Here’s the one-page resource for everything you need to know about me and my books…especially how to buy them!
I’ve got another great indie author for you to meet today. Say hello to Josephine McNabb!
My bio – I’m twenty-three and I’m from Northern Ireland.I have two brothers and I grew up on a farm. I am currently in university and I’ll admit the books aren’t as interesting as the ones I choose to read. I’ve always read growing up, my mother used to read stories to me all the time. I decided to write my first book about a year and a half ago without really realising that it was going to turn into a whole book. I’m in the process of editing book 2 and looking forward to starting book 3.
You can follow Josephine on Facebook!
And here’s her book…
No one knows that they are living alongside the creatures that horror stories are made of…
Danni Malone grew up fighting monsters and catching rogues. She keeps her powers hidden and is desperate to live a normal life with her boyfriend Greg.
Keri Jenkins joined the Paranormal Division of the Government after a horrific incident that left her orphaned.
Both of these women are thrown together to catch the person trying to kill the influential Vampire Nest Master Damon. They move in with him and pose as his new security, dealing with threats and assassination attempts.
Will they catch the would-be-killer in time?
Will they be able to save the supernatural community from disaster?
Or will these women lose everything?
And I’ve also got a great interview with Josephine…
Who is your favorite author?That’s a hard one, Ilona Andrews, just beating Kresley Cole by a millimeter.How do you describe your writing style?No idea! It just goes from my head to my fingers. I tend to write things in detail and give it a dramatic flare. I write to affect.Why should we read your book?Its a book that keeps you hooked, I know when I was writing it I was hooked! There’s plenty of action and suspense as well as a love story (or two). The whole book is focused around who is trying to kill Nest Master Damon and the struggles that Danni and Keri encounter while trying to protect him.Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?I don’t think they are entirely. Maybe Danni’s temper is a bit like mine, like how ‘The Heat’ manifests her temper and anger physically.If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?Well it would have to be Danni, just so that I could have the cool powers and be able to shoot a bow.What books have most influenced your life?As I’ve said, Kresley Cole’s Immortals after Dark was a huge series for me that I still follow. I think Danielle and Gareth’s book was the one that got to me the most.If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?Harry Portter, just so that I could make Hermione ask Voldemort if he ever considered drawing on eyebrows.Beatles or Monkees?NeitherWhy?Not my kind of music. I’m a country girl.Who should play you in a film of your life?
Jessica Alba even though she looks nothing like me. And I wish I was that tall.
Just checking in…
The new book is at a little over 33,000 words, with 6 chapters and change written. So 10 chapters and 40-50,000 words to go. This might end up being the shortest book of the series (unless something changes as I’m writing, which is always possible!). The book after that, “Shattered Dream,” will probably end up being longer (and a heck of a lot darker, too).
I’ve got a great author for you today – Lyndi Lamont, and she’s thrilled because she’s a part of a fantastic new box set with several other romance authors…
Lyndi Lamont is the racy alter ego of author Linda McLaughlin, who writes historical and Regency Romance. Since becoming Lyndi Lamont, she has discovered that writing sexy romance is a license to be naughty, at least between the pages of a book.
Find her online at:
Here’s the box set, featuring Lyndi…
Romance Super Bundle II: Second Chances
by Dale Mayer, Donna Marie Rogers, Stacey Joy Netzel, Amy Gamet, Edie Ramer, Lois Winston, Pamela Fryer, Georgina Lee, Kate Kelly, Wendy Ely and Lyndi Lamont
Now available for only 99 cents (US) and featuring NY Times, USA Today, Amazon & B&N bestselling authors!
A lonesome cowboy, a heartbroken widower, a spurned bride-to-be, an unexpected pregnancy, intrigue, murder and more…485,000 words/nearly 2000 pages of heroes and heroines in need of second chances in eleven romantic stories.
