She Belongs to Me
by Carmen DeSousa
A passionate romantic-suspense of love, betrayal, and obsession, She Belongs to Me will have you falling in love and wondering if you can trust anyone right up to the last page.
Charlotte police officer Jordan Monroe is used to being in control. Ever since his father died, he has provided for his mother and sisters and even hired his two brothers-in-law to help run his successful construction company. On a chance business trip, however, he meets the one person who throws his life into a whirlwind–Jaynee.
Jaynee has lived a tragic life and has sworn off all men. That is until a rugged southern gentleman lands in her seating area, refusing to take no for an answer. From the moment they meet, Jordan sweeps her off her feet, assuring her that happiness exists. But can she really escape her past?
Five years later, Jordan finds Jaynee on their back porch with a gunshot wound to the head. While Jaynee lies in a coma, Jordan has to go back to their beginning and figure out what went wrong. Did he push his wife to the edge, or has her past come back to haunt them?
She Belongs to Me is book one of The Southern Suspense Series. From there, all the stories have a slight connection to each other, so you can continue the journey and meet different protagonists with different issues and tragedies to overcome. Every story has a mystery, there’s always a gentle message, and above all, there’s always romance and suspense.
Was there something he didn’t know about her?
Doctor McMullen led him down the hall and stopped in front of one of the ICU rooms. Jordan felt the man’s cool hands on his forearm but couldn’t see his face through his tears. With a final squeeze of consolation, the doctor turned and left him alone.
Jordan walked tremulously into the cold antiseptic-scented room. He felt as if his legs had vanished from beneath him, and he’d collapse to the floor at any moment.
Jaynee lay motionless on the hospital bed. Wires leading from her body connected to several machines that created an ominous cacophony and an eerie yellowish glow in the small room. It looked like a scene from a movie.
Under the fluorescent lights, her skin was pallid, except around her eyes, which had splotches of crimson and were swollen and puffy. And worse, where her beautiful tresses of curls should be was nothing but white gauze.
He lowered his head to her ear. “I love you, Jaynee. No matter what’s been going on, I love you, and I know you love me too.”
Jordan believed the words, wanted the words to be true. But he couldn’t help but wonder what was so awful that his wife would attempt to take her life.
Unless…was there something he didn’t know about her?
Is She Belongs to Me a single title, or part of a series?
How about ‘both’. She Belongs to Me is a complete story; however, after reading my final copy after publishing, I realized I didn’t want to let the characters go. So, Split Decisions is the after story. Then, the Southern Suspense Series was born. Each of the books have different protagonist, but you’ll also meet some old friends, and then in books six and seven, all the connections are made. Each story, however, can be read on its own without fear of cliffhangers. I’m a reader first, and I despise cliffhangers. J
What were your inspirations for the story?
Ahh…life! Real life. Life I’ve experienced, people I’ve known, things I’ve witnessed… Although all my stories are fictional, all of them have a modicum of truth. As a reader, the trick is to figure out where the fictional story ends and the reality creeps in. Amazingly enough, the parts of the stories that some readers believe are too unbelievable to be believable are usually the true parts. Remember, truth is stranger than fiction.
Please share your setting for She Belongs to Me. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
Oh, yes! I’ve spent many years in North Carolina and Florida, where all of the Southern Suspense Series books take place, hence the name. I love the mountains and the beaches because I can enjoy different types of kayaking at both. But I love the mountains the best for their beautiful hiking and waterfalls.
When did the writing bug first bite?
I wrote my first short story when I was eight, my first novella when I was in college, but then, I walked away, as a career in writing didn’t seem feasible in the eighties. In 2009, I decided to leave behind fifteen years of the corporate world with its sixty-hour workweeks. Six months later, December of 2009, I sat down and just started typing. Two months later, I had a 120,000-word novel, and eighteen months later, I signed a contract to publish it.
Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
My first love was Sidney Sheldon. I’d literally stare at the bookstore, waiting for his new book to appear. Iris Johansen and Mary Higgins Clark were next, and then I met an author who is now a dear friend of mine, Tina Wainscott. I’d just been bitten by the eBook bug, realizing it’d save me thirty dollars a week. I found a sample of one of Tina’s books online, but it only had a few chapters, and when I went to find the rest, I found out she didn’t have any of her books in eBooks. Amazon suggested I contact her, so I did. I’d never contacted an author—or any celebrity for that matter. And the funny thing is…she responded. It’s a long story from there, but after buying out the used bookstore of all of her books, we became great friends. She is part of the reason I am an author today.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?
Even though I’ve had several strange supernatural events during my life, I’m still hesitant to believe, but I can’t discount the feelings I’ve had, and the things I’ve seen. I worked at a restaurant built in the 1800s when I was twenty-two, and several times I saw and heard things I couldn’t explain. I actually used the story behind the restaurant in one of my free short stories, The Depot. Remember what I said, everything I write is based on a modicum of truth. J
The first book in Carmen DeSousa’s Southern Suspense Series, She Belongs to Me, is FREE, her gift to you.
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A romantic-suspense writer, Carmen writes novels that overflow with romance, mystery, suspense, a hint of paranormal sometimes, and of course–tragedy. After all, what would a great story be without a heartrending event setting the stage? Her sensual and gripping stories have earned bestseller status on three continents because of her ability to make readers love, laugh, cry, gasp, and hope.
Carmen will be awarding a $25 GC to the winner’s choice of an online bookstore to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.