alpha heroes

Catherine Mann is in the HOT ZONE!!

>It’s no secret I’m an Alpha, military-type hero lover, right?  I’ve probably made that plenty clear somewhere along the way, haven’t I?   Well, we’ve definitely got some yummy Alpha military yumminess going on here today!

Catherine Mann visits with info on her new release, HOT ZONE, Book 2 in her Elite Force series featuring hunky Pararescuemen. And she also shares some fun personal facts as well.

Make sure you comment about your favorite aspect of the military romantic suspense genre
to enter the giveaway for one of Catherine’s novels up for grabs today!

HOT ZONE

Days full of danger…
For Pararescueman Master Sergeant Hugh Franco, it’s all about saving other people’s lives. Then he moves on. But when he pulls beautiful Amelia Bailey and her adopted nephew from the rubble of a catastrophic earthquake, he finds himself entangled in their lives in ways he could never have imagined…

And desire-filled nights…
Amelia’s trip to the Bahamas to help with an international adoption has been no vacation, but the hardest part is yet to come. As Amelia and Hugh are pulled unawares into a deadly smuggling scheme, simmering beneath their growing need to protect each other is a compelling attraction they’re both determined to deny…

“Elite Force” series:
Book 1: COVER ME, July 2011
Book 2: HOT ZONE, December 2011
Book 3: UNDER FIRE, May 2012

“Mann’s tender yet heart-pounding story vividly creates the chaos of both disasters and love.”
– Booklist

Catherine, tell us about your upcoming release, HOT ZONE.
Thanks so much for having me here on your blog today! I’m thrilled to be celebrating the release of HOT ZONE, the second book in my “Elite Force” series about Air Force pararescuemen. They’re also known as PJs, in reference to their earlier days when they were called Para Jumpers.

What’s your favorite thing about HOT ZONE?
Having the opportunity to showcase these unsung military heroes who live by the motto “These things we do that others may live.”

What sparked the idea for this series?
I’ve long been fascinated by this basically unknown military unit – a very small unit. There are only about 350 pararescuemen total and they go through much of the same grueling training as other special ops individuals.

What creates the biggest conflict between your hero and heroine?
My hero falls in love too easily (he’s been married 3 times!) My heroine lost the love of her life and wants nothing to do with that kind of heartbreak again.

What is your strategy in creating villains?
Ahhhh, villains! I love creating villains with unexpected nuances. Villains should have reasons and motivations, even if they’re twisted. And this villain has definitely twisted by years of abuse as a child… But if I say more, it’ll give away part of the story!

What was the hardest part of this book to write and why?
The heroine works with therapy dogs, trained to help military vets suffering from PTSD. As a military wife, writing about that kind of pain carried by our veterans was especially difficult.

What do you love most about this series?
Writing about smoking hot alpha males in uniform!! (And finding the perfect heroine to conquer each hero’s heart. 😉

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Suzanne Brockmann has – without question – been a generous mentor from the very start of my writing career. She has shared her time, her insights, her readers, her support. She’s a gifted and caring person. I can never thank her enough.

How does your family view your writing career?
My kids and husband are every bit as proud of me as I am of them! (And that’s a lot!) My kids love to embarrass me in book stores by shouting at the top of their lungs, “Oh my God! Is that THE Catherine Mann?!”

What entity do you feel supports you most in your writing career outside of family members?
I have the best critique partner a writer could ever ask for! Harlequin Blaze & Historical author Joanne Rock has been my critique partner since long before either of us made that first sale. Now, Joanne’s written about 50 books and I’ve written over 40, and she still has the most awesome insights to share.

What is your writing routine?

Write until my vision blurs? LOL! Okay, seriously, I set page counts for each week. If I meet my goal by Friday, I get the weekend off. If I don’t, I have to work through the weekend to catch up. This also provides incentive to my family to stay out of my hair during the week if they want to play on the weekend.

What are you reading now?
I just finished J.R. Ward’s ENVY.

What is in your TBR pile?
I just preordered Joanna Bourne’s THE BLACK HAWK. (By the time this interview goes live, I will have read it!)

What is your preferred genre to read for pleasure?
Honestly, I’m a very eclectic reader across genres, although I do have to say I’m happiest when a book has at least some romantic thread.

Do you have a second career? (Yes, motherhood counts!)
My flyboy husband and I have four children, although three have left the nest for college now. And I also serve on the Board of Directors for my local Humane Society.

What did you do before you became a full-time writer?
I have a Master’s degree in Theater and I worked as a theater school director in Charleston, SC.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I’m a big fan of Christopher Vogler’s THE WRITER’S JOURNEY. I use it for plotting – great in helping tie in emotional turning points with plot landmarks.

What would you write if you could do write anything you wanted to write?
I’m absolutely blessed to be writing exactly what I want to write. 🙂

What do you most like about writing? Least like?
I love being able to wear my PJs all day long if I wish. Although sometimes, I miss having people around me. I guess that’s why I spend so much time online!

What would you say is your biggest writing quirk?
I foster puppies and special needs dogs for my local shelter, so it’s not unusual for me to be writing with a pack of 4-6 dogs at my feet.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read. Watch movies with my family. Walk my dogs. I’m a homebody!

What are your current projects?
HOT ZONE, “Elite Force” bk 2, Sourcebooks – out now!
PROTECTOR, “Dark Ops” bk 4, Berkley, March 2012
HONORABLE INTENTIONS, Harlequin Desire, April 2012
UNDER FIRE, “Elite Force” bk 3, Sourcebooks, May 2012
GUARDIAN, “Dark Ops” bk 5, Berkley, September 2012

Do You Have Any Undiscovered Or Hidden Talents?
I worked as a puppeteer to make extra money in graduate school.

Do You Believe That The Cup Is Half Empty Or Half Full?
Overflowing!

Are You An Introvert Or An Extrovert?
I’m a shy extrovert. 🙂

Are You A Window Person Or An Aisle Person?

Aisle!!! I feel too closed in by the window.

Do You Like Short Or Long Hair On A Guy?
Military cut short or completely shaved. Very hot!

Ever Hit A Jackpot On A Slot Machine?
Nope. Not a gambler. Would rather spend my money on a meal out or a new outfit.

Are You Afraid Of Heights?
Not in love with them.

Do you prefer your mattress soft or hard?
Firm!

How many pillows do you like to sleep with?
As many pillows as I can fit on the bed.

Which do you like more—rainy days or snowy days?
Rainy days! I’m only a fan of snow on Christmas Day. The rest of the year, I prefer my warm beach.

What is Your Favorite Beverage?
I’m trying to give up Diet Cokes – not easy! So I guess I would say chocolate tea is my current favorite.

Are You A Heavy Or Light Sleeper?
Used to be a deep sleeper, but after so many years of keeping my ears open for the kids during the night, I’ve become a light sleeper.

Are you a night or a morning person?
Night owl. Totally.

At The Beach Would You Rather Play In The Sand, Or Play In The Water?
Read a book while lounging in a beach chair.

How do you keep in touch with your readers?
I can always be found online:
Website: http://catherinemann.com
Facebook: Catherine Mann (author)
Twitter: CatherineMann1
e-mail: Catherine@CatherineMann.com

USA Today bestseller Catherine Mann has over two million books in print in more than twenty countries. A RITA Award winning author, she writes military suspense for Sourcebooks and Berkley, as well as steamy romances for Harlequin Desire. Catherine resides in Florida with her military flyboy husband and their four children.

What is your favorite aspect of the military romantic suspense genre? 
Comment to enter the giveaway for one of Catherine’s novels or bookmarks up for grabs today!



>Catherine Mann is in the HOT ZONE!!

>It’s no secret I’m an Alpha, military-type hero lover, right?  I’ve probably made that plenty clear somewhere along the way, haven’t I?   Well, we’ve definitely got some yummy Alpha military yumminess going on here today!

Catherine Mann visits with info on her new release, HOT ZONE, Book 2 in her Elite Force series featuring hunky Pararescuemen. And she also shares some fun personal facts as well.

Make sure you comment about your favorite aspect of the military romantic suspense genre
to enter the giveaway for one of Catherine’s novels up for grabs today!

HOT ZONE

Days full of danger…
For Pararescueman Master Sergeant Hugh Franco, it’s all about saving other people’s lives. Then he moves on. But when he pulls beautiful Amelia Bailey and her adopted nephew from the rubble of a catastrophic earthquake, he finds himself entangled in their lives in ways he could never have imagined…

And desire-filled nights…
Amelia’s trip to the Bahamas to help with an international adoption has been no vacation, but the hardest part is yet to come. As Amelia and Hugh are pulled unawares into a deadly smuggling scheme, simmering beneath their growing need to protect each other is a compelling attraction they’re both determined to deny…

“Elite Force” series:
Book 1: COVER ME, July 2011
Book 2: HOT ZONE, December 2011
Book 3: UNDER FIRE, May 2012

“Mann’s tender yet heart-pounding story vividly creates the chaos of both disasters and love.”
– Booklist

Catherine, tell us about your upcoming release, HOT ZONE.
Thanks so much for having me here on your blog today! I’m thrilled to be celebrating the release of HOT ZONE, the second book in my “Elite Force” series about Air Force pararescuemen. They’re also known as PJs, in reference to their earlier days when they were called Para Jumpers.

What’s your favorite thing about HOT ZONE?
Having the opportunity to showcase these unsung military heroes who live by the motto “These things we do that others may live.”

What sparked the idea for this series?
I’ve long been fascinated by this basically unknown military unit – a very small unit. There are only about 350 pararescuemen total and they go through much of the same grueling training as other special ops individuals.

What creates the biggest conflict between your hero and heroine?
My hero falls in love too easily (he’s been married 3 times!) My heroine lost the love of her life and wants nothing to do with that kind of heartbreak again.

What is your strategy in creating villains?
Ahhhh, villains! I love creating villains with unexpected nuances. Villains should have reasons and motivations, even if they’re twisted. And this villain has definitely twisted by years of abuse as a child… But if I say more, it’ll give away part of the story!

What was the hardest part of this book to write and why?
The heroine works with therapy dogs, trained to help military vets suffering from PTSD. As a military wife, writing about that kind of pain carried by our veterans was especially difficult.

What do you love most about this series?
Writing about smoking hot alpha males in uniform!! (And finding the perfect heroine to conquer each hero’s heart. 😉

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Suzanne Brockmann has – without question – been a generous mentor from the very start of my writing career. She has shared her time, her insights, her readers, her support. She’s a gifted and caring person. I can never thank her enough.

How does your family view your writing career?
My kids and husband are every bit as proud of me as I am of them! (And that’s a lot!) My kids love to embarrass me in book stores by shouting at the top of their lungs, “Oh my God! Is that THE Catherine Mann?!”

What entity do you feel supports you most in your writing career outside of family members?
I have the best critique partner a writer could ever ask for! Harlequin Blaze & Historical author Joanne Rock has been my critique partner since long before either of us made that first sale. Now, Joanne’s written about 50 books and I’ve written over 40, and she still has the most awesome insights to share.

What is your writing routine?

Write until my vision blurs? LOL! Okay, seriously, I set page counts for each week. If I meet my goal by Friday, I get the weekend off. If I don’t, I have to work through the weekend to catch up. This also provides incentive to my family to stay out of my hair during the week if they want to play on the weekend.

What are you reading now?
I just finished J.R. Ward’s ENVY.

What is in your TBR pile?
I just preordered Joanna Bourne’s THE BLACK HAWK. (By the time this interview goes live, I will have read it!)

What is your preferred genre to read for pleasure?
Honestly, I’m a very eclectic reader across genres, although I do have to say I’m happiest when a book has at least some romantic thread.

Do you have a second career? (Yes, motherhood counts!)
My flyboy husband and I have four children, although three have left the nest for college now. And I also serve on the Board of Directors for my local Humane Society.

What did you do before you became a full-time writer?
I have a Master’s degree in Theater and I worked as a theater school director in Charleston, SC.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I’m a big fan of Christopher Vogler’s THE WRITER’S JOURNEY. I use it for plotting – great in helping tie in emotional turning points with plot landmarks.

What would you write if you could do write anything you wanted to write?
I’m absolutely blessed to be writing exactly what I want to write. 🙂

What do you most like about writing? Least like?
I love being able to wear my PJs all day long if I wish. Although sometimes, I miss having people around me. I guess that’s why I spend so much time online!

What would you say is your biggest writing quirk?
I foster puppies and special needs dogs for my local shelter, so it’s not unusual for me to be writing with a pack of 4-6 dogs at my feet.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read. Watch movies with my family. Walk my dogs. I’m a homebody!

