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Title: The Hunt for the Big Bad Wolf
Series: Someone Else's Fairytale #3
Author: E.M. Tippetts
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 1/13/15
Chloe knew she was giving up the quiet life when she married Hollywood A-lister, Jason Vanderholt. She expected harassment from paparazzi but not from the writers of Blood Ritual, a television crime drama that brought national attention to a tough case she is trying to solve as a forensic scientist. While she and the rest of the Albuquerque Police Department once collaborated with the show, now relations have gone sour, and details that the police are trying to keep secret in the investigation are cropping up in episodes of a show watched by millions.
If that weren’t enough, everyone in Chloe’s life seems to be going through a rough patch, from her best friend, Lori, who is trying to plan a wedding, to her niece Kyra who is upset about Jason’s choice of television roles, to Jason himself who is inexplicably moody and withdrawn. None of this drama is the type of thing Chloe knows how to resolve.
She is trained to do one thing: hunt down the big bad wolves of the world, but with her connections to fame compromising her work, she may not even be allowed to stay on the case. The clock is ticking as law enforcement agencies across the country try to find a serial killer before he strikes again. Chloe is faced with a choice, to help catch one of the most evil criminals in history, or provide support to the friends and family who have always been there for her. Either way, she knows she might make the mistake of a lifetime.
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As promised, here is a excerpt from this lovely book! Enjoy it!
I was at work, at my computer, and I really needed not to keep staring at the screen, but these missing children each broke my heart.
“You knew about this?” I overheard Miguel say. “You knew someone was squatting in a cabin within walking distance of the abandoned car and you didn’t have us go follow up on it?”
Even though I knew eavesdropping was rude, I couldn’t help but turn to look at him.
“Did they dust for prints?” he asked. “Check sheets and shower drains and stuff for hair? Go through the garbage? So what?”
I glanced around and saw that everyone had stopped what they were doing and were now staring at him. Even though it wasn’t my phone conversation and I couldn’t hear all of it, I was every bit as angry as Miguel was acting on the phone.
“One walk around the property where they say they found no footprints? That’s it? You’re just leaving it at that?” The muscles of his biceps bulged as his hands clenched into fists. I wondered if he’d crush the phone receiver in his grip.
He took a deep breath, shut his eyes, breathed again, then hung up the phone.
All of us waited for him to open his eyes and notice us watching him. When he did, he managed to force a smile.
“Ignore all that,” he said.
“Yeah, right,” said Greg.
Three others folded their arms across their chests, and after a moment, I realized I had too.
He gave in. “The Jemez Springs police got a report from the owners of a cabin that they had a squatter. The police, when they looked into it, found the place abandoned but recently lived in. There was evidence the person had gained access by climbing the back drainpipe and going through a window, so this person clearly didn’t have a key. The police staked out the place for a couple of nights to make sure the guy didn’t come back and did a cursory look around, filled out their report, and called it done.” He looked up, took in our baleful stares, and said, “You know it’s not up to me whether or not we can search that place, right?”
“Why would Lawson decide not to have us look?” I asked.
“I’m not sure there’s much point. The place has been cleaned from top to bottom. They even shampooed the carpets.”
“So?” said Wilson. “That doesn’t mean—”
Miguel held up his hands defensively. “All I can do is all I can do,” he reminded us.
He was right, but all the same, I couldn’t sit still. I got up and escaped to the evidence safe to get a moment to myself. It was the wrong place to go, of course, because there on the shelf was the evidence from the Esperanza Dominguez case. Her purple sock monkey sat in its plastic bag on top of the box of files, and the sight of it made me want to scream.
I heard some restless pacing on the other side of the wall and realized I was being selfish by taking this place of privacy for myself. I wasn’t the only forgotten child who’d been the victim of a crime. Our lab was full of them. Quite a few of us chose our jobs because we wanted to be a part of the fight to protect the innocent—or at the very least obtain justice on their behalf.
My mind jumped back to that last Esperanza crime scene. That little girl never got to see how many people cared or even knew that she was gone. Nobody had stopped Eisner from shooting her mother and leaving her bleeding on the floor of the hallway. Nobody had noticed the evil man dragging the little girl out of the house and into his car in broad daylight. She’d been taken from her home without ever hearing a police siren or a knock on the door, anything that would have let her know that she wasn’t all alone in the world.
The only time I’d been able to see her mother, she’d been in a coma, so I couldn’t tell her who I was or why I was there. All I could do was sit and stare, helpless, as Eisner’s work slowly wound its way to the inevitable conclusion. No relatives claimed the body. She was buried by the state.
There was no way we were going to let this trail go cold. None. I had to do something.
People looked up when I marched back out to my desk. I sat down and dialed my sister, Beth.
“Chloe?” she answered. There was a note of surprise in her voice.
“Do you have time to meet up for lunch?”
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About EM Tippetts
Emily Mah Tippetts writes science fiction as Emily Mah and sweet romance as E.M. Tippetts. A lifelong New Mexican, she lives with her family in Santa Fe, though she's been known to spend years at a time in the UK, her second home. Aside from being a writer, she's been a lawyer and jeweler, and is currently a stay at home mother, polymer clay artist, book designer/formatter, and owner of E.M. Tippetts Book Designs.
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