Face Time: Do We Need It To Truly Know Someone?

 

How much of what we think we know about our lovers has to do with seeing their faces? What if we couldn’t? What if we had no input from that most expressive part of the human body? I’ve taken that premise to the extreme in The Initiation of Ms HollyOh my idea isn’t original. If any of you are fans of Greek mythology, you’ll know the story of Psyche and Eros. Psyche is wed to a monster, or at least so she is told. This is the only way she can saver her people from the wrath of the gods. She is whisked away to his mountain lair, which turns out to be the most beautiful palace she can imagine. This monster, her husband, comes to her only at night and makes such beautiful love to her that she is very quickly, deeply in love with him. His only demand of her is that she never see his face. Then one night, her curiosity gets the best of her and she lights an oil lamp and looks down at him while he sleeps to discover her husband, the monster, is none other than Eros, the god of love. But … there’s always a ‘but,’ isn’t there? A drop of hot oil falls on him and wakes him and he flees. The rest of the story is about Psyche’s trials and labours to win back his love.

It’s an old story retold a thousand times, and Holly is on erotic, modern version with a twist. I hope you enjoy this little excerpt, and remember, the entire novel is free until for a few more days. Make sure you get your copy and can join in the sexy, blindfolded, masked romp.

 

NOTE:

Holly isn’t listed as free in the US. HOWEVER!  Since we all thought it was,  we are making sure our US readers are still getting their free copy of Holly.  If you are not on the mailing list, but did try to download Holly to no avail, please comment at the bottom of this post with your email address, and the lovely folks at Accent will sort you with a Holly all around.

 

The Initiation of Ms Holly Blurb: 

Journalist, Rita Holly, never dreamed sex with the mysterious Edward in the dark of a malfunctioning train would lead to a blindfolded, champagne-drenched tango, a spanking by a butch waitress, and an offer of initiation into the exclusive mysteries of The Mount. Desperate to save her threatened job, she agrees, scheming secretly to write an inside exposé on the club that will make her career. But as she delves deeper into the intrigue of The Mount and the lives of its members, she soon discovers that her heart may have other plans.

 

Blindfolded: The Initiation of Ms Holly Excerpt:

(If you recall, Rita Holly and the mysterious Edward met on a dark, malfunctioning train. They have never actually seen each other’s face. This is an excerpt from their first date)

‘May I help you?’

With a start, Rita turned to find herself face to face with a woman swathed in black, caressing a martini. The parts ofher anatomy that weren’t being fondled by designer silkwere dripping in pearls and diamonds, which Rita had no doubt were real. In fact, she was sure any one item of thewoman’s stunning ensemble would have maxed out her credit card and cost her first born, if she ever had one. Intimidation hit like a slap in the face, and she would have happily slipped back out the door and made a run for it ifshe hadn’t been caught in the act, or at least that’s how shefelt. She stepped forward and offered a weak smile. ‘Yes. I’m here to meet Edward.’ She hoped no last name wasrequired.

The woman did not smile back. ‘Of course. You must be Rita. Edward’s expecting you. Come with me.’

She was led through a restaurant full of sleek diners who spoke quietly over the tinkle of fine crystal and silver, then past a dance floor, where couples moved to a big band medley. Up above the dining room on a cast iron catwalk, no doubt a remnant of the original warehouse, stood the exquisite Vivienne gazing out over the diners below like a queen overlooking her realm That was pretty much what she was, Rita thought. By her side, and slightly in the shadow,stood a man bending to whisper in her ear. She didn’t seempleased with whatever he was telling her.

The woman in black hurried Rita past the queen of The Mount and her consort, down a long hallway that opened on to several private dining rooms, most with private dance floors surrounded by dark, intimate booths.

‘The Mount is a dance club,’ the woman said, noticing Rita’s curiosity. ‘Mostly ballroom and Latin. It was once an old wool warehouse. Restoring it was quite a risk, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who love to dance.’Rita wondered what planet this woman thought she was from that she needed to tell her the obvious. Everyone in London knew the guidebook history of The Mount. But it was what the guide books didn’t say that intrigued everyone.

In one of the more intimate dining rooms the woman guided her to a lushly upholstered booth near the back away from the dance floor and the few other diners who occupied the room.

‘Edward will join you shortly.’ With that, the womanturned on you-could-only-afford-to-fuck-me-in-your-dreams stilettos and retreated back through the maze of rooms.

