Posts Tagged ‘book launch’
I’m thrilled to announce that I have a new contemporary series launching. The three books in The Standish Clan series are under the Hearts of Harkness umbrella. More series are planned.
Here are the books with links to excerpts and pre-order links:
Book 1 – A Fall from Yesterday
Read an excerpt here.
Book 2 – Ember’s Fire
Read an excerpt here!
Book 3 – Promise Me the Stars
Read an excerpt here.
With the launch of my newest Montlake romantic suspense FATAL HEARTS just a few days away, I thought I’d post an excerpt. Since you can read the first pages at Amazon with the Look Inside feature, I’m going to post something from a little further on in the book. If you’ve read the blurb, you’ll know that Toronto Police Detective Boyd McBride has come to Fredericton, New Brunswick, to look into the death of his identical twin Josh, who was conducting his own investigation into their birth parents. Although this is a single title book and not part of my Serve and Protect series, it is set square in the middle of that Serve and Protect world, complete with roles, large and small, from characters you’ll remember from that series, if you’ve read it.
C h a p t e r 2
Boyd signed in at police HQ almost two hours later. It had taken an hour to get the slim medical file from the records department, which he counted as a minor miracle. That kind of request often took days, if not longer. Twenty minutes for lunch while he took an unrewarding cruise through the hospital records, which were very minimal, and another half hour to get out of the busy hospital parking lot and downtown. Ten minutes after that, Detective Ray Morgan strode across the police station lobby toward him.
If Boyd hadn’t met the guy already, he wouldn’t have pegged him for a cop. He’d probably have figured him for a lawyer, given the setting. For starters, that custom tailored suit looked like it belonged on a model, as did that hundred-dollar haircut. Morgan was early to midthirties by Boyd’s estimation, but it was hard to say with guys like that. The first time they’d met, Boyd had been ready to write him off as a dandified lightweight. But that was before the guy got close enough for him to get a look at his eyes and the deep grooves on either side of his mouth. That and the handshake convinced him there was a real cop under the elegant packaging after all.
“Detective McBride,” he said, his voice as smooth and perfectly pitched as the rest of him. “Sorry to keep you waiting. Took me a while to get off the phone.”
“Morgan.” Boyd stood and grasped the other man’s outstretched hand. “Thanks for agreeing to meet with me.”
Morgan led him back to the detectives’ bull pen. This was Boyd’s second visit, but it struck him again how small it was. A mind-blowing thought, considering that this detective squad was the sum total for the whole city. Of course, there were more citizens in the city of Toronto than in the whole province of New Brunswick. A whole hell of a lot more. So it made sense that it would be small.
For his brother’s sake, he hoped small didn’t translate into ill equipped. Or, worse, incompetent.
They passed several desks, some manned, some empty, but all stacked high with paper and files and sticky notes and colored phone messages. The organized chaos made him feel right at home. A detective with a phone pressed to his ear nodded at them as they passed without missing a beat of his conversation. When they reached Morgan’s desk, Boyd sat in the chair Morgan indicated.
“Coffee?” Morgan offered.
“No, thanks. I’m good.
Morgan gave a wry smile. “Good decision,” he conceded. After taking his suit jacket off and carefully draping it over the back of an empty chair, he took a seat. Then he reached into a drawer of his desk and withdrew a folder, which Boyd assumed to be Josh’s.
Boyd’s gaze fell on the file on the desk between them. “So, what can you tell me about my brother’s death?”
“Since we last talked on the phone? Very little more. I told you the coroner found no obvious problems with your brother’s heart?”
“You did. And if I understand what you told me, that’s not common, but it’s not unheard of either. What was the stat you gave me? Up to five percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims display no discernible anatomic problems on autopsy?”
“Correct. The forensic toxicology report is probably still weeks away.”
Boyd raised an eyebrow. “Weeks?”
“You know the drill, McBride. They test for probably three hundred substances. And you know there are new experimental drugs being introduced all the time and new designer crap hitting the streets. It takes time to test for all that stuff. And then if they find something, the result has to be replicated independently. If we find there was foul play, this shit has to hold up in court.”
“I know. I’m just . . . anxious.”
