Sunday, January 4, 2015

Looking Forward...

Because there is nothing you can do to change the past. You can learn from it, so don’t discount the importance of what was. But don’t wish that things had been different—they aren't.

Decide whether you need to make better decisions in the future or if what happened needed to. There is a lesson in what we perceive as “failure”. Sometimes it leads to our greatest success.

I believe that making great change or even little ones and setting new goals should happen as needed, not just at the turn of a new year. But there is something magical and/or inspiring about deciding to strive for something greater when the clock strikes midnight—beginning 2015.

Even though I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I do love this time of year. I love the idea of starting fresh and of an opportunity to make the new year better than the last.

So for the last couple of years, I've taken the opportunity, the time between Christmas and New Years, to take stalk of what was. And decide what I want for the future.

2014 held its challenges. Some of that revolved around work and the indecision of moving on or staying put. I had several opportunities to move on and felt a sense of pressure to do so. True to my belief that change and decision happens as needed, in October, after another opportunity came and went, I made the decision to stick with my job and see it through this rough patch. It came as a major relief to me. Sometimes indecision is the most difficult part of any challenge we face.

Writing was another area I struggled. I haven’t been able to shrug off reality enough to dream. And I need to dream (awake) to write. I need to separate, on some level, from reality to delve into the fantasy worlds that live inside me, so that I can get them down on paper. I am super excited to have pushed through the struggle and to have finished SHALLOW GRAVES. I so loved writing this story back in 2010, and to finally have gotten back to it, to finish it and still love it has been very rewarding.

A few relationships have troubled me as well and have for a few years now. Many or most of our relationships go beyond our family, and often affect us just as deeply and sometimes more often. I managed to put those relationships in perspective in 2014, for the most part anyway. I allowed those relationships to dominate my thoughts and emotions more than what was healthy for me. It was nothing they personally set out to do, knew they were doing or wanted to do. It was all me, my allowing the emotional impact. That is not an easy thing for me to admit or to have allowed. I see myself as very strong-minded person and this aspect was a big struggle for me.

I think of the saying; that God puts people in our lives for a reason and sometimes just a season. That he also moves people out of our lives when the time is right and we have to let go. I didn't want to let go despite the emotional impact. I prayed and prayed to do so and never did the answer seem to be from God to “let go”. But the hurt needed to go. The drain on my emotions had to go. It took me a long time, a lot of prayer, and I won’t say that I've come to completion with this, but I've come a long way. Both friendships are still in tact and so are my emotions. I’m thankful “letting go” wasn't the answer, for now anyway.

I've always been one to control my emotions and reactions. This year, I had to re-learn that. Just because you feel it, doesn't mean you have to say it or react to it to make it real or meaningful. Being vulnerable is difficult and scary; and the very reason I always controlled my emotions or at least my reactions to emotions to begin with.

My sister-in-law, Patty in
purple and me in pink.
I ran the 2014 Ohio Savage Race with my sister-in-law, Patty. And we've committed to do it again in 2015 along with her daughter (my niece), Rebecca, our niece, Christine and my step-son, Jeff. Training has begun. I can’t wait.

In preparation for the New Year, I cleaned out the office (aka as the junk room), in hopes of motivating myself to write the next best seller. In the process, I found $200 dollars worth of gift cards, a charcoal drawing I did when I was a teen, and the knowledge that my husband has a mild magazine hoarding issue.

My two main goals for 2015: a rockin body and a NY Times best seller. With God, all things are possible. So the closet is stocked with workout clothes and the office set for writing. I’m ready to make 2015 better than any other year before.

Life is what you make it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cover Reveal




Be careful what secrets you dig up.


Blurb:
When a young girl’s body is discovered in a shallow grave on a farm outside of Ripley, Ohio, FBI Agent Kendal McNally returns to her estranged hometown to investigate. The similarities to another murder on the same farm eighteen years earlier is unnerving, not to mention the fact that she helped put her best friend’s father behind bars for the crime. Her search for the truth puts her in the middle of a serial killer’s graveyard. 

