Monday, November 20, 2017

Get Ready for #HappyHolidays With a #99c #Romance from @Kris_Bock

 Please welcome my guest, Kris Bock.  Let me tell you about her book, Whispers in the Dark.

Whispers in the Dark: Archaeology student Kylie Hafford craves adventure when she heads to the remote Puebloan ruins of Lost Valley, Colorado, to excavate. Romance isn’t in her plans, but she soon meets two sexy men: Danesh looks like a warrior from the Pueblo’s ancient past, and Sean is a charming, playful tourist. The summer heats up as Kylie uncovers mysteries, secrets, and terrors in the dark. She’ll need all her strength and wits to survive—and to save the man she’s come to love. 

Whispers in the Dark, romantic suspense set in the Four Corners region of the Southwest, has a 4.2-star average. This novel will appeal to fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Victoria Holt. It stands alone and is not part of a series.

Whispers in the Dark is on sale Nov. 19-24 – only 99 cents for the Kindle! Get it now!


Excerpt:

I hit something, bounced, scraped, and finally landed with a thud that rattled my whole body.

I lay in the dark, blinded, my head ringing, pain washing over me in great waves. My lungs screamed for air, but it seemed like I’d forgotten how to breathe.

Finally I dragged in a breath. I closed my eyes and focused on breathing, waiting for the world to settle into place.

Rain misted my face, so I must be lying on my back. My head felt heavier than my feet. I shifted and realized I was lying on a slope with my head pointing down.

I tried to concentrate on those little details. I couldn’t handle anything more. Panic fluttered around me, but I refused to think about anything but the present moment. I flexed my fingers. When that worked, I moved my hands over my body, up to my face. My head throbbed, but when I felt around my skull, I didn’t find any serious damage.

I had to move. The thought battered at the back of my mind, a panicky whisper that I tried to ignore. I had to run. Hide. He was after me. I had to get away.

I clenched my teeth hard, as if I could bite back the pain and fear. Memories crowded in, like panicked ghosts wailing at the edges of my mind. Guns, strange men. Dangerous, threatening men. Danesh trying to protect me, the gun going off. My own helpless, panicked flight. Helpless. Worthless. Unable to fight, unable even to scream.

I tried to focus on this one moment, the physical sensations of my aching body as I lay on the hard, damp ground. The cold against my bare calves, the lump of rock pressing into my shoulder. That focus helped keep me grounded in the present. Never mind that this present wasn’t a place I wanted to be. I had to deal with reality. But I didn’t have to also deal with nightmares. Not now.

The little whimpers in my throat faded to short gasping breaths. I held on to this moment, this single slice of reality. Now to move forward. I didn’t have to like it, but I had to do it. One step at a time.




Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance involving outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town. What We Found is a romantic mystery about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page.


Friday, November 17, 2017

#HappyHolidays exchange #HistoricalWesternRomance #AuthorDevonMcKay @devonmckay2014

Greetings, friends! Today I have the honor of spotlighting bestselling author Devon McKay and her book, Lead me into Temptation.  Thanks to all of you who are joining the Happy Holiday Exchange. I hope you enjoy our tour and find some great reads to keep you company this holiday season.




Lead Me Into Temptation

Blurb:

Violet Webster is a bride on the run. The last thing she wants is to get married, especially to a stranger twice her age. However, agreeing to be a mail-order bride had been her only option and it paid the steep passage to San Francisco so she could locate her father. She’d find him too, if only her betrothed’s son would stay out of her way.
Garrett Sutherlin is on a mission. Delivering the striking, ebony haired beauty to his father’s doorstep not only paid off his debt, the effort would grant him freedom from the man’s condescending hold. As far as he’s concerned, Miss Webster made her own bed. 
Unfortunately, his father will be the one to lie beside her.


Excerpt:

“Name’s Sutherlin.”
“Sutherlin?” A surprised gasp escaped her as hope stirred, fluttering like the wings of a butterfly in her stomach. “But you’re not…no, you can’t be.” Confused, she searched his face. “Are you my intended?”
 Violet locked onto his gaze. She saw something she couldn’t quite read in the darkened depths. Sorrow? Regret? Whatever it was, the emotion quickly faded and was replaced by a clear veil of distrust.
“No, little dove, I’m not,” he stated firmly. “Or should I call you cunning fox? Not that it matters.” He shrugged. “You are marrying my father.”
Her blood froze. Spoken out loud, the direness of her situation magnified. She was spoken for. Promised to his kin. A man twice her age, and, other than two corresponding letters, a faceless stranger. 
For a moment, she’d actually longed for the possibility of the man standing before her being her future husband. Even embraced it. And cunning fox? The words stung only because they spoke the truth.
A painful, but honest depiction. At the moment, she felt anything but trustful. Yet, how could he know of her intentions? Didn’t matter. The search for her father trumped snide insinuations and witty tag-names, regardless of how true they might be.
“Shall we continue to our quarters?” he asked, shattering her thoughts and breaking the silence.
“Do I have a choice?” she questioned sharply, more upset at herself than his request. Unable to hold her tongue, she blurted, “And in regards to your blatant questioning of my character, perhaps you are right. However, considering the fact I feel as if I’ve been caught in a trap, the word cunning is hardly accurate.”
The quick retort brought forth a low rumble of laughter and a boyish grin, softening the hard, jagged scar under his eye. In response, her pulse spiked and a cool sheen of perspiration dampened her skin.
Not easily swayed by a man’s charms, certainly not a mere smile, she questioned the reaction. With her mind reeling, she continued planning a course of escape.
Now, she had one more reason she couldn’t possibly marry into this family. 

BuyLinks:

About Devon McKay


Amazon Bestseller Devon McKay writes historical and contemporary romance with a western flair. If she's not writing, she's busy with chores on her small ranch, working on a stained glass project or walking one of her three dogs through the woods. Her greatest joy is putting a smile on a readers face and hearing from fans. 

Please check out Devon’s website at: Authordevonmckay.com or contact her by email at: dev.mckay@yahoo.com. You can also follow her on face book and twitter at: https://www.facebook.com/DevonMcKay2014 
https://twitter.com/devonmckay2014

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

#BookQW word is usual. Excerpt from #Tirgearr #romanticsuspense Unholy Alliance

Are you ready to play Book Quote Wednesday?  Today's word is USUAL, and two examples are in the excerpt from Unholy Alliance.  In this scene attorney Grady Fletcher asks his client a question. The scene is in Tori Morningstar's viewpoint.  She is just released from prison for a murder she didn't commit, and they are driving along a highway.

"You sound like a sleuth. What angle are you working?"
"The usual angle. Searching.  Finding Vivienne. McGinn has her," she moaned. 
“That’s what you think.”  He shot her a withering look.  “I had this client, basically a good guy.  He needed to get off the grid but didn’t qualify for a legit government program such as witness protection. The poor schmuck got mixed up with the wrong crowd. He looked at old newspapers and found a name of a baby who’d died around his age.”
“Look, Grady.  I know this trick. Let me tell you the rest.   He requested the state government to give him a the birth certificate.” 
“Exactly,” he said.  “Many people lose birth certificates.” 
“Right. It’s pretty usual to lose one,” she said. “With a birth certificate, your client got a social security card.  Maybe enrolled in college for a student ID. He used these to open a bank account, get a credit card, and driver’s license.”
“Okay, fine. Did Vivienne disappear like this?” His reason for the story was to work Vivienne into it.  His assumption sliced through her skin. 
Her outrage rasped like feathers ruffling in anger. She took a breath to calm down, knowing he wasn’t done with his little narrative.
“She’d have to change hair color,” he said.  “Lose or gain weight. Put a tack in her shoe. Walk with a limp.  Move to a crowded city, rent a cheap apartment.  Build an employment history by working some job.”

“Uh huh.” Not up for an argument, she shifted her gaze back to the GPS map mirroring the Jeep as it sped onto a fly-over carpool lane linking up to the 22 West.  The map indicated ten more minutes of travel time and small talk.

Friday, November 10, 2017

#HappyHolidays sexy psych #thriller by Ronnie Allen @ronnieanovelist

Please welcome talented author, Ronnie Allen, and her book, Scorpio, book 2 from her amazing series, The Sign behind the Crime.

Blurb
With a mind as strong as twisted steel, Scorpio obsessed Henry Slater, suave, sophisticated, sexy, intelligent, and wealthy is the perfect man—except to women who tell him what he doesn’t want to hear.
Dr. John Trenton is called back to NYC for a case close to his heart, while NYPD Detective Samantha “Sam” Wright and Dr. Frank Khaos, conflicted about their on-again-off-again relationship, take on another case—a serial killer who’s orchestrated sixteen murders across the United States over a nine-year period. The seventeenth victim is Sam’s best friend, Carrie Baines. When forensic science connects Frank to Slater, Frank is pushed to delve into his past, something he swore never to do. Meanwhile, due to the interstate nature of the crimes the FBI gets involved, convincing Sam to go undercover. But Slater is clever, and Sam is no match for him. Will her psychic skills and police training be enough to survive this close encounter with a killer, or will she end up as his eighteenth victim? And even if she lives, is her relationship with Frank really over?
EXCERPT
Det. Sam Wright and her partner, Det. Nick Valatutti, trying to become involved in the serial murder case.

