Thursday, February 26, 2009

Shopping Hungry!

I went to the grocery store hungry yesterday. Big Mistake! Somehow I ended up on the "starch" aisle. When I got home I had
  • Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
  • Alfredo Pasta Sauce
  • T raditional Pasta Sauce
  • Tri-color gnocchi
  • Asparagus Risotto
  • Pumpkin Risotto
  • Three-herb cous-cous
  • Fettuccini
  • Angel-hair pasta
Are we seeing a pattern here? So when I got home, my husband asked me where I was going to put all the pasta I'd bought. He wasn't impressed that I had bought all this for him.

Later that evening, full of Tri-color gnocchi with spinach and pesto sauce, I got to thinking about going to the book store hungry.

If you're as old as I am, you can remember those days. Running to the book store to see if there were any new romances on the shelves, because back then there weren't enough romance books to keep me satisfied for an entire month--or however long it took for more to come in. I hungrily devoured all the new books that came out that I could afford, and impatiently waited for more.

Often, I read books I wasn't especially excited about because I needed to read and my favorite authors weren't writing enough.

Do you guys feel like there are more books out there today than you could ever read? And is that a good thing for you?

Mallory Kane
If You're Looking for a Hero...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

That Magic Moment

In my opinion the coolest thing about a romance is that magic moment in the story where we know there is great love shared between the hero and heroine. It’s the finish line at the end of the race we’ve been working for. Yet it may not necessarily come in the form of words spoken between the hero and heroine.

You know what I’m talkin’ about. Those moments that make you sigh while you’re reading a book or watching a movie. And you don’t even know you’re doing it.

Examples that come to mind? In the classic, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF when Brick (Paul Newman) who verbally taunts and seemingly loathes his wife, locks himself in the bathroom and clings to her nightgown that hangs from the door hook and breathes in her scent. ::: sigh :::
Or how about in SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE when Tom Hanks sees Annie at the top of the Empire State building. Remember that look? A cock of his head, eye squint and, “You’re Annie?” He’s amazed, flabbergasted, and yes, in love.

Remember the action thriller SPEED, when Jack points the gun at the crazy bomber, but Jack’s love, Annie (popular name ) stands between Jack and the bomber with sticks of dynamite strapped to her? There’s that moment when Jack shoots her this “God, I love you and I’m sorry you got dragged into this” look.

I don’t know about you, but I live for those moments, however fleeting. For me, they’re not planned. I plan out some plot points, but it’s up to my characters to find their way through the maze of emotion. They never disappointment me. There’s always “that” moment, I unconsciously sigh, and know I’ve hit the bulls eye.

In my February book, UNDERCOVER STRANGER, it’s when Ciara and Griff have to separate on the ferry and she brushes his cheek with her thumb and tells him to be safe. It’s obvious she loves him… and he loves her.

What are some of your favorite book or movie moments?

Oh, and did everyone enjoy the Oscars? What did you think?

Pat White

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ten Random Things

Random Things about Yourself is a big thing on myspace and facebook these days, so let's play.

1) I've taken cooking classes in England and France, but I hate to cook
2) I'm terrified of big dogs
3) My favorite foods are duck and peanut butter (not together, LOL)
4) I like to go to the movies alone
5) A nightmare vacation for me would be a cruise
6) My favorite song (after all these years) is still Cold November Rain by Guns N' Roses
7) I think CNN's Anderson Cooper is hot
8) My favorite vacation spot is Scotland
9) Genealogy is my favorite hobby
10) Over the years, I've experienced life as a blond, brunette and redhead

Now, it's your turn. Tell me 10 random things about yourself.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Are you sure you want to be a writer?

Over the years I've encouraged a lot of aspiring writers. I'm pretty sure for most of them that was bad advice.

Not everyone really wants to write. It's true. A lot of people say they want to write a book. Some even write a little. Most would love to be a published author but don't want to spend hours alone at a computer with no guarantee they will ever be published.

Who can blame them. There are a lot of days I feel the same way.

So I understand people who decide to stay with their day jobs and their vacation and sick pay, health insurance, 401 Ks and social network. Those people still get excited about Fridays because they get two days off and don't even have to think about work, let alone spend their weekends and nights writing.

