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Author Katie Mettner

Finding Bailey ~ Dana Mason Cover Reveal

 


I am SO excited to be able to reveal the cover for Dana Mason's new romantic suspense, Finding Bailey, releasing October 29, 2020! I had the pleasure of reading this story a few months ago and LOVED it! You will, too! Read on for the blurb and first chapter. You'll also find a chance to sign-up for an early ARC copy at the very bottom! You can preorder Finding Bailey for .99 or read in KU once it releases on the 29th! So many options and I hope you enjoy Finding Bailey as much as I did.

Finding Bailey on Amazon


Blurb 

After losing her mother, Bailey Morton faces cleaning out her family’s Lake Tahoe home. What she finds amongst the dust shatters the image of what she always considered an ordinary life with her ordinary family.

Her true identity unknown, Bailey plows headlong into a dangerous journey of deception and death to find the real reason behind her abandonment, and why her parents kept her adoption a secret.

When Bailey’s boyfriend refuses to help, she turns to her best friend, Ryan, for support. As the pair digs into her past, the bond between them deepens to an unexpected level. For Bailey, facing long-buried family skeletons is easy compared to coming to terms with her feelings for Ryan.

As Ryan and Bailey grow closer to discovering her family’s darkest secret, they realize somebody will stop at nothing to keep the secret buried…even if that means burying her. 


Excerpt 


Chapter One

If she disappeared, would anyone notice? Would she matter to anyone ever again? A mother’s love was the strongest power in the world.

Who was a person without a family? At twenty-seven, Bailey still felt like a child who belonged to her mother and her family. Now, her mother—both her parents—were gone, and she wasn’t sure who she was without them.

After lying on her mother’s bed for a solid ten minutes, she opened her eyes and focused them on the large trunk in the corner of the room. Her grandmother’s steamer trunk had always been in her mother’s bedroom, but she didn’t remember ever seeing it open.

She crept off the bed and wandered toward it, gliding her hand over the fluffy quilt that sat on top, the stitching as fine and tight as the day her mother had finished it. She lifted and hugged the quilt before resting it on the bed. Then she flipped the old latches on the trunk until they popped, and the lid lifted from the release of pressure. With a creaking noise, it gave way as Bailey raised it slowly.

Two more handmade quilts sat cramped inside. She picked them up, inhaling the scent of cedar before she laid them on the floor next to the trunk. She looked inside, surprised to see a baby book in the center of the stacks of photo albums and scrapbooks.

She pulled it out and quickly paged through it, getting glimpses of her own face as a baby. She couldn’t wait to spend some time reading the notes her mother had so carefully written inside. She thought she knew every nook and cranny of this house, but she’d never seen this book before.

One by one, she lifted the books out and stacked them next to the trunk in a neat pile. The last and largest scrapbook, with its wood panel cover and threadbare binding along the spine, looked older than her. She placed the scrapbook in her lap as she rested against the trunk before lifting the old, wooden cover.

The first page was a newspaper clipping dated a few weeks after she was born.

Baby found by local couple dubbed ‘Baby Bailey.’

A tingle traveled down her spine as her back went erect. Then her eyes rested on the text below the headline.



Appleton, WI – At approximately 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, Ernie Morton went outside to check on a noise in his side yard. “I thought it might be some neighborhood kids. You know, sometimes they come prowling around looking for trouble. They’ve smashed my aluminum cans, knocked down a portion of my back fence, and trampled my wife’s garden there in the side yard. I planned to chase them off,” Mr. Morton said.

But when 31-year-old Morton unwrapped the bundle resting between a juniper bush and a garbage can in his side yard bordering Bailey Drive, he couldn’t believe his eyes.

Inside the bundle of blankets was a tiny baby girl, wide-eyed and alert. “I yelled at my wife to call the police, then I just picked her up and took her inside.”

Officer Harper, of the Appleton Police Department, said the infant, dubbed “Baby Bailey,” appeared to have been well cared for. This led police to believe the mother might have a change of heart and return to claim the baby.

“If it weren’t for the Mortons, she would have frozen to death in a matter of hours,” said Officer Harper, who seemed a little shaken at the heartless act of abandonment.