A mid-forties dark-skinned man wearing a conservative gray sports jacket at the opposite end of the table spoke first. “I’m Lieutenant Hicks. I know both your histories, and your relationship with Agent Case. Even though your excellent reputations precede you, consider this a professional courtesy, nothing more. Lieutenant Rojas and I go back a long way. At first, I wasn’t thrilled with a task-force for no reason, but I now understand it, seeing what damage this perp has done. Therefore, my precinct and I will give the FBI our utmost cooperation. As for the both of you being here, I know that you, Detective Wright, and the vic were good friends, so we will use what you tell us as a reliable source. Your involvement will end there.”
Sam cringed when she heard him say “vic” instead of Carrie by name. She held her tongue. His last statement made her stomach drop.
“I’ll be directing this interview,” Agent Case said. “Detective Wright, how long have you known Miss Baines?”
“Since kindergarten.” Sam remained focused. She’d only elaborate when he asked the correct questions.
“What can you tell me about her?”
“Referring to?”
“Everything. We need to create a profile to match to the other victims.”
Nick shot Agent Case a glare. “Why don’t you ask Detective Wright specific questions so we don’t go on for hours and waste time?”
Okay, Nick. You’re starting your magic.
Agent Case put his pen down. “Yes, I forgot. This one could ramble. Why would Miss Baines cut work and go to a casino?”
“That’s the million dollar question. One I want the answer to, but more importantly why did the perp choose her?”
“Not going there,” Lieutenant Hicks retorted, not holding back annoyance.
“Lieutenant, with all due respect, if my partner knows specifics, she’ll be able to frame her answers appropriately. Relevancy is crucial. Correct?”
The lieutenant let out an exasperated breath. “All of the murders were in casinos on the east coast. All vics were professional career women.”
“Any prominent differences?” Nick asked.
“Unfortunately, none that we’ve put together, yet,” the lieutenant conceded.
“Okay, Detective Wright, what can you tell us about Miss Baines relationship with her husband?” Case asked. “We know it’s not him, but—”
Sam cut Agent Case off. “I get it. Carrie and Charlie were separated four months ago. She caught him cheating, first through texts on his phone to another woman, then she followed him to an apartment building. She never confronted him.”
“Never confronted him? How can that be?”
“We never had time for a face to face meeting, and—”

“Don’t buy that for a second, Detective.” Case sneered at her. “If you two were that close, you’d be meeting at three a.m. if need be. Girlfriends cry with each other. I think you’re wasting our time, altogether.”
Bio-- meet Ronnie!

Ronnie Allen is a NYC native transplanted to rural Central Florida nine years ago. A teacher in The New York City Department of Education for 33 years, she also obtained a license as NYS School Psychologist. In later education, she added certification as a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, earning a Ph.D. in Parapsychic Sciences. Ronnie uses her expertise in education, the paranormal, and psychic development throughout her novels.  She’s an advocate for children, and their health and well-being. This is evident in the themes of her novels and in the dedications. Scorpio is the third book in The Sign Behind the Crime series. 

Buy links

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

#BookQW is deep-- #Tirgearr #romanticsuspense Unholy Alliance


Welcome to Book Quote Wednesday, #BookQW!  The word for today is deep, and this excerpt from Tori's point of view, "fearing the deep sound of his voice" comes from Unholy Alliance.  In the short scene below, Grady meets up with Tori, his former client, at her food truck, Deep Fried to Taste. 

