Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday's Special is...Valley of the Lost!

VALLEY OF THE LOST by Vicki Delany

In the bucolic mountain town of Trafalgar, B.C. a young woman is found dead of a heroin overdose, her baby at her side. Marks of restraint indicate that it might not have been an accident. Before the police can discover who killed her, and why, they first have to find out who she was.

As the case becomes increasingly personal for them both, Probationary Constable Molly Smith and Sergeant John Winters are plunged into the strange netherworld of a young woman who didn’t exist and a town that was happy to let her remain that way.

Valley of the Lost is the second in a traditional mystery series featuring Constable Smith, Sergeant Winters, and the town in the shadow of the glacier, Trafalgar, British Columbia.

To buy Valley of the Lost, CLICK HERE

Click to visit, Vicki's website, or her blog - Type M for Murder.


The setting sun had slipped behind the mountains, and in the bottom of the valley, long ago carved out of ancient rock by the swift-moving river, the summer’s night was hot and close. The scent of cedar and pine, decaying undergrowth, rich earth filled the air, and further up the street a pack of young people, sounding as if they’d already hit the bars, laughed at nothing at all.

Lucy Smith, known to everyone as Lucky, stood at the back door of the Trafalgar Women’s Support Center to enjoy a rare moment of peace before walking to her car. It had been a long, hectic day, but a good one, and she was pleased with herself. Today she’d accomplished something. For once, the women seemed to be paying attention to what she’d been trying to teach them.

Lucky drove an ancient Pontiac Firefly. It was parked at the back, in a small gravel clearing chopped out of wild grass and weeds up against the bottom of the mountain. As she unlocked the door car, a soft cry came from the bushes. A cat? Lucky climbed into her car, paying it no further attention. The heat of the day still clung to the worn seats, and as she put the key into the ignition, she rolled down the window to try to catch a bit of a breeze. She was about to turn the key, to start up the engine, when she heard it again.

Definitely not a cat.

How odd. It sounded like a baby.

Lucky reached into the glove compartment and pulled out a flashlight. She flicked the light on as she stepped out of the car, and pointed it into the dense brush beyond the parking area. The thin beam illuminated dead leaves, broken branches, grey and white rocks. A single black sock. A blue can of Kokanee beer shone in the light.

A small yellow package, lying on the ground about ten yards inside the woods.

Lucky tried to focus; the bundle shifted, and cried out.

She pushed her way through the undergrowth, heedless of branches reaching for her face and scratching her bare arms. She dropped to her knees, pushing a sharp stone into her flesh. She shifted to get off the rock, and shone her light into the folds of the yellow blanket. A scrunched up white face blinked back at her, trying to shut out the sudden brightness. Tiny fists waved in the air.

“Oh, my heavens. You poor thing.” Lucky stuffed the flashlight into the elastic waistband of her snort, baggy pants and reached for the baby. “What are you doing out here all by yourself?” She peeled back the blanket. The baby was small, no more than a few months old. He, Lucky guessed it was a he as it was dressed in a blue sleeper, opened his mouth and yelled. He was clean and at first glace appeared to be healthy. His clear eyes were dark blue, his cheeks pink and chubby, his head bald, and his cry lusty.

“We’d better get you inside. They call me Lucky, but you’re the lucky one. Good thing I found you, and not a bear or a cougar. Where’s your mom?”

Lucky gathered the baby into her arms, and stood up. The flashlight dropped to the ground and rolled over, throwing its light deeper into the woods, touching the edges of a dark shape underneath a large red cedar. With a pounding heart, Lucky scooped the flashlight up. She clutched the baby, now screaming with gusto, to her chest and took a few hesitant steps forward.

A woman lay on her back. Her eyes were open wide, but she wasn’t looking at the branches swaying overhead or the stars barely visible trough the thick canopy of branches, leaves and needles. Shifting the baby in her right arm, Lucky crouched down and touched the base of the woman’s neck. Her skin was cold, and nothing moved under Lucky’s shaking fingers.


