Tag Archives: romantic suspense

Guest Release–Star-Spangled Suspense (a multi-author boxed set)

Star Spangled Suspense 110918

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A boxed set collection of romantic suspense novels featuring Exciting Tales of Patriotic Heroes from the Past to the Present. Titles included are: Deathwatch by VB Tenery, Circles of Fate by Pamela S Thibodeaux, Patriot Hearts by Tammy Trail and Daring to Live by Mary Vee

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EXCERPT from Circle of Fate by Pamela S. Thibodeaux

Todd hung up the phone and walked back to his barracks. It was good to hear Mike Ferel’s voice, and even better to know Shaunna and her mother were well. Nearly three months had passed since he left Fort Benning. Less than twenty-four hours after he arrived at Fort Lewis, the Army quarantined him and the rest of his company and put them into isolation to await departure to Vietnam. For nearly two weeks they stayed quartered together with no outside contact. They lived together, slept together, and worked together to build comradeship with the men they would live with, fight with and, very possibly, die with.

They shared practical jokes, funny stories and lives as each man tried to banish the fear they all felt of going to war. They talked, laughed, and cried for hours on end as each prepared for what would be the toughest test of their strength, courage and faith. When the tension and anticipation of the wait began to work against them, orders came in that they would not be going to the jungles of Vietnam. However, before the cheers and shouts of gratitude died down, several of the men—Todd included—were hand picked and flown to Panama for Jungle Survival, a course designed to train soldiers in the art of guerrilla warfare.

For eight weeks the soldiers lived, ate, slept, and crawled through the jungles of Panama while playing a very real game of war. They learned to look out for themselves and each other and how to survive under some of the toughest circumstances man could invent. When they thought they had the course mastered someone would think up another form of torture to inflict on them and then train them to handle it.

It turned out to be the toughest eight weeks of their lives as day after day officers drilled them to expect the unexpected. They learned the most effective ways to watch their comrades’ backs, and most importantly, they learned the true meaning of the term CYA: cover your anatomy.

PamelaSThibodeaux

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story!

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Guest Release–The Fourth Victim by Beverley Bateman

The Fourth Victim 1102

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Sara’s emotionally abusive husband dies unexpectedly. She’s struggling to reclaim the intelligent, independent person she was before she married. Now she’s part of a special team, training to help other women.

Mac is responsible for training women in special ops, so they are prepared in their challenge to save other women. When he meets Sara, sparks fly between them. He wants her to quit the training and let him take care of her.

Sara graduates. Her first assignment is to save Sara’s daughter from a serial killer. Can Mac step back in this dangerous situation? Can Sara and Mac resolve their issues?

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EXCERPT

The office said he’d had a heart attack. Was he alive? Did she want him to be? What if her husband had to stay home for a few weeks to recuperate? Palms sweating, Sara’s breath came in short, shallow bursts at the thought.

The taxi jerked to a stop in front of the hospital emergency entrance.

Sara fumbled through her purse and counted out her meager number of dollar bills. Gordon didn’t allow her to have a credit card and he only allowed her to have a small amount of cash. She didn’t have enough money to pay the taxi.

“I’m so sorry. I left home without any cash. I…I … Would you take a check?” Tears spilled over and trickled down her flushed cheeks.

The driver spun around. A short stubby finger waved at the sign over the rearview mirror. “Look lady, it says right there – No Checks.”

“I know, I know. I’m sorry. My husband’s had a heart attack and I … I don’t know what to do.” Sara ran her fingers through her hair and scrunched the tight bun at her neck.

The driver shook his head. “Aw, shit. Go ahead, lady. Write the check.”

Sara pulled the single crumpled check Gordon allowed her carry for emergencies out of her purse. When she touched the check a vision of Gordon floated in front of her.

She froze and rapidly blinked her eyes. She only saw the ghosts of dead people. Gordon didn’t believe her and forbid her to ever mention it.

Could he really be dead?

“Gordon?” she whispered.

“Lady, are you writing that check or not?”

“Yes, sorry.” Sara scribbled her signature on the bottom of the check. “Please, fill it in, and give yourself a generous tip. Thank you, thank you so much.” She clutching her worn purse to her chest, slid out of the cab, and scurried through the emergency room doors.

What if he was dead? She didn’t have any money. Gordon did all the finances and never shared anything with her. How would she manage?

Twenty years ago she could have handled it. Could she do it again? But he couldn’t be dead. Gordon would never allow that to happen.

His face flitted in front of her, fixed in an angry glare.

He had to be dead or she wouldn’t be seeing him. He didn’t want to be dead. He didn’t want her to be free. If he thought she could see him he’d be furious.

Sara shuffled toward the reception desk. She glanced over her shoulder, searching for some sign of Gordon, listening for his voice, waiting for him to yell at her. She couldn’t believe he was really dead, even though she had seen him. She clung to the edge of the transition counter, her head down, chewed on her lower lip and waited to be noticed.

Finally a brusque voice snapped, “Can I help you?”

Sara looked up to see a heavy set, older woman in a loose blue top. The woman’s thick dark brows met in a v in the middle of her forehead.

“I’m sorry, I …I’m looking for my husband. His office phoned to say he’d been brought here.” Sara shrunk into her body.

“Name?” the woman commanded.

