Carol Presents: Morgan O’Neill … The Thornless Rose

Until today, I have never had the opportunity to interview co-authors before. As a writer I can’t imagine collaborating with another author on a book. Sure it’s nice to have someone to toss ideas back and forth, but to write as one member of a team seems insurmountable to me. Yet these two gracious ladies have managed to publish several fantastic time travel books under the pen name, Morgan O’Neill. Let me introduce you to them.

DeborahCordes&CaryFratesA chance meeting at a writers’ conference brought Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes together, two award-winning authors who connected because of a mutual love of time travel fiction. Collaboration ensued, the search for a pen name the first step in their working relationship. Their maiden names provided the solution – and “Morgan O’Neill” was born.
Cary and Deborah’s backgrounds are uniquely suited to writing stories steeped in atmosphere and history: Deborah has a Master’s Degree in history and is a dedicated genealogist; Cary is a talented linguist in French and is currently a student of Latin. They’ve traveled to Europe’s ancient and medieval sites many times, with Cary living on the Continent for five years.

The Morgan O’Neill time travel novels have received a number of literary awards, including two finalist wins in the Booksellers’ Best Awards, two semifinalist wins in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, first, second, and third place wins for the Mainstream Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category of the Golden Rose Contest, a top ten finalist award in the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Conference Zola Awards Literary Contest, and a top ten finalist win in the Orange Rose Contest.

*****

That’s an amazing list of awards for your time travel books. Well done, ladies!

THE THORNLESS ROSE 1600x2400Here’s a blurb for their current book:

No one ever knew what really happened to Dr. Jonathan Brandon back in 1945. He simply disappeared from a London pub, leaving behind an unsolved mystery and his fiancée—Anne Howard’s grandmother. Seventy years later, Anne herself is haunted by the strange tale, along with inexplicable hallucinations straight out of Elizabethan England. Including a scarred, handsome man whose deep blue eyes seem to touch her very soul…

Anne wonders if there isn’t something more to the story. Is it even possible that Jonathan disappeared into England’s dark past? And why does Anne keep hearing him whisper her name? Because now she too feels the inexorable pull of the past, not to mention an undeniable attraction for a man she doesn’t even know.

It’s just a matter of time before Anne will step back into history, and face a destiny―and a love―beyond imagining…

****

And here’s an exciting excerpt to encourage you to want to read more of The Thornless Rose, an Elizabethan Time Travel novel, by Morgan O’Neill.

In this scene, time travelers Anne Howard and Dr. Jonathan Brandon are thrown together for the first time.

Anne felt a tingling, a creeping of skin on the back of her neck and arms. She closed her eyes, suddenly feeling faint, when the air stilled beyond anything she had ever experienced.

What the––? From darkening shadows, she gazed out. Oddly, the chapel was brilliantly lit by dozens of candles. Black-clad monks knelt on wooden misericords, praying.

Their soft, collective droning was a counterpoint to her heart’s fierce drumming.

“Wh—what just happened?” Anne stammered, trying to keep the shrill edge out of her voice. “Where’d you come from?”

The monks turned. To a man, their gazes cut through her, sharp and deeply suspicious.

She swallowed in fear. “Where am I? There were tourists. What happened to them?”

Eyes widening, a young monk held up his crucifix. “Woman,” he said, straining to see Anne, “why dost thou speak gibberish? Hast thou no wits?”

“But this is Westminster Abbey, isn’t it?”

“Aye. But if thou seeketh absolution, thou must find the bishop, for we are at prayer.”

Anne took a deep breath and crossed into the light. Gasps exploded from the monks as they gaped at her shorts and bare legs.

“Strumpet! For shame!” a monk shouted.

“Princess of Sodom!” cried another. “Get thee gone!”

Anne backed up, anxious to escape, and quickly turned to avoid the royal tomb directly behind her. She stopped and stared. The place looked nothing like before. Instead of a marble sarcophagus, there was a pile of broken stones heaped on the floor.

She spun toward the monks, still frozen against their misericords. “Where’s the tomb? Queen Elizabeth’s tomb?” she croaked.

“Elizabeth?” The young monk rose to his feet. “Would that the foul heretic were dead! There,” he pointed to the heap of stones, “rests our true Catholic queen, Mary Tudor. God rest her soul.”

“Brother Daniel, silence!” shouted another monk. “If the queen’s men hear thy words of sedition…”

But the young monk, Daniel, shook his head, eyes blazing. “Witch, I’ll send thee back to hell!” He lunged at Anne.

Instinctively, she put up her arms, covering her face in a defensive posture. Then, in disbelief, she realized she felt nothing, no contact with her attacker. She turned just as Brother Daniel tumbled behind her onto Mary Tudor’s grave.

Anne looked down at herself, realizing for the first time she was fading away. Her body looked transparent! “Oh, help!” she shouted, panicked. “Help me!”

She started, blinked, and stared. The monks had vanished, the crowd of tourists surrounding the queens’ tomb the same as before. She held out a trembling hand. Her skin looked as it’d always been—she was whole again.

It took her a moment to get her bearings, to steady herself, but then a voice brought her fully around.

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” a woman said. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Anne muttered, even though she knew she wasn’t. Shocked, she looked at her shaky hands, again solid, part of the here and now. She shoved them into her pockets and walked on. What just happened?

She picked up her pace, intent on leaving. She shouldn’t have had that shandy on an empty stomach.

The lights suddenly dimmed, the atmosphere hushed, expectant. Just like before!

She halted in her tracks. Flickering candlelight and deep shadows, no tourists. The Abbey was even darker than it had been when she’d seen the monks.

What the hell is going on?

“Anne! Anne!”

Stunned, she turned. A man in costume ran toward her.

