Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 1 in The Hot and Deadly Blog Hop!

It's day 1 in The Hot and Deadly Blog Hop! Join 51 authors for 3 days devoted to those compelling yet dangerous characters populating our novels. Dangerous in this case could also mean those sexy and loveable bad boy heroes.

I'd rather tell you about my shady sociopaths.
; )

The Grand Prize is a Barnes & Noble gift card valued at more than $50 (still growing) Comment on all blogs with your email to win. Each participant is offering goodies on their blogs too. My prize is a readers-choice pick from my backlist. Read my first chapter excerpts and choose your prize on Amazon .

So, about that hot and deadly character...
Other than Hermes Online, which is sort of a sensual diary, my stories generally have bad guys to bring conflict to the table. My villains aren't simply people trying to have their way in the story, and they're never evil just to give the hero/heroine something to do. Besides being handsome or beautiful (which somehow makes them more evil!), they have complex cores and personalities too. As a reader, I like stories with reasons behind actions. My readers will find reasons these people are the way they are and these reasons are told throughout the story in small and large ways. I like to give the reader a point, maybe even a point of sympathy, from which to understand the inner workings of the bad guy.

My offering today is Dreamscape. Written in homage to Agatha Christie, Dreamscape is a haunting, a murder, a thriller, a mystery, and a love story that transcends time. Above all, this sensual tale is a reader's Easter egg hunt in the truest sense. Not everything is as it appears. Peppered throughout are little clues suggesting a story running behind the scenes. Finding them isn't necessary to the telling of the tale, just one of the fun twists I like to insert into my writing. Can you find them all before the story ends?
But more importantly, can a ghost find love among the living?

Here's the story

5-Stars at Manic Readers ~
"I wondered as I read this how the lovers were ever going to solve that problem, but was totally surprised at how Anderson arrived at the HEA [happy ever after] ending I was hoping for as I read far into the night. Great read with a surprising twist ending."

Setting the Stage:
Lanie is dreaming Jason's time period again. Having plied her brain's synapses with his ghostly energy Jason is with her. In this scene, Jason relives a dinner with his murderers had 120 years before -- the same dinner just days before his wife and her cousins killed him. The difference is, this time he knows what their plan is and Lanie is beside him. The dream opens on the staircase. Jason escorts Lanie to the dining room.

Meeting my Villains:
Feminine laughter coming from the parlor followed by the deeper timbre of a man’s voice met them on the bottom stair. Curiously, the man at Lanie’s side suddenly stiffened, the muscles in the arm she held grew taut. She looked up at his face but saw nothing to account for it.

“Miss O’Keefe, it would appear our party has already begun,” Jason told her loudly enough for the revelers to hear as they rounded the corner to the parlor.

Cathy whirled around, her obvious enjoyment noticeably diminishing at the sound of her husband’s approach. She recovered quickly, and soon replaced the frown with the bright, beautiful smile Jason now knew to be a treacherous lie. “Darling, Bertha has arrived and brought her brother, Richard.”

Bertha rushed forward and pulled him into an exaggerated embrace. “So wonderful to see you, Jason!” Obviously happy, she kissed his cheek and held onto him slightly longer than a proper Southern woman might. Bertha couldn’t help herself. She’d fancied this man since his father first brought him to Atlanta.

Extracting himself, Jason forced a smile. “And good to see you again, Bertha. My wife has eagerly awaited your visit. She speaks of nothing else but her ‘dear Bertha and her brother Richard whom she’d love to know better."

Bertha laughed, the braying sound aptly accompanying her equine face. “Well, that’s why Richard accompanied me. You know, we ran in…”

“Different circles. Yes, so I’ve heard,” Jason finished. Then, acknowledging the grinning man who gave the unfortunate family countenance to his great-great-granddaughter Margaret, he extended his hand. “And you must be Richard.”

“Jason.” Richard took it, his smile lingering. And all the while Jason kept his resolve not to beat the man within an inch of his life.

“My sister has pestered me for the last few months to come see her dear friend Cathy. So good of you to invite us for the holiday.” His eyes fell on Lanie with obvious appreciation. “And who might this pretty Miss be? Not your sister, surely?” Richard held out his hand, his earlier smile now lighting his eyes.

Cathy rushed forward and, hooking her arm in Lanie’s, promptly pulled her before Bertha. “Please forgive the lapse of manners. In all the excitement of seeing my dear, dear friends I have forgotten further introductions are necessary. Bertha, Richard, this is Miss…uh…”

“O’Keefe, Elaine O’Keefe,” Lanie filled in. Cathy’s hold on her eased a bit.

“Charmed, Miss O’Keefe. May I call you Elaine?” Bertha asked, eyeing her from head to toe. Obviously whoever you are you do not know how to dress appropriately for dinner.

“She’s come on business and will be staying for dinner,” Cathy informed her guests. “I’m sure their commerce won’t take long.”

His earlier reminder coming to the fore, Jason told them, “Actually, Miss O’Keefe’s business is better not rushed through, as we’ve much to discuss. She’ll be staying until all is said that needs saying. I’m sure our business will not impact your plans in the least.”

