Hey everyone, we have one of my favorite guests back in the Lair today, Jo Davis! For those of you who’ve read Jo’s Station Five Firefighter series, you’ll remember they’re set in the fictional town of Sugarland, Tennessee. Well, Jo is taking us back there with a new series, Sugarland Blue, about the heroic police officers in town.
Welcome, Jo. You know the drill. Pull up a bar stool, order your favorite drink from Sven, (He’s the hunky blond hanging out behind the bar, wiping up the drool off Paolo’s face…rumor has it Paolo’s read ALL your books!), and we’ll have a lovely chat about these hot new books.
Jo:Hey there, my friend! It’s so great to be back at the Lair! Mmm, Sven, I’ll have something fruity with rum and an umbrella in it, pretty please! Paolo, you naughty young man, take a seat and relax. Closer to me. That’s better, handsome.
Suz:What made you switch over to the police department of Sugarland?
Jo:From the start of the Firefighters of Station Five series, it’s been my desire to switch to the police department and tell Detective Shane Ford’s story, along with some of the other officers. My readers have been waiting, too. There was an initial delay in this happening in part because I was busy writing my Alpha Pack series as J.D. Tyler. My publisher eventually got behind the Sugarland Blue series and now I’m thrilled that it’s finally kicking off!
Suz:ARMED AND DANGEROUS, the first story in this series, is a novella. Do you think it’s a good way to bring your fans into the series?
Jo: I think a novella is a perfect start! I made sure the novella re-introduces Detective Shane Ford and Juvenile Officer Daisy Callahan, both of whom are in the Firefighter series. Shane plays a big part in some of those books. In ARMED, Shane and Daisy get a stand-alone case to solve, and their attraction ignites. Their big book, SWORN TO PROTECT, features a different case and some major family trauma for them to overcome.
Suz:Your readers might remember Shane Ford from Line Of Fire and Ride The Fire, what’s he gotten mixed up in this time?
Jo: In ARMED AND DANGEROUS, the novella, Shane has a series of murders to solve and goes undercover with Daisy to find the killer. Their attraction ignites, but all is not well for the couple. They haven’t yet gone through their bonding to become a real couple, so that story is yet to tell in SWORN TO PROTECT.
Here’s the blurb for SWORN TO PROTECT:
Detective Shane Ford, Sugarland’s favorite cop, has been blindsided by the sudden death of his best friend, NFL star Brad Cooper, and becoming the legal guardian of Brad’s son, Drew—a bitter, angry sixteen-year-old with a dangerous secret. Shane is determined to pry the truth from Drew, but only manages to alienate him—and winds up going head to head with Juvenile Detective Daisy Callahan, whose job is to protect the teen’s best interests.
Shane has always been drawn to Daisy’s beauty and strength, but he’s determined not to allow their intense attraction to interfere with his duty ever again. It’s a vow that will prove difficult to keep, as the realities of Shane and Daisy’s blossoming love and their growing bond with the grieving teen propel Shane headlong into danger for the new family he’s sworn to protect.
As you can see, the novella and book 1 are different stories with two different cases for the couple to solve. The reader does not have to read the novella to enjoy and understand SWORN, so no worries there.
Suz:Daisy Callahan is the heroine of ARMED AND DANGEROUS, can you tell us a little bit about her?
Jo: Daisy is a home-grown Sugarland woman who’s known Shane since high school—not that he ever gave her the time of day. She’s always had an unrequited love for one of the town’s most sought-after bachelors, and Shane doesn’t want to be caught. She moved away for a while, but during the Firefighter series, she had moved back to town and was terrified when Shane was shot and almost died in LINE OF FIRE. She loves kids, which is why she works as a juvenile officer, and has a huge heart.
Suz:ARMED AND DANGEROUS leads into the first full-length book Sworn To Protect. What’s changed between Shane and Daisy?
Jo:Without giving away too much… In ARMED, Shane can’t deny his attraction to Daisy anymore, and she’s thrilled. But he’s not ready to commit, which has them in an unhappy place in their relationship when SWORN opens…
Suz:How is this sudden change affecting their relationship?
Jo:They work at the police department together and their cases often overlap, so you can see what a problem this would be. She wants a committed relationship, he doesn’t. At first. By the time he starts to realize what he’s lost, the man has a LOT of making up to do!
Suz: As any good romantic suspense book, there’ danger lurking in the shadows, can you give us a little hint as to what’s going on?
Jo: As the blurb hints above, Shane’s best friend, Tennessee Titans star Brad Cooper, has died of a suspected drug overdose. But that’s not the whole story. Brad’s 16-year-old son Drew, who Shane has now become legal guardian of, is keeping a terrible secret about his dad’s death. Shane and Daisy will have to work together to solve the mystery, protect Drew, and become a family in the process.
Suz:What and who is next in the Sugarland Blue series?
Jo:I’ll just go ahead and reveal that the next story, HOT PURSUIT, is Detective Taylor Kayne’s story! That book is supposed to be out later this year. Taylor is Shane’s partner on the force, and I just love the witty barbs they exchange and their almost bromance. Yes, I have to admit I channel a bit of the “new” Hawaii Five-0’s Steve and Danny when I’m writing about them. Taylor is Danny to Shane’s Steve. I can’t help myself! And it was certainly a no-brainer as to whose story was going to be next.
Suz: And while we’re at it, when is the next Alpha Pack out for J.D. Tyler?
