BLEEDING HEARTS, my first novel was published by Clean Reads on August 25th, 2016! It’s a new adult, romantic suspense.
Orphaned at an early age, now twenty-four-year-old Camryn Lucks is ready to commit to find that special someone, and so accepts a date from a charming, gallant, handsome stranger. The last thing she imagines after accepting that first date with Carson would actually be the beginning of her worst nightmare.
Red roses, a reminder of her parents’ killer, soon become an emblem of horror for Cami as one by one, those closest to her fall victim to a serial killer. Cami becomes an obsession for Carson, the man she had finally allowed herself to love. Not only is he vying for her heart, but also her life.
Finding herself in a whirlwind of torments shadowed by the blood-colored bloom, Cami finds solace in Isaac, a neighboring police officer. She’s desperate to escape the haunting memories, but she must revisit them in order to catch her would-be killer. Living life in constant fear has driven Cami to second-guess every choice she makes. Will the police catch the illusive murderer, or will Cami be forced to face him once again?
You can purchase the eBook or Paperback copy of Bleeding Hearts on
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iTunes or Kobo.
Read the first Chapter Here:
March 5, 2015
My arm trembles as I grip the cool handle of my pistol, keeping a firm grasp to ensure it doesn’t slip out of my sweaty hand. It usually stands sentry in my left nightstand to scare the nightmares away. But this isn’t a dream. The room is dark and hides the face of the man whose intent is to kill me. But I know who he is. A metallic taste fills my mouth; I want to gag. My blood drips off the blade in his hand in slow, steady beats on the carpet. My arms shake as I lift the barrel and point it in his direction. He doesn’t move. His heavy breaths alert me to the meager distance between us.
We’re at a stalemate.
A soft glow from the lamppost just outside my window casts a sliver of light on his face. His dark, beady eyes that I have grown to know rake over my body like I’m another one of his many victims. He lifts the edges of his mouth into a smile. My heart plunges into my stomach. I know what that sinister expression means, and I think back to all the times he had looked at me like that before. I had been so blind.
Before I react he lunges at me, grabbing onto my waist and twisting me to the ground. I shriek as my head slams against the bed frame. Black spots flood my vision. I squeeze my hand only to find it empty. My gun is gone. The sound of the knife clattering on the floor gives me slight hope. Not much though. He climbs up my body trying to pin my arms to the floor. I thrash my fists around, desperate to knock him off.
“Get off!” I scream, pulling on his shirt and kicking him off balance. Wrapping his hands around my arms, my attacker cuts off the circulation of blood. Rug burns flare across my skin as he drags me across the carpet. He closes his hands around my neck, shutting off my air supply. I pull at his hands but it’s no use; he has always been stronger than me. My pulse drums a frantic beat in my ears. The air slowly leaks out from my lungs, killing any hope I may have left. I search for the gun around the room; it may be my only savior now.
“Why are you doing this?” I struggle to get the words out. He squints his dark eyes. I’m wondering if there might be a chance that he will stop this madness. I am wrong.
“It’ll be over soon, sweetheart.” His hands again tighten around my neck, blocking the air from entering my lungs. The salty mixture of sweat and tears run down the side of my face.
“Stop, Carson, please,” I whisper. Dizziness starts to set in. I have to do something. He can’t take me from this world like he has to so many others.
I stretch as far as I can behind my head then bring my forearms down with as much force as I can manage, hitting his arms. He growls in pain and loosens his grip on me. I gasp for air and scoot out of his hold, my knee making contact with his groin. His scream pierces my ears and I cringe from the sound, yet hope that it will distract him long enough for me to get away.
I’m inches from my gun when I feel his hand grab at my ankle. Using my free leg, I kick him in his already crooked nose as hard as I can. He doesn’t budge, but the pain distracts him long enough to give me the inch I need.
Wrapping my fingers around my gun, I aim it at the man I thought I loved. He scrambles to his feet, and as I inhale a breath, my finger pulls back on the trigger.
The loud bang of the gun penetrates my eardrums, deafening the room. My attacker drops to the floor, clutching his shoulder. His silence scares me. There’s no time to check to see if he is alive, to see if I’ve killed Carson.
