Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
Today I have guest author Kate Hill on the blog, sharing an excerpt from her historical romantic suspense, Captain's Mercy.
Mercy Brown’s life changes when she accepts a position as companion to the disabled sister of wealthy shipyard owner Jonah Barnes. She is instantly attracted to the rugged former sea captain, even if his brusque manner offends her. Mercy soon finds herself entangled in the quirky family’s secrets.
From the first, Mercy is troubled by prowlers, disturbances from the attic, and unearthly howls on the property. After meeting several unusual household members, including a groundskeeper who works by night and the mischievous Maxwell Barnes, Mercy realizes she should flee while she can.
Pages from Mercy’s first novel go missing and Jonah’s domineering personality causes tension in the house. Only Mercy’s fondness for her young companion, Faith Barnes, as well as her fascination with Jonah prevent her from leaving, but will her desire for him endanger her life?
* * *
“Mr. Barnes?” she called again.
She glanced over her shoulder, back toward the stairs. When she turned around, she cried out, startled to find herself facing Jonah who now stood outside the attic door, holding a lamp.
“Miss Brown, what are you doing up here?” he demanded, wearing his usual scowl.
“I heard noise from up here. A crash. I thought perhaps lightning had struck the house and someone might be hurt.” She couldn’t keep the tremors from her voice. “I’m also worried about your siblings. You don’t suppose they’re caught in the storm?”
Jonah’s brow furrowed and he stepped closer to her. He held up the lamp and studied her face.
“I’m sure they’re fine,” he said in a gentler tone. “Max is quite capable and I doubt they’d venture out until after this passes. Are you all right, Miss Brown?”
Another clap of thunder made her jump.
“You don’t look fine,” he said. “Are you afraid of the storm?”
She chuckled nervously. “Silly isn’t it? A grown person afraid of a thunderstorm.”
“Why don’t we wait it out in the library?”
“There’s no need for you to keep me company.”
Again she jumped at the thunder and lightning.
“Keeping you company is far more pleasant than the paperwork I’ve been looking over.” He offered her his arm in a gallant gesture that took her aback. She rested her hand on it lightly. Goodness, she shouldn’t enjoy how solid and warm he felt, yet she was unable to ignore it. His arms were rock hard from years at sea and working in the shipyard.
On their way downstairs, she asked, “What were you doing in the attic? I thought I heard howling up there a short time ago and then a crash.”
“The wind, I’m sure. No doubt the crash you heard was Michaels. He tripped over an old trunk. He’s up there now, making repairs on a window that was blown open by the storm. He’s also trying to get rid of more unwanted guests of the flying rodent variety, so I remind you to stay away from the attic.”
“Why do you suppose the pests keep coming back?”
“I’m not sure. My expertise is the sea. Ask me about whales and sharks and I could probably answer. Bats are another story.”
“Do you still go to sea?” she asked, eager to keep her mind off the storm.
“Not as much as I used to.”
“Do you miss it?”
“At times. I miss the straightforwardness of being at sea. The simplicity. Aboard ship, a man is valued more for what he knows than for his bloodlines.”
“You don’t have much use for polite society, do you?”
“As long as rich men keep buying my ships, I like it well enough.”
* * *
* * *
Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels.
When she's not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out, spending time with her family and pets, and running the Compelling Beasts Blog, dedicated to antagonists, antiheroes, and paranormal creatures. She also writes under the name Saloni Quinby. Find her online at https://www.kate-hill.com and https://www.twitter.com/katehillromance.
“It all started with a favor…”
When private investigator Jordan James agreed to search for the missing son of a U.S. Ambassador, she didn’t realize she was walking into a case one hundred years in the making. The deeper she delves into this unusual assignment, the more shocking, and the more dangerous, it becomes. With time running out and lives at stake, Jordan must race to identify the culprit of an elaborate plot while also uncovering a far more personal truth too intimate to ignore...
"LOST DISTINCTION" Available Now on Amazon! http://www.amzn.com/B00Q5OGCS4
* * *
LOST DISTINCTION EXCERPT
“So, when was the last time you saw Arthur?” I asked as the guys cheered when one of Stuart’s sons scored a touchdown with George’s help.
Michelle stared past the men. “I guess the last time I saw him was at Easter. Since Mr. and Mrs. Cross couldn’t make it back from London in time, we went over to Stuart’s house in Falmouth. I was surprised to see him there.”
“Why? Does he usually avoid family holidays?”
She clapped when Rick carried one of the twins over the “goal line” for a touchdown. She looked back at me and shrugged. “To be honest, I haven’t seen Arthur many times in all the years I’ve been married to Eddie. He lives and works in Middletown but just always seems too busy to come around. Eddie never gave me specifics, but I think Arthur tries to stay away from his family for some reason.”
“He didn’t say why?”
“No,” she shook her head. “Can’t say I blame him…”
I found myself more confused every time I learned more about this situation. As I sat there, I considered all the things I knew as fact. First, Arthur Cross was missing and had been missing for several days. Second, his family was concerned enough about his disappearance that they felt it necessary for his parents to fly in from London, but they did not want to involve the police as it might generate unwanted publicity. Third, they were going to a lot of trouble pretending like nothing was wrong.
