Title: The Darkest Frost, Vol 1 of a 2-part serial (TDF, #1)
Author: Tanya Holmes
Genre: A Gothic paranormal romance with a twist.
Release Date: June 22, 2015
When the ghost of her best friend begs for her help, psychic detective Denieve Knight goes undercover as a live-in domestic to catch a killer. She sets her sights on the most likely suspect: her friend’s mysterious employer, Doctor Braeden Frost.
Dubbed “Dr. Death” by the press, the notorious hematologist is linked to nineteen other suspicious fatalities—all are former patients. The brooding recluse is a man of many secrets, the darkest of which may be lurking beneath the leather gloves he never removes.
THE DARKEST FROST, Volume 1 of a 2-part serial, © Tanya Holmes
Fear all but crippled me as I listened to the wind beating the treetops. Listened to the creaks and groans of the house. Took some effort, but I got up and inched my way to the door with legs as steady as rubber bands. I yanked it open only to find the hallway empty except for a fiery trail of footprints. Strangely, the carpet didn’t burn.
Were I not buck naked, I would’ve followed right then. Instead, I backed into my room, fully intending to throw something on. But twin headlights skipped along the wall through a crack in the drapes. I shut the door and edged over to the window to brush the heavy curtains back. High beams sliced into the darkness as a vehicle cruised up the hill, breaking free of the wispy fog.
A gunmetal-gray Jaguar taxied into the courtyard and pulled in beside my late-model Chevy. My adrenaline spiked as soon as the headlights doused. Moments later, Dr. Braeden Frost climbed from the car and slung a gray satchel over his shoulder. It appeared to be a medical bag. He was dressed in dark clothes—leather coat, pants, boots, and gloves. Even his silky hair was black. He would’ve melted into the night if not for the security lights flooding the grounds and the white aura framing his body.
I’d witnessed a similar illumination on others in his profession. Doctors. Nurses. Orderlies. Most everyone in health care. I’d seen the glow on cops and morticians too. In fact, all who came in direct contact with the dead and dying had it. Still, on Frost the neon radiance was chilling.
The wind rushed past him, sending the tail of his trench coat dancing on a breeze. Then as if he sensed my presence, his gaze shot to my window. Our eyes locked. His narrowed and I froze. Unable to move, unable to breathe, I stood rooted in place like a petrified tree. The man gave the word “presence” new meaning. He had a stillness about him, an eerie calm that chilled my blood. I was surprised yet intrigued. Intimidated yet inexplicably drawn to him.
An eternity passed before I found the will to duck away. I plastered my back against the wall, my gaze doing a mad search around the ruined room for something to put on. A light breeze hissed outside, but still I didn’t hear him move. Finally, a trunk opened and slammed shut. Next came the slow but steady sound of footsteps crunching gravel as he trudged around the left side of the house.
Downstairs a door wailed open. Floorboards creaked, then a stair, followed by another. I dashed around like a headless chicken, tearing through my clothes, desperate to find something—anything—to throw on. But then the footsteps stopped just outside my bedroom and a menacing shadow crept beneath the door.
The lock. I’d forgotten to click it.
I stood motionless in the center of the room, my gaze latched on the knob, my blood pulsing in a crazy rhythm. I was still frazzled from Caryn’s appearance, and all I kept thinking was, please, please, please don’t let him come in here with me naked as the day I was born, and the room a complete mess.
Seconds passed, and still the shadow remained. Lurking, looming, waiting.
Normally, I had to be in the same room with people to read their emotions, but only five feet separated us, and a strong odor of sulfur—anger—wafted in from the hallway. No mistaking the owner. The essence belonged to him. The smell ebbed, replaced by a hint of saltwater and allspice. The former scent was fear, the latter smacked of uncertainty. So Frost was angry, afraid, and confused by my presence. The realization made my heart go from thumping to pounding.
Seemed like hours before his shadow finally retreated. The creaking staircase should have calmed me, but I was still unnerved. I slammed my lids shut and listened to his footsteps and the jingle of keys, followed by a door groaning open. When it shut soundly moments later, I collapsed on the bed, landing in a wet heap.
What the heck had I gotten myself into?
Pre Order The Darkest Frost on Amazon Today!
