Fresh Thrills | It’s heating up … Best Suspense novels for June

It’s June and the Texas heat has settled in for the summer. If I’m not out the door by 6:45am, we skip the trip to the dog park because it’s just too hot. So, fun means indoor and air-conditioned activities. Movies, television, shopping, and going to the gym are all on the list. Of course, my favorite activity is curling-up in bed with a good book. Now that I have a new mattress (what took me so long?), napping and reading are my two favorite ways to relax. This month, there are some great choices in romantic suspense to keep you entertained while you stay cool.

Shannon McKenna
Kensington; $20.95
I can’t wait to read McKenna’s latest addition to the McCloud series which answers the question—What happened to Kevin? Davy, Connor, and Sean mourned the loss of their brother, Kevin, in Edge of Midnight, Out of Control, and Standing in the Shadows. When the McCloud brothers discover Kev is alive, they won’t rest until they find him. Beaten and tortured almost to death, Kev Larsen was found eighteen years earlier in a warehouse alley. He survived his brutal ordeal, but his memories before that night were completely erased. When he nearly dies from trying to save someone from drowning, the brain surgery he has to save his life triggers fragmented, terrifying memories. With only these memories and the name of his torturer to guide him, Kev is determined to unlock the secrets to his past. Edie Parrish has always been good at not letting anyone get too close to her. If someone were to learn of her unusual gift, her life would be immediately jeopardized. But when Kev discovers who she really is, Edie has only one choice: to trust him.

Karen Rose
Grand Central Publishing; $7.99
Rose is a master of suspense and building our relationship with characters over several books. Silent Screams brings together Olivia Sutherland and David Hunter who we met in several books including Count to Ten and I Can See You. When a teenage girl dies in a suspicious fire, Detective Olivia Sutherland is assigned to track down the arsonist. Then she discovers something more sinister: a vicious blackmailer who preys on young people and murders without hesitation. Making her work even harder is sexy firefighter David Hunter. He’s not only sharing the case but sparking memories of their long-ago night of passion, when feelings were left unspoken and hearts were broken.

Seven Deadly Sins #2
Allison Brennan
Ballantine Books; $7.99
Original Sin, the first in this series, is high on my to-read pile. Now I can read it back-to-back with this new release. In Carnal Sin, a coven of witches well versed in the black arts unleash the Seven Deadly Sins on earth – as incarnate demons with an agenda. When straying men are murdered, Moira and Rafe Cooper, an ex-seminarian battling demons of his own, confront a succubus who’s far more deadly than they imagined

Secret of Shadow Falls #1
Maggie Shayne
Mira; $7.99
Look for all three in Shayne’s suspense trilogy to be out this summer (June, August, and September). The first in the series features rookie cop Bryan Kendall whose lover was a victim of the Nightcap Strangler. When Bryan becomes a suspect in the killings, he and his ex, Dawn Jones, search for the truth.

Carla Neggers
Mira, $24.95
Previously seen in The Widow and The Angel, Scoop Wisdom returns as the hero of his own adventure. After taking a backful of shrapnel from that bomb, Scoop Wisdom goes to Ireland’s Beara Peninsula to recuperate. There he runs into an attractive Celtic archaeologist who is determined to find out who tried to kill her in a remote island cave there a year earlier.

Joyce Lamb
Berkley Sensation
June 2010; $7.99
Newspaper reporter Charlie Trudeau is living an ordinary life, until witnessing a fatal hit-and-run accident gives her an intense psychic power she has no clue how to handle— and brings a Chicago police detective to her doorstep…Noah Lassiter wants nothing more than to find the driver who killed his good friend. But his only lead is the beautiful Charlie Trudeau, who gets prickly when he starts nosing around town. Charlie’s clearly hiding something, but Noah needs her help unraveling the mystery of his friend’s death—even if the electricity between them complicates things.

Until next month…Maria Munoz

SANDI SHILHANEK | 1–2–3–Read A Trilogy!

