Monday, February 11, 2013

A Sneak Peek


DANGEROUS MEMORIES

"Gun!"
U.S. Marshal Levi Cooper did a three-sixty search for the person shouting or confirmation of an actual gun. He couldn't see anything, but he couldn't take a chance with Jolene's life. He moved. "Everybody down!" The few people attending the funeral heard the warning and scattered away from the casket.
All except the target.
So he ran. Slipping and sliding downhill through the mud and sheets of pouring rain, he ran to save her life.
He watched Jolene Atkins continue to stand under the canopy erected by the funeral home. Next to her father's casket, still suspended on the lowering system, her shoulders shook as if she were crying.
She didn't take cover.
Levi hurdled a flower arrangement to get to her faster. He should have listened to himself earlier and never left her side. He heard the shot. Choices? Either hit the dirt or run like those in his peripheral vision. He leapt in a flying tackle to take Jolene down with him.
He'd pushed hard off the slippery grass, heavily landing on top of her. He turned as much as he could to take the brunt of the fall. Their bodies slid off the fake-grass rug, into the mud.
Wreath stands fell onto the casket.
Roses and other flowers fell on their heads.
Rain pelted them like ice shards.
Levi rolled on top of her, keeping his weight on his elbows and knees, using the bulletproof vest he wore to shield her heart. If it were only that easy.
"Are you all right?" he asked.
Jolene shook her short dark hair and wiped the rain from her face.  Was the hitch in her breathing and wide-eyed confusion from falling or recognition he was there?
"You."
Recognition. She twisted trying to free herself. "I should have known you'd stoop to dramatics to prove yourself right."
"What's that supposed to mean?" He eased his body the opposite direction he wanted her to roll.
"I'm not going anywhere with you." She shoved him aside, and a blood red carnation fell to the puddle between them. On her stomach, she put her hands in the mud and curled her toes.
He'd knocked her right out of her shoes.
"Did you have to ruin his funeral?"
"We need cover." Ignoring her accusations, he jerked her hand into his, forcing her close to his side. He pulled his weapon from its holster. Not a good situation. No backup. No idea who had pulled that trigger.
The shot had definitely come from the top of the hill behind them. On their knees, he awkwardly draped an arm over Jo, keeping her body low to the ground until they could sit with the coffin at their backs—the only cover he had.
"Did you stage this?" she asked, one hand in a fist, the other pointing toward the trees.
The coat she wore was thin and already soaked through. She’d be frozen in a matter of minutes.
"Stage a guy trying to kill you at your father's funeral?"
"I wouldn't put it past a devious person to do anything to get what he wants."
"I thought this site was a bad idea." He didn't blame her. He'd been against having the funeral in St. Louis from the start. She'd insisted on using the plot next to her mother’s.
"Four years ago, you and my father assured me he was no longer in witness protection."
Yeah, she was angry. Someone had just taken a shot at her and she was yelling at him.
"One problem at a time. I can't see a shooter."
The trouble really began when Levi tried to explain why her father had convinced her he was no longer in the witness protection program. Explaining was difficult when he didn't understand why Joseph had lied, either.
"Jolene, I'm here against orders because I'm probably the only person left who believes your father." Believed. A week had passed and it was still hard to think of Joseph as dead. "Why won't you trust me?"
"You lied." She drew her knees up to her chin and hid her face. "You both lied."
Levi couldn't respond. It was a truth he couldn't deny or justify at the moment. Helping her would keep his promise to her dad but it wouldn't make her feel better. Wanting to comfort her was a part of attending the funeral. He knew how hard it was to say goodbye to a parent. Not exactly under these circumstances, but he knew. There wasn't any time for comfort.
The sound of car engines faded and the whine of police sirens grew.
Mourners were gone. Flower arrangements were destroyed. No sounds other than the tent canopy flapping in the wind and rain pelting the tarp. The chance to say goodbye with dignity was done. Jolene couldn't hear his professionalism shattering within his mind.
"Is there any reason to continue sitting in the mud?" she asked, wiping rivulets of water from her face.
"Give me a minute to check things out." Making demands had never worked with Joseph Atkins' daughter. Hadn't worked with him, either.
