Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Best For Last

In the beginning of my June Intrigue, THE BEST MAN TO TRUST, the hero has just lost the dream job he's spent the past six years doing. The truth is, that's not just a plot point—it's a nod to the story behind the story. After writing for Intrigue for six years, this is my final book for the line.

I suspected that could be the case as I was writing it, and since that is how it worked out, this is actually the perfect book to go out on. This particular story is one that I've been waiting a very long time to write. It's the kind of story that first made me fall in love with the line over two decades ago, the kind of story I've always wanted to write, and the kind Intrigue doesn't really publish anymore.

THE BEST MAN TO TRUST isn't an action thriller or a police procedural or a woman-in-jeopardy tale. It’s purely a mystery. A group of people is trapped in a mansion during a blizzard, one of whom is a killer. There’s a murder…then another. The motives behind the deaths are completely unknown, and the hero and heroine have to work together if they’re going to figure out who's responsible.

The “characters isolated with a killer” mystery trope is an old—and popular—one. Some classic Intrigues over the years have done takes on it. Robin Francis’s wonderful ALL FALL DOWN stranded a bunch of people at a writer’s retreat during a rainstorm, while Margaret St. George’s brilliant MURDER BY THE BOOK trapped a group of mystery writers in a castle during a snowstorm. I've always wanted to try a story like this of my own, so having the chance to do so really was a dream come true. It's the kind of story where the thrills don't come from "Action, action, action—fast, fast, fast!" It's all about the puzzle, as the reader is challenged to pick up on the clues and figure out what's going on along with the characters. I hope I've concocted a mystery that will keep readers guessing to the very end...and planted enough clues--and suspects--to make it fun along the way.

But of course, this is an Intrigue, so the mystery is only part of the story. It's also a love story between a woman who's not looking for romance and the last man she ever would have expected. This heroine means a lot to me. She's a woman who's been through hell and survived. She has no idea how strong she is—or at least doesn't believe she's strong enough. But as the owner of the mansion—and the wedding business that brought everyone there in the first place—she's the one who's in charge. Over the course of the story she discovers the strength within herself that she never knew she had.

The book that made me want to write for Intrigue was Tess Gerritsen's UNDER THE KNIFE. It had a great mystery, and was also deeply emotional. It was the first book that ever made me cry. When I turned the final page, I thought, "That's what I want to write."—that combination of mystery and powerful emotion. I don't think I've always achieved that, but I do think this book comes the closest and is one of the most emotional stories I've written. Telling this heroine's story did make me cry. I hope readers will embrace her—and feel for her—as much as I did.

This hero is also one of my favorites. I started reading Intrigues at a time when cops and cowboys didn’t dominate the line the way they do now. Heroes (and heroines) came all walks of life—photographers and veterinarians, lawyers to carnival workers, hotel owners to cartoonists, oceanographers and rock stars and athletes. It’s one of the things I loved about the line, reading about ordinary people pulled into extraordinary circumstances with very personal stakes. Now, of course, most Intrigue heroes are cops, cowboys, soldiers, bodyguards or investigators of some kind. For this story, I was determined that the hero would not be. He’s “just” a regular guy. He’s not a hero because he knows how to use a gun or is constantly throwing himself into danger. He’s a hero simply because he’s a good man, and exactly the man the heroine needs. While I love a tortured hero, one of the things I love about this hero is that he’s not tortured. He doesn’t have a sad history or a ton of emotional baggage. He’s lived a good life, loves his family and is generally content with who he is. He’s just a good guy, and like I said, that’s what this heroine needs.

In the end, secrets have been revealed, the killer has been exposed, and the hero and heroine are together, as they should be. He's still unemployed and it looks like she soon will be (kind of hard to have a wedding business when people keep getting murdered at your weddings). Neither of them have jobs (and no, this is not a coincidence either), but they're hopeful and excited about the future and all the possibilities that lie before them. That's how I feel now, and it's exactly the right note to bring my tenure with Intrigue to a close on.

In the meantime, whether or not you've tried my books before, I hope you'll give this one a shot. It really is the Intrigue of my heart, pretty much everything I personally want an Intrigue to be and the closest to what I've always wanted to deliver to readers. And if you do give it a try, I truly hope you enjoy it.

