Sunday, October 27, 2013


USA TODAY bestselling author Debra Webb brings The Specialists, her riveting new Colby Agency miniseries, to a breathtaking climax. 

Emmett Holt was laying everything on the line. The deputy director of Mission Recovery had gone way undercover to bring down a criminal mastermind. It had to appear, even to his own people, that he was involved in a plot to kidnap his boss's sister. But Cecelia Manning wasn't what he'd expected. 

Emotional entanglements made him vulnerable in his line of work. So Emmett made his heart as cold as a Christmas blizzard. But as Cecelia collaborated in his risky ploy, his admiration for her was surpassed only by his raging desire. He'd known from the start he could lose his career, but never imagined he could gain a wife.

Read an Excerpt
Available at eHarlequin and other book retailers


ISBN: 9780373697236 (#1456)
November 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013



It had been years since Tanner "Tag" Cardwell's boots touched Montana soil. This Christmas he was determined to change that. Until a run-in with local Lily McCabe revealed dark secrets from his past and deep trouble for his future. 

Cowboys came and went in these parts. But Tag Cardwell  caught Lily off guard in more ways than one when the two  became entwined in a murder mystery. What was it about Tag?  The dreamy eyes… The rugged physique… The protection she  felt in his strong arms… 

But before they could lose themselves in each other they  had to trace a killer. Or risk finding a crime scene under the Christmas tree.

Read an Excerpt
Available at eHarlequin and other book retailers


B.J. Daniels

ISBN: 9780373697229 (#1455)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013



I originally posted this blog in 2011. Forgive me for repeating, but I'm under deadline and not feeling creative. >>smile<<  In the backyard the other day, we heard blanks being fired to scare some blackbirds from their trees. It reminded my husband and I of the time I was at the softball fields and... 

... I was shot. I swear. Everyone heard the gunfire. Half the people in the bleachers hit the ground. The other half stared at the white smoke billowing around my feet. And me? Well, I froze. My life didn’t flash before my eyes, but I assure you, a thousand thoughts raced through my mind in a millisecond.

I can laugh about it now. Now that I know it was an over-aired inner tube exploding. But for all purposes, I experienced something as close to the real thing as I ever want to get. 

I froze. My heart landed in my throat. Not just figuratively, but viscerally. I couldn’t move, speak, blink. I had no clue what was happening around me. It took me a good thirty seconds before I felt my chest to verify I was still whole. Honestly, I knew I’d been shot at. Just knew it.  I didn't understand why my hands weren't bloody. The emotions ranged from astonishment to relief and back again to laughter once I moved the tire and saw the rather large hole in the side of the rubber.

To give you a better picture of what happened… I (used to) set softball fields for the city where I live. The stands were full of college students and parents at the Red River Conference tournament. I push 90 pounds of chalk and machine (hopper) around the field refreshing the foul lines between games. One of the front tires had been over-inflated and decided to blow out. The sound was incredibly close to a gunshot and managed to echo off the buildings. People really did think we’d been fired at, going so far as to dial 911. (Try explaining that your husband over-inflated the tires on your equipment...not easy.)

What does any of this story have to do with writing?

Well, I can tell you that I’ll be able to draw from that adrenaline rush for some time to come. I write romantic suspense, writing about gunfire and shots fired several times. And I’d say that I’m actually used to gunfire having been raised around guns. But this experience was different. The world really did move in slow motion for at least thirty seconds. My thoughts followed a progression from: I’ve been shot. Should I move? I’m okay—no wounds. Did kids put firecrackers in my hopper? If I move it will something else happen? What DID happen? Oh, goodness, the tire exploded! “It’s okay everybody, it was the tire.”

Again, you’re probably asking, what does this story have to do with writing?

It’s added a deeper perception to my gun scenes—that’s for certain. But it also reminded me that getting into the real world is important for authors. Life experiences are what we bring to our writing to make it unique. An emotional connection is what we share with our readers. That connection is what brings them back for the second, third, or a lifetime of reads. It earns us a place on their keeper shelves.

As for those over-inflated tires… I can blame my husband for that. Helping me out, he aired the hopper’s tires the night before. Unfortunately, he’d forgotten his glasses and just guessed at how high to fill them. LOL 

I’ll be around to chat throughout the day and would love to know what unusual, silly, or dangerous thing has happened to you because someone forgot their glasses. I have a little something from Texas for one commenter.

$20 Gift Certificate to Barnes & Noble or Amazon. Lots of chances to enter the Rafflecopter drawing.

Monday, October 14, 2013

What Happens After the Deadline?

I recently completed my 51st book and sent it to my editor (ONCE A COP, for those of you who'd like to know--set for release in summer 2014!).  I thought you might find it interesting to learn what happens right after I complete a book.

No, I'm not talking about edits or copyedits, filling out art fact sheets, scheduling blogs and other promotions--not even writing the proposal for my next book (tentatively titled KIDNAPPED BY A COP), which I'll be turning in this week.  And yes, those are all things that come next.  But...

I'm talking about catching up on all those things that get pushed aside or glossed over when I'm hitting that deadline crunch.  Yes, I feed my family (or tell them where to get takeout) and run the dishwasher, I keep up with the laundry, I keep the toilets clean and make quick check-ins with my mom.  But those last few weeks and days leading up to typing "The End"?  Pretty much everything else gets moved to a back burner so I can get the book done, read through it one last time, and send it in.

So what are those things I do for a few days after completing a book?  Here are the highlights.

1.  Sleep in.  Only for a day or two.  It's a direct message to my brain that says, "Today isn't a work day."

2.  Spend some quality time with the hubby.  This may mean fixing a special meal, going out to a movie together, helping him with a project, or just sitting down and watching tv together all evening.

3.  Call my mom for a long chat.  My mom is a widow and lives on her own--okay, so she's a super busy, very healthy, intellectually vibrant and social widow, but I still worry about her.  She's also my best friend.  So when we share a phone conversation--unless she knows I'm working, or I know she's got a bridge game--we can talk for a longggggggg time.  It's fun to indulge and solve all the world's problems and laugh and reminisce together.

4.  Reclaim my house.  Housework is far down my list of priorities.  But a truly messy house can even get on my nerves sometimes.  So, I take a couple of days to vacuum (possibly my least favorite chore), dust, go through interesting piles of cards or catalogs or recipes or whatever may be gathering dust bunnies, deep clean the bathrooms (did I mention toilets earlier? I do love a clean bathroom <g>) and so on.  That kind of holds me until the end of the next book. (And hubby has learned that if something beyond the basic cleanups bug him, he is perfectly capable of cleaning it himself.)

5.  I binge read.  It's hard for me to read fiction while I'm writing it--especially if it's in the same genre.  I find the details get mixed up with my story, the author's voice may creep into mine, or--if it's a really good book--I find I'd rather read than get my own work done.  So I reward myself when I'm done with all that writing by reading a stack of books from my TBR pile or on my Kindle.  Here are some of the titles on my reward list this time.

So what do you like to do after you complete a big project?  Do you reward yourself?  Or do you just need
time to catch up on the rest of your life?  I'll give away an advance copy of my Nov. 19 release YULETIDE PROTECTOR (an RT BookReviews Top Pick!, btw) to one lucky poster.

Julie Miller

Sunday, October 13, 2013


USA TODAY bestselling author Cassie Miles shows what happens when a big-city girl meets a sexy cowboy after inheriting a Colorado ranch. 

Since quitting the rodeo circuit, Zach Sheffield hadn't much time for people, never mind city folk. A stranger had inherited a famous ranch in their Colorado town, and worse than not knowing one end of a horse from the other, he pegged Gabby Rousseau as a mustang, for sure. 

Local legend said that Gabby's estate hid the Frenchman's treasure, making it a frequent target for thieves. After the first break-in, Zach knew Gabby would need protection, but the beauty from the big city was putting up a fight. He knew he was better off tending to his horses than praying for a breakthrough…but then again, Zach had never met a mustang he couldn't tame. 

