Welcome friends and readers to my web page!

Welcome friends and readers to my web page!

I write sweet and inspirational romances and romantic suspense novels for Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, Simon and Schuster, Howard Books, and Tule Publishing Group. I love to interact with readers daily on Facebook and Instagram.
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Dec 30, 2016

Happy Friday!

As we slide into the New Year I wish you all the best for a safe and happy time with family and friends.

Do you make New Year's resolutions?

I sometimes do. But they're more like goals.
For 2017 I want to be:

Dec 25, 2016

Yuletide Peril Chapter Eight by Terri Reed

Chapter Eight
      Beth’s scream echoed inside Tabby’s head. Her sister released her hold on Tabby’s hair. Tabby blinked as tears formed from the nauseating smoke curling around them. Her mind tried to make sense of the chaos.
         Men’s voices filled the air. "FBI! Drop your weapon!"
         Beth crouched behind Tabby, using her body as a shield. "Don’t move or I’ll kill her!" Beth shouted and pressed the gun into Tabby’s ribs.
         Through the haze of smoke Tabby could make out three armed men filling the room. One of the men, an older man with salt–and–pepper hair, made a gesture with his hand and the men lowered their weapons. Tabby swallowed back the terror that rose to choke her. She could feel Beth working at untying the rope holding her to the chair. When the rope fell away, Beth grabbed Tabby by the arm and forced her to stand.
         "Beth, please, just give up!"
         "Never!" Keeping Tabby in front of her, Beth dragged her toward the front door. "We’re going to walk out of here and you’re not going to stop us," Beth shouted.
         "There’s nowhere for you to go," the man in charge said, his voice smooth and commanding. "The place is surrounded."
         "Beth, please. Do as they say," Tabby pleaded, hating to think how this could end. One or both of them dead.
         "Shut up!" Beth fumbled with the doorknob. She flung the door open. "Back off!" she shouted to the agents out front as she pulled Tabby out the door and closed it behind her. "Anyone moves and she dies."
         Movement to her left drew Tabby’s attention. Jon crept through the rosebushes toward them. Fear for Jon pushed at Tabby’s mind. She mouthed the word, "No".
         He edged closer.
         Fear for her own safety fled as terror for Jon ripped through her mind. What was he doing? He was going to get himself killed!
         "Miss Grant, we have the money you asked for," Kyle said as he stepped forward and dropped another duffel bag at his feet. "All you have to do is let your sister go."
         Grateful for the distraction, Tabby kept her gaze riveted on Jon. Dear Father, please don’t…oh, please don’t let anything happen to him.
         "You think I’m crazy?" Beth shouted. Her fingers dug into Tabby’s flesh. "She’s the only thing between me and a bullet."
         "No one will shoot you," Kyle said, his voice soothing.
         "Get the car from the garage," Beth demanded, her voice hard.
         "We can do that." Kyle sidestepped to the right, drawing Beth’s attention away from Jon.
         Tabby’s mouth went dry as she met Jon’s gaze. He gave her a slight nod before springing up and grabbing for Beth. She jerked, swinging the gun in his direction.
         "No!" Tabby screamed.
         Fearing Beth would shoot the man she loved, Tabby flung back her head and connected with her sister’s nose. A loud snapping noise barely registered as pain burst through Tabby. Bright dots danced before her eyes. She heard Beth screaming from what seemed like a long distance.
         Then Jon was there, his handsome face coming into focus as he scooped Tabby into his strong arms, carried her down the porch and away from the chaos as her sister was taken into custody. Her two accomplices were also cuffed and led to a police car. It was over.
         Gulping sobs racked Tabby’s body. Jon was safe. She wrapped her arms around him, clinging to him and wanting to never let go, but deep inside she knew she would have to. She couldn’t go back to being just his assistant.
         Because she loved him.
         "There you are!" Jon exclaimed as Tabby walked into his office five days later. He’d missed her terribly, but had tried to understand when she’d told him she needed a few days to get her head together after that horrible night. Her sister had been taken away and admitted back to the psychiatric hospital. Her accomplices would be doing time for kidnapping in the Massachusetts State Prison. And Jon had his cash back.
         But most importantly, Tabby was safe.
         Tabby’s slight smile didn’t reach her blue eyes as she stopped just inside the doorway. She wore black slacks and a red sweater that complemented her pale complexion. A red clutch was tucked beneath her arm and a matching red bow captured her hair at her nape. She looked impossibly younger than her twenty–eight years and even more gorgeous than she had just a few days ago. Tenderness and love welled in his heart. He’d never get tired of looking at her.
         Able to read the nuances of her mood, concern raced through him. He rose, came around his desk and stopped in front of her. Reaching for her hands, he said, "You’re upset. Talk to me."
         She dropped her gaze. "I…" She took a deep breath and lifted her eyes to meet his.
         The determination and resignation he saw in her gaze confused and concerned him. His pulse picked up speed.
         From the inside of her purse she handed him an envelope.
         "What’s this?"
         "My resignation."
         His stomach plummeted. "Your… I don’t understand."
         "After everything I put you through I can’t continue to work for you. It wouldn’t be right."
         "That you put me through?" He drew her to him. "You have nothing to feel guilty about. This wasn’t your doing."
         For a moment she seemed to melt into his embrace but then she pushed back to stare into his face. "I shouldn’t have involved you. I had no right to ask you to put your life at risk for me."
         "You didn’t ask, remember? I insisted." He cupped her cheek with his hand. "I’d walk through fire for you, Tabby. Don’t you know that?"
         Her eyes widened. "You would?"
         "Yes." Love filled his heart and echoed in his voice. "I love you, Tabitha Grant. I think I’ve been in love with you since the first day you stormed into my office saying I needed you working for me. I didn’t realize then just how much I do need you. I can’t imagine my life without you. You’ve shown me what real faith is."
         Her eyes brightened with tears. "I love you, too."
         Words to live by. "Tabby, the only way I’ll accept your resignation is if you agree to become Mrs. Spangler."
         A small gasp escaped from her parted lips. "You’re asking me to marry you?"
         Her stunned expression made him smile. "I am. What do you say?"
         Joy beamed in her expression. "I say yes." Then a mischievous glint entered her gaze. "On one condition."
         He arched an eyebrow. "Negotiating a marriage proposal, Miss Grant?"
         She grinned. "Yes, Mr. Spangler."
         He grinned back. "Let’s hear your condition."
         "I get to keep my job."
         "Yes!" Delighted to the tips of his soul, he dipped his head and captured her lips, sealing the best deal of his life.

