Friday, December 13, 2013

That Did Not Just Happen! ~ Holiday Suspense

I love small town holiday stories, don't you? They can be funny or filled with suspense, it really doesn't matter. If there are snowflakes and Christmas lights and decorations and the feeling of hope and love, I devour them.

In 'In The presence Of Evil', Christmas is only a week away. At the insistence of his best-friend, Marine Cole Hanson returns to Mountain Pine, Pennsylvania for the holiday celebration. While he is not looking forward to facing the woman who broke his heart and has haunted his dreams, a small part of him hopes part of their past can be erased and they could start their relationship a new. When he sees Gina trembling in handcuffs, accused of murder, he steps up as her alibi, but can he keep her safe from the real killer.

One minute, Gina is planning the perfect holiday with her new boyfriend and the next she is in handcuffs and facing murder charges. Just when she thinks she’ll spend Christmas in jail, she looks up into the eyes that once had promised to love her forever. Cole. The memory of how he’d crushed her heart, keeps her from jumping into his arms until the truth of their past is revealed. But, is it too late for them? A killer is determined to make Gina his next victim.

Here's an excerpt from the pages of 'In The Presence of Evil'. I hope you enjoy.

Cole’s sixth sense kicked in. A tall, slim shadow grew larger on the wall he faced.

Gina slept the last time he’d checked on her, and Rusty won’t creep.

Had someone gotten past Rusty? Was Gina okay? He fought the urge to bulldoze the guy over and race to her side.

Rule one; self-preservation. He couldn’t be distracted by the image of Rusty or Gina injured or dead. Rule two; take out the intruder. Rule three; find Gina and Rusty, and get them medical help if—

He wouldn’t think the worse.

He had to follow the rules.

Cole concentrated on keeping his breathing normal and waited for the right moment to make his move. The hairs on the nape of his neck prickled as if the cold finger of death toyed with him.

He nuzzled his cheek into the pillow and felt the butt of his gun. His muscles tensed. Under his breath he silently counted one, two, three, and then in a fluid motion, he grabbed his weapon and spiraled off the bed toward his predator, hoping to catch him off guard.

Cole wrapped his arm around legs and dropped the body to the floor, surprised by the light weight.

A high-pitched yelp cut through the night.

“Cole, stop. It’s me.”

“Jesus, Gina.” He halted slamming his gun into her head by a fiction of an inch and braced himself on his elbows.

Her soft body moved under him, and he went hard all over.

A shard of moonlight beamed through the window above them and cut across her shocked expression. “What the hell are you doing?”

“I was just checking on you.”

Her voice shook, and Cole’s heart hammered his sternum. “You almost got yourself killed. Do you know that?”

“I do now.”

Gina’s nails bit into his forearms. The rapid rise and fall of her breasts tickled his chest hair. The satin fabric of her nightgown brushed against his stomach. He recalled the red nightie he’d seen thrown across her bed the night before, and his blood pulsed to areas south of his boxer’s waistband imagining her wearing it now.
He took in the feel of her, recording each soft curve to memory for those nights when he needed to remember a happier time.

Cole’s nostrils flared. Gina’s sweet scent surrounded him like a London fog. The silky strands of her hair lay beneath his hand, tangled in his fingers, and he couldn’t resist the urge to play with the curls, relish their feel. Why was she here?

“What do you want, Gina?”


“Don’t lie to me. There is something. I can feel it.”

In The Presence Of Evil is available in both paperback and e-format through TWRP, B&N, and Amazon, both USA and Amazon Europe.

Happy holidays and have fun reading,


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Tips For The Busy Person

Holidays are a time for family and friends, but with all we have to do it seems there is little time left over to spend with the family and friends. Let me share my philosophy, which will help relieve the stress your feeling. Your family and friends will never know or notice what you didn’t get done. They will only see all that you did do.

So this year, I’m baking a limited amount of Christmas cookies and not the piles I normally do. There are always so many left over and I’m the one who tries to eat as many as I can before feeding the rest to the birds and deer. I don't need or have time to spend extra minutes on the treadmill.

Everyone will get one wrapped gift this year, so they get that feeling of opening a surprise package but the rest of the gifts are going into bags or are card gifts.

Christmas breakfast will be a crockpot filled with cream chipped beef which can be made the day before. Christmas dinner will not be the sit down dinner that Thanksgiving was, but trays of lasagna which I also will make the day before. I'm using throw away trays mind you. WINK And, desert will be cookies, chocolates, fruit amd maybe a pie or two.

Am I being lazy. No. My whole family isn't able to get together very often. Life is too busy for us all. I don't want to spend it in the kitchen. I'd rather enjoy them. Memories are made when you're together, not over the internet.

So do you have any time-saving hints or recipes for this holiday?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Perfect Feast Tidbits From An Expert

This year, Thanksgiving is at your house and you’re beginning to wonder why you agreed to host the family event. Relax. I’ve got tips for you.

Why should you take my advice? Well, I’ve hosted Thanksgiving, among other events, for more than twenty years for small, large and huge groups. And, I’m not only an award-winning author, but also— a long time ago— an award-winning restaurant manager. So, I have some experience at preparing feasts for many. Organization is one of my talents.

