Taste of Summer for Lunch

Enjoying the taste of summer is easy–local produce is available, even in Montana. Because I lived a long time without insurance, and given the constant instability of the insurance market, I make an effort (not always successfully–Cheetos are my downfall) to eat organically and make my meals from scratch. To keep impact of the environment as low, I try to think about where the food comes from that I purchase. I also make a lot of my meals from scratch.

Tomato on vine

Creative Commons License, David Besa phtographer

While I wait for the tomatoes in my garden to actually ripen (if I’m lucky it will be before frost hits), I had purchased a pretty red one from my local market that came from Kalispell–a four hour drive. As a Jersey girl, I don’t think there’s anything better than a Jersey tomato, but they’re a bit scarce here in Montana.

Rye Bread

Creative Commons License, Francis Storr photographer

I had some rye bread from our local bakery, Le Petite Outre. And some brie from another local company, Lifeline Farms, located in the Bitterroot Valley just south of us. Within a few moments I had toasted rye, with brie, topped with fresh tomato as an open faced sandwich. Add a little salt and pepper, a sprinking of oregano and you have the perfect summer lunch!

Brie Cheese

Creative Commons License, Larry Hoffman Photographer

Try it! And with it, enjoy a perfect summer read–one of my California Romance Series novels.

Keep Dancing -- a different kind of sweet romance

Keep Dancing CoverMany romances are written for twenty and thirty-somethings. Nothing wrong with that—it’s when most of us experience our first love or our forever love. But not always. Keep Dancing celebrates a different kind of sweet romance. Not only is it between two people who are at later stages of their lives, but life-changing disease threatens one of the characters.

The roots of this book run deep. I met my husband when I was fifty. We have an amazing and deep love, one I couldn’t have had in my twenties. Frankly, I had a lot of issues to work through. So I celebrate mature love. It’s different, but it’s not better or worse.

A number of years ago one of my closest friends was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I’ve watched a vibrant woman grow more dependent on others to get through daily life. Her husband has stepped up and it’s been good to see. Last year, I had the honor to help a man with Parkinson’s with his very strong book about his victory to continue living in spite of that disease. A key person in his life is his life, who loves her husband, but not the disease.

So love can triumph in life, no matter what. Will it work for the couple in Keep Dancing? Have you read it yet? Get your copy here.

Amazon | All Other Booksellers

Kat Martin's New Romantic Suspense: Beyond Control

Beyond Control

Cover Beyond Control by Kat Martin(The Texas Trilogy)

Kat Martin

Victoria Bradford and her four-year old daughter are on the run from Tory’s abusive ex-fiancé. Seventy miles north of Dallas, the Iron River Ranch is pretty much nowhere, exactly what Josh Cain wanted when he came back from Afghanistan. Big skies, quiet nights, no trouble.

When Tory shows up with her adorable little girl, Josh realizes he is in for trouble of the most personal kind. But Josh has seen trouble before, and he doesn’t scare easy. Not when “accidents” start happening around the ranch. Not when Tory’s best friend is abducted. Not even when he realizes their troubles are only the tip of the iceberg.

Buy Now

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo | Google Play | iTunes

Excerpt

Iron River Ranch
Iron Springs, Texas

Victoria Bradford drove the old blue Chevy Malibu along the two lane road. Up ahead, a sign hung above a narrow dirt track running off to the west, IRON RIVER RANCH.

“Are we there yet, Mama?” Ivy, her four year old daughter, had asked at a dozen times since they’d left the Walmart parking lot in Iron Springs. The ten mile drive didn’t take long, but to a four year old who’d been in the car for days, they couldn’t reach their destination soon enough.

“We’re very close, sweetheart. This is the turn, right here.” Tory checked the gas gauge as the wheels left the pavement and started rumbling over the bumpy dirt road. Less than an eighth of a tank. She hoped the ranch wasn’t much farther.

More than that, she prayed the job hadn’t already been filled.

She sighed as the aging Malibu rolled along. She was basically in bumfrick Egypt, ten miles north of Nowhere Springs, almost out of gas, with twenty three dollars and thirty three cents in her wallet.

Last night, without enough money for a motel room and afraid to use her credit cards for fear Damon would somehow track her, they’d slept in the car in the Walmart parking lot. As soon as the McDonald’s opened, she had pulled into the drive-thru and bought Sausage McMuffins, then driven out to the ranch to somehow convince the owner to hire a woman with a daughter and no actual ranching experience.

