I’m hard at work on my next novel, a police procedural suspense, coming out the beginning of June.
This is an eight book collection of high tech novels, each one releasing two weeks apart, with characters from our books making guest appearances in other stories within the series.
It’s fun and interesting, but definitely poses challenges as well. We have to be careful to maintain characteristics and fit varied careers and locations (even if by phone) into our plotlines.
Here is a short excerpt from my book, Virtually Gone, with Edward Dasso’s character, Wes Watley, mentioned within the passage.
Julie paced her bedroom like a twitchy cat, stopping to stare out the window at the empty street, then across to her silent cellphone on the dresser. Connor had been gone for hours without word—it was driving her mad.
The house was too quiet without her boys. Usually, she’d hear Dustin tossing and turning, and Freddy’s light snores, but tonight there was only silence. It unnerved her. Ever since she’d been kidnapped by the ABC Killer, the smallest things made her jumpy. She used her job as a journalist to combat the fear, to do what she could to protect victims like her. And yet, another rapist was loose in their city.
She shivered and left her room to double-check the locks.
There’d been two rapes near the university a couple of months ago. The women had escaped with their lives but were brutally beaten and robbed at knifepoint. Then there was the young girl last week, barely old enough to drive, killed just minutes from her home. The police were assuring the public they had no reason to be alarmed, whereas Julie disagreed. Maybe if those targets had been warned of the danger, they would have stood a better chance of avoiding his trap. If there was one takeaway she’d learned from her own experience, it was that psychopaths were in it for the thrill of the chase. They got off on terrifying their victims. The only answer was to take away their power.
Which was why she was up pacing instead of getting some much-needed sleep. Connor was keeping things from her and she didn’t like it. Either there was trust in their relationship, or it couldn’t continue. She didn’t expect him to divulge details of the investigation, but at the same time, she wasn’t just any reporter, either. He knew how personal cases like this were for her—she’d defied death and now it had become her calling to help others going through the same thing. Beating back the monsters one story at a time.
She turned from the locked front door and stopped in front of Mike’s photo hanging in the hall. Her husband’s green eyes stared at her with a perpetual smile. He was the light in their relationship, able to drag a laugh out of her even in her grumpiest days. He’d been a wonderful father to the boys—their daughter would have loved him, too, if not for the accident that took their lives. Julie liked to think they were together now, watching over their family. He’d certainly been there for her when that madman had chased her through the woods. He’d given her the strength to hold on until help could arrive.
“I miss you so much,” she murmured, her finger tracing the glass. “I think you’d like Connor… he’s a good man.” Warmth filled her chest and Mike’s eyes seemed to glow with tenderness and a sad acceptance. He would always be her first love, the gangly teen who’d stolen her heart and given her two beautiful sons, but he was gone and life moved on. She hadn’t expected to fall for another man. For a long time, she’d put her growing feelings down to loneliness, but Connor had impacted her life too much to be ignored. He could be arrogant at times, and overprotective, but he was also sweet and incredibly patient with Dustin and Freddy. She was happy for perhaps the first time since the accident that took her husband and unborn daughter. Was it wrong to wonder when the other shoe would drop?
The phone rang in the bedroom and she hurried down the hall, expecting it to be Connor. Instead, Taylor’s number showed up on the display.
“Hi, what are you doing still awake?” Julie asked, sitting on the edge of her bed and tucking bare toes into a plush throw rug she’d grabbed from a bargain bin.
“Sorry to call so late,” Taylor said in her no-nonsense voice. “I managed to book you onto a seaplane to Vancouver tomorrow morning. Can you make it?”
Julie blinked. What…? Oh, yeah, the private security consultant she was supposed to meet. With everything else that happened tonight, it had slipped her mind.
“Tomorrow is fine. The kids come home this weekend, so I’d just as soon get it over with. What was his name, again?”
“Watley. Wes Watley. Ex-FBI and Army CID Officer. He knows his stuff. Hopefully, you can bounce ideas off each other and come up with a solid lead. You never know, maybe he can even suggest something to catch our rapist.”
Privately, Julie was more cynical on that score. She’d met FBI types before and found them to be close-mouthed, but maybe this would be different. A little quid pro quo. “Where do we meet?” she asked, turning as the front door opened and closed.
“He’s coming into YVR at nine. By the time he gets through customs you should be able to catch him near the baggage claims.” Taylor paused. “Laurie is a mess over this. Anything you can do to help…”
Julie wandered to the dim hallway in time to catch Connor rubbing a tired hand over his neck, the streetlight from outside turning his hair to burnished copper. He stopped when he noticed her and raised his brow. Her pulse scattered.
“Of course,” she murmured. “Can you send me a recent photo of Mr. Watley, so I know who I’m looking for?” If not, she planned to do an online search for his company, his bio should be there.
“You’ll have it by morning,” Taylor assured her. “It shouldn’t take more than a couple of days. An introduction to your contacts with the VPD should set him on the right track. Thanks, Julie.”
“No problem. See you when I get back.” Julie ended the call and strode into Connor’s welcoming embrace. His chest was warm and comforting, the arms around her waist strong, yet gentle. He nuzzled the top of her head and she leaned back to look at his face. “Hi,” she said softly, concerned by the dullness in his normally expressive eyes. “Long night?”
“You could say that,” he agreed, bending to steal a kiss. “I thought I was dreaming when I walked in. That shirt never looked half as good on me.”
Some might recognize Julie and Connor from my Mended Souls series. While this book has the same characters, it is focused more on detective work than the paranormal element highlighted in the other books. I might add a bit of guardian angel influence, but it’s not the main element of this new sub-series I think I’m starting 🙂
I’m curious whether you think readers will accept the new direction. Any ideas for a series title that will tie into Mended Souls?
Virtually Gone: A Mended Souls Novel (High-Tech Crime Solvers Book 6)
Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52329219-virtually-gone
From USA Today Bestselling Author, Jacquie Biggar, comes a gripping techno-thriller, part of a multi-author series tied together by an interlocking cast of characters, all centered around the fantastic new promise of high technology and the endless possibilities for crime that technology offers, in a world where getting away with murder can be not only plausible, but easy…if you just know how..
Investigative reporter Julie Crenshaw stumbles upon the case of a lifetime–one that could cost her everything.
When Julie is called on to investigate a string of sexual abuse cases, she doesn’t expect to land in the crosshairs of a serial rapist. Soon she’s in a race to find the facts before a killer makes her the headline.
Detective Matthew Roy is frustrated with his inability to track a rapist terrorizing his city. Added to that, his partner’s reporter girlfriend is dogging his every step and won’t heed his warnings. Time is ticking with the perpetrator escalating his crime to murder. Matt needs to find the killer soon, or chance losing someone he cares for- the question is, how?
★★★★★ “This author is an auto-buy for me. Each of her novels including this one is a perfect mix of angst, suspense, humor, and steaminess.”