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Y’all are in for a real treat!!! Today’s featured author writes romantic suspense and she’s sharing five excerpts PLUS a giveaway! Have a seat and get your fans ready, swoon-worthy smooches coming right up!
About the Author
Amy Leigh Simpson writes romantic mysteries with honesty and humor, sweetness and spice, and gritty reality covered by grace. When she’s not stealing moments at naptime to squeeze out a few more adventures in storyland, she’s chasing around two tow-headed miscreants (Ahem)—boys, playing dress up with one sweet princess baby, and being the very blessed wife to the coolest, most swoon-worthy man alive.
Amy is a Midwestern-girl, a singer, blogger, runner, coffee-addict, and foodie. Her Sports Medicine degree is wasted patching up daily boo boo’s, but whatever is left usually finds its way onto the page with fluttering hearts, blood and guts, and scars that lead to happily ever after.
Amy would be delighted to connect with you on Facebook where she shares amusing mommy anecdotes, recipes, and everyday life and writing blunders, or at The Writer’s Alley for writing tips, inspiration, and fiction fun.
Five Favorite Excerpts
Amy: I’m so excited to be hanging out with Beth on her AMAZING blog! Thank you so much for inviting me to be here. What book lover or author can resist talking books? I’m certainly no exception!
I’m a relative newbie on the “clean with steam” romantic suspense scene, but there is SO much to love about this job, I hardly know where to start. I’ve been so blessed by all the people I have met along the way. By reaching readers across the globe. And by getting to spend whatever free time I can find in a place filled with heart-pounding adventure and meet-cutes and banter and weaving a tricky little web of clues for you all to untangle. And let’s not forget the smooches. Swoon!
Beth: Absolutely! #swoonoften
Amy: So because I get to talk books with my buddy Beth today (Yay!), might as well talk favorites. So here are my …. Five Favorite Moments. Mind you, this was very tough to narrow down but I tried to give you an assortment and a whole lot of sneak peeks. I’m a sucker for teasers, so…. Shall we?
Beth: #peeksies Yes, please!
Amy: “Playing Doctor” (Work in Progress! This is an excerpt from book one in my new romantic suspense series about three baseball brothers and the women who know a thing or two about throwing curveballs, and probably a few bullet holes, into their plans.)
“Put me down.”
“What? No.” Rivulets of sweat tracked down his neck and disappeared beneath the collar of his shirt.
She started to wriggle loose which awakened the shock-addled nerves in her leg. Oh oww. She sipped a breath through gritted teeth. “Jase, really. I know I’m heavy.”
He barked a laugh, holding her tighter until he found the right door and entered the darkened room. “It’s not you.”
“Ha! That line is still out there, huh? Brutal.”
She felt him shaking his head as he leaned down. Shockingly cool granite hit the backs of her legs where he deposited her on a countertop.
The instant loss of his heat was replaced by a flood of light. She shouldn’t have looked but it was instinctual. A deep red stain had soaked through the fabric tied around her thigh. Tributaries of blood wove a crimson web down her leg like liquid fishnets. The entirety of her robin’s egg canvas shoe awash in a glaring garnet.
“Ohhh.” Swaying, she smacked her head against the mirrored wall. “Oh man. Umm.” She pinched her eyes shut. “Baby giggles. First kisses. Breakfast Blend. Stevie Wonder. Fresh baked bread. Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Singing in the Rain.”
One big hand cradled her skull and kneaded the offending spot. Another pried open one eye and struck her retina with a flash of light. “What are you doing?” His voice scraped over her skin.
“I’m finding my happy place so I don’t face plant in the sink. What are you doing?” She batted at the hand stretching her eyelids oh so flatteringly.
“Just making sure you’re still with me.” He was rummaging through a box of supplies. The top of his dark head dotted with twin cowlicks and shot through with auburn highlights she hadn’t noticed until now.
Drawing a deep breath, she braved another glance down, finding her wound covered with what looked to be a surgical cloth.
