Monthly Archives: March 2014
The lucky winner of a copy of Mary Behre’s debut paranormal romantic suspense novel, SPIRITED, is…Patti Straight!
Patti, please contact us here with your snail mail address (if you prefer a print copy) and email address to claim your prize.
Next up: Our own Carey Baldwin! Carey is one of the very first authors HarperCollins chose to help launch their new IMPULSE WITNESS line. And next Tuesday we are celebrating her first thriller with this line, CONFESSION. It’s an awesome story that you won’t want to miss. Join us on Tuesday to help us celebrate!
For fans of Allison Brennan and Karen Rose comes Carey Baldwin, a daring new name in suspense, with the story of a serial killer out for blood—and the only woman who can stop his reign of terror.
They say the Santa Fe Saint comes to save your soul—by taking your life.
Newly minted psychiatrist Faith Clancy gets the shock of her life when her first patient confesses to the grisly Saint murders. By law Faith’s compelled to notify the authorities, but is her patient really the Saint? Or will she contribute to more death by turning the wrong man over to the police?
Faith is going to need all her wits and the help of a powerful adversary, Luke Jericho, if she’s to unravel the truth. But she doesn’t realize she’s about to become an unwitting pawn in a serial killer’s diabolical game. For once he’s finished with Faith, she’ll become his next victim.
WITHHOLDING EVIDENCE, the third book in my series of romantic thrillers that explores the intersection of archaeology, politics, and war, released late last week. I had a blast writing this short novel. I loved finding Trina’s voice and Keith’s… well, I pretty much love everything about Keith.
Like all books in this series, this story can stand alone, but the characters from the previous books are present in WE, and I really enjoyed writing the friendship between Trina, Mara, and Erica, as they all work together at Naval History and Heritage Command. Years ago my husband worked for NHHC’s underwater archaeology branch making writing about the organization especially fun.
Today I’m excited to share with our Kiss and Thrill readers the first scene of Withholding Evidence.
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Trina Sorensen stiffened her spine and rang the town house doorbell. She couldn’t hear a chime, so after a moment of hesitation, she followed up with a knock. Seconds ticked by without any sound of movement on the other side. She rang the bell again, and then repeated the knock for good measure. The front door was on the ground floor, next to the garage. Glancing upward, she checked out the windows of the two upper floors. No lights on, but at nine in the morning on a hot August day in Falls Church, that didn’t tell her anything. If the man she hoped to meet was home, he’d have to descend at least one flight of stairs, possibly two.
She was about to ring the bell again when the door whipped open, startling her. She stepped back, then remembered she needed to project poise and straightened to meet her target’s gaze.
Keith Hatcher was even more handsome in person than in his official navy photo, but she couldn’t let that fluster her. It just meant he’d been blessed with good genes, a rather superficial measure of a person, really.
She took a deep breath and held out her hand. “Mr. Hatcher, Trina Sorensen, historian with Naval History and Heritage Command. I’d like to ask you a few questions about Somalia.” She cringed as she said the last part. Too perky. Too eager. That was not how to approach a former navy SEAL when asking about a mission.
Sporting tousled dark hair that suggested he may have just gotten out of bed, and wearing low-rise jeans and nothing else, the man leaned an impressive bare bicep against the doorframe and raised a quizzical thick eyebrow. “Trina? Cute name.” He smiled. “It fits.” He reached out and touched the top of her head. “But I think you should go back to the day care center you escaped from and leave me alone.” He stepped back, and the door slammed shut.
She jolted back a step. He did not just pat her on the head and slam the door in her face.
Except that was exactly what Senior Chief Petty Officer Keith Hatcher had done.
She was aware she looked young, but dammit, she was thirty-one freaking years old—the same age as Hatcher. She squared her shoulders and rang the bell again. Seconds ticked by. Then minutes. She pounded with the side of her fist.
Finally the door opened. “Yes?” He leaned against the doorjamb again, this time stretching out an arm to touch the hinged side of the opening. His body language conveyed amusement mixed with annoyance.
“Senior Chief, I’m Dr. Trina Sorensen”—she never referred to herself with the pretentious title of doctor, but figured his crack about day care warranted it—“and I’m researching your SEAL team’s work in Somalia five years ago for Naval History and Heritage Command and the Pentagon. You must answer my questions.”
“Dollface, it’s Sunday morning. The only thing I must do today is jack off.”
She crossed her arms. “Fine. I can wait. It’ll be what, one, maybe two minutes?”
The man tilted his head back and laughed. She saw her opportunity and ducked under his arm, entering, as she’d suspected, an enclosed staircase. The door to the left could only go to the garage. She went straight for the stairs, heading up to his home. Her heart beat rapidly at her own audacity, but she was never going to get the information she needed to do her job from the SEAL without taking risks.
“What the hell?” he sputtered, then added, “Who do you think you are, barging into my home?”
“I told you. I’m Dr. Trina Sorensen from NHHC,” she answered as she reached the landing that ended in the most spotless mudroom she’d ever seen. She crossed the room and stepped into his kitchen. She leaned against a counter as he paused in his own kitchen doorway. His mouth twitched, but his jaw was firm, making her think he couldn’t decide if he was annoyed or amused.
