Tag Archive | Christian suspense

THE CHRISTMAS STALKING PROLOGUE

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and you know that that means.  Then it will officially be the CHRISTMAS season.  But as far as I’m concerned it already is. I’m waiting for my husband to start dragging up the Christmas trees. Last year we had twelve. Not sure if we’ll put that many up this year. Anyway a few years ago, THE CHRISTMAS STALKING was released but it’s still a great story to help put you in the Christmas mood.

Here’s the prologue that was cut but I still love it so I’m sharing it here. By the way, it’s still one of my very favorite covers.

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AMAZON LINK

The Christmas Stalking  Prologue

 

Her hand froze mid-air as she reached for the door knob. Her pulse ramped up. Destiny Martin had always considered herself brave, but she’d been wrong.

The knock came again.

“Destiny, I can’t get in. Type in the security code so you can open the door.”

Recognizing the voice, she let out a breath. She giggled at the thought of locking her manager out of his own apartment.

Careful to stay out of sight in case anyone was watching, she opened the door. Mark walked in, his hands full of mail, packages, and grocery bags. She slammed the door shut, hoping no one had seen her in that brief second.

“How’re you feeling, sweetikins?” One of the bags fell from Mark’s grasp.

Bending down, she retrieved it. “Sad and lonely. Just like my songs.”

“Why? I’m here and you’ve got tons of friends. Not to mention the millions—no billions of fans.”

She gave him a look—the same one her teachers used when she’d told them she would be a famous country music star someday. “Billions? I don’t think so. Let’s not get carried away.”

Mark shrugged. “Okay. Millions.”

“They love Destiny not me.” She sighed. “They have no idea who I am. I’m not even sure Holly Stone exists anymore.”

Mark winked. “She does and I like her just fine. You’ve got the holiday blues.”

She plopped on his sofa. “Is it any wonder? I’m stuck here and can’t even go outside. Not that it matters, it still wouldn’t feel like Christmas.” Nashville might be all decked out in Christmas cheer but it just wasn’t cold enough. Christmas just wasn’t Christmas without some snow.

“If you don’t like it here, pick another place.” Mark’s voice was quiet.

She’d hurt his feelings. She grinned. “I didn’t mean it like that, sweetikins. Of course, I love being here with you. You’re so kind to let me stay here.” Now that her own home wasn’t so safe.

“Holidays can be tough.”

She set the bag on the coffee table. Not for him. He didn’t spend every Christmas alone, pretending to be busy. “How am I supposed to live my life if I’m hiding in your condo? Like I’m the one who did something wrong. Why can’t they find this guy?”

“Give them time.”

She turned toward him, hands on her hips. Her voice broke. “I’m so tired of all of this… of imposing on you… of not being in my home. But most of all, I’m tired of being afraid.”

“I know it’s tough, but you’re safe here.  I can find you a nicer place if you want. I know this isn’t the luxury you’re used to.”

Mark wasn’t getting it. “Don’t be ridiculous, your condo is wonderful. More amenities and gadgets than any one person would ever need. But I’m not used to being cooped up all the time.”

“It won’t be much longer, sweetikins. I promise.”

“You’re right. I have no intention of missing the concert. I’ve never missed one, and I’m not about to start. Mr. Psycho Stalker or not. Especially since this is for charity.”

“It’s not—”

She held up a hand. “It’s not open for debate. I’m doing that concert and that’s final. My life. My choice.”

“I know but—”

“I’m done with this discussion.”  Turning up her southern accent, she smiled. “Whatdjabringme, sweetikins?” She grabbed at the bags in his hands.

He laughed as he handed one to her. “A few things. I stopped by your house for your mail, and then went to the store for your favorite snacks.”

“Oooh, sounds good. I hope you stopped at that deli with the great shrimp dip.”

“You know I did. You can check out the mail while I put the food away.”

“I love how you spoil me. Besides the food in your fridge is disgusting.”

