Monday, August 30, 2010

Belinda McBride Reveals Her Passion for Writing Tantalizing Sagas!


Belinda McBride, author of erotica paranormal romances, fantasy adventures and sci-fi sagas. Let's give her a warm welcome!


**Belinda will be giving away a e-book copy of Little Foxes to one lucky winner! All you have to do is leave a comment or ask a question and you'll be entered in the drawing. For Extra Points follow this blog. If you're already a follower, fantastic! Just state you're a follower when you leave a comment. Good Luck! (Don't forget to leave your e-mail so Belinda can contact you if you should win.)


Belinda, why don't you tell us a little about yourself:


Thanks for having me here today, Karen! Well, first off, I’m the single parent of two daughters. Both are grown up and living outside of the house. One is finishing college, the other is a yacht chef for a “major movie star.” That job keeps her overseas most of the year. I live in a little house in far Northern California with an array of Siberian Huskies, wild birds and a killer Chihuahua named Squirt.


My ‘Day Job’ is taking care of my niece 24/7. She has Angelman Syndrome, which is a disorder that includes autism, cerebral palsy, and seizure disorder.

I’m a historian and cultural anthropologist by training, and can sometimes be an insufferable know-it-all. (even when I don’t know anything at all!) Other than dogs, I collect gemstones and have an insatiable love of travel.


I generally write erotic romance, mostly in sci fi, paranormal and fantasy. I write m/f, LGBT, and IR/MC.


Little Foxes is the fourth story in the Black Planet Saga. What’s the name of the first book? Second? Third? Are each story a stand alone tale or would it be best to read them in order?


Little Foxes is the fourth book in the Black Planet Saga. The previous three books are now bundled into a collection called, “Black Planet: Little Dragon.” These are stand-alone books that take place in Earth’s future. They are set in San Francisco, Hong Kong and on a hostile planet called Nephris. All of the Black Planet books revolve around the truly fabulous heroines. I wanted to write a series that had the women as the primary heroes, rather than the men. Don’t get me wrong, their heroes are pretty amazing too! But I wanted to really pay homage to action heroines in this series.


Tell us about Kitsune (Kit) Jung, your hero of the story. What kind of man is he? What does he look like? (It’s okay to make us drool. lol)


Kit Jung was a small-time villain from Little Dragon. In that book, the heroine was Rose Lee and she had quite the crush on Kit. He was shallow, immature, dishonest and sneaky. At the end of the book, he’s left as a slave on Nephris. In the time that he’s there, he really evolves into a deep, heroic man. We get the answers as to what he was really doing aboard Rose’s ship and insight as to who he really is. Kit is Chinese-American, shockingly handsome and very cutting edge with fashion. His biggest secret is that he’s very brilliant and single-minded.


Hu Fei Lee is your heroine. Tell us a little about her. What is her first impression of Kit?


What is Kit’s first impression of Hu Fei?


Well, Hu Fei is a very damaged young woman. She is a top-notch martial artist who barely survived a brutal assault by her parents’ enemies. She’s humbled, phobic and has worked long and hard to recover. She’s heard nothing but bad about Kit, but when she accepts the assignment to rescue him, she approaches him with an open mind.


Her first impression of Kit? Well, he’s wonderfully handsome, so she notices that. She also notices that he does what he can to make the lives of other slaves better, to the point of extreme self-sacrifice. She recognizes him for the heroic man he really is.


When Kit meets Hu Fei, he belives that Hu is a young man, and to his chagrin, is immediately attracted to her. I think he hero-worships her more than a little. J


It’s love at first sight for both of them! However, Kit has gone through a lot of trauma, and may not be able to overcome all the damage that he’s sustained emotionally.


What inspired you to write sci-fi romances? How do you come up with a whole new world? Do you map it out before you begin to write? Tell us a little bit about the process.


I enjoy sci fi because there are virtually no limits to the genre. I love taking a tiny woman who worships Bruce Lee and hooking her up with a gigantic winged alien. You try figuring out sex when there’s over a foot of difference in their height! LOL!


The Black Planet books evolved from two sources. First, I wanted to write a cyber-punk series in a futuristic version of the Kowloon Walled City of Hong Kong, which was destroyed in the ‘90s. I set it on the waterfront in San Francisco and called it “Wharf.” Secondly, I wanted to combine ancient Asian culture with a futuristic world, so most of the books feature members of the Lee family of San Francisco and Hong Kong. From there, I added various alien species, most importantly, the Thalians, which are winged humanoids. My main link between the books is that Guo Lee, the patriarch of the Lee family appears in them all. What’s interesting is that there’s over a 30 year span of time…and he never ages. Hmmm…


Never ages, that does have me intrigued. :)


You’ve written a few series. Do you find it difficult to write a series or do you prefer to do so?