Buy it at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.com/B00LH382SQ
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00LH382SQ
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00LH382SQ
Add to your shelf at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22663871-romance-super-bundle-ii
Stories included in the set:
Second Chances—Dale Mayer
Go ahead. Take Charge of your life. Move forward…if you can…
Changing her future means letting go of her past. Karina heads to a weekend seminar to do try to do just that. But she soon realizes bigger issues are facing her…
And one of them is deadly…
The Perfect Blend—Donna Marie Rogers
Carrie is on the verge of bankruptcy when Matt walks in and offers her unwanted business advice. The rich playboy fled L.A. for the anonymity of small town life and quickly falls for the local coffee shop owner—who’s as infuriating as she is beautiful.
The Heart of the Matter—Stacey Joy Netzel
Heartbroken she can’t have kids, Allie keeps her distance when Rick moves home with an adorable 4 yr old son who’s as hard to resist as his father. Does she dare take a chance on an impossible dream, or will his desire for more kids devastate their future?
Meghan’s Wish—Amy Gamet
Meghan O’Connor returns to the family she ran away from as a teenager, afraid they won’t forgive her for leaving town with Liam Wheaton, the boy they tried so hard to keep her away from and the father of her baby. She never expected to find Liam living there, looking sexier than ever and mad as all hell.
Mo’s Heart (Miracle Interrupted, Book 5)—Edie Ramer
Mo Vincent did the right thing in New Jersey, and it cost him his son, his wife, his restaurant. Now he’s found a home in Miracle, Wisconsin. He should be content…but his heart wants what he can’t have…
Hooking Mr. Right—Lois Winston
A failure at relationships, Thea is secretly a bestselling romance guru. Luke is pursued by women using her books to snare him. When they meet, he thinks he’s finally found an honest woman, but Thea’s got more secrets than the CIA. Can a butt-ugly cat named Cupid play matchmaker?
The Lost Finder—Pamela Fryer
The first halfway decent guy to come along in eons…and he’s from another planet.
Private Investigator Brooke Weaver hopes she can slip into her Oregon hometown, find her client’s missing teenage daughter, and be on her way again before anyone notices. Not likely.
Cape of Secrets—Georgina Lee
Marika Host lands a dream summer job helping renowned archeologist Sir William write his memoirs, exposing years of secrets. His son Derrick adds romance to her summer. But when Sir William is murdered, Marika realizes some secrets are best kept buried.
Failing to save his sister’s life, Jay Rawlings insists he be left alone to live the lonesome cowboy life. But when the woman he once loved returns to his ranch with a killer and the police in hot pursuit, Jay has to face the demons from his past.
In His Embrace—Wendy Ely
When life’s glow threatens to die, love guides the way.
Tori expected an ordinary Friday. It wasn’t. Ben’s hand rested on her hip a little longer during their goodbye. Then her tests came back abnormal. Scared and alone, she wishes for Ben’s hand to hold. Can he make it back to her in time?
How To Woo…A Reluctant Bride—Lyndi Lamont
A marriage of convenience, nothing more…until darkly handsome Evan Channing and demure Lydia Blatchford meet. The rules are simple for such an arrangement. No expectations, no illusions of anything more. But the rules are about to change…
Excerpt from How To Woo…A Reluctant Bride—Lyndi Lamont, steamy Victorian romance:
She licked her lips then plunged ahead. “I know how these things work. Arranged marriages, that is. I won’t expect fidelity from you.”
His shocked expression surprised her. “Is that what you think, Lydia? That I’m marrying you with the intention of cheating on you?”
“Perhaps not now,” she said. “But in a few years… It’s not as if ours is a love match. I won’t cut up a fuss if you decide to take a mistress. As long as you are discreet.”
“How very… sophisticated of you,” he said, his tone dry enough to parch a desert.
She took a deep breath before continuing. “And once I’ve produced the requisite heir and spare, I assume I’ll be free to seek my pleasure elsewhere.”
The thunderous look on his face startled her and she stepped back.