Reed Harvey’s life was turned upside down when his father was convicted of murder. It didn’t help that Kendal had been the key witness in the trial or that she turned her back on him and their friendship. Now she has returned  to investigate another murder, living in an apartment above his restaurant and making him remember what almost was. 

Despite their past, Kendal and Reed turn to each other as Kendal’s investigation unravels a web of lies in a town where everyone thought they knew everyone’s business. And when another girl goes missing, Kendal will unearth a devastating secret that may put an end to the murders—except one. Hers.

Thank you for stopping by for my cover reveal. I am super excited about this story. I loved writing it and can't wait for you to read Kendal and Reed's story. Available in February 2015.

As a show of appreciation to all my readers, I am giving away SET FREE and UNDERCOVER for free on Amazon for the next two days (Dec. 23rd and 24th.) Click the links below for your FREE Kindle e book. 

Undercover -  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0061GEXLE
Set Free - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FVECZBW

Also, for a excerpt from Shallow Graves, check out my last post below.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Shallow Graves - Sneak Peek

Vultures swirled overhead announcing death to anyone who cared to look above the treetops. Kendal McNally didn’t need them to tell her what lay ahead. The fetid odor of rotting flesh reached her half way across the field. The smell, combined with the hum of flies, made her thankful she hadn’t eaten breakfast before making the hour long drive to Ripley.
She picked her way around cocklebur weeds standing knee high and cow created potholes dotting the abandoned pasture. Her head jerked back as she swatted at the buzzing insects intent on attacking her face. Dry clumps of dirt pushed out of the ground, the handy work of crawdads. Deep ruts from a tractors tire and long blades of intertwining grass acted as nature’s trip wire. A minefield she stumbled through despite wearing sensible shoes and work pants.
The humid summer morning air gave a feeble gust, but didn’t budge the tendrils of chestnut curls stuck to her forehead and neck. The dark blue of her shirt showed signs of heat where damp patches clung to her back and sides.
She glanced up to see how much further. Almost there.
Two local officers stood, hands on their respective gun attached hips, watching her progress across the field. Neither of them called out a greeting or smiled.
She flashed her badge when she got close enough for them to see. “Kendal McNally, FBI crime scene,” she muttered, feeling overheated and irritated.
She ignored the curiosity that lit their faces. Whether from the name or the FBI, she didn’t know or care. She set her scene kit on the ground, unlatched, and opened the lid. Taking out the Vick’s vapor rub, she applied a swipe under each nostril, sighing in appreciation for the hot, minty cover up. Taking pity on the two officers, she handed them her Vicks.
“Didn’t realize they were calling in ID on this. You got here fast.” This came from the younger of the two officers, handsome despite the frown creasing his brow. He wasn’t happy about her presence, the locals usually weren’t, but that wasn’t his or her call. He extended his hand, surprising her. “Kyle Davis, this here’s Haywood.” He gestured toward his older, pudgier sidekick.
“Nice to meet you, Kyle. Haywood.” She shook Kyle’s large, rough worked hand, nodded at Haywood. “Who was first on scene?”
“We came together.” Kyle’s brows lifted in question.
She sighed. “Who found the body and called in the report to you?” She made a quick scan of the area. How much evidence had already been lost due to carelessness and ignorance of the officers who had yet to secure the scene?
The grave lay just at the edge of a wooded area, giving plenty of coverage for someone to hide a body. So why at the edge of woods? Why in the open?
“Hank, the farms owner. Actually, his dog found the body.” Haywood chuckled then appeared to realize the inappropriateness of his response. “Damn dog started digging and tugging at the blanket there.” He pointed.
Kendal refused to look directly at the body. Not yet. She needed to steel herself against the shock. Prepare not to react.
“Who removed the dirt from around the body?” She failed to keep the irritation out of her tone.
“The dog, I guess.” Kyle shrugged his shoulders. “We didn’t touch it.”
It? Kendal wanted to scream. It was a little girl.
“Have you been walking the area?” She gestured to the numerous footprints and trampled weeds.
“Yeah. We looked for evidence.” Haywood glanced at Kyle for confirmation.
“Why is the FBI interested?” Kyle folded his muscled arms across his thick chest.
“We’ll be helping with the collection of all physical evidence,” she stated, moving the strap of her camera so that it hung around her neck rather than off one shoulder.
