My outrageously talented friend Denise Moncrief is on tour for her book Crisis of Identity. Denise worked with me on my book, Flightless . (BTW, she is also Linda Pitts, Editor Extraordinaire. I’ve never had Denise on my blog before so I am thrilled to introduce you to her:
By Denise Moncrief
Have you ever had life throw something at you so fast and so unexpectedly that you’re left with the feeling everything is off? My world tilted that way recently. The past few days have been a whirlwind of change. Just when I think I’m finally catching my breath, BAM, another unexpected circumstance throws me for a loop. I’ve spent the last few days rearranging things that I thought were . . . well, you know . . . already arranged.
When life is in chaos, how does a writer have time to write? I have to make time. If I can’t write, I might as well not breathe. (Sorry, maybe that was a little dramatic.) I have a couple of chapters of my current work in progress swirling around in my head and begging to be released.
But right now, I’m muddling through the chaos.
I love how the heroine in Crisis of Identity handles chaos. If only I were as fearless as Tess. Her motto? Necessity is the mother of a good con. Well, maybe conning others isn’t the best approach to handling the unexpected, but I love the way she seizes the opportunity to get herself out of a difficult situation. Doesn’t whine about circumstances. Just does the best she can and carries on. Don’t get me wrong. Tess is not a pristine character. She is beautifully flawed . . . just like I like to write my heroines!
Want to know what Crisis of Identity is about?
When Hurricane Irving slams into the Texas Gulf coast, Tess Copeland seizes the opportunity to escape her past by hijacking a dead woman’s life, but Shelby Coleman’s was the wrong identity to steal. And the cop that trails her? He’s a U.S. Marshall with the Fugitive Task Force for the northern district of Illinois. Tess left Chicago because the criminal justice system gave her no choice. Now she’s on the run from ghosts of misdeeds past—both hers and Shelby’s.
Enter Trevor Smith, a pseudo-cowboy from Houston, Texas, with good looks, a quick tongue, and testosterone poisoning. Will Tess succumb to his questionable charms and become his damsel in distress? She doesn’t have to faint at his feet—she’s capable of handling just about anything. But will she choose to let Trevor be the man? When Tess kidnaps her niece, her life changes. She must make some hard decisions. Does she trust the lawman that promises her redemption, or does she trust the cowboy that promises her nothing but himself?
Here’s a little teaser . . .
I love this scene because it shows the reader Tess’ creative skills in problem solving. The authorities had asked everyone who intended to ride out Hurricane Irving to write their social security number on their arm in permanent marker. Tess survived the storm—without writing her number on her arm—and was “volunteered” by a local cop to help with the makeshift morgue. That’s when she spotted Shelby whose social security number was written on her arm . . . and she didn’t survive the storm.
The thought that pestered me all night erupted from my mouth. “What happens to that woman when you catch her?”
“She’ll go back to jail.” He stopped by the double doors and folded his arms over his chest, blocking my path. “Then she’ll go to trial.”
“What if she did what she had to do?”
“There was no evidence it was self defense.”
I stared hard at his implacable façade. How could the man be alternately warm and cold, compassionate and hard, flexible and unyielding? I stepped around him and entered the gym. There were already bodies lined up waiting for our initial inspection, so I began the task of collecting information from my column of the dead. The hours passed as I searched pockets and noted identifying characteristics on those with no papers or markings. I glanced toward the open door as two men begin loading the last group onto a waiting truck.
One more victim to notate. I squatted next to her. Even in partial decay, her features were enough like mine it pushed me back on my heels. I lifted her arm. My breath hitched. Her Social Security number was so nearly like mine. I scanned the gym. Jake, the one man who might care if she became me or I became her, was absent. With a few strokes of the pen, I could die and live again.
My heart pounded with the possibility I might get a chance to start over without the baggage of my past dragging me down. I changed her identity with a few swipes of a permanent marker. The number went onto my log with an unshaken hand, and I was free to escape the woman I used to be . . . the woman I didn’t want to be any longer.
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt of Crisis of Identity. The book can be purchased at the following sites:
Please visit me . . .
|Denise wrote her first story when she was in high school—seventeen hand-written pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel she read. She earned a degree in accounting, giving her some nice skills to earn a little money, but her passion has always been writing. She has written numerous short stories and more than a few full-length novels. Her favorite pastimes when she’s not writing are spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and scrapbooking. She lives in Louisiana with her husband, two children, and one very chubby dog.|