Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Sample

Below you'll find another "Sunday Sample"––I hope you enjoy it. This excerpt comes from my mystery novel Hidden Agenda, which won the Kiss of Death Award for best book of romantic suspense. You can read the entire book on your Kindle or other device for just 99¢ from Amazon. If you prefer a physical, paperback version, you can purchase signed first editions through my website for $9.95. I'll be eager to hear feedback if you care to share your thoughts. Thanks for reading.

Hidden Agenda

The half-ton pickup bumped them again. Taylor rolled down his window and motioned the truck to pass him. Instead it pulled alongside and rammed them again, this time hard enough to knock the Camaro off the road and onto the narrow shoulder. A mere strand of cable strung between posts served as a guardrail; beyond loomed a drop of several hundred rocky feet.

Taylor jerked the steering wheel hard and pulled the car back onto the road. The pickup bore down on them again and collided with the Camaro's back left fender. Taylor downshifted and accelerated. The powerful car shot forward, its tires squealing. Charlotte was thrown back in her seat, then against the door as they slid around a curve. When they slowed to take a tight V-turn, the truck gathered speed and pulled into the oncoming lane beside the car. Its front fender slammed into the driver's side of the Camaro, sending it into a sideways skid toward the edge of the cliff. Taylor cut the wheel hard and the car skimmed the guardrail, snapping it instantly. They careened off a boulder and bounced back onto the pavement.

"That sonuvabitch is tryin' to kill us!" he shouted as he struggled to bring the car under control.

He jammed the gas pedal to the floor and the Camaro lurched forward. Tires screamed. The engine howled. Trees, rocks, and telephone poles flashed by. The black band of pavement whizzed beneath them. The Camaro devoured the few straight stretches and screeched around the curves, sometimes skidding broadside down the middle of the road. Miraculously no cars were coming the other way. Taylor spurred the Camaro on like a jockey riding a racehorse down the home stretch.

Trying to keep up with the faster car, the truck swerved out of control. It fishtailed and spun around twice before crashing into the rocky mountainside.

Taylor slowed the Camaro and pulled off the road. When he turned to face Charlotte she noticed his cheeks were flushed beneath his tan and his blue eyes flashed with excitement.

"You all right?" he asked.

Charlotte nodded. "Do you think he was trying to kill you or me?"

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Another Sunday Story Sample

Following in Twitter's footsteps, on Sundays I'm going to post extracts from my own and other authors' books to try and tempt you. You can read the rest of my mystery story "Midnight at the 11th Hour Cowboy Bar"––and dozens of other great tales––in the anthology Windchill, published by Level Best Books ( Or, if you prefer, choose an erotic version of the same story, published by Ravenous Romance in The Green Love Anthology ( Enjoy!

Midnight at the 11th Hour Cowboy Bar

The rusty thermometer nailed to the wall outside the 11th Hour Cowboy Bar read 106 degrees when I strolled in. It wasn’t a whole lot cooler inside. Jolene McBride, the wizened bottle-blonde proprietor, glanced up from the romance novel she was reading and smiled at me. “Hey, hon,” she said.

Some things never change; the 11th Hour Cowboy Bar is one of them. The mounted deer heads with their sad glass eyes look like they’ve been here since LBJ was President. So does Jolene. She still teases her caution-sign yellow hair into a bouffant mound big enough for a quail to nest in and the last record she loaded into the joint’s juke box was Hank William’s “Cold, Cold Heart.”

She handed me a beer as I bellied up to the bar. When you weigh only a little more than the thermometer reads, “bellied up” is merely a figure of speech.

“You hear about that big game hunter?” she asked, wiping her hands on her too-tight jeans with the Lone Star stitched on the butt pockets.

For as long as I can remember Jolene and I have had this “one-ups-womanship” thing going to see who’s first with the latest news. I’m a reporter, so I’ve got a vested interest in staying on top of things. But the local paper only comes out once a week and the Cowboy Bar is open every day except Sunday, so Jolene has the advantage.

“I heard about Brisbee Cole, if that’s who you mean,” I volleyed back.

Just about every guy in Easy, Texas considers himself a hunter. Brisbee Cole, though, made the rest of them look like kids in a penny arcade. If you’d ever sat beside him at one of the local watering holes for more than fifteen minutes you’d have heard about the leopard he shot in Tanzania and the grizzly he bagged in Alaska. I attributed his Hemingway complex to his stature. I’m only average height for a woman, but even in his cowboy boots with their two-inch heels he barely came up to my chin.

“Dwight Moseley was down here at lunchtime,” Jolene went on, “telling me how he found Cole’s body on the doorstep of his taxidermy shop this morning with a note pinned on his shirt that said ‘Stuff This!’ ”

I chuckled. “What seems weird to me is he didn’t get shot.”