Category Archives: Random thoughts

THE HIDDEN – Excerpt

on August 9, 2017

Here’s an excerpt for THE HIDDEN:

The day he moved in next door, dark clouds covered the sky with the promise of a powerful storm.  Pippa watched from her window, the one over the kitchen sink, partially hidden by the cheerful polka dotted curtains.  Yellow dots over crisp white background—what she figured happy people would use.

He moved box after box after box through the two-stall garage, all by himself, cut muscles bunching in his arms.

Angles and shadows made up his face, more shadows than angles.  He didn’t smile, and although he didn’t frown, his expression had settled into harsh lines.

A guy like him, dangerously handsome, should probably have friends helping.

Yet he didn’t.  His black truck, dusty yet seemingly well kept, sat alone in the driveway containing the boxes.

She swallowed several times, instinctively knowing he wasn’t a man to cross, even if she was a person who crossed others.  She was not.

For a while she tried to amuse herself with counting the boxes, and then guessing the weight, and then just studying the man.  He appeared to be in his early thirties, maybe just a couple of years older than her.

Thick black hair fell to his collar in unruly waves, giving him an unkempt appearance that hinted nobody took care of him.   His shoulders were tense and his body language fluid.  She couldn’t see his eyes.

The curiosity, the damn wondering, would keep her up at night.

But no way, and there was absolutely no way, would she venture outside to appease the beast of wonderment.

The new neighbor stood well over six feet tall, his shoulders broad, and his long legs encased in worn and frayed jeans.  If a man could be hard all over, head to toe, even in movement, then he was.

He was very much alone as well.

A scar curved in a half-moon shape over his left eye, and some sort of tattoo, a crest of something, decorated his muscled left bicep.  She tilted her head, reaching for the curtains to push them aside just a little more.

He paused; an overlarge box held easily in his arms and turned his head, much like an animal rising to attention.

Green.  Those eyes, narrow and suspicious, alert and dangerous, focused directly on her.

She gasped.  Her heart thundered.  She fell to the floor below the counter.  Not to the side, not even in a crouch, she fell flat on her ass on the well loved tile floor.  Her heart ticking, she wrapped her arms around her shins and rested her chin on her knees.

She bit her lip and held her breath, shutting her eyes.

Nothing.

No sound, no hint of an approaching person, no rap on the door.

After about ten minutes of holding perfectly still, she lifted her head.  Another five and she released her legs.  Then she rolled up onto her knees and reached for the counter, her fingers curling over.

Taking a deep breath, she pulled herself up to stand, angling to the side of the counter.

He stood at the window, facing her, his chest taking up most of the panes.

Her heart exploded.  She screamed, turned, and ran.  She cleared the kitchen in three steps and plowed through the living room, smashing into an antique table that had sat in the place for more than two decades.

Pain ratcheted up her leg, and she dropped, making panicked grunting noises as she crawled past the sofa and toward her bedroom.  Her hands slapped the polished wooden floor, and she sobbed out, reaching the room and slamming the door.

She scrambled her legs up to her chest again, her back to the door, and reached up to engage the lock.  She rocked back and forth just enough to not make a sound.

The doorbell rang.

Her chest tightened, and her vision fuzzed.  Tremors started from her shoulders down to her waist and back up.  Not now.  Not now.  God, not now.  She took several deep breaths and acknowledged the oncoming panic attack much as Dr. Valentine had taught her.  Sometimes letting the panic in actually abated it.

Not this time.

The attack took her full force, pricking sweat along her body.  Her arms shook, and her legs went numb.  Her breathing panted out, her vision fuzzed, and her heart blasted into motion.

Maybe it really was a heart attack this time.

No.  It was only a panic attack.

But it could be.  Maybe the doctors had missed something in her tests, and it could really be a heart attack.  Or maybe a stroke.

She couldn’t make it to the phone to dial for help.

Her heart hurt.  Her chest really ached.  Glancing up at the lock, a flimsy golden thing, she inched away from the door to the bed table on her hands and knees.  Jerking open the drawer, she fumbled for a Xanax.

She popped the pill beneath her tongue, letting it quickly absorb.  The bitter chalkiness made her gag, but she didn’t move until it had dissolved.

A hard rapping sound echoed from the living room.

Shit.  He was knocking on the door.  Was it locked?  Of course it was locked.  She always kept it locked.  But would a lock, even a really good one, keep a guy like that out?

Hell, no.