“I’ll wait here while you masturbate. We can start the interview when you’re done.”
Amusement won, and a corner of his mouth kicked up. He took a step toward her. “It’ll go faster if you help me.”
Her heart thumped in a slow, heavy beat. Barging into his home might’ve been a mistake. She frowned. Of course it was a mistake. “I’m good to go. Already took care of business this morning in the shower. You go ahead without me.”
He barked a sharp laugh, then shook his head. “What do you want, Dr. Sorensen?”
“As I said already, I’m here to ask you questions about Somalia.” She pulled her digital recorder from her satchel. “Do you mind if I record our conversation?”
His brown eyes narrowed. “Hell, yes, I mind. More importantly, we aren’t having a conversation. You are leaving. Now. Before I call the police.”
“Please don’t be difficult. I’m just doing my job.”
“SEAL ops are classified.” All hint of amusement left his voice, leaving only hard edges.
She sighed in frustration. Hadn’t he bothered to read any of her e-mails? “I sent you what you need to verify my security clearance in my e-mail. And my orders came directly from the Pentagon.”
“I don’t give a crap if the pope sent you on orders from the president. I’m not telling you shit about a place I’ve never been.”
He expected her to accept that and walk away? She’d never have gotten anywhere as a military historian if she allowed the men in her field to brush her off. “Oh, you’ve been to Somalia all right. You were there on a reconnaissance mission, gathering data about a rising al Qaeda leader who was taking advantage of a power vacuum created by ongoing interclan violence.”
He crossed his arms and spoke softly. “I have no clue what you’re talking about.”
The man had a solid poker face; no hint that she’d surprised him with the paltry facts she knew. So he was handsome and big and had the most gorgeous sculpted pecs and abs she’d ever seen, and he was sharp to boot. “I’m researching various SEAL actions in Somalia over the last two decades, starting with Operation Gothic Serpent and ending with yours.”
“The work I did when I was in the navy is classified. Not only do I not have to tell you about an op I was never on in a country I’ve never visited, but I could also get in serious trouble if I did tell you a damn thing about the places I have been.”
She handed him her card. “But you do have to answer me. The Pentagon wants this report. Your input is necessary.” This project was her big break. Future naval operations could depend on her findings, and the biggest of the brass were eager for this account. She was already having visions of moving out of the cubicle next to cantankerous Walt. She could have walls. And a door.
“But, you see there, dollface, that’s the problem. I’m not in the navy anymore. I don’t take orders from the Pentagon. I don’t have to follow commands from anyone, least of all a five-foot-nothing librarian who invaded my kitchen without my permission.”
She straightened her spine and threw back her shoulders, determined to reach her full height. “I’m five foot three. And I’m an historian.” Her glasses slipped, and she nudged them back to the bridge of her nose.
He chuckled, and she flushed. She’d have been better off if she hadn’t corrected him on the librarian label as she adjusted her glasses.
“Whatever, doll. Listen, you have one minute to get out of my house, or I’m going to assume you’ve decided to watch me jerk off after all.”
She couldn’t look away from the brown eyes that held hers in a tense gaze. Just her luck that he was so frigging gorgeous. Attractive men made her self-conscious. Especially ripped, half-naked ones. “I’m not playing games, Senior Chief. I’m just here to do my job.”
He smiled slowly and reached for his fly.
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Today I’m giving away a signed print copy of WITHHOLDING EVIDENCE. To enter the drawing, tell me: are you are willing to read books in a series out of order, or do you always start with book one?
Not only is Mary a truly selfLESS, sweet, giving, nurturing, amazing person, she is also a rather incredible author.
Just look at some of the reviews pouring in for her first novel, SPIRITED, which debuts today!
“This mix of romance, ghostly visions and unexpected danger is unbelievably fun and thrilling!” –4Stars RT Book Reviews
“…a fast paced story that made me lose track of the time…” 4 1/2 Stars Top Pick, Night Owl Reviews
“Behre’s exuberant debut paranormal romance is lighthearted and easygoing, with a slow-moving subplot that promises to spark future books.” –Publishers Weekly
“I loved Spirited and can’t wait to see what Behre will do next. She has an incredible talent and is a great new voice in romantic suspense that will most definitely have me coming back for more.” ~herding cats & burning soup
“Spirited is an intriguing blend of romance, mystery and ghosts to keep you up late at night.”New York Times bestseller Dianna Love
“Great! A real-page turner. Be prepared, once you sit down to read, you won’t want to get up until you’ve finished the book.” – NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lynsay Sands
“A sweet, funny, sexy debut!” – Deadly Games Series author Lena Diaz 🙂
“Rich with mystery, hot romance, and sneaky humor… No magic crystal ball is needed to foresee this writer is bursting with talent!” – Author of Games People Play & The Fifth Favor, Shelby Reed
Isn’t that terrific???? I can’t remember the last time I saw such glowing reviews for a brand new author. Here’s the cover–which I adore!–for SPIRITED, along with the back cover copy.
