On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
Now More Readily Available in Print
This is an exciting time for Harlequin Heartwarming. Thanks to the loyalty of our readers, for the first time, our January releases, including When Love Matters Most, are available as mass-market paperbacks through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Harlequin.com. Also, When Love Matters Most will be available in select Walmart stores in the United States in February! Please check the Harlequin website for the location nearest you. Thank you to all our readers who made these advancements possible for us!
Keeping her safe at all costs
Could their backgrounds be any more different? Rick Vasquez, a K-9 unit sergeant with the San Diego Police Department, fled drug-related violence in Mexico as a boy. Madison Long, who recently became primary veterinarian to the SDPD’s canines, is the privileged daughter of a judge. Rick has dedicated his life to curtailing cross-border drug trafficking and preventing other young boys from being drawn into the dark world of the cartels.
But everything Rick and Madison value, and the growing love between them, is threatened by the dangers of Rick’s job, and the risks he’s determined to take…
Kate James spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result, Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word. Her writing has been recognized with a number of awards, including first place honors for Silver Linings in both the First Coast Romance Writers’ Published Beacon Contest and Ancient City Romance Authors’ Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award. Her November 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release, A Child’s Christmas, received first-place honors from Southern Magic, the Birmingham Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, for the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, placed second in the Ancient City Romance Authors’ Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award, and was a finalist in RWA’s Desert Rose Chapter’s Golden Quill Award and the Colorado Romance Writers’ Award of Excellence. Finally, her October 2015 release, When the Right One Comes Along, the first book in her K-9 trilogy, has received a Best Book of 2015 award in the contemporary category.
She and her husband, Ken, enjoy traveling and the outdoors with their beloved Labrador Retrievers, Harley and Logan.
January 4th: Launch
January 5th: Katie’s Clean Book Collection
January 6th: Becky on Books & Sunrise Avenue
January 7th: Reading Is My SuperPower & Singing Librarian Books
January 8th: Getting Your Read On & deal sharing aunt
January 10th: Colorimetry & I Am A Reader
January 11th: Mel’s Shelves & Slice of Life
January 12th: Thoughts of a Blonde & Falling Leaves
January 13th: underneath the covers & Teatime and Books
January 14th: Rockin’ Book Reviews
January 15th: Enthralling Dimple & Love, Laughter, Friendship
January 17th: Grand Finale
– $40 Amazon eGift Card & signed copies of The Truth About Hope and When the Right One Comes Along
– 3 winners of signed copies of When the Right One Comes Along
Open US/CAN only
Ends January 23rd
~ Guest Post ~
MIRA suspense author, Elizabeth Heiter, and I are fortunate to share one of the very best editors in the business. We met through our editor around the time we were both working on our first books for Harlequin. To my great pleasure, Elizabeth and I became friends and now, for the first time, we have releases just days apart, and both have a law enforcement theme. Seized, the third book in Elizabeth’s The Profiler series, released on December 29th and When Love Matters Most, the second book in my K-9 series, released on January 1st.
To celebrate our releases, we decided to bring our heroes together to talk about the challenges law enforcement officers face sustaining relationships. As our scene opens, K-9 Unit sergeant Rick Vasquez, the hero from When Love Matters Most, is nursing a beer at Buster’s Beach House Bar in San Diego, after having broken off with his love, veterinarian Madison Long. Unexpectedly, he sees FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) agent Kylie McKenzie, who Rick had met a number of years ago when he and his narcotics detection dog, Sniff, assisted the FBI with a drug-related hostage case.
To set the stage, Rick is sitting at a back table at Buster’s Beach House Bar. He just wanted a coffee, a light dinner and to get home to bed. He hadn’t done much other than work, eat and sleep in the days since he’d broken up with Madison.
He knew he’d hurt Madison badly, but he’d had to do it. He loved her too much to risk seeing her get hurt by the cartel because of him. Ironically, to keep her from harm, he’d hurt her himself. She’d get over him in time, he was sure of it, but would he get over her?
HRT agent Kyle “Mac” McKenzie is in town for an “888” (high priority) case he couldn’t talk about, and although he and his FBI partner Gabe Fontaine are good friends, tonight he wanted some time away from the team, and especially Gabe. Because when they weren’t working their mission, Gabe was asking too many questions about FBI profiler Evelyn Baine.
