Just In Time for the Beach

Need a beach read — or seven? Beginning July 1st, three SSI books and all four Prime Chronicles novels are being featured as Amazon Monthly Deals. And because my Distributor (IPG/INscribe) likes to see me sell lots of books, they are spreading the special deals wide on the seven books. How cool is that?

Which books are featured and how much? All books will be $1.99 for the month of July (Eye of the Storm (SSI 1) and Prime Obsession (PC 1) are normally $1.99 and will remain so after the end of the month).

So visit your favorite online retailer — my books are at all the major ones and some not so major (remember I said “wide”). Happy reading!!!

Ride Out the Storm, An In-Between Book in the SSI Series

Out now! Ride Out the Storm is Book 6.5 in the Security Specialists International series.

Question: Why write a novella and not another long book?

Answer: This book does several important things to segue from SSI in Idaho to SSI-East in Osprey’s Point in Upper Peninsula Michigan:

  1. Show what happened to Dr. Anton Vasilov and Lucia Aznar after they escaped Mexico (An Ill Wind);
  2. Show the event which Tara and DJ discussed In Chapter 17 in Firestorm;
  3. Reintroduce the main characters at SSI-East – Earl Blackhawk and his wife Tessa, Risto and Callie Smith, and the four Walsh brothers, Loren, Paul, Devin, and Andy, who are stationed there;
  4. Introduce, in general, some of the year-round Osprey’s Point residents who will make appearances in the next four novels (yes, the remaining Walsh boys are going to get their HEAs); and,
  5. Take care of one of the hanging plot threads from An Ill Wind — what happened to El Hacha (Jaime Aznar, Lucia’s uncle) and to El Halcon (Raimundo Chavez)?

For an approximately 34,000-word novella, it manages to cover a lot of territory. And most importantly, it will prepare my readers for the next four books.

So, what’s this book’s action? Here’s the blurb:

They escaped the cartel in Mexico.

Three months after a dangerous and chaotic flight to freedom, Dr. Anton Vasilov and his new wife Lucia have settled into the small-town life of Osprey’s Point. Courtesy of SSI, Anton now runs the town’s sole medical practice. Trained chef Lucia is cooking part-time at Earl’s Diner.

They believe they’ve finally found a safe haven from Lucia’s vicious uncle and his cartel henchmen.

Gaining the town’s trust might take longer.

Although the isolated lakefront community welcomes the new chef, Anton isn’t as lucky. The year-round residents, mostly hardened military vets, have a harder time accepting him. Anton is determined to gain their trust and be part of the town, because he and Lucia have a baby on the way.

However, their safe haven may not be safe, after all.

Worry creeps into their newfound happiness when a stranger comes to town. Has the cartel found them? As the SSI operatives and vets consider tactics, Anton formulates his own plan. Because the ex-Russian special forces soldier will do whatever it takes to protect his wife and unborn child.

Fighting for their lives and their home, Anton and Lucia must ride out the storm one more time.

Buy Links:

Universal Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/mYZnQY

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ride-Storm-Security-Specialists-International-ebook/dp/B094NT7V1P/ref=sr_1_23?crid=3T2XYDWNLJIAM&dchild=1&keywords=monette+michaels&qid=1620826256&s=books&sprefix=Monette%2Caps%2C209&sr=1-23

Other Buy Links shall be added as they go live! Thanks.

It’s Been Awhile

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared what’s going on in my world — writing and otherwise.  So, since I am procrastinating (a COVID-19 pandemic side effect, I’m afraid), I decided to update the look of my blog.

What do you think?  The other theme was dark and hard to read — and I decided I needed something brighter with a flower. So this is what you get … until I change my mind. 😉 By the way, the garden and statue are located on the approach to my front door.

On the family and personal side, my hubby is fine. Some of my long-time followers might recall he had heart-bypass surgery in 2015. Thus, we are being careful and staying close to home. When we do go out, we wear our masks.

PSA: Please, wear a mask — you protect those around you. COVID-19 carriers can be asymptomatic.Thus, everyone wearing a mask has proven to be the most effective way to keep the spread of this deadly virus down.Trust me on this — I’m married to a pathologist! I am well-informed. Daily!

We also wash and sanitize our hands — and anything else that is washable or can be sanitized. Our house is a safe zone. Once inside, my husband is assured of not getting infected. This is because I am obsessive about wiping down door handles and anything that comes from the outside that could carry microbes be they viral or bacterial.

Okay, I’ve always been that way — but I am really on it now.

