For The Love Of Coffee (and other more important stuff)

When I was a kid, the worst thing that could possibly happen to you, was biting into a nice piece of chocolate only to discover it was coffee flavored.  Mind you, this may be a German thing since I don’t recall this happening to me past the age of ten or so. I’ve switched countries, but I certainly haven’t cut back on my chocolate intake, so I’ll assume the experience is exclusive to the latter. Point being, I thought coffee was about the most vile thing I’d ever tasted.

But, as is often the case with youthful ignorance, I grew out of it.

These days, a good cup of coffee is a one way ticket to my happy place. If I could, I would guzzle it by the gallons (some days…I probably do) but even though the thought of coffee always sounds inviting to me, I’ve learned to practice a little self-control. However, having said that, coffee is an absurd sort of constant in my life.

We joke, we writers, about our love for coffee, but for some it’s really not all that funny.

As much as we would all love to roll out of bed around noon, roam around the house in our robe and pajamas for an hour before settling down at the computer to put in a solid eight hours of quality writing, for most of us, that couldn’t be farther from reality.

We have day jobs. Children. Spouses. Friends and Family…all of which expect us to be present in the ‘REAL’ world for most of the day, the hours regular people deem important. It’s only after the work is done, the children have been put to bed, the Spouses have been sufficiently sedated with prime-time TV, and the friends and family have gone home to do the same, that we can sit down to write. Some nights (okay…pretty much EVERY night), this is well past a time of day that people would consider to be their most productive.

But…We roll with it. And often, we’re night owls anyway…actually, if people wouldn’t insist on our participating in all of that OTHER stuff, these WOULD be our most productive hours of the day. But…alas…we’ve been up already for fourteen plus hours tending to a gazillion other things and needs and our brains are fried. But we need to write. Not because we have deadlines, but because we NEED to write. It’s in us. It MUST come out.

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Enter Coffee – a little something I like to call my magic writing potion. Doesn’t matter how loopy I’m feeling at ten o’clock at night. I know once I suck down that over-sized mug of super elixir I’ll be set to go come midnight. And while I may not get in a solid eight hours of writing, I can count on at least two. Maybe four or five if I’m feeling really ballsy (cuz you know this chick has to get up with the dogs and kid come seven a.m.)

And while all of this may seem like a ridiculous topic to some, the underlying message isn’t all that stupid. Because it’s not really about the coffee. It’s about the dream. And what you’re willing to do to make it happen.

I’m willing to drink coffee. A LOT of coffee.

How about you?

Have you had your cup today?

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Time to Fall in LOVE with BRADY!!

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NOW AVAILABLE on Amazon
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I Call Him Brady
 
A New Contemporary Romance by K.S. Thomas


Born the only son to one of Hollywood’s most prominent power couples, Jack Cole’s life is damn near perfect. With women lining up to be with him, movie parts most seasoned actors would die for and the freedom to live above the rules, Jack’s life is going completely according to plan.
Until Embers…

Embers doesn’t have time to waste on any more dirt-bags. Too busy trying to take care of herself and her daughter to take any more chances on romance, she’s limiting her love life to daydreaming about one hot and sexy, Jack Cole.

Except her surefire way to keep her heart safe goes completely awry when her dream guy and her reality suddenly collide.

A master of recreating the human emotions he’s never allowed himself to feel, Jack must now deal with the consequences of offering his heart to someone who may be too scared to keep it.

 

 

 While Jack was downstairs getting himself situated in May’s apartment, she and I were upstairs totally losing our shit.

“Jack Cole is staying in our house!” she squealed as soon as the upstairs door shut behind us.

“I know! And paying us to be here! It’s fucking unreal.”

“That’s because I’m a genius.” May’s ability to sound humble while boasting was nothing if not admirable. It was all in the tone.

“Yeah well, genius, that could have totally backfired. What were the odds he was willingly going to spend five minutes, let alone two weeks, in a place that looks like a giant snowball cake exploded in it?”

May made a noise that sounded like a tire going flat and waved her hand dismissively.

“Oh, please. I saw the way he was looking at you. We could have rented him the space under the overpass and he would have set up camp without questioning it.”

I nearly dropped my keys as I went to hang them on the hook by the door.

“What are you talking about?”

“You’re kidding, right? Jack Cole is totally into you, Embers.”

