Friday, June 8, 2012

The Daphne Finalists

The 2012 Daphne du Maurier Contest sponsored by the RWA Mystery & Suspense Writers chapter (commonly known as Kiss Of Death) announced it finalists for the Series Romantic Suspense category. All five places went to Harlequin Intrigues. I'm very honored to be among them and thought I'd share a little more about my author friends and their books.
In case you missed them in 2011, you might want to put these keepers on your shelf or electronic reader. >>>grin<<<  You can also find us regularly blogging and chatting with readers on the Intrigue Authors blog and on our Intrigue Facebook Page.


HELENKAY DIMON
THE BIG GUNS
September 2011

When he saw his mark being kidnapped, Recovery Project agent Zach Bachman had no option but to rescue her. Even if it endangered his assignment. After weeks of watching Sela Andrews from afar, he was now trapped with the blonde beauty as her bodyguard.

Her brave protector relished the heat of gun battle but retreated from his own emotions. Sela learned that when, in the dead of night in a darkened safe house, the loner became her lover. Still, as her would-be killers closed in on them again, she had no choice but to put her life—and her heart—in the hands of her reluctant guardian.

HelenKay's favorite thing: The hero!  Zach was in previous books and the quiet type.  He stepped up only when he had to and didn't give long speeches. He filled the strong, silent type role.  So, when it was his turn to be the star of the story I panicked.  I didn't want him to change and suddenly be chatty but...he had to talk!  He couldn't hang in the background.  The heroine helped me out.  Zach met her and she meant something to him, so he could no longer hide. No more shadows.  He stepped up for her, which I loved.

Finding HelenKay
website   email   Facebook  Twitter @HelenKayDimon

PAULA GRAVES
MAJOR NANNY
October 2011

A SOLDIER NEVER BREAKS HIS PROMISE....

Agent Harlan McClain has his target in sight. But he’s not pulling the trigger. Instead his assignment is providing Stacy Giordano—the governor’s aide—with security. An easy job for a former marine sniper. And yet, the guarded single mother’s beauty and devotion to her exceptional child soon have Harlan reshuffling his priorities. In the dead of night, in her bed, he promises to keep her and her son from harm. But when an unexpected crisis arises, Harlan is suddenly torn between keeping his word, and taking out a killer.…

Finding Paula
website   Facebook   Twitter  @Paula_Graves

JULIE MILLER
NANNY 911
December 2011

The Precinct: SWAT--an elite team who'll put everything on the line.

HE’D NEVER NEEDED ANYONE’S HELP
…UNTIL NOW

SWAT team member Miranda Murdock can’t bake, or get a three-year-old to eat. But she can shoot the wings off a fly. Which is why she’s protecting millionaire Quinn Gallagher’s daughter. But the little girl is soon tugging at Miranda’s heartstrings. And Quinn is doing other things to her—exciting, forbidden, bedroom things—making her job riskier each day.…

Quinn is determined to find the killer threatening his daughter’s life. Despite the danger, he wants Miranda with shocking intensity. The elite cop is a puzzle he can’t figure out, and desire between them builds with each heartbeat. Yet with New Year’s Eve and the killer’s deadline approaching, even a single kiss could spell disaster…

Julie's Favorite Scene:
I knew from day 1, when I first got the concept in my head for this story (my editor had asked me to create a female character for my SWAT team books--so I developed a stand-alone story to feature her), that I had to use this line in the climactic action scene: "You forgot to take out the nanny."  My heroine, a SWAT cop, gets assigned to be a bodyguard for a billionaire's little girl when an unknown enemy decides the only way to get to the hero is to kill his darling daughter.  The hero insists the heroine become the girl's nanny so that they'll bond and be together 24-7, even if the heroine is far more comfortable wielding a sniper rifle than a diaper bag.  I knew there was going to be this siege at some kind of compound (turned into the wealthy hero's security-loaded estate), that the hero was going to be facing down the bad guy at the end (and I knew my hero was going to be a man who used his brains, not weapons to fight), but in the climactic battle, he was finally at a disadvantage.  The bad guy seemed to have everything figured out.  All the security systems had been disabled.  The guards were dead.  The bad guy held a gun to the hero's head.  The hero was going to be okay with dying because at least he'd done what he'd set out to do--he'd saved his daughter's life.  But then this awesome, kick-butt yet vulnerable, heroine, Miranda Murdock, the lady SWAT cop who'd struggled to believe she had what it takes to get the job done, silently "drops in" to the scene and puts a gun to the bad guy's head.  Advantage? Good guys.  No need to prove herself anymore.  The hero would grin, knowing the bad guy was toast, and say, "You forgot to take out the nanny."

