Series: The Profiler, Book 4
Published by MIRA on December 27, 2016
Buy on Amazon
If you're reading this, I'm already dead…
That's the note seventeen-year-old Haley Cooke leaves behind when she disappears from inside her high school. FBI profiler Evelyn Baine is called in to figure out who had reason to hurt her. On the surface, the popular cheerleader has no enemies, but as Evelyn digs deeper, she discovers that everyone close to Haley has something to hide. Everyone from estranged parents, to an older boyfriend with questionable connections, to a best friend who envies Haley's life.
Secrets can be deadly…
One of those secrets may have gotten Haley killed. If she's still alive, Evelyn knows that the more the investigation ramps up, the more pressure they could be putting on Haley's kidnapper to make her disappear for good. It's also possible the teenager isn't in danger at all, but has skillfully manipulated everyone and staged her own disappearance. Only one thing is certain: uncovering Haley's fate could be dangerous—even deadly—to Evelyn herself.
Read an Excerpt HERE!
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
The short answer? Yes! I honestly can’t remember a time I wasn’t buried in books – either reading or writing them. Before I could write, I was telling stories (and asking for stories to be told to me). In high school, I co-wrote my first completed manuscript (a young-adult action-adventure story) with the author who’s my critique partner to this day. Now, I’m thrilled to see my stories in bookstores, and I hope to never stop!
What’s your process like for writing a book?
Because I write in more than one genre, and I sometimes have multiple releases a year, I am always multi-tasking. Generally, I’m writing one book, researching the next one, and editing the previous one at any given time.
I’m a plotter – I like to know my characters and big plot points before I begin the actual writing. Some people talk about stories being either character-driven or plot-driven, but I think the strongest books are both. So, I spend time developing my characters (their backstories, what scares them, what they want, how they’ll change over the course of the story) as well as the plot (I begin with a bullet-point list of all the major plot points, twists and red herrings).
Once the prep work is complete, I sit down and start the actual writing. Depending on the length of the book, I might spend four to six months writing (but that doesn’t include research, plotting or editing time). I edit as I go, re-reading what I wrote the day before on each new day. And I’m writing most days until the book is complete and I’m ready to brainstorm the next one!
Where do you get your ideas?
Every book is different, and everything is potential inspiration. And no book is the result of a single idea – it all usually begins with a compelling what if? question that drives the rest of the plot forward, but to really have all the twists and turns of a suspense book that will surprise readers, it’s going to have to blossom into something much bigger than that first idea.
Still, every story starts somewhere. The idea for my Profiler series came after reading about a real-life profiler’s decades at the FBI. The idea of having a character who didn’t use the normal investigative methods to solve crimes, but instead relied on behavioral evidence, fascinated me. But it didn’t bloom into a full-blown series character idea until I came up with the motivation for Evelyn Baine. I asked myself, what kind of person could look at the country’s worst crimes day after day and search for the perpetrators? And I realized I needed someone with a very personal reason for being a profiler (enter Evelyn Baine, whose best friend disappeared when she was twelve).
The idea for my Lawmen series came as I was trying to develop a compelling title for a new trilogy of romantic suspense books (you can read more about that in my Behind the Series: The Lawmen Series. When I wrote those first three books, I created a secondary character I could use to spin off more books, and I knew he was going to have two foster brothers who could make up part of the third trilogy. But when the time came to write those books, I still had to ponder the premise of the next books!
How does the process of getting a book published work?
There are a lot more options now than there used to be, but I’m traditionally published, so the process I’m talking about is selling a book to a traditional publisher. It all starts with writing the strongest book you can (I highly recommend working with a trusted critique partner and entering contests or finding other ways to get impartial feedback before beginning to submit. With rare exceptions, if you want to be traditionally published, first you need an agent.
A good agent is your best advocate and it’s important to remember that although the process can be challenging, when you do receive an offer of representation, you want to make sure the agent is right for you. Good ways to search for agents who might work for you is to look at authors you think you write like and see who their agents are; try querying them (or junior agents at the same agency who might be growing their lists). Always vet the agencies and when you do have an offer, make sure you know what you want and if that agent matches it (think about long-term career goals and how your agent plans to help you reach them).
After you find an agent, that person may work with you to tweak your book even further, and then it will go out on submission. A good agent knows what editors will be a good fit for your book and once you agree on a submission list, out the book goes! Hopefully, the next step is a publishing contract, but if not, then you write a new book and begin again, because rejection is part of the business, and perseverance is the best way to sell and keep selling.
How do your books connect, and can they be read out of order?
You can find the order for the books in my psychological suspense series, The Profiler series, as well as my romantic suspense series, The Lawmen series, over on my Book Series List Page page. Reading them in order lets you follow along as the characters grow and change; however, all of my books can also be read as standalones or out of order!
What’s the best way to reach you?
BEHIND THE SERIES: THE PROFILER SERIES
Motive. Means. Opportunity. They are the key components of most murder investigations. But what happens when a crime has no apparent motive? No logical suspects? A crime that’s connected to other seemingly motiveless crimes?
This is where a profiler comes in. A profiler can look at the crime scene – at clues to the perpetrator’s identity he doesn’t even know he left behind – and provide all kinds of details to help catch him. Details like what kind of car the perpetrator drives, what sort of job he works, what kind of personality he has. And maybe most importantly: how to catch him.
The heroine of my Profiler series, Evelyn Baine, is a profiler for the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit. It’s a job she picked when she was twelve years old, when her best friend disappeared. She was never found and the dream of uncovering what happened to her has been the driving force in Evelyn’s life.
