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Cynthia D’Alba: Two SEALs in Paradise (Contest)
Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

UPDATE: The winner is…Keri Richards!
*~*~*

Morning all! Cynthia D’Alba here. Thanks to DD for having me back!

As I said last time, I’ve taken A LOT of time off from writing during 2016, 2017 and 2018. Those who follow me in Facebook, you know all about my illness. Those whose do not, no biggie. That’s in the past. My point is I am finally back to writing. My brain can once again string together words. WOOT! Progress.

I have TWO new releases out in October. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

First up, Hot SEAL, Cold Beer – which released October 9th!

©Cynthia D’Alba 2018

Hot SEAL, Cold Beer is about a destination wedding, a blind date, and a SEAL who isn’t looking for love. Well, actually, my heroine isn’t looking either! Here’s a little more about the story…

Nicholas Falcone, aka Nikko, aka Falcon, is five months out from active SEAL duty, putting his pre-service accounting degree to use while going to law school at night. He’d love to take a vacation between semesters, but every buck is earmarked for his education. When a fellow accountant approaches him about his sister needing an escort for a destination wedding, Nikko jumps at the idea. With the wedding families footing the bill, what does he have to lose?

Surgeon Dr. Jennifer Pierce is still stinging from a broken engagement. Going to a destination wedding at the Sand Castle Resort in the Caribbean would be great if only her ex-fiancé and his new wife weren’t also attending. Her options are to find a date or not go, but not going isn’t really an option. That means letting her brother set her up with a guy from his accounting office…Heaven forbid. When did accountants start looking like this?

Amazon 📷http://bit.ly/2Of9GnZ
Barnes and Noble 📷http://bit.ly/2LT2EIO
KOBO 📷http://bit.ly/2Mm4NsK
Apple/iBooks 📷https://apple.co/2MiODQO
Add to Goodreads TBD! – http://bit.ly/2MkktMV

The second, Hot SEAL, Black Coffee, released yesterday!

©Cynthia D’Alba 2018

Dealing with a sexy ex-girlfriend, a jewel heist, and a murder-for-hire can make an ex-SEAL bodyguard a tad cranky.

Trevor Mason accepts what should be a simple job…protect the jewels his ex-girlfriend will wear to a breast cancer fundraiser. As founder and owner of Eye Spy International, he should send one of his guys, but he needs to get his ex out of his system and this is the perfect opportunity to remind himself that she is a spoiled, rich debutante who dumped him with a Dear John letter during his SEAL training.

Respected breast cancer doctor Dr. Risa McCool hates being in the limelight for her personal life. Her life’s work is breast cancer treatment and research, which she’d rather be known for than for her carefree, partying debutante years. She agrees to be the chairperson for the annual breast cancer fundraiser even though it means doing publicity appearances and interviews, all while wearing the famous pink Breast Cancer Diamond for each public event. The multi-million dollar value of the pink stone requires an armed bodyguard at all times.

Past attractions flame, proving to be a distraction to the serious reality of the situation. When Risa and the millions in diamonds go missing, nothing will stop Trevor from bringing her home, with or without the jewels.

Here are the preorder links. Order both and I’ll publicly thank you on Facebook and Twitter! Seriously, I don’t usually do preorders so this makes me nervous!

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H7W28XF
Apple/iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hot-seal-black-coffee/id1435829603?mt=11
Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1129508808?ean=2940161795552
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hot-seal-black-coffee

Leave a comment here on the blog to be in the running for a prize,
TBD by the winner!

AND here’s all my online homes where we can visit!

https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.dalba
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCynthiaDAlba/
https://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-DAlba/e/B0067UOSH8/
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/cynthia-d-alba

Cynthia D’Alba: Two SEALs in Paradise (Contest)
Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Morning all! Cynthia D’Alba here. Hugs and kisses to DD to allowing me to invade her private space today. (Wow! Upon re-reading that last sentence, I realize that can be taken in a couple of different ways. Oh well. Whatever! HA)

I’ve taken A LOT of time off from writing during 2016, 2017 and 2018. Those who follow me in Facebook, you know all about my illness. Those whose do not, no biggie. That’s in the past. My point is I am finally back to writing. My brain can once again string together words. WOOT! Progress.

I have TWO (gasp) new releases coming in October. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

First up, Hot SEAL, Cold Beer – which released yesterday!

