Thursday, October 1, 2015

ELITE OPS Bestselling Bulletproof Romantic Suspense

Hold onto your desk chairs! Today we've got Kay Thomas, author of the bestselling ELITE OPS Bulletproof Romantic Suspense series...


 Award-winning author Kay Thomas didn't grow up burning to be a writer. Until fourth grade she wasn't even much of a reader. That's when her sister read THE BLACK STALLION aloud to her. For hours Kay was enthralled—shipwrecked and riding an untamed horse across desert sand. Then tragedy struck. Her sister lost her voice. But Kay couldn't wait to hear what happened in the story—so she picked up that book, finished reading it herself, and went in search of more adventures at the local library. Today, Kay lives in Dallas with her husband, their two children, and a shockingly spoiled Boston terrier. Her national best-selling “bulletproof” novels have been translated into multiple languages. EASY TARGET, Book 3 in her ELITE OPS series from Avon Impulse, was released in June.

view it on Amazon


Avon Impulse/Harper Collins

AEGIS: an elite team of ex-military men who will do anything for their country…and their women.

Fighting to clear her brother of murder, freelance reporter Sassy Smith is suddenly kidnapped and thrown into a truck with other women who are about to be sold…or worse. When she sees an opportunity for escape Sassy takes it, but she may have just jumped from the frying pan into the fire.
Former Marine Bryan Fisher (aka Hollywood) is no stranger to dangerous situations, or to his best friend’s little sister. When he rescues Sassy, Bryan is determined to keep her safe…if he can keep his hands off of her. Because Sassy is all grown up and not at all like the girl he used to know. But he’s got bigger problems. And with enemies coming at them from every corner, Bryan and Sassy will need to work together if they’re going to survive.

Link to an excerpt via Kay’s website:

Kathleen’s GOTTA ASK:   I love that your hero, former Marine Bryan Fisher, is rescuing his best friend’s little sister. And she’s a gutsy journalist. What a fun exciting plot. But then your plots always are exciting. Your books are usually based around military/special Ops type heroes. What inspires you to write about this type of hero? Is there a military connection in your background?


Thanks, Kathleen. No, I don’t have a military background. Many people have asked where I got the idea for the Elite Ops series. It came through a unique set of conversations and circumstances.

My son has Asperger’s and several years ago he was working with a new social skills therapist who was in the process of changing careers. This man had left the DEA and was starting his own security business while also working with special needs kids. Quite a combo, right? I was fascinated by what would take someone from such a challenging, busting-down-doors job to teaching my then seventh grader how to talk about his feelings. Conversations there definitely started my wheels turning.

At the same time my son was working with this guy, my critique partner gave me an article from The Atlantic magazine about a gentleman who goes into Latin American countries to recover children who’ve been kidnapped by non-custodial parents. That article combined with those earlier conversations got me to thinking, and the concept for Hard Target: Elite Ops—Book 1 came from there. But I realized I couldn’t just write the one story and be done with that world.

I had watched the Russell Crowe-Meg Ryan movie, Proof of Life, a couple of times. I also started following the now-cancelled Discovery series called Kidnap and Rescue about security consultants who go into foreign countries to rescue Americans who have been kidnapped while working or living overseas.

I started wondering what if instead of just one sexy guy, I had a whole company of men and women with backgrounds that were ex-military or ex-DEA who wanted to start their lives over again and work in the private sector. The idea kept percolating and the Elite Ops team was born.

Kathleen: How often do you get lost in a story?
KAY: Not nearly as often as I’d like to! I tend to binge read, finishing several books one after the other over several days, then I’ll go several months only reading a few chapters each evening before I go to sleep at night.
Kathleen: What sound or noise do you love?
KAY:   ocean waves crashing on the beach
Kathleen: What do you do to unwind and relax?
KAY:    I like to sit on my patio and read. I also like to watch movies. My husband and I binge watch Netflix and U-verse. My two favorites lately were House of Cards and Outlander. This past year I started practicing Yoga, which has turned out to be surprisingly wonderful.
Kathleen: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
KAYcoffee with two sugars and LOTS of cream/milk
Kathleen: What is your hero’s “kryptonite” – in other words, what will bring him instantly to his knees?
KAY:   Sassy Smith’s tears. He cannot handle seeing her cry. She’s pretty tough and doesn’t cry very often, but when she does, Bryan Fisher feels completely powerless.
Kathleen: What will always make you smile, even on a bad day?
KAY: my husband and our dog Jack playing together on the floor
Kathleen: What actors and Actresses look most like your characters in this book?
KAY: Jensen Ackles is the yummy visual I had in mind as I wrote Hollywood, aka Bryan Fisher, the hero of EASY TARGET. (see picture 3)  I’m having so much fun writing this series. While I’ve been writing each story in the series, I’ve had a computer wallpaper of the heroes to keep me inspired as I work. Some of the pictures are models and some are actors you’ll recognize. I thought it would be fun to share all my men of Elite Ops here along with their photos.

