I am pleased to announce a great book release by Susanne Matthews, an author I met during my journey! Her western romantic suspense, Desert Deception, officially released this month! Yay! That’s awesome, Susanne! Congrats on your new release!
When a new book comes out, it’s always an exciting time for an author!
Susanne is giving us a look at her new, suspenseful romance with a Western angle, Desert Deception, today.
This is the blurb for Desert Deception:
Seeing is believing, or is it?
When high-powered Santa Fe attorney Casey Stevens reluctantly returns to Fortune for Gold Rush Days, she is drawn to Cole Walker Junior, but he is no longer the shy, quiet boy she recalls. Then again, Cole isn’t the only one who has changed. The town may be celebrating its past, but someone is trying to destroy its future. A hit and run accident leaves Fortune’s only lawyer in a coma, forcing Casey to choose between helping innocent people and running away once more. Can she face the demons of her past or will they destroy her this time?
Cole Warner has a secret identity, one he’s determined to protect at all costs. The police officer, volunteer firefighter, and part-time store owner, is also popular western novelist, CJ Coleson, who uses Fortune and its people as the inspiration for his books. Having Casey walk into his life turns it upside down. When someone starts using the murders in Cole’s books to stage a killing spree of their own, keeping his secret may be too costly, but admitting the truth could ruin any chance they have for a happily ever after.
As the bodies pile up and the buildings burn down, Casey and Cole have to work together to stop a madman with gold fever before more people die. The answer lies on Superstition Mountain or is it all a desert deception?
And here is an excerpt from Desert Deception to tease you with.
Casey stood on the sidewalk admiring her old hangout, letting the past claim her before pushing the brass handle to open the door. The antique bell tinkled, announcing her arrival just as it had years ago. Memories of the time spent in this place washed over her. The familiar aroma of coffee beans, exotic spices, candle wax, and old books surrounded her. Ceiling fans spun lazily—more for show than for cooling since the store was air conditioned. Eagerly, she stepped forward, anxious to see Mr. Walker again. They’d spent hours together going over maps and encyclopedias, examining the latest edition of National Geographic, discussing the wonderful places they would visit if they could.
While the front of the store looked just as it had with its mixture of real and reproduction Indian artifacts, crystals, polished petrified wood, and other memorabilia from the area, sadness filled her. No matter what he’d been doing, Mr. Walker had always come at the sound of the bell. Perhaps he didn’t own the store anymore. It was common practice for new owners to keep a business’s original name. Goodwill was a marketable commodity these days, and nowhere more so than in Fortune.
“Hello, is anyone here?” Her voice echoed in the emptiness of the shop.
A touch nervous—the insecurity of the past catching up with her—she moved through the archway into the addition that housed the bulk of the store’s retail items, passing by computer terminals and shelves heaped with books, candles, pottery, glassware, and native jewelry along with bags of fake gold dust and gold-plated nuggets. The walls boasted several decorative mirrors and watercolors of the mountains and the desert, as well as other wall hangings made of iron, wood, or some combination. She started when a man cleared his throat.
Looking in the direction of the sound, she was pleasantly surprised when a stranger stepped out from between two rows of shelves. The man was most definitely not the one she’d expected.
Tall, well over six feet, with broad shoulders and a narrow waist, he wore jeans that hugged him in all the right places and a tight-fitting green T-shirt with Walker’s Emporium emblazoned in bright, yellow letters on his chest under the outline of Superstition Mountain. Clean shaven, with warm brown eyes peering at her from behind large black framed glasses, the arms of which disappeared into hair the color of rich, dark chocolate, a touch too long and yet, just right on him, he was quite possibly one of the most attractive men she’d seen in a long time. His bronzed complexion testified to his Spanish ancestry and time outdoors, and from the biceps revealed by his shirt sleeves, he was no ordinary shopkeeper. Her mouth watered.
This man, familiar and yet not, drew her as none had ever done. He could have been a conquistador, one who’d been left behind when Coronado had abandoned his search for Cibola, the fabled seven cities of gold, the blood of his ancestors thick in his veins. As he approached, the scent of his sandalwood cologne tantalized her.
“Can I help you?” he asked, stopping next to the cash register a few feet away from her, his whiskey-smooth voice caressing her as did his bold gaze.
She cleared her throat, her tongue darting out to lick her dry lips. Calling on the persona she used in court, she smiled. “I was looking for Mr. Walker. Is he around?” Her heart pounded loudly in her ears. Could he hear it?
“I’m Cole Walker, but you must mean my dad, Senior. I’m sorry, but he isn’t here right now. Is there something I can do for you?”
This god is Cole Walker Junior? her brain screamed, as raging hormones threatened to take over and destroy what little common sense she’d managed to find.
“I … I didn’t recognize you,” she said haltingly, wondering whose husky voice that was.
She’d always liked Cole, the quiet, smart guy who’d smiled at her once in a while—the boy who’d kept to himself, carried books around, and wanted to learn things the way she had. At one time, she’d fantasized an entire relationship with him, one that had ended with a “happily ever after.” Mesmerized, her gaze searched his puzzled face, eventually finding the teenager she remembered in the chiseled features of the man before her. Like her, Cole had undergone massive physical changes. Even taller than he’d been, gone was his acne and hundred-pound weakling scrawny frame. Instead, she stared at perfection.
“I’m sorry I missed him. Where is he?” Not that it was any of her business.
“My parents are visiting my sister in Florida,” he answered easily, that downhome country friendliness in his voice, but his eyes betrayed his curiosity. “They travel a lot these days.”
“That’s great.” Her brain functioned again, albeit slowly. “I’ll bet he’s having a wonderful time. He always wanted to travel. We used to talk about all the places in the world we would visit—”
“You know my father?” The confusion in his voice matched his furrowed brow.
“I do.” Casey smiled. “When I was growing up in Fortune, this place was like my second home.”
He stared at her, making her feel a trifle uncomfortable. When she removed her sunglasses, the shock of recognition was enough to make her laugh.
“I don’t believe it. Cassandra Stevens? That can’t be you.”
The look on his face was one of stunned approval. Surprised he remembered her name, even if it was the one she despised, associating it with the bullied girl she’d been, she nodded. “In the flesh, but people call me Casey now.”
“I heard you were coming home for Gold Rush Days. Your mother talks about you all the time. So, you’re a big-city attorney. I’m impressed.” He looked her up and down again, the appreciative gleam in his eye hard to miss. “You’re a hell of an improvement over Mr. Stone.”
Horace Stone had been practicing law in Fortune for as long as she could remember. In fact, he’d been the one to trigger her interest in the career she’d chosen.
“Thanks. I guess Mom still feels the need to feed the gossip mill.” Her voice was laced with sarcasm. Some things hadn’t changed.
“Did you want something? Or did you stop by just to see my father?”
“Actually, I did, but since I’m here, I might as well pick up a new novel to read while I’m home.”
His gaze raked her once more, and Casey fought to maintain her casual stance. She wasn’t the fat girl with thick glasses, who’d walked through her teen years with her nose in a book, praying no one would notice her and would leave her alone. The carrot hair she’d hated had darkened to copper, and while it was still unmanageable at times, she’d learned to tame it when she had to. Her leather outfit hugged her curves, and although she was beginning to feel uncomfortably warm, she wasn’t sure if the cause was her clothing or the man standing in front of her.
Needing to cool off, she slowly unzipped her jacket the rest of the way, revealing the skin-tight, low cut tank top beneath. His eyes followed the gaping zipper teeth as they opened, the gesture making her feel even warmer.
“I can help you with that.” His voice was husky, his eyes fixed on her cleavage.
“Help me with what?” Her voice was breathy and so unlike hers she barely recognized it.
Universal Amazon link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01MTP5V85
Wow! This is getting sexy! ♥♥♥ It looks like a wild ride!😉
Thank you for telling us about your book, Susanne! I know I can’t wait to read this Western romance/suspense! 🙂
Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book!
Amazon bestselling author Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She is of French-Canadian descent. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but with a penchant for happily ever after romances. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.
Not content with one subgenre, Susanne writes romance that ranges from contemporary to sci-fi and everything in between. She is a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, or traveling to interesting places she can use as settings in her future books. In summer she enjoys camping with her grandchildren and attending various outdoor concerts and fairs. In winter, she likes to cuddle by the fire and watch television.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Matthews/e/B00DJCKRP4/
Thanks again, Susanne! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime.
Happy reading, everyone!🙂