Magnolia Valley, #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Date of Publication: March 18, 2015
Number of pages: 204
Cover Artist: Leah Suttle
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Dr. Trent Moore’s life is complete-–a no-strings relationship, financial security, and great health-–until he is summoned to his father’s grave and discovers a grave robber stole one of his father’s bones ... a finger bone. From there, Trent’s seemingly perfect world spirals out of control. Strange occurrences happen, and the sexy lead detective informs him that a grief-stricken mother has placed a curse upon him. As his near-death experiences ramp up and he finds himself falling in love, he’s beginning to believe there may be some truth to it all. But will he run out of time before he can tell Ciarra he loves her?
When Detective Ciarra Pacelli is assigned to a prominent judge’s suspicious death, she doesn’t know her little world is about to be turned upside down. She discovers other possible victims of a deadly Voodoo curse, one being the gorgeous and stubborn doctor. As she becomes wrapped up in protecting him at all costs, she finds she’s fighting against her developing feelings for him. Once she realizes she can’t, she gives her all in finding a cure against the curse that promises to take him away from her for good.
Ciarra straddled the chair close to Trent’s bed resting her head on her hands. His cheeks lacked color. His eyes appeared sunk in. It seemed as if he’d aged within the last two hours.
Gregory came in from the hospital, which was where Trent was attempting to point out through the window just before he passed out, and said Trent probably had a touch of the flu as it was going around, and he was dehydrated.
Flu her ass. More like a damn curse. Ciarra called Tiesha back in. He wasn’t protected. Ciarra looked for the amulet he’d received last night, but never found it.
Trent’s sister in law, Sammy, prepared chicken noodle soup downstairs.
“Oh wow,” Tiesha said upon entering the room. “He doesn’t look very good. About as bad as the other one. I must say your partner’s unbelievable. He’s over there wearing gloves and a mask. I tried to explain to him he couldn’t catch it. But, he won’t listen to a crazy ape like me.”
Ciarra rolled her eyes. High time to give Rick some eye opening life lessons. “What do you think?”
“You should try a shaman or a Vodun priestess. You need to break the curse.” She placed the back of her hand against his cheek. “No fever. If anything, he feels cold and clammy.”
Ciarra eyed her best friend. “So, you know a Vodun priestess I suppose?”
“And a shaman. Which do you prefer? You don’t have a lot of time left.” She pulled out an amulet and handed to Ciarra. “Here is a new one. Place it under his pillow.”
“Thanks for the reminder... and the amulet. I guess the best bet would be Voodoo.” Ciarra reached out and ran her hand across the top of his head. She swore she wasn’t going to fall for this man. Yet, she teetered on the edge of a very high cliff with Trent. If only she could just let go and fall.
Jack, oh Jack. What do I do?
Her heart ached, being torn between the dead and the living. How had it happened? Trent lived like a playboy.
But, she could see a side of him he didn’t let out too often. One he wouldn’t really show. But then did a couple of times without knowing, he had.
Ciarra and he were like night and day. They could never last. But, the same could be said for Princess and Brutus. Yet, there the two misfits lay. Brutus the big baby on the rug and precious Princess curled up near his head, as if they had been the best of friends forever. Animals could teach humans a thing or two.
“Hello, Ciarra?” Tiesha waved her hands in front of Ciarra’s face. “Where were you just now?”
Ciarra shook off her thoughts. “Nowhere promising.”
Ciarra raised an eyebrow. “What?”
“Oh this isn’t good. You have fallen flat on your face, huh?”
Ciarra turned away and back to Trent.
Then, it hit her. The whole Florence Nightingale syndrome thing. She only cared for him as a human being. “Nope. There will never be another Jack.” Silly little liar.
“Go ahead and lie to yourself. But Ciarra Pacelli, you are not, and I mean not, fooling me. I know you.”
Ciarra crossed her arms over her chest. “It’s only because I have to protect him.” Finally, something to cling to besides love. Maybe, she wouldn’t be tumbling off the cliff after all. She was lying to herself, but it was the only way to protect her from Trent.
“Again, go ahead and twist it any way you want. You have fallen for him.”
It’s so great to be here today. I’m always asked how I cure writer’s block. And that is no easy task. Not even for the most experienced. This is me:
I keep staring at my laptop screen unable to write. Frozen. Ugh, I hate that more than anything. Right in the middle of a good romantic scene! I can't figure out why I'd go blank, but alas it has happened. I try all my usual tricks (going for a ride, cleaning the house, weeding my rose garden, walking on the treadmill). Nothing works. Something MUST be wrong with me. And there is only one more thing I could try before I scrap the entire scene and go bury my head for a week or so in self-pity and chocolate.
So, I pull out my handy dandy (can you tell I've been subject to Blue's Clues?) notebook. I shut down the laptop, turned off the television. Complete silence. Staring at a blank lined page. I doodle for a minute. Make a heart. Draw a rainbow (I suck at drawing by the way. It looks like a four year old chicken scratched it.) And suddenly, it comes to me. I can write again. With a pen and paper, I am able to finish creating that scene and then some. Wow, who knew?
Maybe, it's because in order to go back through this, I'd have to read my own scribble or there's no squiggly green or red lines pointing out my obvious mistakes. The story just seems to flow from the pen to the paper much easier than the computer. I may just continue to finish the remainder of the book this way. After all, I go through this with every single story and toward the end this is how I finish it. So, the next time you get writer’s block, try out the old notebook and pen. It just may work for you too.
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I’m Donna Shields, author of paranormal romance and romantic suspense – published with Soul Mate Publishing, mom of six, gramma of four precious cuties and wife to an imperfect, yet amazing husband of fifteen years and counting (He’ll say a hundred, roll his eyes, and smile). Psss…I’m imperfect too, but don’t tell him that….
We call the beautiful state of South Carolina our home where there isn’t much hustling and bustling going on, where people are friendly (for the most part-it’s called that Southern Hospitality), strangers wave and say hello with a smile. And it doesn’t hurt being centrally located where the ocean is a mere three hour drive and the mountains no more than an hour and a half away.
I’ve been writing for five years steadily, but have always dabbled with writing short stories here and there. I’m a sucker (no pun intended) for all sorts of paranormal. And when suspense and adventure is thrown in the mix, I’m a truly happy girl. I enjoy writing both genres and at times the lines between the two blur, combining to make paranormal romantic suspense. My heroines are strong, even if quiet. They are independent, yet scarred and in need of a true love. A real hero, one who understands they need their space, but will love them fiercely. The hero may have a hard exterior, but inside he’s a mush ball. And the hero needs that woman who can tame him down a little and love with all her heart and soul.
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