Friday, September 28, 2018

On the Spotlight: ‘Burning Ridge,’ by Margaret Mizushima

Burning Ridge cover
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Featuring Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo, Burning Ridge by critically acclaimed author Margaret Mizushima is just the treat for fans of Alex Kava.
On a rugged Colorado mountain ridge, Mattie Cobb and her police dog partner Robo make a grisly discovery―and become the targets of a ruthless killer.
Colorado’s Redstone Ridge is a place of extraordinary beauty, but this rugged mountain wilderness harbors a horrifying secret. When a charred body is discovered in a shallow grave on the ridge, officer Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo are called in to spearhead the investigation. But this is no ordinary crime―and it soon becomes clear that Mattie has a close personal connection to the dead man.
Joined by local veterinarian Cole Walker, the pair scours the mountaintop for evidence and makes another gruesome discovery: the skeletonized remains of two adults and a child. And then, the unthinkable happens. Could Mattie become the next victim in the murderer’s deadly game?
A deranged killer torments Mattie with a litany of dark secrets that call into question her very identity. As a towering blaze races across the ridge, Cole and Robo search desperately for her―but time is running out in Margaret Mizushima’s fourth spine-tingling Timber Creek K-9 mystery, Burning Ridge.
DSCF4389_pp copy
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Margaret Mizushima is the author of the critically acclaimed Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. Her books have garnered a Reader’s Favorite gold medal and have been listed as finalists in the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, the Colorado Book Awards, and the International Book Awards. Margaret serves on the board for the Rocky Mountain chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and she lives in Colorado where she assists her husband with their veterinary practice and Angus cattle herd. She can be found on Facebook/AuthorMargaretMizushima, on Twitter @margmizu, on Instagram at margmizu, and on her website at www.margaretmizushima.com.
Find out more on Amazon

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Book Feature: Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf by Nancy Gray




Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf by Nancy Gray, Mid-Grade Horror, 112 pp.



Title: BIG BAD WOLF
Author: Nancy Gray
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 112
Genre: Middle Grade Horror


Jane is ecstatic when she gets the role of Red Riding Hood in her school play, but she didn’t realize that they’d be using the stuffed wolf prop as the Big Bad Wolf. That tattered old prop has always scared her and, lately, she has been having strange dreams about it that make it seem like it’s something more.

Jane will have to get help to save herself from the hungry spirit that has haunted her people and her nightmares before it consumes her, or worse, escapes the prison of the last creature it took to sate its horrible appetite.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon




Chapter 1 - Casting

            “I can’t believe it!  I got the part!” Jane hopped up and down as she looked over the casting sheet one last time to make sure.

            Her best friend, Sophie, laughed, “I knew you would.”

            “I didn’t think so.  I did awful at the audition.  I tripped over my own feet.”

            “Mrs. Rose knew you were nervous because you wanted it more than everyone else.  You deserve it.”

            Jane sighed. “Are you sure that you have to go on that trip?  I want you to be here to at least see the play.”

            Sophie shrugged. “I know.  But, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen my cousin.  Besides, I like spending time on the farm.”

            “I’ll get my mom to tape the show.  We can watch it when you get back.”

            Sophie smiled. “That’s good.  Then at least I’ll get to see it later.  It should be pretty scary.  Well, I’d better go and you’d better too.  You don’t want to make a bad impression being late on the first day.  Good luck, Red Riding Hood.”

            Jane practically skipped to the stage and lined up with the other students that were chosen for parts.  She glanced down the row and frowned.  Patrick was grinning at her with his squinty green eyes and freckled face.

            She snapped, “What are you so smug about, Patsy?”

            He chuckled. “Well, Janey Jane, Let me guess, you were so excited you didn’t read the rest of the cast sheet, right?”

            Jane looked away, embarrassed. “Well, I didn’t want to be late.”

            He laughed harder. “I’m going to be playing the wolf, Red.”

            She ran a hand down her face and murmered. “I knew it was too good to be true…”

            Mrs. Rose walked up to the stage and handed out the scripts to the row of excited students.  Everyone sat down and began to page through their individual copies.  Patrick glanced at Jane with an infuriating grin, but she simply rolled her eyes at him one last time and then moved back to avoid looking in his direction again. 

            Mrs. Rose walked in front of them and said, “First of all, congratulations on all of your parts.  Since this is a Halloween play, I chose the rolls based on who could portray their parts in a suitably ominous way.  Remember, these are fractured fairy tales, so nothing is supposed to end well.  And, the common element in all of them will be the big, bad wolf.”

            Patrick stood up and gave a quick bow.

            Jane thought, “Show off…

            Mrs. Rose continued, “The main theme is Little Red Riding Hood, but as you can see, there will be elements from other stories incorporated.  While she’s going to grandma’s house, she’ll run into Snow White being chased by the woodsman, and themes from other stories as well, as she continues to get lost further and further in the woods.”

            A kid with round glasses and unruly hair spoke up. “Can I play with different colors of lighting depending on the fairy tale?  And can I use strobe effects?”

            “Well, probably no strobe effects.  We wouldn’t want anyone in the audience to have a seizure.  Still, I think different colors according to the story would be excellent.  Everyone, this is Kyle.  He just joined the club as our lead technician.” 

A few people clapped, but Jane clapped a little more than the others. “Thank goodness, someone finally volunteered to be techie, instead of all the backstage work being done by someone who didn’t get a part.  The lighting might actually be good this year. 

Kyle was in a few of her classes, but she never really talked to him.  He didn’t seem the type to be interested in the Drama Club.  He was always playing with his laptop or some kind of electronic device. 

            Patrick whispered in her direction, “I think someone’s in love.”

            Jane whispered back, “Bite me, Patsy.”

            Patrick said, “Maybe I will…AWOOOO!”

            Mrs. Rose tapped her foot impatiently. “Save it for the rehearsal, Patrick.”

            They both muttered an apology and quickly looked at the ground.

            “As you know, we don’t have a good budget this year, so I want all of you to look for old costumes and props that we can reuse.  The basement under the stage is a good place to start, as well as the various trunks backstage.  I believe, if we can get it working, the stuffed wolf would make a great prop too.  There should even be a speaker inside of it from our last play.  Kyle, see if you can reconnect it.”

            “Okay.  It should be pretty easy.”

            “Jane, you go with Kyle and show him the ropes.”

            She nodded. “Yes, Mrs. Rose.”





 








Nancy Gray has published a number of works including her middle grade series Spine Chillers. She also published her YA fantasy series Blood Rain. Her short story “Chosen” appeared in Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal Author Quest: a Penguin Special from Grosset & Dunlap. Her work also appears in various anthologies.

Nancy Gray has been writing for over ten years. Gray lives in South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys books, video games, anime, manga, and horror.
Her latest book is the mid-grade horror, Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK




 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Scene of the Crime by Jennifer Chase


SCENE OF THE CRIME by Jennifer Chase, Mystery, 300 pp., $.99 (Kindle)



Title: SCENE OF THE CRIME
Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: JEC Press
Pages: 300
Genre: Mystery Suspense

A calculating cold-blooded predator closes in…

When a community has barely recovered from a ruthless serial killer six months earlier; now two more horrifying murders hit the radar again. It leaves police burdened with two of the most shockingly contaminated crime scenes ever documented in California’s law enforcement history. The Slayer works behind the scenes as a sinister puppet master, precisely pulling the strings, taunting the police without leaving any viable evidence, and orchestrating his killer hit squads.

The sheriff and district attorney bring in the best investigators. Reunited again, Dr. Chip Palmer, a reclusive forensic expert, joins DA Inspector Kate Rawlins to sort through the crime scene aftermath in search of the truth—all without a probable suspect or a solid motive. Complicating the investigation—sparks reignite between the two.

Ratcheting up the suspense, Chip suffers a nasty fall hitting his head, impairing his perception and giving him a mind-blowing ability for specific detailed recall. Palmer and Rawlins assemble an unusual team including a rookie detective, a forensic supervisor, and an ex-military operative turned bodyguard. After one of their own is kidnapped and the investigation is taken over by the FBI, the now rogue team must pull together their own resources—alone—with a killer waiting to take each one of them out. Scene of the Crime takes no prisoners and leaves everyone fighting to stay alive.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

 

Chapter 1

NOTHING CAPTURED HIS ATTENTION. IT wasn’t as if he wasn’t looking for anything specific or that he didn’t care about anything, but everything became like white noise. Looking down, he spotted a couple squashed beer cans, which had resulted from the constant compression of car tires repeatedly running over them. Now they lay in the gutter unnoticed—as discarded litter. Out of boredom, he kicked the aluminum pancakes with his worn out running shoes. The compressed disks clattered a ways before landing back in a different part of the same gutter, just as his life.
Roger Case was in one of those moods where everything seemed futile. It was a time when his temperament plummeted; he entertained the spirit of defeat, which was becoming more common these days. His concentration slipped farther into the dwindling mindset of drugs and crime to the point of mania. Rationalizing his motives, he preferred to enact self-medication.
He needed something strong to take away his thoughts of negativity. The repetitive movements of his hands and arms worsened. He wanted anything that would take away his fears, his depression, and his unrelenting obsession for the next quick fix. Roger knew that even when he felt the most empowering high that there was a high price to pay—and it was predictable and inevitable—the hard, downward crash.
Roger hadn’t always been teetering on that slippery slope, dangling over the life of crime; in fact, he still remembered when things were normal and even mundane. He grew up in a typical middle class family with his mom and dad, along with his older brother and sister. Reflecting on those memories now, he would trade just about anything to have those times back.
Now he waited with anticipation for his contact. It was going to make everything better—at least for a while. He convinced himself that just a little bit of crystal meth would help him get back on track—to see things clearly again. It wasn’t as if he was a full-blown addict, he just needed something to help motivate and push him in the right direction.
He heard a hollow scraping noise and stopped to listen. Standing quietly, still straining to hear, but that sound never repeated. He looked around. Curious. The sound seemed to resonate in his head instead of around the street. Upon further inspection, he realized it came from inside the cement structure.
The old water treatment plant had been decommissioned by the county some time ago, now outdated, and was nothing more than an eyesore gathering the grime and deteriorating aspects of time gone by. Something loomed in Roger’s vision and waited in darkness—he strained his eyes looking into the long structure that seemed to lead to nowhere.
Maybe his connection made a change of plans and the meeting place was at the cement sinew, and out of sight from any onlookers, or cops happening by on their route. It was possible. At this point in Roger’s life, anything was possible.
Roger contemplated his options for a moment and then decided to check it out. He turned toward the water treatment plant and headed inside. The first thing he noticed was the temperature difference—cold and damp compared to the warmer street areas.
He slowed his pace, unsure if he should call out or announce his presence. Fidgeting nonstop with his hands, pressing his fingers tighter and then releasing them, Roger moved farther into the tunnel.
A shuffling sound came from the other end.
“Hello?” he finally said, his voice weak and tinny which made him unconsciously twitch.
A muffled dragging sound was the responded answer. It resonated from the back-left area.
“Hey, I don’t have time for this… you either want the money or not.” He tried to sound tough but his nerves were frayed. It wasn’t something he was used to feeling. In fact, Roger couldn’t remember the last time he felt scared, frustrated, angry or anxious.
The damp cement tunnel seemed to pull him closer to the heart of it—into the bowels of no return. Instead of turning around and leaving, Roger slowly moved deeper into the cavern. It was as if someone or something else had control over his body. His insatiable curiosity had put him in troubling situations throughout his life. It contributed to him getting into deep trouble with a growing rap sheet to prove it.
Most memories had a calming effect on Roger, which had initiated his fidgeting to cease and his hesitation to subside. He didn’t understand many people’s fears and phobias, most things were just benign and didn’t amount to anything remotely scary or debilitating.
There it was again—a dragging sound followed by what he thought were hushed whispers.
Kids.
He would smack a kid if they jumped out at him or gave him any crap. Most likely, they were tagging gang symbols and looking to get into trouble.
There was the distinct sound of two people whispering to each other.
Roger tried to sharpen his vision but the darkness played tricks on him with weird shadow figure apparitions. He blinked his eyes quickly trying to concentrate on the area and where the kids were hiding; his eyes began to water from the extreme effort. Wiping away the aggravated tears, Roger felt his surroundings close in tightly around him as his perception changed. The darkness seemed to give a strange rippled effect.
The voices became louder. There was nothing sinister about the voices, but they were speaking faster with more of an urgent tone.
“Hey, you little maggots, I know you’re here,” stated Roger.
He stopped and stood still.                                                         
The darkness still loomed around him, but there was a quietness that overcame him.
A brief hundredth of a second, a peculiar whizzing noise filled Roger’s ears and then a brutal blow struck his head and knocked him off his feet. With a ringing in his head and a groggy consciousness, he tried to sit up but more savage blows pummeled his body. It sounded as if a tree splintered just before it fell in the forest. His breath caught in his lungs. Everything went dark.
The anonymous whispers stopped.
All buzzing in his ears stopped.
Roger Case’s heart stopped too.


Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and best-selling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Other Books in the Series

Body of the Crime


 





Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and best-selling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Interview with Historical Mystery Author Marty Ambrose


Marty Ambrose has been a writer most of her life, consumed with the world of literature whether teaching English at Florida Southwestern State College or creating her own fiction.  Her writing career has spanned almost fifteen years, with eight published novels for Avalon Books, Kensington Books, Thomas & Mercer—and, now, Severn House.
Two years ago, Marty had the opportunity to apply for a grant that took her to Geneva and Florence to research a new creative direction that builds on her interest in the Romantic poets:  historical fiction.  Her new book, Claire’s Last Secret, combines memoir and mystery in a genre-bending narrative of the Byron/Shelley “haunted summer,” with Claire Clairmont, as the protagonist/sleuth—the “almost famous” member of the group.  The novel spans two eras played out against the backdrop of nineteenth-century Italy and is the first of a trilogy.   
Marty lives on an island in Southwest Florida with her husband, former news-anchor, Jim McLaughlin.  They are planning a three-week trip to Italy this fall to attend a book festival and research the second book, A Shadowed Fate.  Luckily, Jim is fluent in Italian and shares her love of history and literature.  Their German shepherd, Mango, has to stay home.
Website:
Find out more about CLAIRE'S LAST SECRET on Amazon

INTERVIEW:
Mayra Calvani: Please tell us about Claire’s Last Secret, and what compelled you to write it.
Author:  The great Romantic poet, Lord Byron, once said, “I awoke to find myself famous.” – Truly, it is every writer’s dream to be thrust into a world of sudden, unfolding adoration for one’s work.  But the inspiration forClaire’s Last Secret was more of a nightmare:  I “awoke” during my summer teaching hiatus to find myself with a back injury that left me practically housebound on an island, in between writing projects, and feeling like the world was passing me by.  
I happened to pick up Daisy Hay’s book, The Young Romantics, and learned that she had found a fragment of Claire Clairmont’s (Mary Shelley’s stepsister) journal saying that the famous Byron/Shelley summer of “free love” in 1816 had created a “perfect hell” for her. Of course, Claire wrote those words when she was almost eighty, impoverished, living in Florence, Italy, having outlived the two great poets and Mary by many decades.  Intrigued, I wondered what it would feel like to outlive everyone who had been part of one’s youth.  As the lone remaining figure of that famous quartet, she’d been left behind.  In that moment, I bonded with Claire and decided to tell her story, but as a fictional memoir.
As I delved into Claire’s life, pieces came together in my thoughts:  her illicit love for Byron, her rocky relationship with Mary and Shelley, and her later years in Italy—and I knew I had to tell her story from two perspectives:  the young, reckless Claire and the older-but-wiser Claire.  Then, there was the mystery of her lost daughter with Byron. Her lovers.  Her passion for life.  It all coalesced into the kind of genre-bending novel that I’ve always wanted to create.
As I wrote the book, I healed after successful back surgery, wrote a grant, traveled to Geneva and Florence with my hubby to research the book—and awoke to find myself with a new life.
It turned out to be my own summer of awakening.

M.C.: What is your book about?
Author:   The book is Claire Clairmont’s story, beginning in 1873 when she lived in Florence, Italy—the last survivor of the “haunted summer” Byron/Shelley.  She is living out her final years in genteel poverty, with only the memories of her lost youth.  Just at her moment of greatest despair, the appearance of British tourist, William Michael Rossetti, brings hope that she may be able to sell some of her memorabilia to earn enough cash to support her and her niece/companion, Paula.  But Rossetti’s presence in Florence seems to begin a cycle of events that links with the summer of 1816 when Claire conceived an ill-fated child with George Gordon, Lord Byron, when Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, and when four tempestuous lives came together around a tragic death.  As Claire begins to unravel the truth, she has to go back to that summer of passion and lost dreams to discover the identity of her enemy.
M.C.:  What themes do you explore in Claire’s Last Secret?
Author: The book really touches on the theme of memory:  what things we remember and why we remember them in a particular way.  Claire has spent most of her life believing that the people she loved let her down, but it’s really the opposite; they tried to protect her.  Connected to this theme is a secondary one about the interconnectedness of life.   In the book, we see Mount Tambora explode in Indonesia in 1815, which causes a massive dust cloud to drift across the earth; when it covers Europe in the summer of 1816, its violent lightening storms are part of what impels Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein.
M.C.:  Why do you write?
Author: I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write.  I love the English language, and I love to spin fantasies with imaginary characters.  The drive to create with words feels like something that is just part of my nature.
M.C.:  When do you feel the most creative?
Author:  It takes me time to settle into writing during the day.  I like mornings best, in my home office, surrounded by my favourite books; but, for some reason, I can’t ever start writing until near noon.
M.C.:  How picky are you with language?
Author:  I’m pretty picky about diction and grammar and will spend a lot of time looking for just the right word—for the definition and the sound in the sentence.  I think word flow is most important to me.
M.C.:  When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
Author: I love this question and would have answered it very differently a few years ago.  When I wrote my Mango Bay mystery series, I can honestly say that I would go into the “flow” experience at times, but I was always conscious of writing.  With Claire’s Last Secret, though, it’s the first time that I had the sensation that the words were already on the page and I was simply clearing away the white space.  It was an amazing shift for me!
M.C.:  What is your worst time as a writer?
Author:  My worst year as a writer was 2015.  My publisher decided to discontinue its mystery line, my agent retired, and I had a severe back injury.  It was not a fun time.
M.C.:  Your best?
Author:  Two years later:  I signed with a new agent, wrote the “book of my heart,” was picked up by a new publisher, and regained my health.  Life didn’t just turn around; it became amazing—the dark before the dawn, to quote a cliché.
M.C.:  Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
Author:  Not really.  I’ve had challenging professional and life events that might delay me, but I never stopped writing.
M.C.: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
Author:  When I sold, Claire’s Last Secret.  It was truly the book that I was born to write, and I loved every minute of it.
M.C.:  Is writing an obsession to you?
Author:  Of course.  I don’t think you can be a writer if you’re not obsessed in some way with creating stories; they become a part of us and we live with them every minute of our lives.  I guess that more than qualifies as “obsession”!
M.C.:  Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
Author:  I think every story reflects some part of the author/creator.  I couldn’t have written my latest novel if I hadn’t had some life experience and mature perspective.  When I wrote Claire’s Last Secret, I was pretty much housebound with a sense of “having been left behind” as I waited for surgery—and I connected with what it must have felt like for Claire Clairmont when she outlived almost everyone she loved by many decades.  I had this emotional connection with her before I started telling her story.   
M.C.:  Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Thoughts?
Well . . . we live in conflictual times (as I suppose we always have) and maybe the best thing to do is keep pumping the streams of creativity to offset the negativity of life.  I always feel that when people contemplate visual art, watch a play, or read a book, they are reaching for something beyond the everyday difficulties.  We write for the same reason.  It takes us to places that we can only dream of—and then maybe make happen.  PS:  I love Bradbury! 
M.C.:  Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?
Author:  Absolutely!

Book Feature: Unlawful Desires by Sassy Sinclair



UNLAWFUL DESIRES by Sassy Sinclair, Erotic Suspense, 198 pp., $10.99 (paperback) $3.99 (Kindle)


Title: UNLAWFUL DESIRES
Author: Sassy Sinclair
Publisher: Goldman House Publishing
Pages: 198
Genre: Erotic Romance


Sparks fly when a handsome lawyer falls hard for a smart, seductive woman who thinks like a man and acts like one too.

Sharla Ratliff is done with having her heart broken. Her new dating rules are simple. No emotion. No expectation of commitment. Sex purely for her own physical enjoyment. Then she meets Marcel Dennard. The attractive lawyer has all the trappings of success: a thriving career, women at his beck and call, and enough money in the bank for the finer things in life.

Their lust for each other doesn’t just create sparks, it sets off explosions. The sexual attraction between them is so passionately erotic they behave in ways that can only be called reckless. After a shocking series of events place both of their careers in jeopardy, can they restrain their sexual desires long enough to keep everything they’ve worked for from going up in smoke?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon




Excerpt:

Marcel
“But I don’t understand. You said you loved me!”
Marcel stood in the doorway of his bedroom as Camille snatched clothes from his closet and tossed them onto the bed.
He didn’t realize she kept that much stuff at his house. They’d only been seeing each other for five months and had never lived together. Once he got her out of his crib, he wasn’t letting another woman leave a bubblegum wrapper at his house, much less a toothbrush.
“Don’t just stand there,” Camille cried. “Say something!”
Since he couldn’t tell her what he was really thinking—that he couldn’t wait for her ass to leave—Marcel thought it was best to keep his mouth shut. Yeah, he’d told her he loved her. More than once, in fact. But only in response to her saying it first and usually about three seconds before he came. Never once had he initiated the phrase or uttered the words while fully clothed. That should’ve been a clue.
“You’re upset,” he said, backing out of the room. “I’ll wait in the den until you finish packing up.”
As Marcel turned to leave, Camille hurled a bottle of deodorant across the room. It nicked him on the shoulder.
“Hey!” He rubbed the sore spot. “Was that really necessary?”
“You used me!”
Marcel almost laughed out loud. He’d taken her to Paris, bought her designer purses and treated her to the finest restaurants in L.A. He even paid off one of her credit cards. And she was being used? Go figure.
“I told you from the start, I didn’t want a commitment. We had a good time while it lasted.”
“But I don’t understand what happened,” she sniveled.
He did. The same thing that always happened. He got bored. All relationships were great in the beginning. Unfortunately, he had an addiction to pussy. New pussy in particular. But new pussy can’t stay new forever.
Marcel glanced at his watch. He wanted Camille and her drama to disappear before the Clippers’ game came on.
 As he headed into the den, he knew he only had himself to blame. He had let his guard down with Camille. The minute she started texting him ten times a day and trying to track his every move, he should’ve called it quits. But the girl worked wonders between the sheets and that did have its value. And those legs of hers. He loved doing her standing up with her back against the wall, her long brown legs clamped tightly around his waist. Even now, he got excited just thinking about it. Too bad she’d gotten so clingy.
Marcel picked up the remote and switched on the TV. It took another thirty minutes before Camille trudged down the hallway dragging two military-size duffle bags behind her.
When in the hell did you sneak in all this shit? And why didn’t I notice?
Camille wasn’t crying anymore, which he considered a good sign.
“I’m sorry I got so upset,” she said. “You were right. You did tell me you didn’t want a commitment. I should’ve listened.”
Marcel didn’t respond. Her apology was probably a trick. He feared saying something that might set her off again. His goal was to get her ass on the other side of his front door and lock the dead bolt. At least he’d been smart enough not to give in to her pleas for a key. If he had, he would’ve had to change all the locks.
“Do you need help with your bags?” he asked.
Camille nodded.
Marcel took the bags from her, surprised at how heavy they were. They had to weigh close to fifty pounds apiece. When they got to the front door, he waited for her to open it.
Instead of reaching for the doorknob, Camille just stood there.
Now what?
"Can you get the door?" Marcel asked.
She turned around to face him. “Despite everything that happened, I really enjoyed being with you. You’re a great guy.”
“Back at you. Now open the door.”
 Camille clasped her hands in front of her and spoke in an annoying little girl’s voice. “Don’t I even get a hug goodbye?”
Here we go. Women were so transparent.
Marcel let the bags fall to the floor with a thud and pulled her into his arms for a quick hug. Damn, she smelled good. Felt good too.
When he tried to pull away, Camille moved in closer, snuggling her face into the crook of his neck. Then she licked his earlobe, which she knew drove him wild. He instantly grew rigid.
Damn.
Camille grinded against his erection. “Uh-oh.” She grinned up at him. “Something tells me you don’t want me to leave.”
Women made the mistake of equating sex with love. Just because his dick wanted her to stay, didn’t mean he did.














 




 
  
Sassy Sinclair, AKA Pamela Samuels Young, is an attorney and award-winning author of multiple legal thrillers. Unlawful Desires is her first foray into the erotic romantic suspense genre. Her mystery Anybody’s Daughter won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction and was a Top Ten pick by In the Margins, the best books for at-risk teens. Her novels #Anybody’s Daughter and #Abuse of Discretion are young adult adaptations of two of her most popular adult mysteries. Prior to embarking on a full-time writing career, Pamela was an associate at O’Melveny & Myers, LLP and Managing Counsel for Labor and Employment Law at Toyota. A former journalist, she also worked as a television news writer and associate producer for WXYZ-TV in Detroit and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. Pamela received her bachelor’s degree from USC and earned graduate degrees from Northwestern University and UC Berkeley School of Law. A natural hair enthusiast, Pamela wrote Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide to educate women about the true beauty of their kinky coils. The Compton native is a frequent speaker on the topics of child sex trafficking, teen sexting, self-empowerment, independent publishing and fiction writing.

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