“Gordon, Gordon Peters.” Sara stared at her worn black oxfords, then at the scuffed, gray linoleum with the red, blue and yellow lines that led to different areas. Maybe she shouldn’t have come. Maybe she should have waited for Gordon to call and tell her whether she should be here or not. But if he was dead she would have to make her own decisions. Her pulse raced. Her head pounded. For the last nineteen years she had never made a decision. Gordon made all of them for her.

“When was he admitted?” The woman reminded Sara of a sergeant major.

“I’m not sure, less than an hour ago. They told me to meet him here. Maybe he’s been discharged already?” She chewed her thumbnail. If Gordon had been discharged he’d be furious at her for spending all that money on a taxi. But she’d seen his ghost.

Tension twisted her stomach into knots. The pain caused her to clutch her purse tightly against her abdomen. She needed to get home and start dinner. She’d have to take a bus. Did she have enough money? She opened her purse.

The woman moved to a second pile of folders and pulled one out. “You’re his wife?”

Sara nodded. “Yes. Can I see him?”

A sob slipped out. If she didn’t find see him soon, he’d be furious. He’d think she was too stupid to even find him in a hospital and he’d be right.

His ghost floated in front of her. This time confusion mixed with his anger.

“Have a seat, Mrs. Peters. I’ll have the doctor speak to you.”

BevB_Oct2

Beverley Bateman is a Canadian author now living in Medicine Hat, Alberta, with her husband and Shiba Inu dog. She’s exchanged the Okanagan vineyards and orchards for ranches. Winters she’s a snowbird. She writes the latest romantic suspense in both places. She enjoys reading, watercolor painting and the Native American flute.

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Guest promotion–One Red Shoe by Diane Burton

41126920 - driving on an empty asphalt road through the cultivated fields and single tree at idyllic sunny day.

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It Happened One Night meets Knight and Day

When elementary teacher Daria Mason left Iowa for a writers’ conference in New York City, she didn’t expect to come home with a wounded spy. Sam Jozwiak works for a shadow agency that gathers intel vital to U.S. security. From the moment he steals digital files from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist. Thus, begins a road trip that takes Sam and Daria cross country with the assassins right behind them.

PRE-ORDER LINK for October 22, 2018 release (revision of previous title released by The Wild Rose Press)

EXCERPT

For the second time in her life, Daria Mason came face-to-face with a man pointing a weapon at her. A pervert, with unzipped jeans, wielded a green box knife. Because she’d raced into the restroom without checking out the situation, he now stood between her and the exit.

She was at the end of the proverbial rope. After walking in circles, she finally found a restroom and nobody was stopping her from using it. Especially not someone playing copycat with that guy in the movie who wore one red shoe.

“I am having a really bad day,” she declared in the don’t cross me voice she used on her brothers. As soon as her words echoed off the hideous pink and black tiled walls and floor, she lowered her voice. “You are in the wrong place, mister. Now zip up and get out.” She pointed straight-armed toward the door.

The man shook his head and set the flimsy knife on the counter. “Lady, you have more guts than sense. You are in the wrong place, at the wrong time.” His voice was even softer than hers. He eyed her with a look so dark and intense it paralyzed her like a hawk freezes its prey. She swallowed past the fear in her throat, certain it sounded like a gulp.

Diane Burton 2-for July 10

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides writing science fiction romance, she writes romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

 

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Guest Cover Reveal–Between The Shadows by Casi McLean

Between the Shadows for July 13

Blurb:

She never expected to confront deadly villains…let alone fall in love with one…

After her friend, York, encounters the ghostly image of a young woman, Mackenzie Reynolds seizes the opportunity to initiate a time jump, thrusting them back to 1865 Georgia. Resolved to thwart the girl’s untimely fate, Kenzi stumbles into a deadly conflict over a stockpile of stolen Confederate gold.

An injured Civil War survivor, James Adams departs for home with a war-fatigued companion he’s determined to help. After pilfering a horse and kidnaping a woman, he never dreamed his hostage would steal his heart.

Kenzi and James must unravel a deadly plot, while helping York save his ghost woman from a brutal death. But can she leave York in a violent past to save James’s life?

A Gripping Novel By Award-Winning Author Casi McLean

Amazon pre-order link

Excerpt:

“Don’t you dare die on me, James Adams.”

Kenzi pressed the blood-soaked gauze against the left side of his abdomen. “I won’t lose you. Not now.”

Barely clinging to life, he opened his eyes a slit, raised his hand still clenching Colin’s gun, and shot two rounds.

Stunned, Kenzi snapped around. “No.” She screamed and dove for the gun through the hazy blue mist engulfing them.

“Brady…” His voice faded as he slipped into semiconscious mumbling.

Yanking the pistol from his grip with her right hand, she maintained pressure with her left. A heartbeat later, the cylinder encasing them rotated open. Kenzi stood then sprinted across the room and pounded on a fist-sized alert button affixed to the wall. The resulting alarm shrieked through the underground chamber, reverberating as it radiated throughout the compound. Two men dressed in white jumpsuits burst through double doors.

“Gurney. Now.” Kenzi screamed at the attendants. “And O-Neg blood. Hurry. Go, go, go.” She ran to James and knelt beside him. Lifting his head, she slid a knee underneath it for support and smoothed a chunk of his dark brown hair from his face. “I’ve sacrificed way too much to have you die now,” she whispered. “My ass will burn for this. Not to mention the repercussions for abandoning York.”

