Back to Top

  

Romantic & Western headerbarSuspense Novels

Monthly Archives: October 2020

Death Southern Style Front Cover FINAL 500 PIX

Born and raised in New Orleans Julie Ann Dupré senses things other people don’t. She’s living in New York when she’s told her mother has been killed in an attempted robbery, which is odd because Perrine didn’t have anything valuable to steal. Julie Ann comes home to find the truth and discovers there’s a family secret, hidden for years. She searches to find the real reason for her mother’s death. Now someone is trying to kill her. Will her psychic senses, a little dog and a detective keep her safe?

 

Detective Connor O’Reilly, a native of New Orleans and comes from a family of police. He’s an honest cop but realizes there is corruption in the division. He meets Julie Ann at her mother’s house and is immediately attracted to her. After telling her about the attempted robbery he checks into the case and finds no one is investigating the death. Julie Ann deserves the truth and he wants to know what really happened. He starts a thorough investigation. He’s warned off the case and then he receives a death threat.

 

Julie Ann and Connor work together to unravel the real reason behind Perrine Dupré’s murder, Julie Ann’s mysterious past, and why people want her dead, while developing their challenging relationship. Can they both survive? And what about their relationship?

Buy links:

Available Now on Amazon

 

Excerpt

Perrine Dupré hurried down the street. Dark New Orleans clouds hovered overhead. Thunder rolled through the skies. Large drops of late May rain pelted the streets of the French Quarter. It sounded like hail as the fat drops bounced off the pavement behind Perrine. The ozone mixed with the scent of magnolia and the smell of shrimp and fish cooking in the area.

The older African American woman struggled against the wind. It whipped her umbrella inside out. She clutched it tightly so not to lose it. Rain clouded her eyes. She stumbled up the three steps to her front door. Juggling her parcels, umbrella and the key Perrine jabbed it in the direction of the lock. Finally, the key found the opening and turned.

Her daughter was coming home for a visit. Perrine’s pulse increased and a smile sneaked out.

Perrine loved her New Orleans. She hated to travel, but two years ago she’d gone to New York to see Julie Ann and her new business. It was a mass of busy airports and crowded flights, but she’d enjoyed seeing New York and staying in her daughter’s apartment. Her daughter had showed off her interior design business, introduced to a few of her friends and dragged Perrine to some of the typical tourist activities. Julie Ann been getting her interior design business established then and had trouble finding time to leave it and come home. Recently she’d taken on a partner and now had a little more time. Tomorrow Julie Ann would be home in New Orleans and Perrine could give her a big hug. Thunder rumbled across the sky, sounding like pins crashing in a bowling alley.

Perrine turned the doorknob and froze.

A vision flashed in front of her. Her shoulders sagged. Her visions didn’t lie. She wasn’t going to see Julie Ann after all. And she'd miss their regular telephone call tonight, too.

She wasn’t prepared to die. A single tear shimmered down her cheek. Her heart pounded. She clutched her parcels to her chest. Why now? Lightning flashed. Thunder crashed.

He waited for her to come inside.

The vision showed her crumpled on the ground in front of the house. She’d run, but obviously she wasn’t going to get far. Even if her vision was wrong and she managed to escape tonight, they would kill her eventually. And after tonight Julie Ann would be home and she could be in danger. 

Big Halloween Multi-Author Book and Swag Giveaway On #Writmodage:
Shifters, Monsters, And Other Thrills!

Enter for a chance to win Death Southern Style 

 

http://marielavender.blogspot.com/2020/10/
big-halloween-multi-author-book-and-swag-giveaway-shifters-monsters-and-other-thrills.html

 Addison Brae lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. She has been writing since childhood and continues today with articles, video scripts and other content as an independent marketing consultant. Until about ten years ago, she never dreamed she would publish romantic suspense and contemporary young adult fiction. Addison spends her time traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes and hosting parties. She enjoys reading, jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy. R ead more about Addison on her website , Tirgearr Publishing , Amazon , and BookBub . Connect with Addison on Inst agram , Twitter , Facebook , and YouTube .

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?

Addison: Contemporary romantic suspense is what I know and enjoy. It’s what I live—with lots more thrill, twists and turns than everyday life. DARK ENERGY and BECKER CIRCLE are contemporary romantic suspense with a young heroine. I also write young adult contemporary, with two likely releasing in 2021.

Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?

Addison :My i nfluence came from within. While growing up, no one encouraged me to think big. To dream. My destiny was to go work, get married, have kids, then retire. Me? I don’t think so. About ten years ago when I took a mini work sabbatical, I realized I could do lots more than live the expected life. The extra time motivated me to clean out boxes I had lugged with me for many moves. In one was the diary I wrote when I lived in England as a teen. The diary contents sparked the idea for the first novel I ever wrote. I signed a publishing contract for that book in March, and it should be released in 2021. I didn’t tell a soul until I had 30,000 words written. That’s when I realized I could finish a novel. I was very selective about who I told so no one could discourage me.

Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?

Addison : I immerse myself in the book’s setting. BECKER CIRCLE and DARK ENERGY take place in the bar scene. I often wrote sitting at bars around the U.S. and talking to bartenders and patrons for inspiration.

Beverley: What inspires you as an author?

Addison : Life experiences are huge inspirations for me. I wrote these books during a stage in my life when I was single, going out a lot, and meeting some of the most unique people on the planet.

Beverley: Who would you love most to meet ‘in person’ and why?

