(A Berry Springs Novel)
Publication date: December 4th 2018
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Romance
Former Marine turned ballistics expert, Wesley Cross is known around town for two things, his rugged good-looks and cocky attitude—until he finds his ex-girlfriend lying in a puddle of blood in his basement. The scene screams setup, but the discovery of a rare gem and a puzzling autopsy suggests the murder goes much deeper than that. Wesley will do whatever it takes to clear his name, including calling in a notoriously headstrong—and sexy—scientist.
While most little girls were playing dress up, Gwyneth Reece was digging in the dirt collecting bugs. Now one of the top forensic entomologists in the country, Gwen reluctantly accepts a job from a pushy cowboy and travels to the small, Southern town of Berry Springs. Heavy storms are brewing, and when she’s forced to check into the creepiest hotel she’s ever seen, she instantly regrets her decision to help out the former Marine.
Following up on a tip, Wesley heads to the Half Moon Hotel but quickly realizes his visit was not by chance. The killer lured him there, and suddenly everyone from the uptight bellman to the wealthy couple just passing through town become suspect. Bodies begin to disappear, and Wesley knows the killer will do anything to get to him…. including hurting the woman who’s kept his head spinning since he first laid eyes on her.
Wine (okay fine, Vodka), soul searching, and the path less taken
I get a lot of questions about how, or why I became a writer. And, to be honest, it came out of nowhere (and includes lots of vodka). Two years ago, I had my second baby boy, and my life took an unexpected pivot when my husband and I made the tough decision for me to walk away from my career and become a stay-at-home mommy (yikes!). I didn’t realize at the time that decision was the first step guiding me to my new career. I’d always struggled with what I was meant to do professionally.
After graduating college, I became Miss Corporate America. My world was cubicles, PowerPoint presentations, quotas, and butt-kissing. I knew, deep down, this was not my path. I jumped around from company to company, trying to find contentment, but every day was the same. Zero excitement. Zero passion. The quote from Office Space where Peter says, “Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles all day” flashed in my head at least once a day. I wanted to be the person who says, “I love what I do so much that it doesn’t feel like work.”
As the years dragged on, I kept sending positive energy out into the world, praying that I’d find whatever that job was. And one day, after trading briefcases for diaper bags, the decades-long quest finally ended after I wrote the first few paragraphs of my first book during my babies’ naptime. I instantly fell in love and never looked back. I was scared at first, rejected plenty, and wanted to quit a few times, but my passion for writing prevailed, and I’m so glad I kept putting one foot in front of the other (sometimes to the liquor cabinet), and didn’t give up. It’s been one heck of a journey and very humbling to see how the little decisions and pivots in life led me here.
On that note, and considering it’s almost the start of a new year, I’d like to take a second to urge you to go chase your dream. Finally, just do it. Silence the paralyzing “what if’s” and the “it’s just not a good time.” Take that first step, and then the next, and the next. Yep, you’re going to fall on your face, be humbled beyond belief, but at the end of the day, you’ll know you did something—SOMETHING—to work toward a deeper happiness and to better your position in life, whatever that looks like for you.
Through the journey, you’ll be reminded of how strong you are and also of that God-given GRIT that lives in all of us. And eventually, you’re going to sit back with a glass of vodka, smile, and say, “I f*cking did it.” So here’s to closing out 2018 with an awesome book, and starting 2019 chasing that dream of yours.
About the author:
Award-winning author of romantic suspense and mystery, Amanda McKinney wrote her debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. Set in small, Southern towns, Amanda’s books are page-turning murder mysteries peppered with steamy love scenes, and include the BERRY SPRINGS SERIES and the BLACK ROSE MYSTERY SERIES, with many more to come.