©Cynthia D’Alba 2018

Hot SEAL, Cold Beer is about a destination wedding, a blind date, and a SEAL who isn’t looking for love. Well, actually, my heroine isn’t looking either! Here’s a little more about the story…

Nicholas Falcone, aka Nikko, aka Falcon, is five months out from active SEAL duty, putting his pre-service accounting degree to use while going to law school at night. He’d love to take a vacation between semesters, but every buck is earmarked for his education. When a fellow accountant approaches him about his sister needing an escort for a destination wedding, Nikko jumps at the idea. With the wedding families footing the bill, what does he have to lose?

Surgeon Dr. Jennifer Pierce is still stinging from a broken engagement. Going to a destination wedding at the Sand Castle Resort in the Caribbean would be great if only her ex-fiancé and his new wife weren’t also attending. Her options are to find a date or not go, but not going isn’t really an option. That means letting her brother set her up with a guy from his accounting office…Heaven forbid. When did accountants start looking like this?

Amazon 📷http://bit.ly/2Of9GnZ
Barnes and Noble 📷http://bit.ly/2LT2EIO
KOBO 📷http://bit.ly/2Mm4NsK
Apple/iBooks 📷https://apple.co/2MiODQO
Add to Goodreads TBD! – http://bit.ly/2MkktMV

The second, Hot SEAL, Black Coffee, releases Oct. 23!

©Cynthia D’Alba 2018

Dealing with a sexy ex-girlfriend, a jewel heist, and a murder-for-hire can make an ex-SEAL bodyguard a tad cranky.

Trevor Mason accepts what should be a simple job…protect the jewels his ex-girlfriend will wear to a breast cancer fundraiser. As founder and owner of Eye Spy International, he should send one of his guys, but he needs to get his ex out of his system and this is the perfect opportunity to remind himself that she is a spoiled, rich debutante who dumped him with a Dear John letter during his SEAL training.

Respected breast cancer doctor Dr. Risa McCool hates being in the limelight for her personal life. Her life’s work is breast cancer treatment and research, which she’d rather be known for than for her carefree, partying debutante years. She agrees to be the chairperson for the annual breast cancer fundraiser even though it means doing publicity appearances and interviews, all while wearing the famous pink Breast Cancer Diamond for each public event. The multi-million dollar value of the pink stone requires an armed bodyguard at all times.

Past attractions flame, proving to be a distraction to the serious reality of the situation. When Risa and the millions in diamonds go missing, nothing will stop Trevor from bringing her home, with or without the jewels.

Here are the preorder links. Order both and I’ll publicly thank you on Facebook and Twitter! Seriously, I don’t usually do preorders so this makes me nervous!

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H7W28XF
Apple/iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hot-seal-black-coffee/id1435829603?mt=11
Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1129508808?ean=2940161795552
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hot-seal-black-coffee

Now, if you’re STILL with me, THANK YOU. (Breathes sigh of relief!)

Leave a comment here on the blog to be in the running for a prize TBD by the winner!

AND here’s all are my online homes where we can visit!

https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.dalba
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCynthiaDAlba/
https://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-DAlba/e/B0067UOSH8/
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/cynthia-d-alba

Flashback: Heart of a SEAL (Contest)
Thursday, October 4th, 2018

UPDATE: The three winners are…Tamara Kasyan, Janelle, and Misty Dawn!
*~*~*

I hope you haven’t forgotten my Uncharted SEALs stories! I still have two to refurb and put in the lineup, Head Over SEAL and SEAL Escort, which I hope to get to this month, so I do have quite a few of these action-packed stories for you to enjoy. And I’m not saying I’m done with them either. This series spawned my Montana Bounty Hunters, and now, Montana Bounty Hunters will soon spinoff to another series, but I’m not talking about that yet! Just know I love my military heroes, and I don’t plan to stop writing them anytime soon! And as for Montana Bounty Hunters, I have many more stories to tell there. I love writing them! They’re fast and funny. I make myself giggle when I write them.

And why write if you don’t have fun doing it, right? — That’s my motto anyway.

Here are all my currently available titles in the series. Peruse these lovelies…

Watch Over Me Through Her Eyes
*~*
Baby, It's You Before We Kiss
*~*

Click on the covers to learn more!

Contest

Win your choice of one of my Uncharted SEALs stories! There will be 3 winners! All you have to do to enter is answer me this…

When you daydream, what sort of hero do you imagine? A cop or a firefighter? The boy-next-door? A SEAL?

Heart of a SEAL


Heart of a SEAL

Aislinn Blalock is the lone survivor of the extraction team sent to rescue hostages in Cambodia from the vicious criminal gang holding them for ransom. After her helicopter crashes, she has to stay one step ahead of them to stay alive long enough for a rescue team to get to her.

