Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Creative Edge Publishing LLC
Publication Date: November 20, 2017
Praise for Twisted Threads
Excerpt Three: Chapter Eleven – Clueless
Akira’s plan to win Devon over was working just as she had hoped. Before long, she could ask him anything, and he would gladly comply. However, she couldn’t help wondering what he knew about Keiko’s death. Her directive from Yuki Ota was to take Paul and Sara out, if she couldn’t determine who was responsible. However, Devon could hold the key to the mystery of who was truly guilty—without even knowing it. Meanwhile, it was becoming increasingly difficult to separate her emotions while playing the part of a naïve Juliet. She couldn’t stop thinking about Devon’s incredible body and imagining him making love to her. He filled her dreams at night and was in her thoughts throughout every waking hour. It would be the saddest day in her life when the cruise ended and they were forced to part ways. But unfortunately, there was no getting around it.
Akira stepped into the closest elevator with the intention of returning to her room and discovered there had been some excitement while they were gone. According to the gossip flowing among the passengers, a cocktail waitress by the name of Adriane had slid beneath the water in the hot tub after throwing back two beers. Two men from the bar called their friends over to take a closer look, and a member of the waitstaff had to tell them to pull her body out. But what was even more disturbing was learning that the nurse who had obtained a defibrillator from the medical office had failed to resuscitate Adriane because she thought it was unsafe to use it on a wet body.
As Akira listened, one of the passengers in the elevator remarked that the incident and set of circumstances were extremely peculiar. “That woman was in her underwear. I don’t think she was drunk at all. But no one’s going to know for sure until the autopsy report comes back. And by then, everyone will be off the ship.”
Akira stayed on the elevator until it reached the ninth floor. She wanted to investigate further but was blocked from enter- ing the pool area by crew members. Instinctively, she looked up at the balcony above the pool and hot tub through an enclosed promenade. Her eyes locked on Sara Lyons, who was standing in the crowd that had gathered along the tenth-floor railing. Sara was watching the covered body being lifted onto a gurney and rolled away and had the strangest look on her face. While the rest of the passengers covered their mouths and stared aghast at the disturbing scene, she seemed to be enjoying the drama unfolding below.
A gentleman in a white uniform tapped Akira on the shoulder. “I’m sorry, miss. We need to have you move along now.”
“What happened?” she asked, wanting to hear the story firsthand.
“It was an unfortunate accident. Nothing for you to be concerned about.”
A woman behind her asked, “What about the dinner party?”
“It will proceed as planned, ma’am,” the man answered. “Please try to enjoy the rest of your trip.” He watched her leave before addressing questions from other passengers.
Akira walked up to the elevator and waited. A young man in a tennis outfit joined her with an eager look in his eyes. “I couldn’t help noticing that you were talking to that security officer. I just thought maybe you’d like to know the truth.”
“Adriane messed up her shoulder in a car accident five years ago,” he said, talking so fast she could barely keep up. “She got hooked on meds and swore she was clean but obviously lied. No one walks into a hot tub and drowns after downing two brews. Not unless they’re fucked up.”
The elevator opened. Akira stepped in and held the door, but the man continued down the hallway, shaking his head. She arrived at her suite and found Takashi sitting in a lounge chair on the balcony, staring out at the rolling sea.
He turned when he heard her approach. “A rescue attempt was made by the Coast Guard today. Turns out a waiter was found floating facedown. According to the captain, there were some embarrassing photos of him posted on the Internet.”
Akira was puzzled by the new development, and yet something was certain: they must have been nasty to send him over the edge like that. “I think he was the guy who was supposed to take care of our table. He stormed off after Bradshaw insulted him.”
Akira nodded. “Did you hear about the cocktail waitress downstairs?”
“Yeah, just a few minutes ago. Right after I heard a woman scream. Either our murderer is on a rampage, or there’s something wrong with the drinking water.”
“Well, I can guarantee Paul Lyons wasn’t involved,” Akira said. “I’ve been observing his behavior, and I don’t think he’s our murderer. However, his wife is a real possibility. She watched that woman’s body being carried away, and you would have thought it was the highlight of her day. I’m still planning to spend time with all of them tonight, but I could really use your help. If Bradshaw leaves the dining room for any reason, can you follow him to see where he goes?”
Takashi nodded and silently stared at her as if assessing her actions. “There’s something else I need to share,” he finally said. “While searching the Internet, I came across a news bulletin. It turns out a Russian hospital director was mugged and killed last night. If I remember correctly, didn’t you say Bradshaw was staying at a hotel with her?”
Akira nodded. “Interesting. Do you think it’s a coincidence?”
Takashi picked up his cup from the table. “No, I don’t. And there’s more. It seems a few years ago, a crewmember and passengers were attacked by islanders in Saint Thomas. One of the crew was shot and killed, but that’s not all. A passenger vanished during the night and was never found. Both incidents were investigated and prosecuted by local authorities to prevent national publicity. But what’s even more interesting is the captain was severely reprimanded and demoted. It took five years for him to earn his position back with the cruise line involved.” Takashi took a long sip from his cup.
Akira shrugged a shoulder. “And the point of all this is?”
“It was Brice. He goes into self-protect mode when people die on this ship. One more incident, and he will lose his job forever.”
Akira couldn’t imagine Brice cut off from the sea. From what little she knew of him, the captain would find it impossible to survive without the respect he demanded or the admiration of his crew. She shook her head in disbelief. “This ship is the perfect place to commit murder.”
“I’m not so sure about that. But it seems likely that the captain is going to dismiss anything that would involve bringing the FBI aboard. Which might turn out to be good for us.”
“Well, if Bradshaw is our murderer, there’s a good chance Sara is his accomplice. And if that’s the case, she’s a better actress than I am.”
Takashi nodded. “We need to bring this to an end as soon as possible.”
“I agree. Tonight I’ll be watching for any reactions when I bring up the topic of Mexico. If Bradshaw dodges the subject again, then there’s good reason to believe he was involved. I just need to be sure before I kill him.”
Book Tour Schedule
Other Books by Kaylin McFarren
Severed Threads (Book One)
A deep-sea diving expedition turns deadly, leaving bodies in the wake of this page-turning treasure hunting adventure
“With plenty at stake, erotic chemistry, dastardly villains, a lost relic, an unusual setting, and a touch of the supernatural, this indie novel could stand on any romance publisher’s shelf. The full package of thrills and romance.”
– Kirkus Reviews
Buried Threads (Book Two)
Overcoming death threats by the Japanese mafia is only the beginning in this heart-racing, action-packed thriller
“If you’re a fan of murder mysteries but eschew the usual genre-formatted adventures that offer too-predictable protagonists and not enough depth, it’s time to take a look at Buried Threads: a horse of another color. More than a murder mystery, this mingles a treasure hunt, an international race against time, a dark prophecy, Japanese culture, erotic encounters and a clever killer’s modus operandi into a story that just won’t quit.”
– Diane Donovan, Senior Editor, Midwest Book Review
Banished Threads (Book Three)
A romantic escape to England is far from restful when the lives of family members hang in the balance
” Readers will get quite a thrill from McFarren’s latest Threads novel! Chase and Rachel are back in this fast-paced romantic suspense, based in an art gallery in England. It’s full of family drama, stolen art, kidnapping, and even more exciting sex between the globetrotting couple. The story moves along at a brisk pace with plenty of peripheral characters to keep things interesting.”
– Romantic Times
Severed Threads (eBook)
Buried Threads (eBook)
Banished Threads (eBook)
Twisted Threads (eBook)
About Kaylin McFarren