Looking for new authors? Check these brave souls who visited Sorchia’s Universe.

A Tasty British Murder Mystery for a Wintry Day

Novel Magic and Goddess Fish Promotions present: Arrested Flight by Jo Hiestand


It’s my pleasure to highlight a wonderful British mystery series by an author I’ve actually met in person! Arrested Flight is the latest McLaren Mystery by Jo Hiestand.  Now this is cool in a couple of ways. First, I did meet Jo at a Scottish festival in St. Louis a couple of years ago, and Second, my husband’s clan is McLaren. Not only that, but I’ve sort of fallen in love with Jo’s series so when I saw her on the list at Goddess Fish, I had to join the tour.

Trouble is this is a review tour–meaning I was going to have to write a review. And post it. For people to see.

I have no trouble writing my own stuff and foisting it on an unsuspecting public, but there is a reason I don’t write many reviews. What is that reason? Because I suck at reviews. Other people–almost anyone who can string words together, in fact–can write a more useful review than I can. But, like so many things I’ve been told not to do, I did it anyway. It’s here and on Amazon (God help me).

But don’t let my inability to write reviews ruin this entire post. Here is what you need to know about Arrested Flight.

BTW–Jo is offering a $25 Gift Card to one lucky winner. Enter the contest below.

Ex-police detective Michael McLaren is determined to have a peaceful holiday after the fiasco of his first attempt at Windermere, so he stops at a bed-and-breakfast in Moorton, a village in Cumbria.  But mystery and murder seek him out, and he soon succumbs to the B&B owner’s plea to investigate the year-old death of her daughter’s fiancé, a young musician.


The Lake District parish seems peaceful, but a rival  musician’s jealousy and a business partner’s anger boil beneath the façade.  Mix that with ‘Barmy Barry’s’ sightings of fairy lights  at the castle, references to Uther Pendragon’s return and the secrets in the woods, and McLaren finds his sanity shaky.


When the vicar is attacked and Barry disappears, McLaren sets a trap for the killer.  But as it plays out, his concern shifts from the potential capture to praying he and his friend can escape with their lives.


An Excerpt:

“Lilwen and Jack saw Hadley alive at eleven-thirty, and Stuart closed the pub a half hour later and found him at one. Where’d Hadley go in those ninety minutes?”


“Less than that, Mrs. Deakyn. Hadley had to walk or drive somewhere, be killed, and then found.”


“The police and Stuart said his car was in the pub’s car park, so he either had to walk or get a lift with someone. I know that doesn’t help much.”


“I suppose nothing suggested itself from the search of Hadley’s car. No fingerprints, strange DNA or the like.”


“I never heard, and I think the police would’ve said.”


McLaren nodded and mumbled that he was running out of ideas. “Is it possible someone killed him close to the beck and then dumped his body into it, as a good way to get rid of the evidence?”


Gemma made a sound halfway between a choke and a sob before she said, “The police couldn’t come up with any reason to murder him in the wood, for instance, and then transport his body to the stream. They found it odd that someone would add that chance of being caught with…a body. They said it would’ve made more sense to leave it where the…murder happened.”


“So, where’s a spot near the stream where no one would hear a gun shot?”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:


A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British.  Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folksinging stint.  This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Taylor & Graham mysteries and the McLaren mystery series.

Jo’s insistence for accuracyfrom police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the areahas driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research.  These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis home.


Jo’s Website

Grab a Copy of Arrested Flight

Jo’s Page on GoodReads

The McLaren Mystery Series Page on GoodReads


Jo A. Hiestand will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Be sure to comment at every stop on the tour to improve your chances of winning.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find the other stops on the tour HERE. Comment on them all to increase your chances of winning.

And here’s my review. Since I am so bad at it, I kept it short.

Jo Hiestand’s McLaren Mystery Series is a fine example of all things British with enough Scottish thrown in to make me even happier. The series revolves around McLaren, a police detective for much of the series but in this episode he finds himself out of a job and mourning the death of his fiancee. His only goal is to find peace in a quiet holiday. But McLaren can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a –well, something else dead. His holiday goes south when a cold case heats up.


