Waking Hours (East Salem Series #1)

( 142 )

Overview

Welcome to East Salem. A deceptively sleepy town where ancient supernatural forces are being awakened.

A local high-school girl is found murdered in a park amid horse farms and the wealthy homes of northern Westchester County, New York. The shocking manner of her death intrigues forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris. All the suspects are teenagers who were at a party with the girl—yet none remembers what happened. Could one of them be a vicious ...

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Waking Hours (East Salem Series #1)

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Overview

Welcome to East Salem. A deceptively sleepy town where ancient supernatural forces are being awakened.

A local high-school girl is found murdered in a park amid horse farms and the wealthy homes of northern Westchester County, New York. The shocking manner of her death intrigues forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris. All the suspects are teenagers who were at a party with the girl—yet none remembers what happened. Could one of them be a vicious killer? Or is something more sinister afoot—something tied to an ancient evil?

Across town, former NFL linebacker Tommy Gunderson finds his state-of-the-art security system has been breached by an elderly woman. Mumbling threats in Latin, she attacks him with an uncanny, preternatural strength. Before he has time to process the attack, someone close to him is implicated in the girl’s murder at the park. He agrees to help—and finds himself working with Dani, the only girl who could resist his charm years ago when they were in high school.

A heavy darkness is spreading. Yet a heavenly force is also at work.

Dani and Tommy suspect there’s more to the mystery than murder, more to their growing friendship than chance . . . and more to the evil they’re facing than a mere human killer.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris teams with former football star and aspiring PI Tommy Gunderson to investigate the ritualistic murder of a girl in picturesque and wealthy East Salem, a fictional town in Westchester County, N.Y. Nightly visions, sleepwalking, and a midnight visit from a deranged woman prophesying in Latin hint at supernatural complications, while expensive private schools and corrupt lawyers try to stonewall the investigation. The rekindling of Dani and Tommy’s mutual unrequited high school crush develops in a series of painful teen-romance passages, but doesn’t distract too much from the pacing of the mystery. The book is loaded with overdramatic short sentences (“He turned on his flashlight. Felt with his hand. Something”) and the descriptions of technology are both obsessively detailed and frequently puzzling, but a truly chilling predator and some great snappy, funny dialogue will keep readers engaged. The conclusion sets the stage for two planned sequels. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Dani Harris, a forensic psychologist, and Tommy Gunderson, a former NFL linebacker, team up to investigate the strange occurrences that are shaking up their small town of East Salem, NY. A brutally murdered high school girl, erased memories, an elderly woman with superhuman strength, and troubling nightly dreams all figure into the mystery. Could something more demonic than human be at work? VERDICT Partnering with Nelson (I Thought You Were Dead), Wiehl, author of the "Triple Threat" series (Heart of Ice), launches an exciting faith-based series that skillfully blends romantic tension, gripping supernatural suspense, and a brutal crime. A sure bet for fans of Frank Peretti and Terri Blackstock.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595549419
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/3/2012
  • Series: East Salem Series , #1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 190,973
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Lis Wiehl

Lis Wiehl is a New York Times best-selling author, Harvard Law School graduate, and former federal prosecutor. A popular legal analyst and commentator for the Fox News Channel, Wiehl appears weekly onThe O’Reilly Factor, Lou Dobbs Tonight, Imus in the Morning, Kelly's Court,and more. Visit her website at www.liswiehlbooks.com Twitter: @LisWiehl Facebook: LisWiehl

Pete Nelson is the co-author of Waking Hours as well as the author of Left to Die which won the 2003 Christopher Award. He was listed in the Esquire Register of Best American Writers and nominated foran Edgar Award.

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Read an Excerpt

WAKING HOURS

THE EAST SALEM TRILOGY BOOK ONE
By LIS WIEHL PETE NELSON

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2011 Lis Wiehl
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59554-942-6


Chapter One

Tommy Gunderson woke in the middle of the night to the howling of the wind and the siren of his home's security system. Probably an animal, he thought, still half dreaming. But the system deployed a pattern recognition program calibrated to avoid false alarms from deer or raccoons. The alarm meant an intruder of the two-legged kind, intent unknown.

The swoop of the alarm seemed to deepen as Tommy threw the covers off and rolled out of bed. He pulled on a hooded black sweatshirt to match the black sweatpants he slept in and stepped sockless into a pair of running shoes. Fully awake now, he strode down the hallway to the kitchen, where he tapped on the space bar of his computer's keyboard and, when the machine lit up, clicked on the video feed to see what was going on. Thermal imaging revealed the orange heat signature of a human, crouched low by the edge of his fishpond.

