Category Archives: Old Flames Never Die

Valentine Mysteries on Special this Holiday Weekend!

Valentine Mystery Series

The 4th of July is mostly known for hotdogs, ice cream and fireworks, but like any other form of summer fun, reading is often involved as well. If you’re looking for romance and mystery this holiday weekend, pick up all four of the Valentine books, on special this weekend.

July 3 through July 5 get Deadly Valentine for free!

July 4th through July 6 get Old Flames Never Die on sale starting at $0.99 cents on Friday (this is a countdown deal so the price will go up each day).

July 5th through July 7 get With This Ring, I Thee Kill on sale starting at $0.99 cents on Saturday (this is a countdown deal so the price will go up each day).

July 8 through July 8 get ‘Til Death Do Us Part on sale starting at $0.99 cents on Sunday (this is a countdown deal so the price will go up each day).

Have a wonderful, safe Fourth of July!

Free Valentines!

deadlyvalentinet128With a name like Harte and book series called Valentine, it’s no wonder Valentine’s Day is popular around here. And to celebrate, you can get Deadly Valentine, Book One of the Valentine series for free now until Feb. 14, 2014. Plus, you can get the next two books in the series, Old Flames Never Die and With This Ring, I Thee Kill at a discount of 30% off (only $1.99) also until Feb. 14, 2014.

The Valentine books follow the lives of Tess Madison, a French-lingerie loving, chocolate connoisseur and her handsome leading man Jack Valentine. It’s just the right mixture of mystery, romance and fun!

And if you enjoy them, the fourth book, ‘Til Death Do Us Part, is in it’s final stages of editing. I’ll be giving away the first few chapters on Friday, February 14th. Watch for details, here, on Twitter or Facebook for a release date.

Jack Valentine Interview

Jack Valentine is the romantic hero of the Valentine Mystery Series. He’s all alpha male — handsome, smart, funny, rich, with just enough arrogance to make him endearing. And he’s completely devoted to Tess, although some readers wonder why. In this interview, Jack answers questions about his love for Tess, his feelings towards Daniel, and his fear of flying.

Warning: There are a few spoilers. If you haven’t read Deadly Valentine, you might want to first.

Q: Most readers love the unequivocal devotion you have for Tess, but a couple people have questioned what you see in Tess, especially since she was so cool toward you sometimes in the beginning?

Jack: Really? Hmm. Well, first, you have to remember that I met Tess long before that fateful night at Asa Worthington’s house. When I first met her, she was outgoing, witty, always willing to go on an adventure.  She was different when we reunited, but I could see she was still in there. A few hard-knocks made her guarded, but deep down, she was the same.

Q: How did you and Tess first meet?

Jack: I was meeting with my lawyer, Brad Chancellor. This is before he came to work for me. She showed up at the end of that meeting.

Q: On several occasions, you make it sound like love at first sight.

Jack: It was pretty close, which was difficult because she was engaged to Brad then. And Brad wasn’t just my lawyer, he was a friend.

Q: So what was it about her that had you falling so fast for a woman you couldn’t have?

Jack: I can give you the list of attributes – she’s smart, fast with a good retort, beautiful – but many women are. There was just something that grabbed me right in the gut. I suppose some people might call it chemistry. I don’t know how to explain it, but I remember feeling it deep in my soul. I’d never had that happen before.

Q: Did she feel the same about you?

Jack: You’d have to ask her. I think there was something, but again, she was engaged to Brad so it wasn’t something either of us considered pursuing. I had to settle being her friend.

Q: Didn’t she indicate there could be more between you two after she and Brad broke up?

Jack: She had initially come to me seeking support and comfort…a shoulder to cry on. It could have become more, but I think she would have regretted it. It was a difficult decision on my part to push her away, but I didn’t want to be the rebound guy or the way to get back at Brad.

Q: Did you have any sense of how profoundly that night effected her?

Jack: I knew she was hurting. She’d had experience rejection and betrayal before, and I think she saw Brad and my actions as reinforcing that. But I didn’t get at how deeply that pain went. Or how much it would alter who she was. I might have if I’d been able to stay in touch with her, but my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer right after that, so my priorities were caring for her.

Q: So you love Tess for her wit, adventurous spirit and that je ne sais quoi?

Jack: Among other things. I love that Tess doesn’t care about status or money-

Q: I guess that was always an issue with other women. You didn’t know if they liked you for you or your money.

Jack: Oh, I could tell. There was a time it didn’t matter, but I knew that in the long run, I wanted someone like Tess.

Q: What else attracts you to her?

Jack: I love how she challenges me and she gets me. And it doesn’t hurt that she’s beautiful.

Q: And she has good taste in lingerie.

Jack: That’s a perk, yes.

Q: How do you feel about her relationship with Daniel?

Jack: Ah, Daniel. I have Jekyll-Hyde feelings. I like that he was … still is there for her. He and his family are important to her and I respect that. But, I am a man, and like most men, don’t like having other men eying the woman I love.

Q: You never asked her to stop being his friend.

Jack: No. First of all, she wouldn’t take it well. I think Daniel found that out when he asked her not to see me. But he’s important to her and I have to respect that.

Q: Did you ever worry that Daniel might win Tess’ heart?

Jack: I didn’t worry that he’d win her heart, but I worried she might choose the safer route. I know she loves and cares for Daniel, but not in the same way she loves me. Our love is intense and passionate, which also makes it riskier, scarier. I  worried she wouldn’t take that risk.

Q: Is that why you rejected her when she tried to mend your relationship after she broke up with you?

Jack: No. I’m impulsive and am willing to risk a lot if I think there will be a good outcome. I rejected her because I was hurt and angry. I still kick myself for that.

Q: Because she nearly died?

Jack: That’s one reason. But even if she hadn’t nearly died, she could have decided I wasn’t worth the effort after all and rejected me when I apologized.

Q: You and Tess seem to get mixed up in murder a lot. Did that happen before and do you worry that you two seem to attract trouble?

Jack: Except for my dad getting killed in the line of duty as a police officer, I’d never had a personal experience with murder. I’d only seen murder in the movies until Asa was killed. But I don’t worry that Tess and I have seen more than our fair share of dead bodies. It’ll take more than murder to keep me from her.

Q: Do you think you’ll have kids? Your lives seem a little dangerous for that.

Jack: Yes, we’ll have kids. But it will be awhile. I’m not ready to share Tess yet.

Q: Well, it’s clear you’re a romantic. But you can’t jet off to romantic places because you don’t like flying. Have you always been afraid to fly?

Jack: Yes. Actually, I’m not afraid to fly, I’m afraid to fall. It has nothing to do with heights. It has to do with crashing. It ruins the macho image, I know. But … well…I can’t be perfect.

Q: I think Tess thinks you come pretty close to it.

A: I hope so.

Do you have questions for Jack that I didn’t ask? Ask them in the comment section below and he’ll answer them!

Vote for your favorite Valentine romantic/love scene?

I’m madly finishing With This Ring, I Thee Wed, with a publication date of February 14, 2013 (Valentine’s Day). As the day approaches, I thought it would be fun to find out from you, what your favorite romantic or loves scenes are from the first two books. If you’d like to weigh in, please take the poll below. It’s anonymous and you don’t need to submit any personal information.

Getting to Happily Ever After

Writers are sensitive creatures. We want the love and accolades, but don’t always take criticism well. One thing I’ve learned is to listen to or read feedback and reviews with an open mind. I have been fortunate that people who’ve been leaving reviews have been gentle in their critiques. And while it isn’t always fun to hear the negative, if I’m open to what is being said, I can learn from it and improve my writing and story telling. That leads me to today’s post.

I got a review recently for Old Flames Never Die book two in the Valentine series that said it wasn’t as good as the first and that the problem was that there was “too much back and forth between the main characters” and “I thought the trust and walking out on each other had been resolved in the first book”. Admittedly, I was concerned there was too much angst and discord in this book, but at the same time, I didn’t think Tess and Jack were at the level of smooth sailing by the end of the first book. Clearly, Tess made gains in Deadly Valentine. She learned to let go and allow love in her life. But I don’t think she was at the point where she was completely free of her baggage. She grew up with rejection, had the fiasco with Brad, and was even rejected by Jack in book one. I don’t think you let all that go in an instant. So book two tested her faith in love and I think she did a pretty good job.

Jack too had his issues. The problem with alpha males like Jack is that they can sometimes come off too perfect, which is boring. Jack has many great qualities, such as his unwavering love for Tess. But he’s also a man used to getting what he wants. Sometimes he needs to push, and push hard to get it. We saw it a little in book one and a lot in book two. The problem is, the more that Jack pushed, the more Tess questioned their love. So Jack’s journey was about learning to let go and trust too. He couldn’t bully Tess into loving him the way he wanted her to love him.

Fortunately, book three, With This Ring I Thee Kill, doesn’t have all the angst. Tess and Jack disagree and occasionally squabble, but the relationship is now set and at the place the above reviewer hoped they’d achieved in book two. With This Ring I Thee Kill sees even more growth in Tess and Jack, lots of great banter and play, and passionate love. Oh… and of course murder and mayhem.

With that all said, if I have to explain myself in a blog post, it suggests that I didn’t do my job in the books, which is something I need to work on. On the other hand, everyone gets something different from books. I’ve read books that have out of this world reviews and I couldn’t figure out why. And I’ve read books I’ve loved that had a few bad reviews, and again, I couldn’t understand why. In the end, reading is subjective. I just hope that readers who like romantic couples embroiled in mystery enjoy my work, because I sure enjoy writing it!