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NO ONE SAW by Beverly Long: Author Spotlight and Excerpt

No One Saw by Beverly Long
Learn some interesting facts about Beverly Long in this Q&A and read about her latest release No One Saw, inlcuding an excerpt!

 

No One Saw by Beverly LongBeverly Long

 

NO ONE SAW by Beverly Long: Author Spotlight and Excerpt

 

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Do you have any favorite authors?

 

There are authors that I routinely check to see if they have new books available. They include Ann Patchett, Kristin Hannah, and Lee Child.

 

For readers who haven’t tried your books yet, how do you think your editor or loyal readers would describe your books?

 

The feedback I’ve received from readers is that they enjoy my books because there’s a nice balance between suspense and character development. In TEN DAYS GONE and NO ONE SAW, the focus is the investigation of the crime. But along the way, the reader gets to know the two detectives, A.L. McKittridge and his partner, Rena Morgan.

 

Do your books have to be read in order or can they be read as standalones?

 

Over the years, I’ve written a number of books that have been branded as a series. However, every book has been written so that it could be read as a standalone. I personally really like to read within a series. I like starting with book one in the series and moving forward. So, that would be my suggestion but it’s not absolutely necessary.

 

Where did the inspiration for this story come from?

 

I’m not sure inspiration is the right word but I am always interested in the concept of family. What makes a family? What will break a family? What secrets will family keep? How does a family change when new people are added to it? In NO ONE SAW, I wanted to write a story where a family is stretched to its very limits when a child is suddenly missing and family, the people you should lean upon the most in these circumstances, are all suspects.

 

Will there be another book in this series?

 

That’s the plan. I’m currently working on the third book in the A.L. McKittridge series.

 

How do you maintain continuity in a continuing series?  Do you keep charts or anything like that to remember from book to book?

 

No charts but I keep a list of characters, their relationship to others, as well as any mentions of specific places.  I keep too much in my head and I spend too much time rechecking things from previous books in an effort to maintain consistency. I am constantly looking for new ways to be better at this.

 

NO ONE SAW by Beverly Long: Author Spotlight and Excerpt

Do you prefer to extensively plot your stories, or do you write them as they come to you?

 

I wouldn’t say that I plot extensively, but I certainly have a general idea of where the story is going before I start writing. Because I write suspense and police procedurals, it’s important that my stories unfold in a logical manner.  Otherwise, the reader can get frustrated. Thus, that part of the story is pretty well mapped out in advance. The character development is more organic and sometimes I surprise myself at the direction the story takes. For example, when I started writing TEN DAYS GONE, I knew that I needed to give Tess Lyons, the next potential victim, a persuasive reason not to care what happened to her. That was necessary for the storyline to work. I didn’t know what that persuasive reason was going to be until I was almost halfway through the first draft.

 

How long did it take you to get your rough draft finished on your latest release?

 

About six months.

Which character do you most relate to and why?

I relate to both of the lead characters in different ways. For A.L., his trials with his teenage daughter are fun for me (and perhaps somewhat cathartic) because I’ve had teenage daughters. For Rena, she’s a woman trying to balance work, a husband, and an extended family. She wants to make good decisions about everything. Been there, done that.

 

What has been the defining moment in your career that made you think “Yes, I am now a writer!”?

 

Early in my career, I sold a couple books but then there was a period of years where I wasn’t able to sell. I didn’t give up. I kept writing. I finished four manuscripts during this time. That’s when I knew for sure. Ultimately, I started selling again and I was very glad I had built up an inventory of work because I was able to meet the demands of a publisher who was very interested in getting my stories into the hands of readers.

 

What advantages or challenges does a writer in your genre face in today’s fiction market?

 

When writing thrillers and specifically police procedurals, technology and our ever-increasing instant access to data can quickly derail a storyline. No longer can a character realistically remain in the dark too long without the reader impatiently thinking “why not just look that up on your phone?”

 

What can you tell us about your next project?

 

Detectives A.L. McKittridge and Rena Morgan are back at it. This time it’s personal for A.L. because the murder victim is someone he knows and his father and his Uncle Joe are both suspects.

 

Has quarantine been better or worse for your writing?

