Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Quiet Ones

With: J. L. Lora

Giveaway Alert!

You know that saying it’s the quiet ones you gotta look out for? It has special meaning for me and my characters. A few weeks ago, Made, The Trinity Book 2, went live.  The heroine in my book, Gia, is one those women. People often think she’s just sweet and beautiful. Even though, she is part of The Trinity, the most powerful cartel in New York, they still tend to underestimate her.

There’s a misconception that when someone is quiet they’re content or complacent. Nothing can be furthest from the truth. The quiet ones sometimes hide the most pain, live in great turmoil, and hide the biggest heartbreaks. That’s why they also have the most strength, because they’ve always had to be strong.

Gia is one of those quiet ones. She’s everyone’s ray of sunshine, a dreamer without hope, living a life that chose her, and running from a past that’s never far behind. Beautiful smiles are there to cover bone deep scars.

Her role in The Trinity, which she runs with her two best friends, is as powerful as that of the other two members.  Each member of the Trinity has an equally important role in the organization. That is why the series symbol is The Trinity Knot. No matter which way you flip it, it doesn’t change its shape or strength. It’s equally powerful from all angles and their main asset is their unity.

It's one of Gia’s points of empowerment and the friendship is her sanctuary.

While their strength is wonderful to see, it can all be daunting for the men who are trying to
love them. Noah, the hero in Made, has his work cut out for him. Gia only trusts two people, the ones that have never let her down. Noah isn’t want of them. Their story is a long battle of love vs. Trust.

Will they learn to trust each other before it’s too late?






About the Author
J. L. Lora is a Dominican-American author. Her stories explore the dark side of good characters, people living in the gray areas of life while playing the cards life has dealt them. She loves strong heroines and their equally powerful Men. She currently lives in Maryland, pursuing her dream of writing compelling, sexy, can’t-put-down stories about empowered, badass alpha heroines and takeyour-breath-away alpha heroes.


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GIVEAWAY:  
I’m giving away an ebook copy of Made and a $5 Amazon card. To participate, please answer the following questions in the comments: Who is your favorite quiet one heroine or hero and why?

JRS will choose the winner of the contest.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST November 23rd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

WOULD YOU LET A STRANGER PROTECT YOU?


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

USA TODAY bestselling author Angi Morgan kicks off her new series with a spellbinding tale of crime and passion—Texas Ranger style!

Jack MacKinnon, Jr. didn’t expect to retrieve a fugitive in the middle of his vacation. Thinking he was doing a favor for his Company, he gave his word that he’d escort Megan Harper to Austin where another ranger could escort her to Dallas. Then his best friend claims she’s being framed and will be killed if placed in jail. He wants Jack to hide her on his ranch.
Jack can’t afford trouble during homecoming week while he fills in for his dad, a newly-elected state senator. With no desire to fill his father’s shoes as mayor, he’s anxious to get back to Company B. Keeping his dad appeased and a determined, capable woman secluded from the person trying to kill her might just be the hardest thing this ranger has ever done.
Accused of murder, Megan wants to find out who’s framing her. That’s what she does as an investigative analyst. Should she ignore the ranger who’s putting his life and career on the line? Or play it safe and hide with his family? Her question is soon answered when trouble arrives in the form of a hit man. Jack has to find a way to keep Megan alive before her self-sufficient attitude gets them both killed.

Can they ignore the desire ratcheting up the stakes, tempting them to take one last risk before a killer erases their future?


“I wouldn’t do that.” The deep voice slowed her steps.

A couple of steps away from her, a man lifted his finger in the air. He wasn’t the same as the man who’d accosted her at the gate. His serious scrutiny caught her off guard as he guided her out of the way of the revolving door.

“Are you following me?” She looked through the glass—the man trying to accost her and the carryon were gone.

“Nope. Someone wants to chat with you.” Serious guy extended a phone, and she heard an unfamiliar voice of a friend she hadn't seen in years.

“Megan. Megan, are you there?” The moment caught her off guard, and she paused. The stranger gently took her elbow, guiding her out of foot traffic, nodding as a couple of people passed and then handing her the phone.

She flipped the cell over and was on a video call. “Therese? I haven’t heard from you since I moved to Austin. What in the world is going on?”

“Thank God he found you. Listen, the man with you is Jack MacKinnon. He’s a friend and you need to leave with him. Now. I’ll explain later. Trust that your life is in danger.”

