Saturday, December 14, 2019

OPENLY HIDDEN


Giveaway of a $10 gift card!

She’s determined to uncover a missing student’s fate. He’s worried about sending his little sister off to college where coeds keep showing up dead. When they join forces, they discover a sinister crime Openly Hidden in plain sight.


OPENLYHIDDEN, a romance wrapped in a mystery, is set in the fictional town of Mountcrest, West Virginia, and on the campus of Mountcrest University. The idea for this book came to me a few years ago while I served on the Board of Trustees at my alma mater, West Virginia Wesleyan College. During that time I learned so much about student recruitment and retention, institutional finances, buildings, academics, athletics, campus security, and so much more. Little did I know at the time a seed was being planted which would grow into OPENLY HIDDEN. The description of the campus and the town of Mountcrest are based on Wesleyan and the town of Buckhannon.

But that’s where their similarities stop. The characters and plot are purely fictional—simply a creation of my active imagination.

OPENLY HIDDEN, published by Soul Mate Publishing, is the third romantic suspense novel in the Hidden Series, and features private investigator Vanessa, and Alex, an FBI special agent. All three books are set in central West Virginia, an area surrounded by beautiful mountains and rugged terrain—the perfect setting for a murder mystery.

At Mountcrest University, the only thing adding up is the body count.


When private investigator, Olivia Trammel, arrives at Mountcrest University, her simple two-day case turns into a bigger investigation. The shiny new buildings, smiling students, and top-notch surveillance system can’t cover up the fact that several female students have gone missing. Something dark and sinister is happening in plain sight.

Special Agent Alex Ritchie is fed up with the bureau and his difficult new boss. When a dead body is found and a fourth female student goes missing, he worries about his little sister, who is a freshman on campus. Focusing on the investigation, he promises himself he’ll keep his sister safe.

Olivia and Alex join forces to delve into the bizarre happenings, digging into a crime that spans from the pristine campus out into the mountainous community. Someone is either abducting these coeds, or coercing them into a life of crime. Alex and Olivia are determined to learn the truth. Throughout the investigation, their attraction grows stronger, though each keeps their emotions Openly Hidden until the sick plot comes unraveled.

Order Openly Hidden now at


Excerpt

This was Olivia Trammel’s last case.
            No more late night surveillance outside seedy motels, or tracking down dead-beat dads eighteen months behind on child support, or catching a stay-at-home mom at the casino, gambling away the PTA’s fundraising money. Insurance fraud, accident reconstruction, background checks, and everything in between could be left to someone else. She was getting out. Right after she got the goods on Mountcrest University.
            A few weeks ago, Olivia and her dad, licensed investigators at Trammel Investigations, had sat in the conference room with Preston Minker, partner at Martin, Minker, & Biddle Attorneys-at-Law, one of Brooklyn’s finest plaintiff firms, and his client Maria Sanchez. Mrs. Sanchez had retained the law firm, and they in turn had hired Trammel Investigations to get dirt on Mountcrest University. Maria Sanchez’s daughter, Amanda, had gone missing from the school three months prior, right at the end of the spring semester, and had yet to be found. Mrs. Sanchez was convinced the university had been negligent in keeping her daughter safe. A lawsuit was pending.
“I should’ve never let Amanda go to that God-forsaken school,” Mrs. Sanchez had said as she’d wept into a fistful of tissues. “Down there in the backwoods. It’s practically a third world country.”
            “We’re going to find out what happened to your daughter, Maria,” Olivia’s dad wheezed as he patted the distraught mother’s hand.
“My dear, sweet Amanda had a big heart. She wanted to join the Peace Corps when she graduated. Always wanted to help those less fortunate. That’s why she went to college in West Virginia,” Mrs. Sanchez had said.
“Did you ever visit your daughter at the university?” Mr. Minker had asked.
“No, but I wish I had. If I had known how unsafe that town was, I would’ve convinced Amanda to come home. I couldn’t afford to fly down there.” She dabbed at her eyes as a thought came to her. “Do they even have airports in West Virginia?”
“I’m sure they do.” This time her Dad had taken Mrs. Sanchez’s hand and held it in his own. She lived in their building, and Olivia had often seen her father speaking in hushed whispers with the attractive, single widow in the lobby. Olivia had always wondered if they’d had an intimate relationship, or if her dad had just been smitten with the dark-haired beauty.
“She got a good scholarship, but even with her grants and student loans, she had to work to cover living expenses. I wasn’t able to save up for college, raising her on my own.”
“You’re not alone in that, Maria.” Olivia read the apology in his eyes as her dad glanced over at her. “A lot of kids pay their own way.”
“The cost was so high she had to move off campus.”
“Where was she last seen?” Mr. Minker had asked.
“The state police told me she’d last been seen at the library. She’d been there studying for a final exam.”
“Who reported her missing?” The attorney had continued his questioning.
“No one.”