Kyle had been trying to evade the questions, but he knew too much more of that and Gabe might suspect the truth—that Evelyn, the fellow agent Kyle had been chasing for almost two years, had suddenly given him a shot. Provided he got back from this mission in time to make their secret vacation, that is.
Pan to our hero, Rick . . .
Rick glances around the room. He narrows his eyes. Is that McKenzie? Yeah. It had to be. He hadn’t seen Kyle McKenzie when he’d entered the bar, but obviously Kyle had been there and must have seen him, because he was walking his way . . .
* * * *
KYLE: Rick Vasquez?
RICK: Yeah. That’s me. <places his beer bottle on the coaster and stands> Kyle McKenzie—Mac—correct?
KYLE: Yeah. Hey, man. Good to see you! <extends a hand to Rick> Mind if I sit? <pulls out a chair and drops into it>
RICK: That’s a rhetorical question, since you’ve already made yourself comfortable. <forces a chuckle> It’s been what, four or five years since we worked on the Sinaloa Cartel Task Force together?
KYLE: Something like that.
RICK: <nods> Great to see you, too.
KYLE: <waves off the waitress when she heads their way> You didn’t look like you were glad to see me a moment ago. So, don’t worry. I don’t plan to interfere with your brooding. I won’t stay for more than a few minutes. Just thought I’d say hello.
RICK: <looks down and swirls the beer in the bottle> Bad timing, I guess. I’m sorry. <makes eye contact with Kyle> But it is good to see you. Might as well join me for a drink. <signals to the waitress for a beer> So tell me what’s been happening in your life.
KYLE: Well, right now, I’m just hoping to wrap up my current case so I can head back to Quantico. I’ve got vacation time coming and this is one trip I don’t want to miss.
RICK: <looks intrigued> Oh yeah? Are you going someplace special?
KYLE: Let’s just say I’m taking someone special. Assuming she doesn’t get called off on a case of her own. Her boss is giving her BS assignments because he’s mad at her for the way she handled a recent case—which is ridiculous, because anyone would have done the same thing if they were trying to chase down the kidnapper who’d taken their best friend. <glances up at the waitress as she places a beer on a coaster in front of him> Thanks. So what had you looking so glum when I first got here? Problems at work?
RICK: Yeah. One of the drug cartels out of Mexico is pushing back because we’ve been successfully cracking down on them. We lost a good cop because of it. <shakes his head; takes a long drink>
KYLE: Huh. That’s tough. I’m sorry to hear it. <narrows his eyes> But that’s not all that’s bothering you, is it?
RICK: < laughs humorlessly> You should’ve thought about being a profiler like your girlfriend.
KYLE: Thanks, but I like what I do. <grins> And how did you hear about Evelyn anyway? I met her since I last saw you!
RICK: Mac, when we had that conference call last year to go over the details of the trial coming up for the Sinaloa Cartel, she was all you could talk about.
KYLE: <taking a sip of beer> Let’s get back to your love life. I remember you always taking everything in stride. What’s got you down? And don’t tell me you’re not. <grins again> I’ve never seen you look worse, even when we were in the middle of the Sinaloa Cartel case. It’s a woman. I’m right, aren’t I?
RICK: Yeah, it is. I just broke up with the woman I love.
KYLE: I’m sorry, but if you love her, why did you break up?
RICK: <staring at beer bottle> I was trying to keep her from getting hurt.
KYLE: <knowing nod> So you hurt her yourself. I get that, believe me. With all the serial killers Evelyn hunts down, I don’t know whether to try and get a tracking device on her or keep my distance so she doesn’t catch flak from any of my missions. <shakes his head> You want to talk about her? I’m a good listener.
RICK: <huffs out a breath> Maybe I need to let it out. I’m being targeted by Los Zetas, the cartel I told you about. Some odd things occurred with Madison—that’s her name, Madison Long. My captain and I kicked it around some, Although it still doesn’t entirely make sense, we keep circling back to one thing—that the cartel wants to get to me through Madison.
