December 18, 2009 at 1:47 am | Category: blog
Today (Friday, December 18), my Christmas short story is being featured at Romance: B(u)y the Book. If I posted this correctly, you should be able to click the link to visit the site.
Hope you like the story. Merry Christmas!
December 17, 2009 at 11:21 pm | Category: blog
December 10, 2009 at 11:55 am | Category: blog
Becke Martin is my pen name. Under my real name, I moderate the Mystery and Garden book clubs for Barnes & Noble, and I’m a contributing editor at Michelle Buonfiglio’s Romance: B(u)y the Book (RBTB).
Here are links to some of my blogs at RBTB:
Lisa Dale’s IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT reviewed here:
Thanksgiving – What I’m Thankful for in Romance:
Brenda Novak’s THE PERFECT MURDER reviewed here:
Helen Brenna’s NEXT COMES LOVE reviewed here:
Roxanne St. Claire’s MAKE HER PAY reviewed here:
Tawny Weber’s FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME reviewed here:
Heidi Betts’ LOVES ME, LOVES ME KNOT reviewed here:
AuthorView Interview with Heidi Betts here:
Kate Hoffman’s THE MIGHTY QUINN’S: TEAGUE reviewed here:
Hank Phillippi Ryan’s PRIME TIME reviewed here:
And watch for several more interviews and book reviews this month at Romance: B(u)y the Book.
CHRISTMAS SPECIAL! Michelle is going to feature my original Christmas short story later this month at RBTB.
December 10, 2009 at 4:52 am | Category: blog
Rule number one: don’t hurt little children.
There is no rule number two.
Ellie Jefferson’s family ties are as tight as a noose. Her husband Rich has become a stranger, and his mother Dinah is the MIL from hell. When Dinah hurts five-year-old Hannah and eight-month-old Jamie, it’s up to Ellie to save them. Rich is so desperate for his mother’s carefully guarded wealth, he won’t risk displeasing Dinah. He warns Ellie that if she leaves, it won’t be with the children.
Knowing her children are no longer safe around their grandmother, Ellie plans their escape. With the wealth and power of the Jefferson name behind them, Rich and Dinah distort the truth and put Ellie in the hands of the law. Only one person believes her – the FBI agent sent to arrest her for kidnapping and child abuse.
Some people read tea leaves or see auras – Jackson Tucker has the unique ability to scent abusers. His ‘instincts’ are never wrong. He knows Ellie is innocent, but proving it is another story. He’s determined to bring her children back safely and to see that justice is done.
As a major storm rolls in, Ellie is drawn into nightmare visions transmitted through Hannah’s eyes. She sees an odd cottage, deep in the woods, but has no clue to its location. As Jackson works with his team at the FBI to track down Rich and Dinah, Ellie tries to make sense of the words pounding at her like an insistent mantra: the witch house, the witch house. Bad things are happening there, and the danger is closing in on Ellie’s children.
Based loosely on Hansel and Gretel, THE WITCH HOUSE is a romantic suspense novel, approx. 50,000 words.
December 9, 2009 at 8:52 pm | Category: blog
Lorna stepped back and bumped into a wall – or what she thought, for a split second, was a wall.
Masculine hands caught at her waist, catching her as she lost her balance. “Mind your step, love – wouldn’t want you to fall on the tracks.”
For some reason, the innocuous words alarmed her. Lorna stiffened and pulled away, turning to face the man who spoke in that polished British accent – the accent of someone who’d been born rich enough and whose family had been in Debrett’s long enough not to worry about such nuances.
Nothing he said was the least offensive, and yet Lorna felt a quick surge of antagonism. She’d heard all kinds of accents since she arrived in England, but for some reason his just rubbed her the wrong way.
“Forgive me,” she said, knowing she didn’t sound the least apologetic. Since her mother’s death, she seemed to have lost the urge to please. It was jarring, but not altogether unwelcome, to feel so empowered. “I didn’t realize anyone was behind me.”
She managed to say it sweetly, while infusing her words with accusation. She wanted to smile at the neat trick, but when she looked up to his eyes – and up, and up – her smile faded at his intent expression. That was all it took to wipe away her self-confidence.
Lorna wasn’t much under six feet, and it was rare to find a man she could look up to. Rare and, she discovered, a bit disconcerting.