Meet the Author

Leigh Fleming creates unique characters facing life’s challenges, but who are always rewarded with their happy ending. Her latest release, Openly Hidden, is the third book in her romantic suspense Hidden series published by Soul Mate Publishing. Stay Hidden, the first in her Hidden series, won the Lone Star Writing Contest for romantic suspense in 2017. She’s also writes contemporary romance in her Whatever series, mostly set in her home state of West Virginia. Whatever It Takes is the latest book in the series.

A member of Romance Writers of America and the Washington Romance Writers chapter, Leigh lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia, with her husband, Patrick, and her deaf French bulldog, Napoleon, and is mom to adult children, Tom and Liza. When she’s not writing in her windowless office, she enjoys reading, travelling, scrapbooking, and spending time with friends.

Contact Leigh at leigh@leighfleming.com
Instagram @lhfauthor

Giveaway

Thanks so much for reading about OPENLY HIDDEN! Please check out the other two books in the series, STAY HIDDEN and KEPT HIDDEN. Please leave a comment below for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST December 15th. 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. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

STORMWATCH: A Multi-author Collaboration

With: Peggy Webb

Congratulations to "Denise H.", the winner in Peggy's giveaway. Please contact JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to claim your prize!

Today is pub day for FROZEN GROUND by Debra Webb, the first book in STORMWATCH, a chilling new six-book romantic suspense series written by six friends/bestselling authors. Deb is a master at her craft. She’s spun more than a hundred and fifty dark, gritty stories that have earned accolades from both readers and reviewers.

In FROZEN GROUND, a monster snowstorm is sweeping through Livingston, Montana, uncovering long-buried, murderous secrets that threaten to destroy everything Abbey Gray holds dear. The hallmarks that have made Debra beloved by fans are all on full display—great characters, fast pacing and riveting suspense wrapped in an explosive story.

Deb and Vicki Hinze, author of DEEP FREEZE, book 2 coming December 12, are the masterminds of this collaboration. Before any of us wrote a single word, they laid out the framework of the entire series in such detail nothing was left to chance. If you asked me the key component in a successful collaboration, I would say planning months in advance of the writing.

Last year Deb, Vic, Regan Black and I collaborated on BREAKDOWN, a thriller series that readers dubbed “an epic whodunit.” Because we were all writing about the same murder in the same town, the story-line had to flow from one book to the next.

This year we decided to add two amazing friends, Rita Herron and Cindy Gerard. Further, we decided to write stand-alone books that are unique to our specific styles and strengths. We wrote the books without cliffhangers while still maintaining continuity that will take readers on a satisfying journey throughout the series. The unifying element in STORMWATCH is a deadly blizzard of historic proportions sweeping through the Northwest, bringing murder, kidnapping and espionage along with paralyzing temperatures and record-breaking snowfall. 

The STORMWATCH stories move at the same fast clip as the storm-- two days in each town. Each of us created a chilling tale that will give readers the feel of being in the midst of a frozen landscape that is both beautiful and terrifying.

In book 2, DEEP FREEZE, Vicki takes you to an airport in Portal, Colorado, where holiday travelers are stranded along with an evil so horrifying it could unleash a pandemic that would wipe out the nation. Vicki not only wrote an amazing and complex story that will scare you to death, but she also formatted all six books and created the STORMWATH covers, promo ads and video. I wish I could do all that. Her talents are mind-boggling! I think she might be a genius.

Next up is Rita Herron’s WINDCHILL. The Twelve Days of Christmas killer is on the loose and FBI Special Agent Gia Franklin must catch him before he destroys everything she loves, including the picture-perfect town of Tinley, Nebraska. In Rita’s talented hands, the bodies pile up, the hunt for a killer is riveting, and the old fashioned town comes alive in such detail you want to step inside the shops and take a sip of Christmas punch.

BLACK ICE by Regan Black pits former sweethearts against the brutal storm in Deadwood, South Dakota and the ruthless killers who will stop at nothing to obtain the famous Mae West diamond. Regan does her usual amazing job of bringing you a story that is both tender and terrifying. She’s smart, savvy and fun to work with.


All the STORMWATCH writers are. This collaboration was a joy, and I feel so lucky to be part of it.

