Truth Be Told
by Marsha R. West
Needing a peaceful visit with her Fort Worth family for Christmas, Meg Bourland is shocked to discover someone is blackmailing her father. When he rebuffs her offer to help, the Atlanta SWAT team member enlists the help of her brother and his former LA police officer partner to uncover the truth. She fights her attraction for Scott and the immediate tug to her heart. But her life is in Atlanta, and his is in California.
Scott McClaine, medically retired, came to Fort Worth to recuperate from life-threatening bullet wounds he received saving the life of Meg’s brother. Hard enough to accept his new physical limitations, but in Scott’s mind they make him unacceptable for a strong Meg. Regardless, he commits himself to helping her stop the blackmailer. Working closely with her, a bond forms. Could she feel the same?
In the search for truth, Meg and Scott uncover pieces of the puzzle, which threaten to ruin her father’s career as mayor and destroy the family she holds dear. Will Meg and Scott find their way through the maze of family secretes? Will they find the strength to make the sacrifices required for real love before the blackmailer kills?
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Scott half-carried Meg’s mother to a bench in the entryway. Fire burned in his side, and shot from the wound in his leg, but he wouldn’t let the pain defeat him. “Put your head down a moment, Ellie.”
“Call David and get him down here, please.” Meg knelt by her mother.
Scott used his cell, but kept one ear cocked to catch Meg’s words.
“I’m sure Dad’s fine. You’ll see he’s fallen asleep.” She met Scott’s gaze, hope reflected in her eyes.
“Want to try busting in the door with me or wait for David?” Scott asked. “I’m still not strong, but …” The admission of his weakness to this woman he admired made him more determined than ever to reclaim as much of his pre-shooting strength as he could. Regardless of what the doctors and the therapists predicted.
“I hate to be the cause of us hurting you more, but I’m afraid to wait.” She gulped in a shaky breath. “If you’re sure, let’s try.” They backed up, but before they launched an attack on the door, clumping noises jerked them both around.
“What’s going on?” David had un-tucked his shirt and taken off his tie.
“Oh, David. I’m glad you’re here,” Ellie’s fingers were white where she grasped the seat cushion.
“Door’s locked. Dad won’t answer.” Meg spit the words from her mouth.
David nodded. “Okay, give me space.” Her brother stepped back several paces then slammed his shoulder into the door. The second time, the splintering sound exploded in the quiet house.
He raced into the room. “Crap.”
Meg’s father sat slumped over his desk.
It is my pleasure to feature Marsha R. West, author of TRUTH BE TOLD, on Room With Books. Thank you for agreeing to the interview.
Please tell me about TRUTH BE TOLD and what inspired you to write it?
A house inspired me to write TRUTH BE TOLD. I know that sounds odd. But I usually start with the location, and this specific house reached out and grabbed me. A few years ago, I regularly drove by the house several times a week to babysit for one daughter and take Pilates from my other daughter. I seriously fell in love with the place. I’ve never been inside. Gosh, I don’t even know who lives there. But that house got the creative juices flowing. Who lives there? What do they do? What if?
I confess to being a real fan of a Canadian TV show, Flashpoint. (Not on where I live anymore. L) The stories revolved around a SWAT team, one of whom was a woman.
Then I’d also spent a day with a police officer with Dallas SWAT a couple of years ago and met a woman on one of their teams. Tough roll for anyone, especially a woman. But the house started it all. J
When you start writing a new novel, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen?
TRUTH BE TOLD is the 5th book I’ve written. Even with the very first one (before I knew diddly about the craft of writing LOL), I made a list of who the characters were and what actions should happen, chronologically. Today, I have charts and make detailed descriptions of the characters (sometimes find pictures) including likes, dislikes, foods, wines, fears, insecurities, relationships with family and friends, and of course, GMC. I have to laugh at myself. The first contest I entered with that first book, a kind judge suggested perhaps I should read a book about GMC. I didn’t have a clue she meant “Goal, Motivation, Conflict.” What is it the character wants? Why do they want it? Why can’t they have it?
I do on-line research for most things. In TRUTH BE TOLD, I needed to know about requirements for being on the police force and had questions about moving between city departments. Yes, it’s fiction, but you don’t want to be so off on something you pull the reader out of the story. So most writers will do research of some kind. And then I rewrite, edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite, edit…and I think you could go on to infinity, because it always can be made better. At some point, you decide it’s good enough.
Do you ever have arguments with your characters and who usually wins?
I’m a fairly controlling person, so my characters don’t usually give me much grief. LOL However in my first published book, a supporting character looked like he was going to win the heroine. He didn’t get to do that. The name of the book was VERMONT ESCAPE, not, RETURN TO TEXAS! I had to do a bit of negotiating with him to get him to back off. He drove a hard bargain, so I promised him his own book. Mike Riley is the hero of my third book, SECOND CHANCES due out in Winter 2014/15.
What is something about you your readers would be surprised to know?
Most people who know me would be surprised to know I own a gun and have a concealed hand-gun license. I was working on my second book, and the heroine had to use a gun. I didn’t have a clue. My neighbor and I took the course together. The gun was my mother’s. She went regularly to practice. Always sort of surprised me about her, too.
If you could write with any other author who would it be any why?
Carla Neggars or Suzanne Brockman because they both write such great series. I could get a better handle on that.
When you were little what did you dream of becoming when you grew up and why?
No question, I dreamed of being an actress. I was an only child and played make-believe a whole bunch. I can remember the summer after 3rd grade directing Cinderella in a neighbor’s driveway with the other kids. I was of course, Cinderella. I did study theatre in college and went on to teach in middle school and high school. A lot of that training is very helpful with writing. All the staging experience helps get inside a scene to see what’s going on from the different person’s perspective. You don’t want to have a character crossing the room to stare out the study window when you just had them sit down in the den. Or clap their hands when their holding a glass of iced tea. That kind of thing can pull a reader from the story.
When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?
I always like to tell this story. I was an elementary school principal. My husband had invited clients to go with us to the Jazz Fest one evening in October. We were chit-chatting like you do. I happened to say, “I’ve read so many romances, I believe I could write one if I had an idea for the story.” To which my husband’s friend replied, “White about the school district financial scandal. You know about that.” I did indeed, since I had formerly served on the school board while I was teaching in another district. I’d been off the board for several years, but I still knew people, and people told me things. So 145,000 words later, I had written my first book. (This is the one, you’ll recall me saying that when I wrote it, I knew nothing about writing craft.) It’s a good story, but gracious, it would take a lot to bring it up to speed.
What music inspires your writing?
Maybe Barry Manilow a bit. On one of our trips to Maine, we discovered a wonderful composer/musician, Tim Janns. He’s done an amazing job capturing the feeling of the waterways and outdoors. Brilliant. But I don’t pick a song and say this one goes with this book. I have HGTV playing in the background when I write. LOL
What is your favorite breakfast? Belgian Waffles, fruit, and coffee from Mimi’s Restaurant near us.
What is your favorite color? Anyone who knows me, will tell you, it’s turquoise/teal.
What is your favorite movie? WHEN HARRY MET SALLY; THE WOMEN (original); 42nd STREET
What is your dream car? It’s teal. (All my cars my whole life have been blue, blue-green/only one was green.) It’s a small boxy SUV, with great cup-holders. Lots of great cup-holders. It’s a Hybrid and gets super gas mileage. It has a wide back window so I can easily see to back out of my garage. (The camera is okay, but I really like the wide window. Hard to find these day, most SUVs have gone all curved with small back windows.) I just gave my Toyota Highlander (with awesome cupholders) to one of my daughters, and after 20 years of driving Toyotas (Vans & SUVs) got a newer pre-owned Ford Escape. It looks a whole bunch like my Toyota. Lots of people haven’t noticed I’ve changed cars. I like that.
How can our readers find you?
Social Media Links
http://www.marsharwest.com/category/blog for Thoughts on Thursday and Tuesday Author Chats
I’d love to hear from you.
I appreciate the time you have taken to answer a few questions and for allowing Room With Books to be a part of your tour!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Marsha R. West, a retired elementary school principal, is also a former school board member and theatre arts teacher. She writes “Romance, Suspense, Second Chances. Experience Required.” Her heroes and heroines, struggling with life and loss, are surprised when they discover second chances at love.
Marsha, who loves to travel, lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband. They’ve raised two daughters who’ve presented them with three delightful grandchildren.
Her first published book, VERMONT ESCAPE, was e-released by MuseItUp Publishing in the summer of 2013. The print version releases in June 2014 . TRUTH BE TOLD e-releases by MIU in May, 2014. She’s sold a third book to MIU. In SECOND CHANCES, the hero, Mike Riley, played a supporting role in VERMONT ESCAPE. SECOND CHANCES is the first of a planned series about four women who met when they were kids at summer camp. It’s scheduled for e-release in winter 2014/2015
http://www.marsharwest.com/category/blog for Thoughts on Thursday and Tuesday Author Chats. Hope you’ll stop by. I’d love to hear from you.
Purchase Links for VERMONT ESCAPE
Marsha will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn host.
An extra entry can be earned by signing up to follow her blog: http://www.marsharwest.com/category/blog/
I encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found by clicking on the tour banner below.