What do you get when you add a ruby, diary, secrets, and a mansion? A motive for murder. Sheryl Locke Holmes and her best friend, Dot Watson, have been offered an exciting opportunity to explore Bridgeside, a Victorian mansion, to search for items for their antique shop. Their adventure is short-lived when they discover a diary containing dark secrets and a newspaper clipping with a warning written in what appears to be blood. They get trapped in the attic, Dot is attacked and they find out the owner died inside the house. As if that isn't enough, Jake is spotted with another woman. Clues are pointing to Sheryl as the next target, no matter who gets in the way.
Sound interesting? We've got an excerpt and an interview with Cassie, beneath the jump.
“Those people act like I’m associated with Scotland Yard or I’m psychic.” Sheryl took a sip of coffee. “And that one woman thinks I’m really Sherlock Holmes’ great-great-great-granddaughter.”
“Speaking of Mrs. Wallace...” Dot grinned.
“Speaking of Mrs. Wallace...” Dot grinned.
“Oh, please let’s don’t.” Sheryl moaned.
“She just wants some closure. Can’t you check and see what happened to her husband?”
“He probably ran off with another woman. She just needs to move on.”
“Hmm maybe. By the way, did I mention about having that security system installed at the storage building?”
“Sure did. This coffee is excellent.” Sheryl topped off her cup. “Livvy is the best coffee maker.”
“The reason I asked about the security system is I thought the silent alarm would have been triggered when Jake threw you up against the wall last night to rip off your clothes.”
Sheryl choked on her coffee and sputtered, “How... You... How...?” She coughed a bit and wiped her mouth. “It did go off.”
“So that’s why Jake took off at a dead waddle with his trousers at his ankles to reach his cruiser? Hope he didn’t get hurt when he stumbled and scraped his knees.”
“Oh Lord.” Sheryl dropped onto the nearest chair. “You saw that?”
“Sure did. He has a nice uh, butt.” Dot grinned. “Wasn’t that your new blouse he ripped the buttons from? And that bra, he removed that so quick, it was amazing to watch. He’s very good.”
Closing her eyes, Sheryl shook her head while Dot giggled. Suddenly Sheryl gasped and pounded her fist on the arm of her chair. “Mrs. Wallace! Is that the reason why you mentioned her?”
“Still sharp as a tack,” Dot said.
“It’s elementary, my dear. Investigate Mrs. Wallace’s case. Give the poor woman closure so she can move on with her life and your little recorded escapade will be erased.”
“I can’t believe you would blackmail me.”
“Blackmail is such a harsh word.”
“That’s what you’re doing.”
“It’s still a harsh word. If you read Amber’s letter you’ll find she agrees with me. She suggested that I find some leverage over you, which isn’t easy by the way. Last night the gods answered my prayer.”
“This is a side of you I don’t care for.” Sheryl stood. “Not one bit.”
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What draws you to romance?
As they say, love makes the world go round. It’s a must have for me but does not dominate the story.
Do you prefer alpha/omega relationships in stories, or alpha/alpha relationships, and why?
I have strong women always, the men are strong or alpha to a point.
Have you ever written outside the romance genre? If not, do you ever plan to?
I’m a mystery writer, although there’s romance, it doesn’t rule the story, the mystery does.
What’s the sexiest feature on a man to you? And on a woman? Why?
Men, their eyes and voice. I want eyes that devour me, eyes I can get lost in. A deep voice makes me weak in the knees. Women – hair. I love hair on a woman. Of course if there’s no personality, no humor, then all bets are off.
What’s your own sexiest feature?
By night you’re a romance writer. What do you do by day?
Reporter/photographer for a small weekly newspaper.
What’s your earliest childhood memory?
When I was six or seven, my father would take my brother and me to our grandparents’ farm to cut down a Christmas tree. He’s park the car and use the swinging bridge to cross over, except in the winter when the creek was frozen over. One Christmas my little brother sat on the branches and rode as my dad pulled the tree across the frozen creek.
Who are your latest crushes (celebrity, book character, or otherwise)? Do you ever keep those people in your mind when writing your own works?
No I don’t use any one person to create a character. Usually I use a combination of trait from celebrities and real life people that I know personally.
What’s your favorite hobby outside of writing?
Spending time with family, reading, and doing word search puzzles
What would constitute your own personal happily ever after?
That people would read everything I write and love it of course.
Do you own an ereader? Why or why not? If so, what’s on it?
Yes I do own an ereader but I don’t like it because downloads must come from Fictionwise and it won’t accept PDF files. I buy a lot of books and that doesn’t fit my lifestyle. What’s on it? Hmmmm my book, Tree of Buried Secrets, but can’t remember what else. Haven’t seen it in a year or so, the ereader that is.
Are you a book hoarder?
Yes, I love books and have enough to start my own library.
What’s the one question you wish people would ask you when you tell them you’re a writer? How would you answer it?
Oh I’d love for them to ask where they can buy all my books and I’d whip out my trusty business card and tell them where.
If you were doomed to spend the rest of your life on an island with only one book, one person, one food (coconuts and fish aside), and one object from the modern world (computer, deodorant, vibrator, etc.), what would they be?
Thesaurus, coffee (is coffee a food? I must have coffee), and my computer.
Do you have a favorite character out of all the ones you’ve written? If so, who is it and why is s/he your favorite?
No, I love all my characters.
Where are your favorite online hangouts? What are your daily must-stop blogs and websites?
December Ink, Writers Sea Grotto, Kissa’s Karma Korner, Publishing Trove, Marketing For Romance Writers.
Speaking of online hangouts, where are yours? Where can your readers find you?
My blog: http://cassieexline.blogspot.com
What’s your current book list and where can we buy them?
Sheryl Lock Holmes Mystery Series: Amber’s Mysterious Death and Ruby’s Deadly Secret can be found at Wild Child Publishing. Coming soon is Opal’s Disappearance, followed by Dragon’s Pearl. Currently working on book five of the Holmes series: Curse of Jade’s Bluff.
Anything else you'd like to add?
You see things; and you say, "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" -- George Bernard Shaw
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Married with children, Cassie writes contemporary romance and romantic mystery/suspense, sometimes with sizzle and always with a dash of humor. She works full time for a small town newspaper along the east coast, which has supplied her lots of ideas for stories. She has two ebooks published at Wild Child Publishing, Amber's Mysterious Death and Ruby's Deadly Secrets, plus two more in contract. She also has several short stories published at Ruthie's Club, The Erotic Woman, Erotic Bookworm, and Justus Roux and in an anthology published in print and ebook at Are Romance.