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After a third miscarriage, Tricia Buckman leaves her husband, Jeremy, hoping to come to terms with his lack of emotional support. While jogging one day, she collapses in a farmer's field and awakens to find that she remembers absolutely nothing--except a stone wall, a roaring fire, and blood on a cleaver.
Jeremy gives Tricia the "space" she needs to realize she still loves him, but right now his job takes precedence. Two infants go missing, and as chief investigator, he has to find them. But when clues lead to Tricia as the kidnapper, will he shield her or arrest her?
Cold. So cold.
She realized she was shivering. Her knees were tucked up to her chin, her arms wrapped around her shins. She found herself crouched on hard-packed dirt, leaning into a barn wall. Her cheek scraped the rough surface of unpainted wood as she tried desperately to push herself further away from—
Too tired to lift her head. She felt as though she'd run a hundred miles. Her leg muscles screamed a protest. The soles of her feet felt battered and bruised.
A violent shudder wracked her. How could she be so cold when she was sweating? With a supreme effort, she lifted an arm and wiped the wetness from her eyes with a terrycloth wristband.
The wristband came away streaked with red. Blood. Not sweat. Bits of tree bark adhered to the terrycloth along with the blood.
Gingerly she explored her forehead with trembling fingers. She winced as they dipped into a gash just below her hairline. Had she hit a tree branch while running?
She frowned. What was she running from?
That she had been running, she was positive. She glanced down at her tanned legs, criss-crossed with scratches. Dried blood on her calves. Top-of-the-line Nikes, scuffed and dusty. Burrs and thistles clinging to her cushioned, low-cut socks.
Thirsty. Her mouth felt as though she'd swallowed a bale of cotton, tuft by tuft. Why hadn't she taken her water bottle if she was running?
Suddenly she noticed the ferocious heat of the midday sun burning on her bowed head, her bare arms, until it felt as though someone had aimed a blowtorch at her skin. Drops of perspiration beaded between her breasts under the athletic bra, trickled down to her stomach. She could feel the slickness under her arms, on the backs of her knees as she crouched in a fetal position. She became aware that her silky green running shorts and top, wet with perspiration, were plastered to her skin.
She shifted, trying to get her weight balanced over her cramping legs. She had to stand up, had to—
A blue jay screeched nearby. Her pulse rate spiked. It sounded just like a baby crying.
The vision slammed at her with an almost physical force, hurling her backwards.
A glinting arc in the air. A cleaver.
Thwacked onto a heavily scarred butcher's block.
Her gaze followed the cleaver. As the weapon bit into its target, her eyes widened in horror. She tried to utter a scream, but her throat closed tightly, as though someone had stepped on it. The blood pounding in her veins turned to ice.
A strangled gasp wrenched from deep inside her. Waves of nausea engulfed her as the loathsome scene burned into her memory. She felt she was viewing the worst nightmare of her life and tried to shake herself awake, tried to pull away before she was discovered—
The baby. She shuddered uncontrollably. What had happened to the baby?
The sky turned brilliant white. The whole outdoors seemed to spin around and around. Her eyes rolled up inside their sockets. She vaguely felt herself slump to the ground.
When my first husband died of cancer at age 39, so much grief and anger boiled up inside me that I started recording these feelings in a diary in order to exorcise them. Eventually, I began constructing scenes using the powerful emotions I had experienced. Throwing the protagonists into life-threatening situations and watching them cope helped me cope. Thus my affinity for romantic suspense was born. My first three books with Wings ePress were romantic suspense. However, the characters in WILD NATURE told me that their story was a mainstream romance, so that’s how I wrote it.
My personal story does have a happy ending. I had met my second husband through a camera club. To get me out in the world again, Ed offered to teach me macro (close-up) photography. I think he taught me very well, as witness the photo of a calopogon orchid I took that graces the cover of DARK LEGACY (July 2002, Wings ePress, Inc.) We now reside in a small Pennsylvania town along the Delaware River.
An administrative assistant, I unwind after work by tending an eye-catching perennial garden in warm weather, and when snow is on the ground, I browse through garden catalogs. Having honed my craft for a dozen years before seeing my work published, I encourage writers not to give up. I enjoy writing for the sheer adrenaline rush I get when the characters take over the story and I simply have to find out how they get out of trouble. I love to hear from my readers. Please visit my website, www.christinejanssen.com and sign my guestbook.
Christine Janssen delivers romantic suspense with sizzle! Her richly realized characters will capture your imagination and your heart. Enjoy!" -- USA TODAY bestselling author SUZANNE FORSTER
"A new author who's skipping straight to the head of the list. Watch for great things from Christine Janssen." -- HOLT Medallion winner SHIRLEY HAILSTOCK
"Ms. Janssen delivers compelling suspense." -- Darlene Kendall, SIMEGEN
"Her talent will take her to the top of the list." -- Deborah Brent, WordMuseum Star Reviews
“Four stars. Christine Janssen challenges stereotypes by delivering a multifaceted heroine whose emotional and physical challenges will inspire readers.” Jill Smith, Romantic Times
“Four stars. Ms Janssen has crafted a complex, fast paced murder mystery. Her talent will take her to the top of the list. It is comparable to Linda Howard at her best.” Deborah Brent, Word Museum Star Reviews
“This book is a top rate mystery/whodunit as well as a good romance novel...the story is very well written with subtle curves and bends in the plot that will keep the reader transfixed to the very last page!” Venetia Foo, Simegen
“With STAND ON YOUR OWN, Christine Janssen has woven a wonderful romance out of a difficult subject. She took a tragedy and made it a triumph, and with no excuses or explanations. I proudly applaud the book and the author.” SHARON SALA, author of Remember Me
“STAND ON YOUR OWN is a terrific read, a sexy, romantic mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.” CHRISTIANE HEGGAN, author of Moment of Truth
“Wow! Do not miss this earthy, engrossing, exciting novel. STAND ON YOUR OWN does!” Suzanne Forster, author of The Morning After
WILD NATURE - “Tender, steamy and full of surprises.” – Christiane Heggan, author of Moment of Truth.
WILD NATURE -“4 stars. Ms. Janssen takes the villain from her previous book and manages to redeem his tattered soul.” – Jill Smith, Romantic Times
WILD NATURE -“4 stars. The hero’s pain and guilt can be felt throughout this touching love story.” – Darlene Kendall, Simegen
WILD NATURE -“I don’t think I have ever read as emotionally gripping and emotionally wrenching a story as this.” – Marsha Briscoe, author of A Still Point In Time
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 286
Paper Weight (lb): 12.2
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