The Assassin Chronicles Book 1
by Kim Cresswell
Genre: Paranormal Suspense Thriller
Two recent murders. Two serial killers. A conspiracy that reaches beyond the physical world.
Consumed with grief over the tragic death of her husband, FBI agent Victory McClane is obsessed with finding Ohio's serial killer, "The Wrapper".
When another young woman turns up dead and the victim is linked to Derrick Lynn, son of the Secretary of Defense, Victory finds Derrick has all the right answers and is a little too helpful.
Derrick has a secret: He's a government assassin who uses his unusual paranormal skills to eliminate targets. Determined to keep his own secrets buried, he offers to help find The Wrapper.
But can Victory trust him?
As the body count rises, Victory must cross a dangerous line--into a world of government cover-ups, murder, and betrayal--a decision that will test her limits. And everything she believes in.
The battle between good and evil begins! Deadly Shadow is the first book in the gripping paranormal/supernatural thriller series, an action-packed blend of suspense and mystery for detective and crime book lovers.
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Ryan glanced at her, then back to the road. “I’m still thinking.”
“You've been thinking for five minutes, at least.”
“Okay.” He sighed. “His father is...my father's son...and I have no siblings.”
“My father's son...me...is...my grandfather. The man is my grandfather.” He slapped the steering wheel in triumph, then flicked on the turning signal and turned right.
“How'd you ever become an FBI agent?”
“My uncle bought my way in.” He grinned. “Is it his uncle?”
“That man’s father is his uncle.”
“No. Jesus C—”
The car ahead came to a dead stop.
“Watch out, Ryan!”
“Jesus.” He stomped the brake.
The seatbelt tightened across her chest. Luke-warm coffee splashed onto her jeans. The Chevy Suburban fishtailed and slid on the snow-covered road, finally coming to a stop almost kissing the bumper of the car ahead. The driver of the car suddenly turned on his hazard lights.
Ryan tossed the vehicle into reverse, and then drove around the car.
Victory set her coffee in the holder between the seats and glared at the driver as they passed. “A little late for that, don’t ya think, pal?”
The driver gave her the finger.
She shook her head. “Moron. Don’t people stay home anymore in crappy weather?"
“Guess not. The first November snowfall brings out all the idiots.”
She hated November. Hated the snow. It reminded her of death.
“You seem a little off tonight, Vic. You okay?”
“Eighteen-hour day so far and no end in sight, apparently. I hate celebrity crimes. And I'm going to be forty-five years old in a couple days. That's halfway to fifty, in case your math skills are as poor as your riddle-solving skills. At least Jade's coming home for my birthday so there's that but, Jesus...forty-five.”
“I can’t imagine.”
“Says the guy born nine days after me.”
“Hey, I’m just a kid compared to you, and always will be.”
Victory watched the giant snowflakes disintegrate on the windshield. “Man, what do you think we’ll find there? The friggin’ ghost of Houdini? I doubt it’s nearly as perplexing as we’ve been told. We shouldn’t have to deal with this, not when…why aren’t the locals handling it?”
“Bullington was an important guy.”
“He wasn’t the least bit important.”
“He was hugely popular. Popular and important have become synonyms in this wacky new age of alternate facts and the divine right of media personalities,” Ryan said dismissively before returning to the issue at hand. “I guess when the Bureau was called in, the brass figured they needed the top players for this game.”
“Like the guy who can’t figure out a simple riddle and his elderly partner?”
“Is it my cousin?”
Victory shook her head again. “You ever listen to him? Bullington?”
“Hardly my cup of Sanka. I’m not big on politics or government conspiracies. Except for JFK. That one still doesn’t feel right to me.”
“Someone told me Bullington said the Obama birther thing was just a ruse to obfuscate the fact he really came from...” She pointed out the window at the sky. “…up there somewhere and dropped in to find out what really happened to his pals at Area 51 back in the day.”
“Well, the Bullington-types always said he was some kind of alien.”
Victory rolled her eyes.
Ryan grinned. “So Big Mouth was kooky, or just capitalized well off other kooks, but I don’t know who would’ve wanted to blow his brains out.”
The guy hadn’t earned the name ‘Big Mouth’ for keeping his big mouth shut. He was controversial about anything and everything from gun control to religion to racism. There was probably a mile-long list of people who wanted to shut the man up for good.
Victory took a drink of her coffee. “Profiting from others, further dividing the country and fueling dissent for no reason other than money and fame? Who wouldn't want to kill him?”
“Point taken,” Ryan said.
Flashing red and blue lights came into view ahead, and so did Eddie Bullington’s vulgar, gated mansion, lit to the hilt.
Ryan stopped the SUV behind one of the many police cruisers parked on the street.
Victory pulled the FBI badge that was hanging down her shirt and put it on the outside of her Bureau-issued winter coat. They opened their doors at the same time and got out of the vehicle.
She has also published two Kindle Worlds novellas (Jet: Oblivion, Jet: Duplicity), featuring characters from her Whitney Steel series and JET from Russell Blake's New York Times and USA Today bestselling JET action thriller series.