Pulse racing, she checked his bandage. Despite her efforts, streams of crimson still oozed from the wound. Pressing again on the gauze, she shook her head. “Geez. You’ve lost so much blood. Please, hang on.”

Again, the double doors swung wide. This time, a gurney pushed through, followed by the two assistants. One man ran to Kenzi.

“Help me lift him.” Her hands, slick with blood, shot to her white T-top, already drenched in crimson. On second thought, she swept them down the rear of her jeans. Sliding her slippery arms beneath his back, she braced her stance with one bent knee.

“One, two, three.” They heaved him in tandem onto the gurney. She doused her hands with Betadine then splashed more on James’s forearm, snatched an IV from the attached supply basket, and punctured a vein on the inside of his wrist with the sterile needle. Once connected, she hooked the blood pouch on the IV pole and barked at the team, “Let’s move. If this man bleeds out, there will be hell to pay.”

The men, poised with hands on the side of the rails, awaited their next move. “Where to, Dr. Reynolds?”

Kenzi stared at James’s ashen face, worried her meager experience wasn’t enough to save his life––but she had no option. “Surgery.”

Springing into action, one man rolled the gurney down the hallway, while a second leapt onto the base and slipped an oxygen mask over James’s nose and mouth. “I hope this guy isn’t allergic to Propofol.” He attached an anesthesia drip to the IV. “Damn, what caused this gaping wound?”

“He was shot…with a musket.”  

Romantic Suspense, Time Slips, And Supernatural Mystery with a Sprinkle of Magic ….

Award Winning Author

2016 Best Romantic Suspense  Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence 

Winner 2016 Best Heroine Still Moments Magazine

2016 Aspen Gold Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense

2015 Top Pick by Night Owl Reviews

2015 Chicago Fire and Ice Finalist

2014 Winner 2014 AWC Short Story Award

Fiction:

  Lake Lanier Mysteries

     Beneath The Lake

     Beyond The Mist

     Between The Shadows 

   Destiny Series:

     Destiny

     The Gift

     After Midnight

     Convergent

     The Pegasus Chronicle

   Deep State Mysteries

       Reign Of Fire

       The List

Nonfiction:

Wingless Butterfly

So You Want To Be An Author 

Website Twitter Facebook Goodreads Amazon Author Page Blog Pinterest Instagram

Sign up on her website and receive a free story. Access her award-winning short story, Destiny, through this link:

http://casimclean.com/welcome-to-my-inner-circle/

 

and after they click the link, they can scroll down to receive an additional special prize on my website too

Guest Post-Writing is a Solitary Life by Diane Burton

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Linda. Since we both belong to a special group called Authors Helping Authors for so long, we should call it Friends Helping Friends. That’s one of the great things about technology and writing—meeting so many writers online and becoming friends, even when we’ve never met in real life.

Writing is a solitary business. When we’re in the groove, we don’t want to be bothered, we don’t come out of hiding until we’re exhausted or famished, then we dash back into our cave and work some more. Being “in the zone” doesn’t just apply to athletes. I’ve felt the rush that comes when the words flow and everything falls into place. I’ve also felt that frustration, almost depression, when nothing comes, when the Muse takes a vacation. I’ve never faced a blank screen because starting a new project is exciting. Getting those first words down is exhilarating. Around chapter eight, I bog down. I need a plan. Or at least a better one than “they live happily ever after.”

My frustration comes when I reread what I’ve written and wonder “where the heck was I going with this?”

My latest release, Numbers Never Lie, a romantic suspense, began about fifteen years ago. I knew where that story was going. I wrote and wrote. I was in the zone. Then, Life intruded (as Life does), and I set aside the story. This winter, I remembered how much I’d written, including the ending. I thought it would be a piece of cake to tweak it and release it. Hah! I wasn’t as “finished” as I thought. I hadn’t written the ending—I wrote about how the ending should go. Consequently, I had a lot more work to do than I’d thought.

My mother always said easy jobs are the ones that take the longest because something always goes wrong. She was talking about fixing a leaky faucet or a squeaky floor board. The same could be said about writing. Twice, now, I’ve taken an old manuscript and brought it up to date. And, twice, I’ve said it’s easier to start new than rewrite a story.

Still, I enjoyed Numbers Never Lie. I liked the premise—a fish out of water—before I realized it was more mystery than suspense, and more about second chances. The story didn’t change as much as my perspective.

Be sure to see the Rafflecopter at the end of this post and sign up to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

Numbers Never Lie  for July 10

Blurb:

A shocking secret brings danger to Jack Sinclair and his sister Maggie.

As kids, they were the fearless threesome. As adults, Jack’s an accountant; Drew, a lawyer; Maggie, a teacher and camping troop leader. Upon returning from a weekend camping trip, Maggie receives horrifying news. She refuses to believe her brother Jack’s fatal car crash was an accident. If the police won’t investigate, she’ll do it herself. Convincing Drew Campbell to help is her only recourse.

Drew Campbell was too busy to return his best friend’s phone call. Too busy to attend a camping meeting important to his teen daughter. Too busy to stay in touch with Jack. Logic and reason indicate Jack’s accident was just that–an accident caused by fatigue and fog. Prodded by guilt, he’ll help Maggie even if he thinks she’s wrong.

