Does this Kick-Ass Heroine have Nine Lives? Let's chat with Phyllis Middleton #romanticsuspense #SoulmatePublishing

It's the birth of a brand new baby, a book! Nine Lives, Two Down by Phyllis Middleton is launched!

Let’s get to know more about Phyllis: While employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the age of nineteen, Phyllis Middleton was trained in the Science of Fingerprints. Once returning to her home in Colorado, she was a Deputy Sheriff for the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Department and specialized in crime scene investigation and evidence processing.  Certified in Pueblo District and County Courts, Phyllis testified in a number of cases as an expert in the field of fingerprints. While with the Sheriff’s Department, she branched out in Patrol and Investigations as well as becoming a member of the Search and Rescue Squad and the State Disaster Team. She then became an Emergency Medical Technician and Certified Police Instructor. She rounded out twenty years as a Senior Criminal/Civil Investigator with the Denver Coroner’s Office in her last six years of active service.

She writes mystery/suspense/action adventure with romantic elements. She's been writing stories since the 8th grade but only in recent years has she become serious about learning her craft and getting published.  She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Dallas Area Romance Authors,and The Plotting Princesses. Nine Lives, Two Down is her first book.

 Police officer Bethany Banks kills a suspect in a shootout and nearly dies from gunshot wounds. Though the shooting was deemed justified, her confidence is shaken. After being threatened by a psychopathic stalker, Beth is forced to leave the department and run for her life.

Former lover, Sgt. Sam DeLuca loves Beth, but thought her perceived threats were caused by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. His skepticism to her claims about a stalker shattered her trust and she left him. When new evidence arises, he realizes he should have believed her.

When fate gives Sam a second chance, he’s is determined to protect the woman he loves. Can he keep Beth safe and catch a murderous stalker before Beth’s time runs out? He’ll risk everything to restore the love they lost – but is it too late?

Find Nine Lives, Two Down at: Amazon

And now for the fun stuff! Vicki:  I’m a huge handbag girl. What is your favorite accessory? Phyllis:  Jewelry. I HAVE to have earrings on. I don’t feel dressed without them.

Vicki: What turns you off like nothing else?  Phyllis: Rudeness.

Vicki: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met? Phyllis: Coming from a law enforcement background, I’ve met a good number of heroes, but one that stands out is the officer who used a sniper shot to help me escape from a hostage situation.  (Yes, I will be writing about it in an upcoming series I’m working on.) Vicki: Wow, Phyllis, that will be so interesting!

Vicki: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?  Phyllis: Action adventure of course!

Vicki: What is your biggest vice?  Phyllis: Candy Vicki: me, too.

Vicki: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans? Phyllis: When I write something and it seems unreal or far fetched, it probably comes from a REAL experience I’ve had.

Vicki: Do you write while listening to music?  If so what kind?  Phyllis: I have instrumentals such as movie sountracks that send my brain into action adventure mode. I have a few love songs that put me into the romance mood when it gets to that point of the story.

Vicki: If you could interview one person (and it doesn’t have to be a writer) who would it be? Phyllis: The first TV/movie star crush for me was David Hedison, who played Captain Crane from the 60’s TV show Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. He’s still alive and well at 82 and I keep up with him. The other person would have been John Wayne because he was such a good guy.

Vicki: What inspires you daily? Phyllis: That somewhere along the line – I’ve delighted someone, however, simple. Vicki: That is beautiful. 

FIND Phyllis at:  Email   Website   Twitter Plotting Princesses


author @KathyIvan has been writing like crazy! #romanticsuspense #detectivestory #NewOrleans

My friend, Kathy Ivan, has been writing like crazy and has published THREE books!
Let's get to know her:

Kathy Ivan spent most of her life with her nose between the pages of a book. From best-selling authors to just-getting-started writers, as long as it was a good story, she devoured it and happily searched for the next romance novel. Kathy turned her obsession with reading into the next logical step, writing. Her books transport you from a paranormal lodge in the Colorado Mountains in her Destiny's Desire Series, to the sultry splendor of the French Quarter in New Orleans in her award winning romantic suspense and mysteries. Kathy tells stories people can’t get enough of; reuniting old loves, betrayal of trust, finding kidnapped children, psychics and even a ghost or two. But one thing they all have in common - love (and some pretty steamy sex scenes too).

