Friday, August 01, 2014

Fresh Book Friday - Relative Evil

Title: Relative Evil
Author: Debra Erfert
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Xchyler Publishing
Date of Publication: July 2014

Inspired by her father and his pretty young wife, novelist Claire Abney allows her imagination to run wild and pens a best-selling thriller. However, as Glen Abney suffers multiple freak accidents, she wonders exactly where the prose stops and reality begins.

Claire screens her family from the prying eyes of success with a masculine pen name and her handsome editor, her shill for photo ops and book signings. But her father’s unexpected death, and bungled attempts on her own life, force her to admit the strategy may have backfired. Now, with the help of her brother and Max, her dreamy front man, she must separate truth from fiction. Before life imitating art becomes deadly.



“Yes, Miss Claire?” He stopped Lad so that the two horses faced each other, nose to nose.

“You’re a real cowboy?”

He tipped his hat up with a thumb as if the brim interfered with his view of my question. “I am.”

“May I ask you a personal question?”

He chuckled. “That doesn’t seem to be a problem for you.”

I waited when Bonnie decided to reach her mouth down to the frozen water’s edge. “Uh . . . how old are you?”

“Twenty-three. How old are you?”

I tried to pull up on Bonnie’s reins. She wouldn’t budge. “I’m twenty-six. How long have you worked for Denny Harris?”

Jace leaned over and ran his gloved hand along Lad’s neck. “Nearly two years now. Why?”

“I was wondering if you knew the first Mrs. Harris.”

Jace shook his head. “I don’t know about Denny’s past women. Not my business.”

I nodded as I studied Jace sitting relaxed on his horse. “What made you decide to become a cowboy? That’s not exactly a common career these days.”

“Huh . . . good question.” Jace stared around the rolling hills surrounding us for a long moment before he gazed at Bonnie. When his eyes finally settled back on me, he said, “I was driving home from the University of Colorado for summer vacation and I saw a sign posted for ranch hands at a gas station in Santa Fe. I didn’t want to work for my dad again, so I thought I’d try something different. Denny hired me even though I’d never been on a horse in my life.” Jace smiled. “By the time summer was over, I was seasoned enough he offered me a permanent job. Last year, I got promoted to foreman.”

“You never went back and finished your degree?”

He shook his head. “No, ma’am.”

“What were you majoring in?”

Jace smiled wider. “Accounting.”

I laughed. “My dad was—”


Bonnie jerked.


Bonnie whinnied and unexpectedly reared, then jumped. The world tipped, and I rolled backward, screaming, just as Bonnie bucked. She sent me flying out over the lake. I hit the ice flat on my back. It cracked, and I sank under the icy water.

The sudden shock froze my muscles and kept me from moving—from breathing. Pain seized my wrist and I was pulled up from the frigid water. Gasping in air, Jace dragged me the short distance across still-solid ice onto the dirt bank.

I tried to get up, but Jace’s strong arm around my back kept me plastered to the ground. “W—what hap—happened?” I stammered, trembling so badly my jaw quivered.

“Stray bullets—”

“Bullets?” I looked around. The horses were gone. “As in—in someone sh—shot at us?”

“Most likely it was a poacher mistaking us for deer.”

I knew better, especially after yesterday morning’s truck-through-the-hotel-wall incident. “No . . .” With a shaky hand, I reached into my soggy pocket for my phone. “He tried to k—kill me again.” I wanted to cry! My phone was as wet as my clothes. It wouldn’t turn on.

“What are you talking about?” Jace grasped my shoulder and stared into my face. “Who tried to kill you?”

I stared at my dead phone as blood dripped from my left hand. I took in a fast breath, and then another as I started in on a real fine panic. “I’m bleeding.” I looked up at Jace, who was staring at my hand with green eyes wide in surprise. A moment later, he tugged a bandana from around his neck and wrapped it around my hand, including the phone, until it was bound tightly before tying it off.

“Are you injured anywhere else?” he asked in a rush.

Clutching my hand to my chest, trying to stem the bleeding, I tried to stop shivering long enough to feel anything. I couldn’t. I was just too cold.

Jace then turned his attention outward, looking around. “Who wants to kill you?”

“I d—don’t . . . I don’t know who he is.”

Jace took out his phone and dialed. With his eyes searching around us, he spoke quietly, “Charlie, you need to saddle up everyone with a weapon and head out to North Lake. We’ve been pinned down by a sniper—”

Buy Links:

Barnes & Noble

Author Bio:
Debra Erfert lives in a desert city of Southwest Arizona, and has been married to Mike for 34 years. She’s the mother of two awesome sons, who married their forever loves, and she’s a grandmother to a beautiful granddaughter.

Debra wrote her first novella eleven years ago just to see if she could. That brief taste into the world of an author prompted an undeniable writing obsession rivaling only her love of chocolate. She completed thirteen full-length novels since then, and has started on her fourteenth.

Find Debra:
Amazon Author Page:
YouTube Book Video:

This looks like a deliciously scary novel!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for spotlighting my book, Marsha! I'm honored!


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