Sunday, March 25, 2018

What To Give A Hero For His Birthday?

Every year, September thru April, I'm either focused on shopping for a birthday each month or shopping for an upcoming holiday. And even though I'm not really a shop-for-myself kind of person, I do love finding the right gift for someone else.
Lately, I've been wondering what would happen if I had to shop for one of my character's birthdays—you know, actually go to the store, look around, spend money. What if they didn't like what I got? Then I'd be back at the return desk trying to negotiate a refund on the item, which is now on sale, and I've lost the receipt. We all know how that's going to turn out.
Besides, do characters even have birthdays? Or do they stay the same age forever? What a silly question—of course, they have birthdays. Otherwise how would I ever write a series? But maybe I should let the other characters buy the gifts.
In fact, Josh Slater, the hero in my newest release, Slater's Revenge, has an upcoming birthday. Now what would he want? One look at the cover, tells me there are a lot of things I feel might be perfect for him…oh, yeah! But I digress. So, let's get to planning his birthday.
First, Macki (Mackenzie) Baudin, the woman he could never shake from his system, has decided to throw him a surprise party. Personally, I don't think that's a good idea because he's had more than his share of dangerous surprises during his years as a protector agent. Then there's his boss, Drake Lawrence, he plans to send him to Tahiti for his birthday. Of course, Josh will be on assignment tracking down another one of Coercion Ten's bad guys, which will likely end up in a fight. And who wants a busted rib for their birthday?
Maybe some of the OPAQUE Shades Team members will have a better idea of what to buy. Mitch has decided on a case of first aid kits for all Josh's injuries. Reese, has bought him a new pair of shades. Stealth sent word he'd buy him a drink when he's back from his undercover assignment, and Cat tossed a green bikini into the mix— No! Wait! The green bikini is for the heroine in Mitch's story, a later book in the Shades of Leverage series.
And now there seems to be a problem. Josh has gotten wind of the surprise party. That's really not his style. Besides which, he has a better idea for him and Macki. What do you think?

A soft whisper of music floated through the open doorway to her room just like every other night, then the damn vanilla and jasmine enveloped his senses…just like every other night. This time, the ache in his core grabbed with a vengeance. Tightened and twisted and threatened to take him to his knees. His need pulled him to live for the future, while only a tiny echo tugged him to the past. His conscience shouted, Close the damn door. Walk over and close her bedroom door before it’s too late.
“Aw, hell.” He hurled his towel against the cabinet. It was already too late. He might never understand why he’d put himself through hell the past ten years. But he knew for damn certain that out on that balcony in the rain half an hour ago, the past had stopped dictating his life. Breathing in the sweet scents coming from Macki’s bath, he palmed his jawline back and forth, then grinned. He needed a shave.


Former vice cop Mackenzie Baudin is at the top of criminal organization Coercion Ten’s hit list. If they get hold of her, she’ll be leveraged against her uncle, director of OPAQUE’s special ops force. She’s now saddled with agent-protector Josh Slater. He might be hotter than ever, but she’ll never forgive him for walking out on her ten years ago. Unfortunately her penthouse, which is now his domain, is way too small for the both of them.

No one else knows better than OPAQUE agent Josh Slater how to thwart Coercion Ten. After all these years, he's closing in on the crime boss who bought his father for a bank account, but, that entails returning to his hometown to protect his boss's niece. The only woman he ever loved. Sexy, gorgeous Macki, who he was forced to leave behind. And he can never tell her why.

About the Author:
Award-winning author Claudia Shelton thought she wrote mainstream when she began writing, but before long, someone told her she sounded more like romance. Then those pesky alpha heroes and the women strong enough to love them, started running through her mind insisting she write their own happily-ever-after. Since then, she's focused on HEA with a splash of suspense or intrigue, becoming a two-time finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier (Unpublished) awards for excellence in mystery and suspense. During her down-time from writing, you'll find her sipping a cup of cocoa in winter's chill or enjoying a drink by the water in summer's heat--either way, she's always enjoying life.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

PROTECTED by Elisabeth Naughton - Exclusive Excerpt


Up-and-coming designer Kelsey McClane is on the cusp of success. Recently divorced, she should be enjoying her newfound freedom and glamorous future. Instead, she’s living in fear of the past. When she returns home to Portland on a press tour, danger creeps closer than ever. As threatening messages from her bitter ex-husband leave her vulnerable, a new man in her life makes her feel protected.

Former Army Ranger turned security professional Hunter O’Donnell is hired to guard Kelsey. When a shattering explosion rocks her world, Kelsey’s ex is the prime suspect, but Hunter speculates there’s more to the situation than Kelsey’s letting on. Intent on keeping her safe, he delves into Kelsey’s past. As the two work together to unmask her stalker’s identity, a fire ignites between them that they both struggle to contain.

