Readers! Amazing people and a great source of inspiration

Readers are those people that pay for my books or maybe because they are signed up a an ARC reader and on my email list they get one earlier than the release date.  But more importantly they are the ones that share their personal feelings about what they read with the public in the form of reviews about what they thought of the book that I wrote.

When I read the initial reviews of a new release I am very nervous because it is the first real feelings people have about what I, and in two of the three series, my husband and I, spent many hundreds of hours putting pixels on the screen about.

THUMBNAIL RIP 021614

The early reviews of RIP (Rest In Peace), A CUL8R Time Travel Mystery/Romance are beginning to show up on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble and other places.  It occurred to me after reading them today that many of my readers who posted their reviews are in fact amazing writers in their own right.  Both Bob and I were so impressed we wanted to share some of the thoughts and words others expressed about this book.

These excerpts are in no particular order but they all say something about what we tried to accomplish with the series, this book and how well these talented people thought we captured and expressed it.

The novel perfectly captures teenage angst–about looks, about one’s place in the teenage social order, about romance, whether attraction is mutual. The book sparkles with the humor and high spirits of these teenagers, who sometimes clash but are deeply caring.

This is a wonderful series that celebrates the energy, resourcefulness, high spirits, and compassion of teenagers who yet have strong personalities and real conflicts. They face terrifying dangers in their time travels, and real life struggles in their relationships with their contemporaries as well as the adults in their lives.

Bob Kat does an exceptional job at crafting a suspenseful, gripping read that keeps the readers undivided attention right up until the very end. I loved the dynamics portrayed within this circle of friends! Kelly, Austin, Scott and Zoey are entwined flawlessly, each with their own depth of character and personality. Although I thrive on the paranormal mystery aspect of the story— the characters have to be realistic …and each must have dynamic characteristics in their own way to capture my interest and keep it peaked. This group of friends quickly sucked me into their adventures and I have enjoyed every moment of the experience right alongside them!

I want to point out foremost that the book has got a solid purpose and meaning. The team that has made this book happen was driven by the idea of providing young readers with a story that both stirs the imagination but also calls into question the motives of the main characters. Why do seek to rescue Emma? Because that’s the kind of people that we should be – always seeking to help the lost and weary, no matter the stakes. Putting aside the purpose and the meaning, I think that this is a fun and well-written book. It is clean and I would encourage young readers to pick up a copy.

“CUL8R” is a stellar YA series, and “RIP” is no exception. What makes it stand out is that the mystery/danger elements of the book are so well blended with the teen personalities—there’s suspense and realism, making the reader care not only about whether or not the mystery is solved and the day is saved, but also about the individual characters.

There are so many great examples of what was stated so eloquently but a blog about the reviews must be far shorter than the book itself.  Thank you everyone and I know this series is starting to catch on and it is because in large part because you folks took the time to write a thoughtful review of the book and series.

Here’s the places on line where you can find RIP at this time:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Amazon –  http://www.amazon.com/Peace-CUL8R-Travel-Mystery-Romance-ebook/dp/B00IKIML6U/

iBookstore – SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 24, 2014

Smashwords –  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/410880

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rip-kathy-clark-aka-bob-kat/1118721095?ean=2940148194996&itm=1&usri=2940148194996

Kobo – SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 17, 2014

Sony Reader Store – SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 24, 2014

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20879728-rip-rest-in-peace?bf=1000&from_search=true

All Romance  – https://www.omnilit.com/product-riprestinpeaceacul8rtimetravelmysteryromance-1428505-152.html

GOOGLE Play / Books –  https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Bob_Kat_RIP_Rest_In_Peace_a_CUL8R_Time_Travel_Myst?id=is7kAgAAQBAJ&hl=en

Diesel – SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 24, 2014

FOR PAPER BACK CREATE SPACE – SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 24, 2014

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.nightwriter93.com

BLOGhttps://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

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

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

JOIN KATHY’S EMAIL LIST FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS, PRE-RELEASE BOOKS AND BARGAIN / FREE BOOKS: http://eepurl.com/N4osT   via MAIL CHIMP

Advertisements

WRITING SUSPENSE. FROM BOOKS TO FILM AND BACK AGAIN.

When I stopped writing romance novels and began writing screenplays more than the format on the page changed for me many years ago.  I moved from a best selling romance and women’s fiction author to suspense and mystery and I changed from writing novels to writing screenplays all at once.  Screenplays taught me something about writing suspense.  When you write a screenplay the internal, not external, is where suspense builds and books are where you learn to write the internal.  Confused?  I was but writing suspense within the format and constraints of a screenplay taught me how to do it better. Years later, when I switched back to novels, I was ready to go.

Confused? Here’s what I think.

