Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Author Heidi Glick invited me to the Next Big Thing Blog Hop. She’s blogging about her debut novel, Dog Tags.

Thanks for stopping by.

Today, I'm blogging about my novel, A TEXAS CHRISTMAS MYSTERY. Leave a comment for a chance to win this book.

Anne Greene is a mystery/suspense writer, who has won several awards, including

Winner 2011 New England Readers’ Choice Award
    Winner 2011 Laurel Wreath Award For Published Writers
  • 2011 Ancient City Romance Authors Heart of Excellence Award
  • 3rd Place 2011 First Coast Romance Writers Published Beacon
  • 3rd Place 2011 Georgia Romance Writers Maggie for Published Authors

Ten interview questions for the Next Big Thing. Leave a comment for a chance to win this book.

What is the title of your book? A TEXAS CHRISTMAS MYSTERY.

Where did the idea for your book come from? A trip to Galveston, Texas with its historic homes, beautiful waterfront, and fascinating in the off shore ocean oil rigs inspired this book.

What genre does A Texas Christmas Mystery fall into? This is a novella that contains both suspense and mystery.

What actors would you choose to play your main characters in a movie rendition? Justin Timbelake for Derrick Darbonne and Amy Adams for Amber Meredith.

Give us a short synopsis of A Texas Christmas Mystery. Amber Meredith, A lady Coastguardsman, searches for a killer. Derrick Darbonne, an oil rig troubleshooter accused of murder, races to clear his name. The murderer strives to silence them both. As Amber seeks to arrest Derrick, sparks fly. She needs to solve her first case. But the handsome Cajun suspect makes her heart race and her toes tingle. Derrick has worked all his life for his high-paying, adventurous job. When his past threatens his future, will he endanger Amber, the woman he loves?

Are you represented by an agent? Yes, Joyce Hart of Hartline Agency is my agent. However, this book was sold before she became my agent.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of A Texas Christmas Mystery? This was such a fun book to write. The setting is unique, as are the characters. One seldom runs into a woman officer in the Coast Guard, and unless one is living in south Texas or Louisiana, one seldom encounters a Cajun. So the two characters play off of each other well. Galveston lends itself to mystery and romance so the story came together quickly. I think the story was complete in three months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I think this story is unique. It has won several awards.

What else about this book might pique the reader’s interest? I already mentioned the unique setting in historic Galveston and aboard an off-shore oil rig. The Cajun influence with its unique music, dance, and food lend more interest. Christmas and the wonderful messages that holiday inspires might draw reader’s interest. I also think women will enjoy the tension between Amber’s searching for a way to blend her ambition with her desire for family and nesting.

Tell us about your book: This is a complete mystery/love story. I invite everyone to go to http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com. to download my book.

Here’s an except:


Galveston, Texas

Only one thing scared Derrick Darbonne. He had no fear of fire, hurricane, sabotage, high seas, drunken roughnecks, reckless roustabouts, brawls, or hard work. But losing the job he’d slaved all his life to obtain terrified him.

            He’d worked himself up from oaks draped with Spanish moss, murky alligator-filled water, and a tiny cabin on the banks of the bayou with no running water or electricity. He’d finally gotten to where he wanted to be. And now someone was trying to pin a murder on him. Some Christmas present.

            Derrick crushed the schematics he’d been scanning and jammed them into his pocket. He braced his legs wide on the steel floor of the oil rig and raised the powerful navigational binoculars. A Coast Guard cutter slashed a white wedge through the sparkling Gulf waters straight toward his oil platform.

            His jaw tightened, his spine stiffened, and he swallowed.

            Standing beside him, Joe Bridges, the MIC, Man in Charge, swore.

            If Derrick had been a swearing man, he would have joined Joe. Instead, he gripped the navigational binoculars tighter. “Third time this week. If I had anything to hide, I’d jump ship.” He smacked his hard hat so thoroughly his ears rang. “Thought so! That guardsman is a female.” Here was a Coastie bearing down on him with the authority to shut down the operation. The men would be out of work just in time for Christmas. What pretense to investigate the murder was the Coast Guard using this time?