“You will do no such thing,” he said fiercely, reaching for her. “Ours may not be a love match now, but I fully intend to see it turns into one.”
With that, he pulled her into his embrace, trapping her arms between them as his encircled her shoulders and waist.
Covering her mouth with his, he kissed her with a heady combination of passion and anger. Her resistance crumbled in the face of his onslaught. She clutched at his lapels and returned his kiss, even parting her lips when his tongue probed them. Overwhelmed by the sensations his lips provoked, she let her eyes drift shut as she clung to him.
When he let her go, he was still visibly upset. “There will be no more talk of infidelity. Have I made myself clear, Lydia?”
Here’s an interview with Lyndi…
Q: Who is your favorite author?
A: Mary Jo Putney. I love her historical romances and think I’ve read all of them.
Q: How do you describe your writing style? Use no more than two sentences.
A: I’d say formal but not flowery.
Q: Why should we read your book?
A: Well, since this is a boxed set, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck minus one cent! Bundles are a great way to sample new authors.
Q: Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?
I think there are bits of me in most of my female characters. Like Lydia in How To Woo… A Reluctant Bride, I was a bit of a wallflower when I was young, so it was fun to give her an eager groom and a happy ending.
Q: If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?
A: Princess Ilona from Ilona’s Wolf: A Fairy Tale Romance. Ilona has magical powers, including telekinesis. That would come in handy when I leave my glasses or car keys on the other side of the room!
Q: What books have most influenced your life?
As a child, I loved Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and read it numerous times. Another book I loved is The Witch of Blackbird Pond. That’s the book that made me decide I wanted to write historical romance. Later, it was the works of Jane Austen.
Q: If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?
A: Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor. I read it last year, and while the book was for the most part meticulously researched and rich in detail, I despised Amber. Not because she was sexually promiscuous but because she was a terrible person. I was hoping to see some kind of character arc as the book progressed, but she was still just as shallow and self-absorbed at the end as at the beginning, if not more so.
Q: Beatles or Monkees? Why?
A: The Beatles, because they were so creative and innovative, and their music will live forever. I liked the Monkees, but the group created and brought together by a recording studio, so not innovative at all.
Q: Who should play you in a film of your life?
A: Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory)
Thanks for hosting me on your blog, James.
Note: Anyone who leaves a comment will be entered in my monthly drawing for a $15 Starbucks e-gift card.
DREAM STUDENT is the Book of the Day today at Ereader News Today – please hop on over and check it out:
It’s Sneak Peek Sunday! Dozens of great authors (including me!) have sneak peeks of their work for you this morning…you can follow the link to see them. And you can see what I’ve got for you, right here.
DREAM CHILD is the third book in the Dream Series, and here’s a sneak peek from the prologue, where Sara learns something very troubling about her daughter:
Sara looks down, and she’s surprised to see her belly rather than her feet. She had no idea she would get this big this fast. It wasn’t like this the last time, with Lizzie, she thinks. But then, she reminds herself, Lizzie was just one – this time it’s two.
Sara walks into Lizzie’s room, where her daughter is sitting up in her bed, playing with a very old, very ratty stuffed rabbit.
“Lizzie, honey? Mommy needs to talk to you,” Sara says, and Lizzie sets Mister Pennington aside and looks up. Sara sees her own eyes staring at her, something that she wonders if she’ll ever get used to. She sits down on the bed, pats Lizzie on the head. “You know your friend Marnie?” Lizzie continues to look intently at Sara and nods her head up and down several times. “You know how she has a baby brother?” Lizzie continues to nod, not breaking eye contact with Sara. Sara wonders if this was how she was with her mother.
She’s about to continue when someone else walks into Lizzie’s room. Sara turns, but she knows before she does who she’ll see, and she knows – even though she’s never experienced this side of it before – exactly what’s going on.
