Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dangerous Desire by Annie Seaton is HERE!


A desperate search…

Schoolteacher Gracie James has never seen more danger than her Kindergarten classroom, but when she goes searching for her missing sister, she’s thrown into a world of sex, crime...and passion. Following a hot lead, she sneaks onto a stranger’s boat—and gets caught. Their one-sided conversation convinces her of two things. One: the guy is seriously sexy. Two: he knows something about her sister. Oh, yeah. And did she mention he’s sexy?
And a sizzling attraction…

Jake Alexander, former cop, is staking out a yacht brimming with criminal activity, for an insurance company, when a woman, dressed to kill and totally irresistible, stumbles into his dangerous undercover op. If he hadn’t tackled her, she’d have tottered straight onto the questionable yacht in those ridiculous high heels. Then she’d be dead. Or worse. As much as he’d like to kick her off his boat, he can’t risk her going off on some hare-brained scheme—but he can’t keep her around to muck up his job. Oh, yeah. And did he mention she’s distracting as hell?

Lead to dangerous desire…

Unfortunately, she has a keen mind of her own. And a body any man would die for. Jake’s attempt to keep Gracie safe quickly morphs into a reluctant alliance. And a whole lot more... But Gracie finds herself knee deep in more trouble than she bargained for, with secrets revealed and the criminals coming after her. Unless they find a way to trust each other, they’re finished. Oh, yeah. And did they mention they’re in love?
~ * ~
One of the first rules of writing is ‘write what you know.’ Of course as writers we can set scenes in places we know well. You may have noticed how the Whitsunday Islands keep popping up in my books, but sometimes we write about things which we haven’t experienced.
Back at my last blog post at One Writer’s Perspective I talked about the fear of water and how it can be used as a device for creating suspense. But what about the suspenseful situations that happen in a book which are outside of the realms of our experience?
How did I research those suspenseful scenes in Dangerous Desire?
Research! A writer must research and often it can be one of the best forms of writing procrastination there is. So where do we find the answers to these experiences and settings which our outside of what we know?
Move forward to the second decade of the twenty-first century and the internet is at our fingertips. Oh, what a delight for an author. To be able to research exotic places far away, to be able to verify facts and dates and to look at images of exotic settings.
Stuck for a character’s name? Log on and research names. Stuck for a physical description? Log on and look at the millions of images available to you.
To create worlds and characters which spring up in your imagination.
Is this love of research a trait common to all writers? I’m not sure
My love of reading and research melded into a highly satisfying career when I left school and studied to be a librarian. During my twenty-year career with books and the written word... I worked in a variety of library settings and honed my research skills.
Then againto be really true to life you can go out and experience the unknownbut you’ll have to read my next blog post at Talk Supe to see what I did!
All in the name of was...really.
Come along and be thrilled in an Annie Seaton read and enjoy that suspense without getting too scared!  And don’t forget to enter the draw for the matching jewelry and gift card.
~ * ~
Turning her head slowly, Gracie strained to see her surroundings in the dim light and her gaze fixed on the shadowy shapes of equipment above her. Three cameras and a variety of telescopic lens sat on the shelf near the hatch.

“Oh my God, you’re sitting in here in the dark taking photos of those people? What are you a pervert…or paparazzi or something?” Before he could answer, a glimmer of hope filled her chest and she turned to him. “How long have you been here? Taking photos, I mean.”

He looked at her strangely and an idea flashed into her mind. Before she could think about the consequences, she seized the opportunity. She slid slowly back over the seat toward him, curled her fingers and reached up to his face, lightly brushing the rough stubble on his cheek with the back of her hand. His jaw was set rock hard and he didn’t move. She leaned in closer to him and dropped her voice to a whisper.

“So…you’ve got some photos of the…er…action on the Midas? Maybe we could look at them together?” She opened her mouth a little and ran the tip of her tongue across her top lip. “We might be able to make our own fun here?”

