Wednesday, July 3, 2013

VERTIGO



When attorney Blake Cartwright abandons a successful career to turn a dilapidated lighthouse into an inn, everybody thinks she's gone a little bit crazy. After witnessing a body fall from the tower, Blake wonders if they might be right. According to local legend, the spirit of a former keeper's wife lures women to their deaths in the icy water below. Has Blake witnessed a suicide, seen a ghost--or is she just seeing things? 

Declan Hunter, the mysterious man she hires to help with renovations, doesn't help matters. The man with the Navy SEAL physique claims to be nothing more than a local handyman, but Blake's instincts warn her not to trust him. As the mystery deepens, she finds herself drawn into a dangerous labyrinth of secrets, lies, and murder. But the most serious danger of all may be falling for a man determined to leave her. (Republished August 2015 under Amazon Encore)

REVIEWS

"This was a fantastic story that I just couldn't put down. From the very first chapter, I was hooked and Ms. Haines held my attention until the very last word. I absolutely loved the storyline." - Five Stars, Night Owl Romance, A Top Pick Review

"I really liked the story. It's right up there with something you'd read by Linda Howard and even Nora Roberts with a little Sandra Brown tossed in there. If you are a fan of any of those ladies, you are going to like this book." -Sara Strand, Sara's Organized Chaos Blog

"So I just finished VERTIGO by Gwenan Haines and loved this CR! I totally don't want to spoil this book for you, so I'm going to give a bit of a teaser and simply say, buy it. VERTIGO is an action packed, suspenseful romance about lighthouses, ghosts, history, drugs and the DEA. Did I mention I really enjoyed this book? From the start it grabs you and doesn't let go." -Toot's Book Reviews

"I loved this book!" -Riverina Romantics

"I absolutely recommend this book to everyone!" -Authors to Watch

"If you like romantic suspense, you will love this one!" -Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews
BUY ON AMAZON

Blog Hop







Lots of great prizes! Leave a comment to win a paperback or ecopy of new new romantic suspense novel VERTIGO. Or check out the participating blogs below and see what they're offering. Have fun!



Monday, July 1, 2013

Win a $20 Gift Card

New five-star review of VERTIGO up today at Sweet n' Sassi book reviews. Stop by for a chance to win a $20 gift card or an ecopy of VERTIGO.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Interview & Giveaway

I'm over at Flirting with Romance today. Please stop by and comment for a chance to win a $20 gift card or copy of VERTIGO, my new romantic suspense novel.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

News, Reviews

Well, it's finally happened - VERTIGO is now out in paperback on Amazon. Woot! Click on the icon on the sidebar to pick up a copy. The novel will be out on other sites on June 14.

I'm also very pleased that CAFFEINATED BOOK JUNKIE gave the book 4.5 stars. Click here to read the review.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

New Reviews

Loving these new 4.5-star reviews of VERTIGO up today at Riverina Romantics and Authors to Watch!

Sizzling Summer Reads Event


Today's the first day of The Romance Reviews' Sizzling Summer Reads Events. Click here to check out the wonderful authors offering copies of their books and other prizes - or scroll down to Chapter 1 of VERTIGO to answer my question about Blake's decision to move to Maine. Submit your answer via the link above.

In Vertigo, Blake Decides to leave New York City and buy a lighthouse:

a. after her fiance leaves her at the altar
b. after being fired from her job
c. after a night spent with her laptop and a couple of margaritas
d. after a night spent with a hot fisherman

Good Luck!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Interview, New Reviews

New reviews up at Toot's Book Reviews and Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews, plus an interview/excerpt at Authors to Watch.  So far the book's got a 5-star average on Amazon (okay, there are only four reviews, but I'll take it!).

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Win a Copy of VERTIGO

Guest blogging today about ghost hunting and the search for setting over at fellow Wild Rose author Alana Lorens' site. Stop by and leave a comment to win a copy of VERTIGO.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Vertigo - Chapter 1 Excerpt