That's why it meant something to me when a friend of mine recently gave me her finished manuscript to read. She has a great idea for a young adult series. I've encouraged her to write it for a long time.

Well, she did. And it's great. I couldn't put it down.

There is nothing more exciting for me than reading her book because I know how hard this was for her. She has a full-time job, other responsibilities and went through a cancer scare. But she made the time and wrote the book. That's monumental.

She FINISHED the book.

Hopefully an editor will love this book as much as I do and my friend will get it published and write many more.

But I hope for a while she just enjoys this personal achievement. She wrote a book. There is nothing cooler than that.

And no matter how many books I write, I still get a little choked up each time I write "The End."

B.J. Daniels

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tandem Writing

This is just a little fun for a Friday.

My critique group has played with Tandem Writing exercises. One was called One Immortal Too Many. It was a combination of Highlander, Lonesome Dover, The Outlaw Years, and La Femme Nikita. That was a long time ago, and I'd forgotten about it until I came across this EMail someone sent me.

It shows that tandem writing can go very wrong. Take a look at this supposedly real exercise that was turned in when an English teacher randomly paired students:

THE ASSIGNMENT: Today we will write a tandem story in pairs. One of you will write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will continue the story by writing the second paragraph. The first person will write the third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Keep the flow going for a coherent story.

THE RESULT submitted by "Rebecca" and "Gary:"

Rebecca: At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The camomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked camomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So camomile was out of the question.

Gary: Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far...". But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.

Rebecca: He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel." Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth -- when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her.

Gary: Little did she know, she had less than 10 seconds to live. The dim-witted peaceniks who'd passed the Aerospace Disarmament Treaty had left earth a defenseless target for aliens. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his submarine headquarters off the coast of Guam, felt the massive explosion which vaporized Laurie and 85 million other Americans. "We can't allow this!" the President declared. "I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"

Rebecca: This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.

Gary: Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.

Rebecca: A-hole.

Gary: Bitch.


Happy writing and reading.

Mallory Kane
If You're Looking for a Hero...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Titles! Don'tcha love 'em?

I stopped worrying about naming my Intrigues. I think my editor likes that job more than I do. Over the 12 books I've contracted with Intrigue, I think I've had three keep the titles I chose. Not that it's a bad thing! Here's how it's gone so far:

Shadows of the Moon changed to Beneath the Texas Moon
Dakota Burn changed to Dakota Meltdown (liked this one sooooo worked for the book)
Lakota Baby - Woohooo! It stayed the same!
Cowboy Sanctuary (Assigned as part of the series)
Blown Away - Woohoo! It stayed the same!
Trail of Terror changed to Alaskan Fantasy
Texas Rustler changed to Texas-Sized Secrets
Revenge of the Sea Bride changed to Under Suspicion, With Child
Nick of Time - Woohoo! It stayed the same!
Baby Bling (Assigned as part of the series)
Final Analysis changed to An Unexpected Clue
For Better or Worse changed to Operation XOXO

Now comes the time to choose my next title to be changed. Wanna help? It involves a woman with amnesia and a Texas cowboy assigned as her bodyguard. I'm sure it will change, but I'm completely blank! Help!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Special Ops, Texas

I'm really excited about my new series that starts next month. It's all about Special Ops guys who are no longer in the service for one reason or another. Having difficulty NOT living on the edge, they return to their Texas roots to find their niche. They learn that the military has taught them how to do everything except fall in love. But the stories are a lot more than romance. They're suspense involving some of the bravest and best trained men on the planet. Love their toughness, their humor and their bravery. Hope you do, too.
Joanna Wayne

Monday, February 16, 2009

And the Oscar Goes To...

I almost never watch the Oscars any more. They take too long. I'm over watching all the stars sitting around trying to look happy as the greedy cameras show pore-defining close-ups of them losing.

But even though I don't watch, except for the occasional peek during commercials of whatever show is on opposite, I do always have my favorites to win. I'm a huge fan of oddball actors who get nominated for oddball roles. If Johnny Depp is on the ticket, I'm there.

