Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dangerous Connections

By: Terry Odell

Congratulations to "Donna", the winner of Terry's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

When I decided to write Dangerous Connections, the fifth book in my Blackthorne, Inc. romantic suspense series, I wanted something new. The first four books featured field agents, and I pulled them away from their normal covert ops missions to see how they dealt with living in the "civilized" world. But Jinx, Blackthorne's intelligence gatherer, demanded his book. Since he had no covert ops field agent training, I wondered what it would be like to flip the approach and put him, a computer nerd, into the field where he didn't have access to cyberspace.

I was writing what my daughter calls the "MacGyver Opening Gambit" for the beginning of the new book—most of my Blackthorne, Inc. books start by showing the team in action—when I needed some information about where the cartels operated in Mexico. When I found an article about how the cartels were kidnapping American engineers to build private cell phone networks, I knew I'd found my story.

Jinx blames himself for faulty intel that led to the loss of a hostage the team was sent to rescue. Not only that, most of the team was captured as well. Someone has to find them, and Jinx is the one with the technological skills. All he has to do is go to Mexico, get kidnapped, work his way into the cartel's computer and cell phone system, find the hostage and the team. Oh, and while he's there, he should make some clever modifications to the cartel's phone system so the authorities in Mexico can eavesdrop. Piece of cake. For a field operative. Not a geek.

Of course, Jinx's interactions with people tend to be from behind a computer, where he spends his free time in role-playing games. Translating those skills to dealing with real people—with real guns, and no do-overs—is another thing entirely. Keeping him outside his comfort zone was fun—for me, not Jinx, I'm afraid.

Here's an excerpt:

Fingering the St. Christopher’s medal hanging around his neck, Jinx concentrated on his new persona and cover story.

“Shouldn’t be much different from role-playing computer games,” Zeke had said.

Only this time, it was face to face, not behind the security of a computer. The lives that might be lost were real, and there were no do-overs. No replays. Hours of briefings at the compound were one thing. Having to create and maintain his cover among strangers was another thing entirely. His stomach was doing the rumba, not listening to his brain.

Role playing. You can do it.

*******
And, because I'm not a completely nasty author when it comes to my characters, I did find a more experienced ally for Jinx. He meets Elle, a cop, who's looking for her missing sister, so at least he's got someone with him who knows which end of a gun goes where.  Here's a peek at when she showed up in his hotel room, pointing a gun at him, to ask for his help:

Who the hell was she? Had Blackthorne sent her to help? If so, she would have mentioned it, wouldn’t she?

The gun was gone, he noticed. Probably in the large blue-flowered purse sitting on the floor beside the small loveseat, also rattan, with a floral print to match the chairs. All very tropical. He stepped to the sliders and opened the drapes. She didn’t stop him. Not that there was anywhere to go other than the small balcony. He sure as hell wasn’t jumping ten stories. This room overlooked the ocean, not the pool—not that he’d have jumped into the pool from here. He hesitated before opening the slider. “You think someone else has a gun and wants to shoot me?”

“No, and I don’t want to shoot you. I wanted to make sure you’d listen.”

“I’m listening.” He stared at the surf, the sunlight reflecting off the water like so many diamonds.

A deep intake of breath. “We have a mutual interest.”

For more about Dangerous Connections, including a first-chapter read, click here.

Giveaway:
One commenter will win a download of ANY of Terry's Blackthorne, Inc. books. Please leave the book you'd like to win in your comment, and the format (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, Smashwords). 

About the Author:
Terry Odell began writing by mistake, when her son mentioned a television show and she thought she’d be a good mom and watch it so they’d have common ground for discussions. 
Little did she know she would enter the world of writing, first via fanfiction, then through Internet groups, and finally with groups with real, live partners. Her first publications were short stories, but she found more freedom in longer works and began what she thought was a mystery. Her daughters told her it was a romance so she began learning more about the genre and craft. She belongs to both the Romance Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America.
Now a multi-published, award winning author, Terry resides with her husband in the mountains of Colorado. You can find her online at:

Her website - http://terryodell.com
Her blog - http://terryodell.com/terrysplace
Facebook -http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTerryOdell
Twitter - http://twitter.com/authorterryo
Sign up for her newsletter. 
Booklover's Bench, where readers are winners.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Nov. 17th. 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.

26 comments:

  1. Jinx is my kind of hero, A tech-geek who has the potential to be more than what he seems.

    I would like to win his story, Dangerous Connections.

    kmccandle(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for commenting -- and good luck.

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  2. I love this series. I haven't yet read all of them but love the ones that I have read. I can't wait to read the rest of them. Jinx is one of my favorite characters of all time.

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    1. Glad you're enjoying the Blackthorne Boys, Pam.

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  4. Debbie Grim
    I would love to win Rooted in Danger. That is the only one I need in the Blackthorne Inc.
    Kindle
    indianprincess_1972 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Debbie -- Thanks for being a faithful reader, and I hope you win so you can complete your collection.

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  5. I would love to read this whole series. I don't know how I missed it but have not read any from the series, so would love like to win #1 WHEN DANGER CALLS. Thanks for your post. Love to meet new authors of romantic suspense. Kindle please.
    grandmabkr at yahoo dot com

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    1. I'm also someone who likes to start at the beginning. But these all stand on their own as well (since I hate spoilers when I'm reading).

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  6. I love this series and especially enjoyed this one. Jinx and Ellie were great. I would love to Rooted in Danger since I don't have this one yet!!!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed Jinx and Elle -- a kind of twist on the normal hero/heroine dynamic. Rooted in Danger is Fozzie's book, and that cocky Aussie was a lot of fun to write, too.

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  7. I have some catching up to do in this series! My book choice if chosen would be Rooted in Danger for my NOOK. Thanks for sharing! Congrats on book 5!

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  8. Thanks, Colleen - hope you'll finish the series.

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  9. I have a Kindle so would like an ebook in that format please. As to the title -- well, I have not read any of Terry's Blackthorne, Inc. books so any one would be appreciated. In reading the synopsis of the books, Rooted in Danger or When Danger Calls intrigued me the most. However, this new book, Dangerous Connections sounds GREAT!

    donna(dot)durnell(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

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    1. Thanks, Donna -- you'll have time to make up your mind before the winner is chosen. I hope you'll give the Blackthorne team a try either way.

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  10. I would like Rooted In Danger for my Kindle. I love this series. Thanks for the giveaway.

    joanneboyko@yahoo.ca

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    1. Thanks for entering--glad you enjoy the series.

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  11. I would like Rooted In Danger for my Kindle. I love this series. Thanks for the giveaway.

    joanneboyko@yahoo.ca

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. I would love to read DANGEROUS CONNECTIONS thank you. I have a Kindle:

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Good luck, Mary. Thanks for commenting.

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  13. lisagk on November 16, 2013 at 21:00 said:


    I love that you flipped the main line… Jinx is bound to hook any­one who hasn’t read the first books. I’d love Jinx’ book in pdf if I win. Thanks for the oppor­tu­nity and happy birth­day to Mr. lisagk(at)yahoo

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    1. It was the Hubster's birthday here, too. Thanks for commenting. Jinx was full of surprises for me.

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  14. It looks like an exciting story and I like the hero being the one who is unsure of what her is doing. I would pick ROOTED IN DANGER for the kindle. Thanks for the giveaway!
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

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    1. Thanks, Maureen, and good luck! Fozzie was another fun character.

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  15. Thanks to everyone who left a comment. I hope you'll all give at least one of the Blackthorne, Inc. books a try!

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