Release date: 3/10/2015She’s on the run…
Brilliant art appraiser Alex Northrop’s ex used stolen art to fund his nefarious activities. Now he wants her dead. But it isn’t just herself she’s worried about – if he discovers who she really is, he’ll kill her family.
Professor Henry Chilton is shocked to find a beautiful stranger passed out in his bed, and even more so when she reveals a priceless painting is a forgery – the painting he’d planned to use to fund a woman’s shelter. She’s mysterious and frightened, and he is determined to discover why.
Alex's knowledge of art is undeniable—just as Henry’s attraction to her is irresistible. But in order to help him recover the real painting, Alex isn't just risking exposure...she's risking her life.
Alex grieved as she looked toward the Louvre for possibly the last time. She wrapped her arms across her chest and tried to steady her breath. Overhearing Luc’s plan to celebrate their four-month anniversary by murdering her had set off her own plan of running as far away from him as possible—not an effective plan, considering the monster sat within six inches of her in a car on the way to her death.
What began as a fairy-tale romance had morphed into a traumatic descent into hell. A glamorous job, a handsome client, a little romance, a perfect life, until she uncovered his deception. Luc was a crook.
And I was the gullible appraiser used to dupe art collectors and even small countries out of their valuable assets. What an idiot I was to believe his lies.
While his main henchman, Pascal, drove them through Paris, Luc held her hand in the back of the Mercedes like they were still lovers. They appeared perfect for each other, a
rich art collector and the young art appraiser who had fallen head over heels for him. Rugged good looks combined with an enormous amount of wealth made him an ideal catch for a woman who didn’t mind being beaten into submission.
Not me. I objected to every broken bone and every bruise on my body.
Luc, dressed in a thousand-dollar suit and wearing a sophisticated five-o’clock shadow across his chiseled features, seemed headed out for a night at the theater, not on the way to eliminate his girlfriend. Alex leaned away from him. She needed to get away. His free hand caressed her arm, rubbed her shoulder, and pulled her back toward him. Moving slowly, seductively, he wrapped his fingers around her neck and started to squeeze. He stared at her, observing her reaction.
“I promise I won’t tell anyone. I swear it.” She pleaded for her life, speaking French, the only language they’d ever used with each other. As his hand tightened, she gasped and struggled for breath.
Luc drew her face closer to his. His lips pinched together, causing the muscles in his neck to tense. “Liar.”
She struggled to pull away; his grip tightened. No longer able to inhale, her eyes watered and her vision faded. With nothing left to lose, she struck out at his face. He released her, but slapped her ear so hard, her head flew into the door. The pain ricocheted through her skull, leaving her numb for a moment.
She glanced out the window and saw salvation. As Pascal slowed for a turn, she opened the door and jumped. Her Chanel suit acted as her only protection when she hit the ground and bounced onto the road. Asphalt scraped
her skin with each rotation until she slammed into the curb. Pain rebelled in ribs not yet healed from her fall down Luc’s marble stairway. Car brakes screeched nearby. In seconds, they would be on her. She hobbled to her feet, sucking in huge breaths. Bystanders pressed around her, trying to assist, but she twisted away, her hands poised to fight anything that touched her.
She merged into the manic crowd entering the Gare du Nord at rush hour. Men and women in suits, groups of schoolchildren, and what felt like hundreds of tourists slowed her escape. With her passports tucked in a travel belt under her skirt and several hundred euros in her possession, she boarded the high-speed train for London and prayed he wouldn’t follow her.
How did you come up with the idea for this story?
I’d written a womens’ fiction novel and had started writing the sequel about the heroine’s sister. When I pitched the stories to an agent, she told me to add a third sister to make the series more marketable. I had the third sister run away from home and live in Paris so I didn’t have to change the first novel. After obsessing about what this sister was doing in Paris, the romantic thriller was born. The other two sisters eventually stepped back into supporting roles.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Every life experience gives me inspiration, from my embarrassment on prom night, the heartache of watching my boyfriend fly thousands of miles away from me, to the death of a loved one. Those emotions feed every story I write.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I have a hard time keeping small details in order, so I map out times and places and even names to keep things straight.
What are your current projects?
I’m doing some edits on the second and third books in this series. In addition, I write a hockey series about the Atlantic City Hustlers with a friend, Susan Scott Shelley. We’ll be starting the third novella for that. I’m also writing a new series about a small town cop.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Heroes can be Alpha and in control of their world and protective of the women they love, yet they must be able to respect the women in their lives choices, even if it goes against their own self interest.
Does music play any type of role in your writing?
I write in total silence. It’s the only way I can find the emotions and words I need for a scene. If I’m not feeling a certain emotion, however, I have certain music that can transport me into those happy, sad, or scared moments.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your life?
No. My first book was based on my life, and I felt it was too intrusive. I prefer thinking up a new character for each story and placing him or her in a seemingly impossible situation.
What books have influenced your life most?
I love books that wrap me in a fictional world and have me sad to leave it at the end. Some of the most memorable books I’ve read were “Angels and Demons” by Dan Brown, “Outlander” by Diane Gabaldon, “Clan of the Cave Bear” by Jean Auel, and Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This excerpt is from “True Deceptions” the sequel to “Untrue Colors.”
Simon turned away from Anna Marie and spit out her saliva. He wiped his tongue on his shirt and then spit again. He'd be fine, but she wouldn't be. He knelt next to the couch and brushed her hair back. Her body rocked, and he held her steady by her shoulders, whispering stupid nothings, but the horror reflected in her eyes didn't subside. Her convulsions had slowed and tears fell fast down her cheeks. She would die in the arms of a stranger who didn't know her, love her, or have the capacity to mourn for her.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
I try to keep my website up to date with my newest releases and my appearances. www.veronicaforand.com
Do you have a special time to write? How is your day structured writing-wise?
After I take my children to school, I try to write for four to six hours with time for social media and marketing work. If I’m in the middle of an intense scene, I could end up working all night.
Why did you choose to write romantic suspense stories?
When I write, I try to create a book I would want to read. I love suspense, that edge of your seat feeling when you read a book. And I love happy endings, so it would be rare for me to end a book without a satisfying resolution.
What is for you the perfect book hero?
Both my heroes and heroines need to have flaws, yet they also have to live by some sort of moral code. My male heroes must respect the women around them or they aren’t hero material. Heroines need to be able to stand on their own feet as well.
When a hero and heroine join together as a couple, they should be two parts of a whole, not one person being absorbed into the life of the other.
When you start a book, do you already have the whole story in your head or is it built progressively?
I plot out my stories before I begin, so I know exactly where I’m going while I write. The characters occasionally take detours and do things I hadn’t anticipated, but they always end up where I want them to go.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always jotted down the beginnings of stories, and then let the ideas fade away. During one NaNoWriMo, I committed to writing an entire novel, and I found finishing stories is a much better feeling than starting them.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
February 2012. I joined a local chapter of Romance Writers of America and found a group of writers who took their jobs seriously and took my dreams seriously.
Will you write more about these characters?
Most of the characters in “Untrue Colors” come back throughout the series. Simon in particular is a key player in book two and three.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Veronica Forand is an attorney and an award-winning writer of romantic suspense. She's lived in Boston, London, Paris, Geneva, and Washington, DC and currently resides near Philadelphia. An avid traveler, she loves to roam across continents with her husband and kids in pursuit of skiing, scuba diving, and finding the perfect piece of chocolate.