The Pit and the Passion

She held her gaze steady, mainly so she could delve deep, deep into those chocolate eyes. Together with his sharp, angular nose and intense, almost predatory, expression, he reminded her of a peregrine falcon on the hunt.

Monday, January 22, 2018

BRAND NEW COZY MYSTERY THE PIT & THE PASSION

NOW AVAILABLE
FROM THE WILD ROSE PRESS



THE PIT AND THE PASSION: 
MURDER AT THE GHOST HOTEL

TODAY ONLY
50% AT WILD ROSE PRESS


Set on Longboat Key, Florida, it features an unexpected skeleton, a quirky romance between an arrogant though talented writer and a beautiful reporter, and a complicated set of clues that lead to a deadly secret long hidden by the most famous circus family in the world.

Genres: Mystery, Humorous/Romantic Comedy
Imprint: Crimson Rose
Rating: PG-13
418 p.; 97370 words


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Mason's Mark: Love and Death in the Tower: Meet the Marples


The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower a murder mystery/romance, set in Alexandria, Virginia at the Masonic Memorial. If you’re interested in international intrigue involving renegade Masons and black ops, long-lost papers of George Washington, and great romance, this is for you.


Today let’s focus on two people who play a larger than expected role in the story. Complicating the affairs of both our hero and heroine, but also of the villains, are two eccentric but lovable characters. Letitia Canfield, Claire’s mother, meets Andromeda Miller Bliss, Gideon’s mother, in Paris and they immediately hit it off. Being naturally inquisitive and terrible snobs, they take charge of both their victims’ love lives and the mystery.

In this excerpt, Letitia amazes her daughter with her power of observation.


Excerpt (G): The Marples

Letitia Canfield carefully laid her lavender and petal pink fascinator down on the kitchen counter and patted her hair. “I can’t believe you’d let that…that hussy hold sway over your love life.”
Claire poured her mother a glass of iced tea from a crystal pitcher. “Let’s go out to the patio.” She unfolded two plastic chairs and a plastic table and set the pitcher on it. In the tiny open space their knees almost touched, but the profusion of roses, purple ageratum, and coreopsis the color of lemon sherbet surrounding them made up for the cramped quarters. She clinked her mother’s glass. “Hussy or not, she’s also Gideon’s wife. Until that’s resolved I do not want to see him. I will not see him.”
“He’s beside himself.”
Claire couldn’t imagine the tall, broad-shouldered man she might possibly love “beside himself.” “I doubt that.”
“Well, his mother is, anyway. She’s fit to be tied. Dorcas hasn’t answered any of her calls. They sent her the papers, but there’s been no response from either Dorcas or her lawyers.”
 “Has Gideon tried to get in touch with his…his wife since our luncheon?”
“I don’t know. The Senate went back into session this week, and I’m sure he has his hands full. He’s left it to us to get this thing resolved.”
“Mother!” Claire spilled her tea. “Say it ain’t so.”
Her mother’s indignation was genuine. “Don’t give me that look, child. Someone’s got to take action. You young people always think you have plenty of time, that nature will take its natural course and lead you to the Promised Land without your lifting a finger to help it along. Well, Andromeda and I both know sometimes destiny needs a little goose. And don’t use ‘ain’t,’ even in a quote.”
“Yes, Mother.”
Her mother acknowledged the apology with a benevolent nod and sipped her tea. “You don’t have any of those scrumptious deviled eggs you make so well, do you?” She looked around vaguely.
“Sorry. I have some raspberries.”
“That would be nice.” The small box of scarlet berries took up most of one shelf in the mini refrigerator.
When Claire returned with a bowl and napkins, Letitia took up arms again. “Andy believes—and I agree—that if we keep up the pressure on Dorcas she’ll have to cave. What woman wants a mother-in-law who hounds her constantly?”
Claire took a raspberry and nibbled on it. The tart sweetness burst on her tongue. “What do you think she wants anyway?”
“Dorcas? I’m not sure. After all, her lover has apparently been in touch with her.”
Claire stared open-mouthed at her mother. “How did you know?”
Letitia’s half-smile would have put Mona Lisa out of sorts. “You are always staggered by my powers of observation, aren’t you, my dear? I know because I saw him.”
“That day we were in Vermilion?”
“Of course.” The old lady ate another berry. “Andy says he’s the man she left Gideon for.”
“Andy?” “Andromeda. We’ve been indulging in a little sleuthing since our luncheon.”
Nuts. Just what we need—two Miss Marples on the case. “They met in Argentina.”
Street where Claire lives


