Rachel Trautmiller Brings Amanda and Robinson from “Aftermath” to IC Today!

Connie: Some of you may already know the wonderful, exciting Romantic Suspense author, Rachel Trautmiller, or at least the first two books of her series, The Bening Files—Linked and Disconnect. Very exciting stories!!!

She is here today to give away one copy of her latest release, Aftermath, to one lucky commenter below (choice of Amazon ebook or paperback). Details at the end of this interview.

She also brought along a couple of her characters from that series so we can get to know them a little better. Amanda

I’ll let them introduce themselves …

Amanda: First of all, thanks for hosting us on Infinite Characters, Connie. I’m Amanda Nettles.

Robinson: <ahem> Robinson. You mean Amanda Robinson.

Amanda: <brow arches as she turns to the man sharing the loveseat> Isn’t that what I said?

Robinson: No, but I forgive you. It’s still new.

A: And here I was, worrying for nothing. <smirks> I’m Amanda Robinson. And this is Special Agent-in-Charge, Baker Jackson Desmond Robinson the fourth.

RobinsonR: <winces> Thanks for that.

A: You’re welcome, Baker Jack—

R: OKAY. As you can tell, we’re pretty comfortable with each other. We work together whenever the FBI Charlotte field office and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department team up.

Connie: Well

A: Or if you need a favor.

R: You know you like it.

A: Pleading the fifth.

<Connie sighs>

R: Together, we’ve been keeping Charlotte safe for over five years.

A: It’s been a wild ride.

Connie: I’ll bet. Moving right along Now, tell us three things about yourself that would surprise our readers.

Amanda: I hate donuts.

<Connie chokes>

Robinson: That’s un-American. Like saying you hate pizza. And not surprising, for you. She said surprising.

A: Are you going to thwart all my answers for this entire interview?

Connie: Thwart?

R: Maybe.

A: Fine. You name something surprising, then.

<Connie arches and expectant brow at Robinson>

R: <rubs hands together> Sometimes I sneak decaf into the coffee maker, at home.

<Connie gasps>

A: What? You’re lying.

R: Nope.

A: That’s grounds for divorce, Robbie. Don’t mess with my caffeine.

Connie: Um

R: Empty threats. Now, shock us, A.J. and maybe I’ll promise to never do it again. Maybe.

A: I’m making the coffee from now on.

R: It’s for your own good. You’re gonna explode your heart and get diabetes.

<Connie grimaces>

A: <settles into couch and grumbles> My family took in foster children when I was growing up.

R: We’re all slack-jawed, here.

A: Shush. One night a foster sibling and I decided to sneak out and get matching tattoos.

R: Let me guess, this has to do with Bet—

A: <slaps a hand over his mouth> Don’t ruin my story, Robbie. We snuck out. Got to the tattoo parlor. Waded through a little red tape because we were minors—seventeen at the time. Had no idea what we wanted to get. Ended up with an interesting daisy on our left ankles.

R: <crosses arms> Okay, let’s see it.

A: I had it removed a few years ago.

Connie: <takes deep breath> Next questionShare something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader get to know you a little better.

R: We’re pretty boring. You know, get up. Drink coffee.

A: Preferably, not decaf.

R: You didn’t even know the difference.

Connie: ChildrenI mean

A: Anyway. We’re boring. We eat, shower. Fight crime.

Connie: Oh!

R: Avoid getting knifed…

A: Over the lack of caffeine in our hot beverages.

R: Kidnapped. Bombed.Aftermath cover

<Connie flinches>

A: <shakes head>

R: What? Too soon?

A: Because those things come right after breakfast, every day of the week? We just chug our brew—

R: You drink milk with a splash of coffee, anyway.

A: You’re impossible. <faces Connie> Connie, he’s impossible.

<Connie smiles tight>

R: You said it. I elaborated. And you’re getting me off topic.

A: You were saying…

R: Yeah. We’re your typical American family. Busy with life and work and—

A: Sabotaging my coffee.

Connie: <blows a shrill whistle!!!> Um ahem. <composes self> When did things change dramatically in your life?

