Monday, April 14, 2014

Sale! The Killing Game only 99c for Limited Time.

The Killing Game by Toni Anderson (2014 RITA® Romantic Suspense Finalist) is on sale for 99c. Limited time only. (Regular price $5.99).

A snow leopard biologist becomes the prey when cold war secrets threaten to expose a modern-day spy ring, and an elite British soldier is forced to choose between his country and his heart.


Amazon

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iBooks

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Out Today! A COLD DARK PLACE


This is Book #1 in the COLD JUSTICE series. 

Justice isn’t always black or white. 

Former CIA assassin Alex Parker works for The Gateway Project, a clandestine government organization hell-bent on taking out serial killers and pedophiles before they enter the justice system. Alex doesn’t enjoy killing, but he’s damn good at it. He’s good at dodging the law, too—until a beautiful rookie agent has him wondering what it might be like to get caught. 

FBI Special Agent Mallory Rooney has spent years hunting the lowlife who abducted her identical twin sister eighteen years ago. Now, during an on-going serial killer investigation, Mallory begins to suspect there’s a vigilante operating outside the law. She has no choice but to take him down, because murder isn’t justice. Is it? 

Sometimes it’s cold and dark. 

When Mallory starts asking questions, The Gateway Project management starts to sweat, and orders Alex to watch her. As soon as they meet, the two begin to fall in love. But the lies and betrayals that define Alex’s life threaten to destroy them both—especially when the man who stole her sister all those years ago makes Mallory his next target, and Alex must reveal his true identity to save the woman he loves. 

Available in ebook and print format on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca 

***

Excerpt...