 

Early on during quarantine, I wasn’t writing as much as usual. I spent too much time watching and reading the news. But after a while, I was able to do less of that and get back into a routine of writing every day. I really do miss taking my laptop to a coffee shop and look so forward to the days when I can do that again.

 

What was your last 5 star read?

 

I had the pleasure of joining a book club several years ago and, as a result, have had the opportunity to read books that would likely not have otherwise made it to my bedside table. For example, I read, Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of HUGUETTE CLARK and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by authors Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.  The story was fascinating and so different than anything I normally read.

 

 

About Beverly Long

Beverly Long

Beverly Long’s writing career has spanned more than two decades and twenty novels, including TEN DAYS GONE, the first book of her A.L. McKittridge series. She writes romantic suspense with sexy heroes and smart heroines. She can often be found with her laptop in a coffee shop with a cafe au lait and anything made with dark chocolate by her side.

 

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NO ONE SAW by Beverly Long: Author Spotlight and Excerpt

Detective team A.L. McKittridge and Rena Morgan are back on their beat after solving the brutal Baywood serial killings, but crime doesn’t rest for long in their small Wisconsin town. In book two of Beverly Long’s electrifying A.L. McKittridge series, NO ONE SAW (MIRA Mass Market Paperback; June 30, 2020; $7.99), a child seemingly vanishes from a day care into thin air and A.L. and Rena must race to bring her home before time runs out.
Baywood police department detective A.L. McKittridge is no stranger to tough cases, but when five-year-old Emma Whitman disappears from her day care, there isn’t a single shred of evidence to go on. There are no witnesses, no trace of where she might have gone. There’s only one thing A.L. and his partner, Rena Morgan, are sure of—somebody is lying.


No One Saw by Beverly Long
Published by MIRA Books on June 30, 2020
Buy on Amazon

Buy your copy today!

 

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Excerpt of NO ONE SAW

One

With a week’s worth of mail in one hand, A.L. McKittridge unlocked his apartment door with the other. Then he dragged his carry-on suitcase inside, almost tripping over Felix, who had uncharacteristically left his spot by the window where the late afternoon sun poured in. He tossed the collection of envelopes and free weekly newspapers onto his kitchen table and bent down to scratch his cat. “You must have missed me,” he said. “Wasn’t Rena nice to you?”
His partner had sent a text every day. Always a picture. Felix eating. Felix taking a dump. Felix giving himself a bath. No messages. Just visual confirmation that all was well while he was off in sunny California, taking a vacation for the first time in four years.
I can take care of your damn cat, she’d insisted. And while he hadn’t wanted to bother her because she’d have plenty to do picking up the slack at work, she was the only one he felt he could ask. His ex-wife Jacqui would have said no. His just turned seventeen-year-old daughter, Traci, would have been willing but he hadn’t liked the idea of her coming round to an empty apartment on her own.
Baywood, Wisconsin—population fifty thousand and change—was generally pretty safe but he didn’t believe in taking chances. Not with Traci’s safety. She’d been back in school for just a week. Her senior year. How the hell was that even possible? College was less than a year away.
No wonder his knees ached. He was getting old.
Or maybe it was flying coach for four hours. But the trip had been worth it. Tess had wanted to see the ocean. Wanted to face her nemesis, she’d claimed. And she’d been a champ. Had stood on the beach where less than a year earlier, she’d almost died after a shark had ripped off a sizable portion of her left arm. Had lifted her pretty face to the wind and stared out into the vast Pacific.
She hadn’t surfed. Said she wasn’t ready for that yet. But he was pretty confident that she’d gotten the closure that she’d been looking for. She’d slept almost the entire flight home, her head resting on A.L.’s shoulder. On the hour-plus drive from Madison to Baywood, she’d been awake but quiet. When he’d dropped her off at her house, she hadn’t asked him in.
He wasn’t offended. He’d have said no anyway. After a week together, they could probably both benefit from a little space. Their relationship was just months old and while the sex was great and the conversation even better, neither of them wanted to screw it up by jumping in too fast or too deep.
Now he had groceries to buy and laundry to do. It was back to work tomorrow. He grabbed the handle of his suitcase and was halfway down the hall when his cell rang. He looked at the number. Rena. Probably wanted to make sure he was home and Felix-watch was over. “McKittridge,” he answered.
“Where are you?”
“Home.”
“Oh, thank God.”
He let go of his suitcase handle. Something was wrong. “What’s up?” he asked.
“We’ve got a missing kid. Five-year-old female. Lakeside Learning Center.”
Missing kid. Fuck. He glanced at his watch. Just after 6:00. That meant they had less than two hours of daylight left. “I’ll be there in ten minutes.”