Grady met her on the stairs and offered a hand. The closer he got, the harder it was to concentrate on stepping down. His killer smile showed off two sexy dimples when he said, “It’s noon.”
“Good noon to you.” She gulped. Readying herself for conversation, she took his hand, rose on her toes, and sniffed. “Hmmm, what is that? Shaving lotion? Man perfume?”
He chuckled, and a weird electric awareness went off in her chest. In slow motion, it cracked open slowly, sent out sparkly runners to forgotten girl parts, and pulsed there.
She pulled her shoulders back and lifted her chin. Their gazes locked. Her hair loosened from her bandana. “Drat, I’m a chef. Hair is supposed to stay put.” She took it off, placed the center of the bandana on the nape of her neck and tied a knot on the top of her head.
He reached to help tuck the ends under. “You’re so darn cute.”
“Oooo, that scent. Are you going to tell me what it is?”
Eau des Baux Eau.” The warm, deep sound of his voice sent more sensations of want right through her. Behind him the sun stretched a bit higher and seemed to shine just on him. “You like it?”
“I sure do. Vanilla. You smell like a cookie.” Her heart thudded harder than it should.
“Do you like cookies?” He bent his head for a kiss.
Tori kissed Mr. Good Noon with the wavy reddish-brown hair and body made to lose sleep over. Her breath hitched, and she took a step back from heartbreak. No reason to set sights on a man way out of her league. The glow dimmed and the warmth backed off. “Care to look at my menu?” She stepped closer to the blackboard.
“Now you’re speaking my language. I’m starving.” He raised his eyebrows and the corners of his mouth lifted. “Pimento cheeseburger corn dog.”







Wednesday, November 1, 2017

#BookQW word is second. Excerpt from #Tirgearr #RomanticSuspense

The Book-Quote-Wednesday word is second. Do you enjoy insider conversations? the scene below containing #BookQW (second) is from Unholy Alliance, the 2nd book of the Donahue Cousins series. The discussion below is between lawyer, Grady Fletcher, and his older private investigator, Maeve, a secondary character who brings his attention to a murder similar to the one that framed his client, Tori, the heroine. 


The midmorning sun burned bright when Grady returned from his second Starbucks run. His cellphone pinged, but he didn’t answer it. Hard enough to juggle two coffees while opening the door. “You’re here…finally.”
Inside, Maeve paced about the office. “Yeah, don’t say it.”
He already did. “Was it work or pleasure?”
“More like volunteer work. I started a missing person website for Tori’s cousin, Vivienne Rourke.”
“Aka Vivienne Valentine.” His ambivalence over Tori’s dedication pressed down on him like a leaden weight. His plan of action was to do nothing. “Do you know what’s weird about these websites?”
“I do. Some people make a strange hobby of following cases like this. Messages from well-wishers are downright eerie. Religious people send prayers. That’s nice. Were you thinking something else?”
On his lap he clenched his hands into fists. “Vivienne might not want to be found.”
“What do you know that I don’t know?”
“When I worked Tori’s case, I bumped up on her cousin’s rebellion. She ran away from the boarding school. Had an older boyfriend. Got into dark stuff. My point? Vivienne herself is a bad element.”
“If McGinn kidnapped her, don’t rule out the Stockholm syndrome. Strong emotional ties develop between two persons where—”
“—one person intermittently harasses beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other. If the abuser lets up, the abused takes it as kindness,” he said but didn’t buy into it.
Anyway,” Maeve said, “getting up the website is my excuse for looking like hell.”
She mustered up her sense of humor. “Other news. Tori drove her pickup to a cemetery and dug up her gun.” The PI took a moment to explain Tori’s friendship with the owners of the funeral home. She’d taken up Mick Coley’s offer to hide a few of her belongings in the smallest casket he had. “I saw her wince with regret at the insensitive use intended for a precious stillborn. Anyway, it’s buried above Thomas’s vault and contains her gun and as many beanie babies as could be stuffed inside.”
“A gun and beanie babies, crazy combination.” A red flag went up over the gun, but he ignored it. He thrust a coffee cup at Maeve, keeping the other for himself. “Let’s start again. Good morning.”
“Good morning, Grady. Say hello to our new case.” Maeve slapped down paperwork, the beginnings of a new murder book. His private investigator had seen it all. Homicides, suicides, assaults, and no amount of horror surprised her.
He slid onto his chair in front of crime photos. “This can’t be.” His heart pounded like a wild animal bursting to be free. “Victim has broken teeth, lodged in her throat.”
“The pattern mirrors Irene Brennan.” She scowled.
“Who’s our new client?”
“A handyman. Samuel Peterson repaired a leaky toilet at the Winter’s home yesterday afternoon. He left prior to the murder of Rose Winter.”
“A rose on ice,” he said, referring to this morning’s headline on the front page of the Los Angeles Globe. The body of the victim, found on her white marble floor, lay at an odd angle, arms and legs flung out like Raggedy Ann. Her shoulder length hair of dyed burgundy surrounded her head in a puddle of her own blood and scattered long-stem roses. “Rose Winter’s features were smashed.”
“Beaten to a pulp,” Maeve said.
“Her husband, Dr. Joseph Winter, is missing.” Joseph Winter, Ph.D. taught a class in urban planting at Cal State Long Beach, but more importantly conducted research for the department of agriculture. “Dr. Winter and his laptop hold secrets vital to national security.”
“Maybe Rose Winter held back his location.” She removed the lid and sipped coffee from the cup.
He sank in his chair staring at the white board where she scrawled key events.
Maeve said, “Maybe her assailant enjoys torture for the heck of it.”
He squeezed his panic into iron fists. “Did Rose write our client a check?”
“Yes, and then Sam Peterson left.” As if it were an everyday occurrence, Maeve adjusted the purple scarf around her neck. “Mrs. Peterson phoned us. Assured me her husband has no hidden talents. Sam isn’t a secret novelist or computer nerd. He’s a struggling black handyman supporting a family of four.”
A text message pinged again. This time he read it aloud. “Tori Morningstar. Says her food truck is open for business.”
“Great, team up. You’re both on Seamus McGinn’s tail.” Maeve gathered her purse and two four-inch binders.
“You’ve got Irene Brennan and Rose Winter in those murder books. Off getting a warrant?”
“I am. When victims struggle for their lives, they put talons out. Scratch their assailants. I want to compare tissue caught under their fingernails.”
He nodded his approval. “Could be a match.” Medical examiners clipped a victim’s nails to see if DNA from trapped tissue matched any sample in the DNA database. Even without one, a new technique known as phenotyping revealed the assailant’s eye, skin, and hair color. “All is good for Samuel Peterson.”
“At Tori’s truck, go light on the fried stuff.” She winked and lugged notebooks to the door.
“And you go light on those jaded detectives.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. I make them care.” She elbowed her way through the door.
His temples throbbed. Taking stock of the kidnapping of Dr. Winter and the national security risk it entailed, he phoned his cousin, Finn, and explained the case against his client.
“You’re up against organized crime,” Finn said. “Sucks when you realize how small and defenseless you are.”
“Wormhole.” Ah, the ties that bind. “Will you pretty please give up your contact at the FBI?” Grady gripped the arms of his chair until his knuckles ached.
“You are one lucky asshat,” Finn gloated. “I’ll phone Gary Guhleman, tell him you’ll be in touch. You’ll like him. He’s an amped up hound dog. Hang up. I’ll text you his number.”
“Don’t face-plant on goose poop.” Grady chuckled at the memory, saved the agent’s number, and then texted it to Maeve with the message they’d hooked up with FBI Agent Gary Guhleman.

