Tag Archives: deb sanders

Foreign Language Translation – Is It Worth It?

Amazon Best Seller

Amazon Best Seller

Two years ago, my thriller – Stone Cold Justice, ranked on the Amazon Best Seller list. I was ecstatic. It has continued to produce respectable sales albeit not the prolific numbers as a new release.

Earlier this year, I was approached by Amazon Crossing about publishing my novel through their foreign language imprint. I decided to accept the contract and here’s why.

First and foremost, I’m an Indie author and proud of it. I like control over content, marketing, royalties, promotions, etc. Amazon KDP has continued to provide a solid platform on which to promote my work, as well as offering great marketing tips to keep my name out there. I know a lot of writers and publishers who consider Amazon the Antichrist.  I don’t feel that way. I can only speak for my own experience but it works for me. I tried other distributors during my first year as an Indie author. Amazon’s royalties made up 98% of my income, month after month. I”m not a m20140818_135347illion dollar author. If I were, I’d look at other venues. Until my sales warrant such an expansion, Amazon has my loyalty and respect.

So when Amazon Crossing presented their proposal for the German language translation rights to Stone Cold Justice, I was skeptical but willing to listen. I had no plans to translate any of my books – which made the decision easy. I didn’t feel like I was relinquishing anything. Sure, they control German distribution rights and a few other details like cover art but in return, I have access to a market I would never have tapped. Book translations are not cheap!

My Amazon Crossing team was incredibly easy to work with and explained every step in detail. I was allowed creative input about the cover which they accepted. Communication during the production phase was professional with regular updates about the progress. It was an exciting and enjoyable experience, right down to the box of print books that arrived this week.

Now comes the interesting part . . . the release and current sales. I prepared for dismal sales. I mean, how many Germans could possibly want to read about a sexy New Mexico cowboy intent on extracting justice for a crime he believes a young woman committed ten years ago, a crime now connecting her to a drug and human trafficking ring? Well, apparently Germans like sexy cowboys. My sales are humming along nicely and building rapidly each day. I’m able to track daily, weekly and monthly sales through Author Central.

Was giving up a little control over my German translation rights worth it? You bet! A hundred fold. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

My only problem now is how to market in a language I don’t speak? Book signings at Oktoberfest, anyone?

AMAZON – Stone Cold Justice, English

AMAZON – Stone Cold Justice, German

 

 

CONTEST ALERT! SWAG for An Unholy Alliance

GIVEAWAY!

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2 SWAG PAKS – Each package includes an e-copy of An Unholy Alliance (gifted from Amazon or PDF format, winner’s choice), a bookmark/charm customized for An Unholy Alliance (US shipping only), a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner’s choice)

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An Unholy Alliance       

Deb Sanders

Genre: Paranormal Thriller with Romantic elements

UnholyCoverThumb

ASIN: B00I1THOII

Word Count: 40,000

Cover Artist: Deb Sanders                  

Amazon

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

What would you do if the future of mankind depended on whether you lived or died?

Reyna Blair has learned two things from life – she can tolerate a lot of pain and wounds aren’t always visible. After a stint in the army, she’s ready to drop off the grid and heal. A job as Peace Officer in the small community of Purgatory, Texas sounds like the perfect solution – until the town is rocked by a gruesome murder.

When sexy Texas Ranger, Ty Carter, steps in to help with the investigation, Reyna is both thrilled and annoyed. He’s nice to look at and a definite boost to her sagging ego, but his aggressive ambition might push her right out of a job. To make matters worse, she’s being stalked by a mysterious stranger with a sword that can burst into flames on command.

Reyna’s problems are only beginning. The stranger is an angel of God . . . an Enforcer . . . sent to eliminate a Nephilim woman prophesized as giving birth to the Antichrist. Realizing she’s the target, Reyna must flee or be killed. Along the way, she discovers dark secrets which alter her world forever, challenge her faith, and force a choice between life and death.

*** This story uses a biblical theme but includes scenes with graphic violence and strong language.

EXCERPT:

The stench of decaying flesh filled the air like day old road kill on a hot August night. Reyna Blair kept her distance as she folded a handkerchief, covered her nose and choked back the urge to heave.

“How long?”

The medical examiner pushed wire framed glasses further along his nose and looked up. “Hard to say, Officer Blair. This damn heat’s accelerated the breakdown of tissue.”

“Then how ’bout a guess?”

