Monday, December 24, 2012

Seasons Greetings!

Thank you all so much for following this blog and my Facebook page! Have a happy and safe Holiday Season! And Best Wishes for the New Year!

See you in January...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Another "read" From My List

Check out another great book -- especially for fans of historicals.  Josie Rivera's Seeking Patience is not only a tale of romance, but of integrity and honor.

Blurb for Seeking Patience:

Do people prove their self-worth by strength, or by character?

A Romany leader confronts the English heritage he has denied when he lands, beaten and powerless, in the path of a high-spirited young widow. Will the prim countess agree to hide the charismatic rogue in her home and jeopardize her safety while her stepson accuses her of murdering her elderly husband?

Patience Blakwell is not beautiful. As a dutiful young countess in Regency England, she endures her husband’s cruelty. She struggles with her faith, trying to understand why God is not following the plan she had for her life—to be loved and cherished by her husband. After her husband’s unexpected death, her grown stepson charges her with her late husband’s murder.

Luca Boldor, more Gypsy than English, is determined to prove that he is strong and capable and doesn’t need anyone. But once he is forced to depend on Lady Patience Blakwell, a woman who represents all he loathes, he must decide whether he should turn away when she needs him, or risk his most vulnerable, forgiving self to keep her safe. By denying his English heritage, has he denied a part of himself?


Chapter One

England, 1813

Luca Boldor had made a mistake---a big mistake.

“May God strike you all.” He whispered under his breath at the murderous band of rival Roma tribesmen gaining on him, ready to attack. He’d merely been looking for food for his tribe.

He pulled his ragged overcoat around his shoulders and made his getaway through the snow. Snowflakes fell thick and heavy, twice as fast as earlier that evening. Wind carried the drifts in wayward, wispy circles and thankfully concealed his tracks.

He could escape unseen. After all, he’d become good at that.

Slipping on a patch of ice, he stumbled and hit the ground face-first.

His voice broke in a scream of agony. Screams he stifled, because a man never screamed. Certainly not a Roma man.

Relying on sheer muscle to raise the lower half of his body, he dug his elbows into the gritty, wet snow and crawled forward. Aye, a man did not crawl, either.

But sometimes a man-made exceptions to his own rules.


Amazon Buy Link

For more information on Josie Rivera

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Magic Moment on All Romance ebooks

While I'm still busy reading (look for another book excerpt post this weekend), I'm excited that Magic Moment was one of the books featured on AReCafe.  Here's the link


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Another Great Short Read

I've been reading quite a few shorts.  The latest is Morgan K. Wyatt's Blind Date.  For a short read, this story had a lot -- charm, humor, sex...

Blurb for Blind Date:

Darla never had time for love. Even though she worked in the perfume industry that epitomizes romance, no appropriate male ever wandered into the picture. Maybe that's why she accepted her friend's suggestion to fix up her up. Desperation, and a desire to make sure she even remembered how to act like a woman as opposed to a corporate warrior. Too bad, her arranged date fell on the weekend before her meeting with some hot shot Italian nobleman she needed to sign for her company's continued success.

Even more ironic, her blind date Alex, besides being the poster child for all things delicious, has a sexy Italian accent. The accent alone should have reminded her of the need to prepare for her meeting. Instead charmed by Alex's old world manners and animal magnetism, she allows him to take charge and forgets about business. Two things she'd never done before.


Her gaze started at his shoes and roamed up his dress pants. He dressed up for her, how nice. He’d loosened his tie and rolled up his shirtsleeves, maybe his version of business casual. Nice strong chin and olive toned skin made the man appear more mysterious. She’d always preferred the Mediterranean look. So far, she liked everything she saw. He smiled, revealing a nice set of teeth. Smiling meant…yes, he was staring at her and walked toward her. The dating gods finally took pity on her.
 She waited until he stood a mere foot from her. “Alex?” she asked hopefully, praying this time her luck would turn for the good. He grinned down at her and raised one eyebrow questioningly.
 “You wish for me to be Alex?”
 “Oh, yes.” She practically sighed the words. He had an odd way of phrasing, but he had an accent. Marlene didn’t mention he’d be foreign. Things just kept getting better and better.
His eyes twinkled. “For you, I will be. I am at your service.” He motioned to a bar stool as if asking to sit. “Your name, if I may ask?

      “Darla.” He should have known her name. Didn’t Marlene tell him? Probably his way of making small talk. Darla inhaled the scent of Alex. Hmmm, he smelled as good as the scampi aroma riding the air.


