I am welcoming Joan Hall to fiction Favorites. Joan is a fellow member of Story Empire and a terrific writer. She has a new book to tell us about. Joan the post is yours.
Thank you for hosting me today, John. I’m delighted to be here and to tell your readers about my newest release, Cold Dark Night. It’s the first novel in the Legends of Madeira series. Each book begins with a historical event that ties to modern-day.
I have the utmost respect for the men and women who serve or have served in the military. My character, Connor Hughes, is a former SEAL. He’s recently returned to Madeira after his discharge from the Navy and purchases a gun range.
There are parts of his past that he’s reluctant to share, but he and lead character Jason soon strike up a friendship. Connor plays a pivotal role late in the story. The following scene is when he and my lead character Jason first meet.
Connor Hughes unlocked the door of the gun range, then stepped inside. For what must have been the hundredth time in the past few weeks, he asked himself why he’d returned to his hometown. There was nothing left for him here. His parents sold the family home shortly after he enlisted in the navy and bought a condo in Westwood. These days they spent most of their time traveling. The friends he once had in Madeira were either living somewhere else or had likely forgotten him.
Okay, that was an unfair assumption. The truth was, he’d forgotten his friends. A few of them didn’t understand why he decided to join the military—not even the one person he thought would support him in anything.
This morning, he’d driven through his old neighborhood. One house stood out among the others—the two-story Victorian where Ruth Hazelton once lived. Apparently, she no longer lived there—a mid-size SUV and a black Camaro sat in the driveway.
But it was his family home that drew his attention. He had a lot of good memories there. Family gatherings. Shared meals. Having friends over for a visit. Times when…
Connor shook his head. He would not think of her today.
His decision to buy the shooting range wasn’t one made lightly. After his years in the Navy, he figured he had one of two choices. He could put his college degree to use and work in the information technology field or use the skills and training he’d learned in the military. The thought of working all day in an office no longer appealed to him. Owning a business could be demanding but having some flexibility—rather than a nine-to-five job—would also give him time to pursue ways to help his fellow veterans.
It was mid-afternoon when the door opened. Connor walked to the front to greet a man wearing a police uniform. He extended his hand. “Hello. Here to get in a little practice time?”
“Jason Montgomery, the new police chief. Wanted to introduce myself and look around.”
“I heard you recently bought the business.”
“Word travels fast in small towns.”
“Actually, my lead detective told me.”
“Glad to know he’s still around.”
“Almost thirty years on the force. He told me officers have used this place for training and certification.”
“Yes, they have. I hope you’ll want to continue.”
“There are other ranges nearby, but I see no reason to change. My officers have only had annual training. I’d like to increase the number of required sessions to twice a year.”
“Good idea. Even with small-town police forces.”
“Probably more so.”
“Yeah. It’s a different world out there these days.”
“Were you in law enforcement?”
Connor shook his head. “Military. Spent ten years in the Navy. Eight of them as a SEAL.”
Jason paused, then cleared his throat. “Impressive.”
Cold Dark Night is available on Amazon. This is the last day to grab a copy for only .99. After tomorrow, the price increases to $3.99.
New husband, new house, new town… and a new mystery to solve.
Tami Montgomery thought her police chief husband was going to be the only investigator in the family when she gave up her journalism career and moved with him to Madeira, New Mexico.
But after the historical society asks her to write stories for a book celebrating the town’s history, she becomes embroiled in a new mystery. If she can’t solve this one, she could lose everything. Her research uncovers a spate of untimely deaths of local law enforcement officials. Further digging reveals a common link—they all lived in the house she and Jason now share.
Tami isn’t a superstitious person, but the circumstances are too similar for coincidence. Then she unearths an even more disturbing pattern. And if history repeats itself, her husband will be the next to die.
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