While I know there are other projects I really should be working on, for some reason this series has totally captivated my attention. I love these characters, and where they’re taking me, as a writer. Over the years, I’ve become more and more adept at and involved in the process of what I call Character Continuities – series that carry the same core characters throughout. I like the concept better than I do series with books that just end with the resolution of a certain storyline. I always find myself unsatisfied with the outcome, wondering where those characters went from there, what the rest of their story is.
When body parts are found disposed of in a bloody trail spanning across five states, the FBI’s investigation turns up some very unsettling information about the victim, and what at first appears to be a run-of-the-mill Mob killing and body dump soon takes on horrifying and bizarre implications. Enter the FBI’s resident expert on the bizarre, Jonathan Caulder, and the crack forensic team headed up by world-renowned pathologist and criminal profiler, Faith MacKenzie. As they uncover the truth, is it possible they’ve stumbled upon a case too strange for even their considerable expertise?
Excerpt from LOVE ME TO PIECES (Guardians, Inc: Witch Hollow, Book # 9) –
Faith sighed as she pulled in behind Jonathan’s truck and saw him, seated on her front porch steps, turning his cell phone end-over-end in his hands. She should have known her escape from the Bunker wouldn’t go unnoticed.
Levering herself from her car, she snagged her purse and headed for the house. “What are you doing here, Jonathan?”
His worried frown stopped her at the foot of the steps. “Where have you been? Joyce called me in a panic two hours ago, saying you weren’t in your office, and she couldn’t reach you on the phone. I’ve been trying for the past hour and a half, and it kept going straight to voicemail. You have a stalker, Mac. You have to know disappearing like that scares the hell out of people. Out of me.”
She glanced away, guilt settling over her. She was so distracted, lately, she forgot about the stalker. Contrite, she muttered, “Sorry. I had an appointment.”
“I was at the doctor’s, okay? I turned my phone off.”
The worry in his eyes ratcheted up another notch as he sprang to his feet. “What’s wrong?”
She smiled in tender exasperation. While it was great he cared, sometimes his protective streak got a little overwhelming. “Everything’s fine. This was a scheduled appointment.”
He looked like she just punched him in the chest, and there was definite hurt in his eyes. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
She blinked at him, confused. “Why should I have?”
“Unbelievable!” He scrubbed a hand through his hair as he paced away from her, clearly agitated.
He turned, pinned her in place with his glare, before turning to stare out over the yard, again, his hands clenched on the porch railing. “Yeah, I’m angry. When are you going to let me in, Mac?”
His words smacked her, and she barely bit back the gasp of pain as the accusation settled in her chest and stung her eyes. She was such an idiot, to not see it sooner. Jonathan invested himself emotionally in their cases, despite his best efforts to maintain objectivity, so why wouldn’t he do the same, now? Guilt twisted in her.
“I’m sorry,” she murmured, moving to his side. She laid one hand on his back. “I’m so used to dealing with my life alone, I guess I’m having trouble remembering I’m not alone, this time.”
He turned to look at her again, the anger gone from his gaze, as a smile spread slowly over his face. “It’s okay, Mac. We’re okay.”
It was her turn to look away, even as she gnawed her lip anxiously. He might not feel that way once she told him the rest. Partnerships were built on trust. How long before her secret ripped theirs apart?