EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: 5 More Questions for Vigilante Detective Emily Stone #NewRelease #DeadCold

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I have received many questions from readers about vigilante detective Emily Stone and what exactly makes her tick. I was fortunate enough to ask her a few questions previously and she was adamant about not answering any more questions—due to her covert status of course. So, I decided to apply a little bit of pressure and explained to her that I have the power to kill off any character I choose in the next book. Emily changed her mind and was willing to answer some questions.

Now on to the interview…

(Note: Interview posted by permission from Emily Stone)

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JENNIFER CHASE: Thank you Emily for joining us again to answer a few questions.

EMILY STONE: You’re welcome. Jennifer, you know that I cannot stay mad at you for long. But readers need to understand that this interview was under somewhat threatening circumstances, and I’m giving you time for five questions.

JC: Thank you for reminding me. I know how busy you are and there are more killers to catch, and most importantly, lives to save.

Readers want to know what scares you the most about your covert work?

EMILY STONE: I have the same fears as anyone else, but many times during the investigations, I’m alone. I don’t always have the luxury of having Rick by my side. This puts even more stress, and yes, fear, into the situation. EmilyStone_Stills_006AMy biggest fear is not saving the victim in time. I live with the consequences of the decisions I make—whether it’s good or bad—I live with that every day. The victim has my undivided attention and all my efforts are in rescuing them and stopping the killer.

JC: In your investigations, most of the time the police have already searched and collected the evidence from the crime scenes. How do you formulate a plan of attack to search crime scenes and then assemble the evidence under these circumstances?

EMILY STONE: I won’t lie to you, crimes scenes are the most difficult part of my job. I generally have no choice but wait until the detective in charge has completed the crime scene investigation. Contamination is a big problem—even under the most perfect circumstances, crime scenes can be challenging. What I face afterward can be impossible.  However, I’ve rarely found that every piece of telling evidence has been discovered. As you and readers of the series know, I like to expand the crime scene area about twice a large, look at the area in a three-dimensional view, and I let my training and instincts take center stage. I’m in my element and it’s where I can detach myself from everything else.

As for my evidence collection, my techniques might be considered old school, I use three large white boards with lists outlining physical evidence, behavioral evidence, and law enforcement reports. However, recently I’ve been using electronic technology to stay updated at any given time.

JC: What’s the most difficult aspect you face when tracking a killer?

EMILY STONE It’s very difficult for both Rick and I to retrace the killer’s steps trying to find something that will lead us in the right direction. Every case is different. Every piece of evidence is different. StoneBlogEvery case many times has very little information to go on—making it almost impossible. No matter how difficult the case—I keep pushing, reevaluating, and challenging myself—until I do find a lead.

JC: I know you have battled your fair number of bad guys with hand-to-hand combat, as well as a few gun battles. You have the physical and mental scars to show for it.

How do you keep physically fit and ready for anything thrown at you?

EMILY STONE: I have to not only keep my mind sharp and focused; I have to stay in shape physically with cardio and weight training. I train five days a week (time permitting) as if I was training for a triathlon, mixing it up with fight and self-defense moves. EmilyStone_workoutI never hold back—ever.

JC: I have one more question.

EMILY STONE: Correct.

JC: If there were one thing you could change about your life, what would it be?

EMILY STONE: (long pause) I’ve chosen my life and dangerous lifestyle with my eyes wide open, and I’m well aware of the consequences and sacrifices. I’ve been blessed with having a fantastic, strong, intelligent, loving man at my side. (another pause) There are some days, only a few, I think about family and being a mother.

My life is in your hands, right?  So take me to the next case…

***

You can read the previous Emily Stone Interview>>Click Here

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Watch Emily Stone Here >>

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DEAD COLD, An Emily Stone Thriller

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Modern Forensics Solves the Murder: 3 Recently Cracked Cold Cases

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Photo courtesy of forensicmag.com.

Cold murder cases are a tough pill to swallow for law enforcement, the public and most importantly, the families of the victims.  But, as forensic science continues to advance, seemingly unsolvable open cases are now being cracked.

