The police say her father’s death was suicide. Kelly Warren says it was murder—and she has new evidence to prove it. Detective Cole Taylor doesn’t put much credence in her claim, and nothing in his case review suggests foul play. But when he digs deeper and discovers startling information linking her to a long-buried secret, the danger escalates. Is history repeating itself? And who wants Kelly silenced?
~ ~ ~
Vincentio Rossi lifted his glass of ten-year-old Lombardi Brunello di Montalcino, closed his eyes, and sniffed the complex bouquet of the ruby red wine.
Then again, at a hundred bucks a bottle, it should be.
But the cost was of no consequence. After twenty-eight years of forced abstinence, he didn’t scrimp on his pleasures. At seventy-four, plagued by high blood pressure and off-the-scale cholesterol, he intended to make every minute count. Who knew how many years—or months—he had left?
Taking a small sip, Vincentio let the peppery flavor linger on his tongue, savoring the hint of wild mushrooms and truffles as he gazed out the window of Romano’s onto the familiar Buffalo street scene. The private table he’d occupied every weekday for the past three years suited him, allowing him to observe without being observed.
But he didn’t like dining alone. Isabella should be sitting in the empty chair across from him. Romano’s had been their place, and during all the years they’d spent apart, he’d looked forward to sharing it with her again. But none of his connections, none of his money, had been able to stop the insidious cancer that had taken her life five years ago.
Worst of all, he hadn’t been there at the end, to hold her hand and say good-bye.
Vincentio tipped the glass against his lips and took a long swallow of the earthy wine. Wishing he could rewind the clock. Wishing he could return with her to the hills of Sicily where they’d spent their honeymoon.
Wishing he hadn’t made the fatal mistake that had cost him everything.
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FINDING OUT ABOUT IRENE
IRENE: Always! Because if a story doesn’t sweep me away almost from the first page, I generally stop reading. I have less free time than ever these days, and while I used to plow through any book I started, I no longer make the effort. I want to spend my reading time with books that capture me from the get-go. And those are the kind of books I try to write, too!
ANGI: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met?
IRENE: I’d say my husband—but that’s rather trite (though true!). So I’ll say my dad. He was born in Ireland, and until he emigrated to America in his late 20s, he lived in a tiny cottage in the countryside without electricity or running water. His mother died when he was three or four, and his father left him and his sister in the care of their aunt, who raised them. When he came to America, his intent was to make his fortune (the streets were paved with gold, after all!), return to Ireland and buy a farm. Of course, along the way he met my mother…marking the end of one dream, but the beginning of another. Life wasn’t easy for him here, though; at one point, he held down three jobs. But I never once heard him complain. He just did what he had to do to provide for his family. And along the way, he gave us unconditional love. To this day he remains the most unselfish man I’ve ever met. He never became famous. Never wrote a book. Never had power or wealth or prestige in the eyes of the world. But he was—and is—an amazing and cherished father. And that makes him a hero in my book.
ANGI: What’s your favorite fairy tale?IRENE: The Three Little Pigs—only because my dad made up a new and wildly wacky version of it every time he told me and my brother a bedtime story! The Three Little Pigs on the moon, in a submarine, shipwrecked on a deserted island—you name it.
ANGI: That is SO cool !!
IRENE: Is it any wonder I became a fiction writer? J
ANGI: What do you like about the hero of your book?IRENE: Cole, the police-detective hero of Lethal Legacy and the third and final sibling who’s featured in my Guardians of Justice series, is intensely loyal to his siblings—even when their strong personalities clash. He’s smart, dedicated, strong—but also emotionally wounded. It takes the love of a good woman to help him get past the trauma in his life and move on. Now that woman’s life is in danger…and the danger is escalating. But he isn’t about to let the bad guys win. All I can say is, he’s the kind of guy you’d want on your side in a dicey situation.
IRENE: As often as I can—but with my writing schedule, that’s not often enough. In the summer, I like to read in my garden or my screen porch. In the winter, by the fireplace in the living room.
ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?IRENE: You now…I’m a great lover of silence—or just the sounds of nature. I walk every day, and so often I see people with earbuds who are missing the wonderful song of the birds, the cadence of the crickets, the splash of a fountain, the laughter of children, the rustle of the wind in the trees. That’s my music.
IRENE: I love adventure that leads to romance—which is probably why I wrote both contemporary romance and romantic suspense!
ANGI: What was the first story you remember writing?IRENE: I don’t recall the story itself, but the first time I remember getting any recognition for my writing was at the age of 10, when I was an honoree in a complete-the-story-contest sponsored by a national children’s magazine. I like to think of that as my professional debut! Now I write full time from my home office.
ANGI: What is your biggest vice?IRENE: Fannie May Truffle Petites—but I only allow myself one a day!
ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: Hey Irene, reading the Q&A available on your website I agree with your statement: “What a sad commentary on our world when a hope-filled ending seems so implausible that it renders a book too unrealistic to be taken seriously.” I quickly tired of fiction where the characters didn’t grow and learn from mistakes. It’s one major reason I enjoy the romance genre so much. Would you share what generated this comment?IRENE’S GOTTA ANSWER: I read a book review once in the Wall Street Journal that dissed a book because it had a happy ending, and I remember thinking, “How heartbreaking that the world has treated that reviewer so badly she thinks happy endings are unrealistic.” Genre books—especially romance—are tagged with a stigma for this very reason by literary fiction snobs. Yes, every life has its share of angst and disappointment and grief and pain. But almost every life has beauty and love and hope as well—if we embrace the opportunities and possibilities. The dark world depicted by the bulk of literary fiction does exist—but why can’t reviewers acknowledge the reality of life’s flip side as well?
WHERE TO FIND IRENE:
Twitter @IreneHannon Goodreads
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FINDING HOME (Just out!)Love Inspired
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PREVIOUS RELEASES:DEADLY PURSUIT
RITA Award finalist
Book 2 —Guardians of Justice
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National Readers’ Choice Award winnerBook 1—Guardians of Justice
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IN HARM’S WAY
RITA Award winnerRead an Excerpt
WILL YOU HAVE A DRAWING FROM THOSE LEAVING COMMENTS?
Yes! One copy of Lethal Legacy.
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DON’T FORGET to FOLLOW us on Twitter #GetLostStories or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Join me next week as we celebrate the release of SUSAN M. BOYER’S debut book: LOWCOUNTRY BOIL. And join us tomorrow when she hosts Nancy Martin. ~Angi
IRENE WANTS TO KNOW: My next novel, Vanished, is my first suspense book to have a people-less cover. Do you prefer covers with people or without? Why?