Jo:Next up is HUNTER’S HEART (Alpha Pack #4), which is Ryon Hunter’s story! It will be released on September 3, 2013. This one promises to be exciting and action-packed, as well as sexy. Here’s the blurb:
Ryon Hunter sees dead people—spirits that beg him for help in ways he can’t understand. He’d do anything to end the torment, until a beautiful spirit appears to him with a plea he can’t ignore: Help me…I’m alive. The woman is wildlife biologist Daria Bradford, mortally wounded after encountering a white wolf, calling to Ryon through a rare Psy gift. When Ryon locates Daria in the Shoshone National Park, it is almost too late, but nursing her back to health at the Alpha Pack compound brings a new complication—Daria is his destined mate, and Ryon is afraid of what will happen when she discovers what he is, and what he had to do to save her life. But the biggest threat of all is still loose in the forest, leaving a merciless trail of death behind it. The Alpha Pack goes on the hunt for the mysterious white wolf, determined to stop the murderous rogue… only to find that the most lethal creature of all is the one they can’t see coming…
Jo: Thank you all for having me here today! I’m giving away one download of ARMED AND DANGEROUSand one copy of SWORN TO PROTECT to 2 readers. Yes—both readers will receive the novella and SWORN if chosen! Just comment or answer the daily question for a chance to win.
Question: Who is your favorite TV or movie police officer/detective/agent of ALL TIME and what was the name of the series/movie? What was it about him or her that you loved so much?
It should say “How I Went to Conference and Didn’t Bring Grayson a Present”.
Yep, you guessed it. This is Grayson aka The Monkey Cat here. I thought I deserved equal time on this blog thingee Mom does since Cricket got a turn not to0 long ago. (Rubs paws with glee). Let’s get this puppy, er, kitten on the road!
Mom had lined up a BORING topic on …well, who know what it was on, the point was it was boring.
So I stole….er, borrowed…her diary from her recent trip to the RWA Conference in Anaheim, CA. Let’s just see what she was up to while we kitties languished in our naps back here.
DAY 1: Flying out WAY too early. Really, planes are awake at 5:30? Wait in Chicago not too bad…they had McD’s Diet Coke!!! And $5 Skittles. Sheesh! Arrive at John Wayne Airport. Wow, the palm trees are SO pretty! Sorry, FL but they outrank yours. Hotel is nice, walk a freakin’ mile and half to the McD’s “just down the road” for a, you guessed it, Diet Coke. What’s that across the street? It’s feakin’ Disneyland! Time change claimed me 7:30 their time. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.
GRAYSON: Um, what’s wrong with zzzz’s? And really Mom…this addiction to Diet Coke…we need an intervention.
DAY 2:A Freebie day. My roomie Lisa along with Suz Ferrell and Jo Davis rent a car and drive to Laguna Beach. One word: AWESOME!!! Park by beach was gorgeous. Where does California get all these beautiful plants? The Pacific ocean is COLD but the sand was perfect. Looked around the artsy community and at the lifeguards…yummy. Enjoyed an Irish pub with the cool ocean breezes. Sigh.
LT and Me!
GRAYSON: Sand? Did somebody say sand? Oooooo…I love me some fresh sand. And what are lifeguards? Are they like tuna treats? Yummy, we like tuna treats…and salmon…and chicken.
Day 3: Me and the bestie went to Disneyland, the original “House of the Mouse.”
GRAYSON: MOUSE????? (Falls into pounce position)
Tried to take it in stride as the birthplace of all that is Disney but…after many years of visiting the much larger and varied Disneyworld, a bit of a disappointment. Course, didn’t help that I got a park map in FRENCH! Plus was meeting Barbara Vey and her friend Sheila and sharing Mickey waffles.
Tuesday evening, met with Banditas Jeanne, Susan and Suz for dinner. Nice, and relaxed and lots of fun. Was especially glad to see my little duckling from St. Paul.
GRAYSON: (Spins in circle) Duckling? What duckling? Do they taste like chicken?
DAY 4: Returned to Disneyland with Susan Sey, aka Duckling. Enjoyed spending time though she did get a bit grumpy. (Don’t care what she says, she looks like “Ta da! I am a Dwarf” presidential candidate. Disappointed that I couldn’t find any Mickey souvenirs for my baby cats.
GRAYSON: Ears, perked up! Is that like prezzies???? What’s WRONG with that place!
Enjoyed a drink with Kristan Higgins and the Literacy signing! It was HUGE!
DAY 5: Down to business at the conference. PRO retreat turned out really nice. Big moment came with Keynote speaker Stephanie Laurens. Spoke on writers having control, having say on the path to getting their stories out. Think Norma Rae. The energy was, well,energizing! Ate chicken served with new perspective. (On writing pathway, not the chicken).
Had a hallway massage, LOL. Couldn’t help but laugh when lady next to me said to surfer boy massage guy. “I can take a lot…..of pressure” Yes, I am evil.
DAY 6: Great workshops. Sat in on Michael Hague. Lunch included….chicken and a bread basket with a note that said “Contains Gluten”. Really? Even my baby cats would know that!
Agent appt. went fine. Asked for a partial of the Irish Myth Warriors first book. Hope for quick response. Hope for a YES!
