November 21st, 2019
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Start your holiday reads in November

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Being naughty was nice, but now these friends-turned-lovers are in for an unforgettable Christmas...


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Surviving the holidays will take a Christmas miracle...


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Cozy animal mystery


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She disappeared without a trace seven years ago, now hes about to discover the secrets shes guarded with her life


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Her holidays have never looked so promising...


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A feel good romance that'll get you in the holiday spirit...


Excerpt of Shattered Secrets by Karen Harper

Purchase


Cold Creek #1
Harlequin Mira
September 2014
On Sale: August 26, 2014
Featuring: Gabe McCord; Tess Lockwood
395 pages
ISBN: 0778316475
EAN: 9780778316473
Kindle: B00JIHA77M
Paperback / e-Book
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Mystery

Also by Karen Harper:

The Queen's Secret, April 2020
Paperback
Dark Storm, June 2019
Mass Market Paperback
American Duchess, March 2019
Paperback
Silent Scream, December 2018
Mass Market Paperback
Shallow Grave, March 2018
Mass Market Paperback
The It Girls, November 2017
Paperback
Falling Darkness, April 2017
Mass Market Paperback
Drowning Tides, February 2017
Mass Market Paperback
Chasing Shadows, December 2016
Paperback
The Royal Nanny, July 2016
Trade Size
Broken Bonds, January 2015
Paperback
Forbidden Ground, November 2014
Paperback
Shattered Secrets, September 2014
Paperback
Upon a Winter's Night, November 2013
Paperback
Finding Mercy, October 2013
Paperback
Finding Mercy, November 2012
Paperback
Mistress Of Mourning, July 2012
Paperback
Dark Crossings, July 2012
Paperback
Return To Grace, March 2012
Paperback
The Queen's Governess, August 2011
Paperback (reprint)
Fall From Pride, August 2011
Paperback
Dark Angel, May 2011
Paperback
The Irish Princess, February 2011
Trade Size
Dark Harvest, January 2011
Paperback
Dark Road Home, September 2010
Trade Size
Down River, February 2010
Mass Market Paperback
The Queen's Governess, February 2010
Hardcover
Deep Down, June 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Mistress Shakespeare, February 2009
Hardcover
The Hiding Place, November 2008
Mass Market Paperback
Below The Surface, February 2008
Paperback
The Hooded Hawke, December 2007
Mass Market Paperback
Inferno, January 2007
Paperback
The Fatal Fashione, December 2006
Mass Market Paperback
The First Princess of Wales, December 2006
Trade Size
More Than Words, October 2006
Trade Size
Hurricane, June 2006
Paperback
The Falls, May 2006
Paperback (reprint)
Empty Cradle, May 2006
Paperback (reprint)
The Stone Forest, May 2006
Paperback (reprint)
Black Orchid, May 2006
Paperback (reprint)
The Last Boleyn, March 2006
Trade Size
The Fyre Mirror, February 2006
Mass Market Paperback
Dark Angel, June 2005
Paperback
Dark Harvest, June 2004
Paperback
Dark Road Home, May 2004
Paperback
The Thorne Maze, October 2003
Mass Market Paperback
The Queene's Cure, February 2003
Mass Market Paperback
The Twylight Tower, February 2002
Mass Market Paperback
The Tidal Poole, February 2001
Mass Market Paperback
The Poyson Garden, January 2000
Mass Market Paperback
A Country Christmas, November 1993
Paperback

Excerpt of Shattered Secrets by Karen Harper

Tess Lockwood, who was kidnapped as a child, isn’t ready to remember what happened to her. But when another child goes missing, Sheriff Gabe McCord is convinced it’s related to her abduction. They will have to work together to unlock painful memories in order to save another child—and Tess.

“Can I come out now?” Tess called through the back door screen.

Gabe had told her to stay inside and didn’t want her to see what was in her back yard. As soon as he was done with the staff meeting tomorrow morning, he was going to question Ritter, Dane, even Sam Jeffers. They’d better have an alibi to prove they weren’t around here last night. Could three unmarried guys—loners and eccentrics, though the woods was full of them around here—have colluded on abductions over the years? And wouldn’t they take grown women instead of young girls?

“Oh! Gabe, what’s that horrible thing?” Tess cried, coming up behind him.

“I told you to stay inside.”

“I did for a while. Obviously, that’s a warning to me.”

“I called to get your lights back on but it may be early morning,” he told her, getting up and facing her to put himself between her and the back cornfield. He snared her wrist with one hand to pull her away from staring. “Tess, please go in your house, grab a couple of things to spend the night at my place.”

“But can’t you stay here for a while instead?”

“We’d be sitting ducks in the dark. We’re going to my place. I’ve got an extra room, a spare bed. You’ll be safer there.”

