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Tag Archives: crime fiction
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.
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.
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.
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The 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.
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?
“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.
I’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.
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.
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.”
Detective Emily Rawson doesn’t want children; she’s too focused on her career to give a family the time required. That is, until she falls in love with fellow detective John Cutter, forgets to take precautions, and winds up pregnant. She fights the idea tooth and nail before finally deciding that having a baby is exactly what she wants — as long as the child is Cutter’s. Then tragedy strikes. Will it bring them together or tear them apart?
You can read an excerpt in the post below this one. I hope you’ll check out this intense story!
You can buy it here at Desert Breeze or at many other online outlets, including Amazon, B&N, All Romance, Books on Board, and the iTunes store.
And don’t forget to download one of my author apps!
Next month, Emily’s Nightmare will hit all of Desert Breeze Publishing’s online venues. Get your Kindles and Nooks ready! In this book, Detective Emily Rawson doesn’t want children; she’s too focused on her career to give a family the time required. That is, untill she falls in love with fellow detective John Cutter, forgets to take precautions, and winds up pregnant. She fights the idea tooth and nail before finally deciding that having a baby is exactly what she wants — as long as the child is Cutter’s. Then tragedy strikes. Will it bring them together or tear them apart?
Fear pummeled Emily. She gripped the Glock and ducked into the enclosed stairwell. The faint odors of oil and gasoline rode the stale air. Time stood still. A bead of moisture rolled down her cheek. She wiped it away and peeked out the door.
Her assailant fired.
White-hot pain speared Emily’s shoulder. She screamed, the sound echoing as she lost her footing and tumbled backward down the cold concrete steps. She landed hard on her back, sticky, ruby red blood coating her thighs. Her head pounded. Fear took her breath.
Inky darkness spilled over her like rising water.
Emily bolted up in bed, cold sweat streaming down her back. The same awful dream. So painful and so very real. Every night for the past six months. Ever since John Cutter, her former partner, best friend, and lover, had ridiculed her choices and turned his back on her.
That wasn’t the worst of it, however. Their breakup had come first.
I want a houseful of kids, he’d said. A big family.
His hopeful words had gouged a hole in Emily’s heart, because she didn’t want kids — despite the incident tonight with the rescued baby. Her own childhood had been a living hell, thanks to her father’s bitterness and her great-uncle’s roaming hands, and even though her mother had tried, Emily didn’t want to follow in her footsteps. The very idea scared her to death. Better to just forget having a family and focus on catching criminals. She was a damned good cop and well-deserving of her spot in her division.
During their last fight before she’d left the burglary division, Cutter had mocked her for making the change and had even bashed poor Mike Jamison, the high school history teacher she had dated for a time the year before while she and Cutter were on the outs. His animosity had made absolutely no sense — and neither did this recurring dream.
“What’s wrong with me?” Emily murmured, shuddering at the thought that she might not ever get a handle on her nightmares.