My book, SNOW BRIDES, takes the reader to Grand Marsais, Minnesota, where a mother’s worst nightmare is about to come true. On the way home for the holidays, her daughter Kate vanishes. Further, she’s in the vast Superior wildness where a killer is on the loose and a blizzard is set to hit in seven hours. Kate’s only hope is her own courage and a Search and Rescue dog named for my own beloved canine companion, Jefferson. I brought my grand old boy, a chocolate Labrador retriever, back to life and spread his big heart and unsinkable spirit all over the page. I still cry every time I read the ending of SNOW BRIDES. Get your tissues ready!

The inimitable Cindy Gerard anchors STORMWATCH with a fast-paced, espionage novel set in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It features two of the sassiest would-be lovers in the series. Cindy’s book shows just why she’s a NYTimes bestselling author. The fast pace and sparkling dialogue of  SNOW BLIND make it a terrific ending for this series.

Giveaway:
A huge thanks to readers for stopping by and to Maureen A. Miller for hosting my guest post. Do leave a comment and tell us what you think of STORMWATCH and what you’d like to see next. One lucky winner will receive a $10.00 gift card from Amazon.

We are so excited to bring this series to you. Book 1 is available today. A new book will be available every Thursday from now through January 9, 2020. You can order all the books at this link:


USA Today bestselling author Peggy Webb is a former instructor of writing at Mississippi Sate University. With nearly 100 novels in multiple genres to her credit, she’s the most prolific author her state has ever produced.  Her literary fiction under the pen name Elaine Hussey garnered accolades and comparison to Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird). Peggy enjoys gardening, playing her vintage baby grand, singing in her church choir and sitting on her front porch with friends.  Learn more at www.peggywebb.com and follow her on Facebook,


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST December 6th. 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, December 2, 2019

Researching Characters - Mission Impossible to Forget


Congratulations to "Natalija", the winner in Jacki's giveaway. Please contact JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to claim your prize!

Music is an important element in Mission: Impossible to Forget (releasing February 2020). Emily Hewitt is a professional cellist and her life revolves around music. Nick Jenkins is a former Special-Ops Marine who’s struggling with hearing loss, which has devastated his life.

I wanted to better understand Emily’s passion, so I’ve been researching and listening to professional cellists, primarily Jacqueline du Pré. She was an amazing talent. You can enjoy one of her performances on YouTube by CLICKING HERE.

Part of what I’ve learned about professional musicians is how singularly focused they are on their art. As an author, this provides strong conflict between my characters. How does Emily deal with the distraction of her feelings for Nick? How does a strong, alpha male like Nick deal with an independent woman who may–or may not–want his intrusion into her life?

I’m still not sure how they will find their way to happy-ever-after, but that’s part of the fun in writing romance!

Giveaway

Win a digital copy of Mission: Impossible to Resist! Since it’s the start of the holiday season, comment with one thing you’re looking forward to this month.

Coming Soon from Jacki Delecki ~ Mission: Impossible to Forget


Professional cellist Emily Hewitt loves nothing more than creating music. Sharing her musical gift with the world is all she lives for. Until her life is threatened. Caught up in a treacherous conspiracy, Emily becomes the pawn in an international play for power and must be assigned a bodyguard.

Former Special-Ops Marine Nick Jenkins, is out of a job and out of patience. Discharged from the Corp because of hearing loss, the last thing he wants to do is babysit someone who’s surrounded by the haunting sounds of music he can no longer appreciate.
When danger turns deadly, will Nick be able to save Emily?
Apple Books:  https://apple.co/2ODfD0L
Google Play:  http://bit.ly/34EuJsv

Read the rest of the Impossible Mission series

Heart-racing, pulse-pounding military romantic suspense from Jacki Delecki! Learn more on Jacki’s website.


About Jacki Delecki

Jacki Delecki is a USA Today bestselling romantic suspense writer. Delecki’s Grayce Walters Series, which chronicles the adventures of a Seattle animal acupuncturist, was an editor’s selection by USA Today. Delecki’s Romantic Regency The Code Breaker Series hit number one on Amazon. For more information, visit http://www.JackiDelecki.com.

To learn more about Jacki and her books and to be the first to hear about giveaways join her newsletter found on her website. Follow her on FB at Jacki Delecki; Twitter @jackidelecki.

Newsletter:  http://bit.ly/2D7yoFt


Saturday, November 30, 2019

Are you a Nature Lover?


Giveaway Alert!

I grew up in a city and never had much contact to the natural world (unless you count in our cat or the occasional trip to the city forest), so when we moved to Finland I got really excited when I spotted a wild beaver or weasel for the first time. (I’m still waiting for a moose, though.)

And when I learned about the Saimaa seal, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The Saimaa seal is a freshwater seal that lives exclusively in this one lake in Eastern Finland. Isn’t that amazing? (Lake Saimaa is huge, but still.) And there are only 380 or so of them left. Long story short, they ended up playing a vital role in one of my books, White Nights, which I’ve recently completely revised. 