“Go back,” he shouted, “back where it’s safe!”

She stood transfixed. As he came closer, she recognized him—his eyes, the scar.

He halted and pulled her tight against him. “I love you, Anne,” he whispered into her hair, “but you have to go with him. Save yourself.”

“But––”

He stilled her confusion with a tender brush of his lips, and she responded instinctively, their kiss deepening as her body arched against his, her blood ablaze with sudden desire, until the rest of the world seemed very far away.

When he finally drew back, he stared into her eyes, and Anne’s heart seized when she saw his pain, the sheer desperation in his gaze.

The feeling was apparently mutual, because he pulled her close and swore under his breath, “Bloody hell, the bastard will pay for this.”

I don’t understand.

He opened his eyes and stared at something in the distance. “Anne, go now,” his voice cracked, “because I can face anything if I know you’re safe.”

His fingers gently cupped her chin, his touch unleashing more heat. He lifted her face for another kiss, and then—nothing. He was gone. She fought for control, her breathing erratic, her legs threatening to crumble. She touched her lips, still feeling his caress, his soft breath on her skin, but he was gone.

The lights flashed on, the tourists once again milling about, unaware.

“Mummy, they were kissing!”

A small boy pointed at her, but his mother paid no attention.

He saw us! Anne plastered a fake smile on her face until the boy disappeared into the crowd. He saw us, and that means I wasn’t hallucinating. But how? How could Dr. Brandon be here? She touched her lips once more. The way he’d held her, spoken to her, whispered her name, made her believe he was real—and he…

He knew me. But how? A chill enveloped her as the memory of the monk’s stare supplanted Brandon’s.

Trembling, she left the Abbey.

*****

Cripes! I know how terrified and confused I’d be if I landed smack dab in the middle of another time and place. I look forward to reading A Thornless Rose to learn how Anne handles the situation. Plus I love a good romance!

Okay, everyone. Listen up. Right now the publisher, Entangled, has The Thornless Rose on sale. You can get this marvelous book at its introductory $0.99 price. But this sale will soon end! So hurry on over to your favorite eBook store and get your copy now.

 

Thanks so much, Deborah and Cary, for allowing me to showcase you both and this wonderful book. I know that you have a hectic writing schedule so I appreciate sharing this time with me. Here’s to many more successes with your books!

 

There are numerous ways to find these authors (at least in this life and time). They have kindly supplied a list.

Author Links:

Website – www.morganoneill.com

Newsletter – https://madmimi.com/signups/125219/join

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23723313-the-thornless-rose?from_search=true

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/morgan.oneill.books.12

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AuthorMONeill

 

Buy Links:

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Thornless-Rose-Entangled-Select-Historical-ebook/dp/B00QRW3OH6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418852004&sr=8-1&keywords=the+thornless+rose

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/thornless-rose-entangled-select/id949899897?mt=11

Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-thornless-rose-entangled-select-historical

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-thornless-rose-morgan-oneill/1120872044?ean=9781633751767

 

 

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My Christmas Story is free

Hi, friends. It’s been a while since I’ve last added a post. Sorry about that. Life got a little too hectic for a while.

I want to let you know that until Dec 1, 2014, my short story, Christmas Charisma is FREE. It’s about a young widowed mother who hopes to get through this Christmas without too much pain for herself or her little boy. It’s a heart-warming Christmas story that I think you’ll enjoy. Please take the time to download it and, if your upcoming Christmas season isn’t too busy, maybe you could “gift” me with me with some stars or even a quick review. Thanks!

And in case you’re reading this too late, Christmas Charisma will also be FREE DECEMBER 12 AND 13.

Merry Christmas, everyone! I wish you all the best in 2015!

http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Charisma-Carol-Ritten-Smith-ebook/dp/B00PKE097A/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417370462&sr=1-1&keywords=Christmas+Charisma

Carol Presents: Angela Ford … Forbidden

A friend and BTGN author has kindly agreed to be a guest on my blog today. Here’s her bio:

77fc886513aa0ad8986c9e.L._V378434100_SY470_

Angela Ford originates from Nova Scotia…Canada’s Ocean Playground! Her love of the ocean and sunsets are always in her heart and give her inspiration. Her love for words keeps her turning the page. She is never without a book, whether she’s reading or writing. Now residing in Ontario, Angela works in Finance – numbers by day – words by night. Her dedication to volunteer and involvement with cyber safety seminars gave her an Award of Distinction and sparked the idea for her first book Closure – suspense with a dash of romance that hit the best- selling Action/Adventure. Her next release, Unforgettable Kiss, delivers a romance with a dash of suspense. Forbidden released in June 2014…Closure’s sequel. Between two jobs, being a mom with a home always filled with teenagers and rather interesting stories; she is lucky to have one very patient and understanding man. But it is the furry family members who rule the house – a Puggle, two loveable cats and two unique Guinea Pigs. Every possible quiet moment she finds, she treasures and just writes about the moments to come. Angela is an avid reader of romance, a member of the RWA and thrilled to be part of her new family BTGN.

***

My goodness, Angela is one busy woman! Let’s read the blurb for Forbidden which was published on June 22, 2014

Forbidden coverAgent Jessica Resario thought she found Closure with the arrest of her parents’ killer. She allowed her heart to love again and married Tom. Knowing a married couple can’t be on the team together; Tom stepped down and decided to train at the FBI academy. Jess is promoted to Supervisory Special Agent.

She continues to deliver spine-chilling seminars to parents about cyber safety. One seminar introduces her to Tiffany Bennett’s parents who are quite concerned for their daughter’s safety from an Internet Predator. Jess leads the team to protect Tiffany and discovers that the past can creep back into your life.

