Finally, The Captain’s Ready to Greet the World Again

Hello again! I’m finishing off my “Something Slightly Different” week with a flash from the past resurrected at last. I used to live for “TGIF” when i worked as an educator, but I realized recently, there’s no difference between a Friday or a Monday. Now, I work pretty much 7 days a week, as long as I like each day–or as long as my schedule permits– and I can do weekend stuff any day of the week. How cool is that?

I’m getting ready Imageto re-release The Captain’s Promise with a gorgeous new cover designed by the lovely Melinda De Ross and formatting help from the talented Christy Newton. What would I do without my friends? 

When Madison Connors, aka Dawne (D. M.)  Imbrunone pulled the plug on Front Porch Romance, she left a lot of books and authors high and dry. The Captain’s Promise was a casualty of war. Among the things she kept in addition to royalties owed authors were the edits made to the manuscripts and the covers. I can’t imagine why she needs them, but since she’s now a prolific author, I imagine she’ll find a use for them all. 

Knowing I had a solid story needing no changes, but that edits needed to be made, I went into the manuscript and tidied it up quite a bit. I de-that-ed the manuscript, de-formalized  the language, making it easier to read for those who normally read contemporary romance, and I clarified a few points where I could see more information was needed. I added tidbits of dialogue and description here and there as well. On the whole, I think I have a better book in version 2 than I did in version 1. 

So, come early next week, The Captain’s Promise will make it’s debut–Monday, Wednesday, or Friday make no difference in the self publishing world. Look for TCP and if you’re so moved, please buy a copy, read it, and review it. I could use your support! Indie publishing is a scary thing!

Excerpt from Version 2, The Captain’s Promise:

Cherbourg, August 1, 1664

Danielle glanced around the area to make sure those working in the pasture were far enough away not to overhear their conversation. Ashamed of herself for putting her own needs above those of her best friend, she tried to pull a resisting Marie away from the pond. How could she have been so thoughtless? Papa had insisted Marie not use her gift of second sight to see into the future, and yet Danielle had begged her to do just that. Rumors of renewed interest in punishing witchery were rife. Superstitious people, especially those who were hungry and frightened, goaded by priests who liked to blame everything on sin, could turn quickly on friend and foe alike. A plague had struck Europe again killing thousands in Amsterdam, the spring had been a cold, wet one, and the crops were not doing as well as they should. Someone had to take the blame for these “unnatural” occurrences.

Asking Marie to scry, especially out here in the meadow where anyone could see them, was both foolish and dangerous. Like every powerful man in France, Papa had enemies who’d like nothing better than to bring disaster down on him. Wouldn’t it enhance a man’s position if he were to accuse the ward of the Count de Cherbourg of witchcraft? Why stop there? Why not accuse the whole family? At the very least, they might be excommunicated for giving aid and comfort to the devil’s minion. She shook her head. When would she learn to think before she acted?

Tears flowed down Marie’s pale cheeks as she continued to stare into the still waters of the pond, drawn by the images only she could see. Danielle pulled harder on the girl’s arm, finally dislodging her and pulling her upright. Marie backed away from the water, but her gaze was ensnared by the vision still holding her. Danielle shook Marie and took her into her arms. 

“Enough! Look away, dearest. Please look away. I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have asked you to do this. I never expected you’d have such a distressing vision. I’m anxious to see Etienne. I only wanted to know what his surprise would be. I’m hoping he’ll ask for my hand in marriage. You’ve seen the way some of those lecherous old men look at me. If I were affianced, it would stop.” She shook her head, the long, red tresses shining in the sunlight. “This has to be a false vision—a punishment for my willfulness.” 

Marie pushed away from her, annoyance and frustration evident in the set of her thin, trembling shoulders. She glared at Danielle and raised her hand to swipe angrily at her tears. She shook her head, and Danielle could sense the sorrow there. What on earth did she see to upset her so much? She shivered.

“I’ve told you before, Elle. The visions never lie, but they don’t always answer the questions I’ve asked. Sometimes, they’re cryptic, only providing glimpses of what’s to come. At other times, they’re far clearer than I’d like them to be. They aren’t mine to command. Normally, they show me a few weeks or days, but this time they’ve shown me years, years of sorrow and pain.” 

Strangled sobs punctuated her words, driving guilt and fear deep into Danielle’s heart. She stared at her companion as an eerie frisson coursed through her body. As young girls, Danielle, Marie, and their playmates had often looked into the mirror or into the fire to see what would happen in the future, a harmless parlor game played by girls across France. Danielle had never seen anything during their foolishness, but when Marie claimed she’d seen her father, the count’s captain of the guard, fall from his horse, the game had ended. The fact Marie’s father had died only a few weeks later from a fall, similar to the one she’d described, had led to months of speculation about the child. The rumors had ended when Papa had made her his ward, offering her the protection of Cherbourg, and adopting her into the family. Not all the relatives had been pleased with that decision.

“Don’t look at me like that.” Danielle turned away from her to avoid the pity she read clearly in Marie’s chocolate brown eyes, eyes which seemed far older than their fourteen years. No matter what Marie had seen, the daughter of a count wasn’t to be pitied. Her life was one of ease and privilege—even Marie had to work for her keep, although her duties as Danielle’s companion, were light.

Marie reached out to her and took her hands. “The spirits showed me many things in the still waters today, including the answer to your question.” She hung her head.

Terror gripped Danielle. Her breathing quickened, her heart pounded, and her palms grew wet. Sweat trickled down her back, making her linen chemise stick to her. She didn’t want to know what Marie had seen, but her insatiable curiosity forced her to look at her friend and ask. 

“What did you see?”

“I’m so sorry, Elle. I saw you broken-hearted, crying in the arms of a soldier. Alas, while you’ll be a bride, Etienne won’t be your groom.”

Danielle covered her ears, refusing to believe the words wounding her, crushing her girlish dreams. “No! I won’t listen to any more of this. It’s not true—it can’t be true. Etienne loves me. I know he does.” Tears brimmed her eyes. “You’re wrong. This terrible vision is God’s judgment on us for defying the Church and Papa.”

She swallowed the panic and bitterness in her throat. There was no way she’d ever marry anyone but Etienne.

Marie hung her head. “Ah, Elle, how I wish it were as simple as that. This gift is a curse. As I get older, I see more and more things that cause me pain and grief. I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault.” Guilt forced Danielle to put her arm around her friend, despite her anxiety. “Come. Let’s go back to the house and see what cook has prepared for tonight’s feast.”




Look Who Dropped By Today: Christy Newton

ImageWhere does time go? It’s Thursday already, and time to visit with a favored friend and a book I thoroughly enjoyed. Christy is one of my Scribbler Sisters, members of a small group of new authors who chat and support one another on a daily basis. Like myself and three others in the group, Christy was a Front Porch Romance author, left high and dry, when that publisher closed its doors, abandoning its authors and their books.Trust Again is the second book in a series of romances. The first, Begin Again is available through Crimson Romance.  Each book in the series stands alone, and are great reads.

When FPR closed, Christy took the bull by the horns and chose to self-publish the books she had with that publisher. The nice thing about learning a new skill is that you can assist others. If you’re considering self-publishing, check out Fancy Formatting by Christy. She’ll get your manuscript up and running in no time on a variety of e-pub venues and get your POD done for you as well. Her prices are great too.

This morning, Christy’s brought an excerpt from her new release, Trust Again, to entertain you. Take it away, Christy!

Good morning.

About Trust Again


Trust Again is only .99 pennies! Available in e-book and paperback!

A note from Christy Newton:

ImageI had a lot of fun researching this book! I visited a candy factory in Indiana. Enjoy the pictures!

Reviews for Trust Again:

5 stars

“Jake and Ellie…..ah what can I say. They are both such likeable people. Christy Newton is excellent at writing characters that you want to read about, you want to follow their journey, you want them to have their dreams come true.

This book is well written, editing is top notch, the story flows, and it really is a book deserving of 5 stars. It’s a book I would read again.

Congratulations Ms Newton on a lovely book, your writing just gets better and better.”


5 stars

“Ellie leaves her abused boyfriend whom she lives with in New York and comes back to the small quiet town she was brought up in where her dad lives. Her dad wants her to take over his toy store which she does with some renovations and adding another part that she also totally loves a candy shop added on. Her contractor/builder by trade Jacob has just recently moved back to the small town where his close friend lives. Both of them have difficult trust issues for different reasons and  they try and chance a relationship, but who knows if either of them will ever be able to trust again? Loved all the characters and loved the surprises throughout the book. Loved Christy’s book always a joy to read her books. Way to go Christy another hit.

Excerpt from Trust Again:

Her fantasy of being Willy Wonka was coming true! A plump, older man handed them both a white paper cap to put over their hair and matching paper booties to cover their shoes before walking down the aisles.
“Have fun. Remember not to touch the machines.” The man winked and turned to leave. It looked like they were on their own. They peeked into large empty vats and walked along the long assembly line. Though the equipment had all been cleaned, a faint scent of sugar and cocoa remained in the air. On the end of the silver counter were dozens of fresh chocolate samples. Jacob picked up a dark truffle with pink drizzle and put it to Ellie’s lips. She opened her mouth and the smooth, velvety richness touched her tongue. Her eyes rolled back in pleasure.
“Watching you eat chocolate is quite the turn-on.” Jacob’s voice turned husky, sending signals to places that had awakened in her.
Embarrassed, she grabbed a piece and shoved it into Jacob’s mouth, causing his eyes to widen. She laughed. “Sorry.”
He picked up another. “This one we’ll share.” Jacob held up the bite of chocolate for Ellie to nibble and as soon as it was between her teeth he removed his hand and placed his mouth over hers. If it got any hotter in here, all the chocolate was going to melt. With her eyes closed she pressed herself closer to Jacob’s body. Before she lost control, she pulled away. “That gives new meaning to a chocolate kiss.”
His eyes searched hers. She swallowed and he kissed the tip of her nose. “I’ll say.”
Just as he was about to take another candy his phone rang. He looked down at the number and raised an eyebrow before turning off his phone.

About Christy Newton:Image

Christy Newton is a hopeless romantic and writes many genres of romance. She just might be the only author out there that doesn’t drink caffeine, but dark chocolate is her must have. She falls in love with each of her heroes and hopes you will too! Christy is the author of the More Than Treasure Series and the Love Again Collection.


Mid Week Tease: Echoes of the Past

ImageGood morning and welcome to my blog and Mid Week tease.On my blog this week, I’ve been featuring authors with ‘Something Slightly Different’ to offer, and this morning is no exception. For this week’s Mid Week Tease, I’d like you to be the first to officially meet my newest characters, by providing you with the first few pages of my latest novel, Echoes of the Past, which will be released by Secret Carvings Publishing on July 14, 2014. This is my first novel blending paranormal elements into romantic suspense. The Lake of the Mountain and the Lake of the Mountain Resort both exist as described and are in Prince Edward County, Ontario. My husband and I stopped at the inn for lunch last fall and the idea for the story came to me. I got permission to use the location from a member of the family who owns the place. By the way, I absolutely adore my cover!

About Echoes of the Past:ImageBorn Mohawk, raised white, forensic pathologist, Michelle Thomas is trapped between two worlds—this one and the spirit world where the ghosts of those who’ve drowned speak to her. Haunted by crippling nightmares of her own drowning death and erotic dreams of a phantom lover, she strives to make sense of her life. When two suspicious deaths occur at the Lake of the Mountain Resort, she’s sent to investigate. She’ll face the greatest challenge of her career when her past and her present collide. One of these men is her future, but which one—the rich and powerful Mayor Ron Davies, or Tony Steele, the hydrology professor who may be responsible for his students’ deaths? Charged by the spirits of her Mohawk ancestors to atone for her previous sins by protecting Lake of the Gods, can Michelle solve the murders, save the sacred waters, and fulfil her destiny?   

This week’s tease:

He lays on his side on the animal hide, his head propped up on his elbow, watching her sleep. How long does she think her excuse of gathering roots and snaring rabbits will last, especially when she has so little to show for the time she’s been away?

The naked woman beside him stretches in her sleep. Her copper skin glows even in the dimmest light. Her ebony hair spreads fan-like around her head. Her features are fine, her lips lush, begging to be kissed. When open, her almond-shaped brown eyes, flecked with gold, add to her exotic beauty. She’s unlike any woman he’s ever known, and he’s known many despite his mixed blood. It’s craziness to stay here like this, but he can’t leave without her. The odds of getting caught increase with every visit she pays to his secret grotto, but he loves her more than he’d ever thought possible.

He reaches for her, runs his calloused hand down the side of her warm, silky torso. Her nipples pucker at his touch. Her eyes open, and she smiles. She raises her arms and pulls him down on top of her. His lips meet hers with an insatiable hunger. His tongue delves into her warm, willing mouth, feasting on her sweetness, and he hardens painfully.

Without warning, the dreamscape shifts, and he runs through the brush, fleeing for his life. Twigs and branches tear at his buckskin garments. A thorn bush rakes his face. If he’s caught, it’ll mean torture and death, but he isn’t worried about himself. He worries about her. Has she gotten back safely? He slows his pace. Through the trees, he looks over at the far side of the lake and sees her tall, lithe figure standing on the beach. Her beauty, grace, and majesty set her apart from the other squaws. Those harridans point and scream, but she stands still, wrapped in the woven, quilted blanket she showed him not two hours ago. He doesn’t dare stop for a better look. His heart thunders in his ears, his side aches, but he increases his speed, pushing his painful muscles beyond their limit. The enemy approaches, but she’s safe, and that’s all that matters. He doesn’t see the log across the path. He stumbles and falls.…

Tony Steele awoke with a start. His heart pounded, and sweat covered his body. His ragged breathing dragged air into his oxygen deprived lungs. His muscles screamed and cramped the way they did after a particularly grueling cross-country race. Not again. For weeks now, these strange dreams had haunted him. Dreams? Hell. These memories lingered as if it he’d actually done these things.

He shuddered despite the heat emanating from his body. He rose, went to the window, and opened it slightly. He breathed deeply, hoping to calm himself, knowing it wouldn’t happen any time soon. He glanced into the parking lot. Through the curtain of rain, he noticed Aaron’s car parked once more in the lot, but not in its regular spot.

Somewhat cooler, he shut the window. He raised his hand to his stinging cheek, surprised to feel wetness there. He padded into the bathroom, turned on the light, and stared into the mirror. Blood seeped from the ugly red scratch on his face.

Damn! That’s a hell of a scratch. I need to cut my nails.

Using a tissue, he sopped up the blood and touched a septic pencil to his cheek to stop the bleeding. He cursed at its sting, tossed the tissue in the garbage can, and left the bathroom. The stairs creaked under his heavy footsteps. He entered the kitchen, opened the fridge, and took out a bottle of water. Half of it disappeared in one gulp, and he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. These dreams disoriented him and had taken on a life of their own. Like a voyeur peeking through a window, he watched the carnal scene unfold night after night. He recognized himself as the man in the dreams despite the longer hair and the scars and tattoos marring his body.

He wandered out onto the screened-in porch and looked out at the lake. The strong night winds whipped it into a frenzy as if the water boiled with anger. He checked his watch. Two in the morning again. He needed to break this habit. These unusually vivid dreams had started the first night he’d arrived at the resort. Most of them, exquisite, erotic fantasies, left him dissatisfied, but tonight’s dream had transitioned into a flight for his life. From personal research, he knew a dream’s meaning rarely had anything to do with its contents. This research project into the source of the water in the lake meant everything to him personally and professionally. He was afraid something would happen to ruin it. That explained being chased, but it didn’t explain the sexual fantasies. Those he understood easily enough.

He recognized the woman in his dreams as the shawl-wrapped stranger who walked along the beach every now and then. Beautiful and exotic, something about her called to his soul. He preferred women who didn’t look like carbon copies of others, and this one intrigued him. He thought about her now.

He’d noticed her the night he’d arrived. He never slept well in a new bed. Unable to settle, he’d stepped out onto the porch and noticed someone else apparently suffering from insomnia. A woman, a blanket wrapped around herself, her hair in a long braid down her back, strolled along the edge of the sandy beach. She’d moved southeast toward the edge of the lookout. He’d stepped outside to get a better look at her, but she’d vanished.  

The next night, his imagination and libido had taken over, and in his dreams, she’d entered his leafy grotto, and they’d had mind-blowing sex. The things they’d done to one another. Thank God he’d awakened before his body had finished responding to his fantasy.

Hope you enjoyed your sneak peek at Echoes of the Past. 

Check out the other Mid week Teasers. There’s something for everyone. Link List: Enjoy!

Look Who Dropped By Today: Doris Martin

Good morning and welcome to Day 2 of my “Something Slightly Different” week. I’m pleased to welcome Doris Martin as my guest. Doris and I have become friends these last few months, and it’s always a pleasure to welcome her here.This morning, Doris is going to tell us about her latest novelette, The Grace Seekers

Hi, Susanne. Thank you for inviting me to drop by today. Hello, everyone! Susanne has been kind enough to allow me a spot on her blog to talk about my novelette, which I published recently on Smashwords.


The Grace Seekers is speculative fiction and is a quick summer read at 15,000 words (about 55 pages in Epub edition). It started out as a short story and ended up running far past the short story limit where it evolved into a novelette.

S.M.- Why is it termed speculative SF?

 D.M.-The story is speculative SF because it poses the question of ‘what if?’ In this case, the what-if involves a system-wide mistake generated when some technological artifacts’ real purpose is misconstrued. These still-functioning artifacts happen to be mysterious buildings shrouded in secrecy. They’re called Temples of Shra’jarhan. They were left behind by a long vanished, advanced race.


S.M.- What is the story about?

D.M.-The main character, Tran, is a refugee from a vicious drought in the plains where she’d lived a simple existence as a farm-herder. She has journeyed to a space port city with her surviving brother in search of a better life. She’s trapped by a wily merchant, and then unwittingly caught up in an off-worlder’s destructive plans. The mad off-worlder wants her to destroy one of the strange temples where people are being changed through an entity possession process.

 Tran seeks the truth behind the mysterious temples. When her young brother is injured, she must find the courage to save him, because it might mean sacrificing herself. But first, she has to find a way past the vigilant temple guard on post. He’s the key to her ultimate success or failure. Tran soon learns that what she chooses to believe can either condemn her planet to a devastating battle—or she can help save it.

 S.M.- How did this story affect you? Is there a message in the story?

D.M.-My own beliefs were challenged while working upon the story, but there were places I dared not tread. Regarding the story’s message: The Grace Seekers could be viewed as a cautionary tale about encountering artifacts left behind by advanced beings.  

S.M.- What’s your story’s blurb?

D.M.- Here’s the book’s back cover blurb. It’s more detailed than the brief intro blurb allowed for the Smashword book listings:

 What if an ancient discovery’s true purpose was misinterpreted?

Survival’s the only thing on Tran’s mind.She’s a simple plains-dweller driven to a space port city by a relentless drought. She arrives with the only family member left to her—a younger brother. Out of options to protect and feed him, Tran tosses caution aside.

 They both fall prey to a devious merchant. He’s plotting with an off-worlder and wants Tran to perform the impossible before he’ll release them—- she must sabotage an ancient temple. Several exist and they’re puzzling legacies from a long-dead race that once dominated her planet.

 All anyone knows is that entering one changed a person forever. Tran doesn’t trust these frightening mysteries, but her injured brother’s life is waning. She’s forced to seek help from a dreaded, unlikely source—a temple guardian. Then she discovers startling truths about the temples. Her world’s future depends upon her.


S.M.- Where can a reader find your book?

D.M.-The Grace Seekers is currently available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and is available at Barnes & Noble’s Nook Books. It will appear soon in iBooks and other ebook venues. It can also be found on

Other links:

(Available formats: epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt)

S.M.- Do you have other books?

 D.M.-I have a science fiction romance novel coming out. This book has been a long time coming after the first publisher it was contracted to folded. Fiery Seas Publishing will release, A Navigator’s Tale: The Arcane Map of West, later this year.

 Many thanks, Susanne, for having me here today and letting me chat about The Grace Seekers.

You’re most welcome, Doris. Drop by anytime. 

 About D. Martin

ImageD.Martin has reading interests that have roamed far and wide in her quest for knowledge, balance, and rollicking good fiction.

When she writes, she most often chooses to compose stories in a sci-fi fantasy vein—combined with generous dashes of adventure and romance.

She has worked in a science career for longer than she cares to divulge. She believes that there is an art to Science, and a science to Art.


Look Who Dropped By Today: Rebecca Jean Downey

Good morning. Happy Memorial Day to my American friends. This morning I’m happy to welcome Rebecca Jean Downey to my blog. Rebecca is a paranormal suspense writer. If you’re in the market for something different to read, have I got the books for you! 

Rebecca’s novels introduce the reader to a psychic technique called controlled remote viewing, developed in the 1970s by the CIA when the agency suspected that the Soviet Union was conducting psychic spying on the United States.  The US Army and the CIA utilized Stargate until the end of the Cold War when the US Government declassified it.

Today, remote viewers help law enforcement agencies and individuals locate missing persons and solve cold cases.

As a remote viewer herself, Rebecca found writing about Penny Larkin’s adventures to be therapeutic.

Rebecca has two books available that are sure to entrance you. 

ImageThe Middle Eye Synopsis:

When eleven-year-old Rosa Garcia disappears from an El Paso, Texas playground, Penny Larkin, a newly-certified remote viewer, is hired by Sheriff Leo Tellez to find her. The FBI believes she’s a runaway, but this is the second time Rosa has been kidnapped, and Leo fears she’s been taken by a sexual predator. Penny’s lingering memory of fighting off a rape attempt by her foster father clouds her thoughts and prevents her from locating the kidnapper quickly. The sheriff, who rescued Rosa from a homeless man five years earlier, is up for reelection and seeks to curry public favor by finding her again. His deputies claim Penny is a charlatan and a waste of the department’s money. When Penny can’t locate Rosa promptly, Leo boils with frustration and fires her. Penny refuses to give up, and soon discovers the bloodcurdling kidnapper’s hideout. With time running out, Penny sets out alone to rescue Rosa.

Will Penny find young Rosa and exorcise her own demons in the process, or will she fall into the clutches of a Russian child-trafficking ring?

Buy the book

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble



ImageDevil Eye Synopsis:

When the U.S. Marshal wants to stop a sale of firearms to Mexico, he asks Penny Larkin to use her remote viewing skills to track down New Mexico gunrunner, Juan Rico. Penny is sworn to secrecy because the marshal believes a law enforcement officer is involved. She can’t even tell her boyfriend, El Paso County Sheriff Leo Tellez.

Penny heads off to Columbus, New Mexico alone, and winds up stranded on the Interstate during a dust storm. She is forced to use her own gun to hold off a gang of men trying to hi-jack her car. A man winds up dead and New Mexico State Trooper Johnny Trejo, arrests Penny on suspicion of murder. When Leo comes to rescue Penny from the clutches of the law, he brings Adriana, the beautiful twin sister of Alejandra, Leo’s dead wife. Penny is desperate to get out of jail to defend her relationship with Leo, but when she is finally free, she must keep her word to the marshal and find Juan Rico, first.

On the trail of Rico, gun traffickers kidnap Penny and drag her across the Mexican border, along with their guns. This means certain death for Penny in a country where women often go missing. A rescue by the U.S. Marshal or even Sheriff Tellez is unlikely since no one knows where she is. Will Penny escape the grasp of ruthless gunrunners? The answers can be found in Devil Eye!

 Buy the book

Amazon | Kindle| Barnes & Noble

Check out the Book Trailer 

About the author:

ImageRebecca Jean Downey has a way of pulling you into her stories. You don’t want to put the book down until you make sure her characters survive!  She graduated from the Indiana University School of Journalism, covered police and court beats as a newspaper reporter, and has since had a life long fascination with law enforcement and criminal behavior. Rebecca read Sherlock Holmes in elementary school, and has devoured hundreds of mystery novels over her lifetime. She finally realized that her home in El Paso, Texas—lying on the cusp of two countries—was a perfect backdrop for sharing the haunting headlines generated south of the border in Mexico.

Today, Rebecca is a speechwriter for the President of The University of Texas at El Paso and Director of Development for the College of Health Sciences.

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Mid Week Tease: Fire Angel

ImageGood morning. It’s a gorgeous spring day. I’ll treasure each one so much more after last winter. Maybe we need months of lousy weather to truly appreciate the gift of warm, sunny days. For my Mid Week Tease this week, I’ve chosen an excerpt from my first published novel, Fire Angel. It wasn’t what I was going to post, but I received a lovely surprise this morning, an unexpected five star review, which prompted me to change my mind. 



5.0 out of 5 stars Blazing Brilliance, May 21, 2014
Giselle Marks (Isle of Man) – See all my reviews
 This review is from: Fire Angel (Crimson Romance) (Kindle Edition)
“Fire Angel” tears us from our complacency to view a quiet town scorched by a homicidal maniac. With superb mastery of her craft, Susanne Matthews drags us screaming into the horror of a forensic mystery. “Fire Angel” unravels the journey of her gorgeous but damaged hero, criminal profiler Jake and his arson expert partner Alexis. As they search to uncover the identity of the murderer and fire-starter, they begin to reveal the issues that their mutual past has dogged their lives.
Susanne’s “Fire Angel” weaves the various threads of suspicion and romance together so exquisitely with her descriptions that you can follow close behind, trying to warn her characters to beware. Alexis is so easy to relate to, a strong woman who has rebuilt her life from a broken childhood and her growing feelings for the emotionally and physically broken Jake, flowers naturally. As they seek the twisted mind behind the growing body count, dismissing suspects as their alibis hold up against examination, they are drawn closer together. A fast and exciting read which never lets the reader come up for air. I could find no faults whatsoever in Fire Angel. I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Fire Angel” and would unreservedly recommend it to other readers.

ImageExcerpt from Fire Angel:

Jake got to the fire scene within the half hour. When he stood and stared at the destruction and raging inferno in front of him, he questioned whether or not it could possibly be the same arsonist. This fire was out of control, a hellhole from which spewed death and destruction, completely at odds with what his profile and the previous fires had shown. Maybe, for once, it was accidental.