“Why?” he asked. “You think looking at the photos will turn me on?” A look of boredom crossed his face in the dim light. “Sweetheart, I’ve seen it all, but it you want to play, I’m happy to oblige.”

Gracie’s heart lodged in her throat when he lifted his hand and placed it at the side of her neck and she held her breath, waiting for his fingers to circle her throat. He curled his fingers and imitated the way she had caressed his cheek. His touch was warm and he trailed them down her neck and continued until they rested on the swell of her breast above the low cut neckline. “I’ll show you the photos…and then…”

She drew in a quick breath as his eyes narrowed and he slowly lowered his mouth toward hers. Time seemed to stand still as she tipped her head back on the seat and his lips came closer—inch by inch until his warm breath fanned her lips. His hand slid down to her bare thigh and the hair lifted on the back of her neck and her arms. The heat of his touch penetrated her skin and her heart raced with a dizzying mix of fear and excitement.

It was like a game of cat and mouse as though each was teasing the other to see how far the other would go before they pulled back. Slowly his lips touched hers and she opened her mouth as heat flooded her. His fingers crept up her thigh and ripples of pleasure shot through her. Gracie was the first to break—she reached down and grabbed his hand to still it on its journey up her thigh. For a couple more seconds the hardness of his mouth claimed hers until he pulled back and spoke coldly.

“You like to play dangerous games, but this is not a game. Now I want the truth.”

Find Dangerous Desires on the web:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books

~ * ~
Annie Seaton lives with her husband, and ‘Bob’ the dog and two white cats in a house next to the beach on the east coast of Australia. She sits in her writing chair, gazing at the ocean and writing stories.  Their two children are grown and married and she loves spending time gardening, walking on the beach and spoiling her two grandchildren. She has always been fascinated by all things romantic and has found her niche in life writing romance novels, ranging through contemporary, historical, suspense and paranormal…but all with romance of course.

Her love of reading and history began at an early age and she was a child who always carried a book (or two) no matter what she was doing. Several of her favourite books were confiscated from beneath her desk by teachers who had no understanding of her capacity to read while she was doing her schoolwork!

Her working life has seen her through several major career changes and Annie has now retired from the world of full time work and has fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a published author.

Annie’s debut full length novel, Holiday Affair, a contemporary romance set in the South Pacific was released as part of Entangled Publishing’s Indulgence line in March 2012 and has been a best seller on both Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. The sequel Italian Affair was released in June 2013, and will be followed shortly by Outback Affair. Annie has more books being released in 2013 and 2014 with Entangled Publishing in the Bliss, Entangled Ignite and Covet imprints.

In appreciation of the supportive author community, Annie has written a book on promotion to share the secrets of her success: Promotional Tips and Tricks for Aspiring Authors in the Digital Landscape.

Annie is givining away a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card and Sailboat Necklace with Matching Earrings! Whoo Hoo!

Just follow the Rafflecopter instructions below to enter for your chance to win!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Welcome to another installment of the
You can find Part Eleven HERE
But, before you continue,
be sure to read the first ten sections
by following these links:
The awesomeness continues on September 29th
Part 12 by Charlotte Phillips
Thanks for following along!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tattered Pages Welcomes Annette Drake!

I'm thrilled to host the talented Annette Drake today with her latest release Celebration House! Whoo Hoo! For you paranormal fans, this one sounds like a keeper! Annette graciously agreed to sit down for an interview with me so we could learn a little more about her and her books.

Annette, let's start things out by talking about how your writing career began.

It started in 8th grade when I wrote a short story about a young girl’s suicide. The newspaper adviser liked it and published it. For half a day, I was a celebrity writer! That was a good half day.

