Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Going South for A Hair-Raising Mystery

For an avid mystery reader, finding a new series is always a great joy. It's like visiting a new town or city and deciding you want to stay around for a while and get to know it better. That was how I felt the moment I read the description for author Penny Ewing's new book, Dixieland Dead. I needed to know more about Penny and her new book.

When the economy tanks in Whiskey Creek, Georgia, hairstylist, Jolene Claiborne expands her business to include skin care. A wise move until Scarlett Cantrell, a local celebrity, is murdered in the facial room. The police brush aside Jolene’s suspicions that the incident is tied to a recent break-in, and to complicate matters, the victim’s ghost threatens to make Dixieland Salon her permanent place of residence if Jolene fails to expose the killer.

Scarlett’s last words provide the only clue: “Find the jade elephant. Explains everything.” That is until a book of poetry turns up with a dangerous secret inside. Dealing with a diva ghost ain’t easy in the Bible belt. Throw in a sexy police detective, a crooked mayor with connections to the mob, a family cover-up, a mother who hasn’t cut the apron strings, and you get one stressed out middle-aged hairstylist with murder and mayhem on the brain.

Now that sounds like the next book on my "to be read" list.  Author Penny Burwell Ewing tells us she grew up along the pristine shores of Fort Pierce, Florida. She says living in a southern coastal town gave her the best of small town living where the residents look out for one another and she adds that her love of the supernatural and mysteries lead her to write the Haunted Salon Series. After spending years behind the stylist chair, she gave up her cosmetology license in favor of a desk chair and the adventures that come with fiction writing. She says we can find a few of her hairstylist’s adventures in her books. 

She now lives in a quaint town in South Georgia, where she says it’s "dang hot" most of the time, and the gnats are bigger than the state bird; the Brown Thrasher. When not busy writing, she wiles away the hours with counted cross-stitch projects, crocheting, and other fine needlecrafts. She also says loves dark chocolate and blackberry wine.

We're looking forward to more adventures from Penny. But for now let's get an excerpt from Dixieland Dead.

The facial room pulled at me like a magnet. Where did the human life energy go after departing this life? Could Heaven and Hell truly be our last destination, or could we linger here trapped in the last peaceful or hellish moments of our life? Thoughts like these had troubled me since Daddy died. For years afterward, I’d studied books on the afterlife, religious teachings from various faiths, the great philosophers, and the occult, and even ancient alien theorists, always trying in vain to contact him.
This morning’s strange incident at the cemetery resurfaced. I removed the yellow-crime scene tape, the door vibrating under my hands. Call it déjà vu or precognition, but I suddenly knew something monumental waited on the other side. Slowly, I turned the knob. The hairs on my nape prickled as a voice whispered in my ear, “You can’t go in there.”
I snatched my hand from the door knob. “Crap, Deena, you scared the hell outta me. Must you sneak around?”
“I never sneak. You simply weren’t listening.”
The kitchen door swung open. Mama stood in the doorway. “What’s going on out here? Stop horsing around. Go find Billie Jo. I’m ready to leave.”
“Jolene’s going in there.” Deena jerked her thumb toward the closed facial room door.
Billie Jo rounded the corner. “What’s all the commotion?”
“Jolene’s going in there,” Deena repeated.
“No, she’s not,” Mama said. “The police will accuse us of tampering with evidence. We’ll go in when Sam gives the okay.”
“We can’t leave before making sure that multi-function Skin Care Station is properly shut off,” I said. “It cost over fifteen hundred dollars.”
“No one’s going in there,” Mama huffed. “Got it?”
Billie Jo reached out and tested the knob. “It’s locked anyway.”
“That’s strange. It wasn’t a moment ago,” I said, twisting the knob and finding it locked. “Go get the key, Deena.”
“We lost the key years ago.”
“Wait,” I said excitedly. “I’ll get a butter knife from the kitchen.” I turned to leave, but Mama grabbed me by the arm, causing me to stumble against the door. With a thump, it flew open, propelling me into the room. As I stumbled for balance, something white fluttered in the semi-darkness. Regaining my balance, I quickly switched on the lights before Mama could protest.
“Ahhh,” I said with vexation, my eyes taking in the discarded jars lining the counter top. A dusting of fine powder covered the floor. “This room’s a mess. It’ll take hours to clean.”
“They must’ve take a sample of everything,” Deena piped up behind me. “What’s on the floor?”
Billie Jo bent down and ran her finger over the floor, leaving a thin trail. “It looks like oatmeal. Carla said she mixed everything into that death mask.”
Mama stuck her head in the doorway. “Don’t touch anything and get out of there right now. We need to get over to the hospital. Jolene, if you don’t come out of there right this instant, I promise you that when the roll is called up yonder, you’ll be there!”
Deena backed out of the room. “She’s right; the hospital is expecting me.”
“I’m ready to leave, too,” Billie Jo said, joining Mama and Deena in the hallway.
There wasn’t any need to try and argue my point with them—my vote would be vetoed immediately. The facial equipment was unplugged, so I turned off the lights and shut the door. A loud crash sounded from inside the room. Quickly, I flung open the door, flipped on the overhead lights, and screamed with every ounce of my being—for there, on the facial bed, sat the faint, ghostly image of Scarlett Cantrell.

