Category Archives: Novel GEM

Killing Secrets by K.L. Docter #ARCs Available!

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KILLING SECRETS by K.L. DOCTER
(A Thorne’s Thorns Series Novel)

Squeeeee! I’m excited to announce that Killing Secrets, the first of my romantic suspense Thorne’s Thorns series novels is releasing on April 17th!!

But, you can get a Sneak Peek! I will have complimentary copies (PDF) of Killing Secrets available by this weekend for an honest review of the book on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. The book is already up for review at Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5754902.Karen_Docter so please click on Want to Read. Then, you can post your review there before the launch date or wait until launch date and post the review everywhere sometime that week. Posting on release week helps tremendously to get the word out, so thanks for your help!!

To get your complimentary copy of Killing Secrets to review, please send your email address to kldocter@yahoo.com or private message me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/karen.docter.

Thank you for your support. I do appreciate my readers!

Short Stats: Killing Secrets by K.L. Docter (copyright 2014)
                    Publisher: Karen Docter
                    Romantic Suspense (Approx. 100,000+ words)
                    Heat Level: Spicy, 1 descriptive love scene (not erotic)
                    Language & Violence: Psychological Woman-in-jeopardy,
                         not graphic, some language

Book Blurb:

Rachel James’ ex-husband is released from prison determined to reclaim her and her little girl — his key to the James fortune. Frightened, Rachel flees to Denver with the child who hasn’t uttered a word since her daddy went to prison.

Contractor Patrick Thorne wants nothing to do with another of his parents’ charity cases. He failed his own wife so abysmally she took her own life as well as his unborn son’s. After two years, it’s time to concentrate on the bid he’s won and the saboteur trying to destroy his construction firm.

There is no room for trust in either of their hearts. But trust is all that will untangle the secrets that dominate their lives, free a little girl of her silent prison, and save them all from a serial killer who stands too close.

Killing Secrets by K.L. Docter
(copyright 2014)
A Thorne’s Thorns Novel
Excerpt

Prologue

Four weeks….
Two days….
Sixteen hours….
     …’Til death

The first time he laid eyes on her, he stood on the threshold of a doorway he dare not cross. He fell into her fathomless dark gaze, unable, unwilling to shake his soul free and, in that one moment, he knew.

She was meant for him to love.

Untouched by the sordid life that flourished around her, she was sunlight in a gray existence. A smile in a dingy room. A joy such as he’d never known. She was a gift from a cold, unforgiving God. Forever innocent.

Why God would give him such a precious angel, he didn’t know. But he suddenly knew what he was willing to die for. What he’d kill for.

In that instant of clarity the monster that lurked in the dark recesses of his mind was freed. A creature designed to kill. To live and die. Over and over again. Until his angel ascended once more to her place in Heaven at God’s feet where he couldn’t reach her.

‘Til death parted them, she was his and his alone.

Certain she’d been lost to him, the shock of spotting her again in LoDo, a lower downtown section of Denver, nearly brought him to his knees. His brain tried to tell him he was mistaken. She had more curves than he remembered. Her hairstyle and clothes were different.

The others were different, too.

He shook his head against the monster’s treacherous whisper. He refused to listen. Couldn’t listen. His angel smiled at him. His soul recognized her. Somehow, some way, his fractious God had been appeased and given him yet another chance.

The past seven days were hell. Watching her. Wanting to take her. Knowing he couldn’t screw up and lose her again. Tonight, his preparations in place, she’d return to his side where she belonged.

Breathing slow and measured through the full-face ski mask he’d bought at a thrift store, he sucked in a lungful of musty stench. In this uncommon late-May heat wave, he was sweating bullets but the wool soaked it up before it could sting his eyes. The itching would drive him insane, though, if she didn’t come home from work soon.

The LoDo sports bar where she waited tables closed almost an hour ago. She couldn’t have gone on a date at two o’clock on a Thursday morning, could she?

Three times he’d entered her ground floor apartment after she’d left for work, and he’d seen no sign she was involved with anyone. No jockey shorts mixed with her panties in the hamper. No extra razor. The food in the refrigerator wasn’t enough to feed a cat, let alone her and a boyfriend, and the only scent on her pillows was floral. The sole message from a male on her answering machine had identified himself as a special research librarian from the Denver Public Library reminding her to pick up the copy of “The Warwick Genealogy” she’d requested.