Happy reading!

Kerry Connor


Wedding planner Meredith Sutton has a lot riding on the next wedding at Sutton Hall. She's prepared for everything...except seeing her old college crush in the wedding party. But not even Tom Campbell can throw Meredith off her game. A killer, on the other hand, might mess things up...

Trapped in the midst of the fiercest blizzard the isolated mountain town has ever seen, the guest list becomes smaller by the day. And when Tom becomes the only person she can rely on, Meredith can't help wanting one last chance at love. Since they might not be alive once the storm breaks...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Spotlight on June Intrigues: Trumped Up Charges

Meet another of Joanna Wayne's Big D Dads, a father on a mission to save his children in Trumped Up Charges:


Ex-marine Adam Dalton once dreamed of a life with Hadley O'Sullivan, but war and a near-fatal injury cost him dearly. Now he returns to Dallas to discover the unthinkable--Hadley is the prime suspect in the disappearance of her twin baby girls...the daughters he never knew he had.

Beyond Hadley's terror of having her children kidnapped is the shock of seeing Adam. Yes, she had kept him from his daughters, but now, when he insists they work together as a united front, she knows she is still in love with him. Despite their past, finding their children is their only hope to finally becoming a family-if time doesn't run out first.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spotlight on June Intrigues: One Night Standoff

Delores Fossen takes readers on another action-packed ride with the second of her Marshals of Maverick County in One Night Standoff:


Lenora Whitaker never thought spending one night with U.S. marshal Clayton Caldwell would put them in the crosshairs of a killer. Connected to a protective custody case gone awry, they are both attacked, leaving Clayton with a damaging case of amnesia and forcing Lenora to go on the run.

After taking a bullet to save her life, Clayton is unable to remember Lenora or that he's the father of her baby. But the moment he tracks her down, it's clear the attraction is still there. Hiding out together on his Texas ranch, Clayton admires the way Lenora will do anything to protect her unborn baby. Connecting with the pregnant beauty also triggers the first hints of his past. A past that could mend their broken lives-or unearth secrets he'd be better off forgetting.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Hey everybody! 

I thought I'd share a few pictures of my current work-in-progress, set in Aubrey, Texas.

THESE are NOT the real covers, and at this time, I'm not certain they're keeping the titles. >>grin<<  But isn't the inspiration for my heroes --John & Brian-- gorgeous?

So here's some pictures from their home town.

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LEAVE A BLOG COMMENT. Angi will give you 3 extra chances for her May contest. FOR EVEN more chances, register at Rafflecopter through May 31st. 

Do any of the pictures remind you of your home town or a place close to where you live?

Monday, May 13, 2013

New Beginnings-Updated Info!

Apologies for the late post, everyone.  I've been out of town (niece's graduation, visiting family, visiting my dad's grave since I won't be able to over Memorial Day weekend, doing some research in Kansas City) and I see my automatic post didn't show up this morning.  Watch it pop up at some random time on some random day. <vbg>  But perhaps there's good karma in the technical glitch because I can now update the post with the latest scoop of writing news!

I’ve been thinking a lot about going through phases lately.  Yes, partly because of the change of seasons (although we’ve had more winter weather this spring than we had back in December!)—but most notably because my son graduated from college this weekend.  There were many tears (mine!) and lots of pictures and hugs and celebrations.  With his double major in Music Business behind him now, after a tremendously successful college career (yes, I’m a proud mama!) he’s embarking on the next phase of his life.  Right now he wants to work, but he’s thinking seriously of going on to get his Master’s or attend a trade school to get a degree in instrument repair.  Plus, he’s set to go to California for some networking/job interviews later this year.  But what an exciting time for him!  He has a level of maturity and preparation to go along with his hard work ethic and musical talent, and goofy, sensitive personality that has readied him to launch into whatever comes next.  Probably with an honest degree of trepidation—the unknown can be a little scary—but also with excitement and anticipation and an eagerness to explore that next chapter of his life.