            Derrick lowered the binoculars and frowned. “She looks familiar.”

            “Ever since you arrived for the routine inspection, Cajun, the Coast Guard’s been on our backs.” Scowling, Joe thrust out a hand for the glasses. “Then there was the murder. That’s the reason the big boss’s keeping you out here again, so long.”

            “Don’t I know it! I’m looking for a saboteur as well. Probably the same guy.” Derrick slapped the binoculars into Joe’s hand and tried to lighten his foreboding with a jabbing tease. “Now I’ve got to get the Coast Guard environmental crew out of your hair.”

“Rib me, will ya?” Joe repositioned his yellow hard hat over his bald head and shook a work-hardened finger. “I’ll bet you I can get that Coastie to go for me and my shiny head before she goes for you and that Cajun accent of yours. Loser pays a hundred bucks.”

“You want us to distract her with our masculine charm so she won’t sniff out any violations that could shut us down?” Derrick surveyed the rig’s two-hundred-foot deck looking for any OSHA or EPA trouble the Coast Guard might use to give a citation. Sunlight slanted off the metal plates causing enough glare to hurt his eyes. He didn’t like Joe’s plan.

“You got it.” Joe grinned.

Derrick gave a tight smile. He slid his gaze to the roughneck inside the glass-enclosed room, jiggling the joy sticks and pushing the buttons that worked the rig’s floor. The big man hooking a new drill in place beneath the five-hundred-foot drilling tower wore his safety equipment. No problem there.

            Derrick flicked his gaze over the new hire, the eighteen year old from Galveston. The kid’s long blond hair straggled from beneath his yellow hard hat. He was bent over washing sludge and mineral oil through sand to clean out the last drop of hydrocarbon before reusing the sand. Kid was a hard worker, already adept at his job. No laws broken. No environmental procedures shortcut.

            The rest of the roughnecks and roustabouts worked steadily. None violated safety measures. No oil spills or pipe breaks had occurred. The hole drilled through the sea bottom was clean and not yet exceptionally deep. They should hit oil soon. Joe Bridges had a salty vocabulary, but the boss man ran a tight rig. So why suddenly all the anonymous phone calls about regulation problems? Had to be the murder.

Derrick needed to come up with answers.

“Alamo Oil pays you a hefty salary to make sure things run smooth on all two hundred of its rigs.” Joe’s voice sounded more than a little jealous.

“Don’t I know it.” Derrick ran a hand over the stubble already growing after his close morning shave.

Alamo doesn’t want to fork out any stiff fines or lose any drill time because of environmental pollution, safety violations, mismanagement, or accidents. So make sure that Coastie’s distracted.” Joe winked. “And don’t mention the murder. We’ve trampled that ground too many times with the Coast Guard already.”

“Right.” Derrick rubbed the back of his neck. An uneasy feeling kept nagging him about the murder. Nothing he could put a handle to, but—too many clues led directly to him. Once the Coast Guard put the puzzle together, they’d come looking for him. He grunted. How had his personal helmet wound up grasped in the dead kid’s hand?

            Joe swore loud enough that the crew cleaning sand looked up. He lowered his voice. “That Coastie’s gonna cause trouble. I feel it in my bones.” His eyes, shadowed under his hard hat, looked wary. “We gotta keep her thinking about us, not her job.” He handed the binoculars back.

            Derrick frowned. “I think you’re just hard up for a date. You want a girl friend to share Christmas with.”


            As the Coast Guard cutter pulled alongside their offshore rig, Derrick focused the binoculars on the trim figure in her blue uniform. He’d not seen many women in the Guard, and none that looked so curvy…wow, hotter than a Louisiana mudbug boil. He loved that spicy crawfish dish.

Dread inside his gut heightened. Sweat beaded his forehead. He got tongue-tied around women. “This can’t be good!”

            “Yeah. The broad’s probably a—”

            “It’s Amber Meredith!” Derrick fumbled the expensive binoculars, made a grab for them, and caught them just before they hit the deck.           


You can purchase A Texas Christmas Mystery at http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com. Read more about me and my books at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com.




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