Amanda: I would imagine that’s obvious by now. <uses index finger to discreetly point toward Robinson>

Robinson: I could name a few, exact examples. A crumpled Harley and some dangerous cases come to mind.

A: Don’t ruin the fun for Infinite Characters’ readers, Robbie. They’ll love discovering every facet of our story. The fun begins in Linked.

R: Fun? You were a total pain at the time.

Connie: No name call

A: I could say the same about you.

Connie: Okay, next question. In three words describe yourself.

Robinson: Sassy. Smart. Beautiful.

Amanda: She said describe yourself.

R: Now, who’s thwarting the interview? And who said I wasn’t describing myself?

A: On. Your. Toes. That’s Robinson. And it encompasses every situation you’ll ever find yourself in with him.

Connie: Awww, you guys are so . sweet. I think. <ahem> Are you highly scheduled types, or do you like to wing it?

Amanda: You’re kidding, right? The only thing this guy schedules is that he’ll eat an apple sometime during the day. I saw him eying the fruit basket you had in the lobby.

Connie: Thats only for

Robinson: That might be the kettle calling the pot black, there, sweetheart. This woman works best in on-the-fly situations. Thrives on it, actually.

A: You’re making me sound like a crazed criminal chaser, Mr. Jump-Into-The-Thick-Of-Trouble.

R: So, we’re perfectly matched in our scheduled practice of winging it.

Connie: <blinks rapidly> I see What has life taught you?

Amanda: You can only protect yourself so much. Whatever will happen is going to and you can survive the mess or grow from it. Trying to anticipate the unknown is like envisioning what every dip of a roller coaster will feel like before you hit it. At some point, it’s better to enjoy the part of the ride you’re on, instead of stressing about the possible jarring turns. Life is stranger than fiction. Miracles happen. Sometimes there is no right answer, but an urgency to go what’s right even if it means you might lose something you hold dear.

<Connie turns to Robinson>

Robinson: Couldn’t have said it better.

Connie:<mouth drops opened> Oh uh Well then What would you be doing if you werent fighting crime, getting knifed, bombed, kidnapped and um <shivers> sabotaging coffee?

Amanda: That’s a tough one.

Robinson: Amanda do anything besides hunt down criminals? Not happening. Don’t even insinuate it. You’ll be sorry.

A: <sends a lighthearted glare in his direction> It’s a figurative question.

R: You know it’s true.

A: It’s a tough question to answer, because I love what I do. Being a detective isn’t exactly a cake walk, but I love knowing I’ve saved a life. Righted a wrong. Helped a multitude of people find closure. So, theoretically, if I weren’t with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, I’d probably own an art gallery.

R: If that’s true, I’d be driving a bus for the city. Happy as a clam. Here’s the thing. You can excel at anything you do. We all can. An art gallery? Well, that’d be a dream come true wrapped up in a job. Don’t get me wrong, Amanda’s paintings are striking. Gallery worthy.

Now, tracking down criminals? That’s her life. It’s what she’s meant to do. Period.

Connie: Hmmmmm.

A: Driving a bus? That’s the first profession that comes to mind?

R: Big vehicle. Lots of people. What’s not to love?

Connie: What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing youve ever done?

Robinson: <groans> Are these questions designed to prove how crazy we are?

Connie: Not usually

R: Because risk is somewhere in Amanda’s name. Scratch that, it flows through her veins. And it’s a good thing.

Amanda: <demure laughter> Sometimes. I’m—we’re about to do probably the coolest, wackiest thing ever.

R: Not another word, A.J., it’s not official.

A: Not yet.

Connie: Is there anything else youd like to tell us?

R: Our story is far from over.

A: That’s it? No wise parting line?

R: There’s no mystery otherwise.


Amanda: <digs in pocket> Sorry, forgot to turn it on silent.

Robinson: <leans near> Ah, Detective Davis.

A: She’s my partner at CMPD.

R: You know that means one of two things. That girl is hiding something big. Remember that, A.J.

A: Not everything is sinister in nature.

R: I’m not taking any chances.

