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Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Amazon $2.99 (Pre-sale until 9-25-14): http://amzn.com/B00N0795WY
Smashwords $2.99 (Pre-sale until 9-25-14): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/471791
Murder, revenge, and nightmares. Can their love survive the haunting of Laurel Heights?
A dark cloud of deceit hovers over her family tree…
Left an estate by an aunt she’s never met, Laurel Standridge takes possession of Laurel Heights, hoping it will be the safe haven she needs to recuperate from her ill-fated relationship with Rand Peterson. Secrets long buried rise to the surface when her cousin James is murdered and dumped on the highway just outside the gates of Laurel Heights.
Her past trails her to the mountains of Arkansas…
Caught in an obligation Chase Peterson feels he cannot ignore, he agrees to help his brother Rand take back the property he believes Laurel stole from him, but Chase remains at Laurel Heights after he discovers Laurel took nothing of Rand’s away with her except nightmares, fading bruises, and a broken rib.
Unexplained disturbances shatter her hopes of a normal life…
Are the strange bumps, thumps, and bangs reverberating through the night caused by the murderer of Laurel’s cousin James, someone Rand has sent to exact his revenge, or a disturbed soul existing in another dimension, trying to communicate with the living? Drawn together by the intrigue surrounding Laurel Heights, Chase and Laurel become hopelessly entangled in a relationship that goes deeper than lust. Can their love survive the haunting of Laurel Heights?
Since Laurel had moved into her aunt’s house, she hadn’t fallen asleep once without pharmaceutical help. The sleeping aid usually lulled her into lullaby land, but the drug seldom got her through the night without a nightmare. She was quickly running out of the prescription and would have to resort to over-the-counter antihistamines soon. The doctor she had seen in Fairview wouldn’t renew her prescription. He hadn’t wanted to prescribe it anyway. She wouldn’t be going back to him.
She lay still beneath her comforter, listening to the unusual sounds coming from the lower floor. The house made a lot of noises, especially at night. She sucked in a ragged breath when it made a few more. Thuds and bumps sounded like footfalls. Was someone in the house or was she being paranoid? Every shadow reminded her of Rand. He was in prison and would be incarcerated for a very long time, probably the rest of his life, but he could easily send one of his loyal subordinates to find her.
She wrapped her fingers around the grip of the baseball bat she kept next to her bed and hoped she wouldn’t have to use it. Confronting an intruder with a hollow piece of aluminum seemed like a lame defense. She had been considering purchasing a gun, but hadn’t done so yet. Maybe it was time. She’d have to buy one under the radar because she didn’t want anyone doing a background check on her. Acquiring a shotgun shouldn’t be too hard. It seemed everyone in Arkansas owned a firearm of some sort.
She threw off the comforter, rose from the bed, slipped across the room with the bat over her shoulder, and opened the door to peer down the hallway toward the front stairs. Nothing moved. The house was quiet. Maybe a little too quiet. Only moments before, a symphony of strange noises had disturbed the night. It was as if opening her bedroom door had turned off the sound.
She stared at the back stairs directly across from her bedroom and considered going down to the first floor to check the door locks, but nixed the idea. Locked doors wouldn’t keep someone out of the house if they really wanted to get in. Better to barricade herself in her bedroom and keep the bat close by. She slammed the door shut.
No moonlight filtered through the flimsy fabric covering the window. The moon hid behind a thick cloud cover. She tugged at the curtains, pulling them tighter to keep out the night. Before she stepped away, she caught a glimpse of something not quite right. Peeking between the curtain panels, she stared across the backyard. On the other side of the grimy window, a dim light flitted back and forth inside the detached garage.
She shivered with apprehension. The structure was derelict, unlike her garage in California. The four-car garage had been attached to Rand’s half million-dollar house. They had been living in the two-story, five-bedroom house for at least a year, but the place had never seemed like home to Laurel. Everything belonged to Rand. By the end of their disastrous relationship, he had treated her like a possession as well. Actually, maybe he had all along.
Comparing her life then to her life now brought up memories of the beating Rand had given her and his attempt to attack her again. If Foster hadn’t shown up when he did, she’d probably be dead.
She glanced at the clock beside her bed. It was nearly four in the morning, the darkest hour of the night. Who could possibly be snooping around her place in the dark? Who would be in her garage at any hour? She contemplated calling the local Sheriff’s Office, but decided against it. She didn’t want cops involved in her personal business. No. She would find out who was messing around her property without involving local law enforcement. Eventually the intruder would show himself, and she would be ready for him.
Please tell us a little bit about your current projects?
Thank you so much for hosting me today!
Today’s release, Laurel Heights, is the first in an exciting new series of paranormal romantic suspense. The central character in the series is Mitchell Grayson (Gray), a county Sheriff’s deputy and paranormal investigator. Even though he is not a main character in any of the books except the second one, he is a central character in the series. Each book has three elements that spin and twist until they come together at the conclusion of the book. A romantic element, a suspense element, and a paranormal element. All of the books in the series will have a haunting that Grayson will investigate. I have already begun writing the second book in the series, Victoria House, with the concept in mind for the third book, Ashley Ridge. I plan to continue the series as long as I can imagine new situations for Gray to investigate. I’d like to keep the series going for at least an additional three or four books beyond what I’ve already drafted.
When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?
When my daydreaming became a problem. I have a very active imagination, and I could imagine myself other places, with other people, living a different life. Well, as you can imagine that might not be very healthy. One day I realized I could channel all that creativity into a much healthier activity by writing instead of daydreaming.
Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?
