"What will you like? Incredible action, filled with intense moments of fear, murder and unbelievable mystery that keeps the story jumping and tense. Heartbreaking emotional moments with tears running down the face. Heart-stopping treachery and deception from unexpected sources through an astonishing maze of criminal activities. Be prepared for an excellent read that will leave you wanting more!!" - Donadee, Goodreads
Published: December 29th, 2019
Enter a world where ignorance and darkness mask deceit and chaos.
Katherine Tallerman’s focus on designing drones is shattered after her prototype records her roommate’s murder. Captured video details the masked killer’s promise to find his remote witness and finish the job.
Experience has taught good reason for not trusting any cop, especially when they come knocking on her door. Unfortunately for Keiki, their suspicions narrow when the second of her trio of friends disappears without a trace.
Conflicting evidence at a brutal crime scene leaves gossamer threads weaving a complicated web of lies and deceit. Every lead Detective Garnett finds steers the investigation to a deeper, darker network entangling the young coed in a labyrinth of cunning subterfuge.
Garnett is torn between following the letter of the law and protecting the witness determined to clear her name. Can he earn Keiki’s trust in time to save her life, or will the psychotic killer destroy the woman who is crushing his emotional defenses?
“Aw, Keiki, if I could find the fun button in your brain, I’d switch it to permanent on. You’re always working. You should’ve come hiking with me. Fresh air would do you good.” Shelly tisked then smiled. “Not that there’s anything wrong with loving your work, but you have an old man psyche trapped in a young woman’s body.”
“Thanks, Shelly, but no.” Keiki manipulated her latest drone to perform the simple but intricate task of picking a flower. The outing did sound nice, but Shelly needed private time to mourn the loss of her sister.
“The next time you fall asleep working, I’m going to town with my entire set of permanent markers.” Shelly held her hand out to accept the offered blossom pinched from its low-growing stem and giggled. “You’d look good with cat whiskers and exotic pink eyes.”
“Test that theory, and I’ll replace your scented shampoo with baby oil.” The threat of laying waste to makeup or hair products usually ended any debate. “I’m about out of battery life. Can you bring it in?”
“Sure. Turn off the motors.”
Damn. The soft whirr from the small rotors altered in pitch as they shut down one by one.
Malevolent shadows crawled along the edges of the surrounding woods, receding with the rising sun. Even from miles away, Keiki’s skin crawled.
“I hear something.” Shelly rested a palm beside her woodland flower plot to lean forward.
Through remote viewing, Keiki watched her doppelganger freeze then tilt her head to the side, wrinkles of concern marring her forehead.
“What?” Thanks to the hilly terrain, two-way communication crackled off and on.
“Huh, must be a rabbit or squirrel. Anyway, as I was saying. Become a spinster with hundreds of drones instead of cats. I’ll keep you in contact with the outside world.” Again, Shelly paused and tilted her head as if listening to something off in the distance.
“Hey, why don’t you come back now and we’ll have breakfast?”
“Yeah, okay. I’m coming. Can you extend the range on this thing’s transmission ability? The video feed isn’t so great.” Lips nibbled between her teeth marked Shelly’s worry when she leaned forward to whisper.
“I’m working on it. What’s wrong?
“I’m kinda spooked. Something doesn’t feel right.” Her fingers’ wobble shook the drone’s body. It listed sideways with a squeak.
“I’m fine. It’s just my clumsiness in challenging gravity… Oh, about the frat party tonight, wanna go?”
The viewing angle changed again as Shelly stood.
“No. And before you start, I do have fun. I just don’t have time to party with you and Gabby. Some people stay focused on their future,” Keiki grumbled as she monitored her prototype’s efficiency on her laptop and sipped a caramel latte.
A distinctive metallic snap coincided with her device’s struggle to function.
“Oops. Sorry, Keeks. An arm broke off above your tracker thingy. I’ll stick it in my pocket, and you can glue it back on, or whatever. Do we still have audio and visual feed?”
“Yeah, just bring the rest of it back in one piece, okay?” Keiki groaned, predicting the hour it would take to fix. “Careful. That thing is one of two prototypes, but that one gets the best reception.” Keiki set her coffee down, the cup tilting when settling on her friend’s access card. “Oops, your work ID now has a brown ring on it. You really should be more careful with it.”
“How rude of me to leave it where you’d drink your coffee.”
“That’s why we get along so well. We think alike. I’ll stick it on my dresser. It’ll be safer there.”
“If you’d stop losing yours, you wouldn’t have to borrow mine… shit. Something is coming.” Fear coiled through Shelly’s voice. “Sounded like a branch snapping down the trail. Something big and heavy.”
“Is it a black bear? You know what to do.”
A silent moment passed.
On screen, the image shook.
“Uh… who are you? What do you want?” Shelly’s wrist rotated, tilting the angle of the drone’s camera to the trampled weeds.
Through the odd angle, booted feet shuffled backward to leave two furrowed tracks. No one had ever intruded on her friend’s private sanctuary.
“I’m a messenger, here to show your boss what happens when he refuses to work with us. We tried being nice. Now we’ll do things my way.”
About the author:
Though her kids are her life, writing is the life after. You know, the one you also enjoy…AFTER the kids are in bed or AFTER they’re in school and the house is quiet. This is the time she kicks back with laptop and lapdog to give her imagination free reign.
In life, hobbies can come and go according to our physical abilities, but you can always enjoy a good book. Life isn’t perfect, but our imaginations can be. Relax, whether it’s in front of a fire or in your own personal dungeon. Take pleasure in a mental pause as you root for your favorite hero/heroine and bask in their accomplishments, then share your opinions of them over a coffee with your best friend (even if he’s four legged). Life is short, cherish your time.