Even though my latest release, Without Mercy, is a fairly graphic, violent suspense thriller, at the heart of the novel is a story about a mother’s love. Motherhood is a powerful motivator, and if you are a mother, it’s the most important job you’ll ever have. My three children are grown, but I still feel an overwhelming protectiveness toward them, I worry for them when they are ill or when I think they’ve possibly been injured (you know, when you can’t reach them for long periods of time, when you’re certain you should be able to, or when they are an hour late to your house and they WON’T ANSWER THEIR PHONE..) Anyway…I can’t say I would do anything in the world for them, because sometimes a parent can do too much. (And I have been guilty of that very thing) But, I can say I would sacrifice anything for them and I would give my life for them.
I had a very good friend for many years, a single mother with a young son. She adored him. He was her world. My friend moved to Texas, and she and I lost touch for several years. A few months back, I decided to look her up on Facebook. I was shocked and saddened to discover she died February of this year. I learned that she lost her life in a house fire, saving her son, who survived. Although devastating and heartbreaking, it was also tragically fitting. A mother who loved her child as fiercely as she did would not think twice about giving her life for him.
In Without Mercy, I know I didn’t quite do justice in conveying how a mother would feel in the situation China Beckett finds herself in, but I did my best. The only way to truly do justice would be to have been in her place, to know what it felt like for your child to be threatened in this way. But, I will gladly forego the ability to truly empathize with the character, in exchange for not ever having had to go through something like this with my children. Fortunately, this is fiction, so we can read it and hopefully be on the edge of our seats, but deep down, be grateful it’s China and not us.
How far will a mother go to protect her child?
When an apparently random bank robbery turns out to be a sinister plan, single mother China Beckett is thrust into a nightmare.
A group of mercenaries take over her life, threatening her young daughter and everyone they love. Each time China makes a mistake, someone dies. She’ll fight to the last breath to protect her child, but with no idea what move will be the wrong one, that might not be enough.
As the lives of China’s loved ones are jeopardized, she must take action, although she has no idea where to turn—and time is running out. But then, a startling truth is revealed and China discovers that the only person who can save them might be a ghost from the past.
This time, China didn’t flinch, tried not to show her fear. Layla’s cloying perfume washed over her and still, she managed to hold her ground.
Layla finally moved away, and China let out a long breath. “I’m tired,” she said. “I’m going to bed.”
“I believe I’ll go upstairs also.” Layla bent and slid something from her boot. A small, black-handled dagger appeared in her hand. She smiled, running a finger slowly along the side of the blade.
Panic bubbled to China’s throat. “What are you doing?”
“Emma didn't seem to get the message earlier about eating slaughtered animals. I thought I might pay her a visit. Kids like show and tell, right? I can show her what I mean.”
China’s heartbeat stalled, and the blood in her veins froze. “You can't...you won't...”
“Oh, don't worry. It won’t be anything fatal. I'll just give her a little sample of what the animals feel. Royce said we couldn't kill either of you unless he orders us to. Didn't say we couldn't play.” She shot China a vicious glare and strolled toward the stairs.
“Stop!” China screamed. “Don't touch her.”
A chuckle issued from Layla’s blood red lips, but she didn’t pause.
Looking around frantically for a weapon, China closed her hand around the cross. With a strangled cry, she lunged toward Layla’s retreating back.
Alicia Dean lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.
Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.