Book Excerpt: DANGEROUS DECEPTION by Cindy McDonald



Dangerous Deception by Cindy McDonald

ISBN: 9780985726741 (paperback)
ASIN: B00A01F1JO (Kindle ebook)
Publication Date: November 1, 2012
Publisher: Acorn Book Services

Old Age Ain’t for Sissies!

Vic Deveaux’s glory days as a winning jockey have ended, but he refuses to accept that pile of horse hockey! 

When the West family asks Vic to take an easier position at their horse farm Westwood, he becomes enraged and teams up with two greedy stable hands in a scheme to kidnap the West’s younger son Shane. 

When Vic discovers that his new-found friends have murder on their minds, things turn ugly. 

Suddenly, Vic finds himself between the rock and the hard place. . He has betrayed his good friend, Eric West, but will he participate in his son’s murder as well? 

Not content to sit and wait for her men to bring her brother home, Kate West convinces homicide detective Carl Lugowski to check out a hunch at an old abandoned mansion. Soon, they’re trapped in a hornet’s nest of a notorious biker gang. 

Oh yeah, Vic’s deception has placed the West family in more danger than they know what to do with!




EXCERPT 


The fading sunlight seeped through the curtains, shimmering over the silky white Persian cat, Stella, sleeping on the window sill. The candles on the vanity flickered, sending a waft of vanilla throughout the room, camouflaging the smell of sex. Ava West’s auburn hair cascaded across her shoulders, and her breathing was shallow and steady against Carl Lugowski’s chiseled chest. 

Lieutenant Carl Lugowski worked homicide for the Rosemount Police Department. He was normally a light sleeper as most cops are. Subconsciously prepared for that emergency phone call from the station that jolts them from their bed, because a body had been found in some dark alley, or a domestic argument had gone terribly awry, resulting in murder. But today his sleep was deep and his gentle snore was restful, holding Ava’s beautiful naked body in his arms, after their afternoon of abandoned love-making.

God she knew how to get to him. He had taken a half day off, they were supposed to see a matinee, but when he arrived at her apartment, Ava had other plans. Not a problem. Nosiree, Bob. She answered the door in a dark blue lace Teddy, accentuating the swell of her round breasts and her stiff nipples peeking through the sheer delicate fabric. Her sultry green eyes had a “come on” look, and her plump lips curled, begging to be kissed, hard.

Ava didn’t flirt. When she wanted sex, she was shameless. She opened the door and pressed her lips to his, running her hands over his chest, unbuttoning his shirt. There was no fumbling. The buttons slipped open with unerring precision. He slipped the strap of the Teddy from her shoulder, baring her beautiful breast, running his tongue over the pebbled nipple, feeling the undeniable pressure of his erection. Her smile turned devious, pushing him away. Ava was like that. She teased. He knew what she was about. 

As gracefully as a dancer, she swooped up two glasses of wine from the hall table, strutting toward the bedroom. Her long silky hair caressed her back as she moved. Lord have mercy, how he loved to watch her walk toward that bedroom where pleasure would rule the afternoon, and where once would never be enough to satisfy her desire. Ava was a demanding lover, and he aimed to please and please and freakin’ please. Who needs a damned movie?

Their clothes lie on the floor, and the daylight was gently giving way to the purple whisper of twilight. They were spent. The sheets lightly covered their warm moist naked bodies, until suddenly the surreal quiet was broken by Lugowski’s cell phone buzzing and vibrating against the lamp on the nightstand. Damn it. His eyes dragged open slowly, rotating toward the meddling reverberation. He let out a low grouse, and then begrudgingly reached for the phone. Ava tugged at his arm.

“Let it go to voice mail,” she murmured.

Not a bad idea. In fact, he was seriously considering it, when his eyes caught the name on the screen: KATE WEST. 

Game changer. 

His relationship with Ava meant the world to him. He had wanted that woman since well, forever. He wanted her when they were in high school. He wanted her while he was away at the academy, and he still wanted her when he returned to find that she was Mike West’s wife. But now she was exactly where he always wanted her to be, in his life, and in his bed. 

Wrangled and rocked beyond his control, his heart helplessly skipped a beat when Kate West was around, hell, when Kate West’s name was merely mentioned. She stirred something inside him that he couldn’t explain. He couldn’t wrap his head around, it confused and quite frankly scared the hell out of him. 

She wasn’t the clichéd blue-eyed, blonde-haired, “girl next door”. But she was definitely a woman any man would want to come home to, wrap his arms around, and make love to night after night. Kate West was what Lugowski would define as “a keeper”.

