Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: SilverTree Publishing
Date of Publication: May 18, 2014
Number of pages: 223
Word Count: 70k
Cover Artist: Karen Lopp
Available at Amazon
Detective Rissa Marten sacrificed her only chance for a normal life to put a drug lord behind bars. Now, her life in the shadows has to be brought to life to save the man she has secretly loved for years. With a price on her head can she risk letting him know?
Detective Jerah Qassem has built his career as an undercover agent in the dangerous world of drug cartels. But when a ghost from his past is resurrected can he overcome his bitterness in time to save her life?
Jerah Qassem had never been more grateful for his years of undercover training than at this moment. Fingers tight around the tumbler to stop the tremors, he watched the apparition glide up to the bar, and wondered if someone had laced his drink with a hallucinogen. Mary was dead. He had nightmares or wet dreams about her most nights for the last eight years.
It wasn’t only the woman’s face that had his insides swirling like a hurricane. It was the way she moved. Long, smooth strides, shoulders straight and eyes darting around like a caged cat. Mary had always been casting looks over her shoulder as if she expected someone to jump out and chase her. But those legs were just as toned and shapely as Mary’s had been. She had been athletic and grabbed every chance she could to romp around the beach. Even the hair was the exact same color of ripened wheat and bounced just below her shoulders. Just like Mary had worn it.
Chills erupted all over his body and cold fingers caressed the nape of his neck. Unable to blink, Jerah stared at the ghost of Mary. The girl he had sent to her death in a fit of anger. The girl he had fallen in love with, yet had been too proud and ambitious to acknowledge until she was gone. Forever.
Jerah closed his eyes against the jarring memory of two firemen holding him back from the charred remains of the building he had sent Mary into as three body bags were carried out. A shudder rattled down his spine. He had relived that day too often. When he glanced back at the bar, the woman had taken a seat and smiled at the bartender. Jerah knew that smile. The same smile that once had almost melted his resolve to not get involved. He had had a career to build. Mary had stirred up thoughts of forever and love, things he hadn’t been ready for. The temptation had been great. But somehow, he persevered and tossed away the best thing that had ever happened to him.
Air exploded from his chest and Jerah shook his head. He did not believe in ghosts. Prickles sprang up his legs as if his blood had decided to flow again. He tugged his leaden body from the chair and stalked to the bar. “Give me a shot of Wild Turkey.” Needing the fortification, he gulped down the amber liquid. Fire burned down his throat. Nope, he wasn’t dreaming. Hands braced on the edge of the bar, he turned to the woman at his side.
A voice from the grave, soft and melodic, brushed across his ears. That face, resurrected from the dead, shimmered under the neon lights, a few years older, but still able to mesmerize him. Fear, anger, and profound sadness glittered in those honey-hued eyes as the color leeched from her face.
Anger and shock swelled like a wave and crashed over Jerah. That’s all she had to say? After leaving him to believe she had been killed?
Blood roared in his ears and he clamped a shaking hand around her arm. “Come with me.” A tiny voice told him this was a bad idea. That too many curious eyes watched this little exchange. But he couldn’t help it. Mary was alive and he damn sure wanted to know how. Carl and the risk of a blown cover be damned. Besides, this wasn’t the usual meeting place, and Carl wasn’t here yet.
“Let go of me, Jerah.” The sharp whisper of dismissal slapped him in the face.
He leaned in close and tightened his grip. “You are coming with me and I don’t give a shit if you cause a scene or not.” The bartender sat another drink on the counter and Jerah gulped it down in one swallow, ignoring the open interest of the bartender. The burn of alcohol on his throat was not enough to ease the utter chaos of his insides. “Come on.”
Mary catapulted out of her stool at his tug and stumbled into him. When she landed against his chest, sizzles and crackles exploded over his flesh like a bolt of lightning. Conscious control flew away as Jerah’s free hand snaked to the nape of her neck and he feathered his fingers through her soft tresses. Something he had dreamed of many nights over the years.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I never considered writing a novel until later in my life. I always made up stories in my head, but putting them down on paper wasn’t something I did. My first dream of becoming an airline stewardess didn’t pan out and I ended up working as a computer programmer for many years. I loved it.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
After several classes and many failed attempts.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
It took me about three years to get up enough nerve to submit a book and about one year later I was published.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
I don’t have what you call a regular job. I am blessed to be able to stay home but on the side we remodel homes and that takes up a lot of time. Maybe I should consider becoming a contractorJ I can lay tile, install windows, put up a roof, ect.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Splintered Lies. She put her mother behind bars, now she’s on the run from a cartel.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
I have two books published by Soul Mate and Splintered Lies is with SilverTree Publishing , which is a joint venture I am involved in.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it? It varies greatly. Six months is a good average, but life sometimes gets in the way and other times the words just fly on to the page.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I have decided to make a series with Splintered Lies. The second, Fractured Lies, is almost done and the third will be out next year. I also have a couple of Westerns in the works.
What genre would you place your books into?
Romantic Suspense, and Historical Romantic Western
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I write Romantic Suspense because I love the danger and action I can incorporate into a novel. However, I do love the old west and love writing stories set in that time period as well.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
That would be Kathleen from Shotgun Bride. She is so much like my grandmothers whom I admire.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I have been writing seriously for about seven or eight years. I was initially inspired to write by the lack of books available at the library. I’ve always lived in small towns and even though you can order books from different libraries it just wasn’t the same as browsing. So I picked up a pen to fill the gap and now I wonder why I waited so long to do it.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I have my desk sitting next to a low window that overlooks a small fish pond. I need it quiet to write.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes. I always seek to improve my craft and if there is any consistent complaint or complement about my writing I want to know. I find it a useful tool to grow as a writer.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I usually write the book first and search for a title that fits.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
For my historical’s I use the family tree or search out names from history. For the contemporary, the phone book is my go to place. However, the hero in Splintered Lies name came from a sign in my town. I loved the name and had to find a story for him.
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
I need a name first. I can’t develop much of a character without it. Sometimes I do have a brief physical idea first but the name must fit.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I will have a solid idea about their personality but sometimes I do need to shift a little or add a trait as I go.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
No, but I do try to write characters that stick to their morals.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I have been converted to ebooks for the ease of reading whenever and wherever. A kindle is so my easier to travel with.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
There are too many great ones for me to have a favorite!
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
They can, but I am very picky about it. I want the movie to be very close to the book. In my opinion some that were close are, Little Women and Lord of the Rings. One of the worst was Jaws. The book was actually not bad.
Your favorite food is?
Your favorite singer/group is?
I like different genres so I don’t have a favorite.
Your favorite color is?
Your favorite Author is?
I don’t really have one. I just love to read.
Stories have always been a part of my life, from books to tales passed down from my ancestors that brought history to life. Danger, struggles and the will power to overcome are all found in the rich legacy of my family tree. Inspiration from their lives inspired me to write what I love. Branching out to contemporary suspense has been another dream come true. I hope my stories bring you entertainment and inspiration.
I love history of all times and places. And my second but equal love of suspense fills my books.