Contemporary Romantic Suspense.
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on Empty joins forces with North by Northwest" .
the full dust jacket. Click here.
A very fast paced, interesting, moving story--one that is so full of suspense that the pages kept clicking away at a pace so fast that I was finished with the book before I knew it. Ms. Cooper-Posey has created a set of memorable, sympathetic characters put in a rough situation that has you biting your nails as they try to figure out how they'll come out of it alive. Very well done. I look forward to seeing more of fiction like this from Tracy Cooper-Posey. This is an author to watch, and one to read.
“Truly a high-octane read, and when combined with the romantic storyline that Ms Cooper-Posey has created, this is a book that will leave the reader completely satisfied.”
Kristi Ahlers, Amazon Top 500 Reviewer
"SILENT KNIGHT is a suspense-filled book as we slowly learn the truth of just what Jack is running from. Tracy Cooper-Posey has done a wonderful job of keeping me in suspense trying to figure out just who the SILENT KNIGHT could be. I found myself pulled into this story from the very first page and loved the ending! This is one you want to wait to read until you have enough time to finish the story in one sitting, as I hated putting the book down. If you’re in the mood for a good romantic suspense, you definitely want to read SILENT KNIGHT!
Chere for The Romance Studio
Sara Williams Author, The Don Juan Con
They would do anything to get him.
He would do whatever it took to bring them down.
It was the wrong time to fall in love.
Kingston gets on a commercial turbo-prop with a case filled with legal briefs
and ambitions of climbing the corporate ladder at the firm where she’s
employed. On her own from a young age, with no one she could depend on, Sophie
got where she was by her own hard work, never asking anyone for anything. Then
her plane fell out of the sky.
in a mountain wilderness, injured and unable to walk, she is forced to depend on
a stranger’s help for everything in order to survive, whereupon she discovers
Jack, with his understanding brown eyes and his unexpected insights, a special
kind of man—a man she could trust with her life. And, maybe, even her heart.
Jack Laubreaux looks over the snapped-off wings and other debris scattered over
the mountainside, he knows if he hadn’t been on the plane it wouldn’t have
crashed. And seven people wouldn’t have died. With that fact weighing heavily
on his conscience, his chance at redemption is found in keeping his promise to
Sophie—the only other survivor—to get her safely out of the mountains alive.
But it won’t be easy. Sophie is badly hurt, and it will take all of his
ingenuity to find a way to get down to her. And it will take all of his patience
to get past her fierce independence and win her trust.
However, the hardest thing of all is meeting Sophie’s green gaze and not falling in love with her—and not making her a target, too. Jack is a marked man. His testimony, if he lives to give it, will put a powerful crime boss in prison. And the mobster’s mole, “Silent Knight”—someone highly placed in law enforcement, maybe even the FBI—will be watching, waiting and ready to use anyone and anything to find Jack and take him out.
It was because there were no other survivors that Jack found her.
If there had been others he would have been helping them, talking them into calmness. The forest around them would have been echoing with the sound of human voices and her weak cry would have gone unnoticed.
Instead, he was sitting on the edge of the ravine with his back to the wreckage, staring out over the valley and dealing with his guilt -- which the silence swelled to nearly unbearable level.
Her voice floated up from beneath his feet as he sat there.
He leaned over the edge, moving carefully because something in his chest stabbed with each movement. He'd probably cracked his ribs when he'd been thrown against the arm of his chair. That had been towards the end of the nightmarish five minutes the plane had bucked and tortured metal had screamed. Five minutes while everyone in the little cabin had braced themselves for the death they knew was coming.
Except by some twisted, evil freak of fate he'd not died.
Again, the quiet plea came up from below. Soft and feminine.
So one other had made it out, too.
Beneath his feet he sighted the stony shelf twenty five feet below. Only the lip of the shelf was visible. A bulge in the rocky side of the ravine hid the rest.
"Where are you?" he demanded.
There was a small silence. "I'm on a ledge. You sound like you're above me."
