romantic suspense

Belated Releases Giveaway!

I have two sweet friends who released books last week–and I completely missed their release days!

Life has gotten away from me, but I don’t want these great books to get away from you! So I’m celebrating these releases with a big giveaway! All you have to do is help us spread the word about these saucy new books and you could win 1 of 10 books or 1 of 5 gift cards!


The first new release I’d like to tell you about is one I’ve read myself. CAN’T GO WITHOUT by Angelisa Stone, is book two in her Oasis Waterfall series. This book is an emotionally riveting read. Angelisa creates characters to die for and a hero to drool over.

 

cgwCAN’T GO WITHOUT
“What’s the one thing you can’t go without?”

Tristan O’Donnell has money, women, and all the luxuries that cold hard cash can buy. Tristan’s been sucking sunshine right from the monogrammed silver spoon his life was served up on since the day he was born. And quite frankly, he wouldn’t want it any other way. He’s his mother’s pride and joy, his father’s right-hand-man, and the envy of every guy around. All Tristan has to do is flash his million dollar smile, give his trademark wink, and he gets what he wants, when he wants, anytime he wants.

Leah Franchetti grinds her fingers to the bone; sculpting, painting, recreating treasures from trash—the very sentiment that defines her life. Her inventive, vindictive, lucrative, and seemingly unforgivable plan allowed her to shortcut her way into the life she always imagined, owning an art gallery, surrounding herself in the comfort of her passion and dreams.

When circumstances force Leah and Tristan to come face-to-face with the past and with Leah’s devious manipulation, truths come flooding forth, destroying those in the present and possibly jeopardizing both of their highly anticipated futures. Can Tristan overcome Leah’s slander and deception—despite how dangerously close he comes to losing the one thing he can’t go without—money? Will Leah be forced to come clean, knowing she’ll have to live her life with the one thing she can’t go without—her dignity?

Pick up CAN’T GO WITHOUT at Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 


 

And the second release is CATCH ‘N’ KISS by Rhian Cahill. Are you game?

CatchNKiss300CATCH ‘N’ KISS

In this game of chase, a kiss isn’t the only reward.

Are You Game? Book 2

Divorced with two teenage daughters, Jody Walsh doesn’t need any more complications in her life, and Dan O’Conner is proving to be a big one. His pursuit may give her bruised ego a much-needed boost, but Jody’s learned to guard her heart and trust is something she isn’t willing to give another man no matter how well he kisses.

One kiss and Dan knows what he wants. He isn’t about to walk away from the kind of chemistry he and Jody have. Unfortunately, the more he chases the more she runs. If only he could get her running in his direction.

When a night of passion doesn’t convince her they’re meant to be, Dan is left with no choice but to prove he’s worth taking a risk on, no matter how much he complicates her life.

Warning: Story contains a woman not willing to put her heart at risk and a man determined to persuade her otherwise—and he’s willing to use his washing machine to show her why he’s worth it.

Pick up CATCH ‘N’ KISS at Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 


 Now…Enter to WIN book 1 in these two series’ or 1 of 5 gift cards! Easy entry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

>Celebrating My CP’s First Indie!!

>I’m thrilled to announce my critique partner, Elisabeth Naughton (best CP in the world, btw) has released her very first Indie novel! 

Eli is an expert at crafting real characters you can’t get enough of,  creating heart-wrenching conflict and raising the stakes at every turn.  Her heroines are strong, her heroes are hot and her stories are filled with angsty, sexy twists and turns.

WAIT FOR ME is her very first Indie release, a contemporary romance with so much depth and even a little suspense thread.  An awesome read!

I’m celebrating the release and the holidays by giving away *5* copies of WAIT FOR ME!!

All you have to do is help us spread the word of Elisabeth’s new release.  Each shout is one entry, so the more you shout, the more chances you have to win!

A woman without a past…

After a tragic accident left her with no memory, Kate Alexander struggled to fit in with a husband and world that didn’t feel right. She’s had no reason to question what friends and family have told her, not until her husband is suddenly killed and she finds a photo of a young girl in his office. A girl who can’t be anyone but a daughter Kate didn’t know she had.

A man desperate for a reason to live…

Ryan Harrison lost his wife in a plane crash five years ago. To cope with the pain of her loss, he dedicated himself to his job and to raising their daughter. Now a successful pharmaceutical executive, Ryan has everything a man could want—money, fame and power—but he’d give it all up in a heartbeat for just one more day with the woman he still loves.

Two lives about to converge.

As Kate begins to dig into a past she doesn’t remember, evidence leads her to San Francisco and puts her on the path toward Ryan, a man who sees in her the woman he loved and lost. Kate feels a draw to Ryan, one she can’t explain, but is that feeling enough to convince her this is where she’s supposed to be? As Ryan and Kate search for answers, they uncover lies long buried, a passion hotter than either expected and a danger that threatens…even now…when the second chance they’ve both been searching for is finally within reach.

You WANT this read!!  Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Celebrating My CP’s First Indie!!

I’m thrilled to announce my critique partner, Elisabeth Naughton (best CP in the world, btw) has released her very first Indie novel! 

Eli is an expert at crafting real characters you can’t get enough of,  creating heart-wrenching conflict and raising the stakes at every turn.  Her heroines are strong, her heroes are hot and her stories are filled with angsty, sexy twists and turns.

WAIT FOR ME is her very first Indie release, a contemporary romance with so much depth and even a little suspense thread.  An awesome read!

I’m celebrating the release and the holidays by giving away *5* copies of WAIT FOR ME!!

All you have to do is help us spread the word of Elisabeth’s new release.  Each shout is one entry, so the more you shout, the more chances you have to win!

A woman without a past…

After a tragic accident left her with no memory, Kate Alexander struggled to fit in with a husband and world that didn’t feel right. She’s had no reason to question what friends and family have told her, not until her husband is suddenly killed and she finds a photo of a young girl in his office. A girl who can’t be anyone but a daughter Kate didn’t know she had.

A man desperate for a reason to live…

Ryan Harrison lost his wife in a plane crash five years ago. To cope with the pain of her loss, he dedicated himself to his job and to raising their daughter. Now a successful pharmaceutical executive, Ryan has everything a man could want—money, fame and power—but he’d give it all up in a heartbeat for just one more day with the woman he still loves.

Two lives about to converge.

As Kate begins to dig into a past she doesn’t remember, evidence leads her to San Francisco and puts her on the path toward Ryan, a man who sees in her the woman he loved and lost. Kate feels a draw to Ryan, one she can’t explain, but is that feeling enough to convince her this is where she’s supposed to be? As Ryan and Kate search for answers, they uncover lies long buried, a passion hotter than either expected and a danger that threatens…even now…when the second chance they’ve both been searching for is finally within reach.