Before she was out of sight, a server approached Rita’stable with two glasses and a bottle of Moët et Chandon onice. ‘I’m Aurora.’ She sat her burden down on the table. ‘Edward has instructed me to apologise for his small delay.’It was only her name and a slight feminine pout which assured Rita that Aurora was actually a woman. Her androgynous features were accentuated by white blonde hair cropped short. She was dressed in a black suit, waistcoat and tie, completely camouflaging the swell of her small breasts. When she spoke, even her voice was deep, and gravelly.‘There is one other thing Edward asked me to give you.’From her pocket, the waitress produced a black velvetblindfold. ‘He asks that you wear this. He said you wouldunderstand.’

A frisson of anticipation laced with the tiniest hint of fearran up Rita’s spine and accumulated at the tips of hernipples as the waitress stepped behind her and secured theblindfold. That done, she filled a glass and placed it in Rita’s hand. ‘Enjoy the fizz,’ she said. Then she left.

The scent of oregano and basil and other more subtle seasonings blended with the smell of expensive perfume. Glasses clinked, people laughed, and somewhere in the background the melodic strains of String of Pearls wafted on the air. She had only just tasted the champagne when a warm body scooted into the booth next to her. She recognised Edward’s scent a split second before his hand cupped her cheek and his mouth covered hers, familiar territory, she thought, as her tongue became reacquainted with his.

‘I hope you don’t mind the blindfold,’ he said when hecame up for air. He slid warm fingers under the spaghettistraps and caressing her left shoulder. ‘Being in the dark was so much fun last time.’

She ran a hand over his cheek, raking a thumb lightlyover a fluttering eyelid. ‘What about you? You’re not wearing a blindfold. That’s hardly fair.’

He chuckled, and she felt his warm breath against herearlobe. ‘I never said I play fair. I was right though. You areexquisite, but I wouldn’t have imagined your hair to be chestnut’ He caressed her tresses, pushing a strand back behind her shoulders to fondle her nape. ‘For some reason Iwas certain that cascade of silk would be strawberryblonde.’ He ran his other hand up the outside of her thigh, toying with the exposed edge of her garter belt, making hersquirm. ‘Guess in some cases, there’s just no substitute for the sense of sight.’

‘But I want to see you too. I want to know what you look like.’

‘You will in good time. That is if you want to play my little game. Of course you could take off the blindfold. Ican’t stop you, but admit it, it’s fun not knowing. A bit of an adventure, an initiation almost.’

‘An initiation?’

‘Yeah, you know, at the beginning, when a man and awoman are just getting to know each other, it’s like an initiation, don’t you think?’

‘I never thought of it like that, kind of like a hazing?’

He chuckled. ‘Can be. Could be, if you want it to be.’ He nipped her earlobe, ‘Or maybe like an induction into somesecret cult with secret rituals of wild, kinky sex.’

‘Mmm. Sounds good. Where do I sign up?’

Another chuckle. ‘All you have to do is keep theblindfold on until I say you can take it off. Let your othersenses do the work.’ His finger slipped beneath the suspender to stroke her thigh, making concentration next to impossible.

‘I’ve always wanted to be a member of a secret sex cult.’Breathing was becoming more of an effort as his touchbecame more insistent. ‘OK then. I’m in. Have your way with me.’

 

Interview with a Demon: Part 6

 

Due to his escape-proof prison and the promise to his jailor, I have not yet been totally possessed by the Guardian. Yes, I know that’s black humour, and I should probably touch wood. Being with him continues to be very unsettling, and it becomes more so as his story unfolds. The one thing I hadn’t considered in this interview is that a demon might actually be frustrated.

If you are coming to these interviews late but would like to catch up, follow the links below this instalment.

 

 

Part 6: A Demon’s Frustration

 

I wish that I could have disagreed with the Guardian, but I don’t know what I would have done imprisoned in stone for millennia, how I would have felt. I’m not patient when I have to wait a long time for a bus with nothing to read. Anyway, it didn’t matter. He didn’t give me time to dwell on it. But then I suspected he already knew the answer whether I did or not. Instead he picked up where we had left off as though there had been no interruption.

“Annie immediately made an offer, which was accepted just as quickly. I’m certain the sellers just wanted to be rid of the place, evil as it was.