With the solving of these cases, families finally receive what they’ve yearned for. And that is – closure.

Here are three recently solved cold murder cases.

San Diego Murder

In February 1992, 84-year old Angela Kleinsorge was murdered in her San Diego residence after suffering multiple stab wounds to her neck. The victim’s killing shocked and horrified the residents of her quiet university neighborhood.

Utilizing the standard DNA testing technique’s available in 1992, investigators were unable to locate a match in the California offender database. Eventually, the well of suspects ran dry, and the case went cold. That is – until July 2016.

In the summer of 2016, both the San Diego Police Department and District Attorney’s office submitted a request to the US Department of Justice. The request? A thorough familial DNA testing protocol.

A familial DNA search allows local law enforcement to cast a large net using national databases. The familial DNA protocol also broadens the search parameters to include the close relatives of people who may be guilty of the underlying crime.

After conducting a familial DNA search concerning Ms. Kleinsorge’s murder, it was determined that there was a strong likelihood that her killer was the brother of a convict, who had recently died. Upon learning this information, law enforcement narrowed down the suspects to the convict’s two brothers – one was alive, while the other died years prior in a motorcycle accident.

Through DNA evidence, the living brother was cleared of any wrongdoing. It was eventually determined that the killer was Jeffrey Falls – the brother who died in a motorcycle crash. Although the killer was never tried and convicted, he did seem to get his due. And, the victim’s family had their closure.

New Orleans Street Performer

After 43 years alluding justice, police finally caught the man who killed Freddie Farah (34) in May of 1974. Farah was fatally shot while working at the food store in which he owned.

On the day of the murder, Farah was working at the checkout counter when a man approached him with a gun, demanding money. Farah swiped at the gun, and then the perp shot him dead. The killer fled and continued living his life for another 43 years.

In 1973, the fingerprint system in place was archaic compared to the modern technique. So, although, the suspect left his fingerprints on the counter, the police were unable to identify the killer. And, the case went cold.

Then, in December 2016, the murder file was reopened. And, through the use an eyewitness account from a 14-year old customer (who’s now 57). As well as advanced fingerprint analysis techniques, and database searching, the suspect was identified as Johnie Lewis Miller.

Miller relocated to New Orleans in the early 1990s, and had become somewhat of a local celebrity. At the time of his arrest in May 2017, he had established himself as “Uncle Louie”, a well-known street performer in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter. Tourists will have to seek alternative entertainment, as this 60-year old killer has surely seen the last of his street performing days.

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Photo courtesy of kelownanow.com.

The Los Angeles Holiday Killings

In what the Los Angeles Police Chief called a set of “horrifying” crimes, justice was eventually served. On Easter Sunday in 2011, a 17-year old girl named Michelle Lonzano was kidnapped near her home on the eastside of Los Angeles. Later that year, on the day after Christmas, 22-year old Bree’anna Guzman was also abducted in the same vicinity as the crime against Lonzano.

A day after her Easter abduction, Lonzano’s sexually assaulted body was found discarded on the side of the 5 Freeway. Guzman’s body, also sexually assaulted, was found a month after her abduction. Her body was discovered lying on the side of the same freeway where the other victim’s body was found.

Law enforcement spent years following leads, and utilizing every known protocol in searching DNA databases. Unfortunately, the killer’s DNA was not found in any database. The LAPD finally got a break when their request for a familial DNA search was granted.

The familial DNA search led to Geovanni Borjas’ father – a man who had been arrested in his younger years. This discovery breathed new life into the case. A surveillance team was immediately put on the suspected killer. While being followed, Borjas spit on the ground. His saliva was quickly collected by police.

Upon conducting a DNA analysis of his spit, it was concluded that Borjas was the killer. He was arrested in May 2017 – six years after his brutal rape and murder of two young women.

Forensic science has once again proved to be an invaluable resource in helping law enforcement lock up killers. Are you familiar with any cold cases that were solved using advancements in forensics?

