Saturday, December 28, 2013

Adventures in Housesitting

While my mother and her hubby are where the sun does shine, I'm acting as houseitter. Basically I feed a cat that isn't theirs, water plants (the plants are theirs) and keep the house in one piece. Sounds simple enough. Even for me.

December 26 - I left before the sun came up and returned after the sun went down. I had my car checked out because I think the hill my poor Subaru climbs each day will be the death of it, but the service dispatcher says no, I'm crazy (he didn't really say that, but might as well have). I ate leftover pasta from Christmas eve and did laundry and dishes. I did not do the Risky Business dance I said I would. I did do some serious editing and light reading, sprinkled with chatting online.

December 27 - My day went something like the day before. I conned the service department into checking out my car again, but turns out I am still crazy -  nothing is wrong. There is no strange burning smell coming from the rear driver's side tire area. It's my imagination. Ate leftover cheese, crackers and summer sausage from Christmas eve and drank a beer (maybe two). I indulged in a bubble bath. I have not seen "the cat" but something ate all the cat food. I watched The Scapegoat on PBS, which was very good.

December 28 - Ventured out to get gas and groceries. I bought everything I need to make my morning smoothie, but forgot to pickup my magic bullet. I walked 5 miles. I'm going to actually cook tonight. Chicken and rice. I broke the turn knob in the shower. Hope my mother doesn't read this. Note to self - get some glue.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bargain!!!!

If you missed Pleasant Lake P.D. for free on Amazon, never fear.
It's still a bargain at 99 cents on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. If my math is right, which it probably isn't, that's about 900 words per penny.
 

Blurb
Alexandria Moreno, parking enforcement officer for the serene town of Pleasant Lake, has signed on with the FBI to nail a gorgeous suspected criminal, Miguel Diaz, who’s passing himself off as a legitimate businessman. Alex’s assignment is to use her feminine wiles, of which she has few, to infiltrate Diaz’s world and find some evidence for a conviction.
To complicate matters, she’s teamed up with Detective Roman Plow, who is her ex-boyfriend, though the FBI doesn’t know it. As they focus on retaliating for past wrongs, real and imagined, their smoldering love/hate relationship brews. They’re not exactly an ideal team.
With her bumbling nature, a steamer trunk full of emotional baggage, and no investigating skills, Alex spends most of her time reminding herself that the tall, dark, and handsome Miguel Diaz is not her real boyfriend and struggling to keep from falling into his bed. As she tries to dig up dirt on her undercover lover, the steamy investigation leads to a fight for her life. But who is behind the attacks?



Sunday, September 15, 2013

If you haven't read Pleasant Lake P.D., now is the time. Why, you ask? Because it's free on Amazon.

 

Alexandria Moreno, parking enforcement officer for the serene town of Pleasant Lake, has signed on with the FBI to nail a gorgeous suspected criminal, Miguel Diaz, who's passing himself off as a legitimate businessman. Alex's assignment is to use her feminine wiles, of which she has few, to infiltrate Diaz's world and find some evidence for a conviction. To complicate matters, she's teamed up with Detective Roman Plow, who is her ex-boyfriend, though the FBI doesn't know it. As they focus on retaliating for past wrongs, real and imagined, their smoldering love/hate relationship brews. They're not exactly an ideal team. With her bumbling nature, a steamer trunk full of emotional baggage, and no investigating skills, Alex spends most of her time reminding herself that the tall, dark, and handsome Miguel Diaz is not her real boyfriend and struggling to keep from falling into his bed. As she tries to dig up dirt on her undercover lover, the steamy investigation leads to a fight for her life. But who is behind the attacks?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Words I Write Crazy!!!

From Goodreads:
Alexandria Moreno, parking enforcement officer for the serene town of Pleasant Lake, has signed on with the FBI to nail a gorgeous suspected criminal, Miguel Diaz, who’s passing himself off as a legitimate businessman. Alex’s assignment is to use her feminine wiles, of which she has few, to infiltrate Diaz’s world and find some evidence for a conviction.

To complicate matters, she’s teamed up with Detective Roman Plow, who is her ex-boyfriend, though the FBI doesn’t know it. As they focus on retaliating for past wrongs, real and imagined, their smoldering love/hate relationship brews. They’re not exactly an ideal team.

With her bumbling nature, a steamer trunk full of emotional baggage, and no investigating skills, Alex spends most of her time reminding herself that the tall, dark, and handsome Miguel Diaz is not her real boyfriend and struggling to keep from falling into his bed. As she tries to dig up dirt on her undercover lover, the steamy investigation leads to a fight for her life. But who is behind the attacks?


My Review:
Oh, this was a really hilarious book! Funny, funny, and more funny! The way Alex is, hiding behind one liners to cover her pain and her thoughts that she's not worth it, and that everybody abandons her, well, they might have abandoned her, but they didn't really know her, or really have a choice, and Miguel is a rescuer. He's going to help, and he's going to stay!

While my copy was around 600 pages, and that it would be about 250-300 in a paperback copy, this book just flew by, from Alex's worry-ings about if she could actually snoop around in Miguel's life, to what's she supposed to do with her Mom and what someone's twin was doing, and the guilt of what she had to do to prove Miguel innocent prove...not what she intended, and some pretty bad stuff happens because of that. But all the conflict was really good!

I really enjoyed the romantic conflict, between Roman, who is a man-slut, and Miguel who supposedly is a sex slave trafficker, even though he seems nice and sweet, and then add in what Roman did to Miguel's sister...yeah, there's not a lot of good will between Roman and Miguel, and Alex was caught in the middle of it!

