Blood Kin

Blood Kin

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by Judith E. French

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Frozen beneath the treacherous ice, a man stares wide-eyed, killed by a twelve-gauge shotgun. And hidden behind the deceptive beauty of Tawes Island, secrets remain unspoken, waiting to be brought to light.

Curious about the birth mother she's never known, Bailey Elliott arrives on Tawes to look into her own past, but its wary residents don't take to outsiders

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Frozen beneath the treacherous ice, a man stares wide-eyed, killed by a twelve-gauge shotgun. And hidden behind the deceptive beauty of Tawes Island, secrets remain unspoken, waiting to be brought to light.

Curious about the birth mother she's never known, Bailey Elliott arrives on Tawes to look into her own past, but its wary residents don't take to outsiders digging up long-buried scandal. Her great-uncle warns her she's not safe, her mother lies dead in the church graveyard, and despite the sizzling attraction between them, Daniel Catlin tells her, "The sooner you leave, the better."

Now Bailey discovers a diary no one wants her to read, Daniel gives into temptation, and a decades-old crime of passion is about to be reenacted....

Product Details

Dorchester Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Love Spell Romantic Suspense Series
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)

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Blood Kin

By Judith E. French

Dorchester Publishing

Copyright © 2006

Judith E. French

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-505-52685-9

Chapter One

Later, when Bailey retired to her cozy bedroom, she realized
that although she and Emma had chatted for an hour, the older
woman had answered none of her questions. In fact, the entire
day had been pretty much a loss, and she was beginning to feel
like Alice down the rabbit hole. She'd never gotten enough
signal on her cell to call Elliott; Emma's house phone still
wasn't working, and she had been unable to get in contact with
Forest McCready. The only thing she had done was to stuff
herself with Emma's cooking. Between lunch and supper, she'd
be surprised if she could pour her butt into her new jeans in
the morning.

She showered, pulled on a soft tee shirt, and a pair of
athletic shorts, and tried to read another chapter of the
historical romance she'd brought with her. The story was a
good one, but her eyes wouldn't cooperate. They kept drifting
shut. Finally, she gave up, yawned, switched out the light,
and lay in the dark listening to the waves lapping against the
shore, the rustle of leaves, and the occasional hoot of an

Bailey dropped off to sleep almost immediately, waking
sometime in the night wondering where she was. The sheets
were clean and soft; the mattress was comfortable, she didn't
need to use the bathroom and she wasn't thirsty. What had
roused her? She rarely had problems with insomnia, even when
she traveled. So why ...

The sound of whistling came from outside, a nursery rhyme that
she hadn't heard in years. Bailey's mouth went dry as she
slipped from the crisp sheets and went to the window without
bothering to turn on a light. Wisps of fog enveloped the
house, making it impossible to tell the exact source of the

Her windows, she remembered, faced the bay, but there were
trees between the house and the beach. The water was so black
as to be almost Stygian; the trees were smudges of dark
against a darker background, but patches of sand along the
shore glowed with a dull iridescent in the night.

Goosebumps rose on her bare arms. She was on the second
floor, her door securely locked with a deadbolt. Whoever it
was outside, probably some kid or a drunk trying to find his
way home, she was in no possible danger. So why did the old
refrain unnerve her so?

The whistler was definitely there in the yard, between the
lapping waves and the porch. He must be. If she looked hard
enough, Bailey could almost fancy she saw his outline in the
shadows of the walnut tree. She shut the window and locked
it, but still the sound filtered through the glass into the
room. Unbidden, the words of the old refrain rose in her

"Papa's gonna buy you a diamond ring,
And if that diamond ring don't shine,
Papa's going to buy you a coach and nine,
And if that coach and nine won't pull,
Papa's going to buy you ..."

What? What was the rest of the song? Why did she care?
Annoyed, she climbed back into bed and buried her head under a
pillow. If she didn't get a decent night's sleep, she'd look
like hell for her meeting with McCready in the morning. And
she would locate him tomorrow. It was ridiculous to think
otherwise. She'd sign whatever papers she had to sign,
inspect her inheritance, and take the first boat back to

Elliott had been right. He'd never been particularly
sympathetic about her desire to know more about her birth
family, but he'd always said that if she had to know, the
thing to do was to hire a professional to investigate. Maybe
this attorney, Forest McCready. If he lived here, he must
know something about her birth mother or find someone who did.

The cost of a private detective had always been out of the
question on a teacher's salary, considering Elliott's credit
card debts she'd had to make good on. But, perhaps if she got
some money out of the property her Great Aunt Elizabeth had
left her, she could hire this McCready to find answers to the
questions that had troubled her for so long. And if she was
lucky, she might even have enough left to pay off her car.
She smiled, imagining what it would be like to be debt free.
"Just dreams," she murmured and giggled aloud. She'd probably
end up with a fallen-down house that no one would want and
she'd have to pay to have bulldozed before she could place the
lot with a realtor. Could you refuse a bequest? That was
one more question to add to her growing list.

This time, she lay awake for what seemed like hours, and when
she finally drifted off, it was to disturbing dreams of being
trapped in a spooky graveyard of crumbling tombstones made of
crab cakes and ringing cell phones that she was never able to
reach before the caller hung up.


Excerpted from Blood Kin
by Judith E. French
Copyright © 2006 by Judith E. French .
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Judith E. French is the award-winning author of over thirty novels. Her recent contemporary suspense novels received rave reviews from critics and readers alike. She is sold world-wide and her books are translated in more than a dozen languages. Judith lives with her husband and assorted dogs and cats in a restored 18th century farmhouse in rural Delaware. She is descended from early Scottish and English settlers—who came to Maryland's Eastern Shore in the 17th century—and from Native Lenni Lenape Indians. Oral storytelling has been a strong tradition in her family for generations. Judith calls on her fascination with this unique culture to weave adventure-packed tales of intrigue. Her previous works has been published at both HarperCollins and Ballantine.

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Blood Kin 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a fast read and is full of little surprises. The characters are interesting...and likeable..and the story keeps you reading. Mrs. French writes a wonderful suspense novel!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Rehoboth Beach, teacher Bailey Elliot always knew she was adopted, but had no clues to who her biological parents are. That is until she receives a letter from attorney Forest McCready stating she inherited property from an Aunt Elizabeth Somers on Tawes Island in Chesapeake Bay.------------ With school out, Bailey has an a chance to learn about her roots so she immediately travels to the island staying at Emma Parks¿ B&B, which has one other guest local carpenter Daniel Catlin. When she begins to dig into her past, Daniel and others tells her to leave as this is dangerous. Though she learns that her mother was a teen who died just after giving birth, she continues to search for the identity of her father. When someone tries to kill her, Daniel risks his life to keep her safe as both agree that the adversary wants secrets to remain buried with her mother.--------------- Though a murder of a senator lies in the background, the story line starts off as a simple character study in which the readers are introduced to the invading outsider seeking family ties from islanders who trust no mainlander. The story line abruptly switches gear into a suspense thriller as someone wants the heroine to cease her inquiries. Bailey is a fine protagonist whose need to know is halted by a lack of cooperation from her only known living relative (a hermit uncle) and a town including Daniel wanting her to just leave. Though the villain is a stretch, filled with intrigue BLOOD KIN is a fine romantic suspense thriller.----------- Harriet Klausner