While the investigation proceeds, it draws them closer not only to each other but also to a lethal plot that’s been in the works behind their backs. And with each new secret unveiled, it’s not just temptation putting them at risk—it’s a madman who will not stop until Kelsey is dead.

Exclusive Excerpt:

“Tell me exactly what the text said. Everything you can remember.” 

She audibly exhaled, and the sound told him she was fighting hysteria again, but he had to know. “It came through just after the hosts introduced me. It said that I think I have everything but that soon I was going to get exactly what I deserve. It said I was nothing but a disappointment. That he knew the real me, and this—I guess he meant the designer, public part of my life—wasn’t it. It said no one wanted me. That”—she hesitated—“that my own mother hadn’t wanted me.” She paused again. “Then it said the world would be a better place when I was dead, and that in a matter of minutes the world could thank him for making that happen.” 

Disbelief turned to a red-hot rage that curled Hunt’s hands into fists. “And it was from Benedict? You saw his name on your screen?”
“No. I mean, I didn’t see his name. I blocked his number several months ago, but I know it was from him.” 

“How do you know for sure?” 

“Because he’s been harassing me since I filed for divorce. I haven’t been able to prove it because he keeps doing it from different numbers. My attorney thinks they’re burner phones. You know, those throwaway cell phones you can buy preloaded with a certain number of minutes? We’ve never been able to track the calls back to Julian, which is what I needed to get a restraining order, but I know it was him. He’s been sending me threatening texts for months.” 

Hunt wanted to jump on blaming Benedict—only experience told him to consider all the possibilities. “Alec told me some of what’s been going on with Benedict. Tell me about the other messages he’s sent you. Were any others like this?” 

“They were pretty similar. He liked to point out how useless I was. That my business was going to fail. That my designs sucked. That no one wanted me or my clothing line. That I’d come crawling back to him like a dog before long, and that when I did, he’d have to think long and hard about how he was going to make me pay for humiliating him.” 

Hunt’s jaw clenched down hard. The urge to slam his fist through Benedict’s face was stronger than ever. So strong the muscles in his arm ached from contracting. 

“I just ignored them, you know?” she went on. “I thought if I did, the texts would eventually stop. They slowed down a little, but my brothers were still worried, which is why they asked you to keep an eye on me while they were gone.” 

Hunt knew that. Her brother Alec had told him Benedict was being an ass about the divorce and that they were worried he might do something to retaliate. But Hunt had never expected something like this. To orchestrate the take-down of an entire building, all to get back at her… 

“If he’s the one who did this, Kels, the Feds will find out. They’ll get him, don’t worry.”

“I know.” She sniffled again. “I just … I can’t stop thinking about the other people who were in the building with us. The ones we haven’t heard from since everything happened.” 

Hunt’s memory flashed back to someone calling for help in the darkness, between the first shake and the second that had brought the ceiling down. Even though he knew he’d made the right choice, guilt twisted in his gut. “This wasn’t your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong. Do you hear me? You didn’t cause any of this to happen.” 

“I could have prevented it, though.” She sniffled again. “If I hadn’t been so hell-bent on coming back here for this stupid interview, those people would all still be alive. I-if I’d stayed on the East Coast with the rest of my family, you wouldn’t be here. You wouldn’t have felt obligated to babysit me, and you definitely wouldn’t be trapped in the dark with your legs pinned or”—her words faltered—“or broken.” 

His chest squeezed tight again. “Kels, listen to me. First of all, we don’t know where anyone else is. Just because we can’t hear them doesn’t mean they’re dead. People were running toward the exits when the walls started to go. They could be buried too far away for us to hear them. They could already have been rescued for all we know. Don’t assume the worst right now, okay? I need you to think positive. Second of all, I’m fine. I’ve been through way worse than this, trust me. I could tell you stories from my time in the military that would make this look like a party. But more than that, I want you to know that I’m here with you because I wanted to be here. Not because I felt obligated. Not because your brothers forced me to babysit. Because you matter. I’d do whatever I could to keep you safe.” 

She sniffled again. And the silence that followed was more deafening than the roar of the building coming down. 

“You would?” she finally said. 

He relaxed a little because in those two simple words, her voice had sounded stronger. If he was going to get her through this, he had to keep her focused on something other than her fears. 

“Of course I would.” 


“Why? Because you’re family. I’ve known you almost as long as I’ve known Alec.” 

“So you’d do whatever you could to keep me safe because you see me as Alec’s annoying younger sister and you feel what … responsible for me?” 

Relief made the corner of his mouth turn up. This was the Kelsey who could drive him wild. The smart, snarky, teasing woman he’d watched spar with her brothers more times than he could count. “Trust me, I don’t see you as an annoying younger sister at all.” 