Megan looked straight into aviator shades and an expressionless pair of lips over a dimpled chin. His gesture to wrap up the call infuriated her a little bit more. But when she stumbled it was nice to have him there to steady her.

“I can explain everything in three or four days. Until then, MacKinnon can keep you safe.” Therese’s voice was shaky with fear. The man looked around without offering any explanation.

“I can take care of myself. But why do you think I need to? And why don’t I just go to the police?” She was certain she was capable.

Therese’s fear seemed to be seeping through the speaker, affecting her ability to reason. Either that or… Great, the room was spinning. “Why does it feel like I’m on that baggage carousel?”

“Wrap it up. They must have slipped you something.” The man gripped her elbow tighter and headed toward the exit.

“Someone’s trying to kill you, Megan. We don’t know who. At least not yet. And until we get a handle on this, you need to stay someplace safe. We think you’re being framed— What?” There was some noise on Therese’s end, and the screen went dark, like she’d covered the phone’s camera. Then nothing for a long couple of seconds. “I wish I had time to explain and I’m sorry I put you into this position. You can trust MacKinnon. He’s practically one of us. Maybe better since he’s a Texas—”

The phone went dark again. The connection was gone.

“Can you walk faster? I’m parked in a loading zone.” Therese’s friend wrapped his arm around her waist.

The mirrored aviator shades he wore blocked wherever he was looking, but it didn’t matter. She was quickly losing her footing and the grip on her laptop. “My bagsheze ish…”

Slurred speech and no muscle coordination. Her inability didn’t slow her escort down. He lifted her laptop bag onto one shoulder and stretched her arm around his other. She couldn’t even protest now. Her eyes were getting heavy, right along with every other part of her body.

“Stay with me, Megan,” he whispered close to her ear. “Yeah, we’re good. Pregnant. Just need to get her home.”

He’d told someone she was pregnant, and she couldn’t make her mouth object. Her brain seemed to be working, but nothing else. He lifted her onto the front seat of a giant truck and pulled the seat belt around her.

Eyes closed, her head fell to the window with a thud. They moved forward, and that was it. She’d been kidnapped, abducted. If anyone asked her to identify the man driving, she had a good image of a dimpled chin under shiny, reflective aviator shades.
~ ~ ~
RANGER PROTECTOR kicks off the TEXAS BROTHERS OF COMPANY B series. Available in stores mid-December and online January 1st. Available for Pre-Order
~ ~ ~
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 my monthly Giveaway

~ ~ ~
DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY.
Leave a comment to be entered for a $5.00 gift card. Giveaway on JRS ends at midnight November 21st.  Contestants enter drawing by leaving a comment on Just Romantic Suspense.

Megan is in danger and her friend sends Jack to help.
Would you accept protection from a stranger?


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Good Girls Don’t Read that!


Giveaway of $5 gift card!

I am a proud Kindle user. Not only is reading your books electronically the best way to avoid clutter, it offers something else some of us may need…. PRIVACY. Let’s be honest who wants the world to know your reading Fifty Shades of Grey while your kids are around? I have always loved to read and when I became a writer it was obvious I would write the kind of stories that I read. I love the alpha bad boy that doesn’t always take the law into consideration. Let’s get even more personal… I love a down and dirty Mafia love story. I had my genre chosen and I was thrilled…. Until I told my friends.

When I was asked what my first book was about and I uttered the words Mafia Romance, I was given the “eye”.  We all know “the eye” don’t we? Those eyes are filled with suspicion. I am a nice, quiet girl who goes to church regularly and I wanted to write about Mafia Romance? I was basically told I was going to hell in my own taxi and I should write about the nice guy who goes to work, pray and attend bible study. There is nothing wrong with any of those things, but it’s not what I wanted and daydreamed about. I am a good girl that attends church often but I want something different. I NEED something different.

I want the alpha male that will throw me on the bed and tell me that I am his. I want the tattooed, bearded man that is willing to break a few fingers if someone pissed me off. I want the man with balls that knows how to use them. Good girls do read that and some of us want those things in our lives too!

Excerpt:

Before Pop got sick, I considered my family to be the perfect little Italian family that still had dinners on Sunday, but I suppose all families have something buried in the backyard. Unfortunately, with my family, it’s probably a body.

