Thursday, May 23, 2013

A quick review

Recently I was delighted to see the following review posted on The Consummate Reader's site.  If you haven't seen it yet, I thought I'd make it easy for you and just include a bit of it here. There's a link at the bottom if you want to see the whole review.

Meanwhile, after years of false starts and the best of intentions, I've finally finished the first draft on my novel about the serial killer. "Why 319" is the title and that is also the message the killer leaves, written in lipstick on the bathroom mirror of the different motel room number 319 where the victims are discovered.  While I'm reviewing, revising and editing this story, I'm going to post parts of this story periodically to get some feedback. Any comments, good or bad, are always welcome.  Now for the review.

I loooooooooove mystery thrillers. I am a long time fan of James Patterson and his cop/mystery books. I liked how this book had a bit of a Stephanie Plum and Castle feel to it. Jamie Richmond, lead heroine, sounds like my kind of buddy. Jamie likes to write and jumps from job to job and is a free spirit. Resourceful and clever, yet clumsy, she managed to get a book deal and an advance on her second book. With a criminal mystery thriller in mind, Jamie contacts her ex-step-father, who also happens to be the captain of the police force. While researching her a character role for her next book, Jamie witnesses a shooting that leaves her escort incapacitated and bleeding on the road. Captivated by the mystery of the shooter, Jamie begins an investigation of her own, but someone doesn't want her to figure it out.

The mystery behind the shooter was thrilling and kept me guessing until the end.  
This book had everything! Steamy sex scenes balanced with a sweet romance, crime, mystery, and fantastic plot lines. Overall I give this book a......

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Contemporary Romance Blog Hop Part Two

Welcome to my blog.  It’s a pleasure to have you here.  Secret Cravings Publishing has many talented authors in their group, working on a wide variety of genres. This weekend’s blog hop focuses on contemporary romances. That’s where I come in. While most of what I write are mysteries, I enjoy mixing in a bit of romance to keep the characters real.

My second novel with Secret Cravings Publishing was just released earlier this week. “Vanishing Act” is the sequel to my earlier novel, “Devious” and you’ll recognize some of the same main characters. Jamie Richmond, my heroine, is still enthralled with the attentions of the mysterious Malone.  The story opens just after Christmas when Jamie’s best friend, Linda Davis, makes her first appearance.  With plans for a romantic New Year’s Eve filled with dining and dancing, Jamie sets up Linda with a blind date that turns out to be more than she ever imagined. Soon Linda finds her captivated by her own budding romance, to the delight and confusion of Jamie. But Linda has captured someone else’s attention too. A stalker suddenly makes their presence known and Linda’s normal life is thrown into a tailspin. When she disappears without a trace on a snowy Saturday, the police are baffled. But Jamie is determined to figure out two important things, who took Linda and where she is, before it’s too late. 
At the heart of this story is romance. Here is an excerpt from the story. In this scene, Jamie and Linda are on their way home from exercise class when they decide to stop for coffee and a chance to catch up.
We pulled into a coffee shop that she likes to frequent. I got a slice of iced lemon loaf and a cup of tea. Linda got a vanilla coffee and a raspberry muffin. I waited until we were seated at a little table far from the doorway or anyone else.
“So are you going to tell me what’s going on, Algae? You’ve been beaming a thousand watt smile since you picked me up.”
I saw the color radiate on her cheeks. She lowered her eyes and took a sip of her coffee. I waited. Finally she drew a deep breath and raised her face.
“I think I’m in love,” she said quietly.
I sat back in amazement. This was the same woman, who, not three weeks ago, had sworn that they were just getting to know each other, just going to take it slow. Suddenly she was talking love. Before I could respond, she waved a hand at me.
“Just be quiet and listen, Jamie. I know that’s difficult for you, but please just hear me out.”
I tore a corner off the pastry and popped it into my mouth, then closed my eyes to savor the lemony sweetness, and let it dissolve on my tongue. I imagined this was how a sunbeam would taste. When it was gone, I opened my eyes and gazed at her. I extended my right hand and just looked at her.
“Vince came over last night. I wanted to cook for him, so I made shrimp with angel hair pasta. You know the way I do it, with mushrooms, red peppers and fresh parmesan cheese.”
My stomach growled. It’s one of her signature dishes. I started to comment but Linda waved me quiet.
“So we had some good, Italian wine, a white one that really went well with the pasta. I had the stereo on, something soft like Diana Krall and Van Morrison. After dinner, we moved to the sofa. The fire was lit and we only had one light on low. I had been in a bit of rush to get dinner ready when I came home from work, so I hadn’t bother to change.”
She paused to sip her coffee. I couldn’t keep quiet. “What were you wearing?”
“You know that turquoise sweater with the cowl neck?”
I nodded. It does magical things for her eyes.
That and a black, wool skirt, some stockings, and those black leather boots that come up to mid calf.”
Linda loves boots. She has several pairs and usually likes the ones with a two-inch heel. I knew exactly the outfit she was describing. It could stop traffic any time of the day or night. Like she couldn’t do that already! I waited for her to continue. She took another taste of her coffee, and then started talking quietly again.
“So we’re on the sofa, sitting there, just listening to the music. He had an arm draped over my shoulders. And I mentioned that I had to get out of my boots. My feet were starting to cramp. That’s when things got…different.”
I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear this, but there was no stopping her now. “What do you mean, different?” I asked.
“Vince told me to move to the other end of the sofa. Then he slowly unzipped my boots and pulled them off me. My legs were in his lap. He started to massage my feet, chasing away the aches and pains. Then he moved up to my ankles. And the whole time, he just kept talking, keeping his voice very low and soft.”
“What did he say?”
Linda shuddered with the memory. “He told me all of the things he was going to do to me, all the ways he wanted to please me.”
I pulled back the sleeve of her jacket. Her arm was covered in goose bumps. “Do you really want to tell me this, Linda?”
“I’ve got to tell you, Jamie, because I still can’t believe it happened. It was like I was hypnotized. He was in total control of me. I couldn’t even move.”
Somehow no words found their way out of my mouth. I just stared at her so she kept talking.
“I swear he touched on every fantasy, no matter how dark, I have ever considered. And the whole time, he just kept talking softly, massaging my legs. I thought I was melting from his charms on New Year’s Eve. That was nothing compared to last night. Jamie, by the time he finally undressed me, I was so far over the edge, I didn’t think I’d ever make it back.”
I would have never believed my good and kindly doctor would be capable of fulfilling all her fantasies. And even if I had, I could never have imagined how dark these fantasies would turn out to be.