That doesn’t mean she isn’t still involved with him, the almighty scion of Thorne Enterprises. She’s probably crawling into his bed like a whore right this minute, letting him do things to her, making her scream….

Screams.

Blood.

Death.

“No!  Stop!” he whispered. “That was a mistake!”

Was it?  The insidious question lashed him from the dark place in his pounding skull.

He rejected the smirking voice, the vivid images. Think of something else. Anything else. Forgetforgetfor—

A car alarm screamed at an outlying parking lot and dragged him out of his fugue. His eyes cleared. The pain behind them eased to a level he’d learned to carry over the years. He took a deep breath to smother his panic.

Soon, he would kill the nightmares forever. Patrick Thorne would die and the secrets with him. But the contractor hadn’t been punished enough yet. Before he finished, he’d ruin Thorne’s reputation, his livelihood, and destroy everything he loved most in the world.

Just as Thorne destroyed our lives. The man must die! Now!

Restless to escape its bonds the monster thrust knife-hot pain into his brain, but he wrestled it back into the shadows and locked it down. Retribution was almost at hand, but not tonight. This night was about her.

Where was she?

Christmas Special ~ Wedding Vows by Karen Docter

Bells__Mouse

Wedding Vows
By Karen Docter

Dashing through the files
Looking for the perfect line
O’er the page we pore
Searching all the time
Words do sometimes bring
A smile, a sigh, a fight
A romance is a tender thing
To make things turn out right

Oh, wedding vows, wedding vows
This is what we say
Oh, what fun it is to love
That one man every day
Wedding vows, wedding vows
This is what we say
Oh, what fun it is to love
That one man every day

Our heroine just can’t see
What the hero has inside
Until we do reveal
The words he tries to hide
He may be buff and fine
A financial wiz at work
If we can’t find our line
He just sounds like a jerk

Oh, wedding vows, wedding vows
This is what we say
Oh, what fun it is to love
That one man every day
Wedding vows, wedding vows
This is what we say
Oh, what fun it is to love
That one man every day

So here we sit all day
Looking for the perfect line
That reveals a man’s true heart
A woman can’t decline
She’ll see the man beyond
The words he cannot say
We work to make their love
Turn out in just that way

Oh, wedding vows, wedding vows
This is what we say
Oh, what fun it is to love
That one man every day
Wedding vows, wedding vows
This is what we say
Oh, what fun it is to love
That one man every day, yeah!

[Wedding Vows, Karen Docter © 2010]

[[Inspired by Jingle Bells carol written by James Lord Pierpont (1822-1893) in 1850.]]

Christmas Special ~ ‘Twas the Week Before Christmas

Mrs_Claus[1]

‘Twas the Week Before Christmas
By Karen Docter

‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the land
My dust bunnies had grown bold, joined the Editorial Band;

Revisions were hung by the critique rank and file,
In hopes that my manuscript would soon top the pile;

Characters were canoodling in their own special way,
While villains of danger snuck into the fray;

And my hero in his splendor, and heroine bathed in moon’s light,
Had just dissed their love for the fourth time this night;

When out of my brain there arose what I’d been missing,
Had to rush to the office to tweak a bout of kissing;

Away to my chair, I stumbled and swore,
Ripped open a Window and widened my eyes more;

The cursor, blinking cheerily on the computer screen, teased,
Tormenting my poor muse, more than it appeased;

When, what to my beleaguered senses should un-wend,
But my muse on a lotus blossom, and a close writer friend;

With a great mighty shove, so swift the prevention,
I knew in a thrice, this was editorial intervention;

So swift the editor kicked off her perch, ideas they came,
And my muse danced and sang, I knew this was the game.

“Now, Narrative! Now, Point of View! Now, Adjective and Verb!
On, Sentence! On Paragraph! On, Synopsis and Blurb!”

“To the top of the list! To the top of the pile!
Now print away! Print away! Print away, smile!”

As manuscript pages that before crazed muse envision,
When they hide behind walls, come out with permission;

So rise to the occasion the plot points they grow,
With a screen full of characterization, my muse did yet glow;

And then, in that moment, I heard my hero speak,
Those sensuous words and statement of love’s peak;

As I reached for the words, and was putting them down,
My heroine laughed and tried on her wedding gown;

From her fingers danced stars, my muse had donned glitters,
Her crown was tipped over from too many gin-and-bitters;

But she sat on my poor editor, not allowing her vent,
My muse looked like an angel, or maybe an agent;

Her face – how it glowed! Her dimples how naughty!
Her eyes full of mischief, her nose not one bit haughty!