She seemed to accept his statement, remaining still while he zigzagged from one headstone to the next, attempting to draw another attack. Nothing happened. No one in sight. Even the cemetery workers had fled.
"Let's go, Jolene." He raised his voice and ran back to the grave site swiping at his wet face. "We need to leave before the cops haul us in for questioning."
"Your big marshal badge won't keep the police at bay?" She pushed back her hair and seemed to notice the strewn disorder around them. "I can't leave things like this." She immediately set flowers straight, scooped her heels from where she'd originally stood and stuffed them in her coat pockets.
His badge wouldn't give him any authority over Jolene and he had no official reason to be in Missouri. Jolene stopped short at a small headstone—the one placed to declare her death and escape into WITSEC.
"Jo…" He took her elbow and gently tugged her toward his car. "He'd want you safe."
"But—"
"No buts. We're going."
They skirted the edge of the cemetery back to his rental car, exiting through the gate opposite where the police entered. Joseph Atkins would rest in peace next to the wife he'd never stopped loving. Which was the reason Levi had finally agreed to bury him where friends thought he'd been buried for twenty years.
Five minutes down the road with the heater blasting on high, Jolene took a visible, deep breath. The tears seemed to be over for the moment. He needed her calm. Thinking straight.
"What are you doing here, Levi? Or should I call you Marshal Cooper?"
"I came to say goodbye to a good friend."
"Don't you mean client? Or witness? I can't believe Dad kept this from me. Why? What was the point? How could you have gone along with it?"
"I admit that being introduced to you as a family friend wasn't my idea, but your dad did what he thought was right. He was always thinking about your safety."
"Come on, Levi. Does this really seem like the best thing to you?"
They were both soaked to the skin, making him wish he'd rented a car with warming seats. Her makeup was circling her emerald eyes from both tears and the rain. Did it look like the best thing? Not by a long shot, but she was alive.
"In the past week, my father died in a car accident. The United States Marshals Service advised that burying him next to my mother may alert her murderers to my whereabouts, but because I wasn't officially in the WITSEC program they couldn't help me. And you show up yesterday with a letter supposedly from my father."
"It's real."
"Stow it. He lied for four years, he's lying now. I did not witness my mother's murder." She shook her short hair so hard drops of water sailed across the car. "I've seen the best therapists WITSEC had to offer. Everyone believes I'm not a witness—except you."
"And your father. And the person who tried to kill you a half hour ago."
"If you hadn't shouted 'gun' we would have finished his service. In all the rain, you probably saw a stick or something."
"I didn't shout gun." So who had shouted? Someone who wanted the crowd out of the way?
One warning. One shot. One attempt. And no one tailing them. Didn't make sense. If they were tailed, he'd pull into one of the restaurants with rear street exits he'd found yesterday. Easier to elude a following car than attempt to outrun them.
"And I know the difference between a stick and gun. Even in the rain."
"Yes, but you are a liar."
"That does it." He quickly switched lanes, pulling into an empty fast-food lot and headed toward the dumpster.
Stomping on the breaks, the rental skidded to a stop. He had it under control, but Jolene still held onto the dashboard. It took her a minute before she relaxed into the seat.
The rain continued. Hail pinged the roof a couple of times or he would have stood outside. He shook off his coat in the cramped space, pulled at the straps holding the vest in place and yanked it over his head, tossing both into the backseat.
"Would you take me to my hotel on Paige near Highway 270? Aren't you worried they're following us?" She shook her hands in the air. "Whoever they are."
"Yes, as a matter of fact I am." He shifted in the seat and hooked his arm over the steering wheel. "But let's get one thing straight. I did not willingly lie to you. I respected your father's wishes. For some reason he wanted you away from him. He said it was important for you to have a life outside of witness protection after you graduated. So I helped with that by keeping the fact I was his WITSEC handler to myself. I have to protect others every day. It's part of my job. But I am not a liar."
Find out more about Angi on her author page 


