|Mangroves and Monsters is a romantic suspense novel taking place on the Caribbean island of Jacqueme Dominique. Hoodoo Money, also a romantic suspense, is set in contemporary Louisiana and Texas.
|CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
|MANGROVES AND MONSTERS (second edition released 9/21/2013): For five long years Charlie Cooper’s love survived while he searched for Angeline St. Cyr, the supermodel presumed dead. Will finding her cost Cooper his life?
HOODOO MONEY (second edition released 9/21/2013): Can love, the very thing successful children's author Braeden McKay wants no part of, be the one force greater than any adversary - even a hoodoo curse?
|fiction, suspense, mystery, ebook, romance
MANGROVES AND MONSTERS, CHAPTER ONE
Wounds heal in stages. Numb one day, ants crawling under your skin the next. Itchy in the sweltering heat; achy in the cold. Weird. Charlie Cooper scratched the three-inch scar in his shoulder where he took a knife’s blade during the botched kidnapping of a student nine years ago.
Despite a Herculean effort by police, the poor boy died anyway — a few months shy of his eighth birthday.
“Sorry, kid.” Cooper yanked off his New Orleans Zephyrs cap and tossed it in the bistro chair next to him. Sorry for what? Christ. That he survived three days in an abandoned well, and his student didn’t? That he carried this damn scar as a constant reminder he failed to save the boy?
That only a few years after the abduction, still blinded by revenge, he couldn’t see the jewel he’d found in Angeline St. Cyr? Almost five years had passed since the auto-pedestrian accident that reportedly killed the supermodel — reportedly being the operative word. Which brought him to the only reason he had journeyed to Jacqueme Dominique, an island the size of Vermont, located east of the Lesser Antilles.
Call him fanatical or foolish, delusional even, but he had never bought into the hype regarding Angeline’s sudden death and subsequent cremation that her boss had fed to the press.
If Cooper saw her again, he knew he would recognize Angeline no matter how horrendous her scars. Hell, they’d lingered in his bed the entire weekend before the accident, and he had memorized every delectable inch of her.
Charmed by Angeline’s quirks, Cooper had both cursed her annoying habits and admired her tenacity. He had loved the supermodel, and loathed her. Now he only wanted the truth, even if it left him twice devastated. (To read the complete chapter, visit my website)
HOODOO MONEY - PROLOGUE
Sweating profusely, Lee Allen Dalrymple carted his 280 pounds up a second flight of stairs. “Damn elevator,” he huffed. “Been on the fritz more times than not since I moved into this overpriced apartment.” But a broke-down elevator was the least of his aggravation. Braeden McKay had fl at refused to give him the crime scene photos from the Dodding murder. “Bitch.”
New shoes pinched Dalrymple’s swollen feet. His head ached. Perspiration stung his eyes and plastered his white shirt to his back under a suit jacket that cut into his shoulders.
“McKay’s the cause of all my misery.” He lumbered through the door of his darkened apartment juggling mail, his laptop, and battered valise.
During this most recent trip to Texas, he had called forth every ruse concocted in nineteen years of free-lance journalism. Three days of impromptu meetings, deep-fried meals, and all-out groveling, and he hadn’t worn her down a lick.
He kicked the door shut, and the vibration skewed the lithograph on the wall next to the framed dust jacket of The Stoning of Renzo De Benedictis, his one and only bestseller. “Integrity’s for Boy Scouts,” he grumbled. People had lewd appetites, and satiating those appetites had made him a lot of money.
He couldn’t recall any other time a woman had looked him straight in the eyes and told him her conscience wasn’t for sale. But McKay leaned across a glass of expensive merlot, shook his hand, and said in that irritating drawl of hers, “My decision is final, Mr. Dalrymple. Herbert Dodding is dead. I can’t change that. But neither will I contribute to a tell-all book that will follow those boys for the rest of their lives. You understand, sir, I’m sure.”
Like hell, he understood. (To read the complete prologue, visit my website)