Archive for 'action-adventure'
Monday, August 17th, 2020
I’ve been writing now for a number of years in multiple genres. I can honestly say I’ve never had more fun than I have writing about my Montana Bounty Hunters. So, when I was approaching the last story of the last hunter in the series, I thought hard about what I wanted to do next. The solution was pretty easy.
I’d write more. However, the MBH agency in Bear Lodge, MT was chock full of hunters. I needed my bounty hunter agency to expand, so I chose another location in Montana, fictional again, of course, so I could have more fun with a new set of hunters, and this time, use the town itself as a new “character” in my story. So, welcome to Dead Horse!
The book will be available solely through Amazon, at first. I want as many folks who want to get it through Kindle Unlimited for FREE as possible. I already have the print version uploaded, too. That link will come soon. In the meantime, meet the first hunter in the series…Cage.
A former SEAL and MMA fighter, and now, newly minted bounty hunter, has to hunt down his first skip…his ex-wife.
Former SEAL Cage Morgan thinks he doesn’t need anyone. As a rising MMA fighter, he makes enough to do what he wants and doesn’t have to answer to anyone.
Then an old friend sends an emissary, Reaper Stenberg from the Montana Bounty Hunters, to offer him a job. He agrees to meet him, but he has no intention of becoming a bounty hunter…until he hears who Reaper needs his special skill set to take down—his ex-wife.
Elaine Morgan is facing jail time due to her chosen line of work. She runs an illegal, underground fight club with her brother. Up until now, she’s always run clean, fair fights, but her brother owes money to the wrong people. As she prepares to the take the rap for his poor judgment, she misses her court date—that’s just one more stressor to add to the pile, and she doesn’t have time to worry about the consequences.
Until the night of the fight that will free her brother of his dangerous debt. Only her ex-husband shows up there, telling her he’s taking her in, and he has the friends with him to get the job done. The hunters’ poor timing sets off a chain of events that has the Montana Bounty Hunters staging a daring rescue.
All the while, Cage and Elaine revisit their past love, finding that the time apart put their problems in a better perspective. As their connection grows, they both fear an uncertain future.
Opening scene from Cage…
As he approached the front door to the Dead Easy Saloon, Cage Morgan flexed his hands, wincing as he did so due to the deep bruising on his knuckles. Still, sore knuckles felt like a small price to pay considering the size of the purse he’d won the previous night at the MMA bout in Bozeman.
Thinking about the $36,000 deposit he’d made at the bank that morning, he wondered why the hell he’d agreed to this meeting in the first place. Cage’s needs were simple, and the purse would pay his bills for the next four to six months until he accepted the next match.
However, he owed Fetch Winter the courtesy of meeting with his representative to talk about the possibility of a job. He didn’t owe him a “yes,” but he had agreed to listen. Fetch had led the unit that had pulled his ass out of a firefight which had killed several of his SEAL teammates back in Afghanistan a lifetime ago.
From the outside, the meeting place was like any other roadhouse bar. Wood plank siding, a tin roof, and a red neon “Open” sign. He climbed the three steps to the porch then opened the door. Music played on a jukebox, customers lined a well-polished counter, and in the rear, the crack of striking balls and groans sounded from the pool tables.
As he passed the bar, the bartender’s gaze narrowed on him, and then a broad smile spread. He lifted his chin to Cage. “Great fight last night.”
Cage lifted his eyebrows and gave him a little salute but didn’t stop. He made his way to a small round table tucked into a corner of the main room and took a seat.
A waitress with dirty blonde hair so straight it had to have been ironed paused beside his table. “What can I get ya, hon?”
Her smile was flirtatious, and while she was kind of cute for a middle-aged woman in a skin-tight tank with the bar’s logo on the front and short blue-jean shorts, he wasn’t interested in encouraging her to linger. “Whatever beer’s on tap will do,” he said and pulled a twenty from his wallet.
She smiled and moved away, her skinny hips wagging.
She was back inside a minute with a foamy beer and handed back his twenty. “Kip, the bartender, says it’s on the house. He won a pile of money last night on your fight.”
He pushed back the twenty. “You keep it then, and thank Kip.”
Just then, a commotion sounded at the entrance of the bar. “Damn, are you Reaper, that dude on TV?” asked a man who was holding onto the arm of a large man wearing a ballcap who was trying to get through the doorway.
Cage watched as the man who looked like he belonged on a Viking longboat shook the man off his arm.
Cage couldn’t make out what he said to the smaller man, but the guy held up his hands and backed away, grinning. As soon as the big man’s attention left him, he scurried to the bar, leaning over the counter to talk to Kip, whose gaze shot to the big man.
He watched the man in the ballcap grimace then step deeper inside the bar, his eyes narrowing as he searched the counter and then the tables. Cage knew the second when his gaze came to rest on Cage, because the other man tipped his chin before striding his way.
As the man approached, Cage assessed him like he always did, sizing him up as a possible opponent in the ring. They were of a similar height and weight. His arms and chest looked powerful. However, Cage could tell by the way the man moved that he wouldn’t have his same speed. Not that he was planning to fight this guy, but old habits died hard.
The big man stopped in front of his table. “You Cage Morgan?”
The man sat and whipped off his cap. “Thought the hat would work.”
Cage’s mouth twitched. “That was supposed to be some kind of disguise?”
