Title: Honor Thy Neighbor
Release Date: February 2010
Authors: Valerie J. Patterson
When mystery writer Ashlynn Myerson's suspicions about her neighbors begin to mount, her homicide captain husband, Sean, warns her to just steer clear of them. He knows his wife has keen observation skills and a strong interest in becoming a police officer, but Sean's knee deep in an investigation that thrusts him into an undercover assignment when one of his detectives is shot and left for dead. It's not until Ashlynn steps on the wrong toes and is abducted that Sean sees the clue she left for him. He realizes her suspicions of their neighbors and his case are intricately woven together.
The effects of the investigation are far reaching, and the losses could be greater than either Sean or Ashlynn ever thought possible. But Sean will do anything within his power to get his wife back unharmed.
Welcome Valerie J. Patterson, it's nice to have you here. What is your Sizzling Release?
Honor Thy Neighbor
What is Honor Thy Neighbor all about?
Honor Thy Neighbor is the first book in the Myerson Mystery Series. It focuses on the husband and wife crime solving duo, Sean and Ashlynn Myerson. A detective under Sean's command is shot while in the line of duty and Sean--the detective with least amount of exposure on the case--goes undercover to solve the case. He wife, Ashlynn, goes with him, but only as his wife, not as a part of the team. While Sean is busy with his investigation, Ashlynn begins to get to know the neighbors. That's where the trouble begins. She asks too many questions and the wrong people begin to take notice. When she gets abducted, Sean realizes she stumbled upon something that could actually end her life. The emotional torment that he goes through takes the reader on a journey--Sean's journey--of finding Ashlynn. The book weaves together their personal life and Sean's professional life. It delves deeply into this unique couple's unstoppable love and unbreakable union. Plus it has a great mystery and plenty of suspenseful moments!
What was your inspiration?
I read about an odd case in the newspaper a number of years ago, and the crime just stuck with me. I loosely--and I mean loosely--based this first book on that crime.
Why mystery/suspense with romance? What's the draw?
I wanted to write about a husband and wife team, but I didn't want it to be just about the mystery. I wanted there to be hot chemistry between them. Just because they're married, it doesn't mean the passion died at the chapel! I think for this team to be so dynamic and so successful, they needed to be really in love with one another. They have to have this unbreakable connection, this strong binding tie so that the reader knows one without the other just won't work. Plus, I love a good mystery. A puzzle you can sink your teeth into and try to unravel as the books progresses.
Tell me, what was your reaction when you received your very first contract to be published?
Oh, it was bittersweet. My dad was perhaps my biggest fan, the person who most wanted to see my dreams become a reality. I got my first contract for publication a month after he unexpectedly died. He would have been smiling the biggest smile ever had he been here to share in that special moment.
How did you celebrate?
My husband took me to dinner. But it didn't stop there. He had the book's cover matted and framed along with the press release that appeared in the paper and my first interview.
Now for some fun stuff! February is the month for lovers. What did you and your SO do for Valentine's Day?
My birthday is February first, so the month is extra special. I always kid my husband that February is my birth month, not day. He usually decorates the house while I'm asleep. I'll wake up to find a banner in the dining room, balloons, many cards and presents, and usually breakfast. If it's possible, he takes me out to lunch. This is all for my birthday! When Valentine's day arrives, I know something special is in store for me. Last year it was a weekend getaway and tickets to the PBR--Professional Bull Riding--which is my absolute favorite sport. He may not admit it, but he's a romantic at heart and I always feel special and very, very loved!
Seriously, do you think chocolates and flowers are the way to a woman's heart? No, but they sure help pave the way! I think gestures are far more romantic than flowers or chocolates. The breakfast made before I get up. The special dinner, also home cooked without my doing it. The specially selected bottle of wine. The little touches like candles and a card left on the front seat of the car. The little hand-written note attached to the bathroom mirror. Those are the way to a woman's heart. Hands down!
What would be your ultimate Valentine's Day?
Oh, a limousine taking us to the PBR event and back to the hotel would just about make the night perfect! That and a couple autographs and photos with my favorite cowboys! Steve has to be part of it all. Without him, Valentine's day would just be another day on the calendar.
Milk chocolate or dark?
Both! Solid milk chocolate that melts on my tongue is excellent. Dark chocolate flavored with natural orange is divine!
Thank you so much for joining me! Any last moment comments you'd like to add? This was fun! I enjoyed spending time with you and answering your questions. I think Honor Thy Neighbor is the type of book that stays with you once you've read it. I'd love to hear from any readers who buy the book and read it. Thank you for having me as part of the whole Valentine celebration. I appreciate it very much!
Sean rolled over and away from his wife. Her persistence and allure both drove him crazy for different reasons. Married just eight months ago, it quickly became their custom to spend their mornings enjoying their mutual passion... each other. This particular morning, however, began the way the previous evening ended, with the discussion of Ashlynn's desire to attend the police academy.
Sean sighed wearily. "Ashlynn, you seem to have forgotten the fact that you wanted nothing to do with me when you found out what I did for a living. Now, suddenly, you want to become a cop? I don't understand."
"That's because you won't let me finish a sentence. Every time I try to tell you why, you shut me up with your protests."
He tossed back the blankets, swinging his feet to the floor. "I'm taking a shower."
Ashlynn sat up, the sheet falling from her shoulders to reveal her naked torso, healthy and toned. "We haven't made love yet."
Sean turned, his eyes drinking in the view she willingly gave him. His body reacted. Her auburn tresses, unkempt by sleep's beautician, poured over her shoulder, barely covering the firm swell of flesh. Her passion always turned her sultry blue eyes a subtle shade of navy. He couldn't deny he had a beautiful bride "You didn't seem interested." He held his stance despite his body's urging to relent to her sensuality. "You just wanted to talk."
She frowned. "Go take your shower."
He'd played the wrong card. Shrugging, he went into the bathroom, closing the door behind him.
Falling back against the pillows, Ashlynn groaned out loud. The argument he posed brought back memories of the ordeal her half sister, Clara, had put her through.
He'd saved her life. Spared her from certain death. She'd fallen in love with him months before that, but hesitated giving in to her desires because of the danger of his job. Inside the family cemetery, Clara held her at gunpoint. Sean fearlessly, and without second thought, drew Clara's aim to himself and away from Ashlynn. The ensuing events caused her to wonder how easily he put himself in danger through the course of his job.
She shivered, remembering vividly how close she'd come to using the empty grave Clara had opened for her over a year ago.
Feeling the need for Sean's protective embrace, she went into the bathroom, opening the door to the shower stall. When Sean held his arms open, she stepped into the steam and water.
A smile curled on her lips as his arms folded around her, bringing her flush with the hard muscled contours of his six-foot-four body. He buried his face in her hair. "I'm sorry," he whispered before his mouth covered hers.
Their eyes met again. "Each time I remember, I'm reminded that I'm a survivor."
"It only means you're strong."
Ashlynn shook her head. "It means I've lived through my own personal hell. It means something so terrible touched my life that I had to choose between surviving and being eaten alive. I can't close my eyes some nights without my mind replaying that night from beginning to end."
She felt his embrace tighten, knowing he'd gladly make her nightmares his own.
He nuzzled her ear. "I love you."
She pulled away from him, hoping he'd see the tears on her lashes as drops of water from the shower. Searching his dark brown eyes, she saw the truth there. "You always know what to say."
Sean grinned. "You always amaze me."
"I don't suppose we still have time?"
Reluctantly, he shook his head. "I have an early meeting."
He grinned. "I'll make it up to you this evening."
"You mean dessert."
"After dancing comes dessert."
"You should be giving in to me," he said.
She tilted her head, looked up at him, and watched as his resolve wore thin.
"I give up," Sean proclaimed. "You win. Dinner, dancing, and dessert."
She pushed the envelope further. "And the police academy?"
"Is not accepting applications," he said, reaching around her to turn off the water.
Ashlynn allowed the subject to drop, following her husband out of the shower. Playfully, she swatted his backside. "Nice tush."
"Is that all you like?"
She shrugged. "I could have answered that question without words, but you said you didn't want to be late for your meeting."
"Just what I needed, preoccupation."
"You could have had something much better than preoccupation...me."