Marji Laine: Faith~Driven Fiction

. . . Authentic and Intense

Three Free Books!

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TitlewhstackToday’s the day! Woohoo!

I just loaded up my third episode of the Grime Fighter series, Grime Spree. It should be available on Amazon any time. Don’t worry! I’ll link it HERE as soon as the book is available!

To celebrate, I’m giving away the entire series to one lucky reader! Want yours to be the name I draw on February 29th? Read on!

Here’s a little teaser from the back cover:

Shadows from her past have haunted Dani’s dreams for months. Now, however, the ghosts are real and bringing a trail of death and destruction.

What begins as a romantic evening, the first in far too long, collapses into yet another crime scene. However, this one has someone involved who is familiar to Dani. Too familiar. And worse, he recognizes her.

Jay’s new promotion has increased his working hours considerably, as well as interrupted and cancelled more than one date with Dani. His attempt to make it up to her at one of the nicest restaurants in the area backfires when the place is robbed.

But the biggest problem is that Dani seems to be in on the crime.

And here’s an excerpt:

La Bella Nodo reminded Dani of romantic movies. Not that she loved the icky-sweet stories so much, but Tasha did. The two of them had watched several over the last weekend when her previous date had fallen through.

This place more than repaid her temporary disappointment.

“Is this your first time?” A host leveled a partial smile in her direction.

She ignored the man’s pointed look. Had he meant to say it so suggestively? She stared at his black sneakers. “This is quite a place.”

Jay stepped behind her, his hand to her back. “I have a reservation for two under the name of Hunter.”

She glanced again at the host. His cleanly shaved head reflected some of the dim lights around him, but his piercing dark eyes hadn’t left her face.

“I see, Mr. Hunter. If you’ll follow me.” Only then did his concentrated stare break.

What was that about? An alarm, from her many months in witness protection, went off inside her head. Yet, he couldn’t know who she was. She looked nothing like the pampered, spoiled girl she’d left behind in California. And why would anyone look for her here of all places?

He looked back at her and winked.

Eww. She paused and grabbed her right elbow behind her back.

If Jay had noticed, he didn’t show any reaction. Maybe he didn’t care that some creep was flirting with his date? Nah. Any guy would care about that, if nothing than for the pride of the matter. She wrapped her fingers around his arm.

He glanced her direction and covered her hand with his own. “What do you think?”

“Amazing.” Atmosphere—five stars. Personnel—negative three. The food would have to make up for the guy leading their journey through the room.

He stopped at a table near the bar. “Here we are.” He held out a chair. “For the bella signorina.”

“What does that mean?” Dani moved to the chair, wishing Jay had been holding it.

“Beautiful lady.” Jay took the seat across from her. “And I agree.”

The host nudged her chair forward. “Sei bellisima.” His whisper warmed her shoulder into a skin crawl. Then he hurried away.

She wiped her neck. Ick. “What does bellisima mean?”

Jay pulled at the knot in his napkin, but halted and stared at her. “Did that guy say that to you?”

“Yes. Whispered it. Very creepy.” She shuddered.

He raised his left eyebrow and looked in the direction the man had gone. “It means he thinks you’re hot.”

Eww again. Her mouth dropped open for a moment. “Well, that’s degrading.”

Once again, Jay glanced toward the front of the dining room. “Probably his attempt at charm.” Then his gaze rested on her, and a tender look of appreciation settled across his features. He reached across the table to cover her hand with his. “I guess he couldn’t help himself. And I can’t say I blame him.”

Swoon. How did she respond to that?

Tiny wrinkles showed in the corners of his eyes. “Though I would have used something like bella tesora.” His voice grew husky with the accent.

Her stomach whirled somewhere around her shoulders. She took a deep breath. “What’s the difference?”

He gave a slight shrug and stroked the back of her hand with his thumb. “What he said focused only on your physical attractiveness, but I know your inner light as well. Bella tesora—beautiful treasure.”

Yeah? “I don’t know what to say.” This man was beyond amazing.

His gaze dropped to the table for a moment. “Say you’ll come with me to Marseille?”

Huh? “Who’s Marcie?” Was she a sister or something?

What is the better question.” He gave her hand a squeeze and released it. Sliding his napkin into his lap. “Marseille, like the place in France, only in East Texas, we don’t pronounce it right, so it sounds more like Marcie. It’s where I grew up. My parents throw a big Fourth of July celebration every year.”

Oh wait. His parents? No, no, no. Meeting parents wasn’t part of her path. Not with… everything she still had to do. Besides, she couldn’t up and leave Dallas like that. Or could she?

The butterflies that had been winging their way inside her turned to wasps.

“My whole family will be there. My brothers and their wives and kids. And you’ll love my sister. She’ll have a little one early next year.”

“In Marseille?”

“Beautiful place.” His eyes warmed. “Near Caddo Lake in the heart of the piney woods. Green and fresh. My dad’s retired from the sheriff’s department. Has some cattle and a stock pond. And my mom will love showing you her garden. Seriously, gardening is a sport to her.”

“On July Fourth.” Try as she might, she couldn’t think of any excuses to bow out of the trip. Not something she was at liberty to actually explain.

“I’ve already taken the weekend off. Since they owe me, like, weeks of vacation time, the captain didn’t think it would pose much of a problem.”

Wait. Her job. “I’m not sure I can do that.”

“Tyrone said y’all always get off on the big three holidays—the Fourth, Christmas, and Thanksgiving.”

That was right. He’d said they’d been lucky to get off New Year’s Day this year. “It’s… I mean….”

“You’re nervous about meeting my family.” He scanned her face. “Guess it isn’t all that fair since you don’t have any local family for me to meet.”

She released a sigh. “I’m not sure I’m ready.”

“I think….” He gazed into her eyes again. “Make that, I know I care about you. And I believe you feel the same. My family is an important part of my life. I want to give them a chance to fall… to get to know you like I have.”

His gentle voice and tender look incapacitated her resolve. “I really would like to go. If we can work out the details.” She really had gotten far too good at lying. Should she and Jay have a chance at any future, she’d have to break that trend.

Of course, Matthew would never allow such. At least, he’d give her a reasonable excuse she could use to get out of it.

A waiter hovered behind Jay. Dani looked up and had a sharp intake of breath. That man. She knew him. And his stare—first curious, then with widened eyes—confirmed he recognized her as well.

Your Turn: Want a copy of all three books of the Grime Fighter Series for free? Comment below (with your email address) and tell me what strikes you (or excites you) from the Excerpt above! 

By the way, if you like free books, I give away one every month to my Faith & Fiction Crew. Want to get in on them? Sign up for my monthly newsletter, HERE!

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Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a homeschooling mom with teenage twins left in the nest. She spends her days transporting to and from volleyball, teaching writing classes at a local coop, and directing the children’s music program at her church. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

12 thoughts on “Three Free Books!

  1. These are fantastic books! I know!

    Like

  2. These sound great. Your a new author to me Yay!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Who is Matthew and how does this restaurant guy figure into this mystery of her background. Yes, I love reading good mysteries series.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your sample writing put a hook in me right away! I would love to read these books!
    Thank you for the offer!
    Janice
    pjrcmoore@windstream.net

    Liked by 1 person

  5. !! My dad retired from the sheriff’s department.~~ He was Sheriff for 14 years 🙂 I’d love to read these books!
    dkstevensne AToutlookDOT CoM

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love mysteries and this sounds intriguing.

    Like