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The Weekly Recap – 10/19/18

SILENT EVIDENCE Cover Reveal

You’ve met former SEAL Sean Logan in several Evidence books. There’s one woman he’s wanted for five long years, but she’s been totally off-limits. Now his job is to protect her 24/7.

Bodyguard check
Fake Boyfriend check
Destination Wedding check

Oh, and a whole lot of bones check

Are you ready for Sean and Hazel?

Silent Evidence cover

Silent Evidence (Evidence #8)

The man of her fantasies is finally hers. Sort of…

Two things haunt forensic anthropologist Hazel MacLeod: the bones of victims of genocide she examines for her work, and former SEAL Sean Logan’s rejection. But within days of moving to her cousin’s estate to take a much needed break, she finds herself faced with both.

First, she’s called in to examine a mass grave in Virginia, then, her politician cousin receives a threatening letter and insists Hazel needs around the clock protection—from none other than Sean Logan. To make matters worse, because the threat to her is classified, Hazel and Sean must pretend to be lovers to hide that he’s her bodyguard.

Sean has spent years trying to avoid his boss’s sexy cousin, but now he’s guarding her twenty-four/seven and even bringing her as his date to a romantic destination wedding. As the heat between them intensifies, Sean can’t lose sight of the danger that brought them together. But when bullets start flying, new questions arise. Are the senator’s political rivals really behind the threat, or is someone trying to silence Hazel from speaking for the dead?

Add SILENT EVIDENCE to your shelf!
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Newsletter Sign Up

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Have you subscribed to my mailing list? This week, newsletter subscribers will be the first to see the cover for SILENT EVIDENCE.

Sign up now to see Sean and Hazel before anyone else!!

 

 

COLD EVIDENCE Sale

Only $2.99 at Amazon and Kobo until Oct. 31st!

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The frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest are about to get hot…

The only thing Navy underwater archaeologist Undine Gray fears more than facing former SEAL Luke Sevick is never scuba diving again. But when a dive on a Cold War-era US Navy submarine ends with an accidental explosion, she’s terrified of going into the deep, forcing her to beg the most experienced diver she knows to take her back to the bottom of the cold Salish Sea.

Luke wants nothing to do with the woman who destroyed his career a dozen years ago but finds it impossible to turn his back on her plea. Caught off guard by an attraction he doesn’t want to feel, he’s eager to be done with this mission of mercy. But when they dive on the wreck, he only gets sucked in deeper. Someone has been digging on the Navy sub…and it appears the explosion that almost killed Undine was no accident.

To find the truth, Undine must navigate murky waters and the unexpectedly hot undercurrents swirling between her and Luke. Worse, divers are searching for something lost in US waters during the Cold War, and they’ll do anything to keep Luke and Undine from finding it first.

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Buy the Kindle version and get the audiobook for only $1.99!
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SPOTLIGHT – Two New Releases

Read a bestselling new release by Janie Crouch!

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He’d protect her from any threat… 
But what if the biggest threat is him?

Doctor Anne Nichols is back in Oak Creek, Wyoming, only because she has no other options. Here, she was always the shy, stuttering girl, invisible to everyone.

Except Zac Mackay. The very reason she left in the first place.

Zac’s years in Special Forces taught him survival skills, and he’s created a company—Linear Tactical—to teach those skills to others, so they never have to live in fear.

Then why is Annie, the last person he’d ever want to hurt, afraid of him?

Zac’s determined to wipe the fear from the eyes of the woman who has never been far from his mind. And fix the mistakes—his mistakes—that put that look there in the first place.

But a predator has set his sights on Annie. And now survival skills will become much more than lessons…

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Ready for a sexy new book to read? Grab Kimberly Kincaid‘s brand new release CROSSING HOPE!

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Marley Rallston would rather be anywhere other than too-small-for-a-map-dot Millhaven, Virginia. But thanks to a heap of debt, what was supposed to be a quick trip to fulfill her mother’s dying wish has turned into an extended stay with the family she never knew she had and the father who never wanted her. To top it off, now she’s being forced to do community service with the town’s biggest bad boy, when all she wants to do is make enough cash to get out of Dodge? Life can’t get much worse.

The only thing Greyson Whittaker cares about is his family’s farm. He’ll do anything to keep Whittaker Hollow in the black, including live up to his rough, tough reputation by running the place by himself, no matter the cost. Mandatory community service with the daughter of their biggest rival is the last thing he wants or needs. But the more time Greyson and Marley spend together, the hotter their attraction burns, and the more the unlikely pair begins to realize that forbidden fruit just might taste the sweetest…

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This Week’s Giveaway

Join us on my Facebook page for a weekly giveaway!

This week I gave away a signed print copy of The Billionaire’s Wake-Up-Call Girl: An Enemies-to-Lovers Romantic Comedy by Annika Martin.

Blurb:

When my manager assigns me the task of finding a new wake up call service for our CEO, I think, how hard can this be?

Answer: practically impossible. It turns out that no wake-up call company in the world will take him on as a client. They’ve all had enough of his surly personality.

So in an effort not to lose my job, I secretly start making the calls myself, every day at 4:30 am sharp. OMG yes you read that right–four freaking thirty in the morning.

Confession: I’m not the nicest wake-up-call girl at that hour. Hello! Who wakes up before the roosters are even crowing? Luckily he doesn’t seem to mind my get-your-ass-out-of-bed attitude.