A publisher, and I can’t even remember which one. I submitted the Colorado series years ago and received my first rejection. It was crushing. But the man advised me to hone my craft and polish my skills, perhaps by attending a writers’ conference. I took his advice. At the conference, I realized how much I didn’t know about the art and craft of writing. Looking back on some of the manuscripts I drafted eight to ten years ago…I cringe. And even now, I learn new skills. My biggest advice for aspiring authors is to keep writing, researching, and reading about the craft of writing. Never give up your dream.
Describe the “perfect”hero. What about the “perfect”hero for you?
I think the perfect romantic suspense hero should be beautifully flawed. Where’s the tension-building conflict between the hero and heroine if the hero does everything right? No one is perfect and I don’t want to read about perfection. Give me the baggage, the quirks, the scars, and the inner turmoil. The more, the better. Just as long as there is something about the hero the heroine can’t live without. Not that she has to have him to survive, but that she wants to survive with him. Here are five characteristics (not a complete list by any means) of what I think makes a perfect hero:
He has a strong sense of right and wrong.
- He has a strong heart that is easily broken.
- He’s fearless, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t afraid.
- He knows when to confront danger and when to back away.
- He may not be Hollywood handsome, but he’s definitely attractive to the heroine.
What has been your biggest adventure to date?
Let me just say right off that I am NOT the out-doorsy type. Give me air conditioning and a nice place to potty, and I’m a happy camper. Until a few years ago, I was mortally afraid of drowning. I would go into the pool, but no one better push my head under the water. So going whitewater rafting in Class III to IV rapids was something way out of my comfort zone. My biggest fear was NOT falling out of the raft; it was being unable to get back in. Rafting the Ocoee in Tennessee was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in my life. Since then, I’ve rafted rivers in Montana and Colorado as well, and I would go again in a heartbeat.
If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?
Hum…that sounds like an interesting premise for a book.
The Rockies in Alberta, Canada. One place I’ve never been. I love the mountains. It’s obvious because I set so many of my books in the mountains. I think my love for the Rockies began when I was a child. My mother and father had taken a trip to the Colorado Rockies before I was born. I would sit for hours looking at the pictures my mother had taken of that trip and longed to see the places she’d captured in her photographs. There’s something about the size and grandeur of snow-covered peak that takes my breath away.
When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?
I will try anything once, and I’ve found that I like some unusual foods—well unusual for a girl from Louisiana.
What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without?
The Internet. When my mother was ill, I spent every other night with her in a house with no Internet connection. I found myself clicking on my browser icon only to be reminded I had no service. A couple of times, I wanted to cry. How pathetic is that? Although, I have to say, I had plenty of time to write after she went to bed. I completed Crisis of Serenity during that time.
What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?
Are you talking reality or fiction? With two children living at home, a romantic evening is any night they are both out of the house! Recently, my husband and I took a trip to New Orleans, just the two of us, where we had a room on the 22nd floor of a hotel right next to the French Quarter. Such a wonderful view. That night we dined at Antoine’s. A very old, very classy restaurant. Candlelight and wine. That night it was just the two of us, which can be very romantic is that’s not what you’re used to. New Orleans has such a unique atmosphere, unlike any other city in the world, that it felt like we had ventured somewhere exotic. I think getting away and doing something different with the one you love is the ideal romantic evening.
What is your favorite comfort food?
No question. Tex-Mex.
What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?
In Louisiana we have one week of fall, a half day of winter, two weeks of spring, and summer. It is hot and humid all the time. So hot that I don’t want to spend much time outdoors. My favorite season is fall because the temperatures are milder, the air is crisper, and there’s a feeling of impending celebration with the holidays coming on. I love decorating for the holidays. Fall colors, green, gold, orange, red, and purple, are my favorite color combination. My daughter and I have a Pinterest board dedicated to fall decorating inspiration.
What project are you working on next?
I’m working on the second book in the Haunted Hearts series, Victoria House. It’s set in the same fictional county in Arkansas as Laurel Heights. And of course, there is a ghost, a cop, and a woman who wants the ghost in her house to settle down and let her live in peace…with the cop.
Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next?
Tonight, I’m hosting a Launch Party for Laurel Heights on Facebook. Please join the fun on September 25, 2014, from 7pm until 9pm, central standard time. There will be fun, games, and prizes. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1483582165217715/
This blog tour for Laurel Heights will continue until October 1, 2014. Please visit my website for details at http://www.denisemoncrief.com/upcoming-blog-tours.html.
I’m offering a Laurel Heights Launch Party giveaway on my website until November 1, 2014. Stop by my website for details. http://www.denisemoncrief.com/contests.html.
From October 13 – 27, 2014, my book Crisis of Serenity will be on tour. Details will be posted soon on my website as well as included in my monthly newsletter. Please go to my website http://www.denisemoncrief.com and sign up for my newsletter to get the details when they become available.
Suspense, She Writes
Where the road to happily ever after takes a suspenseful detour. Fast paced twists and turns that keep you turning the pages. Romantic happily ever after moments that take your breath away. Paranormal romantic suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Want to know a little bit more about Denise? She’s a Southern girl who has lived in Louisiana all her life, and yes, she has a drawl. She has a wonderful husband and two incredible children, who not only endure her writing moods, but also encourage her to indulge her writing passion. Besides writing romantic suspense, she enjoys traveling, reading, and scrapbooking.
Accounting is a skill she has learned to earn a little money to support her writing habit. She wrote her first story when she was a teen, seventeen handwritten pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel she had read. She’s been writing off and on ever since, and with more than a few full-length manuscripts already completed, she has no desire to slow down.
You can connect with Denise at