Super short stories of intrigue

Before I was published, I wrote one super-short extemporaneous story every week, based on a word or phrase chosen at random. Each was written quickly, with minimal revisions, to force myself to stop self-editing and just write (probably something I should start doing again).

I thought I’d share a couple of the stories that have a hint of intrigue. Enjoy!

The gun

Handgun and Hollow Points

The agent in the crisp gray suit slapped a picture onto the hood of Dustin’s truck. A bloody body lay in a tangle in the dirt, partially covered by a blanket. “This was Arnaldo Jimenez. He was 15.”

Dustin tore his eyes from the photograph and pressed on his stomach. Oh, God, he was going to throw up on the man’s shiny black shoes. Saliva filled his mouth and he covered his lips with his palm. The hot, dry air swirled around him as he took a deep breath and waited for his gut to unclench.

After he graduated he was going to move somewhere cool and humid and never come back to the desert again. Assuming he didn’t get thrown in jail.

“I didn’t know,” Dustin finally whispered, feeling lame. He should have known where the gun would go, or at least suspected it. If a kid asks you to buy beer, he’s under age. If a man asks you to buy a gun for him, he’s a criminal.

But it hadn’t been a man. It had been the hot girl from his Physics lecture.

Dustin rubbed his eyes. He would not cry. “She told me she wouldn’t pass the background check because she’d been arrested for possession of meth. Supposedly it was her brother’s, but it was found in her car. She wouldn’t flip on him, so she took the rap.”

Agent Fernandez held out another photo. “Is this her?”

Dustin’s heart sank and he nodded. Silky brown hair and lean curves mocked him. Every guy in class wanted her. He’d thought he had a chance. Fool. “She said it was for protection. That there had been some break-ins in her neighborhood.”

“Victoria Arenas-Thomas.” Fernandez shook his head. “She’s got a lot more than meth possession on her record. If it makes you feel any better, you’re not the first schmuck she’s suckered.”

Oh, right. Dustin felt so much better now. His stomach heaved and he doubled over, but he managed not to puke. His sneakers mocked him as images of the dead boy overlay the cracked asphalt of the student parking lot.

That’s when the anger kicked in. The bitch had used him and now a boy was dead at the hands of the cartel thugs that held Sonora and the rest of Mexico hostage. He couldn’t change the outcome, but he could try to prevent it from happening again.

He took a deep breath and stood to face the agent. “What can I do to help?”

Fernandez stared at him for a beat. “How are your acting skills, kid?”

Dustin thought back to his starring role in Central High’s production of Death by Chocolate. “A lot better than my taste in women.”

The agent’s lip twitched. “All right then. Give me a minute.” He pulled out a phone and walked a few steps away.

The hot sun beat on Dustin’s neck and he wiped his brow as students streamed into the parking lot from the nearby engineering building. Until three minutes ago, he’d been as innocent and naive as they were. The moron his dad always said he was.

But, maybe, just maybe, he’d do something right for a change.


Lies

shadowy man walking up stairs

Mike rushed home from work, eating his drive-thru burger and fries in the car, napkin tucked in his collar to protect his tie and crisp white shirt. In his rush to get out of the house this morning, he’d left his briefcase in the hall. With the Harlowe presentation in it.

He swerved into his driveway and hit the brakes in surprise. Why was Karen’s car there? Had she forgotten something too? She’d already been long gone when he woke up.

Suspicion stirred at the back of his mind. Just enough that he closed the car door quietly, and entered the house through the side door into the kitchen. He swung the door shut, careful not to make a sound. For a full minute, he stood in silence, listening.

From the back of the house—the master bedroom—he heard muffled noises. His heart rate kicked up a notch and he squeezed his hands into fists. He marched down the hall. If she was… He couldn’t even think about it, but he’d have to kill her.

With a deep breath, he flung open the bedroom door.

Karen scrambled away from the man lying naked beneath her. “Mike!” She hid behind a sheet, her face white with shock and fear.

Mike slumped back against the wall, his pulse pounding in his head. Thank God. She hadn’t found the safe.

His secret was still secure.