It’s time for a new beginning in my writing career, too.  Right now, in between promoting my Precinct: Task Force miniseries and finishing up the last book on a contract, I’m preparing for the next phase—that brand new contract for the next several books I’ll be writing.  I’ve consulted with my agent and chatted with my editor.  I’ve surveyed readers through blog posts and my Facebook page.  I’ve let my imagination do what it does best—dream up characters and situations, analyze my favorite story hooks, think of different projects I’d like to write.  Truly, this is probably the most fun aspect of a writing career for me—that time between big projects when deadlines have receded and the creative world lies ahead of me.  There are no restrictions on me at this phase of writing.  What existing supporting characters do I love best and want to feature in a story?  What mysteries would I like to solve?  What’s something new and different that will challenge me creatively, yet remain true to reader expectations?

I shared part of this blog post on last Thursday & Friday.  But here's the big update for my Intrigue readers here... I just sold 6 new books!  Some stand-alone Intrigue titles featuring supporting characters from my Precinct: Task Force miniseries, a new Intrigue trilogy, and something a little grittier/sexier/longer for the new Intrigue Noir.  All that "free thinking" of new ideas paid off, I suppose.  And now I'm really looking forward to writing these.  I hope you'll enjoy reading them, too!

Like my son, I’m a little bit anxious about this next phase of my writing career, but I'm willing to trust my imagination and instincts and the many blessings in my life.
Available June 1st!

Any new beginnings or landmark events happening in your life?  Please share the good news or let us cheer you on if you’re gearing up for something new.  I’ll give away a signed copy of my June release, ASSUMED IDENTITY, to one lucky poster.
Julie Miller

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Spotlight on May Intrigues: Bodyguard Lockdown

Donna Young's bodyguards are back on the case in the riveting Bodyguard Lockdown:


Dr. Sandra Haddad had created a serum that would change the world. In the right hands, it could heal the sick. In the wrong hands, kill millions. When she found herself in the crosshairs of a dangerous general with aspirations of world domination, she was given a bodyguard-Booker McKnight, the only man she'd ever loved and the last man she wants by her side.

McKnight was a soldier turned mercenary. Haunted by loss, he knew that protecting the doctor meant flirting with disaster. He needed her, but not in the way she believed-or wanted. Earning her trust would get them one step closer to completing this mission. But losing her again was unimaginable. And yet he had no choice but to tell her the truth: that using her as bait was their only option.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Spotlight on May Intrigues: Protecting Their Child

This month Angi Morgan sends two people on the run with the desperate goal of Protecting Their Child:


Cord McCrea was the Texas Ranger of her dreams...but their life together ended like a nightmare. They were too proud and stubborn, and there was no repairing the damage done to their family. All Kate Danver McCrea had now was the reminder he'd left growing inside her.

Now the crazed gangster who'd shattered Cord's life was a free man, and he wanted to settle some old scores. Cord would do anything to protect his ex-wife, but once she was safe, they would go their separate ways again. Only, the baby changed everything. If they could survive the perils of a west Texas winter while outmaneuvering danger at every pass, they might have a second chance. Because with a traitor in their midst, they had no one to trust-except each other.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013


 "The City in a Park"

That's where I live. A lovely place, especially in the spring. 

Here are some pictures I took on a walk with Tex and a writing buddy who drove down to get out of the snow. It was the perfect MAY DAY.

But Texas is experiencing winter's lingering edge. We had the three coldest days in May on record... I's not snow. LOL. 




Spring is here when the roses begin blooming. A friend told me that spring is here when the grass turns green. And I have many friends who say they know spring's arrived when their allergies are in full swing.

What about you? 

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LEAVE A BLOG COMMENT. Angi will give away a copy of Lena Diaz' EXPLOSIVE ATTRACTION through the Book Depository. Don't forget to enter Angi's May contest: register at Rafflecopter through May 31st. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spotlight on May Intrigues: Explosive Attraction

Join Lena Diaz for the action-packed tale of a couple caught up in an
Explosive Attraction:


Detective Rafe Morgan knew that, as a psychologist, Darby Steele was used to people coming to her in need. But now she was the one in danger. A serial killer had made her a pawn in a sick game, sending her photos of his targets with clocks counting down. As a part-time bomb technician, Rafe was uniquely capable of keeping Darby safe. Usually psychologists rubbed Rafe the wrong way, but when it came to Darby, his urge to protect and serve went way beyond the badge. Getting to know the beautiful doctor had opened Rafe's eyes-and his heart. But if their elusive bomber had his way, Rafe would never get a chance to prove just how far he'd go to keep Darby alive.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Spotlight on May Intrigues: The Perfect Bride

