Skip to main content

Excerpt - Holiday Havoc by Terri Reed and Stephanie Newton

Camy here: Because I know you're not yet tired of Christmas stories, make sure you get this before it's no longer on the shelves!

Holiday Havoc
Terri Reed and Stephanie Newton

Mayhem and mistletoe share the holiday in these two suspenseful stories

Yuletide Sanctuary by Terri Reed

A cry for help shatters youth counselor Sean Matthews's quiet Christmas night. He saves Lauren Curtis from her attacker—for now. But the vengeful man on her trail won't be held at bay for long….

Christmas Target by Stephanie Newton

She hadn't wanted the contest "prize" in the first place. But when police officer Maria Fuentes arrives for the holiday vacation she won, she finds much more than expected. Her "date"—handsome weatherman Ben Storm—is in danger, and Maria is the only protector he'll trust.

Excerpt of chapter one:

From the top of a sandy berm skirting the beach, the man barely noticed the bitter cold or the churning surf of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Oregon. His focus remained on his target.

A feral smile curved his scarred mouth. He couldn't have planned their reunion better. Seemed fate was on his side. Finally. His prey, who'd ruined his life, was alone and vulnerable. Just how he liked his women.

She was just up ahead, walking down the deserted beach with a sketch pad tucked under her arm. Her dark hair whipped about her head in the chilling December wind.

Time was of the essence. It would only be a matter of hours before his ruse was discovered.

His pulse sped up as he shuffled through the tall scrub grass, keeping his gaze fixed on her. On Lauren.

The burning need to avenge his pain seethed white-hot in his veins. Patience, he cautioned himself. He had to capture her quickly and carefully in case some nosy busybody looking out the window of their insulated, Christmas-festooned little home decided to interfere.

He stuck his hand inside the pocket of his long, black leather coat and fingered the syringe of ketamine he'd stolen from a veterinarian clinic outside Burbank. He'd intended to use it on Lauren's mother. Unfortunately, the old bat hadn't been home when he'd broken in. But he'd learned where to find Lauren just the same while tossing the place. He'd then stolen a motorcycle and had ridden straight through from L.A. to this sleepy little Oregon town.

And now Lauren was only a hundred yards away from him, totally unaware that her life was about to end in a drawn-out masterpiece of torture. The familiar thrill of the kill rushed through his body. His breath quickened and the sound of it mingled with the roar of the surf.

Rushing water greedily devoured the beach. The rising tide ebbed and flowed, closer and closer to where she walked. Like him. Closer and closer.

A hulking rock loomed ahead with barnacle crusted tide pools at its base visible in the waning evening light. The waves swelled as the wind picked up. The salty air dampened his clothes and filled his nostrils. The man reached the flat sand of the beach, his scarred legs protesting the excursion. He ignored the pain as he pushed himself to move faster.

Soon, very soon, the plans he'd meticulously plotted over the past five years would come to fruition. Revenge would taste sweet.

As sweet as Lauren's tears.

A woman's sharp, desperate cry broke through Sean Matthews's jogger's trance.

His heart lurched and beach sand sprayed, stinging his shins as his long stride shortened abruptly. Mind racing through possible emergencies, he swung his attention toward the bluff above him.

In the twilight of dusk, it was difficult to spot anything beyond the interior lights that randomly dotted the windows and the strings of colored Christmas lights decorating the eaves of the resorts and cottages of the small town of Cannon Beach. High berms covered with tall grass provided a barrier between the buildings and the ocean. He didn't see anyone.

His gaze scanned the coastline, taking in Haystack Rock, a 235-foot monolith jutting out of the surf. The rising tide stirred the cold swells into white, foam-capped waves that rushed up toward the dryer sand and then quickly retreated, leaving wet, dark patterns in their wake. Mist blowing in on the evening breeze dampened Sean's hair and cooled his sweat until a chill chased down his spine.

Overhead, a gull's caw echoed the scream he'd heard.

He frowned. He hadn't imagined the cry, had he?

He scanned the area once again.


His gaze snagged on two figures up ahead. A woman ran through the tide pools toward Sean. A man, dressed in a long black coat with a black beanie covering his head and a scarf wrapped around most of his face, was chasing her. The woman slipped, landing hard on rocks. She cried out.

As the man lunged for the woman, something glinted in his hand. She swung her arms, trying to fend him off. She lifted her head, her gaze seeming to bore right into Sean.

"Help! Help me!" she cried.

