Excerpt

What are my stories about? Romance mostly. Add a touch of spice and a little adventure. Maybe some suspense. Stir well.

This one is my first Contemporary romance: Available January 28, 2015

“You mean…?” Dia looked back at the guy. Nah, impossible, I’ve never been that lucky.

“Yeah, that’s Carlo Antonelli. Tell him anything,” Tony said. “I’ll get your back. You don’t want to accept the date, just make up whatever excuse you want.” He beckoned.

A jolt of heat spread through her abdomen when Carlo grinned and waved. He ducked through the slow moving traffic and stopped in front of her, smiling a crooked smile. He pushed his sunglasses onto his head, white teeth flashing, and mahogany eyes sparkling. My wedding date? Her heartbeat pounded, and her mouth went dry.

“You must be Dia,” he said. He tucked the book underneath one arm and held her hand gently with his other big warm hand. “Carlo Antonelli.”

“Yes,” she said, the word coming out on a soft breath. She swallowed hard. “Tony mentioned you wanted to speak to me about Marco’s wedding.”

Something inside of her shifted, as if a huge iceberg started to melt in her chest and slid sideways, leaving a pool of cool, blue, bubbling water. She floundered for a minute wondering what to say next, because she couldn’t use the word date. Not while looking into his magnificent eyes. Then she remembered he was Italian, or at least part Italian. Strike one. Her shoulders stiffened. She had no interest in Italian men. She pulled her hand away, hitched up the purse onto her shoulder, and squinted from behind her dark sunglasses.

 

 

A taste from my Golden Heart finalist book, Desert Exposure, released in August, 2013:

“Oh, dear God–”

Rachel didn’t look back. If she was about to die, she didn’t want to see the bullet coming. Another burst of gunfire sounded. A bullet lodged in a tree trunk above her head. She squashed the backpack against her chest, keeping Ralph in place, and pumped her legs hard to get over the slight rise.

Once down the other side, she darted through a field of date palms and got to the old truck, which she’d parked off the main drag. Opening the truck door, she slid into the seat and shoved the key into the ignition. With a quick gasp for air she tossed the backpack onto the floor of the truck. Slick with sweat and trembling with fear, her fingers shook as she turned the key in Grandpa’s old truck.

“Please start. Please start.” It leaped into action. She yanked on the zipper of the windbreaker, and let Ralph out onto the seat. He ran to the open window and barked.

“Shh, Ralph,” she whispered. “Good boy. Lie down.”

There was no sign, or sound, of movement. She pressed the accelerator hard. The truck roared across the unsealed track, and out from under the cover of tall date palms like a raging bull released from a rodeo pen. She headed for the highway and toward the safety of Grandpa’s cabin.

“Oh, hell, oh, hell…oh, hell,” she said, and tried to slow her panic.

The empty camera case still hung around her neck and it bumped against her chest. Pulling the strap over her head with one hand, she gripped tight to the steering wheel with the other, and then shoved the case on top of the backpack.

I risked my life for a freakin’ camera?

 

Excerpt from Gone Tropical: my Australian rainforest adventure, release on Amazon’s Kindle December 27, 2013. Print and all eBook formats April 11, 2014

His voice was deep and steely. “What part of undercover don’t you get?”

She narrowed her eyes. “I was using feminine wiles, and—”

“Shut up,” Turner whispered, and abruptly turned his back to the lobby.

The same bald-headed guy she’d seen earlier spoke with the waiter. Tension coiled through Turner’s body. They were so close, the warmth of his breath fanned across her forehead. He stood taller, like he was on tiptoes or something, his chest puffed out. The bald guy walked past, ignored them, but continued to scan the lobby. He looked like he’d taken a beating.

She thumped at Turner’s chest. “Shut up?” she asked. “Where were you anyway? I’ve—”

He moved closer, his face expressionless, hazel eyes cold. “Be quiet for a minute. Please.” He gripped the hand that had done the thumping. “Play along.”

Her heart raced, and she was unsure if the burst of adrenaline was because of his closeness, or the insinuation of danger. Soap, deodorant, and light citrus after-shave, tickled at her nostrils. Then it struck her, he’d showered and she’d sat down here like an idiot, for hours. About to tell him what she thought of him, she inhaled and realized she liked his scent. The tinkle of china on the glass tabletop disturbed the moment. Jake released her hand, and turned.

“So, what was—?”

“Darling,” Turner said. He turned back to her, his hazel eyes softened, smoldered, so they looked almost green. “You haven’t had breakfast yet?”

Amy shook her head. Darling? She didn’t even know his first name, but he seemed to have a game plan, which was more than she had. And he’d made no comment about her bagel choice. Maybe if she played along, they could be partners. God he smelled sexy. Maybe they could be even more.

 

                                                                     

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