Thursday, April 18, 2019

Visiting Locations Makes ALL the Difference


GIVEAWAY ALERT

NAVY SEAL SURRENDER takes place in Aubrey, Texas. It’s a town close to where I grew up, located just northeast of Denton. It’s a horse farm town. I’ve included a short video with a bird’s eye view. My parents took me to Aubrey often. My great-aunt Audra owned the café there and had the coolest old house. At least it was a cool house to a kid like me. I loved going there. Loved going to the café and getting a malt (back when they made malts). The building is still there on Main Street.



Just before I wrote the proposal for the two-book series–Texas Family Reckoning–two dear friends from my high school class died. Johnny had been in the Navy (submarines, not a SEAL). And Brian who had worn a huge black hat from the day I met him in junior high (yes, he was truly a cowboy).

I had always wanted to write an identical twin story. And of course, utilize the fact that no one could tell them apart. So I chose a local town and gave most of the characters names from where I grew up. None of the characters resemble my friends…I just used their names. I can still remember the way John and Brian always had smiles on their faces. And especially their laughter…

An Excerpt from the beginning of NAVY SEAL SURRENDER

 “Driving with the windows down? Braving the Texas heat, Johnny? You forget how hot it gets here in July?” she asked, crossing the road in worn boots. She slid her glasses to the top of her head, tucking her hair back in the process. Bright smiling eyes laughed at him.

“Alicia?” He recognized her voice, but none of the curves she currently sported.

“Welcome home.” She leaned on the open window, giving him a great view straight between her breasts. A much better view than he’d ever seen in high school.
“How did you know I’d be here?”

“I was already at the house. Wanda thought she saw Brian in a new car and sent a text asking if he’d come into some cash.” She shrugged her bare, tanned shoulders. “I knew Brian was in the barn. So I assumed and waited.” She stepped back, pulling the door open. “Get out here so I can give you a proper welcome home. It’s been a while.”

Alicia Miller, now Adams. Or had she gone back to Miller after her husband had died? Either way, he barely recognized his high school sweetheart. She’d definitely filled out in all the right places. He popped the seat-belt release and stood, towering over her in a white undershirt that probably smelled as bad as the horse stalls. She wrapped her arms around his middle and squeezed. He hugged her back.

Home.

They separated, and the pearly-white smile he expected was gone. He missed her hand swinging upward, until it connected with his cheek. Connected hard. He rubbed it, not ashamed to let her know the slap had stung. Caught off guard by a girl. Or maybe he deserved it. Time enough to contemplate later.

A fitting welcome home.

“Before you ask, that was for your dad. J.W. will never say or do anything to make you feel ashamed, but you deserve that and more for just leaving. It broke his heart.”

The little fireball choked on the last word. But she was right. And he was grown enough now to admit he’d made a mistake by not calling more often. “You’ve seen him? Is he okay?”

“He gets stronger every day. I’m his nurse and help him with physical therapy. That’s what I do, at-home nursing.”

“Just for the record, that’s the one and only time you’ll slap me and get away with it.” He leaned against the rear door, crossing his arms to keep them in check. He didn’t know if he wanted to drive away or reach out and pull her back to fill the emptiness he suddenly experienced.

“Are you okay? I didn’t mean to hurt you. I’m not even sure why I did that. I never do that. And now I’m just babbling.”

“Really?” Had it been too long to tease her? She’d been a junior in college the last time he’d heard anything. Their lives had changed when he hadn’t chosen that route. Really changed when Brian had taken the blame for the accident. They hadn’t spoken since his twin had accused him of being irresponsible and leaving a campfire burning.

After boot camp, his dad said Brian had decided not to attend college. Brian’s taking public blame for the fire meant John could achieve his dream of entering the Navy. It wouldn’t have happened otherwise, and he owed his brother his entire career.
Join the Navy. See the world.

It had been his dream, and his brother had pushed him toward it, sacrificing everything to let him keep it. That was the problem. The closest people to him had believed the accusation.
“I should be…” She gestured toward her car. “Your father’s waiting.”

“You said Brian was in the barn?”