Wild Rose Press, May 6,2016 (Crimson Rose imprint)
Mystery/Cozy Mystery, Romantic suspense
ebook 79,000 words; print 322 pp.
M/F; 3 flames

Buy Links:



Saturday, January 13, 2018

Sydney Interferes, but in the Name of Love! Excerpt from Lapses of Memory



I’d like to talk about my romantic suspense Lapses of Memory, in which two romances intertwine as a mother recounts her life-long love affair while her daughter juggles two lovers. The setting is Old Town Alexandria, one of my home towns, where both Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders, and The Mason's Mark: Love and Death in the Tower take place as well.

Today we meet Benjamin Knox, Olivia’s other love interest.

Blurb
It is spring in Old Town Alexandria, and Sydney Bellek is dictating her memoir to her daughter Olivia. Every few years from the age of five she meets her true love Elian Davies, but while he remembers her, she doesn’t recognize him. Only after surviving wars, revolutions, and years of separation will she realize they are meant to be, but this time it is Elian who has lost his memory of her. Will he remember her before she loses heart or will their new love be enough to replace the old one?

Meanwhile, her daughter Olivia has her own dilemma—how to choose between the rich and dashing Rémy de Beaumec, who wants to take her around the world, and the steady, quiet, American-to-the-core, Benjamin Knox, who only wants to make her happy.
Street in Alexandria


Poor Olivia! Forced to choose between two handsome, accomplished, loving men. Men who represented polar opposites. Rémy, dashing, rich, world traveler—French. Benjamin, dependable, reasonable, domestic, American to his Pilgrim core.

Excerpt (G):  Sydney Interferes

Olivia opened the door to the dining room and stopped. A tall, thin man stood awkwardly by the table, his long, patrician fingers nervously tapping the back of the chair. He stared at Olivia, mouth twitching in what could have been a rare attempt at a smile. Olivia spat out, “Benjamin!” Hands on hips, elbows out, she swung around, barely skimming her mother’s solar plexus. “Mother!”
Alice appeared from the kitchen door with a tray. “Dinner is served.”
The meal couldn’t have been jollier. Olivia spent most of the time scowling at her mother whenever she thought Benjamin wasn’t looking, and Benjamin spent most of the time examining his plate. Sydney gave up on small talk after the first ten minutes. As Alice cleared the dishes, she poured coffee into her grandmother’s delicate Wedgewood cups.
“Shall we take our coffee into the living room?” The other two diners nodded mutely. Sydney reflected that perhaps she had miscalculated the teeniest bit. She preceded them and surreptitiously poured a thimbleful of brandy into her coffee before turning to face them. “Well, it’s so good to see you, Benjamin. How’s the senator?”
Benjamin sat on a spindly chair as far from Olivia as possible. “Look, Mrs. Davies—”
Sydney, please.”
“Uh, Sydney. I appreciate your invitation, and I’m ready to talk, but I think”—he glanced at Olivia—“she feels differently.”
Olivia’s eyes grew wide. “Me? It’s you who told me, and I quote, ‘I guess there’s nothing more to be said.’ ”
Benjamin stood and began to pace. His light gray eyes glinted in the lamplight. He dug under his mop of rich brown hair with a finger. “But you said—no, you announced—that you intended to go with Rémy.”
Olivia flounced onto the sofa, spilling her coffee. “I did no such thing. I asked you what you thought, and you—”
“You could care less what I felt, Olivia. You’d made your decision. I know only too well that there’s no changing your mind once you’ve settled on a course of action.”
“Well, I—”
At this point, Sydney slipped backwards out of the room, taking care to grab the brandy bottle. Her work was done. With luck, not temporarily.

