About Me

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I am an avid reader, animal lover, devourer of guacamole, storyteller and the author of An Unexpected Obsession, A Dose of Reality, Witch Way, A Coven by Christmas, Love Spells, Summer Solstice (coming soon), Flirting With Death, Flirting With Murder and the rest of the upcoming Assassins Anonymous series. I attended Arizona State University (go Sun Devils!) and make my home in the Valley of the Sun with my husband and three pampered pets. I like to discuss everything funny, sexy, sassy and absurd. But mostly I like to talk about books... and shoes... and outrageously expensive purses... and Chanel sunglasses ...oooh, and anything sparkly... or fluffy! So, come on in and let's chat!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

In Celebration of Summer Reading - Ann Charles

Post number two in my Celebration of Summer Reading series is dedicated to Ann Charles and her Deadwood & Jackrabbit Junction Series', who now has another fan -- ME!

My love affair with this author (okay, I may be overstating a tad... I haven't actually met the author. But I am in love with her books) began with the Deadwood Humorous Mystery Series, so I'll focus on those books first.

I started with Nearly Departed in Deadwood and read the entire series (to date) in a weekend. Fun, well-written and the characters simply come alive! There's mystery and romance, humor and heartwarming moments and... ghosts. I love ghosts!

And the setting was original (at least, it was for me) and brought to life vividly. Now I want to visit South Dakota (words I never considered saying before). I liked the fledgling Realtor angle as well... I spend many weekends poking around model homes and open houses (I'm nosy), so it was fun to do it without leaving the my back patio.

There are four books in the series so far (in order): Nearly Departed in Deadwood, Optical Delusions in Deadwood, Dead Case in Deadwood, Better off Dead in Deadwood, as well as Seeing Trouble and Boot Points - both short stories. I can't wait for more! Go - buy them all now!

Miss Charles also has another series set in Jackrabbit Junction, Arizona. As an Arizonan, it was fun to read about an area of the state I haven't spent much time in. And the characters, mystery and romance in these books were just as addicting!

The saga begins with Dance of the Winnegabos and Claire being assigned to keep her grandfather out of trouble when he and his posse visit the Arizona desert to find new wives... with an intro like that, how can you resist finding out what happens next?

But then she finds a human leg bone and a partner in crime solving (and maybe romance) with a sexy geotechnician related to the owner of the struggling RV park she is temporarily calling home... and the fun really begins.

There are two books in the series so far (in order): Dance of the Winnebagos and Jackrabbit Junction Jitters, with a promise of a mid-2013 release of The Great Jackalope Stampede. I can't wait! And I guarantee you'll be hooked, too.

Happy Summer Reading!


Monday, July 8, 2013

In Celebration of Summer Reading - Terri Reid

I have been neglecting my blog recently, but now that my latest book is done I wanted to do a series of recommendations for summer reading. Throughout the next few weeks, I will be highlighting some of the fantastic books I've read in between edits and rewrites (and when I'm just procrastinating). 

I'm kicking off the celebration with Terri Reid's Mary O'Reilly Paranormal Mysteries. From the first page of this awesome series, I was hooked. I read what was available back-to-back and can't even begin to express how impressed I was: with the writing, with the characters and, especially, with the fun plots. 

As a word of caution, I must state that these books are HIGHLY addictive -- and there are TEN of them so far -- so be prepared. I missed more than one deadline of my own because I had to know what would happen next.  

BTW, these are clean books - no gratuitous sex or curse words. Just thought I'd mention it, in case that's what you're looking for. I usually shop in the sinner's section, but clean can be a nice change of pace -- not that you notice it with these books, you're too caught up in the story.

Now, go download Loose Ends (Book One) for only $0.99 and enjoy hours of wonderful entertainment!

Loose Ends (book One) Description from Amazon product page:

Dying is what changed Mary O’Reilly’s life. Well, actually, coming back from the dead and having the ability to communicate with ghosts is really what did it.

Now, a private investigator in rural Freeport, Illinois, Mary’s trying to learn how to incorporate her experience as a Chicago cop and new-found talent into a real job. Her challenge is to solve the mysteries, get real evidence (a ghost’s word just doesn’t hold up in court), and be sure the folks in town, especially the handsome new police chief, doesn’t think she’s nuts.

