A Writer’s Journey

Hello and welcome to the Rave Reviews Book Club Blog and Book Party! This is my first time to participate as an RRBC member. It’s been a lot of fun visiting the other sites and getting to know more authors.

Today, I’m giving away eBook copies of my novel, Unseen Motives, to two winners.

Location: Texas.

For a chance to win, please leave a comment today, April 11, and let me know you stopped by.

***

A bit about me. I first realized I wanted to be a writer around the age of ten. I grew up in the country just outside a small Texas town. My parents owned forty acres, much of it wooded and I loved to roam through those woods. I’ve always loved animals and my first “scribblings” were stories of horses. I had a vivid imagination and I loved to read. Two of my favorite childhood books were Charlotte’s Web and The Incredible Journey.

When I read the story of three animals that journeyed across Canada in a quest to find their home, I felt as if I was on the journey with them. I knew then that I wanted to write books and take readers on their own journeys.

Although it took me a long time to fulfill my dream, I began writing fiction three or four years ago and published my first full-length novel last November.

***

Now, I would like to tell you a bit about the book I’m promoting today. Unseen Motives is the first in my Driscoll Lake series. Unknown Reasons is scheduled for release sometime this summer and Unclear Purposes in the spring of 2018.

Blurb:

Stephanie Harris is no stranger to mystery— she’s a bestselling thriller novelist with a tragic past. She returns to her hometown of Driscoll Lake to settle the affairs of a deceased relative and stumbles on a real-life mystery involving her family. When she unearths long-buried secrets that threaten to expose a scandal, she finds herself caught in a web of deceit and danger that puts her directly in the crosshairs of a cold-blooded killer.

Excerpt:

Matt and Stephanie lingered in the parking lot after the others departed. “Sorry about the crowd,” Matt said. “I should have known. Mary’s is always busy on Friday nights after games.”

“It’s okay. It was nice to visit with some of my high school friends.” Stephanie took a deep breath of the night air. “I’m glad I went to the game. I wasn’t sure how it would be, but I felt a sense of freedom tonight. Maybe I’m finally getting over the past.”

“But you still have questions. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have asked Kyle to write a second story.”

“Yes, I do. I realize the outcome probably won’t change, but I have to try.” She tried to blink away tears that threatened to fall. “I didn’t mean to get emotional.”

Matt wiped a tear from the corner of her eye. “Look, I know tonight wasn’t a real date, but how about dinner tomorrow? Just the two of us. We can go someplace in Brewster.”

Stephanie smiled. “I’d like that.”

“Good.” He leaned down and placed a light kiss on her lips.

Impulsively, Stephanie took her finger and traced the scar on his chin. “How did you get this?”

Matt took her hand and pulled it aside. Something flickered in his eyes. Pain? Hurt? Anger? Something else?

“It happened a long time ago. It’s getting late. You’re probably ready to go home.”

She jerked her hand away from his. “Maybe tomorrow night isn’t such a good idea.”

“Stephanie, I—” His words were interrupted by the ringing of his cell phone. He took it from his pocket and looked at the caller ID. “Damn. It’s the station. I’d better take this.” He spoke into the phone. “Bradford here.”

Stephanie crossed her arms and turned away while Matt took the call. She regretted mentioning the scar, but how was she to know he was so sensitive about it? He made it obvious he didn’t want to discuss the matter. She waited for him to hang up the phone.

“No, don’t bother him. I’ll be right there.” Matt ended the call. “Something’s come up, and I have to go to the station. I wanted to follow you home, but—”

“I don’t need an escort. I’m perfectly capable of seeing myself to the house.”

“Look I—”

“You’re right. It’s late, and I’m tired. Now isn’t the time to talk.”

“Guess you’re right. Will I see you tomorrow?”

“Maybe. You’d better run along.”

Matt sighed and shook his head. “I’ll call you.

Stephanie watched him walk to his truck before getting in her car and driving away. Something seemed to be developing between them. She couldn’t deny her feelings anymore. This wasn’t a schoolgirl crush like the one she had years ago. She was a mature woman.

Maybe she was assuming too much. Matt asked her to dinner. Period. The kiss was only a light brush on the lips. Nothing more. His feelings may never go deeper than friendship.