Day by day we’re becoming closer, and the calls start turning hot, like pay-by-the-minute hot and oh-so-wild. Snuggled under the covers with the moonlight streaming in the windows, we divulge our secrets to each other, but the one thing that he can never find out is that the sexy vixen who wakes him up every morning is just the lowly assistant who wears frumpy dresses. I can only imagine his disappointment.

Now he wants to take me out on a date and he’s scouring Manhattan to find me. He’s an overachieving billionaire bent on a mission. How much longer can I keep up this charade?

***A romantic comedy standalone by NYT bestselling author Annika Martin!***

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The Most Popular Post of the Week

There were some great recommendations for binge-watching shows from readers!

 

 

 

Rachel FIRESTORM(5)

 

Gathering Incriminating Evidence in the Land of the Midnight Sun

The Kiss and Thrill blog, where this was originally published, will soon be disappearing, and I am republishing my Kiss and Thrill posts here to keep a copy. This one is from March 2015.

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.01This month I have two books out, Midnight Sun (a re-release after being published in the Twelve Shades of Midnight anthology, which is no longer available) released on March 1st, and Incriminating Evidence (Evidence Series #4), which will release on March 24th. By sheer coincidence, both books are set in Alaska. It may sound strange to say it’s a coincidence, but it is. I’ve had versions of Incriminating Evidence in my head and on on my computer since 2010 – and it was always set in Alaska. It was the perfect setting for Alec and Isabel’s story. The inspiration behind Midnight Sun was completely different.

A little over a year ago, the fabulous Robin Perini approached me and asked if I wanted to participate in a paranormal romance anthology with her and ten other authors. Because the story would be paranormal, it couldn’t be connected to my existing books, and I began considering what my contribution to the anthology would be. My first inspiration was a story set in Hawaii, about an archaeologist who comes face-to-face with Night Marchers. The story excited me and I was ready to move forward with it, as we as a group were discussing via email potential titles and themes for the anthology. We settled on the name Twelve Shades of Midnight relatively quickly, and all agreed that something important in each of our stories had to happen at midnight. My Night Marchers story was perfect. I lived in Hawaii for three years — I know the setting well, and my husband worked as an archaeologist there, so the research would be a snap, and the story would be fun to write.

View of Denali National Park

Then one morning, I woke up with the kernel of the plot for Midnight Sun in my mind. Maybe I was inspired by the word “midnight” — I really don’t know — but in the space of five minutes I went from planning to write a novella set in Hawaii to one set in Alaska. Once the idea grabbed me, I couldn’t let it go. I’d only ever visited and conducted archaeological survey in Sitka, Alaska, but fortunately, my husband had worked in Barrow, and he knew other archaeologists who’d worked for a length of time in the Arctic Circle who were willing to answer even the most ridiculous questions (yes, I do need to know what the airport terminal in Kotzebue looks like, and if the vegetation is primarily muskeg…). And so Midnight Sun the story of Sienna and Rhys and an ancient Iñupiat mask, was born. The Hawaii story will be the second in the series, featuring Sienna’s sister, Larkspur (look for it in late 2015).

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As I mentioned above, I’ve had the story for Incriminating Evidence in the works since 2010. It was supposed to be the 3rd book in the Evidence Series (and I finished a draft of it in 2012, long before I wrote Withholding Evidence), but one problem I had with the execution of the story was the setting. It was clear to me that I needed to visit central Alaska if I wanted to get it right, so last summer, before tackling a major rewrite, my family and I visited Alaska and explored the area where the story is set.

One of the things I wanted to see while I was there was the forest at night–I knew in the summer it wouldn’t really get dark, but I wanted to see the phenomenon first hand. This photo was taken at midnight in mid-July in Fairbanks – without a flash.

Fairbanks forest at midnight

We were in Alaska for eight days and drove from Anchorage to Fairbanks in a loop, exploring Denali National Park on the drive north (we saw lots of animals including bears, caribou, moose, and a wolf!), and went east for the drive south, where we passed through the setting for Incriminating Evidence.

Denali National Park

En route, we saw salmon spawning, went whitewater rafting–necessary because a glacial silt-laden river plays an important role in the story–panned for gold, and hiked on a glacier.

Matanuska Glacier

I came home from the trip buzzing with ideas. There is no way to see something as magnificent as Alaska in just a week, but we tried.

The final story of Incriminating Evidence is very different from that first idea I plotted in 2010, but it is so much richer, so much better, for having visited the setting which plays a central role in the story. Also, even though there wasn’t supposed to be a connection between my paranormal romance and my 4th Evidence Series book, because they were both set in Alaska (even though hundreds of miles apart) I couldn’t resist slipping one thing in. I can’t wait to hear from readers who catch the connection…

 

Midnight Sun

A woman on the edge…

Museum collections specialist Sienna Aubrey is desperate. A prehistoric Iñupiat mask in her client’s collection is haunted, and it wants her to return it to Alaska…now. Tormented to her breaking point, she steals it. But when she arrives in the remote Alaskan village, the tribal representative refuses to take the troublesome mask off her hands. Even worse, the manipulative artifact pulls the infuriating man into her dream, during which she indulges in her most secret fantasies with him.

A man in search of the truth…

Assistant US Attorney Rhys Vaughan came to the Arctic Circle to prove someone tried to murder his cousin. When Sienna shows up at his cousin’s office with the local tribe’s most sacred artifact, she becomes his prime suspect. Then the mask delivers him into Sienna’s hot, fantasy-laden dream, and his desire to investigate her takes an entirely different turn.

An artifact seeking justice…

But the mask has an agenda, and it’s not to play matchmaker. If Sienna doesn’t do what the artifact wants, she may pay the ultimate price, and only Rhys can save her.

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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Incriminating Evidence

From enemies to allies…

When archaeologist Isabel Dawson stumbles upon an unconscious man deep in the Alaskan wilderness, her survival skills are put to the test. She tends his wounds and drags him to shelter, only to discover she’s saved the life of Raptor CEO Alec Ravissant—the man who may have covered up her brother’s murder to save his senatorial campaign.

With no memory of the assault that landed him five miles deep in the forest, Alec doesn’t know what to believe when he wakes in the clutches of the beautiful redhead who blames him for her brother’s death, but he quickly realizes he needs her help to uncover the truth about his lost hours.

Isabel never imagined she’d find herself allied with Alec, and he’s the last man she ever expected to find attractive. But the former Army Ranger-turned-politician proves seductively charming, and he’s determined to win much more than her vote. When their quest for answers puts Isabel in the crosshairs, Alec must risk everything—his company, his campaign, and his life—to protect her.

Amazon | iBooks | KoboBarnes & Noble

The Weekly Recap – 10/12/18

The Weekly Giveaway

Each week I’m giving away a book on my Facebook page, and this week’s prize is Jenn Stark‘s DEMON UNBOUND.  It’s the exciting start to her Demon Enforcers Series, featuring a demon special ops team led by a warrior who “has seen it all, done it all, killed it all“. But he’s about to meet his match in Maria, a beautiful and dangerous undercover cop.

Be sure to check my Facebook page every week to enter the giveaways!

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And don’t forget to check out Jenn’s latest release!  THE RED KING is the start of her new Wilde Justice Series.  I loved this book, and was delighted to review it!

“Whether you are a longtime Jenn Stark fan or new to her addictive Tarot-themed stories, you will love Sara Wilde’s first adventure as Justice for the Arcana Council! Fast-paced, twisty, and dark but spiced with Sara’s wry humor, this is an intense, satisfying read!”– Rachel Grant, author of the award-winning Flashpoint series

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Starting a new job can be murder.

As the first Justice of the Arcana Council in two hundred years, Tarot-reading Sara Wilde is tasked with taking out the most dangerous magic-wielding criminals on the planet. Her first assignment? A killer known only as the Red King, who’s systematically picking off the world’s most gifted magicians in the rollicking streets and storied canals of Venice, Italy, on the eve of Carnevale.

Amidst the festival’s music, masks, and brightly colored costumes, Sara must unravel the truth about a brutal murderer from Venice’s own murky past, navigate the twisting political currents of magicians who seek to rival her own Council, and keep one costume change ahead of a conjurer whose lethal spells could end Justice–permanently. Good thing the diabolically sexy and deeply powerful Magician of the Arcana Council has Sara’s back…if only he didn’t hold so much of her heart as well.

The canals of Venice will run with blood when you deal in The Red King. 

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A Throwback Thursday Post!

*Originally published March 10, 2015 on the Kiss And Thrill blog.

This month I have two books out, Midnight Sun (a re-release after being published in the Twelve Shades of Midnight anthology, which is no longer available) released on March 1st, and Incriminating Evidence (Evidence Series #4), which will release on March 24th. By sheer coincidence, both books are set in Alaska. It may sound strange to say it’s a coincidence, but it is. I’ve had versions of Incriminating Evidence in my head and on on my computer since 2010 – and it was always set in Alaska. It was the perfect setting for Alec and Isabel’s story. The inspiration behind Midnight Sun was completely different.

A little over a year ago, the fabulous Robin Perini approached me and asked if I wanted to participate in a paranormal romance anthology with her and ten other authors. Because the story would be paranormal, it couldn’t be connected to my existing books, and I began considering what my contribution to the anthology would be. My first inspiration was a story set in Hawaii, about an archaeologist who comes face-to-face with Night Marchers. The story excited me and I was ready to move forward with it, as we as a group were discussing via email potential titles and themes for the anthology. We settled on the name Twelve Shades of Midnight relatively quickly, and all agreed that something important in each of our stories had to happen at midnight. My Night Marchers story was perfect. I lived in Hawaii for three years — I know the setting well, and my husband worked as an archaeologist there, so the research would be a snap, and the story would be fun to write.

View of Denali National Park

Then one morning, I woke up with the kernel of the plot for Midnight Sun in my mind. Maybe I was inspired by the word “midnight” — I really don’t know — but in the space of five minutes I went from planning to write a novella set in Hawaii to one set in Alaska. Once the idea grabbed me, I couldn’t let it go. I’d only ever visited and conducted archaeological survey in Sitka, Alaska, but fortunately, my husband had worked in Barrow, and he knew other archaeologists who’d worked for a length of time in the Arctic Circle who were willing to answer even the most ridiculous questions (yes, I do need to know what the airport terminal in Kotzebue looks like, and if the vegetation is primarily muskeg…). And so Midnight Sun the story of Sienna and Rhys and an ancient Iñupiat mask, was born. The Hawaii story will be the second in the series, featuring Sienna’s sister, Larkspur (look for it in late 2015).

IMG_0492

As I mentioned above, I’ve had the story for Incriminating Evidence in the works since 2010. It was supposed to be the 3rd book in the Evidence Series (and I finished a draft of it in 2012, long before I wrote Withholding Evidence), but one problem I had with the execution of the story was the setting. It was clear to me that I needed to visit central Alaska if I wanted to get it right, so last summer, before tackling a major rewrite, my family and I visited Alaska and explored the area where the story is set.

One of the things I wanted to see while I was there was the forest at night–I knew in the summer it wouldn’t really get dark, but I wanted to see the phenomenon first hand. This photo was taken at midnight in mid-July in Fairbanks – without a flash.

Fairbanks forest at midnight

We were in Alaska for eight days and drove from Anchorage to Fairbanks in a loop, exploring Denali National Park on the drive north (we saw lots of animals including bears, caribou, moose, and a wolf!), and went east for the drive south, where we passed through the setting for Incriminating Evidence.

Denali National Park

En route, we saw salmon spawning, went whitewater rafting–necessary because a glacial silt-laden river plays an important role in the story–panned for gold, and hiked on a glacier.

Matanuska Glacier

I came home from the trip buzzing with ideas. There is no way to see something as magnificent as Alaska in just a week, but we tried.

The final story of Incriminating Evidence is very different from that first idea I plotted in 2010, but it is so much richer, so much better, for having visited the setting which plays a central role in the story. Also, even though there wasn’t supposed to be a connection between my paranormal romance and my 4th Evidence Series book, because they were both set in Alaska (even though hundreds of miles apart) I couldn’t resist slipping one thing in. I can’t wait to hear from readers who catch the connection…

 

Midnight Sun

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Have you read my book MIDNIGHT SUN? It’s a paranormal romantic suspense featuring a prehistoric Iñupiat mask, a haunted museum collections specialist, and a sexy Assistant US attorney!

Here’s a short excerpt:

“You don’t handle the gun like a lawyer,” Sienna said.

Rhys shrugged. “I served in the army prior to law school. Two tours in Iraq as an explosive ordnance disposal specialist. I know guns, bombs, pretty much anything that explodes.”

“That must be why the mask chose you.”

“Chose me?”

“It’s been haunting me for two months. In all that time, it’s never reached out to anyone else until you. I think the mask chose you because you can protect it in a way I can’t.”

He studied her, his body heating at the memory of exactly how the mask had brought them together. He had a feeling it had chosen him to protect Sienna, because the ancient piece of carved wood could, clearly, take care of itself.

 

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Incriminating Evidence

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From enemies to allies…

When archaeologist Isabel Dawson stumbles upon an unconscious man deep in the Alaskan wilderness, her survival skills are put to the test. She tends his wounds and drags him to shelter, only to discover she’s saved the life of Raptor CEO Alec Ravissant—the man who may have covered up her brother’s murder to save his senatorial campaign.

With no memory of the assault that landed him five miles deep in the forest, Alec doesn’t know what to believe when he wakes in the clutches of the beautiful redhead who blames him for her brother’s death, but he quickly realizes he needs her help to uncover the truth about his lost hours.

Isabel never imagined she’d find herself allied with Alec, and he’s the last man she ever expected to find attractive. But the former Army Ranger-turned-politician proves seductively charming, and he’s determined to win much more than her vote. When their quest for answers puts Isabel in the crosshairs, Alec must risk everything—his company, his campaign, and his life—to protect her.

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The Most Popular Post of the Week

Everyone was interested in learning more about a location in FIRESTORM.  The palace of former President Mobutu is still standing in the small town Gbadolite, and made an interesting setting for Cal and Savvy’s story!

 

 

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The Weekly Recap – 10/5/18

Where In The World Am I?

I’ve been mostly off social media this week because I’ve been working hard on Silent Evidence during my writing retreat! I’ve read all your comments and hope to reply when I’m settled back in at home. I hope everyone has had a great week!

 

 

The Toni Anderson Giveaway

This week I gave away a print copy of Toni Anderson-Author Page‘s COLD BLOODED.  The lucky winner was notified today.  This book is close to my heart because not only is it dedicated to me, my book FIRESTORM makes a cameo appearance. Toni writes gripping, sexy, fast-paced romantic suspense that will keep you up until three a.m.

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Be sure to visit my Facebook page and enter the giveaways!

 

 

Need a Book Recommendation?

How about several dozen?  You guys are the best!  I LOVE reading your recommendations and hearing about your favorite authors and titles.

 

 

The Most Popular Post of the Week

We take our cookies very seriously.  Doesn’t everyone?

Chocolate chip variations were the most popular!

 

 

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The Weekly Recap – 9/28/187

Conference and Retreat Time!

It’s conference time in Houston! We’re here at Romance Author Mastermind to learn all the things about the business of writing.  #RAM2018 is the brainchild of author Skye Warren and I’m so excited to be attending!

Speaking of Skye Warren, she has a new release I’ll be reading on the plane!

THE EVOLUTION OF MAN! ❤️😍🎉

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“Pure writing gold filled with heartmelting swoons, angst and a lovestory of the ages.” – Bookgasms Book Blog

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After the conference I’ll be on a writing retreat with Toni Anderson, Annika Martin, and Jenn Stark, where I will hopefully be closing in on writing the ending of SILENT EVIDENCE.  I can’t wait!!

 

This Week’s Giveaway!

On Tuesday I posted a fun giveaway on my Facebook page! A few weeks ago my pal Kristina McMorris, Author was in my area for a book signing event along with T. Greenwood, Author. It was great to have a chance to catch up with Kristina and meet T, plus I picked up signed copies of their new releases you now have a chance to win!

Both books are historical fiction; SOLD ON A MONDAY by Kristina McMorris is fiction inspired by an historic photograph, and RUST & STARDUST by T. Greenwood was inspired by a real crime (that was in itself the inspiration for LOLITA).

The lucky winner was announced on Facebook.

 

 

Family Milestones

Last weekend I took my baby to college.  She’s a ferry and a long car ride away.   She’s our oldest so this was a huge milestone in our lives!

 

 

The Most Popular Post of the Week

This week’s most popular post was a fun one!

If you could have dinner with any two authors, living or dead, who would they be?

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Adventures on Dragon’s Tooth

The Kiss and Thrill blog, where this was originally published, will soon be disappearing, and I am republishing my Kiss and Thrill posts here to keep a copy. This one is from September 25, 2012 – I can’t believe this was 6 years ago!

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I’m taking a break from our usual format today at Kiss and Thrill to instead share with you a real life adventure that could one day become fodder for fiction. As an archaeologist, I’ve had plenty of real adventure. Not the Indiana Jones kind, but still, noteworthy moments of finding particularly interesting sites or cool artifacts.

Like the time in Sint Maarten when a land crab surged from the sandy soil beneath my pit-partner’s shovel right after I said the soldiers who died there in the 1630s were going to haunt us. (Totally true, and one of my favorite field memories ever. Scared the heck out of both of us.)

This is a different kind of story, and a different kind of scary. So now, I invite you to join me on my summer vacation, as my family tackled a fearsome class IV river rapid known as Dragon’s Tooth….

[Note: Follow the embedded links to see photos of the rapid, or go to YouTube to see videos.]

This year, for my family’s summer vacation, we did something really special:  four days of whitewater rafting on the Lower Klamath River in Northern California.

I’ve never gone rafting for more than a day trip and so had never experienced rafting on a gear boat. Gear boats are larger, heavier, and have a big metal frame inside, in which our camping supplies were strapped down. Loaded with supplies, the raft held our family of four and our guide, Matt. Another, slightly smaller gear raft held the rest of our supplies and was piloted by Molly, a second guide.

On day two of our trip, we reached the biggest rapid we’d face, Dragon’s Tooth, and Matt—a wonderful man with fifteen years experience—gave us a choice: we could ride the rapid, or hike around.

It was early August and probably 95 degrees out. We’d been sitting by the river for an hour as Matt and Molly scouted the rapid. We hadn’t followed them down the path to see it for ourselves because we’d spotted poison oak along the route. As archaeologists, my husband and I have had poison oak so many times our immune systems go out of whack when we encounter the nasty stuff. So this is the choice that ran through my mind: walk through poison oak, or go over an exciting class IV rapid?

Seems rather obvious when looked at that way, doesn’t it?

Minutes after making our decision, we were back in the raft, wearing our helmets and lifejackets, and for this tricky rapid my husband and I were given paddles—the only time on the entire four day trip we helped paddle the big raft.

We entered the river slowly. We practiced paddling. We were set and paddled toward the slot between boulders.

All was fine, until we missed the opening by inches and stopped on top of a boulder. We were stuck. My husband was seated just above the drop. He tells me the fall, had we been able to slide forward, would have been steep and nasty. I think my nine-year-old son might have yelped in fear at this point, but I’m not sure. From where I sat, I know it didn’t look good.

[Linked photo note: we were stuck on the rock below the surface in the center of the frame.]

Matt had us all move to the right, toward my husband and son’s side of the boat, and we wiggled the raft free. “Paddle forward!” he yelled.

Truth here, this happened so fast, he might have instructed us to paddle backward. This all blurs together. But I do remember being instructed to paddle, getting back in my seat, tucking my foot in the slot and paddling as instructed.

Then we started to slide backward.

Okay. We’re going backward. Over the drop. No problem. There is another slot. We can go through it.

According to my husband, at this point he rolled backward from the raft. I didn’t see it. I was too focused on the river and my paddle. I don’t know if my kids screamed at witnessing their dad’s ejection from the raft. We are talking milliseconds here.

The boat pivoted, then surged into the rapid. But we continued to turn. Sideways, we washed down toward a huge boulder on the left—my side of the boat. The boulder loomed over my shoulder as we raced toward it. I braced for impact, as if we were in a car about to hit a brick wall. But that’s not how it works in a raft. In a raft, the water carries you up. With swift motion we slid up the side of the boulder, completely without impact. Then we arced over.

[Linked photo note: I believe the boulder to the right of the frame is the one that flipped us.]

As an author, I struggle with character arcs. As a whitewater rafter, I can say that an arc is a soft, graceful sweep along a jagged, fearful face. As we crested the point of no return my most profound thought was, “Oh. So this is how it’s going to go.”

And then I was in the water. This part is as jumbled in my mind as I was. If I were writing this as fiction, I would describe hitting the water, reorienting myself and breaking the surface to gasp for air. But to describe it like that here would be a lie, because I remember none of that.

