UPDATE: The winners are…Colleen C and Debra Guyette!
Being someone who has issues with anxiety… correction… I have anxiety issues… everything is a minefield. I don’t like to pick up the phone unless I know exactly who is on the other end of the line. I’m an extroverted introvert, meaning I hide by being outgoing in public situations. I can be the life of the party as long as you don’t look beyond the jokes and see the person inside who is hoping I’m not making a complete idiot of myself.
So what does this have to do with writing and romance?
For me, EVERTYHING!
Finding love is putting yourself ‘out there.’
And OUT THERE is a scary, scary place. Holding out your hand (metaphorically) means that someone can take hold of it or slap it away… and sometimes ignore it completely.
What happens when the most anxiety-ridden person opens themselves up to speak their minds to another person?
What happens when the most self-assured person opens themselves up to ask someone out?
Both situations can end up happy or devastated. It doesn’t matter who you are. Life can be a joy or painful. Ecstatic or tormented.
Life… and love, by extension, are a gamble.
And those insecurities are a big part of “Justice for Miranda”
JUSTICE FOR MIRANDA
Texas Game Wardens don’t just protect the natural resources of the Lone Star State, they protect the people as well. Trace Carson considers every warden as more than just fellow officers, they’re family.
Especially, Miranda Jimenez. She’d gone through the academy when he was on staff, and he was her first in-field training officer. There was no denying that she was a beautiful woman, he’d worked side by side with her and knew that her dedication to upholding the laws of Texas was second only to caring for wild animals and natural resources.
When she decided to leave her job as a game warden to open a wild animal rehabilitation it made perfect sense, but he couldn’t explain the sudden ache he felt at the thought of her leaving. It wasn’t going to be out of sight, out of mind, because he went to her ‘retirement’ party and he kissed her, changing everything.
When her connection with Trace puts Miranda’s life in danger, the law enforcement community in San Antonio pulls together to get her back where she belongs… in Trace’s arms. Will they find her in time to save her and get Justice for Miranda?
Trace is a man driven by duty. Responsible to a fault. He’s the guy that folks are always leaning on. The leader. The one who has trained more than his share of new Game Wardens out of the Academy.
But under all of that buttoned up, efficient, straight-laced law enforcement zeal is a man who’s fallen in love with someone he thinks is out of bounds.
And it takes a few beers and the thought that she’d be out of his life to make him cross that line and kiss her senseless… all before his normal constraints pull him back into his shell. Make him back off. Make him shut off that longing and put it away.
But we all know that’s not going to be enough to keep it in that shell now that he’s let it out.
Trace needs to decide if the dangers of opening himself up and putting his heart on the line are worth the possible failure of that chance. What if she shuts him down right away? What if she allows him in and then decides that a man who had once been her teacher, her trainer, isn’t the man who can hold her heart… keep her interest?
And the absolutely crazy thing about it… what if it works? Having what you want… the woman you want… can be even more scary than not having her.
That’s one of the things I love most about writing and reading romance. When it comes right down to it… the heroes and heroines are brave! They show real courage!
Physical pain is horrible, but emotional pain can drop you to your knees with a look or a careless word.
So, tell me… which characters have you read about that have shown the most courage in reaching out for love… taking that chance to reach for something more… something better?
Pre-sale link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RZQM21M/
Two commenters will receive their choice of a single-title ebook from my Amazon list – winners selected July 1, 2019!
While her cousin was trying not to spray soda all over her aunt’s countertop, Miranda slipped out of her parents’ kitchen to the porch and leaned back against the wall with a sigh. Lifting the cold beer she had in her hand, she dragged it across her forehead and then pressed it to her cheek.
“I bet that feels good.”
The soft Texas burr came out of the darkness, startling her. She had a good hold on the bottle and didn’t worry about dropping it, but she did worry about the warm flush of color in her cheeks. She knew exactly who it was walking out of the dark.
“Hey, Trace. I didn’t think you were comin’ to the party.”
His laugh was warm and slow and poured over her like honey.
“How could I miss it?” He stepped into the light beside the back door and stepped up against the side of the house, looking down at her. “Especially when you didn’t give me a chance to talk you out of leaving.”
“I didn’t think you’d have much of an issue with it.”
A wind trailed through, lifting the ends of her hair and she felt the subtle touch as some of the strands stuck to her neck. The humidity wasn’t doing her any favors and she knew that after the heavy press of bodies in the house and the rising summer heat, her dress was probably stuck to her in any number of unflattering ways.
“It’s not too late,” his voice was lower, deeper, “I have a bit of an in with the guys in the administration office. They could be convinced to lose your voluntary termination papers.”
If she hadn’t been leaning back against the house, she probably would have fallen back against the wall. The way his voice seemed to curl across her skin made it hard to breathe. Trace Carson ticked off all of the boxes on her dream list for masculine perfection.
Tall, lean muscle, strong hands, handsome like the devil, and that voice. There was something about a man with that deep purring Texas drawl that made her insides shiver and shake and other parts of her… well, she bit into her bottom lip as if she was still thinking through his offer, but she knew she wouldn’t change her mind.
“Why didn’t you come talk to me?”
She laughed and felt a drop of condensation splash against her collarbone. “To be honest,” she tried to keep from sighing but it was hard when she could smell his cologne and see the silver-grey of his eyes, “I knew if I did talk to you I might have let myself be talked out of leaving.”
Miranda saw the happy surprise in his eyes.
“But it wouldn’t have been for the right reasons.”
“So, what are the wrong reasons, Miranda?” He shifted closer, crossing one leg over the other so she could hear the butter-soft rasp of one boot against the other. And set a hand on the wall, less than a foot from her shoulder. “I’m curious.”
She wanted to brush it all off and escape back into the house, but her knees were suddenly weak and the way his scent mingled with the sultry heat of the night air had her breath catching a little each time.
“Miranda?” His arm folded and his forearm pressed against the wall, bringing him closer to her. “What did you think I’d do?”
Close enough that his height blocked out the light from the single bulb shining from the wall.
Her tongue wet her bottom lip before she swallowed and sucked in a breath on a gasp. “I… I-” she laughed, a throaty little sound that made her feel flirty and needy at the same time.
She’d seen other women use their wiles to draw men in, but she wasn’t like them. She was the kind of girl that loved jeans and baggy shirts. And wiles? Ha! She could spell the word and knew the definition, but she had no idea if she could use them, or even if she had any. All of her life she’d spent most of her time in jeans and t-shirts. Even the dress she was wearing had been her mama’s idea.
“Well,” he sighed and she wasn’t sure, but it didn’t sound like he was very disappointed at all, “there’s one good reason that I can think of for letting you leave the service.”
She turned and leaned her shoulder against the wall, clutching the bottle against her chest. That close, she had to look up to see into his eyes and even then, the light was mostly behind him, so she couldn’t see much of his expression. “Yeah? What’s that?” Read the rest of this entry »