She thought of the ad in the paper she had spotted last night on the counter in the Iron Springs Café. If she somehow managed to get the job, it would be perfect. Besides a steady paycheck and the ranch being way off the grid, the position included the use of a double-wide trailer.

After being on the road for the past three weeks, living out of motel rooms and suitcases, the trailer sounded like a palace.

“Look, Mama, there it is!” Ivy pointed toward the cluster of buildings up ahead, a couple of barns, several fenced training arenas, and a two-story home with dormer windows and a covered porch running the length out in front. A double-wide sat fifty yards away.

Vast stretches of open green pastureland surrounded the complex where horses and cattle grazed, and there were ponds and woodlands in the distance, and dense copses of trees.

The Chevy bumped over the last patch of road, pulled up in front of the house, and Tory quickly turned off the engine. No use wasting what little gas she had left.

“Mama, there’s a man over there by the barn.”

Her gaze swung in that direction. There was, indeed, a man. The noisy buzz of a saw covered the sound of their arrival, giving her time to assess him.

Shirtless, he was working with his back to them, broad, tanned, and muscled above a narrow waist that disappeared into a pair of faded jeans. The jeans hugged a round behind and long, powerful legs.

He was tall, she saw when he straightened away from his work and walked into the barn, with medium brown hair cut short. She got her first look at his face when he walked back out, handsome, with a solid jaw and masculine features, at least three days’ growth of whiskers.

The front of him was just as impressive as the back, a broad chest with solid pecs, muscular biceps, and six pack abs.

Unease filtered through her. This was a strong, powerful male. She knew first hand what a man like that could do to a woman.

Tory forced down the notion. Not all men were like Damon. Before she’d met him, she had been married to a good and decent man, the father of her child. Jamie Bradford, her high school sweetheart, was one of the gentlest people she’d ever known. Her father was a good man, before he’d fallen in love with his secretary and divorced her mother, leaving the two of them alone.

Tory took a courage-building breath. “Stay here, sweetheart.” Cracking open the car door, she slid out from behind the wheel. “Don’t worry, sweetie. Everything’s going to be okay.”

She hoped.

Ivy sank down in her booster seat, trying to make herself invisible. Tory had survived the fights, arguments, and finally the brutal beating Damon had given her that had put her in the hospital.

Though he had never hurt Ivy, the little girl had seen the results of his mistreatment, leaving her with an unnatural fear of men.

Tory glanced at the big, thick-chested male striding toward her, shrugging into a blue denim shirt. Ivy would be terrified of him. If there was any other way, she would climb back in the car and just drive away.

There wasn’t. Tory started walking, meeting the man half way. She glanced around but didn’t see a soul besides the big man in front of her. Her uneasiness returned but she forced it away.

“May I help you?” he asked, and she thought that at least he was polite.

“My name is Tory Ford. I’m looking for Joshua Cain. Is that you?” He had blue eyes and a cleft in his chin. From a purely physical standpoint, the man was flat out hot.

“I’m Josh Cain. What can I do for you?”

“I saw your ad in the Iron Springs Gazette. You’re looking for a stable hand. I’m here to apply for the job.”

He just shook his head. “I’m afraid it’s a man’s job, Ms. Ford. Mucking out stalls and cleaning tack, feeding the livestock. It isn’t something you’d want to do.”

“Work isn’t supposed to be fun, Mr. Cain. That’s why they call it work. I can muck out stalls, clean tack, and feed stock as well as anyone else.”

“Sorry. I’m looking for a man. I appreciate you’re coming out, but–“

“There are laws, Mr. Cain. Equal rights for women. Have you never heard of that? Lawsuits against discrimination?”

His jaw hardened. His eyebrows came down in a frown. “Are you kidding me? You’re going to sue me because I won’t hire you to shovel horseshit out of the barn?”

She could feel the heat creeping into her cheeks. With her fair skin, and fiery red hair, there was no way to hide her embarrassment.

She looked him straight in the face. “I need this job, Mr. Cain. I need the house that comes with it.” She forced herself to smile. “Why don’t we compromise? You give me three days to prove I’m up to the job. If I’m not, I won’t give you anymore trouble. Three days. If you don’t think I can handle the work, I’ll leave. I won’t argue, I’ll just go.”