***

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DEAD COLD, An Emily Stone Thriller

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DEAD COLD: Not for those with weak hearts or nervous dispositions #Review #NewRelease

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5 Star Review– DEAD COLD

Reviewed by Darryl Greer for Readers’ Favorite

 

Jennifer Chase’s Dead Cold is the sixth of her Emily Stone thrillers, with a seventh in the pipeline. Emily and her partner, Rick Lopez, are ex law enforcement officers who’ve decided that rather than deal with the humdrum of everyday law enforcement, with its highs and lows — thrills and spills one minute, acute boredom the next — they’d ditch the routine and become 24/7 thrill-a-minute good guys superheroes almost, tracking down villains, solving crimes, leaving the local cops to claim the glory of yet another mysteriously solved felony.

In this episode, a Californian community is beset by a disturbing spike in gruesome homicides. There’s a serial killer out there who not only ensnares and tortures victims, but cuts them into neat sections and displays them in a macabre formation for all to see. The local police are flummoxed, with Detective Danny Starr doing his best, but being thwarted at every turn by one of the cleverest killers he has ever come across. Enter Emily Stone and her partner, Rick, and this time they enlist the assistance of a friend, Jordan. Together the intrepid trio sets out to track down the killer. And this time it’s easier said than done.

Dead Cold is not for those with weak hearts or nervous dispositions. Every page will have your heart pumping so much you’ll feel like you’re running a marathon. The story gets off to a cracking start in the prologue with high speed action from the first line. Jennifer Chase introduces us to real, three-dimensional characters, those with whom you can empathise, those you can love, hate, root for. Chapters aren’t numbered but rather they are headed with a date and time, a device which helps to keep up the frenetic pace throughout the story. The writing is visual so, as you flip through the pages, it will feel like you’re watching a movie and as the story is multi-layered, you won’t lose interest. The concept itself is unique. Most American thrillers involve police officers, FBI agents, spies, or private detectives, not people working clandestinely and happy to allow regular law enforcers to take all the credit. So, if you’re an adrenaline junkie, put on your seat belt and start reading. When you get to the end, if you’re not already familiar with this author’s work, you’ll be taking note of her name and reaching for another Emily Stone adventure.

Purchase DEAD COLD at Amazon

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Check out a live-action trailer to follow vigilante detective Emily Stone. Be sure to watch full screen and turn up the volume.

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8 Key Traits of Highly Effective Detectives

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Photo courtesy of detectivescene.com.

For many police officers, acquiring the title of detective is quite an accomplishment. And the reason is simple. As a detective – you have the opportunity to take charge, break the code, and piece together the puzzle of the crime.

But, not all detectives are created equal. Some are more gifted at gathering all of the relevant evidence, and solving the mystery. And those detectives who excel at their vocation, all possess a certain set of common characteristics.

Here’s eight of those traits –

Sense of humor

That’s right. A sense of humor. No one is expecting a detective to be the next Dave Chappelle. But, in order to overcome the intensity of the job, a detective needs to make light of their work. Every once in a while.

As a detective, your job is to investigate the dark and dastardly deeds of society’s sociopaths and psychopaths. So, it makes sense that your psyche can take a beating. And that’s where the humor helps. When you’ve seen the worst of humankind, sometimes all you need is a good laugh with a few pals. It won’t erase what you’ve experienced, but it will certainly help alleviate the stress.

Ingenuity      

Technology is moving at a rapid pace. This gives criminals the opportunity to use a plethora of tools to carry out their illicit goals. And because of that. Detectives need to be one step ahead of their counterparts.

A skilled detective has always needed to think outside the box, and be clever. But, nowadays, detectives must possess a great deal of knowledge concerning hi-tech gadgets, social media and the dark corners of the internet.

For detectives to truly succeed in today’s world, they must exercise ingenuity in accessing the ever growing world of digital technologies.  

Honor

When you’re a detective, you must act with integrity, loyalty and honesty. Otherwise known as honor.

When you wield as much authority and power as a detective does. You need honor to guide you through your good and bad days. Because without honor, a detective can ruin lives. Destroy families. And wreak havoc on society.