Twenty-four years ago, a young woman drowned in the swimming pool of a newly elected State Senator. It was ruled an accident. But now, as the Senator prepares to move on to higher positions, the ghost of the woman is appearing to the Senator’s wife.

Mary is hired to discover the truth behind the death. She unearths a connection between the murder and the disappearance of five little girls whose cases, twenty-four years later, are still all unsolved. As she digs further she becomes the next target for serial killers’ quest to tie up all his loose ends.

Other books in the Mary O'Reilly Mysteries Series (descriptions from terrireid.com):

Good Tidings (Book Two)

Black Friday – the official opening of the Holiday Shopping Season and Patrice Marcum is stuck in the middle of her local superstore with a crying infant, a near hysterical desire to just abandon the diapers and milk she desperately needs, and the snowstorm of the century dumping a half-foot of snow on the parking lot outside.  She needs a miracle.
The little old lady seemed sweet, but there was no way Patrice was going to leave three-month old Jeremy with a stranger.  She looked outside at the snow-covered parking lot and saw yet another distressed shopper’s cart topple over in the drifts.  The old lady sensed her distress and volunteered to call a store employee to help watch over Jeremy while Patrice got her car.  The older gentleman, wearing a store badge with the name “Ron,” seemed too good to be true.  What could be safer?
Less than five minutes later, after brushing the snow off the van and driving across the crowded and snow-packed parking lot, Patrice pulls up in front of the store.  Jeremy is not there.  Pushing back panic, she rushes into the store and looks around. Jeremy is not inside either.  She pushes through the line at Customer Service, the associate calls Ron on the intercom, and issues a Code Adam.  When Ron appears and he’s only seventeen years old, Patrice realizes the worst. “Oh God!  They’ve taken my baby!”
Mary O’Reilly, Private Investigator, is decorating her office for the holiday season when the newly installed bell over her door jingles.  She looks over to see a six year-old boy standing next to her desk.  His name is Joey Marcum and he wants to hire Mary to find his baby brother.
Mary nodded. “Okay, Joey, but I’ll want to work with the police on this one. Do you have any problems with that?”
Joey paused. “No, I guess you can talk to them.”        
“That’ll be helpful.”
“But you can’t tell my mom you’re working for me,” he said, “Promise?”
“Yes, I promise.”
Joey shrugged. “I don’t think she’d understand, seeing that I’m dead, you know.”

Never Forgotten (Book Three)

Bradley crept forward between the tall narrow aisles created by the shelves.  Just before he reached the corner he heard a thump, the sound of a body hitting the floor.  He rushed forward into the corner of the room.
The desk was empty.  The chair was pushed up against it, neatly awaiting its usual occupant.  No one was in the corner.  No one was there to make the sound.  No one…alive.
A cold chill ran down his back. He really wanted to leave the room.  Instead, he moved closer.
He walked to the window and looked outside.  Snow fell softly on the rooftops in the city of Freeport.  It was Christmas Eve, a night of peace and miracles.
“Go home.”
He jumped around. The voice was just behind him.
Even before he turned, he knew no one would be there.
He rubbed the back of his neck, still cold from the breath that carried those words.
The curse had killed another Law Enforcement Officer in Stephenson County, this time it struck on Christmas Eve.  Nearly a dozen good men had died in the past four years and they all had the same unexplained symptoms.  And Mary knew Bradley was next.
Click here to buy Never Forgotten

Final Call (Book Four)

Stanley peered up into the shadows above the stage.  There was a colorful blaze of fabric amidst the burgundy curtains and canvas backdrops. He moved closer, trying to get a better view from a different angle.
“Hey, what’s this play about anyway?” Stanley asked. “Is it a Western?”
“No, it’s a drama,” Rosie replied.
“How come you need a dummy hanging from a rope?”
She looked over quickly. “No one gets hanged in the play.”
“Sure looks like it. Up there.”
Rosie looked up to where he directed and saw the caftan and silk pants ruffling in the slight breeze of the theater twenty feet over the stage.
“Oh, sweet heavens! Stanley,” she screamed. “That’s Faye!”
Faye McMullen was murdered in cold blood at Winneshiek Theater and Mary O’Reilly and Police Chief Bradley Alden have to discover who done it before the murderer gets the chance to get rid of the prime witness… Mary O’Reilly.

