Monday, June 18, 2018

MY FAVORITE GUARDIAN SCENE


Giveaway Alert!

Today is release day for RANGER GUARDIAN. (YAY!!)

Guardian is actually one of my favorite books. Why? I think it might be because it’s about a real conflict couples have all the time. Yes, there is exciting suspense to keep the pages turning. But the core problem Heath and Kendall have is getting past their surface differences and finding the real things that are bothering them. I hope I gave their story justice.

~ ~ ~ Here’s part of my favorite scene ~ ~ ~
Heath held his side as he carefully lifted his arm into his suit jacket and then set his white Stetson on top of his head. The required Texas Ranger uniform wasn’t what people expected when they saw the star on his pocket. Traditionally they all wore white Stetsons, but with suits rather than jeans. He even wore a white shirt and black tie today.

Good thing, since he’d been assigned to work with an FBI task force regarding potential cybercrime. The agent in charge thought a research company had some type of ulterior motive for collecting the data.

Cybercrime had a broad definition—it referred to any crime committed with a computer or through a computing device. The slim file he’d received held just the basics and an address where to meet the agent. He was curious to learn what had tipped the FBI off and what the specifics of the case were.

Why meet here in the field? It wasn’t the norm. Neither was getting a last-minute request for field backup on a task force he hadn’t been active with for a while. Jerry Fisher—his wife’s old partner—had been promoted to group leader overseeing several teams in cybercrime. What was different now?

He waited for this mysterious agent at his truck. The older neighborhood was nicely kept up. The homes were on the smaller side for this section of Dallas. They’d eventually be sold and torn down to make way for larger lots.

It was a shame. Some of them looked really nice and were perfect starter places for couples. Or to house mothers-in-law. He’d been thinking about his wife the entire trip across town.

Only natural that he’d start thinking of her mother, since he half blamed her for egging on their arguments. He’d gone back and forth long into the night about calling Kendall. Even picked up his phone a couple of times. But the chicken part of himself won.

What if that phone call ended everything?

This morning he watched the sun rise while riding his mare and resolved to call Kendall today to make a date to talk. Not over the phone. Not around Skylar Dawn. Certainly not around his mother-in-law. The promise gave him peace of mind. Six months was enough time apart. He needed to try again. Speaking face-to-face would allow him to gauge her reaction. And if she called it quits?

Well, he wanted her to look him in the eye if she did.

There were several cars on the street of the address he’d been given. None of them were a government-issued sedan. He glanced at his watch—only a couple of minutes early.
If he was working with the FBI, he’d eventually have to visit their Dallas field office. He wasn’t excited about running into Kendall accidentally. Or her supervisor, Jerry Fisher.
Whoever his partner from the FBI, they were late. Unless he was supposed to meet them inside. He walked around the truck, calling Wade to see if there’d been a time adjustment to the appointment. When a black sedan pulled up behind his truck, he disconnected. He leaned on the tailgate while putting his phone away, waiting.

“Heath?” A familiar voice rang from the far side of the government car.

The car door shut, and he stood at attention for some reason. The face came into focus while his body charged out of control.

Kendall?

Dammit. He’d almost dove into the truck bed. Hard to do with his heart galloping up his windpipe like a stampeding mustang. He wanted to leap on its back and get the hell out of there.

His hands itched to wrap themselves in her wild strawberry blonde mane. But no wild mane flowed down the back of FBI Special Agent Kendall Barlow. It was pulled smoothly against her head into a ponytail. A few short tendrils escaped in front of her ears, the lobes pierced with the small diamond studs he’d given her.


“Nice to see you, too,” she said, before smiling a strained grin.

“Hey.” It felt awkward. He hadn’t been alone with her in a long time. He deliberately eased his shoulders, trying to relax. “Nice earrings.”

She fingered a stud, as if figuring out which pair she wore. “Oh, these? I can’t remember where I got them.” She teased with a genuine smile now. She remembered exactly who had given them to her…him.

The awkwardness was worth it for the smile he hadn’t seen in months. “I…no one told me it was your task force.”