“We collected evidence the last time and we’ve already searched here. What are you going to do that we can’t?” Haywood sputtered, tossing his hands in the air.
Two grave sights found on the farm in the past year with no person of interest identified seemed answer enough for Kendal. This time someone called in specialists.
She thought about ignoring Haywood’s question, but answered out of courtesy. “We need enough evidence to identify a POI.” Realizing what they needed to hear, she looked up from her camera and flashed what she hoped was a charming smile. “I’m sure you men have enough to deal with without adding a detailed scene investigation to the mix. We’re here to assist you, not take over.”
Haywood took the bait, puffing out his barrel chest with importance. Kyle didn’t sway so easy.
“You’re going to do this on your own?” Kyle asked.
“No. Another team member should be arriving….” At the sound of a car door slamming in the distance, they all glanced in the direction of the barn and farmhouse. “That’s probably her now.”
Kendal wondered how Amy would fair crossing the pasture and hoped she’d heeded her warning about wearing sensible shoes. She couldn’t help but glance over her shoulder until Amy came into view from around the barn on three inch heels and studied the situation.
Kendal smiled as she turned back to the scene and squatted down to remove numbered markers and surgical gloves from her kit, but she would wait for Amy to begin processing the scene. She needed to do a quick sketch of the area and document what she had learned so far. Interviewing the farmer, Hank, was top priority.
Taking a deep steadying breath, she took her first look at the body. Kendal surveyed the grave with the remains of the child lying within its shallow dirt walls. Ignoring the low burning sensation in her stomach, she brought the camera up to her face and focused for the first of many pictures.
The men stood there appearing confused as to what to do next.
“Holy cow shit,” Amy exclaimed, coming to an unsteady stop beside Kendal. “Literally.” Amy grabbed hold of Kyle’s arm to steady herself as she slanted backwards when her spiked heels sunk into the ground.
“I warned you.” Kendal shook her head.
“Yes. Yes you did.” Amy swung her sparkling blue eyes on Kyle and squeezed his meaty arm before letting go. “Nice.” She smiled. Kyle’s face turned beat red.
“Lets get to work.” Kendal pulled on gloves, snapping them against her wrist. She began setting numbers near the young girl’s body. A baby really, six years old at the most. Kendal shut off her thoughts, focusing on the job and let the camera capture the scene. Bruises circled the neck and the arms. Scratches. The tattered clothes. The quilt partially wrapped around the lower half of her body.
How much of what she saw had the dog disturbed with his tugging on the quilt, from digging in the dirt? Had the body been completely covered?
While she worked, Amy opened her own case, put on gloves, grabbed a prepackaged test kit, and waited. When Kendal finished, she replaced the lens cover on her camera and squatted down across the grave from where Amy knelt. A car door slammed.
“Coroner?” Amy questioned while painstakingly brushing dirt off the body, never taking her eyes off the pale, marred flesh.
“Should be.”
But it wasn’t the coroner. Kendal stood when the man approached. He was tall and shockingly thin. The police uniform hung on him as if the weight loss were recent and sudden.
“Chief, these two ladies are with the FBI,” Kyle explained as his brows furrowed over a face grown tense.
“I didn’t call in the FBI.” The chief’s gravely voice held contempt.
“Someone did,” Kendal stated. “We’re here to help. My supervisor…”
He stopped her with a harrumph and a shake of his head. “Yeah, I already spoke to him.” Riley’s Chief of Police spit a long steam of brown juice, which touched down inches short of Kyle’s shoe. “Don’t you boys got something better to do?” He snarled at his two officers. Even Kyle seemed to shrink. The chief’s authority giving him more weight than his body demanded.
“We have no problem working with the locals. We can either assist or lead the investigation.” Kendal kept her voice steady, but her insides quivered like the beginnings of a volcanic eruption.
“I don’t think so. I’ll tell you what I told your supervisor. I don’t want you here.” He jammed a finger in her direction. “You’re on your own and when you screw this up, it will all be on your head.” The chief turned and left with his men.
She watched him go, part of her falling back to the nagging insecurities that had been her companions since her teenage years. She screwed everything up just like her mother. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Kendal clenched her jaws to bite off that line of thinking. Her mother had made mistakes, yes, but she’d had help making them. Kendal shoved the thoughts away and noticed Amy staring up at her.
“What?”
“A friend of yours?” Amy asked.
“No.” She glanced again at the retreating figure. “My father.”

