Spotlight & Giveaway: Cold Case Reopened by Caridad Pineiro

Posted March 18th, 2021 by in Blog, Spotlight / 61 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Caridad Pineiro to HJ!

Hi Caridad and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Cold Case Reopened!

Welcome to HJ and thank you for coming by to find out more about my new release!

To start off, can you please tell us a little bit about this book?:

This is my very first book for Harlequin Intrigue and it has one of my favorite topics: a cold case! The heroine is Rhea Reilly whose twin sister Selene disappeared six months earlier. Rhea is convinced that the Colorado authorities have given up on finding out the truth about her twin’s disappearance and has been doing her own investigation into what happens. She manages to convince police detective Jackson Whitaker to reopen the case based on the evidence even though doing so may risk his career. What follows is a page turner as Rhea and Jackson track down the truth and also fight their growing attraction!

Please share your favorite lines or quote(s) from this book:

“You should be more careful and check to see who it is before you open the door.”
Anger ignited instantly at his chastisement. “I was expecting room service. Not the police.”

It was hard to believe that such beauty possibly held unspeakable evil.
Rhea Reilly stood on the shore of the mountain lake where six months earlier her twin sister, Selene, had disappeared on a cold fall night.

Determined,” he said, the latter word followed by a playful chuckle.
She considered him over the lip of the glass, thinking about how to answer. After a pause, she said, “I know some people think artists can be temperamental and flighty. You probably did.”
He smiled as he scraped the last of his pie from the plate and then licked the fork clean. “I plead the fifth,” he joked, but then quickly added, “But you probably thought I was uptight and by-the-book.”
She felt the urge to shake him up a little. “I still do, but I look forward to you proving me wrong.”


What inspired this book?

I watch a lot of true crime shows and when I was asked by the editor to dream up a cold case story, I wracked my brains for ideas from so many cases that I’d watched and tried to put together a story that would keep people turning pages as they try to figure out who did it along with the hero and heroine! I also tried to give readers a big surprise at the end of the story.


How did you ‘get to know’ your main characters? Did they ever surprise you?

I always work up a character sketch before I start the story. I give them a job, birthday, and other details and try to know them before I write. That helps a lot, but yeah, they do surprise me at times! In this story, it was a surprise to see how Rhea slowly falls for a man who is nothing like what she’s used to and that was a lot of fun.


What was your favorite scene to write?

My favorite scene to write was the first meeting between Rhea and Jackson. It’s one that didn’t necessarily start off well and which laid out what the conflict would be immediately: Jackson believing they made the right decision about Rhea’s twin’s disappearance and Rhea dropping a big bomb, namely, that she still thinks her sister Selene is alive!


What was the most difficult scene to write?

I think the hardest scene to write was one where Rhea, Jackson, and one of Jackson’s friends visit a location to try and locate Selene’s body. Jackson is concerned about how it will affect Rhea, especially since he is beginning to have feelings for Rhea and wants to protect her. Here is a little snippet from that scene:

THEY HIKED BENEATH the rising wall of the ridge for close to an hour, Jackson ahead of her, hacking through vines and thick underbrush. Yards behind her, his friend Diego gave the dogs free rein to check the area for signs of any decomposition. For signs of Selene. They didn’t hit on anything, which was both a disappointment and a relief.
Sweat dripped down the middle of her back, and her temples from the heat and humidity in the forest. Sweat lines were visible down Jackson’s back and armpits as he cut their way through the forest. In another half an hour, they finally reached a spot directly beneath the building location.
Jackson stopped, sucked in a deep breath and wiped away sweat with a muscled forearm. He shot a quick look at her. “You okay?”
Her legs were trembling, she was a little out of breath and a lot hot, but she shook her head and said, “I’m okay.”
Jackson peered over her shoulder at Diego. “How about you, amigo?”
Diego smiled. “A walk in the park,” he teased. With a hand signal, he set the dogs into action. They scurried into the nearby woods, sniffing here and there, jumping over fallen logs and beneath tangled vines. As time passed, it was clear they weren’t hitting on anything.
With a low whistle, Diego summoned the dogs back. “Nada here. Maybe we should press on a little more.”
Jackson sighed and looked at her. “You okay with that?”
“I’m ready to do anything we need to do.” She was determined not to waste this opportunity.
They pushed on, and then in an even wider circle in the area closest to the custom home’s location up on the ridge.
But despite all their hard work in clearing the underbrush and hiking through the rough terrain, the dogs failed to locate anything.
It was impossible for Jackson not to see the mixed emotions spiraling through Rhea. Despair. Relief. Disappointment. Hope.
He laid an arm around her shoulders and drew her near. Brushing a kiss on her temple and ignoring Diego’s surprised look, he said, “Don’t let this get you down. We’ll find her.”
She turned into him and murmured, “It’s just…I don’t know. I’m upset, but also relieved, you know.”
He knew, boy did he know. “Let’s go grab a bite and regroup. Decide what else we have to do in Avalon before heading home.”
Home. His cabin had always felt like home, but with Rhea there now it felt more…complete, worrying him.
It was too much, too soon and, as Diego shot him another questioning look, he realized his friend was likewise wondering what was up.
Rhea nodded, and he released her so they could trudge back through the path they had blazed earlier. By the time they reached their cars, his entire body was bathed in sweat, and his arm was beginning to ache from swinging the machete to cut through the underbrush.
At his cruiser, Rhea stopped and offered a smile to Diego. “Thank you so much for doing this. We really appreciate your help.”
“Anything for an old friend,” Diego said and clapped Jackson on the back. Maybe a little too hard, Jackson thought and grimaced as pain swept across his lower back.
“We do appreciate it, amigo,” Jackson said, but sensed his friend wanted a private moment. Especially when Diego jerked his head in the direction of his pickup.
He got Rhea settled in the cruiser. “I’ll be back in a second.”
She nodded, and he joined his friend as Diego rewarded his dogs and then loaded them into their boxes.
With a quick glance in Rhea’s direction, Diego said in a low whisper, “Do you know what you’re doing?”
Jackson didn’t dare look toward Rhea, afraid he’d reveal too much. He also wasn’t sure what to tell his friend. “I know we’re trying to investigate her sister’s disappearance.”
“But that’s not all, Jax. It’s obvious you have feelings for her,” Diego said and finished securing the latches on the dog boxes. He leaned on the tailgate. “Is that going to compromise your investigation?”
“No. I won’t let whatever is happening between us change what I have to do.”
Diego arched a brow. “Which is?”
“Find out what really happened to Selene Reilly.”


Would you say this book showcases your writing style or is it a departure for you?

I’ve written in quote a number of different romance genres, but I think that Cold Case Reopened showcases my writing style in the romantic suspense genre. There is action, mystery, but also lots of emotion and romance as well as characters that you feel as if they are almost real people.


What do you want people to take away from reading this book?

I would love for people to take away the power of love, sisterhood, and having faith. That’s the biggest takeaway from Cold Case Reopened.


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?

I am currently working on another Harlequin Intrigue titled Trapping the Terrorist which will be out in October 2021. In late May I have a release from Hallmark titled South Beach Love which is a fun story about two chefs who end up in an unexpected competition at the same time that they are falling in love. I also have a women’s fiction book for Sourcebooks in 2022.In the meantime, I’m working on various projects that I hope to sell and also re-releasing the books in The Calling is Reborn Vampire Suspense series!


Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: I’m so excited to be doing a giveaway! One lucky winner will get a $15 gift card to the retailer of their choice!


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: I am addicted to true crime and cold case shows! How about you? Do you love those kinds of shows and stories?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Excerpt from Cold Case Reopened:

It was hard to believe that such beauty possibly held unspeakable evil.
Rhea Reilly stood on the shore of the mountain lake where six months earlier her twin sister, Selene, had disappeared on a cold fall night.
Her artist’s eye took in the scene before her. The waters of the lake sparkled like diamonds beneath a sunny cerulean sky. At the farthest end of the lake, the waters tumbled over a spillway for the dam that held back a rush of water during a spring thaw or heavy rain. In the distance, ragged mountains leaped into the sky, still frosted with the remnants of winter snow at the highest elevations.
Normally she would have savored painting such a lovely sight, but not today, when it might be her sister’s watery tomb.
Rhea hugged her arms tight around herself, closed her eyes and listened to the soft lap of the water against the rocky shores of the lake. Imagined Selene standing there that fateful night, tapping out the message she’d sent to Rhea.
I can’t take it anymore. I can’t. I’m finally going to do something about it.
The police had taken that text to mean that Selene had decided to end her life that night, right there on the shores of those stunningly beautiful mountain waters. But Rhea wasn’t convinced.
Although her sister had been troubled the last few months, Rhea was certain that Selene would never take her life. If anything, it was more likely that Selene’s husband had killed her sister, but the police in Selene’s hometown had been unable to find enough evidence to charge him. No-body homicides were apparently very difficult to prosecute.
The police here in Regina, Colorado, where Selene’s car had been found by the lake, were convinced that her sister had committed suicide, even though they also hadn’t been able to find Selene’s body.
But Rhea was sure her sister wasn’t dead. There was something inside her, that special twin connection they had always shared, that had been saying from the very beginning that Selene was alive and hurting.
That was why she’d undertaken her own investigation once her sister’s case had become inactive because the police had run out of leads.
Rhea dashed away the tears that had leaked from beneath eyes screwed shut.
Her sister was alive and, if she wasn’t, her husband was responsible. She intended for the police to do something about it based on the information she had collected over the last six months. But for the truth to come out, she needed more corroborating evidence and only the police could provide the resources to accomplish that.
She whirled, stumbled a bit on the rough rocks beneath her feet. Righting herself, she marched to her car which she had parked on the street near where Selene’s sedan had been found. The street would have been deserted when Selene had texted her that night.
Rhea stopped to look around, examining the scene. Along the edges of the lake, a marina spread out across the shore. Dozens of boats were parked at the docks behind a large building that held a restaurant, a marina office and a shop that sold supplies for boaters, as well as tourists, partaking of the lake’s many summer activities.
Across the way were a few homes and in one of those homes was a witness who had seen Selene park and walk toward the lake. The older woman hadn’t thought much of it because people often stopped, even at night, to take in the splendor of the lake.
Rhea intended to speak to her, but hopefully with the police to back her up and add their own expertise to the interrogation.
The police.
It all kept circling around to needing their assistance, so it was time she got going and spoke to them about Selene’s case.
She got in her car and headed to Main Street and the Regina Police Station. As she cruised down Main Street, she was once again struck by the loveliness of the town. It was postcard-perfect with its charming downtown filled with an eclectic mix of shops that catered to locals as well as the tourists who would visit for skiing and water sports.
Rhea found a spot just a block shy of the police station, parked and grabbed the thick folder bulging with the information she had gathered over the many months. With it tucked under her arm, cradled as securely as a newborn baby, she walked to the police station and paused at the base of the steps.
Like everything else about this town, the police station looked like something off a movie set. The building blended harmoniously with the other structures along Main Street. On either side of the wide steps leading to the door, spring flowers in a riot of colors cascaded over the edges of the terraced garden. Bright pink, purple and blue blossoms waved at her in welcome as a slight breeze swept across the street, still a bit cold despite it being early spring.
The chill settled in her bones as if warning her that she might not be happy with what she found inside.
She dragged in air through her nostrils and then expelled it with a harsh breath.
Time to get going. She stomped up the stairs and to the reception desk.
The sergeant at the desk did a little double take, as if seeing a ghost, and Rhea understood. She and Selene were identical twins and Selene’s case had caused quite a stir in the normally placid town. It was unlikely that the police officer hadn’t seen a photo of Selene in the station or on the news.
“I’m Rhea Reilly. Selene’s sister. I was hoping to speak to the chief if he had a moment,” she said. She hadn’t made an appointment because she wasn’t sure of the welcome she’d get. Especially considering how poorly the meeting with the Avalon police chief had gone. What with rumors about the Blue Code, she hadn’t wanted to take any chances; the Regina police chief might not see her if word of her mission had traveled to him.
“I’ll see if he’s available,” the officer said and gestured for her to take a seat in the reception area, but Rhea had too much nervous energy to sit. She paced as the young woman called the chief. Heard the murmurs as the officer spoke to him before rising to say, “The chief will see you, but he has only a few minutes before another meeting.”
The young woman gestured toward the back of the building where the police chief stood at the door to his office. He was dressed in a bright blue shirt the color of the lake waters and dark blue pants. The shirt strained against a bull chest and broad midsection. A shiny gold badge pinned to the right breast of his shirt identified him as the chief while on the left breast the town’s emblem was embroidered on a patch. White, blue and gold colors on the badge-shaped patch showed the mountains in the background, skiers on a slope to the left and a swimmer in waves to the right. Tourists. The town’s lifeblood, Rhea thought. Because of that, a murder in their town was the last thing the police and town officials would want. Easier just to call it a suicide.
The chief did a “come here” wave with his hand, but his weathered face was set in stern lines, his mouth a harsh slash that was clearly at odds with his gesture.
Despite his less than friendly demeanor, she pushed through the barrier the desk sergeant buzzed open and marched to the chief’s office, her folder tucked tight against her.
As she did so, she passed one man who sat handcuffed on a bench by an officer’s desk. Rough-looking with a heavily bearded face, he jumped, almost startled as she neared, and the color drained from his face. His hard eyes, dark and brooding, widened in surprise much like the desk sergeant’s before he schooled the reaction.
Something about him sent a shiver of apprehension through her, but she tamped it down and proceeded to the chief’s office.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