First, be assured each book in the series is a treat all by itself. You can easily start in the middle of the series, but I bet you’ll want to go back and explore the story from the start. The McLaren series is perfect for a quiet read. We have murder, mystery, red herrings, a little romance, and some lovely descriptions of the British countryside.


Arrested Flight makes for a perfect bedtime read and I highly recommend the series.


(Yes, that’s it. And if it weren’t that I know how nice it is to read reviews, I would just post stars and a hearty “good job.” Jo, I enjoyed your book immensely and even though I like to think I’m a decent writer, reviews are not my cup of tea. I think all the years writing comments on student papers tainted my enjoyment of this kind of writing. So, with this pitiful attempt which does not do justice to a very good book, I bid adieu.)


Novel Magic: Shadows of Ghosts by L.A. McGinnis

This Novel Magic post takes us back to our normal haunts–this time with vampires!  L.A. McGinnis’s Shadows of Ghosts. Oh, and by the way–Scottish Vampires!! Read on for a bonus peek at the second book in the series.

Here’s the blurb!

Driving to South Carolina to claim an inheritance from a total stranger didn’t figure into Logan Dean’s long term plans. But she’d be a fool to pass up an opportunity, and her mother didn’t raise any fools. Now she’s a pawn in a vampire war and fighting to stay alive. Thankfully, she’s discovered an ally in mysterious Ian Grant. As her feelings for Ian grow, Logan comes to realize if she wants the love she deserves, she’s going to have to fight the demons of her past.

For over a hundred years, cynical Ian Grant swore to never love another woman. But from the first time he saw Logan, he knew an ancient part of his history had come back to haunt him, and the one thing he doesn’t want becomes the one thing he has to have.

Two irreconcilable lives, five hundred years of history, and all they have to do to live happily ever after is defeat the evil that threatens to tear them apart.

MMM! I can already taste the blood–here’s a little more.

“Why were you talking about me?” Logan countered. Ian walked towards her, but she didn’t back away, fueled in part by curiosity, but mostly because nobody pushed her around. When his golden eyes locked on hers, a strange, sweet feeling swept through her.


The man simply…dazzled. With his fallen angel beauty framed by hair the color of copper and a body that flowed as gracefully as smoke. But it was those eyes, she decided, eyes as gold as Midas that did it for her, slanted above a smile as dangerous as a predator’s.


A wondrous feeling blew through her, like she’d missed him, like her heart had been broken a thousand times and now was finally whole. He was how home smells when you don’t even know how much you’ve missed it until you come through the front door and there it is. Waiting for you.


“Who the hell are you, Grant?” She managed, as he stopped a few inches away. The fierceness of his gaze set off another sensation, and as need curled through her, she reeled. It was as if she knew. Knew what his mouth tasted like. Knew his weight on her body. Because she’d felt them before. Staggering forward, Logan found herself caught by capable hands. “Oh God, what’s happening to me?”


Warm breath feathered her ear. “You’re curious, aren’t you? You feel it, don’t you?”


Logan stood helpless, held in place not by him but by something inside her that made it impossible to leave. And when he reached out and tucked a stray hair behind her ear, a gesture so tender, yet so achingly familiar, she couldn’t breathe. “You always had the most beautiful hair.”


“What kind of games are you playing, Grant?” Logan managed.


“Unfortunately for us, Miss Dean, this is not a game.” Clouds covered the sun, cutting off the nimbuses that fractured the gloom, plunging the room into shadow. It was a sign, she thought, of something momentous. Or at least, she was going to take it as a sign, which meant pretty much the same thing. Right about then she realized they weren’t alone.


“What the hell is going on here, Ian?” Face burning, she stepped away from him immediately. Busted. Robert carefully looked between the two of them, a growing awareness on his face.


Grant smoothly took over. “I just drove out to see Bart’s old place. I’d hoped Miss Dean might be interested in selling.” Just like that, he became completely detached. Gone was any trace of whatever had happened between them. The moment felt stolen, instead of real. He didn’t want Robert to know. Know what, she wasn’t sure, but she did remember Robert’s final words yesterday…get the hell out of here, Ian… Her legs were still a little shaky, but as the distance opened between them, her bearings came back. Fine, she thought, two can play at that game.


“Mr. Grant was explaining to me his plans for Aviemore.” She felt Grant’s jolt of surprise behind her. “I’m afraid I’ve…” she went on sweetly, “…fallen in love with the old place, too. So, of course I can’t sell.”


