Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fan Appreciation

And the winner is Tammy. If you'll send me your snail mail addy to, I'll get that in the mail to you.

Okay, I have to say that Intrigue has the best fans in the world. I can't count the number of fan letters and emails I've received about the Sons of Troy Ledger series. At first I worried about keeping the interest of readers over five books. Now I'm getting  letters saying they hate for the series to end. I can't tell you how good that makes me feel.

So I was thinking what can I do for our readers--besides giving away books--which I'll do today. I'll randomly choose two winners to receive books, but you'll have to check the post again in the next couple of days to see if you were a winner. If you are, I'll need your snail mail addy.

So what can I do? Tell you what, I'll share one of my favorite recipes with you, a great dish to warm you up on a cold night and oh so easy to make. It's the same kind of dish I imagine them eating around the Ledger dinner table. If you try it, let me know what you think.

                  Hamburger/Black-eyed Pea Casserole

1 pound ground beef
1 small to medium onion, finely chopped
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 (15 oz) cans black-eyed peas
1 can Rotel tomatoes
2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
1 cup sharp grated cheese, plus another 1/2 cup for topping   (I LOVE cheese.)
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown beef in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic. Mix in black-eyed peas, tomatoes, rice, 1 cup of cheese, butter and salt and pepper. Spoon into casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Bake 20 - 25 minutes until bubbly.

I usually serve this with a pan of hot cornbread. Hubby loves it. Hope your family will, too. Or if you live alone, freeze the extra into serving size portions and have it on nights you only want to eat and read.

Hugs to all,

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

life lessons

I was at a motivational seminar today and I was reminded of something I’ve learned years go, but have somehow forgotten lately.


I remember what a revelation this was to me when I first heard it. Whatever happens to me does not define my life. The outcome is determined by things that happen AND my response to those things. Which means I have control!

Ironically, I seem to know this for my fictional heroes, who always remember this simple principle. I write tough, honorable commando guys and secret soldiers. These guys do not roll over when trouble hits. They will do the impossible without a moment of hesitation. In LAST SPY STANDING, both the hero and the heroine overcome murderous drug runners, plus all the dangers of the South American jungle, to reach their goal. And they have to fight not just the enemy, but each other as well, as they have opposing missions! As I wrote, at times I worried that they might kill each other before they have a chance to fall in love. They are both driven and very capable. They don’t focus on setbacks, they focus 100% on their own responses.

So that’s what I’m trying to pound into my brain today, so I don’t forget it again. Today, I’m going from, “Oh, God, one more thing cannot possibly go wrong!” to “Fine, it happened, now this is how I am going to fix this.”


I like this little equation. It’s a powerful life lesson.

Do you have any life lessons that you’ve learned over the years and you keep coming back to? Would you share it with me? Please post and you will win a free book from me (your choice from what I have available). Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

And if you have a minute, come and Like me on FB. I do all sorts of fun giveaways there regularly.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Oh, the glamorous writing life...

To put it kindly, my journey to publication was a little rocky. I got serious about writing for publication in my late twenties but floundered around for a decade, buffeted by the ill winds of rejection and wallowing, for a while, in the fast and easy instant gratification of fanfiction. I kept telling myself that all the odds were stacked against me—I had a demanding day job that left me little time or energy to write, I had family obligations and little fur babies depending on me for food, water, shelter and vet bills, and I didn't even have the money to buy myself a decent desk, writing for years on a piece of lumber laid across the iron base of an old sewing machine.

But the desire to publish was stronger even than my own self-sabotage. Eventually, I figured out that all those excuses were just that: excuses. They weren't really the reason I didn't find time to write. I didn't need hours of undisturbed peace; thirty minutes of lunch hour, when spent with focus and preparation, could result in 750 written words. Do that every day for eighty days and you'd have a 60,000 word book.

I also learned that where you write isn't all that important. You can write on your phone, your netbook, your Alphasmart, a yellow notepad, the back of your grocery list. What matters is that you write. Every day, even if it's a few words. Learn the discipline of approaching your writing as a job.

That's a long introduction to get to the meat of my post. In a recent post on another blog, I gave readers a glimpse of my writer's workspace (and, by extension, my oh-so-glamorous writing lifestyle). So I thought I'd share it with y'all, too.

Here is my laptop computer. It sits on a wobbly TableMate II table that's seen a lot of wear and tear. It once sat in my den, but recently I've moved it to my bedroom. Doesn't really matter, since it's portable. I can really move it anywhere I want.

I also do a lot of writing on my computer at work, during my lunch hour. I don't have a photo of my work computer, alas. But trust me, it's very nice. Huge monitor. Plus I have a nice view of the neighborhood behind our office. It's a residential area, with a lot of beautiful older homes. Plus, I get an up close view of all sorts of birds who land in the trees just outside my office window.

Writers need nutrition. Sustenance is vital. I'd like to say that I eat great, nutritious meals all the time. And sometimes, I actually do eat pretty well,

But sometimes, especially when you're under the deadline gun, there's only one food group that meets your immediate needs: chocolate. (And, okay, a green apple Jolly Rancher lollipop isn't bad, either).

Writers need companionship. Writing is a solitary endeavor, so it's important to surround yourself with friends who'll wait patiently for your attention while you work.

Just be aware, their patience is finite. Be sure to take time to give them some undivided love and attention.

(And plenty of kibble).

The handsome blue-eyed heartbreaker shown here is my sweet Miko, who may look like a high strung Siamese but behaves like an absolute sweetheart.

Be prepared for obstacles. Whether it's an unexpected deadline, edits that arrive at the worst possible moment, or mysterious computer troubles, something will always happen to get in the way of your writing. You can't let that stop you.

(In this case, the obstacle is a sleepy kitten who thinks the heat of my computer is the next best thing to cuddling up with his mama).