“In all fairness, there had been no other perspective buyers who had given the place any real consideration, though I had a great deal to do with that, I confess. I told you I choose wisely and very carefully. At the time, I had no idea just how well I had chosen.

“You see, Annie Rivers was an estate agent herself by trade – a very good one, who could afford to buy and renovate what she was already affectionately calling Chapel House from the moment she took possession of the keys. She was, by your modern day standards a true beauty with hair that glistened golden in the sunlight and eyes that were cerulean blue. From the moment I first had her all to myself I was jealous of anyone who had kissed those full lips. I was jealous of anyone who was capableof kissing those lips, of touching her, of holding her. You must understand I could do none of those things, not in the sense of true flesh and blood. All I could do was make her believe that I touched her, that I kissed and caressed her, make her desire me to do so more than anything in life. Well that is what I would have done had I been free. As it was, in my imprisoned state, I could do little more than observe her, be near her, give her intimations of well being, of arousal, of being loved and desired. Because she was beautiful anyway, because she was desired and loved, all I could really do was enhance those sensations. Oh, KD, you cannot imagine my frustration at not being able to give her more.”

The idea of the Guardian actually giving Annie something when I knew what his attention had cost her and what the end result would have been without Susan’s desperate and dangerous intervention seemed totally absurd. He was silence for a moment, as though he waited for the response I only thought. I chose not to consider the disturbing likelihood that he already knew those thoughts.

When he continued he stood to pace once more, the chair he’d been sitting in vanishing as he did so. “No, I am not an incubus. As I said I am only a guardian spirit, but one who has, over the ages, become very much underestimated. Demon, some would call me, but debating my true nature would simply be splitting hairs so long after the fact, so long after what I’ve become, what I’m still becoming. You see, while I would have loved to possess my Annie, to enter into her body and experience the pleasures of her flesh as she herself did, I learned long ago that to do so with a mortal is to hasten their death. Oh, I’ll admit that there are those whose deaths are of little consequence to me, but the pleasure of possessing their flesh for that brief time before they can no longer serve as a vessel for me is so fleeting that it’s hardly worth the effort, nor the unwanted attention it brings to me.

“So I am reduced to eliciting the emotions, the sensations, the bodily needs in another and living them vicariously. To do so means that I may savor those I choose. I may linger with their pleasures and pains and passions until they become too weakened to please me further or until I become bored with them. Then I leave them their lives to do with what they will. Sadly most don’t choose to live once denied my attention, but thus is the curse of what I have become, of what my needs have made me. I suppose you could say, if you were to speak in human terms, that I am as addicted to humanity and its pleasures as those I choose become addicted to me. And Annie, my dear beautiful Annie, was strong, resilient, with a sharp wit and a hunger for life that could not but attract me to her like a loadstone. And though I cannot take credit for what might have been had I remained so imprisoned there in Chapel House, I can say that Annie would have lived a long and happy life there with me, for I would have been able to take so little of her, while always giving enough back to keep her happy and contented, even healthy and young beyond her years. That would have been the gift from my imprisonment at the expense of my perpetual frustration.” He settled once again in the chair that appeared instantly as he did so. “I suppose you could say that my imprisonment forced me to monogamy and fidelity, knowing full well, as I did, that it was not likely I should find another to companion me at Chapel House any more easily than I had found Annie.

“So, with thoughts of a long and happy, if frustrating, relationship with Ms. Rivers, I set about drawing her to me even before she moved into Chapel House. Oh I was very subtle. I approached her with the greatest of care and tenderness not wanting to frighten her. I wanted, indeed I needed, for her to desire me as I did her. And she was not a skittish milquetoast of a woman, fearing ghosts and ghouls and anything that could not easily be explained away. In fact she invited that which she did not understand. She longed for ghosts and apparitions and things that go bump in the night. From the very beginning my darling Annie all but begged me to be real, all but flung open the doors to her inner workings and invited me in. Imagine my frustration at not being able to fully accept her gracious invitation.

