Bestselling author Kat Martin, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, currently resides in Missoula, Montana with Western-author husband, L. J. Martin. More than seventeen million copies of Kat’s books are in print, and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Fifteen of her recent novels have taken top-ten spots on the New York Times Bestseller List, and her novel, BEYOND REASON, was recently optioned for a feature film. Kat’s next hardcover, THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, a Romantic Thriller, will be released on July 28th.
Over the years, I’ve written a number of blogs about my favorite places. I just discovered a new one so I thought I would tell you about it.
I’ve never been a big fan of the desert. I do love the Saguaro cactus, the red rock mountains, and some of the incredible vistas.
But the small town of Prescott called to me as no place in the Sun State ever has. Perhaps it’s the combination of beautiful mountains, which being a Montanan I love, and the rugged Old West history of the town.
The Palace Saloon on Whiskey Row is one of the oldest in the country. It’s got a mile-long bar and an old-fashioned back bar, and even has batwing doors! The folks inside come to work in Wild West costumes, giving the place an even more authentic feel.
In July, cowboys take over the town for the oldest rodeo in the nation. And you know what they say… “If you haven’t loved a cowboy, you will.”
Living in Montana, I pretty much hate hot weather. But summers in Prescott are relatively mild, at least by Arizona standards. And the endless sunshine and crystal blue skies make the hot days worth it.
My new book, PIVOT, is set in the state of Washington, pretty much the opposite of everything in Arizona. The idea began with a Romantic Suspense novella I wrote titled AGAINST THE HEART.
As Meriwether Jones and her young daughter run from trouble, her prayers are answered when ex-cop Ian Brodie hires her to help his aging father. But Meri is keeping dangerous secrets that could wind up getting them killed.
In PIVOT, the adventure continues with novellas by bestselling Romantic Suspense authors, Alexandra Ivy and Rebecca Zanetti.
Melanie Cassidy finds trouble when she tries to save a young boy from being kidnapped. Working the case, former love-of-her-life, Detective Gray Hawkins, arrives in time to rescue them. But Melanie’s good-Samaritan efforts pull her and Gray into a world of drug dealers and dirty cops that neither of them may survive.
Michelle Peach is one of Meri’s closet friends. Trouble arrives when two rough men in search of Meri break into her home and threaten her life. The last person Michelle wants to see is Evan Boldon, former Marine turned sheriff. But Evan is determined to stop the trouble stalking Michelle-—no matter the cost.
He hammered in another nail, looked up to see Meriwether Jones running toward him. With the sun highlighting the gold in her dark hair, damn she was pretty. “What is it?”
“I can’t find Lily. She isn’t in your room.”
Ian dropped the hammer and started back toward the house, Meri hurrying along beside him.
“She never does this. She always stays where you tell her.”
They shoved through the back door together, walked through the mudroom. It took a moment for him to register that the dishes were all washed and put away, the countertops wiped clean. He caught the scent of Lysol as he made his way toward the stairs.
“Lily!” he called out. “Lily, where are you?” They went upstairs and searched his bedroom, then the other two upstairs rooms and both baths.
No sign of Lily.
His worry kicked up as they headed back downstairs and he strode into the den. “Dad, Lily is missing.”
November is over. That’s notable in many ways, including that we’re now in the final month of this year.
And for me, one of the notable matters is that I’m no longer Author of the Month on A Slice of Orange!
I was so delighted to have had that honor last month. The blog website mentioned it with wonderful graphics showing quite a few of my books. I saw it posted several times on Facebook, and I posted it myself, as well.
It was a good month for it to happen. I had a new book released then: Colton 911: Caught in the Crossfire, a Harlequin Romantic Suspense book. As I mentioned here last month, it was my first book in the HRS long-lived series about the Colton family, which is large and has family members living in branches all over the country. A Colton is a hero or heroine in each of the books in that series, so it contains lot of highly romantic members.
And now? Well, my next Colton book will be a February 2020 release: Colton First Responder.
Anyway, thank you so much to A Slice of Orange, and to Marianne Donley, for the delightful recognition. I loved being Author of the Month!
Bestselling author Kat Martin, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, currently resides in Missoula, Montana with Western-author husband, L. J. Martin. More than seventeen million copies of Kat’s books are in print, and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Fifteen of her recent novels have taken top-ten spots on the New York Times Bestseller List, and her novel, BEYOND REASON, was recently optioned for a feature film. Kat’s hardcover, THE DECEPTION, a Romantic Thriller, was released on September 10th.
