Tuesday, September 25, 2018

CYCLONE – Exclusive Excerpt


Giveaway Alert!


It’s release day for my new steamy romantic suspense CYCLONE!

He’d protect her from any threat… 
But what if the biggest threat is him?

Doctor Anne Nichols is back in Oak Creek, Wyoming, only because she has no other options. Here, she was always the shy, stuttering girl, invisible to everyone. 

Except Zac Mackay. The very reason she left in the first place.

Zac’s years in Special Forces taught him survival skills, and he’s created a company—Linear Tactical—to teach those skills to others, so they never have to live in fear.

Then why is Annie, the last person he’d ever want to hurt, afraid of him

Zac’s determined to wipe the fear from the eyes of the woman who has never been far from his mind. And fix the mistakes—his mistakes—that put that look there in the first place. 

But a predator has set his sights on Annie. And now survival skills will become much more than lessons…


Here’s a teaser graphic and excerpt for JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE readers:



“I was here a couple of years ago, but only for a day or two,” Anne told Zac, looking away. She had booked a room out of Oak Creek both times she’d dared come back. The thought of staying at The Mayor’s Inn had been too painful. She couldn’t even look at that hotel without feeling sick to her stomach.
And she’d avoided everyone—particularly Zac—as much as possible. Just in case his words about not coming back were still true. She tried to swallow the panic that threatened to overwhelm her. Maybe he still felt that way now, even though he hadn’t said anything at the hospital.
“There.” He pointed at her. “That look that just came into your eyes. I saw it at the hospital. It’s like you’re afraid of me, Annie.” He took a step closer and she instinctively one back. One of his eyebrows shot up, letting her know she’d proved his point. “Do you think I’m going to hurt you?”
“No.” Not physically. She’d never worried that he’d hurt her that way, despite having five inches and probably fifty pounds—all muscle—on her.
But he was right. She couldn’t continue living in Oak Creek with them ignoring everything that had happened that night. What had been said. What had been done. Maybe she would’ve tried to, and to avoid Zac forever, if he hadn’t ended up in her ER. 
But the truth was, there weren’t enough bushes in this town for her to jump into. She was going to run into Zac. A lot.
Sometimes all you could do was face the past.
She pulled a breath in. “I’m not scared of you. I mean, I know you would never hurt me physically. For crying out loud, you wrecked your motorcycle rather than hit a dog.” She’d meant for her laugh to seem breezy, but it just sounded stilted. “But yeah, I mean, we can’t pretend like that night never happened. The stuff we did. Stuff you...we said.”
His eyes narrowed. “That night we spent together after Becky died.”
“Yeah. That night.” As if they’d had another. “The bottom line is, I can’t leave here, Zac. No matter what you said then, or even if you feel the same way now.”
He shook his head, brows furrowing. “I don’t expect you to leave. You’re obviously a respected doctor, more than competent. Why would you think I wanted you to leave?”
Some of the tension she’d been carrying since his arrival in the ER began to ease. He was right. Something said in grief and anger six years ago didn’t necessarily hold true all this time later. She was silly for thinking it did. “Okay, well, it’s good to know you don’t feel the same as you did back then.”
He took a single predatory step closer, and she tensed again. “I said something that night to make you think you needed to leave?”
She stared at him, her mouth flopping open like some sort of fish. “You don’t remember what you said?”
Those words would be engrained in her memory forever.
Get out and don’t come back.
He rubbed his forehead. “That whole night is fuzzy for me.”
I can’t even bear to look at you. You just betrayed the only person in this town who ever wanted you here. 
Tossing her naked into the hallway before flinging her clothes at her. 
“What do you remember?” She forced the words past a throat that seemed to have dried up.
His hand moved to the back of his neck. “Honestly, not much at all. It’s sort of a blur.”
She retreated a step from him again. That night had been the most important night of her life. The best. The worst. It had changed the very fabric of her being. 
And it was sort of a blur for him.

***
Buy CYCLONE here:


The Linear Tactical books come in both regular and “less steamy” versions (same great story but without descriptive sexual content or bad language). The less steamy version can be found on Janie’s website.

