Spotlight: COLD PURSUIT by Toni Anderson

If you love romantic suspense or if you’re a Criminal Minds junkie, you have got to get your hands on Toni Anderson’s Cold Justice series! Both incredibly sexy and suspenseful, this series is a must-read. Find out about the second book in this stand-a-lone series, COLD PURSUIT, below!


ColdPursuit_ToniAnderson_finalAbout COLD PURSUIT

2015 Winner of National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award ~ for Romantic Suspense. Finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Award, & the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.

Single mom Vivi Vincent is thrust into her worst nightmare when she’s trapped inside a mall during a terror attack along with her eight-year-old son. With the help of Jed Brennan, an FBI special agent on enforced leave, Vivi and her son survive the assault. But the danger is far from over.

Vivi’s son may have witnessed critical details of the terrorists’ future plans and is targeted for death, but he’s mute, and he’s traumatized. Still someone launches a strike against the FBI’s safe house, and Jed fears the bad guys have an inside man. No longer knowing who to trust, he hides mother and son in a log cabin deep in the heart of the Wisconsin Northwoods. There Jed and Vivi try to figure out how to unlock the information inside her son’s head. What they don’t bargain for is the red-hot attraction that flares between them, or the extent of the sinister plot that threatens to rip apart not only any chance of happiness they might have together, but also the very fabric of American society.

Add COLD PURSUIT to your Goodreads list here!

Get your hands on COLD PURSUIT:

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Did you know the first book in the Cold Justice series is available for free? Get your hands on A COLD DARK PLACE!

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Read an excerpt from the first chapter of COLD PURSUIT:

The roller coaster thundered high above them in the mall and people screamed. Vivi Vincent’s son’s blue eyes widened with wonder as he watched with obvious delight. He grabbed her sleeve and grinned like any normal eight-year-old boy.

The bright colors of the rides and glaring sunshine through the glass roof made her eyes water. That’s what she told herself. It had nothing to do with the disastrous meeting they’d had first thing this morning with Dr. Hinkle.

She patted Michael’s hand, and he caught her gaze. The intelligence that shone in his eyes took her breath; as if all the secrets of the universe were locked up inside that bright, young mind.

He kept tugging her arm, trying to get her to go on the ride, but her stomach was too jumbled to even think about going on a roller coaster right now. And no way would she let him go alone—if something went wrong who knew what could happen? She’d never forgive herself if he got hurt just because she was too chicken to go on an amusement park ride.

“Want to visit the toy store?” she suggested instead.

He nodded and smiled, but she knew he was disappointed from the look of yearning he sent to the seventy foot monstrosity behind them. They headed past old-fashioned carousels and giant mushroom-shaped swings—much more her speed. The Minneapolis Mall, a smaller cousin to the Mall of America a few miles across the city, was a kid’s paradise.

She straightened her shoulders. Michael would enjoy this outing today, even if she had to subject herself to the terror of going on that thing. It would hopefully make up for his being poked and prodded by Dr. Hinkle this morning, then patronized within an inch of sanity by a local TV reporter doing a feature on the famous psychiatric neuroscientist’s research program. The woman had interviewed them about Michael’s “issues” and drawing ability. Hopefully it wasn’t a slow news day in the twin cities.

Michael spotted the intricate green serpent who guarded the entrance of the toy store and any lingering disappointment in his expression vanished. They stood in silent fascination for several long minutes as they took in the display that clambered up and over the shop. There was a teddy bear in cowboy gear riding a horse, a dinosaur on a motorcycle, and above it all a giant clown that made Vivi distinctly uneasy. What was it about clowns?

“OK, let’s go inside. You can choose one thing from the store, and then we’ll go find something to eat. Later we’ll hit the rides.”

He grinned and ran inside. Vivi hid a smile. She took a step after him only to collide with someone massive and bulky who knocked her on her ass. She ended up sprawled on the floor as the man kept on walking. Her jaw dropped at his rudeness, and she climbed awkwardly to her knees, cradling her wrist, which hurt from the unexpected impact with the floor.

“Need some help?” A man crouched beside her. He had short, black hair and rich, brown eyes that crinkled attractively at the outer edges. His fingers were strong and firm as he eased her to her feet, holding onto her good arm.

“Thank you.”

She gripped him for balance as she slipped her shoe back on. He had a straight nose, full bottom lip and a cleft in his chin. Those dark eyes ran over her critically as if assessing her injuries, then something changed and they warmed with frank male approval. She let go of his hand, and her knees wobbled. She blamed it on the high heels she so rarely wore.