Attended St. Martin’s reception. Chatted more with Duckling, other interesting folk. Discussed self-publishing trend with a duo of agents. Interesting that THEY are forming their OWN pathway to this venue. Um, writers don’t need that now. Felt sorry for them and ordered them another drink. And wow, lobster pot stickers! Yummy.
GRAYSON: (Stomach rumbles) What is this lobster of which you speak?
DAY7: Kind of a laid back day. Went to some booksignings, chatted more with my peeps about self-publishing. Formulating plan, feeling excited. Decide that diversity is key to solid career. Hmmmmm. Went to a Goodreads presentation. Interesting, interesting, confusing, but interesting.
Missing my babies so much!
GRAYSON: (Sniff) We’re missing you too Mama!
Lovely GH/RITA ceremony. Congrats to all the winners!
DAY 8: On my way home! New energy! Have decided to self-pub my three Roman historical romances! Continue traditional path for Irish boyos at this point but ready for this new path!
How did December get here so fast? Never fear, we have a fabulous program lined up to warm the cockles of your heart this holiday season!
First up, on 2 December, Suz and Jo Davis take us on a field trip to Station Five to chat with Jo’s incredible firefighters. A most… educational excursion, ladies! And there are some fabulous prizes to be won!
Then, on December 3, Silhouette author Bonnie Vanak makes her first appearance in the Lair. Our in-depth reporter, Nancy, interviews Bonnie about her fabulous shifter romances.
On December 6, warn the cabana boys because it’s Party Time as our very own New York Times bestseller, Kate Carlisle launches her second Silhouette Desire, SWEET SURRENDER, BABY SURPRISE! RT Book Reviews says it’s “Sweepingly romantic and startlingly sexy” and The Romance Reviews calls it “A tender romance with mass appeal.” Wow!
Join us for something a little different on December 7 when Dorie Graham chats with Nancy about creative intelligence. I’m really looking forward to that, as “creative intelligence” sometimes seems like an oxymoron when applied to yours truly!
And Deck the Halls, because December 13 rings in our third annual 12 days of Christmas, with fun giveaways and more!
But that’s not all, because on December 16 the lovely Anna Campbell will chat with debut author Elizabeth Essex about her sizzling new release, The Pursuit of Pleasure!
And now, just for a bit of Aussie flavour, let me leave you with a Christmas carol they sing at my son’s kindergarten:
Christmas where the gum trees grow There is no frost and there is no snow Christmas in Australia’s hot Cold and frosty’s what it’s not When the bloom on the Jacaranda tree is here Christmas time is near!
A Lair favorite, Jo Davis returns, this time to talk sexy Spies with Suzanne. As always any conversation between these two involves alcohol, sexy men and good stories! Pull up a lounger and see what’s up this time.
Suz: So, welcome back to the Lair, Jo! It’s always great fun to have you join us, and of course it’s always a good reason to share drinks… Sven has become quite the Mojito mixologist these days.
The sound of liquid pouring and then two glasses clinking fill the nearly empty bar area
Suz: Many of the Bandits are working in the writing caves, but I’d expect one or two to pop up for these lovely drinks, soon! This time you’ve brought us a very naughty book to read. I Spy A Naughty Game is the second book in your erotic spy romances, the SHADO Series. And might I add just how much fun I had reading it? Yummo!
In this book we get to meet two more agents for SHADO, Blaze Kelly and Emma Foster. Can you tell everyone a little bit about them?
Jo: First, it’s great to be back! I always enjoy visiting with the Bandits. What a fun group!
As for Blaze and Emma… Blaze is our tough, sexy agent who’s nursing a broken heart. He’s a Dom who’s into the D/s lifestyle and the woman he loves just couldn’t handle it. Emma is a disguise/makeup artist for SHADO. She still loves Blaze, but doesn’t believe she’ll ever be able to fit into his world to be what he needs—a submissive who will melt at her master’s touch, obey his command.
Suz: In I Spy A Naughty Game, you walk your readers through the world of Dominants and submissives. How do Blaze and Emma fit into this world?
Jo: Blaze is a natural. He’s the epitome of what a Dom should be—firm and in control, but always aware that his sub’s safety and happiness comes first. He wants Emma to learn to trust him and know that the D/s lifestyle isn’t some wild free-for-all that’s all about the master’s needs, but about the sub’s needs. Emma is having a difficult time letting go to completely trust him, and isn’t sure she ever can. Besides, she’s pretty butch and feels she has to be just as tough as the guys to work at SHADO. How can she ever feel feminine?
Suz: What if any difficulties or goals did you have when writing about the D/s lifestyle? Any research you might’ve done?
Jo: Let me say I’m not personally into the lifestyle (grin), but that world fascinates me. I do read BDSM erotica and erotic romance, but I felt that wasn’t enough to go on to write about Blaze’s universe. I did some research and found some well-known D/s Masters online, studied their house rules and “mission statements” if you will. I learned that there are actual, definitive types of Masters for each type of sub and that it’s important for the two to be well-matched, and to have a written contract that spells out their commitment. One Master I found was perfect to model Blaze after, with his belief in loving dominance and respect for the sub. I went with it.
Suz: Has it been an easy adjustment for Emma?
Jo: Not at all. Emma fancies herself a tough chick, and she is. But she has a soft, feminine underbelly, a part of her craving dominance, that she’s terrified to expose to Blaze.
Suz: How does their relationship and need for the D/s lifestyle come into play within the external plot of the story?