Sounds interesting?  A little mystery wrapped in a little romance. Or maybe it’s the other way around.  If you’d like to win a copy of the eBook, just answer the following question.  Include your email address in your response so I can notify the winner.
                Today’s question: What is your favorite romantic movie? Name the characters and if possible, some memorable dialogue or action that occurs.
                You can find me on Facebook at:

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cuddle Up with Contemporary Romance Blog Hop

Blog Hop:             Saturday

Welcome to my blog.  It’s a pleasure to have you here.  Secret Cravings Publishing has many talented authors in their group, working on a wide variety of genres. This weekend’s blog hop focuses on contemporary romances. That’s where I come in.
My first publication with Secret Cravings is a novel called “Devious”.  This is the story of Jamie Richmond, an independent young woman who after establishing herself as a reporter for several years, took the plunge and devoted all her efforts to writing mysteries. With her first sale made, Jamie is in the process of researching characters for her next book. That leads her to the Michigan State Police. She wants to base a character on a state trooper, one of those guys who routinely patrol the highways, keeping everyone safe. Jamie is able to do a ride along, where she spends a shift as a passenger, gaining insight as to what the job is really like.  Near the end of the shift, during what appears to be a routine traffic stop, the trooper is shot.  Quick thinking on Jamie’s part chases away the shooter and soon help arrives. While the ensuing police investigation grows cold, Jamie is determined to figure out who was behind this dastardly act.
At the same time, a romance develops between Jamie and Sergeant Malone, another state trooper whom she first met on that fateful night.  Malone’s cobalt blue eyes have a way of distracting Jamie, despite her best intentions. And there’s a certain amount of mystery behind him as well.  Here is an excerpt from the book that may give you some clue about what lies ahead for Jamie and Malone.