Another round of screams from the people on the roller coaster broke through her reverie.

“Thank you, again. I’d better go find my son.” She nodded toward the toy store. It had become automatic to use Michael as a barrier, and the habit was starting to wear on her nerves. Maybe one day she’d get over the trust issues her ex had instilled in her.

Maybe.

One day.

“Good luck getting him out of there.” The handsome stranger held up a plastic bag with the distinctive logo on the side. It looked incongruous against his smart business clothes—a black suit, blue shirt, purple tie. How someone carried themselves revealed a lot about a person—his posture suggested a military background—and maybe some sort of law enforcement. He also exuded an air of competence and authority she recognized from her days working at the UN. The last guy who’d affected her this way had taught her that a handsome face and commanding manner were no substitute for compassion or morals. Still, it was nice to look at.

“I got my fix buying for a friend’s kid.” For a split-second a shadow passed across his features then disappeared. Maybe she imagined it. He took a step away. “If you’re sure you’re OK?”

She nodded and he smiled back and then strode away.

Gone. Vivi blinked.

It had been a long time since a man had looked at her like she was anything except a frazzled, single mom over thirty. The sensation of being a flesh and blood woman slid over her body like a skintight dress, rekindling a part of herself she’d forgotten existed. Great, another thing to add to her list of frustrations.

Walking toward the store she fingered her sore wrist and decided it was nothing more than a mild sprain. She’d ice it when they got back to the hotel later tonight.

A loud boom erupted from the center of the atrium. She jumped and spun around. Screams grew louder and for a moment she thought the roller coaster was malfunctioning. Then a weird noise peppered the air, one that sounded familiar but she couldn’t identify at first. Then she did. Gunfire. People started running. A man standing beside the candy store dropped to the floor, and the glass from the window shattered and rained down on him as a wide pool of blood spread around his body.

Oh, dear God.

There was a shooter in the mall.

Michael!

She spun and ran inside the toy store, searching frantically. People were rushing around desperately looking for children and loved ones. A display crashed to the floor, and a model disintegrated into a thousand pieces. She skidded on the tiny bits, but righted herself before she fell. A woman rammed a stroller into Vivi’s ankles in her determination to get to her toddler, who was wandering off to the front entrance. Vivi grabbed the kid and thrust him back into his mother’s arms.

“Thank you.” The woman’s face was white with terror. She had a baby and a toddler to deal with, along with masses of shopping bags.

“Leave the stroller. Grab the children and get out of the mall as fast as possible,” Vivi told her. That’s what she intended to do. She scanned the store for the carrot-topped head of the most important person in her world. There. She pushed her way through people milling around in confusion.

Michael was starting to get agitated and stood silent and shaking. She got to him and cradled his precious face with one hand, pushed back his hair with the other. She had to calm him down if they hoped to get out of there alive. “I’m here, Michael. I’ll look after you, but you have to listen to me and you have to concentrate, OK?” Please don’t freak out.

Blue eyes cleared and focused. Her incredibly brave son squared his shoulders and nodded, taking her hand and squeezing tight. He knew they were in danger. Love for him swelled inside her so enormous it wanted to burst through her skin. The terror was bigger. It wanted to crawl through her veins and eat her alive.

She would do anything to protect this child. Anything.

One of the cashiers was on the phone, presumably talking to security. Another cashier yelled, “Cops are telling us to sit tight while they assess the situation.”

Sit tight? No way in hell.

 

About Toni Anderson

New York Times and USA Today international bestselling author, Toni Anderson, writes dark, gritty Romantic Suspense novels that have hit #1 in Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, the Top 10 in Amazon and Kobo stores, and the Top 50 in iBooks. Her novels have won many awards. A former Marine Biologist from Britain, she inexplicably ended up in the geographical center of North America, about as far from the ocean as it is possible to get. She now lives in the Canadian prairies with her Irish husband and two children and spends most of her time complaining about the weather.

Toni has no explanation for her oft-times dark imagination, and only hopes the romance makes up for it. She’s addicted to reading, dogs, tea, and chocolate.

If you want to know when Toni’s next book will be out, visit her website (http://www.toniandersonauthor.com) and sign up for her newsletter. If you want to read other fascinating stories about life in a city that, during winter, is sometimes colder than Mars, friend her on Facebook: (https://www.facebook.com/toniannanderson).

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