Tag Archives: books

Sunday Snippet from Deadly Shades by H. D. Thomson

Deadly Shades CoverThis Sunday I thought I’d share a snippet of the first book in my Shades series. Each story is very much a stand alone. Deadly Shades is a quick read for when you don’t have time to get your teeth into a longer book.

“I thought we went through this already.” Vaguely aware of the movement of people walking around her, Kennedy sat on a bench in the mall with potted plants on either side of her. She shouldn’t have answered her cell, but then when it came to Luke, she always seemed to cave. Plus, she could only ignore his calls for so long.

“You could have at least given me the respect to break up in person.” Anger laced Luke’s voice. “Shit, Kennedy. We just passed the one year mark.”

She closed her eyes and struggled to bank the emotion wrapped around her throat. What could she say? He was right.

“We both know why you ran.” His husky voice washed over her senses. “I scare you. I make you feel. And you just can’t stand that.”

A baby started bawling ten feet away. “Luke, right now isn’t the time. There are crowds everywhere.”

“We’ll talk later.”

Luke didn’t give her a chance to argue. He’d hung up. She disconnected the phone and sat on the bench. She didn’t like hurting like this. That’s why she’d broken up. If she’d stayed any longer, the hurt would have just gotten worse, and she couldn’t handle that. She blinked back tears but they spilled over her lashes.

Where was her self-control? For God’s sake she was in a public place with people everywhere. She stuffed her phone into her purse, pulled the straps over her shoulder and wiped impatiently at her cheeks with the back of her hands.

She rose on unsteady legs and started for the exit. The idea of seeing Luke again in person made her stomach flop and her chest tighten. And her body… Her body was reacting in a very needy way. The idea of being in his arms again, to feel the weight of his body against her, to—

Enough! Luke was just a man. A man that was screwing with her head. Mentally shaking herself, Kennedy moved toward the main doors that lead to the south parking lot. She didn’t want to buy presents right now, she didn’t want to deal with all the people milling around, shopping, eating, talking.

A woman stepped in front of her. Kennedy stumbled to a stop and almost collided with her.

“Take these.” The woman with a halo of blond, chin-length hair and dressed in a black and white pant suit shoved something at her. In reflex, Kennedy caught the item in both hands.

“What’s this?” Kennedy stared down at her hands. A pair of sunglasses of all things. She glanced up.

“Just take them,” the blond insisted. A strange light—fear, maybe anger, Kennedy didn’t quite know—flared in the woman’s brown eyes.

“I don’t need sunglasses.”

“Hah, they’re not sunglasses. At least not any I’ve ever worn!” The woman backed away. “Just take them. Maybe they’ll work better for you than they did for me.”

Before Kennedy had a chance to protest further, the blond pivoted and lurched into the crowd toward the food court.

Available at Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble  | Apple | KOBO

Hope you enjoyed it! I’m currently working on the third book in the series, Killer Shades. Nothing beats getting inside a killer’s head and having them do something diabolical! 🙂

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Guest Star: Sandra Owens

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Hello everyone. Thank you Butterscotch Martini Girls for the invite. I’m honored to be here today. I write contemporary romantic suspense and Regency romance books, and as a romance author, I understand how important first encounters are to a story. Is there instant attraction, or do the h/h dislike each other on sight (or at least think they do)? Is the first encounter a funny one or an embarrassing one?

I will always fondly remember my first actual encounter with my husband. It went something like this…

“I ran over my coat this morning.”

I looked up from whatever I’d been doing at the time to see a tall, blue-eyed, blond man standing in front of my desk. I knew him as he worked at the same place I did, but we’d never had much contact. I will admit, though, that I had noticed him.

“You what?” I asked, not sure I’d heard him right. For opening lines, his was certainly original.

A silly grin quirked his lips, as if he amused himself. “I ran over my coat. With my car.” There was laughter in his eyes, and I really liked that. “There’re tire tracks on the back of my coat now.”

“Okaaay,” I said, biting down on my bottom lip to keep from laughing.

