AgainstAllOddsCoverArt72dpiThe third book in my trilogy, Against All Odds, is now available at many online venues. The first two books are Blood Bound and Above Suspicion. I’ve had a blast writing these three suspenseful books set in New Orleans.

Blurb:

Sienna Wright has it all: an exciting career, a handsome husband who is an ADA, and two beautiful step-children… until a vicious murderer takes all away and sends her tumbling into a terrifying black abyss.

Detective Nate Lincoln’s job is his life, and he jumps at the chance to reclaim his gun and badge once the department reinstates him after a long suspension. His first order of business is to solve the murders of Jeff Wright and his two children, a case that fell through the cracks.

Still shell-shocked after nearly a year, Sienna at first refuses to help Nate. Then someone tries to kill her, and in order to survive, she is forced to break free of her quagmire of depression and trust the man she once loved. Nate isn’t sure he can solve the case, and yet he has to try. He would do anything for Sienna, even if she refuses to admit she still loves him.

Excerpt:

“What else did the major say? We caught a case?”

“Yeah, a cold one. The murdered ADA — Jeff Wright. Remember that one?” Nate settled back in his seat and filled Jack in on the blood-soaked crime scene at the Wright’s upscale home as he negotiated the light Sunday traffic. “Our unit apparently hit a brick wall while I was gone, so Solomon handed it off to Cold Case — a colossal mistake, if there ever was one, because those guys sat around with their thumb up their asses, apparently. LeBlanc said Wright’s wife’s been calling headquarters at least twice a week for the past month, raisin’ hell about it.”

“Wait a minute.” Jack scowled. “I know Sienna. Didn’t you two date before she married Jeff?”

“Yeah, I was still seeing her when she met the bastard.” Nate gritted his teeth at the painful memory. He didn’t like to think about that depressing time in his life. He used to drink and party way too much. “She dated both of us for a while and picked him. Said she wanted someone steadier. Swore I was a bad influence.”

“Whoa.” Jack lifted his eyebrows. “That was cruel, man.”

“What can I say? She was right. And it was for the best, ’cause she loved Jeff.” Nate shook his head. “He made her happy. Two kids — a ready-made family — and a big, fancy house. He gave her a comfortable life. More than I could’ve ever given her. I didn’t have a pot to piss in, much less any kids.”

“Still, her choosing him must’ve gutted you.”

“Yeah, but not as much as losing Jeff and those kids did her. LeBlanc said she had a breakdown after the funeral and moved to Birmingham to live with her aunt. She’s still in Alabama, but right now she’s on the warpath with the DA and has threatened to sue the city ’cause we didn’t close the damned case. So the Major Crimes Section Commander turned it back over to us. He wants us to solve it yesterday.”

“You’d better talk to Solomon, find out why he tossed it to Cold Case.”

“Believe me, I will. I want to know why he gave up on it and has since refused to return Sienna’s phone calls.”

“Not a smart move. Give him my regards,” Jack said with a wry smile as he swung the sedan into the parking garage adjacent to the station.

Nate growled in response, but didn’t voice his true feelings about the case or Sienna. She’d broken his heart when she’d blown him off in favor of Wright, but he didn’t want Jack to know. All he needed was the facts. Sienna, a beautiful, headstrong woman, had been a popular reporter for the Times Picayune, yet she’d crumbled the night Jeff and kids had died. So much so, her doctor had hospitalized her after the funeral and kept her there until he’d found a family member willing to take care of her. Two days later, Sienna left Louisiana for Birmingham, Alabama. Nate had no idea how she was doing now but figured he ought to pay her a visit, even though it was the last thing he wanted to do.

“Save me from old girlfriends,” he muttered as he banged out of the car. He hated confrontations with women, thanks to his dealings with his own mother and the crappy way he’d ended his relationship with Sienna. Showing up drunk at her wedding had been the icing on the cake.

The pain of that day still gnawed at his soul.

Jack rounded the hood and clapped him on the back. “Talk to LeBlanc. He’s new, but he can probably unearth a lead or two for you. Something to help break the ice with Sienna.”

