Wednesday, February 26, 2014

All SEAL Romances Heating Up Winter

So excited for my new release, Cruisin' For A SEAL, which comes out this Saturday, March 1st. The book was written partially on a cruise my husband and I took between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year, beginning in Italy and winding up with four glorious days in Brazil. Because it was a repositioning cruise, most the time was at sea, although we did visit Casablanca, Marrakesh, The Canary Islands, Cape Verde and several ports in Brazil.

I became interested a year ago in the "what if" scenario of a cruise ship being taken over by terrorists to extort cash or power over an American-owned ship. Although my story tells of American passengers being mistreated, on the cruise my husband and I took, we were the only Americans on board. Most the passengers and all the crew were either Brazilian, Italian or German. In fact, very little English was spoken during our month-long vacation.

Here's a little treat, a sample narration from my very talented narrator, J.D. Hart, who doesn't just read the story, but acts it for your listening pleasure. He becomes one of the characters, in a way:

It actually was rather nice to learn all sorts of cultural things at every meal, on every tour.

As I did my research, I discovered that it isn't a matter of if but a matter of when there will be a terrorist takeover of a large ship like in my story. There have been attempted takeovers in the Greek Islands and around Cypress and Turkey. In those cases, most the passengers at risk were Israeli.

In my story, the head security officer is Israeli, trained in the Israeli Special Forces. One of the Jr. Officers is a former Italian frogman, and named after a famous early frogman from WWII era, Teseo Tesci from Elba. Some of the equipment he invented, particularly the early rebreathers, were crude versions of equipment our current Navy SEALs use to this day. He became known as the human torpedo. Due to the technology he invented, he could swim under water virtually undetected. From what I understand, the Allies had tried for years to get their hands on this and only could do so after his death.

I also wrote in a Ukrainian officer with his counterpart, the Chief Engineer, who were part of the terrorist cell, and made strange bedfellows with others in the group, namely the Moroccans. Maksym is a very hunky, tall, handsome officer with a Czech girlfriend. The terrorists are thus an international group, with sometimes

conflicting reasons for wanting to ransom the ship and put the passengers in harm's way. This becomes part of the conflict.

All this is with the background of the ten Navy SEALs who are taking their wives on an excursion, a holiday, just precious weeks before their next deployment. Of course, it turned out to be a working vacation in more ways than one. One of the SEAL wives is ill with an early pregnancy.

I traced the routes we actually went on, through the souk at Marrakesh, sipping coffe at an open-air cafe that had previously, the year before, been blown up by an Al Quaeda-styled group. It was odd seeing Sharon Stone wandering the shopping areas and rug merchants, that an international film festival was going on, where a year before it had been chaos. And might be again some day, perhaps soon. Who knows? I could feel all the underlying tension in the crowds as we "mingled" with this unfamiliar culture.

On the ship, I spent time crawling up and down stairways, learning about the series of staff elevators that snaked everywhere away from passenger's eyes, and the lifeboats on board, where some of the love scenes take place.

I felt stories lurking behind every marble or mosaic column, every cobblestoned street. In these ancient lands, I felt the presence of stories carved out in the temple walls and shopping stalls outside. It was very inspiring, and the words flowed easily.

As with all my stories, I try to let the reader understand a little bit about the culture of the SEAL Brotherhood, which is really all I care about as a reader, personally. So I hope I've given readers a little slice of life into the "what if" scenario, because, even if it does happen some day, we are never going to know about it as up close and personal as readers will in my novels. I was delighted to discover this morning Amazon has selected several of these books as free reads with the purchase of the audio versions.

Part of the wonderful things about being a Military Romance writer is the community we have together, a sort of Writers' Brotherhood, if I can borrow a little something from the SEALs. I have teamed up with writers Marliss Melton, Stephanie Tyler, Teresa Reasor, Gennita Low, Elle James, J.M. Madden, and Delilah Devlin, some who have been writing about SEALs for more than two decades.

