Archive for the ‘black ops’ Category

WIND RIVER RANCHER by Lindsay McKenna — EXCERPT!

December 16, 2016

Hi Dear Readers!!
My latest cowboy romance, Wind River Rancher was just award a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly Magazine. I created the Wind River Valley series for Zebra/Kensington. The cowboy hero of this book is a down on his luck Marine Corps captain forced to return to civilian life.
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Most readers don’t know about this magazine because it’s the icon within the traditional publishing industry. PW, as we refer to it, is the iconic queen of it all. It’s sort of like when PW speaks, everyone listens.

To receive a “starred review” on any book, is like winning an Oscar. And as a writer and storyteller, I never expect to ever be reviewed by PW, much less received it. Here’s the review!

To celebrate, here is the opening to Wind River Rancher! Enjoy and share! Thank you!

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EXCERPT: Wind River Rancher by Lindsay McKenna
Reese Lockhart’s stomach was tight with hunger as he
stood at the outskirts of a small Wyoming town called
Wind River. The sign indicated a population of two thousand.
He’d gone a month without decent food. Six inches
of snow stood on the sides of the road where he’d walked
the last ten miles on 89A north. It headed toward Jackson
Hole, where he was hoping to find work.

The town, for a Monday afternoon, was pretty slow. A
couple of pickup trucks came and went, a few people
walked along the sidewalks on either side of the highway
that ran through the center of town. He halted outside
Becker’s Hay and Feed Store, an aged redbrick building
standing two stories high. The red tin roof was steep and
sunlight reflected off it, making Reese squint. Bright lights
now hurt his eyes.

Taking a deep breath, feeling the fear of rejection once
again, he pushed open the door to the store. Would he get
yelled at by the owner? Told to get out? It was early May
and snow had fallen the night before. The sleepy town of
Wind River still had slush on its streets midday.

The place was quiet, smelled of leather, and he saw a
man in his sixties, tall, lean, and with silver hair, sitting
behind the counter. He was sitting on a wooden stool that
was probably the same age as he was, an ancient-looking
calculator in his work-worn hands as he methodically
punched the buttons.

Girding himself, ignoring the fact he hadn’t eaten in two
days, Reese’s gaze automatically swung around the huge
establishment. A hay and feed store was something he was
familiar with. Maybe the owner wanted some part-time
help. He needed to make enough money to buy a decent
meal.

Shoving away the shame he felt over his situation, he
saw the man lift his head, wire-rim spectacles halfway
down his large nose, his blue eyes squinting at Reese as he
approached the long wooden counter.

“Howdy, stranger. Can I help you?” the man asked.

“Maybe,” Reese said. “I’m looking for work. I saw you
have several big barns out back, and a granary. Do you have
any openings?” Automatically, Reese tensed. He knew he
looked rough with a month’s worth of beard on his face,
and his clothes were dirty and shabby. At one time, he’d
been a Marine Corps captain commanding a company of
120 Marines. And he’d been damn good at it until—

“I’m Charlie Becker, the owner,” the man said, shifting
and thrusting his hand across the desk toward him.
“Welcome to Wind River. Who might you be?”

“Reese Lockhart,” he said, and he gripped the man’s
strong hand. He liked Charlie’s large, watery eyes because
he saw kindness in them. Reese was very good at assessing
people. He’d kept his Marines safe and helped them through
their professional and personal ups and downs over the
years he commanded Mike Company in Afghanistan. Charlie
was close to six feet tall, lean like a rail, and wore a
white cowboy shirt and blue jeans. Reese sensed this older
gentleman wouldn’t throw him out of here with a curse—
or even worse, call law enforcement and accuse him of
trespassing.

The last place where he’d tried to find some work, they’d
called him a druggie and told him to get the hell out; he
smelled. While walking the last ten miles to Wind River,
Reese had stopped when he discovered a stream on the flat,
snow-covered land, and tried to clean up the best he could.
The temperature was near freezing as he’d gone into the
bushes, away from the busy highway, and stripped to his
waist. He’d taken handfuls of snow and scrubbed his body,
shivering, but hell, that was a small price to pay to try to not
smell so bad. He hadn’t had a real shower in a month,
either.

“You a vet, by any chance?” Charlie asked, his eyes
narrowing speculatively upon Reese.

“Yes, sir. Marine Corps.” He said it with pride.

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Publisher’s Weekly “starred review” of Wind River Rancher!
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LINKS:
Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Wind-River-Rancher-Lindsay-McKenna/dp/1420141767/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478800984&sr=8-1&keywords=Wind+River+Rancher

Kobo.com
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wind-river-rancher

BN.com
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wind-river-rancher-lindsay-mckenna/1123624029?ean=9781420141764

Apple/iBooks
https://linkmaker.itunes.apple.com/en-us/details/1099652774?country=us&mediaType=books&term=Wind+River+Rancher+by+Lindsay+McKenna

WHERE YOU CAN FIND ME:
Website: http://lindsaymckenna.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLindsayMcKenna/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lindsaymckenna
Newsletter: https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/tools/subscription?username=lindsay.mckenna (contest every month!)
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/55481.Lindsay_McKenna

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AUDIO: NOWHERE TO HIDE by Lindsay McKenna!

