TITLE: Dying Is Not An Option
GENRE: Crime Fiction
Santa Barbara Police Officer Claire Hartman relies on control, courage and an unwavering will to survive to get through her shift—bonus points if she gets to draw on her sardonic wit instead of her sidearm. But when she becomes the target of a vengeful gang member, Claire wrestles with relinquishing control and learning whom to trust as she hunts the man who’s sworn to kill her.
Dying is not an option.
Claire silently repeated her mantra and let out a puff of breath that blew her bangs out of her eyes. Usually when she whispered the words she held a gun in her hands. It helped balance the odds.
Field Training Officers built their reputations on being unflappable, but Claire Hartman had to admit; shaking down an angry elephant seal wasn’t covered in the Police Academy playbook. Now, as Claire steered her patrol car next to the Dolphin Fountain, her headlights raked across a gigantic bull elephant seal trying to eat the bumper off a parked Harbor Patrol Truck.
“Holy s***,” Claire offered her official assessment.
State Street collided with Cabrillo Boulevard at the foot of Stearn’s Wharf by the Dolphin Fountain. During the day, tourists posed for photographs next to the Santa Barbara City landmark, capturing the waving palm trees that lined the bike path in the background. By night, lovers sat along the edge of the burbling water and whispered words of endearment to each other. At present, the venerable landmark looked like center ring in a circus gone terribly awry. The seal arched his back and roared, his fleshy proboscis rippling as the decibels screamed past it.
The conundrum; look like an idiot in front of her new trainee or admit that after six years on the Santa Barbara Police Department, some things still took her by surprise. Claire fingered the silver chevrons on her collar that signified her new position. Great.