Ash’s husband Sam watches the mission go sideways on a computer monitor, sidelined by management because one of the team happens to be his wife—but now, there’s no way in hell he’s sitting this one out. He’s getting to Ash before the armed gang can cause her any harm. He’ll risk everything to save the woman who holds his heart.

Can’t wait to win it? Purchase it here: Amazon | Nook | iBooks | Kobo

 

Opening Scene…

What a difference six months made. Aislin Blalock lay in tall grass beside a withered rice paddy, staring up at a clear, starlit sky. A billion pinpricks of light scattered across a dark canvas. No moon, thank God. Beautiful, really. But the distant stars only deepened her sense of unreality. In the distance, she heard metallic creaks and groans, as well as the crackle of fire. She had yet to move, afraid adrenaline was giving her brain the wrong signals, masking the fact she’d been hurt. She had, after all, just fallen from the sky.

Six months ago, she would never have imagined she’d be here in Cambodia in December, participating in a mission to rescue wealthy tourists who’d been kidnapped for the fat ransom their families would pay. She’d been a cop, still suffering the loss of her boyfriend and partner during a robbery. Just met the man who would drag her out of hell and show her love was still possible. That guilt didn’t have to consume her. That she had the right—and the duty—to survive and find happiness. No longer did she drink herself into oblivion for the chance to dream of Marc and pretend he wasn’t gone. Now, she had Sam.

Sam…

Ash drew a deeper, sharper breath. He hadn’t been happy about her being pulled from her training with Charter to be part of this team, but the company had wanted a woman along, and she was one of the first female operatives they’d hired. He’d been supportive of her decision to apply for a position with his company as a field operative. Naively, she’d believed that being part of Charter, rather than remaining with the New Orleans Police Department, would mean they’d see each other more often. And she’d needed a change. A new job. New home. Without constant reminders of what she’d lost or the time she’d nearly lost herself grieving after Marc’s death. When Charter had tapped her for this mission, she hadn’t hesitated.

Two of the hostages were nuns—not wealthy tourists like the rest. And Charter had decided she’d make the women more comfortable during the rescue and transit. But her team never made it to the drop zone, a click from the kidnapper’s jungle encampment. Although they’d flown well below radar, someone had alerted the well-organized, well-funded group holding the hostages.

Her helicopter had been in the lead. She’d already shuffled toward the open door, ready to drop down a rope when they’d been hit. She’d had a split second to react. Thought she’d heard a voice in her ear, telling her to jump. Marc’s voice, but that had to have been a dream. Her subconscious prodding her to take that leap of faith.

Her landing had been cushioned by deep, soft vegetation. She’d landed on her feet. Sort of. Her bottom making contact a split-second later.

Even if she’d suffered a break or a spinal cord injury she couldn’t yet feel, she was far better off than the men who’d been aboard her helicopter. She’d had time to jump from the left door when the right side of the helo sustained a direct hit from an RPG. The rest of her team, whom she’d met only two weeks before, hadn’t been so lucky.

She drew deep, ragged breaths. Lungs expanded. No hitch, so her ribs were likely fine. Inside her combat boots, she wiggled her toes and felt them scrape hard leather. Time to move. But she was still afraid. After a few wasted moments, at last, she rolled to her right and came up on her knees. Everything appeared to be working, but maybe she’d sustained internal injuries. Gingerly, she dropped her pack and unlatched the cover, feeling inside for her headset. Her hands closed around thin bands. She donned her headset then the night vision goggles, set her mike beside her mouth, and tapped ON, using the team’s call sign to identify herself. All actions were performed by rote, because if she’d had to think, she would have frozen. “Do you read me?”

“Jesus, fuck!”

She almost smiled at hearing Sam’s break with protocol. But his curses, so harsh in her ear, relaxed her. For the moment, she felt his reassuring presence.

“We see one heat signature a distance from the helo. That you, babe?”

“Yes. I don’t think anyone else made it out.”

“The second helo just crossed back into Viet Nam.”

Which meant she was alone. If anything had gone awry with the mission, the pilots had been ordered to return to Charter’s base camp. She swallowed hard to still the panic rising in her throat.

“Are you hurt?”

She heard the soft note of hesitation in his voice. Knew he was bracing for the worst. Not sure, yet. “No,” she said, more firmly than she felt.

“Fuck. More heat signatures. Nine of them. Coming from the West.”

Her stomach clamped. Men from the kidnapper’s encampment. “Roger,” she said, her voice clipped. She knew what she had to do. Run.