The other man made a sound a bear might make just before it took a bite. “Fetch sent me.”
“Said I was to try to schmooze you into taking a job.”
“I’ve been wondering why he isn’t here to do it himself.”
The other man raked a hand through his long blond hair. “I’m here to set up the satellite office. He’d have come, but he said we didn’t need the big guns. That you’d want this job once you heard what it was all about.”
Cage grunted and sat back in his chair. “You’re the guy in that reality TV show.”
Reaper gave him a dead-eyed look. “If I wasn’t makin’ bank, I’d take exception to your tone, dude.”
Cage snapped his fingers. “What’s it called?” He pretended the name escaped him.
“Bounty Hunters of the Northwest,” the other man said, sounding bored.
“Right!” Cage grinned. “I liked the episode when that wild man chased the bear.”
“His name’s Animal.”
Cage chuckled. “Fits.” He picked up his beer and drew on it, not knowing exactly why he was trying to rile the other man. Maybe it was because he viewed him as a competitor, and his instinct was to start the psych-out before a fight. Or maybe it was because he wanted to make sure the man didn’t waste a lot of time trying to convince him to take a damn job he didn’t want. “Can’t remember your name, though,” he lied.
“Reaper. Reaper Stenberg,” the big man said, his words a little garbled like he was grinding his teeth.
“Right,” Cage said. He took another swallow and waited for Reaper to give his pitch, but the waitress sauntered over again.
Her gaze went from Cage to Reaper, and Cage knew what was on her mind. Too bad for her, he knew Reaper was married, and he flat didn’t get into bed with another man, even if their dicks never touched.
“He’ll have the same as I’m having,” Cage said to hurry her away.
She was back inside a minute and set a beer in front of Reaper. He handed her a twenty.
“No, Kip said it’s free. He watches your show,” the woman said, sounding out of breath.
“Keep the tip,” Reaper said than turned his attention back to Cage.
The woman’s mouth tightened, but she moved along to another table.
“Saw you fight in Bozeman last night,” he said, his gaze direct.
Cage curled his fists and grimaced at the throbbing ache. “McMann gave me a run for my money.”
“You fight well. Heard you came to MMA through less than legal fights.”
Cage gave him a hard stare. “That was a long time ago.”
“Three years.” He took a sip of his beer. “Least, that’s what I hear. Bareknuckle stuff’s not for sissies.”
Cage almost smiled at the grudging compliment. “No, it’s not, but it’s hard on the body.”
“We could use someone like you. Fetch says you were a SEAL.”
Cage straightened in his chair. “I was.”
“Marine,” Reaper said, pointing at his chest with his glass.
“Won’t hold it against you.”
Reaper’s mouth twitched. “We’re building an office here. Broke ground last week. We hope to hire on eight to ten hunters to cover southwest Montana and into Wyoming and Idaho.”
“Sounds ambitious. From your TV show, it looks like you guys are sweeping up all the trash. Sure you’re leaving enough work for another agency?” Cage didn’t know why he asked. He still wasn’t interested, but he was curious about what Fetch was hoping to accomplish.
“America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Long as that doesn’t change, we’ll have plenty of bounties to go around. And it’s not just bounties on folks skipping their court dates or mandatory drug testing. We help find prison escapees, pitch in on law enforcement manhunts—anywhere our particular talents are needed. Our Bear Lodge office helped bring in a terrorist who was recruiting anti-government whackos intent on building an army here in Montana.”
“That all sounds fine and dandy for someone who wants to be a bounty hunter. I don’t.”
“Well, Fetch thinks you might change your mind when you hear who we’re hunting. He needs someone with your skills to get close enough to make the takedown.”
Cage narrowed his eyes. “My skills?”
“Your experience in those illegal fight clubs. You’ve got connections that can get you inside.”
Cage shook his head. He hadn’t been a part of that world in years. “Not interested.”
“Ask me who we’re hunting,” Reaper said, his expression neutral, his stare boring into Cage’s.
Cage was curious all right, but he didn’t want to ask. Didn’t want to know. He’d left that world and never looked back. Had the scars and the tattoo, thank you very much.
“Fetch explained how the money works, right? What a hunter gets as a percentage of the bond.”
“He did. And I still told him no.” Hunting people was something he’d done when he’d been in the Navy, and he’d been damn good at it. However, hunting Americans wasn’t something he had the stomach for.
“Ask me,” Reaper said, his voice lowering.
Cage wanted to tell him to go to hell. But he also wanted to know, because the hairs on the back of his neck were rising. Deep inside, he was still that man, the one who always found his target and always took him out. A cool dread washed over him, and he drew a deep breath. “Okay, I’ll bite. Who are you hunting?”
Reaper’s mouth curved. “Your wife.”
Tuesday, August 11th, 2020
UPDATE: The winner is…flchen1!
Just a quick note before we play!
Next Tuesday, I have a new release—the first in the Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse, MT series! If you loved my hunters in Bear Lodge, with their intrepid/accident-prone warrior-leader Reaper, I think you’re going to love Cage, too! Be sure to pre-order your copy!
A former SEAL and MMA fighter, and now, newly minted bounty hunter, has to hunt down his first skip…his ex-wife.
Solve the puzzle then tell me if your favorite hobby is anything like mine for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!
