Mary Burton VULNERABLE image hi res



It’s just two days and about seven hours until VULNERABLE goes on sale!  I’ve enjoyed counting down with you all to forensic specialist Georgia Morgan’s story and hearing the reaction from winners as they received their books.


So, here it is, the seventh and last of my Grab Bag Giveaways. This one has a much shorter time for you to enter.  It ends at midnight Monday, 3/28. That’s when VULNERABLE is officially published and ready to go on sale when stores open on Tuesday. And, if you pre-ordered, it’ll be waiting for you at your favorite bookstore or will be about to appear on your doorstep.


Enough said, except for two things—thank you for all the great feedback on my Morgan Family novels and here’s a new excerpt. This one’s from—of course—VULNERABLE.  Enjoy!


“Did good tonight, kid,” he said. “The crowd loved you.” He pushed a fresh glass with ice and diet soda toward her.


She took a long sip. “Thanks for letting me share the stage. The day job has been crazy lately and I haven’t had much time. It was fun.”


“So I hear big brother gave you a cold case.”


Big brother was Deke Morgan, who now ran the Nashville Police Homicide Department. He was joined by her other brother, Rick Morgan, who also worked in the same unit. Third brother, Alex, was the outlier. He worked for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, or TBI.


“I should be more careful when I ask for extra work.” She scooped up a handful of nuts from a bowl on the bar and popped them in her mouth. “It’s taken me weeks to read through the files.”


“Deke tells me Dalton Marlowe is putting the squeeze on everyone.”


Dalton Marlowe was a very rich man whose son was one of three teens who went into Percy Warner Park five years ago. The students, from an exclusive high school called St. Vincent, went hiking in the southwest Nashville park that covered twenty-six hundred acres of wooded land crisscrossed by a dozen backroad trails, bike paths, and dead end roads. Their plan was to collect data for a science project and return home by dark.


When the teens had not reported in that night, search crews had been dispatched. At the end of the second day, volunteers found one of the kids, Amber Ryder, at the bottom of a ravine. Her arm was badly broken and she suffered a head injury. When she woke up in the hospital the next day, she swore she had no memory of what had happened in the woods. Search crews continued to look for weeks but the two other students, Bethany Reed and Mike Marlowe, were never found.


Mr. Marlowe has been pressing the Missing Persons Unit relentlessly for answers. This year, he again made a sizable donation to the police foundation, a kind of gesture that expects a return. Marlowe was clear that he didn’t want to hear any more bullshit theories about his son Mike and Bethany running off like a modern-day Romeo and Juliet.


“So Deke’s balls are in a vise with the mayor?”


She shrugged. “He’s getting a hell of a lot of pressure from City Hall, but it doesn’t look like it’s fazed him. He hopes to kill two birds with one stone. Give me a cold case that I’ve been clamoring for and pacify the powers that be. It’s a win all the way around.”



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