One night last week, Malone had let slip that he had a soft spot for pink. I’d been waiting for an opportunity to see just how much of a softy he was. So in addition to polishing my nails, I dug out some appropriate sleepwear. I don’t have a huge supply of slinky negligees. With the colder weather, I usually wear flannel pajamas. Not exactly the wardrobe of choice to spark romantic interest. But I knew there was an item that would fit the bill tonight.
In the bottom of the drawer was just what I was looking for. Probably the most money I’ve ever spent on myself for something I’d only dreamed of wearing before. Actually, I’ve worn it twice, but never when I was expecting a visitor. It’s pure silk, in a very soft shade of pink, with thin spaghetti straps at the shoulders. It hugs my meager curves very nicely and stops about mid-thigh. It dips very low in the back, so if I’m feeling extremely naughty, I can always wear it backwards. The gown comes with a matching wrap in the same shade of pink with a little black trim along the collar and the cuffs. The wrap drapes to my ankles. I wanted to get Malone’s attention from the moment he walked in the door. With that in mind, I searched the closet for a particular pair of shoes. They were black, with very high heels and open toes. I slipped them on and posed before the mirror. I sure hoped Malone had been taking his vitamins.
He was due any time now. I wanted no doubt left as to what this evening had in store. The stereo was ready with a variety of discs, some soft sultry ballads by Diana Krall, James Taylor, and light jazz instrumentals. There were candles lit, both in the living room and the bedroom. I touched up my makeup, just lipstick and a little bit of blush. A quick spray of perfume and I was ready.
I was heading for the windows to see if I could spot his car, when the door opened. Malone stood there for a moment, not moving. I couldn’t see his eyes clearly. He was in that shadowy area, just inside the door and all the candles were behind me. My heart did a little stutter. Was I coming on too strong?
“Hey, Jamie.” His voice was a hoarse whisper.
“Hey, Malone.” I wanted to pose for him in some seductive way, but I was frozen in place, halfway between my bedroom and the sofa. He just stood there, staring at me. His head moved slowly. I could feel his eyes tracing their way down my body. A chill ran up my spine, but I still couldn’t move. Then I heard a clicking noise and realized he had managed to close and lock the door behind him. At last he moved.
“You are an incredibly beautiful woman.”
I blushed and lowered my eyes. “It’s just the gown.”
“Don’t do that.” His voice had taken on a thick, husky quality.
“Do what?”
“Downplay the compliment.” Malone reached out his right hand and took my left. Then he turned me and we started dancing slowly, moving in perfect sync to the music. I think it was Krall singing “The Way You Look Tonight.”
“Just smile sweetly, say, ‘thank you’ and accept the fact that I believe you are an incredibly beautiful woman.”
I was having trouble finding my voice. “Thank you, kind sir.”
He twirled me around the apartment. It amazed me how well we moved together. With the heels, I was almost eye level with Malone. His right hand was now inside the wrap, resting lightly on my bare back just above the edge of the gown. “Do you have any idea how incredibly sexy this is? To come in that door and find you like this?”
“Do you have any idea how sexy you make me feel, Malone?”
He stopped moving at that moment and dipped me, just as the song ended. “I’ve never had that effect on any woman before. At least, not to my knowledge.”
“Yes, Jay?”
“Are you going to kiss me?”
That killer smile crossed his face. “I thought you’d never ask.”

                Sounds interesting?  A little mystery wrapped in a little romance. Or maybe it’s the other way around.  If you’d like to win a copy of the eBook, just answer the following question.  Include your email address in your response so I can notify the winner.
                Today’s question:  If you won an all expenses paid dream vacation, where would it be and who would you take with you?
                Here are the links where you can find “Devious”

You can find me on Facebook at:

Check out the other participants in this weekend's blog hop at the link below.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Vanishing Act

Today the second book in the Jamie Richmond series, "Vanishing Act" was released.  This is the story of Jamie's best friend, Linda, who starts off the new year with a new romance. However, her beau is not the only one who has become enamored with Linda.  Soon she realizes that she's caught the attention of a stalker. While things are innocent at first, they rapidly take a turn for the worse. She confides in Jamie, who will do anything to help her friend.

 Here's an excerpt from the story.

