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.

The Pit & the Passion

Monday, April 9, 2018

Addison Brae and Becker Circle: Great New Romantic Suspense Mystery

Welcome Addison Brae to Tale Spinner. We want to hear all about your new  mystery romance, Becker Circle. What was the inspiration for the story?



Where no one has to be a victim and everyone deserves a second chance, will Gillian find hers?

The inspiration for Becker Circle came from a conversation with another author after a writing workshop. I mentioned I was in a bit of a hurry to make it to my friend’s bachelorette party. She asked me why someone “our age” would go to a bachelorette party. My answer may have sounded snarky, but it was true. “My friend’s getting married.” I had just begun a fresh start. Our conversation made me realize how stuck in social norms and expectations we are. We’re never too anything for a fresh start, to try something new, have fun—or go to bachelorette parties.

Totally agree! So what’s the story about?

The pub
My first and only boyfriend believed I was too gutless to leave. He was dead wrong. My name’s Gillian, and I graduated Harvard early and left his hot temper and everyone else behind for Dallas. Determined to make it on my own, I land a second job bartending at the neighborhood pub smack in drama central where most every jerk in the neighborhood hits on me—at a huge price.

A week into the job, the neighborhood’s very popular drug dealer falls to his death a few feet from the table I’m serving. The cops say suicide, but the hot guitar player in the house band and I suspect foul play, and I intend to prove it. We dig deeper, grow closer, and make a shocking discovery. We know the murderer.  

Excerpt (G): Panic

I’ve got to say something. Stop this. Get back to the plan.

“Sir, can we talk about this? I have an idea that might work better.”

Silence except for the water.

Finally I find the nerve to look back.

Absolutely no one is there. Every living soul in the park vanished along with my sanity like animals do when they smell danger.

Jon’s going to kill me if I don’t get arrested or murdered like Bobby first.

I look around at the empty stretch of grass frantic. Do I go home? Back to the pub? Talk to Pinkie? Call Jon? Are they watching me? Nothing seems safe. I’m not sure how to fix this—if anyone even can. What the fuck am I going to do?

My feet pound on the pavement. Out of habit I head toward the pub. The waiters at the Italian restaurant whistle and wave from across the street. What used to upset me is reassuring. I stop and turn in the direction of Pinkie’s, and then home. Instead I lean against the building and look up to the sky.

“Mom? Help.”

I don’t talk to her often anymore. Not like I used to. I can always count on Mom to help me find my strength. It was during long conversations with her staring at the sky when I plotted slipping out of Boston during the holidays while Connor was gone. She inspired doubling up on classes so I could finish early. Mom gave me the courage to leave him.

“I can’t pack up and disappear this time.” I look for her in the stars again. Facing it is the only option. I can’t run. I have to figure this out for Bobby. For you and Dad. For me. But how?

People walk out of the George & Dragon. Laughing. Carefree. Think, Gillian. Think.

Maybe I was the one who found my courage all along. The only way I ever made it through anything big is one step at a time. Follow their instructions. I can’t screw up.

I jump at the vibration in my pocket. It’s Jon. “Talk to me…you ok?”

My fingers fight to find the letters. “Meeting fine...headed home. Brunch?

“Thank God. Yes see you in morning.”

I inventory the people on the sidewalks and turn toward my building. Step one, figure out how to tell Jon he’s out of the deal. Or maybe I don’t. Postpone so there’s time to get myself out of taking this on alone. Why didn’t I wear quieter shoes? My heels click on the brick sidewalk announcing myself like an old clunker car with no muffler.

When a car approaches from behind I walk faster, my heels echoing even louder. I glance back but don’t even know what to look for since the guy in the park didn’t show his face. A girl about my age sits behind the wheel of a taxi-yellow compact. The tension in my body eases but I’m still a wreck. I constantly look around thinking someone’s about to pounce out of every shadow. Everyone looks normal walking dogs or strolling between bars. But what does normal look like?

Seeing my stairs is a relief. Keys in hand, I break my one-step-at-a-time in heels rule to get home faster. To hell with rules. I’ve followed them all my life.

Rule sixteen of my new life—Break more rules.

My sofa is the happiest thing I’ve seen all day. I drop my coat and purse at the door and slip my shoes off on the way. The day’s stresses and lack of sleep roll over me like the densest fog. All I want to do is sleep. And forget.

Romantic suspense
Tirgearr Publishing (March 2018)
281 pp.

