Romantic Suspense and Thriller

Twisted Innocence By Terri Blackstock

Friday, February 27, 2015

Holly Cramer’s past choices have finally caught up to her, but she never expected them to endanger her baby.

Holly has had many consequences throughout her life—job losses, financial collapse, relationship problems—but none has ever shaken her like her pregnancy. She cleans up her life as she carries her child, but she never tells the father. When he learns about Lily’s birth, he comes back into her life, but he brings a world of trouble with him. He’s a suspect in a murder case, and when Holly uses her private investigating skills to help police locate him, the tables turn and he takes her and the baby hostage. But is he really a killer or a victim? His link to her family’s arch-nemesis creates an even more tangled web.


Excerpt:


In the dim illumination from a streetlight, Holly met Creed’s eyes in her rearview mirror—sitting in her backseat and holding her gun on her.

“I need you to listen carefully,” he said.

She tried to breathe. “Creed, this is crazy. What are you doing?”

“I should ask you the same question.”

She didn’t know what to say. She couldn’t tell him that she was trying to find him so she could turn him over to the police. She thought of bringing up Lily, reminding him that she was a mother ... but that didn’t seem wise. “Creed, come on. Put the gun down.”

“Brittany told me you were asking about me. As she was leaving, I saw your cab. Are you working for them?”

“Them who?”

He stared at her. “I want you to give me your phone and that camera.”

She took them off her seat, handed them to him.

“Now you’re going to get out of the car with me and come into the camper. We’re going to drive it out of here. If you found me, the others will too.”

She swallowed hard. “Yes, okay. Sure. Just ... take it easy with that gun, will you? Point it somewhere else.”

He looked down at the phone, probably checking to see if she’d called anyone about him. Then she heard him ejecting the gun’s clip, no doubt making sure it was loaded. “All right, get out. I’ll have the gun in my pocket, aimed at you as we walk. If you scream or do anything other than what I tell you, I’ll shoot. Don’t test me. I’ll do it.”

“Right. Okay. Whatever you say.”

Her mind raced for an escape, but she couldn’t run with a gun pointed at her back. He got out of the car, took the keys out of her hand, and locked it. He prodded her. “Walk.”

Stiffly, she crossed the street and passed several RVs, motorhomes, and campers till they came to his motorhome under the street light. He opened the door and motioned for her to go in. She stepped up and into it.

In the dim light she could see two small beds—one above the other—a table, and a small door that led into a bathroom. The driver’s and passenger’s seats were accessible from the living area.

“Nice place,” she said in a metallic voice. “Is it yours?”

“Get in the driver’s seat,” he said.

“I don’t know how to drive one of these. I’ll wreck it.”

“Do it!”

She slipped into the seat behind the steering wheel. Creed got into the passenger seat next to her. Now she could see that he looked pretty much the same as he had ten months ago. Dark hair a little too long, his face two or three days unshaven, those blue eyes that had done her in …

“Now pull out. I’ll tell you where to go.”

She started the engine, her hands shaking. “What about my cab?”

“I don’t care about your cab.”

“Well, I do. It’s the way I make a living.”

“I know about both your jobs, Holly. That’s why I think you can help me.”

Help him? Was he insane? “Who told you what I do?”

“Rio.”

She sighed as she pulled the behemoth vehicle down the drive to the campground’s exit. “He sure is chatty these days, isn’t he? Just a treasure trove of information.”

“You might say that.”

They were quiet for a moment as she turned out of the RV park and onto the highway. What was Juliet going to think when Holly didn’t show up to get Lily? Would she realize something had happened to her, or would she just assume that she had gone back to her old partying ways?

Holly looked over at Creed. His eyes were wide open—on high alert—as he scanned the cars on the road. He looked tired and scared.

Holly swallowed. “Listen, Creed. I know you’re stressed out with the police looking for you and all. I don’t know if you killed that guy or not, but I can tell you that taking me hostage right now is not going to help your situation.”

“I’m not taking you hostage. You came here of your own free will.”

“Well, I’m not in this motorhome of my own free will! I have a baby who needs to be picked up from my sister’s house! Juliet is going to think I ditched my child to go out partying. Can’t I just call her?”

“No. You’re not calling anybody.”

“Creed, the baby needs to be fed soon.”

He grew quiet, glancing from her to the highway, brooding in the darkness.

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Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-seller, with over six million copies sold worldwide. She is the winner of three Carol Awards, a Christian Retailers Choice Award, and a Romantic Times Book Reviews Career Achievement Award, among others. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. Terri spent the first twelve years of her life traveling in an Air Force family. She lived in nine states and attended the first four years of school in The Netherlands. Because she was a perpetual “new kid,” her imagination became her closest friend. That, she believes, was the biggest factor in her becoming a novelist.

To keep up with Terri Blackstock, visit www.terriblackstock.com, become a fan on Facebook (tblackstock) or follow her on Twitter (@TerriBlackstock).