“Head northeast. You’ll be in deep jungle. It’ll give you cover.”

She checked the illuminated dial of her wrist compass, took her direction, and pushed up into a crouch. As quickly and as quietly as she could, she streaked toward the tree line.

Don’t miss these free offers! Plus, see what’s coming!
Friday, September 21st, 2018

Two Quick Reminders!

Yesterday’s offer of a free book, Stepbrothers Stepping Out: With His Pack, is still live! Get your copy here!

The Scavenger Hunt Contest is still ongoing! Be sure to enter!

*~*~*

What’s coming very soon!

We’re hunkering down for a week of storms! The installation of our new heating and air systems was completed yesterday, so we’re snug and happy inside! You take for granted things like AC until you suddenly don’t have them. I can’t imagine doing without and feel for anyone affected by recent, and not so recent storms, who are still dealing with the aftermath.

I completed revising and uploading a book yesterday. I changed the release date so it will be out October 2nd. So, if you haven’t read Sin’s Gift, give it a try! It’s super-sexy and is filled with otherworldly creatures and a damaged, “gifted” cop, who’s sure she’s losing her mind.

When police officer Sinead O’Rourke returns to duty months after being shot in an incident that claimed her partner, she knows it’s not going to be easy. Despite being cleared of any negligence, her fellow officers still wonder whether she’s responsible for his death. One more problem is that everyone knows she claims to have seen his ghost. After months of rehabilitation and lying like hell about the fact she’s not seeing spooks anymore, Sin’s determined to get back into the saddle.

Jake doesn’t want to partner with Sin. Been there, done that—couldn’t keep his hands off her the first time around. She’s too much of a distraction, and her penchant for rushing into trouble scares the heck out of him. Despite wishing she’d quit her job, he’s still deeply attracted. When an armed robbery goes down and something happens that rattles Sin to the core, he’s right there—ready to cover her back and her sweet body.

Pre-order your copy here!

*~*~*

Two weeks after that, Hook is coming! If you’ve been loving the Montana Bounty Hunter stories, here’s another to keep your heart pounding and the smile’s coming!

Hook

Former Army Ranger, Dylan “Hook” Hoecker, has a new job along with a new prosthetic arm. Being a bounty hunter is the closest career field he could find as a civilian that gives him the adrenaline rush that is his addiction. So, when his first solo assignment is to keep an eye on a flight risk the boss bonded out of jail, he’s not thrilled. However, he soon discovers a fresh addiction–one mouthy, nerdy redhead, who resists his attempts to keep her out of trouble.

Felicity Gronkowski is grateful for the bone the head of Montana Bounty Hunter threw her. She didn’t have the money to pay for bail, but he has a soft spot for former military, and she bartered to install a new computer system in his satellite office in Bear Lodge. Being on the outside of jail was her first imperative because she has to figure out who framed her for a series of high-end robberies while she worked installing home security systems. However, her bounty-hunting babysitter isn’t giving her any slack. Every time she thinks she’s given him the slip, he’s one step ahead of her. Either she has to find the perfect method of distraction to escape him or she has to enlist his help to clear her name.

Pre-order your copy here!

*~*~*

If you don’t want to wait…

There’s always the latest MBH-related story! Love seeing one set in Mexico? Or at least partially? Give Gina and Carson a whirl!

S*x on the Beach

In Cabo San Lucas, Navy SEAL Carson “Beach-boy” Walsh is ready to live the good life. After surviving fifteen deployments in ten years, he bailed on the SEALs, figuring this cat had run out of lives. The only danger he faces now is choking on an oyster or drowning in beer–and then he meets her.

Gina Tripp is the Calamity Jane of bounty hunters, enjoying an unexpected vacation. She’s the stand-in for an absent groom on her girlfriend’s honeymoon in Cabo when she meets a cute guy with a nothing but sex on the beach in mind. As her luck would have it, her best friend winds up kidnapped, and Gina’s embroiled in a dangerous rescue that deepens her attraction to Carson.

Just when she thinks she can settle in and enjoy a few days of sin, an opportunity to prove herself to her boss lands in her lap. Now, she has her sights set on scoring a huge bounty–an ex-pat skip, hiding out in Mexico. What follows is a wild ride that leaves her feeling pretty relieved she hijacked a Navy SEAL to help her with the job.

Get your copy here!

