Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Raffles, Rifles and Contests...Oh My!

Up until a few years ago, I’d never won anything. Not even at a Tupperware party. No raffles, no cakewalks, nada. Not sure what it was, bad karma or what. But my number just never seemed to come up.

Not so my brother. He seemed to win everything. Raffles at school fundraisers, charity dinners. You name it. If he bought a ticket, you might as well not because he was going to win. He once walked into a charity dinner, bought a raffle ticket at the last minute and won the grand prize hunting rifle. (We’re from Mississippi-what can I say? Those are our kind of raffles.)

During this remarkable “run” of luck, he was also always getting called for jury duty. Like every five-six months. I was convinced somehow these events were related. You win raffles or contests, you get called for jury duty….often. Little did I know.

A few years ago my own luck changed and I started winning “things.” Nothing huge (feel free to snicker as your read) but at a kitchen accessory party my name got pulled for an orange peeler, then a recipe book. Quite a thrill when you’ve NEVER won anything. And at a writer’s convention a couple of years ago, a number was taped to the bottom of my chair to win out of hundreds of other folks. Granted, the prize was a box of Hot Tamales, the candy. But still, woo-hoo! Wild stuff for a girl who’d never landed on the right number in a cake walk. And yes, you guessed it. I started getting “the call” for jury duty. All the time.

Is there a correlation or have I just lived in one place long enough for my name to be on the city jury duty rolls? Could be, but I like to think my luck has turned.

Now, I don’t have a hunting rifle to give away (I think the laws might prohibit that nowadays.) But I do have a contest to announce this month for my new April release, BULLETPROOF TEXAS. It’s a Bulletproof Sighting Contest called "Have You Seen This Man?" For folks who see my book on store shelves and snap a picture, you could win a gift card to Barnes and Noble. I’m posting the rules below. But you can also check them out here. Feel free to forward this contest link or the rules anywhere you’d like. The more the merrier and there are three chances to win.


Bulletproof Sighting Contest Rules

“Have You Seen This Man?”

Spot my April Intrigue, BULLETPROOF TEXAS, on store shelves and be eligible to win a gift card to Barnes & Noble for $15, $10 or $5.

Here’s how it works:

1. You see my book, BULLETPROOF TEXAS, on the shelf at: Barnes & Noble, Borders, an Independent bookseller, Books A Million, Target, Wal-Mart, Kmart, the grocery — wherever Harlequin Intrigues are sold retail in the US. (Sorry, no resale allowed in this particular contest.)

2. Snap a picture with your phone or digital camera. Make sure I can tell the book is in the bookstore from your picture. Take the shot of the book on the shelf, at the checkout etc. Put yourself in the pic, too! (I’ll be posting the winners names and photos here on my website.)

3. Send the picture to: contest@kaythomas.net

If you are sending from your phone, be sure to include your email address. Don’t forget to include the store’s name and location with the picture:

Store Name
Your town, USA

4. If you are my first “in store” Bulletproof sighting, you win a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble. I’ll randomly draw from the rest of the entries for a $10 gift card winner and a $5 gift card winner.

Can’t snap a picture? You can still enter:
Email me the store name, the store’s physical address and the store phone number.

Contest starts April 6. Official release day is April 14. (Many times books are put on the shelves several days early, so keep an eye out!) Entry into contest puts you on my newsletter mailing list. Contest ends and winners will be announced May 11. Questions? Email me at:


Good luck!


Now for our question of the day...What’s the coolest thing you ever won in a contest? (I’m sure you can beat my Hot Tamales and orange peeler!)


Kay Thomas
Bulletproof Texas 4/09
4 stars Romantic Times ~ 4 ½ stars Cataromance reviews

Monday, March 30, 2009

Second Bananas Get Their Chance to Shine

Developing secondary characters into Heroes and Heroines in future books is something that some authors have been doing for a while. I think of great series by Jo Beverley or Rachel Lee‘s Conard County books or Suzanne Brockmann‘s Tall, Dark & Dangerous series. Oftentimes, the supporting characters--a partner or other precinct cops, former army buddies, siblings, other townsfolk, the loyal secretary, even the enemy--stole the story from the main characters for me. Those second bananas leaped into my imagination and became as 3-dimensional as the lead characters. Those “other guys” became the characters I wanted to see featured in a story of his or her own.

