Synopsis: If you were a marked woman, how far would you run? At only 23 years old, Ellora’s life is turned upside down. She captures the unwanted attention of a dangerously ruthless man, who’ll stop at nothing until he possesses her. Haunted by nightmares of the brutal attack she survived, Ellora flees the country desperate to hide. But, the longer she runs the deeper his obsession grows. Behr is a hard working bachelor who’s life is stuck on repeat. Every single day is filled with the same people, and the same routine. That is, until a beautiful stranger stumbles into the local pub and into his heart. Even though he’s immediately drawn to her raven black hair and deep green eyes… he knows she’s hiding a secret. One he’s determined to uncover. Can Ellora stay safe in this small harbor town? Or has the twisted game of cat and mouse, just begun?
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Excerpt: Ellora raced down the hallway as fast as her legs could carry her. Dread gripped her when she heard his heavy footsteps pounding on the hardwood floors behind her. His powerful presence echoed around the eerily empty house. It didn’t matter how fast she ran, he was always right on her heels. Ellora quaked violently when she made it to the stairs. If she couldn’t make it out of there, she’d never survive. Reaching out, Ellora gripped the railing with both hands and used the leverage to fly down the steps. She skipped so many at a time, it felt like flying. He thundered down the steps, after her. The smell of his rancid panting, snaked its way over her shoulder. The stench stung her nose. Ellora risked looking back. His large black eyes, vicious with a murderous rage she didn’t understand, were only a few feet behind her. He was close enough to grab her. Oh. My God, this is it. He reached out… and she lunged, taking a giant leap before she got to the last three steps. She successfully made it over the carpeted runner at the bottom. Her ankles stung as she landed hard, on her bare feet. Easily ignoring the pain, Ellora sprinted to the front door. She heard him land on the runner and crashed to the floor, as it slipped out from under him. Shaking, she fumbled with clumsy fingers, trying to unlock the deadbolt and door knob lock.
After several slips from her bloodied hands, she finally heaved open the door. She skidded on her own blood, which was trickling down her legs and pooling onto the floor. The cool air rushed in, sobering her. Chills raised goosebumps on her skin as she dashed out the door. Ellora looked back to make sure he wasn’t behind her. This action caused her to lose her balance, tripping down the driveway and crashing right into the car. She remembered leaving her it unlocked, so she wrenched it open and jumped inside. She immediately locked the doors in record speed. It took only a moment for her to get a grip on her debilitating panic. She frantically searched her pockets for the car keys. First the front, then the back. Ellora froze. A devastating hopelessness made her stomach drop when she realized that she left the keys in the house. She hung her head in defeat… BANG! BANG! BANG! The sudden violent pounding sent Ellora shooting out of her seat, frightened to death as he pulverized the glass window with his fists. He stopped his onslaught abruptly and pressed his face against the window. His disturbing eyes and malicious sneer held her captive. He lifted his hand presenting a set of keys and shook them. ‘NO!’
Q&A – Character Interview
1. a) What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?
I’ve been told I’m quite intimidating at first because I tend to sit back and observe the person. When in rest my face looks broody and intense. b) How about after they’ve known you for a while? I would give the shirt right off my back for those I care about. My loved ones needs always come first before my own.
2. a) What’s your idea of a good marriage? Someone who will love and support you through all trials and tribulations. Someone who’ll stand by your side no matter what. And an undying love and respect that doesn’t dull over time. b) Do you think that’ll happen in your life? I pray that I am lucky enough to find that. I’d never take it for granted.
3. a) What are you most proud of about your life? That even through hard times I managed to start my own transport business where I can be in the water all day. The sea is my first love. b) What about on a personal level? That I don’t judge everyone else by the actions of others. I give everyone a chance.
4. a) What are you most ashamed of in your life? That I never made it to college. b) What about on a personal level? My parents abandoning me and disowning me I front of everyone in town, forcing me to mooch off my friend until I could get back on my feet.
5. a) What’s the worst thing that’s happened in your life? Learning that my girlfriend of a few years had been cheating on me all along. She used me to get what she wanted. b) What did you learn from it? No matter how hard you try you can’t force love just because you want it.
6. a) Tell me about your best friend. Gavin always has my back no matter what. He’s a good and loyal friend who I’d trust with my life. He is a pretty boy ladies man. b) How did you meet this person? I’ve known him since we were young lads. We went to school together. After my parents disowned me, I lived with him for a bit.
7. a) What do you like best about yourself? My strength under pressure. b) Least? My tendency to be possessive.
8. a) What do you like best about Ellora Belle Sutherland? What isn’t there to like? She has an enormously large heart. She bends over backwards to help others. She isn’t lazy or entitled or self important. She is absolutely stunning inside and out. b) Least? Her inability to except help from others. But we’re working on that.
9. How do you feel about your life right now? For the first time in a long time I look forward to waking up to see my dark angel. She enriched my life when she stumbled into it.