When Pop realized that he couldn’t defeat his cancer, he had a talk with each one of us. We all spoke to him privately and he told us his wishes. We never confided to the others what was said, but Ma, Alex, and Alexis seemed to have peace with what was said. I was the last one to enter the hospital room to hear his wishes and have the dreaded talk. I hated entering the room. It is so heartbreaking to see the man you looked at like he was Superman, find his kryptonite. Pop had lost so much weight; he looked like photos I had seen of his pop, which was at least fifty pounds lighter than my pop. His face was sunken in and he was so weak. I hated seeing what cancer had done to him. He was a fighter and he fought to the very end. As I walked closer to the hospital bed, I could feel myself getting weaker and weaker. I knew in my gut that this would be one of the last times I would talk to my father, my hero. He turned his head slightly to look at me and his weak voice said he had something important to ask me.

“I am dying Frank. I can no longer fight it, it’s too painful.” It hurt so much to hear my father admit to his pain. My father spent the next twenty minutes making his final request and I was shocked by what I was hearing. My father was a criminal. My entire family is criminals. Hell, I may be a criminal by blood. My father is the fucking don.

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About Author:
Rumer Raines is a good girl that will take her men the same way she takes her coffee…. HOT.  Reading about the Alpha male didn’t curve her appetite so she started creating her own. While most girls love the nice guy who does the 9 to 5.  You won’t be reading about those guys in any of her books… my men will always be just above legal, until they are caught.

Giveaway:
Comment on what qualities your dream man has and one lucky winner will win a $5 Amazon Gift Card

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST November 19th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Forgotten Past and the Unknown Future


Giveaway Alert!

With every year that passes, I find myself grasping more and more for the most random details. If I’ve made a grocery list and I forget it at home, do you think I’m going to remember everything that’s on that list while I’m at the store? Heck, no! If I have a to-do list of fifteen items, I have to write everything down or I’m bound to forget at least six of them. And don’t even consider asking me “what happened in the previous episode?” if we’re watching a TV show together. That’s what the recap is for! I don’t have the mental space for that!
But honestly, it’s not so bad. I still have the lyrics to every single late 90’s pop song in my head, as well as the entirety of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Less Traveled,” which I was forced to memorize in fifth grade.

All of these details are minor and easily navigated—nothing like, for example, waking up to find yourself lying on the side of the road with a gun near your hand and zero memory of how you got there. Or who you are. Or who that strange man is who’s running toward you wearing a shirt with bright yellow lettering that says ‘FBI’…

In my latest release, SILENT NIGHT THREAT, I wanted to explore the unknown in a different way—after all, when it comes to suspense, the external threat is often the most prevalent element of the unknown, but I decided to add another layer and force my main characters to confront an internal unknown at the same time. What would it be like to be dodging bullets, running for your life, and trying to protect a child you barely remember while you’re practically a stranger to yourself?

And what would it be like for the person who loves that individual, trying to protect her while she has no idea who he even is or how their lives are intertwined?

It’s one thing to live in suspense and fear when enemies are coming after you from all sides. It’s quite another when the attack comes from those enemies and from inside your own mind!

Listen, I’ll gladly take my forgotten grocery items or the hazy plot details of last week’s episode of Wynonna Earp any time over amnesia and weaponized aerial drones. The future is unknown enough without losing all my memories… but just in case that ever happens, I’ll keep taking obnoxious photos of my food for social media and posting inane tweets about what my cat is doing.

Hey, I’m just looking out for my future self!

Oh… hang on, what was my password again? ;)

GIVEAWAY:
What strange thing can you never seem to remember? A phone number? Your socks? Your brother’s dog’s birthday? Tell me about it in the comments!

Commenters will be entered into a giveaway to win one copy of SILENT NIGHT THREAT!


SILENT NIGHT THREAT 

None of her training prepares astronaut Natasha Stark for what she wakes up to three weeks after her groundbreaking space voyage: a target on her back—and no memories. But there's something oddly familiar about the FBI agent who rescues her. Christopher Barton can't believe he drew the mission of safeguarding his long-ago fiancĂ©e and her daughter—a child he has every reason to believe is his. To learn the truth, though, he has to help Natasha regain her memory. But with threats mounting against the family he hopes to join, Chris is running out of time to take down the assailants before they kill the woman he never forgot and the child he never knew existed.

