Well, I’ve made it a week with a blog of some sort up each day. Considering how sick I’ve been most of the week, that’s doing pretty good. I promise not to do as many reposts/snippets next week. Well, I promise to try to not do as many 😉
I did get one piece of news this week. Nocturnal Interlude will be available next week in digital format with the print version available in the next two weeks or so. When the print version comes out, it will be joining a new print edition of Nocturnal Origins and the first print edition of Nocturnal Serenade. As soon as they are available, I’ll be posting links here and on Facebook.
So, to prepare for its release, here’s the next snippet from Nocturnal Interlude. (FYI, the snippets are from the pre-final edit version. So you may find a few misspelled words, etc.)
(Edited to add: Thanks to Cedar Sanderson for the wonderful review of Nocturnal Origins. You can find her review here. Thanks again, Cedar!)
The elevator doors slid shut and the car started up with a slight lurch. At it did, Mac studied her reflection in the mirror lining the back wall of the car. She felt like a kid playing dress up for Halloween. When she’d agreed to join Flynn’s team, she hadn’t really thought about all it meant. Nothing really mattered beyond having the authority and resources she needed to find her partner and the others. She hadn’t even bothered reading the different papers he’d handed her, relying on her mother to tell her if there was anything wrong with them. Instead of doing that, Elizabeth had assured her everything was in order. So she’d scrawled her signature at the bottom of the different pages and handed them back to Flynn.
And suddenly found herself attached to the federal government. If anyone were to search her records, they’d discover nothing out of the ordinary. The reactivation clause of her resignation allowed the Corps to call her back to active duty. Now she was on detached duty to Homeland Security, specifically to act as liaison between the Homeland investigators and DPD. What the search wouldn’t show was her true assignment. At least she hoped it wouldn’t.
Mateo disappeared then into one of the bedrooms. When he returned, he carried a combat utility uniform and boots for her, complete with rank markings and a name tape. That’s when she learned she was once more a member of the USMC, at least on paper. The only problem was that it had been a long time since she’d been in the Reserves. She’d joined when she’d been in college, another attempt to goad her mother. She’d stayed in during college and the first few years after she’d graduated from the police academy. Then she’d resigned from the Reserves to focus on being a cop. Not that it seemed to bother Flynn any. He told her that everything was official and she was now a captain with all the pay and privileges that entailed.
As soon as she’d changed, she and Mateo had left the warehouse, four members of Mateo’s squad acting as their escort. She might feel like she was playing dress-up after so long but at least she was finally getting to do something. Hopefully, it wasn’t too late to find Pat and the others.
When she pushed open the glass doors leading into her squad room, Mac nodded. The sights and sounds – and even smells – she’d come to associate with work surrounded her. A quick headcount was all she needed to know three of her team weren’t present. Her heart skipped a beat until she saw the entry on the assignment board showing that two of the three were in court that day. That meant only Pat was missing.
The sound of Detective Nathan Norwood’s chair sliding across the floor as he quickly climbed to his feet cut through the other sounds of the bullpen. Mac fought back her laugh as he all but braced to attention. He was one of the newest member of the squad and had come to them from the Marines. What Mac didn’t know until that morning was that he was still a part of her cousin’s unit and assigned to be a part of Mac’s squad just in case more trouble like that with Novacek happened. Trouble like what they now faced.
“Take it down a notch, Nate.” She motioned for him to be seated, not comfortable with his reaction.
“What the hell?” Detective Jennifer Sears paused in the doorway from the break room and stared at Mac in surprise. “LT?”
“Briefing in five,” Mac said as she moved across the bullpen in the direction of her office. “Sears, my office.”
A few moments later, Mac closed the door behind Sears and motioned for her to be seated. As she took her place behind her desk, Mac reached for the stack of mail that had collected during her absence. She had absolutely no interest in it, at least not if it didn’t hold some clue about where Pat and the others were, but looking through it gave Sears time to figure out which question she wanted to ask first.