Pleasant Lake P. D. was a hilarious book, really enjoyable, and a lot of fun! I really hope you guys check it out, because it was a really fantastic read!!!

Author: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Read: September 17th, 2012
Source: Innovative Online Book Tours Review Copy
Reason Why: Sounded like a good book!
Publisher: Medallion Press
Published: September 1st 2012

5/5 Hearts

5/5 Books

5/5 Stars

Friday, July 12, 2013

Open Book Society

Pleasant Lake P.D.
By Kelly Fitzpatrick

Author’s website: http://www.kellyfitzpatrick.webs.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Vicki.
Welcome to Pleasant Lake where the scenery is picturesque, the fun is frolicking, the small-town mentality is comforting (read: stifling), the emotions are on overdrive, the crime is petty and the bad guys seem like good guys.
Alexandria Moreno has wanted to ‘tackle dirtbags, cuff ‘em, and throw ‘em behind bars’ her entire life. Unfortunately, her stints in Pleasant Lake Police Department’s Animal Control and Parking Enforcement have been a smidge longer than she anticipated. Officer Moreno, Meter Maid Extraordinaire, is constantly passed over for promotion, for one reason or another – but mostly because the Chief of Police doesn’t think she is cut out for the big guns… or a police issued 9mm.
Enter FBI Agent Kilgore, a stoic no-nonsense task-master with an undercover mission for Alex. She must infiltrate the inner circle of Miguel Diaz; a suspected crime lord and nasty piece of work. It soon becomes clear that Alex has been chosen for this particular mission because; unbeknownst to her, Miguel has taken quite a fancy to her. Miguel has been profiled as a chronic rescuer and due to Alex’s ‘basket case’ tendencies the FBI have decided she is in good need of rescuing. And the worst thing? Alex’s infuriating ex-manfriend-slash-sex-buddy-slash-colleague, the insatiable Roman Plow, is her new partner in crime fighting.
And so begins the wackiness.
As it turns out Miguel Diaz is charming, hunky, super generous and oozes sex-appeal. Alex struggles with her attraction to the supposed criminal from the get-go as well as her residual attraction to ex-sex-pest, Roman. She chalks it all up to her self-imposed celibacy and desperately tries to cling to her professionalism. A futile task indeed.
Whilst attempting to uncover Miguel’s dastardly dealings, Alex falls hopelessly head-over-heels in love; except she doesn’t realize she’s in love and is reluctant to even broach the topic because of her major abandonment issues. Also, there’s no getting past the sex-slavery ring that Miguel is orchestrating no matter how gray she makes it or how many times she asks herself: ‘Would it really be so bad to be in love with a crime lord?’
Kelly Fitzpatrick weaves romance and comedy with a healthy dose of dramatic irony. In Alex Moreno, Fitzpatrick has created a romantic heroine that the reader can relate to whilst appreciating the very unlikely screwball antics. The classic romcom themes and motifs are integral to the fast pace of the novel. And all throughout it seems as if Fitzpatrick is very aware of these stereotypical scenarios. Fitzpatrick embraces first person narrative and dramatic irony in such a way that the reader feels an eyebrow-raising-eyerolling-kinship with the author, as if to say: “look at these silly people doing silly things, let’s mess up their lives a little more…”
One specific theme that is presented incredibly well is the love-triangle. Fitzpatrick takes an unusual tack with a theme that is arguably hugely over-used in contemporary romantic fiction; there is no predictable winner, no clear good guy and hearts do get a little trampled. The realness of Alex is something that is palpable through the use of this theme. It can be said that Alex subconsciously encourages and manipulates the love-triangle, whilst trying to figure out who she actually wants to be with.
‘I’d never had men fight over me. I feared someone would get hurt. I also felt a little afraid they’d decide I wasn’t worth the battle and go grab a beer together.’
Shallow? Yes. Truth? Hell yes. I have no problem calling you a liar if you can say you wouldn’t have the same thought process if you had two incredibly hot guys trying to win your heart!
Fitzpatrick is extremely skilled when it comes to comedic banter. Her characters aren’t stand-ups they’re just regular people forced into an irregular situation; trading jibes and taking names. Unless your funny bone has been surgically removed you will laugh out loud on several occasions.
Pleasant Lake P.D. will be the perfect post-summer pick-me-up. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and I’m looking forward to reading Fitzpatrick’s other work. If you’re craving sexy romcom with a hint of action? Run, don’t walk to get this book!



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

When Sparks Fly!

Happy, happy 4th of July! And welcome to When Sparks Fly blog hop. I wanted to share a snippet of Lily in Wonderland with you. An explosive snippet.

 
Excerpt:




Lily’s nose wrinkled at the stuffy, stale air in the sealed house. It was hotter inside than outside, only slightly cooler on the screened-in porch. The heat had pulled every unsavory scent from the old place, heated it up and left if hanging in the air like soup.

Toby pulled his shirt over his head and threw it aside while expelling a burst of air that choked his lungs. Lily put her cup down and placed her cold hands on his bare chest. He reacted to the touch of her icy palms on his searing skin. She stood on her tiptoes. Her lips made contact with his neck and parted slightly, drizzling the melted ice down his back. Toby took her cold tongue in his mouth until it wasn’t cold any longer, and then pulled her onto the bed.

"It’s too hot for this," he moaned. "My dad will find our dead bodies here in the morning."