“Doesn’t sound like it.” Nate entered the squad room, lowered himself wearily into his chair, and tried to call the Cold Case detective, Alfred Lutz.

No luck. Lutz was out sick and didn’t answer either of his personal phones, home or cell.

Buy links:

Desert Breeze — http://bit.ly/1dw5NYc
Amazon — http://amzn.to/1gD0ZRa
BN — http://bit.ly/1gqZhRY

Hope you’ll check it out!

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New book out at Desert Breeze Publishing!

New book out at Desert Breeze Publishing!

DBP: http://bit.ly/1dyCwub
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dyCL8u
BN: http://bit.ly/17B1FC5

Click the photo to read an excerpt.

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September 2, 2013 · 9:44 am

Shadow of Perception by Kristine Mason

AuthorPicI’d like to welcome the author of Shadow of Perception, Kristine Mason, to my blog today. Here is her bio:

I didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties. Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it. While that first book will never see the light of day, something good had come from writing it. I realized my passion, and had found a career that I love.

When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark, romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and two neurotic dogs.

Cover_Shadow of PerceptionHere is more about Shadow of Perception:

BLURB:

What happens when negligent plastic surgeons receive a taste of their own medicine…?

Chicago investigative reporter, Eden Risk, receives an unmarked envelope containing a postcard ordering her to watch the enclosed DVD…or someone else dies. No Police. After Eden watches the DVD, a gruesome, horrifying surgery, she turns to the private criminal investigation agency, CORE, for help. Only she hadn’t expected that help to come with a catch. Her former lover, Hudson Patterson, has been assigned to the case.

Hudson would rather have another CORE agent handle the investigation. Two years ago, he’d screwed things up with Eden…bad. And as more DVDs arrive, Eden and Hudson find themselves not only knee-deep in a twisted investigation, but forced to deal with their past, and the love they’d tried to deny.

Excerpt:

Eden flinched and when she finally met his gaze, Hudson moved closer, fighting the urge to reach for her and smooth away the worry creasing her forehead, to hold her and assure her he’d never let anything happen to her. He fisted his hands instead. The wariness in her eyes, the rigidness of her body told him what he needed to know. She wasn’t ready for what he was willing to offer. Not just sex, but comfort, familiarity, and maybe this time around more of himself.

“I’m not trying to scare you. I want you to be realistic. I want you safe.”

Gripping the edge of the kitchen counter, reminding him he’d unintentionally crowded her, she leaned back. “I appreciate your concern. But I’ll be well protected tonight. All night.”

Unconvinced he said, “The security system is good, I’ve seen to it myself, but having me here—just in case—is an even better security measure.”

“Sorry, but three’s a crowd. I doubt my date will appreciate my babysitter hanging around while we’re…dating.”

She had a frickin’ date?

“Cancel,” he said, hoping he’d kept the resentment from his voice. Of course he shouldn’t have expected her to remain celibate since they’d broken up. He’d had his share of “dates” too. But knowing another man would be here, in her townhouse, in her bed, had his empty stomach churning with jealousy. The way his emotions were hitting him like a barrage of bullets today, he realized he’d never gotten over the loss of what could have been between them.

No other woman before or after Eden had stirred his gut with thoughts of love and all that other stuff he didn’t have the vocabulary to name.

LINKS:

FACE BOOK: http://www.facebook.com/kristine.mason.1029

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/KristineMason7

WEBSITE: http://www.kristinemason.net

Books available on:

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Perception-Book-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00E3HM1B2/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374931089&sr=1-4

Barnes & Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadow-of-perception-kristine-mason/1116149995?ean=2940148591887

Kobo:
http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Shadow-of-Perception/book-bUl_8rgW00W8Khqylc8qag/page1.html?s=1KDtUTJKv0yLseFvGlBsoQ&r=1

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The Serial Killer Next Door

ReflectionsFinal2I’d like to welcome guest blogger Cindy Carroll to my blog today. Cindy is a member of Sisters in Crime and a graduate of Hal Croasmun’s screenwriting ProSeries. Her interviews with writers of CSI and Flashpoint appeared in The Rewrit, the Scriptscene newsletter, the screenwriting Chapter of RWA. She writes screenplays, thrillers, and paranormals, occasionally exploring an erotic twist. A background in banking and IT doesn’t allow much in the way of excitement so she turns to writing stories that are a little dark and usually have a dead body. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her fiancé and three cats. When she’s not writing you can usually find her painting landscapes in oil or trying space paintings with spray paint.

