A bodyguard, a bounty hunter, a P.I.–the men of Brodie Operations Security Service, Inc. are down for the job. . .
Sinners, whores, and sluts beware–your time is at hand: a faceless menace is threatening lingerie models on a cross country tour, and Ethan Brodie is there to defend and protect.
Ethan’s learned the hard way that beauty is no substitute for character. So even though Valentine Hart is one of the most breathtaking women he’s ever seen, he’s keeping his hands off and his eyes open. Or that’s what he tells himself.
Then one of the models is murdered, and the closer Ethan gets to the answers, the closer he finds himself to Valentine–and the hotter the pressure feels. There’s more to Val–more to the other girls–than he could have guessed. But one is keeping a secret that could kill them all.
Kat Martin is the author of twenty-one Historical and Contemporary Romance novels. She tackles many different aspects of her genre with settings ranging from the rugged West to the Antebellum South, Regency, Georgian, and Medieval England. She is published in Germany, Norway, Sweden, China, Russia, and Spain.
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With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynn Harmony has trekked across a nightmare landscape to find one man—a mysterious, damaged legend who protects the weak and leads the strong. He’s more than muscle and firepower—and in post-plague L.A., he’s her only hope. As the one woman who could cure the disease, Lynn is the single most volatile—and vulnerable—creature in this new and ruthless world. But face to face with Jax Mercury…
Danger has never looked quite so delicious…
Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner – only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She writes dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and sexy contemporary romances.
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Set in a small, picturesque North Carolina town, Charlie Donlea’s suspenseful debut novel tells the haunting story of a murdered law school student, the reporter assigned to her story—and the intimate connection that comes when the living walk in the footsteps of the dead.
“No suspects. No persons of interest. Just a girl who was alive one day and dead the next.”
Some places seem too beautiful to be touched by horror. Summit Lake, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is that kind of place, with charming stilt houses dotted along the pristine water. But two weeks ago, Becca Eckersley, a first-year law student, was brutally murdered in one of those houses. The daughter of a powerful attorney, Becca was hard-working, accomplished, and ambitious. Now, while the town reels with grief and shocked residents gather to share their theories, the police are baffled.
At first, investigative reporter Kelsey Castle thinks of the assignment as a fluff piece. But the savagery of the crime, and the determined efforts to keep the case quiet, all hint at something far more than a random attack by a stranger. As Kelsey digs deeper, pushing on despite danger and warnings, she feels a growing connection to the dead girl. And the more she learns about Becca’s friendships, her love life—and the secrets she was keeping—the more convinced she becomes that learning the truth about Becca could be the key to overcoming her own dark past…
Charlie Donlea was born in Chicago, where he lives with his wife and two young children. SUMMIT LAKE is his first novel.
You’re a male author whose novel has at its center two strong female characters. Did you find it difficult to write from the female perspective?
Initially, it was a challenge. But there comes a point in the writing process where your characters are no longer these entities you created. They become people in your life, or at least your mind. They develop traits you never imagined they’d have when you first invented them, and they take on a life of their own. Then, it’s more about how they react to the story they are part of and less about me making decisions for them. This is what makes them authentic. And if the character becomes real enough, the reader will connect with them.
How do you create suspense within your writing?
It’s important to have astute and honest first readers when you’re creating a story that contains plot twists. The best way to learn the art of suspense is to read novels from the author’s point of view, and write stories from the reader’s point of view. Then have first readers who will tell you what works within the story and what doesn’t. The first draft of Summit Lake failed so horribly to fool my wife that I was embarrassed by how little credit I initially gave readers of this genre. Suspense readers are careful readers who look for clues and will anticipate plot twists unless they are carefully constructed. My wife and my sister helped me see more clearly form the reader’s point of view, and understand what the readers would likely be thinking during critical plot twists. This collaboration is at the heart of the suspense in Summit Lake. And I’m confident that even the most veracious thriller readers will not be able to predict the ending.
Can you name any books or authors who have influenced you?
Many, but Robert Ludlum will always be the author I credit for planting in my head the desire to write. He was the first author I read for pleasure and not by assignment.
Writing is like any sport or hobby. To improve at it, you have to learn from people who do it better than you. To become a better writer, you need to read authors who are better than you. You need to read books and say, “Wow, this is so much better than what I’m capable of producing.” These authors and their books will make you a better writer. For me, a few of those authors are Robert Ludlum, Dennis Lehane, Gillian Flynn and the great Nelson DeMille. It’s actually a very long list.
As far as a single book that has influenced me: The Dive From Clausen’s Pier. In it, Ann Packer creates such perfect internal conflict that I often go back to that novel to remind myself how internal conflict can drive a book.
