Friday, May 4, 2018

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “Poison Pen” by Val Tobin

Writing can be murder.

Success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn't that way. It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you.—Marilyn Monroe

Never underestimate the power of jealousy and the power of envy to destroy. Never underestimate that.—Oliver Stone.

When their colleague is murdered, three wanna-be authors can't help meddling in the investigation, which puts them on the killer’s radar. Robin refuses to leave the house, Daphne has OCD, and Beth falls asleep at the most inopportune moments. Yet all three find themselves caught in a cat-and-mouse game where anything can happen and no one is safe.

Will they catch the killer before he catches them?

Detective Jacob Turner is a modern-day Columbo in search of a clever killer. Instinct tells him something doesn’t add up. Then, the case becomes personal and the hunt is on...

Poison Pen is a stand-alone novel and part of the About Three Authors series, which includes Whoever Said Love Was Easy? by Patti Roberts and Stolen Hearts & Muddy Pawprints by Georgina Ramsey.

Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Val Tobin, and an excerpt from her Romantic Suspense, “Poison Pen.” Last time Val shared the first kiss between Ian and Daphne. This kiss is between Jacob and Robin.

First Kiss Excerpt

… Truth be told, she didn’t want him to leave at all. If her kids weren’t here, she wouldn’t have trusted herself and would’ve sent him home. As it was, ever since they’d pulled up in her driveway, she wanted to touch him. Three years of celibacy was enough. Perhaps she wasn’t after him but wanted physical release.
Jacob set up the coffee pot on a tray with mugs, milk, and sugar the way she always did when he visited. Robin settled next to him on the couch.
“Should I turn on the television?” she asked. A news station running in the background would fill any awkward pauses or at least give them something to talk about—and keep her mind away from thoughts of kissing him.
She made a move to pick up the remote, but he stopped her, covering her hand with his. The touch sparked electricity through her, charging to her core. Her breathing grew rapid and her face flushed.
“Let’s keep the silence.” Jacob’s voice came out a whispered growl thick with emotion.
“Okay,” she breathed back.
“Robin, I’ve been thinking.”
She gulped. “About the murder?”
The amused half-smile appeared. “Yes, always, but also about us.”
“What about us?” She held her breath. Did he want to slow things down? If so, she’d misread every cue.
His expression turned serious. “Intense circumstances threw us together, but we’re not seeing each other because you’ve been traumatized.”
Robin considered his words. Yes, Leon’s death and the break-in had rattled her, but somehow, she’d coped. “You’ve helped me deal with everything.”
Shambhala’s words echoed in her head then: “He’ll help you through the turmoil. It’s meant to be.”
“I’m glad to hear it.” He tilted her chin up, his face close to hers. “I never wanted to pressure you.”
“Pressure me?”
“I’m attracted to you. Physically, emotionally, intellectually.”
“You really have been thinking.”
He sighed. “Perhaps overthinking. But I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. I know it’s been difficult for you—losing your husband, Leon’s murder, your friend’s arrest, and then a break-in at your home.”
“You haven’t made me uncomfortable.” But she blushed as she said it and rubbed her suddenly damp palms over her jeans-clad thighs. When she realized the contradiction, she laughed softly.
“What’s funny?” The half-smile returned though his eyes showed concern.
“You haven’t made me uncomfortable, but I’m uncomfortable.”
Without thinking, she reached up and ran her hands through his hair. She loved the white strands sprinkled through the black. It made him appear distinguished. He had kissy lips—they always seemed pursed as if poised to kiss. His face was a perfect oval, his brows wide, dark lines over almond eyes.
Jacob remained silent as her hands roamed down his face and neck to his broad shoulders. His Adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed.
“You can safely conclude I’m attracted to you as well, Detective. On all those levels.”
He leaned forward and grazed his lips over hers. She gasped for air when he drew away.
“That okay?” he asked.
The question teased a moan out of her. In response, she drew him by the shoulders to her and kissed him hard. He tasted of coffee and desire. His lips gently pried hers open, and his tongue slipped in to sample her. She pressed her mouth more firmly against his and skimmed her hands across his back, locking their bodies together.
After what seemed too short a time, she pulled away. She raised an apologetic gaze to him. “I don’t want the kids to catch us.”
Jacob huffed out a breath and ran a hand through his hair, leaving it mussed and sexy. “I understand.”
“I didn’t mean to get you all worked up for nothing.”
He chuckled. “Not for nothin’, darlin’.”
Robin stroked his face, reluctant to sever the physical connection. “You got me all worked up first. I feel like a teenager—wanting to fool around but afraid parents might walk into the room.”
“The same thought crossed my mind.” He smiled and glanced at the clock before returning his gaze to hers. “I should go before we get carried away.”
She nodded. When he didn’t move, she realized he probably needed a minute or two to compose himself. The thought made her insides warm and she grinned.
He responded by pulling her to him and kissing her, a hard kiss that made the room spin and her toes curl. Before she recovered her equilibrium, he rose.
“I’ll leave before you make me lose all control.”
She stood and took his hand. “Okay. But maybe we could get together on the weekend?”
“Sure. I’ll text you.” Jacob started to turn towards the door but paused. “You going to be okay? The cameras are on?”
“Always. I check them every morning and night.”
“Doors locked?”
“Even when I’m home. Don’t worry. No one will break in here again.”
Her cell phone buzzed, and she checked it.
Robin almost ignored it, but it was late, and Beth never called her at this time of night. She held up a finger, signalling Jacob to wait.
“Beth? What’s up?” Robin stroked a hand along Jacob’s arm, and he snatched it with his, wagging a finger at her with his other hand.
Naughty, naughty.
She giggled.
“Robin?” Beth’s frightened whisper knocked the smile off Robin’s face.
She froze and her fingers gripped Jacob’s hand, making him wince.
Concern on his face, he mouthed, “What is it?”
“What’s wrong?” Robin struggled to keep the hysteria out of her voice.
“Someone’s here. Outside.”
“Did you call nine-one-one?”
Jacob snatched the phone from Robin’s hand. “Beth? Jake Turner. What happened?”
Robin didn’t catch Beth’s reply, but Jacob said, “Call nine-one-one. I’m on my way.”
He broke the connection and handed the phone to Robin. “Lock the door and stay inside. I’ll call you.”
Without another word, he was gone.

“Poison Pen” is available on Amazon for pre-order at the introductory price of $2.99 until May 5, 2018. After the release date, the price will be the regular low price of $3.99. It will also be available for the first ninety days through KU/KOLL:

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