Tag Archives: giveaway

Gothic Mystery Romance from Greece ~  House at the Edge #AWorldofGothic

Tis the season…what better time to get lost in A World of Gothic?

A group of authors from countries all over the world were drawn together by our love of the classic gothic mysteries by authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney.

While the stories are stand-alone, they each share a recurring thread of a Spinel stone, which can play a small or large part in the plot. We have stories set in Scotland, Greece, Oklahoma, Florida, France, Ireland, and more.

House at the Edge ~ A World of Gothic: Greece by MM Jaye:

ON SALE for 99 Cents!!

**** Contest! Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card – I’ll be sharing all 10 books on my blog on various days and on Oct 31st, I’ll share all 10 in the same post. On November 5th, I’ll draw a winner. Receive additional entries for each task you perform. (Details below)

He wants her out of his house. The house agrees…

After losing everything—her family, her home, her sense of self—former heiress, Daphne Alesi, has no choice but to start anew. Broke, unwanted, and suffering from a rare condition that makes defining her emotions mind-numbingly difficult, the only thing she has left is a strong will to survive.

Starting over on a remote Greek island, in the dead of winter, just because it was her grandmother’s birthplace might be a foolish plan, but staying in England is not an option.

The people of Alonissos are far from welcoming, not least the brooding recluse whose home she literally invades. The infamous House at the Edge is rumored to host a ghost—the soul of the enigmatic owner’s deceased wife. But it will take more than an angry spirit to send Daphne fleeing.

Being emotionally detached has some benefits, after all.

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Check out all the stories here…

A World of Gothic Facebook

**** Contest! You will receive an additional entry for doing each of the following:

  • Comment on each blog post
  • Like each blog post
  • Share each blog post using the ‘twitter’ button
  • Like the Facebook Post (link listed above)
  • Comment on the Facebook post
  • Share the Facebook post

If you missed the other posts, start here and catch them all for additional entries…

Ghost in the Rain

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Gothic Mystery Romance from Florida ~ Dark Hunt #AWorldofGothic

Tis the season…what better time to get lost in A World of Gothic?

A group of authors from countries all over the world were drawn together by our love of the classic gothic mysteries by authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney.

While the stories are stand-alone, they each share a recurring thread of a Spinel stone, which can play a small or large part in the plot. We have stories set in Scotland, Greece, Oklahoma, Florida, France, Ireland, and more.

Dark Hunt by Tamrie Foxtail

ON SALE for 99 Cents!!

**** Contest! Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card – I’ll be sharing all 10 books on my blog on various days and on Oct 31st, I’ll share all 10 in the same post. On November 5th, I’ll draw a winner. Receive additional entries for each task you perform. (Details below)

 

Cassie O’Dey arrives in Virtue, Florida searching for information about Becca, the mother who abandoned her. While staying at the same bed and breakfast where Becca last stayed, Cassie encounters a familiar ghost.
Walker Thayner, a widower, has returned to Virtue to work on restoring the bed and breakfast his family has owned for generations. Hoping to find solace in his work, Walker has shut himself off emotionally. Despite his sullen demeanor Cassie finds herself drawn to him.
Even as hopes of a future in Virtue fill her heart, Cassie finds her thoughts drawn to the dark past of this small Florida town. Can she solve a murder that took place a quarter of a century in the past and put the ghost of Becca O’Dey to rest?

Excerpt:

The old radiator in the bedroom was putting out some heat, thank goodness. Florida had nothing on Pennsylvania when it came to cold weather, but North Florida was still colder than I had expected.

I finished the last few chapters of the book and still wasn’t ready to sleep. I was used to working the two till ten shift at the restaurant then staying up until two in the morning once I got home.

There was no TV, no internet, so I searched the upstairs bookcase in the hall for something to read. I pulled out a copy of Jane Eyre, one of those books I’d heard about, but never read. I held it in one hand, enjoying the feel of it, the worn leather cover and the gilt edging.

Had my mother read this book? Had her fingers turned the pages?

I shoved the book back into place. Why couldn’t I either forgive her for walking out on us or just let her memory go? Memory? That was a laugh. I hadn’t even been a year old when she left. I didn’t have a single memory of the woman. I wondered if Morgan or his sister knew where she had gone. If they did, what then? Did I really want to contact her? What was I supposed to do, call her up and say “Hey, remember me? I’m the kid you walked out on twenty-five years ago. So, tell me what you’ve been up to. Did you pop out anymore kids that you walked out on?”