You WANT this read!!  Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

>Joyce Lamb Talks About TRUE SHOT on Release Day!! Whoo-hoo!!

>First off — SPANKALICIOUS release day Joyce!! True Shot releases today from Berkeley Sensation! Head out and get your copy today!! (Buy links below book description.)

Joyce and I met through common author friends and I’ve always enjoyed Joyce’s bubbling spirit, positive personality and amazing drive! She’s the Energizer Bunny on steroids!

(Yes, that is green you see glowing in my eyes. What? Didn’t I mention I demon-shift when I’m jealous? That is Elisabeth’s fault…but we’re not going there. This is JOYCE’s day!)

Joyce is giving away a copy of TRUE SHOT, TRUE COLORS, TRUE VISION
 and five custom handmade bookmarks
today, so comment to win!
TRUE SHOT

Special FBI operative Samantha Trudeau’s unique psychic abilities help her catch the most elusive criminals. They also put her in the path of a sadistic adversary when she discovers she’s actually working for a rogue cell-and into the confidence of a handsome journalist with his own potentially dangerous secrets.

Buy this at:
Barnes & Noble || Amazon

Joyce, how do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

Hi, Joan! Thanks a bunch for having me today!

As for how I develop my plots and characters: I pretty much start with a “what if?” question (every writer’s favorite question!). What if a female government spy and a sweet but hunky civilian ended up on the run together? What if the spy somehow lost her memory and it was up to the untrained civilian to get her to safety while holding off some unrelenting bad guys? Then I build from there.

The characters most often come from the plot — how would a certain kind of character respond in my “what if?” scenario. Of course, once I start writing, the characters become fully formed and start messing with all my plans. Grrr. While that can be frustrating, it’s mostly just really cool, because that means the characters are three-dimensional enough to exert their influence on the story. And, oh my, does that sound completely crazy?

How would you best describe your books?

My books would make really fun action adventure movies. I love action adventure movies, but most of the time I end up disappointed in the lack of character development and relationship-building. That’s what’s awesome about writing novels — the medium gives a writer the time and space to fully develop a meaningful relationship between the characters — and with the reader. True Shot in particular could become the coolest television show, because there’s a ton of potential for episodic stories, sort of like Alias (secret government spies) crossed with The Dead Zone (psychic who experiences other people’s memories).

What would you write if you could write anything you wanted to write?

I would write exactly what I’m writing. I love romantic suspense, and adding the paranormal psychic angle opened up a new world where I make the rules — or subvert them if I want to. Though I will admit that it’s crossed my mind that I would love to write for television. In fact, if I got to choose, I’d love to write for The Good Wife. Such a great show!

What do you most like about writing? Least like?

What I most like is the therapy. Go ahead and laugh. But, seriously, if I didn’t write stories where the bad guy gets what’s coming to him and the good guys win and the important people live happily ever after, I’d be spending a boatload of cash on therapy. I worked out some major frustration with my “day job” as a journalist through the first True, True Vision. In that, Charlie (the heroine) fights her newspaper’s tendency to look past the misdeeds of a big advertiser in order to protect revenue. Her actions aren’t without consequences, but the therapeutic part for me is that I got to spout my opinion about the role of newspapers in keeping the Powers That Be honest. Media in general doesn’t do that all that well anymore, and as someone who’s dedicated her life to seeking out the truth … well, it’s frustrating. So that side of Charlie most definitely represents a part of me that has needed to work out some issues.

What I least like about writing: The time I spend holed up by myself, falling behind on what’s going on with my family and friends. Writing is rewarding, but it’s a solitary activity, and since I have a day job, I have to use much of the time I’d have for a social life glued to my laptop.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

Just this past weekend, I did a booksigning with Nora Roberts. It was awesome! Not just because I was sitting a few feet away from Nora Roberts, though that was pretty cool, but because I also was in the midst of a couple of hundred devoted romance novel fans. It was truly inspiring seeing their enthusiasm for Nora and her books. And, heck, when it turned out a couple of them were there to see me, well, that was amazing.

Which is your favorite of the books you have written?

Most definitely True Shot. It’s fast-paced, has lots of action and the hero, Mac, is to die for. I flipped the hero and heroine in this one, so the hero (Mac) is the somewhat naïve civilian and the heroine (Sam) is the kick-butt government spy. But even though she’s endlessly competent and can handle a gun, she still ends up needing him to help her. I love it when super-strong characters have to admit they need assistance — and I love it in True Shot when mostly passive Mac gets majorly alpha when Sam is threatened.

What would you say is your biggest writing quirk?

My biggest quirk is probably … in order to write the super hot love scenes that I write, I sometimes need a glass of wine first. I definitely need to get loosened up before I can get down and … dirty.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Sleep. : ) I’m also hopelessly devoted to my TV. I’m constantly on the lookout for a show that surprises me, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer did back when it was on. Right now, I think that show is Revenge. The multilayered characters and twisty-turny plot keep me guessing — which is tough to do to a writer. I’m the one who leans over in the movie theater and tells the friend next to me what’s going to happen next. That usually earns me a punch in the arm, but I just can’t help myself. I see stuff coming! But TV shows that keep me guessing rock my world: Right now, those would be The Good Wife, Justified, Haven and The Closer. I haven’t checked out Once Upon a Time yet, but I’ve heard good things about it.

What are your current projects?

One of my current projects is True Shot, which comes out today. It’s the third in my True trilogy (True-logy!) about three sisters with unique psychic abilities. True Shot is Sam’s story, who ran away from home at 18 and got into some La Femme Nikita-like trouble that landed her in a secret government agency as a psychic spy. She’s always wanted to go home, to go back to her family, but she can’t without endangering the people she loves. When she learns the government agency she works for has gone rogue, she flees. Enter Mac, a journalist on vacation trying to get his head together after some bad stuff happened to him. He runs into Sam when she’s at her most vulnerable and in desperate need of help. Being the good guy he is, he goes above and beyond to help her out, which just leads to more trouble for them both.

I love these two together — Mac is funny and sarcastic, while Sam is deadly serious. Even when the stakes are at their highest, Mac is dealing with the situation with humor — because that’s the only weapon he knows how to use. Mac and Sam are the perfect foils for each other.