It’s always good to have a plan, so let’s start.

First, you need to do is decide three things. What style of dining you want your party to be—buffet or sit down. The style will play a part in your menu. You certainly don’t want to serve soup at a buffet. Too many opportunities for spills.

Second, your guests. How many will be attending your celebration? This number will also determine what is the best style for your feast. If you really envision a sit down dinner, you’ll have to limit the guests, or have a second sitting and even a third sitting. Extra sittings is not my idea of a fun-filled day.

Third, the menu. Menus for Thanksgiving can range from the traditional Norman Rockwell’s portrayal of roast turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce to Wild Salmon and rice. Make the holiday your own by combining traditions of guests. If invited family or friends offer to make dishes, let them, but ask if they intend to cook or bake their dish before arriving. Seriously, I’ve had someone bring their unbaked dish to dinner, expecting room in my oven and time to bake it.

My last tip has nothing to do with the meal. Activities. You’ll have a household full and while dinner is part of the agenda, it’s not the whole day. And while I love enjoying watching football, not everyone does, so have other activities planned. My children and grandchildren love playing bingo. A game set can be purchased at a dollar store along with prizes. And while very few think of November as a time to fly a kite, it is great fun and exercise.

Now with your style, guests and menu decided, make a game plan.

Two weeks out from the holiday:
1) Confirm guests and time.
2) Review recipes and make shopping list for all dishes.
3) Anytime this week, check china, silverware, glassware and all serving dishes and platters, including salt and pepper shakers (wash & fill), butter dishes, gravy bowls, bread baskets, etc. Wash them and store them until ready to set your table.
If you’re planning to use paper or plasticware, buy it this week, especially if you’re thinking of holiday theme. You don’t have time to run from store to store searching for the last few packs on the shelves.
4) Check tablecloths, napkins, and any other decorative items, such as candles and candleholders. I’ve come for my candles only to remember they were used last storm or broken. Purchase wanted items now.
5) During this week, you could actually arrange your furniture and set your table to ensure enough elbow room. It’s better to have the space all planned now then to try to arrange it during the time you will be baking and cooking. Arrange for extra necessary table space or seating.

One week out from the holiday:

1) Double check your grocery list and head to the store. (It’s a good idea to buy extra plastic containers and Ziploc bags for guests to take leftovers home.)
2) Think about your cooking timeline. I have one oven and a lot to bake, so I start my timeline at 1 pm, since my family usually sits down then and I work my way backward. The star of my dinner is the turkey, which I know must come out of the oven by 11:45. It has to sit and can be kept warm. So, depending on the size of the bird is when the turkey must go in my oven. 11:45 works, because my stuffing and corn pudding needs to bake for an hour so it can go in the oven then, along with mash potatoes and yams or any other dishes that need to be warmed. (It’s a good idea, especially if you have limited space, to put all baking dishes in the oven beforehand to ensure they fit) At 12:45, those food items come out and rolls go in for the last fifteen minutes while all other food is put into dishes and placed on the table. During the last hour, veggies can be steamed or warmed.
3) Cleaning. Honestly, I do a light house cleaning before the holiday, because the house is going to need a deep clean after the crowd leaves.

Two days before the holiday:

1) Some dishes can be made now. I find stuffing and candy yams taste much better when made ahead.
2) If you possibly can, set your table.
3) Make ice if you don’t have an ice maker.

Day before holiday:

1) Other dishes can be made early. Ie: mash potatoes, pies, desserts, veggie trays.
2) I put my applesauce and cranberry sauces into bowls and refrigerate.
3) I’m in northeast PA and have been able to use my outside gas grill as an extra cold storage for items prepared ahead. Think out of the box when space is limited.
The holiday:
You’re organized and ready. Stay with your timeline and if something hiccups, don’t sweat it. Your friends and family only will know what you’ve done, not what wasn’t done.

Enjoy the day and as always thanks for stopping by!

Ps: if anyone has found a time saving tip that has worked for them, please share.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Holiday Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Perfect by Autumn Jordon

Giveaway ends in 27 days (November 30, 2013)

2 copies available, USA and Canada

From award-winning Autumn Jordon, a holiday romance loved by Hallmark movie viewers, comes PERFECT.

Dylan Kincaid totally screwed up Thanksgiving and now he's faced with Christmas. Thrown into the frightening role of both mother and father while his brother and sister-in-law are off serving their country, all Dylan wants is to make Christmas perfect for his two nieces. But time is running out.

Down on her luck Charleston, S.C. restaurateur, Darcy Witherspoon is licking a wounded ego when she arrives in Black Moose, VT and meets the handsome Maple tree farmer. Wanting a happy holiday herself, she teams up with Dylan to make a perfect Christmas.

Neither is interested in a holiday affair, but the magic of Christmas has something more everlasting in store for the couple. An absolutely perfect love!

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Seed Can Do What?

Have you ever planted a seed?

What does planting a seed have to do with writing or a story called ‘IN THE PRESENCE OF EVIL’ you ask? Stay with me. I promise you’ll get it.