We created an anthology of ALL-SEAL stories, novellas, and all new material for the most part. Some of these stories will be full length books later on in the year. My contribution is SEAL My Destiny. I have never before worked with such a talented and cooperative group of women. It has truly been an honor. Right now, our anthology, SEALed With A Kiss, is only $.99, which is a bargain any way you slice it. But it's first class material from some of the best military romance writers on the planet. Won't you give it a try as well?

I'm feeling generous, as I have been doing lately. I'll give two people an audio book from one of my four SEAL Brotherhood series, to someone at random, if you leave a comment. We'll announce Sunday night who the winner is on this post. Here's the question: what do you love most about reading military romance?

Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

TONIGHT! Live Video Chat & Virtual Signing!

By Laura Kaye

Just FIVE days til the release of Hard As You Can! And boy do I have something special for you TONIGHT!

Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA, is hosting a live nationwide video chat with me and virtual signing of Hard As You Can TONIGHT (2/20) at 7pm EST! You can ask me ANYTHING *and* place an order for a personalized copy of Hard As You Can! You'll get special, exclusive swag with your order, too! Either way, come chat me up! *grins*

The chat is courtesy of BookTalk Nation and I'll be interviewed by freelance writer Karen Holt, whose work has appeared in numerous national publications like O, the Oprah Magazine, Essence, The New Your Post, Publishers Weekly, and more. ASK ME ANYTHING! LOL!

You have to order your signed book by the end of my chat TONIGHT, so don't miss your chance! :)

About Hard As You Can:
Five dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.

Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallan strolled into the dance club where Crystal Dean works, he's shown a knack for getting beneath her defenses. For her little sister's sake, Crystal can't get too close. Until her job and Shane's mission intersect, and he reveals talents that go deeper than she could have guessed. 

Shane would never turn his back on a friend in need, especially a former Special Forces teammate running a dangerous, off-the-books operation. Nor can he walk away from Crystal. The gorgeous waitress is hiding secrets she doesn't want him to uncover. Too bad. He's exactly the man she needs to protect her sister, her life, and her heart. All he has to do is convince her that when something feels this good, you hold on as hard as you can--and never let go.

Pre-Order Hard As You Can at Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo
Pre-Order a *signed* Hard As You Can at Fountain Bookstore (offer ends 2/20)

“Edgy, sexy, and full of suspense! A great read from a great new author!”
~J.R. Ward on Hard As It Gets

Haven't read the first book yet? Now's the time!

Read an Extended Excerpt of Hard As It Gets
Buy at Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Thanks for reading!

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

The military tale behind the writing of ROUGH STOCK

Years ago, while my Army consultant was helping me with my Red, Hot & Blue series, he casually said, "Hey, my Bravo team leader used to be a rodeo cowboy before he joined the Army. Is that a story you can use?" Of course my answer was, "Hell, yes! And why didn't you tell me this before?" That's how the characters in Rough Stock were born. Two cowboys, growing up together, both in love with the same girl, the farmer's daughter, but life takes the three in different directions. One becomes a champion bronc rider. One becomes a career soldier, stationed in Germany and then deployed to the war zone. One attends college and makes a career in New York City. Events bring them back together, years later. There are issues to be resolved, and scars to heal both internal and external, but the love that began years before is still there sizzling just below the surface. That's the story of Rough Stock, which mixes my two favorite genres, military and cowboys. Check it out if you like men who are equally comfortable in either cowboy or combat boots.

ROUGH STOCK by Cat Johnson

The heart wants what it wants…

Bronc riders Mason and Clay have shared both good times and bad as best friends, but they never expected to share their boss’s daughter, April. Can two friends love one woman, body and soul, without it destroying them?

The heart wants what it wants. For April that means not choosing between the two cowboys she loves, no matter how wrong it may seem inviting them both into her bed.

Life sends the three lovers in opposite directions, but a devastating injury brings them all together again. Their relationship now is no less bittersweet—or complicated—than before. Once severed, old ties leave scars that are tough to heal…

Warning: When you choose a man who thinks 8 seconds is a long time, perhaps you need two of them. In other words: Watch out, this book contains hot ménage sex with two cowboys and the woman they love.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Snowed in and blogging

Well, my blogging date went whooshing by last month in a blaze of day job responsibilities. January is a busy month for us as we are preparing for and putting on a statewide conference.