Her daughter stands in the doorway, looking at Sara and another version of herself as well. Sara doesn’t say anything; she doesn’t want to scare Lizzie. Lizzie looks at herself briefly, but the image of herself seems to hold no interest. She focuses on Sara, concentrating all her three-year-old attention span on her mother.
“You’re so big, Mommy!”
Where’s Lizzie? She was standing in the doorway. She was – oh, my God.
She was seeing – she was inside – she saw me dreaming. She’s got it just like I do.
AND, it’s on sale right now for $0.99:
If you haven’t gotten into the Dream Series yet, there’s no better time than right now. The first three books are all on sale for $0.99 each…
AND, the Kindle Box Set with the first FIVE books (plus bonus material) is on sale, too, for just $4.99! It’s called A Box of Dreams, and it can be yours RIGHT NOW!
Andrew Wise, a young attorney working for his family’s law firm in Sarasota,
Florida, has finally broken free of the demons that haunt him. Wealth, success, happiness, and true love;
everything a man could ever dream of, was right at his fingertips. Or so he thought. But in the blink of an eye, all of that
changed. Upon discovering that his
ex-girlfriend, Olivia Hamilton, was pregnant, Drew fell back into some old
habits, which led to him losing the one person that mattered the most in his
life – McKenzie Evans.
was beside himself. The night before she
left, he made an agreement with her best friend Jared Christopher, that he
would give her time and space to come to grips with the fact that he’d fathered
her best friend’s child. Now, two months
later, he feels as though he held up his end of the bargain, Drew can’t take
their separation any longer. With his
brother’s wedding mere weeks away, Drew devises a plan to win McKenzie back.
Drew, along with his brother and Jared, jets off on an adventure to the
panhandle of Texas. There, he will learn
what made McKenzie who she is and will find strength within himself that he
never realized existed.
and McKenzie discover that not everything is as it seems, forgiveness is a
matter of acceptance, and true love really can conquer all.
serenaded me like a siren’s song.
blow from my chest. For the last two
months, I’d called her office just to hear her voice. She’d changed her cell phone number to an
Amarillo number after leaving, but Evans’ Bodyworks was a listed number. As per my agreement with Jared, I never said
a word. I simply listened to her until
she hung up.
with delight at the sweet timbre of her tone.
every Monday, simply to brighten her week.
The phone call was to brighten mine.
she hated her accent. “I sound like a backwoods hick,” she’d
complained. She didn’t sound like a hick
to me. On the contrary, I could’ve
listened to her talk all day long if given the chance.
battle of the clouds after all. Not that
I minded, I loved the rain. The rain
held a sentimental value to me. It was a
rainy night where I first made love to McKenzie. Rain was a good thing. It brought life and in my case, it brought
with the rain. Shadows of her danced in the recesses of my
mind. I swallowed hard, thinking of how
it felt to have her smooth skin pressed against mine. Every minor detail displayed with vivid
accuracy in my consciousness. Her
shimmering blue eyes sparkled, her playful smile, and the way her golden hair
fell in front of her face when it was wet.
you?” she whispered.
lips. Only Mickie was allowed to call me
that. Just because my name was Andrew,
didn’t mean people should call me Andy.
Andrew or Drew was fine with me, but never Andy. That was my twin sister’s nickname, after
the beach. It was still fairly
empty. Just a few runners making their
way to their cars before the rain picked up.
mangled heart. She missed me. The evidence was there in the sound of her
voice. Fine, the evidence was hearsay,
but this wasn’t a court of law, so it was admissible. She called me by name,
hoping it was me on the other end of the line.
I wasn’t alone in my heartache. I wanted
to reveal myself, but I feared it would ruin my upcoming plans. Only one person knew what I was about to do
and that was because he was intricate to my plans. All I needed was for Jared or Gavin to get
wind of my trip to Amarillo. There was
no doubt in my mind that they’d try to stop me.
So, instead of acting on instinct, I sat there like a fool, listening to
my prayers. It only solidified my
decision to get off of my ass and fly to Texas.
