Saturday, June 28, 2014

Scene Spotlight: THE ART OF LOVE AND MURDER by Brenda Whiteside

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Date Published: May 2, 2014

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Word Count: 82,700

Lacy Dahl never questioned her past until the deaths of her adoptive parents and her husband. A husband who wasn't what he seemed. Her research uncovers secrets about the mother she never knew; secrets that dispute the identity of her father and threaten her life. 

Sheriff Chance Meadowlark is still haunted by the murder of his wife and the revenge he unleashed in the name of justice. When he meets Lacy he is determined not to become involved, but their pasts may make that impossible. As they move closer to the truth, saving Lacy may be his only salvation. 

Lacy begins to think the present is more important than her past...until Chance's connection to her mother and a murder spin her deeper into danger and further from love. Will the truth destroy Lacy and Chance or will it be the answer that frees them?

Available for purchase:

The Scene:

The whistle brought Myles out of his reverie. He lifted the black enamel kettle, turned the burner off and poured the steaming water into the red cast iron teapot. The chain on the steeper warmed between his finger and thumb as he dipped it up and down in the hot water.

Lacy Dahl would no doubt visit Carol Katz. What would she tell the woman? Poor, bitter, old Carol. He let the steeper sit and took a tea mug from the cupboard above his head. She knew so little, what did it matter? After rinsing the cup with tap water, he removed the steeper and poured his tea, carrying it to the patio.

The sun shone on the Adirondack chair. He sank into the heat, closing his eyes for a moment to absorb the relaxing warmth, the old twinge of melancholy hovering. He rested the mug against his chest as if the added heat could kill the sensation. He’d created Muuyaw and what she created belonged to him. He deserved it. He’d loved her, nurtured her…lost her.

After all this time, more of Muuyaw’s art had surfaced.

It should be his.

His pulse quickened at the thought, and he wondered what to do to own it. Carol. He’d hear from her soon enough. Any excuse to contact him. How had he met her, God, so many years ago? The steam played wet on his face with the sip of tea. Raising his lids, he stared at the cascading white spirea along the back fence. How he loved beauty. She’d been a beauty and, if memory served him, she’d been a waitress as well as a student. But not a student of art. The brief affair satisfied him but not Carol. Her beauty paled compared to the dark haired, copper-skinned art student who’d sashayed into his class, awed him with her raw talent and who just happened to be Carol’s sister. Perhaps jealously more than lost love drove Carol’s bitterness. He didn’t care then, and he didn’t care now as long as her complicity satisfied his needs. If the sketches were authentic, and they sounded so, then Carol might be helpful.

His thumb tapped the cup edge. Yes, Carol would be helpful, and he’d not have to lay eyes on Lacy Dahl.

The author provides a director's commentary!

I hope to do this without giving away any spoilers! The scene is from the point of view of Professor Myles Sheffield, the antagonist. The professor has just learned that Lacy Dahl, heroine, is in town with some unidentified art and is seeking to know the origins. She found the art in some things of her birth mother, whom she never knew. Carol Katz is Lacy Dahl’s step aunt and an ex-lover of the professor. Only the professor knows who the artist is. Lacy is connected to the artist and because of painful memories he does not want to see her, but he does want to possess the art.

I like this scene because it is early in the story but packs a great deal of information without totally giving away too much.

The Villain:

Professor Sheffield played by Malcolm McDowell

Physical Description: Professor Sheffield is a young seventy-two year old. He has a shock of white hair, startling green eyes, tanned skin, and is physically fit. He gives the appearance of being cultured.
Short bio: Born in Newport Beach, California, he graduated from UCLA with a masters in art education. He never married. He’s an art professor at Northern Arizona University.
3 Positive Personality Traits: He’s easy to talk to, he’s organized and detail oriented, he has a charitable nature
3 Negative Personality Traits: He’s a womanizer, possessive, obsessive
After many years of a near gypsy lifestyle, my husband and I have finally landed on the northern prairies of Arizona. We've transitioned from city people to country folk. We share our rambling farmhouse with our son the farmer, his wife, my granddaughter and three dogs. Together, we’ve embraced an age-old lifestyle that has been mostly lost in the United States - multiple generations living under one roof, who share the workload, follow their individual dreams and reap the benefits of combined talents.

Although I didn’t start out to write romance, I’ve found all good stories have to involve complicated human relationships. I’ve also learned, no matter a person’s age, a new discovery is right around every corner. Whether humorous or serious, straight contemporary or suspense, all my books revolve around those two facts.

Visit Brenda at
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at
She blogs about prairie life and writing at


  1. Thanks for the spotlight, Melissa. This is the last day of the giveaway!

    1. Hi Brenda,
      You're welcome! It's great to have you here today. I've been on something of a hiatus from my blog this summer but I'm starting to get going into the swing of it again soon for July. :-)

  2. Last day of your tour and I've really enjoyed following along, getting to know you and your books. Thanks.

    1. That's great to hear, Karen. It's been nice seeing your smiling face! Good luck with the drawing.

  3. I love the excerpt. These cultured antagonists are very creepy. The more refined they appear the more scary they become. Very gripping.

    1. Oh, thanks so much, Marlow. I agree about the scary part.

  4. Good choice with Malcolm McDowell - he plays a great creep! Enjoyed the new excerpt and happy to see so many contest entries. I hope they translate into sales for you!

    1. Thanks, Ashantay. I appreciate the well wishes.