Bodyguard for Christmas by Carol J. Post

Bodyguard for Christmas (Murphy, #3)Bodyguard for Christmas by Carol J. Post
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Forget the stereotypes usually found in romance stories. Award-winning Author Carol J. Post breaks through with originality and taut suspense with Bodyguard for Christmas. This page-turner is big on romance, but even bigger in suspense. A District Attorney with a small child is being hunted by thugs and hires a bodyguard. From there the twists and turns take the reader on a thrill ride of action, investigation, and emotional chills from Atlanta to Murphy, North Carolina.
Don’t start this book in the evening because you’ll say, “Just one more chapter. I have to see what’s going to happen next,” all night long.

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Lethal Legacy by Carol J. Post

cover of Lethal Legacy by Carol J. PostAward-winning author Carol J. Post writes romantic suspense that engages the reader. Her clear prose creates memorable images and believably complex characters in this suspenseful story. Andrea Wheaton returns to her family’s cabin in Murphy, North Carolina following the sudden death of her parents. She goes to mull over whether to keep or sell the beloved family retreat and her arrival interrupts robbers. Soon, Andrea is swept into solving the mystery of what the thugs are searching for and why. The neighbor, a police officer, offers to help, but accepting Bryce Caldwell’s help requires setting aside the unhappy ending to their past relationship.

The tense, fast-moving story blends danger and awkwardness as Andrea and Bryce battle threats and follow clues. Suspenseful on many levels, Lethal Legacy entertains and surprises from beginning to end. This is romantic suspense done right.

Lethal Legacy is Post’s twelfth book. Her work has been recognized by Romance Writers of America and the Florida Writers Association for excellence.

Reunited by Danger by Carol J. Post

2017 RITA Nominee Author Carol J. Post crafts a story of romance, reunions, and revenge in her latest novel Reunited by Danger. Recognized in the Golden Heart Awards and the Royal Palm Literary Awards for her work, Post’s latest novel explores the lasting aftermath of teen behavior. As if high school reunions were not stressful enough, Amber Kingston faces hazardous relationships she wanted to leave in the past.

Reunited by DangerFive hard-partying friends, each carrying secret guilt, are invited to their 10th High School Reunion by one of their own who fails to appear. Ten years have passed since Amber parted ways with her friends, but long-held grudges rise again when the classmates are reunited. One by one, they are taunted by poetic threatening messages.

This story reminds me of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. The reader is drawn into the mystery of who the killer or killers could be as the characters meet someone’s idea of justice. A taut, faster-paced, romantic suspense version of Christie’s concept sweeps the reader into the story early as the suspense escalates to the shocking end. I enjoy my suspense with a heavy dose of romance, so this story fully entertained from cover to cover. Big kudos to the author for building tension and drama and surprising twists without stooping to cringe-worthy language. So refreshing!

Carol J. Post receives recognition at the Royal Palm Literary Awards in 2016.

Reunited by Danger comes out on September 1, 2017, just in time for late summer reading on the beach. Just in time for the next generation of teens to return to school. Beware.

 

Call Me Trawler Trash

Once the urge strikes to compose a novel, I draft a rough outline and launch into research. For my third novel this meant learning about boats–specifically Trawlers. Part of the story takes place on a trawler, so I needed to understand how they operate, navigate, smell, sound, look, and where to hide a body on one.

Using online research helps only up to a certain point. Cost, size, models, speed, and other performance facts about boats are readily available online. To fully capture the experience of being on such a boat, my BFF and her husband invited me to ride along. Meet hosts Caryn and Paul Frink. (South of Justice, book 1 of the Compass Crimes series, is dedicated in part to my BFF.)

Trawler Hosts Caryn and Paul Frink

Seeker

RESEARCH

For five days and four nights, I bunked in their guest cabin. The perfect hosts, they introduced me to life aboard the Seeker, a 37-foot, 22,600 pound, diesel-powered Nordic Tug 37. Aboard the Seeker, I learned the difference between seawater, fresh water, grey water, and black water (eeew). Captain Paul also explained the navigation equipment, maps, and the basic systems that keep the boat running smoothly whether powered by the engine or powered by the giant yellow power cable used while docked.