"Naked," she added, reaching for her cup and another mouthful of ice.

Lily left little rivers and puddles on his torso, and then lightly blew on him. Toby’s muscles contracted from the sensation. He gasped when she finger-painted his skin with icy water. Her clothes slowly fell away one piece at a time, like a finely orchestrated striptease. She massaged his flesh with her hot skin and more ice, cooling his outside temperature, but raising his internal thermometer.

"Is this one of those things?" Toby asked, his voice husky with desire.

"You mean one of those things that I do for you?" she whispered.

"Yeah."

Lily filled her mouth full of ice again and crept down his chest, unzipping his shorts.

"Oh my God," Toby groaned, clenching his teeth from the painful pleasure. "Turnabout is fair play."





"I’ll be sure to save you some ice," she murmured before refilling her mouth with ice, followed by him.

The sky lit up with bursts of fireworks that cast a pastel glow on their glistening skin. The display popped with each tendril of color painting the heavens. The smell of powder flooded the porch, combined with the applause from the far side of the riverbanks, left an imprint forever in his memory. The show lasted the duration of their lovemaking, or vice versa. The grand finale of the pyrotechnics mirrored the climax of their encounter. 
 
Blurb:
Lily Tucker is down on her luck and considering a career strutting her stuff around a pole when she gets a call about an unexpected inheritance. It’s every girl’s dream—her estranged grandmother’s kicked the bucket, leaving Lily a house on a private island in Wonderland. 
When she reaches Wonderland, though, she finds a house that’s more like a hovel, a job waiting tables at the local diner, and a crime wave that seems to begin and end with Lily herself. Sexy deputy Toby can’t decide if he should arrest her or drag her off to bed—until it becomes clear that Lily’s not the criminal. She’s the target.
 
What do you think? Is love making anything like a fireworks display? Is that a fantasy, a myth or a goal? Leave me a comment with your email address and I'll enter you in a drawing for an ecopy of Lily in Wonderland.

Don't forget to share the love with the other brilliant authors.
When Sparks Fly blog hop.

 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Bibliophilic Book Blog

Book Review: Pleasant Lake P.D. by: Kelly Fitzpatrick

Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Medallion Press

Publish Date: September 1, 2012

Origins: From Publisher for Review

Format: E-book

Order From: Medallion Press

Synopsis: Alexandria Moreno, parking enforcement officer for the serene town of Pleasant Lake, has signed on with the FBI to nail a gorgeous suspected criminal, Miguel Diaz, who’s passing himself off as a legitimate businessman. Alex’s assignment is to use her feminine wiles, of which she has few, to infiltrate Diaz’s world and find some evidence for a conviction.

To complicate matters, she’s teamed up with Detective Roman Plow, who is her ex-boyfriend, though the FBI doesn’t know it. As they focus on retaliating for past wrongs, real and imagined, their smoldering love/hate relationship brews. They’re not exactly an ideal team.

With her bumbling nature, a steamer trunk full of emotional baggage, and no investigating skills, Alex spends most of her time reminding herself that the tall, dark, and handsome Miguel Diaz is not her real boyfriend and struggling to keep from falling into his bed. As she tries to dig up dirt on her undercover lover, the steamy investigation leads to a fight for her life. But who is behind the attacks?


Review: Alex Moreno is a meter maid according to some, but her official title is “Parking Enforcement Officer”. She lives and works in the peaceful town of Pleasant Lake, with the same daily routine until the FBI come to town. The FBI wants Alex to team up with her ex-boyfriend Detective Plow and go undercover to help dig up concrete evidence on Miguel Diaz, a suspected human trafficker. As the FBI instructs, she is to use any means necessary to infiltrate his life. What she doesn’t expect is for Diaz to infiltrate her heart. As Alex gets deeper into her relationship with Diaz, she is getting closer to the truth and will be in a fight for her life.

“Pleasant Lake P.D.” is a fun and quirky romantic mystery. I loved the dynamic between Alex and Roman Plow (her ex) – the dialogue, the heat, and the snarkiness. There was extreme sizzle between Alex and Miguel Diaz and it turns into something so beautiful. Both Alex and Miguel have baggage, but they’ll have to work through it as Alex tries to covertly gather evidence on the man she’s starting to fall for fast. However, there are other influences at work and Alex just may not make it through. An entertaining book, “Pleasant Lake P.D.” will keep you laughing and on the edge of your seat. http://www.bibliophilicbookblog.com/2012/10/book-review-pleasant-lake-pd-by-kelly.html

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Romancing The Book



Dodging Cupid by Kelly Fitzpatrick
Release Date: July 21, 2011
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Page Count: 50
Source: ebook provided by the publisher
After a string of disastrous Valentine’s Days, broken hearts and failed relationships, Jenna’s decided to spend this Valentine’s Day in the least romantic spot possible—the coin-op laundry.
No flowers. No candy. No annoying couples or romance of any kind. The only glitch in her plan is the leather-clad biker in heart-print boxer shorts who walks in as her washer starts. This just might turn out to be the best Valentine’s Day Jenna’s ever had.