Addison : Diana, Princess of Wales has been a role model since I was a young teen. I lived in England during her fairytale engagement and wedding. I saw her wedding dress and had a couple of Diana sightings. What inspires me most is how she wasn’t afraid to buck tradition to stay true to herself. It took tremendous strength for her to show her sincerity and kind heart, which touched so many directly and indirectly. Her spirit will live on forever in so many ways.

Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?

Addison : During this unforgettable 2020, I’d treat myself to every day at-home things—take a longer jog, try a new recipe, longer play sessions with Lucy, and binge-watch a new series. As the world begins to open up again, I would indulge my passions—take a day-trip to see a friend, stroll around an outdoor craft festival, watch live music, catch up with friends over a cocktail, and do all of these with John, the love of my life.

Beverley: What are you working on now?

Addison : There are many projects in progress. The next will be a young adult contemporary fiction that I hope my publisher will release in 2021. Stripped of her Olympic gold, figure skating career, and even her identity, Docia must disprove the vicious adoption scandal threatening to end far more than her dreams. The speculative romantic thriller I’m writing now explores how mainstream use of artificial intelligence will affect relationships. It’s terrifying to write. You’ll never look at your Alexa or Siri the same again.

Blurb for Dark Energy (Return to Becker Circle):

  Cybercrime doesn’t talk. It creeps in and destroys lives right under Gillian’s nose when a cryptojacking scheme lands her boss, Pinkie, in jail. Gillian had just started over with a new career, boyfriend, and confidence after escaping a vicious murder investigation that shattered her ability to trust. Then Pinkie’s arrest leaves her struggling to run his two bars while also unraveling the conspiracy.

  Gillian will not let her mentor and friend go down for something he didn’t do. Neither will Jon, the most talented musician on the bar’s stage and the perfect boyfriend…until his good fortune sends her reeling. Gillian forces herself to trust the cops, people who hurt her, and known criminals. Will it be enough to free Pinkie and save her life?  

Excerpt from Dark Energy (Return to Becker Circle) – Chapter Six:

I rest my forehead on the window and breathe to gather what little nerve remains. People stroll the sidewalk like tonight’s a regular Saturday night. Cars drive past like nothing has changed. The neon that traces the perimeter of the high rise across the street cycles through a rainbow of colors. Inside, the crowd hum creeps back. A shaker and clanking bottles sound from the bar.

I’m sure this is a little misunderstanding. Pinkie will be back tomorrow . Thoughts race through my head. They’re only words, not answers. Certainly, they’ve made a mistake and arrested the wrong person. What do I do right now? Face this head on?

Ignore it? Tell patrons, “thanks for being part of the Pinkie’s Too grand opening. The band starts shortly, so order another round and enjoy!”

What’s Pinkie’s Too without Pinkie? The answer is entirely up to me to figure out.

Buy links for Dark Energy

Amazon US , Amazon UK , Amazon Canada , Amazon Australia , Smashwords , Apple Books , Kobo , and B&N Nook . Author proceeds go to Staff Meal to help provide meals and other aid to restaurant workers in need during the pandemic.

Judi has had stories in her head as far back as she can remember. However, being lazy (her friends like to point out that she’s efficient), and being a legal assistant, she knew she could never complete a manuscript if she had to write it on a typewriter. Then, along came word processors, and those magic cut and paste and delete icons. There was no stopping her after that. Within a few weeks of her first job with a computer, she started her first story, a house-beautiful, vogue thing about lawyers. Needless to say, it will never be published — but she honed her description skills on that project, so nothing is ever wasted.              Judi has recently relocated to New Mexico and is living in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains at the southern end of the Rockies.   No more Februarys in Maine for her. She lives with two dogs, a Yorkie, Mishka, and a MinPin, Gizmo, –who lives up to his name. Both have acclimated easily, although Gizmo does miss eating snow in the winter. Despite their small size, they rule the house.

First of all, I want to thank Beverly for inviting me to her blog.

I thought I’d share about a favorite character.  Well, really, I have two.  My first favorite character is Aerial Bonné .   She first appeared in her daughter’s book, Ghost of a Chance, where her daughter, Wynter Storm, is denying she has any psychic abilities.  Then Aerial comes to visit over the holidays, and begins to take over the book.  I had to sit down and have a chat with her, promising I would write her story, but this was her daughter’s story.

Ghost of a Chance – Chances Are … Book 1:   A logical engineer, a psychic in denial and a mischievous little boy ghost equal a recipe for trouble.  Available from Amazon Kindle and KU:   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KVRC9VE   Link to Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tlya7 CoPNH0&t=1s

Excerpt from Ghost of a Chance

Late that afternoon, Trace climbed the stairs to his study. At the moment it was a work in progress. A sheet of plywood, confiscated from the site, resting across two filing cabinets, imitated a desk. A bookcase created from more boards and cement blocks housed engineering books. He’d ask Wynter to work on this room next. Before the living room.

He set a bottle of beer on the end table and settled into an overstuffed chair in one corner of the room. He’d catch up on professional reading before looking over a batch of blueprints to get a head start on work the next day.

The sun had set, and dark filled the corners of the room. He reached over and touched on the lamp. Suddenly, a chill wafted across his arms. He got up to check the window. Perhaps Gertrude had opened it a crack to air out the room and forgotten to close it.

The window was securely latched.

He returned to his chair, settled himself, opened the journal he wanted to read, and the light shut off. “Must’ve bumped it when I turned the page,” he muttered. He touched it back on . He read a paragraph, grabbed his beer and took a sip. The light went off again. Guess I hit it on accident, he decided. That was the only logical explanation. He turned it on once more and continued reading. Five minutes passed and it shut off again.