I scanned the rest of the titles on the shelf, trying to take my mind off my mother but the thoughts persisted. For the thousandth time I wondered if I had a half-sibling or two somewhere.

The hall was colder than my room had been. I wrapped my arms around myself. Motion caught the corner of my eye and I turned my head.

A woman hovered at the end of the hall. Her face was turned away from me, facing the ceiling. Long, dark hair trailed down her back and the edge of the long, pale gown she wore swung two feet above the worn wooden floors.

 

 

 

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Check out all the stories here…

A World of Gothic Facebook

**** Contest! You will receive an additional entry for doing each of the following:

  • Comment on each blog post
  • Like each blog post
  • Share each blog post using the ‘twitter’ button
  • Like the Facebook Post (link listed above)
  • Comment on the Facebook post
  • Share the Facebook post

If you missed the other posts, start here and catch them all for additional entries…

Ghost in the Rain

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Gothic Mystery Romance from Oklahoma ~ Haunting at Spook Light Inn #AWorldofGothic

Tis the season…what better time to get lost in A World of Gothic?

A group of authors from countries all over the world were drawn together by our love of the classic gothic mysteries by authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney.

While the stories are stand-alone, they each share a recurring thread of a Spinel stone, which can play a small or large part in the plot. We have stories set in Scotland, Greece, Oklahoma, Florida, France, Ireland, and more.

Haunting at Spook Light Inn by Alicia Dean

ON SALE for 99 Cents!!

**** Contest! Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card – I’ll be sharing all 10 books on my blog on various days and on Oct 31st, I’ll share all 10 in the same post. On November 5th, I’ll draw a winner. Receive additional entries for each task you perform. (Details below)

A writer travels to a remove bed and breakfast to debunk the superstition of an eerie spook light. But when she encounters a ghost, she has to re-evaluate her beliefs. Now someone…or something…wants to harm her. Is it a long-dead spirit, or a living, breathing human being?

Excerpt:

A glimpse through the trees made me halt. A man. I moved closer and recognized Declan, although his back was to me. Three headstones were spaced four feet apart. Declan stood in front of a white marble teardrop-shaped stone with roses carved into the side that looked newer than the others.

His sister’s grave?

He wore a charcoal gray wool trench coat with the collar pulled up around his neck. His breath came out like wisps of smoke in the cold air. Snow dampened his dark blonde hair, making it look almost black. He was unaware of my presence. His focus was on the grave.

Sympathy pierced my heart, and I blinked back tears. He looked so forlorn, so alone. I had to tighten my hands into fists inside my coat pockets to keep from reaching out to him. My efforts wouldn’t be welcome.

After several moments of silence, I began to wonder if I’d really heard his voice. Although I’d had to take the path to get here, a small grouping of trees were all that separated this area from the carriage house, so it was possible. But had he been speaking to his sister? He didn’t seem the type of man to give in to sentiments such as talking to a dead loved one.

I no sooner had the thought than he spoke again. “I’m sorry, Eleanor. I wish we’d gotten along better, but I did love you. I never wanted this to happen. I only wanted to protect you.”

Feeling like a spy and not wanting to continue intruding on his privacy, I stepped back. My foot landed on an icy tree branch lying on the ground, and the sound exploded like a firecracker in the still afternoon.

Declan whirled to look at me.

My heart leapt to my throat.

His expression tightened in anger. “Ms. Burditt? What in God’s name are you doing out here?”

“I—I was just…taking a walk.” I cast a guilty glance over my shoulder, then looked back at him.

He peered in the direction from which I’d come. “You were at the carriage house?” The words were barked like an accusation.

“Y-yes. I just…” I took a deep breath, suddenly feeling the cold even though the wind was still calm. “I just came upon it. I didn’t go in. The doors were locked.” I realized my error as soon as I said the words. Too late to take them back.

“You tried to get in?” He stalked over until he stood directly in front of me, looming like a dark angry cloud. “The carriage house is off limits. Stay away from it, do you understand me?”

I swallowed. “I wasn’t going to hurt anything, I was just curio—”

“I said stay away.” His voice was deadly, his eyes molten steel. “Do I make myself clear?”

For one brief moment, the fury in his eyes made me think he might be capable of murder after all. Namely, mine. I couldn’t speak, so I only nodded. He held my gaze for a few more gut wrenching moments, then stormed away.

