Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog. I’m feeling mighty comfy at Wild, Wicked and Wacky. October is the best month to be here in the southeastern part of Texas. Although we don’t experience the gorgeous rush of brilliant colors that most of the country has been wallowing in since September, we experience another huge phenomenon…The humidity and temperatures dip a little lower. Yes! That’s fall here in the Houston area…Priceless!
My latest release, BAD VIBES, is an October baby. It’s the third novel in my romantic thriller series: THE EDGE OF TEXAS. They’re set on the Texas coast, close to the US border with Mexico.
This is a gorgeous, semi-tropical part of the state. South Padre Island is a resort area built on a natural sand bar separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway. The ICW was dredged by the Army Corps of Engineers during WWII to protect our coast from enemy submarines. It runs all the way from the tip of Texas to Florida. One has to drive across the two-and-a-half miles Queen Isabella Causeway to reach The Island (as the locals call it) from Port Isabel. This area is a paradise for everyone who loves the water and water-related sports, nature and just relaxing.
If you check out the South Padre Events website, you will see some very colorful boat sails in the background. These are Hobie Cats (catamarans). I earned my freckles racing 16’ Hobies and South Padre was one of our regular regatta stops. Much fun and worth all the subsequent trips to the dermatologist for freckle checks.
BAD VIBES plunges Deputy Darla Calhoun into danger. She’s suffering a major heartache. Lonely and angry over her husband’s financial betrayal and suicide, Darla is carrying on in her usual plucky manner, holding her head high and trying to be a great mom to her twin 4-year-old sons and function as a member of the tight-knit law-enforcement team under the leadership of Sheriff Rafael Solis.
Darla arrests a vagrant, hanging around the marina, but after he’s cleaned up, she discovers a hunky, hard-body with a smoldering gaze hidden beneath the filthy rags. He turns out to be a federal agent working undercover. He’s after a gang of human traffickers using the Intracoastal Waterway to bring sex slaves into the United States from Mexico. Rafael assigns Darla as liaison officer to work with the feds, bringing her face-to-face with the “Iceman”, Mike Burke, the undercover agent she arrested. Darla, Mike and his partner tear up and down the Intracoastal Waterway in pursuit of the human traffickers, but when two local women disappear, the search becomes personal.
In the following excerpt, things have gotten personal between Darla and Mike. They are cruising the ICW with Mike’s partner, Freddy, trying to get ahead of the suspect boat:
Darla reclined in a deck chair, waving to passing boaters like a beauty queen on a parade float. She had a triple dose of sunscreen and wore one of Mike’s long-sleeved shirts.
Ostensibly, they were a trio of boaters out for a pleasure cruise up the Intracoastal Waterway. Fishing rods stood like sentinels in their holders at the stern.
Freddy manned the helm and Mike kept a sharp watch from the port side.
She focused her attention on each boat they passed and called out greetings along the way. All the while she remained acutely aware of the man standing on the other side of the deck.
The previous night, after making love to her in what was the single most awesome, earth-shaking act in her limited sexual experience; Mike had cradled her in his arms for the remainder of the night. Then in the morning, he’d conducted a quick refresher course, in case she had forgotten how incredible he had been the night before. She was extremely grateful that the twins were sleeping at her parent’s house.
She forced herself to pay attention to the other boaters, aware that her wide grin had nothing to do with them.
“What’s that up ahead to the starboard?” Mike called out. He was pointing at a stolid square of black, rusting metal sitting low in the water along the side of the canal.
“It’s huge!” Freddy said. “Some kind of barge.”
Mike took a stroll to the starboard side on the pretense of talking to Darla. “It doesn’t appear to be manned.”
A rusting metal ladder was welded to the side of the barge, extending down to the water line.
Darla made note of the identifying numbers and markings on the side of the barge and passed the slip of paper to Mike. He carried the information to the stern and Freddy called for identification.
Mike returned to where Darla sat and handed her a soft drink in a Koozy.
When he stood beside her, his leg grazed her thigh, sending goose bumps skittering across her skin like a herd of frenzied ladybugs.
He must have felt it too. He grinned at her and then bent down to collect a kiss.
Darla giggled at him. “So, is playing passionate tourist a part of your cover?”
“It is, if you’re going to sit there looking better in my shirt than I do.”
“Remind me to throw Freddy overboard and lick you all over.”
She pretended to make a note of it, all the while nurturing the glow she felt inside. The glow that grew whenever he looked at her, or touched her, or breathed air on the same planet.
She tried to maintain a neutral expression as she glanced up at him. Oh, God! I’m so in love with him!
The order of this series is
(1) BAD MEDICINE
(2) BAD KARMA
(3) BAD VIBES
(4) BAD DREAMS (Coming Soon!)
If you want to drop me a line, there's my website or you can follow me on Twitter & Facebook.
I hope everyone has a chance to visit South Padre Island and the Lower Rio Grande Valley. In the meantime, you can visit through my series and keep up with the happenings. My goal is to entertain…and keep you up nights. ;-) *hugs*