Today Author Jo-Ann Carson joins me.


Why suspense?

I’m a suspense junkie and I always have been. While I read all sorts of stories, I like thrillers best of all.

As a writer I feel like a marionette puppeteer pulling the strings of my characters to heighten the suspense in the plot. It’s fun. It’s great fun.


Excerpt (from Black Cat Blues launching January 15, 2016)

This is the opening from the book I’m launching in a couple months.


Walking through a dark alley at three-thirty in the morning wasn’t smart, but Maggy Malone didn’t have a choice, or at least not one she liked. A bone-numbing cold wind off the Strait of Georgia hit her face as she opened the back door of the Black Cat Blues bar. Pulling her jacket close to her body, she descended the stairs into the inky darkness of the night, her guitar case in one hand. She checked over her shoulder before she started her descent.


Vancouver in November—endless grey skies and drizzle. The waning moon slipped behind layers of dark clouds leaving her little light to help her on her way. She quickened her pace. A warm glow beckoned from the street lamp, a hundred yards away. Her scalp tingled. She took a deep breath of the salty night air.


What the hell. She could handle a few minutes of fear. Singing in the best blues bar on the coast had been her dream since she was a teenager. If it meant getting up close and personal with the creepy back alley on occasion, then so be it. Her shoulders tightened.

Stepping over the dirty needles, used condoms and Micky D wrappers left behind by the prostitutes, addicts and homeless who shared the alley, she tried not to let the filth reach inside her, but the stagnant stench of rotting garbage and urine turned her stomach. If only it would rain, really rain, then the city would be washed clean.


Where were all the street people? Usually there’d be one or two around at this time of night, huddled against the cold brick walls with only a blanket to keep out the cold and misfortunes of the night. Something felt wrong. She looked over her shoulder again. No one.

Her throat constricted as a chill crawled up her spine. She adjusted the weight of her canvas guitar case into her other hand, ready to run. It had been a long night. She should never have descended into this God forsaken alley. Friggen Frank. She took a deep breath, eyes darting in every direction.


The lights of the street were only a few yards away when she saw the body. Lying in a pool of blood with a silvery spike protruding from his chest—

Posted in Adventure, Detective, Excerpts, Intrigue, Murder, Murder Mystery, Mystery., Thrillers | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Meet Author Jacqui Nelson

Jacqui Nelson is another one of my Sisters in Suspense who is featured in Snippets of Suspense.










How did you choose the suspense genre?



I write what I love to read: high-stakes stories that leave me breathless with anticipation and worry and eventually the thrill of a hard-earned victory against seemingly unbeatable odds.



Where do you get the ideas for your stories?


From history!




Tell us about your hero.  Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.


In Between Heaven & Hell, Paden Callahan is an ex-Texas Ranger tormented by his inability to save his wife during an Indian raid. Despite Paden’s wish to leave his past behind, he cannot say no when asked to lead a wagon train west by his mentor, his dead wife’s father.



Tell us about your heroine.  Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.


In Between Heaven & Hell, Hannah or Blue Sky is a woman with two names, but no last name. After her parents were murdered by a band of renegade militiamen, Hannah was raised by Osage Indians. She’s an expert rider and sharp shooter who wins a position as scout on a wagon train bound for Oregon. Due to her unusual upbringing, she struggles to fit in with either of her two worlds.



How far do you plan ahead?


I love to plan! Before I wrote a single word of my current work-in-progress (Book 2 in my Gambling Hearts series), I created a ten-page document of story notes.



How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?


Fairly likely. A friend’s story about her singing gospel in a karaoke bar became the inspiration for Between Love Lies’ heroine singing Amazing Grace in a saloon, and a cowboy’s response of: “You sing like a preacher’s daughter. But if I’d wanted a sermon, I’d ’a gone to church.”

Snippets of Suspense-1



What inspired your latest book?


The spark for newest release Between Love & Lies (Book 1 in my Gambling Hearts series) came from my collection of Time-Life Old West books containing these lines: “The longhorns were carriers of a microscopic tick. The Texas animals were immune to the parasite, but the same tick produced deadly splenic fever in local cattle.”


I imagined a small farm, held together only by the grit and hard work of its owner, might not survive such an event. I wondered what might happen next, both on that unlucky farm and in the nearest town: Dodge City, the Queen of Cattle Towns—where life would be challenging for a woman who luck had deserted.



For more about Jacqui Nelson, connect with her on…


Website | Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Pinterest | Email



Blurb: Between Heaven & Hell (release date June 2014)


On a trail full of danger, will he guide her to heaven or hell?


Fort Leavenworth, Kansas – 1850


Hannah knows one thing the moment she enters Fort Leavenworth—she’s arrived in Hell. But inside is the means to a new life, a position as a scout on a wagon train bound for the Western Territories. All she has to do is convince the wagon master, Paden Callahan, she’s the right person for the job.


After his wife was murdered by the Comanche, Paden let his work as a Texas Ranger consume him. Now he wants nothing more than to disappear into the West. Unfortunately, the one man he can’t refuse has asked him to guide a wagon train full of tenderfoots across thousands of miles of Indian land. But Paden’s greatest challenge turns out to be Hannah, a woman his heart won’t allow him to ignore even though she was raised by an enemy he hates.


Between Heaven & Hell buy links: Amazon | B&N |  Kobo | iBooks




Meet the author

Jacqui Nelson writes historical romance adventures set in the Old West. Her stories feature ordinary women thrust into extraordinary roles including an Oregon Trail scout, an ex-Rebel spy turned government rabble rouser, and a Dodge City cardsharp gambling with love and death. Her love for the Old West came from watching classic Western movies while growing up on a cattle farm. She’s been nominated for over 20 awards and won the RWA® Golden Heart® for historical romance & the Laramie® for western romance drama.

J Nelson - low res








Snippets of Suspense anthology buy links for B&N / Kobo is currently free. 

Free on B&N: 

Free on KOBO: 

Soon to be free on AMAZON: 





Posted in General | 14 Comments

Sister of Suspense Jacquie Biggar

Today I’m featuring fellow Sister of Suspense Jacquie Biggar. I’m honored to be part of this talented group. We just released Snippets of Suspense. It is a glance at ten authors and their books. Here’s Jacquie.


Jacquie owned and operated a restaurant in her hometown of Edson, Alberta for thirteen years before moving west to Victoria to take care of her grandson and pursue her dream of becoming a writer. She became an active member of Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death—an online suspense group, and her local group, Vancouver Island Romance Authors.

Do you outline your books or wing it?  Describe your process.


I’m what’s known as a pantser, in other words I wing it. I get my ideas from current events and from there I build my character’s world.


How do you decide on setting?


The setting was the easy part. I love the west coast and small towns, so I made that an integral part of my story.


What genre(s) do you write in? Why?


I’ve always loved romance and dreamed of one day writing for Harlequin—still working on that—and suspense books keep me turning the pages, so it was a natural fit.

Snippets of Suspense-1


What is your favorite part of writing?


When you get that scene in your head and everything flows from the fingers to the keyboard, almost without thought. Love that.


What is your least favorite part of writing?


I’d have to say editing. I go over the same words so many times it can be frustrating.


Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of editing. How about you?


I edit as I go. I’m compulsive, and can’t seem to leave it alone.


What’s the strangest thing you have ever done in the name of research?


Online searches for drug-running and human trafficking in Iraq and Mexico. I expected to be flagged by the DEA at any time.


E-books, print, or both? Any preferences? Why?


For myself I prefer e-books, but I know a lot of people like print so I’ve gone with both for my novel. And let’s face it, there’s nothing like holding a book in your hands that you’ve worked so hard to make into a reality.


Please tell us your experiences with social media. What are your favorite and least favorite parts of it?


I love social media. It’s an amazing way to make friends with people from all over the globe. That being said, I’ve found since I opened an author page on Facebook, I’m getting lots of strange, “Hi, I’d like to get to know you better,” messages I could do without.


What do you read? Do you read different genres when you’re writing versus not writing?