About the Author
Amazon Bestselling Author Tanya Holmes is a Golden Leaf double-finalist, a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist, a recipient of the Maggie Award, the MICA Award, as well as Overall Winner of the Sandy Haddad Award and a two-time finalist and one-time winner of The Emily (Best of the Best). She’s happily married with children and loves reading, writing and a good cup of coffee—but not necessarily in that order. She has two novels coming out in 2015: The Darkest Frost, a two-part Gothic paranormal serial romance with a twist, and in 2016, Temptation’s Edge, a contemporary romance.
Connect with Tanya
A thousand pardons for being late once again with a post…
According to the New York Times, Amazon is, once again, flexing its distribution muscles. In a battle that centers around books in print, Amazon is demanding more bottom-line money from publishers, Amazon is reportedly raising prices and delaying shipments to get it.
And apparently Hatchette, the industry’s fourth largest publisher by market share, and Amazon are waging a very public war. The collateral damage will, no doubt, involve authors who simply want their work distributed—and readers, forced to wait or find their favorite authors in other venues.
Geez. Whatever happened to the good old days when publishers just spread nasty rumors, or found original ways to steal the best authors from each other?
And lastly, blog buddy Lynn Viehl has posited a super idea on her PBW blog: writers writing just for the sake, the fun, the challenge of writing without any thought of publication and posting it (if you want) for reading online every Thursday.
I love this idea. One of my favorite reasons for visiting/entering online contests has always been to read the impromptu work of other writers. I’m also thinking it may be a good way to clear away the dregs of any nasty writer’s block still remaining.
Can you believe it’s already Memorial Day, and we’re steaming full-speed toward the end of May??
I can’t! There’s serious trouble in this corner with the way this year is flying by. The nights are still so chilly that I still have winter blankets on my bed. Haven’t planted a single seasonal flower yet. I’ve just barely gotten the definite hang of putting “2014” instead of “2013” on my checks. I still haven’t written a single fresh word this year (sigh). And the thought that really blows me away is that within a month or so the days will begin getting shorter again! Unbelievable…
It’s still puzzling to me, the whys and wherefores of the whole problem. Efficient time management makes some small difference. But I’m not naturally wired for that and can only seem to manage so much. Especially since, as I’ve noticed, getting older often seems to mean taking twice as long to do half as much.
But watching the months trickle away in what was a brand new year just a few minutes ago makes me fret just that much more. Can we slow down this runaway train just long enough for me to hop on, get a good, strong grip, and make even a little progress doing SOMETHING writing-wise or creatively constructive before the end of the freaking year?
Is it just me?
Or what do you do to help slow things down when they seem to be running away from you?!
As this is my first published book, it’s also my first experience with Internet book pirates. Within hours of my novel’s release, dozens of sites popped up offering the book for free. My initial reaction was stunned silence, followed by rage, and then stunned silence again. As a friend of mine so aptly put it, since when is $2.99 too much to ask to pay for a book?
No, I’m not a special snowflake. I understand the vast majority of my peers are battling this same issue. It comes with the territory, I am told. And despite my lawyer’s assurances that this is common practice, and that there are steps that can be taken to fight these pirates, I look at the entire process as a game of whack-a-mole. You know how productive that is, right?
Whatever the case, appealing to pirates is a lost cause. They’ve no conscience, why else would they so blatantly steal someone’s hard work and toss it out there for free? They care nothing about the weeks, months, and oftentimes years of blood, sweat, tears, and more blood that goes into creating every manuscript. There’s no appealing to these people because they simply couldn’t care less.
This is why I’m just going to speak to those whom I know care. Readers. We are a special breed. We believe no room is complete without books. We believe no life is complete without reading. We cherish and treasure the experience. Treat our books like family members. Take care of them as if they were precious jewels, and the ones we really love? Those get special shelves.
So this blog post is to book lovers like me. If you’re a book lover, then you, by extension have to be an author lover to a degree.
Now I freely admit, authors are a strange lot. We sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and scribble things down. We hear voices in our heads…constantly. And we like the voices. We like when our characters talk to us. Heck, we talk to ourselves. Stare off into space, and insist we are, in fact, writing.
We also spend hours slaving over keyboards, sometimes in tears, sometimes in pain, sometimes in joy, but whatever it is, the creation always contains a good measure (sometimes more, sometimes less) of our minds, bodies and souls.