The older man squinted, twisted his mouth to one side, and arched bushy brows as he considered her question. “Well, the blowfly larvae are at third instar so I’d say your vic has been dead four, maybe five days. Once I get him to the lab and run some tests, I’ll give you a better estimate.”

Reyna nodded, her eyes riveting to the gaping wound in the dead man’s chest. Someone split his sternum from throat to abdomen, leaving an open cavity that now hosted an infestation of slithering maggots.

Great. Just fucking great.

Rubbing her temples, Reyna glanced away. The mid-morning sun penetrated her dark blonde hair, raising sweat bubbles on her scalp and provoking an already short temper. She glared at the uniformed Texas Rangers swarming her crime scene like an army of pissed off ants.

Crime scene. The words sounded odd when paired with Purgatory – a small retirement community cradled in the rolling hills between San Antonio and Austin. So much for living the quiet life of a small town cop.

Reyna had accepted the position of Peace Officer six months ago after an old army buddy told her about the opening. It wasn’t a seamless hire. The mayor didn’t like her and protested publicly when the town council extended an employment contract. Some said he opposed women in law enforcement. Reyna suspected it had more to do with her contempt for his inflated ego.

In spite of Mayor Townsend’s disapproval, and Reyna’s exasperation with the slower moving senior citizens, she’d been thankful for the job. Purgatory was a much needed antidote for her frayed nerves. A place to hide – and heal. A refuge from the murder and mayhem plaguing her adult life. She’d wished for such a place after being discharged from the army.

But as her drill sergeant used to say, “Wish in one hand and shit in the other, soldier. See which one fills up fastest.” Today was a perfect example of what Reyna had come to expect in life – a handful of shit.

“Where’s the law in this town?”

A teasing voice drifted over her shoulder, eliciting a grudging smile from her tightly sealed lips. Ty Carter. Texas Ranger and eye candy extraordinaire. She turned to greet the detective walking toward her. His crisp khaki shirt and creased slacks appeared immune to the heat and humidity. No man should look that good in uniform.

Ty let out a long, low whistle as he stared at the corpse. “What a way to start the day.”

“You talkin’ to him or me?”

He snickered. “From the look of things, I’d say his day ended long before yours started. Who found him?”

She leaned toward him with a conspiratorial whisper. “Agnes Gaines, who graciously served as tour guide for family and friends before deciding to notify me.”

“That explains the golf carts parked on the side of the road. Looks like a damn old folk’s convention.” A lopsided grin lit up his face as he thrust a cup of coffee into her hand. “Iced Mocha Grande. Figured you could use it.”

Cute. Ty Carter was definitely cute. Ever since the tautly muscled detective first sauntered into her office issuing a cocky introduction and a list of services available through the Texas Rangers, she’d joined the ranks of secret . . . and some not so secret . . . admirers. Logic told her he was way too young, or at least he looked it with boyish dimples aligned perfectly on either side of a too kissable mouth.

Five years separated their ages, but Reyna felt decades older. The war had stolen her innocence. War – and working as a beat cop in one of the toughest, most drug infested neighborhoods of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She’d witnessed horrors most people couldn’t imagine and would never want to see – which left Reyna even more confused about why a bunch of retirees would rush to view a decomposing body.

She took one more look at the stiff carcass and turned away. For once, it was a blessing to detach emotionally, even though her army shrink considered it a debilitating personality trait. Admittedly, Reyna had sandbagged the counseling sessions but only because the good doc displayed a superiority complex the size of Antarctica. Reyna had no use for know-it-alls or prima donas, and the psychiatrist demonstrated a proclivity for both.

Scowling with the memory, she lifted the cup of coffee to her lips and took a sip. The lid loosened, flooding the front of her shirt with a dark, icy stain. Reyna gasped, quickly brushed away what she could of the beverage and launched a mortified glance at the bystanders hovering near the yellow crime scene ribbon. God, I hope nobody saw that.

It was the most people gathered in the city park she could recall since starting her job, proof of what she’d suspected all along – Agnes Gaines was a natural instigator. Political lobbyists would pay big bucks for someone with her skills.

Her gaze settled on a tall stranger standing apart from the crowd. Black hair spiked across his forehead as he stared at her with unnerving intensity. Shark eyes. Dead eyes. Reyna pushed her aviator sunglasses further up her nose, camouflaging her scrutiny with the reflective lens.

Whatcha lookin’ at, mister? You know something I don’t? The hair rose on the back of her neck as he continued to watch her. It was as though he could see right through the sunglasses and into her mind.

