Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Exclusive Sneak Peek: A Dangerous Game by Heather Graham + Giveaway (US/Can)

A Dangerous Game (New York Confidential #3)
Heather Graham
from MIRA // Harlequin

Trouble always finds her...

Wrapping up a normal day at the office, criminal psychologist Kieran Finnegan is accosted by a desperate woman who shoves an infant into her arms and then flees, only to be murdered minutes later on a busy Manhattan street.

Who was the woman? Where did the baby come from? Kieran can’t stop thinking about the child and the victim, so her boyfriend, Craig Frasier, does what any good special agent boyfriend would do—he gets the FBI involved. And asks Kieran to keep out of it.

But the Finnegans have a knack for getting into trouble, and Kieran won’t sit idle when a lead surfaces through her family’s pub. Investigating on her own, she uncovers a dangerous group that plays fast and loose with human lives and will stop at nothing to keep their secrets—and they plan to silence Kieran before she can expose their deadly enterprise.


Within an hour, Kieran had come to know a ninety-six-year-old nun with a quick wit, salty tongue and empathy that brought people sweeping around her; a striking dancer from a Broadway play—who happened to know Kevin; a Wall Street broker; a stage designer; and a Penobscot Indigenous American girl with the most gentle voice she’d ever heard.

Kieran completely forgot she was there merely to keep herself occupied. She felt honored to be helping out in such a tangible way, and she was fascinated with the people she met working the food bank—and with those who came for food.

They were from the Middle East and the Far East, Russia, the Ukraine, Poland, England, France, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Argentina, Haiti and more. She realized that she was quickly learning a smattering of words—mainly please and thank you—in French, Creole, Spanish and what she was pretty sure was Russian.

People were grateful—so grateful. She was almost embarrassed; she had done so little.

The shepherd’s pie from Finnegan’s had disappeared in the first fifteen minutes, but many chefs and cooks volunteered their time, and there was a constant flow of food.

There were a few unwashed bodies, but Sister Teresa—Kieran’s newfound feisty friend—was quick to point out where showers and clothing could—and not should but must—be found. Sister Teresa fed everyone—they could bathe after they ate, but if they expected to find friends with whom to dine in the future, they had best do so!

Kieran was on her way to the kitchen for a refill on the actual soup pot when she realized that a group of young women was watching her.

Talking about her? They definitely looked at her—and went silent—as she walked by.

They seemed to be of different nationalities—two of the women appeared to be East Indian, three were black, and two were blue-eyed blondes, possibly of Nordic descent. Or Russian. She was friends with some really beautiful light-haired and light-eyed Russian women. Then, of course, the world was a wonderfully mixed-up place, so anyone could be from just about anywhere and have any combination of features: light hair, dark hair, skin, and so on.

She walked by, and then became curious, hurrying back to find them.

At first, she couldn’t see them at all. The group had dispersed.

And then she saw one woman moving through a crowd, but turning back now and then to see what was behind her.

Yes, it was one of the women who had been in the group—and now she was watching rather warily for just where Kieran might be.

Kieran was certain then that they had realized she’d noticed them as they had been watching her.

The woman stood still for a moment; she was tall, ebony and regal in her bearing. She made eye contact with Kieran, and then turned away quickly.

“Hey!”

Kieran raced after her, but the woman slipped into the crowd. As Kieran made her way through people, excusing herself, she simply disappeared.

“What the heck?” she murmured.

“Kieran!”

She turned around quickly, aware that Mary Kathleen was calling to her.

“The soup—did you get the soup?”

“No! I’m so sorry. I—”

“They call it a soup kitchen because we hand out soup. Rich, delicious soup, full of beef and vegetables and good things to help people make it through the day.”

“Yes, yes, I know! I will get it, right away. Honestly. Mary Kathleen, do you know that group of young women who were over there?”

“What group?”

“The group that was standing over there.”

“Where are they now?” Mary Kathleen asked. “And you didn’t get the soup because a group of women was standing over there?”

Mary Kathleen was looking at her with perplexity.

“Sorry, sorry, I told you, I promise—I’ll get the soup. Mary Kathleen, I need to know who they were. They were staring at me.”