“Mac, what’s going on?”
Well, that wasn’t quite as specific as she’d expected. Of course, Mac wasn’t sure she’d know what to ask if their roles were reversed.
“I’ll explain everything in the briefing, Jen, but the short version is that I’ve been recalled to active duty and will be liaising between DPD and Homeland.”
“Recalled? You’ve never been in the military.”
“I’ve been in the Reserves, Jen. It’s been awhile though. What I didn’t realize was there’s an obscure provision that allowed them to recall me in certain emergencies.”
For a moment, Sears said nothing. Mac could see her mental wheels turning. It wasn’t hard to guess her friend was thinking all the way back to their time in the Academy, trying to remember if there had ever been a time when Mac had talked about the military. That was why she’d wanted to talk to Sears alone. If she could somehow convince her friend this wasn’t an act, she’d be able to convince anyone.
“Mac, I swear I’ve never heard you talk about being in the Marines. At least I don’t remember you talking about it.” Sears shook her head, her head brushing her shoulders as she did. “So what’s going on?”
“Let me ask you this in return, Jen. Where’s Pat?”
The moment the question was out, Mac realized just how angry – and worried – she was. The fact no one had contacted her about what happened had bothered her from the moment she learned Pat was missing. At first, she’d assumed either King or perhaps her grandmother had said not to tell her. But both Ellen and Jackson, who had talked with King, assured her that wasn’t the case. That meant her own squad, including the woman not seated before her, someone Mac thought of as one of her best friends, had kept the news from her.
Now, seeing how Sears paled, Mac knew she was right to be worried.
“God, Mac, how long have you known?”
“That she’s missing?”
Sears nodded, her expression worried.
“Not long. I found out as soon as I got in.” She paused, her expression serious. “And I’d like to know why no one tried to contact me. Not only did Lt. Travis have my number and the number of the hotel where I was staying but so did you.”
Sears’ expression was miserable as she looked anywhere but at Mac.
“So, why the hell didn’t you contact me as soon as you realized something had happened to Pat?” Now Mac didn’t try to keep the bite from her voice. She’d thought the problems between Sears and Pat were behind them. Either she’d been mistaken or there was even more to what was going on than they anticipated. Neither possibility was good.
“I wanted to, Mac, but was told not to.”
Mac’s hands fisted under her desk, out of sight of her friend. But she knew Sears wouldn’t miss the flash of anger in her eyes and she didn’t care. If someone had actually issued orders not to contact her, they might be involved in what happened. “Who?”
“Mac, this is one boat you don’t want to rock. Trust me on this.”
“Damn it, Jenny, Pat’s my partner and my friend.” She got to her feet and moved around her desk so she stared down at the woman. “She’s a cop, one of us. We don’t turn our backs on our own. So answer my question. Who told you not to contact me?”
“Deeks from IAB.”
Mac felt her upper lip curl back. It took all her self-control not to throw something – or hit something. She’d been prepared for just about anything but this. The fact that IAB had already been nosing around the investigation – worse, that it was interfering in the investigation. What else could Deeks’ action in telling Sears not to contact her be called? – was just about the worst thing that could happen. Deeks being in charge of the investigation made it even worse. Mac didn’t know him but she knew his reputation. He didn’t care if he tarnished the reputation of good, honest cops as long as he managed to further his career. Well, he was about to find out what a very big mistake he’d made by trying to keep her in the dark.
“I never thought you’d let some IAB rat tell you to keep me, your friend and your supervisor, in the dark, especially when the life of one of our own is probably on the line.” Mac shook her head when Sears opened her mouth to say something. The last thing she wanted just then were excuses. “Run the morning briefing. I have work to do.”
Furious, ignoring the worried looks of the other detectives assigned to the squad, she left her office and stalked across the bullpen. Just then, she didn’t trust herself to stay in the same room with Sears. Worse, after today she didn’t know if their friendship could ever recover. By doing as Deeks said, Sears had left Mac wondering if she’d been working with the IAB detective before now and, if so, for how long.