Connie: <shakes her head, blinks, and turns to the author> Well, Rachel, thank you for bringing Amanda and Robinson to us today. Where can fans find out more about them, you or your books on the internet?

Rachel: You can find (and follow) my mayhem on Amazon.





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Want to check out an excerpt of Aftermath?


Here’s the Blurb:

Lives taken. Families destroyed. Trust betrayed. Rebuilding is paramount to survival. Can all family hurdles be overcome? Does forgiveness come to all? Redemption awaits…
Teenage girls are going missing in broad daylight. No witnesses. No struggle. Having been tipped off from the last person anyone should trust, Baker Jackson Robinson knows involving Detective Amanda Nettles is risky. For her, their colleague, SBI Agent Parker Williams and himself. Convincing her to put her life and career on the line isn’t a decision he’s made lightly.
With a new string of crime on the horizon, Detective Amanda Nettles keeps herself plenty busy. Doesn’t think about an unfinished wedding to her favorite FBI agent. The almost family that wasn’t. Nor the thorough Internal Affairs investigation that left her—and her coworkers questioning everything inside the precinct, fingers pointed in her direction. Instead, toeing the line is more important than ever. And hoping her talent and work ethic might restore her once-good name.
But she’s not stupid enough to believe it will return anything—or anyone else.
When Parker Williams is brutally attacked and left for dead, the journal of a young girl the only thing linking his whereabouts to their current case, however minimal, the choice is simple. This teen is either the missing puzzle piece they need or another wild goose chase sending them down a narrow rabbit hole.

Either way, life is life. And Amanda’s done hiding. With the pages of the missing teen’s diary eerily like another woman’s, they’ll have to decide if coming face-to-face with unspeakable evil will yield answers or crumble an already shaky foundation.
**This book is part of a series. Reading the books in order will heighten your enjoyment of the characters within each story.**

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION!!!! Don’t forget to comment below before midnight Thursday, October 15th, to enter to win a free copy of this book!!!


Rachels headshotRachel strives to write novels filled with murder, mayhem and romance that leave her readers wanting more incredible twists and turns. Side note: A nightlight may be required. Some bleary-eyed, early mornings have been known to occur.

When she’s not riveting readers with the chaotic mess of her character’s lives, she can be found poolside with her husband and extremely cute toddler, a dog and one fat cat. She enjoys football, reading, finger-painting with her daughter and discussing the NFL draft with her husband. Loves anything to do with the FBI, law enforcement and the military, spending time with friends and family. And interacting with her readers.

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Is There Anything Good About Suffering?

positive side of suffering



How could pain and suffering ever have a positive side? I find myself going to the doctor more and more these day. What’s good about that? My old clunker of a car broke down, and I don’t have enough money for a new one. I should be happy ? Now I made my best friend mad, and I don’t think she ever wants to talk to me again. Again, I ask, why should I rejoice in that?

The longer I walk with the Lord in this life, I find that the world tells me one thing, but God’s word says something entirely different. Society says I should stress out about health, financial or relational problems. That I can’t be content if I have these bothersome complications assaulting me. But Praise the Lord, He says something different about suffering.

The other morning I was reading in Romans. Chapter 5 verses 3 through 5 to be exact. The words communicated an amazing message to me. First, here are the verses.

“No only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. and hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

When things go wrong in my life, it makes me want to seek the Lord all the more, helping me to realize I can’t walk through this life alone. I become more persistent in my prayer life and Bible reading. In turn, God willing, my spiritual tenacity grows my character and helps me to become even stronger in the Lord. With that strength, I find I can place my hope in God where it belongs. Because God has poured out His love for us, His children, my hope in Him does not fade or falter.

Though suffering is never any fun, if it can produce these positive characteristics in my life, I’d say it is worth it.

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Vanessa’s Character Picks October 1, 2015

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Vanessa’s Character Picks September 29, 2015

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Vanessa’s Character Picks September 24, 2015

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Vanessa’s Character Picks September 22, 2015

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Discerning God’s Will

“There are too many decisions.” Amy complained to her best friend. “I don’t think I can handle this.”