JANIE’S DISCUSSION QUESTION: Which do you prefer in your romantic suspense books—regular or less steamy?

Giveaway:
Janie has a huge giveaway going on here and all JRS readers are welcome: https://readerlinks.com/l/312661




Monday, September 24, 2018

WATCHED FROM A DISTANCE



Deep down in our genetic code is an instinct we still use every single day. Maybe not to the extent it was once needed—to ensure our survival—but in every decision we are faced with this one simple question. Our body tenses, waiting the response from our brain. Fight or Flight? Sometimes we choose wisely, sometimes not. What would you choose?

Let’s play Fight or Flight with Allison B. Hanson, author of Watched From a Distance.

Scenario One: You’re down to the last sleeve of Thin Mints. You’ve been hoarding them in the back of the pantry because you know you only have those fourteen cookies to hold you over until next year’s cookie sale. Your husband has found them lurking behind the rice.

Allison: Fight. When fighting for cookies you have adrenaline and dormant warrior goddess genes on your side. No matter how large your husband is, you will always be the victor when fighting for cookies. Never fear.

Scenario Two: You’re writing a particularly delicious scene—you’ve just saved Jason Momoa from the bad guys and he’s feeling extremely grateful and a bit randy. But then, reality intrudes in the form of a family member calling you in that tone that could be anything from a loss of a limb or their inability to find the milk which is where it always is.

Allison: Fight for Jason time. Launch into defense strategy. First, quietly close the door to the office. Maybe something heavy accidentally falls in front of said door. Second, put in earbuds so you can pretend you didn’t hear them. (Note: Make sure earbuds are plugged in.) If it’s the milk they will find it rather than hunt you down. If it’s the limb, you can drown your guilt with the last of the thin mint cookies. 

Scenario Three: There’s a spider—

Allison: Stop right there. The answer is flight. Run as fast as you can in the other direction. The only time I might possibly consider fight is if I was backed into a corner, armed with a flamethrower, a lightsaber, and a 55 gallon drum of Raid. Maybe.

Scenario Four: You live in the Northeast during winter and are out of bread and milk. A snowstorm has been announced on the radio. You are two minutes from the store.

Allison: Flight. There’s no way there will be any bread left in the store by the time I get there two minutes from now. When the bread is gone, the pillagers will move to the Pillsbury dough and pre-made pizza crusts. Then things get ugly. As society breaks down and turns to tortilla chips and pitas you’re taking your life in your hands. It’s not worth it. Return home and eat your peanut butter with a spoon.

Scenario Five: Your sister wants to borrow your favorite book (with the creases at all the best parts.) Last time she borrowed a book she got barbeque sauce on it, and put it in a bag with a leaking bottle of contact solution.

Allison: Fight. Buy her a new copy of her own so she can experience the book, while protecting your copy at all costs. Maybe say a silent prayer for the sacrificial copy you supplied and hope it survives the ordeal.

WATCHED FROM A DISTANCE

Lena Scott is in a world of hurt. She's being forced to pay off her ex's debts to people who'd rather kill her than look at her...and are making demands she's desperate to avoid. But kidnapping and murder? Hell, no. When the threats turn deadly, Lena refuses to be a pawn any longer.
Five years ago, U.S. Marshal Dane Ryan left his old life and went into witness protection alone to keep his family safe. Working for Task Force Phoenix under a new identity, it's his job to protect others from those who'd harm them.
When the beautiful and mysterious Lena lures him into danger, he suddenly doesn't know who to trust. She has her own agenda, and they both have big secrets, but for either to survive, they'll need to work together to defeat their mutual enemy. Falling in love will only mean more to lose...

Each title in the Love Under Fire series is STANDALONE:
* Witness in the Dark
* Wanted for Life
* Witness in the Dark





Saturday, September 22, 2018

Exclusive Excerpt: WHAT I'VE DONE


Haley Powell wakes up covered in blood, with no memory of the night before. When she sees a man lying in the backyard, stabbed to death, she has only one terrified thought: What have I done?

