Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Murder in Hindsight


There’s an unusual killer combing London’s streets—a vigilante is at work, killing suspects from prior cases who were never convicted; those who’d gotten away with murder, in hindsight.  

It’s a puzzler, though; this vigilante is staying to the shadows, and covering his tracks so that Detective Sergeant Kathleen Doyle is left to guess at his motivation.  Is the killer guilty about his own role in helping murderers get off, or is it someone who’s just had-it-up-to-here with the imperfect justice system? 

Meanwhile, the crises keep piling up; Chief Inspector Acton, her husband, is up to something having to do with brassy female reporters and the heir to his estate, and when Acton is up to something, murder and mayhem are the certain result.  Not to mention she’s needed to quash a messy little blackmail plot, and do battle with the dowager Lady Acton.  All in all, it will make for a busy few weeks; now, if only the ghosts that haunt the manor house would leave her alone. . .   


After peering over the hedgerow yet again, Doyle blew into her hands, since she’d forgotten her gloves, and reflected that the cold was actually a blessing, because the recently departed wouldn’t be further decomposing whilst they cooled their heels—she truly shouldn’t delay for much longer, or the Senior Investigating Officer might think they’d all gone for a pub crawl. 

“Here he comes, ma’am.” 

With a great deal of relief, Doyle looked up to see that Acton was indeed approaching; his tall, over-coated figure emerging from the evening fog.  In such a setting he appeared larger-than-life, and small wonder that the younger detectives at the Met called him “Holmes” behind his back.  He was a local legend, which only made her fret all the more whilst she entertained the bleak conviction that the whole thing was about to come crashing down around their heads.

“DS Doyle.” He nodded to her.  “Have you an ID?”

“I do indeed, sir.”  They kept up a professional façade at work, but she met his eyes and felt the chemistry crackling between them like an electrical charge.  No one could fathom why the great Chief Inspector Acton had married the lowly likes of her, and literally on a moment’s notice. She could fathom it, however, and did—sometimes twice a day.  

She continued, “No sign of robbery, and he was armed—had a .38 revolver tucked into the back of his belt.”   Lowering her voice, she indicated with a finger, “The entry wound is angled, and there’s no visible residue, so it’s at mid-close range—no more than a foot or so.”

He began to pull off his leather gloves by the fingers. “Allow me to lend you my gloves.”

“You mustn’t,” she warned. “I’ll never learn, else.”

“Your fingers are white.”

“Are you listenin’ to me?”

“Yes.” He glanced up at her. “He used a different weapon, this time.”

“I think so,” she agreed, mollified that he was paying attention. “He’s trying to disguise it, but it’s the same killer. And the victim has another cold case connection.”

Anne Cleeland is a lifelong Southern California resident, and currently makes her home in Newport Beach. An attorney by trade, she's been reading mystery and romantic suspense since her Nancy Drew days.  The Acton & Doyle series features two Scotland Yard detectives, and if you are a fan of Masterpiece Mystery, you may enjoy their adventures.  
Anne also writes a historical series set in 1814 because she loves historicals, too. Being a romantic at heart, all her stories have a strong romantic element.
She has four grown children, three wonderful grandchildren, and one nutty dog. 
www.annecleeland.com @annecleeland

Monday, March 30, 2015

Riveting HARLEQUIN ROMANCES guaranteed to surprise and excite!

Giveaway of 1 copy of each book!

By Delores Fossen

A Texas lawman risks his future to protect a woman from his past in USA Today bestselling author Delores Fossen’s latest Sweetwater Ranch book. (Harlequin; $5.50)

The woman fleeing a cold-blooded killer is no stranger to Deputy Colt McKinnon. Fourteen years ago, Elise Nichols was the love of his life. Now she’s back in Sweetwater Springs–to be the star witness in an upcoming murder trial that could tear the Texas lawman’s family apart.

With her explosive revelations certain to rock the town, Elise didn’t expect to be welcomed home with open arms. Certainly not by the cowboy with the badge who once meant everything to her. But after being run off the road and shot at, she has no choice but to trust him. Even more dangerous is the desire that’s reigniting, making Elise yearn for something she may not live to see. 

DELORES FOSSEN is a USA Today bestselling author with a family tree that includes Texas cowboys, Choctaw and Cherokee Indians, a Louisiana pirate, and a Scottish rebel who battled side by side with William Wallace. With ancestors like that, it's easy to understand why Delores, a Texan and former Air Force captain, feels as if she were genetically predisposed to writing romances. Along the way to fulfilling her DNA destiny, Delores married an Air Force top gun who just happens to be of Viking descent. With all those romantic bases covered, she doesn’t have to look too far for inspiration.