“How ’bout you start talking while I clean you up.” He started in right away, not waiting for her to get with the program. She caught a glance of the gash flaying her outer thigh. Nausea climbed her throat.
“Maybe look over my shoulder.”
“I’d rather look at you.” She winced. “Did I say that out loud?”
He chuckled. “I think we lucked out. Bullet grazed and passed on through. Took about an inch out of your thigh though. Ouch.”
Her body was shaking now, the aftershocks crackling against the raw nerves. “I’d been wanting to lose that inch anyways.” Her molars turned to dust when something cool and vile drenched her open flesh. “Go—ahhh! That stings like a mother.”
“Oh you big baby. Here.” He pressed his lips to the inside of her knee. The feathered touch whipped through her like a hurricane, ransacking every piece of her composure. Then, as if as stunned as she was, he went back to playing doctor—not the fun kind—and quickly diverted. “What type of mama did you have?”
She gave him points for levity, but his face was masked in concern. And anxiety.
“Didn’t have one.” She gritted out when he poured again. “That’s why the analogy fits.”
Were his hands shaking too? Or was it all her? She couldn’t look. Just kept her eyes grounded on the top of his head. The tip of his nose. And all that fierce concentration kneeling at her feet. She wouldn’t think about that sweet kiss. Any of them.
“Gah! Sweet Martha, what are you doing down there, digging for gold?” Her eyes burned, silent tears escaping at the corners as he continued his torture.
“We need to go the ER. You need stitches and—”
“No. That kind of attention will be a death sentence. Just … just do your best, okay? I can be tough.”
He rocked back, balancing on his heels. “I know you can, but this is beyond me.”
“Jase, please …”
Shaking all that fine hair, he dug through the box and managed to find a suture kit. Thank God, for small miracles.
“This … isn’t going to be pleasant.” Grim lines etched into his handsome face. The struggle in his eyes making her want to spare him the gory act she was asking of him.
“I trust you.” Her words emerged in a whisper.
He hung his head, or maybe bowed would be a more apt description. Several deep breaths expanded his broad chest. His eyes closed, both hands resting on one blood-spattered knee in benediction.
“Fine. I’ll sew. You talk.”
Everleigh braced herself against the mirror, and repeated the truth that now shrouded nearly everything in her world except the guardian angel at her feet. “Okay, but you’re right. This isn’t going to be pleasant.”
Beth: Eeep! No band-aids??? Despite feeling a tad squeamish over the doctoring, I’m eager to dive into that story!
Amy: “There’s no time like the present…” (This snippet is from the yet to be released Book Three in the Girl Next Door Series. I know many are anxious to see our charming sidekick, Dorian “Sal” Salivas, slip into the role of leading man, so here’s a sweet little taste because… well, I just had to give you guys a kiss.)
Her childish standoff had to come to an end eventually. And he’d been more than patient since she hadn’t even bothered to ask for the space she so obviously needed.
She hadn’t asked for it …
The thought tooled around, stirring his irk. More so with himself than with her.
Yes, she was being evasive and immature. But he was letting her. Why? What if what she really needed was reassurance? Honestly, how often did women know what they wanted?
Shoot! And here he’d wasted three days being “considerate.” When all this time they could’ve been making up for years of loneliness and giving their endorphins a much needed sugar rush.
It was late, but he had half a mind to go bang on her door right now and kiss her senseless.
You know what?
Not stopping to bother with shoes or a coat, Sal burst through his door, marched a direct route to her front door, and set his knuckles to wood. She wouldn’t want to answer, but the flicker of her TV proved she was up. He knocked again.
Finally, only moments before he was sure to lose his nerve, she peered out the sidelight and then ease open the door.
“Dorian, what the heck?”
Mercy, she looked edible in that cotton candy robe. Her hair piled up in a messy knot, her eyes like sunbursts of golden topaz lighting up the night.
“It’s almost midnight. What’s so important it can’t wait—”
Bending forward, he cut off her protest with his lips. Cupping her face, he kissed the stuffing out of her, tasting the sweet mint of her toothpaste, breathing in those candied flower notes from her skin, not wasting a single moment in reminding her why she was being so ridiculous.