Next, he texted Tori. “I’m out the door, walking to your truck.” It took superhuman power not to ask her out. His dick knew she appealed to him. Down, boy. It’s good I’m wearing loose pants. She’s a client, and this isn’t what he was here for. Attracted and fear of the attraction doubled his ability to be a jerk.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Unpublished authors #OrangeRoseContest #amwriting #inspiration

Unpublished authors, get your manuscripts ready to enter The 2018 Orange Rose Contest.  Next year check the rules and deadlines at OCCRWA.org! Dream big. Enjoy success. Make every writing day count. This contest is coming in the spring of 2018. 


Dear writer, you have time; the deadline is April 30th, 2018. This storied contest has in its roster many finalists who are now published, such as Rita Winners Laura Drake and Tessa Dare and New York Times best-selling authors Allison Brennan, Judy Duarte, Susan Squires and Debra Holland to name just a few. Why has the ORC enjoyed this level of success? It’s in large part due to the exceptional judges, both first round published author and final editor/agent judges, and our comprehensive score sheets.
In 2018, not far away, I will chair the Orange Rose Contest for unpublished writers Orange County Romance Writers. A huge perk for all authors who enter are critiques from published authors who have been around the block and can help improve manuscripts.  Nowhere will authors receive such a quality resource to shape the plot and writing. Authors who final in the Orange Rose receive free promotion by having their book listed and announced in person at the Orange Chapter’s big bash in the fall.  Right here on this blog, I will interview finalists.  Finalists’ manuscripts are sent to editors of RWA approved publishers.  You know what that means—a win for publishers and authors.
FINAL ROUND WINNERS for 2017
1st Place and Winner of The Charlotte
Romantic Suspense
Leslie Marshman –
Goode Over Evil
2nd Place
Contemporary Romance
Sara L. Hudson –
Houston, We Have a Hottie
We had a tie for 3rd Place
3rd Place
Young Adult
Riley Darkes –
Serving Time
3rd Place
Historical Romance
Carolina Prentice –
The Moon and Stars
4th Place
Mainstream Fiction, with a central romance
Jenny Hansen –
A Sister In Need
Congratulations to you all!

From the 2017 contest coordinator, Jann.