A break-in at Jack’s condo convinces Maggie she’s right. Then her home is searched. What did Jack do that puts Maggie in danger?

Numbers Never Lie is available at Amazon.

Excerpt

Maggie Sinclair wondered for the tenth time that morning why she hadn’t had her head examined before agreeing to Ellen’s offer. The week before, Maggie called off the trip when not one parent volunteered to chaperone. She hated disappointing the girls who had been crushed when their leader moved away. For the past two months, they talked about camping again. But week after week they returned with the same news. Their mothers refused, and their dads were too busy.

So when Ellen said her dad would help, the girls went wild. And Maggie, who should’ve known better, believed Ellen who swore she’d asked and her father agreed. Maggie should have followed up with a phone call, but years of avoiding Drew Campbell prevailed. Years of unreciprocated longing—from when her heart first took notice, through the years when he was single, then when he was married. Except for that one time, she never let him know. Avoidance was best.

Now here she was needing his help with the girls. Preparing them for a week-long camping trip to Isle Royale had been Trish Morrow’s goal when she started the group four years ago. The girls loved roughing it. They just needed more hiking and camping experience before tackling the primitive island in Lake Superior.

Though they’d gotten a late start this morning because of the fog, Maggie noticed the girls’ energy start to flag after the fifth mile of the hike. That was when she put Drew Campbell at the front of the line. From the rear, she watched him trying to set a faster pace—especially after Gretchen’s assurance that they could keep up. The man was in a world of hurt even if he was making a concerted effort not to show it. He looked so trim, so athletic, Maggie had assumed he was in good shape.

Typical desk jockey. He probably got his exercise in a climate-controlled gym. No, wait. In a health club.

For better or worse—and she was afraid worse was the operative word—she was stuck with him for the next thirty hours.

Are we having fun yet? she mocked herself as she tromped through the woods with eight tough little girls on the brink of womanhood and her brother’s best friend. From the back of the line, Maggie watched his long-legged stride and the way his navy golf shirt revealed his strong shoulders and the way his obviously new jeans conformed to his butt. She lifted the tail of the bandanna knotted around her neck and wiped the sweat from her upper lip. She couldn’t blame the sun for the heat coursing through her.

Okay, Sinclair, she told herself, keep your mind on the matter at hand. And not how good Campbell’s butt looked in tight new jeans.

Good Lord, she felt fifteen again—instead of thirty-four. Her stomach in knots, her skin on fire. Lusting after the man who said she kissed like a guppy.

Diane Burton

About the Author:

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides writing science fiction romance, she writes romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Connect with Diane Burton online

Blog:  http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/

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Goodreads: Diane Burton Author

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

If that doesn’t work, here’s the link to Rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/16cf1daf21/?

Guest Release Promotion of The Mason’s Mark by M.S. Spencer

Thank you so much for having me at Musings about the Writing Life, Linda. Several of my romantic suspense/murder mystery books are set in Alexandria, Virginia, a colonial town on the Potomac River across from Washington, DC, where I lived for many years. The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower, is one of those novels.

GeorgeWashingtonMuseum in Masonic Memorial

Most of The Mason’s Mark, is set at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia. The 330-foot-tall building has three sections—the ground level, the main floor, and the tower. The tower holds six progressively smaller rooms. The top level opens to an observation deck, from which visitors can see all of Alexandria and Washington, DC—or, if you’re my heroine, find a dead body.

The fourth floor contains a museum dedicated to George Washington. Washington served as the Charter (first) Master of the Alexandria lodge, and many of his letters and memorabilia are housed here, including the Washington family Bible. Since our heroine and hero meet in the museum, it follows that the Mason’s Mark would involve long-lost papers, distant family scandals, and academic intrigue concerning our first President. Delicious mystery and even more delicious romance ensue.

TheMasonsMarkLoveandDeathintheTower_1027

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In the worst first day at work ever, newly minted docent Claire Wilding’s carefully memorized spiel is interrupted by the discovery of a dead body. As she deals with a smitten police detective, a hunky Senator, shadowy black ops agents, and two eccentric mothers, she learns more than she ever expected to about jewels and pennies, renegade Italian Masons, and our first President’s family secrets. Along the way she discovers that first love is not always the right love.

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EXCERPT

When they reached Prince Street, Gideon found a parking spot directly in front of her house, no small feat. Just one more way he’s special, thought Claire glumly. He walked her to her door. She unlocked it and turned to thank him, but he was already on his way to his car.

Ichabod greeted her with a snarl.

“I know. I forgot to feed you. Come on, Icky.” She found a can of cat food and emptied it into his bowl. Then she poured herself a large glass of water and took it to the living room to conduct an analysis of the soiree.

So at any point did I come across as even semi-coherent? She tried to hack through the warm, fuzzy blanket of the evening. Gideon had been the perfect gentleman, ordering foie gras and champagne, pointing out the constellations with obvious expertise, helping her in and out of the car. It all seemed so…unreal. Like he was acting a part. Too perfect. And he’d sucked her in like soda through a straw. She slapped her forehead, forgetting that she still held the glass. Water sluiced across her face and ran down her front. She mopped it up with some tissues and vowed to hit the antique stores that weekend. I’ve got to get a coffee table. Preferably one with cup holders.