“Are you fucking with me right now? ‘Cause I honestly can’t tell.” She had to be. There was no way Jack Cole was interested in me. Not when he had hot actresses and super models at his disposal. And this was not a low self-esteem thing. I’m just saying, I didn’t do pretty and primped. I was a single mom who spent her life inside of a food truck. I owned maybe one pair of heels, and I say maybe because I hadn’t actually set eyes on them since 2008 when I wore them to my cousin’s wedding.  My hair was generally styled via wind while driving with the top down and my choice of make-up tended to involve something that went beyond the smoky eye straight into inferno, and then that’s where it came to an abrupt halt. Unless you counted Chapstick as make-up, which I didn’t. You weren’t about to spot the likes of me on the cover of In Style or Cosmopolitan. Like ever.

I was still staring straight at my sister waiting for an answer while she had her eyes directed at the ceiling, twirling the end of her hawk near the nape of her neck between her fingers. A tell-tale sign she was getting annoyed with me.

“It was so obvious, Em. But if you couldn’t see what was happening right before your eyes, I can’t explain it to you. Meanwhile, what did you do to hook him anyway?”

Feeling like a scolded twelve year old who really should have learned by now not to wash her whites with reds, I wandered over to the couch and plopped down beside our cat, Coyote. We had originally named her Lucy when we brought her home from the shelter three years earlier, but had since realized that she suffered from a major identity crisis. Lucy was no cat. She was a coyote. Or at least, she thought she was.

I could hear humming coming from Jessa’s room. A good indication that she and Mermella had started their daily ritual of dressing up for tea.

“I didn’t do anything to hook him. It was more like he got trapped in my presence and I helped set him free.”

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May slid down into the recliner across from me. “Care to elaborate?”

“Jessa and I were on the elevator coming up from the parking garage when Jack busted in just as the doors were closing on the middle stop – you know, the one for the rental cars. Anyway, he was on the phone talking about how he caught his girlfriend cheating on him when he came down here to surprise her.”

May was glued to every word like I was revealing the secret of life to her. “Shut up! Who cheats on Jack Cole?! Then what?”

“Then, I reached our floor and I got off. In the meantime, a ton of other people got on with Jack still standing there in the elevator. I don’t think he really knew where he was going. Anyway, I saw this guy about to talk to him and it was just so clear that he wanted to be left alone.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. So, basically, I saved him from being hassled by a horde of fans, hence I gave him his freedom.”

“And how did you do that?”

I shrugged. “I called him Brady.”

May fell back into the cushions, deflated by the ending. “That’s it?”

“Pretty much. I also did a German tourist routine while we were waiting for you at the gate. That was kinda fun.” I had to smile just thinking about it.

“Sorry I missed that. Jack Cole’s German is hysterical.” No doubt she was remembering the same assassin movie I had earlier.

“Yeah, I didn’t let him do any of the talking.”

“Smart.”

I could feel the giggles start to rise again and all it took was one look at my sister for them to spill out.

Five minutes later we were still catching our breath.

“So, are you going to sleep with him?”

“He does not want to sleep with me. And even if he did, I’m not looking to be anybody’s rebound. Not even Jack Cole’s.” Even as I said the words I knew I was lying. So did May.

Humiliated, I face planted into the couch cushions, giggling yet again. After a moment I came up for air, tears in my eyes from laughing and beet red cheeks which were a combined result of embarrassment, as well as, lack of oxygen. I sucked in a deep breath and held it, forcing myself to be still. Then my inner twelve year old made yet one more appearance.

“I’d totally make out with him though. I mean it. I would kiss the crap out of the man.”

May shook her head laughing at me. “You’re ridiculous.”

“Maybe. But you still love me.”

“Like a mad woman loves her slippers and whiskey.” And that was really saying something.

*
Enter to win a signed paperback of I Call Him Brady HERE
 
 

 

Because You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know…When You Don’t Know.

When I first entered this business over two years ago, it’s pretty fair to say that I didn’t know squat about it. It would also be fair to say, that when it comes to learning how to do new things I tend to use an ‘I’ll just wing it’ approach. I know it’s not the smartest way of doing things, but I’ve always had an aversion to being taught things or reading instructions. I’m just not patient enough…so, publishing was no different.

I took just enough time to learn what I needed to to be dangerous. Basically, I was led to the self-publishing page on Amazon…from there, it was really just a matter of a few clicks before I was making a full-blown ass of myself.