Did every woman go a little crazy when she hit thirty?
Blake Cartwright stood in what passed for a driveway, staring at the ramshackle two-story cape she now owned. What had looked quaint yet spacious on the internet was dingy and run-down up close. The sunny blue skies of the photos were nowhere to be seen, even though it was the middle of July. Dark spruces surrounded the place, their pointy spires disappearing in a ghostly mist that hung over everything. The rocky coastline that had seemed stunning a month ago looked threatening and unfriendly now. As for the lighthouse, she didn’t even want to contemplate the amount of money it was going to take to make it presentable.
What the hell had she been thinking?
She hadn’t been thinking. That was the problem. For twenty-nine years she had done things by the book and her life had been one long, picture-perfect Kodachrome moment. Up until six weeks ago she’d had the dream job, the dream apartment, the dream boyfriend. Then for the first time—after a teary night spent with her laptop and a couple of margaritas—she had trusted her emotions. For once she had allowed herself to stop planning and start imagining. She would open a thriving inn, one that would allow her to pursue her passion for cooking while freeing her from the insane hours she logged at her law firm. Even if she had to put some money into renovations, she could get the lighthouse for so little it would hardly dent her savings.
And this, she thought as she stood staring at the white clapboard house with its chipping paint and sagging roof, was the result.
Good call, Cartwright.
Shivering in the tank top and cut-off jeans she had thought would be appropriate for the middle of summer, Blake wondered just how cold it got in northern Maine. Did she even own a hooded sweatshirt? Overpriced Armani suits, check. Expensive Jimmy Choo pumps, check. Wool fishermen’s sweaters—not a one. She pulled the old-fashioned iron key out of the envelope she’d picked up from the realtor and tried to shake off the idea that she had just made a colossal mistake.
She took a tentative step onto the first porch stair and stopped. An icy certainty that something was wrong coursed through her, making her fingertips tingle. Much as she wanted to attribute it to the lack of proper clothing, she knew the sensation too well. She always got it when she met a client who was guilty, however much they might protest their innocence. Or when she was being watched.
Feeling like a fool, she looked over her shoulder at the solitary landscape. The lighthouse stood about fifty yards away, at the end of a barren headland that jutted out into the iron-gray sea. The tower rose out of the mist, its height dwarfing the massive boulders below. She peered up at the lantern room, half-expecting to see a shadowy form or the glint of binoculars, but its windows were dull with years of disuse. The only sound was the crash of the waves against the rocks.
Clearly, no one was there.
Quit jumping at shadows. Forcing herself to cross to the door, she inserted the key into the lock and turned it. The door actually creaked as it opened and when she stepped over the threshold she found herself enmeshed in a thick layer of cobwebs. With a sound of disgust, she pulled a few sticky strands out of her hair and peered inside.
The interior was shrouded in darkness, despite the fact that it was the middle of the afternoon. A ray of weak light seeped through a crack between drawn curtains on the other side of the room, illuminating a sliver of dust motes. As her eyes adjusted to the dimness, she could make out darker, bulkier shadows looming before her. She moved a few steps further into the room, ignoring the deepening sense that she wasn’t alone.
It’s only furniture, she told herself. So why did she suddenly feel like the lead in a bad horror flick? Edging sideways, she ran her hand along the wall until she found a light switch. She flicked it up, then down, then up again. Nothing happened. Cursing herself for not thinking to bring a flashlight, she made a mental note to see what she had to do to get the electricity back on. In the meantime, she needed more light. After fumbling around in her purse she triumphantly extracted a forgotten lighter and ran her thumb over its jagged tip. Its flame sprang to life, bathing the interior in wavering shadows.
She held up the lighter and looked around. To her right, a staircase disappeared into blackness. To the left was what had been a living room. Is a living room, she amended, forcing down the queasy feeling in her stomach. She was glad the place was furnished, but its stillness was more than a little eerie. Aside from the cobwebs and the thick layer of dust that had settled over every possible surface, the room looked as if whoever had been living there had simply gotten up and walked out, leaving everything just as it had been fifty or even a hundred years earlier. The coffee table was littered with old copies of National Geographic and there were even a few logs piled up in the fireplace. The faded wallpaper seemed to undulate in the flickering light and the mahogany bookcases that filled an entire side of the room threatened to topple over at any moment. Even from where she stood in the entryway, she could detect the musty smell of old books and stale air.
Home Sweet Home. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

VERTIGO Excerpt


Very happy to see my first two reader reviews of VERTIGO up on Amazon and Goodreads--both five stars. Also happy to report that RISKING ETERNITY is still on the free bestseller lists for urban fantasy, contemporary fantasy and horror. Tomorrow is the last free day, so pick up a copy if you haven't already done so. 

I've pasted the prologue to VERTIGO below. Enjoy. 