“Can we sort through the conflict of interest after Mrs. Pelzel’s interview? She’s watching us out her window.”

“Would you like to work with someone else?”

“Of course not.” She stopped on the sidewalk, head tilted to the side to look up at him. Physically only an arm’s length away, but completely out of his reach. “We can be professional about this. At least I can.”

Professional? Sure. Why the hell not?

Her task force. Her lead. Her knock on the door. He turned sideways on the porch to let her pass. The slight scent of ginger and orange filled him with memories. He recognized the smell of her lotion and was getting sentimental. Instead of pulling her into his arms and kissing her until they were both senseless, he tugged off his dark shades and tucked them in his pocket.

He could be professional. If he had to.
~ ~ ~
A Ranger’s daughter has been taken.

Getting her back is all that matters.

They’ve been estranged for months, so Texas Ranger Heath Murray is surprised to be partnered with his wife…dedicated FBI agent Kendall Barlow. It’s the case of Kendall’s career—a career that has divided their marriage, though not their attraction. When their young daughter is kidnapped as a pawn, they have only each other to turn to.

Saving her together is their only option.
The alternative is unthinkable.


~ ~ ~
USA Today Bestselling author ANGI MORGAN writes Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love. Her work is a multiple contest finalist and Publishers Weekly best-seller. She drags her dogs –and husband– around Texas for research road trips so she can write off her camera. They now have a map with highlighted roads they’ve traveled. Every detour somehow makes it into a book.

Website   Facebook   FB Fan Page   Twitter @AngiMorganAuthr     
Check out A Picture A Day, my newsletter or follow me on BookBub

~ ~ ~
DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAYS
by leaving a comment for the $5.00 gift card OR here for an autographed copy.
Giveaway on JRS ends at midnight June 19th.  Contestants enter drawing by leaving a comment on Just Romantic Suspense. Winner's name will be listed at the top of this post.


Do you EVER skip to the end of a book?


Saturday, June 16, 2018

SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS AREN’T REAL #series


Giveaway Alert!

“Well, then, sugar. Let’s get started.”

With those last words, I typed The End to book five in the Love and Murder Series. Sniff, sniff.

The Deep Well of Love and Murder ended the series, and I sadly bid farewell to a cast of characters I’ve loved and lived with for the last few years. I’m going to miss Lacy’s level-headed personality, Chance’s dedication to peace-keeping and to Lacy, Phoebe’s sassy, gypsy style, Mason’s sexy attitude, August’s feistiness, Wolf’s James Bond coolness, Penny’s braveness, Jake’s soft side, and last, but not least, from The Deep Well, Laura’s independent flare and Randy’s…there’s too much to miss about Randy.

When I write a book, I know so much more about the characters than I can include between the pages. It’s a satisfying feeling, putting their stories to rest, but it’s also as if they move on without me. Can they? I suppose Randy and Laura will be just fine without my meddling, but honestly, I’ll miss checking in on them every day.

The Deep Well of Love and Murder Excerpt:
“You let me be the judge of what messes I choose in my life.” His hands twitched at his sides, longing to hold her and stifle her anger. He narrowed his eyes and stared deeper into hers instead. “Taking care of your ex is a mess I look forward to.”
“This is my mess, not yours.” Her tone grew more combative. “I’ve handled what I’ve been dealt, and I’ll continue handling whatever gets thrown at me.”
“I don’t see it that way.” He kept his voice level, but hard edged. His own emotions, convincing her while fear of losing her, hammered his self-control. “You’re locking me out. Why? Because you think you aren’t allowed to be happy?”
Her mouth pinched in a tight line, and she glared at him. “Randy—”
“I think it’s about damned time you stopped blaming your mother, your ex, or whoever for your unhappiness.”
She whirled away, ready to flee, but he couldn’t stop now. He needed her and had to make her see how much she needed him. “Don’t be afraid of me, Laura Jane.” He shuffled a half-step closer.
“I’m not afraid.” She faced him again. “But I don’t need you to tell me how to run my life, if that’s what you think you can do.”
Perro jumped and planted his paws on Randy’s hip, panting heavily. “For Pete’s sake, Perro—”
Laura’s brow furrowed. “Do you smell that?” “What?” As soon as he’d asked, the hot, smoky scent assaulted his senses.
Fire.

