Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: In the Heat of the Tropics by Christina Elliott @ChristinaHoag @GoddessFish

In the Heat of the Tropics
by Christina Elliott
GENRE: Romantic suspense


Amid a sweltering Miami summer, a serial killer is haunting the city. Reporter Ingrid Sorenson is assigned the story and her primary source is brusque detective Rick Gonzalez. The pair clash, but sparks of passion ignite. They risk their jobs to give in to their desire, but mistrust of each other’s career motives wedges them apart. Then Ingrid gets a tip that leads her into the killer’s lair. She and Rick must choose between saving themselves or rescuing their love.


The sky darkened again as if a dimmer switch had been thrown. Rick flicked on the headlights. “I don’t think we’re going to beat the rain,” he said. “Do you want to turn back?”

Worry crossed her face. “No way. I’ve got a deadline to meet,” she said. “I’m not afraid of getting wet.”

He gave her an assessing glance as they pulled up to a stop light. She was plucky, he had to give her that. And smart. The light changed and he turned his attention to the road. He had to keep his guard up. She was a reporter, first and foremost. He had to remember that.

“Have you found witnesses who might’ve seen a suspect?” she asked.

“I can’t discuss specifics of the investigation. The killer chose his times and locations very carefully, which suggests a lot of pre-meditation. These weren’t spontaneous homicides. He went to different areas known for prostitution pickups each time because johns would be scared to go to the place where one had just been murdered and the hookers would be on the alert, but they were all in this general North Miami area. He staked out lonely streets to direct the customer to drive to commit the sexual act and likely had his vehicle parked nearby to make a fast escape.”

Ingrid was avidly taking notes. He paused to wait for her to catch up, and wondered if he was saying too much. As long as he focused on details about the killer that someone would recognize, he couldn’t get in trouble.

By the time he pulled up to the scene of the third killing a mile away, fat plops of rain were sporadically splattering the windshield. They soon increased to a steady drumbeat battering the roof. 

“Crap,” Ingrid said.

“There’s not much to see, honestly, just another side street.”

“I still think I should see the actual spot,” Ingrid said.

He would have to end up with a super-thorough reporter. “I have an umbrella here somewhere,” he muttered, foraging under the seat.

Holding the umbrella, he jogged to the passenger side and opened the door. Necessarily brushing shoulders to fit side-by-side under the small shelter, they walked down the street to an alcove of an abandoned building.

“Victim three was found parked outside this doorway, Saul Martinez,” Rick said.

The sky cracked as if it were splitting apart, unleashing a torrent of water.

“I love these midsummer thunderstorms in Miami, don’t you?” Ingrid said.

Lightning illuminated her face with a bright halo.  Her cheeks shone where the rain had caught them, her forehead framed with tendrils of damp hair. Drops glistened on her eyelashes like tiny tears. He felt himself gliding toward her.

She blinked and the raindrops fell from her lashes. He halted himself.

“You’re getting wet. Let’s head to victim four,” he said brusquely. He turned toward the car without waiting for an answer.

The crime scene was a side street ten blocks west. This time they didn’t get out of the car. Rick pulled up and reconstructed the scene, restraining his urge to lean over her, just to breathe in her slightly sweet powdery scent, as he pointed from the window. 

By the time they pulled back into the station parking lot, the rain had tapered to a dancing sprinkle and fingers of sunlight poked through the clouds, sending an eerie, hazy wash over the atmosphere.

He parked. Ingrid handed him her business card. “If you think of anything else, call me. My cell’s on there, too.”

Rick tucked it in a pocket. “So, what are you going to write?”

“What you told me, plus I’ll call some serial-killer psychology experts.”

“Just don’t get me in trouble again.”

Ingrid gave him a hard look. He’d meant it as a joke, but it hadn’t come out lightheartedly. She’d taken it as a rebuke. Damn.

“Thanks very much for your time, Detective.” Her tone was frosty. “If I have any other questions, I’ll call Major Montoya.” 

The slam of the door buffeted the vehicle.

Guest Post:

My writing process By Christina Elliott

While some people are night writers, toiling into the wee hours, I’m the opposite. I’m a morning writer. I love getting up early and after my two cups of coffee, sitting down to write. My mind is fresh, without the clutter that the day’s events inevitably bring, and my best ideas and sparks of imagination come freely. I especially like weekend mornings because there’s less email traffic and things like news alerts, which can prove a distraction and a handy excuse for procrastination.

People often ask me about writer’s block. I don’t often get stuck, but when I do I take a break-- get up, go for a walk, do something else other than stare at a maddeningly blank screen. Then when I return to the computer, either later that day or sometimes even the next day, that’s often enough to clear my head to resolve the issue. I’ve found insomnia a good cure for writer’s block, too, although I hate not being able to sleep. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and the answer to my question will come to me out of the darkness. I don’t quite know how that happens, but I assume it’s the same principle of letting your mind rest and then it functions on its own.

Another handy trick to prevent writer’s block is not to write yourself out every day. Leave something for the next session so you can pick up where you left off, knowing what you’re going to write next. Then, since you’re fresh, the writing keeps flowing.

When I have to dream up a sequence of steps in a plot, I lie down either on a couch or bed, close my eyes and have a think session. I’m better able to think through a plot that way than sitting at a computer. I then like to write down scene notes by hand on a pad. I usually end up with tons of arrows, cross-outs and squiggles but it’s somehow a freer process than writing on a computer.

I try and outline as much as I can because I know from experience that if I just start writing, I can veer into a corner and get stuck there. So it’s really helpful to know where I’m going. That said, I still find myself veering off track! But it’s good to go back to that original outline to see if the new direction is still going to get me where I want to go.

Key for me is letting a finished draft sit for a while to allow it to go totally cold. I like to work on something else then come back to the first project with a really objective eye. That’s when I can spot the bugs and things that need fixing. It’s always tempting to rush a project to completion since novels are lengthy works to begin with, but the longer you can afford to leave it the better. 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Christina Elliott is a former Miami newspaper reporter and editor. She now writes spicy romantic suspense novels from Los Angeles, where she’s glad to report there are far fewer bad-hair days but sadly far less Cuban coffee. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

Buy Links:


$15 Amazon or B/N GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

James Robert said...

Congrats on the tour and thank you for the excerpt and giveaway.

Unknown said...

congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

Christina said...

Thanks for having me on your blog today!

Bernie Wallace said...

What was your favorite book of 2016? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Victoria Alexander said...

Sounds like a book I'll enjoy reading! Thanks for sharing :)

Karen H said...

I see on your Facebook page, you write in another genre under another name. I'm sure you do research for each genre but which one requires more research and/or is the hardest genre to produce?

[Whatever U are, be a good one!] said...

Thank You for the chance to win ;)
Happy New Year!

Fiona N

Mary Preston said...

An interesting Guest Post.

Latifa Morrisette said...

Love. Thanks for the chance!

Christina said...

Karen H Good question. Every genre has its own ins and outs, I like the challenge of each. I think writing YA was perhaps the hardest, due to getting the teen voice right. It took a few drafts to nail it.

Christina said...

@Whatever U Are Be a Good One thanks for stopping by Fiona and Happy New Year to you, too!

Christina said...

@Mary Preston thanks for stopping by and reading!

Christina said...

Hi @LatifaMorrisette thanks for taking a look at my blog tour!

Post a Comment