But, a skilled and effective detective understands and appreciates the great responsibility of  the detective’s shield.  And they act with honor towards a just outcome.

Composure

Detectives are under a great deal of stress. Whether it’s their commanding officers. The prosecutor. Or the victim, and their family. The fact remains. The investigator has to solve the case. And quickly.

As a result, skilled detectives must be able to work under tight deadlines and extreme stress. And that’s where proper training comes into play. If an investigator has been trained to deal with, and adapt to fluid situations, then the chances of success increases drastically.

A truly effective detective must be cool, calm and collected.

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Photo courtesy of pinterest.com.

Courage

Let’s not forget courage. That’s a trait which separates the gifted detective from the pack. Not everyone has the guts to take on the biggest cases, and work them until the end. Even when the odds are unfavorable, and the foes are great.

Courage does not mean that the detective is fearless. It simply means that they are able to find the inner strength to do what needs to be done. Having that extra bit of courage enables the detective to dig deep into the case, and not stop until the case has been resolved. Even if the detective is put into situations of great peril.

Meticulous

Unfortunately, real crime scenes are nothing like those found in movies. In real life, detectives have to sift through mountains of irrelevant things, in order to find the pertinent evidence.

True attention to detail is a necessary attribute for an effective detective. They are required to see the big picture, and then be able to zoom in on the little pieces that lead to the resolution of the case. Detectives must have the uncanny ability to view nine things at once, and then determine which of those nine things has any relevance – if any.

If a detective has a methodical approach, it will often lead to clean arrests and successful prosecutions.

Empathy

When a detective is called to a crime scene, they are entering a world of tragedy and chaos. There will be those who lost loved ones, victims who have been attacked, and people who have had their lives turned upside down.  In those situations, compassion is required.

It is easy to lose sight of sympathy for the victim when engrossed in the search for the perp. But, a great detective will always maintain a level of empathy for those who suffered at the hands of a criminal. The detective must be a symbol of sympathy and strength.

Tenacity

When it’s all said and done, it is usually the detective’s tenacity that solves cases. Working long, odd hours. Dealing with the underbelly of society. And having a tremendous workload. These are just some of the obstacles put in front of a detective.

But, a truly gifted detective will overcome the burdens. And through sheer grit and determination, they will solve the crime. And put the perp behind bars. 

These are all noble characteristics. And they all contribute to the makeup of a highly effective police detective. What do you think – any other traits that belong on this list?

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California Serial Killers: 7 Notorious Golden State Psychos

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Photo courtesy of thoughtco.com.

California has a lot to offer. From the hills of Hollywood to the think tanks of Silicon Valley. From the beaches, up over the mountains and into the deserts. The Golden State provides an endless bounty of opportunities for adventure and natural beauty.

Known for its progressive and free-spirited attitude, the Golden State has enchanted those who are in search of a new life. The problem is – not everyone has sweet dreams of surf and sun. Rather, there are some nefarious characters lurking in the shadows and preying on the innocent.

Here are seven of California’s most horrendous killers.

Lonnie Franklin Jr.  (the ‘Grim Sleeper’)

From 1985 through 1988, the women of South Los Angeles were living a nightmare. And that nightmare was Lonnie Franklin, Jr. Over the course of  three years, nine women were raped and murdered. Then suddenly, the murders stopped.

That is – until 2002 when the body of a teenage girl was discovered in the adjacent city of Inglewood. This killing ‘hiatus’ led to Franklin’s nickname, the Grim Sleeper. Another eight years passed, and justice was finally served. In 2010, Franklin was arrested in his South LA home, and was eventually sentenced to death on 10 counts of murder.

Michael Hughes

Home to Sony Pictures, Culver City is a thriving entertainment industry neighborhood. This area experienced its own horror movie in the 1990s when Michael Hughes was on his killing spree. In 1998, Hughes was convicted of killing four women. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

But, the story does not end there. Ten years after his conviction – through a DNA ‘cold hit’ authorities charged Hughes with four additional murders. He was eventually convicted for three of those deaths. In total – Hughes was convicted for killing seven women.

