Saturday, June 18, 2016

SNEAK PEEK - Prince Charming is a Liar

I can't believe I'm nearly finished with this story. I've only been working on it for sixteen days, and yet, the story is flowing perfectly, and my characters are having so much fun...well, as much fun as one can have in a murder mystery story. And, believe it or not, this book will start a new series - "Your Every Day Hero." I'm going to try really hard to have this baby available for purchase by the end of the month.


Because I'm so excited about this story, I thought I'd share an excerpt. Aren't I nice?


When Detective Brittany Russell goes undercover to expose a murderer, she had no idea what she was getting herself into—especially after meeting wealthy businessman, Austin Reeder…who happens to be a suspect. He is hiding something, and Brittany is determined to bring him down. Unfortunately, to catch the killer, she might have to break a few rules. The longer she talks with the charmer of women, the more she’s drawn to the gorgeous man. Thankfully, her partner, Kurt Hamill, is the one who has always kept her out of trouble. Loving him comes easy. But now she’s stuck in the middle of a love-triangle. Too bad she doesn’t know which Prince Charming is telling her the truth.

**unedited excerpt**

Detective Brittany Russell from Seattle’s west precinct, raised her fist to knock on the door, but when she placed it on the hard wood, the barrier pushed open. She held her breath and listened for signs of movement inside the penthouse apartment. Why would the door just open when her informant assured her Austin Reeder would be in a meeting all day? Apparently, her informant wasn’t very accurate.
She cleared her throat and called into the quiet apartment, “This is Detective Russell with Seattle Police Department. I need to ask you a few questions.”
Still, she heard nothing.
She opened her decorative, black, beaded purse that hung over her shoulder, and grabbed her phone, quickly dialing her partner. Hamill here. I’m busy, so leave a message.
She growled. Where was he? He was supposed to be here with her. “Kurt, get your butt over here, pronto. I’m at Austin Reeder’s suite, and I think there might be a break-in…or maybe even another murder scene. The door is cracked open, but I don’t hear anything inside. So get over here—” click. The phone disconnected. He really needed to make the phone message time a little longer than that.
“Mr. Reeder?” she called into the room. “Are you there? Are you hurt?”
Once again, silence greeted her.
Glancing at the elevator, she tried to decide what to do. She couldn’t go inside the suite until Kurt showed up. It was too dangerous to go in alone. But because her partner wasn’t answering his phone—
A heavy thud came from inside the penthouse suite. Her heart knocked against her ribs harder, and she quickly grasped her glock inside the purse. She still didn’t dare go inside. She was overdressed for this particular assignment, but when Captain Martinez told her to check out one of the suspects—insisting it was to be done now—who was Brittany to argue? Besides, when the captain wanted something immediately, he didn’t want to hear excuses. Trying to explain that Brittany was at her father’s, and soon-to-be stepmother’s, afternoon engagement party wouldn’t have hit the stubborn captain’s ears, anyway.
Her red, silk dress that showed too much of her legs, and the matching jacket she wore was definitely not the required uniform. Anybody would think she was a Charlie’s Angel wannabe in this getup. Unfortunately, she was here to do her job, no matter what she looked like. However, her precinct would get a hardy chuckle out of this. She wasn’t sure she was ready to laugh along with them. Not yet.
Another heavy thud came from inside. “Mr. Reeder? Can you hear me?”
When she didn’t hear him, instinct told her that she needed to go inside and check it out. Taking careful steps, she entered the room with her G42 weapon held high. She quickly swept her gaze around the room, but so far it appeared the occupant wasn’t at home.
She wasn’t surprised to see Mr. Reeder’s place decorated with expensive Chippendale chairs, antique furniture, and Persian rugs. The man was extremely wealthy. Then again, he did own three banks and this luxury hotel where his penthouse apartment was located.
As she took three more steps, her three-inch heels tapped on the floor of the entryway. Silently, she groaned. This was one of the reasons she’d wanted to go home and change, but Captain Martinez wouldn’t have it.
“Is anyone here?” she called out again but received no reply.
Although she really should turn and leave, her gut feeling told her to stay. She had heard heavy thuds. If Mr. Reeder wasn’t here, perhaps this was a break-in after all. That would certainly explain why the front door was cracked open.