I prefer to write in series, simply because I have a hard time letting my characters go. Plus, world building in Speculative Fiction is laborious, so why waste it? So at Loose Id, Belle Starr and An Uncommon Whore aren’t linked, but they share a common universe. I have werewolves set in the present day, and regardless of the series or publisher, they share the same mythology.


I’ve seen your book cover for Bad Angels: Falling and am intrigued to know more. Tell us a little about the Bad Angels series and what to expect.


Bad Angels is actually a prologue and then two serialized paranormal/fantasy books. Falling is essentially m/m; it tells the story of how the angel Rion literally falls into the life of Rex, who is a Ghillie Dubh. Burn and Heaven introduce their heroine Noemi, who is a woman of First Nations heritage, and has some pretty heavy secrets that she isn’t even aware of. While I’ve finished that series, I do plan to play in that world again someday.


What are your current projects and works in progress?

Right now I’m finishing edits on Blacque/Bleu, a m/m paranormal that will release at Loose Id on October 12 as part of their Coming Out celebration. I’m also working on Dos Lunas, a novella that is part of the ‘Lucky in Red’ anthology at Passion in Print, which is the new heterosexual imprint of MLR Press. I’ve got multiple works in progress, most notably sequels to Belle Starr and An Uncommon Whore, and a second Dark Haven anthology. There’s a lot of reader demand for my Truckee Wolves, so that’s in development.


Tell the readers where they can find you:

My website: http://www.belindamcbride.com

My Blog: http://www.belindam.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/belinda.mcbride1?ref=profile

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?

I expect 2011 to be an incredibly busy year, so stay tuned!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Interview with Paranormal Author, Angela Steed


Hunky God of Destruction, Vampires and Kick Butt characters, Angela Steed is here to share her paranormal world with us. Feel free to ask her a question or leave a comment. She'd love to hear from you.


***Angela's Contest is at Romance Junkies. Info listed below.


Betrayal: The Awakening is a vampire tale. Why vampires? What do you find appealing about the dark creature of the night?


Betrayal: The Awakening began as a horror novel about ten years ago. I stuck it away in a corner for about seven years before I started reworking it into a love story.


I’ve always been fascinated with modern vampires, but I’ve never really found them appealing in a sense, just powerful—dark. I suppose if one has lost their way, their heart, and possibly their soul, they’d need to find direction. Whether the heart beats or not, or if it’s cold and lonely, warmth is out there somewhere. The being needs to keep searching in faith, or in Tristan’s case, dwindling hope.


Tristan, the hero of Betrayal, is quite dark and tortured which makes him unique. I find him appealing because he yearns to be human, and yet he also enjoys the night.


What vampire traits of legend do you follow or don’t follow? (ex. Can they go out in the daylight? Does holy water burn them? Are they afraid of crosses? You get the picture. J)


When most of us hear the word vampire, we usually think about the way they’re depicted in movies. Instead of strictly following lore, I used modern fiction in Betrayal: The Awakening…with a slight twist of course. Daylight burns. Holy water hasn’t been tested. A cross doesn’t bother anyone. My vampires can’t morph into creatures. They can fly but I can’t tell you why because that’s part of the ending (and sequel). ;)


Tell us about your hero, Tristan Williamson. What does he look like? Don’t hold back, we’re dying to know. Okay I know that was a bad joke. Don’t hold it against me. (hee hee)


Karen—you’re such a nut(t)! (Okay, there’s my bad joke of the day.). ;p

Although Tristan fits in with the tall, dark-haired, and handsome category, he’s actually quite dark on the inside. He doesn’t believe he’s a vampire at all, just a man cursed with an eternal illness.


He’s lived over 400 years waiting for a female to be born in a certain bloodline. Over those 400 years, he’s learned patience. He’s yearned for humanity for so long, he’s taught himself to be somewhat moral…even considered human by his only friend. So when the cure literally falls at his doorstep in the form of a child, he’s torn between right and wrong. He desperately wants to take her life so he’ll be human again, but he also wants to do the right thing by letting the child live.


Betrayal is a dark story about one man struggling with the demon inside him. It’s not a typical paranormal romance, but rather a dark love story about acceptance and forgiveness.


