Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Flashback Fifteenth...

TREY (Red Hot & Blue) Cat Johnson

There's "Throwback Thursday" on Facebook, so I decided why not have a "Flashback Fifteenth" here today and revisit one of my first ever military romance releases!

It was TREY, Book 1 in the Red, Hot & Blue series, the one that launched the series twelve books and many years ago, but I still love that story.

The Red Hot & Blue series has finished but I've got some news, I'm launching a new romantic suspense series this July.

Want all the news on the new series and on any new releases or sales? Sign up for email alerts at bit.do/CatsNews.

Red Hot & Blue, Book 1

They can’t deny the heat—it’s the only thing keeping them alive.

A distracted soldier is a dead solder. That’s special operative Trey Williams’ motto. The last thing he needs in his life is a girlfriend. Problem is, the woman who’s been recruited to pose as his wife on a special assignment is proving to be exactly the kind of distraction he can’t afford.

Years ago, Carly McAfee turned her back not only on her military career, but the men who come with it. So why did she say yes to a mission that puts her in intimate contact with Trey, under 24/7 surveillance by both bad guys and good? One slip, and they’re both dead. It’s not long, though, before her body betrays her, followed closely by her heart.

With a terrorist arms deal going down and missing teammate’s life on the line, Carly and Trey must throw caution to the wind in the scorching-hot performance of their lives—and try not to lose their hearts and minds in the process.

Warning: Contains bad men with big guns and video cameras, and an unmarried couple who need to get naked and get busy acting very married to save both their country and their lives.

An excerpt from Trey

“Hey, darlin’. Why don’t you give in and go out with me? Give up all this cat and mouse. Games are fun and all, but I know we could have a lot more fun together.”

Would Jack ever stop trying? His resilience never ceased to amaze Trey.

“Okay. I’ll go out with you.” She walked over to them and leaned right up against the bar, her well-rounded breasts pushing the boundaries of the neckline of her tight T-shirt. “On one condition.”

Trey had never seen Jack so flustered before in all the time he’d known him. Jack had been asking this woman out for years now and this was as close as he’d ever come to an actual yes.

Jack swallowed hard and finally wrestled his eyes up from her chest. “W-what’s that, darlin’?”

“What’s my name?” She slapped each palm flat on the bar and waited for the answer.

Jack’s mouth opened, but no sound came out. Trey paused a moment himself. She had a point. They’d been coming here a good two years now and she’d served them most times, but he’d be damned if he knew her name.

She smiled and shook her head. “Didn’t think so.” She walked away as the waitress returned to give her the cash for the drinks. Trey watched her glance at them in the reflection of the mirror behind the bar as she opened the register and made change.

“Why didn’t you remember her name?” Jack backhanded Trey’s leg. “Dang it. I was as happy as a puppy with two peters when she said she’d go out with me. I nearly shit my pants. Then she comes up with some stupid question. I didn’t think there’d be a test first.”

As Jack scowled, Trey shook his head. “It wasn’t a stupid question. She’s right. We should know after all this time. Besides the team, we probably spend more hours here with her than with anyone else in our lives and we don’t even know her name.”

Jack frowned and broke his gaze away from watching the nameless bartender. Staring right at Trey now, Jack cocked his head to one side. “What is all this tonight? First it’s ‘Don’t bother her, she’s busy’. Now it’s ‘She’s right, we should know her name’. You better not be snooping around her. Teammates don’t steal each other’s women. It’s in the code.”

Trey rolled his eyes and let out a short laugh. “First of all, I’m not snooping around, as you put it. Second, if she’s your woman, learn her damn name.”

Jack banged his bottle onto the bar. “I will.” He glanced around until his attention landed on the waitress. “Baby cakes, sashay your sweet self on over here.”

The willing waitress arrived immediately after his summons in a cloud of perfume mixed with grape gum. She had on so much makeup her eyelashes stuck together when she tried to bat them at Jack. “Hey, boys. I don’t get to hang with you two usually. You’re always sitting at the bar instead of at my tables. What can I do for you?”

Jack fielded that question while Trey took another swig of beer. He noticed that while he and Jack had been arguing the bartender had left briefly. She returned now with a rack of clean stemmed glasses. Hoisting the unwieldy item onto the bar with a clang, she started to hang the glasses one by one upside-down above the bar.

Glancing at Jack as he flirted with the waitress, she raised a brow. “Moved on already, has he? I’m heartbroken.”

Trey laughed. He considered telling her Jack was sweet talking the waitress in an attempt to find out her name. Instead, without even knowing why he did it, he extended his arm to her. “I’m Trey Williams.”

