Beyond the Shadows
by Loree Lough
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Grieving, their sorrow brings them together, and a friendship develops that leads then to explore the possibility of finding love again. But vengeful enemies and jealous rivals are determined to destroy the peace and happiness that Elice and Cabot have found in each other’s arms. Why are their rivals so intent on keeping Elice and Cabot apart? Loree Lough's latest suspenseful romance is a page-turner!
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She looked at the mantle clock, unable to believe it said eleven-fifteen.
‘‘Great job on the sign,” he added, hoisting it from where she’d leaned it near the front door. “It’s going to look terrific at the end of my drive.”
Elice felt as though everything stopped as he stood there, looking at her.
“Great job on supper, too. I’m glad Annie invited me.”
“We’ll do it again sometime,” she promised.
“Soon, I hope.”
Side by side, they walked to the end of her long, gravel drive, and he carefully slid the sign into the back seat. “You have a fantastic family,” he said, closing the door. “And …”
He studied her face for a silent moment. And he wasn’t smiling when he said, “You’re quite a woman, you know that?”
“C’mon. Stop it now. You’re embarrassing me.”
“The truth shouldn’t embarrass you, Elice.”
A hundred people had said her name, but coming from his lips, it sounded musical, poetic. His face loomed nearer, and he licked his lips. A little soon for a kiss? And if she allowed it, should it be with eyes closed?
Elice pretended she wasn’t disappointed when he pressed a brotherly kiss to her forehead.
She watched him climb into the front seat, and accepted the fact that this tender but tough guy had touched a distant, forgotten chord inside her. He hadn’t even left yet, and already she was trying to think of a way to ask him back without appearing overly eager.
Cabot crooked his forefinger, beckoning her near. She took a step closer to his car door, and he stuck his head out the window. “If you get any weird calls, or if the doorbell rings in the middle of the night, I want you to call me.”
Would the darkness would hide her blush? “That’s not necessary. I shouldn’t have bothered you with all that craziness.”
“Yes. You should.”
“Someone kids have their calendar mixed up. They think it’s Halloween or something. They’ll get bored and stop soon, I’m sure.”
Elice realized he wasn’t going to take no for an answer. “1 can take care of myself.” She said it with conviction and hoped he’d believe her. Because she could, usually.
“It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help, Elice.”
Lord, if I had a dollar for every time I heard that since Bobby left, I’d have. . .a couple hundred dollars.
“So, you have a character flaw after all,” he said.
“I beg your pardon?”
She grinned, and wondered how many dollars she could have stacked up for that one. “Perfection is boring.”
He reached through the opened window and gently stroked her cheek. “I don’t think you’re the least bit boring.” With that, he winked and backed out of her driveway.
She stood in the driveway, her fingertips resting on the spot he’d touched, until his tail lights were nothing more than tiny red dots in the darkness.
An oft-invited guest of writers' organizations, colleges and universities, corporate and government agencies in the U.S. and abroad, Loree loves sharing learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and the industry.
Once upon a time, Loree (literally) sang for her supper, performing alone and "opening" for the likes of Tom Jones, Dottie West, The Gatlin Brothers, and more. Though she refuses to share the actual year when she traded her Yamaha 6-string for a wedding ring, she IS willing to admit that, every now and then, she blows the dust off her six-string to croon a tune or two. But mostly, she just writes (and writes).
Loree and her husband split their time between a home in the Baltimore suburbs and a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where she continues to hone her "identify the critter tracks" skills. Her favorite pastime? Spending long, leisurely hours with her grandchildren...all seven of them!
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A: “I read an article sometime back, about a former homicide detective who returned to his small home town, in search of peace and quiet. What he found, instead, was a place more crime-riddled than New York City, where he’d spent the bulk of his career.”
Q: “So, Cabot Murray is based on that cop?”
A: “Loosely-based. The real cop didn’t lose his wife and daughter in a fatal, fiery car wreck, as Cabot did.”
Q: “And what about Wally, the unusual fellow who lives near Elice? Was he based on a real character, too?”
A: “As a matter of fact, he was. When Larry and I bought our first house, there was a guy very much like Wally. He, too, had suffered a head injury during the war. He wasn’t as friendly or helpful as Wally, however. That part, I had to, ah, fictionalize!”
Q: “And the creepy stuff that happens to Elice? Is that based on fact?”
A: “Those things are an accumulation of news stories I’ve heard over the years. By blending them into one story, I was able to make the bad guy seem even ‘badder’!”
Q: “How long did it take to write BEYOND THE SHADOWS?”
A: “About 3 months. I started with interviews, as I always do, with people who live lives that are similar to my characters. I used to live in Freeland, so research on the area wasn’t as time consuming or challenging as usual. I spent considerable time with police officers and attorneys, so that references to crimes—and how they’re punished—would be accurate and believable.”
Q: “What’s your favorite thing about being a published author?”
A: “Opening letters from readers (some in email, some in social media messages, some snail mail) and hearing them express why they like my novels: They identify with what the characters are going through. They know someone just like the bad guy. They got ideas about how to solve a problem—like the one a character was facing—from the novel. Almost always, they ask when “the next book in the series” will be available. Now and then, they ask if I’ve ever considered writing about a specific region, time period, or issue. And if I haven’t already … I do!”
Q: “Do you have a favorite novel … of yours, of course?”
A: “I hate to sound vague, but whichever story I’m working on at the time, that’s my favorite.”
Q: “You’ve created such interesting, unusual characters. Do you have a favorite?”
A: “Dusty Parker, hero in A Man of Honor, is right up there at the top of the list. He was everything a hero usually isn’t, and yet, his personality traits inspired hundreds of readers to write and confess ‘I fell a little bit in love with Dusty!’ Readers can’t pay authors a better compliment!”
Q: “What do you hope readers ‘get’ from BEYOND THE SHADOWS?”
A: “First, I hope they enjoy the story. Second, I hope the characters ‘ring true.’ Finally, whether they’re single-and-looking, single-and-spoken-for, or very much attached to someone, I hope they discover some truth in the old adage: ‘There’s a perfect love-match out there for everyone!’”
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