Congratulations to Lindy Dierks, winner of the $10 Amazon gift card offered by Julie Mulhern last week! Please use the Contact link above to send us your email address and we’ll pass it on. :)

THE DEEP END

Julie Mulhern- photo by Larry Levenson

Julie Mulhern- photo by Larry Levenson

I took another sip of coffee and glanced around the pool. The morning light still looked delicate enough to break. The weeping cherry tree had lost a few leaves and they skittered across the pool deck in the soft breeze. The police conferred around the body. Then they stepped away and I saw it. Saw her. In that second, my morning went from plain dreadful to the worst ever. (Excerpt from THE DEEP END.)

Funny how you stumble across strangers who instantly become close friends. I’d judged a writing contest a couple years back, and the anonymous entry, THE DEEP END, was a total standout! Who WAS this author?! The snarky tone of the heroine (the only sane character in a zany cast of 1970’s preppy, country club wives and a mother from hell) had me howling. Enter the requisite dead body (and not just any corpse- it’s a fantastic twist- ALL in Chapter 1) and I was hooked!

Naturally I gave this entry a perfect score, left my name/contact info and an entire page of gushing remarks…mostly over my shock that this hilarious cozy mystery hadn’t been snapped up for publication. And then I did something I’d never done: asked a complete stranger if I could beta read the rest of it. (Yeah, like I have that kind of time on my hands!) But that is HOW GREAT the novel is.

To my delight, the writer- Julie Mulhern, wrote back and (yes!) sent the rest of the hilarious cozy mystery. Now we’ve not only become close friends, but we were nominated for 2014 Golden Heart awards together and we will be published by the same publishing company in the near future.

And, dear readers, I’m honored to announce that Julie’s debut, THE DEEP END, releases TODAY!toast Naturally, on the busiest and most exciting day of her life I insisted she stop everything and answer my nosy questions. (Because that’s what friends do.) Introducing Julie Mulhern-take note of her name, folks!

Q-Your heroine’s glib ability to balance the fine line between hysterical snark and nasty sarcasm is honed to perfection. AND it’s written in 1st person. Do these type of thoughts come to you in real life or do you channel someone inside when you sit down to write?

The snark and internal sarcasm are all me. Ellison lets me give voice to things I would never say. 

Q-How on earth did you come up with this premise?

I wanted to create a straight-laced world, perfect on its surface, then flip the rock. Everyone thinks the 60’s changed everything but really it was the 70’s. The ideas that existed on the fringes of society in the 60’s went mainstream. The roles of women changed – even Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis got a job. Divorce rates skyrocketed. I am woman, hear me roar.

Q-I’m assuming you’re a child of the 70’s since you nailed the culture so well. Why did you choose that era rather than contemporary?

You guessed right. I grew up in the 70s and felt a certain nostalgia about the decade. I was too young to go to discos so I remember the sweet parts – rainbow socks with individual toes, deodorant called Tickle, how no self-respecting kid showed up on the playground if they’d missed Happy Days.

THE DEEP END coverQ-WHERE did you come up with all the foods, commercials, songs, teen accessories, etc that are in your story? Research? YouTube? There’s no way you remembered Cherry Lip Smackers for example (in your 2nd novel of the series.)

Research. Fun, fun research. I got on ebay and bought magazines from 1974. I am the proud owner of a full year of Gourmet plus many, many Vogues, Glamours, Cosmos (oh, my) and Architectural Digests. Looking at those ads and reading those articles was amazing.

And Pinterest – I LOVE Pinterest. My board for The Deep End (http://www.pinterest.com/juliemulhern/the-deep-end/) captures the clothes, the vibe and the original Mr. Coffee.

Q-How long do you expect this series to run, because I totally see a new “Cabot Cove” mystery series here! 

I’m hoping The Country Club Murders finds an audience and that Ellison has the opportunity to solve lots of murders.

Q-When is the next story due/what’s the title/can you give us a couple of sentences on the plot?

Guaranteed to Bleed (remember the madras labels?) will release in November. When Ellison finds a dying boy beneath the stands at a high school football game, her life is again upended. Now she’s dealing with a teenage daughter with an attitude, an unexpected house guest and another body on her lawn.

Q-Why stretch out the love triangle between your heroine and two yummy men?

Could you decide between Hunter and Anarchy? Ellison is recently widowed, she’s not ready to make up her mind.

Q-You also have other novels in the works—are they cozy mysteries in 1st person too?