2 books in 1! MOUNTAIN MIDWIFE also included in this book!

Read an Excerpt
Available at eHarlequin and other book retailers


ISBN: 9780373697212 (#1454)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

MY SPY by Dana Marton

The stakes are higher and the danger is bigger in Dana Marton's HQ: Texas miniseries. 

A mission gone wrong forced injured soldier Jamie Cassidy to start anew…and run right into the path of deputy sheriff Bree Tridle. The sassy, sexy Texan was as determined to uncover a local money-laundering scheme as Jamie was to keep her safe from the stalker hot on her trail.

But Jamie, now an undercover operative, was also on a covert mission of his own: track smugglers threatening to bring terrorists into the U.S. Could Jamie's and Bree's cases be related? When a deadly attack on Bree's home escalates the danger and their attraction, Jamie and Bree must face their enemies together to save not only their country, but their one chance at love. 

2 books in 1! LAST SPY STANDING also included in this book!

Read an Excerpt
Available at eHarlequin and other book retailers


Miniseries: HQ: Texas
ISBN: 9780373697205 (#1453)

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Going to the Texas State Fair around my birthday is one of my family's traditions. 

Visiting with my parents, grandparents, cousins...the memories reach far into my childhood. There were many years that I didn't get to attend. Time or money always played a part as my kids were growing up. But this is the fourth year in a row that I've gone.

I love capturing part of the atmosphere generated by the crowds and especially the wonder of kids. People excited, standing in line, the Midway, listening to people who are seeing BIG TEX for the first time.

Everything about the fair makes my mind want to write, capturing real people and their reactions.

I had the big camera hanging around my neck and my phone in my much fun, it's hard limiting the number of pictures I've chosen for today.

what midway is complete
without a man with no pants....

Thing 1, Thing 2, 
Thing 3, Thing 4

Aren't they a cute family?
Good sports, letting me take their picture.


Yes, it's as good as it sounds.
I think Tim's eyes rolled back in his head.

A wonderful break from the heat.
Loved the pumpkin painting and carving.
Trains are always fun, the plants almost came alive...

A Nature
version of

THE TEXAS STAR was added for the Texas Sesquicentennial ...  Now a Texas Landmark.

The Texas Star, 1986  permanent addition

$20 Gift Certificate to Barnes & Noble or Amazon. Lots of chances to enter the Rafflecopter drawing.

Thanks for taking a look at my pictures. More of our FAIR DAY is coming up on A Picture A Day.   Do you visit your State Fair? What's your favorite part?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

THE REUNION by Jana DeLeon

An heiress comes home to terror in New York Times bestselling author Jana DeLeon's Mystere Parish: Family Inheritance miniseries. 

Bodyguard to an heiress is Tyler Duhan's idea of hell. The steely, sexy ex-marine has heard—and dismissed—the gossip about the haunted old LeBeau mansion and its "cursed" heiresses. Now the middle sibling—headstrong Joelle—has arrived to comply with her mother's will and reunite with her long-lost sisters. 

But no sooner does she move into the house, than Joelle falls prey to terrifying threats and mysterious visions. Tyler, though he's sworn off femme fatales, can't deny his feelings for the Creole beauty. Nor can he let passion distract him. Because falling for Joelle could be a fatal mistake—for them both. 

2 books in 1! THE SECRET OF CYPRIERE BAYOU also included in this book!

Read an Excerpt
Available at eHarlequin and other book retailers.


ISBN: 9780373697199 (#1452)

Saturday, October 5, 2013


An expectant mother's protection is a cowboy's promise in Elle James's Covert Cowboys, Inc. miniseries 

Thorn Drennan stares death in the face when he's nearly shot by a ranch trespasser. But this is no ordinary trespasser. Pregnant and running for her life, Sophia Carranza has crossed the Mexican border, leaving a trail of ruthless enemies behind. 

Sophia's protection is Thorn's first assignment as an undercover agent and he senses trouble. Inexplicably drawn to Sophia's beauty and fighting spirit, Thorn fears his growing desire for Sophia could jeopardize the mission. And when Sophia's captors finally catch up to them, will Thorn trade his own life for another? 

2 books for the price of 1! KILLER BODY also included in this book!

Read an Excerpt
Available at eHarlequin and other book retailers.


Miniseries: Covert Cowboys, Inc.
ISBN: 9780373697182 (#1451)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fright and Writing


THIS MONTH WE ASKED INTRIGUE AUTHORS TO REMEMBER A FRIGHTENING MOMENT...and if they drew on that memory to use in their writing.

BAD NIGHTS, Sourcebooks Casablana, September 2013

I think all writers have vivid imaginations, which means there are a lot of things that terrify us.  When I was a kid, I lived in an apartment building where people got stuck in the elevator every month or so.  I wouldn't ride that elevator alone, so I'd run up and down five flights of stairs to our apartment---being chased by vampires all the way.  The vampires terrified me, but not as much as the elevator.  Or maybe I secretly knew the vampires were not real?

As an adult, I am scared of heights.  But I force myself to endure them.  I went up in a tandem glider plane, which I used as part of the suspense plot in BAD NIGHTS  And I forced myself to cross a suspension bridge in Vancouver, BC.   My heart was pounding, my mouth was dry, and I was shaking.  I use those reactions frequently in my books.
GHOST MEDICINE, Forge, November 2013
It was October, Indian summer and still hot at night, so the window right beside the bed was open about a foot. It was quiet in Shiprock back then, and you could hear the rumble of a passing semi on old 666, or the sound of machinery at the uranium mill, further east. And there were the crickets. They were friendly. It was when they stopped chirping that you had to worry.

I (David) was dozing off, in that middle ground where your mind drifts, when I heard a low but regular sound just outside my window. Someone was breathing out there - and it was getting louder. Needless to say, if someone is outside your window, close enough to hear them breathing....add to that the fact that you’re fourteen, alone at night in a dark room, and have been reading and watching and hearing all those scary stories.... I was frozen in place, too terrified to move. What if I turned around to look and it was that escaped maniac with the hook from those campfire know the one? The breathing continued. I was scared, but would it get worse if I turned around to look? Of course it would, you’ve seen the movies. They don’t attack until you make eye contact, right?

Well, finally I had to do something. I gathered up my courage, threw off the sheet, and rolled over to look out the window. Nobody was there. But the breathing continued. Inching closer, I thought...hey, he’s down there, waiting to pounce. But I had to know. I looked down. It was Buddy, our neighbor’s big boxer, sniffing the ground not ten feet from the wall. With his nasal situation, you could hear him breathing a mile away.

Now I’ve always wanted to try and package that fear, that edge of your seat experience that is so much stronger coming from your imagination instead of the movie or TV screen. It’s those emotions, with that edge of your seat excitement, that have helped us create our most exciting Harlequin Intrigue scenes.

WRITTEN IN THE STARS, September 2013
I loved to swim in the ocean. I remember one vacation to Greece I swam off the pier of a Corfu taverna at night with a group of other mostly young Americans. And then JAWS came out the same year. That first scene was so like the night we swam off the pier that I developed a shark phobia. 

I swear I refused to go back into the ocean for more than a decade. I didn't go back in until my late husband and I went on our first vacation to Mexico, where I learned to snorkel. While constantly looking over my shoulder to make certain there were no sharks, of course. 

As much as I loved snorkeling over the years, I never lost the fear. Which is quite evident in WRITTEN IN THE STARS. My heroine fears sharks, and as readers will attest, she has good reason during the big finish...

Fear comes in so many flavors…most of them bitter. Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of imperfection (okay, yeah, that's really me!) I've woken up in the middle of the night desperate to call my family because of a dream, heart pounding, palms sweaty, and unable to go back to sleep. But when I think of a fear that causes a visceral response, it's actually heights. Not the height from an airplane. No, heights that scare me are the ones where I might actually survive, but if I fell…boy would it really hurt. 