I read a wide variety within the romance genre. Romantic Suspense-Iris Johansen, Suzanne Brockmann, Comedy-Jennifer Crusie, Paranormal-J.R.Ward, YA-Jodie Esch, Lisa Lange.


For more about Jacquie Biggar check out her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.


Website / Facebook / Twitter


Here is a blurb from my novel, Tidal Falls, which released Sept 15/14


Sara Reed is on the run from an abusive ex who happens to have ties to a Mexican cartel. Mistakenly thinking her and her daughter would be safer if she had some kind of leverage, she takes a copy of some valuable files, files that make her a target.

Nick Kelley is an ex-marine trying to recuperate now that his career is over due to injuries suffered from an IED. When the two of them meet in the pretty little town of Tidal Falls, the experience is explosive.


Amazon / Barnes & Noble / itunes / Kobo / Smashwords



Excerpt from Tidal Falls:


“How did you find me?” Sara fell back as Tom pushed his way inside, followed closely by Sam, and then she caught sight of Fiona being led in by two other men. Her friend was cuffed, her arms pulled taut behind her back. Her mouth, covered by a bright red handkerchief tied so tight it cut into her whitened cheeks, highlighted an obscene bruise. Her eyes, one of them black and blue, filled with tears, begging Sara to forgive her.

“GPS, my dear, you’ve heard of that I presume? I traced you from your own phone, that wasn’t very smart of you. So, this is where you’ve been hiding.” He waved the others into the room, locking the door behind them. “What, no kiss for your Husband? You do recall you have one of those, don’t you?”

He looked the same, so tall and handsome standing there in his perfectly pressed suit and tie, not a hair out of place. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. It was so obvious to her now. The narrow, cold eyes, the supercilious attitude, the rigid stance, the not-so-well-hidden-anger, had he always been that way? She didn’t like to think so. How could she have been so wrong about him? He’d pulled the wool over her eyes from the beginning.



Recently a group of suspense writers came together and formed the Sisters of Suspense. We all work to promote each other’s work, share things we’ve learned within the industry, and create an invaluable support network. These ladies are the best!

You can check us out here:

Sisters of Suspense / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest


We do a monthly giveaway filled with cash and prizes so be sure to check us out J

We’ve also just launched our first anthology, Snippets of Suspense.




Shaken and Stirred… Spine-tingling suspense with a steamy side of romance, written by ten award winning authors. The Sisters of Suspense Anthology #1 is a collection of snippets from their favorite Romantic Suspense stories. Chilling and thrilling. It’s guaranteed to spark your interest, stir your senses, set your imagination on overdrive and introduce you to new authors you’re going to love. Snippets by: Veronica Forand, Melissa Keir, Jo-Ann Carson, Jacquie Biggar, Marian Lanouette, Jacqui Nelson, Pat Amsden, Marsha R. West, Kathryn Jane and McKenna Sinclair Award Winning Suspense


Available here:



In celebration of the holidays I’d like to offer one lucky commenter an e-copy of my book, Tidal Falls and a $10 gift card to Amazon.

Happy Holidays to all, J

Jacquie Biggar




Posted in Adventure, Detective, Mystery., Thrillers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Season of Surprises releases to excellent reviews

I’m happy to announce release day has come for Season of Surprises. Read below what readers are saying about this holiday anthology.

Thank you readers for the 5 and 4 star reviewsSeason of Surprises Cover 2 Barnes and Noble with bestselling author on it

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2015
Awesome collection of short love stories. Great reading and great writing. I enjoyed that all of the stories were so different. Hope there is another set of short stories coming out soon from these authors!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

on November 4, 2015
i was given an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review. from the very first page i was completely blown away. each story captivated me and compelled me to keep turning the pages. i could not put this down, each story is different in its own way but i truly loved them all. if asked to pick my favorite that would be am impossible task. if u r ready to get into the holiday spirit i highly recommend this book.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2015
This is a lovely collection of stories that will get you in the holiday mood early! I loved how each story ended with the author sharing a favorite, delicious-sounding recipe.
In Merry Holly’s story, Noelle and Chase and a small circle of associates confront one another in questions of trust under the glare of the Florida sun. It takes Christmas in July to shed light on their true situations.
In Gerri Brouseau’s story, an Englishwoman, Scottish laird, a Dowager, a Scottish estate, and a colorful cast of characters interact and ultimately propel the story toward the celebration of a Yuletide bride.
Chad Prince is a provocative Manhattan art gallery owner who brings unlikely enchantment into Bella’s world with a Halloween kiss. From the snow-globed frog of the Prologue through the story’s complications, you will wait as Bella did for the full-out realization of her fate — played out against a magical holiday.
Sommerville High’s former heartthrob walks up to Callie’s handbag counter to purchase a Christmas gift for his mother … and Vicki Batman’s story is launched. This story will make you wish you’d taken your short-lived holiday job a bit more seriously … or at least long enough to take home a special gift for yourself.
Skeptical Amy wonders at the naivete of friend Charlotte, who let an art thief prey upon her hopes. Charlotte challenges Amy’s sense of magic … and Providence steps in with Bobbi Lerman’s tense time-bending tale centered on events in a holiday ballroom.
Destiny is dealing with the death of her mother, and her father’s grief — and anticipating the end of her ill-fated romantic relationship when a handsome stranger enters her flower shop. Who is Max and why has he arrived seeking her help?
In Madison West’s story, reluctant birthday girl Amelia gets an unexpected gift of a trip to Istanbul to retrieve a tapestry. But it is meeting Owen that puts her in touch with the more valuable treasure — love.
In Holiday on the Home Front, Betty and Van join efforts to save an old diner and save themselves in the process, in a beautiful story set in the shadow of World War II.
This is a gorgeous collection of holiday stories … try to read just one before bed, and you’ll find yourself peeking ahead at the next one.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2015
What a great collection of easy-to-read stories that make you want more, more, more!!!This collection was recommended to me by a Facebook friend and I was not disappointed! Perfect start to the season–particularly loved the nostalgia Krustin Drew’s Holiday On the Homefront! Felt like I was transported back in time!
on November 1, 2015
Just loved this book filled with romance. The holiday season brings out the romantic in me. Loved Bobbi Lerman’s story of time Tavel in particular, but all stories were fun to read.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2015

Season of Surprises is a charming collection of Hallmark Channel holiday love stories by some very talented writers, all of whom are tops in the romance genre. With their own style and voice, these unique short stories entertain and transport the reader across time and various settings–from a time travel, to a battle over a handbag, to a magical frog in a snow globe. All delightful in their own way.

My favorite was Cara Marsi’s Her Frog Prince. I love all her snow globe/fairy tale stories. Just the right the touch of magic!

As we head into the holiday shopping season, I recommend you pick of a copy of Seasons of Surprises for the romance reader on your list. He/she will love the stories. I sure enjoyed the collection.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2015
This is a heartwarming collection of stories that kept me turning the pages. Every author made me wish their stories were longer. I especially loved Holiday Handbag Extravaganza by Vicki Batman since I grab all her books as soon as they release. She didn’t disappoint with this latest feel-good one. Now all I have to do is wait patiently for her next offering.

