Friday, August 10, 2018

Ghost of a Chance, a #Paranormal #Romance by McKenna Dean @McKennaDeanFic


Ghost of a Chance 
Redclaw Security Book 2
by McKenna Dean
Madison has put together some really awesome Prizes giveaway during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may enter every day for your chance to win one of the prize packages. You may find the tour locations here

At sixteen, Sarah Atwell walked away from her love of horses and a promising career as a competitive rider after discovering she’d inherited the family curse. Years later, her grandmother stunned everyone by leaving Sarah her horse farm—worth millions—but with conditions Sarah might not be able to meet. 

A former Redclaw agent, Casey Barnes retired when a security assignment went bad, killing his partner and leaving him as a partial amputee. His inner wolf is in hiding. He’s been living quietly as a horse trainer, but June Atwell’s death now pits him against her granddaughter for rights to the stable. 

With both of them snowed in at the farm, a series of increasingly serious accidents draws Sarah and Casey closer together, but they both harbor secrets that might tear them apart. 

Ghost of a Chance is a paranormal romance story. 
Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2nbVC33 

Excerpt: 

For some reason, he glanced back at Sarah where she waited by the door. The backlight of falling snow through the glass in the shadowed hallway created the suggestion of a black-and-white photograph. The only spot of color was the bright red scarf at the collar of her coat and the wine-dark lipstick she wore. She leaned against the wall with her eyes closed. Something inside him clicked, as though recognizing a scene from a movie. His heart stopped a beat, flipped over, and thudded again with increased intensity. 

No. It couldn’t be. Not her. 

He hurried away, head still reeling at his reaction. 

When he returned with an armload of clothing, she was nowhere to be seen. Her laptop sat by her shoes, one pretty little pump turned over on its side. As expected, he discovered her in the living room, staring at the pictures on the wall. “There you are.” 

She jumped at the sound of his voice. 

“Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.” He adjusted the heap of clothing piled over one arm and held out a pair of snow boots. 

“She had so many photographs of me.” Sarah took the boots almost automatically, and indicated the walls covered with pictures, ones Casey had seen many times. 

That had to be it. Why she felt so familiar. Why she seemed to be the one. Relief washed over him. Obviously he’d spent too much time alone if he thought Sarah Atwell was his destined mate. 

The Panther’s Lost Princess 
Redclaw Security Book 1 
Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2LSf9UL

About McKenna Dean: McKenna Dean has been an actress, a vet tech, a singer, a teacher, a biologist, and a dog trainer. She’s worked in a genetics lab, at the stockyard, behind the scenes as a props manager, and at a pizza parlor slinging dough. Finally she realized all these jobs were just a preparation for what she really wanted to be: a writer. She lives on a small farm in North Carolina with her family, as well as the assorted dogs, cats, and various livestock. She likes putting her characters in hot water to see how strong they are. Like tea bags, only sexier. 

McKenna Dean's Social Media Links: 
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/c8GDYX 
Website: http://mckennadeanromance.com/ 
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B075CRHQ7B/ 
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/McKenna-Dean-Author-262328784224302/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/McKennaDeanFic 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mckennadeanromance/?hl=en 
Tumblr: https://mckennadeanromance.tumblr.com/ 
Email: mckennadeanromance@gmail.com

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

An #MFRWHooks for Counterfeits: An Art Theft #Romance & #Suspense


Jenny returns to her grandparents’ art camp in a remote New Mexico town after her grandmother’s sudden death. That night she wakes to the noise of intruders. What do the strangers want? As more bizarre events unfold, Jenny realizes the people she thought she knew are not what they seem – least of all Rob, an old friend whose past may be coming back to haunt them all.

Counterfeits is romantic suspense in the Southwest that will interest fans of Terry Odell, Mary Stewart, Lillian Stewart Carl, and Barbara Michaels.

Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners, and Kris Bock used all the things I love about this genre.  Appealing lead characters, careful development of the mysterious danger facing one or both of those characters, a great location that is virtually a character on its own, interesting secondary characters who might or might not be involved or threatened, and many surprises building up to the climax.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog

“Kris Bock is a mystery mastermind.” – Readers Favorite Reviews  https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/counterfeits

Available on Amazon. Free via KU.
Romantic Suspense
Heat level: PG (a few sensual scenes)
Violence level: PG (fights, no torture or murder)
212 pages/65,000 words

Jenny’s rolling suitcase bumped up the porch steps. Once, twice, three times, like a knock that would never be answered. Tears stung her eyes in the cold night air. How many times had she rushed to this door with a sense of coming home? Growing up, she had spent every summer at her grandparents’ art camp. She hadn’t been back as often in the last ten years, but it still felt more like home than any place else in the world. And now she couldn’t bring herself to reach for the doorknob.