I’d waited like Jared and Gavin demanded. Two long, miserable months, I’d waited. Not a single drop of liquor had touched my
lips since that night, no matter how bad I wanted a drink. I’d been patient, keeping my distance, well,
in a way. Sure, the flowers didn’t
equate to distance, but she hadn’t told Jared about them as far as I knew. I was sure if she had, I’d never hear the end
of it. So, to me, that was a signal that
she wasn’t over me any more than I was her.
They were lucky I’d lasted this long.
Patience was not one of my virtues.
The time had come, and I was getting my girl back.
temporary prison, allowing my heart to say what it needed to say. “I miss you,” I whispered, breathless.
available in the Apple iBooks Store***
McDonald began telling stories at the ripe young age of five, when her mother
considered the truth to be a lie due to her extensive embellishment to the
retelling of an event. She wrote her
first short story when she was twelve years old, and at the age of sixteen she
tried her hand at poetry. She
reconnected with her love for writing in 2010 thanks to the encouragement of a
passions include a “mild” Starbucks addiction, music, reading,
quotes, movies, and romance. When she’s
not spending time with her family, she can be found reading, writing, chatting
with her friends or diligently working toward her bachelor’s degree in Speech
Pathology and Audiology. A proud Texan,
Jeanne currently resides in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with her family.
attend the event in Houston, Texas on August 15-17, 2014.
Prize does not include airfare or other travel arrangements.
Tickets are also available at http://www.indieauthorevent.com/***
Here’s another great indie author for you to meet – say hello to Ryan Gladney!
Ryan Gladney is the author of Nine Lives of Adam Blake, a contemporary novel set in Minnesota that combines elements of speculative fiction, urban fantasy, philosophical fiction, coming-of-age, and literary fiction. It was released in February 2014. For more information on Nine Lives of Adam Blake, visit the Book page.
Ryan was born in St. Louis, and has lived in Boston, Orange Country, Ann Arbor, Los Angeles, and Minnesota. He attended college at the University of Michigan. When not writing (or working), Ryan spends most of his time with his wife, son, and cats. He’s an active book-clubber, kickballer, bike-rider, brunch-eater, and live music aficionado. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
You can visit him at his website to learn more…
And here’s his book…
Adam Blake knows what fate awaits him after death. He has died before, and will die again, and always it’s the same. For Adam, there is no heaven, no hell, no reincarnation, or cold, final sleep. When he dies, his life flashes before his eyes; it rushes backward—nothing skipped or overlooked—until it stops, suddenly, at age twelve, one week after he had mysteriously disappeared in the woods behind his childhood home. Then, he wakes up.
Adam is cursed—or blessed—to relive the same life again and again, from this moment onward, regardless of how he lives, who he becomes, or what ultimately causes next his demise. He is free to right past wrongs, avoid past mistakes, pursue any interest and chase any dream. But the longer Adam lives, the less anything matters but answers. He must know: Why is he stuck in this loop? What is its cause? How will it end? And what awaits him on the other side of death when it finally does?
You can buy it at Amazon, right now!
And, last but not least, I’ve got a great interview with Ryan…
Who is your favorite author?
Not sure I have a favorite, but there are a few authors I turn to again and again when I need a little inspiration/motivation to write. Hemingway, Vonnegut, Bradbury, and Mark Twain are a few.
How do you describe your writing style? Use no more than two sentences.
I love Flaubert’s concept of “le mot juste” (“the right word”). I try to write in a style that is direct and efficient but doesn’t skimp on elegance and substance.
Why should we read your book?
Because it’s amazing! Just kidding. I’ve had readers tell me that Nine Lives is the rare summer read that actually challenges your mind and lingers long after you are done. It deals with some heady issues, but through the lens of some quirky, colorful, and occasionally intoxicated characters who aren’t exactly well equipped to deal with much of what they face.
Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?
No. I’m not much like Adam at all, and the only thing I share with the rest of them is a hometown.