Paramedics and ambulance attendants were parked nearby as was the coroner’s wagon. Firefighters worked valiantly to stop the fire from spreading to the neighboring houses; nothing could be done to save the garage. As Jake panned the crowd, he noticed women outside the police lines crying. There was Duffy’s wife held tightly in her brother’s arms. That could mean only one thing. There were bodies inside.

This fire was different from the others, yet because of the fatalities, he had a strange feeling about it. He shook his head and sighed. Three fires, three months. He didn’t believe in coincidence.

Just as it appeared that the fire was under control, flames erupted from another section of the building. Heavy black smoke filled the air. With so many flammable and combustible materials on the premises, the fire could burn for hours. There had been a couple of explosions, possibly from aerosol cans and the compressed gas cylinders—there would have been acetylene and God knows what else in there. The police pushed the crowd back, although it surged forward again fueled by its own fascination and morbid curiosity.

He noticed Frank’s truck on the edge of the crowd and walked over. He needed a jolt of caffeine to wake him, something to help him get his mind around this.

“Hey, Frank, you’re working late,” he uttered.

“Lynette got me out of bed. She said you guys needed me. It looks like a bad one.” He moved gingerly to get Jake the coffee he had requested.

“What happened to you? Did you hurt yourself?” Jake asked.

Frank smiled. He stood up straighter.

“Only my pride; I fell asleep in my tree stand this morning and fell out of it. I landed on my ass on the rocky ground. I’ll be sore for a couple of days.” He laughed at himself. “On the plus side, I did get the dozen rabbits and the partridges Minette wanted.”

“Well, take care of yourself. If it isn’t better by the end of the week, have Dr. Shillingham look at it. You might have a hairline fracture or something.”

“You could be right, Jake, but I think I can consider this my lucky day; Duffy asked me to play tonight, but I bailed; the butt’s too sore to sit in a hard chair all night. I guess that’s two close calls for me today.” He shook his head and pointed to the widow. “I’ll drop by Duffy’s house tomorrow with coffee and squares. I hope he had lots of insurance.”

Jake had never really cared for the canteen owner; in high school, Frank had been a bully, picking on people, playing mean tricks. It had always amazed Jake that Frank had managed to stay out of legal trouble. After his father died, Frank had turned himself around, and now, he was a model citizen. Jake handed over some coins to cover the cost of his coffee and turned back towards the fire.

Damn! He shook his head. The problem was that he didn’t know enough about fires to do this on his own. He was a profiler; he needed a fire expert. He’d read the reports; he just couldn’t see the answers in them, and the answers had to be there. No, regardless of how this particular fire had started, he needed to convince Everett to send for a professional fire investigator.

He had read an interesting article in last week’s newspaper about one. Apparently, she used unorthodox methods to solve supposedly unsolvable fires. She’d recently taken down members of the mob who’d been using fires to extort money. Perhaps between the two of them, they could solve this mystery.

Jake walked over to the police chief.

“Everett, I think we need to consider bringing in someone else on this, someone who can solve this kind of puzzle. My gut tells me this is the arsonist’s work.”

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Look Who Dropped By Today: Megan O’Russell

Megan dropped by to remind us to be on the lookout for her new book, The Tethering, being released later this summer. 


ImageAbout The Tethering:

 All sixteen-year-old Jacob Evans wants is to win the heart of Emilia Gray, but with order in the magical world crumbling, war threatening, and Emilia’s boyfriend living across the hall, he may never have the chance.

Jacob Evans loses everything he has ever known and is tossed into a world of magic. The Dragons, a group of rebel wizards, are threatening to expose the existence of magic to humans. Jacob is determined to find a way to fit into Emilia’s family, but as his powers grow, so does the danger. With the death toll mounting, Jacob is accused of acts of rebel terrorism and must fight to stay in a world he’s only just beginning to discover. 
                  When Emilia’s life is threatened, Jacob must risk everything to save her. Does he have the power to rescue her in time? And what could their survival cost?



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Published by Silence in the Library