5.0 out of 5 stars5 Star WOW

on October 30, 2015
Season of Surprises filled me with hope, uncontrollable giggles, and an all around good time. Just as I read one tale and thought, you can’t top this, they did. Briliant tales of romance and fun with characters not without their problems just like any person but attaining their heart’s wish. They were all so much fun to read it’s hard to pick a favorite. So I picked three out of the group, though all the stories are wonderful. My three favorites were “Enticed by a Laird” by Gerri Brousseau, Her Frog Prince Holiday by Cara Marsi, and Holiday Handbag Extravanganza by Vicki Batman. Why these three? I have a soft spot for anything with a Scottish air and have loved Gerri’s Brousseau’s historical romances in the past and this one delivers too. I don’t want to give it away but it’s fun and unexpected. Just loved it. Love comes to unexpected people is all I’ll say. Her Frog Holiday is magical. I loved the forays into the art world and Manhattan high society but also the comfortable cooking at home part and thought the hero was to die for. Holiday Handbag Extravaganza really shined for me. What do you do when the school bully grows up and comes into your shop? What do you do when her cute brother comes into your shop later? I’ll let you imagine. I don’t like giving out spoilers but wow. All the books within Seasons of Surprise are the fun, enjoyable, and will make you smile all over.

on October 30, 2015
Who doesn’t need to be romantically swept away. Be prepared to be delighted with these enjoyable reads by authors who are tops in their genre. You might want to include Season of Surprises in holiday stockings for all your friends!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

on October 29, 2015
This is a great collection of stories! A few authors were new to me, and now I will be checking out their other books. A definite must-read box set!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2015
Once again Bobbi Lerman has a story for Hallmark’s Holiday movies. I enjoyed nearly all of the stories in this box set – when does that happen? Kristen Drew is a great new addition to the group. What a great way to be pulled into the holiday mood.
on October 29, 2015
I love a good holiday story and Season of Surprises doesn’t disappoint. Each of the eight stories were fun, fast paced reads that by the end put a smile on my face. My favorite was a close tie between Providence, by Bobbi Lerman. I loved the story of Amy Beale who travels back o0ne hundred years to meet her destiny and Kristen Drew’s. sweet World War II romance between her tenacious heroine Betty, and Van, her soldier boy gone off to war. The recipes at the end were terrific; I plan to try them all. If you like romance, I highly recommend Season of Surprises.

on October 28, 2015
“Holiday on the Home Front” transports the reader to a bygone era with compelling characters who feel like they’d be at home in a classic Hollywood black and white movie.

on October 28, 2015
I loved each and every one of these romances. My personal favorite is “Holiday on the Home Front,” by Kristin Drew. This love story, set during World War II, develops the characters and captures the time period perfectly. I didn’t want it to ever end.

on October 28, 2015
What a great collection of stories! I adore romances and this collection has a lot to offer. I loved “Turkish Delight” what a funny and adventurous love story! Amelia grew on me as she made her way through a foreign country and tries to conquer her fears of the unknown. I don’t consider myself the travelling type but after reading this story I kind of want to get on a plane and visit Istanbul for myself.

on October 28, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase2 of 2 people found this review helpful
So many anthologies out these days, it’s not easy to chose one. But you can’t go wrong with this one. I’ve read work by some of these authors before. Cara Marsi is one author I’ve read before. I love her Frog Prince story. I can always count on her to present a story that’s engaging and well edited, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading every one of these stories. Good job, ladies!

on October 28, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I was looking for an easy read to get me through a long plane ride and this anthology looked promising with its variety of different love stories. My plane ride was more than six hours long, but because I was so immersed into this book my travelling time was a breeze! I loved all the stories in this collection, some of my absolute favorites was “Providence,” “Holiday on the Homefront” and “Turkish Delight.” I ended this book with a big smile on my face and can’t wait until these authors come out with another collection!

on October 28, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Bought this when I saw it was coming on for the wife. She liked the other Season of Box Sets and I figured it would be good reading for her on some long drives we have coming up. I am not usually one for romance (my wife will attest to this) but this book actually caught, and kept, my interest surprisingly. I was most strongly drawn into the Holiday on the Home Front story. I am a sucker for the WW2 era , and I thought the author did a good job of being true to that time period. The relationship between Betty and Van was believable, and the outlying characters and small town setting added a lot of dimension to their story-I felt like I was watching a Turner Classic Movie while reading. I also really enjoyed Providence, with it’s historical aspects… perhaps I am a historical romance fan afterall, though I won’t admit it anywhere but here. Anyway, great writing. I know my wife will enjoy these stories just as much as I did, if not more.

on October 28, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition2 of 2 people found this review helpful

I am Rick’s wife. I ordered on his account. LOVED these stories!! The characters were interesting, and you cared what happens to them. There’s such diversity from one story to the next! Old wartime love letters; a pact from the past visits a flower shop; who knew a snowglobe could predict the future; while island scenery may be beautiful, the people may not be; and my personal favorite, English titled folk mingle with Scots.

My personal favorite was written by Gerri Brousseau. I have read all of Ms. Brousseau’s offerings and had fun on all the adventures! This “Enticed by a Laird” does not disappoint. Her writing truly makes you feel like you’re in the room with these folks, and privy to their every thought, complete with accents! The British gentry even have the good taste to have a dog, or two!

Getting back to the library of stories here in “Season of Surprises”, there is something for everyone’s taste, I’m sure! And you’re going to enjoy, I’m sure!

on October 27, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase3 of 3 people found this review helpful

I received an advanced reader copy of a “Day for Destiny” by Jane Gale for review.

I found a Day for Destiny to be a refreshing change from my usual genre which is science fiction/fantasy.

This is the story of a young woman, Destiny, torn by her feelings for two men; one man being very familiar to her, but being caught up so much in his own ego that he didn’t have much room for anyone else. The other man being a stranger from her past. There are numerous twists and turns as she resolves her feelings for the two men.

Destiny is also caught up in a struggle with the local government to keep her property/shop. She must find out who is trying to take her property in order to save it.

This being a short story, I found the ending came a little too fast for me. I would like the story to have gone on and learned a little more about what happened to these characters. Perhaps there will be a sequel.

If you like romance novels, I believe you’ll enjoy this story very much. It is not at all smutty; it is just an enjoyable read.

on October 27, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I loved this set of stories. The romantic stories are all so different from each other. Each story is worth the price by itself, but you get 8 books in the set. I loved that! My favorite story is by Jane Gale. The flower shop is a great backdrop for a romantic story to unfold with the fragrant flowers and steamy green house. Jarrod her flaky boyfriend is in and out of the picture, but then a mysterious man drops by the flower shop. Then, he won’t tell Destiny his name – only that he’s come back to town for something he forgot.. I won’t give any more away but the writing is flawless and flows seamlessly. I couldn’t put my Kindle down to find out who this man was and what his intentions are! (and of course how he goes about getting into Destiny’s flower garden 😉

on October 27, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Season of Surprises is a delightful collection of heartwarming stories that entertain and transport the reader to different locations across time and the world. The characters are lovable and enjoyable…their struggles real. My favorite? Well I couldn’t say as each one was wonderful in it’s own way! Keep writing ladies!

on October 27, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Season of Surprises, make for a very enjoyable read. The writers of this delightful anthology kept me interested and engaged as I turned the pages of each of their stories. The beyond romantic Providence, by Bobbi Lerman was my particular favorite, making me wish time travel was possible. A wonderful addition to anyone’s holiday reading list.

on October 27, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition5 of 5 people found this review helpful
The team that brought us the heartwarming Season of Magic boxed set is back at it, and this time they brought a few friends. A Season of Surprises is a fantastic read. Eight stories to get you ready for a bit of magic and the holidays. My personal favorite Providence, nothing like a good time travelling Cinderella tale to get you feeling like anything is possible. Eight stories for this price, you really can’t go wrong.

on October 27, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase4 of 4 people found this review helpful
These short stories are a great representation of some of what romance has to offer. Sweet, each in their own way, I enjoyed this collection – from the handbag battle, to the English matriarch’s complicated second chance at love, to the agoraphobia who overcomes her fears. True romantic that I am, the fairy tale-like romance between Bella and Chad really stole my heart in Her Frog Prince!
Season of Surprises buy links:


Posted in General | 1 Comment

Cover Reveal for Heart of Stone by S.I. Hayes

Cover Reveal Heart of Stone by S.I. Hayes


What did you want to be when you were a child?  Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

As a child I was always telling stories, so says my family. As soon as I could write, I began putting pen to paper. But it wasn’t considered a viable money maker. So since I was drawn to the water, and had an affinity to retain information about aquatic life my first dream had been to go to the University of Miami and become a Marine Biologist. But I’ve got asthma, so diving was an issue. So I thought maybe Psychology. AS I was fascinated by the works of Jung and Freud in High School. But even that fell away. All throughout those years I never stopped writing. Bits of this bits of that. In the 8th grade I met my Awakenings: The Wrath Saga Co-Author, Will Van Stone Jr, and we began that journey. You can say I owe him for bringing me back to the written word seriously. It’s always been in the back of my mind, I’ve always wanted it… Now I’m doing it, and it makes me smile most days.


Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?

Heart of Stone is and erotically charged Contemporary Romance. It’s actually my first run in this genre. Typically I work in the paranormal vein. Vampires, Were’s, Angels and Demons. That kind of work. Or Epic Fantasy. This one just sort of happened.

What inspired your latest book?

Truth be told? I don’t actually know! I know I’ve read a few romances as of late, perhaps that’s what turned my line of writing, all I know is that about a month ago as of the reading of this (October,12th 2015) I woke up at 2:45 am with a need to write this story. It just slammed me in the head and wouldn’t let me go. After a day I had 10k and after three I had over 30k words. I was on a roll. I left my Horror/thriller WIP to the side and focused completely on Herat Of Stone, and in a week of solid 8-10 hours writing blocks, I finished it. Like I said it wrote itself. Every night I called my mom in Connecticut and red her the 7-10k I wrote editing as I went a long, so when I finished it had already gone through the first edit. It’s a trick I’ve done since my last book. It helps me to read it aloud as I catch typos better that way and run on sentences. Anyway, I think that part of what pushed me was wanting to write a female character who was the pursuer, as well as the pursued. A character who was damaged in a different sort of way, I wanted to see how much I could throw at them, and see if they would come out standing in the end.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.

Heart of Stone is an erotically charged Contemporary Romance, set in Manhattan, New York and Parts of Connecticut. Donnella Stone is as her name describes, cold, powerful and rich. She is a true Manhattan Blue Blood. This has left her with a problem, the men in her life have often only come for what they can take form her, and it has never been her heart.

To protect herself she has rules and a non-disclosure agreement for all of her relationships with men, she gets what she needs, and promises opportunity, means and her silence once the length of the arrangement ends. It has worked for a decade.

Until she meets Matthew Mayfield, an adorable, awkward artist from Connecticut whose work and passionate attitude instantly intrigue her. The problem? He takes more of an interest in her, than any man she has met before.

Can he get past the dragon and heal her heart of stone or will her past be too much for him to handle, leaving them both on the wayside?


Tell us about your hero.  Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.

Matthew Mayfield, he’s tall, awkward and handsome, as soon as you get him out of his clothes and into something that fits his toned physique. He has dark blue eyes hidden behind Horn rimmed glasses, and medium length hair the curls just behind his ears. He can be charming in the way he stumbles through a sentence, he loves his mother, and his greatest strength is his ability to see people for who they are, not who they pretend to be. His greatest weakness? His heart. It’s open and fragile. Not often used, it must be handled with care or it may just be left broken.

Tell us about your heroine.  Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.

Donnella Stone, what can I say about Donnella Stone? She has been referred to by her co-workers as The Dragon, on more than one occasion. Something she is aware of, and she prides herself on being the hard ass. It’s her strength and her weakness.


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Title: Heart of Stone

Release Date: November 27, 2015



Donnella Stone is as her name describes, cold, powerful and rich. She is a true Manhattan Blue Blood. This has left her with a problem, the men in her life have often only come for what they can take form her, and it has never been her heart.

To protect herself she has rules and a non-disclosure agreement for all of her relationships with men, she gets what she needs, and promises opportunity, means and her silence once the length of the arrangement ends. It has worked for a decade.

Until she meets Matthew Mayfield, an adorable, awkward artist from Connecticut whose work and passionate attitude instantly intrigue her. The problem? He takes more of an interest in her, than any man she has met before.

Can he get past the dragon and heal her heart of stone or will her past be too much for him to handle, leaving them both on the wayside?

Read more of Heart of Stone below:

Chapter One


“Just make it happen, God damn it! I don’t care how, bribe someone for all I care! Just get me my fucking paintings!”  Donnella Stone slammed the phone into its cradle, collapsing back into her chair. It spun a half turn, facing her toward the glass windows. She stared at the Manhattan skyline through tinted glass. Loving how it looked as the sun peeked through the late morning clouds over the Empire State Building. She exhaled deeply, trying to remember her anger management training. “One… Two… Three… Deep breaths…” She pushed a long red tendril of hair from her face as it fell from her usually well maintained up do. She pulled the octopus clamp from her hair letting the curls fall down her porcelain back and shoulders, releasing some of the tension brewing in her now pounding head. “Better.” She whispered more calmly, rubbing the back of her neck. She heard a small squeak behind her and turned back in her chair, to see her administrative assistant Harold still sitting in the chair opposite her desk, pen in hand waiting for her notes for the morning.

He did not seem to be miffed in any way by her outburst or her need to take a few moments to rejoin him in reality. In fact he rather liked seeing Donnella taking a moment to unwind and let her hair down. As she so infrequently did either. A small smile crossed his lips as she cleared her throat, putting her hair back up.

“Okay, Harold, where was I before we were so rudely interrupted by rubbish?” She asked her pale green eyes settling on him and his Brooks Brothers suit once more. She loved that he dressed so well for the office. It said something about how he felt about his job. Not to mention how well she paid him and the rest of the staff. She knew she could be a bit of a dragon, and paid to the effect, it kept lawsuits for psychological scarring to a minimum.

“You were saying that you didn’t want to go to the Governor’s Christmas Party stag this year. Which means picking from the pool, or finding a new suitor within a month, Miss Stone.”

Donnella blew air through her vermillion lips. “Let’s see what I can find. I’m bored with Samuel and Claude. See if Wyden is available. ”

“Need I remind you his contract ran out two weeks ago so you sent him to Florence for good behavior?”

“Ahh… That’s right.” She smiled standing up, sliding her French manicured toes into a pair of four and one half inch black leather heels with fire engine red soles.

“Are those the Louboutin’s?” Harold asked as she rounded the desk, with a smirk.

“They are. So eat your heart out.”

“The Dorothy’s would be all over you.” He smiled. “You have a meeting downtown in forty-five. Should I have the car brought around now or will you be driving your self today?”

“Bring the car, and you can come too, I’m stopping by the Studio before lunch, I want to make sure that those paintings have the right lighting. Can’t be too careful with Rembrandt.”


Matthew Mayfield opened his eyes, and climbed out of bed, scratching his ribs he looked bleary eyed at the clock. 9:07 A.M.

“Shit.” He spat getting up tripping over his stonewashed jeans on the floor. Falling to the ground he watched as his pit bull terrier mix Pepper cocked her head at him in confusion as she gnawed on his sneaker. “Pepper! No!” He lamented crawling across the floor reaching out for the shoe and the rapidly growing twelve week old puppy. She picked up and ran, shoe in mouth out the bedroom door. He got up, pulling on his jeans. “I don’t have time for this.” He mumbled, looking for his work boots, his standby shoes. They were covered in paint and cement from work, but at least they weren’t slimed and chewed.

Pulling on a moderately clean shirt, he grabbed his jacket and portfolio, hoping that the Listerine wisp would take care of his breath. “Janet? Can you walk her! I’m already gonna be late!” He pleaded to the thin brunette sitting on the couch in their shared apartment watching the cartoon network, smoking a clove cigarette with a beer in the other hand.

“Yeah, sure. Hey where you headed, anyhow?”

“I got that meeting at that gallery in the Village remember?”

“Awe, yeah, man, good luck. You better hurry or you’ll miss the train.”

“I know!” He ran out the door, hearing Pepper whine, he stopped and turned back picking the puppy up. “Daddy’s gotta go. But I promise I’ll take you to the park after. If this goes well, we’ll have a lot to celebrate.” He kissed her on her pink little nose, putting her down and was out the door.


“No, you don’t understand.” Matthew insisted. “I had an appointment. Matthew Mayfield, for one thirty. I came all the way from Connecticut for this!”

“Sir keep your voice down. Show a modicum of decorum would you? Even if you’d had, this appointment.” The receptionist looked him up and down. Paint covered tan work boots, long legs covered by dingy stonewashed jeans, a sweater tucked haphazardly into them, covered by a long leather jacket. The only thing appealing about him was his face, but even that was absconded by dark horned rimmed glasses. “It’s well passed two now. Neither Mr. Walsh nor Miss. Stone have the time for you if you cannot make the time for them. So if you please.”

