Fire Investigator Sadie McGregor is called to her hometown of Emerald Point, Missouri to investigate a suspicious fire which claimed the life of a local college student. By appearance the fire looks accidental. What Sadie and the handsome new police chief discover will not only affect those close to them, but will rock the entire community and may cost one of them their life.
Half asleep, Sadie entered the kitchen and headed directly to the coffee maker. She took a cup from the cabinet, picked up the glass coffee pot and poured. Behind her she heard a roar of laughter. Looking down, she found the cup, as well as the pot, was empty. Aggravated, she glanced over her shoulder to the kitchen table where her family all sat watching her. "Who drank all the coffee and didn't start another pot?"
"That's what you get for sleeping in," Liz said with a grin.
Hannah got up and moved toward her. "Here, honey, sit down here and finish mine. I'll start another pot."
Sadie gave her a hug. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. Now go on, sit down, and eat your breakfast."
She flopped down in the chair Hannah had vacated, traded the dirty place setting for the clean one next to it, then picked up her fork and stabbed the last pancake.
Joe handed her the plate with the last of the bacon. "Don't think that just because you were out all night that you're skipping out on church this morning."
Sadie glanced up at her uncle's comment just as Liz laughed. Sadie had hoped for a reprieve. It didn't appear as though she was getting one. "Fine, I'll go to church, but I'm not wearing a dress because I didn't bring one."
"You can borrow one of mine, I brought an extra one."
Sadie kicked her cousin under the table. "Mind your own business," she warned, a smile lingering just below the surface.
Liz seemed about to speak when Mary and Robbie ran into the room. Mary paused next to Sadie's chair. "It's about time you got up."
Liz laughed again.
Robbie climbed onto the empty chair next to Sadie. "Where were you last night?" he asked. "You were supposed to color with me."
Having just taken a bite, Sadie swallowed quickly, before turning to the young boy. "I'm sorry, Robbie. We'll color today, I promise."
"Okay." He plopped one elbow on the table, rested his chin in the palm of his hand, and watched her eat. "Are you coming to church with us?"
"Of course she's coming to church with us," Joe answered for her.
Sadie forced a smile. "I wouldn't miss it for the world."
Hannah filled her coffee cup. "So are you going to tell us where you were all evening?"
"No." Sadie scooped up her breakfast dishes and moved past Hannah to the sink. She smiled to herself as she rinsed off the plates and placed them in the dishwasher. She and Quinn had stayed at the arcade until Julius insisted he had to close. She'd had a wonderful time, despite her earlier confrontation with Dustin Zweener.
"Well wherever she was, the police had to bring her home. I saw a police cruiser leaving the drive shortly before one," Liz said loud enough for Sadie to hear.
"Did Sadie get arrested last night?" Mary asked.
Oh, good grief! Sadie returned to the table, grabbed her cup of coffee, and met Mary's widened eyes. "I did not get arrested. I was working on a case."
"You were with Quinn all night?" Joe joined in the interrogation.
Sadie rolled her eyes. "I'm going to get dressed. Where's your stupid dress?"
"Hanging in my closet," Liz answered with a smile. "Be sure and do your hair, you'll want to let him know there is a feminine side to you."
She ignored her comment and headed toward the stairs. "Is there something going on here I should know about," she heard her uncle ask, followed by a round of laugher from her aunt and cousin.
Five Stars from Danielle Throne: “I really enjoyed this novel and thought it was the best of Anne Patrick's work that I've read yet. The characters are in-depth, the setting familiar and homey, the arson investigation interesting and the romance sweet. This is a great read for a car trip or long afternoon. I pretty much read it in one day. Great characters and storyline. Very entertaining.”
Five Stars From Shawna K. Williams: "Fire investigator, Sadie McGregor, meets Police Chief, Quinn Harrington, during the investigation of a suspicious fire that claimed the life of a local college student. When evidence suggests the son of a respected citizen may be involved, small town politics come into play. Neither Sadie nor Quinn realizes just how dangerous that can be.
This is a book that people will enjoy even if they don't typically read Inspirational fiction. The elements of suspense, romance and faith intertwine effortlessly. I was never pulled away from the story as the characters expressed their personal faith, nor did I feel like it was an afterthought. It just played beautifully into the development of the characters and story.
On that note, it's clear that Ms. Patrick took great care in her research of personality and profession for both Sadie and Quinn. Each character was unique, likable and believable. Together they complimented each other quite well. I very much appreciated that Sadie was a strong and independent heroine, and yet, still very much a girl; and that Quinn, was a sensitive, masculine guy's guy, who liked dogs and wasn't ashamed to drive his girlfriend's yellow VW bug. That's secure!
So once again, I find myself applauding Ms. Patrick on her ability to weave elements together in perfect balance, and with a twist as well. Fire and Ash was a completely refreshing story, that also made me crave lemonade. If you want to understand that last comment, then you'll have to read the book."
Why Anne Wrote the Book:
The idea for Fire and Ash was first planted while watching the movie Backdraft. I love Robert De Niro as the fire investigator and was intriqued by what all goes into finding the answers as to why and how a fire starts. Then, while doing my research, I was fortunate in finding fire investigator Keith Tarbox to help me out. He read my manuscript, offered his expertise and made some great suggestions on how to improve my characters. Book research is good, but finding a contact in the field you’re writing about is much better. Keith was a huge asset in getting inside Sadie’s head.
Fire and Ash isn’t just a romantic suspense, it’s about Sadie’s struggle with her faith in God and the guilt that eats away at her because, as a child, she was responsible for the fire that claimed the lives of her parents and baby brother.
Most of us have emotional baggage from the past that we carry around with us, and we often times struggle with the big WHY God allowed this or that to happen to me. Whether we realize it or not, God places people in our lives to help us through those dark valleys. Police Chief Quinn Harrington is just one of the people God has placed in Sadie’s life to try and guide her back into a relationship with the Lord.
Anne Patrick, known for her ‘Sweet’ Edge of Your Seat Romantic Suspense, has penned more than a dozen novels that are either published or under contract. Her books continue to receive four and five star reviews from readers and reviewers, and her best-selling eBook, Journey to Redemption, placed in the top ten in P&E Readers Poll as Best Mystery in 2009. Anne has an alter ego by the name of Kinzie Monroe, who writes Inspirational Romance. Anne, you might say, is the dark side of Kinzie. Anne’s books may be darker in subject matter, but they all carry messages of hope and faith. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she now makes her home in Kansas.
Don't forget about the weekly drawing. This week's winner will receive copies of Marrying Mallory by Diane Craver, Searching for Eden by Keith Madsen, and Fire and Ash by Anne Patrick.