SECRET HARBOR by Anna Sullivan
(February 24, 2015; Forever Mass Market; $8.00)
SCANDALOUS SECRETS LEAD TO DEADLY DESIRE . . . Ten years ago, Paige Walker left her beloved home of Windfall Island to become an actress in Hollywood. Now she’s coming back a star, honored with awards and beset by scandal. Escaping from a tabloid frenzy of gossip and lies, Paige wants nothing more than to surround herself with old friends. She never expected to meet an infuriating-and sexy-stranger . . . or to find herself in true danger. Brilliant attorney Alec Barclay came to Windfall to look for the kidnapped, long-lost heir to the Stanhope family fortune. What he finds is the most beautiful and enigmatic woman he has ever known. If his suspicions are correct, she’s the heir he’s been looking for . . . and the target of a deadly conspiracy. Drawn together by desire-but haunted by secrets of the past-Alec and Paige try to unlock a mystery as dangerous as it is irresistible. But every passion has a price . . .
Read An Excerpt:
Ma turned to Paige, sobering. “So, you’re home, are you?”
“For now,” Paige said, and yeah, Alec could see the resemblance—not in looks, though he’d have bet Ma’s father had had to beat the boys off with a stick. It was more the tilt of the head, the challenge in the eyes, the tone of their voices. Paige’s was just as cool and decided as Ma’s. They both enjoyed the byplay, though neither would admit it to the other.
But Paige, as was right, relented first. She bent to kiss Ma’s cheek. “It’s good to see you.”
“Then where have you been?”
“Getting settled,” Paige said.
Ma reached over, took her hand. “You never have to question your welcome, child, on this island or with me.”
“You’d have read me the riot act.”
“Well, you deserve it, and I always believe it’s best to take your medicine in one fast gulp. May sting like the devil and taste worse, but it shortens the suffering.”
“Not always.” Paige’s gaze slipped to the television at the end of the bar, tuned to the evening news. Sorrow clouded her expression, just for a second or two, but long enough for Alec to see it before she turned back to Ma, her pain safely hidden behind the mask of the actress. “Sometimes retreat is the best course of action.”
“It’s hardly life-or-death, child. Now, help me find a nice soft chair to rest my old bones.”
Paige took Ma’s arm on one side, Alec the other.
They helped her down from the stool to a table not far away.
“Bring me some dinner,” she called out to her son, “and none of that experimental cue-zeen you like to pass off on the rest of these yahoos.”
“She’s right,” Alec said to Paige, “your thing isn’t life-and-death.”
Paige swung around, one delicately arched eyebrow inching up as she gave him a long, cool study. “Telling me how to live my life, Counselor?”
“I’ll take it from her. She may not be family, but I respect her.”
Paige lowered her bluebell eyes, sighed. “I’m sorry,” she said. “We seem to bring out the worst in each other.”
“Why is that, do you think?”
She only shrugged.
“I’m not important enough for you to figure it out?”
Her gaze cut to his, narrowed a little, and sparkled with the same amusement that quirked up the corners of her mouth. “Oh, I have you figured out.” She dropped her eyes to his mouth and leaned in until she was close enough for him to feel the whisper of the breath she let out on a little back-of-the-throat purr.
A sudden storm raged through Alec’s body and shorted out his mind. He leaned in to close the distance, confused when he felt a pressure on his chest. It took him a minute to understand that the pressure didn’t come from inside him, from heat and hunger and blind, raging need. The pressure was her hand on his chest, preventing him from taking what he craved because this time she was teasing him. She straightened, smiling like a cat with canary feathers sticking out of its mouth. “Tell me again how you’re such a mystery?”
“You’re playing with fire,” Alec said softly, enjoying the flare of fear he saw in her eyes.
He had to give her credit, though, she recovered fast. “If you have to point that out, Counselor,” she said, smiling in pure female satisfaction, “it’s probably just your ego talking.”
Maggie took her by the arm and said, “Why don’t we have a drink, just us girls?”
Paige took a couple of steps before she looked back. “Should we send you something with ice?”
Alec looked down at his scotch, neat, and said, “Why don’t you just come back here and stick your finger in this? I’ve never seen alcohol freeze before.”
Paige kept her smile in place, but behind it he could see her fuming. “I intend to keep my finger, and the rest of me, as far away from you as possible.”
“You need some better tools, son,” one of the men called out. “I’d say bigger, but a man’d have to have a good-sized pair to take on a woman like that.”
The whole bar erupted as he watched her saunter away, laughing.
Let her laugh, Alec thought. They weren’t done with each other, not nearly. And he was going to enjoy the contest.
I am so glad you could join us here at RomanceJunkies. To start, will you please tell us a little bit about your current projects? The Windfall Island novels, of course. The writing is done, but Secret Harbor, the final in the trilogy, just came out, so I’m enjoying the moment. I have several other projects in the works, including a historical about the Gilded Age, a story about a ghost, and one involving a dead body. At some point I’m going to have to choose one, but for the moment they all have a hold on my imagination.
When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer? I’ve always wanted to write, so I can’t identify the moment. But finishing that first book felt pretty amazing!
Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day? Kill your darlings—Stephen King paraphrasing William Faulkner. It’s an absolutely critical commentary on self-editing for any writer, I think.
Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero for you? I tend to go for the Type A heroes, but I have written more easy-going ones as well. Either way, I like them to be flawed. Perfection is boring.
What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections? I have a million hobbies, mostly crafts like needlepoint, cross-stitch, and I’ve sold some original crochet patterns. Currently I’m learning tapestry—when I can find the time!
What has been your biggest adventure to date? Life in general. I’ve travelled and I have kids (and aren’t they always an adventure?), and I’ve realized a big dream. Every book I write is a new adventure; I’m sad to see them end, but there’s always a new story waiting.
If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why? If time travel is allowed, a castle in the British Isles back when knights were chivalrous—but just for a visit. I’m all for modern conveniences.
When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes? I love trying new things, but I have to draw the line at insects or animal organs of any kind. I spent a lot of time on the farm as a kid, and the mental picture is just too much to get past
What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”? Probably the cliché—candlelight, good food, a walk on the beach with a sexy man…you can guess the rest 😉
How do you describe yourself? How would your family and friends describe you? Easy-going, optimistic, I like to start each day with thanks and hope. My family and friends would probably describe me as a workaholic!
What is your favorite comfort food? Chocolate, of course. Or pot roast. We used to have it every Sunday when I was a kid, so I guess I equate it with security, love, and family.
What is your favorite season? What do you love about it? Fall, I love everything about it. I live in a northern state, so it ends the hot weather, and with the leaves turning, it’s beautiful. I get to wear cozy sweaters and sleep with the windows open to the brisk air.
What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without? Ice. Central heating and air conditioning, indoor plumbing. The list goes on and on!
Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next? I don’t have any personal appearances scheduled at this time, but you can find me on Facebook, Goodreads and the Internet at www.AnnaSullivanBooks.com. I have a contest starting soon, so definitely look me up on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AnnaSullivanBooks)
About the author:
Anna Sullivan was born and raised in southeastern Michigan, the seventh of nine children, whose claim to fame was reading five books a week in grade school. Needless to say, her obsession with the written word only grew from there–despite a short, and misguided, foray into the world of computer science (the “sensible” job path). She still lives in Michigan, with her husband, three children and two dogs whose life of leisure she envies but would never be able to pull off.
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