Without a beat of hesitation she was up on her tiptoes, her hands sliding up his back. One of those delicious little whimpers flavoring their kiss as she took it all, the longing, the frustration, the need, and returned it with such eagerness and generosity his heart could have grown three sizes in the span of a second.
This is so not over.
He pulled away an inch but then dove back in to pepper her lips with a dozen more furious kisses before he forced himself out of her embrace.
Her eyes were glazed, as lost in the phenomenal sensations as he. Her lips, even in the moonlight were swollen and pink and beckoning.
So he answered with one last slow kiss packed with all the words begging for freedom, then pressed his cheek to hers and nuzzled her face, drinking in the memory with his eyes closed tight for fear he might wake to find it all a dream.
“Good night.” He whispered, forced a hard turn, and made the agonizing trek home, turning back only when he reached his door. Just in time to see hers click shut behind her.
Beth: Wooowee, that Sal! What’s not to love?! ????
Amy: “Is it hot in here?” This teaser is from my second born book baby, From Winter’s Ashes, that just celebrated its first birthday! I feel like every book I write becomes my new favorite (I know, I shouldn’t play favorites!) but I remember as a new writer how much I fell for this story. For the flawed, struggling hero masking his pain with arrogance. For the beautifully broken heroine no one has taken the time to really know.
So many soul-stirring elements came together from two unlikely heroes. And such hope came to me from piecing these two together. The scene at the end (sorry, not sharing that one here) oh, but it still gets me. So heartbreaking and packed with so much truth. Sometimes I think God gave me the scene in the cabin just for me. Have you read From Winter’s Ashes? There will always be something about the hot firefighter and the frosty heiress. They sure lit up the pages!
Archer came around to the backyard, slipping a palm-sized notebook into his breast pocket. “Ground appears to have been too cold and hard to get a footprint. I don’t see any pattern of broken branches or crushed leaves where he might have hidden out. The cement block foundation held up pretty well, but the cellar is littered with debris that fell through the floor. It’s definitely not safe to go snooping around down there.”
“Huh,” Finn grunted in response. “What about the basement windows? A few of them looked like they were still intact. Any signs of forced entry with the latches?”
“Not that I can see. And because several of them were blown out it’s hard to tell if anything but the fire caused that. I’m sure the fire unit has a few tricks up their sleeves.”
“They do. Plus those accelerant dogs can pick up the tiniest trace of liquid residue. It’s incredi—” The words slowed to mush on Finn’s lips. Over Archer’s shoulder Joselyn’s lithe form strutted toward him in catwalk fashion. Cinematic slow motion played in his mind as her jet-black locks tossed in the faint wind, her hips swayed with a confident swagger, and long slender legs clad in tight jeans seemed to go on for miles. Her face was mostly hidden behind large stylish sunglasses, yet even without the addition of those exotic eyes, she was a knockout.
And he was down for the count.
Archer leaned in. “Dude, close your mouth. You’re slobbering.” And then he whacked Finn on the back, bringing everything back to rights. Archer turned and greeted Joselyn.
“What is he doing here?”
“He is here in support of his girlfriend.” Archer nudged Joselyn toward Finn and then spoke through gritted teeth. “Dig deep, lovebirds. Cavalry’s here.”
Forcing himself to action Finn sidled up next to Joselyn, slipped his arm around her waist, molding her to his side. She stiffened but stayed in his possession while introductions were made.
“Thank you for meeting us here, Miss Whyte. I know this must be difficult, but we’ve been struggling with some of our findings and wanted to see if you might be able to help.” The bomb and arson squad investigator, probably about thirty, like Finn, was tall and lanky with dark eyes that didn’t seem to miss a thing. Including Joselyn’s looks.
“I’ll try. What have you found out so far?” Unlike when she barked at him, her voice was sweet as spun sugar.