Jo: Michael Ross, SHADO’s troubled leader, taps Blaze and Emma to go undercover as man and wife to infiltrate a group of rich investors who are supplying money to a home-grown terrorist organization. This organization is now under the control of Robert Dietz (from book 1, I SPY A WICKED SIN) who has escaped, and SHADO must stop Dietz before he and his group transfer a stolen weapon of mass destruction out of the country.
Dietz’s investors meet at a D/s club to conduct their meetings and play. Blaze and Emma have to get into their group and hopefully learn where Dietz is hiding the weapon. Forced into this situation (it was either participate or agonize as another female agent took the job as Blaze’s sub), Emma’s barriers come down…one naughty game at a time.
Suz: Things get shaken up at SHADO as a result and we’re left hanging with more questions than answers, (not very nice m’dear), so does this story arc carry over into the next book, I Spy A Dark Obsession?
Jo: Now, Suz dear, you know I’d never leave you hanging! NAUGHTY GAME is a complete stand-alone and the only plot point left unanswered is when Robert Dietz will finally get what’s coming to him, and who will deliver the long-awaited justice. You’ll have to wait until March 2011 when I SPY A DARK OBSESSION is released to find out! That story is a ménage and features Michael Ross, Bastian Chevalier, and Katrina Brandt.
Suz: Let’s take a minute to talk about your firefighters. When is the next book coming out?
Jo: Ooh, I’m so glad you asked! RIDE THE FIRE will be released on December 7 and finally gives my readers Captain Sean Tanner’s story. I’m sad to see this series end, but I believe my readers will love Sean and Eve’s story. Sean battles his way back from the depths of hell, and there are some powerful, emotional setbacks and triumphs along the way. He’s also blindsided by the knowledge that the accident that killed his family might have been deliberate… Have a box of tissue handy, folks. This one even made my editor cry!
Suz: (My apologies, blogger was not cooperative and this image does not do the sexy cover justice!!)
Dear Bandit Buddies, please be sure to join Jo and I in December as we have a VERY special treat planned for all of you when we discuss the fifth book in the Station Five Firefighter Series, Ride The Fire.
Jo: So I have a question for y’all and one commenter will receive a signed copy of I Spy A Naughty Game. Which fictional spy gets your motor running? If any spy hero could step off the pages and ask you for a hot date, who would it be and why?
Okay, a little known secret…well maybe a widely known fact among the Bandits and my friends…I AM A BOOK PIMP. Yep. Can’t seem to help it. If I read a great book, I want EVERYONE I’ve ever seen holding a book, picking up my new “find” and reading it. Here’s sort of how the conversation goes:
Me, “I just read the most incredible book.” My mark, “Really? What?” Me, leaning closer with just a hint of a smile, “Money, Honey by Susan Sey. OMG, couldn’t put it down!” Interested victim, “Really? I’d love one of those kind of books. What’s it about?”
AHA! Got another one!
Here’s another one:
Me, standing in the romance aisle at the local bookstore, reshelving books. Yep, I do this. Bandit’s new releases at eye level or on the highly coveted “new release shelf”. This particular time I’m muttering loud enough for the three ladies down the aisle to hear me, “I can’t believe they have Jo Davis’ firefighters on the bottom shelf. For crying out loud she’s a local author!” Now, I do this while holding the highly sexy cover of Line Of Fire out for the ladies to get a good look at.
#1 lady moves closer. “That’s a book about firefighters?” Me, “Oh my goodness, yes. The sexiest team of hunky firefighters you’ll ever read about.” #2 moves up and takes a book to read the back blurb. “I think firemen are so sexy.” #3, taking her copy. “And so brave.” #1, “Heroic.” Me, “Sexy.” All three nod, putting the books in their growing armfuls. Ah, my job here is finished, oh wait…I point out Lorraine Heath, Jane Graves, Tracy Garrett, Sandy Blair and Addison Fox’s books, making sure they all know they’re local authors, too!
See? I can’t help it!
My coworkers aren’t immnue. Last weekend, knowing how many of my coworkers read the YA series Twilight, I took Inara Scott’s Delcroix Academy series: The Candidates bookmarks to work and handed them out.I explained it was a brand new paranormal series that was releasing Tuesday. I told them, “It’s going to be the next big hit for teens and twenty year olds. I think you would like reading it too!” I’m betting when I return to work the next week I’ll see one or two people holding that book. And since many of them have teenagers, I’m thinking they’ll be reading her book, soon. I think these girls will be, too!
Another fun thing happened when I read Kate Carlisle’s first Bibliophile Murder mystery book, Homicide In Hardcover at work. My friend Karen bought a copy because I was chuckling all the way through it. When the second book came out, If Books Could Kill, Karen and I were reading the book at the same time, almost simultaneously laughing at the same spots! (I laughed first coz I read faster than Karen.) Several coworkers said, “Are you two reading the same book?” We said, “yes” and Karen proceeded to tell them what we loved about Kate’s books. At least three wrote Kate’s name and the book titles down to read. YES!
Oh and if someone asks me for a good historical author to read, my first recommendation? Julie Garwood. “What?” I say, slightly shocked voice, “You haven’t read any of Ms. Garwood’s works? Let me bring you my copy of Saving Grace.” Why this book? It’s a well worn hardback copy, (the copy I loan out, my other copy is pristine and on my keeper shelf) and I know if they love this book, they’ll be buying the back list, ASAP!