Thursday, February 6th, 2020
UPDATE: The winners are…Pansy Petal, Laura, and Debra Guyette!
I’m hard at work on Brian, the next installment if my Montana Bounty Hunters series, which releases on February 24th! Time is getting away from me! Seems I’m always running up against a deadline!
I can’t wait for you to read Brian’s story. I’ve had so many requests for his Happy Ever After, and I think you’ll love it. The man has issues, of course, but the heroine of the story isn’t letting him retreat from life or love. Raydeen is a strong, feisty heroine! Of course, along the way, you’ll see the other characters you’ve loved in this series.
In the meantime, catch up on the series as you get ready to enjoy Brian and Raydeen’s great adventure. If you haven’t already pre-ordered your copy of Brian’s story, here’s the link: Pre-Order Brian!
Enjoy reading an excerpt from another story in the series, Cochise. I loved, loved, loved writing his story! He’s a sexy, sexy man! You’ll see!
MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS: Authentic Men… Real Adventures…
“Excellent… Cochise (Book 4) was exciting, fast-paced, scary, filled with plot twists, & with humorous moments… The bonus material, The Bounty Part, 2 was also A+++.”
A hunt deep in a national forest forges bonds between a bounty hunter and a woman desperate to find her sister
Former Army sniper, Cochise Mercier, left Denver SWAT under a cloud of controversy, which was why he ended up back home in Montana, and where he heard about the Montana Bounty Hunters. The “cloud” didn’t seem to bother his new boss, so he’s all in and finding he enjoys hunting down fugitives for bounties, encumbered by fewer rules.
Sammy McCallister is a by-the-book sheriff’s deputy, who has a beef with bounty hunters. Forced to stand by with her gun in her holster, while hunters take down scumbags, she’s particularly irked by the new guy in town. Cochise, with his long black hair and thousand-yard-stare makes her uncomfortable, itchy in ways she’s never felt before. When she finds herself needing his help, the reason for her irritation becomes all too clear. She wants him. But first, they must make it out of the mountains alive…
Are you all caught up reading the Montana Bounty Hunters?
For a chance to win a download of one of the stories you may have missed
(I’ll pick three winners!), tell me this:
Do you love stories like this set in the wilds of Montana?
Or is there another state you’d love to see some sexy bounty hunters?
MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS
Authentic Men… Real Adventures…
Reaper’s Ride: https://amzn.to/2KKkisI
Big Sky Wedding: https://amzn.to/33GprwK
Excerpt from Cochise…
He grimaced and reached to secure his belt. Then he settled back against his door again. The better to scope out Officer McCallister. “Name’s Cochise Mercier,” he said, deciding someone needed to be polite.
“I know who you are.”
And he waited. When she didn’t reciprocate with an introduction, he cleared his throat. “I haven’t been in Bear Lodge that long, but you know who I am…”
Her gaze went to her rearview mirror than back to the windshield. “Sheriff likes to keep tabs on everyone working at MBH.” She shot him a quick glance. “You were with Denver SWAT. Must have fucked up bad to wind up here.”
He barely suppressed a grunt of surprise at her blunt words. But he had fucked up. Still, he wasn’t unhappy about the change of place or pace of his current circumstances. A man could breathe here—crisp mountain air, without the traffic and mass of humanity. “Yeah,” he said, not willing to get into it with a woman who seemed ready to pick a fight. “Something like that.”
“Should have applied for a patrol job. Sheriff’s always looking for officers with experience. He’d overlook a lot.”
“Thanks for the suggestion, but I like what I’m doing now, and the money’s better.”
Again, her gaze cut his way, and that frown dug a line between her eyes.
“You don’t like bounty hunters.”
“Didn’t say that.”
“Didn’t have to.” He eyed her profile—stubborn chin, cute nose, freckles on her pale cheeks. Her hair was a dark blonde with glints of red as the dawn’s light struck it. Her body was sturdy—not too slim, muscled. He doubted she’d like that description, but he liked a strong woman. “You got a first name, Officer McCallister?” he asked, still watching her and knowing he was making her a little uncomfortable, because her eyebrows remained lowered.
Or maybe that was her permanent expression.
Again, his mouth twitched.
“Sammy,” he drawled.
“My friends call me Sammy.”
This time, he let the smile creep across his mouth.
Just as they were nearing the turn that would take them to the agency, a car pulled out from a side street, nearly clipping the squad car.
Officer McCallister hit the brakes then cussed under her breath.
He knew the feeling. This close to ending a shift and some asshole forces a decision.
When the blue Taurus swerved into the center of the road, she sighed and reached for the toggle, turning on her blue lights.
The car indicated to the right and pulled onto the shoulder of the road.
“Stay in the car,” she said, not looking toward Cochise.
He watched with interest as she approached the vehicle, keeping at a safe angle as she neared the car. She reached for the radio on her shoulder. “Dispatch, I need you to run a plate.” She gave the dispatcher the plate information while he listened to the radio inside the car.
A few seconds later, dispatch responded. “The car’s registered to Loretta Mackinaw. She has an outstanding warrant for possession of a controlled substance.”
The officer’s body tensed.
Cochise rolled down his window to listen as she shouted for the driver to put her hands on the dash.
The first hint there was trouble was Officer McCallister flicking the strap on her holster and drawing her gun. A shot rang out, and she dove beside the car.