I’ve always loved a good plot. People ask me how I come up with ideas for my novels, but the truth is, I really don’t know.
Sometimes the kernel of an idea grows out of a newspaper article or something I see on Facebook or just some old movie. Most of the time, it’s so long ago I don’t actually remember, but my mind does.
The novella, SHADOWS AT DAWN, blossomed the way most of my stories do, basically out of nowhere. Jaxon Ryker first appeared in THE CONSPIRACY, a former Navy SEAL, now a detective working for Chase Garrett, the wealthy owner of Maximum Security, an extremely successful private security firm in Dallas.
I liked Jax right away. He was definitely hero material, but at the same time, Jax was different, kind of soft-spoken, not arrogant, just a really nice guy. Unless you pissed him off.
Turns out Jax had a protective streak a mile wide and the sweet little receptionist at The Max was his weakness.
When Jax happens upon three men attacking her in the parking lot after work, his hero instincts kick in—big time.
Jax is convinced the attack isn’t random and that even after the fight that saved Mindy and drove the men away, she might not be safe. And no way is Jax letting anything happen to her.
I liked the two of them together from the start. These days, readers want kick-ass women, but there are other ways a woman can be strong. What Jax sees is a sweet girl he believes would never be able to handle a tough guy like him. But Mindy proves him wrong.
As the danger unfolds, Mindy and Jax are forced to work together to find the men who want her dead and figure out why.
I hope you’ll give this fun read a try and that you like Jax and Mindy as much as I did. If you do, you can also find them in THE DECEPTION, book #2 of my Maximum Security Series after THE CONSPIRACY.
Till next time, happy reading and all best, Kat
Finally satisfied with her progress for the day, Mindy shoved her round tortoiseshell glasses up on her nose, slung the strap of her purse over her shoulder, and headed for the door to the parking lot behind the office. She managed not to glance at Jax, but it wasn’t easy.
The early April weather was humid, warm but not hot, the last of a pinky gold sky fading to darkness. She spotted her little red Volkswagen Beetle, one of the few vehicles left in the lot, and started in that direction.
If she hadn’t been working for a security firm, listening to crime stories on a daily basis, she might not have noticed the white Chevy van whose motor sparked to life and began idling in the shadows not far from her car.
When her steps unconsciously slowed, she told herself she was being ridiculous, a paranoid response to the guys’ sometimes gruesome, often frightening tales.
Pausing to dig her car keys out of her purse, she took a deep breath and tried to calm her racing heart. When the effort failed, she forced her feet to move, closing the distance between her and her vehicle. She had almost reached her destination when the van doors slid open and three men dressed head-to-foot in black wearing black ski masks jumped out and started running toward her.
Terror struck. Mindy let out a high-pitched scream, dropped her purse, whirled, and started running.
Jax’s long day wasn’t over yet. Before he picked up a pizza and headed home for a couple of beers, he had a meeting with a client on the other side of Dallas, a cold case he had been working where the mother of a murder victim had discovered new evidence she believed would help find her daughter’s killer. The police weren’t convinced, but Mrs. Donahue had hired Jax to prove it. Or at least find out the truth.
He checked his heavy black wristwatch. If he wanted to make his appointment on time, he needed to get on the road. Grabbing his laptop off the desk, he headed for his dark blue Dodge Ram pickup, parked in the lot behind the office, his mind on the case he figured would earn him a nice fat fee—and maybe help bring a killer to justice.
He had just stepped out the backdoor when a blood-curling scream cut through the sticky night air. A petite young woman with long dark hair and glasses struggled with three masked men.
Adrenaline shot into his blood. Mindy! Even as he bolted into a run, Jax registered their appearance: one tall and lean, one average height and weight, one big and beefy, thick-shouldered and muscular. He was flat out running by the time Mindy spotted him and started screaming his name.
“Jax, help me! Jax!” Kicking and biting, she fought like a wild thing, but she was no match for the men. As they hauled her toward the open van doors, Jax grabbed the tall man and pulled him off her, pounded a fist into his face and slammed another into his stomach, doubling him over. A hard right sent the guy careening backward, hitting the ground on his back and sliding across the asphalt.
The second man, Mr. Average, stepped in and swung a punch Jax ducked. He shot out a kick, knocking the assailant into the side of the van, then heard the sound of a switchblade snapping open behind him.
“Jax, watch out!”
