So...it looks like we're the last stop on the SEX, LIES & MURDER Boxed set tour
I'm thrilled beyond thrilled to have Maddie James join us. She's sharing a bit about her part in this great boxed set, A Perfect Escape !!!
The ocean. The beach. The call of the surf and the tang of salt on my lips. What is more romantic than that? I’m not exactly sure why but the ocean plays a part in many of my books. A
Perfect Escape, is no exception. In fact, I’m a bit partial to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the setting of this book. (In fact, I’m heading there for vacation this week!)
Smyth Parker is a volunteer caretaker of an uninhabited village on Portsmouth Island, a real uninhabited island which sits about five miles away from Ocracoke Island in the barrier islands. No one lives there except for the caretakers and the occasional National Parks employees.
People used to live there. In fact, the last inhabitants left in 1971. Imagine, living almost a lifetime on an island off the coast, no access except by boat, no running water, few amenities of life that we now think so commonplace. Your mail comes by boat and if you need supplies, you send the mailman back to the mainland with a list. Electricity? Likely not. Perhaps they had generators, I’m not exactly certain.
I learned of Portsmouth Island during one of my many visits to the Outer Banks. I long to schedule a trip over by boat to the isolated village. I just want to explore, soak up the history and the stories but alas, that day has not yet come. Someday. Yes. I will make that trek and I look forward to it.
The isolation and the wicked storms that pound the island became too much for residential living. Now, the island is part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore. While doing research for this book, I was able to discuss what living on the island is like with some of the volunteers who actually do live there. I wonder if that is something I might like to experience for myself. How strong a generator would it take to keep my laptop powered up?
So what other island books are in store for me in the future? That remains to be seen.
There are two characters in A Perfect Escape, however, who continue to niggle at me. I think they are trying to let me know that they might want a book of their own in the future.
Have you read A Perfect Escape? What do you think? Do Rudy and Mack need their own stories told? Can you imagine the conflict between them? Did Rudy really kill Bradford and if so, could Mack, being an upstanding detective, ever forgive her for that?
I’d love to know what you think. Feel free to email me at email@example.com let me know! I’d love to hear from you.
Megan Thomas is running for her life. From Chicago, from the mob, from her controlling husband. She runs to the only place she ever felt at peace, a North Carolina barrier island she remembers from her childhood. Now she only wants to get lost—lost in someone else’s life. A new identity, soothing ocean winds, and a quiet existence are all she needs.
Smyth Parker is running from life. From the business he inherited, from society, from an ex-wife scorned. His only escape is the solitude of uninhabited Portsmouth Island. He doesn’t want anything else. And he sure as hell doesn’t need a complication named Megan Thomas.
When Megan fears she’s been found, she runs again—and straight into Smyth’s arms. His isolated island home might finally be her perfect escape. Or is it?
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Boxed Set Trailer:
The cottage sat facing the ocean, nestled in the swale of a dune. It was a Nags Header, built in the early 1930’s, sporting sloping rooflines and sweeping porches. One step inside its walls and Meg felt thrust backward in time to an era of balmy breezes, deserted beaches and hot summer days when the screen door slapped hard behind you. The plank floors, ceilings, and walls lent a feeling of old-fashioned charm, along with the push-button light switches and the thick coats of peeling paint on the shutters.
Meg took a deep breath and then exhaled.
She’d made it.
A heated breeze lifted the hair from her shoulders and swirled it about her face. It kissed her cheeks with its salty mist and caressed her body with its warmth. She felt alive. More alive than she’d felt in years.
When she’d arrived, she’d run like a child between the dunes for her first glimpse of the magnificent ocean until she’d stopped still and drank in the essence of it all—drank it all in with her eyes, her lungs, and every pore of her being.
She was home.
Actually, it just felt like home. Her new home. She’d only been here once, at age five years, when her parents were still experimenting with family vacations as a way of saving their marriage. But they soon realized that the Atlantic Ocean and Nags Head didn’t solve their problems. They’d divorced not long after. Meg remembered how relaxed and at peace she had felt, even at that tender age, when she could tune out her parents arguing and lose herself in the sand and surf. It was a pleasant memory she’d long harbored.
Even then she’d known escape.
Perhaps it was practice for dealing with Bradford for all those years. Perhaps that’s why she
Closing her eyes, Meg breathed deeply, drawing the ocean air into her lungs. The sea lived in her soul now, the beach hers. All hers and hers alone. Everything in her life was now hers alone. She felt stingy, selfish, but she’d given up so much in her life the past six years. She didn’t intend to give up any more.
She didn’t care. She’d live her life as she saw fit.
Any way she wanted. She’d sleep when and if she wanted. Eat when she wanted. Clean her house if she wanted and if she didn’t, she wouldn’t. If she felt like eating a whole damn chocolate cake, she would. And if she felt like starving herself to lose five pounds she’d do that, too.
She had regained control of her life. Her life. Not Bradford’s. Hers. If it took until she turned old and blue-haired to prove that point to herself, she would do it. But she didn’t think it would take that long. The healing had already begun.
That was all she needed. Time to heal. And the ocean breezes blowing through her hair.
Turning, Meg smiled at the cottage she’d rented. Though smaller than most of its kind in Nags Head, it suited her perfectly with its two bedrooms, one bath, and kitchen-great room combo. The odd little house sported huge windows gracing the front, a porch that swept the entire width and around one side, and only one door, as if an afterthought. But that was okay, it meant she only had one door to worry about locking each night.
And she called it home, at least temporarily until the rental agency could find her something more permanent and less expensive—probably not beachfront, though. So she intended to enjoy this one for as long as she could. The out-of-town owner didn’t usually rent during the early spring, but had consented to let her rent for two months until something else could be found in her price range.
The money she had wouldn’t last indefinitely. At some point she’d need to find a job.
But until then, this was home.
Of course, all that was accomplished on the road after she’d left Chicago, stopping at a phone booth in Elizabeth City to make some calls. Cell phone records could be easily traced and the bill always went to Bradford. A rare pay phone was safer. She didn’t want to use her credit cards, either, for a pre-paid phone. Cash was the only way she could go.
But that was all said and done. Seven days passed without a sign of Bradford. No indication that anything had gone awry.
No black sedan sat outside her front door.
How good it felt to be rid of the black sedan. Bradford called them her bodyguards, but she knew better. They weren’t there to protect her. They kept tabs on her comings and goings to make sure she didn’t leave. They started following her when she first mentioned to Bradford that she wanted a divorce. His violent reaction told her how difficult it would be to break away. But she had to do it, no matter how long it took or to what depths she had to go. And Rudy, bless her soul, was the only person trusted to get her out of this mess.
Everything seemed all right, now, but that didn’t mean she could let down her guard. Not for a long time.
Whether writing traditional contemporary romance or building paranormal worlds, bestselling romance author, Maddie James, pens stories that frequently cross a variety of romantic sub-genres. Sweet or spicy, suspense or comedy, western or time-travel, her heroes and heroines always chase one thing—the happily-ever-after—whether they realize it or not!
A Food Network junkie who plots the way she cooks—by the seat of her pants—Maddie always has a delicious end product in mind (and she always follows a secret recipe!).
Maddie is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and its Published Author Network (PAN), Louisville Romance Writers (LRWA), Novelists Inc. (NINC), Kentuckiana Authors, and the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA).
Visit Maddie's website: www.maddiejames.com
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