My novel, A Haunting Desire, which was a finalist in the 2014 Golden Heart contest is a romance. It releases in August from Entangled Select. It’s not written in the first person, but there is a murder mystery which my heroine solves. The story is set in New Orleans in 1902 – think voodoo, ghosts, plenty of eerie ambiance and a yummy hero.

Q-On a personal note, what’s a food you cannot say no to?

Bread pudding with crème anglaise

Q-Favorite movie and why?

One? Yikes! Casablanca because I never get tired of watching Rick change from a cynical ass into a hero. Romancing the Stone because I love watching Joan Wilder transform into a strong woman.

Q-What’s your favorite ’70’s song?

Again, one? You’re So Vain by Carly Simon. I’d like to title a book Clouds in my Coffee. Who can hear that song and not sing along? I also love You’re in my Heart by Rod Stewart for the chorus: You’re in my heart, you’re in my soul. You’ll be my breath should I grow old. You are my lover, you’re my best friend. You’re in my soul. Isn’t that how we all want to be loved?

Which ’70s songs do you love and why? Julie is giving one lucky commenter a $10 Amazon gift card! Stop by next Tuesday to see if it’s YOU!

Back cover blurb.

Swimming into the lifeless body of her husband’s mistress tends to ruin a woman’s day, but becoming a murder suspect can ruin her whole life.

It’s 1974 and Ellison Russell’s life revolves around her daughter and her art. She’s long since stopped caring about her cheating husband, Henry, and the women with whom he entertains himself. That is, until she becomes a suspect in Madeline Harper’s death. The murder forces Ellison to confront her husband’s proclivities and his crimes—kinky sex, petty cruelties and blackmail.

As the body count approaches par on the seventh hole, Ellison knows she has to catch a killer. But with an interfering mother, an adoring father, a teenage daughter, and a cadre of well-meaning friends demanding her attention, can Ellison find the killer before he finds her.

Find out more about Julie HERE: http://www.JulieMulhern.com

BUY THE DEEP END HERE: http://amzn.to/1vCHnCS

Finding Love in Your DNA

Originally posted on DIANA BELCHASE:

Wouldn’t it be great if we could do away with  dating and failed relationships merely by  doing a DNA cheek swab? It sounds simple and pain free, doesn’t it? In our cells lurk genetic markers that just might indicate who is an ideal spouse and who is an utter cad.

My guest today, Peter Schattner, is an award-winning scientist, educator and writer with 30 years experience in molecular biology, genetics, biomedical instrumentation and physics. He is the author of numerous research articles, scientific reviews and a textbook. Sex, Love and DNA is his first book for nonscientists.  In his post below, Peter will explain a bit about research being done in this field and whether single people everywhere need to run out to take a DNA test.

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Peter Schattner: How much would you pay to discover find out your partner’s genetic predisposition to kindness or to marital fidelity?

Sex Love and DNA FrontCoverV2In 2008, Genesis Biolabs, a small company in…

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Nobody’s Valentine

The year is only two months old and already I found myself in Books-A-Million making an impulse purchase. London journalist Paula Hawkins’s 2015 debut blockbuster and New York Times #1 bestseller THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN grabbed me from the moment I stepped up to the display of current bestsellers vying for attention.

Maybe it was the arresting cover (designed by Gretchen Achilles) that had me pulling the book off the shelf to get a closer look even though I have nine books on my must-read-before-I-buy-anything-else list. Or the cover quote by Tess Gerritsen: “So thrilling and tense and wildly unpredictable.” Wow!

The_Girl_on_the_Train

Or maybe it was the title. The Girl on the Train. For a whole year back in my mid-twenties, I was a girl on a train, commuting from my home in Connecticut to my job in New York City. Paula Hawkins stated in an NPR interview that the idea for the book came from her own experience commuting by train to London during her college years.

Or maybe it was the book description inside the jacket.

THERE SHE SITS, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN. WHAT SHE SEES, GAZING OUT THE WINDOW, WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING.

Pretty intriguing, right? I’m sure you can understand why I had my wallet out in a flash to buy the book. I hurried home and immersed myself in the dark, twisty tale that unfolds in a series of mornings and evenings that coincide with the rhythm of the train commuter during that stretch of time when she is the outsider, the daytripper, the person watching the action like a theater-goer at a live performance.

