Carol Presents: Ellen Parker … “Hiding Places”

One of the perks of being published is getting to meet other authors. There are so many talented writers out there, but if they are new to the publishing world, it’s so difficult to be noticed.
Thus I am creating the Carol Presents Series where I will showcase authors and their books.

So, first up in the series is Ellen Parker. Ellen grew up on a small dairy farm near a small western Wisconsin village. Currently living in St. Louis she includes portions of her rural roots in her writing. She enjoys writing the type of story that appeals to more than one generation and encourages readers to share her work with mother or daughter – or both. When not guiding characters to their “happily ever after” you can find her reading, tending her postage stamp garden, or walking in the neighborhood. You can contact her at: or on Facebook at:


Here’s her back cover blurb:

Mona Smith’s plans to finish her culinary education are on hold and replaced with the need to economize and work hard. A warning from her brother — a local drug kingpin intends to collect money she doesn’t have — prompts her to flee Minneapolis with only the possessions she can fit into a backpack. At the airport baggage claim she begs a ride with a stranger, willing to risk time with an outsider over the drug dealer’s certain reputation.
Yesterday, Linc Dray was rejected by the final prospect on his list. Unless he’s legally married within thirteen days, he can’t inherit his grandfather’s farm. Years of work and dreams, including expanding a tiny apple orchard to commercial size, will be lost. When Mona sprints into his life pleading for protection and transportation, he hesitates. Is she a clever con artist or the solution to his dilemma?
Mona sees how Linc’s location and occupation offer her advantages … if only they didn’t come with a marriage proposal. A public marriage, he insists, for legalities and show. She requests two days to consider the deal.
The budding trust between Mona and Linc is tested when a renter on the farm is murdered. The obvious clues point to Linc. Can they prove the real killer framed him? And what are they going to do about the inconvenient emotions invading the marriage of convenience?

And now the excerpt!
Chapter One
“He’s coming after you, sis.”
Mona Smith tensed and straightened her spine to parallel the gray metal chair. Matt’s voice grated harsh on her ears as he slowed his words through a split lip. Who beat you? She focused on her brother’s face, remembering him without a black eye and dark bruises against prison orange clothing.
The clink of metal against metal caused her to glance around the plain gray room. Three other tables of inmates, confined with shackles, and their visitors talked under the watchful gaze of a uniformed Minnesota Department of Corrections officer near the door. She made a quick comparison to last week’s visit at the county jail and didn’t like the difference. She breathed in a little courage. If Matt could live here for two years, she would visit. After all, she was the dependable child, the big sister attempting to keep little brother out of trouble.
“Who?” She rested her palms on the table, careful not to touch her brother.
“Basil. My boss. You’ve met him.”
She nodded as a cold shiver crossed her shoulders. Basil Berg embodied pure trouble. Matt had pointed him out months ago with a warning not to get involved. From what Mona picked up from stray bits of conversation, Basil’s primary revenue source was party drugs. Prostitution and burglary rounded out his business. “He came into the diner twice last week.”
“Not good, sis.”
He behaves as a customer. No reason to refuse service.” He also drank iced tea with a full breakfast at three in the morning and stared at her past polite intervals. She felt like a mouse dropped into a snake’s cage when he looked her direction. “Why is he coming after me?”
Matt glanced toward the guard before dropping his voice even lower. “Money. Twenty-five grand.”
“That’s a year’s wages. I don’t have that sort of cash.” Cool moisture gathered on Mona’s neck. She separated her hands to reach for a tissue before realizing her pockets were empty. The only possession the officials let her bring into this room was a bright orange key to the locker in the reception area. “If I did—”

Hmm, I’d hate to be in Mona’s predicament. First the drug lord and then a marriage to someone she just met. HIDING PLACES is a romantic suspense, one of my favorite genres.

If this book intrigues you, watch for it on Amazon. HIDING PLACES releases June 9th on Amazon. Wouldn’t you love to buy a book on its release day?

Thank you, Ellen, for being my first guest on “Carol Presents”. I wish you the best of luck with this book and your writing career.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ellenparkerwrites
    Jun 06, 2014 @ 20:09:46

    Thanks for starting this.


  2. deborahcordesauthor
    Jun 07, 2014 @ 18:11:09

    Congratulations, Ellen. I enjoyed your book blurb and excerpt, and I wish you many sales and great success with Hiding Places. I’m intrigued by a mention in your bio – what is a postage stamp garden? I’ll admit to not knowing what that phrase means. 🙂


  3. joannalloydauthor
    Jun 08, 2014 @ 06:22:29

    Good to hear about your book, Ellen…certainly sounds action packed! Good luck with Hiding Places…great title!


  4. Amber Daulton
    Jun 21, 2014 @ 01:34:53

    Wow. I soooo want to read this book. Mona’s in a world of trouble and I love marriage of convenience stories.


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