Tag Archives: romantic suspense

Author Interview with Linda Griffin ~ New Release: The Rebound Effect

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Wild Rose Press author, Linda Griffin.

Linda, please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

I was born and raised in San Diego, California, and although I love to travel, San Diego is still home. I have a B.A. in English from San Diego State University and an MLS from UCLA. I’m single and share a house with my sister. I’ve had numerous short stories published in literary journals, and I’m a member of RWA and the Authors Guikd. I’m definitely a cat person, but don’t have any pets now, unless you count my lizard muse Sparkle, and my sometime collaborator, Huxley, a writer mouse from Starbucks. Huxley co-authored my novella, “Starbucks,” (Eclectica, April/May 2015), but his specialty is bedroom scenes!

Where did you get the idea for The Rebound Effect?

The original trigger was a response that wasn’t made to an apology. Teresa responded instead and although it’s now in Chapter Two, it was the first line I wrote.

Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?

I never choose a genre. I write the story that wants to be told, and then try to figure out what genre it belongs to. I had written other romances, but some were a better fit for the traditional genre than others.

 Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?

Some of the notes for the story were written while I was traveling, and Frank and Teresa’s first visit to the coast is based on a real one. The fictional places are versions of spots on the Oregon coast, and I had a lot of fun renaming them. The city of Florence became Genoa, but the rest were less obvious.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

I loved my career as reference and fiction collection development librarian, but the job changed so much in recent years that I was glad to retire to spend more time on my writing.

What do you love that most people don’t like and wouldn’t understand why you do? 

Probably a lot of things, but the two that are most often remarked on are riding the bus and washing dishes by hand (although I prefer to be read to while I do it). I also enjoy editing, which most writers dislike.

What was your first job?

I had my first babysitting job when I was four years old. A new mother paid me a dime to watch the baby while she hung her laundry on the clothesline. My first real job was as a library aide in a branch library, where I discovered my dream job—reference librarian. I’d always loved looking things up, but didn’t know it could be a career.

Is there one subject you would never write about? What is it?

Probably politics. I did once begin a romance between a librarian and a campaign manager, but I generally find the subject distasteful and boring.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Several that are definitely not publishable, and a couple I hope will be. The decision on Guilty Knowledge, a police procedural/interracial romance is pending. The other still needs work before being submitted.

If you could spend time with a character from your book, whom would it be? And what would you do during that day? (PG-13 please 🙂

I’d like to spend a day with Sasha English. She’s one of my favorite characters, and it would entertain me just to listen to her talk. We would go to the zoo or the beach or shopping and out to lunch at a restaurant that serves ravioli. It would definitely be G-rated  since she’s only seven.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

None of the major characters in The Rebound Effect is based on a real person, but I gave Teresa a lot of my own quirks, from her pet peeves and T-shirts to her religious philosophy. The bipolar cook that Alix describes was based on someone I worked with.

How did you come up with the title?

It wasn’t the original title. The Wild Rose Press already had one called Whirlwind, and my wonderful editor Nan Swanson and I had a lively back and forth on the subject before settling on the current one. The rebound effect refers to symptoms recurring and even worsening when treatment is stopped, and love is a dangerous illness. A rebound romance can be the cure for a broken heart or a prescription for trouble.

How did your interest in writing originate?

I learned to read. As soon as I grasped the concept that somebody had to produce those words, I knew that was what I wanted to do when I grew up. I didn’t wait though; I wrote my first story at the age of six.

Thank you, Linda. I enjoyed getting to know you. I also do not want to write about politics, good call. 🙂

And now, check out Linda’s book…

Blurb:

In the small town of Cougar, struggling single mother and veterinary assistant Teresa Lansing is still bruised from a failed relationship when Frank McAllister sweeps her off her feet.

Frank is a big-city SWAT officer who moved to Cougar only four months ago. He’s handsome, charming, forceful, very sexy, and a bit mysterious. He had his eye on Teresa even before they met and is pushing for a serious relationship right away.

Teresa finds his intense courtship flattering, and the sex is fabulous, but she doesn’t want her deaf six-year-old son to be hurt again. Her former fiancé cheated on her when he got drunk after being unjustly fired, but he loves her and her son, and the whirlwind romance is complicated by his efforts to win Teresa back. And then there’s the matter of the bodies buried at Big Devil Creek…

Excerpt:

She reached inside the robe to rub his shoulders. She was feeling something new now, something tender, loving, intimate, possessive. She kissed him. She wanted to give in to this sense of well-being, of the inevitability of a future together, of love, but wasn’t it too soon?

“Teresa,” he said, again as if her name was a special endearment. “I want to sleep with you. I want to hold you all night.”

“It sounds very romantic,” she said, “but what if I snore? What if I need you to let me breathe a little?”

“Breathing is overrated. I never want to let go of you again.” He kissed her, and then he lifted her in his arms. It had never happened to her before—Gene hadn’t even carried her across the threshold on their wedding night.

“Frank!” she cried, laughing, but a little scared—what if he dropped her? He was strong, but she wasn’t very light. He didn’t drop her—or he did, but deliberately, from about an inch above the cool, clean sheets of his bed. They were both laughing, and he started kissing her randomly, here and there. This can be a lot of fun, she told herself. Enjoy it while it lasts. “Remember when you asked if it was too soon for me to date?” she asked.

“Yeah, and you said it depended on the definition.”

“It turns out it was too soon,” she said, “and now it’s too late.”

~*~

The Rebound Effect can be purchased from:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SS8SGT1/

Barnes & Noble  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rebound-effect-linda-griffin/1131957492

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-rebound-effect-2

~*~

I can be found at:

Website:  http://www.lindagriffinauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindagriffin.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaGriffinA

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lindagriffinauthor/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lgriffin08392487/

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Author Interview & An Excuse For Murder by Vanessa Westermann

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Vanessa Westermann…

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now?

I’m half-Canadian, half-German and was born in Germany. I moved to Canada two years ago and currently live in Ontario.

Why did you choose this genre?

I’ve always loved reading crime fiction, starting with Nancy Drew mysteries to Agatha Christie and Tana French. It’s not the violence of the crime, but the emotion that motivated it that intrigues me – the why, rather than the how.

I wanted to write a traditional village mystery, with its puzzles and quirky characters, but include the suspense of a thriller. In order to accomplish this, An Excuse For Murder is told from two points of view: from the perspective of Gary Fenris, a haunted former bodyguard who commits murder and then has to live with the consequences, and from the perspective of Kate Rowan, a bookstore owner who discovers the body. The characters are linked by danger and uncertain romance.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

Besides being a writer, I’m an English teacher and have also taught creative writing to young adults. I love teaching. Having the chance to inspire students and make a difference in their lives is wonderful.  There’s never a dull moment. And I get to spend my day talking about books.

What was your first job?

My first job was in Karstadt Oberpollinger, a department store in Munich, Germany. I worked in the store’s pop-up Christmas market. Besides having to listen to two recently released pop albums being played over and over again at the MAC cosmetics counter, it was a lot of fun.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why?