The doorbell rang. With the disintegrating tissue pressed to her face, she stood on tiptoe to check the peephole and looked straight into an unblinking sea-green ocean. Gideon. After a minute she remembered to open the door.

He stared at her with concern. “Are you all right?”

Claire pulled the tissue away and noticed black streaks on it. Her mascara must have run. Oh no, I bet he thinks I’ve been crying. She rubbed her eyes, hoping that wasn’t making it worse. “Fine. I spilled a glass of water, that’s all.”

“Oh.” He stood, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. “Um, could I come in for a minute?”

She pointed at the living room and backed away, then turned and leapt up the steps. A quick look in the mirror confirmed her suspicions. I look like something Ichabod’s been playing with. She fixed her face, wrung out her blouse, and returned with renewed aplomb.

Gideon filled the small space. Claire sidled around him and sat on a packing crate. He looked around the room. “So…er, have you just moved in?”

“Yes.” It struck her that he was more uncomfortable than she and drew strength from that. “About a week ago. Sorry about the mess. Won’t you have a seat?”

He dropped down on the loveseat but immediately sprang back up. He patted his rear, flummoxed. “Why am I wet?”

Claire put a hand to her mouth to suppress the giggle. “Ooh, I’m sorry. I forgot. That’s where I spilled the water. Here, let me.”

She retrieved a towel from the kitchen and began to dab at the dark blotch on his khakis. He stood it for a minute, then put a hand under her chin and lifted her up. “You’d better stop doing that. This is hard enough for me.” He blinked. “Do you…do you know how beautiful you are?”

The question threw her. How to respond? Yes? No? Tell me more? She decided to let him talk.

“Your eyes are the color of the deepest part of the Caribbean Sea on a cloudless day. I could sink into them and drown.” He touched her brow. “And these little cinnabar ringlets framing that soft, creamy face…” He wrapped one around his finger. “Wind one up tight and it could strangle me.” He took her hand. “Your fingers—so slim and delicate, like little stilettos. Sharp enough to gouge an eye out.”

Claire stepped away from him, bewildered. “You make me sound like a vicious animal. Why?”

His hands dropped to his sides. “Because I sense how dangerous you are.”

“Dangerous?”

“To me. Claire…I—” He gazed at her helplessly.

Someone had better take charge.

M. S. Spencer Author (2)

Although she has lived or traveled in every continent except Antarctica and Australia (bucket list), M. S. Spencer has spent the last thirty years mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. Blessed with two fabulous grown children and an adorable grandchild, she has published ten romantic suspense/mystery novels. She now divides her time between the Florida Gulf coast and a tiny hamlet in Maine.

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Guest Interview–Reggi Allder

Hi, Linda, thanks for having me. It’s great to be here.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I write freestyle. I’m a pantser, not a plotter. Years ago, I took classes to study plotting. I tried using 3 by 5-inch cards for each scene, colored posted notes for each character and made outlines of the book. This works well for many writers. But I had a bout of writer’s block when I tried it. My creativity shut down and I was stymied. Now I write as Jo Beverley used to say, “out into the mist.” I know where the book starts and ends. After that, I let the characters take me through the events and plot twist. I add characters as I see they are needed. In one of my romantic suspense books, Shattered Rules, I was more than halfway through the book when I realized the person I thought was the villain was a red herring and another character became the bad guy.

If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.

I listen to all kinds of music, rock, classical, jazz, etc. I’ve even listened to the international news for a suspense book I was writing. For the Sierra Creek Series Her Country Heart Christmas Edition and His Country Heart, I played country western music as the books takes place in a small town in the foothills of California, with a strong cowboy and a determined woman.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

Three of my favorite places for a vacation are San Francisco, Carmel by the Sea and Lake Tahoe, California. I’ve used these locations in several of my books, including two suspense and a western contemporary. It’s great to go online and check out cities, but nothing can compare with meeting the people of the area. I experience the food, weather, and atmosphere, things not available online. I’m looking for another place to visit–any ideas?

CarmelbytheSea

Can you share a tip about what you do when you get struck in creating a story?

Often, I’m writing two books in different genres and I will switch to the other genre. When I’m really puzzled, I take a break and do something completely different, garden, cook, read, etc. If I have enough time, I’ll take my dogs out for a walk. I bring my phone/camera and take pics of whatever attracts me on that day. Usually an idea comes to me during the outing.

Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

I grew up with a dog and a cat. Now we live with two dogs, a pure bred and a rescue puppy who barks too much, but is very sweet. I’ve also raised a puppy for Guide Dogs for the Blind. She lived with us for over a year and then returned to guide a woman in Southern California. I’ve also volunteered as a foster care person for Guide Dogs for the Blind. I always wanted a horse, but it never happened. Still, I enjoyed researching quarter horses for my cowboy in Her Country Heart Christmas Edition.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

A review of one of my books said, “…a darn good read.” That’s what I hope for readers, to have a compelling read with characters they care about and are hard to forget. Whatever their mood, I want the reader to get lost in the story and come away with a sense of optimism.

HerCountryXmas_1011

BLURB

Crazy for cowboys? Want to fall in love?

Will Amy Long have a home for Christmas?

