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

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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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