Why do authors do cover reveals?

If you follow many authors and/or blogs that feature authors (like this one perhaps), you probably see some cover reveals from time to time. Usually they take place before the book is out, so you may be wondering why authors do this. Well for one thing, the cover is a vitally important part of the book and whether or not people want to pick it up to read too. It is also a way to say thank you to the cover artists out there who are often underappreciated in the publishing industry. They are artists make no mistake about it and they deserve to have the spotlight shined on their work. Think of cover reveals as a gallery show for cover artists, a chance for people to appreciate their art simply for the art. It is also a time for the author to just sit back and appreciate that their hard work has paid off. A cover reveal is the calm before and after the storm. They have survived writing and editing their baby and it’s not yet time to get out there and promote like crazy. It’s a chance to say “Ah, I did it! I wrote a book and it has a beautiful cover.” It’s like when new parents want to share the photos of their babies with the world, it’s a moment of pure joy!

And that is what the lovely Dawn Brower is sharing with us today, her latest moment of pure joy!

Here is her baby! And isn’t it beautiful!DB_BrokenPearl_HiRes

BLURB:

The year is 1941 and paradise is a way of life in Hawaii. For Rebecca O’Shea things couldn’t be more perfect.  She has her dream career as a naval nurse, and is in love with the man of her dreams—it seems she has it all.

An empathic gift she’s had all her life starts to grow, showering her with emotions and premonitions that suggest a great darkness is near. Just when she thinks she cannot take anymore her guardian, Joel, arrives to help her.

Rebecca’s life is thrown into chaos when war hits Hawaii’s shore. As the Japanese bomb her home, her gift explodes within her. Loss and pain become her new way of life. She abandons all hope and shuts down her empathic abilities. With bodies littering the hospitals and seas, her calling as a nurse is put to good use, but her heart remains unreachable. Can she find her way out of the blackness and accept her true fate? Or will the prevailing death and destruction of war consume her?

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DawnMarieBrower

Twitter: http://www.twittter.com/dawnab33

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8062943.Dawn_Brower

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Brower/e/B00KBBRW5E/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1422936275&sr=8-1

Newsletter: http://www.authordawnbrower.com/newsletter.html

Blog: https://dawnbrower.wordpress.com/

Broken Pearl is published by Three Worlds Press. For more information on this book or their other works please visit: http://www.threeworldsproductionsllc.com/.

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On writing Scandalous Endeavors:

scadal1Scandalous Endeavors

Release Date: December 12, 2014

Publisher: Three Worlds Press

Length: 42k/about 137 pages in eBook

Available in eBook and print

Scandalous Endeavors is my debut and as a first time writer I learned a lot about my style and the craft. I am not going to bore you with all of the details but would like to discuss one aspect of writing Scandalous Endeavors. This is a historical book set in the Victorian time period. It required me to do a lot of research in order to get the details correct, and sometimes there were no clear answers.

scandal4I discovered that research is fun and learned plenty of new stuff along the way. For example I discovered that a horse moved faster than a train during the time period Scandalous Endeavors is set in. This is in part because trains could not travel a straight route. Rather they had to go around land formations. For example a horse could go over a hill but a train had to go around it.

During my research I looked up everything from what types of foods they eat to how they traveled and what they wore. The heroine Lady Amelia is in mourning throughout the book so I did a hefty amount of research on mourning rules and dress. I discovered every detail of life in mourning had rules right down to the stationary Victorians in mourning used. It had a black border around it. They covered mirrors in black cloth and often hired mourners for the funeral procession.

My biggest discovery about research was that I only used a small amount of what I learned. Hours of researching one thing led to a sentence or two in the book. Often it was more of a sprinkling of detail throughout.

