Good morning. I hope you all had a lovely Easter if you celebrated, and to my friends who will celebrate Eastern Orthodox Christmas, may you have a great time, too, as well as a less eventful Holy Week than we did.
Today is Day 19 of the A to Z Challenge Blog for 2019 and it belongs to the letter S. There are many words that I’ve used in my books that start with S, but today I chose to focus on Secrets. We all have secrets, private personal things we keep to ourselves, things we know about others we keep to ourselves. Most secrets aren’t the life and death kind, but sometimes, if the secret is revealed, it can complicate our lives. In several of my books, my characters have secrets that they would prefer others not know. In Just For the Weekend, a book that is temporarily unavailable but will be revised and release later both of my characters have reasons for concealing their identities, and in Desert Deception, the hero does as well. The main plot of Desert Deception originated in Coming Home, by Misty Matthews, a book I co-wrote with another author. When Misty and I dissolved our partnership, she signed over to rights to Coming Home which I revised and changed into Desert Deception. Cole’s secret was part of the original plot. The mystery and suspense that comes after is all new.
Like Superman and Bruce Wayne, my hero has another life, one he would prefer the people of his home town not know about.
“What’s wrong?” Cole hurried to her side, worried that she’d somehow hurt herself. While it was true, the worse injury you could get from a book was a paper cut, this close to the desert, unwanted insects and reptiles sometimes managed to sneak in. Last week, he’d returned a tarantula to the great outdoors. The big, hairy spiders might be harmless, but they scared the daylights out of the tourists.
“Nothing’s wrong, but you have all of CJ Coleson’s books shoved back here where no one can see them. They should be out front.”
The look of disgust on her face made him laugh.
“I take it you’re a fan.”
“Well, duh! Of course I’m a fan, isn’t everyone? He’s a great author even though he’s the Howard Hughes of writers—a total recluse. How come you have his latest book? It isn’t due out in paperback for another two weeks.”
Cole ran his fingers through his hair, a nervous gesture he made when he was caught off guard. “I know the author.” The white lie slid off his tongue before he could stop it.
“Get out of here! You know CJ Coleson?” she asked, excitement lighting up her face. “How?”
“We went to school together.” Another half-truth.
He nodded, hoping she would change the topic soon.
“Well, he’s Arizona born and bred, I’m sure of it. He’s either from around here, or he’s spent time here. Reading those books is like coming home—better even. Is that his real name?”
Turning away from her, he tried to think of an answer that would help him out of the quicksand in which he’d inadvertently stepped. The truth always came out, and usually at the worst possible moment. Sharing his secret with a virtual stranger wasn’t an option, but he was pretty sure she wasn’t going to let it go.
“He’s from Arizona and has spent considerable time in the area, but he uses a pen name. CJ and I are very close. I get advance copies of his books when his publisher releases them. Technically I’m not supposed to display them yet, so don’t go broadcasting it,” he answered, more sharply than he’d intended, hoping that would end her snooping.
“Who would I tell?” The look on her face told him she thought he was being ridiculous.
“I don’t know. Maybe some of your friends in New Mexico.” He’d put a little more heat into his voice than he’d needed, but he was dying here, sinking deeper and deeper by the minute.
She rolled her eyes and snorted. “Let me get right on that. I’ll tell them to drop everything, and drive almost seven hours to Fortune, Arizona, to buy a book they’ll be able to pick up at home in a matter of days.”
Sarcasm dripped from her voice again. He would hate to be on the stand if she was questioning him. She would rip a liar to shreds in seconds.
“I get it. My comment was a little over the top, but if you’re a fan, you know he doesn’t like the spotlight. I’m a little protective of our friendship.”
“A little protective? There are she-bears who could take lessons from you,” she scolded. “I know how close some of you frat buddies can be. Knowing you know my favorite author, and won’t tell me who he is, will probably drive me crazy, but I’ll let you off the hook—this time.”
He exhaled and relaxed, grateful for the temporary reprieve, knowing damn well she wouldn’t let the matter drop and would try to ferret out the secret sooner rather than later. His gaze still fixed on her, he watched as she picked up two books, including the CJ Coleson one not yet released.
That’s it. Come back tomorrow for the letter T!
All of my books currently available can be found on Amazon and many are available on KU. Check them out for yourselves. https://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Matthews/e/B00DJCKRP4/
Looking for other posts to read? Follow the link.
Last Day! The White Carnation is available along with several other books from over 35 -international authors at the It’s All About Romance Easter Book Fair.
Check out the link below to find it and many other great romance novels. http://irisblobel.com/bookfair042019/
Have a great day!