Darkness Exposed (Book Five)

Jeannine appeared in the room across from Mary.  Her face was streaked with tears and she was visibly trembling.  “Mary, I remembered,” she cried. “I remembered and it was awful.”
The time has finally come for Mary to investigate Jeannine’s murder. As all clues point to someone in Bradley’s old neighborhood, Mary and Ian move in to the former Alden residence and pose as newlyweds to set Mary up as bait for the killer.  With Stanley and Rosie at their side, they expose the darkness hidden in the depths of Bradley’s old neighborhood.
Click here to buy Darkness Exposed

Natural Reaction (Book Six)

The last few students climbed through windows, black smoke billowing out of them. The teacher turned to his student. “I’ll let you down first.”
“But Coach, whose going to help you?”
“Hey, you’re my best fielder, I expect to jump right into your arms,” he said. “Just promise not to whip me over to Smith for a double play.”
The young man, his face streaked with soot, grinned at his coach. “Yeah, Coach, I promise.”
He took the young man’s hands in a tight grip and slowly lowered him out the window. When he had extended his reach as far as he could, he let him go.
The student fell into the evergreen boughs, the prickly needles scraped his arms, but the branches kept him from hitting the ground. He rolled off the bushes and jumped up as fast as he could. He turned his eager face up to the window. “Okay, Coach,” he called.
The explosion violently blew the windows out of the building. Screaming students darted across the lawn, barely escaping the shards of glass raining down on them. All of the students except Stevo, who still stood below the gaping hole in the wall, oblivious to the blood running down his face and arms. “Coach, Coach,” he screamed. “I’m here, Coach. Coach, I’m here.”
Mary O’Reilly investigates the death of a beloved high school coach while she tries to overcome the repercussion of solving Jeannine’s murder.

Secret Hollows (Book Seven)

The man smiled at Timmy. “That would be nice of you. Why don’t you lead the way?”
Timmy moved past the man and started back up the hill. He heard the whoosh of something moving quickly through the air, but it hit him before he had time to react. He felt the impact against his head and his whole body flew sideways through the air. Landing in the dense ground cover, his face was momentarily buried in loose dirt, pine needles, dried leaves and twigs. Lifting his head, he took a deep breath and started to scramble away on his hands and knees. A strong hand caught him by the neck and pushed him back into the dirt.
“Sorry, Timmy, I can’t let you go now,” the man whispered. “You’d tell.”
Timmy Beck, Fireman Mike Richards’ boyhood friend, was killed twenty years ago, but everyone in the town is sure they caught the right man…or did they? Why is Timmy’s ghost still haunting Lake Le-Aqua-Na?
Mary, Bradley, Ian and Mike investigate and find the true murderer may be much closer than they had ever expected.

Broken Promises (Book Eight)

Clarissa yawned and rubbed her eyes. “Will I ever meet an angel, Daddy?” she asked, as she snuggled into her pillow.
He leaned over and kissed her on her forehead. “I’m sure you will, sweetheart,” he said. “You just have to watch for them.”
She nodded sleepily. “Night Daddy, I love you.”
“I love you too,” he whispered, to the already sleeping child.
A fierce feeling of protectiveness struck him as he watched her sleep from the doorway. There is no way anyone is going to take her from us, he vowed silently. Not while I’m alive.
The trial for Gary Copper has begun, but was there another murder in his past? One that would change the future for Bradley’s daughter? And as Rosie and Stanley prepare for their wedding, they both have some ghosts in their own closets they will have to deal with.

