Posted at Apr 15, 2014 9:30 am
Release date… April 21! Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple iBooks, and Google Connect! I’ve included the blurb and an excerpt for you!
After a drunk driver killed Marcus Ricci’s wife while he was deployed in Afghanistan, he closed up emotionally. Working at Lost and Found, Inc., he lands a puzzling case with too many missing pieces. A killer is closing in on the woman Marcus is supposed to protect. Guarding the beautiful Chris is his job—and he’s one of the best—but keeping her close without letting her inside, makes it hard to protect his heart.
A murderer took the only family Chris Holland had left. When her sister’s killer comes after Chris, she turns to the Lost and Found agency for help. As she and Marcus Ricci dig into her background, they’ll discover surprises that shake everything she believes to be true about her past.
Forced together day and night, passion ignites, and Chris falls for Marcus. He’s a loner and not interested in a permanent relationship. When her case is over, he’ll go back to his solitary life. Just a man and his dog.
Chris parked in front of the office of Lost and Found, Inc. and debated whether this was a good idea or a waste of time. Why had Dalton thought she should talk to these people? Could they really help her? The police department hadn’t been able to. She got out of the car, still unsure. She turned, paced a few steps, and then reversed direction.
“If you need help, you’re at the right place.”
She jammed her hand inside her purse, locked her fingers around the butt of her Glock, and whirled toward the male voice.
A mountain of a man smiled down at her. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to surprise you.”
He stood too close, so Chris stepped backward. Something moved at her feet, and her gaze honed in on the dog looking up at her.
“Are you okay?” The tall stranger moved closer, reaching out as if to touch her arm.
He dropped his hand, and she breathed a little easier. The beautiful dog lay down at her feet.
The man motioned with his hand. The dog immediately moved and stood at his master’s side. “Good dog.”
“Does he bite?” She kept a close eye on the animal.
“Not unless told to. Offer him the back of your hand and let him get your scent.” The man leaned down and scratched the dog’s ears. “Go ahead.”
Chris cautiously did as he suggested. The dog sniffed briefly and then rewarded her gesture with a lick. Her heart melted a little. “Aren’t you handsome with your bright red bandanna?” She sank her fingers into the brown and white scruff around his neck. “What’s his name?”
“Diablo. And you are?”
“Not sure I should go in.” Chris still had second thoughts about bringing strangers into her problem. She hoped Dalton was right about this organization.
“Well, Not Sure, you won’t know unless you go inside.”
Tall, tan, and broad-shouldered, he reached around her and pushed the door open. His muscles flexed, stretching his white shirt sleeve to the max. Cool air caressed her face. His scent, clean and masculine, filled her senses.
“Coming?” he asked. A smile lifted the corners of his mouth. Head and shoulders taller than Chris, he looked down at her with warm brown eyes. A lock of chestnut-colored hair fell onto his forehead, and he raked it back with a large hand.
“You work here?” She hoped his answer would be yes. His eyes projected a quiet confidence, and the way he carried himself left no doubt that he feared no man.
There was only one way to find out if Dalton had been right about Lost and Found, Inc. “Then let’s do this,” she said.
Posted at Dec 23, 2013 3:00 am in Christmas Past, pictures
As we head into the holidays and I put the blog on hiatus, I wanted to share a few pictures of my family from past Christmas’s. You’ll see the love of my life, our granddaughter, our daughter, and son-in law. Oh, and Buddy. At our house, even the dog gets a gift.
No doubt, I’m going to be in the dog house for sharing the last one. I call it The Clean Up Crew. My dear husband and our beautiful daughter were cleaning up wrapping paper and bows when I snapped the picture. There’s not many of us and I often tell people…We’re a small crew but we love big!
My other big news, besides having my family here on Christmas? Electronic versions of The Green-Eyed Doll, The Last Execution, and Someone to Watch Over Me will go on sale for .99 starting December 26!
For each of you, I wish health, love, and joy in 2014.