“What?” Sophie’s eyebrows lifted. “Getting a job or going to school?”

“Both!” Amy shoved her soft drink away and folded her arms. “And more. Where to live. Who to live with. Who should I date? What about marriage? Should we have kids or wait? Maybe we shouldn’t have any. Life’s so awful, I’d hate to foist it off on some innocent child.”

Sophie burst out laughing. “You sound so serious. You aren’t even dating right now.”

“I know, but I am serious.” Amy leaned forward with her arms on the café table. She hadn’t had a heart-to-heart with Sophie in far too long. Their lunch meetings were rare now that Sophie had found her dream job. Amy should be so lucky—or as Sophie would call it, blessed.

She looked into her friend’s eyes. “It’s hard, Sophie. Knowing what is right. How can I know the mind of Christ? How do I know His will for my life?”

“I think there are many things we’ll never understand, but God has not left us totally clueless.” Sophie’s brown eyes darkened as she appeared to think. “Of course, we need to study the Bible and never go against Jesus’ teachings.”

Amy shrugged. “That’s a given. What else?”

Sophie’s brows drew together. “How about example? Do some research and find out what has worked for others. Like my sister for instance. She married a man who went to church but didn’t really believe. She said thinking she could change him was the biggest mistake she’d ever made. She told me I’d better learn from her mistakes. That’s true for any decision you have to make. Ask around about jobs, schools, where to live, men you date, or any choice you face. Open your eyes and don’t step blindly into a situation. Maybe you can’t control everything in this life, but you can walk a lighted path.”

“That makes sense.” Amy stared at her hands now clasped on the table before her. “I worked in a fast food restaurant in high school. I would have to be desperate to try that again.” She looked up. “Not that it wasn’t an honorable job. It just wasn’t for me. I really hated to go to work, and was so glad when my shift ended. So my own experience sheds light on the path too. But what about facing the unknown? How can I know when it’s right to step out into an area where I’ve never been and there’s no one else to learn from?”

“We haven’t mentioned prayer.” A soft smile crossed Sophie’s face. “Where would we be without prayer and the leading of God’s Holy Spirit? If we don’t remain in an attitude of prayer, we won’t be close enough to hear Him. And really, I believe this is our most important guide to discernment.”

“Wow!” Amy lifted her soft drink in a sort of salute. “I’m in total agreement, and I don’t feel so lost and alone now like I did. Thank you for taking time to remind me of what I need to do. I think I’ll start with prayer and add the rest as I try to reason out all this jumble in my mind. Probably snap decisions aren’t wise either.”

“Probably not.” Sophie laughed before taking a drink from her cup.

Laurie and the Lawman blog

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:6

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Vanessa’s Character Picks September 20, 2015

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The Recent Supreme Court Decision

do you really know how to trust God

When I first heard the news, I felt compelled to start posting scripture after scripture on Facebook. It’s as if God’s word was the only hope I had. I began to grieve for my nation, knowing it would never be the same again. All day long, I only wanted to draw near to God and His people, to chat with them on FB and listen to worship songs on my computer. It was as if I just needed to remain in God’s presence all day. Regretfully that’s not my normal thought pattern.

Slowly, I began to be encouraged. Romans 8:28 says it all. God uses all things for the good of those who are called according to His purpose. How can He use this for good?

  1. God is separating sheep from goats, worldly values from Heavenly ones. More than ever, I realize how much I love God and treasure His word. Worshiping Him is more meaningful than ever.
  2. God’s people are more important to me than ever. I feel a strong bond with Christian brothers and sisters now that I’ve never realized before. I treasure people of like mind more now than ever.
  3. God’s Kingdom is more real to me than ever before. What Jesus did for us means even more to me.
  4. The values of the world are fading and God’s kingdom is more real to me than ever.

I guess the bottom line is, I am more aware of the Lord and His Kingdom. I’m more sure of Him than ever. My perspective has changed radically. God is making something beautiful out of the ashes of this world.  In the end He alone is victorious.

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Vanessa’s Character Picks September 17, 2015

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