Our son has moved back in with us after being away for four years. His employment had ended, and he was looking for a new job and then the pandemic hit. Since living in Silicon Valley is expensive while unemployed and no new job lurked on the horizon, he left California (the day Newsom shut it down!!). I sweated bullets each day he was on the road, hoping he could find places to eat and a place to sleep at night. He was fully prepared to sleep in his car and had provisions if nothing was open. Luckily, for him but not for the poor inhabitants of the states he drove through, most of the states he passed through had not shut down (this was in March) for the virus (except for Illinois and Indiana where we live). It is nice to have him home where I know he is safe. Of course, he’d rather have a job and his own place to live. And I can understand that.

~~ Note to potential employers:  I can vouch for him — because I raised him. 🙂 He is a hard worker and reliable. He adapts well and is very creative. He is willing to relocate. Big Data is his thing. He’d be considered a Senior Programmer and is willing to learn “new” things. He has three Bachelor of Science Degrees — Accounting and Finance from IU’s Kelley School of Business and Computer Information Technology (computer software engineering) from Purdue — and also has a bunch of certifications (Sales Force and Agile come to mind). See? He likes learning!! ~~

As for the writing front, which is why most of you follow me, I am currently working on my fourth What A Witch book in the Magic and Mayhem Universe. What A Witch Finds will take up where What A Witch Desires left off, with Paul, the pooka, finding his mate and carrying her to Dale and Bree’s house. This book will come out in October of 2020 along with a slew of other fun and fabulous Magic and Mayhem Universe books.

After that book is completed, I will write an SSI novella, Ride Out the Storm, # 6.5.

This book will reintroduce SSI-East in the Upper Peninsula Michigan. Risto Smith is in charge of SSI-East, located in Osprey’s Point, and his biggest concern at the moment is his wife Callie is due to have their first baby any day.The novella will also reintroduce Big Earl and his wife Tessa, the four Walsh brothers who’ve yet to find their perfect partners, and Dr. Anton Vasilov and his new wife Lucia.

The conflict in this novella arises from Anton and Lucia’s past as depicted in An Ill Wind, SSI #5. When Lucia’s cartel-connected relatives hit Osprey’s Point, Anton will have his hands full delivering Callie’s baby and protecting his own pregnant wife.

After Ride Out the Storm is finished, I will consult the four Walsh brothers to see who wants his happy-ever-after first. For Book 7, I know who the heroine will be and what chases her to Osprey’s Point to find her future, and I’m leaning toward one of the brothers over the other three. He has yet to convince me that he should get the girl. Book 7 will be titled:  Before the Storm.

You can keep up-to-date on what’s next on my web site on the Upcoming page.

 

Fais Do Do Die by Pauline Baird Jones

I am so happy to offer my blog followers a new book from Pauline Baird Jones.  Pauline and I started in the writing business around the same time and we both were pioneers in the world of e-published books. I like to think of Pauline and I as cyber-survivors since the early days of e-publishing were only for the hardiest of souls with the thickest skins and the urgent desire to get their words out to the reading public.  Thankfully, a lot of things have changed since the late 1990s when we both started and we’re still standing.

The first book I ever read by Pauline was A Pig in the Park  (and I still have it on a small diskette which was how we bought e-books back then). She later retitled the book, The Spy Who Kissed Me (I figured because most people didn’t get the Pig joke since it didn’t refer to the animal, but to an old Civil War cannon called a pig). I still recall laughing out loud at a car chase scene in that book and it makes me chuckle to this day. What an image she created. I was immediately hooked. Pauline went on my must-read list from that very first book.

Here’s a sneak peek at her newest novel in the The Big Uneasy series:

He kicks down doors. She serves hors d’oeuvres. And the Big Uneasy delivers them both a huge helping of high stakes danger—and a chance at romance.

 

Excerpt:

The silence was comfortable again on the drive back to Sarah’s house. He knew she had questions about Basile’s death and was grateful she didn’t ask them. And he might be a bit impressed. His sisters never held back like that.

He pulled around to the back and parked next to Alex’s truck. Lucky Alex who got to stay, who got to climb the stairs with Nell…

Better not to go where he couldn’t, or it could get embarrassing. He climbed out and went around to open Sarah’s door, extending a hand to help her out. Touching her might have been a mistake. It felt like everything slowed for several seconds. His thoughts. His heart rate. His vision narrowed so that all he saw was her hand in his.

He might be in trouble here, though it was a trouble he couldn’t seem to mind.

He lifted his gaze until it met hers and saw a different question in there. It felt like it took forever for his head to bend toward hers. An eternity until his mouth closed over hers. The slow thump of his heart marked the seconds it took for his arms to close around her and pull her close, but it felt like months or even years until she was there. Against his heart and then in it. His heart swelled and started to thump harder, pumping a healing heat into his body.

Healing. He hadn’t realized how broken he’d been by the failure of his marriage. Or how much better it could be on the other side. Everything felt better, felt more right. She was soft, responsive, welcoming.

I love you.

