The Second Lie by Anna Richland – Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anna will be awarding a set of En Route notecards, gorgeously illustrated by Kate Pocrass (because falling in love with an Immortal Viking is a wild journey!) to a randomly drawn winner (INTERNATIONAL) via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A woman desperate to achieve her dreams.

To reassure wealthy clients, Christina Alvarez Mancini invented a jet-setting British owner for her Napa Valley wine collection service. Success has brought her close to buying her own winery, when irregularities at a London wine auction threaten her business.

A man in love with a good plan.

Stig, an immortal Viking thief, knows he’s found the perfect role. The California woman who created his character won’t discover what he’s up to in England until after he’s pocketed the money he needs. Then Christina walks into the auction preview, ready to ruin his plans, and he knows his boredom has ended.

Secrets that turn deadly.

By the end of the night, these two rivals must cooperate to escape kidnappers, British authorities, media and a pair of mysterious watchers. That’s when a game Stig’s played for a thousand years puts Christina’s life at risk.

Can two people whose identities are based on lies trust each other enough to survive?

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

Stig and Christina have already escaped twice, first from kidnappers and then from police in the emergency room, but finding a way out of a hospital on security lock-down is a new challenge.

She could hear faint sounds that she hadn’t noticed earlier. Beeps outside as if a truck was backing up. Yelling, far enough away that it might be on a different floor. A siren trailing off in the distance.

“Do you know where we’re going?”

“In a sense.”

His stride didn’t look hurried, but she had to quick-step to keep her spot slightly behind and to his right. “What do you mean, ‘in a sense’?”

“I know what I’m looking for.”

“But you know where it is? Don’t you?”

“Indeed I do.” Satisfaction lowered his voice as he stopped. “Here.”

On the wall, a laminated paper taped over a scarred wood hatch said Litter Only. No Sharps or BioHazard.

“Not a garbage—”

“No, this one.” His upraised palm indicated a second panel, to the right of the garbage chute. It was the size of an oven door and three feet off the floor, signed Linens Only! That Means No Waste. The last two words were underlined in purple marker.

“Nope.” She took two steps backward but couldn’t take her eyes off the dark hole as he lowered the hinged door. It was rectangular, bigger than she expected and very dark. Five, no, ten terrifying movie scenarios popped their heads out of that chute. “Can’t. Won’t.”

He showed her a coin between his fingers, then dropped it down the chute. She heard nothing, as if the bottom was cushioned by the linens mentioned on the sign.

“I could waste time cajoling you.” He left the door open and covered the space to her faster than she could back up. “Or I can just do it, which seems to be a Yank slogan.” He wrapped one rock-hard arm around her lower back, turned and scooped her toward the opening.

“I won’t—” She kicked backward but couldn’t connect with his body. The thick fabric of his overall sleeves meant her fingers couldn’t sink into his arm, so all she could do as he lifted her was brace her feet on the wall and lock her knees until her thighs trembled.

She was tiny, but she had the muscles of generations of farm women honed by twelve years of competitive gymnastics. She might have slacked off a little since college, but her thighs were still a force to reckon with.

He grunted and pushed, while she pushed back. Short of chopping her knee, which would require one of his hands to let go of her, he wasn’t going to budge her.

“Okay,” he panted in her ear and released her.

On her feet, she doubled over, hands on her thighs, and tried to catch her breath.

“New plan,” he said, his head down and chest heaving as well.

She sucked in enough air to speak. “I hate your plans.”

“Together, right?”

“What part of no, I’m not going down a laundry chute, don’t you understand?”

“Principle of physics. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to land in jail.” He climbed into the chute, his legs disappearing from sight as he perched on the edge. “At last count we have cops, hospital security and my two ex-friends searching for us.”

“For you. Maybe not me.”

“Since you’re clearly in with me, they’re looking for you too. Your face is all over the security cameras.” He patted his lap and leaned backward to make a bigger space for her.

About the Author:

Anna lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. The perpetual drizzle is a good excuse to drink more coffee. She’s a former US Army officer who now writes The Immortal Vikings series from Carina Press and also the author of His Road Home, a novella which Publishers Weekly called “Tantalizing … a raw, emotional story” and the website SmartB*tchesTrashyBooks gave an A rating.

She donates a portion of her book proceeds to two charities: the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.

To sign up for Anna’s newsletter, find out more about her books, and read longer excerpts, please visit her website at, her Facebook page, or her Goodreads page.

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, or Chapters/Indigo.

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Ashley F says:

    Sounds like reading those two getting in and out of trouble would be a blast. And thanks for having the giveaway.

  3. It’s so fun reading the excerpts on the tour every morning with my coffee – I wrote and edited The Second Lie last year (I was turning in edits right after RT Booklovers Conference in New Orleans – that was crazy). So I’ve kind of forgotten how much fun Stig and Christina have with each other as they go on the run across Europe.

    This scene is sort of inspired by two things: Star Wars (you know where that chute’s going, don’t you?) and doing water slides with my kids. I’m always so proud of myself when I haul my 40+ something self into a water slide and survive.

    That leads to my question for readers: water slides – yes or no? I’m a yes, but only the slides with a tube or raft to sit in. I’m too chicken for body slides.

  4. SHELLEY S says:


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