About the Author
Michelle Karl is an unabashed bibliophile and romantic suspense author. She lives in Canada with her husband, a co-dependent cat, an unflappable bunny and an opinionated parrot. When she's not reading and consuming copious amounts of coffee, she writes the stories she'd like to find in her 'to be read' pile. She also loves animals, world music, and eating the last piece of cheesecake.


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST November 18th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Exclusive Excerpt: The Lullaby Girl


Giveaway Alert!

THE LULLABY GIRL

Detective Angie Pallorino took down a serial killer permanently and, according to her superiors, with excessive force. Benched on a desk assignment for twelve months, Angie struggles to maintain her sense of identity—if she’s not a detective, who is she? Then a decades-old cold case washes ashore, pulling her into an investigation she recognizes as deeply personal.

Angie’s lover and partner, James Maddocks, sees it, too. But spearheading an ongoing probe into a sex-trafficking ring while keeping Angie’s increasing obsession with her case in check is taking its toll. As startling connections between the parallel investigations emerge, Maddocks realizes he has even more than Angie’s emotional state to worry about.

Driven and desperate to solve her case, Angie goes rogue, risking her relationship, career, and very life in pursuit of answers. She’ll learn that some truths are too painful to bear, and some sacrifices include collateral damage.

But Angie Pallorino won’t let it go. She can’t. It’s not in her blood.




Exclusive Excerpt: The Lullaby Girl Loreth Anne White 

“I made you tea—do you like tea? Please, sit down.” Wanda Voight gestured toward a round table abutting a window that looked out over a small garden. On the table was a colorful cloth, atop which sat a teapot covered with a quilted cozy. Beside it was a plate of scones, jars of jam and cream, and a set of matching cups, saucers, and plates.

“I love tea, thanks.” Angie seated herself at the table. “You have a nice view from downstairs, too,” she said, taking in the pretty little envelope of lawn outside with its neatly trimmed edges, shrub border. A drooping yellow cedar stood sentinel over it all. Once a few pleasantries had been exchanged and tea had been poured and a hot buttered scone and jam had been set in front of Angie, she steered the conversation back to the topic of her visit, remaining careful not to angle in too directly—senior citizens did require a different level of tact when it came to interviews. They’d witnessed life in a different era. They generally needed to be made to feel relaxed, comfortable, warmed up with common interests. Angie explained again why she’d come. “As I mentioned on the phone, I’m looking into that cradle case for a close friend.”

“Are you a private investigator, then?” said Wanda.

“In a manner. At least in this capacity.” Angie set her cup on its saucer and leaned forward. “That case made the media. Ads and posters were sent out, yet no one came forward to claim the child, no distant relative, nothing. It must have been high-profile for a while?”

Wanda sipped her tea, thinking. “You know, it was the top of the news for a week or so, but then there was that big earthquake up in Alaska, and the angel’s cradle child story sort of got swept away by it all. On top of the quake, news broke about that Boeing going down in the Pacific. There was a team of Calgary hockey players on that plane, and it was all everyone was talking about.” She took another sip of her tea, then shook her head. “Arnie had nightmares about the cradle case. And when no one came for that little girl, and Arnie could do nothing more to find out where she’d come from . . . well, he had trouble letting it go. He was disturbed by his own inability to solve the mystery.”

“He was the lead investigator, I understand.”

“Yes. His partner at the time was Rufus Stander. They worked it together. Eventually they had to put the case aside for more pressing things.”

“What happened to Rufus Stander?” Angie asked. “When I visited the VPD yesterday, they told me he was also deceased.” And I got a feeling there was more to it than that.

A shadow crept into the elderly woman’s eyes. Carefully, with two hands, she set her cup on the saucer. She wiped her mouth with her napkin. “Arnie and Rufus had a particularly difficult case several years after the angel’s cradle one. An eight-year-old boy went missing from Stanley Park. Clean vanished into thin air. Arnie and Rufus were part of the team tasked with the search. And they were the ones who found him. Just one block down from the park where he disappeared. They were searching the rental unit of a man who’d apparently been seen talking with the boy in the park shortly before the boy vanished. The man was not at home—the landlord let Arnie and Rufus into the unit. Apparently, the landlord said the tenant had not been seen since the day the boy went missing. While Arnie was talking to the landlord, Rufus opened the fridge door, to see what was in there—to judge how long the man might have been gone and whether he might be returning . . .” Her voice faded. She shook herself.