It was just as well he couldn’t talk while kissing her because it was too soon for the words. Why would she believe him? All he’d done was watch and wish—yes, he had wished, he admitted now—and then he’d kept away from her.

He wouldn’t make that mistake again.

When he was sure he could hold back the words, he lifted his head. His hand trembled some when he lifted it to push a strand of hair back behind her ear. Fire sparked in the strands where the streetlamp light got caught there. His other arm tightened around her for several seconds, until he got that control back, too.

“Can we do this again?” he asked. And again and again?

* * *

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt and will check out the series! Thanks again for having me here, Monette! You can buy FAIS DO DO DIE at Amazon  Apple Kobo  Nook GooglePlay or find out more on Pauline’s website On Goodreads

 

USA Today Bestselling author Pauline Baird Jones never liked reality, so she writes books. She likes to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla, because she does love peril mixed in her romance. Loves chocolate, bacon, flamingoes, and mid-century modern anything. You can find her on the following social media:

 

Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads Amazon Author Page Bookbub

 

Firestorm, Only Three More Days

Book 6 in the Security Specialists International series will go live on Monday, January 13th!!
Blurb:

She’s a survivor.Former Air Force pilot Tara Nightwalker survived wartime flying only to come home to a civilian life that was anything but safe. Two years after surviving a brutal kidnapping, it’s time to get on with her life. She finds a job in Idaho as a park ranger and wildland firefighting instructor. After what she’s been through, men aren’t appealing at all. Not until she meets SSI operative Price Teague. He’s strong. Honorable. A warrior. And she knows in her gut … he’s the one.

The only problem is—he doesn’t seem interested.

He’s a patient warrior.

Price Teague envies his fellow SSI operatives who’ve found women to love, because he sure hasn’t been as lucky. Not until the tough, beautiful firefighting instructor comes into his life. The day that some bastard in the woods shoots at them, Tara is cool, calm, and courageous in the face of danger. He recognizes instantly this is the woman he wants.

He’s usually a direct-action sort of guy, but he can see Tara is wary about men. Maybe she’s been hurt in the past. He’ll take it slow … even if it kills him. But when her kidnapper escapes prison, bent on revenge, Price throws out the slow-and-steady approach. Time is not on his side, and there’s no way he’ll let anyone hurt her.

Danger is all around. Then fire season kicks into gear.

Sneak Peek: https://claims.prolificworks.com/free/KtP1i1Tg

Universal Book Buy Link:  https://books2read.com/u/bM9jPV

 

Want to stay up-to-date on all the Monette Michaels’ news?  Sign up for her Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/kkgxj

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Website: www.monettemichaels.com
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Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MonetteMichaels
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Yes, I Am Alive and Writing

I have to confess, I am horrible at social media. I apologize for not being a regular blogger. To be quite frank, if I am going to create, I’d rather be spending that time on writing novels.

If I didn’t have my Gal Friday, the lovely Janet Snell, doing regular fun posts to my Author FaceBook page (you are following that page, right? — if not here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/authormonettemichaels), I most likely would not interact as much as I do with my fans. I do update my website when there’s something to update and that’s usually when a book is coming out. Same goes for my newsletter (you are signed up for my newsletter, right? — if not, see the link in the right-hand column). With current FaceBook changes and a concentration on Groups over Pages and Timelines, I may have to bite the bullet and create a Group to go with my Author FaceBook Page (picture me hiding in a corner, curled up in a ball; yes, I am a social media introvert).

Since I am here, I bet you’re wondering when the next SSI book, Firestorm, Book 6 in the Security Specialists International series, will be out. If you’re already a fan, you’re aware I put this book up for pre-order back when An Ill Wind came out. At that time, not one word had not been written in Firestorm, but I was advised by my distributor that pre-orders were the way to go even if the book wouldn’t be out for months and months.

Taking this advice–because what do I know about marketing? (less than nothing)–I set the release date on the pre-order as December 1, 2019.

Good news is  — I will beat that, but can’t tell you by how much.  Because—I have a drop-dead deadline to upload a novella for Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Universe by September 30, 2019 (publication date, October 21, 2019). That puts Firestorm on the back burner for now while I write What A Witch Desires, Book 3 in the What a Witch series.

Be assured, Firestorm is done, BUT not “done” done.

You all know I tend to write long. Mostly because I write layered novels with a romance plot, a suspense plot, and an action plot. This book was supposed to be less lengthy at around 75,000 words. Ah, no. Final first draft exceeded that by about 10,000 words and once I revise (will get to that in a moment), it could be over 100,000 words. Since I am not the fastest writer (cough, life intrudes, cough), it took me awhile especially coming off a long book four in the Prime Chronicles series.  Also, switching back and forth between two series is often a culture shock and I have to get back into the series world I am currently writing (my SSI world bible is in two HUGE binders, see picture below).

