Page 1


Stalked and Targeted

Book 1

After losing everything, Della Jackson tries to begin again as an investigator. But she can't forget the past…and neither can someone else. Someone who won't let anyone—even Della's best friend, former special operative Paul Mason—stand in the way. As Della is stalked and those closest to her are targeted, both Della and Paul realize there's only one way to survive. They each have to face their greatest fears, overcome the scars of the past and dare to love again… before it's too late.

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’TIS THE SEASON… FOR MURDER

Christmas COUNTDOWN

VICKI HINZE

Book 2

A simple trip home for the holidays is all former FBI profiler Maggie Mason wants. But a serial killer has other plans. Trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Maggie finds an ally in Lost, Inc. with private investigator Dr. Ian Crane. The handsome widower is relucant to love again, and the last thing Maggie wants is to put Ian in the line of fire, too. Love could cost them everything… unless they can find their way to each other, in time for Christmas.

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Behind the Book

The %irst   book   in   my   Lost,   Inc.,   series   is   SURVIVE   THE   NIGHT.     Having   a   book   released   is   always   exciting   for   an   author,   and   no   matter   how   many   times   an   author   experiences   it,   it’s   still   a   new   and  different  experience  every  time.   Those   readers   who’ve   been   with   me   a   while   know   that   I   like   to   experiment  and  push  the  boundaries.    I  like  blazing  trails.    I  like   pushing   the   boundaries.   Sometimes   it   works,   sometimes   it   doesn’t,  but  I  have  to  tell  you,  it’s  gratifying  to  look  back  after  it’s   done  and  have  other  authors  say,  “Oh,  I  like  that.    I’m  going  to  do   it,  too.”       Authors   have   always   de%ined   genres   and   boundaries.   Yes,   publishers   de%ined   the   lines,   but   those   lines   have   shifted   and   moved  and  expanded  because  authors  pushed  them,  crossed—or   as   one   editor   told   me   (when   I’d   created   an   odd-­‐duck   book)— obliterated  them.  


We are  limited  only  by  our  imaginations,  and  by  our  willingness   to  take  risks.    I  take  risks.    I  don’t  fear  failure.    I’ve  done  plenty  of   it.    It’s  not  lethal  and  I  usually  end  up  with  a  new  outer  boundary.     That’s  success  in  my  book.     Anyway,  I  explained  that  so  that  you’d  better  understand  what  I’m   up   to   in   Lost,   Inc.     It’s   a   trilogy   of   books   all   centered   around   a   small   agency   whose   mission   is   to   help   the   lost   %ind   their   way   home.     The   thing   is,   when   you   start   out   to   help   someone   else,   in   some  way,  you  also  help  yourself.    So  as  the  characters  set  out  to   %ind   the   lost,   they   %ind   themselves.   They   heal.   They   fall   in   love.     And  they  catch  the  bad  guys.   That’s  more  or  less  expected  in  series  romantic  %iction.    What  isn’t   typically   expected   is   that   each   book   centers   around   someone   working  at  Lost,  Inc.    Here’s  the  behind-­‐the-­‐book  scoop,  so  you  get   the  big  picture:   SURVIVE   THE   NIGHT:     Della   Jackson,   lead   investigator   teams   up   with   Paul   Mason,   a   friend   to   Lost,   Inc.’s   owner   Madison   McKay,   who   runs   Florida   Vet-­‐Net.     Della’s   got   a   stalker   after   her   and   he   means   serious   business.     He’s   not   just   after   her.     He   wants   her   dead.   CHRISTMAS  COUNTDOWN:    Ian  Crain,  a  doctor  now  investigating   for   Lost,   Inc.   teams   up   with   Paul   Mason’s   sister,   FBI   pro%iler   and   landscape   artist,   Maggie   Mason.   Maggie   pro%iled   a   notorious   serial   killer   who   retaliated   against   her   and   Paul,   who   was   with   her   at   the   time.   He   came   very   close   to   killing   them   both,   and   Maggie’s   been   on   the   run   ever   since.     She’s   been   on   the   chase,   too,   after  the  guy,  trying  to  keep  him  from  killing  again.    