“That hurts. It really does. I share my home with you. And all you do is hurt me. Not very nice.” He shook his head with feigned sadness.

“Whatever. Let me see my mail.”

He pointed at the plastic grocery bag filled with mail on the coffee table and continued to the kitchen with the grocery bags. “Oh, and that package is for you, too.”

Ignoring the mail, she picked up the box. “Probably a Christmas present from one of my billions of adoring fans.” She sat down and picked it up. “Is it safe?”

“Security said it was fine. No bomb.”

She shook her head. “Can you believe you even said those words? The guy’s an overzealous fan, he’s not going to hurt me.”

He poked his head out from the kitchen. “Tell that to John Lennon, sweetikins.”

Her stomach somersaulted. “I’m done with Mr. Psycho Stalker controlling my life. I’ve been thinking.”

Mark walked out of the kitchen. “I do not like the sound of that. Whenever you say that, it always means more work for me.”

She picked at the tape on the brown wrapped package. “Not this time.”

“What’s your idea?”

“After the concert, Destiny is going to disappear. About time I take a vacation. It’s been a long time since I had one. And you can take one, too.”

Instead of a smile, worry lines appeared on Mark’s forehead. “Where are you going?”

She shook her head. “I’m not even saying the destination out loud. That way no one can follow me.”

Mark stared at her. “That’s not a good idea. I need to know where you are.”

“Why?”

“Because I always know where you are. It’s my job and besides I’ll miss you.”

Uh-oh, she didn’t like the sounds of that. Mark was her manager and friend—nothing more. They’d been spending too much time together. Definitely time for a change.

She smiled. “Yeah, right. You must be so tired of me cramping your style and besides, you deserve a vacation, too. You work—”

Mark’s eyes darkened, his voice firm. “I don’t want a vacation. I want to keep you safe. And I can’t do that if I don’t know where you are.”

“It’s a great idea and you know it. You’re just grumpy you didn’t think of it first.”

Mark walked out of the kitchen. “Don’t you trust me?”

“Of course I do, but I’m still not telling you.” She tore open the wrapping on the box in her lap. It revealed a gift box with boughs of dark green holly and bright red berries. “Do you think someone remembered my real name is Holly?”

She lifted up the box lid. Screaming, she jumped up.

A dead cat rolled out.

 

AMAZON LINK

 

And that’s how Destiny’s story started. What do you think?

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

It’s ME Monday!

It’s ME Monday and so that means I’m allowed to talk about me. Actually, I’m allowed to talk about me whenever I want–it’s my blog! But I do try to limit it to Mondays since I don’t believe the world revolves around me.

Anyway, I thought it was time to do a little update.

First, let’s talk about my health. Mostly good news in that area. I had an MRI a few weeks ago and the doctors say the brain tumors are stable and shouldn’t be causing any problems. I’m feeling stronger and healthier than I have since I got sick. I can still hear in my one ear! Not the best I’ve ever heard but usable in most situations–not all.  So, thumbs up on my health. It feels so good to feel so good!

On the writing front, I have no books scheduled for release the rest of this year but I have several projects I’m working on.  My publisher did lower the price on some of my older books on Amazon…so if you haven’t bought them, this is a good time to do so. Right now, The Christmas Stalking is priced at 99 cents! What a bargain!

 

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AMAZON LINK

 

The holiday season is right around the corner so life’s about to get craz…I mean busy for most of us.  Wishing you a calm and peaceful and loving holiday season.

 

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

GIVEAWAY!!

To celebrate the release of REDEMPTION, I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. But wait…there’s more! I always feel bad for the people who enter but don’t win. So I’m also going to pick FIVE more lucky names to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Just the right amount to buy REDEMPTION! Just kidding, the winners can use it to buy whatever they wish.

Leave a comment and you’ll be entered in the contest. Contest ends OCTOBER 18th!!