“We do have the hospital’s standard tox screen, as I’ve already reported, so the really obvious ones—alcohol, cocaine, yada yada—can probably be safely eliminated.”
Boyd wanted to say the illegal stuff could be eliminated without the benefit of testing, because this was Josh they were talking about, dammit. The man barely even took the occasional Advil. But he knew all too well that drugs sometimes wound up in a vic’s system through no conscious choice of their own. Just ask all the roofied girls he’d talked to in ERs while a forensic nurse prepared to give them a sexual assault kit. Boyd drew a deep breath and exhaled slowly.
“We’re also waiting for the genetic tests the coroner’s office ordered.” Morgan’s eyes were sympathetic. “Maybe those results will shed more light.”
“Right.” He dragged a hand over his face. “So, what kind of wait are we talking about for the genetics? Weeks? Months?”
“Months would be my guess. The backlog is hellish.”
Boyd nodded his understanding. He’d had to explain similar delays to many a bereaved mother or father or wife who’d just wanted to understand what had happened to their loved one.
“Maybe my results will come back first.”
“You had genetic testing done on yourself?”
“After what happened with Josh, I had everything done. I’ve been imaged, had ECGs, EEGs, cardiac ultrasound, stress tests. I’ve worn a Holter monitor for forty-eight hours. They couldn’t find even a whiff of abnormality, with the electrical system or otherwise.”
“Interesting.” Morgan scribbled a note and put it in the folder.
Boyd gestured to the file. “Any chance I can get a copy of that?”
“The file?” Morgan snorted. “You’re welcome to look at it, but I can’t be giving out copies. Which I think you knew before you asked. But I’ll keep you abreast of developments. Like I said on the phone, I’m happy to do another sit-down with you further down the line, if it seems like it would be useful.”
“I guess that’ll have to be good enough.”
The other detective’s handsome features hardened. “I’ve already assured you that when I get toxicology back, you’ll know about it. When I have the genetics report, you’ll hear from me. Short of deputizing you and handing you the case, I don’t know what more I can do.”
“Sorry.” Boyd held up his hands in a conciliatory gesture. The man was right. And the last thing Boyd wanted to do was piss off best window into Josh’s case. “I know you’re bending over backwards here. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. I’m just—”
“I know.” Some of the ice went out of Morgan’s eyes. “Don’t sweat it.”
Boyd cleared his throat. “Look, I know you told me a lot of this stuff on the phone, and I appreciate that. I really do. But can walk me through the timeline again? I just need to understand what happened.”
Something stirred in Morgan’s eyes now. Pity, he realized. Ordinarily, that would sting. Nobody pitied Boyd McBride. But under the circumstances, he’d take it. Take it and exploit it if he could.
Anything to find out the truth about Josh’s death.
You can pre-order Fatal Hearts, or wait to snag it when it releases on August 19.
I’m very excited to have urban fantasy author Shéa MacLeod with me today. Why am I so excited? Because as you’ll soon see, she is made of sheer awesomeness.
Okay, Shéa, since I know you’re a bit of a sci-fi nerd, if you were a character in any sci-fi show, who would you be?
Aeryn Rand from Farscape. She was such a strong character, full of depth. She went from this tough warrior woman, blindly following orders and seemingly immune to emotion, to someone who loved deeply and protected those she loved. Not only did that girl kick some serious ass, she also got to snog the delicious John Crichton. And who wouldn’t want to do that?
Who indeed! What got you started writing?
Reading. My mom started reading to me pretty much in the womb. Some of my earliest memories involve books and reading and trips to the library. I loved the wonderful worlds that existed between the pages of books and longed to create my own. I was always a story teller, even before I could write. And I don’t think there’s ever been a time when I didn’t want to write novels. It just took me awhile to believe I could actually do it.
You’ve got a brand new book out, right? Tell us about it.
Yes! It’s an urban fantasy: Kissed by Darkness, Book One of the Sunwalker Saga.
I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer and thought it would be cool to have a more adult story that involved a private detective agency that investigated the paranormal. That sort of rattled around in my brain for years before morphing into something resembling an actual story. And with the morphing Morgan Bailey was born.
Morgan isn’t the kind of character to sit quietly on a shelf, so her story came a bit fast and furious. It’s the story of a woman who once had a normal life, but now must face her demons. Literally. And she does it with a grin and a snarky comment. Or two.