KYLE: <responds> So you figured she was in danger because of you and decided to end it?
RICK: <shrugs; nods slowly>
KYLE: And you didn’t level with her? Give her a choice?
RICK: No. Hearing it from you makes me sound like an idiot.
KYLE: Hey, I meant no offense.
RICK: None taken.
KYLE: <pauses> But you might want to rethink things, if you do love her.
RICK: <raises eyebrow> It seems that’s all I’ve been doing. So tell me, how’s Evelyn, and how are the two of you getting along?
KYLE: Better than ever, assuming we can actually make this vacation, I don’t scare her off by being too interested too fast, and she doesn’t back away like she’s done a million times before. But I’m hopeful. This vacation was actually her idea. We have two weeks, and she promised not to bring any cases with her, which would be a miracle. <laughs> As long as we’re back in time for her to go interview a bomb-maker in Montana, we’re good.
RICK: <raises eyebrows> A bomb-maker?
KYLE: Yeah. In the supermax portion of the Montana State Prison, no less. Needless to say, I don’t like it. But what can I do? It’s her job. <Kyle’s cell phone pings; he checks the text> I’ve got to go, but let’s stay in touch.
<they both stand; Kyle reaches in his pocket for some bills>
RICK: I’d like that. Let’s make sure it happens, and don’t worry about the beer, Mac. I’ve got it. <extends a hand; they shake>
KYLE: Great! Thanks. <pauses> Before I go, here’s some gratuitous advice. Take it or not, seeing it’s coming from someone who’s taken two years to get the girl to go out with him, but you care about Madison, right?
KYLE: She cares about you?
<Rick nods again>
KYLE: Then don’t do this. At least be honest with her. Give her the freedom of choice.
RICK: <holds Kyle’s gaze> All right. I’ll think about it. And I’ll be in touch next time I’m near Quantico. I go to Virginia a few times a year to help train service dogs.
KYLE: I look forward to it. And let me know how it works out with Madison.
RICK: And for you with Evelyn.
<Kyle pulls cell phone out of its holster, waves and walks away>
* * * * *
So there you have it . . . a brief introduction to San Diego K-9 Unit sergeant Rick Vasquez and FBI Hostage Rescue Team agent Kyle “Mac” McKenzie. We know you’re going to enjoy their stories, once you’ve had a chance to read When Love Matters Most and Seized.
If you do get a chance to read our books, we would love to hear from you. You can connect with Elizabeth by e-mail (email@example.com), through her website (www.elizabethheiter.com), her Facebook page (www.facebook.com/elizabeth.heiter.author) or Twitter (@elizabethheiter).
And with Kate by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), through her website (www.kate-james.com), her Facebook page (www.facebook.com/katejamesbooks) or Twitter (@katejamesbooks).
Elizabeth Heiter – Bio
Critically acclaimed author ELIZABETH HEITER likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. Elizabeth graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English Literature. She’s a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Romance Writers of America. Elizabeth is also a regular columnist for International Thriller Writers at The Thrill Begins as part of “Murderers Row.” Elizabeth’s novels have received praise from Lee Child, J.T. Ellison, Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, R.L. Stine, Allison Brennan, Laura Griffin, Suzanne Brockmann, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Zoë Sharp. Fresh Fiction called the heroine of her Profiler series “one of the most amazing characters created in print.”
Buy Links for Seized
Kate James – Bio
Kate spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result, Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word. Her writing has been recognized with a number of awards, including first place honors for Silver Linings in both the First Coast Romance Writers’ Published Beacon Contest and Ancient City Romance Authors’ Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award. Her November 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release, A Child’s Christmas, received first-place honors from Southern Magic, the Birmingham Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, for the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, placed second in the Ancient City Romance Authors’ Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award, and was a finalist in RWA’s Desert Rose Chapter’s Golden Quill Award and the Colorado Romance Writers’ Award of Excellence. Finally, her October 2015 release, When the Right One Comes Along, the first book in her K-9 trilogy, has received a Best Book of 2015 award in the contemporary category.
She and her husband, Ken, enjoy traveling and the outdoors with their beloved Labrador Retrievers, Harley and Logan.
Buy Links for When Love Matters Most