Tommy moved quickly down the hallway again and threw open the door to his father's bedroom. Still sleeping, present and accounted for. He'd given the older man's caregiver the night off. Whoever was crouching by the pond was definitely uninvited.

Tommy didn't like uninvited guests.

He walked swiftly to the back door, grabbed the heavy black flashlight that hung from a hook by its strap, and hid it in the pouch of his sweatshirt. The moon was full, casting light on the yard, across the pond, and out toward the woods beyond.

He felt his heart rate quicken and was bracing himself for the cold when his cell phone rang from the kitchen counter where he'd left it to charge.

"Mr. Gunderson?" a woman's voice said.

"You got him."

"Sorry to wake you—this is the East Salem police. We have an automated alert from your system. Is everything all right?"

"You guys are fast," he said, keeping his voice low. In a community of wealthy estates like his, the police took special care to assist the residents whose taxes paid their salaries and funded their children's schools.

"Do you need assistance?" the dispatcher asked. "We already have a car in the area."

He quickly considered. "If it's no bother. I'll meet him at the gate."

Armed with his flashlight, Tommy went to the front door, tapped the security code on the keypad to disarm the system, then stepped out into the darkness. He walked briskly, keeping to the shadows, rounded the side of the house, and trotted up the driveway. Gold and rust-colored leaves had started to drop from the trees. He avoided stepping on them, lest he alert the intruder.

Tommy recognized the cop in the squad car waiting at the gate. Frank DeGidio, like most of the local cops, worked out at Tommy's gym. Frank was a burly bear of a man with a swarthy complexion, thick black eyebrows, a permanent five o'clock shadow, and bloodshot eyes.

"What's he doing by the pond?" DeGidio asked, staring in the direction of the intruder. Tommy's house sat on ten landscaped acres, with another twelve acres of woods beyond the cleared lot. The half-acre pond was at the edge of the woods, about a hundred yards from the house.

"I stocked it with rainbow," Tommy replied. "Maybe he's fishing?"

"Without a license," DeGidio rasped, "at three in the morning? That's gotta be illegal."

"Probably a kid," Tommy guessed. "Just give him a warning and a ride home."

DeGidio opened the trunk of the squad car and handed Tommy a Kevlar vest. Tommy hesitated.

"Probably a kid, but you never know," the cop said.

"Does this make me look fat?" Tommy asked.

"Donuts make you look fat," DeGidio said. "I speak from experience."

The vest fit tightly over Tommy's muscular physique. The cop adjusted his jacket to make sure he could reach both the Glock 9 on his right hip and the Taser on his left.

They moved quietly, Tommy leading the way. As they neared the water's edge, Tommy saw that whoever was there was dressed in white.

Ten feet away, their presence still undetected, he saw that the intruder was a woman. Stepping closer, he heard a low animal-like sound.

"Can I help you?" he asked, exchanging glances with DeGidio.

She turned. She was elderly, probably well into her nineties, her pale face a desiccated mask of leathery wrinkles. Coarse black whiskers protruded from her chin. Her thin, cracked lips curled inward, her hair a wild snarl of unruly white wisps, so thin that in spots the moonlight shone off her age-spotted scalp. Her eyes were dark and watery, darting about. She was barefoot. Her nightgown was muddy. A strand of spittle hung from the corner of her mouth.

Tommy knelt down beside her and spoke softly. "It must be past your bedtime," he said. "I think we need to find out where you live."

She paid no attention to him but shook her head violently back and forth, speaking to herself in a low mutter. "No, no, no ..."

He leaned in closer.

"Luck's fairy tale can go the real diamond."

"Ma'am?" Tommy said, louder now.

No response.

DeGidio made a circular motion around his ear. "Alzheimer's," he said. "That or rabies."

Tommy tried again. "Can we give you a ride home?"

This time she looked at him. "Lux ferre," she said, her eyes widening. "Le ali congoleare di mondo."

"Somebody's off her meds," the cop said. "What's she saying?"

"Something about luck's fairy," Tommy said. "Hang on."

He found his cell phone, tapped the camcorder icon, and held the phone a few inches from the woman's face. It was too dark to get a video image, but at least he could record her words.

"Good idea," DeGidio said. "I'm guessing she left her ID in her other nightgown."

The old woman turned to Tommy. "Do you know what I've got?" she asked, suddenly sounding quite lucid.

"What, dear?" he said. "Do you have something you want to show me?"