Tell us about Anna Carlson. Without giving too much away, why is she so special that Tristan hunts her down?


Anna begins as a newborn in Betrayal: The Awakening and spans through important parts of her life. I’m not sure there’s another book out there where the hero actually helps deliver the heroine. It’d be neat to read how others managed to work that in.

Anyway, Tristan believes she’s the cure he’s searched centuries for, but his morals keep him from destroying her. So he waits until she’s older. Unfortunately, she’s just too charming to make it easy on him.


Are there more Vampire tales in the works? What reading formats does Betrayal: The Awakening come in?


I’m actually working on the sequel to Betrayal. It’s not as dark. It moves a lot faster than the first one and has some really big surprises. What can I say? I dare to be…daring.

Right now Betrayal is available as an e-book through Bookstrand.com, Amazon Kindle, and various other places that sell most e-formats. It’s scheduled to come out in print the first part of 2011. I can’t wait to feel the paper in my hands. Look out New Orleans. Here I come…Halloween 2011. *sigh* It’s such a long wait.


What are your current projects and works in progress?

Besides Betrayal 2, I’m working on a sci-fi short. I’ve finished two contemporary romance novels that I have yet to edit. And I’ve also got another short vampire story that I haven’t done anything with since I finished writing.

I’m still in summer mode with the kids, so I haven’t had too much time to do anything else but swim, shop, and play video games. =D Gotta love summer!


Tell the readers where they can find you:

Angela Steed’s website

http://www.angelasteed.com

Myspace

http://www.myspace.com/angelasteed

Bookstrand

http://www.bookstrand.com/betrayal-the-awakening

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?

If you love vampire stories, please check a new short called Blood Evolution by Kimberly Adkins, also available at Bookstrand.com and Amazon Kindle. It’s a refreshing vampire read, quite unique, and extremely sexy!

http://www.bookstrand.com/blood-evolution


I’ll have to check it out. I read Darkenbane: The Fountain by Kimberly Adkins, which is another wonderful read.


Angela's Website: http://www.angelasteed.com

Buy your own copy of Betrayal The Awakening: http://www.bookstrand.com/betrayal-the-awakening

Blurb: Tristan Williamson waited four hundred years for her blood. Believing it holds his cure, he’s ready to end her life and retake his humanity. Present at her birth, he finds killing her is not as easy as he planned. As she grows, befriending her was a dangerous mistake. And when she comes to him as a beautiful woman, falling in love with her could end up being her ultimate demise.

As a child Anna Carlson worshiped the ground he walked on, believing in his existence as a vampire wholeheartedly until the day he left her. Her bitterness grew over the years, leading her to believe he was nothing but a con. Now, to fulfill the dying wish of her father, she’s destined to find his whereabouts and help him discover a cure she knew nothing about. But when she falls in love with him all over again, she’ll find danger she will never forget.

Excerpt:

He knelt before her. The coolness of his palm gently caressed her wet face. When she looked at him with tear-filled eyes, she felt calm, her thoughts less clouded than just a moment before.

“There will never be night and day in my world. Only darkness.” He breathed a sigh. “I am a monster, undeserving of your heart. But believe my words, I never desired to leave you. I only left to protect you.”

“Protect me from what?”

She sniffled, desperate to hide, embarrassed she’d cried so hard in front of the man she despised for so many reasons. She allowed him to hold his palm to her face, to gently thumb another tear away.

“I would have turned on you if I’d stayed.”

“Turned on me?” she whispered.

“Your blood calls to my senses, Anna. It is unbearable.”

She saw her reflection in his eyes and shuddered, whispering thoughts aloud as if reminding herself why she hated him.

“I can’t believe in you anymore. I won’t. You killed my parents. And your lies sent Mac to his grave.”

“I swear to you, Anna, on my eternal life. I did not murder your loved ones.”

She pulled her face from his touch. “You’ve taken your story too far, Tristan. Vampires are fiction.”

“I am but one diseased man.”

“I know a psychiatrist at the hospital. He can help you get better.”

She watched intently as he showed his teeth, beautiful—whitened and perfectly straight. No bloodstains or blemishes tainted them. But as she watched closely, his canines began to move.

At first she thought it her imagination, a trick he mastered for his act, as they began to curve down, slowly bending into a sharp point just below his other top teeth. She reached out, apprehensive to touch them, fascinated over the possibility. She hesitated, hand still in the air before her.

“They can’t be real,” she whispered.