Dec 19, 2016


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Dec 16, 2016

Yuletide Peril Chapter Seven by Terri Reed

Chapter Seven

      The car stopped. Tabby heard the unmistakable sound of a garage door closing. A moment later, the back door of the car jerked open and she was yanked out. Led by the arm, she stumbled up two stairs and into what she assumed was a house. The familiar aroma of vanilla and rose–scented candles twitched at her nose. Stunned, she realized she’d been brought back to her own home.
         She heard the scrape of her dining room chair being dragged across the cherry hardwood floor. Her captor pushed her down to sit on the chair. A rope was tied around her waist, securing her in place. The bag was untied and removed. Tabby blinked and gulped in fresh air. Her mind refused to accept what she was seeing.
         Her sister sat curled up in the overstuffed armchair by the window, looking unharmed and wearing Tabby’s clothes.
         "Beth, are you okay?" Tabby asked.
         Beth’s smile didn’t reach her bloodshot eyes. "I’m fine. And you? My friends didn’t hurt you, did they?"
         Surprise siphoned the oxygen from Tabby’s lungs, making the world tilt slightly. "Your friends?"
         Tabby glanced at the closed kitchen door that muffled the sounds of the two men raiding her cupboards. "I don’t understand," Tabby said. "Why are we here? What’s going on?"
         Dropping her feet to the floor, Beth smirked. "What’s going on?" She shook her head. "Tabby, Tabby. I came to you in need and you wouldn’t help me. So I found two people who would."
         A deep sense of dread knotted Tabby’s stomach. Beth held a nasty–looking gun. "I gave you what I could. Beth, what have you done? You weren’t kidnapped at all, were you?"
         "You catch on quick."
         "But why?"
         "Why?" Beth rose and stalked closer. "Because you have so much. It isn’t fair. You have everything they took away from me."
         Mind reeling with this turn of events, Tabby struggled to track what her sister was saying. "Who took what away?"
         "Don’t pretend you don’t know." Beth waved the gun as she pivoted and moved to the mantel over the fireplace. She picked up a picture of Tabby and her parents on her college graduation day. "They did this to me."
         "What are you talking about? You ran away. It broke Mom and Dad’s hearts," Tabby said as anger clogged her throat. "Your disappearance tore our family apart. Now you’re trying to shred my life. Talk about not fair."
         Beth’s expression twisted with pain and rage. She aimed the gun at Tabby. "Is that what they told you? That I ran away?"
         Barely able to breath, Tabby nodded.
         "Figures." Beth slammed the picture down, breaking the glass. "They locked me up in that nuthouse. And then when I was released, they told me I couldn’t come back. They had to protect you."
         Shaken by her sister’s words, Tabby’s mind rewound the years since she’d last seen her sister. The lack of funds, her parents’ arguments and the way they refused to talk about Beth. The gnawing sense that her parents were keeping something from her. With a start, Tabby realized her parents had never actually said Beth had runaway, only that she was gone. Tabby had assumed Beth had left of her own accord. She’d never guessed that her parents had sent her sister away. To a hospital for the mentally ill.
         "I’m sorry. I didn’t know," Tabby whispered, her heart aching with betrayal. Why hadn’t her parents told her? Why had they kept Beth’s whereabouts a secret? And why was Beth now trying to hurt Tabby?
         "Doesn’t matter now," Beth said. "I just want the money and then I’m gone."
         "But this is wrong, Beth," Tabby said. "You can’t do this."
         "I already have." Beth came to sit on the coffee table facing Tabby, the gun a specter of death between them. "Your boss has agreed to another hundred thousand for your safe return."
         Her words were like a blow to Tabby’s gut. "Why drag Jon into this? He hasn’t hurt you!"
         Beth cocked her head with a puzzled look. "I didn’t bring him in to this. You did when you told him about the call. This is your fault."
         Guilt clawed through Tabby’s fear. Beth was right. Tabby had dropped this mess on Jon. He didn’t deserve this.
         "Don’t worry, little sister, when I get the money, you’ll get to see your boyfriend again."
         "He’s not my boyfriend, he’s my boss," Tabby snapped.
         A sly smile curved Beth’s lips. "Doesn’t look that way to me. You two seemed pretty chummy the other night at that fancy party."
