by Suzie Quint
Liar, Liar Book One
Never let the truth ruin a good story!
Investigative journalist Cleo Morgan’s stories have created Pulitzer buzz, but circumstance push her into a lucrative but career-destroying job writing for a tabloid.
Alejandro Ramirez is blown away by the new star reporter. There's definitely chemistry. Except she thinks she's better than everyone at the tabloid where they work. That grates on him since she's going to be writing stories about aliens and Elvis sightings just like the rest of them.
In spite of the chemistry, she doesn't want to have anything to do with the smug news whore she thinks he is. Except she's already having fantasies about this hot Cuban ex-pat who's showing her the ropes at her new job. Before they have a chance to make this attraction work, Cleo's mother, an ex-Vegas showgirl, is charged with the murder of a Las Vegas casino owner. To clear her mother, Cleo will have to see that Alejandro hasn't sold out, and he will learn that she really is as good as she thinks she is.
Genre: Romantic ComedyLiar, Liar, Tabloid Writer Purchase links: Amazon
Content/Theme(s): Journalist, Reporter, Humor, Contemporary
Release Date: November 22, 2015
Excerpt, Liar, Liar, Heart's Desire & More
Liar, Liar, Tabloid Writer Excerpt:
“Contemplating suicide already?”
Startled, she jumped upright, nearly tipping her chair over backwards. She grabbed the desktop with both hands to keep herself from going ass over teakettle. When she was sure she was no longer in danger of showing the world the color of her underwear, she discovered that, sitting in her chair, her eyes were level with Alec’s crotch.
He apparently found uncoordinated women a turn on, because he either had a hard-on that would choke a giraffe or he stuffed his pants with rolled up socks. Given their environment, her money was on the socks.
She forced her gaze up and found herself staring into his dark eyes. He looked as if he halfway expected her to reach into her handbag, pull out a gun, and shoot herself in the head. “No, I’m not suicidal. Not yet anyway.”
He was her tour guide in this waking nightmare. Her own personal Welcome Wagon. She wasn’t dumb enough she couldn’t guess they were all speculating about why she’d leave a respectable paper for this . . . this hellhole. It would be easy for them to resent her. And if Alec resented her, it would be a walk in the park for him to torpedo her chances here.
She couldn’t imagine what it would take to get fired from a place that ran alien abduction stories and Elvis sightings as though they were news, but if there was one thing more embarrassing than working at a tabloid, it would be getting fired from a tabloid. She hated it, but the simple fact was she needed Alec to like her. She needed someone on her side, so she forced herself to sound chipper. “Are you ready to start?”
He took his time answering. About the time she started feeling like a butterfly mounted for display, he said, “I’ve got to run this”—he held up a sheaf of papers—“into Nigel’s office. As soon as he’s done telling me what crap it is, I’m all yours.” Around them, phones rang, keyboards clattered, and a voice asked a buddy to check his copy, but Alec merely stood there, his last three words hanging in the air between them like a promise.
Before it could get too weird, she cleared her throat and said, “Great.”
“Great,” he echoed. “Well . . . I’ll be back.”
"Promises, promises," she muttered as he walked away. The partition walls were short enough she could easily see over them if she stood. Maybe the air wasn’t really rotting her brain. She slid her glasses down her nose and looked over the top of them to get a clearer view.
He had a nice, tight ass. Great shoulders, too. Broad. Solid. At six foot two, or maybe three, he was tall enough even a tall girl, say five-ten, could wear heels and still feel girly.
Suddenly realizing anyone who looked her way could see her staring after him, she dropped into her chair. Hoping no one had noticed, she threw her glasses onto the desktop and covered her face with her hands.
What’s wrong with me? My life is spinning out of control, and I’m checking out the ass of some guy I just met.
But it was such a nice ass.
And why did the voice of her inner devil have to sound so much like her mother?
It was time to get a grip. She was a competent person, wasn’t she? A functional adult who had come within heartbreaking distance of a Pulitzer. So her life was on a downhill slide. There had to be a way to get it back on track. She just had to survive this first.
Someone cleared their throat.
Please God, no.
She opened her hands like they were church doors and peered out. The pretty, petite brunette in the stylish black dress who sat outside Nigel’s office stood in her cubicle’s doorway, her arms full of back issues of The Word.
“Nigel said to give you these. Where do you want them?”
Cleo rolled her chair back to make space. “There’s fine.”
The tabloids hit her desk with a whomp.
“I’m Linny, by the way. If you need anything, you come see me.”
“Thanks. I’ll do that.” Was she really so pathetic a simple kindness offered in a non-judgmental tone felt as if she’d been thrown a lifesaver as she was going down for the third time?
“Nigel wants you to have the sales figures by issue as well, so you can see what sells best. I’ll dig those out for you.” Linny smiled encouragingly. “They’re going to haze you, you know. Just grit your teeth and smile, and you’ll come through okay.”
Cleo took a deep breath. “Thanks.” Linny’s kindness pumped a shot of courage into her veins. Yup, she really was that pathetic.
