Sandra Hastings has just lost the case of her career. Mob boss Silvestre Buonoventura is exonerated and now out to get her. And if that’s not enough, the New York D.A.’s office has politely asked her to take some time off… maybe a lot of time… like forever.
Nick McCullough is a little bored with tiny Stone Bay, Maine, and his new job as Chief of Police. He’s hopeful though that a weekend camping with the lovely Sandra Hastings will put a little zing into his life. Now he has to make sure that the mob boss who’s put a hit out on her doesn’t get the chance to complete his plans. Maybe his little weekend will give him more zing than he needs.
Title: Stone Fall
Author: Min Edwards
Series: High Tide Suspense #3
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 22nd, 2016
Publisher: A Thirsty Mind
About The Author:
Min Edwards is the pen name of Archaeologist, Book Designer, and owner of A Thirsty Mind Book Design, Pam Headrick.
She has lived in many countries in her life—England, the Philippines, Cuba, Texas (yes, Texas thinks of itself as a separate country)—gathering experiences for her writing along the way. She earned Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees from Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin in Anthropology with minors in Art, Geology and Geography, and she spent her early professional career as an Archaeological Illustrator of some renown. Radically changing track in 2004 and opening an Independent Bookstore in an affluent community outside Austin, A Thirsty Mind Words & Wines, (one of the first bookstore/winebars in the country) started her on her road to careers in bookselling, book formatting for eBooks as well as print, and ultimately writing.
Min works now from a small office in her 180 year old Greek Revival farmhouse at Pheasant Cove Farm just 300 yards from Cobscook Bay, an arm of the Bay of Fundy. In the summer she walks on her beach every day, listening to the song of the pebbles being washed back and forth in the tide. It’s a musical and inspiring sound. In the winter though, she’d rather the beach be sand and maybe transported to someplace warmer… Tahiti seems to be most often on her mind.
Minutes later, she was ushered into the D.A.’s office, leaving Nick in the waiting room being ogled by the office staff, both female and male it seemed. Oh, well, it’s a new world.
Just inside the door, she came to an abrupt halt, seeing not only the D.A., Gregory Knidich, but also the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Randall Mayes. She should have expected that as Buonoventura and his organization were breaking not only county laws but state and federal ones, too.
“Sir,” Sandra said nervously, nodding to both men in turn.
“Please have a seat, Sandra.” Knidich was his normal stern self, but if she weren’t mistaken his eyes looked a little kinder today. “Glad you’re all right. We have the two kidnappers in custody here in New York now and U.S. attorney Mayes and his staff are assisting us. Did you know when the men kidnapped you they took you across state lines?”
“Sir?” She sat quickly before her legs gave out. Now she was confused. They just took her up a mountain.
Mayes spoke up at her question. “Yes, that cabin was in New Hampshire, not Maine. Puts a whole new spin on the crime, doesn’t it?”
“I… uh… guess so, sir.”
“Sandra, let’s get to the point. Buonoventura still wants to take you down. Catching two of his minions doesn’t change a thing. You know that, right?”
“Okay, but now that there’s been a multi-state kidnapping, we can bring in the big guns, FBI as well as a multi-state police task force. We have some good investigators on this. And I spoke to Special Agent David Marcos this morning. He’s pulling together a team to join us.”
Sandra gasped. She couldn’t help it. She would have to see David again.
“Do you know SA Marcos, Ms. Hastings?” Mayes looked at her closely, probably speculating on her relationship to David. She’d given her surprise away with that gasp.
So David was stepping back into her life? That wasn’t going to happen. She didn’t trust him now and never would again. One chance, that’s all a person got with her.
As she looked across at her boss and the U.S. attorney, she pictured David’s strong face. Then it was overlaid with Nick’s image. His soft eyes, square jaw, that beautiful hair. She knew she could trust him. Although he was attentive now, would he tire of her drama soon and want to get back to his quiet village in Maine? Yes, he would. No one was that nice, that protective, that undemanding. My God, they’d never done anything but kiss, and chastely for that matter.
Maybe Nick was nice because he only liked her as a friend. As soon as David stomped back into the picture, Nick would pack his bags and with a relieved smile on his face go back to the people he’d known his whole life. Protecting them was a whole lot easier than protecting her would ever be.
“Sandra?” her boss said rather harshly.
“What? Oh, sorry. I haven’t had much sleep lately. What did you say?”
“Sandra,” he said again, more gently this time. “I’ve thought this over carefully, consulted with Randall here as well as the FBI. We feel you should take a longer leave, paid of course. It’s not your fault Buonoventura is after you. But if you stay here, you’ll be putting all our offices in danger. SA Marcos thinks that you should be in witness protection and I concur.”
“No. Absolutely not. I see your point though about the danger around me, so I will take that leave. I have a place I can go. But I don’t think I’ll tell you where. It will be safer for all concerned, don’t you think?” Sandra would go back to Maine. She could disappear there, although it hadn’t worked so well the last time. But now, she knew someone was looking for her… forewarned is forearmed… isn’t that the phrase?
“I don’t think you’re being smart about this, Sandra.” Knidich looked skeptical as well as relieved if that were possible.
“Probably not. As you’ve no doubt noticed, I haven’t been at my peak performance in a while.” She rose on those words and walked out of the office. When she passed through the waiting area, Nick quietly stood and followed. She didn’t acknowledge his presence until they got to the street and she’d again whistled for a taxi.