November 30, 2016

Hi Readers!!!
Are you an audiophile? Would rather LISTEN to your favorite books instead of reading them! Look no further! Tantor Audio Media is putting out my Delos Series in audio and that’s good news for you! Give yourself a gift for this Holiday Season!

Book 1, Delos Series

Book 1, Delos Series

AUDIO: NOWHERE TO HIDE by Lindsay McKenna
Book 1, Delos Series, romantic suspense

Narrated by:
Johanna Parker, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner, has earned an esteemed Audie Award and three Audie nominations. She has received high praise for her work in all genres, including her portrayal of Sookie Stackhouse in Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries series.

https://tantor.com/nowhere-to-hide-lindsay-mckenna.html

Short Synopsis
In the first book of Lindsay McKenna’s Delos series, former soldier Lia Cassidy finds herself on the run for her life, and the only person she can trust is the gorgeous ex-SEAL sent to protect her.

Full Synopsis
Lia Cassidy has left the Army scarred physically and emotionally after a vicious attack by two fellow soldiers. Seeking a new start, she finds a rewarding job working with needy children at the Delos Charity School in Costa Rica. But her life turns upside down again when local drug lord, La Arana, burns down the school and pursues Lia as a witness. Terrified and on the run, she discovers there is only one man she can trust—Cav Jordan, the ex-SEAL Delos sends to protect her.

Cav Jordan is strong, honorable, and gorgeous . . . and intrigued by Lia. He knows she has suffered pain in her past, and he is determined to break through her barriers and earn her trust. But as Cav slowly chips away at the walls Lia has built, ghosts from her past threaten to destroy their fragile relationship.

All Delos Series books in audio:
https://tantor.com/author/lindsay-mckenna.html

SECRETS by Lindsay McKenna and an EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT!

November 18, 2016

Hi Dear Readers!

A Thanksgiving gift to all of you avid Delos Series readers!
My next Delos series book, SECRETS, is available on pre-order, and released on 11.21.16!

It is a novella, 2B2, and is a sequel follow-up on “Unbound Pursuit”, 2B1, which was released on 9.29.16. This is Mark Reuss and Mattie Lockwood’s story.

If you read UNBOUND PURSUIT, you met Mark Reuss, who was a dark, secretive secondary character. He’s a man with a violent past and moves in and out of the lives of the people who love him.

Darkness surrounded him. Could love rescue him…

Find out what happens to Mark and Mattie!

Find out what happens to Mark and Mattie!

EXCERPT:

“December 23rd
Mark Reuss was in such deep shit he couldn’t see daylight any more. His broken lower left arm ached so badly, he wanted to yell like a banshee, but the blackness of the Texas night, the biting December cold seeping into his body, made him call on all his ex-recon Marine skills to escape up the hill.

He kept his night vision goggles over his eyes as he climbed, while below him ATF, DEA, Border Patrol and FBI agents swarmed around an 18-wheeler truck. Thanks to Mark, they’d made a surprise raid on Mexican drug lord Diego Cardona’s vehicles, and now American agents were rounding up what was left of the members of his drug and sex slave cartel.

Sixty kidnapped children from Mexico had been on their way across the border in the massive trucks, all part of Cardona’s sex trafficking operation that regularly stole children from all over South America across Texas soil and taking them on to the East Coast to be sold. Now, the cartel had expanded from sex trading to running a monthly gun-and-run operation, as well. Mark, who had been sent into the cartel as an undercover agent, had set up the sting. The U.S. authorities had caught the transport, and this fortunate group of children had been saved.

His heart turned toward Mattie Lockwood. The least he could do was apologize for his abrupt behavior of two days ago. How he ached to see her, to be near her. But to do that could put her and her entire family in danger from Cardonas. The drug lord had spies in every Texas town along the border.
Mattie was his touchstone, the one person in his life he could never be without. And yet, he was again about to disappear from her life without adequate explanation. She was a trained EMT. She could help him with his injury.

And how would she react to his banging on her house door in the middle of the night? Would she even let him in? Mark wasn’t sure after the debacle of him showing up at Mattie’s kindergarten school two days ago with her friend, Tal Culver, present. More than anything, he needed Mattie. She owned his heart and she didn’t even know it. He had to get her help.”

LINKS:
amazon
http://amzn.to/2bPrQNZ

PRE-ORDER for BN.com/NOOK readers
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secrets-lindsay-mckenna/1124457876?ean=2940157065782

Kobo.com
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/secrets-182

Apple/iBooks
https://linkmaker.itunes.apple.com/en-us/details/1146082927?country=us&mediaType=books&term=Secrets+by+Lindsay+McKenna

AUDIO: Tantor Media
Available 11.22.2016
https://tantor.com/author/lindsay-mckenna.html

PAPERBACK: yes!
Release at Amazon on 11.21.16

SECRETS by Lindsay McKenna — Harlequin Junkie Blog, Excerpt and a GIVEAWAY!!

