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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: Broken Bonds by Karen Harper

Title: Broken Bonds
Author: Karen Harper
Publisher: MIRA
Pages: 384
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: Hardback, Paperback, Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON

Haunted by the past…
Cold Creek is a place with a dark history, especially for the Lockwoods. Now adults, the three Lockwood sisters are still recovering from the events that led to the destruction of their family when they were children. Determined to move forward, Tess and Kate are making fresh starts, ready to put bad—even deadly—memories to rest and settle happily in the small but booming town. And they're hoping their older sister, Charlene, can do the same.
Char is back in town seeking comfort as she figures out her next move. A social worker used to difficult situations, she soon runs afoul of some locals who think she's sticking her nose where it doesn't belong. She's certain something sinister is being covered up, and when she witnesses Matt Rowan being run off the road, she knows she's right.
Working together, Matt and Char figure uncovering the truth will be dangerous, but living in Cold Creek won't be safe for any of them until its secrets are revealed.

Book Excerpt:
Excerpt # 1
As she made the next sharp turn, Char gasped. A white truck with Lake Azure, Inc. painted on its side was tipped nearly off the cliff, right where the school bus stopped for the kids who lived above. She’d heard a horn honk long and loud a few minutes earlier. Maybe the truck missed the last turn and spun out, since its rear, not its front, was dangling over the edge, propped up by two trees. No other vehicle was nearby to help.
She put her emergency blinkers on and pulled as close to the cliff face as she could. She jumped down from her truck and ran across the road toward the truck. A man was inside!
“What should I do?” she shouted, her voice shrill. It sounded like a stupid question. She had to get the man out of his truck before it crashed over the edge.
The bitter, strong wind ripped at her hair and jacket. What if a blast of air tipped him off? Or maybe even if he moved. She’d swear the two tree trunks that held his truck were shaking as hard as she was.
She could hear the engine was still running. The driver opened an automatic window.
“A guy in a truck shoved me off,” he shouted. “Meant to. I don’t have any traction. I’m afraid if I shift my weight or open a door to jump out, I’ll send it over.”
The fact someone had done this on purpose stunned her. What was going on? If her cell phone worked up here, she’d call her brother-in-law, the county sheriff, for help, but she was on her own. It wouldn’t help to go back up for help from Elinor and Penny.
“Don’t move until I get something you can hang on to if the truck goes. I have some jump ropes I can tie together. Those trees are shaky.”
I’m shaky. Hurry!”
She ran to her truck and knotted together the three jump ropes she had, tying square knots because she knew they would hold. But she’d never be able to balance the man’s weight if the truck went over the edge.
“I’ve got ropes here, but I’ll have to tie the end to a tree. I don’t dare drive close enough to you to tie it to my truck. It would never stretch that far.”
She knotted it around the trunk of a pine tree that looked sturdy enough, though that almost took the length of one rope. This wasn’t going to work.
A grinding sound, then a crunch reverberated as the truck seemed to jerk once then settled closer to the cliff edge.
“Now or never!” he shouted and opened his door fast.
Excerpt # 2
Matt grabbed her—almost tackled her—and rolled them off the low concrete single step into the wet leaves. He pulled her around the corner of the cabin, where they huddled, kneeling with her pressed between him and the outside wall.
“I—I can’t believe that,” she whispered. “We could have—could have been hit.”
“And I’m the common denominator. Either someone’s been following me, looking for another chance at me, or someone’s staked out your place, knowing we’re together.”
They were whispering in each other’s ears. “The headlights made us the perfect target,” she said. “If we hadn’t stepped apart…the arrow came head high, not chest level.”
“Either way it could have killed one or both of us.”
She was not only scared but furious. Someone had ruined her new place, ruined this beautiful night.
“Stay here,” he said. “I’m going to get to the car, turn it around so the headlights shine into the trees where the arrow must have come from. It’s sticking in the wood at an upward angle—like it was shot from the sky. Probably just arced up, then hit.”
“Should we call Gabe?”
“Not unless we spot someone. My bet is we’ll find no one out there. And it’s late. Let’s give him a break and call him in the morning. Tonight you can go down to stay in one of the guest rooms at the lodge where—”
“It’s my first night here! I’m not running, even if some stupid hunter or even worse wants to scare me off.”
“Char, just for the night!”
“I’m not going to leave. I’m going to get that arrow for evidence, tape up the hole and lock my doors.”
“Then I’m staying, too.”
“I’ll sleep on the couch, just in case.”
“And if it’s you the shooter’s after? That could have been the second attempt on your life.”
Excerpt # 3
She started to get out until she saw the driver of the truck was really covered up for the weather. She could see through his windshield that he wore a ski mask, leaving only his eyes visible. He climbed down and started toward her truck, holding up his hands as if to apologize.
Could this be the man who nearly ran Matt off the cliff?
She turned the ignition back on, put the truck in Reverse, yanked the steering wheel and tried to back up to get some maneuvering room, but she was held tight by the tree, and her wheels spun. She laid on her horn, but saw no other vehicle on the road.
The man went back to his truck and returned, holding a metal carjack, the kind needed to change a flat tire. He walked now with swift, strong strides. She knew he was going to use it to smash her window. Was this guy desperate or crazy? They were on a public road in broad daylight.
She waited until he came close and raised the car jack. He hit the glass of the driver’s-side window, which only cracked on the first blow. She had to do the unexpected and fast, run for help. She’d seen a car parked at her childhood home if she could make it there. She dug in her big purse for her phone. Too much in here—couldn’t feel it. She had to go now or he’d have her!
In an instant, she unlocked her doors, tried to grab her heavy purse, but he reached for it, too, yanked it and tipped her toward him. She slid away from the steering wheel and clambered out the other side, forced to leave the purse, the phone. She had no illusions he just wanted the purse. She slipped to her knees in the ice-crusted snow, then clawed her way up and raced toward the trees.

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Harper is a former college English instructor (The Ohio State University) and high school literature and writing teacher. A lifelong Ohioan, Karen and her husband Don divide their time between the midwest and the southeast, both locations she has used in her books. Besides her American settings, Karen loves the British Isles, where her Scottish and English roots run deep, and where she has set many of her historical Tudor-era mysteries and her historical novels about real and dynamic British women. Karen's books have been published in many foreign languages and she won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for 2005. Karen has given numerous talks to readers and writers across the county.
Her latest book is the romantic suspense, Broken Bonds, the third book in the Cold Creek Trilogy.

For More Information


Karen Harris is giving away 10 sets of the Cold Creek Trilogy!

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