 New Orleans Connection Series

Jennifer "Jinx" Marucci witnesses her brother's shooting and the leader of New Orleans' Russian mob thinks her brother, Carlo, passed something valuable into her keeping—and demands its return.  Every instinct tells her to trust no one, but what choice does she have except to turn to the police? 

Detective Remy Lamoreaux can't believe his luck when Jinx walks through the doors of the New Orleans Police Department.  He's tried for years to bring down Vladimir Dubshenko.  Fate has finally handed him the opportunity to go head-to-head with the vicious mobster and lock him up for good before Jinx becomes one more casualty in Dubshenko's lust for power. 

Intrigue, kidnapping and danger combine to keep Remy and Jinx constantly on the move.  One thing is certain—if they stop running, they die.

"Jennifer, stop right now.  Do not make me hurt you.  Come with me and I will explain everything." 

His quiet voice had Jinx running even harder away from both of the men.  Explain.  Yeah right.  He gets his hands on me, I am one dead chickie.  I saw him commit murder.  He knows I'll testify against him.  No way he'll let me live.

By now, her feet were a torn mass of open cuts and she was sure they were embedded with heaven only knows what, but she'd worry about that later.  Fortunately, since buying her little cottage she'd taken many nature walks through these woods and she was familiar with them, knew where the best ins and outs and hidey-holes were.  A few more yards and she'd be home free.  Dubshenko wouldn't dare shoot at her out in public where any of her neighbors might hear it and come and investigate, or better yet call the police.  But then again, he'd already killed Carlo, maybe he wouldn't think twice about killing anybody else who got in his way. 

Riding high on an adrenalin-induced burst of speed, she raced across the open alleyway and into the relative darkness of the trees.  She didn't dare stop to look behind her, still running.  Think, Jinx, where's the best hiding place close by?  Get out of sight.  About fifty yards in, there was a fallen over tree lying in a small dried up creek bed.  She could hide behind it, wait for it to get full dark and then outwait them.

She heard Dubshenko at the edge of the alley calling her name.  The fear-laced rush of adrenalin was wearing off, and the reality of the evening's events started sinking in. 

Her brother was dead.  Murdered by one of the biggest Russian mafia leaders in the state.  He ruled New Orleans seedy underbelly from everything she'd heard.  He wouldn't stop looking for her.  There really wasn't much choice.  She'd have to go to the cops.  Trusting the police—not the best option—but she'd tell them everything she knew so they could at least start an investigation.  After that, she'd do the one thing she was good at.  The one thing she'd been doing her entire life. 


Find Relentless Pursuit at: Amazon  Barnes and Noble  Kobo  Apple 
Google Play

I twisted Kathy's arm (LOL) and she agreed to answer these few questions:

Vicki:  I’m a huge handbag girl. What is your favorite accessory?  Kathy, Sorry, Vicki, but handbags have never been my 'thing.'  I'm more into jewelry.  I have an entire jewelry armoire filled with pieces I've picked up or that have been hand-crafted for me by my very talented sister.  Love finding just the right piece or pieces to go with an outfit.  A special necklace or pair or earrings or even the perfect bracelet can totally make an outfit look sleek and polished.  Vicki: Mary is quite talented!

 Vicki: How often to you get lost in a story? Kathy: Every single day.  I can get lost in the story that I'm writing, and it plays out as a movie in my head and I'm watching the people.  I also make a point of trying to read every night.  Immersing myself in a good book helps me to relax from a stressful day, so you'll almost always find me with my Kindle propped up in bed reading before I go to sleep. 

Vicki: What’s your favorite “love” word? Kathy: Romance.  Unfortunately I think a lot of romance has been lost today because we live in such a busy world.  It's not always about spending a bunch of money and trying to woo the girl.  It's about remembering to stay I love you.  Picking up (or making) a card to remember a special occasion, like the anniversary of your first date.  Putting a piece of candy on you love's pillow so they find it before they lay down their head.  It's remembering to do some little thing, as simple as opening the car door that helps keep the romance and the intimacy alive.

