Guest Dee J Adams
She’s got a new release out, and it looks HOT!! We’ve got an excerpt and a giveaway too!
In her ten-year career as a stuntwoman, Ellie Morgan has experienced her share of thrills. None compares to the rush of being behind the wheel of a race car for her latest movie shoot. Certain she was born to race, Ellie’s ready to shift gears—but a secret from her past holds her back.
Quinn Reynolds is tired of being in the driver’s seat of his family’s company, Formula Racing Design. He’s ready to sell—if he can get his co-owner and brother, Mac, to agree. Quinn’s not sure what he wants to do with his future, but almost as soon as he meets Ellie, he knows he wants her to be part of it.
Though Ellie tries to resist her attraction to the charming businessman, she’s quickly in danger of losing her heart. But after narrowly escaping “accidents” both on and off the set, it becomes clear that getting involved with Quinn could be downright deadly…
Words from Dee
Thank you, Joan, for letting me play with you today!
This has been a wonderful week with the release of my second book in the Adrenaline Highs Series. Danger Zone is close to my heart for so many reasons. My heroine, Ellie, is much braver than me although we do share some other traits.
I’ll tell you a secret. One of the accidents Ellie talks about in Danger Zone actually happened to me on a set. It was painful, let me tell you. But it makes for good Hollywood fodder. LOL. You’ve never seen so many suits come out of the woodwork when you have an accident on the set of a project produced by a multi-million dollar corporation. They hear the word lawsuit before you can even think it!! TRUE!!
But as I said, Ellie is much braver than I am. I would never consider doing stunts. That is exhausting and very hard work. Imagining having to do a simple fall, but maybe you have to do 4, 12, 15, or 20 takes of that same fall. And maybe they want to change up the stunt part way through so the fall becomes a little tougher or more painful to enact? Who wants that job? Ha. Not me!
My question to you is… have you ever signed on for something, but watched as it quickly turned into something else? Did you take the change like a champ or stand up for yourself and say, “No way, not me. Let someone else take the fall.” (No pun intended there.) Life is always full of curve balls, so how do you handle them?
Comment for a chance to win a digital copy of Danger Zone (either e-pub or pdf).
Way to go, Ellie. She’d sure as hell walked right into that one. Quinn had baited her perfectly and she had no way out. Of course, she could slam the door in his face. But that seemed exceptionally rude. It wasn’t as though he could really win this contest. And he didn’t have that many places to touch. “Fine. Three touches. Only on skin you can see. Go.”
He laughed and the relaxed playboy in him seemed to take over. “It’s three and a half touches,” he clarified.
“What’s with the half?”
“Sometimes the half isn’t necessary.”
So he’d done this before. Which meant she was just another in a long line of women. But hadn’t she expected that? Still, it sort of…made her mad. And also made resisting him easier.
“Then why bother with it?”
“It’s my prerogative.” He studied her for a second and his eyes narrowed. “What’s wrong? A little nervous?”
She leveled him with her best bored stare. “No.” But she was. Only the skin showing. If she kept telling herself that, she’d be fine. All of the important parts were covered so he couldn’t do that much damage.
Victory already lurked in his eyes. Man, this guy was cocky. And so damn cute.
Crap. Why did he have to be so damn good- looking? She wanted a guy for the long haul. All the handsome ones wanted was a quick screw on the spread.
“Put your arm out,” he ordered quietly. “Bend it at the elbow. Like this.” He showed her what he meant. Then with his left hand, he gently supported her right arm while keeping it bent in front of her with his thumb just above the bend in her elbow, the other fingers behind her arm.
“Now…I touch you.” His words were so soft, so confident, that a wave of uncertainty swelled over her. His light gray eyes burned into hers. A stupid flutter of anticipation washed through her. She pushed it back with iron will.
Never taking his gaze from hers, Quinn moved his right thumb down, so slowly, so tenderly, to the hollow of her elbow. It wouldn’t have been that bad except that he stayed in the same place and circled maddeningly slow. Around and around the rough pad of his thumb circled the sensitive area. Goose bumps rose on her flesh, the hair stood up on her arms and nape.
The tiniest of grins curved his lips, but he didn’t stop eye contact…as if he knew without seeing what effect he had on her. His thumb continued down her arm. Slowly, inch by inch. All the way to her wrist where he circled again.
Ellie swallowed. And blinked. Damn it. Steeling herself against the sensations hitting her body, she clenched her jaw and worked to even out her breathing.
Almost done. He didn’t have anywhere else to go. One down, two and a—
Quinn’s thumb traveled to the middle of her palm and Ellie nearly jumped out of her skin. Her thumb grazed the inside of his hand and the urge to touch him shot through her like a cannon.
Thankfully, he pulled away. “That was one,” he breathed.
Mayday! Red Alert! She was in serious trouble.
“Next is number two.” His devastating right hand moved toward her chin, but he stopped and reconsidered. His fingers grazed her hairline and moved through her hair, against her scalp. Again, so slowly.
