Monday, March 3, 2014


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 Contest information below.


Jamie Richmond, reporter turned author, is doing research for her next book. Attempting to capture the realism of a police officer’s duties while on patrol, she manages to tag along for a shift with a state police trooper. A few traffic stops and a high speed chase later, Jamie’s ride takes an unexpected turn when she witnesses the trooper being shot.  Although it is not a fatal injury, Jamie becomes obsessed with unraveling the facts behind this violent act. While she is trying to sort out this puzzle, she becomes romantically involved with Malone, another trooper with a few mysteries of his own. Now Jamie’s attention is divided between a blooming romance and solving the crime which is haunting her. Jamie begins to question the events that took place and exactly who could be behind the shooting. It was a devious mind. But who?



The first time on the sofa was wild. There was no chance for foreplay. We both wanted it too much for that. Clothes were flung so far that I didn't find my red bra until two days later.  It must have bounced off the wall and slid behind the planter. After the initial rush, Malone introduced me to the romantic aspects of each room in my apartment.  At one point after a warm bath together, I was on my stomach in bed and he proceeded to drive me crazy by slowly making patterns down my spine with one solitary fingertip.
Each time after the first started out slow and tender. A kiss here, fingers stroking there. Malone was toying with me, bringing me to the edge of excitement now, his lips following his finger.  My whole body felt alive, energized with the reactions to his touch.
He kissed his way up my body, taking his time. A nuzzle here, another tantalizing kiss there.  My skin was singing. My face was flushed, probably as red as my hair.  At about the time I could actually feel my body starting to recover, he zeroed in on my breasts.
Now I can’t say this is true for all women. I can only speak for me. Maybe it’s because of the infrequency of romantic interludes. Or maybe it’s my age. Or maybe the moon was rising.
My breasts are small. I hinted at that before. There are fourteen-year old girls out there with bigger breasts than mine. To clarify the situation, all my bras are padded and yes, the cup size is A. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but it’s what I’ve got and I’d never consider surgery to pump them up.  All I know is that when Malone starting stroking and kissing my breasts, it’s like there was a direct connection down below. I was immediately wet with anticipation yet again.
“What am I going to do with you,” I whispered my voice little more than a feathery gasp.

