WITHOUT A TRACE Author Laure White Comes for Coffee

Coffee with ColetteGood morning, dear readers! 
Hey - How 'bout those Bronc-oh...never mind. That didn't turn out the way I had hoped (sorry, Seattle fans, but I had to pull for our local boy). Personally, I blame the Groundhog! I should have avoided the game in favour of writing. I did get in about 3000 words on my WIP (work in progress), but my major accomplishment this weekend was organizing my scarves! I also joined in the blog hop "My Sexy Saturday" for the first time with 7 sizzling sentences from Pulse and Prejudice, so be sure to check that out if you missed it. (Be warned: The ARE sexy sentences.)
Now - Guess who is back joining me for Coffee this morning! Fellow Secret Cravings author Laurie White is here to visit and talk about her latest release, the Romantic Suspense Without a Trace! Laurie joined us a year ago to introduce Twist of Fate, and after discovering that sweet and sexy romance, I couldn't wait to get my hands on her new novel. After you read this excerpt, I'm sure you'll agree. Her heroine needs a different kind of safety...

About Without a Trace

http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=22&products_id=817Magazine journalist Rachel Bennett has a reputation for getting to the heart of a story. However, when her sister disappears and is suspected of embezzling from her employer, the story has suddenly become personal. The last thing Rachel wants right now is the distraction of Matt Romero, the detective assigned to the case. She has no desire for involvement with a rough-and-tumble cop...or so she thinks.

Matt accepts the risk that goes with his job. Two years ago, his wife was murdered, a tragedy he blames himself for. He's vowed to protect his family and friends because he doesn't want to go through the pain of loss again. However, the lovely journalist soon begins breaking through the icy wall around his heart.

As Rachel and Matt search for answers in order to find her sister, they uncover a corruption that puts them both
in danger – and a passion that puts both their hearts at risk.


     Rachel fluffed the scrambled eggs with vigorous strokes, the plastic spoon clattering against the metal skillet as she dwelled on the discussion with Matt. Her temples throbbed, as they always did when she felt frustrated.
     Why wouldn't Matt listen to her? Why couldn't she make him believe Paige would never even consider committing a crime?
     What an insufferable, overwhelming man he was. He had to be difficult to live with, if not downright impossible. Rachel had never encountered a man like this rough-edged cop. The ones she usually associated with were those she considered safe—mild-mannered accountant  types who  wouldn't take  any unnecessary risks
in life. She'd had enough of risk-takers with her father. Matt Romero was definitely the type of man she avoided.
     “The eggs are burning.”
     Rachel jumped and shifted the skillet to a back burner. From out of nowhere Matt had appeared, looking much less like a cop than when she'd first seen him. Fresh from a shower, clean-shaven, he wore faded, well-fitting blue jeans with a dark gray T-shirt. His still-damp hair glistened like a raven’s feathers.
     “You scared me half to death,” she barked, bringing one hand to her throat. “Please don't sneak up on me like that again.”
     As he reached to turn off the burner his arm brushed hers, and she felt a twinge of heat. With a frown, she shook her head. Still jumpy from Matt's sudden appearance, that was all. Nothing else.
     “Just trying to prevent a breakfast disaster. You were a thousand miles away.” A gleam of amusement shone in his eyes. “No, make that a million.”
     She transferred the scrambled eggs to plates. Her cheeks grew warm, and she grew defensive. “If your sister were missing, suspected of embezzlement, and sick, I'm sure you'd be a little distracted too.”
     “Of course I would.” He took the plates to the table while Rachel poured two steaming mugs of coffee, then removed two slices of toast from the toaster. When she joined him at the table he cleared his throat and paused, as if searching for words. They seemed to come with difficulty. “I'm…sorry about earlier.”
     To her he looked contrite, nervous and…adorable. She wanted to stay mad at him, but couldn't. Why did men always have to be so uncomfortable when discussing feelings? “I think we're both on edge.”
     “Yeah. I tend to get a little worked up on a big case.” He picked up a knife and spread a liberal amount of butter on his toast, followed by a dollop of grape jam.
     Rachel watched those intriguing hands again as she took a bite of her eggs and chewed. She felt the urge to take those hands in her own, but resisted, swallowing hard. “Speaking of the case, what's your and Detective Russell's agenda for today?”
     “This morning I need to check out a restaurant one of Paige's co-workers mentioned. Your sister apparently has lunch at this place all the time. This co-worker said Paige came back from there very upset the day before she disappeared.”
     “Did she have any idea why?”
     “No, but I have a feeling Paige didn't dine alone that day. If anything happened, like an argument with someone else, I'm willing to bet one of the servers or managers saw it.”
     Rachel nodded. “I waited tables during my second year of college. You wouldn't believe all the stuff that goes on. I doubt Paige could have gotten upset at the restaurant without at least one of the workers knowing.”
     “Also, Julia is going by the phone company this morning with a warrant to pick up Paige's home phone records from the past six months.”
     “Maybe from that we can find someone who can tell us where she is.”
     “That's the general plan.” Matt stuffed a forkful of scrambled eggs into his mouth.
     “Looks like you had a rough night.” She studied the dark circles under his eyes, feeling a tiny pang of guilt, although she couldn't figure out why. Matt had insisted on staying here last night.
     With a hard swallow, he shifted in his chair. “You could say that.”
     “I'm sorry you were uncomfortable. I know the sofa isn't very big—”
     “It was fine. I just had a lot on my mind.” He leveled a penetrating gaze at her. “You don't seem too chipper this morning, yourself.”
     “I couldn't shut off my brain. I kept worrying about Paige.” Rachel hoped he wouldn't press the issue with more questions, since she suspected the vague, unsettled feeling that had plagued her last night was caused by something in addition to concern for Paige.
     Even from behind the closed door of her bedroom she'd been so attuned to Matt, so aware of him. Once during the night, at the sound of his footsteps in the hall, she thought her heart would leap from her chest.
     Had she been afraid he'd come into the room, or afraid he wouldn't? The answer eluded her, and she found that quite disturbing.
     Then she realized a man hadn't stayed overnight at her place in what seemed like ages. No other explanation for her being so darn…jumpy.
     Still troubled, she lifted her mug to her lips for a sip of Matt's strong, delicious coffee. She'd be very glad when Paige was found safe and proven innocent.

Available Now: Amazon for Kindle and all eBook formats from the Secret Cravings Store.

Laurie White is the author of three romantic suspense novels from Secret Cravings Publishing. Her latest novel, WITHOUT A TRACE, was released January 30, 2014. Laurie is a member of Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with family, traveling, and watching movies. She is the proud mama of four adorable cats and lives in the hills of Tennessee.

Laurie's Blog:  White on Writing 
Laurie's website: www.laurie-white.com
Follow her on Twitter:  @LWhiteAuthor


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