Posts in the Mystery, Suspense, & Thriller genre

Exclusive Excerpt

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Dog Collar Chaos by Adrienne Giordano


I love a good alpha male.  The nice ones. Not the mean ones. The nice ones give those around them a sense of stability, an assurance that whatever comes at them, they’ll deal with it in a direct and concise manner and if anyone wants to get in their way, they should prepare to get run over.

Alpha males don’t like people standing in their way.  

I grew up surrounded by alpha males, which is probably why I have such a soft spot for them.  I’m a Jersey girl from a large Italian family. Family gatherings with my father’s siblings could have been the annual alpha convention.  And I’m not talking about just the men either. The females weren’t about to take any prisoners either. My father was what I call an alpha-on-steroids.  A master storyteller, he was loud and funny and had a temper that sometimes ran hot.  Speaking of that temper, it wasn’t a shocker for him to pull to the side of the road and kick the crap out of a guy who had flipped him the bird.  I can attest to this. I witnessed it.

Back then, it wasn’t so fun. Now though, I laugh because the non-alphas of the world would probably have considered my dad a madman.  Heck, there were times I thought he was a madman. On the flip side, my father was generous to a fault and would give his enemy his last dollar.

When I sat down to write the first Lucie Rizzo book (Dog Collar Crime), I knew I wanted a character (or two) with these traits. Along came Joey, Lucie’s older brother and someone who can infuriate her like no other. Joey is the perfect foil for the do-gooder in Lucie. He annoys her, teases her and generally makes her insane, but don’t put hands on his sister or he will take you out.

Here is a glimpse of Joey in action from Dog Collar Chaos:

Stop. She needed to get hold of her emotions. Another switch. What was going on around here today with everyone acting out of character? Normally, she was the sane one. Deep breath, Luce. Deep breath.

“Miss,” the other cop said.

She opened her eyes just as he lightly touched her arm. She peered up at his kind eyes and immediately knew he was one of the good ones. A man who’d become a cop to serve. To help people. Maybe he could help her.

“Whoa,” Joey said. “Hands off my sister.”

What? She swung her head in his direction and nearly reared back at the carved tightness in his cheeks. The pressed lips. Her brother, if they didn’t do something, was about to blow. In truth, his rage probably had nothing to do with this cop barely—barely—touching her and everything to do with Ro being locked up.

Whatever the reason, it wasn’t good. She knew her brother. For years she’d watched him operate. When it came to a hair trigger, Joey had been cursed. He took hair triggers to another level. A double hair trigger. Maybe even a triple.

Cop number one nudged in closer, getting in Joey’s space. “You don’t tell us what to do. We tell you what to do. Now leave.”

Oh, boy.

“You—” Dad poked his finger at Joey, “—calm down. Right now. Don’t even think about busting this place up.”

“Ray,” cop number two said, “I’ve got this.”

Except Joey inched closer, and with him came an electric buzz that sent the energy in the room crackling. “Get away from my father before I kick your ass.”

Ohmygod. “Joey! Stop it.”

The cop snorted. “You think you’re gonna kick my ass. That’s it. Up against the wall.”

Could there be anything worse than a bunch of high-strung alphas in a confined space? Enough already. Lucie wedged herself between Joey and the jerky cop and shoved. Unfortunately, at 6’5″, her brother was basically a human mountain and didn’t budge. Lucie dug her heels in and threw all her weight forward. Pushing, pushing, pushing. Her sneakers squeaked against the tile and…grrrr…began to slip.

Damn it.

Joey grabbed her by the arms, picked her up—whoopsie—and set her beside him.

Well, that was a bust.

Adrienne GiordanoABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Adrienne Giordano is a USA Today bestselling author of over twenty romantic suspense and mystery novels. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports-obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a cofounder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction.

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Lucie Rizzo–Mafia princess-turned-dog accessory entrepreneur—is riding high after scoring a partnership with Buzzy Sneider, America’s leading craft and interior decorating mogul. A collaboration that is sure to move Lucie’s fledgling business into the next tax bracket.

When Buzzy turns up dead and Lucie’s BFF and business partner, Roseanne, is accused of the murder, Lucie will stop at nothing to prove Ro’s innocence. Even if it means keeping secrets from her new squeeze, sexy detective Tim O’Brien, who’s determined to keep Lucie from running one of her screwball investigations.

With Ro behind bars and Tim hot under the collar over Lucie’s meddling, Lucie is forced to accept her father’s help to clear Ro’s name and save their business. But will doing so put a killer hot on her heels?

Guest Post

Guest Post + Excerpt: Melissa Ohnoutka on Romantic Suspense!

Sinful Secrets Melissa Ohnoutka

Thanks for stopping by today. I’m so excited to be a guest on EverAfter Romance to share my newest release with you. For as long as I can remember, suspense has been my favorite genre—books, movies, music, you name it. I live for the adrenaline rush. Throw romance into the mix and it becomes the perfect combination to keep me on the edge of my seat and begging for more. Romancing the Stone will forever be my all-time favorite movie, and one of the reasons for my madness. I first saw the action-packed film on the big screen as a teenager, then again when it came out on video. I had two babies in diapers at the time and needed an escape to save my sanity. The rest is history.

Once I started writing that first romantic suspense, I knew there was no turning back. The thrill of watching the suspense and romance unfold in one of my own creations is a feeling like no other. I’m addicted for life.

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Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: HER ROGUE ALPHA by Paige Tyler

Her Rogue Alpha Paige Tyler

Turning the mic over to the amazing Paige Tyler to introduce this action-packed excerpt of Her Alpha Rogue:

This excerpt is piece of an action-packed scene in the book where the hero, Jayson Harmon, a wounded Special Forces soldier, and his girlfriend, feline shifter and newest Department of Covert Operations agent, Layla Halliwell, have broken into the home of the dangerous man who has kidnapped a dozen young women in Ukraine. Unfortunately, Jayson and Layla don’t know exactly where inside the sprawling estate the girls are being held prisoner, so they have to depend on her keen sense of smell to find them. All the bad guys roaming around makes that tricky enough, but when Jayson and Layla finally get inside, they’re shocked to realize they have to rescue someone else as well.


As if on cue, an explosion from the front of the estate shook the ground beneath them and a big, red fireball rolled up through the night sky. Seconds later, the popping sound of small arms fire filled the air like someone was hosing down the front of the estate with a half- dozen machine guns.

Shit. If they blew this because he was too busy throwing a pity party for himself to stay focused on the mission, he was going to be pissed.

“Go!” Jayson urged.

Trusting the teens’ distraction would get everyone’s attention turned the other way, Layla took off running for the back of the house, Jayson at her side. Dropping to one knee, he put his back to the rough stone and cupped his hands in front of him. He tensed, knowing it was going to hurt, but doing it anyway. Layla read his mind, launching herself at him, her booted foot thumping into his outstretched hands on the fly. He shoved up at the same time she jumped, propelling her to the top of the wall.

She stretched out on her stomach, then threw one of her legs over the top and reached down with her free hand. Jayson didn’t know how the hell a woman her size could hold his weight even if she was a shifter, but he leaped up and grabbed her outstretched hand anyway. The moment their palms clapped together, she gripped tightly, pulling him up as he kicked with his legs. Considering they hadn’t practiced this particular move, they executed it amazingly smoothly, and within a few seconds, they were both dropping down to the far side of the high wall and were inside the estate.

Jayson pulled the AK-7 4 off his back as Layla drew her pistol. He waited while she tested the air inside the compound with her nose and ears to make sure there weren’t any guards hanging around back there.

After a moment, Layla gave him the all- clear signal.

“Let’s head for the main section of the house, then hope that you pick up Anya’s scent from there,” Jayson said.

Layla nodded and took point. Jayson followed her across the property as she tried to stay in the deep shadows as much as possible. They moved fast but carefully, too. It wouldn’t do Anya or anyone any good if they ran into a group of armed guards.

As they ran past a big swimming pool artfully surrounded by raised flower beds made of stacked stone and shaped concrete, Jayson had a hard time not gawking.

The place looked more like something you’d see on a private island getaway in the Mediterranean than an estate in Ukraine.

He followed Layla around the loungers and outdoor bar as she led the way to the large french doors that led into the main house. Jayson expected the gunfire from the front of the house to start to taper off—surely there couldn’t have been that many rounds of ammunition in the trunk of a car—but as he and Layla reached the heavy glass doors, the sound of weapons fire actually got heavier.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: Sarah Ballance’s 5 Favorite Mystery Books