The unreliable narrator of the novel is nobody’s Valentine. Alone, divorced, and unemployed, Rachel spends her days commuting to London to pass the time. On the train, she cracks open a can (or two) of gin and tonic and spins stories about a young couple who live in a house along the tracks. She imagines their perfect, golden life, a fairy tale of love and devotion that comforts her. Until she discovers that the young wife has disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

Did Rachel see something from the train that will help the police solve the case? Or is she an unreliable witness who will cause more harm than good? You won’t stop turning the pages until you find out.

Fun fact: The Girl on the Train is not the author’s only book. Paula Hawkins previously published three chick lit books under the pseudonym Amy Silver. So if you are looking for a happier read for Valentines Day, you might be able to get your hands on one of her paperback titles: Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista, All I Want for Christmas, and One Minute to Midnight.

What was the last impulse buy you made at the bookstore?

Congratulations to the February 3rd winners! To claim your prizes, please go to Contact Us and complete the form.

The Kennedy Connection–Maureen

The Midnight Hour–Patti Straight

Headless Body in Topless Bar -and- Who Shot JFK?

First, I’d like to wish a Happy Release Day to R.G. Belsky! THE MIDNIGHT HOUR released on February 3rd!

Now, it’s my pleasure to introduce our KaT readers to R.G. Belsky (aka Dick Belsky), New York City journalist and crime fiction author of THE MIDNIGHT HOUR and THE KENNEDY CONNECTION.

Dick was a managing editor at the Daily News and he writes about the media from an extensive background in newspapers, magazines and TV/digital news. He’s also been the metropolitan editor of the New York Post, news editor at Star magazine and managing editor at NBCNews.com – where he worked with Nightly News with Brian Williams, The Today Show, and oversaw all digital news content on the NBCNews website.

Image:

His most famous journalistic achievement – or infamous, depending on how you look at it – was being part of the writing of the legendary New York Post headline: “Headless Body in Topless Bar.” Despite having covered many major stories in his career, that is the moment he’s most often asked about. (You can see his write-up about it here.)

What does that have to do with John F. Kennedy you ask?

His suspense thriller, THE KENNEDY CONNECTION, was published in August and is the first in a series of books featuring Gil Malloy, a hard-driving newspaper reporter with a penchant for breaking big stories on the front page of the New York Daily News.

jfkcoverTHE KENNEDY CONNECTION

Amazon   B&N

The Kennedy Connection is about the most famous unsolved cold case of all time – the JFK assassination. More than a half century later, a man comes forward claiming to be Lee Harvey Oswald’s secret son with evidence that Oswald didn’t do it. At the same time, a series of present day murders in New York City are linked by Kennedy half dollars left at the scene to what happened that long ago day in Dallas.

The person trying to unravel all this is Gil Malloy – a newspaper reporter for the New York Daily News who was a rising star until he made a mistake that derailed his career. Now he’s on the verge of the scoop of a lifetime. All he has to do is get someone to believe him.

They say you’re supposed to write about things you know – and that’s what Dick does in this book. He tries to give you an inside look at what a New York City newsroom is really like – the anxiety, the fear, the mistakes people make – not just the sanitized version you read about or see on TV or movies in a lot of other places.

The next installment in his Gil Malloy series, THE MIDNIGHT HOUR, releases February 3rd. HAPPY RELEASE DAY!midnighthour

THE MIDNIGHT HOUR (Released Feb 3rd!)

Amazon  B&N

High-profile murder, corrupt city politicians, serial killers, the press, the police—it’s all here in this novella featuring New York newspaper reporter Gil Malloy. 

Thirty years ago, a professor at a small college in Ohio came home one night, took out a butcher knife and massacred his wife and two young children. The professor was convicted for the murders and eventually executed by lethal injection. Except years later DNA evidence and other new crime detection techniques proved he was innocent. The real killer was never found.

But now – when a woman reporter at Gil Malloy’s paper is mysteriously murdered – Malloy picks up a new lead on the case that may have led to her death. He eventually uncovers long buried secrets about the decades old mass murder and how powerful people have covered up the truth. For Malloy – still haunted by mistakes as a reporter he’s made in the past – this story is a new chance for redemption. If he can live through it.