Check out Blind Date on Amazon

Morgan's website is

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

So Many Great Books Out There…

As I wade through my reading list, I wanted to share a great historical.  Tumbleweed Letters by Vonnie Davis tells the story of a lonely widower, a woman on the run, and the one of the most adorable toddlers you will ever meet. 

Blurb for Tumbleweed Letters:

When rancher and single father Cam McBride finds a letter tucked in a strip of cloth tied to a tumbleweed, he is captivated by the mysterious author. Finding a second tumbleweed letter further pulls him under the lonely writer's spell. He needs a mother for his little boy and a wife to warm his bed. Could this mysterious woman fill his needs?

Sophie Flannigan is alone, scared, and on the run from a rogue Pinkerton agent. She spends her days as a scrub lady at Madame Dora's brothel and her nights writing notes to the four winds. Her life holds little hope until a small boy lays claim to her and his handsome father proposes an advantageous arrangement.

Can these three benefit from a marriage of convenience, or will a determined Pinkerton agent destroy their fragile, newly formed bond?


Fingers touched her arm. “My name is Cam McBride, ma’am. I’ll gladly buy you a new dress or pay for a bolt of calico.” His deep voice raised gooseflesh on her arms.
She could not, would not look at up him. He was so tall and broad shouldered, he was downright intimidating.  “That really won’t be necessary, Mr. McBride. Good day.”
“Will you at least accept my apology?”
Sophie nodded and made a beeline for the door. For some reason, she wanted to get away from this man.
“Ma’am?” Footsteps echoed behind her. “Your name?” His hand wrapped around her wrist, feather light, yet firm.
Her stomach fluttered and her mouth went dry.
The child leaned forward in his father’s arms and grabbed her collar. “Mine.”
Saints preserve me, this child will tear apart my clothes yet. “Sophie…Sophie Flannigan.”
“Won’t you look at me when you talk?”
She shook her head and tried to move away.
“Where do you live?” His grasp on her tightened.
Goodness, but his voice was spellbinding. Something about it made her body react in strange ways that disturbed her. “I live where I work. Madam Dora’s brothel.”
His hand fell away, and she hurried out.
Behind her, a child wailed, “Mine. Mine, Daddy…mine.”

Check out the Amazon link

Vonnie Davis blog

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Making A Dent...

I've completed another book and am making a dent in my Goodreads' reading list. 

Marlie Bridges' You Belong to Me is a fine mixture of romance and supsense.  I don't want to give too much away, but I found the novel "gripping," and felt great sympathy and compassion for the characters involved.  

Blurb for You Belong to Me:
Erin Reilly wants to live life on her own terms far away from her psychotic ex-husband, Daniel. However, when she moves half-way across the country, pulls her life together, and falls in love with corporate lawyer Colin Marshall, Daniel follows her.

Colin's belief in love and desire for a family were abandoned with a woman's betrayal. And he questions his own capacity for love, until he meets Erin and is willing to test the boundaries of his heart.

Through a series of devastating events engineered by Daniel neither of them believes they can ever achieve their dreams.

But Colin proves he is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for love and help Erin discover the strength and courage she needs to conquer her fears and the monster who tries to destroy them both.

Erin wants the American dream. Colin wants to give it to her.
But can they escape the nightmare that threatens their very lives?


When they left the restaurant, Colin took her hand again and led her along the walkway back toward the parking lot. They wandered in and out of the stalls, taking in the exhibits, the painters working as people walked by.

After their kiss behind the booths, Erin was so physically aware of Colin holding her hand, standing close behind her when she stopped to inspect a painting, touching her, it seemed, every chance he could. She welcomed it, noticed how comfortable and safe she felt with him.

When they reached the end of the boardwalk, they walked through the parking lot to the motorcycle.

“What a great day, thanks for coming with me,” Colin said. “I really enjoy your company.”

“The feeling is mutual,” Erin said.

He leaned over and kissed her. Her heart raced as she wrapped her arms around him and held him, loving the feel of his smooth muscles under her hands.

He lifted his head to look at her. “I want…more.”

Giving her no time to reply, he leaned down and kissed her again. Erin could hardly breathe as he stroked her shoulder and arm with his hand and ran his fingers down the side of her neck, a sensual touch. They were both breathless, but he stopped, pulled away from her.

“This is one of those times when I'm having a hard time keeping my hands off you.”

“We're in a parking lot.” She had to stifle a giggle.