The official Worldwide Release date for The Deep Well of Love and Murder is June 18, but you can find it here right now:

AMAZON

THE WILD ROSE PRESS

iTUNES

Giveaway:

Please take the time to enter my Rafflecopter Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card. 




About the Author:
Brenda and her husband are gypsies at heart having lived in six states and two countries. Currently, they split their time between the Lake Roosevelt basin in Central Arizona and the pines in the north. Wherever Brenda opens her laptop, she spends most of her time writing stories of discovery and love entangled with suspense.

Visit Brenda at www.brendawhiteside.com
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month: http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com
She blogs about life’s latest adventure and has fun guests on her personal blog: https://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/







Thursday, June 14, 2018

I Have A Literary Twin!


Giveaway Alert!

While imagining the protagonist of the Gilda Greco Mystery Series, I realized she could be my literary twin. I like to tell people that Gilda is 70 percent of me. As to how I came up with that particular number, let’s just say my well-honed left brain did all the work while vivid images and plot twists floated through my right brain.

Here are ten similarities:

1. Born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario, Gilda and I lived in the Italian section of town.

2. We love to read and could spend hours curled up with our favorite books. We have a special fondness for cozy mysteries.

3. In school, we were high-achieving, happy nerds who majored in mathematics and then decided to pursue teaching careers.

4. In spite of our mathematical knowledge of probability, we buy lottery tickets. Gilda hit the jackpot and won $19 million in Lotto 649. As for me, I’m still buying tickets and hoping! BTW...the probability of winning Lotto 649 is 1 in 13,983,816.

5. We spent the early years of our teaching careers in Sudbury and later relocated to Guelph in Southern Ontario.

6. We practice Hatha Yoga and enjoy attending holistic fairs.

7. We completed the Career Development Practitioner program at Conestoga College. I had hoped to pursue a second career as a career counselor but personal and health circumstances intervened. Instead, I am living vicariously through Gilda who has set up her own ReCareering office in Sudbury.
8. We love our zebra colors. Black pantsuits are staples in our wardrobes.
9. We are non-foodies. That’s right, we don’t like to cook or bake. But we have an appreciation for all foodies who possess that special gift.

10. During our teaching years, we took on the role of yearbook moderator. That came in handy when Gilda had to solve the murder of Sarah McHenry in A Different Kind of Reunion. A yearbook clue helped identify the murderer.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF REUNION

While not usually a big deal, one overlooked email would haunt teacher Gilda Greco. Had she read it, former student Sarah McHenry might still be alive.

Suspecting foul play, Constable Leo Mulligan plays on Gilda’s guilt and persuades her to participate in a séance facilitated by one of Canada’s best-known psychics. Six former students also agree to participate. At first cooperative and willing, their camaraderie is short-lived as old grudges and rivalries emerge. The séance is a bust.

Determined to solve Sarah’s murder, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers shocking revelations that could put several lives—including her own—in danger. Can Gilda and the psychic solve this case before the killer strikes again?

Buy Links
Amazon (Canada):  https://is.gd/vR5Sxn
Amazon (United States): https://is.gd/lU0qw7
Barnes & Noble: https://is.gd/ckNfhx
The Wild Rose Press: https://is.gd/nQ2ZjT

Excerpt

Jim whistled. “You sure don’t like it easy. With all your millions, you’d think this crap could somehow miss landing on you. But you do seem to attract it.” He chuckled. “Might be something to address with a therapist or maybe the psychic you’ve just met.”

“I didn’t just meet Cassandra. I got to know her and her parents very well during those seven months I taught in Parry Sound. They’re good people.” I could tell by his tone that he was dismissive of Cassandra’s psychic powers. While I was also skeptical, I did feel the urge to defend her. She had been so sincere and so open. I couldn’t fathom the notion of Cassandra faking or putting on the airs of a psychic. It wasn’t in her nature to be deceitful.