My other current baby isn’t actually a book. It’s my romance novels blog at USA Today, Happy Ever After. HEA launched in October and has been a total blast. HEA is all about celebrating romance novels, the readers who read them and the writers who write them. I’m lucky enough to be in the unique position of working for a major media outlet and also being a romance novelist. I wanted to somehow blend my two professions, so when I got the idea for a blog about romance novels, I took it to the Powers That Be, and HEA was born (thank you, PTBs!). I love, love, LOVE being able to give positive, smart attention to romance novels, readers and writers. Few media types really understand what we do and why we love reading/writing romance. I get it because I’m a part of it — which means the major media coverage that the romance industry gets through HEA is from an insider point of view, someone who gets it and who doesn’t look down on it as hokum (love that word!). I hope you’ll get a chance to stop by HEA and check it out! We’re at happyeverafter.usatoday.com. And, hey, maybe you’ll want to follow HEA on Twitter: @HEAusatoday.

Where can we find you online?

You can find info about my books and me at JoyceWrites.com. I certainly wouldn’t be offended if you wanted to “like” me on Facebook, at facebook.com/authorjoycelamb. And you can follow me on Twitter: @JoyceLamb.

Thanks so much for having me, Joan! And I can’t WAIT for Fever to come out!


Joyce is giving away a copy of TRUE SHOT, TRUE COLORS, TRUE VISION
and five custom handmade bookmarks
today!

 

Tell us, is there a TV show that constantly surprises you?
Give your opinion to enter the giveaway + lots of other options below!

The day Joyce sold her first novel, Relative Strangers (now available as a 99-cent e-book), she almost hung up on her agent’s assistant, thinking she was a telemarketer. See, she’d given up on getting published and had decided to learn how to play the piano. Apparently, the universe was not impressed by her (in)ability to tickle the ivories.

Her second novel, Caught in the Act (now available as a 99-cent e-book), was a 2004 RITA finalist in the romantic suspense category. Nora Roberts won that year. It was truly an honor just to be nominated!

True Vision, the first in her True trilogy, won a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in single title romantic suspense from the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA. True Vision was also awarded the HOLT Medallion for Best Book by a Virginia Author from the Virginia Romance Writers.

Besides writing, she loves to play tennis and board games and hang out with friends. Her guilty pleasures include The Real Housewives of New York, Project Runway and So You Think You Can Dance. She doesn’t have time to be ashamed.



Joyce Lamb Talks About TRUE SHOT on Release Day!! Whoo-hoo!!

>First off — SPANKALICIOUS release day Joyce!! True Shot releases today from Berkeley Sensation! Head out and get your copy today!! (Buy links below book description.)

Joyce and I met through common author friends and I’ve always enjoyed Joyce’s bubbling spirit, positive personality and amazing drive! She’s the Energizer Bunny on steroids!

(Yes, that is green you see glowing in my eyes. What? Didn’t I mention I demon-shift when I’m jealous? That is Elisabeth’s fault…but we’re not going there. This is JOYCE’s day!)

Joyce is giving away a copy of TRUE SHOT, TRUE COLORS, TRUE VISION
 and five custom handmade bookmarks
today, so comment to win!
TRUE SHOT

Special FBI operative Samantha Trudeau’s unique psychic abilities help her catch the most elusive criminals. They also put her in the path of a sadistic adversary when she discovers she’s actually working for a rogue cell-and into the confidence of a handsome journalist with his own potentially dangerous secrets.

Buy this at:
Barnes & Noble || Amazon

Joyce, how do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

Hi, Joan! Thanks a bunch for having me today!

As for how I develop my plots and characters: I pretty much start with a “what if?” question (every writer’s favorite question!). What if a female government spy and a sweet but hunky civilian ended up on the run together? What if the spy somehow lost her memory and it was up to the untrained civilian to get her to safety while holding off some unrelenting bad guys? Then I build from there.

The characters most often come from the plot — how would a certain kind of character respond in my “what if?” scenario. Of course, once I start writing, the characters become fully formed and start messing with all my plans. Grrr. While that can be frustrating, it’s mostly just really cool, because that means the characters are three-dimensional enough to exert their influence on the story. And, oh my, does that sound completely crazy?

How would you best describe your books?

My books would make really fun action adventure movies. I love action adventure movies, but most of the time I end up disappointed in the lack of character development and relationship-building. That’s what’s awesome about writing novels — the medium gives a writer the time and space to fully develop a meaningful relationship between the characters — and with the reader. True Shot in particular could become the coolest television show, because there’s a ton of potential for episodic stories, sort of like Alias (secret government spies) crossed with The Dead Zone (psychic who experiences other people’s memories).

What would you write if you could write anything you wanted to write?

I would write exactly what I’m writing. I love romantic suspense, and adding the paranormal psychic angle opened up a new world where I make the rules — or subvert them if I want to. Though I will admit that it’s crossed my mind that I would love to write for television. In fact, if I got to choose, I’d love to write for The Good Wife. Such a great show!

What do you most like about writing? Least like?

What I most like is the therapy. Go ahead and laugh. But, seriously, if I didn’t write stories where the bad guy gets what’s coming to him and the good guys win and the important people live happily ever after, I’d be spending a boatload of cash on therapy. I worked out some major frustration with my “day job” as a journalist through the first True, True Vision. In that, Charlie (the heroine) fights her newspaper’s tendency to look past the misdeeds of a big advertiser in order to protect revenue. Her actions aren’t without consequences, but the therapeutic part for me is that I got to spout my opinion about the role of newspapers in keeping the Powers That Be honest. Media in general doesn’t do that all that well anymore, and as someone who’s dedicated her life to seeking out the truth … well, it’s frustrating. So that side of Charlie most definitely represents a part of me that has needed to work out some issues.

What I least like about writing: The time I spend holed up by myself, falling behind on what’s going on with my family and friends. Writing is rewarding, but it’s a solitary activity, and since I have a day job, I have to use much of the time I’d have for a social life glued to my laptop.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

Just this past weekend, I did a booksigning with Nora Roberts. It was awesome! Not just because I was sitting a few feet away from Nora Roberts, though that was pretty cool, but because I also was in the midst of a couple of hundred devoted romance novel fans. It was truly inspiring seeing their enthusiasm for Nora and her books. And, heck, when it turned out a couple of them were there to see me, well, that was amazing.

Which is your favorite of the books you have written?

Most definitely True Shot. It’s fast-paced, has lots of action and the hero, Mac, is to die for. I flipped the hero and heroine in this one, so the hero (Mac) is the somewhat naïve civilian and the heroine (Sam) is the kick-butt government spy. But even though she’s endlessly competent and can handle a gun, she still ends up needing him to help her. I love it when super-strong characters have to admit they need assistance — and I love it in True Shot when mostly passive Mac gets majorly alpha when Sam is threatened.