It was a small victory to see that coolness crack for a second. “Then I believe I won’t waste any more of your time.” Footsteps echoed down the empty hall.


Logan held up a hand to Robert. “Give us just a sec, will you?” She waited on the porch until Ian opened his car door before calling out. “Why did you come out here, Grant?”


“You don’t want the kind of answers I’ll give you, Miss Dean. Trust me.”


She bit back a laugh.  “Yeah? Well, sometimes those are the only kind you get.”

To Get Your Own Copy:

The Wild Rose Press 







A little bit about L.A. McGinnis

Shadows of Ghosts is a debut paranormal romance from L. A. McGinnis.  Laura is a graduate of Kent State University, and has been writing full time since 2007. She belongs to both the RWA and the NEORWA and has attended the Sanibel Island Writer’s Conference, as well as the NEORWA Writer’s Conference, and participates in their yearly writing retreat. She is currently working on the third book in the Shadows series, as well as an urban fantasy series.




L.A. McGinnis’s  website: https://lamcginnis.com/





We have to know things so we asked L.A. a few personal questions.

Do you listen to music as you write? Share some of your favorite writing music with us and tell us how it influences your writing.

I listen to Florence and the Machine, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Stone Temple Pilots, NIN, Rob Zombie, Disturbed, Kaleo, Bishop Briggs, lots and lots of Led Zepplin, Audioslave, mixed in with classical.  Pretty much an eclectic mix of stuff, depending on my mood and what scene I’m writing.  There’s a definite correlation between subject matter and my musical choice of the moment.

Sorchia’s Universe is an unofficial but enthusiastic promoter of all things single malt Scotch-ish. Do you have a favorite tipple—with or without alcohol? What is it and how did you discover it?

I worked my way through about everything in college and now drink rum and cokes, or as my friend likes to call them, Cuba Libre’s, exclusively.  At the moment, my favorite rums are Ron Matusalem and Zaya, both produced in the Caribbean.  I think I like them because they taste like vanilla, and I have such a sweet tooth!

We love the kilts here in S’s U. and we do a fan-girl dance over anything Scottish. Do you have an unnatural affection for a particular country or region or time period? Tell us what tickles your fancy about that place or time. Does this translate to your writing?

McGinnis is actually my mother’s maiden name, and I literally grew up knowing what our clan plaid looked like, although my grandmother’s all-time favorite plaid was the Black Watch.  When I was about six, I loved to wear this little kilted skirt that she’d brought back for me from the UK.  As a matter of fact, I think I wore it until it fell apart!  Being fascinated both with Norse mythology, and Scots legend, I always knew I wanted my first book to have a strong, Scottish hero, paired with a modern, American, spunky heroine.  Ian Grant, who is very much an alpha male, hails from the area surrounding Inverness, along with the antagonist. 

Scottish history is a veritable treasure trove, always offering up ideas and setting that seem to be more romantic than any other place on earth.  I have woven as much Scottish history and legend into each of my books as possible, with the final climactic battle of Book 1 taking place in Scotland, in a crofting cottage on the North Sea.  Book 2 has several pivotal scenes set in the Orkney Islands, and I set the third book primarily in Scotland, in the area stretching from Wick down to Inverness, on the east coast of the UK.  Moving the time backwards to the 1560’s allowed me to explore more of the country from a historical perspective and play with time travel.  Hopefully I have done this beautiful country justice in my books!

Do you have a new project in the works? Can you give us a sneak peek?

I am in final edits on Book 2 of my series, which continues the saga of Logan and Ian.  The heat level is hot, and there is strong language, but no strong triggers.  Here is a sneak peak at Chapter One of Reflections of Your Heart:

Chapter 1

“Between the dreams of night

and day there is not so great

a difference”

-Carl Jung
Dreaming, Logan woke.   Tonight was colder than usual, the air smelled sharp, like razorblades and ice, almost too cold to breath, cold enough to bite.  Her breaths flew out in white crystal puffs, while her numbed fingers fumbled at the door, but she couldn’t turn the knob far enough to disengage the locks.  “You can’t get out, you’ll never get out.”  That deep, rumbling voice, dripping with malice and rich, southern nectar, made her vaguely nauseous.


