FREE Pre-Release Copy; Adult Romantic Suspense

My second book in the DENVER AFTER DARK Romantic Suspense Series, CRIES IN THE NIGHT, will be released in early October.  Book #1, AFTER MIDNIGHT

  • Was a finalist in The Best Indie Book of 2013 competition and
  • Garnered 3rd place in the Readers’ Favorite competition for 2013.

I am looking for readers of adult suspense who are interested in receiving a FREE copy in exchange for a review. Here’s the blurb followed by chapter #1.

Interested? EMail me at kathy@nightwriter93.com If not please share this blog.

Thank you, Kathy

CRIES IN THE NIGHT 09012013

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CRIES IN THE NIGHT

Who saves a hero?

Julie Lawrence is a Victim’s Advocate for the Denver PD. Her job is to help people deal with their darkest moments.

Rusty Wilson is a firefighter with a reputation for working hard and playing harder. He meets Julie while he is trying to save a burning house and she is protecting a battered wife. Their love affair starts in the heat of passion and ends when he finds out her secrets.

A stalker is out to kill her. In her line of work, there are a lot of people who want her dead. Rusty joins forces with her to figure it out before it’s too late.

Someone is watching . . . and waiting. Julie has dedicated herself to saving other people. Who’s going to save her?

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CHAPTER ONE

 The back door slammed with such force that the small house shuddered.  In the back bedroom the woman froze in front of the ironing board, the iron paused in mid-air.  Steam poured out of the holes with a hiss, but she didn’t notice.  Instead her gaze raced across the room and met the wide eyes of her son who had been playing with Matchbox cars.

He dropped the tiny red Matchbox car he had been holding and scuttled backward, disappearing under the bed.  No words had been spoken, but he knew the drill.  This wasn’t his first rodeo.  He had learned early that out of sight also meant out of the line of fire.

The woman wasn’t so lucky.

Heavy, quick footsteps signaled his approach down the hallway.  Her heart pounded in her chest, and she realized she hadn’t taken a breath since he had entered the house.  She exhaled slowly, trying to calm her nerves and steel herself for the battle ahead.  Even before she saw his face, she knew he was angry . . . at her, at his son, at his boss, at life.  It didn’t really matter.  He always came home to share his dissatisfaction with her.

“Where the hell is he?”  The man wasn’t large, but when he was in one of his moods, he seemed to expand in size until his presence filled the doorway.

“Who?” she managed to ask, struggling to keep her expression under control.  For some reason, it made him angrier if she showed fear even though her legs were trembling.

He threw his car keys at her.  She tried to dodge, but the unexpected movement and her own swollen bulk slowed her.  The keys smashed into her left cheek, then fell to the floor.

“You know who.  That piece of shit kid.  He left his goddamn sled in the driveway and I ran over it.  Twenty bucks.  Trashed.  I work hard and get paid shit.  And he just throws his toys around.”

“He’s usually really careful . . .”

He cut her off.   “Didn’t he go to school today?”

“They had a teacher’s workday.”

“Then he has no excuse for not bringing in the garbage cans.”

“It was snowing too hard.”

“Not too hard for him to play.”  He kicked the basket of laundry against the wall.  “You fuckin’ baby him too much.”

“He’s only six.”  She knew that arguing only made him angrier, but her motherly instinct was to defend her young.

The man’s dark gaze raked the room before focusing on the abandoned Matchbox cars.  His nostrils flared and he moved toward the bed, knowing it was the most likely hiding place.

“No!” the woman cried.  “Leave him alone.”  She reached out to grab him, but he swung his arm to fend her off as if he was swatting away an annoying insect.  She reacted by striking back.  Unfortunately, the iron was still clenched in her hand.  The hot surface landed flat against his forearm and the back of his hand.  Steam oozed out of the holes as the skin sizzled.

With a guttural roar, he jerked back as quickly as possible and looked down at the arced-shaped blisters that had already bubbled up.  Like an enraged bull in the ring distracted by the matador’s cape, he turned his attention back to her.

“What the fuck?”  He knocked the iron out of her hand and grabbed the front of her sweater in his meaty fist and pulled her forward, over the ironing board which clattered to the floor.  Her feet scrambled to keep upright as he dragged her over the metal legs.

“I . . . I’m . . . sorry, Carlos.  I didn’t mean to . . .”

He silenced her with a punch so hard that her teeth rattled.  Momentarily dazed, she didn’t struggle as he slammed her back against the door frame.  Her head cracked against the wood and she could feel the sharp edges biting into her back.  She didn’t fight back as he hit her again and again.  She knew she deserved this.  If she hadn’t hit him with the iron, he wouldn’t have come at her like this.  The skin over her eye slit under his knuckles, and she could feel the warm flow of blood pour down her face.  But as bad as it hurt, she knew it was nothing like the pain he was feeling from the burn.  So she let him take it out on her.  She owed him that.

It wasn’t until his blows moved lower that her defense mechanism got its second wind.  His fist buried into her breast.  Swollen from the imminent birth of her baby, the pain shot through her like a lightning bolt.  He drew back and would have landed a blow in her expanded abdomen, but she collapsed, trying in the only way she knew how to defend her unborn baby.  He released his hold on her sweater, but instead of stepping away, he kicked her.

She curled her body in a protective shell, putting all the flesh and bone she could between his steel-toed boot and her stomach.  He kicked her again and again, cursing her with words that burned her soul as much as her ears.  Finally, she blacked out.

A child’s scream woke her.  She struggled to open her eyes, but one was swollen shut.

“Mama, mama!” the little boy cried.

Her hands slid in the puddles of blood on the floor as she struggled to push into a sitting position.  Her blood.  She could see it staining the white yarn of her sweater.  In the back of her mind was the abstract thought that that was her favorite sweater, and now it was probably ruined.  She had so few clothes that still fit.

Her son’s small hands wrapped around her wrist and she stifled a scream as he pulled.   Pains shot up and down her arm telling her it was probably either broken or badly bruised.  Her brain struggled through the fog as she tried to remember where she was and why she was bleeding and aching all over.

Carlos!  She straightened and tried to look around.  Was he hurting Mattie?  Her son seemed to sense her fears and with a maturity well beyond his years, he comforted her.

“He’s gone.  But he hurt you,” he told her.

“I’m okay,” she lied, trying, as always, to protect him from the truth.  But this was worse than the last time which had been worse than the time before that which had been worse than the time before.  She could remember them all.  In a twisted measure of time, each marked a new ending and a new beginning of sorts.  She had never doubted that she had done something wrong to deserve his anger, and she had never doubted she would survive.  This time, she wasn’t so sure.

A searing pain, much deeper than all the others pierced through her, starting deep in her stomach and radiating out.  She heard another scream and was surprised that it had come from her mouth.

“Mama . . .?”  Mattie’s voice was terrified.

The room began to swirl around her, and her vision blurred.  Another pain doubled her over and she slid back to the floor.

HER CELL PHONE began ringing as she juggled the bag of groceries in one arm and inserted the key into her back door lock.

“Hold on, hold on, hold on . . .,” she chanted as she hurried inside, dropped the bag on the table and pulled her phone out of her purse.

“This is Julie,” she spoke into the small receiver.

“We’ve got a domestic and fire at 238 W. Maple Ave.,” the voice recited crisply.

“I heard it on my scanner.”  As she spoke, Julie held the phone against her ear with her shoulder and jotted down the address on a piece of unopened mail.  “I’m on my way.”

“I’ll notify the officers on scene.  What’s your ETA?”

“I’m pretty close.  I’ll be there in ten.”

The line clicked off and Julie let the phone slide off her shoulder and into her hand.  She grabbed the perishable items out of the bag and tossed them into the freezer or onto a shelf in the refrigerator and left the rest of the items away when she got back.  She hadn’t even had time to take off her coat, so she picked up her keys, checked to make sure her billfold was still in her pocket and left.  She didn’t bother taking the address with her.  She knew it by heart.  She had been there before.

Less than ten minutes later, she found a parking space several houses down.  It had been snowing off and on all day, and it had picked up again just before she arrived.  Julie looped her scarf around her neck, buttoned her coat up, pulled on her gloves and got out of her car.  A ladder truck and a pumper were parked directly in front of the house and their hoses snaked across the snow.  The generators rumbled, the radios crackled with sporadic chatter and the firemen shouted back and forth to each other as they focused a steady stream of water on the blaze that had gobbled up the right side of the house.

