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An Echoes of the Past Book 4 Novella
BY RACHEL TRAUTMILLER
A sudden surge in crime has left two homeless women dead and Detective Amanda Nettles’ Alzheimer’s-riddled mother as the prime suspect. Between raising a teenager determined to thwart every protective effort made, and a city hell-bent on shunning her new family based on preconceived ideas about the past—and fear about what the future might hold—she’ll have to decide if her obsession with protecting Charlotte is bigger than the needs of her family. Or if they are one and the same.
And if breaking the rules means the end of everything, as she knows it.
Baker Jackson Robinson knows all about protecting the seemingly innocent. Except this time he’s able to see the big picture a little clearer and the facts aren’t adding up. With his wife playing a dangerous game of hide-and-seek with a remorseless serial killer, he doesn’t intend to let her fight alone.
No matter what anyone else says.
Rachel Trautmiller Brings Amanda and Robinson from “Aftermath” to IC Today!
Originally posted by Connie Almony on October 9, 2015
Connie: Some of you may already know the wonderful, exciting Romantic Suspense author, Rachel Trautmiller, or at least the first two books of her series, The Bening Files—Linked and Disconnect. Very exciting stories!!!
She is here today to give away one copy of her latest release, Aftermath, to one lucky commenter below (choice of Amazon ebook or paperback). Details at the end of this interview.
She also brought along a couple of her characters from that series so we can get to know them a little better.
I’ll let them introduce themselves …
Robinson: <ahem> Robinson. You mean Amanda Robinson.
Amanda: <brow arches as she turns to the man sharing the loveseat> Isn’t that what I said?
Robinson: No, but I forgive you. It’s still new.
A: And here I was, worrying for nothing. <smirks> I’m Amanda Robinson. And this is Special Agent-in-Charge, Baker Jackson Desmond Robinson the fourth.
A: You’re welcome, Baker Jack—
R: OKAY. As you can tell, we’re pretty comfortable with each other. We work together whenever the FBI Charlotte field office and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department team up.
A: Or if you need a favor.
R: You know you like it.
A: Pleading the fifth.
R: Together, we’ve been keeping Charlotte safe for over five years.
A: It’s been a wild ride.
Connie: I’ll bet. Moving right along … Now, tell us three things about yourself that would surprise our readers.
Amanda: I hate donuts.
Robinson: That’s un-American. Like saying you hate pizza. And not surprising, for you. She said surprising.
A: Are you going to thwart all my answers for this entire interview?
A: Fine. You name something surprising, then.
<Connie arches and expectant brow at Robinson>
R: <rubs hands together> Sometimes I sneak decaf into the coffee maker, at home.
A: What? You’re lying.
A: That’s grounds for divorce, Robbie. Don’t mess with my caffeine.
R: Empty threats. Now, shock us, A.J. and maybe I’ll promise to never do it again. Maybe.
A: I’m making the coffee from now on.
R: It’s for your own good. You’re gonna explode your heart and get diabetes.
A: <settles into couch and grumbles> My family took in foster children when I was growing up.
R: We’re all slack-jawed, here.
A: Shush. One night a foster sibling and I decided to sneak out and get matching tattoos.
R: Let me guess, this has to do with Bet—
A: <slaps a hand over his mouth> Don’t ruin my story, Robbie. We snuck out. Got to the tattoo parlor. Waded through a little red tape because we were minors—seventeen at the time. Had no idea what we wanted to get. Ended up with an interesting daisy on our left ankles.
R: <crosses arms> Okay, let’s see it.
A: I had it removed a few years ago.
Connie: <takes deep breath> Next question—Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader get to know you a little better.
R: We’re pretty boring. You know, get up. Drink coffee.
A: Preferably, not decaf.
R: You didn’t even know the difference.
Connie: Children—I mean—
A: Anyway. We’re boring. We eat, shower. Fight crime.
R: Avoid getting knifed…
A: Over the lack of caffeine in our hot beverages.
R: Kidnapped. Bombed.
A: <shakes head>
R: What? Too soon?
A: Because those things come right after breakfast, every day of the week? We just chug our brew—
R: You drink milk with a splash of coffee, anyway.
A: You’re impossible. <faces Connie> Connie, he’s impossible.
<Connie smiles tight>
R: You said it. I elaborated. And you’re getting me off topic.
A: You were saying…
R: Yeah. We’re your typical American family. Busy with life and work and—
A: Sabotaging my coffee.
Connie: <blows a shrill whistle!!!> Um …ahem. <composes self> When did things change dramatically in your life?
Amanda: I would imagine that’s obvious by now. <uses index finger to discreetly point toward Robinson>
Robinson: I could name a few, exact examples. A crumpled Harley and some dangerous cases come to mind.
A: Don’t ruin the fun for Infinite Characters’ readers, Robbie. They’ll love discovering every facet of our story. The fun begins in Linked.
R: Fun? You were a total pain at the time.