If you want to read more, here are the buy links:

And here is where you can read more about Penny:

Thank you, Penny, for being my guest and bringing us a new mystery. Any comments or questions for Penny?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Working or Networking?

Since I normally feature various authors on my website, I get a good chance to interview authors and not only learn about what they are writing but their writing styles and how they got started as writers. I also get the opportunity to find out how they keep up with the writing process and if they have any little secrets the rest of us can learn about becoming more prolific or getting our writing done.

Being a fiction writer can be a lonely task. It’s not something that can necessarily be done in a group setting. In the old days, when I was working in a television newsroom, there was the constant chatter of other newswriters all around me and people were constantly chatting or asking questions. I’m not sure how it’s done now, but the last time I visited a TV newsroom, I was struck by how quiet it was. No teletypes clattering, no typewriters, and even no noise from monitors around the room. People wore earphones and plugged into whatever they needed to hear. I wonder if they constantly ask each other questions like we used to, although I suspect that it is all done through messaging directly into the computers at their workstations.

I think I would miss some of that chatter if I was still working there. As I write and work on my
fiction I think one of the things I miss most is having other writers around to ask a question or to lament over how bad a passage is going. It’s one of the reasons I really enjoy getting together with other writers and hearing how they work or what problems they might be having. And it is always revealing to hear what people are working on or the research they are doing on their current books. And the writing process is always fascinating to discuss.

Last week I had the great pleasure of attending a book signing with Anne Hillerman and Sara Sue Hoklotubbe who both write mystery series set in New Mexico with Native American characters. Hearing them talk about how they had come up with their characters and how they worked to remain true to the Native American customs and the setting was fascinating. 

For Anne Hillerman, she said she felt like she had grown up with the characters of Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee because she was there as her father wrote their stories through his many books. She said they were “practically like brothers” to her. But she has worked hard on her own to advance the character of Bernadette Manuelito in her current series.  Her newest book in the series, Cave of Bones, has just been published. It is the fourth in the current series and as usual, the setting plays a big part in her book. She says she set it in the lava flows near Grants Pass, New Mexico because they intrigued her. Having traveled through that area on several occasions myself, I'm equally intrigued to read the book. 

Both authors said they try to bring out the natural beauty of the country where their stories take place. Both also said they write every day and that was the advice they had for aspiring writers – never lose sight of what you want to accomplish and work on your writing continually if you want to get those stories written.