Sean's gut clenched. This was no couple romping through wavelets. The woman was in trouble. Reflex-ively, he reached inside his sweatshirt pocket for his cell phone but came up empty. Frustration spiraled through him. He'd left the thing in his truck parked at the edge of the public access road.

Knowing he was the only help available, Sean sprang into action, his feet thwacking against the sand as he ran toward the man. "Hey, hey! Leave her alone."

The man paused and swung his head toward Sean. Though Sean couldn't make out the attacker's features, there was no mistaking the malice in his dark eyes before he scrambled away and ran in the opposite direction, moving with an odd but fast gait toward the sandbank. He quickly disappeared into the tall grass.

Sean navigated a slippery, algae-covered tide pool to where the woman, seated in a puddle, was violently struggling to yank her pinned ankle from a rock crevice. She was petite with delicate features and brunette hair falling past her shoulders. She visibly shivered in her wet pink sport jacket and sweatpants.

Lord, show me how to help this woman.

Sean knelt down next to her and met her gaze. Her toffee-colored eyes brimmed with panic and wariness. "It's going to be okay," he said. "Do you have a cell phone with you?"

"I do." She reached into her jacket pocket and came up empty. "It must have fallen out." Panic echoed in her words as she continued to wrestle with her trapped foot.

Calling 911 would have to wait until they reached his truck.

"Let me try to get your foot out."

"Did you see him?" She stopped struggling and braced her hands against the mussel-encrusted lava rock.

Sean searched her face. "That man who attacked you? Yes."

She lifted a hand to her forehead. "I didn't imagine him."

Okay, that was weird. "He was real. Do you know him?"

She shook her head, her dark bangs sticking to her high forehead. Even wet and bedraggled, she was pretty in a natural, girl-next-door way. "No. I mean, yes. No. It just couldn't be." She glanced over her shoulder. "Please, tell me he's gone. Of course he's gone. He's in prison. No way could he have gotten out." She started to rock slightly.

She wasn't making sense; maybe the trauma of being attacked had been too much for her. The need to take care of her rose sharply in Sean. He fought the inclination. He'd come to this small community so he wouldn't have to take responsibility for anyone ever again, but he couldn't fight who he was any more than he could have let that man attack her without stepping in.

Sean had to set her free and get her help. Turning his focus to her foot, he noticed that her ankle was trapped between a deep red starfish, jagged black rock and white barnacles. Using his fingers for leverage, he pried at one of the prickly limbs of the starfish, his nose filling with the pungent scent of decay and brine as he pulled. The sharp, pointy bumps of the outer body bit into his cold fingers as he tugged and twisted, but the creature wouldn't budge.

Frustration and disappointment chomped through him. He contemplated his next move. Water crashed over the bed of lava rock, filling the various pools as the tide rolled in. Soon the whole area would be completely under water. He wrested a mussel shell free from the rock and sharpened its edge against the coarse stone.

The chatter of the woman's teeth echoed in his ears. He paused before pulling off the sweatshirt covering his running T-shirt. "Take off your wet jacket and put this on."

Her pale hand, the fingertips smudged black, clutched at the neck of her fleece jacket. "I can't."

"I'll help you." He leaned toward her and reached for the zipper.

She drew back with a squawk.

He held up his hands. "Look, I'm not going to hurt you. I promise. Do you have something on under your jacket?"

"A tank top. But that doesn't mean I'm going to take off my jacket." Her brown eyes flashed with warning.

Sean sighed, a mixture of empathy and irritation running hot in his veins. Modesty shouldn't be a priority at a time like this. "You're soaked and freezing. A prime candidate for hypothermia. Here." He pushed his sweatshirt into her hands. "Put this on while I try to get this starfish to let go."

He turned away from her and quickly forced the sharpened edge of the shell beneath one of the rays. He needed to hurry. The sun had begun its descent beneath the horizon. Soon it would be dark and he'd be working blind.

Next to him, he could hear her struggling. The frustrated exhales. The sharp gasps of air.

"You okay?" he asked.

She huffed. "No. I guess I'll need your help." Resignation echoed in her words. "The zipper's…well, stuck."

He turned toward her again, fiddling with the zipper until it gave way. Her right hand braced against the rock, she lifted her left arm so Sean could yank off the jacket. As he moved to pull the rest of the light coat away, she grabbed his sweatshirt from her lap and held it against the bright yellow tank top.

Why was she so modest, especially in the midst of an emergency?