“If I could just leave this with you.” He pulled out his portfolio, nervously, as the clattering of doors swinging open assaulted his ears followed by shouts.

“Get it done!” A woman’s voice demanded. The power and the echo, caused Matthew to lose his grip on the portfolio and the contents of it fell to the floor.

The receptionist, sighed heavily, and got up quickly seeing Donnella, as she came from the showroom. “You idiot. Are you trying to get me fired?” The receptionist barked. Trying to help him pick up the photos splayed across the floor.

Matthew ignored the irate girl, as he was for the second time that day crawling across a floor. “Fuck me.” He whispered under his breath. As he reached for a photo, only to have his hand nearly stomped on by a black heel with a red sole. He drew his eyes trailing up the curves of the leg to a black flounced hem. He pushed himself backward, embarrassed, and stuttering an apology as the woman bent down to pick up the photo under foot.


Donnella’s eyes surveyed the photo, it was of an African American woman, nude, arms crossed plumping the high points of her chest but hiding the nipples, the rest was turned so the shadows fell to mask her lower region, which accentuated the curve of her hip, down to the metal and plastic prosthetic that was her foreleg. Behind her in the distance was a torn and tattered American flag, and the message Remember Us…

She looked over the top of the photo to the young man still sitting on the ground. “Is this yours?” She raised an uncertain eyebrow.

“Y-Yes ma’am.” He sputtered, as he was helped to his feet by two very large men in dark suits, who did not unhand him.

Donnella waved her hand at them lightly and they released him. “Do you have more like this?”

He nodded. “Stephanie? Pencil him in. I’m taking my lunch now, I’ll see him after I’ve finished. Harold, clear my afternoon.” She looked at the young man again. Not completely unfortunate.

Harold glanced over his shoulder with a nod. “Yes, Ma’am. Right on it.”


“Who was that?” Matthew asked stunned as he pushed the last of his photos back into the portfolio.

That? That was Donnella Stone.”

Matthew’s eyes widened, and his mouth dropped open, “I thought she’d be older.”

“Everyone always does…” Stephanie grumbled. “You can have a seat over there. When she comes back, she’ll let me know if she hasn’t forgotten you.”

Chapter Two

 three hours later…

“I don’t understand, what’s taking so long? I saw her get out of that Towncar hours ago. She said she’d see me when she got back.” Matthew whispered into the phone. “Maybe I should just leave, Janet.”

“Naw, man. You’ve been there this long, show some resolve.”

“I feel like I’m showing desperation.”

“Show some of that too, man. You need the money. Cold weather means less work.”

“I know that!” His voice rose causing Stephanie to clear her throat annoyed. “I know that, listen I’m gonna give it a few more then I’m outta here.”

“Thatta boy!” Janet hollered before hanging up the phone.

Matthew turned back to the desk, seeing Stephanie as she took out her pocketbook and closed up the laptop in front of her. “Going somewhere?”

She looked him up and down again.  “Home actually, my shift is over. Security handles the night shift.” She pointed over her shoulder at the all too familiar men in dark suits who had helped him to his feet earlier that day. “Good luck with them.” She grinned smugly as she walked around the desk, past him and through the glass doors.

“Fuck this.” Having had enough waiting around Matthew picked up his portfolio and headed for the exit himself just as he was to go through the door he was grasped by the arm. He turned to see one of the guards. “Hey, I’m leaving.”

“Miss Stone will see you now.” His voice resonated deeply in the doorway, making Matthew follow without a struggle or word.

Where the front of the gallery was simple, open glass windows and some abstract art, beyond was a feast for they eyes. Especially the eyes of an artist. A few key pieces from well knowns drew in the high paying patrons, but the Keynote Gallery was famous for showcasing new talent, making names for the unknown artists of the city. It strived to bring a voice to its community through art.

“This way, Sir.” The guard directed him to a twisted floating metal and glass staircase. The planks reflecting off of the somber lights of the large open floor. Around the top were photographs from Michael Keats a photographer Matthew had studied under at Yale only three years prior. Here he was met by the one called Harold who smiled at him genuinely.

“Glad to see you stuck around. Mister?”

“Mayfield, Matthew, Mayfield.”

Harold nodded, extending his hand, and reaching for the portfolio. “Pleased to meet you, Mister Mayfield. I am Harold Worthington, Miss Stone’s Administrative Assistant. If you need anything, I am here to assist you. Right this way, please.”

Matthew was led to a set of bright cherry wood doors surrounded by glass with the blinds drawn closed on either side. The doors were opened and he was ushered inside.

The office was modern, with clean lines and little in the way of decoration. Wood paneling on the walls the same color as the doors, and chrome accents from the shelves to the furniture. The desk was cherry and black, housing a computer monitor, phone and little else. To the far wall was a fully stocked bar.

“Make yourself a drink. Miss Stone will be with you in a moment.” Harold placed the portfolio on the desk and promptly left the room closing the doors behind him.

Matthew walked over to the bar looking over the many bottles, knowing he had a long train ride home and that he was already tired he went instead for the sparkling water, taking a bottle he opened it, drinking half down greedily before exhaling, his abominable  thirst barely satiated. Just has he felt the burp push up into his chest he heard a door open to his right, he swallowed it down painfully. The woman he now knew to be Donnella Stone emerging from what he assumed to be a washroom, from the cloth in her well-manicured hands.

“Excuse me, I- Harold said…”

“It’s quite alright.” She smiled. Her opalescent green eyes locked on him, surveying him as he pushed his glasses up and back on to his face. “Would you mind pouring me a Brandy?” She watched as he looked at the crystal bottles lifting one then another. Her smiled broadened. “It’s the darkest one…Turns reddish purple in the light. Three fingers deep.” Adorable. She thought to herself suddenly, as she held her fingers sideway to show him how much to fill the glass.

He poured the brandy, and brought it to her, she took it with and arch of her brow up at him. He stood a good seven inches taller than her even in her four and a half inch heels. He couldn’t help from his angle but notice that the top three buttons of her crisp white blouse were undone and he could just make out the outline of a white camisole beneath before she turned from him toward her desk, hips swaying in the tight skirt he had spied her in earlier. It hugged her back end perfectly and from the look of it she didn’t appear to be wearing any panties underneath. He clicked his jaw at the thought. Trying to change the subject in his mind as his heart beat increased.

“So…” She looked down at the portfolio, seeing his name typed neatly upon it. “Matthew? Is it?”

He nodded still standing with the bottle of water in his hands.

She gestured for him to have a seat. He sat down the depth of the chair overwhelming him at first as his legs had not realized the lowness of it. He pulled up before she had time to take notice, bringing himself to the edge of the seat. Trepidation filled him as she flipped through the photos without sitting down, sipping the brandy. She let out a deep sigh and suddenly her height changed by several inches, he looked to the floor realizing she had slipped off what he now deemed to be her ridiculously high heels. His attention was now off of her flippant turning and on her perfect little toes, as she rubbed the instep of one foot gently up her own ankle to relieve what must have been all of her daily tension. Matthew found himself imagining having her in the bath, rubbing those insteps, helping her get rid of all of her stress. Then moving up her toned calves, to her knees. He wondered if she were ticklish there.

“Did you find something of interest under my desk Mr. Mayfield?” Donnella asked abruptly, bringing him back from his sudden daydream.

“I’m sorry, Miss Stone. But have you perchance ever wanted to be in front of the lens?”

“Well there’s one I haven’t heard before.” She mocked, putting her shoes back on to come back around the desk.

“I mean it. I was distracted by you, by the curves of your foot, the length of your leg. I wanted to photograph you before I knew you were who you are. The moment you stepped on the photograph, it was like a bell went Ding!” Matthew couldn’t believe what he was saying. Sure he meant it. He just wasn’t the type to come out and say such things. That was Janet’s job. She procured his models for him. He was the one behind the lens, behind the scenes. He could make the art, he could see the beauty. Speaking to a woman as sexy as the one in front of him, typically left him in knots with a wet dream for later.  Now here he was standing in this woman’s office demanding that she let him photograph her.