She extended her bony fingers toward him, cupped together the way a child might hold her hands in prayer. She opened them.

"A dead frog?" Tommy said.

"Take it."

"Thank you." He let her place the frog in his hands. It was cold and slimy and reeked.

"Do you believe in extispicium?" she asked.

"I'm sorry?"

The frog's entrails spilled from its belly. It had been ripped open, probably by an owl or a hawk. Unless she'd ripped it open herself.

"Extispicium," she repeated. "Do you see?"

"Do I see what?" he asked her. "What is it you want me to see?"

"This," she said. "Ecce haruspices."

DeGidio shone his flashlight on the disemboweled frog in Tommy's hands. The old woman poked through the frog's innards with her index finger, as if looking for a lost penny. She was shaking her head even more ferociously now, and muttering intently. She looked up.

"These are only the first to go," she whispered. "you'll be the last." She looked at Tommy again and seemed to recognize him. "you play football," she said.

"Not anymore."

"Ecce extispicium!" she said, now growling and looking Tommy in the eye. "Ecce haruspices!"

"That sounds like Latin," DeGidio said.

Tommy shifted the dead frog to his left hand, wiped his right hand on the back of his sweatpants, and touched the old woman lightly on the arm.

"Let's go back to the house and get you some warm clothes," he said.

"Lux ferre!" she screamed, rising suddenly from where she crouched by the water, springing toward Tommy and locking her thin web of fingers around his throat.

She bowled him over, driving him into the weeds.

Her nails pressed in against his windpipe as he grabbed her thin wrists. Tommy bench-pressed 350 pounds easily, but somehow he found it impossible to break the old woman's grip. He pulled as hard as he could, trying to throw her off of him.

He needed oxygen. Blood to the brain. His head was about to explode. Where is her strength coming from? I'm losing consciousness. I'm dying ...

Suddenly Tommy felt a sharp electric buzzing. His vision sizzled, and he felt pain in his fingertips, his toes, and his hair. Something screeched in his ears. He smelled burnt rubber. Then the old woman went limp and fell on top of him, still holding him by the throat.

He pulled her hands from around his neck and rolled onto his stomach.

Tommy gasped for air and coughed violently, turning on his side now to see Frank DeGidio removing the Taser darts from where he'd fired them into the old woman's back.

"You all right?" he asked.

Tommy nodded, still unable to speak.

"Sorry about that," the cop said. "I couldn't get her without getting you too, as long as her hands completed the circuit."

"That's all right," Tommy said, rubbing his throat where her nails had scratched him and coughing again. He glanced over his shoulder to see an ambulance flashing its lights at the gate. "What was that? How ...?" He got to his feet while the cop bound the old woman's hands behind her back with orange plastic flex cuffs.

"Adrenaline," DeGidio said.

Two EMTs took charge of his intruder. As they got her sedated and resting comfortably in the back of the ambulance, a third person examined Tommy's throat and advised him to wash his scratches with a disinfectant.

"You're lucky her fingernails weren't longer, dude," the man said with a gravel voice and an accent that sounded like he was from Texas or Oklahoma.

He looked more like a biker than a doctor, in black boots and jeans and a tattered jean jacket with the sleeves cut off. His arms and chest were tattooed and he wore silver chains around his neck. But after all the other strange happenings tonight, why not a biker-doctor too?

"You hold fast," he said, and headed back toward the ambulance.

DeGidio reappeared then and told Tommy they were already making calls to all the nearby nursing homes.

"We'll figure out where she belongs," he said. "My cousin works in a nursing home—she says this stuff happens all the time. A lot of old people get mellow, but some just turn violent. They don't know what they're doing anymore. It's like all the anger they've suppressed their whole lives comes out at the end."

"That's one explanation," Tommy said.

"We'll take care of her," DeGidio said. "Just for the record, you pressing charges? Trespassing? Assault?"

"Nope," Tommy said, watching as the ambulance pulled away. "Just let me know who she is when you figure it out."

"Will do."

Tommy walked him to his car.

"You'd be shocked at how much ground folks with Alzheimer's can cover when they get the notion," the cop said. "you ever see her before tonight?"

"Not to my knowledge," Tommy said. "She seemed to know who I was."

"Everybody knows who you are." DeGidio opened the door to his car. "I'm guessing you probably don't want the boys at the gym knowing a hundred-pound old lady beat you like a redheaded stepchild ..."

Tommy offered a friendly smile, but something about the woman deeply disturbed him ... a feeling that she hadn't arrived in his backyard by chance. He could have been killed tonight, yet somehow he knew she hadn't come to kill him.