“That's probably a good thing.” He smiled, his eyes mischievous, his expression teasing.

To check out the book and reviews on Amazon:

     If you want to see what Marlie's up to, here's her website address:




Sunday, December 2, 2012

Getting Some Reading Accomplished...

I hope everyone had a happy and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday.  While at home for four days, when not visiting with friends and family, I worked at making a dent in my "to be read" list. 

Jean Adams’ A Man Like Saxon is a leisurely read.  Or as I said to my mom, “a sit-down-with-a-pot-of-tea book."  Set in pictorial New Zealand, our heroine, Danielle, has a trauma in her life.  She’s lonely and withdrawn.  Saxon, a man who knows how to make an entrance, “drops” into her life (and her heart).

Blurb for A Man Like Saxon:

Danielle Montgomery lives with a terrible secret. A secret that has destroyed her dreams and binds her to a life of loneliness. She has learned never to wish for anything more, her feet are permanently planted on her brother's New Zealand farm.

When film director Saxon Wainwright suddenly appears, wanting to film his next movie on the property, he blows Danielle's narrow little world apart. He's more than a little intrigued by Danielle and sets his sights on winning her affection.

Is Saxon the nemesis Danielle's been expecting--or the key to her freedom? Will Saxon be able to convince Danielle that sometimes wishes bring happiness?

However famous he might be, she wasn’t happy about this stranger knowing so much about their private business. She faced him squarely, defiance and suspicion overruling her fantasies. Why was this director in such a hurry to settle a deal she hadn’t even agreed to? She wouldn’t do anything until she’d discussed it with Paul. There could be all kinds of hidden snags.
“I would call, Mr. Wainwright, if I knew where they were, but they’re touring England and their itinerary is sketchy.”
Air hissed through his teeth on an impatient sigh. “Surely you have some idea where he is. Every day I delay costs me—costs the company—money.”
Neither was the film’s budget any of her concern. “All I know is that they’re somewhere in the west of England.”
Her answer clearly irritated him. His eyes narrowed into icy slits, and his lips compressed into a tight line. “How the hell can they afford such an extravagant vacation when this place needs cash so badly?”
Indignation washed through her. The heat of annoyance crawled up her neck and over her face. “That’s none of your damned business.”
His question didn’t sound like one of concern, or even genuine interest. It was more that of a man who easily lost patience with anything that might stand in his way. And he looked like a man who had to have his own way.
“Does that mean if I want to make my movie on this land I have to deal with you?”
        "Yes, Mr. Wainwright,” she said, aware of the note of smugness in her
voice. “I’m afraid it does.”
For an "inside look" and more information, check out the link on Amazon --
 Jean Adams' website

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Whether you are a frequent or occassional visitor to this blog, I am so grateful.  Thank you!

My best wishes for a peaceful, safe, and relaxing holiday. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I’m far from being considered “tech savvy.”  So, when it comes to anything other than hit the “send” button, I have to ask friends or read a book. 

Since I would like to “redecorate” this blog, I've been reading books on blogs and blogging.  The first on the list was How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir.  Anything that is good, I enjoy passing on to all of you.  This book was very good.

While the premise is how to write (and publish) an entire book using your blog posts, I found some of the other tips included – such as how to write blog posts, gaining blog readers, and promoting your writing – extremely helpful.

If you’re interest in checking out the book, here’s the Amazon link

If anyone has any books on blogging or website design to recommend to me (or ideas on a more attractive blog), please feel free to leave a comment.  Thanks.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday Must Be My Day...

I clicked on my inbox on Thursday, to find an email from Mariann over at Belle's Book Bag.  She wanted to let me know that a review of Magic Moment had been posted (Book Savvy Babe had published its review on a Thursday).

I clicked the site -- I'm getting used to this review stuff now -- and not only read her review, but she's got some great book covers posted.

Belle's Book Bag is

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Book Reviews

Most of you know that I start my day with a cup of coffee and reading the dozens of book review e-newsletters that pop in my "inbox" during the wee hours. 

So, on Thursday morning, I'm sipping and scrolling.  I click on Book Savvy Babe and see "Romantic Suspense:  Magic Moment by Angela Adams"

I almost fainted.

Here was my book reviewed by a professional.  It was such a thrill.  Only, since I'm generally reading at 6:30 a.m., it was too early to call anyone and shout the news. 

Here's the website for Book Savvy Babe should you want to check out Magic Moment's review and the other great books featured.