What are your current projects?
HOT ZONE, “Elite Force” bk 2, Sourcebooks – out now!
PROTECTOR, “Dark Ops” bk 4, Berkley, March 2012
HONORABLE INTENTIONS, Harlequin Desire, April 2012
UNDER FIRE, “Elite Force” bk 3, Sourcebooks, May 2012
GUARDIAN, “Dark Ops” bk 5, Berkley, September 2012

Do You Have Any Undiscovered Or Hidden Talents?
I worked as a puppeteer to make extra money in graduate school.

Do You Believe That The Cup Is Half Empty Or Half Full?
Overflowing!

Are You An Introvert Or An Extrovert?
I’m a shy extrovert. 🙂

Are You A Window Person Or An Aisle Person?

Aisle!!! I feel too closed in by the window.

Do You Like Short Or Long Hair On A Guy?
Military cut short or completely shaved. Very hot!

Ever Hit A Jackpot On A Slot Machine?
Nope. Not a gambler. Would rather spend my money on a meal out or a new outfit.

Are You Afraid Of Heights?
Not in love with them.

Do you prefer your mattress soft or hard?
Firm!

How many pillows do you like to sleep with?
As many pillows as I can fit on the bed.

Which do you like more—rainy days or snowy days?
Rainy days! I’m only a fan of snow on Christmas Day. The rest of the year, I prefer my warm beach.

What is Your Favorite Beverage?
I’m trying to give up Diet Cokes – not easy! So I guess I would say chocolate tea is my current favorite.

Are You A Heavy Or Light Sleeper?
Used to be a deep sleeper, but after so many years of keeping my ears open for the kids during the night, I’ve become a light sleeper.

Are you a night or a morning person?
Night owl. Totally.

At The Beach Would You Rather Play In The Sand, Or Play In The Water?
Read a book while lounging in a beach chair.

How do you keep in touch with your readers?
I can always be found online:
Website: http://catherinemann.com
Facebook: Catherine Mann (author)
Twitter: CatherineMann1
e-mail: Catherine@CatherineMann.com

USA Today bestseller Catherine Mann has over two million books in print in more than twenty countries. A RITA Award winning author, she writes military suspense for Sourcebooks and Berkley, as well as steamy romances for Harlequin Desire. Catherine resides in Florida with her military flyboy husband and their four children.

What is your favorite aspect of the military romantic suspense genre? 
Comment to enter the giveaway for one of Catherine’s novels or bookmarks up for grabs today!



Trish McCallan Talking Alphas w Excerpt + Giveaway!!

>I met Trish years ago when we critiqued for each other. I’m so very thrilled to have her here today as a guest, talking about her new release, FORGED IN FIRE. Zane is just as yummy as an alpha can get and Trish’s writing is as deep as her characters and as visceral as the twists in her plots.  And, boy, oh boy, do I love what I see she’s done with good ole Zane!!

Leave a comment to be entered for a chance at:
1) An ecopy of FORGED BY FIRE
2) 1 of 5 custom handmade bookmarks
International!

FORGED BY FIRE

Beth Brown doesn’t believe in premonitions until she dreams a sexy stranger is gunned down during the brutal hijacking of a commercial airliner. When events in her dream start coming true, she heads to the flight’s departure gate. To her shock, she recognizes the man she’d watched die the night before.

Lieutenant Commander Zane Winters comes from a bloodline of elite warriors with psychic abilities. When Zane and two of his platoon buddies arrive at Sea-Tac Airport, he has a vision of his teammates’ corpses. Then she arrives—a leggy blonde who sets off a different kind of alarm.

As Beth teams up with Zane, they discover the hijacking is the first step in a secret cartel’s deadly global agenda and that key personnel within the FBI are compromised. To survive the forces mobilizing against them, Beth will need to open herself to a psychic connection with the sexy SEAL who claims to be her soul mate.

The Protector by Trish McCallan

Hands down, my favorite romantic hero is the protector. I like them alpha too, dripping with testosterone. It doesn’t matter what the sub-genre is, as long as the book has a sexy, alpha protector for a hero.

