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Jazzed for Jacks: Welcome Back Cindy Gerard and Her New Crew of Hotties

Carey: Cindy, welcome back! As always, it’s an honor to have you on Kiss and Thrill. I have to tell you, I’ve been Cindy Gerardgoing through a bit of Cindy withdrawal …or rather Cindy’s boys withdrawal (not to slight your heroines in any way,  but those men are mine). It’s tough on readers who have grown to love a series, like your wonderful Black Ops Inc. series, when things come to an end. Lucky for us, the end of the BOIs means a new beginning and a whole new cast of characters for us to lust after, er..I mean to love sweetly and chastely. Can you tell us how your ONE EYED JACKS series developed, and how it will be similar to and different from the BOI series?

Cindy: The One Eyed Jacks is similar to the BOI’s in that my heroes are former military who served together in a multi-branch military task force. (Their nick name came out of the uniqueness of their experimental unit, their tight camaraderie, their slightly reckless reputation, their favorite downtime/pastime of high stakes poker and because each of them made a pact to always carry a One Eyed Jack playing card (either a Jack of hearts or a Jack of spades) as their lucky charm and a sign of unity.

What’s different about the One Eyed Jacks is that these guys are disenfranchised.  They didn’t end their service asjackscover_oej heroes.  They ended their service in disgrace.  When KILLING TIME opens, only three men of the original detail are still alive – Mike Brown, Bobby Taggart, Jamie Cooper.  On their last mission in Afghanistan, all three were dealt a losing hand and now share one common bond:  The military that they proudly served had cut them loose eight years ago with a ‘less than honorable’ discharge when their team led a covert operation that went south and the powers that be laid the blame squarely on their shoulders.

Now Brown, Taggart and Cooper lead separate lives in separate countries, have all dropped out of ‘normal society’ and not only live with the lie that led to their military separation but with the weight of the deaths of both their task force team members and several innocent civilians haunting them.

For these three men, life is now all about getting by, about forgetting the past, dealing with the anger and coping with the hand they’ve been dealt.  None of them intend to break the status quo – until a mysterious woman confronts and forces Brown to ask questions about what really happened in Afghanistan and how those events played into a current national security threat.  She dangles bait Brown can’t resist – the means to clear his name, deliver justice and expose the master mind behind the death of his teammates and his own downfall.

Carey: We first met Mike Primetime Brown in WITH NO REMORSE  (BOIs). Can you tell us how he’s changed since then, and how he grew his own story?

Cindy: Mike had everybody fooled in With No Remorse and Last Man Standing.  He was the epitome of a cock sure, swaggering hero.  What we didn’t know was that he was hiding a lot of anger and pain behind the smiling face.  But, don’t worry; he doesn’t get by with hiding anything in this book.wnr

Carey: One of the great things about your characters is that they are kickass and sinfully sexy, yet each of your protagonists seems to have something that haunts him and makes him vulnerable. What’s that vulnerable place for Mike?

Cindy: Betrayal.  Mike was betrayed then hung out to dry for sins he didn’t commit.  But, he feels the biggest betrayal of all, is his own cowardice when he didn’t stand up for what he knew was right – even if it might have cost him his life.

Carey: And how about Eva Salinas? What makes her tick?

Cindy: A little vengeance, a little lust for retribution and a threat against her life.  She started out on her journey looking for answers regarding her husband’s death eight years ago.  Her search, however, stirred up a hornet’s nest – with Mike Brown smack in the middle – and ended up with her running for her life.

Carey: I love the wonderful settings in your books. You always take me someplace I’d love to go. Have you been to Lima, Peru? How do you research your settings?

Cindy: I haven’t been to Peru but, boy, howdy, would I love to go.  As far as research – it’s extensive.  I have to have a feel for the setting or I can’t embed my story in the book.  So … maps, travel blogs, Lonely Planet guides and generally I manage to find someone who has been there and can help me with those delicious little details that make things click.  Part of this story takes place in Idaho and I was lucky enough to have a cousin who lives there and knows the area and provided an amazing amount of material for me.

Carey: Cindy, what’s in store for us after Killing Time? Whose story is next?

Cindy: I had initially planned 2 more books in the One Eyed Jacks series – RUNNING BLIND (Jamie Cooper’s book) and TAKING FIRE (Bobbie Taggart’s book).  I’ve since been given the opportunity to write a 4th book, one that will come out next December (just in time for Christmas!!) that’s a bonus book in the series.  I’m so excited about THE WAY HOME.  It’s a homecoming story featuring Tyler Brown (Mike’s brother) and is a little different book than I usually write.  Still romance, still suspense, still features our black ops warriors, but THE WAY HOME has a little something extra … something that  is leading me on  a very special journey as I write it.

Carey: Oooh! You’ve piqued my curiosity now. I can’t wait to read THE WAY HOME and find out what that little something extra is. Cindy, I know you are a big animal lover. Can you tell us about some of the animals who hang out your place? Do you have a favorite animal story?

Cindy: Oh boy.  This will be quite the list. LOL.  We have a Brittany spaniel named Margaret that my hubby and I both adore.  I call Margret his ‘other woman’ because she’s the one who gets to go on all the car rides with him :o).  We also have 2 house cats – Buddy and Sly.  One or the other is usually napping on my lap or the corner of my desk when I work.  Tom was never a cat person before these two felines found their way into our house through Margaret’s doggie door a few years ago.  Actually, neither was I.  But we LOVE these 2 cats and can’t imagine life or our home without them now.  A couple of years ago, I bought 2 fish – 2 betas – and kept them in a divided bowl for some time.  Then I bought them a 5 gallon tank and last year about this time, I added a 30 gallon fresh water aquarium to the mix.  This fall, I added a 90 gallon to my office.  So – as you can see, I’ve gotten bitten by the ‘aquarium’ bug.  I love my fish.  They’re beautiful and serene and so much fun to watch.  My hubby also has 3 quarter horses – Too Tall, Diamond, and Gus.  When I get a birthday card – which I did just last week :o) – it was signed by every critter on the place LOL.

Carey: Happy birthday, girlfriend!

On a personal note, I know you love a good adventure, whether it’s hiking the Grand Canyon or hanging with your BFFs in Spain. What adventure is next on your list?

Cindy: The next big adventure involves the kids.  We are taking them on a trip to Disneyland and Universal Studios in the spring.  It will be a HUGE adventure for all of us traveling together and the thought of getting on a roller coaster is already making me a little nauseas.  But, I’ll give it a go.  Maybe…..

Carey: Finally, can you tell us about your classic Love Swept titles? Any more re-releases in the works?booktn_august2012

Cindy: Thanks for asking about that.  WORTH DYING FOR was released last August and is a reissue of 2 of my Loveswepts in one volume.  I love that those stories have been brought back.  Next summer, WHEN SOMEBODY LOVES YOU will be released – another 2-fer volume of my favorite classic Loveswepts.  The reaction to these special e-book volumes has been wonderful.  I have 4 more stories that I plan to release at some point and will be sure to let everyone know when that happens.

Carey: Cindy, I can’t tell you how much I admire you both personally and professionally. Thanks so much for joining us today and for your generous giveaway. We’re all excited for the One Eyed Jacks! Readers, you can find Cindy at CindyGerard.com. Don’t forget to stop by and get the 411.

home-cover-lntCommenters, tell us your favorite pet story or what you plan for your next big adventure. One lucky commenter will win an e-copy of LEAVE NO TRACE and a signed copy of KILLING TIME from Cindy! Good luck, everyone!Killing Time by Cindy Gerard

Welcome back Cindy Gerard!

Carey says: I’m triple delighted today because the wonderful incredible fantabulous Cindy Gerard is here today to answer questions and comments… and...she’s going to tell us about a two-for-one rerelease of her classic early titles (I’ve never read them and now I get to!! ) and …we get to see the cover for her upcoming release- Killing Time- the first in her new series, ONE EYED JACKS! Let the fun begin! 

Cindy says: First things first, a big thank you to Carey and everyone at Kiss and Thrill for inviting me back to blog with them again today.  I’m so thrilled, I could kiss them.  Okay.  Bad pun (but I love a pun) and you get the gist of what I’m sayin’, right?

Second, thanks to all of you who support all of us writers.  I don’t think that gets said often enough.  It’s not that we don’t think it.  We do.  We know that if not for our loyal readers who go out and spend their hard earned money on our books that we would be out of a job – and a job is a precious thing.  Especially a job that you love.

Third – just for the record.  I love my job. :o)  I love writing.  I love the business of writing.  I love the fans.  I love my author friends.  My editorial team.  My agent and her staff and I LOVE seeing my work in print.

And finally – fourth – I love seeing new life breathed into old books and finding them on the shelves again or available as e-books.  So many of my fabo authors buddies have been having fun reissuing much of their backlist.  Well, I’m super excited to let you all know that I’ve joined the ranks.  Two of my classic romances – INTO THE NIGHT and MAN AROUND THE HOUSE are now available in e-book format in one volume titled: WORTH DYING FOR.

It’s a bogo!!  Buy one, get the other one free.  Only thing better is a bogo on shoes. LOL!