Trailer

Buy Links



Addison Brae
About the Author

Addison Brae lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. As a child, she was constantly in trouble for hiding under the bed to read when she was supposed to be napping. She has been writing since childhood starting with diaries, letters and short stories. She continues today with articles, video scripts and other content as an independent marketing consultant. 

When she’s not writing, Addison spends her time traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes and hosting parties. She’s still addicted to reading and enjoys jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy. 


Contacts:


Monday, April 2, 2018

Welcome Icy Snow Blackstone & Runaway Brother


Welcome to Tale Spinner, Icy Snow Blackstone.

Icy Snow—that’s an unusual name. Where does it come from?


Icy Snow Blackstone was born in 1802, in northern Georgia where her father, the Reverend John Blackstone, was prominent in local politics.  She married a minister, raised seven children, and lived there all her life.

Two hundred and five years later, her great-great-great-great-granddaughter began using her name as a pseudonym for her romance novels. The present Icy Snow Blackstone lives far from her Southern roots in Lancaster County, Nebraska, where she continues to write romances. 

As of 2017, Icy Snow has eleven novels published by Class Act Books. Her contemporary romance, Tuesday’s Child, was given the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewers Choice award for Best Contemporary Novel of 2014. A SciFi romance, Earthman’s Bride and Vietnam-era romance Jericho Road, have also received awards.

Fascinating. Tell us how you came to write  Runaway Brother:




Icy Snow Blackstone writes romances set in the South.  After viewing the movie Sullivan’s Travels on TV, in which a millionaire disguises himself as a hobo and travels the rails seeing how the other half lives, she was inspired to write her own version in which a millionaire runs away from his responsibilities and gets stranded in a small Southern town.  After some twists and turns and revisions, Runaway Brother was the result.

So, what’s the story about?

At the age of twenty-two, newly-graduated Nicolo Liguori is forced by his three brothers to become care-giver for his father, who suffered multiple strokes.  For the next ten years, Nick gives up his own ambitions , working during the day in the family jewelry business in Vanderhoek, New York, and returning to the Liguori mansion every night, to be at his father’s beck-and-call. Then Papa dies and Nick is free…or is he?  Carlo, Marco, and Pietro expect him to continue life as usual, but Nick has other ideas.  Secretly buying a motorcycle, he starts to work one day and… disappears.

Nick gets as far as the southern coast of Georgia before an accident disables his bike.  Stranded, with no idea of the South except what he’s seen on TV, Nick isn’t certain what kind of reception he’s going to get.  Then, a pretty Southern miss and a white tank disguised as a temperamental horse named Shazam change his life as they and the citizens of Oceano teach a runaway Yankee about life and love in a small Georgia town.


Excerpt (G):  