Suspense is internal.  A lot of writers mistake suspense for action.  But suspense is what you build in the quiet moments between the action.  When a reader picks up a suspense novel, they have certain expectations…to be entertained and to be surprised.  But it has to properly executed (pun intended).

Alfred Hitchcock, the undisputed master of suspense, always said it’s not about the boom.  It’s about the anticipation of the boom.  My analogy is that when you go to It’s a Small World in Disney World, you expect light and fluffy.  You’re riding along hearing that annoying song over and over and over and the little dolls are dancing and singing and suddenly you see a little Dutch boy with a knife in his chest, bleeding all over the tulips.

That’s a boom.  Shocking.  Disturbing.  But without a set-up, suspects, anticipation of the murder, red herrings…not suspense.

However, if you chose to go on The Haunted Mansion ride, you went in with anticipation that increased with every step.  It started outside with a spooky looking house, a graveyard, spider webs, eerie music.  That made promises of what was inside.  Just like a book cover.

Then you are herded very tightly into a small room.  Nothing weird yet, but just the fact that you’re crowded is unsettling.  Then the floor appears to drop, elongating the paintings so that what seemed normal became bizarre.  The doors slam open with a bang and you’re loaded into a car with spooky sounds and a creepy voice piped in through the speakers.

Then the car moves down a track and we see doors swell toward us and doorknobs turn.  We continue along and see a talking head, then the car turns and we see ghosts dancing in a ballroom, then a crystal ball.  Gradually, they increase the level of creepiness and frights with ghosts jumping up from headstones in a graveyard and screams startling you…all of which increases your heart rate because you don’t know what’s going to jump out at you next.

It’s not a constant barrage.  There are slow, almost quiet moments between the booms, so you have time to catch your breath and build your anticipation for the next scary creature to pop out.  Finally, the ride roars to a stop and you exit feeling like you survived a dangerous adventure.  All of your senses have been stimulated.  Everyone walks away smiling and laughing nervously.

That’s just like a suspense novel.  When a reader picks it up, they have an expectation of being entertained, surprised, stimulated, teased, fooled, challenged and, ultimately, satisfied.  Our job, as writers, is to pace our stories so that the ride is worth it.

Here’s my suspense and mystery books published recently:

TUMBNAIL AFTER MIDNIGHT REVISED_edited-1 THUMBNAIL CRIES IN THE NIGHT 09012013 Amazon_edited-2 THUMBNAIL SCANDALS BABY DADDY 10282013_edited-2 THUMBNAIL OMG Smashwords_edited-2 THUMBNAIL BRB eBook SMASHWORD_edited-2 THUMBNAIL BION 071613 Amazon final_edited-2

And released this month was book #4 in the YA Mystery Time Travel Mystery series, CUL8R.

THUMBNAIL RIP 021614

WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.nightwriter93.com

BLOGhttps://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

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

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

 JOIN MY EMAIL LIST FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS, PRE-RELEASE BOOKS AND BARGAIN / FREE BOOKS: http://eepurl.com/N4osT   via MAIL CHIMP

Kathy Clark’s Writing Resolutions and Plans for 2014

The year is 14 days gone and I’m just getting around to telling everyone about my plans for 2014.  Here we go…

First, thanks for stopping in.

Second, thank you all for your support of me and my books.  I’ve had four of my 2013 releases reach the top 10 on Amazon in the past 12 months.  Each one is better written and accepted, more advance reader copies are sent out [see how to get yours below] and sales have improved.  Again, thank you.

This year I have four books planned. 

The Young Adult Mystery Series CUL8R [See you later] will release of book #4, RIP in February.  Fresh from their return from the 1927 circus that saw Zoey fall in love with a guy  for the right reasons but from the wrong era, the four time travelers find themselves even further back in time to 1911 and on the outside of the life of the rich and famous lifestyle at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park Colorado. And yes this is the same Stanley Hotel that Jack Nicholson helped to make famous in the Shinning and that’s all I’m going to say.  I can assure all my readers that this is a twisted tale that will keep you in the dark.  How do I know?  I’ve crawled through the basemen of the Stanley in the dark with the Ghost Hunters, Jason and Grant.  Trust me, that is not a place you want to be in the dark at but the research first hand was vital to this story.

In March, 2014 the second book in the Scandals New Adult Romantic Suspense series, Tramp Stamp, has Reno front and center and with lives on the line his passion for the client could be the end of him.  The B-plot in this book is amazing and taken out of the fall 2013 headlines and I apologize now to all college football fans.

Later in the year you will find book #3 in the Denver After Dark series titled Graveyard Shift release. The third brother in the family, Chris, is a Denver, Colorado paramedic.  His job has its own issues to deal with and he finds the morality of the job is not as black and white as it is for his brothers, the cop and the fireman, the heroes in books one and two.