Pretty much every sub-genre has this type of hero, although they are most common in romantic suspense, or romantic thrillers. In this sub-genre the hero is a usually in law enforcement, or perhaps a spy, sometimes a military man. They serve their city, or county or country and protect an unsuspecting and somewhat naïve population from everything from rapists to terrorists. Many of these heroes are gruff, often damaged by what they’ve seen during their forays into the seamier side of life. Or they can be tortured by past horrors, and past betrayals. Almost all of them are highly sexual, as though that alpha protectiveness goes hand in hand with a ramped up sex drive—which is no surprise really, when you consider all that testosterone. *BG*

The protector archetype thrives in romantic suspense and some of my favorite romantic suspense heroes fall within this archetype. Linda Howard excels at writing this kind of a hero. And I count several of her novels among my favorites. To Kill and Tell, Mackenzie’s Pleasure, Dream Man, Burn—these are all on my keeper shelf. And then we have Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooter Series, sexy SEALs out to save the world. Maya Banks’ KGI Series and Stephanie Tyler’s Shadow Force Series both fall within the umbrella as well.

But the protector is just as popular in dark paranormal romance. In JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, the entire reason behind the formation of the brotherhood was to produce a sub-species of vampire warriors capable of protecting their race from an ancient enemy determined to eradicate them. In Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed Series, The Order formed to protect humans and vampires alike against their own kind who had been lost to blood lust. Elisabeth Naughton’s Eternal Guardians straddle and protect two worlds, both of which would face obliteration without them.

It’s no surprise, I suppose, that when I started writing my own heroes fell beneath this umbrella. In previous books my heroes have been homicide detective, but in my new series—The Forged Series—they are Navy SEALs.

Cool, controlled, deadly—the heroes of Forged in Fire are seasoned warriors who face death with without hesitation or blinking an eye. They do it because they are protectors. Each and everyone one of them. They’d give their life to protect this country and the citizens who inhabit it.

So what heroes do you have on your keeper shelf that would fall beneath this umbrella? Enquiring minds want to know, and my TBR shelf is looking for a couple of new series!

I’m including a short excerpt here of my protectors in action. I hope you enjoy!

Excerpt: FORGED IN FIRE

“Let’s hope that woman of yours shows up ASAP. Much more of this drought and you won’t remember what to do with her.” With a flash of white teeth, Rawls reached over to punch Zane’s shoulder.

The moment Rawls’ fist made contact, every muscle in Zane’s body clenched. He froze, his breath locked in his throat. His vision blurred.

Click.

It was a subtle sound. A switch flipping inside his head. An image flashed through his mind. Quick. Brutal. Ugly.

Rawls sprawled across a bank of narrow seats. His blue t-shirt splotched with black. Blood dripping from limp fingers. A fixed stare glazing his blue eyes.

The vision vanished.

“Son of a bitch.” Sheer disgust vibrated in Cosky’s gritty voice. “We’re on stand-down. This is a civilian flight. Regardless of that all-too-familiar look on your face, we cannot be in any goddamn danger.”

But he didn’t dislodge the hand Zane clamped around his bicep.

This time Zane was expecting the vision. He tensed anyway, his body contracting into one giant charley horse.

Click.

He strained to capture as many details as possible as the new vision flashed through his mind.

Gray eyes locked and empty, already filming with the unmistakable haze of death. Black hair saturated with blood. Hands clenched. He was splayed across a narrow aisle, dark blue upholstered seats rising on either side of his head.

When the image vanished, he released Cosky’s arm and wrestled air back into his lungs.

“Tell me this is a joke,” Cosky demanded.

Zane shook his head and gripped the back of his neck with both hands.

“What did you see?” Rawls finally asked.

Zane drew a shallow breath. “You dead. Cosky dead.”

“From boredom?” Cosky asked dryly, one black-as-sin eyebrow arching. “We are going to a wedding.” A quick glance at Zane’s face, and a glint of steel darkened his gray eyes. “Where’s this going down?”

“On the bird.” Zane frowned. “Couldn’t tell whether she was in flight. Didn’t get a good enough look.”

Cosky turned to study the boisterous crowd. “When do you ever?”

“Which bird? Over or back?” Cosky braced his hands on his hips and studied Zane’s face. “Either fits the three-day window for those flashes of yours.”

“Today.” Zane nodded toward Rawls’ blue-clad chest. “Same clothes.”

Cosky grunted. “I don’t suppose you saw who killed us?”

“When have these damn things ever been that accommodating?”

“Fuck.” With a disgusted shake of his head, Cosky dropped his chin and scowled at the worn carpet. “What about the wounds?”

“Lots of blood. Could be a gun. Or a knife.”