“Delores Fossen is just a delightful find! She’s witty, wonderful and wicked.” 
– The Belles and Beaux of Romance

“Fossen’s stories are known for non-stop, explosive action with nail-biting close calls and impressive booby traps, and her latest is right up there. Fans should appreciate the consistency in a genuinely solid series” 
RT Book Reviews

“There is just something about Delores Fossen’s writing style that I can’t resist.” – Riverina Romantics

By Delores Fossen 
Harlequin; March 1, 2015
$5.50 US; 217 pages
ISBN-13: 9780373698189

by Shirlee McCoy

After a prominent senator’s son is murdered, Captain Gavin McCord of the Capitol K-9 Unit wants answers. The senator was a mentor to Gavin, and Gavin will stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice in Protection Detail. (Harlequin $5.99) 

With his team of elite K-9 cops and his loyal dog, Glory, at his side, Gavin discovers that a child at Cassie Danvers’ nearby foster home may have witnessed the murder. 

He’s drawn to the determined and beautiful woman, but she doesn’t want him interviewing her traumatized charges. Yet trusting Gavin is the only way to stay one step ahead of the deadly gunman when Cassie becomes a target. 

SHIRLEE MCCOY knew early that she wanted to write inspirational fiction and began writing her first novel when she was a teenager. Still, it wasn't until her third son was born that she truly began pursuing her dream of being published. Three years later she sold her first book.
Now a busy mother of four, Shirlee is a homeschool mom by day and an inspirational author by night. She and her husband and children live in Maryland and share their home with a dog and a guinea pig.

“McCoy packs a lot of action into a short amount of time. The well-crafted characters show that struggles can often lead to a reward.” – RT Book Reviews

“Shirlee McCoy's writing style flows smoothly and this is a very easy story to get lost in.” –Fresh Fiction 

“McCoy’s writing is descriptive and contains a well-balanced blend of action and romance.” 
– RT Book Reviews

By Shirlee McCoy
Harlequin; March 1, 2015
$5.99 US; 215 pages
ISBN-13: 9780373446544

By Jennifer Morey

 Georgia has seen one wealthy Adair ruin her stepmother's life and swears she won't get involved with his son Carson, but she can’t resist his tempting good looks. Award-winning author Jennifer Morey pairs former special ops soldier Carson Adair with determined librarian Georgia Mason in THE MARINE’S TEMPTATION (Harlequin; $5.50). 
So what if he's a hot former special ops soldier who showers her with extravagant gifts? He is the sexiest man she's ever met and it's hard to hate him for searching for his long-lost stepbrother, or tracking down the traitor behind his botched mission. 
When Georgia is kidnapped by a disturbed ex-boyfriend and thrown in the line of fire, Carson protects her, igniting their scorching passion. But after all they’ve gone through together, will Georgia fit in with the elitist Adairs?

JENNIFER MOREY’S first stories were inspired by her childhood love of Man o' War, Secretariat and The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. Bubbles of dialogue above cartoon drawings of horses led to hand-written tales of adolescent love. Years later, and two months after graduating from Colorado State University with a B.S. in geology, her mother died suddenly and the course of her life changed. The writer in her resurfaced, and she pursued a serious career. As Associate Project Manager for the Spacecraft Systems Segment of a satellite imagery and information company, Jennifer works with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. When not writing, she can be found playing volleyball, hiking, flower gardening, socializing, or cuddling with her rescued golden retriever and feisty yellow lab. A finalist in more than twenty contests, Jennifer has received several awards for her writing, one of which led to the publication of her debut novel, The Secret Soldier. 

“Morey’s nonstop, action-packed plot and intriguing characters create a compelling story.” 
– RT Book Reviews

“There is gripping suspense in every Jennifer Morey story.” – Cataromance

“Thanks to strong storytelling and smooth pacing, readers will be hooked.” – RT Book Reviews

By Jennifer Morey 
Harlequin; March 3, 2015
$5.50 US; 288 pages
ISBN-13: 9780373279104

1 copy of each book will be given away to 3 lucky people leaving a comment or email entry. (US postal addresses only.)

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March  30th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Small Towns, Pets and Country Folk

Congratulations to "Mary P." the winner in Trish's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Having grown up in Zimbabwe, in Africa, I had no clue what a 'redneck' was until I moved to the US. At one time the word was an insult, but times have changed and rednecks are now proud of who they are. I have found them to be wonderful, hard-working, genuine people who would literally give you the shirt off their backs if you needed it, and who are not afraid to speak their minds. I knew I had to write about them. 