She’d been watching him, and he knew it.  Maybe he wasn’t a guy who wanted to be watched, which was why he was moving his stuff all alone.  Worse yet, had he been sent to find her?  He had looked so furious.  Was he angry?

If so, what could she do?

The online martial arts lessons she’d taken lately ran through her head, but once again, she wondered if one could really learn self-defense by watching videos.  Something told her that all the self-defense lessons in the world wouldn’t help against that guy.

Oh, why had Mrs. Melonci moved to Florida?  Sure the elderly lady wanted to be closer to her grandchildren, but Cottage Grove was a much better place to live.

The house had sold in less than a week.

Pippa had hoped to watch young children play and frolic in the large treed back yard, but this guy didn’t seem to have a family.

Perhaps he’d bring one in, yet there was something chillingly solitary about him.

Of course, she hadn’t set foot outside her house for nearly five years, so maybe family men had changed.

Probably not, though.

He knocked again, the sound somehow stronger and more insistent this time.

She opened the bedroom door and peered around the corner.  The front door was visible above the sofa.

He knocked again.  “Lady?”  Deep and rich, his voice easily carried into the home.

She might have squawked.

“Listen, lady.  I, ah, saw you fall and just wanna make sure you’re all right.  You don’t have to answer the door.”  His tone didn’t rise and remained perfectly calm.

She sucked in a deep breath and tried to answer him, but only air came out.  Man, she was pathetic.  She tapped her head against the doorframe in a sad attempt to self-soothe.

“Um, are you okay?”  he asked, hidden by the big door.  “I can call for help.”

No.  Oh, no.  She swallowed several times.  “I’m all right.”  Finally, her voice worked.  “Honest.  It’s okay.  Don’t call for anybody.”  If she didn’t let them in, the authorities would probably break down the door, right?  She couldn’t have that.

Silence came from the front porch, but no steps echoed.  He remained in place.

Her heart continued to thunder against her ribs.  She wiped her sweaty palms down her yoga pants.  Why wasn’t he leaving?  “Okay?” she whispered.

“You sure you don’t need help?” he called.

Her throat began to close.  “I’m sure.”  Go away.  Please, he had to go away.

“Okay.”  Heavy bootsteps clomped across her front porch, and then silence.  He was gone.

***

Malcolm West knew the sound of terror, and he knew it well.  The woman, whoever she was, had been beyond frightened at seeing him in the window.  Damn it.  What the hell had he been thinking to approach her house like that?

A fence enclosed their backyards together, and he’d wondered why.  Had a family shared the two homes?

He grabbed another box of shit from the truck and hefted it toward the house.  Maybe this had been a mistake.  He’d purchased the little one story home sight unseen because of the white clapboard siding, the blue shutters, and the damn name of the town—Cottage Grove.  It sounded peaceful.

He’d never truly see peace again, and he knew it.

All of the homes the real estate had emailed him about had been sad and run down…until this one.  It had been on the market only a few days, and the agent had insisted it wouldn’t be for long.  After six months of searching desperately for a place to call home, he’d jumped on the sale.

It had been so convenient as to have been fate.

If he believed in fate, which he did not.

He walked through the simple one story home and dropped the box in the kitchen, looking out at the pine trees beyond the wooden fence. The area had been subdivided into twenty-acre lots, with tons and tons of trees, so he’d figured he wouldn’t see any other houses, which had suited him just fine.

Yet his house was next to another, and one fence enclosed their backyards together.

No other homes were even visible.

He sighed and started to turn for the living room when a sound caught his attention.  His body automatically went on full alert, and he reached for the Sig nestled at his waist.  Had they found him?

“Detective West?  Don’t shoot.  I’m a friendly,” came a deep male voice.

Malcolm pulled the gun free, the weight of it in his hand more familiar than his own voice.  “Friendlies don’t show up uninvited,” he said calmly, eyeing the two main exits from the room in case he needed to run.

A guy strode toward him, hands loose at his side.  Probably in his thirties, he had bloodshot grown eyes, short brown hair, and graceful movements.  His gaze showed he’d seen some shit, and there was a slight tremble in his right arm.  Trying to kick a habit, was he?

Malcolm pointed the weapon at the guy’s head.  “Two seconds.”

The man looked at the few boxes set around the room, not seeming to notice the gun.  Even with the tremor, he moved like he could fight.  “There’s nowhere to sit.”