A girl after my own heart! How many other books do you have planned in the Sunwalker Saga?
There are six total books in the series (book 2 is finished and I’m writing 3 as we speak). Each one is key both to Morgan’s continuing development as a person, as well as the progression of the overall story arch which involves dragons, djinn, the sidhe and a lot more magic and mayhem.
Okay, I’m always fascinated to know how authors view their own characters. So let’s say someone is making a movie from Kissed by Darkness and you get to cast it. Who would you cast as your kick-ass heroine? Other main roles? And would a casting couch be required?
Oh, a casting couch is most DEFINITELY required!
There are four main characters in Kissed by Darkness who remain integral throughout the series. First is our MC, Morgan Bailey. Played by me.
Kidding! She’s actually the toughest one because I’ve never really come across an actress I thought would suit her to a “T”. Maybe Deborah Ann Woll from True Blood, but she’d have to put on about 20 pounds. :)
I’ve always seen Morgan’s best friend, Kabita Jones played by Claudia Black (the aforementioned Aeryn Sun). Very strong, very striking, a little exotic. Plus Claudia is a pretty versatile actress.
Inigo Jones was originally inspired by the Kyle Schmid from Blood Ties. Someone cute, sweet, and just a tad geeky, but underneath pure steel.
Then there’s the Sunwalker, Jackson Keel, 900 year old Templar Knight. And who else to play such a delectable role than the gorgeous Gerard Butler! (Hence the need for a casting couch.)
Now there’s a movie I want to see! [Hear that, Hollywood? That was Kissed by Darkness.]
If you were to Twitter this book in 140 characters, what would you say?
You’re getting blood on my carpet. Again.
OMG, I love it! And how perfect.
Any other irons in the fire besides the Sunwalker books?
Yes! I have two current WIPs. The first is a post-apocalyptic paranormal romance with dragons. (Everything is better with dragons.) The second is a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy scifi paranormal romance with a twist of steampunk set in what was once China. Oh, yeah, there are aliens. (Everything’s better with aliens.)
Favorite kind of read? Favorite author?
Hooo-boy! That’s a tough one because I’m pretty eclectic. I guess my all-time fave is probably apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic stories. I don’t know what it is about them I like so much. Maybe the whole idea of starting over fresh, or maybe it’s the struggle for survival and the drive to rebuild. Think Stephen King’s The Stand, Justin Cronin’s The Passage, Ann Aguirre’s Enclave or Joss Ware’s Envy Chronicles. Next (and very close) are urban fantasy, paranormal romance, scifi romance, and steampunk romance. They’re just so much fun! Think Nalini Singh (any of her books), Ann Aguirre’s Jax series, Gail Carriger. Of course we mustn’t forget the wonder triplets: zombies, thrillers and mysteries. For mysteries, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series is an auto buy. An old fave: Agatha Christie. And my new fave: N.L. Wilson! For zombies there’s Jack Wallen and Jesse Petersen. Thrillers: James Rollins (I’m a major fangirl.), Chris Kuzneski.
Told ya I was eclectic.
What was the best piece of writing advice you got along the way?
Probably this quote from Stephen King:
‘If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.’
What was the last movie you saw?
Believe it or not, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. What can I say? It was on cable. But it was kind of a fun movie. :)
Cats or dogs?
Dogs. I like cats, but I’m allergic. And there’s just something about a dog. Something so loving and dopey and ridiculously loyal. We could all learn a lot from a dog. Besides, they can be trained to carry barrels of alcohol around their necks. How cool is that?
Sam or Dean? (And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I may have to pare back the 100% awesomeness tag to maybe 98%.)
Dean. I mean, HELLO! There IS no other answer. (Also, excuse me for a moment. I need to go wipe the drool off my face.)
A fellow-Dean girl! Okay, you might be 110% awesomeness. Any last words for readers?
I just want to say thanks to all the readers out there. Reading is such a magical and exciting thing. Without our readers, there wouldn’t be much point in writing. Stories are meant to be shared.
Thank you, Shéa, for that very fun interview!
Now, go buy Shéa’s book! It just as awesome as she is.