one that included a beautiful woman and a
little girl he'd die defending…
Ashton Fitzgerald is no unassuming handyman but a highly trained
sharpshooter intent on protecting Summer Worrall and her baby daughter.
The Omega SWAT member has a debt to pay and
he isn't about to let Summer out of his sights.
Her unexpected relationship with Ashton has put Summer and her child
straight into a madman's line of fire. Suddenly a mission to make
amends becomes Ashton's quest to defend this little family with his
DADDY DEFENDER Excerpt:
“I dreamed it was you. And convinced myself I was absolutely crazy, because how could the handyman be the person who had gotten us out of a burning building?”
Oh damn. “Summer—”
“That couldn’t possibly be right. You were shy. Timid, even.” She began to pace back and forth right in front of him, her voice getting louder and louder. “Which was fine, I had no problem with that. But you just weren’t the type of guy who would be a part of Omega Sector. I’ve met some of them. They’re all alpha male, save-the-world sorts of guys who could lead a crowd to safety at any moment. But you seemed more comfortable chatting with my toddler than talking to me.”
She turned and poked him in the chest. “I convinced myself that I was delusional. I mean, yeah, you had the muscles, so maybe physically you could’ve been a part of Omega. But not in personality. In mindset. I berated myself that I was so desperate for some sort of knight in shining armor that my mind was trying to make you something you weren’t. I felt horrible.”
This was so much worse than he’d thought it would be. “Summer. Don’t.”
“But now, come to find out, my subconscious was right the whole time. You’re not shy. You are one of those alpha males—a take-charge kind of guy. You’re the absolute epitome of Omega Sector.” She stood there and glared at him. “Everything I thought I knew about you was completely wrong.”
He took a step back, surprised at how hollow he felt at her words. He’d known all along Summer wasn’t interested in becoming involved with someone in law enforcement. This was it. The end.
Over before it even began.
“And that’s not what you want, is it?” he asked quietly. The least he could do was give her an easy way out.
She stared up at him. “Are you kidding? I get all hot inside just thinking about it.”
What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
At any given time, I can be caught reading up to half a dozen books. I have couple by my bedside table, one or two open on my Kindle, one in my car, one in my purse, one on my phone… I’m a quick reader so I’m usually able to get through all of these before the story lines get confused.
Currently, I’m reading Scarlett Cole’s Second Circle Tattoo series. Steamy, romantic suspense – got to love that! The Strongest Steel (book 1) was a RITA finalist (like my book Overwhelming Force), which is pretty much the highest award a romance novel can be nominated for. Great series!
Also, because I’m traveling to Everest Base Camp (that’s right, Mt. Everest –although not the dangerous parts) with my daughter this December for a 14-day hike, I’ve been reading about that like crazy! Right now I’m concentrating a lot more on blog posts than books (suggestions, packing lists, what to expect, etc.) in order to be prepared. But, of course, Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air is required reading when you’re talking about anything Everest.
And for research, I’m constantly thumbing through 400 Things Cops Know by Adam Plantinga and Police Procedure and Investigation: A Guide for Writers by Lee Lofland for agent-type stuff. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi is always sitting next to me when I’m writing a novel. One of the most useful books I’ve ever found.
Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what do you like to listen to?
In a house with four kids, I regularly need to put on my noise-cancelling headphones and listen to music while I write. Particularly my first draft when I’m not necessarily trying to get the perfect words down, I’m just trying to get the skeleton of the story written. (For my later drafts, when I’m tightening sentences and attempting to find the perfect words for what I’m saying, I need complete quiet, not music)
I have a go-to playlist on Spotify entitled “Writing Suspense”. It’s made up of mostly of instrumental tracks specifically chosen from different films (Ironman, Ender’s Game, Captain America, The Avengers, etc. – yeah, I definitely have a “type”). I find this category of action-fueled music helps get me into a fast-paced mood (my books, because of their shorter length requirements, are more fast-paced than many single title romantic suspense novels). And there are no lyrics to distract me. I also have a romantic playlist (entitled “Feelings”) that helps set the mood for my love scenes.
In the not-so-rare-occasions when one of my teenagers boot me off of Spotify because they’ve taken control of our joint account, I switch over to Cody Westheimer’s website. This guy is talented – oh, the feels!! Be sure to check him out at codywestheimber.com
When you got that first phone call announcing you had sold a novel, how did you react? How did you celebrate?
For anybody interested in writing (romance in particular) I highly suggest getting involved with the Harlequin Discussion Forums online. Harlequin, more than perhaps any other traditional publisher, is looking for new authors all the time. They hold contests multiple times a year which allow you to get your work in front of an editor, something not guaranteed with many other publishers. One of those contests is how I got my start.
About five weeks before I received “the call” I had received an email from my (now) editor telling me she was sending my book onto the Intrigue line’s senior editor. I knew that was a good sign (although not definite), but I didn’t know when I would hear anything. I carried my phone with me every single moment of every single day for a month.
Finally, I decided I couldn’t let that rule my life. Our family (made up of myself and our four kids) decided to travel to Washington DC for a short family trip.
Sure enough, I got “the call” while standing under the T-Rex of the National History Museum in DC! It was difficult to hear and talk to my editor (kids and people were running around everywhere), but we managed. The important thing was: I was going to be a published author. They wanted to buy my book! Then I was the one running around the museum like a little kid.
USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Janie Crouch writes what
she loves to read: romantic suspense, heavy on the romance.
Germany (due to her husband's job as support for the U.S. Military),
after living in Virginia for nearly 20 years. When she's not
listening to the voices in her head (and even when she is), she
enjoys traveling, long-distance running, and movies of all kinds.
"Life is a daring adventure or nothing." -
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