She looked down at his offered hand and then back to his face. After a moment, she wiped her fingers on a bar rag and took his in a firm, strong grasp. “Carly McAfee.”

He smiled and repeated it. “Carly.”

“Yeah, short for Charlene. Thank God my parents realized I wasn’t a Charlene pretty early on and gave me the nickname.”

“What’s wrong with the name Charlene?”

She glanced at the miniskirt-wearing waitress still talking with Jack. “I’d have to look like her to pull off a name like Charlene.” She shook her head. “No, I’m definitely a Carly.”

Trey took in her straight brown hair pulled into a ponytail to fully expose a pretty, fresh face. If she wore makeup at all, it didn’t scream to be noticed. Her girl-next-door looks sat just fine with him. The centerfold-worthy, shapely jean-clad hips, small waist and even shapelier T-shirt-covered breasts didn’t hurt either.

She was a strange cocktail of simplicity mixed with attitude, shaken with killer good looks. More importantly, he could tell there was a brain in that pretty head of hers.

Jack, leaning forward, interrupted Trey’s reverie regarding Carly’s assets. “Hey, darlin’. I want another chance at this date. Come over here and ask me your question again.”

She rolled her eyes and walked to stand in front Jack. “I’ll give you one more chance, but the question has changed.”

“Lay it on me, sweet cheeks.” Jack grinned wide.

Looking overly confident, Jack leaned back on the barstool and waited for the question. He must have gleaned quite a bit of information from his discussion with the waitress.

Carly covered her eyes with one hand. “What color are my eyes?”

Jack, who never used bad language in mixed company, silently mouthed a vile curse before venturing an obviously blind guess. “Uh, brown?”

“Wrong.” She turned, opened the beer cooler and began checking her stock of cold bottles.

Scowling, Jack cursed again quietly. “Watch my beer, will ya’? I’ve gotta go take a leak.”

Trey nodded and Jack disappeared into the bathroom.

Eyes still on Carly’s back, he whispered, “They’re green.”

She spun, those beautiful jade-colored eyes open wide and staring straight at him.

Damn, she had good ears. He’d have to remember that in the future.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Guest Post with KaLyn Cooper: Suits and Sunglasses (aka the FBI) Arrive at My Door…Again

If you’ve never had the FBI ring your doorbell, thank your lucky stars. I’ve met with them several times while being investigated and now I worry that they are going to seize my computer and flash drives, based on my Internet search history.
Yes, I have reason to worry. While writing Explosive Combination, I was researching explosives (you could have guessed that one, huh) and downloading maps of Colombia for that book. At the same time I was trying to find the best way to blow up a Cessna jet for a different book. I also had SEAL websites open and was trying to determine the ten largest cities in the U.S.A. (Getting the picture here?)
I’m sure my name pinged somewhere in the bowels of the J. Edgar Hoover Building in D.C. and they pulled up my real name and thick file. When the lowly tech looked at it, he probably laughed, counted the number of guns I own, shook his head and refiled it so he could go find a real bad guy. At least I hope that’s what happened.
Before I continue, I need to tell you a little about myself. I went to college intending to be a Navy public affairs officer upon graduation so I was in NROTC. That’s when I met my first FBI agent up close and personal. To become a military officer, you must be investigated and vetted. All I remember about that encounter was how scared I was as a seventeen-year-old from a tiny town in upstate New York and how I hoped my four, vindictive brothers wouldn’t say anything to jeopardize my chances for the secret clearance I needed.
Four years later, I was a lot smarter. The Navy had cancelled my contract as part of the post-Vietnam drawdown, I was engaged to Macho Marine and they were investigating him, not me. I smiled sweetly and answered all the agent’s questions while trying desperately not to drool. He was freaking hot. He had a face that belonged on magazine covers and a body sculpted by hours in the gym. To top it off, he was a nice guy and only a few years older than me. We joked and talked casually long after the official questioning was completed.
Fast forward through several MM promotions and at least two more FBI vetting procedures. By that time I was getting good at this whole interrogation thing.
I owned an advertising and public relations agency in southern Georgia. My business had grown through word of mouth so when a plantation owner introduced me to his Georgia Tech roommate, I thought nothing of it.
The man was from Colombia, an Olympian shooter, and was so serious about his growing import-export business. He was trying to help the people in his country by importing generators since electricity was rare and unstable if available. He exported flowers, primarily to the U.S.A.
I used these ideas in Explosive Combination. The book takes place in Colombia and my antagonist was once idealistic about changing the agricultural focus of the country.
The new client wanted me to come to Colombia and oversee the photo and video shoot for the promotional materials for his side business; an exclusive trip for high-end sportsmen that included a dove hunt, deep sea fishing and mountain stream fly fishing. I’d negotiated in a side trip to the emerald mines and a few days at a beach resort on the Caribbean Sea. Sounded like the prefect trip to me.
Macho Marine already had orders for our next move which required a higher level of security, beyond his current top secret clearance.
Enter the FBI once again.
When the cordial agent, who was obviously nearing retirement, asked us if we had plans to travel outside the U.S.A., I excitedly told him about my planned trip to Colombia. He closed his little black notebook and stood. Shaking his head, he announced, “If she goes to Colombia, you’ll never get this clearance and you’ll never be promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Your career will end.”
Needless to say, I never made it to Colombia, but it’s on my bucket list.
As I researched the country for Explosive Combination, many of the sites and cities I’d planned to visit all those years ago came back to me. Although economically and politically the country is much more stabilized than it was, it’s still a dangerous place.
In Explosive Combination, ATF Special Agent Harper Tambini is kidnapped by a Colombian drug lord and forced to use her explosives knowledge to kill his competition before she can escape with the help of undercover CIA agent Rafe Silva. As they make their way through the rivers, mountains, and jungles, their desire for each other detonates. But Harper reminds Rafe of his murdered fiancée and the shadow world he wants to leave. Harper learned the hard way that men never stay, so now she doesn’t keep them around long enough to see if the sparks can light a fire that will last forever. In their short time together, can they crystallize a relationship, or will it all blow up?