My favorite book of all time would have to be The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Literary detective, Thursday Next, is on the trail of a criminal mastermind who is kidnapping characters from classic works of fiction. In this alternative version of 1985 London, people are obsessed with books – there are museums devoted to famous authors and “HyperBookworms”, i.e. Thesaurean maggots. The Eyre Affair is surreal, witty and gripping.

I was lucky enough to interview Jasper Fforde about his latest standalone, Early Riser, on my blog: https://www.vanessa-westermann.info/Fforde-interview

What’s your favorite childhood book?

My favorite childhood book is I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith and my favorite picture book is The Balloon Tree by Phoebe Gilman.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read An Excuse For Murder?

After they read An Excuse For Murder, I would like readers to come away with a sense of hope: that Gary will lay his ghosts to rest and that he will solve another crime with Kate. I would be thrilled if my characters linger on in readers’ minds after the last page has been read, and that Kate, Gary and Marcus feel like old friends.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

I would have to quote Oscar Wilde on that one: “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about.” I would rather have a bad review than no review.

What is your favorite quote?

“The trouble with real life is that you don’t know whether you’re the hero or just some nice chap who gets bumped off in chapter five to show what a rotter the villain is without anyone minding too much.” ― Sarah Caudwell, The Sirens Sang of Murder

If you could spend time with a character from your book, whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

I would love to have tea with Kate in The Old Fire-hall Café and then help her stock books in her bookstore, while discussing the mysterious behavior of the late Mr. Wendell.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism given to me as an author was by an editor who described an early version of An Excuse For Murder as a “woman-in-danger novel”. I was horrified that I had given the impression that my female protagonist needed saving. I revised the novel, making sure that Kate showed strength and courage in every decision she made and every action she took. The best compliment I received was from Barbara Fradkin, in her praise quote for An Excuse For Murder: “Kate Rowan is the perfect heroine for our times; wit, charm, and spirit balanced by impressive skills in self-defense and lock-picking.“ Taking the tough criticism to heart, and making those changes, led to the best compliment.

How did you come up with the title?

The book was originally titled The House of Silent Words. In that earlier version of the manuscript, the focus was on Kate and the other tenants living in the fairy-tale house, owned by Kate’s great-aunt. Gary Fenris was just a shadowy figure on the sidelines. During revisions, Gary became a protagonist in his own right and the title had to reflect that change. An Excuse For Murder stems from Gary’s storyline and emphasizes the theme of revenge.

Blurb:

As a former bodyguard, it should be easy for Gary Fenris to kill, especially when the motive is revenge. But Gary has made two mistakes in his life. The first was letting the woman he loved die on his watch. The second was thinking vengeance could bring him peace.

Local bookstore owner and amateur lock pick Kate Rowan loves nothing more than a good mystery. Her curiosity soon leads her down a trail of blackmail, obsession and death. Despite the risk – or maybe because of it – Gary finds himself drawn to Kate. When danger strikes, Gary is forced to face the fact that he used love as an excuse for murder. And he’s got one last score to settle.

 Excerpt:

The ghost of her laughter teased across his skin, raising the hairs on his arms.

There she was, vibrant as though she was in the room with him. “Don’t tell me you don’t like it.” She gave her new dress a twirl, barefoot and beautiful, all ready for a night out but for the heels she would wait to put on to the last. Her toe-nails were painted red. The arch of her foot flexed strong and graceful with the movement. Her blonde hair shone in the light of memory. She stopped short, the soft blue fabric swinging against her legs, and grinned at him.

It went straight through him. He raised the bottle of Scotch to his lips, holding on to the vision. It wavered beneath the intensity of his gaze.

Then there was nothing on the floor but scuff marks and the shimmer of dust. His trainers, mud-caked from that morning’s eight kilometer run, took up the space where her heels should have been. He had almost forgotten the way she used to toe her shoes off, always sliding the left one off first for some inexplicable reason.

The wall was cold and hard against his back, the Scotch smooth and warm.

There was no other choice. He’d made his decision two years ago. It was time.

Tomorrow, he would commit murder.

 Buy links:

Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Kobo | Books-A-Million

 

Bio:

Vanessa Westermann is a former Arthur Ellis Awards judge, and has given a talk on the evolution of women’s crime writing, at the Toronto Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Her book review column entitled “Vanessa’s Picks” was published in the monthly newsletter of a popular Toronto mystery-specialty bookstore, from 2012 to 2016. The column was developed into a blog, featuring literary reviews and author interviews.

While living in Munich, Germany, Vanessa attained an M.A. in English Literature and went on to teach creative writing.

Vanessa currently lives in Canada and is working on her next novel, while drinking copious amounts of tea.

Readers can find her blog at www.vanessa-westermann.info and follow her on Twitter @VanessasPicks.

Contact links:

Website & Blog | Twitter

 

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Author Interview with Charlene Namdhari ~ New Release: Undercover Affection

I am happy to host today’s guest, Charlene Namdhari, with an interesting interview and her latest release…

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

My name is Charlene and I’m glad to be here. I am a fairly new author and excited to announce the release of my second book yesterday. I’m from Sunny South Africa and live in the City of Gold, Johannesburg. I share a home with two kids, four dogs, a cat, two dragons, seven fish and um…oh the husband of course.

Where did you get the idea for Undercover Affection? Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)? Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share? What is the most difficult thing about writing a book? What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular?

The idea for Undercover Affection came from my love for cop series. I enjoy Criminal Minds, NCIS and Law & Order, so I wanted to write something with a Cop as the heroine. I’ve read a lot of erotic romance over time and I find while some of them are good, they lack plots which I thought would be nice. Ashni Scott Callahan, the heroine, is most woman’s dreams of an ideal woman. She’s smart, sassy, mischief and can kick ass. I think setting the romance in New York was a little difficult for me as I haven’t been there, so I hope I’ve done a good job depicting the city well. I enjoyed writing this story and now a second book seems to be churning in this head of mine about another character in this book, although a series was never the thought process to begin with. I believe our characters have a mind of their own and they will guide us as to where they want to go.

Are there any tricks, habits or superstitions you have when creating a story?

Silly as it sounds I like to write in front of the tv when watching one of my favorites. No idea why but it seems to work well when I want a story to come out. The idea that works best for me is to just write and sort out the junk later

What book have you read that you wish you had written?

Pet Semetary and IT. I love Stephen King

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

I am the Executive Assistant to the MD of a large international corporate and their events manager.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why? What’s your favorite childhood book?

IT by Stephen King. Scared the hell out of me then and have hated clowns ever since. My favorite childhood books was Nancy Drew and the Perry Mason cases.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

An honest critical review would be appreciated.  Authors work hard to put a good book together and while you can’t please everyone being honest about what worked and didn’t work for you would be appreciated rather than making fun of the author. This way the author knows how to tackle their next book and not be demotivated.

What celebrity would you most like to be stranded on an island with?

Geez that’s a tough one. If I must choose then it would have to be Chris Hemsworth and if he’s busy then Dwayne Johnson

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Innocent by Nature, Naughty by Choice

If you could spend time with a character from your book, whom would it be? And what would you do during that day? (PG-13 please 🙂

Cody Bentley from Daredevil’s Mistress. Lock the door, throw away the key and make all my scenes in my novels come true

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

You can do better. Your writing style is similar to Nora Roberts

Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

The current president of our country.