Constable Molly Smith’s boot slipped in a puddle of vomit. Instinctively her head jerked back to help her keep her balance and the man’s fist connected with her mouth. Her head spun, and she tasted hot sweet blood, but she managed to keep her footing. She ducked in case a second blow was coming. Dave Evans grabbed the man from behind and wrenched his arms back. “That’s enough of that.”

The man was big, about six foot three with the weight to match, and arms bulging with muscle and tattoos. His hair was long, thin, gray, and greasy. The moment Evans touched him, all the aggression fled. “Hey, I’m sorry, buddy. I didn’t mean to hit the lady. It was an accident, right? Can’t we forget all about it?”

“I don’t think so,” Evans said, snapping handcuffs on meaty wrists. “You okay, Constable Smith?”

She touched her lip. Her fingers came away streaked with blood. “No harm done,” she said, inwardly seething. Nothing Evans would like more than to think he’d saved her from the big, bad guy.


Please answer the following question for a chance to win a free copy of VALLEY OF THE LOST. Or, pop in and chat with Vicki!!
If Evans likes to think he’s saved her from the big, bad guy, what does Constable Molly Smith like to think about Evans?


Sarah Laurenson said...

Good Morning!

And welcome to the Grill!!!

Pull up a chair and let's give a round of hello to our roastee this morning - Vicki!

Vicki Delany said...

I'm excited and happy to be here. Roast away!

Sarah Laurenson said...

I'll get some coffee brewing over here. It's a bit early in my morning though I know for some people this is an awesome time of day.

How's the writing been going, Vicki?

Sarah Laurenson said...

Oh and continuing yesterday's theme - that's a great title and book cover.

Vicki Delany said...

This is going to be an incredibly busy year. I have Gold Digger: A Klondike Mystery coming out in May from Rendezvous Crime (A Canadian publisher) and then the next Molly Smith book, Winter of Secrets, in December from Poisoned Pen. I am now working on the Molly Smith #4, and the second Klondike book. Keeps me out of trouble.

Sarah Laurenson said...

You sure are busy keeping those fingers tapping. That's a lot of work. Maybe you should take a load off and come sit on the gri..., er this nice seat we have reserved for you.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Been wandering over to your website and your blog. Cool stuff!

I notice, though, you didn't invite your fans to the Roast. I promise if you invite them, we'll save something juicy just for them.

Vicki Delany said...

Did you look at the trailer? It was done for me by my friend, the author Charles Benoit, who works at an advertising agency. I love it - it's short and to the point. Only 38 seconds but it says all it needs to say. It on my web page and on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOJ4m391LZQ . I'll post something on the blog right now!

Chris Eldin said...

Hi! I just wanted to say good morning! Will read the excerpt and be back later....

(Trailer sounds intriguing...must see that too!)

Sarah Laurenson said...

Wow! I love that trailer. I haven't watched very many, but this looks like something your average author can come up with - and ask the computer nerd kid next door to put together.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Vicki, just dropping by to say hi, as you know I always enjoy your books! Sounds like you're having fun this morning!

Sarah Laurenson said...

What's your favorite part of Molly's personality?

Theresa de Valence said...

Hello Vicki (and Sarah),

Your post on DL was intriguing enough that I came to check out you and the site. Site looks interesting and your book snippet tasty. In answer to your skill testing question (now that I can no longer reference any character's name) is: my guess is that the young policewoman would rather the male officer stuffed his protection back into his trousers ;).

I'm looking forward to reading this book.

Theresa de Valence

Vicki Delany said...

Thanks Jan and Theresa for your comments. My favourite part of Molly's personality? Interesting question. She wants to be a cop, and worries that she isn't tough enough to make it. Dave Evans and his ilk are there to leep reminding her that she isn't up to the job, and her mother wants her to quit, but there are people on her side. A lot of the series will be about Molly growing into the job - or not.

Sarah Laurenson said...

When I was getting my degree in Law Enforcement, my dad kept predicting I'd get a desk job or work dispatch. I thought, at the time, that he didn't think I was capable, but later realized he wanted me to have a safe job.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I owe, I owe, so off to work I go. But I'll be back (if the computer at work cooperates) to see how things progress.

