Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Author, author... CHASING THE DOLLAR by Ellie Ashe + #giveaway all about it !!

Please welcome Ellie Ashe with a guest post !
Inspiration—the Story Behind Chasing the Dollar

            As a complete news junkie, I read a lot of newspapers, magazines, online blogs, books, etc. to keep up with current events. It’s a side effect of working as a reporter for seven years. I loved that one of my first duties every day when I arrived at the newsroom was to “read in”—that is, read the wire and see what was going on everywhere in the world. It was heaven.
            Though I’m no longer in journalism, my morning routine still involves a long trawl through many various news sites and liberal use of Instapaper (link: One morning last year, I was read a lengthy and fascinating story about financial fraud. ( There was one paragraph that really stuck in my mind.

            As Kuhlmann traveled the world trying to repair relationships, trace lost assets and solve the mystery of Deak’s murder, he descended ever deeper into a rabbit hole. One of his stops was in Macau, where Deak’s office manager vanished without a trace after the collapse. Kuhlmann entered the paper-strewn offices to find the manager’s girlfriend sitting at her boyfriend’s old desk. She opened a drawer and pulled out a photo she’d found there: a grainy black-and-white snapshot of Nicholas Deak, lying bleeding on his office floor, just minutes from death.

I could not stop thinking about that woman in the office, her missing boyfriend, and the mysterious photograph. The what-ifs kept running through my mind. What happened next? Where had the office manager gone? What happened to the woman? Did she ever find her missing boyfriend?
The image of the ransacked office stayed with me throughout the next few months, until I started answering those questions in notes jotted down in my ever-present notebook. The final results had little in common with that article, other than the location of the second act in Macau and a scene set in an abandoned corporate office. But it was enough to get my mind racing off into this new adventure!

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Chasing the Dollar
Ellie Ashe
Gemma Halliday Publishing
Romantic Mystery @75k

Miranda Vaughn has spent the last year and a half fighting for her freedom. Arrested for a fraud scheme involving her supervisors, she's lost her job at a prestigious investment firm, her fiancé, and her reputation. She walks out of the courtroom a free woman, only to find that life has a few more curve balls to throw her way. The jury may have found her not guilty, but Miranda is broke, in debt to her beloved aunt, and can't find a job because of the cloud of suspicion still swirling around her.

She can't move forward with her life until she finds out who set her up. Buried in the evidence against her, Miranda finds a larger scheme, one involving far more money than the $37 million her boss fleeced from unsuspecting investors. Determined to uncover the truth, Miranda begins her own investigation—leading her to Macau and Belize, and into the arms of one sexy FBI agent, who has his own agenda. When the danger heats up, Miranda finds herself in a race against time to find the person behind it all. Before he finds her... 

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Looking over her shoulder, my gaze met that of a man sitting alone at the bar, a plate of food in front of him. He had a funny half-smile on his face, seeming amused by my encounter with the Mexican food. Sarah followed my gaze and turned to look at him.
She turned back and gave me a huge drunken smile. “Go for it, Miranda. He’s hot.”
My tequila-addled brain scrambled to keep up with the rush of hormones that the man had triggered. He was good looking—broad shoulders, wavy dark brown hair and intense dark eyes. He was still watching me, but now he was watching me study him. I gave him a smile and turned my attention back to my dinner.
I declined another margarita. It was only a three-block walk home, but any more alcohol and I’d probably head in the wrong direction. Sarah leaned back after polishing off her plate and one of my tacos. She ate like a linebacker. Damn her metabolism.
When the check came, Sarah grabbed it out of my hands and slapped a credit card down.
“My treat,” she said, putting the folder in the waitress’s hands. “We never got a chance to celebrate our win. Plus, I’ll probably throw up later, and you’ll end up holding my hair. So we’ll be even.”
I knew better than to fight with her, so I thanked her and glanced again toward the man at the bar. He was still there, lingering over a drink. He was watching me in the mirror behind the bar now, and I caught his eye again. This time, his expression was serious instead of flirty, and my brain woke from its boozy slumber and started sorting through memories trying to place him.
My smile faltered as the recognition clicked into place. His hair was shorter then, and he had been wearing a dark blue windbreaker with FBI emblazoned on the back. His strong hands grabbed mine, pulled them behind me, and snapped a pair of handcuffs on my wrists. Later, in a tiny room at the federal building downtown, he sat quietly taking notes while another man, the lead investigator, questioned me about the Sahara Fund.
“Miranda? Are you okay?”
I snapped back to see Sarah, leaning toward me, concerned. My throat closed, and the blood drained from my head.
I stood quickly, knocking the table with my leg. Sarah caught it and stood, too, grabbing her purse off the back of her chair.
“Let’s go,” I said.
Sarah waved toward the waitress and retrieved the check to sign the credit card receipt. I mumbled something about waiting outside and wobbled toward the door. Leaning against the stucco wall, I gulped down the still-warm evening air. My heart thundered and my hands shook.
“What’s wrong? Is it the tequila?” Sarah said, joining me outside and putting her hand on my arm.
I looked at her, then past her as a shadow passed over the screen door and paused, the tall outline of the FBI agent silhouetted against the bright lights of the kitchen behind him.
“I’m fine. Let’s go,” I said, turning abruptly.
Well, it was nice being normal while it lasted. 

About the Author
Ellie Ashe has always been drawn to jobs where she can tell stories—journalist, lawyer, and now writer. Writing quirky romantic mysteries is how she gets the "happily ever after" that so often is lacking in her day job. 

When not writing, you can find her with her nose in a good book, watching far too much TV, or trying out new recipes on unsuspecting friends and family. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two cats, all of whom worry when she starts browsing the puppy listings on

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