Tuesday, December 19, 2017

SILENT THREAT -- 1st Chapter


Chapter One

An hour before his death, Mitch Moritz was in as good a mood as he’d ever been. He couldn’t wait to get home. The rehab center in Broslin, Pennsylvania, had been great, everything a recovering army vet needed, but he missed his wife and kids too much.

The weeks spent in rehab were worth it, sure. He’d come in a mess—nightmares, rage, depression, anxiety—and left feeling like a man again. Still, this was definitely the best part: zipping up his suitcase and leaving.

He picked up the remote to turn off the TV, then paused to let the bald little man on the screen finish his spiel. The weatherman was hopping and beaming, trying to sound super hyped about news that was anything but sensational.

“A tropical depression in the western Caribbean was just updated to Tropical Storm Rupert. We’re going to keep a close eye on that for you folks. You know how these things go. Anything could happen.”

Mitch flicked off the TV before the guy could spin a barely there storm into the meteorological end of the world.

He gazed around the room one last time, then pulled his suitcase out into the hallway.

“Hey, good luck!” The greeting came as he turned the corner.


The man walking toward him carried two cups of coffee and a pastry bag. He gave a rueful smile. “Can never resist loading up at the cafeteria.” He held out one of the cups to Mitch. “Here. Take it. I shouldn’t drink this much coffee anyway.”

“You sure?” Mitch had a long drive ahead of him, down I- 95, all the way to Florida. He hated flying. The two-day drive didn’t bother him. The weather was supposed to be clear all the way. He’d still be home for his daughter’s second birthday. “If you really don’t want it, I’d be happy to have it.”

“How about a couple of carrot muffins?” the man asked.

“My carrot muffin days are over.” Mitch grinned. He couldn’t wait to be back on his wife’s cooking.

Thirty minutes later, he was on the six-lane highway, crossing into Maryland as he finished the last of his coffee. The brew tasted off, but he’d drunk it anyway, even if he wasn’t a fan of artificial sweeteners.

His eyes blurred. He blinked. His vision cleared.

Fifteen minutes later, a flashback slammed into him. In the car one second, inside a burning tank the next. The hallucination came in full color, complete with the smell and pain of burning flesh. Mitch scrambled to escape, but before he could even unlatch the hatch, the tank exploded.

Then, nothing.

Then, a couple of seconds until Mitch realized he hadn’t been in an exploding tank. He’d hit a tractor trailer head on, on the highway. His bones were broken. His entire body was wet. Blood. People were yelling around him, but he couldn’t make sense of the words.

Five minutes later—long before the ambulance reached him—Mitch Moritz was dead.



Do not confront your stalker.

That sounded like a smart rule, the kind of advice the cops—or any sane person—would give.

Annie Murray pivoted on her heels in line inside the gas station and looked her stalker straight in the eyes.

“You can’t keep doing this, Joey.”

She didn’t mean to sound harsh. She didn’t think she did. But Joey Franco’s eyes widened with hurt to the size of portholes through which she could see all the way to where his heart bled.

“Twenty-two fifty,” said Mac from behind the counter. “Hey, Annie.”

Robbie MacMillan and Joey were buddies going way back, so Mac kept a studiously neutral expression, messing with the cash register and pretending he hadn’t heard Annie call Joey on his shit.

Annie swiped her credit card. Her gaze flicked to the TV on the wall behind Mac and the weatherman waxing poetic about a tropical storm named Rupert gaining strength and slowly moving toward the Greater Antilles.

Her transaction was approved. She signed the receipt. “Could I have the key to the bathroom, please?”

She didn’t look at Joey again as she walked out into the gray-skied September morning. He managed to bump into her nearly every day, always with those lost-puppy-dog eyes and that hurt expression. Look what you’ve done to me. And, of course, Annie specialized in lost puppies.

“Could we talk?” The question hooked into the back of her shirt as she was about to turn the corner.

She stopped at the mouth of the narrow alley. The ten-foot strip of concrete between the gas station and a windowless warehouse on the other side was a desiccated wasteland. They should clean up this place and put a couple of potted plants back here, she thought. And then: Shouldn’t have had that second cup of tea with breakfast. If she didn’t have to use the bathroom, she’d be out of there by now.