         Images of the dead man in Jon’s suite assaulted Tabby. "You killed that man, didn’t you? Why?"
         Beth rolled her eyes. "William turned out to be a liability. So I had to off him."
         "A liability?"
         A feral gleam entered her sister’s gaze. "William was supposed to lure you away from the party, not get himself locked in a room with a guard. I wasn’t sure he wouldn’t crack if pressed so…whap." She made an arcing gesture in the air with the gun.
         Horror filled Tabby’s mind. "What about the other two men? Are you planning on killing them as well?"
         Beth gave a negligent shrug. "If need be."
         Dismayed, Tabby asked, "Why would they help you?"
         "I’ve promised them a cut of the money."
         Tabby had a feeling trusting her sister to keep her word wasn’t an option. She didn’t know this woman sitting across from her. How could Tabby be sure Beth wouldn’t just kill her once she got more of Jon’s money?
         "Jon, this is Special Agent Mark Gorman," Kyle said.
         Jon jerked his attention away from the video monitor. The image of Beth Grant, the same cleaning woman he’d seen at Fenway, holding a gun on Tabby burned in his mind.
         It took a moment for Kyle’s words to register. Surprise rocked through Jon as he met the hard–eyed gaze of the agent standing next to Kyle. He was mid–fifties, with dark hair that had a sprinkle of gray at the temples. He wore a flak vest beneath a jacket with the FBI logo emblazoned on the breast pocket. "You called the FBI?"
         "Trent Associates works closely with the Feds," Kyle replied. "When an arrest needs to be made, the FBI takes over."
         That made sense, sure. But Jon wouldn’t feel better until Tabby was safely back in his arms. "What happens now?"
         "Using infrared heat imaging, we’ve placed the victim and one lone kidnapper in the living room—which corresponds with the audio and video feed and two more accomplices in the kitchen," Agent Gorman said. "Our people are in place. We’ll be moving on the premises shortly with a two–pronged approach, hitting the kitchen and the living room simultaneously."
         "I’m going in with you," Jon said, determined to make sure Tabby survived this unscathed.
         "Sir, you’ll have to wait here. We can’t have a civilian interfering."
         Jon held up his hand to stop the protest. "I’m ex–military. MP."
         "Then you’ll understand that you hold no legal authority to be involved in this extraction."
         "I’m going in, with or without your okay."
         Gorman’s eyes narrowed. "I can have you forcibly detained and placed under arrest."
         Jon stared him down. "I don’t care."
         Kyle stepped between them. "We’re all here trying to accomplish the same objective. Let’s work together. There’s no need to arrest anyone. He’ll stay at the perimeter." To Jon he said, "Let the Feds do their job. Once they’ve secured the premises, then you can go in."
         Better than nothing, Jon supposed. And at least he’d be close by if he was needed. "If anything happens to Tabitha Grant, I’ll have your head."
         Gorman gave him a grim nod. "Understood." He turned to another agent standing a few feet away. "Beck, get Mr. Spangler a vest." To Jon, Gorman said, "Just in case."
         The agent’s words hung in the air. A boulder–size lump of anxiety, dread and fear pressed down on Jon’s chest. A deep need to reach out to God swelled within his soul.
         God is waiting for you to invite Him in, Tabby had said.
         He turned away from the other men on the pretext of donning the flak vest. Closing his eyes, he allowed the need to overwhelm him and heeded Tabby’s words. And he prayed.
         Beth jumped to her feet. "Did you hear that?"
         Tabby stared at her sister. Was paranoia part of her illness? "I didn’t hear anything. Beth, please, just let me go. You have some money now. Why can’t that be enough?"
         "Because it isn’t!"
         Greed drove Beth now, Tabby realized with a start. This wasn’t about her or their parents. This was about money. The root of all evil. Pity filled Tabby, making her sad for her sister.
         Beth grabbed Tabby’s hair and yanked her head back. "What is that look about?"
         A shaft of fear hit Tabby, but she forced it aside. "Beth, I’m scared for you. Scared about what this is doing to you."
         Pulling harder, Beth said harshly, "Your concern is touching. But I—"
         The front door burst open. A deafening noise reverberated through the room and a bright flash blinded Tabby. Terror stabbed through her mind and pierced her soul.
         Please, dear God! No!
         She wasn’t ready to die.