Is that a gun in his pocket or…?
Jamie Fields can hardly refuse a free vacation. Jobless and broke, the struggling single gal is in need of serious stress relief. Sure, the set up is suspicious—no one gives away a trip to exotic Cuba—complete with 50,000 dollars cash—just for delivering a package. But once Jamie’s enjoying sunny beach days and exhilarating tropical nights, she’s too happy to care. Especially when she finds herself hotly pursued by a sexy stranger…
The McCoy empire is under siege, and Sam Hayes has been tapped to take care of the culprit. Sam knows better than to get involved with his target, but there’s something about Jamie that keeps him from simply finishing the job and moving on. Maybe the hard-bodied hitman just can’t wrap his mind around the fact that the first woman to set his soul on fire is a common criminal. The only thing Sam can do is keep her close. An easy enough task—if Sam doesn’t do something stupid. Like fall in love with the bombshell he was sent to kill….
"Humorous and explosive...a thrilling and exciting tale."
~RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
It's another day for a new book, ladies and gents! Introducing Never Give You Up, book 2 in the McCoy's Boys Series...
A life of crime—or a lifetime of love?
Mary Billings knows her solitary mountain life is over when a handsome stranger blows on to her land in an unmarked chopper. Terry McCoy is not only dangerous to the pretty widow’s shattered senses, he’s a hardened criminal no woman in her right mind would fall for. Yet there’s something tender about Terry—something that makes her surrender to his searing touch. Now Mary is in deep—deep enough to be taken hostage by a villain whose true target is Terry…
The son of a notorious crime boss, Terry is about to take over his murdered father’s multi-million dollar empire. But first there’s the little matter of avenging his father’s death—and rescuing the one woman he knows could turn his hard-bitten life around. Terry never wanted a life of crime, but suddenly he’s ready to do just about anything to bring Mary back…
They walked in silence along the path, surrounded by the relaxing swish of branches in the breeze. Nothing compared to the natural beauty of her property. Trees pushing sixty feet or more, some with trunks the width of a vehicle. The trickle of water from the river a constant and relaxing sound. The ever-present mountain tips above the treetops. It never failed to amaze her how insignificant she was in this endless highway of nature.
“If we catch anything, will it be on the dinner menu tonight?”
“Sure, if you’d like.”
His relieved sigh made her chuckle. “Thank God. I was beginning to think I’d have to shoot a squirrel or something.”
Mary paused on the path and turned to face him. “I’m not a complete hick you know. Mima might enjoy frontier living, but not me. I actually own an electric coffee pot, and I blow-dry my hair.”
Terry nodded, his lip curling in amusement. “Good to know.”
She stepped off the path and parted the brush. “Watch you don’t get your rod caught in here. It’s a little tricky.”
“Want to hold it for me?”
The insinuation in his voice was unmistakable. “I’m talking about your fishing rod—not your dick.” Her eyes widened when she realized how terrible that sounded coming from her own mouth.
Terry’s rumble of laughter made her cheeks burn. “My, my, you have a dirty mind, Mary. I wasn’t even talking about that.”
Completely embarrassed, Mary stepped through the brush first and let the branches whip behind her, right in his face. She ignored his curse and his loud fight to get through the brush without getting his rod stuck, and made her way to the river’s edge. She’d just set down her tackle box when Terry burst through the trees, violently yanking his pole out of the twisted branches.
“Why don’t you trim the brush there?” Terry threw his gear onto the rocks and panted for air. “Jesus Christ, I might need plastic surgery on my face now.”
Mary’s shoulders shook from laughing. The crumpled mess of his hat barely clung to his head. He looked so cute and out of his element that her smile faltered as she stared at him, realizing this was the first time she’d seen him look vulnerable.
He wanted to come here. The city boy criminal wanted to be here—with her.
She opened her tackle box and found the perfect jig. “This is my private spot, Terry. I don’t want anyone finding it.”
He shook his head and stood straight, stretching out his back. “I don’t think that’ll ever be a problem. A Smurf can barely fit through it.”
Mary turned around and glared at him. “Are you teasing me about my height?”