“A crash?” Rawls broke in quietly.

“Doubtful. Neither of you were burned. We’re looking at some kind of weapon.”

Cosky frowned. “It would be easier to smuggle a blade through security, but few people are good enough to take us on with a knife. Chances are it’s a gun.”

Zane pushed away from the wall. “Whatever’s going to happen is bad enough to take the three of us out.” The flashes never centered on him, but if Cosky and Rawls were in danger, he was as well. “We need to get hold of Mac.”

As the OIC of SEAL Team 7, Commander Jace Mackenzie had the pull to get the plane grounded and the passengers searched.

“Question.” Cosky’s attention zeroed in on Zane’s face. “What are we going to tell him? We don’t know what’s going to happen, who’s behind it, or what kind of weapons will be used. If Mac gets this bird grounded, only to have nothing show during the search, the backlash is gonna be a bitch.”

“What are you suggesting?” Zane cocked an eyebrow. “That we skip the wedding, keep our mouths shut and let events play out?”

“Don’t be an ass. I’m saying it would be handy to have some solid intel to pass on for a change.”

FORGED BY FIRE is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

What’s your favorite type of hero?
Leave a comment to be entered for a chance at:
1) An ecopy of FORGED BY FIRE
2) 1 of 5 custom handmade bookmarks
International!


>Trish McCallan Talking Alphas w Excerpt + Giveaway!!

>I met Trish years ago when we critiqued for each other. I’m so very thrilled to have her here today as a guest, talking about her new release, FORGED IN FIRE. Zane is just as yummy as an alpha can get and Trish’s writing is as deep as her characters and as visceral as the twists in her plots.  And, boy, oh boy, do I love what I see she’s done with good ole Zane!!

Leave a comment to be entered for a chance at:
1) An ecopy of FORGED BY FIRE
2) 1 of 5 custom handmade bookmarks
International!

FORGED BY FIRE

Beth Brown doesn’t believe in premonitions until she dreams a sexy stranger is gunned down during the brutal hijacking of a commercial airliner. When events in her dream start coming true, she heads to the flight’s departure gate. To her shock, she recognizes the man she’d watched die the night before.

Lieutenant Commander Zane Winters comes from a bloodline of elite warriors with psychic abilities. When Zane and two of his platoon buddies arrive at Sea-Tac Airport, he has a vision of his teammates’ corpses. Then she arrives—a leggy blonde who sets off a different kind of alarm.

As Beth teams up with Zane, they discover the hijacking is the first step in a secret cartel’s deadly global agenda and that key personnel within the FBI are compromised. To survive the forces mobilizing against them, Beth will need to open herself to a psychic connection with the sexy SEAL who claims to be her soul mate.

The Protector by Trish McCallan

Hands down, my favorite romantic hero is the protector. I like them alpha too, dripping with testosterone. It doesn’t matter what the sub-genre is, as long as the book has a sexy, alpha protector for a hero.

Pretty much every sub-genre has this type of hero, although they are most common in romantic suspense, or romantic thrillers. In this sub-genre the hero is a usually in law enforcement, or perhaps a spy, sometimes a military man. They serve their city, or county or country and protect an unsuspecting and somewhat naïve population from everything from rapists to terrorists. Many of these heroes are gruff, often damaged by what they’ve seen during their forays into the seamier side of life. Or they can be tortured by past horrors, and past betrayals. Almost all of them are highly sexual, as though that alpha protectiveness goes hand in hand with a ramped up sex drive—which is no surprise really, when you consider all that testosterone. *BG*

The protector archetype thrives in romantic suspense and some of my favorite romantic suspense heroes fall within this archetype. Linda Howard excels at writing this kind of a hero. And I count several of her novels among my favorites. To Kill and Tell, Mackenzie’s Pleasure, Dream Man, Burn—these are all on my keeper shelf. And then we have Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooter Series, sexy SEALs out to save the world. Maya Banks’ KGI Series and Stephanie Tyler’s Shadow Force Series both fall within the umbrella as well.

But the protector is just as popular in dark paranormal romance. In JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, the entire reason behind the formation of the brotherhood was to produce a sub-species of vampire warriors capable of protecting their race from an ancient enemy determined to eradicate them. In Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed Series, The Order formed to protect humans and vampires alike against their own kind who had been lost to blood lust. Elisabeth Naughton’s Eternal Guardians straddle and protect two worlds, both of which would face obliteration without them.