The intensive research added to the stories authenticity and helped bring the era to life. In the end I wound up with a rich and authentic back drop for the story I was telling.

scandal2Lady Amelia has only known the comfort of life in mid-eighteenth century English aristocracy. But when first her mother and then her father die, she finds herself alone, grief stricken and….. not of age. Her appointed guardian, an American uncle, has ordered her travel to his plantation where she must remain for at least two years when she will come of age.
With the help of Lady Grace and Lady Sarah, Lady Amelia gets her uncle to agree to give her four weeks to settle her affairs and unbeknownst to him…find an English lord to marry so she can remain in her beloved England. Despite her mourning period she endeavors to trap one of London’s eligible bachelors in matrimony.
Lord Goldstone, Lady Grace’s nephew is devilishly handsome, but a Scottish Duke and so entirely unacceptable as a possible husband. After all Scotland is not her beloved London and environs. He also has a nasty habit of showing up at all the wrong moments and thwarting her carefully laid plans to ensnare a suitable husband. Sparks fly as the pair find themselves at odds with each other and drawn to each other at the same time. Can they find a way to stop arguing long enough to explore their growing passion? Is it strong enough to make Lady Amelia give up her English home after all? Or will Lady Amelia find a suitable English lord and avoid social exile in America? Time is running out.

scandal3

Excerpt:

Lord Roseington wrapped his arms around her and stood up, setting her on her feet. “Yes, Amelia, everything is okay now.” He reached up and removed her arms from around him, then took a step back. “We must stop winding up in these situations before we cause a scandal.”

She looked at him through hooded eyes. “‘Tis a wonder we haven’t already.”

A man cleared his voice behind her.

Amelia turned her head, already knowing who had caught them. “Lord Goldstone, you mustn’t trouble yourself with keeping our secret.”

“What she means to say is that there is no secret to be kept. Amelia carelessly got close enough to the hearth to catch her skirts ablaze. I could not very well let her burn up.”

“No, Roseington, you were obliged to help. I am glad to know that you were not taking advantage of our dear Amelia.” He glanced at her and flashed a rakish smirk. “Indeed, you are a hero. Let us go share the story while Amelia changes her charred gown.”

She tried her hardest to shoot daggers at him from her narrowed glare. His grin only deepened at the attempt, which increased her ire. “Don’t you dare tell a soul. I would most definitely perish from the embarrassment!” Amelia spat the words out with anger and annoyance. How dare he ruin everything for a second time, and then jest about sharing her humiliation. If he were not Scottish, she would trap him instead. That would teach him a lesson.

“Do not worry your head over it, Lady Amelia. We will not breathe a word of this little mishap,” Lord Roseington said. “Right, Goldstone?”

“Of course not. All of your secrets are safe with me.” He winked.

Amelia blushed at what he had implied. “Thank you. Now that it is settled I am going to retire for the evening. Enjoy the rest of the party. Lord Roseington, Lord Goldstone.” She inclined her head to them before spinning on her heels and speeding from the room.

Author Bio and Links

scandal5

Amanda Marie dreams of days gone by when life moved at a slower pace. She enjoys taking pen to paper and exploring historical time periods through her imagination and the written word. Her hobbies include reading, writing, crocheting, traveling, photography, and spending time with her family. Some of Amanda Marie’s favorite places in the continental U.S. are Harper’s Ferry West Virginia and Sea Brook New Hampshire. She loves the history that surrounds them and visits them every chance she gets.

Amanda Marie lives along the Lake Huron shore line in northern Michigan with her husband and two kids. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts Degree with a concentration in literature and has a long standing love affair with sugary junk food.

Join Amanda Marie on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorAmandaMarie1

Visit her blog at http://musingsbymandy.wordpress.com/

Write to Amanda Marie at amandamarieauthor@gmail.com

Follow her on Twitter www.twitter.com/AmandaMarieAuth

Three Worlds Press http://www.threeworldsproductionsllc.com/?mbt_book=scandalous-endeavor

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RKDC3CI

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10209362.Amanda_Marie

Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/794424853928522/

Website: http:amandamarieauthor.wix.com/amandamariel

To purchase at Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1121404535?ean=9780985355944

Stress at the best of times.

minx juliette print200x300Tomorrow, (March 17, 2015) my book MINX JULIETTE, book 2 in the Toxic Tango Troop series is coming out in print. Now, you’d think that would be easy to deal with. The excitement is great, the waiting, difficult, and the time…so slow to tick by. However, I find that the stress of all the edits and rewrites that take so much time, can drive you to drink! Okay, maybe a glass of wine or I’d have no chance to work on the books.

