Wednesday, November 20, 2013

An Inner Fire

By: Jacki Delecki

Congratulations to "Cris", the winner in Jacki's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

               Why an animal acupuncturist instead of an ass-kicking heroine? I’ve asked myself that question many times as I wrote my novel An Inner Fire. How did healing animals prepare Grayce Walters with the skills to solve crimes and protect a macho, hunky fire investigator?
            Maybe I’ve been watching too many super heroine movie but I wanted to show my heroine’s strength coming from her inner force. There are many different kinds of power and I wanted to emphasize the feminine side. The part of the human brain labelled as feminine because it relies on intuition. 
          Grayce uses her intuitive ability to heal animals. Is there any more beautiful or potent force? I wanted to celebrate the illusive power in people who listen and heal when we or our pets are ill. Not so easy to write a strength that we can recognize but when written can easily become clich├ęd. 
          I always planned to write the book as romantic suspense since I love suspense and a crime to be solved. But how to link Grayce to a crime and then how to have her actively involved in solving the mystery? The answer is obvious--through a dog, a very special dog. Mitzi, is a standard French poodle who just happens to belong to the logical fire investigator. 
          Grayce and Mitzi bond with a common goal: protect Davis who is oblivious to the danger and can’t imagine protection from a 90 pound woman and 100 pound dog. 
          Here is part of the first scene of the book where Grayce leaves her calm world of animal healing and enters the murky world of arson and crime on Seattle’s Fisherman’s Terminal.
          
                                                       Chapter One Excerpt

          Grayce Walters’ left hand twitched. Her universe spun on an altered axis. Her instincts swirled. Her intuition flared.

Earlier today, a cranky feline had gouged her, a sneaky dog had nipped her, and now, late for dinner with friends, the parking gods were messing with her. Something was coming. Something strange.

Her headlights probed the mist, dissolving in the murk of Puget Sound fog. Her intuition acted like an inner GPS, directing her to the far side of Seattle’s Fisherman’s Terminal. The beams shone on a yellow heap between stacks of crab traps. A dog lay on its side, barely visible in the shadow of a fishing shed. 

Stepping out of her car, she inhaled the musky smell of salt water. A horn blared from the Ballard Bridge. Grayce jumped at the sudden sound. She grabbed a flashlight and moved into the mist toward the large canine. 

She knelt on the damp cement next to the Golden Retriever. Relieved to observe the dog’s shallow respirations, she released a slow breath Baxter was written in bold script on the dog’s red leather collar. 

She gently ran her hand along Baxter’s inert body. Her cold fingers probed the crown of his head, locating an egg-sized lump on the back of his skull. 

“Your head hurting, Baxter?”

The large retriever wagged his tail ever so slightly and then stilled.

 Grayce scanned the cluster of corrugated fishing sheds. A deep foreboding flooded her senses. “Baxter, I need to get us away from here.” 

She searched the waterfront, looking for the perpetrator of Baxter’s injury. The overhead lights on the docks cast an eerie halo on the boats bobbing in the black water. 

Screeching hinges broke the silence. The sound raked her skin like dogs’ nails skittering across the metal exam tables in vet school. Her nervous system ratcheted into high alert. 
               
                                 

Grayce Walters, animal acupuncturist, harbors a secret. She hides her intuitive gifts from the world until she becomes embroiled in arson on Seattle’s waterfront.

As a key crime witness, Grayce must convince the attractive, logical, by-the-numbers fire investigator, Ewan Davis that the fire she witnessed is part of a larger criminal conspiracy. Grayce embarks upon a mission to gather proof of the dangerous threat. She enlists the help of her cross-dressing best friend, her street-wise assistant, and Davis’ poodle, to conduct her own investigation.

As her feelings for Davis shift between white hot passion and cold fear, Grayce must risk exposing her secrets to save Davis’ life. Davis must accept things, he can neither see, nor understand to solve the mystery and finally find the love he has stopped believing in. 

With nudges from the protective poodle, Grayce and Davis confront shocking betrayal and international crime on the rain soaked streets of Seattle. 

Buy Links:

Author Bio:
Descended from a long line of storytellers, Jacki spins adventures filled with mystery, healing and romance. Jacki’s love affair with the arts began at a young age and inspired her to train as a jazz singer and dancer. She has performed many acting roles with Seattle Opera Company and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Jacki has set An Inner Fire in Seattle, her long-time home. The city’s unique and colorful locations are a backdrop for her romantic mystery. 

Although writing now fills much of her day, she continues to volunteer for Seattle’s Ballet and Opera Companies and leads children’s tours of Pike Street Market. Her volunteer work with Seattle’s homeless shelters influenced one of her main characters in An Inner Fire. 
Jacki’s two Golden Labs, Gus and Talley, are her constant companions. Their years of devotion and intuition inspired her to write dogs as main characters alongside her strong heroines.
A geek at heart, Jacki loves superhero movies-- a hero’s battle against insurmountable odds. But her heroines don’t have to wear a unitard to fight injustice and battle for the underdog.