Posted at Sep 30, 2013 3:00 am in Cold Day In Hell, new release, romantic suspense
Amazon has released COLD DAY IN HELL! This is Ty’s story, and believe me, I put him through hell! $2.99 at http://goo.gl/U8OTVL
Writing this book took me way out of my comfort zone. I normally set my books in areas that I’m familiar with or lived there. Ty’s story took place in the Colombian jungle. And no…I’ve never been. Although after I’d finished my research,which added up to about eighty pages, I’d fallen in love with the country. I’d love to have a guided tour. But with much less drama.
The use of explosives, the SOG (a badass military knife) and many of the weapons and situation were either fact checked or provided by a retired Navy SEAL. I’m so lucky to have him as a resource. Even though he refuses to allow me to identify him, he’s willing to keep me from making a fool of myself. Our emails are interesting!
I stretched my capability when I wrote this book. As I studied the Colombian culture and jungle, hopefully, I grew as a writer along the way. I hope you see that in Cold Day In Hell.
Ex-Army Ranger Tyrell Castillo’s first mission for Lost and Found, Inc. goes awry when his contact is kidnapped, and he’s left scrambling for weapons and explosives. He’ll have to blow up a drug cartel’s compound, rescue the woman, and keep her safe while they cross the sweltering hot Colombian jungle.
Driven by the need for revenge, Ana Maria Vega Cisneros doesn’t want to be rescued. She wants revenge. She’ll risk her life to ensure the drug lord who killed her family suffers the same fate.
The cartel leaves a trail of blood on their hunt for Ty and Ana. When Ty receives the order to kill the drug lord with extreme prejudice, he and Ana will face the enemy head on. Can Ty protect the woman who’s hell bent on vengeance? The woman he’s grown to love?
Ana Cisneros stood close to the window. Craning her neck to see outside, she was unaware he’d entered the room. With no time for introduction, he reached around and clamped his hand over her mouth.
As expected, he’d startled her. She fought, slinging her body back and forth like a wet dog. She kicked at him, so he whirled her around and jerked her body snug against his.
“Quit struggling. I’m here to help you,” he whispered, trying to sound reassuring. No doubt, with the flames outside casting an eerie glow, he looked like an alien. A man wearing night-vision goggles, geared up with a pistol on his hip and another in a holster strapped to his thigh, and a rifle over his shoulder would scare most anybody. Not to mention the machete sheathed on his back and the SOG knife in his hand. “Do you understand?”
He took the slight movement of her head as a yes and relaxed the pressure off her lips. His reward? She bit his finger and pummeled his ribs with her free fist.
What the hell? The lamb had attacked the lion. He reapplied the pressure while keeping one eye on the door.
“Stop that,” he commanded, impressed at her bravado.
Even through the lens on the night-vision goggles, he spotted a bruise on her cheek. Heat sizzled up his spine at the bastard who’d hit her.
He’d expected fear or panic to be oozing from her every pore, but didn’t sense either emotion from her. Waves of anger rolled off her.
“Do you understand?” he repeated. She nodded slightly, relaxed her tense muscles, and then tried to kick him in the nuts.
He didn’t have time to reason with her. And from what he’d seen so far, sweet-talking her was out. “I’m going to remove my hand. If you fight me, I’ll tie and gag you. Got it?”
This time he got a full nod. The expression behind her eyes made him doubt her honesty.
“I don’t have time to argue, so you’ll have to trust that I’m the contact you were supposed to meet in Bogota.” Cautiously, he lifted two fingers from her lips and waited to see if she complied.
“I know who you are,” she hissed. “And you’ve ruined everything.”
“Me? I think you’ve cornered the market on screw-ups.” He quickly assessed her condition. Other than the bruise, she appeared to be unharmed. Long dark hair fell around her shoulders. She wore jeans and a T-shirt. All she needed was shoes, preferably a good pair of boots.
Damn, she was a little thing. Beautiful, bruised, and pissed. Protecting her as they crossed the sweltering jungle wasn’t going to be easy. This woman was going to make the next few days a living hell.
In my mind, Ty is the spitting image of Shemar Moore, one of the stars of Criminal Minds. Do you form images in your mind of the characters in a book while you read? I have a few copies available in PDF or .MOBI files. Leave a comment and your email address. You could be one of the two readers to receive a copy.