He put his hands on my desk and leaned toward me. “It’s a good story, but I’ll tell you the rest over dinner.”

His nearness, the low timbre of his voice, the scent of him, stole my breath. A cliché, I know, but it really did!

I’m married to that man now—have been for years—and he still makes me laugh, and he can still steal my breath when he turns those blue eyes my way, leans close, and whispers something naughty in my ear.

Although I knew him in passing before the legendary coat caper (yes, he really did run over his coat), I consider that moment our first encounter. It was the first time he made my heart go pitter-patter. It was memorable, and it changed my life.

In books, that first encounter is one of the most important scenes of the story. It is the event that will change the hero and heroine’s life! It sets the tone, and it tells us whether the hero and heroine are going to fight the attraction (because there must be attraction, else who cares about them?). Or maybe they go at it like bunnies, then some conflict or other comes along and threatens to kill any chance of a happily ever after for them.

I’ve read books were the first encounter just didn’t do it for me, and when the chemistry is missing, the story ends up being a disappointment. Then there’s those books that grab you the moment the hero and heroine set eyes on each other, whether from across a crowded ballroom, or across the baselines of a small town baseball field.

The author just got it right! You can’t wait to get to the end because even though romance means you’ll get that satisfying HEA, you just have to be sure. Wait, never mind, you don’t want the book to ever end.

Not long ago, I read two books that began with the same type of first encounter. In both stories, the hero and heroine got right to it the night they met, before they even knew each other’s names. In one, by a well-known author, I was totally turned off. It was just creepy, and set a tone for the story that I couldn’t get past.

In the second, I was blown away. I’m not usually a fan of sex with strangers in books, but the author made it work. As the book progressed, I fell in love with hero and heroine.

First encounters can be powerful whether that first meeting is humorous, or sizzling with heated looks, or sad, bringing tears to our eyes. One of my favorites from a book I read long ago and can’t remember the name of, at his first sight of the heroine, the hero thought, Here she is. That was all. Here she is. He didn’t know why the words flashed through his mind, and he promptly dismissed them as not having any meaning to him. But we knew!

In the first book of my K2 Special Services series, Crazy For Her, my hero, Logan, feels an immediate connection with a woman sitting at the table next to him and his friend. Logan’s first encounter with Dani was a here she is moment, and he recognized it as such. Yet, it didn’t seem meant to be. The time wasn’t right for them, and sometimes that’s the way it happens. Other events must occur, sometimes years must pass, and tears shed before one has their chance for that happily ever after.

In my just released book, Falling for Her, my hero is attracted to the heroine at first sight, but he isn’t happy about that. She’s the exact opposite of the kind of women he thinks he wants. Of course, we all know he’s wrong, and the fun is in seeing him figure that out.

Question: First encounters are not only critical to set the tone of the story, but they’re so much fun. Do you have a favorite first encounter story, either from a book or real life?

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Click to Purchase Falling for Her

Blurb for Falling for Her: Known to the K2 Special Services team as “Saint,” Jamie Turner lives by his own strict rules to compensate for his past sins and the two-ton boulder taking residence in his heart. He doesn’t drink or smoke. He never swears. And he only dates nice, safe women until he meets Sugar Darling, the fill-in receptionist at K2. She’s as sweet as her name, but this wild woman is definitely trouble, with something to hide. He knows he should avoid her…but can he?

Sugar isn’t hiding something—she’s hiding everything. And K2 seems like the perfect place to lie low, thanks to the big, protective guys who work there. The drop-dead-handsome Saint makes her heart race, yet he keeps his distance. When Sugar’s traumatic past rises up to haunt her again, she desperately turns to Saint for help, and he has to decide what’s more important: playing it safe or risking everything for love.

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Author Bio:  A best selling, award winning author, Sandra Owens lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her family and friends often question her sanity, but have ceased being surprised by what she might get up to next. She’s jumped out of a plane, flown in an aerobatic plane while the pilot performed death-defying stunts, has flown Air Combat (two fighter planes dogfighting, pretending to shoot at each other with laser guns), and rode a Harley motorcycle for years. She regrets nothing.