Your favorite…

Movie Miss Congeniality

Music Madonna

Place you’ve visited Barcelona and Italy

Place you’d like to visit Greece

TV show from childhood MacGyver

TV show from adulthood CSI

Food Peppermint Tart

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? Television

Great interview…I also LOVE Stephen King!! Thank you so much for joining me today. Please share more about your new release…

 

Blurb:

Ashni Scott Callahan is a tough as nails detective with no time for love. She’s taken down drug lords, human traffickers and diamond smugglers. So going undercover is as easy as eating a slice of pie. That is until she has to spy on sexy billionaire, Avinash Rai. Could a potential criminal be this delicious? One slice, she soon discovers is not enough, she wants to lick the whole damn plate.

Avinash Rai, hardworking billionaire, takes what he wants when he wants, but prides himself on honesty. He’s a man women don’t ignore, that is until a sexy stranger visits his usual hangouts without so much as a glance in his direction. Intrigued, he’s up for the challenge. Only, nothing prepares him for her spirited personality or their intense attraction.

Will Ashni surrender to the man’s charms and jeopardize her case? Will Avinash finally understand his father’s motto: in life, you win some, you lose some and then you fall in love? And will he be able to forgive Ashni’s lies?

Buy Links:

Amazon USA: https://amzn.to/30jIafA

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2Qo2M21

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2HHgwSL

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2VGQ2cz

Others: https://books2read.com/u/mBQddN

 

Bio:

Born and raised in the coastal city of Durban, South Africa, she now lives in the City of Gold, Johannesburg. Charlene’s days are an energetic mixture of a full time job, a wife and mom to two beautiful teenagers and four dogs. She holds a law degree and is a passionate events manager.

Charlene enjoys travelling, a Mediterranean cruise being her most recent venture. She hopes to retire to a beautiful seaside cottage where she can spend lazy days on the beach drinking cocktails and focus all her energy on writing. She is of the firm opinion that one should not give up on a dream but rather make every attempt to get there no matter how long it takes.

Her love for writing stemmed from an avid interest in English at School, more so Literature and enjoyed writing short stories. She attempted her first full length novel fifteen years ago and although she loved the finish product decided she’d write mainly as a hobby and only recently sought publishing.

Believing writing is the wings to holistic escapism, she makes the time in her busy schedule giving life to her dreams of bringing together passion filled heroes and heroines in a happily ever after.

Contact Info:

Email: charlene@cybersolutions.co.za

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CNamdhari

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/charlene.namdhari.7

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/charlenenamdhari/

Website: www.charlenenamdhari.co.za

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SUMMER OF 99 CENTS BOOK FAIR ~ NEW GIVEAWAYS DAILY ~ June 5-8, 2019

#99CentEbooks

SUMMER OF 99 CENTS BOOK FAIR

NEW GIVEAWAYS DAILY

June 5-8, 2019

https://bookwrapt.com/summer-of-99/

What would summer be without a ton of must-read books loaded onto your reading device of choice to enjoy on a lazy June afternoon? Our fair is filled with 99 cents bargains on sale for a limited time in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, thrillers, fantasy, science fiction, women’s fiction, romantic suspense, and more.

Plus, each day of the fair we’re giving away a $15 Amazon gift card and 12 books from the fair via Amazon instant giveaways!

Look for Books from Your Favorite Authors!

Alexa Aston • ME 🙂 • Amanda Uhl • Anne McClane • Brenda Whiteside • Cara Marsi • Catherine Kean • CB Samet • Debbie White • Elizabeth Rose • Emerald Dodge • Honey Phillips • Jacqueline Diamond • Jennifer Allis Provost • Jessie Kwak • Jim Stein • JL Lora • Jordan Hallak • Karen Michelle Nutt • Katherine Gilbert • Kristine Smith • LC Owen • Leslie Scott • Linda Mooney • LJ Swallow • Loralee Evans • M.D. Dalrymple • Margaret Tanner • Maria Geraci • Morgan Kay • Morgan Kay Wyatt • Rayna Noire • Rhondi Ann • Rose Pearson • Sherrie Lea Morgan • Stephanie Queen • Tara Gallina • Taylor Marsh

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Author Interview with Julie Howard ~ New Release: Crime Times Two

#WRPbks, #AHAgrp, #99Cents

Please help me welcome Wild Rose Press author, Julie Howard…

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

My heart is torn between two states where I’ve lived most my life: California and Idaho. Because of this, I do believe you can call two places your home. I’ve lived in Idaho for the past fifteen years and it’s where I plan to stay, but California is still tops on my vacation list. I’m married with two children and a little sheltie who is my constant companion.

Where did you get the idea for your Wild Crime series.

My Wild Crime series came to me when we first moved to Idaho from the urban crush of California. My husband and I were taking a driving tour of the state to get to know our new home and I was struck by how remote many homes were. I mean REALLY remote. I imagined the stories of the people living in these houses far up in the mountains, up a dirt road, cut off during the winter snows. The what if scenario played in my mind: What if a woman moved out there with the wrong sort of man? What if she believed her only escape was killing him? What if he was murdered? I knew I had to write this story.

What book have you read that you wish you had written?

Anything by Charles Dickens. I get such a kick out of the characters he creates and how dead-on he captures certain personalities.

What was your first job?

When I was in high school, I typed up divorce documents for a lawyer. I must have helped split up dozens of marriages. I hope there weren’t too many typos.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

Sleeping. That’s eight perfectly good hours, wasted!

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

I’d much rather have a bad review. I spent a career as a journalist and worked with some pretty tough editors. The tough ones taught me the most. If I need to work harder or better or differently, I’d rather know so I can make the adjustment and move on.

What is your favorite quote?

“The flies have conquered the flypaper.” From John Steinbeck’s The Moon is Down.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have 3 (inanimate) objects, what would they be?

A beach chair, a good book and a bottle of wine. Why worry?

If you could be a character in any of your books, who would you be?

Oh, I love the little five-year-old girl in my books. She’s the daughter of the main character and is a feisty spitfire. She’s so much fun to write and I know she’ll go on to be a strong woman. Wait…she’s imaginary…

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I’ve written a historical fiction set during WWII that is inspired by family stories. It’s in final editing stages, but I’m having trouble letting go. This one is close to my heart and I want it to be perfect – and of course nothing can ever be perfect.

Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

I’ve met a few since I was a journalist and worked in Las Vegas for a while. My most interesting interview was with Oscar winner Patricia Neal. She was in movies with Ronald Reagan and was married to (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) author Roald Dahl.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

We are all stronger than we think, and there is always a path forward.

Tell us about your favorites…

Movie – Bandits

Music – Modern folk

Place you’ve visited – Istanbul

Place you’d like to visit – the Philippines

TV show from childhood – Gilligan’s Island

TV show from adulthood – Fargo

Food – anything Mexican

Sports team – Boise State Broncos (football), of course

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? Board games, especially playing with my kids.

 

Thank you, Julie. I loved getting to know you, and your book sounds fantastic. Congrats!

Now, Julie has a question for readers…

If you were on a deserted island and could only have one book to read over and over, what would it be?