“Easy, there. I don’t like photographs of me. So you can slow your roll on that. But I do like that you’re passionate about it.” She pushed him back down into the chair once more. “I like these wounded soldier photos, especially the women. There’s something about the vulnerability and the bravery intermingled…”

“Yes, That’s where I was going, I-”

“Shh…” She put her finger to his lips and he could smell ther lotion she used on her skin. It reminded him of lilies after a rainstorm, when their scent would waft through his mother’s garden back home, how he loved that smell. He took a steady breath, as she looked at him, pulling her finger away, abruptly.

“Sorry, just when I get on a tangent I don’t like to be interrupted.”

He nodded. She leaned up against the desk in front of him. “I also noticed that you then paint them as well… Why?”

“It’s what I want to do. I take the photos because they sell, and frankly I need the money. But the painting is what I want to do. I use my photos as my guides, rather than having to continuously pay the models. But when I sell the photos, I hope to make donations to the funds they are a part of, they need the help, especially now that we’re not really over

anywhere, but everywhere you know?”

“Mmm… I think I could get behind something like that.” She strummed her fingers on the table. “But you’re not there yet, and I’m not really taking on photographers right now.”

Matthew blinked at her, the stunned look on his face apparent. “You kept me out there for three hours to tell me, no.” The words dripped from his lips with a tremble of anger he could not hold back. “You could have let me leave with my pride intact.” He stood his fist balled, hands shaking. “Instead you give me hope, you ply me with complements. What kind of heartless bitch does something like that to another human being?”

“Easy there, I’m the kind that can make or break you, everywhere. One call form me and no one will touch you. Like I said, I like your passion.” She scrawled something on a post- it note, tacking it to one of the photographs. “Be at this address, tomorrow night, after having seen a razor and a clean shirt for Christ’s sake. We’ll see just what you’re made of, shall we?”



Meet the Author:

S.I. Hayes


Shannon (S. I.) Hayes has been telling tales for so long as she has been able to talk, and began writing them down shortly thereafter. She is the singular author of the In Dreams… Series, and a Paranormal Historical Romance called Centuries Of Blood: Becoming. Shannon is the Co-Author to Awakenings: The Wrath Saga, a Paranormal Drama likened to Big Brother meets The Real World of the Preternatural, as well as several blogs and host to her own website.

In her own words… I have a mind that is easily distracted and prone to wandering. Tangents are my forte, and if you think my characters are going to fit a cookie cutter shape of any kind, think again. They live, they love, they eat, sleep and f***. I believe that people are inherently sexual creatures and my characters be they human or something altogether else are no exception.

I don’t adhere to a single genera, I toe the line on several and wouldn’t presume to be a master of any. So I suppose you could call me jack-of-all-trade-paperbacks.

I am a truth seeker, in my life, in my work. I’d apologize for it, but I kinda cannot help m’self. It is my best and worst personality trait, well mostly, being Bi-Polar I guess you could say that is the worse. But I believe that the disorder has made me, well… Me.

I have taken this life and twisted, carved, shaped and molded it in to the worlds of my characters. Albeit with a chainsaw, and it has made all the difference


Pre Order Heart of Stone

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Author Jacquie Biggar joins me today.

JacquieBiggar_TheSheriffMeetsHisMatch_800pxThe Sheriff Meets His Match


When a jaded sheriff is drawn to an exasperating woman in trouble, anything can happen


Laurel Thomas is tired of experiencing life from the outside looking in. She likes the warm welcome she’s received in Tidal Falls and wants to make a home in this friendly little town, far away from her egocentric family. But when her uncle arrives, the past catches up to her.


Jack Garrett is satisfied with his uncomplicated life. He has a good job as the sheriff of his hometown, a nice home, and a beautiful teenage daughter. Jack struggles against his attraction for the disorganized new hire at the department, Laurel Thomas. She threatens everything he’s worked so hard to avoid—like falling in love.


Can two people with enough emotional baggage to sink a ship find a way to give each other a chance, or is this match doomed to drown?



Twilight’s Encore


One man’s betrayal will seal another’s fate.

Ty Garrett fell in love with Katy Fowler from the moment they’d met. When her father’s betrayal yanks the young couple apart, Ty becomes bitter.

After a decade away, Katy returns to Tidal Falls with plans to get married in her family’s theatre. But she hadn’t expected to run into Ty Garrett, the boy she’d never forgotten.

When unseen forces endanger  their lives, can Ty save Katy and win back her love, or is it too late for these two star-crossed lovers?

The Sheriff Meets His Match


When a jaded sheriff is drawn to an exasperating woman in trouble, anything can happen


Laurel Thomas is tired of experiencing life from the outside looking in. She likes the warm welcome she’s received in Tidal Falls and wants to make a home in this friendly little town, far away from her egocentric family. But when her uncle arrives, the past catches up to her.


Jack Garrett is satisfied with his uncomplicated life. He has a good job as the sheriff of his hometown, a nice home, and a beautiful teenage daughter. Jack struggles against his attraction for the disorganized new hire at the department, Laurel Thomas. She threatens everything he’s worked so hard to avoid—like falling in love.


Can two people with enough emotional baggage to sink a ship find a way to give each other a chance, or is this match doomed to drown?



Twilight’s Encore


One man’s betrayal will seal another’s fate.

Ty Garrett fell in love with Katy Fowler from the moment they’d met. When her father’s betrayal yanks the young couple apart, Ty becomes bitter.

After a decade away, Katy returns to Tidal Falls with plans to get married in her family’s theatre. But she hadn’t expected to run into Ty Garrett, the boy she’d never forgotten.

When unseen forces endanger  their lives, can Ty save Katy and win back her love, or is it too late for these two star-crossed lovers?



This is my last two books.

My links:

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Twitter       Pinterest   GoodReads

Meet the author








This is my last two books.


My links:

Amazon:    Website    Facebook  Newsletter


Twitter       Pinterest   GoodReads

Sheriff postcardTwilight Meme


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Last but not least, me. Season of Thrills 5th author excerpt.

Thank you for following along as we shared excerpts from our book Season of Thrills. This week it’s my turn.









 IF I FAIL by Marian Lanouette

The next morning Jake picked Louie up. Together they headed to Farmington, to the medical examiner’s office. The ME, Doctor Lang, would perform the autopsy on Keisha at nine a.m.

“I checked my email this morning. The lab sent over the tox report on Washington. I don’t know how a guy with all that shit in his system remained conscious. I printed out a copy for you,” Louie said.

“Okay, I’ll look it over when we get to Farmington.”

Not one of their favorite parts of the job, they geared up mentally for the autopsy. Some just hit you harder than others. Jake’s stomach rolled like waves in a storm over this one. As he drove down the road, his mind wandered back in time to his first visit to the morgue. The year was 1992.

A buzzing rang out in his ears. He didn’t know if it was from the florescent lights overhead or the starkness of the corridor as their footsteps echoed in the silence. The buzzing grew louder as the door drew closer. The medical examiner, Doctor Ed Jerome, put his hand up to stop them.

Taking a deep breath, he said, “James, I know you’ve done this a hundred times, but this time it’s different. I can make the identification for you.”

“No, I need to do this, Ed.”

“Okay, why doesn’t Jake wait out here?” Doctor Jerome offered, giving Jake an out.

Jake spoke up, his voice louder than intended. “I’m going in.” He said it with such force it brooked no argument.

“Okay.” Ed pushed open the door.

On the table lay a body covered with a white sheet. Ed’s assistants had set the victim up for viewing. There was no way to hide the odor of death, though they tried to camouflage it with disinfectant, air fresheners, and Clorox. ’The house of death’ is what cops called it.

Jake took a deep breath; he looked to his father for support. A tall man, whom Jake favored in height only, his father squared his shoulders and nodded to the ME.

“Show me,” James demanded.