Sandra is a 2013 Golden Heart® Finalist for her contemporary romance, Crazy for Her. In addition to her contemporary romantic suspense novels, she writes Regency stories.

You can sign up for her newsletter or find all the social media places to connect with her on her website:  www.sandra-owens.com

Sandra will give a signed copy of FALLING FOR HER to one lucky commenter.

10 Books that impacted me & stayed with me! @TinaGerow #AmReading

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I was tagged by Jordan Summers over on Facebook to list ten books that have both impacted me and stuck with me over the years. Like hers, my list isn’t typical, but here we go!

1.  Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton (Reading this I remember the first thoughts that I could possibly write a book someday and see it on the shelf for others to read…)
2.  Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin (I was in awe of the love story and the vivid world she built that gave me a taste of my first historical novels, which I still love! To this day THIS is my favorite book of all time…)
3.  Dante’s Inferno by Dante Alighieri (I was sucked in by not only the world building but the wonderful “otherworld-ness” of it. Mrs. Cresswell’s English class was titillated by this book and I suppose so was I.
4.  On a Pale Horse & the entire Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony… LOVE Piers Anthony. I would love to be able to write series like him!! And damn is that man prolific!!
5.  The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (I was and still am in awe of the intricate and wonderful world building and hope one day to even come close in my own writing!)
6.  Born In Fire by Nora Roberts (The first romance novel I read as an adult that made me start to fall in love with the genre.)
7.  King of Hearts by Cheyenne McCray (My first erotic romance and the first time I started to think I might be able to write it…)
8.  Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey (My first taste of a book with both paranormal and romance – I was hooked from then on!! AND had found what I wanted to write!)
9.  1984 by George Orwell (When I first read this I thought all his ideas were far fetched and paranoid, but now that I’m older and seeing some of them come to pass it’s just eerie, but also makes me think of the girl I was when we studied this book in high school. Wow….was I naïve…)
10.  Anything and everything by William Shakespeare with Hamlet being one of my favorites. I loved the glimpse into that time and place as well as the popular themes that I was just being introduced to when I read those… I still love those stories today.

Loving the Writer’s Life

There’s nothing like a fabulous vacation to get the creative juices flowing. As writers we’re always looking for an exotic location for our next book.  So when my dear friend, and Ellora’s Cave author, Lexi Post, invited Cathy McDavid and myself to visit with her and her husband, we were absolutely thrilled to accept the invitation. They live on the island of St. Croix in the Caribbean. And she asked us to bring our books. The local bookstore invited us to have a book signing while there.  

St. Croix is in the United States Virgin Islands so a passport wasn’t needed. This was perfect because I was worried I wouldn’t have enough time for one to be issued before we planned to leave.:

As soon as our plane landed we got a craving for a tropical island cocktail. The first one I ordered was a Pina Colada. Cathy ordered a Mango Daiquiri. Both were absolutely delicious. However, it wasn’t long before we switched to rum punch. It seemed to be the drink of choice for the island.

 

We spent the first morning relaxing on the porch enjoying the view. We worked on our current work in progress (cause that’s what writers do) until noon then took a drive to downtown Frederiksted.    

Frederiksted was named after Frederick V of Denmark, who purchased the Danish West Indies in 1754.

 

A cruise ship had docked and all the local shops had set up tents along the sidewalks. We had to check them out and buy a few souvenirs.

We were invited to brunch by Lexi’s friend, Tanisha.  Tanisha has lived in St Croix all her life and would not consider leaving her island paradise lifestyle. And who can blame her?

How’s this for a view?

Next we stopped by the Domino Club in the rainforest. We had to see the beer drinking pigs.  Do I look a little scared? Yep, kinda was.

The rainforest and this tree is absolutely huge.

We made history on the island of St. Croix. We were the first romance authors to ever hold a book signing on the island. Thank you so much. Undercover Bookstore, for giving us such a warm welcome.