Sean quickly pulled the wet jacket from her right arm.

Then he knew.

Red, puckered flesh marred the skin running from her forearm to the top of her shoulder and disappeared into her sleeveless shirt. He sucked in a quick breath.

Please, Father, not again.

Lauren Curtis dropped her gaze to the dark, porous lava rock.

She couldn't stand to see the pity and revulsion her scars always generated. And this big, thoughtful man was no different from everyone else. Precisely why no one, save her doctors, was allowed to see her ugliness.

Oh, Lord, why did this have to happen?

As she had a thousand times before, she sent the question upward. But for the first time in five years, she wasn't referring to the horrible nightmare that had derailed her life and killed her dreams. Now she referred to this moment in time.

When her nightmare had reappeared.

She bit her lip. But it just couldn't be.

Once again she glanced over her shoulder, unsurprised that no one was there. The man who had attacked her wasn't Adrian. Adrian was locked up for the rest of his life. She'd been reassured of that over and over again, every time she called the police in a panic, when she'd thought she was being followed or that someone had broken into her home. She'd called so many times in the last five years that it was embarrassing, but their reply never changed. Adrian was in jail. She was safe. So why didn't she feel safe?

She trembled and quickly pulled her rescuer's sweatshirt over her head, then tugged it down to her waist, out of the water's reach. His scent wafted from the well-worn material. Spicy and very, very masculine. She snuggled into the too-large sweatshirt, the fleece inside soft and warm against her cold skin, and prayed he could help her.

"Thank you for giving up your sweatshirt," she whispered, glancing up. She met his clear blue gaze, so like a summer sky. He regarded her with cautious kindness.

"No problem. I'm Sean Matthews."

She liked his name almost as much as she liked his deep baritone voice. "I'm Lauren. Lauren Curtis."

"Hi, Lauren." He held her gaze for a moment before turning his attention back to her predicament.

In the waning light, she watched his arms bunch and flex as his large, capable hands worked at freeing her ankle. She couldn't even feel pain, her flesh was so numb from the frigid water.

"What were you doing out here?" he asked.

"I wanted to sketch the sunset. Then Ad—" She couldn't bring herself to say his name. "That man came charging down the beach at me."

"I saw something in his hand. What was it?"

Lauren thought for a moment. "I'm not sure. I didn't get a good look. I think it may have been a knife."

Sean's jaw tightened. "Do you live around here?"

"Yes. My house is just up the way."

"That guy may have seen you walking alone and followed you," Sean said. "We'll need to report the attack as soon as possible."

Did her assailant know where she lived? Fresh fear congealed in her limbs, turning her blood to ice.

The starfish shifted. Involuntarily, she cried out as her ankle throbbed. To keep her mind from the pain and fear, she asked, "Do you live around here?"

He nodded. "Recently moved."

So he wasn't a longtime local or tourist. A transplant, like herself. "Where are you from?"

He hesitated. His lips pressed together for a moment. "Portland."

"It was a blessing that you were out jogging," Lauren stated.

Was he the type who believed in fate, or did he believe, as she did, that God was the only one in control? Either way, he gave no reply.

The pressure on her ankle eased up the second time the starfish moved.

Sean sat back on his haunches. "Better?"


"Can you move your foot at all?"

Pushing her hands against the rocks, she tried to pull herself free. She let out a guttural groan of pain. Her foot remained wedged in the crevice. "I…I can't." She was tired and cold, and frustration beat a steady rhythm at her temple.

Sean nodded. "Relax. I'll keep trying." He continued to pry at the starfish.

Chilled to the core, Lauren realized parts of her were numb. What she wouldn't do for a nice warm shower and her big down comforter.


Startled, she blinked and realized she'd rested back onto the rock. Propping herself up on her elbows, she said, "I'm sorry. I'm getting your sweatshirt dirty."

The corner of Sean's mouth lifted in a half smile. "Forget the shirt. Just concentrate on staying upright. I know you're probably in shock, but I really need you to stay focused here."

Lauren studied him as he worked to release her ankle. He was exceptionally handsome with his windblown, thick, dark auburn hair shorn close to his ears, and his strong jaw shadowed by a late-day beard.

Snap out of it, Lauren. He wasn't Prince Charming and she wasn't a damsel in distress. She stifled a scoff. Okay, maybe she was in distress—or more likely hypothermia—but this was no fairy tale. She'd stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago.