What would you say is your biggest writing quirk?

My biggest quirk is probably … in order to write the super hot love scenes that I write, I sometimes need a glass of wine first. I definitely need to get loosened up before I can get down and … dirty.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Sleep. : ) I’m also hopelessly devoted to my TV. I’m constantly on the lookout for a show that surprises me, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer did back when it was on. Right now, I think that show is Revenge. The multilayered characters and twisty-turny plot keep me guessing — which is tough to do to a writer. I’m the one who leans over in the movie theater and tells the friend next to me what’s going to happen next. That usually earns me a punch in the arm, but I just can’t help myself. I see stuff coming! But TV shows that keep me guessing rock my world: Right now, those would be The Good Wife, Justified, Haven and The Closer. I haven’t checked out Once Upon a Time yet, but I’ve heard good things about it.

What are your current projects?

One of my current projects is True Shot, which comes out today. It’s the third in my True trilogy (True-logy!) about three sisters with unique psychic abilities. True Shot is Sam’s story, who ran away from home at 18 and got into some La Femme Nikita-like trouble that landed her in a secret government agency as a psychic spy. She’s always wanted to go home, to go back to her family, but she can’t without endangering the people she loves. When she learns the government agency she works for has gone rogue, she flees. Enter Mac, a journalist on vacation trying to get his head together after some bad stuff happened to him. He runs into Sam when she’s at her most vulnerable and in desperate need of help. Being the good guy he is, he goes above and beyond to help her out, which just leads to more trouble for them both.

I love these two together — Mac is funny and sarcastic, while Sam is deadly serious. Even when the stakes are at their highest, Mac is dealing with the situation with humor — because that’s the only weapon he knows how to use. Mac and Sam are the perfect foils for each other.

My other current baby isn’t actually a book. It’s my romance novels blog at USA Today, Happy Ever After. HEA launched in October and has been a total blast. HEA is all about celebrating romance novels, the readers who read them and the writers who write them. I’m lucky enough to be in the unique position of working for a major media outlet and also being a romance novelist. I wanted to somehow blend my two professions, so when I got the idea for a blog about romance novels, I took it to the Powers That Be, and HEA was born (thank you, PTBs!). I love, love, LOVE being able to give positive, smart attention to romance novels, readers and writers. Few media types really understand what we do and why we love reading/writing romance. I get it because I’m a part of it — which means the major media coverage that the romance industry gets through HEA is from an insider point of view, someone who gets it and who doesn’t look down on it as hokum (love that word!). I hope you’ll get a chance to stop by HEA and check it out! We’re at happyeverafter.usatoday.com. And, hey, maybe you’ll want to follow HEA on Twitter: @HEAusatoday.

Where can we find you online?

You can find info about my books and me at JoyceWrites.com. I certainly wouldn’t be offended if you wanted to “like” me on Facebook, at facebook.com/authorjoycelamb. And you can follow me on Twitter: @JoyceLamb.

Thanks so much for having me, Joan! And I can’t WAIT for Fever to come out!


Joyce is giving away a copy of TRUE SHOT, TRUE COLORS, TRUE VISION
and five custom handmade bookmarks
today!

 

Tell us, is there a TV show that constantly surprises you?
Give your opinion to enter the giveaway + lots of other options below!

The day Joyce sold her first novel, Relative Strangers (now available as a 99-cent e-book), she almost hung up on her agent’s assistant, thinking she was a telemarketer. See, she’d given up on getting published and had decided to learn how to play the piano. Apparently, the universe was not impressed by her (in)ability to tickle the ivories.

Her second novel, Caught in the Act (now available as a 99-cent e-book), was a 2004 RITA finalist in the romantic suspense category. Nora Roberts won that year. It was truly an honor just to be nominated!

True Vision, the first in her True trilogy, won a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in single title romantic suspense from the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA. True Vision was also awarded the HOLT Medallion for Best Book by a Virginia Author from the Virginia Romance Writers.

Besides writing, she loves to play tennis and board games and hang out with friends. Her guilty pleasures include The Real Housewives of New York, Project Runway and So You Think You Can Dance. She doesn’t have time to be ashamed.



For the love of Xanax…FEVER excerpt

>In discussing stress yesterday on Twitter, I promised a friend this fun passage from FEVER…for Xanax lovers everywhere…

Setting: An all-hell-breaks-loose kinda thing; gunfight in house that catches fire… (I mean, why just send in a man with a gun when you can set the house on fire too?)

Alyssa: heroine, Teague: hero, Mitch: Alyssa’s brother, Luke: Teague’s former best friend/antagonist-turned-ally, Vasser and Burton: Villains.

       Luke grabbed her arms and pushed her back. “I said get out of here.”

         Then he turned and disappeared into the smoke and flames.

         The first hint of sirens perked Alyssa’s ears. She turned toward the sound with a new fear filling her heart. Firefighters were coming. Cops wouldn’t be far behind.

         “Teague!” she called into the house. “Mitch! Luke!”

         Grunts sounded in the murky din, amongst the angry roar of fire and pop and crack of old wood. Something flew past the door where Alyssa stood, and she jumped. It hit a wall, bounced off, darted across the floor and stopped at her feet. A gun.

         She reached for it. Teague appeared, skidding across the floor. He grabbed the weapon and looked up at her. “Get out of here, goddammit! Don’t you ever listen?”

         Vasser walked out of the mist, gun pointed down at Teague’s chest, blood dripping from his forehead. “Didn’t I ask you that once, you stupid sonofabitch?”

         Teague tilted his chin to his chest, lifted his foot and kicked at Vasser. The other man dodged, but not completely and went down with a scream.

         Teague disappeared once again into the swampy darkness.

         “No, Teague! Cops are coming.” Alyssa peered through the smoke and stepped further into the house with the tail of her shirt pulled up over her mouth. “Luke!” Smoke invaded her eyes like thousands of tiny needles. Tears poured down her cheeks as she pushed further into the gloom. “Mitch!”

         Scuffling sounds came from somewhere to her left. She started that direction, but Teague caught her arm from behind. “You’re not going in there.”

         She yanked her arm from his grip and turned on him. “Stop pulling at me and help me get them out.”

         Someone rammed into her and she pitched sideways, her breath locked in her chest. Teague caught her as the other person hit the floor. Mitch. Alyssa registered the blood covering his face in the second before Burton pointed a gun at Mitch’s chest.

         “No!” Alyssa heard her voice, but didn’t register the sensations of speaking.

         Everything beyond that whirled into a successive blur of motion. Teague struck out. The gun flew from Burton’s hand. A scavenge then a struggle for the weapon. A shot.

