The Art of Love and Murder
A Wild Horse Peak Novel #1 by Brenda Whiteside Genre: Romantic Suspense, Mystery
A woman searching for her past. A sheriff hiding in his present. Their future together threatened by murder.
Forty-three years after the airplane crash she survived killed her parents, Lacy Dahl is looking for answers. When her research uncovers secrets about the mother she never knew and disputes the identity of her father, someone is willing to murder to keep her discoveries hidden.
Sheriff Chance Meadowlark is still haunted by the death of his wife and the revenge he unleashed in the name of justice. When he meets Lacy, he is determined not to become involved, but their pasts make that impossible - saving Lacy may be his only redemption.
Just as she begins to believe the present is more important than her past, Chance's connection and a murder spin her deeper into danger and further from love. When the truth is revealed, will the revelations free Lacy and Chance…or destroy them?
Lacy quickened her pace.
The footsteps behind her did the same.
As fast as her feet touched the bricks, her heart beat twice that speed. If only she could clear the narrow alley, step onto the lit sidewalk...
Like a magnet, the street light pulled her forward, and she lunged out of the darkness.
Her hand slammed to her chest. After a hard intake of breath and a fast exhale, she cast a furtive glance over her shoulder. With her head down and the strap of her purse in a tight fist against her breast, she whirled around to cover the last block at a trot--
And jarred with the collision as if she’d hit a cement wall. She careened off balance, but hands grabbed her shoulders keeping her upright.
She gasped and reared back out of the tight hold. Using her fisted purse as a weapon, she hurled a defensive blow to a broad chest. The hulk didn’t flinch. She lifted her knee, landing a jab short of her target and into the tree-sized thigh. “Ehhh,” she cried out as her knee jammed into unmovable muscle.
“Lady, I’m not going to hurt you.” The man held his ground and loomed over her, his hands at his chest fending off the swing of her fist.
Her vision filled with the imposing figure, and a chill shivered her body. Run screamed in her head. This time the swing of her purse missed the target as she whirled to escape.
His hand caught her arm and pulled her close.
“Help, help me!” Her voice came high and hysterical.
“I am trying to help.”
Both hands gripped her shoulders now, and her feet came partly off the ground, forcing her to look into his face.
“What’s wrong? Are you in trouble?”
Her head swung side to side, but the empty street and sidewalks could have been a ghost town. In the distance, a jazzy tune drifted through the air with voices too far away to help.
She gulped. He waited.
Southwest of Love and Murder
A Wild Horse Peak Novel #2
Writing murder mysteries is all in a day's work until an obsessed fan brings Phoebe’s stories to life.
Mystery writer, Phoebe Anderson, owes her success to killing her first husband on paper seventeen years earlier. Now, someone has actually done it. Taking a few days to re-group on an isolated ranch, she doesn’t expect romance…or murder…to find her.
Mason Meadowlark is happy with his wild cowboy ways, avoiding love since the death of his baby and the end of his marriage twenty years before. When Phoebe shakes up his routine, he fights to control his emotions, fearing the pain of opening his heart again.
With an obsessed fan close on her heels, Phoebe is thrown into her own murder mystery…and the next target on the psychopath’s list is Mason.
The Power of Love and Murder
A Wild Horse Peak Novel #3
Penny’s secrets can ruin the presidential contender who ordered her family’s murder…and mark her as the next hit.
Penny Spark’s desire to reconnect with family this Christmas exposes her true identity—a secret she’s hidden for thirteen years from the political powers that murdered her family.
Jake Winters is out of rehab and coming to grips with his demons. When he meets Penny, he believes this holiday season could be the start of life after rock star status…until her secrets blow up his world.
With a government agent turned hit man closing in on her, Penny and Jake race to expose the presidential contender who targeted her family. Even if they win the race with death, the murder that stands between them could end their hopes for a new life…and love.
The Deep Well of Love and Murder A Wild Horse Peak Novel #4
A vengeful ex-husband and bloody fight for land threaten a love-struck couple’s happiness.
After an abusive childhood and bad marriage, Laura Katz has finally found a home, stability…and possibly love. But her blissful refuge as nanny on the Meadowlark Ranch, miles from Flagstaff, shatters when her ex is released from prison, determined to reclaim her.
Randy Silva, the Argentine foreman, has plans for his own ranch, but a brutal land grab is underway. As the battle escalates, Laura steals his heart, but there are outsiders who stand in their way. He’s in a vicious battle for his land—and the woman he wants by his side.
Stakes are high, as the attacks on Randy and his ranch draw blood. While the vengeful ex-husband stalks Laura, a mob-backed land developer teams with a desperate gambler. Uncertain where the next attack will come from—will their love be caught in the crossfire.
A Legacy of Love and Murder
A Wild Horse Peak Novel #1.5
Inheriting an Austrian Castle is an Alpine fairytale for August, until someone begins targeting the heirs.
August Myer arrives in Austria to meet her great-grandfather and explore his castle estate filled with priceless art, only to find he’s died under suspicious circumstances. As one of his heirs, her life is in danger, turning her Alpine adventure into a nightmare of veiled threats, unexplained accidents, and murder.
Inspector Tobias Wolf splits his time between catching criminals and fighting the spread of neo-Nazism. But when the beautiful, intriguing American crosses his path during a murder investigation, ensuring her safety challenges his priorities…and his heart.
When August learns the handsome inspector is concealing secrets, and the death of her great-grandfather is somehow connected, she takes the investigation into her own hands. Can Wolf save her before the killer strikes again?
Brenda Whiteside is the award-winning author of romantic suspense, cozy mystery, and romance. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have settled in Central Arizona. They admit to being gypsies at heart so won't discount the possibility of another move. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW fishes, Brenda writes.
TURNING BITS OF MY LIFE INTO FICTION
Wild Horse Peaks is a four-book romantic suspense series set in Arizona, my home state, with the sequel set in Austria, a country I loved visiting. The characters in each book are either related or friends. The stories follow twisty paths of danger and suspense: a search to learn about birth parents who died…or were murdered, a mystery writer stalked by someone acting out her murder scenes, a politically driven madman chasing the last member of a family and her rockstar boyfriend, and a good old western land grab turned nasty. The sequel is an Austrian fairytale turned nightmare. And in the midst of all the mayhem—love
Each book holds a piece of my life. I think authors often weave in facets of themselves in their stories. The Art of Love and Murder has a Native American thread (I’m proud of my Indian blood) and a tie to the art community (my first idea for a career and why I went to college). In the second book, Southwest of Love and Murder, the heroine is a lusty, free-spirited, author (my alter-ego). The hero in The Power of Love and Murder is a rocker and just might resemble my son years back while one of the hero’s exploits is taken from the pages of my brother’s life. In the fourth book of the series, The Deep Well of Love and Murder, the only tie to the real me is the dog, Perro. He looks like my beloved Rusty, who died a few years ago.
Although the books are all connected, you can read them as standalones.
A Legacy of Love and Murder, a sequel, is free to members of Brenda’s Newletter Group.