Skip to main content

Excerpt - Witness on the Run by Hope White

Witness on the Run
Hope White

A gun firing. A man killed. Running for her life. That's all Robin Strand remembers of the shooting she saw. With fear-induced amnesia, she can't identify the killer, no matter what the police say. The only one who believes her is private investigator Jake Walters. And he's the one who steps in to rescue her when her safe house is discovered. As they struggle to stay one step ahead of danger, Robin needs Jake more than ever. With his faith and training as a guide, they work together to bring back her memory. Before the killer can ensure that she never remembers.

Excerpt of chapter one:

Monday couldn't come fast enough for Robin Strand.

As she packed her briefcase with the printouts of checklists and sign-up sheets for tomorrow's pediatric cancer walkathon, she took a deep breath and reminded herself she loved her job as a special events coordinator. And she really did, but sometimes having alternate hours than the rest of the world was a drag.

On cue, her cell rang. She eyed the caller ID. Jenn.

"Hey, Jenn, what's up?" Robin said.

"We're waiting for you at the Five Spot."

"What time is it?" She swung her briefcase over her shoulder and flicked off the desk lamp.

"Nearly nine."

"I don't know, Jenn. I've got so much work to do before the walkathon Sunday."

"You're not at work, are you?" she scolded. "Uh…"

"You so shouldn't be there, Robin. Come on, swing by the Five Spot. Right now. I'm ordering you a longhorn burger as we speak," Jenn said.

Robin's mouth watered. "You're cruel, you know that?" She locked up the office and headed to the elevators. Being a part-time receptionist, Jenn didn't have the same level of commitment that Robin had for her work.

"You really need to come join us," Jenn added. "I got us a two-for-one deal on dinner."

Robin noticed light streaming through an office down the hall. She thought she was the only one dumb enough, or most lacking a social life, to be at the office on a Friday night. Then again the building was home to its share of overachievers like Destiny Software Design, Remmington Imports and Vashon Financial.

Then there was Robin, whose job was her life. Since she was in charge of Sunday's walkathon for the Anna Marsh Pediatric Cancer Foundation, she would probably be back here tomorrow working on volunteer rosters and donation lists.

"Hey, Trevor just showed up," Jenn announced.

"Great. My hair's a mess, my make-up is nonexistent, and I'm exhausted."

"Tough. Get your fanny down here."

"Thanks, but…" Her voice trailed off as movement caught the corner of her eye. Robin glanced into the Remmington Imports office on her right.

And froze at the sight of a tall, bald man aiming a gun at a second man who slowly raised his hands. Shocked and unable to process what she was seeing, Robin couldn't move.

A resounding bang made her shriek. Every cell in her body screamed run! But for half a second her legs were paralyzed.

"What was that?" Jenn's voice cried through the phone.

Robin stared through the window at the limp body on the floor. Blood spread across his crisp white shirt and seeped into the carpeting.

"He shot him." Then her gaze drifted up from the wounded man to the shooter.

Cold, black eyes stared back at her. Death eyes.

He stepped toward Robin, pointed his gun.

She took off like the eighth-grade, track-and-field champ that she once was. Do it for your brother. Make him proud.

Her brother, Kyle. Looks like she'd be joining him soon.

In heaven.

"No," she groaned, turning a corner. She had more to do. She wasn't ready to leave. She had to raise money for children's cancer research. And, she wanted to raise a few kids herself someday.

Swiping her card, she ducked into the break room, flipped the lights off and crouched low to keep out of sight. She'd hide in here and call the police. Her phone, where was it?

The door beeped, and her heart jumped into her throat. The shooter had a passkey? She dropped to the floor, crawling through the darkened break room away from the killer.

Killer. She'd just seen a man murdered. In cold blood.

"No use running," a male voice called out.

Robin took a slow deep breath and continued her crawl toward the exit. Think! Pull the fire alarm. That would bring help. But they wouldn't show up fast enough to save Robin from this monster.

"I like the dark, too," he taunted.

In the window's reflection she spied the guy pointing his gun under tables, ready to pop off another round. Into her.

She whipped open the door at the other end of the room, lunged into the hallway and pulled the fire alarm. Water sprayed from the ceiling as she scrambled to the stairs and hurled herself toward the ground level.


A bullet ricocheted off the wall mere inches from her head.

Focus, girl!

"Get back here!" the man called. "A witness is on her way down. North stairs," he said in a calm voice. "Take her out."

Hoping to throw him off, Robin flew down three flights, whipped open the door and raced to the south stairwell. She couldn't die tonight. There were a thousand people depending on her to run the cancer walk Sunday.

Strange, the odd things that rush through your brain when you're being chased by a killer.

She practically tumbled down the last two flights of stairs to the street level and threw open the door. Now that she was outside, she couldn't get to her car in the basement garage.

"Hey!" a tall, broad-shouldered man called, crossing the street.

"Take her out," the killer had ordered.

She spun around and sprinted in the opposite direction, braced for the bullet that would surely hit her square in the back.

But he didn't shoot her. She sensed he chased her, but she was fast, fueled by adrenaline.

For Kyle, Robin had said, as she'd placed her medal on her brother's trophy. His one trophy. He hadn't had time to win more.

"Stop!" the man called out. Closer. He sounded too close. She glanced over her shoulder—

A car horn snapped her attention to an SUV careening toward her, brakes screeching. Before she could react, it hit her, slamming her to the pavement and knocking the wind out of her lungs. As she struggled to breathe, all she could think about was how disappointed Mom would be. After all, it was Robin's job to make her parents doubly proud in order to ease the pain of losing a child.

Robin glanced up at the dark sky, hoping her brother would be the one to take her to heaven. Suddenly, her view was blocked by a man's blue-green, intense eyes.

"Don't move," he said. "Everything will be okay."

She closed her eyes, and a tear trailed down her cheek. I'm coming, Kyle, I'm coming.

Jake Walters paced the emergency room like a man waiting on the birth of his first child—only the woman he worried about was a complete stranger.

He couldn't shake the terrified look he'd seen in her eyes.

Or the look of surrender before she'd closed them.

He'd thought for sure she was dead, killed running away from him and into the path of a moving vehicle.

But he'd meant her no harm. He'd been on a stakeout for his cop buddy Ethan Beck when he'd seen the petite woman flee the building as if she'd just seen a ghost.

Or a murder.

Minutes after the ambulance arrived at the scene, Ethan, a detective with the Seattle P.D., had called Jake to let him know a report of shots fired at the Chambers Building had been called in by a cleaning crew, and Ethan was on his way with backup.

Jake had told Ethan about the woman fleeing the building, and Ethan had asked Jake to stay with her until the ambulance arrived. Yeah, like anything could have ripped Jake away from the woman's side? He'd felt responsible for her condition.

Now, an hour later at the hospital, Jake paced the E.R. waiting area and fisted his hand. The brunette was a stranger, and Jake had no legitimate reason to be here, but he'd stay close until he knew she was okay.

He leaned against the wall next to the E.R. doors and waited. He'd done his share of waiting with Mom as she'd fought the cancer that had taken her life.

Waiting drove him nuts.

"Jake?" Ethan said, walking toward him. Two of his men trailed close behind. "Hey, man, thanks for hanging around."

They shook hands. Ethan and Jake had grown up together, fought off bullies in their Seattle neighborhood together, and joined the army together. Although they'd been split up in Iraq, they'd reconnected after they'd shipped home and had ended up in similar fields: Ethan, a detective for the Seattle P.D., and Jake, a Homeland Security agent, recently turned private investigator.

"How is she?" Ethan asked.

"They're not telling me anything. I'm not family."

Realization colored Ethan's eyes. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked you to hang around a hospital. Go on. Take off."

"I'd rather stay, thanks. I feel responsible for this woman."


"She was running from me when she got hit."

Ethan eyed him. "Was she running from you or someone else?"

"She tore out of the building like it was on fire."

"I'll bet she witnessed it," Ethan said, his voice low. "Detective Cole Edwards was shot and killed tonight."

"Man, I'm sorry."

"Did she say anything, give you any indication she saw what happened?" Ethan pressed.

"She whispered a name—Kyle, I think—then fell unconscious."

"Thanks, buddy." Ethan slapped Jake's shoulder. "I'll take it from here."

"I don't think she's in any shape to talk to you."

"Oh, she'll talk."

Ethan nodded to his men to stay in the hall and pushed open the E.R. door.

"E," Jake called after him, but Ethan had disappeared. Jake didn't like that Ethan might plan to pressure a fragile woman.

Robin Strand. Jake had looked at her ID in her wallet so he'd be able to give the hospital a name to go with that adorable face. There, he'd admitted it. The woman was adorable with her round face and subtle freckles dotting her nose. He glanced at the E.R. door. He hoped Ethan was being gentle with her, but considering a cop had been murdered, Jake wouldn't be surprised if Ethan had a hard time being sensitive to her condition.

"You're Beck's army buddy?" asked a tall cop with a crew cut. He had a scar running across his right eyebrow.

"Actually, we've been friends since grade school."

"Long time."


"I'm Detective Henry Monroe." They shook hands. "This is Gabe Dunn."

Gabe nodded and shook hands with Jake.

"You were with Homeland Security?" Monroe asked.

"Yep. Took a leave of absence and decided to go into business on my own."

"How's that working out?"

"Long hours, but it pays the bills."

"Your connection to the girl?" He nodded toward the examining area.

"Don't know her. ID says Robin Strand. Lives in Seattle, Greenlake, I think. I'm guessing she works in the Chambers Tower. She had a building pass."

Detective Monroe pulled out a small notebook. "What were you doing at the Chambers Building?"

"Stakeout for a client."

Jake suspected that Ethan hadn't told his men that he had enlisted Jake's help. Ethan had called last week asking if Jake had time to keep an eye on the after-hours activity at the Chambers Building, keep track of who came and went and at what times. Ethan knew something was going on in that building after hours, he just didn't know what.

"What client?" Monroe asked.

"Confidential." Jake wasn't giving that up until E gave him permission to do so. When he'd called Jake, he'd said he suspected some kind of police corruption and needed to keep Jake's involvement on the q.t.

Monroe narrowed his eyes at Jake. "Uh-huh. What time did you see her leave the building?"

"At 9:07."

"Was she alone?"


"And she was running?"

"She was. I got out of the car and called out to her. That freaked her out even more, and she took off down Seneca. She didn't get more than a block when the SUV nailed her."

"We've got officers at the scene questioning the driver."

"It wasn't his fault."

"Perhaps, but there's a good chance Ms. Strand witnessed the shooting of Detective Edwards and needed to be silenced."

"Was Edwards working a case?"

"That's confidential."

"Where did you find the body?" Jake asked. "I'm supposed to be asking the questions," Monroe said. The E.R. doors swung open and Ethan marched out, worry lines creasing his forehead.

"Well?" Detective Monroe asked. "She doesn't remember anything."

"About the shooting?" Jake asked.

Ethan pinned him with angry eyes. "Anything. As in, she can't remember her name, where she's from, what day it is."

"That's convenient," Detective Monroe said, snapping his notebook shut.

Jake eyed the detective. "Convenient?"

"Sure, if she's involved."

Not in a million years, Jake thought. Fragile Robin Strand was no more a criminal than Jake was good father material.

"Doctor is calling it traumatic amnesia due to the blow to her head," Ethan explained. "It's temporary."

"How temporary?" Monroe pushed.

"They don't know," Ethan said. "We all want this guy, Monroe. We're just going to have to be patient or find him another way."

"If the perp thinks she's a witness and doesn't know about this amnesia thing, then she's still in danger," Jake said.

"Then she should remember quick so we can put the guy away," Detective Monroe snapped.

"It's not like she's choosing to forget," Jake said.

"No?" Monroe challenged.

Ethan stepped between Jake and Detective Monroe. "Dunn, you stay and watch over Ms. Strand. Monroe and I will get with the crime scene investigator."

Detective Monroe didn't move at first. He stared at the E.R. doors.

It was devastating to lose a brother in blue and frustrating to know the eyewitness was unable to help. Or unwilling?

"Thanks, buddy," Ethan said, shaking Jake's hand again. "You've done more than enough."

"Hey, E, I need to—"

"Later, okay?" He started down the hall with Monroe, turned and said, "Go home, Jake. Get some sleep."

"Hey, I don't take orders from you anymore," Jake said in reference to their childhood roles. Ethan had played an army major and Jake a sergeant. Even then, they'd dreamed of serving their country.

Ethan waved him off and disappeared outside.

Jake glanced at Detective Dunn, who stood rigidly beside the E.R. doors pressing buttons on his cell phone. Dunn was tall, husky and angry-looking. Sure he was. A brother had just been killed, possibly a friend. Jake had lost his share of those in Iraq.

"How long have you been a cop?" Jake asked. "Ten years," Dunn said, not looking up. "Before that?"


"Yeah. Me, too. Which branch?"

The E.R. doors burst open and a young nurse glanced at Jake, then Detective Dunn. "Who came in with Miss Strand?"

"That would be me," Jake said. "Jake Walters."

"She's asking for you." Detective Dunn raised a brow.

Jake shrugged and followed the nurse. Dunn shadowed Jake—a bit too close, in Jake's opinion.

The nurse hesitated beside a curtain and turned to Jake. "We had a hard time calming her down and didn't want to oversedate her because of the head injury, so please don't upset her."

"Yes, ma'am."

The nurse slid the curtain open. "Robin? This is Detective Dunn and Jake, the man who brought you in."

Robin slowly opened her eyes.

"I'm Detective Dunn." Dunn identified himself.

"You wanted to see me?" Jake said.

She looked at Jake and furrowed her eyebrows as if she struggled to focus. Then she frowned. "You. You were in the street. When I was…I was running…." Her breathing quickened and she looked like she was going to hyperventilate.

The nurse eyed the blood pressure monitor. "It's okay, Robin." She motioned to Jake. "Please leave."

He hesitated, not sure what had just happened or how to fix it. "Sure. Okay." Then he shot Robin a comforting smile. "I'll be right outside."

Print book: (Save an extra 10% with code SAVE10EHQN at checkout!)
Barnes and Noble

Ebook: (Save an extra 10% with code SAVE10EHQN at checkout!)

Save 20% off all Love Inspired Suspense Books


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

Matthew 22:37-39

Dear Lord, You have done so much for me. I am so grateful to you for sending your son to die for my sins so that I can be renewed, so that I can come before you and feel the comfort of your presence. I know that I am not alone, because you are with me. I want to love you completely and without inhibition. Teach me to be like you and love others as you love them. Your love is truly unending and glorious. Amen 親愛なる神様、 あなたは私のために多くのことをしてくださいました。私が新しく生まれ変われるように、あなたの前に出て、あなたの存在の快適さを感じられるように、私の罪のためにあなたの息子を死なせてくださったことに、私はとても感謝しています。私は、あなたが私と共にいてくださるので、私は一人ではないことを知っています。私はあなたを完全に、阻害されることなく愛したいのです。あなたのようになり、あなたが人を愛するように、私も人を愛するように教えてください。あなたの愛は本当に尽きることがなく、栄光に満ちています。 アーメン


Source: via Camy on Pinterest In-N-Out, one of my fav burger joints, makes an appearance in the first chapter of A Dangerous Stage . It's a chain on the West Coast and Hawaii, I'm not sure how far east they have restaurants. They don't freeze any of their food, it's all fresh, including the buns and the french fries. When you order, you can see them use this french fry hand-crank machine to make their fries, it's pretty cool. The specific restaurant in A Dangerous Stage doesn't exist at that location, but there's a couple of them near me and I go there way too often than is good for me, but it's oh-so-yummy!

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

AI-narrated audiobooks

Google allowed me to create audiobooks with an AI narrator for free of my titles available on the Google Play store, so I decided to give it a try. Right now, Necessary Proof , Unshakeable Pursuit , Weddings and Wasabi , The Spinster’s Christmas , and my devotional Who I Want to Be are all available as AI-narrated audiobooks. From now until March 11, 2023, Necessary Proof digitally-narrated audiobook is free! Pick up you free copy and let me know how the audiobook sounds. If you hear anything weird, feel free to email me and let me know the exact time where you heard it, and I’ll try to have Google correct it.

Quiz from Lady Wynwood's Spies #6 - question 4

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 . The laughter died as abruptly as it had started. “Don’t worry, you’ll be suffering even more soon.” The muscles in Jack’s neck drew taut, and he bared his teeth at Michael. “In fact, I want to see you all suffer.” “Why?” Michael asked. “Because you wronged me simply by being born,” he said, spit flying from between his gritted teeth. “And I want you to feel my pain.” QUIZ: Where are Michael and Jack in this scene, in the gentleman’s club or Stapytton House? EXTRA CREDIT: When did Michael first see Jack (in the flesh) without his makeup? I actually wrote this scene back when I was still outlining the entire series, before I’d finished book 2—I stuck the lines of dialogue in my outlining notes. I was just waiting to be able to put them in the book. Start the series with Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: A

Toilet seat cover

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Update August 2008: I wrote up the pattern for this with "improvements"! Here's the link to my No Cold Bums toilet seat cover ! Okay, remember a few days ago I was complaining about the cold toilet seat in my bathroom? Well, I decided to knit a seat cover. Not a lid cover, but a seat cover. I went online and couldn’t find anything for the seat, just one pattern for the lid by . However, I took her pattern for the inside edge of the lid cover and modified it to make a seat cover. Here it is! It’s really ugly stitch-wise because originally I made it too small and had to extend it a couple inches on each side. I figured I’d be the one staring at it, so who cared if the extension wasn’t perfectly invisible? I used acrylic yarn since, well, that’s what I had, and also because it’s easy to wash. I’ll probably have to wash this cover every week or so, but it’s easy to take off—I made ties which you can see near the back of the seat. And

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th


「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。 *** ********** レックスは、携帯のフリップを開けた「ヘーイ、リチャード」 「どうだった?」 「何がよ」冷蔵庫がブンブン言う音は数秒やんだ。レックスがバシッと叩くと、また始まった。 「オリバーとのディナーだよ」 「何で知ってるの?」 「あいつが言ってた」 「あなたから聞いたの? いつから私の恋愛生活に興味が出てきたのよ」 「別に……ちょっと興味があっただけ」 レックスはお尻に手を当て、リチャードの純粋ぶった顔を想像しながら、冷蔵庫をじっと見た。「今まで『

Have a relaxing Memorial Day

Enjoy the holiday today.