“He was earlier.” Alicia stuck her hands in her front pockets, creating a shrug whether she wanted one or not. “Sorry I slapped you, Johnny.”

“I’m sorry you needed to.” He rubbed his cheek again, scraping the three days of growth.
Alicia took a step toward him, awkwardly pulled him down for what he thought was another hug. He didn’t reach for her. Instead, super soft fingers caressed him from the bottom of his ears down both lines of his jaws.  The sting disappeared faster than a radar blip.

Before he could react, she’d kissed his lips, lingering just a second too long for it to be just a friendly welcome home. Then she waved and returned to her car.

“See you around.”

The dust from the road stuck to his arms and face as he stood there like an idiot while she drove away.

“Wow.”

If you haven’t read NAVY SEAL SURRENDER…I hope you’ll give it a try.

Here’s what a couple of readers thought

"Loved it! Angi Morgan has such a talent with a complex plot and great characters! She places roadblocks before her characters so smoothly that I never have to question how it happened, a little nail-biting, but no doubts that the action fits, but the characters keep moving forward with intelligent successes that have me cheering.
     When Navy Seal John Sloane comes home to help out after his dad has a major stroke, he never expected to need his SEAL training to rescue a little girl and her mother. He hoped to work things out with his brother but Brian didn't want to talk about the situation that caused a split between them. Kidnapping, murder, financial challenge the Texan, his best friend, his brother, and the woman he loved since junior high. Facing people with money and influence makes the job even tougher but being able to take advantage of his "twin-ness" eases the job just a bit.”
~Jeanie J.


“I loved that this was far from your average love story. I hoped that John and Alicia would get back together and since her husband had been dead for a few years, it was time for her to move on. The kidnapping plot was well done and was slowly reveled. The reader knew who was actually responsible for the kidnapping early in the story but not how it was arranged. The estrangement between the twin brothers added another twist to this wonderful story. I liked that they finally talked it out - with Alicia's help in forcing the issue. I like Angi Morgan's books and highly recommend this one.” ~Jo-Anne B.


~ ~ ~
USA Today Bestselling author ANGI MORGAN writes Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love. Her work is a multiple contest finalist and Publishers 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 my newsletter or follow me on Amazon or BookBub

~ ~ ~
DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
by leaving a comment for the $5.00 gift card.
Giveaway on JRS ends at midnight April 19th.  Contestants enter drawing by leaving a comment on Just Romantic Suspense. Don’t forget to check back to see who won!


How would you name characters you create?



Monday, April 15, 2019

Spring, at last!


Hi, Everyone,

Can you believe it’s Spring, at last? Although looking at the overcast weather today it doesn’t look much like it!

Do you know what I love most about indie publishing? All of it! At the moment it is especially helpful that I can change my publishing dates to suit my schedule. I’ve had some serious health issues the past 3 months. They now seem to be levelled out, but I’ve needed to have the ability to change and shift publishing dates for a couple of months. Let’s hope the rest of 2019 is kinder than its beginning!   

I am pleased to say I am continuing with my contemporary romantic suspense series and ATTICUS (Steele Protectors 2) is published today on all ebook sites. Atticus is the eldest of the Steele brothers, and the bad boy of the family. He’s rough, tough, and all arrogant alpha male, and when someone threatens his woman they had better be prepared to face Atticus’s wrath! 

Also available on all ebook sites is the Pre-Order for BRYCE (Steele Protectors 3), with a publishing date of June 28th. Bryce is the most lethal of the Steele brothers. When someone threatens the woman he has agreed to protect, he will need all the stealth and cunning instilled in him during his years in special forces to ensure she stays alive.

Talk to you again soon!
     
Carole xx


Amazon Buy Link for ATTICUS (Steele Protectors 2)
Also Available on Google, Smashwords, NOOK, Kobo iBooks

Amazon Buy Link for BRYCE (Steele Protectors 3)
Also available on Google, Smashwords, NOOK, Kobo, iBooks

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Friday, April 12, 2019

The Right Opening


Congratulations to "Patricia B.", the winner in Joanne's giveaway. Please contact JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to claim your prize.