Review: From the moment Dodging Cupid jumped off I was sympathetic to Jenna. The sweet gal with the Valentine’s Day blues due. It’s been a while since she had a lasting relationship, and the coupled up friends and family giving her sympathetic glances have worn her patience thin. In order to boycott the sickening sweet scene all together Jenna opts to spend her time in the laundry mat. There’s nothing romantic about a spin cycle right?
Wrong, in walks Del, the sexy biker with an unexpected quirky sense of humor and impeccable manners. Del is a tall drink of water (as my Gran would say) with stubble, a Harley and a black leather jacket. Yes, just the yummy eye candy you need when doing your sexy lingerie. (Can you sense the sarcasm?) The attraction between them combined with their easy banter leads Del to participate in her ban of the holiday. The trouble is cupid seems to have it in for them.
This short had me laughing out loud, covering my mouth in disbelief, and smiling. This is a sweet treat filled with wit, and humor. Though Del and Jenna didn’t get down and dirty in the sheets, there was plenty of sizzle and sexual tension.

Monday, May 20, 2013

No Strings Attached Blog Hop!

No Strings Attached! Okay, this is easy. For you and for me. I'm not even going to welcome you to my blog or invite you to read the blurb or excerpt. I might not even respond to your comments. At all. There are no strings attached. As a matter of fact, I copied and pasted most of this post from a previous No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop. I am being that lazy.
 
 
I'm not going to ask you a question. Just leave your email address (you can say something if you want) so I can contact the random winner of an ecopy of This Side of Dead. Don't feel obligated to click on the link to Amazon. But please do check out the other No Strings Attached participants. You know - if you want.  
 
 
5 Star Romance Writer's Review
Blurb:

On Memorial Day weekend, Cecilia Denton hopped out of her boyfriend Brad’s car and leapt off a bridge. Far from suicidal herself, she did it to save a jumper, but she had no idea of the chain of events her heroic stunt would set in motion. Because Cecilia cheated the Grim Reaper, Death claimed her boyfriend instead. Now, Cecilia and Malcolm, the stranger whose life she saved, must go on a scavenger hunt of redemption. Either they prove to Death that there’s more to humans than greed and despair, or Death claims both Malcolm and Brad. 

Malcolm Manchester didn’t ask to be saved, and he sure doesn’t want to be Cecilia’s partner in a game of Beat the Clock to restore Death’s faith in humanity. The heat is on Cecilia to give Malcolm a reason to live before time runs out—or send him off with a bang.
Excerpt:
 
In the car on the way home CC held the ring up to the light of the passing street lamps, shop windows and traffic lights. The street lamps were bright. The shop windows with their neon were sparkly. The traffic lights were shiny. The ring—not so much.
She’d dreamed of some day owning a ring that shone like one of those movie premier lights they flash into the night skies. Hold it up to the light and Batman would show up and ask, “What’s the emergency, ma’am?” And then she could ask him to give her away at her wedding…you know…someday…in the future. CC giggled to herself.
She felt the all-too-familiar bump bump bumpity bump of the old Crossroads Bridge. Built in the forties, it had always given CC the willies. As a child, it had reminded her of a dinosaur lumbering across the river to eat her and use her bones as toothpicks. As an adult, she didn’t want to share the bridge with an oncoming bus due to how narrow the bridge became in the midsection.
“Why are you going this way?” she asked.
“Traffic.”
The evenly spaced lights reflected resplendently on her new diamonette ring, distracting her from the morbid notions she had about the bridge.
A pedestrian in the shadows of the bridge’s columns caught her eye, disturbing her joy. The figure peered over the rail and peeled away a coat, letting it drop to the ground. CC tensed. I’ve got a bad feeling about this. The person climbed the safety rail, glanced briefly over his shoulder at their approaching headlights, and then jumped from the bridge and into the swift running river below.
No! Her heart seized. “Stop!”
“What? Why?” Brad asked.
CC reached out and grasped his sleeve. Her other hand clutched at her heart. “Just stop.” No other cars were in sight. Brad hit the brakes. CC’s body lurched forward, stopped only by the safety belt. She unlatched the clasp and flung open the car door.
“Cecelia!” Brad called after her.
She was only vaguely aware he pursued her. Grasping the rail, she leaned and saw a body thrashing in the water. The fall hadn’t killed him. Not this. Not today. Not again. She couldn’t save her parents all those years ago. She’d failed to save her little sister. Without thought for her own safety, CC scaled the rail. Doesn’t look that far, she thought right before she leapt to the icy water. Regret hit her the second the thousand pinpricks of painful freezing water did.
Over the sound of the rushing river, she heard the faint sound of her own name called out. It faded and dissipated like dust scattered in the wind. CC struggled to paddle toward the shadowy shore. Screw the jumper. What was I thinking? Diving into a river of melted mountain snow was not like diving into the city pool on open-swim day. It was lunacy.
The current battered her downriver toward the tree-lined bank. Freezing cold river water slapped her face and splashed into her open mouth instead of the air she sought. Suddenly she rammed into something solid. Correction, someone solid. Determined not to die in vain or die alone, she seized onto him with aching, icy fingers, pulling him toward the shore so she could kill him with her bare hands.
 
