Stoners, please welcome Shyla Colt to my blog. She's here to share a bit about her new release, Cast The Cards. So, without further delay....
Sexy Suspense? Yes please
My love for horror movies started when I was young. Everything from The Birds and The Omen to Nightmare on Elm Street fascinate me. The feeling of fear, anticipation, and not knowing what was going to happen next made my spine tingle and my brain light up like a pumpkin. There were so many questions to be asked! What would I do if I were in the situation? How could they survive? Even later, when I hit my cheesy 80’s horror stage, where I told the lead actress what not to do, proved to be a favorite pastime. I think that was why the moment I discovered paranormal romances, it was love at first sight. Recently I stumbled upon a new genre, Suspense. I’ve always liked thrillers. I just never thought I’d write one.
Then I wrote, Vixen Healed, broke the seal, and got it bad. The butterflies in the stomach, puppy dog-eye inducing, love bug, bit me hard y’all. I love researching for a new story, dropping clues in plain sight, and sewing everything together in a complex quilt made of emotions, motive, action, and of course, romance. It’s this new, and surprising, passion that lead me to write, Cast the Cards. One part thriller to one part romance with a dash of the paranormal was a recipe for a very unique story.
Savannah escaped a kidnapping but her best friend Clark—the man she secretly loved—didn’t. Guilt-ridden and changed after the event, she gives up her dream of teaching and earns a position in the F.B.I as a profiler. When she’s targeted by the very same kidnappers wishing to finish the job, she is armed with her skills, backed by her first love’s twin brother, and forced to revisit her demons when Clark’s ghost appears.
After his twin’s murder, Officer Carey Carr loses more than his brother. Savannah avoids him for a decade. Her return—and her steaming-hot body—stir brand new feelings in Carey. But Clark’s reappearance has Carey battling to control his primal desires around the woman his twin loved.
As Savannah and Carey, with Clark’s help, embark on a cruel game of cat and mouse with the kidnappers, the twins come to an understanding that involves Savannah and more pleasure than the three of them have ever dreamed.
Cool night air caressed bare arms, and Savannah shivered. Questioning her outfit of choice, she stepped closer to Clark. The sleeveless, plum-colored dress with the gold, Egyptian pattern, empire waist, and flaring skirt had been fierce in the heat of the day. But with the sun gone down it was freezing.
“Cold?” Clark asked in his soothing baritone.
“Here.” He shrugged out of his lightweight, brown leather jacket and helped her slide her arms inside the too-long sleeves. His chivalry melted her like chocolate candy in the sun. If she wasn’t already head over strappy-heeled sandals for him, she’d be falling.
Now I just need to tell him. When her childhood best friend Clark and his identical twin Carey had opted to attend the community college for their first two years alongside her, she’d been ecstatic. They’d been the Three Musketeers since diapers. Separating would have ripped her heart out before she jumped into the biggest adventure of her life. Freshman year felt like a continuance of high school. Yet, somewhere between the start of sophomore year and now things had shifted.
She saw Clark in a brand new light. When he’d asked her to go to the carnival and Carey had bowed out, she saw the opportunity she’d been waiting for.
His scent permeated the jacket, and she pulled it closer, inhaling. Sandalwood and worn leather.
“Such a gentleman.”
“’Course, Vannah. Couldn’t let you freeze to death. Our parents would kill me.” They took a step forward as the group ahead of them entered the funhouse.
“So what’s after this?” she asked.
“Tunnel of Love and then head back to the dorms?” He inclined his head toward her.
“Sounds good.” If you still want to talk to me after what I plan on pulling in the tunnel.
“You okay? You seem far away.” He cocked an eyebrow, dipping his head to meet her gaze. His hair fell across his forehead and into his eyes. Concern darkened his blue-green eyes to a beautiful turquoise. She longed to push the silken strands back and tuck it behind the ears that curved slightly at the tips.
He brushed the locks back impatiently, breaking the spell he’d held her under.
“Yeah, just hoping there are no clowns inside.”
“Still afraid of clowns?” He smirked.
“Yes, they’re creepy. It should never be socially accepted to hide your true identity under make-up, and constantly perform odd rituals.”
“Rituals?” His lips twitched with repressed laughter.
“Yes, seltzer bottles of water, pies in the face. It’s like clowns have a chloroform rag at the ready, waiting for the moment you let your guard down and turn your back.” Crossing her arms under her chest, she huffed.
“I think you’ve been reading too much Stephen King.” He shook his head.
“Mock me all you want. If we get into that place and a clown comes after me I’m screaming that bitch down.”
He laughed, shaking his head. “I could just see that too.” His gaze focused on something behind her. “Looks like we’ll find out soon. It’s our turn.”
Her heart smacked against her ribs, and her stomach plummeted into her shoes. She didn’t feel right. Everything in her screamed “go back”. Clark moved forward and she hesitated.
“Vannah?” He frowned, concern etched all over his face.