“While she brought workmen in to give her estimates, she joked with them about Chapel House being haunted. She relished making them uncomfortable as she told them that sadly there were now no corpses in the crypt. Why, she told one jumpy electrician, she had only recently sent the last of them off to the Museum of London. Then she laughed that delicious throaty laugh of hers, and I shall never forget what she said.” And here he startled me again by speaking in Annie’s voice. ‘“Of course all the corpses are long gone, but someone ishere. There’s a very definite presence. I’m sure of it. I can feel it.’ She wrapped her arms around herself and sighed with such pleasures that I had wished with all my heart I’d had flesh at that moment for I should have embraced her with such delight. You see, I had been so careful not to frighten her, so careful that in my presence she should only feel welcomed and safe, and yet here was a woman longing for what would terrify most as much as I longed to give it to her. It was that day, as she left with the electrician, chatting about mood lighting for the bathroom, I resolved to find a way to make myself known to her when next she came to Chapel House. Happily I didn’t have to wait long.”

 

 

 

Interview with a Demon – the interview so far:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

 

Dana Marton Launches Threat of Danger with a Great Giveaway

 

 

Threat of Danger

Mission Recovery Series Book 2

By Dana Marton

 

 

 

Great Giveaway

 

Dana is giving away a $25 Amazon or B&N GC and a Dana Marton Tote Bag. The winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Don’t forget you have a chance to enter every day so be sure to visit all the stops on this tour. You may find those locations here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Threat of Danger:

 

Falling in love can be a deadly proposition in this pulse-quickening Mission Recovery novel from the New York Times
bestselling author.

 

Jess Taylor and Derek Daley were in the throes of first love in a small Vermont town when they were kidnapped by a serial killer. They escaped his clutches—but not the trauma of the unsolved crime. With their lives changed forever and their romance cut short, they went their separate ways to exorcise their fears.

 

Jess is living on the edge as Hollywood’s hottest stuntwoman. It’s no longer terror thrumming through her veins. It’s adrenaline. Derek is a former Navy SEAL spinning his ordeals into heart-pounding bestselling thrillers. But when Jess is called home on a family emergency, she must face the past—and face the man she left behind, who is just as haunted and, like her, still so much in love.

 

Now, as an old flame reignites, Jess and Derek are taking advantage of second chances and putting their bad memories behind them. But here, in the quiet town of Taylorville, a killer is getting a second chance as well.

 

Book Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2xxeQrR

Amazon CA:  https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B075JJTS1W/

Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B075JJTS1W/

Amazon AU:  https://www.amazon.com.au/Threat-Danger-Mission-Recovery-Book-ebook/dp/B075JJTS1W/

GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36251179-threat-of-danger

 

 

 

Threat of Danger Excerpt:

 

Common sense said to walk away. She’d worked hard to make a life for herself in LA that worked for her.

 

Screw common sense. He stepped forward and reached around her, looped his fingers around her slim wrists, and tugged her hands from her pockets. Then he took those hands and drew her closer to him.

 

“Derek . . .”

 

“I wasn’t sure if you’d ever come back.”

 

“I’m only back temporarily.”

 

“Is that how you left things with Eliot?” That she’d be going after him soon? His mouth tightened at the thought.

 

“He had to go. He had meetings scheduled with directors. And new equipment coming in that he has to test and make decisions on before the next shoot.”

 

When she talked about Eliot, she talked about the business. That gave Derek hope. Sounded like they’d parted as friends and colleagues, not as lovers who couldn’t wait to reunite.

 

Two and a half weeks left, at the most. He knew her shooting schedule from talking with Zelda. About eighteen days more before Jess had to report to the set. So why in hell was he wasting time?

 

He dipped his head and brushed his lips over hers. He’d gotten lost once in the Iraqi desert for three days. He hadn’t been as thirsty for water back then as he was now for a taste of Jess.

 

When she didn’t protest, he pulled her fully into his arms and kissed her.

 

The point of no return. He needed to find out if things could still work between them. He wanted her, and he could no longer pretend that he didn’t.

 

Her body was firm, but her lips were soft and silky, as sweet as Zelda’s prizewinning angel food cake. As sweet as the old Jess. Except, this new Jess, she was a woman. She had the power to bring Derek to his knees.

 

He’d told her that he would give her whatever she needed from him. He hoped she’d figure out that he was what she needed. He was going to have to help her reach that conclusion.

 

He breathed her in. She smelled like redemption. Like maybe he could have a do-over and get it right this time.

 

She stood still in the circle of his arms. Undecided. Wary.

 

Better than a sharp knee in the balls, but Derek wanted more. He nibbled her lips and licked the seam, tasting her.