I was in the early revision process for Firestorm when I realized I needed to write What A Witch Desires. Like now! Sigh.

Happily, the novella is coming swiftly (13,000 words in less than a week and about to the half way point, so yay!), and I hope to soon be back to whipping my SSI novel into shape.

And, yes, it needed a good spanking. The story is there (my crit buddy and two beta-readers have said so); it just needs a tweak here, a total rethinking on an aspect of a character there, maybe some more nuances here and there, layering in of more scene setting, cutting repetition, etc. — what can I say? It’s a process. Almost as hard and involved as writing the book in the first place. Good news is, I am much faster at editing and revising than I am at writing a full first draft.

The take-away from today’s blog is the following:  (a) Moni is a slow writer , but a fast reviser/editor; (b) she needs to get her life more organized (and since she is A-type, that’s saying a lot); (c) she sucks at social media; and (d) she will have two books out in the latter part of 2019 (yay!). If you need more updates, follow me on FaceBook. If you want a sneak preview of Firestorm later this summer, sign up for my newsletter. Thanks for reading and being a fan.

SSI Bible (two binders) and the Firestorm Binder

 

 

Revisiting the Past: Revising My Novel Green Fire

Some background:

I’ve been writing since 1995 and been published in e-books/indie press since 1998.  In that time period, I’ve done a lot of  writing and have published every book I have completed. We won’t discuss the ones that are still notes or half-finished because another plot bunny came along and distracted me—Bunny!!—or because my Muse left the building. 🙂

In all I have written 20 novels,  6 novellas, and 3 short stories — and all are in print BUT FOR ONE — and that one is Green Fire, my 2003 paranormal romantic suspense release from the former indie press, LTDBooks (Canada).

[Left: New cover for Green Fire, designed by April Martinez, Copyright, 2011.]

When LTDBooks closed its  doors at the end of 2005, it was a sad day — I adored the owner (love you, Laura!) and had great experiences at LTD. My rights to all my books published at LTD were immediately given back. My Gooden & Knight books went to Liquid Silver Publishing without any changes. Then I fairly quickly revised and self-published Fatal Vision and Death Benefits.

But not Green Fire. 

I had to put Green Fire on the back-burner, because I’d found great success with my Security Specialist International and Prime Chronicles series. The fan demand and that of my publisher was such that I devoted all my time to putting out books in those two series. Revised versions of previously published books were not a high priority.

In 2011, I finally had reached a point where I had a large enough gap between series books — or so I thought– to devote a few weeks to do a clean edit and then get Green Fire back out there. Um, no.

I began a Green Fire revision and found it taking a lot of time. I had pressure to get to work on Prime Selection (#2 in that series) since my Prime fans had been so patient while I whipped out Eye of the Storm (#1) and Stormy Weather Baby (#1.5) in my SSI series. Since that time — between parent deaths, son moving clear across the country, husband’s major surgery, a bunch more SSI books and another couple of Prime books — and a Kindle World book for Robyn Peterman’s Magic & Mayhem World — I just shelved Green Fire as a To-Do project.

So here I am in 2017 working on it again.  You’d think it shouldn’t take much, right?  After all, this is a book that was accepted and edited by LTDBooks, published to decent reviews back in 2003, and was a finalist in the Dream Realm Contest, paranormal division in 2003. I even went to ArmadilloCon for the awards ceremony (lost, but, hey … finalled!). Plus, I had gotten a bit of a start on the revision back in 2011. I wasn’t working with a blank slate here.

Short answer:  It’s not an easy revision. To use one of my favorite phrases, “I’ve slept since then,” — then being when I first wrote the book in 2002-2003.

I’ve been an Acquisitions and a Copy Editor, read/studied writing techniques, taught writing, critiqued a lot of other authors’ books, and written a shit ton of books since 2003.  I know I am a better, cleaner, tighter writer than I was way back in the beginning. Plus, romance readers’ tastes have changed.

This is an issue for any author who republishes long out-of-print books — do I leave it as originally written?– OR — do I clean house and bring it up to date for the current romance reading population?

So, what’s the problem with this specific book?

Long answer:   Green Fire was the fourth book I had written.  At that point in time, I was still doing the Nora Roberts’ head-hopping thing (BTW, Nora can get away with it; most other authors … not). Multiple points of view even when not head-hopping. Overuse of adverbs. Redundancy. Repetitiveness. Passive voice. And the odd wandering body part. Plus, nit-picky things most readers wouldn’t notice,  but I do. Yes, I am anal.

My decision: This book needed a complete overhaul so I could claim it anew with some semblance of pride.  I had started on some of the POV issues back in 2011.  Figured out early on that the way I wrote the book, I couldn’t really get rid of all the POV characters, but, at least, I wouldn’t head hop with them.

I even had my fave final line editor (love you, Ezra!) take a whack at a semi-revised revision. Bless him, he made judicious edits, but was concerned about changing my story, my voice — and that was the correct thing for him to do.

After fixing what he found and re-reading it, I decided it needed a more extensive revision. Enough more that when I republish it will need a new copyright since there will be enough textual changes such as deletions, new material, and extensive rewriting to demand such (you can edit a book and keep the same copyright number if the changes are technical such as typos and the like).

This is where I am now:  I am touching every page and revising/editing/rewriting.

To keep this revision on track, I am doing a chapter a day. On the days I can’t do a chapter, I make it up the next time I hit the computer. At this rate, I should have a final revised copy to send to my crit buddy (love you, Cheri!), who will then eviscerate it, and I then will accept or reject her evisceration and prepare a final version for publication.

Bottom line, I still like the book’s basic concept and plot. A lithomancer heroine, i.e., she controls stone energy or magic. Lots of action and suspense with the heroine inheriting the family land and becoming the person in her family who protects the family’s legacy and is destined to produce the next generation. The hero is a DEA agent who has magic of his own and his magic complements the heroine’s — together they are stronger than alone. Bad guys abound: evil boss from heroine’s past, drug cartel leader who’s discovered the secret on the land the heroine inherits and wants it, and the cartel minions who try to obtain the land and one of which has his own agenda. Oh and an honorable good guy law officer (yes, he needs his own book — not sure it’ll ever happen) who falls for the heroine and loses out. Basically, your typical Monette Michaels’ book.

Cross your fingers and wish me luck. I hope to have the improved Green Fire out before the end of the summer. Well, let’s put it this way, I have to get this done and soon, since  I have a Prime book (Damon and Susa’s story) to write by the end of the year. There’s always another book waiting to be written.

Original Green Fire Blurb (yes, this needs to be revised, too!) :

Lisa MacDougall is not your normal jewelry designer. Her genetic ability to sense which gemstones complement her clients’ chakras has made her designs famous. Increasingly, her job at Romanoff’s Jewelry Store in New York City has become uncomfortable with Andrei Romanoff’s aggressive sexual overtures. Her inheritance from a previously unknown relative in North Carolina couldn’t have come at a better time.

Lisa picks up stakes and moves to the Blue Ridge tourist town. Here she discovers her ability to read crystal energy is just the tip of the iceberg and that her Uncle Lon has left her more than just a quaint mountain property.

DEA Agent Marco Santiago is on the trail of the Verde Fogate drug cartel. A raid on a Miami warehouse goes bad, and all the DEA finds after months of planning is a lead to a lawyer in Ben Lomond, North Carolina and the words “green fire.” Marco and his partner head for the Blue Ridge Mountains to get to the bottom of what the cartel finds so interesting in Ben Lomond.

Marco finds that the woman who possesses the “green fire” is his complement in magic. But before Lisa and he can look toward a future together, they both must deal with evil from their past.

 

[Right:  Original Green Fire cover, Ariana Overton, Copyright, 2003]

Excerpt (unedited from the current revision):

“Do not go gentle into that good night.”
Lon MacDougall halted his nocturnal patrol. Standing under the denuded branches of an oak, he knew he was a sitting duck for the men who stalked him, but he’d had enough of their games. His affairs were in order. They wouldn’t get the land and the treasure it sheltered, the treasure he’d protected since the day his older brother Rob had left North Carolina, turning his back on his birthright.

Wheezing heavily then wincing at the sharp pain caused by the cancer eating away at his insides, Lon moved from his quasi-shelter and headed back toward his cabin. He silently chuckled as his shadowers followed. Stumbling silently over a small rise in the land, Lon swore. In younger, healthier days, he’d have moved through the night like a bobcat, silent and lethal. No way would some damn foreigners have been able to stalk him on his own land. But the cancer had ended all that.

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Tonight, he’d die. He’d chosen his manner of death—the quick death of a defender rather than the inevitable slow torture of the disease. The bastards didn’t know it, but they were doing him a favor.

Reaching the porch of his ancestral home, Lon stopped, then smiled. Yes, the land would be safe now. With Rob long since dead, he’d finally tracked Rob’s child to New York City. It had taken him almost a year to find the last surviving MacDougall. His brother had done what he’d sworn he would never do—produced an heir.

And the heir had the power.

The poor fools trying to get the land and the treasure it sheltered would never know what hit them. Lon frowned, wishing he could push fate off a little bit longer, wishing he could be around to help Rob’s child acclimate. Well, he’d done the best he could. The land was in the heir’s name. The tools the heir would need to learn to harness the power were safely away from North Carolina, awaiting the word of his death. He’d done all he could.

The rest would be up to her—Rob’s daughter.

Lon’s still keen eyesight pierced the dark shadows within the forest, zeroing in on movement where there should be none. The night air resonated with the sound of stealthy footsteps. Lon shook his head and sighed. Yep, too bad he wouldn’t be around to help her. He turned to meet death head on. A sound like a hornet. The prick of a dart. It was over that quickly.

As Lon fell off the porch onto the pine-needle-covered ground, he smiled. He’d won; they’d lost—and they didn’t even know it.

“Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight…”

Monette Michaels, Copyright, 2017.

Sneak Preview — An Ill Wind, Security Specialists International #5

mm_ssi5_anillwind_300x400

For those who have been waiting on Trey Maddox and Dr. Fiona Teague’s story, the wait is almost over. Book is in final line edits and then it will go to formatting. After that, I will upload and begin posting links as the book is published at the various retailers. Please enjoy this sneak peek.– Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my fans — Monette Michaels

****

 

Blurb:

A damaged woman fleeing her past.

After being stalked then attacked by a colleague, Dr. Fiona Teague flees to a New Mexico border town. Working in a clinic, Fee endeavors to overcome the horror of that night. To her dismay, Trey Maddox, her brother’s friend, refuses to be deterred from pursuing a relationship with her. If only she weren’t so broken … Trey’s everything a woman could want—honorable, strong, heroic, but he deserves better than a damaged woman.

A strong, capable protector determined to lure her into the shelter of his arms.    

During an Idaho blizzard, SSI operative Trey Maddox met Fee over the barrel of a rifle as she protected his pregnant sister-in-law. The gutsy little doc then ignored her own physical injuries to deliver his nephew. How could Trey not fall for her? Before he could persuade her to stay in Idaho, she’d cut and run to New Mexico. Undeterred by the distance, he pursues her, eroding her resistance with patience and tenacious good humor. And, finally, she agrees to an actual “date.”

But the ill wind that had destroyed her once before now sweeps through Fee’s life again. She’s kidnapped by a drug cartel. Trey arrives to find her house a bloody crime scene. The cartel has no idea of the ruthless hunter they’ve unleashed. Trey will storm hell itself in order to rescue Fee and make her his, once and for all.

Excerpt:
Copyright, 2016, Monette Michaels.
All rights reserved.

Prologue

11 pm, February 20th
Stanley Parker Health Center
Columbus, New Mexico

Dr. Fiona Teague’s stomach growled. Six-year-old Maria Cortez giggled, the first sound that wasn’t a whimper or a mewl of pain since the child’s arrival at the emergency room. Fee swept a lock of black silky hair off Maria’s face. The girl had an ugly bruise on her forehead. Maria’s brother had shoved the little girl and she’d fallen off her front porch and—head met sidewalk.

“Are you feeling better, chica?”

The x-rays hadn’t shown any fracture, thank goodness. Fee had cleaned the bloody scrape, administered a prescription-strength dose of Tylenol, and applied ice to get the swelling down. There really wasn’t anything else she could do.

Maria shrugged her shoulders, her big brown eyes still moist from earlier tears.

Fee looked at Maria’s mother. “Señora, just keep an eye on Maria. Wake her up every hour just to make sure she can. If you can’t rouse her, or if she throws up or complains of severe headaches, bring her back in right away. I’m going to have Nurse Pia schedule a follow-up visit for Maria at the clinic on Monday.”

Gracias, Dr. Teague.” Señora Cortez picked up Maria who clung like a monkey to her mother. The woman left the exam area. The now-chastised older brother fell into step with his mother. The father was missing in action. Pia Lopez had told her the man was a drug runner for the Sinaloa cartel.

It was don’t ask, don’t tell—business as usual in this ER in a U.S.-Mexico border community.
Pia walked up to Fee. “Well, that was different.” The petite nurse was a Mexican-American who’d lived in Columbus, New Mexico, her whole life except for the time she’d left to attend nursing school in Austin, Texas. She was one of the best nurses Fee had ever worked with anywhere.

“Well, it definitely was a break from treating addicts who’ve decided to mix heroin and crystal meth.” Drug overdoses or, in the case of speedballing, drug stupidity was a lot of what Fee dealt with during her shifts, day or night. The rest of her cases tended to be knifings and gun shot wounds which arose out of the running and selling of drugs.

Fee’s stomach growled again. “I need to eat. Want to grab a bite with me? I brought a couple of sandwiches and am happy to share.”
Pia shook her head, a sly smile on her face. “I’ve eaten, thanks. Besides someone is here and has brought you some of my mama’s chicken enchiladas you like so well.”

Carmela Lopez owned and was the chief cook for a local diner called Mamacitas. Fee ate or carried out a lot of her meals from there.