A single mother, she was downsized and then lost her apartment in the city. Hoping to find a fresh start, Amy returns to the small town of Sierra Creek. Does she fit in? Cowboy Wyatt Cameron knows she belongs in the city and he has the power to see she returns. Sparks fly when opposites attract.

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Amazon UK

Amazon CAN

Amazon AU

EXCERPT

“Sierra Creek,” the driver shouted as the Greyhound Bus came to an abrupt stop on the two lane highway.

Amy Long pushed her hair behind her ears and grabbed the worn suitcase. Surprised to see her hand tremble, she seized the case with both hands and rushed toward the front of the bus.

A gust of hot wind slapped her face as she stepped off the bus. Gravel pelted her bare legs when it drove away. She squinted and read a faded road sign, Sierra Creek population five thousand. There wasn’t a building in sight.

After years of living in the city, she’d forgotten how sweltering and desolate it was here. She’d vowed never to return home. Odd it was the first place that came to mind when she and her young son needed a fresh start.

With Granny gone, there was no family left to welcome her. She swallowed a sob. Maybe it was a mistake to come back.

The relentless afternoon sun beat down on her shoulders and her arms began to burn. San Francisco, the air-conditioned city, seemed a million miles away.

Impatient, she cleared her dry throat, wiped perspiration from her forehead, and let out a groan as the minutes ticked by. What wouldn’t she give for some shade and a bottle of ice water?

With a sigh, she pulled out her smart phone and checked the time. Thirty minutes since she’d arrived at the bus stop and not a single car had gone by. Where was the arranged ride into town?

Granny’s handyman was supposed to meet her. He obviously wasn’t a stickler about being on time. She reminded herself she was in the California foothills not in a busy metropolis where time was money.

The sound of a truck rumbled in the distance. With the back of her hand, she pushed her bangs out of her eyes and squinted. Hopeful, she watched the pick-up come closer. A shiny black Ford F 150 with extended cab pulled up in front of her.

“Amy?” A man yelled through the open window as his brown hair fell casually over a high forehead and deep-set blue eyes sparkled in the sunlight. She moved nearer and stared at his wide cheek bones, square jaw and full lips. About thirty?

A flutter of recognition stirred in her as palpable charm radiated from his broad smile, Wyatt Cameron.

His muscular arms flexed as his huge hands squeezed the steering wheel. “Don’t just stand there. Get in.”

Surprised by his gruffness, she stepped back.

“I heard you need a ride into town,” he said quietly as if he understood her reaction. “I’m Wyatt.”

“Hi, nice to see you again.” Even now her cheeks burned with the memory of him. She tightened the grip on the suitcase. As she stared her heartbeat increased and her breathing quickened. “Granny’s handyman is going to give me a ride.”

“You could say that’s me. Toss your suitcase in the back and get in the truck.”

She shook the pebbles from her flip flops and picked up her suitcase. Filled with everything she and her son might need, she grunted and struggled to lift the enormous bag high enough to push it into the raised truck bed.

Wyatt hopped out of the cab and brushed by her. With a sharp intake of breath, she took in his fresh just-out–of–the-shower scent.

Effortlessly, he tossed the bag into the truck.

She quickly hauled herself into the vehicle and slammed the door. “Nice pick-up. Beautiful upholstery,” she said trying for casual conversation. She ran her hand over the black and white leather seat.

“It’s custom. Had it done in Sacramento by a guy who specializes it tuck and roll car seats.”

“Really nice.”

Pretty fancy truck for handyman. The job must pay better than she’d thought. For some reason she’d believed Granny’s handyman would be an old retired guy gnarled from too much sun and hard work, not the hunk sitting next to her.

“Where’s your son? Thought he’d be with you.”

“He’s staying with a friend of mine in San Francisco. Bobby’s only four. I thought it’d be better if I took care of things here before he comes to the farm.” She paused. “It’s only been a few hours since I left and I already miss him.”

She sighed and leaned back. The purr of the truck’s engine soothed her and her breathing slowed.

“Thanks for giving me a ride. If you drop me at my grandmother’s farm I’ll change my clothes.”

“It’s too late for that. We can’t keep Judge Wilcox waiting.”

REVIEW COMMENT

“I’m HOOKED!!! …A seriously great book!! and I am so happy it is a series, because I am invested in what happens to Amy and Wyatt.

ReggiPhoto Smaller

An author of romantic suspense and contemporary romance novels including “The Sierra Creek Series,” where strong cowboys and determined women intersect. Reggi writes tales of love lost and then found and stories of heroes and heroines who discover love and wonder if they’ll live long enough to enjoy it. Her characters cope with longings and betrayals as each fight to discover a hidden strength.

At University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), she studied screen writing and creative writing and is a past chapter president of Romance Writers of America and current member of RWA.

It makes her day to hear from readers.

GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment for a chance to win a kindle eBook of my new novella With Glowing Hearts, a World War Two romance- Love can be found in unexpected places. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced at the end of the day.

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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Guest Release Promotion–Targeted by Beverley Bateman

Targeted is the third book in the series. I was at a conference In Victoria, BC, Canada, up on the mezzanine overlooking the expensive lobby with marble floors. I sorted of squatted down and peeked through the carved posts and had this image of a cowboy in spurs striding through the lobby. I then became the heroine, watching him arrive with mixed feelings. And that was the start of Hunted, the first book in the series. I love ranches and cowboys, and I developed this small town in Montana.