After Linny left, Cleo faced the stack of papers on her desk. Leafing through the top one, her momentary optimism faded. Cancer Cure Suppressed!!! was printed so large she could have read it twenty feet away.
Her headache got a little worse. She shoved The Word aside, crossed her arms on her desktop, and laid her head down.
Gotta get a grip. Gotta get a grip. She repeated it like a mantra. I’d like to get a grip on Alec’s ass, she thought in her mother’s voice. Stop it!
She could do this. She just couldn’t do it all at once. Start small. Pick one thing, one little corner of your life, and get it under control.
The rest would have to wait. One thing at a time was the best she could do. The headache receded and she took it as a sign she was on the right path.
Her time at The Tucson Sun had inured her to the noises around her. The phones, keyboards, and voices were the sounds of a newsroom breathing. Cleo forced her mind to go blank and listened to all the things she normally filtered out. Surprised, she realized that, if she ignored Jackson telling someone how to spot an alien, they were the same sounds that filled the bullpen at The Sun.
Maybe it would be all right after all. No place that produced those reassuring noises could be so bad, could it?
When she felt eyes on her, she feared Alec had returned and caught her deep in her pity party. Slowly, she lifted her head and looked up.
It wasn’t Alec, she was grateful to see. “Hi,” she said back to the woman who stood in the doorway of her cubicle.
“I’m Marge.” The woman held out a square, serviceable hand.
Cleo stood and smoothed her skirt—what little of it there was—in an attempt to recover some dignity and shook Marge’s hand. “I’m Cleo.”
“I know. The guys have been talking about you coming for the last week.” Marge held onto Cleo’s hand while she checked her out. Cleo peered back much more discretely.
Marge looked close to thirty and was about five foot six but built out of rectangles without a feminine curve anywhere to be seen. Her hair was cut short but was unstyled as though fussing with it was too much trouble. Makeup, too, apparently was something she didn’t have an inclination for. She wore a t-shirt tucked into belted jeans.
“Hey!”—Jackson’s voice intruded from another cubicle—“I just heard from that woman who thinks her husband’s been taken over by pod people.”
“Did you tell her to call the FBI?” someone asked.
“Are you kidding?” Jackson said. “They’re not getting my story.”
“Grrreat suit!” Marge said, pulling Cleo’s attention back. Her eyes were scanning Cleo’s form-fitting suit jacket, short skirt, and her open heels with the ankle straps that Cleo loved.
That settled it. She was burning the suit as soon as she got home.
Marge grinned. “I’ll bet you’re having to fight the boys off already.”
Jackson’s voice intruded again. “She thinks her daughter’s one of them now, too, and the mother’s afraid they’re planning to roast and eat her for their alien version of Christmas.”
Cleo pulled her attention back to Marge, but it was a struggle. “Uhm . . . Does an offer to set me up to have an alien baby count?”
Cleo blinked hard and looked again. Marge didn’t seem like the type to titter. Cleo decided she was going to have to take the initiative to get her hand back. Marge let it go without a fight.
“Did she call to invite you to dinner?” someone asked Jackson. “Maybe she’s hoping they’ll think you look tastier.”
“Har-har!” Jackson said.
The surreal sensation that she was surrounded by a pod-people newsroom swept over her. It was like a nightmare she couldn’t wake up from.
“That would have to be Jackson.” Marge said.
Cleo looked at her blankly, so distracted by the nightmare around her she’d lost the thread of the conversation.
Marge seemed to recognize the look. “The alien baby thing. That’s Jackson’s idea of a come on. You want to be careful of him. He’s a hound dog. If you’ve ever even brushed up against a skirt, he can smell it. He’s got no discernment.”
Cleo pulled herself together enough to say, “Somehow I’m not surprised.”
Marge crossed her arms on top of the partition and rested her chin on her wrist. On a feminine girl, the move might have come across as coy or flirty. “Oh, I hope you didn’t take that wrong.” Her eyes flicked down Cleo’s body before resting again on her face. “You could be considered as evidence he actually has standards.”
Marge’s voice left no doubt that talking about Jackson put a bad taste in her mouth. Cleo wondered if he’d ever hit on her. If he had, it had obviously ended badly—and quickly, she would bet. Jackson seemed like the type who’d chew off an arm to get away from an unattractive woman after the testosterone poisoning faded.
“Since he’s not my type”—he was so far beyond her type, a pod-person version could only be an improvement—“I’m not too worried about his standards.”
Marge eyes lit up. Her smile was almost shy. “I’m glad he’s not your type.” Then she dropped her gaze and, to Cleo’s amazement, blushed. “He’s not my type either.”
“What do you think pod people eat for Christmas dinner?” someone asked.
A swift answer, “Brains, of course.”
“They’re not zombies, you moron,” the first voice responded.
They sounded serious, as if they were having a real conversation about real things. It was breath-takingly appalling.
Marge had lifted her gaze to meet Cleo’s. “Look. Sometimes the guys go to Dante’s after work for a few drinks. If you’d like to go sometime . . . I mean, it’s kind of a dive, but . . .”