Cochise slid across the bench, lifting his legs to get past the equipment blocking his way, and settled into the driver’s seat just as the Taurus pulled out onto the road, a black cloud gusting from the exhaust pipe.
Putting the squad car in drive, he pulled up beside the officer and shouted through the open window, “Get in!”
She didn’t argue, sliding into the passenger side seat, flipping on the siren, and reaching for the radio. “Dispatch. Shots fired. I’m in pursuit of that blue Taurus.” She gave her location while Cochise concentrated on keeping on Mackinaw’s tail.
“You okay?” he asked, not taking his gaze off the car ahead.
“Missed me. Not that she meant to.”
They passed the outskirts of town and entered the open highway.
“Just thirty fucking minutes,” she muttered.
“How long do we follow?” he asked, wondering if they’d run up against the county line and pass the problem to the next jurisdiction.
“There’s a crossroads up ahead. Open. No trees or buildings. Think you can get close enough to perform a PIT maneuver?” She cussed again. “Goddamn, I should be behind the wheel. Sheriff’ll have my ass.”
He grinned and gunned the accelerator, closing the distance between the vehicles. Further down the road, he saw the crossroads, no other vehicles in sight.
“Let’s do it.”
Another punch of gas, and he pulled into the left lane. Coming even with the left rear wheel of the Taurus, he turned into the car, giving it a solid slam. The Taurus began to spin left, and Cochise braked, slowing the car to watch as the Taurus continued its spin and took out the stop sign across the intersection before coming to a halt. The driver faced them through the windshield.
All Cochise saw was frizzy mud-brown hair and a red face.
Officer McCallister toggled the loudspeaker and raised her mic. “Loretta, put your hands on the dashboard.”
The woman complied, although her frown didn’t abate.
Officer McCallister gave him a quick glance. “There’s a rifle in the trunk. Key’s on the ring.”
He gave a nod, turned off the engine, and let himself out of the car, making sure to keep the driver’s side door open as a shield. He retrieved the rifle and returned, crouching behind the door. He glanced across the empty seat to where the female officer stood, crouching behind her open door. She finished calling in a request for backup, and then her gaze met his across the expanse.
“Whatever move you want to make,” he said, “I have your back.”
Tuesday, January 28th, 2020
UPDATE: The winner is…Christine!
Following the same theme as my last post, where I introduced or reminded you about an older series that’s been updated, I’m including an excerpt from the second book in the Danger Zone series, Mutiny’s Bounty. It’s my favorite story in the series because of the shark cage scene, which I share a bit of below. And of course, it’s sexy as hell. The hero’s a SEAL, and my heroine falls quickly into insta-lust (who wouldn’t?) then love, because again, he’s hot, heroic, and knows just how to turn a girl inside out.
Remember, the first book, Dangerous Liaisons, is on sale for just $0.99! That price is not going to last long!
But then, you really don’t have to read the stories in sequence, although I think you’d enjoy the series better! Or if your reading time is limited, you could just jump straight to Mutiny’s Bounty, because, again…sexy as hell, SEALs, danger at the bottom of the sea, an excursion on a billionaire’s yacht…
Solve the puzzle. Then tell me where you’d like to travel to enjoy this kind of scenery! Win a $5 Amazon gift card!
Excerpt from Mutiny’s Bounty
Dex strode aft and glanced over the side of the boat to the escort skiff bobbing on a gentle sea.
Justin raised a hand to wave.
Dex touched his earpiece. “How’s everything going?”
“No worries. Except Johnny thinks something’s up with the engine. It’s been hiccupping a bit.”
Damn. Dex blew out a breath. “If he’s worried, radio back to shore to muster another boat. Halloran has a cruiser we can put to use.”
“Will do. Is your lady friend nervous about the dive?”
“Not too much.” Dex grinned. “She’ll have me in the cage.”
“No worries then. No Great White’s a match for a SEAL.”
Dex gave the men another wave then pushed away from the side. There wasn’t a cloud in the clear blue sky. The sea was calm. Shrugging off his momentary frisson of unease, he went in search of Lace. She’d be his focus throughout this adventure. Still, he ran up the metal steps and entered the bridge, eyeing the captain who gave him a little wave and the other white-suited crewman, who was one of Halloran’s guards.
Dex nodded toward the screen, free of any blips. “No other boats in the area?”
“Screen’s been clear since we left the island. We’ve got it covered. Enjoy the dive.”
The other man’s grin was friendly enough. Unworried, Dex nodded then headed out the door. The other white-suited guard was probably serving drinks while keeping watch. All the activity of the staff and the dive team seemed to be business as usual. Dex didn’t know why his gut was telling him something wasn’t right, but he trusted his instincts. Always.
After taking more steps to the highest platform where a couple of guests were sunning themselves, Dex gazed out over the ocean. The water was calm and a deep, dark blue. Still nothing on the horizon. Looking down, he spotted Lace, holding onto the rail while she made her way toward the back of the yacht. Likely, she was beginning to get jittery about the dive.
Shrugging off the bad vibes, he took the stairs to the lower deck. The cage holding the first pair of divers was being winched up. They dropped their breathing apparatuses and grinned at Troy and his crew, the female bubbling an excited, “It was awesome!”