He cleared his throat and set out to find a spot to fish from. “Of course not.” Yet his voice spilled with suppressed laughter.
For a long while they were completely silent, enjoying the trickle of the water, the swish and sway of branches in the breeze, the musical chatter of the birds. Every once in a while Mary would glance at him without making it obvious, and stifle a smile over his struggles. But he managed to get a decent cast out into the river and after a while he seemed to be really enjoying himself. Mary imagined he didn’t get much joy in life. How could anyone who lived on the wrong side of the law?
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I’ve had a wild imagination since I can remember. When other people are having casual conversations, I’m imagining a high speed chase down a dirt road, bullets flying, followed by a torrid bang on the back seat. I’m actually visualizing this in great detail while company sits with me. They’re probably wondering why I have such an intent yet blank stare, or why I have a silly grin on my face.
I promise I’m not crazy, well, maybe a little. I have a serious case of overactive imagination. I put that to good use when I signed my first publishing contract over ten years ago. I’ve written under several pseudonyms since then. It’s been a wild ride, and while there are times I want to throw in the towel like a frayed lunatic, it’s just not in me to give up. I always do the best I can—no matter what.
My high is reaction from people during conversations when I’m actually paying attention. Facial expressions amuse me. When some men discover what I do for a meager living they call it porn and have an expression of rapt enthusiasm, probably imagining all hot sex and no plot. Women tend to have the same expression, but imagining a true love story with a handsome hero who takes care of his woman in every way, with a beautiful setting and a wonderful adventure. They want eye-popping sex too, but with a story attached to it. Love and lust make this world go ‘round after all. I’m here for that. I’ve got your back. I try to please everyone on paper, and if I can’t, I still keep going anyway. I’m stubborn that way.
The low part of writing is when I stare blankly at the screen without a word in mind, except maybe a curse. That really sucks, especially when I have deadlines. But that’s part of this crazy life I chose, and I did choose it. My other half reminds me of that all the time. I love him, but sometimes I want to torture him in a book. Just sayin’.
I can't wait for this guy to break out in June. Writing NEVER GIVE YOU UP sucked a lot of life out of me, but now, as edits near completion, I'm thrilled with the results. I hope you will be too. Woohoo! :-)
Hello ladies and gents! I hope you had a healthy and prosperous 2015, and look forward to an even better 2016!
I'd like to start my new year blog with a special treat. Kensington Books is offering Beautiful Criminal for $0.99 until the end of January! Grab a copy today while the sale is on. ;-)
In addition to this fabulous news, my wonderful editor Jenn and I are working on edits for Never Give You Up, the second instalment in the McCoy's Boys series. Keep your eyes peeled on June 7 when it hits the shelves!
Until next time... Have a wonderful New Year! :-)
Here he is, ladies and gents. Beautiful Criminal is out!
Long days, precious nights…
Mima Etu lives a quiet life with her sled dogs in the stunning Canadian Rockies. But that all changes when she stumbles upon a plane crash while out on a supply run. She’s shocked to discover the pilot is still alive—though barely. With the sun setting and the temperatures quickly dropping, Mima knows he’d never survive the trip to the nearest hospital. So she takes the stranger back to her cabin. As he heals, his vague answers to Mima’s questions about the flight tell her he has secrets. But more disturbing is the consuming, immediate attraction she senses between them.
Before he lost control of his Cessna and plunged into a pilot’s hell, Gabriel Miller was on a deadly mission with precious cargo. Now he’s awakened in the comfort of a log cabin with a gorgeous woman tending to his every need. Her soft-spoken beauty sparks his longing for a different kind of life….and it isn’t long before they surrender to a blazing passion. But their blissful days are numbered. For the owners of the cargo are bent on finding Gabriel—and once they do, they don’t intend to leave any witnesses behind.
Gabe guided his Cessna 172 Skyhawk as low as he dared over Athabasca River, headed toward Victoria, British Columbia. His boss, Colton McCoy wanted the merchandise delivered by early evening, and time was running short. Due to thick clouds and wind gusts, he’d set off from the private airport near Edmonton two hours later than scheduled, and now, as ice fog overtook the windshield, he wished the flight was canceled all together. Every muscle in his body was as tight as a drawn elastic trying to keep the damn plane level. Most pilots worth their salt knew the Great White North had a mind of its own and the weather could change from pretty to shitty in a second.