Massive shoulders filled his long coat, suggesting he wasn’t from the area – or else a complete idiot. What native Texan would wear a heavy duster in the middle of July? He tilted his head to one side, reinforcing her perception he was a telepath.

You’re one strange son of a bitch. The side of her mouth shifted upwards as he flinched. Damn, maybe he really can read my thoughts. The possibility left her more uncomfortable than ever.

 

DebBWAbout the Author:

I’m an adventurer – more by destiny than design. I’ve explored the back roads and highways of 35 states, resided in eight, and traveled through parts of Mexico, Canada and the Bahamas. My journeys have provided interesting tidbits which I’ve managed to weave into scenes for some of my books.

When I’m not in front of my computer, you might find me perched atop a rock at the back of a box canyon, crouched low in the middle of a dry creek bed with camera aimed at a majestic Elk, or perhaps hanging onto a skiff after a whale has breached next to me.  At other times, I’ll be Geocaching with grandsons or attempting a new project inspired by something I’ve discovered on Pinterest.

Not all wanderers are lost. Some of us prefer to throw away the map and meander through life on the road less traveled.

I physically reside in North Carolina with my husband, Golden Retriever and two rescue cats. My soul resides in Arizona.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/debsanders01

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebSanders01

Website:    http://debsanders.com

Pinterest:   http://www.pinterest.com/dsandersauthor/

Holy Moly . . . AN UNHOLY ALLIANCE


An Unholy Alliance

Deb Sanders

UnholyCover2

Genre: Paranormal Thriller with Romantic Elements

Date of Publication: January 25, 2014

ASIN: B00I1THOII

AMAZON

Book Description:

What would you do if the future of mankind depended on whether you lived or died?Reyna Blair has learned two things from life – she can tolerate a lot of pain and wounds aren’t always visible. After a stint in the army, she’s ready to drop off the grid and heal. A job as Peace Officer in the small community of Purgatory, Texas sounds like the perfect solution – until the town is rocked by a gruesome murder.When sexy Texas Ranger, Ty Carter, steps in to help with the investigation, Reyna is both thrilled and annoyed. He’s nice to look at and a definite boost to her sagging ego but his aggressive ambition might push her right out of a job. To make matters worse, she’s being stalked by a mysterious stranger with a sword that can burst into flames on command.Reyna soon learns her problems are just beginning. The stranger is an angel of God . . . an Enforcer . . . sent to eliminate a Nephilim woman that prophecy states will give birth to the Antichrist. Realizing she’s the target, Reyna must flee or be killed. Along the way, she discovers dark secrets which will change her world forever, and force her to choose between life and death.*** This story is based on a biblical theme but includes scenes with graphic violence and strong language.

Excerpt:

The stench of decaying flesh filled the air like day old road kill on a hot August night. Reyna Blair folded a handkerchief, covered her nose and choked back the urge to gag.

“How long?”

The medical examiner pushed wire framed glasses further along his nose and looked up. “Hard to say, Officer Blair. This damn heat’s accelerated the breakdown of tissue.”

“Then how ’bout a guess?”

The older man squinted, twisted his mouth to one side, and arched bushy brows over pale blue eyes. “Well, the blowfly larvae are at third instar so I’d say your vic has been dead four, maybe five days. Once I get him to the lab and run some tests, I can give you a better estimate.”

Reyna nodded as her eyes riveted to the gaping wound in the dead man’s chest. Someone split his sternum from throat to abdomen, leaving an open cavity that now hosted an infestation of slithering maggots.

Great. Just fucking great.

Rubbing her temples, Reyna glanced away. The mid-morning sun penetrated her dark blonde hair, raising sweat bubbles on her scalp and provoking an already short temper. She glared at the uniformed Rangers swarming her crime scene like an army of pissed off ants.

Crime scene. The words sounded odd when paired with Purgatory, Texas – a small retirement community cradled in the rolling hills between San Antonio and Austin. So much for living the quiet life of a small town cop.

Reyna had accepted the position of Peace Officer six months ago after an old army buddy told her about the opening. It wasn’t a seamless hire. The mayor didn’t like her and protested publicly when the town council extended an employment contract. Some said he opposed women in law enforcement. Reyna suspected it had more to do with her contempt for his inflated ego.

In spite of Mayor Townsend’s disapproval, and Reyna’s exasperation with the slower moving senior citizens, she’d been thankful for the job. Purgatory was a much needed antidote for her frayed nerves. A place to hide – and heal. A refuge from the murder and mayhem plaguing her adult life. She’d wished for such a place after being discharged from the army.