I love to write. I don’t mind the edits, and I tend to be patient to a point in my elderly years. (I’m only 54). So, what’s the problem? I’m the one who suffers from Bipolar Disorder, and stress is one thing I have trouble with. The good doctor put me on sedatives for those moments in time when I suffer anxiety attacks. He’s a great guy, telling me that I can function somewhat normally.

The problem being that I’ve NEVER been normal a day in my life! HA! I prefer being unique. Many other people have a hard time dealing with life, but I’ve learned how to roll with the punches and be more patient. When I do have the anxiety attacks, I force myself to take deep breaths and BREATHE through it.

What do you do when you just can’t get a break and the walls close in on you?

Frankly, I’m working on answers for that dilemma.

Happy reading and writing…

Franny

Amazon Intrigue comes to Smashwords.com August 1, 2014

amazonintriguecoversmWhen Rune Greyson accepts a job as an Administrative Assistant for a Brazilian drug lord, Lorenzo Dallas, she stirs up more trouble than he can handle. Rune is the biggest klutz on the planet, or so it seems. She’s also an undercover agent for the Canadian Secret Investigation Services, sent to gather information on Lorenzo Dallas, to bring him to justice.

After a grueling year of missions around the world with little sleep, Zander Morgan is ready to burnout. Still he accepts the job to bring back crucial information from the Brazilian contact about Lorenzo. What he didn’t expect was to fall in love with such a deadly woman.

Press 1 for English…

JINN & TOXIC – Toxic Tango Troop book 1
Franny Armstrong

Have you ever sat on the phone waiting for menu after menu to pass until you could talk to a human being? For English, press one, then you have four more choices to select. Thinking you’re done, you groan with frustration as you press one of another seven choices. Once you’ve selected the next five numbers, you get that machine in the woman’s voice stating that all their technicians are busy handling other customers.
Now, here comes the elevator music that makes you grind your teeth. Then, once you’ve waited for a minimum of fifteen minutes, you finally get the technician on the line and he or she says, “Oh, that’s another department. I’ll transfer you.”
Cursing under your breath, do you get hung up on, or find that the next technician you speak to says that you’re supposed to talk to the one you just transferred from?
No wonder my characters are impatient when it comes to waiting. I don’t blame them.
You still have the true issue to deal with. Keep your chin up. You can always press ‘0’ for operator so you can start the whole process again.
Press 1 for assistance.

JINN& TOXIC – Toxic Tango Troop book 1
Blurb
A military secret, psychic Sergeant Jinn Dennison goes AWOL to save her identical twin sister who’s been shot while on a covert mission.
Tab McTavish is the Captain of Toxic Tango Troop, (TT&T), and he believes that Jinn is her sister, Julie, and that she’s betrayed the team. Able to heal using his ‘gift’, he uses Jinn to find the traitor. He’s on a mission with his elite commando team to stop a drug lord.
Together, they search for Tab’s kidnapped sister in the Mexican rainforest which harbors a cut throat gang of drug smugglers, and find Jinn’s sister before it’s too late. Will one of the women die before they can get to her? Torn between them, Jinn and Tab battle against the odds to save the day.
EXCERPT
After a long, uneventful day, Jinn was exhausted and tired of waiting for Tab to follow through on his threats. With no chance to get past his defenses and the team never far away, she remained captive.
There’d been no contact from Julie, but the mild pain in Jinn’s chest assured her that her sister was alive. They’d found few signs of humans passing, and the trail was getting cold. Many of the teammates were getting frustrated.
Jane Burgess, one of their female soldiers who they called Spitfire, was a prisoner of the enemy and that boded ill for her. From what Jinn had seen with Angel, the rebels were brutal with women.
Angel still hadn’t spoken more than a few words since her release. She’d withdrawn into herself as though to block out the world. Tab and Gonzales watched over her. Jinn studied Tab as he fed the woman and realized by the tender care as he wiped some meat juice off her chin with his thumb that he had feelings for her. A twinge of jealousy reared its green head.
Jennings sat down beside Jinn and studied her for a few moments before she spoke, the first of the soldiers to even acknowledge her since she’d been unveiled by Tab.
“I don’t know what’s changed about you or why all the lies, Dennison, but I want to tell you something; Don’t you harm the Captain or anyone else on this team, or you’re a dead woman whether you helped us or not. Understand?”
The serious frown on her face caused Jinn to realize there was more to the threat than simple protectiveness. “You’re in love with the Captain, aren’t you?”
A flush turned Jennings’ cheeks red as she stood.
“I meant what I said.”
Jinn nodded. “I’ll take that into consideration. As I said before, I’m not here to harm anyone. I have a job to do, and I’m going to do it with or without the help of TT&T.”
“As long as your job doesn’t jeopardize the rest of us, I’m good with that.” Jennings stood and moved off to sit with the others, leaving Jinn to her thoughts.
The hairs on the back of her neck stood up, and she realized that someone was watching her. She looked up and met Tab’s brooding gaze. Her lips tingled at the memory of his mouth on hers, his body mastering her on the ground earlier. She licked her lips unconsciously and nearly grinned when his eyes dropped to watch the movement. He might pretend to be impartial, but by the growing bulge in his pants, he was anything but.
Tab turned around and disappeared into the forest. Satisfaction was a sweet tool.