Paramedics transported Baby Bailey to the emergency room, which reported her as perfectly healthy. Doctors determined her to be about six weeks old.

Police are investigating the crime. So far, they have no new information, but they hope to have something to report within the next couple of days.

Neighbors said they were shocked by the news.

"I can't believe someone would do something like this," said Jeanette Roberts, who lives nearby on Mulberry St. "I'm just shocked. There are so many people who want families."

The Mortons said they want to adopt the little one. “It was fate,” Mrs. Morton later told reporters.

If anyone has any information about the baby, they’re asked to call the Appleton Police Department.



Bailey’s breath caught in her throat. She lifted her hand to her mouth, still staring at the article. When a hand clamped on her shoulder, she bolted to her feet, dropping the scrapbook on the hardwood floor with a smack.

“Why didn’t you answer the door?” Ryan said, staring down at her.

She tried to talk, but her mouth had gone dry. She swallowed hard and stared up at him, her breaths coming out in pants. “Ryan—I—oh, my God!”

He lowered his hand to help her get up off the floor. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“Oh, my God!” Bailey clutched her sides as she paced in a circle.

“Bay, what’s wrong with you?” He leaned in to see her face. She reached for the baby book, flipped open the cover, and came face-to-face with her birth certificate, as she’d always known it. She turned another page. The first few pages were all news articles, no photos or notes.

She flipped another couple of pages to the first photo. The note above it read, ‘Baby’s first day as Bailey Grace Morton.’ She couldn’t have been more than six months old in the picture.

“Ryan, I was adopted,” she whispered and sank onto the bed.

“What?” He snatched the baby book from her. “No way.”

“I had no idea. I was abandoned. Why would someone…”

“Bailey, how is it you’ve lived twenty-seven years and didn’t know you were adopted?”

She reached up and flipped the book back to the first page and pointed to her birth certificate. “That’s how. My mother never said a thing about it.”

“I can’t believe she didn’t tell you.” He paced a bit, his eyes skimming the birth certificate. His right shoulder lifted in a shrug. “When you think about it, it makes sense.” His gaze drifted to hers. “You look nothing like your parents. Your mom was six inches taller than you, and she had blonde hair. You have dark brown hair with brown eyes.” He stared at her for a moment and said, “You never wondered?”

“Not everyone looks like their parents.” She turned to him. “Did you ever wonder…about your parents?”

“I tried to, especially when I was pissed at them, but I look too much like my dad to really question it.” He dropped down on the bed next to her. “I’m sorry. I—”

“I can’t believe this. Why would my mother lie? My father—why didn’t they tell me about this?”

“Maybe they didn’t want to hurt you or make you feel like you weren’t theirs. Family isn’t always about blood.”

“I’m not sure what shocks me more, being abandoned in the snow or never being told I was adopted.”

“Bay, I’m sure your mom and dad had to jump through hoops to keep you. Don’t think about being unwanted. Think about how much Helen and Ernie must’ve gone through to keep you.”

She lowered her chin to her chest. “God, Ryan, I don’t even know where I came from. I could be the daughter of a serial killer or some nasty hooker from Wisconsin.” As if she didn’t feel orphaned enough after losing her mother, now she felt unworthy. She had been raised by decent people. Her parents had been the most honest, hardworking people she’d ever known, and now, to read that they’d taken her in…kept her. They’d raised her and taken care of her without having any idea where she’d come from. Her stomach twisted at the thought. God only knew what kind of people had created her.

“You’re Bailey Morton, the same person you were when you woke up this morning.”

“Ryan…” She shook her head, dizzy with her new reality, dizzy with her upturned world that had been so ordinary a few moments ago. “Ryan, I’m named after a street sign.” She turned away, fighting her tears.

“I think it’s too early to work on the house. Helen’s only been gone a few days. Why don’t you wait a week or two?”

“No. I need to know everything.” Bailey sprang off the bed and grabbed another scrapbook from the trunk before flipping through the pages. “Why would she leave these for me to find? Why didn’t she just tell me so I wouldn’t have to find out this way?”

“Maybe she forgot they were here?”

“How could she forget?” Bailey asked. “How could she forget something this important?”