Planting a seed…. You take this little, tiny thing, something so small that it could be a speck of dust you normally wouldn’t even notice and carefully place it in the soil you’ve prepared and then cover it. Every day you water it and watch, waiting for the moment the seedling sprouts through the ground and turns its head toward the sun. The sense of joy you feel is hard to contain, right? Sure it is. Admit it. You what to jump up and down and shout to the world, “See what I did.” No one will think you a whuz for saying so, so go ahead and admit it.

As the sprout grows, you feed it, protect it from harm and hoe away all the nasty weeds that take away its nutrients. You watch it grow bigger and stronger until it is the prettiest thing. (Darn, I wish you could hear me say that in my mock southern twang) You can’t express how proud you feel showing off what you have created, but you show it by sticking your chest out and wearing a grin the size of the Grand Canyon. And it started all start with a tiny seed.

Writing a book mirrors the process and authors feel the same sense of pride when their books hit the cyber and hard shelves? IN THE PRESENCE OF EVIL, my new release from The Wild Rose Press, started with an idea, based on an actual personal experience. I can only tell you a bit. A request for a bank wire transfer from my work somehow got intercepted and was requested to be routed to a Russian bank account. This happened after Evil’s Witness was released, so needless to say, eyes turned toward me. “Me, come on.” I laughed until the FBI entered the investigation. I’m a country girl, born Army brat, who never wanted to be rich and bleeds red, white and blue. Please believe me.

Anyway, I wondered ‘what if’ a woman stumbles into a hornet’s nest where the Mafia is laundering money by controlling wire transfers from a small private owned bank. How would she stop them and who could she ask to help her? Okay the answers to that question is easy the FBI, CIA, or police. But we can’t have easy when writing a book. Easy is the weed that takes away from a good story. What if she didn’t know what was going on, until it was too late and her life was put into danger?

Again easy. Once she found out what the bad guys were after, our heroine being the heroine we’d all aspire to be would die for her country, thus screwing the bad guys. Yeah, Gina. So I fed the story and added in a cast of secondary characters that love Gina and who she loves, including one yummy marine hero, Cole Hanson. Yup that’s him. SIGH.

I played ‘what if again’ and asked what you do if the lives of those you love were to hang on the whether you help to commit a crime? Would you do anything asked of you? Or would you try to be a hero?

Like nurturing a seed from a dominate state into something to enjoyed, a great deal of time goes into writing a story that whisks you away to another world.


Rusty’s gaze shifted beyond Cole’s shoulder and an uneasy feeling crept up his back.

He turned. A beautiful woman walked toward them.

“I thought you had to get back to the hardware store, Rusty.” Her gaze locked with Cole’s, and she stopped cold.

Cole’s heartbeat echoed in his ears like the sharp, piercing, rapid fire that had ended his career. Those eyes. He remembered them whenever loneliness slipped past his guard and grabbed him by the throat. “Gina?”

A slight, hesitant smile formed on her face.

Rusty went up on his toes. “Look who’s here.”

“Son-of-a-bitch,” Gina said.

She took the words right out of his mouth. Cole took in every inch of her, starting at the leather boots she wore which added a few inches to her five-foot-five height, and worked his way up. Gina had changed. She wasn’t the lanky sixteen year-old girl he remembered. She had the curves of a woman.

Her rust-colored dress brought out the red highlights in her mass of long curls.

Curls he knew coiled tighter when wet after a late afternoon skinny-dip in Harvey’s Lake.

Gina crossed the short distance between them, holding his stare until she looked at Rusty. “You didn’t tell me Cole was coming.”

His name carried a quiver.

“I wanted to surprise you.” It was evident Rusty was enjoying the scene. The guy was practically hoppin’ in place.

“Well, you did that.”

Cole saw the rise of her breasts with an intake of air. Then, with the stark determination he remembered she met his gaze head on.

“So what brings you back to Mountain Pine? I know small town is not your lifestyle of choice.”

“That’s true. Rusty invited me for the holidays.”

Gina’s dark lashes did little to hide a flash of the storm seething inside her, and he wondered why she thought she had the right to be angry.

“Is that how you greet an old friend? Go ahead, hug the guy.” Rusty grabbed her elbow and urged her closer.

“Right.” She took a step and stuck out her hand. “It’s been a long time.”

From behind, Rusty gave her a swift nudge, and Gina fell against him.

Cole stiffened and fought to keep his breathing normal. At one time, they’d been friends. Close friends. First-time lovers.

“I’m going to kill him.”

Her warm whisper tickled Cole’s cheek. His eyes drifted shut as he leaned into her, wrapping her in his arms. Her hair smelled the same as it did years ago, like a summer field of wildflowers. Her body fit perfectly against his, just as it always had, and he felt the years slip away.

If you’d like to learn more about Autumn Jordon and her novels, visit

Friday, September 13, 2013


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Seized By Darkness by Autumn Jordon

Seized By Darkness

by Autumn Jordon

Giveaway ends September 15, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Remember. Honor them and those they left behind to carry on.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Woohoo! Celebration Time!

