Author: Shelley Coriell
Series: The Apostles #2
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Mystery
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Purchase: Amazon UK
Secrets from the past.
Voices from the grave.
Because nothing stays buried forever...
Cypress Bend, Florida, is a small southern bayou town filled with long-buried secrets. It's also the home of successful, fiercely independent state prosecutor Grace Courtemanche, who's pulled into a world of terror and self-doubt when she receives a phone call from a young woman buried alive.
In a race to stop a revenge-seeking killer, Grace unearths skeletons from her past along with feelings for the one man she swore she'd never need again, Theodore "Hatch" Hatcher, a rootless, smooth-talking FBI crisis negotiator who's back in Cypress Bend to deal with a secret of his own.
When I was five or six, I got out of bed one night to get a drink of water. As I walked by the living room where my mom and dad were watching TV, a woman on the screen was clawing her way out of an earthen grave. The sight of that mud-covered hand and sound of her choked breathing left me frozen with fear.
For years I had nightmares about being buried alive. I’d wake up cold and shaking and gasping for air. To this day, I fear not being able to breathe. So of course I wrote a book about it!
In THE BURIED, Grace Courtemanche—an ambitious, successful state prosecutor—is pulled into a world of terror and self-doubt when she receives calls from victims buried alive, and she must turn to the one man she swore she’d never need again, Hatch Hatcher, a rootless, smooth-talking FBI crisis negotiator in town to deal with a long-buried secret of his own.
Grace and Hatch’s story, book #2 in the Apostles Series featuring Parker Lord’s elite FBI team, was a tough one for me to write. I actually had to set it aside for two years because it was too dark. But when I finally figured out what the story was really about—family—I found my light, and even a bit of laughter, to balance all that dark.
I can’t wait for readers to join me for another dark and twisty but ultimately uplifting story of hope and the healing power of family.
Excerpt from The Buried by Shelley Coriell (On sale October 28, 2014)
As the bay of hounds tapered off, the huddle of men and women in the parking lot broke, moving swiftly. Hatch, on the other hand, moseyed to her side, his gait slow and easy, but there was nothing conciliatory in his eyes. “You should have told me.” His mouth and jaw barely moved as he spoke.
She tried to ease away, but he moved with her. “Told you what?”
“Hmmmmm, where should I start?” With his free hand, he jammed a finger in the air. “One, you received threats from a convicted felon. Two, you received nine phone calls from a girl presumably buried alive. And three, as we speak, a forensic team is sifting through dirt in your backyard looking for human bones.”
“It’s none of your business.”
“Oh, Princess. Dear, dear Princess.” He moved closer, a big, graceful, golden cat. He stopped a hairsbreadth from touching her, but the heat of his skin warmed her, nipping at the chill that had set in yesterday with Lia’s phone calls. When he spoke, his breath fanned her face in a low, rumbling half-purr, half-growl. “You have been and always will be my business.”
The words, the closeness, so Hatch. For a moment, she considered sinking into his strength and warmth, which proved how deeply rattled she was by the past twenty-four hours.
Hatch didn’t seem to notice the crazy thoughts flitting around her brain. He grabbed her elbow and led her toward a sheriff’s department SUV.
“I’m not going home.” Her boots dug into the damp earth.
Hatch opened the SUV’s passenger door. “I wouldn’t dare suggest it.”
“I’m involved in this.”
“That’s obvious.” He pointed to the seat.
“Where are we going?”
“Into the swamp to search for Lia Grant. Together.”
The humid air had left her hair a riot of waves, and she jammed a wayward curl behind her right ear. Together wasn’t hard for her. She was a team player when she had to be, and Lia Grant needed the biggest team they could muster, and frankly, Hatch was on a winning team. She’d be an idiot not to ally herself with him. She hopped in the SUV. “Where to?”
He reached into his pocket and took out a coin. “Call it in the air?”
“Wait! You’re going to let a coin toss determine our course of direction, which could very well determine if a girl lives or dies?”
Hatch fingered the coin. “Do you have a better plan?”
“Surely there’s a more systematic way to handle this. What does Agent MacGregor recommend?”
An enigmatic smile tugged at Hatch’s mouth. “Like all of us on Parker’s team, Jonny Mac understands the value of a good coin toss.” Hatch tossed the coin in the air, adding. “Heads we go right, tails, left.”
She snatched the coin in mid-air. Decades of tennis had done wonders for her hand/eye coordination. “I don’t think so.”
Hatch swept his hands at the dense forest stretching out behind the bait shop. “Fine, Princess. Lead and I shall follow.”
Grace cradled the coin in her palm. She’d already played the phone messages from Lia, listening for ambient sounds, ideally something like a jet plane, which could be tracked. But in all of the voicemails, she’d heard nothing but Lia’s increasingly desperate words.
I’m in a bad place, a really bad place.
A hand settled on her knee. Golden and steady. This was not Hatch her ex-husband but Hatch the Apostle. Hatch who was a master in a crisis situation. She ran her thumb over the face of the coin, and with quirked lips tossed it in the air. The coin spun and fell on the ground between them.
“Left.” Hatch pocketed the coin and with a seriousness she’d never seen from him, climbed into the SUV and drove into the swamp to find a girl who’d been buried alive.
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He took her life, but left her alive.
Three years ago, reporter Kate Johnson was the first victim—and only survivor—of the Broadcast Butcher. Scarred both physically and psychologically by the brutal serial killer, Kate lives life on the run, knowing that one day, he will find her and finish what he started.
In the pursuit of justice, you sometimes have to step outside the law.
Agent Hayden Reed spends his life chasing monsters. The only way to stay sane is to detach, but the second the Broadcast Butcher case crosses his desk, Hayden knows this is the case that might just cost him his soul. To catch this vicious murderer before he strikes again, Hayden must find Kate and earn her trust. For it’s her darkest secrets that hold the key to stopping this madman once and for all . . .
The Blind (The Apostles, #3) (coming 2.24.14)
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When art imitates death…
As part of the FBI’s elite Apostles team, bomb and weapons specialist Evie Jimenez knows playing it safe is not an option. Especially when tracking a serial killer like the First Friday Bomber. He calls himself an artist—using women as his canvas and state-of-the-art explosives as his brush. His art lives and breathes . . . and with the flick of a switch . . . dies.
As the clock ticks down to his next strike, Evie faces an altogether different challenge: billionaire philanthropist and art expert Jack Elliott, who’s made it clear he doesn’t care for Evie’s wild-card tactics.
Jack never imagined the instant heat for the Apostles’ defiant weapons expert would explode his cool and cautious world—and make him long to protect this woman. But as Evie and Jack get closer to the killer’s endgame, they will learn that safety and control are all illusions. For their quarry has set his sight on Evie for his final masterpiece…