She took a shuddering breath and turned away to gaze up at the dark sky. Stars splashed across the moonless night, so many stars she could hardly pick out the constellations. The band of the Milky Way sparkled like a streak of glitter paint on velvet paper. She had gazed up at that sky a million times, and yet it filled her with awe. After a decade living among the lights of New York City, it was easy to forget that nature had her own Great White Way.

She shivered. During her summers in the north-western New Mexico mountains, nights had typically been mild, even at over 6000 feet elevation. Now in early March, at nearly midnight, the temperature had to be dropping toward freezing. Maybe that was why the vast, chilled sky seemed so distant and lonely.

Jenny leaned back against the door and closed her eyes. She was so tired. The last two days had been a blur of grief, desperate planning, and travel across the country. But she’d been tired before that, for months, maybe even years. She couldn’t remember the last time she hadn’t felt exhausted, discouraged, hopeless. And now the person who could always make her feel better was gone.

She hadn’t made plans beyond getting here. Thank goodness for Ms. Lucena, the camp secretary, who was handling all the funeral arrangements. Jenny simply didn’t have it in her to tackle that as well.

Maybe she’d take a few extra days and rest. But she couldn’t bring herself to enter her grandparents’ house and go to bed, knowing she’d be alone. When her grandfather had died two years before, her heart had broken. Now her grandmother was gone as well.

Jenny tried not to imagine her grandmother’s last moments, when the car she was driving had skidded off the twisty mountain road two days before. She tried to blank out all thoughts, all grief. She took a ragged breath, the frigid air searing her lungs, and released it slowly, hoping to empty her mind as well.

Her thoughts refused to quiet, while her heart ached with emptiness, a dark hole as vast and cold as the night sky.
 ***
Jenny rose from sleep slowly, her body resisting. She could see nothing in the pitch black. Where was she? She blinked, trying to make sure her eyes were really open.

Memories broke through the fog. The phone call, the rush across country, the late arrival. Crawling into bed in her grandparents’ upstairs guest room. She groaned and pulled up the blanket. Morning must be hours away, given the darkness.

The old house creaked, but no sounds drifted in from outside. Maybe that’s what woke her; she was used to the murmur of city sounds all night long. Who’d have thought that would become normal?

Her head pounded. Probably dehydration from the high elevation and dry air. She should get up, drink a glass of water, take a couple of aspirin. Her head would thank her in the morning. If only she could make herself move.

The house creaked again, followed by a rhythmic sound – like footsteps. Jenny jerked upright, her ears straining. Had she heard a voice?

She shook her head. She must still be half asleep, dreaming. Imagining her grandparents were still here. Wishful thinking.

Downstairs, a door closed. Jenny clutched the blanket. Imagination be damned. She was not alone.



Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods.

In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle.

Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon pageSign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

A #SummerRead New Adult M/M Romance by @ValerieUllmer

Today's guest is Valerie Ullmer, sharing her New Adult M/M Romance, Fall for You.

Ethan Sutton came to the stunning revelation he’d fallen in love with his best friend, Sebastian Young. Although friends since childhood, Ethan vowed to keep his feelings for Sebastian under wraps and live the rest of his life with this one secret between them. He’d rather keep their friendship than risk a lifelong connection and never see him again. But when they move into their own place at the start of their junior year, can Ethan keep his feelings from showing when they live so close together?

Sebastian Young had an epiphany about Ethan at the end of last year. He moved them into a loft he’d found over the summer allowing him to be closer to Ethan. As they settle into their lives in a new place with such close quarters, ex-girlfriends, nosy downstairs neighbors, and Sebastian’s own doubts could put their relationship in jeopardy before it even begins.

Can two best friends admit their feelings and fall in love?

