Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Real Locations

from the McDonald Observatory Facebook Page
The Davis Mountains

As a writer, a real location in a book is a must for me. It inspires scenes for me to visit the location, but more than that, it anchors me in reality.

The Observatory and Fog
For instance, the Davis Mountains in West Texas are close to the Mexican border and a perfect location for "intrigue" stories. But cell phones don't work well unless you climb to the highest point. The "mountains" (which are high) seem more like hills while you're there. But if you aren't used to the altitude, it can take it's toll on hikers. A part of West Texas, is the sheer unpredictability of the weather. It changes in an instant. Most of us think we can relate to varying weather patterns, but when we began a hike up a small hill, it was sunny and clear with very little cloud cover. By the time we reached the top (of this small hill) it was sprinkling rain. 

So for me, experiencing a location inspires me to write the story like my May release, PROTECTING THEIR CHILD. Until I experienced the terrain, I didn't know what the possibilities were for this story. The gully that Kate slides down is really there. The cactus that pricks her thumb was inspired when our pup, Dallas, got too curious on a hike. 

We took a drive to experience the vastness of the stars...and believe me, you've never experienced "vastness" until you're driving miles from nowhere on your last gallon of gas.

I hope that you get a taste of real Texas and real Texans when you read one of my books. Thanks for joining me today.

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"just a little hill"
Angi Morgan writes “Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love.” She combines actual Texas settings with characters who are in realistic and dangerous situations. Angi was a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best Award, Romantic Times Best First Series, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Daphne du Maurier.
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LEAVE A BLOG COMMENT. Angi will draw from blog commenters for an advanced copy of PROTECTING THEIR CHILD (she'll need your email addy--which you can always send to her directly).  AND ENTER ANGI'S March contest for a book from Angi.  Register at Rafflecopter through March 31st, winner announced April 2nd. 
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Join me tomorrow at Chicklets In The Kitchen and discover how to make your Easter Eggs deep, beautiful colors. QUESTION FOR TODAY:  HAS VISITING SOME PLACE EVER INSPIRED YOU TO DO SOMETHING?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spotlight on March Intrigues: Deadly Force

Meet The Detectives in Beverly Long's latest mysterious read, Deadly Force:
It was the one case Detective Sam Vernelli couldn't solve: the murder of his fiancée more than a decade ago. So he's not about to let her determined younger sister, Claire Fontaine, go it alone against whomever is threatening her in ways frightening and all-too-familiar. But protecting her means challenging Claire's angry doubts about him, understanding her deepest fears...and letting her get much too close as every dead-end lead pushes their fragile trust to the breaking point. Sam slowly begins to realize that the truth lies closer to home than either of them ever imagined--and the price of revealing it could be more than they bargained for.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spotlight on March Intrigues: Stranger on Raven's Ridge

Jenna Ryan's back with another spinetingling read as she introduces readers to a Stranger on Raven's Ridge:
Returning to her ancestral home, Raven Blume needed a new start. So she opened a medical clinic in order to escape the danger that had torn her life apart-and claimed her husband's life. But local legend spoke of a ghost, a reincarnated soul haunting her house, the one high up on Raven's Ridge....
Lurking within the mist was the man she thought dead. Aidan McInnis remained out of sight, venturing close enough to touch his Raven, but not daring to. The moment he did, he put a target on her back. Time was running out and Raven was quickly becoming familiar with danger. Aidan would die again if he had to-especially if it was the only way to protect her.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


May 2013
EVEN THOUGH I love my May cover, it doesn't completely tell the full story.

WHAT'S RIGHT: The McDonald Observatory, located in the Davis Mountains is in this scene. They even have the correct telescope.
WHAT'S WRONG: In this particular scene, it's snowing heavily and the ground is covered.

WHAT'S RIGHT: The heroine, Kate, is pregnant.
WHAT'S WRONG: She's barely five months along while Cord drags her through the mountains in the snow.

WHAT'S RIGHT: Cord, the hero, is carrying a handgun
WHAT'S WRONG: Kate is a crack shot and is carrying a rifle.

WHAT'S RIGHT: Texas skies--especially in the Davis Mountains, have all the colors imaginable...some look like they're painted.
WHAT'S WRONG: Nothing, I LOVE IT  too much to complain that it should be snowing!!

In spite of the inaccuracies, I really love this cover. For me, it conveys the danger, the location, and the desperate need to succeed.
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Angi Morgan writes “Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love.” She combines actual Texas settings with characters who are in realistic and dangerous situations. Angi has been a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best Award, Romantic Times Best First Series, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Daphne du Maurier.

Website   Connect on Facebook   FB Fan Page   Twitter @AngiMorganAuthr
A Picture A Day       Goodreads      Rafflecopter Monthly Giveaway

Enter a special contest (now through Sunday 3-17) for a release by Angi or her pal, DONNELL ANN BELL. It's easy and there are lots of ways to enter. Donnell has a fun blog Tuesday on characters you'll really enjoy. You can leave comments on both posts or Tweet about our giveaway. 1 book for every 50 entrants.
Register through Rafflecopter.

I think all authors want to know the answer to this question:
Do readers depend on the cover models to picture the hero and heroine?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spotlight on March Intrigues: The Princess Predicament

Lisa Childs' Royal Bodyguards are back on the case in The Princess Predicament:
Forced into hiding after a threat to her life, Princess Gabriella St. Pierre must protect both herself and her unborn child. Working at an orphanage, the princess tries to suppress memories of a passionate night long ago with Whit Howell-her father's royal bodyguard and a man she never thought she'd see again.
When an attempted abduction occurs as Princess Gabriella is leaving the orphanage, Whit rescues her and vows to keep her safe. But how can he shepherd the princess back to her country without knowing who is orchestrating these attacks...and why? It is the most important mission of his life-and he'd risk everything to save the one woman he can't live without.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Spotlight on March Intrigues: Run, Hide

Carol Ericson introduces more of her Brothers in Arms in the riveting Run, Hide:
Those are the words Jenna Stark has lived by for three years. But now the stakes are much higher. Her child is in danger and only one man can keep them alive. The man who forced her into a life on the run: her husband.
Cade Stark curses the day he was recruited for a covert ops organization-and the perilous assignment that tore the Navy SEAL from his new wife's side. Cade's only mission now is to protect Jenna and their young son. On the run from a vengeance-seeking arms dealer, desire reignites, hot and unstoppable. That's when Cade realizes how much he'll risk to win back Jenna's trust. And how far he'll go to offer his son a future.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Kiss Me...



FORSAKEN by B.J. Daniels
Beartooth, Montana series, October 2013

“You don’t always have to be so strong.”

She laughed. “Shows how much you know.” She didn’t feel strong at all right now. She felt her nipples harden and goose bumps ripple across her skin.

Her breath caught as he bent to press his lips to her throat. His warm breath made her shiver. She desperately wanted to pull away, afraid of what she would let happen if she didn’t.

But instead she clung to him as desperate to stay in his arms as she was to run. “Jamison.” She’d breathed his name, a plea, a prayer.


Harlequin Intrigue, May 2013

THE SET-UP: EXPLOSIVE ATTRACTION: The hero and heroine are trapped in the rafters above a tiled ceiling, hiding from the gunman in the room below. The heroine is claustrophobic, and terrified to be in the dark, enclosed space. The hero is holding the heroine to keep her from falling, because she's too terrified to hang on. His hands are full, and, well, you'll see...

A noise sounded below. The creak of the bathroom door opening.

Darby's eyes widened, and she let out a low moan.

Rafe did the only thing he could do. He clamped his mouth down on hers to stifle the sound.

The response was intense, immediate. But not from Darby.

Rafe's pulse kicked into high gear. Blood pumped away from his brain to another part of his anatomy. As if his hand had a life of its own, it spanned down her back, cupping her bottom.

WORK IN PROGRESS by Carol Ericson
Harlequin Intrigue

THE SET-UP: The hero has been hired to track down the heroine, who is a suspected traitor.  The hero and heroine shared one night of passion three years prior to this meeting, which resulted in a son about whom the hero knows nothing.  It’s their first contact in three years and the sparks are igniting already! 

“If you say so.”

WORK IN PROGRESS by Paula Graves
Harlequin Intrigue

THE SET-UP: my hero and heroine have just waited out a blizzard and are now heading back down the mountain toward civilization when someone starts taking potshots at them.  They hole up in a cave to evade the shooter, and after a non-stop adrenaline rush, one thing starts leading to another.

His breath heated her cheeks as he bent his head until his forehead touched hers. "Tell me it's not just me," he whispered.

She didn't have to ask what he meant. She felt it, in the singing of desire in her blood and the languid pooling of heat at her center.  "It's not just you," she answered, her words little more than breath against his lips.

STAR WITNESS by Mallory Kane   
Harlequin Intrigue, April 2013

THE SET-UP: Harte, an assistant D.A., and Dani, his only witness to the murder of her grandfather, are on the run after the safe house where Dani was hiding out until the trial has been compromised. There's a huge storm brewing and Dani and Harte are trapped at the end of an alley. To Harte's surprise, Dani pulls a small tool from her purse and picks the lock on a warehouse door. Soon they're inside, soaked, but for the moment, safe.

He lowered his head and whispered in her ear, "How the hell did you do that?"

She felt his lips graze the sensitive skin of her ear, and her insides quivered with longing. It took her a moment to figure out what he was talking about. "Oh, the lock," she muttered; then deliberately, she turned her head so that her mouth was close to his. "I picked it," she whispered.

He made a small noise like a gasp as her mouth brushed his. "You what?"

"Picked the lock. Granddad gave me his lock-pick kit when I was ten. He said, 'You never know when you might need to get through a door.'"

She felt his chest rumble with laughter. "That's illegal."

"So sue me," she said lightly, then turned in his arms, rose on her tiptoes and kissed him. It was a tentative brushing of lips against lips, but it sent desire arrowing through her, all the way down to her toes.

Harlequin Intrigue, Jan. 2013

Laney saw the question in Ethan's eyes. She had no idea how to respond, wasn't even sure she was reading his expression correctly.

He leaned forward, his gaze moving from her eyes to her lips. Then, as she let her eyes drift shut, he brushed her mouth with his, nothing more than a feather-like touch, but the impact of it was stunning. For that brief second, she'd felt as though someone had lit her lips on fire.

DEATHTRAP by Dana Marton
June 2013

“This is not going to work.” He leaned his forehead against hers.  

“This is not the right time for either of us.” His hands slid up her arms. “I’m not going to kiss you,” he said.

And then he kissed her.

TASK FORCE BRIDE by Julie Miller
Precinct: Task Force miniseries
Harlequin Intrigue, Sept. 2013

THE SET-UP:  A tough K-9 cop masquerades as a shy plain Jane’s fiancé to protect her from the serial rapist targeting her for terror.

Officer Pike Taylor intends to plant one on bridal shop owner Hope Lockhart in front of some customers and friends at her shop to establish the idea that they're a couple--but it backfires when he discovers that this reserved woman has some strength and sass and sexiness to her.  This one involves an undercover sting to lure the Rose Red Rapist into the task force's trap.  Hope has lost one friend too many to the Rose Red Rapist and wants to do something about it.  And when she reports a man following her who matches his description outside her shop, she becomes KCPD's best lead on tracking down their suspect.  As the neighborhood cop who has known Hope for months, Pike Taylor is the only man who can believably become a part of her world, to serve as her bodyguard and keep a cop on her 24/7 without scaring off the unsub they're trying to capture.  One of the biggest problems for Hope is that the rugged cop is a K-9 officer who never goes anywhere without his German Shepherd partner.  And Hope is terrified of dogs!

"You might want to make this look good," he whispered.

Harlequin Intrigue, May 2013

THE SET-UP: Cord and Kate are running from the man determined to kill them. Kate's at a low point, wondering if they'll ever be free from the madman who'd cost them everything.

The fear of what Serna would do to her shook his core. He blocked it from his mind. If he got emotional, he'd lose focus. He needed to focus. Have a plan and a backup plan and a backup plan to that.

"Is this going to end, Cord?"

The words were on the tip of his tongue to tell her everything would be okay. Things would change. They'd be fine. He wanted to lie. He couldn't. Not to Kate. Her arms wrapped around his neck, pulling him to her in a moment of frightened clarity. When she looked up at him, tears pooled in eyes that never deserved to cry but had too often. He bent closer and captured her lips.

Five months, five days without feeling the surge of power he'd always experienced with her kiss. A strengthening power that recharged his entire being. Knowing that she was the only person who'd ever made him feel…anything. The knowledge floored him. Knocked his feet out from under him when he realized he may never feel that again.

WRITTEN IN THE STARS by Patricia Rosemoor 
with Sherrill Bodine
Entangled Suspense, August 2013 

THE SET-UP: A reincarnation story, part 2, present day. Cordelia is a marine archeologist and Morgan Murphy has the reputation as a pirate. She wants to deny his rights to the sunken treasure. He wants to partner her, and so presents her with a find.

The touch of metal and jewels to her ring electrified Cordelia. Startled, she gasped at the power but wrapped her fingers around the jeweled moon so she wouldn’t drop it. Her heart beating too fast, she took a closer look and recognized its age. This was no modern copy of something old.

Fearing that Morgan had found this on his earlier dive, would somehow beat her to the motherlode, she panicked. “All right, partners, then, but we need to work out details–"

Before she could finish, Morgan curled his fingers over her hand with the crescent and kissed her.
Her wrist burned.
Her ring tightened.
Her head went light.
The chain trapped between their hands connected them like a live wire, kept them from pulling apart.

WORK IN PROGRESS by Aimee Thurlo

THE SET-UP: Well.... you didn't say it had to be a human kiss.... Hank's a camel and one of the characters in our summer Intrigue, Falcon's Run. (The heroine runs a special ranch for kids who are victims of abuse, illness, and poverty.)

"It’s all about showing respect and demanding the same in return.”

Hank stretched his rubbery lips, trying to kiss Preston.

Abby laughed. “They’re really gentle creatures. They’re calmer than horses but they’re more...emotional,” she said after a beat. “How would you feel about volunteering here sometime?”

WHAT DO YOU DO ON ST. PAT'S DAY? Do you wear green? Do you pinch those who don't? Ever have green beer? How about green eggs & ham?

We'd love to chat with you today... 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ask An Author Day

Available Now!
My brain is fried.  Finishing up one manuscript and diving into the next one without a break has pushed my creative gray cells to the max and left my fingers sore.  So, instead of being witty or pithy, I'm posting an easy blog today.

As an author, I get asked lots of questions about lots of things--from readers, aspiring writers, fellow authors, and well-meaning (or, occasionally, not so well-meaning) people who know little about books or publishing.

Do you have any questions you'd like to ask?  I'd be happy to answer as best I can.  I'm game for almost any topic.

To start you off, I'll answer 3 random questions.  Plus, I'll post the covers I've have so far in my Precinct: Task Force miniseries.

Finally, I'll give away a copy of my brand new release, TACTICAL ADVANTAGE, to one lucky poster.  Print or ecopy, winner's choice.  I'll post the winner tomorrow.

Have fun and Ask away! -- Julie Miller

May 2012
1.  What is your dog's name and does she really help you write?
Maggie.  And yes.  Writing is a solitary, sedentary occupation. Maggie helps in several ways.  One, she gets me up from my chair once an hour or so to have an outing or check the action outside the front window or get a tummy rub (her, not me). Getting up and moving keeps the blood circulating which stimulates the brain and refreshes the muscles. It keeps the back from locking up and gives my fingers/wrists a break from typing.  Maggie also is a wonderful little hot water bottle who doesn't mind me rubbing my cold fingers through her hair to warm them up.  And yes, she does pick contest winners for me--a totally random follow her little black nose to see whose name she touches first.

August 2012
2.  How do you feel about reviews of your books?  Do you read them?
Yes, I read some, not all.  Critical reviews hurt my feelings, erroneous reviews frustrate me, and mean reviews tick me off.  Not everyone has to like me or my work, but there are kind ways to say things and ways that aren't as clever as some people think.  I'm truly grateful to know so many people are reading my books and feel strongly enough about them one way or the other to share their thoughts with others.  I think it's the new version of hand-selling/word-of-mouth PR that so many brick & mortar booksellers used to do.  And I feel blessed by every positive review I read.  Thank you!

June 2013
3.  I have an idea for a book. Will you write it for me and we can split the profits?
No. Writing is hard, physically and mentally draining work. I'm flattered that you'd ask, but I have so many ideas of my own I want to write that I have neither the time nor the energy to write your story.  However, I heartily encourage you to write your own book.  Besides, no one can tell your stories the way you can.  I'd be happy to offer a bit of advice if you have questions, but your story needs to be your journey.  I wish you the best of luck!

So what else would you like to know?  Favorite national park?  Favorite hero?  Snacks you eat while writing? Let me know, and I'll try to answer.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Spotlight on March Intrigues: Tactical Advantage

Take another exciting visit to The Precinct with Julie Miller in Tactical Advantage:
When his coinvestigator was attacked just moments after Detective Nick Fensom left the scene, he swore he'd never let her get hurt again. Thanks to their tense relationship, criminologist Annie Hermann wasn't happy to have Nick as her newly appointed protector. And although Nick couldn't blame her, being together 24/7 caused him to see Annie in a whole new light. Before long, he couldn't stop picturing the beautiful brunette wrapped up in his arms-and in his sheets. But allowing unfamiliar feelings to get in the way of the job was completely unprofessional...especially once Annie discovered the evidence that could cost her her life.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Spotlight on March Intrigues: Cover Me

Three popular authors take readers on an suspenseful trip to the Big Easy in Cover Me
Eight years ago, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, three men lost everything. Now it's time to reclaim what is theirs....
BAYOU PAYBACK by Joanna Wayne
Detective Remy Comeaux never got over the loss of his beloved fiancée. But when he returns to New Orleans to expose ongoing corruption and meets Nicole Worthington, something about this beauty seems all too familiar.
He lost his job and the love of his life when the storm hit, but Mack Rivet never gave up searching for answers. His passionate reunion with Lily Landry forces him to confront what really happened that fateful night. And then he learns about the son he never knew existed....
BAYOU JUSTICE by Mallory Kane
In order to bring justice back to New Orleans, FBI agent Ray Storm must once again turn to Molly Hennessey for help. This time, though, convincing the gorgeous attorney to believe in him is going to take more than just one night of seduction.