Release Date: June 25, 2016
Synopsis: On a cold winter morning, the safe at Stone Mountain Resort is robbed, and Kalin Thompson’s brother, Roy, suspiciously disappears. As Director of Security, Kalin would normally lead the investigation, but when her brother becomes the prime suspect, she is ordered to stay clear. The police and the president of the resort turn their sights on Kalin, who risks everything to covertly attempt to clear Roy’s name.
Excerpt: Fearless of skiing in the backcountry, Roy McCann climbed to the summit of Stone Mountain Resort and paused at the entrance to the Dragon’s Bowl. His muscles ached, and his calf cramped from the strenuous ascent. He released his boot from the binding of his touring ski and stretched his foot toward his shin, fighting the developing knot.
The first glow of morning light reflected off the run, and Roy searched the shadows for signs of another person. A two-kilometer crescent started above the tree line and ended in the forest, providing a steep powder run for only the most advanced skiers and snowboarders. The terrain also provided infinite hiding spots. So where?
The avalanche warning sign hanging from an orange safety line displayed a considerable danger rating. Logic said he should turn back. Not a chance. His need to finish what he started was stronger than logic.
He surveyed the precipice above the bowl. An overhanging mass of hardened snow extended along three quarters of the ridge, but the band of uncertainty was small. He could manage the terrain.
Prepping for a downhill run, he removed the climbing skins from the base of the skis. He ducked the line and traversed to his favorite entry point into the bowl.
The sun rose over the peaks, and his headlamp automatically switched off. Twelve hundred meters below, the chairlift operators began their morning ritual. The lifts rotated, and the rhythmic hum of machinery drifted toward him. His shift with ski patrol started at eight, so he’d better get his ass in gear. He’d done his best.
He jumped off the edge and attacked the run. Powder sprayed above his knees as he glided through each turn. A skier’s dream.
Several seconds in, the whumph of packed snow fracturing echoed across the Purcell Mountain range.
He jammed the edges of his skis against a mogul, stopped and checked the cliff directly above him. The morning sun glistened off the snow, momentarily blinding him. The rumble of a slide pummeling everything in its path reverberated through his bones.
About the author: Kristina Stanley is the bestselling author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series. Her first two novels garnered the attention of prestigious crime writing organizations in Canada and England. Crime Writers of Canada nominated DESCENT for the Unhanged Arthur award. The Crime Writers’ Association nominated BLAZE for the Debut Dagger. Her short stories have been published in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and The Voices From the Valleys anthology. She is also the author of THE AUTHOR’S GUIDE TO SELLING BOOKS TO NON-BOOKSTORES. Find Kristina at KristinaStanley.com