My first book was a little non-fiction story about a child’s perspective on losing a parent. I wrote it for a variety of reasons, none of which were an expectation that it would ever make me tons of money. To this day, while it’s still published, I rarely mention it, I certainly don’t try to sell it. Mostly, I just like to think that those who need it will find it and then hopefully not judge me for the multitude of errors I made when publishing it.

Once I realized how easy it was to have a book on Amazon, I was on a roll. All of the projects I had been working on for the last few years suddenly had a place to go. I published my first novel, Country Girls, shortly after. Followed up with Lucky In Love pretty quickly. Both were incredible learning experiences for me and here’s why ~

When I hit publish on both of those books, I never set out to burden the world with an unprepared literary mess. It wasn’t like I just wrote them and uploaded them. No, I did the best I could with the knowledge I had and the funding available. Problem was, they both amounted to ZERO and I was only aware of that regarding the funding.

So, here’s what I didn’t know, I didn’t know…when I didn’t know.

Editing means more than just having someone check for typos and punctuation mistakes (turns out those people are proofreaders and something entirely different than editors).

A great cover requires more than a great graphic artist. There are rules. Starting with the shape (which should probably be a rectangle – as in the actual shape of a book. I know, it seems obvious now!)

Formatting involves things like page breaks and page numbers. The way it looks all neat and proper in my word document is in no way a real reflection of what it will look like on someone’s kindle…let alone in print.

The three most important steps in preparing your book are editing, cover and formatting. After reading plenty of badly written, but well edited and formatted books with awesome covers that sell like hotcakes, I can attest to this as being true. I don’t get it either.

Amazingly enough, while I was quite lacking in all of those areas when I first started, by some miracle I still managed to generate some sales and even some very positive reviews. However, I also wound up with a couple of very harsh responses from readers regarding my book’s shortcomings and those were hard to take…mostly, because I had to learn the hard way that they were right.

In the meantime, I’ve had a chance to learn a great deal about what it takes to be a contender in the world of self-publishing and while I sometimes shudder at the mistakes I made in the past, I’m glad I made them. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here now. And I like where I’m at. More importantly, I’m looking forward to where I’m going as I continue to discover what I don’t know -I don’t know, and use that new knowledge to better myself as an author and publisher.

Basically what I’m saying is this – You won’t know what you don’t know until you do it. So what if you fall flat on your face a few times? That didn’t stop you from learning to walk did it?! Why would you let it stop you now?

New Release ~ ETERNAL NIGHT by Jade Kerrion

Eternal Night ebook

“What makes Kerrion’s writing so compelling is the beautifully flawed characters that find themselves in unexpected relationships…these kind of character level conflicts make Kerrion’s writing so deliciously addictive.”—Noor A Jahangir, Author of The Changeling King

“Everything you want in a great story. Love, intrigue, action, betrayal, and understanding.”—Ch’kara Silverwolf, Author of Daughter of Light and Dark

Alone for a millennium, since a human murdered her beloved consort, Ashra, the immortal icrathari queen, rules over Aeternae Noctis, the domed city of eternal night. Her loneliness appears to be at an end when her consort’s soul is reborn in a human, Jaden Hunter, but their reunion will not be easy.

Icrathari are born, not made. If Ashra infuses Jaden with her immortal blood, he will be a vampire, a lesser creature of the night, a blood-drinker rather than a soul-drinker.

Furthermore, Jaden is sworn to protect his half-sister, five-year-old Khiarra. She is the child of prophecy, destined to end the eternal night and the dominion of the Night Terrors—the icrathari and the vampires.

As Ashra struggles to sustain her crumbling kingdom in the face of enemies without and treachery within, Jaden fights to defend his sister and unravel a greater mystery: what is the city of eternal night, and how did it come to be?

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

READ AN EXCERPT

With Tera beside her, Ashra strode forward. A wall of vampires parted to reveal the other two icrathari, Siri and Elsker. A dark-haired human slumped at Elsker’s feet, his wrists cuffed behind his back. Ashra stifled a chuckle. Surely Tera was overreacting; the human was by far the weakest creature in the chamber.

Tera knelt down, wrapped her fingers into the human’s hair, and pulled his head back. The human’s face was handsome enough—the slash of his cheekbones accentuated his perfectly proportioned, sculptured features—but taken as a whole, he was not compelling enough to justify the fuss.