A flicker of light caught her attention. She looked up from his teeth to his eyes. Flame danced in their darkness. His brows lowered as he leaned in close to her face and growled as if ready to tear her apart.

“Do you believe now?” His surly voice sent icy chills through her veins. He gnashed his teeth wildly and then grabbed her by the shoulders. He pulled her close, and though his touch was gentle, it frightened her beyond words.

The bloodcurdling scream she let out echoed around his fallen castle, literally crumbled at her feet. The truth showed in his unnatural human face. She believed in him again. This time the silly vampire crush she carried as a young girl became a woman’s nightmare, for his intentions were clear—he yearned for her blood.

Angela Steed is currently having a contest through Romance Junkies. The link is available on her home page at:http://www.angelasteed.com


Win an E-book of Betrayal: The Awakening plus a gift basket with a signed copy of The Sea's Embrace, 1080 Kiss, and Assassin's Fall. There will also be a box of Godiva chocolates and a few other delicious goodies.
ROMANCEJUNKIES.COM


Thanks Karen!

Angela Steed


You're very welcome. Thank you for coming by today and sharing a bit of your world.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Journey of Books: BlogFest 2010 - Sign Up Now

A Journey of Books: BlogFest 2010 - Sign Up Now

Kelly Abell, Author of Paranormal Thrillers



Kelly Abell is the author of romantic thrillers and paranormal romances that "will delight the senses and warm your soul." Let's give her a warm welcome.


**Contest: Kelly will be giving away a free e-book copy of Captured In Lies to one lucky visitor. All you have to do is leave a comment or ask a question. Please remember to leave your email address so Kelly may contact you if you should win.


Captured in Lies is the second book in the Lies series. For those who are new to your books, what is the name of the first book in the series? Is each story a stand alone tale or must we read the series in order? The first book in the series is Sealed In Lies. I would recommend you read Sealed In Lies first because it introduces the main characters, Jack and Caroline. This series is really their story and it starts in Book One. I also have a free read on my publisher’s website called Just Married In Lies. This short story links the two books together and tells the story of Jack and Caroline’s wedding day. Download it for free today at www.solsticepublishing.com


Tell us about the hero of Captured in Lies. What can we expect from Dane Kendrick? Dane is a new character to the In Lies series. Jack Weaver is also a hero in this book but he can’t save his sister, his wife, and two vulnerable cities all by himself. Dane is an old military buddy of Jack’s who pulled his butt out of danger and he’s about to do it again. Dane is not only sexy, but smart, dependable and knows everything there is to know about explosives. His nickname is Boomer.


What does your heroine, Lucy Chavez think of Dane after they first meet? Tell us a little about Lucy and what makes her a perfect match for Dane. Lucy first treats Dane as a colleague. She is in a terrible fix with a bomb strapped to her chest and she and Dane only have 3 minutes to difuse it. Talk about some tense moments. Lucy is perfect for Dane because they are both dedicated to their career. Dane as a bomb squad commander and Lucy as an FBI agent. They know what its like to live on the edge and it keeps them both sharp. Lucy has gone through life as the tough girl who never really needed anyone and then she meets Dane, only to discover what she’s been missing in her life all these years.


Just reading the blurb to Captured in Lies, I can tell it’s an action packed story. Where do you come up with your ideas? The first book Sealed In Lies actually came from a true news story I heard that happened in Northern Virginia. A senator’s wife was kidnapped and the crook eventually let her go. My mind started wondering, “what would happen if she didn’t want to go back home. What if her kidnapper was her savior? And Sealed In Lies was born. Once I finished Sealed In Lies I realized I hadn’t properly dealt with one of the major villains at the end. The Emperor was just left hanging. That would never do, so I wrote the second book which is filled with his lust for revenge. The third book will have even more action for Jack and Caroline. Their past is so full of trouble, it follows them wherever they go.


What are your current projects and works in progress? I have three projects I’m working on right now. My newest book Blood Harvest Moon is a paranormal romance about to be released from kNight Romance Publishing. I am also working on Book Two in the Haunted Destiny Series, a YA paranormal series I have out with Solstice Publishing. Finally, I have a third romantic suspense novel in the works called Slaying Dragons (working title).


Tell the readers where they can find you: You can find me on my website www.kellyabellbooks.com. You can buy my books from most major websites including:

www.solsticepublishing.com

www.amazon.com

www.smashwords.com

www.bookstrand.com

www.allromanceebooks.com

www.coffeetimeromance.com


Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers? I just want to thank my loyal readers for all the support they give. New readers, give my books a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed. They are fast paced page turners. Please visit my website for reviews. I also invite you to become a member at my website so you can keep up with the current news.