Brittany should certainly search his penthouse suite. He was a suspect of a murder, after all.
The victim of the brutal murder was twenty-six year old, Hillary Banks. Brittany remembered the woman from high school. They weren’t in the same grade, but being a year younger, Brittany watched everyone and knew a lot about them, as well. Even back then, her detective instincts were taking control of her life.
Hillary had been a religious girl in high school, but once she graduated, she went to college at WSU in Pullman, and Brittany hadn’t heard what happened to the woman. Only two days ago, Hillary had been murdered in her family’s home right here in Seattle. Her parents were at work, and her younger brother was at school. Hillary had just gotten out of the tub and wrapped a robe around her body. Within moments of leaving the bathroom, the woman was smashed over the head with a large object, crushing her skull, and killing her instantly.
Suspiciously, the murder weapon was not found on the premises. No fingerprints were found on the crime scene, except for the family who lived there. The only thing the police had to use for leads was the list of men written on a piece of paper that was folded and found in Hillary’s robe.
Since that discovery, her team had been trying to locate the men on the list and interview them. Austin Reeder’s name was at the bottom of the list. Brittany and her partner, Kurt Hamill, had planned to visit Mr. Reeder tomorrow. Why Captain Martinez wanted this done immediately, Brittany wished she knew. And where was Kurt? As her partner, he should have been here to back her up.
She reached into her beaded purse again and pulled out her cell. Just like before, it went to his voicemail.
“Hamill, where are you?” she growled. “I know you received Martinez’s call, so why are you ignoring me?”
As she put the cell back in her purse, she seriously hoped he was on the way. Back up was most important in her line of work.
A bead of moisture trickled down her neck. Good grief! Why did it feel overly warm in here? It was early summer, so unless he was trying to cook food on his counter top, the temperature shouldn’t be this hot. Either that, or she’d found a hidden trap door into Satan’s lair.
She clutched her G42 and walked into the room further. The wealthy businessman had a glass case liquor bar, a large dining area, and living room. The three bookcases filled from edge to edge. It would seem he didn’t have a social life, and probably stayed at home reading. She’d had almost this many books when she was in college, and of course, she really didn’t have a social life, either.
She took another step, heading toward the hallway, but before reaching it, the floor creaked. She jerked to a stop and listened closer.
The door to one of the rooms opened, and out walked a man. He was tall, built like a quarterback, and wore a black bathrobe that reached his knees. His wet hair was slicked back on his head, and his face appeared freshly shaven. His attention was on his ipod as he scrolled through it. In his ears were earphones with a cord attached to the electronic device.
Inwardly, she groaned. No wonder he hadn’t heard her calling out, announcing herself! A good detective checks every room, Russell. But in her defense, she was about to when he walked out.
Panic hammered away in her chest, bringing a momentary shut-down to her brain…and her lungs, because at this moment as she stared at his bathrobe and the muscular bare legs, she couldn’t breathe. Her worst nightmare—for today, anyway—had come true. She’d been caught in the suspect’s apartment looking like a girl going to her first prom, and holding a G42, no less! What kind of bad horror flick was this?
The rhythm of her heart was as fast as a speeding train, and she knew it would derail and crash at any moment. If that happened, she’d be standing in the middle of his room, looking like a complete idiot in a fancy dress, with a gun.
What would he think when he saw her? Although she could imagine plenty, it worried her that she didn’t look like a police detective. Naturally, he’d think someone was here to end his life. She definitely didn’t want him thinking that.
Without another thought, she pushed the glock back in her beaded purse. Just then, the man raised his head and saw her. He stopped. His mouth hung open as his gaze moved over her. It didn’t bother her the way he scanned up and down her body like some kind of hungry coyote, but what concerned her was the way her mouth dried so quickly and cotton had taken up residence in her throat. This man was absolutely the most handsome man she’d ever laid eyes on—and she’d seen many in her twenty-five years. 


