skydiveDoesn’t it seem like just when life gets comfortable, something has to rock the boat? Okay, maybe “comfortable” is an exaggeration. I mean, life as a private investigator, single mom, and girlfriend to an unnervingly hot guy is a lot to juggle. But recently, life has felt “routine”. . .in a good, reliable way. That’s why I don’t know what to do about this letter I got from jail.

Part of me wants to pretend it didn’t arrive—that there isn’t an incarcerated mom desperately worried about her endangered daughter, Kat, who just “aged out” of foster care. The other part of me is an expert at worrying, both as a mom and a P.I. And when my worries feel instinctual, they’re impossible to ignore. Kind of like a screaming child when you just got on the phone with your best friend. (No surprise I’m also an expert at differentiating types of screams. What mom isn’t?)

Speaking of best friends, that’s who I need to call about this whole thing: my BFF Kenna. Sure, she can be startlingly blunt and pushy, but I haven’t walked a mile in her six-inch heels. (I have pole danced in them, however, thanks to her shenanigans.) In fact, Kenna’s the perfect match for my more cautious personality. Also, she just finished her private investigator training, so maybe she’ll want to help me out. Now that would be interesting. . .as long as she doesn’t get us into trouble.

The kids will be home from school soon, which means I better get going. I need to finish some work, make snacks, plan dinner, and shower before heading to the bus stop. Not that the other parents/caregivers would judge my frazzled style. (Elementary school bus stops should be more like mini support groups.) But my boyfriend is coming for dinner, and I’d rather smell like soap than the sweaty soccer uniforms I just threw in the washer, at least at this stage of our relationship. Hm. I can’t help but wonder where that’s going, too.

Things are more peaceful than ever right now, but I have a feeling that’s going to change. I’m not sure if it’ll be for the better (excitement, progress, and making a difference!), for the worse (danger, destruction, and failure!), or a mix both. No matter what, I know it will be an adventure.

Skydive is the third book in the Nicki Valentine mystery series, published by Henery Press, November 2016.

Life is finally settling down for private investigator Nicki Valentine, her kids, and her boyfriend Dean. But when a jailed mom seeks help for her endangered biological daughter, who just “aged out” of foster care, Nicki can’t say no.

With Dean by her side and her free-wheeling BFF eager to investigate too, Nicki braves back alleys, drug dens, and the strip-club scene, all while wondering if any risk is too great when it comes to finding a teen in trouble.

As if navigating the mean streets of King County, Virginia, isn’t enough, Nicki also faces the realities of dating as a single mom, including “sleepover” requests she never anticipated. Ultimately—in both relationships and work—Nicki must decide, “How much am I willing to risk for love?”

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About the author
Susan O’Brien has been passionate about reading and writing since childhood, when she started a neighborhood newspaper and escaped tween stress with mysteries. Since covering her first big story (the birth of gerbils next door), she has worked with USA TODAY, PI Magazine, The Parent Institute and others. Her debut mystery, Finding Sky, was nominated for a Best First Novel Agatha Award. Among Susan’s diverse interests are photography, gardening, loud R&B music, healing prayer and reality TV. She lives with her husband and children in a D.C. suburb and donates part of her earnings to missing children’s organizations. Visit her online at, on Twitter and on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a digital copy of Finding Sky. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends November 30, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

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