Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Second Chance at Love—and a Holiday Gift



Years ago a friend named Victoria and I were carpooling to work, when suddenly tears welled up in her eyes. She told me something that I’ve never forgotten. It seems that particular day was an anniversary, of sorts. Twenty years earlier, while living in Boca Raton, Florida, she’d fallen in love with a boy her mother deemed unsuitable, because he was Native American. When Victoria refused to end the relationship, her parents spirited her away. Employing trickery, they relocated their daughter to a suburb of Chicago. The boyfriend’s letters to Victoria were confiscated, as were Victoria’s letters to him. 

Although decades had passed, and Victoria was happily married, she still wondered what might have been.

Her story lodged in my mind the way a pebble gets in your shoe. It seemed to me that as an author I could give Victoria and her first love another chance. A romantic “do over.” And so I created Cara Mia Delgatto, the “star” of Tear Down and Die, the first book in a new series. 


As a special holiday gift to you, I’m offering Tear Down and Die for 99 cents on three days only: Saturday (Dec. 14); Sunday (Dec. 16); and Monday (Dec. 17).

Buy link:
Buy link:

Tear Down and Die

After her parents die within six months of each other and her son goes off to college, savvy entrepreneur Cara Mia Delgatto decides to construct a new life for herself. A road trip leads to her grandfather's home on the picturesque Treasure Coast of Florida, where she impulsively snaps up a "tear down," a building scheduled for the wrecking ball—only to discover it's already occupied by a fresh corpse. While Detective Lou Murray tries to nail the killer to the wall, Cara Mia enlists the help of two new friends to open a store specializing in one-of-a-kind, recycled, and repurposed items. But before she can get down to brass tacks, Cara Mia decides to help Lou figure out "whodunit," because she's been painted into the picture as one of the prime suspects. To make matters more complicated, tensions are building with Cooper Rivers, an old boyfriend. Cara Mia wonders whether her second chance at love will pan out—or if her carefully constructed fantasies will lead her to a new life behind bars. 

Includes Crafts—Skye Blue's Sparkling Votives; and Recipes—MJ Austin's Pineapple Casserole; Skye Blue's Broccoli Soup; and Cara Mia Delgatto's Clams in Garlic Wine Broth. 


Just like Cinderella, Cara Mia is on her hands and knees scrubbing a floor when Cooper Rivers walks up behind her. She hears his voice and knows immediately who it is. At first she refuses to acknowledge his presence:

"Go away," I said. 

But over the sound of my beating heart, I heard him come closer.

Neither of us knew how to move forward. The momentum we'd had years ago was lost to us. The pain was fresh. In my awkward position, my toes complained about my pose. Pretty soon I would have to move, but I couldn't bring myself to get up and turn around. What if he wasn't really there? What if I had imagined Cooper's presence? 

"Please, please, go away," I whispered. 

"Why?" He sounded genuinely curious.

"You lied. You told me you loved me. But you let me disappear. You never even wrote to me!"

"I did, too!" In a flash, he was next to me. Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw him, but I still couldn't bring myself to face him. His tug on my arm was gentle but insistent.

I couldn't turn around. I just couldn't! 

"Cara? Please?" He turned me toward him. I dropped my gaze to the floor, hoping to postpone the moment when our eyes made contact. But I couldn't keep my balance any longer, so I sank back onto my butt. It was a movement that should have pulled me out of his grasp. Instead, he gathered me to his chest and lifted us both to our feet. 

Holding me in one arm, he used his free hand to lift my chin with his index finger. I kept my eyes downcast until the last possible moment, and then I gave in. I looked at him.

The boy had grown into a gorgeous man, just as everyone had predicted he would. Oh, he was older. His face was more lean and mature. His jet black hair was sprinkled with strands of gray. But those fabulous cheekbones that betrayed his Native American heritage were still as sharp as ax blades. In his amber eyes, I saw a mixture of wonder and humor.

"Cooper," I said. 

You can win this beautiful sea heart necklace!

In an act of faith, the sea heart travels thousands of miles in the rough ocean surf, only to wash up on the sand and put down roots. To own one is to truly have good luck.

Enter Here!

Joanna Campbell Slan is a national bestselling author whose books have an average 4.75 star rating on Amazon. She’s the 2013 recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award for excellence in historical romantic suspense, as well as a finalist for the Agatha Award.

See Joanna’s complete list of books at:


  1. Oh this story sounds so sweet ,im so glad you authors get up here and put up your books for people to see.thank you,debra stolhand (

  2. Hi Joanna! Thank you for sharing this post. That story about your friend just tugged at my heart! Your book sounds wonderful. :)

    Brooke Bumgardner
    brookeb811 at gmail dot com

  3. That's such a sad love story.

    TEAR DOWN AND DIE sounds like such a great read.


  4. One of the hazards and joys of being a writer. You want to "fix" everyone's stories in real life, but at least we have the outlet of writing them, even if we can't give them the HEA. :)

  5. Thanks, Brooke. It was a shock to me. I thought she had everything in her life just the way she wanted it. I was wrong.

  6. Mary, it was sad. I'm really proud of TEAR DOWN AND DIE. I've been writing for years, and this book was so much fun to bring into the world.

  7. Natalie, it's definitely a joy for me. I can make the world "right" by tapping on my keyboard.


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