“What the devil,” he muttered. He hadn’t moved. He touched it on for the third time. In no more than a minute or two, it turned off. Grinding his teeth in frustration, he touched it on. It went off.

He got up, unplugged and plugged in the lamp, and turned it on. It immediately went off again. Was there an echo of childish laughter? He dismissed it. Sara was gone, spending the night with his mother. Had to be kids down the block, playing outside. 

Then came Aerial’s story that I promised her, Taking a Chance.   While her daughter is on her honeymoon, Aerial stays in Hidden Falls to run Wynter’s shop and take care of her pre-teen granddaughter.   And starts hanging out with a local detective, Frank O’Malley, and spends time with her new BFF, Betty.   Come to find out, Betty’s daughter was kidnapped years ago when she was two.

Taking a Chance – Chances Are … Book :  A psychic, a skeptical cop, a cold-case kidnapping and a hard-core conspiracy-theory lover.  Who will take a chance?  Available from Amazon Kindle and KU:   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY5D8TK   Link to Trailer:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLUhIBbtA1E

   And now we come to my second favorite character, Guy Beadie, who shows up in Taking a Chance, and there isn’t a conspiracy theory he doesn’t love.   Which is why I find him fascinating.   He’s based on a date I had, where the guy talked about chem trails (which I had never heard of at that time) and discussed in detail seeing a bank blocked off with tape that he drove by to meet with me and how they were conspiring to keep people away.   So, the husband of a friend of mine is a police officer.   I immediately called her and discovered that there had been a bank robbery at that exact location.   I was fascinated by him, but clearly my responses were not enthusiastic enough.   I would have gone out with him again for research purposes, but he said bye and that was it.   However, Guy thanks him.  

Excerpt from Taking a Chance

“I know you’re off-duty, but do you mind if I ask you a possible work-related question.”

Frank was thankful for the change of topic. “Another missing music box?” he asked with a smile, remembering the first time they’d met. She had insisted the police department be called about Sara’s missing music box.

“No, this time it’s about a missing girl.”

His smile faded at the solemn expression on her face. “What about it?”

“I had the oddest dream last night.”

He folded his arms across his chest. “Oh?”

Aerial waved her hand dismissively.  “Never mind. Probably just my overactive imagination. I won’t bother you with it.”

“It’s no bother.”

“No, it’s nothing. Just a silly dream.”

“Are you sure? I’m a good listener.”

She shook her head.

“You’ve probably watched one too many reruns of Without a Trace .”

She stared at him a minute as if she intended to say something, then closed her mouth firmly. “You’re probably right.”

Son of a gun. He’d obviously said something wrong. “Look, I’m sorry for teasing you. I do want to hear what you have to say.”

“It’s okay. I know. It was a crazy question.”

Her reluctance to say anything more tweaked Frank’s interest. What had stopped her? No matter the situation, he always wanted to pull the loose thread to see what unraveled. She’d given him an opening, and he decided that was a good excuse to see her again. “How about we go out to dinner? I can check around, and we can talk about this more.”

She hesitated a moment, just long enough for him to realize he really wanted her to say yes. “I’d like that. When are you thinking?”

“How about Saturday?”

“That will work. I’ll ask Betty if she can watch Jenny. My granddaughter,” she added in response to his raised eyebrow.

“Great.” What a doofus. Couldn’t he come up with something better to say? He couldn’t believe how tongue-tied he was around her. Good thing he wasn’t in the dating market. And he hadn’t just asked her for a date. He merely wanted to satisfy his curiosity about her.

“I’ll let you know for certain. I’m sure we will see each other at the Bean.”

Looked like she’d learned the locals’ nickname for the coffee shop. “Looking forward to it.” Frank turned, grinning like a detective who’d just closed a cold case. It had been a long time since he’d met a woman who intrigued him as much as Aerial. Sure, she was attractive, even if she might appear to be a little offbeat. After all, she was from the land of flakes and nuts. But he suspected there were deeper layers. And he definitely wanted to investigate them.

As he exited the door, he nearly bumped into a guy loitering outside. Frank quickly assessed him. Middle-aged, mussed hair, rumpled clothes, refusing to meet his gaze. Might mean something — or nothing at all. The guy didn’t smell like a homeless person. Likely just lived on his own. Probably not a threat. But he didn’t look like the usual kind of customer Frank expected to see at The Herbal Emporium. He’d keep an eye out for the guy, see if he showed up here again.

You can find Judi at: http://judiphillips.com/

on Facebook: https:// www.facebook.com/judi.phillips.50

Instagram:  https: //www.instagram.com/judi.phillips.writes/?hl=en  

blog at:    http:// sugarspice-judi.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  @judiphil

e-mail her at: judi.phillips.writes@gmail.com

You can watch trailers for her books at

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTUJo-C1MCZhbjIEsC_8vHg  

Our topic for this month is ‘What is your favorite book(s) of all time in your favorite genre(s)?’What a challenge. I sat and stared at the computer screen thinking about the question and all the books I’ve read. How do you pick just one, or even two? Of all time – that’s a lot of books. If I remember the book, and still have it, does that make it my favorite?

Okay, I’m going to cheat. My favorites from many years ago are Jonathon Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Surfacing by Margaret Attwood and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I think these books are all considered literary fiction. They are books I’ve read and re-read over time. They are still on my bookshelf. They are books that are well-written, and I think all of them are about searching. Searching to find themselves and improve, to reach their goal. 

There are obstacles, peers laugh at them and they continue to fight to reach their goal. They always encouraged me to keep trying and improve. And even now, I keep trying to improve and continue learning.

