Mason, Kristine: Ultimate Fear, Book Two – Ultimate CORE Trilogy

Ultimate Fear

By Kristine Mason

 Ultimate Fear cover

Synopsis:

When a deranged mother’s grief drives her to replace her dead son over and over, obsession leads to murder…

Chicago detective Jessica Donavan will never stop looking for her missing daughter. Her obsession has destroyed her marriage, but the search is the only thing that helps keep her sane and her mind off of everything she’s lost—her husband and her baby girl. When she uncovers a string of unsolved disappearances and reappearances of a number of baby boys, Jessica turns to her soon to be ex, Dante Russo, a former Navy SEAL turned investigator for the private agency, CORE, to help her fit together the pieces in this perplexing puzzle. But as Dante helps her, she realizes just how much she still craves his support—and his touch.

Dante is still in love with his wife and would do anything to have her back in his life again. He’s been miserable since she left him to deal with the grief over their daughter’s abduction, never understanding how much he grieves as well. When Jessica tells him about the case she’s working, he jumps at the chance to take part in her investigation. He’s hoping not only to save their marriage and ease his personal pain over the loss of their daughter, but also to stop a serial kidnapper from taking another victim.

As Jessica and Dante work side by side, pregnant women begin to turn up missing or dead, and they start to uncover the consequences of another woman’s unfathomable grief. The childless mother doesn’t just want a baby. She wants a newborn straight from the womb.

And when forced to confront the dark and twisted perversion of a mother’s obsession, can Jessica and Dante find their lives again…or merely more death?

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KRISTINE MASON BIO

I didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties. Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it. While that first book will never see the light of day, something good came from writing it. I realized my passion and found a career I love.

When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark, romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and two neurotic dogs.

LINKS:

Website: www.kristinemason.net

Email: authorkristinemason@gmail.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kristinemasonauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristineMason7

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Giveaway of ULTIMATE KILL:

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Smith, Angela: Final Mend

 

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About the Book

Final Mend CoverA recovering alcoholic, Jake Inman has found a new, healthier addiction: training for his successful triathlon career. But when his manager is murdered and beloved goddaughter kidnapped, another obsession takes hold: doing whatever it takes to find Brandon’s killer and keep Amy safe. Jake turns to a private investigator for help in solving the case, and though he finds temptation in her whiskey-colored eyes, he knows he must resist his attraction, or risk losing his heart.

After a devastating case, Winona Wall has turned her back on her skills as a private investigator, preferring a quiet life as a part-time bartender. That is, until Jake storms into the bar, demanding her help in tracking his missing godchild. Unable to resist Jake’s charm, she reluctantly agrees. But even after Amy is found unharmed, Jake insists Amy’s mother was more involved with her kidnapping than the police suspect. When the situation takes a turn for the worse, Winona must trust her instincts in order to save them all – and avoid falling in love.

 

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Final-Mend-Angela-Smith/dp/1440583331/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22081601-final-mend

Book Trailer – http://youtu.be/XitSokLHmDc

 

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About the Author

 Angela Smith

10 Things Readers Don’t Know About You

  1. I love animals. Some of Winona’s humanitarian efforts in Final Mend come from my own love of animals.
  2. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was nine years old.
  3. As an author, I’m constantly discovering new interests for my characters. Sometimes those interests don’t make it to the story, but it’s always so much fun when they do! Many of those interests are interests I share. For instance, brothers Garret and Chayton love off-roading in their Jeeps, and that’s a huge hobby of mine.
  4. On June 25, my husband and I will celebrate our twenty year anniversary.
  5. I have been writing for years, and I work full time as a certified paralegal and in managing a district attorney office. I manage my writing and other activities around that. In August, I would have been there for sixteen years, but my boss has only known about my writing for one year.
  6. I love creating characters, character sketches, and character collages. I create a digital collage for each character, and those are printed and put into a large scrapbook.
  7. I published years ago under a pseudonym, but stopped because of my career. Now, I’m relentlessly pursuing republishing those stories, among many more!
  8. I have an infatuation with maps. I have a box full of maps of almost every state and some countries.  My heart melts at the sight of a framed map, especially old ones.
  9. I love vinyl records and enjoy listening to them. My husband received hundreds when his mom died, so we have a huge collection.
  10. No matter how hard I try, I can’t wink, whistle, or snap. I think I can snap, but my husband laughs at my attempt.