FUN FACTS ABOUT R. G. BELSKY 

* As a celebrity journalist, he’s been cursed out by stars like Sylvester Stallone, covered everything from the tragic death of Princess Diana to Julia Roberts’ wedding and once was mistaken by Mick Jagger for Keith Richards.

* He wrote a book about O.J. Simpson lavishing praise on O.J. as a role model long before that slow, white, Bronco chase. Oops.

* Parts of THE KENNEDY CONNECTION are based on real-life historical facts mixed up with fictional elements – like creating a Lee Harvey Oswald Jr. – to write it as a thriller.

* Dick is convinced that Lee Harvey Oswald did NOT act on his own.

* Dick has been in the Texas Schoolbook Depository Building and on the Grassy Knoll. He says the Grassy Knoll offers a much better vantage point and is the logical choice for an assassin.

* No, the Gil Malloy character is not based on Dick. But Gil is definitely a compilation of different journalists from different newsrooms where Dick has worked.

* Other crime novels by R.G. Belsky include SHOOTING FOR THE STARS (releases August 2015), PLAYING DEAD (available now), and LOVERBOY (available now).

 Comment on today’s post and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win an ebook copy of THE MIDNIGHT HOUR or THE KENNEDY CONNECTION. (Winner must choose between Kindle or Nook versions via the .com Amazon or B&N websites. Check back to see if you’re a winner in the next KaT post then follow instructions on our Contact page to claim your prize.)

R.G. Belsky website

R.G. on FACEBOOK: RGBelsky

R.G. on TWITTER: @DickBel


The winner of SCORCHED by Laura Griffin is Willa! Congrats! Please use the Contact Us link above to claim your prize. :-)

Laura Griffin on her new book Beyond Limits, research, and Navy SEALs

An FBI agent and a Navy SEAL race against time in New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin’s newest Tracers novel.

Beyond Limits book coverLaura Griffin’s latest book, BEYOND LIMITS is out today! To celebrate, she agreed to hang out at Kiss and Thrill and answer a few questions about the new book and her writing process. She’s also giving away a signed copy of SCORCHED—the RITA Award winning book where Derek and Elizabeth first meet—to a lucky commenter.

I’m already counting the hours until I can pull out my iPad at the gym and start reading…

GH: Happy release day! Thanks for joining us on K&T. We appreciate the chance to get into your head a bit. ;-) Your early books were focused on characters working in or around law enforcement. The new books still have that element, but you’ve added Navy SEALs to the mix. What is it about these guys that drew your interest?

LG: Thanks for inviting me, Gwen! My first SEAL character appeared in the novella UNSTOPPABLE, and they keep finding their way back into my stories. What I love about these guys is that they tackle any challenge and they never give up. This tenacity makes them so interesting to write, especially when that never-quit attitude spills over into their personal lives.

GH: Did you discover anything fun, interesting, or surprising in your research for this book?

Laura Griffin headshotLG: In the story Navy SEAL Derek Vaughn is on a rescue mission overseas when he discovers clues of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. While researching the book I learned about the many ways our country is vulnerable. On the other hand, some of the new tools law enforcement has now are truly amazing. For example, the facial recognition techniques they use now are so sophisticated that it boggles the mind.

GH: When you get a new idea for a book, which usually comes to you first, the premise, a compelling scene, or a character? Do you know what sparked your idea for BEYOND LIMITS?

LG: I used to be a newspaper reporter, and often news headlines will spark the idea for a story. With BEYOND LIMITS I wanted to write about what a SEAL would do if he had inside knowledge of a pending attack on U.S. soil. Would he feel compelled to act or would he be able to leave it up to other people to handle? Derek Vaughn makes it his mission to help, even if it means he has to manipulate a woman he cares about to get inside info about the investigation.

GH: Are there any themes you feel like you keep returning to in your writing? Any idea why?

LG: Many of my stories feature women who are survivors of something. I like writing about people who look deep into themselves to find the strength to keep going even when disaster strikes. I’ve been blessed with some strong female role models, and I think about them a lot when I’m creating a story.

GH: What’s next on your plate?

LG: I’m having fun writing a new book in the Tracers series. It’s called SHADOW FALL, and it features some of my favorite Tracers characters: Mark Wolfe, Mia Voss, Kelsey Quinn. The hero of the story is Mark’s brother, Liam Wolfe, who runs a private security firm and finds himself at the center of an FBI murder investigation. SHADOW FALL should be out later this year, and I’ll keep you posted with details!