I looked across the yard and saw the Crosses watching their children and grandchildren with absolute enjoyment. The last thing I knew was by far the most troubling fact of all. As I sat there, it became crystal clear that this family was hiding a secret. What I didn’t know at the time was how great the secret was and how many lives its revelation would affect, including my own.
"COLD AMBITION" Available Now on Amazon! www.amzn.com/B00L2OLQPG
"LOST DISTINCTION" Available Now on Amazon! www.amzn.com/B00Q5OGCS4
"RETRIBUTION" Coming this Fall from Soul Mate Publishing!
I’ll admit that I’ve never had “book elbow”, but my arms have had lovely creases from carrying too many library books at the same time.
Okay, what about you? Which of the 10 bibliophile definitions fit you?
About the Author:
Award winning author and bibliophile Catherine Castle has been writing and collecting books all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.
Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing is an ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award Winner, a 2014 EPIC finalist, a 2014 RONE nominee and a Carolyn Readers Choice Award finalist. Connect with Catherine at http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com
Today I am fortunate to have Catherine Castle on my blog for a peek at her romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, and her hilarious, yet true, list of the reasons she is a bibliophile.
Come to think of it, I believe I hit most of the reasons on the list. How about you?
You Might be a Bibliophile If…
Let’s face it—we writers love books. We write them, we read them, we collect them. We rarely get rid of them. Well, at least I rarely get rid of them. So, guess what that makes us? Bibliophiles. Before you protest, “That’s not me!” take a peek at ten reasons you might be a bibliophile.
10. You can’t just get one book from the library. Oh, come on, I know someone besides me does this. Right?
9. You need physical therapy to fix your “book elbow.” Carrying a stack of 10 library books does that, you know.
8. Every flat space in your house, or maybe most of them, has a book, or two or three, on it. Dare I say a stack of four?
7. Your book shelves are organized by category—ALL the book shelves.
6. The stack of books by your bedside, or couch, or other chair is tall enough to hold a lamp and wide enough to hold the clock radio, a tissue box, a water carafe, and a snack for when you’re reading.
5. You have a library card, a Barnes and Noble discount card, an Amazon account, a Kindle and a Nook. Need I say more?
4. If you find a free book on Amazon, you download it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t read medical non-fiction—it’s free!
3. No travel trip is complete until you’ve purchased at least one book about the attraction you’ve visited. After all, you’re bound to think of some story that will require research.
2. You’re reading at least 2 books at the same time.
And the number one reason you might be a Bibliophile--
1. You’ve made your husband create stud cubby bookshelves in the walls just so you’ll have more room for the paperbacks.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely qualify. In fact, here’s a picture of the stud cubby bookcases my hubby has created.
The Nun and the Narc
Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicable attracted to him he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them, because he is making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.
Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what
Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.
Available from Amazon http://amzn.com/B00CHU9DH2
and Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-nun-and-the-narc-catherine-castle/1116942061?ean=9781619352964
Have you ever wondered how much an author might write of herself in a book? Read on to find out what bits of Lauren are in her newest book, a contemporary romantic suspense,
Leave Yesterday Behind
Writers always sneak little bits of themselves and their own history into the novels they write. At least I know I do!
In my new romantic suspense release, Leave Yesterday Behind, I had the action start in New York City. As a native Texan, I grew up thinking New York had to be the most glamorous city on the planet. I’ve visited the Big Apple several times over the years, both with friends and family, and I never run out of things to do.
My heroine Callie is a soap opera star. In the first chapter, I have her leaving the New York studio where she films the show. I’ve visited the ABC Studios in New York and had seen fans waiting for actors to come out. Callie’s the biggest star in daytime TV, so naturally she has fans (or fanatics??) waiting for her.
Other bits I sneaked into my novel from my real life include:
Callie has huge white dog named Wolf. So did my next door neighbors many years ago, a Japanese Akita that was huge and had a heart of gold.
A former student of mine won the Cy Young baseball award last year, and my hero Nick is a former professional pitcher who also won that award while playing for the Dodgers.
Nick is a writer, same as I am—but he’s won an Edgar award for his mysteries! Sadly enough, Nick shares with Callie how his characters misbehave all the time. They chunk the outlines he creates and go off on their merry way. My characters often do the very same thing!
My husband and I honeymooned in New Orleans. I’ve always found it a fascinating, romantic city each time I’ve traveled there. Since Callie comes home to mend physically and emotionally after she’s attacked by a stalker in New York—and since her small hometown is only half an hour from NOLA—I just had to have Callie & Nick visit the Crescent City for a romantic day.
Those are a handful of parts of me that are embedded into my romantic suspense, Leave Yesterday Behind.