Still caught in her daydream, she realized he was dark as Bogart, and he wore a similar scowl when he ran his blue-black eyes over her in an appraising glance. She straightened her back and suddenly wished she’d applied mascara and bright red lipstick. She was no Bacall, and she felt the lack down to her unpolished toes.
Her tall British Bogart tossed down a cigarette, grinding it out with his heel in an eerie echo of her imagined vignette. She watched in morbid fascination, as if she were driving by the scene of an accident – she hadn’t seen anyone smoke a cigarette in years. He waved his hand in the air to disburse the lingering wisps of smoke, and his face broke into a ravishing smile.
Damn. Lorna sucked in her gut, annoyed at the tingling warmth his change of expression engendered. That was one killer smile, and didn’t he just know it. When he grinned, two deep dimples creased his cheeks, transforming him from a moody Bogart into a suave George Clooney. She wondered if the air was thin in St. Mary Mead, because she suddenly felt a bit light-headed.
“Well, I’ll be damned,” he said, the smile widening to show off his perfect teeth. Expensive teeth. “The beanpole grew into a beauty.”
Lorna froze. She squinted her eyes, scrutinizing the dashing, blue-jeaned star of her imaginary movie – the arrogant Brit who wore his black cashmere pullover with such panache. Dark blue eyes glittered through a fringe of black lashes as he looked her up and down.
“Lorna, isn’t it?” There was the cocky grin again. “Welcome to St. Mary Mead. Grandmother is expecting you.”
The back of her neck began to prickle. She flashed on a mental image of a younger, skinnier version of the same man, with longer hair but the same devastating eyes, and the same irritating self-assurance.
“Will?” she asked, her voice rising incredulously. “You’re Willoughby Satterthwaite?”
He bent at the waist, executing a skillful bow like generations of his ancestors before him. “The one and only.”
She shook her head, stunned. “Willoughby Satterthwaite.”
Oh, if that didn’t just take the cake. The wealthy, sophisticated teenager who had made her life miserable all those years ago, come back to haunt her.
The fact that he’d grown into an almost painfully good-looking man seemed incredibly unfair. At the very least, he should be losing his hair, but it was thick and lustrous – curse the man. There were no visible warts, and his ears didn’t stick out any more than they had when he was a bedroom-eyed sixteen-year-old – and her first-ever crush. He had teased her and taunted her, well aware of her hopeless longing.
Lorna’s eyes narrowed as she remembered the way he used to make fun of her freckles, her long, coltish legs, her flaming red hair. She moved in close as her temper sparked, and his smile flickered uncertainly in the face of her antagonism. Almost by instinct, her free hand curled into a fist and she socked him in the arm, hard.
It was like hitting a rock.
“Ouch!” She stared at her throbbing hand in disbelief. What had she done? Her mother had always said her temper would get her in trouble one day – looked like today was the day. But, oh, he really deserved it for teasing her so abominably.
Will’s eyes widened as he rubbed his arm. “I say. . .” he began, stopping when she held up a warning finger.
“That,” she said through gritted teeth, “is for kissing me, you dolt. I was thirteen, and you knew I had a crush on you.”
She’d been young and vulnerable, and he’d had no right, no right at all. She’d never forgive him for that kiss, all the more because no kiss since then had ever compared to its sweet intensity. She’d loved him with all the passion of her thirteen-year-old heart, and he’d taken pity on her. He’d kissed her, the bastard, in the worst tease of all.
Lorna had wanted him to kiss her because he found her irresistible, not because he felt sorry for her, for Pete’s sake! She had been so painfully shy – the other kids called her “Carrots” and “Ginger,” and made fun of her accent. She’d tried to hide her crush on the older boy, and when he’d sought her out after her dad died, she’d thought it was because he cared about her.
He had a lot to answer for, did Willoughby Satterthwaite.
“Aaah.” He nodded slowly. “That kiss.”
Will gave her a speculative look, then ruffled her hair, exactly – exactly – as he used to do when she was young, and it infuriated her even more. If he said one word about her freckles, she would eviscerate him. “Well, I guess you owed me then, Bean.” He scooped up her bag and looked around for the rest of her luggage.
That was it? No recriminations? No demands for an apology? She couldn’t believe he’d let her get away with that punch. Maybe the English were as cold as they were reputed to be.