The track was getting narrower, barely two ruts now with a width of slender, wiry grass separating them.  He slowed the bike.  Don’t want to get that stuff caught in the spokes and stall the engine.
Nick raised his head, looking around, then gave a loud sigh of exasperation.  Okay!  So I’m lost!  He’d just follow the road to wherever it went, probably to some farmer’s front yard.  When he got there, he’d apologize, turn around and get himself back to the main drag.  If he could find it.
A broken branch loomed ahead, and he turned his attention to it, guiding the bike around it.  
            A second branch and several twigs littered the roadway.  Nick was so concerned with maneuvering around them he didn’t see the horse sail over the fence, wasn’t even aware it was there until he looked up and found the white shape almost directly in front of him.
            He jerked the wheel to the right, forgetting to apply the rear brakes first.  The bike skidded, its back wheel rising off the ground as the front one stopped rolling.  He had a brief vision of the animal leaping forward, its rider clinging to its back, wide, frightened blue eyes, flying blonde hair...
            The motorcycle went off the road, sliding into the ditch and running up the other side, the front fender striking one of the fence posts.  It bounced and rebounded, and Nick went flying over the handlebars, flipping in mid-air and hitting the same post with his back. The bike wavered a moment, then toppled onto its side.  Nick slid down the post, landing upside down in the ditch, his shoulders crushing coffeeweed into an aromatic mass.
            The pounding hooves stopped.  He heard running footsteps, opened his eyes and saw someone running toward him.  He closed them again.
            “Are you hurt?”
            This time when he opened his eyes, he was staring at the upside-down face of a very pretty girl, at least she’d have been pretty if her face wasn’t screwed up into such a dismayed scowl.
            Am I hurt?”  He managed a growl as he slid further into the weeds and rolled over.  “I just hit a fence and got tossed into a ditch!  What do you think?”  Clambering to his knees, while she plucked ineffectually at one arm, he jerked out of her grasp.  “I can get up by my—  Ow!” 
            He’d gotten upright, took a step, and his leg buckled, turning at the ankle. “Here.”  She slid into the ditch, offering a hand.  Reluctantly he took it, being careful not to put too much weight behind it as he let her pull him to his feet.  He could see she was worried and he really wasn’t hurt all that bad, but he was angry because she’d been so reckless.
            “What the Hell’s the matter with you?  Jumping in front of me like that!  If I’d hit that horse—”
            “What are you doing riding this road?  This is private property.”
            She was too pretty for him to pretend to stay angry at, so he toned it down, answering her question. “I got lost.  I only wanted to find the end of the road and turn around.”
            “You have a way to go.  The house is about a quarter of a mile that way.”  She nodded toward a group of pines thrust into the road, hiding the rest of it from sight. Nick looked in that direction, then back at her.  She, in turn, looked at the motorcycle, still on its side in the weeds.  You seem okay.  Is that hurt?”
            Nick got down on one knee, feeling under the bike.  His hand came away wet.  He sniffed at his fingers. 
Gasoline. He pulled off one glove, exploring gingerly.  Something had punched a hole in the gas tank and gasoline was pouring into the grass.  He had no idea how, but it didn’t matter.  What did was that he wasn’t going anywhere as long as that hole was there.
            “Well?”  She appeared to be awaiting his diagnosis.
            He wiped his fingers on the seat of his jeans.  “Gas tank’s got a hole in it, clutch cable’s severed. Is there a motorcycle shop around here anywhere?”
            “No, but Marshall’s in town can probably repair it.  He does everything from lawn mowers to farm machinery.”
            Oh Lord, deliver me from small town handymen!  He was about to tell her he didn’t want Marshall touching his bike when he realized, What else am I going to do?  Do you have a better idea, Mr. Runaway?
            “So which way is town?”  He straightened, looked around as if expecting to see the city limits a few feet away.
            “Too far for you to push that thing,” she answered, gesturing at the front wheel.  “Not with it twisted like that.”
            “What do I do then, Miss Not-So-Helpful?  Since this is your fault—”
            “My fault?”  Hands went to her hips.  And deliciously slim ones they were, too.  Nick had a moment to think she looked anything but angry, though it was apparent she thought she did.  Cute, maybe.  Hell, he might even say adorable with those blonde wisps floating around her face, but angry?  Nope!  “Who’s the trespasser?  Who had his head down, studying the ground when he should’ve been looking straight ahead?”
            “You weren’t ahead of me,” he countered.  “You and that white tank of yours jumped a fence and came in from the side.
            “Never mind.  Just let me get the bike upright and point me in the right direction, and—”     
“I’ll do no such thing.”  That made him stare at her, wondering if she was going to walk away, mount her white steed, and leave him stranded knee-deep in kudzu or whatever-the-Hell these weeds were.  “I’ll ride back to the house and get my grandpa’s truck.  We’ll put the motorcycle in it.”
            She clambered up the bank, running toward the horse now grazing on the other side of the road.  Catching the reins and a handful of mane, she swung into the horse’s back—very gracefully, he noted—then turned the animal’s head and trotted it back to him.
            “You stay right there,” she told him.  “I’ll be back in a jif!”  She kicked the horse in the ribs and sent it galloping down the road.
            Nick turned his attention back to the V-Rod.  It hadn’t moved.  Did he expect it to get up and limp over to him like a dog with a hurt paw, whimpering for sympathy?  Shaking his head, he leaned against the edge of the ditch, back against a fencepost.
            Welcome South, Brother!  


Runaway Brother
Class Act Books (August, 2016)
Contemporary Romance
258 pp.

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Contact Icy Snow here:




Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Pit & the Passion on Cover Wars!


Hey—the fabulous cover for my new mystery romance The Pit & the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel—is up at the Cover Wars for Author Shout. Thank you RJ Morris!

Do drop by and vote for your favorite!


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

FIVE ROSES FOR THE PENHALLOW TRAIN INCIDENT!!!

Five Roses
 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
for 
The Penhallow Train Incident


Roses & Thorns loved my Maine mystery!
Here's some of what the review says:

About the Penhallow Train Incident, it’s a wonderful romp through Maine, Egypt, and the Sudan while Rachel and Griffin try to solve a murder, track a suspect, and even search for the tomb of the Queen of Sheba."

"The Penhallow Train Incident is almost three-hundred pages, but it’s not a long read because once you pick it up, you won’t be able to put it down. So, I suggest carving out some time before you start reading. Stockpile food, tell the family they’re on their own, and lock the door.”