10. What, if anything, would you like to change? I’d take away all Ellora’s pain and suffering. I’d take away her fears so she can start to enjoy her life with me.
Author Bio: I grew up in Upstate NY, but my heart belongs in Arizona. If given the chance, I’d gladly trade in frost burn, for sun burn! I speak in movie quotes ALL the time. Seriously, it might be considered a sickness by now 😉 I absolutely love the sound of others laughing. So I’ll try to get you to do just that!
I love coffee, peanut butter cups, and OF COURSE reading. I grew up causing all kinds of trouble with my twin sister/partner in crime. My wild over-exaggerated story telling grew, along with my love for reading. With the support of my hubby and the encouragement of my womb mate, I put pen to paper, and let my imagination take over.
I am an author currently working on the release of my debut novel. Forever Marked is a romantic suspense, and the first book in a series. I enjoy reading all genres. Paranormal, thriller, romantic suspense, dystopian…. You name it!
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Q&A – Author Interview
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? When I sat up trying to write down my dream and ended up writing 3 chapters. My twin read it and literally pushed me to write more. It’s been one exciting ride.
2. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? I tend to write more at night when everyone else is in bed. I have three kids two fur babies and a hubby who keep me busy during the day.
3. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I love to write about dreams. This book came from a dream and I’ve always had bizarre dreams my whole life.
4. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? The folklore and settings are real life places and stories. My mothers side of the family is from the aisle of Skye, Scotland. Proud MacLeod
5. When did you write your first book and how old were you? This is my first book. I started a little over a year ago then sat on it for a bit, not sure where to go from there.
6. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I looove to go shooting with the hubby. I like big guns!
7. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? How little control I actually have lol. Two of my characters were, supposed to have a completely different path. But they quite literally took over their own story.
8. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? I have just started hearing back from readers who’ve received ARCS. I’m so excited that they love my characters as much as I do
9. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? I wanted to work in a zoo! I love animals.
Review: I was provided with an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I honestly could not put this one down! I am such a fan of suspense and crime; therefore, this book fit right into my liking. The beginning of this story immediately captivated my attention and I was completely lost in the descriptions and scenes that unfolded thereafter. This story starts out with Ellora Belle Sutherland on a plane to Scotland. This is where her parents grew up and fell in love with each other. The fond memories that they both passed on to Ellora made her want to run there as a safe haven since he has made Syracuse, New York unsafe for her. The he is referring to Dalton Ramsey and yes, he is rich, dangerous and completely obsessed with Ellora. With her parents’ fatal car accident, she decides to go into hiding, but what she finds isn’t exactly what she is looking for. The little town of Skye is beautiful, especially the big Behr that instantly gains an attraction to the new gal that finds herself inside of a rundown pub, broken and fearful like she’s running away from the devil himself. She knows that she should stay under the radar, but everyone in the town gossips and soon knows that a girl from America is amongst them. With everyone being so nice and familiar, like family, she fits in and becomes comfortable with her surroundings fairly quick, especially when Adelle comes into town. With the fear of being found still on her mind, will she ever be free? Dalton’s words continuously haunt her when she closes her eyes at night. I will always find you, he whispers in her ear.
There are a few characters that I automatically fell in love with while reading Forever Marked. The first character that I sympathized with and really enjoyed reading about is the main character, Ellora (Lor) Belle Sutherland. She is brave, confident and clever. Her immediate action upon waking up in the hospital is that she is finally safe; however, when Dalton’s hired gun is there in her doctor’s attire, she knows that the only thing to do is run as far and as fast as she can. If she didn’t, he would have surely killed her for not submitting to his dark desires. Ellora’s confidence does waver from time to time, but overall, she is strong-willed and a survivalist. The second character that I really adored is Behr. He is the big brute that is quiet and inquisitive of Ellora when she first steps foot into Grady’s pub. Her luggage in hand and her fearful stance draw everyone to her, but he is the only one who makes the deeper connection with why she has found her way to Skye. His instant attraction to her is romantic and beautiful, but he still has his own demons to work through regarding an ex that still thinks she has her talons stuck deep within his heart. In a sense, both characters seem like they have the potential to be each other’s savors. Another character that I really despised, but he was described in such a terrific way is Giddeon. Giddeon was really able to etch his way under my skin with his evil and cold eyes, his ability to fight and his emotionless torture tactics. The other characters within this story that did play minor roles were very influential as well. Adelle is comical along with Patty. Grady and Kristy are genuinely accepting of Ellora, especially after hearing about her parents and their untimely death.
I recommend this book 100% to anyone who is interested in reading crime and/or suspense. This book is standalone, being the first in a series. I really enjoyed the author’s writing style and her descriptions were easy to see in my mind. The pace is fast, which I love! Forever Marked deserves five stars because it is original, entertaining, suspenseful and gripping. I am looking forward to the second in the series which will hopefully come out in 2016. Again, I thank the author for allowing me this wonderful opportunity to read this terrific book and I hope that you’ll find this review helpful in making your decision to read this book.