I've always done this with my Intrigues--for 3 reasons. First, those are the kinds of books I like to read --where you get introduced to a character in one book, get to know him/her over the course of a book(s), and eventually get to see him/her featured as the main character in his/her own story. To me, there's just a depth of character development, along with a rich history of story background that's hard to get in a completely stand-alone book. I love reading and creating a community of characters. With my Taylor Clan, Precinct and Precinct: Brotherhood of the Badge books, I've created such a community of characters I can meet, get to know, see featured, and revisit across the books. Most of the books are stand alone stories, so the reader gets a complete story, but for those who read more than one of the books, there's that something extra of, oh yeah, he's that rookie detective who messed up, got shot and sent to the hospital, and now is back as a seasoned veteran and true hero material. Later, because s/he lives in Kansas City and works in or with characters of my fictional Fourth Precinct, that character can be revisited. For example, my very first hero, Mitch Taylor, in ONE GOOD MAN, has progressed over the years so that he is now precinct chief--his son in one story is now a grown man about to become a second generation cop in a future story.

Second, because I write such a community of characters, I'm often surprised by how strongly a secondary character will jump off the pages, demanding to have his/her story told. That's the case in the book I'm currently writing, BEAUTY AND THE BADGE, that features Detective Kevin Grove, who has been a supporting character throughout my Brotherhood of the Badge miniseries. He was gruff and tough and dedicated to solving his case--but he just started nagging at the back of my mind as I was writing the others. "These guys get to find their happily-ever-after. I know I look like a beast and I'm a better cop than I am a catch, but hang it all, I need to find some happiness, too." and so on. So, when those characters talk to me, I write their stories.

And thirdly, yes, sometimes I create a book for a secondary character because readers email or write and ask me for so-and-so's story. That's how my Precinct series was born. I got more mail asking me for T. Merle Banning's story (a rookie computer geek detective who screwed up a case in one book, got shot up in another, was partner with a heroine, etc. throughout my Taylor Clan series). Readers wanted to see him grow up and get his woman. So it was a lot of fun for me to help him mature into the hero of PARTNER-PROTECTOR.

I find that writing the secondary character's story depends. Actually, with on ongoing series with my Taylor Clan and Precinct books, I don't always know which secondary characters will really come to life for me and start telling me their stories, so I don't necessarily plot and plan to reveal a specific backstory that with come into play if/when they get their own stories. I develop them as secondary characters to fit the needs of the current story, not the one where s/he winds up being the main character. As a moderate to severe pantser when it comes to my writing, that has always worked well for me. Then, when I find a character speaking to me (or readers asking me) to create his or her own story, I just go with what has already been laid out in previous books--and that isn't terribly stressful.

Only occasionally do I run into a problem doing it that way. The most notable was when I turned supporting character Merle Banning into a hero for PARTNER-PROTECTOR. Over 7 books, he had grown from young geek to his own man, scarred by gunshots, denied the woman he thought he loved, devoted to the facts and logic that had never failed him. That was terrific backstory for his character (I paired him with a free-spirited psychic who trusted her intuition more than facts--his complete opposite in many ways). BUT... not knowing he was a hero in the making, I'd named him "Merle". No offense to any Merle men out there, but I just didn't find that to be a heroic name. So, I had fun coming up with a little more backstory so that I could give him a different name, while staying true to what had already transpired. I worked in that Merle was his middle name, that he didn't go by Thomas, because that was his father's name, and a crime/suicide had soured that name for Merle and his mother. But, the heroine had an impression, and saw him writing "T", so she called him "T". Which turned out to be more manly for me.

