SINCE ALL IS PASSING is available for pre-order from now through May 18, for the bargain price of 99 cents! Get your copy now, while the sale price is in effect.
When Marie Kenning witnesses the kidnapping of a child, she relives the horror of the death of her own child and husband.
Officer Chris Whitley takes on the case—and an interest in Marie—but evidence quickly indicates the child is dead.
Days later, Marie stumbles across
the kidnapper and his very-much-alive victim. Unable to convince the man
she loves of the truth, Marie sets out alone on a dangerous
cross-country mission to save the child.
Marie Kenning hummed, her eyes half closed as her
husband, John, maneuvered the car along the damp, curving road. The sun
was setting. The headlights made little impact in the fog and swirling
leaves, but the melancholy October weather didn’t dim her spirits in the
least. Marie was six months pregnant; she and John were on their way to
their first childbirth class.
“What are you humming, honey?” John asked. “Sure sounds pretty.”
“‘Brahms’ Lullaby,’” Marie said. “My mother sang it to me every night, and now I’m singing it to our baby.”
John laughed. “Don’t you think it’s a little early for
lullabies? You’re not due for almost three months. Or are you just
getting in some practice?”
“Actually, it’s not too early at all, I read an article
saying that babies recognize music played to them before they were
born. So I’m giving our child a head start.” She patted her stomach.
“Maybe he’ll grow up to be a musician.”
John covered her hand with his. “Maybe he will. But he’s already the luckiest baby in the world to have you for a mother.”
“Or could it be a girl?” Marie teased, closing her eyes
again. She was impatient to hold their baby, boy or girl, in her arms.
Even more, she couldn’t wait to see John cradle the child, protecting it
as he’d always protected her.
Her pleasant train of thought was broken when John jerked his hand away from hers. “What the…?” he muttered.
Marie’s eyes flew open, and she stared out the
windshield. A pair of headlights, set on blinding high beams, came
straight at them. “Look out!” she gasped, jamming her right foot against
the passenger side floor and grabbing the armrest on the door.
John jerked the car to the right and slammed his foot
down on the brake pedal. The car spun on the wet, leaf-strewn road,
twisting from side to side. He struggled to regain control.
Time diminished to a crawl. Marie watched everything in
bizarre slow motion—the merciless headlights bearing down on them,
John’s contorted features as he wrestled with the steering wheel, the
deafening impact, the flying glass. The howl of tortured metal and
squealing rubber was unbearable. Marie blacked out.
When she regained consciousness, it was
silent—ominously silent. How much time had passed? Marie felt warm blood
trickling down her face, but she didn’t have any pain—yet. She turned
her head slowly to look at John. His head hung low, his eyes closed. A
thin stream of blood, black in the waning light, ran down his right
temple. The steering wheel, pressed against his chest, and the shoulder
belt appeared to be the only things holding him upright. His hair and
clothing were coated with pebbles of broken safety glass that glittered
in the fading light of dusk. Panic gripped her at the sight of his pale,
still face. How long had she been out?
Marie whispered, her voice trembling, “John? Honey, are you all right? Can you hear me?”
He didn’t answer.
She reached out to touch him, but a sudden sharp pain
in her left side, just under her shoulder belt, stopped her. Releasing
the buckle, she probed the tender area. Pain blossomed again. Her dazed
senses told her she probably had a broken rib.
Moving with care, Marie touched John’s arm. He didn’t
respond, gave no sign of life. She couldn’t tell if he was breathing.
Frightened, she pushed him harder. He slumped away from her in the seat
like a rag doll. His head hit the side window with a loud crack.
“John!” she cried. “Wake up!” She shook his arm.
A fierce new pain slashed across her abdomen. It lasted
only a few seconds, but it left her gasping for breath and covered with
a fine sheen of sweat. Although this was her first pregnancy, Marie
instinctively knew she had just felt a labor contraction.
“My God,” she moaned, tears sliding down her cheeks.
“What am I going to do? I can’t lose John—I can’t live without him. And I
can’t lose our baby! What am I going to do?”
In the distance Marie heard the wail of an approaching
siren. Clutching John’s sleeve as though her grip alone could keep him
with her, she closed her eyes and prayed, willing her husband and her
baby to hold on.
PRACTICAL PASSION is available for pre-order from now to April 21, for the bargain price of just 99 cents! Get your copy while it's on sale.
