Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Desert Justice Delivers Sheik Defense

It's hard to believe that the fourth and last book in the Desert Justice series is on store shelves today, although the e-book isn't available, yet.  It's kind of a two step launch for while the paperback copy is available now, the e-copy has a week or so to wait.  You'll find the paperback at Walmart, Target, Superstore and other stores and, of course, Amazon.

That's my promotional schtick.  Let's get down to basics.   Desert Justice was the first series I ever wrote.  Really, stand alone was my thing until I discovered the beautiful world of series where those characters I grew to love can show up again in other books in the series.  Why didn't I visit the land of series before?  You tell me why not, for I don't know.  What I do know is how it feels to send the last in the series out into the world.   It's "an I can't believe that time is here already" kind of feeling.  Time sped up as each book in the series launched.  It was like each set of characters was in a rush to get their story out there.

Faisal, the last Al-Nassar brother to star in the series, didn't keep quiet even after I wrote the last word of his story.  He was in a rush to be reunited with the love of his life, Ava and he wanted the whole world to know about it - okay, he just wanted his book launched.  And that wasn't going to happen as long as his brothers had the stage in the three books that preceded his.  And while he wasn't willing to give up his snowboard and his single status he was definitely interested in a romantic reconnect.

Ava on the other hand, had more important things to think of - survival for one, especially in the beginning.  Although she did dream of Faisal, how it was, how it might have been...

Okay let's dispense with my fantasy and move on to theirs and how it really happened.

He's the one she can't remember, she's the one he can't forget… 
Tossed overboard, Ava Adams had been left for dead, drifting at sea. But security specialist Faisal Al-Nassar was determined to find her. He owed her father a great debt and had never forgotten the connection he and Ava had once shared. Yet after rescuing Ava he discovered she barely remembered him
Amnesia had left Ava uncertain of who had tried to kill her. She did know, however, that Faisal was a man she could trust. The sheik's embrace was familiar and enticing…and possibly even more dangerous. How could she succumb to feelings for her protector when what she didn't know could get them both killed?

Excerpt from Sheik Defense:

“It was less than an hour since Faisal had received that fateful call that Ava was missing. Now he looked long and hard at the face of the young woman who lay dead on the cold steel of the examining table. Her hair was long, almost to the middle of her back. She was brunette and a few years older than Ava. After that, the similarities stopped.

He’d insisted on viewing the body in the hope that the similarities would somehow give him a much-needed clue. Now he didn’t know why he’d bothered. It was depressing and frightening all at the same time. Looking at her frightened him for Ava and saddened him for the deceased woman’s family.
“She may have been asphyxiated,” the coroner said.

He listened as the coroner went into some detail on why he believed that could be a possibility.
“Her eyes are bloodshot. Classic sign of asphyxiation.”

A chill ran through him like none he’d felt before. He’d stood in this position many times but never had he felt the haunting fear that the person before him could have been someone he knew and loved. He almost took a step back. That thought combined with the cold steel and sharp smell of disinfectant that depersonalized death was almost too much. This wasn’t Ava but someone had loved her.

Regret and anger snaked through him as he thought of how this young woman had died unnecessarily, how it could just as easily have been Ava on that slab. The reality was as disturbing as it was unthinkable. Whether they could prove it or not, he was sure that this woman had died of unnatural causes. It wasn’t right or fair. And he knew it happened much too often. He’d thought of adding a branch of investigations geared solely to violence against women. He’d seen too much of it in his work. But now wasn’t the time for such considerations.

Five minutes later, Faisal was heading across the hospital parking lot to a charcoal 1967 Mustang he kept in Miami for his rare visits to the city. He slipped behind the wheel and leaned back against the plush leather, the keys in his lap, his arms crossed and a frown on his face.
A woman who supposedly should have been Ava was dead. The fact that the decedent had been in Ava’s room and Ava was still the registered patient indicated that Ava was the target. Now there were questions that needed to be answered, and quickly.

Where had Ava gone? He tamped down the panic he’d felt at losing her when he’d only just found her.”

Pick up a copy at Walmart, Target and other stores, as well as 

online bookstores including Amazon.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

What If You Quit?

The question the Insecure Writing Group has for the first Wednesday of June is:

Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

Did I ever quit writing?  Yes for about fifteen minutes.  Long enough to grab a cup of coffee and come to my senses.  Truly, I can't quit writing, that's who I am. 

It's tough especially when the rejections come or the sales aren't there.  But I don't know who I'd be if I didn't write.  On my writing journey I've discovered so many authors who have held out a hand and helped me.  That's the crazy thing of this business, all the support we give one another.  In a business made of hopes and dreams, support is a fantastic thing and with all of it around you - how could you quit?

Along for the ride at the grocery store - what if?

Scrubbing a bathroom - what if?
A story begins with what if and then it's a lot of perspiration to find out how it all ends.  I know life gets in the way; kids and parents, jobs, all it.   I've found that you can make those day to day obstacles work for you in the inspiration department.  There's ideas even in a store.  The other day I was following a parent on her grocery expedition and while she shopped I thought what if this, or that or the other thing happened - what a story that would make.  That same what if comes up when I'm in the middle of cleaning a bathroom or two.  Of course that's when I use the dullness of the task to fill in the blanks as  there isn't much inspiration in the back half of a toilet.

What if?
Actually, this time, while I was spraying and scrubbing I was thinking of that book on serial killers and how all that information is going to come in really handy for a future book.  What it will be about - well serial killers for sure.

More importantly, there's the readers.  Whether you have one reader, a hundred or thousands - it only takes one.  There's nothing better than knowing that someone read your story and liked it, maybe even forgot how tough real life can be - at least for a time.

Quit writing?   

In the words of one of my favourite authors, Stephen King:

"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work."

I don't know how true that quote is but I do know that if you quit, you'll never succeed as a writer.

So I write - stopping only to ask the occasional "what if?"

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