30 April 2013

Tuesday's Tale 30-04-13 -- Yellow

Welcome back to another Tuesday's Tales  This week I'm sharing another clip from Megan, a WIP that has been on the go for several years, and is the 2nd story following the Hawke family siblings. The first being Duty Calls, published in 2011 by Black Opal Books.

(Info- Widowed Megan learns that someone is contesting her late husbands will. Here Megan and her lover, Vince, are questioning the grandmother of the contester. -Luke is Megan's brother.)

Vince glanced towards Luke, catching his imperceptible nod.

“Before today, when did you last see your daughter?”  Luke asked.

“I’m not sure.  Five maybe six years ago.”

“What did she want?”

“What do you think?” Esmy snapped.

“And did you give her money?”


“Why?  Vince intervened.

“Because I wanted her to stay away from us.”

“Surely your grand daughter was curious about her mother?  Didn’t she ever ask about her?”

“She didn’t have to.”  Esmy’s cold clipped tones chilled her listeners.  “When Lea Anne was nearly four years old, Marie Ann snatched her from the preschool and disappeared.  It took six months for the P.I. I hired, to track her down to a dingy room in the back streets of town.  Lea Ann was covered in bruises and cigarette burns.  She still had the same yellow dress on that she wore the day her mother snatched her out of school.” She sighed. “I doubt the poor mite had another stitch of clothing to wear for all of that time she was with that wretched woman, and if that isn’t enough, when my investigator found her she had a cracked rib and broken arm the doctors here had to re-break her arm to repair the damage as best they could.

“Understand me when I tell you my granddaughter wants to see her mother no more than I do.”

No one noticed Megan enter the room with a fresh jug of coffee.  Tears streaming down her face as she placed it on the tray.”

“Megan.”  Luke’s cold gaze sent a warning to his sister.  Intent on reminding her that if this woman was involved in the scam to get hold of everything she and Tammy possessed, this was how she’d go about it.

With a slight squeeze on Esmy shoulder, Meagan returned to sit beside her bother once more.

With an understanding nod Esmy sent a sad smile towards Megan.  “I still have all the medical receipts for Lea Ann’s treatments.  I kept them in case Marie Ann tried to take Lea Anne away again.  I told her if she ever did that again I’d have her arrested and sent to jail.”

“That’s as may be.” Luke said dubiously, but it doesn’t prove you didn’t know about her latest scam to attain money.

“No.”  She agreed slowly.  “It doesn’t, but it may provide a reason why, once you satisfy yourselves, I am not part of what ever my daughter is doing, I would be willing to work with you to prevent my daughter from succeeding.

Thank you for reading another snippet this week, and please hop on over to read everyone's offering for this week's Tuesday's Tales prompt. 

26 April 2013

Sarah Ballance, author of Last Call is cisiting today...

Thank you, Sherry, for having me here today to talk about my new romantic suspense LAST CALL!
You're very welcome Sarah. I love the way you take us into what Last Call is all about. Best wishes with sales.

To get to know more about the book and its characters, we’re going to take a close look . . . one letter at a time.

L – Lingering thoughts. The last time Rhys saw Nick, she’d just been shot . . . by him. She could forgive the accidental bullet, but the way he left her afterwards—without a goodbye—should have slammed the door on all the sexual tension between them for the last time. But when she wakes up in his arms, she discovers the truth is far from what she expected.
A – Action. Whether it’s the bad guys bearing down or the adversarial relationship between Nick and Rhys, there’s never a dull moment. These two truly can’t catch a break!

S – Suspense.  Someone kidnapped Rhys and left her in Nick’s care. Who, and more importantly, why? Who wants them both dead? And will they ever resolve their past?
T – Tortured Hero. Yep, that’s Nick. Not only did he shoot Rhys, but he left town without saying goodbye. Even after she’s forgiven him, those old wounds only serve to prove to him she deserves more. He’s trying to do the right thing, but will he ever listen to what she wants?
C – Cutter. He was Nick and Rhys’s contact when they worked undercover, and he’s their lifeline now. But with a leak in the department, will their communication prove to be an invaluable help, or will it lead a ruthless killer straight to their door?
A – Assumptions. Rhys assumed Nick was too wrapped up in his guilt to even think about betraying her again, but was she wrong?
L – Layers. They’re everywhere. Just when you think you’ve found the center, yet another truth is ripped away.