APRIL 9, 2013

What a perfect day. Spring has finally sprung in northeast USA and I'm loving it. Shot me some baskets today and worked up a nice sweat. I can't wait to plant flowers in the beds beside the crocus, daffodils and tulips.

Wow. This year has zoomed by and it’s hard to believe I’m celebrating my first anniversary as an indie author. That’s right! It was one year ago that HIS WITNESS TO EVIL was released as an indie novel. In this year, I released two new books, SEIZED BY DARKNESS and PERFECT, and I also released my steamy, contemporary western, OBSESSED BY WILDFIRE, as an indie. I love being an indie author.

Becoming an indie author is not for everyone, however, and certainly not the faint of heart. You assume the responsibility of wearing many hats besides that of author. With that said, I will say this year has been a learning experience for me. I’ve made mistakes and in doing so, I’ve learned a lot.

My readers have been totally awesome, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for buying my books, posting honest reviews, and recommending my works to friends. Thank you. Thank you. And those of you who've joined my newsletter definitely rock!

Now to celebrate my anniversary, I'm passing out cyber-bubbly here, so help yourself,

and now until the end of April 2013, I'm offering SEIZED BY DARKNESS, the first in my C.U.F.F. series, for $2.99 at Amazon and B&N. So grab your copy today, and tell your friends.

One more thing, if you're around, stop by Storyfinds on Thursday April 11, where SEIZED BY DARKNESS is being featured as part of their romantic suspense week.

Have a wonderful weekend. AJ

Autumn Jordon on StoryFinds

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter

Have a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Welcome Author Chris Redding

Wednesday March 27.

Today, I welcome Chris Redding who'd like to share a little of her new release. Enjoy!

Thanks, Autumn.

What if your past comes back to haunt you?

Chelsea James, captain of the Biggin Hill First Aid Squad, has had ten years to mend a broken heart and forget about the man who'd left her hurt and bewildered. Ten years to get her life on track. But fate has other plans.

Fire Inspector Jake Campbell, back in town after a decade, investigates a string of arsons, only to discover they are connected to the same arsons he'd been accused of long ago. Now his past has come back to haunt him, and Chelsea is part of that past.

Together, Chelsea and Jake must join forces to defeat their mutual enemy. Only then can they hope to rekindle the flames of passion. But before they can do that, Chelsea must learn to trust again. Their lives could depend on it.

Excerpt 4 Incendiary
Jake always thought bad things happened in threes. If so, he wondered what would round out the trio.
The arson counted as number one. Tim Hagerty on his doorstep might be number two. They’d parted as friends when he left, but a lot of years passed since then. Jake had spoken to him for the first time three weeks prior to his return to Biggin Hill. In fact, he wouldn’t be back except for Tim’s offer.
“Tim, come in.”
“Just wanted to see how you’re settling in.”
Jake led Tim back to his kitchen. He didn’t know what to expect of this visit. Or what to think about it. “Beer?”
He opened two imports and handed one to his old friend. Silence ensued as Jake took a swig.
“So, you glad to be back?”
Jake frowned. “Not sure yet”
Tim sat on a metal chair and placed his beer on the table. “I know it’s only been a few weeks.”
“Not much has changed.”
“Not much does in a small town. A few more houses built. That’s about it.”
Jake sipped his beer. “It feels right to be back here.”
“Does that have anything to do with Chelsea?”
The sound of her name kicked his heart’s beat off rhythm. “I haven’t really talked to her.”
Tim’s eyebrows shot up. “No? I would have thought she’d be your first stop. Then maybe Brad’s reaction to your relationship with her might stop you.”
Jake rubbed the back of his neck. He ignored the comment about Brad. The two old friend’s hadn’t parted on the best of terms. “I’m not sure I’m on her A-list.”
“True, considering how you left.”
A stab to the heart. Was Tim after Chelsea? His hand found his chest. “Ouch.”
Tim shrugged then lifted his beer. “Truth hurts.”
His friend had never been the most tactful person. “So what’s your interest in her?”
A grin broke out on his face, or a leer. “What any red-blooded American male would want.”
“Really?” His heart hurt. “Does she return the interest?”
Tim retained some unrequited love for Chelsea when they’d been younger. So the torch still burned.
“I think she plays it close to the vest.”
Jake couldn’t deny that when it came to men, Chelsea didn’t broadcast her feelings. At least she hadn’t to him. Maybe she hadn’t felt anything for him.

Incendiary is free today at Amazon.

Friday, March 1, 2013


by Autumn Jordon

Kidnap victim Nicole Carson carefully lays plans to escape from an eight year imprisonment. When her captor brings home another hostage to replace her, she acts fast, escaping with her son and the young girl. She leaves her captor for dead—only to learn later the mafia lord survived her attack and is offering a million dollar reward for her return. The only way to save herself and her son and family from the mafia’s wrath is to disappear forever.

U.S. Marshal William Haus and his C.U.F.F. team are tasked with nailing a Russian mafia lord and closing down his child trafficking operation. Moments before their sting is to occur, C.U.F.F.’s inside man calls the operation off and the mafia lord slips through their fingers. When the latest victim is found, they’re relieved and stunned the mafia boss’ mistress is with her.