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The most interesting thing that has happened to me was I found a little boy about four-years-old, walking the streets alone. There weren’t any adults around. He started following me back from a corner store. I eventually, brought him home with me and called the police. Luckily, he had been reported missing four hours earlier. When the police arrived, he wouldn’t go with the male officer. I decided I’d have to go with the police to deliver the little guy back home to his parents. It was my first and only ride in the back of a police car.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born in Etobicoke (Toronto), Ontario Canada. When I was two-years-old, my mother divorced, and we moved to London, Ontario. I’ve been here ever since.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I enjoy reading, taking long walks to clear my mind, and spending time with my adult kids and friends.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Funny, kind, crazy, caring, and a loyal friend.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I have always envisioned my Whitney Steel series (Reflection, Retribution, Resurrect) as movies. They are high-octane action romantic thrillers and would work well as movies.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
My spirit animal would be an Owl, emblematic of a deep connection with wisdom and intuitive knowledge.
What inspired you to write this book?
My inspiration for Deadly Shadow and The Assassin Chronicles series began after watching the TV series Fringe combined with my own paranormal experiences over the years. My most interesting and challenging experience with the paranormal was during what I believe was etheric traveling when a dark entity attached itself to me…hence…Deadly Shadow.
The six-month adventure was horrifying. I had never been so terrified in my life. Luckily, the entity disappeared after a priest blessed me and my home. After the experience, the first three chapters of Deadly Shadow sat untouched for eight years before I began working on the book again last year.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m presently working on Invisible Truth, the second book in the thrilling Assassin Chronicles series. Then comes the much-anticipated fourth book in The Whitney Steel romantic thriller series titled: Redemption. I’m also putting together a new post-apocalyptic thriller book series as well as writing the TV pilot.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Deadly Shadow?
Sure. I’d love to. Victory McClane is a veteran FBI agent with the Cincinnati field office. She’s quirky, funny, and tough as nails. She’s the agent-in-charge of two high-profile serial killer cases. Her husband, Josh, was tragically killed a year ago, leaving Victory broken and lonely, trying to balance work as an agent, and being a mother to her twenty-three-year-old daughter, Jade.
Derrick Lynn is an attractive assassin who owns a video gaming company. He uses his business as a front to hide he’s really a government assassin, part of the secret Elara Project: a project that recruits gifted people with unusual paranormal and supernatural abilities then trains them to be assassins.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
Honestly, I use a random name generator for all my character’s names.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
What I enjoyed most about writing Deadly Shadow is the fact that the story was very different to my other books. It’s still a thriller but it’s dark and gritty and a different genre for me.
Who designed your book covers?
No Sweat Graphics has designed most of my book covers including the four covers for The Assassin Chronicles series. Unfortunately, No Sweat Graphics shut down their business, so I’ve been exploring other graphic designers to find one that works best for my books.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not at all. Deadly Shadow is exactly the way the story should be, how I envisioned the story.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned who how much I love writing in different genres, and how resilient humans can be even for character’s in a book. Very much like life, we adapt and come out stronger no matter what is thrown at us.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I hope readers have a chance to read Deadly Shadow. At the story’s core, the book is about duty, sacrifice, choices, and consequences. It’s an emotional blend that asks the basic questions, “What would you do?”
And thank you to all my readers and fans. It’s because of you that I continue to write new books. I appreciate your support more than you’ll ever know.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
If Deadly Shadow had a candle it would smell like citrus, green bamboo, patchouli and musk.
How long have you been writing?
For many decades. <grin> I knew I wanted to be a professional writer while working at our public library at the age of seventeen. I remember reading Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls and from that moment I wanted to be an author. It seemed like a farfetched idea back then. Life, marriage and kids put my dream on hold until 2012 when I decided it was time to take my writing seriously. It really was now or never. With my first book, Reflection, I landed two literary agents. Since then, I’ve published twenty-three works: novels, short stories, and anthologies.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I love reading! My favorite genres are thrillers and action-thrillers.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I usually only write one book at a time so that I can focus on my characters and the story.
Pen or type writer or computer?
I write on a laptop and use pen and paper if I’m stuck on a scene. I find moving away from the computer always helps me get unstuck.
Describe your writing style.
I would describe my writing style as cinematic. My books are like watching a movie.
What makes a good story?
What makes a great is a solid and interesting plot, lots of action, and emotion…emotion…emotion. If I don’t feel a story, I walk away from it.
What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
My writing process has always been the same. First, I write the back cover blurb. I can’t start a book unless I do. Then I select a title and begin plotting out each chapter, so I have a road map to work with. After those are completed, I sit down and start writing the first chapter. Of course, things can change but generally, I stick with my plot outline quite closely.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I tend to be original. I love coming up with unique plots and characters which I do believe my readers want and expect from me.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I’m a slow writer mainly due to health issues. An average full-length book can take eight months to year to write.
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