Fee smiled. “Your mother is so sweet to think of me. What did she bring you?”

“Not my mama.” Pia shoved her in the direction of the small break room. “Go see.”

Her surprise meal guest had to be Price. Her brother had mentioned something about visiting this week. It would be just like him to get Pia’s mother to make Fee’s favorite Mexican meal.

Would Trey Maddox be with him? Fee’s pulse raced and a tingle of excitement traveled over her skin. She would never admit it out loud, but when Trey hadn’t come the last time Price visited, she’d missed him. Missed him a lot—more than a lot—and that had shocked her. She still wasn’t sure she was ready for the type of relationship Trey wanted with her. A relationship he’d patiently pursued for months, making the trip from Idaho frequently, most often in the company of her brother.

Fee entered the break room and stopped just inside the door.

Her heart stuttered as she took in all that was Trey Maddox. The man was six-foot, four inches of alpha-male with thick, dark hair and green eyes. Those eyes now gleamed as he approached her in a panther-like glide. “Hey, little doc.”

Only Trey called her that. She’d grown to like his pet name for her, mostly because of the affectionate tone in his voice when he said it. No one before him had ever cared enough to use an endearment when speaking to her.

“You look beautiful.” His languid perusal burned over every inch of her. His expression grew more sensual.

Trey needed his eyes examined. She had on no make-up and a set of green scrubs that had blood and other bodily fluids that would put most people off their food. But the look in his eyes had her believing his words. To him, she was beautiful and that fact both confused her and made her grateful.

“Trey…” Flustered at his all-encompassing gaze, Fee looked around. “…um, where’s my brother?”

“He’s on an op…” he said.

Trey stopped less than a foot away from her. His gaze seemed fixed on her mouth. Her breath caught in her throat and she wondered if he’d kiss her.

Kiss him. You know you want to.

No, she couldn’t. She was a woman who’d had really bad luck with the men in her past.

Trey’s not those other guys, and, for sure, he isn’t the stalker-rapist Adam-fucking-Stall.

Definitely not. She shuddered at the thought of the former colleague who’d raped her, denied he’d done it, and was the reason she’d run from Detroit to this middle of effin’ nowhere border town.

“…so I came in his place and brought you a meal.” Trey held out his hand. “Come and sit down. Let me serve you. Señora Lopez sent enough food for both of us. The smell has had me salivating ever since I picked up the food from her house.”

Fee placed her cold hand in his large, warm one. The innocent touch thrilled her, more so than kisses from any other man. “You didn’t have to come.”

“Yes, I did.” Trey lifted her hand to his lips and kissed the tips of her fingers. “I missed seeing you last month.” He looked into her eyes. “I wasn’t missing this month, too.”

“Okay.” She swallowed hard. His expression … his voice … his words overwhelmed her. He looked at her as if she were as essential to him as oxygen.

Looking away, she focused on the table. Oh my. Happy tears threatened to choke her.

He’d set the cheap plastic table with a bouquet of flowers, candles, china, silver, and cloth napkins.
No one, not even her beloved brother Price, had ever done anything so nice, so special for her. “Y-y-you put my Diet Pepsi in a wine glass.”

Past bad experiences with and insecurities about men were swept away in a groundswell of joy. Fee pulled her hand loose, stood on her tip toes, and brushed a kiss over his lips. “Th-that’s so sweet. Th-thank you.”

“You’re welcome … and you’re the sweet one.” Leaning down, he cupped her face and gave her kiss back to her and then took it up another notch.

Holy hell. The man could kiss.

Trey took his time as he nibbled and licked her lips. There was no aggression in his touch; if there had been, she’d have recoiled. Instead, he was gently insistent, and she opened to his lips and tongue and shyly returned the kiss.

“Fee,” he murmured as he continued to press light kisses on her mouth. “You taste good, and I’d love nothing more than to kiss you for hours, but this probably isn’t the best time or place.”

Damn, one kiss, and a fairly innocent one at that, and Fee’s brain took a short vacation, losing all sense of time and space. No man’s kisses or intimate touch had ever taken her out of herself before.

Shaking off the sensual haze, she nodded. “Yeah. The ER’s quiet right now, but—” Her stomach rumbled loudly.

Trey chuckled. Tucking some of her curls behind her ear, he kissed the tip of her nose. “But it could get busy, and you need fuel so you can handle the rest of your shift. Sit, let me serve you supper.”

He took her arm and led her to the table and then held the wobbly plastic and metal chair for her. She sat and scooted closer to the table and placed the napkin on her lap. Taking a sip of the Diet Pepsi, she watched as he pulled out the food and served her two chicken enchiladas along with some beans and rice.

Fee inhaled the aroma and her mouth watered. “Smells divine. What did Carmela make you?”