If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?
Adam, on one of the days he dies. The way death happens to him would be exciting to experience once, but then I’d want to go back to being Ryan afterward.
What books have most influenced your life?
A Farewell to Arms, A Demon Haunted World, The Elements of Style, and From Where You Dream.
If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?
…I just wrote something really cynical and mean and then deleted the entire paragraph. I’ll take a pass on this one.
Beatles or Monkees? Why?
Beatles! My son’s middle name is Lennon, for goodness’ sake!
Who should play you in a film of your life?
I’d say Channing Tatum, but he’s not quite muscular and handsome enough to play me. I don’t know. Maybe Ron Livingston? I need to give this more thought.
I’ve got another fantastic author to introduce to you today. Meet Beverly Bateman…
I’m a Canadian author and live in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, BC. It’s beautiful country with lots of large lakes, beautiful beaches, orchards of apples, pears, peaches plus raspberries, blueberries and lots of other fresh produce. And of course, it’s wine country. We have world class wines which I feel is my obligation to taste.
You can follow Beverly at:
Facebook Authorpage – http://www.facebook.com/AuthorBeverleyBateman?ref=hl
Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/Beverley-Bateman/e/B008M01F5E
Or you can email her: email@example.com
And here’s her book…
Arson,arms dealing, murder and the ATF – Holly Devine’s newest assignment immediately tosses her back into the world of the wealthy Miami social lifestyle. A woman is reported missing by her sister, but the husband says his wife isn’t missing. Who’s telling the truth? Why is one of them lying? And where is the wife?
You can buy it right now:
I’ve got a great interview with Beverly…
Who is your favorite author? Nora Roberts and her alter ego J.D Robb. Her characters are well-developed and you fall in love with them – especially Rourke.
How do you describe your writing style? Use no more than two sentences. It’s plot driven with strong female heroines who are smart and work through their own challenges to reach their goals
Why should we read your book?
Good question – because it’s great?J Actually A Murder To Forget has a good plot and I don’t think there are any books with ex-wealthy private investigators, an Alzheimer’s friend set in Miami and supporting male characters in Interpol and the ATF.
Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?
No, but probably a little bit of myself sneaks into a lot of them.
If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?
That’s a difficult question. I’m not sure I want the challenges they face, but I guess I’d have to say Holly Devine in A Murder to Forget (where she doesn’t have amnesia.) She’s smart, discovering herself, sensitive and involved with a couple of sexy men.
What books have most influenced your life? Honestly, I think I’d have to say The Power of Positive Thinking. I found it when I was diagnosed breast cancer the first time and it helped me become a survivor. And I’ve read it many more times and use it as a basis for living – always be positive.
I’ve bought and given this book to others, recommended it many people facing challenges and read it many times myself.
If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why? That’s hard. When I read good writers there’s nothing I’d want to touch, whether literary, romance or suspense. I guess I’d say Michael Connelly.
I love his stories, but I’d like a romantic interest and a believable female POV. Some men have a challenge thinking like a woman.
Beatles or Monkees? Monkees – I loved Mickey and their great song “I’m a Believer.”
Who should play you in a film of your life? Meryl Streep – she’s such a great actress she could even play someone like me.
Last, but definitely not least, here’s an excerpt from the book for you…
“Hi, it’s Holly Devine. I’m from the Capelleti Detective Agency.”
It was a few seconds before the buzzer rang.
Holly opened the door and stepped into a small entry. There was no elevator. She tramped up the well-worn stairs. On the second floor, she checked the numbers on the doors and started down the hall.
A door to her right opened.
“Yes?” A woman in her early thirties stood there.
She was taller than Holly, maybe five feet six and heavier. Her brown hair was pulled back in a ponytail. She wore no makeup or jewelry.
“Can I help you?” Her icy blue eyes stared at Holly.
“Holly Devine, from the Capelleti Detective Agency. Mr. Capelleti asked me to look into your report that your sister is missing.”