 

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Check out all the stories here…

A World of Gothic Facebook

**** Contest! You will receive an additional entry for doing each of the following:

  • Comment on each blog post
  • Like each blog post
  • Share each blog post using the ‘twitter’ button
  • Like the Facebook Post (link listed above)
  • Comment on the Facebook post
  • Share the Facebook post

If you missed the other posts, start here and catch them all for additional entries…

Ghost in the Rain

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#TuesdayTestDay with Alicia Dean ~ Win a $5 Amazon Gift Card!!

Welcome to Tuesday Test Day! Each Tuesday, I share a snippet from one of my stories, along with three options. To enter, guess which of the three options the snippet is from.

Post your answer in the comments before Sunday evening at 5 p.m. CT. (You may respond here or on my Facebook page). Each Monday, I will randomly draw a name from all the correct answers and that person will win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Winners will be announced in the next Tuesday Test Day post.

Last week’s winner is…

Mary Preston

Congrats!! Please email me at Alicia@AliciaDean.com and I will send your $5 gift card. Thank you for playing!

(The correct answer was Thicker than Water)

Which of the below stories is this snippet from?

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“Mr. Clayton?” Sam called.

No answer. She caught a shadowed figure in her peripheral vision and whirled, her hand flying beneath her jacket to her shoulder holster.

An embarrassed laugh left her throat when she saw what had startled her. It was a life-sized cardboard cutout of Judge Mona Morrison. It stood just inside the door to the left, hidden from her view until she’d stepped inside.

Sam shook her head and glanced around the room. Something still didn’t feel quite right. Clayton was supposed to be here working all evening. Even the guard had thought he was here. He could have gone to the restroom, or maybe a break room for a cup of coffee. But the entire building felt deserted. As if she was the only living human here.

A clattering noise broke the silence, like something shaking around inside a box. It sounded like it was coming from this room, but she couldn’t identify its source.

She pulled her weapon and glanced behind her. Nothing.

“Mr. Clayton?” she called again, moving further into the room.

She made her way cautiously to his desk and when she peered behind it, she saw him. Or, at least, she assumed it was him, even though she’d never met him. He looked to be in his mid- thirties, short, neat brown hair and a goatee. Nice-looking man. Well, he had been a nice-looking man. Now he was a corpse.

He was lying half in, half out of his chair, his eyes wide and staring, his mouth contorted in a death grimace. His flesh was reddish and swollen, one eyelid slightly drooping.

Sam holstered her weapon and grabbed her lapel mic, calling for an ambulance as she knelt to check him. Putting her fingers against his pulse, she confirmed he was beyond help.

Despite the physical characteristics she’d noticed on his face, she didn’t see any visible signs of injury. Did he have a heart attack? He wasn’t old, but even the young were susceptible to heart problems. Sighing, she stood. As she did, she noticed a mark on Clayton’s neck.

Two small holes. Fang marks.

Sam went numb and at that moment, the clattering sound resumed. Only this time, she recognized it. It was a rattle… A snake.

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Have fun!

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Gothic Mystery Romance from France ~ Sea of Darkness #AWorldofGothic

Tis the season…what better time to get lost in A World of Gothic?

A group of authors from countries all over the world were drawn together by our love of the classic gothic mysteries by authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney.

While the stories are stand-alone, they each share a recurring thread of a Spinel stone, which can play a small or large part in the plot. We have stories set in Scotland, Greece, Oklahoma, Florida, France, Ireland, and more.

Sea of Darkness A World of Gothic: France by Amanda McCabe

ON SALE for 99 Cents!!

**** Contest! Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card – I’ll be sharing all 10 books on my blog on various days and on Oct 31st, I’ll share all 10 in the same post. On November 5th, I’ll draw a winner. Receive additional entries for each task you perform. (Details below)

France, 1890. Sandrine Duplessis was raised to be a fine Parisian lady. But when her scholarly father dies and leaves her penniless, she must take a position as lady’s companion at the crumbling Chateau de Pierpont in faraway Normandy. Her employer suffers from a mysterious illness in the old house, which is filled with strange and beautiful Tahitian artifacts, and the servants are silent. Mystery–and possibly love, with the enigmatic Mathieu Favril–are in the chilly air.

Excerpt:

Chapter One—Rouen, 1890

I couldn’t help but feel that I was suddenly living a life that was not my own.

