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Blog Swap with Toni Anderson

Please welcome fellow Carina Press author Toni Anderson to my blog today, while I trade spots and blog over at her place.  

Toni’s novel, Sea of Suspicion, was released on 6/14! 

Thanks for letting me be on your blog today, Joely. 

JSB: From as early as I can remember, I loved books.  As a young reader, my favorite book–the first one I can remember reading myself over and over–was Heidi.  What’s the first book you can remember falling in love with?

TA: The Silver Brumby books by Elyne Mitchell.  I think I was about 12 when I discovered them and I read them over and over and could never get enough of them.  I was a horse-mad child who had to make do with the fantasy, plus they were set in Australia and even back then I needed to travel the world through other people’s words. 

JSB:  I love books that make me FEEL:  laugh out loud, cry like a baby, or even kick the hero (at least until he grovels enough).  Can you list a book or two that have made you emotional?

TA: Susan Elizabeth Phillips books do that for me.  Both Heaven, Texas and Kiss An Angel made me cry.  I also loved Elizabeth Vaughn’s Warprize books.  Sometimes you just fall in love with characters and what happens to them, happens to you!

JSB:  What popular book has everyone else loved but you just didn’t care for?  (I’ll tell you a little secret:  I refuse to read or watch the Twilight saga.)

TA: I haven’t read the Twilight saga either J and to my great sadness I can’t get into vampires in general.  There are a lot of literary novels I’ve tried and failed to read.  And to most people’s utter disgust I’m happy to watch the movie before reading the book. 

JSB:  Much has been made about the Maya “predicting” the end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012.  (If–when!–our readers check out The Bloodgate Guardian, they”ll learn the truth about the Maya calendar cycle.)  If you knew the world really was going to end on that date, what’s the one thing you’d make sure you accomplished before then?

TA: There’s not I’ve put on the backburner as far as ‘things I want to do’ in terms of life experience.  My passion is travel and I have traveled—on a shoestring with kids in towJ. One thing I wish I could do is take care of my parents more.  I live so far away from my family that I don’t get the chance to do much for them.  So I’d lavish more time and money (and if the world’s ending Visa can help) on my family! 

Thank you, Toni!  See an excerpt of Sea of Suspicion below!

About Toni Anderson…

I write Romantic Suspense/Romantic Mystery and my latest book, SEA OF SUSPICION, was released by Carina Press this week and I’m so excited! It’s a moody atmospheric sexy romantic mystery set on the misty shores of contemporary Scotland. 

I’m a former marine biologist and conducted my Ph.D. at the Gatty Marine Laboratory in St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland where SEA OF SUSPICION is set.  I worked there for 4 years and was lucky enough to meet my husband over the pH meter in my supervisor’s laboratory.  Now we live in Canada with our two children.  I set my stories in some of the stunning locations I’ve been lucky enough to live and work—the blustery east coast of Scotland, the remote isolated mining communities of Northern Labrador, the rugged landscapes of the U.S. and the Red Center of Australia.  I love to travel vicariously through reading other people’s experiences and hope readers feel the same way.  I think the most unique aspect of my writing is the use of so-called ‘foreign’ settings.

My first Romantic Suspense, HER SANCTUARY, was released in 2009 to some great reviews, but I was thrilled to be part of the Carina Press launch.  I found out I’d sold on Christmas Eve and it was the best Christmas present ever.  Although publishing is a team effort, writing that initial first draft is a solitary enterprise.  One of my favorite things is connecting with like-minded readers and writers online.  I write about my travels on my blog and give updates on Twitter.  Readers can sign up for my newsletter on my website, or friend me on Facebook.  I’ve also set up a fan page for SEA OF SUSPICION with location photographs and anecdotes.  Let me know what you think of it! 



Marine biologist Susie Cooper traded her life in America for a dream job on the rugged Scottish coast. Now all she lacks is the right man to start a family with. After their first meeting, she knows sexy Detective Inspector Nick Archer isn’t what she’s looking for. He’s the type of guy whose idea of commitment is staying the whole night. 

Nick has returned to St. Andrews for one reason only—to fulfill his vow to find his wife’s killer. Relentless in his twelve-year quest for justice, he has no problem using Susie to get close to his primary suspect: her boss. But the passion between them smolders, and as it ignites, Nick finds himself torn between his past and his present—with Susie. 

When one of her boss’s students is murdered, Nick’s investigation draws Susie into a web of madness and betrayal. They will have to learn to trust each other if they’re going to catch a killer…and come out of this alive.