         Alyssa screamed—a rip in her throat and a stab in her heart.

         Burton collapsed on top of Mitch.

         “Mitch!” She kept screaming his name, coughing, wheezing, screaming. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think. Couldn’t live without him. “Mitch!”

         “Goddamned fucking fat bastard.” Mitch pushed Burton off him and hefted him to the side using his whole body.

         A shaking whoosh of air left Alyssa’s chest. She swallowed back the urge to throw up in relief. “Oh, my God.”

         Mitch slowly got to his feet, rested his elbows on his knees and met Alyssa’s eyes. “I’m fine, Lys.”

         “Fine?” she wheezed. If this was an anxiety attack felt like, she was going to be far more liberal handing out Xanax prescriptions in the future. “I almost watch you get killed and that’s all you have to say to me? I’m fine?”

>For the love of Xanax…FEVER excerpt

>In discussing stress yesterday on Twitter, I promised a friend this fun passage from FEVER…for Xanax lovers everywhere…

Setting: An all-hell-breaks-loose kinda thing; gunfight in house that catches fire… (I mean, why just send in a man with a gun when you can set the house on fire too?)

Alyssa: heroine, Teague: hero, Mitch: Alyssa’s brother, Luke: Teague’s former best friend/antagonist-turned-ally, Vasser and Burton: Villains.

       Luke grabbed her arms and pushed her back. “I said get out of here.”

         Then he turned and disappeared into the smoke and flames.

         The first hint of sirens perked Alyssa’s ears. She turned toward the sound with a new fear filling her heart. Firefighters were coming. Cops wouldn’t be far behind.

         “Teague!” she called into the house. “Mitch! Luke!”

         Grunts sounded in the murky din, amongst the angry roar of fire and pop and crack of old wood. Something flew past the door where Alyssa stood, and she jumped. It hit a wall, bounced off, darted across the floor and stopped at her feet. A gun.

         She reached for it. Teague appeared, skidding across the floor. He grabbed the weapon and looked up at her. “Get out of here, goddammit! Don’t you ever listen?”

         Vasser walked out of the mist, gun pointed down at Teague’s chest, blood dripping from his forehead. “Didn’t I ask you that once, you stupid sonofabitch?”

         Teague tilted his chin to his chest, lifted his foot and kicked at Vasser. The other man dodged, but not completely and went down with a scream.

         Teague disappeared once again into the swampy darkness.

         “No, Teague! Cops are coming.” Alyssa peered through the smoke and stepped further into the house with the tail of her shirt pulled up over her mouth. “Luke!” Smoke invaded her eyes like thousands of tiny needles. Tears poured down her cheeks as she pushed further into the gloom. “Mitch!”

         Scuffling sounds came from somewhere to her left. She started that direction, but Teague caught her arm from behind. “You’re not going in there.”

         She yanked her arm from his grip and turned on him. “Stop pulling at me and help me get them out.”

         Someone rammed into her and she pitched sideways, her breath locked in her chest. Teague caught her as the other person hit the floor. Mitch. Alyssa registered the blood covering his face in the second before Burton pointed a gun at Mitch’s chest.

         “No!” Alyssa heard her voice, but didn’t register the sensations of speaking.

         Everything beyond that whirled into a successive blur of motion. Teague struck out. The gun flew from Burton’s hand. A scavenge then a struggle for the weapon. A shot.

         Alyssa screamed—a rip in her throat and a stab in her heart.

         Burton collapsed on top of Mitch.

         “Mitch!” She kept screaming his name, coughing, wheezing, screaming. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think. Couldn’t live without him. “Mitch!”

         “Goddamned fucking fat bastard.” Mitch pushed Burton off him and hefted him to the side using his whole body.

         A shaking whoosh of air left Alyssa’s chest. She swallowed back the urge to throw up in relief. “Oh, my God.”

         Mitch slowly got to his feet, rested his elbows on his knees and met Alyssa’s eyes. “I’m fine, Lys.”

         “Fine?” she wheezed. If this was an anxiety attack felt like, she was going to be far more liberal handing out Xanax prescriptions in the future. “I almost watch you get killed and that’s all you have to say to me? I’m fine?”

New FEVER Excerpt

>

When Dr. Alyssa Foster is taken hostage by a prison inmate, she knows she’s in deep trouble. Not just because Teague Creek is desperate for freedom, but because the moment his fingers brush against her skin, Alyssa feels a razor-sharp pang of need…

A man with a life sentence has nothing to lose. At least Teague doesn’t, until his escape plan developes a fatal flaw: alyssa. On the run from both the law and deadly undercover operatives, he can only give her lies, but every heated kiss tells him the fire between them could be just as devastating as the flames that changed him forever…

A fun little excerpt from FEVER.

Setup: My hero, Teague Creek, has escaped prison with accomplice, Taz, a white supremacist, and taken my heroine, Alyssa Foster, hostage.  Alyssa has been terrorized by the ordeal and recently smacked across the face by Taz.  They are now driving along their escape route after narrowly missing being captured at a roadblock.  Alyssa has seen hints of Teague’s abnormal body heat, benefited from but disbelieves his healing abilities and senses a strange attraction to him.

Excerpt:  Alyssa rested her head against the car window, questions swirling in her brain like a dirt devil. Was she having some kind of chemical reaction to the metal? An allergy she hadn’t known of before? Sensitivity to a new cosmetic or medical supply?

Even with the cool glass pressed against her cheek, her face still felt like it was going to split. Although, she had to admit, the pain had ratcheted down after Creek had touched her, which was another oddity logic couldn’t explain. Along with the way her libido skyrocketed in reverse proportion to her pain.

This whole situation was beyond bizarre. She was caught somewhere between scared-out-of-her-mind and freaking-ready-to-jump-him every time he touched her.

Snapped. She’d finally snapped. Just like her mother and brothers said she would if she didn’t slow down. Didn’t ease up. Didn’t stop working and start living. What they’d never understood was that her work was her life. Only, maybe that’s where she’d gone wrong, because look where that had gotten her.

By the dashboard clock, they’d been driving an hour and a half. With every minute closer to nightfall, Alyssa’s anxiety amped. Her fatigue also dragged at her, not to mention the grind of her stomach reminding her she hadn’t eaten in nearly twenty hours. And the way her mind pinged around beneath her skull didn’t help with the developing stress headache.

Where were they going? Why did they keep her? What were they going to do to her? She found herself wondering about death, what it would be like to get to that final moment. Those lead to thoughts of her patients, ones she’d lost, ones she’d saved, which then lead back to her work and her future. And the circle started all over again.