"Fuggedaboutit," DeGidio said. "What happens in Tommy Gunderson's backyard stays in Tommy Gunderson's backyard."

"Thanks for stopping by," Tommy said, feeling his throat again.

"Anytime."

The officer drove away, and Tommy walked back to the edge of the pond. He saw the frog the old woman had given him, floating belly up, torn open, guts exposed.

He crouched low to examine it again. Why had she wanted him to see it? Her words, if they were Latin as DeGidio suspected, might have been the genus or species. What was she looking for?

It made no sense to him, but he supposed it might make sense to somebody else. She'd been clear about one thing—the message she wanted him to understand had something to do with the disemboweled frog.

He reached down to pick it up, thinking he could throw it in the freezer and send it to a biologist or laboratory. But when his fingers touched the amphibian, they passed right through it, and the animal that minutes earlier had been solid in his hand simply dissolved like bath salts, a murky gray cloud that dissipated in the dark water. He pulled his hand back reflexively. He found a stick and stirred the water, then threw the stick into the pond when there was nothing more to see.

These were the first to go, she'd said. "You'll be the last."

He was nearly back in bed when his cell phone rang.

"Tommy, it's Frank—you're still up, right? I didn't wake you?"

"Still up," Tommy told the cop.

"You said to call when we found out who she is. We got a missing persons from High Ridge Manor. Her name's Abigail Gardener. You know her?"

"Not personally," Tommy said. "She used to be the town historian."

"You okay?"

"A little shaken, to tell the truth," Tommy said. "The doctor said I was lucky her fingernails weren't longer."

"You already saw a doctor?" DeGidio asked.

"The one on the ambulance," Tommy said. "Blue jean vest and tattoos? Looked sort of like a biker?"

"What are you talking about?" the cop said. "There wasn't any doctor there—just the two EMTs, Jose and Martin. And nobody who looked like a biker."

Tommy thanked Frank and said good night. Then he went to his computer, hoping his surveillance system might solve the mystery. His property was covered by both high-definition video and infrared cameras capable of registering the heat signatures of warm-bodied visitors. The video feed showed only darkness at first, and then, once the ambulance arrived with its headlights pointed directly at the camera and its lights flashing brightly in the night, he saw only silhouettes crossing back and forth, making it impossible to count the number of people present, even in slow motion.

The infrared imaging was slightly more useful but still inconclusive. It clearly showed his own silhouette, and Frank's, and the old woman's, but once the ambulance arrived, the bright red heat signatures from the engine and the headlights again made it hard to sort out what he was seeing. Sometimes it looked like there were five images, sometimes six. He even saw some sort of digital shadow or negative ghost image in blue, flickering in and out of view.

He was tired and he'd given it too much thought already.

He knew what he knew—he'd spoken to a man who looked like a biker. Frank just must have missed him.

Chapter Two

Dani Harris was still in bed when her phone rang. The journal article she'd been reading, "Genetic Markers for Gender-Specific Disorders on the Autism/Asperger's Scale Among the Huli Tribesmen of Papua, New Guinea," by a team of researchers from Australia, lay open on her stomach. Her reading light was still on and her comforter, which she'd taken from the linen chest for the first time since the previous spring, had slid to the floor, where she found her cat, Arlo, curled up in the middle of it. She'd awakened from a bad dream sometime after two and read herself back to sleep.

The phone rang a second time. Her caller ID read "John Foley." Her boss.

"I didn't wake you, did I?" he asked.

"I was up," she lied. She tried to remember her dream, but she could retain only a vague image. Her father had been holding a stone in his hands, as if he wanted to show it to her.

"Sorry to call so early," John apologized. "Listen—I got a call from Irene. They want you at the Mt. Kisco office."

Irene Scotto was the district attorney for New york's Westchester County.

"What's it about?"

"Homicide," John said. "The victim appears to have been a juvenile. The only suspect is too. You turned on your TV yet?"

"Not yet," Dani said.

"It's a weird one," John said. "you can do this, Dani."

"Okay," Dani said, mystified by his encouragement. Not that he wasn't normally encouraging, but this sounded like a farewell. "See you there?"

"Uh, yeah," John said. "Maybe." He hung up.

Maybe?

Once she cleared her head and felt slightly more awake, she realized she needed to rethink her wardrobe. If she was going to spend the day at the DA's office, she needed to wear something other than the blue jeans and sweater she'd had in mind.