To celebrate the release of the second edition, I’m giving away 20 e-book (mobi/e-pup) copies!

WHITE NIGHTS

Can you trust your instincts, when they have betrayed you in the past?

Nature lover Litza York is thrilled when she gets the opportunity to finish her PhD in Eastern Finland, researching the rare Saimaa seal. The landscape’s magical beauty and the residents’ friendly hospitality lure her to believe she’s come to the right place to forget about her troubled past. 

But the idyll is soon disrupted when someone starts poisoning the object of her study, bringing the Saimaa seal to the verge of extinction. 

Together with handsome park ranger Niilo Vuorokoski, she does all she can to protect her favorite animal, and ends up bringing herself in mortal danger…

Romantic suspense meets cozy crime in Finland’s lonely countryside. 

*** The Northern Nights Series are a series of romantic suspense standalones with no cheating, no cliffhangers and a guaranteed HEA***

BIO
Jenna van Berke loves Gillian Flynn, Nora Roberts, Kylie Scott and everything in between.
Working in the hotel industry, Jenna has encountered innumerable honeymooners, cheating husbands and infatuated co-workers, providing her with ample inspiration for her contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels.
She moved to Finland several years ago with her family.

Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/dHZSYz

EXCERPT:
...After a few minutes they reached a small sandbank. As she watched her guide nimbly jump out of the canoe and tie it to a tree, she realized she’d already forgotten his name.
Hesitantly, she followed him into the forest. There was no sign of human life. She had expected to go to a cafésomewhere. “Um… is this island inhabited?”
“Not by humans,” he said without turning around.
She noticed theknifehe was carrying in a narrow side pocket of his backpack. What was he up to? 
You’realone with a total stranger somewhere on a deserted island in Finland.Nobody knowsyou’rehere, said the warning voice in her head that had accompanied her ever sincethat dreadful day.
Discreetly, she checked her phone. Crap! She’d forgotten to charge it. And whom could she have called, anyway? She didn’t know the Finnish emergency number. 
The forest opened up to a huge area of exposedbedrock,which was characteristic to the Finnish landscape. Here and there the immenserock was covered with a layer of moss and in some places birchsaplingshad managed to settle. It was a pretty steep climb, butfollowing in hispath made the ascenteasy.
Once again she glanced at the big hunting knife. Absentmindedly, she rubbed her left elbow. Her gut feeling told her he was a good guy, but then her gut feeling had betrayed her before. You’re being paranoid, she told herself. The professorsurely wouldn’t send some psycho to meet her. But how did she know Kaija had indeed sent him? Maybe he had just made the whole thing up. If she ran back to the canoe now, she might be able to get away…
“Um, where are we going?”
He climbed another two steep steps and held out his hand, “We’re already there.”
With mixed feelings she accepted his hand.
***
Or enter to win!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Tropes


So, there's always a lot of talk in the author world and in the reader world about tropes. Which ones we love, which ones we hate. And everybody is on all ends of the spectrum. But here's the thing, a trope is that because people fell in love with it. And it's only bad when written poorly. All my books are the tropes I'm trash for. I just try to bury the trope down as deep as a I can. 

Shattered is the bodyguard trope mixed with second chances. I adore both. And after reading a wonderful book by Dean Koontz called The Good Guy, I had an itch to pen a romantic suspense. The urge doubled when I found the image currently the book's cover. My mind was off and running. 

But I did some research. I asked around. I knew there had to be elements within the genre readers cringe at. In all my books, I strive to write masculine men who fiercely adore their women. True alphas without the "eau de douche." You know? 

It became my goal to make sure Mara never did anything dumb in the name of bravery where Shay would have to swoop in and save her. And Shay is the silent type. He's my first really quiet guy. Shay acts. Not talks. But he's got that undercurrent of danger I just love. 

I can't give too much away about the book. You might have to give this novella a chance. And I hope you do. 

SHATTERED

They said it was nothing--that she was being paranoid. 

When it was just the coffee shop, she believed them. But when the man in the long brown coat starts appearing everywhere Mara Engle goes, nothing anyone says can take away the fear pricking at her. 

The night he appears on her balcony, she doesn't stop to ask herself why she's suddenly calling the man she left ten years ago. In that moment, the sound of Shay's voice is her only comfort. 

The chase is on. Every time there's a moment to breathe, that brown coat looms closer. Why her? How does he know Shay's name? 

A villain with violence in his eyes. A woman caught by fear. And the man who won't lose the love he once called his own. 

Ready? Set. Run. 



Bree M. Lewandowski takes her readers for a ride in this romantic suspense novella!

Sign up to receive our newsletter