Have you ever experienced the tyranny of the blank page?

If you’re nodding in agreement, you are in good company. In fact, I believe every writer—from beginner to published—has experienced those feelings of doubt and apprehension, especially at the start of a new manuscript. That’s when gremlin thoughts are most powerful.
In this post, I will offer several suggestions on how to squash those gremlins and start writing the first page of your next manuscript.

First, I will dispel three popular rules:

Rule #1–Start with a bang

Some writers believe the first page needs drama: a passionate argument between two people or a man running out of a burning house. One problem: the reader is not yet invested in the characters. The two people arguing could be murderers, and the man running out of the burning house could be a burglar. The reader needs to know more about the characters and their motivations before the drama occurs.

Rule #2—Start at the beginning

You can use a prologue to cut forward to later events or recall much earlier events. A three- to five-page prologue that introduces the crime or dead body can whet the reader’s appetite for more details. This works well with mysteries and thrillers.

Rule #3—Never start with dialogue

Used effectively, dialogue can establish the writer’s or protagonist’s voice. This will quickly draw the reader into the writer’s world
So, what should the “right opening” accomplish?
Very simply, the first sentence needs to draw the reader’s attention to the next sentence and the rest of the first paragraph. And so on. That first sentence does not have to be loud or flashy…only intriguing.

“Intriguing” examples:

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” 1984 by George Orwell.
“They shoot the white girl first.” Paradise by Toni Morrison
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
 “When I think of my wife, I always think of her head.” Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
If you’re struggling with “intriguing,” start with a simple sentence, and use the rest of the paragraph to follow up with details.

Examples of the “Simple” Approach:

“Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.” Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
 “We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.” The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
“Nothing happens the way you plan it.” The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
“When he was nearly thirteen my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Hard-to-read and grammatically incorrect sentences can turn off readers, agents, and publishers.  But sometimes they work!  

Examples of the “Breaking the Rules and Getting Away with It” approach:

“You better not never tell nobody but God.” The Color Purple by Alice Walker
“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

More tips…

Think of opening lines and paragraphs as introductions to new people. You probably wouldn’t be interested in getting to know a person who immediately launches into a monologue about her divorce, her latest car accident, or upcoming surgery. Instead, you want to learn just enough about the person so that you can have a pleasant conversation.
Gently lead the reader into the rest of the paragraph and the next page. The reader doesn’t have to fall in love with that first sentence, but she needs to be curious enough to keep reading.
Leave the reader with unanswered questions. She should be asking the question “Why” as she reads that first chapter. Why did those characters fall in love? Why did that murder happen?
Introduce character goals and motivations early. This creates a sense of direction that guides the reader through the novel.
Reread your favorite novels and critically analyze the opening sentences and paragraphs. Ask yourself what intrigued you as a reader and then apply the same approach to your own writing.
Keep in mind that the first chapter of a novel is the most heavily revised section of the book. You don’t have to get it right the first time.

Overview of the Gilda Greco Mystery Series

A cross between Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher, and Cher (Moonstruck), Gilda Greco brings a unique perspective to the amateur female sleuth. 

The teacher-turned-lottery winner returns to her hometown, only to find herself embroiled in a series of murder investigations. Before you start imaging thrillers with high stakes and police chases, pause and take a yoga breath. The three novels in the series—A Season for Killing Blondes, Too Many Women in the Room, A Different Kind of Reunion—are cozy mysteries, written in the Agatha Christie tradition. All the crimes take place “off stage” with very few graphic details provided. 

While the pace may be more relaxed than that of thrillers and police procedurals, there are no steaming cups of herbal teas, overstuffed chairs, or purring cats in these contemporary cozies. Prepare yourself for interfering relatives who don’t always respect boundaries, adult mean girls, deserving and undeserving men, multiple suspects, and lots of Italian food.

Bio
A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne Guidoccio writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Giveaway
Joanne is giving away a Kindle edition of A Season for Killing Blondes to one lucky reader posting a comment.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST April 13th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@justromanticsuspense.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Reunited Series Boxed Set


Congratulations to "Fedora", the winner in Sharon's giveaway. Please contact JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to claim your prize!