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BLURB

After an eleven-year absence Janna Kincaid inherits a ranch and must return to a town she remembers with unhappiness, a man she briefly married and never wants to see again, and someone is trying to kill her.

Kye Hawkins has loved Janna since they met. They were married, but right after she left without an explanation. He hasn’t figured out why. Now she’s coming back. Can he rekindle the romance, and prevent her from being killed?

Janna doesn’t want Kye’s help, yet he’s always there when she’s in trouble. Can they work together to stop a killer, and find romance again?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Google Play

iTunes

KOBO Books

EXCERPT

Someone had shot her back tire. Janna gripped the wheel to keep the vehicle on the road. She debated whether to try and outrun the shooter, wherever he was, or find cover. The windshield shattered as a third bullet entered the passenger side.

So much for outrunning the shooter.

She scanned the area and spotted an outcropping of rocks a few feet ahead on her right. She aimed the vehicle in that direction.

Two more shots, and both the back tires went down.

Definitely find cover.

Janna ducked low behind the steering wheel until the vehicle reached the rocks. When the car stopped, she grabbed the keys from the ignition and her purse and dove out the door. Bullets bounced off the rocks behind her as she scrambled for cover. Whoever was doing the shooting was serous. Anyone of the shots could have hit her.

She reached the rocks, keeping low until she got to the middle where she curled up as tightly as possible, her back against a rock. Her heart pounded in her ears, her breathing came in gasps. This was getting to be a habit. First someone tried to kill her in Seattle, and now, out in this god-forsaken country.

What the hell is going on? Why are they shooting at me? Was it the same person who shot at me in Seattle? That doesn’t seem likely, but who even knew I was coming here? Maybe it’s someone just trying to rob a stranger.

Yeah right, be honest, Janna, does this road look like many strangers came this way? And if they did, would they have a lot to steal? You really think this person selected a spot in the rocks where he would have a good shot at my vehicle. Coincidence? Not damn likely.

At least she’d worn boots and jeans—even if they were designer jeans. Now they were filthy, and so was her red sweater and jean jacket.

Another shot hit the rock behind her. She rolled over onto her stomach, shaded her eyes, and squinted into the sun. He must be up on the cliffs straight ahead. She wasn’t sure, but she thought she might have glimpsed a light, maybe a reflection off his scope.

Terrific! Now what? My gun is in my purse. I could fire back, but that would be a waste of bullets at this distance.

She yanked out her cell and punched in 9-1-1.

Damn—no reception.

A pounding pulsed through the ground and came closer. Janna could feel the vibrations. It felt like horses. She glanced around, without raising her head, to see what was coming.

Suddenly there was a hand in front of her face.

“Grab it and jump on.”

The deep, rumbling voice was not asking. It was an order.

Janna grabbed the strong hand. In one smooth motion, she swung up behind a man on his horse. Seconds later, she had her hands wrapped around his well-developed, muscular chest, as the big chestnut thundered across the ground, out of the bullets’ range.

The man wore a leather jacket over a sweater. Her hands slid under the jacket for better grip. Even through the sweater she could feel sinewy muscles. She laid her head against his back and his braid. She took a breath in, inhaling the rich scent of leather, trying to calm her racing heart rate.

She glanced behind her. The cliffs were fading into the distance. The muscles of his well-developed shoulders bunched and relaxed as he led the horse at a gallop across the field. She felt safe for some unfathomable reason.

He had a familiar woodsy scent that made her think of sex under pine trees, not that she’d ever made love there. In fact, her sex life was pretty negligible these days.

They’d been riding for several minutes when Janna leaned forward. “You can put me down any place. I can manage now.”

“Really? And just what are you going to do out here, miles from town, by yourself, with someone shooting at you?”

The voice was deep, but soft, and rolled over her like warmed brandy. It triggered something in the back of her memory. The earthy scent, the sinewy body, the braid, the voice… She knew this person who had ridden up out of nowhere to save her.

“I have my cell. I’ve already called 9-1-1,” she snapped.

“And did you get an answer?”

Janna yanked her cell phone up where she could see the screen again and re-tapped in 9-1-1. And then there was that famous phrase—No Service.

There was a deep chuckle. “That’s what I thought. There’s no service in this area. The mountains block it.”

BevB_Oct2

Beverley Bateman exchanged the Okanagan vineyards and orchards for the ranches and farms of Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she lives with her Shiba Inu dogs. Winters she snowbirds and continues to write her latest romantic suspense books. Hunted, Missing and Targeted are part of her Hawkins Ranch series.

 

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Guest Release Promotion–Stone Fall by Min Edwards

Stone Fall

BLURB for Book 3 in High Tide Suspense series

She’s running for her life. He’s vowed to save her, whether she wants him to or not.

Sandra Hastings has just lost the case of her career. Mob boss Silvestre Buonovenura is exonerated and now out to get her. And if that’s not enough, the New York DA’s office has politely asked her to take some time off… maybe a lot of time… maybe forever.

Nick McCullough is a little bored with tiny Stone Bay, Maine, and his new job as Chief of Police. He’s hopeful though that a weekend camping with the lovely Sandra Hastings might just be the answer to his prayers, get him back on track, lift his spirits. Now he has to make sure that the mob boss who’s put a hit out on her doesn’t get the chance to complete his plans. Maybe his little weekend away won’t be as restful as Nick had planned.