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sex, Lies & Murder

Sizzling romance. Killer instinct. Which wins out in the end?
Four top-selling authors create a perfect escape as they take love to the edge of suspense and back, risking life, death, and emotional warfare. Sexy, edgy, and gritty, these four romantic suspense novels will keep you turning the pages, as plots rarely go according to plan, and dangerous situations delay the stories’ coming to climax.

This boxed set includes the full-length romantic suspense novels: According To Plan by Madison J. Edwards, Coming to Climax by Bobbye Terry, Emotional Warfare by Christina Wolfer, and A Perfect Escape by Maddie James.

ACCORDING TO PLAN by Madison J. Edwards


Shelby Stewart's been hired to find socialite Harrison Grant. That's good. Her ex-partner, Tank, is on the hunt for him as well. That's bad. Shelby will do anything to stay one step ahead of her uber sexy ex-lover, even play a tantalizing game of strip pool to knock him off his game. Everything should work out, According to Plan.

According To Plan is a solid erotic romantic suspense with humor, mystery, action, a hot ALPHA man and feisty, sassy, kick ass woman. ~Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Fast paced with great emotional quality, this story keeps you on the edge of your seat with lots of plot twists and scorching love scenes. Shelby and Tank's physical chemistry is off the charts sizzling. ~ Long and Short Reviews

Madison J. Edwards All-Romance Bestseller, award winning author who loves writing a whole log of spice into a relationship. Her stories are filled with alpha heroes and the feisty woman who keep them on their toes.

COMING TO CLIMAX by Bobbye Terry

Margaret Palmer returns to Climax, Virginia, where Southern charm hides long-buried secrets and evil lurks just beneath the surface of the daily routine. Margaret’s long-guarded secret now threatens to be exposed; but, will that no longer matter when a psychotic killer’s target is Blue Moon, the one true love of her life?

Double Finalist in Central Florida Romance Writers’ Touch of Magic and Yellow Rose Romance Writers’ Winter Rose contests.

Bravo! Well, done!! I loved it! ~ Blue is absolutely fascinating! I am in love!

Bobbye Terry is a bestselling contemporary romance writer with multiple awards for her contemporary romance, historical romance, romantic suspense and romantic comedy.

EMOTIONAL WARFARE by Christina Wolfer

When highly classified military parts go missing from Libby Aerospace Technologies, Dana Porter is sent to Wyoming to resolve the issues. The further Dana digs, the more dangerous things become, and when an ex-employee ends up murdered, she suspects someone is illegally exporting the goods.

Dana's past marital issues were handled competently and her romantic feelings fro Nick added to the emotional warfare... the emotional push-pull of the protagonists is where Ms. Wolfer shines. ~Amazon Review

Wolfer Understands the human condition and breathes life and realism into her characters ~ Amazon Review.

Christina Wolfer writes the spectrum of contemporary romance, from modern day westerns to murder and suspense. She'll keep you guessing until the very end.

A PERFECT ESCAPE by Maddie James

Megan Thomas is running for her life. Smyth Parker is running from his. Their perfect escape to the solitude of uninhabited Portsmouth Island might temporarily solve their problems, but Smyth soon learns he doesn’t need a complication named Megan Thomas—especially when she brings more danger to his life than he could have imagined.