BIOGRAPHY FRANNY ARMSTRONG
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Franny Armstrong has written creatively since she was a child. Her mother always told her to write down her feelings and she did. When she was ten, she started writing and acting out plays in her garage for the neighborhood kids.
When she became ill in her forties, she used her writing skills to create stories that took her away. Living in the country with her husband and mother, three dogs, and two cats, she loves the silence when working on her books, when she can get it. With three full grown children and four grandchildren, she has a full life. Writing is her life now. Her main goal is to be a #1 Best Selling author and tour with book signings.

http://www.paranovelgirl.com

http://www.breathlesspress.com for Jinn & Toxic-Toxic Tango Team book 1

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/453661
for Gravity SUCKS! is FREE

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/421691 for White Trash Witch

TWITTER – http://www.twitter.com/Franny_PNG
FACEBOOK – http://www.facebook.com/pages/franny.armstrong.author
MYSPACE –
LINKEDIN http://ca.linkedin.com/in/paranovelgirl
/
BLOG – https://frannyarmstrong.wordpress.com/

BLOG – http://www.paranovelgirl.blogspot.com

PINTEREST http://www.pinterest.com/frannyarmstrong

MY BIG MOUTH BETRAYED ME!

DIET is a four-letter word! Losing weight has become a widespread goal for many people across the globe. However, if you’re like me, eating is a ‘see food’ issue. Outside of eating meals, I tend to eat whatever I see and snack while cooking.burger

My arms should be full of muscles with the number of times they lift food to my mouth. When I bake, I get to lick the beaters, not the children. I fell into an abyss of food as my vice became critical to my health.

Since I began a doctor prescribed and monitored ‘diet’, I’ve noticed how much I used to shove food in my mouth. The pounds kept rising until I wanted to throw the weight scale out the window.

Right now, I’m on track, and working toward a better lifestyle. The thing is that diets don’t end. You can diet until you’re blue in the face, but if you don’t change your relationship with food, then you will never meet and keep your weight loss goals.

I’ve become more aware of my downfalls and moved the cookies to the pantry out of sight, because my family eat them. I’ll admit to having my moments when I shove one in my mouth, but not everyday like I had before.

The next time you’re on a ‘diet’, remember that it has to be forever!

Franny Armstrong

www.paranovelgirl.com

Jinn & Toxic book1 of the Toxic Tango Troop series

Image Romance and adventure go hand-in-hand when a set of identical twins with powerful psychic abilities work for the military. Sergeant Jinn Dennison goes AWOL when her sister, Julie, is shot and nearly drowned in a Mexican rainforest. When Jinn’s mistaken for Julie by her captain, she soon finds herself branded a traitor.

Tab, (Toxic) McTavish never would have believed Julie would ever betray the team, yet something was strange about her all of a sudden. Toxic Tango Troop’s mission was to take down a drug dealer by the name of Iceman, and get out of Mexico fast, but a traitor in their midst has given them away. While on the covert mission, he tries to find his kidnapped sister, Tara, but Jinn wants to rescue her own sister, whose life is in jeopardy. 