UP NEXT by ANGI
PROTECTING THEIR CHILD
Harlequin Intrigue
May 2013




PREVIOUS RELEASES by ANGI
.38 CALIBER COVER-UP
Harlequin Intrigue
Feb 2011
HILL COUNTRY HOLD UP
Harlequin Intrigue
Sept 2010


READERS, today Angi's giving away 1 signed copy from her backlist OR a February intrigue--winner's choice. North America readers.  Check back for the winners but leave your email or email Angi directly.

Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Don’t feel comfortable leaving your email on the blog? Send it directly to Angi at GetLostInAStory@gmail.com. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

You can also enter her February RAFFLECOPTER DRAWING.

WOW !!  And extra give-away. Vote on the BEST cover or blurb and you could win a $25 gift card.

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. Be sure to come back tomorrow when Cat tells us all about her new DESIRE release. ~Angi 

? THE QUESTION FOR READERS TODAY ?
This is completely off-topic, but if you were a super hero...who would you be?

22 comments:

  1. Laura AKA Loves 2 Read RomanceFebruary 11, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Loved the scene Angi! I can't wait to read the rest of the story. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura AKA Loves 2 Read RomanceFebruary 11, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      Oops forgot my e-mail: wisniewski_lauraATyahooDOTcom

      Delete
    2. You are very welcome, Laura. Glad you enjoyed it. ~Angi

      Delete
  2. Sounds like a terrific book! Can't wait to read it! :)

    Well... there aren't too many choices that I can think of girls/women... It's like Supergirl or Wonder Woman... I like Wonder Woman as played by Lynda Carter.. So sexy and smart. :)

    maybe31 at yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, May. I hope you enjoy it.

      Loved the show!
      Did you know they're remaking Wonder Woman for movie release? Not sure about any of the details or who will be staring. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0451279/
      ~Angi

      Delete
  3. Angi Morgan became a Golden Heart Winner with her first Intrigue release. She's a major talent. So pleased for your success, Angi!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THANKS DONNELL !!!
      Hugs to you for your newest release. Darn Tim. He kept me busy and I never got to read your book this weekend. Maybe soon...the anticipation is building.

      ~Angi

      Delete
  4. Nice excerpt. Catwoman

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks BN !

      Catwoman... Did you enjoy her character portrayed in the movies? Or the old BATMAN TV show better? I'm not too familiar with the Comic version.
      ~Angi

      Delete
  5. I was Super Girl for Halloween for many years as a child until the costume got too short and the was no hem left.


    I already have all of Angi's books including this one, so do not put me in the draw,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for dropping by Tammy. My daughter dressed as SUPERGIRL in high school. Her favorite Super Hero is Superman and can't wait for the new movie. Have you seen the trailer? http://manofsteel.warnerbros.com/index.html

      CAN'T WAIT!
      ~Angi

      Delete
  6. A female version of Iron Man. He has so many cool toys and in his suit he can do just about anything.
    jordan_lisa at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WOULD LOVE THIS, Lisa. Wouldn't mind a bit of that loot he has either.

      AND THE IRON MAN 3 TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI4jgOmVetY
      Another HAVE TO SEE!
      ~Angi

      Delete
  7. I would be Superman because he had such great powers.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Maureen, I like the way this hero has always had a love for humans. His compassion and need for justice. My goodness. Definitely enjoying this conversation.
      ~Angi

      Delete
  8. SO SORRY I wasn't around on Monday for this conversation. I was traveling this weekend and delayed so I didn't make it to the Internet. My smart phone was supposed to remedy that scenario...lol... Tell that to the mountains and valleys of Texas.

    No cell, no WiFi, no Internet. But lots of great pictures.
    ~Angi

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  9. Great excerpt! I'm even more excited to read Dangerous Memories after reading the excerpt! Thanks so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome, Timitra !
      Congratulations on your win from last week and I hope you enjoy the book. ~Angi

      Delete
  10. Hi Angi,
    Great excerpt! Looking forward to reading the whole thing! Hmm, if I had to be a superhero I'd be Wonder Woman. She was my fav as a kid. :) Congrats again on Dangerous Memories!

    karilyn@karilynbentley.com

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    Replies
    1. HEY Karilyn!!! Thanks for stopping by and glad you liked the excerpt. I liked WW too.
      ~Angi

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  11. the Hulk (btw-there was a she-hulk in some of the old comic books) quiet & sensitive, but turns into the Hulk where he has the strength to save the day~~I think it's the idea of the "monster inside" of each of us that appeals to me~~the wanting to right the wrongs of the world is there in us, but most of us can't really do anything about it~~Even as the monster (Hulk), he never hurts the good guys~~

    BTW, I loved the book! a few twists & turns that I wasn't expecting :)

    genaii0@centurylink.net

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    Replies
    1. Hey Lynn, personally, I thought the HULK TV series was really good getting that point across.

      AND YAY YAY YAY !!!!!!!
      Thanks for letting me know you loved the book. I'm so happy. And a part of me is relieved. I'd really like to know what you thought about the ending. I fought hard for that!
      ~Angi

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