I remember releasing the boat as we flipped, and I remember surfacing, but I don’t remember the moments I was underwater, I don’t know how I landed, or where. Because none of that mattered in the moment when it happened. The only thing that mattered then was my children, who were being tossed into the Lower Klamath River along with me.

How would they handle it? Where would they land? Would they be okay? Would they remember how to swim out (on their backs, feet first), as we’d practiced the night before?

After I surfaced, I think I knew right away that the raft was behind me. But I wasn’t looking for the raft, I was looking for my babies. As luck would have it, my son popped up right next to me. I was grateful to grip his lifejacket and pull him toward me. To know he was okay. The rush of emotion made me want to cry then, and I could cry even now, as I write this. My son was scared, but okay. I turned him face up and feet first to down the river. He didn’t know I had him and fought me at first. But I kept my grip. Nothing could pry him from my hand.

He shouted that he’d lost a sandal. Stupid Velcro straps. But I didn’t care about the shoe. I had him. And that’s all that mattered.

I instantly spotted my husband up ahead. He tells me that because he’d entered the river first, he’d had no idea the raft flipped until he looked back and saw our son and me in the water.

Husband and son accounted for.

But where is my twelve-year-old daughter?

I turned and looked upriver. There was the upside-down raft. There were other rafts and rafters on the banks, in the river. They’d seen us flip and were shouting instructions and trying to help. But I couldn’t see my daughter.

I screamed for her, asking where she was. I repeated the shouts with increasing urgency. I probably couldn’t hear the answers because I was yelling so loud. My husband yelled too.

Was she under the raft? Had she hit a boulder?

This moment will stay with me for the rest of my life.

My son called for his sister with the same urgency. My panic had become his. I wish I could have spared him this, but it wasn’t in me to be calm and reassuring just then.

My husband refers to this as his City Slickers moment. You know, the scene in the movie when Billy Crystal’s character comes to the realization of what his one thing is, the thing that gives his life meaning? It’s not like we needed this moment. But still, it happened. Dragon’s Tooth drove the point home.

Where is my daughter?

Of course, she was fine. She was on the other side of the raft. She’d surfaced underneath (as we’d feared), but was by the edge, and slid out from under and gripped the line. She was swimming next to our guide, who had called to us that she was okay, but we couldn’t hear.

She heard us calling out, so she knew we were safe. Of all of us, she had the best time when we flipped. All the excitement and adrenaline, none of the panic. She loved it.

That’s my girl.

Once we heard the shouts that she was fine, we swam to the side. I lifted my son out onto a rock, where he stood with his one barefoot and worried we’d lost all our supplies.  But we hadn’t. Everything was strapped down perfectly by our awesome guides. In the end, the only thing we lost was that one shoe, but we had a second pair of sandals for my son, so the loss didn’t matter.

We were all fine. Shaky, but fine.

With help from other rafters, our heavy, loaded raft was flipped back over. One dry bag, containing the pillows and sleeping pads, had taken in water. But the day was so hot, even the soaked pillow was dry before we went to bed.

That night we slept on a sandy beach by the river. The sky was cloudless and the moon didn’t rise for hours. I lay there, with my family around me, too in awe of the star-filled sky and the intensity of the day to close my eyes and sleep. We saw a few shooting stars.

Guess what I’m reading?

I loved every minute of our river adventure vacation. I’ll admit it was more of an adventure than I expected. We knew, of course, when we booked it that flipping a raft, or being tossed in the river was a possibility. The river is always boss. But knowing that and believing it could really happen are two different things. I honestly never thought we’d flip a gear raft. To put it in perspective, Matt has had only one other gear raft flip in 15 years.

There were so many fabulous moments on our four-day river adventure. Years from now I will remember sleeping under the stars; the bear we spotted on the bank; the fishing bald eagles; enjoying fabulous meals prepared by Matt and Molly; my daughter acing class II rapids in the inflatable kayak; my son’s laugh as we were drenched by rapids; and my husband’s exuberance as he jumped into the waterfall at the end of our morning hike.

I will remember and cherish it all. And I will remember Dragon’s Tooth and my City Slickers moment, and I will cherish that, too.

The Weekly Recap – 9/21/18

Evidence #8 Code Contest and Title Reveal!

This week I posted the title for Evidence 8 in code with the challenge that the first person to crack the code and figure out the title would win signed copies of all 7 Evidence books.

But before the second code went live, we had a master code-breaker solve the puzzle!!

The thing about the code I used, once you crack it, you would absolutely know you had it
right, so huge congrats to Susan Greenbank who correctly figured out (with the help of her daughter Caelli) that the code was a Vigenere Cipher! Once she had the correct type of code, she *still* had to guess the correct key.  I posted the key later to give everyone a chance to guess and play with this Vigenere Cipher decoder.
(Psst!  The key was EVIDENCE.)
Honorable mention goes to Jennifer Presley, who guessed the title without solving the puzzle.  She guessed the correct title based on it being a 6 letter word with no repeating letters.  I hid her comment with the correct guess so others could work the cipher. Jennifer won the signed Evidence book of her choice.
So…still wondering what the title is?
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#TBT to Withholding Evidence

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This week’s Throwback Thursday was to a quickie just as hot as the rest of the Evidence series, but a fast read. Do you like short books in the midst of a series? Or should they all be equal in length?