Posted at Sep 2, 2013 3:00 am in Labor day, waffles, white dress
Happy Labor Day!!
September 5th, 1882 this day was dedicated to celebrating the American worker on the first Monday in September. There’s some disagreement as to who gets credit for this holiday, but we won’t go into that today. We can thank our neighbors in Canada for this holiday. In 1872, a parade was held protesting the 58-hour workweek.
A little research turned up the fact that in the 1880s, people worked 12 hour days, 7 days a week! Children 5 and 6 years old could work! It wasn’t until 1916 that the Adamson Act was passed. This act established the 8-hour workday.
I worked in retail distribution for many years. During September, October, November, and the first two weeks in December it wasn’t uncommon for us to pull 12-hour days Monday through Friday with 8-hours on Saturday and on occasion, Sunday. As a member of management, I was expected to be present before and after the day started. Our job was to ensure the stores had every available item a customer might need in preparation for Christmas. Did I get tired of the long hours? Sure. But logistic was my field and not once did I resent having my job.
So thank you to all my brothers and sisters who, as Alabama sang, move it on down the line.
But Labor day marks a few more events. Like not wearing white after the first Monday in September. Chanel is credited with blowing that silly idea out of the water and making white a year round color.
And the first Waffle House opened on Labor Day. I remember my first trip to Macon, Georgia. (A state I fell in love with) We were opening a returns center in Macon and I flew into Atlanta and drove the rest of the way. It seemed to me there were Waffle Houses on every corner! Later, I learned Georgia was the home state for them.
One more update…but this ties back to last Monday’s post. The two puppies that were dumped in our neighborhood have been adopted and will get to stay together! Yea to my next door neighbor!
So go enjoy this holiday. You’ve earned it. Stay safe!
Posted at Aug 26, 2013 3:00 am in Abandoned puppies, rescue dogs
I’ve posted before about Buddy, our rescue dog. These dogs have done nothing to deserve the heartbreak they experience. So why am I bringing this up again?
For one certain jackass who visited my street Saturday.
This post is especially for him! I’m sure he’ll never know I wrote this for him, but the jerk deserves his own post. Here is how he earned his day.
I noticed a newer model white car make the loop on our cul-de-sac and stopped. He didn’t get out for a minute, so he piqued my curiosity. Just about that time, he quickly got out, opened the back door, and dumped two puppies! This poor excuse for a human jumped back in his car and sped away. I ran to the door and out into the yard, but he was long gone.
Two puppies, black with white markings, took off running to catch him…so did I. If he saw us in his review mirror, he sure didn’t slow down. They had obviously never been loose! When they gave up on the one person they thought would protect them, they discovered freedom.
This is not a picture of one of them. Thank goodness Wikipedia had something close!
They ran, jumped, rolled each up, and played. They tumbled through the neighbor’s yards. Running wide open, enjoying their new found freedom, they ran into the pasture behind my house and disappeared. called them and whistled. They came close but then broke and ran away.
Luckily, I have outstanding neighbors! Later in the day, the puppies were watered by the family next door. Later a couple down the street fed them. We’re trying to keep them safe and alive, but they are frightened and not comfortable coming to a stranger.
When Buddy found us he’d been bitten by a big dog (according to the vet) and freaks out when another dog comes near. The couples who are helping take care of the puppies have rescue dogs of their own. For now, we’re all trying to help them.
So now what? They can’t be left to roam, so if we can’t find someone to take them, I guess we’ll have to contact the no-kill shelter in Burleson, and see if they can help.
My message to the jerk who abandoned these frightened creatures…may your payback be harsh and come soon. I have to believe people who do such things get what they deserve!
Posted at Aug 19, 2013 5:50 am in Cold Day In Hell, dogs, villians, Writing style
More than once, I’ve commented on my writing ‘style’ or maybe the lack of having one. I write from the gut and heart. Character development? Yes. Plot. No. Premise? A must!