“I’m sure they are,” Jim said. “But let’s face some facts here. Most psychics need to make a living. I don’t doubt this lady has some intuitive ability—as many women do—but I don’t think it’s enough to catch a murderer. The constable is grasping at straws. What did you say his name was?”

“Leo. Leo Mulligan.”

“Tall, dark-haired guy. Good-looking and a bit of a rascal.” 
“He’s evolved.” I immediately regretted my response. Knowing Jim, he would pounce and tease me.
“And you’re interested,” Jim said, chuckling. “What does your boyfriend think about this cozy reunion you’re having with a more evolved constable?”

Trailer

Giveaway:
Click on the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Bio
In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne Guidoccio


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The True Pretender


Congratulations to "Deborah H. and Patricia B.", the winners in Anne's giveaway. Please contact JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to claim your prize. Thank you to all who participated!

A member of the French émigré community in London, Epione is forced to hide her true identity, and instead works as a milliner’s assistant in a Bond Street shop.  Cautiously optimistic, she believes she’s managed to avoid public scrutiny—until she notices that a handsome man is watching her movements from across the way.
 As she is swept up in the plots and counter-plots surrounding the restoration of the French monarchy, Epione must call upon reserves of courage she wasn’t aware she possessed, and re-learn long-forgotten lessons about loyalty, and love. 



Excerpt from Chapter One

 “You avoid me.” The words were French, and said in a mock-accusatory tone.
With a startled gasp, she glanced up to see the watcher-from-across-the-street, only now falling into step beside her, as though they were old acquaintances. He was tall, with brown hair, and a dark stubble of beard which made a stark contract with the white, charming smile he bestowed upon her, his eyes alight with humor.   Rather than make a denial, she stammered, “I—I don’t know why you watch me; it makes me uneasy.” She glanced around to see if there was anyone near enough to offer aid.
With an easy manner, he tilted his head in acknowledgment. “Have no fear—I am not the murderer.”
Fairly, she pointed out, “I imagine that is precisely what the murderer would say—and I would rather speak English.”
This surprised him, and he turned his face to hers. “Why is this?”
“My English is better,” she lied.  He was indeed handsome—dark and handsome; it quite took one’s breath away.
After giving her a skeptical look, he continued in English, “It would be best if you do not return home, just yet.”
Startled, she paused, but he made a gesture with his hand. “Keep walking, s’il vous plait.  He slid her a mock-defiant glance, at his use of the French phrase.
She complied, mainly because he was a force unto himself, and she was having trouble putting two thoughts together. “I—I don’t understand; who are you? Am I in danger?” 
For whatever reason, he had to think about his answer for a moment.  “I think there has been a misunderstanding, and that yes, you may be in danger.  Do you have a pistol?”
This seemed alarming, and she glanced up at him again. “No—should I?”
He indicated her pelisse. “What is it you hold in your pocket?”
“Oh—trimming shears.”  She could feel her color rise.
Eh bien.”  He gave her a nod of careless approval. “But a pistol would be more to the point. Shall I give you one of mine?”
Aware that she should—perhaps—be screaming for help, instead she could not suppress a smile as she shook her head in exasperation. “Who are you? Please—I have half a mind to call the Watch.”  It would be a shame, though—handsome and charming didn’t come her way very often, working in a milliner’s shop. 
He ducked his chin in regret. “I would rather not say—not yet; but you should not call the Watch.  The British authorities are searching your rooms, as we speak.” 
She stopped dead in her tracks and stared at him. “What?”
He stood before her, his brown eyes searching hers thoughtfully. “I think there has been a misunderstanding, only; but I would not go home, if I were you—not as yet.”
With a knit brow, she regarded him for a long moment. “And why would I need a pistol, if it is the British authorities?”
With a sigh, put his hands on his hips, and contemplated his boots—apparently he had little patience with formalities. She noted that he had a sword at his side—unusual, because he did not appear to be a military man.  The sword had a foreign-looking, hooked hilt, but she only glanced at it for a moment before he raised his gaze to hers.  “If I tell you too much, then I may bring more trouble to your doorstep—assuming it is all a misunderstanding.”
She thought about this, and found that she very much wanted to continue this strange and alarming conversation, despite everything. “Can you give me a hint, do you think?”
“Josiah.” His gaze was suddenly sharp upon her face.
Epione shook her head, disclaiming. “I do not understand.”
He nodded, rather gravely. “Yes—it is probably why you are still alive.”