 

During her senior year in high school, Angela Smith was dubbed most likely to write a novel, and that has been her dream ever since her mother read ‘Brer Rabbit’ to her and her sister so often that they were able to recite it back to each other before they learned to read. Ever since then, she hasn’t stopped reading or writing. A certified paralegal, work gives her perfect fodder for her romantic suspense stories. When not caring for her small farm or spending time with her husband of two decades, she enjoys creating, reading, and dreaming of the places she’ll visit one day.

 

Website – http://www.loveisamystery.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/authorangelasmith

Twitter – http://twitter.com/angelaswriter

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Giveaway of Paperback or Ebook of FINAL MEND

 

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Mason, Kristine: Ultimate Kill, Book One – Ultimate CORE Trilogy

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SYNOPSIS

When the past collides with the present, the only way to ensure the future lies in the ultimate kill…

Naomi McCall is a woman of many secrets. Her family has been murdered and she’s been forced into hiding. No one knows her past or her real name, not even the man she loves.

Jake Tyler, former Marine and the newest recruit to the private criminal investigation agency, CORE, has been in love with a woman who never existed. When he learns about the lies Naomi has weaved, he’s ready to leave her—until an obsessed madman begins sending her explosive messages every hour on the hour.

Innocent people are dying. With their deaths, Naomi’s secrets are revealed and the truth is thrust into the open. All but one. Naomi’s not sure if Jake can handle a truth that will change their lives. But she is certain of one thing—the only way to stop the killer before he takes more lives is to make herself his next victim.

Ultimate Kill is available as an eBook through Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. It is also available in print through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retailers.

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EXCERPT

Prologue

How many narcissists does it take to change a light bulb?

One.

He holds the bulb while the world revolves around him.

“DID YOU FIND her?” He glared at the man he’d overpaid to find the one thing that belonged to him. Rage simmered in the depths of what most men might consider a soul . Not him. Essence, the nonphysical aspect of a person, that which survived after death and all of the other metaphysical, intangible drivel of poets and priests… that kind of shit was for pussies. He had one life to live and he’d live it to the fullest.

With her. Carl Blackborne , the former CIA agent and the investigator he’d forced into his employment, shifted his gaze to the desk. “I’m sorry, sir, but…no. That’s not to say that I didn’t discover any new leads,” he quickly added.

He followed Blackborne’s gaze and looked at the handcrafted replica of the first ship ever built by his great-great-grandfather. Made of gold, and worth over three hundred grand, the piece had been in the family for five generations. “It’s lovely, no?” he asked the investigator and touched the ship’s golden mast.

Blackborne blinked. “Yes. Truly one of a kind, sir.”

“If you break down what’s in your savings and life insurance, it’s worth more than you are.”

“I… I don’t know how to respond to that.”

He ran a manicured finger along the golden stern and wondered if the ship would become damaged if he slammed it against Blackborne’s over-sized head. “Of course you don’t.”

“Sir, if I may, I’ve exhausted—”

“Do you know how old my great-great-grandfather was when he built his first ship?” he asked and touched the life-like sailor standing at the helm of the golden ship. From what he’d been told, his forefather had been a ruthless son of a bitch. He didn’t emulate the man, nor did he worship him. He didn’t have to. Not when he was better than him. More powerful. More coldblooded. More merciless.

“No, sir, I—”

“He was twenty. Twenty,” he repeated, sliding his gaze to Blackborne. “By the time he was twenty-five, he was worth over one million dollars. That was in the mid-1800s. By today’s standards, he would have been worth over twenty-five million. Amazing, no?” He waved a hand, and leaned into his chamois-soft leather office chair. “Over the past one hundred and fifty years, his company has endured many ups and downs. Right now, under my rule , it’s up . I’ve had the foresight to take this company to new places. Literally. My planes, ships and trucks are worldwide. I’ve made this company a household name. Now that’s amazing shit.”

Blackborne rubbed the back of his neck. “Truly amazing, sir. But if you’ll let me explain my new leads.”

He folded his hands and rested them on the luxurious, handcrafted desk. Made of six different kinds of exotic woods, like ebony and Carpathian elm, it too was worth more than Blackborne. “By all means. It’s not like I don’t have anything better to do with my time. Right, Ric?”

Ricco Mancini, his aide-de-camp and most loyal confidant, sat stone faced, his focus on the investigator. “All the time in the world. I see no reason why Blackborne shouldn’t waste yours.”

Clearing his throat, Blackborne nodded. “Understood. Sorry, sir. I’ll make this quick. When I was investigating her past, I came across family lineage that might be of interest. I thought that maybe—”

“How is this a new lead?” Blackborne wasn’t the first investigator he’d hired, and based on the others, he could rattle off the woman’s family tree by heart. Hell, he’d stripped that tree of its leaves and snapped the branches until she no longer had a family.

