Thursday, August 15, 2019


Happy Thursday, Everyone! 

I hope your week is going well. This is a rare occasion, two post in one week. I hope to do this more often. When I don't blog, something is missing in my life. 

Okay, what to talk about first...

This is Day 2 of the Kindle Countdown Deal for The Eyewitness. Grab your $0.99 copy now on AMAZON

Next, I have an awesome new contest that features The Eyewitness. Here is what you need to know.

Mystery, Thriller & Romantic Suspense 
August 9-29

Kindle Fire 7 • Amazon Gift Cards • Ebook Packs • More Prizes

How would you like to read that next bestseller on a Kindle Fire 7 tablet? Win an Amazon gift card, a cool lamp that opens like a book, or a pack of ebooks on your TBR list? Enter August 9-29 and you could decide which books we’ll buy for you from millions on Amazon.

Plus, don’t forget to shop our book fair and play the bonus scavenger hunt game, where we have a tea and brownie brittle bonus prize pack up for grabs. Plus, everyone scores a freebie, a short story download by C.J. Zahner exclusive to this event!

(This giveaway is sponsored by the authors listed below)

Amanda Uhl • Anne McClane • Barbara Barrett • C.J. Zahner • Curtis Bausse • D.B. McNicol • Danielle M. Haas • Dawn Greenfield Ireland • Eichin Chang-Lim • Em Petrova • J.J. Cagney • Jacqueline Diamond • J.C. AndrijeskiJoan Reeves • Karen D. Bradley • Katherine Gilbert • Kerry Blaisdell • Kristy Tate • Lisa Lieberman • Mimi Barbour • Nancy C. Weeks • Naomi Bellina • Sierra Kay • Stephanie Queen • Susan D. Peters • Taylor Marsh • Tricia Tyler

I wish you the very best of luck and have a great time!

Newsletter Contest

I mentioned this yesterday, but in case you missed it, I have an exciting contest on my newsletter this month. Have you ever dreamed of becoming a character in a book? 
I will pick one of my newsletter subscribers and recreate him/her into a secondary character in my next release, The Protector, Book 3. To learn more about my newsletter and join, clink HERE.


As promised, Chapter One of The Analyst, Book 2 of The D'Azzo Family series. It is up on AMAZON for Pre-Order for only $0.99 until it releases September 24th. Happy reading! Please let me know what you think in comments below. 

Hugs to all,

Nancy C. Weeks

Chapter One 

November, Richmond, Virginia, 10:00 p.m.