She needed to be out of there. She had a new patient today, a former navy SEAL.

Behind her, Joey stepped closer, his boots scuffing on the concrete.

“Please stop following me,” Annie said. “It’s making me uncomfortable.”

He had not been violent with her, but he had been violent with others—drunken brawls, mostly. Mostly started by his cousin, Big Jim, who could talk Joey into anything, but chose to talk him into only the immoral and illegal. Big guy, big talker, the oldest of the cousins, Big Jim always had the best stories and the worst ideas.

Actually, the whole family was pretty messy.

“I need to tell you something.” Joey kept coming. “I’m your man. You know I am. Meant to be.”

He was about five feet eleven inches, the beginnings of a beer belly giving him some girth, a country boy who wore Timberlands and Levi’s with a plaid shirt and a red Phillies baseball hat. He was like a puppy who hadn’t taken to training, then grown big and just wanted to do what he wanted.

“I can’t be late for work,” she said.

“You care more about your patients than you care about me.”

She had no intention of justifying herself. Again.

“Listen, when I came back to Broslin last year, I was in love with the idea of coming home. A return to childhood and innocence and a safe place, you know? You were my best friend back in elementary school. So you kind of represented all that for me. But that’s not enough for a romantic relationship.”

Misery drew grooves around Joey’s eyes, a whole set all at once, like drawing in sand with a garden rake. “Can I come over tonight?” He moved forward again, caught himself, stopped. “Just to talk.”

“No. I’m sorry. Goodbye, Joey.” Bathroom key in hand, Annie hurried into the alleyway.

When she finished in the bathroom and turned on the tap, she looked into the cracked mirror over the sink. “Joey is moving on. The new patient will commit to therapy and make amazing progress. I’m going to have a great day today.”

She’d already said her affirmations while combing her hair this morning, but repetition wouldn’t hurt.

She washed her hands, grabbed a paper towel, and kept it in hand as she reached for the doorknob.

OK, Joey, please don’t be waiting.

He wasn’t. But the man not two feet from the door, whirling around with a feral growl, was infinitely worse. Insanely huge. Wide shoulders. Corded muscles. Shaved head. Barbed wire tattoos above his ears.

The man’s skin was a shade or two darker than Annie’s, his nearly black gaze hard and merciless. He wore army boots and fatigues with an olive T-shirt that covered neither the scars nor the ink on his massive arms and neck.

His half-raised hand promised death.

All that took Annie a split second to register as her heart broke into a panicked rush to punch its way out of her chest.

“Don’t.” She braced for impact, the paper towel dropping from her fingers.

She was stuck in the narrow doorway, the door half-closed behind her. She couldn’t make any moves, her self-defense training useless. She had no room to maneuver.

But instead of letting the punch fly, the man stepped back, dropping his frying-pan-size hand. “You startled me.”

His rusty voice gave the impression of a hermit who rarely left his mountain hideaway. The look he gave her was in that vein too—a hard look from a hard man unused to human interaction. Maybe not a hermit, no, nothing that harmless. A bear. A grizzly coming out of hibernation: slow for now, considering, a lethal predator awakening.

Oh, for heaven’s sake. Get a grip.

He had some Pacific Islander heritage: wide jaw, flat nose. He was thirtyish. Not that much older than she. Just a man, not a homicidal maniac. This was Broslin, small-town Pennsylvania. They had maybe one murder a year, and this year’s box had already been checked. Broslin was nothing like the seriously dodgy Philly neighborhoods Annie had lived in during the past decade.

She drew a steadying breath. As the mad banging in her chest quieted, her gaze dropped to the massive hand the man had lowered—the skin battered and bloody, his knuckles busted.

He must be in pain was her first thought, the second being that he might not mean to kill her, but he had killed someone. Recently. With his size, if he’d pummeled anyone hard enough to cause that much damage to his own hand, the other guy had to be dead. Broslin’s murder rate just doubled.

Where was the victim? Her gaze darted to the deserted alley behind him on reflex.

The sky hung low, a heavy dark-gray—a metal coffin lid, trapping the world. The giant billboards that lined the top of the warehouse next door blocked what little light there was, leaving the alley a dim space.

No bodies—dead or alive.

