Sunday, September 25, 2011

1st Two Pages of LOVE TO THE RESCUE

“Miller! Grab the pike and check those walls,” Josie’s partner yelled. Pete Thayer’s order, muffled by his facemask, rumbled low and gruff. She cringed. Couldn’t he see she’d already grabbed the hooked pole? Irritated, she cursed beneath her helmet. I know what to do.

Training for firefighters in this neck of the woods was thorough. She’d fought many a chimney fire before he showed his handsome face in her town. She ignored him, but stopped to give their record keeper her name and tag number before she headed for the stairs. With all this smoke, he probably didn’t see the pike in her gloved hand. Should I give him the benefit of the doubt? 

Josie trudged up the stairs, her heavy fire boots thudding on the bare treads. The house was mostly wood, inside and out, a tinderbox ready to ignite if they couldn’t snuff out the fire inside the chimney in time. Her helmet weighed a ton and her arms felt cocooned in a bearskin. Her turnout coat and pants held in her body heat and made her climb seem twice as toasty. Gloved fingers slid along the rail as the stairway turned toward the third floor. The hundred–year–old–home’s central chimney meant every wall touching it needed venting to check for spreading cinders. Other firefighters climbed ladders to the roof to fight a frontal assault.

The owner acknowledged the old chimney lacked a ceramic lining. Ancient bricks settle or deteriorate over the decades, leaving air spaces where thick, flammable creosote lodged until just the right moment. The sticky tree sap congealed over time until it finally ignited. Who knows how much of the internal chimney—and adjacent walls—could be next?

Josie stumbled on the last step. She grabbed the banister before falling to her knees. She’d rather Pete Thayer didn’t witness her awkwardness. He’d stick her in the basement next time. Hunched over in a low–ceilinged dirt floor cellar while shoveling hot cinders from a flaming chimney’s clean–out made her terribly claustrophobic.

She reached her assigned area and located the wall on the north side. Smoke seeped into the halls from somewhere. The haze was barely penetrable. The owner stated the house had no fireplaces on this level, so she searched for another heat source near the open hallway. Thick gray smoke hovered near the ceiling. Clenching her fingers, she forced them straight then removed one glove. She swept her fingers along brittle wallpaper and handcrafted wooden door casements. No extreme heat here.

Slipping the glove back on, she entered the first room on her list. The small bedroom contained a single bed, stripped of its coverings. A mesmerizing swirl of smoke drifted in from somewhere. She looked at the windows then back at the bed. Through the smoky vapors, its striped cotton–tick surface rippled and heaved as if someone gently shook its frame. Gripping the top of her helmet, she arched her back and looked up.
Hope you enjoyed this 'tease'
from my latest romantic suspense
available NOW from


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

CONTEST! Win a Hiking Bottle Holder!

As an author, I want to reward my readers so I came up with this easy contest. The winner will receive this Green & Black Bottle Holder with strap. It is the perfect companion for a hike up a mountain while fall leaves are bursting with color. Yes, autumn is here. The air is growing crisp and the trees are changing color. Even if you live in a desert or the plains, or even on a beach, this hiking buddy will keep your beverage cold.

To win, follow these simple steps:

Available NOW
My EMT Patch, well-earned!
Click on the Red Rose Publishing Website and find the answer to this question, hidden in the Book Blurb:

When outside influences come to play, what does Pete plan to do?

That’s it! No purchase necessary, open to residents of USA & Canada (because I have to ship the darn thing) and the bottle is NOT included. Buy your own because you'll probably think of something BETTER than water.

Type your answer in the comment box.
The contest ends Sunday September 25th. Good luck!