Stephanie was so engrossed in thought she paid little attention to her surroundings. She was vaguely aware of a vehicle behind her, but it followed at a safe distance. However, when she neared the Taney Creek Bridge, the driver accelerated, turned the headlights on bright, and pulled up near her bumper.

Her pulse quickened. “Not again.” Traffic was sparse at this hour. She took a deep breath. Stay calm. You’ll get through this.

She reached for the rearview mirror to reflect the headlights back into the driver’s face, but as she did, the truck pulled around to pass.

Stephanie gasped. It looked like the same truck that tailgated her a week ago—a dark extended cab Ford. She couldn’t see the driver, but the truck edged closer.

He’s trying to force me off the road.

She floored the accelerator, but Helen’s small car was no match for the Ford’s bigger engine. The bridge was just ahead. She wouldn’t make the curve unless she slowed down. When she eased off the gas, the truck moved closer.

As she reached the curve, the pickup hit back of her car. She fought to maintain control, but the car hit a guardrail and left the road. As it rolled down the embankment, she saw a large pine tree directly in front of her. She jerked the wheel in a last-minute attempt to avoid hitting it head on.

Karen Fulbright died at this same spot.

It was the last thought Stephanie had before everything went black.

***

Again, thanks for your visit and remember to leave a comment to be entered in the random drawing. Good luck and be sure to visit the other tour stops! For a link for all particpants, click here.

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  • D.L. Finn

    I enjoyed learning more about you, Joan. I am glad you are on the tour. It’s fun isn’t it? Your book is already ony kindle, can’t wait to find out what happens next.

    • This tour is fun! My first time to participate. I joined RRBC back in December and have been “lurking” for the most part. But getting to know other members through this tour and other ways has been so much fun. Thanks for purchasing the book and I hope you enjoy it!

  • Yvette M. Calleiro

    I’m so happy to learn more about your writing! You’ve been supporting so many of us for so long. It’s nice to have the opportunity to support you now. 🙂

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Yvette and for the support. RRBC is a great group!

  • Joan, I’m jealous of all of those acres of woodlands you had to roam in childhood. That must have been fabulous. What a place to spark the imagination! My friends and I used to roam around in the fields near our neighborhood, and I have such fond memories of those whimsical, fun outings. My first stories were about animals too–dogs and horses.

    I hope you enjoy your first RRBC block blog party. Unseen Motives is a book I greatly enjoyed reading (my love of mysteries set in small towns) and I look forward to the remaining two novels in the series. Happy party day!

    • Mae, it was fun and with my vivid imagination, you can imagine the “adventures” I got into. When I was twelve, my mom and I lived in Alabama for a couple of months to help with her ailing parents. It was different for me living in town, having an ice cream truck come through the neighborhood, etc. But I’m a country girl at heart. Thanks for the visit and as always the encouragement.

  • carmen

    An enticing excerpt, mystery and romance included. What can be better? Keep my fingers crossed to be a winner of the book! (Aren’t some people greedy?) I told you I am a hoarder.
    Joking of course!
    I know many authors from Texas and now I added to the list your name, Joan.
    Isn’t Internet one of the most marvelous things?

    • Well, Carmen, you are on a roll! 🙂 I do love the Internet and the long-distance friendships that are often formed. Thanks for the visit today!

  • Harmony Kent

    Ooh, your first tour, Joan!!! I hope you have a fab day! I have Unseen Motives on my iPad and can’t wait to read it! Best of luck with everything 🙂

    • Thanks, Harmony! I hope you enjoy the book.

  • Michelle Abbott

    Loved the excerpt, Joan! A thriller with romance thrown in is right up my street. Hope I win 🙂

    • Thanks, Michele. As I told someone else, I didn’t set out with romance in mind, but the story took me there. And I think it adds depth to characters.

  • Glad to get to know you a bit better, Joan and I hope your very first tour is outstandingly successful!

  • Shirley Slaughter

    Wow! What a riveting excerpt. I felt like I was in the car and couldn’t stop reading. I will have to put your book on my radar. Thank you Joan for sharing, and its nice to get to know a little about you.

    • Shirley, while writing the scene I had to imagine how I would feel if I was in that situation. (Not that I would ever want to be!) Glad it moved you along. Thanks for the visit!

  • Marlena Smith

    A wonderful post, Joan!! Your book sounds like a must-read! I’ll have to add it to my TBR list! Enjoy your day in the Block Party!!

