Virtual Book Tour for Final Mend by Angela Smith


Romantic Suspense

Date Published: June 23, 2014 

Publisher: Crimson Romance


A recovering alcoholic, Jake Inman has found a new, healthier addiction: training for his successful triathlon career. But when his manager is murdered and beloved goddaughter kidnapped, another obsession takes hold: doing whatever it takes to find Brandon’s killer and keep Amy safe. Jake turns to a private investigator for help in solving the case, and though he finds temptation in her whiskey-colored eyes, he knows he must resist his attraction, or risk losing his heart.

After a devastating case, Winona Wall has turned her back on her skills as a private investigator, preferring a quiet life as a part-time bartender. That is, until Jake storms into the bar, demanding her help in tracking his missing godchild. Unable to resist Jake’s charm, she reluctantly agrees. But even after Amy is found unharmed, Jake insists Amy’s mother was more involved with her kidnapping than the police suspect. When the situation takes a turn for the worse, Winona must trust her instincts in order to save them all—and avoid falling in love.



The Jeep bounced along the road, up steep mountain slopes, as rain fell in sheets. Winona gasped as the Jeep slid through slick channels of mud, but Jake managed to hold it tight. The roads were spongy, absorbing water, then wringing it out in a collection of goo.

She imagined water gushing around her. Imagined falling to their death. Being sucked into the earth by sludge. The sky had turned dark, merciless, and she couldn’t see a damn thing but the Jeep lights soaking an otherwise indistinguishable trail. The wind clamored across the ragtop as if it wasn’t even attached.

“We’re almost there,” Jake had assured her several times as she clenched the grab handle. They had made it past the public roads just fine, and she felt this trail was way worse than he’d described. “It feels worse than it is,” he continued. “I’ve traveled this road hundreds of times.”

“We should wait for backup.” She checked her phone yet again but had no service. She couldn’t call Garret to find out what was going on at his end, and none of her texts was going through. As a private investigator, she’d done many stupid things alone. This ranked top of her list.

She opened the glove compartment. Searched under the seats, behind the seats.

“What are you doing?”

“Looking to see if Chayton has any ammo or guns in his Jeep. Knowing my brother, he doesn’t.”

Her arsenal consisted of the .380 she’d hidden in her pants and the 9mm she kept in her purse. She’d feel much better if she had an assault rifle as backup, or at least her shotgun. Not that she could handle any more than two at a time anyway, if she was lucky to handle more than one.

Jake cracked his knuckles. “The only ammo I need is right here.”

Winona settled in her seat and faced him. He continued to peer out the window as the heavy downpour seemed to crack the Jeep’s ragtop. But the Jeep held steady. “Really, Jake?”

“Yep. That and adrenaline.”

“So your fists, your arms, will help you dodge bullets? You don’t think that whoever we meet at this cabin won’t have their adrenaline? You know we could be heading into a trap, right?”

“You think I care about that right now? All I care about is my little girl.”

“How do we know she’s even there? Lillian could be lying to you. Setting you up. If she had anything to do with Brandon’s murder, anything at all, then—”

“You didn’t have to come!”

“We can’t just go in there without a plan.”

“I have a plan.”

“We don’t even know who’s there. How many are there. If Amy is even there.”

“I know that cabin like the back of my hand. We’re close, and I’m damn sure not stopping or turning around.”

She squared her shoulders, digging in her purse for the 9mm. She checked the clip and handed it to him.

“Do you at least know how to shoot?”

“Are you kidding me, Winona?”

“No, I’m not kidding you. If it comes down to it, can you shoot a living, breathing human being if he’s threatening your life or those you love?”

“Maybe you’re a tough street chick who carries a couple of guns everywhere she goes. I can picture you with an AK on your back and a belt of bullets strapped around your chest. But I can hold my own. I might not be a cop, but I’m probably a better marksman than most. I was four years old when I shot my dad’s rifle for the first time. I grew up around hunting and fishing, spitting and shooting.”

“Hunting is a lot different than killing a person.”

“And you would know better than me how?”

“Well, I’ve never had to kill anyone. Most of my PI work didn’t involve danger.”

Jake glanced at her. Shadows deepened the hard lines of his face, making him appear lethal. But the last time a friend had helped in an investigation, he’d ended up dead.

In many ways Jake reminded her of Naomi’s ex, Caleb. Caleb had become addicted to alcohol, ruined his relationship with Naomi, and Winona had befriended him when he came to Montana to try to win Naomi back. He was trying to change, trying to get better, when he was shot outside the police station by the cronies who wanted to kill Garret.

Caleb had died because of quick and irrational decisions. At the time, she had been holed up safely with her mother and she knew it was nobody’s fault. But she knew they hadn’t thought things through, and she worried the same thing was about to happen again.

“If my life or the life of anyone I care about is in danger, I will shoot. If you threatened Amy, I’d shoot you.” Jake patted her on the leg before returning his hands to the wheel. “You worry too much. Stop worrying.” He turned off the lights and drove.

“What are you doing?” Winona squinted through the gray. It shouldn’t be dark yet, but the unrelenting skies held the sun hostage.

Jake pulled under a tree and shut off the engine.

“I think it’s best if we walk the rest of the way.”

“Walk? I didn’t exactly bring my hiking gear.”

Jake glanced down at her tennis shoes. “Those will have to do.”


Author Guest Post

Thanks so much for having me guest post today! Today, I’m going to share with you about my favorite part of writing, along with a few examples of my characters from my story, Final Mend.

I’m often asked (and I ask other writers) what is my favorite part of writing. Is it creating the characters, piecing together a plot, or drafting a storyboard (I wish I could say that I do storyboard).

Hands down, my favorite part of writing is creating the characters. I research who they are, build collages for them, and ask them extensive interviews about subjects that will never get put into the book. I’d like to say I get to know my characters pretty well. I love to explore their personalities and psychological makeup.

However, it’s also one of the hardest parts of writing. Creating a character who isn’t a cliché, a cardboard cutout, who acts and reacts the same on every page but is different than everybody else. Their emotions and writing those emotions offer a huge challenge to many writers, especially when you can’t get out of your own mind. A character is happy and they smile, but that gets very old very fast, and we as readers want to know why they are happy and how they are feeling to show us they are happy.

Backstory and a character’s background is also important and fun creating, but writers have to be careful not to reveal too much too soon, or even reveal things that aren’t necessary to the story. Does it really matter that Winona prefers green leaf lettuce over romaine?

Each character will act and react differently, even the same character on different days. We all do. But there are personalities intrinsic only to us that writers must carve into their characters to make them shine.

The hero and heroine in Final Mend were two awesome characters to create, and I had no idea what I was getting into at first.

Jake Inman had a great future ahead of him until his parents were killed in a car accident. He fell into drugs and alcohol for many years, until one day, with his cousin’s help, he pulled himself out of that stupor and changed his life. Now, he’s a professional triathlete who does this as a career and has high-end sponsors. His life changes (yet again) when the cousin who helped him out of his addiction and is now the manager of his career is murdered and his god-child is kidnapped. He seeks out Winona Wall, a private investigator.

Winona has her own past. A difficult case and her mother’s death had her turn her back on her career and flee to her brother’s bar, which she now happily tends. But when Jake walks in and asks for her help, she’s drawn to him. One of the conflicts between these two characters that I loved creating is the fact that Winona works in a bar, and Jake is a recovering addict. He sees Winona for the first time in that bar, and walking through it with the taunting, blinking signs is almost too much for him. Especially since he’s already lost so much.

What a ride it is to create such conflicting characters! The hardest part is making sure their goals, motivation, and conflict are enough to see the story to the end.

I’ve always been drawn to characterization and personality profiles, so that’s an intriguing part of writing for me. What do you think? Are you character-driven, or plot-driven?

Thanks for joining me today on my guest post, and thanks to the host for sharing her blog with me!

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Angela Smith is a Texas native and was dubbed most likely to write a novel during her senior year in high school since she always had her nose stuck in a book. Although high school was decades ago, the dream began when her mom read ‘Brer Rabbit’ to her and her sister so often they could recite it back to each other before ever learning to read. Research is one of her favorite parts of piecing together a story, and she loves creating new characters. Angela started with writing romantic suspense and is branching into other genres, but she hasn’t been able to write one yet where falling in love doesn’t come into play. She works as a certified paralegal and office manager at her local District Attorney’s office and spends her free time with her husband and the animals on her small farm. Although life in general keeps her very busy, her passion for writing and getting the stories out of her head tends to make her restless if she isn’t following what some people call her destiny.


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