Excerpt from Forbidden

Startled from her thoughts, Jess turned and saw Tom in the doorway with a concerned look on his face. He walked closer to her and set a cup of tea on her desk.

“I thought you might need this.”

“Thanks Tom. You always know what I need. I love you so much.” She smiled and reached for his hand. Just his presence in the room warmed her from the cold chill she felt.

“I love you too.” He leaned down and kissed the top of her head.

“Now spill it Jess. I know that look.”

She laughed at his remark. He knows me so well.

“I feel like I’m reading about Trevor stalking me. This girl is in trouble, Tom. She’s being stalked. I feel it in my gut.” Jess took a sip of her tea. The warmth and sweetness of that Earl Grey Cream was exactly what she needed to calm her.

“That look worries the heck out of me. But I learned a long time ago I can’t stop you.” Tom picked up her phone from the desk and handed it to her. “Call Mr. Bennett.”

“At this time of night?” Jess looked at her watch.

“If he’s as concerned as you believe, Jess, he’ll be awake.” Tom kissed her forehead and smiled.

***

Sounds like a timely story considering all the creepy predators on-line!

Thanks, Angela for being a guest on Carol Presents. It’s always a pleasure getting to know more about our author acquaintances. I look forward to reading more of your books.

Here’s how you can reach Angela:

Social Media Links

Blog – Romantic Escapes http://angelafordauthor. com

Facebook www.facebook.com/writerangelaford

Twitter www.twitter.com/AngelaFord67

Goodreads  www.goodreads.com/angelaford13

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Angela- Ford/e/B00EAYZBYM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1 LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=286030681 &trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/aford1507/pins/

Stumble Upon http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/afor dauthor

Books to Go Now www.bookstogonow.com

 

Carol Presents: Becky Lower … The Road To Comfort

Becky Lower has joined me today on Carol Presents with her book, The Road To Comfort. I’m particularly interested in her book because it’s about a cowboy with a broken heart. Don’t ask me why I have a thing for cowboys because I’ve never really had a chance to get to know one personally and as much as I love the look of horses, I’m terrified to get on one. I do remember thinking that I would marry this one cowboy because he looked like my little stuffed monkey (they both had the same grin and the cowboy had a twinkle in his eye) plus he was gentle with his animals…but mostly it was the monkey-face. Hey, I was only five at the time!

Wow, talk about getting off topic. Anyway, let me tell you a little bit about Becky Lower. Becky has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it present day middle America or on a covered wagon headed west in the 1850s. Contemporary and historical romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and a member of the Northeast Ohio chapter of RWA. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. She loves to hear from her readers at beckylowerauthor@gmail.com. Visit her website at http://www.beckylowerauthor.com

***

Note to self: I must remember to ask Becky about her connection to cowboys.

 

Road to Comfort by Becky LowerHere’s the book blurb for The Road To Comfort

Juliette St.James has only done two impetuous things in her life, and the first resulted in her becoming a single parent at age 18. Now, she’s embarking on a cross-country trip to celebrate becoming an empty-nester. Not sure of what she will do now that she’s flying solo, she comes face-to-face with her worst nightmare—a cowboy.

Cyclone Kelley is a former rodeo cowboy who has broken one too many body parts to continue on the rodeo circuit. But the one body part that can’t be fixed by putting it into a cast is his heart, which was broken when his wife died. He wasn’t home to save her, and feels he’s unworthy for any kind of lasting relationship with a woman, so his life has been a meaningless string of one-nighters.

One broken car and an equally broken cowboy later, they are forced to decide if love is worth gambling on what could be. Or if tornadoes, and Cyclones, are better left alone.

And now the excerpt:
Lightning flashed in the distance, and the rain splattering on the windshield became more intense. Juliette raised her eyes from the book, her concentration interrupted. The storm was rolling in quickly, and grayish-black clouds now darkened the entire sky in front of her. Great. Now she’d have to fend off the corn children in the dead of night. Uneasiness threatened to turn into panic as it settled in, big-time. She jumped out of the backseat and climbed behind the wheel. She didn’t care if it seemed stupid, she turned the key once more, praying for a miracle. Nothing. She pummeled the steering wheel with her Cheeto-ed fingers as she assessed her situation. She was in a broken-down car on the side of the road, in Kansas, Nebraska, or Oklahoma with monster children about to emerge from the surrounding fields. Oh, and yes, a storm was rolling in. Could things get any worse?

A steady clip-clopping sound broke into her tormented thoughts. She glanced into the rearview mirror and spied a horse and rider coming up the side of the road behind her car. You’ve got to be kidding. Help had finally arrived, but it was in the form of a cowboy, wearing a black hat and a duster coat? And he was on a horse. Oh, yeah, she was a long way from civilized Ohio. The sun burst forth behind him in a last hurrah as the dark clouds raced toward them. Terrific. Evidently, things could get worse. Much worse.

***

The cowboy comes to the rescue. Yes! You can always count on a cowboy unless he’s in a country western song. Those guys will break your heart.

Well, Becky, it’s been a pleasure having you on my blog. I wish you the very best in your writing career. Looks like you’re well on your way!

Here’s the link to check out the Road to Comfort.

http://amzn.to/1ofOSuI

 

Carol Presents: Nancy Weeks … In the Shadow of Pride

This time I have Nancy Weeks on my Carol Presents Series.  Hello, Nancy. Thank you for agreeing to be my guest today.

Hello Carol, I’m so pleased to be visiting with you today to share the news about my latest novel, In the Shadow of Pride. Pride is the fourth book in my In the Shadows series and I am so very happy with the way everything turned out.

How exciting it must be to have written your fourth in a series. Good for you! And I understand it was released only one week ago and is being well received. That doesn’t surprise me, you’re a talented writer!