    • Thanks so much, Marlena. I’m having a lot of fun today with meeting new people. Thanks for the visit and supportive words.

  • I loved Charlotte’s Web. In fact, that was our 2nd grade school play. Very fond memories of that.

    Best wishes with the tour and your novel. As you know, I’m eagerly waiting for book 2!

    • Staci, I used to pretend I was Charlotte and act out scenes in the book. (And I’m terrified of spiders, LOL.) Book two is coming along and I look forward to finishing it.

      • I know this won’t surprise you, but I’m frightened of spiders, too. What are the odds? LOL

  • Maggie

    Another nature lover. 🙂 I grew up in rural Canada, loving to roam in nature as a kid. The best playground and a great way to expand your imagination. Congratulations on your novel. It sounds intriguing.

    • Maggie, we’re kindred spirits. I still love to be outdoors and would rather go camping than stay in a hotel. (Although I admit I gave up tent camping a long time ago!)

  • Mary L Schmidt

    You certainly brought back some memories for me Joan. I’ve shared your piece on Twitter and I now follow you on Twitter.

    • Thank you so much, Mary. Trips down memory lane are fun.

  • Jenny Hinsman

    I love your cover and I love the genre! Good luck to many successes! I’ll be sure to check your book out

    • Thanks for the visit, Jenny. I’ll pass the compliment on to my cover designer. I love suspense stories too!

  • C. S. Boyack

    Great excerpt, Joan. I had bull terriers for 18 years, and The Incredible Journey was a favorite of mine too. Hope you have a great time at the party.

    • Craig, I still have a copy and I’m not ashamed to admit, I’ve re-read it as an adult. Never owned a bull terriers, but I’ve heard they’re great dogs.

  • Ooo! That’s a very tasty morsel, Joan! 😀 Glad you’re having such fun with your first Block Party experience. I’ve enjoyed your partay very much! 😉

    • Glad you liked that, Jan. It was one of my favorite scenes. I didn’t set out with the intention of including romance, but it just fell into place. After I finished the book, I couldn’t see doing it any other way. Thanks for the visit!

  • Gwendolyn Plano

    So happy to meet you through this Blog Tour, Joan. I have Unseen Motives on my Kindle and look forward to reading it! Hope you have fun today!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Gwen. I’ve enjoyed meeting so many new writers through the blog tour. I hope you enjoy the book!

  • Charles W. Jones

    Unseen Motives sounds exciting, I’ll have to add it to the list.

    • Thanks, Charles. If you’re like me, your TBR list is growing!

  • Joy Lo-Bamijoko

    Hi Joan, good to know you. 🙂 Your book sounds interesting, and the excerpt tantalizing! I hope you have a sizzling party today. 😀 Good luck with your book.
    Wow, Joan, this is a trip!

    • Glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Joy.

  • Ron Yates

    Hi Joan. You and I started writing at about the same age. Like you, I grew up on a farm–but in NE Kansas. Used to take my horse out into the timber and day dream a lot. Guess that’s a prerequisite for writers. I still do it. In any case, nice to meet you here on the blog block party. Your book excerpt is execellent.

    • I think you’re right. Daydreaming has to be a prerequisite. I always had a vivid imagination, so it’s fitting that I became a writer.

  • D E Howard

    Great post there – ahh Charlotte’s Web – I adored that book when I was young 🙂

    • Thanks or visiting, D E. Want to know the funny thing? I’m terrified of spiders!

  • Robert Kimbrell

    I’m jealous you had all that roaming room on the farm as a child….lol
    Glad I made time to stop here today, you have a great style…

    • Thanks so much, Robert. I probably explored almost every inch of the property. And the good thing? It’s still in the family – my brother and I divided it after our parents deaths and both of us still live here (my husband and I in the family home). Lots of great memories.

  • Lynn Miclea

    What a great post! I loved the excerpt from your book – that sounds really intriguing – I can’t wait to read more, I’ll have to get the book! Glad I stopped by! 🙂

    • Thanks for visiting, Lynn. Glad you liked the excerpt. Maybe you’ll win one of the copies!

  • Jan Sikes

    Wow! GREAT excerpt, Joan. I wanted to keep reading. That’s a sign of a good story. Glad to learn more about a fellow Texan. Love these blog tours. Hope you enjoy your day!

