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Judith R. Parker
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A storm is building over the Rocky Mountains, a storm that will develop into the worst blizzard in recorded history. It will bring together fifteen people in a defunct bed and breakfast inn. While the storm rages outside, a maelstrom of twisted and violent emotions and death stalks the halls, entwining them all in a twist of terror.
The car hurtled through the night, the headlights illuminating the narrow two-lane highway. There had been almost no traffic since they’d cruised through the tiny town of Niland. Light from a full moon cast the Chocolate Mountains into stark relief. Beth Ashley tore her gaze away from the desert and sent a frightened glance at her husband. What had she done to anger him this time? Her stomach heaved as the car swept into another dip and raced up the other side nearly becoming airborne as the road dipped again. The rear wheels lost traction and the car began to slide. She could hear him swearing as he fought the wheel.
"Don, please! Please slow down!" She spoke without thinking and immediately regretted it.
His foot slammed down harder on the gas pedal. The car lurched forward, hit a patch of windblown sand and began a sickening skid. Terror raced through her and she screamed.
He tromped on the brakes. Only her seat belt kept her from slamming into the windshield. Her head snapped back, bouncing on the headrest as the car slid to a stop with the right wheels just inches from the drainage ditch. She felt his hand fumble along her thigh, heard the snap of the seat belt. He reached across her and opened the door.
"Get out!" His breath, rank with liquor, washed over her, increasing her panic.
"Don, please. Don’t do this." In the back seat their son, Bobby, began to cry.
Don shoved her shoulders forcing her half out of the car. Desperately she clutched at the seatback, but he pried her fingers loose, raised his right foot and slammed it into her hip.
"Mommy!" Bobby’s cry echoed in her ears as she tumbled sideways out of the car, hit the edge of the ditch and rolled down the embankment. The sand scraped a burning path along one cheek. Frantically clutching at the ground, her fingers encountered a creosote bush and she snatched at it, halting her slide. Digging her toes in the sand she began to crawl up the bank.
She heard the car door slam, the motor race. A shower of sand and gravel peppered her as she pulled herself over the edge of the embankment. By the time she struggled to her feet the car was a hundred feet away, fishtailing wildly. Choking in the dust, she stumbled after it. Suddenly the running lights of a truck racing toward her appeared over the top of a dip in the southbound lane. Then its headlights blinded her.
Throwing up an arm to shield her eyes, she saw the car skid onto the shoulder, slide, overcorrect and swerve into the path of the truck. The scream of tires and the shriek of rending metal shattered the silence of the night. Beth watched in horror as the car bounced into the air, somersaulted across the pavement and into the ditch.
Breath tearing at her lungs, she sprinted toward the car. The face of her five-year-old son appeared momentarily in the rear window. She could see his lips forming the word, "Mommy" and in her mind she could hear him screaming.
Judith R. Parker makes her home near Ronald, Washington in the central Cascades with her husband, a retired civil engineer, two dogs and six cats. She is a retired corporate CFO.
Parker has been writing mysteries, suspense and westerns for over twenty years. Her short stories have appeared in regional and national magazines and an anthology, A KIND OF JUSTICE, which was an 2002 Eppie finalist. RIDE A COLD WIND won a 2002 Eppie for best western.
Parker is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, Women Writing the West, Western Writers of America, Epic, and a past board member of the Northwest Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.
“In Judith R. Parker's DEADLY DIAMONDS, the characters are real. The story is spell binding. I believe that this book is going to make it to the best seller list before the ink is dry.” --Sue Harigan, Member of RIO; reviewer for: All About Murder; All about Fiction; Book News; Murder Express; Carol's Book Reviews
"In the tradition od Louis L'Amour, author Judith R. Parker creates a tale that takes great pride in the human spirit. Parker's recreation of the pristine mountains untouched by humans in contrast to the evil of the man who chases her hero creates a marvelous juxtaposition. A quick, entertaining read, I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended." --reviewed by: Cindy Penn
"If you are looking for an exciting story, appealing characters and lots of action, look no farther. Parker's RIDE A COLD WIND, first in the Jason Locke series, fits the bill. Parker has a way with her writing that brings every emotion and sense into play. I highly recommend this book. And make sure you start it in the morning because you won't be able to put it down." --Quote by: Betty Sullivan LaPierre, Author of: The Hawkman series
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 268
Paper Weight (lb): 11.4
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