 
 


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Suspense Romance Writers

Official Review This is an Official Review by a Suspense Romance Writer Official Reviewer Review for Pleasant Lake P.D. (ebook)
Author: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Date of Review: 08/14/12
Reviewed by: Leah



Reviewer Comments: What a fun and exciting story! This is the first book by Kelly Fitzpatrick that I have read and it was a delight. I loved every minute of it. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Alexandria Moreno is a parking enforcement officer (don’t call her a Meter Maid!) in Pleasant Lake. She has always wanted to work for the police department and although parking enforcement isn’t her dream job, it has some perks. When Alex is offered the chance to go undercover and investigate a potential human trafficker, she jumps at the opportunity. Working with the FBI should help her to move up in the police department and she can leave ticket writing behind her. One of the only downfalls to the situation is that she has to work with Roman Plow. Roman is not only an ex-lover, but a real jerk. He has no problem making sexual comments and flirting with Alex despite the fact that he is continuing to sleep with every woman who crosses his path. Roman takes pride in his playboy status. Alex doesn’t know if she can count on him to keep her safe. Another downfall is Alex’s immediate attraction to the man she is supposed to be investigating, Miguel Diaz. As Alex gets to know Miguel, she begins to wonder if he really could be the bad guy that everyone says he is. Is she just fooling herself so that she doesn’t get her heart broken or is he really the awful man that the FBI believes that he is. This book combines great chicklit and romance with the suspense of working undercover. I wasn’t sure where the story was going to go and that kept me reading. There are parts that will make you laugh out loud, but also parts that make you gasp as you eagerly turn the page to find out what happens next. Trying to figure out who Alex is going to end up with also added to the suspense of the story. We know that she has two guys who both have a multitude of faults, but they have some good points as well. Alex isn’t the most heroic heroine. She definitely gets herself into some scrapes and needs rescuing ala Stephanie Plum, but she wants to succeed and find out the truth about Miguel. Alex will do whatever it takes to figure out what is going on even if it means putting herself in danger to do so.


Ratings
Overall: 10
Sensuality: 8
Suspense Element: 8

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
 
Buy at Amazon.com!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lily in Wonderland - All Romance Ebooks

Lily in Wonderland - All Romance Ebooks

50% rebate on Ellora's Cave titles.



Lily Tucker is down on her luck and considering a career strutting her stuff around a pole when she gets a call about an unexpected inheritance. It’s every girl’s dream—her estranged grandmother’s kicked the bucket, leaving Lily a house on a private island in Wonderland.

 
When she reaches Wonderland, though, she finds a house that’s more like a hovel, a job waiting tables at the local diner, and a crime wave that seems to begin and end with Lily herself. Sexy deputy Toby can’t decide if he should arrest her or drag her off to bed—until it becomes clear that Lily’s not the criminal. She’s the target.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dodging Cupid - All Romance Ebooks

50% rebate at ARe on Ellora's Cave titles like - Dodging Cupid - All Romance Ebooks



After a string of disastrous Valentine’s Days, broken hearts and failed relationships, Jenna’s decided to spend this Valentine’s Day in the least romantic spot possible—the coin-op laundry.

No flowers. No candy. No annoying couples or romance of any kind. The only glitch in her plan is the leather-clad biker in heart-print boxer shorts who walks in as her washer starts. This just might turn out to be the best Valentine’s Day Jenna’s ever had.

Friday, April 26, 2013

This Side of Dead - All Romance Ebooks

50% rebate on Ellora's Cave titles at all Romance eBooks!!!!
This Side of Dead - All Romance Ebooks


On Memorial Day weekend, Cecilia Denton hopped out of her boyfriend Brad’s car and leapt off a bridge. Far from suicidal herself, she did it to save a jumper, but she had no idea of the chain of events her heroic stunt would set in motion. Because Cecilia cheated the Grim Reaper, Death claimed her boyfriend instead. Now, Cecilia and Malcolm, the stranger whose life she saved, must go on a scavenger hunt of redemption. Either they prove to Death that there’s more to humans than greed and despair, or Death claims both Malcolm and Brad. 

Malcolm Manchester didn’t ask to be saved, and he sure doesn’t want to be Cecilia’s partner in a game of Beat the Clock to restore Death’s faith in humanity. The heat is on Cecilia to give Malcolm a reason to live before time runs out—or send him off with a bang.

Monday, April 15, 2013

SIGNED BOOK HOP!
 
Welcome to my blog and the Signed Book Hop. Come on in, sit right down and poke around. 
 
 
I love print books, the look of them, the feel and even the smell. But I've grown fond of the convenience  of my eReader. I have over a hundred books loaded, including all of my own. I carry the reader in my laptop bag, and whip it out at will. It holds my place for me without a bookmark, it has a builtin night light and I can make the print extra large. I gotta admit, I still enjoy a print book from time to time.
How do you like your books? Print or ebook? Leave me a comment with your email address and I'll enter you in a drawing for a signed, print copy of Lily in Wonderland (US mailing only).  
 
Blurb:
Lily Tucker is down on her luck and considering a career strutting her stuff around a pole when she gets a call about an unexpected inheritance. It’s every girl’s dream—her estranged grandmother’s kicked the bucket, leaving Lily a house on a private island in Wonderland. 

When she reaches Wonderland, though, she finds a house that’s more like a hovel, a job waiting tables at the local diner, and a crime wave that seems to begin and end with Lily herself. Sexy deputy Toby can’t decide if he should arrest her or drag her off to bed—until it becomes clear that Lily’s not the criminal. She’s the target.

