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Is it strange to have the unemployment office on speed dial? Not for twenty-four-year-old college dropout Rylie Keyes. However, her current job at a small retirement home is worlds more important than all her past gigs. Fact is, if she loses this job, she’ll fail to stop the forced sale of her grandfather’s home, a modest lakeside bungalow that has been in the family for ages. But to keep her job she needs to figure out the truth behind the death of a senior citizen found murdered in her care.
The victim was thought to be a penniless man with a silly grudge against Rylie. However, his enemies will do whatever it takes to keep their part in his murder secret.
Forced to dust off the PI training she must keep hidden from her ex-detective grandfather, Rylie has to juggle the attentions of two very sexy, very different cops who both arouse and fluster her at the same time. And as she trudges through the case, she has no idea that along the way she just might win, or lose, a little piece of her heart.
Top ten things you don’t know about me:
1. Cotton or Silk?
I don’t see myself as a persnickety dresser, my favorite outfits are comfy, and some even manage to be comfortable and attractive—almost
Wine. The redder the better. While not health food, exactly, I drink it for the heart-saving resveratrol. You believe that, right?
Both. But only because I’ve never known a decision I couldn’t complicate by seeing the advantages or disadvantages to both side. I start out adamant; I will not pants another story. So I plot, then I veer somewhere around page fifty, then I re-plot, only to veer at midpoint. Scrub. Rinse. Repeat.
4. Describe your workspace.
I plop down in a big chair and bang out stories at a big desk. Both are consignment store finds. Comfort and tranquility are crucial. Quiet colors, quiet artwork, and quiet views. The sharpest of bad days lose their edge in my office.
5. Sports fan or just tolerate it?
I’m a huge sports fan. Though while living abroad, I lost track of my favorite players and teams. Playing catch up now that I’m back home in Washington State. Go Seahawks!
6. Who is your biggest influence on writing?
J.K. Rowling. Critics bust her chops for various things, run on sentences, adverb use, but not me. I adore everything she writes. Through her, I’ve learned there is little benefit to killing yourself over constantly tweaking each sentence. Perfection is impossible. Instead, focus on the story and the characters. Make them exciting. Make them captivating. Make them enjoyable. Thank you, J.K.
7. Favorite food – Monte Cristo Sandwich with raspberry jam
8. When did you start writing?
I toyed with writing romantic suspense for a year in the late ‘90’s, and then I took another stab at it in 2005 and historical romances in 2008. Finally, in 2009 I settled down and embarked on writing what thrilled me, romantic mysteries. Like the late Joseph Campbell said, “Find your bliss.”
9. If money were no object, where would you like to live?
I’ve had the greatest pleasure to travel the world. And while living in Switzerland the last three years, I’ve taken fifty-six international flights to twenty-two countries, from Africa to the Arctic Circle. But for me no place beats the Pacific Northwest. Nothing compares.
10. What’s next for you?
Delicious Mischief, book #2 in the Rylie Keyes romantic mystery series releases May 27, 2013.
Fun! Suspenseful! Seductive!
Halloween is in full swing and tasty sweets are flying out the door in the sequel to Malicious Mischief. Rylie Keyes is in hot water. Seventy-eight-year old Jane Gettelfinger has threatened her life with not one, but two spooky weapons. Jane’s neighbor, the Pie King, a vivacious proprietor of a famous bakery, is breaking more than just piecrust in their exclusive Medina neighborhood. Further complicating matters, another neighbor, technology billionaire Dilbert Bates has lost Mac, his precious orange pussy. But the chilling death of a hunky bodyguard once in the employ of all three rich neighbors is the most baffling mystery of all.
I love making people laugh. True, I should probably spend time on an analyst’s couch, but I’d rather spill loads of fun into my books. I’m rarely at a loss for words, which is wicked cool for a writer. And it would be poppycock to say I didn’t laze away my wonder years dreaming of far-off places.
Over the years, I’ve traversed the insanely fun back roads of Australia and New Zealand, trekked the wildly exotic landscapes of Asia and Africa, soaked up the blistering Caribbean sun, survived bitter Arctic cold to witness the Northern Lights, and lost a wee bit of my heart to the awesomeness of Europe.
My goals in life are simple: do more good than harm and someday master the do-not-mess-with-me look. I roost in Washington State with my husband and our two children.
I turned, my doubt about solving this case rising. I walked into Detective Talon.
I stumbled back, apologizing as he reached out, steadying me with a gentle hand.
“Thank you,” I said awkwardly, shocked by the comfort I found in his touch.
There came a lengthening silence as he stared down at me. His handsome face folded in, brooding, deep into a frown.
I looked at him in bewilderment. “Is something wrong?”
“It’s the way Lipschitz talks of you. It isn’t right and proper,” he said. “You do know he was once in love with you. And dammit, he quite possibly still is.”
Such concern, he must have written the Bintliff note. “There was never anything between us—why dammit?”
“A detective on a power trip, a vulnerable suspect, and an axe to grind—never ye mind, I suspect it’s better if I say no more,” he said, his voice steady but worried.
His assertion intrigued me on many levels. Though loosely exercised, it was a breach of the age-old police code of silence. Even when guilty of wrongdoing, cops don’t talk bad about other cops.
“I never encouraged Lipschitz,” I said. “He was too busy calling me bastard baby to realize that at the time. You should know something else. I had nothing to do with Otto’s death.”
“No mind, I already knew you weren’t involved,” he said. “Though it makes no sense to me, you trying to persuade your grandfather by solving Otto’s murder.”
I raised my brows, figuring he had learned this from Leland. “I need his blessing.”
“Answer me this: does the grape ask the yeast what type of wine it should be?”
Puzzled by this man, by how he talked in riddles, I stepped back, clumsily turning on an ankle. He didn’t steady me this time, didn’t touch me. It shamed me how much I had wanted him to. “I find you so confusing,” I said self-conscious, a bit shy.
“I cannae fault you for that. I’m up to my neck in confusion. There is no rhyme or reason in why I’m willing to break a dozen department rules to discuss this case with you.”
“Don’t risk your career for me,” I said too hastily, too coolly, as one does when skeptical, for police officers carried another burden, the binding pressure of their code of conduct.
He picked up on my doubt and gave me a half-amused smile. “My career will survive, though my ego may not be as blessed.”
I forced myself to say, “Ego complicates things.”
“Aye, while laughing last and loudest. Petulant thing, ego.”
He continued to look at me with his dramatic eyes. I saw the soulfulness in them and thought back to his anger over Lipschitz’s contempt for me. I wondered why it bothered him, why he felt the need to write the anonymous Bintliff note. Surely, he had more to worry about than me. He was a man of contrasts; I could see that now. The dangerous detective with a discerning stare, concerned stranger abhorring the ways of a hateful partner. I smiled, oddly becoming more at ease with him. But there was something baffling, even staggering about the suddenness of this change. I was entering dangerous grounds, I knew I was, but still I said, “Maybe yours just got out of bed on the wrong side.”
“No,” I said, but it had been, and I turned cold all over at my boldness. I was acting harebrained. It had to stop. “Talon, why are you doing this? I’m more often the friend than lover.”