Even if I'm perfectly safe, it doesn't change my reaction. For example, I truly hate glass elevators. My knees go numb, my heart starts galloping, my breathing gets short. I know the likelihood of me falling is slim, but even as I write this paragraph, my legs are shaking a bit. There is no real danger, and yet the possibility, the 'what-if,' evokes truly paralyzing fear in me. Is that why I write romantic suspense…to face my fears? Well, I will admit that in more than one book someone's dangled on the edge of a cliff…but of course, unless they're a villain, they don't usually fall.

It's October, the month of Halloween. Witches, goblins and the inevitable haunted house. Let me just say that I LOVE to be scared, but I've always laugh through slasher movies. Give me a good ghost experience and I've got the shivers. I'll mention this again…I love to be scared.

About five years ago, Tim & I had the opportunity to visit Universal Studios during October. Right. Halloween decorations. Nice visit except for the zombies. Don't ask me why, because I don't know the answer. But "Zombies" are always attracted to me. If I were in the middle of one of those zombie movies, they'd all be following me. Everywhere I went, there was a zombie following me. People would point, they'd take pictures, and I'd scream. Creepy "dead" people breathing down my neck and lurching over my 5'2" head… big time shiver!

I haven't written anything where the Zombie Apocalypse can be used. But I have used my slight fear of heights (or rather falling) in several books, especially .38 CALIBER COVER-UP & PROTECTING THEIR CHILD. I'm sure I will again.

YULETIDE PROTECTOR, Harlequin Intrigue, December 2013
What scares me? Well, one phobia I'm willing to admit to is my fear of swarms--especially in Mother Nature, swarms of anything kind of freak me out--especially when they're headed in my direction.  Swarms of bugs a tumble of snakes, circling sharks, etc.  I don't like to be stuck in big crowds of people, either.  "Stuck" or "trapped" is the key word there.  I'm fine in a packed baseball stadium, but a crowded elevator? No thanks.  I used swarms of carpenter ants in my book THE MARINE NEXT DOOR as a means of terrorizing my heroine shortly after I did battle with a swarm of ants who'd made a nest in an electrical socket in my house. 

When they hatched, they swarmed all over the socket plate and wall nearby, probably clinging to the heat. I try to protect the environment when I can, but that one involved lots of bug spray, shoe stomping (can't stand the crunching sound of an exoskeleton--makes me shiver!) and disassembly of the socket to get into the wall.  Shiny new socket and plate, and exterminator visit later, and the house is just fine. But I know my blood pressure went up, my muscles ached with being tensed, and my stress level was through the roof until I eradicated that swarm.  It was very easy to incorporate that same irrational terror and ick factor in both THE MARINE NEXT DOOR and again in my most recent book, TASK FORCE BRIDE.

MY SPY, October 2013
I'm not a fan of bats. At our previous house, we used to have them. Somehow, they always ended up in the bedroom. My husband would say, "Let's just turn off the light, open the window, and it'll fly out while we sleep." Because I can sleep while there's a bat circling over my head???? Men....

SPECIAL FORCES FATHER, Harlequin Intrigue, June, 2013

One of my greatest fears is of being closed up in a tight space. In Special Forces Father, June 2013, Kate's son is kidnapped and she is later taken by the kidnapper to force Travis, her long-time love and the child's father, to do the kidnapper's bidding. The boy is being held in a small FEMA trailer and that's where the kidnapper keeps Kate as well. 

The space is tiny and claustrophobic and when Travis finally comes to rescue them, they have to climb through a very small window. Kate and her little boy did great–but the author had clammy palms and a few near-panic attacks while writing those scenes. Have a great Halloween and may nothing scare you.  >>grin<<

COWBOY RESURRECTED, Harlequin Intrigue, October 2013
When I was six years old, my sister and I stayed up late one night to watch Alfred Hitchcock's THE BIRDS. It terrified me and I still get chills when I walk by a tree full of crows. I have yet to use the imagine in one of my books, but now I'll have something to add to one of my future books to scare the knickers off someone else!