A muscle jerked in his cheek. He didn’t like being pressured. He looked at her hard, then those condemning blue eyes traveled over her shoulder to something behind her.

“Who is that?”

She didn’t have to turn to know Ivy had climbed out of the car. Like Tory, she was small for her age, but her hair was blond instead of red, and her eyes were blue instead of green.

“That’s my daughter. She’s only four.” Desperate now, she could feel her heart throbbing softly inside her ribs. “We need a place, Mr. Cain. I’ll work hard. I’ll do whatever you need done. Just give me a chance.”

He swore the f-word under his breath, not loud enough for Ivy to hear. Damon wouldn’t have cared. She clung to the hope that represented.

“What do you plan to do with your daughter while you’re working? You can’t leave her in the house alone.”

Tory glanced wildly around. She had known this would be a problem. Before, she’d had money enough to hire a sitter or there was day care for employees’ kids.

She looked at the fenced yard off to the side in front of the trailer. The grass was sparse and in need of a trim. Maybe he’d had a dog or something, but it was clean and empty now. The weather was still good and there was a little gazebo with a table and benches in the middle. She’d be able to keep an eye on Ivy while she was working.

“She could play in the yard. She likes to color and she already reads kids’ books. She wouldn’t be any trouble. If this works out, I’ll have money to pay for a sitter.”

Cain looked at Ivy, paced away then back. “Dammit.”

“It’s just three days. If I do a good job, you won’t have to search for someone else.”

He ran a hand over his short brown hair, paced away, then walked back. “Did you sleep in your car last night?”

She refused to answer. She didn’t want charity from Cain for anyone else.

“Fine,” he said. “You’ve got three days. But I’m not cutting you any slack. You do a man’s job for a man’s pay. If you can’t hack it, you’re out of here.”

And from the look on his face, he was clearly hoping she would fail. Hell, maybe she would.

She managed to fake a smile. “Okay, it’s a deal.” She stuck out her hand to seal the bargain, for a moment didn’t think he was going to shake. Then he sighed and took hold of her hand, not too hard, just firm enough to let her know he was in charge.

“You start tomorrow morning. Six A.M. sharp. There’s enough food in the trailer to last a few days. I’ll bring you a quart of milk. After that, board’s on you. If you’re still here, you’ll need to make a trip into town for groceries.”

Relief filtered through her, so strong it made her head swim. She had a place to stay where no one would look for her. She had a job, which meant food and whatever necessities they needed. If he kept her on, she’d find a sitter to watch Ivy. She’d have time to figure things out, make a new plan.

She took a step back, set an arm around her little girl’s shoulders and drew her forward. “This is my daughter, Ivy. Ivy, this is Mr. Cain.”

“Hello, Ivy,” he said. He had an unusual voice, deep and resonate, but at the same time soft and oddly compelling.

Ivy shrunk back.

“Say hello, honey,” Tory said.

“I don’t want to stay. I want to go.” Clinging to Tory’s waist, she burrowed into her.

“She’s shy,” Tory said.

“The trailer’s unlocked,” Cain said. “It’s clean and ready to go.”

“Thank you.”

He turned and started striding back to the barn. She probably should be at least a little afraid of him. Oddly, she wasn’t.

Then again, she hadn’t been afraid of Damon, either.

Reviews

Kat-Martin-Headshot-2017-(275x20Bestseller Martin brings her Texas Trilogy contemporary romantic suspense series (Beyond Danger, Beyond Reason) to a hair-raising finish with the gripping tale of a single mother on the run and the Marine veteran who offers her a second chance at happily-ever-after. With her four-year-old daughter, Ivy, in tow, Victoria ‘Tory’ Bradford is trying to stay one step ahead of her abusive ex-fiancé, Damon Bridger. She bounces around the Southwest before landing at Iron River Ranch in Iron Springs, Tex. After returning stateside from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, retired sniper Joshua Cain bought Iron River and planned for a more placid lifestyle. But when Tory shows up on his doorstep, desperate for a job that will allow her to support her daughter and stay off her rich ex’s radar, he’s plunged right back into danger. The dynamics of abusive relationships and obsession ring true throughout, as does the redemptive power of love. Martin has a consummate skill for developing the most lovable and the most despicable characters; readers will cheer when sadistic Damon meets his well-deserved end. Martin’s finely described Texas is a delight.” – Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Martin brings her Texas Trilogy … to a hair-raising finish with the gripping tale of a single mother on the run and the Marine veteran who offers her a second chance at happily-ever-after. Martin has a consummate skill for developing the most loveable and the most despicable characters; readers will cheer when sadistic Damon meets his well-deserved end. Martin’s finely described Texas is a delight.” – Publishers Weekly

