Whirlwind Romance

A rush of emotion dropped a veil over all but the tiny world of the two people in seats 11A and 11B, in a jet plane floating somewhere over the Atlantic, in a still moment in time.

Friday, November 17, 2017

I'm at Mixon Fruit Farms Harvest Festival Saturday 1-3!!!

Everyone clear your calendars and come to the Mixon Farms Harvest Festival Saturday Nov. 18 from 9-5! 

 Address is 2525 27th St. E Bradenton. 



Why, you ask? Because the Florida Writers Association has a booth--Table 34. Wonderful writers--nonfiction, children's, murder mysteries & romantic suspense all showcased (and on sale) there. I'll have all my books on sale there with deep discounts! I'll be there in person 1-3 pm.

Me & other great authors presenting
Oh, almost forgot! Drawings for fabulous gift bags--enter to win 2 of my suspense/cozy mystery novels.

More information: http://shop.mixon.com/

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Whirlwind Romance--Caribbean Romance Times Two

Bali Hai may not be the only special island in the world. Paraiso, home to Armand, hero of Whirlwind Romance, is a unique place, a Caribbean island settled by…Puritans! Come find out more about it and meet Maitea and Crispin, two lovely young people.




Pirates, Puritans, propaganda, and princes—pieces of the puzzle in the whirlwind romance between a beautiful jelly maker and a mysterious castaway.

Paraiso, the island in Whirlwind Romance, is based on a real island in the western Caribbean that I discovered—how else?—mucking around on the internet. Called Providencia, it forms an archipelago with two other islands, San Andres and Santa Catalina, and five uninhabited atolls. Currently under the Colombian flag, it has been the ruled by an incredible variety of groups, from Henry Morgan the notorious buccaneer, to Spanish Conquistadors, Dutch traders, even English Puritans. Now part of the UN's Seaflower Biosphere, it sports the third largest coral reef in the world. To reach it isn't easy, which is why it's not well known in tourist circles.

Its rich and odd history made it an intriguing backdrop for my story, but please be aware that most of the cultural and geographic description of Paraiso in Whirlwind Romance, not to mention the characters, is purely fictional.

Wild Rose Press, 8/17/2016, Champagne Rose imprint
Contemporary romance/Action Adventure; M/F; 2 flames
Ebook 89,905 words; Print: 358 p. 

In the aftermath of a hurricane, Lacey Delahaye finds herself marooned on an island on the Gulf coast of Florida with a mysterious man. They are immediately drawn to each other, but before Armand can confess his identity, they are kidnapped and taken to a tiny island in the western Caribbean. With the help of her son Crispin and a cadre of loyal followers, she and Armand must face down pirates, power-mad ideologues, and palace intrigue, if they are to restore the once idyllic tropical island to its former glory.
Lacey's House


In this excerpt, Armand’s second cousin, who by tradition must marry the second son of the Grand Duke, appears on Lacey’s doorstep seeking help.

Excerpt (G): We Meet Maitea

“Ms. Delahaye—”
“Please, call me Lacey.” We should be on a first-name basis if you’re going to marry the man I love.
“All right. I very much need your help. Crispin was sure you would know what to do.”
“Yes?” Out with it, child. The suspense rippled up and down her spine. She took a swallow of bourbon to calm her nerves. Is it about Armand? Is he hurt? In prison? In love with someone else? Lost in her frantic speculation, she almost missed Maitea’s next words.
“Prince Armand insists on marrying me, and I have no idea how to prevent him.”
“Prevent him?” A seedling of hope twined its way through the confusion. “I don’t understand. Why would you want to stop him? Doesn’t Paraisan custom demand it?”
“Yes.” Maitea took a delicate sip of wine and put the glass down. “But our generation considers it more of a guideline. We’re not Puritans after all.” She seemed to think this required clarification. “Well, not anymore. Nowadays, it’s accepted that both parties must agree to the match. And I don’t want to marry Armand. I want to marry Gorka.”
“Gorka?”
Maitea’s furrowed brow relaxed. “Gorka Jaso. He owns fifty acres down near Ekaitz on the west coast. It’s been in his family for three generations. He’s very rich.”
Despite the mercenary tinge to Maitea’s description, the seedling blossomed from hope into likelihood, choking out every other emotion. She doesn’t want to marry him! Lacey took another swig of bourbon and waited for her heart to defibrillate. Unfortunately, the pause left room for an alarming idea to insinuate itself. “You want to marry Gorka, but Armand still wants to marry you?”
“Yes, but I don’t believe he really wants to force me into a loveless marriage. It would make me so unhappy.” She folded her hands in her lap, her expression of prim complacency a tribute to her youth and self-absorption.
Lacey—herself wallowing in a sinkhole of self-doubt—found it refreshing.