Julie Howard’s Wild Crime series continues with the release of book two, “Crime Times Two.”

When divorce is out of the question, can murder be forgiven?”

Blurb from “Crime Times Two” (coming Oct. 8, available for pre-order now)

Meredith knows three things: First, the man in the library begged her to help him. Second, he was afraid of his wife. Third, now he’s dead.

While the evidence first points to a natural death, Meredith is certain there’s more to discover. People are tight-lipped in this small mountain village, and the man’s wife isn’t talking either. Then a second death occurs, with remarkable similarities. It’s time to talk about murder.

As a slow-burning relationship heats up in her own life, Meredith struggles with concepts of love and hate, belief and suspicion, and absolution and guilt. Nothing is clear cut…

She must decide: Is guilt, like evil, something you can choose to believe in?

Excerpt from “Crime Times Two”

Jowls quivered under the man’s weak chin, and Meredith noted the stained and frayed shirt of someone who spent a lot of time alone in dark rooms, sending out a better version of himself into the virtual world. His eyes were anxious and beseeching at her as though she should have a clear understanding of him and his life.

Somehow, over the past hour and a half they’d been sitting next to each other – him playing video games and sharing his life story and her ignoring him the best she could – she had become his confessor and friend.

Meredith gave him what she hoped was an impartial-though-quasi-friendly smile. She reached for her purse and papers and rose from her chair. “Well. Nice talking with you.”

The man was lost in his own train of thought and seemed only slightly aware that Meredith was leaving.

He shook his head, morose.

“To make a long story short,” he summed up, “I think my wife is trying to kill me.”

 

About the author

Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild, editor of the Potato Soup Journal, and founder of the Boise chapter of Shut Up & Write. Learn more at juliemhoward.com.

http://www.facebook.com/juliemhowardauthor

http://juliemhoward.com

BOOK SALE ALERT! The first book in the series, “Crime and Paradise,” in on a 99-cent flash sale until Oct. 18.

 

 

The story follows a young abused woman who ends up in a remote Idaho town. When her husband is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect. The local sheriff develops an interest in her beyond the investigation, and together they uncover some unsavory secrets in their small town.

https://www.amazon.com/Crime-Times-Two-Wild-Book-ebook/dp/B07H4X7WQJ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1537197504&sr=1-1&keywords=Crime+Times+Two

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“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Min Edwards ~ New Release: Precious Stones, Book 4 in the High Tide Series

#AHAgrp

Please help me welcome author friend Min Edwards with the moments that changed her life, and her latest release, Precious Stones, Book 4 in the High Tide Series

Hi, Alicia and thanks for having me on your blog. Today I want to tell you about the 10 moments that changed my life. Actually, the title is daunting. How to pick just 10 moments in the long life I’ve lived so far. But here goes:

1) The first I guess should be when my Aunt Corina came to live with us before she married my Uncle Don. Corina Montez, a gorgeous young woman from Cochabamba, Bolivia. Her heritage was French and Bolivian, and she grew up in the upper echelons of Bolivian society. Her father was in government, a railroad commissioner: Her grandfather was as well… one of the many early 20th century Presidents of Bolivia. She left all that behind and came to the states when I was a very small child, bringing hand embroidered baby dresses from the nuns who schooled her and adored her. She taught me Spanish before I could speak any recognizable English. I’ve loved her throughout my life.

2) My mother’s disappearance into the hospital the early part of my 1st grade year. I say disappearance because I only knew she was gone but I didn’t understand where or why. In those days small children weren’t allowed on to Patient floors. She was gone the entire school year except for a few short and scary returns. In just a few days, I remember my father picking her up and taking her away again.

3) The return of my mother in the summer after my 1st grade. I couldn’t believe she was home. My mother would be waiting for me with cookies and love every day during my 2nd grade and throughout my schooling. I can’t believe that was all I was thinking about. But she was home and our house seemed right again. It took her a while to get her strength back as she’d been bedridden and recuperating from numerous surgeries for months. But by the fall and the beginning of school she was an active young woman again.

4) When I was in High School my grandmother came to live with us. Of course, our house wasn’t big enough for everyone, so my father rented her a small cottage across the street, just steps away. She was a seamstress and though she was retired, she began taking in sewing again. Before too long everyone was raving… Page is so talented. Don’t use anyone else to sew for you. She’d been the head of the alterations department in a very large department store in Tulsa, Oklahoma for years… and she didn’t know how to retire.

The only draw-back to this change in our family dynamics was the tension between my grandmother and her daughter (my mother). It colored my life for years, even on my wedding day. I didn’t understand the tensions between these two loving women, and it wasn’t until my mother was elderly that she told me the reason. Then I understood, but I loved them both so much.

5) Going away to college… Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas… the most gosh-awful, sandy, windy, tornado-ridden place on the earth, or so I thought at the time. But the campus was beautiful, the college football team was fun to watch, the quarterback was gorgeous, and I was majoring in Mechanical Engineering… all those boys! It was too much to bear. But I slowly over several years changed my major to Architecture, then in my Junior year to my great love, Anthropology/Archaeology.

6) My marriage in my Junior year at Tech was pretty life changing and probably not in a good way. I was way too young as was my husband. But my wedding was nice. Of course, the tension was still in the air between my mother and grandmother and they each made me a wedding dress. My grandmother’s dress was elegant (she was always trendy), white, short and very simple but very 60s. My mother’s contribution was elegant as well (she was as talented a seamstress as her mother), but long, ecru with a trailing French lace veil in a shaded ecru… I have the veil to this day. My grandmother didn’t come to the wedding because she caught the flu. She finished the dress though… what a trooper.

7) My arrival in the Philippines. My first visit to a 3rd world country and I wasn’t prepared. The country however, was beautiful, the people were so helpful and friendly, but the politics were brutal. One Sunday my husband and I went to the cockfights just a few blocks from our compound… and ate wonderful barbequed chicken (the losers in each fight). The next Sunday we stayed home, and a rival political group swept into the arena and killed many of the opposing party right where we were sitting just a weak earlier… it was like a 1920s crime wave! Lots more happened in the two years I lived in Angeles City, 50 miles north of Manila, and I’m sure the stories will creep into my books in the future.

8) Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: I spent four years here and had my son at the Naval Hospital. This was very life changing. I’d waited almost a decade for him through 4 miscarriages and moves around the world. This was long before Guantanamo was the terrorist prison it is today. Then it was an American leased property, estranged from Cuba by a tall razor-wire topped fence. In fact, one of my favorite beaches was watched over by a Cuban guardhouse peopled by Cuban snipers with guns pointed our way and an American guardhouse with equally scary guns pointed at the Cubans. Our base commander said that our guard tower was there to protect the swimmers from sharks… but that wasn’t a very believable story to any of us.

9) Moving from my home of 30 years to property I’d owned since the 70s outside the most eastern town in the U.S. It’s 9+ acres of Maine waterfront… towering Spruce and Fir trees, groves of Birch and Poplar, lush meadows and abundant raspberry bushes and blackberry canes… and apple trees… everywhere! It’s beautiful but I still haven’t recovered from leaving all my friends behind in Texas.