The hopefulness in the woman’s face touched Cleo. Marge obviously felt like an outsider here, just as Cleo did.
Liar, Liar, Tabloid Writer Purchase links: Amazon
by Suzie Quint
Liar, Liar Book Two
Cleo Morgan is a liar.
And they’re not little, white liars but big, black whoppers. She’s lying to everyone in her hometown, letting them believe she still works for a reputable paper when, in reality, she’s sold her soul to The Inside Word, a tell-all supermarket tabloid no one wants to admit they read.
She’s lying to Alec Ramirez, the tabloid’s star reporter, who is training her to write their kind of story their way. He doesn’t know the woman who’s been arrested for murder in the story they’re covering is her mother. Or that Cleo is conspiring with her old boyfriend to steal that story out from under him and using it to buy her way back into her old life.
And she may be lying to herself that leaving Alec behind when she goes will be easy. Because she absolutely, unequivocally, beyond the shadow of any doubt does not want him in her life on a permanent basis.
Genre: Romantic ComedyLiar, Liar, Heart's Desire Purchase links: Amazon
Content/Theme(s): Journalist, Reporter, Humor, Contemporary
Release Date: February 10, 2016
Liar, Liar, Heart's Desire Excerpt:
All the way to the showroom, Alec fumed. What was the deal with the finger licking? If Martin was trying to entice Cleo back to him, he was going to have go through Alec to do it. And if they were planning to meet somewhere . . . He shook his head.
Between beating the bushes, looking for a way to clear Annaliese, and taking care of Jada, Cleo didn’t have the time for extra curricular activities with someone else. She was focused on things that mattered to her. Like getting Martin to help them with Bales. He had to be losing his mind, Alec told himself, if he thought there was more than that going on.
But it ate at him, wondering what she had needed to tell Martin that she couldn’t say with him there.
Certainly, she hadn’t told Martin she wanted to get into Sebastian’s office because Annaliese was her mother, and she was trying to find incriminating evidence before the police did.
But she could have.
If she trusted Martin more than she did him. The idea of her confessing that to Martin when she was still keeping it secret from him bothered Alec even more than the finger licking, which was to say it bothered him more than he wanted to admit.
“What are you so bent out of shape over?” Cleo demanded as they passed the roulette tables.
“I’m not bent out of shape.”
“Could have fooled me,” she muttered as she pulled her arm from his grasp.
Had he had a death grip on her arm all the way from the lounge? He must have been dragging her along the entire way. The image of her feet bouncing over the floor like a cartoon character as he charged ahead almost made him feel bad, but he’d be damned if he’d apologize. If anything she owed him an apology. He stopped, crossing his arms over his chest, and faced her. “If you’ve got something to say, say it.”
“All right. I will.” She rubbed her arm where he’d had a hold of her. “You were rude to Martin.”
“He’ll get over it.”
“He shouldn’t have to. He’s doing us a favor. The least you could have done was be civil.”
“If Marty’s doing us a favor, it’s because he thinks there’s something in it for him. So what did you promise him while I was at the bar?”
Cleo glared. “I didn’t promise him anything.”
“So what was with the finger licking?”
Was that a flash of guilt on her face? Good. He hoped she felt guilty as the devil.
“It wasn’t licking. It was . . . He was . . . It was just . . .”
“Yeah. That’s what I thought. We were there to recruit him to help us. Not to let him seduce you into his bed.”
She cocked an eyebrow, making him think he’d imagined the guilty expression.
“You sound jealous.” She made it sound like an accusation.
He wasn’t jealous. No way. “I just don’t want you giving the story away during pillow talk.”
Her jaw set. “You have a real knack for insults.”
“I haven’t even gotten started yet, babe.”
Her eyes flared at him.
If he hadn’t been so angry, he’d have stepped back because she looked like she was ready to stab her fingers into his chest and draw out his still beating heart.
“Do not call me ‘babe,’” she snarled, pointing a menacing finger at him. “I am not one of your nameless bimbos.”
It was on the edge of his lips to ask if she was one of Martin’s, but his sense of self-preservation kicked in and stopped him.
“Fine. I won’t call you babe.” He turned sideways and, with a grandiose sweep of his arm, invited her to precede him.
She lifted her chin, which thrust her nose into the air, and with a self-righteous sniff, she walked past him with a long, indignant stride.
He fell in behind her.
Within two steps he was fighting to keep from smiling. She had such a great walk when she was angry. Those long steps gave her backside a swing no man could resist. It was also apparently an effective cure for a fight because he felt his ire melting away. Her walk was like a barometer of how furious she was. He should figure out a scale, one-to-five maybe, to rate it the way they did with tropical storm.
When she hit five, he could sell tickets to every red-blooded male within a hundred mile radius and get filthy, stinking rich.
Liar, Liar, Heart's Desire Purchase links: Amazon
Suzie Quint Pinterest page
Suzie Quint Facebook page
Suzie Quint Goodreads author page
Suzie Quint Amazon author page
More Suzie Quint on Cover Reveals
Interested in these books? Let your friends and family know about it. Use the buttons below to share this post with them.