E-Book (available in paperback)
Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
It may be Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t stop Gracie Kinkaid from being called in to work for Timber Creek Search and Rescue. As a volunteer for the search and rescue unit, Gracie knows that disasters can occur at any time, even during the holiday season. This time four hikers go missing in the wilderness of Southern California.
Gracie and her partner, Steve Cashman, head out to find them when a blizzard hits. Now they have to find hikers as well as fight the weather. They only manage to find one hiker – famous actor Rob Christian. Rob is hurt but he remembers being attacked on the trail and someone being killed. Steve and Gracie don’t know if the memory is true or an hallucination due to his injury.
Steve takes their radio and tries to get help. This leaves Gracie alone with Rob. It’s up to her to keep him alive until medical help arrives, but she begins to realize Rob’s memories of a killer may very well be real. Gracie has her hands full trying to keep Rob safe from his injuries as well as safe from a killer.
The excitement takes off from page one and doesn’t stop until the end of the book. I can easily see this being turned into a movie. The author does an amazing job of creating the atmosphere for the reader with his descriptive writing. There was a bit too much technical stuff about survival techniques for my liking, but it helped to paint a realistic picture for the reader.
I loved Gracie from the start. She’s tough and pretty much took over the whole book. This was her story. It’s filled with mystery, adventure, and a bit of romance too. This is the beginning a brand new series and I’m looking forward to the next one.
FTC Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
For reading challenges:
2014 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge
2014 ARC Reading Challenge
2014 E-Book Reading Challenge
2014 Where are you reading? challenge (California)
2014 NetGalley Reading Challenge
Author Guest Blog
A Day in the Life of Gracie Kinkaid
Gracie sank down into the tiny pink bathtub, draped her feet up over the ledge, and laid her head back on the daisy foam pillow she’d snagged for a nickel at a garage sale—a steal deal for which she’d secretly congratulated herself for days, clucking contentedly to herself like a hen who’d laid two dozen eggs.
Steam from the scalding water writhed upwards, fogging up the mirror and one small window. A glass of chilled Pinot grigio sat on the bathtub ledge.
Gracie studied her mottled legs. “Cover up those dirty knees, Gracie Louise.” She could still hear her mother’s voice. “Why can’t you be more of a lady like Lenora?”
“Miss America, you never were, Kinkaid,” she said aloud, enjoying how sonorous her voice sounded in the tiny bathroom. “And still aren’t.”
She counted the plum-colored bruises on her legs. “Five, six, seven.” She lifted her head to inspect a particularly large one, still an angry maroon. “That’s a doozy. How’d I get that one?” She moved to the other leg. “Eight, nine. I do remember this one. That really hurt. Stupid rock.”
She laid her head back on the daisy, wiggled her toes, and contemplated the chipped remnants of toenail polish.
Some women might consider fifteen men to one woman on a team a to-die-for ratio. But Gracie found that working in close proximity with so many Manly Men for so many hours, sometimes days at a time, often took its toll. She could take only so much crotch arranging, and fart and blonde jokes before she began to crave a bubble bath or, in this case, painting her toenails search-and-rescue orange.
She splayed her fingers in front of her face. Ragged nails. Torn cuticles. An Orion’s belt of scabs across the back of one hand. “Holy cow,” she whispered. “Maybe you should get a manicure. Right. With what money? You spent your last paycheck on a new ice axe. Remember?”
Her mother would be so proud. She’d been taking a lot of baths lately. But then, a hot bath was part of her post-search ritual and she’d been on a lot of searches lately. In fact, it seemed like all she was doing was work and search, search and work.
“You need to get out more, Kinkaid. Ya know, socialize. You should call Ralphie.”
Ralph Hunter, Search and Rescue teammate, best friend, the man she’d been avoiding. "Because you have been. Avoiding him.”
After last month’s team after-meeting meeting at The Saddle Tramp saloon, Ralph had walked her out to her truck as he always did, then surprised her by kissing her good night. Once. On the lips. Very chaste. Very non-threatening. “No tongue even. And you’re acting like a 6th grader who's just been felt up for the first time. Or are they doing that in 4th grade now?”
Ralph was her only real friend, the one person on whom she leaned, the one person she trusted to never let her down.
She knew Ralph loved her. And she loved him. But did the kiss mean he love loved her? “Cuz if that’s what it means, that’s huge. Huge!” Ever since the kiss, outside of searches, she had been avoiding him. “Maybe you should actually try to figure out why.”
Because she had also said ‘no’ to Rob Christian, big (big) British movie star, the man whose life she had saved on a search six months earlier, with whom, in the dark, cold confines of a snow cave, she had made the most exquisite love in her life, who made every nerve ending in her body come alive, the man whose presence brought the world into focus in all of its Orrefors-clear glory.
Ralph had kissed her, letting her know he was willing to take their friendship to the next level. What had she done? Avoided him. “Chicken shit.”
Rob had asked her to run away with him, a fairy tale invitation if there ever was one. What had she done? “You said ‘no!’ Stupid chicken shit.” She sank lower in the tub. “What the hell were you thinking?”
Beep! Beep! Beep! The piercing tones of Gracie’s Search and Rescue pager sounded from out the kitchen.
“Dammit!” Gracie heaved herself up from the tub, wrapped a frayed Sponge Bob beach towel around her and ran into the adjoining room where her pager lay on the counter. She grabbed it up, pressed the readout button, and squinted at the miniscule screen.
“Search for missing juvenile.”
In the laundry room doubling as a closet, Gracie yanked bra, panties, and sock liners from the clothes line. From the dryer, she pulled her orange uniform shirt, socks and camouflage army surplus pants, the back pockets still wet.
“Here we go again,” she said and began pulling everything on.
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