GH: I can’t wait! For readers who are new to the series, do the Tracers books need to be read in order?

LG: People ask me that a lot. Each story has a stand-alone suspense plot and each focuses on a different romantic couple. So you can pick up the series anywhere!

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Laura Griffin started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is a two-time RITA Award winner as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award. Laura currently lives in Austin, where she is working on her next book. Visit her at http://www.LauraGriffin.com or on www.Facebook.com/LauraGriffinAuthor.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of SCORCHED.

Darynda Jones: Snarky Sayings and Grim (Reaper) Secrets

Diana Belchase:

Darynda Jones is giving one reader who leaves a comment below, here or at KissAndThrill.com, an ARC — yes that’s right — an ADVANCE READER’s COPY of her book number 8!  

Eighth Grave After Dark isn’t out until May, and though you might have to wait a bit to get the ARC, you’ll be in the know with reviewers across the country who get the book months in advance!   So leave us your best bit of snark, or tell us why you love Darynda, or why you want to read her book, and we’ll let you know who won next week. 

And don’t forget to click on the View Original link at the bottom of this post to see the VIDEO interview with Darynda! 

UPDATE: The contest is now closed. Congratulations to Nymerias, winner of Darynda Jone’s ARC for Eighth Grave After Dark. Please contact us within ten days to collect your prize.

Originally posted on DIANA BELCHASE:

Darynda Jones has a secret. On paper, her alter ego Charley Davidson is snarky, sex-mad, able to kick paranormal foes DJONES001-2in their paranormal behinds. In real life, Darynda is probably one of the sweetest people you’ve ever met. She has a humble, self-deprecating humor, she’ll tell you all her writing secrets as if they don’t amount to much, and she’s more likely to talk about her kids than her books.

Is it no wonder I love this gal?

Here are some things you might not know about her:

*Awards: Darynda has won 11 awards, including the Daphne du Maurier, the RITA, the Bookie Award (three times!), 2 HOLT Medallions, the Golden Heart, the GOTCHA, The PASIC, and the Rebeca (LERA).

*Genre: Darynda has written in a ton of genres, even though they’re not all published, including historical!

*Education: She’s a Summa cum Laude graduate and has a BA in Sign Language…

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Reality or Fiction? For Angi Morgan’s West Texas Watchmen, it’s Both.

(Due to an emergency in Lena’s family, I am helping both Angi and Lena out today by hosting their blog. After all, a girl’s gotta take care of her Golden Heart sisters!)

Thanks for having me today, Lena. I love to be Kissed & Thrilled. Oh wait, I guess I’m the one… Okay awkward moment gone. It’s been a while since Lena hosted me. Huge coincidence that the book we spoke about–PROTECTING THEIR CHILD–was the one that inspired my new series.

West Texas Watchmen on white

The West Texas Watchmen series is set in the small town of Marfa about 20 miles across the mountains from Mexico. It’s a vast area with little cell reception. Perfect for smuggling — either in reality or fiction. Marfa may be small, but Presidio County is vast so my sheriff has a lot of land to cover. There’s also a lot of sky. With the McDonald Observatory in the Davis Mountains, there’s also very little light on the horizon.

The Sheriff (West Texas Watchmen) Trailer

All of my Intrigues are based in real Texas towns. I love taking off for a road trip to get research photos. In my stories, I keep my driving times accurate, the terrain or city areas true, and take the liberty of changing the names of businesses. Somehow that anchors me in my stories and I can focus on other things. Do you like fictional towns or real locales? Honestly, when a writer gets things wrong about the Dallas area… Well, I’m very disappointed.

I also love to learn new things that help my characters become real. Last summer it was surf lingo. For the Sheriff, my heroine is working on her PhD in astronomy. I had a fan once tell me that she loves reading my stories because she always learns something–either about my characters’ occupations or Texas. So I thought it would be fun to include that type of scene for you today.

 Here’s a teaser from THE SHERIFF

Angi Morgan-TheSheriff 3D“The commander’s gone to the scene. He said to stay put until he returned. Looks like you’re stuck with me, Sheriff Morrison.”

“Acting sheriff. Why don’t you call me Pete.” Was he insulted? Or too dang excited he didn’t need to dart off to talk shop? Excited.