You are cordially invited to Kerry Connor's suspenseful new miniseries Sutton Hall Weddings, beginning with an introduction to
The Perfect Bride:


Adam Sutton's instinct for trouble failed him once before--and nearly destroyed his sister's life. He'll do anything to make amends, even helping her turn their family's mansion into a successful destination-wedding business. But when Jillian Jones suddenly arrives at Sutton Hall, this brooding businessman suspects the bride-to-be isn't what she seems. She's asking too many "innocent" questions about the Hall's tragic history and the mysterious death of its first paying bride. She's defying his orders to leave, even as strange accidents threaten her. And her fiery determination is making it impossible for Adam to resist getting dangerously close.  Now their only chance to survive means gambling on an all-too-fragile trust--even as someone in the darkest shadows prepares to dress another Sutton Hall bride in black...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Military Heroes

Flags waving. Parades. Cook outs. A day to remember and honor the fallen.

The authors talk about a military hero or heroine in an upcoming or recent book and share a little of their background. And getting a little more personal, we're sharing photos of a real someone in uniform, along with their story.

Sutton Calhoun, now an agent for Cooper Security, spent most of his adult years in the Marine Corps. Enlisting at age 18, mostly to get as far away as he could from his notorious conman father and his troubled past in Bitterwood, Tennessee, Sutton found himself in the Corps, discovering discipline, honor and a sense of purpose that changed his life. 

But upon returning to Bitterwood to solve a murder, he reunites with Bitterwood P.D. detective Ivy Hawkins, his childhood friend and the only part of his past in Bitterwood he regrets leaving behind.

Delores Fossen
Character Name: Marshal Dallas Walker. He's not in the military, but he's a true-blue cowboy lawman

Picture: is of me. I was an Air Force officer for over eight years, and the photo was taken when I made captain at RAF Lakenheath, England.

What a timely question for me! My May Intrigue is about Green Beret Travis Delancey, who was captured while on a secret mission overseas and held hostage for five months. When he's sent home, he's suffering from PTSD. He survived the five months in captivity by playing good times with family and loved ones over and over in his head. His best times were with Psychiatrist Kate Chalmet, the one woman he can never forget. When he finally just walks out of Walter Reed Medical Center, buys a car and drives home to New Orleans, it's to find Kate and tell her how he feels. If she doesn't feel the same, then at least he finally told her and he can walk away with fewer regrets. But when he finds Kate, he discovers that she has a little boy, his child, who has been kidnapped to force Dr. Chalmet to testify that a prominent senator was temporarily insane when he shot a friend of his.

Travis must call on his disturbing memories of his captivity to understand the abductors holding little Max, and must risk everything to save the child he never knew he had. Travis is wounded, both physically and emotionally, from his ordeal, but he is a true hero, both as a soldier, a father and a man. I humbly hope that I may have represented at least in some small part, the strength, integrity, bravery, commitment, faith and love for country that our people in uniform carry with them into the military. These exceptional men and women represent the best of all of us. I admire them more than I can express. Thank you, the United States Military, and God bless you and keep you, and those who have fallen, in the palm of his Almighty Hands.  

Character Name: Gabe Cannon
I'll celebrate the military heroes in my December 2011 novella trilogy:

P.S. I'm gearing up to making a big batch of new release announcements and give away prizes on my Facebook page, so come and Like me to make sure you don't miss anything! 

Julie's baby brother, THE MAJOR
Well, as my dad would say, "Once a Marine, always a Marine." To the very end of his life, not only did he sport that jarhead haircut, he lived by that code of honor, integrity and patriotism. Growing up with that influence in our life, it's no wonder that my younger brother went into the Corps for several years, and now serves as a major in the Army National Guard--or that I've written so many military heroes for Harlequin Blaze and Intrigue.