I actually find it harder to develop secondary characters into main characters when I purposely propose a miniseries or trilogy. It's hard for me not to reveal too much in earlier books, and save the meat for each character's featured story. I often run into wanting to reveal too much about too many people, taking the focus from the main characters. It just involves more planning than I normally do when I write. Changes the process for me a bit.

And I do love it at the other end of things, when the book is done and readers comment on it. Someone almost always surprises me by a) which secondary character they want to see again and know more about, or b) in a planned series, who turns out to be their favorite characters. It's not always who I expect. But that's one of the cool things about fiction--and why I'm glad there's such a diversity of writers and lines--there's someone and something to appeal to every reader!

What are your favorite series of books by an author or group of authors--where supporting characters you get intrigued by finally get their chance to shine as the hero or heroine?

Or, if you have any other questions or comments, feel free to ask.

And did you get a load at the cover for my June Intrigue, Pulling the Trigger? LOVE it!! It's part of the Kenner County Crime Unit continuity series from Intrigue--and it features, you guessed it, a supporting character who finally gets his chance to save the day, and reclaim the woman he has always loved. Native American search and rescue expert Ethan Bia is a former Army ranger who always gets his man--and eventually, his woman. When a suspect wanted in connection to an FBI agent's murder escapes into the mountains of Colorado, it's up to Ethan to find him. He just never counted on having to partner up with Agent Joanna Rhodes in the search--she's the woman who once loved him, and left him behind to pursue her career.

Julie Miller

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cowboy Heroes

What makes cowboys such fascinating heroes? I've given that a lot of thought over the past few months, especially since I've started the Special Ops series where I have former NAVY SEALs who are cowboys to the core. What a mix! I've come to a few conclusions. For one, I love the strong ethics they bring to a situation. I think those ethics affect the way they go at solving a crime. By nature they seem so protective, of their livestock and the people they love. I like the way they're comfortable in their environment and in their skin. I like their love for their land and for their country. I like that devotion and the wy they always strive to do the just thing. And then there is the way they look in those tight jeans, boots and Stetsons. I had to roll up my tongue and stick it back in my mouth when I saw the cowboy Commando cover.
Overheard in my local beaty salon the other day:
Cowboys are to women what blondes are to men. When you see one, you just have to take a second look. (Sometimes I take a third or fourth.) I'd love to hear your ideas on what makes cowboys an intriguing Intriue hero. Or if you don't like them, I'd like to hear that, too.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Spring

Well, it may not seem like it, but last Friday was the first day of spring. Whoo-hoo!

When I used to live in the Midwest, spring meant rain showers and flowers breaking ground. Now that I’m in Seattle I have to work a little harder to see the change since flowers have been bustin’ through since January.

So, I’ve decided to create a list of things I’d like to do to celebrate the season.

1. Make summer movie list!
2. Finish screenplay. I finish a script by May 1 each year and this year I’m turning one of my books, GOT A HOLD ON YOU, into a screenplay.
3. Clean out office: share books, recycle notebooks or papers not read in the past year.
4. Go through make-up – figure out if it’s old, boring or otherwise should be tossed to make room for new and exciting colors!
5. Pedicure! The first of many, if I’m going to wear sandals anytime soon. ;-)
6. Get the dog groomed. She’s starting to look like an overfed wolf.
7. Discover a new author, either novelist or screenwriter. Have any suggestions?

There’s my working list. It may change, expand, and shift. But it’s a good start. What about you?

Have a GREAT weekend!

Pat White

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

RITA Finalists!

Today the finalists for the Romance Writers of America 2009 RITA awards were announced, and four Intrigues were among the finalists!

Strangers in the Night by Kerry Connor

Cold Case Connection by Kathleen Long
Strangers in the Night by Kerry Connor
Tall, Dark and Lethal by Dana Marton
Twin Targets by Jessica Andersen

A great showing for the line and its authors!

