Here And Gone

SERIES: Single-Title
GENRE: Romantic Suspense, Small Town
ENDING: HEA (They’re a couple and live Happily Ever After)
WORD COUNT: Over 100,000 words (very large book)
HERO’S AGE: 30-39
HEAT LEVEL: Steamy (Talk Dirty To Me)
GRAPHIC LANGUAGE: Some (The occasional “F” bomb, lots of smack talk, some explicit sex)


Hannah Clarke, a wife and mom one day, is a widow without a child the next. Two years later, living as H.L. Mason in Fossil, Colorado, her safe new world explodes with a revelation so shocking and horrifying she can hardly grasp it. By chance, she meets Sheriff Noah Ward, and though she’s leery of cops after being accused of killing her family, she needs help. Noah, a former Navy SEAL, agrees to do what he can, but he soon discovers the case is far more insidious than parental abduction.

Hannah and Noah face another challenge, as well, because it’s love at first sight for them, but Hannah’s still a married woman. Will Hannah find her son, or will she fall prey to her deceitful husband and his cohorts, who prefer to resolve their problems by killing them? Do she and Noah have a chance to get their happily-ever-after?


Hannah Mason didn’t actually move into her new home under the cover of darkness, but she might as well have, for all the subterfuge involved in her relocation.

That’s what happened when you were a major front-page headline in the local papers for months on end. Hannah called it crucifixion by journalism.

In the beginning, it had been difficult to crawl out of bed and face the world. No one except her family got that she was immersed in grief. Outside, vigilantism prevailed and nothing short of burning her at the stake would have satisfied those who had assumed the role of judge, jury, and executioner.

If not for the diligence of that self-appointed lynch mob, she might have crawled under the covers and given up living altogether. Instead, being a woman of strong will and determination, she forced herself to get up, get dressed, and accomplish something every day, no matter how small the task or how difficult the effort to climb out of bed.

At first, that meant repairing the daily damage wrought by those who persisted in leaving hateful graffiti on her front door, or painted threats on her house. After almost a year, the entrance to her home had so many coats of paint, she gave up trying to conceal the messages and replaced the door. Her brother-in-law installed a glass storm door over that, which she locked every night, and cleaned with a one-sided razor blade first thing almost every morning. There wasn’t a nasty negative word in the dictionary that hadn’t been used against her.

Regardless of the absurd lies and conjectures the media invented, or how many times the police pounded her with the same questions they’d asked a dozen times before, or who the life insurance company sent to interrogate her, Hannah refused to cave into depression or desperation. She also worked hard not to succumb to the grief that consumed her from the inside out.

After the vile defacements had been obliterated each day, she forced herself to sit at her home-office workstation. As a scientific illustrator, she’d taken on jobs from various publishers and authors and, by God, she’d complete them. She called them her rejuvenation pills. She also made time every day to work on the book she’d started for Jay. Getting lost in line drawings and colorations had turned out to be an unexpected salve against the sorrow she experienced for her lost little boy every hellacious day.

When she couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer, she tumbled into bed, hoping, praying, for a dreamless slumber. If she was lucky, she only cried herself to sleep. If she wasn’t, she had nightmares about how horrific it must have been for Jason and Jay, her husband and five-year-old son, out there on the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, in a sailboat, all alone, with no one to rescue them from drowning when the boat capsized.

She tried not to think about the creatures that lived and thrived beneath the water and how they’d react to the temptation of human flesh.

She tried not to think about the dying thoughts of the two people she cared about and loved more than her own life.

And most of all, she tried not to think about how she would face the rest of her life without them.

Meet Ann Simas

Ann Simas lives in Oregon, but she is a Colorado girl at heart, having grown up in the Rocky Mountains. An avid word-lover since childhood, she penned her first fiction “book” in high school. She particularly likes to write a mix of mystery-thriller-suspense, with a love story and paranormal elements. She is the author of 22 books, 1 short-story collection, and 1 novella. Her books Chloe’s Spirit, First Star, and Blessed Are the Eagles, were Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalists.

An award-winning watercolorist and a budding photographer, Ann also enjoys needlework and gardening in her spare time. She is her family’s “genealogist” and has been blessed with the opportunity to conduct first-hand research in Italy for both her writing and her family tree. The genealogy research from century’s old documents, written in Italian, has been a supreme but gratifying and exciting challenge for her.