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Coming 2018:
The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Romance on Bean Point--Beach Love from Mai Tais and Mayhem



So many romances, so many crooks: can Tessa Diamond, turtle protector and amateur sleuth, keep them straight and still find true love?

I live on the Gulf Coast on a barrier island, the setting for Mai Tais & Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine. In fact, the model for Tessa’s house, as well as the one for Dugan’s house, sits quite near me on the beach.

Many people don’t realize Florida has barrier islands—keys—on both sides of the state. Longboat Key, where Tessa lives, is a barrier island that protects Sarasota on the Gulf Coast. Eleven miles long, it is only half a mile wide at its narrowest point.  The next key up is Anna Maria, the very tip of which is called Bean Point. It is here that Cameron and Tessa become further acquainted.

I Heart Publishing, 12/7/2015
Contemporary romantic suspense/Mystery, M/F, 2 flames
eBook 68,840 words; print 208 pp.

Blurb:
When Tessa Diamond rescues a baby pufferfish from a hungry seagull, her good deed leads her into a shady world of smuggling, Russian gangsters, and coded messages. She confronts murder, attempted ravishment, parrots, sea turtles and big fish, only to encounter blossoming romances at every turn, including one of her own.

Before she can drop her longstanding opposition to marriage and accept her true love, however, she must face the possibility that he could be a thief, and even a murderer.

 
Near Bean Point
Excerpt (R): Bean Point

“So this is Bean Point. What a glorious view.”
Tessa snuggled under his arm. “It’s named after George Emerson Bean, the first settler on the island.”
“Ah, so it’s not named for the fields of golden beans that used to wave across the…er…um…what?”
She laughed. “Hoist by your own petard, or in this case metaphor?”
Cameron tapped her nose with a finger. “I guess I’m distracted.”
Tessa gazed at him as the stars blacked out one by one, leaving only the ones in her eyes. He bent his head to her and their lips met. The next few minutes passed slowly in a dream of unbuttoning and unzipping, then of warm skin touching skin, of limbs interlaced, and finally, of complementary parts dovetailing in ardent abandon.
“There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” Cameron brushed some sand off Tessa’s breast. The warmth of his fingers remained on her flesh, and she cupped the spot, not wanting to lose the sensation. He gently moved her palm aside and bent to kiss her nipple. It hardened and rose to meet him. His hand trailed down her belly, caressing her hips and edging toward her vulva. Tessa couldn’t move. Her whole body lay rigid, waiting, hoping he would make love to her again. Even the gritty sand beneath her buttocks couldn’t distract her from her hunger for more.
“You want some more?”
She could only nod. The half-moon rode overhead, fighting with the stars for dominance. Cameron flipped her over on her stomach. She felt his breath on her ankles but couldn’t see what he was doing. Something tickled the back of her knees. Soft lips nipped the sensitive spot there, then proceeded up her thighs and across her ass. He stopped at the small of her back and sucked a bit of the skin into his mouth, sending a hot wave of desire surging over her body. Tessa began to writhe, but stopped when broken shells ground into her knees. Her vagina ached for a satisfyingly thick, stiff prick to fill the vacuum. Juices leaked out in anticipation, puddling in the sand. Suddenly Cameron’s hand slipped underneath her belly. He inserted two fingers and wham! Her orgasm pulled her up on her knees and she bucked, grunting and moaning. “Oh God, Cameron.”
“Yes, baby? Does that feel good?”
“Oh, yeeesssss.”
“Wait till you feel this.” He spread her thighs, smashing her breasts into the ground. She felt his penis beating against her, moving up to close with her.
“Hello? Who’s there?”
The two lovers split apart, panting. In the dim light Tessa couldn’t see Cameron’s face, nor that of the uninvited audience, but the voice was embarrassingly familiar. Josiah. She grabbed her shift and dragged it over her head. Cameron had dressed as well by the time a chubby figure hove into view, swinging a flashlight to and fro. When the beam hit Tessa’s face she was sitting calmly next to Cameron. “Josiah? Is that you?”
“Tessa? I thought you said you couldn’t work tonight?”
Tessa decided on an aggressive approach. “I did. That doesn’t mean I can’t go to the beach if I want to. What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be down at Casa Del Mar tonight.”
“I got a report of a new nest around here and…” His light swung to Cameron. “Who are you?”
“Who are you?” Evidently Cameron had opted for offense over defense as well.
The question seemed to throw Josiah, not an easy thing to do. Finally he gabbled, “You first.”
Cameron replied cheerily, “Me? Mason. Cameron Mason. A friend of Tessa’s. Do you two know each other?”
Tessa touched Cameron’s arm. “Josiah is the president of our turtle watch group. He’s very…dedicated.”
Josiah drew himself up to his full five feet three. “We have to be, you know. Otherwise the sea turtles will go extinct and…”
“All of them?” Cameron didn’t keep the amusement out of his voice. “I thought only the Kemp’s ridleys are of concern?”
“Well, yes, the ridleys are endangered…but all of them are threatened. The only bulwark our fellow creatures have between them and oblivion are those few humans who aren’t afraid to stand up to the Man.”
“Huh?”
Tessa stood up. “I think we should leave this discussion for another time. Did you find the nest, Josiah?”
He shook his head. “I fear Angus sent me on a wild goose chase.”
“What makes you say that?”
“He claimed he’d gotten an anonymous call from someone who had seen a skiff pull up and lights flashing. The caller thought it might be turtle egg pirates.”
“I beg your pardon? Did you say egg pirates?”
Tessa grabbed Cameron’s arm and dragged him up, hoping he could make out the warning on her face in the dark. “My, my. Well, we’d best be going. Good luck, Josiah. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She attempted to sweep off, but when both feet landed on a nest of sandburs, she could only manage an ungainly hobble. She picked them off, wincing, and prepared to sweep again.
“Wait!”
She turned, desperation keeping a tight hold on her throat. “What is it?” she gurgled.
Josiah turned the flashlight on a wisp of lace panty, the scarlet ribbon fluttering in the gulf breeze. “Are these yours?”
Tessa snatched them and sprinted down the beach, trailed by Cameron’s snickers.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Rachel is Swept Off Her Feet--Literally--in the Penhallow Train Incident

