Available from 5 Prince
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Release Date: July 17, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-047-3 ISBN
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-048-0 ISBN 10: 1-631120-
Purchase link : http://www.5princebooks.com/buy-links.html
Crisis of Serenity
Tess Copeland lives a quiet life in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Thanks to the government’s witness protection program, she enjoys the freedom
of never having to glance over her shoulder to see if someone is following her.
Life has become safe, serene…and boring. Her heart longs for something more
than just existing…until a ghost from her past shatters her serenity.
Once upon a time, Tess was caught between the FBI and the
men the feds were trying to take down. Jake Coleman is the U.S. Marshal who extracted
her from the jam she was in with the FBI, a man she could have fallen
for…hard…if she had let herself. It’s been a year since she last saw Jake,
and in all the months that have passed, he’s never tried to find her. The
longer he keeps his distance, the more she wonders why his absence hurts so
When a stranger comes to town searching for her, all of
Tess’ old fears are resurrected. Asking Jake for help with her current crisis
might lure him into a dangerous trap involving murder, kidnapping, and revenge.
When Jake and Tess come face-to-face with the past, they will have to use all
their wits to survive.
About the Author:
Denise is a Southern girl. She has lived in
Louisiana all her life, and yes, she has a drawl. She has a wonderful husband
and two incredible children, who not only endure her writing moods, but also
encourage her to indulge her writing passion. Besides writing romantic suspense, she enjoys traveling, reading, and
Accounting is a skill she learned to earn a
little money to support her writing habit. She wrote he first story when she
was a teen, seventeen handwritten pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious
rip-off of the last romance novel she had read. She’s been writing off and on
ever since, and with more than a few full-length manuscripts already completed,
she has no desire to slow down.
Public contact information
Excerpt of Crisis of Serenity
It was seven a.m. and Sadie’s Pancake Kitchen had just hit its peak occupancy. Morning
rush was prime time, but the pace never slowed from the time the restaurant
opened to the time the last customer waddled out the door at night. Sadie’s
served breakfast all day, every day.
As soon as I walked in the door around six, Wendy, the hostess, didn’t waste any
time assigning me a section on the top floor. She did it on purpose because I
had once complained about the trip up and down the stairs. When I worked the
top, I had to climb those stinking stairs fifteen jillion times a shift. The
owner, whose name was Helen, not Sadie, kept telling us she was going to
install an upstairs kitchen or a food service elevator. Yeah, right. Wendy told
me to suck it up and do my job, as if she were my boss. I called her Princess
behind her back one day and the rest of the wait staff picked up the nickname.
The nasty wench obviously held a grudge.
After I cleaned the coffee maker and set a fresh pot to brew, I wrapped my apron
around my waist and stuck a pencil behind my ear. Once I entered the dining
room, routine set in. What do you want to drink? What will you have today? Can
I refresh your coffee? Is there anything else I can get you? Slap the check on
I’d never been a waitress before, but I found I wasn’t half bad at waiting tables. Sadie’s
wasn’t the best job I’d ever had, at least not since the feds decided my life
would be so much better if I was placed in their questionable witness protection program, but the steady
paycheck served my purpose. The waitressing gig kept my wallet fed. No extras.
Just subsistence. That’s all I asked. All I needed. Anything more might bring
unwanted attention to my existence. After all, the FBI wanted certain
individuals to think I had disappeared from the face of the planet so the bad
guys would stop searching for me. Because I had dared to testify against Bennie
the Goon in federal court, something that didn’t nsure a
long life, I had to cooperate with the feds. I liked living and I liked living
on the outside. I don’t do well in prison.
Life in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, had settled into a comfortable pattern. Get up at
five. Take my niece to daycare. Bum a ride to work. Roll silverware. Brew
coffee. Clean teapots. Wait tables until my shift was over at three. Catch the
trolley. Pick up my niece from daycare. Go home. Feed the kid. Stuff a few
bites of food into my mouth. Soak my feet. Put Joyce to bed. Watch TV. Pass
out. Rinse and repeat.
Some of the patrons at Sadie’s were tourists, but quite a few locals breakfasted
there several times a week, some every morning. After a few months, faces, and
then names had blended into my daily grind. The monotony of the ordinary
promised me safety and few surprises. For the first time in years, I wasn’t
looking over my shoulder every second and wondering who was stalking me. The
sameness of my days appealed to me, better than the life I’d led after I
escaped from the Illinois corrections system and the Fugitive Task Force began
looking for me. There was never a dull moment as a fugitive. By the time I came
out of hiding, the FBI had taken an interest in my case and coerced me into
rolling on Bennie. That’s when the feds immersed me in the witness protection
I sighed, set Jim Owens’ cup in front of him, and poured coffee from the fresh
pot I’d just made. He smiled at me, revealing a perfectly straight set of
ultra-white teeth. He had one of those symmetrical faces that cameras love. Why
was the guy a cop instead of a movie star? For the first time since I met him, I
smiled back. Just because I felt like it.
After a year of living—no, more like hiding out—in Gatlinburg, my stomach had stopped
churning every time a member of law enforcement spoke to me. Sadie’s was a
popular cop hangout early in the morning. If I had known, I would have taken
the job at the souvenir store down the street, despite the fact the owner of
that fine establishment couldn’t keep his eyes off my assets. Where his eyes
roamed, his hands were likely to soon follow. I didn’t need that grief.
The ticket booth position my handler had obtained for me at Zombiemania when I
first arrived in Gatlinburg went away when the attraction went out of business.
After that, I found employment on my own. I figured I could do a better job
hunt than the federal agent that couldn’t care less if I survived or not.
So I was settled in Tennessee, at least for a while. I gulped down my distrust
every single day and served Gatlinburg’s finest their breakfast, even though I
had certainly had my fill of cops. This particular patrol officer seemed nice, but I
swore I’d never trust
a cop again. Ever.
“Thanks.” Jim flashed his gorgeous smile. “How are you today, Tess?” His eyes gleamed
“Good. You want the usual?” I asked him the same question every Friday at seven a.m.
He always sat at his favorite table. The one that offered the best view of
Parkway. Jim was predictable. I liked that in a man. My ex-boyfriend Trevor was
“Hmmm. Let’s see… Yeah.” His order never varied. Four buttermilk pancakes. Four crispy
pieces of bacon. Two eggs—over easy.
A shiver of dread snaked along my backbone. My head snapped up and I peered
through the window. A thin ribbon of sidewalk separated the two-story-high plate
glass from the roadway. The clink of silverware and restaurant grade china clattered
against the background noise of cars stopping and starting. I wiped my bangs
from my eyes and studied the flow of traffic on the street below. Two lines crept
bumper-to-bumper in view of the restaurant, a small percentage of cars making it
through the green light in one cycle. Stoplight #6 was always busy. A patrol unit
had stopped at the signal. The officer turned his head my way. Our eyes met and
held, and then my heart skipped a few beats. What was he doing here in
Gatlinburg? I thought I had left him behind in
Nothing on earth could have dragged me away from his stare. Life as I knew it had changed,
and my monotonous existence didn’t feel so safe anymore. The uncontrollable
urge to escape overtook me…again. I had always been good at running.
“I was thinking…” Jim’s voice drifted in and out of my consciousness.
“Huh?” “Tess, are you all right? You went pale all of a sudden.”
“I’m okay.” I turned my attention back to him. “I’ll put your order in.”
I left before he could hint that he wanted to take me out. He was predictable
about that as well. Today wasn’t a good day. There might never be a good
time—not with a ghost from my past invading my newly acquired contentment.