Amazon buy link

EXCERPT

With her face in the dirt, Sandra was almost to the point of giving up when she heard something from the jungle across the clearing. A rustling but not accompanied by the distinctive chatter of the small monkeys who had kept her awake during the past two nights. In fact, there was no other sound. It was as if the jungle creatures had turned to stone in fear. And the thought of what could instill that in them had her slowly easing her head up from the dirt.

At first, she saw nothing in the dim moments before the sun’s rays could angle directly into the clearing, but she still heard rustling in the bushes at a point directly across from her shed. Something was there, something big.

Then from the corner of her eye, she saw movement. At first just a dark boxy shape peeking out of the leaves. Perhaps one of those monkeys.

Nope. In the next instant, the square black shape became something long… and slithery.

At first, it came into the now illuminated clearing slowly, sinuously. She knew the head looked big from her vantage point in the dirt, but as she pushed her body up with her arms, she realized that big wasn’t a… big enough word for the creature. It slithered out into the early morning light and slithered and then slithered some more until in the center of the clearing the thing began coiling and stacking its body until it looked like a turban for a giant.

Sandra knew she should do something. But nothing much came to mind except to stare. She was still caught with her butt wedged under the shed door. If that thing started toward her, she wouldn’t have a chance of pushing herself back under the door to the safety of her cell. And she’d dug a damn hole as a welcoming entrance for the beast. Come on inside and have a meal… of tasty, plump American woman. Nick, where are you? I need you to come and kill this thing right now.

Since contorting her body back under the door probably was impossible, the alternative was to push onward—without disturbing the turban-beast. So as quietly as she could, with her eyes glued to the snake in front of her, she wiggled, pushed with her toes, shimmied her hips until her butt popped free. Of course, the popping came with an added bonus… a big rip in the seat of her pants.

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Guest Interview of Rolynn Anderson

I’m enjoying my new brand!  Nope, I didn’t get a tattoo and no cowboy sizzled my skin with his logo.  I’m talking about my new author signature: a suspense writer who spikes her novels with romance and exotic settings.  Call me an inexpensive travel agent, if you want to.  With my novels, I promise you exciting adventures in a new locale, every time.

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It took a friend to point out the obvious.  My characters and I enjoy adventures in far-away places with people and cultures that challenge our sensibilities.  Mix in mystery, danger, and romance.  Watch the intensity spike!

LAST RESORT, my first novel, published by Wild Rose Press in 2011, began my ‘trend’ by taking the reader to an isolated fishing resort in British Columbia, Canada.

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My three-book series (FADEOUT, FAINT, and SWOON), about a boutique funeral planner whose dead clients refuse to rest in peace, is set in Arroyo Grande, California, which was foreign to me when I first arrived from Washington State in 2001.  FEAR LAND’s adventures focus on San Luis Obispo, California, a sure bet for tourist fun.

Watch how far and wide I travel in my next novels:

LIE CATCHERS: Petersburg, Alaska, settled by natives first, and lots of Norwegians later

BAD LIES: Italy (Rome and the Amalfi Coast)

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CÉZANNE’S GHOST: Aix-en-Provence, France

FIRE IS NICE (coming soon): Sequoia National Park

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You see, when characters are out of their comfort zone, away from home and the homey, the suspense ramps up.  Soon we discover how resilient, flexible and confident we are, when faced with unfamiliar territory.

All this provides a juicy, boiling, embroiling stew stirred up by a writer like me.

How about you?  Do you enjoy/use unusual settings to challenge characters (and readers)?  Please comment for a chance to win a free e-version of CÉZANNE’S GHOST.  From those of you who respond to the question between today and Friday at 6AM, I’ll pick one winner at random.

I hope you’ll celebrate with me, the release of CÉZANNE’S GHOST, climbing aboard for a wild, suspense-filled ride in exotic Aix-en-Provence, France.

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BLURB  Three young American women vanish in Aix-en-Provence, France. The FBI suspects their American tour guide.

Leon Beaudet, formerly a U.S. Olympic wrestler, is proud of his five-star guide business, but when tourists disappear on his watch, the FBI dredges up a violent episode in Leon’s past and tap him for the crime. Worse, his new tour group includes Aline Kerig, who is as beautiful and carefree as the three missing women. Leon is fascinated and puzzled by Aline even while he fears for her safety. She refuses to go back to the States, forcing the FBI and local police to involve her in the hunt.

With the French tourist industry about to collapse and Leon as a prime suspect, how does he protect Aline and find his lost tourists?

E-book & print on Amazon:  http://a.co/bQdl7jp

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Scandinavian, Army Brat, English Teacher, High School Principal, Golfer, Boater, World Traveler, Author. With her experiences, Rolynn Anderson is fairly bursting with stories about extraordinary people and amazing settings, real and contrived. Now add her competitive nature and her love of ‘the makeover.’ As a principal, she and the staff she hired, opened a cutting-edge high school; as co-captain with her husband on INTREPID, she cruises from Washington State to Alaska and back. As a writer, she delights in creating imperfect characters faced with extraordinary, transforming challenges. Her hope: You’ll devour her ‘makeover’ suspense novels in the wee hours of the morning, because her stories, settings and characters, capture your imagination and your heart.

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