Thursday Threads Welcomes Author Rachel Sharpe!

Rachel Sharpe

TITLE: LOST DISTINCTION

AUTHOR: Rachel Sharpe

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Blurb: “It all started with a favor…” When private investigator Jordan James agreed to search for the missing son of a U.S. Ambassador, she didn’t realize she was walking into a case one hundred years in the making. The deeper she delves into this unusual assignment, the more shocking, and the more dangerous, it becomes. With time running out and lives at stake, Jordan must race to identify the culprit of an elaborate plot while also uncovering a far more personal truth too intimate to ignore… “LOST DISTINCTION” Available Now on Amazon! http://www.amzn.com/B00Q5OGCS4

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LOST DISTINCTION EXCERPT

“So, when was the last time you saw Arthur?” I asked as the guys cheered when one of Stuart’s sons scored a touchdown with George’s help.

Michelle stared past the men. “I guess the last time I saw him was at Easter. Since Mr. and Mrs. Cross couldn’t make it back from London in time, we went over to Stuart’s house in Falmouth. I was surprised to see him there.”

“Why? Does he usually avoid family holidays?”

She clapped when Rick carried one of the twins over the “goal line” for a touchdown. She looked back at me and shrugged. “To be honest, I haven’t seen Arthur many times in all the years I’ve been married to Eddie. He lives and works in Middletown but just always seems too busy to come around. Eddie never gave me specifics, but I think Arthur tries to stay away from his family for some reason.”

“He didn’t say why?”

“No,” she shook her head. “Can’t say I blame him…”

I found myself more confused every time I learned more about this situation. As I sat there, I considered all the things I knew as fact. First, Arthur Cross was missing and had been missing for several days. Second, his family was concerned enough about his disappearance that they felt it necessary for his parents to fly in from London, but they did not want to involve the police as it might generate unwanted publicity. Third, they were going to a lot of trouble pretending like nothing was wrong.

I looked across the yard and saw the Crosses watching their children and grandchildren with absolute enjoyment. The last thing I knew was by far the most troubling fact of all. As I sat there, it became crystal clear that this family was hiding a secret. What I didn’t know at the time was how great the secret was and how many lives its revelation would affect, including my own.

LINKS

COLD AMBITION” Available Now on Amazon! www.amzn.com/B00L2OLQPG

LOST DISTINCTION” Available Now on Amazon! www.amzn.com/B00Q5OGCS4

“RETRIBUTION” Coming this Fall from Soul Mate Publishing!

Website: www.rachelsharpe.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorrachelsharpe

Twitter: www.twitter.com/RachelCSharpe

Thursday Threads – Riding for Love!

Welcome back to Thursday’s Threads! This week I am hosting author Tina Susedik on my blog. An excerpt of her novel, Riding for Love follows below:

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Riding for Love by Tina Susedik

Romantic Mystery

Sensuous

Blurb:

Eve Dayton, owner of a riding ranch, rose above her childhood past and overcame the emotional damage her boyfriend caused when he married another woman. When someone starts sabotaging her ranch, Eve is desperate to find the culprit before she loses everything. Is it a coincidence or is the return of Denton Johanson tied to the mystery?

Divorced Denton Johanson returns to his hometown to help convict the embezzling controller of the family business. When he runs into Eve, he realizes his feelings for her are still strong enough to try and win her back. His fear of horses won’t get in the way of his goal and decides the only way to be near her is to take riding lessons from her. Can he convince her that his love is real and he is not behind the mystery surrounding the ranch?

Excerpt

Eve leaned against the door frame of the woman’s bathroom. Grasping her purse against her stomach with both hands, she tried calming the herd of horses charging through her system. Taking a deep breath, she stepped forward and peered through the leaves of a tall potted plant placed to obscure the view of the restrooms. Her pulse picked up speed. Rose and Denton approached Max.

“Smart move,” she muttered. “Chicken. You should be raising chickens instead of horses, moron!”

She slapped her hand over her mouth when an elderly woman walked out of the bathroom and gave Eve a small smile and a wide berth. The woman went to her table and whispered something to her companion, probably about a crazy lady talking to a tree. Eve suppressed a laugh. Crazy, that was her all right. Crazy to be afraid of Denton and the rush of adrenaline snapping her nerve endings at the sight of him.

“C’mon, girl, he can’t eat you.” Visions of Denton nibbling on her neck sent shivers up her spine and down her legs. “Well, not literally, anyway.” Over the years, though, memories of his desertion had eaten away at her, turning her into an emotional cripple, afraid of becoming close to anyone except Tom. “Damn!  Why did he have to show up tonight and ruin the evening?”

She peered through the branches of the plant. Max kissed Rose on the cheek. Rose’s introduced Max and Denton.