Taz had mellowed with time and blaring classic rock. He sang along with an endless lung capacity, his chorus almost more painful than her throbbing face, aching wrists or morbid thoughts.

“Take me down to the Paradise City where the grass is green and the girls are pretty,” Taz belted, completely off key. “Oh, won’t you please take me hooowooome…”

Creek hadn’t looked at her for over an hour. At least not directly at her. He sat as far on the other side of the bench seat as he could get without climbing out of the car. Every time she moved so much as her little finger, he cast a surreptitious side-glance at her. Since the incident with the roadblock, he’d dropped the whole idea of her changing clothes, which was good. She was not getting naked, or even close to it, in this car with these guys. For any reason. Ever. Period.

Despite the sheer noise level and her mounting anxiety, Alyssa had to force her eyes to stay open, her mind to catalogue landmarks. She needed a plan. Several plans. One for every situation that held the possibility of escape. But right now her brain felt as numb as her butt and if she didn’t get blood flowing, she’d definitely pass out—Guns and Roses at a hundred and thirty decibels, or not.

Alyssa straightened away from the window. That one movement gave her Creek’s complete attention. He stiffened and twisted toward her, fingers curled into his hands, resting on his thighs. And she had to admit, he looked more human in street clothes. A lot more like one of those intriguing bad-boys. But she’d already seen the tattoos. She knew where he’d come from. He was not the typical good-looking, rough-around-the-edges man she liked. He had hurt her. Would hurt her again if he deemed necessary. Had told her so himself. Yet…something about him suggested that wasn’t entirely true. Maybe his attempts to ease her pain. Maybe his efforts to shield her from Taz. Of course, maybe it was just her own warped psyche bending reality.

She lifted her cuffed hands and gingerly peeled the tape off her lips, grimacing as it pulled at the tender skin. Creek made no move to stop her, only watched with a guarded expression.

She looked directly at him, meeting those very light, intense blue eyes. “I’m car sick, I’m hungry and I have to pee.”

One brow lifted. His mouth quirked. “You’re sick and hungry?”

With that one look, Creek turned into a regular guy off the street. Only he was a guy who would stop traffic. A guy who would warrant double-takes. A guy she would have tripped over herself to meet under normal circumstances. She had to glance down at her cuffed hands to get her head on straight. In less than a second the anger and fear swung back around full force.

“I always get sick in the back seat of a car,” she lied, “and I haven’t eaten since midnight. But more important, my bladder is going to burst if we don’t stop for a bathroom.”

Creek heaved a sigh and rubbed his eyes. “Stop somewhere, Taz. A quiet gas station with a bathroom in the back would be good.”

“Screw that,” Taz said. “Why should we give a shit about what she needs?”

“Because it was your decision to kidnap me, and it was your decision to keep me.” She’d had enough. The tension, the bizarre emotions, the uncertainty had turned her into someone who said and did irrational, extreme, uncontrollable things. Someone she didn’t care to recognize. “Now you have to deal with the consequences. As opposed to you, I’m human. I have human bodily needs. If you don’t address them, we’ll all be very uncomfortable, very soon.”

“Put the tape back on that big mouth of hers, Creek, or I’ll stuff it with something that’s sure to shut her up.”

Alyssa’s back went up. Her mouth opened to spew something fierce and foolish, she was sure. But someone touched her first. She jumped and turned toward Creek. His big, warm hand closed over her forearm with just enough force to send a message. The same message he delivered with that potent stare: don’t antagonize him.

He didn’t look away from Alyssa as he talked to Taz. “You find me a private bathroom, and I’ll make sure I tire her out good.”

Alyssa jerked her arm back. Why she’d thought for a flicker of an instant they were on the same side she didn’t know, but his nasty retort put everything in perspective. When would she learn men were all the same? Crude. Selfish. Controlling. Competitive. Self-serving.

And these men were the worst of the worst.

“What’s wrong with what you got, Creek? If I’d known you were gonna waste all this time, I’d have made you drive. I know just how to fill a couple hours with a dink like that.”

Alyssa’s throat convulsed. The thought of rape pushed at the edges of her mind, but she shoved it right back out. Someone would die first. And it wouldn’t be her. She’d already catalogued every possible way she could use her own body to end another’s life, because her body was her only weapon.

“Just take the first exit with a gas station once you hit highway five,” Creek said. “Pick the lousiest dive you can find.”

“This is a shit hole, man, everything is a dive. Nothing but niggers and spics live here.”

“Just find something and stop.”

They slowed and traveled down the ramp. Taz hummed with anticipated trouble. “I don’t like it.”

Alyssa shifted in her seat. She did have to pee—bad—but, more, she needed to develop a plan for when they stopped. “How long?”

“Couple minutes.” Creek surveyed her, mouth turned down in disapproval. “Take off your shirt.”

She scrunched one side of her face in contempt. “No.”

“The blue thing has the hospital logo on it.” He gestured at her with one careless hand. “Everyone’s going to be looking for you in those…”

“Scrubs,” she finished for him. “And, let me rephrase so you understand—hell no.”

He met her eyes with determination and a set jaw. “Take it off, or I’ll take it off for you.”

“Aw, yeah,” Taz piped up. “Now we’re gettin’ some action.”

Alyssa had to press her mouth tight to keep from telling the idiot to shut up. When she made no move toward taking her shirt off, Creek slid over the vinyl bench and snagged the hem that had come untucked hours ago.

Alyssa leaned away, her cuffed hands pushing at his. A sweep of panic heated her chest. “No. Don’t. Leave me alone.”

Taz laughed and chanted “go-go-go”.

Creek grabbed the back of her shirt and pulled it up and over her head. Then yanked the fabric down her forearms to rest in a bundle where her hands came together in the cuffs. The cool air prickled her skin beneath the white tank top remaining. She curled in on herself to keep the exposure to a minimum. That’s when she noticed the hole in her scrubs, irregular brown marks along the edge. She wasn’t imagining things. He had burned her.

Taz kept glancing in the rear view mirror, and hit a curb as he pulled alongside a closed gas station-slash-mini mart, where painted blue circles delineated men’s and women’s restrooms. He shoved the car into park, twisted and laid one arm over the seat.

“Look what the skinny bitch was hiding under those baggy clothes.” Taz’s excited, bright eyes raked over Alyssa and fastened on her breasts as if he could see through her clothes. “Thought I felt a melon in there. Keep going, Creek. I wanna see that rack.”

