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“Quicksand” is Coming

The manuscript for "Quicksand"

The manuscript for “Quicksand”

Happy Holidays!

It’s been a loooong time since I’ve posted. There’s been a lot of stuff going on in my life, but suffice it to say that things are going well. What matters most is that the sequel to Whirlwind, titled Quicksand, is being prepped for publishing! It’s been a long time coming, but I’m targeting a spring release.

Are you ready for more Melissa and Jason? How about a little taste now?

From the upcoming book jacket:

Melissa Williams walks away from her family, her friends, and her home to spend the summer with new love, Jason McAlister.  Life in the Midwest is not the fairytale their whirlwind romance was. Jason’s ex-girlfriend hates her—that’s not so bad—but so does his best friend, Grant. Even Jason is upset with her, jealous of the baseball players it’s her job to interview.

Melissa tries hard to fit in, but a series of suspicious coincidences and unsettling secrets pulls her further and further away from Jason. Like a runner caught between bases, she is trapped between those Jason has known and trusted for years and a web of drugs involving athletes and the drive-by shooting of Jason’s friend. Unless Melissa can find enough evidence to convince Jason those around him aren’t what they seem, she will lose the dangerous game she’s stumbled into.  And in this game, losing means death.

Watch this space for more tidbits, the cover reveal, and release information.

Thanks for sticking with me, and with Jason and Melissa!

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Time for Some Summer Lovin’!

The Summer Lovin’ Anthologies are now available! Click on the banner to get yours – they’ll only be available until September 30th. But enough of that – how about an excerpt from my contribution?  From the short paranormal romance, Concessions, meet Lindsey and her beau, Clyde (AKA Devon):

Shoving the extra ketchup under the counter, I went back to my catalog. Snowmen, fir trees, and angels—three things you can’t find in Vegas, no matter what time of year it is. “Happy Ho-Ho-Holidays” one T-shirt read…now that’s more like it. Candy, the prostitute who worked the corner across the street, would enjoy that.

“I like that one better.” A black fingernail tapped the picture below.

“HOLY ****!” I screamed, sending soda cups and lids flying.

“Sorry. A little jumpy today, Lindsey?”

My vision pulsed red as my heart scrambled to flood my system with adrenaline. “Damn it, Clyde, as if your looks aren’t enough to give me a coronary.” The one thing I couldn’t figure out was why the customers we did get dressed like the living dead. I thought they were supposed to haunt the night, not the afternoon.

“I can’t help it you never hear me coming. I guess I should get a bell for my collar.” He ran a long, pale finger along the edge of his spiked neckwear. Clyde took the Goth look to a new extreme, his sharpened canines sparkling in the neon glow as he graced me with a rare smile.

“Then the mice’ll be safe.” Sighing, I stooped down and collected the now-trashed cups.

Stomping his combat boots loudly on the thin carpet, Clyde came around the counter. While I fumbled with the paper and plastic, he deftly stacked the lids like they’d just come out of the box. He started to set them by the soda machine, but I stopped him.

“We have to toss those. Health code, you know.”

“Oh, right. Sorry again. Jack won’t be mad, will he?” One of the few regulars, Clyde came in every day, watching the same movies over and over. I’d never asked him about that—I probably didn’t want to know.

“Nah. Don’t worry about it. **** happens.” I dumped the last load into the trash and punched the intercom behind me. “Jack, keep an eye on the counter. I have to go get some more cups, okay?”

The figure in the glass booth across the lobby threw a hand in the air.

“Can I help you carry something?” Clyde asked.

I did a double take. “Sure.”

He followed me silently to the stairs.

“Are you okay, Clyde?” I thought his vocabulary was limited to “Hot Tamales” and “thank you.”

“I’m fine, why?”

I opened the door at the top, walked past the projectors feeding the two lonely screens, and invited him into the dark storeroom with my finger on my lips. As door the closed, I flicked on the bare light bulb and squinted at him.

“You’ve never talked to me before. What’s up?”

His midnight eyes were traced in heavy matching liner. Black pearls in a velvet purse. Straight, jet-black bangs fell across his forehead, begging to be brushed aside to reveal his meticulously groomed ebony eyebrows. His hair was the only thing that wasn’t characteristic of the death-loving crowd. No spikes or vibrant colors interrupted the soft wave that framed his stark features and ended in an unbroken line at his chin.

The caverns in his cheeks became dimples as another smile creased his equally black lips. “Honestly? I talk to you every day, Lindsey.”

His eyes held mine, paralyzing me. His pupils seemed to open like umbrellas, enveloping me in night.

“You do not,” I breathed, unable to blink but seeing nothing.

“Yes, I do.” His husky voice wafted over me like fog. “Every day. Remember?”

I swayed in his arms, lost in his gaze.

“Remember,” he repeated—no, commanded.

In the darkness his word became smoke, swirling around me, beckoning me. Every day…remember…

What do you think? To read more, you’ll need to pick up a copy of the Summer Lovin’ Anthology: Heat Wave. Read the romance, Save the Ta-tas!

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Tomorrow is the Day!

I can’t believe Release Day is tomorrow!  There were many times in the past few years that I was sure this day was never coming…but now it’s only a few hours away.  Suffice to say that I’ll be a jumpy mess today!

How about one last excerpt from Whirlwind to pass the time? This is a long one, I hope you enjoy it!