Ashra shrugged. “You’re wasting my time, Tera.”

Apparently undeterred, the icrathari warlord shook the human hard. His eyes flashed open. They were brilliant green, the exact color of the emerald ring Ashra wore on the index finger of her right hand. His gaze was unfocused, and the reflexive narrowing of his eyes matched the clenching of his jaw, hinting of wrenching pain.

Tera looked up and met Ashra’s gaze. “Taste his soul.”

Ashra recoiled, her upper lip curling in disgust. She had no desire to taste a human’s soul. Over the centuries, humans had grown weak, their small lives consumed by superstition and fear. It was better to live on the edge of perpetual starvation than fill her hunger with the pitiful excuse humans called a soul.

“Go deep,” Tera said.

But why? Ashra’s brow furrowed. She glanced at Siri and Elsker, but the two icrathari shrugged, apparently no more clued in than she was. She looked back at Tera. The icrathari warlord known as Ashra’s Blade was the epitome of calm understatement. If she was so insistent, she must have had a reason.

Ashra knelt beside the human. Without flinching, she placed her hand against his muscled abdomen. It was bloody, his flesh ripped by a vampire’s talons.

The man tensed at her touch, and his eyes flared wide with agony when her soul-sucking powers leeched into him. His breath came hard and fast, his chest heaving with the effort as he twisted in Tera’s unyielding grip, trying to break free.

Ashra’s eyes narrowed. The human was weakened—tapped into his life source, she waded through his dazed thoughts and shivered from the echo of each spasm of pain that wracked his body—but still, he fought Tera on the physical plane and Ashra on the psychic dimension, denying her access to his memories and to his soul.

She frowned and slammed her will against his, tearing an anguished scream from his throat, but still, his will did not crumble.

Askance, Ashra looked at Tera. “Did you taste him?”

Tera nodded. “It wasn’t hard the first time; he didn’t know what to expect, but apparently, he does now and is doing a fine job of fighting back.”

Was that grudging respect she heard in Tera’s voice? “Does his soul really matter?”

The icrathari nodded again.

Ashra’s shoulders shifted with the motion of a silent sigh. His resistance left her with little choice. She leaned forward and glided her lips over his in a whisper of a kiss.

Human myths spoke of succubi and incubi—demons that, with a touch, could stir lust in their unwilling victims. All myths were based in reality. The maddening beauty and soul-sucking powers of the icrathari had spawned the legends of succubi and incubi. With a touch, the icrathari could lure their victims into a state of sexual ecstasy, bending the will and baring the soul.

The human tensed against Ashra, resisting the intimate contact. She almost recoiled. Had the centuries dulled her innate powers? Surely she had not forgotten how to lure a man.

She closed her eyes and remembered love.

As always, Rohkeus’s fine-featured face—those beautiful gold-flecked green eyes, so unusual for an icrathari, and teasing smile—came to the fore. With a dreamy half-smile, she deepened the kiss, driving the memory of love before her like a sharpened stake.

At last, the man relaxed, succumbing to the kiss. She leaned into him, heedless of his crimson blood staining her white gown. He was warm, feverish even. Just skimming over six feet, he had more than twelve inches on her, but his physical strength, compared to hers, was puny. She was well aged; over four millennia old, she was the oldest of the icrathari and the strongest. She could have broken his neck with as little effort as a human child snapping a twig.

Her hand trailed across his muscled torso. He made it easy for her to be gentle. His body trembled as if he longed for her. His mouth was hungry for her kiss. He arched up against her, as if craving more. His need was like a living creature, wild and aching for her touch.

Eyes closed, Ashra shivered. Only one other person had desired her as much.

And he was dead.

She forced her way through the memories of pale bodies tangled upon cool silk sheets. When her soul-sucking power leeched out, it found no opposition. Images of the human’s life rewound in a blaze of vivid sights, sounds, and sensations.

Ashra looked up at Tera, her smile little more than a barely perceptible curve of her lips. “He fancies himself the protector of the child of prophecy. Was she among those taken tonight?”

Tera nodded.

Ashra chuckled, the sound without humor. “It’s a pity her genetic heritage wasn’t sufficiently superior to prevent her from being culled.”

“There’s more. Go deep.”