So, how about you? Are you ever a book pimp? How do you go about hooking your book addicts? Any tricks I can borrow? Oh and if you were trying to pimp a book or author to me, which one would you recommend?
Suz: Welcome back to the Bandit Lair, Jo. I can’t believe we’re on the fourth book of this series.
You know, not long ago I had to call the paramedics for a family emergency and boy, not only did they send me two paramedics, but four extra guys rode in on the big quint! Sigh. It was almost worth calling them, just to see theses six BIG, sexy, handsome, uh?did I mention BIG firefighters walk into my house! I swear I was looking at your firefighter crew from Station Five! As inappropriate as it would’ve been, I sooooo wanted to just reach out and caress one or two or all of them.
Suz: How did you ever envision this group? Did they appear one at a time or all at once?
Jo: First, thanks so much to the Bandits for having me back today! I always love to visit and chat with this group! You guys are so much fun. To answer your question, the Station Five guys simply walked into my office one day and demanded that their stories be told. Like your firemen/paramedics that came to your house the other day, they were big, sexy, and oh-so-yummy. Who was I to deny their request?
Suz, staring at the new cover and fanning herself: So…uh…yeah… in book #4, LINE OF FIRE, you’re letting us see the youngest of the A crew, Tommy Skyler. By all appearances, Tommy lives a charmed life, doesn’t he?
Jo: It would seem he does, and that’s what most of his buddies think. But Tommy is still reeling from the repercussions a very painful, tragic family loss. This event changed the direction of his life and now he’s questioning the choices he’s made since then-including his decision to become a firefighter. He’s afraid he made that choice for all the wrong reasons and gave up too soon on his dream of playing for the NFL.
Suz: Tommy met his heroine Shea Ford in an earlier book. What kept them apart all this time?
Jo: Shea wants Tommy for her own, but she’s using the excuse that he’s too immature to keep him at arm’s length. She’s not really that much older than him, only five years older, and her excuse doesn’t wash. The truth is, Shea is gun-shy from a terrible mistake she made years ago, one that still haunts her. Tommy reminds her of that error and trusting a man is very hard for her to do.
Suz: How does he win her attention and do things go smoothly for them?
Jo, saying with that mischevious twinkle in her eye: Now, I can’t tell you how he gets her motor running…the readers will have to find out for themselves. But I will say that the road to happiness is anything but smooth. Some real obstacles are going to stand in their way, both from within themselves and from a tragic event.
Suz: Without giving anything away, what do you feel makes this book different to the series? (You can hint that there’s a change to the team dynamics, if you want.)
Jo: The tragic event I referred to before sets this book apart from the others. Readers who have followed the series know that Captain Sean Tanner is headed for real disaster. This book is pivotal in changing the lives of everyone on the team forever?Sean’s and Tommy’s lives in particular. Have tissues handy, folks.
Grabbing Shea’s hand, Tommy pulled her into the throng and spun her to face him before she could protest further. He made it appear easy, just to throw caution to the wind and let loose.
Like liquid, molten sex.
“I’m not that great a dancer,” she said, raising her voice to be heard above the music. Trying to match his graceful moves, she felt like a dork.
One strong arm snaked around her waist, pulled their hips together. He rocked against her, his unmistakable hardness pressing into her belly. “Believe me, you’re doing fine.”
Her cheeks blazed. She wasn’t some simpering virgin-far from it-but the man caught her off guard at every turn. And Tommy was a man, not a boy. No doubt whatsoever, if there ever had been.
As they moved, the friction of their bodies setting her on a slow burn, she watched his face. Studied the nuances. There was no trace of the young, carefree charmer in evidence now. In his place was a man she’d never seen before. A man completely confident of his intentions, his crystal eyes dark with desire. One who made her blood quicken, her soul cry out to answer his unspoken challenge, to be his.
The fast song ended, abruptly snapping her from the spell. Thinking to make a quick getaway, she stepped back, but he caught her hand.
“This next one, too. Please?”
The soft, pretty opening to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts began, one of her favorite songs. She paused for a couple of beats and, apparently taking her hesitation as a yes, he enveloped her in his arms. Began to sway gently, big hands spread over her back, chin resting on top of her head. In spite of her qualms, she felt herself melt in to him, soaking up his strength.
Warm. Intoxicating. Incredible.
Like coming home.
“God, it feels so good to finally hold you,” he whispered into her hair.
She didn’t answer. Couldn’t, not when her senses, every barrier she’d erected between them, were under toe-curling assault. Searching for the right response, she lifted her head to meet his gaze.
Instead, his lips brushed hers. A sensual glide that wasn’t a tentative question, but a warning. Electrifying her to the core.
His fingers brushed down her cheek. “Pretty baby.”
And he claimed her mouth then, kissed her like a man kisses a woman when he means business. When he wants her no matter the cost, above all others. Whatever it takes.
His tongue tangled with hers and she whimpered, unable to help herself. He tasted so good and she wanted to slide under his skin, stay there forever. Wrapped up in him. The party, the guests, vanished as the kiss went on and on. It might as well have been the two of them locked in their own world, free of doubts and unwanted baggage. For the first time in more than a decade she felt protected and safe.
But she’d been wrong before.
Suz: So what’s next for the Firefighter series?