Dangerous Illusions Sarah Ballance
  1. My favorite gets top billing for one reason alone: it introduced me to romantic suspense. I’d just gotten a new computer with a built-in e-reader (new stuff to me back then) and one of the free books offered was Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch by B.J. Daniels. I read it and absolutely fell in love with the genre, which played a huge part in getting me where I am today.
  2. Speaking of where I am today, I have to give some serious props to Jane Beckenham’s To Love a Thief and Eve Devon’s Heart of Steel. Yes, they are books one and two in the Steel Hawk series, but they’re also really incredible stories with fantastic writing. Both of these authors blow me away, time and time again.
  3. Another book that stands out for me is Jenna Ryan’s A Voice in the Dark. The author’s voice is amazing and the book is just so fun to read, but it also has another level. The hero, Noah, has kept himself hidden, and the moment he reveals himself to the heroine absolutely melted me into a puddle of goo.
  4. I can’t make this list without mentioning the Nancy Drew Case Files. There was just the barest hint of romance between Nancy and Ned, but the chapter endings were what got me. I was probably twelve-ish and staying up all night because I couldn’t put the book down at the hook. I remember that now as an author when I close my chapters, and to this day I read suspense in one sitting.
  5. The book that holds the honor of most amazing moment I’ve ever read is…unknown. I forgot the title. It’s a romantic suspense from Harlequin Intrigue, and the hero kidnaps/rescues the heroine from her house in the nick of time, as heroes are prone to do. They end up on the run, their enemies ruthless, and there’s a lot of biting dialogue exchanged. The hero is tough as nails, and he refuses to tell the heroine his name for much of the book. The moment he finally trusts her with that piece of information is one of the most amazing I’ve ever read. I think of it often and needless to say it drives me absolutely crazy that I’ve lost track of which book it is, so if anyone out there knows, I’m on my knees. Tell me, please!

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Giveaway, Guest Post

Katie Ruggle on Kick-Ass Heroines and Sisterhood

Gone Too Deep Katie Ruggle

As I was thinking about a topic for this blog post, I realized something. I talk a lot about heroes. I write a lot about heroes, about what makes a hero, how a hero expresses his love, why I have a little bit of extra adoration in my heart for a certain hero (George of Gone Too Deep).

But why, I asked myself, am I neglecting the heroines? I didn’t in the books. In my Search and Rescue series, I wrote each one almost exclusively from the heroine’s point of view, even when that was difficult (ahem…I’m looking at you, Daisy). The women were able to express their feelings and their motivations and their experiences directly, while readers got to know the heroes through the heroines’ eyes. My female characters also did a fair amount of ass-kicking, saving the heroes just as many times—if not more—than they themselves were saved.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “What’s Wrong With the Box Again?” by Amy Lane

Fish Out of Water Amy Lane

I’ll be honest.  My first warning usually comes when a friend or a colleague says to me, “Oh, you’re so brave!”

Sounds like a compliment, doesn’t it?  Uh-huh. Brave—we all want to be brave, right?

It might be, but “You’re so brave!” for me is usually followed by an Amy Lane sized crap-bomb that could spatter a city block. When my nearest and dearest are saying, “You’re so brave!” they are not infrequently edging away from me, reaching into boxes for rain ponchos and checking to make sure their kaiju shelters are stocked for the shitstorm to come.

For example, when my bestie and beta reader got to the end of Immortal, she said, “Oh, Amy—you’re so brave to kill off both main characters and have their happy ever after happen as they wandered the forest around their homes after death.” This translated into, “People will hate this ending. They will loathe it. They will .gif bomb the crap out of you on Goodreads, and you won’t understand and cry on me until my cornflakes get soggy from 3000 miles away.”

And because I was me, I put my little tin hat on, grabbed my broomstick, mounted my dying pony and galloped right into that windmill and got knocked right on my ass.

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Q&A: Alessandra Torre of MOONSHOT

Moonshot Alessandra Torre

Today we’ve got a Q&A with a Romance author that needs no introduction. Alessandra Torre, known for being one of the few authors in the world to make their characters (and readers) scream with delight and terror. Between steamy romantic scenes and sheer suspense, we’re never on the edge of our seats with an Alessandra Torre book. We’re that embarrassing girl in the cafe who’s accidentally slid off her seat. So when we heard Moonshot would combine suspense, romance, and a lot of our favorite sport, we were all over it. Check out an awesome Q&A below and pick up Moonshot, out today!


What are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements?

  • Forgetting Sarah Marshall
  • The Princess Bride
  • The Proposal
  • Ghost
  • 10 Things I Hate About You


Describe your favorite scene from each one.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall: Singing Dracula musical songs in that Hawaiian dive bar.

The Princess Bride: When Buttercup realizes who Wesley is!

The Proposal: When Margaret and Andrew are in the plane flying to Sitka.

Ghost: When Molly finally believes.

10 Things I Hate About You: “But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.”

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Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: FAN THE FLAMES by Katie Ruggle

Fan The Flames Katie Ruggle

Okay, so I accidentally sneaked a peek at this entire excerpt and let me tell you: adorable, tense, and there’s a dog! Check out the perfect storm of everything we want in this bit from Katie Ruggle‘s Fan The Flames, out now!