Excerpt: Chapter One
Lily launched a bag of barbecue potato chips across the room, hitting Jake squarely in the back of the head.
He rubbed his skull. “What was that for?”
“Jake Pratt, you are a dirty, lying, thieving, no-good, ugly, low-life, belly-crawling thug,” Lily said without pausing for a breath. “And didn’t you ask for a bag of chips?”
“A half-hour ago.” Jake ripped open the bag. “But I ain’t dirty!”
He also wasn’t ugly.
There was a rap at the door, interrupting the yelling, but neither occupant acknowledged the intrusion. Jake raised the TV remote and the volume followed suit. A second, louder knock rang out, this time impossible to ignore.
“Phone call for Lily,” a man said warily from the other side of the paper-thin door.
Lily sighed loudly before strolling across the worn linoleum floor. The heels of her boots clicked with each step, matching the sway of her hips. She kicked an empty beer can across the room. The aluminum can ricocheted off several surfaces, the sound echoing throughout the space before the container rested in the small, dated kitchenette. She flung the apartment door open, letting it crash into the wall, and then slammed it shut behind her.
Lily sniffed. She distinctly smelled urine. Did it come from the rat-faced man before her, or was there some other culprit?
“That’s quite a shiner,” the man pointed out.
“Nothin’ gets by you, Einstein,” Lily replied.
“My name isn’t Einstein. It’s…it’s Clyde.”
“Whatever,” Lily mumbled. She picked up the receiver of the pay phone down the hall, which smelled of stale nicotine. Lily wiped the mouthpiece off on her shirt before putting it to her face. “Hello.” She didn’t even bother masking her disinterest to the caller.
“Is this Lily Tucker?” a shaky voice asked from the other end of the line.
“I’m happy with my long distance carrier, Elwood,” she advised the caller while she lamented over her chipped fingernail polish.
There was a moment of silence. “You…you don’t have a phone,” the caller pointed out.
“What are we talking on, brain trust?” She blew a bubble with her gum.
“I…uh…well, a pay phone,” he ventured.
A loud pop from her end of the phone punctuated his words.
“You’re a hard woman to find,” he added.
“Listen, I’m late for a very important meeting and, as they say, time is money. So what do you want?” she asked, not really caring but in no hurry to go back to her dingy studio apartment to continue an argument she would never win. Fighting with Jake was like trying to reason with a drunk—a waste of time.
Lily had not applied for any jobs or been on any auditions recently. It was doubtful this call could be anything but bad news. It was the story of her life—bad news, followed by more bad news, followed by bad luck, bad timing and bad taste in men.
“I’m Arthur Sutherfield.”
“Can you get to the punch line, Artie? I have a bubble bath and a masseuse waiting,” she explained while reading a dirty poem written on the drab, graffiti-tagged wall. The sound of a crying baby mixed with rap music, grating on her nerves.
“I’m your grandmother’s attorney.”
She sighed. “I don’t know what the old broad told you, Art, but I don’t have money for my own bail, much less hers.”
He paused. “She’s dead, Miss Tucker.”
Lily was momentarily speechless, but recovered her composure quickly. “I don’t have money for a funeral either,” she replied. She stumbled against the wall, letting it hold her upright. Lily couldn’t explain the sting of remorse she felt for a woman she didn’t know.
“That’s not why I’m calling. Your grandmother left everything to you,” the lawyer said.
She swallowed a lump that caught in her throat, then scoffed. “And that would be what exactly? Family Bible, a case of Ensure and some granny panties?”
“A house on a…a private island and some money. Basically, everything.”
“Is this a joke?”
“No, it’s not, Miss Tucker. Of course there’s paperwork, and probate…”
Lily cut in. “Are we talking about Iris? Iris Flanders?”
“Yes. I’m sorry to be the one to inform you,” Arthur said. “She was a fine, Christian woman…”
“Can I call you back later?” she asked, breaking in again, interrupting his love fest for a woman he knew better than Lily did.
Lily wrote Arthur Sutherfield’s number on her hand before replacing the phone. She paced back and forth in front of the telephone, picking it up only to put it back in its cradle. Finally she mustered the courage to punch out zero and the number she knew by heart. It rang.
Why hadn’t he changed it?
“Collect from Lily Tucker,” she mumbled, and then waited. Her impulse was to hang up before someone could pick up, but she didn’t. “Lily Tucker for Keenan Kane.” Her eyes rolled around in annoyance at hearing a woman answer his phone. “Oh, I know he’s a big TV star. Trust me, he’ll want to talk to me.” She took a few deep breaths for courage as she waited to hear his voice. She’d longed for it nearly every day over the past year and half—and at the same time dreaded it.
“Lily?”
“Don’t talk, just listen. If you talk, I hang up and walk,” she threatened him. “Write down this name—Jake Pratt. Lives in the valley. You got it? He has what you’re missing. We never had this conversation.” She slammed the phone down hard.
Lily tried to steady her hand with her other shaking hand.
After her call to Keenan and a few more deep, cleansing breaths, she returned to her dreary room, using her acting skills to suppress the joyous emotions that welled up in her.
“What was the call about?” Jake asked her.
“I inherited an island in Wonderland.”
Jake turned to her, rubbing his sore jaw. His eye was black and swollen shut. “Yeah, right.”
A smile tugged at the corners of Lily’s mouth. She knew he wouldn’t believe her. “Can I get you a beer, babe?”
“So suddenly I’m babe again?”
Lily popped the top off a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, handing it over with a smile. “What do you mean?”
“What do I mean?” Jake took a long drink of his beer. “Twenty minutes ago I was a dickhead and you stuck your fist in my eye.”
You’re still a dickhead.