There was a time to hold your tongue. This wasn’t it. 
“Excuse me, Captain Logan.” Tessa D'Azzo swallowed the screech as twenty law enforcement officers from three different agencies froze, their glare on her. “We’re not done here.”
“I think we are.”
Logan turned his back to her. Tessa raised her chin, straightened her spine, and willed the heat in her cheeks to dissipate. “Regardless, I’m going to need a minute of your time.” 
Short-sighted, stubborn, pinheaded—the damn man challenged every word she uttered.
“Fine, D’Azzo. You’ll get your minute.” 
“Take a breath, Tessa,” FBI Special Agent Leo Lake whispered, slamming his notebook shut. “Sometimes you have to go with the plan.”
“The plan is wrong.”
“So when Logan gives you your minute, convince him.”
 That wasn’t possible. The victim of their sophomoric, petty arguments was three-week-old Addison Banner. Logan, the tri-state task force, and Tessa had one job. Find Addison and return her to her parents. 
Addison had been missing for five days, eighteen hours, and thirty-two minutes. As usual, the amount of data screaming in Tessa’s head overwhelmed her, and a vital piece of data had escaped her until an hour ago. 
The good news: She had located the illegal adoption ring. The team was at that moment reviewing last-minute details of their raid. After six weeks of data analysis on the ring’s operation, Tessa could predict what each man had for breakfast. Logan had latched onto her data, and his plan to seize members of the ring from the lowest position to the bastard who orchestrated every detail— brilliant. But there was one glitch. If a gang of violent kidnappers, whose only concern was profit, removed Addison from her crib, why leave her twin brother behind?
She raised her head. How did a six-foot-four inch man move without a sound? 
“Captain Logan, I thought you were done with me and anything else I had to add to this case.”
“I didn’t mean to make it sound like that. You did amazing work here.” His gaze settled on the mish-mashed notes she’d taped over one entire wall. “Seriously, you’re impressive.”
“I’m the spiky thorn on the bottom of your foot…”
“You did your job. Those bastards won’t tear apart another family.”
“But the ring didn’t kidnap Addison. She will not be there.”
“Says you.”
“Give me one hour. Trust me.” 
Tessa had never pleaded for an act of friendship before. Eric was different. There was a spark of something she couldn’t define that hit her during their first meeting years ago. This was her chance to be different with him.
He took a step toward her and stopped cold, his left kneecap striking the table leg. The sound alone hurt. “Eric?” She reached from him, but he inched away from her.
“Damn it.”
That was an accurate expression of injured bone and wood colliding together. The rumor tank speculated that his slight limp was an on-the-field injury, the only thing that would have brought him home from Afghanistan and prompted a change of careers. 
“Are you okay?”
He rubbed his left knee with his palm. “We cleared the nurse. The suggestion that I missed her cradling Addison Banner in her arms is insulting. You did your job, and now I have to do mine. We’re heading out. Are you coming with us?”
Not for a moment. What he missed, and not for the first time since she came on board, was the chance to see beyond what was right in front of him. Nothing was ever black and white. 
The price of making a mistake at this stage was too high to ignore. “This is on me. I missed something, and I’ll take the hit.” She took a step closer, her attempt at strengthening their connection. “Kershaw thinks I’m on some kind of glory trip. That isn’t my style, and you need to see that.” She pressed her finger and thumb against her forehead. “We are talking about losing Addison foreverand I really don’t give a damn what Kershaw thinks of me. I’m not wrong. Addison will not be there.”
“D'Azzo, you're here as an analyst, but you're also a trained agent, and we could use an extra man.”
“Give me forty-five minutes and I’ll have my answer.”
 “Again, we have a plan.” 
“If you would just hear me out, you’d see that it is the nurse…”
“We leave in five. If you're coming with us, get your gear.”
“I don’t report to you, Captain Logan, or to Kershaw.”
“I am the lead detective…”
“And Kershaw is your commanding officer, and both of you are leading the group away from Addison.”
Eric broke eye contact, staring at the preparations in progress. She’d lost him, and it was useless wasting words. “If you need me on this raid, I’ll …”
“No.” He again scanned her wall of data. “You’re great analyst with a level of focus I have never encountered, but what I need now is a team. I don’t think you understand the meaning of the word.”
Once again, Tessa lost her line in the sand, but this time, the hurt would dig deep. Eric Logan wasn’t just another law enforcement officer in another city. 
“Is that really the last thing you want to say to me, Eric?”
For an instant, his expression softened. “My last words? Hell, Tessa, none of this is what I wanted to happen the next time our paths crossed.” He faced her, the softness gone. “I’ll take responsibility for my part, but only my part.” 
“Good to know. Do what you have to do.”
“That's the plan if you would get out of my way.”
Tessa faced her only friend.
“Back down,” Leo murmured. 
She broke eye contact and scanned the outer room. Dead quiet, each pair of eyes on her. She somehow worked her way into the direct center of the exit. She took a couple of steps to her left. Logan strolled through the door, grabbed his gear and left, the team following him. 
Tessa tried to fill her lungs as she eased her shoulder against the doorframe. The room was silent, calm, and for the first time, she could think. If she took things into her own hands, her career would take a serious hit. But she was right about the Banners’ nurse. How could she have missed something so vital? Her brain had failed her, or she had failed it. 
Tessa stalked into the hallway and glanced at the stairwell. Logan held the door for the rest of the team as his glare froze on her. Damn, crazy-gorgeous eyes, a stunning smile he shared with everyone but her … Loneliness trumped heartache. 
Think of Addison.
There was only one person who would listen, and he picked up the call after the first ring.