Buy Link: AMAZON
Available on Kindle Unlimited

Excerpt

Ethan’s headache receded to a heavy thrum in the back of his head as a new pain ripped through his chest.  He closed his eyes and debated whether he should head to the library and start on the essay that was due Monday.  But Ethan was too tired to concentrate on his work and besides, he would have to deal with Sebastian’s new relationship sometime.
Although he’d hoped Sebastian would see him as more than a friend, Ethan now understood it had been wishful thinking on his part alone.
Taking a deep breath, Ethan reached for the handle and opened the front door with as much noise as he could make without being obvious.  Although he prepared for what he would see, Ethan sucked in a breath when he spotted a blonde, Sarah he remembered, sitting on Sebastian’s lap with her arms draped over his shoulders as she played with his hair.
Out of patience and in pain, Ethan dropped his backpack on the floor next to the door.  The noise startled Sarah, who glanced at him with wide eyes before she scrambled over to the free spot on the couch next to Sebastian.
Ethan expected Sebastian to ask for some time alone with Sarah, but before he had the chance, Ethan walked toward the kitchen and away from the scene he’d come home to.  Now the power was back on, he wanted to have his first coffee of the day and forget about everything.
He should’ve known better than to get his hopes up.  He never had a chance with Sebastian.  Lesson learned.
“Ethan.”  Sebastian’s voice sounded panicked.
He glanced up and Sebastian's face flashed relief as he moved away from Sarah and strode toward him.  Ethan wanted to turn and avoid the conversation, but at that moment, Sebastian moaned his name and he froze where he stood.
He waited for Sebastian to tell him what he wanted so he could escape.  But when Sebastian came close enough, he banded one arm around Ethan’s waist and with his free hand, cupped the back of Ethan’s neck.  Ethan’s eyes widened as he watched Sebastian move closer to him.
The kiss was better than he’d ever imagined.  A moan escaped Ethan’s tight throat the first moment their lips touched.
It started as a brush of Sebastian’s lips against his.  But when Sebastian tilted his head and deepened the kiss, the shock of pure electricity passed through him and he clutched at Sebastian’s waist.  Ethan opened his mouth in time to swallow Sebastian’s moan, which sounded drawn from deep in his chest, and Ethan lost all control.
He pulled Sebastian closer and groaned when Sebastian’s hard body leaned against his.
Inch by glorious inch their bodies pressed closer as they devoured each other’s mouths until the heat of Sebastian’s body jerked away from him.
Ethan blinked in confusion, desire for more from Sebastian clouded his thought processes, and he focused on Sebastian’s face when someone cleared their throat.
The intensity of Sebastian’s gaze on him stole Ethan’s breath.
Sebastian moved closer and leaned his forehead against Ethan’s.  He ignored the scoffs and mumbling behind Sebastian’s back, not looking away from his beautiful hazel eyes.
“About time,” Sebastian murmured.
Ethan laughed and squeezed Sebastian’s hips.  The move earned him a low growl.
•••
Valerie Ullmer writes paranormal and contemporary M/F and M/M erotic romances. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her wonderfully supportive husband and their funny and wise black lab. She's addicted to coffee, crime shows, and reading and writing character-driven romances.

FACEBOOK ~ TWITTER ~ PINTEREST ~ 

INSTAGRAM ~ GOODREADS ~ AMAZON

Friday, August 3, 2018

#SummerRead - Alpha Pair, a #paranormal romance by @Brenda_Sparks




Alpha Pair 
by 
Brenda Sparks
Although this #SummerRead is the 4th book of the Alpha Council Chronicles series, it can be read as a standalone novel.

Book Blurb:
How strong is the blood that binds? Tatiana Bolovich is a beautiful femme fatale with a haunting history. Having recently discovered the brutish Demetri Romanoff is her heartmate, she spent the past year avoiding him, but the Fates have other plans. 
Demetri commands every situation. A strong, valiant warrior he’s used to being in control, that is until he is kidnapped by demons. Forced to endure unspeakable experiments at the hands of his enemy, the Alpha discovers just how out of control life can get.
Summoned by the Alpha Council, Tatiana grudgingly helps track Demetri down, promising herself that she will disappear from his life forever once the job is done. But matters of the heart are not so easily ignored. Will she give him a chance to prove himself, or will she deny her nature and slip away into the night?