Okay, readers, I know you want to know more about Nancy’s story, but please read Nancy’s short yet sweet bio first.

Nancy C Weeks profile pictureNancy C. Weeks lives in suburban Maryland with her husband of more than thirty years. With her two grown children out of the nest, she loves spending her days on her deck writing as the local bird population keeps her company.

 

 

Would you tell us a little about In the Shadow of Pride?

In this story, you will meet the third McNeil brother, Luke ‘Mac’ McNeil. Mac has a tough job as a FBI Special-Agent-In-Charge. One of the most heart wrenching experiences he had to live through was losing his best friend and fellow agent, Rico Trevena. Rico was on an undercover operation and Mac was his handler. The unthinkable happens and Rico gives his life to save Mac’s younger brother, Jason [from In the Shadow of Greed]. Rico’s last words to Mac, “Promise me you’ll take care of Lexie!”

Rico’s wife, Lexie Trevena has made that promise almost impossible to keep because she hates everything about the FBI and despises Mac. When Lexie’s life is ripped out from under her once again, she has a choice to make; accept Mac’s help or lose everything, including her two year old son, Gabriel.

Sounds like a great story. I enjoy reading romantic suspenseWas it difficult to write?

From the very beginning of this story, Pride captured my mind, my heart, and wouldn’t let go. It was joy to write. If you would like to see who I envisioned while writing this story, please drop by my WEBSITE. While you are there, check out the three free chapters: In the Shadow of Pride Google Preview.

Ooh,  free reads are always good! I’ll check it out.

So…have questions? I would love to answer them. Feel free to ask me anything. Here is a question to help get you started. Have you ever disliked someone, but over time, began to see this person in a different light? Did you ever become friends? I would love to give away a free digital copy to one lucky commenter so please leave an email with your answer. Carol, you get to do the drawing.

I can do the draw, no problem. But I want to be the first to leave an answer. (Don’t worry. I won’t be in the draw.)

I left a blurb and a short excerpt.

Wonderful!

I hope you enjoy In the Shadow of Pride as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you for hosting me. ((Hugs to all))

You are most welcome, Nancy. Good luck with your release! And congratulations!

9781440580321Now, here’s the blurb for In the Shadow of Pride: 

Lexie Trevena buried her murdered husband, discovered he had cheated on her, and signed to adopt his newborn son—all before noon. Now she just wants to raise her child in the loving, supportive home she never had. The last thing she needs is another man to complicate her life, but her best friends feel differently. Their matchmaking meddling accidentally places Lexie smack in the path of a terrorist who intends to use her as his pawn.

The only person who can help her is the FBI agent she holds responsible for her husband’s death.

Special-Agent-In-Charge Luke “Mac” McNeil watched his best friend and partner marry a woman he knew was too good for him, but he did nothing to stop the wedding. He stood by as Lexie adopted the cheating jerk’s son. But when someone goes to great lengths to make it appear that Lexie is responsible for launching a drone into the home of a prominent Texas senator, Mac’s conscience finally speaks up, and he fights for Lexie’s freedom … even though all the evidence leads to her door, and she has never given him a reason to trust her.

Can Lexie and Mac find the courage to forgive and trust, or will their pride stand in the way of love, allowing terrorists to bring another devastating attack onto United States soil?     Sensuality Level: Sensual

And the excerpt of In the Shadow of Pride: 

Lexie leaned her back against the cool stone and made herself release Mac’s hand. She then took a breath of fresh, clean air and tried to hide the shakiness in her voice. “Now what?”

“I’m going to drop down to the roof. You will kneel on the ledge and, using the window to balance, turn so your legs hang over the edge. Let go of the ledge, and I’ll catch you.”

“Are you crazy? I can’t—”

“Lexie, look behind you.”

She turned her head slowly toward the open window. Flames appeared under the door and the small office was completely filled with smoke. One word escaped her lips. “Trapped.”

“Once we get down onto the roof, there’s a fire escape ladder to the street.” He reached for her hand. “Gabriel needs you. We can do this together.”

Finding her voice, she whispered, “Not fair using Gabriel.” She bit down on her lower lip and dredged up an ounce of courage. “Mac, do what you have to do.”

With the grace of a trained athlete, he lowered himself over the side until only the tips of his fingers were on the ledge. An instant later, he dropped, landing on his feet.

“Tag, you’re it, Lexie. Just drop and I’ll catch you. Trust me.”

Lexie’s heart pounded like she had just run the 100-yard dash. After a quick glance into the office, she knelt, and holding onto the window, rolled onto her stomach.

“That’s it. Now just ease your legs over the ledge.”

The instant her feet hit empty space, panic ripped through her and she swung a leg back onto the ledge as her fingers dug into the window frame. God, she couldn’t do this. It was freaking crazy.

“You have to let go of the window frame. I’m right under you.”

“This isn’t the time to be nice to me, Mac.”

“Okay, then how’s this? I’m loving the view of the sexiest red panties I have ever seen that barely cover an ass that will live in my dreams for years to―”

Lexie dropped. Before she could get out the ear-piercing, girly scream that roared in her head, she landed in Mac’s arms. The impact crushed the air from her lungs.

“You’re okay,” he whispered. “I’ve got you.”

Wrapping her arms around his neck, she allowed his strength and his herbal all-male scent to soothe her. He eased her legs back on solid ground, but she didn’t let go. She couldn’t remember a time in her life when she felt so safe, protected.

She raised her chin and met his amused stare. Of all stupid days to wear a skirt to work. As soon as she got out of this mess, it was going to Goodwill.

Heat spread up her neck and her chest tightened. “This one time, I’m going to let that go.”