Wild Rose Press, 3/15/2017, Imprint: Champagne Rose
Contemporary romantic suspense/Action Adventure; M/F; 2 flames
Ebook (70,560); Print: 296 pp.


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Thursday, December 28, 2017

I'm on Author Bytes Today with Secrets

Alicia Dean--that amazing writer & blogger--has a new feature called Author Bytes on Facebook and guess who is interviewed today! Yes! Me!  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAliciaDean/posts/852745784907220

I'm talking about Lapses of Memory, my globe-trotting romantic suspense. 


I'm also talking about my favorite books, favorite movie line, ideal last meal, and a tidbit about an adventure I've only told a few people about. This is a hint:


Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAliciaDean/posts/852745784907220

Be sure to leave a comment or like!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine FIFTY PERCENT off at Smashwords

December 25 through December 31, Smashwords is offering my four I Heart books—Mai Tais and Mayhem, A Widow’s Walk: Catherine’s Dilemma, Dear Philomena: Love, Lust & Murder on Chincoteague Island, and Triptych—for FIFTY PERCENT OFF! Get all four today!


Today I’d like to talk about my murder mystery romance, Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine.

When Tessa Diamond rescued a baby pufferfish from a hungry gull, her good deed led her into a shady world of smuggling, Russian gangsters, and coded messages, confronting murder, attempted ravishment, parrots, sea turtles and big fish, only to encounter blossoming romances at every turn, including one of her own.

***
Tessa Diamond, the heroine of Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine, works with the annual sea turtle nesting survey along with a motley assortment of volunteers. There are in fact several volunteer groups that patrol the 770 miles of coastline during the nesting season. Five of the seven sea turtle species live in Florida waters: the loggerhead, the leatherback, the green, the Kemp’s ridley, and the hawksbill. This year Mote Marine logged a record number of nests on Longboat Key.

Tessa is checking on a leatherback named Fred who is being rehabilitated at Mote, when she makes a grisly discovery.

Excerpt (G): The Body

The alarm woke her at seven. Tessa threw on the Mote polo shirt and black golf skort she’d laid out the night before, grabbed the bagel and can of V8 she’d left on the counter, and shot down Gulf of Mexico Drive as the sun came up. The road for once was deserted, and she could revel in the breeze blowing her long hair over her shoulders and the scent of frangipani in the air. The soft gray sky held only a hint of the deep blue to come later, and the gulf lay becalmed by the evaporating night. She sang a country song as she drove. In her bones she knew this would be a glorious day, the first in a long time where she felt free of any guilt or sadness. If only she could whistle. If only I could carry a tune.
She parked in the aquarium lot and walked across to the Goldstein Center. Pulling out the key Pilchard had given her, she let herself in by the ticket booth. Pale, blurry light seeped in through the plastic sheeted tanks to her right. She went up the stairs and around the gift shop to the dolphin pool, rattling doors as she went. All was quiet and locked. A snort came from the pool. One of the dolphins raised his head and peered at her before diving back down.
Looks okay here. She checked her watch. Eight-twenty. The support staff should be arriving soon to open the gift shop and ticket counter. She walked back down the stairs. The turtle tanks lay to her right—two large shallow pools that at present held four sea turtles, one leatherback—Fred—two green turtles, and a loggerhead. She leaned over Fred’s tank. “Fred,” she called, “how are you? Feeling better?”
A black mass floated at the other end of the pool. Oh dear, I hope he’s not still sick. Worried, she skirted the other tank and ducked under the gate. The mass didn’t move. “Fred?” She reached out a hand to touch his shell and instead encountered something soft and mushy. “Fred?”
At that moment the overhead light flashed on. She swung around. From the hall came the voice of Henry Stillwater, the coordinator of the dolphin training program. “Who’s there?”
“It’s Tessa. Tessa Diamond. I’m the volunteer. I was checking on Fred, but something’s wrong.”
“What?”
Tessa turned around to look into the pool again and screamed.

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

Get Your Copy at Smashwords during their Christmas Sale for 50% off.
Buy Link:


Buy Link for A Widow’s Walk: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/638502
Buy Link for Dear Philomena: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/584372


All four books are also available in both eBook and Print-on-Demand at Amazon, Itunes, Barnes & Noble.