When I tromped off to college, I found myself involved with the school newspaper and transitioned into journalism. My dream was to write for the Washington Post before I turned 30. That goal was not met.
I think my journalism roots are still evident because to write a 60-word sentence about the sunset is not something I’m capable of doing. Just the facts, ma’am. That’s what my favorite editor at a newspaper in Sedalia, Missouri, taught me. That lesson stuck.
Publishers have told me my descriptions are thin sometimes, so I’m working on being more generous with adjectives. I think part of the problem is I can see what I’m describing so vividly in my own mind, it doesn’t occur to me that the reader doesn’t see it too.

Wow, so you've been a professional writer for a long time. With your background in journalism, do you write in the romance genre or across lines?
My current WIP, A Year with Geno, is complete romance. I am so looking forward to typing THE END because I want to start writing my first cozy mystery, “Death Comes to the Ogallala County Fair.” Isn’t that a fun title? I intend to write across lines.
Yes, that sounds like a great title! Let's talk a little about heat level so your readers will know what to expect. Is that bedroom door open or closed?

You know, I struggle with this. I might guess that all new romance writers do. I know I will never write erotica. I don’t want to write a book that I wouldn’t want my children to read. I wanted to turn up the heat in A Year with Geno and include an intimacy scene, but I don’t know. I’m still mulling.

Gotcha. What about your characters. Do you have a favorite one you've created? And if so, why?
I probably have a favorite character for every novel I’ve written. For Celebration House, it’s the character of Violet. I also worry most about Violet because she’s a former slave who chooses to stay after emancipation. The reason I love Violet is because she’s so supportive of my main character, Carrie. When everyone else is putting up obstacles or tearing Carrie down, there’s Violet, encouraging her. I gave Carrie way more than she could do, so to have that person, that voice, to tell Carrie that yes, she can finish the restorations. Yes, the house is going to be beautiful when it’s done. That’s powerful stuff.  

Wonderful! You're writing sounds very emotionally charged. What about self-publication? Have you ever considered going that route with your stories?
Yes. I’ve considered self-publication for my middle-grade novel, Bone Girl, because I haven’t found a traditional publisher for it yet. But I think self-publishing takes money – to have the book edited, design the cover, format the manuscript. To do it right takes money. Alas, I have shallow pockets these days. And if I can’t do it right, I don’t want to do it at all.  

Yep. I hear ya! Now that Celebration House has been released, what project are you working on?
My contemporary romance, A Year with Geno is kind of along the lines of the Brady Bunch, for those who remember that sitcom from the 1970s. My main character finds herself evicted and she can’t find a rental, so through a string of events, she moves in with Geno, a handsome dad of two teenagers. The book takes place in Eagle River, Alaska, a suburb of Anchorage, and is set over the course of a year. I want to incorporate setting in this novel, as well as pay homage to the amazing women who nurtured and supported me during the most difficult chapter of my life. I hope to have it finished by the end of the year and go looking for a home for it.

That sounds like a GREAT story. I remember the Brady Bunch!! LOL What about after finishing a manuscript? Do you take some time off or dive right in to the next story?
I dive into the next story. I don’t wait.

I'm usually anxious to get started on the next project, as well. What about your reading preferences? What’s on your nightstand (or downloaded onto your Kindle) right now?
I’ve just discovered Kristan Higgins, and as romance is my genre, I’m reading every book of hers. She’s a gifted writer. On my Kindle, I’m reading Deb Stover’s books because she has been so supportive of my work and I wanted to reciprocate. She writes time-travel romance, and I’ve long been a fan of that genre. Yes, I also want to write time-travel romance. See? This is why I need to quit my day job. I’ve got too many books I want to write.

LOL! Never enough hours in the day, right? Who is your favorite author and why?
Though I’ve not written a manuscript in his genre, I’m a huge Ray Bradbury fan. I wanted to name my youngest son after him, but my husband said no. So we named our child J.K. Rowling. I’m kidding. His name is Jack.