Buy Links:


Book Excerpt:
The Alpha swung a leg over the motorcycle and tugged on his helmet. “You coming anytime this century, woman?”
Tatiana pulled her helmet down over her dark hair, the blunt ends sticking out from under it like twigs in a nest.
“Hold your horses, Romanoff.” She straddled her bike.
Demetri shifted the bike from its stand and rousted the thing with a kick of his booted heel. He gunned the throttle. “My horses want to go,” he called over the roar of the sports bike.
Tatiana started the motorcycle she borrowed from Marcus with a push of a button. The black beast growled to life. “Well, what are we waiting for then? I bet I can get to the counseling center before you.”
The howl of her engine made further conversation impossible when she revved the machine.
They tore off down the gravel drive, the bikes fishtailing. Bits of gravel spit out behind them. Demetri gunned his engine and took the lead. He flashed her a brilliant smile when he passed, making it almost worth being second place. But not quite.
As they rounded out of the gated fence onto the road, Tatiana cut under him to regain the lead.
He shook his head. Life will never be dull with you, tigress warrior. You are a fierce competitor, but then so am I.



Author Bio:
Born in Virginia, Brenda Sparks now resides in the Sunshine State.  Balancing her professional commitment to the local school district with her writing is challenging at times, but writing suspenseful paranormal romances is a passion that won’t be denied. Her idea of a perfect day is one spent in front of a computer with a hot cup of coffee, her fingers flying over the keys to send her characters off on their latest adventure.  Brenda loves to connect with readers.  Please visit her online or stop by her website to say hi.





Author Links:
Twitter Handle: @brenda_sparks 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

#SummerRead - #Romance & #Suspense by @Kris_Bock

In honor of my birthday, here's an interview I did for a blog hop.

Tell our readers a little about yourself and your writing.

Twenty years ago, I started writing for children, using the name Chris Eboch. I have eight middle grade novels (for ages 9 to 12) published under that name. I also write a lot of educational nonfiction under the name MM Eboch.

Around 2008, I was starting to feel restless and wanted a change. I realized I had mostly been reading adult romantic suspense novels, so I started writing those under the name Kris Bock. The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.

So I have over 50 published books now, but that includes fiction and nonfiction, for children and adults. The variety keeps me interested!

Tell me something unusual that isn't in your regular bio.

My first clear childhood memories are from Saudi Arabia. We moved there just before my fifth birthday and lived in an American camp for six years while my father worked for the oil company. My classmates were mostly American, but I had friends from Britain, India, and Pakistan. My family camped in the desert and shopped in the nearby Arab town. Santa visited on a camel.

Despite taking daily life for granted, I learned early that the whole world was not like my neighborhood. We skied in Austria, went on safari in Africa, slept on a houseboat in Kashmir. I have no memories at all of visiting Greece at age 6, but apparently I hung on every word of our elderly British tour guide. I’ve been fascinated by foreign cultures and ancient history ever since.

Tell us about your home.

I live in a small town in central New Mexico with my husband and our ferrets. I am a full-time writer, and my home office looks out on nature, complete with distracting wildlife such as roadrunners and foxes. I use my BFA in photography to show Facebook friends how lovely the Southwest is. The only ways to get around are on foot or by car, but it's such a small town that I can often walk to friends’ houses and rush-hour is less than five minutes.

Does your real life show up in your writing? In what ways?

My historical novels for children don't use a lot of real life experience, since they are set in different cultures, hundreds or thousands of years ago. Of course, I assume that people haven't changed that much – the seven deadly sins are pretty relevant today – so I draw on my understanding of people and my general experiences with emotions. For example, in The Well of Sacrifice, the main character idolizes her older brother and is envious of her prettier sister. She's at an age where she thinks the adults should take care of things but is realizing that they don't always do what's right. I think those aspects resonate with kids today, even if you're talking about a pre-Columbian Mayan setting with a very different culture and lifestyle.

Real life experiences often give me ideas for my adult novels, written as Kris Bock. What We Found is a mystery inspired by finding a dead body while hiking. Someone in law enforcement said that people often don't report crimes they stumbled across. That got me thinking – Why? What reasons would you have for not calling the police? The book also includes falconry, based on experiences I’ve had hanging out with a falconer.

Whispers in the Dark follows a young archaeologist who stumbles into danger as mysteries unfold among ancient Southwest ruins. That was inspired by a trip to Hovenweep National Monument some years ago. I loved that setting and had to use it in a book!