Stomach in her throat, Alyssa scanned the area, searching for an escape route. For someone who could help her. But the gas station wasn’t closed as she’d first thought. It was abandoned. Tendrils of panic coiled around her lungs.

Creek put one big fist over the cloth around the chain between her hands, shoved the door open and dragged her across the seat. Would he beat her? Burn her? Kill her? She forced her mind back to the vulnerable areas of the body she would target: a fist to the temple, flat of the hand to the nose, knuckles to the philtrum, side chop to the adam’s apple—

“Keep watch,” Creek said to Taz as he pulled Alyssa to her feet and grabbed the smaller bag of clothes from the floorboard. “Don’t do anything. No stroll, no smoke. Nothing, got it?”

Taz jerked his chin. “Am I gonna get a piece of her when you’re through?”

“We’ll see.” Creek slammed the door and towed Alyssa toward the bathrooms.

No. She couldn’t go in there with him. She’d be trapped. But running wasn’t much of an option either. The landscape around the deserted gas station was a barren sea of flat dirt and scraggly shrubs. Nobody within screaming distance. No haven within running distance. But the approaching darkness might actually be her friend.

Without any solid plan, Alyssa gathered all her strength, drove down with both hands then jerked upward. To her utter shock, her hands wrenched free of his grip. A second seemed to float, suspended in time, before she could make her feet move.

As the surprise cleared from Creek’s face, he swiped a grab for her hands. Alyssa spun and pushed into a kick start. Gravel slipped beneath her feet. Creek grabbed the back of her tank. Fabric ripped. Bra snapped.  He whipped an arm around her waist. Twisted her body. Slung her over his shoulder. Just that quick, as if he’d done it countless times before.

“Fucking A,” he growled. “You are the biggest pain in the ass.”

“Let me go.” Alyssa beat on his back with the cuff edge, kicked her feet, twisted. Nothing loosened his grip. Nothing broke his stride. And his body heat had ramped up again.

Creek was still muttering as he kicked in the bathroom door. The bang made Alyssa flinch. Taz’s full-bellied laugh followed them until Creek slammed the door shut.

You can preorder your copy of FEVER at the following locations:
Amazon (print & Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (print & Nook)
Booksamillion



>New FEVER Excerpt

>

When Dr. Alyssa Foster is taken hostage by a prison inmate, she knows she’s in deep trouble. Not just because Teague Creek is desperate for freedom, but because the moment his fingers brush against her skin, Alyssa feels a razor-sharp pang of need…

A man with a life sentence has nothing to lose. At least Teague doesn’t, until his escape plan developes a fatal flaw: alyssa. On the run from both the law and deadly undercover operatives, he can only give her lies, but every heated kiss tells him the fire between them could be just as devastating as the flames that changed him forever…

A fun little excerpt from FEVER.

Setup: My hero, Teague Creek, has escaped prison with accomplice, Taz, a white supremacist, and taken my heroine, Alyssa Foster, hostage.  Alyssa has been terrorized by the ordeal and recently smacked across the face by Taz.  They are now driving along their escape route after narrowly missing being captured at a roadblock.  Alyssa has seen hints of Teague’s abnormal body heat, benefited from but disbelieves his healing abilities and senses a strange attraction to him.

Excerpt:  Alyssa rested her head against the car window, questions swirling in her brain like a dirt devil. Was she having some kind of chemical reaction to the metal? An allergy she hadn’t known of before? Sensitivity to a new cosmetic or medical supply?

Even with the cool glass pressed against her cheek, her face still felt like it was going to split. Although, she had to admit, the pain had ratcheted down after Creek had touched her, which was another oddity logic couldn’t explain. Along with the way her libido skyrocketed in reverse proportion to her pain.

This whole situation was beyond bizarre. She was caught somewhere between scared-out-of-her-mind and freaking-ready-to-jump-him every time he touched her.

Snapped. She’d finally snapped. Just like her mother and brothers said she would if she didn’t slow down. Didn’t ease up. Didn’t stop working and start living. What they’d never understood was that her work was her life. Only, maybe that’s where she’d gone wrong, because look where that had gotten her.

By the dashboard clock, they’d been driving an hour and a half. With every minute closer to nightfall, Alyssa’s anxiety amped. Her fatigue also dragged at her, not to mention the grind of her stomach reminding her she hadn’t eaten in nearly twenty hours. And the way her mind pinged around beneath her skull didn’t help with the developing stress headache.

Where were they going? Why did they keep her? What were they going to do to her? She found herself wondering about death, what it would be like to get to that final moment. Those lead to thoughts of her patients, ones she’d lost, ones she’d saved, which then lead back to her work and her future. And the circle started all over again.

Taz had mellowed with time and blaring classic rock. He sang along with an endless lung capacity, his chorus almost more painful than her throbbing face, aching wrists or morbid thoughts.

“Take me down to the Paradise City where the grass is green and the girls are pretty,” Taz belted, completely off key. “Oh, won’t you please take me hooowooome…”

Creek hadn’t looked at her for over an hour. At least not directly at her. He sat as far on the other side of the bench seat as he could get without climbing out of the car. Every time she moved so much as her little finger, he cast a surreptitious side-glance at her. Since the incident with the roadblock, he’d dropped the whole idea of her changing clothes, which was good. She was not getting naked, or even close to it, in this car with these guys. For any reason. Ever. Period.

Despite the sheer noise level and her mounting anxiety, Alyssa had to force her eyes to stay open, her mind to catalogue landmarks. She needed a plan. Several plans. One for every situation that held the possibility of escape. But right now her brain felt as numb as her butt and if she didn’t get blood flowing, she’d definitely pass out—Guns and Roses at a hundred and thirty decibels, or not.

Alyssa straightened away from the window. That one movement gave her Creek’s complete attention. He stiffened and twisted toward her, fingers curled into his hands, resting on his thighs. And she had to admit, he looked more human in street clothes. A lot more like one of those intriguing bad-boys. But she’d already seen the tattoos. She knew where he’d come from. He was not the typical good-looking, rough-around-the-edges man she liked. He had hurt her. Would hurt her again if he deemed necessary. Had told her so himself. Yet…something about him suggested that wasn’t entirely true. Maybe his attempts to ease her pain. Maybe his efforts to shield her from Taz. Of course, maybe it was just her own warped psyche bending reality.

She lifted her cuffed hands and gingerly peeled the tape off her lips, grimacing as it pulled at the tender skin. Creek made no move to stop her, only watched with a guarded expression.

She looked directly at him, meeting those very light, intense blue eyes. “I’m car sick, I’m hungry and I have to pee.”

One brow lifted. His mouth quirked. “You’re sick and hungry?”