It's rare for me to see a scene in such detail before I begin a book.  But I knew that had to happen in my story.  And it did!

Finding Julie
Email Website Facebook Twitter @JulieMillerAuth  Goodreads

ANGI MORGAN
.38 CALIBER COVER-UP
February 2011

AN UNDERCOVER AGENT,
A BEAUTIFUL COP…
AND THE BULLET
THAT BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER

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 reveals a far-reaching conspiracy…and angers all the wrong people. Trying to bring a killer to justice while keeping Darby safe is making Erren remember why he is better off on his own. Especially when Darby makes him long to stay together in the safe house and never let her out of his sight.
Angi's Favorite Scene: First kisses are a big favorite of mine. I always love the kisses in movies that happen so the couple won't blow their cover (okay, it's been done a hundred times...but it works). Erren & Darby share a kiss when the perfect undercover cop shows he's very vulnerable. It happens just before the scene depicted on the cover.

Finding Angi
website   email   Facebook   Twitter @AngiMorganAuthr    Goodreads    A Picture A Day


GAYLE WILSON
FLASHBACK
August 2011 

Jake Underwood has recovered from the terrible injuries he suffered in Iraq—except for the haunting flashbacks of the attack that decimated his unit. Then suddenly, in the middle of one of those, he sees not the familiar desert landscape of his nightmares, but a terrified and missing little girl.

Chief of Police Eden Reddick knows that with each passing hour, her chances of finding kidnap victim Raine Nolan alive decrease. That terrifying countdown resonates more strongly with Eden because her own sister was taken under similar circumstances and never seen again.

Despite being willing to pursue every lead, Eden can’t explain how or why Raine could appear in Major Underwood’s flashback. She is, however, impressed with the ex-soldier’s determination to find the child and bring her home. As they work desperately to rescue Raine, Eden begins to feel more than admiration for Jake, but can she keep her town’s anger and suspicions of him from compounding the tragedy they already face? 

Gayle's favorite things: FLASHBACK contains so many of the elements that I was attracted to as a reader and have frequently incorporated into my own writing. A sexy, wounded warrior. A heroine as tough as the hero she's falling in love with. A child in danger. A mystery from the past that threatens to encroach on the present. A hint of the paranormal. A small town Southern setting where you can feel the heat rise off the asphalt, watch the moon sink into the dark waters of the bayou, and "hear" the distinctive accents of the residents. And as always, this ex-military hero is a tribute to my husband and all those who have fought and died to protect the precious liberties this country enjoys.

Finding Gayle
Website  Email  Facebook 
~ ~ ~
We're curious to know...Are you an Intrigue fan? How many of these top-nominated stories have you already picked up?
~ ~ ~
 
Lucky commenters throughout the weekend will have the chance to win:
 .38 Caliber Cover-Up (e) by Angi  (or $5 giftcard)

Big Guns signed by HelenKay
Flashback signed by Gayle
Nanny 911 signed by Julie
~ ~ ~
Don’t forget to FOLLOW us on Twitter (#GetLostStories) or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Join me next Wednesday when I host Carey Baldwin. And come back Monday when Mauren hosts Kari Lee Townsend.  ~Angi

QUESTION FOR TODAY
Have you read any of the finalists and if you have, what was your favorite thing?

31 comments:

  1. Congrats to the finalists. I've read Intrigues by the authors, but not the nominated stories. I just finished HelenKay's "When She Wasn't Looking."

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Jane. I love all of HelenKay's Mystery Men series.

      ~Angi

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    2. Thank you both!!! Jane, I hope you liked the new one. And big hugs to Angi for enjoying thr Mystery Men series.

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  2. I have all 5 of these books. But, I haven;t read them yet. My TBR pile is enormous these days.

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    1. Hey Tammy,
      You should definitely pull these up to the top of the pile. :-)

      Are you reading them yet?
      LOL
      ~Angi

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    2. Tammy - Thanks for buying them all!