“Well, that’s the problem. We haven’t found anything. The dogs seemed to sense an accelerant—”
“That’s good. Helps to identify the origin and pattern of the fire.” Finn spoke close to Joselyn’s ear, keeping his wits by enlightening her with a brief tutorial. That is, until that sugared mint fragrance of her windblown hair drew in with his breath, the delicate notes played in harmony with the crisp breeze to wrap around him like an intoxicating cyclone. Witch.
“Generally, yes.” Joselyn’s fan-boy continued. “But the issue is that the dogs sensed the accelerant virtually everywhere, on every surface, which would seem impossible. Then we ran tests.” He shook his head. “We didn’t find any ILRs.”
“Ignitable liquid residues.” Archer filled in the gaps since Finn’s brain was temporarily out of commission.
“I’m sorry. What does that mean?” Joselyn asked.
“It means that the dogs found something we can’t find. Either it’s something unknown that we can’t detect, or somehow the samples contain impossibly miniscule amounts that can’t be tested. The other peculiar thing is the origin.” The guy actually scratched his head. “We can’t find that either.” He motioned for them to follow, and Joselyn peeled away from Finn’s side.
Her eyes were cloaked by the dark lenses, but Finn noticed the subtle strain of her brows as she took in the interior of her home, her teeth marring that pouty bottom lip.
“You all right, babe?” Finn’s question gave her a start. Or maybe not the question so much as the endearment. He felt her heated gaze beneath her shades, but at least she stopped torturing that pretty lip before he did something stupid like soothe the bite with a stroke of his thumb. Or something else.
Okay, he really needed to focus on the scene of the fire. Once upon a time he’d burned for her. She’d left his heart in a pile of ashes no more recognizable than the place she called home.
Homeless. The reminder whispered through his chest.
A place or a feeling. Maybe they had more in common than he thought.
Beth: YES! I adore this story!!!
Amy: “For the love of coffee… and eye-candy.” (This is from yet another book one in another new romantic mystery series. The Clover Falls series. Yes, there have been some delays but lots of new books are coming atcha! Stay tuned!)
Beau, all about the touchy feely, gently grasps my chin and tilts my face to meet his eyes. “Wanna talk about Saturday? Or about the return of Aiden Reid, perhaps?”
I feel my eyes widen a fraction before I school my expression and shrug, trying desperately to keep this sneaky Rambo-James Bond from reading my thoughts as I replay, rewind, and repeat my humiliating (and delicious) encounter with Aiden Reid. “What’s there to talk about?”
His eyes are calm, assessing. And then they spark with amusement, like he knows exactly what happened on Saturday night. No way. Impossible.
Blast his stupid x-ray eyes!
“You know, I’d hoped you’d ask me to go with you. Should I be jealous?” He cocks a dark brow, crossing his thickly muscled arms over the chair back to the benefit of every graphically displayed striation of muscle. Then stretching out one giant paw with a thin tangle of black leather bands at his wrist, he twirls a lock of my hair between his fingers. Ninety percent of the women in the room who are undoubtedly watching him are now in heat. Maybe closer to a hundred percent to be fair. Poor old Mrs. Rosenburg probably shouldn’t sway his stats since her glaucoma and mild dementia are to blame. No doubt she’d swoon if she could.
Lucky for me, I’m immune.
Beth: *fanning* I’m feeling a teeny bit swoony myself!
Amy: And for the love of fictional heroes… and the brave ones that inspire them, here’s a snatch of our first Clover Falls leading man, Navy SEAL Aiden Reid.
I’ve always felt protective of her. She was like a little sister to me. Maybe even more so than my actual half-sister because there’d been something special about little Livi even back then. I could see it in her eyes. A maturity for her age. A no-nonsense filter that refused to accept a surface perception, but just kept barreling through all the walls to find the truth. Those sharp, assessing ten-year-old eyes had looked through all my teenage BS, past the veneer, to all the painful layers I kept locked away. And yet, through all the junk, she still looked at me like I was her hero.
I believed her. Not because I was a hero. But because I decided I’d do whatever it took to prove her right and become one.