And, more importantly, why?
Damn it, things just kept getting worse and worse.
“It’s me. I’m on my way to the captain’s office. Are you there yet?” she said over her cellphone as she waited for the elevator. “All right. Make sure he’s sent for Sergeant Deeks as well as the CO for IAB. Deeks, at least, may be involved.”
Pat waited until the sound of the door closing filled the room. Then she drew a deep breath, held it and then let it go. She had to think but it was hard when her head pounded so badly. The rancid taste in her mouth from being sick didn’t help either. At least her captor – no, she corrected, captors – had removed the ring gag. The fact she hadn’t been re-gagged lent credence to the claim no one would hear her. She assumed the first man meant no one outside wherever she was being held because she could hear the cries and curses of others. Muffled, yes, but enough to let her know she wasn’t the only one being held.
At least her stomach no longer pitched like a small boat in a hurricane. Better, she could think more clearly. Of course, that wasn’t saying much nor did it really help – yet. She still had no idea where she was, how long she’d been there or what her captors wanted. All she knew for certain was that at least one of the men who had come into the room at different times was a shapeshifter, a were unless she missed her guess.
God, what was going on?
She pulled at the chain securing her hands behind the chair. Nothing. Her arms were pulled tight and it felt like the chain might be anchored to the chair somehow. It was definitely secured to the collar around her neck. Nothing happened when she tried to move her feet. It felt like her ankles were welded to the chair. Between the way her arms were twisted painfully behind her and the way her torso was secured, not to mention the collar around her neck, she couldn’t shift without seriously injuring herself – or worse.
Think. She had to think. She had to try to figure out what happened. That might give her a clue about how to get free.
She’d stayed late finishing up some reports. The weekend was almost there and she didn’t want anything interfering with her plans to spend some much needed time with Mike. So, much as she hated paperwork, she’d slogged through it, knowing it was one less thing to worry about the next day. Finally, feeling a sense of accomplishment, she’d left the station, looking forward to relaxing.
Half an hour later, she’d parked in her assigned space and hurried across the lot toward the entrance to her apartment building. Her keys were in her right hand and her purse slung over her left shoulder. That left her left hand free to go for her gun if necessary. That was habit now, something she’d developed during her undercover days with the Narcotics Division.
She’d just started to slide the key into the lock when she heard something behind her. Before she could turn, there’d been pain. One distant part of her brain recognized it as what it felt like to be hit by a Taser. She’d had that unfortunate experience while in the Academy as part of her training and she’d have been more than happy never to experience it again. Then, as she fell, hands caught her and she felt herself being dragged back toward the parking lot. But she couldn’t do anything, couldn’t say anything. A few moments later, there’d been a prick in her neck and all went dark.
Not that things were any different now. Things were still dark. The blindfold made it worse. Every noise seemed amplified. Not being able to see her surroundings played on her. She knew that was what her captors wanted. The fear and uncertainty would help break down her resistance. It would make her more willing to do what they said. At least that’s what she planned to let them think. She could hold out – she would hold out. She had to. Mike would know she was missing and he’d have the entirety of the DPD looking for her. Add in the members of the pride and she had to believe they’d find her soon.
God, please let them find her soon.
Five minutes later, Mac was shown into the office of Captain Michael King by King’s administrative assistant. Without a word, she stepped briskly across the thick carpet before coming to a stop before General Flynn and her cousin and braced to attention. The only thing that kept her from saluting was the fact she wasn’t wearing her cover. Instead, she waited until the general nodded and put her at her ease. Then she turned her attention to King, praying they’d at least had a chance to warn him what had happened where she was concerned.