Sometimes she’s  the  mouse,  sometimes  she’s  the  cat.    It’s  been  a   hard   way   to   live—and   now   things   have   come   to   critical   mass   point.    Who’ll  win?  I’ll  be  honest,  it  was  iffy.  I  had  to  write  the  story   to  know.   TORN   LOYALTIES:     Madison   McKay   teams   up   with   Captain   Grant   Deaver—sort   of—to   determine   who   at   Lost,   Inc.   has   breached   security   and   disclosed   classi%ied   information   regarding   a   facility   few  know  exists.    Everyone  employed  at  Lost,  Inc.  had  knowledge,   most   have   motive   and   all   have   the   means.   But   are   any   of   them   guilty?     And   what’s   going   on   at   this   place   that   is   so   important   someone  is  willing  to  kill  to  keep  the  truth  hidden?   So  here’s  the  thing.    In  each  of  the  books,  there  is  a  villain.    That   villain   is   pursued   and   the   matter   resolved.   This   the   reader   knows   and  the  characters  know.   But   there   is   also   a   second   villain.   One   who   has   been   extremely   active—framing,  in  part,  the  villain  to  be  the  villain.  Oh,  the  villain   is   guilty   of   crimes,   but   not   of   all   of   them.   Yet   when   the   primary   villain   is   dealt   with,   the   characters   believe   the   issues   are   all   resolved.   The   reader,   however,   knows   that   there   was   another,   secondary   villain,  who  has  skated—and  he  will  be  coming  after  yet  another   Lost,   Inc.   individual.     The   reader   knows   that   this   has   to   do   with   the  secret  facility  security  breach.   So   book   one,   SURVIVE   THE   NIGHT,   ends,   in   the   character’s   eyes,   resolved.    The  reader  knows  this  second  villain  will  be  back  again.   And  so  it  happens  in  the  second  book,  CHRISTMAS  COUNTDOWN.     The  serial  killer  issue  is  resolved  and  in  the  characters’  eyes,


resolved. But   the   reader   knows   that   the   second   villain   has   escaped  yet  again.   In   the   third   book,     TORN   LOYALTIES,   the   characters,   Madison   McKay   and   Captain   Grant   Deaver,   expose   and   reveal—at   a   high   cost.   And   the   secondary   villain   becomes   the   primary   villain.   This   villain  vexed  me.    I  thought  I  knew  his  identity  through  the  entire   course  of  the  books.  I  had  chosen  the  villain,  right?       Well,   I   thought   I   had.   Believed   it   all   the   way   through   SURVIVE   THE   NIGHT,   CHRISTMAS   COUNTDOWN   and   still   in   TORN   LOYALTIES   right  up  and  until  I  found  out  I’d  been  duped.   I  was  in  a  near-­‐panic.    Would  all  the  information  disclosed  in  the   previous   books   and   in   the   third   need   to   be   changed?     How   could   this  happen?   As  soon  as  villain  revealed  himself  to  me,  I  had  to  stop  and  re-­‐read   the   %irst   two   books   and   then   read   through   the   third.     I   was   less   than  a  chapter  from  the  end.    So  I  did  that—and  found  out  it  all  %it.   Nothing  needed  to  be  changed.  And  I  felt  like  an  idiot  because  I’d   pegged   the   wrong   guy   when   the   truth   was   right   there   in   front   of   me  the  whole  time.   Which  just  goes  to  show  that  while  an  author  might  be  writing  the   stories,  she  or  he  is  not  their  master.    No,  they  master  you.    They   usually  just  aren’t  so  in  your  face  about  letting  you  know  it.   So   this   overarching,   secondary   villain   that   carries   through   three   books  where  the  reader  knows  more  than  the  characters  is  new  to   series  romance.


And I   loved   it.   The   reader,   having   access   to   everything,   does   know   more   than   the   characters   know.     And   I   got   the   tingles   when   I   thought   it   was   all   wrapped   up   and   discovered   things   weren’t   as   they  appeared.    That  made  me  eager  to  write  the  next  story  to  see   if   this   villain   got   his,   and   I   hope   it   will   do   the   same   thing   for   readers.   I   think   this   risk   is   worth   taking   to   offer   readers   something   different.     Something   that   twists   the   typical   and   makes   them   look   again   at   the   villain.   When   I   discovered   what   was   going   on,   I   was   fascinated  and  I  had  to  read  again  to  look  at  the  whole  series  from   a  different  perspective.  I  loved  that.  I’m  hoping  readers  will  ,  too.   As  a  writer,  this  wasn’t  taxing  until  the  end  of  the  third  book  when   I   found   out   my   villain   wasn’t   my   villain.     Then   I   freaked   in   full-­‐out   panic.  But  after  I  read  and  discovered  the  novel  truths  %it,  and  my   imagination  went  into  overdrive  on  little  things  I  could  do  to  make   the  twist  stronger,  I  was  energized  and  invigorated.    What  fun!   So   that’s   the   story   behind   the   books   on   the   Lost,   Inc.   novels.     Each   has  its  own  message  and  story  and  the  series  has  its  message  too.     I  loved  writing  all  three.    And  I  hope  readers  love  reading  them.


A Note from Vicki I wanted to invite you to drop by my website, which has just been revamped. If you’re a reader, you can read the first three chapters of six of my books free. Links are on the front page. If you’re a writer, there are a lot of video chats and articles on writing in the Writers’ Zone and in the On Writing blog. (The material used to create the Essential Writing Skills articles are free in the library.) If you’re a librarian, you might enjoy some of the quotes in the On Libraries and Librarians section. Bloggers and Reviewers, I haven’t forgotten you. And, as always, my gratitude and appreciation to my street team, The Bridge-Walker Team. Wishing you and yours many blessings!

Vicki

Lost-Inc. Series  

The Lost-Inc. novel series created by Vicki Hinze and published by Love Inspired Suspense. Find out the story behind the books and about eac...

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