The bar was in an upscale DC hotel just a block from her father’s apartment. She’d given herself permission to go out, get drunk and spend the weekend recovering, something she hadn’t done since she finished law school. It was a Friday night in November and the place was dimly lit and packed by what looked like some weird engineering convention. Mallory grabbed an empty stool at the end of the bar. She slipped out of her coat and draped it over her knees, ordered a shot of McClelland’s.
“Thanks.”
She raised her glass in a toast to her sister and knocked back the drink. She’d put on make-up and changed into a black cocktail number so they’d think she was meeting someone for dinner and be less likely to throw her out before she hit her limit. She needed something to make her forget and sitting alone in her apartment with a bottle of scotch seemed even more pathetic than surrounding herself with strangers. She had friends in the city but she didn’t want to see anyone—not tonight.
Eighteen years ago tonight, she’d gone to bed and by the time she’d woken up, her life, and that of many others, had been destroyed. Why had the bastard taken Payton and not her? Had she said or done something to put her sister at risk? Was it her fault, or just blind luck?
Mallory had been a sleepwalker—had she been gone when the kidnapper arrived?—then climbed back into bed and slept on in childish oblivion? Had she unlocked the front door? Let someone into the house? She didn’t know. Couldn’t remember. The night was blocked from her memory. All she remembered was waking up and Payton being gone. She raised her finger to the barman who gave her a nod while he dealt with another customer.
Festive lights twinkled and Michael Bublé sang “Jingle Bells.” If she’d had her weapon she’d have blasted the sound system into a thousand component parts.
She sipped the next drink and it scorched her throat. When that was finished, she switched to a white wine spritzer before the barman cut her off. She wanted to get drunk but she didn’t want to be unconscious. Not yet anyway.
In the space of one week, her nice orderly progression through the ranks of the FBI had been turned on its head. She’d been burglarized, managed to upset her mother, and she was being sent into a new job for the express purpose of spying on her colleagues and figuring out if one of them was in league with a killer and therefore a potential candidate for Death Row.
Great.
It was not a way to make friends and Mallory was sadly lacking in friends these days. Someone brushed against her as they took the stool beside her. She set her teeth and narrowed her eyes as she stared into the bubbles in her wine. If someone tried to pick her up she was going to hurt them.
“I didn’t expect to see you in DC, Special Agent Rooney.”
Blinking in surprise, she turned to see Alex Parker sitting beside her. Her heart gave a panicked little flutter. Not now. Not tonight.
But why not tonight? Everything else was messed up, why not this?
Screw it. She raised her glass in salute and took a big gulp. “My plans unexpectedly changed. Do you come here often, Mr. Parker?” There was a bitter edge to her tone. She was unaccountably glad to see him, but she didn’t want company for tonight’s meltdown. She just wanted mindless oblivion. No interested bystanders.
“Sometimes.” He shrugged. He looked different today. Still gorgeous, but not in a businessman way. A black T-shirt molded well-defined muscles and well-worn jeans hugged the rest. Her eyes traveled over him as he ordered a beer. A tattoo peeked just beneath the edge of his sleeve. He looked like the soldier he’d once been rather than the security consultant he now was. He caught her eye, expression serious. “Do you mind if I sit here?”
She shook her head though she was torn. Fact was she wanted to get to know the guy—and wanted to spend time outside of her own head for a change. But talking wasn’t nearly as satisfying as drowning her sorrows for a few hours or days.
“This doesn’t violate your no-dating rule?”
Her mouth went dry. “Sitting beside me does not violate the no-dating rule.”
His eyes darkened to charcoal. “How about talking? Would talking violate the no-dating rule?”
The wine cooled as it slid down her throat. But a warm glow spread through her stomach and her muscles started to unknot. The alcohol was finally doing its job. “Talking doesn’t violate the no-dating rule either, but I don’t have much to say right now. In fact I’m not very good company.” She may as well be honest. He seemed like a nice guy and she didn’t believe in stringing people along. Unfortunately she didn’t have any choice at work for the foreseeable future. Great. She was being pathetic and she hated pathetic. She took another gulp of wine.
“I’m not much of a talker either.” The edge of his lips curled and she felt a sexual ping down to her toes. The man had a sinful mouth. Full lips and a small cleft in his chin. And he smelled good too. Like sandalwood soap and clean male skin. “Any particular reason we’re celebrating tonight?” He tipped a beer bottle to his lips and she watched the muscles in his throat work as he swallowed.
Then it struck her.
He didn’t know.
He didn’t know about her tragic past.
God.
Relief burst through her that someone in the universe didn’t consider her an object of pity. She finished her wine and ordered another whiskey.
“Make that two.” Alex told the barman.
They sat in silence, nursing their drinks, listening to Michael Bublé sing “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” The melancholy of this time of year drifted over her like a cloud. The week before Thanksgiving marked her sister’s abduction. Christmas itself marked a big fat void in her family’s life. An empty seat at the table. Years of unopened presents.
Mallory wasn’t in the mood for shots anymore. She had a nice buzz going and a different kind of energy was invading her cells. For some reason, the stupid sentimental Christmas song reminded her she hadn’t had sex in over two years and that the guy sitting next to her was not only built, he’d actually asked her out. He wasn’t some stranger pick-up; he was one of Lucas Randall’s best friends, and Lucas didn’t tolerate assholes. She caught herself leaning closer to him because he smelled so damn good. The biceps in his arms bunched under that tattoo every time he took a drink and she felt a funny little quiver just from looking at him. Her gaze ran over the hair cut short on the nape of his neck, the wide shoulders, and taut stomach. Even his boots were sexy. She turned away, only to catch his gaze in the mirror behind the bar. He smiled wryly. He’d seen her checking him out and the heat in those gray depths told their own story.
Desire coiled deep inside. She looked down into her glass but wasn’t feeling thirsty anymore.
Her skin felt hypersensitive. Nipples beaded against the black silk of her dress making her arousal obvious. She felt his eyes on her. Felt the weight of interest. Heat flamed through her body. There was a quiver between her legs that had her squeezing her thighs together.
Anticipation. Want.

She licked her lips and he stopped watching her through the mirror and turned toward her instead. There was an alertness in his gaze. A gravity in the way he looked at her. The guy was incredibly sexy. Perfectly symmetrical face. Strong jaw. Bedroom eyes and that damn mouth of his. There were other ways to find oblivion...

Available in ebook and print format on Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukAmazon.ca 


Monday, March 31, 2014

A COLD DARK PLACE releases tomorrow :)

I am so excited that tomorrow marks the release of my new book A COLD DARK PLACE. I really hope you enjoy it!

