Tag Archives: murder

AgainstAllOddsCoverArt72dpiThe third book in my trilogy, Against All Odds, is now available at many online venues. The first two books are Blood Bound and Above Suspicion. I’ve had a blast writing these three suspenseful books set in New Orleans.


Sienna Wright has it all: an exciting career, a handsome husband who is an ADA, and two beautiful step-children… until a vicious murderer takes all away and sends her tumbling into a terrifying black abyss.

Detective Nate Lincoln’s job is his life, and he jumps at the chance to reclaim his gun and badge once the department reinstates him after a long suspension. His first order of business is to solve the murders of Jeff Wright and his two children, a case that fell through the cracks.

Still shell-shocked after nearly a year, Sienna at first refuses to help Nate. Then someone tries to kill her, and in order to survive, she is forced to break free of her quagmire of depression and trust the man she once loved. Nate isn’t sure he can solve the case, and yet he has to try. He would do anything for Sienna, even if she refuses to admit she still loves him.


“What else did the major say? We caught a case?”

“Yeah, a cold one. The murdered ADA — Jeff Wright. Remember that one?” Nate settled back in his seat and filled Jack in on the blood-soaked crime scene at the Wright’s upscale home as he negotiated the light Sunday traffic. “Our unit apparently hit a brick wall while I was gone, so Solomon handed it off to Cold Case — a colossal mistake, if there ever was one, because those guys sat around with their thumb up their asses, apparently. LeBlanc said Wright’s wife’s been calling headquarters at least twice a week for the past month, raisin’ hell about it.”

“Wait a minute.” Jack scowled. “I know Sienna. Didn’t you two date before she married Jeff?”

“Yeah, I was still seeing her when she met the bastard.” Nate gritted his teeth at the painful memory. He didn’t like to think about that depressing time in his life. He used to drink and party way too much. “She dated both of us for a while and picked him. Said she wanted someone steadier. Swore I was a bad influence.”

“Whoa.” Jack lifted his eyebrows. “That was cruel, man.”

“What can I say? She was right. And it was for the best, ’cause she loved Jeff.” Nate shook his head. “He made her happy. Two kids — a ready-made family — and a big, fancy house. He gave her a comfortable life. More than I could’ve ever given her. I didn’t have a pot to piss in, much less any kids.”

“Still, her choosing him must’ve gutted you.”

“Yeah, but not as much as losing Jeff and those kids did her. LeBlanc said she had a breakdown after the funeral and moved to Birmingham to live with her aunt. She’s still in Alabama, but right now she’s on the warpath with the DA and has threatened to sue the city ’cause we didn’t close the damned case. So the Major Crimes Section Commander turned it back over to us. He wants us to solve it yesterday.”

“You’d better talk to Solomon, find out why he tossed it to Cold Case.”

“Believe me, I will. I want to know why he gave up on it and has since refused to return Sienna’s phone calls.”

“Not a smart move. Give him my regards,” Jack said with a wry smile as he swung the sedan into the parking garage adjacent to the station.

Nate growled in response, but didn’t voice his true feelings about the case or Sienna. She’d broken his heart when she’d blown him off in favor of Wright, but he didn’t want Jack to know. All he needed was the facts. Sienna, a beautiful, headstrong woman, had been a popular reporter for the Times Picayune, yet she’d crumbled the night Jeff and kids had died. So much so, her doctor had hospitalized her after the funeral and kept her there until he’d found a family member willing to take care of her. Two days later, Sienna left Louisiana for Birmingham, Alabama. Nate had no idea how she was doing now but figured he ought to pay her a visit, even though it was the last thing he wanted to do.

“Save me from old girlfriends,” he muttered as he banged out of the car. He hated confrontations with women, thanks to his dealings with his own mother and the crappy way he’d ended his relationship with Sienna. Showing up drunk at her wedding had been the icing on the cake.

The pain of that day still gnawed at his soul.

Jack rounded the hood and clapped him on the back. “Talk to LeBlanc. He’s new, but he can probably unearth a lead or two for you. Something to help break the ice with Sienna.”

“Doesn’t sound like it.” Nate entered the squad room, lowered himself wearily into his chair, and tried to call the Cold Case detective, Alfred Lutz.

No luck. Lutz was out sick and didn’t answer either of his personal phones, home or cell.

Buy links:

Desert Breeze — http://bit.ly/1dw5NYc
Amazon — http://amzn.to/1gD0ZRa
BN — http://bit.ly/1gqZhRY

Hope you’ll check it out!


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New book out at Desert Breeze Publishing!

New book out at Desert Breeze Publishing!

DBP: http://bit.ly/1dyCwub
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dyCL8u
BN: http://bit.ly/17B1FC5

Click the photo to read an excerpt.

