Back to France

france
Camargue, France

In February, my new story will be published by Inkspell Publishing. In it, I’m returning to France, for a short trip, but still.

This will be the third time that my characters visit France. In Letting Go, Isabelle returns from Paris where she went to visit the museums and galleries to feed the art enthusiast in her. As she and Harper get to know each other, she realizes Harper, too, is a romantic at heart and that he took a past love on a trip to Paris.

Charlise from On the Slopes is French, and in the second part of the story, she returns home for Christmas to sort out her complicated relationship with her dad. When Sam visits her unexpectedly, she dumps him for the second time because she’s too scared to start a relationship with him.

Both novellas were romances with loveable–albeit a bit confused ;-)–characters. But my third visit to France is a lot more intense, and the main character has a darker past which comes back to haunt her. The story takes place in London, but to escape her pursuer the protagonist, Anais, flees to France, to her family’s old estate.

There is something about France and the French that has attracted me ever since I first visited the country. I’m intrigued by the country’s interesting history and the charming culture. And there’s something to be said for the rolling hills of the wine regions and the beautiful capital which captures everyone’s attention on first sight. It’s one of my favorite countries and I’d love to live there but since I can’t, I have my characters visit it on a regular basis (My current work in progress is set in Paris. Again.). Talk about living vicariously through fictional characters, eh?

Ever been to France? Did you like it? Which are your favorite places and spaces?

 

Hearts must be broken is coming out as part of Inkspell‘s box set Valentine Kisses in February 2017.

Fleeing beauty by Mark Love

A discovery of priceless artwork leads Jamie on a collision course with danger.

Fleeing Beauty LRG

Jamie Richmond used to live a nice, quiet life. But last fall she witnessed the shooting of a police officer and figured out who did it. Then this winter saw her best friend targeted by a stalker and kidnapped. Yep, Jamie solved that one and came to the rescue. Now it’s summertime and the living is supposed to be easy. All she wants to do is write her novels and spend free time with Malone, the guy who has been by her side since all this craziness began. But that’s not likely to happen.

Jamie’s father was a very successful sculptor who tragically died more than twenty years ago when she was just a child. What she remembers about him is little more than bits and pieces. A storeroom filled with crates of his work is discovered in an old converted factory. This potential fortune in artwork has been waiting all these years.

Jamie recruits Malone and a few close friends to help her unpack the crates and bring her father’s gifts out to the light of day. News of this discovery leads to a robbery. Now Jamie is determined to figure out who is behind the crime.

 

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Excerpt

In a different century, Malone could have been a cowboy. He’s a little shy of six feet tall, with a wiry, muscular body. His dark hair is a perfect complement to the most incredible blue eyes I’ve ever stared into. I always think of the color cobalt when I see them. Malone’s got this disarming, calm quality about him that will occasionally slip to reveal the mischief brewing inside. Tonight was a perfect example. He didn’t say a word as he got to the picnic table. Malone just reached down and lifted me from the bench. Then his lips were on mine, surprising me with his intensity.

What’s a girl to do?

Malone wrapped me in his arms, pressing me tightly against his body. The feel of his muscular chest and arms was quickly getting me aroused. Still too busy kissing me to speak, Malone’s hands found my waist. Now he lifted me off my feet and placed me on top of the picnic table. But not before he managed to work the shorts off my hips. My legs were dangling off the end of the table. His lips moved to my neck and he began to nibble me.

“We have a very comfortable bed inside,” I managed to say.

“I’m in the mood for a little moonlight madness.”

The way he was kissing me was driving me mad. I reached for his belt, but he brushed my hands away. As Malone was sucking on my earlobe, I heard his zipper slide down. He cupped my head with his left hand and eased me onto my back. I reached up to caress his face. Malone caught my wrist in his free hand and moved it above my head. Holding both of my arms above me, I felt him enter me.

 

About the Author

Mark Love (yes, that’s really his name) lived for many years in the metropolitan Detroit area, where crime and corruption are always prevalent.  A former freelance reporter, Love is drawn to mysteries and the twists and turns that mirror real life. He is the author of “Why 319?” and three books in the Jamie Richmond Series “Devious”  “Vanishing Act” and “Fleeing Beauty” and several short stories.

Love resides in west Michigan with his wife, Kim. He enjoys a wide variety of music, reading and writing fiction, cooking, travel, most sports and the great outdoors. You can find his blog at the link below and on Goodreads, Facebook, and Amazon.

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Vanishing act by Mark Love

VanishingAct_MED-1

When Jamie’s best friend vanishes, she’ll do anything to find her and bring her home.

A new year marks new beginnings for Jamie Richmond. Not only has she moved into a cozy new house, but she’s brought Malone along with her to fan the flames of their growing romance. When Jamie’s best friend, Linda Davis, enters the picture, she thinks everything is right with the world.

Linda begins a May-September romance with Vincent Schulte, Jamie’s doctor and good friend. But while Vince is sweeping Linda off her feet, she unknowingly has captured the attention of a stalker. The idyllic life suddenly takes a very bad turn when Linda disappears without a trace on a cold and snowy day. The police are scrambling to find a clue that will lead them to Linda.

Malone does his best to comfort Jamie and encourages her to let the professionals do their job. But if there’s one thing he’s learned in their time together, it’s that nothing will stop this stubborn redhead from solving this mystery.

Jamie turns all of her attention on figuring out who took Linda and where she might be, regardless of the dangers she may face. Her efforts once again put her in harm’s way. But will she find her best friend?

