Sunday Snippet 03.22.15 - Ashley Ridge

I'm super excited to share an excerpt from my next release Ashley Ridge, set for launch on April 15, 2015. This launch date is significant for me in that I am a tax accountant. Not only will my book be released that day, but I will also be released from tax season on that day. 

Available for pre-sale on Amazon

Trapped in an affair with a blackmailer...

After Ashley Rivers is involved in a hit and run accident, she picks up the pieces of her life and tries to move on, but the tragedy ruins her friendship with the two people most important to her. To fill the void, she falls into a psychologically abusive relationship with a sociopath.

Estranged from the man she has always loved...

Giving up her place in the North Arkansas Paranormal Society isn’t easy for Ashley. She longs to go back to the old ghost hunting days with her partners, Josh and Gray, but the hurt Josh inflicted on her is hard to forget. Distancing herself from him is even harder.

Entangled in a dark web of deceit and revenge...

When a mysterious death on Ashley Ridge stirs up old haunting rumors, Lead Crime Scene Investigator with the Hill County Sheriff’s Office, Josh McCord, pulls Ashley into the investigation. Investigating the haunting draws Josh and Ashley together, but Josh fears Ashley will crush his heart again.

Can two wounded hearts repair the damage done by the past and find love on Ashley Ridge?

Here's the excerpt:


All About Heroes Interview with Cait Jarrod

Today, I have as my guest fellow suspense writer, Cait Jarrod. Cait has just released her latest book, Breaking All Barriers.

Breaking All Barriers 
By Cait Jarrod 
Release Date: March 13, 2015 
Publisher: Wild Rose Press 
Genre: Romantic Suspense 

Can a single kiss change your life? 
Businessman Cole Dunbar stays focused inventing the latest techno gadgets. When he learns of his deceased wife’s betrayal, he shuts the door on any personal relationships. There’s just one problem—the sexy Dina Wright who lives down the hall. He can’t keep her out of his thoughts and fantasies. When he sees her frightened on a New York City street, he tosses aside his reservations and reaches out to her. 

Dina is high on life. Not only is she starting an advertising agency and her best friend is returning to NYC, an honest-to-God hunk is sending her spine-tingling looks. Despite past betrayals interfering, the budding romance picks up momentum, but Mother Nature spins her wrath. Amidst the chaos, Dina vanishes. 

Like the book on Facebook 

Buy links: 

Wild Rose Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo 

First, tell us a little about yourself. I’m married to my best friend and have three wonderful daughters. With my daughters either attending college or just graduated college, I have more time on my hands. So, at this point in my life, I’m able to do something that is for me…WRITE

As writers, we often become emotionally attached to our characters. Who is your favorite hero you’ve ever written? That’s hard to answer. In each book, I grow attached to both the hero and heroine. Each hero has special qualities that I like. Naming one of the heroes would probably just tick off another one, so I probably should stay silent. :)

Have you ever fallen in love with or had a crush on one of your heroes? Tell us about him. No, I haven’t. My husband may not like it if I did. :)
 But, I will say that each of them has some of my husband’s qualities. Saying that, you could say, I have a crush on each of them.

How do you develop your heroes? Do you imagine their personality or their physical appearance first? Do they grow as personalities as you write or do you do a character sketch before you type the first word? Yes, to all the above. I search the internet for pictures. I mostly use the physical traits in the photographs. Once and a while, I veer off—like eye or hair color. I do sketch out their character before I write the first draft, but their personalities come more to life once I’ve finish the story. The second revision, I dig deeper into their personalities. 

Here's a pic of Cole:

How do you name your hero? I search for a name until one strikes me to fit the character’s personality. Sometimes, I change their name before the end of the first draft.

Who is your favorite hero in books, movies, or television? Raylan Givens is probably my favorite on TV right now.

Who is your hero in real life? Easy. My husband. 

Thanks for being here today, Cait. I wish you success with yur new release.

Don’t miss Cait Jarrod’s other works: 

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Kidnapped Hearts - Band of Friend Series, Book 1 
Mystic Hearts-Band of Friend Series, Book 2 
Entangled Love 
Girl Code anthology, releasing Spring 2015 

About the Author: From writing ‘every girl’s dream heroes’ to ‘strong, down-to-earth heroines,’ Cait Jarrod twists ‘cliff hanging plots’ and ‘clever, unpredictable sub-plots’. She loves diving into a good book as much as she loves writing one. Mother of three gorgeous daughters, she’s married to her best friend, hangs out with the WWC--a great group of women-- and loves a good glass of wine. Cait’s debut novel, Kidnapped Hearts, won awards in the categories of Best Happily Ever After, Best Suspense, and Editor’s Choice. She also made the Amazon Best Sellers list. 

Contact or follow Cait Jarrod: 

Facebook Fan Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Google+ |Linkedin 

Sign up for her newsletter here: http://caitjarrod.com/contact-cait-andor-signup-for-news-from-cait-newsletter/ 

Heart Chalk board


Snippet Sunday 03.15.15 - Cross Examination

This week's snippet comes from my romantic suspense novel Cross Examination.

No longer able to tolerate her husband Scott’s abuse, Tamara Slay packs up her daughter, Gabby, and moves to Louisiana, hoping a new life and a new identity will give her a fresh start. An unexpected phone call from a Sheriff’s deputy in Florida shatters her sense of security. Scott hides a much darker secret than abusing his wife. Above all else, she must protect Gabby from Scott.

Lt. Martin Beck of the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Department has been investigating the death of Brandy Fuller for years. Sidetracked for a while by his wife’s murder, Beck finally reopens the cold Fuller case and discovers a thin lead. The new evidence takes him to Louisiana to meet the estranged wife of his primary suspect. Together, Beck and Tamara conclude that Scott not only murdered Brandy Fuller, but seven other women on the Florida Gulf coast.

As Beck dives deeper into the investigation, he draws closer to Tamara. Passions ignite as the one woman who wants Scott dead the most allies with the one man who wants Scott dead the most. Can Beck protect Tamara and Gabby from Scott and stop a serial killer from killing again?

Here's the snippet:

She peeked around the door and then started down the stairs. As she descended the back flight to the floor below, she stopped and listened. Moved a few steps. Stopped and listened. Whoever was rummaging around her things no longer tried to muffle the noise he made. Thuds, bumps, and scrapes punctuated her fear. Her instinct screamed at her.

Without a doubt, the intruder was Scott.

Did he think she wouldn’t hear him? Maybe he imagined her cowering in her room waiting for him to do his worst. Maybe he still thought of her as the submissive little woman, powerless to oppose him, or perhaps he believed fear immobilized her as it so often had in the past. He was a fool and he didn’t know her anymore. She was stronger for having spent so much time away from him on her own, learning to cope with life’s everyday problems without him. Never would she allow a man to control her again as she had let Scott. Her emotions were her own. He would not dictate to her how she would react.

Gabby was in her arms before Tamara caught another breath. The tote dragged on her arm as she tried to lift the child.


“Shhh…” She placed her pointer finger over Gabby’s mouth.
Fear reflected in her daughter’s eyes. Surely Gabby heard what she had heard. Her heart hurt for her child. They had once before left in the middle of the night. That escape had been difficult for Gabby. She’d had a hard time sleeping for weeks after that. Just when her Daddy had found them, her Mommy took her away again. Of course, Gabby wouldn’t understand.

Out in the hall, Tamara didn’t have to strain to hear. The intruder made no effort to hide his ascent up the front stairs. She descended the back. On the landing, she paused once more. Something crashed to the floor in her bedroom. She imagined him pulling out all her dresser drawers, yanking her bed linens from her unused bed. She slept in Gabby’s room for fear Scott would find her, that he might sneak into her house when she was unaware and snatch her child away from her. She had been right to do so, despite all the parenting books that told her not to sleep in the same bed with her child.

She rushed down the remaining steps and ran for the kitchen door, no longer mindful of the racket she made. As she passed the counter, she grabbed her purse. Her compact, lipstick, brush, two pencils, and a pen, plus a few wadded up receipts spilled across the countertop from the open flap. She hadn’t left it unsnapped. Had he searched the contents? She stuffed the scattered items back into the handbag with one hand. One glance around the kitchen and she was moving again. She slung the purse strap over her shoulder, rushed toward the back door, and wrapped her fingers around the doorknob.

“Tamara,” he yelled down the stairs. “Where are you? Quit hiding from me.”


