Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the tantalising blog series where I share snippets from works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels. Except for the weeks when writing buddies kindly fill in for me, like today!
It’s my pleasure to welcome Sandy Curtis to the blog. Sandy is a romantic suspense author whose tagline is the very cool “where crime and passion collide”. She hails from Queensland’s central coast and lives not far from the beach, and loves to spend time walking the sand while mulling over intricate, edge-of-your-seat plots for her books. If like your romance with an edge of danger, Sandy’s novels are for you.
Her latest release is a women’s fiction novel with the intriguing title of Murder, Mayhem and Men On Pause, available with just one click from Amazon. It sounds an absolutely cracking read too. Here’s Sandy to tell you more about it.
Cathryn, thank you for having me on Teaser Tuesday and letting me share a piece of Murder, Mayhem and Men On Pause. I started writing this book over ten years ago (under a different title), but it was going to be one of those angsty women’s fiction novels that had the characters going through major traumas and showing how they dealt with them. But I couldn’t keep writing it. It was too depressing. A couple of years ago those characters told me they’d been kept in limbo too long and it was time for me to let them show the world that women have the kind of enduring strength that enables them to cope with whatever life throws at them. Yes, they might go down for a while, but they grit their teeth and get back up and take control of their lives.
So I started writing again, but this time with a different flavour. There are losses and sorrows, but also happiness and laughter, and the kinds of friendships I’ve been lucky to have in my life.
This teaser has Ellie, who has been hospitalised with concussion, being visited by her new friend (they’re not lovers … yet), police officer Chris Ryan. And then her separated husband, Damien, turns up.
A flash of blue in the doorway made her heart thump. Chris. Oh, God, but he looked good, standing there, all lean but solid at the same time, a bunch of roses in one hand, police cap in the other, and a look in his eyes that said “caring” more than any words could.
‘You look better than you did last night,’ he said, and walked in, closing the door behind him.
‘I hope so.’ Hell, she’d seen herself in the mirror – she still looked like crap, only a better version. ‘I still can’t remember what happened. Miranda told me about Mouse finding me. Was he able to give you a clue?’
Chris shook his head. He placed the roses on the bed and gently kissed her. Ellie gave silent thanks that she’d cleaned her teeth before melting into the warmth of his lips. When he moved back, she breathed, ‘Thank you,’ and wasn’t thinking of the flowers.
He looked like he was going to kiss her again, but sat on the visitor’s chair instead. ‘From what we can work out, your heel caught in the carpet on the stairs and you fell onto the tiled floor and hit your head.’
Something flicked in Ellie’s mind at his words, but it quickly went. ‘I must thank Mouse for calling Miranda. I could have been lying there a lot longer.’
A smile made its way across Chris’s face. ‘I think you and Miranda have a friend for life there. And I gained a few brownie points by suggesting to him that if he had anything on him he didn’t want the attending police to see then he might want to leave it in the garden before they arrived to take him to the station to make a statement.’
‘You did?’ Ellie smiled. ‘That was very un-cop-like of you.’
‘I’ve attended a lot of crime scenes, and it was pretty obvious that you’d fallen and not been pushed or hit. I figured I owed Mouse a favour. He could have left you there and no-one would have known, but he didn’t.’
‘Maybe you should offer to take one of his kittens. You’d join his friends-for-life club.’
Before he could reply, the door opened.
Damien walked into the room.
Ellie stared. She felt her jaw drop.
He’d lost weight, his expensive suit tailored to fit his trimmer physique. In one hand he carried an overnight bag. The other held a bouquet of flowers that screamed ostentatious. She found her voice. ‘Damien. What are you doing here?’
He glared at Chris before striding over to the bed and thrusting the flowers at Ellie. ‘Miranda called and told me about your accident. I caught the first plane I could.’ He glared at Chris again. ‘I’m Damien Cummins, Ellie’s husband.’
Ellie almost groaned. Damien had made the statement sound like a challenge. She saw the gleam of battle in Chris’s eyes as he stood.
‘Separated husband,’ Chris reminded him.
It was like a rag waved at a bull. Damien clenched his teeth, and Ellie wouldn’t have been surprised if his eyes bulged. ‘We’re still married,’ he ground out.
‘That’s only a legality.’ Chris’s tone was mild, but Ellie could see the tension in his body and the way his fingers gripped his cap.
‘I came here to be with my wife, and would appreciate some privacy, if you don’t mind.’
‘Perhaps Ellie minds.’
Both men held each other’s gaze for a few more seconds, then turned to look at her. It was like being confronted by the headmistress when you knew you had to take the blame or rat on your friends – dead whichever way she went. Then anger bubbled up. She tossed the flowers to the end of the bed. ‘What about your girlfriend, Damien? How does she feel about this?’
Ooh, now that’s what I call an intriguing teaser. Murder, Mayhem and Men On Pause is available right now from Amazon. Grab your copy today!