“We’re going through the cornfield? What if that’s his plan?”

“I think he—or they—just wanted to give you a good scare and a warning. Just do as I say, okay?”

“All right, but you haven’t confided in me. You want me to help you, but then I guess I didn’t tell you something too. I heard a woman or girl scream at the compound, but I kind of checked it out and got a reasonable explanation —if reason is any part of that place.”

“What are you, my other deputy? Here, take my flashlight, go in the house, get your things now, or I swear, I’ll arrest you for something and put in the jail cell in town for safe keeping. Now do what I say.”

Obviously as frustrated with him as he was her, Tess grabbed the flashlight from him, went in, and slammed both doors. That infuriated him too, but for one thing. She was not whimpering in a corner. It was kind of the spunky, younger Tess again, animated, defiant, a tomboy before her trauma had crushed her.

He tried to keep his temper in check, but it riled him especially that he wanted to put his hands all over her even when she was defying him.

Tess came out with a full paper sack and her purse and thrust the flashlight back at him. “See, you’ve turned me into a bag lady,” she said. “Like one you’re taking off the streets because she can’t take care of herself. But I wasn’t going through that field with my suitcase.”

“Let’s go. We’ll set a timer and argue for an hour, then hit the rack, or since you’re a bag lady, hit the sack. We’re both exhausted, and I can’t believe you’d even consider staying here alone tonight after this.”

“Let’s see, how to put this…” she said as they walked toward the cornfield with him leading. “Tess is going to ruin things if she tries to think on her own and help you find that kidnapped child. She was misled at first because you said you wanted me to help so—“ “I wanted you to remember what happened to you when you were taken twenty years ago, not take over now. Stop fighting me! Someone wants you to leave town or worse.”

“I was just—just trying to keep my courage up.”

“Stick close, okay? Right behind me.”

As he turned away to head into the field, he heard her sniff back tears. He shouldn’t have been so rough, but she really got to him. Maybe she was right on the edge of hysteria. Actually, he knew the feeling. How many times in Iraq had he beat down a screaming fit of fear when he’d had to dissemble a bomb by hand when the robot wouldn’t work?

“Yes, I’m staying close,” she told him in a suddenly quiet voice that caught on a half smothered sob as they headed into the tall, thick corn between their houses.

# # #

Tess drank the hot chocolate he fixed for them in his kitchen. She remembered how it had once looked, but it had all been updated, even to stainless steel appliances. And it was neat, not even dishes in the sink or drain rack. He’d pulled down all the blinds so no one could see in. She felt safe from anything outside now, but sealed in with him, newly alert and alive as they faced each other across the wooden kitchen table.

“I can’t take you to the early morning meeting at the police station with me,” he told her. “But since you’re so involved—and I didn’t mean to shut you out except to keep you safe—I’ll call you right after and tell you what the three of us have decided.” “I’d appreciate that.”

“But I want you to stay here until the power is restored at your place.”

She nodded. She was so exhausted her eyes almost crossed.

He went on, sounding nervous, “I’d better open up the extra bedroom for you so it heats up in there. There’s just one bath upstairs. I’ll get some towels out.”

“Your mother would be proud of your hospitality and how great this place looks. She was always a good hostess.”

“Yeah. Still is in the trailer park where she lives in Florida. Too good a hostess at times, I guess.”

She didn’t know what he meant, but bed and bath sounded so good. And to sleep at night in security, to feel safe, as she never quite had in the old house the three nights she’d been back would be great.

She followed him upstairs as he opened the door to a Spartan bedroom. Oh, it was his boyhood one, she was sure of that, though it must have been redone. It was a bit feminine, maybe in case his mother visited. So he must sleep in his parents’ larger one across the front of the house.

“Don’t you sleep in front?” she asked, suddenly feeling awkward again as his eyes swept her. Oh, no, not that over-the-waterfall sensation again. She’d been fighting it, but feelings flew between them like pounding spray.

“No, I keep that for my home office,” he said but didn’t open the door to give her a glimpse. “I’m down the hall. I can use the bathroom downstairs, so you just go ahead.”

He got a set of towels from the hall linen closet with an extra blanket he piled in her arms. He was so close she could see how thick his eyelashes were. Little flecks of gold swam in the brown irises of his eyes. He had a slight scar on the slant of his left cheek—from the war? But surely a bomb blast had not done that to him, for that would have been more of a shock, a boom—like his very nearness was to her.

“I can’t thank you enough,” she whispered.

“Maybe sometime,” he said. Then before she knew it was coming, he leaned forward to kiss her.

Excerpt from Shattered Secrets by Karen Harper
All rights reserved by publisher and author

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