Vicki: What sound or noise do you love? Kathy: I love to listen to the rain.  There's something so very soothing about it. 

Vicki: What is your biggest vice?  Kathy: Chocolate.  Without a doubt—chocolate.  Vicki: Did I tell you I haven’t eaten chocolate in two weeks?

Vicki: Is there a “Blooper” in your story (it may have been changed before printing)? Kathy: Well, it's not really a blooper, but it's become something of a running joke.  So far there are five books in the New Orleans Connection Series, and in three of them Remy somehow ends up being shot (always off duty – he's a detective). 

Vicki: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?  Kathy: Never give up on your dreams.  We all have that secret yearning inside – never say anything is impossible.  I've wanted to write for many years, but had to work a very stressful day job to pay the bills.  Right?  We all have to sacrifice in this day and age.  But never let your dreams die – there's always the chance that your dreams can come true. 

Vicki: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind? Kathy: No, I wish I could because I love music.  But I need total quiet when I'm writing.  But when I do listen to music, it's almost always Country. 

Vicki: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up? Kathy: Um, can I be a professional reader?  LOL

Vicki: Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?  Kathy: Remy Lamoreaux.  Remy has been a favorite of mine from the very beginning of this series, and he's just pushy enough that he's made his way into every single book in the New Orleans Connection Series.  He's a bit of a flirt and loves women but he's also protective, kind, and funny.  Yep, I'd definitely choose Remy. 

Vicki: What three things are, at this moment, in your heroine’s purse, satchel, reticule, weapons belt or amulet bag (whatever she carries)? Kathy:  Emergency stash – I always carry an extra twenty dollars for emergencies that's not in my wallet, so if something happens, I've at least got a few bucks, so she'd carry extra too.  Tweezers though I have no idea why, but I carry a pair so I'd give my heroine some and find a way for her to use them.  Swiss Army knife, because my heroine wants to be prepared for anything.

Vicki: What will always make you smile, even on a bad day?  Kathy: Talking with my friends.

FIND Kathy at: Email   Website  Facebook Twitter  Goodreads Pinterest
Kathy Blogsite and Plotting Princesses blogsite   Newsletter signup

UP NEXT: I'm currently working on the next book in the New Orleans series (Carpenter's book) and also working on a series of four contemporary romance novellas set in Las Vegas.

PREVIOUS RELEASES: Got covers of your previous releases you’d like to promote? Don’t forget to send the jpeg if available.

WILL YOU HAVE A DRAWING FROM THOSE LEAVING COMMENTS or do you have a promotion you'd like us to link to?  Yes.  One random poster will be eligible for an e-book copy of Relentless Pursuit, New Orleans Connection Series Book 2.  Please leave your email address in the comment section for the drawing.

IF MAILING: North America ONLY or International?? Note: Please leave an email address for notification. Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?  How do you find new-to-you authors?  Advertising e-mail blasts?  Blogs?  Word of mouth?  Other?  


E.E. Burke's Birthday Bash featuring Kim Rocha's top picks for BEST OF THE WEST

This weekend I celebrate my birthday. I love giving gifts as much as getting them, so I wanted to share with you, our readers, the gift of some great recommendations in Western romance, and to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card so you can go out and buy them!

For a top five "must reads" list, I reached out to KIM ROCHA, who blogs and reviews books on her site, Book Obsessed Chicks as well as being a feature columnist on Romance at Random. She has a passion for romance, a soft-spot for Westerns and a love for great books.

So, take it away, Kim.

Thanks for inviting me to Get Lost in a Story, E.E.!

Many don't know that I am quite the recent romance reader. I used to strictly read horror before I finished school, and when I had my first child, my reading days were over. I sporadically read here and there, but didn't really get back into it until 2008. Even then I was only reading paranormal until I met Beth Williamson in 2011 and she sent me her novella, A Cowboy's Muse. My obsession with the West began. Sometimes trying to explain to other romance readers that Western romance isn't always about the cowboy can be frustrating, but when I can give them examples and sometimes they take my advice, it's a wonderful thing!