WEBSITE
http://www.katmartin.com/

VIDEO LINK
https://youtu.be/I9vEWYddAug

CONTEST LINKS

SPECIAL CONTEST: https://www.katmartin.com/beyond-control-giveaway/

To CELEBRATE the release of BEYOND CONTROL, enter my new contest for a chance to win a KINDLE FIRE 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB and a Kindle copy of AGAINST THE WIND, AGAINST THE FIRE and AGAINST THE LAW. Contest runs from May 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018.

May Contest: https://www.katmartin.com/monthly-contest/

  • For MAY, Kat Martin is giving away to THREE winners a copy of both INTO THE FURY and MIDNIGHT SUN.
  • For JUNE, Kat Martin is giving away to THREE winners a copy of both INTO THE FIRESTORM and SEASON OF STRANGERS.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo | Google Play | iTunes

SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katmartinauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatMartinAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36190397-beyond-control

Coming June 5: Keep Dancing, Contemporary Romance Novella

Keep Dancing

Keep Dancing CoverCan he love her—no matter what?

Finally on her own again after her son leaves for college, small-town science teacher Alyssa Norton is ready to leap back into life and romance. Fellow teacher Ben O’Reilly is finally ready to move on from the death of his wife five years before. It should be a perfect match, but …

Alyssa’s finger won’t stop twitching. It could be nothing, or it could be worse—perhaps Parkinson’s, the same disease that caused Michael J. Fox to leave the career he loved. Will Ben be strong enough to find out what they have together, or will he leave her standing alone on the dance floor?

Set in small town Montana, Keep Dancing is a sweet romance about the strength of two very human people as they redefine what it means to have a life worth living and a love worth keeping. Fans of clean and wholesome romances with mid-life characters will enjoy this novella.

Available for pre-sale at some bookstores:

Kat Martin's New Romantic Suspense: Beyond Control

Beyond Control

Cover Beyond Control by Kat Martin(The Texas Trilogy)

Kat Martin

Victoria Bradford and her four-year old daughter are on the run from Tory’s abusive ex-fiancé. Seventy miles north of Dallas, the Iron River Ranch is pretty much nowhere, exactly what Josh Cain wanted when he came back from Afghanistan. Big skies, quiet nights, no trouble.

When Tory shows up with her adorable little girl, Josh realizes he is in for trouble of the most personal kind. But Josh has seen trouble before, and he doesn’t scare easy. Not when “accidents” start happening around the ranch. Not when Tory’s best friend is abducted. Not even when he realizes their troubles are only the tip of the iceberg.

Buy Now

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo | Google Play | iTunes

Making of a Book

“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, BEYOND CONTROL, was no different. I knew I would be writing Joshua Cain’s story, Lincoln Cain’s brother from BEYOND REASON. I had introduced Josh in that story so I knew what he was like–smart, strong, determined, former military. Totally hot. I always try to find the hero’s perfect match and though at first Victoria Bradford, raisng a four-year-old daughter, seemed unlikely, as the tale moved forward I could tell they would perfectly suit.

If they survived the terrible ordeal they were facing.

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 a lot of ways writers can create those kinds of stories. Pairing down description makes the story move faster–or as Elmore Leonard said, “I try to leave out the parts people skip.” Often the scenes are set in familiar places that don’t require much description.

A Hollywood movie trick is enter late and leave early. It means jumping right into the scene–leaving out the, “Hello, how are you?” “I’m fine, how are you?”

Hooks at the beginning and end of chapters are helpful. It’s a technique I try to use, 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 to a situation. For instance, I don’t don’t care what the heroine did in high school unless it’s important to how she’ll solve the problem in which she is currently involved.

But every author has his own method of developing a novel.

In BEYOND CONTROL, Victoria Bradford and her four-year old daughter are on the run from Tory’s abusive ex-fiancé. Seventy miles north of Dallas, the Iron River Ranch is pretty much nowhere, exactly what Josh Cain wanted when he came back from Afghanistan. Big skies, quiet nights, no trouble.

One look tells Josh the pretty redhead who showed up on his door with her adorable little girl will give him trouble of the most personal kind. But Josh has seen trouble before, and he doesn’t scare easy. Not when “accidents” start happening around the ranch. Not when Tory’s best friend is abducted.

Not even when it looks like their current problems are only just the beginning.

I hope you’ll watch for BEYOND CONTROL and that you enjoy it. All best wishes and happy reading, Kat

Reviews

Kat-Martin-Headshot-2017-(275x20As the excitement in Iron Springs continues, two strangers with tragic pasts form an unbreakable bond. Beyond Control is the last installment in the Texas Trilogy. It’s delightfully fast-paced, riveting, and amazingly compelling. Martin has outdone herself with unpredictable twists and suspense that will leave readers panting for more. Definitely a must read for readers who enjoy mystery, thrills, and romance to spice up their life.”– RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars, Top Pick

[A] gripping tale…Martin has a consummate skill for developing the most loveable and the most despicable characters; readers will cheer when sadistic Damon meets his well-deserved end. Martin’s finely described Texas is a delight.” – Publishers Weekly

WEBSITE
http://www.katmartin.com/

VIDEO LINK
https://youtu.be/I9vEWYddAug

CONTEST LINKS

SPECIAL CONTEST: https://www.katmartin.com/beyond-control-giveaway/

To CELEBRATE the release of BEYOND CONTROL, enter my new contest for a chance to win a KINDLE FIRE 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB and a Kindle copy of AGAINST THE WIND, AGAINST THE FIRE and AGAINST THE LAW. Contest runs from May 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018.

May Contest: https://www.katmartin.com/monthly-contest/

  • For MAY, Kat Martin is giving away to THREE winners a copy of both INTO THE FURY and MIDNIGHT SUN.
  • For JUNE, Kat Martin is giving away to THREE winners a copy of both INTO THE FIRESTORM and SEASON OF STRANGERS.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo | Google Play | iTunes

SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katmartinauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatMartinAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36190397-beyond-control

Drop back 10 and punt! The demise of Crimson Romance

On April 1, Simon & Schuster shut down their Crimson Romance line. This was a blow to myself and many of my fellow Crimson authors.

While all my titles remain with the company for now, my writing career still needs to move forward. In the pipeline is a novella entitled, Keep Dancing. Zoe has annoying twitch in her left pinkie. Is it just nerves or something more serious? How will it affect her budding relationship with Ben, a fellow high-school teacher in a small Montana town?

Look for Keep Dancing in May. I’ll be publishing it through my self-publishing imprint, Mountain Vines Publishing.

Next up will be working on a new series. A young woman owns a travel and tour group in New York City, and the economy has hit her business badly. Rescue shows up in the form of an investment banker from Paris, but will his payment terms be too high?

You’ll have to wait and see.

I have plans for a few more re-releases and

 

What Does a Romance Reader Want?

There has been a great deal of uproar in the romance author community lately. If you are not a big fan of conflict over what is or is not proper in a romance novel, this might be a post you want to skip.

WARNING: This post discusses sex, racism, and has opinions.

First of all there is the discussion about how much sex is too much sex. Is clean the right term? Does that imply sex is dirty? What if the sex is there but doesn’t advance the plot? Or the plot could use a little sex to make the characters more human? What if the way a particular thing is done is a “trigger” for someone’s trauma? How clearly does consent need to be spelled out? Does only the female character need to consent? What happens in a non-heterosexual romance?

So many questions. As an author, I struggle. We could do “warning labels” to death and still miss something that sends someone over the edge. Authors have been known to label their books sensual, and been slammed because the reader didn’t see the word and objected to reading something … well … sensual.

How would you describe a book that has some sex, but it’s there only to move the plot forward? How much does there have to be before it offends you? Are there qualities it has to have to be “okay”? If you have an opinion about this, I’d love to hear it.

The latest upheaval is about Lisa Kleypas’s new book, Hello Stranger, that takes place in Victorian England. There is a passage that offended a reviewer because the male character referred to being taught about sex from a woman in Calcutta. (To read the review, click here.) Personally, I found the passage sensual, but I’m a white woman who grew up in the 60s when the Kama Sutra was all the rage.

Is it a trope? Definitely. Lazy writing? Maybe. Offensive? To some, it is. The author has apologized and promised to make sure “all future editions will be culturally sensitive and mindful of how every single character is portrayed.

A few things. First, the author never says the woman in Calcutta is a woman of color. That’s an assumption on the reviewer’s part. Second, the British conquered and colonized India for some not nice reasons during the time period of the story. Everything history tells us is that they looked down on the natives of the country.

Are we served if this is never referenced in a romance novel, as if it never happened? Or are we better served to leave it in and add an afterword that talks about how this attitude influences our lives today? How can we fix a problem if we deny it every existed? The uproar over this passage is actually a good thing in some ways because it opens the discussion.

But it is a limited discussion. Why not have a romance about the “Woman from Calcutta”? Show the other side of this time period? Why not have a book that updates it and turns it around like Black Panther is doing for superheroes? Why not have a reader’s guide that suggests questions like “How is this attitude toward women in general still in existence today?”

Or is all of that not romance? This gets to the heart of my question as an author.

As a romance reader, how much realism do you want in your novels?

Please comment below.

California: Point Reyes

Roosevelt Elk

Roosevelt Elk

Several years ago, DH and I managed to see three different types of elk in one trip: Rocky Mountain, Roosevelt, and Tule elk. The last are common primarily in Point Reyes National Seashore. We didn’t see them up close though, because we managed to get there when the fog was rolling in.

We annually escape the snow in Montana about mid-January for a break. This year we were blessed to have a perfect day at Point Reyes. The elk were plentiful, hawks abounded, a coyote strolled by, and two bobcats disappeared quickly into the shadows as soon as we spotted them.

DH and I were like two kids in a candy store. The shoreline was exquisite, and our necks were stretched to keep up with the hawks overhead. Because the trail was so high up and next to the coast, we often found ourselves eye to eye with raptors.

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

When I write, I try to put a sense of place into the stories. One of my reviewers from my first book wrote, “This book is a wonderful snapshot of the central coast of California and the people who inhabit this area. Ms. Dawes recreates the atmosphere, sensibilities and personalities with poetic realism. Not only is this a sweet love story about a struggling single mother, but a love story about California.

No matter where you live, and no matter what the weather, I encourage you to take some time and look around you. Even better … share it with someone you love.

Point Reyes

Point Reyes

 

Kat Martin's New Romantic Suspense, Beyond Danger

Beyond Danger

Cover Beyond Danger by Kat Martin(The Texas Trilogy)

by Kat Martin

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin brings page-turning suspense to a tale of secrets and passions turned deadly  . . .

Texas mogul Beau Reese is furious. All six feet three obscenely wealthy, good-looking inches of him. His sixty-year-old father, Stewart, a former state senator no less, has impregnated a teenager. Barely able to contain his anger, Beau is in for another surprise. It appears that Stewart has moved an entirely different woman into the house . . .

Beau assumes that stunning Cassidy Jones is his father’s mistress. At least she’s of age. But those concerns take a sudden backseat when he finds Stewart in a pool of blood on the floor of his study—and Cassidy walks in to find Beau with his hand on the murder weapon.

The shocks just keep coming. Someone was following Stewart, and Cassidy is the detective hired to find out who and why. Now she’ll have to find his killer instead. Her gut tells her it wasn’t Beau. And Beau’s instincts tell him it wasn’t Cassidy. Determined to track down the truth, they form an uneasy alliance—one that will bring them closer to each other—closer to danger and beyond . . .

Buy Now …

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play | iTunes

Beyond Danger Excerpt

Beau could hardly believe it. His father was sixty years old! The girl sitting across from him in a booth at the Pleasant Hill Café looked like a teenager. A very pregnant teenager.

“Everything’s going to be okay, Missy,” Beau Reese said. “You don’t have to worry about anything from now on. I’ll make sure everything is taken care of from here on out.”

“He bought me presents,” the girl said, dabbing a Kleenex against the tears in her eyes. “He told me how pretty I was, how much he liked being with me. I thought he loved me.”

Fat chance of that, Beau thought. His dad had never loved anyone but himself.

Shoving a hand through his wavy black hair, Beau took a steadying breath. He had always wanted a baby brother or sister. Now at the age of thirty five, he was finally going to have one.

