She had always dreamed of writing novels and has been an avid reader most of her life. In between being a mum and writing, she runs a small bookkeeping business. She has recently become a qualified florist.
- Website: http://www.josextonbooks.com/a-few-random-thoughts
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/josextonwritesromance/
- Twitter: @JoWritesRomance
There’s a fine line between love, obsession, and hate.
Chelsea Summerville has a stalker who is kidnapping and murdering women resembling her, just to carve them up with a message. In order to save Chelsea, she and Det Lucas Hudson become partners, intimate partners.
Can he stop a killer before he loses the woman he loves?
Excerpt © Joanne Sexton
“It’s me,” Maggie responded.
“We got another one.”
“Damn it. Where?”
As Maggie gave directions, Lucas pulled a suit, shirt and tie from his well-ordered wardrobe.
“I’ll be there in twenty,” he told her.
Lucas returned to the bathroom to shave quickly. He glanced in the mirror and noticed eyes bloodshot from lack of sleep. He shrugged. What did it matter? Running fingers through his hair, he took a few deep breaths in preparation for what he was about to face. He threw on his clothes and, after a tedious ride in the lift, jumped into his unmarked car.
As he drove, images of the day he thought successfully put behind him, until last week, returned with a vengeance. The visions came night and day now. He shoved himself back to reality. He needed to concentrate. During his twelve years as a cop, he’d seen it all, and he dealt with it before pushing the memories aside. Some were harder than others, but he emerged mostly unscathed, until now.
This case was different. It affected him.
Lucas parked next to his partner’s car and as he climbed out the humidity warmed his cold limbs. The oppressive heat would get worse as the day progressed. Maggie leaned against her car, waiting. When she spotted him, her athletic frame strode over, expression grim. Even with a scowl, she was a stunner. With her short blonde hair and penetrating blue eyes, she didn’t look like your average cop. Her physique and angular features turned heads.
“Definitely the same?’ Lucas asked.
A long forgotten yet familiar lump surfaced in Lucas’ throat as they flashed their badges at the taped-off scene. An officer directed them towards the dank alleyway in the rear, undetectable from the road. The stink of rotting garbage assaulted them as they turned the corner.
The victim laid face-up, naked and brutalised. She appeared to be in her mid-twenties and he could see she had been beautiful, as the first victim once was. Her wrists and ankles were lacerated as though she had been bound and at her throat was a gaping smile. The absence of blood implied she was murdered elsewhere. Purple and yellow bruises speckled her body, indicating days of abuse, and her face was battered and swollen. Lucas saw fear frozen in her unseeing eyes.
Across her chest the words RICH BITCH were slashed in red-light and dark. The varying degrees of colour and congealment indicated the wounds were inflicted over time. Another pretty young woman tortured and left in a dirty alley behind a warehouse, as if she meant nothing. It would not feel like nothing to the people who loved her. Lucas knew this first-hand. Bile rose in his throat. What kind of sick bastard could inflict this horror?
The Medical Examiner arrived as techs walked the grid collecting evidence and taking photos.
David Walker was in his late forties. A short, squat man with pointed features and thinning hair, his compassionate nature complemented his thoroughness. His knees creaked as he knelt beside her.
How Christmas has changed over the years
As a child Christmas was my favourite time of year besides my birthday. Waking up at the crack of dawn excited on Christmas morning. Ripping open presents and then playing with my new toys. It was the day that our whole extended family came together to celebrate. We would wear the paper hats from the bon bon’s. My grandfather always the jovial life of the party would be our entertainer. Being the oldest grandchild I relished in being the one to watch over my cousins and see their delight when opening their presents from family.
When I became an adult Christmas lost some of its appeal. The romance of the day faded in the eyes of a late teen. The thrill of opening presents was still there but the shine wore off a little. My grandfather was still fun but the sparkle of the day wasn’t as strong as before. They say Christmas is about the children and I believe this was the case before I had my own. The magic wore off as I ascended into adulthood. The illusion was shattered somewhat. My expectations were high until I was old enough to see that it wasn’t the same as it once was.
I moved away for a time and only spent a few Christmas’ at home. Though it still held some appeal the day was much like others just with lots of food and alcohol. The celebration was still there, but became different as I got older. Then I had children of my own. The decorated houses with lights and Santa’s, the Christmas trees with decorations and lights, the idea of Santa coming to visit all became something different again with children. The magic I experienced as a child returned in the eyes of my babies. I learned to love Christmas again. My enthusiasm returned in their happy smiles. This time around I was woken at dawn by the children instead of me being the child waking up with exhilaration. Although I’d come full circle with the early waking and hadn’t emerged from my bed before a respectable hour since childhood, I welcomed its return. Each year it comes around quicker and quicker and is magical again.
Living in the southern hemisphere ensured that Christmas is in summer and is usually a warm to hot day. Christmas song lyrics about Winter Wonderlands, Letting it Snow and White Christmas’ were something I could only dream about. The majority of Christmas movies all depict Christmas with snow. I have always thought this was magical. How wonderful would it be roasting chestnuts in an open fire, having a snowball fight or dressing up like Santa without overheating? One day I plan to fulfil the fantasy of a white Christmas. A new Christmas experience that my family and I could enjoy and experience. Even though I do love that it is warm at Christmas and I’m not sure if I would welcome snow all the time I think it would be nice to experience it just once.
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