I glance back to where Livi and Davis have been joined by Hattie, sipping their drinks. Davis Dunn touches Livi’s elbow, laughing at whatever animated retelling she’s weaving, talking with her hands, face beautifully animated. Completely enthralling and unbelievably brave. Especially in light of the pettiness and betrayal personified by the couple only a few yards away.
Those hazel eyes flick over to me as if she can feel my gaze, and a sinking reminder settles into my gut. Clover Falls is no longer my home. And more importantly, this is no ordinary leave. Sheesh, I almost lost my head there for a minute because I need to remember that while Olivia Lux may have been my good luck charm for years, right here and now, with secrecy being my only defense, she’s my greatest threat. To more than just my self-control. She threatens all I’ve worked to become. All I’ve sworn to protect. She threatens my mission, my loyalties, my job. And if the look she is giving me across the room is any indication, my bulletproof heart.
Yep, the last thing I need to do is get tangled up with the one person who can see through my armor and dismantle my mission to save my best friend and eliminate a national threat— without betraying my country. The stakes are too high. Because if I fail, not only will I not be able to live with myself, the potential death toll could be astronomical.
Oh yeah, it’s good to be home.
Beth: Goodness gracious, Amy!!! You have some exciting stories up your sleeve and I can’t wait to read them! Thank you so much for sharing these yummy peeksies with us!
Amy’s series The Girl Next Door
Sadie Carson is an expert on unfinished business. Five years after the derailment of her dreams she’s just barely existing, using her job as a hospice nurse to give others the one thing she can’t seem to find—closure. So when her elderly neighbor Charlie, a brilliant conspiracy nut known for harassing the FBI, is murdered, Sadie suspects Charlie might’ve been onto something and intends to make sure someone solves the mystery of her friend’s death, even if it’s her.
The feisty little blonde may have found the victim’s body, but FBI Special Agent Archer Hayes has no intention of letting some nosy civilian interfere with his investigation. The guilt he feels is bad enough. The last thing Archer needs is another distraction to haunt him. Especially one as beautiful and beguiling as the girl next door.
But throw in a mountain of hoarded evidence and suspiciously coded journals and the case takes a puzzling turn toward a decades-old conspiracy cover-up from World War II-one only the victim’s closest confidant can help untangle. Sadie and Archer reluctantly join forces to decode the riddle of secrets Charlie carried to his grave. Or did he?
Someone is after a dangerous truth. But to uncover it or bury it is a question that leads the unlikely pair on a quest for redemption that lands Sadie in the crosshairs of a desperate killer. And when the dangers of the past and present collide Archer must fight to save the life of the woman he’s falling for . . . only to discover he might be the one in need of saving.
review | goodreads | amazon | bookdepository
Hopelessly unlucky in love and a target for tragedy, Joselyn Whyte hardly leads the charmed life you’d expect of an heiress. When she becomes the mark of an arsonist, the last person she expects to ride to her rescue is her nemesis—the man who sealed her fate as a frigid and lonely “Snow Whyte.”
Firefighter Finn Carson might talk a big game, but behind the swagger and the dimples is a man tormented by a mistake that cost a life. When a force stronger than his stubbornness pulls him off the bench and into a 5-Alarm fire for a miraculous save, Finn decides the key to his redemption lies with the Ice Princess he loathes. But the price to freedom from the guilt and nightmares might be too steep if it means bartering with Joselyn’s father by posing as her boyfriend—her safety and the ruthless billionaire’s senatorial campaign hanging on the combustible edge of a decade old grudge.
When secrets from the past resurface, the ruse and reality collide and threaten to thaw their heated rivalry—turning hate into something that terrifies them even more than the cunning predator with a bent sense of justice.
review | goodreads | amazon | bookdepository
details for book 3 coming soon!
Amy Leigh Simpson has generously offered to send one fortunate Faithfully Bookish reader a signed paperback or ebook copy of From Winter’s Ashes.
paperback US only. ebook US or international
Which excerpt is YOUR favorite?