WTF? He was in bed with the woman of his dreams. He should really let the call go. Yeah, really, that’s what he should do. She was squeezing him, why would she be calling? They didn’t have anything but a professional relationship. So… 

“I need to take this. Sorry, baby,” he said, sitting up, pressing the phone as tightly and as covertly as possible to his ear. “Lugowski…” he announced, making sure he sounded authoritative, official.

“Carl, I’m so sorry to bother you. This is Kate West.” 

Ava groaned, dragging her fingers through her hair, perking her ears when she detected a slightly familiar female voice, filtering through the receiver. It made her brows furrow and her lips purse. Suspicion was mixing it up with jealousy, fast. Lugowski had successfully muffled the voice, but she tilted her head against the pillow, narrowing her eyes, engaged. The voice sounded like Kate’s, and that was definitely an unacceptable intrusion on her afternoon delight.

“What’s going on?” Lugowski asked, recognizing the disquiet in her voice.

“I don’t want to talk about it over the phone, but it’s really important, Carl. Can we meet at McDonald’s?”

Coffee, he had had coffee with the lovely blonde at McDonald’s several times, usually at his request, and it had become almost a code between them-never anything sexual, and he wasn’t sure what he would do if it ever did. Shit. What was he thinking? Kate was Mike West’s little sister, and Ava’s ex-sister-in-law. It was too complicated, too weird, too out-of-control…

“I’m on my way,” no hesitation, the words spilled right out of his mouth, as he ended the call, pitching the sheets aside, swinging his legs over the bed, and reaching for his boxer briefs.

Briskly sitting up, Ava grabbed his arm. The black satin sheets slipped to her waist. Her breasts bobbed delicately into glorious view, “What? Wait a minute, where are you going?” She demanded in a high-pitched annoyed tone, and it only took a nanosecond for her green bedroom eyes to morph into a jaded glower.

It was a justified question that he knew he couldn’t give an honest answer to; unless he was absolutely sure he wanted to endure the repercussions. Ava would be furious, to say the least, if she knew he was leaving her bed to go to Kate’s aid, or whatever it was that he was going to, he wasn’t sure.

He just knew that he had to go.

About the author:

For twenty-six years my life whirled around a song and a dance: I was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of my adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things I have experienced (greatly exaggerated upon of course) with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and the happenings at the racetrack.

Surprised? Why didn’t I write about my experiences with dance? Eh, believe it or not life at the racetrack is more…racy. The drama is outrageous—not that dancers don’t know how to create drama, believe me, they do but race trackers just seem to get more down and dirty with it which makes great story telling—great fiction.
I didn’t start out writing books, The Unbridled Series started out as a TV drama, and the Hollywood readers loved the show. The problem was we just couldn’t sell it. So one of the readers said to me, “Cindy, don’t be stupid. Turn your scripts into a book series.” and so I did!

In May of 2011 I took the big leap and exchanged my dancin’ shoes for a lap top—I retired from dance. It was a scary proposition, I was terrified, but I had the full support of my husband, Saint Bill. It has been a huge change for me. I went from dancing hard five hours a night to sitting in front of a computer. I still work-out and I take my dog, Harvey, for a daily run. I have to or I’d be as big as a house. Do I miss dance? Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books and I love sharing them with you.


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Guest post: Author Cindy McDonald



Courageous Characters 
by Cindy McDonald

Wow! How much do we love those courageous characters? You know the alpha males and the gutsy heroines that seem to ooze nerves of steel from their very pores. As authors we send our characters into situations we would never, ever, not-in-a-million-years get into, and we ask them to do it with keen finesse and dashing good-looks—well, okay, maybe a little stubble on their chin. 

Ahhh, they are everything that we are not—and that is the beauty of it all.

I love to write in the evening, it is the quiet time of day, and my thoughts turn to my latest Unbridled adventure, and what dodgy debacle I will ask Mike, Shane, Punch, or Lugowski to walk into without hesitation. I finish cleaning up the dinner dishes, check to see what my husband is watching on TV, I pour myself a glass of wine, and then retire downstairs to my office, where my characters live inside my computer. They are waiting for me—sometimes in a panic, depending on what state of affairs I’ve left them in the last time we met. I click on the file, take a deep breath, a sip of the wine, re-read what I wrote the night before, and then I ask myself one question: what if?

Sometimes I could swear that I hear them groan when the what if tumbles from my lips, especially Mike West—his sense of humor doesn’t stretch very far, I’m afraid. Who can blame him? In the first book, Deadly.com I asked him to withstand electroshock treatments at the hands of a madman, walk into the fire to protect the women that he loves, and in this latest book, Dangerous Deception, he must come face-to-face with betrayal of an old reliable friend, and a notorious biker gang.