 

Check out the lastest SEALs in Paradise release!
Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I have a real thing for men in uniform. When I get to add a bounty hunter into the mix, I’m in heaven! Today’s release combines both! Hope you enjoy S*X ON THE BEACH! ~DD

S*x on the Beach

S*x on the Beach

In Cabo San Lucas, Navy SEAL Carson “Beach-boy” Walsh is ready to live the good life. After surviving fifteen deployments in ten years, he bailed on the SEALs, figuring this cat had run out of lives. The only danger he faces now is choking on an oyster or drowning in beer–and then he meets her.

Gina Tripp is the Calamity Jane of bounty hunters, enjoying an unexpected vacation. She’s the stand-in for an absent groom on her girlfriend’s honeymoon in Cabo when she meets a cute guy with a nothing but sex on the beach in mind. As her luck would have it, her best friend winds up kidnapped, and Gina’s embroiled in a dangerous rescue that deepens her attraction to Carson.

Just when she thinks she can settle in and enjoy a few days of sin, an opportunity to prove herself to her boss lands in her lap. Now, she has her sights set on scoring a huge bounty–an ex-pat skip, hiding out in Mexico. What follows is a wild ride that leaves her feeling pretty relieved she hijacked a Navy SEAL to help her with the job.

**S*x on the Beach is part of the Montana Bounty Hunter series. It is also in the SEALs in Paradise connected series. Each book can be read as standalone. They do not have cliff-hanger endings and do not have to be read in any particular order.**

Get your eBook here: Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks
Get your print copy here: Amazon

 

Books in this series:

Hot SEAL, Salty Dog by Elle James
Hot SEAL, S*x on the Beach by Delilah Devlin
Hot SEAL, Dirty Martini by Cat Johnson
Hot SEAL, Bourbon Neat by Parker Kincade
Hot SEAL, Red Wine by Becca Jameson
Hot SEAL, Cold Beer by Cynthia D’Alba
Hot SEAL, Rusty Nail by Teresa Reasor
Hot SEAL, Single Malt by Kris Michaels

Sneak Peak at S*x on the Beach!
Friday, September 7th, 2018


S*x on the Beach

In Cabo San Lucas, Navy SEAL Carson “Beach-boy” Walsh is ready to live the good life. After surviving fifteen deployments in ten years, he bailed on the SEALs, figuring this cat had run out of lives. The only danger he faces now is choking on an oyster or drowning in beer—and then he meets her.

Gina Tripp is the Calamity Jane of bounty hunters, enjoying an unexpected vacation. She’s the stand-in for an absent groom on her girlfriend’s honeymoon in Cabo when she meets a cute guy with a nothing but sex on the beach in mind. As her luck would have it, her best friend winds up kidnapped, and now Gina’s embroiled in a dangerous rescue that deepens her attraction Carson.

Just when she thinks she can settle in and enjoy a few days of sin, an opportunity to prove herself to her boss lands in her lap. Now, she has her sights set on scoring a huge bounty—an ex-pat skip, hiding out in Mexico. What follows is a wild ride that leaves her feeling pretty relieved she hijacked a Navy SEAL to help her with the job.

**S*x on the Beach** is part of the Montana Bounty Hunter series. It is also in the SEALs in Paradise connected series. Each book can be read as standalone. They do not have cliff-hanger endings and do not have to be read in any particular order.

Get your copy here!

Six months ago…

Carson “Beach-boy” Walsh pulled his dog tags from under his shirt, and then exposed the small medallion that rested against one rubber-clad tag, lifted it to his mouth, and kissed it.

So, Saint Christopher wasn’t actually considered a saint anymore, and Carson wasn’t Catholic, but his aunt had given him the medallion the first time he’d shipped out. Kissing it for luck before a fight had become a ritual.

After tucking the medal back inside his shirt, he raised his MK17 to hold it crosswise in front of his body as he continued the march into the valley. He breathed in through his nose and out through his mouth to calm his heart and head. Another part of his “pre-game” ritual.

He was on his fifteenth deployment, and he’d lost count of how many missions. He’d just hit his ten-year mark as a SEAL, and he was one lucky guy. Everyone said so. Other than a little shrapnel and splinters, he’d never been seriously injured.

Sure, he’d had a moment during his thirteenth deployment, when he thought maybe he’d run out of luck—when he’d stepped on a landmine. But the second his boot had landed on the metal plate buried in the sand, he’d known exactly what was happening, and had pitched himself over a stone wall a split-second before it exploded, a luckily delayed reaction, which had showered him with dirt. His buddies had rushed to him, certain they’d be picking up pieces of his body, but he’d sat up, shook his head, and grinned.

“Goddamn, Beach-boy,” his best buddy Fischer had said as he slapped his back. “You are one lucky bastard.”