Trying to whittle my way into giving you my Top 5 is like asking which is your favorite child, but I will do my best! These are in no particular order by the way.

Check out this book on Amazon

Cowboy Take Me Away 
by Lorelei James

This last book in Lorelei James' Rough Rider series can also be a gateway to the series. This is how the McKay clan began with Mom and Dad McKay, Caroline and Carson. Cowboy Take Me Away is one of those books that makes you want to go back and read the entire series over again despite the fact that you may have a TBR pile a mile high. These rough and tumble McKay and West people are unique and engaging and Ms. James has given them a legacy for readers to devour.

Check out this book on Amazon
Train Station Bride by Holly Bush

Back in 2012 when I picked up Train Station Bride by Holly Bush, I didn't know what to expect from this new author to me. The original cover was a sepia tone photo of the inside of a train car, sort of nondescript, but as a photographer, I wanted to know more. This is one of the best stories I have ever had the pleasure to read. It takes a down-on-her-luck girl from the East and brings her out West in hopes of a better life as a mail-order bride. The whole "getting to know you" theme is so amazing and the story that Ms Bush brings to light is a lasting one. Train Station Bride has recently been re-released and is a must read, as are the rest of Holly Bush's books.

Three Weeks with a Bull Rider
by Cat Johnson

Author Cat Johnson has been thrilling readers for years with her hot cowboys and military men. In her Oklahoma Nights series Cat brings us a fresh new take on cowboys and some pretty amazing reads. Cat's third book in the series, Three Night's with a Bull Rider is my favorite in this series to date, and not only because it's got a pretty hot cowboy in it. Let's face it, what girl wouldn't want a handsome bull rider? Jace and Tara's story is striking because it takes two unlikely to be together characters and give them so much passion that cannot be denied. Cat Johnson's ability to make the pair who have such disdain for one another come to desire one another so deeply is what I love about this book and Ms, Johnson.

The Sweet Spot 
by Laura Drake

The Sweet Spot by Laura Drake hit me hard. It's right up there with my favorite Bertrice Small book and that is saying something. Ms. Drake takes a couple who were once in love, separates them with the ultimate tragedy for parents and then after a time rekindles that love. This book teems with so much emotion and hope that it has earned its permanent place on the top of my favorites list. Laura Drake is a brilliant writer, she engages the reader from the first line to the end.

Brody by Emma Lang

Beth Williamson writing as Emma Lang's Brody in the Circle Eight series is still my favorite because the character Brody himself is the epitome of my alpha hero.To date, I base all my opinions on alpha heroes on Brody. When I first began this series with the first book, Matthew, I knew Brody's book was going to be something else with the spitfire Olivia Graham and the dedicated Texas Ranger. Their quest brings danger as well as romance and it's another book not to be missed.

Meet Kim

Kimberly Rocha is the founder of Book Obsessed Chicks book blog. She lives on Long Island with her family who patiently moves out of the way on book club night.  They lend a hand for the Book Obsessed Chicks annual BBQ, bringing authors and readers together on Long Island, NY. Kimberly is also a talented photographer with an infectious laugh. She contributes the monthly “Western Roundup” column to the Romance at Random blog, works full time for www.MyAuthorBiz.com and www.MyBookCRAVE.com on the marketing team.

Here's where you can find Kim:
Blog: www.BookObsessedChicks.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Book-Obsessed-Chicks/163870460350960
Website: www.MyAuthorBiz.com http://myauthorbiz.com/info/index.php
Newsletter: www.MyBookCRAVE.com

E.E.: I love reading your reviews because you've got such a passion for this genre. How did you get started as a reviewer/blogger?

Kim: In the Summer of 2010 I went to my very first author event in Boston for Lara Adrian. When I left that weekend I was so inspired that went home and started the Book Obsessed Chicks blog with another reader and also started my book club of the same name, which now has 5 chapters. The reviewer part came naturally since growing up I loved to write and loved to give my opinion! Well I found out that I am not an author, but I do love to tell people about the books I enjoy. 

E.E.: What do you love most about Western romance?