Here are the blurbs for each book.

INTO THE NIGHT (National Reader’s Choice winner)

….It began as a gimmick to promote their new radio show, but the spirited sparring between Jessie Fox and Tony Falcone soon has listeners demanding to know more about their steamy romance – and sets loose a crazed stalker. Jessie swears that the fire burning in Tony’s eyes can’t be real—until he sets a seductive trap she can’t escape. Can Tony persuade Jess he’s never letting her go?

MAN AROUND THE HOUSE (Rita Finalist)

….Answering his neighbor’s cry for help, Matthew Spencer finds himself rescuing a sassy blue-eyed temptress. Katie McDonald is a walking disaster who falls off ladders into his arms and awakens his hunger with the speed of a summer storm, and her infectious spirit has him rediscovering the joy in life.

Matthew makes her feel too much, want more than she can have, and dare to dream of being loved, but Katie knows she’s all wrong for a man with a child. Despite the passion between them, Matthew needs someone nice and normal, not wild and reckless – and Katie’s passion for her work has placed her in grave danger. And once Matthew learns her deeply buried sorrow, can he love her for all time?…

As I’ve stated in other blog posts,  do NOT expect these to be the high octane, high risk, adrenaline rushes of my Body Guard or Black Ops, Inc. books.  They are absolutely not.  I like to call them ‘suspense lite’ ) with a lot of fun and a hot love story at the heart of each book.  I really hope you’ll enjoy them to.  You can buy them here:  B&N.com  or here: Amazon.com

Speaking of high octane, high risk, adrenaline rushes … check out the cover of KILLING TIME, book one of my NEW series One-Eyed Jacks (release date 1-19-13).  Swwwweeeeettttt!  And for your reading pleasure, here’s a link to an excerpt from KILLING TIME. Excerpt.

Mike – Primetime – Brown showed up in With No Remorse and again in Last Man Standing and basically demanded he get his own story.  And wow.  What a story he has to tell :o)

Okay – Back to WORTH DYING FOR.  I love that e-book technology is making it possible for me as a writer and a reader to have access to out of print titles that we would otherwise not be able to find.  I like it so much, in fact that I’m giving away 2 e-book copies of WORTH DYING to someone who comments today by answering one of two questions:  1) How do you feel about reissues in general?  2) Is Mike Brown HOT or what???

Hugs

Cindy

Carey says: Cindy thanks so much for being here! And thanks for the giveaway! Commenters, I’ll be posting the Cindy Gerard winners along with the DP Lyle winner on Monday, so stayed tuned. 

Congratulations to Daphne Finalists!

The Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense nominees are in!  This has to be one of the biggest awards in the book business, and we at Kiss and Thrill are excited that three of this year’s past guests are on the list!  So a big round of applause to:

Allison Brennan   for her book Kiss Me, Kill Me.

Cindy Gerard  for her book With No Remorse

Roxanne St. Claire for her book Face of Danger

Just remember you heard about these books here first!  Do we know how to pick them or what?  LOL.

Kiss and Thrill wants to congratulate all the authors in both the published and unpublished divisions of the Daphne.  We’re rooting for all of you!

Thank you to Cindy Gerard! Our next guest is ….Harlan Coben! And the winners are…

Thank you so much to CINDY GERARD! We had a great time and hope you’ll come back very soon! We want One-Eyed Jacks!

Readers, yesterday you heard about SEAL OF MY DREAMS a collection of stories by a group of 18! amazing authors- so there’s something for everyone. Remember ALL proceeds go to a nonprofit foundation supporting veteran’s medical research.

You can buy it  and read SEALed With A Kiss by Cindy Gerard. I dare you not to smile when you reconnect with Luke and Val (protagonists of WITH NO REMORSE) and when you meet Tango.  The story is short and sweet so I won’t spoil it, but be warned, there may be man-poetry involved :-).  Bring your scuba gear and take a wild dive!

Harlan Coben, Photo by Miriam Berkley

Tomorrow we are thrilled to host HARLAN COBEN. With 50 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben’s last four consecutive novels, LIVE WIRE, CAUGHT,  LONG LOST and HOLD TIGHT all debuted  at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and lists around the world. His first Young Adult novel SHELTER was just released this fall. His books are published in 41 languages around the globe and have been number one bestsellers in over a dozen countries. (Bio from www.HarlanCoben.com)

WINNERS! Remember you must contact us within 10 days at Contact@KissandThrill.com to claim your prize. Please send your email address where you wish to have your e-book gift notice delivered.

