It’s VANISHED’s Book Birthday!

Vanished final Bestselling w quoteToday’s the Day! It’s VANISHED‘s book birthday!

We’re having a party!  All the usual suspects are here. The cabana boys have been cleaning furiously, hanging streamers and blowing up balloons. The Gladiators have been oiling their pecs and making sure their leather loincloths are supple to the touch! 🙂 The hockey hunks, back from their trip to Sochi and the Olympic games have sharpened their blades and smoothed out the ice. 

Sven and Paolo have stocked the bar with every kind of alcohol, wine and soft drink. The pair have all kinds of food prepared, because Paolo is celebrating his first inclusion in a Bandita book. That’s right folks, Paolo is a very minor, but important character in VANISHED! He has no speaking part is completely off stage, but hey…I loved his name and used it appropriately. (He’s been strutting around like a peacock ever since I let him have a sneak peek at his part!)

So let me tell you a little bit about the Birthday child!

VANISHED is the 4th book in the Edgars Family Novels. It’s the story of the youngest brother, Luke Edgars. If you’ve read any of the other books, (KIDNAPPED, HUNTED or SEIZED), you’ve already met Luke. Here’s what you know about him. He’s a hacker. He’s also a Treasury Agent and as we learned at the end of SEIZED, he’s recently been assigned to work for Homeland Security. Some other things we’ve come to know about him is, he’s the smart alec younger brother who loves to egg on his brothers and their adopted family member Castello. He’s also a charmer, used to smoothing his way out of trouble with a smile and his quick wit.

So I was a little nervous about him. I mean, this was his book. He needed to step up and be the hero, not just a wise-ass. Could he do it? Could he be the hero our heroine deserves? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

EXCERPT:

Luke Edgars was pissed. His mission to Tokyo yielded no new information on his current military espionage case. The trip home had been long, boring, and the man seated beside him had smelled of five-day-old body odor and bad cologne, giving Luke a nagging headache just behind his eyes. Then at his layover in St. Louis, his boss had ordered him to divert to Cleveland, instead of his home base of Columbus, to baby-sit a desk agent who might’ve stumbled onto a federal tax fraud case. And at the airport, instead of finding a nervous novice, he’d received a pager message telling him to meet the rookie agent at this address.

He hadn’t thought his week could get any worse. Boy, was he wrong.

Seeing this particular woman—looking very much like the accountant she was, dressed in her loose-fitting blue suit, white blouse, and sensible shoes—holding a gun pointed right at his chest didn’t do anything to improve his mood. “You want to put that thing away before someone gets hurt?”

“I do know how to handle a gun,” Abby said, pointing the gun at the floor.

He pushed himself away from the wall. No longer a target, he walked into the room, careful not to disturb any possible evidence, his own weapon pointed at the floor. “Whose apartment is this?”

“Brianna Mathews. My college roommate.”

A slight catch in Abby’s voice drew his attention away from the chaotic mess in the room and back to her. In the dim lamp light he saw the glistening tears in her green eyes.

Dammit. He didn’t want to see her cry. Not again. Distraction. That’s what he needed. Distraction for both of them. “Did you secure the other rooms?”

The embarrassment that crossed her features, followed quickly by the firm set to her lips told him she hadn’t, even before the word no escaped her lips.

“Dammit, Abby. Did you forget all your training?” 

“I was going to work my way back out.”

He gave her a skeptical look then edged back into the hall, signaling her to stop when she moved to follow him. “Stay there. And try not to touch anything. Remember it’s a real crime scene, not an exercise we played back in Georgia.”

Her eyes narrowed and her lips pressed into a thinner line, but she didn’t move a muscle.

Luke turned away and lifted his weapon out in front of him, pausing a moment. Tension gripped his neck, back and shoulders. He waited to see if she’d put a bullet between them. He wouldn’t blame her if she did.

When no deafening sound blasted through the night, and no searing pain ripped through him, he exhaled and inhaled. Apparently, Abby had learned to control that temper of hers in the past five years.

Slowly he stepped back into the hall to the first doorway. This was probably overkill, since all the noise she’d made on entering the apartment and their own conversation would’ve alerted anyone still in the place, but he needed to be sure they were alone. He also needed some distance between them.

Of all the people he expected to find standing in the center of a crime scene, Abby Whitson wasn’t among them. Hell, she hadn’t even been on his radar, let alone on his short list of possible agents. Seeing her again slammed memories into him of the last night he’d seen her. For nearly five years he’d managed to put the horror-stricken look on her face into a neatly closed compartment in his memory’s deepest recesses. Now he’d have to face what happened between them.

However, first he had to secure her safety. Then he’d deal with the wrath of the one woman he’d never wanted to hurt.

His gun extended, he reached into the first room and flicked on the light. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the sudden bright light reflecting off the huge mirror nearly covering the opposite wall of the wrecked bedroom.

Nothing moved.

The mattresses had been slashed just like the sofa pillows in the living room. The satin coverlet and silk sheets lay in shreds. The dresser drawers had been emptied, their contents strewn across the floor. Whoever had taken Abby’s friend had searched every corner in here.

