Tag Archives: romantic suspense

Release Promotion–Without Mercy by Alicia Dean

Without Mercy  Large

BLURB:

When an apparently random bank robbery turns out to be a sinister plan, single mother China Beckett is thrust into a nightmare. A group of mercenaries take over her life, threatening her young daughter and everyone they love. She’ll fight to the last breath to protect her child, but that might not be enough.

With time running out and no one to turn to, China fears the worst for her daughter. But then, a startling truth is revealed, and she discovers that the only person who can save them might be a ghost from the past.

EXCERPT:

China gasped. “Are you insinuating I had something to do with Sophie’s murder?”

Detective Boyle turned an innocent look her way. “I’m insinuating nothing of the kind. Why would you think that?”

“I just thought…you sounded like…” She blew out a breath. “Never mind. Please, let’s just hurry and get this over with.”

“As I was saying, you were spared. The robbers called you by name. They seemed to almost defer to you in a way.”

“Defer to me?” Her laugh was short and devoid of humor. “I was nearly killed. They murdered my boss in front of my eyes. Pointed a gun at my best friend—”

“And didn’t shoot her when you told them not to,” he cut in.

“Dear God! You think they were following my orders?” She shot to her feet. “Do you think I’m glad they shot my boss? This is bullshit. Are you charging me with something? Do I need a lawyer?”

“Do you?” He didn’t wait for an answer. “Take it easy, Miss Beckett. Please sit. I’m not accusing you of anything. I’m simply trying to solve a crime. Trying to catch some bad guys. You want to help me with that, right?”

More than you could possibly know. She now wished she’d let Vanessa come with her, although the detective probably wouldn’t have let her sit in on the interview.

He stood and held a hand out toward the door. “Come with me. I’d like to show you something.”

China followed him into a large room that held a long table with chairs on either side. At one end of the table was a small television. Detective Boyle walked over to the television and pointed at the chair nearest it. “Sit, please.”

She did and he turned the power on the TV, then pushed a button on a remote. A grainy, black and white image appeared on the screen. The quality wasn’t state-of-the-art, but she recognized the scene. The bank. The robbery.

This time, she was able to see the shooting taking place, not just the end results. The guy who’d pointed the gun at Vanessa—and not the one who’d been China’s escort—had pulled the trigger. Had killed Sophie. Marcel, she was certain. She watched the glass shatter. Jerked when Sophie’s body jerked and blood blossomed on her blouse—dark gray now, not the vivid red she knew it to be.

There seemed to be no way the gunman could have missed her. She was standing there. Right there in front of Sophie’s desk, nearly blocking Sophie from the robber’s view, yet the bullets had gone straight past her and into Sophie’s body.

Her insides trembled with remembered terror. She stuck the knuckle of her index finger between her teeth and bit down. Tears filled her eyes, spilling down her cheeks, over her fingers. “Oh, God, Oh God, Oh God,” she whimpered over and over.

“You really should take it up,” Detective Boyle said.

“Huh?” She dropped her hand from her mouth and turned to him, seeing his face through a fog of horror and disbelief. This couldn’t be happening. The robbery, the men, the hell that her life had become. It couldn’t be happening. “Take it up?”

“Gambling. You should take it up. I mean, with your luck and all, you’d make a killing.” He studied her, his brows reaching for his hairline. “No pun intended.”

BUY LINK at AMAZON

Alicia Dean Tin Man Color

BIO:

Alicia Dean is the mother of three grown children, and she lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. She writes mostly suspense and paranormal, but has written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals. Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL, and watching her favorite TV shows.