On a more important, serious, and solemn note, happy Veterans’ Day to our fabulous Vets.  Thank you so much for your service.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Promoting The Novel…A Learning Experience

Thank you to everyone who sent me email wishes and/or “congratulation” cards (they’re still up on my bookcase -- I so love looking at them) to celebrate the release of Magic Moment.

Computer woes, Hurricane Sandy, and promoting Magic Moment have kept me from this blog, and all of you for a few weeks.  I thought the three revisions I did on my novel and querying publishers was “a challenge.”  I’m discovering that getting the word out there about Magic Moment is the real challenge.  But an exciting one.  I’m learning all about “likes” and “tags” on Amazon (Thank you, my wonderful friends over at From the Heart Romance Writers).  And, I’m “e-meeting” -- as in exchanging emails -- with so many awesome book review bloggers (Thank you for offering to read Magic Moment). 

I had several blog posts outlined, but had to scrap them when my computer went “poof” followed by Hurricane Sandy.  While I was self-conscious that I was overwhelming readers with Magic Moment excerpts, I was asked (to my surprise and delight to post another). 

Dilemmas and the misconceptions of others have pried Chase and Laura apart.  They’re expecting a child and are working to find their way back to each other.

After walking around to her side, Chase opened the door. Caressing her hand, he helped her slide out of the car. She swayed, grabbing the door handle.
“I’m tired,” she stated as if her exhaustion wasn’t commonplace nowadays.
Chase closed the door. Without warning, he slipped his arm under her knees, scooping her up. Her arms encircled his neck.
“You don’t have to carry me,” she said, her resistance a weak one.
         Chase valued any excuse. He relished having her in his arms. “Take

advantage while you can. Keep it up with those sundaes, by next month I

won't be able to lift you."

He started up the walkway.
At the reference to ice cream, she licked her lips. “Chase, you should’ve eaten some. The fudge sauce was the sweetest I’ve ever tasted. It was the best!”
“I appreciated your offered spoonful, but I wouldn’t dare take one tiny bite from you.”
“Oh, I meant you should have gotten your own.”
They laughed, reaching the porch. Laura pressed her head to his shoulder. She fit perfectly in his arms, and in his heart.
“Laura,” he said softly.
Her eyes were closed, her body relaxed against him. A slight smile curled her lips. “Umm.”
“Honey, look at me,” he said, his voice gentle. He loved her. She and the baby were his world.
Opening her eyes, she lifted her head from his shoulder.
“I like when you call me ‘honey’,” she whispered.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

A "Magic" Week...

With the release of Magic Moment, I’ve had a very busy week.  First, I want to offer my gratitude to all who have emailed me good wishes, and to those who are in the process of reading the book.  Thank you just doesn’t seem a strong enough sentiment, but here goes…thank you…soooo much!

Next, if you get a chance, please stop by Long and Short Reviews.  There’s a banner ad for Magic Moment.  It looks fantastic, and I’m in the company of some awesome authors. 

Here’s the link:

Scroll down a bit, and you'll see the ad is over to the right.

I’ve been asked to post another excerpt.  So, here’s a final excerpt of Magic Moment.  I chose this piece because despite the story's opening and how Laura is a victim, she is very much a heroine.  I thought this passage gave an insight into her spirit.

Laura and Chase are married and having a baby (to explain the why and how would be a definite “spoiler alert”).  They're staying with his aunt in Maryland.  On a trip back to Philadelphia to confront his father over Laura’s assault, Chase is arrested by FBI Special Agent Ross Saunders.

Laura, having been told by Chase’s attorney that she must return to Philadelphia to secure her husband’s release, can't understand what the FBI wants from her.  And she has had just about enough of Special Agent Saunders.

 “Tell me, Special Agent Saunders,” she blew up. “Have I done something to personally offend you? Have you and I met before? We were reincarnated, and in a past life I rejected you? Got ahead of you in line at the grocery store? Dropped a frog down your pants as kids? What? Because whenever some grievance befalls me, you’re at the center. Now you’re picking on my husband.”

Saunders, taken aback, rose from his chair. Laura stood before him not as the timid, anxious woman he had ushered from the diner. She displayed her personality’s feisty, fighting side that appeared whenever she was pushed to her limit.

Kevin, having caught up, stood beside his client. “Laura, I’m your attorney. Let me talk.”

“Yes, Miss Roberts. If you have an attorney, I advise you to listen to him,” Saunders said.