A few short days later she left the highway in a beat-up ’69 Buick Electra with the top down and the radio on full blast. The wind whipped through her short hair. The fresh air filled her lungs, invigorating her. Lily needed the burst of energy, considering she’d napped in the car at a rest stop the previous night. Her grooming regime that morning had consisted of touching up her nail polish, splashing some water on her face, applying a fresh coat of deodorant, followed by makeup and brushing her teeth using only her finger. She remained focused on getting farther away from Jake and closer to Arkansas, where her newfound fortune awaited her.
The tall, majestic trees that lined the winding road, along with the stunning scenery seemed to have popped up shortly after crossing the Texas state line. The lush greenery and chiseled hills had little effect on Lily. Mother Nature was nice. Money, on the other hand, was a beautiful, beautiful thing. Whoever said money couldn’t buy happiness, well frankly, they were just wrong.
Her cell phone rang. Lily looked at the caller ID. Jake again. She flung the phone out the open window, deciding she had listened to enough threatening messages. After all, “I’m gonna kill you with my bare hands,” is just a figure of speech.
Cell phone flinging was liberating. It should be an Olympic event. Lily felt empowered. She was done with men. Men were evil. Who needs ’em?
The thought of her inheritance wafted around in her brain when she spotted the road sign that warmly welcomed her to Wonderland, population in the four digits. Also there to welcome her were flashing lights in her rearview mirror. Shit!
The patrol car let out a whoop-whoop when she failed to comply. Lily swore under her breath before pulling over to the side of the dusty, gravel shoulder. Once stopped, the smell of her own exhaust caught up with her. Tapping her long red nails on the steering wheel, she watched in her rearview mirror as the deputy approached in what looked like a well-starched uniform with perfectly pressed pleats. His badge, she noticed, was shiny, same with his shoes. The patrol car was at least ten years old, but it appeared to be freshly washed and waxed.
“Good afternoon, miss!” the man said, tipping his hat and shouting over her radio, which blared Born To Be Wild.
“Huh.” She chewed her gum in time with her tapping nails to mask her mounting panic.
“Could you cut the engine and turn the music down?” he barked, and this time she complied. “Do you know why I pulled you over today?”
“Bored, lonely, looking for a friend,” she guessed with a wily smile.
“Brake light is out.”
“Crime of the century,” she said, holding her wrists out, daring him to cuff her, “Officer.”
“Your tags are expired, tires are bald and, FYI, it’s deputy.”
“Deputy Dawg,” she drawled, looking at his nametag from behind the sunglasses that concealed her black eye.
“Deputy Tobias Dodd,” he corrected, pointing at the tag that displayed his name. “I’m gonna have to issue you a citation. Can I please see your license and registration?”
“Deputy Dodd, isn’t there some way we could work this out? I’m willing to consider any suggestions you may have.” Her lower lip jutted out to pout for her freedom.
Lily wouldn’t have made the offer, but the deputy was young, tall and handsome. And if that wasn’t enough, he had the broadest shoulders she’d ever seen. It wasn’t true that objects may appear larger in her rear or side view mirror. He looked delicious, and she had skipped breakfast and lunch.
His hair was dark brown with eyes to match. The southern accent he tried so hard to mask was like music to her soul. There was no wedding band, which was inconsequential to Lily. She was trying to beat a ticket, not search for an ex-boyfriend. Additionally, she’d always had a thing for men in uniform, preferably a cop uniform, and he wore his well. If she promised to meet him later to rock his world, he might let her slide without a ticket. The deputy was so cute she might even show up to let him rock hers.
“License and registration,” he repeated.
Lily hesitated, not sure what illegal substance Jake may have left in the glove box. She rummaged through it, tossing garbage on the floorboard to mix with the other trash already there. Her mind was at work formulating a story for any possible scenario.
“Ah-ha, here it is,” she said in triumph, handing the ripped and crinkled paper over to him with a well-practiced, demure smile.
He looked from the registration to her and then sighed with disappointment, which displayed itself on his face in the form of a frown. “Is your name Jacob Pratt?”
“No.”
“I didn’t think so.”
“I can explain. You see, I bought the car from Jake.”
“Does he know that?” Dodd inquired doubtfully.
She paused, pondering the truth versus a lie. “He might have been passed out during the transaction,” she admitted with a sly grin, momentarily picturing Jake waking up with a killer hangover to find her, his money and his car gone. The image gave her a wave of pure pleasure.
“Do you have any paperwork to substantiate your claim?”
“Are you calling me a liar, detective?”
“Maybe when I get to know you better—and it’s de-pu-ty.” His index finger dotted the syllables on his nametag with force.
“I assure you, de-pu-ty, I paid dearly, certainly more than this heap is worth,” Lily protested.
“I’m gonna have to check and see if it’s been reported stolen,” he informed her in a tone that alluded to his annoyance. “Do you have any weapons in the vehicle? I mean other than your obvious charm.”
The deputy’s compliment, she noted, was anything but. It dripped with sarcasm and was accentuated with a slight eye roll. Lily shook her head, even though she had no idea what was stashed in the car. Admitting that would get her searched and impounded, possibly detained and arrested. That would make poor use of her valuable time.
“I’ll be right back,” he promised. “And I’m gonna need that driver’s license,” he reminded her, and then he walked back to his cruiser shaking his head.
She slid her sunglasses to the tip of her nose to watch his reflection stroll back to his patrol car from her driver’s side mirror. She let out a low whistle before pushing the shades back in place.