I created a fabulous Pinterest page for this book but thought I'd show you some of my inspiration for the hero, Alex Parker...
Tom Hardy
 And my heroine, FBI Agent Mallory Rooney.
Natalie Portman
The action takes place in the US, in particular North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Despite the title, it's a sizzling book with a dark hero and a strong heroine and truly nasty villain. The title in many ways refers to where the characters are emotionally at the start of the story, as well other cold, dark things.

The second COLD JUSTICE book will be out in May (hopefully) or early June.

And because I write to music this is the song that catapults me straight into this story... incidentally Tom Hardy also stars in the film that the song is the soundtrack to.





Friday, March 28, 2014

Welcome Carina Press Author Julie Anne Lindsey!

New Release Excerpt & Giveaway: Murder Comes Ashore by Julie Anne Lindsey
I’m thrilled to visit Toni today as part of my month long blog tour. I’m especially excited to share an excerpt of my work and offer a digital prize pack to one lucky winner. Murder Comes Ashore is book two in my fun new cozy series from Carina Press where anything can happen and you’re quite likely to smile. If you like smiles, enjoy an amateur sleuth and are looking for a fun new series, I hope you’ll consider Murder Comes Ashore. This title is available now anywhere e-books are sold.
One lucky commenter will win BOTH books in the series, so if you’d like to read more, let us know!
How about a peek inside?


Excerpt:
“Look.” I smacked Sebastian’s arm.
Sebastian turned to look and I darted past him. His footfalls kept pace with mine, allowing me to maintain the lead when he could easily have passed me. I waded into the grasses, waving my arms overhead to keep the gulls at bay.
“Told you I could help.” In a moment of gloating, I lost sight of the evidence. A seagull honked and dove at me. I jumped back on instinct and fell into the sand. A wilted reed of grass rammed up my nose and I screamed. Sneezing bug eggs and cooties, I scrambled to my feet and chased the offending bird across the sand. Two more birds joined him in the air and attacked. Whatever they all wanted, it was flesh colored and I wanted it too.
Sebastian shoved two fingers in his lips and whistled. Fargas jogged toward me, a look of shock on his face. Yeah, yeah. How’d I get here? I pointed to the sky. “They’ve got something.”
The birds circled in the air, stretching the thing in their beaks and flapping with vigor.
“Should I shoot them?” Fargas called to Sebastian.
A mob of birders appeared from the trees like magic. “No!”
“What the hell?” Sebastian frowned.
“They were probably here all night looking for owls or something.” I rolled my eyes.
Fargas unholstered his side arm and the birders started closing in, cell phones at arm’s length, digitally capturing the chaos.
“Do not shoot that bird!” A wild scream broke out above the other voices. A woman in hip waders and a dirty shirt charged Fargas.
I tossed shells at the birds circling overhead. “I can’t hit them!” Frustration burst from my chest in a growl. “Stop!” I screamed at the birds.
Fargas toppled into the sand beside me, crushed beneath the rampaging woman. Her giant binoculars bounced off his forehead and he went limp.
“Aw, hell.” Sebastian groaned. He scooped a handful of rocks from the sand and pulled his arm back.
A shower of feathers burst above me and a bird fell from the sky. The others squawked complaints, but headed out to sea. I ran for the grounded bird and yanked the skin from his beak. He flapped his wings and waddled in a daze across the sand.
“You monster! You hit that bird with a rock! Murderer!” The woman climbed off Fargas and headed for Sebastian, who dropped his remaining rocks in favor of cuffs and badge. She raised her fists and Sebastian spun her around, cuffing her and reciting her rights.
I flipped the fleshy prize in my hands, struggling to make sense of what the birds had worked so hard to keep. I tugged and squeezed the thing, looking past the damage done from multiple bird beaks. Realization dawned. My tummy lurched.
“Ahh!” The scream that ripped loose from my chest was Oscar-worthy. I dropped the thing and ran in a tiny circle, unsure which way to go for bleach and a fast hand-removal surgery. I rubbed my palms over the seat of my pants until they hurt.
Sebastian finished reading Waders her rights.
A line of EMTs-turned-beachcombers surrounded Fargas. One checked his vitals. One followed the waddling bird and radioed the park ranger for assistance. We had two head injuries, six EMTs and no ambulance. I marched in big, knee-to-my-chest steps, trying not to think of the thing I would never forget. Ever. Ever. Ever.
I covered my eyes with one hand. The one without lifelong cooties. With the other hand, I pointed to the item saved from the seagulls. “The victim is not a woman!”

