Truth Be told
by Marsha R. West
Needing a peaceful visit with her Fort Worth family for Christmas, Meg Bourland is shocked to discover someone is blackmailing her father. When he rebuffs her offer to help, the Atlanta SWAT team member enlists the help of her brother and his former LA police officer partner to uncover the truth. She fights her attraction for Scott and the immediate tug to her heart. But her life is in Atlanta, and his is in California.
Scott McClaine, medically retired, came to Fort Worth to recuperate from life-threatening bullet wounds he received saving the life of Meg’s brother. Hard enough to accept his new physical limitations, but in Scott’s mind they make him unacceptable for a strong Meg. Regardless, he commits himself to helping her stop the blackmailer. Working closely with her, a bond forms. Could she feel the same?
In the search for truth, Meg and Scott uncover pieces of the puzzle, which threaten to ruin her father’s career as mayor and destroy the family she holds dear. Will Meg and Scott find their way through the maze of family secretes? Will they find the strength to make the sacrifices required for real love before the blackmailer kills?
Before she reached the bottom of the stairs in her parents’ house, Meg Bourland jerked to a stop. Her fingers tightened on the banister. The spit in her mouth dried up like the Texas fields in August. A figure in a long overcoat skulked through the study doorway. Meg reached toward her waist. Damn.
Her weapon lay in the lock box in her Atlanta condominium. Packing it in her bags with the clear marking on the outside, begged someone to steal it. Too great a risk for a flight to Fort Worth for Christmas with her family. Hindsight is everything.
Meg sucked in a deep breath before she eased her head around the study door. Relief buckled her knees, and she staggered back into the hall. She whooshed out the breath she’d held.
“Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.” She slammed her hand on her thigh in time with the whispered words. The psychologist was right. She was close to losing her grip. Not as fine as she claimed, or she wouldn’t have overreacted.
Her father in the shape of the tall, dark figure came home earlier than expected and hadn’t taken time to remove his coat. She rubbed a hand over her eyes, drew more air into her lungs and stepped through the doorway into the study.
“For a moment, I suspected someone had broken in, Dad. Glad it’s just you.” Her voice wasn’t as strong as she intended. Her father didn’t respond. Didn’t he hear her? He threw a crumpled paper across the room, and then he sank into the chair behind his desk. His head cradled between his hands.
Let's Learn a Little about Marsha R. West:
What is your writing environment?
I use my big-screened Dell computer and work most often in my office. I have an ergonomically designed keyboard, but have typed many letters off the keys. (I type fast and hard.) Not having the symbols on the keys is only a problem when I’m filling out forms or am not on automatic, then I forget which key is which letter. J
The office is not neat, though my side is neater than my husband’s side. J I still print way to many sheets of paper, though I’m better than in the past. You won’t find charts up on the walls or white boards. My writing isn’t legible even for me to read, so I prefer to make my charts and keep them on the computer. Sometimes I print these out, adding to the paper clutter. However, those are supposed to go in the real book folder and stay in the drawer except when I’m working on the WIP. Good plan. Not always followed.
HGTV plays in the background. I’m not a fan of silence. When I’m “creating,” Scruffy, my small stuffed pup sits on the computer where I can see him.
Who is your perfect hero and why?
There’s been lots of discussion about heroes lately. Many of us seem to believe the hero is strong, but compassionate. Brave, but not reckless. Smart and caring. Willing to go out of his way to help someone in need without expecting thanks. Honest and ethical.
What authors have caught your interest lately and why?
One of the best thing about being a writer is all the other writers you get to meet and get to know. Let’s see. I’ll start with my good friend Jerrie Alexander who writes incredibly intense romantic suspense. The emotions just ooze off the page. Then Kathryn Jayne who writes with a hint of paranormal. Toni Anderson just tells an all- around great story. I love Ashley Mallory’s first book, more of a romance with suspense and super story line. Well, I could go on and on, here, but I’ll stop.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
A New York Times Best Seller! Of course. LOL I’m happy to write romantic suspense with older characters who get their second chance at love.
Top 3 things on your bucket list?
You know, I really don’t have a bucket list. I know lots of folks do, but I’m not a terribly adventurous person. My grandson told me on the way home from school the other day his mom was surprised that I jumped in the Bounce House at his birthday. J
I want to continue to travel. Love New England. Would love to have house on the coast of Maine and leave Texas from May to mid-September. LOL Then I might tolerate the heat. I want to continue writing and have people enjoy my books.
How did you get the idea for this particular novel?
For TRUTH BE TOLD, a house inspired me. I know that sounds odd. But I usually start with the location, and this house reached out and grabbed me. A few years ago, I regularly drove by the house several times a week to babysit for one daughter and take Pilates from my other daughter. I seriously fell in love with the place. I’ve never been inside. Gosh, I don’t even know who lives there. But that house got the creative juices flowing. Who lives there? What do they do? What if?