Watch book trailer-


Here's what book two will look like. Isn't it romantic?


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Interviewing author, Linda Weaver Clarke

Today I’m interviewing an awesome author, Linda Weaver Clarke. 



Linda Weaver Clarke is from Color Country, which is located in southern Utah. It’s a beautiful area full of red mountains, which sits likes an oasis in the middle of the desert. She had traveled throughout the United States, teaching people to write their family history and autobiography at libraries. She is the mother of six daughters and has several grandchildren. Linda is the author of several historical romances, a mystery suspense series, a children’s book, and a cozy mystery series. All her books are family friendly. Visit www.lindaweaverclarke.com.


Linda, I noticed you are writing a cozy mystery series. This is different from what you’re used to writing. What made you decide on cozy mysteries?

After writing historical romances for a while, I wanted to reach out and challenge myself a little more by trying another genre. The writing process between romance and mystery is quite a change for me with a completely different mind set. With romance, you plan out the plot around the meeting of a couple. As you write, you develop some sort of charisma between the characters, making the reader feel excited that one day they're going to fall in love. You, as the reader, know the outcome. But with a mystery, the reader is in the dark. The author has to come up with a plot that no one can figure out until towards the end of the story. In a way, it’s more challenging. This genre is quite popular and it’s one of my husband’s favorites. 


That does sound like it would be fun to write! So it looks like your new release is #7 of the Amelia Moore Detective Series. Tell us briefly about The Lighthouse Secret.

I call this series a “romantic” cozy mystery. Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. With the help of her good-looking partner, Rick Bonito, the business is flourishing. Rick Bonito’s uncle supposedly drowned five years ago and his body was never found, but something did not seem right about the report. Uncle Antonio was an excellent swimmer. His disappearance seems quite suspicious to Rick’s father. He never felt the complete truth had come out about his brother. It is now up to Amelia and Rick to find out the truth about his uncle.


Wow! This story sounds like something I'd really love to read. Will there be any more books in this series?

After writing seven romantic cozy mysteries and four mystery suspense novels, I decided to go back to historical romance, which is my favorite, after this last book. I’ve already started a new series and I’m very excited about it.


Where can readers find you on social media.

You can visit my website called Make Believe at www.lindaweaverclarke.com and read sample chapters.
I also have a blog where I write about my books at https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com
Another blog is where I interview authors and have book giveaways at http://lindaweaverclarke.blogspot.com.
My books are available in print and e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. If you go to http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/purchasebook.html, then it will lead you to the correct bookstore with one click.


Thank you, Linda. I know you'll do great with this series. 

**CONTEST**
Leave a message on this blog with your name and email, and you will be entered to win a free ebook of Linda's newest release, "The Lighthouse Secret".


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Exciting review!!

I found an awesome review that I just had to blog about!!

My first YA Fantasy book, The Witch Hunt (book 1 of the fairy tale series, Where Dreams Come True) was reviewed by InD'tale! magazine! Not only did the reviewer give it a 4.5 star review, but they gave it a "Crowned Heart" for excellence, which means it's one of their TOP PICKS!



The Witch Hunt (Where Dreams Come True#1) Marie Higgins, Dusti Miller FANTASY:

The story’s prologue occurs in 1720 Salem, Massachusetts, with a cursed book snatching two teenage brothers from their world into a fantasy forest. The first chapter picks up in current day Salem, with football-jock-cheerleader chasing Rick Stevenson taking on a hundred-dollar dare from fellow jocks to break into the local “haunted” King family house. His nosey (and polar opposite) twin sister, Brooke, follows him inside, hoping to talk him out of it. Eric King, their strange, reclusive neighbor discovers them but not before Brooke takes the troublemaking book. Eric is the King family’s “Keeper” of the book, but is no match for Brooke’s curiosity. Eventually, all three teens are sucked into a land of macabre fairytales gone wrong.

This story is sure to tickle the fantasy of YA readers, keeping them glued to the pages until the very end! Although television series like “Once Upon a Time” have cheated stories like these of their uniqueness, this one is still quite an entertaining read, with plenty of conflict for young minds to ponder. What’s more, the story is bursting at the seams with uplifting morals and lessons in the form of facing fears, respecting opinions of others, and most notably, not judging a book —or individuals—by outward appearances.