“Hi, Dad.”
“Hey, Tessa, my girl. How are you doing?”
“I’m good, but …”
“Don’t say you’re not coming home next weekend. It’s your sister’s graduation and the whole family will be here.”
“I wouldn’t miss it.”
“Good, then do one better and come home this weekend for a quiet visit. We won’t get a moment alone with all the noise.”
“I’m on a case. Well, I was just kicked off that case.”
“What’s going on?” 
Tension slipped into her father’s voice.
“Dad, are you familiar with the Addison Banner kidnapping case?”
“Damn it. Now I get why you have been so quiet.”
“I’m fine.”
“You can’t be. This is why I wanted something else for you. At least you’re with Eric. That’s a measure of comfort I’ll take.” The line turned quiet. “Wait, why didn’t he mention you? Better yet, why didn’t you let me know you were on the same case?”
“I can’t talk about my cases. You know that.”
“Don’t pull that need-to-know crap with me. This is us. Why didn’t you want me to know you were working with Eric?”
Because the man you love and respect hates your daughter. “I didn’t … this damn thing I do would make things uncomfortable between you and Logan.”
“What’s going on?”
“The same thing that happens with any relationship I touch. That’s why I called. Things got clogged in my head and I missed a very important piece of data. I sent the team down the wrong road and I can’t get them back.”
 “Take a breath and fill me in.”
 It was the calmness in his voice that broke through. The hundred miles that separated them disappeared, and her father was close enough she could almost touch him. The pounding beat between her ears quieted and she filled her lungs. 
“Eric and his team are going after an illegal adoption ring. It was good intel, and they will find the gang exactly where I sent them, but Addison will not be there. It’s a different case, different motive. I think the Banners’ nurse took Addison. Her name is Lucy. She met Chris and Joyce Banner at one of their monthly OBGYN appointments at the hospital. When the mom was put on bed rest, Lucy was hired as their visiting nurse.”
“That doesn’t mean that she took this baby. You have more than that, don’t you?”
“Chris Banner changed the security code on the front door lock and the alarm system after the babies came home. The ring has a tech guru with them who could’ve hacked into their security system.”
“What do you think happened?”
“The Banners trusted Lucy. She was given the new codes, and I think she walked through the front door, and was in and out without a sound.”
“And your team checked her out, right?”
The tightness settled in Tessa’s stomach. “She’s squeaky clean. She shows up to work on time, answered all of our questions, and appears to be just as upset as everyone else. But Dad, she’s the one.”
“You have no proof.”
“Not one shred of evidence connects her to the kidnapping.”
The silence at the end of the line seemed to go on forever. Her father was sorting through the facts. They shared a similar analytical bent of mind, and she gave him the space he needed.
“Tell me about her.”
“Her fifth miscarriage in three years occurred around the time she met the Banners. I’m thinking this is a severe case of postpartum depression. She lost her baby and found her again in Joyce Banner.”
“Dear God, that’s a thing?”
“A mother still feels the child is part of her weeks after a miscarriage. Lucy took no time to recover. She meets Joyce the same day they discover they’re having twins. Lucy finds her child in Joyce. At least that’s my theory.”
“Tessa, isn’t there anything that would support your theory?”
“Nothing substantial. Her marriage took the hit. She moved out and is living in a small duplex she bought when she was single.” She paused, “Tonight, we’d need a search warrant, and that takes time, but …”
“Where is she now?”
“Home, I think. She called in sick. Dad, I think she’s running.”
“So why are you talking to me?”
“I’m on my own. Eric Logan and the team have gone after the adoption ring.” Tightness clamped her chest. “I wanted it to work between us. I have no idea what I did to set his back up. I guess I was being me. Maybe he’s right and…”
“Don’t give anyone that kind of power over you. Trust your instincts at all times. Grab a couple of uniforms and find a way into that duplex. Bring that baby girl home to her parents.” The line went silent again. “Just be careful.”
“Always. And Dad, thanks.”
A half hour passed without a blink, and somehow, her father’s calm stayed with Tessa as she parked three doors down from Lucy's duplex. The street was quiet, and a cold breeze chilled her to the bone. 
She turned to the two men in uniform with her. “It’s the brick house with the navy-blue shutters. Hang back. I’m going to the front door. Whatever you do, don’t let her see you. Give me a chance to get inside before you follow.”
Tessa slipped off her jacket and replaced it with her workout sweatshirt. She jogged to the front door, knocking gently. Lucy answered from the inside.
“Who’s there?”
“Sorry to bother you. I’m Tessa from down the street. I forgot my keys to my aunt’s house and my cell phone died on my run. I was wondering if you could call Aunt Ruth so she can unlock the door.” The last thing Tessa needed was to spook Lucy. She kept her voice low, steady but with confidence. “I know it’s late. She can’t hear the doorbell. I saw your light. Again, I’m really sorry to bother you.”
This time, Tessa’s voice shook. She must’ve been convincing because the lock turned and Lucy opened the door slightly. “If she can’t hear you knock, what makes you think she’ll hear the phone ringing?”
“Hi,” Tessa said, holding out her hand. “My aunt is a nurse. She works on-call all the time. She’s conditioned to the ringtone.” 
With each word, her voice shook a little more. Winter introduced itself with force and a chill slipped down her spine. Tessa counted secondsfifteen, twenty, thirty. Lucy opened the door wider and eased to the side.
Thank God. She was inside. 
“You can use the landline in the kitchen.”
Tessa took in everything as she followed Lucy. The small bottle sitting in the pot of water on the stove was the clincher. “I’ll make this quick.” She dialed Logan and he picked up on the second ring.
“What now, D’Azzo?”
“I’m with Lucy and Addison Banner.” 

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