Join RNIC in welcoming author J.L. Campbell to the site! She’s here to spotlight her book, Taming Celeste and offer a giveaway!
Flighty and irresponsible – that’s how Celeste’s family sees her. After racking up one disaster after another, Celeste flees Jamaica intent on seeking a fresh start. On the island of Cayman, she encounters Mark Weekes who makes her forget she’s sworn off men. He’s everything she wants, if only he’d stop running. A decision to follow him to his island home of Xantrope, puts her in the orbit of a killer.
Rebellious and pig-headed – that’s Mark’s reputation. After escaping a kidnapper and murderer five years previously, he turns his life around. Everything would be fine if Celeste Davies stopped complicating his life, but trouble follows her the way night follows day. Instead of the calm life he envisions, Mark ends up neck-deep in the world of software piracy. He has two choices. Walk away and leave Celeste on her own to deal with a stalker or admit she means the world to him and help the police catch the man who’s determined to kill her.
She closed her eyes to the darkness when Mark answered, and relished the moment. His voice brought a rush of satisfaction, like the fist sip from an icy glass of lemonade on a summer day.
“Mark, it’s Celeste.”
“Hello? Could you speak up?”
She cleared her throat and upped her voice. “It’s me, Celeste. I need—”
“Where are you? D’you have any idea how much trouble you’ve caused?”
She whispered, “Mark … Mark … ”
“Shut up and listen.”
She felt his outrage in the silence that followed, but to his credit, he said nothing.
“I’m on the beach somewhere.”
“Doing exactly what, at this hour of night?”
“Will you keep quiet and hear me out?”
“Okay, but this better be good.”
She drew a breath, then in a panicked whisper she said, “Someone’s coming. Call you back.”
She shielded the phone with her body and turned it off, praying whoever was coming didn’t hear the short tune as the cellular powered down. Knowing Mark, he might try to get her back this minute to ask what the dickens she was playing at. Someone hurried toward her, swearing. “… I’ll teach that slut a lesson she’ll never forget. And she has my gun … gonna wring her blasted neck.”
She bit her lip and crouched closer to the shrubbery.
He stopped upwind from her; the glow from his cell phone illuminated his features—pointed nose, thin lips, narrow eyes, and the wavy hair she couldn’t make out in the darkness. As she watched, he put a hand to his head, where she’d walloped him.
“The two of you need to get back here now. The woman escaped.”
A few beats of silence passed before he yelled. “I don’t care what you’re doing, get your tail back here. Now.”
He slapped the phone shut and continued toward her. She waited until he hobbled down the beach, kicking sand and cursing, before she sprang up and bolted.
One man, she could escape. Three, and her changes were much slimmer. She continued in the direction of the road, but hid behind a Coconut palm. She powered up the phone, cupped her hand around it, and looked at the time: eight-thirty. Where had the hours gone? She wanted to call Mark, but had to keep her wits together.
She needed to find a landmark before she could give him sensible directions. He had less chance of finding her if the only description she could provide was that she was on a road overrun with Coconut trees.
Something winked in the distance. Pepper lights surrounding a sign. She quickened her pace. The sign announced Larry’s Sea Food Restaurant.
She scurried to the other side of the coastal road, careful to keep out of sight. A couple exited a SUV and entered the low building. The scent of sautéed onions surrounded Celeste where she stood. She licked her lips, ignored the grumbling in her stomach, and moved on.
A row of buildings appeared on the horizon. She slunk past, noting the name of the plaza. Of interest, was the nightclub adjoining the eatery. She ducked behind a Guango tree, laden with reddish-orange blossoms, and dialed Mark’s number.
“Celeste, I could kill you!”
“Get in line. You’re not the only one with ideas. Can—”
“Where did you go?”
What was that sound? Was he on the move?
“That man was chasing me,” she said.
“Which man? Where are you now?”
His demanding bark forced her to move the phone away from her ear. She wouldn’t give him a hard time under the circumstances because he was understandably worried. Leaning sideways, she peered at the shopping complex. “You know The Reef Nightclub?”
“I’m across the street from it. I’ll go inside in a minute.”
“Stay put. I’m coming.”
“Yes, Teddy,” she whispered.
She said nothing else before Mark hung up, but knew he understood her desperation. She only called him her teddy bear when she was feeling affectionate, or in a crisis.
Here’s the info on the giveaway!
Prize: I want to give away two ecopies of Taming Celeste.
Eligibility: You must be a subscriber to the RNIC newsletter.
How to enter: I’m sitting here watching and loving Sleepy Hollow. What’s THE show that you want…need…beg people to tune in and watch? Post your answer below and one random winner will be chosen.
Deadline: Sunday November 7 at 11:59 pm
Note: By participating in this contest, the winner has given permission to RNIC to share his/her name and email address with the person conducting the contest so they can forward the prize(s). Prize open to U.S. and international entrants.
About the Author
J.L. Campbell is an award-winning, Jamaican writer who is always on the look-out for story-making material. She writes romantic suspense, women’s fiction and young adult novels. She is a certified editor and the author of A Baker’s Dozen-13 Steps to Distraction, Absolution, Anya’s Wish, Chasing Anya, Christine’s Odyssey, Contraband, Dissolution, Distraction, Don’t Get Mad…Get Even, Kicked to the Kerb, Hardware (written under the pen name Jayda McTyson), Taming Celeste, Retribution and Saving Sam.
Connect with J.L. Campbell Online:
Laurel Cremant is an opinionated author and reader of romance with a wicked sense of humor. RNIC was smart (or crazy) to bring her on as a blogger. In 2016 she took over the management of this site and relishes her new title of “Overlord of Awesome”