I folded my hands tightly on the handle of the valise on my lap, the old, cracked leather case that held nearly all I owned in the world, and studied the room around me. That sense of cold distance, as if I saw everything in a dream, grew stronger as I watched the receptionist at his desk, the crowds that hurried past in a blur of identical dark suits. No one spoke loudly there, in the city council’s mairie. They merely murmured to each other, making the rustle of papers on the receptionist’s desk all the louder.

A mairie was always a discreet place, especially the section that housed the foreign services, as I remembered well from when I accompanied my father there as a child. Then, as we journeyed there from our comfortable apartment so he could give them his translation work, I had been awed by it all. The soaring, vaulted ceilings of the old buildings, the stone staircases, the solemn air of quiet, secret importance. It was almost frightening, and I was always glad when we returned home to our books and fires, our own company.

Now, though, there was no one to return to, no Papa waiting for me, no fine apartment. There was only a tiny room in a dusty boarding house along a back street. A room I would soon be hard-pressed to pay for, since I had lost my most recent position as a governess.

 

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Check out all the stories here…

A World of Gothic Facebook

**** Contest! You will receive an additional entry for doing each of the following:

  • Comment on each blog post
  • Like each blog post
  • Share each blog post using the ‘twitter’ button
  • Like the Facebook Post (link listed above)
  • Comment on the Facebook post
  • Share the Facebook post

If you missed the other posts, start here and catch them all for additional entries…

Ghost in the Rain

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Gothic Mystery Romance from Maine ~ Sinister Ceremony #AWorldofGothic

Tis the season…what better time to get lost in A World of Gothic?

A group of authors from countries all over the world were drawn together by our love of the classic gothic mysteries by authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney.

While the stories are stand-alone, they each share a recurring thread of a Spinel stone, which can play a small or large part in the plot. We have stories set in Scotland, Greece, Oklahoma, Florida, France, Ireland, and more.

Sinister Ceremony A World of Gothic: Maine by Stacey Coverstone

ON SALE for 99 Cents!!

**** Contest! Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card – I’ll be sharing all 10 books on my blog on various days and on Oct 31st, I’ll share all 10 in the same post. On November 5th, I’ll draw a winner. Receive additional entries for each task you perform. (Details below)

 

When visiting her fiance’s ancestral home sitting isolated on a cliff, Darcy discovers not only is his family strange in many ways, but a menacing presence is restless for a sacrifice, and she has been chosen.

Excerpt:

Her neck slowly pivoted to her left. At seeing the woman lying beside her in her wedding gown, she leaped off the bed and ran into Edward’s arms and buried her head in his chest.

“It is me,” she whimpered. “But how can it be when I’m standing here next to you? I don’t understand.”

Edward held her close. “Don’t be afraid. Abner will bury your physical body in the cemetery out back. Your soul will live on in your new vessel.”

“What have you done?” she said, her voice as hard as the granite cliffs.

Before he could answer, she broke from his embrace and ran to the mirror hanging over the vanity. When she saw the face surrounded by wild red hair that peered back at her, she released a blood-curdling scream.

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Check out all the stories here…

A World of Gothic Facebook

**** Contest! You will receive an additional entry for doing each of the following:

  • Comment on each blog post
  • Like each blog post
  • Share each blog post using the ‘twitter’ button
  • Like the Facebook Post (link listed above)
  • Comment on the Facebook post
  • Share the Facebook post

If you missed the other posts, start here and catch them all for additional entries…

Ghost in the Rain

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Gothic Mystery Romance from Florida ~ Blood Stained Memories #AWorldofGothic

Tis the season…what better time to get lost in A World of Gothic?

A group of authors from countries all over the world were drawn together by our love of the classic gothic mysteries by authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney.

While the stories are stand-alone, they each share a recurring thread of a Spinel stone, which can play a small or large part in the plot. We have stories set in Scotland, Greece, Oklahoma, Florida, France, Ireland, and more.

Blood Stained Memories  A World of Gothic: US by Kathy L Wheeler

ON SALE for 99 Cents!!

**** Contest! Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card – I’ll be sharing all 10 books on my blog on various days and on Oct 31st, I’ll share all 10 in the same post. On November 5th, I’ll draw a winner. Receive additional entries for each task you perform. (Details below)

 

Can she live with what her memories may unlock?

