A SHADOW IN THE WINDOW
Nia Hollister doesn't scare easily. She's returned to Ash, Kentucky, with a vengeance--and with a mission: find the killer who brutally ended her cousin's life. What she didn't count on was trembling with desire every time she sees Law Reilly. If any man can help her escape the nightmares for a while, it's him. But can she allow herself to take comfort in those strong arms when her sister's killer still roams free?
She may think she's a bad ass, but she should not have come back to his town. He is watching her--as she slips into Law Reilly's house, as she storms into the sheriff's office. These men won't be able to protect her when her time comes. Timing is everything, though he can't wait forever. She's nosing around the woods, looking for his hiding place. Yes, he is watching her . . . through the window . . . in her bed . . .
If she's not scared, she should be . . . because he is very good at what he does.
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February 28, 2012
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Excerpt from If You Know Her by Shiloh Walker
Jolene had been dead for six months.
Six long months.
Nia Hollister lay on her bed, staring up at the ceiling as she tried to will herself to sleep, but sleep wasn't coming. It wasn't getting any easier. Nothing was easier. Sleeping. Living. Moving on with her life.
But how was she supposed to get on with her life, when her cousin, her best friend, her only family was gone? Murdered . . . dead and buried, brutalized by some monster for reasons that Nia couldn't even fathom.
Even after six long months, she still felt like she had a hole in her chest the size of the entire state of Virginia.
The fact that the man who'd killed Joely was dead made no difference, not to her. It changed nothing. It helped nothing, eased none of her pain. Not even watching as they'd lowered his worthless corpse into the ground had helped.
That should have helped, right?
He was dead--�the man who had killed her cousin was dead. That should give her closure, right?
Did people really think having closure helped?
It sure as hell wasn't helping her. Knowing who did it . . . how did that help?
Exhausted, sick at heart, and still as miserable now as she had been the day she'd found out the truth, Nia sat up in her bed and rummaged around on her bedside table until she found a mangled pack of cigarettes.
She'd stopped smoking three years ago. She'd started again five and a half months ago. She kept telling herself she'd stop, and she knew she needed to, but she just couldn't work up the energy to care.
Right now, she couldn't quite give a fuck if she was polluting her lungs--�what did it matter? Right now, she was having a hard time finding anything that mattered.
Sighing, she lit a cigarette and climbed out of bed, moved to stare out the window. It was dark and quiet. She was far enough outside the city that the lights from town were muted and she could see the stars.
There had been a time when she had loved nights like this.
Now she hated them, hated the quiet, hated the peace. It seemed like that was when she heard it the loudest. Heard her. It was just her imagination, but it seemed so real.
Joely's screaming . . . God, how she must have screamed. Had she begged? Had she pleaded?
Heedless of the smoking cigarette in her hands, she pressed the heels of her hands against her eyes, as though that might keep her from hearing the screams, might keep her from thinking about her cousin.
Her best friend.
The woman who'd been murdered by some sick-�ass bastard who was now rotting away under six feet of dirt. She should take comfort in that, Nia reckoned.
But she couldn't. Didn't. It just felt too . . . unfinished.
Blowing out a breath, she lowered her hands and eyed the cigarette. "Going to catch my damn hair on fire," she muttered. Putting it between her lips, she inhaled. As the smoke filled her lungs, she tipped her head back and stared up at the darkened ceiling.
Yeah, it felt damned unfinished.
But Joe Carson had been found with Joely's watch on him, and her clothing and other evidence had been found at the cabin where he'd been squatting.
What were they supposed to do?
In some sick, convoluted way, it even made sense, once somebody had explained things to her.
Hope Carson had left her abusive ex-�husband and spent two years on the move, because she feared he might come after her. Finally, she'd decided she was going to settle in with her friend Law Reilly. The ex must have been watching her pretty damn close. Timing-�wise . . . no. Nia didn't quite buy the timing bit, because her cousin had been grabbed before Hope had arrived in Ash, Kentucky, but the cops had shrugged it off.
There wasn't any secret that she was friends with Reilly. Reilly had confirmed she had been making plans to come stay with him. They'd speculated that Carson had just made a lucky guess, or suggested maybe he'd had some inside knowledge--�their suggestions hadn't meant shit to her.
So, Hope arrives in Ash and her ex-�husband waits until she sort of settles in, and then he kills Nia's cousin. Leaves her body right where Hope can all but trip over it. Trying to scare Hope into running . . . just trying to scare her? Warn her? This will be you if you don't toe the line?