Romantic suspense is what comes naturally to me, probably because life in Zimbabwe was quite exciting—there was a time when I had to keep a loaded UZI with me in case of an attack by insurgents. Also, I think adventure and romance go hand-in-hand. I usually refer to the Redneck P.I. Series as romantic suspense with a touch of comedy, and I have become quite attached to the quirky characters who have wormed their way into the pages. 

My stories are set in small towns or out in the country, where the pace of life is a little slower—and different. You won’t find glitzy nightclubs, fashion clothes, or sparkly jewelry here. I’m also an ardent animal-lover and I’ve created some memorable four-legged characters, including Scratch, the Cairn Terrier who rides on the back of Twila's Harley, and Riley's palomino, Flight-of-Fancy in Capricorn Cravings.

Redneck P.I. Twila Taunton is the kind of woman who doesn’t take crap from anyone—[can I use that word here?] except, maybe Harland O’Connor, her very sexy long distance lover. She champions the underdog, and will go to any lengths to help him or her. In Backwoods Boogie, released by Uncial Press in November 2014, she is determined to rescue gentle Brit Pam Taylor from being convicted of a murder she clearly did not commit. This means Twila has to work with Jimmie-Ray—the man who stood her up on her wedding day. 

In the course of the investigation, Twila discovers an illegal puppy mill, where several dogs are living in filth and squalor without adequate food, shelter or veterinary attention. She and her quirky friends make a plan to rescue them, while she also helps a biker gang break up a dog fighting operation.

She has one little problem, though. She could be pregnant.

I will be giving away one eBook copy of Backwoods Boogie.

On a more serious note, Aquarius Addiction was released by Soul Mate Publishing in January 2015.  This is the second in my Zodiac Series, in which each heroine belongs to a different star sign, and exhibits the typical traits of her sign. 

Aquarius Arlette Xylander is feisty, eccentric, freedom-loving, flirtatious, rebellious and unpredictable. Her emotions rage between denial, anger and tears when her doctor tells her she is suffering from a rare terminal disease. 

When hunky Andre Rossouw asks her to help find his sister who has been missing for four years, Arlette makes two decisions. To beat the disease, and to have wild and passionate sex with him. Then she finds out he has a fiancée.

The book includes some paranormal, and (I always write about animals)—a black cat called 'Marbles'. 

You can find out more about me and get FREE short story downloads, plus the recipe for the dessert Andre’s mom makes in Aquarius Addiction at my websites
www.trishjackson.com and www.trishjax.com 

Follow Trish on Amazon Here:  http://www.amazon.com/Trish-Jackson/e/B004ZZG55K/ 

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March  29th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Love Scenes—Getting it Right

Congratulations to "Jennifer D." and "Rachel B." the winners in Cindy's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated.

Sex—many authors struggle with writing love scenes or as some dub them: sex scenes. The problem is that these types of scenes are oftentimes misunderstood by readers or sometimes misused by authors. How is that possible? Let me explain...

Most recently I received a three-star review for my newest release, To the Breaking Pointe, from a reader who posted, “A fun guilty pleasure. Liked the military and dance aspects. Wish there was a little more romance.”

Translation: I thought there would be more sex scenes. 

Sorry, I don’t roll that way (accidental pun? I think not).

Please don’t misunderstand; I’m not complaining about the review, I’m just trying to make a clear concise point here. That said there are two love/sex scenes within the storyline of To the Breaking Pointe. These two scenes are appropriate for the story—both scenes move the story forward. If I had included another love scene in the story it would have been pushing the envelope, or forced for no other reason than to include such a scene to please such readers—and this is where love scenes are oftentimes misused. 

Some of you may be thinking, okay, author, how does a love scene move the story forward? Let’s face it, most love scenes are in the story for enticement.

Not necessarily. In order to use the scene aptly so that it doesn’t seem out of place or added for overkill, the scene should:

1. Bring the couple closer together—solidify their relationship.

2. Something should be revealed, a secret, a confession, or perhaps
    information that has not yet been shared with the reader.

3. The new information listed in #2 can even come as a result of
    the lovemaking—perhaps one character feels compelled to share it.

In other words, you need to make the scene count—a scene that is thrown in just to have it there will feel out of place to an astute reader, and yes, they will be annoyed by it.

A well placed, well written love scene can be very powerful, but an ill placed love scene can turn the reader off, resulting in a poor review or lost readership. 

By the way, I don’t necessarily consider the three-star review in my example as a bad review, after all they stated that the story was “fun” and there were aspects of the story that they “liked.” The reality is that all reviews can’t be five-stars—but that’s for another blog post.

Still...I have to wonder, will my three-star reader pick up any of my books in the future? I certainly hope so. However, they will not find any excess love scenes.