They returned to the station after a quick stop to gas up the truck, and Steve gave Ian hand signals from the ground to help direct him in backing the truck into its spot. The two firemen who hadn’t gone on the call had finished cleaning up from training, so it didn’t take long before everyone was calling their good nights and heading to the parking lot.

Rory stared at Ian’s Bronco, her stomach twisting. In the excitement of the call, she’d forgotten that he’d driven her into town. All she wanted to do was hide in her bunker and process the evening—or maybe just hide in her bunker, full stop. The processing could wait.

“Ready?” Ian opened the passenger door and waited for her to get into the SUV. With a sigh, she swung onto the seat, appreciating the relatively short climb in comparison to the rescue truck. He closed the door and rounded the hood while she watched him, feeling like a rabbit crouched in a woodpile as a coyote circled her hiding spot.

Shaking her head to clear it of her fanciful thoughts, she kept her eyes off Ian as he got into the driver’s seat. Instead, she focused intently on fastening her seatbelt, impatient with her ricocheting emotions. Somehow, just the act of getting into his vehicle had transformed the night back into a date.

“Does it ever make you nervous?” she blurted, desperate to put off the awkward silence she just knew was waiting to descend.

“Does what make me nervous?” Giving her a curious look, he cranked the engine.

“Driving. After seeing so many accidents.”

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Steals & Deals

Deal Alert: SEX, LIES, AND SWEET TEA by Kris Calvert

It’s been raining all week at EverAfter HQ and we’ve been longing for better weather and better moods. Thankfully, we’ve found a book that hits just the right spot, and it’s on sale. Raise the temperature with this fantastic book from Kris Calvert!

Sex, Lies, and Sweet Tea by Kris Calvert

Hotter than hell and half of Alabama, FBI Agent, Mac Callahan is thirsty for everything except love. Coming home to bust a white-collar crime ring, Mac intends to execute his usual practice with work and women¬ – get in, get it on and get out. Instead, he finds himself unexpectedly drawn to the legacy of his family, his plantation, and the charms of a Southern girl. Samantha Peterson possesses everything he needs in a woman, including the evidence to wrap his case. As the investigation heats up, so does their passion and a dangerous game ignites. But, then again, everything’s hotter in the South.

And if you love Sex, Lies, and Sweet Tea, you’re going to want to dive into Sex, Lies, and Bourbon, out 5/17!


Sex, Lies, and Bourbon by Kris Calvert

FBI Agent, Win Holloway is going home to Kentucky—and not under the best of circumstances. At odds with his family since turning his back on their lucrative and long-standing bourbon empire, the blond haired golden boy carries not only a badge and weapon, but the unwarranted guilt of his mother’s death twenty-three years ago. When his father is found murdered in their family estate in an identical fashion, Win is forced to face his family’s past and the history of Winter Bourbon while searching for answers to not only his father’s death, but his mother’s unsolved murder.

Special Agent, Virginia “Ginny” Grace has been called in to investigate what seems to be a high-stakes deal gone wrong. But as she uncovers shocking Winterbourne family secrets, finds herself in the middle of her late father’s unsolved case and deep in the lives of the bluebloods of bourbon—including her one-time lover, Win Holloway.

When murder is an inside job, you keep your enemies close, and your family closer.

Kris Calvert is a former copywriter and PR mercenary, who after some coaxing, began writing novels. She loves alliteration, pearls and post-it notes.  She’s married to the man of her dreams, who just happens to be a fabulously talented composer. They live in the South where he scores her crazy and completely out-of-the-box life. She’s Momma to two kids, now in college – one at the University of Kentucky, and one at New York University -Tisch. She is also responsible for one very needy dog. When she’s not writing, she’s baking cupcakes.

Kris can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and



Swoon-Worthy Heroes

Swoon-Worthy Heroes: Rick O’Connell from The Mummy

When The Mummy released in 1999, I had the biggest crush on Brendan Fraser as Rick O’Connell. I bought this movie and watched it over and over again. It had action, adventure, humor, and romance.


Is it kind of cheesy? Yes, of course it is, but that is part of its charm. The movie starts out telling the origin story of the Mummy. Years ago he hooked up with the Pharaoh’s mistress and when they were caught, he was cursed. If he was ever released he would be a monster, bent on destruction. Fast forward to a group of explorers, treasure hunters, and one librarian, awakening him and now all the Mummy wants is to resurrect his one true love, at any cost.

together forever

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