She pushed past the blackness at the start of his memories, expecting deeper darkness. Instead, the colors shifted into shades of ochre and gray. Memories, older than his body, resided in his soul; memories of an Earth long since lost to them—a planet surrounded and nourished by water; images of tall buildings glistening beneath a benevolent sun, and of thriving cities filled with the bustle of humans; memories of quiet and intimate conversations beneath a silver moon, the same silver moon that now graced Malum Turris with its light, though a thousand years older and viewed only from beneath the protection of the dome.

She saw herself as he must have seen her, a much-younger icrathari, still hopeful for the future, never realizing that the Earth they had all known and loved was irretrievably lost. Had she ever looked that vulnerable? Had her smile ever been so beautiful, so filled with love as she looked upon—

Rohkeus?” Oh, blessed Creator, was that stricken whisper her voice?

~*~

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

Connect with Jade Kerrion at: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

Catch Up With Author TONI SINNS

 

The Blazing Charm Series is about a group of young adults who are not only dealing with getting through their high school drama but also have multiple layers of secrets to hide, along with people to hide from. As the pack connects and grows you learn about how entangled each ones life is with the others. From illegal street races, to blowing up gang cars, all the way to going toe to toe with the mafia this adventure will keep you on your toes. Some calls are just a little to close for comfort. (The final book 4 will be available 2014)
 
 
 
 
 
 

Emotions can run deep in ones soul and poetry can let them surface to
the ears of others. This book is about the deep set emotions, the fears,
thoughts, dreams, and experiences of Toni Sinns. As she walks through
life her view and her life are formed into the collection of these soul
touching poems.

Baby Dragon’s Sound is a young child’s book. It is easy to read and follows the story of how Baby Dragon tries to find its own sound.
(Coming in 2014)






Crystal’s
simple world is turned upside down when a car crash takes both of her
parents away and tosses the young girl in the care of her mother’s
sister. Taken out of the comforts of her country life she is expected to
fit into the busy city world of her Aunt. But when she refuses to give
up her country ways she reminds her aunt what it means to be Dixie
Raised.




(Coming in 2014)



Two more books coming in 2014 are a short story romance titled Fields of Summer and a Paranormal Romance Adventure titled The Black Rose

The Black Rose – After a 50 year long battle of good verses evil the world is destroyed. And for what? Nobody really knows who won the battle. Jasilyn however is determined to stop the destruction even though she holds secrete agendas for herself on her quest. She however is taken back when a random act of kindness drops Ashton in her lap. Ashton wants to join Jasilyn in her quest and after some time she agrees. But Ashton has his own secrets. Will this adventure destroy them both or does facing deathly situations really bring people closer together? 
 
Fields of Summer – Daniel has always enjoyed his summers with his grandparents on the farm. And after his father’s death and his mother’s new man in the city he can’t seem to stay long enough. But this could be his last summer out to the farm. However, this summer has decided to give Daniel a whole new adventure by dropping Tiffany in his world. After Tiffany’s brothers mysterious death Tiffany’s family is struggling and Tiffany just needs to get away. So Tiffany comes to stay a time with Daniel’s grandparents on the farm. Can Daniel help Tiffany deal with her brothers lose? And can Tiffany help Daniel get the courage to tell his mother he isn’t coming home? 



About The Author




Toni Sinns was born and raised in Western North Carolina before moving
to Central Florida in 2011 with the love of her life husband and their 2
dogs. She is currently working on multiple novels in multiple genres
and has many plans for much more. When she isn’t busy having
conversations with the characters in her head she is helping others with
her promotions business Turning The Pages or she is lost in one of her
many joys and hobbies which could include: video games, movies, crochet,
cooking, crafts, reading, or something else she finds to toy with. 


Stalk Toni – Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Page

 

HOT NEW RELEASE by CHANTEL RHONDEAU

Love & Deception (Agents in Love ~ Book 1)
Release Date: October 18, 2013
Author: Chantel Rhondeau
Genre: Romantic Suspense


What if everything you believed in was a lie?

In hiding for six years, Carlie Hollis is tired of running. All she wants is to stay in Sayle, Washington and make a success of her struggling delicatessen. Because of her past, she’s suspicious of anyone who takes an interest in her.
Nick Kendall works as a spy in a top-secret government operation, protecting innocent people from danger. Sent to Sayle on a mission to infiltrate a suspected terrorist organization, Nick finds himself attracted to Carlie, an alleged key player of the group.