Linda and I had gone to the gym, as was our custom. Earlier in the day, she had found a childish Valentine’s card tucked under the windshield wiper on her car. There was no signature, just a cartoon character offering up their heart. It could have been from anyone. Or it could have been from her stalker. She had started to throw it away, but remembered the warning from Malone. So she was a little unnerved when we went to work out. But the physical activity, the pounding music, and the noise of the other women grunting and groaning through the moves helped to improve her mood. We bundled up afterward and were headed for the car. The lot had been crowded when we’d arrived, so we had ended up parking at the far end.
Talking quietly, trudging through the clumps of snow and ice, neither one of us heard him at first.
“It’s getting to the point where I just want to stay home,” she said quietly.
“You can’t hide, Linda. If you become a prisoner in your own home, then he wins. And you are much too strong a person to let that happen.”
She gave me a wan smile. “I know, Jay Kay, it’s just…”
“Hey!” a gruff voice snapped at us from only a couple of feet away.
Linda let out a shriek of surprise. She lost her footing on the ice and crashed to the pavement. Looking over my shoulder, I saw a blocky shape, hidden in the shadows beyond the reach of the overhead lights, gliding close to the back end of a parked car. He took a menacing step forward, one hand clutching something tightly and extending it towards us.
“Run!” I screamed at Linda for all I was worth.
“Hey,” he snapped again, still reaching for us.
I took a step toward him and planted my left foot on one of the few dry patches of pavement. Then I swung my right foot as hard as I could, as if I was about to nail a fifty yard field goal to win the Super Bowl. Without realizing it, I braced for the impact. To this day, I’d swear I was aiming for his crotch. But I missed.
Maybe the pavement wasn’t dry after all. Or maybe suddenly shifting my weight to make that kick caused me to lose my balance. Or maybe subconsciously I couldn’t really kick a guy in the balls. Or maybe he sensed what was happening and he took a step back. I’ll never really know.
In my peripheral vision, I could see Linda scrambling to her feet, already racing toward her car, clicking the remote control to unlock the doors. My leg continued its arc and just before making contact, my left leg shot out from underneath me.
My foot slammed into the bulky guy. I caught him square in the chest. With my body going horizontal, it must have looked like some kind of ninja move. Whatever it was, it was enough to take him off his feet, and he went down with a thud. I couldn’t be sure, but it looked like his head bounced off the pavement.
I landed on my side and scrambled immediately to my feet. I was crouched in a fighting stance, anger and adrenalin churning in my gut. The guy let out a low groan. He made no move to get up.
Suddenly lights flared around us. Linda had managed to start her car and pull it into the aisle. She lay on the horn, a long deep-throated wail that cut through the night. A few people who had been moving across the parking lot came running over.
Illuminated by the headlights, I looked down at the attacker. He was an older man, with a couple of day’s worth of stubble across his face. His left hand was pressed against his chest, roughly in the spot in which I’d kicked him. Slowly he raised his right hand in my direction as our eyes locked. His voice made a throaty rasping noise as he spoke.
“She dropped her glove.”

* * * *

 Malone was not happy. The look on his face told me everything I needed to know. I’d stepped over some kind of line.
 “Jamie, I told you I’d take care of this. You can’t be taking matters into your own hands.” His voice was tense. There was none of the tenderness, the humor or the calm that I usually associated with Malone.
“But Malone, I can’t leave it alone. We’re talking about my best friend.”
“I know who we’re talking about! But you can’t go running around like some renegade in a movie, trying to see that justice is done. This whole thing could have blown up in your face.”
“But I…”
“No buts, Jamie.” He leaned forward, looming over me. “You put an innocent old man in the hospital, attacking him like that. And the only thing he had done was to follow Linda out to her car because she dropped her glove.”
“But Malone…”
He threw up his hands in disgust. “You just don’t get it! You get this notion in your head that you’re right and to hell with everyone else.” I couldn’t remember Malone ever swearing before. He couldn’t look at me.
“I’m sorry, Malone.” My voice was little more than a whisper.
“Sorry might not be enough, Jamie. You could have killed that guy. And what if he’d really been after Linda? What if he was armed? Instead of just getting in your car, and calling for help, you could have been putting yourself in harm’s way.”
 I kept my eyes on the floor. There was no way I could look at him. It was all I could do to shrug my shoulders.
“No more heroic moves, Jamie.”
“We’ll do whatever you say, Malone. I really did think she was in trouble.”

Monday, May 13, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

An interview with Jamie Richmond

Jamie Richmond, the heroine of "Devious" and the soon to be released "Vanishing Act" is being interviewed today on Sarah Cass's website.  Stop by and see what Jamie has to say.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A visit with Lydia Michaels

Today it is my pleasure to have Lydia Michaels visit.  Here is a bit of background on this very successful, hard working author.