 

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Excerpt

Talking quietly, trudging through the clumps of snow and ice, neither one of us heard him at first. “It’s getting to the point where I just want to stay home,” she said quietly.

“You can’t hide, Linda. If you become a prisoner in your own home, then he wins. And you are much too strong a person to let that happen.”

She gave me a wan smile. “I know, it’s just…”

“Hey!” a gruff voice snapped at us from only a couple of feet away.

Linda let out a shriek of surprise. She lost her footing on the ice and crashed to the pavement. I saw a blocky shape, hidden in the shadows beyond the reach of the overhead lights. He took a menacing step forward, one hand clutching something tightly and extending it towards us.

“Run!” I screamed.

“Hey,” he snapped again.

I took a step toward him and planted my left foot on one of the few dry patches of pavement. Then I swung my right foot as hard as I could, as if I was about to nail a fifty-yard field goal to win the Super Bowl. Without realizing it, I braced for the impact. To this day, I’d swear I was aiming for his crotch. Maybe the pavement wasn’t dry after all. Or maybe suddenly shifting my weight to make that kick caused me to lose my balance. Or maybe I couldn’t really kick a guy in the balls. Or maybe he sensed what was happening and he took a step back.

In my peripheral vision, I could see Linda scrambling to her feet, already racing toward her car, clicking the remote control to unlock the doors. My leg continued its arc and just before making contact, my left foot shot out from underneath me.

 

About the Author

Mark Love (yes, that’s really his name) lived for many years in the metropolitan Detroit area, where crime and corruption are always prevalent.  A former freelance reporter, Love is drawn to mysteries and the twists and turns that mirror real life. He is the author of “Why 319?” and three books in the Jamie Richmond Series “Devious”  “Vanishing Act” and “Fleeing Beauty” and several short stories.

Love resides in west Michigan with his wife, Kim. He enjoys a wide variety of music, reading and writing fiction, cooking, travel, most sports and the great outdoors. You can find his blog at the link below and on Goodreads, Facebook, and Amazon.

Blog

Goodreads

Facebook

Amazon Page

Devious by Mark Love

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Meet Jamie Richmond. A former reporter turned author, Jamie is a stubborn redhead who knows a good story when she sees one and can’t stop until she gets to the bottom of it.  She’s made the transition to author, focusing on mysteries. Wanting to give her audience as much realism as possible, she manages to hitch a ride with a state police trooper as part of her research for an upcoming book.

But the night takes an unexpected turn when she witnesses someone shoot the trooper on a dark and desolate road. Although it’s not a fatal injury, Jamie is intrigued by the events surrounding the incident and the ongoing investigation. She expects answers. If the cops can’t figure it out, maybe she will. Before she can get too far along, Jamie becomes distracted by Malone, another trooper she met that night. Malone has a mystery or two of his own, but it’s Jamie who has caught his eye. Things begin heating up quickly. Suddenly Jamie has more on her mind than she ever bargained for. She’s determined to unravel the mystery of the shooting.  Was it a random incident? Or is there some devious plot at work?

 

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Excerpt

Suddenly, I saw a flash of light and heard a muffled bang. Smitty pitched onto his back, his right hand clawing feebly at his holster as a loud roar reached my ears. The door of the truck was still open, a brown arm extended beyond the edge of the spotlight. A gun was clutched in the gloved hand. I watched in horror as the trigger was pulled back for another shot.

Everything that happened next must have been instinct. Or maybe it was merely a reaction. Or dumb luck. Or the Force. Yeah, maybe it was the Force. I don’t think I’ll ever know for sure.

I reached across and pounded on the horn with one hand, flipping the buttons Smitty had used to activate the siren with the other. The sudden noise startled the driver. His arm jerked back into the cab and the door slammed. Spraying stones and dust behind, the truck lurched onto the road and raced away.

Fumbling the microphone off the dash, I thumbed the button. “Kleinschmidt has been shot! Send an ambulance!” I dropped the microphone and managed to get my door open. The frame around the window clipped my forehead and knocked me back a step.

I’d forgotten to turn off the siren and its wail was splitting my eardrums. “Idiot,” I muttered, “stay calm.” This was easier to say than it ever was to do.

Reaching back inside, I switched the siren off then rushed around to the front of the car. Smitty was lying on his back on the edge of the road. Blood soaked the gravel beneath him. His eyes were closed, but I could see his chest moving.

I dropped to my knees beside him. “You’re going to be okay, Smitty. I called for help.”

“Shot by a dog,” he whispered. Kleinschmidt opened his eyes weakly. “First aid kit in the trunk. Stop the bleeding.” His voice was fading so fast I had to press my ear above his mouth. I got a whiff of grilled onions.

What if the truck came back? What if they were waiting right now, just beyond the reach of the spotlight, waiting for me to get close so they could kill Smitty? And kill the witness too? I cringed. They wouldn’t need to shoot us, just drive right over us with that truck. My imagination was running away with possibilities.

 

About the author

Mark Love (yes, that’s really his name) lived for many years in the metropolitan Detroit area, where crime and corruption are always prevalent.  A former freelance reporter, Love is drawn to mysteries and the twists and turns that mirror real life. He is the author of “Why 319?” and three books in the Jamie Richmond Series “Devious”  “Vanishing Act” and “Fleeing Beauty” and several short stories.

Love resides in west Michigan with his wife, Kim. He enjoys a wide variety of music, reading and writing fiction, cooking, travel, most sports and the great outdoors. You can find his blog at the link below and on Goodreads, Facebook, and Amazon.

Blog

Goodreads

Facebook

Amazon page