USA Today Best of 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bonus just for you!

On Monday I mentioned the creepy quandary Mandy was in when a strange man approached her while she was out walking alone on Thanksgiving day. He seemed nice, and was easy on the eyes, but admitted he'd been watching her walk by his house every day. She wasn't sure whether to feel flattered, or freak out.

Today I've got a special bonus, for your eyes only (it's not in Trouble Won't Wait). After their conversation ends and Mandy heads home, Adam gets a surprise visit from Rifle's finest:

Adam watched Mandy until she took a right onto the next street and he couldn’t see her anymore.

That had gone pretty well. Actually, it had gone great. Those eyes of hers…he’d almost forgotten to speak at one point when he’d been looking into them. Things felt better than they had since--in a long time. He hadn’t come across as a total dork, and Mandy had seemed to like him. She’d opened up, an unexpected bonus.

He shoved his hands into his jeans pockets and headed back home, whistling. Had almost made it back to his driveway, when a police cruiser pulled up beside him and stopped. Weird. Maybe he’d keep walking…but the cop killed the engine and opened his door.

“Stop right there.” No mistaking the command was meant for him. “Officer Tisdale, Rifle PD.”

He froze in place, and eased his hands out of his pockets.

The cop came around the car and stood in front of him, hands on his hips. “We got a call about a suspicious male, matching your description, possibly harassing a female in the area.”

“Call?” Adam looked around. “From who?”

“Don’t you worry about it. A concerned neighbor called in, said you followed the lone woman into the cemetery, and then when she came out, you were tailing her home.”

Christ. “I live next to the cemetery. Walked in there, introduced myself. Last I heard, it’s still legal for a guy to have a friendly conversation with a woman.” What a bunch of BS. He hadn’t done anything wrong. In fact, he could probably call one of the company lawyers tomorrow and have this small-time Fife reprimanded for harassment.

“Don’t get smart. What’d you want from her?”

“Look. She’s cute. Okay? I’ve…noticed her before.” He scuffed the toe of his Doc in the gravel, then looked back up at the cop. “She was having a bad day, so I went out to make sure she’s okay.”

“Bad day.” The cop narrowed his eyes. “How would you know, if you just introduced yourself?”

What a dumbass. “I could tell by the way she was walking. And her eyes were puffy. She’d been crying.” Some things a guy just knew, and had to act on. But he wasn’t about to tell Officer Bigshot that.

“Uh-huh. So what was she upset about?”

Adam looked the cop in the eye. “Not my story to tell.” She’d been pretty determined to keep it quiet until she had time to think things through.

The cop turned red and shook his head. “So. Your story is, you saw her walk by, could tell she’d been crying, and went out to check on her. At which point she confided her problems in you, then you walked her up the street.”


“No chance you’ve been stalking her, since you think she’s cute?”

Stalking? Not exactly. But he’d definitely gone out of his way to make sure he could see her go by each day. And today, he’d needed to go meet her, even before he noticed she was upset. Not something he could share, though. Or he’d end up on some watch-list. He shook his head. “Nope. No stalking.”

The cop jabbed his finger toward him. “You’re new in town, arencha?”

“Been here about two months.”

“And you live alone?”

Adam nodded, the lump of misery pressing inside his chest like something he’d eaten hadn’t done down all the way. Alone. His least favorite word.
“Name?” The officer pulled notepad from his pocket. “Don’t suppose you got any ID on ya, so I’m going on your word here.”

He swallowed the lump and took a deep breath. “Adam Kraft.” Shit. He could only hope the guy didn’t go digging too deep. Some things in his past needed to stay there.

Tisdale noted his name and looked over at Adam’s house. “This your address?” At Adam’s nod, he scribbled some more, then snapped the pad shut and shoved it in his pocket. “Here’s the thing. Any women come up missing, I’m thinking of you first. Got it?”

He shrugged and nodded. What choice did he have? “Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, officer.”

His face burned as he walked up his drive. All he’d done was meet Mandy. After two months. Now this. But it wouldn’t keep him from coming out to talk to her tomorrow, or the day after. Unless she told him she didn’t want him to. And then he’d…Christ. He just hoped she wouldn’t.

Trouble Won't Wait hit Amazon yesterday!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?
Twitter: AutumnPiperAuth

Monday, November 5, 2012


In certain social situations, we expect to meet new people, make new acquaintances, possibly launch meaningful relationships. In other situations…notsomuch. In fact, if a “strange” adult approaches a child, everyone goes on alert. Likewise if an unfamiliar man starts a conversation with a woman. Sure, if you’re out in a bar or at a party, you might expect men and women to exchange numbers.

But what if you’re a woman out alone for a walk or jog? And what if the guy approaches in an isolated spot? That’s what happens to Mandy, the heroine in Trouble Won’t Wait. She’s out on a walk, alone, and goes through the cemetery to use the solitude for some soul-searching. This strange—although incredibly hunky—guy walks straight for her and strikes up a conversation…and then admits he watches her every day when she runs by his house.

Um. Creepy? Or flattering? She knows her head isn’t on straight today…too much emotional upheaval. So is that making her more willing to accept Adam’s attention, or more suspicious of him? After all, he’s just a guy, and he’s not acting like a stalker. Other than the confession about eyeballing her from his window. But if he’s really a creep, would he admit to that? Is she nuts for feeling like the whole thing is kinda romantc?

In the end, gut instinct is all she’s got to go on. She doesn’t lug around mace or a Taser; after all, and she probably couldn’t outrun a buff guy like him…even if she wanted to.

Does her instinct steer her wrong?

Good things may come to those who wait, but trouble waits for no one…

Cheating is a dealbreaker...or so Mandy’s always thought. But when she catches her husband getting some “strange,” she realizes how hard it is to cut and run, or even file papers. She agrees to a month of counseling, which will give her time to grieve the loss of her marriage before she has to tell the world—and the kids. Then she meets Adam, who gives her a hunky--if mysterious--shoulder to cry on, and that thirty-day waiting period seems like an eternity.

Adam has no problem confessing that he’s watched Mandy from his window for months as she runs by his house. If he told her why, though, she’d freak out for sure. He knows they’ve got a future together, if he can think of a way to explain his past. And he’s sure the rat-bastard who cheated on her is putting the moves on her again, but he won’t be the revenge guy. The month-long cooling off period she agreed to is lasting forever, and might just be indefinite, if trouble keeps getting in their way.

WARNING: Eccentric old lady pushing salt-of-the-earth advice, bossy big brother, kooky counselor, super-secretive hunk, and perfect justice served amidst adult situations and language.

It's been a little iffy, whether Trouble Won't Wait would be available for sale today. Hurricane Sandy knocked out power for a week at Lyrical Press headquarters, and only came back on last night. So please be patient, if you buy books for Kindle. It'll be available soon, I promise!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?
Twitter: AutumnPiperAuth