Purchase the In Lies Series here:

www.solsticepublishing.com


Blurb:

In Book Two of the In Lies Series Jack and Caroline are faced with insurmountable odds and we get to meet sexy Bomb Squad Commander Dane Kendrick. Dane will become embroiled in Jack’s tumultuous life and meet his beautiful sister, FBI Agent, Lucy Chavez. Although they meet under less than ideal circumstances the sparks fly leading to a passion that explodes off the page, literally. Read on to see what’s in store in Captured In Lies…

Just before Thanksgiving and after a passionate honeymoon in the Caribbean, Jack and Caroline Weaver return home to D.C. to start their new life together. Approaching their house Jack’s cell phone rings and the violent explosion that follows will change Jack’s and Caroline’s lives forever. The Emperor is back and he wants revenge.

Jack, reeling from what has just happened to the love of his life, is anxiously awaiting word from the doctor when he gets another call. The relentless Emperor now has Lucy, Jack’s sister, strapped to a bomb, somewhere in the city and in order to find her he must play a deadly game of scavenger hunt. The stakes are upped even higher when The Emperor places another bomb in Boston knowing that the sexy ex-SEAL with the maverick reputation can’t be two places at once. How can Jack find his sister, keep his wife safe, and stop the destruction of American lives?

Jack will be forced to trust a former military comrade, hunky Bomb Squad Commander, Dane “Boomer” Kendrick. Dane must go after Lucy while Jack heads to Boston. When Dane locates Lucy and arrives on the scene there is an instant attraction, despite the fact she is set to explode in less than 3 minutes. Can Dane and Lucy defuse the bomb and save Lucy’s life? What about defusing the passion that begins to grow between them? Will Jack be able to stop the deaths of innocent Americans without losing those most precious to him? It’s hard to know who to trust if you’re Captured in Lies.


Excerpt:

Chapter 1

The sand squeezed up between his toes as he walked along the beach. Jack looked over at his beautiful wife Caroline and smiled. The turquoise blue Caribbean Sea lapped gently over his feet as he took her hand. He couldn't believe how lucky he was to have found Caroline. She has become everything to me, he thought, my love and my life.


He laughed as Caroline ran ahead of him, splashing through the warm gentle waves. She turned around, smiling, and waved at him. He waved back and started to run after her. Catching her, Jack swung her around and kissed her soundly. He wondered what it would feel like to make love to her right here on the sand. Caroline slipped away from him and went deeper into the water, splashing him as she went. He heard a noise that gave him pause. He turned away from her and looked back over the gently rolling dunes trying to identify the sound. Gradually he became aware of a temperature shift in the sand. He turned back to see Caroline, her face filled with confusion as slowly the beautiful Caribbean Sea began to change. The water disappeared, absorbed by a coarse gravelly sand that burned the soles of their feet. Caroline hopped from one foot to the other.


Jack knew this place. This was desert sand. Jack felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up. He opened his mouth to call for Caroline but she was already moving toward him. Everything began to happen in slow motion. He felt the rush of air very close to his ear and watched as Caroline’s head swung to one side. Slowly, her eyes on him, she dropped to her knees. Then he heard it, the loud crack of a sniper’s rifle. He watched, frozen in place. Caroline fell face forward, blood pooling around her head then disappearing quickly into the hot thirsty sand. As if released by an invisible hand, Jack sprinted to her side. No, No, No, Jack screamed in his head, tearing off his shirt and pressing it on the spurting neck wound. Not my Caroline, not my Baby, my bride. Looking frantically around for the source of the bullet, Jack saw a man standing just at the edge of the horizon. Even from that distance Jack heard the voice say, “Paybacks are hell, aren't they Jack?”


“No!” Jack sat up in the first class seat on the airplane, arms and legs akimbo. He opened his eyes and saw Caroline's wide eyes staring at him. He also saw several other passengers leaning out of their own seats staring at him.


“Sir, are you okay? Do you need anything? A glass of water, a cool cloth, a drink?” The flight attendant leaned over their seats very concerned.


“No,” Jack cleared his throat, rubbed his hands over his sweaty face and sat up straighter in his seat. “I'm okay; just had a bad dream is all.”


“Are you okay, Jack?” Caroline asked softly. He nodded, reaching over to grab her hand.