She remembers nothing of her past except the sting of her aunt’s slap jarring her to the stained letter she held in one hand, the bloody knife in the other, and … her father’s lifeless body at her feet. Now she must face the truth…did she murder her own father.

Excerpt:

…“With your assistance, Miss Ross, we’ll be tearing this house apart.” He glanced between his two companions. “When I learn who the dishonest party is, make no mistake, I will be pressing charges. To the fullest extent of the law.”

My stomach nose-dived a hundred leagues below sea level. Not only did I possess one of the Spanish coins, but my presence here was not exactly on the up-and-up.

“That’s just rich. Isn’t it, Adam?” Raven hissed. “Laughable to hear you speaking of following the law.”

He dropped his napkin. “I have matters to attend to this morning, Miss Ross. I’m sure you have ideas to present. Let’s meet in the library. Shall we say—” He eyed my crusted bread with an amused smirk. “—fifteen minutes?”

“Of course,” I responded, so relieved I almost slid from my chair to the floor. The library. I could handle the library.

 

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Check out all the stories here…

A World of Gothic Facebook

**** Contest! You will receive an additional entry for doing each of the following:

  • Comment on each blog post
  • Like each blog post
  • Share each blog post using the ‘twitter’ button
  • Like the Facebook Post (link listed above)
  • Comment on the Facebook post
  • Share the Facebook post

Link to previous post:

Ghost in the Rain

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Gothic Mystery Romance from Scotland ~ Ghost in the Rain #AWorldofGothic

Tis the season…what better time to get lost in A World of Gothic?

A group of authors from countries all over the world were drawn together by our love of the classic gothic mysteries by authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney.

While the stories are stand-alone, they each share a recurring thread of a Spinel stone, which can play a small or large part in the plot. We have stories set in Scotland, Greece, Oklahoma, Florida, France, Ireland, and more.

Ghost in the Rain: A World of Gothic – Scotland by Marie Treanor

ON SALE for 99 Cents!!

**** Contest! Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card – I’ll be sharing all 10 books on my blog on various days and on Oct 31st, I’ll share all 10 in the same post. On November 5th, I’ll draw a winner. Receive additional entries for each task you perform. (Details below)

A haunted Highland house, battered by storms and murder…

Notorious rocker Dan Stewart isn’t anything like Dr. Kate Yorke imagined. Arriving at his remote home in the Scottish Highlands to research some valuable letters, Kate soaks up the Gothic atmosphere. But it’s Dan who truly fascinates her.

Excerpt:

I had to acknowledge that my peace was churned up by his unexpected presence here. It wasn’t even an unpleasant feeling; in fact it felt rather…exciting. But it was disturbing.

I took off my glasses and rubbed my eyes. I suspected Dan Stewart carried such disturbance wherever he went. If I thought about it, the whole house felt different now. As if its peace had gone too; as if it had sprung to life, eager, waiting.

Mocking my own silly fantasy, I stood abruptly and paced around the room, trying to recover my lost concentration. I suspected I was just tired and would work much faster and much better after a good night’s sleep.

I paused by the window to watch the storm. Although the thunder had stopped, the wind and rain were still blasting the trees and rattling the window. Close-up, I could feel the draught through my thick sweater. On impulse, I retrieved my phone from my bag and tried to capture the raging storm on its camera. But it looked too tame on the screen, not deep or dark enough, no real movement in those black clouds still scudding and swirling across the sky. I wished I could paint. For a moment, I even wished I could be part of it, to go outside in it again. There was nothing to stop me, except common sense.

I smiled to myself and lowered the phone, just as a movement in the garden below caught my eye. Someone was out in this. Someone not remotely dressed for it either. Through the darkness and the almost opaque mist of rain, I could make out only that it seemed to be a woman wearing only some kind of floating, white, wispy garment, more like the loungewear of wealthy women of past centuries than anything anyone would wear today for any purpose. The odd garment shimmered as the figure glided across the lawn, impossibly graceful.

On impulse, I raised my phone again and snapped.

Perhaps she moved too quickly. Nothing of her showed on the screen except an indistinct blur of light against blackness. Frowning, I looked again out of the window, but the woman had gone. Vanished.

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Check out all the stories here…

A World of Gothic Facebook

**** Contest! You will receive an additional entry for doing each of the following:

  • Comment on each blog post
  • Like each blog post
  • Share each blog post using the ‘twitter’ button
  • Like the Facebook Post (link listed above)
  • Comment on the Facebook post
  • Share the Facebook post

 

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#TuesdayTestDay with Alicia Dean ~ Win a $5 Amazon Gift Card!!