They are on a cold trail

And running out of time.

Rhea Reilly is certain her twin sister’s sudden disappearance six months ago wasn’t a suicide, no matter what Colorado authorities think. She can’t afford to trust police detective Jackson Whitaker—even if he’s risking his career to uncover the truth. But a lethal trail of lies is drawing them together…and into an inescapable trap.

From Harlequin Intrigue: Seek thrills. Solve crimes. Justice served.

Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Google |

Meet the Author:

Caridad Pineiro is a transplanted Long Island girl who has fallen in love with the Jersey Shore. When Caridad isn’t taking long strolls along the boardwalk, she’s also a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author with over a million romance novels sold worldwide. Caridad is passionate about writing and helping others explore and develop their skills as writers. She is a founding member of the Liberty States Fiction Writers and has presented workshops at the RT Book Club Convention, Romance Writers of America National Conference as well as various writing organizations throughout the country. You can connect with Caridad at
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | GoodReads |




61 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Cold Case Reopened by Caridad Pineiro”

  1. Jeanna Massman

    I am also addicted. I love the peek into the victim’s life and trying to figure out what happened.

  2. Jennifer Shiflett

    Yes! I watch a lot of them, and also some channels on YouTube that are dedicated to true crime.

  3. Marcy Meyer

    I enjoy those types of shows sometimes. The drama can be overwhelming to me if I watch too much.

  4. laurieg72

    WOW! I have to say I don’t go looking for these shows but once in awhile going through the TV channels a story captures my attention. The CBS series 48 Hours comes to mind.

    I remember the Sharon Tate murder. I also remember reading about the KY family murdered, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. I’ve watched the original CSI series. Documentaries about Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dalmer and Scott Lacy too.

    I prefer happy endings and HEA’s.

  5. SusieQ

    Yes, I was on a kick where I read a lot of John Douglas (former FBI profiler) books. Fascinating, but makes you paranoid after a while.

  6. Caridad Pineiro

    Thank you all so much for sharing if you like the cold case and true crime shows! I watch a lot of them and also love the ID channel, but I also love HEAs! I think you will enjoy Cold Case Reopened and the ending, but please, NO SPOILERS!

  7. Caro

    Yes, I love those shows. I love true crime, it’s fascinating to me. The mind of evil people. I watch Discovery ID and used to love CSI, I just love how they solved crimes and EVERYTHING can be a clue.
    That whole world, from finding the bad guy to the trial. Fascinating.

  8. Pammie R.

    I was a huge fan of Diagnosis Murder back in the ’90s then watched all three incarnations of CSI during the 2000s. I’ve been watching Blue Bloods more recently.

  9. diannekc

    I’m also addicted to true crime and cold case shows. It’s amazing what people think they can get away with and amazing how they solve cold cases.

    • Caridad Pineiro

      My brother-in-law is a retired NYPD Detective and one of his old buddies has a show on where he pairs with a psychic to help with hauntings. I watched two shows and had to stop because they made me so scared!

  10. Anna Nguyen

    yes i love those true crime shows like 48 hours, forensic files, and more. kind of creepy addiction i guess but so interesting to see the info unfold

  11. Vicki Clevinger

    I don’t often watch those kind of shows, however I do watch shows like Blue Bloods and Chicago Fire

  12. Pamela Conway

    I used to watch those shows but not so much anymore but they definitely suck you in!

  13. Patricia B.

    I enjoy suspense and intrigue stories, Harlequin Intrigue has been a long time favorite, but real crime shows do not really appeal. I think the fact that real people have been injured or killed and others have suffered due to it is the likely reason. Like paranormal books, it is fine reading about fictional characters, but dealing with them in real life is not anything I would want to do. It is distressing that true evil really does exist.

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