These days my favorite genre is romantic suspense. It’s still really hard to choose a book or even two in that genre. So, I’m going to pick an author or two. They are my favorites. Their books are well-written with great plots and characters that pull me in and keep me turning pages through the night. Karen Rose weaves fascinating, dark, on the edge stories. Loreth Anne White develops great characters that pull you in. Her books are set in Canada and you can visualize the settings. And the plot hooks you and reels you in as the story progresses. I love their books and always look forward to the new release. These books are also on my bookshelf.  

Not sure I stuck to the topic. I look forward to seeing how other authors wrote about this topic.

Anne Stenhouse    http:// annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/ Skye Taylor  http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea Diane Bator  http://dbator.blogspot.ca/ Connie Vines  http://mizging.blogspot.com/ Dr. Bob Rich  https://wp.me/p3Xihq-26c Fiona McGier  http://www.fionamcgier.com/ Victoria Chatham  http://www.victoriachatham.com Helena Fairfax  http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog Rhobin L Courtright   http://www.rhobincourtright.com

K.A. Raines is a U.S. Navy veteran who lives in Longview, TX with her children and who has a passion for reading, writing, red wine, and good food. Her love for science fiction, the paranormal, and romance bleed into her writing.

Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?

Derrick: I’m Derrick. Derrick Caine.

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Derrick: I was born n’bred in Louisiana. When my mama died I was forced to moved into my daddy’s shithole trailer.  Made my mama’s place seem like a palace, but I ain’t one to complain.

Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?

Derrick: Not too far from now. Let’s hope for humanity’s sake it doesn’t happen, and it’s all just some effed-up dream I’m havin’.

Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

Derrick: Ain’t much to tell. Or, not much I’m willin’ to say. Had a crappy childhood. Would prob’ly be dead if it weren’t for my cousin, Mike, who did me the favor of ending my old man. Even still, I managed to land my ass in jail more ‘an once. But she saved me. My daughter. My Celia. And I couldn’t save her from the Seekers once the world ended.

Beats me why anyone would write about someone as jacked up as me. Why anyone could give a man a taste of happiness just to take it away.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Derrick: My goal is to protect the people I love, including Keira, the woman I’ve loved since I was just a boy, and to take out as many of the Seekers as I can along the way. Also, I gotta learn the Trade’s Rendezvous point. To do this, I gotta pretend to be one of ‘em.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Derrick: Mostly, protectin’ Keira from ‘erself. Woman is damn stubborn an’ underestimates the danger she’s in. ‘Course, she’d just scoff and say she’s capable of protectin’ herself. Guess it’s probably my problem, then, which leads to my internal conflicts. I never got over Celia’s death and the abuse I faced as a child, and I prob’ly never will.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Derrick: Plan? Nah, I’m wingin’ it. Discovered that tryin’ ta control Keira will likely lead to castration, and I like my balls where they are, thank you very much. Any rate, we make a better team when we’re workin’ with each other than against each other.

Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Derrick: Just that I’m gonna git those bastards. Just ‘cause the world’s ended don’t mean the bad guys win.

Blurb for The Infiltrator:

A virus has rendered humanity mostly extinct. Keira Starr is alone, staying alive by staying on the run, sleeping in empty gas stations and the trunks of cars long abandoned on the highway. The world is overrun by “Ghosts,” the mindless, bloodthirsty dead, but they are the least of her problems. She is being hunted by ragtag groups of ruthless men, independent contractors working for a mysterious human trafficking ring. When she is finally captured, she discovers that Derrick Caine, despite his gruff demeanor and appearance, may just have a different agenda altogether.

Excerpt for The Infiltrator:

“What happened to you?” she breathed. “Who did you lose?” She knew she was pushing him, that she should stop before she went too far, but it felt like observing a train wreck, watching from a distance as the engine rushed ahead at full steam, and, even foreseeing the impending disaster on the tracks, being powerless to stop it. “You risk your life tryin’ to save women and children. Who was she? Your wife?” She didn’t even know why she cared. She didn’t want to care. Derrick Caine was a virtual stranger to her, yet she knew she was already in way too deep.

He growled suddenly, a low, guttural sound that jarred her out of her trance when she rather unexpectedly found her space invaded by him for the third time in the past several minutes. Yet the charge in the air had shifted subtly; he no longer seemed angry, exactly, but there was something decidedly predatory in his eyes.

“You want from me?” His voice in her ear was a dangerous rumble that elicited chills up her spine and ignited a fire that bloomed hotly in her womb, a delicious contrast. Quite suddenly, all she wanted was to relieve the dull throb between her legs that his voice and presence evoked; she wanted him so badly that she physically couldn’t endure not to have him soon.

You . Just you. “I could ask the same of you,” she settled for, and she couldn’t stop the tremor in her voice. She was overwhelmed by him—by his nearness, by the heat emanating from his body, drawing her in. She tentatively raised a trembling hand, reaching up to touch a raised scar on his chest, just above his left pectoral. His chest continued to visibly rise and fall, and he was breathing hard through his nose in an obvious effort to calm himself, fists clenched in tight balls at his sides. His breathing hitched when she barely touched him, a feather-light caress, her fingertips just skimming the jagged edge of his scar. She had known all along that he was in pain. So much unbearable pain—yet he would never admit it to anyone, least of all her.