The daily writing habit is a good one to form and to practice. With so many distractions around us, we often lose sight of the prize. Several days later I attended a session with other writers at the Mountain of Authors in Colorado Springs, Co. Again, writing was the number one topic on our minds. We talked about the joy—and drudgery—of daily writing but we also discussed how important the habit is to form. Whether it is working in a notebook to get those scenes written in long hand or sitting at the keyboard in a closed room or with a beautiful spring day staring you in the face, the only way to get that book finished is to write, write, write.  And that is what I will do now…

But here’s a quick blurb on Anne Hillerman’s new book:

When Tribal Police Officer Bernadette Manuelito arrives to speak at an outdoor character building program for at-risk teens, she discovers chaos. Annie, a young participant on a solo experience due back hours before, has just returned and is traumatized. Gently questioning the girl, Bernie learns that Annie stumbled upon a human skeleton on her trek. While everyone is relieved that Annie is back, they're concerned about a believed instructor who went out into the wilds of the rugged lava wilderness bordering Ramah Navaho Reservation to find the missing girl. The instructor vanished... 

As an avid reader of her father, and now Anne's books, this one sounds like another mystery I won't be able to put down! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Editing Dilemma

Most weeks I am looking a different books and previewing the books  I love to read, but today I’m going to deviate from that to talk about writing and the writing process. For the past few months I have been working on a sequel to my novel, Dead Man’s Rules. The book is titled Dead Man’s Treasure and it takes Freeda Ferguson, a character in the first book, on a search for her father and a lost treasure while encountering a new romance at the same time. 

Dead Man's Rules told the story of a Los Angeles journalist who visits her mother in a small New Mexico town and gets caught up in a murder mystery.  The next book takes us back to that same small town of Rio Rojo, with another old mystery that has never been fully explained. 

I started working on Dead Man’s Treasure several months ago and now I am ready for editing. Like so many other writers I often participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) every November attempting to write 50,000 words in one month.  I’ve done it for a number of years because I enjoy having one month when I really focus on writing, writing and more writing. To finish that many words in 30 days without editing, it takes discipline and daily concentration on a story. Because I don’t usually plot in advance it takes even more work to have something ready to write EVERY SINGLE DAY. Because of that I have to remember, re-establish and practice all the good writing habits I can muster and that I’ve learned in the past and that was what I did in writing the latest Dead Man story.

But there is another reason I enjoy tackling NaNoWriMo.  At the end I come out with a nearly fully written book. What is the next step? There can be several. Some writers some out of NaNo and immediately begin the editing process.  Others will go back and find all the loose ends and tie them up and then set it aside. That’s more of what I like to do. Even writing that many words will not guarantee a finished product. For certain it won’t be a polished product. But it’s like laying the foundation for a house. The framework is there and some of the walls may be up, but there is still much more work to be done. For the first week of December I usually go back to my story and fill in some of the blanks I know I’ve left in the plot or I take the time to clean up discrepancies that I didn’t complete or fix while writing the story.

So if I don’t immediately start the editing process, what am I going to do and why?  When is the right time to go back in and start to edit a book you’ve just written? It all depends. As I noted, if you know there are some things that need fixing, I suggest going back in and immediately fixing them so that they don’t get forgotten or the freshness of your thoughts in writing the story don’t get away.

But overall, leaving a story and letting it rest for a while is probably one of the best things you can do. Walk away from it, let it go, and then come back to it in a month or so with a fresh eye. You will find yourself looking at it in a whole new light.

How long should you let it go? The one thing you don’t want to do is to let it go for so long that you totally forget the feel for the book and its characters. To me the people and places in my books are alive in their own little world.  I like to visit that place, whether it is real or made up and spend some time with those characters who are always products of my imagination. But visiting that world is like walking into a real location and listening to the characters talk and seeing how they act is like a seeing them come to life. That is how it is during the writing phase, and for certain how it has to be during the editing phase.

When I come back and begin to edit, I always look  for the special touches that will make the reader feel like he or she is being transported into that special world I created. If I don’t get the feel, then I need to work on making it come alive and become real. That means:

Focus on your senses. Do you feel the coldness of the winter day you were trying to describe when you first wrote the opening scene?  Do you fear the oncoming darkness or feel the fear you want your heroine to feel as she watches the sun set and knows those creatures from the previous night might be returning?