November 17, 2016

Find out what happens to Mark and Mattie!

Find out what happens to Mark and Mattie!


Darkness surrounded him. Could love rescue him…

SECRETS 2B2, Delos Series, is a spin-off from TANGLED PURSUIT, Oct 2015 and later sequel: Unbound Pursuit 9.29.16 (Mark Reuss, hero of Secrets, showed up in Unbound Pursuit, fyi–without giving the story away) 😉

I love HJ because it asks questions other blogs don’t, and peels back a veneer on the story for readers. Also, a cool EXCERPT that will be seen nowhere else! And a GIVEAWAY! Go over and make a comment and you’re signed up! Good luck! Enjoy!

Mark Reuss’ childhood was a living hell. The only bright spot in his life during those dark days was his best friend, Mattie Lockwood. Her beauty and spirit called out to him, but he didn’t want to drag her down into the gloom his life had become. So when he graduated high school, he joined the Marine Corps and left his past—and Mattie—behind.

Or so he thought. Mark never forgot Mattie, or stopped wanting her. Now he’s back in town, ready to face his demons and make a life with her. But before he can set his plans in motion, Mark must suddenly disappear once again, but it means keeping secrets from Mattie. Will he once again have to let go of the woman he loves?

LINKS:
Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Delos-2B2-Lindsay-McKenna-ebook/dp/B01KTZ0H2G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471890431&sr=8-1&keywords=Secrets+by+Lindsay+McKenna

PRE-ORDER for BN.com/NOOK readers

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secrets-lindsay-mckenna/1124457876?ean=2940157065782

iBooks/Apple
https://linkmaker.itunes.apple.com/en-us/details/1146082927?q=Secrets%20by%20Lindsay%20McKenna&country=us&media=books&genre=all

KOBO.COM
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/secrets-182

AUDIO: https://tantor.com/author/lindsay-mckenna.html
SECRETS will be available 11.22.16

EXCERPT 3! Wind River Wrangler by Lindsay McKenna. RESISTING SHILOH….OR CAN HE?

October 24, 2016

Hi READERS!

This is so much fun sharing slivers and slices of Wind River Wrangler with you just before it’s release date of 10.25.16. Here’s the next one! Enjoy 😉

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Interview:
Lindsay McKenna: Every writer I know, including myself, has had Writer’s Block at one time or another. And Shiloh, being a New York Times romance writer, has it when she goes to visit Maud and Steve Whitcomb at their ranch in Wind River Valley. Roan Taggart, the wrangler and ex-black ops soldier, has been dissolving some of her fear of being found once more by her stalker. Let’s drop in on an exclusive excerpt with them as they eat their meal at the employee house:

SCENE SET UP:
Maud and Steve Whitcomb, owners of the ranch, had been friends with Shiloh Gallagher’s family for decades. They have invited Shiloh to stay as long as she wants with them. Roan Taggart has just gotten writer Shiloh Gallagher assigned to the employee house. It has been two weeks since Shiloh moved in and shares the employee house with him. The wrangler’s other job is to more or less ‘babysit’ Shiloh. Reluctant about the assignment at first, as time goes on, Roan finds out more about her…

EXCERPT 3 RESISTING SHILOH….OR CAN HE?

“Later, as they sat at one another’s elbows, eating dinner at the employee house where they lived, Roan detected a subtle sense of happiness around Shiloh. Again, nothing obvious, but his operator’s senses told him that. “You said you were writing a chapter? On your latest book? The one that’s due to your editor’s desk?”

“Yes.” She shrugged. “I woke up this morning WANTING to write for the first time since coming here.” She met his gray gaze, seeing interest in them. Roan, she was discovering, missed nothing. He listened to her without ever interrupting her flow of thought. “First time.”

“Is this a good thing?” he wondered, adding more spoonfuls of whipped potatoes onto his plate.

“Sure is,” she sighed, giving him a look of relief. “I’ve had writer’s block for the last six months. I just haven’t felt the driving passion to write.” She added some green beans onto her plate. “Ever since the stalker came into my life, my writing has turned off.”

“Kind of expected?”

“I suppose,” Shiloh muttered. “It’s hurt me in so many ways, seen and unseen.”

“It’s what we in the military call psy ops or psychological warfare.”

——————————————————
PreOrder/Buy WIND RIVER WRANGLER now→ http://bit.ly/2cPs8Ts

EXCLUSIVE GIFTS if you pre-order and they'll show up in your email box a day before the release date!

EXCLUSIVE GIFTS if you pre-order and they’ll show up in your email box a day before the release date!

AUDIO AVAILABLE AT:
http://www.simplyaudiobooks.com
on 10.25.16

Which Love Story Will you FALL for this Season? Fun QUIZ!

October 3, 2016

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Hi Readers!