Murder Comes Ashore
Patience Price is just settling into her new life as resident counselor on Chincoteague Island when things take a sudden turn for the worse. A collection of body parts have washed up on shore and suddenly nothing feels safe on the quaint island.
Patience instinctively turns to current crush and FBI special agent Sebastian for help, but former flame Adrian is also on the case, hoping that solving the grisly crime will land him a win in the upcoming mayoral election.
When the body count rises and Patience's parents are brought in as suspects, Patience is spurred to begin her own investigation. It's not long before she starts receiving terrifying threats from the killer, and though she's determined to clear her family's name, it seems the closer Patience gets to finding answers, the closer she comes to being the killer's next victim.
Amazon       Barnes&Noble      

About Julie:
Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Julie lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world.
Murder Comes Ashore is a sequel in her new mystery series, Patience Price, Counselor at Large, from Carina Press.  
Learn About Julie at:


“Cover Art 2014 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited”

Thursday, March 27, 2014

RITA Finalist!

Yesterday is a bit of a blur. I sat down to start plotting the third book of the COLD JUSTICE series. I was determined to get some work done on a day where it is traditionally impossible to get anything done because the RITA and Golden Heart nominations go out. If you're not in the romance writing world it's like the Oscars of the the romance world, minus Brad Pitt.

So the phone rings and I see a 240 area code which I mix up with mine because they are very close (I have one of those letter/number jumbling issues which is usually related to spoken words but can sometimes be written too). A very nice lady (Leslie Kelly) tells me she's calling from RWA and my whole body freezes as I look out at my poor snow-covered garden. She tells me that THE KILLING GAME was nominated for a RITA in the Romantic Suspense category (thank you, RWA judges). I cried. I spent seven hours stunned, and never plotted my next book.

The support from other writers is always overwhelming--never more so than on RITA day, even though many of us sit by the phone waiting for that same call. I am so lucky to be part of this community.

By happy coincidence do you know what today is? Today is THE KILLING GAME'S book birthday. Happy first birthday :)

I didn't self-publish this book because it had been rejected everywhere. There were some contract issues at play but more important was the desire to tell the story exactly how I wanted to tell it and I suddenly had a way of doing that. I had my incredible CP Kathy Altman critique it, and the AMAZING Deb Nemeth edit the manuscript, but it was still very much my story. And in many ways it doesn't fit the mould of the traditionally published RS. It has a slow start (sorry). It is set in a spit of land that few are aware of, in a far-off country that everyone is aware of. The hero is military, but he is British military (Irish too :)). I kill one of the most beautiful creatures on earth in the opening scene. There's a little political history in there. The villain is... hmmm... LOL... not telling.

I like to think it's complex but I guess that depends on your point of view.

But the bottom line is that no matter how much I loved it, I didn't expect others to. So YAY!! A RITA nomination and now I get to visit San Antonio and attend the awards ceremony.


I hadn't intended to blog about any of the above. I had intended to blog about my upcoming release A COLD DARK PLACE, which comes out on Tuesday and I'm very excited about. Very happy I had to blog about the other stuff first :)


And I need to mention I'm running a Rafflecopter giveaway and also a draw from members of my mailing list for one of two Victoria Emerson wrap bracelets (because I love them :)).

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Like Mysteries?

My friends and I over at Not Your Usual Suspects are giving away some mystery books! Check out the contest below!

CONTEST: Have we seduced you to the dark side? Complete the rafflecopter below, and you’re in the draw to win one of our mysteries. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mugshot Monday

Every mug in my cupboard tells a story. This one arrived with my husband's Aunty B and Uncle Alan from Dublin. The reason I remember it so clearly is we lived in Anstruther at the time, in the top two floors of a terrace row. Three bedrooms, a young baby, two dogs. However, being only a few miles from St. Andrews made us prime accommodation for the Open Championship, so we somehow managed to house an extra eight adults and I presume at least another three, possibly four dogs, for as long as the golf was on. Good times.

It must have been the year 2000. How time flies!!!