In 2012, Hughes received a death sentence.

Richard Ramirez (the ‘Night Stalker’)

Throughout the mid-1980s, Southern California residents were terrorized by who the media dubbed – the Night Stalker. The killer, Richard Ramirez, was a rapist and Satanist, who would enter people’s homes in the early morning hours. Ramirez’s murder rampage claimed 13 lives.

The Night Stalker would either strangle, shoot or slash the throat of  his victims. Pentagrams were also spray painted on the walls of some of the homes of the victims. Ramirez was sentenced to death in 1989, and died of natural causes in 2013 while still on death row.

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Photo courtesy of blogtalkradio.com.  Note: Try staring at his eyes for longer than 30 seconds.

Charles Manson

One of the most infamous killers of all-time, Charles Manson had curated a cult of loyal followers, who carried out brutal murders on his behalf. Over the course of two nights in August of 1969, he and his followers were responsible for the brutal murder of seven people.

Both sets of murders involved home invasions of affluent and well-known people. The first group of murders included the gruesome killing of Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of famed director Roman Polanski. On the following night, wealthy supermarket executive Leno LaBiance and his wife, Rosemary, were brutally slain.

Manson continues to serve a life sentence, and has been denied parole on a repeated basis.

William G. Bonin

Suspected of 35 murders, the so-called “Freeway Killer” was once described by a prosecutor as the most evil person who had ever existed. In the span of less than two years (1979-1980), William G. Bonin raped, tortured and killed 21 boys and young men. Another 14 murders are attributed to Bonin, but he was never convicted for those additional slayings.

A former Southern California truck driver, Bonin earned the moniker Freeway Killer because many of his victims’ bodies were found alongside various California freeways.

Bonin was executed in 1996, and earned the dubious distinction of being the first person in California to be killed by lethal injection.

Marcus Wesson

In March 2004, nine bodies were discovered in a Fresno, California home – a scene which was described by police as a “House of Horrors.”

In a back room of the home, the killer – Marcus Wesson – stacked the dead bodies from youngest to oldest. If that’s not disturbing enough, all of the victims were his children, and the ages ranged from 1 to 25.

Known as Fresno’s worst mass murderer, Wesson was charged, convicted and sentenced to death for killing nine of his children.

Charles Ng

In 1985 – scattered across the property of a rustic cabin situated in the picturesque Sierra Nevada foothills – police discovered over 40 pounds of charred human remains.

The killers, Charles Ng and Leonard Lake, are suspected of slaying 19 people. Despite evidence of nearly 20 murders, Ng was only charged and convicted with the death of 11 victims – two infants, three women and six men. Ng’s accomplice, Lake, was never convicted, as he committed suicide shortly after his arrest.

In 1999, Ng was sentenced to death, and is currently on death row awaiting his execution.

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The existence of these psychotic killers is a cautionary tale which shows us that we must always be vigilant and aware of our surroundings. We never know what monster is hiding in the shadows.

How about where you live – have there been any killers who belong on a similar, infamous list?

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DEAD COLD Excerpt: The Search for an Abducted Girl

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DEAD COLD

An Emily Stone Thriller

Copyright © 2017 by Jennifer Chase

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Life is not worth living if you cannot make a difference—right a wrong, save an innocent life, or catch a serial killer. ~ Emily Stone

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PROLOGUE

ESCAPE WAS IMPOSSIBLE. TEARS STREAMED down her face as she sat in the darkness and waited for the man to return. There was no other choice—but to wait.

She hadn’t eaten anything in three days and had only a limited amount of water—her strength continued to fade with every hour. With her wrists and ankles secured with duct tape, her skin stung with pain every time she struggled to move. At least the man had peeled the tape from her eyes and mouth so that she could see something besides pitch-blackness.

Even if she could escape, the only way to safety was jumping into the frigid water, but she could not swim and would drown before ever reaching the shore.