Together, Tab and Jinn find keeping their hearts free harder than chasing after Iceman as they search the rainforest

 EXCERPT

After a long, uneventful day, Jinn was exhausted and tired of waiting for Tab to follow through on his threats. With no chance to get past his defenses and the team never far away, she remained captive.

There’d been no contact from Julie, but the mild pain in Jinn’s chest assured her that her sister was alive. They’d found few signs of humans passing, and the trail was getting cold. Many of the teammates were getting frustrated.

Jane Burgess, one of their female soldiers who they called Spitfire, was a prisoner of the enemy and that boded ill for her. From what Jinn had seen with Angel, the rebels were brutal with women.

Angel still hadn’t spoken more than a few words since her release. She’d withdrawn into herself as though to block out the world. Tab and Gonzales watched over her. Jinn studied Tab as he fed the woman and realized by the tender care as he wiped some meat juice off her chin with his thumb that he had feelings for her. A twinge of jealousy reared its green head.

Jennings sat down beside Jinn and studied her for a few moments before she spoke, the first of the soldiers to even acknowledge her since she’d been unveiled by Tab.

“I don’t know what’s changed about you or why all the lies, Dennison, but I want to tell you something; Don’t you harm the Captain or anyone else on this team, or you’re a dead woman whether you helped us or not. Understand?”

The serious frown on her face caused Jinn to realize there was more to the threat than simple protectiveness. “You’re in love with the Captain, aren’t you?”

A flush turned Jennings’ cheeks red as she stood.

“I meant what I said.”

Jinn nodded. “I’ll take that into consideration. As I said before, I’m not here to harm anyone. I have a job to do, and I’m going to do it with or without the help of TT&T.”

“As long as your job doesn’t jeopardize the rest of us, I’m good with that.” Jennings stood and moved off to sit with the others, leaving Jinn to her thoughts.

The hairs on the back of her neck stood up, and she realized that someone was watching her, she looked up and met Tab’s brooding gaze. Her lips tingled at the memory of his mouth on hers, his body mastering her on the ground earlier. She licked her lips unconsciously and nearly grinned when his eyes dropped to watch the movement. He might pretend to be impartial, but by the growing bulge in his pants, he was anything but.

Tab turned around and disappeared into the forest. Satisfaction was a sweet tool.

 

 

 

Playing for Keeps by Kelsie Belle

About me
Kelsie Belle wears many hats – wife, mother and teacher are just a few. But the erotic romance writer hat is by far her favorite. She has been a storyteller for as long as she can remember, many characters live inside her overactive mind and a thousand stories come to life in her head every day. She’s been writing down her sweet romances ever since she was a teenager but in her early twenties, Ms. Belle became interested in erotic romance novels and her own stories took a turn for the sensual since then.
 
Kelsie is wildly gregarious by nature. She considers herself ‘forever 21’ and enjoys reading contemporary romance, Science fiction and fantasy, listening to music and dancing like there’s no tomorrow. A caffeine addict that lives life from one coffee mug to the next, she’s always on the go, ready and waiting for the next adventure.
My book
 

Image

By: Kelsie Belle 
Categories: Erotic RomanceContemporary
Word Count: 80,729
Heat Level: SEXTREME
Published By: Siren-BookStrand, Inc.
 
Story Blurb
Some games are too dangerous to consider yet too delicious to ignore. One look into Cameron Chase’s smoldering green eyes has Cassidy Samson wanting to throw her rules to the wind and engage in a reckless game of lust, but can she play with fire and avoid getting burnt?
Intro
Left broken and bleeding, night club owner-slash-accountant Cassidy Samson did her best to pick up the pieces of her broken self and move on with her life. She vowed never to let anyone get close to her heart again…until the potent force of a pair of green eyes threatens to bring her to her knees.
Hired as the new guitarist in the band at the Escape Lounge, Cameron Chase is intrigued and aroused by Cassidy’s tough-as-nails attitude and sets out to barrel through the formidable wall she has constructed around her heart, to get to the real woman behind the façade. He agrees to play by her rules in a reckless game of lust in hopes of finding love.
But will Cam be able to chase away the demons of Cassidy’s past that threaten to consume her? Will his love be strong enough to make her whole again?
 Available for purchase at: http://www.bookstrand.com/playing-for-keeps