"I can't see you. Can you move a bit closer to the edge?" Better to know she was really down there before attempting the climb.
Her voice floated up, sounding weak and tired. "I can't move at all. My leg is broken."
He whistled through his teeth, considering. Without rope the climb was more than simply dangerous; it verged on impossible. The cracked ribs weren't going to help him, either. Not risking it, though, was unthinkable. There was someone down he might be able to save from the carnage and saving her might just possibly redeem his own cursed soul.
He looked over the sharp edge of the ravine again. That bump in the wall...how had she landed on the ledge and not bounced out into the ravine, to fall all the way down to the bottom, seven thousand feet below?
"What happened?" he called. "How did you get down there?"
"I slipped in the dark last night. I must have stepped off the edge. I slid down here. That's how I broke my leg."
Slid. No-one would slide down that sharp gray wall. They'd roll a bit, then free fall for much longer.
"Wait a minute," he called. Carefully, he got to his feet and walked to his right along the cracked, jagged edge. With every couple of steps he leaned over a little, checking the visible section of the shelf. After a dozen steps it disappeared from sight. The bump in the wall also receded, leaving nothing but sheer rock face, all the way to the floor of the valley below, where boulders had rolled and collected for millennia. From this height they looked like pebbles.
He turned and walked back in the opposite direction, towards the bulk of the mountain they were perched upon. Again, he checked with each couple of steps. This time, the bump receded and a little more of the shelf came into view. Then he found the place where she must have gone over. Snow melt and rain had eaten a two-foot wide, shallow channel into the soil, biting into the sharp edge of the ravine. There, he could see a sharp new scuff in the soil. There was a white, fresh scrape in the stone just beneath.
He studied the channel. It might have once started life as a little indent in the sharp edge of the cliff, but patient nature had worked at it over the years, deepening it until raw bedrock slowed the process. Then it had slowly widened, as the volume of water, rocks and tree litter had pushed at the edges of the new runnel. The curving gutter followed the line of least resistance, wearing its way around the swollen outcrop that hung over the shelf in an elegant curve. The curve was created by the stone beneath throwing up a high edge just where the water would want to pour straight out into the valley, forcing the flow to bend to the right. From the top, it reminded Jack of a bumpy, dirty amusement park water slide. Only, there was no deep pool at the bottom to break your fall.
She must have slid down the channel. She was lucky her weight hadn't pushed her over the edge of the channel as she'd slid around the curve -- she'd have gone straight down to the bottom of the ravine. Instead, she'd been dumped on the shelf, hard enough to break a leg.
He had to go down the same way she had, but he needed to get down without breaking bones and then get back up again.
He leaned over the edge one last time and filled his lungs. "I'll be gone a bit. I've got to do some things. Then I'll come down. Okay?"
After a moment she responded: "Please don't be long."
No demands to know what he was doing, why he wasn't instantly climbing down to get her. A pragmatic lady, despite what must have been a hell of a night on that ledge.
Reluctantly, Jack turned his back on the ravine and faced the trees that marched up the face of the mountain behind. A dozen or so yards up that slope was the reason for his reluctance. The remains of the small commercial turbo-prop were scattered in three big wrangled pieces, trailed by a long furrow filled with fragments and slivers of metal, plastic and other remnants that he'd carefully avoided because from a distance they looked a lot like busted open luggage and personal possessions.
Instead, he'd spent an hour at first light looking for survivors and finding, instead, the bodies of four of the seven passengers and one of the pilots. He'd dragged them all under the shelter of a thicket of pines with low lying branches -- the best he could do for right now. For a moment he'd stood looking at them, feeling the sweat of exertion pricking at his temples and sliding down his chest under his shirt and sweater, wishing he could take back their deaths. A litany had begun to whisper at him then: All your fault...all your goddamn fault. If you hadn't got on the damned plane they'd be fine, they'd be home hugging their wives and kids....
He'd staggered away from the thicket then -- four tottering steps and he'd fallen to his knees and vomited.
