Tag Archives: small town murder

Dead To Rights by Margo Hoornstra… A ‘Friday the 13th Story’

Hello and welcome to the fourth of my posts about a brand new series of 13 suspenseful “Friday the 13th” short stories, each by a different author.

Today, I am happy to share Margo Hoornstra’s “Dead to Rights” – Now available for pre-order…releasing Nov 13.

Fun Fact:

Several sources helped me create this murder/mystery. My husband was great with plot points and brainstorming. Good friends we camp with were instrumental in fleshing out various scenes. Although, plotting the details of a murder and its aftermath around our nightly campfires gave new meaning to telling spooky stories in the dark.


Police Dispatcher Whitney Rhoades has one word for her current life…contentment. Even after a disfigured body is discovered near her home. When word gets out she’s found a piece of a broken mirror, the deadly mishaps begin to pile up, and her peaceful contented world becomes a nightmare.

Veteran Detective Gabriel Tate knows a vendetta when he sees it. What he doesn’t know is who wants Whitney dead. But despite her terror, she tosses his offer of protection back in his face. She trusted him once and he betrayed her. He can’t…won’t let that happen again.

Unless he can regain her trust…and soon…the results could be fatal. Find a murderer or risk losing her again…permanently.


“What was I supposed to do? She attacked me first. With a mirror of all things. She would have sliced my neck open if I hadn’t punched her.” He let out a sickening laugh. “That stopped her. But then she started bleeding from her nose. Crying and choking. It wouldn’t stop. None of it would stop.” His tone lowered as if remorse had finally taken hold. “I had every right to defend myself, but I didn’t mean to hit her that hard. I never intended to break her nose. I sure as hell never expected her to die on me.”

Being forced to walk in front of him, she was hearing what amounted to a confession to murder. Without the benefit of cameras recording every word in an official interrogation room. Without the luxury of a confessed murderer being unarmed and in custody.

There was only one reason he’d be so freely confessing to her. What better way to clear his conscience? Then make sure she’d never tell anyone.

“It wasn’t supposed to happen.” His voice jarred Whitney out of her thoughts.

Her step faltered, which earned her another sharp jab from the gun barrel. Wincing as pain radiated through her ribs, she had no choice but to continue moving.

“It was an accident.” She spoke the first words that came to mind. “Everyone will see that.” Convincing him she was on his side was the only way she had a prayer to get out of this alive.

“You’re damned right it was an accident. Her fault. Not mine. She never should have resisted.” The strength of his voice rose before falling to a mere whisper.

When they reached the top of the ridge, he came along side and turned to face her.

“That mirror evidence is our little secret. Yours and mine. Of course, you’re not going to be around to talk about it. And I’m sure not going to tell. Don’t worry. If you don’t die from the fall, I’m an excellent marksman. You can even decide the location of the kill shot ahead of time. Brains or heart? Your choice.” With an ominous chuckle, he nudged her in the side one more time. “Should I push you, or would you rather jump?”

About Margo:

Wife to one, mother to four, mother-in-law to four, and grandmother to four so far, Margo is a Detroit native who couldn’t be happier now living in rural mid-Michigan. A communications specialist by trade, she has worked as a magazine editor, television producer, and speech and script writer. When not writing these days, she enjoys walking outdoors in every season, hates to cook, loves to read, and can be found at www.margohoornstra.com

Promo links:

Website:  www.margohoornstra.com

FB:      http://www.facebook.com/pages/Margo-Hoornstra-Author/251502834867396

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/MargoHoornstra

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3222492.Margo_Hoornstra

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Margo-Hoornstra/e/B00504OMPA/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1393344784&sr=1-5




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Lauren Linwood’s Illusions of Death

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Lauren Linwood…

I normally write historical romance set in the medieval era or the American Old West, but lately I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new. I enjoy reading romantic suspense and thought I’d challenge myself to write one. The result was last summer’s Leave Yesterday Behind. I enjoyed pitting my serial killer against a mystery writer who’s just begun a relationship with a new woman and having the pair team up to stop the murderer before they became his next targets.

Wouldn’t you know it? Another serial killer began to call out to me between writing books. He demanded that I put everything else on hold and pay attention to him. His name?

Roy G. Biv.

Yes, that’s the acronym for helping yourself remember the colors of the rainbow. Roy is a creepy killer who paints his victims after he finishes with them, and he does so in the order that the colors of the rainbow appear—thus his nickname that law enforcement gives him.

Writing romantic suspense is a fine balance of creating a compelling criminal story while keeping your readers interested in the budding romance that is developing between your hero and heroine. I’ve enjoyed the change of pace and hope that I can keep juggling these two sub-genres.