Jo: LINE OF FIRE, Tommy’s story, is being released in bookstores near you tomorrow, May 4! Next up is Captain Sean Tanner’s story, RIDE THE FIRE, which will be released on December 7. Sean’s story is five-hankie all the way, and I’ll tell you guys right now that while writing one scene in particular, I sobbed my heart out! This book even choked up my editor. Fear not, though. Sean is due for his happy ending, and I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Suz: And what’s next for Jo Davis?
Jo, grinning excitedly: My next series for NAL is going to come as quite a surprise for some of my readers, so I hope they’ll bear with me. We’re going to move away from Sugarland, for a while anyway, and delve into a brand-new paranormal romance series! As much as I would love for Detective Shane Ford and the other boys at the PD to get their stories, my publisher is taking me in a new direction. I never say “never” when it comes to revisiting a series my readers want, but I think many readers will be excited by what’s coming. I can’t give away too much of the concept right now, but I will hint that a team of very hot, mouth-watering wolf shifters and one equally delicious Sorcerer/panther shifter are involved? Stay tuned for more news on the new series!
Jo:Now I want to know from the reader, do you enjoy reading paranormal romance and why? What is it about these heroes (whether they are shifters, vampires, demons, angels, etc.) and these series that continues to captivate readers?
Suz: Jo will be giving away a signed copy of LINE OF FIRE to one commenter today. Don’t forget to visit Jo’s website: http://www.jodavis.net/
We’re welcoming my very good friend, Jo Davis, back to the Lair today, not to talk about firefighters, but SPIES! I’ve been looking forward to the debut of this book and bringing Jo here to give us the details. Be prepared dear readers, you’ll need a fan and the air conditioning to help you get through reading this erotic suspense series!
Suz:With your latest foray into the world of Erotic Suspense you’ve delivered a new series for our readers to devour. Care to give us a look into the world of sexy spies?
Jo:The idea for the SHADO Agency series resulted from my love of spy thrillers. I’m a fan of James Bond and the BOURNE thrillers, and just about any spy story out there. When faced with creating a new series, I thought what fun it would be to write a spy series, and seriously turn up the sexual heat to scorching levels?and the SHADO Agency was born. My visit this previous summer to the Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. fueled my imagination even more. What an intriguing world of disguise, subterfuge, and danger! There was no way I could resist.
The mission: Seduce…and Eliminate.
Jude St. Laurent is a former assassin for SHADO, a covert homeland security agency. After a mysterious accident causes gaping holes in his memory, he embraces his career as an artist, pouring vibrant, colorful life into his erotic paintings, and he often seeks solace in the arms of his subjects. But when he’s haunted by visions of the past, he turns to his new personal assistant for help—and she knows just how to make him forget.
Lily Vale is not what she seems. An agent as deadly as St. Laurent , she uses sex to manipulate her targets—and always gets her man. When she’s sent on a mission to kill Jude, she’s startled—and aroused—to find that he’s not the monster she expects. As Lily succumbs to Jude’s decadent sexual lifestyle, one wicked sin at a time, she realizes that there’s more to this case than meets the eye—and if she’s going to save them both, she’ll have to found out who’s pulling the strings.
Suz:The book starts off with a bang:
Elbows on the ratty desk, John Sandborn dropped his face into his hands. In the wake of this terrible exercise of connect the dots, he’d be goddamned lucky if he didn’t wind up at the bottom of the Atlantic. In five different oil drums.
Because a traitorous, murdering bastard was coming for him. No doubt about it.
If he had a whisper of a prayer of avoiding a grisly fate, he had to work fast.
Clicking the X in the top right corner of the laptop’s screen, he closed the classified file and opened another. Fingers flying, he activated a program he’d hoped never to use, but was damned glad he’d put into place. Next, he composed a simple coded message a ten-year-old couldn’t decipher, yet not so difficult a trusted operative couldn’t, either.
“Okay . . . got it.” He blew out a deep breath. It wasn’t perfect, but would have to do.
Last, he opened his e-mail and hit Send. He waited, every muscle tense, while the new files, along with the classified one, shot to six different destinations and burrowed into six different hard drives. A high-tech worm that would make any hacker cream in his shorts—and just might save his ass.
Sandborn attacked the keyboard again, clicking rapidly. His instincts screamed Get out, but he didn’t dare leave the last two tasks undone.
Precious seconds were whittled away, scraping his nerves raw, as he accessed the script file he’d written to initiate the virus that would destroy his hard drive. The final box popped onto the screen, and he executed his CTRL+F+U command.
Sandborn gave a grim chuckle at the double entendre in his chosen three-finger salute and wiped the sweat from his brow. Time to make like a ghost.
The door to his motel room burst open, hitting the inside wall like a gunshot. Sandborn spun, the SIG from the desktop already in hand, arm leveling at the leader of the traitor’s cleanup crew.
Too late. A pop split the air, and pain blossomed in his chest. He stumbled backward, managing to get off a shot, the explosion deafening in the tiny space. The leader went down with a grunt as Sandborn trained his gun on the second man, tried to squeeze the trigger. And couldn’t. His arm fell limp and useless to his side.
The second man crossed the room, a smirk on his ugly, pockmarked face. Cold overtook the pain, spreading from Sandborn’s chest to his limbs. Numbing every muscle. Looking down, he stared in fascinated horror at the dart embedded in his left pectoral.