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  3. Aww, Angie, I forgot to answer the question! My only excuse is that I've been in a funk between the day job, edits, my sister's recent remarriage and the proposal that refuses to cooperate.

    I'll just add it here, how about that? My favorite scene from Major Nanny is the scene where Stacy overhears Harlan and her son Zachary's conversation when Harlan is watching the boy so she can finish up her work for the governor. Even though it's in Stacy's point of view, and we get her thoughts about what she's hearing, I think we also get really good insight into the kind of man Harlan is and why Stacy, who's cautious to a fault, might fall for him in spite of all the reasons she shouldn't.

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    1. How awesome. If I didn't have the book already, I'd buy it based on that.

      NO MORE FUNKS, PAULA !!
      Shouting at you from Texas to take good care of yourself! Hugs, sistah!
      ~Angi

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  4. What a cool post, Angi! I've actually read most of the books here, and have the 5th one on my TBR pile. The thing that jumps out at me about all these stories is the hero. Intrigues always have the best heroes, imo. No matter their background or skill set or job, there's just something inherently masculine about Intrigue men. They're protectors and justice-seekers, even when they're not sure they want to be or can be. That's such a noble quality they all share.

    Thanks!

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  5. Congrats to you all! And how wonderful for Harlequin Intrigue!

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  6. You're defiitely right about that, Julie. Might be the reason I've wanted to write for the line so so so long.

    ~Angi

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  7. Congrats to all of you. I have read Nanny 911 and really enjoyed it. Love anything with kids in it.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by ! Wow...three out of the five even have kids on the cover ! (My first book did.)

      ~Angi

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  8. Congrats to the finalists. I'm an Intrigue fan. I read and enjoyed .38 Caliber Coverup.

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    1. Thanks Chey. I appreciate that ! You might want to check these other ladies' books. They're awesome.

      ~Angi

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  9. Congratulations! I like Intrigues. I haven't read these books yet.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by !! Hope you can get all five !

      ~Angi

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  10. Wooohooo, Daphne finalists! What awesome covers you all have and what a wonderful mix of writers! Gosh, talk about fierce competition. Can't wait to see who takes the series competition. Best wishes to all of you!!!

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    1. And to you Donnell !!
      THE PAST CAME HUNTING is a finalist in the Single Title category.

      ~Angi

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  11. congrts to be finalist, awesome :)

    i have not read any intrigue but i'm planning to read your book next week, Angi. Sorry for late reading the book :(

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    1. It's okay Eli. Make certain you let me know what you think. I love the thought of being your introduction to the line. Oh my, hope it's a good introduction.

      ~Angi

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  13. I've read both books by Angi and Julie. Loved both of them. Would love to read the book by Gayle. I really like page turners and that's what a good suspense is--full of conflict, tension, and great characters.

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    1. Awesome Ruby. Thanks for stopping by (and glad you loved .38 Caliber).

      ~Angi

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  14. I love the Harlequin Intrigues stories and have been reading them since I was a teenager. (I'm 58 now...LOL). Sad to say I've not yet read any from this group. Just finished SPY HARD written by Dana Marton and loved it. Love the great characters and the sizzle of romance, all while surrounded by danger. And of course the happy endings. Congrats to each of you.

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    1. Well thanks Anonymous. Hope you have the opportunity to read many more stories, especially Intrigues !

      ~Angi

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  15. Congrats to the Daphne finalists! The Kiss of Death chapter always recognizes the cream of the crop in romantic suspense. I've had the pleasure of reading titles from each of the featured authors and I'm sure each one is worthy of winning. BTW, my favorite part of every Intrigue is the black moment!

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    1. Thanks Jan ! We definitely appreciate the praise! AND that you've bought our books. Take care,
      ~Angi

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  16. CONGRATULATIONS WINNERS
    A special thanks to everyone who stopped by to celebrate with us.

    ANONYMOUS ---.38 Caliber Cover-Up(e)
    (or $5 giftcard) by Angi
    JAN --- Big Guns signed by HelenKay
    RUBY --- Flashback signed by Gayle
    CHEY --- Nanny 911 signed by Julie

    ~Angi

    SEND AN EMAIL TO GETLOSTINASTORY@GMAIL.COM so I can hook you up with the author.

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