“You’re not staying.”  Malcolm could get to the vehicle hidden a mile away within minutes and then take off again.  The pretty cottage was a useless dream, and he’d known it the second he’d signed the papers.  “I’d hate to ruin the yellow wallpaper.”  It had flowers on it, and he’d planned to change it anyway.

“Then don’t.”  The guy leaned against the wall and shook out his arm.

“What are you kicking?” Malcolm asked, his voice going low.

The guy winced.  “I’m losing some friends.”

“Jack, Jose, and Bud?” Mal guessed easily.

“Mainly Jack.”  Now he eyed the weapon.  “Might putting that down?”

Mal didn’t flinch.  “Who are you?”

Broad shoulders heaved in an exaggerated sigh.  “My name is Angus Force, and I’m here to offer you an opportunity.”

“Is that a fact?  I don’t need a new toaster.”  Mal slid the gun back into place.  “Go away.”

“Detective—”

“I’m not a detective any longer, asshole.  Get out of my house.”  Mal could use a good fight, and he was about to give himself what he needed.

“Whoa.”  Force held up a hand.  “Just hear me out.  I’m with a new unit with, ah, the federal government, and we need a guy with your skills.”

Heat rushed up Mal’s chest.  His main skill these days was keeping himself from going ballistic on assholes, and he was about to fail in that.  “I’m not interested, Force.  Now get the fuck out of my house.”

Force shook his head.  “I understand you’re struggling with the aftereffects of a difficult assignment, but you won.  You got the bad guy.”

Yeah, but how many people had died?  In front of him?  Mal’s vision started to narrow with darkness from the corners of his eyes.  “You don’t want to be here any longer, Force.”

“You think you’re the only one with PTSD, dickhead?”  Force spat, losing his casual façade.

“No, but I ain’t lookin’ to bond over it.”  Sweat rolled down Mal’s back.  “How’d you find me, anyway?”

Force visibly settled himself.  “It’s not exactly a coincidence that you bought this house.  The only one that came close to what you were looking for.”  He looked around the old-lady cheerful kitchen.  “Though it is sweet.”

Mal’s fingers closed into a fist.  “You set me up.”

“Yeah, we did.  We need you here.”  Force gestured around.

Mal’s lungs compressed.  “Why?”

“Because you’re the best undercover cop we’ve ever seen, and we need that right now.  Bad.”  Mal ran a shaking hand through his hair.

“Why?” Mal asked, already fearing the answer.

“The shut-in next door.  She’s the key to one of the biggest homegrown threats to our entire country.  And here you are.”  Force’s eyes gleamed with the hit.

Well, fuck.Ex

Guest Blog by Debra Elise – A Peek Inside a Writer’s Mind, Day, Life. Don’t worry it’s safe—mostly.

on May 9, 2017

A Peek Inside a Writer’s Mind, Day, Life. Don’t worry it’s safe—mostly.

Hi, my name is Debra Elise and I’d like to begin by sending Rebecca a virtual hug for hosting me on her blog ? Today, I’m talking about the writer’s life and I hope you enjoy this quick peek behind the covers.

Did you ever wonder what your favorite author’s day, week or life is like? Are we different from our readers, friends or the average mom working to make a living and a better life for her children? Well, no and kinda. It’s complicated. Authors are “mostly” normal (on the outside) and we of course have the same daily struggles as any other person. But, inside, where the creative juices flow, we deal with voices no one else hears; characters who battle with each other to have their stories heard NOW and we consume large amounts of coffee, tea, chocolate and wine. So maybe we’re more like our readers than some may think.  LOL And maybe we’re a little spacey as we walk among you. But that’s because we’re plotting or thinking about how we want to begin or end our next book. A lot of us are hyper aware of what’s happening around us and are more likely to be the observer in a social situation rather than the leading lady. We use the energy of our surroundings, for better or worse, in our stories. We take inspiration from overheard snippets of conversation or the hot guy behind us in line waiting for coffee. But beware, if you piss us off, well—we just might make you a villain in our next book. 😉

Some of us become addicted, wait I mean inspired by T.V. shows and movies. We often binge watch our favorite shows in between writing. Sometimes it’s a double-edged sword because when you write, you begin to view your shows with a more critical eye. But in the end, it’s win-win so it’s totally justified when you’ve just spent three hours of your life

sobbing while watching THIS IS US. We also read our favorite authors (and yes, we fangirl over Nora, Rebecca, or whomever we love to read when we meet them in real life) But sadly, when you begin writing with the intent to publish or make it (fingers crossed) your full-time career, you have less time for reading.  As a writer, we need to read especially if we hit a wall with our own writing. We call it ‘filling the well’. Someone else’s creativity begets our own and we become inspired by the emotion invoked by our favorite books and authors. And sometimes we daydream (raises hand) and let the characters have conversations in our head which can lead to something we would never have thought of otherwise. In my case, I stare into the flames of my office fireplace and let scenes play out and then scramble to remember it, write it down and build upon it so you don’t just end up with a great scene, but an awesome chapter. However, I need to be careful with the fire gazing, otherwise I’ll end up nodding off. Which sometimes a short nap refreshes the idea factory we carry around with us, but can also derail precious writing time. The struggle is real when you love to nap like I do.