Kim: What grabs me most about Western romance is the state of mind. I live in New York where things happen so fast, it's hard to slow down sometimes, but the kicking up my heels and reading a Western brings me to a place I'd really like to get to know. I love the cowboy/ranch culture and the differences between East and West.

E.E.: What will always make you smile, even on a bad day?

Kim: My Facebook friends are a constant source of smiles. Just from one post I can get a crowd of faithful followers to make me feel great. A great book will do that to me as well!

E.E.: Where do you read and how often?

Kim: I read everyday that I am home. When I am at a conference I can never concentrate, but there isn't one night at home, lying on my sofa, I don't have a book or my iPad in hand. I am also really OCD about finishing a book in a sitting. It doesn't matter if the birds are chirping and my eyes are burning when THE END appears, I have to get it done.

To celebrate my birthday, I'm giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, as well as autographed copies of three of my books. Just comment and enter the raffle.

We want to know your favorites. What Western historical or contemporary romance should be on our list of "must reads"?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Barbara Monajem confesses her love for the OXFORD Dictionary #historical #interview

Imagine: your second RWA conference and your first KOD Death by Chocolate event and you meet a nice lady sitting next to you, little knowing this person would be a friend since. 
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you 
Barbara Monajem!!!

Barbara Monajem is the award-winning author of the Bayou Gavotte paranormal mysteries, Sunrise in a Garden of Love & EvilTastes of Love & Evil, and Heart of Constantine, as well as several Regency novellas. Her latest novel, Lady of the Flames, is a Regency romantic suspense with magic. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

Lord Fenimore Trent’s uncanny affinity for knives and other sharp blades led to knife fights, duels, and murderous brawls. Five years ago, he faced a choice: marry Andromeda Gibbons, the woman he loved, or find a safe, peaceful use for his blades by opening a furniture shop—an unacceptable occupation for a man of noble birth. The choice made itself when Andromeda turned to another man. The furniture shop prospered, but now Fen’s partner has been accused of treason. In order to root out the real traitor, he may face another unpalatable choice—to resort to the violent use of his blades once again.

Once upon a time, Andromeda Gibbons believed in magic. That belief faded after her mother’s death and vanished completely when Lord Fenimore, the man she loved, spurned her. Five years later, Andromeda has molded herself into a perfect—and perfectly unhappy—lady. When she overhears her haughty betrothed, the Earl of Slough, plotting treason, she flees into the London night—to Fen, the one man she knows she can trust. But taking refuge with Fen may mean far more than getting help. 

Can Andromeda learn to believe in love, magic, 
and the real Andromeda once again?

Find an excerpt from Lady of the Flames at: Excerpt

Find Lady of the Flames at: Amazon   Barnes and Noble

And now for the Fun!!! QUESTIONS:

Vicki:  I’m a huge handbag girl. What is your favorite accessory? Barbara: Do socks count as an accessory? I adore socks – thick, thin, short, long, wildly colorful or purely practical. The only item on my bucket list is to become successful at knitting socks. Since I hardly ever get any time for knitting, I’m not sure I’ll ever succeed, so maybe this is just a way of staving off the inevitable…?
Vicki: Okay, you ca get by with the socks especially since you crafted them. I love warm wool socks (hint-hint)!

Vicki: How often do you get lost in a story?  Barbara: Every day! (Whether I’m reading or writing one.)

Vicki: What was the first story you remember writing? Barbara: I wrote one about apple tree gnomes in third grade. An embarrassing number of years later, I still put little magical creatures in my stories, even though they’re adult romances these days.
Vicki: That is so cute. 

Vicki: Be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroine’s role? Barbara: Yes, to some extent. Often I think, I would never have the guts to do that! or, What, is she crazy? Sometimes, I fall in love with the hero, but just as often, I think he’s a great guy for the heroine but wouldn’t do for me. 

Vicki: Is writing or story-telling easier for you? Barbara: Writing. I don’t enjoy talking. I have an occasional, unpredictable stammer, which makes talking sort of nerve-wracking and too much work.

Vicki: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up? Barbara: Retirement? LOL. Actually, I’m a total nerd about words—their origins and meanings and how they change over time—so I would love to work on the Oxford Dictionary. That was always my dream job.
Vicki: Wow, Barbara, that would be interesting.

