Tuesday, July 30, 2019

New York, New York (and the FBI)

I know I missed last weeks post. I was at the Romance Writers of America National conference.
We stayed at a hotel on Time Square. Here’s a view from our window.

On Sunday, before conference started, we went to a show and saw Cher. I’m not a Cher fan. I like the music but sometimes she’s a little over the top. However, the show was great. It showed Cher’s life and the challenges she faced and how she survived and changed to meet the times. The music was awesome. It was fast paced and kept you watching. No dozing through this performance. And now I admire Cher.

On Tuesday we had an all-day workshop at the FBI. Lots of good information for writing mystery and suspense, and even romance.  In the morning after we passed through security, we learned about The Counterintelligence Program and Couunterterrorism/Domestic Terrorism with SABT’s (Special Agent Bomb Technician’s).
We had a catered lunch as we couldn’t leave the building. Then in the afternoon it was the Violent Crimes squad in New York. They had some great stories and had been partners for about seven years. They slipped in that they were now married (there’s the romance). After that we learned about the Criminal Justice Information Service, and how the Identity History Summary Checks system works. It was really interesting. I learned fingerprints aren’t all equal. The pinky makes the worst fingerprint and then the thumb.  There is also the Registry for Individuals with Special Concerns. Police carry a mobile finger printer and can get an identity in seconds.

If anyone has any questions, let me know and I’ll check my notes.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Claudia Shelton and her Latest Book

Award-winning author Claudia Shelton could write her name before the first day of school, but now she writes romantic suspense, thrillers and contemporary romance. In addition, she presents workshops for readers and authors. Her debut novel, Risk of a Lifetime, released to 5-star reviews, reached Amazon's Best Sellers Romance Series Top 100 and was named one of eBooks Galore top reads for 2014. She is also a two-time nominated Daphne Du Maurier (Unpublished) finalist for excellence in mystery. Claudia is the author of the Shades of Leverage action-adventure romantic suspense series.
On a personal note, Claudia considers herself a traveler, music lover and water person. A cool drink while listening to the splash of waves is always nice—so is a mug of hot chocolate in the falling snow. Her main priority is spending time with family, friends and her two sweet, conniving rescue dogs.

Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?
Mitch: Mitch…OPAQUE Protector Agent Mitch Granger
Beverley: Where did you grow up?
Mitch: In a lower-middle-class suburb of Chicago where families worked hard, went to Mass on Sunday and looked out for each other.
Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?
Mitch: Now! Everything in my life has always been in the moment.
Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?
Mitch: Growing up, my dad knew how much I liked the water. So every few weeks my entire family would pile in the car, pull through a drive-thru to grab lunch and head to the Lake Michigan shoreline. Those couple of hours spent laughing and having fun were the happiest time of my life. Everything changed when my dad died. Now I do whatever it takes to keep people safe in the world.
Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?
Mitch: I've been assigned to protect Liz Walkert, so my goal is to make sure we both come out the other side breathing. Except…something about her is worming its way into my…I guess you'd call it my emotions, and I don't like that one bit! Can't happen—I don't have time for emotions.
Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?
Mitch: On assignment, I always think two or three steps ahead, but this time it's hard to figure out who to trust. Lies are everywhere.
Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them? 
Mitch: Yes, I've called in a few Shades of Leverage team members as back-up. I'm the leader on this assignment, but they'll be there to finish the job if I don’t come out the other side…breathing.
Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you? 
Mitch: I'm good at my job. I love the water. And I'm responsible. That's it—I'm out of here!