Giveaway:
Anne will be giving away 2 paperback copies of THE TRUE PRETENDER to two people leaving a comment or email entry. Remember to stop back here to check if you are a winner!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST June 14th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@justromanticsuspense.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

FEAR FACTOR


Congratulations to "Willa, Katia, and Bn100", the winners in Toni's giveaway. Please contact JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to claim your prize. Thank you to all who participated!


I managed to scare the crap out of myself while researching my latest Romantic Suspense, COLD BLOODED. It wasn’t a serial killer or some deranged individual this time. This time my villain is so small you can fit a hundred of them across the width of a human hair.

A microbe.
Deadly.
Invisible.
Unstoppable.

My fictional bad guy has bioengineered a weaponized, vaccine-resistant version of Anthrax. As a former scientist, I enjoyed reading about how the disease spreads and effects the human body (I know, I’m weird). What I didn’t enjoy was discovering about how advancements in gene-splicing has enabled researchers to craft more lethal versions of the deadliest biological agents known to man. I didn’t enjoy reading about the biological weapons programs or experiencing the very real fear that somewhere, secret tests are still being carried out.

The good news is that as techniques improve, the methods for fighting disease (natural and engineered) are also improving. The research did give me a whole new appreciation for the importance of funding science.

With that in mind it was with great joy I visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year with two writer friends (Julie Moffett and Sandy Parks). The wonderful Jennifer McQuiston showed us around the museum there and it was fascinating. If you want to find out how my hero and heroine fair, read COLD BLOODED!! 

COLD BLOODED

Searching for the truth… 

Disgraced investigative journalist Pip West is devastated when she discovers her best friend’s body face-down in a tranquil lake. When cops and federal agents determine that her friend overdosed then drowned, Pip knows they’re mistaken and intends to prove it. 
Special Agent Hunt Kincaid doesn’t trust journalists and has no patience for Pip’s delusions, especially since her meddling could reveal why the FBI is interested in her friend’s last days. The dead scientist worked at the cutting edge of vaccine research and might have a connection to a new, weaponized, vaccine-resistant anthrax strain that just hit the black market.

…just turned deadly.

Pip is thrown off her game by grief and her unexpected attraction to the handsome federal agent. Hunt battles the same unwelcome pull, determined to resist the heat that threatens to consume them both. But the more Pip digs, the closer she gets to both the sexy FBI agent, and to a bioweapons terrorist who’s more than capable of cold-bloodedly sacrificing anyone who gets in his way.

Buy Links:

Coming soon in Audiobook!

Giveaway: 

I’m giving away three digital copies of the novella A COLD DARK PROMISE to commenters (the book foreshadows COLD BLOODED). Tell me: What scares you?

Find Toni online:

Author Biography

Toni Anderson is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, RITA® nominee, science nerd, professional tourist, dog lover, gardener, mom. Originally from a small town in England, Toni studied Marine Biology at University of Liverpool (B.Sc.) and University of St. Andrews (Ph.D.) with the intention she’d never be far from the ocean. Well, that plan backfired and she ended up in the Canadian prairies with her biology professor husband, two kids, a rescue dog, and two laid-back leopard geckos. Toni started writing while pregnant with her first child and never stopped. Her greatest achievements are mastering the Tokyo subway, climbing Ben Lomond, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, and surviving fourteen Winnipeg winters (fingers crossed). She loves to travel for research purposes and was lucky enough to visit the Strategic Information and Operations Center inside FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in 2016, and she also got to shove another car off the road during pursuit training at the Writer’s Police Academy in Wisconsin. Watch out world!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST June 12th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@justromanticsuspense.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

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