The room starts to spin as I stumble to my feet, grabbing at the wall for support. I press a hand to my temple. Torrents of blood flow down the side of my face and neck. The rock band tee I wore to bed is ripped down the side, barely hanging on my body. My only thought is to get out of my apartment and to the officer that lives down the hall.
I reach for the door, glancing back one more time as it opens, gun at the ready. Carson stands, glaring at me. My body panics into flight mode as I slam the door behind me, hoping to stall him. Forcing my legs to move, I run.
Two doors down, I slam my bloodied fists against his door. “Isaac!”
Doors start opening. My neighbors stare down the hall in disbelief as the scene unfolds in front of their eyes. Carson is nowhere in sight as I stare down the hall at my apartment. He must’ve gotten away. The blood from my wounds drips on the carpet and starts a chain of conversations between residents. They start advancing the down the hall, intent on finding out what’s going on. I don’t hear their panicky whispers nor do I see Isaac swing the door open.
“What the—?” Isaac shouts, holding his hands up to surrender.
Through fear of having to face my would-be killer again, I fall into Isaac’s apartment and straight into his arms. He catches me awkwardly, my body moving of its own accord to shut the door and lock it.
In a rush of movement, Isaac grabs his phone and presses it to his ear. He glances at me for a moment before unlocking and opening the door that separates me from my former lover.
“This is Officer Signorelli, badge 0-4-1-2. I need immediate backup to the Rose Garden Apartments,” I hear him say into his phone just as he slips past me.
How is he still alive? When something terrible happens in my life, all signs point to him. Why did I not listen to that voice in my head telling me he was bad news? Because I never thought he would try to kill me. I thought he loved me, for Pete’s sake. Tears slide down my swollen cheeks. My nerves are still on high alert, and I feel the weight of a breakdown impending my fragile state. As my body crumbles to the ground against the wall, the gun tumbles to the floor. I hear Isaac’s voice from a distance, but not enough for me to understand it.
My throat burns as I scream and cry, all at once. I pull at my blonde hair, finding it soaked in blood, then wrap my arms around my knees. The pain of my body and the scars from tonight will never be erased. From the corner of my eye, I see Isaac sprint over the threshold and shut the door from the prying ears of nosey neighbors. His hand reaches for my shoulder to comfort me, but I shy away.
He’s safe. I’m safe here.
“I’m sorry,” I tell Isaac through choked sobs.
“It’s okay.” He gently pulls me to his bare chest and picks my slender body off the ground. I feel the cool, stiff material of the leather couch when he lays me down. My body aches from the events of tonight. A small whimper follows with a sharp inhale. He drapes a blanket over my near-bare body.
“Signorelli.” Isaac answers his ringing phone and paces back and forth, brushing his hand over his short hair. “Yeah, okay. Thanks.”
A loud pound on the door startles me. I leap off the couch, screaming. My first thought is He’s back! Carson is here to finish me off. Looking around, I notice there are a few dirty dishes on the end table, and a knife catches my eye. After snatching the blade off the table, I point it toward the door for protection. Isaac rushes over to me with arms outstretched.
“It’s okay. It’s the police, and they are here to help. Please put the knife down,” he explains.
“I-I can’t.” I shiver as the fear of dying weighs heavy in my heart. There’s too much that I want to accomplish with my life.
“Yes, you can. Look, if I don’t answer the door, they will bust in and see you threatening a police officer. Do you want that?”
“No.” Another sob shakes my body. My shoulders slump, and the utensil falls to the floor with a loud smack. I jump from the sound and cower in the corner.
“Okay. Just sit down. Please.” He gives me a pleading look then walks over to the door. I don’t move as I watch him open it. Three large men walk in and even though they are in uniforms, my mind flies to the murderer in my apartment. My muscles move on their own, and I find myself backed into the far wall. The lamp crashes to the floor, shattering the bulb into a million pieces and I scream again, making all four men turn toward me.
Isaac sprints over, grabbing the blanket on the floor, and covers my body. I reach for the soft blanket, and Isaac wraps an arm around my shoulders. He leads me to the couch. Burrowing into the corner, I pull my legs up to my bruised chest, wincing from the pain.
“Can you tell us your name, ma’am?” one of the officers asks.
“Cami. Uh, Camryn Lucks,” I whisper, rocking back and forth.
“What happened, Ms. Lucks?” the same officer asks. The badge on his chest pocket reads Bain.
“My boyfriend tried to kill me.”