Buy Link The Infiltrator: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CFRXZCS

Author links:

Twitter: https: //twitter.com/KA_Raines

Facebook: https://ww .com/profile.php?id=100052 614996318 w.facebook

Website: karaines.com

Death Southern Style Front Cover FINAL 500 PIX

Sara’s emotionally abusive husband dies unexpectedly. She’s struggling to reclaim the intelligent, independent person she was before she married. She vows never to let a man take over her life again. Now she’s part of a special team, training to help other women.
 
Mac is has been responsible for training women in special ops techniques so they are prepared when they are challenged to save other women. When he meets Sara sparks fly between them. He wants her to quit the training and let him take care of her.
 
Sara graduates and now she and her team have to save Sara’s daughter from a serial killer. Can Mac step back and trust her in a dangerous situation? Can Sara and Mac resolve their issues, or will they go in opposite directions?

 

 

Buy links:

Excerpt

“Until then you could use a watchdog. She may be small, but she looks like she’s doing a good job. Why Marie L.?”

“I don’t know. It just seemed to fit.”

“I see. That wouldn’t be short for Marie Laveau would it?”

“Well…yes.”

“You believe in voodoo?”

“Yes. Why? Do you have a problem with it? It’s not evil like people believe. It’s a religion.”

“So, I’ve heard.”

“You sound doubtful?”

“I’ve heard about the spells and the voodoo dolls.”

Julie slipped her hand inside her pocket and fingered the protection ball Ava had given her.

“That’s for the tourists. The spells are supposed to be used for good only. If someone uses them for evil, it comes back on them. And if you’ve done your research you know Perrine was a High Priestess in the voodoo temple until she retired.”

“Yes, I did find that. She wasn’t at the time she died.”

“No, she’d retired. Priestess Ava took over, but Perrine still attended the voodoo church.”

“I see, and you don’t think that had anything to do with her death?”

“No.”

“What about the voodoo doll?”

“It’s New Orleans. You can buy one of those at any of the shops in the French Quarter. Tourists love them. I’m guessing whoever bought it thought they might scare me into running back to New York. Or maybe the murderer wanted the death to look like it might be tied to voodoo to throw people off the real reason, whatever that is. But it does show it likely wasn’t anyone in the neighborhood and definitely not someone who actually knows anything about voodoo.”

“I’ll take your word on that for now.”

If Connor didn’t want to know about voodoo that was fine with her. It was another challenge to any kind of a relationship between them.

 

J.L. Regen’s book was inspired by a real-life story of lovers who  join hearts against many odds. She lives in the New York metropolitan area, is a published photojournalist, has short suspense stories online, and has taught English as a Second Language to students around the globe. This is her first contemporary romance. She has also published three nonfiction books and is crafting a psychological suspense.

Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?

Margo: Margo Simmons

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Margo: I grew up in Upper Manhattan

Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?

Margo: It is contemporary

Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

Margo: I live with my mother, whom I love very much and my stepfather who is verbally abusive to both of us. My story is not finished. I want to teach and travel and meet someone who I can love and who loves me. I know it sounds old fashioned, but I want the forever kind of love.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Margo: My goal is to get a place of my own, find my niche in the teaching world, and have a personal life

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Margo: I face a mean stepfather who is using me and my mother as a meal ticket and the love of my life, Edward, can’t let go of the memories of his first wife who died of cancer. 

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Margo: To resolve my problem, I need to take a job to find my own place and seek counseling with Edward.

Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Margo: I cry at the site of an animal in a shelter, I love lavender perfume, I want to be a better photographer, and have a child of my own someday. I’m sentimental. A rose or a card for a special occasion means a lot to me.

BOOK BLURB for Secret Desires:

Nothing in Margo Simmons’s life comes easy. She can’t claim

the inheritance on a condo apartment her uncle has left to her until she is gainfully employed in a job for a year. She meets the man of her dreams but anguishes over a loving relationship because he is still emotionally tied to his deceased wife. With great difficulty, she becomes the guardian to a recently orphaned child she had been tutoring.  

Margo evolves from an insecure, newbie elementary teacher into a woman determined to fulfill the secret desires locked in her heart. My story speaks to anyone who has suffered a loss and had to start over.

Buy Links for Secret Desires: Barnes and Noble   https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secret-desires-j-l- regen/1125516296?ean=9780998409900  

and Amazon https://www.amazon.ca/Secret-Desires-J-L- Regen-ebook/dp/B01N137HX5/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=jl+regen&qid=1600047753&s=books&sr=1-1

Death Southern Style Front Cover FINAL 500 PIX

Sara’s emotionally abusive husband dies unexpectedly. She’s struggling to reclaim the intelligent, independent person she was before she married. She vows never to let a man take over her life again. Now she’s part of a special team, training to help other women.
 
Mac is has been responsible for training women in special ops techniques so they are prepared when they are challenged to save other women. When he meets Sara sparks fly between them. He wants her to quit the training and let him take care of her.
 
Sara graduates and now she and her team have to save Sara’s daughter from a serial killer. Can Mac step back and trust her in a dangerous situation? Can Sara and Mac resolve their issues, or will they go in opposite directions?

 

 

Buy links:

Excerpt

Three hours later Connor rapped on Savannah’s door. He saw Julie Ann move the curtain to check and see who was there.

She opened the door.

“I came to take you back to your place, unless you’ve changed your mind.”

Julie Ann shook her head.

“Is Savannah still up?”

“Sort of, she fell asleep in the chair.”

Connor smiled. “Okay, flip the lock and we’ll let her sleep.”

He took her hand and led her across the street. He opened the door. “It’s clear. We’ve checked it out. There’s no one here.”

Inside he brushed her hair back from her face and ran a finger over her lips. “I have to go back to the office and write a report. Otherwise I’d spend the night.”