The moment she saw her captain, her pride leader, her jaw. She could see the fear and worry reflected in his eyes and in the lines etched in his face. She prayed that didn’t mean he had news about Pat, bad news. Before she could ask, a sharp knock sounded at the door. King nodded and motioned for them to take their places. Then, as he called out for the newcomer to enter, his expression changed and gone was all the fear Mac had seen just a moment ago. No one who didn’t know him very well would be able to guess just how worried he was.
“You wanted to see us, Captain King?”
Mac turned her attention to the small woman who entered the office first. Dressed in what could only be called a red power suit with high heels that ought to be impossible to walk in, Captain Julia Wysocki stepped closer to the desk. As she did, her gaze slid over Mateo and then General Flynn. When she came to Mac, one auburn eyebrow arched in question. As it did, Mac knew the IAB commander was trying to bring up everything she knew about Mac to try to make the scene before her match with what she remembered.
A few steps behind Wysocki was the man Mac wanted a few minutes alone with. Detective Christopher Deeks looked more like a stereotypical used car salesman than a detective with his expensive suit and shoes that probably cost more than Mac made in a year, his slicked back streaked blond hair and expensive sunglasses perched on his nose. How Wysocki put up with his obvious disrespect, Mac would never understand. If one of her detectives dared show up for a meeting with her, much less with the captain, with such an insolent attitude and wearing sunglasses, she’d boot them out of the squad so fast they wouldn’t know what happened.
Still, she might be able to use that attitude to her advantage. At least she hoped so.
“I appreciate you and your detective –“ King’s opinion of Deeks was clear as he drawled out the word – “and I hope we can handle this matter without having to call in the Chief of Detectives.”
“I’m not sure I like the implication, Captain King, nor do I understand why these others are here.” Now it was Wysocki’s turn to draw herself up to her full height of maybe five feet five inches. Mac didn’t blame her for being a bit defensive. King had already thrown down the gauntlet without telling her why.
“They are here because we have a serious situation on our hands and the Chief of D’s as well as the Chief Culver have asked me to cooperate with them. However, I’m having an extremely difficult time doing so because of the actions of your Sergeant Deeks.” Now there was no mistaking the derision in King’s voice as he nodded to where Deeks leaned against the wall near the door.
“I—” Deeks began, pushing away from the wall only to fall silent when his captain cut him off with a simple look.
“Perhaps you’d best explain,” Wysocki said, crossing her arms under her breasts.
“Sir?” Mac knew it was her turn and she prayed King took the hint. When he nodded for her to proceed, she relaxed a little. The sooner they hit Deeks with the fact they knew he’d told her squad not to inform her or to talk to anyone else for that matter about Pat’s disappearance, the better. But she had one thing to do first.
She moved quickly across the office to where Deeks had resumed his position against the wall. Before he could react, she reached out and pulled the sunglasses from his face. As she did, she simply shook her head when he reached up to grab the glasses back from her. “Detective, I don’t know how your captain runs things but it borders on insubordination to stand here in Captain King’s office with these on. You’re a cop, not an actor hiding from the press.” With that, she returned to where she’d been standing before King’s desk.
“Captain Wysocki,” she continued as she placed Deeks’ glasses on the corner of King’s desk, “perhaps you would be so kind as to answer a question for me. Why did Detective Deeks tell the members of my squad not to inform me that my partner had disappeared?”
Wysocki was good but she wasn’t good enough to stop the quick flash of surprise from flickering across her expression. Nor could she stop herself from glancing at her detective before returning her attention to Mac.
“I assure you, Lieutenant Santos, that you must be mistaken. I gave no such orders and know of no reason for Detective Deeks to do so.”
Mac was inclined to believe her, but she wasn’t ready to fully accept the proposition that Wysocki had been unaware of Deeks’ actions just yet.
“Captain Wysocki, the lieutenant filling in for me, as well as others in my squad, had my cellphone number and the name and number of the hotel where I was staying while on vacation. Yet none of them contacted me to let me know that my partner has been missing for what is now almost three days. I didn’t find out until I returned home this morning. Believe me, it didn’t take long to discover that your detective –” A nod in Deeks’ direction –“had told my people not to contact me. I can only assume he issued the same orders to Lieutenant Travis. So, I repeat. Why did he tell them to keep me out of the loop?”