Fanny and Amy Abel, the dynamic mother-and-daughter owners of a NYC travel agency, have just booked their biggest trip yet. But with danger in the air, the itinerary may include murder…
Paisley MacGregor, a maid to the rich, made a dying request to send all of her wealthy employers on a first-class wake to spread her ashes around the world. Amy has her suspicions about these “mourners,” especially when one has a life-threatening “accident” at the first stop in Paris. And when a mysterious American stranger tagging along with the group has his ticket punched in the shadow of the Taj Mahal, Amy knows she may have a killer on her tour.
Who was this stranger, and what’s the connection to someone in her group? Digging for clues while continuing on with the trip is a lot for Amy to manage, especially when another mourner has a possibly fatal encounter with a Hawaiian volcano. Back in the States, Fanny and Amy start to piece together a secret worth killing for, but someone is hot on their trail, and ready to send them on a one-way trip—to the morgue!
Hy Conrad was one of the original writers for the television series, Monk. He is also the author of hundreds of short stories and a humor book called Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know. His first full-length comedy/mystery play, Home Exchange, premiered in Key West in May 2012.
Hy splits his time among Key West, Vermont and New York City.
Identity theft mastermind Lauren Kelly has always had a taste for the finer things—including Matt Connors, her lover and accomplice. But she’s not the only one…
When their partner, Yancy, stumbles onto a tycoon’s multi-million dollar bank account, Lauren expects everything will go smoothly—until she discovers Yancy and Matt are planning the ultimate betrayal…
Someone’s going to be gone…
Fortunately, Lauren is one step ahead of Matt. Once she disappears with every last dollar, they’ll have no doubt they chose the wrong woman to deceive. But all three of them chose the wrong target…
Kiki Swinson was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia. She discovered her flair for writing after completing her first novel, Mad Shambles, while serving a five-year sentence at a federal prison.
After being released in December 1996, Kiki later went on to self-publish Mad Shambles. Her passion for writing didn’t stop there. Writing feverishly into the wee hours of the night, she completed her second novel, Wifey, which was published by Melodrama Publishing. After the success of Wifey, Kiki penned the sequels I’m Still Wifey and Life After Wifey, as well as The Candy Shop and A Sticky Situation.
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In the mid sixteenth century, Henry VIII sits on the throne, and Bianca Goddard tends to the sick and suffering in London’s slums, where disease can take a life as quickly as murder. . .
For years, alchemist Ferris Stannum has devoted himself to developing the Elixir of Life, the reputed serum of immortality. Having tested his remedy successfully on an animal, Stannum intends to send his alchemy journal to a colleague in Cairo for confirmation. Instead he is strangled in his bed and his journal is stolen.
As the daughter of an alchemist herself, Bianca is well acquainted with the mystical healing arts. As her husband, John, falls ill with the sweating sickness, she dares to hope Stannum’s journal could contain the secret to his recovery. But first she must solve the alchemist’s murder. As she ventures into a world of treachery and deceit, Stannum’s death proves to be only the first in a series of murders–and Bianca’s quest becomes a matter of life and death, not only for her husband, but for herself. . .
Mary Lawrence is the author of the Bianca Goddard Mysteries. Originally from Evansville, Indiana, Mary attended Butler and Indiana University,moving to Maine after completing a degree in cytotechnology. She has worked in hospitals and labs and written indexes for several small publishers. Recently she started a berry farm in southern Maine with her husband.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Rejection. It eats away at you.
Any tips on dealing with rejection?
Do whatever you must to keep going. The self-doubt can be immobilizing. Before Matt Groening found fame with The Simpsons he had a series of little cartoon books featuring a character named Binky. Often he’d show Binky lying in the middle of his living room floor just staring up at the ceiling. I’ve done a lot of Binky in my life.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Enter contests where your writing gets critiqued. It’s important to hear how people respond to your story. Don’t write in a vacuum and think everything you produce is brilliant. It isn’t. But even critiques can be biased or full of unhelpful advice. Hemingway said to develop a built-in bullshit detector. Unfortunately, bullshit detectors don’t happen overnight.
What do you hope readers take away from your work?
I hope it offers them an enjoyable escape into another time. I want them to have fun reading and if I can make them smile, then I’ve done my job.
What were three works of art, music and literature that had a great affect on you?
Monet’s Gardens at Giverny, Beethoven’s 7th symphony, and Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion. I remember each of them vividly. The colors and dreaminess of Monet’s gardens. Every movement of Beethoven’s 7th is remarkably different and yet they work together to perfection. The music reduces me to tears every time I hear it. I’d never read anything like Jeanette Winterson’s book when it came out, the mix of humor, sarcasm and truth in a love story was brilliant.