What a tangled web! An intricate plot of mystery and suspense. James deftly combines romance and suspense, so hop on for an exhilarating ride. ~ 4 Stars, RT Book Reviews

A Perfect Escape is a well-written story that delivers great range of emotions, intense action at its best, and a great plot. Ms. James knows how to pen stories that engage the reader. ~ Fallen Angel Reviews


Bestselling author Maddie James is the author of nearly 30 novels/novellas. Her books have received numerous 5 Star and Top Pick reviews. She is frequently listed as a Top 100 Most Popular Contemporary Romance Author at Amazon.

Tell me what intrigues you about the above listed novels to be entered for a FREE boxed set give-a-way and $10 Amazon gift card. Be sure to leave an email address in your comment. Winner will be announced Thursday, May 22nd.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Set Free only $0.99 cents

Julie Ludlow rested the rifle over the top edge of the brick apartment building, peered through the scope and sighted in her target.
She inhaled deeply to steady her shaky hands and pulled the trigger, dropping Ricky Parker to the ground on The Coffee House steps.
Seconds ticked by as she shoved another round into the chamber. Her shoulder throbbed and her ears rang as she pumped the trigger again, dropping Ricky’s younger brother, Randy, down beside him.
Julie rolled to the side, shifting the gun away from the ledge and pressing her back against the wall. With the rifle lying across her thighs, she shuddered out a breath as screams for help lifted up from the street.
Trembling, she placed the rifle in its case, and clicked the latches closed. Hunkered low, she dashed toward the stairwell and bounded down two flights to the third floor. She glanced up and down the hall to make sure no one watched as she exited the stairwell and made a quick dash to the janitor’s closet. She closed and locked the door behind her. Nausea churned as sweat beaded along her forehead and ran down between her breasts.
She’d done it. Holy shit. She’d really done it. She squeezed her eyes tight for a heartbeat of a second. No time to stop now.
She stowed the rifle case behind the large metal cabinet and grabbed her backpack from the same location. She took a deep breath, held, and let it out slow and easy. Sirens whirled in the distance as she stepped into the hall. She debated whether to take the stairs, but decided doing so would appear suspicious, so she headed for the elevators as if she did so everyday.
As she reached the first floor exit, police burst through the apartment entrance. She shrunk into a darkened doorway as they charged past and up the stairs, then she slipped out the door unnoticed. Outside, chaos reigned.
Not wanting to draw attention, she mingled among the gathering crowd, slowly making her way to the alley where she’d parked her dad’s brown Buick. Julie climbed behind the wheel and with an unsteady hand turned the key. The old beast shuddered to life. She rammed the gearshift into place and headed out of town.
With hot tears streaming down her cheeks, she left Mulsboro, Ohio behind without looking back.

Want to find out what happens next? To buy click here
Available for Kindle only

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop






















I love traditions, especially around Christmas time. It keeps us rooted in what is important. Reminds us that there are many who came before us and that we have a legacy to leave to those who come after. Even the silly little traditions can mean a great deal later down the road, typically triggering joyful memories.

Here are a few of my favorites Christmas traditions. It wouldn’t feel like Christmas without them.
  • Every year, for the last 16 years, my mom and I have gone to Metamora, IN., a small village of shops.
  • Christmas Eve, those of us who don’t have other extended family obligations get together and go out to eat at Red Lobster. This is 40 years running. 
  • Watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. 
  • Making cinnamon rolls Christmas morning. 
  • Mid-night mass. 
  • Christmas music: Silent Night, White Christmas, Drummer Boy… 
  • Sitting at night with just the Christmas tree lights on.
  • Baking
  • And most importantly, spending time with family and friends. 
Share below some of your favorite family traditions or things you love about Christmas to be entered to win a copy of my latest release, DESIRE FOR REVENGE. Please include your email address in your response.

Also, be sure to visit http://pjschnyder.com/blog/contests/ to enter to win the Grand Prize.