The Lakeside Learning Center on Oak Avenue had a fancier name than building. It was a two-story building with brown clapboard siding on the first floor and tan vinyl siding on the second. There wasn’t a lake in sight.
The backyard was fenced with something a bit nicer than chain link but not much. Inside the fence was standard playground equipment: several small plastic playhouses, a sandbox on legs and a swing set. The building was located at the end of the block in a mixed-use zone. Across from the front door and on the left were single-person homes. To the right, directly across Wacker Avenue, was a sandwich shop, and kitty-corner was a psychic who could only see the future on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
A.L. took all this in as he beached his SUV in a no parking zone. Stepped over the yellow tape and made a quick stop to sign in with the cop who was at the door.
everybody who entered and exited the crime scene.
Once he was inside, his first impression was that the inside was much better than the outside. The interior had been gutted, erasing all signs that this had once been the downstairs of a 1960s two-story home. There was a large open space to his right. On the far wall hung a big-screen television and on the wall directly opposite the front door were rows of shelves, four high, stacked with books, games and small toys.
It was painted in a cheery yellow and white and the floor was a light gray tile. There was plenty of natural light coming through the front windows. The hallway he was standing in ran the entire length of the building and ended in a back door.
There was a small office area to his left. The door was open and there was a desk with a couple guest chairs. The space looked no bigger than ten feet by ten feet and was currently empty.
He sent Rena a text. Here.
A door at the far end of the hallway opened and Rena and a woman, middle-aged and white, dressed in khaki pants and a dark green button-down shirt, appeared. Rena waved at him and led the woman in his direction. “This is my partner, Detective McKittridge,” she said to the woman. She looked at A.L. “Alice Quest. Owner and director of Lakeside Learning Center.”
A.L. extended a hand to the woman. She shook it without saying anything.
“If you can excuse us,” Rena said to the woman. “I’d like to take a minute and bring Detective McKittridge up to speed.”
Alice nodded and stepped into the office. She pulled the door shut but not all the way. Rena motioned for A.L. to follow her. She crossed the big room and stopped under the television.
“What do we have?” he asked.
“Emma Whitman is a five-year-old female who has attended Lakeside Learning Center for the last two years. Her grandmother, Elaine Broadstreet, drops her off on Mondays and Wednesdays between 7:15 and 7:30.”
Today was Wednesday. “Did that happen today?”
“I have this secondhand, via her son-in-law who spoke to her minutes before I got here. It did.”
The hair on the back of A.L.’s neck stood up. When Traci had been little, she’d gone to day care. Not at Lakeside Learning Center. Her place had been bigger. “How many kids are here?” he asked.
“Forty. No one younger than three. No one older than five. They have two rooms, twenty kids to a room. Threes and early fours in one room. Older fours and fives in the other. Two staff members in each room. So four teachers. And a cook who works a few hours midday. And then there’s Alice. She fills in when a staff member needs a break or if someone is ill.”
Small operation. That didn’t mean bad. “Where are the other staff?”
“Majority of the kids get picked up by 5:30. According to Alice, she covers the center by herself from 5:30 to 6:00 most days to save on payroll costs. Emma Whitman is generally one of the last ones to be picked up. Everybody else was gone tonight and she’d already locked the outside door around 5:45 when the father pulled up and pounded on the door. At first, she assumed that somebody else had already picked up Emma. But once Troy called his wife and the grandmother, the only other people allowed to pick her up, she called Kara Wiese, one of Emma’s teachers, who said that Emma hadn’t been there all day. That was the first time Alice had thought about the fact that the parents had not reported an absence. She’d been covering for an ill staff member in the classroom that Emma is not assigned to.”
Perfect fucking storm.

Excerpted from No One Saw by Beverly Long, Copyright © 2020 by Beverly Long.
Published by MIRA Books

 

Order Your Copy Today!

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NO ONE SAW by Beverly Long: Author Spotlight and Excerpt

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