“I’ve told you I’ll be fine. It’s after midnight. I need to get some sleep.”

“I’ll be back in the morning to check on you, but if you need anything phone me.” He bent forward, kissed her gently on the lips and pulled her into his arms.

Julie Ann returned the kiss, but then pushed him away. “Don’t make it too early, I need my beauty sleep.”

“Okay but keep your phone with you at all times. Make sure I’m on speed dial and if you hear anything, anything at all, you call me.”

“Yes, sir,” She gave him a weak salute. “Now I’m going to bed.”

Connor opened the door. He hesitated.

“Go,” she gave him a gentle push, closed the door and locked it behind him.

Maybe she’d get a new lock tomorrow. Too many people seemed to be able to bypass this lock and get in the house whenever they wanted.

She crawled up the stairs. In her room she pulled off her clothes and fell into bed. Her bones ached from exhaustion. She yanked the cotton sheet over her, aware of the light pressure on her body. She closed her eyes. They burned, even when they were shut. She couldn’t remember feeling this exhausted.

Seconds after her head hit the pillow, she slept.

She sat bolt upright.

What was it?

What had wakened her?

She was shaking. Her nightgown was damp with perspiration. She sat quietly and listened. There was dead silence. She lay back and tried to fall back to sleep. Her pulse raced, her mind flitted from what Savannah had told her about her real mother, to her talk with Priestess Ava, to Mom, and back to Connor.

 

“Life is a book waiting to happen.”  Sloan McBride

Sloan McBride is a multi-published author whose books have been reviewed, and featured in  RT Book Reviews .  She is a romance author who leans toward the paranormal, adding suspense, and mixing in mythology with her Time Walker Series. She dances through the Highlands, making merry with the clans in The Talisman Trilogy, and turns up the heat in the crazy world of smokejumpers in the Men of Fire Trilogy.

Sloan lives in Illinois with her husband of 39 years and two children who have grown into adulthood. By day she is executive assistant to the majority owner of a dynamic law firm. By night, she puts on her writing persona and creates kick-ass heroines and the tortured men who love them.

If you’d like more information about Sloan, please visit her website at www.sloanmcbride.com  where you can sign up for her newsletter to receive notice of new books, giveaways, and more.

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?

Sloan: I write paranormal romance and romantic suspense.  I’ve been interested in the paranormal since I was very young. I did my senior term paper on witchcraft, back in the days when they still allowed that kind of thing.  🙂  I worked in the library when I was in high school. I read any and all books about the paranormal that we had in the school library. It has always been an interest of mine. As for the romance, well, I’ve dreamed of exotic places and sexy men for as far back as I can remember.  Even as a kid I created romantic adventures for Barbie and Ken.  🙂

Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?

Sloan: I’ve always been a writer. Again, since I was a young girl I created stories. I got away from reading and writing when I got married and had kids. I felt like a part of me was missing until I started reading and writing again.

Beverley: What gets your creative juices fl owing?

Sloan: I can’t really say what gets my creative juices flowing. It will be something I hear, see, read.  I love to go on The Weather Channel site. They always have such interesting, unusual stories.  It’s really good for getting great ideas.

Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?

Sloan: My favorite cartoon character is a toss up between Bugs Bunny and Scooby Doo.  Bugs always wins, and I love that.  Scooby, no matter what he does, even if it’s by accident, always works out.  They are both very loveable.

Beverley: Who would you love most to meet ‘in person’ and why?

Sloan: This is another question that is hard to answer. I would love to meet Stephen King and be able to sit down with him and just talk about ideas, stories, writing.  I would also love to sit down with Nora Roberts since I write romance, and she is an utter queen in the genre.  I feel I could learn a lot from both.

Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?

Sloan: Oooh, I’m really not sure. I haven’t had a real FREE day in such a very long time. I’m not sure.  I would probably read or work on my writing.

Beverley: What are you working on now?

Sloan: I am currently working on Book 2 of The Talisman Trilogy, Highland Soul.  My day job has pretty much controlled my life for the last seven years.  I wrote very little, and got away from reading a lot because I am always exhausted when I get home that I just don’t feel like doing anything.  Things are finally starting to ease, well it was before Covid.  I was excited to finally finish the first draft of Highland Soul.  I’d been working on it for a long time.  I’m currently sussing out a Halloween story, but when I’m done, I will be finalizing Book 2 so I can send it off to the editor.

Blurb for Highland Stone:

A mysterious inheritance and magical forces thrust Kara Malone through the ages to the Scottish Highlands of old. There she encounters Alaxandar McLeod, the dark stranger who inhabits her dreams.

Alaxandar leads the charge to learn the truth about the violent raids against his clan. When his horse almost tramples a beautiful stranger, he is beguiled but skeptical. Is she a spy, or worse, a witch come to lure him with her body and distract him from his quest?

With his clan ever leery of Kara’s presence, and the raids intensifying, Alaxandar must decide what is right for his family and his heart. Will Kara choose to stay with the stranger from her dreams made flesh, or the mission she vowed to complete?

Excerpt for Highland Stone:

Not too long after, Alaxandar and the men who’d ridden out earlier arrived. The chief and Jamie joined them across the large room. Alaxandar held conference with the men, but his eyes locked on Kara several times during the intense conversation. She tried not to notice him, impossible though it was. Heat swept through her body, originating between her legs. She squirmed in the chair. Concentrating on her plate was a better alternative to staring at the handsome version of her dream.

“Good morning,” Alaxandar crooned.