Have fun, grab a drink and nosh.

donnas said...

Great post. I loved the excerpt.

Debby (Deborah Turrell) Atkinson said...

Love the trailer. I'm hooked, and will be reading the book. Tell me why you departed from your last series.

Carol said...

This books sounds really good! I would love to read it! Molly thinks Evans is like most cops who don't realize that a woman cop can take care of herself and do her job as well as he can.
Carol M
mittens0831 AT aol.com

Vicki Delany said...

Deborah asks why I departed from my last series - I didn't have a series before this one, I wrote standalones. I like writing standalones quite a lot, I think a standalone gives you more scope for great dramatic, life-altering events. Whereas a series allows you to draw out the characters more, from one book to another. I am enjoying seeing where Molly and John Winters and their crowd want to go next. I switched to a series I guess because I felt that I had a lot to say - particuarly about the setting of the series.

Vicki Delany said...

Quiet this afternoon. Sarah, are you still in Law Enforcement?

Sarah Laurenson said...

Left that almost 20 years ago. I've been working in software ever since. Much better perks.

Alex said...

Hi, I loved In the Shadow of the Glacier, when is Valley of the Lost due out? Looking forward to reading it.
Nice trailer, thats a great idea.

Vicki Delany said...

Alex, I'm glad you liked In the Shadow of the Glacier. Valley of the Lost is being released TODAY! You won't have too long to wait as the next book in the series, Winter of Secrets, will be out in December

Vicki Delany said...

In my previous life I was a computer programmer, then a systems integrator, and then a systems analyst.

Alex said...

Quite the change from Business Analyst to writer. Congratulations Vicki. I will keep my eye out for Winter of Secrets, and whatever comes next.

Sarah Laurenson said...

After the degree in Law Enforcement (and 8 years of being a campus cop), I got a degree in Physics and started programming. I love working on satellites the best, but haven't actually gotten to do that in a few years.

McKoala said...

Beautiful locale. I love BC. Intriguing story set up too.

Jackie B. said...

Great except. I would love to read the whole book. SOunds like my kind of series. As for Molly's thoughts of Evan...she wishes he would not try to be such a macho jerk and accept the fact that she can hold her own. She is quite the independent woman but wouldn't mind sharing a deeper relationship with Evan if only he would give her credit where credit is due.

Vicki Delany said...

Ah, Jackie. You're on the right track... but wrong guy!

laughingwolf said...

welcome vicki, hi sarah :)

i lived in bc for some 15 years, not counting uni time ;)

methinks molly believes evans is just another trog, the spawn of ogopogo and a sidehill gouger! :O lol

Sarah Laurenson said...

LW, you're going to have me scrambling for a dictionary and I don't think it'll help much. ;-)

It's almost time to wrap this up and take some leftovers home. Vicki will choose a winner soon.

Hope everyone had fun today.

laughingwolf said...

sarah, ogopogo is the loch ness monster equivalent in okanagan lake, and a sidehill gouger is a critter of the rockies, so called cuz on one side of its body the legs are shorter'n the other side, so's it won't roll off the hills as it digs ;) lol

Vicki Delany said...

Great fun. If I have to choose a winner, it is Jackie B. As I said, good idea, but wrong guy. She deserves to find out who it is!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Congrats to Jackie B! Please get in touch with Vicki to claim your prize.

Thank you Vicki for being a good sport and playing with us today.

And thanks for the details there, LW. That helps a lot!

Good night one and all!

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

I missed the fun, dammit. I love B.C. My dad lives in Penticton and we spent a good many hours horseback riding through the mountains.

Molly would like to think of Evans under her? Snork.

laughingwolf said...

grats jackie b :D

any time, sarah :P lol

Jackie B. said...

Thanks to everyone for letting me play along. This is my first win on this site. I will be contacting Vicki soon. Thanks again for hosting such fun giveaways!

Carol said...

Congrats, Jackie!
Carol M