Ms. Higgins and Ms. Miller have scored a winner with this fantasy geared toward younger readers from pre-teens to fourteen or so, as well as more mature readers who are young at heart! Lori Leger

Here is the link to the online magazine - http://magazine.indtale.com/magazine/2016/may/



Monday, April 25, 2016

Rapunzel is here!

I'm very excited to announce the release of book #5 in my fairy tale series - Where Dreams Come True.




Watch book trailer


Once Enchanted (Where Dreams Come True Series)
Copyright © 2016 Marie Higgins

Cover Design by Sheri McGathy

EXCERPT

When she entered the children’s ward, some of the children cheered and waved. The head nurse rushed to her and curtsied. “Welcome home, Princess.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Meyers. Is my father around?”
“He is still in a meeting, I’m afraid.”
Clarissa grinned. “Good. That means I can spend more time with the children.”
There were many new faces but a few she’d recognized from a year ago. These were the terminally ill children that came in regularly for treatments. Her heart went out to them, wishing she could cure them somehow. But for now, her friendship would just have to suffice.
Charlotte, the sickest out of all of them, lay in bed but her gaze followed Clarissa. When she moved closer to the girl’s bed, she smiled wide.
“It’s so good to see you again.” She patted the girl’s hand tenderly.
“I have missed your stories, Princess.”
Chimes of the phrase me too rang through the room and Clarissa laughed. “Do you want me to tell you a story, then?” The chimes turned into shouts of excitement, which made her laugh harder. “All right, I shall.”
Mrs. Meyers brought a chair for her as the children gathered around…well, those who could get out of bed, anyway. “What story do you wish me to tell?”
The children were silent as they looked from one to the other. Finally Charlotte straightened slightly in her bed. “I would love to hear the story about the man and the Rapunzel flower.”
Clarissa had always told the children stories, making them sound as if they were fictitious. They’d be surprised to know that most of these stories were true. But it was more fun to tell them as though they were not real.
“Once upon a time,” she began and the children hushed, “there was a man who was to become king, and he fell in love with the most beautiful girl in the kingdom. He wanted to win her love by doing something no other man had dared to do before. He wanted to obtain for her the most beautiful of flowers…the Rapunzel flower. But the only place the flower grew was near a tower in the east forest where a wicked old witch lived, recluse from the rest of the kingdom.”
She paused, linking her fingers together and resting them on her lap. Before she continued, she noticed a man had walked into the room, wearing a familiar uniform. It surprised her to see Ryder here, but then, he was probably assigned to keep watch on her today. Secretly, she found herself hoping he was there for her and not his duty to watch over her. He smiled at her as he leaned against the wall, folding his arms over his wide chest.
“Nobody else had dared enter the witch’s gardens,” she continued, peering back at the children. “But this man was different. He was the bravest in the whole kingdom, and he would do what was necessary to win the fair maiden’s love.” She lowered her voice for this next part. “So one night, he scaled the large rock wall that separated the witch from the rest of the kingdom, and entered her gardens. Cautiously, he crept to the Rapunzel flower and plucked it from the ground.”
She paused, trying to create a suspenseful moment. The children seemed enthralled with the story so far as they all leaned toward her and remained silent.
“But before this man could leave, the witch jumped in his path, stopping him.” Some of the children sucked in their breath. “She wanted to cast a spell over him for stealing her flower, but he convinced her not to harm him. He told the witch of his great love for a fair maiden, and how he wanted to impress her with the loveliest flower in the kingdom. The witch was taken with this man’s devotion, so she promised to let him go on one condition.”
Once again, she paused for affect. But the children became restless and asked, “What was the condition?” She sneaked a peak at Ryder, and he even appeared eager to hear the rest of the story. She bit back a laugh and focused on the children.
“Her condition was this—that he could take the flower to the fair maiden and marry her, but their first daughter would have to be named after the witch.”
The children cringed and shook their head.
“Ewww…” one said. “Why would anyone want to name their child after an ugly witch?”