Dex glanced at Lace. She stood in the raised, caged platform, the spotter’s cage, gazing downward, likely counting fins. While her attention was drawn there, he went to the diving gear, chose a BCD, and then grabbed a tank, regulator, and weight belt. He checked filters, attached the regulator, then checked the tank’s pressure, assuring himself he had plenty of air for the short dive. He inspected the regulator and the alternate, checked inflation and deflation of his BCD.
Everything was in order, all the equipment well-maintained. He stripped off his tee, toed off his shoes, and placed his earpiece atop the folded bundle. Gearing up, he noted Lace heading down the ladder from the spotter’s cage and walking over to Troy.
Dex joined her, giving her a quick grin. “Still time to change your mind.”
She shook her head. “I watched the others. The cage is sturdy. And I have no wish to stick my hand outside the bars to try to pet them.”
Troy laughed. “We’ve got tiger sharks and Whites. Should be a good show.” He turned to Dex. “You ready?”
Dex gave him a nod, and then handed Lace goggles and a weight belt. “This will keep you from floating to the top of the cage.”
Her smile stretched across her face. “I actually think this will be fun. I didn’t much like swimming above them, but the cage is almost like wearing armor.”
Minutes later, the second couple exited the cage, and one of Troy’s team opened the cage door and signaled for them to enter. Dex followed Lace as she ducked through the entrance. Once inside, she donned her goggles and belt, and then reached above her for the hookah tube with the mouthpiece.
“Anything goes wrong with the air in the tube…” he held up the alternate regulator, “I have this. Just remember to breathe in through your mouth, exhale through your nose.”
“Got it,” she said, her expression tense but happy.
Dex glanced behind him just as the cage door swung closed.
Troy stood outside the cage, giving him a hard stare. “You take care of her, and no one gets hurt.” He turned the latch to close it.
Dex cut a glance around him, noted that the dive crew members were opening plastic tubs, pitching aside spare BCDs, and pulling out firearms, pistols and rifles. Dread clenched his gut. Trapped inside a cage, he couldn’t make a move.
Lace’s fingers curled around his wrist. “What’s happening?”
Through the bars, Dex’s gaze locked on Troy’s grim smile. “They’re taking the boat. My crew—”
“Will be busy fishing you two from the bottom of the sea,” Troy said. “They won’t be able to follow us because their engine’s about to seize. While they’re occupied, we’ll be rounding up Halloran and his rich friends, and inviting them to wire funds to our accounts. By the time that second escort boat headed this way arrives, we’ll be long gone.”
Lace curled her body against his. Automatically, he grabbed her waist.
“You’ve got another boat coming,” Dex guessed, his heart beginning to race as he realized there wasn’t a thing he could do. Already, the chain holding the cage was tightening, lifting them off the deck.
“Like I said, if your men don’t try anything stupid, everyone lives. I’m not a murderer. I’m just looking out for my retirement.” Troy gave another grin, one that was tight. His eyes gleamed beneath lowered brows. “Stop worrying about what’s happening up here. You’re gonna have your hands full.” He angled his head toward Lace.
The cage rattled and shook as the crane swung it out over the water. Another chum bucket was lowered over the side. Dex’s attention went to the sharks circling beneath them, and then to the woman standing beside him, her eyes wide as saucers, and her body beginning to shake. “Grab tight to the cage, baby. Hold your breath as we go down. Soon as we’re in the water, I’ll share my tank. We’ll be okay.”
With the cage poised above the water, Dex knew what was about to happen. He grabbed the rail and sank to his knees.
Lace did the same, staring back at him.
The moment the crane released the cage, chain rattling through the winch, they dropped into the water. A second later, they were fully submerged and lowering fast, Lace’s eyes widening behind her mask, her lips pinched closed and cheeks billowing as she held her breath.
Counting the seconds of their descent, Dex cleared his mask, put his regulator into his mouth, purged the water from it, and sucked in air. Then he slid his hand down the hose to the alternate regulator. With the cage still sinking, he held the rail with one hand and moved toward her.
He held up the yellow alternate regulator, but before allowing her to put it in her mouth, took out his own, showing her how to insert it, then hitting the purge button to let out water, before exaggerating an indrawn breath.
Lace followed his lead, at last breathing through the alternate. The panic in her face lessened as she breathed, and they both gazed upward. The chain rolled out, snagged at the end, then released. The cage free-floated the last few feet to settle in the sand at the sea bottom.
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019
A reader-friend of mine mentioned recently that she thinks I have the most intriguing “meet-cutes”—you know, those scenes where the hero and heroine first meet. I think I might have outdone myself with Animal and Allie’s meet-cute! You’ll have to let me know!
Animal is here! I’ve already started on the next bounty hunter! If you haven’t read the series, there are now eight Montana Bounty Hunters! I love them, and hope to write about new hunters and revisit those I already love in future stories. As well, those of you who follow the series have probably already figured out I’m spinning off a new series, but that’s for another day.
Today, we celebrate my big, grumpy, sexy ANIMAL!
Happy reading, y’all!
MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS: Authentic Men… Real Adventures…
A rough-around-the-edges bounty hunter takes a nature photographer on a wild ride.