The only thing thirteen-year-old Kayla Swanson thought about was home. Fond memories flashed through her mind of her parents, her little brother, and her dog Charlie. She was never going to see them again. Their smiling faces were forever etched in Kayla’s mind, and she constantly held them close to her heart.

The boat rocked, and seemed to sway more violently as the tide flooded in and out of the harbor. Kayla could hear a consistent clanking noise above her as the boat rolled back and forth. The sound had a hypnotic quality, and kept her mind on something else besides when the man would return and what he would do next.

Her lips were dry and cracked as she bordered on dehydration. Even her tears dried on her cheeks, leaving her skin stiff and drawn. Her body began to shake, not only from fear, but also because of the extreme exhaustion and the constant dampness all around her.

The boat rocked more, but this time it shifted from the opposite sides. Kayla heard soft footsteps above, which she knew wasn’t her captor’s heavy walk. She strained her eyes in the darkness and thought she saw a thin shadow stealthily move along the upper deck.

Was it a ghost?

Kayla remembered a television series where a team of people hunted ghosts and they had said that ghosts could occupy any type of space, house, property, and even a boat.

She blinked her eyes several times and hoped that she could catch a glimpse of the ghost again. With every ounce of declining strength, Kayla scooted her body closer to the narrow stairs leading to the upper deck.

Painfully craning her neck, she strained to see something up in the darkness.

The dark shadowed areas played tricks on her eyes—it was there, then it wasn’t.

She waited for several minutes.

Nothing appeared.

The only sounds she heard were the usual boat noises she had grown accustomed to hearing. Whatever she thought she heard was gone now. It was most likely her imagination trying to give her some hope and a few moments break from her dire circumstances.

As she relaxed her shoulders and leaned back against the wall, the reality of her world pressing down hard. Tears streamed down her face. She tasted the saltiness that settled around her mouth. Her last moments were approaching, and there was nothing she could do.

Kayla felt her pulse relax and a strange peacefulness overcame her—even if it was for only a moment. It was an overwhelming calm that gave her strength for what was next.

He was coming back.

She closed her eyes, but the only thing that came to mind was the man who had grabbed her.

His dark eyes.

His hefty strength groping at her body.

His horrible sour breath.

He fixated on everything about Kayla. She had the feeling that he had watched her for some time. There was a familiarity in his words as he secured her. The violent struggle that ensued ultimately led to the helplessness she now felt waiting in the darkness.

A light swishing noise made Kayla quickly open her eyes and look up.

There it was again, something darting around the boat. It was the ghost she saw earlier of what appeared to be a small, slim body moving swiftly around the upper deck.

It was not her captor, because he was heavyset and moved differently. He would not care if Kayla heard him or not. This apparition seemed to move with caution and ease.

Guardian angel came to Kayla’s mind. She had always seen pretty paintings and movies with angels as beautiful feminine creatures.

Was that her guardian angel?

Kayla would soon get her answer.

“Kayla,” whispered a woman’s voice. There was almost a musical quality to it.

The girl sat stunned, not moving, and unable to respond at first.

Again, “Kayla?” the voice asked softly.

She opened her mouth and tried to speak, but nothing came out. Kayla hadn’t realized that she hadn’t spoken for two days, and it was difficult to make a sound.

“Yes—” she barely replied.

A concerned woman’s face appeared at the top of the steps. She was beautiful with wet, shoulder-length blonde hair and dark eyes. Dressed in a dark wetsuit, she moved like a Ninja with grace and purpose. She wore some type of earpiece like the Secret Service who protect the president.

“Kayla, are you okay?” she asked with concern.

“I—I think so.”

“Let’s get you out of here,” the woman said and then spoke quietly into her small microphone, “I’ve got her, and she’s okay.”

She easily jumped down into the cabin and began to free Kayla from her restraints. It took some manipulation to tear away layers of duct tape.

“Who are you?” Kayla asked.

“I’m here to rescue you,” she said. “Don’t worry everything is going to be okay now.”

Kayla didn’t hear any other voices or cops moving around above. It was just this woman. She was confused, but curious by her unknown rescuer.

“Who are you?” Kayla asked again.

