This week my guest is author, Jackie Taylor Zortman.
Jackie Taylor Zortman is an award winning published writer/author. Her book “We Are Different Now” tells of her journey with grief after the accidental death of her 21-year-old grandson when he fell 100 feet off a mountain ledge in the pitch black of night on July 5, 2010.
In June 2015, her first place award winning fiction novel “Footprints InThe Frost” was released by Oak Tree Press as a Dark Oak Mystery.
She has written and had published numerous articles and short stores for various publications via The Public Safety Writers Association since 1994 and has won five writing awards. She is a contributing author to the anthologies “Felons, Flames & Ambulance Rides”, “American Blue” and “The Centennial Book of the National Society of Daughters of the Union”. She has poetry published in “Echoes From the Silence” and “Dusting Off Dreams”. She also contributed to Lyn Ragan’s book “Signs From The Afterlife” released in January 2015. In addition, she also writes genealogy and history.
In July 2013, she won two awards in the Public Safety Writers Association’s Writing Contest for her articles “Amache” and “The Siege at Cortez”. In July 2014 she won three awards, including First Place for her novel manuscript “Footprints in the Frost” and articles “Just Routine” & “In God We Trust”.
She lives in a bustling quaint tourist town in the beautiful mountains of Colorado with her husband and both are now retired.
Footprints in the Frost
First place award winning novel, “Footprints in the Frost” introduces homicide detective, Max Richards, and involves his life both on the job and away from it. When he is hand-picked by the chief of police to work a long and complicated serial rape case involving five beautiful victims with whom he must spend much time, his life with girlfriend and bookstore owner, Sami Murphy, becomes extremely complicated. Escaping from the city hustle and bustle to his beautiful and remote Colorado mountain cabin, the two of them attempt to relax and try to untangle the knots in their relationship. What will happen to this couple who are tremendously bonded, but have to decide if their jobs and lives can meld permanently or if it would be better to go their separate ways?
Here is an excerpt from Footprints in the Frost:
At 5:00 Max pulled on his beige London Fog trench coat as he sauntered toward the elevator. After long years on the force, he no longer wore a uniform, but this familiar garb seemed to be quite “uniform” among the men who made up the detective units of the police department.
The door to the elevator opened and Max stepped in among the men and women in uniforms or suits and the chic secretaries or female officers taking it to the ground floor. Reaching the lobby, he exited out the front door. As he approached the parking garage, he couldn’t help but puff with pride at the sight of his car. The many hours of his loving care had paid off. The Corvette and his mountain cabin were hard-earned and Max’s only luxuries. After high school, he had raced cars professionally for a time and the thrill of speed still remained inside his heart. It was probably one of his two vices – the other being a fondness for the lovely ladies.
Pulling into the rush hour traffic, Max noted that the rain beaded up on the waxed hood and was secretly pleased with himself. Minutes later, he was in front of Sami’s bookstore where the CLOSED sign hung on the front door. Knocking three times, Max was admitted by Sami who had only one boot on and was busy tucking her knit shirt into her jeans while she bounced on her unshod foot.
“Hi! Did you remember to bring your thermos? There’s a pot of coffee waiting to go with us.”
Sami was of average height and her figure was slim, but curvy. She had eyes the same shade of blue as robin’s eggs. Her irises were outlined by a deep violet ring and her eyes were fringed with a double row of long, black lashes. She wore her thick, almost black, curly hair long and well below her shoulders. Max had a preference for brunettes and was secretly proud that she looked so much younger than he did, even though he was merely two years older.
“It’s in the car. I’m gonna load your luggage into the trunk before I change clothes and I’ll bring it in when I come back.”
“Okay, good idea.”
Max gathered Sami’s luggage and stepped back outside into the rain. Within a few minutes, he returned to the store, soaking wet. “Do you mind if I change and hang up my wet duds in the back, Babe?” Max had a propensity to call all of the women who wandered in and out of his life “Babe”. And Sami well knew the reason for that, but it didn’t bother her. She knew that, while some may have considered that to be chauvinistic, Max truly liked women and had a great respect for them.
“Not at all, but give me the thermos and I’ll fill it. I hope this rain doesn’t go as far as Colorado with us.” Sami tilted her head up at his rain-soaked handsome face and smiled invitingly, as Max reached a wet hand out to give her his thermos bottle. “It could be kind of cozy, though.”
She couldn’t help but notice the numerous white scars on his right hand and wrist. One night on duty, after a long and exhausting foot chase, the suspect had jumped into a parked car and locked the doors, refusing to come out or roll down the windows so that Max could talk to him. Max, being Max, simply put his fist through the window of the driver’s side door, reached in and unlocked it, pulled the door open, the guy out and pushed him up against the side of the car where he held him there with his cut and bleeding hand. He didn’t talk about those scars with anyone, but she’d asked him about it once. There were other job related subjects that he never wanted to discuss, even though she knew about them. Just not from him. She handed him a towel to dry his face, hands and hair. Then he took her softly in his arms and slowly kissed her. She adored this big man and the kiss jarred her, as his kisses always did.
My ✰✰✰✰✰ review:
In Footprints in the Frost, the author interweaves a romance, a crime, police detection and court procedure into a story that’s skillfully written. The Colorado mountain setting is breathtaking. While the crime is a large part of the story, the reader is immediately drawn into the two main character’s thoughts and actions. Sami, the bookstore owner, is cautiously in love. She puts up with quite a lot from Max, the police detective, who says he’s also in love, but neglects Sami for long periods of time because of his job, and seems to be totally unaware that his flirtations and interactions with other women might cause her pain. Sami and Max stay in the reader’s mind throughout the story, as their ups and downs on the way to making a more permanent commitment will have the reader continually turning pages to find out if they will ever make it to the altar.
Jackie Taylor Zortman
Author: FOOTPRINTS IN THE FROST – First Place Award Winning Novel
Author: WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW – A grandparent’s journey through grief.
Amazon Author: www.amazon.com/author/
Member: Public Safety Writers Association
Winner of 5 Writing Awards
Jackie and I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave a comment.