BLOW AWAYThere are many things I like about reviewing, but the thing I think I like the best is being able to get books ahead of the publication date. It’s really rather funny because it’s also the thing I hate most about being a reviewer, because it seems like I read those books, and then have an even longer wait for the author to release another new title.

Recently I’ve been able to read books by Sharon Sala and Maggie Shayne who will both be having trilogies release this summer. In the case of Ms. Sala, her first title BLOWN AWAY is in bookstores. I loved this book, and could hardly set it aside when I read it.

The first book in the Shayne trilogy isn’t due until the end of June and is titled, KILLING ME SOFTLY. AGAIN, another read I could hardly set aside!

I just love trilogies! They’re the right amount of books to get me fully interested in the characters, and the continuing story lines, but not as many books as the popular J. D. Robb series, so that I can easily collect them, read them 1, 2, 3, and be done.

That however poses the question…when you know an author has a trilogy coming out do you read them as they are released or do you wait until you have them all? What is your favorite trilogy? What trilogy are you anticipating this summer?

sandi shilhanek

Sandi Shilhanek

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Maggie Shayne | Get Focus and Enjoy your day!

Thanks to the wonderful people here at Fresh Fiction for having me over. Nice place you have here. I hope you’ll check out my group blog,

Meanwhile, let’s chat.

I have a lot of friends who are going through one of two problems. About a third are depressed, a third are fighting weight issues, and a third are battling with both. (There’s a tiny percentage in there of people who follow the same philosophy I do, who take everything in stride and are actually doing very nicely. But it’s probably less than one percent of my pals. Sadly. I’m trying to spread it around, though.)

At any rate, I thought since these two problems are two I know well, have been through, and conquered, they would be my topic today. And interestingly, the same techniques are effective at fighting both depression and weight.

Of course, the first one is exercise. You know I used to think I couldn’t “run” even if I wanted to. And I never really wanted to. I was one of those, yeah; I’ll run if someone’s chasing me with a knife. But a friend of mine inspired me, and so I decided to try. I thought it would be impossible. Bad knees. But I walked and ran a little, and walked and ran a little, and upped the running every time. That was years ago. Now I can run five miles at a time, and I love it, and I’m going to enter some group runs this year.

It’s always possible. Anything is possible, you just have to make up your mind to it and do it. But even walking is good for you. The combination of the physical exertion and the exposure to sunlight, even in cold weather, and the fresh air and just being outdoors, all work on your mood. Endorphins surge. You just feel better all around.

I started today pretty blue. But by the time I finished an hour on my Bowflex, I was bopping out to the music blasting from my Iphone and singing along and feeling great.
Exercise is number one. Just get up and move every day. As much or as little as is good for you, where you are, right now. It’ll improve the fitness, and the mood.

And so will music. I’m telling you, no matter how bad things get, I’ve never seen a day when I didn’t cheer up instantly if I just could force myself to put on some loud, rock & roll. It only takes minutes.

I could be lying comatose on the sofa, sobbing my eyes out, and if I could just get that music going, I’d be fine within a half hour.

Music. It’s therapy.

My third miracle solution to depression and weight and any other problem you might encounter in life, is to understand that you get what you focus on. If you’re thinking about something you don’t want, even if you’re thinking how much you don’t want it, you’ll get more of it. So try to shift your focus gently from the unpleasant stuff to the stuff that makes you happy. The stuff that fulfills you. The stuff that gives you joy. What you ignore will eventually fade away. What you pay attention to will grow bigger and bigger. When it’s really bad, sometimes you can’t find anything to make you feel good, so at those times, you need to reach smaller–just look for anything that gives you relief, and then build from there.

I dare you to try this for a month. Start paying attention to where your focus is, what you talk about most, what you think about most, and shift it to good stuff.

See what happens!

For more info on this stuff, visit

And be sure to pop into my site,

Enjoy your day! It’s the best prescription for happiness there is!

Maggie Shayne

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