 How about a romantic excerpt from, The Penhallow Train Incident, my romantic suspense mystery set in Maine.


Griffin Tate, hero of my new mystery romance the Penhallow Train Incident,  is a retired Middle Eastern history professor and becomes ensnared in the search for a fictional map to the Queen of Sheba’s tomb. Now, it’s uncertain whether the Queen of Sheba ever existed, or where the land of Sheba was, but according to the Bible, the Ethiopian Book of Kings, and many legends throughout the Middle East, she came from a nation in the south to meet with King Solomon. She has always intrigued scholars and in Penhallow Train Incident, she draws  not only Tate, but the lovely Rachel Tinker and a slew of quirky characters into her mystery.

Rachel's House


In the sleepy coastal Maine town of Penhallow, a stranger dies on a train, drawing Historical Society Director, Rachel Tinker, and curmudgeonly retired professor, Griffin Tate, into a spider’s web of archaeological obsession and greed. With the help of the victim’s rival, they set out to locate the Queen of Sheba’s tomb. Their plans are stymied when a war erupts between the sheriff and a state police detective who want to arrest the same man for different crimes. It’s up to Rachel to solve a mystery that includes two more murders, if she wants to unlock the soft heart that beats under Griffin’s hard crust. 

Excerpt (PG): The First Time

Rachel tried not to scream. She took a big gulp of air and let the words rush out on the exhale. “It’s the woman. The woman with the deposit slip. She’s dead.”
“I’m coming over.” She heard a click and a buzz.
Fifteen minutes later the screen door slammed, and Griffin stalked in without bothering to knock. He went straight to the kitchen, filled two glasses with ice, and poured whiskey into both. Carrying them to the living room, he handed one to Rachel without a word. Without a word, she took the remnants of her old drink and poured them into the new one. She set it down. For a second she stared at it, then reached out to pick it up again, but Griffin gently moved the glass away and took her in his arms.
She’d thought she was fine until then.
The tears flowed, and she hiccupped and gurgled about life and death while he muttered unintelligible words into her hair. When what had been a mild need for a tissue grew too urgent to ignore, she left his shoulder. A couple of wipes and a swig of bourbon and she could look Griffin in the eye. He dabbed ineffectually at his soaked shirt with a dirty handkerchief. “Better?”
“Yes, thanks. It’s just…I feel so responsible.
His eyebrows rose. “Responsible? Why?”
“She came to me. She gave the purse to me. She wanted me to help her. And for that she was murdered.”
“We don’t know anything of the sort. What did they say on the news?”
“Only that her body was found in the Passagassawaukeag.”
“She could have fallen in. She could have committed suicide. From what you told me she was very upset.”
Rachel recalled the young woman’s face. “Not upset. Frightened.”
“But not of the man she was with?”
“N…no. I don’t know how to describe it. She seemed…hunted. But determined.” She took another sip of bourbon and settled back on the cushion. So what if Griffin’s arm happens to be resting on the back? “Griffin, we’ve got to find out who she—they—were.” She turned to find his face inches from hers. “And what she was afraid of.”
He gazed into her eyes, his own inscrutable, then faced the television. “No. You have to let the police handle it.”
Rachel, who had forgotten what they were talking about in the overwhelming desire to kiss the man next to her, couldn’t think of anything to say.
Finally, he mumbled, “Turn it up—it looks like they’re talking about her.”
She did as she was told.
A bold headline announcing Breaking News filled the screen before Sheriff Quimby’s face appeared. Someone pressed a microphone under his chin. “…found about five-thirty by Kenny Cross. He was fishing off the bridge and snagged a white object floating by.”
A reporter asked, “How long had she been dead?”
“The coroner is examining her now. We won’t have any answers until tomorrow.” He started to leave, trailed by shouted questions.
“Did she drown?”
“Was it suicide?”
“Who is she?”
He shook his head and waved before ducking into a squad car.