It’s no surprise, I suppose, that when I started writing my own heroes fell beneath this umbrella. In previous books my heroes have been homicide detective, but in my new series—The Forged Series—they are Navy SEALs.

Cool, controlled, deadly—the heroes of Forged in Fire are seasoned warriors who face death with without hesitation or blinking an eye. They do it because they are protectors. Each and everyone one of them. They’d give their life to protect this country and the citizens who inhabit it.

So what heroes do you have on your keeper shelf that would fall beneath this umbrella? Enquiring minds want to know, and my TBR shelf is looking for a couple of new series!

I’m including a short excerpt here of my protectors in action. I hope you enjoy!

Excerpt: FORGED IN FIRE

“Let’s hope that woman of yours shows up ASAP. Much more of this drought and you won’t remember what to do with her.” With a flash of white teeth, Rawls reached over to punch Zane’s shoulder.

The moment Rawls’ fist made contact, every muscle in Zane’s body clenched. He froze, his breath locked in his throat. His vision blurred.

Click.

It was a subtle sound. A switch flipping inside his head. An image flashed through his mind. Quick. Brutal. Ugly.

Rawls sprawled across a bank of narrow seats. His blue t-shirt splotched with black. Blood dripping from limp fingers. A fixed stare glazing his blue eyes.

The vision vanished.

“Son of a bitch.” Sheer disgust vibrated in Cosky’s gritty voice. “We’re on stand-down. This is a civilian flight. Regardless of that all-too-familiar look on your face, we cannot be in any goddamn danger.”

But he didn’t dislodge the hand Zane clamped around his bicep.

This time Zane was expecting the vision. He tensed anyway, his body contracting into one giant charley horse.

Click.

He strained to capture as many details as possible as the new vision flashed through his mind.

Gray eyes locked and empty, already filming with the unmistakable haze of death. Black hair saturated with blood. Hands clenched. He was splayed across a narrow aisle, dark blue upholstered seats rising on either side of his head.

When the image vanished, he released Cosky’s arm and wrestled air back into his lungs.

“Tell me this is a joke,” Cosky demanded.

Zane shook his head and gripped the back of his neck with both hands.

“What did you see?” Rawls finally asked.

Zane drew a shallow breath. “You dead. Cosky dead.”

“From boredom?” Cosky asked dryly, one black-as-sin eyebrow arching. “We are going to a wedding.” A quick glance at Zane’s face, and a glint of steel darkened his gray eyes. “Where’s this going down?”

“On the bird.” Zane frowned. “Couldn’t tell whether she was in flight. Didn’t get a good enough look.”

Cosky turned to study the boisterous crowd. “When do you ever?”

“Which bird? Over or back?” Cosky braced his hands on his hips and studied Zane’s face. “Either fits the three-day window for those flashes of yours.”

“Today.” Zane nodded toward Rawls’ blue-clad chest. “Same clothes.”

Cosky grunted. “I don’t suppose you saw who killed us?”

“When have these damn things ever been that accommodating?”

“Fuck.” With a disgusted shake of his head, Cosky dropped his chin and scowled at the worn carpet. “What about the wounds?”

“Lots of blood. Could be a gun. Or a knife.”

“A crash?” Rawls broke in quietly.

“Doubtful. Neither of you were burned. We’re looking at some kind of weapon.”

Cosky frowned. “It would be easier to smuggle a blade through security, but few people are good enough to take us on with a knife. Chances are it’s a gun.”

Zane pushed away from the wall. “Whatever’s going to happen is bad enough to take the three of us out.” The flashes never centered on him, but if Cosky and Rawls were in danger, he was as well. “We need to get hold of Mac.”

As the OIC of SEAL Team 7, Commander Jace Mackenzie had the pull to get the plane grounded and the passengers searched.

“Question.” Cosky’s attention zeroed in on Zane’s face. “What are we going to tell him? We don’t know what’s going to happen, who’s behind it, or what kind of weapons will be used. If Mac gets this bird grounded, only to have nothing show during the search, the backlash is gonna be a bitch.”

“What are you suggesting?” Zane cocked an eyebrow. “That we skip the wedding, keep our mouths shut and let events play out?”

“Don’t be an ass. I’m saying it would be handy to have some solid intel to pass on for a change.”

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