Second chance romances are one of my favorite story themes. Add that with suspense and I’m in heaven! The Reunited series was created to combine the aspects that I love most in a romance: a great love story, hot men, feisty women, humor, and of course –a nice dose of suspense!
Three full-length stories for the price of one! *LIMITED TIME* Get your copy today!
Blue Roses
Where most women would welcome love from a wealthy, good-looking man, Chicago-based investment manager, Dallas Marcel, is not one of them. She will never let a man control her life again. That includes handsome entrepreneur, Tyler Hollister. But when Ponzi scheme ignites a SEC investigation of her firm, and her life is put in danger, Dallas realizes the one man she'd banned from her heart, might be the only one who can save her career…and her life.
Rendezvous with Danger
Alandra Pargas, ex-CIA agent, plans to wreak vengeance on the people who tried to kill her. A little rendezvous with danger is not what scares her, though. It’s coming face-to-face with the tall, dark, and dangerously sexy man, Special Operative Quinn Hamilton, who she vowed to love forever, that has her running for cover.
Truth or Consequences
Former Navy SEAL Malik Lewis will always remember the night he spent with Hospital Chief of Staff Natasha Lockham. It was the single most amazing night of his life. So when Natasha narrowly escapes a brutal attempt on her life, Malik stops at nothing to protect her, including hunting a man whose skills match his.
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Smashwords  |  Kobo  |  iBooks

**What readers have said about the Reunited series:

Blue Roses
“Was a very good book to start the reunited series, OMG book 2,3, and 4..if I could rate them a 10 star I would. Love a good romance suspense mixed in with a little humor!!!!”

Rendezvous with Danger
“I love the intrigue...the fiery chemistry between Alandra & Quinn....the camaraderie with the team; this book had it all!!”

Truth or Consequences
“This book was full of suspense, and true to Sharon Cooper's style, a beautiful love story. You get so caught up in the characters, you forget it's a book, but feel like you are right there watching each scene happen.”  

Excerpt from Rendezvous with Danger
Quinn continued to stare. The intensity in his midnight dark eyes scrutinized every inch of her.
“I don’t even know what to say to you,” he finally spoke just above a whisper, his voice laced with anguish. Alandra looked at him, unsure of how to respond, but didn’t have to say anything when he continued. “A part of me wants to wrap you in my arms and love on you so fierce that you’ll never want to leave me again, but then there’s the other part of me. The part that is mad as hell that my wife has been alive all this time, working in the city that I live in, and has never tried to contact me. That part of me wants nothing more than for you to get your ass out of my house and stay the hell out of my life…for good.”
Alandra reared back, stunned by the bitterness of his words. But what had she expected - to be welcomed with opened arms? Maybe not, but she had hoped they could at least talk. Yet, if she was honest with herself, she knew his unforgiving heart would rear its wicked head. He was the most committed, determined and trusted man to those he loved, but merciless toward his enemies. And right now, she wasn’t sure how he saw her.
Quinn released a long, ragged sigh and leaned against a nearby wall, his muscular arms folded across his chest. “Do you have any idea what I’ve been through these last few years, thinking you were dead? Thinking I’d never be able to touch you, hold you, or make love to you? Hell, I watched you die, Alandra, in my arms! You have any idea what that feels like? To watch the woman you loved more than life get gunned down.”
His voice broke, but he held his gaze steady, maintaining his usual tough-guy composure. Alandra’s heart crumbled. She blinked rapidly to keep tears from falling. He had always been so hard, tough, and strong willed. It had been too easy for her to forget he was just a man.
*
Get your copy of the Reunited Series Box Set (Books 1 -3) *LIMITED TIME*
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Smashwords  |  Kobo  |  iBooks

**For excerpts from all three books, visit https://www.sharoncooper.net/reunited-series

GIVEAWAY: Win an ecopy of OPERATION MIDNIGHT, book 4 of the Reunited series. Just leave a comment in the comment section below, stating what you like most about romantic suspense, for your chance to win!