But as her drill sergeant used to say, “Wish in one hand and shit in the other, soldier. See which one fills up fastest.” Today was a perfect example of what Reyna had come to expect in life – a handful of shit.

“Where’s the law in this town?”

A teasing voice drifted over her shoulder, eliciting a grudging smile from her tightly sealed lips. Ty Carter. Texas Ranger and eye candy extraordinaire. She turned to greet the detective walking toward her. His crisp khaki shirt and creased slacks appeared immune to the heat and humidity. No man should look that good in uniform.

Ty let out a long, low whistle as he stared at the corpse. “What a way to start the day.”

“You talkin’ to him or me?”

He snickered. “From the look of things, I’d say his day ended long before yours started. Who found him?”

She leaned toward him with a conspiratorial whisper. “Agnes Gaines, who graciously served as tour guide for family and friends before deciding to notify me.”

“That explains the golf carts parked on the side of the road. Looks like a damn old folk’s convention.” A lopsided grin lit up his face as he thrust a cup of coffee into her hand. “Iced Mocha Grande. Figured you could use it.”

Cute. Ty Carter was definitely cute. Ever since the tautly muscled detective first sauntered into her office issuing a cocky introduction and a list of services available through the Texas Rangers, she’d joined the ranks of secret . . . and some not so secret . . . admirers. Logic told her he was way too young, or at least he looked it with boyish dimples aligned perfectly on either side of a too kissable mouth.

Five years separated their ages, but Reyna felt decades older. The war had stolen her innocence. War – and working as a beat cop in one of the toughest, most drug infested neighborhoods of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She’d witnessed horrors most people couldn’t imagine and would never want to see – which left Reyna even more confused about why a bunch of retirees would rush to view a decomposing body.

She took one more look at the stiff carcass and turned away. For once, it was a blessing to detach emotionally, even though her army shrink considered it a debilitating personality trait. Admittedly, Reyna had sandbagged the counseling sessions but only because the good doc displayed a superiority complex the size of Antarctica. Reyna had no use for know-it-alls or prima donas, and the psychiatrist demonstrated a proclivity for both.

Scowling with the memory, she lifted the cup of coffee to her lips and took a sip. The lid loosened, flooding the front of her shirt with a dark, icy stain. Reyna gasped, quickly brushed away what she could of the beverage and launched a mortified glance at the bystanders hovering near the yellow crime scene ribbon. God, I hope nobody saw that.

It was the most people gathered in the city park she could recall since starting her job, proof of what she’d suspected all along – Agnes Gaines was a natural instigator. Political lobbyists would pay big bucks for someone with her skills.

Her gaze settled on a tall stranger standing apart from the crowd. Black hair spiked across his forehead as he stared at her with unnerving intensity. Shark eyes. Dead eyes. Reyna pushed her aviator sunglasses further up her nose, camouflaging her scrutiny with the reflective lens.

Whatcha lookin’ at, mister? You know something I don’t? The hair rose on the back of her neck as he continued to watch her. It was as though he could see right through the sunglasses and into her mind.

Massive shoulders filled his long coat, suggesting he wasn’t from the area – or else a complete idiot. What native Texan would wear a heavy duster in the middle of July? He tilted his head to one side, reinforcing her perception he was a telepath.

You’re one strange son of a bitch. The side of her mouth shifted upwards as he flinched. Damn, maybe he really can read my thoughts. The possibility left her more uncomfortable than ever.

Reyna whirled around and nervously kicked up a cloud of dust with the toe of her boot. Instinct told her the guy was involved in John Doe’s murder and her natural senses seldom steered her wrong. So why was she reluctant to ask the big Neanderthal a few questions? She glanced at Ty flirting with a cute reporter from the Austin Statesman.

Because it’s always better to send a Texas Ranger.

“Hey, Carter, I need some help over here.” He looked up, arched a brow as if to say “your timing sucks” and reluctantly joined her. “Can your team handle the crowd interviews?” He nodded slowly. “Good. Be sure to check out the  . . .” She started to say “creep” but stopped so as not to influence the detective’s opinion. “See if the big guy has an alibi.”

“What big guy?” Ty scanned the faces over her shoulder before donning a quizzical frown.

“The man in the long coat.” She kept her voice low before shifting sideways to raise her arm and point. “He’s gone. Damn it! The guy’s involved in John Doe’s murder. I know it.”

Ty’s mouth twitched. “I’d sure like to enroll in the Reyna Blair Course on Intuitive Crime Scene Investigation. It’d make the process go a lot faster. By the way, Officer, how do you suggest I word my report to say I know someone is a suspect without substantial proof?”