Cathy smoothly recovered her composure. She smiled prettily at Lanie. “Then you simply must make yourself at home. I’m sure Addy can aptly see to any need you may have. Should there be time, do join us for the holiday festivities.”

Bertha made sound similar to the heehaw of a jackass when she laughed. “Yes, do. The more the merrier!”

Richard came forward and held out his arm. “May I escort you to the table, Lanie?” A noticeable few seconds passed before Cathy let her go that she might take it.

Jason laughed. His wife and her friend turned around to look at him curiously. Richard, his attentions fully on the lovely, raven-haired houseguest, failed to notice. Jason held out both elbows. “Ladies, that leaves me to escort you both.”

Bertha gave a long-faced grin. “I’d never refuse a charming man’s arm.”

Cathy eyes followed Richard and shot daggers at Lanie’s back.

“I’m very much looking forward to dinner, my dear.” Jason chuckled.

Jason was behaving oddly. The O’Keefe woman’s business no doubt. Cathy’s fake smile returned. “As am I.”

No sooner had he uttered the words when he was pulled into the waking world by Lanie’s ringing telephone.

Sparing a glance at the clock, Lanie read a quarter past five. She asked sleepily, “Hello?”

It was Lexie. “Hey, did I wake you?”

“Yeah, no biggie. I’d be getting up soon anyway. Give me a minute, I’ll be right back.” After seeing to her need to use the bathroom, she quickly returned and set the phone to speaker so she could dress. “What’s up?”

“I shouldn’t have had that second cup of coffee. I couldn’t sleep at all. I don’t know how you handle coffee at night.”

Having survived her residency completely fueled by coffee, she said, “Med school. Caffeine is part of my DNA now. You were saying?”

“So anyway, I couldn’t sleep, so I went the through the rest of the stuff I had on the Bowen mystery. I found a society page in the May 5th Gazetteer. Jason Bowen’s wife was a Southern belle who was apparently orphaned sometime late in the war. She lived with distant cousins.”

“And?” Lanie yawned.

“And those cousins happened to be the Masons. She might have had something going with Richard Mason years before she met Jason. Maybe that’s why she married him so quickly. They already had a history.”

“A cousin?”

“It happened in the South, even between first cousins though that seemed to be a rarer thing. All those plantation families intermarried. In a lot of respects they were the American version of European gentry. The classes tended to stay within their own societal circles and kept the wealth and resources in the family so to speak.”

“That is interesting.”

“But get this, Jackson Bowen was a major stockholder in the Mason textile mill.”

“Yeah, you read where Jackson was involved in the Restoration.”

“Jason must have gone down there with his dad and met her.” There was silence on the other end of the phone. Lexie said, “Don’t you see?”

Lanie shook her head. Having just woken up she wasn’t readily following her friend’s line of thought. “See what?”

“Arghh. I forget you don’t watch detective shows like I do. The south was beaten into submission in the war and beaten into the ground financially after. There were a lot of northern investors coming in. A lot of Southerners chafed at that, but there was nothing else to do, they needed northern money because their own was worthless and they had to rebuild. Lanie, what if Jason didn’t abandon his wife as she initially stated?”

Lanie zipped up her cut-off denim shorts and sat on the bed to put on her socks and shoes. “She had him declared dead.”

After his good friend the sheriff and Aunt Celia denounced the idea of abandonment as ridiculous. But what if there’s more to the story? Cathy remarried awfully fast, even by today’s standards.”

“Well, you just read Cathy and Richard grew up together…”

“Exactly! Lanie, what if Cathy and Richard Mason planned this all along? What if they bumped off Jason Bowen for his money?”

Creepy huh? Read more from Dreamscape with Amazon's Look Inside feature.

You'll LOVE Reading Rose!

Main Blog:
Subscribe on the Main blog for interesting posts, updates & more.

Satellite Blogs:
One hop or four, there's lots of action on these blogs!

Salon Blog:
Come start a great discussion or add to one.

Exquisite Quills:
Several authors & their romances
. From sweet to scorching. (NEW!)

Romance Books '4' Us:
I'm a featured author and blog the 4th of every month (NEW!)


I'll happily sign all ebooks with Authorgraph

Social Media:
I'm everywhere! Come say hi. I follow back.




Author Pages etc:
I have many author's pages and static pages around the web. Too many to list here! If you see me, do say hi!


  1. I am reading Eternal Lover right now and love Rhage. These books are awesome so far!!!
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

    1. Hi, thanks for stopping. I'm not familiar with the Eternal Lover story. Who's the author?

  2. I’m rereading the Eye of the Storm by Monette Michaels. I like Ren Maddox, Trey Maddox, Risto Smith, and the rest of the team from the Security Specialists International series by Monette. The are all so HOT and very deadly. They take NO prisoners and play for keeps.
    Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win. <^_^>
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  3. Thanks for participating in the blog hop!

  4. My favorite hot and deadly hero is Bones from the Night Huntress series! He is amazing, I love him!
    verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. Thanks for participating.

  6. Eerie excerpt, thanks for sharing and thanks for the blog hop.

    elewkf1 at yahoo dot com

  7. Thank you for the great giveaway and fun blog hop!