Doc Jerome pulled back the sheet to reveal a girl in her mid-teens, badly bruised, the trauma of her death etched in her horrified expression. Fright forever pasted in her expression.

“Was she raped?” James asked, while tears escaped his eyes.


Neither man paid attention to Jake’s weeping at their side. Jake couldn’t stop as he viewed his younger sister. He gently touched her forehead, her cheek, kissing her on the lips.

He turned away in grief, saw both his anger and his pain reflected in his father’s face. His father’s fists clenched, his shoulders racked with heavy sobs as he viewed the broken body of his daughter. Jake understood he looked with a father’s eye, not a cop’s.

“Who could do such a thing to such a sweet, innocent girl?” James cried. Asking the same question that many, many parents asked him throughout his career. Jake understood his father never thought he’d be here asking the same questions, viewing his own.

The buzzing in Jake’s ears increased. The next thing he knew, someone held a glass of water to his lips. The stress of the situation had overtaken him—he’d collapsed on the floor.

“I’m sorry, Jake. I shouldn’t have brought you here.” James hugged Jake, crushing him to his chest.

“I’m fine, Dad. Only, when you catch the bastard, I’m going to kill him for what he did to Eva. You need to know that.” He cursed in front of his father for the first time.

“Jake, don’t speak…”

“Jake, Goddamn it, Jake…” Brought back to the present by Louie yelling, horns blasting—Louie shaking him—Christ, he looked pale. Did I blackout? Jake wondered.

“What’s up, Louie?” Jake tried to shake off the memory.

“What’s up? You almost got us killed. Where the hell did you go?” Louie shouted.

“I’m sorry, Louie.” Jake pulled off the road, on to the shoulder of the highway. He put the car in park. “I don’t know what got into me. Here, you drive.” Unbuckling his seat belt, Jake climbed out of the car, walked around to the passenger’s side, climbed in.

“What gives?” Louie asked after he took the wheel.

“Only a flash back,” Jake stated. Louie knew about them, no one else did.

“Only? Jesus, you almost got us killed, Jake. You haven’t had one in a long time. A bad one? You know, I think I’m gonna have to check my shorts later,” Louie rambled.

“Funny. It was my first time at the morgue.”


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4th Season of Thrills Excerpt: Author Rachel Kent

Welcome back. This is the 4th excerpt from the upcoming Season of Thrills Box Set. Rachel Kent joins me today to share her excerpt.



BROKEN PIECES by Rachel Kent


“Give me the money and he’ll never see these,” he breathed, his noxious breath caused Tara Jacobs’s stomach to heave in rebellion. Her evil stepbrother Markus Lambert was threatening her. Well, she’d never truly considered him “family” since their parents were only married for about 18 months before they both died in a drug overdose.


Tara shivered when she saw the hideous photos Markus waved in front of her face. She couldn’t believe that Markus had taken them all those years ago, and they were essentially child pornography. Tears welled in her eyes as she remembered the humiliation.


She had only been 15 at the time. Young and innocent. She’d come to this horrific place to help her mom. The floorboards creaked, and the smell was putrid. The people were just as worn down as the sad excuse for a room.


Her mother lay, passed out in her own vomit with very few clothes on. Tara ran to her, when a man reached out his gnarly hand and stopped her.


“She still owes us some dances,” he growled. “If you want to take her home, you’ll have to dance in her place.”


B—but, I’m only 15,” Tara stuttered quietly.


The man laughed evilly and said “even better. Get those clothes off and stand in the middle of the boys over there.”


When Tara hesitated, he grabbed her by the arm and said, “Look Miss Priss, you’d better take those clothes off and shake what your momma gave you if you want to get her out of here in one piece.”


She took a deep breath, and just did it. She’d never even had a boyfriend, and she certainly had never had her clothes off in front of men. She quickly slipped out of her clothes and tried to put her mind in another place.


She’d never forgive her mom for this. Her mom had certainly never been a ‘good’ mom, but this was a new low even for her.


Tara tried to block out the catcalls as she slowly swayed back and forth. The men surged forward, and reached out to squeeze her breasts, and even though he was so horrible, the man who’d forced her into this put a stop to their groping as they tried to reach between her legs.


“Now, now guys, this is a look don’t touch show,” he said with a leer at the underage girl.


That night was a low point in Tara’s life. She nearly threw up as she continued to dance in place of her wasted mother. She freaked out when she heard a camera click, but there wasn’t anything she could do about it. She just had to grit her way through this and get her mom out of here.


Finally, after what felt like hours, she was finished. As she struggled to wake her mom up, the man sauntered over to her and said, “any time you want to come back, you have a job here. Your mom is getting too old, and you’d be a perfect replacement.”


As if she’d ever come to a place like this again. Never. This was it, and her mother had better straighten up this time.


Looking at the photos now, she could not believe that Markus had been the one snapping pictures of her.


“Those pictures are child porn Markus.”


He laughed, and said, “Like you’re going to do anything about it. Do you want your hotshot lawyer fiancé James Hartmann and his perfect family to find out what a little whore you are? Dancing nude at only 15. You wanted it BAD didn’t you?”


Markus knew that Tara wasn’t like that, but the taunts further lowered her resolve about not allowing him to take advantage of her. He was right. She’d do nearly anything to keep James from finding out and this nightmare from becoming public. She certainly wasn’t proud of what she had done, but she had felt she had to do it to save her mother despite the fact that her efforts proved to be in vain when her mom died of an OD just a few short months after that incident.

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3rd Season of Thrills excerpt: Author Karen Docter

Season of Thrills Book set includes five full-length novels. Mystery, Suspense and Thrillers. Today, Karen Docter/K. L. Docter is sharing an excerpt from Killing Secrets.




Four weeks…
Two days…
Sixteen hours…
‘Til death.

The first time he laid eyes on her, he stood on the threshold of a doorway he dare not cross. He fell into her fathomless dark gaze, unable, unwilling to shake his soul free and, in that one moment, he knew.

She was meant for him to love.

Untouched by the sordid life that flourished around her, she was sunlight in a gray existence. A smile in a dingy room. A joy such as he’d never known. She was a gift from a cold, unforgiving God. Forever innocent.

Why God would give him such a precious angel, he hadn’t a clue. But he suddenly knew what he was willing to die for. What he’d kill for.

In that instant of clarity the monster that lurked in the dark recesses of his mind was freed. A creature designed to kill. To live and die. Over and over again. Until his angel ascended once more to her place in Heaven at God’s feet where he couldn’t reach her.

‘Til death parted them, she was his and his alone.

Certain she’d been lost to him, the shock of spotting her again in LoDo, a lower downtown section of Denver, nearly brought him to his knees. His brain tried to tell him he was mistaken. She had more curves than he remembered. Her hairstyle and clothes were different.

The others were different, too.

He shook his head against the monster’s treacherous whisper. He refused to listen. Couldn’t listen. His angel smiled at him. His soul recognized her. Somehow, some way, his fractious God had been appeased and given him yet another chance.

The past seven days were hell. Watching her. Wanting to take her. He couldn’t screw up and lose her again. Tonight, his preparations in place, she’d return to his side where she belonged.

Breathing slow and measured through the full-face ski mask he’d bought at a thrift store, he sucked in a lungful of musty stench. In this uncommon late-May heat wave, he was sweating bullets, but the wool soaked it up before it could sting his eyes. The itching would drive him insane, though, if she didn’t come home from work soon.

The LoDo sports bar where she waited tables closed almost an hour ago. She couldn’t have gone on a date at two o’clock on a Thursday morning, could she?

Three times he’d entered her ground floor apartment after she’d left for work, and he’d seen no sign she was involved with anyone. No jockey shorts mixed with her

panties in the hamper. No extra razor. The food in the refrigerator wasn’t enough to feed a cat, let alone her and a boyfriend, and the only scent on her pillows was floral. The sole message from a male on her answering machine had identified himself as a special research librarian from the Denver Public Library reminding her to pick up the copy of “The Warwick Genealogy” she’d requested.

That doesn’t mean she isn’t still involved with him, the almighty scion of Thorne Enterprises. She’s probably crawling into his bed like a whore right this minute, letting him do things to her, making her scream….