Eve couldn’t help comparing the two while they shook hands. Both men were good-looking, tall, about 6’2. Max’s hair was blond, straight and short, while Denton’s was dark, wavy and worn nearly to the collar of his pale blue dress shirt. Max’s slim, wiry physique hid a strength making him capable of handling even the largest animals. Denton’s broad shoulders and hips accentuated his slim waist making him seem taller than Max. Women’s eyes followed Max when he came into a room, but he seemed to pale in comparison with Denton.

The men shook hands, but didn’t immediately let go. Max frowned. Did Denton grimace? Were Max’s fingers turning white? Were they going to start arm wrestling in the middle of the restaurant? Not that it mattered, but did Denton think she and Max were lovers? Max said something and the three of them turned in her direction. Eve quickly stepped back, hoping the rustling branches weren’t obvious. She peeked through the leaves again. They were still looking her way.

“Oh, hell!” she muttered. “I can’t hide out here forever.” Wiping her hands down the sides of her dress and taking a deep breath, she stepped into the hallway, head high, shoulders back, knees trembling. “I’m not chicken,” she said surprising a couple sitting nearest the restrooms.

“Eve, what a nice surprise,” Rose said, giving Eve a gentle hug when she reached the table. “You remember my son, Denton, don’t you?”

Eve couldn’t believe Rose’s question. What was she trying to pull? Even though her relationship with Denton had ended years ago, her friendship with his mother had grown and blossomed. Before she answered, Denton leaned over and placed a quick kiss on her cheek.

A lighted blow torch placed directly against her skin wouldn’t have burned anymore than his simple peck. Memories flashed back at her. Denton chasing her around the trees in his parents’ yard. Denton’s first tentative kiss on their fifth date. His last soul-searching one the evening before he left for college. The one from a lover during his Thanksgiving break.

“Hello again, Eve.” His soft words snapped her out of her memories.

“Hello, Denton,” she managed to utter, avoiding his eyes and glancing at Max.

Max observed the interaction. The urge to mark his territory overpowered him. He took Eve’s hand in his. “You two know each other?”

Max expected Eve to answer since Rose was only a passing acquaintance. When she didn’t say anything, he glanced at Eve. Her face had gone from pale back to rosy again and kept her eyes on their clasped hands. With a subtle motion, she turned the pearl side of her ring to the inside of her hand, leaving only the thin, gold band showing. What the hell?

It was obvious he was not going to get an answer from neither Eve nor Denton. He raised an eyebrow at Rose.

“Max, Eve and Denton went to high school together. They haven’t seen each other in a long time,” Rose answered Max’s silent inquiry. “Denton, Max is a veterinarian and takes care of Eve’s animals.”

“We’re out enjoying one last quiet evening before the seasonal rush starts,” Max said trying to cover the awkward situation while still trying to figure out all the currents flowing around them. It was more than the way Denton looked at Eve like a lost puppy having found his way home, or the way Rose watched Denton looking at Eve. There was so much voltage zapping between Eve and Denton, Max thought the restaurant lights should be popping and snapping. Was this Denton an adversary? A future friend? He sure as hell wished he knew because the situation was getting more strained by the second.

An awkward silence landed on the foursome once more. Eve didn’t understand Rose’s smug smile. Max squeezed Eve’s fingers tighter and glared at Denton as the silence stretched. Denton looked alternately between Max and Eve’s joined hands and their faces, seeming to come to some decision. He stepped forward and took Eve’s other hand in his.

“Eve, I need to talk to you,” he said, pressing her fingers in his.

Max’s hold on her hand increased as he gently pulled her away from Denton. Denton grasped her hand tighter.

“Please, Eve. I need to explain.”

Eve tried to turn and face Denton. Max’s grip pulled her back toward him. She was beginning to feel like a piece of taffy, being stretched and tugged to the maker’s satisfaction. A glance at Rose’s smiling face and Eve realized she wasn’t going to get any help from her. Max and Denton acted  like gladiators in a coliseum ready to fight for their lives. Eve only wanted to leave. People were starting to stare at the foursome still standing beside the table. Eve tried to remove her hands from both men. Their grips became equally stronger. Her fingers began to tingle from lack of circulation. She tugged again and finally faced Denton.

“Please let go of my hand. I have nothing to say to you,” she said quietly.

Buy Links:

Soul Mate Publishing: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/riding-for-love/

http://www.amazon.com/Riding-for-Love-ebook/dp/B00CLJD31Q

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/riding-for-love-tina-susedik/1119333999?ean=9781619354289

Tina Susedik

Contact links:

Website: TinaSusedik.com

http://tinasusedik.wordpress.com./

Twitter: @tinasusedik

Facebook: Tina Susedik, Author

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17908316-riding-for-love

Author Spotlight: Joanne Guidoccio and A Season for Killing Blondes

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Interview with Joanne Guidoccio

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2 More Days!!

Kim, thanks for participating in the Countdown to a Season for Killing Blondes.

Joanne, it is my pleasure to have you on my blog today! I love romantic suspense novels, and A Season for Killing Blondes is right up my alley. I think many readers will enjoy delving right into this cozy mystery.