His pupils dilated, his breathing grew heavier. The man was definitely affected. If the bet had been the other way around, she would’ve won.
But…maybe not. Because the tingles running up and down her spine and radiating through her limbs all met at the same spot between her legs. Not a good sign. She desperately fought the urge to lean into his palm, feel more of his heat against her head. It was getting tougher to control her heartbeat and her breath came uneven.
“That was number two.” His low voice sent her heart pounding harder.
“One more,” she said. Only the words barely came out.
“One and a half,” he corrected. “This is the half.” With one hand still against her scalp, he lifted her chin a fraction. Using the pad of his thumb, he traced her bottom lip. From the middle to the end. Not a long way, but enough to send her through the roof. Enough to want to suck his thumb into her mouth and taste him.
Make him beg.
All this time, they kept eye contact. He never once looked down at the path his thumb had taken. But now, his intense gaze focused on her mouth before moving back to her eyes. He bent closer, his fingers still under her chin, his lips closing the gap with hers. “There’s just one more,” he whispered and moved even closer, his mouth just a fraction from hers, his breath warm over her lips.
Ellie could barely keep her eyes open. Desire left her lids heavy, her breath lodged somewhere in her throat. Somehow, someway, a fraction of her brain still worked. “I thought you only got to touch me with the pads of your fingers,” she murmured.
“I lied.” His lips brushed hers and Ellie’s whole system went into meltdown. She should’ve been mad, but she really wanted to laugh. Really wanted to forget everything she’d ever thought about the man and jump him here and now in her trailer.
This was nothing like she expected. Not a blatant sexual assault, but the most tender and gentle kiss she’d ever experienced. So simple. Sweet. Absolutely innocent in the taking. Those lethal lips continued to caress hers. Smoothing across just as maddeningly slow as his thumb had done.
At some point, she’d grabbed his wrists. Not to push him away, but to keep him steady. Keep him connected to her. Not that he seemed to be going anywhere. And still he kissed her. Just lips. Softly. A nibble, a caress. Brushing so sweetly against her mouth she didn’t want it to end.
Ellie had no idea how long they stayed that way and Quinn pulled back a fraction, his lips still dangerously close to hers.
“I win,” he whispered. And kissed her again.
I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. After graduating high school, I moved to Los Angeles and tried to make it in show biz. I got enough acting work to pay the rent and keep the S.A.G. card. (Screen Actors Guild in case anyone is wondering.) I also worked as a Dialogue Coach in sitcoms. (That’s code for acting coach and also means I helped the actors learn their lines.)
Writing came as a fluke. After a very intense dream (I apparently couldn’t stop talking about), my husband said, “Just write it down.” Prophetic words I took it to heart. Three weeks and fourteen hours a day later, I had a 450 page handwritten novel.
And so it began.
I am lucky to be married to the love of my life and we have one beautiful daughter. She was and continues to be perfect so I saw no reason for others!
I like kick-ass heroines and big stories. I like to read them and I like to write them. I like romance, adventure, a little mystery and happy endings. Romance is the perfect genre for me.
Comment for a chance to win a digital copy of Danger Zone (either e-pub or pdf).
Leslie Tentler and I are swapping blog spots today! Here, you’ll get to know more about Leslie, her cool genre, her latest awesomely chilling release that I can’t WAIT to squeeze into my reading schedule and you’ll get a chance to WIN Book 3 in her Chasing Evil trilogy. Then, you can hop over to Leslie’s blog and enter to WIN a copy of FEVER.
I’ve been hiding in my prerelease cave, that’s my excuse for being ignorant of the rise in pupularity of this fabulous genre–Romantic Thrillers. Nothing could suit my personal reading preference better. I have to admit, in my free time, I prefer to read thrillers. I like their dark nature, the way the law enforcement characters dig into the uglier side of human behavior. I’m just…odd like that. But as much as I enjoy those elements, I find myself inevitably disappointed over the lack of a romantic element.
Then…I met Leslie, and I discovered this fabulous emerging genere: 75% thriller, 25% romance.
*the heavens open*
*the angels sing*
*my 4 hr drive to work just became a thing of audiobook beauty*
First, let me tell you about Leslie’s latest release.
The writer becomes the story when crime reporter Mia Hale is discovered on a Jacksonville beach—bloodied and disoriented, but alive. She remembers nothing, but her wounds bear the signature of a sadistic serial killer. After years lying dormant, The Collector has resumed his grim hobby: abducting women and taking gruesome souvenirs before dumping their bodies. But none of his victims has ever escaped—and he wants Mia back, more than he ever wanted any of the others.
FBI agent Eric MacFarlane has pursued The Collector for a long time. The case runs deep in his veins, bordering on obsession…and Mia holds the key. She’ll risk everything to recover her memory and bring the madman to justice, and Eric swears to protect this fierce, fragile survivor. But The Collector will not be denied. In his mind, he knows just how their story ends.