Thank you so much, Melanie, for letting me be here today!

When I lived in Etobicoke, back when it was still called that and not part of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) I knew almost all of my neighbours. We’d lived there for over twenty years. I played with the kids. Parents would talk to each other. Some would even come over for dinner. If someone had asked if any of the neighbours could hurt anyone I would have said emphatically, no.

But though I knew them, did I really know them? You hear stories all the time about serial killers and their neighbours. “He was such a nice man,” the neighbours would say. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone yet say “Oh, yeah, I knew the moment I saw him that he was a serial killer.” Killers don’t “look” like killers. What does a killer look like anyway? Ted Bundy was a handsome young man. A lawyer. Would anyone have suspected him of being a serial killer?

So how well do you really know someone? Can you really know them? Do you know for sure that your neighbours aren’t hiding something dark and dangerous? People let you see only what they want you to see. This fascinated me so I wrote a story about a curse that replaces people with that part of themselves that they never let out.

Reflections blurb:

When a cursed inn replaces her friends with evil reflections a woman fights to get the genuine articles back before the doubles kill her.

A road trip goes wrong for a group of friends trying to help one of them get over a break up. They find an inn where the mirrors are cursed. They realize they don’t know each other as well as they thought they did.

Buy on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1avH00L
Buy on Kobo: http://bit.ly/13CBz9M

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Welcome to Guest Blogger Cyndi Faria

Final A Promise Worth Remembering Original 300 dpi1I’m so excited to announce my newest release titled A Promise Worth Remembering (Promises Collection, #2) is offered FREE today on Amazon Kindle. Inside the novella, you’ll find magic, forbidden love, tiger rescue, and an escalating family feud on the path to happily-ever-after…

Blurb:

After ten years, tiger preserve owner Bailey Yant never thought heartbreaker Tucker Pierce would return to Safe Haven. With a hundred-year-old feud between the Pierce and Yant families escalating, and despite a mystical lovers’ rock stirring memories of their forbidden love, she’s walled up her heart tighter than her sanctuary. When her prized tiger trespasses onto the Pierce’s hunting range, and poachers threaten not only her tiger’s safety but the livelihood of her preserve, will Bailey open her heart and trust Tucker in time to save her endangered Bengals?

At seventeen, Tucker Pierce fell in love with Bailey’s strength the day he’d pulled her from the river and promised to make her dreams come true. However, to keep Bailey safe from his abusive father, he risked everything—and in the process lost her to another man. For ten years, he’s kept his reason for leaving Safe Haven secret, but he can’t forget the promise he made to her or who his heart belongs to. After finding the widowed Bailey standing on their special rock, will he finally convince her to trust he’s a man of his word?

About the author:

Author Photo B-WCyndi Faria is an engineer turned romance writer whose craving for structure is satisfied by plotting emotional and cozy paranormal romance stories about cursed spirits, lost souls, harbingers, and even a haunted coastal town. If you love a tale with courageous heroes and heroines, where their unconditional love for each other gives them strength to defeat their inner demons, Cyndi Faria invites you to enter the pages of her stories and find happily-ever-after.

On and off her sexy romance pages, this California country girl isn’t afraid to dirty her hands fighting for the underdog and caretaking rescued pets. A portion of the earnings from this eBook will be donated to help tigers at PAWS—a sanctuary located in San Andres, California. To learn more, donate, or adopt a tiger visit PAWS online. Find Cyndi helping fellow writers and leading readers to happily-ever-after at http://www.cyndifaria.com

“Cyndi Faria writes with passion and her stories touch the heart.”
—Virna DePaul, Bestselling Author

Excerpt:

No. Can’t be. He’s an illusion. Like the wind whispering your name.