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AMAZON LINK

PELICAN BOOK GROUP LINK

 

BACK COVER BLURB:

Others may think Jamie Jakowski is a hero, but she knows differently.

Haunted by her past, she seeks redemption by helping others in spite of the danger to herself. However, after almost orphaning her daughter, Jamie opts to retire. When a friend needs her, Jamie agrees to one last undercover operation.

She is determined to reunite a heartbroken mother with her kidnapped son. Used to working alone, Jamie’s not happy when she’s assigned a partner. And after a failed operation and their failed romance, Enrique Rodriguez is the last person she wants to work with—ever.

To succeed, Jamie must confront her past as well as the people who want her dead.

 

Don’t forget to leave a comment!

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

REDEMPTION…it’s here!!

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AMAZON LINK

PELICAN BOOK GROUP LINK

 

Another action-packed Sisters By Choice book…REDEMPTION–releases today.

 

BACK COVER BLURB:

Others may think Jamie Jakowski is a hero, but she knows differently.

Haunted by her past, she seeks redemption by helping others in spite of the danger to herself. However, after almost orphaning her daughter, Jamie opts to retire. When a friend needs her, Jamie agrees to one last undercover operation.

She is determined to reunite a heartbroken mother with her kidnapped son. Used to working alone, Jamie’s not happy when she’s assigned a partner. And after a failed operation and their failed romance, Enrique Rodriguez is the last person she wants to work with—ever.

To succeed, Jamie must confront her past as well as the people who want her dead.

 

To celebrate the release of REDEMPTION, I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. But wait…there’s more! I always feel bad for the people who enter but don’t win. So I’m also going to pick FIVE more lucky names to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Just the right amount to buy REDEMPTION! Just kidding, the winners can use it to buy whatever they wish.

Leave a comment and you’ll be entered in the contest.

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

Coming soon…REDEMPTION

I’m thrilled (and a little sad) to announce the release of the third and final book in my Sisters by Choice series—REDEMPTION on September 18.  Well, probably last. I do have an idea for a fourth and final book rattling around in my brain, but it’s only an idea at the moment. Who knows if it will grow into a book?

Anyway…back to REDEMPTION.

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Dictionary.com defines redemption as an act of atoning for a fault or a mistake; deliverance or rescue; deliverance from sin; salvation; atonement for guilt.

Wow! As I look at those definitions, I realize REDEMPTION is full of all sorts of redemption. No wonder that’s the title I chose.

The story begins with Patti not understanding why her twin, Jamie, continues to place herself in serious jeopardy time and time again. Jamie doesn’t understand either. Only that she needs to help others if and when she can no matter the danger to herself.

As the writer I know why, and I’ll share the secret with you. And don’t worry—I’m not spilling any secrets that will ruin the book for you!

Jamie is ashamed of things she’s done in her past. As a result she feels God can’t love her the way she is. So she seeks redemption by putting herself in dangerous situations to help other people.

But the redemption part of the story doesn’t stop there. Enrique, the tall, dark, and handsome FBI agent seeks redemption as well. From Jamie.

Then there’s the bartender Jamie meets on her quest to find a friend’s missing child. He’s trying to overcome a lifetime of criminal acts. More redemption.

And then there’s the father of the kidnapped child—who is the kidnapper! Talk about needing redemption.

Like I said, no wonder this book is named REDEMPTION.

To celebrate the release of REDEMPTION, I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. But wait…there’s more! I always feel bad for the people who enter the contest but don’t win. So I’m also going to pick FIVE more lucky names to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Just the right amount to buy REDEMPTION! Just kidding, the winners can use it to buy whatever they wish. Contest ends October 18th!

Leave a comment here and you’ll be entered in the contest! Easy Peasy!

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

just for fun!!

Fridays are usually for my friends but I hate to get in a rut so… today is just for fun. In July, DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS was released. It features a speech pathologist who gets a little too involved with her clients! Anyway…I’ve been writing for 19 years and Deadly Communications was my first effort of blending my real life job with my writing.