“Shut up Bart, just shut up.”  She had to get the door open before the sound of the drip, drip dripping grew any louder.


“You brought this upon them. It’s your fault, Logan Dean.  You had to stick your nose in, didn’t you? You had to interfere.  Just like always.”


“I didn’t stick my nose in, Evan’s my brother…”  Was.  Was my brother, she quickly corrected herself. Eight years gone now, eight years dead.


“Not any more he isn’t.”  Trapped among the dead bodies, swimming in their blood, Logan Dean shuddered, Bart’s evil laughter wrapping itself around her.


Cold, helpless hands slipped from the knob as the dripping turned into a gushing sound.  Felt the blood begin to creep in around her feet, filling in the gaps between her toes with its awful, warm wetness, then the hot, heavy finality as it closed about her ankles like chains.  Still, she fumbled at the door, but all was useless now.  He had her trapped in the dream, and there’d be no escaping it.


“Com’on, please God, let this thing open.”  She felt her stomach twist as the blood encased first her legs, then her torso in its sickly, warm embrace, inching up faster and faster.


The room seemed to pulse with a heady moistness as the air took on a reddish tint, mixing with the salty, metallic smell of old, dirty pennies.  Soon she’d be drowning in it and then the light would disappear altogether.  Desperate, Logan turned and locked onto the faces of the dead; Mary’s face, then Ben’s blue eyes before they were swallowed by thick, black-red gloss.  All the while, a clawing fear rose inside of her, immobilized her.


“What do you want, Bart?”  Logan forced herself to face him across the carnage, across the impossibly rising red tide that filled the space between them.  Locking eyes with her nemesis, she could almost believe this dream was real, that she was back there, amongst all that death.  And that Bartholomew Virgil Duncan, the vampire she’d destroyed two months ago, had returned from the dead.


“For you to watch this, over and over and for me to see it.” The smile that twisted his face was almost charming. Almost.


“Fine.  Enjoy it while it lasts, because until your eternal return this is all you’ve got going on.”    The blood had almost covered her mouth when she took a last, deep breath before sending her parting shot. “Me?  I’m gonna wake up in the morning and make pancakes.  So screw you.”


She emerged from the dream the way she always did.  Sweaty, sickly terrified, twisting against the tangled sheets and darkness.  These last few weeks, the dreams had taken longer to slide off of her, sometimes even hours for her to find solid purchase after the images faded away.   “Good God, Logan, what the hell…?”  Somehow, impossibly, in the darkness, in the real, waking world, Ian’s strong, capable hands were on her, trying to capture her flailing while she fought and twisted. “Com’on baby, it’s me…come back now, Logan, it was only a dream, it’s over.  You’re okay.”  Holding her tightly, he rocked her gently while murmuring soft assurances, over and over, while she trembled and shook, noting that not all that trembling was coming from herself.  “You’re okay now, love.”


Logan went limp, the dream fading away into a gauzy, intangible thing, wondering how, miraculously, he could be back?  Her anchor.  Her life. And then it didn’t matter, as she clung onto him like a lifeline.  “What’re you doing here?  I didn’t think you were coming back till tomorrow?”  He smelled as he always did, of spice and strength and that scent brought her back like nothing else could have.  “Oh my God, Ian, I just…”


“How bad?”  Turning her gently to face him, Ian clicked the light on and he was teetering on the razor edge between anger and fear.  “How bad would the dreams have to get before you’d tell me?”


“They’re…it’s not…they’re only bad when you’re gone.”  How much should she tell him, she wondered?


“I’ll save you the trouble of deciding.”  Pressing his hands to her, he paged back through the dream like a book, seeing everything she’d seen, and through their bond, feeling everything that she’d felt. Finishing, his voice was on just this side of a growl.  “Damn it Logan, you should have told me he was back.”


“What can you do?  I can’t keep him out of my head and I have to sleep sometime.  It’ll be better now that you’re back.”  It would have to be better.  She could feel everything good slipping away.  Reality was mixing with illusion and there were days she wasn’t sure she could tell the difference between them anymore.  Burying her face in the crook of his neck, she whispered, “Don’t let me go crazy, Ian, please?  Tell me I…won’t.”