 “Whatever you would like, I’m open to suggestions."
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Some writers never catch a break. Nicholas Burr is one of those writers. His only publications are as a ghostwriter for a dead man’s children’s series. His paychecks are slender, his life is in a rut and his marriage is beyond repair. So he decides to write a book no one can refuse, a “How to Kill Your Wife” story. Three days after he submits it to his publisher, Burr’s wife disappears.
Soon the police are involved. Did he really kill his wife to get his book into print? Would someone like Nicholas Burr go to such lengths, hoping that the payoff of a bestseller might just be worth the risk?  Could he really be that desperate? Could such desperate times really lead to ‘Desperate Measures’?
Nicky limped slowly down the block, trying not to think about his wife. It was no use. She had every reason to be disappointed. He entered O'Brien's bar and took a stool at the far end of the counter. Reed O'Brien slid a mug of beer before him without waiting for Nicky to speak.
"Somebody steal your dog?" Reed asked.
"Worse. I got some bad news and Camille isn't taking it too well."
Reed lit a cigarette and blew a cloud of smoke at the ceiling fan. He watched it rotate for a minute before commenting. "Who died?"
Nicky smiled in spite of himself. "I did. Actually, my book did."
Reed raised an eyebrow. "One of the Skipper books? My kids will be pissed."
Nicky shook his head. "This was something else. I call it Double Cross. It was an adult book."
A smile split Reed’s face. “You wrote a dirty book with lots of sex and wild parties?”   
Nicky couldn’t help but laugh at him. “Not pornography you idiot, this was for a more mature audience than Skipper. It was a murder mystery.”
"Camille was counting on this to be the one, huh?"
Nicky nodded. "We met in college. She was struggling in an English class, and I tutored her. Camille was attempting to earn her business degree, and I was going to set the literary world on its ear."
"How long has it been?"
"Almost ten years."
Reed put out his cigarette while Nicky drank his beer. "She been carrying you?"
"I had to drop out of school before I got my degree. No money and no chance for a student loan. I was going to enter the army, but I didn't pass the physical." Nicky pointed at his bad leg and shrugged. "Only work I can find is minimum wage stuff."
Reed shook his head sympathetically. "What kind of work does she do?"
Nicky took another sip. "Account manager at McKay Products. She started out as a secretary and worked her way up the ladder."
"Decent job?"
Nicky nodded. "There's a little travel involved and she spends a lot of time visiting clients. The hours can get a bit long, but she's good at it. They pay her well."
"But you haven't been holding up your end of the bargain?" Reed waved over a waitress for a cup of coffee.
"The Skipper series is nice, but the money's not much. I always dreamed of having my own books in print. That may never happen if I can't break through the publishers’ slush piles."
"So what are you going to do?  Give up? Start buying lottery tickets?" Reed lit another cigarette.
Nicky grimaced and waved away the smoke.  "I'm going to write a book people will fight over. And Camille's going to help me. She just doesn’t know it yet."
Reed noticed the sudden intensity in his friend’s eyes. He had been about to make a wisecrack, but something in Nicky’s manner suggested this wasn’t a good idea.  Instead, Reed raised his mug of coffee in a salute. "Good luck."
                                                            * * *
Camille was in her office when Nicky showed up. Camille's new secretary discreetly knocked on her door.
"Nicky! Whatever are you doing here?"
"I thought I'd take you out for dinner. We need to talk." He looked terrible. A week's worth of stubble adorned his cheeks and chin. His clothes were rumpled. Camille wondered when the last time was that he had gotten any sleep.
"I have to work late. It's the end of the quarter and I need to make sure everything is up to date on my accounts."  His sudden arrival and his appearance were unnerving.
"I finished it, Camille."
"I finished the book. It's on its way right now, express delivery to Pete Corrigan. He'll get it first thing in the morning."
"Really, Nicky..."
"I know, Camille, I know. It's an extra expense to send it that way, rather than just emailing him, but Pete will go crazy when he reads it. Let’s go celebrate."
"Now isn't a good time, Nicky. I can't just drop everything to go with you." She lowered her eyes to her desk, hoping he'd take the hint and leave.
"There aren't any good times anymore, are there, Camille? No good times left for you and me." He limped toward her, slowly dragging his leg. His disability had gotten progressively worse in the last few months.
"I don't know what you mean."              
"Don't bullshit me, Camille. You haven't been coming home before midnight. And don't lie and say you're working late. I've called. You weren't at work." His voice became louder. Camille could see other employees lingering outside her door. She was unaccustomed to so much attention.
"Lower your voice, Nicholas," she said sternly.
"Admit it," he yelled. "Or are you going to lie about having an affair?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Bullshit! We both know you weren't here."
Camille's voice was barely audible. "I was working."
He pretended not to hear. "What about your clothes? The torn pantyhose, the soiled panties and the pair practically ripped in two? What about them?"
"You searched through my clothes?"
 Nicholas Burr swept the papers off her blotter and leaned across it, his hands clutching the edges of the desk. "I examined what was left of them. He must be some kinky bastard. Does that get you off, Camille?"
"Get out," she hissed.
"What does he do? Tie you up with your own pantyhose for a round of slap and tickle?"
"I want you out of here right now!"
He pushed away from the desk. In the doorway, a dozen people had gathered. He glanced at them then turned back to Camille.
"It's not over."
Camille struggled to her feet. "Yes it is. I want a divorce, Nicky. I should have done it a long time ago."
Two men who had been watching the confrontation from the doorway finally came to Camille's assistance. Together they dragged him away.
"You'll never get a divorce, Camille. I'll kill you before I agree to one."
Mark is giving away an e-book copy of Devious from Secret Cravings Publishing and an e-book copy of a self-published book, Desperate Measures. Two lucky people will be win. Make a comment to be entered. Follow Mark for more chances.
Author’s bio:  Mark Love
Yes, my name really is Mark Love. I am a Michigan native, who up until recently lived in the metropolitan Detroit area, where crime and corruption always seem to be at the top of everyone’s news. So there are no shortage of opportunities to find something that can trigger a story idea and enough interesting characters to jump start your imagination.
While I have worked in many industries and career paths over the years, one of my passions has always been writing. I was able to parlay that passion for a while, working as a freelance reporter for a couple of newspapers in the Detroit area. Writing features and hard news helped me hone my talents. But while newspaper work was interesting and paid a few bills, it was a far cry from the fiction writing that I enjoy the most.
I’ve always been drawn to mysteries and thrillers, the kind of stories that have a fast pace that keep you moving and keep you guessing as to what’s going to take place next. Mix those in with some elements of crime, perhaps a glimpse of the seedier side and you’ve got me. So it’s always been one of my goals to write stories like that.
Currently I have two self-published mystery novels on Amazon, “Fade Away” and “Desperate Measures”. I also have two Jamie Richmond mysteries with Sweet Cravings Publishing, “Devious” and “Vanishing Act”. While it is a kick to have these available as E-books now, it’s the achievement of a long goal to see my stories available in paperback.

Here's where you can find Mark.






Melissa Keir said...

Congrats on your book Mark. I wish you much success. They both look amazing!

Kathleen Ann Gallagher's Place to Reflect said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, Melissa!

M. S. Spencer said...

Love the premise-of Desperate Measures--very intriguing. M. S.

Mark Love said...

Desperate Measures was a lot of fun to write. I have to keep reminding people who have read it or know about it that this is NOT autobiographical. However, my wife claims to now sleep with one eye open!

Mary Preston said...

A fabulous opportunity thank you. Loved the excerpts.

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