Julie quickened her pace, as quickly as she dared on the icy sidewalk that was made worse by the steady flow of water that was draining from the house.   An ambulance was at the end of the driveway.  The back doors were open, but the stretcher was out.

“Hey Julie.  Sorry to get you out on a night like this,” one of the cops said as he approached her.  He flipped his little spiral notebook closed and tucked it into the breast pocket of his shirt.

“Is she alive?”  Julie held her breath, afraid of the answer.

“Barely.  He beat the shit out of her again.”

“No surprise there.  Why can’t you guys put him away for good?”

The cop shrugged.  “She always bails him out.”

“I thought she had a restraining order against him.”

“She does.  But an RO is only paper.  It doesn’t stop fists.”

Two paramedics pushed the stretcher down the driveway from the house.  A thin blanket covered the woman’s prone body.  Her young son walked beside it, his hand on his mom’s arm, a gesture that was probably reassuring for both of them.  It wasn’t until she got closer that Julie noticed the advanced term mound showing the woman was pregnant.

“Oh my God,” Julie cried and hurried over to the stretcher.

The woman looked up at her . . . or tried to.  Her swollen and battered eyes clearly hampered her vision, but she was able to recognize Julie.  An expression flashed across her face, one that was part embarrassment and part happiness to see someone she knew.  “Julie . . . I know what you’re thinking . . . don’t be mad at me,” she said in a voice that shook with pain.

“Gloria, you don’t have to apologize to me . . . or to him,” Julie rushed to calm her.  She gently took the woman’s hand and walked next to the stretcher as the two paramedics struggled pushing it through several inches of snow and over the shattered remains of a sled.

“He didn’t mean to hurt me,” the woman told her.

Like hell he didn’t, Julie thought, but aloud she said, “How do you feel?”

Gloria lifted her other hand that already had an IV attached and rubbed her belly.  “Not so good, but I’m most worried about my baby.”

Julie looked up at one of the paramedics and he shrugged.  “They’re going to do everything they can to help you both,” she told the woman.

“I burned him with the iron.  That’s why he got so mad,” Gloria continued, anxious that Julie know why the event had happened.

“You need to focus on yourself and your baby,” Julie spoke soothingly.  “I’ll stay with Mattie until someone comes.  Have you called your mother?”

Gloria’s turned her head as if afraid of being overheard.  “No, would you do that for me?  Her number is in my phone . . . you know, the one you gave me.  It’s hidden in the laundry room.  Mattie will show you.”  She tried to give her son a smile, but she could manage only a stiff grimace.

The little boy looked at Julie and nodded shyly.

“We’ve got to go,” the female paramedic said as the stretcher reached the ambulance.  She and her partner prepared the stretcher for loading and Julie reached out for Mattie’s hand.

“Only my mother,” Gloria pleaded, twisting around and leaning toward Julie.  “Don’t let him go with anyone else.  Promise me.”

“Don’t worry about him.  I promise I won’t leave him until your mother comes for him,” Julie assured her, and Gloria relaxed back against the cushion.  The two women weren’t long-time friends or even acquaintances.  Their relationship had started almost two years ago when Julie had responded to a domestic call.  That one hadn’t resulted in hospitalization.  But it had been the first in several similar events that had created a trust great enough that Gloria knew she could leave Mattie in her care.

Mattie trembled but didn’t pull his hand away as he watched his mother being loaded into the ambulance.  The red and blue lights bounced off the surrounding trees and houses, magnified by the stark whiteness of the snow and turning the still-falling snowflakes into confetti.  Julie looked down at the little boy whose gaze followed the twinkling lights as they disappeared down the street.  She realized he wasn’t wearing a coat.  She unbuttoned her own coat, took it off and knelt down in front of Mattie.  Even though it was much too large and drug on the ground, he burrowed gratefully into the warmth of the wool.  Shivers of cold and lingering fear shook his tiny body.  “They’re going to take good care of your mama.  But right now we need to call your grandma.  Can you tell me your mom’s secret hiding place?”

“It’s in the house,” he told her, then lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper.  “In the smelly things.”

Smelly things?  Her mind scrambled for what that might mean.  “Dirty clothes?” she asked.

“No, the good smelly things.  You know, the ones with the little bear on the box,” he whispered back.

“Dryer sheets?”

He nodded.

Julie looked around.  Apparently the fire was out.  Smoke no longer billowed from the roof, and the firemen were straightening out the hoses in preparation of rolling them back up.  One of the firemen walked out of the house with an axe swung over his shoulder.  She lifted her hand and waved at him.  She recognized him from several other fires she had been called out to.

He must have noticed because he walked toward them.  He was tall, well over six feet.  Dressed in full firefighting uniform, he looked big and menacing, sort of like an urban alien.  Steam radiated from his long black coat and the top of his dark helmet.  He had an air canister strapped on his back, but he had unfastened his respirator and it hung off to one side.  His face was smudged with a layer of carbon, marked with paths where sweat and water had dripped down.  After giving Julie a crooked grin, he swung the axe down to the ground and knelt down in front of Mattie, as if he knew what an imposing sight he must be.

“You must be Matthew,” he said to him.  “I saw some amazing drawings on the refrigerator.  I was hoping I would get to meet the artist.  Were those yours?”

Mattie nodded solemnly, but Julie could see that he was flattered.

“And that must have been your room with the race car posters.”

Again Mattie nodded.  “Did my room burn up?”

“No, we were able to stop the fire before it got to your room.  But I’m afraid some of your things got a little wet and are going to smell like smoke.”

“How about my baseball cap?  The doctor people made me leave so fast I didn’t get it.”

The fire fighter said, “Oh yeah, I remember seeing a couple caps in there.  They’ll be fine.”  He took off his helmet and held it out to Mattie.  “Maybe you’d like to wear my hat.”

Mattie’s brown eyes stretched wide.  “Oh yes, sir.”

The man set the hat on the boy’s much smaller head and it settled down to cover his ears and his face all the way down to his nose.  Instead of taking it off, Mattie lifted his chin and looked out from underneath it.  But most noticeable was the twitch of a smile that softened his tense lips.

The fire fighter stood and turned his attention to Julie.  He pushed the heavy cloth hood off his head, revealing rumpled dark brown hair.  As he looked at her, she was struck by the clarity of his bright blue eyes.

“You’re Julie, aren’t you?” he asked.

She was a little surprised that he knew her name because they had never actually spoken.  But she wasn’t exactly a stranger to any of the public responders because she or one of her volunteers showed up at all of the more serious crime scenes.  “Yes, I am.  And you’re . . .?”

“Rusty,” he answered and pointed toward his last name the was printed on his jacket as he added, “Wilson.  I’m sure you know my younger brothers.”

“Oh, so you’re that Wilson,” Julie teased.  She was very well acquainted with his brothers.  Sam was a Denver cop who she worked with often, and Chris, the youngest, was a paramedic.  He wasn’t one of the ones on scene tonight, but their paths had crossed often in the course of their jobs.

He held up hands.  “Whoa, you can’t believe everything you hear about me.”

“Why do you assume it’s all bad?” she asked.

“Because I’ll admit to some of it.  But they like to exaggerate my . . .”  He grinned.  “Transgressions.”

Julie shrugged.  This was not a point she wanted to debate in the middle of a snowy night when she was without a coat.  “I was just wondering if someone could take me inside for a minute.  I need to get some of Mattie’s things and . . . well, something else.”

“Sure, I’ll take you in, but he needs to stay out here.”  Rusty called over one of the other firemen.  “Jackson, would you hang with my friend Matthew for a few minutes?”

Jackson who had just finished shutting off the hydrant and screwing the cap back on, nodded and knelt down next to Mattie.  “Hey buddy.  My name is Jackson.  Do you mind keeping me company while they go get some of your clothes.”

Mattie nodded, solemn again.  But his gaze followed Julie.

“Don’t let anyone take him away, okay?” she asked Jackson.

“Got cha,” Jackson confirmed.

After giving Mattie a reassuring pat on the head, she turned to follow Rusty.