Never mind. The most important question was, could Annie jump back into the single-stall bathroom fast enough to close the door in the killer’s face and lock herself in while she called the police?

As if the man could hear the panicked rush of blood in her veins, he took another step back. “Don’t be scared.” His tone dipped and grew another notch gruffer. “I’m leaving now. All right?”

He grunted with frustration and pulled his neck into his shoulders, hunching, hiding the bloody hand behind him, trying to appear less menacing. His downcast expression said he was used to people being afraid of him. He’d come to expect it.

Annie’s first impression of him had been that of a man who could take a person apart without breaking a sweat, and not be particularly bothered by it either. But he was bothered that he’d scared her.

He half turned to walk away.

“Wait,” she blurted.

Oh cripes. She hadn’t meant to say that. But when his dark eyebrows twitched with surprise, she continued, “You should clean that hand.”

She held the bathroom door open, the sink and paper towels behind her.

He didn’t move toward her, but he didn’t walk away either. He took her measure once again, more carefully this time, like a person who’d opened a box and found something other than what he’d expected.

She squirmed under his scrutiny. Should have let him walk away.

“Who did you fight with?” Again she had spoken without thinking. Thinking people didn’t chat up violent men in abandoned alleys and invite them to incriminate themselves.

A shadow passed over his broad face. Embarrassment? Unlikely. He didn’t seem like a guy who’d be easily embarrassed.

“I punched the bricks.” He jerked his shaved head toward the wall. “Got frustrated.”

“Ever tried meditation?” There she went with the blurting again.

Are you for real? his dark eyes asked. But he withdrew his damaged hand from behind his back, as if deciding that she could handle the sight after all. “I guess washing the blood off wouldn’t hurt.”

Oh God. Blood. Right. Now that she wasn’t in imminent fear for her life, the whole blood thing hit Annie full on the chin and knocked her back.

Don’t throw up. Don’t pass out. She kept her eyes on his face.

She stood aside as he went into the bathroom. She didn’t offer to help with cleaning his wounds. The sight of blood filled her with the acute need to run the other way.

She hurried over to her car and grabbed the first aid kit from the trunk. Running away did feel great. But then she made herself return to the bathroom with the red plastic box.

He had washed off the blood already—thank God—and was now dabbing his busted knuckles with a paper towel. He showed no sign of pain, as if he were made out of the same bricks he had punched earlier.

She stepped closer. “Let me see that.”

“It’s no big deal.” The way he pulled back said he was equally uncomfortable with their proximity.

She balanced the box on the edge of the sink and popped it open, then pulled out the miniscule brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide.

After a moment, the man held out his hand—twice the size of hers—knuckles up. She poured the peroxide, let it fizz, poured more. Then she picked up the first Band-Aid to begin covering up the worst of the damage.

For this, she had to touch him.

His chest was silent, as if he’d stopped breathing. Or maybe she couldn’t hear him because the blood was once again roaring in her ears—a normal response to being in that small space with an enormous man. Who, a minute ago, had been bleeding.

Don’t think about that.

She focused on how fast she could cover his injuries. “You know, there are less self-destructive ways to deal with frustration.”

When he didn’t so much as grunt in acknowledgment, she glanced up. Too big. Too close. Her throat constricted. Swallowing hurt.

The bathroom was tiny and airless. She needed air. But before she could scramble back out, he was past her and outside in a blur, without ever once touching her, which didn’t seem possible.

“Thanks.” That rough voice, a single word. Then he strode away, as fast as if he had a date with another brick wall and he was late.

She stared after him.

“Hey, what’s your name?”

His broad shoulders didn’t turn. He kept walking. Looked like he’d had enough of her.

Annie watched him for a few more seconds before she caught herself. She closed her first aid kit, then picked up the paper towel she’d dropped earlier. As she tossed it into the overflowing garbage can, along with the little white Band-Aid tabs, her fingers trembled.

She shook the tension out of her hands, then tucked the kit under her arm and hurried off to return the bathroom key to Mac inside the gas station.

Joey was nowhere in sight. Yet, as Annie slid behind the wheel, an uncomfortable sensation washed over her, an odd prickling she’d been feeling a lot lately. Had Joey stuck around? Was he watching her from somewhere? Was he developing an unhealthy obsession that she was mistaking for temporary disappointment?