Vicki: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book? Barbara: Jump eagerly into writing the next one.

Vicki: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why? Barbara: It depends on whether I could also be invisible if I chose, invulnerable to disease, and could beam myself back to the future anytime I liked. (I’m a wimp, so danger wouldn’t work for me.) Anyway, to answer the question, I’d like to see Anglo-Saxon England. This is due to reading lots of historical novels about that era. The ones that spring to mind are the Saxon Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell. Ancient Rome and Roman Britain would be great, too. Again, it’s because of books I’ve read: The Eagle of the Ninth and other stories by Rosemary Sutcliff, and the Marcus Didius Falco mysteries by Lindsey Davis.  Also, after reading The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (time travel to the mid-1300s) and The Vizard Mask by Diana Norman (17th Century), I would like to try either of those eras when the plague was raging. I know it sounds ghoulish, but for some weird reason it fascinates me. I’m pretty sure I would come home in a hurry because seeing the suffering and being unable to help would be so horrible. OK now, enough dark stuff for today…

Vicki: What do you do to unwind and relax? Barbara: Duh! I read, of course.

Vicki: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing? Barbara: Yes, I read them. If they’re complimentary, I’m happy. If they’re not, oh well. And sometimes I learn something helpful, so why not?

Vicki: What are the next five books on your ‘to be read’ pile? Barbara: The Soldier’s Dark Secret by Marguerite Kaye (Regency romance). Wicked My Love by Susanna Ives (Victorian romance). Why Kings Confess by C.S. Harris (Regency mystery). An Early Wake by Sheila Connolly (contemporary mystery--in Ireland). Night at the Vulcan by Ngaio Marsh (a reread of a mystery by one of the greats). There’s not one paranormal in the lot, so that’s what I’ll be looking for after that.

Vicki: What drew you to write in the genre(s) you do? Barbara: I enjoy romance, mystery, and magic (which can be anything paranormal). I love writing stories that combine all three. J

FIND Barbara Monajem at:

UP NEXT: It will be an anthology in the summer, but I don’t have a final cover yet. The title is Passionate Promises, and the authors are all from the Embracing Romance bloggers.

PREVIOUS RELEASES: The Christmas Knot, my Regency Gothic mystery romance novella (I admit, I really have a hard time sticking to one genre at a time), is in the boxed set, Captivated By His Kiss, which is still available for 99 cents (but not for much longer).

 A drawing would be good. I will give away a Regency novella duet (two related novellas) OR one of the Bayou Gavotte paranormal mysteries, winner’s choice. E-books only, Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Please leave your email address in the comments to be eligible. 

Thank you, Barbara, for being my guest today 
and many hugs!


E.E. Burke's Best of the West with Kathleen Rice Adams

I've got a new favorite for my BEST OF THE WEST collection. Prodigal Gun by Kathleen Rice Adams. This is more than a great love story, it's also a thrilling Western, beautifully written. This Texan knows her history, and she also knows how to spin an exciting, enthralling tale that will reel you in and hold you captive until the last page. 

Here's a blurb:
    Widowed rancher Jessie Caine buried her heart with the childhood sweetheart Yankees killed on a distant battlefield. Sixteen years later, as a Texas range war looms and hired guns arrive to pursue a wealthy carpetbagger’s agenda, Jessie discovers the only man she ever loved isn’t dead.
    At least not yet.
    Embittered by a brother’s betrayal, notorious gunman Calhoun is a dangerous man, come home to do an unsavory job. A bushwhacker’s bullet nearly takes his life on Jessie’s land, trapping him in a standoff between the past he tried to bury and the infamy he never will.           One taste of the only woman he ever loved puts more than his life and her ranch in the crossfire.
    With a price on his head, a debt to a wealthy employer around his neck, and a defiant woman tugging at his heart, Calhoun’s guns may not be enough to keep him from the grave.       
     Caught between his enemies and hers, Jessie faces an agonizing choice: Which of her dreams will die?