Several times, Bailey blinked but pinching her eyes didn’t erase the image of a mature Tucker, one who’d transformed from a whip to a mighty Oak, and a man who greatly resembled a younger version of Old Man Pierce.

Tucker held his head high and his wide stance boasted an assuredness, a grounding presence, that hadn’t graced the adolescent who’d seated his roots in her soul.

Suddenly, her tomboy legs morphed to tree-limbs. She swayed with the gentle wind that transformed her strength, ability, and self-sufficient nature into that helpless girl Tucker rescued from the shadowy waters. Without denial, her body registered her first love even if he’d also been the same person who’d kept her cemented in her inescapable past.

She threw back her shoulders, making her five-foot-four height appear five-foot-six. She didn’t need anyone but herself to make her happy. Nothing stood in her way of dating again and finding happiness. Of fulfilling her dreams with someone other than the man who’d betrayed her trust.

“…your tiger,” he called over the river’s purr.

Her chin quivered at his baritone yet business-like manner and she bit her lip. What had she expected? Words of apology and love? Tucker had moved on a decade ago, no matter how badly her ears still craved his endearments wafting warms puffs of air against her neck. By now, he probably had a family of his own… She glanced at her clothes stuffed in her backpack and, although he’d seen her in her bikini, much less than she wore now, she held her ground. How many times had he stood beside the river and watched her from afar? Once, twice?

As many times as she’d wished he’d gazed upon her with eyes that bore into her tough exterior and tempted her heart, her trust, her words of forgiveness, so she could leave her imprisoned past?

His gaze found hers and held.

Corkscrewed into her heart until her chest hurt. Smoothing her chin with her palm to quiet the quivers spidering across her face, she raised her brows and expected him to say more.

But he only stared.

****

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt. Want to discover how Bailey and Tucker conquer the obstacles standing in the way of their happy ending? Download for FREE now by clicking the title here: A Promise Worth Remembering

Have you ever faced an obstacle standing between you and the one you love?

Contest:

Leave a comment and your contact information and you’ll be entered into a raffle to win the necklace inspired by the story (see photo at http://www.cyndifaria.com). I can’t wait to see who the lucky winner of the beautiful pendant will be…

Thank you Melanie for hosting me today!

Wishing you all much love and happiness,

Cyndi Faria

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Trained to Kill… a new Keller County Cops book

TrainedToKillCoverArt72dpi__33274.1367097035.1280.1280The sixth book in my Keller County Cops series, Trained to Kill, is out… and I’m so excited. I just finished writing the seventh and final book, Code of Vengeance, so I have one more to go in this series. COV will come out this fall.

Trained to Kill is available at Desert Breeze Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and many other online outlets.

Blurb for Trained to Kill:

Keller County precision marksman Cadence Holly, a member of the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team, believes she doesn’t have anything to prove to her new unit because her she’s good at what she does. Detective Brody Remington, a former military sniper, along with the rest of their unit, disagrees. Brody spends most of his time berating Cadence, until she proves him wrong by taking a shot he can’t make.

Brody regrets the way he’s treated Cadence. As he struggles to get back into her good graces, Eugene Dunham, a man seeking revenge for his brother’s arrest and subsequent murder, targets Brody. Once Dunham realizes Brody and Cadence have formed a bond, he sets his sights on Cadence, setting up a frightening game of cat and mouse that can end only one way. Will Brody get to her in time?

Excerpt:

“Well, turn me over and paint me blue. I know we’re short on qualified shooters, but the sheriff’s really scraping the bottom of the barrel if he sent you to sniper school.”

“Excuse me? What did you just say?” Cadence spun to glower at Brody Remington, a veteran of the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team — better known as SERT — who’d made detective less than a month before. He was right about the department. Budget cuts had prevented the sheriff from sending more than two or three applicants to the state training academy for specialized training, but who was he to pass judgment on her just because she was new? Seven days immersed in shooting and tactics might not seem like much, but she’d finished at the top of her class, and she had shot competitively for years before that.

He shrugged. “You heard me.”