Not a good mistake to make.

She would have to talk to Joey again. And she would have to be firmer next time. She would have to tell him that if he didn’t stop stalking her, she was going to get a restraining order.

First things first. She had to get to work and her new patient.

Annie Murray smiled into the morning. No matter what else was skidding off the rails in her life, her job was great. She loved every single aspect of it. She got to help people. She made a difference.

She pushed everything else out of her mind. Her day was full of possibilities, and she would make the best of them.

Annie looked into the rearview mirror and beamed. She infused her words with the power of belief. “I’m going to have a wonderful day.”

Keep reading...

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


I'm so excited about this new release!!! SILENT THREAT

I LOVE Cole and Annie ridiculously much. Cole is a former Navy SEAL, back from a disastrous black ops mission without his best friend, his hearing, or the use of his right arm.

He's definitely the lick my wounds in private type. When his ex–commanding officer assigns him to an undercover mission at a rehab center for vets in Broslin PA to discover who leaked sensitive military information to an enemy, Cole would rather be anywhere but there.

He hates the place even before he's given into the care of a peace-loving ecotherapist whose dream is to open an animal sanctuary out of her home. Cole and Annie have zero in common. He's determined that she's not going to turn him into a freaking tree-hugger. What the hell is 'ecotherapy' anyway?

Here is a quick excerpt for your viewing pleasure, Cole's first visit to Annie's little animal sanctuary that she runs out of her garage and back yard:

“What’s up with the llamas?” He turned so he could read her lips.

She blinked at him. “People moved and left them behind.”

“What was the worst you ever had?”

“A tarantula that lost a leg.” A delicate shiver ran through her. “I hate spiders.”

“Did you save it?”

A tragic look came over her face. “A goat ate him.”

A strangled laugh escaped him. “What happened to the goat?”


“Do you ever turn anything away?”

She rubbed the head of one of the baby skunks with the back of her crooked index finger. “Not anything, not ever.”

That people like her lived in the world scared Cole a little. Too soft-hearted, too easy to take advantage of, too vulnerable. Annie Murray needed a keeper. Not that he was volunteering.

He watched as she slid down into the hay, flat on her back, her head on the folded comforter. The orphaned skunks were all over her instantly, like love-smitten kittens, snuggled into every nook, a different baby tucked against every curve.

She closed her eyes, the picture of peaceful bliss.

Cole stood against a nearly irresistible pull to lie next to her and be part of the magic she was weaving.

He never thought he’d be jealous of a skunk, but he wanted to be tucked against her breast. She had generous breasts to go with her generous mouth. She was murmuring something to her little charges that he didn’t catch, a soft half-smile on her lips.

He wanted to sink into Annie Murray’s earth mother goodness, dissolve in her peace.

She was the most wholesome person he’d ever known.

He was the opposite, too damaged in too many ways. He was deaf, and his right arm might never fully function again. He had nightmares . . . He wouldn’t wish waking up next to him on his worst enemy. In his dreams, either he was killing someone, or someone was killing him.

He was a killer. He’d been a damn good sniper before his right arm had been rendered useless. Maybe as punishment for his sins.

He didn’t care about the arm. He didn’t care about his lost hearing. He would gladly give more, give anything, if it brought back Ryan, his spotter, his best friend.

Since Ryan and the others had died, screaming in pain, Cole hadn’t been the same.

So no, he could not have the peace Annie Murray was offering.

OK, so you know what comes next. Me begging to, please, help me get the news out about this book. Here is the Amazon link, if you're willing to copy and paste it over to your Facebook page: https://www.amazon.com/Silent-Threat-Mission-Recovery-Book-ebook/dp/B071VF6YV4/


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Brand New Book From a Friend

My fabulous friend Jenn Nixon has a new book out. Yay! MIND: The Reckoning ON SALE 10/25!

Fan Favorite, Baldwin Bates, finally gets his own story and HEA in book three MIND: The Reckoning. To celebrate the new release, books 1 & 2 are both on sale for the rest of the week! You can find all three books here: www.amazon.com/Jenn-Nixon/e/B002BLNBBQ MIND: The Beginning .99c, MIND: The Emergence $1.99

Baldwin Bates has only wanted one thing since joining MIND, to take care of his friends and keep them all safe. While the Meta-Alien Investigation and Neutralization Department is busy monitoring an emergence of human psychic and alien activity, Bates takes his first solo assignment searching for a woman who claims to see the future, only to botch it up and let her get away.