 

She tasted like a whole new world opening up. She tasted like the blank page of a book before he’d written the first word, the possibilities limitless.

 

Was the story of his life written on her heart? Was the story of her life written on his?

 

Too early to tell. But he wanted to find out. Letter by letter, word by word, sentence by sentence. If only she’d let him.

 

She did let him in, let him deepen the kiss. Progress, but this was just the opening of her lips, not the opening of her heart. Still, Derek wouldn’t have been a good SEAL if he didn’t grab every advantage, no matter how small. And, really, the kiss could not be called small by any measure.

 

As he swept into Jess’s mouth, he felt his boundaries expand. Need rushed in, and filled him like water flooding into a torpedoed submarine. He sank onto the seabed of things he always wanted but never believed he could have. Jess’s forgiveness . . . and more.

 

All these years, he’d thought her forgiveness was all he wanted.

 

He’d been stupid.

 

He wanted this. Jess. And he knew in that moment that he was going to do whatever it took to get her and keep her. Eliot couldn’t have her, no matter how handsome he was, or how much they had in common, or how hot women thought it was that the guy was some grandmaster of stunts.

 

Derek wasn’t going to let Eliot have Jess. He didn’t care if the guy jumped out of a burning helicopter, tied hand and foot, with a ticking bomb in his backpack, and got an Oscar nomination in every single category for the performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silent Threat

Mission Recovery Series Book 1

Amazon Buy Link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Dana:

 

If you love heart-pounding romantic suspense, books you can sink your teeth into, you’ll love New York Times
bestselling author Dana Marton’s stories. Kirkus Reviews calls her writing “compelling and honest.” RT Book Review Magazine says, “Marton knows what makes a hero…her characters are sure to become reader favorites.” Her writing has been acclaimed by critics, called, “gripping,” “intense and chilling,” “full of action,” “a thrilling adventure,” and wholeheartedly recommended to readers. Dana is the winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, the Readers’ Choice Award, and the RITA Award, the highest industry award for romance.

 

Beyond being a bestselling author of romantic thrillers, Dana also writes a popular fantasy romance series: Hardstorm Saga. Book 1, RELUCTANT CONCUBINE, spent 6 weeks at #1 on Amazon’s fantasy romance list.

 

Website: danamarton.com/

Facebook: facebook.com/DanaMarton/

Twitter: twitter.com/danamarton

Pinterest: pinterest.com/danamarton

 

 

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

 

 

 

Concerto Part 8: Into the Storm

It’s time for another instalment of my online serial, Concerto. Once again the Muse has broadsided me with events I had not foreseen. I LOVE writing! Enjoy Into the Storm, and if you’ve missed any of the previous episodes or if you’d just like to start at the beginning, follow the links below this instalment to the the story so far.

 

 

Concerto Part 8 Into the Storm

I paced the cottage a couple more times, running my fingers along the keyboard, stroking the pianist’s clothes on the chez lounge, looking over my shoulder as I did so, half expecting him to walk in on me. When he didn’t, I settled onto the seat and pulled the white shirt to my face, to my nose, breathing in the scent of the storm, of the man, of his passion and feeling the anxious flight of butterflies in my stomach along with the heavy ache of desire below.

While the rain didn’t lessened, the wind had picked up enough to clear the mist. Dawn faded to anemic daylight, and the viewpoint above the sea became visible. My landlady had told me the manor house once stood there. Now little remained but the foundations and a bit of tumbled down wall — only the few stones that were left after the rest were, no doubt, plundered over time and taken for other more practical dwellings. The broad stone chimney still stood in stark relief against the cast iron sky, a silent reminder of what had been, a keeper of secrets and stories lost in the past.

And then I saw him. It had to be him. There was no one else here but the two of us, and the storm was the perfect deterrent to any lost tourists who might wander in by accident. I was sure the cow-path of a road was completely impassable in this weather without an off-road vehicle. A great gust of wind made my heart stop as he was driven to his knees too close to the edge of the cliff for my comfort. I yelled out for him to be careful, even knowing full well that he couldn’t hear me.

The thought of the lone chimney, the ruined manor house, the overwhelming sense of isolation the storm had brought with, made me suddenly desperate for his company, desperate to not be alone, and above all desperate to have him safely back in the cottage. I all but ran to the French doors, slipping into my worse-for-wear sandals and, as an afterthought, grabbing up one of the throws for a little extra protection from the wind and rain. They were wool, after all.