He swayed, speaking quickly. His life depended on it. “Tell your boss I know everything. I put safeguards in place, and he’ll never find them without me,” he rasped, the drug freezing his vocal cords, fast. “If I die . . . the whole world will know . . . what he’s done.”
Sandborn’s legs buckled and he slumped to the floor, completely nerveless. Aware, but paralyzed, along for the ride and at their mercy. A nightmare.
A pair of heavy-soled leather boots appeared in his line of vision as the second man paused, obviously peering at the laptop. “You smart-ass sonofabitch,” Crater Face hissed.
John Sandborn’s last image was a snapshot of the man’s right shitkicker rocketing toward his face.
Suz: WOW! Jude St. Laurent, the hero of I SPY A WICKED SIN, is a very damaged hero. What is it that makes wounded men so sexy and how did you come about giving him the flaws in this story?
Jo:I think there’s something about a tortured or damaged hero that brings out the caring and nurturing side of a woman. At least that’s true for me. I want to fix it, make it all better-but not before he’s put through the wringer. With Jude, I knew from the beginning he was blind and had holes in his memory due to the villain having his mind swept. (Think Bourne Identity) I said to myself, “A blind former assassin/spy? Are you nuts? He’ll be such a difficult hero to write!” But it didn’t matter. Jude was what he was, period. As with all my heroes, once he introduced himself to me, that was it. And on top of memory loss, can you imagine having one of your most relied-upon senses denied you, while becoming increasingly aware that you’re not what you believed and that your life is in terrible danger? The challenge was too much fun to resist.
Suz: In I SPY A WICKED SIN Lily Vale is a very beautiful operative of SHADO. What is her area of expertise?
Jo: Like Jude, Lily is an assassin, and she’s posing as Jude’s new personal assistant. Her job in this case is to locate computer files that Jude hid regarding the theft of a weapon of mass destruction, a theft he was supposedly instrumental in pulling off. Then she’ll eliminate him. Lily uses her sex appeal to bring down her targets in a much more?hands on manner than most agents. In particular, she’s very proficient in using poisons that don’t leave a trace?
Suz: A Jo Davis erotica wouldn’t be complete without a ménage. Liam O’Neil is the third member of this trio. Is he also a spy for SHADO?
Jo: No, our sweet Liam is Jude’s in-house chef, companion, and sometime lover. He’s a young man with a big, open heart and almost stole the story from my clutches before I quite knew what happened. I adore Liam, and completely balked at a suggestion while writing the book that I kill him off! SO not happening! I hope readers love him as much as I do.
Suz: Since I SPY A WICKED SIN is the first of this series, will we be seeing these characters in the other books?
Jo: The two characters that will carry over from the beginning of the three-book series are handsome SHADO leader Michael Ross and the villain, ex-SHADO right-hand man and traitor Robert Dietz. The first two books in the series will have a conclusion, but Michael and Dietz will have their final showdown in the last book. Also, book two will introduce someone very important to Michael’s story.
Suz: And I can’t have Jo Davis in the lair without asking? WHEN will we be seeing the next firefighter book?
Jo: I’m so glad you asked! Tommy Skyler’s story, LINE OF FIRE, will be released on May 4, 2010! The team’s youngest hottie will get his story, and it sets up an explosive plot for the final book, RIDE THE FIRE, Captain Sean Tanner’s story coming in December! In Tommy’s story, lives will be irrevocably changed. Think of these last two books in the series as dominos falling, setting off a chain reaction?
Suz:Jo, thanks for being here today. We love having you with us. Do you have a closing question for our readers?
Jo: Sure do, Which type of action hero is your favorite in books, TV, or movies (cop, firefighter, Navy SEAL/other military, spy, etc.) and who is your favorite action hero of all time?
Jo will be giving away a signed copy of I SPY A WICKED SIN to one of our commeters today!
Suz: Jo, welcome back to the Bandit Lair. It’s been a few months since we last looked into the lives of the Station Five fire fighters.
Jo: Hi, Suz and the rest of the Bandits! It’s great to be back!
Suz:HIDDEN FIRE is the third in the series and features one of my favorite crewmembers, Julian Salvatore. Who is the lucky woman to win the heart of this Latin lover?
Jo: When Julian met cool attorney Grace McKenna, Kat’s sister, sparks flew! I couldn’t wait to get these two together.
Suz: We met Grace in TRIAL BY FIRE. Why has it taken so long for Grace and Julian to hook up? What is her reaction to seeing him after all this time?
Jo: Grace wants sexy Julian badly—but she doesn’t want a man she has to “fix.” He’s got a reputation as a ladies’ man who won’t settle down and she doesn’t need that in her life. Still, there’s a vulnerability in him that calls to her and she knows there’s more to him than meets the eye. He’s like a drug she can’t resist…
Grace McKenna, after months of turning down Julian Salvatore for a date, has just decided to accept when she learns he was injured on the job and hurries over to see him…
Grace turned into Julian’s complex and located the correct building with little difficulty. The buildings were set back in the trees, older and not as fancy as her own, but very well-sculpted, trimmed and neat. Parking a couple of spots down from his lower-level unit, she hoped she wasn’t taking up anyone’s assigned space. Maybe she should move.
“Quit stalling,” she muttered to herself, grabbing her purse. What’s the worst he could do, shut the door in her face? Wasn’t as though it hadn’t happened before, though with clients and witnesses, never with friends or lovers.
What am I doing here? They had nothing at all in common.