He moved further into the room, checking out the closet. The cloying scent of an Asian perfume, probably worth thousands of dollars, clogged the air in the tiny space. Silks, satins, furs—all lay scattered across the floor. Boxes of letters tossed on the pile’s top. Even the suitcase lay emptied, the sides slashed open.

Whoever they are, these guys are thorough.

Framed pictures of a strikingly beautiful blonde littered the dressers and night stands next to the bed. Abby’s friend liked men. Lots of them. Each picture had her posed with a different man—old, young, white, black—never the same one twice.

How had prim and proper Abby gotten a friend like this?

What do you think? Is he going to do the job? Can he protect Abby? And who is Abby by the way?

When I was working on this book, I decided Luke, always the charmer, needed someone not afraid to stand up to him. So, instead of giving him a cute, petite girl, I decided on a tall heroine, one who was a bit awkward in social circumstances…sort of like Sandra Bullock’s character in the beginning of Miss Congeniality. 

img1382773901EXCERPT:

“You want to tell me why the feds are interested in this missing woman, Agent Edgars?” asked Detective Jeffers, the local cop who’d caught the case. A tall, older man in good physical shape, Jeffers sported a close-to-the-head military cut of his dark hair and a serious expression that would rival his own brother Dave’s.

Luke gave Jeffers his I-mean-you-no-harm smile. “We’re not officially here. Ms. Whitson and I came to see her friend and found this situation.”

“So you expect me to believe there was no reason you two came here, except to visit an old friend?”  Jeffers eyed him with a no-way-am-I-buying-that-crap look.

“You know how it is, Detective,” Luke laid on the charm. “The little lady wants to visit a friend, we come and visit her friend.” He pulled the detective to the side. “I’d appreciate it if you could keep our names out of your official report.”

“If I need more information about the victim?” Jeffers left the comment up in the air.

“You’ll have our full cooperation. Believe me, we want her friend found as quickly as possible. We’d also like to be apprised of any progress your department might make. Unofficially, of course.”

“Then you won’t be keeping any leads from us?”

Luke smiled again, the smile that usually got him out of trouble with his superiors. “If anything comes our way we’ll be only too happy to share it.” He’d promise to sell his soul if it kept Abby’s name out of official channels.

Moments later Luke watched Abby repeatedly thread her fingers together as she stiffly sat on the edge of the white leather chair talking to Detective Jeffers. After he’d placed the call to the police, she’d asked him not to inform them why she’d come to visit her friend. It went completely against protocol, and they both knew it.

Although he’d made a career of bending the rules to the breaking point in order to solve a case, for once he’d been tempted to play by the rules, ignore her request, and insist she tell the detectives why her friend summoned her. That would’ve been the easiest way to get Abby off this case and to the safety of her desk back in Washington.

However, he had his own agenda for not giving away her secret, and it had little to do with the shadowed plea in her green eyes, the fine tremors that shook her elegant hands, or the catch in her smooth-as-honey voice when she spoke of her friend. When she’d informed him her friend worked for Hollister-Klein his internal warning bells went off. For the past year he’d been secretly looking into the life of one of the founders of the company, Senator Howard Klein. If Abby’s friend was missing, he’d bet his new laptop-tablet there was a connection to the company. He didn’t believe in coincidences.

He studied Abby a moment, remembering all the times he’d teased her during training. Touchy as a wounded hedgehog on the outside, sensitive on the inside.

As she talked to the detective, she slipped her long fingers into the blunt cut of her dark bangs, pushing them off her face. The rest of her thick hair was knotted behind her in some sort of professional, boring sort of bun. Despite her attempt at professionalism, the benign action showed just how frightened she was.

Luke turned his attention away from her and the feelings her vulnerability set off deep inside him. He looked out the window at the dark parking lot behind the condo. Oh yeah. He had his own reasons for suppressing information from the local cops.

If Abby’s friend survived the torture—and by the looks of this place she’d been beaten beyond endurance—she’d already told her abusers what it was they wanted to know. If she hadn’t, every possibility existed that she’d at least let them know she’d called Abby for help.

Abby could’ve innocently walked into a trap. Instead of just her friend’s blood on the floor, Abby’s could’ve been there, too. At the thought, Luke’s gut tightened with white-hot anger.

Any way he looked at it, naive Abby was now a target. A target he had to protect at any cost, even if meant pulling rank on the local cops like he had with Jeffers.

So, that’s our hero and heroine. I think they deserve one hellova party. So let’s throw them one.

Who are you bringing as your guest? (You can choose an actor or a character from a book or movie.) What do we need to have Sven ready to pour at the bar for you? And your favorite appetizer or snack? I’m giving away two print copies of VANISHED today!

Also, don’t forget to sign up to attend the VANISHED FB party on my FB page. It starts tonight @ 6PM EST. We have lots of extra guests and prizes there, too! https://www.facebook.com/events/358088377666257/

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Comments

32 Comments

  • Patty L. says:

    This book sounds so good. Happy Birthday Vanished!