Beau felt a surge of protectiveness toward the young woman carrying his father’s child.

He looked over to where she sat hunched over next to her mother on the opposite side of the pink vinyl booth. “Everybody makes mistakes, Missy. You picked the wrong guy, that’s all. Doesn’t mean you won’t have a great kid.”

For the first time since his arrival, Missy managed a tentative smile. “Thank you for saying that.”

Beau returned the smile. “I’m going to have a baby sister. I promise she won’t have to worry about a thing from the day she’s born into this world.” Hell, he was worth more than half a billion dollars. He would see the child had everything she ever wanted.

When Missy’s lips trembled, her mother scooted out of the booth. “I think she’s had enough for today. This is all very hard on her and I don’t want her getting overly tired.” Josie reached for her daughter’s hand. “Let’s go home, honey. You’ll feel better after a nap.”

Beau got up, too, leaned over and brushed a kiss on Missy’s cheek. “You both have my number. If you need anything, call me. Okay?”

Missy swallowed. “Okay.”

“I should have called you sooner.” Josie’s eyes teared up. “I didn’t know how I was going to manage the bills all by myself. “Thank you, Beau.”

“Everything’s going to be okay.” He watched the women head for the door, the bell ringing as Josie shoved it open and she and Missy walked out of the café.

Leaving money on the table for his coffee, he followed the women out the door, his temper climbing toward the boiling point. His father should be the one handling Missy’s pregnancy. He’d had months to step up and do the right thing. Beau figured he never would.

As he crossed the sidewalk and opened the door of his dark blue Ferrari, his temper cranked up another notch. By the time the car was roaring along the road to his father’s house, his fury was bubbling just below the surface.

Unconsciously his foot pressed harder on the gas, urging the car down the two-lane road at well over eighty miles an hour. With too many tickets in Howler County already, he forced himself to slow down.

Making the turn into Country Club Estates, he jammed on the brakes and the car slid to a stop in front of the house. The white, two-story home he’d been raised in oozed Southern charm, the row of columns out front mimicking an old-style plantation.

Climbing out of the Ferrari, one of his favorite vehicles, he pounded up the front steps and crossed the porch. The housekeeper had Mondays and Tuesdays off so he used his key to let himself into the entry.

On this chilly, end-of-January day, the ceiling fans hadn’t been turned on, leaving the interior strangely silent. The ticking of the ornate grandfather clock in the living room seemed louder than it usually did.

“Dad! It’s Beau! Where are you?” When he didn’t get an answer, he strode down the hall toward the study. He had phoned his father on his way here from Dallas. Though he’d done his best to keep the anger out of his voice, he wasn’t sure he had succeeded. Maybe his father had left to avoid him.

“Dad!” Still no answer. Beau continued down the hall, his footsteps echoing in the quiet. As he reached the study, he noticed the door standing slightly ajar. Steeling himself for the confrontation ahead, he clamped down on his temper and shoved open the door.

His father wasn’t sitting at the big rosewood desk or in his favorite overstuffed chair next to the fireplace. Beau started to turn away when an odd gurgling sound sent the hairs up on the back of his neck.

“Dad!” At the opposite end of the desk, Beau spotted a prone figure lying on the floor in a spreading pool of blood. “Dad!” The handle of a letter opener protruded from the middle of his chest.

Beau raced to his father’s side. “Dad!” Blood oozed from the wound in his chest and streamed onto the hardwood floor. He had to stop the bleeding and he had to do it now!

He hesitated, praying he wouldn’t make it worse, then with no other option, grabbed the handle of the letter opener, jerked it out, gripped the front of his dad’s white shirt and ripped it open.
“Oh, my God! What are you–”

Beau glanced up to see the woman, Cassidy Jones, standing in the doorway. “Call 9-1-1! Hurry, he’s been stabbed! Hurry!”

The shapely brunette, his father’s newly hired personal assistant, didn’t pause, just pulled out her cell and dialed the emergency number.

Beau’s hand shook as he checked for a pulse, found none. The wound was catastrophic, a stab wound straight to the heart. No way could his father survive it.

Cassidy ran over and knelt on the floor beside him. “Here, use this to seal the hole.” She seemed amazingly in control as she handed him a credit card then ran to the wet bar and grabbed a towel, rushed back and handed it over.