Blurb for Dangerous Lies (Shades of Leverage Book 2)
To ex-Navy SEAL Mitch Granger, responsibility isn’t just a word. It’s his Code of Honor. But when assigned to protect Coercion Ten’s latest target, she challenges his authority, defies his rules, and wreaks havoc on his personal willpower. Fighting for her isn’t a problem. Giving his life for her isn’t a problem. Forgetting their world-stopping kiss? Definite problem. And if he can’t concentrate solely on keeping her safe, it may cost them both their lives.
Journalist Liz Walkert’s missing father sent her a cryptic message that she was in danger. What he didn’t tell her was why. Unbeknownst to Liz, her family has been in Witness Protection all her life. Mitch may be her bodyguard, but his protection comes close to being control, the one thing she has none of in his presence. After a kidnap attempt and a narrow escape from attacking CT forces, they both realize they’re going to need to focus on the mission and fight their attraction if they have any hope of surviving.
Each book in the Shades of Leverage series is STANDALONE:* Slater's Revenge* Dangerous Lies
Excerpt for Dangerous Lies (Shades of Leverage Book 2)
        The three of them moved inside the chopper and buckled up. One of the crewmen closed the door then radioed to the front that they were ready to leave.
        Mitch laid out the protection strategy in his mind. Devised his plan. Worked through all foreseeable obstacles. There were a lot of unknowns. Always were.
        "Who's in charge?" the crewman asked.
        "Me," Mitch replied.
        "Where to, sir?"
        "First, Dallas. Need a small jet waiting. Pilot ready for takeoff."
        The crewman relayed the info to the pilot.
        "Reese, make your way from Dallas to Utah the fastest way possible. Coordinate with Josh on arrangements. I want you to find out everything you can on her dad." Mitch stared into his eyes. "Talk to friends. Enemies. Get a photo and show it to people who don't recognize his name. Check out his house. Top to bottom. Inside and out. You know the routine."
        Liz leaned forward. "Don't forget the secret room in the house."
        "Got it." Reese nodded. "Where and when should I meet up with you two after that?"
        "I'll be in touch." Mitch motioned to the crewman.
        "Yes, sir."
        "Make the drop in Dallas fast. Set down. Ten seconds. Up. Head straight north thirty minutes. Send the bill to OPAQUE."
        "Yes, sir. Where should I tell the jet pilot you're headed?"
        "California. Coronado. NSWC. Have them get permission to land." Mitch leaned his head against the backrest, crossed his arms across his chest, and closed his eyes.
        "Tell them SEAL Reserve Lieutenant Mitch Granger requests shelter…for two."

Buy Links for Dangerous Lies (Shades of Leverage Book 2)
Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo     Apple Books

You can find Claudia at:

FB:                https://www.facebook.com/ClaudiaSheltonWriter
Twitter:        https://twitter.com/ClaudiaShelton1
Newsletter: http://claudiasheltonauthor.com/
Instagram:   https://www.instagram.com/claudiasheltonauthor/
Pinterest:     https://www.pinterest.com/claudiashelton1/

Saturday, July 20, 2019

What's Everyone Writing?

What book (or type of book) are you currently working on? Do you have ideas for future books?
I’m presently working on two books and hoping to have them both finished by the end of the year. The first book is the second in the series of The Foundation. It’s a book about a trio of wealthy women dedicated to helping women in jeopardy. It’s a romantic suspense with a touch of woman’s fiction.
Carly made it happen. She is the CEO.

Nadia is the supermodel and makes the contacts and finds volunteers.

Julie manages the finances and organizes the support system inkling transportation, vehicles, planes, and disguises and arranges fund raisers.

From working with abused women in shelters they progress to moving women to safer shelters away from home and then into forming an organization that protects women. As the organization grows, they train volunteers to go out in teams to assist women in jeopardy.

Their next team will be a paranormal team. to add another dimension to the organization. This is The Fourth Victim, Sara’s Story about a serial killer.

Liability Wife, the one I’m presently working on is the second in the series and Lydia’s story. Her husband, who she is divorcing, has hired a serial killer. And Carly is in South America trying to rescue someone she cares about, who is on the list.

I’m also working on The Hawkins’ Ranch series, book four, Escape - Gabe’s story. It’s a romantic Suspense.

This one is about an abused wife. Amy has suffered abuse for years. Finally, she decided it was escape or die. Now she’s running for her life and she doesn’t trust any man.
Gabe Hawkins, the oldest brother in the Hawkins family, has never found the right woman.  His brothers are all happily married and he’s the only who is still single. Riding around the ranch he finds a skinny, terrified, poorly dressed woman in her late twenties.  He’s not attracted to her, but he wants to protect her. That turns out to be harder than he thought. Even with the help of his family, can he keep her alive?