   The kitchen door flew open, the wind smacking it against the inside wall with a crash. Susie dropped the colander in the sink, shock stealing the moisture from her mouth. There, filling the portal, having to dip his head beneath the lintel, was Lily’s boyfriend, the same guy who’d stared at her in the bar last night.

   If the devil was blond, he was standing ten feet away in Leanne’s kitchen.

   “Nick! I haven’t seen you in ages.” Leanne bounced toward the tall, sharp-featured man and threw her arms around him and gave him a noisy lip-smack. Susie’s stomach bottomed out.

   “Get your hands off my wife.” Dougie ducked through the door and shoved a case of beer into the guy’s side before grabbing Leanne and bending her over his arm for a passionate kiss.

   Susie averted her gaze and inadvertently caught Nick’s.

   It wasn’t just the packaging that made him attractive. It was the sharp features and intelligent eyes that emanated risk like the Big Bad Wolf checking out Little Red Riding Hood on that wooded trail.

   But no matter how tempting he looked, Susie did not want to get gobbled up.

   Heat rose in her cheeks as his eyes swept her bare feet, her tight jeans and the big Mickey Mouse transfer plastered to her T-shirt. She crossed her arms.

   Amusement crinkled the corners of his eyes as he noted her response.

   “If you two lovebirds have finished, I’m waiting for an introduction to your guest.” His eyes pierced her. She’d thought nothing could be more unsettling than that soul-hunting gaze, but his voice… He wasn’t Scottish. English perhaps, some northern city with a regional accent she couldn’t place, but his voice. It was deep and smooth and strong, with the power of wind shaping granite and as warm as the summer sun sinking deep inside her like some magical spell that spun music into gold.

   “I bumped into Nick in the offy, gave him a ride out.” Dougie, six-foot-four of adorable dark-eyed male, crossed over to Susie and gave her a squeeze. “How’s my favorite bridesmaid?”

   She snorted. “Your only bridesmaid. What’s an offy?” She tensed as Nick came toward her, wondering how best to deal with the man. The guy was Lily’s boyfriend, but he made her intensely aware of every part of her body and every possible escape route.

   “What you’d call a liquor store.” Nick pushed aside the garlic bread, slid the box of beer and wine onto the counter next to Susie. Their shoulders brushed, but she didn’t flinch. She forced herself to remain still even though he was invading her personal space. He gifted her with a half smile when she didn’t flee.

   Dangerous and pushy.

   Leanne’s eyes sparkled. “Dr. Susie Cooper, meet Detective Inspector Nick Archer. Susie and I go way back. She just got a lectureship at the Gatty.”

   “You’re a cop?” Susie knew her mouth was hanging open, but she couldn’t believe Nick Archer was anything peaceable or law-abiding.

   His quick smile told her she’d made a common mistake. People must often figure him for a bad boy, a renegade, whereas apparently the opposite was true—he was a twenty-first century knight. Still, he emitted hazard like a pheromone, and instinct told her Nick Archer would be ruthless at getting what he wanted. Poor Lily.

   Yeah, right. Lily ate policemen for breakfast.

   He inclined his head. “At your service, Dr. Cooper.” His eyes drifted over Mickey Mouse’s ears, letting her know exactly the sort of service he had in mind.

   “How’s Lily?” she asked pointedly, conscious of the effort it took to hold his gaze. She wasn’t falling for the charm or pretending she didn’t know he already had a girlfriend.

   The kitchen suddenly felt as though it had been dropped into liquid nitrogen. Every particle of oxygen was sucked out of her lungs by the rapid chill.

   Leanne slapped herself on the forehead, at the same time rescuing the cheese sauce she’d made for the lobster thermidor. “I forgot you two had a connection.” Leanne wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention to dynamics; she was now looking for a corkscrew. “You’re getting a taxi home, by the way, unless you want a sleepover.” She waved vaguely over at Susie, or it could have been Nick, or both.

   “A connection?” Susie frowned.

   “Lily is Nick’s sister-in-law, or I should say…” Leanne paused, looking uncomfortable, a rare thing for the self-confident girl who’d grown up dirt-poor and desperate. “Former sister-in-law?”

   Rays of light cut oblique angles through the old farmhouse window and highlighted tense skin around Nick’s mouth. When he spoke, there was an odd glint in his eyes that was more complex than sorrow. “Lily was the flower girl at our wedding.”

   “You’re divorced?”

   “My wife is dead.”