“What happened, Jack? It wasn’t one of those nightmares, was it?” Caroline said, leaning over her own seat toward him.


He nodded, laid his head back on his seat and turned to face her. He ran a hand through his hair. His heart hammered in his chest, pumping adrenaline through his veins. He wanted off this airplane.


Caroline squeezed his hand and wrapped his arm in a hug. “Want to tell me about it?”


He leaned into to her and kissed her hard on the mouth.


“Okay, that was nice. Want to tell me what prompted it?”


“I lost you, Caroline. In the dream, I lost you.”


“What do you mean, you lost me?”


“You were shot. You bled out on the sand right there in my arms.”


“Oh God. That's just great. Your dreams have never been prophetic have they?”


“Very funny,” he said, blowing out a breath.


“God, what a nightmare.”


“Really?” He offered her a weak smile.


“Why now, Jack? Do you think it's because we are going to back to D.C?”


“I don't know, Caroline. I can't tell you why. I thought all the nightmares were gone too. Since you killed Warren, I've slept like a baby.”


Caroline flinched.


He knew how upset it made her to know that she'd taken someone's life, even if the man was her own abusively cruel husband. “It was weird, Caroline. You and I were walking on the beach and then the scene changed, you know? All of a sudden we weren't on the beach anymore but in the desert in Iraq. A shot rang out and you dropped like a stone, bleeding out all over the sand with a bullet in your neck.


“When I looked around to see where the shot came from, there was a figure of a man and he said,

'Paybacks are hell, aren't they Jack?'”


Caroline shivered. “That's horrible. What do you think it means?”


“I'm not sure, but let's just say he wasn't our number one fan.”


“Well, that I figured that out all by myself. I didn't need your CIA brain to solve that one.”


“Ex-CIA,” Jack said.


“I know. Are you sure you don't want to take that job President Hardy offered you? It was a really great offer.”


Jack shook his head. “I'm not cut out to sit behind a desk.” Even if it was a big desk, Jack thought. Being asked by President Michael Hardy to be the Director of Homeland Security was a great offer, but Jack shunned public service. He was ready to start his own business.


He really liked the thought of the private security business. With Caroline’s law degree and his military training, they made a great team. It would be a hell of a lot safer. Jack knew that Caroline had enough excitement last year to last her a lifetime. It still amazed him how much she loved him. In spite of her fear from being abused and raped by her first husband, Senator Warren Walters, she mustered the courage to trust him and even love him. The day he kidnapped her he knew she was different. She’d proven him right when she’d risked her life to save his. On that day, Jack, lying there with a gunshot wound to the chest, had looked into the eyes of the bravest woman he knew. He remembered passing out to the sound of helicopter blades. Fortunately his sister, FBI Agent Lucy Weaver called in the cavalry. Jack and Caroline were rescued and spent the last year and a half recuperating. Six months ago, Jack asked Caroline to marry him. They were briefly going to visit D.C. to put Caroline’s mansion up for sale and then they were off to begin a new chapter.


“I love you, Jack. I can’t wait to get back to Florida. I miss the palm trees already.”


Jack chuckled. “You were fond of those palm trees weren't you?”


“I love everything about Florida; our little house in Plant City, the weather, being away from the D.C. rat race. I can’t wait to start our business, Jack. It will be so good to actually do something to help people.” Caroline leaned her head back against the seat and sighed.


Jack agreed. He was through with public service. Uncle Sam got more than his pound of flesh out of Jack. Between his service as a SEAL in the Gulf War then as an undercover operative for the CIA he was through with sneaking around and looking over his shoulder. He wanted to move forward with Caroline and slow the pace tremendously.


While recovering from his bullet wound, Jack had plenty of time to think. He had stopped the assassination of President Hardy, but the loose ends bothered Jack. At least he brought down the Cortez Drug Cartel in Columbia. Lucy turned over the evidence he'd shipped home which prompted the extradition of the Cortez family and put them behind bars. Still, some angry people lost a lot of money from that bust. Jack sighed; maybe his days of looking over his shoulder would never be over. That the CIA and the FBI couldn't locate Mohammed Rabin, AKA The Emperor still bothered him. Even though he'd tried to save Rabin's sister in the Gulf War, the man still held a twisted hatred for Jack and all things American. Jack forced himself to relax. A year had passed since the plot against President Hardy's life and no one had come looking for him. Maybe all of this was truly over. He closed his eyes but did not go to sleep for fear of another nightmare. He reached for Caroline's hand and held its warmth in his own.