    She had barely cleared the jamb when an arm cinched her waist and yanked her backward into a wall of solid muscle. Her hat tumbled to the floor, and Jessie’s throat seized around an audible gasp.       A choked grunt escaped whoever held her as a leather-gloved palm clamped over her mouth.
    A bristly jaw scraped her temple. “Not a sound.” The stranger’s raspy whisper bore traces of whiskey and tobacco; they overrode the sweat and trail dust clinging to the rest of him. Another scent lay beneath—sharper, metallic. Blood?
    The rasp came again. “Lose the gun. Now.”
    Heart pounding a hole through her ribs, Jessie nodded. With slow, careful movements, she unbuckled her belt and lowered the Remington to the floor.
    The man relaxed his grip enough for her to squirm. When her elbow dug into his side, a breath hissed between his teeth and he turned her loose. Fool. She was no helpless waif or half-grown boy.
    Jessie whirled to face a broad expanse of chest; tipped back her head, then farther, seeking features within the shadows of a hat pulled low to hide the stranger’s eyes.
    He kicked the door shut and backed against the wall. With a halfhearted flick of his fingers, he knocked up the black hat’s wide brim…
    …and Jessie stared into the face of a ghost.
    Her heart skidded to a stop.
    “Hello, Jess.”
    That wasn’t the voice of a ghost. Deeper than she remembered, the whiskey-smooth tone rolled over her like fog.
    Her knees nearly buckled. Disbelief vaulted from her lungs in a single, incredulous breath. “Mason?”
    He didn’t answer—just watched her without a shred of emotion. How could he be so composed, so distant? Sixteen years, and he could manage only two words?
    She shut her mouth and returned his unflinching gaze. Deep grooves marked the outer corners of haunted eyes and echoed matching trenches between the dark slashes of his brows. A grayish cast infused the depths of weathered skin beneath days-old stubble and the wave of warm-molasses hair pasted to his forehead by a thin veneer of sweat.
    Her gaze inched down the tall, lean frame, scraping the sharp line of his jaw, shoulders wider than she remembered, and a deep chest that didn’t belong to the boy she had known. Her meandering stopped where one arm crossed his body and his hand disappeared inside the open front of a dusty range coat.
    Jessie’s gaze swept back to his face.
    Some brief sensation flirted with his angular features but never claimed them. Pain. He drew a ragged breath before he spoke again. “Where’s Will?”
    The voice sounded thinner this time, less sure, but her husband’s name darted through Jessie on a hot stab. Three years hadn’t dimmed her memories of an extraordinary man…or the guilt.
    And neither had sixteen. Mason.
    The longcase clock at the foot of the stairs ticked once for every three of Jessie’s heartbeats, but neither rhythm marked the passage of minutes as Mason matched her stare. Funny how time came to a standstill when truth intersected a lie. A monumental lie.
    The mantel clock chimed. Jessie jumped on the first note. By the eighth, she remembered how to speak. “You’re…dead.”

Here's where you pick up a copy:
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Meet Kathleen

     Descended from a long line of Texas ranchers, preachers, and teachers on one side and Kentucky horse thieves and moonshiners on the other, Kathleen Rice Adams had no choice but to become an outlaw. Maybe that's why in her stories, even the good guys wear black hats.
     For the past thirty years, she's stayed two steps ahead of a lynch mob as an award-winning journalist. She also has ghost-written or edited several nonfiction books. A Texan to the bone, she spends her days chasing news stories and her nights and weekends shooting it out with Wild West desperados. Leave the upstanding, law-abiding heroes to other folks. In Kathleen’s stories, even the good guys wear black hats.

Find her on the web at:
Group blogs:
           Petticoats and Pistols: http://petticoatsandpistols.com/
           Prairie Rose Publications: http://prairierosepublications.blogspot.com/
           Sweethearts of the West: http://sweetheartsofthewest.blogspot.com/
•           Western Fictioneers: http://westernfictioneers.blogspot.com/

E.E.: Why western historical romance? What drew you to this genre?
Kathleen: The Old West is unique to America, but that historical era has captured the imagination of people worldwide. In part, I think that’s because classic western tropes portray strong men and strong women forging something out of nothing in an inhospitable land. The environment is fertile ground for romance authors. Even before “romance” became a genre, western authors incorporated the notion that love drove people to commit extraordinary acts. Read anything by Zane Grey for evidence. There’s satisfaction in the knowledge that no matter how wild and wooly things get for the characters, love will triumph in the end.
Plus, I just adore hunky men with big…guns.

