Author Shawna Delacorte's Bio

Shawna Delacorte is from Los Angeles, California. It may sound a little weird, but she started her writing career as a photographer. While trying to market her photographs, she found that she had a better chance of having them published in magazines if they were accompanied by articles. So…she started writing. Non-fiction articles at first such as travel destination pieces, then she tried her hand at fiction. The result was twenty-one published novels with Harlequin Intrigue and Silhouette Desire. Over the last few months, Harlequin has reissued 13 of her backlist titles in ebook.

Shawna loves to travel and has renewed her interest in photography. In some ways making the change from film to digital is like starting all over again. And that's just camera operation. Add to that all the computer graphics and effects that need to be mastered.


Short Short Story Free Read #1

© Shawna Delacorte

He turned on the stereo, filling the room with the maudlin strains of the violin music. His efficient gaze took in everything, no detail too small to escape his attention. Only the lifeless body of the middle-aged woman crumpled on the floor in front of the fireplace detracted from the uncommonly neat and tidy appearance of the living room. Powder burns surrounded the single bullet hole to the victim's right temple indicating the proximity of the gun to her skin at the time the shot was fired.

The mantle held several framed photographs -- a family photo of the victim with her husband and their small son taken several years ago, a later photo of the victim with the same boy as a young man and a recent photograph in a blue frame showing the victim with her new husband at their wedding.

He wandered to the kitchen, putting together the clues in his mind. He stared at the dirty fork and plate containing the remains of a piece of key lime pie. A glass carried the imprint of the victim's lipstick. The empty decanter rested on its side, a small amount of red wine spilled on the countertop.

He returned to the living room. The clues told the unfortunate story. There would be no need to round up the usual suspects, no need to extract a confession from a ruthless killer. He bent down next to the body. The large diamond ring that graced her finger would be a temptation to any thief, another indication that foul play did not enter into the equation.

He stood and took a calming breath, then moved quickly to complete his tasks. Without a wasted motion, he pressed the murder weapon into the victim's lifeless hand. Placing the muzzle of the revolver against a thick pillow, he manipulated her hand to pull the trigger so that tests would prove she had fired a gun. He replaced the second bullet he had just fired so that only one bullet would be missing.

After giving one final look around the room, he placed the expertly forged suicide note on the table. He confidently stepped out into the foggy night taking the thick pillow containing the spent second bullet with him. He chuckled to himself as he pulled off the latex gloves and shoved them in his pocket.

An unbalanced woman distraught over the death of her son. A woman whose previous husband had died five years ago and left her a wealthy widow. A woman whose new marriage had brought a measure of happiness back into her life ... until a month ago.

The tragic circumstances of her only son's unfortunate death in a car accident had obviously taken a toll on her fragile emotions. That left only the grief-stricken new husband ... and a multi-million dollar inheritance.

He laughed out loud. Yes ... his plan had gone without a hitch. He would drive back to San Francisco, ditch the stolen car, check out of his hotel and catch his flight back to Los Angeles.

Having established his perfect alibi, he would then return home and discover his wife's body.


Short Short Story Free Read #2:

© Shawna Delacorte

Jared Templeton's gaze darted around the library of the large house where the latest robbery to hit Dallas had occurred some time during the night. Among the items listed as stolen were a stamp collection valued at two hundred seventy-five thousand dollars and a family heirloom sapphire ring in an antique platinum setting.

The safe door had been blown and stood open. Several papers had been dumped in a pile on the floor and everything of monetary value had been taken with only a single sheet of paper remaining inside the otherwise empty safe. Detective Templeton withdrew the note from the safe, carefully holding it by the corner so not to smudge any possible fingerprints, although he knew from experience there wouldn't be any. The words were hand printed in block letters using green ink, just like all the other notes left at the scene of similar robberies – a simple message that said, "Thanks for the donation." It had become the perpetrator's trademark.

He picked up some of the papers from the floor, shaking the plaster dust and bits of crumbly material from the ceiling that had fallen on them as a result of the explosion. He quickly looked through them to determine their worth and dismissed them as having no value to a thief.

The police detective wandered into the kitchen where Shirley Bennett, the victim of the robbery, waited to be interviewed. He studied her before speaking – her composed manner, her impeccable appearance, her perfectlly coifed blond hair. Shirley... Mrs. Gordon Bennett as she continued to refer to herself even though her husband had died ten years prior ... had been at the center of local society. She was far too concerned with outer appearance and status for Jared's tastes. He watched for a moment longer as she nibbled at a green salad and washed it down with a glass of white wine.

"Mrs. Bennett, does anyone other than yourself know the combination to your safe?"

She set her wine glass on the table and looked up at him. Her expression clearly showed the lowly opinion she carried of anyone not her social equal. "Most certainly not. I can assure you that I'm not the type to confide that type of information to a mere servant."

"I thought not." He flipped through his notebook. The insurance company had already confirmed some of his suspicions about this particular robbery. "I think we have some significant leads about the theft of your property."

"Oh? And what would they be? Surely it's the same individual who has committed all the other robberies in this area ... someone who is concentrating on the most affluent sections of the city."

"I don't think so, not this time."

The surprise darted through her eyes as her haughty expression changed to one of caution. "What makes you say that?"

"It's obvious that your safe was robbed before the door was blown off. The plaster dust and ceiling material had fallen on top of the papers that had come from the safe which says they had already been removed before the explosion. Someone with the combination had opened it and since you say you are the only one who has the combination..."

"That hardly means -- "

"And then there's the information I've been able to obtain from your insurance company. Last year you decreased the amount of the coverage in order to lower your premium and the current premium due hasn't been paid yet. Your policy will lapse in two days. Then there's your bank records which show that you've pretty much gone through the entire inheritance left to you by your late husband. A quick check with a few stamp dealers told me that you've been quietly selling off the stamp collection one stamp at a time which has left you with very little to insure. I must caution you – so far the only thing you've done that's illegal is to file a false insurance claim for the theft of possessions you no longer own. If you withdraw that claim and don't sign the police report, then it's no longer a police matter. It's not against the law the blow the door off your own safe inside your own house."

Her expression fell and all the smugness disappeared from her demeanor. Detective Templeton turned and left the kitchen. The next step would be up to Mrs. Gordon Bennett.