After helping to destroy an alien device called the Transcender, Lexa Quinn wakes from a two-week coma a very different person than she was before. While her abilities grow stronger, her feelings for Bates begin to interfere with the MIND team's mission, putting everyone at risk. Secrets from her past threaten the present and future, forcing Lexa to decide who she is and where she belongs.

When a powerful, ancient enemy lays claim to the Earth and brings his judgment upon the population, Bates, Lexa, and the entire MIND team must do whatever it takes to save the human race before the reckoning is complete.


As Bates bypassed the crafters and artists, the scent of Asian BBQ wafted through the air. He grumbled along with his stomach and hoped a few of them stuck around so he could pick something up on his way out.

"How’s it going?" Dina Ranger asked via his earcomm, jolting him.

"Shit! Forgot I had this bloody thing in," he replied, taking a breath and shutting his eyes for a second.

"Have to get used to it if you want to be in the field...alone."

"Unlike your brother, I need some me time, Sherlock." This time, he chuckled when he felt her brush his mind with calming thoughts. "How’s Lexa? Any change?"

"No, nothing. Never changes. I...just don’t get it."

"Me either," he said with a sigh, quickly putting it out of his mind to maintain his focus. "I just got to the park. I’ll check in before I leave."

"Okay. And whatever has you so hungry bring some back. Talk to ya."

Shaking his head, Bates waited for the static of the comm to fade before pushing farther into the park, eyeing the tables and tents, but mostly their occupants, searching for a face. Miss Takashi had a pretty face, although older now, since the photo from the collective Meta-alien Investigation and Neutralization Department database was almost one hundred years old.

When he neared the end of the first row of vendor tents, he took in the sight of the city across the river, and then found the second and final row of vendors left to search.

He politely declined several offers to purchase various items like candles and potholders, wondering why his ‘blah face’—a term his new friend Kim called his usual stern fa├žade—wasn’t working.

Toward the middle of the second row, Bates slowed, eyeing a colorful booth, shrouded in light purple curtains, and a sign that screamed for attention. When a face-painted toddler, followed by a frantic parent, came running out of the booth, he barely sidestepped out of the way. The parent offered Bates a weary shrug. He nodded politely and carried onward, finally seeing a sign for "Madam Takashi" two booths down.

Author Bio: Jenn Nixon’s love of writing started the year she received her first diary and Nancy Drew novel. Throughout her teenage years, she kept a diary of her personal thoughts and feelings but graduated from Nancy Drew to other mystery suspense novels.

Jenn often adds a thriller and suspense element to anything she writes be it Romance, Science Fiction, or Fantasy. When not writing, she spends her time reading, observing pop culture, playing with her two dogs, and working on various charitable projects in her home state of New Jersey.

Website: www.jennnixon.com
Facebook: facebook.com/JennNixonAuthor
Blog: www.jennafern.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jennnixon
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jenn-Nixon/e/B002BLNBBQ/

Sunday, October 2, 2016

9 Days to New Release...I'm growing gray hairs as we speak

I can't tell you how much I LOVE my new book GIRL IN THE WATER. And I'm holding my breath until I hear back from readers. There are books that I struggle over, wrestle with each decision, write a chapter then delete a chapter. The book I'm working on now, the third installment of the Hardstorm Saga is like that. GIRL IN THE WATER wasn't.

About three years ago, sitting on Rehoboth Beach in Delaware with my sister, I had the first chapter of a book pop into my head--a young woman in dire straits in the Amazon rain forest. I wrote it down--authors never go anywhere without a notebook, not even the beach--then read it out loud on the spot to my sister who loved it as much as I did. (Getting funny looks from people sunbathing around us.) And then...NOTHING. I LOVED Daniela. I LOVED the setting. I knew she had a wonderful, epic adventure that I must tell, but I didn't know what it was. My muse sent me one chapter that I was completely in love with, and then not one more word. So I moved on to other stories.