“You don’t look like a detective.”
“I’m a newer member of the team. These cases are my specialty.” Holly crossed her fingers behind her back.
“I see. Do you have identification?”
“Oh, sure,” Holly opened her purse, fumbled through her wallet and eventually found an old photo ID card. She’d rummaged through some old boxes in the attic and found it. Mickey said he should have her replacement identification ready by the weekend.
“Here you go.”
The woman accepted it and stared at it and then at Holly. She handed the card back.
“Thank you. Please come in. I’m Millie Gudron. I was afraid Victor might have sent you to try and keep me quiet.”
The woman stepped to one side. Holly edged past her into the living room. The furnishings were simple and older; an overstuffed beige corduroy couch and matching chair, a rocker, a wood and glass coffee table and a corner shelf.
“Please, have a seat. Thank you for coming. I didn’t know what else to do. I’m afraid that something has happened to my sister.”
Holly sat in the handcrafted rocking chair the sister indicated.
“Victor? Why would he want to keep you quiet?”
“Because I’m sure he’s done something to my sister and he doesn’t want anybody to check on her.”
Holly perched on the edge of the chair to prevent herself from rocking. “I see. Maybe you can tell me what makes you think your sister is missing.”
“I haven’t heard from her in over a week. Can I get you a cup of tea?”
“That would be lovely.” Holly dug out her notepad and pencil.
“Is chamomile all right?”
“That sounds perfect. A week isn’t long. She might be busy and forgot to call.”
“I know it doesn’t sound like it’s a long time, but my sister and I are very close. When our parents died, I looked after Mitzi. I’m five years older. We talk every day or every other day at the latest. Even if she’s away somewhere, she always calls me.”
Millie returned with a small tray and placed it on the coffee table. She poured Holly a cup and passed it over carefully. “Help yourself to the cream and sugar.”
“No, I’m good.”
“Would you like lemon? I think I have some.”
“No, clear is fine. Thank you.” Holly took a sip and burned the tip of her tongue. She put the cup down.
“When I talked to her last week, she told me Victor was angry. She said she was frightened. She didn’t know what he might do to her. She planned to tell me why when she saw me because Victor often listened in on her phone calls.
“When I didn’t hear from her for two days, I called and talked to Victor, her wonderful husband. He was abrupt and told me Mitzi had gone and hung up on me. I was frustrated. I went out to see him. He was furious that I’d come and wouldn’t let me in the house. When I pressured him, he said she’d run off with the golf pro and good riddance to both of them.”
“I see.” Holly scribbled furiously.
“I know she didn’t run off with the golf pro. She would have told me if that was her plan, or dropped by here before they left town. She’d never even told me she was interested in the golf pro. I know Victor is a liar. He’s done something to my sister. I know he has. I don’t know what, but I have to find out, whatever it is. Can you help me?” Millie asked.
“Look, I didn’t know you or your sister, but are you sure there’s no way she would have run off with a man without telling you? It might have been a spur of the moment thing and once they’re settled in Mexico, or wherever, she’ll call and let you know where she is.”
“No, she’d never do that. I know Mitzi.”
“I’ll talk to the golf pro and see what he says.”
“I understand what you’re saying. I know I sound a little over protective. Some people considered our dependence on each other abnormal. I know Victor hated it. It’s just we were all we had, for so long. When our parents died, we sort of looked after each other, even though I was older. Mitzi brightened up my life. We never go more than a day or two without keeping in touch. It’s who we are.” Millie shrugged.
“Her husband says she’s run off with the golf pro and isn’t too worried. Did he sound angry or upset?”
“Victor? No. Victor would never sound upset. I think he was angry because I phoned to check on Mitzi. He was mad at me, but basically Victor is cold and calculating. He married Mitzi because she is gorgeous. She won the Miss Miami Orange contest. She’s talented, too. He wanted her for an adornment when he entertained. Other than that he didn’t have much use for her. For that matter, I don’t think he has much use for any woman. He didn’t love her.”