She showered quickly, dried her hair on high and ironed out the frizzies, applied her makeup minimally, and told herself it would have to do. She took a pair of lightweight wool dress slacks from the closet and a black cashmere turtleneck from a drawer.

As she dressed, she paused to look at the framed photograph on her dresser, a group picture of sixteen African boys lined up in order of height, with Dani in the middle. The smaller boys were smiling naturally. The older boys' smiles looked forced. It had been three years since she'd seen them.

She looked at another photograph, one she'd taken of her parents on the runway of a small airport in the African bush, the two of them squinting into the sun and grinning, palm and towering Kakum trees in the background. It was the last time she'd seen them as well.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from WAKING HOURS by LIS WIEHL PETE NELSON Copyright © 2011 by Lis Wiehl. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 142 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(68)

4 Star

(34)

3 Star

(27)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 142 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2011

    Great, suspenseful book!

    2:13 a.m. The haunting time Dani Harris continually wakes up. Absurd, seemingly meaningless nightmares scare her during the wee hours of the morning. Dreams of her late parents, a stone, and an oncoming apocalypse continually frighten her and cause her a lack of sleep. Tommy Gunderson, a retired pro-football player, finds himself awoken one night by an eerie elderly woman, speaking in Latin and with an unnatural strength. When an unknown girl is found murdered and mercilessly harmed, both Tommy and Dani must find a reason behind the peculiar happenings, and they must find an answer before it is too late.
    I found this book to be wonderful. It was one you can barely put down, and if forced to put down, you do so extremely grudgingly. I loved the character of Tommy Gunderson, who seems to be a cool Christian guy. If there were any criticisms, it would be the abrupt ending of the book; however, I absolutely cannot wait for Lis Wiehl's next novel, as I am left on an edge with this one! I would recommend this to anyone who watches murder mysteries, and enjoys suspense. I would not recommend it to anyone who does not handle violence well, due to the content. I sincerely hope you will enjoy this book as much as I did!
    Richard
    Thomas Nelson gave me this book free in exchange for this review.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    chilling murder mystery

    "waking hours" is another one of lis wiehls murder mysterys. it will keep you on the edge of your seat. a young teen has been murdered in a very sleepy town under very sinister circumstances and the only witness is having strange nightmares. the arthur is a federal prosecuter so this makes for an intresting background for a very thrilling novel and one that is very hard to put down. great gift idea.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2011

    Waking Hours by Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson

    Was the ritualistic murder of a lonely high school girl in New York's tony Westchester County the work of a sinister band of teens, a supernatural force of evil, or a collaboration of both? The only thing certain when Waking Hours opens is the identity of the victim and the fact that eerie, downright creepy events quickly and continuously unfold that may or may not be connected to her death.

    I had committed to provide a review of Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson's first novel in the East Salem series by today, October 3. Because I was out of town when my copy arrived from the publisher, I had very little time to read the book.

    NOT a problem. Waking Hours--a blend of suspense and supernatural stories, with a dash of romance--grabs the reader at once and doesn't let go until the very last word. Even then, it's quite clear more trouble-and adventure-is yet to come in future installments in the series. I say bring 'em on. Both main characters, forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris and former football star Tommy Gunderson, are witty, intelligent, and fallible enough to feel real. Wiehl and Nelson have done their homework, and the psychological, forensic, and geographic details create scenes both visual and intense.

    If you like to read before bedtime, you might want to keep a copy of People magazine or something similarly frivolous nearby to clear away the heebie jeebies before you turn out the lights. Recommended.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2011

    Wonderful Book!!

    I have only recently begun reading some mysteries. I keep saying, "It'd not my genre." So I have to say that in my limited experience, this book is fantastic. I am an avid reader, though, so my favorable opinion of the writing, plot, and characterization is based on a great deal of experience. Beyond that, it is a book you will think about for a long time. It is different - with a slight paranormal twist just on the edges - just enough to keep you guessing. It is engaging and will keep you thinking about the story - probably for weeks after you have finished reading it. I highly recommend this book. I think you will enjoy it, learn from it, and as I said think about it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Waking Hours by Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson

    Waking Hours is a paranormal thriller that takes place in Westchester County, New York, where a high school girl is found gruesomely murdered in a park after attending a party. The only suspects are all teenagers that were at the party with the girl, yet none of them remembers what happened. Everyone in town is scared and looking towards forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris and her team of investigators for answers and the crime to be solved. Classmate from high school and Former NFL linebacker Tommy Gunderson joins Dani in an attempt to help solve the murder, in which they think there's more to the mystery than murder, more to their growing friendship than chance and more to the evil they're facing than a mere human killer.