This year, I'm incredibly excited about Robert Downey Jr.'s nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Tropic Thunder. If you have not seen this movie (and you have a fairly strong stomach) you should rent it, if only to watch Robert Downey's amazing performance. He is a phenomenal actor. And his famous line from the movie is one that will go down in film history with such other immortal lines as
"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn,"
"Swim? Hell, the fall will probably kill you," and
"Go ahead, make my day."

Even if you haven't seen the movie, surely you've heard the line.

"I know what dude I am. I'm the dude playin' the dude, disguised as another dude!"

And that's just one. His performance is filled with gems like that. But be warned, as I said above, Tropic Thunder isn't a movie for the faint of heart--or stomach. But even watching Jack Black doing his thing (ugh) is worth it to get to see Robert Downey Jr.

I don't hold out much hope for him winning the Oscar. As his character says "'specially knowin' how the Academy is about that."

A comment on the message board, sums up 'how the academy is about that' perfectly.

"(The academy) now feels guilty about denying Heath Ledger the Oscar he deserved for Brokeback Mountain, so it'll give him a posthumous Oscar this year, and give Sean Penn more votes for his excellent gay role than he'd get in a normal year. And then, next year, the Academy will feel guilty about not giving Downey the Oscar he deserved THIS year, and give him a gong for a performance that isn't as good. That's how the Academy works, they always give awards for the wrong performance."

I'll end by saying that the slate of nominations this year for Best Supporting Actor is phenomenal.
  • Josh Brolin in Milk
  • Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt
  • Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder
  • Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road
So the Academy's job is going to be a tough one, but I still stand by my choice.

What about you guys? Are you interested in the Awards? Which one (or ones) keep you on the edge of your seat? And who are you rooting for this year?

Mallory Kane
If You're Looking for a Hero...

Saturday, February 14, 2009



Candelit dinners...champagne and chocolate...bouquets of roses...petals strewn across a bed...sensual music playing in the background...satin and lace and scented massage oil...

Sounds pretty romantic, right?

Maybe in real life...but what about in fiction? Many readers would find the above scenario...well, kind of boring.

Where's the tension?

Where's the conflict?

Where's the danger?

Two people on the run...depending on each other for survival...clinging to each other anywhere they can...a celebration of still being alive...

Now that gets my heart pumping and engages my imagination. Okay, so maybe I'm a little unusual, but I'm certainly not alone. If I were, there wouldn't be so many bestseller books or blockbuster movies or popular television shows that combine crime and romance.

My former writing partner used to laugh at me because I was willing to watch any movie that combined love and danger, no matter how bad. She was right. I still do. There's something about romance in the midst of murder and mayhem that gets my blood pumping. It was that fascination of chills and thrills that led me to write romantic suspense.

The world has changed in the past twenty-five years that I've been writing. It's become a much scarier place than it used to be. Violent crime seems to be everywhere. That six degrees of separation is narrowing and four years ago hit me dead on. Now I write with a greater need for justice and a story that speaks to the heart than ever before.

If real life is all too filled with unspeakable crimes, then I want my fiction-movies, television, books-to give me justice and give me love to balance the evil in that fictional world. I want to believe it can happen.

Happy Valentine's Day

In memory of my father, Walter Pinianski, buried four years ago on Valentine's Day after being murdered by a home intruder who still hasn't gone to trial.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sneaking into the Wrong Movie?

I have a confession to make. Last Saturday night, date night, the night reserved for a romantic dinner for two, a bottle Chardonnay, cracked crab, and maybe crème brulee for dessert, my husband and I sneaked into the kids movie, HOTEL FOR DOGS.

Why would a fairly intelligent couple (although that’s debatable if you ask my kids) spend their Saturday night in a theatre packed with fidgeting seven year olds? I mean, with all the brilliant, Oscar-nominated movies available to us, why did we pick a movie about dogs?

Because we wanted to laugh. We wanted to smile, hold hands, giggle, and yes, even tear up when we spotted the brilliant Border Collie that reminded us of our brilliant and beloved Bandit we lost years ago.

We wanted to be entertained. Interesting concept. I’m not trying to be a smart Alec, but quite frankly some movie choices are a bit depressing. I don’t need depressing, I need diverting, challenging, even enlightening. Although I didn’t get all of that from HOTEL FOR DOGS, I had a great time watching two orphans fight for those less fortunate than themselves—stray dogs. There was even a romance!

