Authors/Writers, new release

Stowaway Release Day!

Hi Friends,

I’m thrilled to announce the release of my first romantic suspense, Stowaway!

It’s still has all the elements you’ve some to expect from a sweet, fun, Darcy Flynn Romance!

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Here’s the book blurb and a excerpt! Enjoy!

Her identity is hidden … He’s determined to uncover it

Charleston, South Carolina shipping heiress, MIRANDA MERRICK, discovers one of her family’s cargo ships, the Elle Merrick, has suffered multiple attacks by a saboteur. The devious actions have put the company at risk for bankruptcy. Refusing to sit idly, she boards the Elle in hopes of gaining help from her uncle, the ship’s captain, only to find a stranger at the helm.

In an effort to discover the culprit and save her family’s company, Miranda stows away on the ship – keeping her identity a secret while conducting her own investigation. Making matters more complicated, she finds herself attracted to the new captain, who could very well be the enemy.

Captain NOAH SHEPPARD is hoping to merge his small, cargo shipping line, Clayton Company, with the multinational conglomerate, Merrick Shipping. Upon discovering one of Merrick’s ships has been deliberately and systematically sabotaged by a crew member, he agrees to captain the targeted vessel in hopes of discovering the identity of the saboteur.

Two days into the voyage, Noah discovers a stowaway, and assumes she’s either the saboteur or in league with him. But what Noah didn’t bargain for is having to deal with the mysterious, gorgeous, redhead, who wreaks havoc – not only to his patience, but to his heart.

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Excerpt

“Who are you? How did you get aboard?”

The light bulb overhead gave him a clear view of her face and slender body. Dressed in jeans, white sneakers and a dark hooded sweater, she stood, wide-eyed, chest heaving, lips parted. She was young, early to mid-twenties at most. The wind lifted and whipped several loose strands of red hair from her ponytail. She licked her lips and gulped – even though her face was free of make-up, her cheeks, most likely chapped from the cold, gave her skin a rosy hue.

If this young woman was a saboteur, then he was Captain Kidd.

She stood – sneakers rooted to the deck, staring up at him with the prettiest green eyes he’d ever seen – their shifting emerald lights holding him spellbound.

As he watched her, something flickered in their depths and he could see the struggle, the uncertainty in her expression – as if weighing what to do next. She opened her perfect mouth as if she were about to speak, but then thought better of it and clamped her lips together.

The spell broke. He blinked. “Have it your way.” He didn’t suffer fools lightly. No way was he going to let a…

Heart-stopping.

Vulnerable.

Anxious green-eyed, redheaded vision turn him into one, either.

Keeping his hand on her upper arm, he marched her below deck. As they made their way, he gave her a swift, sideways glance. She moved quickly, taking two steps for each one of his. Visibly panting now, the crease between her eyes held more annoyance than fear. She was a tough one. But so was he. Maybe a day or two in the brig would loosen her lips.

His second officer, Scotty, had just surfaced from the belly of the ship when Noah spotted him.

“We have a visitor. Caught her sneaking around the bridge.” He glanced down at her. “She’s not talking. Lock her up, will you.”

Scotty gaped at her, then at the captain. “Noah, are you sure? I mean…”

“Fine. Get to the bridge. I’ll do it.”

Scotty gave a curt nod and left.

With his hand still on her upper arm, Noah led her to the lowest level of the ship. As they entered the compartment, the stowaway skidded to a halt.

“There’s a brig?”

“She speaks.”

Her eyes glazed over with apprehension and stared, unblinking, at the metal bars.

He unlocked the cell door, pulled it open, then stepped aside for her to enter.

“Since when does a cargo ship have a brig?”

“Since she occasionally sails through pirate-infested waters.”

Wide-eyed and mouth gaping, she stood rooted to the spot. When she didn’t move, he placed his hand to her back and gave a slight push.

The young woman dug in her heels, her back muscles tensing against the palm of his hand. She stood rigid, unblinking. Her earlier tough, annoyed manner had vanished, to be replaced by a troubled expression.

Intrigued, he watched her.

“I…I just need a second,” she said.

What an odd thing to say. Her voice shook with a husky sweetness he found extremely appealing. For some inexplicable reason her resignation to her current predicament touched him.

Easy, Noah. She could be playing you.

He lowered his hand from her back and waited.

She swallowed, glanced at her feet and slowly stepped through the cell door, as if willing her sneakers to enter. She stopped inside the opening. For a second he didn’t think she’d turn around, but in one slow robotic pivot, she faced him.

Her breathing had become quick and shallow, like a dog panting in the hot sun. In a matter of seconds she had it under control as if she’d done it many times before.

For a brief second her vivid green eyes held his gaze, before flickering over him – curious and assessing. What? Was she trying to intimidate him? He couldn’t resist asking. “So. How do I measure up?”

“You don’t.”

Obviously, her recent discomfort hadn’t lasted long. Probably figured her dramatic act was wasted on him. He was no one’s fool. Better she learn it now, than later. “I’ll get you some water and something to eat,” he said. “I imagine you’re hungry and thirsty.”

She’d pulled her ponytail free of its clip causing her hair to tumble in a disheveled golden-red mass around her shoulders. Under the glaring indoor lights, the soft waves framed her ashen face. Her hands shook slightly as she pushed the strands away from her temples, proving she wasn’t nearly as controlled as she’d tried to make him believe.

A dark substance streaked its black mark across her left cheek, highlighted by the stubborn tilt of her chin. Her intense gaze never left his face—

As if daring him to close the door.

As if he had no right.

 

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Authors/Writers, Great Reads, Streetlights Down Memory Lane

Hugo’s and the Street Guy

 

One morning a couple of years ago, I was at Hugo’s Restaurant in West Hollywood having breakfast. I sat outside at a small table for two. A couple seated at the small bistro table next to me had recently left and the waitress hadn’t yet picked up their plates. To my IMG_2531astonishment, a very handsome young man, dressed in loose clothing, with wavy longish hair and a short beard walked by at a nice clip. He briefly stopped at their table and grabbed a napkin. Then without missing a beat, lifted a spoon, scrapped the last bit of food onto the napkin, then shoveled it into his mouth as he continued walking. He acted without the least hesitation. Without thought. As if he’d done this many times before. I sat stunned. Horrified at what had transpired, I watched him walk the length of the restaurant, then turn right before he disappeared.

When the homeless young man strode off, my heart cried out to stop him, to offer him a meal. But what 60-year-old woman runs after a thirty-year-old homeless guy? So, I did the normal, sane thing, simply sat there and watched him leave. I glanced around at those seated near me and not one of them seemed to have noticed him.

I’ve thought about that young man many times since then, replaying the scene over and over in my head. In my daydream, I call out to him. He stops and turns. I offer to buy him breakfast, and although surprised, he accepts. We sit at the bistro table on a beautiful California morning and I discover more about him over a hearty breakfast.

But, that’s not how it happened.

I thought about those who loved this young man, who worried about him. And mostly, I thought about his mother. As I pondered this man’s condition I played several scenarios in my head. Maybe he was a spy, undercover, and fleeing his most recent captors. Nearly starved. Why else would he eat off the plate of a stranger?

I knew someday I’d use him in a story and give him a reason to do what he did. Thus my undercover journalist hero was born. Then I gave my heroine the heart I’d wished I’d had that day. The heart that was in me, but afraid to act. I gave her the courage to actually go after the homeless man and the will to at least try and change his life.

The places she frequented would give most men pause. But, not her.

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