Why is that?

Because I know just how boring being a speech pathologist can be. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved my job and I miss it– a lot! But the reality of the job is it can be a bit repetitious to say the least. I’ve listened to more Ss and Rs than you can even imagine.

So it was hard for me to imagine a story with a speech pathologist that could be exciting and interesting to readers. Sure I found it super exciting when I heard a child say “Sally sells seashells by the seashore.” perfectly–but that’s me.

Anyway, one day the story popped into my head. I now have 3 Deadly Communications mysteries written. The second will be released sometime next year.  So this was a long way of getting to my point.

There are jobs that lend themselves to suspense and mystery stories, such as police officers, private investigators, even reporters. But a speech pathologist? The thing is I’m not a police officer, a private investigator or a reporter. But I’m none of those things so when I use those characters I have to go light on the job aspect but I didn’t have to do that with DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS.

I was able to write my therapy scenses with complete confidence that it was realistic.

Let’s have some fun!

I’d love to hear your scenario for your job or someone else’s along with a suspense scenario for it.

Example: A speech pathologist who gets too involved with her clients finds herself  facing a kidnapper without any backup or a gun!

So, what’s your job and the suspense scenario to go with it?

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

This and That…

So, I hope you’ve noticed a little more action happening here at Tiaras & Tennis Shoes. I hope it’s not too much–I don’t want to be a bother! Anyway…I’ve sort of designated Mondays as Me Monday. I’ll try to save posts about my books and myself for Mondays. Wednesdays have become Writing Tip Wednesday and Fridays are for Friends.  Saturdays or Sundays will be the day for a devotion.

Of course, all this is subject to change at a moment’s notice!

And you certainly won’t be getting every type of post every week–again I don’t want to be a bother!

So today is Monday and that means I get to talk about ME!

DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS has been out for a little more than a week. From what I’ve heard, people are enjoying it.

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AMAZON

 

The good news this week is that I was just offered a contract for the second in the Deadly Communications series! I’ve been holding my breath waiting to see if my publisher liked it. Apparently, they did!

I know a lot of people seem to assume that it’s a given that the next book I submit will be published, but I don’t feel that way at all. And I know of authors who got their first contract and then took years to get another one. So I’m grateful for each contract that comes my way.

Entitlement isn’t something any writer should feel when it comes to getting published. In my opinion author entitlement brings on mediocre books. And I want to write the best story I can every time.

I feel so blessed to be able to create godly stories and even more that people seem to enjoy them.

So that’s about it for me…

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

IT’S HERE…Deadly Communications!

I”m so excited to announce that my latest release–DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS–will be out sometime today at most of your favorite online bookstores!

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Deadly Communications is a new novella mystery series that features Maven Morris, a speech-language pathologist (better known as an SLP) who gets a little too involved in her client’s life. In Deadly Communications, the first in the series, Maven is struggling to cope with several life-changing events in her life.

But, in fact, she’s not coping well at all!

Lizzie, her well-meaning friend, decides it’s time to step in and help…and that’s when all the trouble starts!

This is what the back cover blurb says:

Improving communication skills is never easy. In this case, it could be murder!

Maven Morris is a speech-language pathologist on medical leave–or as she likes to put it: out to pasture. When she’s offered a lucrative position by one of the community’s most powerful men to help his traumatic-brain-injured daughter improve her communication skills, Maven discovers deadly secrets behind the iron gates of the mansion.

Now, she must find the courage to seek justice no matter who gets hurt–even if it’s her. 

As a speech pathologist for more than 30 years, this book was especially fun for me to write. I hadn’t planned on writing a story, let alone a series featuring a crime-fighting speech-language pathologist, but three things happened within a few days of each other to inspire DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS.