Listen to your characters.  Do they all sound alike or does each of them have a different way of speaking so that even if you took away the tags you could tell who was talking? Are you making each character individual and making their own story come alive through their words? 

Consider the tension in your scenes. Is it there or do you need to make it more profound or turn the scene into something else? Does the scene move the plot forward or does it look like you’re just filling in words to get to a certain word count? Does it further define your character? Does it contain necessary information for the story resolution? In other words, does the scene even make sense? Read over each scene separately and make certain they are necessary to advance the plot or the character. If they are just filling time, then let them go—cut the scene.

Make a list of your scenes. Do they all flow together in a natural progression or is there something missing that you need to go back and insert so that your story makes sense? Are there several scenes that appear to be simply strung together that either move so fast you’re feeling breathless and in danger of doing the same to the reader?

What about your grammar, your sentence structure? With each pass through your book it makes sense to look for those little things and to keep correcting them so that at the end all you need is a final polish to finalize your editing.

This is just a brief look at some of the elements of the editing process and no two people edit the same, but we all have to do it. Sometimes a refresher on the editing process or editing with others besides your critique group can be helpful.  In the next couple of weeks, I will be teaching a class on editing for Fantasy, Futuristic andParanormal Romance Writers, and if you’d like more help with editing or even working with your characters or plot on a story you are currently writing, I’d love to have you join us.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Matter of Murder

Murder, mystery and mayhem are always high on my reading agenda, so I am always watching for authors I haven't read yet that I can discover and enjoy.  Today's guest in My Writing Corner falls into

that category.  

Susan Coryell is a career educator who has taught classes in English, Speech, drama, reading and English as a second language to students from grade 7 through college. She is also a prolific writer who has had articles published in publications from Cooperative Living to The Washington Post. She's even written recipes for magazines and cookbooks. But she also writes fiction for adults and young adults. She married her high school sweetheart and currently lives in Virginia.  

Her latest book is A Murder of Priniciple.  It sounds like a great book to enjoy on those warm afternoons sitting in the park or outside on the patio or at my favorite restaurant with a glass of wine in one hand and a book on the table.  

What happens when an unscrupulous principal threatens to destroy a model high school? 

A new principal takes Harding High by storm, wreaking havoc with every executive order, every decision, tearing down the stellar school tenet by tenet. Teachers, other administrators, students, parents—the community at large increasingly react to the tremors shaking Harding High as Principal Wendy Storme churns a destructive path through their traditions, values and protocol. Everyone seems to have a valid motive for murder.

English department chair, Rose Lane, and her rookie sidekick, intern Penny Bright, are determined to move the hurricane force Storme out of Harding for good…except that somebody beats them to it with the decisiveness of murder

That grabs your interest doesn't it?  I know it grabbed mine!  Here' an excerpt that will make you want to keep reading!

With a blast of nerves, Rose pushed open the door and moved inside the large, windowless room. Settling her eyes on the principal’s desk, she noticed that the woman’s position was oddly out of the ordinary; her limbs stretched unnaturally and her neck twisted away to the side. The desk itself was covered in a flurry of papers and every drawer had been pulled and left open. A mug of spilled coffee puddled down one side of the desk. Written on the mug was the word Boss.

Rose fought panic as she moved in and surveyed the surreal scene before her. Principal Wendy Storme had not moved. The face on the twisted neck was frozen in an ugly grimace of terror—with mouth and eyes wider than normal. Her swollen jaws and neck had darkened to a macabre blue. A thin stream of drool crept down Wendy’s chin and her eyes stared unseeing at the wall beyond. Without notice, Wendy’s body flopped to the floor with a flaccid thud, virtually at Rose’s feet. 

Principal Wendy Storme was dead.

