Thursday, April 18, 2019

Visiting Locations Makes ALL the Difference

CONGRATULATIONS TO "MARY P.", the winner in Angi's giveaway. Please contact JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to claim your prize!

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.


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.


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.

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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.

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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?


  1. I haven't thought about females, but I'd love if someone wrote a character named Benton. I've read only one other book, a historical western, where that name was used.

  2. Have you ever considered a custom Google Map for one of your novels? It's great for novels with a strong sense of place. Here's one I did for my romantic suspense "Clean Break" - NYC: Lane and Viktor in "Clean Break"

  3. I would have to first thing about the characters personality before I gave them a name.

  4. I named a character a place I like to visit. "Morgan Crossing" After using this name I was sent to live there for 3 months following a flood in my place!

  5. look at a list of random names

  6. I would use names that I like first.... but knowing how many books an author can create... I guess you would have to check out a baby name book or something to expand it.

  7. I would access local newspapers to see the names of that area. Go from there.

  8. I believe I would keep a notebook with names I heard that were unusual or I liked. There might be some friends whose names I would like to use, but I would warn them ahead of time and get permission. As for the bad guys, a variation on a name of someone who isn't our favorite person would come in handy.

  9. I can definitely see using names of people I know, especially if they might share a trait or characteristic in common with them. Otherwise I can also see going through a baby-name book!


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