Julie Preston worked hard raising her younger sister, Emily, after their
parents died, and creating a career. She gave up simple pleasures like
love and relationships. So when a friend drags her to a singles bar,
Julie’s ready for anything. She meets a gorgeous guy and they spend
several passionate hours together. There’s real chemistry there, but
Julie regretfully sticks to her promise: a one-night stand, no strings.
When Julie hires a tutor to help Emily pass English, she’s shocked
to find Douglas Dean is the man from the bar. Seeing him in her house
makes it hard to keep her hands off him, but he isn’t looking for a
long-term relationship since he’s a singles bar patron. Right?
How many miles can Julie jog before she gives in and jumps him?
Tanya glanced over her shoulder in the direction Julie was staring, then
turned back and kicked Julie’s shin under the table. “Close your
mouth,” she hissed, tapping her chin with the back of her fingers for
emphasis. “You look ridiculous.”
Julie snapped her mouth shut and swallowed, disgusted
with herself. She was all but drooling, for heaven’s sake. Had it really
been so long since she’d been paid any attention? She smoothed her long
brunette hair with a trembling hand and took a deep breath to steady
her nerves. He was just a man. A good-looking one, but just a man. A man
she’d like to eat for breakfast…
“Hello, ladies,” the man said, smiling down on them.
His voice was deep, resonant and luscious. “My name is Stephen. And you
“Marie,” Tanya said, delivering another kick under the table. “I’m Marie, and my friend is Anne.”
Julie and Tanya had agreed to use only their middle
names if they met anyone promising. “There’ll be no complications that
way,” Tanya had assured her. “You can have a one-night stand if you
want, and the next day it’ll be as if it never happened. No way for the
guy to track you down and cause an embarrassing incident.”
“Hi, Marie,” Stephen said, shaking Tanya’s hand. Then he took Julie’s hand in both of his. “Pleased to meet you, Anne.”
Julie tried to stifle a gasp. Stephen’s hands were
warm, comforting, and yet somehow erotic. His touch shot a lightning
bolt of desire straight to her groin. She jerked her hand from his grasp
and shook her head, puzzled. Was she really so desperate after a few
years of celibacy? Or was there something between them, some instant
“Won’t you have a seat?” Tanya said.
Julie tucked her legs under her chair to avoid the third kick she knew was coming.
“Yes, please do join us,” Julie added. She needed to
get her mind back on track and remember her manners if she didn’t want
to lose the opportunity to spend some time with the best-looking guy in
“Thanks, I’d like that,” Stephen said, and dropped into
a chair between the two of them. Julie shivered as she caught a whiff
of his spicy aftershave. He smelled like heaven.
“Why don’t you two get to know each other?” Tanya said
with a wave of her bangled arm. “I have to visit the little girls’ room
and powder my nose.” She rose and left the table, winking at Julie when
Stephen wasn’t looking. “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”
Julie groaned. What wouldn’t Tanya do? She turned to Stephen. “So, Stephen…um…are you from around here?”
“Yup, I am.” He grinned at her and her heart pounded. “You?”
“Yes. No. Well, I’m from around here, but not right
here. I live…over there.” She pointed west and floundered to a stop as
warmth crept up her cheeks. Lord, she was babbling like a fool. “Would
you…um…like a drink?”
He shook his head. “I’ve had one and I’m not ready for
another. What I’d really like now is to dance with you. Shall we?” He
gestured to the crowded dance floor.
Julie looked at the bar patrons moving to the music.
The band was playing a fast-paced eighties disco number, and the couples
were so far apart, it was hard to tell who was dancing with whom.
“Sure,” she said. “Let’s dance.” It seemed harmless enough—safer than
more alcohol. She was already making an idiot of herself.
She let Stephen take her hand, steeling herself to avoid reacting to his touch, and he led her out onto the dance floor.
No sooner had they reached a small open spot than the
band began to play a slow, sensual love song. Stephen opened his arms
and waited for her to step into them, a sexy smile on his handsome face.
Julie was stuck. She couldn’t very well back out of
their dance now, after she’d accepted his invitation. That would be
rude. She stepped closer, and he pulled her to him, moving in time to
the music. She mirrored his moves. He was a fabulous dancer, no question
Her resolve to maintain distance between them weakened,
and she allowed her head to rest on his shoulder. He smelled wonderful.
His warm, hard body, pressed against hers, felt better than anything
she’d ever experienced, his strong arms holding her just tightly enough.
He knew how to move, how to hold her, how much pressure to exert to
lead her where he wanted her to go. They swayed to the music together,
in sync, one. The rest of the world faded away.