    Will I need to read the others to be able to understand this book? I will start at the beginning, I love a good series.

    • Hey Patty!

      Thanks for the Birthday wishes for VANISHED. It’s always fun to have a new one out.

      All my books are stand alones but they do move from one family member to the next. KIDNAPPED is the first.

      Hope you enjoy them.

  • catslady says:

    Congratulations. I am sorry to say I’ve not started this series as yet but it does sound wonderful and exciting – I enjoyed your excerpts. I’m taking Nathan Fillion to the party. I think a nice cabernet and shrimp dip would be a good start and since it’s been so cold maybe an Irish coffee with cheesecake for dessert.

    • Hey Catslady!

      Just think, you have a whole new series and great characters to start reading!!

      Nathon Fillion would always be fun at a party, don’t you think? And I love the sound of the shrimp dip!!

      I’ll tell Sven to whip you up a nice Irish coffee!

  • Suz, what great excerpts! This book sounds wonderful. Congratulations on your new release! And you’re right, Paolo has been unbearable since you told him about his featured role. He was vain enough anyway. Now he rivals the rooster!

    Hmm, I think I might bring Tom Hiddlestone who is my current crush. But if he’s not available, there’s always my old squeeze Richard Armitage!

  • flchen1 says:

    How delightful, Suz! Happy book birthday to Vanished and to you!!

    I’ve sadly been feeling snuffly lately so I’m bringing a big box of Kleenex with me and sitting off in a corner. Maybe Sven can bring me a hot toddy 😉 And read Vanished to me while I’m wrapped in a cozy blanket… 🙂

  • Jane says:

    Congrats on the new release, Suzanne. Love the purple cover. I’ve missed the hockey hunks. I’m ready for Sven to bring me a pomegranate martini. My date is Chris Evans dressed in his Captain America costume. At parties I always go for the cheese squares and deviled eggs.

  • Helen says:

    Suz

    Woohoo I downloaded this one last night to my kindla and and so so looking forward to reading it 🙂 I am loving this series and I have always had a soft spot for Luke and Abby sounds just what he needs 🙂

    I think I will bring Hugh Jackman and I say some champagne today as it is Saturday over here and my daughter Rebecca is getting married today so I will be at the facebook party when I can.

    Huge congrats on the release

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • OMG, Helen! As Jeanne would say, way to bury the lead!!!

      Champagne is a yes and CONGRATS on the daughter’s wedding!!! I hope it all goes smoothly and best wishes to the happy couple!!

  • bn100 says:

    Channing Tatum; chocolate cake

  • gamistress66 says:

    Congrats!! let the margaritas flow & appetizers & sweets be plentiful in celebration 🙂 (of course w/ Sven in charge, you know they’ll be delish and magically don’t go straight to the hips)

  • YAYAY!!! Suz, congratulations on yet another fantastic romsus coming out. This sounds like an absolute doozy. I have a soft spot for wise-guy heroes, I must admit. It’s so much fun watching them fall hard for the heroine.

    As for guests, I have all the people I need right here. Drinks, I’m having a lychee cocktail even though it’s clearly not the right time of day for cocktails. And I might just trouble Sven for a deep tissue massage before I scoff some of those aranchini balls over there. Woot!

    • Hey Christine!!

      A massage from Sven sounds pure heavenly, as does the martini!!

      I love having a new book out for people to read. It’s the getting it ready that has me a bit crazed!!

      I might need a massage, too!

  • Teresa Hughes says:

    My date is Jake from A Perfect Distraction. He will be a fun date even if all I do is look at him.

    I will be drinking sweet tea and snacking on brownies.

    So amazingly hot guy, sweet drink and chocolate…I’m ready to party!

  • Suz, congrtaulations on your new release! This is a great series.

    I’ll bring hunky Superman actor Brandon Routh to the party, and Sven can mix us champagne cocktails.

  • Amy Conley says:

    Hi Jane, I will be bringing my daughter with me. Shr has finslly begun reading, after 33 years of me trying Since this is such a special celrbration we will be drinking champange.

    • Hey Amy! Isn’t it wonderful when our kids start loving reading, no matter the age? I talk books with my mom and my daughter all the time!

      And I say, “Yes, let’s open another bottle of champagne!”

  • Congratulations Suz! Love that cover and the accountant heroine 🙂

    Let’s see…as my husband has BANSHEE on the tv, I’ll bring Antony Starr – think that’s his name. He plays the Sheriff Lucas Hood character and is one of those men who looks sexy as hell with face stubble, but not as impressive clean shaven.

    • Hey, Donna!

      Thought you might get a chuckle out of my accountant heroine, although she doesn’t do a lot of accounting in this book!

      I haven’t seen Banshee, but if you say he’s sexy, then by all means let’s indulge in him!

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Congratulations on the latest release in the Edgar Family Series, Suzanne. This one looks like a keeper!

    Hmmm, I’d bring one of my daughters to the party. They’re always the life at any gathering.