    This is book #1 of the East Salem Trilogy. The author, Lis Wiehl, a legal analyst for Fox News has teamed up with Pete Nelson, author of Left to Die, to bring readers this gripping story.

    Being a huge fan of mystery, suspense and thrillers, I was excited when I got the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of BookSneeze.
    Waking hours combines elements of suspense, romance and mystery. The book dives right in with suspense filled chills. There were several pages that had me getting goosebumps. It's a real page turner. I didn't want to put the book down until I found out what happened next and when the next thing did happen, I just had to keep reading to see what else might happen.
    The scenes and characters are brought to life by the author's great descriptions. The story flows beautifully with great character interactions and dialogue.
    I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the East Salem series to continue! I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery that weaves elements of the supernatural throughout it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2011

    MUST CHECK THIS AMAZING BOOK OUT!

    I have never heard of Lis Weil until I saw people talking about part one of her East Salem trilogy Waking Hours. I hadn't read a single bad remark and I was told that booksneeze was allowing people to read the kindle version so I had to get it and I don't regret it.
    Many people will find it creepy from the beginning as an elderly women attacks Tommy with superhuman strength as she is rambling off Latin and during that time, he finds out a short time later, a murder was committed. This was only the beginning as he dives strait into a battle of good versus evil in a very intriguing way. Luckily, he didn't face it alone as God provided Dani, a girl he went to school with, who was trying to solve this mystery so they built an alliance.
    This book has everything from mystery, suspense, supernatural elements as the war between God and Satan rage on, dragging these souls into it, romance and even humor with such grotesque circumstances. The story was played out in a page turning fashion and one cannot put it down once they begin. The elements she through in also teaches you aspects and lessons that we need in everyday life and that is the most important thing I like to see in a book so this aspect was fulfilled making it a book I have to recommend to others.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2011

    Page Turner

    This is Book 1 of The East Salem Trilogy, highly recommended to me by a friend who had read this author's work before.

    I was hooked from page one. Love the plot. It's cleverly woven to keep the readers asking "What's next?". It's not only a suspense and thriller type of book but the hint of romance in it makes the book more attractive; at least it was for me. Some may not like it.

    Love the way the author throw in some unexpected twist in it.
    Another good thing about this book is that it's clean. No four letters words like some others nor violent sex scene. Just a hint of blossoming romance.

    The downside of this book that at certain place, I find it a tad long winded. Maybe more editing needed?

    Overall, this has been an enjoyable book and I look forward to the next two books. Hope they will be available soon.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2011

    Lis Wiehl opens her East Salem trilogy with a terrific tale!

    A gruesome murder has rocked the affluent, quiet little New York town of East Salem. A teenage girl is killed, apparently in a violent and bizarre ritual during a party. The only suspect is another teen-but the more prosecutors dig into the case, the more confusing it becomes. Forensic psychologist Danielle Harris is assisting the DA's office in solving the crime-when she gets an offer of assistance from the last person she'd expect.
    The author, Lis Wiehl, is a legal analyst for Fox News. She teamed up for this book, the first in her East Salem series, with Pete Nelson, author of Left to Die. It's a winning combination. The writing, plot and characters all deliver in this story of a small town and a big murder.
    The plot is full of twists and turns, with a few red herrings thrown in just to confuse you. The large cast of characters in this story keep you on your toes. The simmering romance between Dani and former football star Tommy Gunderson makes things interesting. As in her previous novel, heart of ice, Wiehl depicts psychopathic characters with stunning accuracy.
    Satisfyingly creepy without being over the top, the book explores the struggle between good and evil-not just in the physical realm, but in the supernatural as well. Highly recommended.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    Great book

    I definately recommend this book. It kept me wondering what would happen next. Im hoping though that there will be a sequal because the author kind of leaves you hanging a lil bit at the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

    Don't Bother

    Two negatives: First, the ending is very unsatisfactory; you are left hanging with a plethora of hinted at endings. Uncool. Second, the doctrine is not Biblically sound.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    Pretty good

    I always liked supernatural fiction and this one is pretty scary. The 1st book in a series about the supernatural im looking forward to the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Couldn't put it down!

    This book drove me crazy. I was so creeped out that I kept wanting to stop reading, but I couldn't stop because I had to know what happened. Waking Hours was published by a Christian publisher, but don't make the mistake of thinking that means it's not a book that will keep you up at night. It just means there is no cussing or sex in the book. Trust me, you won't miss it.