LOLOL! Oh my gosh, you're hilarious. My son's name is Jack too! Now for some fun stuff. Which Superhero would you most love to date and why?
Okay, normally, I don’t find Superheroes all that and more, but I have to say, Thor, as portrayed by Chris Hemsworth, is a beautiful sight.

Yes. Yes he is. LOL Does your husband read your work? And, if so, what's his reaction?
Yep. He does. Pretty much every word. Even better, when I say things like “Do you think I’ll ever find a publisher for Bone Girl?” he assures me I will.
Okay, I now see why you don't need a superhero. It's because you're married to one! :-) Give me the five top words your best friends would use to describe you.

I’ve thought about this a lot. Perhaps too much. Here they are:
Impatient – A college professor once told me I’m the most impatient person he had ever met. This is not a good quality for a writer.
Compassionate. Though I don’t always feel this way.
Tardy – I’m always late for things. It drives my family crazy.

I've learned (or at leat I like to tell myself I've learned) a vast amount of patience since I became a writer. LOL Favorite cocktail?
I don’t drink alcohol due to some health concerns and the fact that it puts me right to sleep. I drink far too much coffee and diet Coke.

Caffeine addicts UNITE! LOL Any pets?
I’m privileged enough to be the owner of a basset hound, Eeyore, and a cat, Ruby. To complete the set, I rescued a lame horse about two years ago. Lacy is my therapist. I tell her all my worries and fears; she tells me to bring more apples and fewer carrots on my next visit. 

Oh, I love that! Here's a picture of Lacy with Annette!! Thank you for  submitting to my interrogation! And now, for the moment you've all been waiting for, a sneak peek inside Celebration House! Whoo Hoo!

Carrie Hansen spent her life caring for cardiac patients. Little did she know she would become a patient herself. After recovering from her own heart surgery, she realizes she has a special gift: the ability to see and talk with the dead.

Now, with her new heart failing, she leaves the bustle of Seattle behind and returns to Lexington, Missouri, the small town where she spent her childhood. Here, she sets out to restore an abandoned antebellum mansion and open it as a venue for celebrations.
Carrie’s work is cut out for her. The 150-year-old Greek revival house is in need of serious repair. Her sister, Melanie, tries to bully Carrie into returning to Seattle, predicting “her little project” is doomed to fail. Finally, Carrie’s health gives out on her, requiring emergency surgery.

But she will not give up. Carrie’s unique gift allows her to build relationships with the mansion’s original occupants, especially Maj. Tom Stewart, the handsome Civil War soldier who died a hundred years before Carrie was born. He encourages and comforts her, though not in the physical way they both desire.
Then there’s the builder of the house, Col. Bartholomew Stratton. If there’s one thing this 19th century horse trader cannot abide, it’s the living trespassing on his estate. He delights in scaring these intruders away, even if they are paying guests.

Will Carrie finish restoring Celebration House or will it finish her? And how can she plan a future with a man who has only a past?
~ * ~
            Driving up to the house, Carrie smiled. She loved the long driveway, the poplar trees on both sides. Behind the trees, the fences had fallen into disrepair. Just one more thing she’d have to fix. She parked her car alongside the house and stacked her groceries and camping gear on the front porch. Seeing a small barn behind the main building, she decided to explore and see if there was room to park her car inside.

            Carrie opened the door and stepped inside. Sunlight streamed in through the dirty windows. Even though the barn had been vacant for years, she smelled hay and horses.

            Looking to her left, she saw a man shaving. He was bare from the waist up, his chest finely proportioned, lean, and muscular. His arms were powerfully built, and his right hand remained steady as he scraped the white soap from his angular jaw. His dark blue uniform pants were tucked into black leather knee-high riding boots. He stood at least six foot tall, and though Carrie hadn’t made her living in the carnival, she guessed he was probably younger than her, likely in his mid 20s. He peered intently at a small mirror tacked up on one of the barn walls. She waited to speak until after he’d finished the last swipe with the ivory-handled straight blade and had dipped it into the basin of soapy water.

            “Good morning.”

            He turned towards her suddenly, his expression an equal mix of surprise and annoyance. He dropped the razor and grabbed his shirt off a nearby nail. He turned his back to Carrie and pulled it on.

            “You can see me, ma’am?” he asked, buttoning his shirt before stuffing it into his pants.

            “Yes. Do you see me?”

            “Yes, but I believe I have the advantage. I am dead. You are not.”

            “I’m sorry to intrude on you. I’m Carrie Hansen,” she said, stepping toward him and extending her hand.

            Without even thinking, he reached to shake her hand but his passed through hers. They both jerked back.

            “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to intrude,” she said.

            “You surprised me. That’s all. We don’t get many visitors out here, especially living ones who can see us,” he said, putting his blue uniform coat over his shirt and buttoning the long row of brass buttons. “I’m Maj. Thomas Stewart, at your service,” he said, bowing formally at the waist.

            “I am sorry I startled you. I sometimes forget that ghosts aren’t accustomed to being seen.”

            “How may I be of service to you, Miss Hansen?”

            “Where can I find Col. Stratton? I need to speak with him.”

            His dark blue eyes showed his puzzlement. “The living do not go looking for Col. Stratton. What business do you have with him?”

            “I bought this house, and I intend to live here.”

 ~ * ~
Annette Drake’s work is character-driven and celebrates the law of unintended consequences. Her debut novel, Celebration House, debuted on August 1st in e-book format for readers everywhere from Tirgearr Publishing.
Annette left high school after two years to obtain her GED and attend Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. There she earned a degree in journalism before working as a reporter and editor for newspapers in Missouri and Kansas. She earned a bachelor of science in nursing in 1994 from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, and worked as a registered nurse in hospitals throughout Missouri, Alaska and Washington for 18 years before returning her focus to writing.
Annette recently completed her middle-grade novel, Bone Girl, and is hard at work revising her steamy contemporary romance, A Year with Geno.
She is the mother of four children. The oldest just graduated from the University of Washington; the youngest just graduated from kindergarten. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. She loves libraries, basset hounds and bakeries. She does not camp.
You can follow her writing at She welcomes correspondence at:

Find Celebration House on the web at: 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Five Free Books, Five Hot Heroes & YOU Choose a Favorite!

(And I mean that in the best, most fabulously muscular way.) 
Welcome to Tattered Pages' first ever
*AJ does the Electric Slide*
Here's the low-down, dirty rules:
Ahem. Five uber-talented writers currently have their books listed on Amazon for FREE. That's right, FREE. *Let's all pause a moment to soak up that awesomeness, shall we?* Besides bringing their covers, they've supplied us with some eye candy, along with a short pitch why they think their hero is the best of the bunch. That's where you come in.
Before some major in-fighting breaks out all up in here, Laura, Mac, Susan, Tanya and Willa have agreed to let YOU decide which hero is the most sigh-worthy out of these five. Read on to help them settle their debate! Leave us a comment at the end of the post and help us choose a winner!
Disclaimer:  No heroes were injured during the posting of this blog. Pitches listed in alphabetical order by hero's first name. See administrator for additional contest rules. Certain restrictions apply. (<--That means you, V. No hiney pinching allowed.)

***Click the covers to be taken straight to your FREE DOWNLOAD***
Without further ado, I give you...
Hero Numero Uno!
Allesandro Marino from T. R. McClure's Never Too Late
Of course, everyone calls the eldest Marino son Alex, but somehow his given name Allessandro, like his well-worn jeans, fits him perfectly.  His dark hair and olive skin speak of his Italian heritage, not to mention his passion. He’s dedicated to his work, overseeing the family vineyard. But when the right woman comes along, watch out. That intensity he uses to create a fabulous wine...focuses on her.
He takes bookworm Kat and pulls her into his adventurous lifestyle of horses and motorcycles, all while creating a wine that tastes like summer has exploded in your mouth. How does he do that?
Non importa. Because he’s one of those guys. You know the kind. The kind with skills. Like Robin says to Quinn in Six Days, Seven Nights, "You send them out into the wilderness with a pocket knife and a Q-tip and they build you a shopping mall." He's competent, all right, in more ways than one.
Handsome, loyal, exciting, that’s Alex, AKA Allessandro Marino. He’s the kind of man you want to spend your life with.

He’s the total package.

Cin cin! 
Hero Number Two! 

Donal MacNabb from Willa Blair's Highland Seer
Donal MacNabb is warrior honed to physical perfection, a highly respected arms master and a gifted teacher. He is also a born skeptic who trusts his five senses and little else. Despite his gruff exterior, Donal possesses a caring heart. A younger son with no prospects at MacNabb, his loyalty lies with his adopted Lathan clan.
In book 1, Highland Healer, loyalty compels him to challenge his laird’s fascination with the uniquely-talented, yet possibly dangerous, healer from the invading army. Donal’s eventual acceptance of her is hard-won.

So when it is his turn to fall in love in book 2, Highland Seer, Karma presents him with Ellie MacKyrie, Seer and laird, a woman whose strange ability he struggles to accept and whose station he considers far above his own. Despite Ellie’s determination to win him, he believes he is not a suitable consort for Laird MacKyrie. Other than his skill with his sword, he has nothing to offer - no lands, wealth or armies. But his love for Ellie grows soul-deep and undeniable. With her, Donal finds his true home and learns to trust his heart as well as his senses.
My muse for Donal is Phillip Winchester as “Crusoe” - especially this picture. It captures Donal’s intensity.  How would you like to have those eyes riveted on you, demanding answers...or kisses, I forgot what I was saying. 
Hero Number Three!

Ethan Tanner from Susan Sheehey's Audrey's Promise

Ethan Tanner had a warped view of the world, stemming from a deep rift between he and his father after his mother died. He devoted himself to becoming the best journalist with an unforgiving edge. When the chance arose to expose a promising politician’s skeletons, he jumped on it. Though joining Audrey Allen at home started with a hidden agenda, he realized once he saw the real Audrey that she was much more to him than a story.
Ethan helped her face a deep tragedy while visiting her hometown for the first time in a decade. Audrey needed help forgiving herself for an accident that altered the course of her life, and the lives of many others. Ethan inspired her to face the truth, let go of the burden, and follow her original dream. Her path inspired him to finally let go of the anger toward his father, which in turn allowed him to finally love with his whole heart.
Hero Number Four! (it's a two-fer!!!)

Martin and Sparrow from Laura Strickland's Daughter of Sherwood
Step up, ladies, and help our heroine, Wren, decide between these two fine examples of Saxon manhood. Daughter of the legendary Robin Hood, she needs a true warrior at her side. Both men say they want her; both are willing to die for her. But to preserve the magic of Sherwood, she must choose only one. 

Martin – son of Will Scarlet – with the dangerous blue eyes and mop of golden hair, is rough and always ready.  He has a wicked tongue and wicked hands as well, and he’ll put them anywhere Wren allows. He’s neither a safe nor a tame choice, but he calls to something heedless and daring inside Wren.

Sparrow – son of Robin’s right-hand man, Little John – gave his heart to Wren the moment he saw her. Every time Wren looks into his wild, dark eyes she senses all the magic of Sherwood. When she kisses him he calls to her soul; when they’re apart he whispers in her mind. She could easily loose herself in Sparrow, but dares not. For, not only her happiness but the fate of Sherwood rests on her decision.
Which would you choose? 

Hero Number Five! 

Trevor Bryce Christos from Mackenzie Crowne's The Billionaire's Con
If you ask Meggy why Trevor is her hero and the best of them all, she’d bat her lashes and say something like, “I don’t kiss and tell.” I do. Uh, not that I’ve kissed Trevor. Oh, you know what I mean. Ahem! Sure, Trevor is arrogant, confident and determined, but he’s also sensitive, caring and fun. And, he’s able to admit when he’s wrong. Those traits are a killer combination for me. Add a bit of charm and I’m toast.
For example, with only six days to do damage control before Meggy learns his true name and agenda, he sets about charming her into admitting she loves him before the s*** hits the fan. The following morning he has a sparkling silver bracelet delivered. The tiny picnic basket charm reminds her of their “naked picnic”. Following that come five more charms, each one representing a special memory designed to make her smile. By the time the fat heart joins the others, Meggy is a goner.
So, I ask, who can resist a hero who can charm a woman while making her smile? And did I mention he looks like a Greek god? Overkill? Yeah, yeah, I’ve gone a little over the word count. My bad. :-)
~ * ~
What say you, ladies? Who is your favorite hero in the group? Help us name our first ever Tattered Pages Blog Hero and don't forget to download these great FREE reads!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

The End with Denise Moncrief

I'm thrilled to have romantic suspense author, Denise Moncrief, here today, celebrating her recent release from 5 Prince Publishing! Whoo Hoo! If you haven't yet been introduced to Denise's work, you are in for a spine-tingling treat!! Check out this fabulous selection available now!

The End: 
Sometimes the end is only the beginning

Almost a year after her husband dies, Ellie Marston opens the file for Tab’s last manuscript, a thriller so compelling it reads like a true story. His manuscript needs an ending, so Ellie writes the obvious conclusion. The same morning she types The End, her career as an assistant district attorney falls apart. Accused of throwing the high profile Patterson case, she resigns in disgrace. The only friend she has left in the criminal justice system is Det. Paul Santiago, a man she has worked closely with on numerous cases. While she was married to Tab, she squashed her growing feelings for Paul, determined to make her deteriorating marriage work, but circumstances after Tab’s death bring Ellie and Paul together.
Ellie’s paranoia increases as she becomes convinced Patterson is harassing her, certain that someone is searching her belongings for any hidden evidence she might have that would reopen his case. It becomes clear there was a conspiracy to release Patterson. She seeks help from her former co-worker, Presley Sinclair, but soon discovers Presley is deeply involved in the subsequent cover up. Worse yet, Tab’s affair with Presley drew him into the twisted conspiracy as well.
Together Paul and Ellie attempt to uncover the conspiracy in the District Attorney’s office, the set up that forced her to resign. The key to the mystery is hidden in the pages of Tab’s manuscript. Once Paul and Ellie come to the correct conclusion—Tab’s manuscript is a true story and Ellie’s added ending is the only logical outcome—Ellie attempts to reveal Patterson’s hidden partner in the District Attorney’s office, but the co-conspirator she uncovers is not whom she suspects. Danger swirls around her as she steps further and further into the conspirator’s trap.

~ * ~
Tab’s Mac wobbled on the edge of the coffee table in front of me as my fingers tapped out the letters of the final sentence of the final scene as if they had a mind of their own. The idea for the ending had come to me in the middle of the night, and I was determined to finish the project before I forgot what I wanted to write. I hit return and then spaced down and typed The End with a flourish. I didn’t know if writers wrote that at the end of a manuscript, but I did it anyway.

I leaned back on the sofa. A smile should have formed, but it didn’t. I was pleased…but exhausted. The urge to finish Tab’s final project had been satisfied. How did he do this? The process had mutilated every one of my emotions.

He had put a lot of himself into his writing. I’d watched him, absorbed for hours on end, struggling to choose just the right word or just the right sentence structure. He’d tried for years to get an agent or a publisher to read one of his manuscripts. After numerous rejections, he’d send them to the virtual trash bin with an angry jab to the delete button. It appeared like a lot of wasted effort to me.