“No! Stop!” he whispered. “That was a mistake!”
Was it? The insidious question lashed him from the dark place in his pounding

He rejected the smirking voice, the vivid images. Think of something else.

Anything else. Forgetforgetfor—
A car alarm screamed at an outlying parking lot and dragged him out of his

fugue. His eyes cleared. The pain behind them eased to a level he’d learned to carry over the years.

Soon, he would kill the nightmares forever. Patrick Thorne would die and the secrets with him. But the contractor hadn’t been punished enough yet. Before he finished, he’d ruin Thorne’s reputation, his livelihood, destroy everything he loved most in the world.

Just as Thorne destroyed our lives. The man must die! Now!

Restless to escape its bonds the monster thrust knife-hot pain in his brain, but he wrestled it back into the shadows and locked it down. Retribution was almost at hand, but not tonight. This night was about her.

Where was she?

There! Her tennis shoes slapped the sidewalk as she approached. He caught a flash of uniform—shorts and sports shirt, both too tight for decency. Then she walked out of the weak light that pooled across the commons into the dark well that led to her door. Her building superintendent had replaced her broken porch light this morning, but he’d smashed it again. He smiled when she cursed someone named Ronnie.

With a jingle of keys, she passed the niche he’d carved for himself in the shrubs. A bunch of adrenaline surged through him, made him light-headed with anticipation. He shook the buzz from his head and crashed out of the bushes with more noise than he intended.

Her head snapped left. She shot a glance over her shoulder. Her eyes widened. She lunged for the safety of her door.

He chased after her, grabbed her by the throat. A squeeze of her windpipe cut off her scream. He didn’t want to damage her too much. He just needed to get her alone.

To atone. To give him another chance.
With her body crushed against him, he groaned with pleasure. It had been so

long! For a moment he forgot his purpose, lost in the new scent of her, in the innocent softness of her curves. Her breasts were full beneath his forearm. The sweet curve of her ass cradled his stiff penis. With another groan, his grip relaxed.

She screamed. Struggling, she broke loose of his hold.

Shit! Reaching out, he snagged her long ponytail and yanked her back hard. With his other hand, he strangled her next scream into a whimper. “Do that again,” he grated, “I’ll use my knife.” The honed blade was secure in his pocket but she didn’t know that.

“I have money,” she croaked. “Three hundred. Tips. In my pocket. Please! Don’t—”

“Shh. Don’t fight me. Shh,” he crooned into her hair. He tugged a chloroform- laced rag from his pants pocket and fitted it over her face. “Just give me another chance, Angel, and everything will be fine.”

This time she’d make the right choice because, God only knew, he’d truly go insane if he had to kill her all over again.

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2nd Season of Thrills Excerpt: Today, author Kim Cresswell

Over the next two weeks I’ll be posting excerpts from the exciting novels included in the SEASON OF THRILLS Box Set series. Next up is author Kim Cresswell’s Reflection.


REFLECTION by Kim Cresswell

Chapter One

Mason Bailey gulped down his third Glenlivet. “I didn’t kill her.”

How many times had Whitney Steel heard those words? Dozens. But never from the mouth of a United States senator. For all she cared, the man could drink himself to Mars, but not until she got what she’d come for. An exclusive.

Under the awning shading the Pink Flamingo Club’s patio, she took a sip of her lime daiquiri, and couldn’t help notice the way the mid-afternoon sunlight brutally magnified every line on Mason’s tanned face.

“Of all the reporters in Panama City, let alone Florida, why me? We cut our ties years ago.” And our losses, she wanted to say, but didn’t.

“I know I can trust you.” His gaze darted across the street then back to her. “Besides, we were married once. That should count for something.”

Whitney straightened. Anger coiled in the pit of her stomach. “Give me a break. For a year and a half, I thought we were married. Too bad your girlfriends didn’t know about our little legal arrangement.” Especially, your twenty something assistant.

“Damn it, Whitney. I didn’t ask you here to rehash our past.” He yanked a monogrammed handkerchief from his jacket pocket and dabbed the sweat from his forehead. “I need your help. I know why Carmen Lacey was murdered.”

Her eyes widened. Now they were getting somewhere. “You have my full attention. Are we on the record?”

Mason shoved his empty glass aside. “Yes.”

Her heart thumped with anticipation. This story would be the topic du jour for months. Her ratings at WBNN-TV would soar, and finally her colleagues would take notice and treat her with the professional respect she deserved.

For the past twelve years, her colleagues said she’d had a free ride because of her father, an award winning war correspondent, and her ex-husband’s political connections. This time she’d prove them wrong.

She rummaged through her leather bag, placed her digital voice recorder on the table and gave the record button a firm push. “For the record, Senator Bailey, did you kill Carmen Lacey?”

“No.” He leaned back in the chair and loosened his pinstriped tie. “It’s true. I was the last person to see her alive. But there’s more to this than you think.”

Brown eyes that once set her heart hammering now conveyed a chilling, hollow look. Was it guilt? Desperation?

No. Fear.

Uneasiness slid down her spine. She stopped the recorder. “Mason, you’re scaring me. What the hell is going on? It’s been over three years since we last spoke. Then, out of the blue, you beg me to meet with you today. I know the police don’t believe you killed that woman.”

“But do you, Whitney? Do you believe I killed her? I need to know. It’s important.”

Stunned by the urgency in his voice, she answered carefully. “Of course not. You’re many things, but you’re not a killer.”

“Thank you. That means a lot to me.” He reached for his empty glass and tapped his chunky gold ring against the side.

Whitney turned the recorder on again.

“Carmen was a scientist working for a biotech company in Nevada. ShawBioGen. Heard of it?”

“Who hasn’t? They were one of the first to clone animals in the eighties. Caused quite a stir. But I don’t understand. What does that have to do with Carmen’s death?”

He opened his mouth to answer.

The large window behind them dividing the patio from the main restaurant exploded. A storm of glass rained down, showering the patio.

There was no warning. Everything moved so fast, yet in slow motion as if part of a horrid nightmare.

Screams. Rushed, heavy, thumping footsteps.

A few feet away, a male waiter dropped the two plates of food in his hands. He froze.

“Get down!” Mason yelled.

Whitney dropped. She huddled into a ball under the table and squashed the side of her face against the patio stones. Amid the chaos, a gunshot echoed and the waiter ran for cover.

A bullet ripped through the man’s shoulder and spun him around, the force slamming his body against the restaurant door. He folded to his knees and howled out in pain.

More shots rang out. Debris spewed through the air. Food, glasses, plates. The sickening smell of deep fried food and scorched cordite assaulted her nostrils. She gagged.

Crimson snaked toward her hand. The warm, sticky liquid met her fingertips.

Blood. Lots of blood. But it wasn’t hers.

Her gaze snapped to Mason, lying on his back. Dark red blood pumped from a gaping wound in his chest, soaking his white shirt. She held her breath to keep from screaming.

He raised his arm and reached for her. “I swear—I didn’t kill her. I swear.”

“I believe you.” Whitney kept her head down and inched her body closer. She grasped his hand. “I do. Oh, God.”

Please don’t die. Her pulse roared so loud in her ears she couldn’t hear her own words. “You’re bleeding so much. Someone help us!”

Another bullet whizzed through the air and slammed into the bottom of wooden table leg.

Needle-like splinters from the wood slashed through her pants and drilled into her thigh like a hundred slivers. The pain knocked the breath from her. The world twisted and turned yellow. Darkness thickened and threatened to overpower her. Can’t pass out…help Mason.

He gasped a ragged breath and shoved a key into her bloody palm and curled her fingers closed. “Don’t trust—anyone.”

She clutched the piece of metal. A knot wedged in her throat, one she couldn’t swallow. “I’m going to get help.”

“No—stay.” Blood bubbled at the corners of his mouth and trickled down his jaw. “They cloned…”

His eyelids slid shut.

“What Mason? They cloned what?”

Whitney lowered her head to his chest. “Oh, Mason, no.”

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