10) My life as a single mother raising the most precious son that ever lived is my No. 1 most important Moment in my life. Most of his upbringing was in Texas but when I retired I moved north, to a piece of property I’d owned since before he was born. He was bored with Austin, Texas and wanted a change so he came along. The first couple of years were a little dicey but he’s now comfortably situated as an IT Tech for the University of Maine System… The village misses him enormously, but he likes the steady paycheck, the benefits and the work. He’s been wonderful throughout his lifetime: No drinking, no drugs, no jailtime, no divorces. Really, I’ve been blessed. Raising him to be the man he is today has been my most rewarding accomplishment.

 

Wow, Min, fascinating! You’ve had quite an interesting life. I’m so envious of where you are now. I’ve always wanted to live in Maine. Thank you so much for sharing!

Precious Stone

Book 4 in the High Tide Suspense series

by Min Edwards

 

Collee McCullough is the beloved town baker in Stone Bay, Maine. She’s always ready to serve you a luscious treat or offer you a helping hand, but very early one morning trouble comes to call. Two men, in suits—no one wears suits in Stone Bay—asking questions about her great grandmother and something she brought from Russia.

Just as Collee decided to pull out her shotgun which she kept behind the pastry counter, her brother, Nick, the Chief of Police arrived for his morning coffee. Of course, all hell broke out because her brother was her protector even when she didn’t need him. But today, he was needed.

After the melee was over, a jogger stopped by, also for morning sustenance. He, Jake, took one look at Collee… and her shotgun and named himself her knight in shining armor much to the chagrin of her brother, Nick.

And so begins the story of Collee, Jake, Russians and Collee’s mysterious great grandmother. Follow along from the Maine coast to the Dordogne area of France and then to the Highlands of Scotland. I promise you a wild ride!

 

And follow me on my Amazon Author Page to see other books in the High Tide Suspense series as well as my upcoming prequel to Precious Stone, The Russian Phoenix,

Coming in the fall of 2018

 

An act of bravery, a gift of unimaginable worth.

But the outcome haunts a young Russian girl through the years.

The Russian Phoenix is the story of Collee’s great grandmother Natasha, the Russian noble women who was kidnapped on the eve of the last ball of the Romanov’s Jubilee Celebration of their 300 years of rule. Natasha was taken on a mad dash across Russia and into the east German woods. Her adventure continues across Europe on the brink of war and the English Channel to Scotland, a place she’d never imagined. Join me on her journey.

Website

http://www.minedwards.com

Facebook

www.facebook.com/AuthorMinEdwards

Pinterest

www.pinterest.com/MinEdwards

Amazon Author Page

http://amzn.to/2bHJ1kb

 

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Filed under 10 Moments that Changed My Life, Author Blog Post, New Release

Maggie Sinclair from Numbers Never Lie Shares the 10 Moments that Changed Her Life

Please help me welcome my friend and fellow author, Diane Burton. Be sure to grab your copy of Numbers Never Lie – It’s a great romantic suspense read!

(Check out the Rafflecopter Giveaway at the end of the post!)

10 Moments That Changed Maggie Sinclair’s Life

Thanks for having me here on your blog, Alicia. I’m so happy to have the chance to share my latest release, Numbers Never Lie, a romantic suspense, with your readers. Normally, I’d say you and your readers. But since you edited my book, I think you’ve already read it. 😊

I’ve already done my 10 Moments, so I thought it might be a good way to learn about a character. So here’s the “star” of Numbers Never Lie and the moments that changed Maggie Sinclair’s life.

  1. I was five the summer Drew Campbell moved to our neighborhood. He was eight, the same age as my brother, Jack. Those two became best friends and tried to shut me out. I wouldn’t let them. Later, only my prowess in baseball made them choose me for their team. At fifteen, I had the world’s biggest crush on Drew. He said I kissed like a guppy.
  1. At twenty-two, I married Roger Dodger. Actually, his last name is Dixon. I was young and stupid, and Drew was married by then. Roger was the king of lies, affairs, and abuse. Mostly emotional abuse. The second time he hit me, I said sayonara and got out of that marriage. After therapy, I took self-defense classes. Both helped my self-esteem that was at an all-time low. I learned that I was stronger than I thought.
  1. Also at twenty-two, I started teaching high school kids and coaching girls’ baseball. I love sharing my knowledge of my favorite game.
  1. My parents died when I was twenty-five. Mom got influenza that went into pneumonia. Six months after she died, Dad had a fatal heart attack. Jack and I figure he missed Mom so much he really died of heartache.
  1. Four years ago, I joined my best friend who’d organized a group of preteen girls and taught them how to camp. We were in Girl Scouts together, and she was a gung-ho outdoors woman. Last year, she moved, and I “inherited” the group. We can’t go camping without another chaperone. The girls’ moms don’t want to, and the dads are too busy. The girls feared their camping days are over, and they’d never get to camp on Isle Royale.
  1. Drew’s daughter said her dad volunteered to go with them on an overnight trip. The girls’ were ecstatic. I was torn between relief that the girls wouldn’t be disappointed and skittishness because I was still attracted to him, especially since his wife died.
  1. Returning from that trip and discovering my brother had died in a car accident. Devastated, crushed, stunned, lost. Those words aren’t strong enough to match how I felt.
  1. Investigating the accident. Too many inconsistencies made me suspicious. The sheriff blew me off. So did Drew, at first.
  1. Together, Drew and I discovered why Jack was killed and capture the bad guy.
  1. Drew and I are getting married. The camping group will give me away. According to Drew, our honeymoon will not feature camping.

NUMBERS NEVER LIE

A Romantic Suspense

By Diane Burton

Romantic Suspense

Length: approx. 80,000 words

Available at Amazon  http://a.co/gUmO9wZ

Free with Kindle Unlimited

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?

Excerpt

During lunch, Jack asked about the camping equipment in the garage. “I thought your camping days were over when Trish moved away.”

As it often did, Maggie’s eyes teared up at the thought of Trish Morrow. They’d been best friends since kindergarten. A natural born leader, Trish could get anybody to do anything—like conning Maggie into helping with the group of pre-teen campers. Last summer, after eight months of unemployment, Trish’s husband took a job in Denver. Trish and the kids followed, and there went the leader of the group.

“We’ve been meeting,” Maggie said around the lump in her throat.

“Suck-er.” Jack grinned. “How many volunteer jobs do you have now? Little League umpire, peewee hockey ref, high school girls’ baseball coach—”

“I get paid for that one,” she interrupted. “Can I help it if the girls wanted to get together to talk?”

“From the camping equipment you were loading into your SUV, it looks like you’re going to do more than talk.”

She shrugged. “They still want to go to Isle Royale. Their theory is if they practice camping all summer and into the fall, Trish will come back for the trip next summer. We’re going on an overnight camping trip tomorrow.”

“You got another mother to help chaperone?”

Maggie grimaced. “Not exactly.”

He dropped his sandwich. “You aren’t taking the girls by yourself? That’s crazy.”

“Add in irresponsible, brother dear. Which I’m not. I’d never take kids on a trip without another adult.” She eyed him with an appraising expression.