“Well, it’s not exactly a lead, just a new avenue.”

“My trucks travel down avenues all the time,” he said, finished with Blackborne and their conversation. He’d had high hopes for the investigator. During his previous employment with the CIA, Blackborne had been known to successfully track terrorists and international criminals. Diabolically brilliant men who had the means to hide and, if they’d wanted, never be found. And yet Blackborne couldn’t find a simple woman? Fucking useless idiot.

“I’m not interested in hearing about avenues— at all,” he said. “I paid you a lot of money to bring me—”

“I told you I wasn’t sure if I could find her,” Blackborne countered, his voice rising.

His rage went from simmering to boiling.

No one interrupted him.

No one dared to shout at him.

He slid his gaze to the two men flanking the office’s double doors. Santiago Ramirez, the Columbian he’d taken under his wing over fifteen years ago glared at Blackborne’s back. So did Santiago’s counterpart, former Russian heavyweight boxer, Vlad Aristov. He looked to Ric, whose mouth tilted in the subtlest of smiles. Knowing that the chance of this conversation ending well was slim to none, the sadist would enjoy Blackborne’s faux pas.

“She’s obviously changed her name,” Blackborne continued without apology. “Covered up paper trails. She has no immediate family, her friends and associates have no idea where she moved to… I’ve bribed several IRS officials and even they couldn’t help me. That’s why I thought if I could—”

“Pull up her family tree?” he asked with an easy smile that in no way matched the raw fury constricting his chest. “It’s a brilliant plan. I wish my other investigators had the foresight to come up with such a unique idea.”

“Thank you, sir.” Blackborne relaxed and grinned, obviously not understanding sarcasm. “I appreciate the compliment.”

He looked to Ric and caught the laughter in his eyes. “What would you need for this brilliant plan of yours?” he asked, transferring his attention to the investigator.

“More money and, of course, more time.”

His last four investigators had given him the same request. They’d eventually come to him empty handed and wound up dead. “I suggest we expand the scope and not just focus on her family,” Blackborne said, his tone enthusiastic. “The friends and associates I checked with… these were people who knew her, or rather knew of her , when she was in her early twenties. As you know, she went off the grid around the time she turned twenty. I think if I go back further, say into her childhood, and find people she was close to, then maybe—”

He raised a hand. “No.”

Blackborne’s face contorted with confusion. “Sir, we might be able to find a link from her childhood that could lead us to her current whereabouts.”

“Might… could.” He rested an elbow against the leather armrest and cradled his chin between his index finger and thumb. “If a broke redneck plays the Lotto enough times, he might eventually win. If you give a seasoned whore the money to go to college and educate herself, she could go on to run a Fortune 500 company. Mr. Blackborne, what are the chances of a broke redneck winning the Lotto and a seasoned whore going on to run a Fortune 500 company?”

Blackborne looked to the desk again. “Let me rephrase then, digging into her past may… I mean, it’s probable…” He scratched his head. “Sir, I can’t guarantee anything, I can only try this route.”

He straightened and opened the desk drawer. “Not interested.” His fingers stroked the AAC Evolution-45 silencer, a weapon ironically used by U.S. Military Anti-Terrorist units. He grasped the handle of the gun. “I know everything about her past. Her preschool teachers, her fourth grade Girl Scout troop leader, who she lost her virginity to during her senior year of high school.” His stomach tightened with anticipation as he pulled the lightweight gun from the drawer and aimed it at Blackborne’s head. “I know everything about her, except where she is now.”

Blackborne staggered back, holding his hands in front of his body. “Please, sir. This investigation—”

“Is over.” He tensed for the slight recoil and pulled the trigger. As if the man had sneezed, a puffy mist of blood burst from Blackborne’s face before he crumpled to the ground. He slipped the weapon back into the drawer, then pulled out a file from the hidden center console. “Well, that was a disappointment.” He glanced to Ric who, in turn, looked to Santiago and Vlad.

“Get him out of here, then kill his wife and kids,” Ric told the men.

Without a word, Santiago and Vlad picked up Blackborne and took him from the office. When the door closed behind them, Ric rose from his chair. “And the woman?” he asked. “Should I find another investigator?”

“No.” He opened the file and stared at the eight by ten glossy of her. Although not beautiful in the classical sense, she’d caught his attention the moment he’d seen her. While she’d been bustling through the club where she used to work, taking drink orders, he’d pictured her naked, curvy body on his bed, her long, straight brown hair fanning out along his silk sheets as she spread her legs and welcomed him. He had eventually made what he’d imagined into a reality. And after having her once, he’d wanted her again.