WEB CONTACTS:

Website: http://aliciadean.com/

Blog: http://aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008364070487

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Alicia_Dean_

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/aliciamdean/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468339.Alicia_Dean

Guest Interview–Alexa Bourne

 

Today I’m chatting with Alexa Bourne, romantic suspense author.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Suspense to leave you breathless, romance to soothe your soul.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I love reading when I have time. I also love watching sports, especially soccer and football. Oooh, and I’ll travel anywhere over the world because I love adventures

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

The music I use depends on what I’m writing. For my Scottish stories, I listen to a lot of Celtic. For my suspense scenes, I listen to metal/alternative. For a love scene, I’ll toss on love songs. For my New Year’s book, Simple Treasures, I played Christmas and New Year’s songs.

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

Yes, I have! I really love the opportunity to set stories in places I can accurately describe so my readers feel like they are really there. My full-length books are set in states I’ve lived in. So far all my novellas are set in my happy place, my favorite place in the world, the UK. Upcoming settings are Austin, TX, Mexico, and Thailand!

What was your biggest surprise in the editing/revision process?

I was really surprised with how long it takes to go through my revisions. In the beginning, I would plan for a certain amount of time and then I’d always have to expand it so I could do my best job.

What’s your dream vacation destination?

I have 2 and I can’t choose just 1 to tell you! As a traveler, I’d love to visit New Zealand. It looks so beautiful there. From friends I’ve heard how different society is there and I’d love to observe it. As a writer, I would love to spend 4-6 months somewhere in Scotland. I would love to have a volunteer assignment so I can interact with the locals and then also spend a huge chunk of time writing new books set in Scotland.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I hope my readers get an idea of what it’s like to be in other countries, maybe a country she dreams of visiting one day. I also hope readers see ordinary people in my characters and everyday courage and love.

DanceAwayDanger_v2

BLURB for Dance Away, Danger:

Sensible dance instructor Tessa Gage likes her life organized, risk-free and on her own terms. When her cop brother goes missing, his crooked partner tries to kill her, and a handsome stranger claims he’s come to protect her, she’s forced to leave her comfort zone. With more dance and business sense than survival skills and no idea who to trust, Tessa has no choice but to rely on this man who’d rather be anywhere but by her side.

When carefree carpenter Matt Rylan gets a late night call from an Army buddy who once saved his life, he finds himself where he never again wanted to be—responsible for someone else. Honor demands Matt cooperate, but he never expects his simple babysitting job to test the limits of his self-control. Nor does he expect it to explode into a race against time for his very freedom.

As Tessa and Matt get closer to the truth, and to each other, Tessa learns to step outside the safety of her world to help set the wheels of justice in motion. For Matt, supporting this courageous woman suddenly becomes everything to him.  Yet, his biggest challenge remains sharing his closed-off heart with her before the danger silences them both forever.

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

All Romance ebooks

EXCERPT

“Hammer, I’m callin’ in a favor.”

Matt Rylan tightened his grip on his cell phone. Hammer. No one had called him that in three years, not since his friendship with Jason Gage had drifted apart.

“Jason?”

A strained sigh pushed through the phone line. “You remember.”

Matt gritted his teeth and crushed his lucky fishing hat in his fist. “Did you doubt I would?”

“Truthfully? Yeah. It’s been a while.”

He tossed his cap into the half-filled suitcase sitting in the center of the unmade bed. “What’s up?” he asked, like it hadn’t been years since they’d spoken. From the dresser, he grabbed the plane ticket he’d reserved two weeks before. The one he’d sacrifice tomorrow because Jason had called to collect a debt. And regardless of what his old friend wanted, Matt couldn’t say no to the man who’d saved his life on a battlefield in a far-off country most Americans didn’t know existed.

“My sister, Tessa….” Jason began.

“What about her?”

Jason had shared stories of the teenager during breaks between missions. Their parents’ death in a car wreck had hit her especially hard, which was understandable, but soon after, Jason couldn’t shake her. She became a clingy, paranoid pain in the ass. Jason had to take care of everything for her while he was in high school. Apparently, she hadn’t learned to do anything for herself since.

Matt shuddered at the thought of someone clinging to him like that. He’d willingly surrendered those burdens when he signed on with Uncle Sam and left his permanently discontented sisters to their husbands.