Finally, if all goes well, 2014 will see the release of book #3 in the Scandals New Adult Romantic Suspense Series with Worst Blind Date Ever.  In this third book Tulsa will get her own story and while the title sounds humorous the story is at the core of societal issues and early discussions with Tulsa tells me that you will see Tulsa’s passionate side!  It’s in there somewhere I think.

We’ll see some of you in Round Rock at the end of January for the Inside Track To Indie Publishing Workshop.  That will be January 25th and there are a smalls number of available seats.  Then in San Antonio in July at the National RWA Conference we can connect up and we’ll be around in other places.  As always we will be seeking willing readers to read and provide an honest review in support of the book release of these four 2014 books.  Just send me you email address and we’ll make sure you are on the list to participate.

Wishing you a safe, prosperous and healthy 2014…I now have a Wikipedia page and the usual social media sites.

WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.nightwriter93.com

BLOGhttps://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

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

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/150098.Kathy_Clark

If you haven’t caught all my books released in 2013 here they are.  Throughout the year they will be on sale ahead of the release of the next book in the series and of course you can have the latest release just send me your email address.

THUMBNAIL BION 071613 Amazon final_edited-2  THUMBNAIL BRB eBook SMASHWORD_edited-2  THUMBNAIL CRIES IN THE NIGHT 09012013 Amazon_edited-2  THUMBNAIL SCANDALS BABY DADDY 10282013_edited-2

AMAZON Book Editor Selection for Book Of The Month {x 10!}

Yogi Berra once said “you can observe a lot by just looking”…or something like that.

So I started to look on Amazon and also found out that my many of my books were selected by the AMAZON BOOK EDITORS as a recommended BOOK OF THE MONTH.  In addition to STARTING OVER , here are NINE additional titles that the AMAZON BOOK EDITORS were kind enough to recommend.

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS at http://www.amazon.com/COUNT-YOUR-BLESSINGS-ebook/dp/B008C9KVT6/ on Amazon and was named a BOOK OF THE MONTH by the Amazon Editors! Too cool..

Count Your Blessings 062913 amazon

Excuse me while I look at the rest of them!

OH Myyyy…  GOODBYE, DESPERADO is another one that was selected  by the AMAZON EDITORS as a recommended Book Of The Month.

GOODBYE DESPERADO 062813 Amazon

Don’t take my word go to http://www.amazon.com/GOODBYE-DESPERADO-ebook/dp/B008E6SRSY/

UNREAL!  I need to go down the bookstore asile where my books are located more often!  http://www.amazon.com/ANOTHER-SUNNY-DAY-ebook/dp/B007510BFQ was also chosen by the AMAZON EDITORS as a recommended Book Of The Month.

Another Sunny Day 07112013 amazon

ALL RIGHT STOP IT!  ANGEL OF MERCY also was picked y the Amazon Editors!  Find it at http://www.amazon.com/ANGEL-OF-MERCY-ebook/dp/B0085RZPC8

ANGEL OF MERCY 062913 amazon

http://www.amazon.com/STROKE-OF-MIDNIGHT-ebook/dp/B008F9JKP4 Was yet another one that was slected by the Amazon Book Editors as a recommended book of the month!

STROKE OF MIDNIGHT 062113 amazon

If you go on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/TEACHERS-PET-ebook/dp/B00759NGFK you will also find TEACHER’S PET asa recommended book of the month!  This is crazy!

TEACHERS PET 062913 amazon

COLD FEET, WARM HEART is anohter monthly AMAZON recommendation and an be found at http://www.amazon.com/COLD-FEET-WARM-HEART-ebook/dp/B008K9FHA6

COLD FEET WARM HEART 062313 amazon

A PRIVATE AFFAIR is a monthly recommendation also and is at http://www.amazon.com/A-PRIVATE-AFFAIR-ebook/dp/B007O26WW2

A PRIVATE AFFAIR 070413 amazon

For Holloween look for SIGHT UNSEEN at http://www.amazon.com/COLLECTION-ROMANTIC-SUSPENSE-Collection-ebook/dp/B00D6IS4NI yet another monthly Amazon recommendation

SIGHT UNSEEN 063013 amazon

 

 

Fins out about all 23 of my published novels through Harlequin, Dell and others and my five newest books being published as an Indie Author at http://www.nightwriter.com

 

 

STARTING OVER {Can you give someone a second chance?}

Starting Over 062913 amazon

My best selling book while I was with Harlequin was STARTING OVER. It sold in about a dozen languages and was a really really BIG seller. After I got my rights back I made it available on Amazon because so many people wanted to read my back list. So STARTING OVER is one of the 21 books I have rights to and it is on Amazon at

http://www.amazon.com/STARTING-OVER-ebook/dp/B007EHUHSC/

I have five new books written and released in the last ten months but the recent AMAZON EDITOR’S award made me want tell everyone.