Kara jumped, not having noticed him come up beside her. She gritted her teeth as he chuckled. The man had a way of getting to her. He took his place beside his father. His bare leg brushed against her thigh, sending a jolt of desire barreling across her already jangled nerves. Nervously, she picked at her food. Her appetite had slipped away again. “Damn.”

“Something wrong wi’ the food?” Alaxandar inquired.

“Uh—no—nothing.” Kara fidgeted with a raspberry then tossed it in her mouth.

Alaxandar studied her juicy lips. Her cheeks warmed. The slightest contact with the warrior caused sensual chills. Was there no end to her wicked thoughts? Thankfully, thick tendrils of her hair slid down to cover her eyes and hopefully hide the obvious attraction she felt.

He was real, not a figment of her under sexed, love-starved mind.

He was here.

Alaxandar reached out and cautiously rubbed a lock of her hair between his fingers before saying, “How be your ankle today?”

“Better. Thanks,” she murmured without looking up. She fought the urge to grab her hair from his hand.

“I be glad tae hear it.”

Alaxandar twisted her hair a moment longer. Out of the corner of her eye, Kara noticed Cuilén watching Alaxandar. He released the strand and frowned at his brother.

Her throat tightened and her stomach lurched, but she forced down as many bites of food as she could manage. The servers remained cautious around her. Their halting behavior had nothing to do with her injury.

“Are ye finished, miss?” a young girl asked.

“Yes. Thank you,” Kara replied and handed her the plate. The girl smiled, accepting the dish. She made sure not to touch Kara in any way.

The men were heavy in conversation. Thankful, Kara rose with the intention of sneaking out unnoticed. She’d not gone far when Iain stormed into the hall, angry and agitated. He went immediately to his father and the others.

“Some cattle’s been stolen. Clan members slain, a máthair  and babes,” Iain announced.

Other clansmen circled the table, enraged and calling for retaliation. “Ye know it be the cursed Sutherlands. We should strike back swiftly and make ’em pay,” cried Patrick MacLeod, slamming his fist on the oak table.

Kara made it to the foot of the stairway where she perched on one of the steps to listen. The heated debate drew her interest. She knew some of the names of those arguing, having heard them referred to during the meal.

“Aye, MacLeod, we canna let ’em get away wi’ it,” fumed Archibald.

“Father, now that the snow be gone, ye know the raiding will start,” Alaxandar stated. “Patrick ’tis right. We must strike back.”

“Aye, Father,” Iain bellowed. “This feuding wi’ the Sutherlands has gone on for years, but never has one o’ our own been lost so needlessly.”

“What shall we do, MacLeod? What do ye decree?” demanded Murdo as the others yelled in agreement.

Accusations flew, hollering and threats were made with no voice of reason. Kara witnessed the fire in the human spirit, which had long since been made passive by the society she lived in.

“Bring some ale,” the chief ordered. “I need tae think on it.” Getting up from his chair, he stalked away from the crowd. His sons followed.

Jamie MacLeod gathered by the hearth with several clansmen. “The MacLeods and Sutherlands have been at odds for years, but never wi’ unprovoked violence. ‘Tis started since that woman showed up.” Several glanced in the direction of the seat she’d vacated. Heads nodded in silent agreement. Without another word, Jamie left the group amongst murmurs. Kara watched a malignant grin cross his features. She swallowed hard, her throat dry. That wine sounded awful good at the moment.

“Silence!” The chief’s gaze encompassed the entire room. “Archibald, get the men together. This eve we ride tae the Sutherlands.”

“Hold fast” rang out and the men charged from the room. Kara hid in the shadows, waiting for them to go.

“Ye kin come out.”

She knew Alaxandar’s voice. Moving into the light she said, “I almost got trampled again.”

“Aye.” Alaxandar frowned. “Ye seem tae be in the wrong place… again.”

She lowered her eyes but didn’t admit she’d been eavesdropping. “They were in an awful hurry.”

“Aye. We be having a raid.”

“A raid?” Kara’s head snapped up. “Killing?” She knew she had no right to ask. Her stomach seized.

“I canna guarantee there willna be fighting.”

Kara’s heartbeat accelerated. A flicker of fear danced along her spine and her heart plunged. Alaxandar’s tense jaw and tight lips came into focus. Should she say anything more? What would be the point? She didn’t belong here.

Kara massaged her left temple to release the tension building in her head. He moved closer but didn’t touch her. The heat in his eyes warmed her instantly in secret places.

She wanted him to touch her.

His hand reached out, inching toward her heated flesh, but fell away. “I must go.” He brushed past her, his eyes now on the sea of sour-faced men gathering outside.

Kara’s panic grew. “Keep your fat head down,” she called out.

“Dunna worry,” Alaxandar said in that smooth voice that made her tingle. “I shall return,” he promised without breaking stride.

She followed him to the bailey, her distorted gait sapping her strength. With a ragged breath, Kara stopped short at the sight of the assembled score of mounted men. Their terse look of determination renewed the fear in her heart. As the riders thundered through the gates, words her grandmother had written in the journal appeared in Kara’s mind. Wars and savageness were a part of daily life.  She blinked back tears, feeling foolish. Alaxandar lived this life every day. He knew how to take care of himself and he rode with all the others. Surely, there was safety in numbers. Why was she so worried anyway? It wasn’t as though she knew him very well. What did it matter if something happened? Her stomach clutched.

It did matter.

She felt as though she’d known Alaxandar for a lifetime. He was something familiar to hold onto in this time of craziness.