I love quizzes! Kensington has come up with a really great one! Find out what book will appeal to you for your Fall reading list!

http://www.purewow.com/books/romantic-novels-quiz

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and if you want a closer look at these great reads? Go here:

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/purewow

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COWBOY READERS!
Love cowboy romances? Roan Taggart of Wind River Wrangler is just waiting for you! Pre-order it today! You’ll get special gifts, exclusive, the day before it is released on 10.25.16!

http://sites.kensingtonbooks.com/WindRiverValley/

kensington-who-is-your-next-book-boyfriend

Connect with me! http://www.lindsaymckenna.com

Wind River Wrangler by Lindsay McKenna — FREE sample chapter from iBooks/Apple and a yummy Excerpt for everyone else!

October 2, 2016

Hi Readers!!

I’ve got a FREE sample chapters, plus an excerpt from Wind River Valley, for you! If you’re an Apple guy or gal, iBooks is making a SAMPLE CHAPTER from my book available to you right now! So fire up your iPad and take advantage of this cool deal 😉 It’s FREE!
Just for you!

Wind River Wrangler by Lindsay McKenna is Book 1 of her new series:  Wind River Valley!  Pub. date: 10.25.16.  Pre-order now!

Wind River Wrangler by Lindsay McKenna is Book 1 of her new series: Wind River Valley! Pub. date: 10.25.16. Pre-order now!

Sample Chapter from Wind River Valley Wrangler, Book 1 by Lindsay McKenna
Apple/iBook bonus content available

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wind-river-wrangler-ibooks/id1088651303?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

and….for the rest of the readers who may not use the Apple platform, fear not! We have LOTS for you!

BONUS SCENE on Roan Taggart, from Wind River Wrangler!
Kensington Books/Zebra
10.25.16
Wind River Valley Series
Book 1
Roan is an ex-Special Forces soldier. He’s come to Wyoming, to the Wind River Ranch to get his life together.

Find out more about his Army black ops life!

http://sites.kensingtonbooks.com/WindRiverValley/

If you pre-order Book 1, you will get this scene a day before the actual date of publishing! I’m excited to work with the Mighty Girls of Kensington Books Media department to offer you this neat gift!
Sign up today!

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AUDIO available 10.26.16 from:
http://www.simplyaudiobooks.com

RELEASE DAY! UNBOUND PURSUIT by Lindsay McKenna! GIVEAWAY, EXCERPTS!

September 29, 2016

BLOG LM 9.27.16

RELEASE DAY! UNBOUND PURSUIT by Lindsay McKenna EXCERPT! GIVEAWAY!

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Hi readers!

Excitement! Excitement! I’ve waited a long time to put out the sequel to TANGLED PURSUIT, Book 2, of the Delos Series! Finally, it’s here!

If you loved the fiery campaign by SEAL Wyatt Lockwood to get US Marine Corp Captain Tal Culver’s attention, you are going to see more fireworks in their sequel: Unbound Pursuit!

I’ve teamed up with Tasty Book Tours to do a 3-day Eblast on the sequel. I’m offering a $10.00 Amazon gift card to a winner. All you have to do is drop by and sign up at any or all of these participating bloggers websites. The more you sign up, the greater your chances of winning!

Eblast with Tasty Tours for Unbound Pursuit

BOOK BLAST TOUR:
9.27-9.29 with
http://www.tastybooktours.com/2016/05/unbound-pursuit-delos-2b-by-lindsay.html#more

Join me and visit each blog for a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon gift card!

Join me and visit each blog for a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon gift card!

Plus, there will be two blogs (one on 9.27 and the other 9.29) that will share a DIFFERENT EXCERPT with you! You’ll get two “peeks” in on Tal and Wyatt’s visit to his ranch parents home in Texas. What can go wrong on the family meeting Wyatt’s fiancee’, Tal Culver? Right? Wrong.

But you have to read it to find out! And if you can spot a secondary character that leaps off the pages at you? There’s a second sequel coming, SECRETS, on 11.21.16!!!

Sign up for that $10.00 Amazon gift card!

EXTRA!!! A SNEAK PEEK YOU’LL FIND NOWHERE ELSE BUT RIGHT HERE FROM UNBOUND PURSUIT!!

“How’s that ankle of yours feelin’?” Wyatt asked Tal. He had her sitting comfortably on his old brass bed, leaning against the headboard, pillows behind her back, her bad ankle over his thigh as he gently massaged it.

“Mmm, better,” Tal said, closing her eyes.

“Did you take your medication?” Wyatt asked her, sliding a glance her way. She had just come out of the bathroom after soaking in the old claw-foot bathtub. Her black hair was still up in a mussed topknot. She looked tired, and he knew traveling with her bum ankle had taken a toll on her. Tal would never complain about pain. It just wasn’t part of her makeup. As a Marine Corps sniper, she’d always worked hurt. It might not have been broken bones like this, but, as a mountain goat climbing around in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan, out in brutal weather and other harsh conditions, bruises, cuts, scrapes, and even a strain were tolerated so she could successfully finish a mission.

“No, you know I didn’t.”