“Let what go, Lexie?” Mac’s hand moved slowly down her back to her waist and pressed her tightly against him.

His touch sent a flash of need that had been dormant for too long into her gut. Lexie swallowed but couldn’t look him in the face. “That wasn’t my best moment on that ledge. You shouldn’t have looked.”

“You told me not to be nice. I was saving your life.”

 All right!  What a fantastic excerpt! In the Shadow of Pride is going onto my to-read shelf right away!

Everyone, you can find Nancy at: 

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

GOODREADS

PINTEREST

Look for In the Shadow of Pride at: Crimson Romance ebooks | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play | BAM

 AND…The first book In the Shadow series, In the Shadow of Greed is available only for a brief time in a bundle of wonderful authors.

Racing Hearts Romantic Suspense bundle 9781440583247RACING HEARTS: 10 THRILLING ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVELSONLY 99 CENTS!!!

The thrills—both in and out of the bedroom—never stop coming between these pages. Crank up your adrenaline while running from danger, standing strong in the face of evil, and staying one step ahead of the bad guys in these 10 fast-paced suspense stories by rising stars.

 

Amazon  | Kobo | Google Play

 

 

Carol Presents: Susanne Mathews … Echos of the Past

Today on Carol Presents we’ve switched things up a bit. Susanne Mathews kindly answers the question (one that most authors get asked sometime in their career) … where did you get your idea for this story? But first let’s learn a little bit more about my guest, Susanne.

me

Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. As a retired educator, she gets to spend her time writing, so she can share new adventures with her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

 

 

 

Let’s see what prompted Ms Mathews to write her story.

Echoes of the Past: Where Do Story Ideas Come From?

People often ask me where I get the ideas for new stories. Well, they come from hundreds of different places. The idea for my newest book, Echoes of the Past came to me when I visited The Lake of the Mountain Resort in Prince Edward County, Ontario, last September. The lake is a geological conundrum, a source of fresh water, seemingly bottomless in the center, constantly emptying via a small waterfall that tumbles almost 200 feet into Lake Ontario, but the lake’s water level never changes, and no one can figure exactly where the water in it comes from.

While I found that interesting, the legends associated with the lake sparked my interest. There are two. The first talks about a monster of the Loch Ness variety—interesting but probably nothing more than a large sturgeon. The second touched my soul. It was a Mohawk legend, a tragic story of lovers, forced apart by hatred and doomed to be kept apart in death until the Mohawk spirits felt sorry for them. That’s the story I used as the underlying love story for Echoes of the Past.

Before I left, I got permission from the owners to set my novel there. I brought in a new component as well when I crafted my heroine after my daughter’s best friend. Amazingly enough, the cover created by the publisher, Secret Cravings Publishing actually looks like the real Michelle.

***

So there we have it, the story behind the beginning of this story, Echoes of the Past. For writers, inspiration can happen anywhere, anytime. The key is to pay attention. That’s what Susanne did.

Here’s her book blurb:

EchoesofthePast_MEDBorn Mohawk, raised white, forensic pathologist, Michelle Thomas is trapped between two worlds—this one and the spirit world where the ghosts of those who’ve drowned speak to her. Haunted by crippling nightmares of her own drowning death and erotic dreams of a phantom lover, she strives to make sense of her life. When two suspicious deaths occur at the Lake of the Mountain Resort, she’s sent to investigate. She’ll face the greatest challenge of her career when her past and her present collide. One of these men is her future, but which one—the rich and powerful Mayor Ron Davies, or Tony Steele, the hydrology professor who may be responsible for his students’ deaths? Charged by the spirits of her Mohawk ancestors to atone for her previous sins by protecting Lake of the Gods, can Michelle solve the murders, save the sacred waters, and fulfil her destiny?

 

And the excerpt:

Tony wandered out onto the screened-in porch and looked out at the lake. The strong night winds whipped it into a frenzy as if the water boiled with anger. He checked his watch. Two in the morning again. He needed to break this habit. These unusually vivid dreams had started the first night he’d arrived at the resort. Most of them, exquisite, erotic fantasies, left him dissatisfied, but tonight’s dream had transitioned into a flight for his life. From personal research, he knew a dream’s meaning rarely had anything to do with its contents. This research project into the source of the water in the lake meant everything to him personally and professionally. He was afraid something would happen to ruin it. That explained being chased, but it didn’t explain the sexual fantasies. Those he understood easily enough.

He recognized the woman in his dreams as the shawl-wrapped stranger who walked along the beach every now and then. Beautiful and exotic, something about her called to his soul. He preferred women who didn’t look like carbon copies of others, and this one intrigued him. He thought about her now.

He’d noticed her the night he’d arrived. He never slept well in a new bed. Unable to settle, he’d stepped out onto the porch and noticed someone else apparently suffering from insomnia. A woman, a blanket wrapped around herself, her hair in a long braid down her back, strolled along the edge of the sandy beach. She’d moved southeast toward the edge of the lookout. He’d stepped outside to get a better look at her, but she’d vanished.

The next night, his imagination and libido had taken over, and in his dreams, she’d entered his leafy grotto, and they’d had mind-blowing sex. The things they’d done to one another. Thank God he’d awakened before his body had finished responding to his fantasy.

He’d gotten up, frustrated as old hell, and had gone downstairs. Standing in the screened-in porch, he’d looked out at the lake. Unlike tonight, the water had resembled a mirror reflecting the stars on its surface, and he’d been suspended between the water and the sky—everything brighter, crisper, and clearer than he’d expected. Animals scurried in the brush nearby. Bats swooped overhead. An owl hooted, and he’d shivered. Didn’t some of the Native American tribes believe death followed the cries of an owl?