I had an idea for a series about treasure hunting adventures in the Southwest, so I read up on some lost treasures. In The Mad Monk’s Treasure, two friends search for the Victorio Peak treasure – a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, made richer by the spoils of bandits and an Apache raider. Their experiences in the desert are based on my experiences hiking in New Mexico, though they get more danger and drama.

Who is your ideal reader?

My romantic adventures should appeal to fans of “lighter” romantic suspense, along the lines of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Nora Roberts. In fact, Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog said, “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners, and Kris Bock used all the things I love about this genre.”

You’ll find plenty of action and a sweet love story, but not the gritty violence and explicit erotica of some modern romantic suspense. I also tried to bring the New Mexico scenery to life – gorgeous sunsets, dangerous monsoon storms, and everywhere you turn a plant or animal that wants to scratch, bite, or sting you. Armchair adventure travelers are welcome!

What writing projects are you currently working on?

I’m about to submit a mystery about a former war correspondent who returns to her childhood home after an injury and uncovers a mystery at the Alzheimer’s care unit where her mother resides. It’s intended to be the first in a series with the same main character.

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.

Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Terry Odell will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog

Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Tatia’s Tattoo by @LindaBrendle – A #MysteryExchange Post


Today's guest is Linda Brendle, sharing Tatia’s Tattoo, her Christian Fiction/Legal Thriller.


Tatia’s Tattoo begins on a Friday morning as Tatia Robins, a successful D.C. attorney, awakens from a nightmare that has tormented her for over a decade, a replay of her twelfth birthday when Eric stole her innocence and then sold her for the first time. After spending some time in prayer, she finishes packing and leaves for Royal Children’s Camp, a Christian camp for foster children where she first met Jesse and Mrs. G and now serves as a counselor every summer.

The journey to camp each year stirs up memories of her journey from a happy child in the arms of loving parents to one more statistic in the sex-trafficking industry in a small Texas town. She also remembers her day in court when she stood up to Eric, the man who was supposed to love her but instead branded her like a slave.

She is met at the airport by Mrs. G, the woman who recognized her as one of the least of these in spite of her skin-tight mini dress and the prisoner’s band around her wrist. Throughout the weekend, she looks forward to a reunion with other members of the Grochowsky Rescue Academy and with Jesse, the Christian tattoo artist and biker who waits patiently for Tatia to feel safe enough to tear down the protective walls she has built around herself. Will the love of her new family and Jesse’s surprise gift be enough to help her reclaim the power that Eric stole from her?

Excerpt:

Tatia couldn’t breathe. She could feel his weight on her chest, his hot breath on her face – and pain – she felt hot, searing pain running up the center of her body. Then, he rolled off of her, and she could breathe again, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to. If she could hold her breath long enough, maybe she could go where Mama and Daddy went, to their Father’s house. Suddenly, he grabbed her by the shoulder and jerked her off the bed into a standing position.
“Go clean yourself up. My friend will be here in fifteen minutes. Stop your bawling and freshen your make-up. You look like hell.”
He turned to the bed to straighten the rumpled sheets. When he caught sight of the fresh bloodstains, he threw his hands in the air in exasperation.
“Was this really your first time?”
The only reply from the bathroom was the sound of running water and soft sniffling.
“I could have charged twice as much,” he yelled.
Tatia woke with start as her alarm clock freed her from the nightmare she had re-lived for more than a decade. She turned off the alarm and slipped to her knees beside the bed, asking God to take away the horror of the dream and to replace it with His light. Basking in the love she felt in response to her prayer, she rose and picked up her partially packed suitcase from the floor. She placed it on the bed, ready for last-minutes toiletries, and headed for the shower. She had a plane to catch and girls to rescue.

Buy Links:

Linda Brendle first began to write during her years as a caregiver. After two memoirs, A Long and Winding Road and Mom’s Long Good-Bye, she ventured into the world of fiction. Tatia’s Tattoo will be followed soon by Fallen Angel Salvage, the continuing story of Tatia, her family, and Eric ten years later.

In semi-retirement from the business world, Linda holds a part-time job as secretary for her church and an on-line position as an accounting specialist for BookPros. She also writes a column for the weekly newspaper in the tiny East Texas town where she and her husband David live with their feral cat Kitty.

Where to find the author:

Friday, July 27, 2018

#MysteryExchange - Sink or Swim: #Suspense & #Romance by Stacy Juba @stacyjuba


How do you call for SOS when only the killer can hear you?