“Don’t forget my cap,” Mattie called after her.

“I won’t,” she called back.

“Watch your step,” Rusty cautioned.  He took a flashlight out of his utility belt and turned it on.  Apparently, the electricity was off, and the dark house took on a sinister spook house sort of feeling as they stepped over the threshold and into the smoldering interior.  “The fire didn’t make it to this part of the house, but the back two bedrooms are pretty much gone.”

“Any idea what caused it?” she asked as she followed directly behind him, keeping her hand on his back because she couldn’t see anything outside the beam of his light.

“Looks like an iron on the carpet.  But the investigators will find out for sure.”

They picked their way along the soggy carpet of the hallway.  Even though the flames hadn’t made it into the hallway, the sheetrock was damp and there was a heavy, acrid smell that burned her lungs.  When they arrived at Mattie’s room, she hurried to collect a few items of clothing, including his Little League baseball cap that was sitting on his chest of drawers.  She also scooped up the stuffed monkey that held an obvious position of importance on his pillow and stuffed it all into his Cars backpack.

“We need to get out of here,” Rusty reminded her.

“I have one more thing,” she told him.  “Did you happen to notice a laundry room?”

“Not in this part of the house.  Maybe off the kitchen?”  He led the way back down the hall and across the small living room to the kitchen.  Sure enough, in the mud room that led outside was a small stackable washer and dryer that had probably been one of Gloria’s prized possessions.  But Julie had eyes only for the box of Snuggle dryer sheets on the shelf next to it.

“Really?” Rusty asked when he saw her pick it up.

She didn’t answer, but pulled out the sheets until she reached the bottom of the box.  Nestled there, just as Mattie had told her was the emergency cell phone she had given Gloria the last time Julie had been called out to this house.  She was glad to see that Gloria had listened to her cautions to hide the phone in a safe place where Carlos wouldn’t find it because Gloria clearly hadn’t paid any attention to Julie’s other advice.  Julie held up the phone so he could see it, then followed him out the back door and back to the driveway.

Once back outside, she took deep, cleansing breathes of the crisp cold air.  “I don’t know how you guys do it,” she admitted to Rusty.

He flashed her a grin, his teeth looking incredibly white against his soot-blackened face.  “Are you kidding?  I’d do this even if they didn’t pay me.  But don’t tell anyone.”

Julie flipped open the phone, turned it on and watched as it booted up.  “Hey thanks,” she told him.

“No problem.”  His expression sobered.  “You do good work, you know.  They need someone like you to help them after all this.”  He motioned around them at the devastation.  Yes, they had saved most of the house, but the smoke and the water had ruined much of what the flames hadn’t consumed.  These people had lost a lot, if not all they had, and they would need all the help they could get.

“Hey Wilson.  We’re ready to roll,” the captain called and gave Julie a wave of acknowledgement.

She and Rusty walked back to where Mattie and Jackson waited.  He reached down and lifted his heavy helmet off of the boy’s head.  “Thank you for taking care of my helmet for me.  It looks good on you, but I’m going to need it in case I have to go to another fire tonight.”

“Sure,” Mattie said with pride at having accomplished something so apparently important.

“Maybe you can get your mom to bring you by the fire station sometime when she feels better,” Rusty suggested.  “I’ll give you a tour and let you sit in a fire truck.”

“Really?  Wow, okay,” Mattie agreed.

Rusty looked back at Julie.  “And I’ll see around.”

“Yeah, we seem to hang out at the same places.”  She smiled.  “Thanks again.”  She nodded her head toward Mattie, indicating that his kindness toward the little boy hadn’t gone unnoticed.

Rusty dismissed it with a shrug, but he gave her another grin as he put his helmet back on and headed toward the waiting fire truck.

“Julie, we’re finished here, too,” the police officer who had been standing nearby talking to the captain told her.

“We can sit in my car and wait for his grandmother,” she suggested, but the officer shook his head.

“I can’t leave you here.  It’s still a hot scene.”

Julie glanced around, suddenly nervous.  “You mean he’s not in custody?” she asked while being careful to keep the conversation as neutral as possible.

“He was gone when we arrived, but you can bet he’ll come back.”

She shivered, not just because of the cold that was penetrating her heavy sweater.  She had never actually met Carlos, but she had seen his handiwork on at least three occasions.  “Let me make a quick call to his grandmother so she can be on her way.”  She went to the contacts’ list.  There were only two numbers in it.  Gloria’s mother and Julie’s cell phone.  Even though she had encouraged Gloria to call her if Carlos came back, it was now clear that that hadn’t happened.  She clicked on the word “Mom” and put the phone to her ear.

It rang five times before a sleepy voice answered, “Hello.”

Julie turned away so Mattie couldn’t hear the conversation as she gave Gloria’s mother a quick summary of the evening’s events.  “I’m taking Mattie to the police station, and we’ll wait for you there.”  She gave the woman the address, and after getting her confirmation, she hung up.

“Okay, Mattie, we’re going to get to ride in a police car.  Have you ever done that before?”

He shook his head, but there was a spark of excitement in his eyes.

“But first, I’m going to trade you coats,” she told him.  She released his parka from his backpack where she had clipped it and handed it to him.  He took off her coat, and they exchanged them.  She welcomed the warmth as she slipped her arms into the sleeves and buttoned it up.  Mattie had a little trouble with his zipper, so she helped him get it started, then reached into the backpack and pulled out his cap.  The first genuine smile of the night spread across his face as he put it on and tugged it into position.  She didn’t even need a voiced “thanks” because his expression said it all.

The police officer unlocked the doors of his cruiser and opened the backdoor for them.  Julie glanced back at her white Kia that was parked down the street.  She knew it was city policy that she not carry civilians in her personal vehicle, and she had promised not to leave Mattie’s side until his grandmother arrived.  That left her no choice but to ride with him in the cruiser to the station.  She would worry about getting a ride back to pick it up later.  Since the grandmother lived in Longmont, it would take her over an hour to get dressed and drive to the station.

The spotlights that had illuminated the scene switched off as the fire trucks prepared to leave.  With only the red and blue emergency lights still flashing, the night seemed darker and the shadows deeper.  Julie glanced around.  She had the uncomfortable feeling that Carlos was there, out of sight, but watching as she took his son away from him, hopefully forever.  She shivered again and silently urged Mattie to hurry up.  She wanted to be inside the safety of the cruiser.

As soon as he was inside, she climbed in after him and tried not to notice the telltale smell of urine and vomit that usually clung in the air of the back seats of all the cruisers.  It had been a long day and was turning out to be a long night.  But she, like Rusty, loved her job and would rather be here than any place she’d ever been.  Only she knew how desperate she was to never go back.
.

READERS’ FAVORITE on AFTER MIDNIGHT

The Readers’ Favorite organization provides a very credible and professional service for readers and authors by conducting reviews of books.  You can find them on the web at http://www.readersfavorite.com.

For 2013 we submitted two books for award consideration and in the past we have also received reviews outside the competitive process.

One of the books entered was AFTER MIDNIGHT, book #1 in the Denver After Dark Suspense series and it won 3rd place!

Here’s is the review and the book can be found on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/AFTER-MIDNIGHT-Denver-Suspense-ebook/dp/B009CGO8N8 and for the Nook on Barnes & Noble at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/after-midnight-a-denver-after-dark-suspense-kathy-clark/1116872311?ean=2940148410812

AFTER MIDNIGHT REVISED
Book Review
Readers\' Favorite Book Contest Award WinnerReviewed by Samantha Rivera for Readers’ FavoriteSo what do two cops, two actors and a reporter have to do with each other? Absolutely everything. In this fast-paced crime drama (with plenty of romance thrown in) you’ll find all five and they will definitely surprise you with their antics. The story of a struggling actress desperate to make it no matter what and a cop who gives his all for the job has many strange twists you wouldn’t see coming. Not only that but the action is enough to keep you turning pages for as long as it takes you to finish the book.I really liked the way the author was able to make the characters come alive. With so much happening throughout the book the author still managed to make each character have their own personality and their own thoughts. The lead-ins from one point-of-view to the other were very smooth so that it was easy to understand who was talking and who was thinking what at any given time. I thought that Kate and Sam definitely made a great impression and they were very relatable characters. In this story not everyone is who you thought they were and they do not fall into the stereotypes either. Each character is distinctly different from what probably popped into your mind when I rattled off the career paths. In fact, the bad guy is someone you would never suspect. But of course I don’t want to give too much away. Suffice it to say that I’m definitely interested in reading the next book in this series.