Then three years go by, I'm up with insomnia one night, and the rest of GIRL IN THE WATER comes to me at around three in the morning. The whole book. I started typing and had the first draft in about six days. I was too afraid of stopping and losing the flow.

This book was not in my schedule for 2016, but I couldn’t turn away from Daniela and Ian. I don’t think I’ve ever written a more mismatched couple, with more scars, more in need of redemption, who somehow, against all odds, are perfect for each other.

I might have written the first draft in six days, but then I spent another four month editing, going through every sentence, every word, to make sure I got it right. I hope I did. Please let me know what you think, once you read it.


P.S.: For my new giveaway, click on the CONTEST tab at www.DanaMarton.com

Monday, September 26, 2016

30% OFF Brand New Release VIP Invitation

You know how you always say, I never listen? (Oh, wait, that’s my husband. Never mind.) I do listen!!! I swear.

I used to release books at full price, then once they got older, I’d put them on sale. Until a reader friend pointed out that it’s not entirely fair to loyal readers who buy each book on release day.

When you’re right, you’re right.

I used that pricing strategy because that’s how traditional publishers have always done it. And, OK, because, God bless you, by buying my books at full price, you made it possible for me to be a writer. And SAVED MY LIFE. (Prior to this, I worked in a high-pressure industry. At one of the companies, the last year I worked there, the whole year, my stomach was bleeding from stress. I was 27.) So you bought each new book and that paid the bills, and later I could afford to put the book on sale to entice readers who’ve never heard of me, to give my stories a try.

BUT you are absolutely right! You’re fabulous beyond words and love my stories enough to grab the books as soon as they’re out. That should be rewarded with more than my undying love and gratitude!

SO I’m turning things around. (You might have noticed this with Agents Under Fire that was on sale for the entire release week recently.) With GIRL IN THE WATER, the sale starts now. 30% OFF.

I love this story so much. The heroine, Daniela, is a modern day Tera. (For those who’ve read Hardstorm Saga.) This book was not in my schedule, but once Daniela and Ian popped into my head, I couldn’t turn away. I had to know what happened to them. I don’t think I’ve ever written a more mismatched couple, with more scars, more in need of redemption, who somehow, against all odds, are perfect for each other.

Grab this 400 pg epic romantic adventure 30% OFF right now: https://danamarton.com/girl-in-the-water


A couple of boats had been dragged up on the flat of the riverbank. Nobody around. Ian sat in the shade of the largest boat and pretended to be watching the barges and tugboats going past him.

He stole a glance at the house, hoping to spot Finch. Nothing there, but something rising out of the water maybe thirty feet from him caught his attention.

At first, he thought it might be a caiman—South America’s version of an alligator. Caimans were native to the area, although, he had no idea if they lived in this part of this particular river.

But instead, out of the river, rose a young woman.

She seemed to be struggling with…an anaconda?

When the shiny black, long body wrapped around hers, Ian moved, ready to dive into the water to help her, but she had the upper hand and dragged the wriggling beast toward shore with a triumphant smile, and he could see that she had a giant eel.

He couldn’t take his eyes off the thing. The eel stretched as long as the woman was tall, over five feet. They wrestled in the mud, the scene stunningly primal and elemental.

She had a piece of rag tied around her small breasts, and another around her slim waist, covering only the private parts of her body. She was the most stunning sight he’d ever seen, long dark hair streaming down in wet rivulets. A goddess risen.

A goddess in mortal struggle.

His western sensibilities pushed him to run and help, but the woman and the eel and their battle seemed somehow the spirit of the Amazon itself, and he felt like an interloper. He felt that he couldn’t take the woman’s triumph away from her.

And she did win, dragging the eel to shore, grabbing a rock the next second and smashing the eel’s head. The eel was still squirming when, with the same, sharp-edged rock, she gutted the thing, dumping the insides back into the river. She was not a peaceful goddess.

She washed the eel efficiently, then picked up the carcass and carried it, staggering under the weight, up the tall, steep bank, and in through the back door of the house Ian had been watching.

Ian’s chin might have dropped a little. Or a lot. In fact, he felt as if his chin just hit his lap.

Who on earth was she?

30% OFF for a very limited time: https://danamarton.com/girl-in-the-water

Saturday, August 6, 2016

A Writer's Life...