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

Giveaway:
I will be giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon and ebook of An Inner Fire in the next two days.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Nov. 21st. 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.

29 comments:

  1. Love the excerpt - have it on my wish list.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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    1. So glad you've put An Inner Fire on you wish list. Santa is coming!

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  2. Hi Jacki,
    It sounds like you have combined elements in your book that are dear to your heart.
    It must have been fun to write!
    Please enter me in your generous draw.
    Jan

    janet_kerr@msn.com

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    1. Hi Janet,
      It makes me happy to hear that An Inner Fire speaks to you. Thanks for the comments.
      Jacki

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  3. This sounds like an interesting book! Thanks for the giveaway.

    jaclynlavigne@yahoo.com

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    1. I hope you'll find it interesting. And you're welcome!

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  4. Can't say I've ever come across a book--RS or otherwise-- featuring an animal acupuncturist! Sounds like great craic, and a legend break from all the assignments & problem sets i've been reading and marking lately! :)

    stalkers00(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Chris for the comments. And you're correct about an animal acupuncturist not being in the usual range of heroines. I've encountered some resistance along the way. LOL

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  5. Definitely sounds different! But in a good way! Cant wait to read it!
    kdjohnston73@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Karen,
      Glad that the "different" interests you! Thanks for coming over.

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  6. Yay! A truly unique premise!! Thanks for the post and I'm off to check out your book. I love the idea of intuitive gifts with a focus on animals.

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  7. Thanks, Jonetta for checking out my book An Inner Fire. Hope you'll enjoy.

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  8. Oh that cover just draws me in! ;) I wish the firemen that I grew up around had looked like that, lol. I really like what you have shared about your book... definitely something I would enjoy reading. Thanks for sharing Jacki!

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  9. Hi Colleen. So glad you like the cover. Let's just say it was a project...to include Mitzi, the poodle, the fire fighter and Seattle skyline. Kim Killion is the cover designer and did an amazing job both in her design and incorporating my 2 cents. LOL Thanks for commenting.

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  10. I have never heard of an animal acupuncturist and didn't know they existed. Thanks for the excerpt. An Inner Fire sounds like it will be really good so I have added it to my TBR shelf. I am so surprised that Davis' dog is a poodle. Men usually want big, tough dogs.

    joanneboykoATyahooDOTca

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  11. Hi Jo-Anne, Glad you put An Inner Fire on your TBR shelf. Thank you. Yes, Davis' dog as a poodle is a little character twist.

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  12. Wow, this sounds like an interesting and different kind of romantic suspense story. I will definitely be looking for it!

    shelleybp(at)live(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Shelley for coming over. An Inner Fire is definitely is "different." I'm hoping different means unexpected and interesting for suspense readers.

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  13. An intuitive animal acupuncturist... original and interesting. Plus, you have to love a book that includes animals and a hunky man!
    Julie O
    jo1963jo at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi Julie, I do love any book that has a hunky man and a French poodle. LOL

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  14. Congrats to Jacki on the new release!!! I love the idea of an animal acupuncturist! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hello Erin,
      The idea of an animal acupuncturist was not widely accepted when I first pitched this book to NYC publishing. I was told that my heroine would have to be a veterinarian (which Grayce is) but it would've destroyed the whole premise of the book. I hope you'll enjoy Grayce's acupuncture sessions with her
      patients! Thanks for commenting.

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  15. You can never discount intuition. Fabulous storyline.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Hi Mary,
      You are a woman of my heart. Thank you. I hope you'll enjoy reading An Inner Fire and my take on how intuition may work in solving a crime.

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  16. There are heroes everywhere, you never know. I love Firefighter stories...lsscarchuk@att.net. I would love to win, thanks

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  17. Hi LS,
    I agree that there are heroes everywhere but seems as readers and writers we like them to be of a definite "body type"!!! LOL
    Thanks for stopping by Just Romantic Suspense.

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  18. This one sounds awesome! I love having animals in the books I read. I have never heard of an animal acupunturist, so I will be learning something new!! I look forward to reading this one. Thanks for the chance to win.

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

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    1. Hi Martha,
      Thank you for the nice words! I really hope that you will enjoy reading the book! I know animal acupuncturist sounds strange, but I do like different type of characters. Add on a poodle and a hunky fireman and it is a real recipe for suspense and romance.

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  19. I would like to thank you all. It was great to read your comments and have little discussion on "An Inner Fire". Please have a look at my Facebook, I have another excerpt for free there! Also, I will keep you interested there with games and giveaways.I hope that you will read the book, it is worth it. Please keep the discussion with me on Twitter and Facebook. And the winner is.... Chris! Congratulations!

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