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Here’s a few additional thought about the Readers’ Favorite organization.

Readers’ Favorite is the recipient of the “Honoring Excellence” and “Best Websites for Authors” awards by the Association of Independent Authors, and are members of the National Book Critics Circle and the National Education Association.

Awards and Logos

Readers’ Favorite has been awarded the Association
of Independent Authors Honoring Excellence award, which
recognizes businesses and organizations that offer exceptional
products and services for independent authors.
Association of Independent Authors
Readers’ Favorite donates many of the books we review to the following charities, along with annual financial donations. We make sure your book and some of the money you spend on our site is used to bring comfort and aid to those in need.

Donation Partners

On behalf of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,
and especially on behalf of the children and their
families, we want to thank Readers’ Favorite and its
authors for your kindness and generosity.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Change The Past, Save The Future…now it cost less!

That sums up the first three books in the see you later CUL8R Time Travel Mystery Series.  The series continues to garner first place and finalists awards from many of the world’s book competitions and over 95% of the people who have left reviews gave the book a 5 STAR rating out of 5.

I have now combined all three books into a single eBook, unabridged of course.  The linkis on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/TRAVEL-MYSTERY-Collection-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00ECNTS1S/

Here’s the cover followed by each book’s blurb.

COLLECTION CUL8R 080513 amazon
Book #1, OMG [Oh My God]

WINNER OF BEST INDIE BOOK OF 2013! Finalist in the 2013 Beverly Hills Book Awards! This is book #1 of the series. Book #2, BRB published in April, 2013.

Kelly, a teenager from Texas has recently been orphaned and sent to live in Florida with her aunt Jane, a busy lawyer. Right away Kelly meets her tall, nerdy neighbor Scott, and they bond over a shared love of a video games and a mysterious gadget they find in Aunt Jane’s garage.

The gadget turns out to be a lost invention of Thomas Edison’s called the “Telephone to the Dead”. The mystery begins when Scott gets the Spirit Radio to work and a girl named Wendy comes through, pleading for help . . . from beyond the grave. Is Wendy a ghost? And if she didn’t kill herself, who did? Kelly, Scott and his best friend Austin must find a way to go back to 1966 to help her . . . without getting killed.

Book #2 BRB [Be Right Back]

One of three finalists in the 2013 Reader’s Favorite being awarded 9//13

“It’s difficult to investigate a crime that hasn’t happened yet.”

Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey have just returned from changing a girl’s life in 1966 and are a little battered and bruised from their adventure. But when a small voice pleads for their help to save her family from a murderer, they know they must respond.

They research the story, but there is very little information to be found. All they know is that it takes place on Crystal Key, a small private island off the Florida Keys. Since it appears to be deserted, they decide to pop in, gather clues, then pop back. It was a good excuse to spend a lazy day on a beautiful beach.
But from the first step, their journey back to 1980 goes horribly wrong. The area is crawling with drug traffickers and tens of thousands of refugees fleeing Cuba. They meet the young girl and her family, but their intervention puts them in the direct path of the killer.

Can they find out who he is in time to save the girl, her family . . . and themselves? Or are they destined to be a madman’s latest victims?

Book #3 BION [Believe It Or Not]

Can she give up everything she has in the present for true love in the past?

Believe it or Not . . . “Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls …welcome to the best entertainment money can buy, the Maxwell Brothers Circus!”

Four high school friends are able to do two things no one else on the planet can do . . . talk with dead people and time travel to that past.

As they slowly turn the dial of their Spirit Radio Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey hear hundreds of sad, lonely voices of souls that have passed but apparently never moved on, pleading for help.

A young woman asks them to find her twin brother Jesse who had run away to the circus in 1927, then disappeared and was never heard from again. Going back and living with a circus sounds like fun. Plus an old book provides a glimpse into the past . . . as well as a photo of Jesse.

They discover that circus life is not all glamour and fun; it’s a lot of hard work. As usual, they jump in and quickly find jobs, places to sleep and new friends. But most importantly, they find Jesse. Now all they have to do is keep him alive.

For Zoey, it’s love at first sight. If they are successful and save his life, will she be able to let him go?

A Writer Looks Back On July, What’s Up In August, What’s Free And What’s Coming

Actually not just “a” writer but me!  BIG difference.

The highlight this month was the release on the 25th of book #3 of the Time Travel Mystery series CUL8R [Please be cool and pronounce it see you later…not CUL8R].  Book #3 is title BION so call it Believe It Or Not and not BION…please.  Our time travelers slip back to 1927 where the challenges of solving a mystery are greatly expanded  when you’re only 16 years old.  Here’s the blurb for BION:

BION 071613 Amazon final

Can she give up everything she has in the present for true love in the past?

Believe it or Not . . . “Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls …welcome to the best entertainment money can buy, the Maxwell Brothers Circus!”  

Four high school friends are able to do two things no one else on the planet can do . . . talk with dead people and time travel to that past. 

As they slowly turn the dial of their Spirit Radio Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey hear hundreds of sad, lonely voices of souls that have passed but apparently never moved on, pleading for help. 

A young woman asks them to find her twin brother Jesse who had run away to the circus in 1927, then disappeared and was never heard from again.  Going back and living with a circus sounds like fun.  Plus an old book provides a glimpse into the past . . . as well as a photo of Jesse.

They discover that circus life is not all glamour and fun; it’s a lot of hard work.  As usual, they jump in and quickly find jobs, places to sleep and new friends.  But most importantly, they find Jesse.  Now all they have to do is keep him alive.

For Zoey, it’s love at first sight.  If they are successful and save his life, will she be able to let him go?  

The major awards won by book #1, OMG [Oh My God] and #2, BRB [Be Right Back] really bolstered my to turn out a great time travel mystery with book #3.  Here’s a sample of some of the five star reviews [all 5 stars so far] on BION [Check them out on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Believe-Travel-Mystery-Romance-ebook/dp/B00E5141ZK/

REVIEW SAMPLE #1

Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey are back again, and the spirit radio is still connecting them with the past. This time it’s the 1920’s. The Golden Era. But not Gatsby’s Golden Era, the kids travel back to the site of a traveling circus and embroil themselves in the fun and danger of the Show folk’s scene. This book in the CUL8R series is as vibrant and interesting as the other I have read. The characters are regular kids, well fleshed out and realistic. I’m reminded of the Trixie Bell series of my childhood, but the kids in THIS series are fresh and updated for today’s generation. You will love reading this book to it’s exciting conclusion. All the kids came through their last adventure with bruises and scrapes and indeed, Kelly got shot!I wasn’t let down in the drama department with this installment either! These are no wimpy kids stories, but fast paced and well written adventure stories for everybody! I love them!

REVIEW SAMPLE #2

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Well, I liked it so much, I’m going to buy and read the first two books in the series! My 13 year old will also enjoy reading these as well.
The story was well written, with very likeable characters, and the whole theme of normal, everyday people using their heads to solve problems, and overcome danger was great! Its a good message to put out there for our young generation, and a good read.

REVIEW SAMPLE #3

I have read all three of the CUL8R Time Travel Mystery Series by Bob Kat and I absolutely love the latest book BION -Believe it or Not. Follow Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey on another adventure, 1927 Maxwell Brother’s Circus. Bob Kat delivers yet another great piece with fully developed characters, enchanting storyline and unsurpassed description. I read the entire book in one setting – I simply couldn’t put it down!

REVIEW SAMPLE #4
Even if you have not read the two previous titles in this series, you will love the storyline of BION. The author has a knack for writing captivating stories. Sci-fi fans and young adults will love the series. I was captivated from the first paragraph on. I can’t wait to read the next book in this fantastic series!

REVIEW SAMPLE #5

I love a good book with some heavy emphasis on time travel themes and this one definitely satisfied all my needs with it’s own unique twists. The writing is very high quality and stays at a consistent and entertaining approach from start to finish. The characters are very original and all have just the right amount of substance with a solid background, this combined with the great writing really ended up making this book of my favorites that I have read in the genre. There are some classical elements that can be compared to some other books but they all have their own unique style to them, the book is refreshingly new and the author has managed to successfully keep up a captivating pace from front to back.