Former SEAL, Russell “Animal” Hathcoat, retreated to a remote mountain cabin after leaving the Navy. Haunted by horrific images that replay in his nightmares of his last mission with his SEAL brothers, he intends to renovate the dilapidated cabin as penance and therapy, and to avoid rejoining the world around him. But then, someone who understands what he needs better than he does arrives to offer him a job.
Allie Travers loves the freedom and solitude of being a nature photographer and journalist–until the day she stares through her lens at a charging black bear. With her heart in her throat, she can only stand watching in horror, knowing she’ll never escape in time. But rescue comes in the form of a wild man who risks his life to frighten away the animal.
Once the danger is past, she’s told by his team of bounty hunters that she has more to fear than any animal in the woods. A felon is on the loose, and she has to accompany them to safety. Seeing an opportunity, Allie shadows the team as they hunt their prey deep in a national forest. Much to Animal’s dismay, more than just his protective instincts are aroused by the pretty photojournalist.
Get your copy here!
Animal is FREE on Kindle Unlimited for a very limited time!
And if you haven’t already read the stories leading up to ANIMAL, just click on the covers below!
Tuesday, January 15th, 2019
UPDATE: The winner is…Rebecca Merz!
Series lovers, I have one for you! Love a lot of badass alpha heroes, fast action, great sex, and humor? Well, that’s what I deliver in Montana Bounty Hunters! And another installment is set to drop next Tuesday!
Are you caught up? No? Then click on a cover to pick up your copy of one of these fast-paced stories and begin your blitz-read through the series, because next Tuesday Animal is coming!
Enter to win a $5 Amazon gift card!
Tell me whether you’ve ready any of the series, and if you have, which book are you on?
Excerpt from Animal…
Animal tuned out the crackling, thudding sounds of his team members moving through the forest.
On day three after he’d joined the hunt, he wasn’t regretting his decision to give MBH a try. He’d been unwilling to make any long-term promises. Hadn’t signed a contract or filled out a W-9. Not yet, anyway. When Fetch had described what Tibbets had done, and then talked about the hunters who were already on his trail, Animal had felt a stirring of interest. Manhunts were something he was familiar with. So, he wasn’t hunting a high-dollar target through the Hindu Kush mountains. Wasn’t dropping into some walled compound to sweep a house in the dead of night.
Still, this felt familiar. Moving through the bushes. Tracking a target. Looking for campfires, footprints, signs Tibbets had stopped to piss or shit. That morning, they’d found a butchered deer. Most of the carcass had been left for scavengers. So, it hadn’t been left by a game hunter. He’d taken a portion of a haunch, had roasted it over a quickly built fire, and had eaten as much as he could before moving on.
Looked like Tibbets was feeling pretty sure he’d slipped the noose. He hadn’t even bothered to try to bury the evidence he’d been there.
The first afternoon, Animal had ridden along with Carly and Reaper. They’d shown him the warrant and pictures of Tibbets and his family. They’d canvassed businesses in Olney—gun shops, grocers, gas stations, but no one recalled seeing him or his cousin Murray.
That evening, they headed to Tibbets’s favorite haunt again. The women sat at the long polished bar, chatting up the bartender and the waitresses. Dagger and Mace played pool with two plugged-in and gossipy locals. Reaper and Animal sat at a table, watching the doors. But none of them were getting any bites.
About an hour into their surveillance, Hook and Cochise arrived.
Hook slapped a map on the table. “Found the parcel his family owns. It sits on a creek.”
“’Bout damn time,” Reaper had muttered.
The next morning, they’d geared up and surrounded a small, ratty camper trailer. Tibbets had been there recently but was now gone. After tearing through his belongings, searching for clues where he might have gone next, they bagged up dirty clothes for Mace’s dog Taco to scent on.
The moment Taco lowered his nose to the ground, following Tibbets’s trail from the camper’s metal steps, they’d realized the man had headed straight into the woods, afoot, rather than driving out.
They’d left Dagger, Lacey, and Cochise behind to watch for any movement in town, to keep an eye any one of his relatives who looked ready to head north with supplies to help him out, but the rest of the team grabbed their gear from their vehicles and began tracking him into Flathead National Forest.
Animal didn’t mind the rough conditions. He was accustomed to long marches and sleeping on the ground. None of the hunters, even Carly Stenberg, complained about the conditions, even after they’d endured a chilly rain the previous day. They’d dried their clothes beside a fire last night, reasonably assured they were still a day’s hike from catching up to Tibbets. Conversation had flowed around him, but he hadn’t felt the need to try to contribute.
This was a tight, well-trained crew, and they knew each other well. But they seemed to understand he wasn’t the chatty type. He rather liked the fact they let him be.
They came to the edge of the woods. A large meadow stretched before them, mountains in the background. The meadow was broken on one side by ridges of exposed rock.
“We got company,” Reaper said quietly. They all held back, remaining hidden by the brush. Reaper lifted an arm and pointed.
Animal pulled out his tactical telescope and followed Reaper’s direction, at last spotting a slender figure standing beside an outcropping. Not their mark. A woman. She stood in front of a tripod and peered into a camera. She had wheat-colored hair drawn back into a messy braid. She wore a red plaid shirt and a khaki vest over blue jeans and boots.
Suddenly, she jerked back her head, giving him a glimpse of her profile. Her eyebrows were lowered, her mouth dropping as she stared down the hill.
He turned his telescope toward whatever had caught her attention and immediately understood her concern.
