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When Push Comes to Shoot by @RenaKoontz is a Mystery/Suspense pick #suspense #giveaway


When Push Comes to Shoot


Rena Koontz



Book Blurb:

Emma Hunter’s tyrannical brother deserved to die, even if the manner of his murder was horror-movie gruesome. As a police lieutenant, she’s duty-bound to provide whatever assistance she can in hunting down her brother’s killer, but she doesn’t mourn his loss. Business acquaintances, former friends, and even his relatives agree the world is better off without the despicable bully.

With no clues and too many suspects, it looks like the murderer might be home free—until tenacious Detective Jared Jones' suspicions turn to Emma’s sweet sister-in-law. Emma knows for a fact that her brother’s mentally and emotionally abused wife is innocent, but conflicting loyalties prevent her from speaking up and turning the investigation in the right direction.

What’s best for her brother’s widow could cost Emma everything she values—her career, her reputation, even her freedom.


Blood was everywhere, pooling on the faded Persian

rug, splattered against the peeling wallpaper as if an

oscillating fan had spread it, coagulated on the pale

blue sofa in a spot sunken by years of weight dropped into it.

Emma stared at the sight, her stomach threatening to return

her morning coffee even though the asshole deserved this.

For a brief moment, her mind drove her back to happier

times in this room. Christmases. Birthday parties. Summer

barbecues when the breeze from the trees bordering the property

fluttered the curtains. The memories were hazy snippets

recalled from some deep recess in her brain she’d almost lost.

How long had it been since she stepped foot in this house? Too

many years to count.

The place was eerily quiet. Like when the dead are present.

Even the birds outside sensed it and stayed silent.

Her brother slouched in front of the TV. His feet were

propped on a pile of newspapers, his tea mug leaving yet

another ring on the coffee table. Only the TV wasn’t on. And he

was dead.

Not much had changed in this room since the days when

she was welcome here except the piles of paper, amount of

mail, unread magazines, and boxes lining both sides of the

hallway had tripled. The passage from the living room to the

family room was merely a precarious tunnel between the

stacks. She shivered.

From his high school picture perched in the right-hand

corner of the mantle, her brother stared back at her under a

thin film of dust. His eyes were defiant even back then, some

twenty-five years ago. Demeaning. Angry.

The sweet odor of blood stung her nostrils and she gulped.

Homicide scenes were not her bag. Her eyes watered from the

smell. There were twelve years between them, enough of a gap

for him to resent a pesky little sister. Nevertheless, she’d

worshipped him as her older brother, not comprehending that

his disdain for her spread even then, like a slow-growing

cancer. Disdain that would mutate into contempt. An attitude

she refused to accept once she was older.

She reached for the picture but stopped her hand in midair.

She wouldn’t touch him if he stood alive in front of her.

Why should she touch him now that he was dead?


She whirled around, the intrusion of the officer’s voice startling

her, and shoved her hands in her pockets like a guilty child.

“Ma’am, I’m afraid you can’t be here. The sergeant asked me

to secure the premises from everyone until forensics arrives.

The scene hasn’t been processed yet.”

“That’s all right, Officer…” His name gleamed from the

polished nametag. “Petrus. I assure you I haven’t touched

anything. I just wanted to see…” she cleared her throat, “you’re

right, of course. I’ll leave. Do you know where my sister-in-

law is?”


“My sister-in-law. The victim is my brother.”

The young patrolman snapped to attention. “My condolences,


“At ease, Officer Petrus. Thank you but it’s not necessary. I’m

concerned about his wife. D’you know where she is? Was she

here when it happened?”

“I don’t know, ma’am. You should speak to Sergeant Taylor.

I believe he’s on the grounds. I’m only assigned to the


With one final glance at the couch, Emma walked to the

kitchen door, noting the dirty dishes piled in the sink, the

opened cereal box on the table and the puddled butter in the

container on the counter. The hinges squealed when she

stepped outside and inhaled deeply. The door needed oil. Odd.

Her brother usually kept up with the house maintenance. Or at

least he used to.

The back door had always served as the main entrance

because the driveway that crawled up the hill circled the house

to this point before descending again. It seemed natural to stop

the car here and go inside.

Sergeant Taylor waved her over. “Lieutenant Hunter? What

brings you here? Did the chief send you?”

She’d heard the rumors about Taylor’s missteps on his last

few cases and some off-duty shenanigans that the department

frowned upon. The boss certainly wouldn’t assign this homicide

investigation to him, would he?

“Relax, Sergeant. I’m not here in an official capacity. The

victim is my brother. As soon as I heard the radio call, I came


His shoulders visibly relaxed. “My sympathies, Emma. But

you know you can’t be involved in this investigation. It’s a

blatant conflict of interest.”

“I understand. Are you handling the case?”

“And it means you can’t ask any questions. Not without

getting my ass in a sling and I’ve had enough of that recently.”

His thumb jabbed the air in the direction of the navy blue four door

making its way up the drive behind the forensics van. “Here comes homicide now.”

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

What makes your featured book a must-read?

Twists that keep you guessing to the very end.

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $45 Amazon US or Amazon Canada gift card

Open Internationally. You must have an active Amazon US or CA account to win.

Runs August 9 – August 18, 2022.

Winner will be drawn on August 19, 2022.

Author Biography:

I'm a lifelong journalist and an award-winning author. My writing career has taken me into the sports arena, politics, feature writing, editorial writing, and my favorite, cops and courts. I've chased fire trucks and police cars, covered all sorts of crimes, including murders, and reported criminal, civil, high profile, and ordinary trials.

And that's what I write about. In my books, cops are the good guys and the good guys always win.

My books are based on real incidents. Plus, I'm married to a retired FBI agent whose stellar career fuels my ideas and whose technical advice is invaluable. He also takes credit for the steamy scenes!

Social Media Links:


TikTok: author__Rena

Instagram: rena_koontz

1 Comment

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N. N. Light
Aug 15, 2022

Thank you, Rena, for sharing your book in our Mystery and Suspense Bookish Event!

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