“That’s a question I’d like an answer to as well,” General Flynn said as he pulled himself up to his full height. Gone was the relaxed bearing. In its place was a man who commanded respect and heaven help anyone who failed to give it.
“This is bullshit, Captain!” Deeks pushed away from the wall and stalked across the office, all righteous indignation.
“Do I need to send for each of my detectives, every member of the support staff as well as the uniforms assigned to the squad and parade them in here one after the other to confirm what I just said?” Mac heard the disgust in her voice and didn’t care. Every moment they stood there debating the issue was a moment longer Pat and the others were in danger.
“Or do we simply take your detective into custody as a person of interest in an investigation into domestic terrorism and question him ourselves?” Flynn asked.
Even though Flynn’s tone was no more provocative than had he been discussing the weather, Deeks paled. More importantly, at least as far as Mac was concerned, Wysocki looked as if she finally realized just how serious the situation was. Mac could see she wanted answers but she also wasn’t asking any of the questions they all wanted answered. Instead, she turned to face Deeks, her expression hard.
“Answer them, detective. Did you tell the lieutenant’s squad not to inform her of Sergeant Collins’ disappearance?” Wysocki ordered.
Deeks didn’t respond right away. Watching, waiting, Mac kept her attention focused on the man’s face. As she did, she was glad she’d removed his sunglasses. Now she could see the way he looked almost frantically around the office. Whether it was for something he could use as a weapon or for something that might trigger his brain into giving him some sort of an excuse or misdirection, she didn’t know. All she knew for sure was that she wasn’t letting him out of the office until he’d answered her questions.
At least one of her concerns had already been answered. He wasn’t one of them. He was no more a shapeshifter than she was a beauty queen. But that didn’t mean he was unaware of their existence and actively working against them.
“Your captain asked you a question,” King prompted.
“I did tell them not to inform Santos about what happened and I’d do it again. Not only does Collins’ so-called disappearance fall under IAB’s jurisdiction, but I know her reputation all too well.” He nodded in Mac’s direction, a sneer on his lips. “My sources warned me about her. They told me if she knew what was going on, she’d do exactly this – interfere with my investigation.”
“And the basis of your investigation?” King all but ground out the words and Mac looked at him in concern. He couldn’t lose control now and give the IAB rats a reason to keep control of the investigation.
“And what source warned you about me?” Mac stepped between King and Deeks, forcing the IAB detective to focus on her and not her captain.
“Collins is dirty. No cop works as long as she did undercover in Narco without it happening. Besides, there’s been no ransom demand. She’s taken a hike and I plan to find out why. As for my source, you’re such a hotshot detective, figure it out for yourself.”
Mac’s anger almost boiled over. The pain in the heels of her palms told her she’d been clinching her fists so tightly her nails were close to breaking the skin. Well, that was better than smashing a fist into Deeks’ face. Not as satisfying, but it would keep him from pressing charges against her, effectively keeping her from investigating what happened.
“Your detective is a fool, Captain Wysocki.” Derision fairly dripped from General Flynn’s words. “Sergeant Collis is no more dirty than any of the other dozen cops and at least that many other people associated in one way or another with law enforcement that have disappeared over the last four months.”
Mac fought the urge to laugh. Wysocki looked like she’d just been hit by a two-by-four. Then the IAB captain shook herself, literally shook herself, before turning her attention to the general.
“Perhaps you’d be kind enough to introduce yourself and explain why you’re here, sir. Then maybe you’d tell me about these disappearances you mentioned. I assure you, if that many members of the force had gone missing, I’d have heard about it.”