Despite her misgivings, Carlie develops feelings for the handsome stranger, believing he is there to help her. But when Nick finds evidence of her guilt, he’s given orders to do the unthinkable—eliminate the target, one he’s fallen hopelessly in love with. Will he follow orders…or become hunted himself?


CONTENT WARNING: Violence, language, sizzling love scenes.
Agents in Love Series:
Book 1 – Love & Deception (October 2013)
Book 2 – Love & Redemption (Spring 2014)
Book 3 – Love & Compromise (Fall 2014)
More to come…


Buy it now:
Kindle Edition:
Amazon: US | UK
Apple iStore:  US | UK | AU | CA
Barnes & Noble

Kobo 
Smashwords

Mark it as “to read” on Goodreads


Excerpt:

Silence rushed to fill the space between them. Desperate to keep the conversation moving, Carlie jerked her chin in the direction of the chandelier. “I love how big that is.”

“Really?” Nick lifted one eyebrow and his lips quirked at the corners. “I’ve heard size is important.”

Embarrassment burned all the way up her neck and face. “I meant the chandelier. I wasn’t saying…” Holy crap. She was supposed to flirt. Another woman would have come up with a witty comeback, but Carlie had nothing.

He laughed and reached across the table, patting her hand. “Relax. I figured that’s what you meant. Just trying to lighten the mood.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be so nervous.”

“It’s okay, but you really don’t need to be. I don’t bite. Well,” he glanced at the tablecloth briefly before looking at her again, heat in his gaze, “not on the first date.”

“I…you…” Carlie gasped for a few seconds and then sighed. Shelley would be so disappointed in her. “I’m not good at this.”

“You’re not trying to tell me you don’t date much, are you?”

“Well, actually, I don’t.” She took a sip of water. The truth was the wrong path to take here. Guys wanted worldly, experienced girls who knew how to have a good time.

Flirt!

She winked at him, hoping it didn’t look like she had something in her eye. “At least, not men as sexy as you.”

He winked back. “And big, don’t forget big.”


Author Bio
Chantel once thought a great mystery or fantasy book with strong romantic themes was the highest level of reading bliss. After reading her first romantic suspense novel, she never looked back. Before long, the need to create her own stories took over. She spend her days in the clinical profession of medical transcriptionist, but her passion is in the hours spent with her characters in the evenings.

She live in the western United States, and when she’s not writing she love playing cards with her family, bowling on leagues, and snuggling with her lazy kitties.

Want to contact Chantel?
Website: http://www.chantelrhondeau.com
Cyber Stalk on Facebook
Follow on Twitter 

Check out all Chantel’s available titles: http://www.chantelrhondeau.com/p/my-available-titles.html

Madison Knight is back! Giveaway with @Carolyn_Arnold

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If you haven’t already, meet Madison Knight, the chocolate-loving detective, who is determined to solve murder and find justice for the victims—even if that means coming into contact with the sight of blood.

However, in Found Innocent, the latest release in the series (releasing October 16th!), she doesn’t have to face too messy of a crime scene, at least in one sense. What she does have to deal with is whether or not she’s willing to jeopardize departmental relationships and cross the wall of blue.

Here, this is what it’s about:

There’s one code when it comes to the wall of blue…and Madison Knight may have to cross it.

Any good cop knows you never report a brother for mishandling a case or accuse him of misconduct, but in order to find justice, Madison may not have a choice.

Lacy Rose had one goal for her twentieth birthday—to be found innocent of past sins—but her life is cut short.

When Lacy’s remains are found in a garden and the investigation becomes connected to a closed case, Madison must face her past. The lead detective on that case was Madison’s ex-fiancé. At the risk of jeopardizing departmental relationships, and churning up the attention of an old flame at the same time, Madison must push hard before the guilty are found innocent.