    Tommy Gunderson is the town hero: former high school football star, former NFL player. He's also a Christian, which makes for some very interesting conversations with Dani Harris, who is a scientist through and through, and doesn't believe in anything she can't see and touch. There is no preaching going on here, though. I can't say that the Christian part is downplayed because the mystery Dani and Tommy are unravelling seems to literally be a battle between good and evil, God and Satan.

    Aside from the crime-solving, watching Tommy and Dani get to know each other is sweet and funny. There is a lot of humor in this book, despite the subject matter. Tommy, in particular, has a corny sense of humor. I could give a dozen examples, but my favorite line is,

    At the double door to the east wing, a workman on a stepladder was mounting a bracket to the moulding. "I have one just like that. I love my stepladder," Tommy told Dani. "But it makes me sad to think I never knew my real ladder."

    This book has it all: mystery, humor, a battle between good and evil, a little hint of romance. Waking Hours is the first in the The East Salem Trilogy, and I'll be waiting for the next installment.

    About the book
    Title: The Waking Hours (The East Salem Trilogy)
    Author: Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson
    Publisher: Thomas Nelson
    Release date: October 4, 2011
    Pages: 336
    Where I got the book: I got this book for free from the publisher as part of the BookSneeze review program. All opinions are my own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2011

    Waking Hours by Lis Wiehl

    Good evening, people! I've received a new book recently, and now I have to tell you all how great it was. Before I get started, however, I need to let you all know that I received this book for free from the Thomas Nelson publishing program in exchange for an honest review. Everything I say in the review is completely and truthfully my own opinion. So, anyway, I've just gotten the book "Waking Hours" by Lis Wiehl. I've read her work before, and this is different than the other books of hers that I have read. But it's still fantastic. Set in East Salem, you immediately get a sense of mystery and intrigue. This is, after all, where the Salem Witch Trials took place. (Or is it? I'm terrible with geography :)) Lis Wiehl blends mystery, suspense, and the supernatural with as much grace and ease as someone along the lines of Ted Dekker. And I'm a super huge addicted Ted Dekker fan. This would actually be a good book for a reading group- I know that after I finished I could barely stop talking about it! If this is the case, the book has a handy reading guide in back. I loved this book and look forward to more work from the author. Four out of five stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2011

    AWESOME BOOK!!! Highly Recommend

    just finished an awesome book! Waking Hours, written by New York Times Best Selling Author Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson. I received this book as an early release from booksneeze... and although I finished it 3 days ago I had to wait to tell you have much I enjoyed this book!

    Waking Hours is the first book in the East Salem trilogy. Thank goodness there will be more from where this came from! This book is different then any fiction that I have ever read. I love Christian Fiction... and I love your "feel good" stories... I don't mind suspense, a little drama, humor, and a little romance. This story brings in all that and throws in some supernatural as well. I couldn't put this book down! When I wasn't reading it, I would catch myself thinking about what was going to happen next. Lis Wiehl did a great job developing the characters and bringing them to life. This story transitions well, going from character to character keeping you interested. One of my favorite things about this book is the banter and humor between the two lead characters, forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris and former NFL linebacker Tommy Gunderson... I could see a movie made from this book. The only down side, this book leaves you hanging... and I don't know when the next in the series comes out! I absolutely would recommend this book to friends/ anyone... I already have!

    I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Book!