“Well you see,” Clarissa interrupted, “a long time ago, the witch had been a beautiful woman and many men had vied for her attention. But when they discovered she was a witch, they hated her. Over the years her heart hardened, and she built the rock wall to separate herself from the rest of the kingdom because she felt everyone had judged her harshly.”
“So did the man follow the witch’s orders?” Charlotte asked, pulling away from her pillow and sitting up in bed.
Clarissa nodded. “Indeed, he did. He presented the fair maiden with the Rapunzel flower and they married. Their first child was a girl, and they named her after the witch.” She paused again, but not as long this time. “However, the story did not stop there. Oh, no. The witch wanted more. Much more.”
The children’s eyes widened, but they didn’t ask questions this time.
“You see, for a few years, the witch had been watching the little girl from afar, and the witch wanted the girl for herself. So one day when the little girl was playing in her yard, the witch snatched her and took her to the large tower.”
Prickles of recollection ran over her arms and up her back. She tried shaking off the eerie sensation, but she couldn’t. The dream she’d had this morning had seemed so real. Was she finally remembering what had happened back then?
She continued before the children became restless again. “Nobody saw the witch take the girl, so when her parents noticed she was missing, they scoured the kingdom looking for her, but she couldn’t be found. Several days passed, and the search grew hopeless. But then one day, the man realized there was one place they hadn’t looked.”
“The witch’s tower,” a little boy shouted.
Clarissa laughed. “Exactly. The witch’s tower.” She rubbed her hands over her arms, hoping the unsettling awareness still within her would disappear. “The man decided he was going to sneak back into her yard and watch her. Two more days passed and he couldn’t see any trace of his daughter. But then one day he watched as the witch called up to the tower window, “Rapunzel, let down the rope so I can climb up.”
One of the girls giggled. “They named the girl after the flower?”
“No, but this was what the witch called her, because the little girl reminded the witch of the lovely flower.”
The children nodded and the little boy asked, “Then what happened?”
“Just as the little girl lowered the rope out the window for the witch to climb, the man jumped out from his hiding spot and knocked the witch unconscious. He then climbed the rope and rescued his daughter.”
They clapped and cheered, but Clarissa motioned her hand to calm them. “The story isn’t over yet.”
“It’s not?” one asked.
“No. You see, just as the man had left the tower with his daughter, the witch became alert and attacked the man. She hit him with a large stick. Thankfully, the king was strong, so he fought her, and of course, eventually killed the witch.”
The children stood and cheered. Clarissa laughed, clapping her hands at their display. She loved their reaction. They always responded this way with her stories. Perhaps that was why she loved coming to the children’s ward so much. Their infectious laugh was the best kind of medicine.
“Princess?” one of the children asked. “What was the witch’s name?”
Clarissa shook her head. “I’ll have to save that question for another time. Perhaps we can make a game of it.”
Once again, the children shouted with excitement. She looked at Ryder. His smile stretched from ear to ear as he applauded. Her heart warmed to see the enjoyment etched in his expression. Just as she remembered, his eyes gleamed with happiness. She realized how hard it was to look at anything else when he was in the room. He was such a handsome man—one she would love to get to know a little better now that they were grown.
As many times as she’d told that story over the years, she thought her memories would bring back the fear she once had of strangers. But the fear was no longer with her. Perhaps she hadn’t recalled how it had really happened word for word, but she’d only been six years old when the witch had kidnapped her, so she didn’t remember a lot. Had these reoccurring dreams opened up her memory in some way?
Her father hated this story, and scolded her for telling it to the children. But she was happy to know he loved her enough to rescue her and destroy the witch, which of course was the moral of the story, anyway.
Of course, she couldn’t help but sigh knowing her father loved her mother so much that he risked his life by climbing the rock wall to get her the Rapunzel flower.
She leaned back in her chair. Perhaps that was the very reason she hadn’t found a man she’d consider marrying. She wanted a love like her parents had. She wanted a man who would risk his life to prove his love.
Too bad that was the fictitious part of all of this. There was no man out there like her father.