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September 2, 2013 · 9:44 am


Maura at Coffeetime Romance just posted a review for Flash Bang, my latest single title release from Whiskey Creek Press. She said, and I quote: “Ms. Atkins always provides the reader with an exciting and engrossing tale, and this one is no exception. The suspense starts on the very first page and builds and builds throughout the very engrossing story.” She gave it four cups. Thank you, Maura. I’m glad you enjoyed the book.

You can read the entire review here.

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New Cover!

After an unusual delay, I finally got my cover for my April book, Marked for Murder. This is the first book in my new Keller County Cops series. Woohoo! I love the cover. Jenifer Ranieri outdid herself again!


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New Review for Skeleton Bayou!

My December ’09 release from The Wild Rose Press is a Top Pic at Night Owl Romance! Their reviewer said: “Three words for Melanie Atkins, oh my gosh. This woman rocked all the way to the end. I loved the suspense and the characters in this book as they came to life so easily. Skeleton Bayou is definitely highly recommended for it had it all, suspense, betrayal, vengeance and murder. Awesome job.” — 5 stars

I’m so excited. This is the third five star review this book has gotten. If you’re not familiar with it, SKELETON BAYOU is a full length romantic suspense set in south Louisiana, filled with mystery, intrigue, and murder.

The Romance Studio said: “This book is exactly what I look for when looking for a good romantic suspense to read. The action and suspense were so expertly woven into the story that I felt as anxious as the characters themselves. There were so many twists and turns in this book that it should have come with a warning label and a seat belt. “ — Adrien Blyss.

And Got Romance’s review read: “This is suspense at it’s most intense, I was holding my breath during much of the action. There are many twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat, and the author didn’t forget the romance! The hero is all alpha and the heroine is a strong and determined woman. There are scenes involving domestic violence, a heads up to those who may be sensitive to the subject. A great read, I highly recommend it!” — 5 Diamonds, Olivia Starke.

Here’s the back cover blurb:
Savannah Love is emotionally and physically battered, but is determined to survive after escaping the hellish imprisonment imposed on her by her psychotic cop-husband. After seven months in hiding, she resurfaces at Mossy Oak, her ramshackle family home on a Louisiana bayou, and attempts to restart her life. The empty house provides shelter, but isn’t the fortress she needs when her cruel ex comes calling.

Mack O’Malley, former cop turned handyman conflicted over a bad shoot on the job, comes to Savannah’s rescue when the psychopath draws them into a deadly game of cat and mouse. Fearful of Mack at first, she soon discovers that beneath his steely exterior lies a resolute defender with a heart hungry for love. Will their alliance save them, or will they fall victim to the Legend of Skeleton Bayou?

Hope you’ll check it out! A link to the book’s page on my publisher’s site is HERE and a link to my website is HERE.

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Available titles, jail tour, etc…

CherishedWitnessCoverArt#1Hi everyone. Just FYI, I have one title currently available in ebook form (in a variety of formats) at Desert Breeze Publishing, with five more books to follow through June 2011. CHERISHED WITNESS is also available at Amazon for the Kindle, at ebookreader.com, and B&N.com. Barnes & Nobles is about to come out with the Nook, a new ereader that looks fantastic and uses the new Android operating system. I’m going to get one.

CHERISHED WITNESS is the first book in my New Orleans Detective series. In it, Kelly Watson, aka Teresa Pastral, threw the Fifth Amendment out the window when she testified against her mob boss husband at his murder trial. Now divorced, she has begun a new life in the Witness Security Program. Only–the mob finds her, thanks to handsome lawman J.T. Romano, who uses her as bait to lure the man who murdered his wife and unborn child to town. To ensure her safety, she is forced to trust J.T., the man who has betrayed her to the mob. But can she also protect her heart?

Hope you’ll check it out here. In addition to that book, I have six ebook titles out at Cobblestone Press. They are available here. All but one are suspense, and a few are hotter than others. In addition to those, SKELETON BAYOU will be released in December from The Wild Rose Press in both ebook and print. You can read more about it here.

On another note, last week at the Citizen’s Police Academy, we toured the Hinds County Detention Center, a facility that houses 594 male inmates. Next door to it is the Hinds County Joint State-County Work Center, a facility for misdemeanor offenders that houses 200. Another jail downtown houses 200 mostly female inmates. I was amazed at the size of the detention center and now know that I never want to go to jail. Not. Ever. To say I felt claustrophobic in there was an understatement. I admire the men and women who work there. They’ve got to be tough just to walk in the door. Kudos to all of them!!

This week we’ll hear from investigators. I’ll do my best to report back on that session on Friday. Should be a good one. Then Saturday night I have my ride-along. Can’t wait!!

You can check out all my titles on my website here. Hope you drop by!


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