I chose to write romance to entertain and divert readers from things like our challenging economic situation. What kinds of things to you do to escape and recharge?

Speaking of escaping, Romantic Times called my February Intrigue, UNDERCOVER STRANGER, “…great escapist fiction.” Cool! The story, set in the Seattle area, has tons of action, adventure, mystery and, of course, romance!

What have you escaped into recently? Books? Movies? A little make believe with children? That’s the best.


Pat White

Misty Watercolor Memories

My February Intrigue, Circumstantial Memories, is about a woman who has amnesia. Her past holds dangerous secrets she’s better off forgetting, but she doesn’t even remember the father of her child. When he shows up in town after three years, it exposes the heroine to all kinds of difficulties…and lots of hot passion!

I had fun writing this book because memory is so very interesting! I generally have a good memory, but as I get older I definitely have been drawing more “blanks” than I used to. I think people have good recall for different things. My husband will claim that I have a great memory when it comes to dumb or embarrassing things he’s done in the past. My husband can remember cases he’s worked on in minute detail but then he forgets the names of our sons’ friends’ parents and even their teachers sometimes!

I don’t remember a whole lot about my early childhood, but certain memories stand out for me. One of those is sitting in the backseat of the car eating a brownie with my mom driving. I must have been four at the oldest because I remember we had already dropped my three older siblings off at school. I don’t know why I’ve kept that particular memory in my brain. I have a few memories from kindergarten – one of a boy I had a crush on. His name was Mark and he wore earmuffs to school sometimes. This is unusual since I grew up in northern California and earmuffs were not a common accessory. I never even owned a pair of earmuffs! Maybe that’s why I remember Mark (or maybe that’s why I had a crush on him). For about ten years after I went to Greece, I could reel off the names of the islands, in order, that I visited. I just realized a few years ago I couldn’t do that anymore. It was a weird feeling. I thought I’d never forget the details of that trip! Memory is an odd thing.

When my boys were little – maybe four or five – I tried to find out if they could remember anything about being born. Is that weird of me? I mean, at ten years old you can usually remember events from five years before, right? No luck. They couldn’t seem to remember things from the previous two weeks! And now at 11 and 12, they don’t remember people and places from kindergarten that I can easily recall.

My father-in-law died at age 87 last year. Toward the end, he couldn’t remember our kids’ names or what he did the week before. But he fought in WWII and was present at D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, and he could still remember people and situations from that time. The short-term memories were fading, but the long-term were still hanging in there.

One of the most interesting movies I ever saw about memory was Memento. It’s about a man, played by Guy Pearce, who has short-term memory loss (over and over), and he’s trying to find out how his wife died. It’s really confusing but in a good way. One of my favorite “amnesia” movies is Dead Again with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson (when they were together). I love that movie!

Why are we drawn to amnesia stories? Why are we fascinated by people who have lost their memories? Perhaps it’s because memories are who we are on the deepest level. I have a good friend and an ex-boyfriend who have passed away. Sometimes I think about the situations that involved just the two of us, and I realize that I’m the only one who holds that memory now. That memory can be anything I want it to be. I can impose any spin or interpretation on that memory and nobody else can refute it now. I own that memory all by myself. So, hey, it becomes a circumstantial memory, doesn’t it?

So what are some of your earliest memories or some of your favorite amnesia books or movies? Have you ever had some weird memory incidents? And now that I'm thinking about it, I need to go back to my photo albums from Greece and retrace that trip in my and put those memories back in my brain!

Carol Ericson
Where Romance Flirts With Danger

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Release Day

It's official--EXPECTING TROUBLE hits the retail shelves today, and this will be my 24th published Harlequin. I won't get a grand prize, but after next month's release of SECRET DELIVERY, I will get my 25th book pin at the RWA conference in Washington, DC.

I remember in 2002 when my first Harlequin was released, my son made me a bookshelf in shop class. He measured it and decided that it would hold about 10 books. I thought that was great and said it would be a dream come true if I could sell that many books. When I sold book #11, my son nudged me and said--Mom, you're gonna need a bigger dream.

So, here's EXPECTING TROUBLE, my "bigger dream." I hope there are lots more to come.