“I need to show you something.”

“I don’t think that’s appropriate.”

She threw back her head, laughing. He barely heard it as he admired the bend of her neck. “Silly,” she said. “Do you have any gel?”

“Huh?” Silly wasn’t the word filtering through his mind.

“Styling gel.”

“I used it already.”

“Not enough to do anything.” She reached around him, brushing his arm as she squeezed goo into her hands.

Stunned into silence? Choking on his words? Cat got his tongue? He didn’t know which, and if she asked, he couldn’t hear her. He was focused on her hands rubbing together and then her arms lifting to reach his head.

“Get shorter.” She tapped the inside of his bare feet wider apart, leaving enough room between them to breathe without touching.

“So, what is your favorite star?” he asked, closing his eyes and enjoying her fingers lightly massaging his scalp as she liberally put gel on every strand. He couldn’t look.

“Wolf 359. Isn’t that an awesome name for a star?” She took the tube a second time. “Just a bit more. Your hair’s really thick and wavy.”

He was dang lucky he’d put his pants on quickly. If he hadn’t…

“See?”

All he could see was the roundness of each breast under the thin layer of hospital garb.

“All you have to do is squeeze some on your hands and rub it around like this. Then it should stay looking deliberately messed up all day.” She wiped her hands on his towel and admired her handiwork. “That will look much better later when it’s dry.”

She twisted one last piece of hair and placed her hands on his shoulders. It seemed like the most natural gesture in his memory for his fingers to move and span either side of her waist. Drawing her closer to him was just as easy.

They were forehead to forehead. Her slow, warm exhale smelled sweet like the cola she’d insisted on before the officer had arrived. She’d called it her wake-up drink of choice. He, on the other hand, loved coffee and lots of it.

Concentrate on the job. What job? All he had to do was hang around here, keep her in sight till she was someone else’s problem. Maybe even escort her home.

“I’m not a rule breaker, Andrea.”

“Then why are your hands still around me?”

Kissing her was destined as soon as she’d told him they’d never get along. “What’s about to happen probably shouldn’t. But you won’t find me apologizing for it later.”

“You better not, Pete. Bad first kissers don’t get a second chance.”

He liked her. A lot. Too much. Too fast.

He leaned his lips to touch hers for the first time. Soft and wet, they parted just enough to encourage him. His hands spread up her back, noticing the firm muscles.

There wasn’t anything between them now except a thin layer of cotton. He stopped himself from getting the shirt out of his way. This was their first kiss but sure didn’t feel like it.

Their lips slid together, teasing, seeming to know their way without conscious effort. A perfect fit? Practiced. Confident.

He wanted his hands to wander but forced them to stay put. Andrea’s arms encircled his neck, shifting her body next to his. Her tennis shoes snuggled next to his size-thirteen feet. That one layer kept him both sane and drove him crazy at the same time.

He wanted it off. Wanted her bare skin under his flesh. Wanted to forget exactly where they were and remember everything much too late.

The attraction turned to mutual pure hunger and he liked her even more.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Andrea was a very fun character to write. A little of my daughter and her friends. A lot of who I’d like to be. Writing about this area of Texas makes me yearn to find locales that have no “light pollution.” We recently took a trip to southwest Texas and stretched out in the back of the truck under a gazillion stars. There’s nothing like it. I can’t recommend the experience enough. And that might just be why Andrea loves the area as well.

You can see pictures from my adventures (including NYC this week) on my blog, A Picture A Day.

Excerpt & covers provided by Harlequin Enterprises.

Available on Amazon, B&N, iTunes and bookstores

~ ~ ~ ~

AngiMorgan--MountainsANGI MORGAN writes “Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love.” She combines actual Texas settings with characters who are in realistic and dangerous situations. Angi’s work has been a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best Award, Romantic Times Best First Series, Carolyn Readers Choice, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Daphne du Maurier.

Website, Facebook & FB Fan Page, Twitter @AngiMorganAuthr , and Book Trailers on YouTube

Monthly Giveaway on Rafflecopter, check out A Picture A Day for the link

Previous K&T interview about Protecting Their Child

Leave a comment for me and you’re eligible for a copy of THE CATTLEMAN (book 2 in the West Texas Watchmen). I’d love to hear if you like to learn something while reading.

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