My stomach lurched when the wrinkled suit of the eighties guy I’d bumped into outside stalked toward me. Not surprised or angry—thank goodness—he had a confident, almost predatory walk. His smile didn’t convey excitement or happiness but voracious greed, his lips rising to fully expose his canines in a wolf-like grin. He was, in a word, creepy.

That’s it. Gotta go. I reached for my purse, but the strap caught on something. I’d just untangled it when I felt a heavy hand on the back of my chair.

“Hi. Would you like to dance?” he asked in an oily voice.

“No, thank you. I don’t dance.” Still.

“How about I join you then?” he asked and promptly sat in the chair closest to me. “I was rude when we ran into each other earlier. I’m Ron.”

Was that supposed to be an apology or a pick-up?

“What’s your name?” he asked, ignoring the fact he hadn’t let me answer his previous question.

Showing him the same level of courtesy, I scanned the crowd, searching for a lifeline. Chase and Linda were busy talking to his parents several tables away. Beth and Todd were dancing; Mitch and Ann were across the room, laughing; and neither Tricia nor Jason had reappeared. Welcome to wedding reception hell.

I picked up my water glass and considered dumping it in Ron-the-creep’s lap, but that would mean getting closer to him and his smelly suit. Instead, I took a long drink and inspected the five-tiered wedding cake in the far corner, avoiding his eerie stare. Would he get the hint if I refused to acknowledge his existence?

“So, are you a friend of the bride or the groom?” he asked, unfazed.

“Groom,” I nearly shouted, hoping this guy was as intimidated by Mitch as the Trojans were. “Close friends.” None too subtly I clutched my purse, thankful I’d remembered to slip my pepper spray in the tiny bag. “I should probably go congratulate him.” I tried to inch my chair away, but Ron held it fast.

“He’s busy with the other guests.” His head turned slightly, toward the newlyweds I assumed. “I’m a friend of a friend of the bride. She’s quite beautiful, isn’t she?” The covetous smile reappeared.

“Yes, she is,” I said. Coldness enveloped me when I realized all the tables around us were empty.

Options…I need options. The door closest to me was marked WOMEN—that’d do nicely. I tensed, planning to make a dash for the bathroom should Ron’s hold on my chair loosen even for a second.

He scrutinized me with hungry eyes. “Hey, let’s get out of here and take a walk in the garden. There’s a trail that goes down to the beach. I doubt a little hike would wear you out.” A cold finger grazed my back. Was he touching the ends of my hair?

I jerked forward, away from his hand, still unable to budge my chair. Ron was exceptionally bold, quickly moving from creepy to frightening. My thoughts turned from flight to fight.

“No thanks. I wouldn’t want to miss the action here.” I repositioned my purse in my lap so I could reach the zipper. As I did, the table moved—and another path appeared: tip the table and make a scene. Could I ruin Mitch’s celebration? What if I was misinterpreting Ron’s eagerness?

“Aw, come on, this stuff is boring anyway. It doesn’t look like anyone will miss us,” he pressed. “It’ll be a treat.”

A treat? I had to get away from this guy! Like a song stuck on repeat, the possibilities raced around my brain, along with an adrenaline-enhanced list of Ron’s weaknesses. Run, scream, fight, spray. Ribs, eyes, knees, groin.

Summoning all my courage, I gripped the edge of the table. Thankfully, Chase materialized beside me before I tipped it over.

“Hi. I’ve been looking for you.” He carefully avoided using my name, somehow sensing the fear surging through me. “We’re dancing as a group over in the corner. Come join us.”

I didn’t hesitate. “Okay.” Without a second glance at Ron, I pushed myself away from the table, catching my captor off guard.

In a flash, Ron wrapped his clammy hand around mine and squeezed it hard—too hard. I flinched, still trapped in my chair.

“She doesn’t dance,” he said, his nostrils flaring. I tried to free myself, but his fingers became a vise, tightening as I struggled against them.

“Get your hands off her!” someone snarled. Ron’s head whipped around, looking for the new speaker.

I took advantage of the distraction and ripped my hand out of his, jumping up so fast I slammed into Chase. He caught me, automatically wrapping a protective arm around my shoulders.

Ron rose to face him, his hands bunched into fists. My new savior intervened, equally incensed: Jason McAlister.

In less than 12 hours you can read the rest! Omnific Publishing even has a sale going for the holidays:

Holiday Ebook Coupon

Check out Meet an Author Monday for More Book Suggestions

Meet an Author Monday

Click here for the Author hop

 

Authors! Have a book out? Are you under contract for publication? Make sure you join in the hop. This is a great way to network your blog and let readers know who you are!

And We Have a Winner

Congratulations to Britney in Texas – she won the autographed copy of Whirlwind on goodreads.com! More giveaways are coming, so stay tuned.

Quick Gift Ideas

Looking for something quick and easy to give?  Here’s a couple quick gift ideas:

  • Restaurant gift cards – great for the person who has everything!  Many are on sale now…pick some up for your favorite restaurant, too?
  • Movie tickets – kids especially love these. I’ve found that Costco has great deals on movie tickets; I always have a couple passes in my wallet.
  • LED Keychain light – a great stocking stuffer, but SO useful.
  • Movies at home kit – Great for people who can’t get out (like parents of young kids). Include a pack of microwave popcorn, some Raisinets and Hot Tamales, and either a DVD or movie rental gift card. Put them in an inexpensive bowl or popcorn containers (available at places like Target).

Have a great day, and see you TOMORROW!

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Filed under excerpt, Great News, Publishing, Tips and Tricks