“Shut up.” Her insides jumped at his teasing, sending a splash of color across her cheeks. Reyna quickly hid behind the edge of her cup, praying the lid stayed in place this time.

“I’m done.” The medical examiner stood up, grumbling as his stiff limbs popped and cracked. Removing his gloves, he wiped his hands on a small rag before speaking. “It looks like our man was killed somewhere else and dumped here. No blood around the body. No papers. I found bruising on his wrists which indicates he was restrained before death. Terrible way to go.”

Reyna frowned. Doc’s assessment validated her suspicion it was a ritualistic murder. The weirdo in the long coat looked like he belonged to a Satanic cult so it all fit. “Thanks, Doc. I appreciate your coming out. Purgatory doesn’t have the equipment or manpower to investigate something like this.”

“No problem. The Texas Rangers are always available for helping out. Do you want to be present for the autopsy?”

Her stomach clenched as Reyna shook her head. “Just fax the report. I’ll call if I have questions.”

He nodded then turned to Ty. “You want to examine the body before we transport?”

“Yeah, Doc. Thanks.”

Reyna clamped her mouth shut as a sharp retort rose to her lips. It was her crime scene, damn it, not Ty Carter’s. Rangers always stuck together. If Purgatory had been better prepared to process the crime scene, she’d never have called him. And after seeing the small platoon he brought as an investigative team, she sure as hell wouldn’t do it again.

While Ty searched the victim’s pockets, Reyna wandered to a nearby hedgerow, kicking under the shrubs with her boot. A faded cigarette package, empty beer container, plastic Wal-Mart bag . . . normal trash.

Something glinted in the grass as she turned away. Removing her sunglasses, Reyna knelt for a closer look, parting the Bermuda grass with the tip of her ballpoint pen. A small iridescent ball lay under a low hanging bough. It was larger than a marble, about two inches in diameter with a glassy appearance. The surface was still shiny so it must not have been there long. Probably a kid’s toy, she mused, scooping the object into an evidence bag. If nothing else, she’d keep it on her desk as a gazing ball.

Reyna shoved the bag into her pocket before turning her attention to the attendants unrolling a body bag. She’d witnessed the same procedure with fallen comrades in Iraq. Biting the inside of her lip to block the memories, Reyna averted her gaze. Friendships were usually short lived during the war, but it didn’t make the final goodbye any easier.

Ty nudged her arm. “That man is staring at you. He doesn’t look very happy.”

She whirled around, immediately recognizing the portly figure of Mayor Townsend. With arms crossed petulantly over a round chest, he glared disapproval. His scowl deepened when she refused to acknowledge his presence by looking away.

It probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do but Reyna figured the shit was already on the fan. She’d not taken time to consult the town council before requesting a forensic investigation. What was I supposed to do? Sweep the whole thing under a rug and pretend it never happened? It all boiled down to one thing – money. And this investigation would cost the town plenty.

Reyna watched the hearse drive away, wiping a trickle of sweat from her face. The vic didn’t look like a local but it was hard to say. Putrefaction had morphed his features into a grotesque, bloated mask. Hopefully, the autopsy and dental records would produce a name. It was up to her to find a motive.

A sharp pain shot through Reyna’s temple as her vision erupted with bright pinpoints of light. Another migraine. She needed to go . . . now . . . even if it meant leaving Ty in charge.

Pinning a stiff smile to her face, she struggled to conceal her pain. “Let’s finish up and get outta here.”

He nodded. “I’m with you. We’ll meet up later and write the report together.”

“Sure.” Reyna silently vowed to keep Ty Carter away from her notes. Just because he was cute, didn’t mean she trusted him.

Reyna directed her steps toward the parking lot, inwardly groaning as reporters pressed against the yellow ribbon. They jockeyed for position, barking questions as she moved within earshot. This was the part she hated – dealing with the press. It was like running a gauntlet.

Reyna held up a hand, blocking their frantic efforts to elicit information as she pushed through the microphones. “No comment.”

Damn vultures. She clenched her teeth, staring straight ahead while wishing the tables were turned. Would they impose the same pervasive questions if the victim had been a friend or family member?

Reyna hurried to her vehicle, slid across the seat, and slammed the door to silence their shouts. How did they get here so fast? Purgatory was in the middle of nowhere. Surely there was enough crime in their own towns to keep them busy.

“Oh, crap . . .”