Twisted Paths (Book Nine)

Gloria Foley turned off the light in the hallway and made her way slowly upstairs to bed. She paused at the doorway of her daughter’s bedroom and shook her head. It had been such an emotional day for all of them. She prayed she would have the strength to get them both through these treacherous teenaged years.
Slowly turning the knob on the bedroom door, she quietly opened it to check on her sleeping child. Through the narrow opening, she could see the bed was still made and no one was sleeping on it. She opened the door wider and saw the shadow on the far wall and her heart clenched. Screaming, she flung the door open and ran to the figure hanging from the thick electric cord suspended from the ceiling fan. “No,” she screamed, as she tried to lift the inert body up to relieve the pressure against her neck. “Nooooooo!”
The ghost of a teenager who committed suicide twenty years ago is haunting her family’s home. Can Mary link that death to the serial suicides of the girls who bullied her when she was alive?
And with Gary Copper still on the loose, Mary and Bradley are faced with the challenge of keeping the newest member of their family safe and sound.

Irish Mist – Sean’s Story (A Mary O’Reilly Short Story)

What would you do to win a game of hide and seek? After all, as the oldest child in the family, Sean O’Reilly had a reputation to uphold. Besides, the things his grandmother said about the woods beyond her fence line were just fairy tales. Stories to frighten children into doing what’s right. Or were they?
Author’s note: As I was working on Book 10, I realized that there was a story I needed to tell that would be important, not only to Book 10, but to the next series I’m planning on writing.

Veiled Passages (Book Ten)

A famous mystery writer drowns in a hotel bathtub… an accident or foul play? His ghost thinks it was murder. His mystery writer colleagues want to help Mary solve the case. Gary Copper is still on the loose and gunning for both Bradley and Mary. And, in between all of the murder and mayhem, Mary and Bradley are trying desperately to finally walk up the aisle. Will they ever become husband and wife?

Happy Reading!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

New Release - Flirting With Secrets - Assassins Anonymous - Step Three!

It's here...


After more edits and rewrites than any author wants to admit to, Flirting With Secrets is out in the world. A huge thank you to everyone who has been patiently waiting for the finished book... thank goodness this is a series, because I had a really hard time putting this one to bed -- Kayla's story is far from over and she's been taking me in a million directions lately. Luckily, I'm having a blast bringing her adventures to life and Flirting With Fame is well on its way!  

Happy Reading!

Read on for a short sample of Flirting With Secrets:

Loose ends.
   The words bounced around relentlessly inside my throbbing skull. The pain was worse than a Slurpee brain freeze and only slightly better than an exploding aneurism. And through it all I was contemplating loose ends. Why was the phrase so frigging important?
   Ugh, who cared? I hadn’t felt this brutalized since waking up in a hospital with few memories and a hole in my chest. What the hell was going on?
   I pried open my crusty eyes, confused and disoriented when they revealed nothing but more blackness. Oh, God! Was I blind? My hands flailed at my sides, trying to discern my surroundings by touch. I was in a bed – that much was for certain. A pretty comfortable one, too. So I was definitely not in a hospital – or a coffin, which had been my second thought and the cause of a minor panic attack.
   I felt something warm and soft beside me and experienced a slightly naughty thrill of anticipation, temporarily overriding my distress.
   Further exploration determined the body next to mine was not that of the sexy Greek arms dealer I had hoped it would be. That is unless he’d shrunk to half his size and grown boobs since abandoning me. Tying up loose ends… that’s why the words were running through my brain. Dmitri’s cryptic note had been our last communication in… months. I didn’t even know if I should be concerned or angry. There was no “normal” for an ex-assassin who falls for a semi-reformed criminal.
   On second thought, normal didn’t matter. Over three months without even a text? He was damn lucky he wasn’t beside me right now or else he’d be in for an unwelcome awakening of the getting-the-shit-beaten-out-of-him variety. Schmuck.
   “Claire?” Even the soft, questioning whisper made the brittle synapses firing pain missives throughout my skull revolt. I needed drugs. Or a machete to cut my head off with.
   I gave the body beside me another shake when I received no response. “Claire? What’s going on?”
   The sheets rustled as the body stirred. “Are you up, honey?”
   Even stranger. That sound a bit like… “Mom?”
   What was my mother doing in bed with me? I tried to pull my thoughts together, to remember the events leading up to what was either an on-going brain hemorrhage or the queen bitch of all hangovers. Hmmm. My last memory was of a going away party...