And I was so excited to post last month. Finally, all three books in the Class of '93 trilogy are available for Kindle! I'm very excited that they have been reissued with hot new covers.

Plus, I was anxious to share the news that my favorite Ranger is back CONUS safe and sound!! Yes, he'll be going O-CONUS again, that's what he does. But for now, it's nice not to worry.

So, at long last, here they are, all 3 books in the Class of '93 trilogy!

Attorney Aiden Greene’s life has become one predictable routine of work, work, and more work punctuated by weekend visits with his twins. A blast from his Air Force special operations days changes all of that in an instant. He winds up in the arms of his one true love and on the run for his very life.

Major Erika Dalton is one of the best officers in the history of the ultra-secret Air Force Security Agency. That’s one of the reasons she’s been assigned to protect Aiden Greene from an escaped Latin American drug lord intent on exacting retribution.

Except she can’t keep her mind on her assignment. Or her hands off of Aiden, despite the fact that back in the Spring of ’93, back at the United States Air Force Academy, he shattered her heart. Has fate given her a chance to reclaim what she lost all those years ago? 

A serial killer is loose on the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania, killing couples in their tents, and the local jurisdictions have asked the FBI for help.

Hot shot Special Agent Braden Powell is anxious to hit the Trail and start camping. He hopes that the high profile case will boost his standing at the Agency, proving that he deserved the assignment after leaving the Air Force. He’s even more anxious to spend time in close quarters with his sexy new partner.

Special Agent Katrina Boyd is anything but pleased to be on a remote assignment with a loose cannon. Eight young people are dead and she’s stuck with a maverick for a partner on a case that could propel her FBI career to the next level. Compounding the disaster is the fact that her traitorous body is more than excited at the thought of sleeping next to the handsome Agent night after night. 

Appearances can be deceiving.

Major Chadwick Monroe knows that all too well. He is the best fighter pilot the Air Force has ever seen and he is about to defect with the military’s newest weapon. Chad has a mission very few people know about – he’s an officer with the ultra-secret Air Force Security Agency, trying to thwart a Latin American terrorist organization. He has no time for a woman in his life, or so he thinks.

Casey Wilkes doesn’t trust men in general, fighter pilots in particular. The divorced single mother burns the candle at both ends to make ends meet and provide a life for her young son. The last thing she needs or wants in that life is another jet jockey, even one who draws her in and captivates her heart. Especially one who exposes her to cutthroat blackguards. Now she just has to convince her heart.   

Friday, February 7, 2014

An Exclusive Excerpt from SEAL's Lost Dream...Out Next Week!

Next week SEALed With a Kiss will be released, an anthology with 7 other crazy-fantastic writers- Stephanie Tyler, Gennita Low, Sharon Hamilton, Marliss Melton, Teresa Reasor, Delilah Devlin and Elle James.
My novella is titled SEAL's Lost Dream. Here's the blurb-
Former Navy SEAL K9 Handler Joe Flynn doesn’t understand why every stray in Denver seems to head his way. After losing his Military War Dog in Afghanistan, he doesn’t want anything to do with animals. But he doesn’t mind seeing Willow take care of his charges. Lusciously rounded, she’s the best thing he’s experienced all year.
Veterinarian Willow James loves seeing Flynn walk her way, though he brings her some truly sad cases of animal neglect. He tries to keep his emotions locked away, but she’s learned to read him over the past year. When one of the animals he brings in decides to adopt him, she starts to see the thaw she’s been waiting for.
She’s ready to take on the sexy former SEAL with all his ghosts, but is he ready to let them go for her?

And here's the Excerpt! Enjoy!