E.E.: How often to you get lost in a story?
Kathleen: As often as possible. My schedule’s a bit hectic with one full-time job, one part-time job, six group blog posts monthly, writing, and the occasional meal, bathroom break, and nap. When it’s time to relax, though, I read. My first choice is always western historical romance or traditional western, but I enjoy everything from cozy mysteries to epic sci-fi. About the only thing I don’t read is graphic horror.

E.E.: What’s the first book you remember reading?
Kathleen: Maybe The Cat in the Hat? I hated that stupid cat. Even as a kid, I thought he needed a good spanking. The first western I remember reading is Zane Grey’s Robbers’ Roost. I still love that story. In fact Latimer, Calhoun’s partner in Prodigal Gun, is a hat-tip to a character in Robbers’ Roost: Sparrowhawk Latimer. Is that the best outlaw name ever, or what?

E.E.: Who’s your favorite cartoon character?
Kathleen: Yosemite Sam. He’s adorably inept and prone to the most ineffectual temper tantrums. Plus, his mustache is kinda cute.

E.E.: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
Kathleen: Definitely action-adventure. I’m an armchair adrenaline junky. I have to admit, though, there are some really good fairytales out there. If you haven’t read William Goldman’s The Princess Bride, do so immediately—or watch the movie. Goldman also wrote the screenplay, and the result is one of those rare cinematic jewels that doesn’t disappoint people who encountered the story in print first.

E.E.: Is there a “Blooper” in your story (it may have been changed before printing)?
Kathleen: There was almost a huge one, but we got it fixed before publication, thank goodness. A hawk appears in the story’s very first sentence. The bird is symbolic. He appears a couple more times, and he was supposed to show up again at the end. I left him out at the end! My forehead still hurts. So here Cheryl Pierson (the editor) and I are at the 11th hour sneaking the hawk into where he was supposed to be without making a mess of everything else in the process. You have never seen such a flurry of convoluted emails in your life. Finally, we both threw up our hands in surrender: “That’s it. I’m done. It’s going to press the way it is no matter how embarrassing.” As God is my witness, I will never, ever, put a hawk in a story again.

E.E.: What is your hero’s “kryptonite” – in other words, what will bring him instantly to his knees?
Kathleen: Harm to his family. Mason, the hero in Prodigal Gun, has spent more than half his life denying he has a family. Once he gets within spitting distance of the home he swore he’d never return to, a couple of pieces of family-related news blindside Mr. Tough Guy and he cracks right down the middle. Fortunately Jessie, the heroine, is quick on the scene with a bottle of glue.

E.E.: What one thing about your hero drives his heroine crazy? And what one thing about your heroine drives her hero nuts?
Kathleen: Jessie is a risk-taker, and she’s pigheaded about the risks she takes. Mason spends the entire book worried she’s going to get herself killed. Somewhere around the middle of the story, I started wondering when he’d flip his Colts backward and put himself out of his misery. He’s also the king of mixed signals, leaving Jessie ready to throttle him. He refuses to be pinned down—about anything—but he gives her distinct impressions about where he wants their relationship to go…and then he runs in the opposite direction. All of that keeps her off-balance and frustrates her to no end. Maybe she should shoot him and put them both out of their misery.

E.E.: What will always make you smile, even on a bad day?
Kathleen: My four tiny overlords: Dog, Underdog, Mr. Ed, and Li’l Ol’ Biddy. Collectively they’re the Hole in the Web Gang, but individually they’re better known by their outlaw names: I Don’t Care, I Don’t Wanna, I Don’t Know, and I’m Not Putting Up with this Foolishness Any Longer. (She’s called Li’l Ol’ Biddy for a reason.)

Today, Kathleen is giving away 10 copies of her debut novel, Prodigal Gun, to ten lucky commenters. Enter the drawing and leave your answer to the question: 

Pick one kind of hero (no cheating and saying “both”): Outlaw or a lawman. Why?

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