Click here for a list of the finalists in all categories.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Too Much? Not enough? Let's Talk...Sex

Intrigue is one of the few series lines where sensuality can vary. I'm talking vary A LOT. Some books have no sex scene at all, and some are hot hot hot. I hadn't thought much about this until I recently judged eight books (none were Intrigues) in a contest and experienced this wide range of sensuality first hand. What did I decide?

Sex scenes work for me. :)

In the books where there were no sex scenes, I felt something was
missing. I hated having the bedroom door closed in my face.I wanted to
read about the couple taking that intimate step to their happily ever
after. That said, I didn't prefer the hottest scenes but rather the
scenes that fit the rest of the tone of the book.

So, how about you? Do you want to read sex scenes, or do you just skip
over them?


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Title Wave

Before I was published, I suffered over the titles, wanting them to sound cool and intriguing, wanting titles that gave a flavor of the story. I wanted titles that were short, to the point and would look good on a book cover.

I am over that now. I'm apparently just not good with titles (as the subject line of this blog post would suggest). Every title I've ever proposed has been rejected by my editor. WHAT THE HEART SEES (admittedly a stupid title) became FORBIDDEN TERRITORY. DANGEROUS PURSUIT became FORBIDDEN TEMPTATION. DEADLY ILLUSION became...well, you get the picture.

Intrigue editors aren't necessarily thinking about how cool a title is, or how good it will look above or below your name. They're looking for titles that sell. I wrote a cowboy book and titled it TARGET: JANE DOE, a title I thought was very cool. Even the editor liked it. Except, well, the book was part of a big "Ultimate Intrigue Heroes" month and the title really needed to focus on the hero instead. So it became COWBOY ALIBI.

At that point, I think I gave up. Now, when I work up a proposal, I just name it anything that remotely sounds A) like a title and B) like it could fit my story. Why go to the extra effort when the editor's just going to change it anyway?

I know a lot of readers are drawn to or repelled from books by the covers. What about the titles?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Where do you get your license to kill?

Every writer gets the where do you get your ideas question. A lot. I used to say from everywhere, especially from interesting articles. Now I'm more likely to say from real life. Story is conflict. And how many of us get through life without conflict?

For example, I bought a semi-used (meaning dealer owned) car on January 22. The numbers guy gets all my info to do a title transfer on-line. Finds out that my license needs to be renewed in March, so he has to do that before he can change the title. The only problem being that my EPA test was due. In March. It was January. And I was trading in the vehicle that needed testing, hence the title transfer. Somehow he got around the system and put the title change through and said I would have to do the license renewal when I received it in the mail.

Cut forward to the end of February and receipt of the bill to renew my plates. It said I need an EPA test because of course the old car was still listed. And, since I have a new car, I can't go online to do anything. I must cross out all the old info and write in the correct info and send a check. Which I did.

Which, last week, came back to me UNOPENED with a letter from the Secretary of State's office saying I needed an EPA test and couldn't renew my license until I got one. So I spent an hour on the phone trying to get this straightened out and was told that I could either call this number and give them my credit card or I could go to a state facility. After futilely trying to get through on the phone, I drove to the nearest facility.

And was told I needed an EPA test. After an exhausting explanation, I was cheered to see the clerk understood. She even called up the VIN on the new car and said yes, the title was entered...but it didn't go through. It was on hold. No explanation. So she tried to go around the system, but couldn't. She called Springfield and the person there said the system had to be "rebooted" and that would probably do the trick, but she didn't know when that would be. I had two weeks before I would start collecting tickets. The clerk kindly told me that of course I could go to court and explain what happened. So my choices were to either sit and wait to see if the title cleared or to make the dealer give me new plates.

I left in defeat. I emailed my salesman and told him what happened. The next day he said he would look into it. Miraculously today the clerk called me and so did my salesman. Apparently something was missing in the title transfer and it had just been sitting there all that time. I finally was able to pay for my license sticker.

Now, if I used that crazy situation in a book--an employee agreeing that I didn't have the old car and the title was there but "stuck" and she didn't have the power to override the system, would an editor believe it? I'm not sure.