Tell me, what are your bigger dreams? What's the one big thing you want to do in life?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Worst-Case Scenarios

We're authors--and readers-- of romantic suspense. What do we love? Worst-Case Scenarios, of course. Well, the other day, while I was throwing away some old newsletters from various writing groups, I found this website listed in an article.

It's got just about everything a writer of suspense might want to know. For instance, if you're buried by an avalanche, you can figure out which way is up by digging a small hole next to your face and spitting in it. The saliva will fall down, so to get out, dig in the opposite direction.

This information and links to a lot more is all listed on the home page. Take a look. You can find out how to:
  • Wrestle Free from an Alligator
  • Survive If Your Parachute Fails to Open
  • Avoid Being Struck by Lightning
  • Use a Defibrillator to Restore a Heartbeat uh... what? Okay, I'm guessing this one is in case you get caught in a hospital (where they keep defibrillators) and there's no doctor or nurse or pharmacist or EMT or medical technician available.
  • Escape from a Sinking Car
  • Determine the Gender of Your Date o-o-o-okay. I'm trying to picture a situation when this might come in handy?

While writing my Black Hills Brotherhood Trilogy, which will be out in September, October and November of 2009, I needed the following information:

How to:
  • Find Your Way Out of an Avalanche
  • Warm Up Someone with Hypothermia
  • Pull a Stick Out of Someone's Arm
  • Get A Baby Off a Mountain Safely
  • Run through an Underground Mine while 8 Months Pregnant
  • Move 50 Year-Old Dynamite Without It Blowing Up
I could go on, but you get the idea. Obviously, I could have really used this site then. Believe me, I'll be using it for my next books. Let's see, for the next one, I think I'm going to need to figure out how to:
  • Ask Your Boyfriend to Loan You a Skeleton
  • Identify a Body From One Bone
  • Blow Up a Community College Chemistry Lab (Shouldn't be too hard!)
  • Survive a Point-Blank Gunshot to the Chest
  • Get Into--And Out--Of A Locked Room
I know Romantic Suspense is not everyone's cup of tea, but it's hard to imagine how anyone can not enjoy writing (and reading) books that have this much excitement and fun in them.

So fellow readers and writers, are there descriptions or situations you read in mysteries, suspense, thrillers, etc that particularly bother you or that you particularly enjoy?

Mallory Kane
If You're Looking for a Hero...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

You know what they say about families

A friend of mine recently did that Twenty-five Things You Don't Know About Me list that is going around on Facebook.

One of his struck a chord with me: # 11 People don't believe me when I tell stories about my childhood -- until they meet my parents.

I had to laugh since my family gave new meaning to dysfunctional. But I'm sure that is why I like to write about families -- the good, the bad and the really whacked.

Some families I dream up just steal my heart, dysfunction, and all, and that is true of the Corbetts. They show up in fictional Whitehorse, Montana this spring (April, May, June, Sept. Oct.). Of course there are problems, murders, secrets, deceit and near-death experiences. But hey, it's about family!

Is it just writers who often come from families that have little resemblance to Beaver Cleaver's? How about readers? Do you like reading about families that have more problems than yours? Or do you like reading about families that you wish were yours?

With the Corbetts I'd say there is a little bit of both when these five brothers hit town this spring! In the meantime, you can download my Intrigue Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch at as part of Harlequin's 60th anniversary. I'm delighted to be part of their celebration!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cool Deals at Eharlequin

Ann Voss Peterson mentioned free ebooks at eharlequin. Don't know if you'd downloaded yours yet, but there's still time. You don't have to choose, you get all 16 FREE.

Here are some more deals:

Get up to $6 off when you order Men in the Movies books. These are books "featuring sultry and sensual leading men." There are plenty of Intrigues, including my own March Intrigue, SECRET DELIVERY (pictured above). You can choose books about cowboys, men in uniform, dark heroes, family men or guys next door.

On Valentine's Day, eharl will be running a huge special, but for now,
they won't say what it is. Check the site on Feb. 14th for what should
be some great deals

Check out Free Book Friday where you can get a free book if you order two others.

Finally, don't forget the Books on a Budget page. There are some huge
bargains for both paperbacks and ebooks.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Expecting Trouble

That's the cover for my Feb. Intrigue, Expecting Trouble. I love everything about it: the hero and heroine, the colors, the fact that it's a crisp image. Personally, I think the h/h look very concerned as if they truly are expecting trouble. LOL.

And that brings me to title.

I also love the title of this book, and it totally fits the plot. Just how much stock do you put in titles when you pick up a book? Are you generally satisfied with the Harlequin titles or do you think some just miss the mark?


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Backcover Blurbs for the Feb. Intrigues

The Feb. Intrigues will hit the bookstores next week, so here are the excerpts:

UNDERCOVER STRANGER, Pat White: With her girl-next-door looks and quaint doll museum, Ciara O'Malley seemed innocent. But she was secret agent Griffin Black's number one suspect for a terrible crime and he knew how to get close enough to uncover her illicit activities. By seducing the truth right out of her. Then walking away. Except all of Griff's make-believe attraction turned surprisingly real once Ciara became a target herself. Suddenly Griff found himself protecting Ciara rather than using her. And yet, even with all his special training, Griff didn't know which was more frightening—how deep this criminal network ran…or how far one beautiful redhead had worked her way under his skin.

PROFILE DURANGO, Carla Cassidy: The last time he'd seen forensics expert Callista "Callie" MacBride, she was the target of a hit man, and FBI Agent Tom Ryan had been assigned to keep her safe…but he hadn't kept his distance. Now, when every agent in the Four Corners was on the hunt for who killed one of their own, Callie was again in danger. And like before, it was Tom playing protector—while trying to avoid their still-simmering attraction. He knew Callie resented his sudden return, but the haunted look in her eyes told him there was more to the story. And he was right—but the truth rocked him to the core.…

PLATINUM COWBOY, Rita Herron: A true diamond in the rough, self-made man Flint McKade was one of the wealthiest men in the world and one of the hottest bachelors in Texas. So when his beloved Diamondback Ranch was sabotaged, Flint had a long list of suspects to choose from. His new veterinarian, Lora Leigh Whittaker, seemed to have an agenda, but he couldn't imagine the gorgeous blonde was out to get him. Then she was attacked, and Flint appointed himself her personal bodyguard. Standing beside her day and night, the chemistry that had been there from day one became unbearable. As a billionaire he was used to getting what he wanted. And he wanted her safe, in his arms…and in his bed.

EXPECTING TROUBLE, Delores Fossen: Agent Cal Rico knew that Jenna Laniere was lying. But then he discovered that she was only trying to protect her baby from an untrustworthy ex and his ruthless associates. A deadly game of cat and mouse forced Jenna into hiding. And if Cal didn't help, the struggling single mother would have nowhere else to run. So it didn't matter that claiming the child as his own would ruin his career. Cal had to risk his future to help save Jenna from her past. As an agent, it was his duty. As a man falling for this tiny family, he couldn't turn away if he wanted to….

CIRCUMSTANTIAL MEMORIES, Carol Ericson: Covert agent Ryder McClintock had returned home for the first time in years only to come face-to-face with Julia Rousseau, the woman with whom he'd once shared a bed—then been forced to leave behind. Forgetting her had been impossible, but because of an accident, she was left with no memory…including the name of her baby's father. A little girl who looked remarkably like Ryder. But before he could tell Julia about their shared past, he needed to protect her and his daughter from someone determined to spoil their reunion. And as the threats escalated and Julia's memory returned, Ryder sensed her stalker's grudge ran much deeper than they realized….

THE HIGH COUNTRY RANCHER, Jan Hambright: He was a hard-edged rancher harboring dark secrets

But Baylor McCullough wasn't talking, especially not to Mariah Ellis, the pushy but beautiful detective who considered him the prime suspect in a recent disappearance. A series of shocking murders and attacks revealed, however, that nothing was as it seemed—not even the past—and saddling up with Mariah might be his best chance at uncovering the truth. Still, protecting her while they searched for clues on his ranch was becoming increasingly difficult as the threats escalated. And the thought of Mariah getting caught in the cross fire didn't sit well with the rugged cowboy. Was it possible the beauty he'd rescued during a raging blizzard was the long-sought redemption he'd been hoping for?

Do any of these grab you right from the start? Which will be a must read for you?

Delores Fossen