Thursday, October 23, 2014

HOW DEADLY ARE YOUR OBSESSIONS?

So today, I’m going to talk about the release of Deadly Obsessions, the third in my Kensington-Gerard Detective series. This, however, is more of a thriller than a mystery, so if you like the Lizzie Gardner series by Teresa Ragan, you’re going to love this one too.
Deadly Obsessions is based on a true crime that happened here in Arizona in 2009. For those of you who followed this story in the news, it took place in the Hillside Ranch area of Glendale, Arizona when Cynthia Langrall was murdered during her morning jog on December 21, 2009.
My story has some similarities, but I’ve mostly embellished the story to make it my own, hence the thriller aspect.


A TRUE CRIME EVENT

Three bodies and counting . . . a manifesto with a long list of names . . . an abducted child, and the killer is using a familiar MO  that was the trademark of a serial killer who's still at large. Is it possible this killer so-called copycat spurred the Red Reaper into a jealous rage and he's doing what he does best . . . killing? Or is this someone who's having too much fun impersonating him and killing everyone on his list?

When two unrelated killings take place, it sends the detectives into a tailspin .. . and now it's a race against the clock before he kills the next person on his list . . . Detective Jesse Kensington!


This excerpt is about Jennifer Smith who has been abducted by a cab driver while on her way to the NYPD to answer questions. The abductor has her chained in the basement.

She jerked back trying to move away, but the shortened chains held her captive. And then she remembered the cab driver. He was creepy. She knew the minute she’d slid across the backseat, something told her to get out. She’d even glanced back at her aunt, but it was too late. He’d taken off like a shot and her aunt had already entered the hotel. She remembered pulling on the door handle, when the locks clicked into place…and then that smell. What was that horrible smell coming through the heater? That’s when she knew she was being abducted. But why? She’d even banged on the window that separated them but the cabbie paid no attention. He’d just stared at her in the mirror.
The sudden awareness of someone close to her made Jennifer shudder. His foul smelling breath made her gag, and when he starting licking her face, she thought she might throw up. “Get away from me, you pervert,” she screamed, trying to wiggle free from the constraints. “Let me go, dammit!” No answer, just his heavy breathing. And then, the touch of his tongue, sticky and slimy, gliding across her face caused her to shake her head vigorously hoping he’d miss her. But he wasn’t putting up with that. He grabbed her head and held it in place while he continued his deed and forced his tongue into her mouth. She bit down with all her might. He released an angry growl and shoved her against the cinderblock wall. Shooting pains flooded through her shoulder. She refused to cry out in pain but she managed to spit out his disgusting saliva hoping he was close enough that she’d hit him in the process. That angered him even more and the impact from his hard punch to her gut made her scream.
He finally spoke. “You shouldn’t have done that. Now, I have to punish you. She felt the coldness of steel prick her leg as it slid across her thigh. She felt a trickle of liquid slide down the sides of her leg and she knew she’d been cut. She jerked and released a loud scream.
“I love it when they scream,” The roughness of his voice irritated her as much as the blade of that knife. “You can scream all you want. There’s no one here but us.”
“Please mister, please don’t hurt me. I’ll give you anything you want. I’ve got lots of money coming to me.”
“I don’t want your money,” he sneered. “What I want is for you to understand what it’s like to have someone you love hurt you.”
“I never hurt anyone. Why are you doing this to me?”
“You use people, Jennifer. You use everyone in your life until you tire of them, then you toss them aside like that rag doll you had when you were a child. You did that to your mother when she married dear old Harlan.”
“How do you know so much about me?”
“Oh, because I do.”
“Do I know you?” He didn’t answer. “I begged her not to marry him, but she wouldn’t listen to me.”
“Were you paying her bills?”
“No.”
“Oh, that’s right. She was paying yours.” He slid the knife across her other thigh and this time she screamed out.
She wondered how long she’d been there; wondered if the detectives would be able to track her? Find her before this maniac killed her? “Who are you?” she demanded.
He laughed. “You are in no position to demand anything from me or anyone else. And it was you who talked your mother into taking out that insurance policy because you wanted to be sure your meal ticket would always be there. Is that why you killed her?”
“No,” Jennifer said, “I didn’t kill my mother,” she shouted. “I loved my mother. She was wonderful to me.” Anger seeped into her chest and she fired back. “Did you kill my mother?”
He smacked her hard across the face and she began to cry. “That’s it. Cry,” he said. “You’ll get no sympathy from me.” He pulled Jennifer to her feet and removed the heavy chains, his voice suddenly changing from harsh to sympathetic. “Don’t cry,” he said and patted her shoulder as if trying to comfort her.
His sudden kindness confused her into thinking maybe he wasn’t going to hurt her after all. Maybe he just wanted to scare her into being a better person. She would do whatever he asked. “Thank you,” she said.
“You’re welcome. Are you hungry?”
She nodded. “I am.”
“Okay. Then open your mouth. I made a chocolate sundae for you and it’s melting.”
“If you’ll free my hands, I could eat it myself.”
“Nice try. I wasn’t around when you were a baby and I want to know what it feels like to feed one.”
Jennifer wasn’t sure she believed him, but he left her no choice. Maybe he thought he’d scared her enough. She opened her mouth and felt him fill it with something from an aerosol can.
“You’re going to love the taste of this whipped cream.”
Whipped cream wouldn’t have been her choice of food being this hungry, but just knowing she was going to have something to eat made her happy and she stopped caring what it was. Having ice cream was a child’s dream, wasn’t it? Jennifer tried to swallow but quickly realized whatever he’d shot into her mouth expanded. She couldn’t breathe. She couldn’t swallow. She was gasping for air. She started crying again, but quickly realized what little passageway she had left didn’t leave room for doing anything except breathing through her nose, and even that was bordering on impossible. Jennifer drew in a deep intake of air and filled her lungs, but that only made her lightheaded. The fumes from whatever he’d shot into her mouth was making her nauseous and she wondered if she’d choke on her own vomit? He seemed pleased by the noises she was making.
“You are such a fool, Jennifer. This is for your mother.” She jerked wondering how he knew her name—how he knew her mother. “Come with me,” he said pulling on her arm. He was leading her somewhere. When a rush of wind whipped around her she knew they were outside. Jennifer hated being cold, but the circulation of air was helping her breath better. All hope of getting away had now vanished. She tripped and his grip tightened helping her to remain upright. For some reason, the cold snow felt good on her bare feet, and for the first time, being cold no longer mattered. Nothing mattered.

I will be giving away digital copies of Deadly Obsessions to one lucky winner. Winner will be selected at random. All you have to do is comment on this excerpt.  So c'mon, what are you waiting for? Tell me what you think.