Callie Chennault vaulted to fame on the nighttime soap Sumner Falls, but after a decade of playing the same role, she is ready for a new acting challenge. When Callie is attacked by a stalker on the streets of New York, she takes a leave of absence from the show and returns to her roots in Aurora, Louisiana, to heal both physically and emotionally and determine her next career move.
Former professional baseball pitcher Nick La Chappelle has also come to Aurora to lick his own wounds after a messy divorce. A Cy Young winner and one-time ESPN broadcaster, Nick longs for the quiet of a small town in order to write murder mysteries under a pen name.
Sparks fly when Callie believes Nick is taking advantage of her great-aunt’s hospitality, but they resolve their differences—and surprise themselves by falling in love. Their bond is tested when both Nick and Callie become the focus of a serial killer nicknamed Lipstick Larry. Can they outwit a murderer bent on seeing them dead and survive to build a lasting relationship?
Buy Link for Leave Yesterday Behind:
Other Books by Lauren:
Music For My Soul: http://amzn.com/B00FQ0QGZM
Outlaw Muse: http://amzn.com/B00FQ0QGZM
A Game of Chance: http://amzn.com/B00HQVHR98
Written in the Cards: http://amzn.com/B00KGM0M1O
A Bit of Heaven on Earth: http://amzn.com/B00QHMH0IU
Ballad Beauty: http://amzn.com/B00U9TV2XQ
Connect with Lauren:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Lauren-Linwood/e/B00CSSG8BC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1406670019&sr=8-1
Lauren Linwood’s historical romances use history as a backdrop to place her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire for one another grows into the treasured gift of love. Her romantic suspense novels feature strong heroes and heroines who unite to defeat a clever antagonist and discover a deep, abiding love during their journey.
A native Texan, Lauren is an avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan who manages stress by alternating yoga with long walks. She plans to start a support group for House Hunters addicts—as soon as she finishes her next piece of dark chocolate.
This week Thursday Threads spotlights Char Chaffin and her romantic suspense, Unsafe Haven. Enjoy!
By Char Chaffin
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Heat Level: Sensual
Blurb: For Kendall Martin, a small, remote village in Southwest Alaska seems like a good place to start over. On the run from an abusive relationship, she leaves everything familiar behind and begins a new life as owner of a small souvenir and sportsman trading post in picturesque Staamat.
Denn Nulo knows everyone in town: he’s the Chief of Police in Staamat. He’s lived there all his life, except for his college years, spent in Anchorage. Originally planning on practicing criminal law and living in Anchorage permanently, Denn is forced to change his plans when he receives word that his widowed mother has passed away, leaving his young sister, Luna, alone. Denn comes back to Staamat to care for Luna.
When Kendall meets Denn, she begins to believe there are truly good men in the world. Denn is everything she wants: strong, loving, dedicated to family, protective . . . and patient. There is instant attraction between them, but Kendall is leery of men, and Denn craves a serious relationship that includes marriage and children. Their courtship is a conflicting mix of hesitancy and passion, with Luna, desperately needing a mother figure in her life, cheering them on.
As Kendall learns how to trust again and her romance with Denn grows more intense, a local woman who’s had her eye on Denn for years releases a torrent of damaging jealousy . . . and the nightmare from Kendall’s past discovers where she’s hidden herself.
“Ah, Christ. You’re killing me.” He fumbled for the nearest wall, propped her against it, and took her mouth hungrily. She fisted her hands in his hair, nipping his full bottom lip. The kiss went deeper, and she could have sobbed from the glory of it.
They broke apart, both panting. Kendall slowly unwound her legs and Denn loosened his hold, letting her slide down his body until her feet touched the floor. She felt every hard muscle along the way.
“Hell.” He sucked in a shaky breath. “I don’t want to leave you here.”
“I’ll be all right,” Kendall lied. She wanted him to stay, wanted him in her bed, all night, and then she wanted to awaken in the morning, safe in his arms. They’d known each other less than two months, and she wanted forever.
I must be crazed with lust. That’s the only explanation.
“You know, you don’t have to stay here alone.” He caressed her cheek as he gazed at her, still pressed intimately against her. “You could come home with me.”
“Eventually I have to live here, Denn. By myself. I have to get used to it,” she pointed out.
“But not tonight, okay? Come home with me, Kendall. Stay with me, tonight.”
“We’ll end up in bed together.” It was a question and a statement.
He slowly nodded. “Yeah.”
She whispered into his shirt, “We’ll end up making love.”
“I can just about guarantee it.”
Fascinated by the strong, steady pulse at the side of his neck, she shuddered to think of what lay ahead, if she said ‘yes.’ Most of the shudders were from excitement.
He waited patiently in her dimly lit store while she battled inner demons he might never understand or be able to accept.
“Kendall . . .” His voice held a rough plea.
She took a deep breath and raised her eyes to his. “I should pack a few things.” She hesitated, and took the final plunge. “I’ll need my contact lens case, too.”
His smile, wide and happy, blinded her. “I can wait.”
Book Trailer for Unsafe Haven:
My website: http://char.chaffin.com
Soul Mate Publishing: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/char-chaffin/
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