He’d turned to go back inside when he’d glimpsed his mystery woman coming along the beach from the marshy area to the north. He’d called out to her. She’d turned at the sound of his voice and stopped. In the moonlight, he’d seen the sparkle of silver tears on her cheeks. Naked, he’d hurried into the kitchen, grabbed his damp swimsuit off the drying rack, and rushed out, but she’d disappeared.

He blinked, and the memory passed. He’d never seen a storm as vicious as tonight’s. The rain came down in sheets. Thank God the kids had made it back safely. He turned to go inside when a flash of lightning, the first he’d noticed tonight, illuminated the beach.

What the hell?

The woman, wrapped in her blanket, walked along the beach as if all hell wasn’t breaking loose around her. He ran to the door and raced across the short expanse of grass. He stopped at the edge of the water. Where had she gone? As she’d done every time he’d tried to catch her, she’d vanished. Wet through, he hurried back inside. He saw the light go out in Jackson’s room.

Tony entered the cabin, stripped off his wet clothes, and tossed them in the kitchen sink. Naked and shivering, he climbed the stairs and went into the bathroom. He took a hot shower and then dried his shoulder-length hair. He needed to get it cut. He grabbed a clean t-shirt and a pair of boxers out of the drawer. Exhausted, he fell into bed hoping for sleep.

***

Okay, you’ve got my attention. I’m hoping that Tony gets a chance to live out this dream with the mysterious woman. And since this is a romance, the chances are good. A sexy romance and a mystery. Yum!  Thanks, Susanne for being my guest.

Thank you, Carol for having me on today. I appreciate this opportunity to reach a new audience and make new friends.

You can find out where to purchase Echoes of the Past by visiting http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/

Follow Susanne on her: Website   Blog    Facebook page   Twitter @jandsmatt

Amazon author page   and   Goodreads author page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Presents: Alexia Adams … An Inconvenient Love

I feel very fortunate to have Alexia Adams and her brand new book,  An Inconvenient Love, which released June 23, featured on my blog today.

Here’s her short bio:
Alexia once traveled the world, meeting new people, experiencing new sights and tastes. She’s lived in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England, and France, as well as spent time in Panama and Russia. When life demanded that she stay rooted in one place, she took to vicarious voyages through the characters she created in her romance novels. Her stories reflect her love of travel and feature locations as diverse as the wind-swept prairies of Canada to hot and humid cities in Asia.

*****

Right about now there are a bunch of readers who are envious of your travels, including me, Alexia. At least we can visit those wonderful places in you stories.

*****

Now here is her book info for: An Inconvenient Love
An Inconvenient Love CoverBlurb:
Neither wanted love in their marriage. But you don’t always get what you want.
Sophia Stevens is tired of struggling to pay the rent and help her brother through college. After seven years on her own, she is no farther ahead than the day she walked out on her old life and started again. So when super-sexy Italian property developer Luca Castellioni proposes a marriage of convenience, she’s intrigued. Financial security and life in a beautiful Italian villa in exchange for attending a few business functions and typing some letters seems very convenient. Until she breaks the most definite term of their arrangement: she falls in love with her husband.
Luca Castellioni lives for his job restoring beautiful buildings to their former glory. When his business expansion plans are hampered by the need for an English-speaking secretary and a wife, he does what any efficient businessman would do—he combines his requirements and selects and English administrative assistant as his bride. But when his fascination with his wife distracts him from business, he wishes there was more marriage and not so much convenience in their agreement. Too bad his wife has reconstructed her own life, without him.
When their respective lives pull them in opposite directions, they must decide: will they continue to put their businesses first, or allow love to overcome the obstacles between them?

And now the excerpt:
The following scene takes place in St. James’s Park in London, England. It’s the third meeting between the hero, Luca and the heroine, Sophia. She thinks he’s about to offer her a job. Listen in…

“I am pleased to see you again.” Perhaps it was her imagination, but his accent seemed thicker today.
He was immaculate, not a hair out of place, his suit undoubtedly costing more than she made all month. He was way beyond her league. What else could he want except a receptionist?

“You said you had a job opportunity to discuss with me.” She moved her arm away so they no longer touched. What was he playing at? Did he think because she’d slipped her hand into his at the party that she was available for an affair? Well, if so, he’d find out soon enough she wasn’t going to sleep with him just because he was rich, and powerful, and gorgeous.

“An opportunity, yes. As you know, I own a property development and restoration company in the north of Italy, based in Milan.” His low voice, so close, sounded like they were sharing an illicit secret. “I am now in a position to sign some large contracts with British and American companies, like Chet Wilkins. However, my secretary, who is very good, does not speak fluent English. I cannot afford to have misunderstandings.”

Excitement raced through her. It was a job offer. And from the sound of it, based in Italy. She was tired of London. Tired of working two, sometimes three, jobs just to make ends meet, never getting ahead. A move to Italy would be the change she longed for, a chance to escape the constant reminders of her horrific past. Before she could respond however, he continued.

“I need more than just an English-speaking secretary. I have reached a point in my life where all my business associates are married, and new clients are always asking about my personal life. It seems to disconcert them when I say I am unmarried, and it is becoming a hindrance to my success. Family is very important in Italy. It is seen as a sign of stability. However, my entire focus at the moment is on building my business. I do not have the time now, or in the foreseeable future, to romance a woman. Besides, a wife who loved me would expect me to be home every night and probably feel neglected with the amount of time I spend working.”

Sophia struggled to keep her face neutral and not let her puzzlement show. Why was he talking about his need for a wife?

“Last night at the party you proved to me you are able to read a situation and act appropriately. I also believe you are good at your job. Walter is an astute man; he would not have kept you employed if you were not a hard worker.” He leaned toward her. His voice had dropped even more, and she wondered where he was going with this so-called opportunity.