“It’s not important.”

“Yes, yes, it is to me,” she insisted.

The woman finally freed Kayla’s hands and ankles, and then looked directly at her.

Kayla saw more depth in her eyes than anyone she had ever met. There was a determination and fierceness reflected in a strong presence of the woman. It was something that Kayla had never experienced before with any of the adults that she knew.

“I’m Emily,” the woman reluctantly answered. “Can you walk?”

Kayla nodded.

Emily helped the girl up and guided her to move up the ladder, then quickly followed.

Kayla stood on the deck as the boat bobbed and weaved. She could see that it was docked at the very end of the outer harbor and close to the shore. The thought of being in the water made her shiver as the wind picked up speed, battering her face and body.

Emily turned to Kayla. “We’re going to get you to the dock area and the police will meet you there and take you home.”

Kayla fiercely shook her head.

“It’s okay, honey. I’ll be with you, and it’s only a short distance away.”

“No, no, I can’t swim,” Kayla pleaded, but her words seemed to disappear in the wind.

The tide picked up the intensity of the wind blowing harder against the boat. The fog encroached over the dim lighting of the harbor, which made any nighttime visibility disappear and reappear in strange increments.

The boat rocked and Kayla had a difficult time keeping her footing. Both Emily and Kayla fought to keep their balance and not catapult head first into the water.

Kayla turned her head and saw the heavyset man climb aboard from a dingy at the other side of the boat.

“Emily!” Kayla screamed.

It gave Emily just enough time to push the girl to safety and ready herself for the assault. Kayla landed hard on her backside but managed to push herself into a small crevice to keep from sliding back and forth.

Kayla could do nothing except watch as Emily received a powerful blow from her captor. She went down and slid several feet but wasn’t deterred as she readied herself for the next attack. Amazingly, Emily stood her ground, hands ready, and pushed the man backward. The instant that the kidnapper was off balance, Emily went in for the attack, punching and kicking him in the stomach and groin areas. The heavy man went down hard. He lay moaning on the deck. She couldn’t hear what he said because of the gusts of wind, but his expression was extreme anger and his mouth made ugly shapes as he spoke.

Kayla had never seen anything like it before. Everything going on around her felt more like a nightmare than real life—except for the blonde-haired woman who had come to her rescue. She watched as Emily quickly wrapped some type of plastic ties around the man’s ankles and feet.  After making sure that he was secured, Emily turned to Kayla.

Emily gestured for Kayla to join her. She said something, but Kayla couldn’t hear her. Emily grabbed a life preserver from a wooden compartment along the deck.

“C’mon,” she said.

The boat seemed to buck and fight against the tide, water splashing onto the deck.

Emily moved carefully making her way to Kayla. “C’mon, we have to go.” She slipped the girl’s arms through life preserver and fastened it across her chest. Turning away, Emily said into her microphone, “We’re on our way. ETA five minutes.”

Kayla watched the water slosh and churn all around the boat. It made her legs even weaker and her mouth dryer. She glanced at the bad man still lying on his side struggling to release himself from the ties and spitting out seawater. He still frightened her even though he couldn’t get to her.

Kayla stood on the deck paralyzed with fear, hypnotized by the unpredictable water.

Emily took her hand. “I won’t let go. I promise.”

A large splash of water slapped Kayla’s face. It brought her into a more terrified state and a mental paralysis gripped her body. Her knees locked and her feet glued themselves to the deck. Kayla couldn’t jump into the water. She would rather wait for a boat to rescue her, but she knew that it wasn’t possible. Something about Emily’s face told her that it was the only way—and she didn’t want to ask questions to why.

Emily kneeled, took Kayla’s shoulders and said, “You can do this. I’m with you every step of the way.”

Kayla knew that Emily told her the truth, but her body didn’t want to cooperate. “I can’t!” she yelled.

“You can do it!” Emily insisted.

Kayla looked back at the bad man and remembered everything he had done to her—the terror, the threats, and the disgusting abuse.

She looked down at the water and hesitated.

