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Bound by Blood

Francie Steele is a single mother struggling to make a better life for herself and her 5-year-old daughter Savannah. Francie's whole world consists of providing for Savannah, going to college, and working two part time jobs, which doesn't leave time for anything else. What Francie doesn't know though, that her life is about to drastically change and not for the better.

Returning home from dinner one night, she finds her apartment door open and her cousin Lisa on the floor dead. Francie has absolutely no idea why anyone would want to break into her small studio apartment, she has nothing of value, or at least that is what she thinks. The police and her friends tell her that Lisa must have interrupted a break-in but Francie doesn't believe it and the terror is only beginning for her.

Book 1 of the Francie and Sam series

An Awe-Struck Release

Maureen Mackey

Home for Maureen Mackey is the towering firs and misty rains of the Pacific Northwest. Writing is her life-long dream, which first surfaced when she was in the third grade. She wrote an entire table of contents to a fairy tale, and then began writing the chapters only to get hopelessly mired in chapter four. Happily, she’s never gotten stuck like that again.

Born in Los Angeles, Maureen was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and earned a degree in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara. While studying English literature and history, she fell in love with her future husband, a fellow student, and also 18th-century and Regency England, time periods she continues to enjoy researching and writing about. Determined to become a working writer, she obtained a masters degree in journalism from UC Berkeley, which led to jobs as a staff writer and freelancer for a number of magazines and newspapers. However, she found she couldn’t stay away from writing fiction.

She was encouraged when her first Regency romance novel, Lord Peter’s Page, won first place in the Top O’ The Trees novel writing contest. Another novel, The Forgotten Bride, was a finalist in a competition sponsored by The Beau Monde, a chapter of the Romance Writers of America. In addition to the two novels mentioned, Maureen has written three other Regency romances as well as a contemporary romance and a romantic suspense trilogy, all published by Awe-Struck Publishing, an imprint of Mundania Press, LLC.

Currently, Maureen lives in Oregon, in a charming 105-year-old home in one of Portland’s historic neighborhoods, which she likes to explore with her dog. When she's not writing, Maureen gets inspiration from reading, going to the movies and working in her garden. She enjoys spending time with her husband and her two grown sons and their wives, and also keeps trying to improve her knitting and crocheting skills.

You can learn more about Maureen and her books at her website, www.MaureenMackey.com. You are welcome to subscribe to Maureen’s blog, The Regency Looking Glass. You can also follow Maureen on Pinterest and Twitter.


"Author Maureen Mackey has written a great story with thrills and chills, fright and fear...BOUND BY BLOOD will have you turning the pages in anticipation. Definitely a good book to lose yourself with."

Tracy Eastgate -- Tracy's Book Reviews

"Maureen Mackey's first person writing style is delightfully honest and fresh, lending the tale a wonderful immediacy. Her heroine's fierce protection of her daughter and fiery determination to stay in school make her a powerful force. Rather than the traditional linear plotting which progressively reveals new clues, however, Mackey adds suspects and motives to the mix, resulting in a terrifying tale with a exceptional conclusion. Very highly recommended!"

Cindy Penn -- Word Weaving

Just then I heard Savannah call from the top of the stairs. "Mommy, Mommy, our door's already opened!"

A sharp stab of unease pierced me. "Stay there, Savannah, I'll be right up." I bounded up the stairs and found my daughter in the hallway. The door to our little apartment was ajar, and the lights were on.

I stopped in the doorway. What I saw defied reason, and I was paralyzed by shock. The place had been totally ransacked. Drawers were opened and upended on the floor, boxes emptied, their contents strewn. Candyland cards, with their little squares of bright colors, were scattered all over the floor. Even Savannah's toy box had been dumped.

And then I noticed the spiky heel of a shiny black pump protruding from behind the couch.

"Stay right there," I had to repeat my instructions to Savannah, who was still in the doorway, and would have bounded into the apartment if I hadn't stopped her.

I looked behind the couch. A woman lay sprawled, her face a ghastly shade of blue, her eyes popping out of her head. It was Lisa, gorgeous Lisa, her sophistication mocked and disfigured by death. Pearls from her broken necklace were scattered around her head.

Shock felt like a kick in the stomach, and I doubled over. Somehow the Pope materialized beside me. He must have been quietly following me all the way up the stairs.

He knelt beside her and gingerly felt for her pulse.

"Is she, is sheŃ" I asked the question, although I already knew the answer.

"Oh yes," he replied. "Better not touch anything, Francie. She's most definitely dead."

I looked again, in spite of myself, and then wished I hadn't. It wasn't only the sight of my cousin's dead body that increased my nausea. It was the broken picture frame beside it, and the picture of Savannah clutched in Lisa's lifeless hand.