Mary Kathleen looked at Kieran, and then looked down. She was silent for a minute before she met Kieran’s eyes again. “Kieran, I’m not meaning to be cruel or rude with these words, but... it’s just not always about you.”

Kieran let out a sigh. “No, no... they were really looking at me, talking about me.”

“But you don’t know where they are now?”

“They scattered.”

“Maybe they just left,” Mary Kathleen said softly. “Maybe they actually managed to have some soup—and then they left. It’s what people do. We have showers here, but no beds. It’s not a hostel. People come, dine, sometimes bathe—and then leave.”

“But...”

Kieran’s voice trailed. Mary Kathleen was staring at her sorrowfully—and worriedly.

“Oh, Kieran!” Mary Kathleen said softly. “Aye, indeed, that woman last night came to you—used your name. But that does not mean that the rest of the world is watching you or whispering about you. You have to know that, right?”

Mary Kathleen was not going to believe her—no matter what she said. And now her almost-sister-in-law was worried about her. And she would tell Declan that she was worried about her. Declan would tell Craig. Craig would try very hard to keep her out of everything.

She let out an inward growl of absolute aggravation.

But she smiled at Mary Kathleen.

“Yeah, you must be right. Crazy, huh?” Kieran assured her.

And maybe she had imagined that she was being watched. Maybe the women had just moved on.

“I’ll get the soup,” she told Mary Kathleen.

She turned to head into the kitchen and almost plowed into a man.

He was about six foot two in height, sturdy in build. His eyes were almost like coal; his facial hair was dark, as well, though his head was shaved clean. He appeared to be in his late thirties or early forties. She was certain that he would speak to her in a foreign language.

He did not. When he spoke, his English was perfect. Unaccented.

“I’m so sorry. I believe I nearly knocked you over.”

“No, my fault,” she said quickly. “Excuse me. I have to get more soup.”

“Of course,” he said.

She hadn’t seen him working the food bank—but neither did he seem like someone who would be in the food line.

But she’d seen other people there today who had come to see about hiring help for restaurants or other venues. There was some job placement support through the organization, who vetted possible employers so that no one was hired illegally or put in a position where they might find themselves deported.

Maybe this guy had a swanky restaurant somewhere and was looking for servers, cooks, busboys or girls, and dishwashers.

There were all kinds of agencies to check up on what people were really doing, and they were ready, willing and able to connect people. But at the soup kitchen they only stepped in if their help was requested, since if they asked questions about the hungry men and women who visited, they might be scared off—and then not feel comfortable enough to come back.

Kieran headed into the kitchen, smiling at the mustached chef from a SoHo Italian restaurant, who offered her another big pot of the soup.

They chatted for a minute, then she turned to bring the soup out to be served.

The dark-haired man was watching her. He didn’t look away. He smiled, and it wasn’t an entirely nice smile. Then he headed out of the facility.

Kieran felt a shiver race through her.

Who the hell was that man? And who were the women? Had they really been whispering about her, watching her?

Should she trust her gut that something was not quite right? Or did she just need to get over herself?

About the Author


New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Heather Graham has written more than a hundred novels and has been published in more than 20 languages. An avid scuba diver, ballroom dancer and the mother of five, she enjoys her south Florida home, but loves to travel as well, from locations such as Cairo, Egypt, to her own backyard, the Florida Keys. Reading is still the pastime she still loves best, and she is a member of many writing groups. She’s a winner of the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Thriller Writers’ Silver Bullet. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, and also the founder of The Slush Pile Players, an author band and theatrical group.

Heather annually hosts the Writers for New Orleans conference to benefit both the city, which is near and dear to her heart, and various other causes, and she hosts a ball each year at the RT Booklovers Convention to benefit pediatric AIDS foundations.



Giveaway!

Books à la Mode is giving away a print copy of A Dangerous Game—yay!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
What is the most dangerous, reckless thing you've done for fun?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Heather and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Probably operating any vehicle, weather it be car or bike, way above the speed limit. It feels great but I can understand how potentially dangerous it can be.

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher—a huge thank you to TLC Book Tours and Harlequin!
Giveaway ends March 21st at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada readers only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for the list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!