L – Lies. In a deadly game where no one seems to have a motive, everyone is a suspect. And the only thing more shocking than the truth is the impossible depth of the lie.

LAST CALL by Sarah Ballance – Romantic suspense for just 99 cents!
In a perilous game of trust, a shocking betrayal deals a dangerous hand.

An accidental witness to a murder-for-hire, ex-cop Rhys Clark becomes the target of ruthless killer—one determined to silence her at any cost. Playing dead seems to be the most likely way to stay alive, but when her protection comes in the form of mega-sexy former adversary Nick Massey, Rhys can think of  a few fates worse than death.

Nick Massey may have walked away from his troubles, but he never got past wanting Rhys. Once paired undercover, they’d been nothing but fireworks until a botched assignment ended her career, sending his into a tailspin. Now a mysterious client threatens Nick’s life if he doesn’t keep Rhys safe, but it isn’t until fate takes a critical turn that he realizes the devastating truth: he’s been her greatest threat all along.
Last Call | Excerpt

Rhys Clark swore and jerked her foot from the murky puddle that had just claimed one of her new running shoes. Perfect. The day was now officially perfect.
She blamed Nick Massey.
Blaming him was easy enough. She didn’t know which required more nerve on his part—leaving town or crawling back—but both events left her bitter and raw. And wet, she grumbled inwardly. With the sky spitting rain and the occasional pellet of sleet smacking her face, she should have skipped her evening jog. The street was little more than a concrete alley of shuttered businesses, and the bleak weather amplified the emptiness. But tonight, with Nick hot on her mind, running through the cold was her last ditch effort to return to her senses.
It hadn’t worked.
Another blast of icy air howled through the narrow street. If she hadn’t been standing still, she probably wouldn’t have heard the shouting that followed.
A few months ago, an altercation wouldn’t have been unusual in this part of town. But the whole area was under reconstruction. Local crime dissipated to nothing with the razing of several apartment buildings, and until now Rhys had long found her route to be a place of solace. She glanced around as the voices drew closer and more intense. Rapid footsteps smacked the wet pavement. Then the echo of a gunshot cracked the night.
Where fear left her paralyzed, instinct insisted she get out of sight. She looked around and found an unbroken expanse of concrete wall offering few options. Heart pounding, Rhys ducked into the recessed doorway of a vacant storefront and hoped the deep shadows would keep her concealed.
Terrifying seconds passed. The sound of her own suppressed breath roared in her ears.
Voices came, clearer this time. Close.
“If we screw this up…” The words, terse and hushed, were encapsulated in panic.
“Shut up,” demanded a second voice. “No one messed up. He’s as good as dead.”
“You think you’re going to sell that without a body? We didn’t get paid to lose him.”
“He took one to the gut. He won’t get far. We’ll find him.”
“He’s leaving a trail. Blood. We got the big bucks for a clean—”

Shut up.”
A hit? Rhys shuddered, fear scaling her spine. A professional hit would have been silent—something not accomplished by the gunshot or the ensuing conversation—but in this game, experience wasn’t always a prerequisite for willingness to pull the trigger. Two years of undercover work had taught her as much.
So had a bullet.
Rhys froze, waiting for the voices to pass. But luck was not on her side. Rather than drawing away, the footsteps ceased.

“Well, well, well,” said the confident one. “Looks like our little game of hide and seek is over.”
Hope crumbled. The voice was far too close. Had they seen her?

She dared not move. Through her lashes, she saw nothing in her narrow view of the dimly lit street but dirty puddles and the occasional bit of trash plastered to wet pavement. She prayed they didn’t look her way should they walk past.