With that one look, Creek turned into a regular guy off the street. Only he was a guy who would stop traffic. A guy who would warrant double-takes. A guy she would have tripped over herself to meet under normal circumstances. She had to glance down at her cuffed hands to get her head on straight. In less than a second the anger and fear swung back around full force.

“I always get sick in the back seat of a car,” she lied, “and I haven’t eaten since midnight. But more important, my bladder is going to burst if we don’t stop for a bathroom.”

Creek heaved a sigh and rubbed his eyes. “Stop somewhere, Taz. A quiet gas station with a bathroom in the back would be good.”

“Screw that,” Taz said. “Why should we give a shit about what she needs?”

“Because it was your decision to kidnap me, and it was your decision to keep me.” She’d had enough. The tension, the bizarre emotions, the uncertainty had turned her into someone who said and did irrational, extreme, uncontrollable things. Someone she didn’t care to recognize. “Now you have to deal with the consequences. As opposed to you, I’m human. I have human bodily needs. If you don’t address them, we’ll all be very uncomfortable, very soon.”

“Put the tape back on that big mouth of hers, Creek, or I’ll stuff it with something that’s sure to shut her up.”

Alyssa’s back went up. Her mouth opened to spew something fierce and foolish, she was sure. But someone touched her first. She jumped and turned toward Creek. His big, warm hand closed over her forearm with just enough force to send a message. The same message he delivered with that potent stare: don’t antagonize him.

He didn’t look away from Alyssa as he talked to Taz. “You find me a private bathroom, and I’ll make sure I tire her out good.”

Alyssa jerked her arm back. Why she’d thought for a flicker of an instant they were on the same side she didn’t know, but his nasty retort put everything in perspective. When would she learn men were all the same? Crude. Selfish. Controlling. Competitive. Self-serving.

And these men were the worst of the worst.

“What’s wrong with what you got, Creek? If I’d known you were gonna waste all this time, I’d have made you drive. I know just how to fill a couple hours with a dink like that.”

Alyssa’s throat convulsed. The thought of rape pushed at the edges of her mind, but she shoved it right back out. Someone would die first. And it wouldn’t be her. She’d already catalogued every possible way she could use her own body to end another’s life, because her body was her only weapon.

“Just take the first exit with a gas station once you hit highway five,” Creek said. “Pick the lousiest dive you can find.”

“This is a shit hole, man, everything is a dive. Nothing but niggers and spics live here.”

“Just find something and stop.”

They slowed and traveled down the ramp. Taz hummed with anticipated trouble. “I don’t like it.”

Alyssa shifted in her seat. She did have to pee—bad—but, more, she needed to develop a plan for when they stopped. “How long?”

“Couple minutes.” Creek surveyed her, mouth turned down in disapproval. “Take off your shirt.”

She scrunched one side of her face in contempt. “No.”

“The blue thing has the hospital logo on it.” He gestured at her with one careless hand. “Everyone’s going to be looking for you in those…”

“Scrubs,” she finished for him. “And, let me rephrase so you understand—hell no.”

He met her eyes with determination and a set jaw. “Take it off, or I’ll take it off for you.”

“Aw, yeah,” Taz piped up. “Now we’re gettin’ some action.”

Alyssa had to press her mouth tight to keep from telling the idiot to shut up. When she made no move toward taking her shirt off, Creek slid over the vinyl bench and snagged the hem that had come untucked hours ago.

Alyssa leaned away, her cuffed hands pushing at his. A sweep of panic heated her chest. “No. Don’t. Leave me alone.”

Taz laughed and chanted “go-go-go”.

Creek grabbed the back of her shirt and pulled it up and over her head. Then yanked the fabric down her forearms to rest in a bundle where her hands came together in the cuffs. The cool air prickled her skin beneath the white tank top remaining. She curled in on herself to keep the exposure to a minimum. That’s when she noticed the hole in her scrubs, irregular brown marks along the edge. She wasn’t imagining things. He had burned her.

Taz kept glancing in the rear view mirror, and hit a curb as he pulled alongside a closed gas station-slash-mini mart, where painted blue circles delineated men’s and women’s restrooms. He shoved the car into park, twisted and laid one arm over the seat.

“Look what the skinny bitch was hiding under those baggy clothes.” Taz’s excited, bright eyes raked over Alyssa and fastened on her breasts as if he could see through her clothes. “Thought I felt a melon in there. Keep going, Creek. I wanna see that rack.”

Stomach in her throat, Alyssa scanned the area, searching for an escape route. For someone who could help her. But the gas station wasn’t closed as she’d first thought. It was abandoned. Tendrils of panic coiled around her lungs.

Creek put one big fist over the cloth around the chain between her hands, shoved the door open and dragged her across the seat. Would he beat her? Burn her? Kill her? She forced her mind back to the vulnerable areas of the body she would target: a fist to the temple, flat of the hand to the nose, knuckles to the philtrum, side chop to the adam’s apple—

“Keep watch,” Creek said to Taz as he pulled Alyssa to her feet and grabbed the smaller bag of clothes from the floorboard. “Don’t do anything. No stroll, no smoke. Nothing, got it?”

Taz jerked his chin. “Am I gonna get a piece of her when you’re through?”

“We’ll see.” Creek slammed the door and towed Alyssa toward the bathrooms.

No. She couldn’t go in there with him. She’d be trapped. But running wasn’t much of an option either. The landscape around the deserted gas station was a barren sea of flat dirt and scraggly shrubs. Nobody within screaming distance. No haven within running distance. But the approaching darkness might actually be her friend.

Without any solid plan, Alyssa gathered all her strength, drove down with both hands then jerked upward. To her utter shock, her hands wrenched free of his grip. A second seemed to float, suspended in time, before she could make her feet move.

As the surprise cleared from Creek’s face, he swiped a grab for her hands. Alyssa spun and pushed into a kick start. Gravel slipped beneath her feet. Creek grabbed the back of her tank. Fabric ripped. Bra snapped.  He whipped an arm around her waist. Twisted her body. Slung her over his shoulder. Just that quick, as if he’d done it countless times before.

“Fucking A,” he growled. “You are the biggest pain in the ass.”

“Let me go.” Alyssa beat on his back with the cuff edge, kicked her feet, twisted. Nothing loosened his grip. Nothing broke his stride. And his body heat had ramped up again.

Creek was still muttering as he kicked in the bathroom door. The bang made Alyssa flinch. Taz’s full-bellied laugh followed them until Creek slammed the door shut.

You can preorder your copy of FEVER at the following locations:
Amazon (print & Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (print & Nook)
Booksamillion



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.

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