Oh, she was angry and Mac really couldn’t blame her. She’d probably have been unhappy about being summoned to King’s office and being told to bring one of her detectives with her. Then to walk in and find not only King waiting for them but Mac and the others, well, Wysocki had to have been off-balance. She’d hidden it well, but Mac knew she’d been blindsided and now she couldn’t blame the woman for trying to regroup and figure out what was going on.
“Curtis Flynn, Homeland Security, and my aide, Captain Mateo Santos. I believe you already recognize Captain Mackenzie Santos.” He nodded to Mac and only the sparkle in his eyes betrayed the fact he was enjoying this.
“I recognize her as Lieutenant Santos from Homicide and I don’t remember hearing that she’d been in the Corps.” And, judging from the tone of her voice, Mac had a feeling Wysocki would be pulling her record just as soon as she left King’s office.
“I was in the Reserves,” Mac supplied. “As for why we’re here today, I found out what happened to my partner when General Flynn told me earlier this morning, the same time he informed me I’d been reactivated.”
“And what does the Sergeant Collins’ disappearance have to do with the Marine Corps?”
“No one said it has anything to do with the Corps, Captain Wysocki.” There could be no mistaking the derision in Flynn’s voice now. “What it has to do with is Homeland Security. Both of the captains are currently detached to work with Homeland investigating what we feel is a possible case of domestic terrorism. What I want to know now is if your detective is just a fool or if he happens to be involved in what’s been going on.”
The moment the general mentioned Homeland Security, Deeks stood a little straighter. Mac didn’t need to call on her enhanced senses as a shapeshifter to smell his fear. But that didn’t mean he was involved. It simply meant he knew what they could do to get him to answer their questions. Good. His fear might work to their benefit.
But first they had to get through Wysocki.
“And you still haven’t identified the missing officers. I hate to doubt your claims, sir, but I guarantee I’d know if any other officers were missing.” Wysocki’s voice had a bite to it now and Mac almost sympathized. After all, Wysocki had been effectively backed into a corner.
“And I never said they were all from here,” Flynn replied. “There have been similar cases in Chicago, New York City, Atlanta and Wichita. And those are the ones we know about. Cops, prosecutors and even judges have gone missing along with civilians. It’s always in groups of six to ten. None of the missing have been found and there’s never been a demand made to insure their release. It’s enough to get the interest of my department at Homeland. So, we are taking over this investigation.”
He turned his attention to King. “Captain King, do you have any objections to your people working with mine on this?”
“Not at all, General. Any help you can give us to find not only my detective but the others who have gone missing would be appreciated.”
“Captain Wysocki, you can’t—“
Deeks moved forward, hands outstretched. A trickle of sweat ran down his right cheek. There could be no mistaking the fact that the last thing he wanted was for someone else to take over the investigation. But why?
“Captain Wyscoki, I expect all information gathered by your detective – and I use that term loosely – to be turned over to Captain Santos immediately,” General Flynn continued. “Santos, I leave it to you to work out the details of the investigation with Captain King.”
“Very good. I expect your report by end of day.”
Flynn gave her a nod and fell silent. For several moments, no one said anything. Then, realizing the ball was back in her court, Mac drew a deep breath. She didn’t like what she was about to do but it had to be done. Steeling herself, she looked at Wysocki, her expression hard.
“Captain, I have another question for you. How long have you had someone in my squad?”
King sat up, almost coming out of his chair. “What?”
“I have reason to believe she has someone in my squad and I want to know how long it’s been going on,” Mac said coldly. “And don’t bother denying it. I have a pretty good idea who it is. I just want to know how long it’s been going on and why.” Even as she said it, her stomach lurched, especially when Wysocki wasn’t quick to deny it.
King’s voice wasn’t much more than a growl and Mac looked at him quickly. Damn it! She should have thought before saying anything. The last thing she needed to do was add to her captain’s stress level. She’d seen the worry and fear reflected in his eyes the moment she entered his office. She’d also seen his fury when he’d learned how her squad had been ordered not to contact her about Pat’s disappearance. Now she’d added to it and it really was something that could have waited. But she’d been so angry – no, not just angry. She’d been sick to her stomach to think that someone she’d worked with, trusted to go through a door with her and to have her back, someone she’d counted as a friend, might have been working against her all this time – that she hadn’t thought.