I will be giving away one ebook copy of Into the Crossfire AND one ebook copy of To the Breaking Pointe--just leave a comment and your email address to enter the drawing!

Good Luck!

Author Bio:
For twenty-six years Cindy’s life whirled around a song and a dance: she was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of her adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. She often notes: Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things I have experienced with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and happenings at the racetrack (greatly exaggerated upon of course—I’ve never been murdered!). Viola! Cindy’s first book series, Unbridled, was born—there are four books to that series so far.

Cindy is a huge fan of romantic suspense series, and although she isn’t one to make New Year’s resolutions, on New Year’s Day 2013 she made a commitment to write one, Into the Crossfire is the first book for her new series, First Force.

People are always asking Cindy: do you miss dance? With a bitter sweet smile on her lips she tells them: Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books, and I love sharing them with you.For more information, book trailers, and excerpts for all of Cindy’s books please visit her website: www.cindymcwriter.com
Social Networks:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cindy.s.mcdonald.3

Twitter: @CindyMcDonald7

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March 27th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Top Five Romantic Suspense Heroes

Congratulations to "Joan V." the winner in Holly's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

5. Ex-Military / Black Ops – I love the ex-military types that have transitioned to the private sector and end up falling for the woman in a world of trouble. (Maya Banks – KGI series)

4. Biker Tough Guy – I like the idea of a guy without training completely alpha-male-ing his way through a dangerous situation. (Julie Ann Walker – Biker Series)

3. Spy – What’s not to like about sleek, sexy, and dangerous? Spy heroes appeal to me because they’re only supposed to think about themselves, and it’s a real adjustment for them to shift their focus.

2. Regular Guy – Give me any hero that is just man enough to rescue his woman even though he’s a regular good guy. (Pamela Clare – Extreme Exposure)

1. Undercover Agents – Obviously, as my first novel indicates, I adore undercover agent romantic suspense novels. The secrets and intrigue get me every time! I love it when the story reveals their true motives.

I sincerely hope you enjoy No Way Out and the world of Emma Hamilton and Coleman James.


Emma Hamilton lives by a set of rules. They're Robert's rules, and above all, he expects perfection. She's willing to do whatever it takes to get out from under the increasingly unstable and dangerous Robert Avery. 

Enter Coleman James, hot-shot, undercover agent that thinks he's too good for the likes of undercover work. That's the problem with being the best—even the most undesirable assignments require a golden touch. 

When Coleman is assigned as Emma's bodyguard, their obvious attraction to each other ignites. Is Emma willing to ruin her only shot at getting away from Robert? Is Coleman willing throw away his best chance at bringing Robert Avery to justice? 


Coleman didn’t wake up slowly like most people. He had a tendency to wake up with a start. With eyes wide-open. 

He could barely make out the soft curves of Emma’s body. She sat in a chair she’d pulled up next to the bed. Her knees tucked up against her body, and her feet perched on the edge of the bed. She was stark naked and giving him one incredible show.

“Tell me,” she said, holding the FBI badge in her hand. 

“Come here.” He needed her close to him. Those two words, tell me, were a loaded demand, and he needed her next to him.

“No.” She shook her head.

“Honey, if you’re going to be naked, then you’ll be naked in my bed. I can’t think straight when you’re looking like that. Come here,” he urged.

“I can’t think at all when I’m so close to you. I’ll stay right here.” She flashed the badge again. “Tell me.”

Coleman groaned. She was going to stay where she was. 


If she wanted to hold an interrogation, then he would let her. He turned on his side and propped his head up on an elbow. “What do you want to know?”

“Who are you?”

“Coleman James.”

“You know what I mean.”

God, she was beautiful when she was pissed. “Emma, I’m still Coleman.”

“All I know is that I just slept with a complete stranger.”

Jesus, Emma. Would you come over here?”

She stood and flung the badge onto the bed. Picking up the first piece of clothing she found—one of his undershirts—she pulled it over her head and walked over to the kitchen bar, unsteady on her feet.

 “Are you married?” she asked, cutting him off, looking around the room. “Where are my clothes?”

“No,” he said, leaving the bed.

“Do you have a girlfriend? Someone? Anyone?”

“Do you?” 

“That’s not a fair question and you know it.”

“Honey, you’re the one coming up with the questions.” He met her in the middle of the room, stalking her until her back met the kitchen bar.

Win a digital copy of my debut romantic suspense novel, No Way Out.
Enter to win by leaving a comment and tell me your favorite romantic suspense hero type. It doesn’t have to be one on my list!

Follow me on Twitter - @hollyporterhere

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March 25th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March  25th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.