Her eyes met Sean's raised brow. "It's getting dark," she said inanely.

The sun had disappeared over the horizon and dusk was rapidly turning into night. The roar of the waves echoed across the shore. Normally, Lauren loved the beach at night. She'd found that was the time when she felt most connected to God. Being attacked and then trapped in a tide pool had put a damper on things, however.



Print book:
Barnes and Noble
Books a Million



Popular Posts

Laura’s Apricot Shell Shawl knitting pattern

I usually have a knitting project in mind when I write it into one of my books, but Laura’s apricot-colored shawl just kind of appeared upon the page as I was writing the first scene of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 4: Betrayer , and it surprised even me. I immediately went to my yarn stash to find a yarn for it, and I searched through my antique knitting books to find some stitch patterns. I made her an elegant wool shawl she could wear at home. The shawl ended up tagging along with Laura into the next book, Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 5: Prisoner , where it imparts some comfort to her in her trying circumstances. The two stitch patterns are both from the same book, The Lady’s Assistant, volume 2 by Mrs. Jane Gaugain, published in 1842 . A couple excessively clever and creative knitters might have knit these patterns in the Regency era, but they would have only passed them around by word of mouth or scribbled “recipes” to friends or family, and it wouldn’t have been widely use

Phoebe’s Muffatees knitting pattern

In Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 4: Betrayer , Phoebe wears a pair of lace muffatees, or gauntlets/arm-warmers that hide a rather deadly surprise. :) I actually got the idea of having her wear muffatees because I saw a lace manchette pattern in Miss Watts’ Ladies’ Knitting and Netting Book , published in 1840, page 20. However, after doing some research, I found that they were called muffatees in the Regency era, and the term manchette did not arise until a few years later. They were essentially arm-warmers worn under those long sleeves on day dresses, which were usually made of muslin too thin to be very warm. I decided to knit Phoebe’s muffatees using a Leaf Pattern originally suggested for a purse in Mrs. Gaugain’s book, The Lady’s Assistant, volume 1, 5th edition published in 1842, pages 234-237. I think there was an error and row 36 in the original pattern was duplicated erroneously, so I have adjusted the pattern. The original manchette pattern called for “fine” needles a

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 13

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series. Year of the Dog serial novel by Camy Tang Mari Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year. While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier. Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Auntie Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Chri

One-Skein Pyrenees Scarf knitting pattern

I got into using antique patterns when I was making the scarf my hero wears in my Regency romance, The Spinster’s Christmas . I wanted to do another pattern which I think was in use in the Regency period, the Pyrenees Knit Scarf on pages 36-38 of The Lady's Assistant for Executing Useful and Fancy Designs in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Work, volume 1, by Jane Gaugain, published in 1840. She is thought to be the first person to use knitting abbreviations, at least in a published book, although they are not the same abbreviations used today (our modern abbreviations were standardized by Weldon’s Practical Needlework in 1906). Since the book is out of copyright, you can download a free PDF copy of the book at I found this to be a fascinating look at knitting around the time of Jane Austen’s later years. Although the book was published in 1840, many of the patterns were in use and passed down by word of mouth many years before that, so it’s possible these are


「ひとり寿司」をブログに連載します! ひとり寿司 寿司シリーズの第一作 キャミー・タング 西島美幸 訳 スポーツ狂のレックス・坂井 —— いとこのマリコが数ヶ月後に結婚することにより、「いとこの中で一番年上の独身女性」という内輪の肩書を「勝ち取る」ことについては、あまり気にしていない。コントロールフリークの祖母を無視するのは容易だ —— しかし、祖母は最終通告を出した —— マリコの結婚式までにデート相手を見つけなければ、無慈悲な祖母は、レックスがコーチをしている女子バレーボールチームへの資金供給を切ると言う。 ダグアウトにいる選手全員とデートに出かけるほど絶望的なわけではない。レックスは、バイブルスタディで読んだ「エペソの手紙」をもとに「最高の男性」の条件の厳しいリストを作った。バレーボールではいつも勝つ —— ゲームを有利に進めれば、必ず成功するはずだ。 そのとき兄は、クリスチャンではなく、アスリートでもなく、一見何の魅力もないエイデンを彼女に引き合わせる。 エイデンは、クリスチャンではないという理由で離れていったトリッシュという女の子から受けた痛手から立ち直ろうとしている。そして、レックスが(1)彼に全く興味がないこと、(2)クリスチャンであること、(3)トリッシュのいとこであることを知る。あの狂った家族とまた付き合うのはごめんだ。まして、偽善的なクリスチャンの女の子など、お断り。彼はマゾヒストじゃない。 レックスは時間がなくなってきた。いくら頑張っても、いい人は現れない。それに、どこへ行ってもエイデンに遭遇する。あのリストはどんどん長くなっていくばかり —— 過去に掲載済みのストーリーのリンクはこちらです。 *** 36 誰かと結婚するとしたら、きっと駆け落ちだ。 クスクス笑うマリコのブライズメイドの後をついて、レックスはよろめきながらパゴダブリッジ・レストランに入った。泣きわめくティキの隣で四時間立ちっぱなし——マリコはレックスを列の最後に入れてくれたから、ありがたい——抜歯と同じぐらい喜ばしい経験だった。ノボケインなしで。 (ウェディングそのものは一時間だけ。よかった)リハーサルも終わり、あとはオリバーを見つけ、四時間ぶりに椅子に座って、祖母のおごりで高価なリハーサルディナー(結婚式リハーサ