“You’re not going crazy, love.”  He gathered her against him, following every curve with his hands, reassuring himself she was intact and whole.  “It’s going to be alright, Logan.  We’ll talk, in the morning. But right now?” His intent turned pure male. “Let me show you how much I’ve missed you.”


He became a wave rolling over her, filling her, completing her, chasing away the dark with a darkness of his own.  Undulating, they fell into a well-practiced rhythm, waves breaking against each other, smooth and even, and a craving began to boil in her, the burning need that it seemed only he set off.  And only he could quench.  In a smooth, languid motion, Ian slid into her and filled her.


He was gentle. And careful.  As he had been for these two months since New Orleans.  Logan wanted it to be like it was at first.  She missed those teeth, the roughness of his hands, the urgency, the shuddering intensity, but, he insisted, this was how it was going to be.  He’d take care to put those memories out of her mind and not do anything to bring them back.  It was sweet, the way he touched her, it was controlled and it was tender.  And it had limits, ones he wouldn’t go beyond.  But he was back and she sank into his warmth, grateful to let him take everything away before she fell into a final, solid sleep next to him.


How come everything always seems so much better after a night of great sex?  Ian Grant was sitting in the kitchen, drinking coffee and watching the river out the back windows when she came downstairs. His coppery hair was slightly mussed, his favorite jeans hung loosely from those spectacular hips of his.  She nuzzled against the stubble of his beard as she yawned.  “Good to have you back.  I missed you.”  So damn much, she didn’t even have words for how much that was.


“You finally slept. How long had it been?”  He kept his eyes fixed on the river below, so she couldn’t quite see his face.


“A day.”  She lied.  “Okay, three days.  Sorry. I know I told you I was fine, but…I don’t need you worrying over me, I’m doing enough of that for the both of us.  And besides, you know how I hate being this needy.”


Still couldn’t see his face.  “What do you want me to do, Ian?”  She spread her hands in supplication.  “Because I just don’t know how to fix this.  I’m fine when you’re here, but when I’m alone, I just implode…or something.”


“I want you to be happy and I want you to be whole.”  Yes, but after what had happened, she felt like Humpty Dumpty.


“And I’m trying to be.  But after New Orleans…it’s just harder for me to focus these days, harder to keep it together.”  Unless you’re here with me.  Because you’re my world.


“You told me it would be like this, didn’t you?”  He spun around and she saw he hadn’t slept at all.  “You told me that.  But I thought that if I stayed with you, we’d get through.  That it would get better.  But this? When I found you last night, you were fighting something I couldn’t even see, and it took me too long to get you to come back.  I was,” he swallowed, “…scared, damn it.”


Novel Magic and Goddess Fish Promotions present: The Oath-Maddy and Silenus by Susan Badaracco

Today, we have a beautiful book for young readers–and it’s about unicorns!! Unicorns–as you know–are Scotland’s official animal–appearing in Scottish coats of arms since William the first. So we wanted to know a bit more about this book and the author. Read on for an excerpt and a short interview.

Oh–BTW–the book is. 99 during the tour. (And Christmas is coming!)


Susan Badaracco will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Be sure to visit all the stops on the tour and comment  on each one to improve your chances of winning.

Here are the dates and stops on this tour.   

The Oath: Maddy and Silenus by Susan Badaracco


When her past merges with her present, Maddy is not sure what to think. Was that really an abduction she witnessed? Does she have the courage to find out?


Silenus is a unicorn haunted by his past failure to protect his charge. He trains relentlessly but is he fierce enough to protect this innocent? Will she even trust him?


Can a mortal and immortal pursue the truth together or will Maddy pay the ultimate price?




Here’s an excerpt.

Searing pain spread across her belly and she caught her breath. Her vision darkened on the edges, advancing to where it shimmered in the center. She tightened her hand against her side and the pain elevated another notch. Maddy looked up at Silenus, her tears collecting and then trailing down her cheeks.

He met her gaze and held it.

Maddy’s back crashed into the steel door behind her when her legs gave out.

Silenus’ soft brown eyes were like beacons and she locked onto his gaze with the desperation of a swimmer going under for the last time.

Save me.

What a great gift this would make for a young reader on your list.


NOTE: The book will be.99 during the tour.