“You don’t?” 

“No. Believe me when I say you are only an annoying younger sister to your three brothers. To every other guy who meets you, you’re an incredibly attractive woman with an amazing talent.” 

She was silent so long, he wasn’t sure she was still there. “Kelsey? Did you hear me?” 

“I heard you,” she said softly. “I just … I never thought you noticed when I was around.” 


Author Bio
Before topping multiple bestseller lists—including those of the New York TimesUSA Today, and the Wall Street JournalElisabeth Naughton taught middle school science. A voracious reader, she soon discovered she had a knack for creating stories with a chemistry of their own. The spark turned into a flame, and Naughton now writes full-time. Besides topping bestseller lists, her books have been nominated for some of the industry’s most prestigious awards, such as the RITA® and Golden Heart Awards from Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, and the Golden Leaf Award. When not dreaming up new stories, Naughton can be found spending time with her husband and three children in their western Oregon home.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

I Need Your Help

Congratulations to "Ptclayton", the winner in Angi's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Friday, March 23rd I am facing one of my toughest fears: READING IN FRONT OF A GROUP. Okay, you can stop laughing now. Seriously, I’m already nervous thinking about it. Don’t get me wrong, I feel immensely honored to be asked to be a part of the inaugural meeting of ROMANCE READS sponsored by Elizabeth Essex along with Lorraine Heath and Cindy Dees. For those of you in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, it’s at 6:30 at the Valley Ranch branch of the Irving Public Library. Refreshments will be served.

So back to my dilemma. I need your help choosing which passage to read. Let me know in the comments which scene you would like to hear. Ranger Protector is between the hero and heroine. Ranger Defender is Abby…the villain’s POV.

“I believe that’s our best option to lose men chasing us. There aren’t too many homes before it turns into the Halifax Ranch. Lots of acreage once we get there. Old Indian caves, bluffs, the Blanco River. There’s a small dam and road that might throw them off, too.”
“You already made up your mind which way we’re going.”
“Pretty much.”
“Thanks for being considerate about it, though.”
Jack made her feel included. She had no idea if this was deliberate in order to confuse her or if he was genuine. Scratch that. He was the genuine article. There was no talking herself out of that impression.
Under the bluff, darkness was steadily moving in. She stepped into the middle of the shallow creek, careful not to slip and drench herself, but there was nothing to see. No lights from nearby houses. No light pollution from a nearby town.
They really were in the middle of nowhere.
A good place to analyze and organize.
“You’re shivering. Ready to go up? There are some electric blankets or I could start a fire.”
“Dinner in front of the fire? Will there be a movie, too?”
“Only if you like a DVD they have. I didn’t pay much attention to those when I was here before.”
They started back up the incline. Jack led the way, holding her hand, steadying her when the rubber boots slipped. Back to the deck, he stepped up, then lifted her with both hands.
There it was again.
A spark. A moment of anticipation.
If they’d been on a date, she would have stood on her tiptoes until he kissed her. She might have even leaned in and kissed him first. But they weren’t on a date. They were hiding out in the Texas Hill Country. And while she debated with herself about what to do, he let her go and practically ran the length of the porch.
“I’ll grab the food,” he shot over his shoulder.
There might be a million and one questions about who was after her and why. But one thing was abundantly clear. Ranger Jack MacKinnon was an honest man and dangerously attractive. She already respected him and trusted his judgment.
Getting involved would be easy. So how distracting would it be trying not to?

“I could never have assumed that Rashid would react to the suggestion before he left the hospital.” Abby pulled at her cuticles with tweezers. She spoke to the only person completely familiar with her work, herself.
Several doctors, including Roberts, had ordered her to stop, stating it was unhealthy to pick at her nails. They were wrong.
Her skin was raw, but there were still pieces. She picked more furiously before looking up into her red, freshly scrubbed face. Certain there was another layer of dirt on her epidermis, she obtained another washcloth, rubbing and scrubbing as hard as she could.
Setting the cloth onto the counter, she switched back to the tweezers, picking until the bright red of her clean blood seeped around the nail. She went to the cabinet to remove the last washcloth from the sealed bag. She would begin the cleansing process again until she was positive the germs from walking on an unfamiliar street were no longer present.
“Enough!” her reflection yelled.
“I can never get clean enough,” she answered behind the cloth.
“You must control yourself, Abby. Break from your routine. There is work to be done. Check the list you made while waiting for the train. It’s thorough.”
“Yes. I need to identify the woman in the truck.” The tweezers caught her eye. She dropped the newer white cloth on top of the metal but immediately had to place them in the sterilizing jar.
“My darling Abby. You are so smart and will find my answers. The perfect death will be ours. I’ve always had faith in you.”
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RANGER PROTECTOR was a thrill ride from the beginning. I literally couldn't put the book down until I finished reading.” ~J.M.V, Amazon 5 stars

“Whether you’re a fan of romantic suspense, standard thrillers, or simply gripping and intelligent storytelling, RANGER DEFENDER is the book to read this year.” ~MD, Amazon 5 stars
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USA Today Bestselling author ANGI MORGAN writes Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love. Her work is a multiple contest finalist and Publisher’s Weekly best seller. She drags her dogs –and husband– around Texas for research road trips so she can write off her camera. They now have a map with highlighted roads they’ve traveled. Every detour somehow makes it into a book.

