by Karen Lopp
Detective Rissa Marten sacrificed her only chance for a normal life to put a drug lord behind bars. Now, her life in the shadows has to be brought to life to save the man she has secretly loved for years. With a price on her head can she risk letting him know?
Detective Jerah Qassem has built his career as an undercover agent in the dangerous world of drug cartels. But when a ghost from his past is resurrected can he overcome his bitterness in time to save her life?
Feet aching and jaw cramped from the effort to keep her teeth from chattering, Rissa shuffled down the dark street on the outskirts of Ensenada. Rain pummeled the ground and debris bumped into her ankles as the water rushed along the road. Afraid to look down at what swirled at their feet, she sloshed beside Jerah. “See a bridge yet?”
“No. But one of these streets has to have one.”
The next street did have one and they hurried across as the normally dry creek bed swelled with roiling, muddy water, various sizes of tree limbs, and a good amount of trash. Shivers shook her. Not even the little warmth of Jerah’s arm around her shoulders helped. It was probably a good thing she could no longer feel how sore and raw her feet were.
A few blocks over, they came to the tourist section of town and jogged the last bit to the closest hotel. Rissa shoved drenched tresses from her face and shook water from her shaking hands. A puddle pooled at her feet and made the tile floor slick as she struggled to unwind the tattered remains of material from her feet.
Jerah trotted over with a key. “Come on, let’s get warmed up.” Mischief gleamed in his eyes in spite of his blue lips.
“Then we find some food.” She hurried down the hall as water dribbled down her legs and shivers rattled her bones.
“Already done. I bribed the desk clerk to send up some food.” He pushed the door open and waved her inside.
Rissa dashed to the bathroom and turned the hot water on full force. With a sigh, she stepped in the tub and let the warm water flow over her. Jerah followed. “What are you doing?”
“Hey, I’m just as frozen as you.” He stripped his soaked shirt off and tossed it over the rod. Next came his slacks and shoes. “This feels good.”
Not much imagination needed now. Dark hair clung to his chest as water coursed over him. His maroon briefs hugged his hips. She jerked her gaze up and turned to face the white tiled wall. The old rejection he delivered all those years ago slammed into her and Rissa shivered.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to hog the water.” He stepped to the side.
The steamy water didn’t come close to warming her soul.
“Want me to help you out of that dress?”
“No.” Fingers fisted, she glared at her toes. Keep it together girl. She blew out a breath and straightened her shoulders. All she had to do was get back to San Diego, finger the perp, and disappear. Shove her rekindled desire for Jerah aside. Rissa slapped the wall.
“It’ll be okay, babe.” Feather light kisses caressed her shoulder as Jerah ran his hands up and down her arms.
A groan worked its way up her throat. His touch electrified her. Teased her. Tormented her. She shrugged his hands off. “I agreed to play in public, not private.”
“Yeah, I know.” Weariness loaded his tone. “You did a great job. I only meant to comfort you.”
Uncurling her fingers, Rissa knew she had to push Jerah away or she’d succumb to his seductive touch. Everyone she had ever dared to love was dead. She only had to express interest in a man and he’d soon be residing in a coffin. Watching Jerah die was not an option. “Just keep your hands to yourself. Carl isn’t here.”
“You can have the damn shower to yourself.” With a jerk on the curtain and a waft of cool air, Jerah exited the tub.
It is my pleasure to feature Karen Lopp, author of Splintered Lies, on Room With Books. Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Karen. I know your time is not your own during a tour.
Tell me about Splintered Lies and what inspired you to write it?
This may sound silly, but the idea came to me when I fell in love with the hero’s name –Jerah. From there I started to formulate the story line.
When you start writing a new novel, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen?
A little of both. I first have to have a beginning scene but from there I do a little outlining and little seat of the pants.
Do you ever have arguments with your characters and who usually wins?
We usually agree. But if there is an issue it’s a toss of the coin to see who wins.
What is something about you your readers would be surprised to know?
I really hate crowds. I will do almost anything to avoid shopping on the weekends.
If you could write with any other author who would it be any why?
That’s a tough one, there are so many great authors out there I couldn’t pick just one.
When you were little what did you dream of becoming when you grew up and why?
An airline stewardess, I wanted to travel the world.
When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?
I picked up the pen not that long ago and I was prompted by the lack of books to read in my small town library. I didn’t have a kindle at the time so now that isn’t an issue, but I simply could not give up my writing. It keeps me on my toes.
What music inspires your writing?
None. I have to have it quiet when I write. I do like county music though.
What is your favorite breakfast? French toast.
What is your favorite color? Green
What is your favorite movie? Lord of the Rings
What is your dream car? A 1969 red mustang. White leather interior with a pony embroidered in red on the seats. Convertible of course.
How can our readers find you?
I appreciate the time you have taken to answer some questions that help readers know you better and for allowing Room With Books to be a part of your tour!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Stories have always been a part of my life, from books to tales passed down from my ancestors that brought history to life. Danger, struggles and the will power to overcome are all found in the rich legacy of my family tree. Inspiration from their lives inspired me to write what I love. Branching out to contemporary suspense has been another dream come true. I hope my stories bring you entertainment and inspiration.
I live in the heart of the southwest.
I love history of all times and places. And my second but equal love of suspense fills my books.
Karen will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
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.