Will is determined to gain Nicole’s help in bringing down the mafia ring, but staying close to the beautiful woman resurrects long buried desires. Nicole recognizes she is in love with the handsome lawman and realizes she wants to live forever in his arms. Will goes on the hunt, knowing the only way to achieve his dream of a family with the woman he loves is to find the mafia lord before Nicole is tracked down.

Excerpt: (All material is copyrighted and can not be copied without permission from the author.)

The old air conditioner, which did little more than act as a fan pushing warm air into the room, rattled in the window, pulling Nicole from a fretful sleep. Under her long hair, sweat beaded the nape of her neck. She stretched and peeled away from the damp sheet under her. Through heavy lashes, she noticed a boot tapping the air at the base of the single-sized bed and her heart shot into her throat. Clutching the sheet to her bare breasts, she rolled and scrambled to the opposite side of the bed, only to be pinned, faced-down onto the mattress by the intruder.

“Let me go.” She thrashed and kicked back, striking air. Her breasts squished into the mattress springs. She ignored the pain, reached behind her, and grabbed fists filled with the assailant’s long hair. With all her might, she yanked hard.


She winced, her ear ringing with the attacker’s cry.

He dropped his weight from his elbows, forcing the air from her lungs. His fingers locked around her wrists and tried breaking her hold on him. “Damn, Katrina. Stop pulling. You’re ripping my hair out.”

Every muscle of her body went stark still, except for her eyes-they widened. “Will?” Over her shoulder, she peeked through her auburn strands and caught a glimpse of Will’s cheek plastered against her bare shoulder.

“Yeah. It’s me. Christ. Now let go.” His hot breath caressed her sensitive skin, sending tingles down her spine.

Nicole became aware of the softness of his hair between her fingers, his musty scent bombarding her nostrils on the cusp of each sharp breath she inhaled, and every inch of his hard body pressing against her backside. Warmth pooled between her legs and she closed her eyes against her body’s reaction to him. “You first.”

He let go of her wrists.

Nicole slid her arms close to her body and pushed against the mattress, trying to topple his weight from her, so she could roll over, but he kept her pinned in place.

The discounted, thin sheets she’d bought at the local Dollar-Mart and his clothing were the only barrier between his hot flesh meeting hers. The knowledge caused the room to grow warmer. “I let go. Now get off of me.” She bucked against him. A mistake. She laid still.

“Not until you tell me what were you reaching for?”

“What?” She glanced at him and then scanned the nightstand next to the bed. “Nothing. I don’t have a gun if that is what you’re thinking. I was just trying to get away.”

“Not until you promise me you won’t try to run.” Will arched up and bore his weight on his elbows. His strong thighs held her legs in place while his hard ridge pressed against her backside.

She fisted the sheet below her, trapped her lip between her teeth, and wrestled with the fire mounting low in her belly. Not to go dizzy with want, Nicole remained still. “I’ll scream if you don’t. My landlord has great hearing, and, he has a huge shot gun.”

“You don’t want to do that.”

She struggled to push up on her elbows again. “Why not?”

“I’ll have no choice but to flash my badge and haul your ass out of here, sheet optional.”

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Romance. Is it or is it not?

Recently, a friend and I had a conversation concerning movies that featured a growing relationship between a man and a woman and what really makes them a true romance. There are many films that have a love story up front and center but still they’re not considered a romance. Examples that jump to mind are, Speed, Romancing The Stone, and The Mummy. Don’t believe me? Google them. They're considered action and adventure or thriller.

So what makes one story an epic romance and the other an action story? Let’s compare these two examples; Casablanca and Pearl Harbor.

Casablanca is considered a classic love story, it has been for decades. In fact, if you Google best romance movies of all time, it’s #1 with Gone with the Wind as #2.

I know Casablanca is one of my favorites. I swoon every time I watch Humphrey Bogart, who plays bar owner and freedom fighter, Rick Blaine, clink champagne flutes with Ilsa Lund, played by Ingrid Bergman, and says, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”
The film has a love triangle, so there is lots of conflict.
Later in the film, Rick and Ilsa confess their love and then Rick convinces Ingrid to get on a plane with the 'other man' and leaves him behind to take on the Nazi regime. Not a happy ending, and we all know in today’s romance industry, a HEA is a requirement.

Now, let’s look at Pearl Harbor. While the blurb for the movie reads, Pearl Harbor follows the story of two best friends, Rafe and Danny, and their love lives as they go off to join the war, it’s not considered a romance. With heroes as yummy as Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett, why not?

Like Casablanca, the story centers around a love triangle and both are back dropped by war, the same war. Pearl Harbor even has a tainted HEA. So why is Pearl Harbor not a romance?

IMO, I think it has to do with how much focus is on the romance. There are more action scenes, and certainly they’re more vivid, in Pearl Harbor than there are in Casablanca.

What do you think?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Welcome Brenda Margriet

FRIDAY 2/22/13

Today, Brenda Margriet is visiting all the way from British Columbia, which is approximately 2415 miles from NE PA. Brenda is a debute author for the The Wild Rose Press. YEA! Please read on and learn more about Brenda, her new release 'Mountain Fire', and the contest she is offering. Also, thank you for stopping by.