Agreeing to take the case as a favor to her PI friend Lincoln Sharp, Morgan must scale a mountain of damning circumstantial and forensic evidence to prove her client innocent. Haley couldn’t appear more guilty: her bloodstained fingerprints are on the murder weapon, and she has no alibi. But Morgan can’t shake the feeling that this shocked young woman has been framed.

Someone out there is hell-bent on sabotaging her defense, targeting Morgan, her partner, and especially Haley. Someone who will stop at nothing—and whose next move will be deadly.




Exclusive Excerpt: WHAT I'VE DONE by Melinda Leigh

Haley gasped, sucking air into her lungs like a person who had just surfaced after being underwater too long. Oxygen flooded her, and consciousness returned with a rush of sensation that swept over her skin and left it tingling. Pain throbbed through her head as she opened her eyes. Her vision blurred. The blur spun, and she quickly shut her eyes again.

What happened?

Shimmering lights and loud music flashed in her mind. It had been Piper’s birthday, and she’d talked Haley into going dancing to celebrate, even though Haley would have preferred to hang out in her pajamas, eat pizza, and play video games. Haley had run into Noah and his friends. She and Noah had ordered drinks and nachos. They’d danced.

Then what?

She blinked. A dim and unfamiliar ceiling fan took shape. She was not in her own bed. Heart racing, she glanced at the pillow next to hers. Vacant. Whose bed was she in? Regret followed close on the heels of the agony splitting her head.

She slammed her eyelids down, rolled to her side, and curled into a fetal position.

This was why she wasn’t a drinker.

This was why she preferred gaming to clubbing.

Had she gone home with Noah? The last thing she remembered was him chatting her up, bringing her a second cosmo. Though she didn’t have much tolerance for alcohol, two drinks certainly weren’t enough to make her black out. She hadn’t had a hangover since college. She’d learned her lesson about overindulging in alcohol during The Great Tequila Incident of freshman year.

But that was before she’d gotten sick. Now she rarely drank, and she never overindulged.

Dizziness swam through her head. Duh. She wasn’t hungover. She needed her medication, and for that, she needed to find her purse. Her stupid Addison’s disease was a pain in the butt. She’d take her meds, then call an Uber and go home. She’d figure the rest out later. Though she hadn’t planned to hook up with anyone, she always carried extra medication with her in case of an emergency.

But last night hadn’t been an emergency. She’d gone home with someone. Shame washed over her, leaving her cold and hollow.

Please let it have been Noah.

It had to have been him. Piper wouldn’t have let her leave with a stranger, even if Haley hadn’t been a best friend last night. She winced as she remembered how much time she’d spent with Noah during a girls’ night out. She and her girlfriend always watched each other’s backs. Always. Piper wouldn’t let something as stupid as a little jealousy bypass their safety pact.

Right?

In the back of her mind, something didn’t feel normal, but she shushed the nagging voice. She’d take her meds, her brain would clear, and things would start making sense.

She opened her eyes and blinked a few times. Her vision was still blurry. The light filtering in through the blinds told her it was daytime. Dehydration was a frequent issue with her disease. Her purse sat on the nightstand next to a half-empty bottle of water. She pulled the purse to her and searched for her phone. She didn’t find it, but she did spot her prescription bottle. She swallowed a tablet and drained the water bottle.

An envelope on the nightstand caught her attention. She reached for it. Through the clear window, the label read Noah Carter above a Grey’s Hollow address.

Relief swept over her. Though they’d met only a few times, the chemistry between her and Noah had been palpable. He was a very cute web designer who had consulted for the bank where she was a social media coordinator.

Haley had a weakness for nerds.

Her focus shifted to a crusty substance on her hand. Haley spread her hand in front of her face. Something dark and dry and rust-colored was smeared on her fingers. It took a moment before confusion shifted to clarity.

Blood?

Disbelief sliced through her haze. She sat upright, the quick motion turning her stomach over. Her gaze cut across the bed. The same rusty marks streaked the bedding, though the dark red was barely visible on the charcoal-gray comforter. Definitely blood. Fear rushed through her. Her heartbeat doubled its rhythm. She turned her hand over but saw no cuts on her skin, nor could she feel any sharp pain anywhere on her body.

