- December 3 - Joanna Bourne
FEATURE AND GIVEAWAY!
Today's featured book is:
Book #3 of the Kate Lange thriller series
She is obsessed with tattoos.
He is obsessed with her.
When a body is found on the outskirts of Halifax, rumors run wild about the victim’s identity. But tattoo artist Kenzie Sloane knows exactly who she is. They share a tattoo… and a decade-old secret.
Lawyer Kate Lange remembers Kenzie Sloane. The former wild child was part of the same crowd that attracted her little sister, Imogen, before her death. Now Kenzie needs her help. And Kate needs answers.
But there are others who know about the tattoo and its history. And one of them is watching Kenzie’s every move, waiting for the perfect moment to fulfill a dark promise that had been inked in her skin.
Actually, I don't. Other than messaging each other through facebook and emails, we don't know each other at all. But I intend to change that in the very near future. Pamela Callow is something of a celebrity up here in Nova Scotia. I see her books all over the place. She writes intrigue set right here in our province. I'm so honoured to have her here on this promotion! Thanks for everything, Pamela, including today's giveaway AND the fantastic three book Grand Prize!
Flushed with triumph at finding sarracenia purpurea -- also known as the purple pitcher plant – Rebecca Chen crouched above the surprisingly clear and shallow water of the peat bog. Bag this last plant and then I’m outta here.
It was a pretty plant, and yet, according to her notes from her biology class, it was a predator, capturing its food in its petals. She plunged her hand into the muck, her fingers scrabbling down the plant’s stem, searching for the root ball. But the stem curved sideways under the dense thicket of hummock. She exhaled, her forehead prickling with sweat.
Further up the slope and beyond the cliffs, lay the outer mouth of the Halifax Harbour. Fog hung over the horizon, a ghostly waterfall hovering over the deep blue of the ocean, but the cooling breeze carrying its afterdamp did not reach her.
With a grunt, she pushed her hand deep into the underside of the hummock. Her fingers hit a rock. The stem appeared to be wrapped around it.
Frig. She sat back on her heels. The peat bogs stretched around her, serene blue pools dotting scrubby hummocks of low-lying shrubs. She had never even been out to Chebucto Head until her biology teacher assigned this lab, and she cursed him when she had missed the class trip and had to find her own way to the peat bogs. After a twenty-five minute drive, she found the road to the headland. It was flanked by a protected nature reserve, but it eventually opened to a cove dotted with houses. They huddled, higgly-piggly, on the granite bedrock cliffs, as if holding their collective breath.
The peat bogs were a twenty-minute hike across the headlands. “Just find the old bunkers,” her teacher had told her. “There are two. The bogs are down the slope. You can’t miss them.”
True enough, after twenty minutes of following a scraggly, muddy path, she spotted the bunkers on a crest of the cliff. There were two: one facing the water, the other offset behind it. The bunkers had been built eighty years ago as the outer battery to defend Halifax Harbour. The lower bunker perched on a slope, its flat, sharp roof appearing crooked against the sky. Tall shrubs and a handful of stunted evergreens grew around the squat concrete boxes. Rather than softening the forbidding exterior of the wartime posts, the dense thicket of shrubs and the lush branches of the evergreens served to emphasize their brutal purpose.
Even in the May sunshine, they were creepy. She veered around them, and headed down hill to the peat bogs. They gleamed in the sun, the area a large, open marsh with a pleasant piney scent. It hadn’t take much time to find the samples for her biology lab.
Last lab of the school year, last lab of high school, Rebecca. That knowledge lent extra urgency to her scrabbling. She wrapped her fingers around the rock anchoring what she now viewed as “her” plant. She yanked the rock-and-plant specimen from under the hummock, falling back on her heels. She staggered to her feet, the prize clutched in her hand.
Her butt was soaked from her efforts. Figures.
She unraveled the roots clinging to the rock.
Her fingers froze.
Beneath the plant debris and muck, the rock appeared calcified. And smooth.
God. It felt suspiciously like a bone.
It’s not a bone, Rebecca.
It was a bone. Her heart pounding, Rebecca tore away the roots of the plant. The smooth curve and calcified exterior were obvious now.
It’s just an animal’s bone. Probably a deer.
She peered at the hummock, searching for the hole she had tunneled through the underside.
Her breath caught in her throat.
She couldn’t move.
All she could do was stare at the two bulging colorless eyes that pinned her in their malevolent gaze. Then she saw the hooked nose, the gaping smile, the hair floating from the head. Everything tinted the same brownish color.
Horror in sepia wash.
Her brain, at first, couldn’t process what she saw. Finally, her lungs forced her breath out in a gasp. And her brain interpreted the image.
The bulging eyes belonged to a mask. A rubber Halloween mask that someone had thrown into the bog. Her insides liquefied with a warm rush of relief. Then she remembered the cold, smooth length of bone in her palm.
It hadn’t been just a mask she had dislodged. The mask had been on a dead body.
She was holding proof of it.
A scream built in her throat.
The dead body was under the hummock. Under her.
Oh, dear Lord. She was holding a dead body!
She threw the bone into the water, so forcefully that water splashed onto her torso, her face. And into her mouth. An earthy, decayed taste swelled the tasted buds on her tongue. Bog water.
The water had a putrefied body in it.
She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. With the hand that was filthy with muck.
Muck that contained a dead body.
Her stomach heaved. Vomit flecked her rain boots.
She began to scream.
Excerpt from TATTOOED (MIRA Books, June 2012)
Copyright 2012 by Pamela Callow
A member of the Nova Scotia bar, Pamela Callow is the internationally published author of the Kate Lange legal thriller series for MIRA Books. RT Book Reviews hailed series lead Kate Lange as a, “…standout character.” DAMAGED, the debut novel of her series, was chosen by Levy Home Entertainment as a “Need to Read” Pick, with Top Ten Bestseller placement in retail stores across North America.
Callow’s critically-acclaimed series has been compared to works by Robin Cook, Tess Gerritsen and John Grisham. She is also a contributor to the International Thriller Writers' bestselling THRILLER 3: LOVE IS MURDER anthology, edited by New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown.
Prior to making writing a career, Pamela Callow worked as a Strategic Services manager for international consulting firm Accenture. She lives in Nova Scotia, along with her husband, two children and a pug. She loves to go for walks (unlike her dog), and drink coffee. Visit www.pamelacallow.com to learn more about her books.
And two fantastic additional Christmas presents:
Kaki Warner's acclaimed trilogy: THE RUNAWAY BRIDES—three strong-willed women headed West in search of new lives. But when their train is stranded in a dying Colorado mining town, they get more than they bargained for…and find love where they least expect it.
"Lightning paced, innovative, topical … and most of all, frightening."
-- James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author