Connie: No name call—
A: I could say the same about you.
Connie: Okay, next question. In three words describe yourself.
Robinson: Sassy. Smart. Beautiful.
Amanda: She said describe yourself.
R: Now, who’s thwarting the interview? And who said I wasn’t describing myself?
A: On. Your. Toes. That’s Robinson. And it encompasses every situation you’ll ever find yourself in with him.
Connie: Awww, you guys are so …. sweet. I think. <ahem> Are you highly scheduled types, or do you like to “wing it?”
Amanda: You’re kidding, right? The only thing this guy schedules is that he’ll eat an apple sometime during the day. I saw him eying the fruit basket you had in the lobby.
Connie: That’s only for—
Robinson: That might be the kettle calling the pot black, there, sweetheart. This woman works best in on-the-fly situations. Thrives on it, actually.
A: You’re making me sound like a crazed criminal chaser, Mr. Jump-Into-The-Thick-Of-Trouble.
R: So, we’re perfectly matched in our scheduled practice of winging it.
Connie: <blinks rapidly> I see … What has life taught you?
Amanda: You can only protect yourself so much. Whatever will happen is going to and you can survive the mess or grow from it. Trying to anticipate the unknown is like envisioning what every dip of a roller coaster will feel like before you hit it. At some point, it’s better to enjoy the part of the ride you’re on, instead of stressing about the possible jarring turns. Life is stranger than fiction. Miracles happen. Sometimes there is no right answer, but an urgency to go what’s right even if it means you might lose something you hold dear.
<Connie turns to Robinson>
Robinson: Couldn’t have said it better.
Connie:<mouth drops opened> Oh … uh … Well then …What would you be doing if you weren’t fighting crime, getting knifed, bombed, kidnapped and … um … <shivers> sabotaging coffee?
Amanda: That’s a tough one.
Robinson: Amanda do anything besides hunt down criminals? Not happening. Don’t even insinuate it. You’ll be sorry.
A: <sends a lighthearted glare in his direction> It’s a figurative question.
R: You know it’s true.
A: It’s a tough question to answer, because I love what I do. Being a detective isn’t exactly a cake walk, but I love knowing I’ve saved a life. Righted a wrong. Helped a multitude of people find closure. So, theoretically, if I weren’t with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, I’d probably own an art gallery.
R: If that’s true, I’d be driving a bus for the city. Happy as a clam. Here’s the thing. You can excel at anything you do. We all can. An art gallery? Well, that’d be a dream come true wrapped up in a job. Don’t get me wrong, Amanda’s paintings are striking. Gallery worthy.
Now, tracking down criminals? That’s her life. It’s what she’s meant to do. Period.
A: Driving a bus? That’s the first profession that comes to mind?
R: Big vehicle. Lots of people. What’s not to love?
Connie: What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
Robinson: <groans> Are these questions designed to prove how crazy we are?
Connie: Not usually …
R: Because risk is somewhere in Amanda’s name. Scratch that, it flows through her veins. And it’s a good thing.
Amanda: <demure laughter> Sometimes. I’m—we’re about to do probably the coolest, wackiest thing ever.
R: Not another word, A.J., it’s not official.
A: Not yet.
Connie: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
R: Our story is far from over.
A: That’s it? No wise parting line?
R: There’s no mystery otherwise.
RINGING CELL PHONE.
Amanda: <digs in pocket> Sorry, forgot to turn it on silent.
Robinson: <leans near> Ah, Detective Davis.
A: She’s my partner at CMPD.
R: You know that means one of two things. That girl is hiding something big. Remember that, A.J.
A: Not everything is sinister in nature.
R: I’m not taking any chances.
Connie: <shakes her head, blinks, and turns to the author> Well, Rachel, thank you for bringing Amanda and Robinson to us today. Where can fans find out more about them, you or your books on the internet? (See links below.)
Rachel writes novels filled with murder, mayhem, and romance that leave her readers wanting more incredible twists and turns.
SIDE NOTE: A nightlight may be required. Some bleary-eyed mornings have been known to occur. Coffee is recommended.
Rachel began weaving tales well before she could actually write. Those early stories included danger and mystery, Barbies and G.I. Joes, a few sensational heroes and their villainous counterparts. Sometimes the hero had to time warp through a hole in her backyard to save the damsel in distress and sometimes he only had to outwit the aforementioned villain.
Nowadays, she leaves the Barbies to her Extremely Cute Toddler (follow ECT’s antics on Facebook) and when she’s not riveting readers with the chaotic and sizzling mess of her character’s lives, she can be found poolside with her husband, toddler, and a super snuggly dog.
She enjoys football, reading, spending time with her daughter, and discussing the NFL draft with her husband. She also loves anything to do with the FBI, law enforcement, the military, and enjoying time with friends and family.
Links to Rachel’s website, blog, books, etc.
You can also stay up to date with what my characters are doing via:
Sign up for my mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/bzNfCf
Thanks, Rachel, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!