She swallowed, her stomach sour. This couldn’t be happening. It must be a nightmare. 

***

Author Biography

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh is a fully recovered banker. A lifelong lover of books, she started writing as a way to pre­serve her sanity when her youngest child entered first grade. During the next few years, she joined Romance Writers of America, learned a few things about writing a novel, and decided the process was way more fun than analyzing financial statements. Melinda’s debut novel, She Can Run, was nominated for Best First Novel by the International Thriller Writers. She’s also garnered Golden Leaf and Silver Falchion awards, along with nominations for a RITA and three Daphne du Maurier Awards. Her other novels include She Can Tell, She Can Scream, She Can Hide, She Can Kill, Midnight Exposure, MidnightSacrifice, Midnight Betrayal, Midnight Obsession, Hour of Need, Minutes to Kill, Seconds to LiveSay You’re Sorry, and Her Last Goodbye. She holds a second-degree black belt in Kenpo karate; teaches women’s self-defense; and lives in a messy house with her husband, two teenagers, a couple of dogs, and two rescue cats.

Social Media Links

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

So…what do we call it?


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

For the last several months I’ve been working on a new story. In a new series. With new characters. Eventually I finished the manuscript but then faced a troublesome quandary: What to call it. I needed more than a title. I needed a name for this new series, along with branding elements such as a tag line and distinctive covers.

I huddled with my team (translation: cover designer and assistant) and we came up with a great concept that I’m thrilled to reveal. Readers of romantic suspense may know me from my Code Breakers series (Regency romantic suspense) or my Grayce Walters series (contemporary romantic suspense set in Seattle). My new series is military romantic suspense—the heroes are SEALs, soldiers and secret agents. Strong, honorable warriors who stand tall and proud until brought to their knees by the women they love.

The first book in my brand new Impossible Mission romantic suspense series is Mission: Impossible to Resist. Here’s the cover and the plot.



Life could have been one continuous party for Seattle socialite Jordan Dean, the eldest daughter of a tech billionaire. Instead, she’s built a career as a physician and genetic researcher while looking out for her younger sister after the death of their mother.

Aiden Foster, Delta Force operative, is doing a favor for a SEAL buddy by temporarily bodyguarding Jordan. Despite coming from a privileged background himself, Aiden has zero interest in superficial debutantes, until meeting the gorgeous but tightly controlled researcher.

The simple, one-week assignment turns into a deadly game when Jordan’s sister is kidnapped by the Chinese Triad. The immediate assumption is that she will be ransomed for her father’s billions. Instead, the kidnappers demand Jordan turn over her cutting-edge research that could be sold on the dark web.

Aiden must protect Jordan from the violent gang willing to obtain her research at all costs. As the danger escalates, Jordan discovers she has been betrayed by individuals close to her. The only person she can trust is the man who’s been tasked with protecting her…but who poses a huge risk to her well-guarded heart.

Aiden manages to keep Jordan safe—until he’s ambushed and she’s taken. Now he’s working from the outside—and she’s using her brains to figure a way to keep her and her sister safe as well as her research. In an explosive finale, Jordan and Aiden take down the villain. Aiden’s one-week assignment is now far too short, so the couple begin negotiating something a little longer...

Giveaway:
For a chance to win a digital copy of Mission: Impossible to Resist, tell me what hooks your attention most—the military hero, the book blurb or the cover?

Mission: Impossible to Resist releases October 18th. Preorder your copy so you don’t miss this brand new military romantic suspense series!



About Jacki Delecki
Jacki Delecki is a bestselling romantic suspense writer. Delecki’s Grayce Walters Series, which chronicles the adventures of a Seattle animal acupuncturist, was an editor’s selection by USA Today. Delecki’s Romantic Regency The Code Breaker Series hit number one on Amazon. For more information, visit http://www.JackiDelecki.com.

To learn more about Jacki and her books and to be the first to hear about giveaways join her newsletter found on her website. Follow her on FB at Jacki Delecki; Twitter @jackidelecki.