About Operation Midnight

No bad deed goes unpunished

Former Navy SEAL turned private investigator, Cameron “Wiz” Miller, has loved only one woman, his ex-wife, Olivia. She’s beautiful, talented and the sweetest person he knows. With plans to remarry her, there is nothing she could ask of him that he wouldn’t do except … one thing.

Olivia has loved Wiz since high school. He is her hero. Her protector. She understands his hesitation to search for the woman who left her for dead. Forgiveness has been a long time coming, but Olivia has made peace with what happened. Wiz hasn't. For him, forgiveness is not an option.

But the sins of the past have come back to haunt Wiz, placing Olivia in danger. He must tap into his military training and every alliance he has formed over the years to save her. But is it too late? Will he and Olivia ever get that happily-ever-after?

NOTE: All books in this series can be read as a standalone.


Author Sharon C. Cooper
Award-winning and bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, is a romance-a-holic - loving anything that involves romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies, or real life. Sharon writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She’s been nominated for numerous awards and is the recipient of an Emma Award for Romantic Suspense of the Year 2015 (Truth or Consequences), Emma Award - Interracial Romance of the Year 2015 (All You’ll Ever Need), and BRAB (book club) Award -Breakout Author of the Year 2014. When Sharon is not writing or working, she’s hanging out with her amazing husband, doing volunteer work or reading a good book (a romance of course). To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net
Join Sharon’s mailing list: http://bit.ly/1Sih6ol
Subscribe to her blog: http://sharonccooper.wordpress.com/

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST April 13th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@justromanticsuspense.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Mighty McKenzies series continues with SMOKIES SPECIAL AGENT

With: Lena Diaz

Congratulations to "ChrisBails", the winner in Lena's giveaway. Please contact JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to claim your prize!

Last month, SMOKY MOUNTAINS RANGER kicked off the beginning of the four-book Mighty McKenzie romantic suspense series. This month, SMOKIES SPECIAL AGENT continues the series, releasing in print on April 16th and E-book format on May 1st.

The McKenzies are a law-enforcement family of four brothers, a retired federal judge father, and a mother who used to be a prosecutor. They live in the Smoky Mountains above Gatlinburg, Tennessee, helping each other combat evil and seek justice for victims.

SMOKIES SPECIAL AGENT features Duncan, a special agent criminal investigator with the National Park Service. Duncan is incredibly charming, funny and sexy and the only person who believes FBI Special Agent Remy Jordan when she tells him her outlandish theory about a serial killer who may be stalking women in America’s national parks. This book was incredibly challenging to write, because it features a complex crazy-pants plot that spans many decades. It was also loads of fun having both the hero and heroine be special agents, albeit from different alphabet agencies. It’s an emotional and fun read as you try to figure out the mystery. But it also has laugh-out-loud moments because of the hero’s light-hearted approach to life and incredible sense of humor. I fell in love with Duncan and hope you will too.

Giveaway:
To celebrate the first two books of this series, I’m doing a giveaway. Two random winners will be drawn. Each will receive a print copy of BOTH of the first two books – SMOKY MOUNTAINS RANGER and SMOKIES SPECIAL AGENT. To enter the drawing, just answer the following question in the JRS comments of this blog post.

What’s your favorite type of “band of brothers” in romance novels? (blood-related brothers? Military heroes? Some other type of brotherhood?)

I’d also love it if you give examples of books you’ve loved with your favorite type of band of brothers. I’m always looking for new books to read and am a particular fan of “brotherhoods”.

SMOKIES SPECIAL AGENT…

She was on a mission to fix the past

And he was determined to help her…


For ten years, Remi Jordan has been hunting her twin sister’s kidnapper. When baiting a killer backfires, the FBI agent’s career and freedom are suddenly on the line. Joining forces with Smoky Mountains investigator Duncan McKenzie ups the ante, unleashing treacherous desire. Now, with another woman missing, Remi’s fighting a lot more than the ghosts of the past. Is she also ready to fight for her future?

Pre-Order Links:

Find out more about this series and all of my books at www.LenaDiaz.com.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST April 6th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@justromanticsuspense.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

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