It’s been far too long since I’ve updated everyone on what’s going on in my world. You would think I spent the last year with my eyes shut, hidden away in the dark somewhere. That would be partially true. I suffered through a horrible episode of writer’s block. Okay more of a streak of terror at the thought of finishing Dangerous Medicine and putting it out for all to see. Edits were more or less brutal but necessary.
It was a mess. The manuscript I turned into my editor lacked depth and couldn’t make up it’s mind if it wanted to be a contemporary romance or a romantic suspense. That frustrated the heck out of my editor and she cracked the whip. The end result turned out much better than I had originally envisioned and I ended up with another villain I loved to hate. LOL! I’m very happy with the end result and now it’s available on all retail outlets. This project started in 1999 with one writing style and ended up in 2016 with a whole new one. I’m proud of the evolution and I think it shows in my writing.
Dangerous Medicine was hard for me to write in another way too. My “usual” M.O. is to write explicit erotic romance. Taming it down and ramping up the suspense was difficult for me to do. In real life I have a “potty mouth” so keeping the character’s language more on the clean side was a difficult task to say the least. Frustrated the hell out of me! I realize I shouldn’t let that stop me from writing or pigeon hole myself into one category. I’ve decided to write the stories as the come to me and then decide which pen name each one fits the best. With six of them, I have enough niches to go around.
So with that in mind, I’m in the process of revamping the Stephanie Ryan brand, logo and overall image. I’m still the “good girl” persona of the bunch but I want to be so much more. I love my characters and the stories they have to tell but finding the time to commit all of it to paper is now my biggest hurdle. My day job as a veterinarian consumes everything, especially when I work the ER. Those two shifts a week wipe me out to the point I can’t think straight and all I want to do is sleep. I have to sleep or I risk my health and won’t be good for any of my patients when I have to go back in.
There are authors who say if you want to make a career out of writing, you have to be willing to sacrifice. Well, it’s my salary as a veterinarian that pays the lion’s share of our household bills. My husband is retired military and on disability so there isn’t a hell of a lot of other options at the moment. For over two decades I’ve loved being a veterinarian, especially emergency medicine. Now that I’m approaching my fiftieth birthday, I realize I can’t bounce back from the emotional roller coaster of it all. I have to refocus my life and my goals to include more time to write. That’s what brings me joy now.
With that in mind, Here’s the information about my debut romantic suspense Dangerous Medicine.
From the back of the book
“He’s in a coma. Please come home. Mom and Pop need you.”
With board certification right around the corner, life couldn’t get any better for up and coming veterinary cardiologist Miranda Jacobs. Caught up in the chaos that had become her routine, she hadn’t given a second thought to the reports that thefts of the veterinary anesthetic Ketamine were on the rise…
Until a phone call from home brought her world crashing down.
Detective Jake Martinelli is racked with guilt over not recognizing the signs Matthew Jacobs had been working on his own in an attempt to bring down a local drug ring. Now his friend lay in a coma fighting for his life. Determined to bring down those responsible, Jake and the rest of his Task Force put their lives on the line to ensure the safety of the entire Jacobs family. The list of suspects is long but all leads point toward someone from Miranda’s past—one hell bent on destroying her future.
Will the sparks between Jake and Miranda bring them closer together or be the catalyst that sends an evil mastermind into a jealous rage?
“One, two Big Boss is coming for you.”
Miranda grabbed her keys and raced out the front door with her mother’s travel bag over her shoulder. As soon as she turned toward her car, she slammed into a six-foot wall of solid muscle. She stumbled backward and an angry retort died on her lips. In front of her stood one of the hottest men she’d ever seen. He oozed raw sexuality.
“Oh, excuse me,” she stammered. “I’m sorry. I’m just on my way out. Is there something I can do for you?”
His expression morphed from serious and all business to one of amusement as he appeared to check her out from head to toe. He flashed a crooked grin, extended his hand and gripped hers firmly. “It’s my turn to apologize. Detective Jake Martinelli. I’m one of the officers investigating Matthew’s attack.”
The electricity between them zapped through her body. She swore she heard the air pop and sizzle the moment his hand touched hers. She locked her knees to keep herself upright and kept her eyes on with his.
“You must be Matt’s sister, Miranda, the veterinary surgeon. I’ve heard a lot about you.”
She extricated her hand from his and held the duffle bag between them. “You wouldn’t happen to have any identification on you would you?”
He raised an eyebrow and nodded. “Don’t blame you for being cautious.”
“You don’t know the half of it.”
He held open his jacket and removed a slim leather wallet. He opened it and placed it in her outstretched hand.
Goosebumps covered her skin and she shifted her weight from foot to foot.
This has to be the same Jake from Matt’s message.
Her mouth went dry and her hands turned clammy with sweat as she returned his badge. “Appears to be in order. What can I do for you, Detective?”
“I drove by to check on things and saw your car. There’ve been reports of suspicious vehicles in the area—“
“So you ran my plates to be sure I’m legit?” She smiled. She would’ve done the exact same thing if she had been in his shoes.
He nodded. “Can’t be too careful, especially since I’d been told everyone was together waiting for the doctors to go over some test results.”
She tore her eyes from his and glanced at her watch. ““I…I was just on my way to join my family at the hospital. If I don’t leave right now, I’m going to miss visiting hours. Thanks for your concern, but—”
“Shouldn’t you get that?”
“Your purse is ringing.”
She laughed at herself for being so flustered over a man. “Excuse me a minute. Hello? Pop is that you?” She walked a few paces away from Jake to talk to her father privately.
“Of course it’s me. Didn’t my smiling face come up on that fancy smartphone of yours? What’s keeping you, girl? Matt’s tests are done and the doctor’s going to give us the results any time now.”
“I was on my way out the door and practically ran over a Detective Martinelli. He stopped by to make sure I wasn’t some hoodlum ripping off the house. How come I’ve never heard of him before today?”
Her father chuckled softly. “You’re very hard to get in touch with you know. Always at work, no time for your family. How are we supposed to tell you what’s going on if we never see you?”
“Pop…”She sighed and rolled her eyes. Not this again. She knew he was teasing by the tone of his voice, but sometimes the little digs about her job rubbed her the wrong way.
“Never mind that now, just bring Jake along. He’s your brother’s friend and should be here when the doctors give us the news. Besides, I think I can trust him with my baby girl.”
“Will you please stop being so overprotective? I’m a grown woman. I can take care of myself.”
“I’m just looking out for you, like any father would. Now hurry up and get here as soon as you can—but don’t go driving recklessly!”
“Goodbye, Pop.” She disconnected the call with one tap to the screen and dropped it back into her purse. She sighed and smiled when she turned to find Jake leaning against his Jeep watching her. “Well, my father vouches for you. I guess that means I can trust you. Care to move your vehicle so I can be on my way?”
“Sorry. No can do.”
She frowned. “What do you mean? I told you I have to be on the road now. The doctors are ready to go over the results. My parents need me there.”
He shook his head. “You’re not going anywhere with two flat tires.”
She circled her car in disbelief. She sucked in her lower lip and bit down until the warm coppery taste filled her mouth. She kicked one of the flats three times and screamed out her frustration.
“How about I give you a lift to St. Mary’s? Traffic had to be murder for you coming up from Detroit.”
She snorted. “You could say that again. Not only did I narrowly miss being crushed by an overturned truck, some nutjob pulled a gun and threatened me and my family.”
“What did you say?” His eyes narrowed and he appeared to be on edge.
“The state troopers have all the information but the man said my family pissed off the wrong people and something about his bosses not being done with us.”
He pulled his phone from his jacket. “Do you have the contact information for the investigating officer on you?”
She fished through the front pocket of her purse for the business card the trooper had given her and handed it over. “Is this what you need?”
“Perfect.” He snapped a picture of the card with his phone and handed it back to her.
“Was that guy serious? Who would want to hurt my family like this?”
He held up his finger to signal he would get back to her. “Caleb? Call the trooper on the card and have him send all the information he has about the accident on I-75 this afternoon. The man they arrested on site is a person of interest for us, too.”
Her head spun. She didn’t understand anything going on around her or her family. She pinched herself to be sure she wasn’t living out some alternate reality nightmare.
I want off this crazy train!
The moment the deadbolt clicked, she launched into his arms. She belonged to him in that moment and no one else. She tugged on the leather thong that held his hair until it fell free. The stubble on his chin brushed over her neck as his hair fanned around her face. She moaned as his tongue snaked a hot trail along her flesh.
His hands disappeared under her jersey and cupped her breasts through her satin bra. Her nipples chaffed against the fabric and the exquisite pain sent shivers up and down her spine.
Her hands made their way down his chest, fingers deftly unbuttoning his shirt to expose her prize. She peeled the fabric from his skin and tossed it to the floor. She broke their embrace and gripped the bottom of her jersey. She flipped it up and over her head and flung it on the floor next to his discarded top.
Both kept their eyes locked with each other as they kicked off their shoes and stepped out of their jeans. She stood before him clad only in her bra and high cut matching panties and challenged him to make the first move. She shivered, not from the cold, but from the anticipation now rising to epic proportions. Her chest rose and fell with each breath, offering a hint of what was to come if he dared to take it.
He closed the gap between them in two strides and picked her up. Her arms draped around his neck as their tongues battled each other for control. He kicked open the door to his bedroom and then placed her on a pile of pillows. He stood up and moved just out of her reach. He opened the top drawer of the night stand and removed several condoms. He tossed them on the bed and smiled.
She whimpered and begged him to join her again. “Please. Don’t leave a girl hanging.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it.” He hooked the waistband of his jockeys with his thumbs and dropped them to the floor in a pool at his feet.
She gasped. She’d never seen anyone with a more perfect body—not one clear of imperfections, but ripped and scarred from what she assumed were injuries sustained in the line of duty. She recognized surgical scars on his chest, abs, and thighs. She reached for him and within seconds he covered her.
Skin on skin.
Her fingers traced over each scar as he unhooked her bra and tossed it to the floor. His tongue flicked over each of her nipples in rapid succession.
Her nipples hardened into tight balls of nerves. Desire and raw animalistic need surged through her with every stroke of his tongue, nip of his teeth, and puff of his breath over her tender flesh. She moaned and sunk her nails into his bulging biceps.
He licked, kissed and sucked his way down her body and back up again. He snagged her panties with his fingertips and slid the material over her hips, down her legs and off without breaking eye contact.
The move drove her over the top and her body quaked with anticipation of more, but that would have to wait until she had her fill of exploring the living canvas before her. “My turn.”
He smiled and stretched out next to her. He fisted her hair and guided her lips to his once more. Soft and inviting turned intense and demanding as his mouth possessed hers. His tongue darted and danced then followed her lead.
Intoxicated by his scent of worn leather and sandalwood, her mind grew fuzzy. Explosions of color eclipsed all other images as she surrendered to the moment. God, this man can kiss!
* * * *
The feather light touch of her fingertips over every single scar shot tendrils of fire through his body. Her fascination with his ‘war wounds’ ignited a passion within him he’d thought had died years ago. Her lips and tongue caressed every spot and brought him ever closer to the edge.
Her alabaster skin glistened in the sunlight light streaming through his bedroom windows. He marveled at the silky sensation of it in contrast to his weathered and worn from nature and the dangers of his job. Her hair tickled and teased as she explored his body. His need to have her grew to the point of pain. He gasped and moaned as her lips and tongue moved down his lower abdomen.
She gazed up through her lashes and exhaled. The soft gust warm air over his damp skin created a sudden cool tingling that shot through him like lightning.
He bit his lower lip and trembled. He wanted her with every fiber of his being and yet an equal desire to let her take the lead warred within him.
She seemed to sense his need and slithered her way back up into his arms after securing one of the condoms in place. Her act of submission broke through the last bit of restraint he had left.
He rolled them over so she lay beneath him, eyes filled with desire that matched his and more. All thoughts of Matthew’s attack and the rest of the world fell away until only she remained. Her scent, her caress, her taste—all overwhelmed his senses.
Her pupils dilated before his eyes and pulled him in deeper and deeper. “Jake…”
His name called out in a husky, need filled whisper proved to him she felt the same. His mind blanked but his body knew exactly what to do to claim her at last.
Where to Find Dangerous Medicine
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