The two pilots had done their heroic best to pull the plane out of trouble. Just the fact that the plane had more or less landed, had not simply fallen out of the sky, was a testament to their grit and skill.
Wanting to know more about the crash, despite every piece of evidence, every fragment he came across adding to the sick horror building in him, he'd gone back and studied the raw wound that ripped across the sharp slope of the mountain. It went a long, long way, far out of sight to the south.
So he'd climbed another hundred feet or so through the trees to get a better, higher view. The gash in the earth went back for a good mile, and there was a fresh break in the canopy on the slopes of the next two peaks to the south, at the same altitude.
His admiration for the pilots had intensified as he studied the trail of evidence: They'd deliberately slowed their speed by skimming the canopy, then kissing the ground, coming in as flat as they could.
The wings had been snapped off very early in the emergency landing. He could remember that much -- the sound of the metal being pulled out by its roots, the sharp groan he could feel through the manic grip he had on his chair arms -- that would stay with him forever. Partly, the early loss of the wings which carried the main fuel tanks had preserved the guts of the plane when it came to its final resting place, for there was no aviation fuel left to flood the site. A handful of electrical short-outs had started small fires, but it had been raining hard when they'd hit the deck -- only one or two of the fires had been still burning when he'd groped back to consciousness. He'd put the fires out quickly, his heart in his mouth, wondering if they presaged a big booming explosion when the fuel went up.
The lack of explosion, the sheer skill of the pilots and the quite extraordinary run of luck that had preserved his miserable skin all impressed themselves upon him as he stood on the upslope studying the new scar on the mountainside.
He'd gone looking for a way off the mountain, then. There was nothing else he could do for anyone at the site and he had reason to believe that the basic survival rule of staying with the wreckage could be deadly in his case. He'd come to the impassable ravine just down the slope from the plane wreckage. It cut across the lee side of the mountain -- a giant's sword slash. The sharp sides dropped straight down to the valley floor, impossibly far below.
He'd sat on the edge of the terrifying drop, wondering if he was going to make it out of this after all.
I'm so thrilled that Silent Knight will finally make it into print. Although all my books are dear to me, some are more valued than others, and Silent Knight is pretty close to the top of my favourites list. (That is, favourite books that *I* have written. I wouldn't be game enough to rank my books along with my all-time best authors -- my ego couldn't withstand the crush!).
The version that makes it into print is the third incarnation of the story. It began life some years ago as a simple story about a crash...but it didn't go anywhere. Then I had one of my infamous and sleep-depriving 3 a.m. revelations; the rest of the story wrote itself in outline, in about four hours of frantic scribbling by torchlight. But in that second version, the crash was reduced to a prologue.
I put the story aside -- romantic suspense novels just weren't selling back in those days. And a few years later I read through the chapters I had. The story had a definite pull, and I found myself mentally tinkering with it. So I rolled up my sleeves and decided to finish it properly.
Those few years wait were worth it. My writing abilities had been polished and my grasp of story technique so much stronger. I could instantly see the problems with the story as it stood. I dumped the sketchy prologue in favour of writing the whole seven days on the cliff in full. The relationship built there resonates throughout the story, it sets up all the complications and conflict that is to come, and it drives all Sophie's actions in the future... it needed to be seen by the reader.
When I had finished the tale for this third time, I loved the results. I hope you do, too.
I often get asked who I would cast in the movie of my book, if it should ever come to pass, so just for fun:
Movie producer's pitch:
Running on Empty joins forces with North by Northwest
Sophie. Julia Roberts.
Jack. Hugh Jackman
Peter. Alec Baldwin.
Don't agree with my picks? Can think of someone who's
For those of you who dream of holding your own book, with your name on the cover, the Archebooks annual writing contest offers you a chance at publication. Contest details at http://www.archebooks.com/Contest2005.htm. Closes June, 2005. About four writers from last year’s contest are now Archebook authors.
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All contents, except where noted, copyrighted © 2000-2006 (inc.), Tracy Cooper-Posey and Sasha Productions.