“It’s Donovan!” she snapped. “Laura Donovan. Mrs. Chase Donovan.” She took a deep breath, considering the baby. After a calm exhale, she continued. “I’m told you want proof of my wedding to Chase.” She took a paper from her purse along with two snapshots. “Our marriage certificate and two pictures.”

Saunders took the items. The official document stated Laura and Chase’s names, date and place of marriage, appropriate signatures, including officiator and witnesses. Of the snapshots, one showed a black-robed, balding judge pronouncing the couple husband and wife; and the other was a simple photo taken afterwards. The newlyweds smiled, facing one another, arms wrapped around each other. They had held each other so tightly, she remembered. As if each had been afraid of losing the other. This picture was her favorite.

Saunders glanced at the objects and handed them back. “No picture of Donovan kissing his bride?”

Kevin spoke quickly, cutting off Laura’s hostile remark. “My client has provided documentation proving she and Chase Donovan are married,” he said. “You stated you have follow-up questions from your prior meeting. In everyone’s best interest, Special Agent Saunders, I suggest you ask your questions, release Mr. Donovan, and allow my client and her husband to return to their honeymoon.”

There was a long pause before Saunders nodded, indicating the room with the opened door. “In there.”

Laura and Kevin followed the agent into the room, a small dreary, windowless area with a square table and four chairs. Kevin pulled out a chair for Laura. Once she was settled, the two men each took a chair. Kevin sat next to her; Saunders across from them.

“Where have you been, Mrs. Donovan?” the agent asked.

Laura hesitated, guarded more over his reason for the question, than the actual question. “Why?”

Saunders shrugged. “It’s a normal question.”

She glared at the man. “Nothing is normal where you’re involved.”


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Creative Liberties or “Can you get internet access and cell phone reception in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?”

As fiction writers, we sometimes have to be “creative” and ignore common sense, or reality, in order to make things work.  The best example of this comes when watching police dramas on television.  I’m always amazed how they can get DNA results and autopsies back in 60 seconds.

In Magic Moment, Chase Donovan heads to the boat he keeps docked in Magic Lake Island, New Jersey.  He stumbles upon two men assaulting Laura Roberts, the bookkeeper who works for his father. The men, assuming Chase is aware, refer to his father having sanctioned the use of the boat to kill Laura.  Although taken aback, Chase decides it's safer for Laura if he plays along with these men.  Insisting he’ll finish the job, Chase runs them off the boat. 

Chase frees Laura from her restraints.  After a heated tussle, he convinces her that his words were pretense.  When Laura refuses to go to the hospital or call the authorities, he tends to her bruises.  He is bewildered by what’s taking place around him.  He fears for their safety and persuades her they need to leave the area and should sail to his aunt’s house on the Chesapeake Bay.
While writing this story, I needed Laura to be suspicious of Chase and for an act to take place where she’s eventually convinced of his sincerity in wanting to help her.  I decided to have her find him reading articles on how to help a woman who has been assaulted and traumatized.  She finds him reading on the internet.  I also needed for Chase to be able to hear voice mail messages from his father on his cell phone.
When I wrote the first draft of this novel in late 2008 and early 2009, I posed these questions to others.  “If you’re in the middle of the Atlantic, can you get online?” And “how about using your cell phone?” Back then the answers I received ranged from “no” to “maybe” to “interesting question.”  I searched the internet myself and found, “yes, for a cruise ship, but very expensive.”

As I wrote the scenes, I decided if a cruise ship could have internet access and cell phone capabilities, so could Chase.
And, there goes my “Creative Liberty.”

Just in case you’re curious, here’s a sneak peak at the internet scene:

As she opened the cabin door, a pleasant, tangy sea breeze tickled her senses. Stiff limbs hindered her movements, but she climbed the stairs to the deck. The sun blazed in the clear blue sky. The boat teetered, alone, in a vast mass of water. A brisk chill nipped the air, and Laura hugged herself.

“Chase,” she called. No answer. She called his name again, this time her voice having an edge.

He wasn’t in the wheelhouse. She darted back down the stairs. If he had been moving around in the bathroom or “head” as he had called it, she would have heard him.

“Chase.” Panic gripped her. “Chase.”

Her heart pounding, she ran through the narrow corridor and stopped dead in the eating area. Propped up on the stool, he was asleep at the bar with a half-filled liquor bottle and an empty glass. His head rested on folded arms, his breathing deep. A laptop was also on the bar. The monitor was dark, but the yellow light blinked. Laura hit the space bar and print appeared on the screen. Several windows had been minimized.