Newsletter:  http://bit.ly/2D7yoFt

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST September 19th. 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.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Mountain Survival (in more ways than one!)


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


Was the man with ghostly gray eyes supposed to make her feel safe?

A reclusive ex-military man with post-traumatic stress takes on a harrowing rescue mission in the rugged mountains of Wyoming. But will saving a kidnapped heiress bring redemption? Or heartbreak…

A brief excerpt from RESCUEDBY THE MARINE:
Why take out the pilot and trap them on the mountain?
Jason’s nostrils flared at the pungent odor he’d noticed earlier, and an idea began to take shape. He knelt to swipe his fingers through the snow and soggy grass underneath. Fuel. He visually followed the trail of discolored snow back to the chopper, and tracked the oily residue up to the tank near the engine. The pilot. The radio. And now the fuel tank—all with nice big bullet holes in them.
A man wouldn’t need to shoot them if he could make all their deaths look like an accident. Jason glanced down the incline to see where the fuel had pooled in a snowy depression. This was bad. “Sam?” He pushed to his feet, backing toward the chopper. “Sam?” When he heard rustling in the trees, and spotted at least three upright shadows moving, he ran. This was very bad. He slapped the passenger window. “Sam!”
            She popped up, holding a Swiss Army knife in one hand, and a backpack in the other as Jason waved her toward the exit. She was stuffing the tool she’d scrounged into the emergency gear bag and hooking it over her shoulder as he slid the door open. “Your friend had a backpack. Warm clothes. A couple of protein bars. Water. Do you think he’d mind if I—”
“We need to go. Now.”
She flinched at the crack of a gunshot, tilted her head to the sky as a flare arced like a comet above the clearing. “Is that…?”
Very, very bad. “Run!”
            Jason grabbed her around the waist, set her on the ground, snatched her gloved hand and ran back the way they came. The flare hit the fuel, igniting a fire that ran up the slope like a charging bear. He forced Sam into the race of her life as he lengthened his stride and sprinted toward the trees. They’d barely reached the three scrawny pines at the edge of the forest when the helicopter exploded.

Stranded in the mountains with mercenaries tracking them, Jason and Samantha would love a warm, easy meal like this one instead of protein bars and dried fruit. Do you have a favorite go-to meal for a cold day?



Easy Potato Soup
(I often fix a big pot of this for Christmas Eve when the family gathers, but it’s easy enough for a weeknight meal.)

Ingredients:
1 package of frozen hashed browns (I like cubed Southern style for this recipe)
1 carton chicken stock or broth
1 pint whole milk
¼ grated fresh onion or 1 tsp. dried minced onions
3 TBS. butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Utensils: 1 pot on top of the stove, a wooden spoon to stir, ladle to serve

Thaw hashed browns (you can start with frozen, but it takes longer to cook); Melt 3 TBS. butter in a large pot. Add ¼ grated onion (hubby doesn’t like to bite into onions, so I grate or use dried) and pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until translucent. Add the thawed hashed browns and stir to coat. Barely cover potatoes with chicken stock (may not need entire carton). Cover pot and bring to simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft. Pour in ½ quart whole milk. Bring back to simmer. Adjust seasoning if needed. It’s ready to serve. Store it in your fridge. Reheat in microwave.

I usually fix a potato toppings bar to go with the soup, then my family can doctor the soup as they like. Diced ham or bacon. Shredded cheddar or Colby-jack cheese. Chopped green onions. Sliced sautéed mushrooms. Steamed broccoli florets. Chopped herbs. And so on. I almost always have shredded cheese on hand, then the rest is whatever falls out of my fridge. It’s a great use for leftovers.

With the toppings bar, this is a one-pot meal. I’ll serve it with toasty bread or crackers. For a heartier meal, add a grilled cheese or BLT sandwich.

It’s easy to halve this recipe, too, which makes enough for hubby and me to get dinner and lunch the next day.

What are your favorite meals to warm you up when the weather turns cold?

Giveaway:
I’ll give away a copy of RESCUED BY THE MARINE to one lucky poster (print or digital) who leaves a question or comment.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST September 18th. 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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