Year of the Dog serial novel

About Year of the Dog : A month or two ago, I remembered an old manuscript I had completed but which hadn’t sold. It was a contemporary romance meant for Zondervan, titled Year of the Dog . The book had gone into the pipeline and I even got another title ( Bad Dog ) and a cover for it, but eventually my editor at the time decided she didn’t want to publish it, for various reasons. She instead requested a romantic suspense, and so I cannibalized some of the characters from Year of the Dog and thrust them into the next book I wrote, which was Protection for Hire . Honestly, I didn’t take a lot from Year of the Dog to put in Protection for Hire , aside from character names and a few relationship ties. I was originally thinking I’d post Year of the Dog as-is on my blog as a free read, but then it occurred to me that I could revamp it into a romantic suspense and change the setting to Hawaii. It would work out perfectly as (yet another) prequel to the Warubozu series and introduc

Quiz from Lady Wynwood's Spies #6 - question 5

The latest volume in my Christian Regency epic serial novel just released, so I thought I’d post a few of my favorite passages from Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 6: Martyr . “There is no need for you to apologize.” A sliver of her normal self seemed to return to her, and she lifted an eyebrow at him. “Yes, well, you should not have interrupted my argument with the tree.” “I could not stand by and watch you bully a defenseless beechwood.” QUIZ: Who is Keriah speaking to, Michael or Mr. Benjamin? EXTRA CREDIT: Why was Keriah apologizing to him? This exchange was an unexpected point of levity in an otherwise pretty heavy scene. It surprised me when I was writing it. Start the series with Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer ! A Christian Historical Adventure set in Regency England with slow-burn romance and a supernatural twist Part one in an epic-length serial novel She met him again by shooting him. After four seasons and unmarried because she is taller than mos

Chinese Take-Out and Sushi for One

Captain’s Log, Supplemental My agent sent me an article from Publisher’s Weekly that discussed this incident: Chinese Take-Out Spawns Christian Controversy And here’s also a blog post that talks about it in more detail: The Fighting 44s This is Soong-Chan Rah’s blog: The PCS blog In sum: Apparently Zondervan (yes, my publisher), who has partnered with Youth Specialties, had put out a youth leaders skit that had stereotypical Asian dialogue, which offended many Christian Asian Americans. In response to the outcry, Zondervan/Youth Specialities put out a sincere apology and is not only freezing the remaining stock of the book, but also reprinting it and replacing the copies people have already bought. I am very proud of my publisher for how they have handled this situation. The skit writers have also issued a public apology . (I feel sorry for them, because they were only trying to write a funny skit, not stir up this maelstrom of internet controversy. I’ve been in youth work long enou

New contest!

I haven’t had a contest since October! Here’s new one just in time for Christmas. I’m picking 3 winners to each be able to choose 10 books from my Christian book list! And yes, that list includes my books! 1) You get one entry into the contest when you sign up for my email newsletter at . If you already belong to my email newsletter, let me know! 2) You get a second entry into the contest if you Like my Facebook page: . If you already Like my Facebook page, let me know! 3) You get a third entry into the contest if you join my Goodreads group: . If you already belong to my Goodreads group, let me know! 4) You get a fourth entry into the contest if you follow me on Twitter: . If you already follow me on Twitter, let me know! 5) You get extra entries into the contest if you get someone else to join my email newsletter. Just email camy {at] c