Lydia is an award-winning author of contemporary, paranormal, and erotic romance. You may be familiar with her series about sexy Amish Vampyres—that’s right, AMISH—which won The Top Bite Award in 2012 from Bitten by Paranormal Romance. You may also know her New Castle series, a contemporary series, which takes each heroine to the limit and proves how capable women truly are. But this May, Lydia is switching things up a bit with her new novel, Breaking Perfect.

Q: Before we get to your book, let’s learn a bit about you.  Where are you from and how long have you been writing?

Lydia: I’m from Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. I’ve been writing for a little over four years now. My first book was published December 2011.

Q: What authors have had an influence on your own writing efforts?

Lydia: I love Lisa Kleypas’s way with words, Lori Foster’s spirit, JR Wards originality, Megan Hart’s depth, and Bella Andre’s inspirational bio.

Q: Do you have a specific time or routine that you try to follow when it comes to writing?

Lydia: Ha-ha! “Try” being the key word. I try to wake up around 4:30am to greet the day and fans. Life happens and I usually break around seven to get the family out the door. Then I write until 3:00pm when the little lady comes home. After that I steal moments to work whenever I can. A quote I love (not sure who said it) is: “Being an author is like giving yourself homework for the rest of your life. Really hard homework. If you want glitz and glamor, throw glitter at the computer screen.”

Q: Who is the one character you’ve created that you are the proudest of?

Lydia: Hmmm, that’s a difficult question. I’d have to say Evelyn “Scout” Keats. She’s homeless and illiterate. All she wants out of this life is to be normal, but after she meets billionaire, Lucian Patras, she learns there is no stopping at the in between for her. She faces many challenges on her journey to the top, mostly because her mother is addicted to heroin and remains at the bottom, where Scout cannot leave her behind. Scout’s story is The Surrender Trilogy, coming fall 2013 from Penguin Group. Falling In, Breaking Out, Coming Home.

Q: Many authors picture their works as a movie. What character would you play?

Lydia: Ha-ha! You mean if I had to star as a character in MY own book? Probably it would be Mallory Fenton from the second book of my McCullough Mountain series. She’s funny and constantly struggling to be upbeat, but fights a lot of insecurities that wreak havoc in her girlie mind. If only we all could see ourselves through the eyes of those who love us unconditionally.

Q: Are you working on another book?  What’s it about?

Lydia: Right now I’m working on Mallory’s book (mentioned in the question above). It isn’t titled yet, but so far I love it. The McCulloughs are a sexy, rambunctious, Irish family—always fun to hang out withJ

Q: What are you reading now?

Lydia: I’m on a historical kick right now. So I’ve been reading some Virginia Henley, one of my faves.

Q: What’s the title of your latest work and what is it about?

Lydia: My newest release is called “Breaking Perfect” and it’s scheduled for release May 2013. Here’s a little bit about the book. Heat: Sizzling MMF

Dr. and Mrs. Mason Davis appear to have the perfect life, but looks can be deceiving. Liberty isn’t perfect, far from it, yet everyday she strives to be the ideal wife. It was love at first sight for Mason, despite all the challenges living with someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder might face. And from the moment Liberty gave him her heart, he knew he was meant to keep her safe. Mason accepts that Liberty is flawed, even when she does not. He endeavors to keep life as orchestrated as possible for his wife, but when his ex-lover, Sean, shows up unannounced, Mason loses a bit of his ever present control and cracks begin to show in his perfect life. Liberty’s just right, carefully ordered world begins to unravel when she falls for the man who is in love with her husband. When what she wants is the antithesis of perfect, she struggles with her desires, and fears she may break. But breaking may be the only thing that can set Liberty free.

A beautifully told, psychological tale that redefines the meaning of perfect and breaks all the rules of love. 

WARNING: Breaking Perfect is a highly graphic erotic romance, which contains content that may be not be suitable for all readers. This novel examines the Dominant/submissive dynamic, explores areas touching on light BDSM, and includes situations some readers may find offensive. This book is a poly-amorous romance, which means it is a love story between three people trying to find their happily ever after. There are intense sexual scenes, which include MMF ménage, meaning the male characters may interact sexually with or without the female heroine present.

{All other buy links can be found at}

Also keep an eye out for Lydia Michaels’ upcoming debut with Penguin Publishing this fall, as she introduces The Surrender Trilogy, selected as one of the hottest eBooks of 2013!

Lydia will also be appearing at Lori Foster’s Reader Author Get Together this June! Meet her and other great authors there!