A baby black bear ambled into the clearing, heading upward toward her location.
“Where’s mama?” he whispered.
As though answering his question, a loud bellow sounded from the forest farther down the tree line. A bear ran out, huffing and bellowing, heading toward the woman.
He didn’t have even a millisecond to think through a better plan. Animal dumped his pack and ran into the clearing, tearing at his shirt. When he’d ripped off the buttons down the front, he flapped the edges, trying to make himself look bigger. “Ha! Ha!” he yelled as loud as he could to draw the bear’s attention away from the woman.
Mama Bear bounced on her front paws and spun toward him.
“Don’t shoot unless you have to!” Animal tossed over his shoulder to Reaper.
“Don’t get in my line of fire!” Reaper shouted back.
“Don’t shoot her!” the woman screamed.
“You, shut up!” Animal yelled, still running, still flapping.
The bear’s head moved from Animal to Reaper behind him, and again to the woman, likely trying to decide who was the biggest danger to her cub.
The baby bear squalled and changed direction, running for his mama.
Just when Animal feared the bear would charge, she spun and ran into the woods, her cub running right behind her.
Animal halted, breathing hard. He gave another flap of his shirt. “Ha! Ha!” he shouted, hoping she’d been startled bad enough not to turn around.
Then he heard a whirring sound, coming from up the rise. He turned his head toward the woman. The sound came from her camera. Animal gave her a fierce glare then began to stalk up the rise.
When he reached her, she straightened and flashed him a wide smile. “Thanks for that. Thought for a second there I was going to be lunch.”
“What the hell!” he bellowed, anger shot through him. Didn’t she have a clue how close to being “lunch” he’d been, trying to rescue her? And all she’d thought about was taking her damn pictures?
Her eyebrows shot upward, and she stood still.
Behind him, he heard more of his team stomping up the hill. He should have turned and walked away. Should have let Reaper handle getting her packed up and off the mountain. Away from him.
Instead, anger vibrated through him. He glanced at the gear strewn around her feet. “Who the hell comes out to the wilderness without a goddamn gun?”
“The only shots I plan to take are with my camera,” she said icily, lifting her chin.
He ground his teeth as his face heated.
“Wish I’d been shooting video though,” she said. “The footage would’ve gone viral. Do you chase bears often?”
He narrowed his gaze, not liking her smartass tone. Did she know how close he was to exploding? Men he’d fought with knew better than to talk to him when he was like this.
A throat cleared beside him. “Ma’am, you need to pack up,” Reaper said, his voice even.
Her hazel gaze darted from Animal to the man standing beside him. “Why? She’s gone.”
“The bear’s the least of what you have to worry about out here.”
She seemed to finally take in the fact that she was surrounded by five well-armed strangers. “Were you tracking her?”
“We don’t hunt bear,” Reaper said, his voice lowering.
Animal felt a little of his steam begin to cool hearing Reaper’s clipped delivery. Someone else here got the fact she had no business out here. Alone.
“Well, I thank you for your advice, but I have no intention of packing up and leaving. It took me three days to get here. I’ll be setting up camp.” She bent and swiped at the straps of her backpack then reached inside it. She pulled out a small 9mm Colt Defender but had the good sense to point it away from the group. “I’m not unarmed.”
Animal grunted. “Think that would have stopped her? If you didn’t hit her in the head, you’d just piss her off.”
“Well, that’s not your worry, is it?” Again, she lifted her chin.
Damn, if his body didn’t go hard. The way she locked her gaze with his, she didn’t show any fear. Foolish was what she was. He could get around her gun and have her on the ground in the time it took her to realize he’d even moved.
“This is no place for a woman on her own, not today,” Reaper said.
Her back stiffened. Her cheeks paled just a bit.
“We’re not what you should fear,” Carly said quickly, stepping past Animal and Reaper. “It’s gonna take a few minutes for these two get over the adrenaline rush to explain. I’m Carly,” she said, reaching out her hand.
The woman passed the gun from her right to her left and shook Carly’s hand. “Carly, it’s nice to meet you.” She didn’t smile, and her gaze kept scanning the rest of them, like she expected them to make a move against her.
Animal drew a deep breath. He knew what she saw. He wasn’t into scaring women. Happened naturally, often enough. He set his hands on his hips and glanced at the ground while he waited for the tension in his body to ease.
“We’re bounty hunters,” Carly said. “We’ve been tracking a dangerous felon. He’s in this area. It’s not safe for you to be here.”
As Animal glanced up again, the woman’s frown deepened. “I’ve been here a day. Haven’t seen anyone but you. How do I even know you’re telling me the truth?”
Carly glanced back at Reaper. “Show her the warrant.”
Reaper reached into his pack and pulled out the folder. He passed it to the woman.
She held the folder in the crook of the arm and thumbed through the documents. “Okay, so I believe you’re what you say. But since you’re on his trail and he’s not here, why do I have to leave? Obviously, he’s already passed my location.”
“Because there are going to be more teams out here, combing the area. We’ve got the jump on everyone else. When other teams arrive, our skip might double back to evade them. No place in this wilderness is safe.”
Her lips thinned then twisted. Her gaze went back to Animal. “Dammit, I just got here.”
Animal stepped forward, using his body to intimidate her. Yeah, he felt no shame doing that. Not when scaring her into making the right choice could keep her safe. “You’re not safe on your own. Pack up.”