“Maybe I did.” She crossed her arms. “Except I’d hoped I was imagining things.”

“‘Fraid not.” His expression darkened. “A girl on the Emergency Response Team? Give me a break. We need somebody who can do the job, not some chick we have to babysit.”

“Wipe that thought right out of your brain, you jerk. I might not have any on-the-job experience yet, but I can shoot. Just watch me.”

“That one-week class Blaylock sent you to is worthless. I have military experience.”

“Big freaking deal. I’m just as qualified as you are to be in this unit.” Wishing she could slice him in two, she narrowed her eyes. “You might be the youngest cop in Keller County to ever make detective, and you might have a military background — hell, you might even be able to walk on water — but that doesn’t make you special.”

“Last time I looked, you were still riding a beat.”

“So what? I do my job.” She fired him a heated glower and clenched her fists. “And with SERT, rank doesn’t matter. Detectives, patrol — we’re all the same. You know that. We just have to be able to perform at a moment’s notice, in addition to our regular duties. So far, so good.”

“Yeah? You’ve been a member of our team for what? Two weeks?” Disdain radiated from his ice blue eyes. “We’ve had one callout — a hostage situation the bomb squad solved without our help.”

“True, but trust me… I can do whatever the captain needs me to do. Maybe better than you.” Sick of defending herself, she backed down. Explanations never worked with Neanderthals like him. She’d run into enough of them in her short career to know that, so why’d she even bother to try? She shot him a disgusted look. “Guess you’ll just have to wait and see, won’t you?”

“Probably won’t have to wait too long to see you screw up.”

“Get out of my face, Brody Remington.” Barely resisting the urge to slap him, she turned on her heel and stalked away. Her whole body vibrated with anger. Why had he judged her before giving her a chance to prove herself? Was that fair? Hell, no.

Cadence turned the corner and ran smack into Captain Pellerin. Their shoulders collided, and only a swift sidestep kept her from cracking her forehead against his square chin.

She emitted a surprised gasp.

“Whoa.” He caught her arm. “Where’s the fire, Holley?”

“Nowhere, Captain.” She did her best to shuck the cloak of fury that had enveloped her while she’d talked to Brody. Wouldn’t do to come off as belligerent in front of her new SERT unit leader. “Just eager to get in some practice before I go home. I’m heading to the range.”

“You’re working too hard, young lady.” He dropped his hand and frowned. “No need to prove yourself to me. I know you can do your job.”

“Well, apparently you’re the only one.” She forced a smile she didn’t feel. “Don’t worry, sir. I won’t be long. I feel an order of Chinese food calling my name.”

Pellerin chuckled. “Sounds like a good meal for a Friday night. Take it easy, Deputy.”

“Will do, sir.” She gave him a little salute, and then turned and hurried down the hallway to the locker room next to the department’s indoor firing range. She kept her equipment there but used the bathroom across the hall whenever she needed to change. That didn’t happen often, but she still resented the sex discrimination that ran rampant in Keller County.

http://www.melanieatkins.com

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The Descent from the Truth by Gaylon Greer

MEDIA KIT Descent-cover-web-sizedI’d like to welcome guest blogger Gaylon Greer, the author of The Descent From the Truth, to my blog today. He’s going to tell us all about his wonderful book. Welcome, Gaylon!

BLURB:

Alex Bryson is patrolling Rocky Mountain backcountry in his job as a security guard when he discovers a woman with a baby wandering alone in the snow far from the nearest road. He takes them to shelter in a weekender cabin and sees a newscast that suggests the woman, Pia Ulmer, kidnapped the baby from its rightful parents and that it is the sole heir of Peru’s wealthiest and most corrupt family. Pia claims that she is the baby’s mother, and Alex doesn’t know what to believe. After turning her in, he continues to struggle with his budding feelings for her and remains unsure of the true story. He becomes more and more involved until finally there is no turning back—lives are on the line. He helps Pia get free from a brutal world that values money over life, and together they devise a plan to reclaim the baby. Just when it looks like they might succeed, they discover an international conspiracy that changes the game entirely.

