Today is the release day for Safe and Sound, book 3 in the New Beginning Series. The plot for this book actually came to me midway through book two, Led Astray, and resulted in having to go back and make sure these two storylines blended together. Safe and Sound isn’t a ‘part 2’ to Led Astray, but actions in Led Astray is what ‘started’ the story for Safe and Sound. I like how the plotlines feed off each other. I’m also excited about this book because it’s my Christmas setting story. I always wanted to write one and using a holiday setting worked for this story. It’s not exactly a Christmas story but the holidays gave it the mood I wanted.
Four years prior, Hannah Stratford got lost during a blizzard and the mountain claimed her, leaving her husband Connor Stratford grief-stricken and filled with guilt. When a woman’s body was discovered after an explosion, Connor learned her death wasn’t accidental but a probable murder. Now, one of the men responsible for Hannah’s death is hunting down another woman. To keep the young woman safe and draw the murderer to him, Connor offers her safety and shelter in his home. When the woman claims to be his wife Hannah, Connor finds his past and present pulled apart. Is this woman who she claims she is…or is she running a scam with the man who murdered his wife?
Katrina fled down the small hallway leading to the back door. She slammed her hand onto the bar and the door shot open. Run. Don’t look back. The pace of the words matched her heartbeat and she sprinted down the sidewalk.
Footfalls sounded behind her.
She pushed past people. Knocked into a young mother.
“What’s your problem, lady?”
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Katrina ran. She couldn’t waste her breaths on words. She had a few precious moments, one last time to outrun the past coming back to claim her. She scanned the area for a place to hide or seek help.
Across the street was an alley leading to the fire station. Safety. Katrina surged forward. A horn blared. Brakes squealed. She pivoted away from the car and leapt onto the sidewalk.
A twinge in her ankle sent her reeling forward. She grasped onto a parking meter and regained her balance. Ignoring the pain in her foot, she pounded down the sidewalk and made it to the opening of the alley.
Darkness surrounded her. She fought the instinct to stop instead of plunging into the damp, musty pathway. She was too close to change plans now. This was her one way to freedom and hope. A hand bit into her shoulder. She screamed and twisted. Her injured foot slid on something slick. The man tightened his grasp. He lifted her and pushed her against the building.
“You made this so easy.” He pressed into her back, his body holding her against the brick.
Katrina stomped on his foot and jabbed her elbow into his stomach. He sucked in a breath but the pressure against her didn’t decrease. A hand inched down her stomach and rested at the waistband of her jeans.
“How should I make this look? An assault? Robbery gone bad.” He twisted her arm behind her back. “Let’s just go with dumping you in the middle of nowhere. Don’t have to worry about anyone looking for you. You’re already dead.”