    • Thanks so much, Jan. I love the Lone Star State, so it’s only fitting to set my first full-length novel there.

      • Jan Sikes

        I couldn’t agree more. All of my books are set in Texas! It’s such a big state, anything can happen. 🙂

  • A.S. McGowan

    I have seen your book and thought it might be interesting. Thanks to your post with the an excerpt you now have my full attention. I am really looking forward to reading this book.

    • Well, thank you. A.S. I enjoyed writing it as I am enjoying writing the second book. Look for it sometime this summer.

  • Rhani D’Chae

    Hi Joan. It was great to learn a little bit about you, and about your work. I hope you enjoy your stop on the tour. 😀

    • Thanks for the visit, Rhani! I’ve had fun today.

  • It’s so exciting taking part in your first tour, Joan. I loved the excerpt and have your work now waiting to be enjoyed on my TBR list.

    • Thank you, Suzanna. I’ve had a fun day, getting to know other RRBC members. Hope you enjoy the book!

  • Natalie Ducey

    I’m so glad I have this on my Kindle, Joan! With that excerpt you’ll certainly have many downloads today! Thanks for sharing this with us. A fabulous stop on the tour! 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the encouragement, Natalie. And I do hope you enjoy the book!

  • woodheat

    Nice teaser! Def makes the reader want to know more. Like the spooky art on your blog too – hope it was a great Blog Party day!

    MikeL

    • Thanks, Mike. Appreciate your visit. I’ve had lots of fun today. And yes, I love a good mystery, so I thought the photo in he header fit nicely.

  • Laurie Beth

    You got me! Loved your post and excerpt. I love your story of inspiration for becoming a writer.

    • Thanks, Laurie Beth. Who would think that a favorite childhood book would inspire someone to become an author? Glad you stopped by to visit!

      • Laurie Beth

        My favorite childhood books inspired me to be a reader, and later in life, my continued love for reading helped my transition to author.

  • Kim Cox

    Sounds just like a book I’d buy. 😀 As I said on another post, I love mysteries. I’m adding it to the books I want to purchase list. Have a great party!

    • Thanks so much, Kim! Your book list is probably like mine – growing every day. (Thanks in part to RRBC.) I appreciate you stopping by.

  • Linda Mims

    It’s so nice to meet you Joan. Your excerpt was well chosen. It drew us in and left us at exactly the right spot. I’ll be adding Unseen Motives to my TBR! Hope you had a great time today!

    • Linda, thanks so much for stopping by and for the encouraging words. Glad you liked the excerpt and I appreciate you adding it to your TBR.

  • Larry Landgraf

    Hi Joan, sorry to say we haven’t met before, but we will get to know each other better from this day forward. Love your post. I live on the middle Texas Gulf Coast. Party on! Electricity is off and on battery power so I’ll sign off for now.

    • Hi Larry – always nice to meet a fellow Texan. Thanks for the visit and I look forward to getting to know you better.

  • Robin Leigh Morgan

    I’ve finally made it, Been out with my dear OH and we’ve just got back it. Is there any punch left. I been the spiked one as I could really use drink right about now !!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • LOL, Robin. Thanks for visiting today.

  • Patricia Roomwithbooks

    Thank you for posting today for the #RRBC Springtime Block & Blog Block Party!

    Your book sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to add it to my TBR list!

    Patricia Green, Room With Books

    • Patricia, so glad you stopped by. Thanks for adding the book to your TBR.

  • Lizzie Chantree

    Sounds like a great read. Best of luck with your new series. I will add the first one to my TBR.

    • Thanks so much for the visit and for adding Unseen Motives to your reading list!

  • Micki Peluso

    Hi Joan
    I missed a day somehow. Great story line, have to check it out. Enjoy your tour!!

    • I’m glad you stopped by, Micki! Thanks for the visit.

  • Sounds wonderful I love your cover!

    • Thank you, Suzanne! Appreciate you stopping by.

  • Oh wow, what a riveting excerpt! I enjoyed hearing about how you wanted to become a writer since about age ten as well, and roamed the round about woods. Thank you for your participation in this event.

    • Flossie, I had a blast. So much support form RRBC members. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Good luck on your journey of being an author. I began writing ten years ago and now I can’t stop.

    • I know the feeling, Susanne! Writing is in my blood. It’s a part of who I am and I love how the journey is taking me. Thanks for the visit!