Leland Hollis from HARD TARGET

Nick Donovan from PERSONAL TARGET

Hollywood aka Bryan Fisher from EASY TARGET

Lily from EASY TARGET and her owner, Bear Bennett

Not a main character and certainly not a man, still Lily’s picture has to be included. Lily is a four-month old English Bulldog who gets into everything. She belongs to Bear Bennett who is introduced in EASY TARGET and plays a bigger role in my next story. I figured you’d like a sneak peek at them both because what’s sexier than a hot guy and his dog?

Kay will be giving away a print copy of EASY TARGET (or any book from Elite Ops series-winner’s choice) to one lucky reader who comments.
She says, “I love my ereader, but sometimes there is nothing like the feel (and smell!) of holding a real book in my hands.”

KAY ASKS READERS: When you read a print book, do you break/crack the spine or keep it pristine?

You can reach KAY AT:

EASY TARGET is the third book in the Elite Ops series. The first two titles are HARD TARGET and PERSONAL TARGET.



  1. A great post thank you & loving the photos.

    I never deliberately break the spine, but it does happen. After all, books are meant to be read.


    1. Hi Mary! So glad you dropped by. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Kay's a fabulous writer and a lovely lady.
      I'm impressed with how respectful you are of the book's spine.

    2. Hi Mary, I agree. I try not to break the spines, but it does happen. Particularly if I'm gripping the book because I'm caught up in the suspense! : )

  2. So happy to see Kay here. I love your Intrigues. I try to be careful with the spine. My grandmother was a librarian and she taught me to treasure books. I love print books the best. yenastone at aol dot com

    1. Hi Tammy! So good to see you again. Thanks for stopping by! I go back and forth between reading on my kindle and reading print. I guess I sorta "binge read" on one and then the other. How special that you grew up with a librarian for a grandmother. You learned from a very young age how very cool librarians are! : )

  3. Hi Tammy!
    Glad you dropped by. If you'd liked Kay's intrigues you're sure to like her Elite Ops Series.

  4. Good morning all! Glad you stopped by. I'm super excited to have Kay visiting with us. I love her writing.
    Okay, confession time: I start out with good intentions hoping to keep the book pristine but by the end of the book the spine gets mangled because I'm bending the pages wide open late at night to Gobble up the story. So for me a broken spine is a sign of love. I loved the book.

    1. Hi Kat! Thanks so much for having me here today! I'm thrilled you enjoyed EASY TARGET and I love what you had to say about "a broken spine being a sign of love." I'm going to remember that and not feel "guilty" now when I look at a mangled book after I've read it! I'll know that it's a sign of how much I enjoyed the story! : )

  5. Hi Kay,
    I'm moving to Austin no later than Jan'16. I'm in FL now but lived in Austin from the fall of '11 'til April '14. Hubby's retiring from the Navy so we're moving back. I'd love to meet you! I'd also love the win the first book in this series. The series appeals to me greatly! I crack covers and keep some pristine. Some covers are soft and you don't break them. I love that. But I have OCD so keeping them pristine makes me happier. Have a great day!

    1. Hi Meljprincess! Thanks for dropping by. So glad the series sounds interesting to you. Best of luck with your move back to Texas! Hopefully we can meet at a signing or book event once you are "back home."

  6. Oh I try my best not to crack the spine... I like to keep the book as nice looking as I can... greenshamrock AT cox DOT net :) Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Colleen C.! Thanks for commenting. I confess I didn't even know it was possible to NOT crack a book's spine until a friend showed me her collection of books (already read) that looked as if they'd just come from the bookstore. : )

  7. I try not to crack the spine....I loved this interview because I was curious of how this series I know! I agree, a curious juxtaposition.....

    Kathleen Bylsma

    1. Hi Kathleen! So great to see you here. Hope you are doing well. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, the evolution of this series idea was a unique combination. It's fun to look back and see how the ideas morphed into the men of Elite Ops!

  8. keep it pristine

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. All you careful readers. I'm so impressed.

    2. bn100- Thanks for commenting....I agree with Kat. I'm very impressed with how careful everyone here is with their books! : )

  9. Congratulations, Mary Preston! You're the winner. Please watch your email for a message from me in regards to how to claim your prize. Thanks everyone for commenting and letting me know your thoughts on "to break or not to break" the spine of the book you're enjoying. : ) It was a pleasure being with you on "Get Lost in a Story." Thanks again to Kathleen Baldwin for inviting me. Here's to us all getting lost in a story and reading past our bedtime this weekend. Happy Friday and Happy Reading!