“I have the pork enchiladas, but with the same tomatillo sauce she put on yours.” Trey sat and took a long pull from the dewy bottle of Dos Equis by his place setting. “Eat. Catch me up on what’s happened since I was here last.”

Fee took a bite of her food and found it was easy to talk to Trey about her patients—in general terms, of course, she’d never violate their privacy—and about life in the small border town. She even told him how Pia was ignoring Sheriff Levi Gray Wolf’s romantic overtures and how worried both Carmela and Pia were about Pia’s brother Ernesto who ran drugs for the cartel.

Trey’s expression grew darker the more Fee revealed about Pia’s brother. He held up a hand, halting her words. “Are you using the security system Price and I installed at your place?”

“Yes.” She let out an exasperated sigh at the autocratic note in his tone. Both men had lectured her on safety rules several times since she’d moved to New Mexico. “I set the system every night.”

“Fee…” A stern look on his face, Trey reached across the small table and tipped up her chin. “You’re very precious to your brother, to my sister-in-law and her family—and to me. Use the system whenever you’re home, day or night. Cartel asshats can attack during the day just as easily as the night. Okay?”

She captured his hand and squeezed it. “Okay. You know you’re as bossy as my brother.”

Trey pulled his hand from hers and traced her lips with the tip of a finger. “I ain’t your brother, sweetheart.”

God, and didn’t she know it. Her feelings for Trey were intense—had always been strong from the day she met him—but the feelings had grown over the months. He’d burrowed under her skin, slowly but surely.

All too soon, they finished their meal. Drawing out her time with him, she helped him clean up the table and then walked him to the ER exit. “Thanks again for visiting and bringing me a meal.”

“You’re very welcome, little doc.” Trey took her in his arms and kissed her deeply, then let her go. “See you in a month. Maybe I can take you out for a real date next time?”

“Maybe. I’ll think on it.”

“You do that.” He gave her a panty-melting smile, then turned and left.

Fee watched until he got in his rental and drove away. She already missed him.

 

Eye of the Storm is FREE @iBooks

eyecover_240_x_349Yes, the first book in my Security Specialists International is now FREE at iBooks for a limited time only.  So, if you have been putting off buying it, now is your chance to step into the world of my super hot alpha males and their kick-ass women.

Blurb:
Keely Walsh has three doctorates, five older brothers and has never met a situation she couldn’t handle. While consulting with the NSA, she discovers sensitive government information indicating her brother, a private security operative, is in danger. Keely travels to the dangerous Triple Frontier in South America to warn him and his colleagues and finds the last thing she expects–a man who sends icy shivers down her spine even as he lights every one of her fires.
Ren Maddox, co-owner of Security Specialists International, a security firm that works for large corporations and governments, is on an intelligence-gathering mission for the US government when a petite strawberry blonde armed with a Bren Ten and an attitude ten feet tall pops out of the Argentine jungle with a warning of imminent danger. The fact she is one hundred percent correct shocks him to his socks. The fact she is Tweeter Walsh’s baby sister and can fight like the fiercest Marine is beside the point. No one who looks like Keely should ever be in danger. And once he gets her out of the current situation, he’ll make it his life’s work to protect the feisty, sexy, little woman from any and all danger.
One alpha male. One determined and independent female. One hot, tumultuous relationship.

Here is the link to iBooks:

iBooks First in a Series Promotion

Look for Eye of the Storm in the Suspense Category.
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Cover Reveal– SSI Book 4 — Storm Warning

MM_SSI4_StormWarning_300x400

This is the cover for my next Security Specialists International book. Storm Warning is book four and will feature Stuart Alan Walsh, aka Tweeter, and DJ Poe, a former Army helicopter pilot with some additional specialized training.

The book is in progress. I am at about the halfway point and, so far, a lot of exciting and dangerous things have occurred. Bad things from DJ’s past.  Mercs after Keely and Riley Walsh on the day DJ arrives to start her job for SSI. And really bad weather, avalanches, and snipers on Sanctuary land. And then Tweeter and DJ get the call to go undercover on a contract job for the CIA. What is supposed to be a simple information-gathering mission soon turns deadly. Both DJ and Tweeter (whom she calls “Ace” since he is a grown man for chrissakes) will have to use all their skills and training to survive in order to attain their happy ending.

For those of you who haven’t read any of my SSI books, iBooks now has Eye of the Storm for FREE in their Discover a New Author feature.  But hurry, the price goes back to retail after December 15th.

Here’s the iBooks link: Free Eye of the Storm

I also have two novellas in the SSI series FREE at Liquid Silver Books, in all major formats: Stormy Weather Baby (Bk. 1.5) and Storm Front (Bk. 2.5). Here’s the Free SSI Novellas.