Like I said, you'll want to keep on going. Want to find out what happens? Here's how to buy:

The Wild Rose Press

If you would like more information on Susan, here is her website:

Thanks, Susan, for being my guest and introducing us to your latest book.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A New Chance at Romance

Stories of reunited lovers or a second chance at love have always been among my favorite romantic tales to read so I am always looking for new offerings. This week's guest in My Writing Corner has just such a story to offer and it immediately captured my interest when I read the blurb. My guest today is new author Elsie Davis who has a wonderful story of how she got published. 

Elsie, how did you get started on your writing career?
I’ve been an avid romance reader since the age of twelve. In my mid to late twenties, I started to notice a certain level of frustration when I was reading if the story didn’t go the way I thought it should. Putting pen to paper, I started to write thinking it would be easy. I graduated to the Commodore printer and Ink Jet printer. (Dating myself big time) Turns out, writing an entire story, at least one worth reading, seemed impossible. My big dreams faded away into the reality of diapers, school, homework, sports, cleaning, dinners. You get the picture.

Twenty or so years later, I started writing again. This time courtesy of Microsoft Word and a modern computer. Two or three stories spilled out of me, but I knew they still weren’t good enough to let anyone read, much less send out into the big, scary world of publication.

Tell us about your journey to publication. Have you always wanted to write fiction?
The official start as I see it, came in 2014, when I had written a romantic suspense, Only Trust Your Heart, and I was starting to gather confidence. A retired English teacher read it for me (the first person to ever read anything I wrote) and she loved the story. My mechanics needed work, but the overall structure was in place. I started taking classes and rewriting the story. I signed up for the 2015 RWA conference in NYC and met a roommate online through the RWA loop. In March, she mentioned the Daphne du Maurier writing contest for romantic suspense. I’d never heard of it, or the Kiss of Death writing chapter for that matter. I had one week to polish the manuscript and make the decision to send. It was one of those “I’m going to be sick” moments when I hit send. When I got the call in May 2015 to tell me I’d finaled, I couldn’t stop crying. It was my first official validation I was moving closer to my goal. While at the RWA conference in July, I attended the Kiss of Death Chocolate Ball and it was then I found out Only Trust Your Heart placed second in the category romantic suspense division.

It gave me the confidence I needed to decide to pursue my dreams full-time once again, and with my husband’s support, I quit my job in September of 2016 and applied myself to writing and learning the craft of writing. By this time, I had ten stories, only three of which had seen the light of an editor’s day. A few of these I am rewriting, and others will stay locked away forever. They are considered part of the learning curve and beyond repair.

In November 2016, I pitched Back in the Rancher’s Arms at the Savvy Author Pitchtacular event and from a 3-line pitch got a request from Heidi Shoham with Entangled Publishing. This turned into a revise and resubmit, and then into a contract in May 2017.  

My debut novel, Back in the Rancher’s Arms is a second-chance sweet romance but following close on its heels will be Only Trust My Heart, as it recently went under contract with The Wild Rose Press.

Please tell us about your latest book.
First and latest. LOL. My debut novel, Back in the Rancher’s Arms came out for release on April 9th.  It’s a sweet, second chance romance set in rural Texas. This is a standalone book and the first of my Trinity River novels.

How do you come up with characters?
Someone or something trips a “that would make a great story” moment. I start thinking about the possible directions the story can take and zero in on what I like best. It’s like I create just enough about the character, like their background, their job, and their issues. Then I do a full character assessment to know what makes him tick, how he would react, what drives him, what would set him off. I use Angela Ackerman’s books on positive and negative traits and on emotion to get a clear picture of the characters.

Tell us about your hero and why you wanted to write him?
I’ve always loved cowboys. Must be the way they wear their jeans. LOL. Or their hat and boots. Or drive a beat up pick-up truck. Dylan has all those characteristics and then some. Just when he thought he would be leaving home to pursue his dreams, he was saddled with a lot of responsibility on the ranch, including raising his little brother. Character shines through the best when faced with adversity and Dylan is no exception.