EXCERPT:

“Please,” she said, her voice as rough as sandpaper and barely above a whisper. “Please, do not give my baby to those people.”

“Are we back to that? First you’re his mother, then you’re his nanny. Now you’re his mother again?”

“They took him from me. Look at him, Alex. Both Mr. Koenig and his wife are blondes.”

“Koenig’s an old man. His hair’s white.”

“Study Frederick’s face. Do you not see me in his eyes? His chin and his mouth?”

The similarities were uncanny, he’d grant her that. Good enough to get away with claiming to be the kid’s mother if Alex hadn’t learned the truth. The way she had attacked him, trying to kill him with that skillet, she clearly didn’t want to go back to civilization and prove who she was. He turned away, tossed Frederick in a maneuver that brought a cry of delight, and stuffed the boy’s blanket-clad feet through the leg holes in the backpack. With his parka snapped around both of them and the diaper bag tied to his waist, he gripped his rifle in one hand, his snowshoes in the other, and headed for the porch. At the door, he turned for a final glance at Pia.

She had set her mouth in a stubborn line. The eye that had been plastered shut was closed. She stared at him with the other. When she saw him looking at her, she spoke again. “Watch over him, Alex. Someone wants to harm him. Don’t let them.”

A new tack, another lie. He stepped onto the porch and strapped on his snowshoes. That should have been the last he saw of her, but the specter of her ravaged face and defiant expression stayed with him as he trudged across the sunlit expanse of glistening snow that sloped gradually toward the Warrior River Gorge.

MEDIA KIT Author PhotoAbout Gaylon Greer:

Working with traveling carnivals and itinerant farm labor gangs during his teen and early adult years took Gaylon Greer up, down, and across the U.S. and introduced him to a plethora of colorful individuals who serve as models for his fictional characters. After several years as an Air Force officer and then a university professor with a Ph.D. in economics, Greer developed an interest in writing fiction and attended workshops at the University of Iowa, the University of Nebraska, and Bryn-Mawr College. He also studied with the U.C. Davis Extension program and the Algonquian Writers Group. His most recent novel, THE DESCENT FROM TRUTH is available at http://www.Amazon.com and other e-book retailers. Please visit Greer at http://www.GaylonGreer.com

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New book out today!

My full length romantic thriller, BLOOD BOUND, is out today at Desert Breeze Publishing. This is the first book in a trilogy set in The Big Easy. I had a blast writing these books, and I’m just a little bit in love with Sam, the hero of this one. You can read more about this book below and on the DBP website and Amazon. It’s also up at B & N and other online outlets. And be sure to check out my app up at iTunes and in the Android market.

Image

Blurb:

Fueled by grief after his fiancée is brutally murdered, Detective Sam Walker focuses on finding her killer — a calculating predator who binds books with human skin.  Dani Barrington, the newest member of NOPD’s Victim and Witness Assistance Unit and a survivor of another frightening attack, helps him discover the terrifying link between the monster’s known victims.  Despite his anguish, Sam is struck by Dani’s strength and determination, especially when her inquisitive  nature makes her the killer’s next target.  He must find a way to protect her or risk losing the one woman who can bring his dead heart back to life.

Excerpt:

Kristen was gone.

She wasn’t at work. She wasn’t at home. She hadn’t gone out to run an errand. She had simply… vanished.

New Orleans Detective Sam Walker stood in the center of his fiancée’s cluttered bedroom and struggled to piece together the timeline of her disappearance. Last night they were supposed to meet for dinner, but he’d caught a case. They’d talked on the phone around eleven, and he’d asked her to meet him for lunch today.

He hadn’t spoken to her since.

She was supposed to arrive at the Victim and Witness Assistance Unit for work at nine a.m., but never made it. One of her co-workers had called him about ten o’clock. He’d tried Kristen again, but she hadn’t answered.

So he’d come here and found her car in the driveway.

Yet she sure as hell wasn’t here.

Her bed was meticulously made, the way she left it every morning, dumping him out if he’d stayed over. A damp towel lay beside the bathroom sink. Soulful jazz drifted from the iPod dock on her nightstand. What terrified him most, though, was the spot of blood marring the door frame and the lone pink sandal lying in the living room floor beside her purse, keys, and cell phone.