It just received Amazon’s BEST BOOK OF THE MONTH EDITORS CHOICE for which I am very grateful!

It lately has received several great reader reviews I wanted to share here.

4.0 out of 5 stars A REALLY GOOD READ., September 12, 2013
This ebook was such a joy to pick up and read. I’m glad I decided to get it. Sure makes you feel good about the human race. Won’t give the story away but read it for yourself. I found I couldn’t put it down. I think the main character was a little too trusting and naive but it all worked out for her. Everyone needs a Rusty in their life!

5.0 out of 5 stars Starting Over, September 12, 2013
A must read for those readers who enjoy a special story of joy after suffering loss and finding real love in unexpected ways. The characters showed their experiences with other people finding real love in the end..

5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, September 4, 2013
I really enjoyed this book and found it hard to put down. It was a different “take” on widow meets new man … I won’t give more away about the storyline than that but I will be chasing up other novels written by this author

5.0 out of 5 stars Starting Over by Kathy Clark, September 2, 2013
A very interesting story with great characters and situations that kept you wanting to read more. I enjoyed this novel.

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, September 1, 2013
Very well written and enjoyable novel. I loved it from beginning to end, although I kind of knew what the mystery was going to be, but it was great anyway 🙂
When Kate Cramer’s husband died in a helicopter crash, the timing couldn’t have been worse. Not only is she six months pregnant with her first child, but their transport company, C-Breeze is near bankruptcy and she has no one to fly the remaining helicopter.

Rusty Russell, temporarily visiting the small Texas town, offers to help her out, promising to stay long enough to get the business back off the ground. His skills as a pilot, a mechanic and a salesman save the day, and as he and Kate work together, they form a strong bond of friendship…a friendship that was tested when he was at her side as her baby arrived.

But what felt like a beautiful beginning was shattered by a fierce hurricane and a shocking discovery that threatened to take away everything Kate…and Rusty have grown to love.
THANK YOU friends and fan for ordering this book on Amazon. Have a great day!  All my books are on my website at http://www.nightwriter93.com
Kathy

READERS’ FAVORITE about LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS

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 such book was LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS.readers favorite award

You can find LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/LIFES-WHAT-HAPPENS-ebook/dp/B00A14STPS/ and for the Nook on Barnes & Noble at

First, here’s the blurb for LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS  and then some of the fine FIVE STAR reviews from the reviewers at READERS’ FAVORITE.

FINALIST – BEST INDIE BOOK OF 2013.

He is too young to drink (legally) but not too young to die. Don Williams is a senior at Kent State University and lives in an off-campus fraternity house. He and his girlfriend Lisa are making plans for their future after graduation when suddenly, it’s all taken away. His career, his freedom of choice and even his frat brothers who have become his family.

Life’s What Happens when you mix the hormone-fueled emotions of youth who have left home to experience the mind, mood and physical freedoms of college life with the cultural and political changes of the late 1960’s. For the brothers of Phi Psi Kappa fraternity their biggest worries should have been how to pass their classes with the least amount of studying and the greatest amount of partying and girls. Instead, they are faced with the life-and-death decision of whether they should face their fates head-on, change their plans or just run away.

It is about the year they turned from boys to men, and where their choices took them.

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.

Here are some of the 5 STAR comments received by reviewers of this organization.

Life’s What Happens is the well-written and very poignant retelling of the days leading up to the notorious Kent State debacle. It tells of the lives of real people like Don and his fraternity brothers as they are drawn into the Vietnam conflict from the safety of their college days. Colored pictures of the fraternity men and the girls they are dating are shown at the book’s beginning along with a map of the campus at that time. The characters of Ben, Don, Frank, Fred, Barry, Jeff, Alonzo, Ted and all their fraternity brothers and the incoming pledge class are totally believable and the building of suspense and tension as Kent State’s campus is infiltrated with protesters is done well but without partiality. “Life’s What Happens” is a book that everyone will want to read, especially those who remember the tumultuous times of the late 1960’s. Names of popular songs of the era at the head of each chapter lend a feeling of authenticity. [Alice DiNizo]

I will never look at the Vietnam war the same way again. This book will open your eyes to the intensity of life during this dream altering time. I didn’t think I would actually enjoy reading a book like this but it moved me in so many ways. From characters that still your heart to writing styles that will captivate you, this is one awesome read. Thank you Kathy and Alex for an incredible read!! [Molly Edwards]

The author has done an amazing job of bringing the era to life on the pages of this book. Too often such events are looked back on, shoulders shrugged and no more thought given. However, they remind readers of the dreadful day students were senselessly shot and killed. They paint a different view of the event with carefully crafted characters. Baby boomers and those interested in history will want to soak up the knowledge found within these pages. This is a tale you will not want to miss. [Anne Boling]

*************************************************************************************

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

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