What I am sure of is that I can do anything I want with paperwork and licenses and transfers and anything else a government agency is responsible for and make it work. Yes, I do believe I've earned that license to kill...

Good reading,
Patricia Rosemoor

Watch for my April book, RESCUING THE VIRGIN.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Foreign Sales are fun!

I love it when I get one of my books in the mail in a foreign language. It's like a puzzle. I can't stand not knowing what country it's being sold in. You can't just open the book and tell, or at least I can't. If I can't read the title, I go out to one of the free online translators and start searching for a translation. Yesterday I got the above book in the mail and went through about 20 language translations until I found it! It was Norwegian for In the Firing Line or maybe it means something closer to In the Line of Fire. I received copies of another book so close but not quite the same and found it to be the same book in Swedish. What fun! This particular book was my May 2007 book Cowboy Sanctuary. I love the Norwegian cover and the new title. So dangerous!I have another cowboy book coming out next month called Baby Bling. Don't you just love the cowboy and the baby on the cover? It got 4.5 stars and a TOP PICK! from Romantic Times Magazine for Baby Bling.Have you enjoyed a cowboy today?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cowboys and Intrigue

Some might question how the modern cowboy meshes with stories of danger and suspense. I never would, nor would most readers of Harlequin Intrigues. I've been thinking lately about what makes the cowboy such an ideal hero. I've come to a few conclusions. They are firmly rooted in their principles. The old adage that a man is as good as his word certainly characterizes the cowboy's ethics. They are independent and tend to take matters in their own hands. They know how to use a weapon, but don't use them against another human except to save a life. They are extremely protective-of their horses, their livestock, their land and most of all of the people they love. They are manly to the core. Hmm. And then there's the way the look in jeans, boots and a Stetson.

I have double duty with my new Special Ops series. I have former Navy SEAL's who are true cowboys at heart. I've never had more fun writing a series since the heroes are proven in every sense of the word. And gorgeously sexy. Note the cover for the March book.

If you love cowboys as heroes, I'd love to hear from you as to why. And please visit my website at http://www.joannawayne.com/ for a chance to read an excerpt of Cowboy Commando. And don't forget to enter my contest while you're there.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Going to a fashion show

I'm going to a fashion show this weekend and I'm so excited! It's just a small local one, but still. I've never been to one. I just proposed a new project for Intrigue, The Socialite and the Bodyguard. The heroine would definitely go to fashion shows. So I'm technically there for research :-) A make-up company is sponsoring it, so there'll be free make-up, too. I've got to find something to wear!!! I'm so not the fashion show type. I sit around in sweatpants most of the time. Just more comfy for sitting at the computer. But it's good to leave our normal environment every once in a while and try something we'd never do normally. Ever did something like that? Something totally out of character.... Did you enjoy it?

I have a question for readers... Did you find the March Intrigues okay? I've been so worried for Desert Ice Daddy. Supposedly, a major distributor is having problems and a lot of authors were worried that their books wouldn't make it from the warehouse to the stores. I'm in Europe so I couldn't check. Anyone seen my book for sale anywhere? Like we don't have enough to worry about :-)

Hope you're having lots of sunshine wherever you are.

Have a fabulous day,



Tuesday, March 10, 2009

spring is here

We had temps in the 50s today. Not that I got outside much :-( Hubby cut down a giant pine tree that had some disease and was dying off. Cut off the branches first, starting at the bottom. Climbed the stubs, then when he got to the top, he began cutting the tree, chunk by chunk. I had the phone ready to dial 911, but he ended up taking the tree down without an accident. Would it kill him to call a professional? Yes, it would. He's the type of guy who thinks a real man can handle just about anything that comes his way. Why do women like stubborn men? I suppose all that goal-orientedness is appealing. Anyhow, I'm saying my prayers of thanksgiving that he hadn't fallen and broken anything.

I need to start the tomato seedlings inside. I'm so late this year. At least, I cleaned out about a third of the garden. Have you started your spring chores yet?