The winners of an e-book for kindle are as follows:

WITH NO REMORSE- Kris Gilson

SEAL OF MY DREAMS-Tasha Clanton

LAST MAN STANDING (to be delivered as soon as it is released)- Donna Cummings (please note this will be delivered as soon as it is available).

Cindy Gerard: Carey’s Spotlight Hits the New York Times Best-Selling Author

We’ve got a fun interview with Cindy, but first, here is Carey’s spotlight recommendation:

WITH NO REMORSE.

Whenever I pick up a Cindy Gerard novel, I expect to be transported to a world that, although very real, is someplace I can never access on my own. I expect that she will suck me in so deep, I’ll feel the reality of that world as clearly as my own. In WITH NO REMORSE, she delivers in spades.

From the first page, I’m drawn to Luke (Doc). I’m inside the head of a warrior and privy to not only his courage, but also his self-doubt and vulnerability. Likewise, Val’s need to gain some semblance of control over her life makes her relatable, despite her outrageous beauty and celebrity. The fiery chemistry between Luke and Val ignites the story as much as the deftly woven plot.

I love the vitality and vibrant color of the writing. The pacing is break-neck, so buckle up. Description is sparse, yet beautiful and fresh and perfectly sets the scene. Early on, Gerard writes, “Outside, the night scrolled by, star-studded and black.” For me, that is an apt description of her prose. It scrolls by, hypnotizing me. WITH NO REMORSE is action packed, unexpected and heart-rending. That’s why I chose it for my spotlight pick for Cindy. I can’t wait to get my hands on the final book in her Black Ops series, LAST MAN STANDING, which releases on Jan. 31.

Today Cindy joins us and reveals secrets about her new release and much more as I turn the Kiss and Thrill spotlight on Cindy Gerard!

CINDY GERARD

New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly and USA Today Bestseller, Cindy Gerard, is a 6 time Rita finalist and is proud to display 2 RITAs in her office. Cindy writes fast, sexy, action-adventure romantic suspense featuring former Spec Ops warriors and is proud to count many military families among her readers.  Catch up on Cindy’s news at www.cindygerard.com.

  

Carey:  If you were stranded on a desert island with one other author, yes the real author, not his or her book, who would it be and why?

Cindy: Glenna McReynolds aka Tara Janzen.  Number one, I’m a huge fan.  Number two, we’re best buddies.  I don’t think we’d ever run out of things to talk about.  Some friendships are just like that.

Carey: What is your favorite book?

Cindy: Seriously?  I have to pick one?  Oh, man.  I will go with LaVryle Spencer’s, THE HUMMINGBIRD.  Just an all time favorite read for me AND the reason I started writing.

Carey: That’s great! I haven’t read that one and now have another book for my TBR pile. What is your favorite song?

Cindy: Again … seriously?  I have to pick one?  There are too many so I’ll just go with my most recent favorite, HELL IN HEELS by the Pistol Annies.  Attitude to spare and great harmonies led by Miranda Lambert.

Carey surreptitiously navigates to iTunes store: Do you have a special way you order your food? For example, do you always hold the sprouts on your salad or ask for a side of cherries with your diet coke?

Cindy: OMG.  These questions are hysterical.  I always hold the dressing on my salad, steak rare, veggies steamed.

Carey: How did you come to write your first manuscript?

Cindy: On a very old portable typewriter (yes, I said typewriter) with a sticky E on my lunch hours and nights and weekends.  It wasn’t pretty.

Carey wants to know what sticky lunch food Cindy spilled on the E, but asks instead: Do you have a personal hero?

Cindy: My mom.  She was the kindest, least judgmental, most generous and loving person I’ve ever known.   And she was so courageous fighting the illness that finally defeated her several years ago.  I’ll miss her for a long, long time.

Carey: Cindy, I think she passed a lot of  those characteristics on to you. It’s pretty wonderful how our moms live on in us. Which of your series or which of your books is your favorite?

Cindy: Again?  SERIOUSLY?  They are all like my babies.  Well, I don’t think of the heroes as babies 😮 but you get my drift.  I suppose, though, that I’ll always have a soft spot for Johnny Duane Reed and WHISPER NO LIES.

Carey interrupts with a wistful sigh.

Cindy smiles. Though I have to tell you, Joe Green really surprised me in his book – LAST MAN STANDING that will be coming out January 31st.  There was so much more to that guy than I had ever imagined.

Carey: Which of your books would you suggest for a reader if they could only read one?

Cindy: Wow.  I think that Whisper No Lies would be a good one to recommend.  It has all the action and adventure and romance (plus some irreverent humor) that I love to toss into a book.  The characters are fun and grow into much more than when the book starts and the action is off the charts.

Carey pushes her luck with the “favorites” questions: Do you have a favorite among your female protagonists and why?