Prologue

Eagle Point Light, Maine
1922

There was no way out.
Lucy Stone gripped the railing on the lighthouse balcony, searching for a sign of her husband’s boat. The fog had rolled in at sunset and settled across the horizon, making it all but impossible to see more than a few feet beyond the rocky shore below. The wind tore through her thin blouse and cotton skirt, chilling her to the bone. Her chattering teeth told her what she already knew—if she stayed out on the catwalk much longer she would freeze. But somehow freezing was preferable to what awaited her.
As she peered into the impenetrable blackness she could hardly breathe, as if someone had thrown a wet, wool blanket over her face. Despite its dangers Lucy had always loved the fog, the way it enshrouded reality in mist and made anything seem possible. It held the promise of magical things, a life of enchantment and adventure. Or it had seemed to.
Until she met Billy.
No light shone from the tower—her husband had seen to that—and the darkened shore seemed devoid of life. Had the weather caused a delay? Or had Billy accomplished what he needed to and headed home? To hope his task would take longer than usual seemed almost as horrific as the crime he was about to commit. But every minute he was delayed meant she had one more minute until he arrived back at the lighthouse. A little more time to come up with a plan to save herself and Hazel.
At the thought of her one-year-old, her heart knocked against her chest. Leaning over the railing, she strained to hear her daughter’s cry but the sound of the sea crashing against the rocks below was deafening. Would Billy keep her locked up there all night? Or would he let himself into the tower and drag her back to the keeper’s house to receive the worst beating of her life? Even more important, would he hurt the baby?
She had no idea. The only thing she was certain of was her husband’s wrath. To think Billy might have a change of heart and forgive her was as fantastical as the dreams the fog had carried to her as a girl.
Billy Stone had no heart.
Over the course of three years Lucy had learned that lesson well. The handsome nineteen-year-old sailor who had charmed her with stories of adventure on the high seas was the opposite of what he’d seemed. Beneath his devil-may-care demeanor was a man who knew nothing of love or tenderness. Sometimes, in one of the intervals when Billy’s cruelty waned, she told herself it was the monotony of life on shore that drove her husband to violence.
Of course, it was hard to believe for very long. When they were first married she had done everything in her power to please her new husband. But somehow she never did please him. The biscuits were hard as rocks—or they were soggy in the middle. The blueberry pie was runny, the fish undercooked, the kitchen a filthy, stinking mess.
By the end of the first year she knew that it mattered not that the biscuits were hard or the fish undercooked. Nor did it matter that the keeper’s house was neat as a pin or that she had learned never to raise her voice to him or look him in the eye.
What mattered was survival. The handsome boy Lucy had fallen in love with had been replaced by a grim stranger and if she wanted to live she had better endure it. Or at least that’s what she had thought until Hazel came along.
By that time she had already spent two years doing what she could to avoid her husband. She went to bed early and woke before sunrise. If Billy was too drunk to man the lighthouse, she volunteered. She spent hours polishing the lens and the lighthouse glass, hours writing in the logbook and inventorying supplies in the service room. The longer it took her, the happier she felt.
It wasn’t until after Hazel’s first birthday that she started to think about escape. Though Billy had never hit their daughter, Lucy didn’t trust him with her. She would carry Hazel up to the tower and let her watch as she manned the light, a task she had been doing more and more in recent months. If she hadn’t been so frightened it would have struck her as funny—the fact that Hazel was safer 100 feet above the treacherous, unforgiving sea than in her own home. At night, after Hazel was asleep in her crib and Billy drifted off into a drunken sleep, she formed a plan that would free them both and put a stop to Billy’s nocturnal activities.
She had come so close.
She was putting up the last of the dinner plates when his arm clamped around her neck. Before she knew what was happening Billy hauled her across the yard and threw her into the lighthouse. The door swung shut, and the key turned. The tower base was pitch black but she’d inched her way forward until she reached the spiral staircase that led to the lantern room. She was locked in, away from Hazel, but at least she could light the lantern as a warning to nearby ships.
Or so she thought.
When she climbed nearly to the top her foot missed a rung in the darkness. She slid downward, catching herself just before she fell to the cement floor below. Slowly, she regained her grip and climbed on until she wondered if she would ever reach the top. At last her hands brushed against the trap door and she pushed it upward with all her strength. To her surprise, its ancient hinges creaked and the door lifted. Had Billy forgotten to secure the padlock? Surely he wouldn’t have wanted her to gain access to the light. Carefully hoisting herself into the cold room, Lucy stood half bent for several minutes with her arm braced against the glass. It had been a long climb and she couldn’t catch her breath.
The door to the catwalk was a few feet away. Normally she didn’t like to go out onto the balcony. Though it didn’t bother her to spend time in the lantern room, the catwalk truly scared her. She had a fear of heights and it was more than a hundred feet to the rocks below.
So easy to lose one’s balance.
But she couldn’t breathe. She waited several minutes and her gasps didn’t lessen. If anything, the wheezing was getting worse. Finally she crossed to the door and stepped outside. The wind swept back her skirts as she leaned forward, taking big gulps of air. She felt better.
The door slammed shut behind her, and she gasped in shock. Frantically, she rushed over to it and grasped the iron handle with both hands, pulling on it with every ounce of strength she possessed. The door, locked from the inside, didn’t budge.
No way to escape and save herself. No way to light the lens and save anyone else.
Far below, at the base of the tower, a dark form emerged out of the blackness then disappeared so quickly she could almost convince herself she had imagined it. But the part of her that had grown adept at dodging blows knew better. After three years of violence it was as if she’d developed an extra sense. Her intuition had been honed to an infinite thinness, a kind of internal blade that snapped open when danger was near. Within her, the blade sang with fear.
He was coming.
The scream rose from the deepest part of her. Though she couldn’t hear his footsteps mounting the stairs, she knew he was on his way. The screams kept coming, reaching a mad crescendo that was lost in the breaking storm.
The sky opened and sheets of rain pelted her face as Billy lifted the trapdoor to the lantern room and hoisted himself up inside. A slow smile lit his face when he looked up and saw her watching him from the other side of the glass. Despite the stumble in his walk, there was nothing uncertain about the heavy-lidded look he gave her. It was the drowsy, hypnotic stare of a cat that’s finally got its mouse. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Risking Eternity Free Today & Tomorrow on Amazon


Risking Eternity


#551 free in Kindle Store

#14 free in Horror
#4 in Urban Fantasy


#1620 free in Kindle U.K. Store
#27 in Contemporary Fantasy

#1 free Gothic fiction in Germany
#2 free Horror in Germany

New Review

New Review
Loving this review on Riverina Romantics.

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