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The first installment in the Elite Ops series, featuring sexy ex-military men ... and the women who rescue their hearts.
Former DEA agent Leland Hollis wasn't planning on being a hero. Recovering from an injury sustained during a drug bust gone wrong and with more personal demons than he cares to admit, he wants nothing more than peace and a chance to rebuild his life. But when Anna Mercado's crazy ex shows up wielding a baseball bat, Leland can't ignore his instinct to help. And after her son is kidnapped, Leland agrees to deliver the ransom into dangerous territory south of the border.
Anna has no choice but to go with this stranger she's just met if she ever wants to see her son again. But getting the boy out of a violent cartel region involves risking everything. And for that Leland will have to convince Anna to do the scariest thing of all … open her heart and trust him.
What I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Writing by Kay Thomas
The one thing I wish I had known before I started writing is that the more you write, the more addictive it becomes. If I had know this beforehand I might have taken up, oh, I don't know—marathon walking or scrapbooking instead.
I can't imagine not writing today but part of that is because I've been doing it for so long. The first day of the “fun ed” writing class I took over 20 years ago the teacher said, "If you can walk next door to the pottery class that's starting and be happy, go do that right now. Writing is hard stuff and difficult to stop once you start, you'll be happier in the long run if you do something different."
How's that for a pep talk? Not a one of us left that writing class, and I'm awfully glad I didn't "go next door." But for a long time I had no idea what she’d meant.
I do now. Writing is incredibly habit-forming, right up there with chocolate and red wine! Still, I cannot imagine NOT doing it.
I’ve heard people talk about characters that just won’t leave them alone, and I never understood that whole concept until writing the Elite Ops series. Hard Target was an addictive writing experience for me. I loved the characters, the location, the adventure, the growth arcs, and the relationships.
While the book didn’t write itself, the story came much easier than others I’ve written in the past. For the first time I could hear the characters talking in my head and they wouldn’t let me rest, till I wrote down what they were saying. Currently, I’m working on Book 2 in the Elite Ops series and I’m happy to say that I’m having a similar experience with “hearing” those characters’ voices.
Question for reader: What’s your favorite “habit-forming” hobby?
Check out this excerpt from Hard Target by Kay Thomas!
This is a scene from the first chapter of HARD TARGET where the heroine, Anna Mercado, overhears her estranged husband, Max, talking on the phone.
“Take Zach from the party before the guests arrive. We won’t dump her body until the designated time. It’s all been arranged.”
Anna stopped in the doorway of the Presidential suite, her husband’s words abruptly penetrating her lust-fogged brain.
“No, I’m not worried. Haven’t you heard? Mexico is the land of vicious drug cartels and random violence. My wife will be a sad statistic.”
Was this a dream?
She felt the cold Italian marble beneath her bare feet and recognized Max’s voice in the adjoining room, but she didn’t wake up. The seductive words he had whispered moments earlier on the beach still resonated in her head.
The only thing I want you to wrap yourself around is me.
She’d come up immediately when Julia had volunteered to get Zach and the cousins’ meals from the hotel’s beach grill. But on the way to the room she’d been calling herself all kinds of a fool. She and Max were on the verge of officially separating even though they’d been living apart for several months. The counseling wasn’t working. Having sex was a terrible idea. Even comfort sex.
Yet he’d been so attentive, so different on this trip. So anxious to please her, while keeping his temper completely in check. Last week she’d been considering which attorney to use in a divorce. Now she was just grateful she was standing here overhearing his phone conversation in the next room.
Her thoughts raced and her blood chilled, but her feet were glued to the imported floor. She stared across the opulent suite’s living room to the open balcony doors. The heir to the Mercado Tequila fortune settled for nothing less than the finest, even when planning his family’s demise.
An ocean breeze blew through the room, ruffling her hair like a playful lover. The Gulf of Mexico was just as blue as it had been ten minutes ago when Max kissed her on the sand, yet everything had changed. She was listening to her husband order their son’s kidnapping and her murder.
About the Author
I didn’t grow up burning to be a writer. As a child I wasn’t even much of a reader until fourth grade. That’s when I was stuck at home with the flu and my big sister read THE BLACK STALLION aloud to me. For hours I was enthralled—shipwrecked in a foreign land and riding an untamed horse across the hot desert sand. Then tragedy struck. My sister lost her voice. (I think she caught my flu.) But I couldn’t wait to hear what happened to Alec Ramsey—so I picked up that book, finished reading it by myself, and went in search of more adventures at the local library. Today I live in Dallas with my husband, our two children, and a shockingly-spoiled Boston terrier.
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