Carolyn Arnold will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
I am an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. I have four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and have written nearly thirty books. My genre diversity offers readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.
What was your first book?
The first book I wrote was a romantic suspense titled Life Sentence, but this wasn’t the first book I published. The first book I published was Ties That Bind in May 2011.
Describe your first break.
I guess I’d have to say it was the fall of 2011 when Ties that Bind hit the best-seller list on Amazon for the police procedural genre. It continued to meet with success and climbed to the top 5 in that genre by the following spring. I have since grown my readership and am full of gratitude every day as I’m living my passion.
What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
To read: police procedural mysteries, thrillers, and the occasional cozy.
To write: The same as above, plus action adventure. I just find it hard to find good action-adventure reads, though, so if you know of any, be sure to mention them in a comment.
Are Happy Endings are must in your stories?
I’d say so. However, the book I am currently working on for release in the fall, will likely have many people in tears at the end. And it’s an ending that will stay with people long after they’re finished reading, that is for sure.
What makes a protagonist interesting?
I’d say if I can relate to them. If they have redeemable qualities about them, but at the same time, you wouldn’t might shaking them up now and then. Interesting quirks to their personalities, what they stand for…
What is the best thing about being a writer?
All of it! I’d be remiss not to mention having my work read by people around the world! I love this and it’s so humbling.
What is the worst thing?
You put hours into a manuscript, sacrificing time with friends and family, and spend thousands in editing, but it still doesn’t guarantee everyone will love your work.
Pantser or plotter?
Panster all the way! I can get up to write in the morning and have no idea where I’m going to start, but as soon as I sit down, open my program, and place my hands on the keyboard, the words flow.
What do you see the direction of your future writing taking? What can we expect next? Give us a little taste.
I am open to the flow of life, but I’ve got my eyes on that New York Times best-selling list, I tell you! As for what you can expect? Just more high-quality reads that will entertain and make you think at the same time.
Just for fun
Cat or dog person?
Violated! :D lol
Romancing the Stone
Somewhere next to the ocean.
Would you rather be the princess or the villain? Why?
Oh, tease… Both, yes, I like the idea of both! LOL How about a princess who is a villain? She can be all cute…but deadly. :D
Who has more fun, orcs or hobbits?
I don’t know what orcs are! Lol And, well, aren’t hobbits kind of wrinkled and funny-looking?
GENRE: Police Procedural, Thriller
Sometimes the past should stay there…
The murder is one of the most heinous Brandon Fisher has ever seen, but that’s not why it has his and his colleagues’ attention. The FBI’s interested because the prime suspect is one of their own, Paige Dawson.
But Paige didn’t go to Valencia, California to kill anyone. She had set out on “vacation”—her new lover in tow—only to confront the man who had raped her friend twenty-some years ago. While the hands of the law are tied, she wants him to face the fact that he destroyed a young woman’s life and know that, as an FBI agent, she’ll be watching his every move. But instead of accomplishing her goal, she wound up in the back of a police cruiser.
Now Paige must face off with a hard-nosed detective determined to stick a murder charge to a fed. But with the trained eyes of the FBI on the case, it’s becoming more and more obvious that the evidence lends itself to a serial killing, not an isolated incident. And as long as the local authorities are focused on Paige, the real murderer is still out there, possibly waiting to strike again…
MONDAY, AUGUST 24TH, 11:10 PM PACIFIC TIME
CANYON COUNTRY, CALIFORNIA
THE MARK WAS IN HIS FORTIES, had no kids, and worked a white-collar job. Average height, average looks. Nothing was truly memorable about him except for his uncommon first name, and that was only because it belonged to a character from a popular eighties movie.
She had followed him to some honky-tonk in Canyon Country, an unsavory location at any time of day, but factor in the late hour and it was even worse. But Ferris had chosen this dive as his hunting ground. Women were easier to lure in with a little chemical persuasion, and that was easy to pass off around here.
He entered the bar with head held high, his back straight, the tease of a smirk on his lips—the end of the evening a foregone conclusion in his mind. He was sipping on his first bourbon, though he was acting as if he was on his third by slurring his words and talking loudly. He’d even thrown a sway into his swagger. Somehow he always managed to make his eyes look bloodshot, too, furthering the charade. And the women would come. And the women would fall for his tricks.