As for future books, I’m hoping to write the next two books in The Foundation, Maggie’s story and Diane’s story, romantic suspense with a touch of women's fiction. After that, well we'll see have to see.

Now I’m off to check out what the rest of the writing group are working on. Please check out their posts.
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1EW
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobincourtright.com

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Dee S. Knight Talks about her Book

Dee S. Knight hasn’t led a dull life, she’s led a lucky one. For instance, she was lucky enough to grow up in a military household where she got used to seeing lots of handsome men in uniform. Thus, at thirteen she was prepared when she met her future husband. He also grew up in a military family and then attended a military high school and college. Another handsome man in uniform—Yes! Lucky Dee!

For the past forty+ years, as long-distance truckers, teachers, computer trainers and consultants, Dee and her hubby have experienced many of their dreams and happily lived the adventure they call their life. Wanderlust strikes often, but fortunately they consider anywhere they’re together, home.

For excerpts, reviews and the newest on what’s happening in Dee’s world, please visit https://nomadauthors.com. And drop her a note at dsknight@deesknight.com. She’d love to hear from you.

Only a Good Man Will Do: Seriously ambitious man seeks woman to encourage his goals, support his (hopeful) position as Headmaster of Westover Academy, and be purer than Caesar's wife. Good luck with that!

Coming Home to finally being able to write about Vietnam

Are you a member of my generation? No, not Generation-X. I mean Generation-OTD (Older Than Dirt). If so, the Vietnam War was a definitive event in your life. The news bombarded you with it each night, you heard it debated in classrooms and saw anti-war protests—or maybe participated in them. I grew up in a military family, so I had a perspective of the war and politics that many of my friends in school didn’t, but the war infected my life, just the same. You couldn’t have lived in the US during the 1960s and 70s without that being the case.

Because Vietnam was such a huge part—though a hard, painful part—of my teen years, I wanted both to put them behind me and to write about them in equal parts. After long delays, I finally wrote two stories with Vietnam as the backdrop. One is a novel, Burning Bridges (under the name Anne Krist because it’s non-erotic, and in the process of being republished) and the other is a paranormal novella, Coming Home. Neither are statements on the war itself, just on how it affected families, careers and lives.

Coming Home is a fictional account of a young man’s Christmas leave during his tour of duty in Vietnam. Tom Stabler goes back to his home, a Nebraska farm, and the world has shifted. His soul is troubled; he’s seen things and done things he doesn’t know how to process. His parents seem older, the house smaller. Then he is reunited with the girl he left behind, and with her he finds peace. I think the cover says it all!
I grounded Coming Home in Vietnam, but Tom Stabler’s story is not unique, though it is more intense. On a smaller scale, remember the first time you went back to your childhood home after being away at college? Didn’t everything seem different? Lives changed, neighbors came or went, and you weren’t there to experience it. You felt out of place, slightly disoriented. Now you understand a bit about Tom and the idea behind Coming Home.

What do you think? Have you ever had this feeling?

Unfortunately, Coming Home was published by Whispers and went out of print with their closing. But very soon I am providing a place on the Nomad Authors website for short stories and novellas that will be available to subscribers to my newsletter, Aussie to Yank. Please sign up (on NomadAUthors.co or by sending me an email) and then please enjoy Coming Home.

