Thursday, January 5, 2012

Melanie Atkins & her new book Quest for Justice

Special Guest Post by Melanie Atkins

Welcome 2012!

A new year, a fresh start. A blank slate. I love having this new canvas stretched out before me. What will 2012 bring? None of us knows, but it's fun to speculate. Will we travel? Redo a room at home? Adopt a new pet? I wish only good things for everyone. Fabulous sales for all the authors I know, great reads for the readers, and happy travels for those taking off to parts unknown.

Picking up a new book to read is kind of like starting a new year. You might think you know what you're going to get or what you want to happen, but you never really know. The author might surprise you… and bring you gasps along the way. That's what makes life fun!

I tried to do that in QUEST FOR JUSTICE, the third book in my Keller County Cops series. My latest title came out January 1 at Desert Breeze Publishing, and I'm thrilled. Writing this book was a real struggle… but at the end, I was truly satisfied. Abby and C.J. got their happy ending, and the bad guys were locked away. What more can you ask when reading (or writing) a romantic suspense?

Here is a sneak peek inside the book:


Abby Ryals goes behind the sheriff's back to accept an undercover assignment with another agency to avenge fellow detective C.J. Bowman's death, and is stunned to learn he's very much alive when he leaves witness protection and follows her undercover to help keep her safe. Together, they must race the clock to defeat a notorious drug lord before he can discover their true identities.


The unrelenting volleys of the twenty-one gun salute reverberated inside Abby Ryal's head. With each shot fired, her heart skipped another beat. She tried to breathe, to draw in the cool fall air and clear her muddled senses, but she couldn't. The ache inside her only intensified, and she worried she might throw up right here in front of C.J.'s polished mahogany casket.

C.J. Bowman. Fellow Keller County detective. Her best friend, and former lover.


Her stomach heaved. She wrapped her arms around her middle and dropped her head onto her knees. The ancient folding chair creaked as she released a shuddering breath.

Don't throw up. Don't throw up. Not here. C.J. will laugh his fool head off if you toss your cookies on the funeral wreaths. Their too-sweet smell is bad enough, and if you...

She sat up and smothered a laugh.

Oh, God. I can just picture him sauntering through the cemetery with that trademark smirk on his face, making fun of me. He gets off on that. He's always so--

The idea that she would never see him again curdled her stomach.

"You self-centered bastard," she whispered to herself, cringing as the line of uniformed policemen fired yet another round. Leave it to C.J. to go down in dramatic fashion, waging a one-man gun battle with one of the Deep South's most infamous drug cartels.

Tears filled her eyes as she murmured, "Always playing the hero. Only, this time it got you killed, didn't it?"

"Abby, you okay?" Jonah McKee, the detective who'd mentored her since she first got her gold shield six months ago, leaned over and asked with concern.

She nodded stiffly, unable to voice her pain, and aimed her gaze at the shimmering red and gold leaves on the trees bordering the tiny country cemetery. The brisk November breeze iced her heart. C.J. had loved this time of year. He loved to hunt, loved the contest of man against beast. Why, oh why had he chosen to challenge the most frightening beast on the planet -- Salvador Salazar, better known as Sal-Sal -- instead of climbing into his deer stand and scouring the wooded terrain for a prime ten-point buck?

Hope you'll check it out! It's available at Desert Breeze via this link:

And at Amazon: and other online outlets.

Next month, look for BLOOD RITE, my latest single title release from Whiskey Creek Press (in both print and e-book formats) and CHERISHED WITNESS, the first book in my New Orleans detective series with Desert Breeze, that will come out in print for the first time.

Happy New Year!


June Love said...

Melanie, what a powerful beginning. It gave me chills. Your cover is so appropriate. I love it and the book.

Liz Lipperman said...

Another winner for you, Melanie. Great excerpt, BTW. This whole series is terrific.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Melanie Atkins said...

Thanks, y'all! Writing this book was like pulling teeth, but now it's out and I can enjoy it. lol

Thanks, Liz, for your input at the beginning. You helped me get it on track. I really appreciate it!

Barbara White Daille said...

Melanie - great excerpt!

It's already got me wondering about how it affects Abby and the rest of the story.

Excellent cover, too.

Anne - thanks for hosting Melanie today.

Happy new year!


Melanie Atkins said...

Thanks, Barbara!

Angela Britnell said...

It is a great beginning and makes me want to read more. Sure to pull readers in.Good luck with it.

Carol Wright said...

I'm hooked. This one sounds right up my alley. Thanks for introuducing me to another new author, Anne.

Mary Marvella said...

I am late, but I'm glad I stopped by. I love the excerpt!

Anne Patrick said...

Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments in support of Melanie. Happy New Year to all!