FI

Excerpt, Chapter 1:

“He didn’t do it!”
The hysterical shouting pulled Madison’s attention from her monitor to a woman rushing toward her.
The station was supposed to be quiet today. Sunday. She wasn’t required to be there, and that made it the perfect day to dig into her cold case. She was so close to getting answers.
With one more longing look at her screen, Madison rose from her chair and held up her hands to stop the woman.
“Detective Knight.” She stated this as if they had met before.
Officer Ranson, the female officer who manned the front desk, came up behind them. “Come on—”
Another officer brushed past Ranson and slipped his hands under the woman’s arms. “Let’s go.”
He pulled on her, but she stayed still. Her eyes steadied on Madison.
“Please help me.” She attempted to shake loose from the officer’s grip.
Her frown lines were deep burrows, her eyes were sunken, and the flesh around them was puffy. She appeared to be rough-edged, but there was something desperate about her, and she didn’t seem to be a threat to the lives of anyone here.
“I’ve got this,” Madison said.
“All right, your call.” The male officer let go of the woman, and he and Ranson left.
“I saw your face in the paper.” The woman held up the Stiles Times. “It’s you, isn’t it?” Her lashes were caked with mascara, and she blinked slowly. Madison wondered if the cosmetic had sealed her eyes shut.
Madison passed a glance to the paper. It captured a moment she wished to forget. A day when she had been forced to speak in front of a crowd and to take pride in the job she had done. The thing was, though, a good cop couldn’t care less about the recognition.
The woman sobbed, yet her tears didn’t affect her makeup. “He wouldn’t do this…”
Madison summoned patience. A list of envelope-printing companies—which could prove to be a vital link in the chain of evidence against the Russians—would be on her monitor, right now.
She took a deep breath, passed another glance to her computer, and turned back to the woman. “Come with me.”
Madison kept the woman to the side of her. Her first impression was the woman didn’t pose a threat, but she still wasn’t willing to sacrifice her back by leading the way into the room.
Inside, Madison gestured to a chair.
The woman dropped her red bag heavily on the table. It was large enough to serve as a duffel bag. She pulled off her jean jacket, folded it over the back of the chair, and revealed a pink sweater that displayed more cleavage than Madison could ever hope to see on herself. The woman went rooting through the duffel bag and she stuffed a stick of gum in her mouth. She worked at chopping it into a soft, pliable distraction. It snapped in her mouth.
“Let’s start with your name—”
“Vilma with an ‘i’. Vilma Thorne, well, it would have been. My God, Kev!” She raised her face upward as if calling out to a Greater Being. Her gum chewing paused only momentarily.
“Vilma—” Madison had to tune out the noise and the display of her open-mouth chewing. “Let’s start at the beginning. Why are you here?”
Vilma stuck a finger through one of the large gold hoops dangling from her ears and leaned in.
Madison detected the blend of cheap perfume and cigarettes. Maybe—she inhaled deeper, trying not to appear obvious—it wasn’t perfume but whiskey. It was hard to discern. Her eyes appeared normal, except for the abuse of eye makeup. Besides the thick mascara, her lids were weighed with the color purple. Her pupils weren’t dilated or pinpricks.
Still, she didn’t respond to Madison’s question.
“Okay, Vilma, if you need my help, I need you to talk to me.”
Possibly this woman was on a new line of drug that disguised itself behind brilliant colors? Maybe this was a mistake and Madison should have let her get hauled away.
“My family is against what he did. But he didn’t do it!” Her voice rose, tears flowed. She stopped chewing and, sniffling, went rooting in the duffel bag again. She came out with a bunched up tissue and wiped her nose.
Madison’s tolerance level had almost reached its limit. “You keep saying he didn’t do it. Do what?”
A tissue still pinched on the tip of her nose, Vilma said, “He didn’t kill himself…someone killed him.”

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The Madison Knight Series is a clean, murder mystery series meaning mild graphic violence and language. Each book is self-contained so you can read any of the books, and out of order, if you wanted to. Books in the series in released order: Ties that Bind, Justified, Sacrifice, Life Sentence (Prequel in which Madison has a cameo role), and Found Innocent.

Carolyn Author Photo 2013 Color Small

Carolyn Arnold started to take writing seriously six plus years ago when a co-worker said “tell me a story”. Since then she’s written nine novels and has plans to write many more. She has a love for the canine world and has two beagles that are affectionately named Max and Chelsea. Like her female protagonist Madison Knight, she loves her chocolate and has been known, on occasion, to speak her mind.

Website: http://www.carolynarnold.net
Blog: http://sassy3421.blogspot.ca/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

In celebration of the release of Found Innocent you can enter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. You can enter as many times as you like and various ways. The contest lasts until October 31st.

Enter here >>> http://carolynarnold.net/FoundInnocent.html#FIExtras