Yeah, that had been his closest call, but he didn’t take his luck for granted. He trained hard, kept alert to his surroundings, and trusted the men on his team. They were the source of his real luck.

He’d lost friends along the way, to death and career-ending injuries. He knew, someday, his streak would end, but it wouldn’t be today. Not this early morning when the sun was painting the prettiest dawn as it climbed over the rim of the valley. Bright yellow at the edge, a pale purple and orange just above it. While he preferred a bit more greenery, the sparse bushes and trees dotting the rocky valley below looked almost lush compared to the countryside they’d been quickly moving through. The walled compound below looked like a crumbling castle from some ancient tale. A castle they hoped contained their current target, an insurgent leader who’d escaped a series of raids, and who’d publicly mocked his would-be captors.

The team was eager to capture Ahmadi, who’d become a kind of superstar, even among those who wanted to see an end to the Taliban’s reign of terror, once and for all. They admired the fact he’d managed to survive, always staying one step ahead of his American pursuers.

When they reached the outer wall of the compound, Carson paused as his team moved past. Every one of them reached out a hand to rub his helmet, their own lucky ritual, before they took positions along the wall. Carson was on point. He’d be the first inside the compound—after he blew the thick plank door set into the wall.

Fischer rubbed his helmet then took a knee beside the door. “Don’t get killed.”

“You can have my helmet if I do,” Carson said with a quick, tight grin. Then he reached out, stuck the small explosive charge next to the lock on the door, set the timer, and then took cover.

He counted the seconds and covered his ears. As soon as the C-4 exploded, he pushed up and ran quickly through the opening, heading toward the side of the mud-stuccoed house in the center of the open compound. As he moved, the only sounds were the quiet crunches of boots behind him. Not a bleat from a goat, not a bark from a dog, not a shout. “Too damn quiet,” he said.

“Damn, I hope he hasn’t already slipped the noose,” the mission commander said in his earpiece. “Breach the door, but keep your eyes peeled.”

“Anyone tell him that never sounds good?” Fischer muttered.

Hunkered down with his weapon raised, the buttstock snug against his shoulder, Carson kept close to the wall as he moved toward the alcove shading the front door. He checked the dirt around the concrete porch but saw no signs of recent digging, so no mines, he hoped. Then he ducked into the alcove, Fischer right behind him, his back to Carson as he continued to scan their surroundings.

Carson moved to the door, reached out with his left hand, and pulled down on the latch. He heard a snick, but also a snap. His heart thudded, and he turned to Fischer, “Go, go, g—”

An explosion sounded behind him, a millisecond before the door slammed into his back and pushed him ahead of a blast of fire and air that picked him and Fischer up. When he landed, he scrambled toward his buddy. Fischer lay face down, his arms spread.

Sounds around him were muffled—pops of gunfire, distant shouts. He crawled to Fischer and gently rolled him over. His face was covered in sand and grit…and blood, seeping from beneath his helmet. No, his ear.

“Fisch,” he shouted close to him, but Fischer didn’t stir.

“Man down. Fisch is down,” he said into his mic, but couldn’t hear a response. Sounds faded. He knelt, knowing he couldn’t do a thing—not remove his friend’s helmet, not move him again. He swayed on his knees and nearly fell, but more of his team arrived, pulling him away, running their hands over his back.

He sucked a breath between his teeth when he felt a sudden sharp pain on the right side of his back. More muffled voices shouted into his ear. “Lie down, Walsh! Helo’s coming!”

At that moment, Carson realized his luck had just run out. Too soon to save Fischer. Maybe too soon to save himself.

 

Three months ago…

The sky was blue, the temperature was in the mid-seventies, and a light breeze filtered through the leaves of the cottonwoods. It was a gorgeous, glorious Montana day, and Gina Tripp was pumped. Her boss, Fetch Winter, had finally let go of the tight leash he’d kept her on since he’d hired her after she’d left active duty where they first met. Before he’d mustered out, he’d given her his number and told if ever she needed a job…

She’d accepted his offer and moved to Montana from her home in San Diego. So far, she loved the climate, the mountains, the people she worked with, and, especially, the job. Bounty hunting was damn fun, and from listening to the stories of the more experienced hunters, she was eager to experience the occasional adrenaline rush she’d grown addicted to in the Army. But she was the “new girl” and had to prove herself before they’d trust her with the scary shit.