After completing Cold Day In Hell, book two of the Lost and Found, Inc. series, I found myself back at square one. A stand still. Watching the damn blinking cursor. Convinced I’d never have another original thought.
This third book is Marcus’s story. Broken but mending, quiet but deadly, Marcus.
Oh, and I can’t forget Diablo. If you read Hell Or High Water, you know Diablo has a role in this book. Adding a dog to the mix isn’t new to me, so that wasn’t the problem. After all, one of my favorite characters in The Green-Eyed Doll was the no named dog. So why was I struggling?
The new story started with Marcus going home to clear out his deceased father’s house and getting drawn into solving a string of murders.
Have you ever put on a pair of shoes, loved the look but hated the feel. This story didn’t feel right for one of my Lost and Found men. The premise is great, and I have a sexy guy name Rafe Sirilli in mind for that book. But this wasn’t for Marcus.
I started a second story. Now, let’s stop here. I NEVER start and stop stories. I work up a character sheet, devote a lot of time on the first sentence or two, and get the premise set firmly in my head and start writing. For me those first few sentences are critical to the book.
So what the hell were Marcus and his dog doing in Mexico, icing down a case of beer for a fishing trip? And who was the woman screaming? An okay premise, but it didn’t set my mind on fire! Which, by the way, is necessary for me to get into a story.
Enter my critique partner, Barb Han. We not only critique each other, we chat, discuss our work, and on occasion, solve world problems. During one of these calls, I mentioned another writer’s book. I had absolutely loved it. My always “I’ve got your back” agreed. But it was what she added that caught my attention. Without hesitation, she added, “You’re way better in the killer’s head.”
Bam! There it was. The back of the head slap like DiNozzo gets from Jethro Gibbs on NCIS.
The answer was right in front of me. How had I strayed from my roots? I’d been developing stories without getting inside my villain’s head first. He or she is vital to me. To build a story for Marcus, I had to know who and why the killer existed.
The next morning, I stepped away from the computer, took a pencil and notebook, and got to know my killer.
Posted at Jul 22, 2013 3:00 am
The other day I was asked why I selected controversial topics for my books. My from the hip answer was because they were interesting. Later that day when I’d had a chance to think about it, I regretted my answer.
Not to say I don’t want the core topic to be interesting. Lordy, I’d never sell a single copy if the story wasn’t interesting. I personally find controversial topics, real life situations to be intriguing. The human spirit amazes me. You read or hear stories everyday about individuals who overcome incredible situations.
I also think the media glamorizes killers. The offenders feed off the press. They love it when the media repeats their name and deed…again and again. Think the Boston bomber didn’t love seeing his picture on the cover of Rolling Stones Magazine? I believe it made his day.
I prefer stories about the people who, when faced with tragedy, rise up, regroup, and live on.
So yes, my book topics are controversial.
A woman, who defending herself, kills her abusive husband. She runs from the accusing eye, but no matter where she hides, bad news seems to always find her. Does she keep running or take a stand? Can she find love while living her secret?
A victim of rape who doesn’t believe in abortion. She plans to give up her child to adoption after it’s born, but love and the maternal instinct take over the first time she feels movement. How does she guard her son from the past, especially when the rapist is out of prison and plans to kill them both.
An ex Ranger, now FBI, carries the reminder of war on his face. He finds a woman who doesn’t stare, doesn’t act like his scar exists. Can he drop his guard?
A cop turned vigilante, sworn to kill the men who beat and torture women after his daughter was beaten to death.
A Child Protection detective hell bent on stopping a human trafficking ring finds herself a target. Does she cave? Or does she prevail?
Okay, okay! I’ll come clean. All my stories have a happy ending. Why? Because I believe in that unbeatable, resilient human spirit and the ability to overcome obstacles and thrive.
How about you? Did you find the picture and story of the Boston bomber splashed on the front page of the Rolling Stone offensive?
Posted at Jul 1, 2013 3:00 am in book news, Hell or High Water, new beginning, self publishing
If I can control my enthusiasm and remain coherent, I’m going to share my news.