Some secrets are worth dying for…

Military historian Trina Sorensen has a nearly impossible task before her: get recalcitrant but tempting former Navy SEAL Keith Hatcher to reveal what happened during a top secret Somalia op five years ago. Recent history isn’t usually her forte, but the navy wants an historian’s perspective and has given her the high security clearance to get the job done.

Keith isn’t just refusing to tell Trina about the op, he’s protecting a national secret that could destroy the lives of those he cares about the most. But not wanting to talk about a covert mission doesn’t mean he isn’t interested in spending time with the sexy historian, and the first time they kiss it’s explosive.

Available NOW!

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A 99c Sale from Darcy Burke!

The Duke of Deception is Book 5 in Darcy Burke’s The Untouchables series and is just 99c for a limited time!

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Difficult and defiant as a child, Bran Crowther, Earl of Knighton left England as a young man to pursue independence and adventure. He never expected to inherit the title and when duty calls him home, he still finds Society’s codes constricting and others’ expectations oppressive. Nevertheless, he needs a wife to be a mother to his young daughter, preferably a woman of intelligence and warmth who is, above all, immune to his idiosyncrasies—and to falling in love.

Widow Joanna Shaw isn’t interested in a second marriage, not after the loveless, passionless union she endured. She’d much rather dote on her young niece and nephew since they will likely be the only children in her life…until she meets a precocious girl, in desperate need of a mother. But her father, the so-called Duke of Defiance, is as peculiar as he is handsome, and Jo won’t take another risk with her heart. Their rules, however, are made to be broken, even when the consequences could destroy them both.

Find out more at www.darcyburke.com

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Experimental new technology is being used to preserve a 500 year old warship.

 

 

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The Weekly Recap – 9/14/18

INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE is 99c!

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If you haven’t read Incriminating Evidence you can still get it for only $0.99 through the 17th! Buy the Kindle version and get the Whispersync audio narrated by Nicol Zanzarella for only $1.99!

If you follow me on Facebook, I probably don’t need to tell you that Alec, the hero of Incriminating Evidence, is a reader favorite. I’ve been listening to the audiobook for a refresher because he plays a big role in Evidence #8, and have been enjoying the little moments of tenderness as he falls hard for Isabel.

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Grant Family Adventures – Camping Edition!

My family went camping this weekend, but there is a burn ban in our area, so we brought along a gas fire pit. We couldn’t roast marshmallows, but we didn’t mind because the fire was plenty entertaining without burning sugar…

 

 

FIRESTORM Featured in Kirkus Reviews Magazine!

So this is cool…Firestorm’s review was featured in Kirkus Reviews 9/1 issue!

Read the full review here: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/rachel-grant/firestormj/

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Darcy Burke Cover Reveal

I LOVE Darcy Burke‘s Legendary Rogues series!! (I *might* have gotten to help plot some of these.) I can’t wait for this one!  On September 13th Darcy revealed the beautiful cover for  CAPTIVATING THE SCOUNDREL, the fourth book in her Legendary Rogues Series, on the USA Today Happy Ever After blog!

It releases January 29th – which gives you time to catch up on the first three books in the Legendary Rogues Series!

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Daphne Foliot has always known she’ll be married off to a man who, like her, descended from one of King Arthur’s fabled knights. That doesn’t mean she wants to be, even if it is her beloved father’s wish. Raised without a mother, she owes everything to the man who encouraged and funded her education and supports her dream of becoming the first female member of the Order of the Round Table. But when she suspects her chosen husband is a traitor to the Order, she plans to expose his treachery, regardless of their extraordinary mutual attraction.

Heir to the thirteen treasures of Britain, Gideon Kersey vows to do anything to protect his family’s legacy from a secret society bent on exploiting the items for personal gain, including marry a woman he doesn’t love. Except she ignites a passion he was certain died with his first wife, and when the truth behind the Order’s objectives threatens everything Daphne knows, Gideon must fight to save her—and any future they hope to share.

Find out more at www.darcyburke.com

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was a poll!  It’s not too late to share your opinion – join in the fun!

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The Weekly Recap – 9/7/18

Writing Retreat Adventures!

 

This week I traveled to Victoria, BC, for a writing retreat with my friend Toni Anderson.  On the ferry I took a picture of this beautiful whale, who breached 3 times during the crossing!
If you’ve read COLD EVIDENCE – yes, I was on THAT ferry, crossing the Salish Sea.

Toni and I had a fantastic time and really enjoyed our retreat, Victoria, and some fabulous chocolate martinis.

The last shot is one I took on the ferry leaving Victoria Harbour.  Victoria was beautiful and kind and full of plot ideas. 

 

 

Catalyst – Only 99¢ for a Limited Time

1 week Cat

 

When a food storage depot in famine-struck South Sudan is torched, American aid worker Brie Stewart flees, only to land in a market where she’s the next item up for auction. Is the attack on the aid facility another assault upon the war-torn fledgling democracy, or has her family set her up as a pawn in their quest for oil rights?

Chief Warrant Officer Sebastian Ford crossed paths with Brie years ago when she was a shill for her family’s company, pushing a pipeline that threatened his tribe’s land. Determined to lead the rescue operation to save her, he won’t let her abduction—or the attraction that flares between them—get in the way of settling their unfinished business.