Wyatt chuckled and continued to tenderly ease the swelling out of her once-crushed ankle. He did this every night when they were home, and he especially wanted to do it when he was on the road with her. “I think we did a little too much walking around the ranch this afternoon. Your ankle is really swollen. Sure you aren’t in pain?” He knew she was and saw her lips flex at his needling her about it.

“I’ll take some ibuprofen to get you off my back, Lockwood.”

Chuckling, he said, “I’m such a pest to you, Ms. Culver.” The corners of her lips lifted and she opened her eyes.
“You are a royal pain in the ass sometimes, on that we agree.”

“But,” Wyatt said lightly, moving his fingers down from below her knee to her ankle and then beginning to massage her foot, “there are other times, Ms. Culver, you really enjoy having me around.”

“That is very true, cowboy. Good thing those times outweigh the pain-in-the-ass times, huh?”

Seeing the sparkle of teasing in her green eyes, Wyatt moved his hand over the red flannel robe she wore on top of her white flannel pajamas. “Indeed.” He felt her begin to relax as he pushed the fluid out of her ankle area. “Feelin’ a little better, darlin’?”

“Oh,” she sighed, “much . . . I don’t know what I’d do without you, Wyatt. You spoil me rotten.”
“I’m better than any meds you aren’t taking.”

“I don’t like drugs, Wyatt, so don’t climb on that bandwagon tonight, okay?”
“Miss Grumpy, are we?”

LINKS:

Apple/iBooks
http://apple.co/29b7fSW

Amazon
http://amzn.to/295MJ1i

KOBO.COM
http://bit.ly/29jovqa

BN.COM
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unbound-pursuit-lindsay-mckenna/1124443732?ean=2940157007249#productInfoTabs

TANTOR AUDIO:
https://tantor.com/author/lindsay-mckenna.html

PAPERBACK: coming from amazon.com and it will be here in about 3 days, so check back for your copy!

And a BONUS EXCERPT from: Wind River Valley Wrangler today! Kensington/Zebra!
If you love cowboys, military vets and romantic suspense?

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Roan Taggart was ex-Special Forces. He left to find a way to heal from his black ops past. An excerpt from Book 1 of my Wind River Valley Series. Enjoy!

Exclusive excerpt: ‘Wind River Wrangler’ by Lindsay McKenna
Excerpt

CONNECT with me!
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https://lindsaymckenna.wordpress.com

PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE ON UNBOUND PURSUIT by Lindsay McKenna!!

July 1, 2016

PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE ON UNBOUND PURSUIT by Lindsay McKenna!!
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Hi Everyone!
We’re right on the cusp of the 4th of July holiday in the USA. It is our Independence day. We need to thank all the people who gave their lives, give them our grateful thanks and prayers, for giving everything so that we could have the freedom we enjoy today. And toward that end, our military around the world right now, as well as the vets who have also sacrificed so much for us, should be thanked and appreciated as well. Freedom is not free.

UNBOUND PURSUIT is the sequel to TANGLED PURSUIT, Book 2, of the Delos Series. If you have read it? Then you know Tal Culver, Captain, USMC, and the war she fought on an emotional front with US Navy SEAL, Chief Wyatt Lockwood. He’s a good ole boy from Texas, raised on a ranch in West Texas, and doesn’t take “no” for an answer. If you haven’t read TANGLED PURSUIT, do so, because it will make UNBOUND PURSUIT all the more richer for you to appreciate and enjoy! But it can be read as a stand alone novella.

Captain Talia Culver risked her heart again for Navy SEAL Wyatt Lockwood. The brave, cocky Texan was worth the risk and Tal couldn’t be happier. Still recovering from her injuries she received from her last mission in Afghanistan, Wyatt whisks her away to meet his family on their sprawling Texas ranch.

But things don’t go as planned when Wyatt hears local gossip that his drug dealing ex-friend is out of prison and planning a drug run across the Lockwood ranch. Wyatt wants to enjoy some hard-earned down time with Tal, but he can’t ignore the danger at his back door.

As Wyatt plans a dangerous operation to catch the drug dealers, Tal fears she could lose the man she loves.

EXCERPT Unbound Pursuit by Lindsay McKenna, 2B1, novella, Delos Series,
Pub date: 9.29.2016
$3.99 ebook
Paperback available on pub date Amazon.com and Createspace.com
Tantor Media audio – 9.29.16
https://tantor.com/nowhere-to-hide-indsay-mckenna.html

Tal Culver had turned around to watch Mattie Lockwood, who with swift, knowing precision had gone to work dumping the paint-filled water from the thirty jars, washing them, and turning them upside down to dry on tea towels she’d set on the countertop. The back door opened and closed, getting Tal’s attention. The children could come and go through two different exits. The side door led to the playground. The rear door, near the sink where Mattie worked, was hidden from view by a large mudroom. The hair on the back of her neck rose, instantly making Tal focus her attention on the entrance.

What the hell?

Normally that reaction served to warn her that there was danger nearby, and it wasn’t something Tal ignored. She was in Texas. In a kindergarten classroom. Why was she suddenly on high alert?