Clicking on one minimized window, she skimmed the on-screen print and gasped, amazed at the words she read. She clicked another window and saw a search engine page. Chase had been reading articles on women who had been assaulted. Her eyes scanned the list of titles. He had wanted to understand, wanted to know how he could help her. From what she had observed of Chase in the last three years, she never guessed he had this sensitive, compassionate side to his personality. Her perception of Chase had been that of a friendly, but overindulged, self-absorbed playboy.

Who would have guessed?

Magic Moment is currently available for preorder on

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Available on

Just wanted to share...the link for Magic Moment, which will be officially released by Crimson Romance on October 1st, is available on Amazon.

(a very exciting and "magic" moment for me).

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thinking The Good Beginning

Eons ago I went to a writing workshop with a focus on what makes an interesting beginning to a novel.  Back then, I still typed stories on an electric typewriter.  I remember the intense discussion among the participants along the lines of should a writer start her novel with action or with dialogue – which would be more effective in drawing in the reader?

I got nothing out of the debate, but I did take away a snippet offered by the workshop's presenter.   She said editors were busy people, with a lot of submissions coming across their desk.  If they weren’t hooked by the third page, they would put the manuscript down and go on to the next one.
While that fragment has always stuck in my mind, my own personal feeling (as both a reader and a writer), is that the heroine and hero must be introduced, preferably come in contact with each other, within those first three pages. 
I would love to hear your philosophy on a good novel beginning. 

In the meantime, here's the the beginning of Magic Moment, to be released by Crimson Romance on October 1st (

                                                              Chapter One

“Laura. Laura Roberts.” The deep, detached voice came from behind her.
Laura swiveled on the round, brown vinyl-covered stool, meeting the hard eyes and two dour faces. Her last name was Roberts, but she didn’t reply, didn’t even nod. Neither man looked familiar. Who were they?

“Special Agent Ross Saunders, FBI,” the grimmer of the two said, waving a badge and I.D. before her eyes.

She stared at the men. FBI?

Sanders tucked the folder inside his jacket pocket. “This is Special Agent Ed Phillips,” he said with a quick nod to the man standing to his left. “We’d like to ask you some questions. Come with us please.”

Laura had seen the two men enter the diner. Identical navy suits, both appeared to be in their forties, graying crew cuts, and equally sour expressions. Although not the customary Rita’s Diner patrons, or Food Mall clientele for that matter, Laura had turned her attention back to her iced tea without giving them a second thought. Now they stood in front of her, flashing badges and identification cards too quickly to read, let alone give her time to note if the picture matched the face.

“FBI? There must be some mistake.” She offered with a polite smile. “I’m Laura Roberts, but I doubt you’re looking for me.”

Saunders’ brow crinkled. “Laura Ann Roberts?”

Ann had been her mother’s name. Laura’s cordial manner disappeared and anxiety crawled through her. “Yes.”

Saunders pushed the glass out of her reach.

“What — ”

He grasped her fingers. “You’re the one. Come with us.”

Laura yanked from his grip. The other agent cupped her elbow, sliding her off the stool.

       “Miss Roberts, don’t make a scene,” Saunders whispered. “Come with us. It will only take a few minutes.”

       Laura glanced around the nearly filled-to-capacity diner. The customers, although employed by different proprietors, worked in the Food Mall. Those who hadn’t been gawking, suddenly stopped their conversations and meals to take notice. This was a popular lunch hour, and she was now the afternoon’s gossip.

      “Laura, everything okay?”

       She recognized the male voice and managed to stifle her plaintive groan. Could this calamity get any worse?

      Chase Donovan had joined the fracas. Dressed in jeans and a black leather jacket, he was tall and athletic, in his mid-thirties, with a wavy mixture of light, nearly blond, and medium brown hair.

     He was also her boss’s son.

     A bewildered expression covered Chase’s handsome, chiseled features. He stood so close that as Laura jerked from Phillips’s hold, her elbow nearly whacked Chase in the stomach.

     Saunders identified himself to Chase. “We need Miss Roberts at headquarters to answer a few questions.”

     “I’d like to see some I.D,” Chase said firmly.

      Saunders arched a dark, hairy eyebrow. “And you are?”

     “Chase Donovan.” He rested a hand lightly on her shoulder. Laura stiffened at his touch, unaccustomed to Chase putting a hand on her, even if in a protective manner.