Jason ripped something and let loose a string of vicious swear words. “I need you to protect her.”

Matt’s stomach muscles clenched like a vice grip around a two-by-four. He’d been a contractor since he got out of the Army, taking care of buildings instead of people, which was exactly how he wanted it.

“What kind of trouble is she in?” He tossed the plane ticket into the suitcase and concentrated on his buddy’s words.

“Not her. It’s all me.” Jason wheezed and coughed. “Tell me you’ll do it.”

“What about the cops?”

“I’m not…sure which ones I…can trust.”

Matt straightened at the urgency in his one-time friend’s voice. He’d left soldiering, left responsibility, in his past where it belonged. He’d carved a sweet life for himself, working when he wanted and taking off when he damn well pleased. He answered to no one.

“Come on, Hammer. I got nobody else.” Jason gasped in between words.

A cheer erupted from the TV as Matt returned to the living room. Which of the teams had scored?

No way could he say no. Man, he was a fool. “I’m in.”

 

Bio:

Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romance writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance and is thrilled to have the chance to share her stories with readers everywhere.

When she’s not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV, and thinking about exercising. Okay, she also spends way too much time interacting with readers and writers on social media sites. But don’t tell her editors! Find out more about her and her books on her website, www.alexabourne.com.

http://alexabourne.com/cuan-macdougall-pub/
https://twitter.com/AlexaBourne
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlexaBourne
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5818611.Alexa_Bourne

Guest Interview–Julie B. Cosgrove

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I am a native Texan, widowed at the age of 58, who majored in religion and has always been a bookworm. My faith is the most important thing in my life. To be given the humbled honor to write about my Lord and have that touch others in a way that strengthens their faith still amazes me daily.

As a freelance writer, I write devotionals and inspirational articles for several publications and websites. I’ve also authored three Bible studies. I lecture to church groups and lead retreats. But fiction is my passion. Our Lord told stories, because people relate to stories. Each of my novels contains characters with real struggles and doubts, but through the process God helps them discover something in their lives worth redeeming.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

Reading and word games/puzzles. I also enjoy observing nature and the wonderful variety of creation in plants, birds and animals.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

Plot, though it evolves around my characters’ life struggles and eventual discovering of God’s mercy and grace at work in their lives. I want people to identify with my characters, but in less they can dive into their lives through the plot, I don’t believe they will see my characters three dimensionally. Our experiences and our reactions to them define us greatly.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

Freestyle. I let the creative juices flow and am constantly surprised where God directs my story- always to better plots than my own brain could conjure up. Then I go back and edit, edit, edit to polish it.

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

In 1994, when I’d reached a very dry point in my life, a friend suggested Christian radio. I listened for thirty days, and never went back, except an occasional deviation into Bach or Handel. Gosh, has it really been twenty years? Wow. Music is how I get my worship on, which is my Lord’s and my private joke because the radio is the only thing I have talent to play. Whenever I feel I’m starting to sink, Christian music lifts me back into His hands. But I write in total silence, probably more than not. Stems back to my bookworm in the library days, I guess. That’s where I studied the best.

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

Yes, many of them. However, I also had the honor to freelance write for a travel site for two years and my assignments were to help people visualize the locations. That has helped my scene-setting immensely. I research until I can put myself there—walk the streets, smell the foods and flowers, and see the people. Thank the Lord for the vastness of the internet!

Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations).

I am blessed to work part-time as a church secretary, and they allow me to write when things slow down. But I seem to have “writing cravings” as if God is beckoning me to carve out time to pray and create. In those times, my fingers fly over the keyboard for hours, even skipping meals and sleep. (Not at work, though!)

In what genre do you read?

I love suspense and cozy mystery. Always have, from the age of eleven on. In fact, most of my Netflix list is murder mysteries as well. I am just not at the point to where I can murder any of my own characters…maybe down the road

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

I am a total cat person. I have had cats all my life. I have two and they are my joy. They have made widowhood so much easier. To have another heartbeat to talk to when I get home is so nice. Few things are more soothing than a purring cat on your lap. I call them my “beasty boys.”