What do you like best about your heroine?
Kayla is independent, feisty and has a heart of gold. She’s been dealt a lot of pain but rose above it to make a success of her life. I can identify with her.

What is your next project?
Book two of my Trinity River novels, currently titled Small Town, Big Secret. As many people have guessed, it will feature Becky, Kayla’s ex-best friend recently reunited. Becky needs legal advice and the District Attorney Elect in Houston is just the man to help her.

I’m also working a heartwarming story called Rescue My Heart. This story came to mind after an actual 911 call that took place here at my home. It involved a golden retriever chasing a squirrel, a steep cliff that drops down into a quarry, and a happily-ever-after rescue. 

Let's get a blurb about Back in the Rancher's Arms

Dylan Hunter has always loved the girl next door. Part of loving her meant making sure she left their small town to study to become a veterinarian. He just never expected it to take this long for her to come home. His hands are full raising his younger brother and bringing his ranch through the drought, but one look at Kayla and his feelings are back full force.

Kayla Anderson’s not prepared to see the guy who broke her heart in high school again, but she can’t get out of returning home to be maid of honor at her cousin’s wedding. She’s determined to have fun and celebrate the special day, despite the fact Dylan is her family’s closest neighbor and the best man, and get the heck out of Dodge.

But Dylan already lost the woman he loved once. This time, he’s determined to win her back...

Want to read more? Here are the buy links:

And if you would like to get more information on Elsie and her work, here are her contact links:

Free Chapter One Read-Back in the Rancher’s Arm
Member of RWA and KOD, Award-winning novelist

Thank you, Elsie, for being our guest today and telling us about your book! Any comments or questions for Elsie?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Readers, Writers & Reno

Having just returned from the Left Coast Crime Convention in Reno, I am ready to dive into more writing.  Writing conferences can do that for me. I always get ideas for new stories, just listening to other writers and attending the various sessions. I hear ways to improve my own work, ideas for increasing productivity but also ways to stimulate my writing brain cells.

But since this is also a readers' conference it was also an opportunity for me to be just a plain reader too as I listened to panels of other writers talk about where they get ideas, how they formulate stories and everything else reading and writing related.  There were excellent panels on writing short stories, writing a series, and how to come up with dastardly, but individual villains. Writers who were just starting out told their stories alongside long-time writers who had dozens of television series under their belts in addition to writing best sellers.

I started off the conference with an appearance at a panel on writing romance and suspense with my fellow Colorado author Terry Odell, who writes several series, Diane Kelly who writes a series featuring an a former IRS agent, Scotti Andrews, and Yves Fey. We all agreed that we enjoy writing  a combination of mystery and romance and that we have a hard time writing one without the other.

For each of us, it is the story that counts and we all write in a variety of different ways. We did agree that we keep more of the romance behind closed doors and we try to keep it balanced with the murder mystery. We also like to keep things playful as a way of showing the romance, and since we mostly write a series, while there might be a contented ending to the romance, it doesn't always end up being happily ever after, but we do solve the mystery.

Other panel discussions were enlightening for a number of reasons. I discovered several new writers I know I want to read, like Janet Dawson and her California Zephyrette mysteries.  I've ridden the Zephyr several times, but didn't know that back in the 40s and 50s, they carried hostesses who rode the trains. What a perfect way to set a mystery!

And that is another reason to attend a readers' convention like Left Coast Crime -- the discovery of new authors.  Another author I met -- D. R. Ransdell -- writes a mystery series featuring  Mariachi player Andy Veracruz.  And the stories sound like fun reading.

Needless to say I came home with a big pile of books and new authors to read. Next year Left Coast Crime moves north to Vancouver, B.C., the setting for several of my suspense books, including Deadly Messages and Shadows from the Past.  I am already making plans to attend. I know I'll not only meet some new authors, and find some new books to read, but I might get a new idea for a story set in the northwest.  Writers' conferences can not only rejuvenate a writer but they can also bring new ideas too!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A New Suspense

Crime and mystery writers and readers from all over are converging on Reno, Nevada this week for the annual Left Coast Crime Convention. I am lucky enough to not only be there, but to also be part of a panel on romance and suspense.  It should be a fun time. This is one of my favorite conventions because of the great mix of readers and writers. And we're all talking about how to commit crimes and how to solve them, and detectives and poison, and murder, and just lots of mayhem.  I hope to come away with lots of ideas for future blogs and some new writers to feature. And of course, new story ideas for future books!