I confess to being a real fan of a Canadian TV show, Flashpoint. (Not on where I live anymore. L ) The stories revolved around a SWAT team, one of whom was a woman.
I’d also spent a day with a police officer with Dallas SWAT a couple of years ago and met a woman on one of their teams. Tough roll for anyone, especially a woman. But the house started it all. J
What is your favorite scene in your new release?
I have several. J There’s a great car chase scene when the villain is tailing the heroine and her friend. I love the family eating scenes that show the camaraderie and support this family gives each member. I love the scenes that show the hero Scott and heroine Meg struggling with their growing attraction for each other against what they think might be best for each other.
In the following scene, the parents have thrown their annual Christmas party with 300 people in attendance at their house. The party has ended and the mother Ellie can’t find Joe her husband, but thinks he might be in his study. David is Meg’s brother.
“I’m sure Dad’s fine. You’ll see he’s fallen asleep.” Meg met Scott’s gaze, hope reflected in her eyes.
“Want to try busting in the door with me or wait for David?” Scott asked. “I’m still not strong, but can we wait?” The admission of his weakness to this woman he admired made him more determined than ever to reclaim as much of his pre-shooting strength as he could. Regardless of what the doctors and the therapists predicted.
“I hate to be the cause of us hurting you more, but I’m afraid to wait.” She gulped in a shaky breath. “If you’re sure, let’s try.” They backed up, but before they moved forward, clumping noises jerked them both around.
“What’s going on?” David had un-tucked his shirt and taken off his tie.
“Oh, David. I’m glad you’re here,” Ellie’s fingers were white where she grasped the edge of the seat cushion.
“Door’s locked. Dad won’t answer.” Meg spit the words from her mouth.
David nodded. “Okay, give me space.” He stepped back several paces then slammed his shoulder into the door. The second time, the splintering sound exploded in the quiet house. He raced into the room. “Crap.”
Joe Bourland sat slumped over his desk.
What are you working on now and when can we expect it to be available?
My next book coming out is SECOND CHANCES, scheduled for e-release Winter 2014/15 from my publisher, MuseItUp Publishing. The hero of this story is a supporting character from my first book, VERMONT ESCAPE. He wanted the heroine. I couldn’t have that, so I promised him his own story. J This book is the first in a series of four about women in their mid-forties who met at summer camp as kids. The second book in the series is about a quarter written.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I’m sorry. I don’t think I understand the question. You mean there’s supposed to be a time I’m not writing? LOL Well, on top of the researching, planning, writing, rewriting and editing is all the social media and blog work (I love blogging, way too much.), so you can see why I wonder sometimes if there’s life away from writing.
But in truth, there are those times. Of course, I’m reader. All writers start that way. I go twice a week to Pilates and walking at the mall on many other days and babysit my grands. However, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to confess that I’m a TV junkie and tape lots of shows that I watch at night. I could write more, if I’d give up the TV. Don’t see that happening. LOL
What would you consider a perfect date?
Let’s see that would be… DH and I are eating supper on a patio(probably in Maine) sipping wine, enjoying the salad and pasta, the breeze and the view of the water. Followed by a walk.
What is one interesting fact about you that readers don’t know?
Even most people who know me would be surprised to know I own a gun and have a concealed hand-gun license. I was working on my second book, and the heroine had to use a gun. I didn’t have a clue. My neighbor and I took the course together. The gun I used was my mother’s. She went regularly to practice. Always sort of surprised me about her, too. J
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Marsha R. West, a retired elementary school principal, is also a former school board member and theatre arts teacher. She writes “Romance, Suspense, Second Chances. Experience Required.” Her heroes and heroines, struggling with life and loss, are surprised when they discover second chances at love.
Marsha, who loves to travel, lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband. They’ve raised two daughters who’ve presented them with three delightful grandchildren.
Her first published book, VERMONT ESCAPE, was e-released by MuseItUp Publishing in the summer of 2013. The print version releases in June 2014 . TRUTH BE TOLD e-releases by MIU in May, 2014. She’s sold a third book to MIU. In SECOND CHANCES, the hero, Mike Riley, played a supporting role in VERMONT ESCAPE. SECOND CHANCES is the first of a planned series about four women who met when they were kids at summer camp. It’s scheduled for e-release in winter 2014/2015
http://www.marsharwest.com/category/blog for Thoughts on Thursday and Tuesday Author Chats Hope you’ll stop by. She’d love to hear from you.
Buy Links for VERMONT ESCAPE:
B & N http://goo.gl/1lR6D
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