“He’ll return,” she murmured and limped back to the castle, and up to her room.                                                                                                                                                                      Buy Links for Highland Soul:

  I am actually running a special for $0.99 on Highland Stone until October 11th on Amazon.

Apple:  

https://books.apple.com/us/book/id791035665                               G oogle:   https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Sloan_McBride_HIGHLAND_STONE?id=lH-PAgAAQBAJ         N ook:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/highland-stone-sloan-mcbride/1017478320?ean=2940148837930         Kobo :   https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/highland-stone?utm_source=walmarthybrid&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_campaign=Sloan+McBride&utm_term=&ranMID=37217&ranEAID=nEKCGk5ir4I&ranSiteID=nEKCGk5ir4I-t6XgeD.bGtXwHz_SPhCn9w&siteID=nEKCGk5ir4I-t6XgeD.bGtXwHz_SPhCn9w

Social Media

Sloan’s Website

Sloan on Instagram

Sloan on Facebook

Sloan on Twitter

Sloan on Bookbub

Black lives matter. Be part of the change.

 

October has arrived and so has the second wave of Covid, apparently. 

 

Along with the usual flu. 

 

I’m one of those snowbirds and usually head south for the winter but the Canada/US border is still closed. The general belief is that it won’t open until the new year. So, I’m trying to prepare for winter and the cold weather and snow. I sort of hibernated during the summer, creeping out in my mask, doing necessary grocery shopping, doctor and dentist appointments and a few errands. We’re actually lucky in my town. We’ve only had a total of 84 cases of Covid, but we still need to be careful. 

Knowing there’s a new and serious disease out there you could catch or spread to others, sort of ruins the things you would normally be doing. So, you cook, bake, and eat and maybe walk the dog – and gain weight and become a slug. Writing becomes difficult because there’s no motivation. 

 

Low level depression becomes the norm for many of us. At least that’s how it’s worked with me. 

 

And now they’re saying I can’t even go where it’s warm. Sigh… 

 

I can’t keep being a slug for another four or five months. Shoulders back. Tomorrow I buy a treadmill and start a healthy exercise plan with light weights and stretching. Chocolate and ice cream are banned from the house and back to fruits and veges. 

And I will write, even a page every day. I have a novella I want to write and Lydia’s story I want to finish. 

 

I don’t drive in snow and I don’t want to walk in snow and ice because of the chance of falling - so it’s hibernation with a treadmill. I’m going for a productive October. 

 

Hopefully yours will be productive as well. 

And here’s an excerpt from By Design 

On the way to the shower Evie heard a car. She detoured to the window, opened the curtains slightly and watched two limos pull up beside the hospital. Nine or ten people got out and disappeared into the back wing. They appeared to be both men and women. Most of them carried small black bags. The limos backed up, turned around and left. 

 

Now what would all those people be doing going into the hospital? They didn’t look like patients. What else could they be? They were obviously going to be there for a while since their transportation had left. 

 

They’d gone into the back wing; one of the wings Evie hadn’t been shown Evie let the curtain close. She chewed her lower lip and tried to figure out what they might be doing. Her mind was a total blank. 

 

In the shower she let the hot water pulsate against her skin and turned so the water hit directly at the base of her neck. It might help to wash away some of the stress. 

 

She glanced out the window again. This time an ambulance slipped quietly through the dusky night. It slid up to a large door down from where the other group of people had entered. Evie couldn’t resist. She stood to one side so she wasn’t reflected in the light and let the curtains almost close together so she wouldn’t be noticed. She watched the ambulance attendants open the back door and remove a stretcher. They carried it inside. By the shape, it appeared to be a body under the covers. She couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman or even if it was dead or alive. 

 

Things got more curious. Evie was sure there was probably a good explanation, but what kind of surgery would they be doing on someone brought in by ambulance out here? To the best of her knowledge, they didn’t have staff working in the operating rooms at night. Warren said he worked nights. She should go down and ask him what a group of people and a body did at night. 

 

Evie turned away from the window. A scream pierced the air. A chill ran down her spine. She stopped and listened. It wasn’t repeated. She wasn’t even sure if it was human. It might have been an animal. Maybe a wild animal. 

 

What was really going on here? She felt like she should do something, but what? She didn’t know what it was or even where it came from. She couldn’t phone anyone. There really wasn’t much she could do. 

 

A residual chill still claimed her body as she buttoned her blouse. Her mind tried to figure out what was going on at the hospital. She’d ask Warren about it next time they talked. 

 

It wasn’t just her overactive imagination. That scream had been for real. Something unusual was going on and they didn’t want people to know about it. 

You can follow me and check out where I’ll be this month – and some have giveaways:   

 

October 1 – December 1

Holiday Mega Giveaway Rafflecopter with give-aways. http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ec8aae6739/

 

October 10

At First Sight Saturday https://www.rueallyn.com/blog/ 

October 16

Trick or Treat Book Bonanza on N. N. Light’s Book Heaven with giveaways. 

https://www.nnlightsbooheaven.com

October 17

Group What is your favorite book(s) of all time in your favorite genre(s)? (You can include children’s books or non-fiction or even magazines). Check it out on my blog at  

https://beverleybateman.blogspot.com/

 

October 19 – 26

Multi-Author Halloween Giveaway https://marielavender.com/about/blog/

 

And you can follow me follow me on my blog Tuesday and Thursday at https://beverleybateman.blogspot.com/ for how I’m doing, tips, hints and guest authors. 

And you can follow me follow me on my blog https://beverleybateman.blogspot.com/ for how I’m doing, Canada Day, tips and guest authors.

Beverley Bateman Blogger