Jack held up his hands. “Don’t look at me. I’m up to my eyeballs in work.”

“Don’t worry. I wasn’t going to ask you, although it did cross my mind.”

Despite her brother’s usually super-neat appearance, he loved the outdoors almost as much as Maggie. Sports and scouts were his life when they were kids—just like her. While he went from Tiger Cubs through to achieving Eagle Scout status, she’d gone from Daisy Girl Scouts to earning her Gold Award. That made having a group of campers not affiliated with Girl Scouts a little weird. But, Trish didn’t like organizations with rules and regulations and, since Maggie hadn’t been in charge, she went along with her best friend.

Now her BFF was gone, and guess who was in charge?

“So, who’s helping you with the troop?” Jack pulled a couple of grapes off the stems and popped them into his mouth.

“Ellen’s dad.”

Jack started to choke. She jumped up ready to do the Heimlich until he laughed. She considered whacking him on the back on general principle.

“Drew? Drew Campbell? The guy whose idea of casual is loosening his tie?”

At least, Jack’s tired expression was gone. She tapped her short, no-nonsense fingernails on the table. “I’m so glad I could provide entertainment with lunch.”

He continued to laugh—almost braying.

“I’m loaning him your sleeping bag and backpack.” She worked hard not to smirk.

“What!”

“Consider it rent for storing your stuff in my garage. And basement.”

Technically, the house was half his, part of their inheritance. After their folks died, she was grateful to leave her one-bedroom apartment. Since Jack already had a condo and didn’t want the upkeep of a house, their home was all hers, along with storage for his belongings.

Jack frowned for a second. “My equipment? You’re loaning out my camping equipment?”

“He’s your friend. I didn’t think you’d mind.”

Jack started to laugh again. “Oh, God. I wish I could be there to watch.” He went off again, laughing so hard tears formed until he wiped them away. “Drew Campbell wimped out of Cub Scouts.”

 

Numbers Never Lie is available at Amazon.

 

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/

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/dmburton72

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/dianeburtonauthor

Goodreads: Diane Burton Author

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dmburton72/

Sign up for Diane’s new release alert: http://eepurl.com/bdHtYf

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Filed under 10 Moments that Changed My Life

“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by C.B. Clark ~ New Release: BROKEN TRUST

#AHAgrp

Please help me welcome C.B. Clark with the moments that changed her life, and her new release, BROKEN TRUST…

10 Moments That Changed My Life by C.B. Clark 

  1. Northern Living. When I was a child, my family moved to a small town north of the Arctic Circle. Moving to one of the most remote areas of Canada was a drastic culture change from the city where I was born. We faced permafrost, swarms of blackflies, freezing temperatures, twenty-four hours of daylight in the summer, and almost continual darkness in the winter. But there was also the stark beauty of the taiga, the three billion year old rocks of the Canadian Shield, and the stunning Northern Lights. The experience helped shape me into the person I am today.
  1. The study of the remains of ancient civilizations has always fascinated me. I graduated with a degree in Archaeology and worked on several excavations and archaeological surveys across northern British Columbia.
  1. My impulsive whim to take an education course turned into a lifelong passion for teaching both children and adults.
  1. Meeting my husband. What more can I say? He’s my everything.
  1. Losing my voice. Due to complications from surgery, one of my vocal chords was paralyzed. Before I had an implant, I was only able to talk in hoarse whispers. Since I couldn’t work, and with all the free time, I decided to try writing. Now, I have four romantic suspense novels published by The Wild Rose Press.
  1. The births of my son and daughter. To give birth to two healthy children who have gone on in life to be successful adults is one of my life’s treasures.
  1. First publishing contract. I’ll never forget the moment I found out a real-life publisher was offering me an actual contract. Euphoria! And the feeling continues with each contract offer.
  1. Travelling the world. I’ve been blessed to be able to travel to many exotic and remote places on this Earth. I just returned from a hiking trip in Patagonia. The people I’ve met on my travels and the sights I’ve seen have changed me. I now have a greater understanding of our differences and similarities.
  1. I have a beautiful granddaughter and twin, infant grandsons. No responsibility, just fun.
  1. Buying my first canoe. More than thirty years later, I still have that canoe. It’s battered and dented, the shiny aluminum finish tarnished, but the canoe is filled with treasured memories of rivers and lakes paddled, and adventures and misadventures in the wilderness.

Blurb:

After five years of hell with an abusive husband, Natasha Hartford vows never to trust another man. Then she stumbles onto a murder scene and meets sexy, stubborn Homicide Detective Chase Brandon, a take-no-prisoners tough guy who’ll settle for nothing less than the truth. Sparks fly, but Chase’s suspicions and Natasha’s innate distrust block the way to happiness.

The detective struggles with his own troubled past and is determined to find the truth behind the shadows dimming Natasha’s eyes. As more murders occur and a possible connection to her ex-husband appears, Chase fears her life is in danger.

Natasha and Chase race to find the killer before he strikes again. Their survival depends on their willingness to overcome their mistrust of one another. Will they overcome their fears and find love again?

Excerpt:

The thick carpet muted the tapping of her high heels as she fled through the reception area and down the hall to the elevators. In spite of her cowardly retreat, she wanted to shout in triumph. She’d been terrified of angering the surly detective, but she’d dragged up her courage and told him what she thought. Blood buzzed through her veins, fueled by the adrenaline rush. Damn. It was good to have her old fire back.

She glanced down a short corridor on her left and stumbled to a stop. How had she missed the ropes of yellow police tape blocking the entry to one of the rooms? Her breath hitched in her throat. That must be where the grisly crime had occurred.

The shocking truth struck her like a blow—Jonas Waverley was dead. Murdered in cold blood. She staggered and grabbed onto the wall.

“Ms. Hartford, wait.”

She glanced back.

Detective Brandon strode along the corridor toward her, his long legs eating up the distance, a determined expression on his face.

Her earlier spurt of courage vanished, and she whirled and dashed toward the bank of elevators. Chest heaving, heart pounding, she hit the button for the elevator, jabbing it again and again.

“Look, I’m sorry,” he said, catching up. “I was hard on you, but I’m just doing my job. A man was murdered.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I have to examine every possible lead, question every person of interest.”

She shuddered and stabbed the down button again. Person of interest? Her? She was a person of interest in a murder investigation?

“Can we go somewhere and talk?”

She shot him a look, making it clear what she thought of his suggestion.

He lifted one shoulder. “Maybe we could grab a coffee? I have a few more questions I’d like to ask.”

The elevator pinged, and the doors opened with a hiss, revealing a middle-aged man and an elderly woman who stared at them with vague interest.

Natasha stumbled toward the elevator.

Detective Brandon grabbed her arm, holding her back. “Ms. Hartford, wait.”

Warmth from his large tanned hand seeped through the thin material of her raincoat and raised goose bumps on her arm. “Let me go.” Her voice was shrill with rising hysteria. She tugged, but he held on, his grip tightening.