She leaned her forehead against the steering wheel and closed her eyes. If John Doe hailed from someplace other than Purgatory, she would have to coordinate efforts with another police department. She didn’t play well with others. Not even Ty. What he lacked in typical Texas Ranger arrogance, he made up for with ambition – which meant he’d do everything in his power to take over the highly publicized murder investigation.

Well, it’s not going to happen. As soon as Doc sends over the autopsy report, I’ll get rid of the good detective . . . and his damn dimples.

Expelling a pent up breath, Reyna sat back and inserted her key into the ignition. She brought the powerful engine to life and backed out of the parking space, carefully maneuvering the SUV around news vans and satellite trucks.

I can’t go back to town.

Her head reverberated with each heartbeat. The thought of reporters camped outside her office left her nauseated. Turning left at the next corner, Reyna guided the vehicle out of town and away from the madness.

Twenty minutes later, she turned off the main road and followed a gravel lane to a small, wood framed farmhouse. It was a rental but came with ten acres of open pasture and no meddling neighbors. After moving in, Reyna considered adopting a dog but quickly changed her mind. Ownership would require full time care, as well as taking responsibility for another life besides her own. She wasn’t up to that kind of commitment yet.

Pushing through the front door, Reyna charted a course toward the bathroom and extracted an orange prescription bottle from the medicine cabinet. The mirrored door swung shut, leaving her to stare at the hollow-eyed woman in the glass. Her thirtieth birthday was less than two weeks away yet she looked much older. Dark blonde hair dangled at the nape of her neck in an unkempt ponytail.  Deep purple circles rimmed her eyes, the result of too many sleepless nights. Too many nightmares.

She shook a couple of pills into the palm of her hand before tossing them to the back of her mouth. Turning her head sideways under the faucet, she washed them down with a gulp of water.

The new prescription seemed to work better than the last one although oddly, she’d been experiencing stomach aches. Still, it was easier to deal with the cramps than a debilitating migraine.

Reyna walked across the hall to her bedroom and fell across the bed. “Five minutes, that’s all I need,” she muttered aloud. “Just five minutes and I’ll be fine.” Consciousness was already fading by the time she closed her eyes.

It was a fitful sleep, filled with images of menacing forms beckoning to her from the shadows. Why wouldn’t they leave her alone? A dim orb floated in her peripheral vision, hovering. Watching. It began to move toward her, casting a warm circle of light that banished the shadows farther into the darkness. She reached out to touch it . . .

“Reyna.”

Oh, God . . . the voices again. No amount of sleep-aid seemed to get rid of them. She moaned and pulled a pillow over her head.

“Reyna.”

Her eyes flew open in a rush of awareness. She jumped from the bed, her hand instinctively reaching for the pistol strapped to her side. Withdrawing it from the holster, she pointed it at the figure in the doorway. Ty leaned against the frame, a broad grin creasing his face.

Her eyes narrowed to slits. “You scared the shit out of me, Carter. What are you doing here?”

“Looking for you. You didn’t answer your cell phone.”

Guilt washed over her as she rolled her eyes and holstered her weapon. “I’m sorry. I left it in my car.” She frowned. “How do you know where I live?”

“I’m a Texas Ranger. I know a lot of things.”

“Yeah, like how to bullshit.” She forced a half smile to her lips before rubbing her temples.

“Another migraine?”

Reyna nodded before quickly adding, “But the new meds are great.” She glanced at the clock on the bedside table. “Geez! I didn’t mean to sleep so long. What’s happening with the investigation?”

“Not much. You were right. Mrs. Gaines played havoc with the crime scene when she escorted her friends around the body. Too many footprints, cigarette butts . . .  I’m sure most of it will track back to your local residents. You should cite her for interfering with a police investigation so she doesn’t do it again.”

Reyna gave a short laugh. “Again? I hope this is Purgatory’s first and last murder. Besides, Agnes is Mayor Townsend’s sister in law. He’s already looking for a way to get rid of me. I don’t want to escalate his efforts.”

“Point taken.” Ty dug his hands into his pockets and stared at the floor. “I’d like to bring in a consultant from Austin, Jasper Holliday. He’s retired from the Texas Rangers but has worked some cult cases. I think it’d be worth our while.”

Reyna jutted her chin defensively. “It’s still my investigation, Detective Carter.”

“I know that, Officer Blair.”

Her heart skipped a beat as Ty stepped closer, tilting her chin with one finger. It was odd staring upward into the deep blue pools studying her face. She was tall. But Ty was taller.  “Don’t mock me,” she sputtered uncomfortably.