Thinking about Tab kicked me in the gut once again. He had been dead for almost a year, but his memory could still hit me hard when I least expected it. It’s true. You never get over losing someone you love the way I had loved him.

I was awake late one night the previous week watching Castle on a Netflix disk, when I decided it was time to read Tab’s unfinished masterpiece—well at least it would have been a masterpiece in his humble opinion—if he had discussed it with me. He never mentioned the project. I didn’t even know the manuscript existed until after the accident that took his life. If I hadn’t been searching the hard drive of his Mac for something else, I would have never known about it.

Odd. Tab wasn’t a secretive sort of guy. Was he?

So his unfinished manuscript had remained unread on the hard drive of his Mac for months. I’d put the idea of reading his final words aside, but then I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to read what he left behind.

When I opened the file, I expected to read something sentimental and just a little cheesy, something with a made-for-television happy ending. I expected to cry like a baby when I read his final words. Tab was the most dramatic man I’d ever met.

Instead, I became engrossed in a thriller that read so real I wondered if he had written a true story. All the plot needed was a realistic ending.

And the end came to me in the middle of the night.

It was done now. For better or for worse. I reached for my coffee mug and took a sip, then grimaced. The brew had gone stone cold. I rose from the sofa and slogged into the kitchen to refill my cup and stick it in the microwave. As I waited for the ready beep, the view outside my window captured my attention. A bare limb of an oak tree swayed, easily manipulated by the wind. The weather promised another gloomy, rainy day. I pulled my robe closer around me, but the chill of the morning pierced the terry cloth. I shuddered and headed for my bedroom.

My linens lay on my bed, twisted and tangled from tossing and turning. I had no desire to go to work. Finishing Tab’s masterpiece had drained my energy, and when I finally dragged my butt into the office, I would have to confront my boss. Executive Assistant District Attorney Michael Leads would not be happy with my lack of progress on the Baxter case. Into my second year as an assistant district attorney, I was well aware I had missed my calling. My confidence in the criminal justice system had disappeared. My passion for convicting the right offender put me in constant conflict with a process that had morphed over the years into a system designed for speed rather than accuracy.

With no enthusiasm, I dressed for the day. I chose my best black suit because it matched my mood, but beneath it I wore a bright, cherry red blouse. My power outfit. I needed all the chutzpah I could manage to face Leads’ wrath. It was coming at me, like a hurricane hovering off the coast trying to decide which shore was most vulnerable.

After applying a few final touches to my makeup, I zipped a brush through my hair, made a pretense of brushing my teeth, and swished an ounce of mouthwash. I held my hand over my mouth. My breath still smelled of stale coffee. I looked into the mirror and groaned, then swiped at the toothpaste stain on my lapel with a damp rag before heading toward the living room. After a few minutes of panicked searching, I found my only pair of black heels under the sofa.

I was as ready for my confrontation with Leads as I was ever going to get. My briefcase leaned next to the front door where I’d dropped it the night before. I had planned to review some case files before I went to bed, but once I closed my apartment door behind me, nothing could have motivated me to open my briefcase last night.

The ride to the office was probably the longest of my career. Lights flashed through the windows as the train passed through another station. I held tight to a strap above me because all the seats were full, always a marker of how my day would go. I was running late, and there was no hope for me.

My mind drifted. Instead of mentally listing the things I needed to accomplish at work that day, I dwelt on how I should have chosen a different path for my life and what that path would have been. Had everything I suffered to work my way through college and then law school really been for nothing?

The End is available from 5 Prince Publishing
Genre: Fiction/Romance/Suspense
Release Date: September 5, 2012
Purchase link:

Denise wrote her first story when she was in high school—seventeen hand-written pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel she read. She earned a degree in accounting, giving her some nice skills to earn a little money, but her passion has always been writing. She has written numerous short stories and more than a few full-length novels. Her favorite pastimes when she’s not writing are spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and scrapbooking. She lives in Louisiana with her husband, two children, and one very chubby dog.