What is the inspiration for your new release?

Did you know that by teen years, up to 1/2 of girls lose their confidence? They believe that boys are smarter and more capable than they are. That’s just sad.

Countless movies portray helpless women tied up, trapped, beaten. Girls learn from a young age to be afraid, or at the very least, be vigilant when they leave their homes each day. What if it didn’t have to be that way?

I want to empower girls. To help them understand that despite their sex and size, they can be a force to be reckoned with! If Maddy can just overcome her fear….

We love the kilts here in S’s U. and we do a fan-girl dance over anything Scottish. Do you have an unnatural affection for a particular country or region or time period? Tell us what tickles your fancy about that place or time. Does this translate to your writing?

I both love and hate India.

The smells are the first thing that hit you when you get off the plane. Too many bodies. Curry. Trash. The sights from the taxi leave you confused. A gold two story Buddha, a teen getting a haircut on the sidewalk and so many impoverished children in torn clothes. A blind man stands alone in a crowd. A woman with a child on her hip taps on your car window when you stop for the light and then holds her hand out beseechingly.

And then there’s the another side. Exotic and romantic. Courtyards where water flows in front of scalloped marble screens bearing flickering candles. The liquid magnifies the flames and the illumination reaches deep into the garden, merges with the quiet cast of starlight from above. Crimson rose petals float in the basin below and the falling water releases the scent of the flowers into the night. It swirls and then disappears with a warm breeze.

Inside, waiters prepare for the evening by carrying candles to the tables surrounding the dance floor. The murals on the ceiling have embedded pieces of mirror, they reflect the glow of the moving candles and the light liquifies on the floor. It writhes, undulates and swirls, in mesmerizing patterns no longer seen by the staff. The wine glasses sparkle, the menu is creative and music soft and romantic.

When it’s time to return to the hotel, the taxi driver impatiently kicks at the sprawled legs of a homeless man and then bows,  graciously opens the cab door. The sleepy man’s cries are achingly sharp, he skitters backward in a crab walk, and the sublimity of the evening bursts like a shimmering soap bubble.

Do you have a new project in the works? Can you give us a sneak peek?

“The Oath” series continues with a new girl, a younger unicorn… and a world of trouble.

Ashton thought life would be perfect once she got that new handbag.

Fashionable clothes, trendy shoes…she had everything a girl could dream about. Until that morning…when she has lost everything.

Now, Ashton desires only one thing….Revenge.

Egorn had his own reasons for vengeance.

He wants to punish those responsible for the annihilation of his family.

Orphaned when he was young, he trains relentlessly to become a unicorn warrior. Nothing else matters. Until that morning….when he realized that protecting her was more important than anything else.

Can a unicorn who has no fighting experience protect an innocent who has no concern for her own safety?.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Susan Badaracco is the author and independent publisher of “The Oath: Maddy and Silenus”.

In her real life, she is a pediatrician at Kids First Pediatrics where she routinely consoles anxious moms, retrieves interesting objects hidden in ears and laughs at made up knock-knock jokes.

She lives with her husband, a dog (ADHD is not limited to humans) and a cat. Her daughter and son both made the unfortunate decision to grow up which means she travels more than she used to.



Connect with Susan




The Giveaway. Don’t forget to comment on all the tour stops to improve your chances. See the link at the beginning of the post for dates and stops.





Novel Magic: Jade’s Redemption by Constance Bretes

In the U.S.. this week includes our Thanksgiving celebration–a harvest festival which celebrates all the blessings which came our way during the year.

At Sorchia’s Universe, I’m thankful for a bunch of stuff, not least of which is the opportunity to share authors who join me for Novel Magic.

Today, Constance Bretes shares her new release, Jade’s Redemption. Being nosey, I asked her a couple of questions about the book.

(And BTW, read on to find out how to enter her monthly Rafflecopter giveaway.)

What is the inspiration for your new release, Jade’s Redemption?

Patrick Carter(the hero) had an attitude in Jarillo Sunset (a previous release) He is the brother of the hero in that book. So, he told me in no certain terms that he deserved his story to be told.

Do you listen to music as you write? Share some of your favorite writing music with us and tell us how it influences your writing.