“I’m not.” Ty looked as if he wanted to add something but after a long few seconds, diverted the conversation to another topic. “Look, I’m already involved in the investigation and my bosses want answers. Why don’t we work on this together and keep everyone happy?”

“No . . .”

“Care to negotiate over lunch?”

Lunch? Reyna steeled herself against the urge to say “yes” as she pushed past him. “Not today, Ty. I need to check in at the office. Maybe another time.”

“I’ll take a rain check on the lunch but it’s in everyone’s best interest if we present a united front during the investigation. At least for now,” he added as she stiffened.

Reyna ushered him out the door with non-committal small talk and waved goodbye from the porch, not relaxing until she saw his vehicle disappear on the main highway. The effect he had on her was unnerving.

She’d lived a celibate existence for over a year, blaming post-traumatic stress disorder from the war for extinguishing her passion. Not that it was a concern. Reyna had never been keen on intimacy, chalking it up to her troubled teens. One night stands were more her thing. No strings. No commitments.

But then the dreams started. Dark, primal images provoking unwanted longings. Monsters . . . demons . . . formless shadows invading her consciousness and whispering wicked promises in her ear.

Slamming the door, Reyna stalked to the hall table and retrieved her keys. Ty Carter was not the answer to her awakening sexuality. She wasn’t even sure she liked him that much. He could be annoying as hell – like a rambunctious puppy.

But cute. Definitely cute.

New Release – Red Hot and Dangerous

Now available on Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/RED-HOT-and-DANGEROUS-ebook/dp/B0085P41I4 Only 99 cents for a category length romantic suspense set in the awe inspiring red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. A nice blend of romance, suspense sub-story and Native American culture. Here’s the blurb:

When Andie Lange works a one day temp job for her friend’s employment agency, she brings back more than a paycheck.

It was supposed to be a “fun” assignment – assisting a famous actress during a publicity junket – as well as an opportunity for Andie to network her new photography business. But between the Promotions Manager accusing her of spying for the tabloids and the unwanted advances from a handsome stranger, the day proves more trouble than its worth.

Unfortunately, things go from bad to worse. The actress is poisoned, the handsome stranger is investigating detective, Drake Slater, who is assigned to protect Andie after an attempt is made on her life. It’s obvious Drake is a womanizer. So why isn’t she putting up more of a fight to keep him at arm’s length?

Drake Slater learned a long time ago police work and relationships don’t mix, but that hasn’t stopped him from enjoying the company of beautiful women. He just doesn’t stick around long enough for them to get any ideas – until he meets Andie Lange, a gorgeous redhead with legs that go all the way up to heaven. Forced to protect her from an unknown assailant, Drake discovers there’s more to like about the sassy photographer than her body.

After Andie’s photographs reveal the identity of the murderer, the police rush to make an arrest, only to discover he’s been killed, too. Thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse, Drake must take extreme measures to keep Andie safe.

With her life in jeopardy, the only thing Andie fears more than her assailant is the growing desire she feels for her bodyguard. She’ll need to keep her wits about her and take a lot of cold showers if she’s to survive . . . because Drake Slater is RED HOT and DANGEROUS!

 

Shit Happens, and Other Strange Phenomena

I received my first one star review today. I knew it would happen eventually. I was prepared mentally and emotionally. Yet, when I saw it, I said, “Huh?”

My first reaction ran along the lines of conspiracy theory. Who put this person up to writing such a mean, hateful review? This is a book, not some political campaign. Was it someone in the top twenty of romantic suspense trying to knock me out? Or perhaps an old critique partner who deleted my email attempt at patching up an argument because she was angry with me? (I think she still is. Great minds sometimes disagree.)

A consistent reader would never  write such spiteful, horrible things . . . would they? I mean, why? Seriously. I read books all the time (print published included) that leave me wondering what the author was thinking when they wrote the darned thing. And curious about whether anyone edited it.  Even when I was a regular reviewer for a popular site, I never gave anyone a one star simply because they completed a project about which many people boast “I can write better than that” but never do. It’s a major feat to write a full blown novel of 60k+  words. Not just for me but for any writer. I think the fact someone completed such a task is worthy of at least two stars, no matter how bad it is.