Beau pressed the towel over the credit card on top of the hole, all the while knowing his father was already dead or within moments of dying. Whoever had stabbed him knew exactly where to bury the blade.

Cassidy reached down to check for herself, pressing her fingers in exactly the right spot on the side of his father’s neck. She had to know it was hopeless, just as he did, must have known Stewart Reese was dead.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

Sorrow slid through him, making his chest clamp down. Or maybe it was sadness for the kind of man his father was, the kind who had wound up the victim of a killer.

He felt Cassidy’s eyes on him, assessing him with speculation–or was it suspicion?

Beau looked down at his father, his eyes closed, his face slack in death. Stuart Reese was dead and Beau wanted answers. He vowed whatever it took, for as long as it took, he wouldn’t stop until he found the man who had murdered his dad.

BEYOND DANGER by Kat Martin (Zebra MM/February 2018/978-1-4201-4317-1)

Kat Martin, Romantic Suspense Author

Kat Martin

“Martin takes readers on a well-plotted roller-coaster ride with her sexy and suspenseful second Texas Trilogy contemporary romantic thriller (after Beyond Reason). Former race car driver Beau Reese is estranged from his father, Stewart, a former state senator, and is furious to learn that Stewart has seduced and impregnated a 19-year-old. When Beau confronts his unrepentant father, he encounters gorgeous Cassidy Jones and thinks she’s another of his father’s mistresses. But later, when Cassidy finds Beau standing over his father’s body, murder weapon in hand, he learns that she’s a PI and his father hired her because he felt threatened. It soon becomes apparent that someone won’t hesitate to kill them both before they find Stewart’s real murderer. Surprises and red herrings lie around every corner, keeping readers off-balance until the author brings the story to a shocking finish. Martin excels in creating multidimensional, appealing rogues and the strong, sexy women who fall for them, and this novel is no exception. An excellent cast of supporting characters provides a well-drawn backdrop as Martin skillfully sets up the last book in the trilogy. This nail-biter of a romantic thriller will delight new readers and returning fans.” – Publishers Weekly

WEBSITE
http://www.katmartin.com/

SPECIAL CONTEST: https://www.katmartin.com/beyond-reason-giveaway/

To CELEBRATE the release of BEYOND DANGER, enter my new contest for a chance to win a KINDLE FIRE 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB and a Kindle copy of INTO THE FURY, INTO THE WHIRLWIND and INTO THE FIRESTORM. Contest runs from December 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018.

JANUARY CONTEST: http://www.katmartin.com/monthly-contest/

For January, Kat Martin is giving away to THREE winners a copy of both INTO THE FURY and an audio book.
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PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | indiebound | kobo | google play | itunes

SOCIAL MEDIA
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The Joy of Writing a Romance

Deep breath. The holidays are over. My last book is launched. My new book is being considered. Time to begin a new WIP and rediscover the joy of writing a romance. Already, I’m over 11,000 words into the first draft.

Hero: Jarrett Barclay

Cowboy riding range

Creative Commons License, Bob Wick, BLM

I’m steadily falling in love with Jarrett. (Don’t tell my DH.) He’s the wounded man I love to write about and redeem with a woman’s love. Jarrett’s had the weight of his family and their Montana ranch on his shoulders from too young an age. His siblings are finding their own lives. Isn’t it about time for him to find his? Winning a rodeo horse might be the answer to his prayers.
No matter what his trials, Jarrett is still a steady, strong man who has values that include tending his family, conserving the family land for future generations, and doing the right thing when he can. He truly brings out the joy in writing a romance.

Heroine: Samantha

Girl on fence

Creative Commons License, Blue by Nick Perrone

Like Jarrett, Samantha is a salt of the earth type of woman. She’s smart and organized, as well as an excellent money manager. She likes girly things and creates a warm home no matter where she goes. Her Achilles heel is Jarrett Barclay, a man who only sees her as his kid-sister’s best friend, while she lost her heart to him a decade ago. She’d like to move to another city, see if she can find someone else with whom to build a life. When her family needs her though, they come first.

She’s got a strong, quiet heart, the kind of friend you turn to when things have hit rock bottom. You know she’ll always be there with a cup of tea and a listening ear.

The Story

Challenge on Choteau Mountain is the tale of two real human beings following their hearts to their happy ending by making the changes they must while staying true to their ideals.

It is great joy to write their story!