My most recent Marine Corps hero was John Murdock in THE MARINE NEXT DOOR. John was a firefighter who went back into the Corps after the woman he loved married someone else. However, his stint overseas ended with him coming home without part of his leg and most of his soul. I matched him up with another wounded warrior, KCPD desk sergeant and abuse survivor, Maggie Wheeler.  John and Maggie (and her matchmaking son, Travis!) needed each other to stay alive, to heal emotionally, and to believe in love again.  I'm sticking with cops for my next few stories, but I do have another military hero on the horizon in a story proposal I recently submitted--the heroine of my September Intrigue, TASK FORCE BRIDE, has a brother in the Corps.  I plan to bring him home to Kansas City and continue the tradition of military romance.  Hopefully, the story will sell and soon I'll be able to tell you about THE MP NEXT DOOR!

Thank you to all our veterans, active military and their families.

My May release is about a Texas Ranger--law enforcement, no military background. But I just finished my January release: THE MARINE'S LAST DEFENSE (I think the editors are keeping this title), so I'll share a little about Jake.

Jake Craig is a former Marine who served most of his time overseas in a war zone. When he's had enough and returns home, his wife divorces him and quickly marries someone in the Army. Betrayed and needing a fresh start, he moves and quickly climbs the police ranks to homicide detective. His first case involves a dead body, a supposed dead woman, and a puppy. Jake hasn't let anyone near him since returning home…his last defense is taken down by a single bark and lots of love.
Angi's Kid

I can't remember whose blog (years ago) asked for a number of family members that had served in the military. I ran out of fingers. I don't have pictures of my dad in uniform, nor of my grandfather. To the left is a picture of my father-in-love who served in the Army. The picture of the Marine in the Jeep is still serving. My dad served in the National Guard. His oldest brother was one of the original fighting SeaBees  in WWII. His father served as a telegraph stringer on the battlefields of France in WWI. His purple heart is in my possession. I can't name all my cousins and uncles who have served. I'm afraid I'd leave someone out. I hope they all know and have experienced how appreciated their service to our country is.

Robin's Uncle
Character Name: Hunter Graham is a man who joined the military at eighteen after struggling living on the streets for the two years since his mother died. He learned loyalty, courage and honor during his training, and now he must use every skill he possesses in order to save the woman he loves and their child. His willingness to sacrifice himself and his own desires in order to keep the heroine and their son safe, to me, is the epitome of what our military men and women do for us every day of every week of every year. They deserve our respect, gratitude and thanks, even though they would never ask for it.

Memorial Day is a day of honor, and I thought I’d share a photograph of my great uncle Frank. He fought in World War I. I didn't know him until he was in his 70s. He was wounded twice—once in the arm and once in the leg. He was left on a battlefield and then warned that German tanks would be coming through the next day. He dragged himself a mile (or so the family legend goes) before he was found. He came home from overseas and lived his life. He never spoke of the war, but he challenged himself always. He taught himself to speak Spanish—badly, I'm afraid. He learned to make turquoise jewelry (I still have a ring he made for me when I was a girl). He prospected for gold in New Mexico and Arizona. He was an amazing mechanic and tinkerer. But mostly, he was just always there, quiet and strong.

I know little of what he saw or what he did on those ravaged battle fields. He never spoke of it to anyone—which in itself says so much. What I do know is how he lived his life afterwards. His father had just died, and my great uncle became head of the family (my grandmother was only ten years old at the time). He lived his life for his family. He always looked forward and did for others. Other than my dad, he was one of the first heroes I ever met. And he inspires me to this day.

PATRICIA ROSEMOOR (writing as Lynn Patrick ), A FOREVER HOME, September 2013
Rick Slater, Special Ops Leader in Afghanistan, led his men into a cave to rescue "hostages" on bad intel. The tunnel and two of his men were blown up. Rick is now trying out the civilian life as a security expert, trying to put his guilt at losing his men behind him.

My own ex-military hero was my late husband Edward -- we were married on Memorial Day Weekend.
Ben is a decorated Army sniper who was part of an operation that had tragic results and left him broken in spirit. He retrained and became part of a medivac unit that recovers and evacuates wounded soldiers.

Here is a special trailer that says more about the book: A Time of Change by Aimee and David Thurlo Book Trailer - YouTube  

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TELL US about a military person in your life? Join us May 2nd. We love to hear from you.