It's February. Here in Northern British Columbia, that means I've reached the point in the winter when I start to believe the. Snow. Will. Never. Melt. Sunshiny, clear blue skies are welcome, but they are a cruel tease. Because they don't mean Spring is around the corner. They are just a tantalizing taste of a too short summer to come.

If I close my eyes I can feel soft, springy new grass under my bare feet. I can hear the neighbour's lawn mower and smell the perfect, fresh cut scent. I can feel the freckles pop out on my face as I lift it to the warmth of the sun, and hear the popping of a cold, fizzy drink.

However, there is something extra special about opening a book (or turning on an ereader) and slipping away to another land when the one outside is frozen solid, a blanket of white stealing all the colour from the world. In the last week I've danced with danger and fallen in love with an assassin (Moonrise, Anne Stuart), watched Spenser struggle with his code of honour while trying to save a family (Mortal Stakes, Robert B. Parker), and now I'm going to take a sexy, long distance bike ride (Ride With Me, Ruthie Knox). It makes the blowing snow and chill wind so much easier to bear!

Here's to good books that help us escape...and to Spring, which cannot come too soon!

I am thrilled to announce my debut romantic suspense, MOUNTAIN FIRE, was released January 9, 2013 by The Wild Rose Press!


A mountaintop mystery leads two conservationists to dangerous obsessions and violent passions.

Natural resources student June Brandt climbs Longworth Mountain for some alone time. But when Conservation Officer Alex Weaver arrives to look into the death of a grizzly bear, June is caught up in the investigation--and fascinated by Alex.

Alex is attracted by June's competence and coolness under fire--as well as her lithe body and honey-blonde hair. Although their mutual interest in protecting the natural wonders of the area brings them together, they soon realize they view love from very different angles. He offers passion and pleasure, but June wants more.

When one of Alex's colleagues is murdered, June and Alex must work together to find the poacher before other lives are lost. And Alex must look deep inside to discover if he can give June what she deserves.

For an excerpt and to find out where to purchase MOUNTAIN FIRE in digital or print formats, visit And if you want to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, just click the links on the upper right hand side of my website.


Tell me what you like best about romantic suspense and you could win an e-book (Kindle or Epub) copy of MOUNTAIN FIRE! Just leave a comment here – be sure to include your email address in the body of the message. Deadline to enter is 12:00am PST Sunday, Feb. 24. Winner will be picked by random draw and will be announced on my blog ( no later than Wednesday, February 26.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

It is so lovely to be here visiting with Autumn. We met through The Wild Rose Press and Autumn is just one of the many authors I have kept in regular contact with over the last six years. There is nothing more fantastic that getting to know other authors personally and watch their careers grow and flourish. Since I ‘met’ Autumn, I’ve written eleven books and two novellas, all of which are either published or contracted – Autumn and all the other wonderful writers I’ve met have played a massive part in my success!

So when she offered me a guest blog spot, I knew exactly what I wanted to talk about. Friendship and support in the writing world.

Knowing there are people out there to support you in your dreams means everything for a feeling of inner strength and belief. It’s human nature to doubt what you are thinking or doing, and worrying people will laugh or put you down. When you meet people who cheer you on, love and admire your work, and most of all, share your struggles, it gives an incredible sense of excitement and optimism.

Writers are often introverts and happy in their own company, which all too often provides far too much surrounding silence allowing that horrible voice in your head to shout loud and clear, “give up!” “You’re not good enough!” “This story is your worst yet!”

My advice? Fill your head with your stories, not your ‘internal editor’. Keep writing. Never EVER give up and believe in your dreams, ALWAYS! Just short six years ago, I was first published and then 2011 brought me an agent, 2012 contracts with Harlequin Superromance AND Kensington. Yes, I am living a dream than I never, ever thought would happen. Am I still shy? Yes. Am I still a teeny bit scared my ongoing success will mean I’ll have to stand up in public one day, YES!!! Terrified, would probably be a better description of how I feel about public speaking, LOL!

I am happy. I’m loving my work, but more than anything, I am LOVING my writer friends so, so much. Mix up your social circle, reach out through social mediums such as Twitter and Facebook and surround yourself with optimistic, supportive and fun people. You will be amazed how quickly you realize your fears are echoed and conquered throughout your writing peers every day.

Stand tall and know you are no better or worse than the successful writers out there. Let yourself grow and shine until you feel as though your star is in reach – because it is!

Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Rachel’s current release is “Finding Justice” available now from Harlequin Superromance. Here’s the blurb and buy links:


Old friends, new secrets

Sergeant Cat Forrester lives by her own set of rules. When her childhood friend is murdered, Cat's world is thrown into chaos. Especially because Jay Garrett-a man from her past-is a suspect, and he needs her help to prove he's innocent. After all they once shared, how can she say no?