“Did Mitzi love him?”
“I think she did when she first met him. He showered her with gifts and expensive trips. She was young and easily impressed. He turned her head. It didn’t last long.”
“I see. Why didn’t she leave him?”
“He would have killed her. She was his property.” Millie replied.
“But even if he didn’t love her, if someone’s run off with his property, wouldn’t he be upset?”
Millie sighed. “No. He’d be furious; the same as if you walked into your home and found a thief had violated it. He’d kill them both if it happened. Then find another ornament to decorate his arm.”
“So, you think he’s killed your sister?” Holly asked.
“Yes. I’m afraid that’s what he’s done. There’s no other reason she wouldn’t have called me. And it wouldn’t be because she ran off with someone. There has to be another reason.”
“Oh God, you didn’t say anything about a murder.” A shiver twisted snake-like down Holly’s spine. “If you think she’s been killed, you should talk to the police. They’re the ones who should look into this,
not a private investigator.”
“I talked to the police. They’re not interested. She hasn’t been missing that long and Victor says she’s run off with the golf pro.”
“But did you tell them what you suspected?”
“Yes, and they laughed. Victor Santiago has money and power and is an important man. I’m nobody. The police say it’s a domestic issue. Even when husbands say they plan to kill their wives, they usually don’t. They did talk to Victor. He was very convincing about her disappearance.”
“So you want me to find out if Victor murdered your sister.”
“Yes. A part of me hopes that she has run off with the golf pro, or that Victor has locked her in her room, to teach her a lesson, but I’m sure he’s killed her. I have to know the truth.” Tears spilled over and trickled down Millie’s cheek. She swiped at them with the back of her hand.
“I’m sorry. I’m probably being a nuisance, but honestly, I don’t know what else to do.”
“Don’t be sorry. You’re doing the right thing. Do you have a picture of Mitzi?”
“Of course, I’ll get it for you.” Millie swiped at her eyes and left the room.
“Do you know any of her friends?”
“She didn’t have any. Victor made sure of that. He kept her isolated from friends and family. She went to the country club to play golf and she went shopping. That’s about it. And she had a chauffeur for those activities. There were a couple of girls at the country club that she played golf with. I’ll write their names down for you.” Millie came back into the room and handed a photograph to Holly.
Holly looked at the photo of a young woman, maybe in her late twenties, with long blonde hair and soulful blue eyes. “She is beautiful.”
“Yes. That’s what got her into this mess. She was young and naïve. Victor overwhelmed her with his money. She expected to live the life of Cinderella. It turned out to be more like Rapunzel, but Rapunzel escaped. I don’t think Mitzi did.”
Holly dropped the photo into her purse. “I’ll do what I can. I don’t have a lot to go on.”
“I understand. Anything you can find out, anything at all, I’ll appreciate it. The fact you listened to me and will try to find her makes me feel a little better. I don’t know what I’ll do without her, but I don’t think I can live if I don’t know where she is or what happened to her.” Millie dabbed at the corner of her eye.
“It will probably be a couple of days before I get back to you.”
“If you think of anything else, or your sister calls, you can get a message to me through the office. You have the number?”
“Yes, but she won’t call.” Millie said. A tear caught in her throat. “She can’t.”
I’ve got about 26,000 words written on book 8, “Dream Vacation” and I think I’ve got the whole thing pretty much mapped out. Hopefully I can pick up the pace and get things moving a little faster.
I’ve also got 17,000 words written for book 9, “Shattered Dream” (3-4 chapters near the end of the book, actually). And that book has its villain, who is pretty much “ripped from the headlines” (well, the headlines of 2007-8, which is when the book is set).
Work should begin any day now on the audiobook recording of “Waking Dream” and “Dream Reunion”, and, also, “Dream Student” is being translated into FOUR different foreign languages (Spanish, Italian, German and Portugese). So there’s a lot going on!