Friday, December 13, 2013

The Story Behind the Story



After escaping a killer, playing dead was the only way Sabrina Watkins could get out of Amarillo alive. Now she's living in Dallas, where no one knows her true identity. Until homicide cop Jake Craig shows up. 

A half-frozen pup he finds at a crime scene brings Jake to Sabrina's doorstep. Suddenly, the former Marine is playing hero to a desperate woman on the run. Sworn to clear her name, Jake's already falling for the stunning brunette with the amethyst eyes. Can he keep her safe and turn a rescue mission into a last chance at love?

 ~ ~ ~
The Marine's Last Defense is a special book to me.  When Harlequin Intrigue had to push my TWIN books from January to May...we realized I'd go a year without a book release, so they offered me the January slot. I had to write a quick proposal and it needed to include a blizzard. I already had the concept for a murder and the location while bike riding with my husband. I just needed a plot.

The news came when we were on vacation. While chatting about possibilities (yes, sometimes my husband helps), we received a call from our dog sitter. Tim mentioned that would be a good way to hide...moving from house to house, not paying bills, etc. And just that fast I had a story.

From the get-go, I was including a black Labrador pup. I found out a couple of years ago that black animals make up 70% of all animals that have to be destroyed. I would definitely be putting a combination of my two black Labs (Dallas & Texas) into the pup I called Bear. I sold the book in January and began writing it in February. It was coming together nicely and then...

On February 13th, ten minutes before I arrived home, Dallas had a seizure resulting in a stroke and died. I was devestated. Dallas and I were very close. She was a fearless, loving dog. Abandoned on the side of the road, her rescuers thought she'd been tossed from a car. She had skin problems--didn't matter. She was blind in one eye--didn't slow her down. And she had unexplained seizures--we thought they were under control with medicine. I've loved all my dogs, but her death was so unexpected. It just hit me hard.
Even though the murder was in Dallas. I renamed the pup from Bear to Dallas in her honor. The mannerisms are all hers. I share pictures of my Labs all the time. All my on-line friends mourned Dallas. What most don't know is that we immediately adopted another 2 month-old black Lab we named Valentine. Unfortunately, she left the shelter with distemper and she was only with us 2 weeks. So I'd lost two precious pups in two weeks. 

At first it was hard to write, but the book was written in a record number of days for me. I'm glad to share how Dallas became so special to my hero, Jake. And how she became his "last defense." I will never forget Dallas or precious little Valentine. And just to let you know, Tex is now 2 years old and his new playmate, Roxie, turned 1 last Monday.
~ ~ ~
"Former Marine Jake Craig is now a homicide detective who keeps people at a distance, but there's something about the pretty woman at the local coffee shop that captures his attention. Sabrina Watkins has built t a successful business walking dogs, but she's also on the run from men who want her to take the fall for their illegal activities-after she's dead. How can she get involved with a taciturn cop who could slap the cuffs any minute? Before he knows it, Jake is busy trying to keep Sabrina alive as he worries that he's falling hard for a felon. Morgan launches the volley from the first pages so readers aren't left wondering whodunit, but they'll have to pay attention to the escalating action to keep up with the characters, who are in trouble from the get-go." ~Romantic Times Magazine, 4 STARS
~ ~ ~
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's work 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.

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DO YOU LIKE SEASONAL STORIES? Like winter stories in winter and beach stories in summer? Or does it matter what the weather's like outside while you're reading about a blizzard?


Lara Lacombe said...

I remember when you lost Dallas and Valentine--so heartbreaking. I'm glad they'll live forever in your new book!

May said...

So sad to lose a dog. I had two growing up so I can relate!

I think as long as the story is well-written, I don't mind what the weather is like outside. I have read Christmas stories in summer!

Angi Morgan said...

Thank you Lara !
I am too.

Angi Morgan said...

So glad to hear that, May ! Thanks for stopping by.

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Angi, that's the whole purpose of escapism to suspend belief! Can't wait to read The Marine's Last Defense. What an awesome cover by the way! xxoo

Angi Morgan said...

Absolutely, Donnell. Thanks, I hope you enjoy it.

Jean stewart said...

sorry about the loss of your dogs but I'm glad you have new ones to keep you company. I'm such a bookaholic that it does not matter what the season is I'll read it

bn100 said...

Don't have a preference

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Angi Morgan said...

It's great to have a wonderful hero and heroine for Dallas. Thanks, Jean.

Angi Morgan said...

Great to know.

Gjillian said...

Great way to preserve the memory of your dogs, and congrats on your latest Intrigue!

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your dogs, Angi. I still miss my kittyboy Curry. He was old but well loved.

I'll read any book in any season. But I do have to admit I've been reading a lot of Christmas novellas lately. It's easier to fit them in between wrapping and shipping gifts.

Marcy Shuler

Mary Preston said...

I always enjoy seasonal stories. Of course, here I am in reality sweltering in sub-tropical heat while I read stories set during snowy cold Christmases. I could do with a blast of snow right now.


Angi Morgan said...

Thanks Jill.

Angi Morgan said...

MARINE's on sale soon there, Mary !!
There are a lot of people here in the states that would welcome a blast of "swelter."

Angi Morgan said...

Thanks Marcy.
That's a good point and definitely something to keep in mind for next year.

Quilt Lady said...

Yep I went shopping yesterday and it was a mess in town. All most got run over by a shopping cart in Walmart. We don't have many places to shop here so Walmart seems to be the most popular.

Linda said...

It's always hard to lose a beloved pet, I'm so sorry for your loss.

I'm not fussy about the storyline as long as it's a good one. Since I live in the tropics the climate where I am is hot & humid all year round anyway! It's kinda cool (pun intended) to read about a love story set in a snowy white xmas.

Angi Morgan said...

:-) Linda...
I hope your tropics are always heavenly !
(and thanks...again, it's very comforting Dallas will be remembered in this book)

Angi Morgan said...

Glad it was a near miss and not a hit & run !!

Angi Morgan said...

You've won...your surprise will be in the mail this afternoon.