Personal trainer Cassidy sails into the public eye while competing on a TV game show set aboard a Tall Ship. After she returns home and catches the attention of a stalker, her well-ordered life turns topsy-turvy. As Cassidy's competitors disappear one by one, she teams up with Zach, the charming photographer tasked to record her personal moments for the newspaper.

Is Zach trustworthy? He shadows her as easily as the stalker. Despite the chemistry simmering between them, Cassidy fears he has a secret to hide.

She hates the bizarre rules in this guessing game, but when her stalker forces a showdown, Cassidy plays to win. . .this time for her life.

If you're in the mood for a fun mystery that keeps you glued to the pages, then pick up your copy of Sink or Swim today.

Excerpt:
Cassidy straightened as Detective Sean Pierce returned with a Styrofoam cup of coffee and a Coke. He popped open the can and handed it to her. Nondescript in his gray striped button-down shirt and khakis, Detective Pierce scraped up a plastic chair beside her. From his retracting brown hair and the crinkles under his dark eyes, he looked as if he was in his early forties, but he had the trim build of a thirty-year-old athlete.

He shot her a curious glance. "You were on that game show. I recognize you from the newspaper. Must have been quite an experience."

"That's an understatement," Cassidy said.

Detective Pierce emptied a packet of sugar into his coffee and stirred it. If he was attempting to help her relax, he wasn’t succeeding. Her mind wouldn’t shut off. "The dispatcher tells me you have an unwanted admirer."

"Yes. I feel a little silly coming here when this person hasn’t even approached me yet, but he gives me a bad vibe. He’s really persistent, and if you read his letters, he’s not all there if you know what I mean." Cassidy passed over the pile of envelopes and picked up Raggedy Ann from the floor beside her feet.

"He calls himself Miles," she said. "He sent this doll to the studio in New York, then a letter came to my apartment. I found a half-dozen others in my fan mail from the network."

Detective Pierce unfolded one of the letters and held it between his fingers. He read a few lines and frowned.

"What do you think?" Cassidy asked, dropping the doll onto his desk and leaning forward.

"Why Raggedy Ann? She doesn’t exactly symbolize romance."

"On the show, I mentioned that I had one when I was a kid. My father gave it to me."

He nodded and flipped the page. "This guy sounds like a real winner. He sure rambles. You don't know anyone named Miles?"

"No."

"Did he threaten you in any of these letters?"

"No, I’d call them obsessive, not threatening. But that doesn’t always matter, does it? Isn’t it true that stalkers can start out flattering and turn violent?"

"Yes, but I’m glad to hear you haven’t gotten any threats yet. How about ex-boyfriends? Could any of them be hung up on you and hiding behind this Miles persona?"

Cassidy pulled herself erect, balancing the soda can on her knee. She’d been the one to end most of her short-term relationships, but none of the guys had seemed overly distressed. They’d taken the hint and stopped calling. Unfortunately, the one man who made her toes tingle was engaged. "I don’t think so. It's someone who saw me on TV. It has to be."

"Give me the names anyway. I'll run a background check."

She scribbled a list of all her dates since high school, a deep flush coloring her cheeks. Four names, only one in the past year. Working her way through college hadn’t left much time for a social life and she’d turned down several dates at the gym to avoid awkward situations when the relationship soured. Cassidy had even less girlfriends – most of her high school pals had moved away, either getting married or accepting jobs out-of-state.

She reviewed the list before handing it to the detective. "This is a dead end. These guys would contact me directly, not use an alias."

Detective Pierce trailed his finger down the short list of names. "You’re sure about that?"

"Yeah, and besides, none of them were serious. I dated them all a handful of times. They weren’t lunatics. I'm telling you, this guy is a stranger."

Retailers:
Also available in Kindle Unlimited as part of the Young Ladies of Mystery Boxed Set.

Stacy Juba got engaged at Epcot Theme Park and spent part of her honeymoon at Disneyland Paris, where she ate a burger, went on fast rides, and threw up on the train ride to the hotel. In addition to working on her Storybook Valley chick lit/sweet romance series, Stacy has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette for kids, and determined women sleuths. She has had a novel ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. When she’s not visiting theme parks with her family, (avoiding rides that spin and exotic hamburgers) or writing about them, Stacy helps authors to strengthen their manuscripts through her Crossroads Editing Service. Visit her website to get your free Mystery Lovers Sampler.

Visit Stacy on: