GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Linda Welch guest post "Who is Tiff Banks?" | I Smell Sheep

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Linda Welch guest post "Who is Tiff Banks?"

Today we have one of my favorite authors Linda Welch. She writes The Whisperings paranormal mystery series. Book six, A Conspiracy of Demons, was recently released. Her books have a dark edge to them and most importantly our heroine, Tiff Banks, has a smoking hot partner named Royal. Linda is going to tell us the question she gets asked most and tell us a little bit about Tiff Banks.

Whether there are many people in your life, or only a few, losing one hits just as hard. An old friend is murdered, and a new friend stops by long enough to provide a listening ear where Royal and I need it most. Conducting our investigation under Provo PDs radar involves enough shenanigans to make this gal have nightmares, and that I'm a "person of interest" doesn't make it any easier.

You'll never believe where this investigation takes us. Never in a million years. Not in your wildest imagination.

Together with the High House, we uncover a plot of epic dimensions. Can we put a stop to it? When desperate times call for desperate measures, will there be casualties?

As if a major catastrophe in the making isn't enough to deal with, a conversation prompts me to relook at a decades old case closer to home. What I discover makes me face a tough decision. Do I tell the police and get myself in a heap of trouble? Do I tell the victims? Or do I let it go?

“Is that really you?”

You won’t believe how many times I was asked that question until I wrote a piece for the Indie Chicks Anthology in December, 2011, which included a picture of yours truly. After that, few people confused me with Tiff Banks, the main character in my Whisperings paranormal mystery series.

I thought an avatar of Tiff was a good promotional tool when I joined Facebook and Twitter back in 2009. She is seen from the rear, with her Scottish terrier MacKlutzy at her feet and a host of ghosts in front of her. I still use the avatar, except Tiff’s hair is now braided, whereas before it hung loose down her back. Tiff wears blue jeans, brown boots and a black sweater. Nothing sexy about that, yet some people, apparently, found it attractive. Yeah, I’m talking about men. Mostly, it was the long hair. They asked me, “Is that really you?” and “Is that really your hair?” I denied it. They didn't seem to believe me. “Your hair is beautiful,” they kept saying.

One local journalist Tweeted, “Is that really your butt?” followed by, “I find it very relaxing.” To which I replied, “Thank you. I think.”

Another Tweet simply said, “Turn around.”

Much as I would like to lay claim to a relaxing backside – or perhaps not – the avatar looks nothing like me.

Who is Tiff Banks? She carries a gun and generally hits what she aims at, but she’s no marks-woman  She doesn't wear micro-skirts and midriff-revealing tops. No high heels either, because contrary to what you see on TV and the movies, running down a suspect while wearing four-inch heels will likely result in a broken ankle. Tiff wears jean, T-shirts, boots or sneakers. Not that she’s homely; at six-four, with long silver-white hair and pale skin, Tiff is a striking figure and a startling contrast to her partner. Royal Mortensen is tall, exotic and built, with long copper and gold hair, lightly burnished skin and mesmerizing copper eyes. Everything a red-blooded girl could want, except he’s not 100% human.

I don’t look like Tiff, but I could be her. Yeah, sure I could. I could talk to dead people. Though not the really grisly deaths, and talking to dead children would be hard. And living with Tiff’s dead roommates Jack and Mel would drive me crazy.

Okay, so maybe not the “talking to dead people” part. And I wouldn't like being chased by demons, or shooting bad guys, or dealing with grouchy police captain Mike Warren. And forget hiking up mountains. But Royal. . . . Ah, Royal. When the sparks fly and the heat rises, I’d happily step into Tiff’s shoes.

It goes without saying, though, that Tiff and I are alike in some ways. Her opinions on a wide range of topics are mine. We’re both impatient, and take very little at face value. Although I don’t share my home with two dead people, I know living people as irritatingly needy as Tiff’s dead roommates. We both adore food. Long years ago, my mother told me some people eat to live and others live to eat. Tiff and I are of the latter variety. I think, because I can’t indulge this particular passion and not look like a blimp, I live gratuitously through Tiff – she enjoys some yummy food in the Whisperings books.

Tiff and I love our Scottish terriers, Tiff’s feisty MacKlutzy and my Duncan. We spoil them with treats, and at the same time tell them they’re getting fat and it’s bad for them. We worry about them as a mother worries about her children.

And I admit I may be just a touch cranky until I get my first cup of coffee in the morning.

If only I had Tiff’s figure, and her hot demon partner. . . .

Please read an excerpt from Whisperings book one: Along Came a Demon.

“You have to trust me, Tiff.”

Trust him? I wanted to and had no idea why. I wanted to believe him. I wanted him to be the good guy. But was it wishful thinking because he was lip-smacking gorgeous, or did he use demon magic to sway me? Either way, trusting him was not a wise choice, not with what I knew about demons and this one in particular. And he had not said anything to persuade me he told the truth.

All I had was the word of a demon, and sorry, it was not enough.

Another silence with the clock tocking in the background and his gaze riveted to my face. I wondered what his hair would look like loose, sliding over his shoulders.

We sat and stared at each other. Don’t look in his eyes, don’t look! I told myself, but I did.

He shifted on the bed to face me, leaned in, and I thought he must hear my heartbeat. I forced my body erect, but my nipples embarrassed me by perking beneath my nightgown. Loose as it was, they still stood up like happy little mountain peaks. His gaze went to them; he very slowly arched one eyebrow.

I crossed my arms over my breasts. “Cold in here.”

Supporting himself with one hand on the mattress, he leaned in yet closer. “It must be you. I feel . . . warm.” And the bastard unfastened the top button of his shirt, then the next one down, baring a triangle of smooth, pale-copper skin, looking in my eyes all the while.

His eyes twinkled with what could be amusement.

I glared angrily, shamed by my body’s response as I realized he laughed at me. Or . . . teased? He saw my reaction and teased me? Teasing was outside my experience. Taunting, yes, teasing, no. The guy had some nerve, waltzing in here and having fun at my expense.

I thought I had learned to control my facial expression and body language long ago, but Royal Mortensen read me. What began as a muffled chuckle came from his mouth as a guffaw. I grew hot with mortification as he composed his features.

He said in a low, throaty voice, “If I can prove you’re wrong in one thing, will you listen to me?”

I hugged myself tighter, said briskly. “Tell me and I’ll think about it.”

He disarmed me with a broad smile. “I don’t have pointy teeth, Tiff.”

And he didn’t. His teeth were white and even and perfect in his delectable mouth. But that proved nothing, not when I’d already seen a demon alter his entire face. “Huh! Neat trick.”

He came in nearer. I tried to disappear in my pillows.

“Seriously. I had them capped.”

“Capped? So people like me won’t know what you are?”

“No.” This close, he smelled of sandalwood and amber. “So I can do this.” He put his hands on the sides of my face and his mouth fastened on mine.

It was deep and hungry and utterly consuming. His lips were velvet fingers, exploring mine, drawing my breath. I could have lived in his kiss for the rest of my life. When he pulled back, a little gasping puff of air escaped my mouth.

And he didn’t have pointed teeth.

Stunned. I was stunned by a kiss.

His hands still cradled my cheeks, and we gazed in each other’s eyes. The only sound was my heavy breathing and the tock of the old carriage clock on the mantle. He looked alien, with his parti-colored metallic hair and gleaming eyes, and incongruous against the backdrop of the pastel greens and fawns of my bedroom. His skin was so smooth; it had an ageless quality. And his eyes were depthless.

He let me go and sat back, and I blinked back to the here and now. He’s a demon, Tiff! I told myself. Don’t let that kiss fool you.

I licked my lips. “If I ask you to leave, will you?”

“Are you sure you want me to, Tiff?”


He dropped his chin so I couldn’t properly see his face.

“Did you really have your teeth capped so you could kiss me?” I couldn’t resist asking as he got to his feet.

His smile was slow and wicked. “Well, not you in particular.”

And then he was gone.

Damn! Nothing should be able to move so fast!

“If a man kissed me like that I’d be ripping his clothes off, not pissing him off.”

My mouth dropped open and I twisted to look at the corner of the room near the window. Mel stood against the wall next the fireplace, Jack beside her.

“What were you two in life? Peeping Toms?”

Jack pushed away from the wall. “Did you hear the one about the dead Peeping Tom?”

“Out! Or God help me I will call in an exorcist!” 

About the author
Linda Welch was born in Hampshire, England, and still has a British accent, as those who have heard her dulcet tones will attest. She lived in Idaho, California and New Mexico before settling in Utah. She now lives in a mountain valley, more or less halfway up the mountainside, with her husband and Scottish terrier. Unlike Tiff Banks, the heroine of Linda's Whispering series of paranormal mysteries, she is not tall and white-haired, and does not see demons. What she does see are moose, deer, raccoon, skunk, wild turkey, a huge bird population and a ridiculous amount of snow. When not writing and depending on the season, she is usually tending to the Scottie, filling the bird feeders, futilely attacking the weeds in her garden or shoveling out after a snowstorm.

Look for Whisperings Paranormal Mysteries: 
book one: Along Came a Demon.
book two: The Demon Hunters.
book three: Dead Demon Walking.
book four: Demon Demon Burning Bright.
book five: Demon on a Distant Shore.

Also: Femme Fatales, a dark urban fantasy short story collection.


  1. Thanks for featuring me and Tiff today on my favorite blog site! Baaaa.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing with us today. I have the first two in the series and see I have some catching up to do and I am looking forward to the fun :)

  3. How can I have missed this series for so long? Thanks for this guestpost, and I have added the books to my wishlist at once.
    Happy New Year to all of you!

    1. I really like the dark edge to it. Be warned! Don't read while hungry! Tiff is always eating some of the best food and Linda does a very good job of describing it