Readers, make sure you check out the details below for Joanne’s giveaway, which she is offering in celebration of the release of her novel on June 12!!!!

  1. Briefly explain the inspiration behind your novel.
  2. While receiving cancer treatments, well-meaning friends gave me inspirational and comedic books. They meant well, and so did the healthy professionals who advised me to cross-read and challenge myself. By reading new and unfamiliar material, I could create new neural pathways in my brain and reduce the likelihood of developing the dreaded chemo brain.

But all I wanted to read were cozies, those delightful murder mysteries that include a bloodless crime and contain little (if any) violence, sex, or coarse language. I read voraciously, often finishing a cozy in one sitting. Toward the end of treatments, I came up with a storyline for my own cozy.

  1. What will readers love most about your heroine?
  2. It’s difficult for me to be objective about what readers may or may not like about Gilda Greco, the protagonist of my novel. Why? Because Gilda is 70 percent of me. We are Italian Canadian women, born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario. Growing up, we were happy, high-achieving nerds who loved curling up with books and writing poetry. Both Libras, we are sensitive to our surroundings and dislike loud, confrontational situations. Years ago, I would have classified ourselves as introverts, but after reading Quiet by Susan Cain, I believe we are ambiverts or extraverted introverts.

BTW…We are self-proclaimed non-foodies who have a great appreciation for the talents of foodies. Just don’t expect us to compete at that level.

  1. What word(s) best describe your book (3 words or less)?
  2. Entertaining Cozy Mystery

Blurb

Hours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the dead body of golden girl Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside her office. Gilda’s life and budding career are stalled as Detective Carlo Fantin, her former high school crush, conducts the investigation.

When three more dead blondes turn up all brutally strangled and deposited near Gilda’s favorite haunts, she is pegged as a prime suspect for the murders. Frustrated by Carlo’s chilly detective persona and the mean girl antics of Carrie Ann’s meddling relatives, Gilda decides to launch her own investigation. She discovers a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga instructor in need of anger management training, a lecherous photographer, and fourteen ex-boyfriends.

As the puzzle pieces fall into place, shocking revelations emerge, forcing Gilda to confront the envy and deceit she has long overlooked.

Trailer

 https://youtu.be/QURgFbybQVw

Excerpt

Three thousand euros worth of pastries. Can you believe it?

When I agreed to import the pastries, I had no idea I would be subsidizing the failing Italian economy and helping Silvio Berlusconi stay in power for a few weeks longer. Left to my own devices, I would have gone down the street to Regency Bakery, picked up some pastries and just walked them over. But my mother and Aunt Amelia were adamant. The open house for my new career counseling office needed a proper launch, one that could only be achieved with pastries from a Sicilian bakery.

To be fair, both of them were horrified when they saw that final four-figure amount on the invoice and swore me to secrecy. While conspicuous consumption is valued in the Italian community, being taken for a ride is not, and we would never hear the end of it from Uncle Paolo who is still complaining about the ten cents he has to pay for a shopping bag at No Frills.

I watched my mother rearrange the amaretto cookies, stuffed figs, biscotti, and other delicacies that had arrived yesterday. She and Aunt Amelia had brought in their best silver trays and carts and spent hours—according to Uncle Paolo—creating a colorful Italian corner.

“Everything is perfect. Maybe too perfect.” My mother made the sign of the cross and mumbled a Hail Mary.

“Relax, Ma. I’ve got everything under control. Nothing bad will happen.”

“Things have been going too well, Gilda. The lottery win. Your new career. This beautiful office. I’ve had one of my dreams, and you know what that means.”

Buy Links

Amazon (Canada) – http://is.gd/t0g1KZ

Amazon (United States) – http://is.gd/jADjPp

Amazon (United Kingdom) – http://is.gd/8mknFJ

Amazon (Australia) – http://is.gd/r843iX

Kobo – http://is.gd/BpO9gY

Readers:

The author, Joanne Guidoccio is generously offering a giveaway of her book to celebrate the release date! Either of the following links will take you directly to the giveaway!!!

Rafflecopter

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/628069201/?

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NjI4MDY5MjBkZDZjNzc5NWE4OTgyNWI5ZGEwM2U4OjE=/?

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Bio

In high school, Joanne dabbled in poetry, but it would be over three decades before she entertained the idea of writing as a career. She listened to her practical Italian side and earned degrees in mathematics and education. She experienced many fulfilling moments as she watched her students develop an appreciation (and sometimes, love) of mathematics. Later, she obtained a post-graduate diploma as a career development practitioner and put that skill set to use in the co-operative education classroom. She welcomed this opportunity to help her students experience personal growth and acquire career direction through their placements.

In 2008, she took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne…

Website:   http://joanneguidoccio.com/

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/joanneguidoccio

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

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanneguidoccio

Pinterest:   http://pinterest.com/jguidoccio/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7277706.Joanne_Guidoccio