The past two weeks, Fetch had finally let her take solo baby-steps—rounding up druggies who’d missed their court-ordered drug tests, picking up an old Buick from a seventy-year-old woman who’d signed away her car to bail out her deadbeat son, only to have him skip his date with the judge.

Nothing big. Nothing dangerous. She’d performed well on other tasks, working the phones to give the other hunters leads. At last, Fetch was trusting her to serve as part of the team going after Harland Oates, a once-convicted felon, who hadn’t been seen since he’d met his bail for a DUI offense that he’d compounded by assaulting the arresting officer.

Gina had “geared up” along with two other hunters from the Kalispell office, Sam Meacham and “Kid” Hagerty. They were armed with handguns, a rifle, and a pellet gun. She’d been given beanbag rounds for her shotgun, something non-lethal because the men were nervous she’d shoot them by mistake.

She’d snorted at that assumption, but they’d taken her new nickname “Trip” to heart. So, she’d faceplanted on the drive outside the office during an ice storm. And once, she’d slid like surfer across a sheet of black ice during a coffee run, only to hit hard snow and somersault. After managing to save one lidded drink, she’d thought that would count for something.

Nope. They’d taken the security camera footage and posted it on YouTube. Now, she was known as the Calamity Jane of the bounty hunting world, at least here in Montana.

Fetch had told her to stop trying so hard. Relax. She’d eventually find her feet in the job. She’d rolled her eyes, and he’d laughed at his joke. He predicted, that in the end, she’d be a hell of a hunter.

But her training was taking a little longer than she liked. Like most of the people he’d hired, she was ex-military. She’d seen action as a driver in Iraq, driving in convoys transporting supplies across huge expanses of open desert. She’d had to bail out of a 5-ton truck a time or two to set up a quick defense against attacks from ISL forces. She’d even shot her weapon. Not that she’d ever hit a thing. Didn’t matter. She’d done her job. Had been prepared for worst case scenarios. She knew how to solider, how to follow orders, and she didn’t lose her nerve when things got grim.
She reminded herself of all these things as she trudged behind Sam and Kid toward a house, of sorts, deep inside the woods. The structure had begun its life as a school bus but had been “renovated” with wood-framed offshoots that sat on piers that looked like a stiff wind would shift them right off their foundations. This was Harland’s “hunting cabin” or so his buddies back at the bar in Bozeman had said.

Gina’s Kevlar vest was a little large, and the top rubbed the underside of her chin. She reached for the bottom edge and tugged it down to just above her hips, and then hurried to catch up with the guys on the trail.

They both turned and shot her harsh glares, but she gave them a smile. Kill them with kindness; that was her motto. They likely thought she was a bit of a snowflake she smiled so damn much.
Kid had already asked her on a date, but she’d told him she didn’t think it was a good idea—at least not until she was off her ninety-day probation. She had to be all about the job. Still, turning him down had been hard. The man was beautiful, although she was sure he wouldn’t like being described that way, but he did have the dreamiest gray-blue eyes, soot-black wavy hair that he kept cut short, and a body that any breathing woman, and probably a lot of men, would sigh over.

But it was better to keep her mind on the job, not the way his Levi jeans hugged his ass. When she headed back to California for her best friend’s wedding, she’d be sure to scout out a booty call to take care of any unrequited urges Kid inspired.

“Trip!” came a harsh whisper in her earpiece.

She glanced up and caught Sam’s signal. They’d circled to the back of the ramshackle cabin, and Kid had his back to the siding as he edged closer to a window to peek inside.

“He’s inside. Kitchen,” Kid whispered then ducked down.

Sam caught her glance, pointed toward the back door, and made some sort of hand signal. Not strictly military, so she wasn’t exactly sure if he was telling her to guard it or open it, but she nodded and moved toward the rickety back steps. When he disappeared around the front of the structure, she guessed she was supposed to wait, because he’d likely be the one to breach the front door. She edged quietly up the wooden steps to stand at the back door.

“Harland Oates, Fugitive Recovery Agents!”

Gina winced at the shout in her ear, but then almost snickered at the way Sam had said the felon’s name. It had sounded like “Hall & Oats” and, not for the first time, she was tempted to break out in song. “Maneater” came to mind.

“We have your place surrounded! Come out with your hands up!” A moment passed. “I’m goin’ in!” Sam whispered.

A crash sounded in the distance. Footsteps pounded through the bus, striking metal then wood. Then the knob on the door in front of her twisted. She only had a second to jerk back into the tiny space behind the door as it slammed open. When a man began to emerge, all she saw was wild hair, a wilder beard, and bare muscled arms.