I’m putting on my big girl panties, hitching up my jeans, pulling myself up by the bootstraps…okay, enough with the giddiness. I’m going to self-publish the Lost and Found, Inc series!
HELL OR HIGH WATER (be sure to sign up for my newsletter for the big cover reveal and contest) is currently in the hands of the awesome Joyce Lamb for proofreading. That means the book has been edited three times, copy edited, and soon, proofread. I won’t bore you with details, but suffice it to say, I’ve taken all the necessary steps to ensure I have a quality product to sell.
Because that’s what I do as an author. I sell my words, my stories, to entertain my readers. Believe me, presenting my very best is my most important goal. Always has been.
Even back when I had folks reporting directly to me, I’d tell them to pretend their mother was inspecting their work. They’d want it as close to perfect as they could get it for her, and that’s what they should want for our customer.
But back to the series, I’m shooting for mid-July to release book one. Book two, COLD DAY IN HELL, is complete. It has been through my critique partners, I’ve completed the revisions, and the book is now in the hands of my toughest critic. Only then will this book start its rounds with my editor.
I’m excited, nervous, and a little scared. All those emotions are, I think, normal. Change and diving into unknown waters makes most people nervous. It’s how we stretch and grow.
I hope you’ll take this journey with me. I’m learning but still have a long way to go. If you have knowledge and are willing to share, please offer suggestions, solutions, methods, just anything you’d like.
Stay tuned for the release date!
Posted at Jun 24, 2013 3:00 am in animal cruelty, Hope the rescue dog, reward, romantic suspense
Truth is stranger than fiction. Isn’t that the most accurate statement you’ve ever heard?
Turn on the news or pick up a newspaper. The stories I see and read break my heart. Make my insides clinch and tears fill my eyes. I can’t wrap my head around how we got here.
My heart broke for the mother whose thirteen month old baby was shot in the face because mom didn’t have any money. And for the victim of rape, where others filmed and posted video and comments on social media.
I can’t carry on a conversation about those three women in Ohio would were kidnapped and tortured for TEN years! I get too angry that anyone in our society could treat another human being that way.
The animals! Don’t let me get started about the cruelty to animals. The punish for crimes against helpless creatures should be a lot more severe than it is.
Yesterday, I finally read some good news. Last summer, a female dog was found wandering in the 100 degree heat. Her tongue had been pulled out and then her muzzle taped shut. They couldn’t tell how long she’d been that way, but she was dehydrated and her tongue so swollen she couldn’t drink or eat. She couldn’t retract it into her mouth and they feared her tongue would have to be removed. If that wasn’t enough for the poor thing to endure, she had been stabbed multiple times.
I was thrilled to see her picture and read a story about her recovery. Her new name is, Hope an there’s a huge reward out for the person who hurt her. Hope beat the odds. She triumphed over her injuries and was adopted by a loving family. They say she knows she was saved from death and repays it with tons of kisses.
I believe that. Our rescue dog looks at us with gratitude and unyielding affection in his eyes.
I used Buddy’s picture since I don’t have the rights to a picture of Hope. But Google…Parker County a dog named Hope.
But how the hell did we get here? What happened that we can maim and cause such pain without batting an eye?
Don’t answer that. Please.
I promised not to turn my blog into a platform, political or otherwise. Yet here I am, stunned, but not into silence. I’m questioning our humanity.
I’m a romantic suspense author. My characters suffer, struggle, fight, and lose everything, only to rise up and fight again. But in real life, I can’t fathom the pain and anguish these innocents go through.
So I’ll keep writing, because in my imaginary world, the people heal, get justice, fall in love, and live happily ever after.
I can only pray for my fellow human beings and our animals in real life.
Posted at Jun 19, 2013 7:14 am
Today’s guest is under the weather, so I’m covering for her and sending her get well wishes!
As you may know, Someone To Watch Over Me released June 7th. It’s a romantic suspense, of course.
Here’s how this endeavor got started. My editor asked if I could write a short story. Shoot, piece of cake, so I ripped off a quick, “You bet.”