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

In all my writing, fiction and non-fiction, there is one underlying theme- the fact that God breaks through the mundane, everyday life in a broken world to reach out and show us His vast love for us. Thus my blog – Where Did You Find God Today? It always amazes me how God chooses to communicate with us. I want my readers to discover it for themselves. From the beginning of creation, God’s greatest desire has been to be with His children. Jesus came and walked among us for just that reason. It is also why He died for each of us.

Hush In The Storm

Blurb /Synopsis:

Jen, a young widow floundering in the storm of mourning, whose only lifeline is her humdrum job, is tossed into a maze of deceit and intrigue by a coworker named Tom…at the request of her late husband, or so Tom says. He kidnaps her and fakes her death to keep her safe from the cartel who he thinks caused her husband’s “accident.” Together, they are thrust into a tempest of danger and deceit where no one is whom they claim to be. The list of people Jen can believe in keeps diminishing. Who can she trust while dodging the Feds, human traffickers and the press who’ve discovered she’s alive? How will Jen rescue the two held-captive girls she befriends without drowning them, Tom, and herself in the waves of betrayal, especially when she’s begun to suspect her husband may not be as dead as everyone thinks..

Genre: Christian contemporary suspense romance

Publisher: Prism Book Group

BUY LINKS

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

to learn more, visit Julie’s website

To add to your Want To Read list on Goodreads

Excerpt:

An eerie thought pressed a clammy hand upon my shoulder. What if all you thought was true never actually was?

Widowed unexpectedly at thirty-one, I naturally longed for what could never be again. Regrets and what-if mantras swirled daily through my mind. I’d learned to push them aside. But this sudden, unsolicited notion surged an icy-hot chill through my body.

My logical side chided me. Don’t be silly, Jen. Of course it was true. The diamond band on my left hand glimmered with proof. Robert had cherished me, married me, spent five loving years with me…that one night didn’t mean a thing.

I shuddered off the question and leaned in to review the balance sheets my boss had emailed.

But the bizarre suggestion whispered once more in the back of my thoughts just loud enough to keep me from concentrating. The numbers on the page became muddled gibberish. I closed my eyes, sucked in a breath, and tried to focus.

I fiddled with the little gold cross I always wore around my neck, more out of habit than any indication of piety. I hadn’t perched in a pew in years, except for our wedding day and at Robert’s funeral. But after the latest in the series of sympathizers walked away, I seethed a semi-prayer under my breath. “Dear Lord. Please. Why can’t everyone just leave me alone?”

I had a job to do. The report was due first thing in the morning. I had to concentrate on the now. Besides, I never wanted to hear the eggshells crack as well-meaning colleagues tiptoed around my mourning. I was stronger than that, at least in public.

One by one, the other workspaces emptied. The buzz of office machines and human chatter diminished until the only sound was the soft hum from the fluorescent lights and the tick of the office clock, like a steady heartbeat.

At last, a welcomed solitude settled around me in a thick hush. In fact, it was too quiet. I tapped my pencil, then my foot, to dispel it.

A short, high-pitched ding pierced the silence.

My heart jumped into my throat. The elevator? The bottom right-hand side of my computer screen flashed 6:05 p.m. It was too early for the janitorial staff. None of the executives or customers ever ventured down to this dingy basement department with no windows and stale, recycled air.

I swallowed. “Who’s there?”

Tom stepped out of the elevator, then pushed open the glass door with the stenciled white lettering proclaiming the owners of this windowless dungeon—Abernathy & Smith Accounting Firm.

“Hey, Jen. Still at it?”

My heart slid back into place.

My jaw set, making a dental impression in my now tasteless chewing gum. Of all people to show up after hours, why Tom? Those piercing blue eyes unnerved me. Many times over the past few weeks, I’d find his gaze on me. And now, he and I were the only ones left in the department.