Has to be Harland. Fuck! She pushed the door back as hard as she could against the large body hurtling out onto the porch.

She caught him, sort of.

Harland Oates slammed against the railing. “What the fuck!”

The porch shuddered then teetered to the side. She grabbed for Harland, caught his grubby wifebeater in her fist, but he fell through the rail, taking her with him. They landed on the ground, her body bouncing against his back, her shotgun banging against his head. When she scrambled to her knees, she was straddling him and fighting to get her shotgun turned in the small space between their bodies, when he bucked upward, sending her to the side.

Still turning the weapon, her finger got stuck in the trigger housing and a round went off, pounding into the ground beside his head, and he froze.

They both turned their gazes to the expended round. The lead-filled red “pillow” was disintegrated.

“Bitch, you almost shot me in the fucking head!” Harland whined.

It took everything not to blurt that it had been an accident. Instead, she gave him her meanest stare. “You gonna give me any more trouble?”

“Trip, what the hell?” Sam shouted from the back door.

She glanced up to see him tip back his cowboy hat. He couldn’t step out because the porch had collapsed. “We’re good, Sam,” she said, then dragged the muzzle of her shotgun closer to Harland’s belly. “Ain’t that right?”

Harland groaned and wilted against the dirt just as Kid strode to her side.

Sam shook his head and disappeared back inside, his feet clomping through the cabin.

Kid offered his hand. “Not exactly graceful, are you, Trip?”

She squinted up at him. “If you ever want that date, you better take that back. I got him, didn’t I?”

His mouth stretched into a huge grin. “Wish I’d had a camera. You should have seen your face when that porch fell out from under you.” He glanced down at Harland who’d reached out his hands, showing he was ready to surrender.

“Can ya get off me now?” Harland asked.

Kid cupped her elbow and grabbed her shotgun, holding it well away as he helped her to her feet. “I got this. Don’t want you to get those fingers stuck again.”

“They weren’t stuck,” she lied, her cheeks feeling as though they were on fire.

“Sure, and you meant to knock him out with the door, right?”

“I don’t suppose you could keep the after-action report to ‘Trip took down the target’, could you?”

He gave her a sly wink. “Oh, that’s exactly what happened, wasn’t it?”

Her shoulders fell. No way in hell would either of the hunters let her live this one down. She’d be stuck relieving grannies of their prized possessions for the rest of her days.

“Make yourself useful and get him cuffed before Sam gets here,” he said.

As she drew her handcuffs from the pocket on her web belt, Kid pulled out his cellphone from under his vest.

While he took pictures of the collapsed steps, she helped Harland to his feet. The man wasn’t very tall. She probably could have taken him from behind if she’d let him climb down the steps first. Instead, adrenaline had been her bitch.

As she led him back through the woods to their SUV, she heard laughter following her every step of the way.

Elle James: Salty Dog
Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

The first of the SEALs in Paradise stories is here!

Hot SEAL, Salty Dog

SEALs in Paradise
Brotherhood Protectors, A Brotherhood Protectors/ SEALs in Paradise Crossover Novel

Navy SEAL on vacation in Mexico wakes up married to a jilted bride and retraces his steps to matrimony…

Confirmed bachelor and Navy SEAL Chase Flannigan is celebrating his separation from the Navy in the tropical paradise of Cabo San Lucas. After a particularly hazy night, he wakes up with a ring on his finger and a beautiful woman in his bed, and no memory of how they got there.

Stood up at the altar, jilted bride Maggie Neal snags her best friend and goes on her honeymoon, one groom short only to wind up in bed with a hot SEAL, married and extremely hungover.

Together, Chase and Maggie take a walk down a fractured memories’ lane to discover how they ended up hitched. In the process, they discover a bullet hole in Chase’s baseball cap, a drug cartel with a vendetta against them and a burgeoning love born of respect and adventure, a love they never expected to find in paradise.

** Salty Dog ** is part of the Brotherhood Protectors Series. It is also in the “SEALs in Paradise” connected series. Each book can be read as a stand-alone. They do not have cliffhanger endings.

Get your copy here!

Books in this series:

Hot SEAL, Salty Dog by Elle James
Hot SEAL, S*x on the Beach by Delilah Devlin
Hot SEAL, Dirty Martini by Cat Johnson
Hot SEAL, Bourbon Neat by Parker Kincade
Hot SEAL, Red Wine by Becca Jameson
Hot SEAL, Cold Beer by Cynthia D’Alba
Hot SEAL, Rusty Nail by Teresa Reasor
Hot SEAL, Single Malt by Kris Michaels