In this excerpt, Private Tom Stabler is home from Vietnam for Christmas leave. His childhood sweetheart is Susan Swenson, the girl who has arrived unexpectedly in the middle of the night. Tom has just come outside to see her.
She was leaning against the big elm tree in the front yard, hands tucked in her coat pockets, her face toward the horizon where the North Star perched low in the sky. Straightening and turning to face him as he approached, she smiled again, so dazzlingly the heavens dimmed in comparison. Tom swore he wouldn't care if they didn’t speak or touch or anything, if she would just keep smiling.
“Hi, Susan.”
“Hey, Tom. Welcome home.”
Had her voice always been this deep, this smooth? His insides melted just listening to her. At the same, God! Instant hard-on. He shifted his stance and hoped Susan couldn't tell. “Thanks.”
Suddenly, she seemed shy, ducking her head to examine her shoes, scuffing the frost covered grass. He'd grown another couple of inches in the Army, and his lean body was strong and quick. He liked the contrast in their height and size, enjoyed the confidence he could protect her like a warrior, or tuck her gently against his chest where her ear would be over his heart. His heart which threatened to burst through his chest, being this close to the object of his dreams.
“I’m surprised to see you. It’s early, you know?” It’s early, you know? Hadn’t he learned anything about how to talk to a woman after nearly two years in the Army? Granted, for the last few months he hadn't had much opportunity to practice romantic lines, but Christ. Fortunately, Susan didn’t seem to notice his lapse in seductive conversation.
She nodded. “I filled in for a friend at the hospital, so she could get an early start on the holiday. We only have off until the day after Christmas, and she lives in Oklahoma. I’d planned to sleep in, do a little work, and drive up early this afternoon, but I was in a hurry.” She gave a funny, kind of half smile. Like she had a secret and would split at the seams if she couldn’t tell someone.
Tom laughed softly, his breath freezing in the morning air. He waved his hands toward the pasture land, over the fence, and beyond the tree where they stood. “Missed the damned old cows so much you just couldn’t wait until later, huh? Or was it the empty corn fields of your dad’s you were in a hurry for?”
Cocking her head, she said, “Neither, smart aleck.”
He jammed his hands in his pocket. Shit! It was colder than a witch's tit out here. Susan must be freezing. “Well, then, why did you rush back to the middle of nowhere before daylight?”
Stepping forward, she rose on tiptoes and crooked her finger. Smiling, he bent to her. She whispered in his ear, “To see you, silly. I couldn’t wait to see you.” She pecked his cheek then stood back. Her cheeks blushed as pink as a prairie dawn.
Sucking in his breath nearly froze his tonsils. He gazed down into eyes he knew to be the bluest blue. … His fists clenched in his pockets, lest he pull her to him and take her on the hood of her car—the only warm place not inside his parents’ house.
“Oh, look!” She’d turned back toward the north, and he followed her direction just in time to see the death of a star. She looked up at him. The quick smile on her face sounded in her voice, too. “Did you make a wish?”
“Nah, that’s kid stuff. Or girl stuff,” he teased. Yeah, girl stuff. Susan stuff he wanted so badly he could taste it. He needed her goodness and sweetness and the passion he was certain she held just for him. And he wanted something else, too, something he couldn’t quite name but which he knew she could give him.
He kicked the thought aside. The last thing he wanted was to psychoanalyze this moment.
Suddenly, her smile faded, and she reached up to hold his cheek in her palm. “It’s not silly, Tommy. You’re here because I wished for you, you know. I wished for you to come home so hard I knew it would happen, and here you are.”
The intensity of her words struck his heart at the same time a shiver ran up his spine. He covered her hand with his own. “Yes, here I am.”
Time stopped. The wind died away. Not a blade of grass moved, nor a cow nor a car on the road a quarter mile away. The stars twinkled, but that was okay—just then they owned the stars.
“And here I am,” she whispered.

Author links:
Website: https://nomadauthors.com
Blog: http://nomadauthors.com/blog
Twitter: http://twitter.com/DeeSKnight
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeeSKnight2018
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/265222.Dee_S_Knight
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B079BGZNDN
Newsletter (sample): https://preview.mailerlite.com/o2g1i0?fbclid=IwAR0COlyuPY-Hu30KTBdT092j_GZeuN5z4pc1LtsvHTyr6IbiSpsGqeIgT90

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Check out Another Barbara White Daille's Books

Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too!
Barbara wrote her first short story at the age of nine, then typed "The End" to her first novel many years later...in the eighth grade. Now she's writing contemporary romance on a daily basis. Sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest in her writing life:  https://barbarawhitedaille.com/newsletter.
Hello, again! I’m glad to be back here for a visit. This time, I’m sharing a peek at The Cowboy’s Little Surprise, book one in the Hitching Post Hotel series. Book seven, The Rancher’s Family, debuts in September. The series features a matchmaking grandpa who wants to see his three granddaughters married and settled down—preferably within driving distance of his New Mexico ranch! The interview below is with the hero:
Beverley: What’s your name?
Cole: Cole Slater
Beverley: Where did you grow up?
Cole: Here in Cowboy Creek. Not on a ranch, unfortunately, but in a too-small house in town, one I couldn’t wait to leave.
Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?
Cole: Current day, after a long absence from Cowboy Creek.
Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?
Cole: Haven’t a clue. I wasn’t a great student, didn’t go in for many sports, and spent more time flirting with girls than studying. About the only thing I took seriously growing up was watching out for my younger sister and protecting her from our dad.
Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?
Cole: To put the past behind me and focus on the future I never expected to have—one that includes a child.
Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?
Cole: Mainly, my son’s mother. I didn’t know till recently that I’d even had a son, and I want to get to know Robbie. Tina doesn’t want me anywhere near the boy.
Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving this?
Cole: I’d like to see Robbie whenever I come back to Cowboy Creek. The plan is to prove to Tina I’m worthy of being a daddy.
Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
Cole: I’m not the boy who left Tina behind when I left our hometown. The years away have changed me. That’s another thing I plan to prove.

Book Blurb for The Cowboy’s Little Surprise
A guy like Cole Slater is hard to forget. Tina Sanchez should know—for years since high school she's tried to bury the pain of Cole's cruel betrayal. But it's impossible to ignore the man she sees reflected in her young son's eyes now that Cole is back in her life—and about to meet the child he never knew he had. 

Returning home to New Mexico, Cole is determined to put his playboy reputation to rest. Especially now that he knows there's a little boy looking up to him. And seeing Tina again reignites all the feelings Cole ran from as a teen. Despite his fear that he can't be the man Tina deserves, he's determined to try. For his son's sake—and his own.
Excerpt from The Cowboy’s Little Surprise
The following excerpt is from the point of view of the heroine, Tina, who’s about to get a surprise of her own:
Tina glanced up at the Hitching Post, all three stories of it, all the way up to the windows of her attic hideaway. She loved the hotel, the only home she and Robbie had ever known. Her grandfather had also lived here his entire life. Jed couldn’t like the idea of all those empty guest rooms, either.
Sighing, she reached for one of the grocery sacks in the back of the truck. Footsteps on gravel made her pause. Maybe this was someone who wanted to book a room. She turned with a welcoming smile.
That smile died on her lips when she saw the cowboy standing in front of her. The cowboy who’d left Cowboy Creek—and her—in his rearview mirror five years ago.
Cole Slater.
In one startled, reflexive sweep, she took in almost everything about him. The light brown hair showing beneath the brim of his battered hat. The firm mouth and jaw. Broad shoulders. Narrow hips. The well-worn jeans, silver belt buckle, and scuffed boots. In the next reluctant second, she turned her gaze to the one feature she had deliberately skipped over the first time.
A pair of blue eyes that made her think instantly of her son.
Clutching the grocery sack, she demanded, “What are you doing here?”
His face looked flushed. But he didn’t appear angry, the way he would have if he’d seen Robbie and put two and two together. She breathed a sigh of relief at the reprieve, no matter how brief, giving her a chance to come to grips with his return to town. If she ever could.
Seeing him again had brought back years of memories she didn’t want to think about.
She should have known better than to fall for Cole Slater. At the tender age of seven, she had already heard about his reputation as a sweet-talker. By junior high, he had progressed to a real player. And by senior high, he had turned love-’em-and-leave-’em into an art form, changing girlfriends as often as she replaced guest towels here at the Hitching Post.
Too bad she hadn’t remembered all that when he had finally turned his attention her way.
He shoved his hands into his back pockets, which pulled his shirt taut against his chest. Now, she felt herself flushing as she recalled the one and only time—
No, she wasn’t going there.
And he wasn’t staying here. “You must have made a wrong turn somewhere. I suggest you find your vehicle, wherever you might have left it—”
“I parked near the barn—”
“—and be on your way.”
“—and to answer your question, I came to see Jed.”
“What for?”
“He invited me.”
“Then I assume you’ve seen him already and, as I said, you can be on your way.”
“You and I need to have something out first.”
Please, no. Had he caught a glimpse of Robbie, after all?
Buy Links for The Cowboy’s Little Surprise
Find Barbara and her books:
Website  https://www.barbarawhitedaille.com