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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

No Strings!!!!

No Strings Attached! Okay, this is easy. For you and for me. I'm not even going to welcome you to my blog or invite you to poke around for excerpts. I might not even respond to your comments. At all. There are no strings attached.
 
 
I'm not going to ask you a question or ask you to "like" me or "follow" me. Just leave your email address (you can say something if you want) so I can contact the random winner of an ecopy of Lily in Wonderland. Don't feel obligated to read the blurb. And don't forget to check out the other participants. You know - if you want.

 
Blurb:

Lily Tucker is down on her luck and considering a career strutting her stuff around a pole when she gets a call about an unexpected inheritance. It’s every girl’s dream—her estranged grandmother’s kicked the bucket, leaving Lily a house on a private island in Wonderland. 

When she reaches Wonderland, though, she finds a house that’s more like a hovel, a job waiting tables at the local diner, and a crime wave that seems to begin and end with Lily herself. Sexy deputy Toby can’t decide if he should arrest her or drag her off to bed—until it becomes clear that Lily’s not the criminal. She’s the target.
 


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rites of Spring blog hop!

Welcome to my stop on the Rites of Spring blog hop.
 

 
My Falling For The First Time offering: an excerpt of my hero and heroine's first meet from
This Side of Dead




 


All things considered, it wasn’t what he had expected from death.

His lids flickered open. "Am I in Heaven?" he muttered. His blurry angel hovered over him. His vision focused on eyes warm and blue like the waters of the Caribbean, but he felt the icy chill of a stroll in a walk-in freezer.
"You'll be in Hell if you don’t find the wherewithal to get up on your feet and haul your ass out of here with me," she said.


"Are you an angel?" A soggy, shivering, angry angel. She was Casper-the-Friendly-Ghost white, that was for sure. With the full moon up above, she practically glowed in the dark. The black ringlets of hair framing her white face and blue lips made for a strikingly haunting visual combination. "You’re beautiful."



Tilting her head adorably, she said, "Aw, thanks." Then through a clenched jaw, she growled, "Now get up." She pulled on his arms until he reluctantly sat up.
Mal didn’t know what he had expected from the afterlife, but not unbearable cold, lightheadedness and a forced nighttime march through the dark forest of death. "I’m cold."

Tightening her grip on his biceps, she said, "No, buoy boy, I’m cold."


 "Will you spend eternity with me, my angel?"


"Get. Up." She helped heave him to his feet.

Malcolm wavered on unsteady legs. His head spun—or everything around him did—and he bent to puke out a stomachful of murky river water. "Oh. My. God. I’m alive. Death could not possibly be this miserable."


 "You can thank me later," she said. Thank her later?

"You did this? You saved me? Why?"

She bounced on her toes, wrapping her arms around her body, straitjacket style. "I know this sounds crazy, but we’re on death’s doorstep."
Sounds crazy? Try looks crazy. Wild-eyed crazy

He glanced toward the all-too-familiar bridge in the distance. "Being on death’s doorstep is sort of what I was going for when I jumped off the bridge." Mal plopped back down on the ground to wait for Death to double back and fetch him. Her body heat would feel mighty good right about now, but would only slow his progression toward his blissful demise. Might be worth it.


"Get up," she demanded in a raspy Exorcist voice. Pointing to the bridge, she added, "You will not die today." He waited for her head to spin. Nothing. "Come back and try again tomorrow. I’ll be sure to be somewhere else."


He hung his head and shook like a jackhammer. "I can’t get up. Your friend was right. I’ve lost the will to live."


"He’s not my friend." His militant angel flung her wet t-shirt wildly over her head. Next, she skimmed her flirty skirt away.


Hallelujah! I
am in heaven. "W-what are you doing?"

"I’m going to share my body heat," she replied. "We’ll get you up a couple degrees, and then you and I are going to hike out of here before the Grim Reaper returns."

"O-okay."


Wait. What? "The Grim Reaper?"

"Death," she whispered. In nothing but black bra and panties and little lacy socks poking out of mud-covered ankle boots that squished with each step she took, she straddled his lap. "He’s a crazy, necrophiliac killer. And that’s the best-case scenario." She ripped open his shirt, buttons flying hither and yon. It was like a Penthouse Forum dream come true. "Cannibalism might be involved."

Looking straight down at her cleavage, he asked, "Does this mean you


will spend eternity with me?"


His guardian angel flashed him a ring—either that or she’d flipped him off at the speed of light with the wrong finger. "I’m practically engaged, Bob."
"My name’s not Bob."

She peeled away his wet shirt and rubbed his arms with her hands in a none-too-gentle way. "Well it’s all I’ve seen you do so far besides whine, so I assumed."

 
Blurb:
On Memorial Day weekend, Cecilia Denton hopped out of her boyfriend Brad’s car and leapt off a bridge. Far from suicidal herself, she did it to save a jumper, but she had no idea of the chain of events her heroic stunt would set in motion. Because Cecilia cheated the Grim Reaper, Death claimed her boyfriend instead. Now, Cecilia and Malcolm, the stranger whose life she saved, must go on a scavenger hunt of redemption. Either they prove to Death that there’s more to humans than greed and despair, or Death claims both Malcolm and Brad.
Malcolm Manchester didn’t ask to be saved, and he sure doesn’t want to be Cecilia’s partner in a game of Beat the Clock to restore Death’s faith in humanity. The heat is on Cecilia to give Malcolm a reason to live before time runs out—or send him off with a bang.
 





Please leave me a comment with an email address and I will enter you in my drawing for an ecopy of This Side of Dead. Don't forget to check out the other Rites of Spring bloggers for additional great giveaways and more chances to enter for the grand prizes!
 
1st Grand Prize
Kindle Fire (international)
2nd Grand Prize
$50 Amazon.com gift certificate
a Rafflecopter giveaway