October is the month of my fourth installment of COVERT COWBOYS INC: COWBOY RESURRECTED. And it's a special treat because it has one of my backlist KILLER BODY included with it as a bonus! Don't miss your chance for two Texas stories that will keep you up reading to the very end.  ( Cowboy Resurrected )

HUNTED, Harlequin MIRA, January 2014
Having to take public transportation scares me.  At home, I drive everywhere, but here's what happens when I travel:

·      I got on a trolley where the driver actually turned around and walked away from the wheel while the trolley was moving toward train tracks – with a train heading our way!
·      I got on a bus that the driver let get so packed, I ended up riding on the stairs, pressed against the half-open door (my writing partner was literally sitting on the dashboard).
·      I got on a shuttle from the airport where the driving was so crazy the back doors flew open, and the people in the row ahead of me actually turned to check that I was still in the vehicle!  (This same driver proceeded to nearly hit someone in a crosswalk.)
·      I got in a taxi that refused to yield for an ambulance and actually drove faster as everyone else got out of the way and the ambulance was on its tail, sirens blaring.

Every single one of those experiences happened at writers’ conferences.  Do you think that’s a sign?

HUNTED is the first in the Profiler Series, available for pre-order now.

BLOOD ON COPPERHEAD TRAIL, Harlequin Intrigue, Feb 2014

When I was five years old, my father allowed my sister (age six) and me to ride a Ferris wheel at a roadside carnival.  

Crazy, right?  Crazier still, the Ferris wheel got stuck with my sister and me at the top of the wheel. I was petrified, but my sister, who clearly doesn't have a lick of sense, kept rocking the seat, waving at my mother and instilling in me a mortal fear of heights that persists to this day.  

So, of course, as a suspense author, when looking for things that scare my characters, I've drawn on that fear more than once.  Several of my books have included dangling from cliffs or bluffs or ledges.  

And I even had one book, my July 2013 Intrigue, THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN MIST, that featured a heroine whose fear of heights was nearly paralyzing. I stuck her in the attic of a burning house with no way out but down a rickety ladder.  Because, apparently, I'm an evil writer who likes to torture my characters as personal therapy.

UNDERCOVER TWIN, December 2013
My greatest fear is being attacked by a shark. Seeing JAWS at the tender age of 9 made me terrified of swimming in the ocean. And since I've lived most of my life within a few minutes of the Atlantic Ocean, this really changed my summer plans. Even now, I rarely go into the ocean past my ankles. 

Crazy, huh? 

But, who knows, maybe if I hadn't developed a fear of becoming shark bait I would have swam in the ocean much more and really would have become a shark snack. As for using that fear in a book, I've never explicitly thought about that fear, but I imagine having experienced fear at all comes into play when writing any scenes using that type of emotion. ( UNDERCOVER TWIN

PRIMAL INSTINCT, Harlequin Intrigue, April 2014
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – oh, and clowns. Fear, and clowns. That’s all we – . Wait, spiders. Fear, clowns, and spiders. Oh yeah, and snakes…

I have lots of little fears, and joking about those is pretty easy. But I also have an issue I tend to really struggle with: claustrophobia. I’m blessed that it is not so bad that I’ve needed therapy or struggle with it all the time. But it’s bad enough that I have to really get my conscious mind under control when I’m in an elevator or an airplane or the back seat of a minivan. And you’ll never see me with the covers pulled up over my head. 

I decided to make claustrophobia a struggle for my heroine in the first of my upcoming Omega Sector books (release dates TBD 2015). It was easy to draw on some of my own fears to make her panic realistic. Plus researching how to help her overcome claustrophobia is helping me do the same. Writer and director extraordinaire, Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly) when asked why he writes, answered: “I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters I am not. I write to explore all the things I am afraid of.”

I’m thrilled my writing gives me those same opportunities also.  And a chance to face my fears in an unorthodox way.  My debut Harlequin Intrigue novel PRIMAL INSTINCT will be released in April 2014. 

~ ~ ~