Website   Facebook   FB Fan Page   Twitter @AngiMorganAuthr     
Check out A Picture A Day, my newsletter or follow me on BookBub

~ ~ ~
by leaving a comment for the $5.00 gift card.

Giveaway on JRS ends at midnight March  21st.  Contestants enter drawing by leaving a comment on Just Romantic Suspense.

Which would you want to hear me read?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Doing research is fun

When I began writing, I never realized the things that would give me joy and pleasure and, yes, even fun in addition to crafting the kind of stories I love. And I discovered that you never know what is going to give you the information yiu need or inspire you.

For example…

This month WITHOUT WARNING, the second book in my Vigilance series, releases. My publisher wanted a small town series, and I like to write abut the places where I live. (Which is why during my fifteen years in Texas I wrote about so many cowboys!) So here I am in Florida, spending three weeks in fort Myers Beach before moving into my new place, and there was just so much to inspire me.

I had fun taking pictures of the town, the beach, the stores and restaurants which gave birth to places in my fictional town of Arrowhead Bay. Check out a couple of the pictures I’ve included here. Can’t you just picture yourself standing on a sandy beach, or hanging out in a beachside bar? Or having coffee and to-die-for pastries right out of the oven? While I was drinking coffee and eating ne of those pastries the character of Devon in Book #1, HIDE AND SEEK, was born. I based her on the impression I got from a woman sitting two tables away from me.

I also needed a combination restaurant/marina that lays a pivotal role in all three books. I am lucky enough to have made friends with a sheriff’s deputy here (yes, I collect resources!) who turned me on to a place one mile from my complex. I got to sit on a covered porch like the one my characters like, and watch the boats come in and the utility vehicles hauling some boats into the dry dock slips in the next building.

In Hide and Seek there is a kidnap scene at a gas station, and my wonderful cop acted the whole thing out with me so I got it just right. I’m sure people thought we were crazy, but he taught me how to plot out action scenes so I had visuals. It was especially important during the crucial climactic scene in WITHOUT WARNING. There were so many variables, and so much had to be split second, that without his help I now I would have screwed it up.

In my journey I have become friends with a Ret. Brigadier General in the Marine, a former Delta force soldier, someone from the Coast Guard, a Navy SEAL, defense contractors doing computer work for the government. Ridden in a helicopter, gone ziplining, spent a night in a brand new jail before it opened, visited a lace that makes sniper rifles for marines, a company that takes cars apart and makes them bulletproof…The list is endless.

I stated doing this so I could be as accurate as possible for my readers. I have made good friends, had a lot of fun, and the journey is still far from over. So if you pick up one of my books (which I hope you will) you can be pretty darn sure everything in there is first hand.


When you don’t know how the story will end . . .
After years of hard work honing his craft, Blake Morgan is now an international bestselling author. But one thing he never imagined was that his fictional world would become all too real. When a stalker turns Blake’s latest book tour into a treacherous and nearly deadly trap, it’s time for Blake to hire protection. But the body assigned to keep an eye on him is someone he never wants out of his sight . . . 
As a bodyguard for Vigilance, the private security agency in Blake’s hometown of Arrowhead Bay, Samantha Quenel has found the perfect outlet for her military experience. But her latest client is also a former high school flame, which might explain her willingness to protect Blake at all costs—even if that means staying in the same room with him, on the same bed, under the same torrid sheets . . .

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Luck Of The Irish '18

Congratulations to our winners, Chastity P., Lisa P., and Beverly L.
Thank you all for your fun participation in this giveaway!

March 17-18

From March 17-18 everyone has an 
opportunity to experience the 

Thirty of your favorite Romantic Suspense authors have pitched in with their print or digital books to make your St. Patrick's Day a special one. 

  • On March 19th, one grand prize winner will be able to select 10 titles of their choice from the Pot Of Gold
  • Two lucky runner-ups will receive half each of what is left in the pot! (10 books each!)
Pot Of Gold!






T.R. RAGAN - HER LAST DAY *Print or Digital

To enter, simply stop by and share your favorite green thing!

Happy St. Patrick's Day To All!

Please note the author's individual restrictions.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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