Grunts erupted nearby, followed by the sound of sneakers scuffling on concrete. Then two shots fired, and all sounds of struggle gave way to profane celebration.
In the same instant, a man fell to the sidewalk in front of Rhys. His eyes, sightless and familiar, bore into her.

She choked a gasp.

A man stepped into her line of sight, his weapon at the ready. Before she could stop herself, she locked eyes with him. Big mistake. The decision threw her into a cloud of emotional shrapnel, the past flying at her in shards. She’d been shot once before.
It hadn’t ended well.

The gunman opened his mouth and formed an ugly grin, his breath coming in visible puffs through yellowed teeth. “Looks like a double header tonight, T,” he said, never taking his gaze off Rhys.

“Whaddya mean?” came the reply. The voice . . . she blinked until the second man shifted into focus.
She knew him. From where? She couldn’t think.

She glanced to the dead man, and her vision wavered. Panic shifted her world into a screen of jarred pixels, the flashback jagged and severe.
Rhys! Stay with me, Rhys. Do you hear me? Rhys!”

Blood. So much blood.
“Nick.” She touched his face, feeling stubble beneath her fingertips. Then the weight of her arm was too much; as gravity won he slipped away. The world twisted into a sickening spiral until all that was left was his voice, the desperation in his tone bringing warmth to the darkness.

Motion jarred her to the present.

The gunman gestured. “Our witness here is about to have an unfortunate accident.” He raised the weapon, aiming for the kill.
It was a short view down the barrel at point blank range. She expected that.

What she didn’t anticipate was the speed with which he pulled the trigger.
Or how quickly the pain hit.

Author: Sarah Balance
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: For the Muse Publishing,
2013ISBN 13: 978-0-9889995-0-3
LAST CALL is available from: 
For the Muse Publishing, 

Amazon,          Barnes & Noble, 
and Smashwords 
(formats: .mobi, .epub, HTML, PDF, RTF, LRF, PalmDoc, and Plain Text).

Click here to add to Goodreads or here for reviews.

About Sarah Ballance
Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids). When not buried under piles of laundry, she may be found adrift in the Atlantic (preferably on a boat) or seeking that ever-elusive perfect writing spot where not even the kids can find her.

She loves creating unforgettable stories while putting her characters through an unkind amount of torture—a hobby that has nothing to do with living with six children. (Really.) Though she adores nail-biting mystery and edge-of-your-seat thrillers, Sarah writes in many genres including contemporary and ghostly paranormal romance. Her ever-growing roster of releases may be found on her website.


23 April 2013

Tuesdays Tale 23-04-13 - Travel

Welcome back to another Tuesday's Tales  This week I'm sharing a clip from Megan, a WIP that has been on the go for several years, and is the 2nd story following the Hawke family siblings. The first being Duty Calls, published in 2011 by Black Opal Books.

(Info- Widowed Megan learns that someone is contesting her late husbands will. Here Megan and her lover, Vince, are questioning the grandmother of the contester.)

 “What can I say to convince you?” she asked into the silence.  “For a couple of years I managed to keep track of my daughter’s movements.  It wasn’t easy and I had to use my late husband’s influence to pull a few strings.  Then Marie Ann crossed the border into Mexico and I lost track of her.  For four years I heard nothing; then out of the blue she turned up with a baby girl.  She told me she was destitute that the father of her child left her when he discovered she was pregnant and she couldn’t afford to keep the child and would put it up for adoption if I didn’t take it in and look after it.”

“Was she married to the child’s father?”  Vince asked, his gaze flicking to Megan, where she sat of the arm of the settee her hand resting on her brother’s shoulder.  She shifted uncomfortably then settled again and waited for Esmy response.

“She told me the father wanted to remain in his hometown and refused to travel with her when she wanted to return to the States. So she brought the child back with her and dumped it on me and then within the week disappeared again.”

“When was that?”  Megan’s quiet voice startled everyone.

“Let me see.”  Esmy thought back, trying to remember exactly how old the babe had been when her daughter left it behind.  “She was no more than a few months.  Three?  Perhaps four.  To be precise, I’d have to look at the adoption papers.”

“And how old is your granddaughter now?”  Megan held her breath.  Had her beloved Michael been married to two women at the same time?  She couldn’t bring herself to believe it.


Megan released her breath and smiled down at the two men on her settee.

“Does your grand daughter’s birth certificate name the father?”  Luke asked the woman seated opposite him.

“I don’t remember.  I don’t think so.”

“Where was the child born?”  Vince asked.

“Vegas.”  Came the prompt response.

“I’d like to see the certificate and take a copy.”  Vince stated.  “Do you know how and when she left Mexico and whether she was alone?”

“No.”  Esmy shook her head.

Picking up the jug of cold coffee Megan returned to the kitchen.

“Are you prepared to take us to your house and allow us to look at the documents appertaining to your granddaughter.”  Vince asked.
Thank you for reading another snippet this week, and please hop on over to read everyone's offering for this week's Tuesday's Tales prompt.


17 April 2013

Hump Day Hook 17-04-13

HUMP DAY HOOK is a blog hop where each participating author posts ONE paragraph from a WIP (work in progress) or finished book each Wednesday. This gives readers an opportunity to sample different author's work and perhaps even find a new-to-you author. 

This week I am offering you a snippet from a my WIP about the second royal Gasquet twin, Simeon.

It was the not knowing that festered.  Not knowing where he was. Not know who’d snatched him from his car and not know if anyone had missed him.

He didn’t even know how long he’d been here.
He’d woken to brilliant sunshine, the smell of fresh coffee, and the promise, from a stranger, that breakfast would be served in half an hour in the small dining room.  And the clothes laid out on the chair under the window fitted perfectly but weren’t his.

To read more offering from the HDH group of authors please visit Hump Day Hook Blog.

15 April 2013

Spotlighting Samantha Combs - The Deadlies

Author Bio:
Samantha Combs is a Southern California author with eight published books: Her Young Adult paranormal titles, the Global Ebook Award-winning debut title SPELLBOUND, SPELLBOUND's sequel, EVERSPELL, GHOSTLY, and WATERDANCER, a middle grade horror called THE DETENTION DEMON, and her adult horror collections, TEETH AND TALONS and WAY PAST MIDNIGHT. HELLOWEEN is her eighth book and her third horror story collection. Her ninth is on its way to reader's hands as this is written.  She enjoys writing YA paranormals, both dark and light, and supernatural fantasy and romance, but it is her love of horror that started it all. Thanks, Mr. King.

When she’s not writing, she works full time and enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. Her guilty pleasures include reality television, the Food Network channel and shoes. She truly believes she can accomplish anything if she has the right pair of shoes. And she adores totally inappropriate earrings.

Samantha loves writing and publishing her work and is in awe of the technological advances of our lives. With all of the genres there are for a reader, she has learned that writing paranormal and horror lets her share all the weirdness of everyday life in a not-so-everyday way. The foundation of a good story is all around her. All she has to do is….breathe.


When Calliope Flood catches the unwanted attention of prettiest and most privileged girls at her new school, she learns they are possessed of more than just good ole’ Southern charm; they are also possessed by the demons of the Seven Deadly Sins. 

 Whether she likes it or not, the Ravens want the pretty new girl to become one of their members.  Their club is so secret, only a select few know their truth.  As a budding journalist, Callie is more interested in investigating them than joining them.  When people begin to disappear, she soon discovers the Ravens aren’t just interested in her for her looks; slowly, she learns she’s a legacy.  Calliope enlists her eccentric Aunt, her new friends, and a quietly disarming Southern boy to form their own group, The Virtues, to free the girls, and the town, from the demons that have taken over their lives.


