In one month, Detective Madison Knight will be back in Murder at the Lake, lucky 13 in the series!

Advanced readers are loving the book and have described it as “fast-paced,” “thrilling,” “a page-turner,” “a really good police procedural,” and the accolades go on.

You’ll want to pre-order yourself a copy from your favorite retailer and start reading on May 9th!

Until then, enjoy the following excerpt from Chapter 2 of Murder at the Lake.*

Seconds later, the music was changed to the “Bridal Chorus,” and Madison’s mouth went dry, her head faint.

“You’re up,” Terry whispered to her.

No turning back, Knight. Deep, slow, steady breaths… Deliberate, conscious breathing, just like her therapist would recommend.

Madison and her father paused in the doorway. Brie had done a great job of sprinkling rose petals onto the long runner ahead of them. The room also looked incredible, with ribbons and bows on the chairs and the large urns full of flowers. She made these observations quickly before her gaze went to Troy at the other end of the room. Locked on him, her chest heaved, her lungs froze mid-inhale, and her legs weakened as if made of jelly.

Maybe if she focused on the sea of familiar friendly faces of those nearest and dearest to her and Troy, she’d regain her strength. They were standing with their eyes on Madison.

Terry’s wife, Annabelle, and their infant daughter, Danny; Chelsea’s husband and her two other daughters; Officer Higgins aka Chief, Madison’s training officer and someone she highly respected; Joni Weir and her girls, Troy’s goddaughters; Cole Richards, the area’s medical examiner, and his wife; Jennifer Adams, Samantha Reid, and Mark Andrews from the crime lab, who worked with and reported to Cynthia; Andrea Fletcher, who was Troy’s sister and the Stiles PD police chief, and her husband, Robert. Absent from Troy’s side were his parents, who had died years before he and Madison had started dating.

As Madison approached the front of the room, she couldn’t avoid Troy any longer. Seeing him made her breath catch again. His broad shoulders filled out a tux to perfection. His blond hair was trimmed short, and his green eyes were electric and piercing.

Her father put her hand in Troy’s and kissed her cheek before taking a seat by her mother.

Troy was smiling, an expression he rarely showcased, and her heart was at risk of beating out of her chest. He was so much more than the spectacle before her. His character and personality completed the package, and he was all hers.

This man wants to marry me, accepting all my strengths and faults. How did I get so lucky?

She smiled at him as they turned to face David Murphy, who was acting as their wedding officiant. He also worked with Troy in SWAT. His specialty was explosives.

David offered her an encouraging smile and said, “Troy and Madison want to welcome you to their home and their wed—”

A commotion of raised voices from the entry interrupted David. One man distinctly called out, “Braybury PD!”

Madison spun around as two police officers crashed into the living room and headed right toward her. Terry and Lou were standing there, arms raised in frustration and surrender.

Her father stepped into the aisle to play interference and block them from reaching the front of the room. “You need to leave now. You have no business being here.”

“You need to get out of our way, sir, or I will be forced to arrest you,” one of the officers said as he and a colleague skirted past her father.

“Excuse me, but what the hell is happening here?” Andrea Fletcher closed the distance to the officers. “I’m Police Chief Fletcher, and I demand an answer.”

A man in a suit stepped through the opening of the French doors. He sauntered toward Andrea and stopped mere inches in front of her. He was looking past her to Troy when he said, “Troy Matthews, you’re going to go with these fine officers.”

“Who are you?” Andrea spat.

The man held up a gold badge. “Detective Snow, Braybury PD.”

Braybury was a large city a couple of hours away from Stiles. Madison turned to Troy when he put a hand on her lower back. “What’s going on?” she asked him.

He shook his head. “I have no idea.”

The officers each grabbed one of Troy’s arms and attempted to pull them behind his back. Troy resisted their efforts.

“Let go of me,” Troy said. “You have no right to—”

“Oh, we have every right.” Snow was right in Troy’s face. “You’re under arrest for the murder of Dylan Graham.”

“What?” Madison spat, her voice high-pitched and panicked. Her shocked mind couldn’t make any sense of what had been said. Who the hell is Dylan Graham? Why would Troy kill him?

“Please just let us do our jobs, ma’am,” one of the uniforms said.

Madison detested being addressed as ma’am. She formed a fist at her side, but Cynthia stepped up and tapped her hand. It was a poor time to try to calm her down. Her fiancé was about to be hauled off like he was some criminal. On their wedding day, no less. No number of deep breaths was going to calm her down. Hitting this guy might. Though the pleasure would be temporary and likely land her in a jail cell too.

Andrea stood next to her brother. “I don’t know what you think you’re doing, but you have no right to storm in here and do this. This jurisdiction belongs to the Stiles PD, and as I told you, I’m the police chief. There’s a way of doing things, and this isn’t how it’s done. You intend to cross the boundary lines, then you give the governing PD the courtesy of a phone call. My brother isn’t a criminal. He’s a reputable officer of the law.”

“Your brother,” the detective pushed back. “That fact right there is why we didn’t clear this past you. You’re too close.”

Andrea glared at him and crossed her arms. “Who did you put this past?”

“Listen, lady, if you have problems with people in your department, that’s on you to figure out. I’ve got a murder, and all the evidence is pointing at him.” He nudged his head toward Troy and signaled for the officers to apprehend him.

Andrea clenched her jaw, and her cheeks were bright red with anger. She gestured for Troy to go along and told him, “We’ll get to the bottom of this.”

Madison retreated inward, observing all that was going on. But this couldn’t be real. She must be dreaming, and she’d surrender to that if it wasn’t for Cynthia, who kept touching her. But her caresses went from offering comfort to flurried and persistent finger jabs. Then Cynthia squeezed Madison’s hand and cried out in pain.

“I think… I think I’m in…lab… Ouch!” Cynthia’s legs buckled, and Madison rushed to hold her upright. Lou pushed through wedding guests and Braybury officers to get to his wife. In the commotion, Troy was disappearing down the aisle, being carted away in cuffs. She had to go after him. Once Lou got to Cynthia, Madison made a move in that endeavor.

Andrea popped in front of Madison and shook her head. “You stay with your friend. I’ve got Troy.”

Madison nodded, but in her head, she was screaming, What the hell just happened?

Keep reading when Murder at the Lake comes out May 9th! Be sure to pre-order now from your favorite retailer.

Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

Paperback – 4.25 x 7 inches
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Paperback – 5 x 8 inches
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Hardcover – 6.13 x 9.21 inches
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Paperback Large Print Edition – 6 x 9 inches
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Audiobook will be available by release day!

*Above excerpt from Murder at the Lake protected by copyright.

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