…and there are more!

I also gave away in July copies of several books so I could introduce readers to my writing.  And I love how readers respond to a well written book.  AFter every giveaway comes orders to buy the book.

Here’s what I gave away in July…

ANGEL OF MERCY 062913 amazon

BION 071613 Amazon final

CODY'S LAST STAND 062913 amazon

Count Your Blessings 062913 amazon

TEACHERS PET 062913 amazon

and the last one, Teacher’s Pet, is free through the end of the day today, 7/31/13!

Planned for August are 7 titles...6 back list hard to find romances that sold 100,000s of copies globally.  Thank you Harlequin for the opportunity to write for you and for my digital rights back!  And a New Adult Romance based on a true story. Millions were impacted by this story and that is probably an understatement. 

August is a vacation opportunity with our very best friends in the world and chance to see our five boys [actually young men].

Writing wise working on …

  • book #2 in the Denver After Dark suspense series with Cries In The Night and
  • Bob is writing the first draft of the first book in the New Adult Romantic Suspense series, Scandals.

We’ll chat later.  Catch book #1 in the CUL8R Time Travel Mystery Series, OMG, on sale on Amazon for 8/2 – 8/8 for $0.99 for the ebook and the paperback version will be dropped in price to $10.99 US.

Adios from Austin…where it’s cooling down to 100!  NOT.

New Book Release…an opportunity to become a part of it and save money

Well the long process of launching my new book will be over in just more eleven days.  This started a month before the book was actually completed but probably should have started earlier.

Before I get too far…if you want a free, pre-release ARC of the book the last week of the month please leave you email address in your comments.  Let me know if a PDF would work okay for you.  All I ask in exchange for a free book is you review on Amazon on or after July 31st of my latest book.

The Book is BION, for believe it or not, and is book #3 in the CUL8R [See you later] Time Travel Mystery Series.  BION will be released on July 31, 2013.

BION 071613 Amazon final

The series was developed to change the young adult – new adult market book, film and TV markets away from books being zombie, magician, comic book and super-hero driven.  Instead everyday men/boys and women/girls, ages 15 to 19, who can through their own energy and talent, outwit, out work and outlast the forces of evil to solve the problems of their time and age.  The heroes of the stories are so everyday teens they could be the readers and vice-versa. The placement of the problem to be solved in another time in the past adds to the risk, humor and learning that had to take place.

The first book, OMG, was released in late 2012, and was named The Best Indie Book of 2013 for Young Adult Fiction and was a Finalist in the Beverly Hills Book Awards.  The initial time travel tip was back to 1966 to investigate and right the wrongs of adult who was involved in the reported suicide of the high school student Wendy. The Amazon link is http://www.amazon.com/CUL8R-Time-Travel-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00AF2Q30E/ The current ranking for 27 reviews is a 4.9 out of 5 stars!

OMG eBook 3

BLURB-

WINNER OF BEST INDIE BOOK OF 2013! Finalist in the 2013 Beverly Hills Book Awards! This is book #1 of the series. Book #2, BRB published in April, 2013.

Kelly, a teenager from Texas has recently been orphaned and sent to live in Florida with her aunt Jane, a busy lawyer. Right away Kelly meets her tall, nerdy neighbor Scott, and they bond over a shared love of a video games and a mysterious gadget they find in Aunt Jane’s garage.

The gadget turns out to be a lost invention of Thomas Edison’s called the “Telephone to the Dead”.  The mystery begins when Scott gets the Spirit Radio to work and a girl named Wendy comes through, pleading for help . . . from beyond the grave. Is Wendy a ghost? And if she didn’t kill herself, who did? Kelly, Scott and his best friend Austin must find a way to go back to 1966 to help her . . . without getting killed.

The second book, BRB [Be Right Back], was released in April, 2013 and is one of three finalists in the Reader’s Choice Awards for 2013.  The awards will be given out on 9/1/13.  Their second trip to the past was to 1980 and they get caught up in the Cuban refugee and South Florida drug wars as they attempt to help out a young girl and her family. The Amazon link is http://www.amazon.com/CUL8R-Time-Travel-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00C8SK9JO/ The current ranking for 14 reviews is a 5.0 out of 5 stars!

BRB eBook Cover 2

BLURB-

Book #2 in the award winning CUL8R series! Book #1 OMG was named the Best Indie Book of 2013.

“It’s difficult to investigate a crime that hasn’t happened yet.”

Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey have just returned from changing a girl’s life in 1966 and are a little battered and bruised from their adventure. But when a small voice pleads for their help to save her family from a murderer, they know they must respond.

They research the story, but there is very little information to be found. All they know is that it takes place on Crystal Key, a small private island off the Florida Keys. Since it appears to be deserted, they decide to pop in, gather clues, then pop back. It was a good excuse to spend a lazy day on a beautiful beach.
But from the first step, their journey back to 1980 goes horribly wrong. The area is crawling with drug traffickers and tens of thousands of refugees fleeing Cuba. They meet the young girl and her family, but their intervention puts them in the direct path of the killer.

Can they find out who he is in time to save the girl, her family . . . and themselves? Or are they destined to be a madman’s latest victims?

If you buy the book please leave a review.  Nothing helps promote a new book on line more than good honest reviews.

The book is titled BION [Believe It Or Not] and is book #3 in the Time Travel Mystery Series CUL8R {See you later].  It is tagged as young adult fiction but the vast majority of reviews are adults, age 20 to 60.  The log line of this book is the last line of the blurb. Can she give up everything she has in the present for true love in the past?

BION 071613 Amazon final

BLURB-

Believe it or Not . . . “Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls …welcome to the best entertainment money can buy, the Maxwell Brothers Circus!”

Four high school friends are able to do two things no one else on the planet can do . . . talk with dead people and time travel to that past. 

As they slowly turn the dial of their Sprit Radio Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey hear hundreds of sad, lonely voices of souls that have passed but apparently never moved on, pleading for help.

A young woman asks them to find her twin brother Jesse who had run away to the circus in 1927, then disappeared and was never heard from again.  Going back and living with a circus sounds like fun.  Plus an old book provides a glimpse into the past . . . as well as a photo of Jesse.

They discover that circus life is not all glamour and fun; it’s a lot of hard work.  As usual, they jump in and quickly find jobs, places to sleep and new friends.  But most importantly, they find Jesse.  Now all they have to do is keep him alive.

For Zoey, it’s love at first sight.  If they are successful and save his life, will she be able to let him go?  Can she give up everything she has in the present for true love in the past?

And before I tell you about me here is the dedication to BION that would not have happened had it not been for Jackie…

Each book in the CUL8R Time Travel Mystery Series challenges our main characters in different ways and to solve different types of problems.  Some teenagers find themselves as a threat to another person and depending on the situation; could be at risk.  With nothing familiar around them but their friends, their challenge is to take control in order to handle the problem.

 

We set this story in the roaring twenties in the middle of Texas and on the road with the circus playing two shows a day and traveling in luxury by train in converted hospital cars, to the next town.  It is the author’s job to bring the plight of teenage troubles into the light and create a positive role for doing the right thing in their life and for themselves and those around them.

 

This book is dedicated to Showfolks everywhere, especially The Showfolks of Sarasota, an International Alliance of Circus Artists and Executives.  Their generosity and friendliness made us feel like family.   Showfolks are amazing, interesting and talented people and the statement on their website sums it up.  “From performing artists, to office staff, from concessionaires and riggers, to promoters, from circus fans, to local friends, Showfolks members can honestly be proud when they exclaim “This Is What We Accomplished Together.”

 A special thanks to the world’s greatest clown and an adorable gentleman, Jackie LeClaire.  Without his wonderful stories and extreme kindness, this book wouldn’t have the authenticity that we wanted.  It would have been easy to just go on line and research the circus in 1927, but without Jackie, it wouldn’t have had a soul or a heart.  Much love and thanks to you, Jackie.