His heart lurched. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think. Simply could not absorb that she was missing. They’d been engaged for five months and three days, with only a month to go until the wedding. They should be mulling over the guest list, squabbling about where to go for their honeymoon, and deciding where they wanted to live.

Instead, Sam stared at an empty bed.

“There’s no sign of forced entry, so she either let the guy in or he jumped her when she went after the paper this morning.” Major Sabbatini’s voice seemedto come from far away. “I’m thinking she fought him off and ran, and he caught her here in the bedroom.”

“She would have clawed him.” Hell, she would’ve drawn blood with those nails. Sam should know. He had the marks on his back to prove it. Moisture blurred his vision as he eyed the smudge on the door jamb. “She… she just had her nails done a couple of days ago. They’re like talons.”

“We’ll check the blood for DNA. You know that. What were her plans for today?”

“Um… just work, far as I know. She and I were supposed to have lunch.” Sam shook his head. “Then tonight, she was going to a wedding shower. I just–“

“When was the last time you spoke with her?”

“Late — last night.”

 

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Time Travel and the Writer by Michele Lang

RebelAngels[1]I first met Michele Lang when we both wrote for the same publisher that shall not be named. Once the company went belly up in 2007, we both managed to move on to bigger and better things. Michele writes for Tor now. Yet through it all, we’ve remained long distance friends. Welcome, Michele, and congratulations on the release of Rebel Angels!

Michele’s blog:

A lot of what I write falls into the “what if” category — what if I could go back in time and fix a big disaster in the past? I love doing this exercise in my mind, but I sometimes think it’s a kind of character flaw, where I look backwards all the time and regret the choices that I’ve made.

MagicFabulous_prIf I could go back in time and encourage my young writer self, the one who set out not knowing that she could write anything anybody would ever want to read, here’s what I’d say to her:

*you WILL publish fiction. And today, you can self-publish whenever you feel you are ready. When will you be ready, you ask? A very good question, and the topic for another blog post

*writing a lot is the surest path to success. I think this will always be true, that the most prolific writers are most likely to succeed. We’re entering a second golden age of pulp, and the people who can produce for their fans are the ones who will gain market share. So, write!

*join RWA: Romance Writers of America . I think that RWA is a helpful resource for new writers, and in the ancient days when I was trying to find out about writing it was one of the only ones.

Today, with the explosion of writing industry blogs, you can find out a ton of information. I would caution you to get the best information, and don’t believe everything you read simply because it is on the internet. Just find impeccable sources, take what works for you, and forget the rest.

Lady Laz Front Cover*write what you love to read. That was good advice for me in those days…I loved genre fiction in all of its forms, but wrote dreary literary dreck. But I would say write what you love to write — the stories that insist on getting written. The stuff that feels so easy that it is cheating. As you get more confident in your writing, you can expand from there if you want.

*read a lot. And stuff that is fun, not stuff you’ve been told is good for you. This is always true.

*find other writers who are serious about honing their craft. Just as true today as ever, though there are many more places to find them than there used to be. Back in the day, I would have recommended a writing conference, a local chapter of RWA (if one existed back then) or putting up a sign at a local bookstore to start a writer’s group.
But finding other writers these days is as easy as checking out Twitter for a couple of minutes — try the #amwriting, #writegoal, #litchat hashtags for starters.

*write short stories for publication. Find pro short story markets and keep submitting. Especially in SFF, the short story market is stronger than it was in those days. Tough to break into, but diverse and wonderful. Go for it!

dark victory cover*Become a genre writer — and find out what this means. This was, and is, good advice for me, but it may not be for you. Don’t get hung up on labels for your work — write it, and when you’re done you will see where it belongs.

*do not get an MFA or any other kind of fancy degree. You will make the most of the fancy degrees you’ve already gotten, but you don’t need any more. Unless you are planning to teach creative writing at a university, this is still good advice. You do not need an expert to confer the title “writer” upon you — only you can do that.