To celebrate the beginning of this fine season, I have a book out: DESERT ICE DADDY. It's part of the Harlequin Diamond Anniversary promotion. You guessed it, there are some diamonds in the story. Check out my web site for excerpt and a chance to win free books. The hero is a Texas Sheik. What's that? you ask... You'll just have to read the book to find out ;-)

Happy Spring!


Monday, March 9, 2009

New Release

That's the cover of my new Intrigue, SECRET DELIVERY, that officially hits the shelves tomorrow. It's book four of my Texas Paternity miniseries, and the series will wrap up in October with CHRISTMAS GUARDIAN. I've had a blast writing about these five single Texas dads raising children who aren't their own, and for those following the series, I hope you've enjoyed the books.

I've already started a new series that will be out next year, and I'm having so much fun!! I'm at the stage where I can just play with the characters and plots, and as the release date draws closer, trust me, I'll tell you all about them. :)

But here's my question for you. Do you like author miniseries, or do you prefer books that stand alone?


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Random Questions

Okay, so I'm completely stuck for something to blog about so I thought I'd come up with a short list of random questions to get this blog moving. And because I have a book coming out next month called Baby Bling based in Texas, with a cowboy and a pregnant woman, I thought I'd focus on random questions about those subjects. So here goes the questions and my answers. I'd love to hear from all of you with your answers. The world is full of different people with different tastes, that's what makes it so wonderful. Wouldn't life be boring if we all thought, dress, ate the same?

1. If you were on a dangerous mission leading into the Rocky Mountains with the bad guys after you, which would you rather have with you: a cowboy, a special ops soldier or the Mall Cop? (How's that for random?)

2. If you had a choice, which time period would you rather travel to: 2000 years into the future, medieval times or the 1950's?

3. If today was your last day on earth, what would be your choice of food: pizza, ice cream or peanut M&M's?

4. If today was your last day on earth, and you could only be with one of the following, who would it be: Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, President Obama, or The Mall Cop.

Here are my answers:
1. I'd want all three! The cowboy because he'd look great in his jeans and sit his horse like he was part of it, the special ops soldier because they're soooo intense and gorgeously brave and the Mall Cop because I'd have to have humor in that situation or the tension would just kill me!

2. Tough choices on the second question. Would love to see what the future holds for us. I'm afraid 2000 years in the future humans may or may not be here. But wouldn't it be cool if we found a way off this planet and the universe was our oyster? I'd love to visit the medieval times of great knights, beautiful dresses and grand adventures, but to live without toilet paper? Not me! A visit maybe, to live there forever, I'd have to bring a lifetime supply! The 1950's would be a hoot! James Dean, poodle skirts and the music! I'm there!

3. Ice cream, definitely ice cream! Make that Rocky Road for me!

4. Again, a tough choice. If I thought Spike could make me a vampire and extend my days on earth, I'd go for him! And he's a hotty, who wouldn't want to spend her last hours with him? Obama? Not. His job is too depressing. The Mall Cop? A definite possibility. See answer to question 1. Humor would be a big thing for me. Helps lighten your load.

Now your turn! What would your answers be?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Putting Yourself First

This year, like many others, I decided to focus on putting myself first. But as a woman, there are many other people in our lives that need to be taken care of: our husbands, kids, parents and friends. Oh, and don't forget the dogs and cats!

Don't get me wrong, I love taking care of the people I love. But it really hit me lately that if I'm not in a good place, it will be hard to be a good support for others.

After the post holiday munchies, I decided to buckle down and begin taking care of myself by cutting sugar out of my diet. It feels amazing! I'm a sugar addict, no question. So when I'm sucked into the sugar vortex, I don't think straight, I'm unmotivated and I worry all the time. Without sugar I'm clear-headed and energized.

The heroine in my March book, Sydney Trent, took care of two sick parents who passed away. Then she finds herself on her own, sucked into danger and intrigue when her friend, Nate, goes missing and his sexy older brother, Dalton, asks her to help solve the mystery. Syd got really good at taking care of herself after her parents passed away, and isn't one to be pushed around, even by a sexy hunk like Dalton.