Sometimes, I’m writing a romance story now that is situated in a small fiction town in Wyoming called Roadside Love. The song I keep playing is an old one, “Forever and Ever, Amen” by Randy Travis.

The blurb and excerpt are included below so we will get a taste of the story.  What else do we need to know about your book? Is it part of a series? What can we expect in the way of romance—sweet, steamy, hot? How about language? We don’t discriminate against any word here, but what can readers expect in your book?

The story is a stand-alone, but is linked to two previous releases. Love Songs and Jarillo Sunset. The book would probably be rated R – hot. No real foul language.

Do you have a new project in the works? Can you give us a sneak peek?

I have several. Right now, for the NaNoWriMo, I’m writing a romance story called Roadside Love. I have several stories, “Elkhorn In The Moonlight,” “Midnight Escape”, “A Second Chance at Love”, all in various stages of being critique by my critique group.

Jade’s Redemption Blurb

He’s an overworked police chief, and she’s a disgraced cop. Can he rescue her from her own depths of hell without losing his heart to her in the process?

Someone is kidnapping newborn infants and selling them to the highest bidder. Police Chief Patrick Carter has his hands full investigating the case. To complicate matters, he’s short on staff.

Jade Harlowe has secrets, ones that she vowed no one would ever know. She used to be a police officer, but when a tragedy occurred—one that everyone held her responsible for—she resigned and moved to another state to start over, accepting a job as a dispatcher for the police, fire, and ambulance departments.

When Patrick discovers Jade’s past police experience he offers her a job on the force. He needs help working the kidnapping cases, and Jade previously solved a similar case, so she could be a valuable asset. But will they be able to fight the attraction that’s sizzling between them? Something that could be very distracting if they can’t control it.

The clock is ticking. They have to find those babies and prevent more from being taken. But a very nosy news reporter may compromise everything if she digs deep enough to uncover Jade’s past.

Neither Patrick nor Jade thought they had room for each other in their lives, but working so closely together makes it impossible to deny the chemistry. Can Patrick break through the wall Jade has built up around her, or will her past finally catch up with her and she loses everything once again?


And now for that little taste of the book. . .


When Jade arrived at the police station that morning, she saw that Patrick’s vehicle was already there. Why was he in the office so early?


She scanned her ID to get into the communication call room. She acknowledged the two dispatchers still on duty, then grabbed her mug and went to the break room. After pouring herself a cup of coffee, she headed back. On her way, she greeted two officers and walked by Patrick’s opened office door.


“Jade, in my office. I need to talk to you,” Patrick said.


“Okay.” She didn’t report to him, so why did he want to see her? She entered his office.


“Close the door,” he commanded, his voice terse.


She closed the door and sat in the chair in front of his desk.


“There was another kidnapping last night. Here’s the file on both kidnappings and files from other known cases to cross-reference. I need you to investigate the cases and try to get these babies back and prevent another one from being taken. I want you to go out into the street, ask questions, get in people’s faces, and help solve this crime.”


“Um, not an officer, Patrick.”


“You are now. If you’ll stand, I’ll swear you in.” He opened the desk drawer to get the book out.


“You can’t make me an officer, just like that.”


“Yes, I can. I know you were an officer in Oklahoma City, and I know your credentials are up-to-date. You are certified and ready to be an officer. All I need to do is swear you in.”


“You checked up on me?” Jade asked, her voice faltering.


“No, at first, I called the Oklahoma City Police to find out about the kidnapping case you mentioned. In the course of my discussion with the chief, I asked if he knew you, which he said he did.”


“Then you know what happened there.”


“No, they couldn’t tell me due to your non-disclosure stipulation.”


“Then you shouldn’t hire me.”


“I’m giving you an opportunity here. This is your chance to prove yourself. You are given full range to investigate the cases. You’ll report back to me every day as part of your training. I will guide you to where and how to solve this crime and many others. Now, are you up to it and ready to start?”


“But…Patrick…um…Chief. This is so sudden. I…” She was speechless, she didn’t want to do an investigation into a possible kidnapping. She didn’t want to handle cases that involved children. How could she get out of this? Did she really want to get out of this?


“Say yes so we can get started.”


“You sure about this?” She wasn’t, but she couldn’t tell him no. This was the kind of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you didn’t turn down. It felt strange though; he never talked this fast, and he wanted her decision now.


