Chapter One

Eric Caldwell walked a fine line with the law, but he didn’t care. He had trusted the Feds before and people had died. He didn’t intend to let it happen to this witness.

Even if he and his brother, Cain, fought again. Cain, always the good guy, the one on the right side of the law. The man who never saw the grays.

The only color Eric did see.

“Come on, Eric, where’s the witness in the Bronsky case?” Cain asked.

“What?” Sarcasm laced Eric’s voice. “Did the police lose another witness?”

“We do the best we can,” his brother said. “Do you know where he is?”

Eric grabbed a Marlboro and pushed it into the corner of his mouth. “Sorry, can’t help you, bro.”

Cain hissed, his message ringing loud and clear. Eric was lying, but Cain knew better than to push it. Eric would do whatever he could to keep the witness alive. “You can’t go around undermining the cops and the FBI, Eric, or killing every criminal who escapes the system.”

He glared at Cain over the duffel bag he’d been packing. “I didn’t kill anyone.”

Cain’s gaze turned deadly. “I don’t want to see your vigilante ways get you in trouble. It’s like you’re on a death mission, taking everything into your own hands.” Cain’s voice thickened. “One day you’re going to cross the wrong people.”

Eric ignored the concern in Cain’s warning, zipped his bag, then threw it over his shoulder, grabbed his keys and strode toward the door. “Like you don’t cross the wrong kind all the time.”

“It’s not the same thing,” Cain argued. “I have people covering me. You’re on your own.”

Eric hesitated. “You could quit the force and help me. Make it your New Year’s resolution.”

“New Year’s has come and gone,” Cain said. Their gazes locked briefly and Eric’s stomach clenched. His brother was serious. “Join the force, Eric, and work with the law, not against us.”

But Eric could not fit the mold. “I guess we hit that impasse again.” He snagged his laptop off the counter.

Cain’s jaw tightened. “Watch your back. If you get into trouble -”

“Then you’ll be there to help me.” A cocky grin slid onto Eric’s face. “Now, I’d love to stay and talk politics but I gotta go.”

Cain caught his arm before he could fly past. “Where are you going?”

Eric stared him down hard, the way he had when they were boys and they’d argued over whether or not to interfere when things had gone sour at home. When their father had taken his rage out on their mother and them. “I have business to finish,” he said between clenched teeth. “Legitimate business at the ranch.”

His brother studied him, didn’t believe him. Eric didn’t care.

Or maybe he did, but he would do what he had to do anyway.

Mottled storm clouds rolled across the sky as he headed outside, thunder rumbling above the trees. The wind howled off the lake, a haunting reminder of the bleakness that had become his life.

He didn’t have time for self-analysis, though. He had to get the witness to a safe house, then meet that woman his friend Polenta had sent his way. She’d sounded desperate, as if she was in trouble. And there was a kid involved. Some baby named Simon. The woman hadn’t made sense. She claimed they were after the baby, that he was the product of a research experiment.

He’d known then he had to help her and the child. He’d even considered confiding in Cain, but she had turned to him for a reason. Because she couldn’t trust the cops.

The reason he did what he did.

Eric could never say no to a woman or child in trouble. Not when his own past haunted him, when memories of his mother’s suicide still sent sweat trickling down his spine. Years ago, he’d started working with an underground organization to help women escape abusive homes so they didn’t meet the same fate, and their children didn’t suffer from abuse themselves. Someone had to help them break the cycle.

He jogged down the front-porch steps two at a time, heading toward the lean-to where he’d parked the Jeep. Thankfully, his brother followed him to the porch. The witness was hiding in the back room, waiting to escape out the side door, then slip through the woods to the SUV.

Rocks and gravel sprayed beneath his boots as he walked, the sting of his brother’s disapproval burning his back. He shrugged it off, tossed his duffel bag into the back seat along with his computer and saw the witness crawl into the passenger seat. He waited until Cain turned before he went to retrieve the cash he kept stashed in the shed for emergencies.

Shaded by the thick forest of trees between his property and the road, he stepped toward the knotty pines. But a sudden explosion rent the air, the impact throwing him against a tree. Glass shards and flying metal assaulted him. He banged his head and tasted dirt, then jerked around on his knees in shock. His Jeep had exploded. A fireball rolled off it toward the sky. Ignoring the blinding pain that seared him, he lurched forward to rescue the witness, but another explosion rocked the ground and sent him hurling backward again into the woods.

Fire breathed against his skin, catching his clothes and singeing his arms and legs. A jagged rock pierced his skull.

The world went momentarily dark, the crackle of fire eating into the night. Eric pulled himself from the haze and tried to yell for help, but his vocal cords shut down. The smoke and fire robbed him of air. He coughed, inhaling the acrid odor of his own burning flesh. Pain, intense and raw, seared him. Flames clawed at his face, and pieces of hot metal stabbed his thigh. Then dizziness swept over him.

He released a silent scream into the night, welcoming death and telling his brother goodbye.


Silent Surrender


Silent Surrender

Nighthawk Island Series

Silent Surrender

Tough, jaded Adam Black was the best cop in Savannah. And the loneliest. All work and no play made for empty days and nights until a dark-haired beauty appeared in his office and aroused his passion—and his curiosity—with a bizarre tale that no one would believe….

Sarah Cutter had heard a woman being kidnapped from the mysterious Nighthawk Island research center after she’d been living in silence for years. So when the mysterious kidnappers targeted Sarah next, Adam had to risk it all to protect her from harm as he struggled to contain the desire that might threaten to consume them both….