Cathy McDavid, Lexi Post, Tia Dani

The following day we did a tour of the island. We walked where Columbus and his crew landed and came ashore. We drove over to Point Udall. Point Udall, St Croix, V.I. the Easternmost point of the United States of America. Named for Stewart Udall, United States Secretary of the Interior under Presidents John F. Kennedy and L.B. Johnson. Then on for drinks at a nearby resort. Rum punch on the patio.       http://www.gotostcroix.com/historic-sites

After a quick stop by the casino it was on to dinner in Christiansted.

There is plenty to do while on the island. if you plan to go check out the cultural events.http://www.gotostcroix.com/crucian-culture

For a great Chai stop in the local coffee house, Polly’s. https://www.facebook.com/pollysatthepier 

We decided we could not leave the island without taking a sunset cruise. The cruise definitely turned out to be one of the high points of the trip. We had so much fun. Our captain and his mate were quite handsome and the run punch flowed.

Great story about these two guys. They met on the island and turned out they were half brothers. Wasn’t long before they started up a business together.

The beautiful sunset

Tia Dani, Cathy and Lexi

All good things must come to an end including vacations. now it’s back to work finishing our book in progress while dreaming about where our next adventure will take us. Hawaii anyone?

BTW the next trip will include both Tia and Dani.  Who knows, maybe we’ll all go and make it a Butterscotch Martini Girls vacation? We can’t wait to find out.

Tia Dani

Time's Enduring Love

http://amzn.com/B00EVXABV0

 

Butterscotch Martini Girls, Chocolate, and Some Great Reads!

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If this picture doesn’t hook ya, I’m thinkin’ nothing will. Hell, after five minutes of looking at it, I’m ready to tear my house apart searching for chocolate! LOL

But you don’t have to go that far.  For those of you who live here in the Valley of the Sun, all you have to do is head on out to the Glendale Chocolate Affaire this weekend in Historic Downtown Glendale.  It’s a wonderful festival with lots of fun and lights and vendors hocking everything from clothing and hats to jewelry and chocolate…oh, and did I mention all the BOOKS?!  Well, what got into me almost forgetting the books?  That’s the best part…well, next to the chocolate.  LOL  Hey, I’m a writer, but I’m not crazy.  Who doesn’t love chocolate?

So shuffle on over to Murphy Park at 58th Avenue and Glendale and don’t forget to stick your head in at the Romance Writers booth and say Hi to some of the Butterscotch Martini Girls.  Our signing schedule looks like this:

Friday Evening  (5pm – 10pm) —      ***  tonight  ***

Tia Dani  –  Tina Gerow  –  Kayce Lassiter

Saturday Morning (10am – 2pm) —

Tia Dani  –  Tina Gerow  –  H.D. Thomson  –  Kayce Lassiter

Saturday Evening  (6pm – 10pm) —

Tia Dani

Sunday  (12noon – 5pm) —

Tina Gerow  –  H.D. Thomson  –  Kayce Lassiter

…and that’s just us.  There are many other authors who will be there signing.  Some other names you might recognize from the Happily Ever After Thoughts blog site and The Write Authors are:  Carolyn Hughey/KT Roberts, Tami Vinson, Marie Patrick, Arabella Thorne, and Taylor Michaels.

So come on down and see us this weekend and stock up on some great reads, some chocolate, and whatever else your little heart desires.  Oh, and guys…did I mention this is a great Valentine’s event?  (hint…hint)  There will be bands playing too, and if you’re there between 7:30-10 tonight, you can catch my cousin Gordon’s band—Groove, Inc—for some great oldies (the music, not the band…LOL).  Oh, and did I forget to mention there’s a beer and wine garden?  Oh yeah…we’ve got it all goin’ on at the Glendale Chocolate Affaire this weekend.  So come say Hi.

That’s my story, gooey and chocolatey, and I’m stickin’ to it.  Hang on tight now ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast!

 Love ya,

Kayce

Glendale Chocolate Affaire Website