“Yes, I’m sure. So, what do you say?”


“Chief, I’m not sure this is a good idea.”


“Why not?”


What could she tell him? “I’ve been away from police work a long time, and I’ve never been a detective. I was only in training to be one.”


“Your previous employer said that you were showing signs of being a good detective. Jade, I need a detective. I need fresh eyes, someone quick to analyze the situation and get to the bottom of this. I’m offering you a chance to prove you are the right person to do the job. Anyone else would jump at the opportunity. Why are you hesitating?”


“I…um…” She couldn’t tell him she didn’t want to work baby or children cases. You couldn’t be selective when you were a detective. You took all jobs, no matter how difficult or painful it was.


“Have you talked to the fire chief? Does he know?”


“Yes. I talked to him this morning. He’s going to hire someone to replace you.”


“What about the police commissioners?”


“I’ll deal with them.”


She stared at Patrick and swallowed a big lump in the back of her throat. A detective? Her heart hammered hard in her chest. Could she do it? If he knew her past, why would he even consider her for the job? Talk about a bombshell dropping. Couldn’t she have time to consider it?


But a little glimmer of hope sparked in her heart. So there was a chance for her to redeem herself? She’d be stupid to turn down the opportunity. “Okay. I’ll do the best I can.”


“Good.” Patrick stood up, pulled out a Bible, and said, “Place your hand on this and repeat after me.”


After she was sworn in, they sat back down and Patrick went over the second kidnapping with her and handed her the files.


“I want you to work with Clyde on this, as he’s been doing the legwork. Between this case, the first case, and a murder case, he’s been pulling double duty trying to handle everything. But before you go out anywhere, you check in with me and let me know what you and Clyde are doing.”


She wished she could say she’d do the murder case. “It looks like this second baby was taken the same way. The two cases are likely related. Did you have any evidence that we can use?”


“So far, no. CSI went to the second scene this morning to gather any trace evidence there, but we won’t know anything for a couple of days. When you investigated the case in Oklahoma City, how did you crack it?”


“I posed as a woman wanting to adopt a baby.”


“How did you know who to connect with?”


“It was a long shot. I started with the kidnapped baby’s mother, then it went to a person who knew a person who knew a person. Then I created an identity of a woman desperate to adopt. I made sure I stayed visible and willing to try anything to get a baby.”


“I see.”


Jade rose, walked to the door, and put her hand on the doorknob, but before opening it, she turned to him. “Are you sure you want me to do this?”


Patrick leaned back in his chair and stared at her as if he was reflecting on something. “Yes, I’m sure. There are a lot of things we need to discuss. But right now I need you to get on board with Clyde, quickly, and start working this case while it’s still hot.”


“Okay. Where do you want me to work?”


“The next room down the hall is the detectives’ squad room.” He gestured with his thumb. “Grab whatever desk and computer you want. Stop by the lock-up room and get Mike to assign you a gun.”

The case was the opportunity of a lifetime for her. It gave her the chance to prove to herself, to Patrick, and the whole world, that she could do the job. Would solving this help make up for the child whose life was taken because of what she did?


She took a deep breath, opened the door, and headed to the lock-up room. She had walked into the station today as a nine-one-one dispatcher, and was now walking out as a detective.

And, of course, you are going to want one of your very own. Grab a copy at any of these purveyors of fine literature.


Barnes and Noble



Meet Constance Bretes

I started writing contemporary romance and contemporary romance suspense fifteen years ago, and after multiple rejections, got my first contract for Delayed Justice, released in 2014.

I live in Basin, Montana, where three feline furballs own me and my husband, and a dog that lives next door named Sara, who thinks she also lives with the Bretes family. I love the mountains that surround my home, I love basket weaving, jewelry making, and just visiting all the folks in the small community we live in.

I currently have seven books published, and a number of other ones in various stages of edits. Right now, I’m working on a new book, called Roadside Love. A murder mystery/romance is a small town in Wyoming. I have two other books that are at the end of their editing days and now at critique partners, the books are Elkhorn In The Moonlight and Rocky River Gold. Both are small town romances.

I can be reached through the following media.

Constance’s Website

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Constance on Twitter


Email:  bretesc@gmail.com



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