The camera trained on a reporter. Short and stumpy, he tugged at his wrinkled polo before attempting to smooth his waning hair. “That was Sheriff Quimby of the Penhallow police, Andrew. It looks like we won’t get any more information tonight, but he’s scheduled a press conference for tomorrow at noon.”
“Is he going to discuss the first murder—the train incident, Lou?”
“Hopefully, although he didn’t mention it tonight.”
“Did anyone ask if the two deaths are related?”
“The sheriff only said that, so far, there’s no indication of either foul play, or of a connection between the two deaths.”
The anchor turned to his partner. “So, Bambi—”
Griffin jerked upright. “Bambi?”
“—are we looking at a rash of thrill crimes down there in the hitherto bucolic town of Penhallow?”
Bambi shook out her hair and touched her ruby lips before facing the camera. “I certainly hope not, Andrew. My grammy lives in Penhallow.”
Andrew stared at her for a long moment before turning to the camera. “Thank you, Lou. Keep us posted.”
Rachel muted the volume. “What should I do?”
Griffin patted her shoulder. “There’s nothing we can do tonight. Toby knows about your encounter with the woman, right?”
“Yes.”
“So he’ll probably want to see you tomorrow.”
“Yes, I suppose so.” She put a hand to her mouth. “I forgot—Lieutenant Blanchard will be there.”
“Who?”
“The state police detective. He’s the one who showed me the photo.”
“Why?”
“Why what?”
“Why will he be there?”
“Toby told him about me and the deposit slip. He said he was coming out from Augusta tomorrow.”
“So he doesn’t know his quarry is kaput yet?”
Rachel shook her head. “This is no time to be facetious. I’m sure it’s been reported by now. And Toby surely would have called him.”
Griffin sipped his drink. “Why did this Blanchard bloke go back to Augusta? Isn’t he investigating the corpse on the train?”
“I don’t know. I assumed he was, but now I think of it, except for his questions about the passengers, he didn’t seem all that interested in it.”
Griffin shrugged. “Who knows? Maybe he isn’t. Maybe he’s pursuing a cold case and this was just a fishing expedition.”
“Maybe. I wish we could have found something on the bank. It’s very frustrating.”
Her companion bent forward and pinched her chin between his thumb and forefinger. “There’s…nothing…we…can…do…tonight.”
“Nothing?”
For answer he let go of her face, drew her into his arms and kissed her. The kiss was tentative. She kissed him back, tentatively. “I…”
“Shut up.” This time they didn’t come up for air for a while. When they did, they stared at each other as if seeing one another for the first time. He said, “I…uh…didn’t mean to do that. I…”
She rose. “Oh, I see.” She picked up Spot and nuzzled him, hoping Griffin couldn’t see her tears well up. “I guess you’d better go then.”
He stood. “Okay. But…um, actually…what I meant to say is…I’ve been meaning to do that for a while. But I wasn’t sure...I didn’t know…I didn’t think…” He trailed off.
The bewildered look in his cerulean eyes as he shifted his weight from foot to foot reminded her of a kindly giant bobbling a baby bunny. She went up on tiptoe and touched her lips to his cheek.
The response was immediate. Griffin swept her up off the floor and charged through the kitchen door. Confronted with the refrigerator, he stopped, turned, and plunged in the opposite direction. Ending up where they’d started, he bellowed, “Where the hell’s your bedroom?”
She pointed at the ceiling. “Upstairs.”
Without another word he leapt up the steps, only banging her head once on the banisters, and dropped her on the bed. Then he stood, legs set wide like a latter-day Paul Bunyan, and folded his arms.
She lay where he’d dropped her, panting. “Now what?”
“You tell me.”
Oh, for heaven’s sake. “Come here, you great gob of indecision.”
Those seemed to be the words he was looking for, since for the rest of the evening he proved to her just how decisive he could be.

View from Rachel's Porch
~
The Wild Rose Press, 3/30/2016, Crimson Rose Line
Contemporary romantic suspense/Cozy Mystery; Sensual (PG-PG13)
Ebook 79,665 words, Print 334 p.






Buy Links:



Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press:

The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel