Monthly Archives: September 2015
Welcome to the Bad Boy Blog Hop!
Now, I have to admit. I’m a sucker for the Bad Boy. And I write a lot of them!
And coming next week to e-book retailers near you – my re-release of Innocent ’til Proven Guilty!
**Prize alert – Comment below to win a $5 Amazon gift card! I’ll pick a winner Saturday morning.**
Now to meet my 1940’s Bad Boy, Frankie!
Is Frankie O’Carney guilty of stealing Livvy Randall’s heart – or is he guilty of murder?
Livvy Randall won’t let anything stop her chance at a journalism career in Chicago. That is until the passenger train she is riding in breaks down in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a town not much bigger than her home in Lincoln, Nebraska. She acquires a room at the Hotel Montrose where she meets the devilishly handsome Frankie O’Carney, an Irish bad boy working in maintenance at the hotel.
When Frankie is accused of murdering the wealthy H.M. Goodrich, Livvy does everything she can to clear his name. With danger at every turn, Livvy searches for answers to the questions plaguing her. Is Frankie with the quiet, brooding Poppy? Why, when the Irishman is near, does her heart beat out of control? Will she get out of Cedar Rapids and back on the train to Chicago with her heart intact? And – is Frankie really innocent…or is he guilty?
Now for an excerpt!
One lone lamp lit my hotel room. It had easily been the longest day of my life. I let go a long, sad sigh. I had been stranded in a strange town, spent more money than I had desired to stay for the night, and had been assaulted by some wild woman’s hips.
Oh. And I think I fell in love.
Tears burned my eyes again. I was trying to forget about that.
I pulled back the comforter encasing the bed and crawled beneath the sheets. I closed my eyelids tight. I wished to the depths of my soul that sleep would claim me. Because all I could think of was Frankie and his thick, black hair and his beautiful, blue eyes. I wondered what it would feel like to be wrapped in his arms.
In school, I had never been to a petting party. Truthfully, I had ridiculed the girls in my dormitory who had gone. I had told them that nothing would come from them locked tight to a young man’s lips.
Had Frankie invited me to a petting party, I would have been there in a heartbeat. I shook my head violently to dispel the thought. Frankie had a girl. It was time to get rid of him. Still, I felt another piece of my heart break.
A loud bang echoed through my room. The hopeless romantic in me was quickly replaced by the investigative reporter. I could trust her more, anyhow. I hopped out of bed, wrapped my robe over my flannel nightgown, and ventured out into the hallway.
It seemed that the noise had attracted nearly everyone. The burliest of the men congregated around the doorway not far from mine. The women and children huddled near their rooms. I squared my shoulders and stomped down the hall, weaving my way through the men.
My stomach turned at the sight. I wish I had stayed in my room.
H.M. Goodrich, the gentleman I had met earlier, lay motionless on the floor, three crimson stains blossoming rapidly against his starch white shirt. He wasn’t breathing. He was certainly dead.
Standing over him in only a pair of trousers was my Frankie. A gun dangled precariously from his right hand. He shook like a leaf in a tornado. My instincts demanded I go to comfort him. But he had just murdered—
“There he is, officer!” Vivian shrieked over the murmurs of the crowd. “That’s the man who murdered my husband!”
I watched in horror as the constable latched the heavy cuffs onto Frankie’s wrists. As I met Frankie’s terrified gaze with my own, I frowned. Something didn’t add up. I thought about my lunch in the Iowa Room. I worked past the couple to the meal Frankie ate.
My heart raced as I ran back to my room. I quickly tossed off my nightwear and redressed in the clothes I had worn earlier that day. I couldn’t waste time.
The constable had arrested the wrong man. I just needed to prove it.
A thick blanket of humidity smothered me as I ran beneath the dim light of the electric street lamps. My shoes clicked relentlessly against the pavement with each of my strides. The Cedar River rumbled beneath my feet as I crossed the bridge to the jail.
I took a moment to catch my breath before I stormed into the prison. I was stopped before I stepped two feet inside the door. I was face-to-face with the sheriff himself.
“How can I help you tonight, miss?” the burly official growled.
I squared my shoulders back and narrowed my eyes. There was no use for frivolous emotions like love right now. There was too much at stake. “I’m here to post bail for Frankie O’Carney.”
The sheriff’s laughter echoed off the walls. His deputies joined in the guffaw. It must have been the best joke they’d heard all week. I fought the snarl from my face. “Miss, Frankie O’Carney committed murder.”
“Frankie is innocent. I can prove it to you,” I insisted.
Well, that statement was far more humorous than the last. Some of the officials were even dabbing tears from their eyes at his point. “I’m sorry, Miss…”
“Olivia. Olivia Randall.” I wasn’t about to allow these buffoons the opportunity to use my preferred name.
“Miss Randall, Frankie O’Carney is as guilty as the day is long.”
I stepped up, stretching my small frame until I was nearly nose-to-nose with the sheriff. “Innocent ‘til proven guilty. Isn’t that how it goes? Or is the court system run differently here in Iowa than the rest of the U. S. of A?”
It was the sheriff’s turn to snarl. And snarl he did. “O’Carney is set to appear before the judge in the morning. Bail, if there is any, will be set then.”
“Well, I suppose I’ll see you gents in the morning.” I turned around and strode away.
My bravado deflated outside the door. The thought that Frankie had to spend the night in this dismal place broke my heart. I shuffled quietly back to the hotel.
As I stepped inside Hotel Montrose, I collided with another large body. I nearly lost my balance. I frowned as I looked up. The train conductor with whom I’d had my first disagreement with earlier that morning hovered over me.
“Well, look who we have here,” he sneered. “Good news, miss. The part we needed was in Des Moines. The engine is fixed. We leave in the morning. I expect to see your shining face in your seat at eight o’clock.”
I muttered my thanks as tears burned my eyes. Could I really give up my dreams, everything I had worked so hard to achieve, for a hellion with a girlfriend?
I already knew the answer to that question. A sob escaped my throat. How would I learn to live with my decision?
Don’t forget to check out the other awesome Tuesday Tales blogs!
Abbey glanced over her shoulder to watch the rest of the team disperse. She took a deep breath. Hopefully in a few moments she would be reunited with her daughter. Readjusting her earpiece, she waited for the word from Gordon.
“Are you all in position?” Gordon queried, his deep brogue breaking the silence.
“Yes,” Abbey answered into her microphone.
“Aye,” Sloan followed.
“Yeah,” both Bartholomew and Robert chimed in.
“Si,” Logan finished. Abbey rolled her eyes. Leave it to him to be the jokester. Logan still got giddy as a kid when they went on a mission. Must have watched too many spy movies as a kid.
“Then proceed carefully. I want you all back in one piece. Understand?”
Abbey snuck closer to the large warehouse door. Her assignment was easy and the same as with every mission – get high as possible. The men would take the fire fight on the floor. Even though she knew the primary reason she was sent up there was to keep her out of harm’s way, it gave her the best place to do what she did best, just set up her sniper rifle and disarm threats. Easy peasy.
She slipped around the door and pressed to the wall. Her eyes darted to find higher ground. Instead what she saw made her heart drop. The warehouse was deserted except for two empty cages with steel bars. The long string of curse words coming from her husband through her earpiece told her the others discovered the same thing.
“What’s going on?” Gordon demanded.
“They’re gone,” Robert reported. “No kids, no bad guys. Just two empty cages.”
“Are you certain?”
“Each of us came through every possible opening. Yeah, no one is here.”
“They got the jump on us and we have no idea where they went,” Sloan barked.
“Not necessarily,” Bartholomew answered. He slung the pack off his back and pulled out his tablet. “Let me see what I can find.”
Abbey dropped her rifle to her side as she approached the cages. Studying them, she kneeled when she caught sight of a photo lying on the floor of one. “Sloan!”
He jogged over to her. “What is it, luv?”
She picked up the photo and handed it to him. “Why is a picture of us in Sydney at the complex grand opening lying here in this cage?”
He frowned as he looked at it. “I don’t know.”
“I’ve got something,” Bartholomew interrupted as he crossed the warehouse floor to them with Robert and Logan on his heels. “According to the Sydney International Airport, the same plane that brought them here took off about a half hour before we arrived here. They’re heading to Bangkok, Thailand. I’m going to verify they really got on the plane. Sydney Airport is sending footage to me.”
“Bangkok, Thailand?” Logan questioned confused.
“The Gauntlet,” Abbey breathed.
I’m back and it’s time for Tuesday Tales! We’re back with Sloan and Abbey in Family Ties, book six of the Black Irish Series.
As Ame rounded the curve of the lake, she saw the dim outline of a white van very similar to the one she had seen at school. Cautiously she approached it, perched on the balls of her feet so she could take off running. The doors of the van flew open and four figures climbed out. The thinnest of the four was held tight by the largest two. Ame let a squeak escape her lips. Even in the dark she had no doubt it was Dakota.
“Hello, sweetheart,” Oliver cooed. The sliver of light from the full moon above illuminated the wicked sneer on his face.
“What do you want?” Ame demanded, still bouncing from the ball of one foot to the other ready to dash.
“Well you, Amelia. My client has great interest in you and your talented father.”
“Ame, run!” Dakota pleaded.
“Shut him up,” Oliver ordered over his shoulder. The biggest of the two thugs slapped a powerful hand over Dakota’s mouth. The boy moaned in response.
Ame’s eyes darted between Oliver and Dakota. “Let him go, please. I’ll come with you if you let him go.”
Dakota struggled furiously against his captors’ grip. Oliver shook his head. “Sorry, kiddo. No can do. He’s incentive for you to behave.” He pulled a pocket knife from inside his suit coat and flicked it open, grazing the blade against Dakota’s cheek. “If you’re a good girl he won’t suffer. Much.”
“Fine!” Ame burst out as tears burned her eyes. “Please, don’t hurt him.”
Oliver nodded in her direction. “Get her. Put them in the van.”
The smaller of his accomplices let go of Dakota and rushed at her. Instinctively, Ame’s feet scuttled backwards but she didn’t get far. Two strong hands wrapped tight around her arms like a vice.