 

EEEEEeeee, I’m so excited! What do you think of the new cover for WHITE TRASH WITCH, a FREE book I’m going to have out in the next few weeks. Wiley is a witch whose spells tend to fail. She refuses to date handsome rich men because of her ex-husband.Image 

When Ryder, a competent wizard finds her in a restaurant in the town of Salem, he’s wary because he’s been bitten by the divorce bug and wants to find a woman who could love him for himself. He disguises himself as a balding, poor man and she falls for him. The only problem is that she hates liars. How can he convince her that he’s the right man for her?

EXCERPT

Two young, giggling women rushed in the front door and raced to the back, disappearing behind the kitchen door. The middle aged woman at the cash stood there shaking her head at their apparent tardiness. Moments later the two women returned, wearing sailor’s hats and aprons.

“Sorry, Diana. That train! One of these days I’m going to beat it, and be here on time, I promise!” said the beautiful blonde.

Her delicate skin was white and splattered with freckles that made her look impish and mischievous. She had deep green eyes, and her face was oval shaped, her chin pointed. A beauty mark rested on the right side of mouth. She had lips that drew the eye. Kissable. That’s how he would describe them.

Ryder shied away from even talking to her, unwilling to speak to a beautiful woman. He wanted a real woman who would be happy with a bald, unattractive man who had little money to his name.

Her friend had large, brown, innocent looking eyes, and a heart-shaped face. She was about six inches shorter than the blonde, standing a few inches above five-feet tall. Her hair was blonde with black and red streaks that marked her as an individual with a streak of rebellion.

To his dismay, the blonde was the one who drew his eyes. He watched as she took a deep breath and pulled out her pad of paper and pencil. She smiled at the older women and then walked over to him.

“Hello. Welcome to the S.O.B.,” she said, grinning.

“The what?” he asked, surprised at her strange welcome.

“Salem On Buy,” she said releasing an adorable giggle. “Can I take your order?”

“Oh, ah, what do you recommend?” he asked, finding it difficult to talk to her with her mischievous gaze focused on his.

“Well, we have Salisbury steak on special, but I wouldn’t order it. It’s tough,” she said under her breath.

“How’s the fish?”

“Good, if you like eating socks,” she muttered.

“Hamburger?” he tried, grinning.

“Not bad, but stay away from the special sauce,” she mumbled.

“Okay, then how about a cheeseburger, hold the sauce.”

“Good choice,” she said, grinning. “What would you like to drink?”

“How about a beer?”

Can’t say much bad about beer,” she said quietly, laughing. “Coming right up.”

 

A Taste For Killing by H.K. Sterling

A Taste For Killing

By H.K. Sterling

 ATasteForKilling_200x300

Mystery and Romance blend together when competing detectives Carolyn Woods and Jack Heart are both hired to solve the murder of Pete Wallace, only to realize they are working the same case. To complicate things, Carolyn and Jack have an on again-off again relationship. Then there is Evan Jones, a handsome architect— but he’s also a suspect. Can Carolyn manage to solve the case as more and more murders pile up? Will her relationship with Jack hinder their investigations? And what about Evan Jones? He seems like the perfect man, but could he actually be the murderer? One thing is for sure: someone close to both Carolyn and Jack has A Taste For Killing.

Excerpt

He had six-pack abs, and I wanted to feel the carbonation. This one dressed like the stereotype of a construction worker, down to the handkerchief he used to wipe sweat off his forehead. I don’t know if he or the hot day brought it out, but sweat poured off of me too. He had no interest in me as a person, though. I was invading his territory. Still, I enjoyed the view. For my part, I knew my clothes looked crappy. I didn’t have to wear uniforms anymore, but my street clothes, well they were very—street. So there I stood, a turd in the sun in front of this Adonis. Oh well.

He pointed to a small trailer up a muddy hill. The supervisor I asked to see apparently stayed in there. Stayed, as in never left. Great. Mud. Now I’d be a dried turd in the sun. Adonis went back to digging and I started the trek up the hill. At least I came with boots. Steel toed.

