Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Share: Fireweed by Casey Clifford + Giveaway

Today I'm thrilled to have Casey Clifford sharing an excerpt from FIREWEED and she's giving away a free ebook to one commentor!

The first book in Casey's Affair series--Black Ribbon Affair--was so good it kept me up till the early hours of the morning. I'm about 3/4ths of the way through Fireweed and it's just as good. I can't wait to see how it ends!

Here's a short note from Casey and then she was kind enough to answer a couple of my questions. Take it away, Casey!

This opportunity to share my recent book today came up a bit unexpectedly. But life is really all about being spontaneous and rolling with the opportunities, right? Anyway, I’m very excited to share a bit about the second book in what I call the Affair Series, a romantic mystery/suspense with continuing characters. I’ve envisioned this to be a lot like the old TB series Hart to Hart, if you can remember that.

For those of you who read the first book, Black Ribbon Affair, Fireweed has the main characters Caitlin and Mike now married and on a fishing trip in Alaska. In this book you get a chance to see them deal with a tough situation but in a setting they are totally unfamiliar with.
I love this series because it depicts a romantic married couple who are dealing with life and problems and it usually will have a secondary love plot in addition to the mystery/suspense. I’ll be checking in if you have any questions or comments.

What is it about the continuing characters that drew you to write another book in this series?

    First of all, my hubby fell in love with Caitlin and suggested I had to do another book. Then once Black Ribbon came out and I heard from readers, most of them wanted to know more about Caitlin and Mike. Since I really loved Hart to Hart, and I also love Eve and Roake as married couples in mystery suspense, I decided I’d continue on for at least one more book. I’m playing with ideas for the suspense plot for #3. And because readers also asked me about Rachel who’s Caitlin’s assistant in Black Ribbon, I’m playing around with doing a novella for her backstory with Caitlin in it for sure because I really liked Rachel.

You have a lot going on in Fireweed…how did you handle the details of the BioSynergy corporate world?

   Research. Plus I happened to know a person in the field that provide some insights. 

I swear, as I’m reading I feel like I’m the one wading into the river to catch the fish, or flying in the plane through the pass, or watching the mama bear and her cubs…or cringing at the bullet that wings by my ear! How did you research the Alaska aspect of the book?

     As I mention in my dedication page, I owe that to my oldest son who has made Alaska his home. He’s a guide and outfitter up there and hooked me up with several lodge managers to talk with. Since he’s also a pilot with a small plane such as I mention in the book, he took me up on flights few would get a chance to do. Believe me, so much of that comes from him as I listened to his stories of his adventures. The mom part of me could have gotten worried but the writer part of me rubbed her hands together and said, “Oh, this is gooood!”

Lucky you! Alaska is a dream vacation for me and the hubby someday. So, you're considering a third book for Mike and Caitlin...any hints of where that will take them?

  I’m playing around with maybe someplace in Europe right now.

Good choice! I know you’re busy at the computer these days…what else do you have planned for the next couple months.

   I want to get my next Woman’s Fiction book up as a digital book. It’s called Better Than Dessert and is book 1 for what I refer to as my Double Ds’ books. It’s a group of women friends  who’ve been best friends forever. Each book will have the main plot center around a crisis in one of the women’s lives and how they handle it as well as how this changes them and their friendship. I hope to have it available in early February. I’ve got book 2 finished in rough draft and then I’ll be working on revising and editing that. And of course, Mike and Caitlin will demand some times too. I also blog every Sunday. So these jobs will keep me busy.
Looking forward to the new books and I have to say, I love your blog! Very inspiring.

Without further ado, here's...

FIREWEED, by Casey Clifford
Genre: Romantic suspense/mystery
Heat: Sensual

From the tingling prickles nipping at her calves, Caitlin figured she had been jogging far beyond her usual six miles. During her early run, she encountered no problems. Not from the terrain. Not from any carnivorous animals. Her body was a different story. Succumbing to a severe muscle spasm, she slowed her pace, glanced at her watch, and promised herself a fifteen minute rest when she reached that far clump of willows and cottonwoods. As a small reward, she might even nosh on a power bar. She wasn't hungry, but an energy boost would only help her next miles. She glanced around her and behind her.

By her calculations, she had to be well past the half-way point.

Still no sign of Matt or Gus. Or anything else except the vast expanse of the lake, the brooding mountains encircling her and the lake, the chirps of shore birds, the squee of hunting eagles. The air contained no distinctive odors. Was this really what fresh air smelled like?

Her aloneness awed her. Humbled her. She could disappear in this land and probably never be found. Like Justin?

That wouldn't happen. Something deep inside her affirmed her trust in this land. It would give back Justin. It would somehow recognize the good man he had been. He deserved to be returned to his loved ones. This land and the spirits that roamed it would make that happen.

As tiny and powerless as she felt now in this huge land engulfing her, she didn't fear it. It understood the rightness of her mission, the love in her heart. She would succeed and bring help for those back at the lodge.

Five minutes later she reached the sheltering willows. She pulled a red bandana from her fanny pack and dipped it in the cold water of the stream running through the willows and emptying into the lake. The sound of silence encompassed her as she buried her face in the dripping rag and hummed off key Simon and Garfunkel's anthem.

Draping the moist bandana around her neck, she sat on a fallen log and slowly massaged her calves. First one aching muscle. Then the other. While she kneaded and rubbed, she watched a busy threesome of black and white magpies make a fluttering, two-footed landing not far from her. Their birdy chattiness shattered the stillness and eased her sense of aloneness.

She munched on her power bar; its calories would energize her for this last lap. Based on her pace and the time, she estimated she had completed a good two thirds of the distance to the cabin. She looked at the opaque blue sky above her. Daylight seemed duller.