*One lucky commenter below will win an ebook copy of Illusions of Death. Tell me your favorite serial killer (from a novel or book). And Hannibal Lecter is off-limits. Mine would be Kevin Costner’s wicked portrayal in Mr. Brooks. After seeing this, you’ll know the nice, ordinary guy next door could be a murderer!

Lauren Linwood image April 6 (1)


Best-selling author Karlyn Campbell is ready for a new start after her recent divorce from a temperamental artist. When she receives word that her father had a stroke, she heads for Walton Springs with mixed feelings. Broderick Campbell wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning literary novels and denounced his daughter’s work as pedestrian and commercial, causing a rift that finally heals on his deathbed. Karlyn chooses to stay in the small Georgia town to write her popular Matt Collins series and decides to try her hand at true crime when Atlanta’s Rainbow Killer, Roy G. Biv, captures her interest.

Detective Logan Warner’s marriage didn’t survive after he lost his twins to a crazed killer who was never caught. He returns to his hometown’s police force and runs for police chief, happy he’s escaped big city crime and corruption. Emotionally dead, his interest in life is renewed when he falls in love with Karlyn and begins to build a new life with her.

But the Rainbow Killer moves beyond Atlanta, leaving a trail of dead bodies painted in bright hues in several towns north of the city. Leaving no trace evidence or DNA and choosing random victims with no apparent rhyme or reason, Roy proves unstoppable. Then he arrives in Walton Springs, threatening the peaceful town with his murder spree. With a serial killer in their back yard, Logan and Karlyn unite with the FBI to find the killer—before he finds them.


He placed the last of the wet dirt on top of the second grave. Smoothed it with the back of the shovel. Reached for the collection of branches and rocks and leaves that he’d gathered before he began digging. He tossed them haphazardly over his handiwork and stepped back to survey the ground. Perfect. Anyone venturing off the Appalachian Trail this far would have no idea what rested beneath the soil.

If only people knew how much he’d accomplished in his killing time.

His latest specimen gathering consisted of high-end prostitutes. The Chattahoochee National Forest had provided cover for this most recent hunt. Its miles of wilderness proved the ideal disposal area. He’d witnessed the arrival of spring as the area greened up. Watched it blossom into its summer loveliness. Seen the explosion of fall colors come vividly to life as he buried his precious specimens.

But he was at the end of this cycle of murders. He refused to tramp through isolated areas during winter snow. Last night’s kill would be the final in this series.

He chuckled to himself. Plus, the unexpected bonus.

The lone hiker appeared just before dusk settled. He’d already made camp. Set up his tent. The specimen, bound and gagged, waited for him inside. The Rohypnol’s effects had faded. She would know everything that happened from this point on.

Then the kid arrived, sporting a backpack almost bigger than he was. Made himself at home. Admitted he was lost.

They chatted over bottled water and protein bars. The teen spilled that he was traipsing around during Thanksgiving break in hopes of having some majestic, eye-opening experience that would be good enough to write about in his upcoming college admission essay. He was looking for something life-changing that he could write about.

At least the kid wouldn’t be put through the agony of writing that essay. Or being rejected by his top choices and settling for community college and a mundane life.

He returned to the campsite as the rain slacked off to a drizzle. Packed up. He pulled his keys from his pocket. Noticed the rain had stopped. The sky lightened.

And then he saw it. A rainbow in the sky.

Of course. That was it.

Just as God placed the rainbow in the sky as a promise to Noah that He would never flood the earth again, He’d generously gifted him with a new idea.

His next mission would be served as The Rainbow Killer.

Thoughts raced in his head as he planned a new series of murders to commit. The specimens would share nothing in common, making him impossible to catch. But every murder would end in spectacular colors. In hues of the rainbow.

Confidence pulsated through him. This could be his claim to fame. A lasting legacy.

He couldn’t wait to begin.

Buy Link: http://amzn.com/B019Y45TS0


Lauren Linwood became a teacher who wrote on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones. Her historical romances use history as a backdrop to place her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire for one another grows into the treasured gift of love. Her romantic suspense novels feature strong heroes and heroines who unite to defeat a clever antagonist and discover a deep, abiding love during their journey.

A native Texan, Lauren lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with long walks. She plans to start a support group for Fixer Upper addicts—as soon as she finishes her next piece of dark chocolate.

Contact links:

Email: laurenlinwood@gmail.com

Website: http://www.laurenlinwood.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/laurenlinwood

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LaurenLinwood

Blog: http://www.laurenlinwood.com/write-up-my-alley-2/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Lauren-Linwood/e/B00CSSG8BC

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7091840.Lauren_Linwood

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+LaurenLinwood/about


Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release