And after slaving away for months or years on a creation, and then to actually see it published, is akin to giving birth to a jewel of great price, to us at least. And birth is a job, which is why they call it labor, but it’s a labor of love (and hate at times). Even so, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Speaking of labor, some of you paint houses for a living. Some program computers. Some drive cabs. Some work on Wall Street. Some crunch numbers. Well, writers write. This is our work. It’s how many of us make our living. Which is why those who decide to take our hard work and either sell it or give it away for free do us great harm. Financially, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
If you love books, and you love the people who write them, you will appreciate how much time and work goes into creating them.
I say all this to say that pirates can only stay in business if there are readers who have the same mindset as them. Not caring who they are hurting. Not considering the harm that each illegal download is doing.
I found my work on dozens of sites. One in particular, had over 100 downloads of my book. And that was just one site. Do the math. This is money that is not feeding my family. Helping to pay for doctor’s visits. Emergencies…etc. Just put yourself in our shoes. What if hundreds of people were ciphering money from your paycheck?
In short, if you’ve ever downloaded a book that you didn’t pay for, you are contributing to the problem. Remember your first love—books. Then remember the people who make it possible for you to read them.
And if you haven’t downloaded one of these books, bless you.
PS: If you are currently reading a pirated version of my book or any author’s book, please do the right thing and purchase a copy.
Twelve years after her mother’s murder, Shannon Bradford fears she may have helped convict an innocent man. Even worse, her prominent family may have had something to do with it. Desperate for answers, she seeks help from the one person least likely to give it. Her best friend and childhood crush, Trace Dawson. The man she sent to prison.
Serving hard time for murder has left Trace angry and bitter. As far as he’s concerned, digging into the past won’t replace the years he’s lost or erase the hell he’s lived. Now that he’s free, Shannon Bradford tops his list of bad memories. But he never counted on falling in love.
Set in a sleepy little town during the dead of winter, this award-winning romance novel is a tale of one woman’s quest for truth and a man’s struggle to forgive.
No more than two minutes could have passed, two of the most terrifying minutes I’d ever had. The left side of my face was numb with cold. My lips and hands ached too. I couldn’t seem to make anything move.
The details came in pieces. How I’d almost been run over. How a stranger shoved me to safety just before a Jeep playing target practice could send me flying.
Then as if someone had flipped a switch, sensory explosions filled the void. Horns blared. Somebody screamed. A baby was crying. And the wind howled while sounds burst forth in a crush of voices.
“I swear the brakes locked!” a teenage boy yelled.
“She ain’t dead, is she? Oh, jeez. Daddy’s gonna kill me!”
“Don’t just stand there. Call 911!” a girl shrieked.
A cell phone chimed and someone started pressing numbers.
Next, an old man with a rough-and-ready voice said, “Pushed her out the way just in time. Another second and—”
“Is she dead or not?” the teenager demanded again.
While this was going on, I sat up, taking my time to ensure I was in one piece. Except for a sore hip, a bump on the head, and a scraped knee, I was fine. A woman standing nearby helped me, and as I got to my feet, realization dawned.
Trace Dawson had tried to save me.
I fought to see past the crowd into the parking lot, spotting him instantly. He’d just struggled to his feet and was staring right at me, his chin dripping blood. The people scurrying about and the cars streaming through the slush faded.
Nothing but the two of us existed.
Memories flooded my mind, of the quiet riot he was, of the secret crush I’d had on him, and the extraordinary friendship we’d shared so many years ago. As fast as those images came, others replaced them.
I was thrust back to the crime scene, back to Mother’s corpse and the shirtless eighteen-year-old roaring obscenities while Sheriff Gray and a deputy dragged him away in handcuffs.
Trace Dawson the man glared at me now, and his eyes were hard and accusing, eyes brimming with fire and ice. A chill wind rumbled past him, but he stood as still as a statue. Only his eyes moved while he looked me up and down with agonizing thoroughness. The rage. The pain. It was all there.
“Trace?” I whispered.
In chilling silence, he walked away without so much as a glance over his shoulder.
Tanya Holmes is a former Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist, a recipient of the Maggie Award, the MICA Award, as well as Overall Winner of the Sandy Haddad Award and a two-time finalist and one-time winner of The Emily (Best of the Best). She’s happily married with children and loves reading, writing and a good cup of coffee—but not necessarily in that order. Her debut novel, Within Temptation is due out on May 12, 2014.