“Captain King, I swear to you I don’t know what – ”
King waved for her to be silent, his expression brooking no disobedience. “You have an investigation to run, Santos. I already have the Chief’s approval of your appointment as the official liaison between the DPD and DHS. You will report directly to me, as per usual. Also, we have now put a full lock on media coverage. Anyone contacts you, you are to let me know. No statements are to be released about the investigation. This is your investigation now, Santos, and the entire resources of the DPD are at your disposal. Find our detective and the others who have gone missing. Lock it down quickly.” His eyes flashed and she nodded. “I assume you have no problems with any of this, General?”
“None at all, Captain King. I appreciate your cooperation and understanding of why I co-opted your lieutenant.” Flynn seemed to relax then and he took a seat in one of the leather chairs before King’s desk. “Now, I suggest we let Captain Santos get to work. Santos, I leave it up to you to determine the best persona to use for this investigation. Report to me by end of day on your progress.”
“Yes, sir.” She recognized the dismissal and braced to attention and then looked to her captain, her pride leader. Much as she wanted to get to work finding out what happened to Pat and the others, she did need to know the answer to her question to Wysocki. “Captain King?”
“I believe General Flynn and I have more than a few questions for Captain Wysocki and her detective. You can leave it to us now. You have more important things to be worried about.”
The implied Leave it to us to find out what’s going on was clear.
“Yes, sir.” She started to leave but stopped, her eyes pinning Deeks where he stood near the door, looking like he’d give just about anything to disappear. “I expect your files and notes in my office within the hour.” With that, she nodded to King and Flynn and left the office. It was time to get to work.
Nocturnal Interlude is the third book in the Nocturnal Lives series.
Nocturnal Origins (Book 1)
Some things can never be forgotten, no matter how hard you try.
Detective Sergeant Mackenzie Santos knows that bitter lesson all too well. The day she died changed her life and her perception of the world forever.It doesn’t matter that everyone, even her doctors, believe a miracle occurred when she awoke in the hospital morgue. Mac knows better. It hadn’t been a miracle, at least not a holy one. As far as she’s concerned, that’s the day the dogs of Hell came for her.
Investigating one of the most horrendous murders in recent Dallas history, Mac also has to break in a new partner and deal with nosy reporters who follow her every move and who publish confidential details of the investigation without a qualm.
Complicating matters even more, Mac learns the truth about her family and herself, a truth that forces her to deal with the monster within, as well as those on the outside.But none of this matters as much as discovering the identity of the murderer before he can kill again.
Nocturnal Serenade (Book 2)
In this sequel to Nocturnal Origins, Lt. Mackenzie Santos of the Dallas Police Department learns there are worst things than finding out you come from a long line of shapeshifters. At least that’s what she keeps telling herself. It’s not that she resents suddenly discovering she can turn into a jaguar. Nor is it really the fact that no one warned her what might happen to her one day. Although, come to think of it, her mother does have a lot of explaining to do when – and if – Mac ever talks to her again. No, the real problem is how to keep the existence of shapeshifters hidden from the normals, especially when just one piece of forensic evidence in the hands of the wrong technician could lead to their discovery.
Add in blackmail, a long overdue talk with her grandmother about their heritage and an attack on her mother and Mac’s life is about to get a lot more complicated. What she wouldn’t give for a run-of-the-mill murder to investigate. THAT would be a nice change of pace.
Nocturnal Haunts (novella)
Mackenzie Santos has seen just about everything in more than ten years as a cop. The last few months have certainly shown her more than she’d ever expected. When she’s called out to a crime scene and has to face the possibility that there are even more monsters walking the Earth than she knew, she finds herself longing for the days before she started turning furry with the full moon