Flynn tightened his spine as Willow walked down the hallway toward him. But as she looked up at him with bright curiosity in her burnished golden eyes and her cheeks lifted with her broad smile, he felt something clutch in his gut. Willow had a wispy, soft beauty. Her hair was a mess again, but it was who she was. She didn’t try to make herself into something she wasn’t.
The jeans she wore outlined her voluptuous shape, even under the ridiculously nondescript black t-shirt she wore. Her nails were blunt and a little ragged, but he knew for a fact she had the softest touch imaginable.
Emotion tightened his throat as he thought about last night and the way she’d completely taken him over. It had been…a revelation. That he could be that open with somebody and not feel like a freak.
Her plump pink lips were moving and he slammed back into his head to respond to her query. “I, uh, found him hiding under my truck tire when I left work.”
Willow took the fluffy, dirty kitten from his hands and propped it against her breasts, cooing to it. “This is exactly what I needed at the end of a long, tough day. Thank you.”
She smiled up at him and he was struck with the urge to lean down and kiss her to tell her she was welcome. He’d never felt the urge so strongly before and he wasn’t sure what to do with it, so he stayed where he was, just gazing down at her.
The little cat rumbled in happiness at the attention it was receiving.
Willow held him up high enough to look at him. “He seems fairly healthy. Weight is good.” She lifted the kitten’s lip to press at his gums. “Good color response, so he’s not fighting anything obvious. I wonder if he just didn’t wander away from someone’s house?”
Flynn shrugged, unable to come up with words to respond. He felt dumb just standing there, but he wanted to watch her. He didn’t care if she gave the kitten a rectal exam, he’d watch her.
Actually, he wanted her attention on him again. Last night had been surreal. Blocks of time were gone. But he felt lighter in his skin than he had in a long time.
“Do you want to go grab a pizza or something?”
Willow looked up at him in surprise, but almost immediately smiled.  Her eyes flicked to the side, then back to him. “I would love to, Flynn. Can you give me some time to clean up?”
He nodded, remembering too late that they weren’t the only ones in the office. Sue had a mile-wide grin on her face and the vet tech stepped forward to take the kitten. She had a sly smile on her face as well, and he felt a little embarrassed at inviting their boss out so abruptly.
Not so smooth anymore, Flynn.
“Why don’t you move your truck over to the house and I’ll meet you there. Maya will be glad to see you.”
He nodded and escaped the stares of the three grinning women, his skin prickling.
The drive took all of fifteen seconds, but he sat there in her driveway, hands clenched around the wheel as he tried to decide what kind of nut he had turned into. He hadn’t been on a date in years, but the evening suddenly stretched in front of him. What were they going to talk about? Do? Should he take her out or stay inside? The thought of crowds made him shudder. Crowds watching him make a fool of himself on a date made him feel sick.
This was an incredibly bad idea. His hand reached for the key in the ignition, then stopped. No, he couldn’t leave. He was man enough to go on a freaking date, no matter where they went. He’d been a SEAL, for fuck’s sake. Man up.
Flynn slid from the truck and circled the house to the backyard gate. Letting himself through, he smiled when Maya bounded out to meet him. Willow had just let herself through the gate from the exercise yard.
“Give me a few minutes to get cleaned up and we can go.”
He almost told her not to bother, they could just order in, but he didn’t want to voice his insecurities. Or disappoint her. So he let her disappear into the house.
Maya leaned into him, tail wagging. Guinness came over to investigate the visitor, gave him a lick on the hand, then wandered away to chew on a red rubber Kong.
Willow came out the back door just a few minutes later and Flynn almost swallowed his tongue. The black t-shirt had been replaced with a pretty, delicate, blue shirt and skirt outfit. Her long black hair had been curled toward the ends, and drawn back into a wide clip to sway across her back. Subtle eye makeup made her eyes positively shine. Her pink lips were even pinker than normal, and glossy. Flynn felt his mouth water at the thought of tasting those lips, to see if they were as sweet as they looked.
A hard slam of need hit him in the gut, and it was all he could do to stay where he was. He did stand and offer her a slight smile. “You look very nice, Willow.”
She beamed at him, her cheeks flushing. “Thank you very much. I don’t get a chance to be pretty very often.”
“You’re always pretty.”
She stared at him for a long few seconds, then glanced away to clear her throat. “Thank you, Flynn. I think that’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever been told.”
Shit. He’d made her cry. He didn’t mean to do that.

I hope you love Flynn and Willow! The Anthology will be released February 17!

Monday, February 3, 2014