5 Habits of Thoroughly Obsessed Writers

When I first started this blog, it had a different name. In July 2009, I called my introduction into the blogosphere "My Journey Towards Publication". At that time, I had written about 15 unpublished manuscripts that I considered complete and ready for publication. All I needed was an agent. Right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Since that time, I've gained a buttload of working knowledge about the art of writing, the thrill of publishing, and the headache of marketing. I'm not sure, but I think every newly published writer goes through the five stages of publication. Rejection. Elation. Disillusion. Resignation. Revision. (That sounds like another blog post topic for another day.)

What I want to ponder today is five obsessive habits in which most, but maybe not all, newly published authors indulge.


Snippet Sunday 03.08.15 - The End

This week's snippet comes from my romantic suspense novel The End.

Sometimes the end is only the beginning.

Almost a year after her husband dies, Ellie Marston opens the file for Tab’s last manuscript, a thriller so compelling it reads like a true story. His manuscript needs an ending, so Ellie writes the obvious conclusion. The same morning she types The End, her career as an assistant district attorney falls apart. Accused of throwing the high profile Patterson case, she resigns in disgrace.

The only friend Ellie has left in the criminal justice system is Det. Paul Santiago, a man she has worked closely with on numerous cases. While she was married to Tab, she squashed her growing feelings for Paul, determined to make her deteriorating marriage work, but circumstances after Tab’s death draw Ellie and Paul closer.

Together Paul and Ellie attempt to uncover a conspiracy in the District Attorney’s office, the set up that forced her to resign. The key to the mystery is hidden in the pages of Tab’s manuscript. Paul and Ellie come to the correct conclusion—Tab’s manuscript is a true story and Ellie’s added ending is the only logical outcome. Danger swirls around them as they step further and further into the conspirator’s trap.

Here's the snippet:

I stuffed the last three queries into the box and turned to walk toward my front steps. That’s when I noticed the man hovering in the shadows outside the door to the vacant basement apartment in my building. He quickly extinguished his cigarette. Was he the same man who loitered near the light pole earlier? I quickened my pace, hoping to reach my front door before he made a move. If I could just get inside, the door would automatically lock behind me. I glanced up and down the street. No one was out except the man with the cigarette and me.

My fingers trembled as I inserted my key into the lock. A hand wrapped around my wrist and I spun to face him. Dark eyes stared at me. A nasty scar graced his upper lip. I gasped. A puzzled frown creased his mouth. He lifted a strand of my hair and studied it before he dropped it back onto my shoulder. “Red. No black roots.” His raspy voice twanged every one of my nerves.

I jerked my arm from his grasp and he stepped away from me. “What do you want?” Maybe he was one of those snoopy reporters, but he didn’t look the type. Media types usually didn’t wear leather jackets, and they didn’t mess with a woman’s hair. He seemed too much like a tough guy. I clung to my false hope anyhow. “I’m not answering any questions, so if you’re here to—”

“Take it easy.” He retreated another step. “I was looking for someone, but you’re not her. Your hair’s too short and too red. I’m looking for a tall woman with dark hair.” His cool smile sent a chill up and down my spine.

I wrapped my fingers around my wrist where the heat of his touch still warmed my skin. “Did you try the bar across the street?” My sarcasm rang in the night air.

He acted as if he was suppressing his amusement. “Sorry to bother you.” With those words, he disappeared into the night. Gone before I could catch another breath. I didn’t believe in coincidence. The man’s presence in my neighborhood just after Patterson was released from custody was significant. Obviously the freed jailbird had sent someone to stalk me or rattle me or both. He was too much of a coward to do his own dirty work.

What could I possibly know that would send Patterson back to jail? He couldn’t be retried under the old indictment. He’d have to be charged with another crime. But what?

My insides were still wobbly when I raced up the stairs and into my apartment. I leaned on the door, my hand pressed against my chest. In my bedroom, my cell phone vibrated with the ringtone I reserved just for Tab. I hadn’t heard that tone in a year. My heart nearly stopped beating.

It ceased ringing for a while and then began again. I stared in the direction of the noise, hoping to shut it off with a mean glare, but it continued its insistent summons. I took my time walking across the scarred wood flooring to my bedroom. The ringing stopped again and then began for a third time. Someone wanted my attention really bad. I wrung my hands in a vain effort to dispel some nervous energy. With a deep gulp of much-needed oxygen, I picked up the phone and answered.

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