Harper heard the click of her bedroom door unlocking. Knowing her role as his pretend lover, she ran to the door. “Who’s there?’

“It’s me.” Rafe strolled in as if he had the right to her room, and her.

In nothing but dark silk boxers riding low on narrow hips, he was outlined in yellow by the dim hall lights. His broad shoulders filled the doorway. As he moved toward her, light caught raised pectoral muscles and flashes of well-defined six-pack abs. His swagger defined testosterone in motion. He was a specimen of pure male confidence and dominance.

He addressed the guards at the door. “Take a break. I’ll let you know when you need to come back. I’m going to enjoy my woman for a while.” He left the door open enough for his guards to watch as he claimed Harper, yanking her into his arms and covering her mouth with his.

His kiss was heaven and sin wrapped in one hard body. And he was hard everywhere.

Rafe slipped his hands around her, and she felt their heat through the thin silk of her nightgown. Intensity built quickly within her, and she grabbed his head, shoving her fingers through his silky dark curls. He pulled her forcefully against his body, but she didn’t resist. No man had ever made her feel this way so fast.

At the click of the door, Harper tried to shove Rafe back, but his solid body didn’t move. She had to get away from him before she lost her senses, so she stepped out of his embrace.

“That should get them talking.” Her voice was roughened, but she kept it low. “The whole compound will know you were in my room by breakfast.” She walked over to the nightstand and pulled a bottle of chilled water from an ice bucket. She needed to cool down, from the inside out. She cracked the seal, chugged down half of it, and then set it on the nightstand. “I’m going to bed…and to sleep.”
KaLyn Cooper writes sizzling hot romantic suspense based in fact. Twenty-seven years as a military wife has shown her the world and the men and women who protect it every day. Thirty years in public relations taught her fact can be stranger than fiction, but leaves it up to the reader to separate truth from imagination. She melts fact and fiction together with blazing heat and heart-pounding suspense at www.KaLynCooper.com.
Separately, Harper Tambini and Rafe Silva are lethal…together, they’re explosive.

ATF Special Agent Harper Tambini is kidnapped by a Colombian drug lord and forced to use her explosives knowledge to kill his competition before she can escape with the help of undercover CIA agent Rafe Silva. As they make their way through the rivers, mountains and jungles, their desire for each other detonates. But Harper reminds Rafe of his murdered fiancée, and the shadow world he wants to leave. Harper learned the hard way that men never stay, so now she doesn’t keep them around long enough to see if the sparks can light a fire that will last forever. In their short time together, can they crystalize a relationship, or will it all blow up?
Use discount code PYQ4X6YR for 10% OFF - Only athttps://www.createspace.com/4626245
Email:  KaLyn@KaLynCooper.com
Twitter: @KaLynCooperbooks
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/kalyncooper
Tags: romance, romantic suspense, ATF, CIA, SEAL, U.S. Navy, Navy, military, kidnap, Explosive Combination, KaLyn Cooper
For the Military Disocunt:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Our Military Members Deserve Better

Fuck. Not again.

