Monthly Archives: December 2014

CASI 2.5 — an interlude with Heath and Monica

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CASI 2.5… The next story up in the CASI world is Lunatic Fringe, which is Heath and Monica’s story.  Since Shoot to Thrill was released on 31 December, I thought it’d be fun to play in their world, and give you a snapshot of how they first met.  And for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, check out Behind Blue Eyes & Shoot to Thrill at your retailer of choice.  In the comments below tell me 1) What is Sara’s job in Behind Blue Eyes, and 2) What kind of special forces are trying to kill Arin and Jonah?  I’ll pick a random winner on 1/5 and shoot you the gift card!

And after you’re done here?  Check out the next blog in the hop HERE or go back to where it all started and read some great stuff!


The night I met Heath Farrell my life changed.  Just how much would come back to haunt me.

We were young then, just turned twenty-one, less than a year away from getting our degrees and charging out into the big wide world, ready to save it.

The bar was packed with students that New Year’s Eve night, which wasn’t really any different than a normal night in Austin.  We were watching the countdown in both Times Square and Dallas, ready for a reason to party to two different time zones.  And kiss a cutie we might not otherwise have the chance to lock lips with.

So when the ball began to drop in New York, I wasn’t so surprised that a warm, obviously male hand grasped my shoulder and turned me for a stranger-to-stranger smooch.  But the man in question, well, he stunned me into speechlessness.

Five… he was taller than me by at least three inches, even in my strappy little heels, and I had to lean back to look at his face

Four… his eyes were an icy blue I’d never seen before in real life, his face clean shaven and strong

Three… my hands rose to his chest and beneath my fingers, hard, lean muscle flexed and moved

Two… “Hello sunshine,” he murmured, and his voice rolled through me like thunder

One… “Monica, my name is Monica,” I squeaked

And then his lips were covering mine and everything inside me went molten and liquid.  Around me the crowd was whooping it up, but it was a dull sound I could barely hear over the roaring in my ears.

When his head lifted, those blue eyes had gone stormy, cloudy with passion.  All from one kiss.

He curled one of his hands around mine, pinning it to his chest.  “I’m Heath. Wanna do that again in an hour?”

He startled a laugh out of me, and when he smiled in response, I was a goner.



Eats in Mariposa, CA, Day 2

Sorry for the break in the action, been working on promo for Shoot to Thrill’s release on 31 December 🙂

So here’s a recap of our dining experience in our recent vacation… Just as a reminder, August and I follow the Primal Lifestyle (no grains, no rice, no potatoes, etc. Basically it’s a hugely limited carb thing).

We started our second evening by having a glass of most excellent Hovey Chardonnay at The Alley, then moved on to a favorite place of ours, Savoury’s.  It’s always a bit amusing for me to eat there, because what is now a very nice higher-end restaurant used to be the Rexall Drug Store.  In fact, as we sat there with our pre-dinner cocktails (a cosmo for me, a martini for August), I showed August where our druggist (Leroy Radonovich, who runs a winery in town) used to stand and hand out meds for my entire childhood.

But now it obviously looks nothing like it did :).  We enjoyed an appetizer of the Veggie Stacked Portobello and the Seared Ahi with Olive Tapenade.  YUM!, then I had the Diablo Shrimp Skewers, and August had the Surf & Turf.  All of it was fabulous, and paired with a really nice zin (can’t remember the vintner).  Since we’re not dessert peeps, instead we had a nice after dinner drink and just enjoyed.

One of the things that’s always fun to do in a community that’s geared toward tourism is to just chill and watch everyone around you.  In Mariposa, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, you’re guaranteed to hear a wide range of accents and truly interesting conversations.  In a place like Savoury’s it’s doubly pleasurable, because the wait staff is so unobtrusive.  They keep a serious eye on their tables, and seem to materialize right when you need them, but not before.

As for pricing, it was actually pretty close to what we paid at the Gold Coin, so definitely not hitting fast food :), but not breaking the bank either, especially if it’s something you’re doing as part of vacation fun or a special event.

This is a regular stop for us when we go home, and I can’t recommend it enough!




Shoot to Thrill excerpt and cover goodness

Greetings all!  So, I just put Shoot to Thrill up for pre-order, so if you’re of a mind to, check it out:



Just to tease :), here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1


I stepped out of my SUV and straightened the pencil skirt and trim jacket I’d donned in deference to my cover.  In six years with the Bureau, I’d never worn such a ridiculous costume.  My duties, even when I’d been a forensic accounting cube monkey, tended more toward slacks and flats or Rockports, not the pastel pink nightmare I sported nor the ridiculous strappy stilts masquerading as shoes I teetered on.  I looked like a freakin’ brunette Barbie Doll.  I’d even straightened my hair.

It was humiliating.  Then again, this wasn’t an assignment.  It was personal.  This was for Wes. Something twisted inside me at the thought, actually made me rub a hand over my heart.  I was such a mess.  I blew out a breath and pushed my shoulders back, put some steel in my spine.  I could do this.  I would do this.

I’d wrapped up the Kansas City case a few weeks ago.  Not so surprisingly, the perp was someone the family had known.  It wasn’t as if my stellar detecting skills had solved it, either.  Nope.  One of the local stations decided to run a story on the disappearance and death of little Tessa Aria, and had requested an interview with me.  Since it was no secret I was in town, especially to anyone remotely connected to the case, I agreed.  If our evildoer wasn’t a local, it wouldn’t have mattered.

But he was.  Three streets over, an acquaintance who’d sold vacuum cleaners, of all ridiculous things.  But back in the day, it was a job that kept you hustling and on the road if you wanted to earn a living.  Mobility like that had given him a perfect cover, and a perfect way to dispose of Tessa.  Now the perp was dead by his own hand, leaving a suicide note explaining what had happened and how very sorry he was.

As endings went, it wasn’t horrid, wasn’t optimum.  The family had closure, but hadn’t been able to confront the man who’d killed their child.  God, my job sucked.  It wasn’t much of a stretch after an outcome like that to ask for vacation, which had been granted with no questions asked.

And now, here I was.  Agent Arin Thomas was now, for all intents and purposes, Arin Thomas, Investigative Reporter.  My skin crawled at the thought.