Walking into the cafeteria at lunchtime, Callie became uncomfortably aware of how few people she knew at this new school. She’d kept to herself mostly throughout the morning classes, not wanting to make waves, but more to get a lay of the land.  She decided she would do the same thing here in the cafeteria.   A quick scan around told her the only two people she did know by name, Meg and Suki, were nowhere in sight.  The lunchroom was in full swing and there was a long cue forming for food.  Reluctantly, she got in line and began to shuffle toward the counters without making eye contact with anyone.

            “You trying to hide from someone?”  The voice was husky, amused, and familiar.  She looked up into the denim blue eyes of Cayden Welliver.

            “No.  I just don’t know anyone.”

            Cayden snapped his heels together and bowed deeply from the waist.  Callie wondered if everyone at this school was going to bow.  Straightening, he said, “Then allow me to introduce myself.  Cayden Welliver, the Third, at your service.”

            “Callie Flood.”

            “Ah, I understand that’s Calliope Flood, niece to the esteemed and unpredictable Ms. Faith Flood, of Cranberry Lane, no less.”  Cayden gave her a winning smile.

            “You certainly are well informed.”

            “As all good reporters for the much hailed Holly Hills Hawk should be, my dear lady.”

            “And a reporter, too.  How lucky am I?” Callie drawled.

            “Are you always this hard to please?”

            “Are you always this happy?”

            “When I’m talking to the prettiest girl in school, I am.”


            “You’re not like the girls around here.”

            “And you are nothing like the boys from home.”

            “Were they as charming as us Southern gentlemen?”

            “Not exactly.”

            “Well, let me show you how we do it in the ole’ South.”  Cayden leaned forward and took Callie’s tray just as the lunch lady finished filling it and shoved it toward her.  Deftly, he reached into his pocket and paid the cashier before Callie could object.  He slung his backpack over his shoulder and balanced their two trays on one arm.  Sliding his other arm around Callie’s waist, he guided her down the line.

            “Follow me,” he instructed.

            Callie walked next to Cayden across the cafeteria, acutely aware they had become the focus of an uncomfortable amount of attention.  Uncomfortable for Callie only.  Cayden just sailed along like he didn’t even see them all staring at him.  Callie found herself envying him his ease.  It wouldn’t be the first time.  She also found herself admiring his frame, and a few other things as well. 

Samantha Combs, Author

Check out all nine of my books:
SPELLBOUND  http://www.amazon.com/Spellbound-Samantha-Combs/dp/1463787936/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1336187025&sr=8-13

I love to hear from my  fans. CONNECT WITH ME!
Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Samantha-Combs-Fan-Page/205186202866933




14 April 2013

Snippet Sunday 14-04-13 WWW

Thank you to everyone who visited last week and to those who left comments. Your thoughts are always appreciated.
For today's Sunday Snippet I'm continuing where I left off two weeks ago, a little ways into the beginning of a new WIP (working title Horseshoe 1)  ** Sorry I missed last week.**

Again I don't have names for my characters at this stage hence the 'he' and 'she.'

This week I have joined the Weekend Writing Warriors  again.

“Freemont? Ashworthy?  There is no… what do you call it? real estate agency in town, because there is no town within a hundred mile radius of this property.  Indeed there is no town on this part of my kingdom, so you see you are not only an intruder, but a liar, too.”

His voice rang with an undisputable authority that almost fooled her.  Whatever he was on, the man was flying in delusions of grandeur.

“Real estate agency is the equivalent of the English estate agent,” she began.

“I know not what you are talking about, nor do I know of these people and places you mention. I am expecting guests for the weekend and see no evidence of any preparations for their arrival and comfort. I sent word with my agent—“ he offered her an evil grin of satisfaction, then continued. “My agent, unlike yours is known to me and has worked for my family as did his father and grandfather before him. I am not interested in your mythical agents. Be gone.”

That's it for this week, :-) Thanks for coming by and you'll find lots more free-read snippets at Snippet Sunday  and Weekend Writing Warriors