“I think, therefore, that I should align my requirements and seek an English wife. One who would be able to assist me in my business, and also provide the home life expected of a man in my position. Are you interested?” He turned to her, his eyes sweeping over her face, awaiting her response. His smile held a hint of warmth, but his eyes were guarded, as though there was something he wasn’t telling. Something that prompted him to ask her, of all people.

This was it. She’d finally snapped. Her brain had imploded from worry and boredom, and as a result she was fantasizing about marriage proposals and being swept away to live in a castle in Italy. At this point she should reach into her pocket and pull out the other glass slipper. Except the only thing in her pocket was lint. And the only romance in her life was in the books she read. Maybe Luca was the one having a meltdown? She searched his face for some sign of insanity.

He looked serious.

What would you do in Sophia’s shoes?

 

*****

Good question, Alexia. That was quite the job offer she received. I’m anxious to learn what Sophia does. Thanks so much for joining me on Carol Presents.

And thank you, Carol, for hosting me on your blog today.

You’re very welcome. Best wishes with your writing career!

*****

Social Media Links:
Website: http://alexia-adams.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlexiaAdamsAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexiaAdamsAuth
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/alexiaadamsauth/
Tumblr: http://alexia-adams-author.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068526.Alexia_Adams?from_search=true

An Inconvenient Love is available from:
Crimson Romance: http://www.crimsonromance.com/?s=An+Inconvenient+Love&submit=
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Inconvenient-Love-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00KI2EYHK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1402283152&sr=8-3&keywords=an+inconvenient+love
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Inconvenient-Love-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00KI2EYHK/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1402283264&sr=8-8&keywords=an+inconvenient+love
Amazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/Inconvenient-Love-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00KI2EYHK/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1402283264&sr=8-8&keywords=an+inconvenient+love
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/Inconvenient-Love-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00KI2EYHK/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1402283264&sr=8-8&keywords=an+inconvenient+love
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnobel.com/w/an-inconvenient-love-alexia-adams/1119589486?ean=9781440583315
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/an-inconvenient-love/id881624938?mt=11
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/an-inconvenient-loveGoogle Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Alexia_Adams_An_Inconvenient_Love?id=726fAwAAQBAJ

 

Carol Presents: Lexie Stewart–Too Many Suitors

Today on Carol Presents, I am showcasing Lexie Stewart and her short story, Too Many Suitors. If you’re looking for a fun, fast read, this may be the short story for you.

Here’s Lexie’s bio:

Ever since I learned to read, I could always be found with my nose in a book–even when I was supposed to be doing something else!
I love the magic of stories, love following the twists and turns, love getting to know the strange and wonderful characters and experiencing their stories with them.
I remember a poster stuck to my bedroom wall when I was a kid. A wizard in splendid, purple robes was summoning a dragon in an explosion of red and gold flames. In a way, writers are wizards, summoning stories and souls from the wilderness of their imagination.
I live in Australia where I write and read and marvel at the blueness of the sky.

Too Many Suitors cover

Here’s the blurb:
Jessica finds herself trying to choose between three men. She’s an up front, pro-active sort of woman. So instead of staying home alone or attempting to see each of her suitors behind the backs of the other two, she invites out the three men. Gym-junkie Brad, workaholic Saul and BFF Jimmy. She explains the problem of her conflicted heart and she tells them what her solution is.
She’ll date all three!

And here’s an excerpt of TOO MANY SUITORS.

He held hand out to me. “May I have this dance?” he asked.
Cheek to cheek with Saul on the dance floor I forgot all about my problems. All I knew was the bliss of swaying slowly in the arms of the man I–
The shrill cry of a mobile phone split through the music like a lightning bolt.
The sound was coming from our table. It was Saul’s phone, of course.
I groaned. I couldn’t help it.
“I’m, I’m sorry, Jessica,” Saul stammered and hurried to his phone like a servant hurrying to their master.
The phone call turned out to be quite a long one and I was left standing there alone on the dance floor with couples dancing around me until embarrassment drove me back to my chair.
When Saul finally returned to the table we settled into conversation.
I pretended not to notice how often he checked his watch or did something with his mobile phone. He was like an alcoholic hiding a bottle of brandy under the table and taking quick sips when he thought no one was watching.
My poor father has high blood pressure and despite the doctors warnings he doesn’t do much
towards improving his health. It’s been a great strain on the rest of the family trying to get him to change his diet and cut down on stress.
I started to tell Saul about this- he had asked after all- and I felt my voice going croaky with emotion.
Saul rubbed my hands and nodded as I poured my heart out to him.
And then his phone rang.
A look of pain came to Saul’s face.
We stared at each other.
The phone kept ringing.
“I have to get this. I’m sorry,” said Saul.
I felt a flush of anger burning my face. I felt so foolish! I’d just been opening up to this man, sharing my life with him and leaving myself vulnerable and the simple truth of it was that Saul’s work was more important to him.
I glared, not at Saul, but at the phone held to his ear. I think I was jealous of it.
I sat patiently as the phone call stretched to the five minute mark. And then I snapped.
In one sudden movement I grabbed the phone out of Saul’s hand and dropped it in a bowl of soup on the table next to ours.
“Jessica,” gasped Saul. “What’s wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with me?” I nearly yelled. “What’s wrong with you?”
“Jessica, lower your voice. People are staring.”
“I swear you’ve spent more time speaking to that lump of plastic than you have to me!”
“I’m sorry, it’s work-”
“And work comes first! I get it.” I couldn’t stop now. Everything that had been bottled up came bursting to the surface, like corked champagne. “I don’t know why I’m wasting my time on you! There’s no room in your life for a relationship. No woman could be anything other than a mistress to you because you’re already married to the job!”
“Jessica, this isn’t fair! Why can’t you understand that I’m just trying to make something of myself?”
“What are you trying to make? A robot? Mission accomplished!”