Oh my goodness. Those two words started an adventure, which at times I was sure I wouldn’t survive! It’s twenty-three thousand words. Truth be told, I have trouble saying hello in less than fifteen thousand words. But I’d mouthed off andaccepted the challenge, so I buckled down and went to work.
Writing this short story turned out to be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Gathering together all the elements that make up a romantic suspense and shaping them into a fast read while giving my reader a great ride taught me that the old saying, ‘Less is more’ means just that.
This is a life and death story that required tension, fear, anger, and passion. Each sentence had to be tight, to the point, and yet had to convey the emotions of the scene. Useless words had to be cut. I read and reread. Whittling away and paring back was like throwing away my babies!
During edits I was pleased that my editor didn’t find much for me to redo, but the senior editor kicked the story back. I had written a sex scene that she felt cast the heroine in a harsh light. Looking back on it, I decided she was right. After I rewrote that scene the story hummed.
It’s a reunion story filled with danger and forgiveness. I hope if you read it, you’ll let me know what you think. An honest review, an email directly to me, something to let me what you think, because believe me when I tell you writing that short story was tough…and fun at the same time.
So tell me, do you read short stories? Like the fast, easy read? Or do you prefer a full eighty thousand word book?
Sometimes, hiding from danger draws a crowd. Sometimes, hiding can get you killed.
Stacey McKinney returned to her home town to escape a stalker. When people around her turn up dead, she fears he’s found her. Is the maniac keeping his threat by killing off anyone who gets close to her?
A different kind of risk is also in town. The man who broke her heart has also come home. Their attraction is stronger and hotter than ever, but he walked away once. Will he do it again?
A bullet ended Cash Butler’s career as an Army Ranger. His life on his horse ranch is without complications until he hears Stacey is back in town. He was a kid when her dad used his wealth and power to drive him away. He’s not that kid any longer.
When Stacey goes missing, a search proves her stalker had followed her to Oak Hill. But he’s dead. Who killed him? And who has Stacey?
Focused, Stacey headed across the building on a mission. She skirted the two pool tables, moving faster the closer she got to ladies’ room door handle. A chilled raced down her arms. She sensed someone moving in step directly behind her.
A scent stirred something in her memory. Awareness churned through her, warming her skin. Heat rushed to her lower belly. How did her body know to react? She turned to find Cash Butler smiling down at her from under the brim of his black hat.
“Would you look at who I found,” his whiskey-toned voice flowed over her skin like caramel over ice cream.
An old familiar zing of desire ricocheted through her nervous system. Twenty-eight was a good year for him. His black hair and stormy gray eyes still framed a chiseled jaw, sharp nose and a mouth made to kiss. Ten years had added a maturity, a road warrior expression to his face.
First loves should never look this good. Never smell this good. And never stand this close.
He leaned down and buzzed his lips across her cheek, liquefying her knees. Blood coursed through her veins, revving her heart rate to race track speeds.
“Hey.” Her attempt at casual caught in the back of her throat. “Why aren’t you off saving the world or fighting in the war or something?”
“Turns out I’m not bulletproof.” His gaze raked over her, settling on her face. “You’re looking well.”
“So are you.” She hated how her body reacted to his nearness. “I need to get back to work. So if you’ll excuse me.”
“Wait.” He stepped between her and the door. “You’re the reason I’m here tonight.”
She pretended his strong hands sliding up and down her arms had no effect. Truth be told, seismic waves scorched their way to the ends of her fingertips.
“Unless you want your boots wet, you’ll leave me alone.”
“Then meet me at the Cactus Club tomorrow at two.” One corner of his mouth lifted. “You remember how to get there?”
“Sunday is my day for scullery maid duties.” Her brain issued a stern warning. His tone of voice said he was glad to see her, but his eyes gave nothing away. Meeting him wasn’t a good idea. Unfortunately, her heart wasn’t in the mood to listen.
“Since when do you do housework?”
“A lot’s changed since…” She bit off the sentence. Confiding in Cash served no purpose.
Letting him touch her had been a mistake. Did she pull away? Nooo. She stood there while his hands traveled down until his fingers twined through hers.
“I’ll be there tomorrow at two. I hope you’ll come.”
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