Emily took a couple of steps down the ladder into the water. “C’mon, Kayla,” she urged.

Kayla moved slowly and felt the boat rock sharply. She caught herself before falling and held her breath. Looking at the boat docks through the fog, she knew that she had to jump into the frigid water to make it to shore.

Emily took another step down toward the water, then another and submerged herself. She held to the last rung of the ladder waiting for Kayla.

“I’m right here. You can do this, Kayla,” she urged. “C’mon.”

Kayla knew that she didn’t want to be on the boat anymore and wanted to put the entire terrifying experience behind her. She trusted Emily even though she wasn’t completely sure why.

She moved closer to the ladder and slowly put her foot onto the next rung. Water continued to splash into her face. She shivered from the cold, but knew that it was only a little bit farther to freedom.

“That’s it—keep going,” Emily coaxed.

Kayla took a deep breath, let it out, and eased herself into the water.

The temperature was shocking to her body. She thrashed for a moment with the anxiety of drowning, but the life vest held her head above the water.

“It’s okay, you’re fine,” Emily insisted. “Put your arms around my neck.”

Kayla clung to Emily as they slowly swam away from the boat. Kayla glanced back expecting to see the heavyset man coming after them, but no one appeared. She thought it looked like a ghost ship in the fog.

Turning her focus back to Emily, she concentrated on the dock as they eased closer. The numbness in her legs and back outweighed her fear of drowning. She knew that she was finally safe.

Several consecutive waves smacked their faces, but Emily kept a strong steady pace.

Kayla coughed and choked on the water that flooded into her mouth. Her face stung like tiny needles piercing her cheeks. She kept her arms tightly around Emily’s neck and could feel Emily’s heavy breathing as she pulled them closer to safety.

The thick fog continued to float across the harbor. It blanketed most of the boats and made the masts invisible.

A tall figure stood on the dock about six feet from the entrance. He had something in his arms. Kayla shook with fear, her imagination reeling her back to her captor.

The man moved quickly forward and helped them out of the water. He then wrapped Kayla in a warm thick blanket. His eyes were kind, his face stern, and he reminded Kayla of a police officer she once met in her neighborhood.

Breathless, Emily said, “Kayla, wait right here. The police are coming and they will take you home. Okay?”

“But—” her teeth chattered. “But—what about you?”

Emily smiled. “Don’t worry about me. You were very brave. I told you that you could do it.”

Police sirens wailed in the distance.

Both Emily and the man looked in the distance where red lights flashed—cars approaching fast.

“Why can’t you take me home?” Kayla asked.

Emily let out a sigh. “The police will be here in minutes. It’s their job to make sure that you’re okay, and they will take you home.”

The couple turned to leave. Kayla knew that they were like secret agents or undercover superheroes, and they had to leave because they didn’t want anyone to know their identities.

“Wait,” Kayla said.

Emily turned and looked at her.

“Thank you, Emily. I’ll never forget you,” she said, wanting to remember the details of Emily’s face.

She smiled and then hurried away.

Kayla stood on the dock and watched the couple disappear into the fog until she couldn’t see them anymore.

The sirens approached at high speed.

Three police cars turned down the street leading through the harbor entrance. Their headlights focused on Kayla shivering, wet, and waiting for them.

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NEW THRILLER RELEASE: What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides?

DeadCold

It’s finally here!! Emily Stone is back and she’s hunting her toughest serial killer yet.

You can stay updated for all things DEAD COLD when you sign up for alert emails on this blog. There will be giveaways, articles, interviews, excerpts, blog tours, and more fun things coming up soon.

DEAD COLD

An Emily Stone Thriller

From the multi-award winning series:

What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides? It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder. Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offers a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design—and execute.

On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet. Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time.

Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind. Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in reinforcements—the FBI.

Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues, while keeping their identities hidden from the police. With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer. She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend Jordan Smith. A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them.

The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time—they leave behind everyone and everything—in Dead Cold.

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***

Please join me:

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 Author Blog: https://authorjenniferchase.com/

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Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Dark Pursuit

Silent Partner  Screenwriting

 

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