****

So will Jessica choose Saul or will it be Brad or Jimmy? Sorry, I don’t want to spoil the surprise. You’ll have to read the story to find out.
And here’s where you can buy an eBook version:
http://www.amazon.com/Too-Many-Suitors-ebook/dp/B0067LGQ4A

Thanks, Lexie, for being a guest on Carol Presents! I look forward to reading your next short story!

Carol Presents: Peggy Bird … Sparked by Love

I am very pleased to introduce you to another excellent author, Peggy Bird, author of Sparked by Love, plus many other wonderful books. I’ll let Peggy tell you a little about herself.

Born in Philadelphia, I’ve spent most of my adult life in the Pacific Northwest where I have happily grown webs between my toes and moss behind my ears. Over my adult life, I pursued a number of careers—nurse, legislative staffer, lobbyist, public affairs consultant, non-profit association executive, workshop teacher, oh, and mother and wife—before deciding to leave it all for what I’ve loved through every stage of life—writing.

But instead of the intricately plotted mysteries and deeply moving memoir pieces I assumed I’d write, the characters in every piece of fiction I started wanted their love stories told. Even when I had many of them hanging around questionable people or involved in murder, intrigue and general mayhem.

That’s how my Crimson Romances were born. All the stories are set in some of my favorite places in the country—Portland, Oregon, the Puget Sound, Philadelphia. My second series, A Holiday For Romance, will be released beginning in June of 2014 and will focus on some of my favorite times of the year—Independence Day, Halloween, New Year’s Eve and a few more.

Still not mysteries but I’m working on it. I’m working on it.

Sparked by Love cover
Blurb:
Artist Leo Wilson has been awarded a grant to install glass fireworks at the Fourth of July celebration at Fort Vancouver, Washington where thousands of people will see his work. It’s the chance of a lifetime for him. All he has to do is get a few permits from the city and he’ll be set. But the crabby bureaucrat who answers his phone calls is making it impossible for him to get what he needs.

Shannon Morgan is responsible for organizing the huge annual celebration of Independence Day on the grounds of the Historic Reserve, one of the most significant pieces of real estate in the region. The only part of the job she hates is dealing with some fussy artist who thinks it’s all about him. He’s just like a couple of other men she’s known—her mostly absent father, her disappearing ex-boyfriend—who cared more about themselves than they did about her.

When Leo decides to confront the cause of his trouble in person he discovers a beautiful young woman who is as surprised by him as he is by her. A walk through the parade grounds where the event will take place settles their differences and sparks a mutual interest between them. Dinner, a movie and a few torrid kisses take it from spark to flame.

But then the father she has always wanted in her life appears—with her ex-boyfriend. Shannon faces a dilemma—how far is she willing to go to have her father around? And why is he hanging out with her ex? Are they hiding something from her? A lot rides on Shannon finding the answers to those questions.

If she makes the right decisions, she and Leo will create fireworks that rival the pyrotechnics that light up the sky on July Fourth. Privately.

Excerpt:
About fifteen minutes later, Leo returned, barefoot with his shirtsleeves rolled up and a necktie in his hand. “Ready?”

“Sure. Where’re we going?”


“I’m going to put this over your eyes so you can’t see and … ”


“Is the surprise some kinky sex thing?”


“Damn. I never thought about a kinky sex thing. I’ll have to remember that for another time. You’ll have to settle for what I put together tonight.” He motioned for her to stand. “Close your eyes.” He tied the tie around her head so her eyes were mostly covered. “Too tight? Or uncomfortable?”

“No, it’s fine. Now what?”

“Now I’m going to take you to the surprise.” From behind, he gently guided her in the direction he wanted her to go. When he stopped, she smelled something flowery, sweet. And she could hear soft instrumental music, the kind played in spas or as background for meditation.

He slipped the tie down around her neck and said, “Voila.”

While he undid the knot and removed the tie, she blinked so she could focus. He’d led her to the bathroom, not the bedroom. The overhead light was off. In the huge claw foot tub she’d never used, opting for the stall shower, he had drawn a bath and filled it with bubbles. Around the room, on the shelf above the sink and the windowsill, on the radiator and the back of the toilet, were candles—maybe a dozen of them—each one in a glass vessel, cup or vase of some sort so the light from the candles glowed through the glass in jewel-like colors. Looking more closely at several vessels, Shannon could see the candles didn’t quite match the elegance of the candleholders but it hardly mattered.

“Oh, Leo, it’s beautiful.”

***
Wonderful excerpt, Peggy! I gotta say I love romantic guys like Leo. How sweet of him to prepare such a luxurious bath for her… or maybe it’s for the both of them. Hmm, the possiblities!
Thank you so much for letting us get to know you a bit better, Peggy, and of course for sharing a snippet of SPARKED BY LOVE. I look forward to reading it!

Buy links: http://www.amazon.com/Sparked-Love-Holiday-Romance-Crimson-ebook/dp/B00KI2EYHA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400910345&sr=1-1&keywords=Sparked+by+Love

http://www.crimsonromance.com/crimson-romance-ebooks/crimson-romance-book-genres/contemporary-romance-novels/sparked-by-love/

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/Search?Query=Sparked+By+Love+by+Peggy+Bird

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sparked-by-love-peggy-bird/1119589485?ean=9781440570391

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: http://www.ellenparkerwrites.wordpress.com or on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/ellenparkerwrites

9781440571596

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.

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