She’s running from who she is…
All Jules Scott wants is to live a normal, quiet life–preferably one that doesn’t include ghosts. Jules’s ability for communicating with the dead has brought her nothing but trouble. Despite her best efforts, needy spirits always find her and draw her into their otherworldly drama. When one implicates her in a series of deadly crimes, she may need to entrust her secrets to the person least likely to believe her…
He’ll do whatever it takes to catch her.
Detective Seth English can’t get distracted from the big case he’s working on, not even by his alluring new neighbor. He doesn’t believe that Jules had anything to do with the string of robberies-turned-murders that he’s investigating, but when she keeps showing up in all the wrong places, his gut tells him she knows more than she’s letting on. To solve his case, he’ll need to expose what the sexy redhead is hiding–no matter how impossible the truth may be…
Now let’s get to know Mary a little better…
LD: What’s your favorite food?
MB: Chocolate, of course!
LD: What three books influenced you the most in life?
MB: I love this question!
Dr. Seuss’s HORTON HATCHES THE EGG had a huge influence both on my childhood and my philosophy of life. Here was an elephant doing what the entire world thought was ridiculous because he’d made a promise. In the end, the universe rewarded his honesty, his hard work and his faithfulness. “And it should be, it Should be, IT SHOULD BE like that. Because Horton was faithful, he sat and he sat.”
Another book that heavily influenced my life was Agatha Christie’s THE MIRROR CRACK’D FROM SIDE TO SIDE. I’d read a number of Miss Marple books but this was the first one where I figured out who did it on page thirty-eight. It wasn’t because the book was poorly written, quite the opposite. I’d simply adopted Miss Marple’s habit of comparing a mystery to life as I knew it. And I figured out who did it and why. Ooh, I felt so brilliant that day. I thought for sure, I’d guess the culprit in all of her other books as quickly. I didn’t but I did learn to pay attention to details in books and movies.
Finally, the most recent book to add to my list of most influential books of my life is Suzanne Brockmann’s INTO THE STORM. Shortly after my second child was born, my sister handed me her copy of the book while my baby napped. I couldn’t put it down. Suddenly, I’d found a genre that I could really see myself writing. Sexy, fun, and suspenseful!
LD: When you’ve had a rough week, what’s your go –to book or movie or activity to relieve stress?
MB: For a long time, my go-to movie was GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE with Brendan Fraser. I love the slapstick comedy. Anymore, I don’t have time to watch a lot of movies, but I must admit, between November 1st and December 31st, I’m a sucker for sappy and sometimes silly Christmas movies.
LD: What profession would you like to attempt?
MB:Tai Chi instructor. I was once on the path to become one, but then my husband moved to a small town. I could have continued my training to be an instructor, but that would have meant weekly eight-hour round trips and my children were still babies at the time. So, it wasn’t feasible.
LD: What profession would not want to attempt?
MB: Any job from which I’ve already resigned. LOL. I believe if work becomes drudgery, quit and find something you enjoy. Life’s too short to hate your job.
LD: What sound or noise do you love?
MB: Military jets in the skies over Virginia Beach. When September 11th happened, all the jets were grounded. It was an eerie quiet that night.
LD: What’s a fact most people couldn’t guess about you?
MB: I have three tattoos; a frog, a dream catcher and a pink ribbon. Each one represents a significant change in my life or the life of a loved one.
LD: Vampire, werewolf, zombie, ancient warrior, cowboy, or ghost?
MB: GHOST! I love suspense but I love paranormal too. There’s a ghost in almost every story I write.
LD: What subgenre do you write?
MB: Technically, I write paranormal romance, but it’s really paranormal romantic suspense. Ever story has humor, suspense and a psychic love-connection.
LD: What’s your writing schedule like?
MB: I write Monday through Friday from nine am until five pm. Since I have a family with young children, it’s imperative I be available to spend time with them at night and on the weekends. Although, when I’m under a tight deadline, I have been known to write all night long.
LD: In one word, describe your perfect day.
LD: Where can readers find you in the next six months? (Conferences and/or book signings)
MB: I’m all over the place!
March 8, 2014: Books-A-Million in Fredericksburg, VA for my book launch party
March 22, 2014: Turn The Page Bookstore in Boonsboro, MD where I’ll be doing a book signing with Tracey Anne Warren, Erika Robuck, Addison Fox, Cat Johnson, and NORA ROBERTS!
April 12, 2014: Lady Jane Salon Silver Spring, in Bethesda, MD
April 27, 2014: Kensington Day of the Book, Kensington, MD
May 14-18, 2014: RT Booklovers Convention, New Orleans, LA
June 27-28, 2014: Frederick Book Festival, Frederick, MD
July 23-26, 2014: RWA National Convention, San Antonio, TX
LD: Where can people find you on the internet?
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Leave a comment or question for Mary to be eligible for a drawing to win a free ebook copy (Nook or Kindle, winner’s choice) of SPIRITED! Please check back on Thursday to see if you’re a winner.