Seeing the storm through the windows of the cottage and flinging myself into it were two very different things. The wind howled in my face taking my breath away and making my eyes stream. The horizontal rain was icy and needle-like against my face. I put my head down and trudged, all but bent double, toward the viewpoint, only looking up long enough to make sure I was going the right way. I hadn’t gone far before the slip and slide of the wet ground and the pressure of my body snapped the strap on one sandal. My foot slipped sideways and I went sprawling onto the slick rock to keep from twisting my ankle. It was a sure sign that I should turn around and go back, that I should wait for the pianist in the cottage. But there was something in the way he shoved his way back to his feet, fists clenched, back stiff, shoulders rigid; there was something in the way he gazed out at the empty sea that pushed me on. I took only a few more steps before I gave up and just ditched the sandals entirely. By that time I was walking on rock, and what short grass the thin, nutrient-poor soil could support.

Twice I called out to him, but the wind only blew my words back in my face. It was as I reached the foundation of the manor house and all but fell against the chimney that I realized he was naked. “What are you doing? You’ll die of exposure.” I yelled, lunging toward him, only too late realizing just how close to the edge of the cliff he stood. With a twist of his torso he scooped me up, redirected my momentum, and sent us both tumbling to the ground in the shadow of the chimney, both grunting hard from the impact.

“Do you have any idea how dangerous that was,” I spoke between desperate gasps for breath, “what a risk you took? What the hell were you thinking?”

“It’s not your business what I was thinking, nor is it your business to follow me.” Even in the storm, his voice was cold, distant. I went still beneath him, and the tremor that passed up my spine had little to do with the in climate weather. He searched my face with hard, dark eyes. His expression was one I could not define, and yet one that made me ache in a different way, as though I were once again isolated, once again the only one on this lonely stretch of coast. Then he all but collapsed on top of me and bundled me to him. With a startled sense of shock, I realized he wasn’t shuddering from the cold, his body was racked with sobs, the kind of sobs that accompany deep, hopeless loss. I could do little but hold him to me and stroke his back as the rain came down in sheets and the mist descended again.

Alarmed by the returning fog, and not knowing what else to do, I drew him close and all but yelled to be heard above the roar of the waves. “You can’t be out here like this. You’ll get hypothermia. Come back to the cottage, I’ll build a fire, you can take a hot bath.” He didn’t fight me as I wriggled out from under him and offered him my hand. As he stumbled to his feet, I draped the wool tartan around his shoulders, for all the good it would do, but it made me feel better.

As I turned back toward the cottages, I suddenly realized just how dire our situation was. I could see nothing. The landscape had been swallowed in a blanket of grey. Then the wind went deadly still. Mist swirled heavy and smothering around us. There was no trail visible on the bare rock and thin grass. “I don’t know if I can find the way back,” I said, turning toward  him.

And then the world fell away. I’m not exactly sure what happened. Even to this day when I think back on the occasion, I can never be sure what was real and what was from the fall. I must have stepped in a hole. I yelped and went tumbling backward, but not before I glimpsed the manor house, towering up behind us, lights gleaming golden through the many windows, smoke wafting from the enormous chimney, and in the calm, I heard piano music wafting from an open window.

 

If you’ve missed an episode of Concerto, here are the links.

Concerto Part 1: A little Night Music

Concerto Part 2: Distractions

Concerto Part 3: Too Much to Bear Alone

Concerto Part 4: Writing and Waiting

Concerto Part 5: A Duet in a Storm

Concerto Part 6: Remember How it Feels

Concerto Part 7: Unsettled

 

Introducing Debut Novel Gumshoe Girl by Andi Ramos (@andiramosauthor)

Blurb:

Sheagan O’Hare got more than she bargained for when her newly inherited detective agency lands its first case; a missing person, embezzlement, and murder. Sheagan’s out to prove she can hang with the pro’s, despite the constant reminder of her amateur status from an annoyingly attractive FBI agent, Colin ‘Mac’ MacEvine, who’s forced himself into her life.

How does she feel when an old high school friend hopes to ignite a new romance?

Will she be able to discover if detective work and love can mingle before someone gets hurt?

