The Past Came Hunting

It's release week party time!!!

Our own Donnell Ann Bell's debut novel, The Past Came Hunting releases this week!

Donnell and I were Golden Heart sisters twice and I couldn't be more thrilled that this book will now be available for readers to enjoy!

They Never Expected To Meet Again, But A Dangerous Past Haunts Them

Fifteen years ago a young Colorado Springs police officer arrested a teen runaway accused of aiding a convenience store robbery and attempted murder. She was innocent, but still served prison time briefly. Her testimony sent the real thief to jail for much longer. Now she’s a young widow raising a son, and the man she put in prison is free and seeking revenge. She moves to a home in a new neighborhood—then learns that her next-door neighbor is the by-the-book officer who arrested her. Now he’s a Colorado Springs P.D. Lieutenant. Like it or not, he may be the only one who can protect her and her son from the past he helped create.

(excerpt from The Past Came Hunting)

Standing in the presence of Matt’s never-stay-at-home dad, relief flooded her. “Oh, Mr. Crandall, thank heavens. My name’s Melanie. My son, Luke, is a friend of Matt’s. Call me a flake, but I’m out of gas.”

He reached across the seat and opened the passenger door. Light flooded the interior. “Happens to the best of us. There’s a gas station on the corner. Hop in.”

Even though his voice seemed kind, she hesitated. After all, taking rides from sweet-talking strangers had been her downfall. But that had been a lifetime ago, and she knew this man. Or at least his son. The decision made, she rounded the car. Sliding in beside him, the scent of coffee and his musky fragrance filled the air. “I can’t thank you enough. I wanted to start . . .dinner.”

That’s when she saw this was no ordinary vehicle. A laptop computer was bracketed to the console, and above it a radio. The world seemed to slow as she focused on every detail. The dash . . . the console . . . and finally the man behind the wheel.

Her gaze took in his long legs, the veins in his powerful-looking hands, his rolled-up sleeves and at last settled on the sizeable scar on his inner forearm.

Shock made her numb. It wasn’t possible. How had she missed the connection? She hadn’t thought of the man in years. The cop who’d arrested her, his name had been .. . Crandall.

Somehow Mel found the strength to look into his eyes. And when she did, she came face to face with what could only be a mutually shocked expression.

“You,” she whispered.
“You,” he replied.

MAUREEN: Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?

DONNELL: I would invite Lt. Joe Crandall to dinner; don’t know that I’d eat much, but I’d sure enjoy the view. Least. Drake Maxwell. He’s angry at my protagonist, Melanie, and since I created her, he might just take it out on me.

MAUREEN: Ha! What’s in your refrigerator right now?

DONNELL: Three bottles of wine (unopened) every time someone comes to dinner or to play cards, they bring a bottle of wine. I like Berringer’s White Zinfandel; the others will remain their indefinitely. Leftover Chicken enchiladas that I made this evening, eggs, cheese, grapes and plums. I went shopping today ;)

MAUREEN: What is your favorite tradition from your childhood?

DONNELL: Christmas Eve, Midnight Mass, then hot chocolate and opening presents afterward, then sleeping in.

MAUREEN: What do you do to unwind and relax?

DONNELL: Soak in a hot tub with a glass of Berringer’s White Zinfandel.;)

MAUREEN: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

DONNELL: I go for a walk, or pick up the phone and brainstorm with a critique partner. I like to pace while I brainstorm… oh, and my hands take on a life of their own when we figure things out.

MAUREEN: Ah, there's nothing like those flying hands when they figure things out! What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

DONNELL: I can’t sit down at my computer and write from scratch. My process is to write the story in shorthand, either in my bedroom, living room or on my patio, then later print it out in longhand, and finally, I’ll type it out on the keyboard. By the time I get to the keyboard, I have a very well-defined book.

MAUREEN: How much money does it take to be happy?

DONNELL: Money doesn’t make me happy. I’m not material. I wouldn’t know a name brand from a generic anything ;) . But I do like having an emergency cushion. So how about: Enough money to give my family and me a feeling of security.

MAUREEN: What’s the most unusual thing you’ve learned while researching a novel.

DONNELL: I learned from a sergeant working narcotics that you can use spray starch to determine if someone’s cooked meth in a hotel room. He said if the wall turns black, he not only leaves that room, he leaves the entire establishment, after, of course, demanding his money back.

MAUREEN: I must remember to bring spray starch on my next road trip. :) What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

DONNELL: The friendships I’ve made along the way and seeing a story I believed in come to fruition.

DONNELL ASKS READERS: In The Past Came Hunting, my heroine makes a youthful mistake that she ends up paying for years and years later. Do you enjoy women in jeopardy stories, and, put yourself in the place of my heroine. Have you ever made a youthful mistake?

Comments will enter you in a drawing to win an Advanced Reader Copy of THE PAST CAME HUNTING.

Congratulations, Donnell!!!!


  1. ohmigosh, just reading that quick excerpt gave me chills! I can't wait to get my hands on this book. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS, DONNELL!!! May you enjoy every success!!!

  2. Congratulations Donnell!

    I am so excited about your debut release and can't wait to read my copy of THE PAST CAME HUNTING!

    Heroines in jeopardy is a favorite of mine! It not only gives the hero a chance to be a hero, the ladies must also be brave and resourceful!

  3. Donnell~
    Guess this answers my question as to when your debut novel comes out. LOL :)
    I, too, can't wait to get THE PAST CAME HUNTING. Huge congrats, my friend! I'm so very happy for you.

  4. Hi, Jen and Jill ;) Women in jeopardy stories, as you can tell, are a favorite of mine. What I loved about TPCH is that Melanie, my protagonist, isn't someone trained in self-defense, she's an average person who takes on two immeasurable foes. The cop who arrested her, and a sociopath who holds her responsible for an event that happened between them. She proves her worth as a heroine in my opinion. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Thanks, Lynda! The release date is September 15th. I'm getting excited!!! Thank you for being here.

  6. I'm so excited for you Donnell !!
    My copy's on my kindle--woo hoo!!

    Uhm...does marrying the wrong guy count as a youthful mistake?

  7. Hey, Angi, marrying the wrong guy especially counts as a youthful mistake. You have an ARC on your Kindle, right? The book doesn't release until September 15th, which is when I'll start really dancing ;) But I sure appreciate GLIAS getting the party started! Hugs!

  8. Donnell, I'm positively giddy for you! I can't wait to read The Past Came Hunting. Wait--you can download it already? Angi said she has her copy on her Kindle. I'm checking out Nook books right now...

    Also, I'm now craving chicken enchiladas. :)


  9. Hi Donnell. Congratulations on your debut! Whoot. I'm heading upstairs to my Kindle to do some downloading.

    I love the spray starch trick! Looks like I'm going to have to start carrying it in my travel bag.

    Enjoy your release week!

  10. Woohooo Donnell! Finally after all this time - can you believe it! You're probably shaking your head right now, saying, "Heck no!" You so deserve this!

    Enjoy, wallow in it, smile and drink champagne until you can't smile anymore and enjoy. Can't think of anyone who has worked harder for this day!


  11. Donnell, congratulations!!!! I'm thrilled for you and will be celebrating your release here today (with chocolate ;). Wishing you many sales!

  12. Congrats on the new book! The excerpt was not enought I want more! I think everyone makes a huge mistake in their lives somewhere it is how you respond to it that makes or breaks the person. I have read books in the past where the hero/herione have fallen flat or have risen above the past hurt. The way you address it is what is important!

  13. Donnell, happy release week! I love your excerpt. Congratulations! I'm with Marilyn about celebrating with chocolate. lol

  14. Oh, thanks everyone! I'm so pleased to see all your welcomes. The book doesn't release until September 15th, so bear with me please? I'll be posting reminders. Angi has an ARC because she interviewed me Sending you huge hugs, and I hope you have lots of youthful indiscretions so we can have some more material for our books -- anonymously of course! :)

  15. Congratulations Donnell!! Bell Bridge books should was smart to grab you up.

    and I want that damn ARC! :)

  16. Congrats, Donnell! Your book sounds awesome. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Yes, I have made many youthful and adult mistakes. The important thing is that we learn from them.

    I have read books in the past where the heroines are feisty or down on their luck. The way it is written makes all the difference in the world.

  17. I'm so happy to see all of you here! Sherie and Cathy, I agree with you, it's all in the storytelling and if the reader cares about the heroine. I'm hoping that I've created a sympathetic human being. I sure relate to her, but then, I'm biased....

    Now where did I put that Valium to calm all these nerves (kidding ;)

  18. Donnell!!!!! Congratulations on the upcoming release of TPCH! I'm sure you're thrilled beyond belief, and I can't wait until Sept. 15th so I can download on my Kindle (just tried, and nothing popped up) .... grrrrr ....

    Meanwhile, I have no youthful indiscretions to post (except an overwhelming desire to slap the hell out of my 7th grade teacher, who happened to be a nun; naturally, being afraid I would end up burning in hell, I never acted on the impulse.) But I grew up reading Gothics, and I LOVE women in jeopardy stories ... and after reading your excerpt, I know I'm going to LOVE your book!

    P.S. I have a big bottle of Valium, in case you're in need.


  19. Congratulations! This book sounds fabulous and I can't wait to read it.

  20. Thanks, so much, Kathleen, I sure could use that Valium. :)

    Virginia, thank you! I hope you will and let me know your thoughts! ;)

  21. Woot! It's finally here. I can't wait to get my hands on it, but count me out of this free drawing since I won it on another blog. YAY!!!

    Here's hoping the book skyrockets to the top of every list.

  22. Woohoo, Donnell! Release week! Are you breathless?

    I'm so happy and excited for you. Sending my best wishes for huge sales and happy readers. Hurray!

  23. Hi, Liz and Rochelle, thanks very much! So cool to see debut authors chewing fingernails together LOL. Best wishes on both of your releases

  24. Donnell! I'm so excited about your release. Seems like I've been waiting for it forever. I hope you have tons of sales. As for women in jeopardy stories, I love those (since that's what I write!). So, what's in the future for us soon-to-be-fans? Care to share? (I know - I'm greedy - but I know I'll want more books from you after reading your debut!).

  25. Ah, Lena, BBB has my 2010 GH manuscript. Think positive, will you? I hope The Past Comes Hunting lives up to your expectations. I can't wait to catch up and read the fabulous Lena Diaz!

  26. Donnell - fantastic excerpt, and I love women in jeopardy stories. And hot cops.

    Congrats on your success!!!

    Sending you a virtual bottle of White Zinfandel and eating chocolate to help you celebrate.


  27. Yay yay yay! White Zin and chocolate :) Thanks, Barbara!

  28. Congratulations on the release of your debut! Can't have a party without great food, so I'm bringing some ice cream cake!!

  29. Ah, thanks, Na. Darn it, I'll eat it

  30. CONGRATS! So excited for you. Wishing you many sales

  31. Wow, great excerpt, Donnell. I can't wait to find out what happens to 'purdy gal'.

    Connie Gillam