Tired of this shit was an understatement. He’d put his life on the line for McCoy too many times. He’d broken necks and busted wallets for the old man. Delivered drugs to every corner of this godforsaken earth. Took a bullet one too many times. And he was dead tired of it all. But this was his job and Gabe owed Colton his life.
An uneasy feeling festered in his gut, a warning this trip would end up worse than the last, but turning back now wasn’t an option. The cargo secured in back needed to be delivered without delay, no matter how insane the weather turned, and there was no landing strip for a good hundred miles in any direction. Which basically meant Gabe was an idiot for accepting this job—not that he had a choice.
The landscape ahead looked gray and white—the only visual cues to height and distance was the river below the mountain peaks. Flying at this low altitude was borderline suicidal, but getting caught on radar would put Gabe behind bars. He’d rather take a crazy chance than wear the orange jump suit. He’d rather die than be locked in a cell that would remind him of that cage his partner had rescued him from five years ago.
The nightmares still plagued him.
Gabe squinted to concentrate on the flight path ahead as snow hit the windshield, creating the illusion of a time-warp tunnel.
Flying flowed in his veins. His grandfather and father were distinguished pilots in their own right—Grandpa a fighter pilot in the Second World War, and his father one of the best bush pilots in northern Canada. Neither of them would be proud of what Gabe did for a living, but this was what he did best. He was up in the sky before he could walk and he loved the freedom of being up the air.
“Always fly the plane…never let it fly you,” his father always said. Those words had kept Gabe alive on more than one occasion when a flight got out of control.
He chuckled, recalling his last trip to Columbia and the ruckus ditch they’d called a landing strip. The Skyhawk came down on one wheel and skidded across the muddy runway, stopped only by a tree stump in the ground that barely prevented him from going over the hillside cliffs.
Now, as he flew low over the Canadian Rockies, Gabe realized this flight would have been a dangerous mission at any time, never mind during midwinter when his chances of surviving a crash were practically zero. But he lived for reckless adventure, always abiding Colton’s demands. Over the years, the more dangerous the job, the more excited he was to take it on.
But as the gray hairs kept growing, and his body continued aching, he wondered if there was more to life than this. More than risking his hide at every turn and living a solitary existence. More than busting his ass for Colton McCoy and his empire. The reckless need for speed and danger had already begun to lessen in his early thirties. If he could get away with it, this would be the last mission. It was high time he put up his feet and enjoyed the money he’d fought hard to earn.
A shift in turbulence made the plane jolt so hard Gabe collided against the dash.
He gripped the throttle, keeping the nose level as the engine surged with a loud roar, then eased to a low rumble. Gabe looked down at the instrument panel and blew out a curse when the needles spun out of control.
“Don’t do this to me now, baby. Come on,” he urged, patting the dash with one hand and pulling the throttle back slightly with the other. The Skyhawk was his baby. They’d been through hell and back on missions some might consider suicidal.
Chinook winds battered the plane, tossing the aircraft around like a dry leaf.
Every time he shifted the throttle another gust tossed him in the wrong direction. Left with little choice as the engine sputtered and lost momentum, Gabe opened the side window to view the landscape below. The river twisted like a snake beneath him, and on each side the towering Rockies left no room for a safe landing.
Strong winds blew snow off the mountains, creating tails of white through the sky, making it impossible to see exactly where the mountain ridges started or ended.
The engine sputtered again before the props stilled. Nothing but the sound of the wind howled through the cockpit.
Gabe held the throttle in a pointless death grip. The Cessna was now in the hands of the shifting Canadian winds. There was no time to pray, even for a man who didn’t believe in God, and he could not radio “Mayday” and risk the authorities finding him. His life and the cargo were now at the mercy of the wild.
He caught a brief glimpse of snow-covered mountains ahead, before the plane took a nosedive into the white depths below.