AGENTS UNDER FIRE is out! 2nd, expanded edition. How expanded? Double the page count (about 450 pgs),with a brand new, bonus short story.

I came up with the idea for these books five years ago and submitted to my publisher, but my publisher passed on the proposal. How sad was I? As sad as Toby was when I tried to decorate him as a Christmas tree, one year.

The trouble is, by the time I work up a book proposal, I tend to fall in love with the characters. So I decided I wanted to tell their story anyway. Maybe somebody out there would like these guys as much as I do. I still had a bunch of other books on contract, however. So I had to squeeze in writing these stories between deadlines, and ended up with three 100 page novellas, all I could manage at the time.

Then you, my amazing friends, read the stories and loved Gabe, Jake and Troy. So that was pretty cool. I felt as cool as when Toby plays secret agent.

The only complaint I ever received was that the stories were too short. And I thought, someday...

Eventually, I moved to another publisher. They published FORCED DISAPPEARANCE. Then I wrote FLASH FIRE, and they didn’t want it. How did I feel? About the same as when Toby had his first flea bath. I’m pretty sure I had that How could you do this to me? look in my eyes.

But I managed to self-publish the book.

Then I wrote GIRL IN THE WATER, and, well... No contract. I considered just hiding under the couch.

But, instead, I’m self-publishing that book soon. Of course, now I have a series where I don’t control the 1st book. And all the promo for a series is done on the 1st book. 99c sale, free book, etc. When someone tries a new series, they want to start with book #1. I have a mess on my hands.

So I had a brilliant idea.

I’d rewrite Agents Under Fire as a prequel to the Civilian Personnel Recovery series. Agents Under Fire wasn’t part of my Broslin Creek series, or my Civilian Personnel Recovery series, or my Hardstorm Saga series. So it never benefited from any promo I’ve done. Which meant, only a handful of people read it. Linking it to Civilian Personnel Recovery solved a lot of problems.

1. The rewrite gave me a chance to make the stories longer. (I ended up doubling the page count.)
2. Now they’d be included in any Civilian Personnel Recovery promo and readers would be able to find these stories.
3. I own the rights to this prequel, this is now the 1st item in this series, and I can control any special promo I do for it.

I swear, figuring all this out has twisted my brain into a pretzel. LOL But I think it’ll work out well.

My only worry is that some readers might think this new edition is an attempt on my part to scam extra money out of people.
So I put the set at $2.99, half price for release week. I thought about putting it up for free, but I’d love to recoup my editing costs, etc.

HOWEVER... If you’ve bought this book before and feel that this is unfair, I completely understand. Believe me, I agonized over this issue the whole time I was updating this box set.

With each new book, I give out a handful of free review copies. However, for Agents Under Fire, if you send me a note and say, I already bought this set when it first came out, I shouldn’t have to buy it again...I will say, “Fair enough,” and send you a free review copy.

Because as important as my characters and my books are to me, it’s nothing compared to how much I love my readers. I treasure the responses I get to my newsletters. We chat daily in my Facebook Book Club, meet at book signings. You guys make my day, every single day. So please don’t hesitate even for a second to let me know if you don’t like something I’m writing or doing. We will find a solution.

Love you all,

Yes, that’s me, playing airplane with Toby’s ears and making engine noises. He’s a very patient dog.

Disclaimer: No animals have been harmed in the making of this blog entry.

P.S.: The moral of the story is this:

Agents Under Fire, my entire Broslin Creek series, my Hardstorm Saga series, Flash Fire, Girl in the Water...all stories publishers didn't want. These books were only published because YOU support indie authors. Because you don't just go to pirate sites, don't just download free or 99c books. Because you take a chance on me with every single book. Because you share my FB posts and leave online reviews. THANK YOU!!!

Updated with BUY LINK.

Friday, July 29, 2016

If you like Kate Spade...Last Chance to Enter


(Hey, just because I sit around all day in yoga pants, writing, it doesn't mean I don't know style!)

Enter HERE to win these fabulous British phone booth bookends, a Kate Spade pencil bag with goodies inside, and a signed copy of FLASH FIRE, my 2016 RITA Award winner novel. Super easy one click entry. No hoops to jump through. GOOD LUCK!!!

Raffle ends on August 1st, 2016.