I wanted him to leave—and for these numbers to make sense so I could do the same. I also wanted my life back, but I wasn’t about to discuss that with him, or anyone else for that matter.

“Back away from it for the night, Jen. It’s time to go.”

His voice took on an authoritative tone. A hint of brogue, no doubt leftover from some forgone ancestor, twirled the last word on his tongue. They called his type the black Irish—dark hair, crystal blue eyes. Right now his windows into the soul darkened to a deep, steel gray. Stern. Inflexible. Like my eighth-grade biology teacher’s stare when I hadn’t paid attention in class, again. That sort of look always made me buckle.

Bob’s Burgers is close.”

Cholesterol-clogging comfort food did sound good. I grabbed my purse off the back of my chair. “Okay.” I raised my finger. “But we’ll go Dutch.”

“Whatever.”

“Well…” I glanced to the office wall clock. 6:15. My stomach responded with a silent rumble to remind me I hadn’t stopped for lunch. I loathed eating alone and didn’t feel like whipping up something at home. Even eating with Tom was better than the alternatives. “The janitors will be here in a bit anyway. Can’t concentrate with them vacuuming, emptying the trash bins…”

I sighed and dug into my purse. “Where are my keys?”

Tom dangled them in front of my nose. “Left ’em on your desk. But, we should take my car.”

I shook my head and opened my palm, fingers cupped. “Uh, no. We shouldn’t.”

“Your choice.” He exhaled through his nostrils, plopped the keys into my hand, and then texted something into his cell phone. I noticed his jaw twitch as he slipped his phone back into his jacket.

Was it me, or had his mood taken a dark turn? Had I ruffled his male feathers by insisting we go in separate cars and pay Dutch? I made an attempt to smooth things over. “Thanks for the offer, though.”

“I was just trying to save you…”

I touched his arm. “Tom, I don’t need saving.”

One side of his mouth stretched into a smirk. “You sure?”

5-star Review comments 

“Suspense and romance touches the shadowy underworld of human trafficking. A recent widow is kidnapped and her death faked, supposedly for her own good. But if she’s really a widow, why does she keep hearing her husband’s voice? Julie B. Cosgrove weaves a tale that both shocks and informs.  Hush in the Storm will keep you reading late into the night.” Mary Hamilton, author of the best selling Rustic Knoll Bible Camp Series

“Hush in the Storm by Julie B. Cosgrove is a tough but compelling read about a woman spirited away into the darkness and harsh reality of human trafficking. In addition to her terror and confusion over this split-second turn in her life is the unspeakable horror that perhaps someone very close to her is involved in her nightmare. This is a page-turner that will not only entertain but also inform and educate on a topic relevant to our time and culture.” Kathi Macias  (www.kathimacias.com) is an award-winning writer of more than 40 books, including Deliver Me from Evil.

J Cosgrove

BIO

Julie B. Cosgrove is a freelance writer, professional speaker and published author. She is a member of Advanced Writers & Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Authors Network, North Texas Christian Writers, The Christians Writers Group Two, and Christian Writers Fellowship International.

She represents Women at Risk International, a Christian missionary group who sponsor safe houses for women and children snatched from human trafficking and slavery in 13 countries and is actively involved in Prayer For Freedom, a nonprofit anti-trafficking ministry.

Julie has authored three contemporary faith-based novels. Focused, set in the Texas Hill Country, which follows a woman’s journey to find God in her empty nest, was released in 2012. She is working on the other two novels in that trilogy, Grounded and Rooted. The sequel to Hush in the Storm, Legitimate Lies, launches through Prism Book Group in early 2015.

Author Links:

http://www.juliebcosgrove.com

http://Wheredidyoufindgodtoday.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/juliebcosgrove.tx

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/JulieBCosgrove

Giveaway-  3 Kindle or Nook versions ( commenter’s choice) emailed