Tag Archives: romantic suspense

A day in the life with Derek Cooper by Terry Odell

Occupation: Head of the Triple-D cattle ranch in Colorado.

Welcome to the Triple-D. Come on in, grab a seat at the table. Have some breakfast, meet the gang. I’m Derek Cooper, head of the ranch. It’s one of the biggest Colorado cattle operations in the county, and has been in the family since my great-granddaddy’s day.

That guy shoveling in the food is Tim—he thinks he’s funny, but you don’t need to laugh at his lame jokes. The quiet one is Bryce—he’s our head wrangler, which means he’s in charge of the horses. He’s got a way with all animals. Then there’s Frank, who’s the brains of the outfit, and my sister, Cecily, who’s usually working as a dispatcher for the sheriff’s department, but is helping out on her day off. I’ve known these guys since my days in the Army Rangers, or with Blackthorne, Inc. The mutt at your feet is Charlie. He thinks he’s a cattle dog, but mostly, he’s looking for handouts.

You wanted to know what a typical day on a cattle ranch is like, so I’ll do my best to give you the basics. Afraid it’s pretty dull. Okay, there was that time when a nutcase was killing cattle all over the state, but we caught the guy, so there’s no story there anymore.

Most days, like today, we start work by sunrise, then break between nine and ten for a hearty breakfast, like now. Our cook has her hands full keeping this crew fed, but she does a great job. Today it’s sausage, eggs, and her cheese biscuits. Plenty of juice and coffee, so help yourself.

We’ve been out since before six this morning. First thing, Bryce gets the horses saddled, and we load them into the trailer. Driving them to where we’ll be working saves a lot of time when we’re working cattle in the far pastures. Sometimes there’s a sick cow, or one gets stuck in a ravine. There’s branding and tagging to identify the animals as ours—not that it stopped that rustler, but we caught him, so no story there, either.

It’s calving season, so we checked for any new ones born overnight, made sure they’re okay. One new mama had twins, and one of her calves wasn’t doing well, so we brought the little one back here. She’ll be a bottle baby until she can go it on her own. Today’s been an easy morning. After lunch, Bryce and I will check another pasture while Frank and Tim mend fence—we have over a hundred miles of it here on the Triple-D, and there are always breaks to fix.

What’s that you say? Oh, you heard about the trouble we had not long ago. Not really much to tell. Cecily called me from the dispatch office at two in the morning. There’s a stranded motorist, and none of the tow trucks are available. Of course, it’s in the middle of a blinding rainstorm, but I’ve never been able to say no to my sister with her brown, puppy-dog eyes. I drove out to help, and found Sabrina, who was on the run after some bad stuff went down with her brother, although she didn’t know it at the time. That ended up being quite the mess, let me tell you. Got entangled with some pretty nasty folks. But there was no epidemic, so it worked out okay, and Sabrina and I are together now. In fact, you’re eating her cooking.

Wait. You hear that? Sounded like an explosion. Sorry, but we’re going to have to cut this interview short. Just another day on the Triple-D.

You can read more about Derek in In Hot Water, the first book in the “Triple-D Ranch” romantic suspense series.

He needs a cook, she needs a place to hide. . .

Derek Cooper has left the violent life of an Army Ranger and a covert ops agent for Blackthorne, Inc. in favor of the more peaceful life of a cowboy, running the family cattle ranch in the Colorado mountains. However, when he rescues a stranded motorist, he has no idea this blonde pixie is going to bring violence to his doorstep—or work her way into his heart.

Unable to resist helping her discover why she’s in danger ends up with him unable to resist her . . . period. When they discover a potential bioterrorism plot, they’ll have to put their attraction on hold while they search for a way to prevent it.

Sabrina Barton believes in second chances, and she’s running a vocational culinary school to prove it. But when her brother dies in a mysterious hit-and-run, and she’s beset by an unsettling series of accidents, she can’t believe in coincidences. She goes in search of the one man her brother told her to seek if she ever needed help. Trouble is, the letter with that advice was delivered at her brother’s funeral, more than ten years after he wrote it.

Will cattle rancher Derek Cooper be able to help her? And will she be able to resist this handsome cowboy who seems to be no stranger to violence?

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About the author
Terry Odell always wanted to “fix” stories she read so the characters did what she wanted. Once she began writing, she found this wasn’t always possible, as the mystery she intended to write became a romance—a real surprise, since she’d never read a romance. Terry writes mystery and romantic suspense, but calls them all “Mysteries With Relationships.” Her 20+ published works include the Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops series, the Pine Hills Police series, the Triple-D Ranch series, and the Mapleton Mystery series. Her awards include the Silver Falchion and HOLT Medallion, among others. For more, visit her website at terryodell.com. Click here to read an excerpt of In Hot Water.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a digital copy (mobi, epub, or PDF) of In Hot Water. The giveaway ends May 26, 2017. Good luck everyone!

A Day in the Life with Claire Britten by Karen Harper

chasing-shadowsI am forensic psychologist Claire Britten. Although a lot of my work in the past has been helping corporations or individuals ferret out fraud, I am now employed by criminal lawyer Nick Markwood here in Naples, Florida. My new job is one I hope won’t take me too far from home, as I’m a working mom, recently divorced, with a four-year-old daughter. I promised myself and my ex that I wouldn’t take an assignment far from home, but here I am at the other end of the Sunshine State, helping Nick prove whether a death was an accident, murder or suicide.

My motto is “The dead still talk if you know how to listen.” If you don’t know, a forensic psych does not do lab or autopsy work but dissects people’s lives, usually after they are dead. I interview people they left behind—enemies, family—sometimes those are one and the same. I’m a handwriting expert and read body language. The thing is, my work can be dangerous if the person I interview is a so-called person of interest or, worse yet, the murderer.

Nick is totally dedicated not only to his law firm, but to a private endeavor called South Shores. When he was a boy, he found his father dead of an apparent suicide, but has always been certain it was a murder, and by a trusted friend. So, besides his public cases, he is on a covert mission to expose the billionaire who set his father up—and ruined lives.

I don’t know whether it’s good or bad that I’m falling for Nick. The dangers we are in here on this first case are pulling us closer together. Who would think that a beautiful Civil War era plantation would be treacherous? Worse, it’s supposed to be haunted. And what are Nick’s ties to the woman he’s defending who owns it?

A day in my life? Every one is different, and lately, dangerous. Although I’ve promised myself that, if I live through this, I will just return to my little girl and my tame fraud fighting—hopefully, mostly on line through my Clear Path website. But the allure of adventure and Nick makes that hard. I love helping people and families in need, but I know I need to help my own family. If I survive this Chasing Shadows case, there is the Mangrove Murder case looming, a case that may change my life again forever.

Chasing Shadows is the first book in the NEW South Shores romantic suspense series, published by MIRA, November 2016.

The dead still talk if you know how to listen. . .

Every case that Claire Britten cracks is a win, not only professionally but personally. The forensic psychologist has spent a lifetime fighting a neurological disorder, and her ability to conquer it is a testament to her razor-sharp intuition.

Nick Markwood is used to winning in the courtroom, so when his latest case is overthrown by Claire’s expert testimony, he can’t help being impressed by her skill. He needs her on the team of his passion project—investigating unusual cases involving mysterious deaths. Her condition doesn’t deter him, and neither does the attraction that sparks between them. . .even if it should.

As they join forces to investigate a murder in St. Augustine, Florida, Claire is thrust into a situation far more dangerous than she’d anticipated, pushing her disorder to a breaking point. Just when she fears she can’t trust her own mind, she discovers Nick’s personal connection to the case—and wonders whether she can trust anyone at all.

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Meet the author
Karen Harper is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romantic suspense and historical novels about real British women. Winner of the 2006 Mary Higgins Clark Award, Karen and her husband divide their time between Florida and Ohio. Chasing Shadows is the launch book for her new South Shores Series with two more books following in February and May.  Connect with Karen at karenharperauthor.com, on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Chasing Shadows. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends December 1, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!