 

Here’s a little about me.  I am Kathy Clark, a.k.a. Bob Kat has written romance, young adult, romantic suspense and new adult romance for 25 years.  She’s had 23 books traditionally published through Harlequin and others with sales over 3.25 million in total and has indie published her most recent 4 books.  She will release 3 more books in 2013, book #2 in the Romantic Suspense series Denver After Dark, book #3 in the Young Adult Time Travel Mystery Series and book #1 in the New Adult romantic suspense series.  She has been a NY Times Best Selling author, a USA Today recommended author, an RWA RITA award winner and her indie books have won two Best Indie Book of 2013 Awards, a finalist in that competition, a finalist in the Beverly Hills Book Awards and two books are in the finals of the Reader’s Choice 2013 book awards being issued on 9/1/13.

Her website is at http://www.nightwriter93.com

The time travel mystery series website is http://www.cul8rseries.com

Her blog site is at https://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

All of Kathy’s books on Amazon including the Romance Collections is at http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

TWITTER: @93nightwriter

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r

An excerpt from COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

Hello…I’m Kathy Clark, author.  Welcome back to my blog site.

Some of you may remember me from long ago…like last century…when traditional publishers such Harlequin published my romance novels and printed them on paper and sold them through bookstores! No?  Maybe you have purchased one of my more recent novels that were released in 2012 and 2013.  No doubt my over 3 million in sales worldwide in paperback were one measure and one cause of the popularity of my new books.  And yes, they’re digital and trade paperback.

Today, I write my Romantic Suspense series, Denver After Dark under my name Kathy Clark and the young adult mystery series, CUL8RTM [See you later] under the pseudonym of Bob Kat.  CUL8RTM is co-written with my husband Bob Wernly.  Starting this fall, the New Adult Romantic Suspense series, Scandals, will be under Kathy Clark.

I am going to take space in this blog to publish excerpts from my romance novel back list to provide as they say, a deeper cut, into the stories beyond the samples provided by Amazon.  I did this last weekend at the virtual eBook Fair and I got great feedback to do more of this. So I will.  Readers rule!

Thank you for stopping…each blog post will have-

  • The summary of the featured book
  • The excerpt from that book
  • A summary of my recent books
  • All the links needed  to find additional information including how to order any of the books

Best wishes,

Kathy Clark

Kathy Square

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS BLURB

Luke Calloway is a turkey farmer in the heartland of Iowa. He has survived the loss of his wife, and is learning to cope with a drastic change of career (from big city dentist to the owner of Wishbone Acres in the small town of Greenhaven) while raising three rambunctious sons. He’s doing an admirable job and isn’t looking for love. But that’s exactly what he finds when Darcy Carson returns to town.Darcy Carson, a successful Los Angeles television reporter, had fled from Iowa as soon as she was able. Small towns held no appeal for her, but the glamour and excitement of Southern California certainly did. Following a suspension by the station where she’s employed, she returns home, telling herself that she’ll only stay until she wins her court case and can return to work.

But Darcy hasn’t planned on meeting Luke. She fights her attraction to him, telling herself he represents everything she ran away from. Luke, too, fights his growing love for Darcy. He knows he’s only a temporary stopover in her life, that soon she’ll return to California, breaking his heart, and those of his sons.

Neither Luke nor Darcy are prepared for the way love sweeps into their lives, changing everything.

REVIEWS:

“ROMANTIC TIMES” – (4) – “Watch as Kathy Clark creates two endearing characters who know they’re being manipulated, but are helpless to stop it.”

“HEART TO HEART” – Selected to be a Highlight of the Month – “COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS is great fun.”

“COLORADO ROMANCE WRITERS PAL” – “COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS is a perfect story to enjoy during the holidays since it will fill your heart with the wonder and joys of learning that love truly conquers all.”

Count Your Blessings 062913 amazon
THE EXCERPT

Darcy and Luke stood a step apart, putting a cushion of neutrality between them. But as they turned and began to walk wordlessly toward the truck, their fingers brushed together and somehow became entwined. Separate, they would have been jostled apart, but united, they had no difficulty maneuvering through the crowded walkways to the parking lot.

Luke glanced at Darcy as the truck’s engine sputtered to life and backfired a couple times, drawing a dozen sympathetic stares.

“I’m sorry about this truck,” he began.

Darcy settled the goldfish bowl on her lap and smiled at Luke. “No one could accuse you of trying to impress me.”

With an unnecessary degree of concentration, he studied the narrow space that was illuminated in front of the truck by its headlights. His tone was casual as he asked, “So what would it take to impress you?”

Darcy sensed her answer might be very important to any future relationship, however temporary, that might exist between them. “Actually, I don’t impress easily,” she admitted.

“I guess you wouldn’t. Living in L.A., you’re surrounded by Mercedes and movie stars.”

She glanced at him sharply. “That’s not what I meant. Cars and actors don’t impress me.”

“Yeah?” he questioned skeptically. “What sort of car do you own?”

“Uh…,” she hedged. “Well, that’s not important…”

He challenged her with a steady look.

“Okay, so I drive a Corvette…”

“Red, I’ll bet.” He turned his attention back to the road.

“Okay, it’s red,” she conceded defensively. “So what? The station gave it to me. I wouldn’t care if it was a Toyota.”

Again, he pierced her with an unconvinced glance.

“All right, I’ll admit it.” She threw up her hands in defeat. The motion upset the brandy snifter, and she had to grab it to keep the fish from pouring onto the floor. “Yes, I enjoy driving that car. It’s a great car. But I’m not so shallow that I care what sort of car someone else drives.”

“So you don’t mind riding in this truck?”

She peered at the thick layer of dust on the dashboard and the worn blanket covering the seat. There were turkey feathers on the floorboard and a scattering of corn kernels as if a bag of feed had broken sometime in the ancient vehicle’s questionable past. Then she looked over the fluffy barrier of stuffed animals to the man behind the steering wheel. Only hours ago, she had never seen that face. And now she knew she’d never forget it. It was the man, not the truck she found disturbing.

“No,” she answered honestly. “I’ve ridden in worse. In fact, I learned to drive in a truck that belonged to my grandfather. But I will say that Gramps did wash his truck on occasion.”

They turned into her parents’ driveway and Darcy had to hold the brandy snifter up so the water didn’t bounce out when they crossed the cattle guard.

“And you could use a new set of springs,” she added.

A low, appreciative chuckle vibrated across the darkness. “Springs? This old pile of bolts wouldn’t know how to drive if it had springs. Why, there probably isn’t even anything left to attach them to.”

He stopped the truck in front of her door, but didn’t turn off the engine. When he began unloading the stuffed animals, Darcy reached out and pushed aside one of the panda bear’s ears so she could see Luke.

“I don’t need any more stuffed animals in my room. My mother seems to think everything should be left exactly as I had it.” Darcy shook her head. She had long ago given up trying to convince her mother she wouldn’t be moving back home. “Why don’t you give them to your boys? Greg may be a little too old, but Scott and maybe Adam would give these guys a good home.”

She nestled the brandy snifter in between a big bear and a fluffy dog.

“And the fish?” Luke asked.

“And the fish,” Darcy confirmed, laughing at his unenthusiastic expression.

“Great. Thanks,” he stated with good-humored sarcasm.

“Goldfish are terrific pets. They don’t make any noise, and they never make a mess on the carpet.”

“Or we can feed him to the turkeys.”

“Luke!”

He held up his hands to calm her. “It’s a joke. Besides, turkeys don’t eat meat.”

“I’ll bet they wish more people felt that way.”

“You’re not one of those animal rights’ activists, are you?”

This time Darcy’s chuckle was wry. “Funny you should mention that…animal rights is exactly why I’m on suspension, remember? But I was just reporting it, not participating. Actually, I can see both sides of the issue. I don’t like to see animals tortured for unnecessary experiments, but I don’t have a problem eating chicken … or turkey.”

“So how long do you think it’ll take to clear up your case?”

Darcy led the way up the porch steps and Luke followed. “My attorney thinks it’ll go to court after Thanksgiving.” She glanced back at the noisy truck. If he hadn’t left it running, she would have invited him to sit for a while on the porch swing.

“That’s a month away,” Luke commented nonchalantly as he stopped with one booted foot on the top step.