The attraction flares between them, and getting involved with a suspect is a huge risk. But the more time Cat spends with Jay, the stronger the tug on her heart. He is the same caring, irresistible man she remembers. Yet she can't let her emotions interfere with the case—solving it is top priority. But as she digs deeper, she discovers Jay has secrets that may jeopardize any possible future together.
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository UK
Rachel’s upcoming release is a Victorian Romance – “The Seduction of Emily” is available for pre-order from E-Kensington right now. Here’s the blurb & buy links:

Seduction is a wicked game, and no one plays it better than the devilish Will Samson in Rachel Brimble's captivating new novel. .

Since girlhood, Emily Darson has accepted that she will marry Nicholas, the son of her father's trusted business partner. The marriage contract safeguards her family legacy, Emily's fortune, and everything she values--except her independence. Only when a sinfully handsome scoundrel enters her life does Emily realize quite how much a loveless match will cost her.

Will Samson has advanced from expert pickpocket to confidence trickster of the highest caliber. Now he has come to Bath to exact vengeance on the man who destroyed his mother--the man Emily will soon marry. But from his first glimpse of the enemy's bewitching, spirited fiancée, Will's plan changes.

Amid the ballrooms and salons of elegant society, heated glances explode into scandalous kisses. Revenge is sweet, but surrender will be irresistible. . .

Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
Amazon UK

Rachel can be found here:


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Not Sure You'd Like A Romantic Suspense (99 Cents)

When I began to write romantic suspense, I tossed out several reams of paper. Why? Because no matter how I tried I couldn’t keep my villain hidden. He kept voicing his POV and writing his own chapters. I nearly ripped my hair out by the roots fighting with him to stay silent. Then I read a wonderful book, How To Write Killer Fiction by Carolyn Wheat. Ms.Wheat set me straight and confirmed what my villain was telling me all along.

Is there a Who-dun-it in suspense? Of course there is. It’s when the villain will be revealed that makes the two different, among a few other elements. In a mystery, an act of violence begins the story, but most times the action is set off stage. The reader is invited into the dilemma and introduced to an already seasoned hero who solves the crime logically and through scientific methods. There is a small circle of suspects, clues and red herrings. Information is withheld from the reader and the said reader is kept in the dark two steps behind. The hero grows very little during the story. The story is all about who killed X? The villain is not exposed until the last scene and the end result for the reader is an intellectual satisfaction.

A suspense novel starts on even keel, showing the everyday life our hero or heroine. Then BAM a nightmare occurs. The hero and/or heroine are not necessarily seasoned investigators. This is where your character arc comes in to play. The hero and/or heroine will grow throughout the story and eventually Good triumphs over Evil.

My first romantic suspense, a Golden Leaf Winner for 'Best First Book', His Witness To evil is on sale for 99 cents through the end of February at both Amazon
and B&N. Grap your copy today and tell your friends!

Excerpt from His Witness To Evil:
Stephanie masked her sigh of exertion while lifting the Coleman cooler she’d borrowed for their trip. She lugged the container to her old SUV. She knew how her son felt. She wished she had the money to take them away on exciting excursions like their friends had this summer. To places like Disney World, but she couldn’t even afford a day trip to Hershey Park, America’s chocolate capital. Em’s special diet, because of her allergies, took up a third of her take-home pay. After paying the mortgage, utilities, car insurance and miscellaneous expenses, she was lucky to save a few dollars a week.

She chewed on her bottom lip. Hopefully, next week Bobby and his friends would be off on new adventures, their summer vacations a distant memory.
The howl of a diesel engine jerked Stephanie from her musing. The squeal of brakes, crushing metal and shattering glass made her spin around.

Other basics of a suspense: All action is on stage. The protagonists’ world expansions. There are surprises. The villain can be revealed to the reader immediately and he or she can have a POV.
Yeah! This made my villain happy.
Information is given to the reader but withheld from the heroes. In other words, we know what could happen if the wrong path is taken by our hero or heroine. The reader sits on the edge of her seat, screaming at the heroine and hero not to go there.

Excerpt from His Witness To Evil:

“I don’t want to kill no kids, Victor.” Mac danced in place ready to dodge Victor’s wrath.
“You will do as I say,” Victor snapped.
She looked at the dead driver. His lifeless stare pleaded to her for justice.
“Don’t trust her,” Sheriff Morse ordered, turning his gun on her.
Stephanie refused to flinch under Morse’s scrutiny.
Gene moved in front of her. “Frank, what the hell are you doing? You’ve known
Stephanie all her life.”
“There is too much at stake, Gene. She saw me kill that guy. I’m not going to jail.” Morse’s tongue skimmed his lips. “Why the hell are you trying to protect her anyway? You two have been fightin’ like junkyard dogs for years. You complain every day she’s milking you dry. This is your chance to be rid of your mistakes.”
“Steph was never a mistake to me,” Gene’s voice rose in response. Then it softened. “I was hers.”
Tears threatened to blur her vision and she blinked them away. She squeezed Gene’s arm and glanced at her ex-husband’s profile. He remained focused.
“Touching,” Victor said. “But, sorry, no. They must die here.”
The suspense story is all about the hero or heroine prevailing. Emotional satisfaction is what the reader gets from a suspense novel. And since I write romantic suspense, ever lasting love must also be found.
Excerpt from Evil’s Witness:
After a week, her touch was familiar. His heart melted. He grabbed her hand, holding her in place as he turned and smiled down on her. Her nipples pushed against her white T-shirt. He gently brushed a knuckle across one peak. “No. It was hell without you.”
“Mmmm. Same here.” She pulled back and lifted his arm around her, curling into him. Looking out over the lake, she sighed. “I could stay here forever, if you’d let me.”
“I wish we could.” He gathered her closer and kissed the top of her head. “But eventually Bobby and Em would have to go to school.”
“I could home school.” Her chuckle was strained.
He felt her pain. He smiled while his heart wrenched. He would like nothing more than to forget about the world and stay here with her and the kids. But they couldn’t. “Sooner or later Ben will call. We’ll have to go back.”
“I know.”
Steph moved away. A cold void took her place.
She drifted to the other porch column. Leaning against it, she folded her arms across her chest. Her lips pressed together as if she was forming the right words behind them. “I know I said that our time together here was going to be enough to last me a lifetime, but—” Tears brimmed her lids. “I was wrong. A lifetime won’t be enough.”
John stepped toward her. “I don’t know what—”
“I know, you don’t know how we can be together. So, Ben will call. We’ll go back, and I’ll identify Victor. You’ll toss him in jail and throw away the key. You’ll drive off in pursuit of the next bad guy and me…Well, I’ll go home and wonder where you are. Wonder if what I felt was love.”
The woman knew how to make a guy feel like a heel.
John pulled her into his arms. She buried her head in his chest and cried softly against him. He kissed her head and smoothed her hair. “Steph, I didn’t think I’d ever love again,” he whispered softly, cupping her chin and tilting her face up until she looked at him. “Like a bomb, you dropped into my life. Every defense I’d put up to protect myself from ever being hurt again came tumbling down. You opened up my heart. As much as you don’t want to live without me, I don’t want to live without you. I love you.”
He kissed her gently. Her arms wrapped around him and held on. “Somehow, we’ll figure this out. I promise.”

Visit for more info on His Witness To Evil and my other books.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Readers Speak Out

Ebooks are hot! That’s not new news. I have a kindle myself and love it. I also have five books out in e-format and two more coming this year.

While surfing through some book sites, I wondered what drew readers in this new world to buy a book? It’s not like they’re in a bookstore, walking by the displays, scanning the shelves, and running their fingers over the spines.

So, on a reader board, I asked the question. What draws you to a book?

I had a great response. Readers are great. Tell them you’re an author and need to know something and they step up.

A few told me they read reviews while others said they go on recommendations from friends. Then there were those who said they never go on friend recommendations because they’ve found in the past their friends had different tastes.

Some buy an author because they’ve heard a buzz about the book. They might not know where the buzz came from, but there had been a buzz and it stuck.

After much discussion, back and forth, the overwhelming majority agreed, the top two reasons they look at a book, even in the cyber world, are the title and the cover. And the reason they buy a book is they were intrigued by the blurb and enjoyed the sample chapters.

If you’re a writer, you’re a reader. So readers, do you agree with the readers on the board? How do you find books in the cyber world?


Sign up for my quarterly newsletter and be entered into contests for great reader appreciation gifts. The link is on the sidebar. Easy to do.

Sign up now to be entered to win this beautiful 'BELIEVE' bracelet. Winner will be announced February 3, 2013.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dance Your Way Through Winter

Let’s dance. January is a depressing month for many. Some of you might begin to cry cabin-fever as soon as the ball drops in Times Square. Why is that? If you’re one of the millions who suffers each year from SAD or cabin-fever would you love to not suffer?

I love winter. I’m not one to suffer from SAD or cabin-fever, but my body does slow down and the mind seems to say, “Okay, if you’re not going to move, I might as well rest too.” I didn’t want that to happen to me this year. I’ve set some pretty aggressive goals for 2013, which is going to be a busy, so I decided last week before the old year was waving Tata to again get myself primed for the coldest months if the year, here in the NE USA.

I began to dance in the morning as a form of exercise. I love to dance. My husband not so much. So, the minute my feet hit the florr, I’m struttin’ my stuff to any beat I want. In a week, my energy level has soared. Yes, even after a very busy holiday season. I’ve got tons of energy.

If you don’t believe me that dancing can do this, here are some articles verifying the benefits of shaling your booty. Check them out.

Another great thing about dancing, you don’t need a video or a special piece of equipment. Just crank up the music and dance. Dance in the sunlight. Dance your way through January and February.

Do you have a way to fend off SAD or cabin fever you’d like to share? Or have you seen another article on dancing for health? If so, please share the link.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

It’s the first of the year and as usual I long to set goals. There is a lot I can’t control, but there is much I can, and that is what I need to focus on. I learned that little bit of wisdom in 2012 from my eldest son. There was much in my life I couldn’t control in 2012, and I let it stress me out to the point I almost had a stroke. Not good.

I also learned to keep in mind that doing things that I love makes me happy. So limiting the worry on the uncontrollable, doing something about the things I have control over, and doing more of the things I love is what I’m going to do this year.

Do you have a goal this year?