When they discover they're after the same group of men, the two band together against overwhelming odds to bring down a corrupt men set on ruling their small town.
John and Lacey are on a collision course with evil and must rely on not only each other, but on God to safe a town and bring justice.
Collision Course is Book Six in the Overcoming Evil series. In this series, I try to bring modern day event to a satisfying conclusion where the characters not only rely on their faith to help them, but must dig deep into themselves to find what they didn't know they had. The ability to overcome.
I hope you enjoy the excerpt:
Lacey Baxter stared in horror at the surveillance photos in her hand. When her dear Aunt Ruth died, Lacey had put off cleaning out the attic as long as possible. Now, she wished she had put it off longer. Life had hit a decline it might never pull out of.
Aunt Ruth jogged every day, despite being fifty-five years old. It was inconceivable that she would have fallen to her death on the trail she ran five days out of seven. The photos in Lacey’s hand showed someone had been watching not only Aunt Ruth, but Lacey as well.
What did she ever do to require someone watching her? She glanced up from the dusty box toward the attic window. Aunt Ruth had mentioned she thought someone was following her. Lacey had overheard her talking to Uncle Ben late one night. When she’d walked into the room, they’d stopped, her uncle giving her his common sneer when he bothered to pay her any attention at all.
Her breath came in gasps. Aunt Ruth had been murdered, and Lacey could very well be next. She shoved the photos back into the envelope. She’d go through the rest of it at home.
“Lacey?” Uncle Ben’s voice drifted up the attic steps.
“Be right down.” She folded the manila envelope and stuffed it under her sweatshirt. There was little danger of Uncle Ben giving her a hug and discovering the photos. After all, he hadn’t laid a hand on her since marrying her aunt two years ago, not that she minded.
She climbed down the stairs and faced the man she liked the least of anyone she knew. “I’m just going through Aunt Ruth’s things. It will take a while.”
“Don’t let me stop you.” He loosened the crimson tie around his throat.
“No, I’ll come back tomorrow. It’s a noisy, messy job.” She tried to move past him.
His hand shot out and gripped her wrist. “What’s the hurry? Join me for dinner. It’s been lonely the last few weeks.” His gaze raked her body.
“I’ve got to go.” She yanked free and dashed from the house. His meaning was clear. He meant to replace Aunt Ruth with Lacey.
Why? There was no love lost between them. She shuddered and slipped behind the wheel of her Jeep. Uncle Ben watched from the living room window. She shivered again and backed from the driveway as a cold rain mixed with sleet began to fall.
If Aunt Ruth had indeed been murdered, had he done it? Lacey blinked away the tears and hurried to her small bungalow on the outskirts of town. Once home, she hurried inside, tossing the envelope on the table. She set a pot of water on the stove to boil before dumping out the contents of the envelope.
Pushing aside the photos, she unfolded a sheet of paper and sat down to read. Aunt Ruth had suspected Uncle Ben of trying to kill her. She stated in her letter that she had stumbled across incriminating evidence that would ruin Uncle Ben’s reputation in the town. The evidence was located in a small locked chest in Grandpa’s farmhouse.
Shock rippled through Lacey. The paper fell from her trembling hands. She needed to go to Grandpa’s house right away. If Uncle Ben was responsible for Aunt Ruth’s death, then he had no business walking the streets as an upstanding citizen of Oak Grove.
She shoved the paper and photos back into the envelope and raced to her bedroom to toss warm clothing in a small suitcase. She grabbed some toiletries and her camera, laid the envelope on top, and zipped the case closed. She would find a way to put those responsible for her aunt’s death behind bars, even if it meant dying to do so.
She was almost out of her room when she noticed the light blinking on her answering machine. She pressed the button. An electronically garbled voice warned, “Get out of town. He’s after you.” Lacey scribbled the phone number on a slip of paper, shoved it into the pocket of her jeans, and deleted the message before rushing into the hall.
Headlights pierced the front window curtains. Lacey plastered her back against the wall and peered out. Uncle Ben. She gripped her suitcase tighter. If she left the front door unlocked, and escaped out the back, perhaps she could get away before he caught her. He’d search the house before determining she had fled. She turned the door lock.
She dashed through the kitchen, turned off the gas to the stove, and barreled out the back door. His calls rang out behind her.
“Lacey, I think you have something I need.”
How did he know?
“I saw it on your face. Come back, girl. We could make an excellent team. There’s no reason for you to suffer your aunt’s fate.”
The winter’s air cut into her lungs, making her gasp. She skidded to a halt beside her car and tossed the suitcase into the backseat. His car blocked hers, but desperate times called for desperate measures. She slid behind the wheel, turned the key in the ignition, and sped through her yard, leaving tire tracks through the dead grass.
Once on the road, she sped toward the highway.
Lacey swiped the tears away with the back of her hand. Night had fallen, obscuring her vision while the clouds released their burden of rain.
The road dipped and she hit the brakes. The car slid. Her foot pumped. The Jeep didn’t slow. Bright headlights behind her made seeing even more difficult. A horn blared. Her uncle was behind her.
She fought the steering wheel as a sharp turn sent her into a spin. She struggled to keep her Jeep on the slick road. Her windshield wipers tapped out a steady rhythm against the sleet pelting her window. She couldn’t see a thing. Why hadn’t she waited until daylight to head to the cabin? She could have taken refuge in a motel. Driving while fatigue coated your limb was never a good idea. Yet the sense of urgency wouldn’t leave her.
The vehicle spun like the tea cup ride at Disneyland. Lacey screamed and tightened her grip. Which way was she supposed to turn the wheel? She yanked to the right and slid. A truck loomed in front of her window. She screamed and wrestled harder with the wheel.
Screeching filled the night before she crashed through a wooden fence. The seatbelt dug into her neck and chest. She shoved the airbag out of her way, coughing after inhaling the white powder it released.
Several shoves with her shoulder against the crinkled door and Lacey fell in the mud outside her car. She squinted to make out the truck she’d scraped against. Headlights glimmered faintly through the night’s haze. How could she not have seen the lights?
With her hands slipping and dampness seeping through the knees of her jeans, she crawled to the other vehicle. As she got closer, she noticed the jack and flat tire next to it. Where was the driver?
She hadn’t hit him, had she? Please, God, no. She scrambled to her feet; her breath coming in gasping rasps. She glanced behind the wheel. No one sat slumped over on the front seat. Maybe the truck was abandoned. No, not with the lights left on.
Lacey gripped her hair with both hands, not caring if she smeared mud through the long strands. Something wasn’t right. She studied the discarded flat tire. A new one leaned against the fender. Her gaze slid to the road. If a person squatted here, and an out-of-control vehicle careened toward them … there! In the ditch. Lacey slid down the embankment and came to a stop beside a man.
Dark hair lay matted to his face from the rain. Several inches of water sloshed around him as the icy drizzle turned into a steady stream of rain from heaven. Lacey dropped to her knees and placed two fingers to his neck. A steady thump greeted her, dispelling some of her fear. How was she going to get him back to her Jeep?
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Multi-published and Amazon Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013, 2014, 2015 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold more than 300,000 copies of her works. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads, and is a contributor to Cozy Mystery Magazone blog and Suspense Sisters blog. Her and her husband run the small press, Forget Me Not Romances, which includes some of the CBA’s well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at www.cynthiahickey.com