There are many key differences between piloting a boat and piloting an aircraft. The boating maps are huuuuge and very detailed. Navigating canals and waterways means watching for red and green signs with numbers, called markers. The markers guide boats through the deeper areas so boats don’t run aground. “Red, right, return,” became my mantra. Binoculars in hand, I tried to help find the markers as the horizon pitched up and down. The Seeker chugged along at a top speed of 8 knots. The Cessna 210 I fly cruises at about 175 knots, so yeah, boating is slower. More leisurely.

The trip began in Naples, Florida at the city dock made of wood. At lunch in Tin City, we saw a pelican try to swallow a beer can. Other pelicans even tried to steal it from him. Not the brightest creatures. I think they’ve become accustomed to human handouts. We traveled an inner passage of waterways south to Marco Island which had a floating cement dock. From there we headed into the Ten Thousand Islands between Marco Island and Everglades City.

Marker 44

The constant rocking meant learning how to walk differently. At first, I staggered like a drunk, but by the end of the week walking around became easier and less bruising. Paul and Caryn helped me resolve a few key issues with the plot of my next book. It involves a kidnapping, a trawler, and a navy brat who refuses to be a victim.

Unnamed island

Not only did my hosts help me find the perfect spot to use in my book, but they took me there and we anchored overnight. The term ‘dead calm’ has new meaning for me. We found a remote spot that turned pitch black at night. The only sound at night was the glub-blub of water against the hull. Creepy quiet. It would have been peaceful if I had not been thinking about the book. Eventually, the boat rocked me to sleep.

We saw dolphins playing on the ride back to Naples.

Bow candy or Trawler trash?

LOOPERS

Since we “crossed our own wake” on a mini loop, Caryn dubbed me a mini-looper. There is an entire society of Loopers, complete with a newsletter, blogs, and harbor hosts. They too, will play a part in the third book in the Compass Crimes–West of Famous.

The best part of the trip was spending time with Caryn, my dearest childhood friend. Thank you, Caryn and Paul, for putting up with a pesky stowaway who asked lots of questions and took notes and photos of all kinds of places. West of Famous is richer for this research.

Hubby calls it a vacation. I’m still calling it research. Ignore my tan.

In Her Defense by Vicki Tharp

Vicki Tharp delivers smooth prose and fast-paced suspenseful story packed with an adrenaline-rush of crime, secrets, passion, and intrigue. In Her Defense begins when Attorney Danielle McKean returns to Charleston to appeal the murder conviction of an architect. Returning to Charleston creates emotional turmoil for Danielle. She knows she will have to face her ex Jack Walsh. She doesn’t want to rehash their past.

Jack Walsh never fully understood why they broke up. Danielle had told him she didn’t want children, yet she returns unmarried, with a daughter. To make matters worse, Danielle’s investigation sheds unwelcome light on the architectural firm’s partners–one of whom is Jack’s father.

In Her Defense by Vicki Tharp

In Her Defense by Vicki Tharp

As Danielle researches the evidence against her client, forces arise to block her path. Jack wants answers, so he tags along with Danielle. Soon, Danielle and Jack realize that someone very dangerous wants to stop Danielle. The stakes rise with each piece of evidence gathered. What is Danielle willing to risk for her client? Should she trust Jack?

Surprises and twists drive the reader from chapter to chapter. Don’t start reading unless you can spare enough time to finish!

Tharp is also the author of Don’t Look Back, a romantic suspense finalist in the 2007 Golden Heart Awards sponsored by Romance Writers of America.

 

Cold Pursuit by Toni Anderson

Cold Pursuit (Cold Justice, #2)Cold Pursuit by Toni Anderson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This solid suspense story by New York Times Best-selling Author Toni Anderson is part of a series. I enjoyed the fast pace and believable characters. When a woman and her eight-year-old son become trapped at a shopping mall during a terrorist attack, an off-duty FBI agent comes to their aid. Romance without the hearts and flowers. Edgy. High-octane emotions and fast-pacing draw the reader into the action.
This story is a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award ~ for Romantic Suspense.

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