Damned if the woman’s mouth didn’t twitch like she wanted to laugh.
She arched a brow. “You’re right. It’s not safe to be alone out here.”
Her expression gave him no ease. He narrowed his eyes until they were slits as he waited for what else she intended to say, because there was no way in hell she was giving up so easily.
She gave a little shrug and grinned. “I’ll go with you.”
Wednesday, January 9th, 2019
I’ve written romance for the last five years. In that time, I’ve read even more. From contemporary to paranormal I love multiple sub-genres. In that same amount of time, I’ve always loved action adventure movies, including sci-fi movies and shows. Imagine my surprise when my muse sent me an idea that would combine them both.
Queue the futuristic world, where humans have colonized the galaxy and the richest have migrated to planets like Jupiter, Neptune, and Saturn, leaving Earth to become a haven for the production of drugs and booze. Out of these ashes emerge drug runners and bootleggers to carry the fruits of Earth’s labor to the upper planets, outsmarting the government and making as much money as they can.
It’s a bit lawless, and crafting this story and world was filled with fun and a bit of frustration. I did plenty of research in the form of watching episodes of some awesome movies and television shows. Today, I want to talk about some of my favorites.
First up, Farscape. We humans think we’re the smartest beings in the known universe. When NASA Scientist and Astro-genius, John Crichton is slingshot to the far side of the universe, he finds out otherwise. Add in the super soldier, Aeryn Sun, female bad ass, and I was smitten from episode one. Fun fact is how the Muppet Studios were involved in this series and the unique, fresh take on possible alien species. Four seasons was never enough.
Second, Dark Matter. This series is another that was cut too short. There was so much to explore, from character dynamics to other dimensional threats. Beyond that, this is another series where there are a ton of strong females to feed off of as inspiration—Number Two and her fabulous run as captain of a ship, add in a younger female techie, Number Five, and the ever hilarious Android. It’s a female fab cast, rounded out with male characters who respect and support them even amid heists and running from the law.
Finally, Firefly. This 13-episode series holds a special place in my heart, as it does for many. The dialogue is priceless, the character building sublime. Nobody holds a candle to Captain Malcolm Reynolds, the guy who wants to be an anti-hero, but ultimately isn’t. Kaylee, River, and Zoe. Yes, I like Inara too, but she’s not my favorite. The strong females are fabulous and not in the least intimidated by their Captain. If anything his strengths encourage the ladies to run with their own.
I’ve waxed poetic enough about my favorite sci-fi shows. What are yours? There are many I haven’t mentioned. Some more spec fiction than sci-fi per se. Like Fringe, Warehouse 13, Sliders, Star Trek (all the iterations). Tell me your favorite sci-fi show, movie, character – even if it’s from a video game. Be sure to comment to get in on my sweet giveaway in honor of my new release, A Talent For Trouble.
A Talent For Trouble
Drug runner Emilio Morales is one deal away from being the sole runner from Earth to the upper planets—until his partner attempts a double-cross. Now, Emilio’s stuck in a disabled spaceship with an unpredictable, attractive female who’s willing to help him out if he’ll assist her in retrieving her ship from an impound facility.
Antonia ‘Toni’ Smith is sick and tired of being beholden to men. The only way to guarantee freedom is to get back her bootlegging ship to run her own business again. When Emilio kills her ticket out, she’s forced to rely on him for assistance. Emilio, the most wanted and annoying man in the solar system, is a sexy-as-hell means to an end.
But every plan the duo makes falls apart and every day they spend in each other’s company increases the tension between them.
With the death toll rising and their defenses low, can Emilio and Toni get the happy ending they want, without falling for each other in the process?
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Totally Bound | Goodreads
He poured himself a glass. Turning it slowly, spreading the liquid up the sides and back down, he noticed he wasn’t alone. “Can I offer you a drink?”
“No,” a sultry feminine voice responded. “There’s nothing over there isn’t made in the still or fermented in a barrel.”
“Suit yourself.” Emilio turned and took in the view. Mother Mary.
The woman, a vision of sin, stood angled toward the fancy window display where three floor-to-ceiling panels showcased the twinkling view. She wore a glimmering red dress, which sparkled even more as she turned toward him. Her hair was a pale-white blonde, short and framing her face, giving it a distinct diamond shape. She’d be labeled gorgeous, more than the word could construe, with her eyes the color of whiskey—and not the cheap stuff in his glass. No, the full-bodied swirling amber and caramel colors.
“What brings you to Casa Manolo?” He swallowed a little more whiskey than he intended and did his best to sound suave, but the words came out more like a croak.
“Nothing that concerns you.” The dismissal paired with a smile, a little thing revealing flawless teeth. He glanced down at her one note of defiance—boots. Grav boots to be exact, black and fierce. A deep, soul-encapsulating need clamped onto his brain, a need he’d waited years to experience. This was the woman he’d been waiting for. The type he’d always wanted. The one he’d call his.
He walked closer, eager to see if she took a similar interest in him. “Oh? Well, I’m happy to make this visit less business and more pleasure. Your name is?”
The words escaped his mouth as he glanced at her lips—expressive, full and waiting for his kiss, even when those same lips uttered, “Too expensive for you.”
About the Author
Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day, and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.