Mattie heard the door open and close, too. She barely looked up, busily washing out the Mason jars. She didn’t want to be late getting Tal back to the ranch. Her mother was making a special meal of leg of lamb tonight for the family, and she needed to get home to help her with making the salad and the mashed potatoes and gravy. She figured it was the parent of a child who had forgotten something in the classroom coming back to pick it up.

A dark shape appeared at the entrance. Mattie turned. She gasped. The Mason jar in her hand slipped and fell to the floor, shattering.

“Mark!” The word came flying out of her mouth. Mattie’s heart pounded in her chest as she stared up into his narrowed gold-brown eyes. He wore a black Stetson, a white long-sleeved shirt with a black leather vest over it, jeans, and cowboy boots. His mouth . . . oh, lordy, his mouth . . . she remembered only too well how wonderful he was at kissing her.

She took a step back, her eyes huge as she stared in disbelief at him. He stood motionless, like a tense statue. Mark’s gaze shot to Tal and then back to her.

“Who’s this with you, Mattie?”

She hadn’t heard his voice in four months, that same low, sensual drawl of his that made her melt, made her lower body burn with need of him. Gulping, she jerked a look toward Tal. “That’s Tal Culver, my friend,” she managed to say, choked up. She turned toward him. “What are you doing here?” Tears clogged her eyes but Mattie refused to let them fall, straightening her spine, throwing back her shoulders, her chin jutting out, anger flowing through her along with her shock.

“I need to talk to you alone,” Mark growled. “Get rid of her?”

Mattie scowled. Anger took over. “Go to hell, Mark!” She jabbed her finger toward the door of the mudroom. “Just get the hell out of my life! How dare you come back into it! You think you can just waltz in here after being gone for months without a word?”

Her voice was shaking, she was so angry and hurt. And he looked so delicious to her. He was half Chippewa Indian through his mother, who was now dead. He had his mother’s coppery skin, that shining short black hair, those glittering, intelligent wolf eyes, as she used to refer to them, a gold-brown mixture. His mouth thinned, relaxed a little. For a split second, Mattie thought he’d smiled, or that maybe some amusement had flittered across his narrowed, intelligent gaze.

“I’ve been real busy, Mattie. That’s not the welcome I was hoping for.”

Mattie gulped back her tears. “What the hell else did you expect?”

Mark shrugged lazily, lifting one shoulder, keeping his gaze pinned on Tal. The woman seemed like someone he wouldn’t want to mess with. Mark saw the look in her eyes, saw the fine tension in her body, and felt the energy around her. If she wasn’t law enforcement, then she was military. He met her gaze and hardened his look in her direction, willing her to stay right where she was. Missing nothing upon first perusal, Mark could quickly size up another person and know just how dangerous they were. This woman was damned dangerous, even though she wore a camel-colored pantsuit with a bright orange tee beneath it. She wore no makeup, her black hair lying like a shining cloak around her proud shoulders.

His gaze moved back to Mattie. “I need to talk to you,” he repeated.

Snorting vehemently, she snapped, “I want nothing to do with you, Mark!”

His gut clenched, his heart twisting with guilt and need of her. Mark tried to bury the pain he carried deep within him. He watched the flare of righteous anger in Mattie’s slitted dark green eyes. Reining in the desire for her that was always with him, he rasped, “Okay, then here it is: you tell your father to keep his wranglers out of the northeast corner of your ranch two nights from now, Mattie.” His voice dropped.

“This isn’t a joke. You need to keep everyone out of that area.” He started to turn, stopped himself, lifting his head, meeting Mattie’s tear-filled eyes. Less gruffly, the hardness in his gold-brown eyes dissolving, almost turning tender, he said, “Take good care of yourself, Mattie . . .”

Before Mattie could snarl at him, he turned on his heel and was gone. When the door slammed shut, Mattie jumped. She was breathing raggedly, her heart sledgehammering in her chest. Gulping, she looked at Tal.

“Are you okay?” Mattie asked in a trembling tone.

Giving a slight nod, Tal said, “I’m fine. Is he gone?” She gestured with her chin toward where Mark had disappeared.
Turning, Mattie quickly walked out to the mudroom. Peering out the window, she saw nothing but the outskirts of Van Horn. It was as if Mark had never been there. But he had. She had goose bumps across her skin, and she absently rubbed her upper arms, feeling stunned by his sudden and unexpected presence.

She heard Tal get up, the chair scraping back against the tiled floor. Because of her ankle, she couldn’t move quickly, and Mattie hurried back and met her at the sink. “He’s gone.”

“Did you see where he went?”

Shaking her head, she whispered, “No . . . I looked, but he’s like a ghost. Just . . . gone.” Touching her brow, she added apologetically, “I’m so sorry, Tal. You didn’t need this. God, I didn’t need it either.”

Tal reached out, feeling her shaking. Mattie’s face was white, her freckles standing out against her tightened skin. “How are you doing? Do you want to come and sit down? Can I get you a drink of water?” Tal could feel the tension in her, saw the tears glimmering in her eyes. Mattie was valiantly trying not to cry.