 

Buy Links:

The Wild Rose Press:

http://bit.ly/2I1XB36

Amazon:

http://amzn.to/2nECqvx

iTunes:

https://apple.co/2EgzGyy

Nook:

http://bit.ly/2Bp9JKN

Kobo:

http://bit.ly/2CYB1os

GoogleBooks:

http://bit.ly/2FaLmi

Author Bio:

Broken Trust is award-winning author, C.B. Clark’s fourth romantic suspense novel published by The Wild Rose Press. My Brother’s Sins and Cherished Secrets were released in 2016, and Bitter Legacy in 2017. C.B. has always loved reading, especially romances, but it wasn’t until she lost her voice for a year that she considered writing her own romantic suspense stories. She grew up in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Yukon. Graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Archaeology, she has worked as an archaeologist and an educator. She enjoys hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing with her husband and dog near her home in the wilderness of central British Columbia.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: cbclarkauthor@facebook.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cbclarkauthor

Blog: https://cbclarkauthor.wordpress.com

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15029617.C_B_Clark

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cbclarkauthor/

 

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Filed under 10 Moments that Changed My Life, Author Blog Post, New Release

Spirits of the Heart by Claire Gem

Please help me welcome Claire Gem with a spooky sounding Romantic Suspense…

Tortured spirits haunt Talcott Hall, an abandoned mental asylum. Can Laura & Miller free them without risking their love – or lives – in the process?

Excerpt:

“Hey. Little girl. Let me help you,” Miller tried again, and the child finally lowered her hands. She was younger than he’d first thought—ten, maybe. Tears streaked her reddened cheeks, glistening in the beam of his headlights. Her pale, golden hair was baby fine and wispy, but tousled and disheveled. As though it hadn’t seen a brush in good long time.

She met his gaze with eyes like the man’s, clear and blue and strangely luminescent. The sadness Miller saw behind them made his chest ache.

“Where did your friend go, sweetheart? The man who came out with you. Where did he go?”

She stared at him with lips quivering before her face crumpled again. “I don’t know. I don’t know where Daddy is. I’ve been looking and looking for him. Every time I think I’ve found him, he goes away.”

Miller swallowed. Yeah, that’s one way to describe the mysterious vanishing act.

He drew in a breath and tried again. “What’s your name, sweetie? Was that your daddy with you?”

Head bobbing, the tears flowed freely now, and she wouldn’t take her eyes off Miller’s face. He felt a lump growing in his own throat, as though she was somehow transferring her pain to him. His hands, clasped in front of him, began to shake.

When she spoke again, her voice took on an echoed quality, as though she were receding into an empty culvert. “I’m Greta. And I’m looking for my daddy. He used to live here. But I keep coming back to find him, and nobody knows where he is.” She dropped her chin to her chest and ground her knuckles against her eyes.

“Greta,” he repeated, a stab of pity piercing his gut. So freaking pathetic. A forlorn little girl . . .his own memories rose up like foul-smelling steam. Swallowing hard, he pressed on. “Greta, honey, what’s your last name?”

When she looked up, Miller gasped. Behind her, against the fence, a bright red McDonald’s French fry box clung to the base of the chain link. Directly behind her, yet he could see it clearly. That’s when he realized he could see .  . .right . . .through her.

 

Claim your free first chapter here by signing up for Claire’s Author-Reader group.
https://dl.bookfunnel.com/ep56jprme8

 

Claire Gem Bio:

 Strong Women, Starting Over

   ~Redefining Romance~

Claire is a multi-published, award winning author of five titles in the genres of contemporary romance, supernatural suspense, and women’s fiction. She also writes Author Resource guide books, and presents seminars on writing craft and marketing.

Her supernatural suspense, Hearts Unloched, won the 2016 New York Book Festival. Her women’s fiction, The Phoenix Syndrome, was a finalist in the National Reader’s Choice Awards, and her contemporary romance, A Taming Season, was a Literary Award of Merit finalist in the HOLT Medallion Awards. Spirits of the Heart was a finalist in the 2017 “I Heart Indie Awards.”

Creating cross-genre fiction she calls “supernatural suspense,” Claire loves exploring the paranormal and the unexplained, and holds a certificate in Parapsychology from the Rhine Research Center of Duke University.

A New York native, Claire has lived in five of the United States and held a variety of jobs, from waitress to bridal designer to research technician—but loves being an author best. She and her happily-ever-after hero, her husband of 39 years, now live in central Massachusetts.

Media Links 

Website:                      http://www.clairegem.com

Blogs:                          http://www.clairegem.wordpress.com

                                    http://www.hauntedpathways.wordpress.com

Facebook:                    http://www.facebook.com/clairegem.author

Twitter:                       http://www.twitter.com/gemwriter

Goodreads:                  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8284235.Claire_Gem

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2nabvbm

Youtube Channel:        https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO-vB7WDZhEQ8U4YpC937ng

 

Spirits of the Heart

 

Createspace:               https://www.createspace.com/6899776

Amazon:                      https://www.amazon.com/Spirits-Heart-Haunted-Voices-Book-ebook/dp/B01N7VIZU2/

Amazon Bitly:              http://amzn.to/2sjTCKx

Youtube:                      https://youtu.be/YUa2RALSEm8

Youtube Bitly:              http://bit.ly/1QreCAY                        

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Author Interview with Stanalei Fletcher, PLUS a 99 cent sale!!!

I love author interviews and today, I’m sharing an interesting one from Stanalei Fletcher, along with an amazing 99 cent sale on each of the books in her Northstar Security series!

 

What is the first book that made you cry?

The first book that made me cry…hmmm…this is tough question, because I’m not a very emotional person. I honestly don’t recall any books as a child that brought tears to my eyes, although I do recall sobbing pretty hard at the movie, Black Beauty. The first book that made me cry came a bit later in life. I’d been reading everything I could put my hands on by Alistair McLean. I’d left reading his first book, HMS Ulysses until almost last, thinking I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as his other works. I was wrong. This book wasn’t just about one protagonist. Instead, the story fictionally chronicled the ship and the men who fought aboard her. Their heroic struggles to save that ship still resonates with me. I’m not ashamed to say I cried at the end of that story.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym (or do you already)?

I do write under a pseudonym. My pen name is a combination of my husband’s middle name and my father’s middle name. I chose to do this partly as a marketing tool and partly because I still work a day job, where most of my fellow coworkers do not know I write.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Excellent question and one that challenges writers who desire to have their works published and read. I don’t believe what I write is terribly original in concept or in plot lines. I believe the originality in my stories comes from the personal experiences and knowledge I bring to the story. I am a firm believer in STORY. Readers and audiences in general, select their entertainment with preconceived expectations. If I don’t deliver on those expectations, they will intuitively know something is missing. They may not know what, but they will feel dissatisfied when they close the book. I strive very hard to make sure I don’t leave a reader wanting.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

My Northstar series is a connected work, currently with five books. However each book in the series was deliberately written to be read as a standalone. Personally, I’m not a fan of serials, so I don’t care to write them. That said, I do understand their appeal and the authors who produce them have my upmost respect. I think it’s a rare talent to write in the same world book after book.

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Unfortunately, I would tell my younger self the same thing I tell myself today. Stop worrying about things I can’t control. I’ve had people telling me that all my life. Yet, it’s still a concept I’m trying master.

How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?