Buy on Kindle

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

NEW RELEASE!! My Cinderella story...

I'm thrilled to introduce you to book #4 of my Where Dreams Come True Series - "Keep on Believing", my historical Cinderella story. Here is a teasing excerpt...

“Uh…I take it the proposal didn’t go as planned?” Darby asked as he wrung his boney hands against his middle.
“It was a disaster.” Chris marched into his bedroom in search of another change of clothes.
“What happened?” Darby’s short, skinny legs stumbled over each other in attempt to keep up with Chris’s wide strides.
“She said no,” Chris snapped. “Actually, her very words were—If you would consider working under my father as the Financial Advisor’s Assistant to the king, I might consider your proposal.” He made the tone of his voice a little higher to sound like a woman. Over his shoulder, he threw Darby a stare. “Apparently, being a schoolteacher isn’t good enough for Rosanna or her family.”
Tears swam in Darby’s eyes. He slowly shook his head. “Oh, how sorry I am for this, my friend.” He wiped his eyes. “This is all my fault. I fear I’m not very good at being a soothsayer. If I hadn’t encouraged you to talk to her or court her…” He hitched a breath, which elicited a high pitch sound, and slapped his hand over his mouth. Tears filled his eyes faster.
“Darby, it’s not your fault.” Chris needed to calm his friend down before the poor man swooned from stress, which he’d done several times before. “I was the one who wanted to get to know her. If I didn’t want to meet her, I would have ignored your advice.”
Sighing heavily, Darby shook his head as his breathing regulated. “From now on, I shall just stick to dabbling in magic and leave my soothsayer hat buried in the ground where it belongs.”
Chris chuckled. “Yes, stick to your magic. The more you practice, the better you’ll become.”
Darby scurried back into the other room, so Chris closed the bedroom door and proceeded to change his clothes. He and Darby had been together for years. They met at an orphanage. Both were amongst the oldest children in that center. Darby was only older than Chris by five years, but his deformities made him look like an old, hunched over man. Darby wasn’t exactly bald, but the hair on his head sprouted in different areas, and over the years, it had grown longer. The man’s arms and legs were twisted, but he could still manage to walk and use his hands. And although most children found him repulsive at first, Chris knew they would just have to get to know him in order to realize what a special person Darby O’Brian really was.
He definitely kept Chris entertained with his magic. After all of these years, the poor man could still only call himself an apprentice. Darby tried hard, but most of the time, his spells didn’t turn out exactly right. In the end, the mayhem Darby caused made them laugh.
After Chris shucked his dirty clothes and dressed in clean ones, he joined Darby in the main room. His friend stood by the stove, stirring a spoon in a pot. Well, actually, the spoon was stirring itself while Darby was staring out the window.
Chris grinned. His friend’s magic could handle smaller tasks, thank goodness. “What are we having to eat?”
Darby jumped as if startled and stretched his hand toward the spoon, but instead of grasping it, he managed to knock it away from the pot. Flying through the air, the spoon spun, flinging food around the room.
Chris ducked. Thankfully, the sailing food particles didn’t dirty his clean clothes. Darby squealed and raced after the spinning spoon, his hands clumsily trying to grasp onto the utensil that was clearly still under a spell because it wouldn’t stop swirling.
Hiding his smile behind his hand, Chris moved to the stove and peeked inside the pot. Carrots and potatoes floated in the boiling thin sauce, along with a few chunks of meat. They couldn’t afford much, and they had to make the meat last as long as they could.
Grunts and groans from Darby jerked Chris’s attention to his friend. Running with hands in the air, he kept up with the flying spoon, but was too short to touch it. And jumping was out of the question for this little twisted man.
Chris chuckled and moved to help. When the spoon flew past, he grabbed it. Immediately, the spell that had been around the utensil broke, and the spoon was now just as normal as the others in the cupboard.
He handed it to Darby. “Here, I believe this is yours.”
His friend’s face turned red. “Indeed, it is. Thank you, Chris.”







Click to BUY FROM KINDLE