“Come on,” Tal urged her gently, “come and sit down for a minute.” Mattie looked so shaken Tal wasn’t sure she wasn’t going to faint on her. And if she did, Tal wouldn’t be able to break her fall, thanks to her weakened ankle.

Jerkily, Mattie nodded, covering her eyes for a moment, trying to hold herself together. She tried to shove down her dark past, her love for Mark. After all he’d done to her! If the townspeople ever knew what had happened, she’d never live it down. Never had she ever wanted anyone but Mark. It was a destiny and a curse. She still loved him. Mattie denied it, but inside, in her private moments, her heart ached for Mark.

Around her, from childhood onward, Mark had been vulnerable, despite his hard life. Mattie had seen the scars where his flesh had been peeled back when his angry, alcoholic father would unmercifully beat him with his belt. She knew he’d gotten those scars when he’d stepped between his father and his sister, Sage. Matt had made himself a target to protect Sage from being sexually molested. His body had been deeply scarred over time. To this day, Sage’s loyalty to her brother was solid, and Mattie knew why. Mark had protected her from her father. And Sage loved her brother as fiercely as Mattie did, but for different reasons.

Sitting down, Mattie was grateful for Tal’s quiet strength, her hand resting on her slumped shoulder as she tried to control her inner tumult. “I don’t know why he suddenly showed up,” she whispered, her voice quavering. Tears spilled down her cheeks, and she turned her head, ashamed that Tal would see her cry.
“Did you know he was coming?”

“N-no,” she whispered, quickly wiping the tears away, humiliated that her future sister-in-law-to-be was seeing her like this, a muddled mass of jellied emotions, pulverized by Mark’s shocking appearance.

“Has he done this before?”

Shaking her head, Mattie said hoarsely, “I have not seen him in three months. I figured he’d just disappeared out of my life forever. That’s why I was so shocked to see him again.”

Frowning, Tal smoothed her hand gently across Mattie’s shaking shoulders. She was crying. Tal put herself in Mattie’s place. This would be a helluva shock for anyone to take. Almost like a dead person returning from the grave.
“I-I’m sorry, Tal. I shouldn’t be crying. You’d think I’d learn my lesson . . .”

“Sometimes, when you love someone, it takes a long time to get over it,” Tal told her.

“I-I shouldn’t still love him!” she rasped, giving Tal a confused look. “How can I?”

“Only you can answer that,” Tal said gently, smoothing back some strands of red hair that were sticking to her damp cheek.

“Love and grief are entwined, I’ve found. And it’s a process you work through. There’s no time limit on it.”

Sniffing, Mattie pulled a tissue out of her pocket, wiping her eyes and blowing her nose. “There’s so much grief and sadness shared between us. I knew one day he’d leave for good. And I thought he had. But he’s back . . . I-I never expected to ever see him again.”

Never mind she still dreamed like the child she was of what might have been if they’d married once they were out of high school. The year they spent together when they were teenagers, after their relationship moved from friendship to something more, had been heaven on earth. Mark been so gentle and open with her, so incredibly loving. Sometimes, Mattie felt as if Mark had a lifetime of love stored up for her from the time he was born. At six years old, seeing him in the first grade, she’d fallen in love with him. It was the most beautiful feeling in the world to have him unveil the deepest, most beautiful parts of himself, his dreams, his wishes, with her. People called it puppy love, but the feeling had never gone away. And when she was sixteen and he finally opened up to her, let himself be as vulnerable as she was, and tenderly loved her, her soul had wept with joy and pleasure. He had been that loving. But then their lives had spiraled into a darkness she could never have imagined. And it had torn them apart even though they still ached to be with one another.

After that, Mark had changed abruptly. Forever. He was no longer open with her; he shut down. She knew why. It was a secret both of them would carry to their graves. The more Mattie tried to remain close to Mark, the more he retreated from her, those hard shields that he had always kept between himself and most other people began rising against her, too, cutting her off from his soft side. Mattie was too ashamed, too guilty and young, to figure out how to salvage the love they held for one another. And to this day, she beat herself up, knowing that one night had changed their lives and made Mark suddenly disconnect from her forever.

“We need to get home,” Tal urged her quietly. “Can I help you get things straightened up around here so we can leave?”

Mattie gave a jerky nod, wiping her cheeks dry. “Y-yes, Dad and Wyatt need to know what happened,” she whispered unsteadily, pushing the chair back. “You stay put, Tal. It will take me about ten minutes to get everything in order. I don’t want you trying to run around on that bum ankle of yours.”

LINKS:
AVAILABLE in ebook
and paperback at amazon.com

Apple/iBooks

http://apple.co/29b7fSW

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http://amzn.to/295MJ1i

KOBO.COM
http://bit.ly/29jovqa

BN.COM – available on publishing day 9.29.2016

Get more info about Delos characters and books at:
http://delos.lindsaymckenna.com

and visit her official website for all the books she writes:

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AUDIO BOOKS
Want to listen to TANGLED PURSUIT? Here’s the info of when it will be available! Coming in 2016, audio version of UNTANGLED PURSUIT!
Audio (Tantor Media) 6.26.16
https://tantor.com/tangled-pursuit-lindsay-mckenna.html

SECRET DREAM by Lindsay McKenna — Character Letter from Lia Cassidy to you!