Nevertheless, I appreciate the time and effort this reader took to write their review. Even though it’s blatantly stated they’ve not completed the book but felt they “had to” so it could be deleted from their Kindle, I am amazed my written words generated  such repulsion. (Note to reader: I’ve deleted unfinished books without guilt.) This reader stopped in the middle of their day to ensure others did not fall for prey to the “hype”. I guess the hype is the other reviewers who ALL gave it five stars. Contrary to popular belief, I have no idea who these people are. I did not solicit reviews. I did not solicit the private emails assuring me Blood Storm was a great delight. I’m the kind of person who just puts her work out there and lets the public decide whether it’s good or bad.

That being said, I’m still kinda stoked about the fact this anti-fan found my story so “torturous”, they were compelled to write such scathing comments. I mean, how cool is that? To be able to evoke reaction, love or hate, is a  power trip. I would rather have ten reviews on opposite ends of the spectrum than the same number in three star reviews. (Okay, admittedly I would prefer the majority to be on the 5 star side.) Why? Because I created action. Positive, negative…it doesn’t matter. There is power in words and I created a maelstrom of emotion.

So thank you, anonymous reader, whoever you are. You truly made my day. I don’t think my book is as bad as you seem to believe, but it’s all good. I wish you Karma and may all your actions return tenfold with residual blessings.

In other news, and memorable phenomena, I will be releasing my sexy urban paranormal, The Gatekeeper, on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps my number one hater would like to present it to their ex with a bouquet of black roses. Black roses and a sick paranormal. Hate doesn’t get much better than that.

And just in case the book and roses don’t transmit the message, include a bottle of Coconut Water, which my husband assures me tastes like camel piss. I’ve declined to personally test his assessment but he seems like a pretty up front guy who wouldn’t pull my leg. Who knows? Love is blind. And without taste.

Not All Wanderers Are Lost . . .

 . . . unless you’re my hubby.

I recently went on a Sunday afternoon drive with hubby. I typically explore my surroundings on my own but this particular day I encouraged him to go with me. We  moved to North Carolina last year and since our time here is short, I want to experience everything I can. I want him to do the same. Whether he wants to or not.

 Earlier this fall when the  trees were absolutely glorious with color, I took a day and meandered across a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was so enamored with my adventure that I convinced hubby to repeat the journey with me. In his defense, I’ll admit it was colder. Most of the trees had lost their leaves. The sky was overcast. The wind had a bite. But by golly, it was the friggin’ Blue Ridge Parkway. Everyone who comes here should take at least one day and traverse a few miles just to say they drove it. Right?

 We stopped in a high country hamlet called Blowing Rock for lunch at a quaint little place called Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub. The food was quite tasty and well worth the drive. But being the wanderer I am, I suggested we continue our trek. That’s when things got interesting.

 Hubby and I are a good match. We bring out the best in each other, although sometimes it requires time and patience to realize it. Often, it requires a LOT of time. We approach life and tasks differently and that adds a dash of color to our relationship.

 So it came as no surprise when I realized hubby was driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway at maximum speed, eyes set firmly on the highway in front of him, totally oblivious to the vast layers of mountain ranges in the distance. I set my camera on “motion” and tried to take a few photos but alas, not even motion setting can overcome such speeds.

 The color began to emerge in our relationship. Unfortunately, it came out more in my language than our actions. Did he not see the scenic overlooks? Did he not care to stop and gaze at the vast beauty that leaves one in awe? Apparently not. But this man loves me dearly. He stopped at every third or fourth overlook and allowed me to take a few snapshots for mementos. Granted, he sat in the car with the engine running but realizing how difficult this little diversion was for him just made me love him more.

 And that made me realize we all approach life differently. It doesn’t make one style of direction better than the other. Both will still get you where you want to go, but one will ultimately be more satisfying than the other.

 Hubby likes to go from Point A to Point B. It doesn’t matter if there are no time constraints. The journey is all about the destination. I, on the other hand, enjoy taking my time to experience the little twists and turns along the way. I know I’ll get to Point B eventually but why hurry? I don’t mind being lost. I consider it a road less travelled that could provide a gem or two I might have missed otherwise. Hubby freaks if he doesn’t know where we are. Which is why I often tell him I know our exact location when I haven’t a clue. It makes him feel better. And if he’s not stressed, he’s a lot more fun.

 Since Hubby and I have been married, two things have happened. I’ve learned to arrive on time, both surprising and shocking my children who used to bet on how many minutes I would be late when I said I would meet them at a certain time. Hubby’s indulged my penchant for wandering aimlessly and has even chalked up a couple of memories which he now recalls with fondness.

 And both of us have realized compromise can sometimes break us out of our comfort zone long enough to provide a stellar experience.