First, my brother asked why I didn’t write a story featuring a speech-language pathologist. To which my answer was it would be difficult to come up with a suspense story with an SLP as the main character. After all, I know how boring my life is! I couldn’t even imagine how an SLP could get involved in a mystery.

Secondly, a few days later I was talking with someone whose daughter had been involved in a serious car accident and was now experiencing communication difficulties due to a traumatic brain injury.

Thirdly, as writers are prone to do, I was sitting daydreaming and had a vision of a young woman running through the woods and then into ongoing traffic on a highway..

That’s all it took!

My writer mind took over from there and DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS was born!

To celebrate the release of DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS, I’m giving away an e-copy of the novella. All you need to do is leave a comment! The winner will be picked next Friday–July 25th.

Don’t know what to say? Here’s a few questions that you can answer: What’s some other jobs that might seem like you couldn’t write a mystery about? What do you think an SLP does? What’s your job and how could you use that job as part of a mystery?

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

My Writing Journey–Why Christian Fiction?

I didn’t start out writing Christian fiction. My first bumbling efforts at writing novels were filled with all the things I now proudly tell people are NOT in my books–bad language and explicit sex scenes.  Anyway, I can tell you I am so thankful I wasn’t published until I made the switch to writing Christian Fiction.

So what exactly is Christian Fiction? The answer to that question is as varied as the books you’ll find when you search the genre Christian Fiction. A few years ago a preacher I was listening to gave this definition for a parable:

It’s an earthly story with a heavenly message.

As soon as I heard that definition, it resonated with me. That’s the way I view Christian fiction–an earthly story with a heavenly message. Or in the case of science fiction it might be an-out-of-this-world story but it still has that heavenly message!

So, what’s the heavenly message? Again, there are lots of choices. Most of my stories seem to focus on God’s love; forgiving others; and living out the Golden rule.  I don’t limit myself to those themes, it just seems to work out that way most of the time.

I’m not much for following rules, but I do have a few as I write. First absolutely NO bad language, NO explicit sex scenes; and NO premarital sex (though a character make reference to it but always as a regret or a mistake.) Most of my characters are Christians at various stages on their walk with God. Some may not be actively following their faith at the beginning of the story, but as the story progresses, so does their faith.

So, I’m not just a writer, I’m a Christian writer. And I’m not just a Christian writer, I’m a Christian Fiction writer, and for me that means something. Just as the title Christian means something.  Taking the title of Christian Fiction writer means I will write in such a way as to be God’s ambassador to my readers.

Sounds a bit lofty and even arrogant, doesn’t it?

As someone said (I think it was JFK) we’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. I choose to be part of the solution with the stories I write. There’s so much darkness in this world, I want to add some light. So even though I write mysteries and suspense stories, they have a message of faith, hope and love.

And that’s how I derived my tagline: Lillian Duncan…stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem!

 

 

They’re baaaack…

Reggie and Dylan are back in my new release, UNTIL DEATH DO US PART.  We first met them in Pursued as they met, were chased by a crazed killer, and fell in love.  Now they’re married. Happily married you ask? Well….you’ll have to read the story to find the answer to that question. But I can tell you there are plenty of hold-your-breath moments as Reggie and Dylan live out their faith–meaning helping others who are in trouble.  And trouble they find!

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AMAZON LINK

 

 UNTIL DEATH DO US PART:

When Reggie vowed until death do us part, she had no idea how close she’d come.

Newlywed Reggie Monroe struggles to find her happily ever after. As much as she loves her husband, she finds life to be overwhelming as she attempts to be the perfect farmer’s wife in rural Ohio.

When Dylan receives a mysterious message from his best friend, he knows trouble is brewing. To keep Reggie safe, he encourages her to visit friends, but keeping secrets from Reggie is never a good idea. It only makes her more curious—and everyone knows that curiosity killed the cat!

Until Death Do Us Part becomes more than words as Reggie struggles to stay alive and reunite with her husband.

AMAZON LINK

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!