May 28, 2016

Letter from Lia Cassidy, heroine to all of you readers…
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Secret Dreams 1B1
Sequel to Nowhere to Hide by Lindsay McKenna
Delos Series
Pre-order: now
Pub. Date: 7.25.16
$3.99 for ebook version
Mass market paperback size: tbd

After I was attacked at knifepoint by two soldiers during my service in the Army, I was deeply scarred from the experience, both physically and emotionally. The left side of my face bore a scar that plastic surgeons could not erase, and I felt that no man would ever look at me again without turning away so he wouldn’t have to look at my hideous scar.

I left the military and I escaped from the world I knew and went to work for Delos charity in Costa Rica. I loved my job helping at their school, but once again, I found myself facing a dangerous situation. After two teachers who worked beside me were murdered by a local drug lord, I ran into the jungle, barely escaping with my life.

I quickly contacted Dilara and Robert Culver, the owners of Delos charities, and they sent a bodyguard to protect me after I refused to leave the school children. Of course I was scared, but I was even more frightened for the children. I felt I should stay and make sure our school was rebuilt. Those children loved going to school, and their parents were so grateful to the Delos school for providing an education for them. I couldn’t just walk away.

I had never expected to fall in love when Cav Jordan, an ex-SEAL came into my life. He was hired by the Culvers to protect me, and I figured he’d be like every other man—he’d see the unblemished side of my face and think I was attractive. But when I turned so he could see the long, thin scar from my cheekbone across my cheek, I knew what he would do. He’d look away and try to ignore it. But like other men, he’d probably see nothing but the scar whenever he looked at me.

But I was so wrong about Cav! He saw ME, not my scars! I couldn’t believe it. I’d had so many humiliating experiences because of them, I had given up hoping that one day a man would see past them and see me, my heart, my soul.

I fell in love with Cav because he accepted me immediately, and really wanted to know me, beneath the scars. It took some time because I didn’t make it easy, but he worked at gaining my trust, a little at a time. He was patient with me because he understood what the assault had done to me. It had taken a piece of my soul that would never return.

Cav did more than earn my trust. He brought me his heart and handed it to me. And in doing so, it allowed me to utterly trust him and give him my love in return. Best of all, after I returned to the States, we became engaged.

I so badly wanted my parents to meet this man I loved, and my father embraced him immediately. But my mother turned away from Cav. I don’t know why, but something happened between them. Cav has no idea, and neither do I, why she is resisting him so much. This is the man I love, and it pains me to see how hurt he is by her distrust and wariness.

Cav has never been anything but loving, kind and caring toward me. I don’t know what to do. My greatest wish is for us all to be a family, but if both my parents are not on board, Cav and I will live beneath a shadow that won’t go away. What on earth can I do to help resolve this unexpected setback?

PRE-ORDER:
Secret Dream, 1B1
Sequel to NOWHERE TO HIDE, Book 1
Novella
Ebook/Mass Market Paperback
Delos Series
Pre-order available now
Publication date: 7.25.2016

Ebook LINKS:
Amazon
http://amzn.to/20qs395

iBooks/Apple
http://apple.co/1XMQmPP

BN.com — to come

kobo.com —to come

Paperback (Mass market size)– to come (Createspace/Amazon)

READ THE PREQUEL: Last Chance by Lindsay McKenna
.99 cents!
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LINKS:

Amazon: USA
http://amzn.to/1TMKMJv

Amazon: UK
http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R2BK361DQNYMQS/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B011FJZG8U&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=341677031&store=digital-text

iBooks/Apple
http://apple.co/1MDSkKt

Kobo.com
http://bit.ly/1fhQIem

READ Lia’s story in NOWHERE TO HIDE, Book 1, Delos Series

FB Nowhere to Hide
$4.99 (ebook)
Ebook links:
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http://amzn.to/1M9Cg6R

iBook/Apple
http://apple.co/1ylrDIq

BN.COM
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/nowhere-to-hide-lindsay-mckenna/1122788661?ean=2940151071741

KOBO.COM
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/nowhere-to-hid

PAPERBACK:

paperback/pod $8.99
Amazon USA

http://www.amazon.com/Nowhere-Hide-Delos-Lindsay-McKenna/dp/1929977077?ie=UTF8&keywords=Nowhere%20to%20Hide%20by%20Lindsay%20McKenna&qid=1462736257&ref_=sr_1_1_twi_pap_1&sr=8-1

UK PAPERBACK/Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nowhere-Hide-Volume-Delos-Series/dp/1929977077/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1445883674&sr=1-3

AUDIO BOOK:

Tantor Media Audio book due 7.5.16
https://tantor.com/nowhere-to-hide-indsay-mckenna.html