“A garbage bag came tumbling out and thudded onto the floor. The boy had been stuffed into the bag and crammed into the fridge. Rufus told Arnie later that it was the garbage bag that really got to him—the fact that someone’s kid had been put into a trash bag like that. Just some rubbish to be thrown away. Why stick the child in that bag, he said, if you’re going to put him in the fridge?” A long pause. Rain began to fall harder outside. The boughs of the yellow cedar sulked lower as they dripped water.

“Rufus never got over it, I think,” Wanda said, her voice going raspy with emotion. “That and all the other stuff those city cops had to deal with. Years later he tidied up his affairs. Washed all his clothes. Laid all his shoes out neatly in his cupboard and in the boot room, side by side. Then he went and lay down on the railway tracks. At the bottom of North Van.” Another break of heavy silence descended over Wanda. She cleared her throat. “That’s when Arnie finally put in for his retirement. People don’t understand the toll that job can take on a police officer or his family. They don’t know how we all have to tiptoe around the ugly side of the job, the mood swings, the depression, the drinking.” She looked out of the window, her gaze going distant. “Sometimes when Arnie came home after a bad shift, I couldn’t talk to him for hours. I just had to let him lay on the couch and watch mindless television and have a couple of beers, and then he’d finally come around and be himself again. It wasn’t easy being married to him. But I loved him.” She returned her gaze to Angie. “I miss him.”

Angie’s chest clutched at the rawness in Wanda Voight’s eyes. She hesitated, then awkwardly she forced herself to cover the woman’s hand with her own. “I’m sorry,” she said.

Wanda inhaled deeply. “No, I’m sorry. This was not supposed to be about me.” She extracted her hand, fumbled for a handkerchief in her pocket, blew her nose, and then came to her feet. “I asked Sharon to bring Arnie’s boxes up out of the basement. She put them by the sliding door for you.”

“What boxes?”

“They’re over here,” Wanda said as she got up and made for the glass slider.

Angie lurched to her feet and followed, her pulse suddenly racing.

Wanda pointed to two cardboard file boxes that rested side by side on the floor behind a sofa. They were sealed with yellow tape. In fat black Sharpie along the side of the front box, someone had scrawled the words BOX 01 JANE DOE SAINT PETERS #930155697–2. Shock slammed through Angie. She bent down and moved the first box aside. BOX 02 JANE DOE SAINT PETERS #930155697–2.

Her gaze ticked up to Wanda. “Are these the angel’s cradle case files?”

“Like I said, it got to Arnie. He never did stop looking in his own way. He always wondered if that child might return one day as a grown woman to ask him questions. He knew she’d been adopted. He knew that she’d been taken in by a good, kind family. He even called the child’s adoptive father a few times to check on the child and to see if she might have remembered anything about that day, or about her life before. Or whether the adoptive family had ever been contacted by anyone suspicious. Arnie also thought that maybe a relative might eventually come to him in search of the child. But no one did. He never did find her family, nor the men who’d fired the guns outside the church that night. When he learned that the evidence was going to be destroyed, he went and got these boxes. He wasn’t supposed to. They used to incinerate anything in evidence that was to be destroyed, with witnesses watching. Sometimes they’d return property to families if they could find them. In this case, since there was nothing valuable in there, no weapons or anything, they let Arnie take it. He told them he was going to keep working it on his own. He brought the boxes home.”

Did he work on it?”

“He opened the files up several times, extracted some notes, poked around a bit. In the end he resealed the boxes. When I sold the house after he died I brought them here and they went into the basement.”

Angie stared at the boxes. Deep inside her belly, her muscles began to shake.

Is it possible?

Could the forensic evidence be inside those boxes—lab serology results, prints, ballistics info—things she could have retested for DNA?

“I think Arnie would like you to have them,” his widow said softly. “He’d like to know that someone was still looking.”

Angie’s heart galloped up into her throat and her skin turned hot as she continued to stare down at the two boxes on the floor. A potential portal.

To her past.

Her future.

 ***

About the Author
Loreth Anne White is an award-winning author of romantic suspense, thrillers, and mysteries. She has won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Romantic Suspense, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Romantic Crown for Best Romantic Suspense and Best Book Overall. In addition, she has been a two-time RITA finalist, a Booksellers’ Best finalist, a multiple Daphne Du Maurier Award finalist, and a multiple CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award winner. A former journalist and newspaper editor who has worked in both South Africa and Canada, she now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

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