This week we'll be featuring a selection of delicious and delightful excerpts from our books. A lucky commenter at the end of the week will win a set of books from ALL the authors in e-format.
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Today's featured author is ANNE MARIE BECKER and her book END GAME. Please enjoy the excerpt, pop the book on your wishlist if you're tempted, and don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter draw below.
It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s whether you survive. Abby Rhodes learned early on that her gift could do more harm than good, so she stifled her psychic abilities for years. But in an unguarded moment, she touches an object connected to the murders of eleven girls and receives a message—one that could help capture a killer. When a twelfth victim goes missing, she must choose whether to trust her gift and risk everything, or stay silent and possibly jeopardize a young girl’s life.
Tech genius and ex-SEAL Andrew “Einstein” MacKenzie doubts the sexy yoga instructor with the soft smile can help find a killer who has eluded authorities for decades, but he’ll do anything to catch a break in this case—until he learns Abby’s methods have no basis in science. He prefers verified data and reliable statistics that fit neatly into his crime-solving algorithms. This woman, both his polar opposite and his perfect match, threatens to upend his carefully controlled world in every way.
Twenty years ago, the Charmer began his deadly game, killing beautiful young women to serve his needs. Now, the agents at SSAM are breathing down his neck. Determined to stay in control, he initiates a plan to destroy the agency—if they don’t find him first. It’s a race against the clock as Einstein and Abby hunt the ruthless serial killer, and the winner will take all.
A dozen bodies were sprawled on yoga mats, unrolled like little plots of land across the gleaming wood floor. Trying to ignore her wayward thoughts, Abby directed her students through a series of positions. Half Moon, Downward-facing Dog, Tree Pose. While the endless summer heat was driving most Chicagoans crazy, her class had found a cool midmorning oasis at Inner Beauty Dance and Yoga Studio.
Nearly an hour of Zen-inducing stretches later, she rose and surveyed the group. “Remember to stay hydrated out there—and stay centered, too.” She’d found peace, even if only for a few precious minutes. But turmoil awaited her just outside the door.
The women rolled up their mats and dispersed to the locker room before hurrying back to offices and homes. Abby slugged water from her bottle, in no hurry to rush back to her life. One of her students approached, waddling gracefully as her third-trimester belly preceded her. Dr. Maggie Levine-Townsend was a radio psychologist and a professor at Chicago Great Lakes University. She was about to add mother to her impressive resume. Her dark red hair was pulled back into a ponytail, but several stray wisps were stuck in the perspiration around her heart-shaped face.
“Great class,” Maggie said.
“The modifications have been working for you?” Abby had shown her less strenuous versions of the yoga poses.
“They’re fantastic. I don’t know what I would have done if I’d had to quit. I need this outlet.”
“I know what you mean.” Abby was missing her kids. While teaching yoga gave her a second income and something to fill her summers, she looked forward to seeing the smiling faces of a new crop of kindergartners at South Loop Elementary in a few weeks.
If they didn’t fire her before then.
Lines creased Maggie’s forehead. “Everything okay? You seemed distracted during the session.”
Maggie interrupted her apology with a shake of her head. “No need to apologize. I don’t think most people noticed. It’s my job to pick up on subtle nonverbal cues. Something’s wrong.”
“I’ll survive.” Abby swallowed her anger and fear and summoned a smile. “But thank you for checking on me.”
“Anytime you need to talk, give me a call.” Maggie fished a business card out of her bag and handed it over.
“Thanks. That means a lot.”
“Hell, you’ve saved my sanity this summer. Unbearable heat and eight months pregnant? Not a good combination. Come to think of it, you probably saved my husband’s sanity, too.”
Abby laughed. “Just a few more weeks. Soon you’ll have a little one to cuddle.”
“And even more danger to my sanity.” But Maggie’s laugh indicated she was looking forward to the challenge. After a quick farewell, Maggie left with a friend, laughing over some shared comment. A pang of loneliness hit Abby square in the chest and she set about ignoring it. Feeling maudlin was counterproductive. Keeping busy was the cure.
As the last of the students said their good-byes, Abby moved about the room with a push broom and cleaning wipes. A glint of sun on metal on the floor near one of the windows caught her eye. She moved closer to inspect its source. A charm bracelet. She hurried to the door and poked her head out to look up and down the sidewalk, but saw none of her students. She returned to the bracelet and scooped it up, holding it to the light to study the dozen or so nickel-sized silver medallions dangling from the links, each etched with a different symbol.
Her breath caught as her eyelids closed. The dam broke and images flooded her mind like a series of snapshots.
No. Not now. Not here.
Even as she struggled to slam that mental door shut, her throat squeezed and her exhalation came out as a strangled moan. Her skin grew moist and her mouth went dry. Her pulse pounded in her head.
Too late. The message wanted—needed—to come through.
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