Buy Links:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2I9M30G

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Kxo5um

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gumeshoe-girl/id1376902448

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/820388?ref=cw1985

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/gumeshoe-girl

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gumeshoe-girl-andi-ramos/1128555736

*****

Excerpt

Sheagan blinked back the sting in her eyes as sweat drizzled from her forehead. Her shoulders and forearms cried out as determination inched her body forward through the tin walls that framed her slender figure. The narrow shaft rendered her legs useless as they dragged behind her like dead weight. She made a vow to start working out as she approached her destination, the metal grate that looked down into the sweetheart suite of the Eliot Hotel.

She shimmied her binoculars out of her bag and clutched them in her sweaty palms as she readied herself to delve into the world of private investigating. The friction of her movements caused her mahogany mane to cling to all the surfaces of her temporary confinement. Perched behind the filigree frame, peering like a caged animal, she was a mere 20 feet from her target. Her target? The Rat Bastard, who up until this very moment she’d called boyfriend.

She wasn’t there to kill him, even though the thought had crossed her mind; no, she was there to catch him in the act. She suspected he had been cheating on her for some time, so proof would end her suspicion or the relationship. Spying on her significant other through an air-vent of a swanky hotel room was hardly a promising start to her so-called glamorous career as a private detective. But it snapped her back into the reality that her new chosen profession would often be messy and difficult.

She peered through the grate and envied the spacious room below, but her viewing angle was no good for the task at hand. She could feel the heat in her cheeks rise along with her anger as she scanned the room and soaked in the extravagance–the hardwood tables, the Italian marble fireplace, the opulent sheen of the fabric on the overstuffed furniture that glimmered in the soft candlelight. The Rat Bastard was not known to overindulge on frivolous expenses, unless it was on her dime. Thoughts of killing him resurfaced.

What is wrong with me? Why did I wait so long?

She immediately regretted the fleeting question. She knew why. The answer brought back the pain and significance of her father’s sudden death. He had been the only family she had left, and he was gone. All that was left behind was his detective agency. She had thought about giving it up, but she couldn’t; it was her only connection to him, to her family.

She closed her eyes briefly, realizing that now she was facing more loss–even if he was a lying, cheating Rat Bastard.

No! Its better this way, stay focused.

She choked in a breath and turned her attention back to the room. His secret love nest was finished with soothing tones on the walls and thick, plush carpeting.

What is that on the end table?

Her gaze was drawn to the bottle label as it bobbed upside down in the melting ice. She sharpened the focus of her binoculars, and her eyes widened in recognition.

Her cheeks flushed. Cristal, she scoffed. Who is this Bimbo, anyway?

As if she had room to criticize this girl’s intelligence, when Sheagan was the one sweating her makeup off in a four-by-four-foot air-duct.

Yeah, whos the stupid one?

She heard passionate sounds coming from the right of the room and recognized his tone. Leaning sideways, Sheagan pressed her face to the grate, but her limited

view revealed only a portion of the bed and unable to make out major details, like faces.

Crap, I cant see anything. Damn! She needed to get a better look

As she shifted her weight, the metal walls started to reverberate and Sheagan stifled a gasp, willing the rumbling to cease. Her breathing became labored as the musty air stole the aroma of the sweet perfume wafting up waft from the suite below. She stilled her movements and did the only thing she could think of… nothing. Nothing but stare at the heap of blankets and wait.

Come on, bimbo, come up for air. I know he doesnt last that long.

Her discomfort increased as the noise from their passion became more intense. Ugh, thats it, Ive had it!

She mashed her cheek and upper body against the grate.

I just need a peek to confirm.

She pressed harder, ogling the bed. Finally, she caught a tiny glimpse.

Just a little further.

She pushed and heard a chirring sound, then a scraping. She froze in place, but the grate gave way with a creaking groan and crashed to the ground. Time stood still as Sheagan realized there was nothing between her and the floor except air.

*****

Author Bio: 

Andi Ramos is a debut author from central Massachusetts where she lives with her family, goat, and Boston Terriers. Her love for reading grew into a passion for writing. She dabbled with pen and paper for a long time and eventually stopped pushing her amusements aside and started developing those stories into novels. One of her favorite things to do is to hop into her motorhome with her family and write while traveling down the road as they journey to various destinations.

Website: http://www.andiramos.com

Blog: http://www.andiramos.com/blog

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andiramosauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/andiramosauthor

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The Romance Reviews

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