The Unseen by Heather Graham

By Milton C. Toby

1800s. San Antonio, Texas: In room 207 at the Longhorn Saloon, in the long shadow of the Alamo itself, a woman renowned for her beauty was brutally murdered. Her killer was never found.

One year ago: In that same historic room, another woman vanished without a trace. Her blood was everywhere…but her body was never recovered.

Now: In the last month, San Antonio has become a dumping ground for battered bodies.

All young women, many of them long missing, almost all forgotten. Until now.

Texas Ranger Logan Raintree cannot sit by and let his city’s most vulnerable citizens be slain. So when he is approached to lead a brand-new group of elite paranormal investigators working the case, he has no choice but to accept the challenge. And with it, his powerful ability to commune with the dead.

Among Logan’s new team is Kelsey O’Brien, a U.S. marshal known for her razor-sharp intuition and a toughness that belies her delicate exterior. Kelsey has been waiting all her life to work with someone who can understand her ability to “see” the past unfolding in the present. Now she has her chance.

Together, Kelsey and Logan follow their instincts to the Alamo and to the newly reopened Longhorn, which once tempted heroes with drink, cards and women. If the spirits of those long-dead Texans are really appearing to the victims before their deaths, only Kelsey and Logan have the skills to find out why.

And if something more earthly is menacing the city’s oldest, darkest corners, only they can stop it—before more innocent women join the company of San Antonio’s restless ghosts….

A profitable backlist of 100-plus titles, in genres that run the gamut from romance, to the occult, to time travel, to Christmas holiday fare, should be reason enough to push back from the computer for a while, put your feet up, and relax.

Heather Graham just keeps writing.

“It turns out that I don’t do anything else really well,” the prolific author explained.  Her newest novel, THE UNSEEN, is due for release this month from Harlequin Books, and there are several other books on the horizon.

“Most people who are serious writers started as insane readers,” Graham said, “and it was the same with me.  I was a theater major in college and after I graduated I worked in community theater for a while.  That’s where you work all night and get paid almost nothing.  I started staying home after my third child was born and I was desperate to find something creative to do.  So I started writing.”  After a couple of years of rejections, Graham sold her first novel (WHEN NEXT WE LOVE) in 1982.  Since that initial sale, she has turned out bestsellers at a prodigious pace.

“I don’t have a particular schedule for writing,” Graham said.  “I try and stay ahead, but my schedule depends a lot on the deadline.  I’m basically a morning person—with kids you learn to get an early start.  My youngest child is about to graduate from college now, but I still like to get up early each day and go directly to work.  I usually don’t work on more than one book at once, although there will be times when you have to stop in the middle of a project to review galleys or get an idea for another book down on paper.”

The real problem, Graham said, isn’t the writing itself, but balancing her writing with everything else.

“When I started out, I didn’t know anyone,” she said, “but now there are writers’ organizations to join and too many wonderful events to attend.  And marketing, social media, staying in touch with readers, all of those consume a lot of time.  Technology has made writing portable, ‘have computer will travel,’ which helps, but sometimes it’s still difficult to keep life in general straight.”

Keeping tabs on an ever-growing cast of characters from past books while adding new ones to the mix also sounds like a daunting task, but Graham’s penchant for writing in different genres helps keep the task manageable.

“I generally don’t have trouble keeping track of who’s who,” she explained.  “The series are so different that I don’t get lost.

“THE UNSEEN is based on a character from several books ago.  He has no extraordinary paranormal abilities himself, but he has a knack for finding people who do possess those talents and then bringing them together to work as a team.  Think of ‘CRIMINAL MINDS meets GHOSTBUSTERS.’ ”

The latest book is a mix of some old characters and a half-a-dozen new ones.  Most of the action centers on a pair of the newcomers, Texas Ranger Logan Raintree and U.S. Marshall Kelsey O’Brien, who have been recruited to lead a team of paranormal investigators looking into a series of murders in the Lone Star State.

“I usually like to focus on two individuals,” Graham explained.  “That way, readers can learn who the characters are, and why they do what they do.”  Raintree can communicate with the dead and O’Brien has the ability to bring the past into focus in the present, talents that make the Ranger and the Marshall uniquely qualified to investigate the Texas murders that may have a bizarre link to the past.

More than150 years after a beautiful young woman was murdered in a San Antonio hotel, another woman vanished after checking into the same room.  Neither killing was solved.  A year later, San Antonio has become a dumping ground for battered bodies and fears of a serial killer haunt the Texas town.  It’s up to Raintree and O’Brien, with assistance from the spirits of long-dead Texans who died at the Alamo, to solve the mystery—if they can sort out the intricacies of their own personal relationship.

Although Graham writes about the paranormal, she has had no supernatural experiences herself.

“I’m a total coward,” she said.  “If a ghost showed up, I’d probably have a heart attack.  I don’t think you have to believe in the supernatural to write about it, but an author can’t have a dead closed mind, either.  It’s hard to know for certain what’s out there.”

And her readers?

“I think most people have questions about the supernatural.  Readers bring me stories, things that have to make you wonder.”

*****

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author HEATHER GRAHAM has written more than one hundred novels, many of which have been featured by the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Build. An avid scuba diver, ballroom dancer and mother of five, she still enjoys her south Florida home, but loves to travel as well, from locations such as Cairo, Egypt, to her own backyard, the Florida Keys. Reading, however, is the pastime she still loves best, and she is a member of many writing groups. She’s currently vice president of the Horror Writer’s Association, and she’s also an active member of International Thriller Writers. She is very proud to be a Killerette in the Killer Thriller Band, along with many fellow novelists she greatly admires.

To learn more about Heather, please visit her website.

Milton C. Toby

Milton Toby is an author and attorney who writes from his home in Georgetown, Kentucky.His long-standing involvement with Thoroughbred racing and the horse business, his representation of Death Row inmates, and years spent in the Third World combine to produce fiction crammed with unique twists and turns.His short stories have won national awards and he recently completed his first novel.Milton's essay on Lionel Davidson's The Rose of Tibet will appear in the upcoming Thrillers: 100 Must Reads.

Visit Milton at: www.miltonctoby.com.
MATCH UP: In stores now!

mu_footer

THRILLERFEST XIII: Registration Is Open!

FOLLOW US ON

FACEOFF

One of the most successful anthologies in the history of publishing!

fo_footer