I can’t wuss out. He loves fun houses.
“I’m ready.” She gave a shaky smile, forced one foot in front of the other, and followed him up the stairs.
“Step right in to the house of a million faces,” said the ride worker in black jeans and a black t-shirt. Clark wrapped an arm around Savannah’s waist and squeezed.
At least something good is coming out of this. Smoke obscured her vision as they walked inside a dimly-lit hallway. A jack-in-the-box sprung out near the end, and she screamed.
“Wound tight, are we?” Amusement colored Clark’s voice.
They continued into a large room with multiple mirrors surrounding them.
“Which way?” he asked.
“You got it.”
They turned and found themselves at a dead end. A strange sense of urgency hit her.
“Let’s hurry up and find our way out of here, please.” She tugged him to the right. The hair on the back of her neck stood on end, her skin prickled with fear. As they found the proper passage she glanced over her shoulder to see a stern-faced clown with dead eyes. His garish white face was highlighted with bright red lips and red and blue circles around the eyes. Bright orange hair stuck out from underneath a dingy red hat.
Vannah’s breath caught in her throat, and she urged Clark to go faster, almost stumbling in her haste to get away.
“Whoa. Calm down.” Normally his voice soothed but tonight the effect was lost on her.
“Clown. I saw a clown.” They passed through a glow-in-the dark room and out into the night. Once they cleared the doorframe her psyche sang with joy. Bending over, she gulped down air as he rubbed her back.
“Hey, we can head home now if you want.”
Yes! “No, I’d like to go to the Tunnel if you don’t mind. It’s always been my favorite ride.”
“It would be.”
She peered up at him and smiled. The light from the carnival rides sliced through the night and highlighted his beautiful face. With a father from Spain and a blonde mother with green eyes, he was born to be gorgeous. He had a thin, muscular frame covered in olive-colored skin, a strong jaw, and chocolate brown hair that fell into his beautiful eyes just so.
“What’s wrong with being a romantic?” She elbowed him in the side.
“Nothing if you’re an English major.” The amusement in his tone softened his words.
“Whatever, Mr. Undeclared.” She straightened up to her full five feet eleven inches. “Let’s head over to the Tunnel.”
They walked the thirty feet in comfortable silence. The Tunnel looked deserted. Giant swan-shaped boats were lined up with no other carnival goers or ride operators in sight. There was something ominous in the stillness.
“Looks like you’re the only one who likes this thing,” he said.
“Yeah.” She scanned the area. “Maybe it’s closed? We can just leave.”
As soon as the words left her lips a man appeared in a Vaudeville outfit. A straw hat set on top of his head. The red-and-white pinstriped sports jacket, white button-up, red bowtie, and white pants were straight out of the nineteen fifties.
“Step right up to the Tunnel of Love, folks.” It should have been charming. Instead, it made her skin crawl. She tugged her borrowed jacket closer to ward off the coldness that threatened to seep into her bones. Clark ushered her over to the boat, holding her hand as she stepped down into the vehicle that bobbed in the water.
“Enjoy your ride.” There was a strange look in the operator’s eyes she couldn’t quite place. Watching him over her shoulder as the Swan began to drift into the darkened passageway, a frown turned down the corners of her lips.
“Did he seem strange to you?” She turned her gaze to Clark.
“We are at a carnival.”
“Yeah, that’s true.” She smiled.
Ducking down to eye level, he stared. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
“There was actually something I wanted to tell you.” She toyed with the ring on her finger, spun it around to disperse negative energy as she trained her gaze on her lap.
“What’s up? You know you can tell me anything. That’s what best friends are for.” Their boat bumped the one in front of them. “Pile up in the Tunnel of Love.”
She laughed, but her heart wasn’t in it. The apprehension from earlier returned.
“What were you going to say?” he redirected the conversation.
“That.” She glanced up at him and froze when she caught a glimpse of a shape in the darkness. The clown from earlier was right behind him. Her throat seemed to swell and her tongue felt thick and clumsy as she opened her mouth to warn him.
A cloth covered her mouth. Her scream ended before it began. The sweet, chemical smell assaulted her senses, and she knew no more.
Interested to read more? The book releases August 2nd !
Curious to know more about me?
Told once ‘You have to be an author, then you’re craziness becomes eccentrics’, Shyla Colt has always been in love with the written word and possessed a desire to write. Named after Super Girl in the comics, she often mistakes her mortality for super hero status. So, she holds many hats, Mother, Marine Wife, and writer are her top three. Writing allows her to explore new venues, face her demons, and touch others. A huge practitioner of paying it forward, and putting in what you want to get out, she hopes to inspire, enlighten, move, and entertain you with her work. Mixing humor, drama, and strong women, often with a paranormal element, she continues to soldier ahead in the writing field. One of her favorite things is talking to fans. If you’d like to learn more or just drop a line, please check her out at www.shylacolt.com.
Where you can find her