That's the first thing I thought when I heard the news out of Ft. Hood last week. Since we're here because of our support of our military (and our love of our military romances), I hope you'll forgive me if I hop up on my soapbox.

When the first shooting happened (I never thought I'd have to refer to it as "first"), I was in class, studying to be a trauma therapist. We heard the news during break and spent the second half of class discussing the situation. I have since completed my training, focusing on the military and children in foster care/adoption.

And I was frustrated then as I am now. Of course, we know now that the first shooting was not committed by a soldier suffering from PTSD, although that was the assumption in the class that night. This time, the evidence points toward a soldier with mental health issues. Time may give us a better picture of the nature of his issues.

But regardless of the exact reason, it brings the weaknesses in the military's mental health system back to the front of my mind.

Mental illness in the military in epidemic in nature. Jessica Scott dealt with the topic in her recent book, All For You. If you haven't read Jessica, you should! Anyway, the suicide rate is off the charts. Military suicide rates far exceed civilian rates. I think this shooting is part of the same problems that are leading to the high suicide rates. The realistic part of me is surprised there aren't more shootings like last week's.

The programs are out there. Programs that work. Programs that help prevent PTSD from gaining a foothold. They need to be made available to all soldiers in theater and back home. Better yet, it needs to be mandatory to remove the stigma of going for help.

Our men and women deserve it. They volunteer to don the uniform to protect us. They take on dangerous situations for crappy pay because they want to, because they believe in what they do. For that service, they deserve to be taken care of. They deserve better.

They give us their all. How can we give them any less?

Stepping off soapbox now.

On a very happy note, today is my mother's birthday! So if you see Liz Forella running around, wish her a very happy birthday!!

And while I'm wishing happy birthday, my grandmother's birthday was last Saturday. Not that I'd ever divulge her age, but I can assure you she looks damn good!!

Both of these pictures were taken at my son's wedding last year. Just thought you'd like to know. :)

Happy reading!!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

THE END is near!!! Mwua-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.....

I'm nearing the end of Embattled Home, and I can't tell you what a relief it is. Chad has come into his own and the words have flowed. It took me a while to warm up to Lora, and I believe that was why I struggled with this book so much. She's not the kind of woman I normally write, strong and determined, confident with herself. With her traumatic background, it took her a long time to warm up to Chad. I was already in love with him, so I didn't understand how she could drag her feet. (Yes, I talk about characters like they are real people. Confuses the hell out of my husband. lol!)
Anyway, I'll be finishing them up this week and sending them out to beta-readers. If everything falls into place, I'll have the book out at the beginning of next month.

In the mean time, if you need something to read....

Gennita Low writes kick-ass, heart-thumping romantic military suspense. When I found out she was going to take part in our SEALed With a Kiss anthology (which is still on sale for $.99 if you haven't gotten it yet!) I was thrilled because I knew the kind of writer she was. And even better, she's PROLIFIC!
She has another anthology out called Dangerous Dozens, also on sale for $.99!
But if you want to pick up Warrior individually, here's the link.

Elle James writes kick-ass heroes too, and is just as prolific, but sometimes has a paranormal slant. Her most recent Harlequin Intrigue is Deadly Liaisons, which you can find here.

Sharon Hamilton writes damn sexy Navy SEALs, and it just so happens she just released 6 of her books in a box set for $.99!!! 

You just saw Heather Long's new cover (man, is it hot in here?) and look what Cat Johnson just released. Damn... on sale now here.

So, while you're waiting ever so patiently for Chad and Lora in Embattled Home, check out some of my buddies! Serously, I see about 5000 pages of reading for less than $20! That's fricking awesome!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Always a Marine #CoverReveal for Her Marine Bodyguard

He's coming home...

Her Marine Bodyguard releases Memorial Day Weekend!

Add it to your Goodreads today!

Someone is watching her…

Shannon Fabray’s career in the art world is on the rise thanks in no small part to her signature sculpture Her Marine. But with fame, comes fans and some like to get closer than others. Coping with the notoriety, Shannon doesn’t let the constant contact get under her skin until one night, it goes to far and to Shannon’s horror, one of them is making it very clear he wants the artist for himself and sees her as a possession that should be added to his collection.