Darcy turned to face him, and, because of her higher position found that they were eye to eye. “More or less,” she replied. “But I don’t know how long I’ll be here. I have to fly back Monday or Tuesday for some depositions and the grand jury hearing, which means I’ll be gone most of the week.”

He thrust his hands deep into his pockets. “Then maybe I’ll see you around.”

“It’s a small town.” She responded with equal casualness, but inside she cried out, But I wouldn’t mind spending more time with you while I’m here.

“Well … I guess I’d better be going,” he said and backed down a step.

“I had a nice time this evening.” Don’t leave. I want you to kiss me again.

His eyes burned into hers, as if searching for an answer to an unspoken question. His gaze was so perceptive, Darcy began wondering if he might have heard her silent request. When he gave her one last little smile, then turned to leave, she felt her spirits droop with disappointment. On the dance floor, there had been a flash of magic. Had it been a fluke? A reaction to the circumstances around them? A moment of madness?

All she knew was that she wanted to feel his lips on hers one more time and to have him hold her tight in his arms. “Luke…” She moved toward him just as he wheeled around and bounded up the steps two at a time.

“Darcy…” he breathed as he cradled her face in his hands and covered her mouth with his. “I must be crazy,” he muttered against her lips an instant before they crushed against hers.

Darcy’s arms wound around his neck, her fingers feathering into the soft, dark hair at his nape. The banked fires that had built and died back…but never out…roared to life again. It had been a long time since a man’s kiss had affected her so much. Her body molded to his, automatically seeking the boldness of his response.

If she hadn’t been standing on her parents’ porch . . . if he hadn’t been a widower with three kids . . . if she hadn’t been so anxious to get on with her life in California . . . if he hadn’t been a livestock farmer . . . she would have asked him to turn off his truck’s engine, rev up his own engine and stay for the night.

Then, as abruptly as he had approached her, he let her go. After one last, lingering look that took away what little strength she had left in her knees, he pivoted on his heel and vaulted down the steps.

Darcy leaned against the heavy support post at the top of the steps and watched him leap into his truck, grind the gears into reverse, then head toward the road. She realized her hand was clenched against her chest as if she was trying to steady her rampaging heart. Somehow she knew that kiss would come back to haunt her during the long, lonely nights in her bed in L.A.

I hope you enjoyed this sample from my book.  All of my romance novels are available individually as eBooks on amazon and they have also been republished as Romance Collections with similar books in their original full length and unabridged.  The Romance Collections are at a reduced price and available by going to http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

Here are a few important links for your use.  Have a great rest of your day.  Again…thanks for stopping.

My author’s website is at http://www.nightwriter93.com

To order any book on Amazon go to http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

To contact me my email address is info@nightwriter93.com

Recent books:

AFTER MIDNIGHT REVISED

Romantic Suspense series:           After Midnight, a Denver After Dark Suspense      Book #1

What started as a routine contact stop turned into a brutal double homicide.  Hooker to lover or low-life to no-life. It’s all in his hands.

OMG eBook 3

Young Adult Mystery series:          OMG, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery      Book #1

Albert Einstein said about time travel “People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

BRB eBook Cover 2

Young Adult Mystery series:         BRB, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery     Book #2

It’s difficult to investigate a crime that hasn’t happened yet.

 

Life's What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

Life’s What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

New Adult Romance:                   LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS

How did one night change over a million lives of new adults forever?

TUTORIAL: OMG = Oh My God, BRB = BE Right Back

All four books are available on Amazon at http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

Additional details on the CUL8RTM time travel series is at http://www.cul8rseries.com

 

2013 Awards

After Midnight, a Denver After Dark Suspense

First place in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for suspense

Finalist in the Reader’s Choice 2013 Award  for young adult [9/1 final decision]

OMG, A C CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery

First place in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for young adult

Finalist in the Beverly Hills Book 2013 Awards for young adult

BRB, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery

Named finalist in the Reader’s Choice 2013 Award  [9/1 final decision]

Life’s What Happens

Finalist in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for literature

TUTORIAL: BION =Believe It Or Not

CURRENT PROJECTS


BION eBook 1

BION, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery [Bob Kat]

Estimate a July 28, 2013 release

Cries In The Night, a Denver After Dark Suspense [Kathy Clark]

Estimate a October 1, 2013 release

Scandals, a New Adult Romantic Suspense [Kathy Clark]

Set in Austin, Texas

Estimate a December 1, 2013 release

Check the progress on this blog or Kathy’s website at http://www.nightwriter93.com

Another Romance Excerpt from Kathy Clark…COLD FEET, WARM HEART

Hello…I’m Kathy Clark, author.  Welcome back to my blog site.

This book at the time was rather creative cause it carried an online romance started on the internet.  Bob and I will be married 21 years this December all from an on line romance started on Prodigy in early 1993!  Remember that?

Some of you may remember me from long ago…like last century…when traditional publishers such Harlequin published my romance novels and printed them on paper and sold them through bookstores! No?  Maybe you have purchased one of my more recent novels that were released in 2012 and 2013.  No doubt my over 3 million in sales worldwide in paperback were one measure and one cause of the popularity of my new books.  And yes, they’re digital and trade paperback.

Today, I write my Romantic Suspense series, Denver After Dark under my name Kathy Clark and the young adult mystery series, CUL8RTM [See you later] under the pseudonym of Bob Kat.  CUL8RTM is co-written with my husband Bob Wernly.  Starting this fall, the New Adult Romantic Suspense series, Scandals, will be under Kathy Clark.

I am going to take space in this blog to publish excerpts from my romance novel back list to provide as they say, a deeper cut, into the stories beyond the samples provided by Amazon.  I did this last weekend at the virtual eBook Fair and I got great feedback to do more of this. So I will.  Readers rule!

Thank you for stopping…each blog post will have-

  • The summary of the featured book
  • The excerpt from that book
  • A summary of my recent books
  • All the links needed  to find additional information including how to order any of the books

Best wishes,

Kathy Clark

Bob Kat tile

COLD FEET WARM HEART 062313 amazon

SUMMARY of COLD FEET, WARM HEART

On-line romances can be a great way to fall in love – or to get into trouble.

Abby Harris had never been impetuous – until she escaped to Antarctica to marry a man whose words had won her heart, but whose face she’d never seen and whose voice she’d never heard.

A sight-unseen love affair had its surprises, though. Abby got one when she and her wilting wedding bouquet deplaned in the frozen tundra and fell into the arms of Prescott Roberts, the egotistical scientist from her office – powerfully transformed into an officer and a gentleman.

She’d never cared for his arrogant manner. He’d never cared for her ice-princess coolness. Neither believed in destiny – but they believed in a deal. Dealmaking was a risky business, though, when the bargaining table was the marriage bed.

EXCERPT from COLD FEET, WARM HEART

He began unfastening the bright polished brass buttons of his jacket. “It is getting late, isn’t it? I guess we’d better get ready for bed.”

As much as she wanted to turn away, her attention was riveted to the movement of those large, tanned fingers against the crisp white of his uniform. One by one, the buttons gave way, baring a tantalizing glimpse of bronzed flesh. With a final tug at the Velcro fasteners holding the upright collar closed around his neck, he shrugged out of the jacket and reached for a hanger.

Abigail blinked at the expanse of rippling muscle that flexed with even the tiniest movement he made. With his back to her, she took advantage of the moment to drink in his magnificence. He’d taken off his hat as soon as they’d entered the room and now she could see how very blond his hair was. Had it always been that golden and that thick? she wondered. Cut in a blunt military style across the back, it emphasized the sculptured perfection of his neck and shoulders. Broader than she’d imagined, his upper torso tapered to a slim waist and narrow hips.

And the best set of buns she’d ever seen.

Her thoughts were flooded with memories of all the bold, sensual comments he’d made during their computer chats. In erotic terms, he’d managed to describe to her exactly where his hands and lips would be on her body when they were making love and how he would make her feel. He’d painted vivid pictures of their sweat-slickened bodies sliding together in passion . . . of how the bedclothes would get twisted around their bare legs. . .of how she would cry out from the pleasure he’d give her.

Abby couldn’t tear her gaze away as he hung the jacket in the wardrobe, right next to a dark blue suit coat that was also heavily adorned with military braid and insignia. Lord, she’d always had a weakness for a man in uniform. And, as she was rapidly discovering, for a man out of uniform.