Once I made it to the trailer, I heard an argument going on inside.

“Look, I don’t care who you are. The plans are publically filed. Go get them yourself!” yelled someone.

Then I heard a voice I knew. Calm, cool, subversive. “Is there any reason you’re being so difficult? A man did die on your watch.”

An encounter I hadn’t planned on. Well, at least not until later tonight. I knocked loudly on the door and with my sweetest voice said, “Hello, boys. Am I interrupting something?”

“Great,” groused the supervisor. “A party.” He appeared to me like another stereotype, puffing on a cigar over a fat jowl line and rotund stomach that threatened to overturn the small desk he was behind. I guess there’s a reason for stereotypes. He looked about four hamburgers away from a heart attack.

On a wooden chair in front of the supervisor sat Jack. A fellow independent detective, an ally at times, a competitor…and my on and off lover.

“Well, well, well,” he said smiling, but I could tell he wasn’t happy to see me. Not here. It meant we were both working the same case. “Hello, Carolyn. Who hired you?”

“Parents.”

“Girlfriend,” he answered back.

We stared at each other. Complications.

The supervisor didn’t give a damn and said to me, “Well, missy, I’ll tell you the same thing I told this guy.” He jerked his thumb around to Jack. “The plans are publically filed and that’s all I have to say about it.”

I tried a different tactic. “That’s fine with me. I have no problem going downtown for a copy.” I wore my practiced, saccharine smile. “But I wonder, could you tell me the name of the architect? Please?” I smiled again. God, this job sucks at times.

The supervisor sighed. “Jones, Evan Jones.”

“Thank you so much,” I said, smiling my best smile again. “I’ll get out of the way and leave you two boys to…whatever you were doing.”

I opened the door to go and started to shut it only to find Jack following me out.

“Sure, flash your tits and get what you want.” Boy was he in a bad mood.

“There was no tit flashing in there. Face it, testosterone was not a good choice in that situation.”

Jack’s response: a grunt.

“Besides,” I tried to placate him, “I didn’t get the plans either.”

“No, you did one better.”

“That’s assuming the architect will have anything to do with me and cooperate.” A thought occurred to me. “So are you going there too?”

“No, I might as well wait and see what you turn up. Besides, I have my own leads.”

“Are you planning to share?” Just call me hopeful. As in full of shit, because that’s where hope always seemed to lead.

“No,” he said, still grumpy.

“I see. So it’s gonna be like that.”

“I guess so.”

 I felt like such a female. Damn. But I had to ask.

“Are we still on for tonight?”

“Yeah.”

I wasn’t convinced but didn’t push it. God, sometimes I hated myself. But we were good together—when it was good—when his competitive edge didn’t get the better of him. Though I was one to talk. I did the same thing at times. Hence our on and off status. But currently we were supposed to be on. So, I kept it light in the spirit of things to come.

“Okay, master detective, I’ll leave you to your leads. See ya.”

“See ya,” he replied, already preoccupied, pondering a piece of paper he’d taken from his pocket.

I made my way down the hill in my muddy boots.

H.K. Sterling

BIOGRAPHY

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H.K. Sterling is an author with Breathless Press known for stories with imagination, intelligence, a kick, and twist endings. H.K. likes to focus her writing on suspense, science-fiction, shorts, and anything that is spicy and unexpected. Sometimes her writing may even go dark. H.K. lives in Virginia with her husband who graciously puts up with her passion for writing. H.K. currently has a Mystery/Thriller out: A Taste For Killing; and two short stories in the Breathless Press Anthology: My Bloody Valentine. Her new book, A Taste For Danger has just been accepted for publication and H.K will also soon publish a short-short titled Eyes Only. H.K.’s books are suitable for 18+. You can contact H.K. on the following social media:

Catch up with H.K. Sterling on the following media:

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/hksterling

Twitter: @HKSterling

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/HK-Sterling/426989014069244?ref=hl

Email: HK.Sterling@aol.com

HK Sterling “Undercover Blog”: http://hksterling1.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/HKSterling