You also have to be prepared for setbacks. No writing career runs smoothly all the time. Even after you sell, you'll get rejections, lose your editor, get booted from your publishing house, get a terrible cover or your sales will bomb for no apparent reason. And constantly worrying over the failures is a recipe for driving yourself crazy.

Here's the truth. You don't have to have a beautiful workspace, a glorious view, an unobstructed block of time to write or a meteoric rise to the top of the book lists to be a successful writer. You just have to find a system that works for you and hit the keyboard every day. Sometimes you'll reach the top of the mountain. Sometimes you'll tumble into the darkest valley. But it's all part of the writing process.

If you're a writer, here's my question: what is your workspace like? Barebones and portable like mine? Or do you have to surround yourself with inspiration and comfort?

And if you're a reader, here's a question for you: what's your ideal workspace? Quiet and serene? Active and busy? Where do you do your best work, whatever that work may be?

And while I have your attention, don't forget my next book, Secret Identity, is available now on and comes out next month in bookstores. It's the first book of a brand new series, Cooper Security, so if you want to get in on the ground floor of a new series, here's your chance. The next two books, Secret Hideout and Secret Agenda, follow in April and May.

Sunday, February 26, 2012



ISBN: 0373695292
February 2011


Undercover DEA agent Erren Rhodes was used to working alone. So the very idea of teaming up with Officer Darby O’Malley to ferret out a killer wasn’t exactly how he thought this critical mission would go. But thanks to information only the beautiful cop possessed, finding whoever was responsible for shooting Erren’s friend made Darby a valuable—and irresistible—partner. Digging into the case, though, revealed a far-reaching conspiracy…and angered all the wrong people. Now, trying to bring a killer to justice while keeping Darby safe was making Erren remember why he was better off on his own. Especially when Darby made him long to hole up together in the safe house and never let her out of his sight.  

THE PACKAGE--Missing. No one can find it or knows what’s inside.

Dallas Police Officer Darby O’Malley--Until recently, her only desire had been to work undercover. Now, it’s to clear her younger brother of murder charges. She’s on the edge of losing her job and her brother just may be guilty.

Undercover DEA agent Erren Rhodes--He’s been undercover for six years and he’s ready to get out before he makes a mistake and “gets dead.” When his mentor is murdered, all he wants is revenge.

Academy Officer Walter Pike--Darby’s partner asked Erren to deliver the package, but was murdered before he could leave instructions.

Assistant District Attorney Brian Thrumburt--Pike told him this case would make his career.

DEA agent John Knighton--Erren’s handler who disappears while watching Erren’s back.

The Sergeant Major--Denny O’Malley, U.S. Army, retired and Darby’s father.

Michael O’Malley--His blood type was found at the scene linking him to Pike’s murder. Shot and in a coma, he has all the answers, but no one can ask him the questions.

Available in France

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Australia/New Zealand
One of my favorite things about .38 Caliber Cover-Up was all the surprises Erren & Darby gave me throughout the book. Not knowing who the villian was until the end...well, yeah, that happened. Knee surgery, my first official Harlequin party as an author, winning the Golden Heart for Hill Country Hold Up, first trip to DisneyWorld and my first book going on sale...all those things happened while writing the book.

But what I'll remember the most is the thrill of finally giving Erren and Darby their story. It had struggled to develop for years. The beginning was always the same, there were at least seven different "middles," and they held onto that ending until the very last minute.

I hope to be writing more stories with Darby's family...especially the one with "boring desk job." Steve Woods (Hill Country Hold-Up) makes an appearance--love little connections like that. In fact, Erren Rhodes was introduced in HCHU.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ten Things You May Not Know about Robin Perini and Finding Her Son PLUS GIVEAWAY!



Please send me an email at robin (at) robinperini (dot) com with your address and I'll send you a copy of Finding Her Son! Congratulations!

Thanks for stopping by to visit today, everyone!

I'm excited and thrilled to be blogging about my very first Harlequin Intrigue, Finding Her Son. The entire process of writing for Harlequin has been a dream come true for me. In Finding Her Son, a determined woman suspected in her husband's death is forced to team with the man assigned to prove her guilt in order to find her kidnapped son.

So here are ten things you may not know about me and my very first Harlequin Intrigue, Finding Her Son.

10. I train in small-bore silhouette shooting.

9. Finding Her Son won the 2011 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart as Stolen Lullaby in the Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure.

8. My 'how-to-write' workshops have been included on the Top 24 Workshops CD from the Romance Writers of America's® National Conference CD five times (Bill Stephens Productions).

7. Finding Her Son takes place in Denver, Colorado, where the hero Mitch Bradford was on the SWAT team with the Denver Police Department.

6. Mitch has three siblings: Noah, Chase and Sierra. His father Paul is a former Denver cop who was paralyzed as a result of a gunshot wound.

5. Autographs don't have to come on paper. If you have a Kindle version of Finding Her Son, you can get an autograph through Kindlegraph. (

4. Emily Wentworth, the heroine of Finding Her Son, has one brother who is in the military and is stationed in Afghanistan.

3. Mitch's last name of Bradford came about because I am a huge Oklahoma Sooners Fan (and alumni) and a big admirer of Sam Bradford, the Sooners' Heisman Trophy winning quarterback who now plays for the St. Louis Rams.

2. I have broken my tibia and fibula near my left ankle and used my rehabilitation and physical therapy experience when writing the rehab scenes between Mitch and Emily (who is a physical therapist.)

1. Finding Her Son is my second published novel. My first novel was In Her Sights, published by Montlake Romance in November, 2011.

I'd love to answer questions, about almost anything on either Finding Her Son, In Her Sights or my upcoming projects. If you comment, you earn a chance to win an autographed copy of Finding Her Son.

I love to hear from readers. You can catch me, read excerpts, read reviews, sign up for my quarterly newsletter or mailing list, and even request trading cards or a Kindlegraph on my website at I'm also on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.


4.5 Stars from RT Book Reviews – "Perini keeps the tension taut, the romance irresistible and the mystery...deep."


Investigating a cold case is SWAT cop Mitch Bradford’s worst nightmare—especially when it involves a kidnapped infant. But thanks to an injury, he’ll have to settle for following Emily Wentworth instead of breaking down doors and cuffing criminals.

The prime suspect in a mysterious disappearance, Emily has always claimed she was framed. And as he earns the trust of the incredibly desperate—and unbelievably beautiful— mother, every instinct tells Mitch to believe her. Then new evidence unfolds, revealing an elaborate conspiracy and forcing Emily into a deadly spotlight. Now, torn between loyalty to the badge and his promises to Emily, Mitch may have to make the ultimate sacrifice if he’s to bring her little boy home.


Chapter One

Cursing under his breath, Mitch Bradford yanked his collar up against the bitter Colorado wind. Where was Emily Wentworth going? He stalked across Colfax, on a stretch of the street known as a candy store for illicit drugs and prostitution. He could've been home alone in front of the fireplace, his bum leg propped up, nursing a stiff drink and a double dose of ibuprofen. The irony didn't amuse him. He'd been tapped for the Wentworth case because of his injury. One more reason to kill the guy who'd shot up his leg during his last SWAT operation.

Mitch ducked his head and plunged forward into the night, ignoring the exchange of money on the corner. He would've busted the dealer any other time, but he refused to let his suspect out of sight. When she approached a group of gang-bangers, he tensed and reached for his weapon.

They circled her.

Two murders last night in the neighborhood. No time to be subtle.

He broke into a run, disregarding the twinge in his leg. He'd pay for it later, but they could shoot or stab her in seconds. Before he reached her, she tilted her head at the assailants like she was flirting and skirted through the wall of thugs. They let her go.

Mitch pulled back. Crazy woman. He tucked his Glock into the shoulder holster. He'd had enough of these cat-and-mouse games. He sped up and followed her across an alley. The scent of vomit and urine, and God knew what else, soured the night.

She stopped in front of a darkened building. After a furtive glance right, then left, she knocked. The door cracked open, then squeaked wider. Before he reached the entrance, she vanished behind the worn oak.

"Figures." Why would anything about this case be easy? Cold seeped through his jeans as he searched the front of the building for a sign. Nothing. No indication of what took place inside. That didn't bode well. His guess: drugs, sex, who knew what else.

[Cover Art Copyright © 2012 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.]


Award-winning author Robin Perini is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes adventure with a love story sure to melt their hearts. Her mission's motto: "When danger and romance collide, no heart is safe." After seven prestigious Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finals, Robin sold seven novels within one year. She won the Golden Heart® in 2011, and that title became her first Harlequin Intrigue, Finding Her Son (March 2012). Residing in the southwestern United States, by day, she works for an advanced technology corporation, and in her spare time, you might find her giving one of her many nationally acclaimed writing workshops or training in competitive small-bore rifle silhouette shooting.

She is the author of In Her Sights (Montlake, 2011), Finding Her Son, Cowboy in the Crossfire and Christmas Conspiracy (Harlequin Intrigue 2012) as well as the upcoming Montgomery Justice Series from Montlake Romance.

Robin loves to interact with readers. You can read excerpts, read reviews, sign up for her mailing list and even request trading cards or a Kindlegraph on her website at She's also on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. She'd love to hear from you.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Characters you love and hate

I love meeting new characters when I start a book. I have no idea where they come from. They aren't exactly people I've ever met, but they are so real to me, they must be parts of people I've crossed paths with.

I just finished my 60th book, so I've met a lot of characters. I never plan them. They just kind of appear as I start the book. I listened to mystery writer Elmore Leonard talk once at a conference in Palm Springs, Californa. He said he interviews his characters as he beings to write. If they are boring, he dumps them.

When I started the Chisholm Cattle Company series, the Chisholms were like that. Boring! I'd just finished the Winchester family and they had been so wonderful quirky and dysfunctional, I loved them. The Chisholms seemed so...normal. I didn't like them and didn't want to write about them.

Stuck, I went fishing with my husband. It was on the way back in the boat, watching the water whiz past, when I decided to kill Hoyt Chisholm's wife Laura. Fortunately, it was a long boat ride. By the time we reached the dock, I had killed three of Hoyt Chisholm's wives. Who knew?

And by the time we pulled the boat out, I couldn't wait to start writing about this now interesting family. I had no idea where the six books would take me. Each was as much a surprise to me as I hope they are to my readers. I loved each surprise.

In CORRALLED, the book that will hit the shelves the beginning of next month, I finally got to come face to face, so to speak, with my villain. Needless to say, it was great fun. It only got better in the final book of the series, WRANGLED, which comes out in June. I love a villain who doesn't give up. :)

I also wrote a single title bigger book this year. UNFORGIVEN comes out this summer. I think sometimes the lines between good and bad blur. I like those kind of villains too.

Meanwhile, I'm starting my next Whitehorse, Montana Intrigue series called Sundown Stallion Station. I'm just getting to know the McGraws, but I already like them. They have so many wonderful secrets. I will be meeting these still shadowy new characters soon. It's what I love best about writing.

Do you have a favorite Whitehorse character? Share it with me and I will send the first six of you a free book.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


So what makes a cowboy so sexy? I've given it a lot of thought. In fact, I spend a lot of my days and some of my nights thinking about what makes the men I'm writing about so sexy that I wouldn't mind cuddling up with one of the heroes myself from time to time. Not that I would. My hubby probably wouldn't approve. But I can still fantasize.  And I always fall in love with my heroes. If I didn't, how could I expect you to? 

So I'll give you my top three reasons for lovin' those cowboys. You give me yours. And I'll choose a random winner to get a free cowboy book.

1. The Swagger. They really do you know. Could be that rough denim on their thighs, but I live in Cowboy Country, and when a real cowboy walks into a cafe, or restaurant or even church, you know it. The swagger is always there.

2. The way they say yes ma'am. I mean they give word ma'am at least three syllables. And that drawl pulls me in.

3. They let you know that they realize you're a woman--and it doesn't matter how young or how old you are. They pick up the tab when you go out to eat. They're quick to carry anything you need carrying. And they come to your rescue in  a minute even if it's just that you forgot where you parked your car in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

That's my top three. Let's hear yours.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


What do you suppose writers do in their spare time? Write, for one thing!  I've dabbled in  lots of different genres. I was a finalist for the Golden Heart Award for unpublished fiction in the Long Historical Category mumble years ago. I have several paranormal romances published with ImaJinn Books. Numerous short stories published in pulp and slick SF/F mags. I even have an essay published in Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul.

I love writing different eras, places and times -- including futuristic! A few years ago I was asked to contribute to an historical anthology. So I wrote September Rain, which is a poignant love story that's very dear to my heart. The anthology was never published, so I decided to publish this historical romantic suspense novella myself.

From 2/22 - 2/27/2012, September Rain will be FREE on Amazon. Drop by and download a copy -- you can't beat the price! 

They slit his throat but he lived...
That's what the townspeople said about the reclusive man they called Crazy Jake. When Jacob Chandler saved Hallie Greer from an attacker and was beaten half to death for his trouble, Hallie can't rest until she makes sure he's all right. Hallie travels up a treacherous mountain trail to a treeline cabin. What she finds there is danger, mystery and love.

Happy Reading

PRIVATE SECURITY, Harlequin Intrigue 05/2012
DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN, Harlequin Intrigue 06/2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Fat Tuesday!!!

Normally the word 'fat' is never reserved for something good - except for Mardi Gras! This being the last day before the long Lenten season, it's the last day to be merry! In New Orleans, the entire city throws a party. Here in New Mexico, it's on a smaller scale, but it can just as much fun.

The community of Red River, up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, holds week long festivities which include Voo, a life size Voodoo doll that will be taken to the Mardi Gras ball by one of the Krews (teams). This year the theme is Mardi Gras through the Ages, and along with the dances is a parade and, of course, a Cajun Cook-off.

At Angel Fire, there was a benefit for the library that featured costumes, food, music, and a silent auction. Hopefully, this year, the lead float in local parades won't be a snow plow. Funds raised from the float entry fees will benefit a school horse barn project.

David and I have a pressing deadline, so our celebration will be here at home - after we finish our writing for the day. Right now, we're mostly editing each other's work, but we're very pleased with the way Secrets of the Lynx (May 2013) is turning out. Secrets of the Lynx is book number three of our Copper Canyon series, and I've got to say, I particularly enjoy Paul Grayhorse. He's relentless, and passionate, and well, you get the idea. His spiritual connection to Lynx, a discerner of secrets, makes him the perfect former lawman and romantic hero.

So, today, as you read this, David and I will be dancing and remembering that at the end of the day we're not authors - just man and wife - two people who have an incredible passion for each other....and chocolate macadamia cookies.

Monday, February 20, 2012

8 Things I Learned from Doing Community Theater

This weekend was the final weekend of performances for my community theater group's production of the musical GUYS & DOLLS. My hubby had a major supporting role. And though I came to the production late (deadlines kept me from auditioning last November), I was asked to come in to take over a small part and to work backstage after some people had to bow out of the production for medical or job reasons. The music director is a good friend, it gave me some quality time to spend with my hubby at rehearsals.

One of the tenets I try to live by is to learn something new every day (it's a great way to generate story ideas! plus, it keeps the brain cells sharp and rejuvenates the creative energy). So I thought I'd share with you some of the things I've learned by doing theater since I was 5.

1. Theater is a wonderful creative outlet for me. It uses a different kind of creativity than writing does, and the brain, spirit and body need that kind of refresher, I think. Some of my friends knit or quilt--I do theater.

2. I've made some wonderful friends doing theater. Truly, when you spend all that rehearsal and performance time together--when you help each other with quick costume changes backstage or rely on someone to turn on the lights or move your set or have their lines down so you can play off them, it requires trust. Some of our dearest friends have come from our theater family.

3. Romance. The first date I had with my hubby was to view Halley's Comet at the MIZZOU observatory. But we really got to know each other/spend time together/decide we liked each other by doing a couple of shows together.

4. It gives the shy girl inside me a chance to break out of her shell and shine. Julie Miller is a nervous wreck speaking in front of a big group of people. But Annie Sullivan or Maria von Trapp or any number of other characters love to be onstage.

5. Continuing to be involved with community theater helps me keep the skills I learned in college fresh. I was in charge of makeup on GUYS & DOLLS. Loved aging a couple of characters and turning one young woman into a man for the stage. (I said they'd lost some of their original cast and crew, remember?)

6. Doing this show was good therapy for my hubby. He lost 2 brothers last year, and has been dealing with a lot of family responsibilities. Portraying a singing gangster, hanging out with his friends and making new ones, getting the chance to see me away from my computer, were all a much-needed respite and healing process for him.

7. I got story ideas! Suddenly, the previously one-dimensional hero in the proposal I'm currently writing is taking on some of the bad boy hero qualities of the leading men in GUYS & DOLLS. He may not break into song--but he's developing a sarcastic sense of humor. And his defining heroic quality is--like those gangsters in the play--that he's true to his word, no matter what it costs him. My heroine can rely on him (though she doesn't believe that yet ;)

8. It's just plain fun. It wouldn't be much of a hobby if I spent all that time being miserable or stressed. So I got a few bruises--okay, so I got a LOT of bruises moving church pews on and off the stage--but the backstage crew had a blast. We even performed our own rendition of "Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat" behind the scenes each time to actors did the big number. And like I said before, the people involved with the production are like family. And those friendships are priceless.

So, what's your hobby? What do you do to escape the stresses of everyday life or to reconnect with friends and family? What hobby rejuvenates you?

I'll give away a copy of one of my backlist titles to a lucky someone who posts a question or comment today. And for you ebook readers out there, be sure to check out on Thursday/Friday--I'm celebrating my birthday weekend by giving away free ebook copies of IMMORTAL HEART.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spotlight on February Intrigues: Her Cowboy Defender

Go on an exciting ride in Kerry Connor's latest Thriller, Her Cowboy Defender:

From the moment he finds himself staring down the barrel of her gun, Rancher Cade McClain knows Piper Lowry isn't just another stranded tourist. Armed and desperate, she's prepared to do whatever it takes to carry out her mission. A mission she claims only he can help her with. Knowing it would be impossible to walk away from this tempting, determined woman, Cade offers her a place to hide from the gunmen on her trail. Despite his broad shoulders and intimidating gaze, it isn't long before the straight-shooting cowboy realizes he can't guarantee Piper's safety. Even if his heart is beginning to tell him he has no choice but to try.…

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Paula's Winner from last week

Congratulations to Tiffany, who wins the $20 gift certificate. Tiffany, email me (click on the "contact" link on my website, with your email address and information.

Thanks to all the commenters!

Spotlight on February Intrigues: The Lost Girls of Johnson's Bayou

Jana DeLeon delivers her latest spine-tingling read with The Lost Girls of Johnson’s Bayou:

She was only six when she walked out of the swamp after the LeBlanc School for Girls caught on fire. Sixteen years after the terrifying night that stole her memory, a child's scream lures Ginny back into the woods…where a strong arm encircles her. The gun-wielding stranger is Paul Stanton, a cop-turned-P.I., who's come to Johnson's Bayou looking for answers of his own.

Paul has spent almost two decades searching for his missing sister and now, this Southern beauty could be the key to his quest. But someone would rather see Ginny dead than have her memories resurface. And although uncovering the dark secrets of the past could put them both at risk, it's a chance Paul's willing to take if it means finding his future…with Ginny.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Weekend!

The weekend is finally here, and even better (at least if you're in the U.S.) it's a holiday weekend.  We all know what that means--more time for reading!  What are you planning to read this weekend? Anything you're particularly excited about?

Here's hoping you have a relaxing weekend with plenty of reading time ahead of you!

The Harlequin Intrigue authors

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

From Start to Finish: Book #60

I just finished JUSTICE AT CARDWELL RANCH, the sequel to Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch, that comes out in October 2012. I just realized it is my 60th book.

Usually I’m too exhausted to celebrate. It takes a few days. After living in a book for weeks, sometimes months, it is hard to let go. It is always sad to say goodbye to those characters. Especially these because I don’t think I’ll be seeing them again.

When I start a book, it is really exciting. Everything is new. Anything can happen. It’s my favorite part. Middles are the hard part. The ending is the relief part. If I’ve gotten that far, it’s all going to be all right.

Once a book is done, I look back and think, “Whew, that wasn’t so hard.” Right. Every book is a challenge. Every one at some point becomes a mountain I have to climb. There are days I don’t want to write and would rather clean the toilet.

But once a book is done, I look forward to the next one. I try to take a few days off at least to regroup, clean off my desk, not write.

Right now, I feel like celebrating. Book #60 is done. Wow.

B.J. Daniels

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines and Romance Novels

If Valentines are like tweets, short and to the point, then romance novels are the long form. Love stories with complexity and depths to make you cry, make you laugh, give you chills, and have you rooting for the hero and heroine to walk off into the sunset together.

I’ve known Valentines from childhood. I remember the ones we punched out of books or made out of red construction paper and lace doilies and brought to our friends at school on Valentine’s Day.

But I didn’t encounter a romance novel until I was already married and the mother of two.

How can this be true of a woman who’s written more than a hundred romances?

As a kid I read a lot of fantasy, science fiction, and adventure. It wasn’t until I was taking a writing seminar at my local community college that one of my friends asked me if I wanted to try my hand at a romance. When I confessed my ignorance about the genre, she brought me several shopping bags full of Harlequin Presents (one of the few lines at the time). I started reading them, and a new passion was born. Here were books that focused in the romance element of a story–the part that only rated a subplot in the fiction I’d been reading.

Yes, I did want to try and write one. And for a while, that was the main focus of my fiction, until the other elements I also love started creeping into my books. The adventure, the suspense, the danger, the paranormal powers.

My writing career has had a lot of influences. One of the science fiction novels that captivated me in my teens was a book called WILD TALENT, by Wilson Tucker. The Amazon editorial description says “Tucker's 1954 story of telepathy and ESP wherein Paul Breen discovers that he has special powers. As a loyal American he lends his powers to the U.S. government but soon finds out that the government is not to be trusted.”

Years later, I still remember elements of the story. And I know it’s the book that made me want to write about mind to mind communication. My way.

As romantic suspense. My favorite genre. A man and woman falling in love against a background threat so that the danger/suspense elements jolt up the romance. If you’re in a pressure cooker of peril, you’re more likely to reach for each other.

When I thought of people with telepathic powers, I thought of that hidden talent as intensifying the relationship between them. What if my characters always felt that they were missing something in life–that they could never connect with anyone on an intimate level? Then they’re thrown together with someone who’s had the same experience; and when they touch, it opens a door to each other’s minds and to a craving for intimacy.

What if someone else discovers they have those powers and is determined to kill them or subject them to cruel experiments?

At the same time, they’re compelled to follow their newfound abilities to their logical conclusion, even when they sense that the mind to mind link could kill them. Which adds another level of danger to the story. It’s not just external, it’s bound up with what the characters are feeling and experiencing.

That’s how I came to write SUDDEN INSIGHT and SUDDEN ATTRACTION, about telepaths created as babies by an illegal medical experiment. Now they’re grown up and alone–until they meet someone else with the same background.

That’s the background for these two books. To add to the mix, I’ve set them against the steamy atmosphere of New Orleans and Louisiana. And I’ve added a government conspiracy element.

As my heroes and heroines run for their lives, the mind to mind bond between them builds. It’s both a blessing and a curse, and it turns out to be the key to their survival.

When did you discover romance novels? And why do you like your romance mixed with elements like suspense and danger?

Rebecca York

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sweets, Sweeties, & Sweethearts

I saw these porcelain cupcakes in the store a couple of weeks ago and wanted to buy them, but thought twice. I mean, look at them. Don't they make you want to bake cupcakes and eat four or five? Ooops, my last post was "Hey Cupcake" and talking about food... but it is almost Valentine's Day which is centered around Sweets for the Sweethearts, Right?  I didn't buy the "fake" cupcakes and didn't run home and bake any either. But the picture is nice.
One of the hardest things about changing to a healthy life-style is giving up baking. You see, I love to cook, love to bake. I have my own chocolate-chip cookie recipe that is awesome (yes, I do say so!). I've given these cookies as graduation presents (upon request). They've sold at silent auctions for $40 a dozen. (Wow, that made me feel  So giving up baking is really hard.
Yesterday I made chocolate-chip cookies. Somewhere around 60 or so...for a bake sale 110 miles from here. The last batch, I kept for my sweetie (and me). We haven't had cookies in such a long time and it's nearly Valentine's so...a treat: HAPPY VALENTINE'S TIM!
Sugar is a no-no around here now. As my Intrigue buddy, Robin Perini says, "sugar is poison." (At least to us. Wonder if I could work that into a suspense...that's another topic.) But I can't help it. I LOVE sugar. (Psst...don't try to convince me to bake low-cal or with artificial's not the same.)

So my sweetie got Valentine sweets Sunday (and took the rest to his office--otherwise, I would be overdosing on sugar today). We plan on celebrating Wednesday...I don't know why whatever he's planning can't happen until Wednesday, but I was warned. And the nice man got me flowers Saturday--I think that had more to do with he was running errands and decided not to be late this year (LOL).

What are your plans this year? Do you have some suggestions for making a stay-at-home date special? Since the Sweetheart's switching days, I thought I might do something special on V-Day...he might not be expecting that. Suggestions?

Join me at Get Lost In A Story to meet your favorite authors. We're having a Valentine's celebration tomorrow with lots of free books. Stop by, leave a comment to be eligible.

Dangerous Memories,

Hill Country Holdup & .38 Caliber Cover-Up

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Spotlight on February Intrigues: Power of the Raven

Aimee Thurlo takes readers on another exciting trip to Copper Canyon in Power of the Raven:

Gene Redhouse believes in signs. But when Lori Baker literally jumps into his life, the Navajo wisdom he's learned disappears. Lori is being stalked and she's never been so frightened, or so alone. Although it seems they belong to different worlds, the connection between them is instant and intense. And if he can keep her alive long enough, he vows to explore every inch of her.…

With his chiseled features and powerful build, Gene is the safe harbor in Lori's stormy sea. And yet with her past weighing her down, Lori must decide which is more dangerous: the stranger trailing her every step, or the one daring her to trust him.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Spotlight on February Intrigues: Sudden Attraction

Don't miss Rebecca York's next Mindbenders tale, Sudden Attraction:

They were never supposed to meet. Hidden on a New Orleans plantation were secrets Gabriella Bodreaux was never supposed to uncover, either. And after Luke Buckley saved her life, she couldn't get him out of her head…and she couldn't get out of his.

At the slightest touch, they established the most intimate connection of their lives. So vulnerable, so dangerous…so right. Now they knew everything about each other—almost.

He came with a secret identity, but wasn't the type of man who would run away from trouble. He could keep her safe. But when being together meant exposing themselves to more danger than either could prepare for, they had to reconsider just how "chance" their meeting really was.…

Friday, February 10, 2012

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

It's a little early for spring fever, especially since it's not even spring (though the winter's been so mild it feels as though it might as well be).  Nonetheless, I'm pretty sure I have it. I love to travel, but didn't get to go anywhere last year.  As the year came to an end, I started to realize just how much I wanted to go somewhere. The feeling has only gotten stronger over the past few weeks.  I have a friend who's going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and another who invited me to Chicago.  Sadly, it still doesn't look like I'll be able to go anywhere anytime soon.  That hasn't stopped me from thinking about it, and all the places I might go.  New Orleans and Chicago are certainly good choices.  I would love to go back to Europe, or drive up the California coast again.  Which raises the question of whether I should go somewhere I've been before, or somewhere I've yet to experience.

Of course, one of the great things about books is the ability to travel all over the world in the stories they contain.  In books, and especially Intrigues, I've gotten to "see" and experience a wide variety of fascinating places I haven't been able to in real life.  My own books have had a variety of settings.  My January ebook release, A HARD MAN TO FORGET (only 99 cents at Amazon, BN and other retailers!), takes place in California, while my February Intrigue, HER COWBOY DEFENDER, is set in New Mexico. Its spinoff book, HER COWBOY AVENGER, coming later this year, takes place in Texas, certainly a popular setting for Intrigues.  Evidently I'm slowly making my way east this year :) I'm working on story ideas set in New England, Los Angeles, and other locales.  Still hoping to get to write some of those foreign-set stories I have rattling around in my head...  Some of these places are ones I've been to in real life, others I've only dreamed of.

What about you?  If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?  Or do you have travel plans you're looking forward to?  Any great books that have taken you somewhere wonderful?

One commenter will win your choice of a book from my backlist: TRUSTING A STRANGER, STRANGER IN A SMALL TOWN or CIRCUMSTANTIAL MARRIAGE.

Happy reading!

Kerry Connor
A HARD MAN TO FORGET - eBook exclusive - January 2012
HER COWBOY DEFENDER - Harlequin Intrigue - February 2012
HER COWBOY AVENGER - Harlequin Intrigue - August 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Love the Creepy

Winners: Laura and Kairee have won autographed copies of my latest release! Thanks for reading and posting, everyone!

If you've read any of my Intrigues, the title of this post probably doesn't come as any surprise. I love scary stuff. Stephen King is one of my top five favorite authors. I see every horror movie that comes around, usually at the theater (and am often disappointed when they're not good). I've had this romance with creepy since elementary school.

I think the reason I love it so much is that I've never been truly scared by it. I think I'm hoping one day I will be. That one night after watching a horror movie, I'll have to turn on every light in the house and sleep upright, with a knife in one hand, Mace in the other, and one eye open. But it hasn't happened. I can watch the most creepy, gruesome movie ever and then go straight to sleep without a hitch.

When I was a child, my mom used to worry about me because I wasn't afraid of anything. It's sorta a double-edged sword, right? You don't want your child to be afraid of everything, thus limiting their life, but you don't want them to have no fear and possibly walk into major trouble.

Now, not being scared does not mean I'm not aware. I'm very perceptive. I notice shifts in the general mood in people and places. I get that uneasy feeling when I've entered certain places or met some people. I sit with my back to walls and facing openings in restaurants. I automatically check for every escape route, just in case things "go down." My perception, especially when it's bad, is not something I ignore. Perhaps that perception, lack of fear, and always preparing for the worst is what makes me a good mystery/suspense writer. I don't have to go looking for plots; I imagine them around every waiter and salesclerk and parking lot cone.

So far, all my Intrigues have had a gothic-lite tone. That's intentional and something I hope to keep doing as long as you guys like reading them.

What about you? Do you love the creepy or do you avoid it? If you love it, what's your favorite movie or book?

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of my current release, THE LOST GIRLS OF JOHNSON'S BAYOU. Please leave a contact email in your post with the following format so that it cannot be scraped: emailname (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Jana DeLeon

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Best or Worst Valentine Surprise

Winner of my book for the day is Gayle Cochrane. Gayle if you'll send your snail mail addy to me at, I'll get your book in the mail.

Okay, admit it, you've had great Valentine Days and ones you'd like to forget-or live down.  How about a some true confessions today. My most romantic surprise was a visit to my house by a barbershop quartet to sing me  a love song and bring me a rose. Would have been far more romantic if dear hubby had actually been there to share it with me. But it was Saturday--so he was on the golf course. Romance just goes so far with him.

He's golfing, I'm writing in tacky pj's with uncombed hair and no makeup. Get the picture. The doorbell rings. I peek out the window and see four middle-age guys in red sports coats that I've never seen before in my life. They have to be selling something. Right? No way am I going to the door. So I stay well hidden while the doorbell rings--and rings--and rings. Then my phone rings. I pick it up and the guy announces that they're at my door to sing me a love song so will I please let them in.

What can I do but pull on my ratty robe and open the door to four jolly men in bright red sports coats who do indeed harmonize to a love song. And give me a rose. And then they want to take my picture with them. You have got to be kidding. No picture, but my hubby did get a big hug and sloppy kiss when he returned victorious from the golf course. After all, he meant well. And he took me out to dinner.

Share a post about your best or worst Valentine's Day for a chance to win two Joanna Wayne novels. And don't forget COWBOY CONSPIRACY is still available from your favorite on-line booksellers.  If your Valentine's Day promises to be a bit lackluster, go to bed with a cowboy. Wyatt Ledger is sure to please.

Hugs to all. Stay warm.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cool News

Guys, something cool to share. We were interviewed by HEAusatoday! Thought I'd post here and share!!

Also, to celebrate the publication of Power of the Raven we're having a very special giveaway - a handcarved raven fetish signed by the artist, Amos Pooacha. Mr. Pooacha is confined to a wheelchair and makes his living carving these very special fetishes. Write us at and in the subject specify DRAWING. Winner will be chosen Feb. 29!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Many Flavors of Romance

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, lots of folks are thinking about romance these days. All sorts of gift anxiety going on out there, whether it's what to get a spouse or what's appropriate for a new significant other.

All the romance talk has me thinking about romance in general and, more specifically, what people consider romantic. I'll freely admit, I'm not girly when it comes to romance. The joke around my house is that a man wanting to propose to me would be better served offering me a new laptop computer than a ring. It's a joke that's funny because it's true; I hate wearing rings, but I'll always take a new computer.

I like gifts that are specific and meaningful. Roses and candy are nice and all, but surprise me by cleaning my bathroom and making me a nice dinner, and I'm yours.

I think some of my attitude shows up in my books. My heroes and heroines aren't big into fancy dinners, big bouquets or roses or expensive jewelry. For them, a romantic gesture might be a foot rub after a long hike through the woods in an attempt to avoid a killer hunting them. Or surprising a partner with a burger and shake in the car on a stakeout.

So what about you? Are you a traditional romantic? Or a quirky one like me? What's your ideal romantic gesture?

Leave your comment and I'll draw a name to win a $20 gift certificate to

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Spotlight on February Intrigues: Scene of the Crime: Mystic Lake

Carla Cassidy takes readers to another mysterious crime scene in Scene of the Crime: Mystic Lake: 

When FBI profiler Amberly Nightsong is sent to Mystic Lake to consult with local cops about three ritualistic murders, the last thing she expects is to be a piece in a madman's sick puzzle. Luckily, she has a sexy lawman on her side.

Sheriff Cole Caldwell offers his protection—and stirs an awareness that leaves her breathless.

Cole, a widower, had shut himself off from the possibility of loving again. But as he works side by side with the single mom, he's drawn to Amberly and will do anything to erase the fear in her eyes. And as the danger intensifies in the form of a killer's twisted calling card, his vow to keep her and her young son safe will be put to the ultimate test.…

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Spotlight on February Intrigues: Cowboy in the Extreme

Rita Herron's exciting new Western series Bucking Bronc Lodge continues in Cowboy in the Extreme: 

"There's an intruder in my cabin!"

The moment he heard Kim Long's terrified voice on the phone, Brandon Woodstock knew he had to help her and her little girl. Once, he'd promised to love and protect Kim forever. Now, in spite of the secrets that had come between them, the Texas rancher intended to keep that promise. But rescuing Kim riled all the wrong people—and rekindled the attraction he'd thought ended with their broken relationship. Honoring his role as Kim's fiercest protector, he whisked her and her daughter to safety without considering the consequences. With a target on Kim's back and old wounds reopened, Brandon thought there'd be no more surprises. He'd never been more wrong.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I love 2in1 editions!

I just received the UK edition of LAST SPY STANDING. It's packaged with STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET by Merline Lovelace. I love these double editions! I'm raffling the book off on my Facebook page. Pop over, click Like and post the title of the book you're currently reading. I'll pick a lucky winner and send the book on Monday. Good luck!!!!  And have a super wonderful weekend!

Dana Marton

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Something New

Welcome once again to the new/old Intrigue authors' blog!  As we kick off our new(ish) blog and six new Intrigues are being released, this seems like a fitting time to talk about new things.  Not to mention, when I signed up to blog on this date, I had a topic in mind...which I now can't remember.  So I needed to come up guessed it, something new.

My latest Intrigue, HER COWBOY DEFENDER, happens to be one of those new February releases.  It's also something new for me in several ways.  It's my third "Thriller" for the line, but also the first book where I specifically set out to write a "Thriller."  You see, when I wrote my first Intrigue, STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT, I didn't know Intrigue was going to be publishing some really fast-paced, action-packed books that would be specially designated as "Thriller"s.  I was just writing the story I wanted to tell, and the promotion was only just being planned when I sold the book.  Luckily, I was fortunate enough to have the editors think STRANGERS was perfect for the promotion. So what was originally intended to be a set of three books became four and STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT was included in that first batch of "Thriller"s.  Likewise, my last Intrigue, CIRCUMSTANTIAL MARRIAGE, was just a story I'd wanted to tell for a long time and had been waiting to write.  Sure, I knew it was a political thriller and wanted to give it a bigger, more mainstream feel, but was it exciting enough to be dubbed an Intrigue "Thriller"? As it turned out, it was.

With this book though, I really wanted to slam on the accelerator and write a story that simply moved a lot faster than any I'd written before.  I looked at it like an action movie, one that starts off with a bang, takes off and really keeps moving.  Most of my stories are mystery-driven, and while this one does have some things the characters need to figure out, it's more about dire situations and the obstacles they have to overcome.  Most of this story also takes place over the shortest timespan of any of my books so far--less than forty-eight hours--which made telling a romance particularly challenging.  It was a lot of fun to try, and in the end, it's a story I really hope will keep readers turning the pages to see how it will all turn out.

It's also my first book with a Western setting and a cowboy hero, two other elements that are new for me.  I've driven across the country a few times, and I love the feeling of the open road and the epic grandeur of those Western landscapes that are simply amazing to behold and be surrounded by.  I also love road romances, and always wanted to tell a story set among the long, lonely roads out West.  So I began HER COWBOY DEFENDER by stranding the heroine on one of those desert roads, with a broken-down car and thirty minutes to get to a designated rendezvous point or someone she cares about will be killed.  Just when she least expects it and needs it most, someone comes along.  Naturally it's a cowboy, or more important for her purposes, a cowboy with a functioning truck.  So she pulls a gun and promptly hijacks him.  And that's just the first five pages.

Want to know what happens next?  The book is out now!  (And I guess I'd be remiss not to mention that the print edition happens to be 40% off as part of eHarlequin's Cowboys on a Budget sale, which is new too!)

Whew!  So that's what's new with me.  What about you?  The year is still new; how's 2012 treating you?  Anything new and exciting?  Tried anything new lately you're happy about?  Feel free to share, or say anything at all, and one commenter will win a copy of my previous Thriller, CIRCUMSTANTIAL MARRIAGE, to be drawn tomorrow (2/3/12). (And to read more about CIRCUMSTANTIAL MARRIAGE and HER COWBOY DEFENDER, check out my blog post from last year "Playing the Name Game".)

Happy reading!

Kerry Connor
A HARD MAN TO FORGET - ebook exclusive - January 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We're Back!

Welcome to the Intrigue authors' blog! After spending a few years blogging at eHarlequin, we're officially back at our own blog to continue chatting with readers.  Whether it's your first visit or you're a regular blog follower, we're glad to have you here!

We're happy to be "home" and hope to bring you plenty of interesting blog posts and great discussions.  Of course, we'd love to hear what you'd like to see from us on the blog.  On this first day, feel free to chime in and tell us what you'd like more of, and here's to a lot of great blogging to come!

Happy reading!

The Intrigue Authors