December 11, 2018

The Fog Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway


The Fog (A Berry Springs Novel)
Author: Amanda McKinney
Genre: Adult Mystery/Romance
Publication Date: December 4, 2018


Former Marine turned ballistics expert, Wesley Cross is known around town for two things, his rugged good-looks and cocky attitude—until he finds his ex-girlfriend lying in a puddle of blood in his basement. The scene screams setup, but the discovery of a rare gem and a puzzling autopsy suggests the murder goes much deeper than that. Wesley will do whatever it takes to clear his name, including calling in a notoriously headstrong—and sexy—scientist.

While most little girls were playing dress up, Gwyneth Reece was digging in the dirt collecting bugs. Now one of the top forensic entomologists in the country, Gwen reluctantly accepts a job from a pushy cowboy and travels to the small, Southern town of Berry Springs. Heavy storms are brewing, and when she’s forced to check into the creepiest hotel she’s ever seen, she instantly regrets her decision to help out the former Marine.

Following up on a tip, Wesley heads to the Half Moon Hotel but quickly realizes his visit was not by chance. The killer lured him there, and suddenly everyone from the uptight bellman to the wealthy couple just passing through town become suspect. Bodies begin to disappear, and Wesley knows the killer will do anything to get to him…. including hurting the woman who’s kept his head spinning since he first laid eyes on her.


It had been six months since her last relationship ended.

I’m sick of having a relationship with your cell phone… Are you ever going to want to settle down… Don’t you want to have kids, Ryan had said during their last argument. The kids comment was like a knife in the gut.

She’d met Ryan Melbourne, esquire, during one of the cases she’d had to testify on in court. She despised going to court—the suits, formality, the pressure. She preferred to be in the shadows, in the dirt, not in a dress with a microphone in her face, all eyes on her. She didn’t even care for lawyers, really, and was surprised at herself when she accepted Ryan’s request for a date. But he was handsome, smart, and charismatic, true to the cliché of most lawyers, and she would've been crazy to say no. That first date had stretched into a two-year relationship.

But, no more.

It wasn’t just that he'd cheated on her, it wasn’t just that she’d invested two years of emotions and energy in something that failed; it was that she blamed herself. Maybe if she had made him a priority. Maybe if she’d taken on fewer cases. Maybe things would have been different.

What the hell was wrong with her?

Her mom told her she should work less… put more focus on her social life. Get married, is what she meant. Gwen refused to put that kind of pressure on herself. It would happen when it was supposed to.


She laid back on the bed, rested the beer on her navel and blew out a breath.

Beep, beep.


She glanced at her phone and frowned. She recognized the number. It had called at least four times since she’d left the mountain and she was sure some of her unchecked voicemails belonged to it, too.

She looked at the clock—midnight in Oregon, and even later across the country. Pretty damn late to be calling. Repeatedly.

Beep, beep.

She narrowed her eyes, fighting an internal battle.

Dammit, dammit, dammit.

“Gwyneth Reece.”

“So your phone does work.”

Her eyebrows tipped up.

The arrogant caller continued, “You must be a very busy woman, so I’ll talk fast.”

What the hell? Was that annoyance and… sarcasm in the man’s voice? Who the—

“My name is Wesley Cross, and I’d like to hire you.”

She caught a slight southern drawl in his deep voice and searched her memory. Wesley Cross. She’d never heard the name. No, she didn’t know a Wesley Cross and based on the last five seconds, she didn’t care to.

“I’m sorry Mr. Cross, I’m not taking any—

“I’ll pay double your fee.”

Who the hell was this guy? “As I was saying, Mr. Cross—


“Wes. I’m not taking any new cases at this moment.”

“Triple. I’ll pay triple your fee. I hear you’re the best forensic entomologist around and that’s what I need.”

She sat up, slightly stunned at this odd phone call. “What exactly do you need Mr… Wes?”

“Mr. Wes, I like that. I’ll tell you everything when I see you tomorrow morning.”

She snorted a laugh. This cocky cowboy was hilarious.

He continued, “I’ve booked you the five-thirty flight out of PDX, direct flight to Northwest Arkansas and I’ve reserved a rental car. Full size. Only the best for you.”

She could actually hear him smirk on the other end of the phone.

“Wait a second. How do you know where I am?”

“You’re working the Caregiver case in the Cascades.”

“Stalking is illegal, you know.”

“If I were stalking you, you’d know it.”

“Four missed calls is stalking.”

“Six missed calls, and for someone who works homicides, I’d assume you’d have a better idea of what real stalking is.”

She narrowed her eyes. “What do you do, Wes?”

“Besides stalking?”

“Besides being a pushy, presumptuous…”

“I hire the best investigators to get me out of a jam. First class, triple your fee. What do you say, Miss Reece?”

“I say you need to get your head checked, Mr. Cross.”

“The travel details are in your email. I’ll see you tomorrow, Miss Reece. Get some sleep. Sounds like you need it.”

“Wait. How did you—

Award-winning author of romantic suspense and mystery, Amanda McKinney wrote her debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. Set in small, Southern towns, Amanda’s books are page- turning murder mysteries peppered with steamy love scenes, and include the BERRY SPRINGS SERIES and the BLACK ROSE MYSTERY SERIES, with many more to come.


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