Ya gotta love Mike’s younger brother, Shane. The youngest West darts toward danger like a bee to honey. A bit on the hot-headed side, he’s also the playboy of the group, but he’s not been exempt from the wrath of my writing. His fierce loyalty to family put him in harms-way in Deadly.com, and in my newest book, Dangerous Deception, the question what if will test his strength and constitution to the limit—it will take all the courage that he can muster to survive at the hands of his malevolent  captor. 

Punch McMinn is an enormous man and enormously soft-hearted. He keeps a cool head when trouble comes to call and trouble never seems to be very far from Westwood Thoroughbred Farm, or the West clan. 

And then there’s Lugowski, Lieutenant Carl Lugowski, that is, he took a bullet for Ava in Deadly.com, but in Dangerous Deception it is Kate West that drags him into deep do-do that will take a whole lotta guts to get him and her out alive.

Truth be told we authors really don’t live that exciting or death defying life styles. Non-the-less at the end of our finger-tips we wield the sword of courage at our characters and expect…no demand that they come through. Is it because we wish that our lives were as exciting as theirs? Are we cowardly thrill-seekers? Truthfully, I must admit that I really don’t care. I’ve just poured myself a glass of chardonnay and my computer screen has just lit up my latest manuscript. Hmmm…what if.



About the author:

For twenty-six years my life whirled around a song and a dance: I was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of my adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things I have experienced (greatly exaggerated upon of course) with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and the happenings at the racetrack.

Surprised? Why didn’t I write about my experiences with dance? Eh, believe it or not life at the racetrack is more…racy. The drama is outrageous—not that dancers don’t know how to create drama, believe me, they do but race trackers just seem to get more down and dirty with it which makes great story telling—great fiction.

I didn’t start out writing books, The Unbridled Series started out as a TV drama, and the Hollywood readers loved the show. The problem was we just couldn’t sell it. So one of the readers said to me, “Cindy, don’t be stupid. Turn your scripts into a book series.” and so I did!

In May of 2011 I took the big leap and exchanged my dancin’ shoes for a lap top—I retired from dance. It was a scary proposition, I was terrified, but I had the full support of my husband, Saint Bill. It has been a huge change for me. I went from dancing hard five hours a night to sitting in front of a computer. I still work-out and I take my dog, Harvey, for a daily run. I have to or I’d be as big as a house. Do I miss dance? Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books and I love sharing them with you.


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2012 Book 223: HOT COCO Review

Hot Coco by Cindy McDonald
ISBN: 9780985726713 (paperback)
Publication date: June 1, 2012
Publisher: Acorn Book Services


HOT: Coco Beardmore

NOT: Coco’s calamities

HOT: Mike West’s fantasies

NOT: Mike’s reality

That’s right, Coco Beardmore is sizzling hot and she’s landed in Mike West’s lap. The problem is Coco’s middle name is chaos! Her driving skills are a real bang–into Mike’s horse trailer, and her sultry seduction will set the room on fire–the kitchen that is.

What’s worse are her Thoroughbreds ability to mimic their owner’s habit of screwing things up. It’s enough to drive a normally calm and collected Mike West to the very edge.

But Mike’s not the only one having problems with women. His father Eric has taken on more than he can chew, and he’s about to get spit out by two women: one that he’s in love with and one that thinks he’s in love with her.

Oh yeah, things are hot around Westwood Thoroughbred Farm… and someone’s about to get burned!



Horses, racetracks, sexy and sultry characters and massive misunderstandings  are the major components in the contemporary read Hot Coco by Cindy McDonald. I thought that the story was going to center on Colette “Coco” Beardmore given the title, and it does . . . for a while. Coco is attracted to Mike West, Mike is attracted to Coco but he’s also still attracted (sexual attraction) to his ex-wife Ava. Ava is in a relationship with Carl, who is attracted to Ava’s ex-sister-in-law Kate. Mike and Kate’s father, Eric, is attracted to Jennifer and vice versa. Eric is also generously donating his time to teach Margie, another trainer’s daughter, to read. Margie starts off infatuated with Mike, begins to date a co-worker, and then thinks she’s in love with Eric. Whew! Confused yet, I was and I read it!


The basic premise for Hot Coco is what attracted me to this book, but it didn’t take long for the premise to fall flat. Coco and Mike are the major characters for about three or four chapters and then the story goes off on numerous tangents. To put it bluntly, Hot Coco is a “hot mess.” There doesn’t seem to be a main storyline or major characters throughout the story. Characters may be major in a few chapters and then become extremely minor in others. There is no main story to pull everything together other than the setting of the racetrack and training facilities. Ms. McDonald appears to have had a great idea for a story that centered on mutual attraction that is confounded by the klutziness of one of the characters. Unfortunately that story was over within a few short chapters and the remaining storylines just seem like filler. Hot Coco is a fast read but it simply didn’t work for me due to its lack of storyline and major character development. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from the author via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”