But when she saw his hands reach for his belt buckle and heard the rasp of a zipper going down, she panicked. It dawned on her that within seconds she would be sharing this incredibly small room with a naked or near-naked man.

Your husband, her conscience reminded her pointedly. “I can’t—I mean we can’t—you know—not now—not here—not like this—” Abigail stammered. Bert turned his head and gave her a questioning look, but didn’t speak. “Look, I know I went into this with my eyes wide open. You and I both have reasons to see this thing through, at least for a while, so I can understand why it’s prudent that we carry out the pretense when we’re in public. But it would be dishonest of us if we were to act like husband and wife when we’re in here, in the privacy of this room.”

“Dishonest?” He took a step toward her. “Let’s talk about dishonesty, Abby.” There was a strange expression on his handsome features that only served to remind Abigail just how little she knew about this man with whom she’d just vowed to spend the rest of her life. Automatically she retreated until she backed against a solid, starkly painted wall.

He took another step before stopping. He was so close she could see the black spikes dividing the sky blue irises of his eyes. Cold, hard eyes. But there was something else she couldn’t quite identify. If she didn’t know better, she would have sworn there was a shadow of pain hiding behind the dispassionate stare. “What happened to the woman who likes making love with the soulful sounds of Kenny G drifting in the background?”

So here it was—the discussion they’d both been waiting for. She gulped, vividly remembering the night she’d sat in front of the computer, typing the words while a little imp sat on her shoulder, urging her on, compelling her to fabricate an alter ego for the dull, uninspiring Abigail Harris.

How could she tell him that the sexy lingerie, the champagne, the bubble baths and yes, even the lovemaking belonged to the risqué, and nonexistent, Angelina. Not the staid, predictable Abigail everyone knew and intellectually respected.

“So how many times have you done it, Abby?”

“Done what?” She tried to sound forceful, but realized she was failing miserably. A lump the size of Alaska had coagulated in her throat. Except for the night her car broke down and she had to walk home after midnight, she’d never experienced fear. But then again, she’d never been married to a perfect stranger who knew her better than any man ever had-better than even he knew.

He reached out. Her head connected with the wall behind her. Her pulse pounded, blood racing frantically. Anxiety paralyzed her, but she also had to admit feeling her first real frisson of excitement. Rationally she realized he would never hurt her. And yet…

With his right hand, he eased the errant, windblown strands of hair from her face. She felt the brush of his thumb across her ear, even heard the sound of his erratic breathing. “How many, Abby? One? Two? Three? A dozen?”

Why had she never noticed the subtle nuances of his voice before? “How many what?” she repeated having a hard time grasping his words, her gaze so captivated by his unblinking stare. She might have felt ridiculous under normal circumstances, but she was quickly learning that nothing on the Ice was normal, that the line between reality and unreality was a confusing blur.

“Made love with Kenny G’s sax in the background,” he prompted when she didn’t respond immediately to his inquiry.

Heated color rose to paint her cheeks. A fictitious lover on a nameless, sightless electronic bulletin board was one thing; talking about the nonexistent person with her husband not more than six inches away was another thing entirely.

He continued to rub the pad of his thumb around her ear, tantalizing her. “I bought a Kenny G CD before I left the U.S., Abby. Just for you. Just for us.”

“Don’t,” she implored, wishing she could think, wishing he’d move away, wishing he wouldn’t use her own words against her, wishing he wouldn’t call her Abby in that soft, seductive way.

“Don’t what?” He moved a fraction of an inch closer, so close their breaths mingled. He smelled of champagne, of wedding cake. . .of passion.

“Don’t stand this close?” he prompted. “Don’t remind you of the things you said to me? Or don’t touch you like this? Or this?” He traced the outline of her lips. Though she tried to resist, her lips involuntarily parted. “You know, ever since we started corresponding, I’ve dreamed of this night.” His voice was husky.

She tried to force herself to concentrate on what he was saying, rather than the way his fingertips felt against her suddenly ultrasensitive skin.

“I’ve dreamed of holding you in my arms, dreamed of stripping off your clothes, piece by piece. Dreamed of carrying you to the bed and . . .”

Her eyes drifted shut under the powerful onslaught. It was impossible to believe this was the same man she’d so casually dismissed in the lab, the flirtatious scientist who seemed more interested in the chemistry of mating Homo sapiens than the chemistry of molecules.

“I’ve dreamed of watching you climax, Abby, dreamed of hearing you call my name, asking for more.”

“Bert. . .”

“Hmm? What part was it you didn’t want to hear, Abby?” His fingers tightened on her jaw until her head was being gently, but very firmly held in place.

At the abrupt shift in his tone and the unexpected pressure of his hands, her eyes flew open. She saw he was angry-maybe even beyond angry. He was obviously upset about the situation, and Abigail wasn’t sure which part of it bothered him the most-the fact that he’d married precipitously or that his mystery lover was Abby.

She’d been a fool to believe how wonderful things would be in Antarctica. For the first time, she’d let her heart rule her head and look where it had gotten her. Her fantasy had become a real-life disaster. And her Prince Charming had turned out to be a real-life toad.

“The part about me wanting to make love to you?” he went on, forcing her to continue looking into his wintry eyes. “Or the part about how you want to make love to me, Angelina.”

Bitterness welled up inside her. Bert was accusing her of being deceptive, conveniently ignoring his own part in the entire situation. “Look,” she said angrily, surprising even herself with the defiance and vehemence in her tone, “I may not be totally innocent in all of this, but neither are you. You had plenty of opportunity back in Boulder to confess you were engaged in a steamy electronic love affair while you were asking me out.”

“Confess?” Bert demanded. “What was I doing that you weren’t doing just as often? You weren’t exactly spilling your guts to me. You know that old saying about casting the first stone.”

Anger at his accusations and his casual dismissal of his own guilt gnawed at her. She pushed away from the wall and pointed a finger at him. “If anyone has reason to feel deceived, it’s me,” she said.

“Honey, you wrote the book on deception.”

 

I hope you enjoyed this sample from my book.  All of my romance novels are available individually as eBooks on amazon and they have also been republished as Romance Collections with similar books in their original full length and unabridged.  The Romance Collections are at a reduced price and available by going to http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20 .

Here are a few important links for your use.  Have a great rest of your day.  Again…thanks for stopping.

My author’s website is at http://www.nightwriter93.com

To order any book on Amazon go to http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

To contact me my email address is info@nightwriter93.com

Recent books:

AFTER MIDNIGHT REVISED

Romantic Suspense series:           After Midnight, a Denver After Dark Suspense      Book #1

What started as a routine contact stop turned into a brutal double homicide.  Hooker to lover or low-life to no-life. It’s all in his hands.

OMG eBook 3

Young Adult Mystery series:          OMG, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery      Book #1

Albert Einstein said about time travel “People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

BRB eBook Cover 2

Young Adult Mystery series:         BRB, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery     Book #2

It’s difficult to investigate a crime that hasn’t happened yet.

 

Life's What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

Life’s What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

New Adult Romance:                   LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS

How did one night change over a million lives of new adults forever?

TUTORIAL: OMG = Oh My God, BRB = BE Right Back

All four books are available on Amazon at http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

Additional details on the CUL8RTM time travel series is at http://www.cul8rseries.com

 

2013 Awards

After Midnight, a Denver After Dark Suspense

First place in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for suspense

Finalist in the Reader’s Choice 2013 Award  for young adult [9/1 final decision]

OMG, A C CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery

First place in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for young adult

Finalist in the Beverly Hills Book 2013 Awards for young adult

BRB, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery

Named finalist in the Reader’s Choice 2013 Award  [9/1 final decision]

Life’s What Happens

Finalist in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for literature

TUTORIAL: BION =Believe It Or Not

CURRENT PROJECTS

BION eBook 1

BION, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery [Bob Kat]

Estimate a July 28, 2013 release

Cries In The Night, a Denver After Dark Suspense [Kathy Clark]

Estimate a October 1, 2013 release

Scandals, a New Adult Romantic Suspense [Kathy Clark]

Set in Austin, Texas

Estimate a December 1, 2013 release

Check the progress on this blog or Kathy’s website at http://www.nightwriter93.com