In the first book in the series, HUNTED, Evelyn gets what looks like a typical serial killer case to profile. Except when she arrives at the crime scene, the behavioral evidence seems contradictory. But it does tell her the killer has struck before, and unless they stop him, he’ll strike again. As she digs deeper into the case, the serial killer she’s tracking begins to track her too. This time, it may be Evelyn’s turn to disappear…
BEHIND THE SCENES: THE RESEARCH
I love researching new books. I love learning details I wasn’t even looking for when I started. And when I had the opportunity to visit the FBI Academy at Quantico, I learned that I shouldn’t have worn a skirt and heels. Why? Because they let me shoot on their firing range. And although it turns out I can hit a target just fine wearing heels, it’s probably easier to brace yourself against the kick of a shotgun in flats!
The trip to Quantico provided great hands-on research, and had the bonus of being the site where the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) is located. In The Profiler series, HRT agents play key roles in the stories, and they are a fascinating, unique group – they are the FBI’s counterpart to military special operations groups. Their motto is servare vitas (to save lives) and they are trained to operate in extreme situations. HRT operators practice helicopter rappelling, SCUBA diving, and close quarters battle (CQB) as part of their regular routine. When HUNTED, the first book in The Profiler series, hit shelves in 2014, HRT was in its thirty-first year of operations.
In The Profiler series, HRT agent Kyle “Mac” McKenzie and his partner Gabe “Fonz” Fontaine were an interesting pair to create. Kyle is charming and confident on the outside, but getting into his head reveals a different, more complex side. His partner Gabe is a jokester, the kind of guy who can’t help but come into a room filled with serious profilers and tack a computer-generated picture of their boss with the heading “Predator Still at Large” on their community board.
In that room full of profilers is Evelyn Baine, the protagonist of The Profiler series. She’s a member of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), and she spends her days getting into the heads of terrorists, serial killers, arsonists, and child abductors. Her job is to use their own thought processes to track them down and bring them to justice.
Once upon a time, the job Evelyn did was handled by the Behavioral Science Unit, which was located in a windowless room sixty feet below ground at the National Academy at Quantico. What a place to analyze killers! Now, the BAU has moved to nearby Aquia and the agents see daylight during their working hours!
Learning about Evelyn’s job meant understanding the seemingly incomprehensible motives of the criminals she tracks. It meant learning about how to analyze a crime scene for the behavioral evidence, and then use that to construct a criminal personality profile that would lead investigators to the perpetrator.
What kind of person can do that job? In The Profiler series, Evelyn is a highly-driven agent who always knew she wanted a spot on the BAU’s elite team. She’s haunted by the unsolved disappearance of her best friend when she was twelve years old and she’s searching for a way to fit in, both at BAU and in the world around her. Since she’s joined BAU, she’s always been the one tracking down the killers, so it was interesting to turn the tables on her.
Previous books in The Profiler series:
Published December 31, 2013
Terror stalks a small Virginia town.
FBI rising star, criminal profiler Evelyn Baine, knows how to think like a serial killer. But she’s never chased anyone like the Bakersville Burier, who hunts young women and displays them, half-buried, deep in the woods. As the body count climbs, Evelyn’s relentless pursuit of the killer puts her career—and her life—at risk. And the evil lurking in the Burier’s mind may be more than even she can unravel.
Terror is closer than she thinks…
The Bakersville Burier knows he’s got an FBI profiler on his trail. He knows who she is and where to find her. And he’s biding his time, because he’s planned a special punishment for Evelyn. She may have tracked other killers, but he vows to make this her last chase. This time it’s her turn to be hunted!
Read an excerpt HERE!
Published: December 30, 2014
Sometimes, the past can haunt you…
Eighteen years ago, FBI profiler Evelyn Baine’s best friend, Cassie Byers, disappeared, the third in a series of unsolved abductions. Only a macabre nursery rhyme was left at the scene, a nursery rhyme that claimed Evelyn was also an intended victim. Now, after all these years of silence, another girl has gone missing in South Carolina, and the Nursery Rhyme Killer is taking credit. But is Cassie’s abductor really back, or is there a copycat at work?
Sometimes, the past is best forgotten…
Evelyn has waited eighteen years for a chance to investigate, but when she returns to Rose Bay, she finds a dark side to the seemingly idyllic town. As the place erupts in violence and the kidnapper strikes again, Evelyn knows this is her last chance. If she doesn’t figure out what happened to Cassie eighteen years ago, it may be Evelyn’s turn to vanish without a trace.
Read an excerpt HERE!
Love and vengeance
FBI profiler Evelyn Baine and fellow agent Kyle McKenzie are—secretly—on vacation together, visiting an island off the coast of Georgia. Evelyn has recently solved a notorious cold case, so she considers their holiday a reward of sorts. More than that, it’s a cautious acknowledgment of her growing feelings for Kyle.
One day a body washes up on the beach, a body that’s been disfigured. The killer has carved the word “pervert” into the victim’s stomach. A second murder, with the victim labeled a “killer” appears soon after. The police don’t agree when Evelyn tells them the murders look like the work of a vigilante trying to avenge…something.
Evelyn and Kyle find their own lives at risk as they move closer to the truth.
Free short story available online from Harlequin … read for free HERE!
Published: December 29, 2015
Danger is all around her…
What should have been a routine investigation for FBI profiler Evelyn Baine turns ominous when she’s kidnapped by a dangerous cult of survivalists. As her worst nightmares become a reality, she begins to question what she’s seeing. Because the longer she’s inside their compound, the more she realizes this group is not what it seems to be.
The next terrorist threat is right beside her…
As the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team closes in, Evelyn suspects she’s stumbled onto an emerging terrorist threat—and a cult leader who has a score to settle with the FBI. If Hostage Rescue breaches the compound, Evelyn’s dead for sure. If they don’t, the cult may unleash a surprise attack that could leave the whole country shattered.
Read an excerpt HERE!