What kinds of things do want to do to take better care of yourself? Come on, you're worth it!!

Here are a few non-sugar snacks for anyone out there want to cut down:

Layer shredded veggies and Tzatki sauce in a piece of roast beef and roll up
Dip sliced green zucchini in hummus
A hard boiled egg is always a great afternoon pick-me-up
A slice of deli turkey with Laughing cow cheese spread and par-boiled asparagus (you can tell I'm into rolling things like tortillas!)


Pat White

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Available in March

Here's what's coming this month from Harlequin Intrigue:

1119. RENEGADE SOLDIER by Pat White
Secret operative Dalton Keen had never met a woman like Sydney Trent: sweet, innocent and so beautiful he couldn't look away. Trying to complete his latest mission meant he needed Sydney's help. But it was hard to control how his body responded when she turned to him with her violet eyes and looked at him with both awe and desire. Rather than crossing the line, though, he needed to protect her. Someone had discovered that she knew more than she was telling…and they didn't like it. Dalton regretted involving Syd in what was quickly becoming a very dangerous mission, but she couldn't back out now. And, secretly, he didn't want to let her go.

1120. SNOWED IN WITH THE BOSS by Jessica Andersen
CEO Griffin Vaughn knew Sophie LaRue was trouble the moment he agreed to hire her. Still, he hadn't become one of the wealthiest men in the world by being distracted by silky blond hair and legs that didn't quit, and he refused to start now. But thanks to a freak blizzard, he and Sophie were trapped in his Colorado mansion...and they weren't alone. With someone watching from the shadows, Griffin attempted to ignore their building attraction and focus on protecting Sophie. A successful businessman, Griffin thrived on challenge—until his innocent assistant made him an offer he couldn't refuse....

1121. DESERT ICE DADDY by Dana Marton
Billionaire Akeem Abdul's arrival at the McKade ranch went from business to personal when he learned Taylor McKade's little boy had disappeared. Taylor had only become more beautiful over the years, and Akeem couldn't stand seeing the pain on her face. As they followed the kidnappers' orders and trekked through the Texas heat, Akeem admired the strength it took for Taylor not to fall apart. But he was there when she did—and vowed to bring her son home. Still, all the money in the world couldn't eliminate his secret fears: that if they didn't find her son, this woman he'd finally found again could be lost to him forever....

1122. SECRET DELIVERY by Delores Fossen
Sheriff Jack Whitley hadn't seen Alana Davis in nearly a year. Not since he'd saved her life and helped to deliver her baby. And when she'd mysteriously disappeared, he'd raised her son as his own. So despite the way Alana's vulnerability tugged at his heart, Jack vowed he wouldn't let her claim his child. But with a dangerous killer hot on her trail, he found himself wanting to be her protector. Keeping her safe meant he ran the risk of losing his son. And ultimately his heart.

1123. COWBOY COMMANDO by Joanna Wayne
On navy SEAL missions Cutter Martin had been a warrior. But when it came to Linney Kingston, he was just a red-blooded Texas cowboy with bad luck at love. Linney had walked out on him six years ago. Now she was back—with a motherless child and a crazy story.Linney's theory of murder and scandal was as preposterous as her body's traitorous response to Cutter. Still, when she was shot at, the cowboy came to her rescue. Cutter—her hero. And the only man who could break her heart again. Trusting him a second time was more frightening than the killers stalking her every move....

1124. MULTIPLES MYSTERY by Alice Sharpe
Olivia Capri knew giving birth to quads would cause a stir in her media-starved small town. But she didn't realize it would bring back Zac Bishop, the boy she'd once loved with all her teenage heart. Luckily, as sheriff, he'd returned just in time. It seemed someone was after her and her babies thanks to a past she knew nothing about. And though she knew whoever it was didn't stand a chance against Zac and his protective nature, reminiscing about old times stirred up too many long-buried emotions. Still, Zac assured her everything would be okay, all she had to do was trust him. And she did. With everything but her heart.