Tonight, she’d be that woman, but she’d be his last. He had to learn there was a price to pay for his actions.
She was sitting down the bar from him. Occasionally, he’d pass her a look—the predatory kind that made her blood boil. She smiled at him, doing her best to convey carnal hunger with her gaze, smearing on a seductive curve to her lips. She dipped her finger into her manhattan and sucked on it—the cherry juice sweet, the whiskey bitter.
Ferris was off his stool and sidling up her to within three seconds.
The ruse worked every time. It also helped that she exploited what nature had given her—a slender frame and shapely legs. High heels accentuated her well-defined calf muscles, and men stared when she walked into a room. When she paired even higher stilettos with a short skirt and crossed her legs, men’s mouths tended to fall open. She utilized all these virtues tonight.
She flashed another sultry smile, and he lifted his glass toward her before tilting his own back and draining it. He set it back on the bar and knocked on it to get the bartender’s attention.
“I’ll have another on the rocks and—” he rolled his head toward her “—get the lady whatever she’d like.”
Time to feign innocence and flattery.
She waved a dismissive hand in his direction. “I really shouldn’t.”
She saw the quick look he gave her glass before meeting her eyes again. “Nonsense. Please, it would be my treat.”
If she stripped his voice of its candy-coated tone, his words were pushy and controlling.
“Well”—she angled her glass, showing how little of her drink she had left—“only if you’re sure.”
If she had actually been given a chance to prove her acting skills, she could be living in a sprawling mansion by now.
“Absolutely. What will it be?” Ferris asked, a grin teasing his lips as he tugged down on his left earlobe. It wasn’t hard for her to figure out what was going on. Ferris was asking for something “special” to be added to her drink—the “special” being some kind of date-rape drug.
She lifted her glass to the bartender. “Another manhattan.”
“Coming right up.” The tender left to make their drinks, and she watched him, taking the time to calm her heartbeat and flow of adrenaline.
“I like a woman who can handle her whiskey.” Ferris was looking quite comfortable beside her now. He was fully facing her, his left elbow perched on the counter, and he wasn’t discreet about his drifting gaze, which gravitated to her thighs.
“What can I say? I’m a little whiskey girl.” The words from the country song rolled off her tongue, cinching her gut, but she had to do what was necessary to pull him in.
“Toby Keith,” he said.
“Toby Keith.” He pointed to a speaker on the ceiling. “The singer who sings that one.”
“Ah, yes.” And here, she thought she was doing well by knowing it was even a country song. She smiled at him again. He truly thought of himself as a woman’s man.
“Have I seen you here before?” he asked.
She dipped her head.
“I knew it. I never forget a beautiful face. So what’s your name?”
“Names really aren’t important, are they, baby?” She extended her hand, her long, narrow fingers bowing before him in feminine elegance.
“Oh, she’s mysterious. I like it.” He kissed the back of her hand, and she was proud of herself for not rolling her eyes.
The bartender returned and placed their drinks in front of them. “Here you go.”
From her observations, Ferris seemed to keep a running tab here. Rape now, pay later?
Oh, and Ferris would pay…
“You never told me your name,” she said, falling into her role.
“Oh, I can tell you mine, but you can’t—”
“Uh-huh.” She sucked on the tip of her finger again.
“Ferris.” He still held onto her other hand, and she pulled it back shyly.
“Are you from around here?” she asked, resorting to the necessity of small talk.
“I just fly in from time to time for business.”
“Ah.” She’d have to call upon her acting skills for this performance. She knew he lived less than three miles away from this place. “What business?”
He tapped his jacket pockets, then slid a hand inside one. “How embarrassing. I don’t have any cards with me. Besides, I don’t really want to bore you. Why don’t we talk about you?” He leaned toward her and lifted his rocks glass. “To a fun night.”
“To one we won’t remember.”
They toasted, and he took a long pull of the amber liquid. She pressed her own glass to her lips and pretended to take a sip.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
CAROLYN ARNOLD is the international best-selling and award-winning author of the Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher, and McKinley Mystery series. She is the only author with POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT.™
Carolyn was born in a small town, but that doesn’t keep her from dreaming big. And on par with her large dreams is her overactive imagination that conjures up killers and cases to solve. She currently lives in a city near Toronto with her husband and beagle. She is also a member of Crime Writers of Canada.
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