A message from her dead husband turns Mary Cox’s life upside down. Someone wants to kill her and her daughter, Faith. They’ll stop at nothing to track her down. The only man she trusts is her best friend’s brother Jace, except, he lied to her before. Will secrets from her past destroy the life she’s made for herself or bring them closer together and to God?
Just as Jace Smith begins to adjust to civilian life, a cry of help from the only woman he’s ever cared for sends him back into the heat of battle. The type where someone—may not come out alive in the end. Secrets are revealed and nothing will ever be the same again. He’d do anything to keep Mary and her daughter safe from the danger after them. But a secret from his past threatens everything. Can they ever get back what they once had or die trying?
The chime of the door bell propelled Mary Cox down the hall. If the person on the other side woke her daughter, she’d pound them. Another long night up with a teething one-year old. She reached for the door knob and jerked it open harder than she wanted to. With her right hand, she grabbed the doorframe to keep herself from falling into the man’s arms on the other side.
Her gaze settled on a tall man in black shorts and a purple shirt. Delivery. She didn’t remember ordering anything. He raised a brow at her as she placed a finger to her lips. He shrugged his broad shoulders and smiled at her as he thrust a clipboard at her. She signed and he handed her the package. Sweat beaded against her forehead as her stomach rolled. Bad sign. Mary made her way into the living room in a daze. Her legs shook and she eyed the blue couch for a moment.
She sat on the couch, and opened it. A DVD fell out. Who would send something like this? She rose, walked over and placed it inside the player. The disk started moments later. She gasped and her hand flew to her mouth. Bruce. Her now dead husband starred back at her on the screen.
Mary’s legs began to shake as did the rest of her body. She sank to the floor and wrapped her arms around her chest. It felt like her heart might break all over again into a million pieces. Her body ached as tears sprung to life in her eyes. Bruce sat in a room in his uniform. She always loved him in it. He looked so sexy. His blue eyes stared back at her. Like he was standing in the room with her. The rich baritone in his voice wrapped around her. She couldn’t focus on his words. The sight of him again after a year muted all other sensory perception. She’d give anything to touch him once again.
She reached a hand to the screen and stroked his face. Mary closed her eyes to put his face in the imprint of her mind… not that she needed to. The taut skin would be warm against her palm. His whiskers would brush her cheeks as he kissed her. She’d inhale the wonderful masculine scent of Old Spice and Bruce.
The cessation of his voice brought her out of her memories. Startled, she got up and skipped back to the scene once again. This time she concentrated on his words. The stern look on his face had her back ramrod straight.
“If anything happens to me or I die, it’s not an accident. They’ve found me and took me out for what I know.” His voice cracked. Bruce stood and started to pace, his eyes cast down. He ran a hand through his hair before he looked back at the screen. The black hair slipped through her fingers like fluffy clouds. “I love you so much, Mary and still it wasn’t enough. Don’t you know I’d do anything to keep you safe? Anything.” He let out a nervous laugh. The sight of his teeth made a frog catch in her throat. He’d always had the greatest smile. “You and the baby mean more to me than I’d ever be able to tell you. Now, honey, I don’t want to scare you, but they’ll come after you once they take me out. I just pray they go down before it comes to that.”
Faith? Faith’s in danger? Her hands shook. What had he gotten himself involved in? A part of her knew he’d never do anything to bring harm to her and the baby if he could help it. The other part wanted to beat him. How could she keep Faith safe now with Bruce gone? None of this made any sense. She batted the tears away with the back of her hand.
“I can’t give out much information in case the DVD is taken by them. Just look into the name Robert Wesley. But be careful. Ask Jace to help you. I love you and the baby. Be brave.”
Allyson writes in the Edgy Christian market in the suspense and romance genres. In her books, you’ll find emotionally stirring story lines, as well as suspense with faith mixed in. She resides in Missouri with her loving husband and four wonderful children, and three cats. When not spending time with her family, you can find her knitting, and watching way too many suspense shows and reality TV.
Today I’m interviewing Allyson Carter, author of Wounded Hearts. Make sure you read to the bottom for a description of the story and links to buy the book or connect with the author online.
Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
I like to spend time with my family, singing, but what you can find me doing most of the time in my spare time is knitting. I can’t be without needles in my hands.
Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books — do you use beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?
I do use beta readers and critique partners as I write. At this moment my cover art comes from my publisher, which by the way, they have some great cover artist. I have a couple in mind for when I self-publish later this year.
Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
This book is like totally my baby. It was the second book I’d written, and it has been rewritten three times. It just wasn’t there where it should be, so I’d play around with some more. Once I added suspense it just clicked.
It’s about a woman who’s been scorned by men. She just wants nothing to do with them at this time, except her brother’s best friend comes back from war and moves in across the street from her. She begins to get threatening messages and runs into the hero’s arms. They have to fight their way to make it out alive.
What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)
I want to show that you can have sweet and Christian romance and still show attraction and chemistry. They don’t have to cross the line but it can still be there. Another thing is to show that love is worth fighting for and God has a plan for us all.
Share something that’s amazing, touching, or that makes you angry.
That would have to be seeing how children and people in general with Autism are treated unfairly at times. I have three on the spectrum so this touches close to home for me. I wish people would understand they want what we all want. They want to be heard, loved and treated just like you would anyone else.
What’s your next project? Tell us so we can’t wait for it to come out!
That would be book to in the Southern Morality series. It will focus on Shelby’s best friend Mary and her brother Jace.
I don’t want to give too much away as there’s some spoilers in book one. Someone’s killing off people she loves and she finds herself next on the list.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m working on book 2 along with rewriting my first book that was published under my pen name. The rights have been reverted back to me, so I plan on publishing it later this year.
About the Book:
After a bitter divorce, Shelby Johnson is looking to rebuild a life for her and her daughter, Hannah, while avoiding the thing she mistrusts most: men. Her resolve is tested, however, when her brother’s best friend, Mark, moves in across the street and her long-buried feelings for him return. Can she possibly open up her heart again? Is she willing to let herself love? When someone threatens her life she quickly realizes that her heart isn’t the only thing on the line and she turns to the only man she feels she can trust.
Reliving everything he lost overseas, Mark Daniels goes back to his hometown to try and live a peaceful life but instead gets caught up in Shelby’s troubles.. He knows she needs someone to protect her but can he be that man? Except, being near Shelby again is making him feel things he’d rather never feel—again. When his past comes to haunt him in a way he never excepted, he vows to protect Shelby and her daughter until his last breath.
Excerpt from the Story:
“Stay right here, sweetie.”
Reaching in, she picked up the paper. At first the words written on the thing didn’t register. She had to re-read them twice.
Keep quiet or else.
Her hands shook. A lump formed in her throat. When Mark walked out to the car, their gazes met. She noted the concern on his face as he stared at her.
“What’s the matter, Shell?”
She tried to talk, but nothing would come out. When he rushed to her side, she gave him the note. The words had been created with letters out of magazines or something, glued to the paper. She tightened her hold on Hannah. Someone had put the paper there when they were a few feet away. Why?
“Take Hannah and move to the sidewalk.”
Shelby nodded then moved to where he told her. He pulled out his cell and punched in a number. Mark moved with determination as he talked on the phone with the police. Within moments, a squad car showed up. So much for not having attention on her while she was out with Mark. Who had put the note in her car? Better yet, how did they get in when she’d locked the car?
“Shelby, do you have someone mad at you?” Detective Moore asked as he shut the door to his car and made his way over to her.