Only she hadn’t.

That was her first mistake.

When she ran from him… that was her second.

After he’d found her, he’d tried to be reasonable. He’d tried to give her everything she would ever need, and she’d rejected him. That was her last mistake.

He always got what he wanted. Always. Growing up with enough money to run a small country, the world and its contents were his for the taking.

She was his to take.

Ric pressed his hands against the desk and leaned forward. “You’ve spent eight years looking for her. Are you giving up?”

He looked up from the photograph and met Ric’s eyes. Eight years. A lot had happened during that time, and over the years he’d assumed he would eventually grow tired of searching for her. But he hadn’t. She was the one object his money couldn’t buy. The only woman who had walked away from him without a second glance. He never understood why. Quite frankly, he didn’t care whether she wanted him or not. She was a lost possession he wanted found. “Have you ever known me to quit anything?”

“Never.” Ric smiled. “Now what?”

He closed the file, then returned it to the drawer. “Now we do things my way.” He rose from the chair and walked to the windows. As he looked around the spacious backyard, he found his wife and two children sitting on the lawn having a picnic lunch. “Hiring another investigator isn’t going to cut it. We’ve been down that road one too many times,” he said, and watched grape jelly drop onto his four-year-old son’s pristine white shirt as the boy waved to him.

“And your plan is…?”

“Simple.” He gave his boy a two-finger salute. “If I can’t find her, I’ll make it so she has no choice but to come to me. When I’m finished, she’ll beg me to take her back.”

“Interesting,” Ric said, his voice laced with amusement. “And why would she come to you?”

He smiled, as his wife frowned and worked on their son’s jelly stain. “Because if she doesn’t, I’m going to kill a lot of people.”

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AUTHOR BIO

IMG_0234mason2

I didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties. Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it. While that first book will never see the light of day, something good came from writing it. I realized my passion and found a career I love.

When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark, romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and two neurotic dogs.

Ultimate Kill will be the fourth release in Mason’s ongoing series of novels centered on fictional private criminal investigation agency CORE. The first three books in the series- the Shadow Trilogy- all boast rave reviews on Amazon, with readers praising their gripping story lines as well as their compelling characters. Fans of romantic suspense will appreciate Mason’s willingness to depict raw, gritty crime themes alongside a steamy, central romance.

Mason says of her new trilogy, “When readers started contacting me looking for more of my CORE series, I knew I needed to give them another suspenseful ride and came up with the Ultimate CORE Trilogy. I’m hoping readers enjoy Ultimate Kill, the first book in this trilogy, as much as I loved writing it!”

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Website: www.kristinemason.net

Email: authorkristinemason@gmail.com,

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kristinemasonauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristineMason7

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GIVEAWAY DETAILS

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Smith, Angela: Final Mend

final mend cover reveal

 

Today, we’re participating in the cover reveal of FINAL MEND by Angela Smith, which releases June 23rd from Crimson Romance. To celebrate, Angela is giving away a copies of her first two books, BURN ON THE WESTERN SLOPE and FATAL SNAG, plus a digital review copy of FINAL MEND! Fill in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the post to enter.

About FINAL MEND

A recovering alcoholic, Jake Inman has found a new, healthier addiction: training for his successful triathlon career. But when his manager is murdered and beloved goddaughter kidnapped, another obsession takes hold: doing whatever it takes to find Brandon’s killer and keep Amy safe. Jake turns to a private investigator for help in solving the case, and though he finds temptation in her whiskey-colored eyes, he knows he must resist his attraction, or risk losing his heart.

After a devastating case, Winona Wall has turned her back on her skills as a private investigator, preferring a quiet life as a part-time bartender. That is, until Jake storms into the bar, demanding her help in tracking his missing godchild. Unable to resist Jake’s charm, she reluctantly agrees. But even after Amy is found unharmed, Jake insists Amy’s mother was more involved with her kidnapping than the police suspect. When the situation takes a turn for the worse, Winona must trust her instincts in order to save them all—and avoid falling in love.

Amazon | Goodreads

 

Final Mend Cover

 

Angela Smith
About the Author

During her senior year in high school, Angela Smith was dubbed most likely to write a novel, and that has been her dream ever since her mother read ‘Brer Rabbit’ to her and her sister so often that they were able to recite it back to each other before they learned to read. Ever since then, she hasn’t stopped reading or writing. A certified paralegal, work gives her perfect fodder for her romantic suspense stories. When not caring for her small farm or spending time with her husband of two decades, she enjoys creating, reading, and dreaming of the places she’ll visit one day.

Website | Facebook  | Twitter

 

 

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