Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Girl Gets Around

Congratulations to "Betsy P.", the winner in Misty's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

I like writing heroines who travel a lot and pick up skills from every place and culture they visit. Many of my heroines get to have nifty hobbies based on whatever has grabbed my interest at the moment, especially if I’ve tried out a new hobby myself. For example, both my hero and heroine in Fatal Truth, the first book in the Shadow Force International series, are into yoga because I’m a yoga nut and recently went through teacher training. Author by day, yoga teacher by night—that’s me.

In my latest Shadow Force International release, Fatal Courage, my heroine is a spy who’s also a phenomenal belly dancer. She seduces the hero, a Navy SEAL, in Morocco with nothing more than her hips. A handy skill to have, don’t you think? Hips don’t lie, according to Shakira. :)

The whole basis of the story bloomed from my own experience learning to belly dance. I learned to shimmy and throw my hips out of place by a fellow yogi trainee who’s an awesome a belly dancer. I might not have the moves like she does, but I love the music, the tempo, and—let’s be honest—the costumes rock. I decided during my first lesson that Ruby had to be a belly dancer, which led to Morocco, which led to a night of passion with the hero. Sometimes, that’s how books plot themselves for me.

As a fan of in-depth research, I believe my own experiences add depth to my characters. Plus, this type of hands-on “fieldwork” is just plain fun, and although, I don’t get to blow up cars or go on night raids like many of my military heroes, darn it, I can (and do) enjoy less violent research. LOL.

Okay, readers, what do you think? Does an author’s own experiences give a story a behind-the-scenes edge? Do you like learning about different hobbies, careers, and cultures through romance stories?

Leave a comment below to be entered in a drawing for a copy of Fatal Truth, the book that started it all in the Shadow Force International series. And check out my belly dancing heroine, Ruby, in Fatal Courage, out this week!

Fatal Courage, Shadow Force International, Book 3

He ruined her career…

In twenty-one missions, CIA golden girl Ruby McKellen has failed only once. Thanks to Navy SEAL Jaxon Sloan, the man who stole her heart and forced her to choose between him and her partner Elliot, she’s on probation and Elliot is in prison for national security crimes. To prove Elliot’s innocence and save her damaged career, Ruby is running an unsanctioned mission—but the only way to get the proof she needs is to go to Jax with her tail between her legs.

She wrecked his heart…

Jaxon left the Navy after the mission with Ruby in Morocco went south, but that one hot, unbelievable night with her will haunt him forever. Working for Shadow Force International now, his new assignment has brought him full circle—the CIA operative Jax’s testimony sent to prison has escaped and Jax has been ordered to hunt him down. Just like in Morocco, the one thing standing in his way is Ruby.

A second chance at love could prove fatal…

When Ruby’s life is threatened and Jax stumbles on information that might prove Elliot is innocent, guilt over putting the man in prison compels him to join her unsanctioned mission. What really happened that night six months ago? Is Elliot an honorable spy or a mastermind at manipulation? Ruby is the only one who can help Jax navigate the world of undercover lies and betrayal to find the truth. 

In a battle of wills—and of hearts—Jax and Ruby must have the courage to face the truth about themselves, their past, and what it really means to betray someone you love.

Grab your copy today!
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Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST August 28th. 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 with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. I love reading about characters who go to interesting places or do interesting things. Learning about new hobbies or activities in books is great. And if the author has actually experienced it themselves I think it lends more realism to the character. Especially if the character is just learning something, the author can draw from their experience and remember what it was like the first time they walked into a classroom or studio.

    And learning belly dancing sounds like fun!

    Goldgirl149 at hotmail dot com

    1. hi Laura! Belly dancing is fun. I highly recommend it!

  2. oooh... belly dancing does sound like fun! and empowering :) thanks for sharing!

    1. You're right, Erin. Belly dancing can be empowering too. I think any time we really connect with our body and let it express what we're feeling, we gain insight into what brings us happiness. :)

  3. I do think person experience would help in writing. I also like reading about things that I will never personally do or travel places I will never go.

    linda dot henderson70 at yahoo dot com

    1. Me, too! I love learning new things, and often times the only way I'll learn them or experience them (such as a new place) is by reading about them.

  4. depends

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  5. I love when an author brings in their own experiences to a character or story. It makes the story that much better. I remember Kaylea Cross once had a character in her story that did belly dancing and Kaylea herself was a belly dancer.

    1. Fun! There's a certain mystery about belly dancers that's fun to explore in stories as well as real life!

  6. I think that when an author brings their knowledge and experiences to a story it shines through. Makes the reading experience all the better for it.


  7. Yes, I do think an authors experiences give the story a behing-the scenes edge. And, I think variety in ones life keeps it fresh and interesting.

    1. Absolutely, Betsy! I've tried a variety of dance (ballet, tap, salsa, and now belly dancing) and I enjoy them all.


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