Welcome to Tuesday Test Day! Each Tuesday, I share a snippet from one of my stories, along with three options. To enter, guess which of the three options the snippet is from.

Post your answer in the comments before Sunday evening at 5 p.m. CT. (You may respond here or on my Facebook page). Each Monday, I will randomly draw a name from all the correct answers and that person will win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Winners will be announced in the next Tuesday Test Day post.

Last week’s winner is…

Crystal Stewart

Congrats!! Please email me at Alicia@AliciaDean.com and I will send your $5 gift card. Thank you for playing!

(The correct answer was Death Offerings)

Which of the below stories is this snippet from?

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He shoved her against the wall. She grunted with pain, looking up into his livid face, into his crazed eyes. This man had been in prison. True fear took hold, and her heart dropped to her stomach.  In a dark alley, the bastard could do whatever he wanted. No one would know. She drew in a breath to scream, but he clamped a calloused hand over her mouth.

“You ain’t callin’ for help, and you ain’t goin’ nowhere ’til I get some answers.”

Against the pressure of his hand, her  demands to be released were muffled. She shoved on his chest, but he didn’t budge. She couldn’t very well give him answers while he was impairing her ability to speak.

“Turn her loose.” The low, controlled voice  came from her left. She almost wept with relief.

Jake.

Donny Ray cut his eyes to the side, then back to Julia. “Ain’t none of your concern, Sheriff. Me and her was just having a little chat.”

He loosened his hold enough that Julia could turn her head. The rough brick wall ground against her skull. Jake stood a few feet away. The streetlight behind him illuminated his silhouette like an angel of mercy. He stood with a hand on one hip—the hip where his gun rested.

He tipped his hat back off his forehead. “She doesn’t look like she wants to chat, so I’m thinking you should probably turn her loose.”

“And if I don’t, what you gonna do about it?”

Jake’s shoulders lifted in a laconic shrug. “Don’t think you want to find out.”

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Have fun!

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#TuesdayTestDay with Alicia Dean ~ Win a $5 Amazon Gift Card!!

Welcome to Tuesday Test Day! Each Tuesday, I share a snippet from one of my stories, along with three options. To enter, guess which of the three options the snippet is from.

Post your answer in the comments before Sunday evening at 5 p.m. CT. (You may respond here or on my Facebook page). Each Monday, I will randomly draw a name from all the correct answers and that person will win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Winners will be announced in the next Tuesday Test Day post.

Last week’s winner is…

Starr Moore

Congrats!! Please email me at Alicia@AliciaDean.com and I will send your $5 gift card. Thank you for playing!

(The correct answer was Ruined)

Which of the below stories is this snippet from?

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I gripped the phone and squeezed my eyes shut. Although I realized there was something I should say that would make him give a clue to his identity, something I could share with the police, my mind wouldn’t work properly. Nothing clever came to me.

My mouth felt stiff when I made myself speak. “You did this… you killed her so I’d keep writing the articles?”

“We have a connection. I know you feel it too.”

“I don’t even know you. If you’re really the one doing this, please just stop.”

A low chuckle rumbled over the line. “Stop? I did stop, but my life wasn’t complete. Something has been missing. Now, you’ve given me a new purpose. I’d gotten bored with the girls… the same old routine, blah, blah blah. You made it fun again.”

“You killed her because of me? For me?”

“When I read your articles, something sparked.” He paused, and when he continued, I detected emotion in his voice. “I can’t explain it, but…” He sighed. “Forget it. I don’t want to get all gushy. You get me. I know you do. Did your detective friend tell you about the penny?”

“Penny?”

“Your pennies from heaven story inspired me. I left a penny in the girl’s hand, along with one of her teeth.”

Bile, thick and overpowering, clogged my throat. I swallowed hard and whispered, “One of her teeth?”

“Yeah. With a little coaxing, I got her talking. Telling me about her life. She lost her first tooth in ’03 when she was six. I found a penny dated 2003 and put it in her hand with the tooth. I bet the cops don’t want that released. There you go. A human interest touch for your article.” He sounded proud, like he’d just solved world hunger.

My body went cold. My mind whirled with warring thoughts… find out something useful… hang up… keep him talking…. But the will to contain the screaming inside my head was all I could manage.

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Have fun!

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