She chewed on the last bit of her bar. What was Mike doing now? Were he and the others safe? Was he worried about her? And Beth? What was happening with her and Brian?

Mike was such a dear worrywart. Almost as bad as she was. She laughed out loud, sending the magpies flapping off toward the trees.

She glanced at her watch. Five more restful minutes, then back to pounding the trail. Oh, the stories she and Mike would tell her their families about their adventures on this trip. Unlike Justin who might not return at all–ever.

Then a vision of Beth floated behind her eyelids. The young teen, so destitute of mothering. Could Caitlin provide the structure and guidance Beth might need? From all Caitlin knew about teenage girls, they could be a handful with raging hormones, heightened emotions and changing their personalities faster than an Oscar hostess changed costumes. Could they mesh their needs, make this new family circle work, especially with her new responsibilities at BioSynergy?

But first things first. She needed to get help.


You can find Casey Clifford, her awesome blog, and the books in the Affair Series here:

Pick up your copy of Fireweed today!
    B & N:

And if you want to check out Black Ribbon Affair first:
    B & N:

Who is Mary Jo Scheibl writing as Casey Clifford?

A short summary of my life might be as follows: "She’s been there, done that, and is still trying…”

She’s not perfect and wouldn’t want to be.  She was determined to finish college and graduate school to teach college level classes. She accomplished this while working and single-parenting 3 sons. She taught for 27 years and retired to pursue what she dreamed of doing since she was a child—write the stories that had been tumbling about in her head.

Today she writes women’s fiction and romantic suspense as Casey Clifford. Her first novel received the Holt Medallion for Literary Achievement for Best First Book of 2009. She also won the Write Touch Readers’ Award for the same book in the romantic suspense category. She blogs every Sunday and dabbles in photography.

She strives daily to be a wise woman and believes all her heroines have already gotten there.

Thank you so much for being here and sharing about your books, Casey! Don't forget to leave a comment with your contact email and Casey will draw a name and post the winner on Wednesday.

Good luck!

Stacey Joy Netzel


  1. Oh, good! I've been waiting for your next book. What great news that it is a sequel. I really enjoyed the first, and this Alaska setting promises lots of great adventure. Best of luck with this one!

  2. Good excerpt, Casey. And your women's fiction book sounds like a great idea. I enjoyed your description of the woman running and the surrounding scenery. Nice writing.

  3. I loved Hart to Hart, too, and I really like J.D. Robb's books.

    Your excerpt made me feel I was alone. I kept wanting her to look over her shoulder. Smile.

  4. Hi Helen,

    Thanks for stopping by. I think you'll like Fireweed but then I'm a tad prejudiced. :-)

  5. Roxy,

    Thanks for loving the cover as much as I do. But I give kudos to the fabulous cover artist who did the cover. She had great ideas and is so talented.

  6. Patricia,

    I always find it difficult to decide what to use as an excerpt because--of course, I love all my scenes. ;-) So I'm very glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Sandy,

    Looking over her shoulder comes later when things really get dicey. :-)

    Thanks for stopping by.

  8. I loved Hart to Hart too. I haven't read the first book so I'll be sure to check both out. Have you a place in Europe in mind? And have you been there?

  9. Love the sounds of your book. The taint of being alone in the wild is thrilling.

  10. Linda,

    Where is Europe is fluid right now depending on what I settle on as the suspense element plot. Actually, if I decide on the plot I'm considering strongly, Caitlin and Mike would be in a couple of countries.

    Good thing they like to travel.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Renee,

    Alone, thrilling--sure also anxious since Caitlin is worried about what's happening back at the lodge. She's a major worrier and someone who feels she should take on the problems of those she loves.

    Thanks for commenting.

  12. Love the excerpt, especially the descriptions. I felt I was there, experiencing Alaska with Caitlin.

    Great cover, too! I hope this book is a huge hit!

  13. Edie,

    Huge hit? So do I. How could descriptions go wrong with Alaska as the subject.

    Have a great week!

  14. Casey, you pulled me into this story with such power I didn't want to stop reading. Now I am afraid I am hooked. Good for me :)

    Yes, and I was a huge fan of Hart to Hart which actually started on a major network (ABC) who knows, but I loved them. Don't even get me started on Eve Dallas and Roarke. Never miss a beat of the In Death series and am crazy in love with both of them and their great cast of characters.

    I can see your love of the "pairings" in a series. So important to give us a bit of them in each book, so much that we can't wait for another. Thanks so much for sharing!

  15. Wonderful interview, Stacey and Casey! I am always fascinated with where fiction writers get their ideas and inspirations as well as their facts to make the story believable. Since I write about my life, I admire the imagination and creativity of fiction writers!

    Both books sound fascinating. I'm impressed with the number of published authors I've found on this blog platform. I hope one day to join their ranks!

  16. Fois,

    I know you're also on the RWA-WF loops and have volunteered there so you understand that I really straddle the WF and/RS fence. But I write what I must. Recently my Alaskan son said to me, "Mom, you gotta write what's in your heart, not because others are making more money at it."

    My fervent hope is I build a readership with each book. And I'm so glad you remember Hart to Hart and love Eve and Rouke and all the quirky characters encircling them.

    Thanks for the thoughtful comments and taking the time to post. :-)

  17. Hi Lorna,

    Oh, you can write. Sometimes when I read your posts I wonder, "Could all that really happen?" Then I think about my life and family and say sure it could. I just better not write about that or they will never speak to me again. :-)

    Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Casey picked a winner last night and congratulations FOIS in the City! You should've received the coupon for your free book and I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Thank you to everyone who stopped by. :)