So perhaps it is very fitting that this week's guest in My Writing Corner is suspense author,  C. B. Clark.

She's an award winning author and her newest book, Broken Trust has just been published by The Wild Rose Press. C. B. says she has always loved reading, especially romance, but it wasn't until she lost her voice for a year that she considered writing her own romantic suspense stories. Since then she has had four books published with The Wild Rose Press. She grew up in the Northwest Territories of Canada and has previously worked as an archaeologist and educator. Now she writes and she says she enjoys hiking, canoeing and snowshoeing with her husband in central British Columbia -- ah, one of MY favorite places.

Her newest book sounds great. Here's the blurb:

After five years of hell with an abusive husband, Natasha Hartford vows to never trust another man. Then she stumbles onto a murder scene and stumbles onto sexy, stubborn Homicide Detective Chase Brandon, a take-no-prisoners tough guy who will settle for nothing less than the truth. Sparks fly, but Chase's suspicions and Natasha's innate distrust block the way to happiness. 

The detective struggles with his own troubled past and is determined to find the truth behind the shadows dimming Natasha's eyes. As more murders occur, and a possible connection to her ex-husband appears, Chase fears her life is in danger. 

Natasha and Chase race to find the killer before he strikes again. Their survival depends on their willingness to put overcome their mistrust of one another. Can they overcome their fears and find love again?

Let's get an excerpt:

     The thick carpet muted the tapping of her high heels as she fled through the reception area and down the hall to the elevator. In spite of her cowardly retreat, she wanted to should in triumph. She'd been terrified of angering the surly detective, but she'd dragged up her courage and told him what she thought. Blood buzzed through her veins, fueled by an adrenaline rush. Damn, it was good to have her old fire back.
      She glanced down a short corridor on her left and stumbled to a stop. How had she missed the ropes of yellow police tape blocking the entry to one of the rooms? Her breath hitched in her throat. That must be where the grisly crime had occurred.
      The shocked truth struck her like a blow--Jonas Waverly was dead. Murdered in cold blood. She staggered and grabbed onto the wall.
      "Ms. Hartford, wait."
       She glanced back.
       Detective Brandon strode along the corridor toward her, his long legs eating up the distance, a determined expression on his face.
      Her earlier spurt of courage vanished and she whirled and dashed toward the bank of elevators. Chest heaving, heart pounding, she hit the button for the
elevator, jabbing it again and again.
      "Look, I'm sorry," he said, catching up. "I was hard on you, but I'm just doing my job. A man was murdered." He rubbed the back of his neck. "I have to examine every possible lead, question every person of interest."
       She shuddered and punched the down button again. Person of interest? Her? She was a person of interest in a murder investigation?
      "Can we go somewhere and talk?"
      She shot him a look, making it clear what she thought of his suggestion.
      He lifted one shoulder. "Maybe we should grab a coffee? I have a few more questions I'd like to ask."
       The elevator pinged and the doors opened with a hiss, revealing a middle aged man and an elderly woman who stared at them with vague interest.
       Natasha stumbled toward the elevator.    
       Detective Brandon grabbed her arm, holding her back. "Ms. Hartford, please wait."
       Warmth from his large, tanned hand seeped through the thin material of her raincoat and raised goosebumps on her arm. "Let me go." Her voice was shrill, with rising hysteria. She tugged, but he held on, his grip tightening."

Yikes! Don't we want to read more?  yes!  Here are the buy links.
The Wild Rose Press






Thanks, C. B. for being my guest today and telling us about your newest book.

Any comments or questions for C.B.