Ryan shrugged. “It probably wasn’t that big a deal to her. You’re her daughter, and I’m sure in her eyes, you always were and always will be, so this didn’t matter or change anything.”

Bailey stared at him, not sure what to say. “Not a big deal? Are you crazy?”

“Bailey, she was sick for a long time. It’s not like she didn’t have other things on her mind.” He gestured toward the stack of books. “Maybe she left them here on purpose for you to find.”

“She should’ve just told me, Ryan. Someone left me on the street. What kind of people would do that?”

“I don’t think it matters. Someone found you, kept you, and treated you like a princess your entire life. Don’t question that. Be grateful and continue to respect them for loving you.”

“I am grateful.” She placed a hand over her heart and said, “I love my parents more than anything. Don’t doubt that. But, Ryan, this isn’t about respecting them. This is about finding out the truth. Wouldn’t you want to know why?” She tried to swallow the lump in her throat. “Wouldn’t you want to know who you are?”

“Yes, of course, I would want to know where I came from, but, Bailey, this doesn’t change who you are.”

“Doesn’t it?” she said, sitting back down next to him.

“No. You’re still my best friend, and you’re still their daughter.” He rested his hand on her shoulder. “Nothing has changed.”

She looked at him and, with every sincerity, said, “Thank you for saying that, and thank you for being here.” And she meant it, too. Ryan cared for her. He was her best friend. But he was wrong—everything had changed.



Review


I just finished Finding Bailey and WOW, this was another wonderful romantic suspense by Dana Mason! When you first meet Bailey she's grieving her mother's death and wondering what she's going to do now that she's alone in the world. She's not alone, though. She has her best friends Ryan, Mae, Lucas, and Wade at El Lago, the bar and restaurant in Lake Taho that Ryan, Lucas, and Wade own. She also has her mostly off-again boyfriend Dex who shows up when it's convenient for him, but never for Bailey.

Bailey and Ryan start cleaning out her mother's house and Bailey discovers the secret her mother has been keeping from her for her whole life. Bailey was adopted. Wanting to find her family, Bailey and Ryan set for Wisconsin where they lived when Bailey was born. That's when the accidents start happening. It's clear that someone doesn't want Bailey to find out who she really is and they're willing to stop at nothing to make sure of it.

It is always hard to review a Dana Mason book because the suspense line is written with such precision I could give something away without intending to. I will say that Ms. Mason keeps the suspense and drama going until the very end and you will not be bored while puzzling this one out!

The chemistry between Ryan and Bailey is immediate and obvious from the opening page. The only one who didn't see Ryan's love for her was Bailey, but then she was pretty caught up in her rude boyfriend, Dex. Bailey convinced herself she could make it work with Dex, but she wasn't really in love with him, she was just struggling with being alone after her mother's death. She wouldn't know until she dropped his dead weight what the truth was. She was in love with Ryan.

The romance between Ryan and Bailey is superbly done for a best friend to lovers trope, and I loved how she brought Ryan's love of music into their romance. You know without a doubt that Ryan is going to protect Bailey not just from the bad guys, but from the pain of learning who she really is and the fallout from that. He loves her regardless of her name or who her parents are. I would LOVE to see this turned into a series so we can see who Lucas, Mae, and Wade end up with! You won't want to miss this new and exciting romantic suspense by Ms. Mason!

About the Author

Dana Mason started writing about ten years ago after being overwhelmed by a story that wouldn't let her sleep until she wrote it down. The story, Dangerous Embrace, was published in 2012 and won Best Mystery/Suspense from eFestival of Words Best of Independent eBook Awards in 2014. Dangerous Embrace is the first book in her Embrace Series. The second book in the series, Precious Embrace, was Runner-Up for Best Hero from eFestival of Words Best of Independent eBook Awards that same year. Her third book, Broken Embrace, was awarded Best Indie Book in 2015 in the Romance Category.
Dana loves turning your worst nightmares into happy endings. She lives in Northern California with her husband, children, and her writing companion and mighty protector, Mia the Chihuahua.

Finding Dana:

1 comment

Dana Mason said...

Thank you for the wonderful post, Katie!