Her gleeful expression was fixed on the page,
And the stubborn tilt of her chin was as firm as a sage;

An eraser-less pencil she clenched tight in her hand,
And an aura of contentment encircled the land;

She had purpose to her step, was lithe enough to bend,
To the winds of creativity, she was surely there to wend;

She was the vision of my heroine, an odd little perk,
And I laughed when I saw her, my psyche at work;

With a gracious smile and a nod in my direction,
She gave me the notion I could bow to her perfection;

She spoke not at all, but took over my work,
And filled all the holes; then turned with a smirk.

And saving her words, I would tomorrow sigh,
And giving me a look, out of the office she did fly.

She freed my sorry editor, dusted her off with a smile,
And away she tottered without the least bit of guile.

But I heard her exclaim, as she packed up her bikini,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good ‘Finis’!”

[‘Twas the Week Before Christmas, Karen Docter © 2007]

[[Inspired by ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, attributed to Clement Clarke Moore.]]

 

Novel Gems ~ 08-20-13 ~ Killing Secrets by Karen Docter

Welcome to Novel Gems ~ Killing Secrets 08-20-13!

I love to sneak a peek into a writer friend’s developing novel. It’s just so much fun watching their story grow and getting the inside scoop.  So every Tuesday until I finish my romantic suspense, Killing Secrets, I’ll share a gem with you ~ a couple of sentences, several paragraphs of a pivotal scene, or a phrase that just made me sigh or laugh out loud or scares me or…well, you get the picture.

A bit of set up for today’s gem….

Patrick’s saboteur sets his sights on Rachel and Amanda…and that’s all you’re getting!

Happy Reading!

Karen

Killing Secrets by Karen Docter

Slipping between two cavernous, half-completed buildings at the construction site was an easy enough feat with a flashlight, but only an insane person—the intruder smiled cruelly at the private joke—would reveal his presence with even a thin beam of light until he arrived at his destination.  Crossing paths with the night guard was not on his agenda.

He cursed Thorne and his new security measures.  The man had become positively twitchy which was making these little forays into Thorne Enterprises territory exercises in creativity.  But the intruder enjoyed the challenge of pitting himself against the great Patrick Thorne.

And it wasn’t time yet.  Thorne hadn’t suffered nearly enough.  No.  Not nearly enough for what he’d done. Before he died, he would lose everything precious to him.  Rachel James and her daughter were the last nails in his coffin.

….see you next Tuesday with another NOVEL GEM.

Novel Gems ~ 08-13-13 ~ Killing Secrets by Karen Docter

Welcome to Novel Gems ~ Killing Secrets 08-13-13!

I love to sneak a peek into a writer friend’s developing novel. It’s just so much fun watching their story grow and getting the inside scoop.  So every Tuesday until I finish my romantic suspense, Killing Secrets, I’ll share a gem with you ~ a couple of sentences, several paragraphs of a pivotal scene, or a phrase that just made me sigh or laugh out loud or scares me or…well, you get the picture.

A bit of set up for today’s gem….

Rachel’s dad, missing for years, meets his granddaughter for the first time…and that’s all you’re getting!

Happy Reading!

Karen

Killing Secrets by Karen Docter

Her father turned his attention to Amanda, half buried in Rachel’s skirts.  “Seems to me your mama’s lost her manners altogether, pumpkin.  I’m your grandpa.”  He held out his hand again, but he was obviously already tiring because it fell to the bed a moment later.

Rachel was astounded to feel Amanda move from her side.  The little girl took his motionless hand in hers and tried to clamber up onto the bed.  “Amanda, no honey!  You can’t—”

“The hell she can’t,” her father croaked.  He moved a couple of cords and tubes around and wrapped his arm around his granddaughter.  “Snuggle up here on my shoulder like your mama used to do and let me look at you.”

Amanda stared silently up at her grandpa and he stared down at her like she was the Seventh Wonder of the World.  “You’re the spitting image of your mama and grandma.  All moonstruck hair and baby-doe eyes,” he said, a tear trailing down his pain-lined face.  “Wish you could have met your grandma.  She would have loved you.”

….see you next Tuesday with another NOVEL GEM.

Novel Gems ~ 08-06-13 ~ Killing Secrets by Karen Docter

Welcome to Novel Gems ~ Killing Secrets 08-06-13!

I love to sneak a peek into a writer friend’s developing novel. It’s just so much fun watching their story grow and getting the inside scoop.  So every Tuesday until I finish my romantic suspense, Killing Secrets, I’ll share a gem with you ~ a couple of sentences, several paragraphs of a pivotal scene, or a phrase that just made me sigh or laugh out loud or scares me or…well, you get the picture.

A bit of set up for today’s gem….

Rachel loses something precious…and that’s all you’re getting!

Happy Reading!

Karen

Killing Secrets by Karen Docter

With a curse, he stepped over the debris to hunker down in front of her.  He gently pulled her fingers away from the shattered hand mirror gouging her tender flesh.  She gave one tug of resistance when she realized what he was doing but finally released her grip.  Fresh blood seeped from the pads of three fingers, and he could see a chunk of glass imbedded in the middle of her palm.

Scooping her into his arms, he strode from the room out of sight of the devastation.  He carried her past the mastiff guarding the hallway and down the passage to his parent’s bedroom.  He didn’t stop moving until he sat down on the king-sized bed with her in his lap.  “Rachel?” he said.  “Sweetheart, talk to me.”

Brown eyes met his, dark and bruised with pain.  “H-he, m-mama’s—”

Patrick didn’t need to hear the loss shadowing her voice to know the mirror had a special meaning for her.  He stroked her satiny cheek, feeling helpless.  “It’s okay, honey,” he said.  “We can fix it. Let’s deal with your cuts, first, okay?”

She nodded.  “I’m okay,” she said quietly.

Patrick hated to let her go because he wasn’t convinced she was okay, but he knew he’d better let Joe know what was going on and call in the cavalry.  At the rate things are going, you need the police station on speed dial.

….see you next Tuesday with another NOVEL GEM.

Novel Gems ~ 07-30-13 ~ Killing Secrets by Karen Docter

Welcome to Novel Gems ~ Killing Secrets 07-30-13!

I love to sneak a peek into a writer friend’s developing novel. It’s just so much fun watching their story grow and getting the inside scoop.  So every Tuesday until I finish my romantic suspense, Killing Secrets, I’ll share a gem with you ~ a couple of sentences, several paragraphs of a pivotal scene, or a phrase that just made me sigh or laugh out loud or scares me or…well, you get the picture.

A bit of set up for today’s gem….

Rachel and Patrick take an irretrievable step…and that’s all you’re getting!

Happy Reading!

Karen

Killing Secrets by Karen Docter

She gasped.

The soft sound made him smile.  He’d suspected she hadn’t known he saw her sitting on the porch that night, watched her visually caressing him, sure of her anonymity in the shadows.  His hand wrapped around the back of her neck, he tugged her in for another kiss.  It wasn’t a hard, demanding kiss, but the caress he’d dreamed of since that night in the moonlight.  He worshiped her soft mouth.  He sipped.  He nibbled.  He captured the sound of her moan on his tongue.

When Rachel swayed into him and he almost lost his balance, he came to his senses.  “Whoa!” he murmured.   His hands on her waist, he pushed her back on the landing.  “This isn’t such a good idea,” he said.

“But—”

The look of desire and confusion in Rachel’s luscious brown eyes called to him.  He couldn’t refuse her anything at that moment if he tried.  “Shh,” he said, taking the last two steps to the landing.  He kept walking until he had her pressed up against the solid wall between the two bedrooms that anchored the stairs.  Her breasts were warm against him. Her breath, mingling with his, shallow and quick.  “Now,” he growled, “we won’t fall down the stairs.”

….see you next Tuesday with another NOVEL GEM.

Novel Gems ~ 07-23-13 ~ Killing Secrets by Karen Docter

Welcome to Novel Gems ~ Killing Secrets 07-23-13!

I love to sneak a peek into a writer friend’s developing novel. It’s just so much fun watching their story grow and getting the inside scoop.  So every Tuesday until I finish my romantic suspense, Killing Secrets, I’ll share a gem with you ~ a couple of sentences, several paragraphs of a pivotal scene, or a phrase that just made me sigh or laugh out loud or scares me or…well, you get the picture.

A bit of set up for today’s gem….

Rachel is about to confront her past…and that’s all you’re getting!

Happy Reading!

Karen

Killing Secrets by Karen Docter

You can do this.

“You don’t have to do this, Rach.”  The soft rumble of Patrick’s words steadied her as much as the callused hand that cradled the back of her neck.

“Yes, I do,” she whispered in the too quiet hallway.  “I’m not running any more.   I’ll be okay.”

“I’m right behind you.”

And that is why she’d be okay.  No matter what happened once she pushed through the door marked Room 7B, she knew she could trust Patrick to pick up the pieces.

God, don’t let there be too many pieces!  She didn’t know how many more shocks–good or bad–she could handle.

….see you next Tuesday with another NOVEL GEM.

Novel Gems ~ 07-16-13 ~ Killing Secrets by Karen Docter

Welcome to Novel Gems ~ Killing Secrets 07-16-13!

I love to sneak a peek into a writer friend’s developing novel. It’s just so much fun watching their story grow and getting the inside scoop.  So every Tuesday until I finish my romantic suspense, Killing Secrets, I’ll share a gem with you ~ a couple of sentences, several paragraphs of a pivotal scene, or a phrase that just made me sigh or laugh out loud or scares me or…well, you get the picture.

A bit of set up for today’s gem….

Rachel tries to understand why Patrick is helping her…and that’s all you’re getting!

Happy Reading!

Karen

Killing Secrets by Karen Docter

“Why are you doing all this?”  The question escaped her lips before she even knew it had been bothering her since the day they’d met.  What kind of man takes on the trouble she’d brought to his door, without hesitation, without expecting anything in return?

For a moment, she wasn’t sure he’d respond.  His dark eyes were intent on her and, suddenly, she remembered she was wearing nothing but powder and a football jersey.  He wasn’t looking at her in an inappropriate way but she felt his gaze over her entire body.  “Patrick?”

Her soft whisper of his name broke his gaze.  “No little girl should be traumatized by those who are supposed to love her,” he said.  “I want to help her.”

“No, I meant,” she waved her arm to encompass the house, “all this.  You’re protecting us from Greg, throwing your life into disarray, and you hardly know us.”

He gave a negligent shrug, clearly uncomfortable with the question.  “I’m right next door.  I’m in a position to help. Anyone would do the same.”

No, they wouldn’t.  Rachel stared at him in silence as a chunk of the ice inside her melted away, touched by his inability to see the caring, protective man he tried so hard to negate.

….see you next Tuesday with another NOVEL GEM.

Novel Gems ~ 07-09-13 ~ Killing Secrets by Karen Docter

Welcome to Novel Gems ~ Killing Secrets 07-09-13!

I love to sneak a peek into a writer friend’s developing novel. It’s just so much fun watching their story grow and getting the inside scoop.  So every Tuesday until I finish my romantic suspense, Killing Secrets, I’ll share a gem with you ~ a couple of sentences, several paragraphs of a pivotal scene, or a phrase that just made me sigh or laugh out loud or scares me or…well, you get the picture.

A bit of set up for today’s gem….

Rachel’s ex-husband has destroyed her belongings and she’s wondering why she wants to get involved with Patrick…and that’s all you’re getting!

Happy Reading!

Karen

Killing Secrets by Karen Docter

Her hand brushed across the scars on her stomach.  Greg had set his stamp of possession on her when he beat her. He didn’t respect the divorce decree she’d tucked in her bag before leaving Dallas.  If he had his way, she’d never be free of him so why is she even thinking any kind of relationship with another man?

She blew out a breath of frustration and turned off the shower. It was time to rein in her thoughts, to take control of her feelings.  Wrapping a towel around her traitorous body, she brushed steam off the bathroom mirror and glared at her expression.  “You’re leaving Denver the moment Greg’s behind bars,” she told her mirror image sternly. “You have no business starting a relationship with Patrick.”  No matter how much you want him.

Ah, hell.

Toweling dry, she quickly threw her attention into getting ready for bed.  She patted her favorite lilac powder all over her skin and put on the football jersey Patrick had found for her last night to replace the nightshirt Greg had shredded.  She tugged on the hem trying to make it longer, but she knew it was no use.  The moment she raised her arms, she could feel the material brush halfway up her behind. Her naked behind.

She made a face at her damp panties hanging on the towel rack where she’d put them after rinsing them.  Damn Greg for destroying everything and leaving her only the one pair she’d been wearing yesterday!

….see you next Tuesday with another NOVEL GEM.