    'Waking Hours' is the first book that I have read by Lis Wiehl. I remember years ago seeing one of her other books at the library, but at the time I had too many other books that had captured my interest - so I didn't check it out. Now after reading this book, I am hoping to find time to read them soon! 'Waking Hours' had my heart pounding, mind racing, and was so thrilling to read that it kept me at the edge of my seat for most of the book and kept me up reading into the wee hours of the morning. I didn't want this book to end and at the same time I was racing to finish it because I had to know what was going on. 'Waking Hours' ends in such a way that, while I know most of what happened, there is still so much left to know. I can't wait to read the next book in this series! There are supernatural ascepts in this book, so if that is something that you don't like in a novel you probably won't enjoy 'Waking Hours'. However, the supernatural elements aren't like vampires, werewolves or anything like that, but more like angels and demons, good vs. evil, God vs. Satan. 'Waking Hours' is a great reminder of the battle that is constantly being waged and why we should be aware of it. Though we know that through Jesus we have victory over the devil, we still have to be prepared to battle him and his minions. Just because we can't see angels and demons, doesn't mean that they aren't around us - though I know that I have a hard time actually believing that. Dr. Danielle Harris (Dani) is a twenty-nine year old forensic psychiatrist, who works for the DA's office. Dani lives in East Salem, in her parent's house - the house that she grew up in and inherited after their deaths years ago. With this recent murder in East Salem, NY she runs into a man she hasn't seen since high school - Tommy Gunderson. Tommy Gunderson used to play in the NFL as a linebacker, but after a tragic accident he left the game. He currently owns a 90,000 square foot state-of-the-art fitness center and is pursuing becoming a Private Investigator. Tommy has a very personal connection to this case, because it involves a student he trains, Liam Dorsett. When they meet again after so many years, they both have the same feeling that they had in high school. And as in high school they both keep that feeling to themselves, afraid that the other person might not feel the same way. But with an evil presence hanging around, Dani and Tommy are developing a deep relationship - deeper than either of them expected. I look forward to reading more about Dani and Tommy's growing romance in the next book in this series. I also have a feeling that Dani's parents won't be dead after all, because their bodies were never recovered. But maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part, because I can't imagine having to lose my parents like that. I highly recommend 'Waking Hours', especially to those who love reading suspenseful mysteries. *** I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through their blogger program, Booksneeze. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done. I received no other compensation, besides the book. ***

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2013

    Waking Hours was an incredible read! The book swept me into the

    Waking Hours was an incredible read! The book swept me into the story from page one and I could not put it down. I am ready to barrel through the rest of the trilogy and am counting down the days to the final book. Ms. Wiehl uses such fantastic writing to make the reader feel like they're witnessing the story. It was so good at times I felt like I was watching a movie. The suspense was intense and the story had my hands sweating and my heart pounding. Definitely on my top 10 list of best books ever!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Great reading!

    I really enjoyed this story, I was intrigued by the spiritual world interwoven with a murder mystery theme. I thought it was fantastic! I can't say enough about being able to read a book like this, and love it and not feel like I was having religion shoved in my face or being preached to!! The entire book was well written, suspensful and kept me turning those pages! Great job! I now have a new fantastic author to add to my library, I have purchased several of Lis Wiehl's other books, can't wait to start reading them!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    Dmi1988

    One of the best supernatural reads. Good and intense. Had to keep reading. Couldnt wait to find out who did it. Lis Wiehl can keep these coming.

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  • Posted November 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I have had Lis Wiehl's first book, Face of Betrayal on my radar

    I have had Lis Wiehl's first book, Face of Betrayal on my radar since it was originally published. Unfortunately, I was never able to get it read, but recently was offered the opportunity to read the second book in the author's East Salem Trilogy, Darkness Rising as an ARC. Of course, that lead me to read Waking Hours first, and I am so glad that I did. In this first book of the trilogy, a girl is murdered in upscale West Chester County, New York after attending a party at one of the student's house. From there, the story becomes a mystery/thriller of the best kind. Along with the two main protagonists, who eventually band together to try to solve the murder, there is a whole host of interesting characters to capture the mind of the reader. Even better, as the story progresses, we find that many of them are not as they appear on the surface. I loved this aspect of the book and it definitely enhanced the mystery/thriller aspect of the book.

    My favorite part about this book, aside from the fact that it was a first rate thriller with lots of turns and twists, was the interplay between the two main protagonists. I don't mean the underlying romantic attachment that they seem to have, although that is a well done aspect in itself. Dani Harris is a forensic psychiatrist that looks at everything with a cool, clinical eye. Ex NFL Linebacker Tommy Gunderson, however, sees life in a less "rational" way, where the logical and real are mixed with things that science cannot quite explain. It is in the contrasting of these two styles of looking at the crime that I feel is the author's best contribution to this story.

    As for the plot of the book, here again, Lis Wiehl scores. The plot is deftly woven and well paced. In addition there are twists and turns, some of which I saw coming, some of which hit me out of the blue. There were even a few "red herrings" to lead the reader temporarily down a path leading away from the truth. Another plus is the way the author was able to end the book, solving the murder, but making it apparent that the story was not over and leaving the reading definitely wanting more. I could not wait for the next installment and was glad that it was sitting on my Nook, ready to read.

    All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my first book by this author and am looking forward to adding her other work to the top of my reading list for 2013. I gave this book 5 stars based on my feelings that the characters and story were first rate, and on the level of enjoyment I had in both reading it, and trying to guess what the end result would be. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is an fan of mystery/thrillers and feel that Lis Wiehl can hold her own with the top writers in this genre

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2012

    Df Fair read

    Not the best mystery writer but fair

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