I don’t believe it’s my place to make demands on any reader. I certainly do what I can to take care of the reader by producing the best work I’m able. It’s my job as a writer, especially if I want the reader to part with, not only their hard earned dollars, but their time, to put effort into my craft and offer them a satisfying read and time well spent.

Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

I do see writing as spiritual practice. I see it as a way to put my expressions and emotions into words. I believe it to be a practice on the path to mastery of life.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Like many writers, I have a baby names book. And I make use of it. There were all those great names I wanted to name my own children but I was limited to only a few…which for the kids ended up being mostly family names. Well, now I get to name my characters with those great names. How cool is that?

That said, I do try to fit the name to the personality of the character as I envision him/her. If I find a name isn’t working, it’s not like I have to go before a judge to have a character’s name changed. I can simply pick another name. That’s pretty cool too.

What is your favorite childhood book?

I have a well-worn book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I’d have to say that is my personal favorite. I’m not locked into a single story, but have all the great ones from Cinderella to Snow-White and Rose-Red.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

The most difficult part of my artistic process is being an artist. I’m mostly left-brained and tend to overthink a lot of the process. But I do love the creative sparks and it’s very exciting for me when it flows and the words come together.

 


Stanalei Fletcher’s January Blowout Sale Blog Tour
All 5 Northstar Security Series books are on sale for only 
$.99 during the tour only!

GiveAway: Stanalei is offering some fabulous prizes during this tour. One Lucky winner will have the chance to choose an ebook from her backlist, another lucky winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Certificate, and one lucky winner will have the chance to choose a print book from Stanalei’s backlist. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember to follow along with the tour to increase your chances of winning. You may find the other tour locations here

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Series Blurb: 

Northstar Security Firm is an elite private security agency whose mission statement: GUIDED BY THE TRUTH, is the guiding principle to provide justice for those who have been wronged. Founded by former CIA agents Byron O’Neal, Katherine O’Neal, and Sean Malone, Northstar Security has a ninety-nine percent success rate. That one percent is a still open case involving Katherine’s murder and Sean Malone’s career-ending gunshot wound. Nothing is a hundred percent guaranteed, and angst over one unsolved case doesn’t stop good men and women from fulfilling their duty.

Proving Ground

Northstar Security Series Book #1

About the Book: 

Caitlin Malone believes screw-ups don’t get second chances. When she returns to Oregon after failing her first Northstar Security assignment and stumbles across a plot to steal deadly pathogens, she sees a chance at redemption.

For USDA Forest Ranger, John ‘Mac’ MacAlistair, having Caitlin home again brings up feelings that are better left buried.

When Caitlin is trapped by the wildfire, started by the terrorists, her only hope of rescue is pinned on Mac, the man she’s tried two years to forget.

Buy Links:
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

 

Dead Reckoning
Northstar Security Series Book #2
About the Book: 

Byron O’Neal, Northstar Security Firm’s director didn’t always run an elite private investigation firm. His early CIA years were spent chasing Soviet spies. Now his past is catching up, and Kellee, Bryon’s daughter is caught in the middle of a game of Russian Roulette. Northstar agent and former Navy SEAL, Egan Maddox, is tasked to save Kellee from the Russian mafia before it’s too late, a task that puts not only his life, but his heart on the line.


Buy Links:
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press 

Beyond Duty
Northstar Security Series Book #3

About the Book: 
Northstar Security agent, Riley O’Neal, balks at posing as anyone’s husband for an assignment. Nevertheless, to rescue the kidnapped wife of a U.S. Senator, he’ll perform his duty and do his best to resist the charms of the very woman who deceived him on a previous mission.

U.S. Army Lt. Mary “Chip” Anderson is uneasy about the undercover assignment to pose as newlyweds. Concealing her attraction to Riley while staying focused on the task, may be the biggest challenge. Despite efforts to remain objective, enforced proximity ignites emotions and a desire to make the fake honeymoon real.

When Chip is kidnapped during a botched rescue attempt of the senator’s wife, both women become pawns in the case that threatens the nation’s security. Riley must remain objective, save the women, and avert the threat. But after that, can he convince Chip that she wants to wear his ring forever?

Buy Links: 
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press 

Excerpt:
Riley waited until the conference door closed and then picked up the sealed envelope on the table. “What’s this?”

His father gestured with his hand. “Open it.”

Riley tore one end of the envelope. Not seeing anything at first, he tipped it upside down. Two gold bands slid out. The innocent symbols of eternal love clattered ominously on the table. The larger one spun a moment before coming to rest, barely touching the smaller ring.

Chip gasped.

Riley felt immobilized by the significance of the gold glinting under the room’s fluorescent lights. As though on cue, they both reached for the rings. When their hands collided, Chip snatched hers back and balled it into a fist.

He picked up the smaller ring first, and rolled the smooth metal between his fingers. He strode around the table and stopped in front of the petite lieutenant.

She stood her ground. Taking her left hand, he heard her draw a breath.

His gaze locked on to the violent storm brewing inside her gray eyes. The temperature inside the room increased. His breathing matched the rise and fall of her chest as the room filled with white noise. Her slender hand trembled ever so slightly as he slipped the band onto her fourth finger. It fit perfectly. He stared into the dark pools of her eyes, like a man dying of thirst in the scorched desert. Uninvited, the timeless words from the marriage ceremony echoed through his head. “With this ring…”

Stunned by the thought, he stopped short of speaking the words aloud. At the head of the table, Byron cleared his throat and broke the spell.

Riley dropped her hand as though he’d been burned. He returned to his side of the table, picked up the other ring, and slid it on the fourth finger of his left hand. No fanfare. No ceremony. Only an unfamiliar burden he was about to carry. A partner—a wife as a cover story—with two lives and the nation’s security at stake.

 

Breaking the Honor Code
Northstar Security Series Book #4

About the Book: 

Cyber-terrorism brings even the most powerful companies to their knees. When Northstar Security Firm discovers a breach inside their computer firewall, agent Sloan Cartland will do anything to help the firm’s brilliant computer tech, Allison Richards, find the culprit—even after he learns that all evidence of the hack points back to Allison.


Buy Links: 

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

Tell It Like It Is
Northstar Security Series Book #5

About the Book: 

 

FBI agent, Nelson Kane’s Aunt Rosalee has a story to tell. Someone wants her stopped. When Northstar Security’s unconventional bodyguard, Justine Shelby, is assigned as Aunt Rosalee’s protection, Shelby learns she’s as welcome as a wiretap at the annual J. Edgar Hoover Christmas party. Ornaments start to fly when Shelby informs by-the-book, Agent Kane to stay out of the way while she helps his aunt complete her tell-all memoirs.

Buy Links:
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

About the Author:

Stanalei’s love of writing romance stems from reading favorites such as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Barbara Cartland, and Alistair MacLean. She has over twenty years of training in the martial arts and holds the rank of Sandan, a third-degree black belt, in Aikido.

After a taste of life on both U.S. coasts, she now resides near the beautiful Wasatch Mountain Range with her hero, who just happens to be her best friend and husband. Together they enjoy backcountry dirt trails on a RZR, visiting our National Parks, or exploring museums and ghost towns. You may visit Stanalei at: 

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