The Green Beret’s skills are put to the test in the flooded grasslands of South Sudan, where they must battle nature and dangerous factions who are after more than oil. Bastian and Brie put their hearts on the line as they find themselves embroiled in a conflict that extends beyond country and continent. Together they must douse the spark before it reaches the flashpoint and engulfs everything they hold dear.

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Listen to the first chapter of the audiobook, narrated by Greg Tremblay, on SoundCloud
Audiogals.net gave Catalyst an A, and two reviewers listed it as one of their favorite listens of 2017!
Buy the Kindle version and get the Whispersync audiobook for only $1.99.
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Incriminating Evidence is just 99¢

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Kobo and Walmart have teamed up to bring ebooks to Walmart customers. Books and ereaders can be purchased online or in Walmart stores, and this means all of my ebooks are now available at Walmart.com.

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To celebrate the launch of Kobo’s partnership with Walmart, Incriminating Evidence is only 99¢ until September 17th at all vendors.

From enemies to allies…

When archaeologist Isabel Dawson stumbles upon an unconscious man deep in the Alaskan wilderness, her survival skills are put to the test. She tends his wounds and drags him to shelter, only to discover she’s saved the life of Raptor CEO Alec Ravissant—the man who may have covered up her brother’s murder to save his senatorial campaign.

With no memory of the assault that landed him five miles deep in the forest, Alec doesn’t know what to believe when he wakes in the clutches of the beautiful redhead who blames him for her brother’s death, but he quickly realizes he needs her help to uncover the truth about his lost hours.

Isabel never imagined she’d find herself allied with Alec, and he’s the last man she ever expected to find attractive. But the former Army Ranger-turned-politician proves seductively charming, and he’s determined to win much more than her vote. When their quest for answers puts Isabel in the crosshairs, Alec must risk everything—his company, his campaign, and his life—to protect her.

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Toni Anderson Has a 99¢ Sale

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An FBI agent risks her heart and her closely guarded secrets in this pulse-pounding Romantic Thriller from New York Times bestselling author Toni Anderson.

When an international ring of sex traffickers kidnaps an eight-year-old girl in Boston, FBI Agent Lucas Randall heads undercover. But his rescue operation goes disastrously wrong and Lucas barely escapes with his life. Now the ruthless traffickers are hunting him down, along with everyone else who threatens their operation.

Computer expert Ashley Chen joined the FBI to fight against evil in the world—evil she experienced firsthand. She has mad skills, and deadly secrets, and once she starts working with Lucas, she also has big trouble, because after years of pushing people away, she’s falling for the guy. The feeling is more than mutual, but as Ashley intensifies her online pursuit of the trafficking ring, her traumatic past collides with her present and suddenly Lucas can’t tell which side she’s on. And as the case escalates into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, it turns out Ashley isn’t the only one with something to hide.

If neither can trust the other with their secrets, how can they trust each other with their hearts?

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The Weekly Recap – 8/31/18

Grant Family Adventures

Thursday night we went to a Seattle Seahawks game.  The Seahawks lost to the Oakland Raiders 30-19, but it was a lot of fun to watch the game in person!

 

WalMart and Kobo, Oh My!

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Earlier this week, I went to Walmart to see the new Kobo ebook display. Bestie Darcy Burke‘s book, DUKE OF LIES, is one of a small number of ebooks you can buy in the store!!

I’m very excited by the partnership between Walmart and Kobo! Now all of my books are available at Walmart online, and I love working with the wonderful people at Kobo Writing Life. Plus I absolutely love my Kobo Aura H2O. (It’s waterproof!)

While I was at Walmart I bought a $25 Walmart eBook gift card to give away to one lucky reader through my Facebook page.  The winning comment was by Tina Stuck – congratulations!

Worried that you don’t have a Kobo reader and won’t be able to use the gift card? No problem, download the Kobo/Walmart eBooks App on your tablet or phone.  It’s free!

Click on the below link, select Apps & eReaders, and download your free app!

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/p/aboutwalmartebooks

 

Read my first Romantic Suspense!

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Have you read GRAVE DANGER?
She’s being stalked…
After struggling to recover from a career-crippling mistake, archaeologist Libby Maitland has landed the project of her dreams—a data recovery excavation in a picturesque, historic sawmill town. Tasked with digging up secrets of the town’s founding family, Libby soon learns that nothing in Coho, Washington, is as idyllic as it seems.

She’s barely settled into her new home when suspicious events make her believe she’s being stalked…

Or maybe she’s losing her mind.

Coho Police Chief Mark Colby can’t decide if Libby is crazy or if she has her own twisted agenda, but the deeper he delves into her past, the more intrigued he becomes. Even as he and Libby grow closer, he can’t quite let his initial suspicion go.

When Libby’s life is threatened, they must work together to determine if the truth about her stalker is buried in her past, or if the answers can be found in the layers of the excavation.

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Love Urban Fantasy? Get this 99c Boxset!

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Just 99c! The first three full-length novels of the Immortal Vegas Series by Jenn Stark in one box set, plus an introductory novella. Over 1,000 pages of #UrbanFantasy!

“Hilarious, sexy, and thrillingly high action. GET THIS BOOK!” by NYT Bestselling Author Darynda Jones

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A fascinating discovery has captured our imaginations!

 

 

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