Now, a little about Leslie.
Leslie Tentler is the author of the critically acclaimed Chasing Evil trilogy from MIRA Books. Her third novel in the series – Edge of Midnight – was released February 1. Leslie worked in PR as a writer and editor for nearly two decades before pursuing her love of writing fiction. Her Chasing Evil trilogy of romantic thrillers includes Midnight Caller, Midnight Fear and Edge of Midnight. She lives in Atlanta.Leslie, your Chasing Evil trilogy is under the Romantic Thriller genre. This is intriguing to someone like me who loves both thrillers and romance – something a little more intense, a little darker than the typical Romantic Suspense. Does that correlate with the Romantic Thrillers you write? Can you tell us more about this interesting genre?
I’m not sure if “romantic thrillers” are a genre completely different from romantic suspense, but in my mind the stories are definitely dark and intense. And while romance is a strong secondary subplot in all of the Chasing Evil books, the primary focus is on the criminal investigation – the case – that each federal agent is handling. I think the books come close to crossing over into mainstream mystery/suspense, but there is definitely also a romantic entanglement and passion between the two main characters.I do love an FBI hero or heroine, and your Chasing Evil trilogy has three sexy FBI heroes. What intrigues you about writing this type of hero? Can you tell us a little about each of your heroes: Trevor, Reid and Eric?
I’ve always been enthralled with law enforcement heroes. I’m a big fan of good police-oriented dramas and always love it when the police officer or FBI agent’s personal life becomes a part of the story. In the Chasing Evil books, I’ve really tried to create a balance between the procedural investigation aspect and the agents’ emotional lives.
All three heroes – Trevor, Reid and Eric – are intelligent, courageous men, but each is facing his own personal crisis while also handling a high-profile serial murder investigation. Trevor’s story (Midnight Caller) revolves around his painful past and the family he’s forced to reunite with as part of a New Orleans serial killer case. Agent Reid Novak (Midnight Fear) comes from a much more stable family situation, but is recovering from a personal health crisis when he’s called back to duty early to tangle with the copycat of a killer he put away two years earlier.
Agent Eric Macfarlane (Edge of Midnight) is a man on a mission, bent on finding the serial killer who murdered his wife before vanishing. When the same killer resurges in another state nearly three years later, Eric has to balance his drive to capture “The Collector” with the growing feelings he has for the only woman who has ever escaped him, and whose lost memories of her trauma could be the break Eric needs.Reviews for your Chasing Evil trilogy have been stellar, repeatedly declaring it as fast-paced, riveting, chilling and terrifying. These accomplishments take great skill in the areas of storytelling and writing craft. What techniques do you employ to achieve these difficult but necessary elements of an awesome thriller?
Thank you, Joan. I’m so proud of the Chasing Evil trilogy and genuinely appreciative and humbled by the critical praise it’s received. I truly put everything I had into these books.
I honestly believe that for any story, the most important aspect is having characters the reader really cares about. If you don’t have that – no plot or dialogue or action sequence will save you. I have to fall in love with a character before I can truly pour all those hours and effort into a manuscript. I have to care about what happens to them, and if I don’t, well, I’ve got a big problem.
While that’s the most critical aspect, the second part of it is testing them, putting these characters you admire and love into dangerous, unimaginable situations. Especially when it comes to thrillers and suspense, I believe readers want to see characters overcome great obstacles so they have someone and something to root for.
By the way, since each book is about a different agent and a different investigation, it’s perfectly fine to read them in any order.You worked as a public relations writer and editor for many years prior to delving into fiction. How do you feel that aided you in your current career?
I believe that I’m very good at editing myself – I’ve edited others for years – which I think leads to a much cleaner manuscript being turned in to a publisher. And while my past experience has been in non-fiction – developing press materials and ghostwriting countless business articles for executives – you’re still working with words, learning how to create a compelling story. I also learned the “butt in chair” discipline a long time ago, since it’s how I made my living. No typing, no paycheck!Can you give us any little peek into any new projects?
I’m currently working on another romantic thriller that revolves around a homicide detective in Atlanta and his ex-wife, who is an ER physician at a large downtown hospital. While the story focuses on a high-profile case the detective is handling, it is also about what happened to this couple – their shared tragedy – to tear them apart. The story might be a little slower paced than the breakneck speed of the Chasing Evil trilogy, but it also packs a pretty big emotional punch. It’s proving a tough one to write, but I think these characters’ stories are worth telling.Where can we find you online?
Where can we pick up your fabulous books?
Edge of Midnight was released Feb. 1 and is in bookstores now. Here are the links to the books online:
Thanks for having me today, Joan! Best of luck on your upcoming debut!My pleasure, Leslie! So great to meet you and SO looking forward to your books!
You, lucky readers, can WIN a copy of Leslie’s latest release! She’s giving away a copy of Edge of Midnight to one lucky commenter in winner’s choice of ebook or tree-book (tree-book available to US addresses only).
Enter for your chance to win!