Whirling toward the threat, he dodged the flashing blade and shoved Mindy toward safety, then went back in for the kill. Rage burned through his usual calm. She worked with him, as far as he was concerned, was under his protection. More than that, she was kind and sweet and he cared about her far more than he should. Jax wanted to end the bastards who were trying to hurt her.
“Run!” he shouted. “Go back to the office and lock the door! Call 9-1-1!” The knife flashed. Jax dodged the sweep of gleaming silver wielded by a big, thick-fingered, extremely capable hand, jumped back from out of the way of another slashing attack as he and the big man crouched and circled each other. From the corner of his eye, he saw the tall, thin man back on his feet and rushing toward him.
Jax looked up to see Mindy swinging her purse like a ball and chain, smashing the bag into the side of the tall man’s head, sending him staggering, grunting as he landed on his hands and knees.
“Bitch! he screamed, shaking his head to clear it, providing the distraction Jax needed. He kicked the knife out of the beefy man’s hand and threw a punch that sent him reeling. Mr. Average had already climbed into the van and shoved the vehicle into gear.
“Come on!” the man shouted through the open passenger window. “Let’s go!”
The tall man turned and ran, leaping through the open van doors, and the big, muscular man shot in behind him. Tires burned and smoke rolled up from the wheels as the vehicle screeched away.
“It’s a quick, easy to read, entertaining, action packed read and is just as amazing as the other books in the series!”
“Mystery, suspense, thrills and chills with a whole lot of action!”
“This story is a cute, sweet and steamy romance full of suspense, excitement and unexpected twists that keep readers hanging on to the edge of their seat.”
Last month, I wished you all a happy August, the eighth month of the year. Guess what! It’s a month later.
And those deadlines I mentioned? I had to ask for an extension.
That’s a hard thing for me to do, although this time I perhaps could have anticipated it since the deadline for the book I’m working on now was a bit shorter than I usually agree to. I thought, at the time, that I’d be able to meet it. But as September 1 grew closer, I realized I needed more time—which, fortunately, I got.
I’m certainly making progress, but I feel bad that more time was needed. How about you? Do you meet all your deadlines, for writing or anything else? Do you ever ask for extensions? If so, how do you feel about it?
Anyway, time marches on in other ways, too. It’s now closer to the release of my next book, the first of my Colton continuity series books for Harlequin Romantic Suspense.
Colton 911: Caught in the Crossfire is a November release. Looking forward to it!
“I couldn’t put it down!” Those words are some of the most satisfying comments an author can receive. Nothing pleases me more than a note from someone grumbling about staying up late to finish one of my books.
It’s music to my ears.
There are lots of ways to earn those precious words. Writing a fast-paced novel is one of them. It is certainly my goal every time I start a new book.
My latest, THE DECEPTION, was no different. I knew I would be writing Hawk Maddox’s story. Hawk had been on my mind since he first appeared in a previous novel, BEYOND DANGER. I knew what he was like—strong, determined, tough as boot leather, and at six-foot-four, two-hundred-twenty pounds, a total beefcake hunk.
He was also a bounty hunter, which made him an interesting character with an interesting job. I always try to find the hero’s perfect match, and Kate Gallagher was just right for Hawk. Tall, blonde, and curvy, she loved country music and drinking tequila at the Sagebrush Saloon.
But that was her secret side. She also owned her own business consulting firm, so she was smart and hard-working.
I like to read books that draw me in and won’t let go, books I can’t wait to pick up again to find out what’s going to happen next.
There are lots of ways to do it. Pairing down description makes the story move faster—or as Elmore Leonard once said, “I try to leave out the parts people skip.”
A Hollywood movie trick is to jump right into the scene. Leave out the the Hello, how are you? I’m fine, how are you? and just start talking.
I try to use hooks at the beginning and end of chapter, though some authors end a chapter in the middle of the action to keep you turning the pages.
I’ve found I do a lot of characterization by showing how the hero, heroine, and sub characters react in a situation, rather than telling about their past. For instance, I don’t mention what the heroine did in high school unless it’s important to how she’ll solve the problem she’s facing.
These are a few of my techniques, though every author has his own style and there is nothing wrong with any of them as long as they work.
In THE DECEPTION, Kate Gallagher is devastated when she learns her sister has been murdered. Determined to find Chrissy’s killer, Kate hires lethal bounty hunter, Hawk Maddox. Working together, they follow a trail of clues that lead them deep into the city’s underbelly. Though Hawk warns Kate of the danger, nothing he says can convince Kate to walk away.
I hope you’ll watch for THE DECEPTION and that you find it a fast-paced, high-action page-turner.
New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.
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