*don’t give up! You are already good enough! All you need is practice… This was true, is true, and will always be true. Believe in your passion for writing, and keep doing it. The more you write, the better you’ll get.
Now this kind of time travel I like. I don’t look on my past as a dreamer as any kind of a failure, to the contrary I want to go back in time and thank that insecure person every day for continuing to dream. I believe that by learning from the past, we can all change the future.

Michele Lang AuthorAbout Michele:

Michele Lang writes supernatural tales: the stories of witches, lawyers, goddesses, bankers, demons, and other magical creatures hidden in plain sight. Author of the LADY LAZARUS historical fantasy series, Michele’s most recent book in the series, REBEL ANGELS, released March 2013.

Michele is also a lawyer who has practiced the unholy craft of litigation in both New York and Connecticut. She returned to her native New York shortly before 9/11, and now lives in a small town on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband, her sons, and a rotating menagerie of cats, hermit crabs, and butterflies.

Find her on the web at http://www.michelelang.com and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/michelelang

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Upcoming ebook release!

BloodBoundCoverArt72dpiI’m excited to announce the upcoming release of my single title romantic thriller, BLOOD BOUND, from Desert Breeze Publishing on April 11. This is the first book in a trilogy set in The Big Easy. New Orleans is one of my favorite backdrops, and I believe the setting definitely adds to the story in this one. Hope you’ll check it out! You can find the “Coming Soon” link here. This will change to a “Buy” link once the book goes live. It will also be available at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Sony, and many other online outlets.

Blurb:

Fueled by grief after his fiancée is brutally murdered, Detective Sam Walker focuses on finding her killer — a calculating predator who binds books with human skin. Dani Barrington, the newest member of the Victim and Witness Assistance Unit and a survivor of another attack, helps him discover the terrifying link between the monster’s known victims. Despite his anguish, Sam is struck by Dani’s strength and determination, especially when her inquisitive nature makes her the killer’s next target. He must find a way to protect her or risk losing the one woman who can bring his dead heart back to life.

Excerpt:

Kristen was gone.

She wasn’t at work. She wasn’t at home. She hadn’t gone out to run an errand. She had simply… vanished.

New Orleans Detective Sam Walker stood in the center of his fiancée’s cluttered bedroom and struggled to piece together the timeline of her disappearance. Last night they were supposed to meet for dinner, but he’d caught a case. They’d talked on the phone around eleven, and he’d asked her to meet him for lunch today.

He hadn’t spoken to her since.

She was supposed to arrive at the Victim and Witness Assistance Unit for work at nine a.m., but never made it. One of her co-workers had called him about ten o’clock. He’d tried Kristen again, but she hadn’t answered.

So he’d come here and found her car in the driveway.

Yet she sure as hell wasn’t here.

Her bed was meticulously made, the way she left it every morning, dumping him out if he’d stayed over. A damp towel lay beside the bathroom sink. Soulful jazz drifted from the iPod dock on her nightstand. What terrified him most, though, was the spot of blood marring the door frame and the lone pink sandal lying in the living room floor beside her purse, keys, and cell phone.

His heart lurched. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think. Simply could not absorb that she was missing. They’d been engaged for five months and three days, with only a month to go until the wedding. They should be mulling over the guest list, squabbling about where to go for their honeymoon, and deciding where they wanted to live.

Instead, Sam stared at an empty bed.

“There’s no sign of forced entry, so she either let the guy in or he jumped her when she went after the paper this morning.” Major Sabbatini’s voice seemed to come from far away. “I’m thinking she fought him off and ran, and he caught her here in the bedroom.”

“She would have clawed him.” Hell, she would’ve drawn blood with those nails. Sam should know. He had the marks on his back to prove it. Moisture blurred his vision as he eyed the smudge on the door jamb. “She… she just had her nails done a couple of days ago. They’re like talons.”

“We’ll check the blood for DNA. You know that. What were her plans for today?”

“Um… just work, far as I know. She and I were supposed to have lunch.” Sam shook his head. “Then tonight, she was going to a wedding shower. I just–”

“When was the last time you spoke with her?”

“Late — last night.”

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