Save for one lovely kiss on a beautiful fall night, months ago.
Even so, she found herself knocking on his door, fidgeting with her purse strap, breathless with anticipation like a silly fifteen-year-old girl. The seconds crawled, became a minute and more as she bounced between concern and the urge to flee. Glancing at the cars parked in the closest spots, she realized she didn’t know what he drove. Had he made it home yet? What if he was inside, sick or unconscious because he’d left the hospital too soon—
Then the lock scraped and the door opened to reveal Julian standing on the threshold, gaping at her, scratched, bruised, rumpled.
The man was just over six glorious feet of taut, tanned skin stretched over cords of lean muscle. Her gaze slid down his strong throat to the beautiful gold cross resting on his smooth chest, to the dark, pebbled male nipples, to the impressive ridges of his abdomen, south to the drawstring cotton sleep pants hanging way low–holy shit, no underwear–on slim hips that she’d bet her life savings could make a woman scream when in full Elvis rotation.
“You want to talk to me, my face is up here, querida,” he said in amusement, his accented voice husky, smooth as hot butter. “Unless it’s not conversation you have in mind?”
Suz: WOW! Like I said, Jules is one of my favorite heroes in this series. So how does he react to getting a second chance with Grace?
Jo: Once she shows the slightest inclination toward giving in to his seduction, the gloves are off. Julian will stop at nothing to win her permanently. The trick is to convince her that he’s serious and doesn’t see her as another notch on his bedpost and show her he can be a real partner. One who will help her achieve her dreams and not hold her back.
Julian turns up the heat, then proves he’s a complete gentleman…
“Wasn’t that good for you?”
She blinked into his earnest eyes, covering her confused thoughts. “Are you kidding? I think I disintegrated.”
“Ah,” he said, a satisfied grin curing his lips. “Success, then.”
“Oh, yes.” She smiled, smoothing his hair out of his face. “In spades. But what about you? I’d like to return the favor.”
An odd expression flickered across his face, and was gone. “I’m good, bella. That was for you,” he said softly. “Because I wanted to, not because I expected anything in return.”
“Shh, no worries.” Reaching down, he fished around for something, then handed over her shirt.
She took it from him and pulled it on, more confused than ever. Since when did a lover not expect his attentions to be reciprocated? The idea caused a warm flutter in her middle.
Why did Julian have to be so damned gallant?
Nothing about the man was what she’d expected so far. Quite the contrary. She’d never felt so off-balance around a man, and wasn’t sure she liked it.
She pulled on her jeans as well, at a loss as to what to do or say next. My God, what a fabulous orgasm! More coffee?
“Thank you.” Feeling ridiculous, she crossed her arms, watching as he stood, smiling. “For you, anything.”
“You really mean that, don’t you?”
His smile softened, his dark eyes warm as he laid his palms on her shoulders. “I never say anything I don’t mean.”
“No man has ever put my wishes first,” she said, and felt a blush stain her face. What on earth made her admit that to him?
“I’ll always put you first, Grace. No matter where our relationship goes.”
Suz: Fanning myself here. Uhm…where were we…oh yeah, In the Station Five Firefighter series, you always give us a suspenseful, as well as sexy, plot line. Can you tell us a bit about the suspense plot and how you came up with the idea?
Jo: From the beginning of the series, I knew Julian harbored a terrible and shameful (to him) secret. While researching serial killers, I read in one of my research books that it’s not uncommon for serial killers to work as a team. I thought of the countless victims in history of our most infamous killers and thought to myself, “What if very early on, one victim got away? What if he never realized how close he came to death?” I knew then I had my suspense story.
Suz: Can you give us any hints about what else happens in HIDDEN FIRE?
Jo: Hmm, shall I tease you a bit? In this book, Julian reveals that his narcotics officer brother, Tonio, would like to move to Sugarland and join the police department. Readers might recall a mention of Tonio from TRIAL BY FIRE. Also, look for a town favorite to play a bigger role in HIDDEN FIRE and even bigger role yet in LINE OF FIRE coming out on May 4, 2010. Could this favorite hottie spin us into a new series? We’ll see…
Suz: What’s next for the Station Five A team?
Jo:HIDDEN FIRE marks a turning point in Captain Sean Tanner’s battle against alcohol and consuming grief that will carry over into LINE OF FIRE and result in disastrous consequences for one of the A-shift team. Each of their lives will be altered irrevocably. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!
***Suddenly the door to the bar opens. And what do my wondering and rather lusty-filled eyes see? Oh yeah, the sexy latin lover in jeans and tight black t-shirt, strutting right over to the booth Jo and I are sharing. With a quick kiss to each of our cheeks, he slides in beside Jo (I am SOOO jealouse!) and asks if we’re talking with the Banditas again. When we answer yes, that devilish look fills his eyes and he leans closer to talk into the mike…***
Julian Salvatore: Lovely ladies, are you having a good time? I’d like to ask…what is your idea of the perfect way to win a woman’s heart? I need some help in this area and I’d love to know!
Jo is also starting a 3-book erotica suspense story in the spring for those of you interested in pre-orders. This is a trilogy involving a super secret spy organization that officially doesn’t exist, but fights homeland terrorists. The first book is titled, I SPY A WICKED SIN. No firefighters, dear readers, but oh is it hot!!
And Jo is giving away a signed copy of HIDDEN FIRE to one lucky commentor.
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