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The Taking

$14.99

  • This is a paperback version of the novel The Taking.
  • Shipping to USA and its territories only.
  • $4.95 flat rate shipping OR free shipping with orders over $25.
  • Autographed plus bonus book swag!

Twenty-four years ago, five-year-old Tori walked into her newborn brother's room in the middle of the night to see a shadowy figure abducting him.

The next morning, her baby brother’s lifeless body was found in the crib.

No one believes what she saw that night. Not her father. Not her mentally unstable mother. Not the police. In fact, there’s even some suspicion that Tori is somehow involved.

Years later, Tori is stuck in a job she hates, hiding from her past, afraid to let people get too close. Until her childhood friend is found with her dead newborn, claiming her “real” baby was taken by a shadowy figure.

Is the past coming back to haunt Tori? And will the truth set her free … or will it end up being more twisted than she ever could have imagined?

Want a sneak peek? Check out the first chapter right here. You can also read the story behind the story here.

For more on how all three series fit together, start here.

In a book club? You can download book discussion questions here.

The Taking

 

Read the First Chapter

Chapter 1

It started like any other day.

My alarm woke me, dragging me out of an exhausted, unsatisfying sleep. Between my night terrors and inability to quiet my mind, it was a constant battle to get enough rest. I stumbled to the kitchen to get the first pot of coffee started—I usually went through at least two … three, if it was a particularly trying day.

It was already feeling like a three-pot day.

I swept the empty wine bottles into the recycling bin and forced myself to drink a glass of water, all the while telling myself how I really needed to cut back on the nightly wine. Maybe that would make it easier to get up in the morning.

I pulled on my workout gear, laced up my shoes, and forced myself out the door for a run while the coffee brewed. I had to do it before my first cup, or I would never get it done. The moment I poured my coffee, I’d open my laptop. It was also why I had to hide my phone at night … to stop myself from constantly checking my near constant notifications. Once I started, I wouldn’t stop. And if I didn’t go for my regular run, by the end of the day, I would be a hot mess—a seething mass of anxiety, overwhelm, and stress.

Then, I would really have too much wine. And ice cream.

Returning home sweaty, but much calmer (running always helped me refocus my mind away from my mountain of to-dos), I poured myself a cup of coffee with cream, stuck a frosted brown sugar and cinnamon Pop-Tart in the toaster, jumped in the shower, and was finally ready to face my day.

With my coffee at my elbow, I munched on my Pop-Tart and began my morning as I always did—with a knot in my stomach as I perused the different social media sites before opening my email, Slack, and text. Being the digital marketing director for an organic skin care and make-up line was a little ironic, as personally, I was barely ever online. I had Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts with a handful of posts on each, but absolutely no pictures of me. Not even my LinkedIn had a professional photo, which I knew was a no-no, but I didn’t care. I had one very firm rule: No pictures of me online. Anywhere.

My no-picture rule wasn’t because I hated social media, marketing, or even getting my picture taken. It was for self-protection. In fact, if you took personal photos out of the equation, I might have even turned into some sort of influencer with active social media accounts. I liked the strategy of online marketing.

What I hated was the stress of it all. The constant notifications and pinging and dropping everything to put out fires. By the end of the day, I was completely exhausted, and all I wanted to do was collapse on the couch with my customary glass of wine.

But I was good at it, and it paid well. So, despite the nagging feeling deep inside that I wasn’t living the life I wanted, I sucked it up and did it anyway.

I had barely logged onto Twitter when my phone started blowing up. Already? Mondays were the worst. Even though I pretty much never took a day off and always at least checked in over the weekend, not everyone else did, so a lot of times, Monday morning became “deal with the weekend issues” morning. I sighed, rubbing my temples as I already felt the beginnings of a stress headache forming at the back of my eyes. Definitely a three-pot day.

I reached for my phone, dreading whatever calamity I was going to have to drop everything to take care of, despite being barely halfway through the report that was due no later than 3:00 p.m. I probably should have done more on it over the weekend, I thought. Ugh. What had I been thinking?

In retrospect, I wished it had been a dreaded work-related fire.

Tess, my assistant and friend, had texted. Tori, have you seen the news yet? What is going on here in Riverview? I thought all the weird stuff only happened in Redemption. That poor baby.

I froze, staring at the screen. That poor baby.

No, I just sat down, I texted back, my fingers numb and clumsy, misspelling two words. What’s going on?

It’s probably some weird accident, I told myself. Or maybe a baby has been kidnapped.

Which would be tragic, of course. Tragic and newsworthy.

But still completely different from what had happened to me.

As I waited for Tess to respond, I opened the website for The Riverview Times.

The front screen loaded as Tess’s response came through.

Some woman is claiming someone kidnapped her real baby and replaced it with a changeling. So, she ‘had’ to kill it.

All the blood seemed to drain from my body. My vision darkened, narrowing to a pinprick until the only thing I could see was that one sentence. Two words kept repeating themselves over and over in my head until they were all I was conscious of:

Not again.

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The Taking

 

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