He’s coming home…

After dozen years in service to his country, Lieutenant Brody Essex has lost count of the missions he’s run, the hours he’s spent in the field and the number of days he’s been out of the country. Budgetary issues freeze his promotion, and his unit is left on the ground in Afghanistan, but he makes it work because the only countdown that matters to him is the one that will bring him home—home to the artist that carved a niche in his heart. When bureaucratic snafus hold up his paperwork, he sucks it up until a phone call alerts him that Shannon’s loft has been broken into, and she was nearly kidnapped. 

Breaking all the rules…

Now Brody will break the rules and go AWOL, heading home without permission because his girl is in danger and she needs her Marine bodyguard…

See where Shannon and Brody's story began in Her Marine. On sale for $0.99!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spotlight on Guest Author Rita Henuber

Please welcome fellow military romantic suspense author Rita Henuber to the blog today! She's got quite an amazing family military history, and a brand new release to share with us today that I know you'll want to get your hands on. Take it away, Rita!

            Thank you for inviting me to blog.
            I write about extraordinary women and the men they love. Military heroines.  Women at the top of their field in a man’s world. They don’t want a man to take care of them they want a man who will accept them for who they are and stand shoulder to shoulder with them in their adventures. I’m frequently asked why I write military stories and more to the point why are my heroines the ones in the military. 

            Well, I come from a family, who over the years, have served in every branch of the service in every conflict since WWI. I have ancestors who served in British conflicts back to the early 1800’s. Two great, great, great, great uncles were in the Charge of the Light Brigade. Thomas Dunn, a corporal, and Alexander James Dunn, a lieutenant were members of the 11th Hussars, a British Army unit. Lieutenant Dunn was killed in the battle. Corporal Dunn was one of the fabled survivors. 

            I have stories of family in WWI but no proof.  SO, fast forward to the next war to end all wars and I have many, many relatives who served. Some weren’t even in the military. Half of my family lives in Florida. Have since the early 1920s. An uncle owned several shrimp boats. One day, after the start of WWII, some scary guys in suits and uniforms showed up and said his boats were needed to protect the east coast from U-boats. There was no please. No thank you. No payment. All his boats were taken and he never got them back. He never complained. He was proud he could help. 

            My daddy trained Coast Guard recruits in Florida and Washington State, and patrolled in the North Atlantic riding shotgun for convoys.   

            Another Uncle was a Navy ace in that war and in Korea.

            One uncle, on the other side of my family, was home in December 1941 for 30 days of leave before he was to report to his next duty. His next duty? The USS Arizona in Hawaii.

            My husband’s uncle served in Germany. 

            Hubs was a Marine and served in Vietnam.

            One son was with the first Marines into Bagdad.

            There are many others but I think you get the point. The military in is my DNA.
            The next question is why write military heroines? I feel like the women in the service of this country are under appreciated. 

             George Washington credits winning the war against England to six colonial spies who risked their lives to bring him information. One of them was a woman whose name has never been discovered. 

            Dr. Mary Edwards Walker is the only woman to receive a Congressional Medal of Honor for her efforts during the Civil War. Her name was deleted from the Medal of Honor Roll in 1917. She was asked to return the medal and refused, wearing it every day until she died. 

                        Agnes Meyer Driscoll known as Madame X, an American cryptanalyst for the U.S. Navy during World War I was a brilliant code breaker. 

            During WWII over 1000 women in this country flew every type of military aircraft, ferrying them to military bases and departure points. They were test pilots and towed targets to give gunners training. Their service wasn’t recognized until the 70s.

            I have a special place in my heart for the nurses who took care of our soldiers in Vietnam. 

            The person who is credited with finding the terrorist leader who ordered the 9/11 attacks (I refuse to say his name) is a woman. 
My question is: why don’t we have more books with military heroines?

My new book, Point of No Return, is about a female Marine Corps Intelligence officer. She is smart, tough and a patriot. 

A hot sexy prequel, No Holding Back, is free and tells how my hero and heroine met.  


Rita grew up running the beaches of a barrier island on Florida's east coast. An island brat, she spent more time climbing weathered oaks and chasing alligators than playing with the dolls her family gave her. She married a Marine and feels fortunate to have lived many places and traveled to the states and countries she didn't live. Leaving government service she moved back to that barrier island where she writes contemporary fiction weaving her experiences into her story telling. Her heroes and heroines are either in the military or government service because she writes what she knows. Her father was in the Coast Guard and immediate family members served in every branch of the service as desk jockeys, grunts, pilots and everything in between. She's experienced the highs and lows of military and government life, and is grateful for each experience.

web site      http://www.ritahenuber.com/
Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/RitaHenuberAuthor?ref=hl
Twitter       @ritahenuber