At the end of the day, or night, and after we’ve typed all the words or yelled at a blank screen, binged on our shows, or participated in a blog or Facebook event interacting with our fab readers, we still have to do the laundry (my nemesis), chauffer kids around, decide what to feed everyone for dinner (takeout if you’re on deadline) and take the shower (hopefully) we didn’t get a chance to have when the husband, partner, child, or fur baby couldn’t find their (insert item here). Because you (me), of course, were the only one with the superpowers to locate it. Just another day in the glam life of a writer.

Thanks for reading! I would love to connect with you. You can find me on my website www.debraelise.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/debraeliseauthor

Debra Elise

In my spare time when I’m not herding kids or reading Rebecca’s books, I write contemporary and paranormal romance novels. My newest release is CLAIMING CONNOR, Book 3 in my Outlaws of Baseball series and is available now.

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2k6QMmX

Nook: http://bit.ly/2k3sfk8

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/2oEEO3b

 

Her biggest regret shows up wanting a second chance. He’s determined to regain her trust and win her love.

He never forgot her.
Once upon a time Connor Holt’s best friend’s sister was his childhood nemesis. Years pass and one night in college they became more. Much more. But then he messes up; confesses to his best friend, takes a right hook for his trouble and makes a promise—one he’s now ready to break. He’s done staying away from her. It’s now four years after a night spent loving Reese, and he’s traded to the Idaho Outlaws as the starting first baseman. He’s right where he wants to be. In the backyard of the one woman he should never have let go. Connor faces an uphill battle but after a dare, and one helluva kiss, he’s back in Reese’s bed. She thinks all they have, all they need, is great sex, but he’s ready to show her he’s playing for keeps.

She tried to forget what could have been.
Reese Kincaid doesn’t believe in fairy tales. She believes in hard work and has spent the last four years creating her dream. One she could control – not the one where he comes back and begs forgiveness. She soon realizes you need to be careful what you wish for because sometimes you get exactly what you don’t want—but need. Her nightclub and restaurant, now successful, has become a second home for members of the Idaho Outlaw’s baseball team. When Connor is traded to the team he soon appears and asks for another chance to win her hand. But can she overcome the crushed hopes of her past and believe that Connor wants more than just the grand slam chemistry they have, or will he show her they can create their own happily-ever-after?

 

 

 

Whoops – My Bad. Sorry!

on April 14, 2017

Hey all!  The info on the Deadly Silence being a kindle daily deal and the info on Scorpius Rising being free right now was accurate in the last blog post.

The Justice Ascending promotion has ended, and Wicked Burn is the kindle monthly deal at less than a dollar.  Sorry about the mixup!  There are too many book promotions going on right now.  🙂

Here’s the WICKED link – just click on the cover.  🙂

 

Read the first chapter of Wicked Burn!

on June 9, 2016

Wicked Burn is now available!  If you’d like to read the first chapter, click HERE.

WICKED BURN

 B&N  Nook  Amazon Kindle Books-a-million  GooglePlay  iTunes  Kobo Audible

Includes the brand new Dark Protectors novella, Talen!  Join  Talen and Cara as they find adventures and old friends!

 

See what readers are saying…

On Goodreads:

“This was a FULL ON Octane read, filled with so much action and imagination, I find myself wondering how in the world did Rebecca Zanetti come up with this stuff?” – Kathleen

“this book was one wild and action packed ride from beginning to end.” – Claire Robinson

“A heart pounding, edge of your seat, non stop action story full of sizzling romance!” – Dali

On Amazon:

“This series just keeps getting better and better.” – MyQuiteTime

“This book is full of action, adventure, blow your mind moments and a need to stalk Rebecca’s Facebook page and hound her until the next book comes out because you will literally want it ASAP!” – JanisF

Thank you all for your support!

XOXO Rebecca