Cindy: That would probably be a toss up between Jenna McMillan (Show No Mercy), Crystal – aka Tinkerbelle Debrowski (Whisper No Lies) and B.J. Chase (Feel The Heat) But truthfully, I love them all.  They are all different and all have their special strengths – or weaknesses that they have to fight to overcome.

Carey- still pushing her luck: Do you have a favorite among your male protagonists and why?

Cindy: You are cruel, I tell you, cruel to ask me to choose.  I love all my guys.  Take Gabe – the Arc Angel – Jones (Show No Mercy).  The things that man suffered and yet, he had the most amazing capacity for love.  Sam Lang (Take No Prisoners) – again, he went through so much and came out so much stronger.  And Johnny (Whisper No Lies) was such an arrogant, womanizing bad boy and yet – he grew into a man any woman would die to love.  Rafe?  Wyatt?  Luke – OMG – what’s NOT to love about Luke?  And as I said, Joe Green just gave me one surprise after another.

Giving up on getting Cindy to play favorites, Carey says: Please tell us about your upcoming release, LAST MAN STANDING.

Cindy: I am so eagerly anticipating the release of this book.  LAST MAN STANDING is the last book in the Black Ops., Inc. series and brings us full circle to how the BOI’s originally came about and what really did happen to cause the death of their brother in arms, Bryan Tompkins (an event that happened in book 1, Show No Mercy). This book truly is a redemption book – for both Joe Green, who has felt the weight of Bryan’s death for many years and for Stephanie (Bryan’s sister) who must dig deep inside of herself to find a strength she had no idea she possessed.  I loved writing this story, and I think my readers are going to love it, too.

Carey: How did SEAL OF MY DREAMS come about?

Cindy: That’s a wonderful story.  Christie Ridgway and Alison Kent deserve all the credit.  The two of them were tweeting about a photo of a navy SEAL that had been posted in the NYT shortly after Bin Laden was killed.  In addition to feeling patriotic, they were feeling very, um, shall we say, ‘drawn’ to this amazing photo which was a shot of a SEAL’s naked back (a beautifully muscled naked back).

Carey waggles her brows and motions for Cindy to continue.

Cindy winks. In any event, the tweeting began and the idea took root that it would be a great tribute to write a collection of short stories and donate the proceeds to a military charity.  Christie and Alison contacted a total of 16 other authors. We said YES, and all of us somehow made it happen.  We went from a kernel of an idea in May to a finished product that was released November 11th – Veteran’s Day.  Belle Books and the amazing Debra Dixon and Debra Smith got on board and have published it beautifully.  All proceeds (ALL proceeds) go the Veteran’s Research Corp, which benefits our Veterans with all kinds of medical issues – most specifically traumatic brain injury and PTSD.   If any of you have missed it, it’s a great collection.  You can buy it in either e-book or trade paperback at Amazon or B&N as well as BelleBook.com.

Carey: I love your hummingbird story. Can we see the hummingbird? Will you tell us the story?

Cindy: Here’s a link to the blog post I wrote about the little guy – complete with photos 😮

RIDING WITH THE TOP DOWN

Carey: When you are not busy rescuing hummingbirds, what other causes do you champion?

Cindy: LOL.  My hubby and I are big supporters of our troops.  I’m a supporter of the Romance genre and Brenda Novak’s Juvenile Diabetes cause.

Carey goes bonkers and inexplicably suggests a free association test. Please say the first word that comes to your mind- no cheating! Turn off that editor!

Candlewax

Piea la mode

Boygirl

Strengthwoman

Redwhite and blue

Dancetango

Playtag

Writestuff

Carey’s analysis: Cindy secretly wishes to wax poetic about a Tom Wolfe novel, whilst eating pie a la mode and watching a boy tango with Dancing with the Stars’ Hope Solo to the tune of the Star Spangled Banner. There may be a reason Carey is no longer a psychologist

THANK YOU CINDY, for your time, all that you do for our troops and their families,  your fellow writers and hummingbirds. And thanks for being a splendid sport today!

COMMENTERS -as a special treat for stopping by today, we will be giving away one e-copy for Kindle of each of the following books: SEAL OF MY DREAMS, WITH NO REMORSE, and LAST MAN STANDING (as soon as it is released). There will be 3 winners. One book per winner. Don’t forget to check Wednesday’s blog on Dec. 14th to find out if you are a winner and read my spotlight of Cindy’s story in SEAL OF MY DREAMS. And, oh my gosh! Harlan Coben will be here Thursday Dec. 15th! 

The floor is open for questions or comments for Cindy Gerard, so fire away!

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